Friday, October 28, 2011

All in a years time

Our little family 2010 
Liam: 6 months

Our family in the same place a year later in 2011
Liam: 20 months
Brielle: 7 weeks

So much has changed in just a little over a year! And not just my hair color, but so many more memories and wonderful experiences! But best of all is the perfect, sweet, beautiful little new person who has joined us! Cannot wait to see what changes will have occurred in our little family in another year when we take our family pictures again! 
(SarahLynn, thank you so much for these beautiful pics!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I want.

I want to...
Smile as much as possible
Find ways to say yes more and no less
Learn to not stress about the little things
Not let it get to me when my house is not spotless
Read more books
Start baking with Liam (let him help)
Have a photo session with Brielle
Tweeze my eye brows (project "grow-eyebrows-out" was a success so it's time to shape them)
Get a couple new shirts and a pair of pants 
Make banana pumpkin bread again
Take our family picture for our Chrismas card before it gets too cold
Let Liam go play in the leaves
Go pick apples at the school orchard
Get together some fun crafts/activities for Liam to do during the day
Practice piano
Take at least 1 picture a day
Try to take 1 video a day
Keep up on my goal to upkeep the house all week (more on that later)
Find more meat free recipes
Start going to Zumba again
Start journaling our days
Decide on our Halloween costumes
Continue on our goal of a date once a week (more on that later too)
Continue having a dance party every day with Liam
Keep up on all the blog posts I am always writing in my head
Write an update on the kids by the time Brielle is 2 months on Tuesday
Continue to search for and see the extraordinary in the ordinary
....some of the random things running through my head lately

Gosh he loves his sister sooo much
Decorating for Halloween

Sister lounging while Liam decorated for Halloween

beautiful Brielle at 1 month

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Part 2: Awkward shuffle dance

read part 1 of our story here

Part 2: Awkward shuffle dance
I took the long walk from the stand in front of the congregation to the front aisle. Ok it really wasn't a long walk, but with all the suspense of wondering what the infamous Richard looked like and if he really held up to his reputation among the girls in the ward, it felt like a long walk. I sat down and looked up. I met eyes with a ridiculously attractive young man in a suit sitting on the stand. 
"crap he noticed me staring at him....and now he is looking at me too...this could be awkward...he sure has pretty eyes...I wonder how long we will just stare at each other like this....this is fun..."
I lost track of how long we stared at each other but it must have been a really long time because at one point I felt someone elbow me. My Dad had his huge I-am-very-proud smile on his face and he whispered, while glancing up at Richard, "I see whats going on!" I flashed him an embarrassed smile. Not that I was embarrassed I was making eyes with Richard, but that my Dad caught me. O well, he was obviously excited. 
So he was cute. That much was obvious. But, as we all know, looks aren't everything. He stood up for his homecoming talk and his attractiveness shot up 150 more points. He gave an incredible talk and the room was filled with the spirit after he bore his testimony. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I was amazed at the wonderfully powerful spirit that he had. Once again, I could tell my Dad was excited. I could almost see him planning our marriage while he was listening to his talk. I can't deny I wasn't either...
The meeting ended and I went out in the hall to talk to my friends. Apparently (I didn't find out about this until after Richard and I were dating) my Dad walked straight up to Richard and while shaking his hand said:
D: "Hi I am....and I want you to date my daughter. She is dating someone, she isn't very interested in him, they are about to break up and has never dated a returned missionary."
R: "O ummm...who is she?"
Yeah, that convo really happened. And yes, I had a boyfriend at the time. Horrible I know. We had actually decided we were going to break up soon when he left for college so needless to say, I was not committed at all. Sadly, that ended Richards plans to actively pursue me because I was dating another young man in our stake. But I did hear through the grape vine, from Richards foster sister, that he was really interested in me. I was so excited, I literally started jumping up and down with excitement. Why I didn't just break up with "boyfriend" (we will refer to him as that for our purposes), I still don't know.
From here commenced the "awkward shuffle dance" stage of our courtship. Like, you know when you are walking towards someone and you both keep meaning to move out of the way for the other person but just keep moving in front of them, further blocking their way? Yeah that sums up the next couple months. Here is why: 1. All through high school, despite having a lot of girls have huge crushes on him, he never had a girl friend because he was really shy around girls 2. compound that with the "post-mission-fear-of-girls" syndrome and 3. I had a boyfriend and he acted really awkward around me. And he was the cute, super spiritual, funny and sweet returned missionary who continued to make me nervous. So me, the town flirt, acted equally awkward around him
Remember the picture of me in that play my senior year in Part 1? Well I was Kim Macafee in "Bye-Bye Birdie" and we were in need of some extras. Even  though we were only weeks away from the opening night, the director recruited Richard to be in the play because of the 25+ plays he did in high school. So our interaction increased slightly, even though most of it was actual awkward-shuffle-dances which only resulted in Richard saying "hey McKenna". I think that was the most he said to me during this time period. I honestly thought he really didn't like me, but apparently I really intimidated him so he was too scared to say more than 2 words to me. We did sneak to secretly watch each other act from the wings of the stage, but our interaction was mostly just watching each other or hanging out in groups with other people. 
Going to prom with "boyfriend"
Graduation night
I graduated, broke up with "boyfriend" as planned and spent my summer playing with my friends before heading down to Utah for my freshman year of college. As soon as I finished my first semester, Richard went to work for his Dad in Alaska (his Dad was a commercial fisherman). I went down to Utah as he was coming back from Alaska after which he headed to the Seattle area to live with his cousins. I had a great freshman year and as I was dating there I literally thought "Richard is the ideal guy so I need to date/find someone that is like him. There is no way he would go for me, so I need to find someone like him". 
Well I miserably failed and came home from my 1st semester single, and on the prowl. It was Christmas time and I remember hearing that Richard now had a girlfriend. Great. But I got an invitation to go to his house for a Christmas party (he was back in our home town for a little while) and I went, eager to maybe re-light the spark that we had. Once again, I dressed in my cutest outfit, turned on my charm and went. I remember once again, catching his eyes and we watched each other from across the room, mercilessly flirting with our eyes. Then the girlfriend showed up and I lost him to her. I was not a happy girl. As soon as the movie started and they started cuddling, I decided I didn't want to watch the movie AND them cuddling, so I left. As I was walking towards the door I heard "Wait, are you leaving??" My heart stopped as my feet did as I recognized that voice. I turned around to find my suspicions of who called out, confirmed. I responded that I had to go and to my utter delight he said "are you sure you have to leave? You should stay!" After some mil-second calculating, I decided still to leave so that I could make him more interested. Because you know how guys love the chase.
So I left the party and soon thereafter left for college. As my parents were driving me to the airport my Dad said (with some defeat in his voice): "I heard that Richard is engaged to his girlfriend". My heart dropped as I thought I had lost him. I went to college, and thinking I had lost, threw myself back into the dating scene. I started dating someone pretty seriously and the marriage talk started. But it never felt right at all. I kept questioning myself feeling confused and utterly unsure of what to do (later I realized that was the stupor of thought letting me know it was not right). I remember asking married people how they "knew" and they said "you just know". I didn't feel anything of the sort, so after awhile, we were broken up by the end of the semester.
My plan for the summer after the current semester ended was to live in a near-by city and work while living with my grandparents. I was one day talking to my mom about my plans and felt very strong that I should return to our hometown. Confused at this direction (the city I was going to live in was full of single guys and for all I knew the only guy I would be interested in was engaged) I decided to follow it and came home. I had a really negative dating experience right before coming home and on May 2nd, my first day home, I told my good friend I was done dating and wouldn't until I returned home from my mission (I had barely turned 19 so I am not sure how I planned to do that...). It was also fast Sunday and I bore my testimony. As I was standing up at the pulpit I noticed Richards parents and sister. But he wasn't there. Disappointed, but not surprised, I continued on with my heartfelt testimony. That first year of college I matured and grew in a lot of ways, but especially spiritually so I was excited to share my burning testimony
The next day, May 3rd, I went to work at the adorable little furniture store where I was going to work for the summer. I came home from my shift around 4 or 5. The house was empty and quiet (I have 7 young, loud siblings so this was rare) and I curled up on the couch with a favorite book and an herbal tea. Little did I know that just down the street the still-single-never-engaged-Richard had heard from his parents I was back in town. They said I looked really cute in church (he was at the singles ward with his cousin that day which was why he wasn't there) and bore a very sweet, tender testimony. The newly single Richard decided he would jump on the opportunity of both of us being single at the same time and ask me out on a date. He too just a month before, felt very very strongly that he needed to move from where he was living near Seattle to our home town. So finally, after nearly a year of always being in different places, we were miraculously in the same place and both single. His Dad still teases him about the merciless pacing he did trying to get up the courage to call me and how many times he would hang up before finishing dialing my number because he was so nervous.
I was sitting on the couch, with the phone next to me and when it rang I instinctively checked the caller-ID. When I saw "Wadsworth, Ray" on it my heart jumped. "Could this be it?!" But then I remembered that his younger foster sister and my younger sister were friends so it was probably just her calling for my sister.
I answered the phone and heard a very familiar voice. And he asked for me. I finally heard the words I had been waiting for since we met a year earlier...
"Hey McKenna, do you want to go on a date with me tonight?" be continued :)

Friday, October 14, 2011


Today I decided to...

Have a dance party with Little man instead of deep cleaning my bathroom and vacuuming my living room.

Let Brielle sleep on my chest during her nap instead of rushing around to get more chores done while she slept

While she was awake I cooed back and forth with her, taking in her pretty smile instead of putting her in her swing while I got things done

Go on a date with my perfect hubby while a babysitter watched the kids instead of sitting at home

Today I decided to enjoy each moment I have with my perfect family instead of doing other more "productive" things. But really, whats more "productive"? Your little 1 1/2 year old having the time of his life doing headstands with his mom on the floor during our dance party, or a sparkling bathroom?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A promise.

Well darlin's, I am going to be frank with you. You know I gotta be  honest and true to my readers. So here it is: recently, I was having a hard time. Not anything remotely serious, just stressed and a little frazzled. Blame it on post-baby hormone crazies, being up quite a lot at night nursing said baby or the transition from summer to winter (more on that later). But whatever it was, and maybe even a combo of all those things, I was pretty on edge. Stressed. Frazzled. I am sure my poor family was noticing this and feeling the consequences. So one night a couple days ago, when getting up multiple times with one or both of the kids (Liam is teething was looming in my future, I got a little panicky. Then I finally let it out to my husband that I was having a hard time. And I didn't know what to do about it. So he started asking me questions:
R: "are you eating enough?"
M: "No. Sometimes I forget to eat at meals because I am feeding the kids"
R: "are you sleeping enough?"
M: ""
R: "are you getting any you time?"
M: "i wish"
R: "are you reading your scriptures?"
M: ""
Then it clicked. I have a very specific promise in my patriarchal blessing that if I read my scriptures I will be greatly blessed. I realized with his probing questions I knew exactly why I was having a hard time. I wasn't doing something I have been specifically commanded to do because instead I am spending my time taking care of my kids. Great thing to do though right?! Good, Better, Best. I realized that what is better for my kids is not to have dinner exactly at 5:30 or the carpets vacuumed every day. It is a mother who takes time at least, to strengthen herself spiritually. It happened gradually and the craziness of adding another baby just blinded me so much that I forgot. It says in the scriptures to "always remember" and "remember remember" and yet I didn't
So after that very insightful convo with the hubby, we have made some changes. I need to make sure to take time to feed myself, read my scriptures without distraction (nap time is the perfect time) and I need some "me" time where I am not "mommy" but Kenna. Miraculously, the day after we decided this and I made a concerted effort to read my scriptures, Brielle started sleeping so much better. She has only been waking up once at night to eat, eats for 15 minutes and goes back to sleep. To my new mommy eyes, it's a miracle. A direct miracle from following the commandments of a loving Heavenly Father. And I have noticed that even when I am exhausted, my strength is spent and I have no patience from myself, I have an increase in all of the things I need to carry on. Strength, patience and love come from a source outside of myself and I am able to meet the demands of my 2 young children. That, to me, is a miracle.
I know that Heavenly Father has promised to help us in the righteous desires of our heart. One of my main righteous desires is to be the best mother I possibly can be. I have tried to do this on my own, and failed. I cannot do it on my own. I didn't purposely try to do it on my own, but by default and in the craziness of it all, forgot to rely on the One that I should. Now I know that if I do what I am commanded to do, then I will get help. My prayers will be answered in the perfect way. I will have guidance. And best of all, up held in the trying, stressful moments. That, to me, is a miracle.

"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."
--Doctrince and Covenants 82:10

Liam folding his arms and "kneeling" during our morning family prayer today. This boy LOVES to pray!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Part 1: Divine Intervention

So last year I had this great thought. Our 5 year anniversary was coming up and I wanted to write down our meeting/engagement story out in parts. I had just stumbled across the Pioneer Woman's blog for the first time and after reading their "story" I decided I wanted to do one of my own. But then life happened and I forgot before my anniversary came around. Life is more busy now (2 kids are SO much more work than 1...but twice as wonderful!!) but I still want to do it before time passes even more and more details fade away with my memory. Cause life will only get more busy! Anyways, I decided that I at least want to write a new "part" to the story every Sunday. But if I get more time, even better! So here goes the first part!

Part 1:
Divine Intervention

So where to start. I would like to say that we meet in heaven, because I am pretty sure we did. The way I felt around him the first time was something almost like 2 friends re-uniting for the first time after spending years apart. But I will save that for later. I spent most of my childhood in SO-CAL swimming in the oceans and enjoying year round summer. It was wonderful. When I was about 11 my Dad's bank he worked at was bought by another bank and he decided that instead of staying there, he wanted to move his young family of 5 out of California. It was getting worse and worse and the idea of raising a small family in such a morally declining place pushed my parents out of the "perfect" beach town that we lived in. My family was surprised when they felt they should move north. So long story short, we moved to a small town near Seattle and lived there for 6 years. 

Fast forward for our purposes to the summer before my senior year. I was on top of the world. I had great friends that I LOVED, one of my great friends had just joined the church (which was a big deal in WA), I had a beautiful horse that I was training to start doing hunter/jumper shows with and all was right. Of course, that's when things have to change right? Well my Dad's job was becoming dangerous. That is what the doctor said. Essentially the stress from his job (long story short: he was a senior vice president over a huge bank where all the people he was working with were super super corrupt and were trying to sabotage him for standing up for what was right) was killing him. Literally. The doc said that if he stayed at that job, he would die in just a matter of years. So with his young family of now 7, my parents decided he had to leave his job. 

One night, they called my younger sister and I into their room for a "chat". Little did I know my whole life would change after that "chat" on multiple levels. After a bit, it came out that they felt we should move and fast. To a small little "hick" town (my words, not theirs) about an hour away. I was DEVASTATED, to put it lightly. In all my 17 year old drama, I stormed out of their room bawling and insisting that they weren't moving me to that awful "hick" town for my senior year. I wasn't going to have it. I slammed my door and collapsed on my bed (I was quite the drama queen). I then felt a quiet prompting to open my scriptures. I didn't (and still don't) ignore those (or any) kind of promptings so I followed it's guidance. I opened to a random place in the scriptures and read the following verse:

"And it did work for them according to their faith in God: therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many miracles wrought..."
--Alma 37:40
(no wonder Alma 37 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon)

Then I felt the spirit directly tell me that I needed to have faith in my parents promptings to move us to said "hick" town, that we were being directed there for a specific reason and it would all work out. Sufficiently humbled, I slithered back to my parents room to tell them of my experience and to let them know that I supported their decision. Didn't like it, but I wouldn't sabotage their efforts to move our family away from our beloved town.

Fast forward several months and I am starting my senior year in "hickville" (my lovely nickname for the town we moved to). The kids were nice and I found some good friends. Of course not as awesome as my old friends, but still some fun people to hang out with during my senior year. Of course I did make the 1 hour drive back to my home town a lot because I missed my friends. Anyways, we had a great ward and I had a funny, wonderful, entertaining, bald Sunday school teacher named Brother Wadsworth. I really enjoyed sitting in his Sunday school class and learned a lot from him as he taught us from the scriptures. 

By April I was falling more in "love" with "hickville" (even though I would never admit to it then) and the people, especially the friends I was making. It really is a great little town. Brother Wadsworth announced INCREDIBLY excitedly that his son Richard was coming home from his mission in a couple weeks. Everyone in our class got REALLY excited and all were saying (in their own different ways) "awesome!! I am so glad Richard is coming home! He is SOOOO cool!". Of course, as the ward flirt, my interests were peaked. They were even more peaked when I heard later all the girls rave about how cute Richard was and how most of them had secret crushes on him. His homecoming date was getting closer and I was getting more and more anxious to meet this infamous Richard.
One of the only pics I have with me from my senior year. I was "Kim Macafee" in "Bye Bye Birdie" which was the operetta my senior year. More on the plays significance in our story later...

It was a few days before Easter Sunday and I heard that Richard had gotten home from his mission earlier in the week. I also heard that his homecoming talk was going to be Easter Sunday so I immediately prepared the cutest outfit I had. I was determined to win over the infamous Richard before any of the other girls in our ward could. As I was walking into the building on Sunday, strutting my stuff in the cutest outfit I had, I was delighted to run into one of my friends who was likewise planning a way to catch Richards attention. She had last minute decided she was going to sing a musical number and the bishop had okay-ed it. She needed someone to sing with her so we practiced our song a couple times before sacrament started. 

Needless to say we practiced until it was our turn to sing and walked in right before it was time. Because we had been practicing I hadn't had a chance to get a good look at who I was trying to woo and without looking really obvious, I decided not to look around for him. We went up to sing and I knew that he was behind me. Me, the ward and town flirt, got nervous!! No one made me nervous! This was an emotion I had hardly ever felt before! I finished the song and walked down to join my family in the front isle so excited to get my first look at the infamous Richard.... 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2 hands free

never happens anymore.

in fact i am writing as we speak (or i guess you read) as i nurse princess and little man is playing next to me. and i am typing with one hand. which explains my recent lack of blogging and current lack of punctuation. o well, that is my fate with 2 kids close together. but i have really wanted to start blogging again, recording our daily (albeit crazy) happenings as the richenna clan. because lets face it, they all say later we will find the humor in this crazy-wonderful, sleep deprived stage of life. i want to remember everything of this wonderful stage of life. the huge milestones, little successes, the stresses and the humor of it all. i dont want to forget anything of this stage of my life when i get older. 

wow that took a lot longer to write than i thought it would...

time to change a diaper. scratch that. sounds like i now have 2 diapers to change.

and yes, i know i am ridiculously behind in my picture upload. maybe i will be ambitious enough to not only be good about posting pictures from here on out, but also post pictures from the last 3 weeks.
who knows.
k really. diaper time.
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