I've been missing in action

After I finished the Ragnar in November, everyone in my van was ecstatic. Bouncing around, laughing, (of course they napped like I did too) but still I felt exhausted.  Happy, yes, but exhausted. And I had to go to the bathroom all the time. I probably used 100 port a potties in 24 hrs. (Ok, i'm exaggerating, maybe 98). The next day was Sunday and I literally slept all day long.

The next few weeks, it seemed as if I had been run over by a semi.  "You can never run another one of these relays," Ty said,  "if you are going to be this tired afterwards! I was pretty offended, everyone is this tired after one! Over the week though I would see my friends, and they were fine. I was going to bed at 8:30pm for 2 weeks afterwards. And Zumba seemed to be killing me. What was going on?

And then, I was late.

Long story short, the most unplanned pregnancy took place at our household and we were in complete shock. The circumstances surrounding it had us starting out with a 50% chance of miscarrying. Not so good, so we decided to not tell anyone for awhile, especially the kids. They still don't know btw, so thanks for not saying anything. ha. I had to take it easy immediately (no high impact=no zumba) and still am until things are making a little more sense.

Everyone kept asking us about signing up for the Tough Mudder in Vegas this spring. Nope, pregnant. And fun Ragnars this spring and summer! Nope, pregnant. But we couldn't tell anyone, so it was hard to act casual. I even ran into an old friend and she asked, "So are you done?". Ha! How do you answer that one when you are semi/pregnant?

That next week we went out of town and I knew something was wrong. An ultrasound 3 days later confirmed, there was no baby anymore. We were devastated and relieved all at the same time. It was a tidal wave of conflicting emotions. I had to keep getting my levels checked because I wasn't miscarrying "normal". Whatever that means. And a week later my numbers jumped up (this still makes no sense, even after the fact) and I was told I hadn't miscarried, I in fact was still pregnant! And it was ectopic. Insert frowny face.

Alone, with all four kids in the car I had to turn around, drive back to the hospital and get a shot to end the pregnancy. Talk about fun.  I thought I had fun before but this topped it. Actually, the kids were perfect for me, despite an emergency trip to the bathrooms at Cedar Pocket in the gorge. Merry Christmas you old Building and Loan!

Christmas day was, despite everything, wonderful,. I was exhausted from the shot, but not in any pain and the kids had a magical day. Blessing of all blessings!  Actually, I had no idea how wiped out the shot would make me, I thought we were nearing the end of this, whatever it is, and now I'm a pathetic mess. It isn't very fun. I didn't get my crafts done, I didn't make cookies plates, I didn't attend any of the kids' plays or parties, I basically haven't visited with anyone or been social for 4 weeks.  Saying it has been difficult is an understatement. It has been very trying on Ty and me both. I pretty much stay at home sleeping or playing with the kids.

I don't write this for pity, or for help (luckily we have lots of family and friends who have helped a ton). I don't write this to win the "Olympics of Suffering", as my family always calls it. I definitely don't win that. They are so many friends and family members that are suffering through trials every day. I think everyone has "hard" things they go through throughout our lives. We are lucky, I know this trial will end and we have been lucky nothing serious came out of it, other than some fertility problems. Honestly, another pregnancy was very far away (if at all) in our plans, but this has pushed it even further away.

I do feel as though it is an answer to many prayers I have had over the last year about priorities, and plans and the children. A very clear and distinct answer that I am grateful for.

I have an amazing and faithful husband who works hard for our family.  I have 4 beautiful children who have the capacity to be faithful and kind adults. I have a wonderful home, a good vehicle that gets me back and forth and back and forth and an ocean of family and friends who care for me, even when I don't deserve it. We have experienced the most tenderest mercies over the last month. Small acts of kindness that have spoken clearly that my Heavenly Father love me and knows my needs.  And that has meant so much to both of us.


non refundable fun

Back in early November I called my sister and told her we HAVE to go see Nutcracker. We had taken the girls in Utah, but hadn't gone since then. It had been 4 years!  And so, we purchased the tickets (yikes!) and planned the date.

Things have been a little off here at the Leavitt house lately (largely due to me) and I was not feeling up to going, but guess what? You don't really have a choice with theatre tickets. So I put on my spanx, a dress and heels and we went.

Of course, it was wonderful. I loved watching Abby's expressions as she didn't remember ever going before.  The Smith Center, again, was impeccable and breathtaking. This time I took my camera and got a few shots.

We love going to the Nutcracker, and I didn't tell the girls about it until last night! They keep complaining that all their friends have seen "frozen" and other movies a ton. And I just kept saying, "someday, someday". Well, it was well worth missing out on movies for a few months for sure.

I can hardly wait to take Phoebe for her first time next year, she was still too young to go. Rodney? Yeah, he's  not going for a decade. ha! That boy,  I swear.

Thanks to my wonderful mom and sister Sarah for going with us, it's a fun tradition I hope to keep going. I'm always amazed that Heavenly Father gave us these amazing bodies, and the beautiful things that artists and athletes can do with them.  My favorite part of the night was the girls putting on our Nutracker soundtrack and doing all their favorite roles.

It definitely helped with our Christmas experience this year, so thank you non-refundable tickets!


Christmas and trials

Something about Christmas time and trials, sounds wrong to me. As if the two should be as far away from one another as possible. Today I've been grateful that the hard things that we are going through right now actually are during this beautiful and peaceful time of year.

A time where we remember the gift that was given from Heaven. A Savior that came to earth, to suffer all of our sins and afflictions, and give us eternal life.  It helps me remember why I am here, and where I am going, and how to make choices in a confusing world that has a myriad of good choices obscuring the best choices.

As we reflect on the gift we have been given, and focus on giving to those we love and those in need, if you are experiencing trials and hard times right now, I hope these words can give you peace also. 
This talk spoke to me this morning:

"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:"
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.Douglas Malloch



I found this quote via design mom today and it stuck with me:

Complaining Does Not Work as a Strategy 
“If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out… Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Oh the days of time i've added up complaining. And about what? I have a great life, I am blessed beyond measure. What a joke that I fall into that trap so easily. Good job, Satan. Good job.

Another one of my favorite quotes about complaining, or bitterness (which are usually one in the same around here) is from my friend Kathryn Bolton:

If you stop saying it, you will stop feeling it. 

Amen and amen!

This year I did switch out our advent calendar, and instead of a teeny gift each day I put in a service activity. Oh, you should hear the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I keep telling them they'll thank me in 20 years for this.
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