7.27.2016

Family Pictures

Even though it may seem rather engagement-y like (yes, someone actually congratulated us while we were out taking these photos), it was about time for some updated family photos. And with or without kids, the two of us make up a family. And a rather adorable one at that.




 

 

Photo Cred: Widdison Photography

7.15.2016

The Week In Which I Grew Up

(I guess I like to be ironic. Because on my grown-up birthday, I wore a crown. Because that is what Rachel did on her 30th birthday. #friendsreference)

It’s been a tough year. In my desperation to find myself before my 30th birthday, I feel like I lost myself more in my late 20’s than anything else. With that being said, turning 30 last week was rather difficult for me. What a different person I am than I ever thought I would be at 30. Every day I wake up and wonder, what is it that will make this day different, special. What will make me feel at peace. Feel like I am doing exactly as God intended.

Don’t misinterpret, I’m very happy. I get to spend each and every day with the man that I love, surrounded by friends and family, in my beautiful home, that is surrounded by Utah’s incredible mountains.

Anyway, turning 30 was only the half of this week in which I grew up. Two days after my 30th birthday, I went back to work full time in over two years. I now find myself in an office building with 800 colleagues back in the role as an accountant. When I quit my job two years ago, I never planned to go back. My husband makes enough to provide for us and working full time isn’t my favorite thing, as noted in many blog posts in the past. However, when an accountant position opened up at the same company that my husband works for as an attorney, he sent me the job description with the comment, “If you ever were planning on going back to work, this is the company that you should work for”.

So I applied. And just that quickly, I got an interview. And the next day, a second interview. And two days later, a job offer. Offering more money than I had asked for. So how could I not take it. I had to at least try to be an adult.

And if being an adult becomes too hard, well that’s just too bad. Because I’m 30 now. And with that comes responsibility.

I don’t mind my job. It’s nice to feel that importance again. And it’s nice to be paying off my husband’s student loans, paycheck by paycheck. However, talk to me about it again in 6 months. My motto?

It could be worse. It could be winter.

So when I’m waking up at 5:45AM to get in my workout in the pitch black and coming home from work when the sun comes down, I’m afraid my tune will change. But for now, the sun is shining, and I’m making money.

6.08.2016

Zion

Last year, when we went to Yellowstone, instead of paying $50 for a week long pass for entrance into the park, we paid $80 for an annual pass for entrance into all the National Parks. Mostly in an effort to get us to go out and do something!

This past weekend, we put the pass to good use and traveled down to Zion National Park in southern Utah. Even though it's only a mere five hours away, neither of us had been before. We headed down Friday night after work so that we could have an early start on Saturday.

We started Saturday morning at one of the most popular hikes in Zion, The Narrows. You spend most of the time hiking up the Virgin River which rests at the bottom of a canyon. Many people we saw there had rented the fancy socks and shoes that help to keep their feet warm while Mike and I decided to go it in our Tevas. Glad to report that I don't have any regrets. The water is cold, but your body adjusts and it ended up being perfectly comfortable.






We didn't do the whole hike because we had other things we wanted to do in the park and a limited amount of time. One day I hope to be able to make it all the way up the river.

Next we headed to Weeping Rock.


Pictures don't do this place justice with the amount of water that is dripping from them.


And it provided us with a beautiful view, albeit a blurry photo of us.

Finally, we headed to see the Emerald Pools. Which aren't emerald. So that was a disappointment. Made for a good, sweaty hike though.




The upper emerald pool was located at the bottom of a beautiful canyon, so I guess that made it worth it.

The next day we got up early and checked out of our hotel and headed to do the Kanarraville Falls hike. This hike is located just outside of Cedar City and was probably my favorite part of the trip. You spend most of the hike, hiking in what feels like northern Utah, and then all of a sudden you find yourself entering into a narrow canyon. It's incredible and once again, pictures just don't do it justice. The water here was much colder than The Narrows.




We are so lucky to live so close to so many amazing places! Now if we could just get ourselves to get out and take advantage of them!



5.03.2016

Nine

It's been nine whole years of marital bliss. And I'm so glad that there is not an end in sight. I couldn't have picked a better person to spend eternity with. He's the chocolate to my peanut butter, because that right there is the best combination ever made. I love you Michael!
Photo from our honeymoon in May 2007 to Puerto Vallarta

4.29.2016

Cinderella

This post has been weighing on my mind for weeks now. That's when I know its something that I need to write down. And you know, Mother's Day is a week away, so why not talk about it!

Being a parent taught me a lot. It taught me some really great things. It brought to light the really bad things. But mostly it taught me that I'm a great mom, but a terrible mother.

To me, mother is a very endearing term. Mother is a person that loves. Mother is a person that cares. Mother is a person that feels and nurtures.

Mom is different. Mom is the person that keeps the house running. Mom is organized. Mom teaches. Mom keeps the schedule.

(And before my mom gets offended....yes, I call you mom, but you are also my dear, sweet mother.)

Both of the opportunities I had to be a mom, I was exactly that, and nothing more. I was so organized. I kept that schedule like it was a part of the ten commandments. I helped with countless homework assignments. I taught numbers. I taught body parts. I taught colors. And I was very good at it. In the five months we had our dream baby, he learned so much. And it was so rewarding. That moment when our five year old finally counted to 10 all by herself, I was so proud. And so happy. But those moments were fleeting. I couldn't find lasting joy as a mom. There were small moments of love, but most were resentment. I didn't care enough. I didn't feel enough. I didn't nurture enough and I didn't want to.

Cinderella says "Have Courage & Be Kind".

I didn't & I wasn't.

When our dream baby was still with us, I mentioned to a friend that this must be what post-partum depression feels like but I didn't start actually looking into it until after dream baby was already gone. Turns out that even though at a glance it may not make sense, adoptive/foster moms can experience post-partum depression just like birth mothers can, in fact, 65% of them do. I can't explain my relief when I found that there is an entire slew of women that have experienced this. These two paragraphs written by Elizabeth Elias are everything:

Yes, she had a lot to learn and overcome, but the fault did not lie with her. So that left me. It must have been my fault. I carried that heavy cross of blame with me every day, everywhere. Charlie and my husband bonded with Rose right away. But the development of my mother-daughter relationship with her was much less smooth. I felt no bond with her and I was overwhelmed by her needs. I wanted to love her, desperately and immediately. But bonds are not always instant and need to be nurtured. I grew overwhelmed. My guilt over not having instant love for her was huge. She called my name with every breath she took: Momma, momma, momma, momma. I couldn’t find my footing. I craved my own space. I knew she needed and deserved for me to step up. This poor child had never had a mother to love her. I wanted to be that person but I failed. I failed daily for a year.

My guilt turned to anger. Rage. Because of her I was proving to be a bad mother. I felt very much alone. I loathed my existence. The guilt was everything I breathed, thought and did. I regretted the adoption. I felt trapped.

Source

So where am I?

Even after finding such relief in knowing that I'm not completely crazy, I'm still completely terrified to be a parent. I turn 30 this year. 30!

"You're not getting any younger!"
"You're biological clock is ticking!"
"No one is ever ready to be a parent!"

Well luckily, being 30 also makes me quite the adult, which means I get to make all my own decisions. Maybe one day we'll have kids. Maybe we won't and we'll just love on our nieces and nephews and then send them home when they get whiny. The good news is if we ever do decide to become parents, I can be highly medicated to make me a good mom and a good mother...



3.04.2016

Two Weeks...

...ago today, our sweet baby boy left us. After what seemed like the longest 5 months (second longest, that first placement was a doozy), we dropped him off with another foster family. Mike and I cried the entire way there, while baby boy dozed off in the backseat. It was definitely one of the more emotional things we have experienced together in our marriage. The moment I took him out of his car seat in their driveway, I knew it might be the last snuggle I would get because once he was in their house, with new toys, and kids to play with, we were no longer on his radar. And let me be frank, it was awful. My heart still hurts thinking about the moment we tried to get our last hugs from him as he fought us and pushed us away because *new toy*!

And now is when you ask, well why did you let him go? Well the long story is that his uncle and aunt are supposed to be getting him. They are waiting on background checks that are taking forever because of some out of state history. But once those come back, assuming all is well, which we were told all is well with the uncle and aunt, then he should be moving to their home. Well then why didn't you keep him until then? Because our license expired at the end of February, and we weren't going to be renewing it. Hence, the in-between foster home.

The short story is because he never felt like ours.

I think about him every day. And in the morning I lay in bed so grateful to not have a 20 month old crying in his crib in the other room. And during the day, I miss not having my little annoying side kick to cry and whine at me. I try my hardest not to look at pictures of him but I can't help myself. Because he really was the cutest. It hurts. It really does. But there are no regrets. I know in my heart that this is how it was supposed to be. And eventually the heartache will wear off and he'll just be a memory.

Now a video. Because you gotta see this kid in action.

video

And now Abby and Mike are signed off forever as foster parents. Who knows what crazy adventure we'll come up with next.

3.01.2016

My Valentine


Another Valentine's Day for the books. Planned by my one and only. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Tuscany, and then went to a concert performed by a local group. Fun fact: a guy that I was in Madrigals with in high school is the music producer for this local group. He's incredible and even though we haven't kept in touch, it's fun to know that he did something with his talent.

I love my sweet Valentine and I love having reasons to celebrate love.

1.31.2016

On All Things

My newest goal is to be a bit more attentive to my blog and write about all things in my life and not just foster care.

However, lets start with foster care. We are now back down to just one family member wanting him. Their background checks have to go to a review board because there is a bit of a background on one of the family members, but nothing that should stop them from getting him. It just makes the process take longer, but what's new? Everything makes the process take longer. He'll be gone by the end of February though, because our license expires at the end of February. And yes, we are letting it expire.


Unfortunately, we've learned that foster care just isn't for us. I wish it could have turned out differently, but we can't change how we feel. We're putting becoming parents on hold indefinitely. We just don't really love parenting. A far cry from so badly wanting to be a mom three months after I was married! We feel no rush in needing to become parents and when and if we ever do feel like we'd like to jump on that Mormon bandwagon, we will. If being the key word at this point.

Mike is making a job change. He's currently been working at a small law firm about 20 minutes from home. That firm has been a blessing to us and to him as working as an actual attorney, only having been graduated from law school for a few years, in this market, is very rare. He'll be moving on to the bigger and better as he's accepted an offer for a firm downtown. He'll still be practicing the same type of law. Which is something no one understands or has ever heard of.

I'm still living the dream as I spend my time at the gym, at home and with family and friends. I count my blessings each and every day. And I'm headed to the sunshine in less than a month as my mom and I are going to visit my sister in Phoenix for her birthday. I see poolside lounging in my future.

1.07.2016

The Post To Update You On Nothing

I just feel that I say things in posts that make it sound like so much is happening, and then I don't post for a month and you wonder why I'm not posting.

Well because nothing has actually happened. Holidays really slow a process that is already extremely slow. People pretty much stop doing their jobs and caseworkers stop updating you and so I really haven't known a thing until today, after I begged the caseworker to text me back.

We still have the little guy. Some days he is the cutest thing that walked the planet. But most days I am counting down the day until he goes to where he is supposed to be. Not because he's a nightmare (well he kinda is though because toddler...) but because he is not mine. But today I found out that two different relatives want him. But the very best part of the whole thing, is that the caseworker is actually working on getting both of the relatives cleared (background checks and home study)! So that means that if the first in line relative backs out, there is actually a backup plan that won't take weeks to implement! Finally someone with a brain!

And I lied before when I said that that was the best part. No. The very, very, very best part of the whole entire thing is that it's relatives! Which means that for the rest of forever I don't have to have regrets about not adopting him (or about adopting him, whichever). And that no one can think I'm crazy for not adopting him, because I didn't have the choice anyway! Please oh please don't let both of these relatives fall through. Oh and of course, he should be with relatives. Absolutely. Because family. That is also the very, very, very best part.

 
Did I ever mention how much this kid likes to snuggle? Oh how I will miss that part. Oh and the fact that he's been napping now for 3 hours. A kid that snuggles and naps?! Dreamy!