Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My 2nd Birthday

Hi! My name is Julie and I just turned 2! Want to hear about my happy birthday?

Aunt Mindy, Grandma Terri, and Mommy decided to make me a cake. Look how nice they were to each other when they started.

But by the end, all three of them were covered in piggy-pink frosting.

I didn't mind because my cake still turned out looking so cute!

This is me showing off my pretty princess tutu.

I shared my new toys with Grandpa John but he's not a big princess fan.

Daddy on the other hand loved my new stuff.

Don't bother me, I'm an important princess!

I liked my piggy cake until they lit the candles and shoved the fire in my face.

Princesses and piggies that aren't on fire, what could make a two year old girl happier?

Monday, December 15, 2008

White Stuff, Red Suit

This morning I woke up to all this strange white stuff covering the ground. It usually only happens about once a year here, but now I have a legitimate reason to hope for a "white Christmas" this year. (hey, it's bound to happen eventually if I live here long enough, right?)

We definitely need to visit our Utah relatives during the winter sometimes soon because Jacob didn't last more than five minutes outside today!

Yes, this is the same jacket Julie wore last year when it snowed, but we did upgrade her from socks to mittens this time.

After he handed her a candy cane, Julie told Santa she wanted candy for Christmas. So I'm offically off the hook, right? Isn't it funny that we spend most of our time telling our kids to be careful around strangers, and then we shove them in Santa's lap? But I guess technically Santa ins't a stranger, especially this year.

Santa's helper (who might look very familiar to Peggy) told me that Jacob visited Santa a good three or four times. At least he stood in line each time instead of last year's cutting to the front of the line incident!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Now that you've heard Jacob's version, let me fill in a few details. I thought Jacob was down for the count, and decided to catch a few zzz's myself. Apparently while I was sleeping Jacob either answered the phone or decided to call the Riverbend Hospital.

Either way, someone at the hospital asked Jake to get me on the phone and he said he couldn't (smart boy, he knew that he shouldn't be on the phone and should be taking a nap instead). Since Jake said I couldn't come to the phone, the hospital lady thought something might have happened to me and sent over the cops to make sure I was ok - definitely not the funnest thing to wake up to!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hooray 4 Jakey!

4 he's a jolly good fellow, 4 he's a jolly good fellow. 4 he's a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny! My first little baby is no longer a baby, or even a toddler. Four years ago, Jacob entered the world. Before his first birthday we knew he got his Mommy's hair and eye color but every day it becomes more and more apparent that his personality is just as outgoing as Daddy.

Sadly I missed out on pictures of one of the best parts of his day because I didn't bring my camera to the indoor playground. Anna brought brownies and had all the kids sing to Jake. She also gave him his super cool birthday hat which he insisted on wearing for the better part of the day.

Last night Jeremy said to me, "I don't think we could have done anything else to make Jake's birthday more special." This made me laugh a little at us parents who try and make special occasions so special even when it's a high probability that our kids won't remember it! I guess that's why we have cameras, right? (wasn't that a great tie-in to me showing off pictures of Jake's big day? haha)

Jakey wanted mickey mouse pancakes with sprinkles, and a "W" for his birthday breakfast. Isn't he such a good helper?

I'm posting this picture because I know Jakey will love looking at his "W" pancake and will let a huge "W!!!" squeal every time he sees it.

Daddy took Jakey out to Red Robin for a special birthday treat.

I could write a whole post about cherries that would be almost identical to my donut post. This is obviously the before picture, haha.

After much persuasion, Jakey decided it was in his best interest to share with Mommy. :)

Best buddies! (probably because Daddy doesn't make him share his ice cream!)

Grandma Terri and Grandpa John came down to help celebrate.

Julie's idea for new hats. I swear the girl is obsessed.

Jakey loved talking on the phone to all the relatives that called to make sure his day was special.

Jakey hugging the card he got from Grandma Grandma.

Grandpa John, Jakey, and Julie racing on the obstacle course Grandpa John built with Jakey's new outdoor toys.

With much effort, Jakey figured out how to blow his party favor balloon.

Julie's attempt at blowing up the balloon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Every Thanksgiving my family observes the tradition of going around the dinner table and having each person say something they are thankful for this year. Since I am spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws this year, I wanted to share my 'turn' here.

The thing I am most thankful for this year is the temple, specifically the sealing power used only in the temple to bind families together for time and all eternity. Knowing that we are sealed to our precious Caleb and that we will see him again someday is the only thing keeping me going most days.

I am also eternally grateful for Jesus Christ, His restored gospel, and the atonement He made in behalf of all of us to make it possible for us to be clean and pure so that we can be together again in the hereafter. Knowing that He has a divine plan for each and every one of us, and that He is there to help us every step of the way is so reassuring. I am grateful for the example He set for us all, and for all the people who have chosen to follow it and helped carry our family this year.

I am grateful for my children's cheery outlook on life, their smiles, and their loves. I am grateful for their father and the strength and tenderness I have seen in him. And I am grateful for my testimony of the restored gospel, without it I don't know how I would make it through the day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feast Day

It's hard for me to remember how a few months ago I was feeling like I was depriving Jacob and wishing that he could go to preschool. This thought keeps popping into my head on preschool days. Although it's not the circumstances I would have ever wished or dreamed for, I am grateful that Jacob is able to attend preschool. Today Kathy and I (and a few other Moms) got to stay and help their class with their feast. It was fun to catch a peak into their daily activities and routine.

It's also a nice reminder that Jacob isn't the only one that has his moments because they all do. I think as parents we tend to minimize other children's misbehavior while magnifying our own kids' problems. Overall their whole class did great and the minor hiccups here or there are just part of the age group. It does make me appreciate the patience of a preschool teacher though!

Everyone patiently waiting for the feast to begin.

Jacob's 3 yr old class shared their feast with the 4 yr old class so he was pretty excited that he got to see his fellow sunbeam Lindsay.

Me and my little man after the feast, taken by Kathy. I almost posted a cute picture of Kathy's family but then I realized I should probably ask her permission first so there might be an edit in here later.

It was Jacob's turn to be the helper today. He got to ring the bell for clean up, be first in line, and help Mrs. Bruce lead the good-bye song.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Pictures

Since Uncle Brian keeps bugging me to update my blog, I'm sharing some random pictures we took yesterday.

Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth attempting to "do" Julie's hair. Before we even got out the door yesterday she had put on a hat and made her pigtails look frumpy. That was nothing though if you compare to this picture of the damage she did to her hair while at church.

Daddy and Jacob show off their 'matching' ties.

"Everybody kiss Julie!" - I think Julie tried to include herself in that group.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life Sketch

Tomorrow Caleb would have been 3 months old. Days and dates like these are extra hard for me - commemorating that he was here and yet a stark reminder of his absence. I think it's a good day to share Caleb's life sketch that Jeremy and I wrote together. My brother did such a good job presenting it for us at the funeral that it's not quite the same when you read it yourself. But here it is typos, grammatical errors, and other flaws included because right now I can't make it through reading it without tears getting in the way.

Life Sketch.doc

Friday, October 31, 2008


Jeremy and I have told each other (and pretty much anyone else that will listen) that the gospel and our kids are the best medicine for a broken heart. These precious little spirits that Heavenly Father has entrusted us with force us to get out of bed each morning but they also fill our days with giggles and hugs. They help us see the magic and wonder that the world still holds, like only a toddler can. I don't know what we'd do without them right now.

Before Halloween, Jacob kept telling me that he wanted to be Ichiro, but since I didn't want to pay $50+ for a Mariner's jersey (not to mention how non-crafty I am!), I used my Mommy coersion skills and "helped" Jacob forgot about Ichiro and start loving the idea of being an Oregon Ducks football player instead (we already had the outfit . . . can you hear my evil laugh as you read this?). What do you think, should I feel guilty about my costume switcheroo?

What do you get when you combine: 2 power rangers, one football player, one cheerleader, and a bride? Pure fun! Fortunately for us the weather cooperated tonight and we were able to have an enjoyable time trick-or-treating with the Rowes.

Julie was so cute at the doors from saying "Happy Ween!" to blowing kisses goodbye.

Putting trick-or-treating on hold to take a family photo doesn't always have the best results. Silly Mommy and Daddy forgot that getting candy is priority #1.

Until Mommy reviewed proper trick-or-treat etiquette (something we will be doing before we leave the house next year), Jacob made sure our neighbors were giving him the candy he wanted. For the first few houses he either said things like "Not that one!" or he simply took matters into his own hands by replacing the un-liked candy and nabbing the more desirable one. He sure knows how to keep Mommy on her toes sometimes!

Handing out candy is almost as fun as getting some yourself. Jake called out "I love you!" to more than one group of girl trick-or-treaters. I think we're going to have a keep an eye on our little ladies man as he gets a little older.

And my personal fave: Julie's sugar induced stupor.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sustaining Quotes

Precious in His Sight by Greg Olsen

Below you will find a few quotes that helped me over the last few weeks. Actually there were a lot of quotes that helped but these ones either were easy to find again or struck me enough to take the time and look up in order to post them. I used to be quite the quote collector so if a relevant quote comes to mind, I'd love it if you shared yours too.

"It is always gratifying to hear of prayers being answered and miracles occurring in the lives of those who need them. But what of those noble and faithful souls who receive no miracles, whose prayers are not answered in the way they wish? What is their solace? From whence will their comfort come? Said the Savior of the world: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. … But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, … the Father will send in my name” (John 14:18, 26).

In simple terms, the gift of the Holy Ghost is an enhanced spiritual power permitting those entitled thereto to receive it, to receive a greater knowledge and enjoyment of the influence of Deity."

- James E. Faust

If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.

Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?

If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.

If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.

Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood.

“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things … righteousness … wickedness … holiness … misery … good … bad. …” (2 Nephi 2:11.)

Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. …

- Spencer W. Kimball (this entire lesson is excellent)

… Our beloved friends who are now deprived of their little one, have great cause for joy and rejoicing, even in the midst of the deep sorrow that they feel at the loss of their little one for a time. They know he is all right; they have the assurance that their little one has passed away without sin. Such children are in the bosom of the Father. They will inherit their glory and their exaltation, and they will not be deprived of the blessings that belong to them; for, in the economy of heaven, and in the wisdom of the Father, who doeth all things well, those who are cut down as little children are without any responsibility for their taking off, they, themselves, not having the intelligence and wisdom to take care of themselves and to understand the laws of life; and, in the wisdom and mercy and economy of God our Heavenly Father, all that could have been obtained and enjoyed by them if they had been permitted to live in the flesh will be provided for them hereafter. They will lose nothing by being taken away from us in this way. …

With these thoughts in my mind, I take consolation in the fact that I shall meet my children who have passed behind the veil; I have lost a number, and I have felt all that a parent can feel, I think, in the loss of my children. I have felt it keenly, for I love children, and I am particularly fond of the little ones, but I feel thankful to God for the knowledge of these principles, because now I have every confidence in his word and in his promise that I will possess in the future all that belongs to me, and my joy will be full. I will not be deprived of any privilege or any blessing that I am worthy of and that may be properly entrusted to me. But every gift, and every blessing that it is possible for me to become worthy of I shall possess, either in time or in eternity, and it will not matter, so that I acknowledge the hand of God in all these things, and say in my heart, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord” [see Job 1:21]. This is the way we should feel with regard to our children, or our relatives, or friends, or whatever vicissitudes we may be called to pass through.

- Joseph F. Smith

“My only hope and confidence is in that God who gave me being, in whom there is all power, who now is present before me, and my heart is naked before his eyes continually. He is my comforter, and he forsaketh me not.”

- Joseph Smith Jr.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our Angel

Sometime late Sunday morning, Caleb was doing great but suddenly seemed to have a little difficulty breathing. Being only a few minutes to the ER, we rushed him there and by the time we got there he wasn't breathing at all. The doctors stabilized him and then it happened again. They stabilized him again. This happened a few times. They noticed that although his heart was pumping and he was breathing, his body wasn’t getting any oxygen. They did an Echo of his heart and found the shunt they had put in from the surgery was completely obstructed. The PH balance of his blood showed that he had not been getting enough oxygen for his vital organs during this time. The only thing we could do is unplug him and let him go.

Caleb Elijah peacefully passed away in our arms around 6:00pm Sunday evening.

We wanted to thank all of you for following Caleb along his journey and know that he could feel all your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. He was such a sweet spirit and too pure and good for this world. We are so grateful for our knowledge and faith that Caleb is with his Heavenly Father again. We miss him terribly but we take great comfort in knowing that we will be able to live again with him someday.

Jeremy runs a CrossFit affiliate gym from our garage and put together a special workout in honor of Caleb. We would like to invite all of you - and anyone else you may know - to join us in honoring Caleb with this workout on Wednesday evening at Candlelight Park (the one across the street from our house) at 6pm. For more information on this please visit

The funeral is scheduled for Friday Oct. 3rd at 1:00. Viewing will be from 11:00-1:00. The funeral will be at the LDS building at 550 North Danebo Ave. Eugene, Oregon 97402.

** I know that most everyone who reads my blog was also following our carepage ( and posted such loving words of comfort over there already. We love all of you guys and feel very loved in return. I just wanted to share this post on the off chance someone we know missed the carepage post. **

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Girl and Her Hat

Julie has always enjoyed "borrowing" anything her older brother owns but recently she became very obsessive about his hats. Actually, she fixates on any and all hats but Jakey's hats were just the easiest to come by. Needless to say, she has been in hat heaven ever since I got her one of her very own. Maybe it's just my proud parent gene kicking in, or maybe it has to do with the fact that the hat hides her lack of hair but I do think she looks rather adorable in it.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We recently saw a Blue's Clues episode on having a new baby. They sang a song that has been stuck in my head all day because things have been so different:

"Change, change, change.
How can we change?"

Ok, so the first change isn't a huge one but Jeremy went back to work today. All year he saved up his vacation days, sick leave, paternity leave, and any other time off imaginable so he could be available after Caleb was born. It was great having him home for so long to help out and the kids and I missed him quite a bit today. Don't worry, all three kids and myself made it through the day without a major injury or incident (I can't say the same for a carton of cottage cheese Julie got her hands on).

The next change happened recently, but it's still taking some time to sink in. I tried cramming 3 car seats in the back of our Taurus for all of a week before I pretty much forced Jeremy to buy us a new car (Jacob climbing on and over Caleb to get to his seat pretty much sealed the deal). Growing up I remember swearing that I'd never be a "Mormon Minivan Mom" but I'm eating my words! Doors that slide conveniently out of the way all on their own accord are priceless when you're trying to juggle a car seat and buckle in two toddlers. Yes, Jeremy let me pick the color - thanks sweetie.

The only way I could get Jeremy to agree to buying a new car was to sell him my soul. Ok, it wasn't that bad - I just had to agree to start doing CrossFit workouts on a regular basis. My first one started today which is the last big change for me. I'm already sore all over. In fact, my legs almost gave out on me while I was carrying Caleb down the stairs (scary!), BUT I'm doing it. Maybe after a few months I can dial in my diet like Jamie but for now this is a big enough change for me. Jeremy's been trying to get me to work out for over a year now and the smile on his face this morning almost makes this soreness worth it- then again, he might have been revelling a little too much! This picture is evidence that I actually did the workout, but don't look too hard because it also testifies to the fact that I am way out of shape compared to the other ladies there this morning. :)