Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sweetest Things Cake Shoppe!

Last week we had a special delivery from  
The Sweetest Things Cake Shoppe and baby, was it delish!  You guys have to check out her cakes too. Keli, the owner, is the cutest thing you've ever met and her baked goods are to die for.  Keli's shop info is at the bottom- you won't be disappointed!  

Of course I had to do a few pics of my sweet Ava, her new custom apron, and the cutest cupcake ever!  
 
Thanks Keli for the cupcakes and Mel for the apron!





-XoXo-

Jamie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Always Remember Him

In Remembrance of Me by Greg Olsen 




I had the amazing opportunity to speak in Sacrament in Church last Sunday. It is sure to be one I will always remember. I had a few people ask to read my talk because they could not attend so I figured I would just share with all of you. The beauty of this talk is not matter your religion, as long as you believe in Christ, this talk can apply to you. We all can use ways to remember our Great Redeemer, Jesus Christ. While some beliefs may differ, our love for HIM is the same. 
We apologize for our two heavy posts right in a row, but this blog is our lives as we live it, and these are the things that apply to the now. 



-Always Remember Him-
By: Sheena LaRose

One of the perks of being neighbors with the bishop is he will always know whether or not you will be in town to speak on Sunday's. 
No, in all honesty I owe a sincere thank you to whomever was inspired to have me speak on this day, on this topic. I didn't realize how much I needed it until someone acted upon a prompting to tell me. 
This seems to be the case often in my life. 
It was a Sunday, I was sitting by the Canovas and sacrament was being passed. I leaned over to mention something to Cassidy and Susan was quick to hush us. "Don't talk during Sacrament she said". If my daughter is like a little sister to you, that makes me like a Mother.” I love you Suz! I wouldn't wish you any other way! 
I know that Sacrament is a time of reverence but I didn't know that while the bread and water were being administered it is a time of silence. Or did I? 

As I ponder my days of a new member I believe I did know this. My first year as a new member I would spend those moments while waiting for the bread and water, praying to my Heavenly Father. I would give thanks for my weekly blessings and also ask for forgiveness for any wrongdoings that may have occurred. For the record, I have never been taught or told that taking that time to think of him or to pray was custom. I believe I was in a more humble state than I am now, that is apparent to me now and in preparing this talk and coming to that realization was somewhat of a hard pill to swallow. I am reminded of how I truly should spend that time in waiting. 
Granted I was a 20 year old with no one to bother me during sacrament but a sweet old man that sat next to me every Sunday. If I am being realistic here, children make it a little more difficult to spend that time the way I prefer, but I know my Heavenly Father will still hear my prayers and humility whether I am 100% reverently praying or praying with one eye open and one arm folded while the other keeps a child from running up and down the isles or bothering his or her siblings... Or the people in a 10 ft radius of us for that matter. I'm just being honest here. 

A little bit ago you heard me mention being a new member. This December marked my 9 year anniversary of my baptism. It wasn't until this week that I had the realization that I am not a new member anymore. I'm am not simply, but most complexly, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I realized that up until now I have been playing the new member card as a crutch. An excuse for my lack of knowledge. As a scape goat if I got something wrong. It's unfortunate that it took so long for me to come to this realization, but also an accomplishment that I did. I have the same credibility as any other member, as long as I am studying and growing. It's a wonderful and scary realization. For with that confidence comes accountability. Instead of asking questions all the time to other members, I can do the research myself and go straight to the source. My Heavenly Father and the scriptures. That way it becomes my interpretation and in turn strengthens not only my knowledge but my testimony as the truth that is manifested unto me. 

Picture if you will a scene. On screen you see the most beautiful of images and a voice that we recognize well speaks:
"The hours that lay immediately ahead would change the meaning of all human history. It would be the crowning moment of eternity, the most miraculous of all the miracles. It would be the supreme contribution to a plan designed from before the foundation of the world for the happiness of every man, woman, and child who would ever live in it. The hour of atoning sacrifice had come. God’s own Son, his Only Begotten Son in the flesh, was about to become the Savior of the world.
“This Do in Remembrance of Me” 
Elder holland of the 1995 October general conference 
I was given this conference talk as a reference and it, like all conference talks, has wonderful content. You will here me refer to bits and pieces of this talk throughout mine. 

The setting is Jerusalem. A feast is to be had 
What would become Jesus' last Passover. Where he sat among his most loyal and broke bread to symbolize his body. A bruised and Beaten body. A broken heart. “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19)
and drank to symbolize his blood. Sweat that was like blood from every pore. Blood of a paid debt for all mankind. 
"This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:20)

We can remember him in many ways. Not just by thinking of HIM, but also of those who heavily impacted his mortal life. 

The talk that Sister Wallace gave on Christmas about his mother Mary. What it must have been like for her. A woman who was probably in the age range of you girls in Young Women. Can you imagine being so young and holding that type of responsibility? Granted she did not know at the time, but can you imagine what she felt the moment she realized not only who but what her son was?

We could remember his magnificent but virtually unknown foster father, a humble carpenter by trade who taught us, among other things, that quiet, plain, unpretentious people have moved this majestic work forward from the very beginning, and still do so today. If you are serving almost anonymously, please know that so, too, did one of the best men who has ever lived on this earth.

We could remember that Christ called his disciples friends. Judas undoubtedly forsakes him and how did he respond to such a betrayal? But Christ knew of a bigger plan. Rather than feeling sorrow for his own life, he probably felt for Judas and the guilt he would feel that would prove to be too much and ultimately end his life. We would do good to remember that in our daily encounters . What does it mean when we say to be Christlike? Speaking of our dealings with friends and acquaintances. Sure we should be kind, compassionate, loving, all of those Christlike attributes we most commonly refer to, but what type of friend was Jesus really? Let us think back again to HIS last Passover while he broke bread and drank with his disciples whom he called friends all knowingly that some would betray and deny him. Nevertheless, he loved them so and prayed for them. Atoned for them. 

In our daily dealings when we are speaking with people we need to think to ourselves ...you know it's one thing to be Christlike, but being literal in the sense. Do you think that when that day comes when we finally meet our Savior he's going to set us down and say to us my child I have had the worst time waiting up here I mean I had to give my life, I've been fighting this never-ending battle with you know who and I've done it all with headache. The answer to that brothers and sisters is no. I believe wholeheartedly that he will open his arms, embrace us and say my child how art thou? I love thee, I've missed thee. Sometimes we need to listen and be still. We should remember this in times like visiting and home teachings. 

Picture yourself sitting among Christs disciples as they await in the garden of Gethsemane. Christ asks you to wait and watch while he prays. A miracle is about to take place. Christ will atone for all sins and it will be undoubtedly one of the most spiritual experiences you will witness. Christ goes to pray but stays in close proximity, he comes back and finds you asleep. Christ asks you with Indignation, 'What, could Ye not watch with me one hour?" 
Peter speaks up with complete exhaustion and says" The spirit indeed is wiling, but the flesh is weak". (Matthew 26:40-41)

Because you could not stay awake for just one hour you just missed one of the greatest miracles to take place. 
How's that for a slice of humble pie? I too have felt similar to Peter's words this past year. My spirit wiling to go to church, but because I was just too tired to wake up early enough to have my family ready and on time, I was weak and most definitely missed out on miracles, or blessings if you will. In fact those of you who know me have probably heard me express my excitement for 1 o'clock church. I have been missing the point. I believe he asks that again of us, to stay with him, to watch, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed. While we renew the beautiful covenants that we made on our day of Baptism. It is a miracle that we have this ability week after week.

In all there is to remember of Christ there is simply not enough time to remember everything about the man we call Savior in one hour. It's a good thing that there is always going to be sacrament given on Sunday, in this building, in every Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, even in hospitals, and that gives us at least one chance a week to always remember him. 
I believe it is important that we treat each sacrament sacred and a security of redemption. For, unlike Christ, We do not know when our last Passover will be.

In closing, although I focused on remembering him during Sacrament, these thoughts of our Savior should be implemented daily. Our lives will be richly blessed as we think of him often. I testify that this is true. As I studied our Savior every day since I received word of the topic of my talk. I feel closer to Christ more than ever because I know him better. Simply because I chose to remember him. I studied him and not just stories of him. I pondered him. I thought of what it would be like if I were present. Just like in any book, if you allow yourself, you can live as they live it. This too is so with the scriptures. You can feel as if you were right there along with them. With HIM.  I propose a challenge that if it not already a part of your daily routine, that you take the time to get to know our Savior. As you always remember him, his spirit will be with you. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


XoXo, 
Sheena

Friday, January 9, 2015

Taking On Infertility & A Little Maternity Session.


This is just part of my infertility story.  I hope this helps those who are struggling to realize it's a common issue.  Babies come in all different ways: adoption, foster, fertility help, and sometimes unexpectedly.  Also, pregnancy is a private and guarded issue for many.  I have found that most people who are struggling will never tell you, even your closest friends.  Always be mindful of what you might say to someone going through infertility, your "helpful" words might hurt.

Endometriosis

Around the time I was a senior in High School, I began experiencing intense cramps each month.  I always knew something was wrong in the back of my mind, but wasn't sure who to talk to about it.  My family didn't really go to the Doctor and my mom wasn't the most open person.  The older I became, the worse the cramping got.  There were days I could barely move, lived with a heating pad, and took as many hot baths as my water heater would allow.  Finally, my aunt talked to me about endometriosis.  She had it.  It was the cause of her infertility and she had similar cramping to go along with it.  



 Birth Control Blues


For years I would take birth control to help suppress the cramping and would only have to deal with it every 4th month.  The birth control started making me too hormonal and so I quit.  As I've talked about in previous posts, I was married before.  My ex-husband wasn't interested in kiddos (point of difference between us) and so I never went to the gyno regularly until I was 25. 
2010 Photo by Veronica Reeve Photography
I had wanted a baby for years and when Tim and I got married, we decided to start right away.  Tim's dad was a OB/GYN and his Midwife at his practice was amazing and the service was free.  I finally sat down with her and discussed my painful cramping and also how I couldn't wait to get pregnant.  The tricky part with endo is that it can't really be diagnosed without a laparoscopy.  Some women have horrible cramps and no endo, and some have no cramps and the worst endo.  After about 5 months of "trying" and many years of cramping, Tim and I sat down with his dad to talk about an exploratory laparoscopy.  Dr. Healy was a very successful Endo surgeon, delivered over 6,000 babies, and was tops in his profession.  We were not close and so I didn't have a problem considering him to do my surgery.  It probably helped that I'm not a shy person. 


Surgery Scheduled


The lap was over in just a couple short hours.  Dr. Healy burned a substantial amount of endo off my uterus.  He said I would probably get pregnant pretty soon post surgery and that my cramping should go down.  Endo is a disease that grows rapidly in some women and you oftentimes have to have maintenance surgery to clear it again.  After a few more months with no luck, we decided on a couple things.  

1. We would try basic fertility as in Clomid and hormones.

2.  If that didn't work, we would move on to adoption. 


Another Year Goes By


When all you are focused on is getting pregnant, everything seems more sensitive.  Friends getting pregnant, strangers with their cute baby bellies, and all of your negative pregancy tests, you think you might break.  Strangers will get involved with their opinions and sometimes they will sound unintentionally hurtful.  Forgive those people.  Especially if they have not struggled with fertility.  Tim would reassure me constantly that it wasn't our turn yet and that I needed to be happy for others.  I started talking more about my endo and fertility struggles with friends, only to find out that it was very common.  The cramping never went away, we had moved up dosage on the Clomid, and still no sign of a baby.  I remember sitting down with Dr. Healy and him telling me a couple things.  One in two pregnancies is a miscarriage and he also said most people never realize they are pregnant since it might just be for a couple days.  


A Specialist


I decided since it had been over a year since my previous surgery and the pain seemed to be getting worse that I would find an Endo specialist.  This led me to Dr. Arrington.  We went in for a consultation and he thought for sure that my endo was back.  We scheduled surgery, this time on my Birthday.  This surgery took about 5 hours.  He told me he would be cutting away the diseased areas instead of lasering/burning them off.  He explained that cutting it would cut down the chances of it spreading so quickly again.  After surgery he told me that it was worse than he had anticipated since I had the same surgery a year before.  It had spread throughout my abdomen, twisted an ovary and attached the ovary to my abdominal wall, and last but not least spread to my appendix which he took out.


And Then We Waited


I healed.  Cramping lessoned, but was still painful.  February came and Tim's dad passed away.  
A sweet little memorial that Davis Hospital put together for Tim's dad. 
A couple more months went by.  We tripled my remaining Clomid and decided after it was gone that we were done with fertility.  We had also been looking at adoption agencies for a few months.  We had finally chosen one to use and started working on our paperwork and were trying to figure out our home study.  A couple more months went by and then it happened.  I felt my stress about not getting pregnant start to lighten and thoughts of adoption replace the need for pregnancy.  After all, I just wanted a special babe to join our family and I was OK with any means of that happening.  

 If you talk to any girl who is anticipating pregnancy, they will all tell you that each month they take many, I mean tons of pregnancy tests.  Mine always ended up negative followed by my period a few short hours later.  So when July came and I refused to take a test for a few days, I knew what had happened.   After a few days of being "late"... I caved and it said positive.  I was in total disbelief.  
On God's Time
I surprised Tim with the news before a concert we were going to in Park City.  He was even more shocked and excited than I was.  Everything we had been praying for finally came true.    

March of 2013 we welcomed our perfect baby girl, Ava.  We became parents.  I became my sweet Ava's Mom.  

A Baby Boy
I knew that I would probably have to have another babe within a couple years of Ava.  Pregancy temporarily stops endo and then it will continue spreading.  I had two potential options, if I waited a few years to have another babe, I might have to have a lap again.  We decided around the beginning of the year that we were ready.  This time after a few months, we were having our next babe.  He will be born in March of 2015.  My kiddos will be almost exactly 2 years apart.  


Be Careful What You Wish For 


I longed so much to be pregnant that I didn't realize that pregnancy can be a rough business.  There are those of you that were like me, waiting, and I'm sure you are muttering to yourself "Jamie, shut up and don't complain."  I wish I could tell you that pregnancy is glowing, beautiful, and that you only get pregnant in your stomach.  Nope.  Not for me.  My booty gets bigger, thighs touch, I puke everyday, and you may or may not get stretch marks.  My pregnancy with Ava was rough.  I even threw up on the operating table during my csection.  As a girl that envied pregnancy so badly, it wasn't the perfect 9 months.  I've learned that lesson twice.  


I'm so thankful everyday for my sweet babies and the miracle it is for me to carry them.  I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that helped me through the hardest times.  I know so many people that long for a baby and some will get pregnant and some will adopt.  Everyone will have their opinion, follow what route is best for you.


I decided this round of pregnancy that I would have my sweet husband do a few pics for me.  It's so important to document these moments for yourself and your babes.  It's such a blip in your life that leaves the best memories. 





  XoXo, 
Jamie

For questions or comments related to this post, please feel free to contact Jamie at individualrivalry@gmail.com