Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So I am finally coming out of a rough patch. Christmas was so great...the kids had such a good time. The ages of the kids made it so much fun....too excited to sleep...and so forth but, I want to share this latest experience. Hopefully this can maybe help someone or maybe it's just a balm to my soul...either way... On saturday evening my family and I were playing phase 10 (family card game). The kids had gone to bed so the adults were either playing cards or reading a book. I was playing with my parents and mostly siblings. I was doing terrible this time around at the game. I couldn't get a hand even though we had set the rules differently to make the game go faster. You could get any of the ten runs and lay down...they didn't have to be in order. Even with this new rule change...it just wasn't my night. While playing, I happen to look over at my new neice. I hope I don't offend her by saying this, it has nothing to do with her baby...it just made me think of what it will be like with mine. She was laying on the shoulder of my sister with her back facing me. She has long dark hair and instantly reminded me of my first born. It was exactly what Isaac looked like when he was an infant and made me think of what our baby will look like. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. How can I possibly hold our new little boy, love him, cradle him and then have to let him go? This feeling was overwhelming and I just wanted to get away to cry. Luckily the hand of cards had just finished and because I was doing so poorly I kept it together until I could slip away and just say I had had enough of cards. I walked downstairs and found my husband asleep in a chair with his book in his hand. I wake him up and with tears in my eyes tell him "I need you." He takes my hand and we go to our room where we are staying. I tell him about what just happened and how I am feeling. We talked for a long while until I felt a little better and was able to fall asleep with Reed's arms around me. The next morning comes and I still feel the same solemn way. I get the kids ready for church and didn't feel like going myself. Reed convinced me that this is exactly when we need to go...when we feel like we can't. So I get myself ready and we make it to church. I am glad that we went, my dad was the high council speaker for the day and it was a really nice talk. We get back to my parents house after church and I am still very solemn. I don't know how else to describe the feeling except that I couldn't get over...how am I going to do this hard thing to come? How can you prepare for something like this? I just didn't have the answers. Praying helped but, I wasn't getting an answer. Maybe I just wasn't ready to listen. We drove home on Sunday and Monday the kids and I spent the day cleaning up the playroom and going to the store to buy bins to add the kids toys to the room. The kids and I had a good day and the kids had a great time playing with their new toys. I still was lonely without Reed there because it was the first day not with him since the Christmas break. So, needless to say when Reed got home from work last night and I was as excited as the kids to see him. The kids had just gotten out of the bathtub playing with their new bathtub toys and were in their jammies when Reed got home. It was fun to spend a little time together as a family. Last night I was able to go to sleep pretty well but, woke up really early this morning. I had to be to work for the early shift but, this was two hours earlier than I even needed to get up. Something just wasn't right. Reed went and checked on the kids but, there was just an unsettling feeling. I felt drawn to my scriptures. I opened up to where I had left off ( I started at the beginning a little while ago and am now in 2 Nephi). I read the next chapter and had the most settling feeling when I read the last two versus in the chapter. Lehi had just passed away and Nephi is writing about their blessings their father gave them and also about trust. It states; 34 "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. 35 Yea I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore, I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen." This was exactly what I needed to hear, that I just have to trust him. I can't know what to expect but, can do my best to prepare and ultimately I have to trust that all is in his plan and that everything will be made right in the end. This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning and it gave peace to my heart. After I read this Reed and I prayed together as a couple. Even though I wasn't able to sleep anymore,I felt at peace. This is such a blessing since I haven't had this kind of peace in days. I know it is going to be hard and I know that I can't do this alone...and I don't have to. He is there to help me and guide me through this. He is there...if I trust in him. He can be my rock just like Nephi says he can, I just have to trust him. I am so grateful for prayers being answered. I know there are going to be many hard days ahead but, I am so glad that he has helped me through this so far and will continue to be there for me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread House Memories

Our good friends invited us over for dinner and to make gingerbread houses. Every year we have put together a gingerbread house...it lasts for a few days before most of the candy has gone missing and the kids are picking the icing off a little bit at a time. The gingerbread houses always looks pretty when we finish and the kids are proud of their special touches. Our kids love hanging out together and we had such a great time. Thanks for helping us this year to continue our tradition of making a gingerbread house and also to make a memory with Jacob. Each family had a house to decorate and each house turned out a little bit different. Their's turned out like an applachian snow cottage while ours looked like the little house that could. Let me explain. As we were putting all the candy on each section it would become so heavy that we were holding it up until the rest of the icing was hard enough to hold that much weight. If you look closely at the pictures you will notice a stack of peppermint candys and green gummy ones...they look like a special touch that make the house have a porch or something that cool but, it is only a support beam to hold on that side of the roof. The other picture is of the box the gingerbread came in being used to support the other side of the roof when it became too heavy and started to slide. None of this mattered to the kids and they loved spending time with some good friends. Thank you for helping us celebrate this season and being able to relax and just enjoy an evening with friends. You were kind and gracious and we really appreciated an evening where the kids had so much fun. Thank you for letting us just be us...even though we feel like we are different people and a lifetime from where we were, you have treated us like you always have but with added compassion for where we are. Love ya!
Cassy Final

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Well, it's finally been done...I pulled out the maternity clothes. I finally don't fit the "feeling fat" regular pair of pants. I am now six months and haven't shown that much up until now. The doctor's showed me early on why I haven't been showing because the baby attatched right on the back side of the uterus by my spine. So, I've felt pregnant and had back aches since the beginning but, just didn't look that pregnant. That was one of the reasons why we were waiting until we knew the sex of the baby to officially tell everyone, because I didn't look pregnant and nobody ever asked. I've learned to never ask anyone if they were pregnant because we've all stuck our foot in our mouth at least once to learn that lesson the hard way. So, I wasn't that surprised that nobody really ever asked...although a few people did figure it out early on. I thought that pulling out the maternity clothes was going to be a "not so good" thing but, actuallly it wasn't that bad. I hadn't realized that I had limited myself to about a fourth of my closet so, it's like having a new wardrobe...sorta. The only problem with maternity clothes is that it's hard to find TALL ones. Luckily my friend and I are about the same heighth and share the same problem. We have traded maternity clothes with our last pregnancies and it has been such a blessing (thank you dear friend, you are an angel in more ways than one). She assures me that their family is complete and won't be needing them back. I knew that pulling out the maternity clothes was going to be a milestone because this made the whole pregnancy REALLY real. I didn't just feel pregnant, now I am looking like it. My fears are now that I am showing I have to deal with the random strangers that come up and touch your belly in the super market and ask those lovely questions like...what are you having...when are you due...are you SO excited? I am not so worried about me being able to just tell them we are having a boy and leave it at that (random strangers don't need to know) but, those of you who have children...young children...know they are brutally honest and I am afraid of those times when the kids just blurt out that "our baby won't make it" or something to that affect and then I am left to tactfully explain things because my children are just being them...honest. I wouldn't want my children to be anything than honest...so, lately I have avoided the grocery store as much as possible. The Christmas shopping craze can be a little much. Thankfully Reed has been more than willing to help me figure out what to fix with what we STILL have in the fridge. I can't tell him how he has saved me more than once from having to make Ramen or something else just as wonderful. So, if you see me at the grocery store earlier in the morning or later at night..now you'll know...and I guess you are there too...are you hiding from the crazy belly touching ladies too? Cassy Final

Friday, December 18, 2009

Isaac is Seven!!

Happy Birthday Isaac!
I really can't believe our oldest is seven...wow...how times flies when you're having fun. Isaac is such a joy in our family and he is the best big brother. He is tender hearted and very energetic and fun. This year for his birthday we went easy. He has always wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheeses and so our family and some cousins went to have some fun and dinner. The pizza is something else...good thing there was cake and ice cream later. The kids definetely didn't mind and had a hard time finishing their peice because they were excited to go play again.
Isaac's favorite game was the car racing game. He was really good and played it quite a few times. This year he wanted Lego's, starwars stuff, paper and pencils. No joke...this was his list...although when he said family prayer the night before his birthday he prayed that he would get a tv and a x-box. Needless to say, it was hard not to laugh in the middle of prayer. Reed talked to him when they said his personal prayers by his bed that a tv and x-box were pretty big items and that we might not get everything we want.
He loved the lego set he got and the Chess set is already a favorite. Now he has one of his own! Isn't that what every seven year old dreams of...their very own chess set...well Isaac does. That was the first thing he asked for when he awoke in the morning of his birthday. He asked dad to play a game of chess before school. So I told them I would make breakfast while they played. It was Isaac's first stale mate. I think someone gave him a little birthday present with that one.
Isaac we love you and are so glad that you are apart of our family....it wouldn't be the same without your energy in the house.
Cassy Final

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Weekend

We want to thank you all for the comments that you have left. I know you think of them as something simple but, let me tell you that they mean SO much. Those words of encouragment and love really mean a lot to us.
This weekend has been one of good and bad days. On saturday we had a family Christmas party to go to for lunch. Everyone was so kind and those of you that even came up to say that you just didn't know what to say except that they were thinking and praying for us. Thank you so much. It makes it just a little bit easier knowing we have family that cares so much for us and all that is going on.
Let me back up for just a minute...this week was finals week. Reed finished his last final on wednesday and I have never been so thankful. On friday we both were going to have the evening off together and we wanted to make a memory with our 3 children and our unborn child.
We decided to go see the lights at temple square. What better time to see the salt lake temple than at Christmas time. We also decided to use this time to also pick out a premie/newborn outfit at a specialty store about an hour from our house. It's apparently really hard to find the really small sizes of white outfits...most stores offer 0-3 month sizes and bigger.
So as soon as I pulled in the driveway...Reed had the car packed with hot chocolate, gloves and boots. I hurried and changed out of my scrubs to something that would be a little warmer and we left.
We wanted to have the kids help us pick out some stuff (like a blanket) we'll need but, they ended up being more interested with the toy area which was just fine because the kids really didn't understand that we were buying a burial outfit. WOW. That is really hard to say. It gave Reed and I time to talk about why one outfit over another and we both decided on the same one and it was soft and perfect. What better could we want for our little one? It makes me sad to think about this outfit but comforting to know we choose it together for our son and we both love it.
We finished at the store and got in the car to head to the salt lake temple. We were giving the kids hints about where we were going as a family (they knew we were going to the store and then somewhere for a surprise). Reed gave a hint that it was sometimes called "the mountain of the Lord". Kaden immediately gets excited that we are going to the mountains. He thought we were going to play in the snow like we did when we got our Christmas tree. I just laughed and told Reed we needed to give easier clues.
We finally found parking a few blocks away (apparently the tabernacle Christmas concert was going on that night and we had forgotten). We walked around enjoying the snow and the kids love the lights. We were enjoying the splendor of all the lights and I wanted a picture. I had all three kids stand by the lights by the bell tower. I got one picture and the camera said the battery was dead. So the picture above is the only picture I have and I didn't even get a family picture yet. We then walked over to see the nativities by the reflection pool. We were standing by the reflection pool where joseph, mary and baby jesus are floating right in the middle. I try to take a picture and it is totally dead. A mother next to me asks if I would be willing to take their family picture. I oblidged and took a few pictures for them. I asked her if they had any double A batteries. She said they didn't and that their camera took a really weird battery that they had to special order. She asked if she could take a picture for us and would email us the picture. We said that would be great and she took a family picture at the reflection pool in front of the salt lake temple. I really hope and pray she sends me that picture because I really would like that picture.
Sunday (today) has ended up being the not so great day. Why...who knows? I woke up just sad about the entire situation. Reed and I were able to spend quite a bit of time talking before the kids awoke. I will cherish these times when we can talk so openly about our feelings and everything that is going on. I am so thankful for the gospel and for eternal families. I am thankful for these hard days just so that I know when to enjoy the good ones when they come.
Cassy Final

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a BOY!!

I want you all to know what has been going on in our family. I haven't had the courage before now but I feel we should let others know what is happening. I know I haven't blogged since the 11th of November and I'd like to explain why. First of all, we are pregnant. I know some of you didn't know this and we were planning on making it public after we found out the sex of the baby. Forty weeks is a long time and when people know too early...I think it makes the time go by slower. Either that...or I am just a more private person with my personal life. I've had more morning sickness with each pregnancy and this one followed the trend. I even had to take Abbie out of dance for the fall because I could barely get Isaac to school and couldn't imagine going and sitting at class each week. I definetely want her to keep going with this but, I've decided there is a time and season for everything. On November 11th (wednesday) we left the kids at a neighbors and headed for the doctor's office for the BIG ultrasound. We were excited! The ultrasound went a little long but, we found out...IT'S A BOY !! I was a little shocked but, we really didn't care what it was because he was ours!! The ultrasound showed some complications. We were shocked. The ultrasound tech got the doctor and he told us that he was pretty sure that he knew what it was but, hadn't ever seen it himself. He has practiced for a long time and had never seen the lethal form of this. He sent us immediately to St. Mark's Hospital to the specialist. We scrambled to find another neighbor to take the kids. We definetely have the best neighbors who stepped up when we really needed them. We rushed down to St. Mark's hospital to the Perinatologist. We got the diagnosis...and it is not compatable with life outside the womb. The baby can survive and is alive in the womb because I oxygenate his blood through the cord but, once he is born he probably won't survive very long. How long? It is dependant on the baby...each baby is a little different. There are stories on the web of a few days and others that pass away during birth or before. We are praying for enough time with him to meet him and have the kids and our parents meet him. This has been really hard news to hear. I don't know how to express the amount of greif we've experienced except that there are good days and bad days. Even now...after dealing with this for a month...it still seems a little surreal. I want to express my gratitude for the gospel. Without this knowledge, we would be searching for questions about life after death and what is going to happen to our precious baby boy. I have found such comfort in this knowledge. Last week we were 22 weeks along. We had another appointment with the perinatologist. The diagnosis was confirmed. It is certain with the variation of it being one of two forms, both with the same outcomes. We were looking into a amniocentesis and decided against it for now because by doing it we would have a definitive diagnosis but, both with the same outcome. So, we will just find out at birth. Doing an amnio wouldn't change the outcome. So now we are dealing with this realization. We have had some amazing close friends and family that have been really supportive. Doing little things and helping in small ways have meant so much. As soon as we received this type of diagnosis we were put in touch with the Angel Network. Let me just say they are amazing and truly are angels! They help you navigate the greif process and also help with the things you never had to think about before. They help you plan for what is to come and to help you make the very best of your situation. They are helping us to make sure that his life is going to be treasured forever. They have been such an answer to prayer because just when you feel like you don't know where to go next they are there to help you navigate this difficult journey. They suggested we decide on a name now for our baby because he is alive and we believe that we will have him forever. We've chosen the name of Jacob. He is apart of our family and the kids talk to him and love on me and him whenever they can. I am so grateful for children who are so loving and able to share that love with me. I want to share a personal experience...not to incure sadness but to show my gratitude. Since this diagnosis...I was having a really hard time sleeping. I've never really had a problem sleeping before and this was really different for me. I would wake up early in the morning after only a couple hours of sleep. At first, this was frightening because those of you know how hard it is to take care of kids for a whole day without sleep. I pleaded with my heavenly father to help me to be able to get the rest I needed to be able to still be a mom to my other three children. My prayers were not answered how I wanted them. This quiet time of the morning, I realized, was the one time when the entire house was silent. Nobody needed me and I realized this was time for me. Time for me to be able to talk to my heavenly father. Time for me to be able to read my scriptures, not tired or interrupted. I can tell you this became such a blessing. I was able to read those things that have helped me make sense of this situation and to try and find peace and comfort. Heavenly Father helped me to be able to find times to take naps during those days when I was exhausted and to be able to sleep peacefully when I was asleep. But, each morning around 2 or 3 a.m. My mind would be wide awake. I would find myself awake and taking the time to read those things I was in need of that day. I don't know what I would have done without this time to be able to learn and reflect. I feel as though this last month has been a really strong and steep learning curve. As time has gone on, I have been able to rest a little longer and the times awake have become less and less. I am already looking back and realizing that this time I had alone will always be very precious and sacred to me. I am so thankful for this new relationship with my savior. I want to thank those who have been so kind and generous. Sometimes when I was having a bad day, someone would call and cheer me up or just be there to talk. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have kept this really private because I really didn't know how to deal with it myself let alone other people's reactions. Everyone is different with different experiences and I am learning about myself throughout all of this. I have been wanting to share this news with everyone but, was too scared. Those of you who know me well know I like to do things myself. I like the independence. But, now I realize that I can't do this alone. I am going to blog about this experience because Jacob (our precious boy) is alive. Even if he can only survive in the womb...we are going to try to celebrate his life. Whatever happens, I know we have supportive friends and family to help us through this difficult time. Cassy Final

Christmas Tree Hunt

The kids were really excited to go Christmas tree hunting. We headed to Vernal, Utah and picked up grandma and grandpa and headed up the mountain to get the perfect tree.
This is Kaden's pick for a tree...I don't think it's big enough darling.
Our tree measured twelve feet. It was perfect. The extra pine bowes I knew I could use to decorate. So, each of the kids took a turn helping dad to cut the tree down.
This is grandma and grandpa's perfect tree...full and tall.
The kids loved playing in the snow. It was so powdery that they had to resort to making snow angels and other snow activities that didn't require packing.
This is everyone helping to haul the trees back to the trucks.
The kids got to ride the Christmas tree down the mountain. Reed was such a good sport letting each of the kids ride on the tree like a horse. Although Isaac's ride didn't last too long...he's getting too big.
I love that we get a real Christmas tree each year...maybe some year we'll get a fake but, for now we enjoy choosing a tree together. Maybe this will stay as a yearly holiday tradition.
Cassy Final

Santa at the Ward Party

We went to our ward christmas party and the kids got to see santa. The dinner was lovely and the entertainment was nice but, the kids loved getting to meet santa the most. Isaac asked for games. Abbie asked for a bike without training wheels (we might be removing a certain something NOW) and Kaden wanted toys. I remember getting to sit on santa's lap and how exciting that was to do. I am glad we went and let the kids tell their wishes to the man from the north pole. Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas. The funniest part was that when we were walking across the parking lot to get in the car, Isaac looks up at the sky and says, "Which way do you think he went?"
I love the funny things kids say!
Cassy Final

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chess...aren't we a little young for that?

So Reed taught Isaac how to play chess!! I know you probably are all thinking what I was thinking...isn't he a little young but, Reed's response was that other cultures teach their children to play at three years old. The first thing Reed did was to make the kids memorize each peice's name, then onto how each peice moved. I thought this would last five minutes and it has since been a daily challenge of a chess game. The days that Reed is at work...I get challenged to a game. Isaac loves Chess!!
Who knew Chess could be so captivating to such a young audience!!??!!
Cassy Final
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