Baby Charlotte

My official due date was August 17th or 15th depending on who you ask. Both Eden and Eliza were born exactly 13 days before their due date. So, when I went in for my 38th week appointment Monday morning, August 4th I reminded my doctor that not only do I come early but when my water breaks, I deliver lightning fast. He checked me. I was a 2 and 80% effaced. His last piece of advice was to rush to the hospital if I started contracting at all due to my VBAC risk. He also joked that he would most likely be seeing me next week...my contractions started 7 hours later...

Driving Eliza to harp lessons they were 5 minutes apart. Came home for dinner at 7 and then varied from 5-7 minutes. Contractions stopped at 10:30 but woke me up at 12:30. Dave and I decided to go to the hospital at 1:30. Despite the intense pain, the nurses check revealed that I was still only a 2. She hooked me up to the monitor, and for one hour I suffered through some intense contractions spaced at exactly 1.5 minutes apart. After that hour, the nurse checked again and my body was still a 2 approximately 90-100% effaced. She consulted with the doctor - the SAME doctor mind you that told me to not waste any time and come in if I started contracting. THAT doctor told the nurse that my body after 7 years likely forgot how to do this and SENT ME HOME with 2 Percocet. She said the pain would subside within 20 minutes and recommended rest and to return in the morning. I was in SO much pain I could barely walk out to the car. I watched that clock and when it hit the 20 minute mark my contractions were actually more painful. We arrive home, changed clothes and got into bed. I was in bed 2 minutes when my water broke. We raced to the car. I was okay for about 5 minutes and then the contractions completely took over. I would say it was the worst pain that I have ever been in, except I have experienced this before with Eliza. I knew I was near the end and the end was coming fast. I felt that urge to push and told Dave that I wasn't going to make it. He continued to tell me to hold it in...impossible. I don't know what came over me, but I pulled down my pants and started to push. It only took 1 and her sweet head came out. Dave was in massive shock but continued to drive 100 mph down state street in Orem. I begged him to pull over and help me get the rest of her body out, but he insisted we get to the hospital asap. As we turned the final corner, I reached down, grabbed her shoulders and pulled her out. She was limp and the only thought that came to my mind is that she was dead. I rubbed her back, swept my finger through her mouth and she finally gave a little squeak. When we finally reached the ER, Dave ran in and told them "my wife had a baby in the car and it is all the way out!" The doc got into the car with several towels and rubbed her back until she started to cry.

We pulled into the maternity ward and there waiting for me was the nurse the discharged us 55 minutes earlier. The only thing she could say was, "oh my goodness, it is you." Yes...me...the lady that was in so much pain she couldn't walk and you sent me home!

So there you have it. Charlotte Ann Collings was born at 4:25 AM, in the front seat of my car, delivered by me. It was an amazing start to what I know will be an amazing life. I call her my bonus baby. This is not something that was in our "life plan". For the last 2-3 years I couldn't shake the idea that there was another member of our family out there. The first year we moved to Utah, I lost 5 members of my family. With each funeral I became more attached to the idea. Funerals have this beautiful way of reminding you what is most important in life - family and the relationships that we build on this earth. Nothing else. I love my family with all of my heart. Regardless of the many confirmations, I had several doubts over the last 6 months. Our family is in a very good place and a near 7 gap between the oldest and youngest is certainly going to change the dynamics. However, it only took 1 second with this sweet baby in my arms to fall in love.

Now that we are home, the kids cannot get enough of the little lady. They spend every second that I will allow next to her side. There is a sweet peace in our home. An angel has been sent from heaven and we are so excited to see what the future brings!


Spring Break

Decided to stay local this year and take the kids to one of my favorite places in Utah. Dave had a work trip in NY so we invited Talmage's family to join us. First stop: Goblin Valley

 We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express complete with a pool and free breakfast, which by far was their favorite part. Day two we ventured off to Arches. Believe it or not, this was my very first time!

Competition Season

The last two years have brought new meaning to February - May, we now call it competition season. I am not and have never been a dancer, so this dance world is so very new to all of us. Aside from dance, we had another annual competition - Pinewood Derby!
Tucker designed, painted and helped cut his very first Pinewood Derby car. Had an amazing night with 6th place overall (2nd in his den)
This is Eden performing her first time ever solo "Joy". In this competition at Taylorsville High School, she went up against 42 other girls and took 2nd overall. We couldn't watch her do this solo without tears. Truly beautiful.
Eden's dance team Firelights in their "Dreamer" costume. This too was a tear jerker of a dance. They took 1st with this piece at every competition and grand champion at their final comp of the year.


8 is GREAT!

Our sweet Tucker turned 8 on January 28th. I can't believe this sweet little baby of mine is big enough to be baptized. Things that we love about Tuck:
  • Loves everyone and can make a friend with anyone. He is always sticking up for the little guy and never talks negative about people
  • VERY goal oriented. Put a challenge in front of him and he will work until it is done
  • He is a memorizing machine and can whip out a cello piece faster than anyone I know
  • Loving his Chinese class and can interpret almost anything that mom and dad say (not such a positive for us - our secrets are now up in the open)
  • He memorized all 13 articles of faith before his 8th birthday and passed them off in primary
  • Loves soccer and is an amazing goalie
  • Shared his baptism day with his cousin Landon



Happy Birthday LUKIE!

January is birthday month and today it is Luke's turn! If I could use one word to describe my Luke it would be resolute. He is determined, he sees things in black and white, he is a little stubborn and yet still has the most wonderful whit about him. He is pleasure to be with and is always willing to accompany me on my errands. He is friend has a very special way with young children. Oh, what a great big brother he is now and will be to this new little baby!

Highlights from 2013:

  • Took last place in his last pinewood derby ever. Cool way to go out as he took 1st place overall in his first pinewood derby when he was 8!
  • Competed in the Knowledge Bowl for Westfield Elementary
  • Made the ALL class
  • Joined the local swim team and took 2nd in the backstroke
  • Took his first overnight backpack trip with his dad
  • Turned in piano lessons for the bass - yay! It has been so fun watching him play this year
  • Still loves his geckos Jack and Michael
  • Finish his Webelos award and Arrow of Light
  • Started 5th grade and joined the school orchestra and Battle of The Books team
  • Learned to snow ski, bowl and stand up on a paddle board while being pulled by a jet ski!
Such a fun year! Here's to an even better 2014 (can't wait to give you your gift tonight...it is one of those dream-come-true type!!)


Did I hear 7?

While I am not a fan of odd numbers, we decided to break out of our comfort zone and turn this family of 6 into a family of 7! Yes, we are having a BaBy! We were oh so certain that Eliza was the last. Could you ask for a more perfect caboose? However, this idea came to me about 2 years ago and try as I might, I just couldn't shake it. We don't own a single baby item in the world and are not sure if we still remember how to change a diaper, so I guess you could say it is like we are starting all over. The best part is I am due on my sister's birthday and she is due with her own little package 3 weeks before. I told her they better be good friends because I am near certain this will be our last and "it" is going to need a buddy.

Here's a picture of the little passenger!

We have a teenager in the house!

It is hard to believe that we have a teenager. How about a year in review plus birthday tribute at the same time?

2013 proved to be one of the best years of Eden's life. As you can see she is one flexible mama and is in love with dance. Dance here, dance there, dance everywhere. On the kitchen counter, at the lake, in the wilderness, at the park...she loves to move. One thing we love about it is her ability to live a well balanced life. She joined the ranks of the Young Women in 2013 and was able to participate in baptisms for the dead the same week. Additional highlights from the year:
  • received superior rank in her flute federation
  • audition and won a place in Symphonic band as a 7th grader
  • graduated from 6th grade and received the... (2 awards that I can't remember the name!)
  • switched from The Point to High-light dance. She has never been happier...anywhere...
  • participate in the stake Trek which proved to be a life changing experience for her. Walked 32 miles in the heat. Developed a love and testimony of the pioneers and has had a thirst for genealogy ever since
  • ran a 24th of July 5k in under 30 minutes
  • got a cell phone...yay!
  • great big sister and an amazing daughter. Here's to 2014!


A look at 2013

Let's start with Eliza! Wrapped up an amazing Preschool year with Ms. Carrie and Kathy.

 Love sports - spring soccer, 1k with buddy Cannon and first bowling experience!


 Special over night outing with grandma and grandpa...
Started harp lessons with mom's teacher, Shru De. She loves it and has the best little hand position!

Turned 6 this year. Making a cake with grandma and party!

First tooth out just in time for the New Year!


Spring Break 2013

StayCATION 2013!

Easter 2013 - only the girls wanted to pose! We had a grand Easter Egg hunt at our house on Saturday and then enjoyed Sacraments talks at the Ence's ward and a light lunch after. We then visited Great Grandma Chappell and played the harp for her in her HealthCare Center. Very sweet day.

Monday: We put our house in order and then enjoyed a FAB visit from our wonderful Maple Valley neighbors.

Tuesday: To Kneaders for french toast madness - we ordered 5 and really should have only ordered 3!

Thanksgiving Point Museum. Poor Tucker outlasted everyone - he could have stayed all day.
While we were out enjoying the museum and a movie, dad was back home setting up the trampoline.
Day 3 brought the FLU --- yuck, yuck! Day 4 jumping, jumping, jumping!
Day 5 we took the kids to Temple Square and visited the Church History Museum. A first and very delightful experience for all.
 The BEST part about being around the "Square" at conference time is running into people you haven't seen in ages. Love and miss these guys:(!

 Eliza making a wish before throwing her money into the fountain!
 No better way to end a good week than with a wonderful conference session. We spend our conferences in our pajamas eating sweet rolls making crafts wrapped up in warm, fuzzy blankets!


Welcome To Alpine


We packed everything we own into this garage, and then shut the door on it for one week. I wish I had a better shot of all the furniture stacked on top of each other. 

What do I love the most about being in Utah? THE SUN. We have been outside non stop. 7 Peaks water park, bike rides, running, hiking, swimming. We can't get enough - it is wonderful!

This is the view from the parking lot of our church. It doesn't do this cute little town justice. We are tucked into the far northeast corner of Utah county. Even though I grew up with these mountains, I am still in awe of their beauty. 

There are still boxes lingering, but here are a few pics to get you started.
Family Room

Entry way
Eden's room


Living Room (music area)

Who knows what led us to this area, but I am in love. This little town is just about the cutest thing ever. We live about one block from City Hall and every day, during day light hours the town bell rings on the hour. People and children flood the streets with bikes, roller blades and wagons. Our children haven't made a lot of friends yet (except Eden, our social butterfly) and so Dave and I have become the main source of entertainment. It has actually been a blessing in disguise. We don't have any real commitments right now and have really enjoyed board games, basketball, bike rides, trips to the local shaved ice stand, parks and more with the kids. I've been craving an organized home for sometime and had no idea that it would take move across the states to make it happen. We dejunked and only brought the essentials into the home.
Life is good. HOWEVER, I think my son Luke said it best. "Utah is just about the best place on earth, only one thing would make it better - if all of our friends from Maple Valley were here with us." Amen Luke.
Provided by bachelor degree website.