Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our 'Adventure' to get out of debt:

Here is the short version: We finally paid off our last CC account yesterday!

Here is the Long Version:

I want to write this in the long version because I think there might be somebody out there that this can help.

I will skip some of the details of the lead-in, but suffice it to say, that we were spending too much. Through choices of our own, We were spending way more than our income. (sound familiar? I hope not) At our peak, we had $27500 in Consumer debt. This was racked up from a car, and a few credit cards. Even though we knew better, we put a few Mortgage payments on our credit cards. Before we ever missed a payment on the house, we tried to negotiate with the bank. I won't get into the details of that. The short answer, is they didn't really want to help us out. (after 16 months of 'working' with us.)

In early 2010, I was thinking about starting my own business. We went to the temple to pray about it. When we were there both Sarah and I felt like we needed to have another baby (despite the whole 'not being able to afford it' excuse.) Sarah soon became pregnant with Tatum. I began my own business shortly thereafter as well. Sarah was working at Wells Fargo part time, with enough income to pay most of our 'needs' and also receiving benefits. This did take time out of my being able to work full time, though, as I stayed home with Walker and Parker. In late 2010, due to a mistake on Sarah's part, she was terminated after 6 years of working for W.F. At this point we spoke with the Bishop and started getting food at the Bishop's Storehouse. Soon thereafter, Sarah and the boys got on Medicaid (to pay for the baby etc.) to get the health, though, you also need to be on Food Stamps. Of course, we (well, I) didn't want people to know about it. I am a hard working person, and don't like being known as one of "those" people that lives off of government welfare for their entire life.
I had been thinking for months about foreclosing on the house, moving in with Mom and Dad, and getting back up on my feet. Mom's re-diagnosis of cancer shifted everything. I didn't want to talk to mom or dad (or the rest of the family either) and weigh any of them down with our personal problems. We had enough on our plate to worry about. It seemed that any time something would go our way, 3 things would jump in to pull us back in. (Like a week after I spent a bunch of money to get my car painted etc., I backed into it with our other car) Everything kept adding and piling up on top of us.

I begrudgingly took my car to a consignment lot (I won't post a picture, but it was a 2006 Infiniti G35).

As Christmas drew closer, my mom slowly slipped away.

One day, I decided to figure out how much we had paid in Interest throughout the year. It made me sick to my stomach. I don't remember the number exactly, but I think it was somewhere around $8000 in interest and bank fees of one kind or another. (late fee, overdraft fee, etc. etc.) I knew I couldn't do that any longer. My father-in-Law suggested a get a 'real' job, instead of working for myself. Even if I could come up with a decent paying job in this economy ($40,000), it would take me 30-35 years to pay off the debts I had incurred. That was assuming that there were no 'surprise' expenses for 30 years.
I decided that I wouldn't accept that. I would rather declare bankruptcy and lose everything I owned. It would be much easier to start over with nothing than to meagerly survive for my entire life. Tatum was born in January and spent 2 weeks in the NICU (Thank heavens for the medicaid). That same day, I went to the car consignment lot to pick up a check for $10,500. The guy that sold the car had known Sarah from WF, and didn't charge us the consignment fee. This may sound lame to you, but I almost started bawling at the car lot when he told me that. I know, I was an emotional wreck. He normally would have charged almost $1000 for the fee. (9% commission)

My little sister gave me a Dave Ramsey book for Christmas. I had time to read while Sarah stayed in the hospital with baby Tatum. I read most of it in 2 nights, and took it in to her to read. Just about the time I was ready to talk to my dad, and ask if we could move in with him, another emotional tragedy struck. My nephew Benjamin was born. (I won't get into it) He only lived for 2 weeks. Again, I didn't want to heap extra stress on others, so we didn't talk to my dad about it.
Finally, when the bank gave us the ultimatum of of paying everything we owed, or foreclosing (we had our tax 'return' in the bank so we could have paid what we owed) I convinced Sarah that I wanted to get out of the house. By getting out of the house we would be able to drop our budget by almost $2000 per month (mortgage, utilities, insurance, internet, etc. etc.) Assuming Dad would have us.

We decided to sell everything we possibly could. We sold our 2 year-old high efficiency Washer and Dryer. Our X-boxes. The Wii. The couch. Our Sleep Number Bed. A couple of kid's beds, car seats, lawn mower, etc. etc. We kept the piano (Sarah's mom gave to her), our table, and our 2 couches. We went from a walk-in 10' x 12' closet to a 2' x 3' closet. For both of us. We sold most of our kitchen stuff. We did get a storage unit for about $25 per month that does hold the little bit of stuff we didn't get rid of. (some kid's clothes, some camping stuff, food storage). Our bedroom was a gigantic master suite. (I don't remember, but close to 30' by 14') These purchases had been made when I was earning quite a bit more.
We were able to make several thousand off of selling our stuff. We had gotten behind on paying tithing, so most of it went to tithing, and the rest went to paying off debt.

After selling the car, selling most of our worldly possessions, and a big tax return, our debt was down to about $10,000.
During all this time, I was still running my business. I was no longer able to work from home. I was blessed to find somebody to sublease a small space in their office for $100 per month. (including internet and utilities) Dr. Karen Erickson, who is our naturopathic Physician.
I was blessed with some very good customers. (large jobs) One of them (my biggest job so far) saw me at a trade show, and 'felt good about me'. He wasn't in the market for the services that I offer, but for whatever reason 'felt like he should have me come out'. There were a couple other customers similar to this.

Kyle (my brother) and I talked several times about the possibility of my coming out to Washington D.C. to sell pest control. He obviously wants what is best for me, and was able to offer me some good incentive to go out for awhile. I was able to schedule many customers in June, and go out for about 5 weeks to sell. Sarah went with me for a week (free housing) and we spent most of that time on vacation. I did work in the evening some of those nights, but it was nice to be able to take some time off to enjoy ourselves. We needed it.

I was able to make about $10,000 in the month I was in D.C. (Due to the nature of pest control, it is not all paid up front. I waited until this month for a large part of my earnings, and will receive more of it in the next several months)

When I came back from D.C., I put my business back on the front burner. I put in a bunch of time, and built my own website. I was able to do some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get on the front page of google. The past 2 months have been incredibly busy. Apparently nobody likes to be cold.

In the mean time, we have been able to discipline ourselves. What do we NEED? (vs how much do we WANT. For example, instead of using our tax return on an older van, we purchased 2 new car-seats, that would fit in our Nissan Sentra instead)

I finally had enough Cash in the bank, (deposited over the Christmas weekend) to pay off the remaining balance ($4832), but we REALLY wanted (borderline need) a van, as Walker's legs don't fit in the car right now.  Too short to bend down, but too long to NOT kick my seat.  (Or Sarah's)  We decided we could survive a few more months without one.

The past few years have been a MAJOR learning and growing experience. We have WANTED to follow the prophets' counsel of getting out of debt.  I found that it really is a form of bondage.  What we want the most, we spend the most time on.  If we really desire something, we will obtain it.  The feeling of not owing any money to the BANK is very liberating.  I am super excited to be able to own myself.
We have been very blessed along the way.  From the car dealer, to my dad, to Kyle and Heather, and especially my wife Sarah, who has gone without more than anybody in our family.
This is not to say that we are 'independent' at all.  We still owe our debt society (for the food stamps), and we  are indebted to all those who have helped us.  We are indebted to our Heavenly Father who has helped us humble ourselves, and blessed us with some wonderful people in our lives, and so much support from others.
I plan on renting a small home, and saving up to be able to purchase a home with cash in the next 2-3 years.  (there are some homes selling for $25K right now that need lots of work.)

I know I probably rambled most of this out, so I apologize if it isn't my best literary 'work'.  Feel free to leave your comments or question if you have any.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Big K Word


Every year, we hear about all the moms who send their children back to school. Some are happy as a lark that their days will now be filled with a quiet, perhaps clean, stress free home...while other mothers are kicking and screaming that they now have to deal with homework, teachers, PTA mothers, lunch money, bus routes, playing taxi, sports, school pictures and much, much more. I find myself in the situation this year as Walker goes to Kindergarten.

Quite a few people asked me if I cried as I sent him off to his first day of school. Well, there were tears...but they weren't mine.





Walker had lost his temper and I knew that someday I would miss these simple little tantrums that blow over in a few minutes. While the moment was not pleasant to deal with him, the picture is classic and I know he will laugh at it some day.

After the first bell for the students to go in rang, Walker lined up with his classmates along the fence by his class. Looking back at the picture I realize.....he's the shortest in his class. Is there really anyone who is surprised by that?




So all in all, what are my feelings about my l'il guy going into kindergarten? I am sad to have my helper gone some days. Walker is always such a big helper with Tatum: whenever I need a pacifier or a blanket, when Parker needs help with something and it's just as easy for Walker to help...it's just more convenient. My other self is happy he's there. While I love my boy, he does take a lot of energy to entertain. (Entertainment being arguing and refereeing fights). Walker loves learning new things and is becoming more confident in reading and writing and doesn't seem to be struggling in any way...but there's always the inner mom in me wanting to be the mouse in his pocket at school to make sure: is he nice to all the other kids, is he making good choices, does he make friends easily, does he eat all his lunch, is he happy?

I won't always know the answer to all these questions, but that's part of growing and learning. I know I have done my best to prepare him....it's up to him now.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington D.C.

There are many who knew, and many more who did not know that Jason and I went to Washington DC this summer. Jason had the opportunity to go for the month of July to sell pest control for his brother, Kyle. Jason offerred me the chance to go with him for one of those weeks, which I quickly took. Arrangements were made for Walker and Parker to stay with Jason's Aunt Marsha, and Tatum, Jason and I left for DC on the 29th of June.




The flight was smooth sailing (except for the security guy at the Boise airport) He was rather rude to me while asking me about the two water bottles I wanted to take. Has this guy ever seen a mother nurse? Does he know how many calories that burns in a day? Does he know how much water we have to drink in a day to compensate for that? After explaining myself ( that I wasn't a criminal ) his co-worker looked at him and said, "Sounds like it's for the baby to me!" THANK YOU! Finally someone with some common sense. After that it was a much more pleasant experience.


We landed in DC at about 7pm and searched for the rental car company. After dilligently searching for about 40 minutes, we finally found it. As we were loading the car, I realized we left the car seat at baggage claim. I couldn't believe it. Tatum was conveniently hungry, so I fed him while Jason ran back and got it. We were now able to leave with our bright yellow Chevy Aveo that just screamed, "I'm a tourist!" Unfortunately, the traffic on the way to Centreville was so horrible that a 45 minute drive turned into a 2 1/2 hour drive. On the plus side, we had dinner and good company waiting for us.

As I planned out what I wanted to do for this week of blissful freedom, I knew I wanted to take a 'day of rest' for Tatum, so Thursday, Heather and I went to the grocery store and to look for a swimsuit bottom for me. Swimsuit bottom? Yes! In my frantic panic for last minute details in packing and thoughts of missing my two older boys already, I packed the top to my swimsuit, but not the bottoms. To save you all the details, Mission 'Cover the Cinnamon Buns' successful. It was a relief to have a full suit now because the pool was calling my name.

Friday, Heather and I got up and headed in to D.C. Our plan was to do the tour in the Holocaust museum, but we didn't get there early enough to get tickets for a time early enough to get Heather back to work in time. We went around to areas of the museum that we could and sauntered around the Washington Monument and walked back to the car. It might not sound like a lot, but we were parked a good mile or so away.

Saturday was, in a way, Jason's choice. Not to say I went kicking and screaming to the stadium; I was actually excited to go to a Nationals double header....that's baseball for all you unknowing women out there. I was worried about finding a decent parking spot (within a mile and not $20). It turns out we found a 'local' spot to park in an industrial area. When we asked the people behind us if we had to pay to park, they said, "in twenty years we've never had to."
Jason got in line for tickets while I waited with another person from the sales office at the side. While we were waiting, a couple of gals came up to us offering us free tickets.........(what?! free?!) They had purchased a whole bunch of $2 tickets and they couldn't use all of them, so they gave them to us. Our seats were in the blazing hot sun for the first game and then we seat hopped for the second game.
Parking: Free
Baseball game tickets: Free
Tatum's first baseball game: Priceless

Sunday we took a quick trip to church for an hour and then headed off to Mt. Vernon. This is one thing I would recommend for anyone. Our experience included a boat tour of the Potamic River, seeing George Washington's tomb, slave monument, the bowling green, slave quarters, the Mansion (this was my favorite), a nice lunch at the Inn, our traditional purchase of a Christmas ornament, the gristmill and distillery. There was so much to see, and I am a sucker for historical places.
Our day was far from over. Jason and I drove to the Battle of Iwo Jima Monument. The first time we were in DC together , this monument was one of the few things we wanted to see, but didn't get to. On our way to the monument, I heard on the radio, "a severe thunderstorm warning for Montgomery County". I asked Jason where that was. "I dunno." We both shrugged off the warning. We got to the monument and I had to feed Tatum while Jason took pictures. Not 10 minutes later, the wind started picking up. I saw the thunderstorm coming over the skyscrapers and thought, "I think we are in Montgomery County..." I told Jason I would meet him at the car. I had the stroller and Tatum to maneuver through the park. I was about 20 feet from the car when the WALL of rain came through. I was able to get Tatum in the car, but the stroller blew far enough away that I had to go out in the rain to fetch it. About 3 minutes later, Jason showed up....drenched. We were both soaked head to toe! We rode out the storm and enjoyed the monument some more, even discovering the 11th hand! Heather and David, who had caught up with us, mentioned hearing something about an extra foot or limb, so that got me counting. There are five men set in bronze so there should be 10 feet and 10 hands....but there are 11 hands! Mistake? Maybe. My own personal belief is that the artist may have wanted to represent the hand of God in things.

Monday was the 4th of July. What better place to spend the day of National Independence than that of the Nation's Capital? Again, when Jason and I were in DC six years ago, I told Jason not to even try to out do the experience we shared on that 4th of July, knowing it would never be outdone....but I never thought we would ever be there again.
Our day began at the National Air and Space Museum. It's a really cool museum with airplanes, spaceships, spacesuits, and well, just about anything that has left the earth just to come back.
We continued on to the Hirshhorn Art Museum. This place was a little more difficult to keep Tatum quiet in. And I'll be honest, while a lot of the art was pretty neat, a monkey in an ape costume could have produced the other little bit of what was there.....but it's still art.
At this point it was getting later in the day and we knew we had to get our blanket parked somewhere on the grass if we wanted to get a good spot. Jason headed back to the car to get the cooler of food (I'm sorry, I'm not about to pay $7 for a hot dog and $4 for a bottle of water) while I went to a couple other museums.
I wanted to see one of the newer additions to the Smithsonian family: Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. My Grandma's name was Dorothy and one of her favorite songs was, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Anything Wizard of Oz-ish reminds me of her. I headed into the Museum of Natural History thinking they were there, but I soon realized they were at the Museum of American History. I was already in the 'Gem' area of the Natural History Museum, so I took a picture of the Hope Diamond in its limited edition setting. At the American History Museum, I was able to see the inauguration dresses of all the first ladies, and the Ruby Slippers. Unfortunately, the museum was closing early for the 4th and I had to head out among the crowds to find my Jason among the mass millions. I soon realized the city (district) had barricaded the block surrounding the Washington and Lincoln Monuments and added security checkpoints. After an hour of filing through that, I was finally able to make it over to Jason.
We were in a great spot to see the fireworks over the would-be reflection pool under construction- between the WWII memorial and the Washington Monument with a live Army Band playing at the side of us. The band announced that Jo Dee Messina would be playing. Even if you're not a huge fan, you've got to admit that a free concert is pretty cool. I went up close while Tatum stayed back with Jason, Uncle Kyle, Aunt Heather and Uncle David.
After the A-MAZING fireworks, we headed back to the car. We had to pay $20 for parking, but after not having to pay for the baseball game the night before and not having to look for 2hours for a parking spot and being able to park there all day...it was well worth it!

During my down time at the apartments by myself, I spent some time looking up touristy things to do in the area. Nothing online appealed to me-I had either already seen it, or it was too far away, too much outside time for Tatum, too much money to spend on, or just plain wasn't interested. I grabbed one of Heather's books that she bought while downtown and started thumbing through it. I came across a page for the Ford Theater and the light bulb in my head turned on. Oh yeah! I guess that is in DC! This soon became one of my "have to see" sights. Tuesday, by default became the day to go do this.
The theater is free to see, but you have to have tickets. Jason, Heather, and I went to the 9:30...(I want to say viewing-that morbidly makes me think of a funeral). The theatre itself was pretty interesting. They presented information about how John Wilkes Booth was an actor and that's how he had such easy access to "the box". I also learned that back in 1865, there was no official presidential seal, so they used a picture of George Washington to post where the President would be. The box is still presented the same way as the night President Lincoln was shot.
Due to construction, the Peterson House where President Lincoln died was closed, so I got a nice picture of the front of it : D
After going through the museum, the three of us headed to the Washington Monument. We had split up earlier in the morning to get tickets for both events. While inside waiting for our turn to go up in the elevator, I couldn't help but notice a lot of similarities of architecture and decor between the Monument and the Mansion at Mt. Vernon. The view was stunning and you can even see the DC temple from the north view point. I was a little disappointed with the tour on the way down, however. It felt rushed and I know there was a lot of information that I knew from coming before that wasn't even mentioned....Not to mention that the tour guide might as well have been from Timbuktu with how little of what he said being understood.

Wednesday was my final day in DC. Unfortunately, Jason was working and couldn't spend every waking moment with me before I left. I gave him a kiss as he left out the door for work and did my usual home routine: dishes, laundry, shower. I knew he would be moving into another apartment, so I packed his bags for him as I got my things ready to go. My flight didn't leave until 6:30 that night, but I didn't want to take any chances. Between traffic, construction, and my lack of knowledge of how to get around downtown, I certainly didn't want to miss my flight. I decided to leave the apartment around 2pm. I was thinking an hour for the drive, half hour for getting lost, an hour for walking from the rental car return to check in, (mind you, I had Tatum in his car seat, an umbrella stroller, a large purse, and a suitcase) another half hour to get through security, that would leave me about 40 minutes until boarding. Boy! Was I WRONG! Traffic? What traffic? There was none. Lost? Who me? I've done this drive a few times on the way to downtown...piece of cake. Walking to check in? No, no, not me. The rental company saw that I was a Tatum toting queen and told me to get in...they would drive me to where I needed to go. Security idiocracy? None here. They gladly took my water, tested it, and had it back to me before I even had my shoes back on. They folded up my stroller for me and took care of the left-over bin for me. My Gate? Ten miles away? Not this one. All in all, from apartment door to the gate took and hour and ten minutes....

....You can pick your jaw up off the floor now...

It was a fabulous trip and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to go to such a great place to make even more memories.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A little bit of excitement! Kyle and anyone else squimish should think twice about reading the first part.

A house full of 3 young boys and the word, excitement, go hand in hand. Not a dull moment here. A few weeks ago, while nursing Tatum, I hear a big thud, Walker and Parker arguing and then Walker screaming. Rolling my eyes and thinking, "what can they still argue about that has yet to be argued about today?", I pick up Tatum (still nursing-I'm talented, I know) and go toward the noise. The glass door on the entertainment center had broken in half and came down on Walker. He met me about half way into the kitchen. All I see is blood on his face. He screamed, "Mama". I screamed, "Walker". I put Tatum down and went over to see that Walker's face had a deep gash next to his eye. Quickly, I got some paper towels and made him hold it on his face. I scooped up Tatum, put him in the car, got Walker buckled in the car, and got Parker in the car. I've heard that the most unpleasant sound is that of a child screaming....well how 'bout three? Walker, because of his face, Tatum because he's still hungry, and Parker because I was the one who put him in the car. (Mr. Independent- has to do everything himself). Off to the hospital we went. Jason came to the rescue and met me to pick up the other boys while Walker and I waited things out in the E.R. Four or five stitches later, we were outta there. Walker was unable to play in the water with his little bandages over the cut, so it's a good thing I took the boys to the splash park the day before...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fee-vah

I should be posting pictures of my kids here, but I, like most people, always feel like the person who 'never wins ANYTHING!' So today, I'm shouting it from the roof top. WE WON SOMETHING!!!

The call from my friend, JaNae, came at an unusual hour: 10:30 PM. Wondering if it was some dire situation she was in and needed my help I asked her what I could do for her. With the 'puppy dog' voice (the one I KNOW I use when I need a last minute babysitter) she asked what I was doing the next morning. With no plans as of yet, I offered my services for whatever she needed. She proceeded to tell me about how her husband, Steven, called in to a radio show and won the chance to win some concert tickets. The only problem was they needed two other people. They had called around to family and friends, but everyone was working and couldn't go on a Friday morning at 8:30. I asked JaNae what the competition entailed. I was excited to hear it was something as childish and playful as it was. We would be given an extra large roll of bubble wrap to wrap one teammate. The other three would have to roll that person through an out door course outside the radio studio. The fastest time wins the tickets. "We're in!"

Friday morning, Jason and the boys came in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30am. (They had done an early Father/son campout in the back yard.) We all got ready and down to the radio station by 8:15am. We decided to have JaNae be the one wrapped. We signed away our lives (our waivers) and waited to hear the order we would be going in. Going first would be a complete disadvantage, so we were ok with the decision to go third. The marked course was about 100 meters long on some slight hills and trees surrounding. As we watched the two teams before us, we calculated different things that would be to our benefit: put her head this way instead of that, use more bubble wrap for a tighter fit, wrap tighter so its easier to roll her, ways to roll, who rolls from where.

The first team struggled through the finish line in about 4 minutes. The second team was 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Being the guys of competitive sorts, Jason and Steven wanted to blow everyone out of the water with a time of 2 minutes. (This is us being totally pumped!). The timer starts when the air horn (which was just about out of air and sounded like a sad excuse for a fog horn) blows. Jason and Steven wrapped as fast as they could while I got JaNae's helmet on. We tipped her over and lay her down. (Lucky girl! Some of the other bubble-wrappees got slammed to the ground). Around the first curve was fairly easy and then rolling her along the hill while trying to keep her within the borders got a lot harder. My legs had already been sore from working out this week, so my legs were screaming at me. Jason and Steven were rolling JaNae so fast that I could hardly touch her, let alone roll her. I tried to pick up the slack when Jason got more tired. About 3/4 of the way through the race I hear JaNae moaning, " I need to vomit..." Yeah RIGHT! Like we're about to stop so she can spill her breakfast! All I could say was, " Hang in there, we're almost there!" Continuing down the home stretch I barely touched the roll. I figured I would just slow things down if I got in the way. We finally crossed the finish line at 3 minutes 5 seconds. The next team slid in there with a finish time of 3 minutes 6 seconds! One second slower than us! One more team to go. They started out really well and at the half way mark had the fastest time......until they fubbed something up. They finished in over 4 minutes.

We won the tickets by ONE second! So come August 11th, Jason and I are going to the Michael Buble' concert!

Looking in hind sight, Steven and JaNae are really glad they asked us to help them out. With both of us being so short, it was easier to roll JaNae so close to the ground. Also, Steven has been deployed for 2 of their anniversaries since they've been married-one of them was last year. The concert happens to fall the day before their anniversary. So Happy Anniversary Steven and JaNae!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome...






Tatum Lavell Woodbury

After what seemed a very long wait (with Mary's passing, Christmas, New years, Parker's Birthday, and all the parties in between) we were blessed with another little baby boy on January 6, 2011. Born at 1:22 p.m. this tank was a whopping 8lbs 7oz. and 22 inches long.







We had a nice, easy going morning: showering, makeup, breakfast, bags ready. We got all nestled into our room and ready to start! They started my pitocin at about 8:30. I went through a few contractions before my water broke. Once the contractions got really bad, I asked for my epidural. The anesthesiologist came and tried to get my epidural in, but he was having a rough time because my spine was so compact. He decided to give me a spinal block before giving me my epidural. Bless his heart! That was the best! I was all numbed up and ready to sleep. I only got about an hour and a half before I was ready to start pushing. They called the doctor, and it wasn't long before Tatum came out. I was quite surprised when they lay him in my arms. He was the spitting image of Parker when he was born. Jason, my mom, and I all said at the same time that he looks like Parker. I was in for another shocker when they put him on the scale. 8lbs. 7oz. !!! "Come again? How heavy?" I couldn't believe he was a full pound heavier than what Walker was.


After a little while, and after I got my land legs back again, we were moved to another room. On our way there, our friend and neighbor who works at the hospital just happen to be coming in down the hallway to see us. Talk about good timing!









Later that night, Tatum and I were sleeping while Jason was playing on his phone. The nurse came in and told us she would just take Tatum into the nursery. Later she came back to tell us that he was turning a little blue and they were running some tests and x-rays to find out why. Tatum was admitted to the NICU for having pneumonia. He would be there for a week, receiving antibiotics. They put a pic. line through his arm to his heart, so they wouldn't have to keep poking him again and again.


A week later we were able to all come home.
The boys seem to be adjusting pretty well. Aside from Parker having an obsession to poke Tatum in the eyes, we haven't had any problems. Tatum is 5 weeks old today and sleeps like a champ. From day one of being home, Tatum sleeps 7-9 hours a night. I love this boy!



January 8, 1960-December 20, 2010


This was a difficult time for Jason and I. The services were lovely and it was nice having all of Jason's family (and mine) here to visit for so long. I will forever have fond memories of Michelle (in crutches from having foot surgery), Kristin (7 months pregnant) and myself (8 1/2 months pregnant) store hopping from Bath and Body Works to Sportsman's Warehouse to the Dollar Store to Target and back home. We'll just say there were some good laughs while watching Kristen carrying a gun tote around the dollar store, Michelle 'playing hopscotch' hopping on one foot everywhere (she was quite good at this), Kristen holding up parking lot traffic in the motorized carts, taking them back to the store after Michelle had used them, and then ME having to wear my high heels to drive the car because my belly wouldn't let me reach the petals otherwise.
My mom and dad spent most of that week at my sister's house, letting Jason and I spend most of our time at the Woodbury's home. We wanted to spend as much time with Mary as possible. I felt so guilty when I had to bring the boys home to sleep at night, while Jason stayed there. Both Jason and I had tried to prepare ourselves, and the boys, for the inevitable. On Monday the 20th, I hurried and got the boys ready to go back to Grandma's house. We got there at about 10:30 am. The nurse came at about 11 to take Mary's vitals, and at 11:30 she slowly passed away. Jason, his brothers, sister and his dad were all surrounding Mary as she took her last breath. She will truly be missed.