July 21, 2014

Mixed Feelings About Blogging

It's been almost ONE year since I last posted. It has NOT been almost one year, though, since I have last written on this blog. I have written several posts...but have not published them...for lots of different reasons... 

I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel lonely. I feel blessed. I feel progress. I feel clarity. I feel disappointed. I feel hurt. I feel empowered. I feel experienced.   

I know. Such a mixture of emotions. 

Sometimes I think that people might look at me and say, "Gosh, it's been just about FOUR years, and you STILL feel like that??" Yes, it HAS been almost four years and it's crazy to think that Joshua would be almost 4 years old. It's crazy to think that he would be speaking, walking, running, climbing, swimming, and... you get the point. It's REALLY crazy to think that he would be sitting right there, in the front row, just a couple inches away from me, every Sunday as I get to be Primary Chorister in my ward. Yes. He would be a little Sunbeam. Now, THAT is crazy. It's even more crazy when I look at the roster and view the little Sunbeams' birthdays and realize that many of them are only a day or a week younger or older than Joshua. (I REALLY try not to think about this when I am teaching them. But then again, sometimes I DO, and sometimes it brings a smile to my face. On certain days...if I am lucky.)

So yes, it has been FOUR years. Almost. But then again, it has ONLY been almost FOUR years. 

I see so much growth since the day his death actually started to hit me. But I'm not stupid. After having to tell myself a hundred times that this pain will never fully go away...I really now think (maybe), that I know and believe that it can come back at any time, and at any place...for any reason at all. And it will. And it does.

If there is one thing I am SO in awe of, it is how much this one event has changed my life--and continues to change and shape my life...on a daily basis. Things like--where I live, what jobs I take, what friends I make, what thoughts I have about others, what hobbies interest me, what I think about different political and social issues, and on, and on. Maybe every life experience shapes your life and affects the choices you make....but it sure didn't seem like that to me before I had a baby that died. 

Oh, and by the way, I STILL think I will continue blogging. I think it's good for me. And my posterity. (Because we just might be the only ones who ever read it. And that's totally okay with me.)     

August 24, 2013

Stunted Growth?

It's been almost three years. Wow. Can you believe it's been that long? Looking back, it sometimes feels like maybe these past three years haven't been the most productive of ones. (I'm crying as I write this by the way. It might be because of the music I'm listening to, or it might just be because I still cry every now and again. And if I do smile when I think of him--it quickly turns to tears.) 

I think of all the things I've learned and how much I've grown in the past few years--but then I think of all the time I've spent laying on my couch and sleeping in. (Man do I love to sleep.) And then I think of all the money I've spent on clothes and stuff that I didn't really need or even ever use. (At least I didn't use a credit card to buy anything, right?) I know in the end I can't really be too hard on myself--look at what I was dealing with (am dealing with). Those things are what got me through. When I felt lonely or depressed I would go shopping. (Man do I love to shop.)  And luckily I didn't really do anything that horrible or stupid.

By good fortune though, something just kinda "clicked" in my brain. I realized that it's much better to live lite--especially if you move as much as we do. So we recently gave about thirty boxes of stuff (some good stuff), to Deseret Industries and I'm now getting rid of even more stuff via Ebay and Craigslist. 

The hardest part was going through Joshua's things. When we moved here three years ago, I carefully crammed all and any of his (small) belongings into three fairly large boxes. I couldn't dream of getting rid of anything of his--yet alone touching it because that would mean the smell would rub off. I knew that one day I would go through the boxes but I chose to delay opening them till I felt a little more ready. When I finally opened them up I cried at first, but ultimately I decided that getting rid of most of his things would be best. I chose to condense everything into one box. That seemed reasonable to me, considering his short life and the square footage of our small apartment. Some of his things I kept strictly because of sentiment and others because of practicality--hoping that one day we will have another baby.

I'm not exactly sure what the next three years will bring (it's scary to even ask sometimes), but hopefully I've learned something along the way to prepare me for what God has in store next.  

July 26, 2013

Quote Of The Day

Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face--I know it's an impossibility but I can not help myself. 

-Nicholas Sparks

October 13, 2012

Joshua's 2nd Birthday

 Last year for Joshua's first birthday we went to Las Vegas. This year we went to Disneyland. It wasn't very crowded and we were able to get on a couple of rides without waiting at all. I was very disappointed that the Indiana Jones Ride was closed down (it's my favorite), but besides that we had a pretty good time. (Salesi was a good sport and at least acted like he was having fun.)

And we got to see my grandfather (who is getting pretty old).

October 6, 2012

For All You Haters Out There

I know some of you are  haters. Okay. Okay. I can be a hater too. (I'm sure you all are rolling your eyes right now saying, "dang right you are".) Yes. I can be a brat sometimes.  But in my defense--since this is my blog--I wanted to address a couple of issues that it seems like people "bother" me about quite often on here.

1. Why don't you tell more people (or everyone) about Joshua?

Think of all the people you see/meet/talk to on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Now think of how many of those people you actually might see more than once. Now multiply that number by 34 and divide it by .053. (Ha, just kidding.) I know that some people honor their child by making sure they always talk about him/her when people ask. That's cool. I, on the other hand feel like telling everybody wouldn't do me all that good. There's just some people that I feel as if maybe they just don't need to know. You know--that grocery clerk that I might only see once. I feel like it isn't worth their time, or mine. And sometimes they might cheapen my experience which is just going to make me feel worse than I already did. So, I have decided to pick and choose who I tell. 

There are also times when I'm feeling really emotional and just plain out do not feel like crying in front of anybody that day. It basically just depends on how I'm feeling and who the heck the person is. And sometimes I just don't have a chance or reason too. Think of what it's like going to church. Nobody sees us with any kids so they all assume we don't have any. Unless it's part of the conversation I don't just randomly tell people, "Oh by the way I wanted you to know that we have a son that died." (However, I did bring it up when we gave talks in our new ward because I wanted people to know.) I'm pretty sure it will be a lot easier (or maybe not) when we have more kids. When people visibly see you with children they usually ask the question "how many kids do you have" more often than not. Then, when we do have more kids, I plan on adding Joshua to the number and letting them figure it out and ask more questions if they wish.

Sorry if that answer isn't good enough for you. Please--if you have lost a child--tell me if my response seems all that strange.

2. Why is it so difficult to find support?

For me, it's been difficult finding support. There is one support group I've heard about called "Compassionate Friends", but I've never gone. (Yes, maybe I should.) A couple of girls from my church started a support group for moms in the Phoenix area who have lost children. We try to get together every 6-9 months and go out to breakfast. I have done that twice. I appreciate that group and it's nice getting to spend a morning with other moms that I can really relate to. However, I haven't gotten close to any of those girls. I only see them once, maybe twice a year--so, it still makes it hard for me. To be honest, I don't have anyone I'm really close with that I can talk to things about. Not even family. Sad, I know. (And don't get me started on family. Not saying all of them are bad, but just don't get me started.) Every so often I will meet an old lady at church that lets me know she, too has lost a child. I'm always grateful for those moments. (And nothing against old ladies.) I appreciate all those who remember and acknowledge Joshua. Even just a note on Facebook or a text. 

I have also tried to find counselors that might give me support. This is also a tricky one. It's tough finding a counselor you like, let alone one who really understands grief and what you are going through. Some of them want to understand you but when they haven't been through it themselves it's pretty much impossible.

Again, I try to make it public knowledge to those I associate with on a regular basis, hoping that if any of them have also been through a similar experience they would let me know so that we could support each other. Yes, you would be surprised at how many other people have also lost children...and then you would also be surprised at how few people have also lost children. 

So for me, it just makes it difficult at times--if that's okay if I say so.    

October 2, 2012

The Club

There's something about meeting a fellow member of the club. You don't even have to say anything. You just know. It's like they can see right through you--right into your soul. They know what you are feeling...what you've been through...what you are still going through...and what you will yet go through. They know exactly what to say. They never offend you. They never disrespect you. They would never ever want to cheapen your experience. They would never ever say anything cliche-like or cheesy to make you feel awkward or mocked. In fact, many times they say nothing at all. They know not to compare, make assumptions, and say "I know what you are feeling". They know better than anyone else what you are experiencing--but they know just how stupid it would be to say so. Instead--they just listen.

When you come across a fellow club member you can breathe a sigh of relief. You know if you needed to talk they would be there for you and not judge. They would never try to change you. Even if they are just an acquaintance--you can have confidence knowing that you can give each other that specific look that says, "I know. I know."

It's very difficult finding support in this club. In the rare instances you feel understood--it does something to you. You feel a bit of gratitude knowing that you are not alone. It's exhausting sometimes trying to explain your story to someone not in the club. You worry about what kinds of things they will say.  Will they be offensive without even knowing? And even worse--what will you say back to make certain you protect yourself, your child, your grief, your pain and emotions that are so sacred to you because only YOU experienced it and know just how dark those dark moments really are.

It's hard. You want to tell people. You want everyone to know about your child. You want them to know that he is a real person. You want them to know that a piece of your heart has been ripped out and you will never get it back--not in this life anyway.

Everyone whose not in the club will want to compare--liken any experience possible to your experience. Unfortunately this doesn't work. A counselor I was seeing shortly after Joshua's death would always compare my emotions of losing a child to his emotions of finding out his toddler had cancer. This offended me. Finally one day I had enough courage to let him know what I was thinking. When I started to verbalize my hurt feelings, he quickly realized why this would bother me so much. He responded, "You are right. I should not compare that situation with yours. That was wrong of me. I got to take my son home from the hospital--and you didn't."

I know we all make mistakes and say things without thinking. I'm probably the worse one of all. I know that is one of the reasons I was given this trial--to learn to be just a little more sensitive, a little more caring, and a  little more loving. I never used to know what to say to someone who had lost a child--or any family member or loved one for that matter. However, I now know the best and most simplest thing to say in this type of circumstance: "I'm so sorry." And that's all you have to say and do. 

September 21, 2012

I'm A Housewife

Is there something so bad about being a housewife?

As I'm sitting in a chair getting my haircut one day, the girl asks, "So what do you do?" 

(Ugh. Seriously hate this stupid question.)

"I'm a housewife." I respond without hesitation. 

"Ha! A housewife!? What exactly does a housewife do!?" She asks annoyingly. 

"Oh ya know...I clean and cook and go grocery shopping."

(My answer isn't good enough. Obviously.) 

"I would never want to do that. Don't you want to go to school?" She asks.

"No, not really," I say. 

(Does she think I'm like 18 or something?) 

She asks again, "Don't you want to go to school?" 

I reply, "Oh I've already been to school. I went to cooking school a long...time...ago." 

(Trying to prove a point that I'm not even close to being 18.) 

"I do parties and cook for people, ya know, when people ask me," I add. 

(Silence. No response from the other side. My answer isn't good enough. Again.) 

"Well ya know I do teach piano too. Oh--and nanny every so often. Oh--and I watch "Let's Make A Deal" every day and ya know stay up late every night watching episodes of "My Fair Wedding" on Netflix...and then of course I sleep in and get up just in time to watch "Let's Make a Deal" again.

(Okay so I really didn't say any of that last part.)

I also told her I've been married for 4 years and don't have any kids. She responded with, "Do you wanna have kids??"

On a more positive note, she did give me a good haircut...

September 12, 2012

Blah Blah Blah

I just have a lot of thoughts right now. Many probably not so nice. But it's how I feel. Okay so they aren't nice but what am I to do? I guess I will write on my blog. 

I feel like I have no one I can relate with. I'm kind of in that weird stage of life. I'll be 32 in a couple months and I have no kids [at home]. I know, I know--only weird if you are a Mormon--which I am. The only people I honestly feel like I can relate to are the singles. And yes, I'm talking about the Mormon Singles. Why do I feel like I have most in common with them? Well because their life sucks and so does mine. (Yes I just said that.) Oh, and I'm not talking about those girls who are 20 or 25 and single. (Oh boo hoo you're 25 and not married.) I'm talking about the mid-singles. (Ya know, those who are my age or maybe a little older.) 

So here's what went down a couple of weeks ago... A lady from another ward came into our Relief Society to make an announcement about a marriage class that would be starting up. She made a point to say that only those who are married can attend the class and both the wife and the husband must come together or they shouldn't come at all. After she gave her reasoning I totally understood what she meant. Nevertheless, after RS, one of our mid-single girls started a conversation with an older, married member of our ward about how she was offended that the marriage class was only for those who were married...blah blah blah. When I first heard that something like that would hurt someone's feelings I thought, "well what are we supposed to do? There's lots of church activities--some of them are for married couples and some of them are for single people." 

Then the next night I remembered a lesson we had a couple of weeks ago in Relief Society. It was about teaching our children. I honestly wanted to puke throughout the entire lesson. And who are the only other ones who might be feeling the same way? Yup--the mid singles.

Okay, so I'm not the only married girl without children [at home]. But I really think I'm the oldest without children [at home]. Just saying I totally get why the mid-single girl was offended.

Man that was a long story but I feel better telling it.

August 15, 2012

Something In My Eye

Something is in my eye. No. Really. Or maybe not. I'm feeling a little bit emotional right now. One part happy and one part sad. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. 

I'm feeling like a proud mother who doesn't have to wonder whether or not their child is behaving because I know without a doubt that my child is practically perfect in every way.

I'm feeling anxious and excited for the future knowing that one day we will have more children but nervous that the same thing or worse could happen again.

I'm feeling in awe of the marvelous plan that God created knowing that this Earthly life is but a second.  

I'm feeling distinguished and exclusive that I might know just a little more about life after death only because I ponder about it way more than the average man.

I'm feeling like a failure knowing that God expects more of me and hoping I will be worthy to obtain a son like Joshua. 

I haven't cried in a while. I think I'm missing my baby right now. Just a little. 

July 31, 2012

What To Do When You Are Grieving

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

I've written posts about what one should do when their friend or loved one has lost a child...but it just dawned on me that I haven't written a post giving advice as to what the parent should be doing to help them cope with their loss. So here's a list I put together to help you, the griever, get through some tough days.

1. Pamper yourself. When things really start sinking in it's very important to be good to yourself. Get a massage, buy a new outfit, get your hair done, go on vacation, go out to eat.

2. Keep a journal. This one wasn't hard for me because I've kept a journal my entire life. Writing is therapeutic. You could also keep a blog (like I do), and it doesn't even have to be a public blog--just write down your feelings. Be honest and real. Don't worry--you don't have to share with anyone if you don't want to.

3. Eat comfort food. I ate Mexican Sweet Rolls and Mexican Hot Chocolate every day for breakfast for a good 3-4 months following Joshua's death. I didn't think anything of it. I now realize why I wasn't loosing any baby weight...but it was what I needed at the time. I'm not saying to eat junk food all day long (especially if you have a health/weight concern), but the point is to not be so hard on yourself! 

4. Only surround yourself with people and activities that soothe you. This is very important. Think of a scab. (As gross as it sounds...) If you keep picking at it--it won't heal! (Now, I don't believe that in this life we will ever fully heal from our loss, but the point is to continue taking steps forward..."PRESS FORWARD!") 

5. Do yoga and go on walks. My therapist, who specializes in trauma, always tells me that yoga is one of the best things a trauma victim can do. She also believes that doing a heavy workout isn't such a good idea. (I know some of you would beg to differ and have found much relief running marathons etc.), but just know that yoga is extremely calming for trauma patients and has helped me recently.

6. Go to counseling. There is no shame in receiving therapy. I didn't waste any time with this one. (Of course suffering a major loss brings out many other problems as well, so don't be surprised if your life seems as if it's ripping apart from all angles...) I have found that I do much better with a female--because I'm a female. Don't be discouraged if you can't find a good fit at first. It took me a few counselors before I was able to find a good match. If I could just give 2 other helpful tips when it comes to finding a great therapist: 1. You can't put a price on your health, especially emotional health. Go less frequent if it's expensive. 2. If your therapist makes you feel bad, sad or discouraged--stop seeing them!! Your counselor should uplift you and give you hope every time you visit them! Hello--you are going to counseling to reduce your stress--not make more of it!!

7. Take it easy and don't be so hard on yourself! If you stay up late and sleep in--or even go to bed early and sleep in--who cares! (Of course if you have other kids you probably won't be able to do this...and I know people with other kids say they are grateful to their other kids because it makes them have to get out of bed in the morning...did that make sense?)

8. Ease back into things. Normal activities that were fun and enjoyable for you before the death might not be so fun anymore. Don't have too many expectations. Stop trying to have success with the activity if it's not working. One day the dark cloud that surrounds you will thin out and your step will be light again, and the joy you found with your old hobbies and daily routine will come back in due time.

9. Don't let people tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing. As much as they love you, they don't truly understand what you're going through. Only you do.

10. Don't be embarrassed for crying at any given time or not feeling up to doing something--even if you've already committed to it. Do whatever is best for you. If someone makes you feel bad for not wanting to leave the house, then maybe you shouldn't be associated with that person right now. Grief can be triggered by a million different things...so don't ever feel silly for crying or suddenly feeling sad.  

June 25, 2012

No Idea

The more and more I meet people and have to tell them about Joshua, I realize something. Unless it's happened to them, they seriously, honestly, positively have NO idea. Whatsoever. At all. Sad but true. 

For example, the other day a friend mentions that my parents have 6 grand-kids. Hmmm. Really? I thought they had 7. Ya see, if you had lost a child, you would never leave that child out when counting how many grand-kids your parents have. 

There is one exception to the rule, however: If a crazy cashier at T.J.Maxx asks you if you have any kids you, of course, say "no". This same cashier also started out by asking me what I do. Well obviously I don't do that much if I'm shopping at T.J.Maxx.

April 22, 2012

Random Thoughts

So I haven't written in here for a while. I've been busy. But besides being busy, I feel like I'm kind of at a new "level" of my grief. I go more and more days without crying, and I don't get that sick feeling so much when I see a new baby. Don't get me wrong--it's still hard sometimes. I still sometimes just sit in awe that something like this happened to me... I think to myself, "My baby died? Why did my baby have to die?" And occasionally I will still get that horrific image of Joshua being put inside of a body bag. (No, I didn't actually see this take place, but I asked the nurse right before we left the hospital if she was going to put him inside of a body bag before taking him down to the morgue and she said "yes". Seriously--NO mother should ever have to be haunted with a mental image of their child being zipped up in a body bag. Ugh.)  

I do worry that I don't think about him enough. I worry that I'm forgetting important details and images from his life. I know that there's a lot of people that don't think I could honestly miss someone that much who only lived for a month. In fact, when I tell them he passed away at a month old, they will sometimes say, "Well I guess you carried him for 9 months so, that was probably hard." Yes. It was hard. And--it still is hard. He was a real person to me. Is the pain worse if your child is older? Maybe. I sometimes think that (to be honest). But I would never tell someone who lost a day old baby that they have it easier than me just because their baby was only a day old. That's nonsense.

March 9, 2012

I Miss Him

I miss him...

When I listen to a love song.

When I watch a sad movie.

When I see other babies, and now toddlers, and well...pretty much any children.

When I see his picture.

When I play the piano.

When I go to church. (This is a hard one.)

When I'm in love with my husband. (This might sound weird, but I didn't want to put "when I love my husband" because then it sounds like there are times when I don't love him--which may or may not be true--but as far as the love thing goes...I think all you BLM's know what I'm talking about.)

When I go on walks. (Now an everyday occurrence in my life...maybe...)

When I do genealogy work. (Okay, so besides scrap booking and journal writing--ya know, my own personal genealogy work--I just barely started indexing, but hey--I gotta start somewhere.)

When I see a beautiful painting. (Or pretty much anything beautiful.)

When I go to the temple. (I always pray that I will see him there because I'd much rather see him there than in my home...that would just freak me out.)

March 7, 2012

Headstone #1

We'll call this "Headstone #1" because this is actually a MESS-UP. Yup. They made it wrong. The wording is correct, but the color of granite and polishing is all wrong. I asked for the darker granite, and also that the entire marker be un-polished or "rough". I know. I'm weird. I didn't want pictures or borders, or shiny granite. (I also was the one to wear a short wedding dress and get sealed at 7:30 at night...really weird, right?) Plus, it's very different in the way that we wrote out the dates. I guess you could say that I don't like commas or something. I really do like how the wording came out (even though I'm not a fan of the bottom font, but it was the only way to fit it on 3 lines--so I went with it.) And I'm very happy that I listened to my mother, the genealogist, and added the last line that reads, "First born of Kaci Goodrich & Salesi Uipi". (It needs to be hosed down and cleaned off, but I will make sure I do that with the new one coming next week.)

(Oh...and why the heck did we wait over a year to get a headstone for  Joshua?  I don't know--we just got around to it finally I guess you could say. Lame excuse, but true. Besides, Salesi wanted to wait a while for the ground to settle... It's a Tongan tradition or something??)

March 3, 2012

Still Hard

It's still hard...

Getting on Facebook to find someone who had a baby around Joshua's birthday, now announce they are pregnant with their 2nd baby.

Looking at pictures of Joshua at home--healthy--and trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, and WHEN did it go wrong?

Telling people we don't have any kids and hearing them say it's now probably a good time to start, since we've been married 4 years.

Never knowing what Joshua would look like and sound like right now, today.

Telling people about Joshua, but then having them not ask any questions about him, like--"what was his name, and what was he like"--Basically acting like he wasn't a real person.

(On a side note--Salesi told me that I say the word "basically" WAY too much. Can you count how many times I said it on here?)

February 26, 2012

I Look Stressed Out

Who likes to hear somebody tell you that "you look stressed out"? Ummm anybody? Salesi got a new calling and so now he's able to come and hear me teach Sunday School. (Well, when he has time...) So I guess today he came in my class for the last 20 minutes or so, and after church he told me that it's obvious that "I'm stressed and crying out for help up there..." Seriously? Do I really look like that up there? (It is 10 in the morning after all, and I'm not a morning person.)

Of course I did finish my lesson by showing the Mormon Message video titled, "Hope Ya Know, We Had A Hard Time." (Go here to watch it.) Before I played it I mentioned, "I really like this video because I feel like that a lot." WELL I DO! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME!

It seems like I always get in these talks with Salesi about how "sucky my life is" and how "I have no friends". Anyway, so we go back and forth and back and forth and he always tells me that "people are scared to be my friend because I look sad and stressed out"... Hmm, doesn't seem like there's an end to this one. Well, I actually do end it every time. (I mean--for the night at least.) It seems like I always remember a very important point: I don't need friends! I don't even have time for friends! (How would I have time for friends when I don't even have time to do the laundry?) And besides, I like doing things by myself!

It's probably better anyway that I don't spend time with other people--I'm just way too emotional right now...and stressed out of course. I mean, it would be pretty embarrassing if some of my emotions got the best of me while hanging out with other people. (I might never find out for sure, but it's probably better if I never do.)

February 14, 2012

The B Word

Of course I think about the "B Word" a lot. (Salesi asks me about it pretty much everyday.) All the time I read on people's blogs about how a "new baby is very healing..." Well, to tell you the truth (as if I need to remind you I'm going to be honest on this blog), I just don't know if I believe that... Or, at least believe it could be true for me. It seems like part of it just comes down to image. NO--I'm not saying that this is how it is for everyone else--but for me, this is how I feel. Let me explain...

If I had a new baby, it would seem like I've moved on, or at least taken a step in that direction, right? Not just that, but us women (especially us Mormon Women), like to "do it all", right? Of course the thought of me getting older is always in the back of my head (or front?)... Questions like: "If I have a baby in a year, how old will I be when they get married?" Or thoughts like, "How much cuter would our next Christmas Card look to have a baby in the picture?"

The truth is this: Not only do I not feel emotionally ready to have another baby right now, it stresses me out seeing other BLM's continuing down the path of bringing more children into this world, while I'm still indecisive about this whole CGD/IVF stuff.

Yes, yes, yes... I understand everyone is different, and this kind of stuff shouldn't stress me out, but that's only ANOTHER reason why I have a lot of (emotional) problems! (I will need counseling the rest of my life...as if I didn't go to enough sessions already.)

February 13, 2012


By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

I have felt very alone these past few days. I did a lot of crying today and I haven't really cried in a while. Today it hit me that I'm still "not over" all the pain, hurt and resentments that I feel and that I've only been masking these feelings with being busy or just holding in my emotions. I always feel tired, sick, angry and--to be honest--I just don't like the person I am.

I know I need to go to counseling. Actually, I was going to finally call the counselor today to make an appointment, but then I got too scared that I might start crying over the phone...so I didn't.

I know I still have resentments towards our new ward. The bishop has been great. However, it bothers me that I don't have visiting teachers (I don't even know who they are). Also, we finally just got a home teacher, or at least a home teacher who wants to actually visit us now. I mean, I know this is all normal, nothing too weird to "not know who your home teachers are for 6 months"...right? It's just hard moving into a new ward 7 months after your baby dies, and then not even the relief society president mentions anything to you the whole time while you are in the ward. I don't know what would make it better... Maybe just a, "When is Joshua's birthday?" or "How old would Joshua be?" Well, of course, it might be nice to first ask, "So, what was your son's name?" I just feel like he isn't a real person to anyone, and it makes coping with my loss a little difficult. 

February 2, 2012

Did He Know

Did Joshua know he would only be staying here a very short time? Did God Tell him that his Earthly Mission would last only a few weeks?

As we were making the decision in the PICU to take him off Life Support, my sister asserted, "Right before Joshua was born, God said to him, 'Now Joshua, I am only sending you down there for a little while, and then I need you right back up here where you belong'..." 

Whether or not that really happened, I suppose that Heaven is definitely the place where Joshua belongs right now.

January 30, 2012

The Beginning Of The End

Joshua at 9 days old waiting in the ER for a more permanent room in the Pediatric Ward at St. Joe's Hospital in Phoenix.
If you look closely at this picture, you will notice a 9 day-old baby with perfect olive skin, a perfect shaped head, and the perfect ability to sleep and breathe on his own.

If you look much closer at this picture, you will notice a large bruise on Joshua's left hand. This was from the IV line he had in him during his 3 day stay in the NICU following his birth, hence the IV line stuck in his head this time around.

If you look really close at this picture, you will notice a beautiful little baby who is about to leave his mommy and daddy and end his mortal existence on this Earth.

Did you see it?

Joshua was so perfect in every way...yet he wasn't. I didn't know it at the time, but this really was the beginning of the end for Little Joshua. This is the very last picture we have of him where he still looks healthy and normal. (Besides having that stupid thing sticking out of his head, of course.)

I miss him. I've been thinking about potentially bringing another little one into this world but, it scares me. It really scares me. After pondering the last couple of weeks about whether or not we should conceive a baby naturally, I've realized that it scares me too much to consider that option. A 1 in 4 chance is way too risky for me, no matter what others say or think.

And right now I still have so many feelings locked inside of me, that I'm not sure when the time will come to make that final decision.

January 15, 2012

Done With Kids

Sometimes I feel like we are done having kids. It's as if we already raised our kids and now it's back to just the two of us doing our own thing because our kids have moved out of the house. Weird. Or, maybe I don't want to think about having kids right now because I'm finally enjoying my life just a little.

Well I can't do anything anyway until I have a followup appointment with my Pulmonologist about my Valley Fever blood test. Weird again. He wanted me to wait to get pregnant until he knew that my Valley Fever status hadn't changed in 3 months. (Man, I sure am personal on this blog.)

I'm still not even sure about the whole kid thing. (I can think of a million excuses as to why I would be a bad candidate to bearing and raising children, by the way.) Why is it when you want kids you can't have them? And when you don't want kids it's as if you know you should have them?

January 5, 2012

Painting of Joshua

Can you tell what my favorite Christmas gift was last year?

My sister Kelley made this for me. (Pretty good eh?)

January 4, 2012

Why Don't You Have 10 Kids Yet

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

Here's a little something funny... or maybe not. (At least I'm now laughing about it.)

While in Utah my sister Kelley decided we should go to the beauty college to be pampered (or something like that). So as we were sitting there getting manicures (which BTW don't EVER get manicures at a beauty school. TRUST ME.) Kelley's student kept going on and on about how she has 7 kids and her life is so busy. She then made a comment about "not being that old" and "only being a few years older than this girl over there". (She said this while pointing her finger in my direction.) She then added, "Yeah, where are your 10 kids!?" Trying to be polite I responded with, "Oh, well I didn't get married till I was about 28."

Now here comes the funny part... When we got home later that day, I reminded my sister of the rude remark her student said to me. Kelley exclaimed, "Kaci! She wasn't even talking to you! I was so shocked when you answered her because she was talking to the girl behind you!" I still didn't believe that her student was talking to someone other than me, but I finally decided to move on and just go with it. 

Let me just add one more thing... I was SO close to saying to her, "Why don't I have 10 kids yet!? Well it's a little hard to have 10 kids when you don't get married until you are 28 and then your first baby dies!!" Yeah...that would have shown her!

(PS--I have never thought that 28 is an old age for marriage. I know people that do, which is another story for another time.)

December 29, 2011

How Many Kids Do You Have

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

I've been so busy this past month that I haven't had any time to write on my blog. I've also been so busy this past month that I have worried that maybe I wasn't thinking about Joshua enough. I even tricked myself into thinking that maybe I was done feeling sad about Joshua not being here. Oh, why do I always play that mean joke on myself? Even though I don't feel nearly as sad as I did six months ago, the sadness is still lingering on the surface just waiting to spill over.

I do much better with babies and pregnant women now. Nevertheless, I sill get nervous when I meet someone new for the first time and I just know the "how many kids do you have" question is going to arise at any moment. I honestly don't know if I will ever be able to feel okay answering that question.

We were in Utah over the holidays and it seemed like we were constantly running into people Salesi knew. If they didn't ask us "how many kids do you have", they would instead say, "you guys don't have kids yet?" If the latter of the 2 questions came up, I would automatically move my head back and forth and with a gloomy look in my eyes respond with, "No, not yet." I must have been too tired (and too cold) to actually take the time to tell the truth (especially to all the young Tongan couples who already had too many kids themselves to even count).

Around this same time last year I joked that we would have a 11-11-11 baby. And when that goal became unattainable, I then said that maybe we would have a 12-12-12 baby. Hmmmm, not sure about that one either now. Our bishop has told us to not rush into anything. (I will admit to liking his advice because it gives me more time for myself; On the other hand, however--I am turning 32 this year!) 

November 9, 2011


By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

So this month I have felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Which, by the way, goes perfectly with this month being November and all. And as cheesy as it is (especially for me), I thought I would actually make a list of everything I'm thankful for when it comes to the loss of my son...

1. Friends who continually call to say they are thinking about us.
2. All the hundreds of friends (yes, there was a lot), and family that came to the funeral service.
3. The friend that sent me a plant on Joshua's birthday.
4. The friend that took me out to dinner for his 1 year angelversary.
5. The friend that texted me on his birthday.
6. The friends who called to ask if they could leave flowers on his grave for Memorial Day.
7. The friend who left something on his grave for his 1 year angelversary. (I still haven't gotten around to going there yet!)
8. Those friends that continue to talk about Joshua and never forget that he was a real person.
9. All of the dozens of pictures I have to look at of his short life.
10. A stake president who introduced us to other parents who had lost children immediately following the funeral.
11. A stake president who visited us in the hospital and gave me and Joshua a blessing.
12. A husband who continues to let me cry and deal with my loss as I see best.
13. All of those that gave us cards and flowers for his death and funeral.
14. The friend that donated all of the gorgeous flowers for his funeral service free of charge.
15. Those that let out-of-town family stay in their home for the funeral service.
16.Those who cooked a nice lunch for our friends and family after the burial.
17. Those that put flowers on his grave, just because.
18. My family who brought me flowers for his 1st birthday.
19. A bishop who visited us in the hospital.
20. All the friends who brought us food in the hospital.
21. The friends who sent us a card on his 1 year angelversary.
22. The friend who sent me an email on his 1 year angelversary.
23. The friend that took me out to dinner on his 1st birthday.
24. The friend who gave me a beautiful picture of Christ holding an infant, just because.
25.Those that have remained my friend even when I have offended them during my grieving process.
26. Those friends that came to visit us in the hospital.
27. Good hometeachers who came to sing to Joshua in the hospital.
28. The entire stake presidency who came to give us the sacrament in the hospital. (That was amazing.)
29. Everyone who has and is still praying for us.
30. All the hundreds (and even thousands, as my stake president quoted) people who fasted for Joshua the Sunday before he died.
31. All the people that have put Joshua's (and I'm sure mine also) name on the prayer roll.
32. My mother who wrote and published an obituary for Joshua.
33. All 3 sisters (2 from out of town) who traveled here for the funeral.
34. All those who gave us money for the funeral.
35. A friend who sewed Joshua a blanket for the hospital.
36. Friends who provided a breakfast for family on the morning of the funeral.
37. My mother who shopped for and bought Joshua's burial clothes.
38. Salesi's family who traveled from northern California and Utah to attend the funeral.
39. Salesi's family who brought Tongan blankets and tapa cloths to wrap around Joshua's coffin for burial.
40. Salesi's family who sang beautiful Tongan hymns as we burried Joshua.
41. All the men who actually took turns shoveling dirt onto Joshua's grave. (Again, another amazing experience to watch.)
42. Friends that made a beautiful display of Joshua's photos for the funeral service.
43. Friends who gave me books to read about grief and loss.
44. The short 6 days I did get to spend with Joshua at home.
45. All of the doctors and nurses who took care of us.
46. Everyone else that has done anything for my family or Joshua's behalf that I have forgotten to mention.

Alright, as you can see, it's pretty hard to be mad when I am able to count my blessings.

I Lost My Child Today

Exactly 1 year ago... just minutes before we unplugged all of the machines. Not exactly one of my brighter days.

I Lost My Child Today

I lost my child today.
People came to weep and cry,
As I just sat and stared dry eyed.
They struggled to find words to say,
To try and make the pain go away.
I walked the floor in disbelief,
I lost my child today
I lost my child last month.
Most of the people went away.
Some still call and some still stay.
I wait to wake up from this dream,
This can't be real--I want to scream.
Yet everything is locked inside,
God, help me, I want to cry.
I lost my child last month.

I lost my child last year.
Now people who had come, have gone.
I sit and struggle all day long,
To bear the pain so deep inside.
And now my friends just question, Why?
Why does this mother not move on?
Just sits and sings the same old song.
Good heavens, it has been so long.
I lost my child last year.

Time has not moved on for me.
The numbness it has disappeared.
My eyes have now cried many tears.
I see the look upon your face,
"She must move on and leave this place."
Yet I am trapped right here in time.
The songs the same, as is the rhyme,
I lost my child......Today.
-Netta Wilson

November 3, 2011

This Is What Joshua Is Doing

I thought I'd answer my own question, and tell you exactly what Joshua is doing...

He's very busy at appointments--teaching eager investigators. (He also has some that aren't quite so eager to learn, but hey--that's life.)

He occasionally spies on me. (I think most of the time he approves.)

He's meeting a lot of interesting people. Of course they're all good. Of course some of them are girls. (Now, I know you think I'm crazy to think that there's any chance he could possibly have any type of "feelings" for anybody... uhh hello--he's still a male.) 

He likes finding other people who were also hooked up to tons of tubes and ended up dying in a hospital. Ya know, they talk about how annoying it was to have all those tubes in them and especially the one down their throat, constantly gagging them. (But out of respect to their mothers, they don't laugh about it--even if now they think it's funny.)

Joshua always makes good decisions. He's one of those super-valiant-obedient-types. (I know what your'e thinking, but it's not always that simple--he still has to make decisions.) 

He's learning a lot about Tonga. (Hmm, I think he even goes to visit every so often.)

He runs into famous people all the time, but doesn't think anything of it. (I mean, he still acts impressed.)

October 30, 2011

The Spirit World

As I mentioned in my last post, I am very intrigued by the world in which is all around us but that we can't see... aka Joshua's home. I recently found this article about the spirit world that you can read here. Trust me, it's really good and will answer a lot of questions.   

October 28, 2011

What Do You Think Joshua Is Doing

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

Sometimes while I'm lying in bed at night, waiting to fall asleep, I'll ask Salesi, "What do you think Joshua is doing right now?" He then responds with the same answer every time, "He's sleeping of course." Then I always go off about how he can't be sleeping because he doesn't get tired because he doesn't have a body and who knows if there's even a such thing as light and dark where he is!

That's the difference between my husband and me: I like to think about the world in which we can't see, and he likes to think that we don't need to think about it at all.

For example, did Joshua automatically become a missionary as soon as he died? He didn't live long enough to learn about the gospel here on Earth, so will he first have to go to a training center? Or since he died before the age of accountability, will he automattically remember the things he learned before this Earthly Life and immediately agree with all of Christ's teachings?

You see, I ponder this type of stuff for a couple of different reasons: (1) because Joshua is my son, and I like to know what he's doing; and (2) because I always wonder what happens to the families that die (especially those  who leave this Earth together) who have never heard of or accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ while here on Earth. Will their kids immediately be accepting of it and then preach it to their parents, even though none of them knew about it or studied it while living? It's just an interesting concept that children who came from a non-gospel home would all of a sudden be telling their parents all about it and the need to be baptized as soon as they enter the Spirit World, don't you think?

To me, I love studying the subject of life after death. It's just so fascinating. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, here is a discussion from Brent Top who is an author on the subject. I have a couple of his CD's and he is definitely an expert regarding this sometimes confusing topic. 

October 27, 2011

How To Bring It Up

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

I sometimes still have trouble letting people know about Joshua. I want people to know about him and  I want them to know that he is a real person! I just sometimes get anxiety over the whole thing. 

Last Sunday we gave talks at church and I thought long and hard whether or not I should say something about Joshua. I recently brought him up in a Sunday School lesson I taught, so there was already a good handful of the adults that knew about him. I definitely didn't want people to think I'm ashamed of him, or fear talking about him, so I decided to go ahead and "introduce Joshua" to the entire congregation. 

I started my talk and said I was going to share a brief introduction to those that don't know us. I shared how Salesi and I met and then said, "And last year we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy named Joshua. Joshua, however, decided that he had better things to do and skipped out a little early on this life...So he is now in heaven waiting for us...But he is a part of our family, so I definitely don't want to leave him out of the story." (I also then said if there's anything else they want to know about us they can come up and ask.)

Right after I brought up Joshua, I felt like it put a slight damper on my talk. I mean, how else do you tell people that you have a son but that he already died? I know the rest of my talk was good and everyone said they felt the spirit very strong, so I guess I shouldn't worry about it. There was a couple of older women who came up to me afterwards to ask about Joshua, and one of them told me that her daughter died of SIDS when she was a baby and would be 26 in November. That is one of the reasons I like bringing him up. I like finding other people who have also lost children.

Later at home I asked Salesi what he thought about me telling people about Joshua. He said, "It was good but you stole my line". Okay, so I did steal his line... "Skipping out on Earth early... Having better things to do"... It makes something so dark seem like no big deal so I used it. (I didn't want to scare all the kids.)

October 26, 2011

What To Do When Someone You Love Has Lost A Child

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

This is a post I've been wanting to write for a long time. Since I am quickly approaching the 1 year-mark, I feel like I know just enough about this subject.

Yes, we are all unique individuals, and we might prefer different things, but most of these tips I find to be universal among the grieving mothers. (Or--"BLMs" as I finally found out we are called!)

1. Give a gift. Give SOMETHING. Flowers or a card at the very least. This lets her know that you at least know about the loss and are thinking about her. I LOVED all of the sympathy cards I received. I displayed them like trophies. I didn't get enough! If you CAN--give money! Yes, we really appreciate money because funeral costs are expensive! (Remember--no one plans to bury their baby. Parents--yes. But your child--not exactly.)

2. Try to visit as much as possible AFTER the funeral. Call ahead and ask if you can stop by, especially if it's BEFORE the funeral services. Why? Because the days leading up to the funeral are BUSY! I had clothes to shop for, a plot to pick out, arrangements that had to be made for out-of-towners and so on. I really didn't have time to "visit" with people. I really appreciated a friend who called me each day leading up to the funeral and said, "What can I do for you today?" During that time, it was so much more helpful than sitting on my couch for 2 hours. I appreciated people wanting to stop by, but I really wish they came AFTER the funeral. That's when things really sunk in, and that's when I actually had the time.

3. We need to be PAMPERED. Yes. Anything. We've just experienced something traumatic and it's VERY EXHAUSTING! A friend gave me and Salesi a gift card to a nice restaurant. It was perfect--especially because we had been living in a hospital for 3 weeks. If you don't want to spend money, then offer to watch her other kids so she can take a nap. Come over and give her a massage, or clean her toilet. The best advice I got from an experienced griever during this time was: "Be good to yourself. Go shopping and buy a new outfit! Go out to eat!"

3. Do NOT tell her HOW to grieve. Everyone grieves differently. Unless she is physically hurting herself or others, don't tell her how to do it. When she is mad--let her be mad. When she is sad--let her be sad. When she is bitter--let her be bitter. When she wants to cry--let her cry. When she doesn't want to cry--don't make her cry. She needs to experience all of the different emotions that come with grief--but on HER time, not yours. Also, don't tell her what she can and can't handle doing. I didn't like people telling me to "stay busy". In the beginning, I didn't want to "stay busy"! I wanted to lie around, cry, and stare at pictures of Joshua all day long. (And recently, some people assumed I couldn't do certain tasks because of the anniversary of Joshua's birthday approaching.) Sometimes distractions are good; Other times we want to be alone--but let us decide.

4. Do NOT use cliches. Sorry. As good as they sound, we just don't want to hear them. For every cliche you say, we will think of a good comeback. We might not say it out loud, but we are thinking it. For example, don't ever say things like, "You will see your son again... He was too pure for this Earth!" Having a strong testimony of God's eternal plan does NOT take away the pain of losing a child! We would all go mad if we didn't think we should be upset over our loss just because we know we will see our loved one again. Avoid ALL cliches, especially, "I understand how you feel". Instead, simply say, "I'm so sorry". And that's all you have to say!

5. Be sensitive. Everyone is different. She might want visitors; Or she might not. She might want to talk all about it including lots of details; Or she might not. Whatever you do--be sensitive. Don't be pushy! If you have a gift, then call ahead, and if she doesn't answer then assume she would prefer you to leave it at her doorstep. If she has lost an infant don't come over to her house with your new baby. (If your friend lost her job, you wouldn't want to offend her by talking about the great new job you just got.) Don't expect her to show up at your baby shower, or any type of social events. (But still invite her to let her decide.) Be sensitive to her feelings and never assume if and when she has "moved on".

6. Be there! Tell her that you are there if she ever wants to talk about it. (And then actually BE THERE, by continually checking up on her with phone calls, emails etc.) If you are there, she will talk about it when the time is right. Remember--grieving the loss of a child is a process. When the funeral is over, and cards stop coming, and dinners stop coming, THEN she will need somebody. So, if you want to be that somebody, then BE THERE.

October 23, 2011

Good Bye Facebook

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

Good bye Facebook. So long. It was nice knowing you but it's time to go our separate ways. We had our ups and downs, and I tried to work things out--I really did--but I just don't need you around anymore.

I thought you were important--always keeping me up to date on all the little details--but now all those details either make me want to puke inside or throw something at you. So instead of getting violent, I've decided to take the higher road and end our 5 year relationship.  

I know, I know. I know this is going to be hard for you--hard because I won't be there to oooh and awe over all those pictures you put in front of my face right when I sign on...and even more hard when I'm not there every 5 minutes to like your status update.

You probably think I'm crazy because of everything I'm going to miss...I won't know about your 3rd ultrasound; I won't be there when your baby sneezes for the first time; I won't know when you are 10 minutes pregnant; I won't know when you fall and crack your toenail; And I won't know when your toddler has gone potty in the toilet for the 5th time in 1 day.

I didn't think I could live without you either--but not having you around is one of the best decisions I've ever made. So adios Facebook. Espero estar lejos de ti para siempre!

October 19, 2011

This Is Why I Have A Blog

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

As I read blogs from different "Angel Moms", I don't see them writing so much about the pain, the bitterness, the depression, the anger, the jealousy, and so on. However, when I log onto a private blog to which I belong with these other moms, I do sometimes find them sharing their "true feelings". Is it so bad that I share my "true feelings" on my public blog? That is the reason I have a blog.

I'm not good with showing my feelings. I'm especially not good with speaking. If I have to give a talk (a speech would be the better word), I spend hours and hours writing it, and re-writing it, and then I spend several more hours actually reading it out loud. (I'm not exaggerating either--I just gave a talk 3 days ago, so I know.) I guess I don't want people to think that I'm just "hiding behind my computer screen". My blog is my way to express myself. Before I had this blog, I really felt bottled up inside. 

Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with me. Usually, it's those that have not lost children who don't agree with my feelings. Or, maybe you people out there that seem to agree with me are just "being nice" as my husband always tells me. (Yes, my husband thinks I need to burn this blog.) If that is the case, then please don't "be nice" anymore.

The real reason I have this blog is to work through my grief. Now, I have plenty of other problems that I also deal with that I don't share on this blog. I am also perfectly aware that there are many other struggling people in this universe. However, this blog is purposely to share feelings about MY LOSS.

For example...

Lately, I've been thinking that I should be "moving on". I mean, it has been 11 months, ya know? Well too bad you can't put a timeline on grieving the loss of a child. Sorry. I will never get over it. I will always be talking about it. It will always hurt me. The pain will lessen (as it has), but as of now, I'm definitely still in a depression/reflection/loneliness stage of grief. (For a good reference: go here.)

I really wish I could move on. Honestly. I do.

Shortly after Joshua died, I mentioned to a friend that seeing other babies made me angry inside. She responded, "I sure hope you can get over that soon."

I sure hope I can "get over it" soon too. But until then, I will just keep writing about it.    

October 18, 2011

What Is Wrong With You People

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

Sometimes I feel like maybe I'm a little too harsh on my blog. After all, I have mentioned that there are some ugly babies out there, and that pregnant women are annoying to me. If any of you are offended by this, I will tell you that I, myself was a really ugly baby. (Hey, I'm still not that great-looking.) And as far as all you pregnant people go--well, you know who you are, and YES--you can be annoying! (Yeah, maybe I was one of them, but now I know better. Way better.)

So if you haven't gasped enough while reading my blog lately, I will make you gasp again. I will ask a question, but this time directly to my family--WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??

How come none of my family will be tested for CGD? Is it because they think that "I'm the only one who has bad things happen to them?" Or is it because they really think they aren't carriers? Or is it because they are all in denial? Then there's my mom who completely, utterly, absolutely, REFUSES to be tested. Wow, Mom, how bad could it be? If you knew you were a carrier, would you feel guilty for Joshua's death? If my mom was tested and was negative, then all of my sisters wouldn't have to waste their time being tested.

Okay, so 1 of my 3 sisters did get the test done... but ONLY because she was pregnant with a boy. When the results came back, she acted like it wasn't a big deal because, "of course I wouldn't be a carrier, I mean, bad stuff only happens to Kaci and Salesi, one of MY kid's isn't going to die..." (Okay, so my sister didn't actually say those words, but that's how it felt to me, anyway.)

Of course no one thinks bad stuff is going to happen to them. No one thinks they could possibly lose one of their kids. That kind of stuff only happens to other people, right?

Okay, so maybe you are thinking I should tell this to my family in person. Oh, I have. Many times. I try to convince them that having a CGD baby is serious; That it's a kind of lifestyle that they might not want to have; That just because they know before the baby is born (unlike me), does not mean the baby won't have problems it's whole life, and certainly doesn't mean the child will live a long life. 

Then again, why be tested at all when your child could be born with so many other problems, right? Well, wouldn't you like to have one less problem to deal with? (Especially a very serious, chronic disease that could be fatal.)

Then there's the "percentage issue". Are you going to tell me to "go ahead and take the risk, because there's still a 75% chance my baby won't have it!" What about the other 25% chance that my girl could be a carrier and have to face what I'm facing when she is ready to have kids? 

The bottom line is this: Numbers don't mean much to me. Joshua was born with something that only 1 in a million people have. Why wouldn't it happen again?

October 10, 2011

Ten Ten Ten

Happy 1st birthday to my Joshua! Yeah, I know what you're thinking... "MAN he's a GOOD LOOKIN' (7 day old) BABY!" I'm sure all the spirit girls are going wild for him in the Spirit World even as we speak. But I just have ONE thing to say to all of them... "Don't even THINK about laying one spirit hand on MY son until I get to know you first. Okay!?"

I'm just too tired and sick to cry today. Late last night I started looking through the hundreds of pictures we took of him, but after a few seconds I stopped and turned off the computer. I started to cry. I wanted to cry. I couldn't help but cry. However, right now I just don't have enough energy to waste it on crying. I will have to put off my sobbing for yet another day. (And besides, I really want to use any endurance I have to make a birthday cake instead.)

October 9, 2011

Living The Life In Vegas

WARNING: This post contains an overload of photos. Yup. If you were wondering what I really looked like, then now you will know.

For Joshua's 1st birthday, we decided to celebrate it in Las Vegas. I hadn't been back since I lived there, which has been almost 10 years! And boy, has it changed! New hotels crowding the streets, malls on every corner, and naked pictures every where you look. Oh wait, I guess some things are still the same.

I wasn't sure what Salesi would think of Las Vegas. For those of you that don't know him, let's just say that he's the kind of guy that likes to read his scriptures for 10 hours a day. Okay, maybe not that long, but seriously--he will only let me watch PG rated movies. Seriously.

So as far as Salesi goes, I'm not sure if he will be heading back to Sin City anytime soon. As for me, on the other hand--I love the great variety of restaurants and shops, but yeah, there really was a lot of yucky pictures everywhere you looked.

Okay. Now on to the exciting stuff. I'm sure you are all dying to know everything we did while we were there. So, here ya go...

We ate dinner at Thomas Keller's "Bouchon".

(Sorry, really bad picture... I didn't take it!) I actually wrote a really long critique of the restaurant, but then deleted it after realizing that most of you probably won't care. (Shame on you non-foodies, or non-"food snobs" as my sisters call me it.)

We took pictures in front of giant corn ears.

We ate overpriced Chinese food.
We took pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower. (Aka our hotel.)

We took more pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower.

We watched dancing fountains.

We ate french pastries.

We ate some more french pastries. (It was kind of a daily ritual.)

We learned French.
We saw The Lion King.
We found a H & M with more manikins in the store than real people.

Salesi thought about getting some new style.

Salesi marched with protesters.
We stayed in a red room for only 46 bucks a night! (Thank you Priceline, and an even greater thank you to the lady at the front desk who upgraded our room for free!)

We ate some more over-priced food. (Sorry, too tired for hair and makeup.)
We took pictures of ceilings.
We ate at a lousy all-you-can-eat ("french") buffet. (Don't go there! The Bellagio's has got to be better!)

We took more pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower.
We listened to talking trees.
And we helped this old man sweep the Parisian streets.

Besides being extra tired and achy, and having an emotional break down our last night (which now I know is from having battled Valley Fever the past 3 weeks), all in all it was a good trip, and I'm glad I went.

(Now I just have to figure out what I'm actually going to do tomorrow, on Joshua's REAL birthday...)