"...And I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay..."
- Iron and Wine

Friday, September 27, 2013

Growing, and growing, and growing...

I've posted pictures of my growing belly on Instagram and Facebook so I thought I'd compile them all in the same place. 

16 weeks

 20 weeks

24 weeks

29 weeks

32 weeks

I can't believe there is only 8 weeks left.
I am getting excited and want to see her and hold her
instead of just feel her do Taekwondo in my belly.

I have a feeling this parenthood thing is going to be pretty awesome.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Well hello there blog world. It's been quite a while.

I've definitely had things to blog about this year, but... I guess I have no excuses. I just didn't.

No time here... Didn't think of it there... Just not up to it at times.

It's hard to keep up on all the social medias out there. Facebook and Instagram have had my attention for the moment.

But I do miss the blog. I miss being able to ramble for no reason and if you don't read it, I'm not out anything. I do it for me.

So, here's to more updates coming soon. Hopefully sooner than later. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


These are even bigger now and there is so much sunshine radiating from my corner it's hard to be down and gloomy. Such radiant orange and purple color and those daisies? Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower? (name that movie!)

This was the prayer of my sweet niece the other day:

"Bless Aunt Jenny because her heart is having a rough time. 
Bless her that she will be okay."

The faith of babes is with me.
How can I be anything but optimistic with that?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Another long one...

Isn't it interesting how you can feel so right about something so you start heading that way and planning things out. Then you're blindsided with something else so completely opposite and different than you ever thought you'd face.

But you can look back at all those signs and plans and see how they can be intertwined and still lead you to where you are? I am so eternally grateful for promptings and our trust in those.

On Tuesday Fez and I went in for my TEE procedure. I got all checked in and the nurse talked me through what was going to happen and started me on an IV. She had to poke me 5 times before they got it to work... FIVE! I tried really hard to be brave and not get upset at her. I could tell she felt bad that she couldn't get the vein. I guess that's what happens when they tell you not to eat or drink anything. Surprisingly I only had slight bruising on my left arm and that's it.

They wheeled me into the procedure room and started to set me up. I had to bite down on a mouth brace to protect my mouth from the tube. I started to feel weird and see a little hazy and knew the anesthesia was working. Next thing I knew I was trying to open my eyes and I was back in the room I had started in. I had a drink in my hand and thought it was water but it was apple juice! Yum! I looked down and saw a blanket on me and thought "Oh this is a nice blanket. How nice to put it on me."
(Apparently I had asked for both the apple juice and blanket, but don't remember doing either of those things. So weird!)

Once I started feeling more with it I got dressed and we left for home. Fez said the doctor showed him the recording of my heart so he could see the leaflet flap. He explained that it is showing severe mitral valve regurgitation so I'll have to have surgery to fix it. The more we talked about things the more questions I had and the more frustrated I got that we didn't have better answers and better direction.

How likely will it be repaired vs. replaced?
When should we look for surgeons?
Where should we look?
When should this surgery be? Weeks? Months?
Would it be open heart or minimally invasive?

My follow up appointment isn't until November 30th and I couldn't wait that long. I called my doctor but had to leave a message. My sweet mom had come down to spend the day with us. It was nice to have her there as well as we voiced our concerns and she either agreed or helped be the voice of reason. The night before I was having a hard time with everything so Fez gave me a blessing. I'm grateful for that because I think that's what helped me get through Tuesday. At this point I had to wait. I had to be patient. I had to have trust and faith.

The next day at work was crazy! It was nice to keep my mind off things a little but it never really goes away. My mom got the name of a doctor in Salt Lake that my grandpa and uncle both saw with heart problems so I called to make an appointment and get a second opinion. I had to get a referral from my doctor first so later that day I talked with my doctor. I was so excited/relieved that I could talk to him sooner than in 3 weeks! He said he knew this other doctor and he would send my referral over. Surgery isn't an emergency but sooner is better as my heart has not enlarged yet. He also sounded much more optimistic about the possibility of getting it repaired vs. replaced, but ultimately it would be up to the surgeon. He said while the doctors in Utah are good at this surgery (70-80% repair success rate) the Mayo Clinic is great at this surgery (90% repair success rate). The only bad thing is the Mayo Clinic is in Minnesota. (What?!?!)

So now we are on the quest to find a surgeon or two to see what they think. Talking with insurance to see who/what/where is covered. Ya know, all that fun stuff. :) I'm going to try and update this blog with other things besides just this news. Not much happens in our lives but I'd like to try and get back in the blog groove and talk about other things too. :)

I do just want to say a big fat THANK YOU to everyone for the calls, texts, messages, thoughts, and prayers in my and Fez's behalf. We are so greatly blessed to be surrounded by such love and support. That's usually what makes me cry more than anything. I don't know how we got so lucky.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Earlier this week I received some news that really should have totally freaked me out.

But it didn't. At least not totally.

I think it is partly due to my personality and partly due to my testimony. Both of which I am grateful for right now.

This will be long but I mostly want it documented for myself.

For a few years now I have noticed heart palpitations. They haven't been anything major but started to pick up more frequently within the past few months. I also noticed that I had a hard time breathing at times. I would try to breathe deep and felt like I couldn't get enough oxygen. This was happening more frequently as well. It never really concerned me much though. I had been dancing fine and living life normally so there was no need to see a doctor.

Fez and I started playing volleyball with some people at my work and twice I felt dizzy and super light-headed. I thought I was going to pass out but it went away. A coworker suggested I see a doctor to get my iron and thyroid checked. I put it off for a while but then after another smaller light-headed spell I thought "Why not?". If they don't find out anything I won't be out anything.

I made the appointment, feeling silly telling my symptoms because they really weren't much, and went with an unexpected mind. In talking with my doctor she asked if I had headaches and/or fatigue. I told her I have had more headaches than I normally did, but nothing that major. I'd only taken meds once or twice for it. I had felt more tired then I usually do but I thought I needed better sleep and to be more active. She listened to my heart and could hear a little bit of a murmur, which is normal for me. She said that with these symptoms there are 4 things to consider: heart, neurological, red blood cell count, and I forget the 4th. She ruled out the one I forgot and neurological but wanted to do some tests on my blood and heart. I went to do the blood work (1st time I've ever given blood and it actually wasn't so bad...) and she sent me to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram which is like an ultrasound of the heart. 

I was able to get an appt for the echocardiogram the following day. I was the last patient of the day and they were running 45 minutes behind. The nurse wasn't very friendly and was just all business. I was trying not to feel bugged that she wasn't taking better care of me and understand it'd just been a long day. She asked me if I had been in a car accident or had any blunt trauma to my chest. I told her no. She asked if I had had a fever and I told her no. She kept looking at the monitor (so was I but had NO clue what I was looking at) and then asked me both questions 2 or 3 more times. I was really trying not to be bugged then.

The nurse said she would be back and when she returned she had a doctor with her. They started talking medical talk and I didn't understand any of it until he said "severe". I know what that word means... He then explained that my mitral valve was not working properly and in fact there was a piece (they slowed down the monitor to show me) by the valve that has become detached or something. It would just flap around when my heart would pump allowing blood to flow back into the chamber which means it's being circulated twice and the heart is working harder than it should. We finished up the echocardiogram (the nurse was being much nicer now) and I went to see the doctor.

He explained that I have mitral valve regurgitation and decided he wanted me to have a TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram) to get a better look at how severe it is. He said with mitral valve regurgitation it could be mild, moderate, or severe. If it's mild or moderate I will just come in every few months to get it checked and possibly take medications before dental work is done or for other things. If it is severe medications could be taken but most likely I'd have to have open heart surgery to repair or replace the valve. Because it is more of a structural problem medications won't fix it, but just would help with symptoms. He was very good to be informative of all possibilities but I could tell he was concerned about the severity of it and brought up some hospitals to look into. He gave me homework to look up mitral valve regurgitation and to start looking into hospitals that are good for this kind of surgery.

At this point he stopped and asked me how I was feeling. How was I feeling? I was just told I might have to have open heart surgery when yesterday I got my blood drawn for the 1st time! That's what I wanted to say. But I had been praying for a calm mind and heart and was blessed with both. I expressed that it was not the news I had expected but that now I knew there was a problem I wanted to do what was needed to fix it. I trusted his expertise and if this is what he found and how he wanted to proceed I was not going to question or fight it at this point.

I am scheduled for my TEE on Tuesday and will know then the best way to proceed. I am mentally preparing myself that it will be surgery but hoping I won't have to. But the more I've thought about it if surgery is needed I will come out better than before. Stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I had a wonderful priesthood blessing by my husband the night I found out which gave me the peace I needed. Blessings were promised to me through this trial and I have leaned on that blessing when I find myself faltering in my optimism.

I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost to provide the peace we need. We have felt the love and support from family and friends and are humbled and overwhelmed by it. We are blessed to have the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a plan for us. This may not have been what I was planning for me but I can see points even within the past year that has led me here and prepared me for this. I have faith it will be the Lord's will as I continue to live it pleasing unto him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Czech Republic and Poland

A friend asked me recently,

"Are you ever in the U.S.?"

At times I wish I could say "No" because it means I'm traveling the world, eating delicious/mysterious things, learning history that dates thousands of years, and meeting people that will touch my life forever.

But at the same time the opportunities I've had with Clog America make me proud to be an American and I'm always grateful to be home in a land with so many freedoms and near family.

This summer we went to Czech Republic and Poland. We didn't know as much about these places as other countries we've been to but we were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was, the rich history that still remains, and the smiles we received from so many people.

Enjoy a few pictures of our travels.

Charles Bridge in Prague

View of Prague from Prague Castle

View of Charles Bridge from Prague Castle

Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry in Prague

Krakow main square

Bike ride through Krakow!

Auschwitz I - Most humbling experience.

Remains of gas chamber in Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Rockin' those 50's!

Devil's Dream

Clog America in front of Town Hall in Zamosc

Zamosc Town Square at night. Beautiful!

Advanced Marriage Therapy in Zamosc

I love these buildings in Zamosc!

Hubert got attached to Fez at the Children's Summer Camp. So cute!

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes at the Children's Hospital

We performed for the LDS members at the ONLY church building in Poland!

Old Town Square in Warsaw
Jumping picture in Warsaw

We have been so blessed to get to travel the world like we have. These experiences are engrained on our memories and we look forward to sharing them with our children one day. Hopefully they'll be as lucky as we have been.

Until next time...

Friday, June 29, 2012

In 5 days...

In 5 days I will be on my way to:

Prague, Czech Republic

Krakow, Poland

And get to see things like this:

Buying this:

Doing this:

But not this: