Thursday, November 3, 2016

October in Laie for the Ludlows

This month flew by!  I can't believe we only have four months left (116 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes - I'm absolutely keeping track!)  Definitely having mixed feelings; can't wait to go home, so sad to leave.  Kevin finished his second to last term and is on break for this week, then it's back for his final term!  It's felt like it would never get here, and now we're almost done.  There's still another intense year ahead 2017/18 for his Master's but man, it feels so good to see him accomplish this!

Anyway, here's some fun pictures!

Our monster door! 

Ant Man, Dia de los Muertos Sugarskull, Scarlet Witch from Avenger's, Black Panther, and a Storm Trooper!  Kevin was wishy washy on me putting makeup on him, and then we ran out of time (I'll get him next year!)

Then we spent the next afternoon doing this!  Oh Kawela (Kuh-vel-uh) Bay, we love you

Why can't our family all just come and live here with us?! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I haven't posted in forever, and it's just one of those things where I'm overwhelmed on where to start.  We are having an amazing journey, full of growth (which is super painful sometimes, yo), and great times.  But that's not what I want to post about right now.  Right now, is a quick blurb on my oldest girl, Alexis.  She came in about an hour ago, carrying a jar full of pond/irrigation ditch water, and about 10 tadpoles.  She had me look up How to Care for Tadpoles, online right then.   Now for the last 45 minutes, she has been hard at work building a tadpole habitat, using a plastic animal cookie tub that I cut the top 1/3 off of, filling it up with small pebbles, and long grass with roots still attached, "So they have something to hide in and eat, Mom."  

This girl.

This incredible, tough, increasingly hilarious, stubborn, obnoxious, sweet, spunky tomboy who is at the same time all girl.  She kills me.  My fear for her future at times is almost tangible, as I struggle to have anything I teach her absorb into her, "I can do it myself, Mom!" head.  Only to have her turn everything around on me and teach me to be more patient, more trusting, more kind, and again, more patient.

At times I get overwhelmed, with work and the student lifestyle with four kids.  And that what I would view as ick, and bacteria (I'm not a germaphobe, but sometimes I draw the line, generally with swimming in giant muddy rainpuddles, and irrigation ditches),  And just a general inconvenience to what we have going on, her wiggliness, and bouncing everywhere, and can't you just be calm for once? At times I'm frustrated by her being a child, and I can't wait for her to grow up.

And then she brings home tadpoles in a spaghetti jar and though I have a brief, "Where the heck am I supposed to put these?  and will they stink up the house?  and oh man, what if Landon knocks the whole thing over?"  But then, thankfully, the Holy Spirit guides, and encourages me to see this as a moment, one that you can't let go past you,  where you can crush, or build.  And suddenly I'm seeing the world through her eyes.  I sit still, and point out the little tails, and how funny they are, and look at 'em go!I ooh and ahh over her hard work on the habitat, and marvel at her tenacity and creativity.  

Without her, out lives would be incomplete.  She's an incredible sister, and daughter.  I love her more than I ever thought I could love, and I don't say it enough.  How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father, who gives me teaching moments through my children, and has me realize, again and again, how incredibly blessed I am with my children.  Sometimes he teaches us in grand ways, and other times it's with a jar of tadpoles.  I'm grateful for both.   

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hushing Our Fears

As we get ready for this great adventure coming up of selling all of our things, and moving to Hawaii, I feel that General Conference was just what I needed to hear!  Jan, Tyler, Addy, Ella, and Brady were here for their spring break, and we were able to hang out, shop a bit, go to dinner at a really yummy place called Tucanos, and watch Ella and Brady while they went to the Saturday afternoon session.  I wasn't as diligent as I usually am about my note taking during conference, so I've been going back over and reading all the sessions on my phone and the church website.  One that I did take notes on and pay careful attention to was the talk by Elder David A. Bednar, called "Therefore They Hushed Their Fears."  I felt the truth in that talk to my very bones.  

I have moments of true fear and panic where I start to freak out about the yard sale this weekend, getting everything to Oregon, shipping it from Oregon, and making sure we earn all the money to go with it.  I worry about the kids during the summer and not having insurance.  I stress about how I'm going to work full time while Kevin (hopefully) works full time and what the kids will be doing.  I want to spend time with my family, and my friends while we're there.  Basically I turn into this big bundle of spastoid.  Then I turn to my Heavenly Father in prayer, and the calm and comforting feeling that we are doing what is good and right, and that we will be supported during this comes back to me, and I tell my brain to be quiet, because it's not being productive.   My favorite part of that talk was this quote of scripture:  
“But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but … should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.  “Therefore they hushed their fears” (Mosiah 23:27–28)

I know that we are going to be okay whenever I think of that scripture, and when I pray.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Being Brave

We Bought a Zoo

It feels like lately we, as a family, and I, personally, have been pretty brave.  We were pretty brave when we packed up our U-Haul and left our family and the only town we've known to move to Utah for Kevin to go to school.  To leave a good job, and have me be our sole income with typing.  Brave to face the unknown together, and get Landon ready for surgery (which he didn't have!  I'll finish that post eventually).  And now, I'm being brave by buying a business - the same typing business of the woman I've worked for and together with for almost 4 years now.  Me!! I always said I would never want the responsibility of owning my own business, the marketing, the rejection, the pricing of goods - it all just seemed very overwhelming.

But in the past few months, it's really begun to feel like the right option.  I talked with Brenda, and she had been feeling the same way!  She has not been in good health and sitting for hours at a time is very hard on her.  So after discussions, we've decided that it's time for me to carry on the torch!  I'm very, very excited.  But also terrified, and anxious, and humbled all at once.  Because this isn't something that I'm dabbling in, or working for other companies - this is inheriting, and carrying on a company 18 years in the making.  With clients, and bills, and contractors, and a reputation that's been established, that I'm going to attempt to take over and improve!  You know what's funny is that the part that scares me the most is the pricing of my product.  I can't explain it.  It's not overpriced.  But the idea of selling something for a profit that is non-negotiable is just kind of hard for me.  Like I said, I can't explain it, but I'll get used to it.

So in about a month, I will add business owner to my other titles of mom, wife, typist, Mormon.  I guess I should say we, since Kevin will be right there with me and it's his money too that's going to buy it, and he will be my accountant, marketer, and manager.  I will go to business mingling events.  I will put on my spanx and my big girl shoes and professional clothes, and I will pass out business cards with my name on it.  Not just to sound important, but so that my business will gain more clients.  I hope we succeed.  I hope we do more than that since we're being so brave.  I really hope we are freaking awesome.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hirschsprung's Round II - same problem, different kid

So poop.  Everybody does it right?  Right?  WRONG - not our kids!! Well, two of them can't anyway.  Alexis was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's and had a colostomy surgery, then a pull-through done before she turned one year old (remember this?)  Not a fun time.  I think we've blocked out all the negative things about that time, kind of like going through labor, thinking we won't have to go through it again.

Well, fast forward 5 years, and now we have Landon.  Everything seemed fine at first (it's been a fear with each one of the kids when they can't "go" or have a problem going that they have Hirschsprung's too) he went, we changed diapers, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  Until October.  That's when he stopped going.  We thought maybe it was because we had started solids, and gave it some time, and Miralax, and glycerin suppositories.  A couple months of this, and after a referral to Children's Primary up in Salt Lake, and two biopsies, we have the conclusion that Landon can't poop because his intestines are missing the nerves at the end that help him "go".  Our next steps are:

  • Getting a contrast enema and X-rays taken in the next couple of days to determine how big of a segment is affected, how much/if any swelling of the surrounding intestines there is, and how much urgency there is.
  • Also on this visit, we get to learn how to do rectal washes!  Yayness!
  • Then once we have this information we will schedule his surgery.  We're aiming for just after New Years, since Kevin has to go back to school on the 9th, and Landon will need a few days (at least) in the hospital to recover.  We aren't sure if he will need a colostomy as well, or if they will be able to just do a straight pull-through procedure (remove the affected area, and then reconnect the intestines back together).  The second is the less recovery-intensive, so we are hoping and praying for that outcome.
Those eyelashes

I have mixed feelings about it all.  On the one hand, I am so glad that we found it early; some kids struggle with this their whole lives and aren't diagnosed until they're much older, which can lead to more problems later on.  He is little enough that he won't really remember it, and he can train his bowels while he is in a diaper still for quite a while.  He also isn't super mobile, so that will help him recover quickly and easier than if he was running or crawling around.  ON THE OTHER HAND, I hate that he will have to have any kind of surgery.  Even though the risks are low, they are always still there.  It also is super stinky (haha) that we are so far away from our families - we will definitely be needing some help!  Thank God for good friends who have offered to come to the rescue!

We are very blessed to be able to have insurance while Kevin is going to school to be able to take care of this.  We are also fortunate to have a wonderful children's hospital that is so close.  Please keep Landon in your prayers.  We will keep you all updated as we get through this together!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween P2

I'm a space case - I forgot to post pictures of the kids in their costumes!  
Landon sat this one out - he was in bed by 6:30 (squee!)  The littles loved everything about Halloween - and we loved seeing them so excited to dress up and be silly!