Monday, November 18, 2013

Family Time at the Park

We do our best to enjoy time outside together as a family as much as possible (for us). We decided to take our kids out to a park in Orem. We had checked it out partially before while trying to drive me around into labor (never worked).
The park was a little crowded at first for our taste but we waited it out and eventually the kids had the run of the play structure to themselves.
Benjamin had a blast climbing these steps and going down the slide in a sorts of different ways. Elizabeth ventured to the top a few times and came down the slide once or twice. Abigail slept snuggly on her daddy. (11/10/2013)
I love how the sun affected several of my pictures!
There were ducks to feed and I had some crackers in the car that were stale so we tried to feed them. Benjamin didn't get the concept and would just eat the cracker pieces we gave him. I packed some food and we went for a walk and found a table to eat at and the kids had fun running around and coming back to the table for some more food.
It was a good family outing! I love spending time with my family!

Going Home and Knocking on Doors

Thankfully you only can really spend 48 hours in the hospital once you give birth (unless of course there are complications). I had asked about when I could expect to leave and since Abigail was born so late they were thinking after dinner time as they wanted to watch her for the full 48 hours almost (because of being such a large baby and watching her sugars which she passed all of her tests just fine). A different pediatrician came on and he said I could go home. I was able to go home after lunch. Hooray!
I was so tired of the bed that I sat in the nice chair and Jared took the bed for awhile which Benjamin thought was great.
Elizabeth missed her mommy! And you know what Mommy missed her too!
 When we were finally ready to leave Benjamin saw me put my shoes on and got so excited! I love those moments when you can tell your children really do love and adore you.
One thing I noticed shortly after going home was that Benjamin learned something about doors. He learned doors are for knocking on. He goes around our house now knocking on doors and opening the ones he can. When we come home he runs to the front door and starts knocking. And he will knock until the door is opened. It is pretty funny to me. I talked to Jared about it shortly after noticing and he said it must be because Jared would knock before entering my room at all. Love it!

Alone at the Hosptial

Being left at the hospital alone this time was strange and difficult for me. Every time Jared left I would cry. (I am an emotional person to begin with but I am going to blame some of it on the hormones.) Deirdre was so sweet and came back after leaving and offered to stay with me. I let her go home though as I knew the nurses would keep waking us up. I was fine after a few minutes but it was just so different. We decided Jared taking the kids home would be best as they don't deal well with Daddy alone at night as it is and we didn't want to stress anyone else out with their screaming.
Aunt Deirdre and Abigail on the left. Uncle Jason and Daddy on the top middle. Benjamin happily playing on the Surface on the bottom middle. Elizabeth passed out on the hospital bed on the right.
 The next day Jason and Deirdre came back for another visit (to see me of course!). Aunt Deirdre got to hold Abigail and I got a nice picture of them together. Benjamin was so excited when he came back and saw mommy. Jared told me that when they were getting ready to leave he asked Benjamin about going to see mommy and that Benjamin booked it out the door and to the van.
A small hospital room is rough for keeping kids happy and entertained. Elizabeth eventually passed out and Benjamin had fun playing on the bed. We just had to keep him from hitting the nurses call button.
11/05/2013 I made the hair bow for Abigail for the hospital specifically.
Jared took the kids home again but was able to come back for a bit in the evening which was very nice. Jason and Deirdre watched the kids for awhile at our house which I learned each kid took a turn cuddling up with their Aunt and Uncle.

And Then There Were 3

Abigail is two weeks old today and part of me is like how can it be two weeks already and the other part can't imagine life without her here now. The first few nights home with her were a bit rough and this mommy about had a breakdown as all 3 children wanted mommy all night long it felt like and I was not getting the much needed sleep! But come day 3 being home Abigail started sleeping for long chunks of time at night. Hooray! Sleep is so important! It makes for a much nicer mommy!
Abigail Christine Lutz was born on November 4th at 11:45pm. It was like she almost was going to make me wait one more day because waiting the 5 days past my due date wasn't hard enough. I could hardly breathe anymore which was one of the first things I noticed after not being pregnant anymore was I could finally breathe again (it wasn't all Utah's fault that I was lacking oxygen). She is my smallest baby so far at 9lbs 15oz (I know ha! Small! but for me that is small and she seems very small to me, which I think might be because I still see Elizabeth as a baby sometimes and she weighs about 24lbs. now) and measuring in at 20.5 inches long.
Abigail getting weighed on the top. Uncle Jason with Benjamin on the left. Abigail in the middle with her fauxhawk. Elizabeth cuddling with mommy on the right.
Once she decided to come she came quickly...only 3 pushes on one contraction. I was surprised when they said I was done. I almost didn't believe them but then I saw my beautiful Abigail. I had actually asked to be induced on day 3 of her being late as I was hurting and in pain. If I had made it to 41 weeks they were going to induce me anyways due to risks for both me and the baby. I prayed about it a lot and finally felt being induced was the right thing for me.
We had Jared's brother Jason and his wife Deirdre there with us and Madison (one of my young women from WA who is here in Utah too). They were helping to wrangle Benjamin and Elizabeth. They actually got them to sleep which was great. Benjamin and Elizabeth fell asleep and were left in the room when Abigail was born. My amazing Dr. (Sarah Andrews...that is a fun story of finding her about two weeks before my due date and I am so glad that I did!) thought it was so cute how they were asleep through the whole thing. It didn't last though. With Abigail's crying they did wake up.
After Abigail was born I was finally able to hold Elizabeth again which is all she wanted but holding her with the IV in my arm made me nervous. I cuddled with her for a bit though which helped to calm her back down. I tried to hold her during labor but I could only do it for so long and not the way she wanted to be held.
I am so grateful to be a mother of 3 beautiful and amazing children. Elizabeth and Abigail are barely 17 months apart but I know it will all work out. Benjamin and Elizabeth are still adjusting and I know it will take some time for them but I am excited to see their relationships blossom.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I've been working on these cute little birds for weeks now (because I only have so much spare time). Today is my first day of 3 months of vacation (aka maternity leave) and since I'm still pregnant and not able to do a whole lot I decided to work on these birds some more.
I am making them to build a mobile. The pattern can be found here. I've made 7 birds twice. We shall see how I decide to finish putting it together...I have a few different ideas but not sure just yet.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Past Month

I am trying to get back into the habit of capturing moments with my camera. I do get some with my cell phone as it is usually faster and closer at hand and share those on Facebook but for awhile my regular camera was just not being kept close by. I have moved it upstairs into my bedroom/office where the kids and I hang out most of the day. I do love how my new master bedroom is so big. There is the bedroom portion where our bed, dressers and TV are and then a big open space with a chair, lamp and bookshelf and then an alcove type area that is the home office. We've split it up into two desk spaces (one for me and one for our home computer and Jared's space for homework baring that I haven't covered it with other projects).
So here are some highlights from the past month.
Benjamin loves to color! So much so that he doesn't understand what he can color on versus what he can't. Which means he loses his coloring privileges frequently! He even lost book privileges for awhile there. When he gets too quiet I know something is going on and unfortunately I don't always catch it in time because I am on a conference call and have headphones on that block out a lot of the sounds the kids are making if any.
I don't always like it when Jared has the camera and snaps pictures of me but I figured I would throw this one out there. I am happily crafting downstairs in my dining room on an idea I have been working on for months. More details to come!
I've been finding a lot of blogs lately about ways to entertain your little ones and teach them things. One of the ideas I found (of course I forgot the source by now) was for taping a tube to the wall with a bucket underneath for kids to put balls through. The lady I found this from did it in her kitchen while cooking dinner to keep her youngest entertained so she could get the dinner on the table without too much fuss. I loved the idea and finally executed it upstairs. It took a few times of me showing Benjamin and Elizabeth but they caught on and had fun. Benjamin took to trying to throw the balls into the tube, unsuccessfully, but his arm for throwing is getting better. Elizabeth eventually removed the bucket and just had fun watching the balls roll across the room.
Benjamin lost interest or Elizabeth took over (I'm not sure which) and he went off to play with his Tractor book.
Most of the time Benjamin will not hold still for me to take a picture. I get the camera out and he will run off from what he was doing. Drives me nuts! I'm just trying to capture moments of his childhood! But then I have days where he brings me the camera and begs for me to take his picture over and over again. I love how this one turned out! His eyes sparkle! His poor lips though are still quite chapped from this dry Utah desert air. I get them almost healed and then it starts up again.
The kids watch a lot of TV. I love the days where they can find their own entertainment all day and last without having to have the TV or play on some electronic device. But unfortunately those days are far apart. Elizabeth was really needy and I could only give her so much attention so I turned on her favorite show (Mater's Tall Tales) and propped her up on the bed. Benjamin crawled up on the other side and decided to watch TV with her. I turned my head to check on the kids and saw the sweetest sight! They were cuddling! She wanted to be close to her brother and he was letting her! I grabbed my camera and captured the moment with a huge aaahhhh from this mother's heart!
Elizabeth loves to collect toys and walk around with them or put them in some type of container. For instance puff balls into a glass baby food jar or a large glass bottle. Crayons into a plastic container. Phineas and Ferb figurines. Balls. Usually she stays with a theme and wants all of the similar item together. She will get so frustrated when her hands are too full and she can't get the rest of the similar items in her hands. One morning she was in the hallway and let out a distressed cry. I went and checked on her and she was trying to collect and carry all of the puzzle pieces. I saw her issue and brought her a bucket. I put a few in and she smiled and filled it up with the rest of the pieces she wanted and then happily walked around with the bucket and her collection. It really is funny to watch her collect her toys to play with. Yesterday Jared pointed out to me that she was putting her collection in the lid of a box and then standing in it and had the biggest smile on her face. Love this little girl! In this picture I just love her blue eyes. She had brought her collection over to show me while I was working.
Kids these days start learning how to use technology so much younger than we used to. It comes so naturally to them and just amazes me. Jared takes our Surface to school with him each day as he has a text book or two on it and can take notes and it is very light. When he gets home Benjamin frequently drags daddy's backpack out and tries to get to the Surface. Elizabeth also loves to play with the Surface so Benjamin will jump up on the bed so he can get away from her and be out of her reach (for now). Benjamin looked so relaxed laying on the bed with the Surface propped up in his lap watching Netflix.
Okay so as I mentioned before I've been working on an idea for my kids. A crafting idea! A learning idea! A teaching idea! A hands on idea! I started on this project back in WA and I've been working on it slowly in my spare time (Jared always laughs when I say that). On September 11th I was able to take a picture frame and cover it with Velcro. I've been making different things for the kids to use to put on the Velcro board that they can play with and learn with. I've learned hot glueing the Velcro onto plastic is not the best method. So I will have to buy a lot more sticky backed squares of Velcro. Not too long after we moved into our new home I knew I wanted a space to be able to work with my kids and help them learn and play. I really want to get a little desk and chairs for them to work next to me on coloring and other projects so I can keep a close eye on them while I am working. This weekend I finally got my Velcro board hung along with a picture frame that is going to highlight a letter and color of the day. As I continue to put my collection together and get pictures of the kids using different things I will try to share what I have found and I am using as I have found some great free resources of women who just love to share what they are doing with their own kids! So grateful for people who are willing to share things for free and just ask that they be given the proper credit!
Elizabeth has become quite the book worm. Just goes to show how different children are! She loves to smile for the camera too!
Anyways that about wraps up the last month roughly. Though I have one sneak peak I will share with you of a project I am working on that is almost finished!

Quick Recap and Arches National Park

It's been 3 in a half months since I last wrote a blog! I've thought of writing many times but it has fallen to the back burner with so many things going on. Quick summary my husband was accepted to BYU in Provo, Utah and so with that we moved to Provo. We moved this summer at the beginning of August. Moving is a lot of work and when you have kids it is even more work. We are still working to unpack but the basics are pretty much out and so we are able to function.

Being 35 weeks pregnant I only have so much energy to do anything each day. I've been blessed to have my job at Microsoft (through Accenture) continue on with me while living here in Utah. So not too much has changed for me in that I work my day, while raising our two kids and trying to keep the house maintained. I have my good days and I have my bad days. Thankfully the kids have adjusted to our new home very quickly and are having fun.

See what I mean! A ball of energy!
No problem running up the stairs!
About two to three weeks of living in Utah we went over to the Arches National Park for a day trip and had a great time. We left in the early early morning hours to be sure to get there early enough to beat the heat. It was a good thing as I couldn't do too much once I got hot and even the kids became a little sluggish. The park was beautiful and even just driving through parts was amazing. We saw license plates from all over the country (we so could have played the license plate game and got most of them).

Daddy kept a tight grip on Benjamin
here. Behind them is a straight drop
off. One of the few times I really do
worry about my son getting hurt.
Benjamin had a blast! He is just one great ball of energy that is hard to keep up with at times. With going so early in the morning we hope the kids would sleep. Ha! Benjamin stayed awake for most of the drive over kicking Daddy in the back of the seat, flapping his arms in excitement and babbling non-stop. He knew we were going somewhere and anytime we leave at odd hours or pack up a bunch of stuff he knows we are going to have an adventure.

We found our favorite arch with the kids was in this canyon where it was shaded, breezy, and had lots of beautiful red sand for the kids to play with. I was reminded again that Benjamin gets his adventurous spirit from no less than his Father. Daddy decided to climb up on top of one of the arches just for the heck of it. He almost made it to the top when some people showed up so he got down so he wouldn't ruin their pictures. He climbed a few other places and Benjamin was bound and determined to not be left behind. Elizabeth and I were content to be left behind and just chill and play with the sand.

FYI...this park is not meant for strollers. We ditched it.
Mommy, Elizabeth and Benjamin under Sand Dune Arch.
Daddy getting up to climb on top of Sand Dune Arch. Getting up there was easier than getting down.
Daddy climbing other areas just because he can!
Benjamin just wanting to keep up with Daddy!
Elizabeth so happy and content to play with sand and rocks!
Double Arch
It was a long day but one that was definitely worth it! Everyone had a great time and it was wonderful to witness the beauty of the earth that we live on that God created for our enjoyment.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Elizabeth Turns 1

My little girl turned 1 today! I cannot believe it has been a year already. There's been so many high moments with her and a few lows mostly to do with that high pitched scream. I've loved watching her relationship with Benjamin blossom. I really hope they are close and have a great brother and sister relationship.

Elizabeth is in the middle of cutting 4 teeth all on the top. She has been a trooper. She can walk a step or two at a time but mostly wants to crawl as it's faster and more comfortable. Though she has taken up to 5 steps and the other day she was walking with our kids toy plunger as a cane. It was pretty hilarious.

So of course today I took pictures of her! I had fun taking them in her room that I recently decorated. I know just in time to take down and pack up for our move to Utah.

We celebrated Elizabeth's birthday at one of our families favorite parks and had a great time with family and friends. I feel so loved and so blessed by my family and friends and so grateful to be a mom!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Late Birthday Card Blowing In

The elements were working against me in making this card. My printer was out of ink and then wouldn't work when I got new ink cartridges. I wanted to make it for my son Benjamin's birthday last week but it just didn't happen. So here it is a few days late.
I saw the challenge for this card with bubbles on Hambo Hoedown and inspiration just hit me. Benjamin loves bubbles.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thoughts on Words

There are so many thoughts rolling around in my head these days. Work is busy like always, Jared is busy finishing up his Associates degree in the next few weeks. Benjamin is as active as an almost three year old can be and loves to run and jump and climb as much as ever. Elizabeth is almost a year old and could walk if she trusted herself but she does stairs pretty darn well. We are moving in August which I’m torn on in several ways. Excited to try something new, nervous about making new friends, grateful I can take my job with me to Utah and watching the days go by and trying not to process too much about how I feel about leaving close friends and family behind for two years.

But the number one thing at the top of my mind lately is relationships and how we treat each other. The age old adage of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” rings out at the top of my mind. It has been plaguing me as I have wanted to lash out and hurt someone intentionally as they have hurt me. Yet when I think of things I could do I know I’m not following my Savior’s example and doing what He would have me do.

A young woman from church recently posted the below quote online that I love and I am very familiar with: “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” (The Joy of Womanhood Margaret D. Nadauld)

With these two quotes rolling around in my head I realize I need to forgive the offense I have taken and be a woman who is kind and tender. It is certainly not easy but I know it’s the right thing to do. Today at church the two adult speakers both said or shared something that stuck out to me along this topic. Brother Randy Durham shared how we have two ears that are inputs, two eyes which are inputs and two nostrils which are again inputs, yet we only have one mouth with is an output from our brain (yes I know it has its inputs too but that’s irrelevant to this point). This brother’s comment after pointing these items out about the human head was that as such we should listen and observe twice as much and speak half as much. We need to be aware and cautious of the words coming out of our mouth. And Sister Wendy Carroll also shared similar thoughts about being mindful of the words coming out of our mouths and sometimes even more so the tone in which we say them.

Words are powerful. They can give hope, love, comfort, safety, inspiration and guidance. But they can also break hearts, give offense and be used to harm and hurt others. I’ve been slowly learning this lesson over the past year (and I am sure longer). Once words have left your mouth you can’t take them back. Especially words that you didn’t mean for someone else to hear, others can and will unfortunately share your words and they make it back to certain parties whom you never wanted to hear it. What has this lesson taught me? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

There is something interesting about women. You get a few of them together and they are bound to gossip about other women (and men). Why is this? Why do we tear one another down? We all have faults. A story from the scriptures comes to mind when the Savior has a woman brought before Him who was caught in adultery. What does He do? What does He say? How does He judge her? “Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (St. John 8:6-11)

Jesus has set the ultimate example. We are to love one another and we are to not judge one another. I strongly believe that we were given our mouths to uplift one another and love one another. Does it make it easy? No! I am just as guilty but I am trying. I am so grateful for my Savior’s example of love and forgiveness. I cannot express my gratitude enough for His atonement that helps me to forgive others and be forgiven of my shortcomings.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Card

Mother's day is just around the corner! I saw a blog this week with a card challenge using a sketch. I fell in love with it and decided I could make a mother's day card for my mom. I worked on it off and on all day today and it is finally done though it probably won't make it on time as it's still at my house and not in the mail. I am notoriously horrible at mailing things. Thankfully I have a wonderful mother who doesn't care and loves me regardless of my shortcomings in the mailing items department.

The blog I found is Bearly Mine Designs! Super cute stuff over there. She designs papers that you can print for making cards or scrapbooking. I fell in love and while poking around I found she has a card challenge blog too!

So I am entering my card for my darling mother in this Sketch Card Challenge . I used a few of her papers that I felt were just perfect for my mother when I found them in the first place!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lessons in Motherhood - Cherish the Crazy Moments

Work is crazy! Pull my hair out or it will fall out on it's own kind of crazy right now! As I was sitting in my chair this morning trying to get some work done Elizabeth crawled over to me and climbed up my chair and started doing some high pitched singing. It quickly turned into I'm angry cries and I want you to hold me mom. I was in the middle of something though and I got frustrated and I lost my cool (I hate to admit it). I yelled at my precious almost 9 month old daughter who knows know other way to communicate than through crying. I felt guilty for yelling so as I moved my laptop out of the way and scooped up Elizabeth I said "It sure would be nice to have some peace and quiet for a minute." And as soon as I said the words my heart got heavy and I started to apologize.

I would rather have my ears hurt from my daughter screaming than have to deal with the heartache of her being gone. On Sunday a speaker in our ward at church shared a part of a conference talk that touched my heart when I first heard it and again on Sunday.
“One night our little son Richard, who had a heart problem, awoke crying. … Normally my wife always got up to take care of a crying baby, but this time I said, ‘I’ll take care of him.’
“Because of his problem, when he began to cry, his little heart would pound very rapidly. He would throw up and soil the bed clothing. That night I held him very close to try to calm his racing heart and stop his crying as I changed his clothes and put on new bedsheets. I held him until he went to sleep. I didn’t know then that just a few months later he would pass away. I will always remember holding him in my arms in the middle of that night.” (First Observe, Then Serve)
As I wished I could recall the words I had just said I was reminded of this story and how precious life is and we never know when will be the last time we hug or hold our children...say I love you, hide under a blanket together, fall asleep together watching TV.
So my lesson in motherhood today is that we need to cherish the moments with our children even when they are driving us crazy. They are young and innocent children who just want our attention. And no matter how crazy my work is my children are always more important even though the pressure put on me sometimes makes me think otherwise. I'm so grateful to be a mom and to have children to care for and messes to clean up and owies to comfort.
How did the morning end you might ask? I held Elizabeth for maybe 5 minutes and nursed her and she fell asleep. She was asking for just a little bit of my time. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Who's Smarter?

Benjamin is obsessed with our smart phones. Most fits being thrown at our house is due to a smart phone either being taken from him or not given to him. I'm so amazed at how my 2 1/2 year old can navigate our smart phones and figure things out. He enjoys playing angry birds and can actually beat a level or two. He has figured out how to go out to and watch various angry bird videos. I finally know how he does it. I sure do love my Nokia Lumia 920 and love that the windows phone has a 'Kids Corner' to limit what he can do on my phone. But seriously my son is better at working my 'smart' phone than I am some days.

A Photo Shoot for Two

I had fun doing a photo shoot (11/14/2012). Different outfits! And tons of photos! I look 108 pictures of Elizabeth and then once done with Benjamin a total of 124. If you want to see the write up from Elizabeth's 5 months go here.

 After I was done doing Elizabeth's pictures and she fell asleep Benjamin jumped up onto the couch. I had to grab the camera. He is such a handsome boy and does the cutest things. But of course if mommy grabs the camera it means time to run. I had to put him back on the couch a few times to get these pictures.

More Than a Week

Going to run through a little more than a week's worth of pictures.
Benjamin enjoys lining cars up. Here he has his monster truck and monster tractor. I love this boy!
I enjoy letting Benjamin "help" me with the dishes. I wind up cleaning the floors but we have a good time doing a chore together so you can't go wrong.
Elizabeth keeps us company from her jumper. 
After the chores were done Benjamin crashed hard on the floor.
Working from home is a huge blessing but with it comes some challenges. Kids who want mommy and only mommy, kids playing upstairs and not downstairs, kids yelling during a conference call, kids wanting to be held, kids climbing and jumping on me. Some days I feel like I don't get anything done but then I would be missing out on moments like this of Benjamin jumping for joy while watching a show on the computer.
I do have to get creative though and so I can be found working from home all over my home.
Elizabeth in a beautiful dress with her daddy trying to hide behind her.
You just have to have fun with your children! Yes, yes that is Elizabeth's jeggings' on top of her head. After the jegging's Jared put his beanie hat on her head. It was pretty funny.