Thursday, November 29, 2012

our moment of fear

you must forgive me for sharing this. i do so for memory sake. i want to remember that first time that my heart stopped and i felt like sobbing in public. amber, claire, everett, and i were out doing a little Christmas shopping. claire had just had a poopy diaper so i had taken her out to the car to change her while amber and everett continued to roam the store. claire and i returned with no problems. a second later, claire announced that she was poopy again. we were just about done shopping, so i told her that we would change her again as soon as we were back in the car. so amber and i went back to discussing whatever it was we were talking about while claire walked away. five, maybe ten seconds later, i go to get a visual on claire who had just turned the corner of the aisle we were on. i peek around the corner and claire is nowhere to be seen. 
i didn't think anything of it at first. i look down the next aisle. nothing. i check the next aisle. nothing. i turn around and look down the next few aisles the other way. nothing. i then yell to amber and ask if she sees claire. amber says no and begins her frantic search. i thought, "maybe she's playing hide and seek", which is a favorite game of her's these days. so i run over to the clothing section (because she loves to hide in the middle of those clothing display racks) and start calling her name. nothing. amber tells me that she's heading up to the customer service desk. i see the Christmas display section all the way on the other side of the store and think that she might have headed that way, so i run full sprint over there. nothing. at this point, i'm frantically running down aisle after aisle, and i am more scared than i have ever been.
finally i turn a corner and see claire with a tearful amber. our theory is that claire had decided to head out to the car to get her diaper changed. a customer had found her near the doors of the store, and had handed her off to an employee. when amber saw claire, amber broke down crying. the wonderful employee comforted amber and handed claire back to her. and the whole time, all claire would say is "poopy", over and over again. amber was a little worried the employee wouldn't even give her claire because claire didn't even seem to acknowledge her as her mommy. just "poopy". but after five minutes of pure and absolute terror, we had our angel back. 
now i hear stories of this happening all the time, but it's something different when it's you. and i realize that odds are this won't be the last time something like this happens. but this was a first for us, and i would love, LOVE, it to be the last. our gratitude could not be more. we are so thankful to have our girl back. for just a moment, the thought entered my mind, "what if we lost her for good?" and that thought scared me to tears. we are so thankful to have her. we are so thankful to that customer and that wonderful employee who comforted claire and amber. above all, we are thankful to our loving Heavenly Father, who was watching over us, who is always watching over us, and is making sure that everything will be okay.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Family Pictures 2012

 Since Claire was so sad during our Colorado family photo shoot and we didn't get ANY with her smiling, we decided to try again. Our sister Sherry was willing to take them and she did a wonderful job! Claire was so much better for these ones. Here are some of our favorites. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


 Once upon a time there was a young girl called Little Red Riding Hood...

 One day she was on her way to visit her grandmother who was sick...

And she ran into a wolf!

Luckily the woodcutter was there to save her...

And they all lived Happily Ever After. :)

The End

Earlier that week... Little Red Riding Hood was painting a pumpkin for Halloween and missed the pumpkin. She wasn't too happy with it on her face. 

I think she still enjoyed herself though. :)

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 5, 2012

rocky mountain high

i love numbers and stats. i'm a giant nerd like that. so keeping that in mind, forgive me for this: claire and everett are blessed to have 28 aunts and uncles, 36 cousins, 4 grandparents, and 1 great-grandparent here on this earth. we recently took a trip to colorado for a bryson family reunion and during that trip we were able to see 15 of those aunts and uncles, 21 cousins, all 4 grandparents, and their 1 great-grandparent. and if you add general conference weekend earlier this month, we can add 5 more aunts and uncles and 9 more cousins. in the month of october, claire and everett have seen 71% of their aunts and uncles (20 out of 28), 83% of their cousins (30 out of 36), and 100% of their grandparents and great-grandparents (5 out of 5). that's some pretty good numbers.

now for those of you who haven't been bored to death by the numbers and are actually still reading, we'll jump into the action. our trip started on thursday morning as we frantically packed up our stuff in the hopes of getting on the road early. we knew, between claire and everett, that we would be making many frequent stops, and sure enough, that proved true. on the bright side, it did allow us the chance to appreciate sights we may have never seen otherwise. we made it to to our destination, canon city, colorado, late that night.

the next day, the entire bryson clan that was there (sadly minus one brother-in-law) took a ride on the royal gorge train. it was this relaxing train ride up this big canyon and back. i guess there was probably something historically significant about this gorge, but i wasn't listening. it was just cool being on an old fashioned train and enjoying the scenery. claire loved walking up and down the train through the different cars while everett slept the entire trip. that night, kyle and i went to the outdoor basketball court to play some of my niece and nephew's friends who had called us out. we showed those young whippersnappers. darn hoodlums. :)

the actual reason behind this particular reunion was that we had two nephews being baptized and two more nephews receiving priesthood ordinations. while we had everyone together, we thought we would go ahead and throw in everett's baby blessing as well. that saturday we gathered at the church to participate in the baptisms and ordinations. it was a wonderfully spiritual experience. it brings so much joy to see so many of my younger family members making such righteous decisions. from the church we headed to the park to see a couple of my nephews play football, and later that night, we headed out to another park to celebrate the birthdays of all those in our family born in october (and everett, because he was getting blessed.)

the next day the whole family gathered for family pictures. with 27 people, 11 of which who are twelve or younger, i'm going to say it's nearly impossible to get a picture with everyone smiling. claire especially wasn't in the mood for pictures. everett was super chill though, which helped a little. after pictures we gathered and had a family testimony meeting. i see my family's testimonies all the time, but it also nice to hear them once in a while. after the testimony meeting, some of amber's family who live in colorado, as well as grandma and grandpa mcclellan who also traveled from utah, all joined us for everett's blessing and a nice dinner. thank you for all those who joined us (or who wished they could have joined us) for everett's special day. we are so grateful for all our family, near and far.

a big portion of the family took off that night, but a few of us hung around for another day. that monday, a few of us went up to the royal gorge bridge, this huge suspension bridge that we had gone under when we had ridden the train earlier in the week. these pictures just don't show how high this bridge really was. i must admit that walking over that bridge was a little (a whole lot) nerve racking, but i managed to do it. amber was practically skipping across the bridge, no fear at all. that girl amazes me. after walking across the bridge, we took a tram back across the gorge, which again left me a little weak in the knees.

the next day, the rest of us colorado visitors headed up to colorado springs and spent the morning playing around at the mall. we then had to part ways and were forced to say our goodbyes. we decided to take the scenic route home and head north to see amber's sister and family up in green river, wyoming. unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse, and we ended up driving through a pretty bad snow storm. we made it safely, a whole lot later than we had hoped, but we got there. we spent the night, hung out with amber's sister that next morning, then headed home.

claire was super, super shy most of the time, and everett was a bit over-stimulated with so many people and was thus a little grumpier than usual, but it still was such a fun trip. i have stated before that my family never seemed to attend many big family reunions growing up and thus i never knew my extended family. thankfully, that's not looking like a problem my kids will have. this last trip was our third family reunion of the year (millie's blessing and the asay reunion at the courthouse being the first two), and with a wedding coming up soon, it looks like we'll be blessed with a fourth. by the end of this summer, i'm hoping to get those percentages from the very beginning pretty near 100. :) i sure do love my family (both sides) and am so thankful that i get to see them somewhat regularly, though never as much as i wish i could.

Everett's Two Month Facts

1. Everett is two months old!

2. At his two month check up he weighed 13 lbs 4 ounces and was 24 inches long.

3. This put him in the 90th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight. He's a big boy. :)

4. Everett doesn't sleep as well as Claire did at this age, but he's still really good and getting much better. He was waking me up every 2-3 hours at night for the first 6 weeks but I've been letting him fuss a little longer each time before feeding him and now I can put him down around 8pm and he makes it until about 2am and then is usually pretty good until 6 or 7am.

5. So Claire was a huge spitter. She spit up tons and would soak a burp cloth after one feeding. Everett however is great in comparison! :) We love not having to worry about changing his clothes or our clothes after feeding him.

6. Along with him not being a huge spitter, he's a great burper. When he burps, he burps loud. They almost sound like adult burps. :)

7. Everett loves to suck on his hands. He's still trying to find that thumb to suck on, but he'll usually settle for a few fingers or the side of his hand.

8. He has the best lower lip pout I've ever seen. When he's just starting to get upset that lower lip comes out and I can't help but laugh cuz it's just so cute! :)

9. He's a talker. When he's nice and happy (usually right after he wakes up from sleeping) he makes the cutest little squeals and coos. He'll wait his turn too. I'll say something and then he'll talk back and then I'll say something and he'll do it again. I was playing and talking with him this way while we waited for the doctor and when the doctor came in he saw the interaction and said it was really impressive at that age. :)

10. He's a really good baby. Having two kids is rough and difficult, but I'm grateful I haven't had to deal with any colic with my babies. He cries when he's hungry or tired or uncomfortable or bored, but then he's happy once his needs are met. :) I'm so grateful for my little guy!