Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
with Love,
Clay, Kristen, Jack, Grace, Maxwell, Cole, Ava, & Henry DeGraff

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

silent night...
last year jack started reading this book series. he loves it and the main character's name is jack so it makes it that much more fun for him. he reads a chapter or two every night before he goes to sleep on his top bunk bed. for Christmas he wants a few of the books from the series he's missing and i thought it would be awesome if i made something that looked like this and made his bunk bed look like a tree house. i'm finally done making it and now i just have to put it on his wall. i'm so excited to do this for him. i even got a big pack of glow in the dark stars so he'll feel like he's really outside! i'll have to post a picture when it's done.
the kids are always helping with the babies!! it's really sweet and a win win for everyone!

and sometimes, if you're lucky and listen carefully, the babies talk! like when cole said "hi" right before i took this picture! hahaha! max was so excited!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a year at a glance

i've been wanting to start blogging again since there are thoughts i have everyday that i would love to remember and share with loved ones.
this is more of a journal entry to catch up to speed. it's long but it has been a year! :)

this past year has been quite a crazy one! at the beginning of the year, we moved... just down the street. after looking for months for our perfect house, we ended up here.. in the same ward , same school, same friends. i was happy to be in the familiar community but i must confess, a little disappointed that we hadn't found our dream home yet. the house we are in now is older, smaller but cozier than our previous one. i was determined to make the best out of it and not to let my home define me or my happiness. as we moved in, i painted the walls and we put our mark on it and now i love it. love love love it.
the day after valentines day we found out i was pregnant. clay and i had been hoping for another child for about two years. finally, we made the decision to do some mild fertility treatments for a month or two and if i got pregnant great but if not, we were thrilled with our wonderful three kiddies we already had. i remember i tried not to get my hopes up as i reflected back on the struggles (physically, emotionally, etc...) i had for years of infertility before the twins came 7 years ago. well, our first month trying i was pregnant and so very excited. i called my doctor and told him about the positive test. he asked me to go into to his office and do some blood work. i did and then he called me later that day a bit concerned. he said that i was definitely carrying multiples.. he just didn't know how many yet. two weeks later, i went in for an ultrasound and we saw three tiny embryos. needless to say, clay and i were in a state of not only shock, but denial. crazy! then, as the news sunk in the following days and weeks, my feelings changed.
for the most part i was excited. my other two pregnancies i loved being pregnant. i love knowing that i'm creating something inside of me. i love feeling them move in me. i love the anticipation and the spiritual feelings that come along with the experience. with three inside, thriving and growing, i pretty much felt like a walking miracle. it was an exceptional experience that i wish i could explain in words but i can't. i had never been so scared, nervous, proud, happy, excited, worried, curious, grateful all at the same time for such a long period of time.
this past summer was hot. very hot and i spent most days on our couch. as difficult as those 35 weeks were, looking back i just remember the good feelings. getting choked up during the many ultrasounds, laughing at how ginormous i was, and clay and i looking at each other in disbelief that this had really happened to US! that WE were going to have TRIPLETS!! we would just shake our heads and laugh (and sometimes cry) at the thought of us juggling three little babies.
the long summer days usually included the kids spending a large amount of time outside. swimming at a friends house or playing in our neighbors yard were basically all they did. once in a while a friend or family member took them fun places for us. i was so grateful to them and was happy to know that my somewhat motherless children were being entertained. one unexpected lesson i learned was how the simple life is a better life. i read a lot to the kids this summer. we sat around and had deep conversations and wonderful teaching opportunities. i taught gracie how to crochet and they all tended to our garden religiously every day. we grew closer during those few precious months. i will never forget the good that came of us slowing down and how happy they were with this simple life.

towards the end of my pregnancy i was, needless to say, miserable. i was huge and there was really no comfortable position. i was counting down the days and hours to mid september, when my doctor said they would probably arrive. every doctor appointment i would hope that he would tell me to go get my bags and run to the hospital, but he never did. all he would say is "you're doing great! keep it up!" lol. it should have made me happy but i wanted to say "no i'm not! i want these babies out today, like, RIGHT NOW!!" thankfully my last appointment (when i was measuring 7 inches bigger that full term) we scheduled my c-section for september 20th. i was so excited to know that the end (and the beginning of a wild adventure) was near!
the morning of monday, september 20th, clay and i dropped off the kids to school and headed to the hospital! before long i was walking into the o.r.

i was overcome by a feeling of gratitude and excitement as i observed the doctors and nurses busily preparing for the rare delivery of triplets. everything went perfectly and it seemed like the easiest delivery ever!
cole hardy came first at 12:43 weighing in at 5lbs 11oz

then ava at 12:44 5lbs 8oz

finally henry robert at 12:45 4lbs 13oz

i stayed in the hospital until friday afternoon and came to hospital every morning for a few hours. this really wore me out as i was still recovering from the surgery. i did this for a week and the following friday we brought the babies home. it was general conference weekend and such a lovely two days. i felt as though i was in heaven. the spirit the babies brought was so touching and combined with the inspiring speakers it was an incredible experience.
ever since we've thoroughly enjoyed these new sweet additions to our home and lives. jack, grace, and max have surprised me immensely. they have been serious helpers and they are soooo in love with the babies. they ALWAYS want to be with them and hug and kiss them. it's so cute. a few days after we brought them home all three babies were laying on the floor and their big brothers and sister were singing them a song they made up. " i love you, i love you, i love you very much. i love you, i love you, i love you very much" to a tune i've never heard before. i scrambled for the video camera and clay and i looked at each other with tears in our eyes.
this is what life is all about!

more to come on the babies and our new family happenings soon!