Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another Birthday for Mom

My mom had a birthday earlier this month on October 2. Chandra and Christian came over that morning and spent the day with Mom and me. That weekend also happened to be my church's General Conference, so we watched it on TV and had a relaxing day hanging out and being uplifted by conference.

Mom always says that old ladies should wear purple, and it does look good on her. 
Joe came over and joined the rest of us for dinner. Chandra brought a big roast beef when she came over in the morning, because roast beef is one of my mom's most favorite meals. We had it for Sunday dinner about once a month when I was growing up. We don't have it very often anymore, now that it's just my mom and me living here at home (plus, it's quite expensive), so it was a nice treat.

Christian has some crumbs on his face, but he sure is cute!
After dinner, Mom opened our presents.
The fact that I gave my beautiful mother a book called "Ugly" is quite an oxymoron! Chandra got my mom a pan in the size she wanted.
After Mom opened presents, we had dessert. Mom loves carrot cake, so that's what she almost always has for dessert. Chan made it, and she always does a wonderful job. One of my mom's friends also sent her a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements, and someone else brought her a Jilly's cupcake.
Happy birthday, Mom! You are loved by your family, and you are aging gracefully!
My mom informed me a few days ago that now that she is 64, she is twice as old as I am (I'm 32), and that our ages will only get closer as we continue to age.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"37 Seconds"

SYNOPSIS: Pregnant with her second child, Stephanie Arnold began receiving mysterious but strong premonitions that she would die during the delivery. Distressed, Stephanie did everything she could to inform the medical team and her family about what she knew was coming. No one believed her, but Stephanie knew they were wrong. When she gave birth to her son, Stephanie flatlined and died on the operating table for 37 seconds, during which time she had a spiritual experience she would never forget.

This book was incredibly fascinating! When the author, Stephanie, was pregnant with her second child, she started having premonitions that she would die during the delivery. These vivid premonitions kept happening, and when she'd mention them to her doctors, no one took her seriously. She kept researching and mentioning it to different doctors, and she finally found someone who took her seriously (it was the anesthesiologist that was with her during her C-section). This doctor put special measures into place in preparation for what Stephanie had been telling her was going to happen, just in case it actually did. Sure enough, Stephanie experienced a rare amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), which is almost always fatal. Stephanie flatlined for 37 seconds during her C-section, and had her anesthesiologist NOT believed her and NOT been prepared, Stephanie, undoubtedly, would have died.

This book was very interesting, especially as Stephanie described what she remembered and saw during those 37 seconds. This isn't your typical near-death experience where someone visits heaven and sees Jesus or dead loved ones. The book was fast-paced and a real page turner. I thought the end of the book was a little lackluster, after such an exciting beginning and middle of the book, but I still recommend it.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Christian is ONE!

Christian had his first birthday last Wednesday, September 7. I can't believe he's already a year old; this past year has flown by! Chandra didn't want to have a big party, so she, Joe and Christian brought dinner over to my mom and me, and the five of us had a small celebration together. Chandra made a delicious lasagna; she honestly makes THE BEST lasagna I've ever had!

I wanted to get a couple of pictures of Chandra and her little family, so my mom snapped a couple pics of Chandra, Joe and Christian as soon as they arrived. They all looked so cute in their denim shirts!
Chandra made an Oreo poke cake for Christian's birthday cake (and my mom made some homemade vanilla ice cream). The cake was chocolate, and you poke holes in it after it's baked. Then you pour a homemade chocolate sauce over the cake, so that it sinks down into the holes. After that, an Oreo whipped cream topping is spread on top, and it has crushed Oreos on top. An Oreo theme was perfect for our half-black, half-white baby! :)
Christian wasn't quite sure what to do with his cake, so it's a good thing Mom and Dad were there to help him blow out his birthday candle! Christian hadn't gotten much of a nap that day, so he was pretty tired and not really interested in his cake. He loved the lasagna, but didn't even take one bite of his cake! It was kind of disappointing, but it meant more cake for the rest of us. :)
My mom and I had had a very busy day, so my mom didn't have time to wrap the presents we gave Christian. Instead, she put them in two Victoria's Secret bags. I don't think Christian minded. I got him this little tool bench, which you can see him checking out in the pictures below:
My mom gave Christian a little tractor with Legos inside, plus a book. Out of all the birthday gifts Christian got, I think that the little book was his favorite. He kept holding it carrying it around (which you can see in most of the pictures). Good... I hope this means he will love to read!
Chandra hadn't had time to wrap the things she and Joe got for Christian, so she just brought them over unwrapped, so my mom and I could see them. They got Christian a riding toy that plays music, a little laptop that makes noise when you push the different buttons, a corn popper, a hammer that makes noise when you hit things, and a ball.
My mom also gave Christian one of our Value Tales books that we had growing up. She gave him the value of truth and trust, which was the story of Cochise, the Native American, since Joe has Native American blood running through his veins (which means Christian does, too).
Last weekend Chandra tried again to see if she could get Christian to eat some cake, but he still wouldn't try it! That's disappointing, because I wanted to see his reaction to it, but I suppose it's all for the better. She also wrapped Christian's presents and let him unwrap them.
Trying his little riding toy, and playing with his tractor from Grammy:
Christian on two feet. Yup, he's walking now. I was pretty sure he would be walking by his first birthday, and I was right!

Here are a few pictures from the past month. Chandra and Christian came to visit me when I was in the hospital. I didn't want Christian to get bored and cry (since I was hoping he would stay in the stroller, because I didn't want him crawling around on the dirty floor). My mom's friend Judy sent this little flower arrangement and balloon, so I had Chandra tie the balloon to Christian's stroller, and he had a great time trying to get the balloon!
Above are pictures of Chan and Christian out shopping, and below are pictures of them each debuting new outfits for church. Looking good!
Above are pictures of Christian and his little friend, Tom-Tom. Chandra and his mom, Ryanne, are good friends, and these little guys have become good friends, too.

Well, this is the final monthly blog post about Christian. I don't want anyone to think that he is my favorite of my 24 nieces/nephews, but it sure has been fun to have one of my nephews living close by. And this way I could keep the rest of my family members updated on Christian, since Chan isn't much of an emailer/blogger. I love this little guy so much. There's nothing like a baby to bring you happiness and joy. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lincoln's Sponsor

On September 4, I had the privilege of attending the baptism of baby Lincoln, son of my long-time and loyal friend, Lacee. What an interesting experience it was to attend this special event! I've never been to a Sunday service at a Lutheran church before, and I really enjoyed it, especially the music!

I was honored that Lacee asked me to be her son's sponsor. I'd actually never heard of being a baby's "sponsor" before, but Lacee said that it's like being a child's godparent (and I have heard of godparents). Imagine me being a godmother! [A sponsor/godparent is supposed to help the child receive a Christian education, and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. Lacee and I aren't the same religion, but we are both Christians, and I definitely love Jesus Christ, so I hope I can and will influence Lincoln for good!] Anyway, Lacee said that she'd been contemplating who of her friends to ask to be the other sponsor (since she had already chosen her brother, Kyle). She had thought of several of her friends, but couldn't decide who to choose. The lady at the church that was scheduling the baptism told Lacee to go home and pray about it. She did, and as she pondered it, she said that all of a sudden I popped into her mind, and she was like, "Heather, of course! She's the most spiritual person I know." She also said that I am the most kind and gentle soul, so who better to lead her son to Christ and help him develop his own relationship with faith. (Those were her words, not mine!) I was so humbled and honored to be asked. Of course, I said, "Yes!"

I'm so glad I made it to the baptism! I needed to have surgery to remove some kidney stones, and if I didn't have it on September 2only two days before the baptismI would've had to wait several more weeks to have it. I was also unexpectedly hospitalized for several days prior to the surgery, and I was only released from the hospital on Friday night, a mere 36 hours before the baptism. I told my doctor that I had somewhere to be on Sunday morning, and that I didn't want to miss it! Fortunately, everything worked out, and I was able to make it. Whew!
Lacee and her husband, Ryan, along with their baby, Lincoln.
Below are pictures of Lacee and her husband, Ryan, plus her brother, Kyle, and me. Lacee's parents are with us in the first picture, and Ryan's parents are in the following picture.
Here are two pictures of Kyle and me, Lincoln's two sponsors:
This is a picture of us by the baptismal font, along with the pastor who baptized Lincoln. He was SO nice!
Lincoln was so mesmerized by the trickling water, that it was impossible to get him to look at the camera for this picture! Lacee and Ryan sure look great, though!
I regret not getting a picture of Lincoln in his cute little outfit, but above is a picture that I cropped. His darling outfit was made from the skirt of Lacee's wedding dress, so that was really neat. 

What a memorable day! I'm so glad I could attend and be there for such a special day in Lincoln's life. :)
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