Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My "Baby" is Gone

I've known this day was coming. 
The nearer it got, the more I wished it away and wished time to stand still.
My baby isn't a baby anymore.
Today - my ClaireBear is 3.

Here's the thing, though.  To me, she will always be my baby.  I get it now when my mom remarks to people that I'm her baby.  I silently cringe.  Being the "baby" of the family wasn't always great.  (I still don't get to ride shot-gun.)  But to my mom, I will always be her baby.  And to me, Claire will always be mine.

She was our "happy accident"  - and in these past three years she has given us so much happiness.  She brings out the best in all of us.
Daddy crumbles with her smile.

Mommy speaks more gently when "The Bear" is around.

Ella has become a big sister - learning to care for her baby sister.

Abbigail is her protector, and is so quick to defend.

Yes, I know, after 3 is 4... then 5.  Somehow I'll come to terms my baby isn't a baby anymore.  She'll learn to ride a bike, start school, complain about homework, beg to wear makeup, have her first kiss, her heart will get broken, and her heart will know love.  For now - I hold onto all the wonderful little things that make my "Bear" so wonderful...

When mommy gets mad you ask, "You mad?" I'll say no - and you ask again, "You happy?"
Claire - I'm always happy when you are around.

At bedtime it's always the same routine:
Hot Chocolate
"No spiders?"
"No Claire, there are no spiders."
"No strangers?"
"No Bear, there are no strangers."

You still fall asleep in my arms.

I love it when you fight for what you want!  (Like I said, being the baby isn't always easy.)

Your hair is fabulous!

When you're hurt, sad or just tired... you want me.

You know all the words to "I Am a Child of God" and you sing it loud!

You think you can do a cartwheel.

I'll never forget this 4th of July.  When I got home from work, and you were too afraid of the fireworks - you walked in the house and yelled, "They go BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM" and your two little hands showed just how big those "booms" were.

You aren't afraid to try new things.  You are brave.

You may be the baby, but you do a darn good job protecting your sisters, and quickly join their ranks when there is freedom (from chores) to be fought for.

The other day you pooped in Kay's front yard.  Yes, she has surveillance cameras.

Your imagination is big and wild.  You can sit for hours and entertain yourself - and the rest of us.

You love me, unconditionally.  I need that.

You adore your daddy.  He deserves that.

You cherish every moment with your sisters.  Don't ever stop that.

You love the Savior.  He loves you.  And in your eyes I see Him.  You'll learn to hold on to that.

Monday, June 17, 2013

She's Growing Up...

...and every day she grows she continues to amaze me.
Today, my little Ella, turns 8.

I can understand why I love her so much.  She's so many things: sassy, sweet, kind, soft-hearted, smart, beautiful, and just one glance at her you know she is mine.  She is my CopyKat.

What I don't understand is how she is growing up so fast?  How have eight years gone by?  Will the next eight go by as fast?  My heart aches to think about "it."  Think about her finishing grade school, think about her becoming a tween, think about her asking to borrow the car, think about her dating, think about her graduating... moving out... moving on... moving away from me.

Before she goes (and yes, I know, that is a long time from now) I want Ella to know just a few of the many wonderful things I adore about her:

I love the way you cling to me.  I know you still need me.
You are an amazing big sister: protective and caring.
I'm amazed by the way you can memorize the words to every song.
You are so smart!  Straight A's for 2nd Grade.
You know our home is a place of refuge,
and inside it you have no inhibitions.
You are a daddy's girl to the core.
I love how you worry so much about your friends.
I'm so proud you have found the courage
to sing with the Primary on the stand!
Faced with your own fear, you try to hide it to be brave for your sisters,
and lend them your bravery.
You've got style.
You understand modesty.
You love your family.
You love the Savior.

I love you EllaBella... "loved by all the fellas... you're the prettiest little girl in the whole wide world... you're a Thornburgh girl."

Monday, March 18, 2013

This Can't Be Happening!

Really - this can't be happening.  My sweet, beautiful, charming, hilarious Abbigail is five.  My adorable lucky charm, born on St. Patrick's Day.  Five years old.  Every day I tell her to stop growing.  Every day she continues to ignore me.  Nothing new there.


So, of course we had a party to celebrate this mile-stone.  Ten girls, and two boys (her cousin Cooper who turns 5 himself in just 5 days, and her crush from pre-school, Bo, who turns 5 tomorrow.)  So 12 crazy kids made crazier by cake, ice-cream, soda, and sugared popcorn.  I know their parents are still cursing my name.

She opened presents, they played games, the two boys put up with the Hello Kitty theme, and through the rush of it all I kept thinking, "This can't be happening.  I can't be losing this sweet toddler to time!"
But, when we wake tomorrow she'll be 5-years and one day, and there is nothing I can do to stop time.


So, as I send her out into this rough world, the world where kindergarten is just a few months away; where soon that new bike won't be too big; where someday she'll let go of "Pinky the Blanket"...
...tonight I want to remember and remind what makes this one-of-a-kind kid so incredible.  (Cuz I'm sure in 10 years I'll need that reminder.)
I love your laugh.  It's so infectious, and we all need to laugh more.
I love how you try so hard to impress your older sister.
I love how you'll hand over a favorite toy to your crying baby sister.
I love how you want to be every ones friend, and you don't fear rejection.  If they're not your friend now, they will be later.
I love how Miley Cyrus (the tom-cat) runs to your side the moment he hears your cries.
I love your bravery.
I love your honesty.
I love how you call sneezes "Bless-yous."
I love that even in the middle of summer you want me to sing you Christmas songs at bedtime.
I love your growing sense of humor.
I love that you love me.  I love that when you get hurt you call out my name first.  I love those nights you wake up afraid and call out my name first.  That's the best part about being your mom, Abbigail: knowing you love me just as much as I love you.  I hear that love every time you say my name, "Mommy."  A name I don't take lightly.  A title I promise to keep "earning" every day.
I love you, and though I dread seeing that sweet, little girl grow - I can't wait to see the person she becomes year after year.
I love you.

Saint Patrick's Day is doubly special in the Jarvis Family.  My nephew, Reid... or shall we say Elder Jarvis shares a birthday with Abbigail.  (Rather - she shares the day with him.  He is 14 years older.)
Elder Jarvis just so happens to be serving his mission in Salt Lake City.  It just so happens his favorite Aunt (ahem) lives in Salt Lake City.  So we were able to take him cake and ice-cream to share with his companion and the other two elders living in the apartment.  Abbigail made something special for him, too; a heart made out of play-doh.  We love you Elder Jarvis and are so proud of you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

One Year Later

I've been debating whether or not to write this post.  Whether or not to share this stuff.  But the internal debate pushed me to two answers: I deserve to write it, hear it, read it.  And there are others who deserve to read it, too.

What a difference a year makes! 
Tomorrow, July 9, 2012, my baby turns two.  We celebrated over the 4th holiday with family, and we will have a small celebration tomorrow, but I will never forget last year's celebration.  I didn't celebrate.  Please don't read this wrong.  I wanted to celebrate, but instead I found myself standing in a corner, tears running down my face, trying to navigate the changes, "the sickness," in my life that had claimed every piece of me.  Thanks to my parents, there was a cake for Claire's 1st Birthday.  There were presents.  But there was nothing from me.

Back up a few days before that to July 4th, 2011.  Jared and I, with the girls in the back-seat, were driving home from Logan following the Hyrum parade.  I should have been happy.  I should have been relaxed.  I should have been tired.  Instead, I was making what you might call an "exit strategy."  Yes, it's what you are thinking.  No, I wasn't exiting alone.

That "sickness" that consumed me: I couldn't eat.  I couldn't be happy.  I couldn't relax.  I couldn't sleep.

Have you ever read the "Twilight" series?  Ok, now don't judge me.  I have, and I only bring it up now as a point of reference.  If you have read it, you'll know what I'm talking about.  In the second book, "New Moon," Edward leaves Bella.  For several months she is stricken with pain.  Literal pain.  She describes it as not being able to breathe, her arms wrapped around her waist wishing the pain away, and gasping for air.  That was me.  I guess it's not just in books.  Fortunately for me, Jared didn't go anywhere.  Fortunately for me, he stayed by my side.  Fortunately for me, he, along with a few others, put a stop to my "exit strategy."

July 5, 2011, my mom moved in and took over where I couldn't, I wouldn't.  She took care of my children, fed my family, did the laundry, cleaned the house, forced me out of it, and loved me despite how horrible I was.

July 5, 2011, my sister made the phone-calls to the doctors I couldn't, I wouldn't.  She drove me to my appointments.  She loved me, despite how horrible I was.

July 5, 2011, my dad gave me a father's blessing, and took over my finances knowing I couldn't handle the stress, and knew Jared needed to spend that extra attention on me.

July 5, 2011, my husband took on more than his fair share.  Loving my children when I wanted to so desperately, but just wanted to hide, overcome with fear.  He is the better half.  He is the husband other women dream of, the father every kid wants, and the friend I could never be without.

What a difference year makes!
There was no "exit."  I'm happy, joyful, stressed, tired, listening to music again, laughing with my kids, enjoying my job, relishing in the goodness of those "true" friends who have never left my side, crying, yelling, eating, sleeping, and living.

July 4, 2012, we went to Logan again to spend time with my family and enjoy the Hyrum Parade.  Joy isn't the right word(s): fun, hot, silly, relaxing, and with my wonderful family.  I was missing my parents and my sister who lives in Australia, but I couldn't help and think about them that day (all day) and know if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have been there for that day.

The "sickness" is still around, and every once in a while catches me off-guard.  But I'm a fighter.  Those who know me best, know just how stubborn I am.  Know how I refuse to give up.  Know I have an independence that defines a big part of my life.  For a while those traits were recessive.  I'm glad to report they are back, and just as annoying as they were before.

Why?  How?  "Exiting" wasn't the answer.  These wonderful faces, and people in my life are the answers to the questions under the stars.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

World's Best Nanny (with the cutest kids possible!)

This has to be seen by all!  We have the world's greatest nanny.  We love her, the girls ADORE her, and they can't get enough of her.

Just to prove how great she is - here is a video she put together with my little "Chipettes"


Watch it, and you'll fall as madly in love with these kids as we are!

Thank-you Denise - you have no idea what you mean to us.
(Isn't she gorgeous!)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


It's Easter Sunday, and I have much to be grateful for. Namely, my Savior. I'll be honest and say I haven't reflected enough on the blessings that I know come from above. So I offer up that prayer of "gratitude" now. I'm grateful for such an awesome husband who I know loves me just as much. And "love" isn't a strong enough word for the three spirits I've been charged to raise with Jared.

Recently someone challenged me to find "gratitude" in what you are least grateful for at the moment. Write five things down about that thing, where people can see them, and make sure to reflect upon that gratitude. I can put the list on the refrigerator, on my mirror - or on this blog.

So - today I was complaining about working on Easter Sunday. Then multiple problems popped up at work, and I found myself complaining more.

A-ha! Something for my "gratitude" list.

Let me say first, I am very grateful for my job. I love what I do, and I'm blessed to be able to have this job, this career. And let me also quiet the nay-sayers right now. No, I'm not brown-nosing to my bosses. I'm sure there will be "gratitude" lists that pop up in the future reminding myself how lucky I am to have three crazy, whacky, gorgeous and fun little girls.

So here they are. Five reasons I'm grateful for my job. I could ramble off a gazillion, but today these popped out at me.

#1 Underground parking. This is awesome both summer and winter. And also fantastic when some nights I leave work close to midnight. I walk by a security guard, into a well-lit parking garage and make it safely to my car. Thank-you underground parking.

#2 Inspirational thoughts in the elevators. KSL shares that parking garage with the LDS Business College. Everyday, after parking in that underground garage, I take an elevator up to the newsroom. Quotes like this one, and others, take my mind away from the things of this world for that 15 second elevator ride. The quotes change frequently, sometimes every day. So, thank-you, inspirational quotes and to the person who takes the time to put them there.

#3 Free Soda! Ok, so I know how bad this one is for me. But when darkness enveloped my life last summer the caffeine was the only thing that kept me going. I was new at KSL, I was sick, and CocaCola helped. But it's not just the free soda. It's the awesome ice, too. You know, the crunchy, balls of ice that make beverages of any kind taste better (somehow.) And it get's better. The Triad Center, home of Deseret Mutual (the bigger picture of KSL) has these soda fountains on three different floors of the eight-story building - all offering different choices. Oh, thank-you free soda.

#4 Great co-workers. This is just a small taste. A very small taste. It is, after-all, Easter Sunday. On a typical day you would find 75+ journalists all working towards the same cause. Courtney, Mark, Keith and Sandra were here with me this Easter Sunday. I can say with honesty that I enjoy working with everyone in this newsroom. And there is something different about the culture in this newsroom compared to other places I have worked. Maybe it's the Mormon thing, but I'm not so sure because a lot of the people here aren't LDS. A few years back USA Today did a study on "Swearing in the Newsroom." The results were that swearing was cathartic, and good to do. I'm not saying a few foul words don't slip out every-once-in-a-while here, but for the most part it is a positive and uplifting place to work. In fact, I'm convinced it's not the "Mormon" thing. It's that we are all adults. So, thank-you great co-workers (in this picture) and the many others who surround me every week.

#5 Alex Cabrerro. Now typically I don't like singling people out, but if you don't know Alex Cabrerro you are lacking a great friend. He's the equivalent of the "class clown" in the newsroom, and I mean that in the best way. Don't leave your computer un-locked if you walk away from it - even for just a few minutes. You'll come back to a screen-saver photo of you being photo-shopped into a loving embrace with Warren Jeffs. He always has a smile on his face. If we're short photographers he will gladly grab a camera and shoot his own story. And I'm probably the biggest fan of his story-telling. So, thank-you Alex Cabrerro for always being my friend, taking time to talk to me, getting to know me, and being willing to have fun in a place where stress levels are often running high. You are one-in-a-million.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sliver of Sun

Lately I've been searching for my "Sliver of Sun."

It seems no matter where it is in the house the cats and dog hunt it down. It could be no wider than a good book, they'll find it. If the sun moves, they move. If the sun goes away, they find warmth somewhere else.

A long, long time ago... when I was young... when I never lost sight of the "sun" I would warm in it just like the cats and the dog. The best day to do this was on Sunday. I would come home from church, eat lunch with my family (always with my family) and then put on my most comfortable sweats. Then I would find it, that sliver of sun. Usually it was in the family room. I didn't need a pillow. I didn't need a blanket. All I needed was that "Sliver of Sun" and I would relax, doze, and soak up that sun.

Sometimes I'll walk through my house and walk through a sliver of sun. The warmth only lasts an instant, but when I look around the cat isn't far. He has found it, and I wish I could take the time to stop and soak up some of that sun. But the house isn't clean. The laundry isn't done. The kids are hungry. I'm running late for work. What's for dinner? I still need to exercise.

There is always a reason, an excuse why I can't make time for that "Sliver of Sun."

A long, long time ago... when I was young I always made time for the "sun." Of course, I didn't have as many excuses back then, but even when my plate was full my cup always "runneth over." Perhaps it was because every morning, before the sun was even up, I went to seminary to "warm in a sliver of sun." Perhaps it was because every Sunday, with my family, I "warmed in a sliver of sun" at church followed by a family meal. Perhaps it was because I made finding the "sun" a priority, and not something I would do if there was time.

Now I'm a grown-up. If this is what you call being a grown-up. With two working parents, family meals are rare, and rushed. Church is Jared wrestling three little girls through 3 hours all alone, and me breaking away from work to visit a different ward - with no family. There are no Sunday afternoon naps. (Who are we kidding? There are NO naps!)

I've realized that I'm rushing to get through every day that I've been overlooking and neglecting those "Slivers of Sun." But one hit me so warmly today it could not be ignored. A sweet message on a mini Etch-a-Sketch. "I love mommy." Ahhh, sun. I stood for a moment, staring at it, soaking in it, actually pausing to enjoy the warmth.

Yes, I need to search for more "sun" in my scriptures and prayer. Even just writing those words I feel the warmth. But there are so many "Slivers of Sun" in my life every day: Jared kissing me goodbye in the morning, Ella lovingly protecting her baby sister, Abbigail singing primary songs and getting most of the words right, and Claire - all I need is her smile. It's so freely given.

Those "Slivers of Sun" are so unconditionally given. In fact, they aren't slivers at all. I'm drenched in sun-light. All I have to do is recognize what He has given me, stand in that sun, and I'll never have to search for it again.

Of course, it will still be a long time until I get that nap.