Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Weekend Full of Merriment

We are back! It was a whirlwind weekend full of activities but it was oh so much fun!
We started off on our journey about 730 am on Saturday morning and it was non stop all the way!
First, we took the kids to Elizabeth's first birthday party. The theme was Beach Party Fun! and the kids played outside in the kiddie pools and in the sprinkler while mom and dad sweated it out( 11 am and it was nearing 100 degrees!), after this we met up with My old school friend, Amanda and her Hubby Nate and their new baby boy, Luke.
Then we met up with Cliffs parents, sister, and her kids for dinner at the Outback which we had not been to in ages. It was Fair Dinkum, Mate! We got a wild hair after dinner and decided to take a trip out on Hwy 7 to the Fireworks Warehouse. We got to take all four of the kids in our car for the trip out there which was so fun! It felt so good to finally have the Pacifica filled up with kids, even if it was just for an hour. Between the three families we loaded up on some pretty awesome fire works and then headed back to Mimi and Papa Carlson's house, at the Redbud Ranch, and set up for a firework show in the back pasture right after dark.
We stayed out until about 1130 watching fireworks and enjoying the show that Papa and Cliff put on for us, then we hit the hay!

We met up with all the Carlson's again for brunch at Cracker Barrel in town and then Cliff, Olivia, and I hit the road for home. Ethan is staying over until Friday, Faith's birthday, and then Mimi and Papa will drive him home.
Here are a few pics of the kids and their cousins- enjoy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blogging From The Road

I am testing out Blogger from the road. Currently the family and I are on our way to Lawton for a birthday party that starts in approximately 10 minutes. We left about 30 minutes behind schedule at 730am. Approximately 3 pitstops( edit, make that 4 and a comment from my hubby as we leave the rest stop as the car gains momentum" Ha, now its like we are leaving the pit stop and headed back into the race!"), two tolls, and a crying baby will set us back to an arrival time of 1030 am. So three hours on the road is not too shabby! I am of course enjoying my new shades in this bright Oklahoma sun, Ethan is listening to his MP3 player, Olivia is on her second bottle, and Cliff's ipod is in tow and playing to make up for my faulty one(if u missed my rant on facebook yesterday- me and my ipod may be breaking up and are currently discussing a trial seperation)
I took so photos of the kids in the car but am not sure I can post them from the Blogger mobile site on my Blackberry.
Stay Tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thanks My Love!

My dearest Hubba Hubba Hubby got me a present today!

Here is a pic of me in the Oakley Felon's He ordered in for me.

They came in today and it made me very happy to wear them while I commuted in that scorching Oklahoma sun. The last time I bought sunglasses was four years ago during summer league softball, so I was overdue.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away

Its true. I've heard this saying many times. Its a beautiful saying.
Life is not measured by me in breaths or days or weeks or years... but by the landmarks, the events, the moments that take my breath away. The funny thing about that saying, is that when I often hear it, people are referring to the joyful events.... but there are sorrowful and difficult moments that take our breath away, that change us, that mold us.... Events that we measure the rest of our life with.
My life is filled with moments that take my breath away............

Memories with Good friends

My parents divorced

Getting my first car

My First Job

Graduating High School

Going to College

Falling in love

Getting married

Buying our first home

Having our first child

A promotion at work

Moving to a new town

Recieving Faith's diagnosis of T13

Meeting her after she defied the odds

Holding my child in my arms as she died

Having another daughter!

Experiencing a miscarriage

Creating a blog( yes the blog made the list!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Its like Christmas in June!

Today I got an espresso maker! Now, before you jump to any conclusions about my spending habits.. let me just say I am a little too frugal to splurge on one of these no matter how much I want one.
My new drink of choice is a Skinny Caramel Latte iced. I have had them at Starbucks on a few rare occasions and love them! Not wanting to spend the green at Starbucks I have given in to a splurge on the McDonalds Iced Caramel coffee a few times a week. At 1.69 a pop- this is still alittle more than I want to spend when I could make it cheaply myself.
I got the FF Caramel syrup that I need for the recipe but couldnt make it work with regular coffee.... I was determined to keep trying and I asked my mom an easy way to steep my milk without a magical expresso machine.
My moms simple solution was to offer me her espresso maker. At first I declined as I am timid to do anything that would look like taking advantage of my mom.... but when I went over to her house tonight and saw that it was GASP! gathering dust...........I decided to take her up on the offer. Afterall, she offered. I didnt ask for it.
It is now sitting in my kitchen... and I am greatly anticipating my iced caramel skinny latte in the morning....

Now if I could just get over this excitment and get to sleep.

I might really need that espresso in the morning after all.
To Coffee!! ( raises mug)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To a Father who has won my admiration, love, devotion, and belief. You are an amazing father!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Strange Month, this June

Faith Constance Carlson
Olivia Grace Carlson

June is a strange month for me. It is a mixture of joy and sorrow. It is a month of anticipation.
Two years ago, on this day, the 19th of June, I wrote an update on Faith( on the LWT13 site) and how close we were to meeting her, just weeks away. The Dr. had placed me on bed rest on June 15 2007. The last two weeks of June I waited. I wondered and cried, worried and prayed, prayed and cried, called out to God on a daily basis for strength and endurance... and mercy and relief.
Just one year later, On June 15 2008 I was placed on bed rest a second time.... this time due to early contractions in my pregnancy with Olivia.
The second summer, during the last 2 weeks in June, I rested and prayed, worried and waited, hoped and prayed some more. I thought about the new life that God was delivering into our lives and about the short life of our daughter Faith who God delivered to us just one year before. It was a time of great anticipation and excitment, and it was a time of excruciating grief and loss.
This year is a little different as I am not pregnant and not on bed rest, but I find myself thinking and hoping, praying and crying, remembering and rejoicing.
This June, as we near Faith and Olivias birthdays, I rejoice in the lives of my precious girls.... I remember the few significant moments that God blessed us with Faith's life... and I recount the joy I experienced when God blessed us with Olivia's life- who arrived smack in the middle of Faith's birthday and Angel day.
When I think of the month of June and I look back over the last 2 years, I see a marvelous pattern forming with my God. During the time that my heart hurts the hardest, he is reconciling me to Him. He draws me close in a tight embrace at the time I need him most.
With all the angst and sorrow of June, I thank God for this time to sit with Him awhile.

To close, I will share Joshua 1:9. This is the first scripture verse that our son Ethan has memorized. It was taught to him at church and he has been practicing all month. How endearing it is to hear him recite this passage to me this month.
" Do not be afraid, or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

"I'm an Okie from Muskogee"

Ethan on a camel, during our weekend trip

Thanks to Merle Haggard for making Muskogee Oklahoma Famous with that memorable song!
I am not really an Okie from Muskogee but my brother is- and my dad's side of the family all live there.

Growing up, we would visit often. We spent a week or two every summer with Aunt Peggy or Aunt Lori, our crazy red headed cousins( only half are red headed- but that is plenty enough of the crazy reds!) or Grandma Diane. Muskogee is like a second home away from home for me and it holds lots of fond memories.

This last weekend, we got to return to Muskogee with the kids for my Uncle J.B.'s 50th surprise birthday party.
We stayed over in Muskogee at a hotel which Ethan thought was just the coolest thing EVER. I know this becuase he told us multiple times " This is the best day EVER!"

Things went pretty smoothly with the kids on the trip although I did catch Ethan trying to pee on his cousin John Bailey in the playhouse during swim time. Before I could get on to Ethan much for this, I was informed that John Bailey did in fact pee on Ethan first . I was all set to get on to Ethan anyways when Cliff advised me that there are certain things a boy just has to do in those situations. Huh. Another one of those guy things that I didnt know or understand.
Sunday morning we woke up and headed to the Tulsa Zoo, followed by a trip to the mall before heading home.
The kids really enjoyed the zoo and Ethan decided that Sunday, rather than Saturday was " the best day EVER ever!"

Here are a few pictures from our weekend trip:

Ethan at the Hotel

Olivia finally going to sleep at the hotel
A picture from inside the tunnel on the zoo train

Cliff and Olivia on the train

Ethan, right before the train started to go

See, everyone congregates around the air conditioner during Oklahoma summers, even the penguins!

One of the Flamingos. We liked watching them go to sleep by sticking their head in their back feathers

Monday, June 15, 2009

crazy week and April rose update

Its going to be a crazy week for me and I am not sure if I will get time to update as I will be spending part of the week out of town for work.
But I did want to jump on very quickly to mention an update about the April Rose situation and mention a few points about it.
I want to thank those of you that emailed or reached out to me after my last post to ensure that I was in the loop on the situation and to see how I was taking that. Thank you. Your friendship, your concern, and your active participation in my life means a lot to me.
I have been following the story of April Rose and the latest findings in this scam. It has been upsetting to me at some turns but the truth of the matter is that 1.I am very relieved to find out that there is not really another baby with Trisomy 13 whose health conditions are so bad that she will die.I rejoice in life. Every moment and every breath of life is precious and to find out that there is NOT a baby whose life is cut so short... this brings me a giant sigh of relief.
2. I am thankful for the publicity for Trisomy 13 and hope that there will be more people educated about it and able in their lifetimes to be a support to someone who has or has had a child with it.( The publicity is thanks in part to an amazing friend of mine who sent an email request to Beccah to get her to direct support to our Trisomy 13 groups page ( which I am so proud of my friend for doing!)

And lastly, 3. I have been frustrated, angry, and slightly obsessed with the story as new updates came out. I am not going to try to wash over this last part by only mentioning the more positive first 2 points. I have been disappointed and at times depressed that someone could take a life experience that is so close to my own heart( and the hearts of many other moms) and exploit it in way that would draw attention to herself. But I will say that Beccah was/is an incredible writer and I would have followed her blog even if she had mentioned it was fiction.... maybe even more so. The things she wrote were things I myself could have thought at the time I was pregnant with Faith.

Hopefully I can update again soon, when I get back into town and settled in with my beautiful family.
I can't wait to update you all about our fabulous weekend trip to Muskogee and Tulsa Oklahoma!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Its not my universe.

I think Caedmon's Call said it best: " Late at night I wonder, sometimes I wonder why?"
I really wonder sometimes why things happen the way they do... why some days go so smoothly, and bring joy, and others don't.
I wonder why some days nothing will phase me and I experience Joy all the way until I close my eyes to go to sleep.... and why some days are filled with tears and anguish and anxiety deep into the night.
I also wonder why some children grow up big and strong and some children never make it to be born... or why some are only with us 9 days or 32 minutes like my dear friend Tami's daughter Angeliyah.
I wonder why there is so much hate in the world( although I know the answer is the Devil, becuase I know that God is love) but I wonder sometimes why that is even allowed to exist and why some people turn to it so freely while others live their whole lives trying to be good.
Yesterday another trisomy Baby named April Rose was born. She wasnt expected to make it alive to birth, nor live much longer after and yet she is still alive and still hear. Her mom and dad are living minute by minute.... trying to get as much time as they can to know her and love her before her time to part this earth comes. April's mom has been keeping a blog to chronicle the difficult pregnancy ( which can be found in my bloglist) and now becuase of this they are recieving hate mail and even a mutilated first picture of April with devil horns drawn on the image.
This mommy and daddy are struggling through difficult moments- some of the hardest moments in life- and in the midst of that someone or several someones feel the need to try to hurt them and say and do terrible things. It angers me and it saddens me.

Today is three weeks to the day that I started to experience bleeding and my miscarriage began. Since the pregnancy was still very early, it shouldnt have taken my body too long to process things... but now it is three weeks later and I am still experiencing the miscarriage. It is a constant reminder to me all day long of the little baby that I won't get to hold in my arms. I wonder why it is taking so long?
Someone sent me a very thoughtful message today which said that now Faith would have a little brother or sister in heaven with her. This really helped to calm my heart... but it made me sad too..... I wonder why something so comforting can also make me cry.....
Ultimately, all these things going on compound the grief that I still carry around for my little red head. Most days, I am able to walk this earth without questioning, just accepting my course in life with hope for what tommorrow brings.
Today though, like some days, I wonder why things happen the way they do in this universe and I have to remind myself that it is not my universe.

This is God's universe and God does things his way. You may have a better way, but you don't have a universe. - J Vernon McGee

Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl!

Today is the 2nd birthday of my friend Tami Izzi's beautiful little girl Angeliyah.
Angeliyah was born prematurely on June 8 2007 and lived for 32 minutes all of which were spent held in her Mommy and Daddy's arms.
I am thinking of her and her family today as she celebrates her birthday in heaven. I know it has to be a Heavenly Celebration!!

Happy Heavenly Birthday Angeliyah!!!!!!

To read more about Angeliyah and her family, visit or

Her story is a courageous one.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Watergun fights!!

Ethan requested we play outdoors with the watergun and I decided we needed to take it up a notch. While we were at the Store we purchased a few more waterguns and set a date for a watergun fight in the front yard after dinner.
We carried Olivia out in her excersaucer and we were off!

We might have to make this a weekly tradition or have a watergun fight party and invite lots of people over.

Here is Olivia watching the action.

And the boys in action.

Myself......... FINALLY

Last weekend I finally began to feel like myself again. I don't know what it was that marked the day as different.... but it was. And ever since then, I have felt a little more like myself everyday.
My body is not quite back to normal but it is getting there.
Its good to see you again, Self.

IF the shoe fits........

Monday May 25th was Cliff and I's seven year anniversary.
To celebrate, we went out the following Monday for a little day date.
On a whim, as I looked in my closet for a pair of heels to wear with my skirt for our date, I decided to wear the same shoes I got married in. I had to take a picture to mark this occasion. there is nothing too special or fancy about the shoes.... just the fact that I was wearing them seven years ago when I pledged my life and my love to Cliff.
Maybe I will start a tradition to wear the shoes every year for our anniverary....

Garden Day

Back in April on the saturday after Earth Day, we had the second annual Faith Constance Carlson Garden Work Day. Its taken me awhile to get images loaded up- what with Zed suffering from a Computer Coma( also known as Cliff trying to manslaughter the computer with a glass of water- perhaps that is Computerslaughter).
But Here are a few. This year we chose to do some things different. We had a butterfly release ceremony and we also painted garden stones. It felt a little more laid back for me.... but perhaps my emotions were not running quite as high as last year. I was emotional...... but not as emotionally overwelmed as last year.
We had a few repeat visitors, and some new visitors as well. We BBQ'd again and watched the kids play while we planted all the new flowers. Then we followed with the rock painting and finished off with the butterfly release and a short poem.
It really was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature was just right... and I feel like we did a bang up job in honoring our little girl.

" A Butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, it's glory and beauty belong to our world. But, then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel belssed to have seen it."