Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas 2009 Letter

What a year we have had!  First and foremost we feel so blessed to have all of you in our life and wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and of course Happy New Year!  We hope this finds you all well and as blessed as we feel.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said “All life is an experiment”.  Jen has this quote on her computer to remind us that our lives are what we make of them and each day is a chance to learn something new.  We have been trying to take each experience as a new experiment and then readdress our lives accordingly.  It is okay if you make some mistakes along the way, none of us is perfect.  Our lives are a chance to correct those mistakes, laugh at some of them, and move on being all the wiser for these daily experiments!  So, we take this chance to share a little bit about our “experiments” this year, our life lesson and experiences that were meaningful to us, in hopes of keeping you connected and maybe even giving you some hope and holiday cheer!
We started off the year with Adam’s late, but much anticipated vacation leave from the year before.  We took the two weeks and went to Idaho for a late Christmas and Utah on the way home to see family.  In Idaho we had a wonderful time seeing all of Adam’s family that could gather.  Grandma Anderson’s house was packed and fun!  On our way home we got to see our brand new nephew Kai Avefua Fiso, yeah Dave and Jesi!  We were so excited to add another boy to the Smith grandkids; that makes 3 now!
Continuing on through the year was rather smooth sailing.  We celebrated our fourth anniversary in March, which was solidifying.  We are very much in love as we always have been, but we’re also able to spend a few waking hours away from each other now.  We have been really settling into our life with our two wonderful children, not egging the future on as much as living in the present, and trying hard not to miss any of the precious moments!
In April we made it to Utah again for Rick and Lisa’s graduation from BYU, they are both so dedicated.  We’re excited as they move on to pursue Rick’s PhD at Med School, and Lisa’s career as a nurse.  While we are traveling we are almost always welcomed into someone’s home, and wanted to again thank all those who put us up!  We did get to jaunt up to Logan and see some of Adam’s family for Jen and Tyler’s combined birthday party, that’s Adam’s second oldest brother.  Becky, his wife, made an awesome cake and it was a nice visit.  Us Arizonans even showed up with our flip flops on, and there was definitely still some snow to tread through! 
Summer came fast and hot this year, but we spent a lot of time in the pool.  First we went to California to celebrate Jaci’s graduation from high school.  She is now attending BYU, which means all 8 of the Smith’s have attended BYU!  We celebrated Joshua’s 3rd and Michael’s 1st birthdays this summer, since they are only 2 weeks apart we combined them this year; we’ll see how long they let us get away with that!  Joshua is learning so much so fast.  We see evidence of the fact that the most important years of a child’s life are the first few, every time we turn around we hear something interesting and shocking coming out of our 3-year-old’s mouth.  These are the “ah-ha” moments for us, when we realize that what we’ve been teaching him has actually stuck somehow, and it’s wonderful!  He is the epitome of imaginative play right now.  He is still the same old cuddly and sensitive Joshua he has always been, just with a sword or shield and dinosaur noises!  Michael is going through all of the stages Joshua did, just with a big brother to beat up on him.  He holds his own though, and is always a joy to have!  He lights up the room with one smile….his dimples are definitely handed down from daddy, and mommy loves him all the more for them!  He is just starting to put his sounds into actual words, but for months he has listened to instructions and followed them almost exactly, he’s definitely a smart one! 
Also during the summer Jen started teaching cake decorating classes for Wilton, and also started a little cake and confections business out of our home called Dekadent Designz by Jen.  She has been taught the art of cake decorating since her youth from Grandma Preston and has loved getting into some of the newer art forms this medium has to offer.  She usually teaches 2-3 nights a week, and it has been trying for her.  We have been able to get the business under way with some real effort and even more overhead!  We have been very busy, but also happy to have the work.  We feel especially blessed since, after 20+ years, Jen’s parent’s business TMS Transcription, Inc. is closing its doors due to the new Electronic Medical Records, having been given 24 million dollars in funding by the government.  It has been such a wonderful business that has provided dozens of moms a chance to work from home.  This economy is affecting all of us, and it’s troubling not being able to count this anymore.  Above our bathroom mirror Jen has written, “Say a little prayer, take a deep breath, and go”.  We think sometimes this the best way to cope with hardship; you just have to go to work, with the Lord on your side, not always knowing what He has in store.
Adam’s company is a grocery company, as many of you know, so in the hardships they are prospering more than others, which is great for us.  He has worked himself up to being an Assistant Store Manager and has even been looking for his own store.  As soon as he gets it we know he’s going to be turning some heads!  He is already making an impression on his peers and supervisors.  He constantly works later and harder, and we love him SO much for it!  He is such a strong Priesthood holder in the midst of all the Sundays he has to work, and leads our family righteously.             

Near the end of the summer we used up the last of our vacation with yet another trip to Idaho.  This time it was a Fenstermaker family reunion of sorts.  Adam’s mom's boys and their families all got together in Chubbuck, Idaho, which is near Pocatello.  We all met up and had a fun camping trip in the Caribou National Forest.  It was a bit cold and we headed back sooner than expected, but continued the festivities back at Grandpa and Grandma Dye’s house.  It was especially fun to have all the grandkids under one roof and watching them get reacquainted.  They are all such wonderful kids and get along pretty darn well considering how close most of them are in age.
The fall and winter have passed and we just kept getting up and going to work not knowing exactly what the next day was going to bring, just being grateful to be alive and well, and close to our family and friends.  We did get to go to California and spend a mini early Christmas with the Smith family.  It was short and sweet, but well worth the trip!  Michael even said “GaMa” and “Papa” to his Grandma and Grandpa, which he had just barely learned! 
We have missed seeing many of you, but look forward to the next time we will get to visit or talk.  We hope that you are all ending this year on a good note, and starting the next on an even better one!  We just try to keep smiling because we know our Father in Heaven is blessing us and our smiles can bless others.  We love you all and hope to keep in touch even more this year!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Very Valentine's Day

So, Adam has to work tomorrow on Valentine's Day, but we decided to have our festivities a day early since he had the day off. So, he woke up to a basket wrapped in all red, red tissue paper, red basket bag, and a red bow. There was a poem next to it explaining the gifts inside, and he loved it! I woke up and came downstairs to a beautiful pink bouquet of roses, J.D. got me a box of chocolates (he's shared with me a few too), Michael got me a little stuffed tiger and a balloon (he's already claimed the tiger) and there was another box of chocolates on the table. Then I got to go shopping at my new favorite scrapbooking store, and we went to Sassy C's (my aunt Belinda's bakery) and had lunch and got a dozen cinnamon rolls (I am missing being at the Fair with my family in CA. this weekend). Anyway, tonight we are going to have the moon hit our eyes like a big pizza pie, and celebrate our AMORE at the ward Valentine's dinner complete with a live quintet and dancing to our heart's content! Who cares what day you celebrate your love this year, just remeber to do it right, and make sure the ones you love know it! Our day was great, and we plan to have many many more to come throughout our lives and into eternity!
I love you Adam, Joshua, Mikey, Mom & Dad, Rick & Lisa, Dave and Jesi, Jaci Frank and Lorana, Grandma and Grandpa Preston and Anderson, ALL of Adam's brothers and their families, and all of our family and friends not mentioned....we love you all and appreciate you very much! Take care!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sick and tired of being sick and tired!

So, many of you know that we are/have been sick for a while now. If it's not one kid it's the other, or it's one of us, I have decided to kick it. So, here's to getting out the bleach, Clorox, Lysol, and PineSol tomorrow and scrubbing up my house til it sparkles.

Hopefully that will also help clear my head and help me focus on getting my work done early, getting dinner on the table on time each day, and keeping my dishes clean (I did finally get them done with Adam's help today mom...I think you were worried b/c I actually described the condition of my kitchen to you!)

On a very important note also, I have decided to reward myself for all the house work (and because I worked my fanny off last month and just got paid) by getting in some good old fashioned shopping in, just for me! We'll see if can be just as fun taking the boys along, or if I'll have to wait for Adam to get home from work to go, but either way it will be out of the house!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ahhhh Boo Doo!

Well, for those of you who don't speak baby, and Mikey's specific baby language, I will translate...

Today we had a pretty normal morning, mommy trying to get her work done (and late as usual, sorry mom), the boys eating breakfast and very contently playing with toys and watching Go Diego, Go! (P.S. Mikey was in his exersaucer which he loves and we just call the show Diego, it's J.D.'s favorite.)

So, anyway, to the abnormal part, Joshua is sick and pooped through his diaper all over the floor of the upstairs playroom in spots. So, I cleaned that all up, gave both my boys a good scrub down in the tub, and fed them lunch.

Now comes the baby talk...we were in Joshua's bed getting them both settled down to go to sleep, and I told Joshua how big he was getting, and how proud I was of him, that he was so smart, and that I loved him very much. Then Mikey made a sound, I looked right at him and said well, I love you too Michael, and he said "Ahhh Boo Doo!", which of course at that time translated into "I love you too!" So, then of course we all had a good laugh and I told Michael how smart he was too!
...and afterwards I got both of my boys to take a 3 hour nap....AT THE SAME TIME! So, I am a really happy mom getting her work done early, and loving my kids, despite the poops. Michael did wake up about 20 minutes before Joshua did so I got to play with him again, and he started making those way cute sounds once more!
I really do love being a mom, even though at times I get down on myself and don't do the best job I can. I also just wanted to add in here, that no matter what your situation or someone else's it is good to remember to do your best and know that the Lord always is there making up the rest for you...thanks for all the spectacular examples of near-perfect moms, friends, sisters, and family! You all are great, and just keeping going!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another day in Paradise

Well, it was just another day in paradise, well, as paradisical as Mesa, AZ. is in September that it. The HOA gardeners came and trimmed the plants and mowed, so the front yard looks phenominal. The backyard, well it's another story. Let's just say we have lots of birds, since we live close the the "nature path", and they like to perch along the sides of the side yard. I've gotta clean it up and plan some grass sometime soon so I can send my J.D. out who has cabin fever. Otherwise, he will do like he did today and just run all around to house, even into walls and moms. Haha, that was actually one of the highlights of my day.
So, Adam and I have decided to rearrange furniture this weekend, and then he is taking me out on an all expenses paid date...have I mentioned lately that I really love my husband and he could not have picked a better job. He loves the grocery retail business, although it has been rigorous getting into the upper management levels. However, he just attended the second quarter strategy meeting with about 200 other mangaers and came back home with a gift card for dinner for two at a very nice restaraunt, 2 movie tickets, and a hydrangea plant specifically given to him for me by the President of Fry's himself, John Flora, I have to add his name because he is so nice. I met him at Adam's graduation from the MD-I program to become an assisstant store manager, and I was of course very pregnant at the time, so he asked how Adam's wife and new baby were and sent him home with one of the plants, it was one of the centerpieces, mind you, but the President sent it home for me, so I felt really special yesterday.
What else, well work for me is still as wonderful as ever, I love my mom for starting this business so she could be at home with us kids, and even more for the fact that it is helping me be home with mine. It is rather surreal though to think of me being at the same stage my mom was at, and it brings us so much closer togther now, but also makes me feel like the age gap is much smaller sometimes then I realize.
Well, I guess that is all for now, just got my work done early and wanted to keep up the blog while I had a few minutes. Also, Adam's mother, Lorana was here for a long weekend at the end of August and she took some pictures of our family...thanks Lorana! So, I am going to try to add those, or at least try to make a new slide show, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miracle Baby # 2- Michael Melvin

Well, as most of you know by now we had our second child, another boy, and named him Michael Melvin Fenstermaker. He is perfectly healthy and safe at home now, as is mommy, and we are all learning the challenges and joys of being a family of four…who knew I would ever say that?!
We had our set of challenges through the pregnancy; I will spare the details since most of you have heard my complaints throughout anyway…haha. Anyway, and near the end of the pregnancy we also had some other concerns that led the doctor and us to decide to induce labor two weeks early.
The night before we were going into the hospital, Monday July 14th, we got some bad news about Adam’s father passing away, and that was another challenge in and of itself to cope with. I must add a note here that my dearest Adam handled his responsibilities with flying colors and was able to be there for me in every way possible. So, by means of comfort my mother told me she felt that Jared needed to go to heaven to see Michael and send him our way since he wouldn’t have the opportunity in this lifetime. This was very comforting, and as a funny side note, at the funeral Jason (Adam’s brother) mentioned he thought the 51 hours of labor was due to the fact that Jared just couldn’t stop talking and was keeping Michael there. This is especially funny for those of you who knew Jared because he was quite the talker, and really never wanted to stop a conversation, even if something pressing was about to happen, i.e. needing to get to earth!
All joking aside, it was a difficult, but blessed time and we wanted to also add a thank you to all of our friends and family members who were praying for us, we really felt that spirit with us. Also all those who helped us out, from the plane ticket to get Adam to the funeral (thanks mom and dad) to the love and support as Adam was away from his newborn son whom he only got to spend about 2 hours with before leaving.
The actual story of the labor is long and well, laborious, so I will try to shorten it and leave out any gross details. We went in on Tuesday morning 8:30 am and I was started on a very low dose medication to soften my cervix…this went on until the next morning at about 9 am when the doctor decided maybe I needed to be on the stronger medication. All the while I was on monitors and in a hospital bed, yuck. I would get up as much as they would let me and walk around the labor and delivery and postpartum wards and stretch on my labor ball. Anyway, after another 12 hours they finally started me on the Pitocin drip. This is the drug that actually induces labor, so count the hours where you like, but I was contracting the entire time. At this point they were monitoring Michael and eventually he became too overly distressed and they stopped the Pitocin and my body basically just took over by itself. I received an epidural sometime in the middle of the night/early morning and it began working, then was slightly ineffective like last time, and then I could basically feel a great deal of the labor pains, which I told them I wanted because I would have more control over the pushing. However, that’s when things got a little worrisome. The doctor on call was in the OR (Operating Room) and as I was telling them that I needed to push they were telling me I had to wait for my doctor. I continued to insist on pushing and the nurse finally told me I could try and she would see how serious I really was. So, after a couple of rounds of pushing she finally paged another doctor who had to run over from the office in the next building over to deliver me. By the way, for those of you who know me and my apprehensions, I did get the only one I was hoping not to have, which was the male one. By that time of course I did not care and after 20 minutes of pushing Michael was here!
Michael had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and was in continued distress, oh and was posterior, which means his head was facing down (hence the harsh back labor). So, the nurses worked on stimulating him, and the whole time no one really said more than “he just needs a little help”, “they’re just working on him” to me. I was in a panic waiting to hear my baby cry and when he did it was so faint I still was very confused. Basically he just had a hard time breathing at first, but very quickly recovered from an Apgar of 1 to a 7 and eventually a 9. From what the nurses and doctors tell me this is a very speedy recovery and he left with a clean bill of health.
So we are very happily at home now, struggling like I said with being a family of four, Adam’s crazy work schedule, my doctor being extra busy (thank heavens), and nursing, etc. We feel that our life is crazy at times, but we love it, would not trade it for anything, and feel especially blessed in all these things.Thanks again for the love, support, prayers, and phone calls, and please keep them coming, we need all the help we can get. We pray for you also and hope you and your families are well and very happy. Thank you for sharing in our sorrows and especially our joy at this time. Welcome to the world Michael Melvin Fenstermaker!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Blogging Will Save Your Life!

Okay, I know this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have been told my MANY friends and family members that I need to start blogging. So, here I am to appease the masses, and also to save my life. You see some of these blogger fanatics told me very convincing things, like "it will keep us in touch and then I won't resent you for moving away to Arizona", or "it will get my mom her pictures faster and hassle free" (that was my husband, btw), and "it will be therapeutic for you". However, the most convincing and latest piece of information was that my friend Jessica Wilson gave her testimonial to my mom about how all of her pictures were lost on her computer when it crashed, except of course for the ones she had uploaded to her blog. So, here I am to save my life's memories, not necessarily my life, and in hopes of also keeping in touch with friends, avoiding any resentment from one or two, and getting some good 'ole R&R through therapeutic writing.
I also hope this will mostly be a source for the most current, accurate, and pertinent information about our family. However, I do fear and hope no one judges me about this, that sometimes it will be the least current, accurate, or pertinent info. because I might just let it go when other stuff is going on. So, enjoy as frequently as you wish and I hope I get the most joy out of sharing whichever tidbits you have time to glance over. To all of my family and friends, we love and miss you and hope you are also well. By the way, for those of you without blogs...well, I won't hassle you, but it might just save your life!