Thursday, December 1, 2011

A fallen crown...

This is about as classic as it gets, sure it may just look like an ordinary picture of gracee dressing up. It is so much more than that... note the many rings, the "lapstick" in her right hand that she loves to rub all over her face, note the carefully placed bracelets, the dora pj's that she insists on wearing even though they have grown too snug, note the red sparkly shoes from aunt pam that she insists on wearing without socks and gets them stinky, just like many of her other shoes she has ruined with that permanent stench. (we keep confiscating them from her when we find her wearing them without socks), and last but not least the earrings and crown. The earrings actually really hurt her earlobes, but she thinks they look so pretty that she puts them on anyway and just endures the pain for as long as she can take it. Each time she brings them to me to put them on, she says, "but they won't hurt!" As if, to talk herself out of the pain the pinch brings.When she would wear this crown she would come up to me and say, "I'm a princess." My line back is, "Why hello princess Gracee!" and then I kiss her hand. Well, one day she was really upset about something and without even skipping a beat she tore the crown off and bent it in her rage. She heard it snap and discovered that she had broken her crown. Her mark of deity, the sign of her refined, high class status...GONE. Just like that. Of course she made several futile attempts to get scotch tape and try to get me to fix it. She even tried the ol' instant gratification route: "but we'll buy a new one!!!???" Me: "No Gracee, it doesn't work that way. "

A couple weeks of mourning for the loss of the crown passed without her calling herself a princess. One day she put on one of her old necklaces and said, "look Mommy, I'm a princess." I was happy that she still felt like a princess without her beloved crown. "Maybe she has learned her lesson", I thought. I was afraid if I got one too soon, she'd get an unrealistic expectation for future tragedies...this could get costly. So I decided to have her WORK to earn her CROWN back. She has a chore chart that she has been working on filling up with stickers. When it is all full, we can go choose a new crown. I also remind her when she picks her nose and eats it and spits on the floor that princesses don't do that sort of thing either.

Yes indeed, spitting, picking, raging...queens don't do that, right? What do I hope she will learn from this? Not sure, something having to do with not destroying things in tantrums and embracing princess-like qualities I guess.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I started the fun weekend by running the Halloween Half! It was really fun! Kenzie and Kimberlee aren't picutred cuz my silly phone wasn't working to take pics before the race. Good thing Heather's husband, Dave, brought a camera or we wouldn't have had pics at all!

Thanks honey for coming to the finish line, I know that's not your fav!
Gracee's first jack-o-lantern!!
Ward Trunk or Dora and boots, minus the red boots--left them at home, of course!
I love this pirate costume, but he already had a I just let him wear this a couple times during the day so I could soak in his cuteness.
Look! It's Dora's negligent parents that let her go trapsing about the jungle with nothing but a little monkey and a talking backpack! Nick Jr. leaves them nameless...
pizza party!!!!!!
Marnie decide our names could be Jose and Sylvia. Doesn't Russ look like a Jose here?
Tammy Fay, Pocahontas, Tonks, Paige with a fro, Me with a fro!! We watched "What Lies Beneath". Lee and I screamed a lot...and yes, we've seen it. =)


(My journal entry from today...sorry if it's a downer, just being honest)


Pretty cool huh? The date won't look that cool again until next year on December 12th!!!

What a rough week. This may be my hardest week as a mom yet. Both kids have been sick all week, and now Russ too. I have been trying to spend a lot of good time with Gracee so she wouldn't notice what a cooped up week it's been. Yesterday I wasn't able to do as much because I had to take care of miserable Joey EVERY second of the day. He was feverish and sore from a shot the day before and wouldn't even let me put him down. Gracee has been acting out and disobeying every second she can think of something to disobey about ever since. I texted Russ today and told him that I've totally forgotten how to be a good mother and that I hope I don' t scar Gracee for life. He took it as a joke, but I was mostly serious. My patience runs so thin after 6 grueling days of this. I wish I could say I've already learned how to take things in stride and not let things get to me, but I'm not there yet. I dug deep so many times today for inner strength and prayed a bunch. I know this is the most important work I can be doing right now, so I really am interested in doing it right...well, as right as I can muster anyway.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My friend Maddie

One year ago today we lost our dear Madison.

Here is a copy of my journal entry today:
This is my first time attempting to write in my journal from my phone, one-handed while I am nursing...
Today is the year anniversary of madison's death. Throughout this week, I've mainly thought of marnie and paige.but today I'm mostly thinking about maddie. I'm thinking about what life must be like for her right now. Some people die when they are old, some when they are sick.others die when they are full of life and abundantly joyful, this was our maddie.
when the sick or the old are released from this life, my mins usually goes to how much happier they are. But with maddie, my thoughts are led to think about how much more AFFECTIVE she is where she is at. I imagine she is so busy doing good, that this year had absolutely flown by for her!
I also find myself thinking about all the time she's been there with marnie and paige to help them in ways they don't even realize.
She was radiant on earth, it's hard to imagine how much more radiant she is now.
I miss her so much.every time I have those thoughts, my heart pains for paige and marn.we do a lot of fun things with them like game nights and stuff. It really does my heart good to see them laugh and have fun.tonight a bunch of us are going to do a madison date. We are having dinner at wendy's and going to play laser tag-things she would've loved. It will be good.
To Maddie, thanks for the exceptional person you were and for all the amazing work you are must surely engaged in at this time. We love and miss you.

Monday, September 12, 2011





Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blessing Day

We are all so blessed to have you. Your generous smiles and vibrant blue eyes delight me each day. Daddy loves your cheerful personality and cheerful heart. You have brought us so much happiness. Today is your blessing day. Many special people will be there to support you. Many love you and want to see you grow healthy and strong and be successful in this life.
As your mother, what I wish most for you is for you to know your Heavenly Father and Savior and for you to know you are a son of God and you are here in this life to grow and be tested. This is how you can be able to live with them again.
I love you I love you! I love to put my cheek against yours and kiss your sweet nose and lips. You are my boy and I am so happy you are here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Greater Work

Russ and I have the opportunity of being in the Jenny Phillips fireside group, I've been in it since me and Russ were dating. Jenny is an amazing artist and friend. She has a gift of writing music that shares her testimony through the powerful influence of the spirit. She travels around the world doing firesides and has touched many. She is in Taiwan now showing this video. She actually created this video and song with this trip in mind. They are having a big problem there with women deciding not to bear children, some crazy trend like 70% or something. She is a great example to me of seeing perspective through life.

I echo Jenny's feelings about motherhood, there is no greater honor I can receive. Every woman will have the opportunity to receive this treasured role, if not in this life, then in the life to come. Take a minute to go to her website to view this video, be sure to listen to the words.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Videos like this give me courage to raise my children in today's society:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Joey's Birth story

What a wonderful boy! I am excited to tell you the story of how you were born. My due date with you was May 27th. I was late with Gracee so I figured I'd be late with you. My pregnancy with you was very different though. You moved around a ton! I felt you mostly on my right side. Your legs and feet were so prominent that there were times we could just grab your foot between our fingers and shift it back and forth, it was really amazing. You had a good time interacting while you were in my tummy. A couple of times while we were having game night, you did it with Marnie Stevens, a young woman in our ward and a good friend. Marnie lost her sister, Madison, last year. It was right around the time I found out I was pregnant with you. Maddie was a very amazing girl. We told her mom, Paige, that if you were a girl, we would name you Madison, after her. We felt like she was probably up there rocking you in her heavenly rocker. You were probably late because you wanted more time playing with Maddie! I didn't get as nauseous with you the first 3 months as I did with Gracee. I also had almost zero swelling with you, probably because I wasn't at a desk job this time around. I didn't stick out much with either of you, so we were all pretty surprised to see how long you were.

Okay, so on Friday June 3rd, we went in for my last prenatal visit. Even though I was a week late, I wasn't real anxious to get you out, not like I was with Gracee. I just wanted you to come when you were good and ready. Your dad was pretty anxious to meet you though, so he encouraged me to have them do some tricks on me to get labor going. When they tried those tricks on me with Gracee, they didn't work, so I didn't think much of it. However, the midwives' tricks were much more effective, because before they stripped my membranes, they used water and a catheter to help me dilate to a 4. That night my usual Braxton hicks were starting to slowly morph into slightly uncomfortable contractions. dad and I went to meet with a member of the stake presidency so he could call your dad back into the bishopric. he made a joke that he hoped the news wouldn't put me into labor. After that, we went on a walk to talk about that and work offers your dad has been considering. There were a couple times that I had to stop during a contraction but they were still really far apart and not real painful. We dropped by Paige's house on the way home to pick something up. We stayed for about 40 minutes, her sister Shelley made us some ginger tea. It was very spicy and my contractions continued to feel more real. Oh, and the night before this, (Thursday night) grandma and uncle Steve were watching a movie downstairs. I had a yeast infection and had decided to use a suppository with tea tree oil, olive oil, meleluca, and on guard. The problem is, there wasn't a high enough concentration of the olive oil, so it burned really bad. I think the agony was what sent me into full fledged labor. I spent the entire night with pretty heavy contractions that were about 12 minutes apart. I feel like I was blessed to have a better sleep than I should have with all that going on. I fell into deep sleeps in between every contraction. In the morning, daddy skipped class and stayed with me. He took Gracee to Aunt Jen's and cleaned and then when things started getting really intense, Grandma Peterman warmed me up some Hawaiian Haystacks for lunch and dad stayed with me. we called the birth center to tell them my contractions were 5 to 6 minutes apart, but that I was laying down to get some rest and so they were only 10 minutes apart. They were getting increasingly intense pretty fast so I asked if we could come in. The midwives said it would take them an hour to get there!! I felt frustrated they didn't tell me they'd need an hour warning, but it went by pretty fast.

Once we got to the birth center, I was pretty tired but felt revved up all at the same time. They started the tub running and I got into the clothes I wanted to wear in the tub and put a robe on. Your dad and grandma had to help me a lot with this part because the contractions made it hard to get dressed and stuff. They came and tried to put an IV in each arm because I tested positive for Group B strep and the treatment is IV antibiotics every 4 hours OR injections of antibiotics every four hours. The IV is said to be a little better so we told them that they had two chances to poke me, and if my veins ran away (like they always do), then we would go with plan B, which is the injections plus a vaginal cleanse every 4 hours. The IV didn't work. The injections were in my hips and were pretty agonizing since I was already into the intense stage of labor. As soon as we were done with that ordeal I gladly leapt into the inviting tub between contractions to finally get comfortable again! I was already to an 8 by that time. When they told me that news I was pretty happy and surprised. It seemed a lot quicker than my first labor. However, despite that early progress, it still took me a little under 4 hours from that point to get you out. I dilated to a 9 and to a 10 in no time, but still didn't feel any pressure below the pelvis with you or the urge to push. Finally, towards the end, they checked and decided the problem was the there was a big bulge of the sack you were in right in the opening, keeping your head from dropping any lower. So they broke my water (the sack) and I immediately felt a relief of pressure. Then I felt your head take up the extra space and felt you drop all the way. Somewhere around this time too, I felt little "shimmyings" in different areas like my sacrum and in little corners of my pelvis. It was really cool. This is one of the reasons I like natural birth. I can feel and experience every part of your entrance into this world. It makes me feel in touch with you, my baby, and my body. It's the culmination of this connection we'd had over the months. Well, more like the beginning of our next chapter of connection.

I also wanted to tell you the atmosphere in the room while I was in labor with you. It was a really large bathroom. The lights were dim and there was a little natural light from the window coming in. Your dad was completely engaged and involved, helping me through every contraction. Grandma Peterman was doing the same, she was also getting me stuff to drink and nuts to eat. My good friend Emily came up to Utah and was planning on being my doula. She had to go back to AZ for a family emergency a few days before you came. She helped me get centered in the days before you came and helped instill confidence in me. She was a huge support to me in Gracee's birth too. Grandma Hannig and Kenzie were there too. Kenzie took a lot of photos and video. Aunt Stef was there reading one of her favorite talks to me by Elder Holland. She also provided some comic relief in the earlier stages of the intense labor. We brought the ipod and listened to my massage track on it. It was very peaceful and everything I could have hoped for a birthing atmosphere. The two midwives were really great because they didn't hover. Since they saw I had the support I needed, they just stayed away and kept checking in on the progress. They only became a strong presence towards the last hour, when it was needed.

Anyway, after they broke my water, and you did your last "shimmyings", out you came!!! The cord was twisted across your neck (not around) and across your shoulder and back, so you didn't come tumbling out the way Gracee did. It took several pushes, with you hanging half out in the water, with breaks in between. The laid you on my chest and I immediately shed tears of joy, gratitude, relief, and exhaustion. I loved that first embrace! You kept looking up at me with those pure eyes. I immediately noticed and loved the color of your strawberry blonde hair. Similar to Gracee's birth, you didn't cry as fiercely as they expected and so they got worried at first. You just looked up at me and gazed into my eyes, then you'd let out a few cries and then gaze up at me again. Every time I put my hand on your temple or forehead, you would immediately calm down again. You are 7 weeks old as I am writing this part, and you are still the same way--any gentle touch on your temple or cheek usually calms you down. You are very sweet.

You began smiling and laughing way sooner than I expected. You were just about 3 days old when you would look in our eyes and smile. Your laugh came a few days later. Some people say it is just gas when babies do that, but this is different. You look straight into our eyes, engage and then start to interact with your charming chuckles that make your chest bounce and your dimples show. It is so endearing.

We are so glad to have you home, Joey. Joseph Russell Hannig. What a name. We love you. Thank you for the sweet, beautiful, and pure spirit you've brought to us. A lot of times when you are laughing I feel like you are looking at your angels behind my head. I don't know what or who you see, but I know the veil is so thin with you right now. It is an honor to be your mother. You will teach me many things. The thing I desire most to teach you is that you are a noble son of our Heavenly Father. He loves you and the Savior is always here for you. I hope you will become well acquainted with them both through the Holy Spirit of revelation throughout your life here on earth.


Your mother

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh the things you say...

Me: "Okay Gracee remember, when you wear undies in bed it means you have to stay dry. Otherwise we have to wear a diaper."

Gracee: "I can't wear diaper, I'm allergic!"

We owe this conversation a big thanks to grandma Peterman for saving the safety kids tapes safe all these years and for the tape player that Graceee uses to listen and sing to it about 3 hours every day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Moments that matter most

This video was just what I needed today, check it out:

Friday, June 10, 2011

The four of us

A journal entry written to Gracee recently:
This has been a hard transition for you and I. Normally, we are the center of each other's little worlds during the daytime--now we share it with your little brother. It's been a little tricky...A couple of days after Joey was born, I was lying in you bed singing to you. We started the first song and you were trying to sing it with me but kept making that frowny face you make when you are starting to cry but trying not to. After the first song, you said with a shaky voice, "make Gracee sad to sing with mama?" And I knew instantly what you meant by that because I was feeling similarly. I asked you why. You were struggling to find the words. I said, "Does it make you sad because you miss me?" You said, "Uh huh." I said I missed you too. I said we could play tea party together just you and me the next morning. I also said we could lay together for naps again tomorrow.

The validation and expression of your feelings seemed to take a huge weight off your chest. You gave a huge sigh and seemed much more content after that.

It was such a sweet moment. You are so good at communicating your feelings and needs. I just love you so much--it's hard to even describe how much.
(end of entry)

She has been increasingly more adjusted ever since this moment. A couple days ago, we went just the four of us, up the canyon. We had a dinner picnic and played at the park and threw rocks into Provo river, Joey slumbering peacefully in his car seat by the river. Russ's paternity leave and my time off work has been a real blessing and has helped to let it click for all of us what it feels like to be a new size--the four of us. She's also enjoying Joey's new-found alertness the past couple days. I think that combined with her realization that he really just eats and sleeps and that other than that, things are mostly just the same as they were before--has helped her to feel okay with it. Now let's see if we can get mommy to a point where I can lift her onto swings, pull her in the wagon, and take her on walks...and we'll be good to go! We've depended so much on our friends and family right now to fill in those little gaps to put little bursts of fun into Gracee's days. We are sooooooooooooo thankful for the help!

Love, the four of us

He's finally here!!

Joseph Russell Hannig
June 4, 2011 8 lbs. 5 oz., 22 inches

Joey, we are so excited to meet you and finally feel your sweet cheeks and kiss your little face. You are so good at finding your hands! I love your strawberry blonde hair! Even if it turns dark and I only get to enjoy this color for a few weeks, I'm soaking it in. We love you we love you! Gracee is so excited to have you here. She loved you even when you were still in my tummy.

Birth story to come.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dora Dictar and fun friends

This is one of many moments Gracee has shared with "her" beloved "Dora Dictar". It's actually not hers, it's her friend Nora's. She thinks it is hers. Every time we go to Heather's house, she runs down the stairs to get it. She asks for it for days. She asks for it first thing when she wakes up and at random times throughout the day.
This is Gracee being sad because it got taken away...don't worry though, we have one for her to have of her very own in the trunk...just waiting for baby Joey to come. She doesn't know about it, but it will be her present when we bring Joey home. So really, it's his fault that she doesn't get to have the Dora Deetar safe in her warm embrace yet.
My good friend Emily came to visit us Utahns. She left before we got any pix together, but luckily we got some pix of her sweet boys. Mo and Gracee had fun together.
Doesn't Mo look adorable in this "ra ra apron"?
This is Gracee smiling right after crying really hard that momma was holding Lauren's new baby. Her name is Addie. Cute huh? Congrats Laur! She and I were both due May 27th....she had hers early=)
Gracee's cousin, Benjamin, had his berfday party at Macey's during their pirate carnival. Macey's does tons of cool stuff like this. Since we were pirates for halloween, me and Gracee both came dressed up. She had such fun!

a week past "guess" date...

I was telling my mom that I feel like everyday is my birthday or something because I am constantly getting texts, calls, and emails from people asking if I've had my baby yet. Thanks everybody for remembering and caring!! He's still in my tummy though.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

sleeping...a talent that she always has posessed

We went to go get Gracee up from her nap the other day for church and this is what we found:This puzzle kept meowing at her every few seconds and she slept right through it.
She had emptied every toy drawer completely onto her bed. Little pens, marker caps, lids to play dough, every single toy was on her bed to keep her company during her short pre-church nap!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

busy hands....

Here are just a few reasons I have kinda dropped out of the virtual world of FB and checking up on blog friends for a while....these top two shots are from Joey's nursery. I did a Dr. Seuss theme. There are still a lot of Gracee's things on the wall in the picture, but there will be a few more pictures to's been really fun!
Russ and I made some fun things at Color Me Mine.
Mom and Russ's hands probably did more on this restored rocker than I did, but it was my idea and I am proud of it! Thanks mom and Russ for helping! (This used to be brown with green cushions)
Joey's sweet Dr. Seuss quilt. Thanks Kenzie and Heather for your invaluable help! It was much easier than I thought it'd be to make, thanks to you two!
We're doing a hula girl island theme for Gracee's new big girl room--to make it way exciting for her! More pics to come, but this has been really fun too!
This is Gracee's lil reading nook. Notice the turquoise bookshelf to the left, Russ and Kim helped me restore this baby. Thanks guys!
Pillows I made for my dear friends, Paige and Marnie. They lost their beloved Madison last year and Marnie is getting ready to move out, so I wanted to complete them before she left. These pillows are matching and will help remind them of their blessings awaiting them, it says: "Every tear today will be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."-Elder Wirthlin. As they are transitioning away from being together, I hope these pillows will be a small sense of comfort to them to hug and even cry into when needed.
Russ's late anniversary gift: autographed pictures of this year's amazing BYU basketball team. We were able to take some fantastic pictures sitting front row at one of the games. Our friend Jason made it all possible, thanks Jason for everything!

And last but not least, my father-in-law and brother, Steve, are the only people who have asked to step into Susie's salon. It's not much, but I like to do it for them, and it saves them a few bucks.
My father-in-law is the cutest. He let me style his hair all crazy when I was done! Love you pops!