Sunday, February 28, 2010


We found this totally awesome carved tree on our last rock climbing adventure. Seriously impressed. I bet you are too.

Cute kids and Israel's Art

My Sunday kids- somehow (even though we stayed up until 12:30 am watching A lot like Love) we were actually ready for church early this morning and the kids were matching and cute (thanks to Jane), so we took some pictures of the fam. in our front yard.

Here's some of Israel's book he made for his teacher for her birthday. She always tells me it's difficult to send his work home and I discovered that it was difficult to let his book go. I actually cried a little bit reading it one last time with Stan. He laughed and said, "lets take pictures." What a brilliant man I married:)

Friday, February 26, 2010

A friend sent me this poem. I am amazed at how its writer captured so well all the things I have been feeling and the questions I've been asking with my miscarriage.

To My Little One

I never felt you move, My Child,
So small while you were here,

Never saw your tiny fingers,
Never kissed your head, so dear.

But I felt your little spirit,
As it glowed inside of mine

The light and hope of your new life,
A gift from Father, divine.

And I wonder . . .

Will you yet come to us?
Return at a later date?

Or is your mortal visit done?
And do we have to wait?

To see you and to raise you,
To watch you laugh and grow.

I have faith that I’ll yet know you.
And I want you to know,

That I hug your siblings more tightly,
I kiss their little cheeks,

So happy that I have them,
Oh, the joy they bring to me.

And I will always be grateful,
That short as it seemed to be,

For a little while,
I held you inside me.

-Alisa Evans

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A few things that make me smile

As you know I've been having a little bit of a hard time recently. One of the ways I've been staying positive is to find lots of reasons to smile each day.
in no particular order:
1. all the comment love I've recieved. I didn't even know that many people looked at the blog:)
2. My little Julia, she talks up a storm all about everything. Today she told me they learned about turtles in nursery. What do turtles do I asked? "Ribbit"
Here she is being a pirate. I couldn't resist taking the picture, but then I had to get her a different hat:)
3. being with my Stan

4. reading a good book. Right now I'm reading Inkheart. I'm going to read this aloud to Israel after I finish it. I can't believe it took me so long to crack this one open. If you haven't read it yet- I hope you do.

5. Israel being so excited about learning- he's learning to read, to ride his bike, do soduko puzzles, play the piano, AND asking lots of questions- especially about the gospel.
6. My new Bosch mixer I brought home from Utah. I've been saving up and am excited to use it tomorrow to make my bread.

7. Being with my family in Utah. The day before we came back home I read the picture book "The Relatives Came" to Eliza. It's one of my all time favorites. This time I told her we were the relatives visiting and I surprised myself with my tears as we read and laughed together.

8. Getting to climb in the Quarry again and working a fun, challenging stemming problem. I'm still thinking about that one.

9. Finishing the quilt top for my sister Michele's soon to come twins

10. Sleeping in my own bed again (after 8 days on the road)
On our trip this is the kids at Aunt Dana's house- see how Eliza and Julia are holding hands in their sleep? They're happy to be back in their own beds too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doctor Hall PhD

Stan defended his dissertation today. I went to it and I have to say it was stressful for me and I didn't even have to do anything! Stan did a great job and his committee unanimously voted for him to pass his defense. He does have to make revisions, but that is really typical and was expected.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This is Personal

If you don't do personal- I wouldn't keep reading.
I am writing every day, if fact, I am trying to write a book. Today I took a brief hiatus from Mara, my book character, and wrote about something personal and weighing on my heart. I don't quite know why I feel compelled to write it here, but I am.

Free Write 2-10-10
I am the mother of 3 children with birthdays all within a week of each other. Since we’ve been having children Stan and I have fielded poorly made jokes about our sex life, but once we were expecting our second the jokes got even worse: “Oh, you must do it only once a year.” “You must only be fertile in January” “It must be a time when you can really relax because of the holidays” etc. Even the not so rude ones such as “What perfect timing you have” have not been easy to hear. It is true that we have 3 children- all of whom have birthdays within a week of each other, but the truth of the matter is that is just how it worked. We’d been trying to conceive for 6 months before we succeeded with our first child. Our second took 7 months, and our 3rd one was an accident. That old saying “Abstinence is the only birth control with 100% success rate” was, we found out quite true. After being mortified to discover we were expecting- and on top of that in the beginning of October AGAIN, I was not happy. I knew the comments would fly again and again. People just can’t seem to help themselves around a pregnant lady. It’s like there is a license to say anything at all “You just couldn’t get any bigger” is one that comes readily to mind.
The comments did come and I again fielded them with smiles and laughs as usual. We had our 3 beautiful children and I was happy. But, I had also developed a fear of January. In fact I told my husband either was can’t have sex in January or I’m getting an IUD. We got an IUD and I loved that thing. But that’s really not on subject. About 10 months ago I had this vivid dream that God wanted me to have a child, but I couldn’t even accidentally get pregnant because of the IUD. I pulled it out myself that very day. (We’ll not go into how IUD’s are supposed to be removed by your doctor). This act was a huge leap of faith. We were graduating from my husband’s PhD program and didn’t have a job yet, we didn’t know how insurance would work and so forth. I was determined to get pregnant and my husband, not surprisingly, was happy to comply.
A job, a move, and 8 months of trying did not produce a baby. Finally it was January, my “fertile” time. By now I wanted to be pregnant so bad, I wanted to keep trying this month anyhow. Let the inappropriate remarks come (but I didn’t want to have to tell anybody until it was really obvious we were PG).
As you may have guessed, that 9th month, January, we finally conceived a child. I was so happy- I seriously was glowing for a full week and a half. And then I started spotting-something that hadn’t ever happened in any of my pregnancies. I was worried; my husband was relaxed and confident that I would carry the child to full-term. I called my sister who has miscarried 5 or 6 times. She confirmed what I’d looked up online. Calling my doctor’s office-- at 6 weeks they wouldn’t see me. Wait and see I was told. We set up an appointment for 3 weeks out. I did a lot of crying, and then one morning I had heavy bleeding and passed a blood clot. I examined it, worried it might be my child, even setting it aside for a day before finally flushing it away. I still held onto hope- praying often that I might be pregnant still. I kept thinking if I’d really lost it and I would experience period like bleeding. I did not. But I also didn’t feel my typical early pregnancy feelings. I don’t often throw up, but usually feel nauseous and have to eat constantly.
The doctor’s office had told me I could take a birth control test in 2 weeks and see if it was still positive. I took that test yesterday- one of those dollar store ones that you have to supply your own cup for. When I came back to check on it (I couldn’t sit there and watch) -- it was negative. With heavy heart I nodding, confirming what I already thought was probable and spent time grieving my loss.

Now here I am, felling sad and alone-- trying once more to conceive and praying that I won’t have to wait until next January rolls around.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Groundhog's Day Extravaganza

For this year's party we invited 5 couples that we really thought (and hoped) would be able to be goofy with us. We were not disappointed.

Stan and I by the Groundhog's day banner Stan made- his artistry always amazes me.

We ate groundhog stew, yummy bread sticks, cheese and crackers, and 7 layer dip to start off our evening.

Israel's groundhog- his shadow is the grey one to the left (although I'm sure you all figured that out already)

Heather Ann won the guessing how many gummy groundhogs were in the jar-AND she generously shared with all of us:)
Sergio won the "throwing cards into a hat" game (5 out of 10) and had the honor of donning the hat to read Phil's Prognostication - more winter.
The start of our Groundhog Poo Pick-up game (a version of skittles if you've ever played that game- let me know if you want the details) Heather Ann also won this game- she was an amazing pooper scooper!

Matt won the funniest Groundhog's Day Memory (let just say we all had plenty of creative license)

Here's his story:
So there I was, knee deep in the swamps of Vietnam. Chesty on my right, Daly on my left. Today's mission, find that Groundhog . . . and destroy him. Then out of nowhere, Charlie the Groundhog charged. It was a nightmare. Carlie saw his shadow. Chesty got another Navy Cross, Daly his second Medal of Honor. Me? I got this scar, courtesy of Charlie the Groundhog
note: Matt is a Marine and Chesty and Daly are Hero Marines from the past.

We ended the evening with Phil's Favorite Treats (kettle corn) while watching the last 15 minutes of the movie.

Thanks for all the fun guys! We're already talking about next year.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Growing Up

When we moved to CA our teaching Israel to bike took a serious pause. We're on a semi-busy 40 mph road with high burms on either side and no sidewalks anywhere. Stan started working with Israel again anyway and Israel can now ride ALL by himself.
Other firsts, he started his first fire (with minimal help from Dad) with flint and steel last night during Family Home Evening when we learned how to work Stan's Kelly Kettle.

ps Today is one of the favorite Hall family holidays- Groundhog's Day. We were awakened at 6am by Granddaddy Hall and tonight we're having a little celebration. Look back for pictures soon!