Monday, June 27, 2011

His Beating Heart...

My heart aches to hear the beating of his heart once more. That's what I thought. Sometimes I might purposfully drive on the bumpy strips on the freeway and imagine hearing the beating of a strong heart pumping life through the veins of an otherwise unviable being. Just one more time. I'd even take the smell of the ultrasound gel once more just to hear it. Last night while packing, I accidentally saw it. It was an unmarked DVD so we put it in the DVD player to see what it was. His beating heart. A message from the dead: I was once here. Do you remember? Oh son, how could I ever forget? I felt as though my happiness of the day had just crashed in on me. I could no longer be productive with packing and organizing. It ended there. It was as though a tiny hand had reached through the screen and touched my heart once more. My cracked vase started leaking water. Apparently all the glue in the world can't stop the occasional leak. I miss my baby boy. I miss his beating heart. I miss it lulling me to sleep in the hospital. I must pick up the pieces of my broken vessel and glue them all back together. Piece by piece, day by day... It gets better. I feel as though I get stronger. There are just the occasional moments in life when it hits me. Goodnight baby. Sleep peacefully.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 9: My siblings

I have been blessed in life to be the only girl in my family. What does that mean? Lots of guy-tection, a.k.a. lots of brothers to protect me, three brothers to be exact.

Jesse is my oldest brother. He is almost 6 years exactly older than me. His birthday is September 3, mine is the 2nd. See, almost exactly. He's such a good dad and husband. He's married to Tina and they have two kids. Josh and Chloe. Jesse has always been one to think of others before himself. He's an excellent older brother.

Josh comes next. He is 4 years older than me. Josh was always the popular one. He plays the bass very well. Because of his band, I met Ryan. Thanks Josh! Josh is the sweetest guy alive. He's a great cook. He lived in Italy for 2 years and learned how to cook the most delicious pasta. He probably gets sick of me asking for him to cook for me for birthdays and Christmas. His wife will be one lucky lady (no, he's not married... yet)!

Nathan brings up the caboose. He is 13 years younger than I am. You can do the math for how much younger than my brothers he is. He has such a fun personality and is turning into quite the handsome young man if I do say so myself. When my parents told us they were pregnant with him, I cried. I was so ticked off at them. I didn't tell one single soul my mother was pregnant because I was so embarrassed. How sad is that? Once he was born, I just loved him to death. He was the cutest baby I had ever seen. Thankfully he was cute because he was a little turd!

Fun fact: My brothers and I used to do the dance from Dirty Dancing in our living room, you know, the one at the end of the movie? Well, one of them, I think maybe Josh, went to do the flying eagle lift with me and totally dropped me on the rocking chair. Cha-ching! One of them also hit me with a rake at one point. They make fun of my crying because apparently I sound like a car changing gears. Lovely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 8: Things that calm me

What calms me? Hmmm..... Well, since pretty much everything stresses me out, this was a difficult one. Here are a few things I can think of that give me a sense of peace, even if it is just for a brief moment.

  • Rain storms, especially those including thunder. I love cracking the windows during a storm to listen to it.

  • After a snowstorm, I love to go outside and listen. There's not a sound in the world. It's so peaceful.

  • I enjoy luscious bubble baths.

  • Pedicures.

  • Massages. I could have a massage every single day of my life and be totally okay with that. There's just something about it.

  • Being overly planned for whatever I am doing. I like to have a timeline/schedule for everything. It's kind of annoying for anybody who is around me. Sorry world.

Those were lame. I'm bored with me. Are you?

Moab 2011

We just got back from another amazing trip to Moab. We left early Sunday morning and drove down. When we got there, we went straight to Onion Creek, our favorite 4-wheeling trail. You cross the creek tons of times and got soaking wet. It's always a good time. Scarlet got to ride in the truck with my parents while all the kids rode the 4-wheelers. She loved it!

Monday we hiked to Corona Arch for the real reason we went to Moab. The guys all wanted to repel off the arch. It was so much fun to watch them. It was also a really beautiful hike. Scarlet got to ride in a backpack and absolutely hated it. Poor little thing! She ended up falling asleep on the way down thankfully. She was just having a rough time being in the pack.

Here are the guys on top of Corona Arch.

Here they are again on top of the arch, you just have to look really close to see them. That's how big the arch was! Here is Ryan getting ready to go off!

After the hike, everybody went back out on the 4-wheelers. I stayed back at the hotel with my mom and Scarlet for some much needed nap time. We also made our way to "downtown" and went "shopping." There's not a whole lot there, but we still had a good time. I got to make Scarlet a really cute onesie at the T-shirt shop.

Scarlet ended up getting sick Monday night so we didn't get much sleep. It was not so cool, especially since we were sharing a room with other people! Tuesday morning we woke up and went to Dead Horse Point. It was really cool to see. Then we drove home. It was a spectacular trip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 7: My day in bullet points

I'll start at midnight since that is technically when the day starts....

  • Midnight -- Put Scarlet to bed for the 10th time.

  • 2:45 -- Feed Scarlet, clean up Scarlet throw up, put Scarlet back to bed.

  • 6:56 -- Get Scarlet up, try to keep her quiet... didn't work.

  • 7:15ish -- Walk to hotel lobby and get two powdered donuts. I then proceeded to eat them. Both of them.

  • Go back to room and clean, pack, get ready to head back home (I was in Moab).

  • Pack the car.

  • Go to Maverik for a killer 44 oz. Dr. Pepper, black nibs, and chips.

  • Get on the road.

  • Go to Dead Horse Point State Park.

  • Change a diaper.

  • Walk around for a while.

  • Take a few photos.

  • Get back in car and drive to Green River.

  • Eat at Arby's.

  • Get back in car.

  • Drive to mother-in-law's house.

  • Pick up the dog.

  • Drive home.

  • Make a bottle.

  • Unpack.

  • Call Leslie.

  • Put Scarlet down for nap.

  • Check blogs and e-mail.

  • Get Scarlet up.

  • Go for a walk.

  • Feed Scarlet peas.

  • Bathe Scarlet.

  • Dress Scarlet.

  • Make Scarlet's "nighttime" bottle.

  • Put Scarlet to bed.

  • Get on computer to work......

The night still isn't over. It's only 7:28. Let's just say that it's been a CRAZY, busy day.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dear Scarlet -- 10 months

Dear Scarlet,

Ten months down, two more to go until your first birthday! This last month has been amazing. You are learning and growing at such a rapid rate. You have been so much fun this month.

We started the month off with a quick trip to California with your pseudo-aunt, Leslie. We flew down really early one morning and you did amazing. You slept through most of the flight there. You helped me look for an apartment. It was a very long and exhausting day, but I think we accomplished what we needed to. After all was said and done, you took an amazing nap.

We went to visit your twin on Memorial Day. I had a difficult day, but you were just as happy as could be. I'm sure Kingston enjoyed your company that day as he always does.

You got your first ear infection this month!! Oh no! You enjoyed your bubblegum-flavored antibiotic. You really did. I would give it to you and you would reply with a satisfied, "Mmmmm..." You're easy to please.

You're still an amazing little eater. You will eat just about anything we give you. I hope you stay that way.

The pool at our house has opened for the summer and you are in heaven! The first time I took you and put you in your floatie, you took off around the pool. You have always loved the water and the pool is no exception. What an amazing little thing you are!

You have started to immitate us really well. You will now occasionally wave bye-bye. You will also repeat some things we say such as mama, dada, papa.

Scarlet, I cannot even express how much love I have for you. You bring me joy beyond measure. I love that I get to watch you grow and learn. You are everything I have ever wanted in a child and more! I'm excited for what the future holds for us. Stay beautiful little princess. Mommy loves you!



Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 6: My parents

My parents are slightly crazy, but I still love them. As their offspring, I'm slightly crazy as well. Thankfully it makes for some really good times.

My father, Dennis, grew up in Provo. He comes from a family with 1 brother and 2 sisters; Randy, Vicky, and Tammie. He is an amazingly talented artist. His house, that he built himself, is filled with his artwork. Not only is he a talented artist, but he is good at just about everything he does. He's a man of all trades. He was the mayor of Elk Ridge for 4 years. He loves to ride his Harley and dress up like a mountain man and go to rendezvous all over the place. When I was a kid, he took me to one on my birthday. I went with my brand new cabbage patch. He bought me a popsicle that had been kept cold with dry ice or something. I put it in my mouth and it got stuck to my lips. I hate when that happens. Anyway, growing up, he always dressed me in mocaisins and turquoise. He taught me how to garden and be an honest person.

My mother, Susan, is from Springville. She's the youngest of her siblings by at least 7 years. I kind of wonder if she was a surprise? Probably not, but who knows. She has 4 siblings. A half-brother named Earl. Then there's David, Paul and Linda. Sadly, Linda was killed in a motorcycle accident just 3 months before I got married. It was horrible. We still miss her.

My mother is a wonderful lady. She has taught me how to be respectful and loving. She taught me how to be a good wife and mother. Fun fact: Her mother was 45 when she had my mom. Her grandfather was 65ish when he had my mom's mother. Is that confusing? Let's just say there's about 100 years between my mom and her grandfather. Yikes, right?

There you have it. My parents in a very tiny nutshell.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 5: My pet

Bella is my saving grace. She's the cutest little cream chihuahua. She's so lovey-dovey. Here's how she came about.

December 2008 was the month I was going to get pregnant. I was determined! We had obviously been trying for quite awhile and this was the month we were going to do artificial insemination. We did. In January, I excitedly took a pregnant test, like the 10 billionth test. Much to my dismay, it was negative. I was heartbroken. I was honestly down and out for a good week or so. I finally told Ryan that I just needed something in my arms to fill the void. I went on KSL and found this little doozy of a photo and immediately fell in love. A puppy in a teacup. Who doesn't want that? I called Bella's owner and told them I was on my way to see her. I was madly in love with her bubbly personality and playfulness. She was so tiny too! I paid my deposit and told them I would be back a week later to pick her up. I couldn't wait that long. I ended up picking her up 3 days early.

The first night we had Bella, we put her in her kennel and listened to her cry all night long. It was the saddest thing EVER. I felt so bad I had taken her from her mom. It didn't take long for her to warm up to us. She was so little, she couldn't even go up and down the stairs by herself. I had to carry her everywhere. I loved it. It was just what I needed.

Now we have had Bella for almost 2-1/2 years and she is still pretty great. She can do the following tricks: Sit, shake, jump, stand, bang, bang (play dead), give loves, rub-a-belly... and on and on. She can also go get her toy on command. The worst part about Toy? She has to sleep with it every night. As soon as she sees us getting in bed, she will run and get her toy. She'll scrape the bed until we pick it up and put it in bed with us (it's too big for her to jump with it). I will often find her snuggled up with it in bed.

I'm so grateful for Bella and all the joy she brings to our little family. It's going to be one sad day when we have to part with her. :(

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 4: 15 Interesting facts about me

I don't know if I can come up with 15 interesting facts, but I will sure try.

  1. I hate when my forearms get wet while doing the dishes and bathing Scarlet.

  2. I have to have Burt's Bees on my lips at night and while I work.

  3. I don't like washing my hair because then I have to blow dry and straighten it.

  4. I could eat Mexican food 3 meals a day.

  5. I love checking my e-mail in the morning.

  6. I love the smell of wet cement.

  7. When Ryan and I go somewhere, I drive almost always.

  8. I don't have a gallbladder or tonsils.

  9. I've only had to get stitches once (except for surgeries). I had them in my finger.

  10. I've never broken a bone.

  11. I love after it snows when the snow sticks to tree branches. It looks amazing.

  12. I hate spiders. They freak me out.

  13. I love to organize my things although I don't do it enough.

  14. MAC makeup is my favorite.

  15. I hate to wear socks, even in the winter. You will oftentimes find me in the snow with slippers or sandles on. Shoes and socks just drive me crazy.

There you have it. Not sure if those are that interesting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 3: A picture of you from over 10 years ago

Since I am ghetto, I don't have a scanner. Therefore, I had to scour the internet for a picture of me from over 10 years ago. Yes, once upon a time I did a pageant or two. This was my senior year of high school. It was in the Miss Payson pageant. Obviously I didn't win, but I did manage to place. I have no idea how either because I went up against some really beautuiful and talented girls. My summer after I graduated was filled with parades and public appearances. It was an absolute blast!

Fun facts: During the pageant I had to stuff my swimsuit because I had zero boobs. I also had to glue my swimsuit to my bum (normal pageant trick), and the top of my dress, because of having a flat chest, had to be duct taped to me. Yes, you heard me right. I was so flat I couldn't even keep my top on. Sad, isn't it? Now I'm too fat to even get the skirt zipped up on my dress. Talent? I danced of course.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 2: Your favorite movie

My favorite movie isn't even in English. It's in French. No, I don't speak French so I have to read the subtitles throughout the entire movie. I love it. There's something about it being in French that makes me love it even more.

Amelie goes about each day trying to manipulate the world around her to improve the lives around her. I love that she thinks her neighbor who is in a coma, is getting her entire life's worth of sleep all at once. She thinks that records are made like crepes. Now everytime I eat creme brulee, I think of Amelie cracking the sugary top with the back of her spoon. Mmm..... creme brulee!

This is such a feel-good movie. I used to watch it twice in one day because it just would give me that pick-me -up that I needed. It's a sweet love story that I'm sure if you just give this movie a chance, you too will love it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 1: Introduce Yourself

I'm going to attempt to be better at blogging with a 30-day trial. Let's see how it goes. I might just bore you all, so sorry if I do. Here goes!

I was born Ashley Brooke Dunn on September 2, 1982. My brothers wanted to name me Cinderella, so on occasion we throw in Ashley Brooke Cinderella Dunn, but I often just go by "Babe." Not Babe like the pig. Let me remind you, I came way before the pig did. My parents still call me Babe and I still answer to it just as if it was my given name.

I grew up with 2 older brothers. I thought they were horrible and God's way of punishing me... or something. They were mean and awful. They are 4 and 6 years older than me, Josh and Jesse. We didn't get to like each other until we were a little older. Now we have a great relationship with each other and I think they are God's way of blessing me... or something. When I was 13, my mom and dad had a SURPRISE!!! His name is Nathan Dakota. He was the definition of Michelin Man, so super obese. Now he is a teenager and getting ready to drive. I can't believe he's that old already!

When the doctor pulled me out, he told my parents, "she's got the feet of a dancer." And dance I did starting at the age of 2. I clogged until I was 15, and then I was on the high school drill team for my sophomore and junior years. My senior year I was on the modern dance company. I took one semester of dance in college and then decided I was done dancing. I never thought that day would come. I remember thinking, "what am I going to do without dance in my life?" I had always danced, always had practices, always had performances, and now it was all over. It was sad. I still miss it.

I graduated from Payson High School in 2001. I attended UVSC, now UVU, for 2 years and graduated with my associates degree in 2003.

While at a local music venue in July 2003, I saw a guy staring at me. I thought there was no way I would ever talk to him.... until I found out he was the new drummer for my brother's band. After about a month of hanging out and getting to know each other, we started dating. His name was Ryan by the way. We dated for a year and a half and ended up getting married January 27, 2005. We've been happily married ever since.

I always wanted to be a mother and it took me way too long to figure out how to become one. God so graciously blessed me with two beautiful children. I gave birth to them just before my 28th birthday. Kingston is my oldest child by two minutes. Scarlet came next. Kingston had trisomy 18, a diagnosis incompatible with life, and shortly after birth, he passed away. It was heartbreaking and devestating, but an experience that makes me who I am.

I have only ever lived in Utah County, but I am soon leaving "Happy Valley" for the "Inland Empire" also known as Rancho Cucamonga, California. I'm sure it will be a slight culture shock, but I'm okay with that. It's just one more thing that will shape me into who I am, right?

That's me, in a nutshell.