Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cotton Candy Grapes

These Cotton Candy Grapes are so delicious I just had to share them with all of you. My family loves these grapes! They are from Costco, and yes, they really do taste like Cotton Candy! I don't know how they did it, but these grapes are our new favorite snack. Since it's summer, my kids are constantly asking for snacks during the day. These taste so good and are so healthy. They are perfect for a yummy, afternoon treat! Give them a try! They will quickly become your favorite food.

The Keeper of the Crayons

***This is not a sponsored post. I just love these so much, I wanted to share them with you.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Honoring Loss Moms

Since the passing of our baby girl, I've met so many beautiful mothers that have lost children of their own. My heart breaks for them, but it's also comforting to know that I'm not alone in my grieving.
One of the amazing mothers that I have met is Crystal. She has helped me cope more than she will ever know. She does a beautiful job paying tribute to her own angel baby as well as being a great mom to her rainbow baby. She is doing an amazing project on her blog where she honors moms and their babies that have passed away. I'm honored that she asked us to share our story and I'm so grateful to call Crystal my friend. Take a moment to read about all the sweet angel babies on her blog and you can read our story here. I'm blessed that there have been so many opportunities for us to share our story and keep Lucy's memory alive.

The Keeper of the Crayons

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Avocado Tacos

"Taco Tuesday" has become a huge hit in our house. This past week instead of making tacos in regular taco shells, we put the meat in an avocado! We added all the toppings in a bowl along with the avocado taco. It was so yummy and a healthier version. Give it a try!

The Keeper of the Crayons

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Secret to the Best Cinnamon Rolls

Rainy days call for baking cinnamon rolls! I'm going to let you in on a little secret to making the best cinnamon rolls... Use powdered sugar when you are rolling out the dough, instead of using flour. Your dough will come out sweeter and will be fluffy instead of dry from using too much flour. It's a trick I've been using for years and I always get asked what my secret is to my cinnamon rolls. It's an easy trick and makes a huge difference with the dough. Hope this helps you with your future baking.

The Keeper of the Crayons

National Infertility Awareness Week

This day, one year ago, I was sharing our infertility story for #NIAW. We had just suffered 3 miscarriages, had several procedures done, and were starting our first round of fertility treatment. So much has happened in the past year. We went to the Utah Fertility Center. They were so sweet and helpful to us. We got pregnant during our first round of Clomid and I didn't have to use a trigger shot. We made it to 30 weeks with our baby girl (our 4th child), when my placenta abrupted this past January. Our daughter Lucy passed away and was stillborn and my body went into DIC from bleeding internally and I had to fight for my life during a mass blood transfusion. This isn't where I pictured our infertility story would be a year later or how our family of 6 would look like. Since it's National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would share some things I've learned that might help others facing that same feeling of "this isn't where we should be in our journey".

Infertility can happen at any time, at any age. Regardless of if you've had children easily before or not. 1 in 8 couples will face infertility AND 1 in 4 women will have their pregnancy end in miscarriage or a stillbirth. This was something I didn't know during my first 3 pregnancies or until we started going to our fertility clinic. I was shocked to hear of those stats, but it also has helped me realize I'm not alone. So many couples are affected by these things, so you are not the only one.

Infertility and Loss doesn't define who you are. It's not that something is wrong with you or that this is who you are. I had to look at it as though this was just a trial we had to go through to prove to others that it's something that you can overcome. I wasn't broken or failing as a woman. Infertility was just a bump in our road. I try so hard to be the same person in the dark that I am in the light. And to have more faith than fear. My faith and my family are everything to me. They are the only things that have kept me going through our trials. Having a support system at home is so important. 

Losing a child is the worst pain anyone will ever experience. It's so different from any other kind of loss. It changes who you are and the way you look at everything. Miscarriages are hard, but stillbirth is a lot harder and more heartbreaking than words will ever express. They are both painful losses but are very, very different. Having a baby that is stillborn is devastating. Giving birth to my baby girl and having her come into this world so silently after feeling her move inside of me for 3 trimesters is the hardest thing I've ever done. This has been a hundred times harder emotionally than any of my miscarriages and physially harder than any of the fertility treatments we went through. Through our loss, I also have learned that infertility doesn't end with a positive pregnancy test, unfortunately. Whether your story is where you hoped it would be at this moment or if it feels like you are a million years away from where you want it to be, God is going to help pull you through this, as long as you don't give up.

I love the quote that says, "The darker the storm, the brighter the rainbow!" I believe this with all of my heart. Losing our baby girl is the darkest, saddest storm I've ever had to go through, but it's also bringing me closer to Our Savior. I know that Joy lies ahead after every single Sorrow. I just have to be patient and look for all the blessings that will come from enduring infertility and the passing of our baby. I hope if you are suffering in silence from infertility or a loss, that you will feel comforted and know that there are many others out there just like you. I hope you will have faith and that joy will come to you after your sorrow. You are not alone.

The Keeper of the Crayons

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Rain Boots

Who else is so excited that Spring is here!? I came across these adorable rubber rain boots for kids and knew my kids had to have them! What better way to celebrate Spring than jumping in puddles! I've linked all three pairs below.

I fell in love with these cute boots for my daughter from Small Wood Home. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite places to shop online. The boots have the cutest bow on the front and come in a few different colors! Perfect for Spring!

 I couldn't leave my boys out so I found these rain boots for them. They were online at Walmart for $9.48! So I was pretty happy. The Easter Bunny is bringing these rain boots, sand toys, hats, a purse and bubbles for Easter this year! All the things kids need for Spring and the start of Summer.

The Keeper of the Crayons

What I've Learned About Grief

Time goes by so quickly. I have had my blog for over a year now. Over the last year I've been on TV several times, I have shared recipes, diy projects, awesome deals, made money, received awesome products and told all about our infertility journey, miscarriages and infertility treatments. I've met so many wonderful people and have received so much support. I hope to return the favor to each of you. I'm going to continue blogging and sharing my experiences. It's become such a rewarding hobby. If you are a mother that is grieving, my heart hurts for you and you are in my prayers.

To say the past 3 months have been the hardest, most painful months of my life would be a huge understatement. Our baby girl was stillborn at 30 weeks when I had a placental abruption, causing hemorrhaging and internal bleeding. My body went into DIC and I almost died. I received 40 units of blood during a mass blood transfusion, was transferred to the ICU, and spent a week in the hospital. I really feel prompted to share the things I've learned so far about grieving. I know it's an ongoing process, and that everyone is different, but these are my personal experiences. I hope they can help someone who may be grieving right now and feels alone.  

It's the worst pain I've ever gone through. Losing a child is the worst, most awful pain that any human being will go through. At first I felt like my heart was broken and someone was constantly punching the wind out of me. It's a crippling, time stopping kind of pain. I felt weak because I couldn't stop crying and couldn't stop being sad the week after our baby's funeral. Then I realized this is not an easy thing to go through. And it's okay to hurt. It's okay to be sad. And it's okay if the pain never goes away. It has lessened to where I feel like I can breathe a little now, but it's a constant pain I feel in a small part of my heart. Always. Every single day. I don't know if that will go away since I'm only a few months into this, but I do know I will always have a spot from my heart in Heaven.

It's okay to have emotions all over the place. I have really hard days, really good days, hard weeks, long months and happy moments in between. And that's okay. It's alright to be happy and sad at the same time. It's okay if I laugh with my other kids and smile! I want them to know that you can be happy even if you are sad that someone is gone. I want them to know that I'm grateful even if this is so hard. I've been dealing with PTSD and there's time that I just physically feel like I can't do something. And that's okay. It's okay if I cry uncontrollably for half a day. It's okay to hug my kids so tight and watch them sleep at night. It's okay to not want to leave my husband's side. It's okay to smother my family in so much love that I seem like a stalker. It's okay to feel like I'm not in control. It's okay to still be recovering from almost dying. It's okay to be tired and take a nap. It's okay to not know how I am going to feel from one minute to the next. It's okay to not know how to feel. It's okay to try and give back because my heart was touched. It's okay to not be the same person that I once was. It's okay to have a new normal. It's okay to miss my baby more than words can describe. It's okay that I spend hours at her grave. It's okay to look at her pictures everyday. It's okay if I don't care if my story will make others sad or uncomfortable. It's okay to realize that I'm a victim of the worst tragedy in my life and that I'm also a walking miracle from that same day. It's okay that my priorities have changed. It's okay that there isn't a right way to grieve. Just as long as I don't give up. As long as every morning I get up prepared to survive another day and enjoy the moments I have with my family here on earth, then it's okay to have whatever emotions I have.

God has shown His love to us through angels here on Earth. We have had so much support from family, friends, ward members, people in the community, coworkers, nurses, doctors and complete strangers. I feel like Heavenly Father knows exactly when I need something and that always comes from someone else. A couple weeks ago I was having a hard day as I approached my due date. As I said my morning prayers I asked God if he could even see how hard of a day I was having. Later that evening a relative of my husband's who also lost a baby over 30 years ago, called me and shared a story someone had given her during the passing of her baby. It gave me so much comfort and was an answer from Heavenly Father telling me that he does know the pain I'm going through and that I'm not alone. I've come to realize who is really there for us and who really love us. I have realized there are so many people who care for us and who are sad with us. I know that everyone that has been so supportive and offered comfort to us since our baby passed away, has followed promptings from Heavenly Father. They have been great examples of how to be Christ-like and they are the people who truly love us. The kindness of everyone continues and someone offers us support on a daily basis. I know Heaven is helping pull me through this trial and I know that Heavenly Father and Our Savior are always there. I know that Our Savior knows exactly how I feel and how extreme my pain is emotionally as well as physically and that He will help carry me through this trial. I know that I will receive blessings from this.

The Keeper of the Crayons

Friday, January 20, 2017

Healthy Wraps with Ranch

Happy Friday! To celebrate making it to the weekend, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes. I have been craving turkey sandwiches this entire pregnancy, which is exactly what I craved with my other daughter too. The only problem is, I'm not a big bread fan. I found these whole wheat wraps instead and I love them! I also came across a yummy ranch recipe that helps make the perfect lunch. Not only does it satisfy my sandwich cravings, it's healthy too! I've even made these for dinner with a side of sweet potato fries, and my family loves them!

Healthy Wrap Sandwiches:

Wrap Ingredients:
*Pack of Whole Wheat Tortilla Wraps
*1 lb. Deli Sliced Turkey (Or meat of choice)
*Sliced Fresh Veggies, I used Spinach, Tomatoe, Pickles and Cucumber
*1 lb. Deli Sliced Cheese

Ranch Ingredients:
*1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
*1 tsp. Garlic Powder
*1 tsp. Onion Powder
*1 tsp. Sea Salt
*1/2 tsp. Pepper
*1/2 tsp. Parsley
*1/2 tsp. Dill

Directions: Combine all the ingredients for the ranch and whisk together. On a wrap, spread some of the ranch to cover the entire tortilla. Layer a couple pieces of the turkey, cheese then veggies. Roll up wrap and slice in half. Serve with sweet potato fries. Enjoy!

The Keeper of the Crayons