This was from before I was able to go off of oxygen. I was just being naughty at the time and not wearing it. This was a night when Eric was out of the house and baby and I weren't feeling very well. There were a lot of nights when Max and I commiserated together. Nothing in this life has been more challenging than learning to function on my own again whilst having a high needs preemie in my care. Together we can get through anything and today my family is living proof of it. ♡♡♡
Beauty through strength
So many nurses would jokingly and sympathetically lamented the loss of my ability to wear a bikini next summer. To them I now say, "au contraire, mon ami!" I have never been more excited to show off what I have been through. I appreciate their empathy and compassion, but I wish they would have encouraged me to embrace and rock my battle wounds so that I did not have to struggle with my appearance when I was well enough to look in a mirror.
I no longer think that beauty lies in perfection, but in strength and resiliency. It takes a lot of grit to make it through extreme trials, just as it is taking strength to get my body back. Having a perfect unmarred tum is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but having a scar gives an awesome badge of courage that reminds me to feel proud for beating the odds. My scar is a testament to my family's amazing and miraculous story.
Thank you everyone who prayed for us and held our hands through this process. We truly have been lifted spiritually and emotionally by our family and friends. Here's to hoping for a continued recovery for my us! We're still working hard on it... :)
Below is my abdominal scar, not pictured is my fun c-section scar as well :)
Revelation through physical limitation
This quote was taken from Elder David A. Bednar's talk, “Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name.” Though I believe that Elder Bednar was referring specifically to the physical limitations of old age, I found that it really spoke to me because of the physical toll taken on me this year.
I had the surreal experience of waking up from a coma to realize my terrifying condition as well as my son's. I knew that I would have to fight tooth and nail in order to make it out of that ICU alive. Developing the tenacious will to live in such extreme circumstances shone such a bright light on the important things that I had to live for and the miracles that had saved my life. It helped me renew the conviction that I am here for a reason, and that I have been saved by my Father in Heaven so that I can live out my life here on earth to the fullest.
My Father-In-Law spoke candidly with me and echoed my thoughts in his testimony that Heavenly Father must have great things in life for Max and I to achieve. Those conversations made me organize my intentions for my future. It highlighted the potential and talents that my restored body would provide for me, if I so chose to make positive and productive use of them.
Hearing this talk while healing from the events of the past year reinforced the importance of how we use our time while we have it. It helped to remind me of those ICU revelations and renewed the personal goal to live my life and use my talents to their full potential while keeping the light of Christ around me!
Sunday's Cuties Vol. 1
Before we had Max, Eric and I were Sunday School teachers at our church. Our group was made up of several cute little 7 and 8 year olds.
A few of them had their baptisms on the same weekend, so we decided to encourage them to share how they felt with the class!
This is was we got:
Cute acrostic wall art!
Had a little fun tonight making this acrostic for Maxwell's room. TIL the letter "X" does not have many adjectives, at least there is a nice meaning one!...
This was from the night that Eric and I found out I was preggers! I had been in California on Carmen's Bachelorette weekend and I was feeling off and exhausted. Et voilà! I was pregnant with my little snuggle bug miracle! Eric flew in a few days later for the wedding and we celebrated Carmen's new beginning and Max's new life simultaneously. Such a happy time! Little did we know what lurked just beyond the horizon... yikes! ♡♡♡
♡ Little tough guy ♡
This was from the day when Maxwell moved corners in his NICU room and turned 2 months old! He was about 5lbs and still struggling with about a month and a half to go before coming home, but he was out of the incubator and into a hospital bassinet!! He was NEVER a fan of the binky and still has an aversion to it. The binky should be a purple sized one, but it clashed in the photo ;P
♡ All finished!
It took many nap times, but I finished! Hopefully Eric likes it and it looks good with the Stanford diploma in his fancy new home office! He deserves a nice present for all of the hard work he has done. Now to just get it framed... ♡♡♡
Home is where the heart is
I will always remember this day. This was the first day since Max was home from the NICU that I left him with a sitter. (his Nana Janning) It was nice to get out of the house and celebrate Eric's promotion since Max had been a bit frustrating that morning.
Max was going through his little 4 month growth spurt (if you can call it that...lol) so he had been super fussy and independent lately. But, when I came home from Eric's ceremony Max eagerly and sweetly cuddled up against me and fell right asleep on my shoulder! It's so fun to have that moment when you realize that they missed you because they truly recognize you as their mom and dad.
Drawing has always been the best way for me to get thoughts out of my head or have fun with my imagination. Being able to do those things through my art has really helped me move forward from the miraculous but tragic challenge of 6 mos ago. I have begun a series of illustrations from the experiences Eric and I have triumphed over. I've never loved my drawings more. My ultimate goal is to write Maxwell's birth story and illustrate the pages with these drawings. Since little stinker has found his voice (and his attitude) this may take me a long time...! :) He's a one nap kind of kiddo these days... We're working on that!! #lifegoals
The Many Emotions of Gabby...
These emotions took place in the span of literally 2 minutes. I have the meta data to prove it! Dallin's face is hilarious in comparison. LOVE these two sitting next to each other. I also love how it all ended ;P
Baths are an overload on all senses and being naked can be a terror spiked feeling of freefalling for sensitive kiddos. Swaddling not only gives them a secure feeling going from changing area to bath, it also keeps them an even temperature without worrying about high water levels! Watch the video to see Max, a VERY sensitive former IUGR micro preemie, have a nice relaxed bath!
Oatmeal Banana Cake! Mmmm
♡ Families are Forever
I was looking up inspiration for the concept of eternal families and this quote struck me. With the potential to have a beautiful forever comes the respect and reverence that is such a huge resource of strength in a marriage. I'm learning that outwardly valuing and cherishing one's husband/wife is the greatest gift that can be given to our children. Family is forever ♡
“If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it... If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more precious and beautiful as time goes by.”
Our Little One's Blessing
Mighty Max had his blessing today and he did such a great job! He locked eyes with Eric the whole time, listening to every word like a little rock star. We are so blessed to have our wonderful family and the support of our ward. Ward members fed us throughout our months long hospitalizations while family members made many selfless sacrifices in order to be there for us.
Feeling oh so blessed today; in every sense of the word!
The relief society ladies were eager and able to watch the little one during all of my doctor appointments and whenever we were otherwise in need. It was so special to bless our baby surrounded by his entire Prince family and the love and support of our fellow ward members. The spirit of relief and joy was absolutely palpable throughout the chapel. Thank you to everyone who has sent their prayers and carried us through this. I truly feel that we have finally arrived at the light at the end of the tunnel
(*knocks on wood*)
Bacon Wrapped Lava Filled Yummies!
So I decided to make Eric a treat last week and put together an amazing meal that tested my skyllz. I tried a bunch of new things like roasting the garlic before I added it into my mashed potatoes, and cooking fillet mignon and getting it to medium rare and wrapped in bacon! Then I thought it would be fun to try to make my own kind of lava cake with the compote fruit topping that Eric always loves. For the compote I just chop up strawberries, mangoes and add some orange juice and sugar. Then I just simmer it down while I cook until it is a tasty sauce. I guess that is a compote? I dno, I just made it up. Anyway, check out the photos and click on the mini galleries to see their captions!
Tubie Awareness Images
Hi tubie mamas! Here is a tubie awareness image that you can customize with your own photo. I hope you can enjoy them!! ♥♥♥
My favorite moments
I love drawing my favorite memories. These were sweet moments just before Maxwell got his magic feeding tube. We were so stressed and worried, but it was these moments that kept us going! ♥♥♥
Who Wants Some Fried Chicken??
My dad gave us a fancy griddle for our wedding. As soon as we unwrapped it Eric wanted fried chicken! So, a few days later I decided that I would see what I could do! It was early enough in the morning to thaw our Costco chicken breasts and soak them in a milk bath with lots of garlic, paprika and honey. That afternoon I put paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and a few secret things into a mixing bowl and whisked the seasonings in with the flour.
I then pulled the strips of chicken breasts out of the milk bath, dredged them in the flour and seasonings and then popped them in the pipping hot oil in the skillet. For a first attempt at fried chicken, it was pretty dang perfect! Crispy, golden brown, a little sweet, a little spicy. We dipped the strips in honey and enjoyed the chicken with green beans with caramelized onions and herb infused mashed potatoes. I think this was Eric's favorite dinner thus far! Check out the pictures of the experimental process!!
I am proud to announce that I have cracked the code! The other night Eric and I had a craving for paninis, but all we had was frozen Costco chicken, a can of peeled tomatoes, shredded taco cheese, a lonely onion, and a bag of spinach. Just your regular fridge full of bleh food. But enough bleh food to potentially be able to render out some form of awesome paninis.
So, taking a note out of Alton Brown's book, I thawed the chicken just under one hour by letting lukewarm water trickle into the Tupperware of water with the frozen chicken. I guess the transfer of heat energy in then out of the water speeds up the thawing process? I don't know.
Anyway, after that I "brined," the chicken in salt water with Italian seasonings, dried onion, garlic, pepper and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness. The salt helps the Chicken open up its little pores and drink in the yummy flavors.
I let that brine while I sauteed the canned taste out of the tomatoes and caramelized the onions. I like my onions just barely caramelized, where they're still crunchy, you know?
Then I took the chicken out and plopped it onto our new Calphalon griddle. (aka my new favorite thing) I covered the top of them with more dried onions, waited until it was time to flip them and then sprinkled the other side with them too. I love how crunchy, sticky and sweet the crust from dried onions can be.
Then I put the bread on the grill with a little bit of oil and garlic salt, sprinkled the cheese over the bread, laid on the chicken (now golden brown and sliced) and smushed another piece of bread on top. We don't have a panini smusher, which is a bummer, so I did all the smushing with my spatula and grilled the sandwiches on both sides.
The Sandwiches turned out to be AMAZING! :)
Eric couldn't eat his fast enough. Hooray for first time panini success!!
Lazy Saturday Mornings are the Best!
Today is our first lazy Saturday morning (Not afternoon, though. Because errands :) in our house! We have gotten so many cool kitchen things that I have been dying to try. So I decided to make waffles with a bit of cinnamon and vanilla splashed in with a spinach scrambled egg. Eric was TOTALLY fine with that idea. Haha, so while he played FIFA World Cup (he would like me to add that he does not play video games all the time) I got to play in my new kitchen!
It tasted really good! And Eric liked it a lot to. He also ate it really quickly Haha.
Afterwards, I made this blog post and Eric and Bailey got back to their FIFA pwning, or something like that. Bailey likes to lay on the back of our couch and hug his head. ♡ Yay for Saturday mornings!
P.S. Eric is wearing a coat since our heater likes to think that 62° is a reasonable temperature to wake up to.
Yellowstone Pictures Part 2!
First Batch of Yellowstone Photos
Hubby and I went to Yellowstone last weekend with our awesome friends Roger and Carly! I took Kirby the camera with me and gave him quite the work out. Here is the first batch of thermal ponds and geysers as well as some lake shore shots :) We need to go back again, there is SO MUCH to see there!! Many more pics to come! Including moose, moosen, or is it meese?
Learning To Fly The TARDIS
After 2 years of dating