Sunday, December 8, 2013

I learned an important lesson today..ok more than lesson-something vital about myself.  I can no longer sing solo.  I know there was a time that I loved to be a featured vocalist. I craved it and felt an overwhelming joy in owning the spotlight and sharing music with an audience. Connecting with them. Being a character. Manipulating their emotions to match the mood I wanted to convey. 

Today was the first time in many years that I was to be a featured musical number.  I've had the song for 2 weeks.   I am not exaggerating when I say that I practiced the song for at least 2 hours every day the past two weeks.  Mainly, because my range and ability to hold any sort of whole note was lacking.  But, after much practice, I was really feeling confident that I was going to be able to perform this amazing song and really be able to help bring the Christmas message it had to everyone.  I prayed so hard that I would be able to overcome the anxiety that was building about performing, so that I could sing this song. 

I practiced with the pianist the day before and the run through went great.  She was confident that we only did one run through. 

So, today, I stood up to sing...I had been ringing my hands for nearly an hour, waiting for that moment.  I got through..oh the first line...and then I crumbled. The anxiety of performing in front of this room of people with no one to help me, or to fall back on just began to flood me.  I was overwhelmed entirely by it.  I began to cry uncontrollably, but forced myself to continue in the song.  Someone passed a tissue up front, and with each break in the words, I resolved that I was going to get control of myself and do this song justice.  I even sang most of it with my eyes squeezed shut, trying to beat out the performance anxiety, but 2 words into the next line and the fear would win out all over again.  The song is 5 minutes, so by the end I was off key and just a total mess. 

 I was crippled by fear.  I ran out to my car and had a complete panic attack.  A few incredibly kind people have told me that my song did touch them.  That it was full of the Spirit and really moved them that I was so moved by the song to tears.  Sadly, that wasn't the case at all. The truth is...I have a talent, that is no longer easy or possible for me to share with others.  This frustrates me and breaks my heart.  Maybe I was too proud of my voice as a kid and this is just life balancing things out.  I'm not sure how to face people after this.  I'm mortified honestly.  I know I can't keep myself from going back to church, but I am deeply hoping that people don't mention it at all and we can all pretend that I didn't have a complete panic attack in front of 35 people who are mostly strangers to me.  Maybe soon, I'll sing it for myself, and record it so that I know and can remember that I was able to sing the song beautifully, the way it's meant to be shared. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I miss these girls madly!  They were the best baby sitters, and role models for Ava.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ni Hao 1st grade

It's been ages since I've updated the ol' blog.  Our family relocated to Southern Utah at the end of July.  My photography business was really starting to pick up speed up north, and I was house hunting in Syracuse to move closer to Ava's school, when Chris came home one day announcing that he was given approval to work remotely, and wanted to move to the St George area.  He had amazing reasons to go:  little to no winter. clean air. great weather year round to help us be more physically active. So, just like that, our family was prepping for a 400 mile move, instead of 12. 

We found a little house to rent in the Heights of Santa Clara.  A few years ago while visiting St George, Chris drove me through historic Santa Clara in the little red car, and I fell in love.  I'm so excited that we both felt this would be the best spot for our family.  The Washington County School district seems amazing.  Ava's school has begun Chinese Immersion this year, and although she was initially on the wait list, we got a call the week before school started that she had gotten a spot.  It's been 3 days and so far she's loving it!  Her teacher Mrs Jai is adorable. 

My photography has come to a screeching halt.  Aside from the above photo, my camera is getting pretty dusty.  Sometimes the idea of starting all over again makes me want to just...not start all over again, but I really do miss it.  I miss meeting new people, capturing their moments and coming out with something beautiful for them.   An essential piece of being a photographer with 4 tiny kids is finding amazing baby sitters.  So far, I've only met one girl that wasn't absolutely terrified of the idea of twin nearly 2 year old babies.  This also means that it's been a month since Chris and I have been on a date, and had a conversation longer than 4 words before we were interrupted by a little person desperately needing us or needing to say something to one of us that was of extreme vital right now importance. 

I'm struggling to adjust here if I'm honest.  I love the area. Don't get me wrong.  It's gorgeous. The heat--will calm, and the neighborhood is amazing and full of the nicest people.  I just find myself homesick for West Haven.  In time, I know that I will love it here as much. I will discover my favorite places to shoot here as well, and the orange light from the red rock will become something I adore as much as the soft golden light from Jensen Park up north.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

and here it is ... 3 months into 2013, and still, no fold option available.

I must admit, I've done pretty dang well keeping up with the "washing." And even have done well with the transferring of washing into the dryer before that musty smell kicks in.  Austen needing Free and Clear laundry detergent pretty much demands that no load get to a musty stage.  Because, free and clear detergent is free of good smelling chemicals that take the place of the musty smell.

Where I'm not doing well---is the folding and putting away. Surprised? I know!  I have PILES. and PILES of clean laundry.  My entire bedroom is like an artistic rendition of the Rockies via baby clothes, school uniforms, and all that random laundry that never really has a place to go.  The only thing that ever really gets put away immediately are towels. Because the closet for the towels is 2 feet from the dryer. So i just pull out the towels, fold, place.  so easy.  That and we go through like 8 a day.  And my family refuses to use the same towel twice, even though they are clean when they get out of the shower/bath and therefore the towel isn't dirty after one turn. bunch of lazy germaphobes. 

So...I think I need a laundry folding party.  Or someone to occupy my little ones for like 2-3 solid hours so that I can pound it out.  I'm not even sure I can focus for that long anymore. Anyone else know what I mean. Lately, even when I'm alone, about 15 minutes is my max and then my mind goes "squirrel!" and I'm pulled to another task.  Raising 4 under 5 has given me ADD or ADHD-what's the difference between those again?  The point is, I used to be able to focus and I have piles all over the place.  I admit, I've never been totally organized, but at least I only had ONE pile.  Simon is shouting in his sleep.  I'm terrified that the moment I lie down, a baby will cry.  Teething. Joys.  I need a full size bed in the baby room--because someone should sleep in there.  chris is usually on the couch these days and the babies are in my bed, and I'm either hanging on the edge, or on one of the levels of the bunk beds. 

and SNAP, Carter is waking up for his midnight*ish feeding.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Simon Turns 4

The morning of the birthday did not start off so happy

He finally agreed to let me know how old he was

after church...he felt much better

No one can be sad with a buzz lightyear gun in their hand

Cousin Melyn also just turned 4
Bry-the1st of their trio to hit 4.

My mother in law got him an amazing spiderman cupcake cake

sparkler, trick candles are best for photos man! ps Harmons cupcakes--delicious

twins holding twins.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tooth Fairy

Well.  This is it.  The moment has arrived.  The moment when my daughter begins losing her "little girl" look.  Last week, her tooth became loose.  She's been claiming to have a loose tooth since she was four. So I was skeptical at first, but sure it enough, it had a bit of wiggle.  Today, she pulled it out herself. 

Monday, February 25, 2013


Before I begin, I would just like to say...that we have an amazing family.  We are blessed with Chris's full time employement.  We have great health insurance.  I am not at all ignorant to what incredible blessings those all are.

But I'm going to stop opening my mail.  As it is, I only check my mailbox once a week.  The medical bills, they never end.  We had our balance down to like...$6,000 owed to IHC, not to mention the $3,000 that I put on my amex to keep out of collections.  And I opened my mail today to find another $2400 in medical that has just been billed, due to Austen's stay at McKay with RSV last month.  Again, they took amazing care of him.  I just am feeling a bit defeated that IHC patient financial services and I are never going to break up.  It's been an expensive 3 years medically.  I had two surgeries. I had twins. Those twins needed NICU time. Both needed home medical supplies at a few times.  Simon had three surgeries.  We have three surgeries this spring (provided Austen doesn't get sick again.)  If you're reading this and single.  SAVE YOUR MONEY.  Babies are amazing and I love my kids.  they are so much more expensive than I ever imagined.  And mine are healthier than most I know.  Even with the above medical crap.  Now, I'm going to figure out a game plan to log jam this medical nightmare out of our lives before I'm 30, because we're supposed to cruise with Mickey that year...and I don't want IHC hanging over my head that trip.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Today when I go to church, and walk a protesting little Simon to his primary class, there will be a very  important little face missing from that room.  His only friend in the class. Emi.

When we moved to our townhome last year, I was determined that I was going to make friends.  I was not going to repeat our 5 years in Clearfield, where I only had one person that I opened myself to.  Because when that 1 person cuts you out of their life, it hurts.  It hurts so much more than I was prepared for.  And it hurts the kids, because their kids were YOUR kids lifeline.  Not too confusing right?  So, the first day I saw people out back, not only did I send my kids out there to play, I went out.  I went out and smiled and introduced myself.  A couple of days later at church, I realized all those people I had met had been in my ward, and I couldn't remember any of their names.  One of them came up and sat next to me in Sunday School, and said "Deb, right? Mind if I sit here?"  I was attending church alone with Ava and Simon that week, and Chris was home with the babies.  We were trading off weeks-since the twins were too young to go.  Bryan McCracken was the first person to make a sincere continuous effort to help us feel at home.  His daughter, Kalli, has become best friends with Ava, and his wife, Rachel, is one of the funniest and kindest amazing people. We are hoping their boy, Dillan-who is a month older than the twins, will also be great friends with the boys.  They wave to each other in church ;) It's going well, as far as babies go. :)  I also came to know Jenny and her kids Addy-who is another girl that we have come to adore, and Ava considers a bestie.  Kalli, Lucy, Addy are all a year younger than Ava.  But when you're 4,5 that doesn't matter.  They are inseparable in the summer.   I was so excited that Ava had so many friends.  She had been so homesick for her best friend from our other neighborhood, but in the past year, that pain has lessened, and even though she tells me from time to time that she still misses that girl, it's less frequent and the tears are as well.

I was worried, however, about finding kids Simon's age.  And then, one day, I saw my neighbor.  We were both loading up our car and I shouted--hi! I'm deb!!!! how old is your little girl?  She looked over-and I could tell she was in a hurry--uhhh she's 3.  And I have a baby boy. I gotta go!"  I was so excited. a three year old!  I got to know Emi when the weather warmed up. She was so so tiny!!!  She was in a dress up.  And she had the most ity bity dog I'd ever seen.  Simon was PETRIFIED of that dog.  Emi was too.  It took a few months, but Allison and Adam became really great friends to Chris and I.  We had family dinners together, went on double dates, guys nights, girls nights.  There was no drama. Emi and Simon were like an old married couple.  They got along great and then would scream and scream at eachother, and then go right back to playing perfectly together.

Yesterday, Emi, Cooper, Allison and Adam moved to Kaysville.  Not so far that we'll never see eachother again, but the summer is not going to be the same without emi's jelly shoes being left at my house--the "NO SPLASHING" fights she and Simon had while splashing each other.  Who will fight Simon for the pool stairs?  Who will wrap up in comforters in the 102 degree sun with him?  Who will willingly melt milky way bars into heavy creame and dip pinapples into it with me?  I am sad that our friends have moved.  I am going to miss them more than I've been able to allow myself to talk about.  Their family changed ours.  Without Emi, without Adam and Allison...I'm not sure we'd feel like we had found our home.  I don't mean to discredit the other amazing friendships we have here.  Jenny, Rachel, Bryan, Annalynn, Laura--they're all incredible, giving, loving happy people who have helped our family weather many storms this last year.  It's just amazing to me how much you can come to love someone in a year.  I hope we do remain in touch.  I am the worst at keeping in touch.  But I sincerely hope that we do. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

St George for President's Day

I'm excited to report that we did make the trip to St George for Presidents Day Weekend.  Ava had Monday and Tuesday off, so chris took some PTO and we stayed an extra day :)  I am so glad that we did too, because that meant we could squeeze in more time with the sun and red rock and the amazing in-laws I have.  We left Friday night.  I picked up Chris at work, and we headed south.  It took about 5 hours, because of traffic and the babies required a stop 1/2 way through the trip.  They weren't sure that a road trip was the best idea.  But, they loved every moment of St George.  Austen learned to stand on his own and has started attempting more and more to stand up by himself and even has tried to balance.  I am confident he will be walking by Easter. 
Saturday, Simon Chris and Dave went out for some "boy time."  Simon passed out in the first 5 minutes of their drive, so Chris carried him around Best Buy and then they went to sportsman warehouse, where PaPa bought him a fun air pressure foam ball gun.  Meanwhile, Ava, Granni, the twins and I went for an hour long walk around the subdivision to enjoy the sun and gorgeous weather.  The babies snuggled in their stroller and their new MINKY THING 1 THING 2 blankies.  Heavenly!  Sandi bought them for them as a fun present.  <3  Then, the tv had some technical issues, so Chris and Papa went to work fixing it, while Granni and I hit the outlets with all 4 kids.  We got some pants for Simon at Oshgosh and then browsed 2 other stores, before we realized we were way too tired to be shopping with 4 kids.  So, we went home, made dinner, had hot tub time and then watched Wreck it Ralph. 
Sunday, we went to 9am church and were packed in like little sardines.  It was wild.  When we got home, Ava and I did some reading on the driveway, because it was gorgeous, and warm and heaven.  Dave made a great brunch, and we had pancakes, bacon and eggs and met Briley.  Briley and her parents, Mike and Ashley, had shown up late Saturday night.  They invited Ava to go on a racing trip with them.  Chris and Dave went along. Ava had a blast.  The three boys took turns napping, and we got some fun one-on-one time with each nugget.  Dave grilled this amazing chicken for dinner.  It's making my mouth water just remembering it.  And we had his famous salsa.  Briley joined us for more reading time.  She even read a few chapters to Ava.  She and Ava colored while I finished Goofball Mystery. 
Monday...Ava was invited to go racing again, but decided to stay and hang with her Granni.  Chris and I went on a major grocery expedition.  We bought enough hamburgers for all of st George, and they were delicious!  We took the kids to feed the ducks, who were too full from all of the holiday visitors to even want our duck food. The kids played in the sand for an hour, and Austen had his first time in a real swingset swing.  He was a total fan!  Carter napped. He was not impressed.  ;)  They both had a good helping of sand, which we decided to chase with some Menchies.  mmmm soooooooooo delicious.  It was more hot tub time after dinner and reading.  Granni and Ava took turns reading together. Yay for one-on-one time.  Uncle Jeff taught Simon a song "Talkin about boogers" which sent Simon laughing hysterically for over an hour.  Simon added a few verses "Talkin about poopies." Talking about faarrrrrrrrrrrrts" mostly anything inappropriate and then burst into giggles over and over.  It was pretty hysterical.
Tuesday, Chris went shooting with Jeff, Jon, and Papa.  Simon insisted we stay inside and play cars on the hotwheels track.  I did laundry and started cleaning up to pack.  We decided to go to Snow Canyon when the boys got back.  We went for a shot little walk and had a great time.  Simon climbed two rocks before climbing into Austen's part of the stroller and passing out.  Ava climbed some slick rock.  It was the perfect amount of adventure for them, but I could have stayed all day.  Austen preferred dad's shoulders or Granni's arms for a view of Snow Canyon. Can't say that I blame him at all.  Carter slept through it all. Again, not impressed ;) 
I was so sad to leave.  I wanted to stay later, but there was a winter storm warning.  I miss it and my inlaws.  They were so great to my kids.  The sun and air was just soothing.  The scenery is unlike any thing else.  I love it there.  It's worth the two hours of screaming babies for sure! :)

As for Ava's reading contest.  We ended with over 5700 minutes logged and $200 in sponsor donations.  I haven't found out yet, if she was top reader for her class, but I know her school did come in 1st place, and will be visited by a Jazz Player on the 28th.  Fun!

Phew. Update complete.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

dusting off the ol blog

Usually, the day we get paid--the moment the money has been deposited, I start the redistribution of the money.  $ to the land lord, $ to the power, gas, water, credit cards, student loan.  But now and then...I wait a day or two, and just log in to see a balance with a comma.  It helps me to remember what we are working towards.
Goals for the year update:

Well, in January, I was able to sock $200 away in savings.  Since my dad is retired military, I have access to USAA, so I opened a savings account there, and began the goal to start saving.  I did not request a debit card, so we can still transfer the money out in case of an emergency, but it's a process so I'm less likely to use it for a non emergency.

I did get all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed.  The insurance covered 1/2 the cost, which was amazing.  I love not being in constant pain.  My molars are still pretty sensitive, but I'm hoping over time they'll get back to normal.


Carter now takes 4-6 steps at a time and also says his name.  He will hand you want he wants and say "Cawta" over and over.  It's adorable!

Austen is recovering from RSV.  He spent 3 days at the hospital with me on the 5th floor.  Is it a bad sign when the child-life specialist and the nursing manager for the Peds floor knows you by name and says "Hey, weren't you here last month?"  I'm pretty sure the Cope kids will soon have their own room on reserve for January.  Also, this pushes out the babies circumcision another 7 weeks.  Um, let's just plan for July shall we?  So far, Carter seems to not have it.  We were sent home with a suction machine and I'm staying on top of keeping their nasal passages clear.  This post is awesome. My mom came up for a day while I was with Austen at Mckay so that Chris wouldn't miss a work meeting.  I called her and Simon wanted to talk to me.  He said "Mom, mimi is frowing a fit!  She won't let me have chips, chocowat chips, or bwonies!  She says dey are not healfy, but they ARE healfy.  We better put her in time out!"  Favorite conversation to date!  It turns out he ratted her out to everyone who would listen. Oh Simon you are my precious!

Ava is in a reading contest and doing really well. Somedays, she just isnt' into it at all, and it's a real battle, but others she chants 'I'M IN IT TO WIN IT!"  I've been trying to keep her motivated through.........bribes.  Yep. Bribes.  Every 60 minutes she gets a prize from the prize box.  The prizes come from the target $1 bin.  I got 25 rub on tattoos for a dollar. Every hour gets a tat.  Or, a small pacakage of markers...etc.  Every 1000 hours is a date with me or Chris.  We are almost to 2500 minutes.  Today I plan to hit 360 minutes, because no one made sure to read with her for the time I was at the hospital. UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!! So much time to make up for.  We are 60 minutes down...300 to go and it's 12:30.  You're reading this going "you're insane. good luck. ya right. but listen. we're going to do it!

I'm hoping to go to St George in 12 days. Chris is still on the fence about the whole idea.  I really need some sunny park weather.

now that it's February, I need to start using my camera again.  I had my month of January whatever it is that January does to's time to start preparing for Spring. 

Blog Archive