Wednesday, January 31, 2007


While my students were doing group work today I was sitting at my desk looking at them and was just overwhelmed by their uniqueness. I think that's what I love most about teaching. Getting to observe so closely a group of people, and in this case, a group of very diverse international people. Here are some observations I made today while watching them...

"Pop" is a lithe young man from Thailand. Today he's wearing jeans and white socks (his shoes having been discarded under his desk.) He has a plain white tee shirt and a scarf wrapped dramatically around his neck. This is so illustrative of Pop. Understated with a bit of flair. I'll miss his bright questions and his huge smile that rarely shows itself, but is a treasure when it does.

"Angie" is a tiny girl from Korea. Today she's wearing a blue sweatshirt with jeans and pigtails. She has on a beige stocking cap with a blue polo bear that matches her sweatshirt. Angie always matches. She has rectangle glasses, bright eyes and the cutest smile. She is quiet and shy and very articulate.

Pop just tied his scarf around his head:)

Julian looks very dapper in a black corduroy coat today. His hair is always perfectly gelled and he is so clean cut. Tall and thin. Dark and handsome. His Columbian accent is often difficult for me to understand, which is a shame because he is so eager to share his thoughts and participate in class. Though I love my Asian students, it is always a joy to have a little Latin in the mix.

I could go on and on. Marcela who types all of her homework, studies so diligently, has a great sense of humor, and is always reading books about marriage as she is a newlywed of three weeks:)

I find great joy in them, and I realize that sometimes it gets lost in the monotony of lesson planning, grading, trying to get the lab computers to work, etc. I don't want to forget the gift it was to teach ESL these past couple of years. I have yearned to be a momma for so long and yet God has blessed me greatly through these students and today was just a real reminder of that.

Indeed, some of this may be my pregnancy hormones kicking in to full gear. After all, I did find myself turning on the A/C in the classroom again today and standing in front of it airing myself out until a student said, "Teacher, it's snowing outside and you are hot?!" Yes, yes I am:)

Feeling more and more pregnant by the day. Well, I guess I mean that I'm looking for and more pregnant by the day. I'm feeling great. A little slower moving some days, but good. Sorry that I don't have an updated picture this week. I'll try and get one soon.

Guess that's all for now, it's time for my nightly reading time. After a visit to the library I now have 12 books about pregnancy and babies that wait for me at night. Of course, I had to add twins books to the mix...oh my. Last night I made the mistake of watching 24 before I went to sleep....WOW. Scary,scary dreams. Tonght it will be reading only! Love to all, Jen

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oh Babies....

Why oh why could you not turn in the right direction today so that we could know a little bit more about who you two are?! Ah well, soon enough I guess. We have another ultrasound scheduled in a month and so I guess we'll try again then:)

The great news is that all of their anatomy measurements were right on schedule and they are both growing at the same rate, etc. We saw their little spines very clearly. That's about all I could see clearly. Everything else just looked fuzzy. The OB would say "Oh, there's a little hand" or "there's a little foot" but it could have been anything as far as I was concerned. It was fun to hear him see everything though, and to hear him say that all looked normal.

The only thing that wasn't ideal is that their placentas are fused together, or are at least very close together, which can cause some potential problems. He said that though it isn't what he likes to see, as of now he isn't concerned and that as long as they continue growing at the same rate that there isn't a need to worry.

So that's the baby news. As crazy as it sounds, until today I thought there was still a chance that the last ultrasound was wrong, like maybe the machine had malfunctioned and just made it look like twins or something. It was just so fast and unofficial and done by a PA student (no offence Joelie), and so today was really exciting for to know that there REALLY are two little babies in that tummy (and only two as Joel and I were having visions of three and four this past week).

Oh, the other great news is that we found out that the midwives at the LDS hospital will do the prenatal care for and will deliver (as long as baby A is in the right position, and will deliver if baby B is breech with an attending OB) twins! Hurray. Oh, what relief to my soul. So the provider dilemma is coming to a close. I have an appointment with a new midwife two weeks from now.

So, that is our latest and greatest. I have a big headache (I think I was really tense during the ultrasound) and must get my lesson plans done, so that's all for now. Hope you are doing well, Jen

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Belly Update and More...

First things is my ever growing belly for ya.For comparisons sake, the first pic is from the first day of my 17th week and the second from the second day of my 18th week! So I keep hearing "Oh my gosh, you still don't even look pregnant" and yada yada, but you insiders get to see the real deal. I almost want to pull up my shirt right then and there and say"Um, hello, is that pregnant enough?" but I don't as I'm sure soon and very soon it will be extremely obvious to everyone and I would kill for a "you don't look pregnant" comment:) Next on the update list is that it is coooooold! Tonight's low is -20 people. Here is Joelie illustrating just how chilly it is:) This is actually a picture from Joel's first cross-country ski outing. I'll let him tell you about that, he had a blast, but I just had to put this one up.
We had a great weekend. I went to a baby shower on Friday evening for a friend at church, and then Sat. Joel and I went to Park City and spent the day with our friend Eric. Eric is the one who did the ultrasound that found the twins. I think he's going to come with us this Wednesday to see our next ultrasound where we'll hopefully be able to see what we're having and get a much more in-depth report of if everyone is healthy and on track etc.! Today was a great day of church and then I tutored one of my Korean students and then came home to lesson plan and catch up on my pregnancy reading. Let's see, I now have 8 pregnancy/birth books on my bedside table!! I better get back to my reading. Hope you all are doing well, Jenny

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Well it seems that maybe my last post might have been a bit negative and pessimistic, that was certainly not the point or the message I was trying to convey. I just feel that stating the blessing without the anxiety is an incomplete picture, like looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Maybe starting my thoughts on fatherhood with worries was not the best route to take, but it was honest. However, as with my above statement I think that not sharing my joys about the future would give and an equally incomplete picture. This is easy and fun, requiring less insight into my feelings, because they are right at the surface and easy to grab, and a much stronger desire to be open and free with my words.

My joys.
Probably when I think of being a father I think of two particular settings most often. One is where the babies are little and lying down, either next to me or in their “bed” or wherever, and I just get to watch them and place my hand on their bulging bellies. That’s my favorite thing about little guys, their bellies. They’re unabashedly big and protruding and taught with coils and coils of little baby intestines (maybe something only I can appreciate) stretching out their bellies. I cherish those thoughts. I cannot believe I am going to say this, but, I do that right now with our mean-eyed cat who only marginally tolerates me, so, I cannot even imagine how much more I will do that with my own kids. I mean, I think I will bother them more than they will bother me. If you sensed any negativism in my last post, please let me replace it with the truth that I am so excited about having little guys to place my hand on their bellies and listen to them breathing that baby breath that is so remindful of life and pureness and unblemished living.
My second thought is of us out of doors somewhere, camping, hiking, paddling, whatever, just being outside together in nature and letting it teach us all something. There is so much to learn from nature that is completely applicable to life and overcoming obstacles and thinking outside the box and so much more. I cannot wait to share these times with my little campers. So, I see us having so much fun and getting lost in the discovery of so much nature that we make bonds and memories for life. I so look forward to doing things with my kids outside that I will probably enjoy it with them as much or more than I do myself.

There are so many other things that I look forward to, like having them run to me when they get hurt and need someone to inspect their scrape, which I know I will be a very, very distant second to their mom (I run to her when I get scraped, too). But still, they’ll run to me when she’s not around and I like the thought of that happening. I look forward to helping them learn, there is so much to learn about and they’ll be eager beavers to learn, I just hope that my times of yearning to teach coincide with their incessant desire to learn. All kids want to learn and I think all adults would still want to learn too if we did not teach our children to stop asking questions when they reach a certain age. I cannot wait to have heart-to-heart talks about their future, about their lives, about their dreams. I cannot wait to talk with them about the Lord and hopefully see them take Him as their Savior at a young age and then get to see first hand what it truly is to have faith like a child.

There are so many things I look forward to doing and experiencing as father, many more than I listed here in these few small paragraphs. I anxiously await their arrival, though with that anxiousness is a bit of trepidation, which is all I was trying to relay earlier. It will be quite the adventure.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Oh Jo...

Oh Josephine March, why oh why do you always choose the professor? I don't know how many times I have read Little Women, but every time my pillow is wet from tears when dear Laurie proposes and Jo does not accept. Then when he comes home from Europe with Amy as his wife...oh dear...and I won't even start with the tears shed on Beth's behalf. I guess that's the thing about a is just so final. Jo will never choose Laurie, no matter how much I will her to:)

It makes me thankful for my Laurie...that I didn't miss out on the one who is so much of me. Though I guess Joel might be half Laurie, half Friedrich. He is wild and fun and free like Laurie, and yet he has the stability and wisdom of good ol' Friedrich. I'm thankful for both the adventuring poet and the steady hand.

That is why I hear his worries and fear about parenthood, and many of them I echo in my own heart about being a mom, and yet my heart is not burdened at all about them. The thought of seeing Joel as a Papa is one that has always brought my heart such joy. Hearing his observations of families and fathers over the years has shown me how much thought he has put into this most important of roles. From a young age he has been processing and planning the kind of father he hopes to be. I think of the way he studies and knows my heart and know what a blessing that will be to our children. He will take the time to know them and observe them and encourage their strengths. He will take them on adventures and find much of his joy in theirs. Most of all, I know that our little home will be a home full of laughter. Our kids will get to experience a dad who finds such joy in each day and who will find such joy in them. And though I know we will both make millions of mistakes, they will have a dad who is looking to the Lord for his wisdom, and that gives me the most hope of all.

So, my love who is my Laurie and my Friedrich, I look so forward to walking this new journey with you. We'll just take one step at a time. Together.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I figure the best way to relay true feelings is to be raw and fearfully open with them; it is then that I am truly able to express and communicate, and then the listener can reciprocate with a kind of understanding that is not achieved with a more superficial kind of communication. It is with this openness I want to divulge my thoughts about fatherhood.

I have always been a sound sleeper, almost a pathologically sound sleeper, sleeping through tornadoes in Texas, in the bathroom while I should have been in the kitchen on KP during Basic Training, and under a poncho with wild hogs in Hawai’i. However, I do not think I have had one good night’s sleep since finding out Jenny is going to have twins. I am not sure exactly what happened that made it so shocking from expecting one baby to two that I have a harder time sleeping, but that fact remains that I indeed do not sleep as well. I guess I’ll work through it with you, the reader. I have great fear and trepidation standing on the edge of fatherhood, just that word has taken on a whole new almost scary meaning. I suppose every expecting father, and mother, goes through some sort of fear and anxiousness of becoming a parent, it’s only natural. It’s a good thing I believe, it helps us to prepare in a way that we would not otherwise.

I’ll share my worries.
I worry about the health of the babies and Jenny. Pursuing a career in health care seems to be a great thing, and it is a wonderful endeavor on so many levels, but it comes with a curse as well, knowledge. Knowing many of the possibilities that can go wrong with the fragile organs and tissues of a developing body can gnaw at my mind and soul. Knowing about the problems that can arise in pregnancy and childbirth for the mother is doubly, in this case triply, worrisome, a worry for each beating heart. Life, and especially the beginning of it, is diabolically opposed to itself because it is both so incredibly fragile and yet so miraculously resilient and enduring. This is a true reflection of a Creator and that He is in total control, He creates and controls, the answer to my worry.
I worry about paying for the birth, what if the birth is too early and the twins need ICU care? What if Jenny needs the same or similar care? How am I, are we, going to afford that? Where in the world do we start to try and find the answers to these fiscal questions? Why do I have to be so bad with financial matters?.
I worry about school and the ability to be successful while going down this double road of pregnancy and then childbirth. I worry about what would happen should something go awry and I miss so much school, what then? I cannot quit school, for I now need this education more than ever to be able to better provide for a family that is going to expand exponentially. But what if…?
I am selfishly concerned about me. This is where being raw hurts, exposing the less than desirable parts of myself that I wish did not exist but most certainly do. I have a nomadic heart, an adventurer’s soul, the knowledge of what’s around the bend calls me like a siren, I want to see the world and all it’s people. Tell me how in the world that is compatible with twins? Jenny and I went about ¾ of a mile down the road to a restaurant the other morning for pancakes and I watched the work involved in taking care of one infant by two different couples, double that work and it seems nearly impossible. I still want to backpack and take road trips to National Parks and do missions trips and climb mountains. I cannot be fully honest without saying that I feel this part of me dying, not to be lived again. I feel like I will be cut short of many things I want to do in life. I hate this truth about me, but it is still truth in spite of the fact that I have been blessed to do so many wonderful things thus far in my life.
I worry a lot about being a good father. The above paragraph sort of sheds some light on why. I know that having twins is going to be a massive and amazing adventure, one that will most likely surpass any adventures I have had or will have in my life. I know the answer to my worries. I know that God is more than capable of caring us through this. I know that I will absolutely and completely love my little guys (used without regard to gender) and cannot imagine life without them. I know I have the love for my future kids. But just having the love does not make me a good father. That’s another thing, I don’t just want to be a good father, I want to be a great one, one whose kids cannot wait to see him. One whose teenagers are proud of him, I know that seems impossible but I’ve seen it happen. I want to know what to do in every situation. I want to know that I will be a balanced husband, father, employee, church member, active citizen, and, yes, adventurer. How in the world does one find a balance in that? How does a father know when it is appropriate to be near safety or abandon safety and put complete trust in God? In other words, where is the paternal line between trust and stupidity? I know myself enough to know that I am fully equipped and quite capable of making very stupid mistakes; I do not want to make one for three other people. I want to be an excellent father, dad, daddy, pops, papa, or whatever the word will be. I just want to be the best for my kids and my wife.
I worry about not worrying about the right things.

Those are only a smattering of the thoughts coursing through my mind, which is probably the reason why my ability to sleep deep has become impaired. I now feel the weight of responsibility like I have never felt it before. I guess I am growing up, as mom used to say.

So, as I alluded to, I know that I can give the Sunday school answer and say that God can cover all my worries and that I should cast all my cares on Him and He will care for me, which I know is 100% true, but nonetheless, I still have those real worries. I am a man, a frail human in comparison to my magnificent Creator who is in control; it is that I must relinquish my puny control to Him in order to find better rest and the answers to the questions I have asked.

I will end by saying that I have the best wife to make the best mother a man could ask for, I say that without reservation and to the fullest measure. Jenny is already a wonderful, wonderful mother. My friend Uaisele was over tonight and he said to Jenny, referring to her and her pregnancy, “Jenny, you are a beautiful woman.” I could not agree more.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Here I grow...

Well, I can't seem to upload the professional pics of the wedding onto blogger. The files are just too big. Any ideas how to change them to a smaller, jpeg file any of you computer people out there? I guess I'll put some of the ones I took on here, but the professional ones are just sooooo beautiful that you must see them. So, while you wait here are a few random pics to tide you over. The first is a lovely modeling shot of Barney in front of mom and dad's cozy fireplace. The second one is of Shanny and I in our yummy, warm jogging outfits. Mine is actually a maternity one that she bought me and that I would probably wear every single day of the rest of my pregnancy if, you know, that wouldn't seem kinda strange to my students and others:) And finally, for all you who love pregnant bellies, here is mine taken last night at 17 weeks. My midwife gave me lots of nutritional instructions after she found out it was twins. More protein, more calories, more calcium. So, I should be expanding rapidly and I'll bring you along for the ride with weekly updates. Hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Right now Joel is lying on the living room floor in front of me lightly snoring while I am reading (what else) a book about birth and trying to catch up on e-mails. I love weekends. Jenny

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Remember when I said

that I dreamed of having "cats and babies round my feet where all are fat and none are thin?" I was writing about how getting Willow had fulfilled the cat part, but of course there was still no baby in the picture though we had long prayed and hoped for one.

Well, many of you know that the Lord heard our prayers and I am now 16 weeks pregnant!! Our newest surprise is that (God willing) we truly will have a cat and babies round our feet as we just found out there are two little ones growing inside of me!!

We were SO shocked and I had a small breakdown as I drove home from the clinic with thoughts of a more complicated pregnancy and birth, not being able to use my midwife anymore, and lots of other changes that will come. Mom reminded me though of God's great plan and that He chose to give us these two babies at such a time as this. We are growing more excited by the day. Please pray with us for these two precious gifts. We will have another ultrasound at around 18 weeks to see if they are both healthy, boys, girls, etc. and I'll keep you up to date.

I'll try and post TX pics soon and may even start putting some belly pics up--MAYBE:) Love, Jen

Friday, January 05, 2007

At long last…

I think I am ready to post an update. Sometimes I just have so much to say that I get overwhelmed and don’t write anything. I must stop that and so this is my first attempt. We are home in Utah after a wonderful, full, rich time with family and friends in TX. I have so many pictures that I want to post but am feeling a bit under the weather so that’ll have to wait.

I can’t possibly write about everything we did so I’ll just summarize. The wedding was beautiful and we got to spend lots of time with the newlyweds. The night before the wedding John Mike spent the night at my parents and he and I got to have one of our late night, lay in bed and talk about everything and nothing talks. I’ll never forget that. Nor will I forget what a beautiful day the wedding was. It was so simple, and gorgeous, and full of convicting truth about marriage and God’s plan for it. I was so thankful to be there and so full of love for those two precious hearts.

We also got to spend time with bub and Robin, which was wonderful as always. I love watching them work together as a couple, they are a true team. Of course, my mom and dad made us feel so loved and our time relaxing at the “river house” is was such a treat as always.

Christmas in Houston with my family was so much fun this year. I loved having Robin and Tara there with us. Our family is growing and I love it.

Next it was on to the Hunts to be with Shari and Shanyn and Gee Gee. Jim is already back in the Ukraine and so we really missed him. Shari, as always, was the hostess with the mostest and we got to have several friends over to visit while we were there. We had a rich time of prayer with them before we left and it really blessed my heart as it always does.

Though we did get to see some of you friends out there, we missed many of you as schedules get crazy, etc. and we really, really hope to see you on the next go round.

I have much more to say, and some exciting news to share…so stay tuned and I promise to try to be more faithful in my writing. For now, it’s snowing outside and I am cozy in bed with tea and oatmeal and a new book that I am really wrapped up in (Aunt Jane’s Hero by Elizabeth Prentiss, for those who are curious), so I hope you all are well and enjoying this new year. Much love, Jen