Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wexford Carol

About a decade ago, I was really struggling.

We had had many setbacks in our infertility journey, some more devastating than others.

I was in a dark place.  I was sad and found it hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning.

We had 2 of Greg's siblings living with us while they went to college, and Greg operated his fledgling business out of one of our bedrooms.  People were in and out of our house constantly.

I was teaching 3 classes a semester at the U and had about 30 piano students.

But I just wanted to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head and never emerge.  In hindsight, I am really grateful that we had Rod and Tanya with us, because it forced me to keep going through the motions until my equilibrium returned.  And the fertility drugs finally worked themselves out of my system.

My main coping strategy was to listen to an arrangement of Wexford Carol by Jon Schmidt (made back when he was a solo artist and not one of The Piano Guys).  

It is haunting and beautiful and I would be transported away from my feelings of sadness and overwhelming loss of hope.  This is back in the day of actually having the CD in my car stereo and I would just repeat the track over and over.

We used to go to Jon Schmidt's Christmas concert every year, and in the midst of my craziness, I actually waited around after the show and requested that he play Wexford Carol sometime (he had never done so before and said he had never even considered it, because he would have to create a performance track).

The next year, he played it.

I took it as a tender mercy just for me.  An evidence that the Lord had not forgotten me or my struggles.

Yesterday I was driving with the girls and Wexford Carol came up on my Christmas playlist (now all fancy on my iPod).  I was instantly transported to that difficult time, and I was reminded of the feelings of peace and comfort that came through this experience.  

I love this song.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


We got to host Thanksgiving this year because Greg's parents decided to go on a cruise instead.

And we loved it!

We ended up with 27 people, including us, Paul & Staci, Kent & Jessica, Tanya & David, David's parents, and David's sister.  And all of the kids that go with those families.

It was fun, and we had so much food!

Parker was so proud of himself.  He ate 2 turkey hearts and a liver.  He said they were good.
 Yep, we can all fit!
 Some more seating...
 This picture does not really do justice to the food.  2 turkeys (smoked and regular), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, macaroni & cheese, raw veggies, hors d'oeuvres, raspberry pretzel salad, 2 types of jello, cranberries, 2 green salads, and rolls.

Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without "hors d'oeuvres."  They are a Spencer tradition.  They are yummy little bites made from cream cheese, salsa, and olives rolled up in a tortilla.  The name of this dish is simply "hors d'oeuvres" and they are tasty.

 Ellie ate a roll for Thanksgiving dinner and then said she was full.
 Emily gave me the cheesiest-eyes-closed grin.  Super cute!
 Kyralyn and Andrew are never far apart.
 Ariana and Denver had some fun playing together.

 Parker could hardly wait for us to get the dishes done and the kitchen in some semblence of order before having pie.  I think he asked us every 2 minutes if it was pie time yet.

Staci made lemon meringue and Tanya brought a Sister Kirkland apple pie, and we made the rest (except for the pumpkin, which was also made by Sister Kirkland).  We had banana cream, coconut cream, blueberry, cherry, peach, and pumpkin.  Greg is quite an impressive pie maker!
 Lynlee tried apple and pumpkin and liked the pumpkin better.
 Ellie loves her vanilla ice cream!
Heather:  "Ellie, let me take a picture of your face as you eat ice cream."
Ellie:  {giggling and running away} NO!

Good thing Dallin has great legs to hide behind.

More pictures from Staci's camera:


Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Turtles

Ellie drew these awesome turtles today. That's impressive! 

And even more impressive that Lynlee recognized them and said "turtle" and Ellie said, "Good job, Lynlee!  You are such a smart girl to tell me they are turtles." 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

She's Come A Long Way

Ellie used to be scared of the vacuum.


But yesterday, we had the cushions from the couch on the floor for most of the day (more comfortable to snuggle sick babies that way), and Ellie saw some crumbs underneath where the cushions usually are.

She went and dragged the vacuum out of her closet, down the hallway, and got Greg to plug it in for her.

Then she happily spent 10 minutes vacuuming with the hose.  And another 20 minutes helping Greg vacuum the rest of the house.

Lynlee spent that time with me, safely in the kitchen.
And yes, the girls and I are feeling much better today.  Thanks for asking!

But Greg is sick now...

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The poor girls are sick, but are finally sleeping.  They have been down for about 2 hours, which means 2 hours free of throw-up (for Lynlee).
 Ellie threw up after about an hour, and then we moved her to the other couch.  Hopefully they feel better soon!

Friday, November 16, 2012


It will be a miracle when I can spell "ophthalmologist" correctly on the first try.

We had another appointment to check on Lynlee's eyes yesterday.  Her right eye is still crossing occasionally, but the doctor wasn't concerned about it.  No more surgery on the horizon, which is happy news!

Waiting for the doctor, Lynlee kept telling me "glasses."
 The best part of visiting the eye doctor is this cool bubble lamp.  Lynnie loves it, and she loves telling me all of the colors.
 Waiting, waiting, waiting.  Always so much waiting at the doctor's office.  We drew pictures, and
 pointed at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode playing on the TV, and...
 had Little Miss Mimic pointing as well, and...
 played in the examination chair, and...
 cried for the doctor, and...
 hid (because that means the doctor will stop), and...
 played in the waiting room some more while waiting for the dilating drops to take effect.

 Lynlee was so mad at Round 2.  She thought she was all done, but then we had to go back in after her eyes were dilated and have even more examination.  She mad-cried the whole time.
 And she didn't really like the sunglasses, so we took them off right after this picture.  Ellie liked playing with them!
Lynnie's prescription has slightly changed, from a +4.5/0.90 to a +4.0/1.0  New lenses are ordered and should be in after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthmothers4Adoption Feature

We have been featured on Birthmothers4Adoption!

This is the first birthmom blog I started reading, and it is raw and real and immensely interesting.  I appreciate reading the perspectives of Jessa and Desha and the guest bloggers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How We Roll

We are listening to Christmas music and "cooking." With water, food coloring, and flour. Yep, its a good night! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lynlee's 2 year old Well Child Visit

As we were walking out the door, I had to pause and take some pictures of Ellie's awesomeness.  She has been wearing her "Chinese Princess Dress" from Aunt Amy and Grandma non-stop for a few days.  I especially enjoyed the hat, sunglasses, and jewelry additions today.

Greg is in Chicago for business, and this is the first well child visit he has missed.  I didn't get a couple of the traditional pictures I usually take (notably on the scale and crying during shots) because I was the holder/comforter.

We haven't had a doctor's appointment in a while, and Lynlee is older, so I thought it would go better.  For a couple of days, we have practiced:  Ellie and I have given her check-ups, and we have talked about what was going to happen.  Today, Lynlee told me a few times, "doctor nice."  I thought it was going to be OK.

And then the nurse walked in our room to take her measurements, and it was a full-scale terror fest.  Shaking, crying, the works.  I feel so terrible for her! 

As soon as the nurse left, life was great again.  We had a longer than normal wait today (about half an hour) and we entertained ourselves by spinning on the doctor's chair, coloring on the paper, and eating snacks.

Ellie loves Fiber One bars--she calls them chocolate bars and now eats the whole thing most of the time.

 Dr Vargo was great when she got there, very efficient.  That meant less time crying, which is always a good thing.  Then it was time for a flu shot and one last immunization, and we were out of there.

Weight:  28 pounds 6 ounces ~ 71st percentile
Height: 34.75 inches ~ 74th percentile
Head Circumference: 48.75 centimeters ~ 82nd percentile


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