Friday, April 28, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

“Pssst…Jon, are you awake?” I don’t know why I was whispering, it was 1:30 in the morning and Devyn was still staring at me, wide awake. I looked over at the lump sharing our bed and nudged his body to wake him. He merely turned on his side, snorted a couple of times, and continued to stay asleep.

I looked down at my baby, trying my hardest to not make eye contact…too late! Our eyes locked and she broke into a huge smile behind her pacifier, but even that beautiful smile wasn’t doing anything to soothe my mood. “Devyn, love, this is not the time to be smiling; this is not even the time to be awake. Please, please, please go to sleep, mommy is so tired!” I begged of her for the umpteenth time that night.

I tucked her between Jon and myself and turned on my side. My hope was that she’d drift off to sleep once she realized that she wasn’t going to get any more attention from me, after all, it was now 1:45 in the morning, it was pitch black, and surely she must be tired. I dozed through the next hour but was very aware of Devyn’s movements and singing the entire time. I woke up at one point to find her feet in my face! I wasn’t sure how she managed to get up and turn around but at that point, I really didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep.

“Jon…Jon…Come on! It’s really your turn; I’ve been up with her all night. Jon… Jon…” Finally, my dear, sweet husband managed to wake up long enough to realize that his daughter was standing over him in bed and was begging to be played with. “Huh, wuh? Punkin, watcha doing up? Didn’t Mommy put you to bed?” I glared at him; if I had magical powers, he would’ve been a pillar of salt. My only response was to toss in the bed, with my back to my barely-awakened husband and giggling daughter, and to put a pillow over my head.

I heard my husband’s feet pad across the kitchen and living room floors as he made his way to the nursery. I groaned as I came to the realization that his solution to the problem was to lay Devyn in her crib and let her cry it out. Mean and evil thoughts raced through my head as Jon came back to bed, slid beneath the covers, and drifted off to sleep. I sat straight up in bed, listening to my daughter cry in the other room, as my mind raced to find a solution to this night that would never end!

I counted off the reasons as to what could be keeping her awake. We were at a birthday party all night for my uncle and I contemplated that it could’ve been the cake and ice cream keeping her awake; it could’ve been the stimulation of playing with the cousins all night; and then I realized something. I nudged Jon, “Hey babe, did you feed Devyn dinner tonight? Jon, did you give her something to eat?” He groaned, “Uh huh, you did.”

Suddenly, I felt like the worst mother in the world. I raced to the nursery and grabbed Devyn out of the crib. I put her in front of an Elmo’s World DVD, gave her a sippy cup full of milk, while I scrounged for some food. At 3:00 in the morning, I fed my baby girl a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and applesauce; feeling the weight of guilt cloaking my shoulders. I couldn’t believe I had gotten mad at Devyn Paige for not sleeping, when all she wanted was a full tummy. This one will go down in the books, for sure.

After scarfing down her late, late, late dinner, we crawled back into bed (I cursed Daddy for sleeping through the entire thing) and cuddled beneath the covers. Devyn feel asleep within minutes and I soon followed her into dreamland, but not before vowing to never make that mistake again! Bad mommy . . . .

Thursday, April 27, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

Effective Monday, May 1st, I'll be changing the URL of my blog to http://dogsandchaos.blogspot.com. I'm not one to live my life in fear of "what ifs" or worrying about the crazies in this world, but I just want to better protect my family by taking our last name out of the address. So, please note this addresss change and take any appropriate actions. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

We have some more "Congratulations" posts to share with our family and friends. First of all, congratulations go to Josh and Shamree on the news of their pregnancy. Josh and Shamree are my sister’s in-laws and they’re due with their first child in November. I know that Christine and Caleb are so excited to become an aunt and uncle again.

Second of all, we want to share our congratulations with our good friends, Jeremy and Cassie, on the news of their pregnancy. Cassie and Jeremy are the proud parents of Addison, Devyn’s best friend, and they will be adding a second child to their family in late December.

We are so thrilled for both couples and can’t wait to see the new additions to these families. I think this news calls for another baby roll-call; there really seems to be a wave of girls, huh?!

Baby Roll-Call
May – Laura and Andy – Expecting a boy.
May – Andrew and Cari – Expecting a surprise.
June – Michelle and Josh – Expecting a girl.
June – John and Lorena – Expecting a girl.
July – Colette and Jeff – Expecting a boy.
August –
Sarah and Travis – Expecting a girl.
September – Ben and
Kara – Expecting a girl.
November – Josh and Shamree – Expecting a surprise.
December – Cassie and Jeremy – Expecting a surprise.


And on a non-baby-related note, I want to extend congratulations to my friend, Kamma, on the news of her engagement to Michael. I am so happy for you and so thrilled that you have found such a wonderful man to spend your life together. It has been so fun to watch our lives unfold from the time we were in 2nd grade, isn’t it?! Congrats Kamma Lynn!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

This week's "Love Talk Starter" question is:

"What part of your wedding day do you remember and appreciate the most?"

Monday, April 24, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

This is just an entry with random photos and events. There is no sense to the madness; just a quick glimpse into our weekend and today's events.

My cousin, Justin (JP), has been visiting our family from out-of-state for the past week. Devyn took to him immediately and they also shared a wonderful nap together. It has been great to have him here!

Devyn and I went to my cousin's school today to have lunch with Abby and her 5th grade friends. Devyn had a great time with the big kids and they all thought she was adorable. (See, Abby, I avoided the "C" word. Shhh, the word is c-u-t-e.)

My friend, Cassie, and I took the kids swimming this morning. Devyn had a great time with Addison, Isaac, and Cameron. Devyn wasn't at all afraid of the water and waded in as deep as she could. What a little fish I have!

Sunday, April 23, 2006 3 Comments A+ a-

I am so excited! I got an early Mother's Day present from Jon and Devyn Paige, which was a brand-new design. Susie, from A Little Luxury, did an incredible job of redesigning my blog and I couldn't be happier. I found her through Jon's cousin, Jessica, and I am so happy I did. Thank you, Susie, the blog looks gorgeous. And thank you, Jon and Devyn, for giving me something that means so much to me.

Friday, April 21, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

Music plays a huge role in our family. When we’re driving the commute from home to my parents’ house to work and back again, the music is playing at full volume with all three of us singing and moving to the music. When we’re home and the TV is not on, we’ll have the radio blasting or a favorite CD playing. Even Devyn’s enjoyment of music started as early as when she was in the womb; if the music had a strong, bass beat, you could see Devyn moving to it.

My favorite memories involve designated cleaning days and having the radio set to our favorite country station. I’ll be mid-window cleaning and Jon will grab me into a spin and we’ll spend the next ten minutes dancing to the music. There’s just nothing better than being twirled and swirled by the man you love.

Now that Devyn is mobile and very vocal about her wants and needs, dancing in our house has taken on a whole new meaning. Jon has tried several times to dance with me one-on-one but it’s always met with disapproval from our baby girl. She much prefers being included in all events of the household, including special moments between Mommy and Daddy. Even if she’s in another part of the house, she’ll come running from the other room, squealing the entire way, arms outstretched, and begging to join in the fun.

At that point we’ll try doing the family dance thing, where all three of us boogie to the music but sooner or later, I’ll bow out of the picture and just sit back and enjoy the show. If ever a wife wants to fall in love with her husband all over again, sit back and watch your husband dip and dance with your baby girl. There is nothing that tugs at the heartstrings more than seeing the love between your daughter and her daddy; or seeing the expression of pure joy on your husband’s face as dances his daughter into giggles of happiness. Life sure is sweet!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3 Comments A+ a-

This week's "Love Talk Starter" question is:

"Name two specific ways your spouse has made you a better person in the past 12 months."

Fe, Fi, and Boyfriend Fo

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

A conversation between two friends, Fe and Fi, and a boyfriend, Fo.

Fe: “I don’t believe in soul mates. I just don’t think God creates soul mates.”
Fi: “Oh, you just haven’t met your soul mate.”
Fe: “Excuse me?!!”
Fi: “I’m sorry but anyone who says they don’t believe in soul mates just hasn’t met theirs yet. I’m positive that Fo and I are soul mates, I just know it.”
[LONG pause.]
Fe: “If you and Fo are soul mates, then I don’t want to meet mine.”

It’s a funny, but true story, and I was intrigued by the conversation that took place. Courtney and her friends have long been discussing the myth (or truth) of soul mates and everyone has come up with their own conclusions. Personally, I do not believe in soul mates and I think the very idea has caused unrealistic expectations in relationships and therefore resulting in a higher number of divorces in society.

For instance, my parents would not be considered soul mates; they are just too different, both with their respective interests and their personalities, but they love each other very much. So, my question is, if they aren’t soul mates but married each other anyway, what happened to their “real” soul mate? Are they just wandering about the earth in search of something that is “missing” in their lives? And what would happen if my parents did meet their true soul mate now? Would they throw away 28 years of marriage because they finally found true “fulfillment”? Of course not, my parents have worked too hard and too long at maintaining a healthy and loving marriage to run away at the thought of being with a soul mate.

Secondly, I don’t think God would create soul mates for His children. He created us with the ability to make choices and have free will; the idea of soul mates takes away that free will. I, personally, believe that God creates a number of people that we would be compatible with but the moment we choose to spend the rest of our lives with someone, that one person becomes our soul mate! Love is a choice, it is NOT a feeling. You do not “fall out” of love with someone; it just doesn’t work that way. Every morning I wake up and I choose to love Jon; I choose to appreciate his good qualities; I choose to be faithful to him; I choose to love him as I want to be loved. And every morning, as long as I’m alive, I will make that choice and in doing that, he has become my soul mate.

I’m sure there are some great arguments for why soul mates do exist, I just don’t buy them. We all want to believe it exists, that God created just that ONE person especially for us, it sounds so romantic, but I firmly believe it’s a dangerous concept for both men and women to accept. I truly believe that more marriages would succeed if partners realized that they have already married their chosen and treat each other as the soul mates they desperately desire. Then all of the guesswork (have I or haven’t I found THE one) has been taken out of the equation.

Monday, April 17, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

I love holidays, every one of them. We feel so blessed to be able to spend the day with family and create so many wonderful memories. Jon and I both come from close-knit families and both families live in the same area; so in order to be fair to both sides, we really try to split the day between the two and yesterday was no different.

We spent the morning in church where Jon attended the service and I was given nursery duty. While I would have loved to be in the service to celebrate that glorious day, instead I was attending to a number of 1-2 year olds and playing with the girls (and boys) in their pretty clothes. After church, we went to Jon’s grandparents house and had a delicious meal with his side of the family (I loved the green beans, Aunt Kara, so tasty!) and where Devyn was able to play for a bit before we headed off to my side of the family, where the Easter Egg Hunt took place and she got to hang out with some more young cousins. Devyn loved doing the Easter Egg Hunt and caught on so fast. She’d find an egg (or have one pointed out to her) and she’d run over, squealing the entire way, and put it in her basket. It was adorable!

Devyn had a wonderful Easter holiday and was quite spoiled with four different Easter baskets; such is the case when she has so many generous grandparents. (This lets Mommy and Daddy off the hook from having to buy anything ourselves!) Devyn ran and ran to her heart’s content, so much so, that when we got in the car to go home she was asleep instantly, worn out from the day’s events. What a great day!

Friday, April 14, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

Every so often a story will touch our hearts and we’re blessed by knowing it. My friend, Sarah, brought to my attention the story of Courtney and her family. I’ve been following this story for about a month and I’ve watched the Davis family handle incredible blows concerning their 20-month-old daughter with grace and faith in God. Unfortunately, Courtney died a week and a half ago and I’m still in awe at the faith Cyndi and her husband showed throughout this time. [Disclaimer: Have a box of tissues handy.]

"She was no longer a candidate for radiation treatment. As Bryce and I began to let the shock of this information sink in, we considered our options for her care. There really wasn’t any hope for her survival at this point, but to accept that fact felt like we were giving up on her; like we were throwing in the towel.

We asked everyone else to leave the room as we rocked her, cried, and prayed for guidance in this most terrible hour. Bryce began to tell a story of his grandma (G-ma), who had for many years suffered the debilitating effects of breast cancer, hip replacement, profound blindness, shoulder displacement, and eventually, colon cancer. She fought bravely to the very end, much like Courtney but when her death became imminent, she asked her pastor if it was okay to want to die. She wanted to know if it was okay to want to be with Jesus in heaven, and he said, "Yes. It is okay to want that."

At this point, Bryce turned to Courtney who was sleeping peacefully in my arms and asked, "Courtney, do you want to be with Jesus in heaven? Do you want us to continue fighting for you, or are you ready to be with Jesus?" Immediately she opened her eyes and feebly cried, "All done." I have no idea if she knew what we were saying to her, but that was just the confirmation we needed that it was time to let her go. I was much more at peace with the decision to release her, knowing that she was ready to be "all done" with her suffering and pain.

So we dressed her up in a beautiful, pink "homecoming dress" for her to wear on her final day here on earth (Thank you, Adina). The remainder of that day was spent holding her, rocking her, shedding many tears, and sharing final visits with family members. Dr. Hanson stayed with us the entire day, from early morning to late at night after Courtney passed away. She spent a lot of time in the room with us checking up on Courtney’s vitals, sharing stories with us, crying with us, and just being there for us.

Finally, around 7:05 PM, Courtney’s heart stopped beating and her battle was truly "all done." The pain and suffering is now ours to bear, and no longer hers. And as much as it hurts to let her go, there is comfort in knowing she is in a place of exquisite joy and peace."

As I read this story, I’m reminded of another mother who watched her child die a long time ago; she watched as solders defiled her baby boy and placed him on a cross. She watched as God’s prophecy came true on that fateful day so many years ago! It’s because of her son, Jesus, that Bryce and Cyndi Davis have hope that they’ll see their daughter again and are comforted in the thought that Courtney is in a better place.

Today is Good Friday, the day our savior died and on Sunday, we get to celebrate his resurrection from the dead! What a glorious weekend we have to celebrate and rejoice in! As another friend said, "I trust each of us will worship our Lord in spirit and in truth. May our worship be a fragrant offering to Him." Have a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

Idiosyncrasies that are completely and totally Devyn Paige:
  • Walking with her left arm swinging by her side
  • Rubbing the skin underneath our chin to fall asleep
  • Kicking the blankets off in her sleep; every single time we try to cover her
  • Bopping and dancing to any kind of music; is partial to reggae and hip-hop
  • Growling at us to get our attention
  • Scrunching her face up as she leans in for a kiss
  • Soaking our skin, shirts, or sheets with her sweat as she’s sleeping
  • Favorite Game: Plugging and unplugging the chargers from our cell phones
  • Calling Jon "Daddy" and Me "Da-Da"
We love that girl . . . quirks and all!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2 Comments A+ a-

This week's "Love Talk Starter" question is:

"If you could magically retrieve one momento from the history of your relationship (perhaps a ticket stub or something else from your dating years), what would it be? Why?"

Monday, April 10, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

We said our final good-bye to our childhood home yesterday. We spent all weekend moving my parents out of their house and it was a chore. On Saturday, we rented the U-Haul and my parents had a number of volunteers ranging from family to friends to youth group kids running in and out of the house with boxes, mattresses, and furniture. I’ll be the first to admit that the Sanchez Sisters weren’t among the harder workers but we chipped in with our fair share. My favorite memory of the day was when all four girls grabbed Alli’s queen-sized pillow-top mattress and carried it from her room to the U-Haul Truck; we were in tears from laughing so hard. Then on Sunday, my parents, sisters, spouses, boyfriend, and Grandma Nancy spent the day cleaning the house from top to bottom. Emotions were high and temperaments flared as the cleaning fumes went to our heads but we got the job done.

Once the cleaning was done, the immediate family (just Mom, Dad, Christine, Alli, Courtney, and I) said good-bye to our family home. It was emotionally exhausting to say good-bye to a house where 21 years of memories took place. I walked from room to room and was flooded with different memories; laying on my parents bed crying from a recent heartbreak; whispering secrets in a dark room with Christine; watching Mom place baby Courtney in her crib; heated family discussions at the dinner table; raising tents in the backyard; my first kiss on the front porch; and the list goes on. (I’m getting misty just sitting at this computer writing about these things.)

How do you wrap up all those memories into one final good-bye? How do I accept that I will never again walk through that front door? How can I thank a building for taking good care of us and being part of so many memories? We met in the living room, our eyes red from crying, and said a final prayer. I watched as my father lost his composure and wasn’t prepared for his good-bye to the house; I watched my baby sister, Courtney, come to grips that she was leaving the only house she’d ever known. We called Jon in for a final photo in front of our fireplace and then we closed the front door for the last, and final, time.

Good-bye, dear, sweet house! Thank you for the memories and thank you for taking care of our family for 21 years; you will be missed!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 9 Comments A+ a-

Our blond-hair, blue-eyed Baby Girl!
Here is proof that our daughter is no longer a baby; she’s turning into a little girl before our eyes! I love this photo because I can see a hint of what she’s going to look like in the years to come. Jon and I got a bit nostalgic last night as we were packing away her 12-month clothes; I actually cried. While each new stage brings fresh joy; it’s hard to let go of our baby girl. *Sigh* Where does the time go?!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 0 Comments A+ a-

This week's "Love Talk Starter" question is:

"Shakespeare wrote that "love comforteth like sunshine after the rain." In specific terms, what are the most comforting things your partner does for you?"

Monday, April 03, 2006 0 Comments A+ a-

Devyn and her first best friend, Addison, at play. It's wonderful to see the two of them play together so well and it makes me so happy to hear Addison say "Debin is here!" and then watch them scamper off.