Sunday, June 17, 2012

Down by the River

I recently had a discussion about the narcissistic nature Facebook and other various social networks. Though I agree that I don't really need to know the flavor of ice cream you just fed your family, I usually enjoy seeing photos of long lost friends, their latest adventures, their follies, and their growing families. On that reassuring note, I am certain that someone is going to enjoy the countless family pictures I am about to shamelessly post of my family. Let's be honest, who wouldn't love looking at those sweet baby cheeks and dimples. And I am not talking about Benny.

Without further ado, I present Bergstens 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Little Dancer

I always wanted a dancer in the family. I was so glad to find out I have one. Too bad he seems to already have outgrown this phase.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Macular what?

Macular Edema to be exact. That is what I found out about my eye last week. A few weeks ago my vision started to go blurry in one eye. It was not painful, just really annoying. I would be grading papers and think,  "Why is this so hard?" I started to realize there was something very wrong with the very center of my vision in my left eye. I had a cold at the time and thought it was probably related and would probably go away. Boy was I wrong!
This is my eyeball. The dark spot is not normal.
I explained to Joe what was going on. "It is just like right after you look into the sun, and you have  big flashy dot impairing your vision, except it doesn't go away." He told me that sounded serious and I needed to have it checked out. I protested. My mother asked me to see a doctor. My mother in law asked me to see an eye doctor. I was convinced they were all overreacting. When my cold symptoms went away, and my eye never got better, I started to wonder. The way it all happened was rather fortuitous, or maybe inspired is a better word. I did not have to work, but needed to get some things done around the house, so I still took Benjamin to the sitter in hopes of having some uber productive hours of cleaning. I headed to Wal Mart to look for a window cleaner that I had looked for the day before, thinking "I do not even know why I am going back here." I do not love Wal Mart. Finally found just the cleaner I was looking for and thought I was scotch free and heading home. As I walked out, I passed the vision center. I thought to myself, "I have a minute. I never have a minute. Maybe I will just ask." I went in and told them about my eye. They directed me to an optometrist office that was connected to the vision center that I did not even know existed. I walked in. It just happened to be slow. They just happened to take my insurance. They just happened to have the time to do a full exam. This all just happened to end with the Doctor on the phone trying to schedule an emergency exam  with an ophthalmologist. "There is something very wrong with your macula. It is very likely you will have to have surgery where you will need to lie down face forward for a week. Will this work with your job?" Forget work. What about my baby? My baby who is still nursing every 3 hours. I tried to remain calm. Thinking,  "Let's just wait and see what the other doc says." He scheduled me an appointment 2 hours later with a retina specialist. My brother came in answer to my pleas of needing a sitter. I headed across town to the retina  specialist. I told Joe that something was wrong with my Macula to which he replied using an expletive or two, which only had me more freaked out. He seems to know too much. He left the hospital and met me at my appointment where they sent me from room to room, (4 total) and machine to machine (5 total) to run about a million more tests. "You have a rare condition called Macular Edema. I never see it in people your age. I have no idea how this happened." Those are just the words you want to hear from a doc. He determined that I was in need of another specialist to proceed with the procedures. For the second time that day I waited while the doctor was on the phone with another doctor scheduling an appointment for me. I was scheduled to see the opthalmologist who specializes in Macular conditions.
The next day I headed to my appointment where they determined that a blood vessel had burst in my macula causing new blood vessels to grow in my 20/20 spot creating central blindness in my left eye that may or may not improve with treatments. Once again, he had no idea how this happened and told me I am just plain "unlucky." Awesome.  They injected a die in my arm called contrast so they could take a picture of my eyeball. I had an allergic reaction. They pumped my body full of benadryl and told me that they would now proceed with treatments which means injecting needles into the whites of my eyeball until it hits the macula. These will take place for one month and I will go once a week. Some have seen improvement, but there is no guarantee. The injections do however stop the veins from continuing to grow.
This whole experience has reminded me who is in control and what is truly important. I have so much to be grateful for. I have so much love and support. This has not been fun to go through, but I know that the Lord is testing my patience, long suffering and ability to see the many wonderful blessings he has given me. I truly am grateful for the things I learn from the trials in my life. I know I am watched over and that I am prompted to do things that eventually lead to my protection. I am so thankful for that. I choose to count my blessings, name them one by one.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Remember how I threw a mocktail party back during the holidays? Well, I am guest blogging about it today. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I have so much to love this year! I hope you enjoy this day and that it is filled with lots of love!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shab or mom cut?

After having my long drab hair pulled on and spit up in daily, I decided it was time to chop it. Besides, I hit that magical 3 month mark where it was falling out in chunks. After much debate (just check my pinterest) on how short to go, I decided I would be super hip and do a "shab," which is the new shaggy bob. I chopped 10 inches and was feeling hot to trot until I went to church and a woman told me "ah. You have the mom cut!" So I may not be as hip as I thought,  but  I guess it is official now. I have arrived at motherhood.
Benny makes everyone look cuter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What a difference 3 months makes!

In the short three months of Benny's life, I can confidently say I have learned oodles. I can also confidently say that I have a long ways to go. It is like the more you know, the more you realize you have to learn.  Here are just some of my personal reflections on what I have learned.

Love that 'stache

1. "This doesn't last forever"
I read an article that really helped me see things in a different light. Everyone tells you,  "it just goes so fast. Enjoy every minute!" I disagree with this advice. No matter how hard you try you will not enjoy every minute of being a mother. In fact there are many things I would not mind trading in. I prefer the advice "this doesn't last forever." I like to remind myself in the good and the bad moments that it is fleeting. It helps me get through it, but also helps me enjoy myself. Benny had colic and gave us all a bit of a run for our money. I had to remind myself that he would not cry forever. I also look at those gummy smiles, coos and flirty eyes and remember "this doesn't last forever."

Gotta love a chubby baby in a wife beater

2. Being Well Read Causes Neuroses

I love to read, and have done myself the disservice of over researching motherhood. I read "Babywise" which convinced me that because I still do not have a child that will sleep through the night, I am doing something wrong.  Among this book there were many others that contradicted themselves. What one book preached, another warned never to do. It is enough to make a girl mad. I say trust your instincts. Every kid is different and there is no one book with all the answers.
Mr. Chubby Cheeks

3. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Joe will tell you that I am still working on this, but as a new mom it is easy to worry. People have been having kids for centuries, and they have all turned out fine for the most part. If you miss a nap, or let him sleep in his car seat, let mealtime get off schedule, or let your child get entranced by the TV because it is the first time they have been happy in hours, chances are your child will still turn out ok. It is not worth the worry.
Sweet Smiles

4. Triumph Over All
Going from working a full time job, a part time job, working on my masters and being the YW president to being a stay at home mom has been quite the adjustment. I was positive that I was going to have all the time in the world to work on hobbies, play with friends and catch up on all the organizing i had always promised myself i would do once I had more time. Well turns out none of that has happened. I have learned that my days feel a lot less productive which has forced me to triumph in the small things. Sometimes I have to tell myself the the most important thing I did today was love and care for my baby and that is enough. I do not feel like I am getting more done. On the contrary, I feel like it is a miracle to get the little done that I do each day, but that is okay.

Being a mom is by far the hardest thing i have ever done. It also happens to be the most rewarding and delightful thing I have ever experienced. I am sure there are more adventures that await me and  I say "Bring it on!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I am book bound!

Guess who happens to be the guest blogger at Be Book Bound today? That would be yours truly. Go, read, follow, comment! I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mocktail anyone?

We Mormon's know how to have some real fun. All of my friends from high school were in town this year, so what better to do than throw a mocktail party? I had been wanting to do this for a while. It was a great success. My husband who always will run with any good idea did that. A stop at 2 grocery stores, the local liquor shop, world market, and the dollar store later and we were in business. I watched a couple of food network specials on cocktail parties. Joe did some research on the internet and we found some killer mixed drinks.
Our tower of glasses
The fixings
My favorite: The Mojito
All the girls. Miss ya already!
Benny got to be the honorary baby to attend the adult party. Here he is with uncle Alan

Christmas 2011

This year came and went as if it never happened. Joe was so anxious to have 2 weeks off after working 80 work weeks for nearly 6 months with no break, that we were both sorely disappointed when he got sick. It was only a matter of days that Benny picked it up too despite our best efforts of lysol-ing every last inch of the house, washing our hands like crazy and even keeping his dad from holding him. We are just now getting his sleep schedule back to be somewhat bearable. C'est la vie!
Even with the damper of two sick boys, we were able to enjoy some of our favorite Christmas traditions with friends and family. We also have started a few of our own, which has been fun. Some of the highlights of the season:
The Dahls caroling at the old folks home. One of my favorite traditions.

Driving to Uncle Steve and Aunt Diane's on the 24th. The Albuquerque area got a ton of snow this year.

At Steve and Diane's. Benny doing the usual frightened face.

This season has made me fear for Benny's future. Here he is with Grandpa glued to the TV watching football. I have never seen a baby cry every time a commercial break happens and then calm down immediately when football comes back on. This kid loves his football. We taught him"Rise and Shout" during the BYU bowl game and he loved it. Mom watched him while Joe and I went to a UNM basketball game on New Year's eve. She taught him "Everyone's a lobo!" We just might be raising the biggest sports fan ever.

French Dinner on Christmas Eve at the Dahls. Another one of my favorite nights. Apparently this is not one of Benny's favorites.

Christmas day with the Bergstens. They spoil us like crazy.

Bella and Emily at the Bergstens. Bella did not feel the need to wear her dress, but she did want to wear her pearls and tights.  

We were able to enjoy the traditions in spite of sickness. My favorite memories were the service we did this year. There is nothing that brings more joy than thinking of the reason for the celebration. We are so grateful to always remember the Savior's birth and life. Our first Christmas as a family was so special as we were able to reflect often on the birth of our own son and be that much more grateful for the Christ child. This will definitely be a Christmas that we will remember for years to come.

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