Tuesday, December 7, 2010


 Umm yeah, we have passes to go to all the cool kid attractions in NEW ORLEANS.  Including the BUG PLACE.  So, I thought I would post pics froma  few months ago when we were within walking distance of everything..
 Yeah, you can dip the bees and aunts in chocolate.  I was alone with the gals, no witnesses, so I had to take a pic
 Very crunchy, a little weird....
 The stamp says I ate a bug...I deserved that stamp!  Still can't beleive it!
 Andy loved the whole thing, it really was so much fun!
 There is a butterfly place that they just fly around you.  Can't even describe, just so cool!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ode to our Hotel Hopping days...

This is how one of our "one bedroom rooms looked

 I miss blogging...I miss updating my life and keeping track of everything...I miss people commenting on everything.  I could have updated my blog, I am not sure exactly why I used "life" as an excuse, but I am back to my blog in full swing.

 It is official though--WE SPENT 3 MONTHS IN A HOTEL---now we are out, in the most amazing place!

Here is a video of how we entertained ourselves, and the "growth" of Rodda J during our hotel stay ( granted, she thinks she can almost walk now, but I have to backtrack with everything)

 Of course, in hind site, it doesn't even seem real that we pulled off living in a hotel.  But in reality, it worked out really great.  Steve was seconds from his school, and we loved the ward we were in.  We made friends there we otherwise probably wouldn't have met (consequently are having a hard time even thinking about not being in the ward).

this was our supposed hotel "pool" that we swam in until they changed it to feel hotter than the hot tub

 Since we were , in fact, in the hotel, for so long, and I am not going to be able to recount everything , yet I still want a "document" of our time spent there....I am writing a brief summary of our stay below"---

 --We checked in our "time share" on July 21st 2010, and checked out Oct 25th 2010.  Throughout our stay there, for the first little bit, we switched rooms every couple of days (from a one bedroom to a two bedroom, to a studio, etc).  Due to the nature we arranged things, that is how it had to be done. 

 I wish I would have planned better.  Moving was the hardest part, especially on days when we couldn't get a late checkout, couldn't check in early, and Steve couldn't help me.  We had packed for his school, and life for that long, thus had a computer, printer, three suitcases of medicine alone. 

 The hotel would not allow you to use those bug carts yourself to "haul" things, and we couldn't afford t o pay someone to carry everything ( kind of defeats the whole point of saving money in a hotel).  One day when we moved rooms, it took me over three hours to haul our girls back and forth with all of our stuff ( that was a day they just let us transfer rooms, we weren't always so lucky).

Another layout of a different room...Some were set up much better than others, we got so many different layouts)
 The hotel had a fridge, and microwave.  Sometimes we were lucky to have an oven in a room, but it wasn't always guarantee.  Because of the location of the hotel, right downtown, it wasn't a "drive up and park your car kind of place.  You either paid the valet $26 a day, or parked yourself with a deal we worked out for $200 a month.  This means you would have to walk about fifteen minutes away, and navigate through the very slim one way streets. 

 That part was hard as well.  I could never anticipate how long everything would take me, especially when it came to groceries.  Let's just say, I got my workout--literally lost a few pounds having to walk to the different places just to get the car.

 While in the hotel we were centrally located e children's museum, about a ten minute walk, so we went there two or three times a week. 

 At first we thought the hotel staff really disliked our situation since we technically did live there ( we called it our hotel house so Andy could feel like she still had some sense of a home, as she slept on her "couch bed).  They were always a little put off, but then we came to realize that is the mentality here...No customer service exists in Louisiana anywhere--something I am still getting use to.


Now we have officially moved onto the Navy base in a four bedroom ( the only unit they had available for us) amazing place ( larget place I have lived as an adult, period).  We have a backyard, a study, we are loving life.

 We are so grateful for the money we saved in the hotel (don't get me started on the cost of living here) and to my inlaws for helpin us with that.  A part of us really enjoyed that time...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back and forth, where are we now?

This is the LONGEST I have EVER been without writing in my blog.  EVER!  Life has always been busy, and right now- it isn't too diff than normal, yet it has been weeks and months since I have written.  WOW

 I still have yet to update on life in New Orleans, or "life in a hotel" I should say ( at least until Oct. 25th).  On Aug. 21st I ventured to Oregon to visit with all my family and be here for my brother "nate's" wedding.  Well, after being a here a bit, we decided it might be good to have a home setting for a bit and be around family ( don't know if will be coming back to OREGON for a few years) while we can...

 So now, four weeks later, I am still in Oregon with my gals and my hubby is still in New Orleans attending all his classes.  My official return-to-NOLA date is next Friday Sept 24th. 

 For now I am enjoying having grandma, grampa, and Auntie Kaylie around to help with the kids, and enjoying having a kitchen, and bedrooms for my gals!  It is also nice having it be a little cold here ( I here it is still blazing hot in NOLA).

 My hubby is "living a student life" not having a family around...IT is really hard to study in a hotel room where there is not space, or area of separation for the gals who want their daddy, so I hope he is getting some good studying done!  I figured we won't be seeing much of him ( since when we are in a hotel, he studies on campus) while we live in a hotel...

 I am anxious to truly start our life in New Orleans, to have an address, a place that we can all call home and truly get involved.  We have already made friends and I have a calling of music person ( all things music, including playing of hymns I am in charge of). 

 My hubby keeps reminding me that my "home" is in New Orleans, not in Oregon, and this is true...I just am excited to really feel that way when we are finally settled.  For now, we are in forever transient mode and hoping that as of OCT 23rd we can move on base into a fun little place.  I will try and keep this updated!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My life in a hotel...

  I am thinking of making that the title of my new blog....at least for the next few months...That, or something like "New Orleans-the number one LAZY state in the Nation.", or maybe even " No clue"  I think I like that one best actually!  Another title to put in the middle of all of those would be "angel friends..."  oh  yeah!

 It has been a whirlwind for the past few weeks...which explains my absence in posting.  I wasn't even going to post tonight, but Steve is in our bed studying, and Andy is lying here asleep, and I can't bother Steve, so I decided tonight would be as good as any night!

 My mom came to help with our move about a week before we moved.  I don't know how I could have done it without her!  Then, one of my dearest friends in the world , Jen, showed up at my house the day before the big move and helped me for hours on end.  She took charge and helped me to get rid of things I wouldn't have had the courage to, and just kept me together getting it all done ( not to mention she picked up Andy the next day at 7 in the morning when the moving truck came).

 If it weren't for family and friends who helped us load our truck (the big diesel uhaul truck company)--we would NOT have made it!  All of these people are among my "angel friends" who have helped us along this journey of the biggest adventure!

 Another angel friend were my in-laws who, through some miracle...were inspired to help us get a new car.  We had been debating what to do with our cars since BOTH were at their tail ends...so we sold both and put the money toward this new car--which is going to save us so much money in so many ways over the next couple of years ( one of the ways is also that we trusted driving the car to make it--another story, so we didn't have to pay to have it hauled!).

 My in laws also have this sort of "time share" hotel in New Orleans.  They knew we hadn't worked everything out with the base, so they arranged for us to be able to stay in this hotel (for now) until Sept while we figure things out ( thank heavens cause we are still so far away from figuring things out---don't get me started).  The good news is that there is a bed for Andy and one for Steve and I most of the time, and that we have always had a microwave and fridge.  The bad news is that we have had to move every couple of days (I will get into that later).

 I was nervous about flying with the gals here, it is not that fun by yourself...and out of some miracle ( or tender mercy as my next angel friend called it) my sister-in- law Echo (angel) happened to be booked on the first flight leg of the journey as me...This was a miracle for me in so many ways not only cause we were running late, and forgot our stroller ( I knew I would die without it not only at the airport but in New Orleans in general) , but because I always take forever to get through the gate at security!  I feel really strongly that we wouldn't have even caught the flight without Echo who waited for someone to bring us the stroller, and walked through security with Andy while I went ahead so as to speed up the security process...

 My next flight, the next miracle was that the flight was NOT full and I was able to sit both my car seats down, so my hands were free.  This was not a big deal when flying with Echo, since she helped me hold my gals, and also got me to my next gait.  I was so worried...

 But, I made a new angel friend on the way who I talked to during the flight.  The woman and her daughter helped me with my bags, then continued to baggage claim with me, paid a guy to haul my bags to the shuttle.  I almost sat there and cried at the angel friends I made.  The shuttle driver helped me...and I was so happy.  When I got to the rental car place is when I realized I had over packed and was now alone.  I wanted to cry, but not because I was overwhelmed, but because I felt my angel friends really watching and helping me along the trip.  This woman saw me with "happy tears" but thought they were sad tears.  They turned out to be really good tears cause she ended up helping me load my car up and check me in...I just couldn't believe it.

 Our last trip to New Orleans was not like this at all.  No one was helpful, or happy or anything.  I was being blown away by kindness--and didn't believe it.  I really felt watched over.  The hardest part of the journey was driving to the hotel itself!  When I got out of the car, I looked around and almost flipped out --it was 1 am in the MIDDLE of NEW ORLEANS, dark, and scary.  The front of the hotel was locked but out of some other tender mercy I had another angel friend appear out of nowhere and open the doors for me.

 The front desk tells me I need to drive my car to the valet, and I almost break down in tears again.  It took me forever to load the girls with all our stuff out of the car--you want me to get us all back in and navigate to the valet? (it would have taken forever since you don't just turn left you have to go down a one way--turn onto another and keep going until you get the right road).  The guy was insistant, so I started praying and walking outside.  He then freaked out himself and made several calls to make a special arrangement to have them come get the car--another tender mercy.

 Needless to say, we are here and have been here for over two weeks.  So much has happened that I need to write about eventually.  For now I will leave you with saying that I have been blessed with a new set of eyes---I am not freaked out by the city anymore for some reason ( maybe cause I don't have a choice, we are here and I have to deal), but I actually really enjoy it.  It reminds me of Chicago in a LOT of ways ( another not very family friendly city).  I kind of fit well with the insanity.

 I will have to write later about the ward we attended ( I already hav a calling even if only there for a few months), the trauma of moving from room to room, the HEAT, the inabilty to get an id card and thus figure out our living arrangements, the crazy insane people we have met here, Steve's orientation and white coat ceremony, the children's museum, grocery shopping, learning about horrible schooling, and my three hour trek!  Craziness...for now, I am going to go to sleep in the big easy and enjoy this hotel for another day---taking Steve to school at 7 tomorrow.  Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Matching finally!

Since my girls are have a bit of a range in their age, it is really hard for me to find matching outfits for them ( my mom did it to me as I kid, I hated it then, but now that I am a momma---I AM ALL ABOUT MATCHING
Not only is it so much fun, but it is so cute and rare to find similar outfits.  See, usually the range is from baby to one year, but I happened to find matches for baby to 5 years old! Gotta love it baby!This one is my favorite of the bunch.  Rodda was so into the camera when it blinked, she stopped smiling!
For easter I dressed the WHOLE family in yellow.  I don't know why, but I LOVE DOING THAT. I try to do it as often as possible!

Friday, June 11, 2010

OUr steakout at New Orleans

And the winner is by a landslide....
No only is it a 4 bedroom 3 FULL bath townhome, it has huge closet space, ad fenced yard that opens to the park, no utilities or anything added, and IT IS ON THE BASE (you cant get any safer than that)

This is Steve standing next to the closet!

Steve still has not been commissioned , so everything hasn't worked out with all that yet...hopefully he will be commissioned in time for us move there.  If not, we have backup plans that we aren't thrilled about but  will do if we have to!Steve was sitting in an army chair wearing his army shirt...Can you even see him sitting there?  Yes, we tend to be really silly sometimesThis is a very famous spot in the french quarters that we visited...CAFE DU MONDE.  We were told we had to ccome here and try a beignet. It really just tasted a LOT like a scone with LOTS of powdered sugar on  top (really, people say don't go on a windy day, and we didn' t get it ntil it got windy and powdered sugar was everywhere)!
This really was the only time during our visit that we had any kind of break.  We were just so busy the entire time checking the place out, looking for a place to live that it was nice to breathe for a couple of hoursThese guys were VERY interesting.  We were just walking down the street, and they were across the street from us...I started clapping and getting into it from across the street.  They said "pay us pay us " to which I responded " I am across the street".  So, of course they ran to my side of the street and started dancing.  They were TAPPING with pop cans nailed to their feet.  I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE!  Then, I found something like 70 cents in my wallet, and thinking these two guys were friends, gave it to one guy ( intending it for the other) and he ran across the street with it and wouldn't give it to his friend.  IT WAS SO WEIRD>


When we arrived in New Orleans (as we quickly learned, it is pronounce NHAR LINNS--) it was 10 at night, we had to rush to get our rental car.  We had mapquested to our hotel, but soon discovered that if you veer off mapquest, good luck finding your way back.

 EVERY SINGLE STREET is a one way...and When a street says it is going west, somehow it ends up going north more of the time than west.  And of course there is construction, the entire city SHOULD be construction after what happened to it...

After a few hours of back and forth and not daring to stop and ask for directions, going in definetly the WRONG neighborhood more than once---we found our hotel.  We try and check in, and the lady explains to us we have to pay for valet parking everyday since parking is bad ( we get that we have been outside for hours).  She then says  "That will be ahllevan twahnty shevan."


"Ahllevan twahnty shevan."


This goes on a few more tries until the woman gets really frustrated with us and looks at us like we are aliens.  US THE ALIENS? You are the one who just made up your own language.  We finally discover she was saying "11.00" SERIOUSLY?  REALLY?  I didn't know moving here meant I had to learn a whole new language.

That was just the beginning of it.  We seriously didn't understand any EBONICS that we heard anywhere we went.  And yes, we were the only WHITE people everywhere we went (sorry there is no other way of putting it).  We finally got speaking to one lady who we completely understood as she was giving us directions. "go up over the bridge, turn to your right, then go under...keep going, then turn LAAAAFT."

I turn to my husband and give the look that says" Did she really just say left that way." I was commpletely with her until she said LAAFT.

The trip was very, ummm, educational to put it lightly.  I really am not use to being the minority (and by minority I mean when we went to the supermarket my husband and I were the ONLY ONLY white people in there).  I have no problems with this, just if it brings attention to myself. We were told by several people that in NARLINNS there aren't dangerous areas, every area is dangerous.  One street could be completely safe, but the other street is completely overtaken by gangs.  You just have to know where to go (that's really comforting).

No one understood why it was so expensive to live their either.  Since they are trying to rebuild the city.  Let me see if I can try and explain-- Because of all the sad things that have happened in the city, insurance for everything has gone up.  Car, rental, house, etc. insurance.  So, to make up for it, prices of EVERYTHING have gone up ( a two bedroom apt is $1200, and milk was over $4).

The base itself seemed like the safest place, but the surrounding area just outside the base was some of the scariest places I have seen ( including Chicago with bulletproof chapels, but that was BEFORE KAtrina..many people have left the city now so you can guess who stayed).

It would  be a different story if I was looking at it from ME eyes.  But I have 2 little girls that I am caring for, that completely changes your perspective one EVERYTHING.  I am still very excited to move and start our new adventure.  I am glad we took a trip out there before so I wouldn't be in shock when we actually move.  It will definetly

I know that it will be very different and a challenge.  I am still confident we have it in us for this incredible move.  PLease keep us in your prayers.  I really hate moving!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Other blog...

I will be doing 2 blogs now....This one dedicated to family life and my other one...dedicated to diabetic survival.

Check it out and let me know what you think... http://diariesofdiabetic.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 7, 2010

Keeping it real....

 After my last post I received so many different responses and emails that it got me thinking.... While I think we should all keep a positive outlook on life (otherwise we can sink into deep depression, what's the point of trying really)..I also think it is important to keep it real.

 By that, I mean, I am not going to pretend to be someone I am not.  I think one of the reasons I got so many comments was that I was being completely vulnerable, open, and honest with my feelings. 

 I don't know about you--but sometimes it is refreshing to hear someone say what I am really thinking.  Someone who comes along and makes me feel like " OK, I am not INSANE...I am not the only person who feels that way...."  All of the responses I got I truly appreciated, and really needed and I thank you all for your amazing comments.  I continue to learn from the glorious people I am surrounded by!


  I could choose to be upset that there are LOADS of dirty laundry yet to do---and the clean laundry from two weeks ago still isn't put away...Or that I haven't even begun to unpack from our NOLA vacation that was a week ago...Or that I haven't brushed my hair in 2 days...Or that there isn't ONE clean room in my ENTIRE house...

 I could turn it around and look at what I did accomplish today, while it isn't much, I am glad I have some positives in my life today...

Things that made me proud of myself--
--I made my husband breakfast in bed this morning--Andy helped me and we had a LOT of fun!
--I went to the store with a list of meals I want to cook for the week, and stuck to the list...
--I took a shower today (yes, that DOES make me proud cause it is rare)
--I bathed BOTH of my daughters.
--I actually DID the dishes (this is also HUGE and is RARE--Andy pretended to help as she stood by me).
--I played outside with my daughters today...
--I made some pumpkin cookies and jello.

  I am slowly learning that what one person can accomplish in one day would be a miracle to hit one of those things for another person.  It is so easy to compare and say "What is wrong with me?  Why can't I do that?"  I am learning to know that my strengths and weaknesses are not anothers.  I have so much to learn from others.  While learning from them, I need not put myself down for not doing all they do, but be proud of what I can do in my particular situation.

 I am, once again, grateful for the strength I receive from the LORD.  I am learning more and more how to depend on him.  I think I still don't get it, but maybe one day I will rely on him like he wants me to.  I know he loves me for me and being real.

PS...I am in the process of starting a whole new blog that is dedicated to my daily struggles of a woman with diabetes and life in general.  I still want to keep a blog that is mainly focused on my beautiful children and what they are doing...

Sunday, June 6, 2010


 You know those mom's whose kid's hair always seems to be perfectly done?  Whose kids sit perfectly quiet, entertained and still during a church meeting.  The mom's whose house you walk in and their house is just clean clean clean.  Those mom's who always have a HEALTHY MEAL prepared at morning, noon and night for their family to feast upon.  Those mom's who have a schedule for their kids, and they follow it.  Those mom's whose kids are brilliant cause they have the patience to spend five hours a day teaching and drilling their kids.  The kind of mom who is friends with everyone and manages to run the PTA, and all other events in life and keep it together!  Those mom's who after all this still manage to have perfect hair makeup, and manage those HEELS.  ( and yes, I do know plenty of people who are THAT--- a  SUPERMOM---I wish I could be like you Sara, Page, Becky, Bev.....etc....)

 Well, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE MOMS!  I am not even close...

  It all started with those dang HEELS. .......

  Besides barely having the energy to pour cereal for my oldest in the morning...I am lucky to get her dressed with a diaper (yep, she is 3 and not potty trained...uh huh--) let alone pretend to do her hair. 

 After getting my gals all ready for church, I thought today I might have a shower and try to look presentable.  After my short --not long enough at all--shower (can't leave them alone too long) , I pull my hair in a pony and put on mascara.  I thought, I just shaved, I want to try some heels today ...Maybe I might feel even a smidgen of pretty today. 

  BAD IDEA...VERY VERY BAD IDEA.  Of course, I trip all over the place and can barely walk.  Who am I kidding really?  How am I going to take my UHAUL of a diaper bag, the baby car seat and ANDY, while smiling and walking in heels?  All the SUPERMOMS out there manage to do it, plus all their other SUPERMOM feats, I just want to conquer the heels...PLEASE, JUST THE HEELS! 

  To no avail.  I made it to church and the heels came right off.  I wasn't even going to pretend to smile.  Keeping it real--I break down real easy. !!  Sitting in church thinking of how messy my house is and how I never seem to have any energy to do anything about that!  Wondering if my daughter will forgive me for having leftovers for the fourth night in a row...Looking around me at amazing people who seem to have it together. And I have NO excuse at all.  I am blessed to be at home with my gals, so what is my problem?  Look at those supermoms (and they really are just being moms most of them...not going above and beyond...just being themselves...,)

 They have it so together, they wouldn't even make me feel bad for being insane.  They all try and give me some great advice---try putting your kids to bed at a certain time, have your daughter help you more, take YOU time.  While I appreciate the advice, I KNOW ME. 

  I am not meant to be a SUPERMOM (the best is most supermoms are in denial of it and would not just admit how great they are)...and I am ok with that.  My gals are loved, very loved, they get fed and they get their momma!  I have the blessed opportunity to be a momma, and there were plenty of times in my life I never thought that was a possibility on so many levels!  I know I am inadequate, but that's ok..

 I have learned I can't do it alone ...I know the saviour will pick up my slack.  He will lift me when I need lifting.  If I look to him and point my children to him, then I know I am doing what I need to.  I am so glad that I know this.  I would crumble and fall apart ( I feel like I do that anyways) without this knowledge.  I am so glad for the strength I receive and the help I get.  I am glad I have someone I can vent all my frustrations and anxieties to...an outlet (kind of using this blog for that too huh?) 

 On that note, I better go get my gal who isn't taking her nap.  So much for alone time!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinner in the morning?

  I woke up today and realized that I hadn't packed a lunch for my husband.  So, I decided to make tonights dinner this morning so he could have it for his diner tonight.

  I have now decided that I should try to make all my nighttime dinners in the day, morning, sometime early.  Not only does that get it done and out of the way, but it ensures that we will actually have a meal at night.  See, we love to go outside and play (especially during the summer)...and sometimes we have so much fun, we lose track of time or just get distracted as time passes.

 I cannot tell you how many times we come running in at seven, we are all starved, and nobody wants to wait a half hour for a meal.  For these reasons, I have decided to try and make the meal in the mornings...(don't get me wrong, I am not that motivated or orgnaized at all---not like half the SUPER MOMS I know out there).  Wish me luck with my new adventure!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I am a....

 Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Citizen, Returned Missionary, College Grad, Pianist, Singer, Dancer, Missionary, BYU Fan, Football Fan, Supporter, Teacher, Chaperone, Cook, Believer, Member Of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of latter day Saints, Houskeeper, Housewife, Family gal, Social Person, Happy person, Crazy Person, Learner, Lover, Supporter....

 There are so many roles and things that we all can be.  I was thinking about this the other day as I was taking on the role of feeding my children, cleaning the house, and finding a place to live...I thought, man , I could be paid to be a janitor, cook or realtor right now.  It's amazing how we trry and define ourselves.  I actually hate defining people.  I don't like people to be put in a box.

 I would prefer to say that all of us have many roles, and many opportunities for growth.  And some roles help develope other roles.  No one is just ONE thing.  We all make up many things that define who we are, what we like, what we beleive in, what we stand for.  I hope to be someone who stands for something good and rightous, and an example!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Acronyms....our new language and lingo....!

Members of my faith are use to certain acronyms that are part of our everyday speech. These acronyms, such as FHE, VT, HT can seem foreign to those not of my faith.

Steve comes home from work and starts talking about his CF test for some C-scan with PPAP he is doing ( I don't even think I am using the right acronyms in the right context. I have heard CF a million times though) . It is totally insane to me, and I pretend I have a clue what he is talking about.

Acronyms are everywhere !! A place that uses acronyms more than any place I know is in the Military. Steve and I, through much prayer, and research and discussing, have decided to go the military route (Go AIRFORCE!) to pay for medical school ( so great coming out of medical school and not having to worry about paying a million dollars in debt (and yes it will be a million or more- after interest and such) and being taken care of). Why, just while we were talking to our rep, he used more acronyms like BAH and DOD , not to mention military ranks like Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain (still don't get the ranks ) , I realized we had to learn a whole new lingo. That is the joke with us newbies! They tell us we will get the lingo down pretty soon and "learn the language"!

I have had to look up military acronyms---It is literally a whole book!

Steve and I have laughed at this new lingo that feels like it will take FOREVER to learn. So, we have decided to just embrace it and be acronym people. We are developing our very own new language that is pretty much just abbreviated words and acronyms of words we use alot...like NOLA, FAF, O1, and plenty more. We think we are so brilliant (ha ha ha) and will fool everyone (as if it is so hard to figure out). But hey, why not, if everything else feels like an acronym, why not just make it every aspect of how we speak. So, if that's how we start speaking to you and we forget you don't know...I apologize. We invite you to embrace it yourself and speak in acronyms!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things to miss...and look forward to...

As I contemplate our big move this year, it is hard not to think of the things I will miss about living in my dear UTAH... Some things you don't realize you will miss until you have the prospect of NOT having it. Here are a few things that come to mind...These things I hope to take plenty advantage of in the next few months


1. TEMPLES- I will miss having a temple five minutes away...It is different when you have to plan on driving at least an hour to it.

2. DI- I really love making purchases from the DI. It is nice having it so close and available for just about anything I need. I always count on it for things I can't afford, I am really not sure what I am going to do without it!

3. DESERET BOOK/DISTRIBUTION CENTER- I clump these together cause they are both shopping places. It is nice having church stores where I can buy any of my church needs very conveniently...

4. THE GLORIOUS MOUNTAINS- There is nothing that you can quite compare to the mountains of Utah. I remember when I moved to Arizona and people said there were taking a trip to the "mountains". I laughed at what there hills were referred to!

5. THE SNOW- I have a hard time with this one cause most of the time I am cursing it, but lately my little gal has been loving playing in it....Again, when the prospect of not having it is there, you suddenly miss it very much!

6. A MILLION KID PROGRAMS- Yes they have pre school, music, dance classes, everywhere in the world...but not like in UTAH. There are so many kids in UTAH, it is like it is tailor made for children's programs!

7. BYU- This is so sad for me! I will be missing going to all my games live! Visiting my PROVO and seeing my brother at BYU (only did that his freshman year then he went on a mission, but he is coming back, so I will be MISSING IT). I don't even know if we will be able to watch our games! SO SO SO SAD!

8. LOTS OF FAMILY AROUND- It is nice having family so close. It seems like people visit UTAH all the time anyway (they either have the church or other fam), so you see lots of people while in UTAH. Not going to have anyone in LA. Going to miss family so much! Even those in St. George we won't be seeing anymore!

1. SNOW- I know I put this in the "miss" pile, but the truth is it goes more in the NOT miss pile! I really despise the snow and ALMOST everything about it. I hate the cold, the accidents, and everything that makes it dirty.
2. CABIN FEVER- I will not being stuck inside due to the snow! Yes, I will definitely NOT miss that!
3. THE U- People asked me how I would react to the U if we ended up going to school there....Well, now we will never know and I can keep on despising them like I always did!
4. UTAH DRIVERS- I have no idea how the drivers in Louisiana are, but I am done with UTAH drivers. I am one, granted....and I hate when people NOT from UTAH say they hate UTAH drivers ( I think half of the drivers in UTAH aren't from Utah actually)...but I am sick of people being rude on the road.
5. CONSTRUCTION- Enough said! Even people not from Utah can attest to this one!
6. ANTI-MORMONS- realize these people are everywhere....But it is really funny here in Utah. Take conference time for example---do you think people would protest like that NOT in Utah---nope! In our little neighborhood here, the smokers "mock" us mormons, whereas other places I have lived they appreciate others values.
Things I am Looking Forward TO

1. SUNSHINE- I do realize there is heat, I get it. But I am so excited to be able to be outside 9 months out of 12 instead of the opposite, 3 months out of 12!

2. New Ward- While I have enjoyed some things in our current ward...I am ready for some new faces, new callings, and new attitude. We haven't made too many friends in our ward---long story!

3. CHANGE- I am excited for a new adventure and all the things it will bring. I am excited to be able to embark upon a whole new world and for the growth that will come with that!
4. THE FOOD- While I have yet to experience this...I am told Louisiana has its own rep for food and culture. Excited to experience all of this! Please --who doesn't love food!

5. MEDICAL SCHOOL- Even before we were rejected by the U...We were LOVING Tulane and all the New things they have ( it has to be new with the hurricane that destroyed everything). They have better stats of their grads and everything, it is going to be wonderful!

Overall, it is going to be a hard, yet wonderful move for the family! I want to enjoy MY UTAH ( yes I say my Utah cause it is where I grew up and I am proud to call myself UTAHAN) while I can... IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS OF LOCAL UTAH EVENTS / ACTIVITIES/ SITES THAT WE NEED TO SEE BEFORE WE MOVE PLEASE LEAVE IT IN COMMENTS. I don't want to miss anything while we are here these next few months as I am sure it will be a LONG while before returning. That's why we will be going to the temple, the zoo , and other things as much as possible while we can and visiting as many of you family and friends as possible while you will have us! We Love you UTAH and can't wait for you LOUISIANA ---other suggestions for our visit to LA in May would be helpful as well!

PS....This is the cheesiest, greatest sillliest ever@!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jake,and Megs Blue and Yellow wedding!!

Dear brother Jake married the cutest and greatest gal Megan Mahoney in the St. George Temple on March 13th! It was a wonderful reunion with lots of family and friends. We were glad that Steve was able to make it as he, of course, was working non-stop and just barely arrived via shuttle right before the temple ceremony.

I drove me and the gals up a few days earlier to be with the fam and show off our newest addition! What a wonderful time. Two nights before the wedding, we all went through the temple with Megan and that was so beautiful.

The night before, we ended up having an impromptu bbq with both families that was an absolute blast! We sang and performed with each other and just got to know the families. I wish we could have done that at my wedding cause it was like we were all best friends by the time we got to the wedding!

Megan claims she is a devote Utah fan ( that is where her parents met), yet her wedding colors were blue and yellow...hmmm... I think we have converted her already! We were all born to wear blue, including Megan who, coincidentally has been to more BYu games than Utah!

I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take some awesome family pics. We all look so good in blue. Andy was worn out by this point, but was still smiling. Long day a wedding is!

She was so happy when her daddy showed up she couldn't let him go. We were grateful Autn Sara helped to do her hair!

Good times all around. SO fun to see all my family whom I haven't seen and all the extended family.

Our beautiful Rodda J gets a blessing....

After my brother Jake got married, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give our dear little Rodda Judy her baby blessing. With my whole fam in town ( they weren't able to make it to Andy's) , including her great grandparents, it was such a blessing to have them be a part of it. This dress that she is in, I was blessed in, my two sisters, her two daughers, and now my two daughters. You can't tell from the pick ( thank heavens) but it was yellowing a bit.
That did not make a difference to us. We thought it was very special that her grandma Bev gave me this dress. It would be beautiful if it lasted long enough to have everyone get blessed in it!

It was a beautiful blessing, and Steve, as usual arose to the occassion. We both get very emotional about it and think it is such a wonderful thing to recieve a blessing. I will leave out all the details of the blessing, but say that she was blessed to live up to her namesakes, those two wonderful people she was named after...to follow in their examples and have a testimony like them!

We were very happy to have the support that we did! What a blessing it is to have Rodda J in our lives...! We love her so much!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Technology---??? Want or NEED??

This is a rant...

I could go off forever on the evils/goods of technology. I basically took a course in college dedicated to just that topic!!

Today I am thinking about the wonderful blessings of technology...Mainly because we won't be having internet as of tomorrow and are trying to figure out what we should do about it ( our Internet source is moving...we worked out a deal with them).

Without technology---
--I am not sure I would be alive today. Technological advances in the medical field have made my life amazing and for sure will make me live longer. Because of new sources they have found to monitor diabetes, and keep under control...I believe that is how I had my little gals. God bless technology for that reason.
--The world we NOW live in is so dependent on technology. We are told in times of trial ( financial burden) , or just in general, to only buy our necessities...The things we need to survive--such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. Now, I fear, I am falling into a trap thinking technology is an essential.
It is how we pay and monitor our bills, how I make and keep appointments, find out where I am driving, apply for medical school and benefits, how we keep in contact with loved ones, do our taxes, how I make certain purchases, how I get ALL kinds of information!!

You can't even do some things without technology ( like apply for medical school, all online). Now-a days when I call a 1800 number for customer service, the first thing they ask/tell me is the internet site and how to go on and get information (if I wanted to do that I would NOT have called you in the first place).

You don't realize how much you use technology until the possibility of having it taken away from you is there...Then you begin to panic.

So, here is my question...This is posed as my hubby and I are debating if we should make a contract for the internet, or just use it on occasion at the library until we move in JULY. Is technology a want or a need?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rodda J enters the world!!

This is our new little family....and here comes the story of just how baby Rodda J came into the world and how she got her unique name...

Feb 4th I had one of my biweekly doctors appointments in the morning. We discovered that I was dilated to a 4...My doctor told me if I had ANY contractions , or problems to just head straight to the hospital since once you are to a 4 it goes pretty fast from there (three days earlier I wasn't even dilated, we did lots of walking...)

My doctor also scheduled an induction for Monday, Feb. 8th. He told me to go into labor ( if only it were that easy)...

This is Grandma Judy holding her little Rodda Judy.

We got home from the docs, ate lunch, and I decided I needed a nap. I no sooner went to lay down then had a major contraction...I tried to lay down for an hour and had about five contractions. I go downstairs and tell my mom we need to go to the hospital---I didn't think I was in labor but just started thinking that I don't want to be on the freeway delivering a baby and just want to be safe ( the hospital is almost a half hour away).

I then call Steve and tell him to just get off work and come to the hospital...I know once I am there, they won't let me leave--being high risk and dilated so far, they will keep me for the duration.

We get to the hospital and I have absolutely NO contractions ( no surprise there)...

Me holding our little one for the first time---

I actually start to laugh at this point...I don't want to rush anything and was hoping I didn't jump the gun just cause I wanted her here. After about a half hour, my contractions start up again, and they go for a bit (they didn't really feel bad at all---just like cramping---after all, I was already dilated so far)

My doc gets there at five says I am at a 5, and that he is going to break my water...YIPPEE!!! He broke my water...nothing really happened for a bit after that... an hour later the nurse says "you ready for your epidural yet?" At this point I am thinking, "man, I wish I didn't need one"...(high risk, could have so many things, just better to have one)...cause I was doing fine. They said Mr Epi (my anesthesiologist I kept calling him Epi--he liked it) was ready.... So I guess now was the time.

Dadda holding his two precious little girls. They have him wrapped around there fingers!!

My epidural guy was awesome. He was joking the whole time! I LOVED my nurse, and was already thinking my doc is the best in the whole world. This was a big deal to me since I was unsure about the hospital I was delivering at...very small, made me nervous---especially with all the problems with delivering Andy. Turned out even better than I could hope for!

A few minutes after I got my epidural, I got really sick...I thought I was really low all of a sudden, I was so dizzy and the room was spinning. I yelled for someone to get me my meter... Turns out my diabetes was great, my blood pressure just dropped dramatically ( very typical after the epidural). It had risen to 90/40 and I started feeling better. It really was the weirdest sensation though. Such a weird concept too since with Andy I had the opposite problem--high blood pressure!

I wasn't progressing that far, so they hooked me up with petosin. This did a number on my blood sugar counts---and freaked me out just a little bit. I had to keep testing my blood, and adjusting. My doc got a little upset when I adjusted without telling him ( he is so protective of me).
Long story short---It felt really long...even after he broke my water!! At one point around 11 pm-ish I suddenly felt really low again...I was really dizzy and light headed. I screamed for my meter-My counts were fine, my blood pressure was fine. My doc came running in ( love that man, I swear he checked on me every 20 minutes---INCREDIBLE).
I turn to him and say I am nauseous. This is a new thing, even after taking meds that would make me nauseous with Andy I never did get sick. But with this little girl, I GOT REALLY SICK. I must have thrown up at least five times. It was weird.
I felt much better after that. The doc said me throwing up meant it was right around the corner. Good times! I only pushed for like 10 minutes, then our newest addition came at 11:55pm. Silly that 5 more minutes and she would have had a completely different birthday. It is the weirdest feeling when they say push and you have NO CLUE if you are doing it right or not since you can't feel a thing! My first push I did it in my face, and closed my eyes and everything went black. I almost passed out. Then I realized I needed to concentrate on what I was doing better.
So, baby Rodda came into the world at 38 weeks and 1 day (almost 2 days) They immediately called her a big baby, put her on the scale and she was 9 Pounds exactly! WOW. almost DOUBLE the size of Andy Bev. She is so beautiful...When everyone sees her they seem to comment that she is smaller than her pictures or what they thought and that her COLORING is beautiful! I agree!
I have the two most beautiful girls in the whole world. I am so incredibly blessed!
--This is already the longest post ever...But for those of you who want to know about her interesting name...here it is.
-To be completely honest, we have wanted this name from the beginning, but I needed to see her before we made it official! Her name is actually pretty simple...
Rodda is one of my most favorite people in the world! She was my second mission companion, my momma, my hero. Rodda is, of course, her last name...but we say it so constantly it has felt like a first name.
-We considered giving Andy the name RODDA for a middle name, but it didn't fit...My entire family loves Rodda, especially my husband who has spent time with her and knows the influence her and her whole fam have had on my life.
-People have asked me how hard I had to pull Steve's hair to get him to agree.. The fact of the matter is that he was all for it. It was kind of his suggestion. We wanted something different, and we wanted her to be named for someone, something special.
-So, we put it over the top by giving her a middle name that is also my mother's name. I have always teased my mom about her name...but somehow, it just works. In fact, before we announced her name my mom was saying we should name her Judy, then turned around and said "wouldn't that be awful..what an awful name?" So, I responded, "ok, guess we won't be naming her that!"
--We realize it is very different name. It doesn't feel different to us at all, but to those who have never heard, they react a little funny! We hope she lives up to her namesakes...
We have gone back and forth with different things to call her. Her grandma Judy is calling her Rodda J. One of my siblings is calling her Jude or Rodda Jude...I have also liked RJ. Either way, we love it and we love her. Andy refuses to call her anything but SISTER. I think it is adorable!
I love my little family and hope I can be the best mom for them as possible!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby Rodda Professional Pics link...

More about the Baby

I will be posting details about delivery and our beautiful little gal later...Just wanted to post this website so people can veiw the professional pics the hospital took of her! Just click on the words "MORE ABOUT THE BABY" at top!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

She finally will sing for us....

I love this video....She does it better than this, but we can't get her to do more on camera. So cute!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amazing people....

This post is dedicated to the people in my life who have been my little life savors lately! I don't deserve to have them, but they always seem to be there for me.

My sister-in-law Maureen always seems to be there for me at the drop of a hat. I call her what feels like every other day to see if she can watch Andy for me while I go to the doctors and she has yet to say no to me. She would drop anything to help me out and is always doing everything for me. She will never replace my own mother, but she has made me feel like I have a second mother and she is always watching over me. I love her so much and her always giving heart.

My neighbor, Lori, has been my best friend in the ward and the person I can turn to for all my answers. This past week she was inspired ( as usual) and called up a couple times volunteering to watch Andy so I could relax and get some sleep. She is another who is always there when I need her and someone I can rely on all the time. Her family might be moving and I don't even want to think about it---I don't know what I will do without the whole family!

My own mother is a rock! She is amazing. While she is not close by, I call her at least once a day...She always listens to my concerns and tells me everything will work out. She is such a great grandma even at a long distance. We are very blessed to have her stay with us for a couple of weeks...She is so willing to help out and would go great distances just to help her kids and make things easier.

I cannot believe how blessed I am to have amazing people in my life. I need these people and really want to say how wonderful they are and how grateful I am. There are others who continue to bless our lives all the time, and we get little random acts of kindness in our direction (like the other day someone was inspired to leave bags of food on our door---not sure how they knew we were desperate and broke, but thankyou whomever you are).

Thanks to all my angels who are answers to my prayers!! What a blessing it is!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I never really posted anything about Christmas...I posted pre-Christmas things since that's when all the big stuff happened. But here are some Christmas day photos. Dad was able to get a little time off and we loved it. Aunt Sara sent a package with lots of clothes. This particular outfit has a matching one for little sister.
Grandma sent Andy a little stuffed monkey which she LOVES. But to be honest, her fav. present was the little minnie mouse $.50 pen that she is holding! She thought that was the greatest thing.

We loved that she accidentally sat on a bow. She walked around like that all day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

huge, Huge, HUGE....

It is about that time...I am 34 weeks pregnant...This is actually meant to be a grateful post.

At exactly this time when I was pregnant with my first daughter I was so swollen and toxemia, pre-eclamsia, I was admitted to the hospital, where one thing went wrong after the other.

My sis-in-law informed me I had so many problems last time that the regular pregnancy pain was just a side note to me ( she noted this as I was telling her I never remember having acid reflux, but she said I probably did, just was too distracted---I AGREE)

So, this time around I am experiencing normal pregnancy pains, and I must say I will take these ANY day over what I went through last time. One thing that is different---I have a belly! And it is HUGE HUGE HUGE!!! I really never got a belly with Andy Bev...it just distributed everywhere ---didn't pop out, just expanded sideways.

It is really weird and interesting to have a belly that is getting even bigger. A hard belly with an outie belly button ( my belly was flabby and didn't get an outy last time). I am experiencing some serious acid reflex constantly, and some major exhaustion, and some swelling.

However, my blood pressure is great, and I am not swollen to the point of bed ridden. I WILL TAKE IT!!! Our little gal is measuring two weeks ahead of schedule (typical diabetic). I have a friend who is diabetic, and delivered a 10 pound 9 ounce baby two and a half weeks early. That is why they don't let you go full term!

We are on the home stretch, and I am feeling so blessed. I don't know what pregnant women complain about who don't have complications---seriously! I will take headaches, backaches, belly expansion, sleep deprivation, nausea, acid reflex, swelling, sheer exhaustion, and bowl issues any day over complications.....and I will take going full term to help the baby out over easing my pain ( again, don't get why women would even want the baby early if there was no medical need---seriously selfish I think).

So here's to the normal pregnancy pains and getting HUGE! Bring it on! It is kind of fun to actually see the baby move in my huge belly! LOVE IT!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Our new year...2010!!

A new decade has begun...Just last night as we were getting ready to count down, Steve realizes this and says " I graduated from high school 10 years ago...I am old."

Of course, he forgot that I graduated 13 years ago, so that would make me WAY old, but whatever.

We talked about how our lives are going to be very different this year...It sort of overwhelmed me. I like to pretend I am one of those people who loves change and a challenge, but the truth is, I like stability. I like remaining in our home. Any time something new approaches me, I eventually learn to handle it and can deal. But in reality, it takes me a LONG time to adjust to a new role.

When I came home from my mission, it took me over a year to swing back into things, to get happy and get involved. I was so depressed from the role change. When I got married, I was in shock with the role of wife. I lived life in a haze, and when I became a mother for the first time, I let that control everything, thus forgetting about other important responsibilities...

I am hoping I am learning from my mistakes and can approach new adventures in a better way. I also think it important to recognize that things can be difficult and not expect yourself to be perfect and changed overnight. I need to face my challenges head on and approach them better than ever before.

Here is what we have to look forward to:
1. A brand new baby sometime in Jan. or Feb ( note, I am not one of those girls who wants the baby to come early, I HATE that, but we already know I AM NOT ALLOWED TO GO FULL TERM BEING DIABETIC---I WISH I COULD GO FULL TERM (and it bugs me when people want their baby to come so early--I know I don't understand, but you don't understand my perspective either).

2. My brother Jake will be getting married in March. I love his fiance, and am so excited for him, and to have a little reunion with my family in St. George in March. Could be interesting driving there with a new born.

3. Next week Steve will be enrolled in a class at the U. This may not seem like a big thing, but it is for us. It is for his work, and also for his U of U application. It looks good all around. The big thing is that it is costing us a fortune, and it might end up being a wast ( and obviously something we can't afford). Because of this class, we can't do other things we really needed the money for. Oh well.

4. My brother Seth gets home from his mission in May. I am so excited to see Seth. He has been such a valiant and faithful missionary, and example to us all. Because of regulations, he won't be able to play football next year like we had hoped ( in order to do that, he would have to be enrolled in school this coming semester). So, he will redshirt, and we will all see the PROBERT name at BYU stadium again.

5. Whether to TULANE or the U, we will be moving this year.... No matter what happens in the final outcome of medical school application process, we will be moving sometime this JULY. I hate moving!! I am awful at it, and it gives me ulcers. It would be nice if we could move 20 minutes as opposed to 20 hours away...but we will go where the Lord wants us.

6. Steve starts medical school in Aug. What a dream! It is still hard for us to conceive that this is finally happening for us! We are so excited, and aware of how challenging this will be for the whole family. It will completely change our lives for forever in ways we have not even conceived of yet....This not only changes our present, but our future as well. Life as we know it will be completely different.

7. My brother Nate will be getting married in Sept. Another opportunity for the Proberts to have a little reunion ( we are so spread out, we all hate it). This one is going to be much harder for us to go to since it is in Oregon and right when school starts, and we won't have ANY money. We are in the process of trying to figure out details so at least I can go and bring the kids. Pray for us!

8. Steve will not be working and we will have no income! This is probably going to be the biggest challenge of them all... and won't end this year. You just can't work and go to medical school. And no one will be able to watch the kids if I work ( and we do NOT believe in day care---what is the point anyway, paying someone the exact amount you earn to watch your kids, I might as well just watch them myself instead of earning only $20 a week after paying for day care). We still have not figured out how we are going to manage. We know it can be done as we have seen others do that in the past, not without difficulty.

Besides the BIG changes, there are always the unexpected things we have to look forward to...among those:
--We are not sure what will be happening with Andy's eyes. She is going to get bifocals, but it just may all end up in surgery as we really don't want that!
--We will be changing church times --excited yet not about that one. 11 am church is my favorite, but not with kids. Could be interesting.
--We will be getting new callings. I really think a calling defines an experience in your ward, so this is a big deal to me. The good news is we know the Lord will be the one in charge.
--We have no clue if we will even have 2 cars for another month as they are falling apart. This is a challenge I don't even want to further discuss.
--We are going to get a few new cousins this year. Both from Mckay and Heather, and Alex and Sam. Love having new ones around. All the kiddies can play and be best friends. No clue what the sex is yet, but that will be fun to find out!

I recognize that this is just life. It is exciting, overwhelming, and wonderful all at once. I look forward to the adventures ahead and hope I have the faith, courage, and zeal to tackle all of them. It is going to be a wonderful year for the Cook family!