9.09.2014

Baby Number 2!

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I’m Pregnant!

Some of you may already know since we posted photos of our gender reveal party on Facebook- but if you are just finding out, don’t feel bad; I feel like I just barely found out too!

Around 11:00 pm on a Thursday night, I was getting ready for bed, wondering why I was so tired and generally feeling like crap for the previous few weeks. My dad had passed away only weeks ago and life had been such a whirlwind emotionally and everything else that I thought I was still just overwhelmed physically from that. But, I decided to check my “P Tracker” on my phone and saw that I was like 7 weeks late! For some reason I had a pregnancy test in the cupboard, so I took it wondering if there was any way it could be true.

“Oh my gosh! Scott, come here!!!”

I was pregnant. We were both so shocked. I was a little overwhelmed; my current baby is only 1 year old! Of course, Scott ran to Walgreens to buy another test ($10, seriously??) and it was positive. By now it was sinking in that we were having a baby and I was already 7-8 weeks along. We were super excited and I was already planning way too far ahead in my mind as I tried to sleep that night. Because of my experience with adoption, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to get pregnant so ‘easily’. We weren’t even trying or thinking about another baby and that always makes me feel guilty because I know the struggles couples go through with infertility. I ache for them and that makes me even more grateful for this opportunity that is clearly heaven-sent.

I am now 19 weeks along and due January 29th. Last week we got to go to our baby’s ultrasound and see the gender, along with cute little legs, arms, a heart, a brain, etc. She seems to be growing perfectly healthy and strong.

Yes, I said SHE. It’s a girl!

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We held a gender reveal party that night with my grandparents, Chris, Tina, Tiffany and my mom. Of course we had about 5 phones face-timing other family members when we got ready to cut the cake. I had fun with the theme and kept it simple (at least for me) with little ties and bows.

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I made the cake the day before but cut a hole in the middle so that I could fill it with the correct colored candies. I had to work the day of the ultrasound and knew I wouldn’t have time to make a cake. So, after the ultrasound I filled it with pink and covered the hole with frosting. It worked really well and tasted yummy.

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We are so excited for our baby girl and I already feel her moving and kicking a ton (Scott has already felt her as well). Vivi is excited to have a baby sister and when we ask her where mommy’s baby is she points to my stomach (or boobs). I am glad they will be close in age (about 22 months) and I hope they will be great friends!

Scott graduated with his bachelor’s degree in December, so having a baby in January is really perfect timing. I am planning to quit my job and hope to be a stay at home mommy, wherever Scott is able to get a job. Lots of changes for us, but we are excited for the future!

8.14.2014

Jer is old.

{Which makes me old too I guess, since he is 2 years younger than me!}

My brother Jared and his little family came to Utah for a weekend in August and since his birthday was coming up soon, we celebrated him! He is married with 2 kids and has a grown up job, so he is officially old. Just kidding…he is still as funny and random and weird as ever, which is just how we like him!

We had a great day together spent at Grandma’s pool, hanging out at my mom’s house eating {one of Jared’s very favorite activities} and then going shopping at the outlet malls.

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We all gave him gifts; Chris and I chipped in to buy him some nice Nike slip on sandals and a pail of gumballs (necessary of course). My mom made him ‘Change Your Life Brownies’ instead of a cake, per his request and as usual they were amazing.

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It is tradition to take a sibling picture at every birthday party and ours is growing! We missed having our daddy take the picture and make us laugh, but we are so grateful for each other and for our wonderful mom that does so much for us.  She misses her love all the time, but is still a strong matriarch for our family and always serves us in any way she can.

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We ended the night around the campfire; eating s’mores, solving the world’s problems and drinking Mountain Dew (don’t tell mom). Good times with the fam.

Happy Birthday Jared!

 

6.29.2014

60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration!

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Yesterday we celebrated my grandparent’s 60th Anniversary!!!

LaVell & Barbara are an amazing couple with so many people that love them. They have spent the last 60 years teaching and serving their 7 children, dozens of grandchildren and a bunch of great grandchildren {that keep on coming!}. They have also served two missions to Nauvoo and have made so many lifelong friends. We are all so blessed to be in their {large} wonderful family and have them be such an important part of our lives.

My aunt Cindi spent a lot of time putting together a great party at the park for us to celebrate them. Everything looked beautiful and all the food tasted amazing.

 

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My aunt Kim had an awesome calendar made for them that shows all of the family birthdays and anniversaries. They loved it! My grandma always remembers all of our birthdays and sends us each cards.

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Cindi made them a gorgeous cake that we had them cut into the way they did at their wedding. It was so cute to watch them feed each other- they are forever young and such a sweet couple.

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We stayed at the park for hours, just enjoying the company and the sunshine!

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There was an awesome little stream {actually a part of the Provo River} that the kids loved playing in.

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It was a great time and such an fun occasion to get the family together!

We love our grandparents~ Happy Anniversary!!!

6.18.2014

Our Little Manny Graduated!

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Well, my little sister Samantha (a.k.a. Mandy, Manny, Aslan, Sosa,  etc…) in now a high school graduate!

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She is basically super smart and an honor roll student; always doing her best in school. She recently got accepted into the School of Business at Utah State University. She also received a great scholarship for partial tuition. We are pretty excited for her and can’t believe our baby sis will be in college!

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She also graduated from LDS Seminary the Sunday before graduation. My dad even got to attend, in his white shirt and tie with his cute overalls on top. He was in his wheelchair and had to leave early, but he was glad he got to be there.  I made her a cake and our Grandma and Grandpa Veteto were also there with us.

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A few days after graduation we celebrated with the rest of my mom’s extended family. Our cousin Jake graduated this year as well, so we had a fun little joint party with photo props, candy bar cards and lots of good advice for the graduates. I also made cake pops, but apparently not enough because they were gone in like 10 minutes.

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Congrats Mandy, we are proud of you and know you will do great at Utah State! GO AGGIES!

6.12.2014

Wayne’s Memorial Service

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My father’s memorial service was really beautiful. I think the day went the best it possibly could have. It was very long and exhausting for the family, but we felt so much love and peace. We spent the whole week preparing for the service and luckily all of us children were able to get the week off from work and spend it together. We felt so many emotions and the grief hit us all so hard. It was a tough week, but we were glad we were together. This article really validated our feelings and emotions and continues to give us comfort (click here).

At the church where we held the funeral, we put up tables with mementos and pictures from my father’s life. We also put together a ‘Candy Bar’ with all of my dad’s favorite sweets. He asked us repeatedly to have this and to make the memorial happy and sweet for those that attended. We used his favorite color, orange, and a checkered pattern since his favorite shoes were his white and black checkered vans.

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The viewing was very special for us; it was so nice to see so many people come through to say goodbye to our father and give their love to our mother. My brothers and sisters stood by my mother, uncles and grandfather as dozens of family and friends talked with us and cried with us. So many people came that we had to turn them away in order to end the viewing after two hours and close the casket with a family prayer.

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After we said our goodbyes, we followed the casket to the chapel where we sat together in the reserved seating area at the front. The chapel was full and overflowing, which was heart warming to see.

Here is a copy of the outline of the memorial program.

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At our father’s request, all of his children participated in the program. It was actually a good closure for us, I think. We spent the week thinking about what we would say and at least for me, once I wrote it all down, I felt much better. We tried to paint a picture of the wonderful father, spiritual leader, worker, husband and man that he was.

After the prayer, we again followed the casket outside and were driven to the cemetery in a family limo. The pallbearers were made up of Wayne’s brothers(2), sons(3) and nephews(3).

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The cemetery service was short and sweet, but a little painful. Its just so unbelievable to know that our dad is in that casket and is gone from this life. At the grave, my grandfather gave a prayer, dedicating and blessing the gravesite from any harm. It felt so wonderful to be surrounded by so many people that loved him and felt the sorrow of his loss along with us. We sang “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again”, which is always so comforting.

Everything was so beautiful and we all really loved the casket we found for his body. It was made of cedar and we think it was exactly his style and what he would have chosen. My brothers and great uncle added to it a few of the wood projects my dad was working on and on the sides are pieces of cedar that he and his father had recently cut together. It was perfect.

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We stood by the casket one last time together and then everyone took roses from the spray to keep.

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We returned to the church for a dinner, provided by our father’s employer- Nicholas & Company. We were so honored and blessed to have them cater the meal for all our family and friends. They treated my dad so well and are the best of the best! We had such a nice time being able to finally chat with all our friends and family that had come from near and far. It was a happy end to the day and we are so grateful to all that came to support us.

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We have received so much service and truly have felt an outpouring of love. My parent’s church congregation and neighborhood has been incredibly kind and giving. They lined the neighborhood with orange balloons on the day of the funeral among so many other things that have meant so much. We cannot count all the amazing things people have done and please know we truly appreciate every note, message, flower, meal and visit. Thank you!

God be with you ‘til we meet again~

6.03.2014

Final Moments

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Our last moments with my dad were very special. My mom invited all of us into their room as my father lied on the bed, next to my her. I joined my family as we sat on and around my parent's bed singing hymns. My dad's breathing had changed and my mom knew the time was coming for him to leave. We all inwardly agreed and tears poured down our cheeks. We sang the verses of many hymns and found pain and comfort in their words. "Be Still My Soul", "Where Can I Turn for Peace", "Abide With Me ‘tis Eventide", "Lead Kindly Light" to name a few. Our voices were weak at times and strong at others. We sobbed. When we couldn't sing, someone else would keep it going. Chris' voice stayed strong to guide us on.

Dad struggled more but kept holding on. We cried as we knew this was the end. It was real and it was time. He needed to leave and we knew he couldn't stay. He was weak and his color was changing. His body struggled. We decided to give him a blessing so he could let go.

Chris gave him a priesthood blessing with Jared and Scott. He blessed him to know that his calling here on earth was complete. The men cried on each other's shoulders as they administered. Chris continued and praised my father’s efforts and duties on this earth. He told of God's love for him and his work on the other side. We cried.

Chris lingered at his head and caressed our dad. We sang on. My grandparents arrived. Vivi continued to sleep and I was so grateful. Scott held me and we cried. I walked to my dad's bedside while we began reading from his journal. The book was passed along as I held my dad's arm. He struggled and I knew he needed to let go. For awhile I placed my hand on his chest and touched his forehead. I softly said 'it's ok' a few times and shh'd him as I do my babe. I laid my head on his pillow while kneeling on the ground and resting my hand on his chest.

Time slowly passed and we all shared memories and cried and laughed. I ran my hands through his hair and rubbed his forehead. His breathing slowed. He paused for seconds between a breath. We noticed and fell quiet. I felt his heart and nothing pumped. One last shallow breath commenced. He relaxed and his face went limp. They asked if his heart beat stopped and I said yes. I held his face and sobbed. It was 1:07pm.

This was no longer my dad. I kissed his face and said goodbye to the body that once housed my daddy. My siblings came and did the same. We cried and cried. We knew that he was gone. He had moved on. He was free. I looked down and smiled through the aching pain, as I knew the joy he must have gained. He had gone home, but somehow we still weren't alone. Our earthly lives were forever changed and life would never be the same. But we had each other, something our father had given us and always would remain.

Over the past week I have often felt jealous that he is now on the other side, feeling joy and peace and beyond the daily struggles of life here on earth. I wish I was with him and all my loved ones that have passed on. But, I know my journey here isn’t done. My dad proved himself through his service to God and others over and over throughout his life. Now it is our turn to carry on. It’s our turn to commit to being a better version of ourselves, every day. It’s our turn to be warriors in this world.

My dad taught me that through Christ’s atonement, we can overcome the trials of this world and someday be worthy to enter into His Kingdom to be with Him again. I pray that we can follow my dad’s example and persevere triumphantly through this life.
 

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5.27.2014

Kenner’s 1st Birthday

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My adorable nephew Kenner shares his birthday with a special day; the day my dad passed away. While Kenner was napping, Grandpa left this world and after lots of tears and visits from family, we got to celebrate him and his first year of life!

I felt it was actually pretty symbolic and couldn’t have been on a better day; it taught us that life goes on and that we can still feel joy even after such a devastating loss. Life is so interesting that way. It has absolute ups and downs, but overall we are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for. There is always something to celebrate and look forward to, as long as you keep your heart open.

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We had a little party for Kenner; complete with streamers, chocolate cake, laughter and some tears. Kenner was a little nervous to dive into his cupcake, but his big sister helped him and even licked his face off for him {He wasn’t too happy about that part}!

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Kenner is my parent’s first male grandchild and will pass on the Hardinger namesake, which I’m sure my father was proud of. He loved “Kenner-boy” so much and so do we!

 

The night ended with a splash~ Cute Trinelle and Vivi got to take a bath together in grandma’s big tub. Cousins are the best!

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Happy Birthday Kenner!

5.23.2014

Survive

I'm sitting next to my dad right now as he sleeps, taking in deep dry breaths. His appearance is so foreign to me; frail, thin and fatigued. He's always been a source of strength and might. I stare at him & I wonder if he is dreaming. He keeps making sounds.

When he is awake he doesn't talk much today, it takes a lot of time for him to process what you say and what he is thinking. He has said 'I love you guys' a lot today and that comes easily, as it always has. He has never held back his kind feelings towards us and always let us know how much we were loved and how proud of us he was.

I hope he is dreaming of heaven and being surrounded by love. Dreams of joy and light and peace~ where there is no pain or despair or anger. I know he has felt all of those exhausting emotions during this last week. He has endured so much, so fast. He is now ready to leave this earth, I think. Today he told me his spirit is weak and I know that means it is moving on from this life.

I know the Lord needs him on the other side, to share the gospel, be a judge and build the kingdom. But I just wonder why he can't do that here. He has always been such a wonderful missionary and faithful servant. He goes above and beyond in every calling. He can and has done so much good here. He doesn't even know the good he does, every single day, just by living faithfully.

But for some reason, God has seen it fit that he leave this world. I know that now. He is not going to be healed. He is going to leave us. It may feel like a long time until we see him again, but I know it will seem like no time at all to him. We have eternity together after all.

I begged God over and over last night to heal his ailments, if only to make him comfortable. I think he answered me. Dad seems very comfortable today. His mind is going & his body is failing, but he doesn't seem to be in pain. This is the answer to our prayers~ his pain was temporary but his love, spirit and legacy will last forever.

I don't know what we are going to do without him. I can't picture my life without him in it. He has been there for me even when I wasn't there for him. There hasn't been a moment in my life that I didn't love and adore my father and want him near.

He has always been my hero. I've looked up to him as a pillar of strength and wisdom. I constantly admired his ability to rise above his upbringing to lead, inspire and succeed. As I've grown I've come to realize that he was all the man he could be because of my mother. She was there through it all, encouraging, supporting and prompting at every turn. She lifted him, inspired him and he in turn impacted countless lives for good.

Their souls are sealed because of their service to each other and the ones they love. They covenanted with the Lord and with each other to always do God's will and I've never known them to stray. They promised to give all to the building of God's kingdom and there's nothing my dad enjoyed more. He strained himself repeatedly in the service of our Lord. He knew God's plan and taught us well. That's how I know God needs him more. I'm not sure why, I'm not sure how, but I will survive without him somehow.

5.13.2014

The Schlegels go to Vegas

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In the month of May Scott, Vivi and I packed up and headed to Vegas for a mini vacation. It was supposed to be Scott and I’s Anniversary Trip, but my dad had to go to the clinic for a week, so my mom wasn’t able to watch Vivi for us. We didn’t want to miss out on a much needed getaway, so we brought our sweet girl with us and made it a family trip instead!

Although it wasn’t quite as relaxing as we had hoped, we still had a good time together and spent a lot of time by the pool, which Vivi loved. We stayed at the Southpointe Hotel for 3 nights, which was actually a really great value for the price. We got a king sized bed and brought Vivi’s pack and play which we put in the big bathroom that was super dark. It was perfect for her, even though she had a rough time going to sleep every night. The hotel is definitely kid-friendly, as long as you avoid the casino, with lots to do. There is even a large movie theater there (which we debated on going to by ourselves while we took turns watching Vivi- but in the end felt too lame).

 

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We spent our days by the pool, soaking up the sun. It was really nice because Vivi had fun playing in the kiddie pool and then napped for 2 hours (2 days in a row!).  Hanging out at the pool was definitely our favorite (and easiest) part of the trip. May is a great time to go to Vegas because it is only 80-90 degrees.

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At night we hit the strip and walked around, looking at the millions of shops and cool buildings. I got some good exercise because I had to carry Vivi everywhere we went {she decided to refuse the stroller and her daddy during the week} and anyone who’s been to Vegas knows it includes a ton of walking. But, we had a really fun night at the Caesar’s Palace shops that ended with some delicious nachos and a {HUGE} Red Velvet Cake Sundae at Serendipity. That place is seriously the best and I want to try everything on the menu. Vivi loved the food and we were in heaven, enjoying the warm air and yummy food.

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We had so much fun that we tried to duplicate it the next night. However, Vivi refused to nap that day- so our fun filled night was not so fun. We walked around for awhile, pushing her in her stroller enjoying the mall (and for awhile I really mean about 2 minutes) before she wanted to be held. So, we headed back to the parking garage hoping to nap in the car before dinner. That didn’t happen, but we were determined to not let it ruin our last night in Vegas, so we walked down and got ourselves a table at Serendipity (again). By the time we received our amazing salads, Vivi was screaming and ready to leave. So, we got them to go and rushed out, trying to pretend we weren’t horrible parents, forcing our child to enjoy a very adult city like Vegas with us. We did get a lot of looks our way, probably meaning “why would you bring a baby to Vegas??” We know people, we know- we are thinking the same thing. 

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Once we got outside things got a little better and we watched the Bellagio fountain show a couple times.

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The peace lasted until Vivi saw someone with an ice cream cone and began crying and signing ‘please’ and ‘more’ over and over. So, we decided it was time for ice cream! We found some in the adorable Sugar Factory and that was probably the highlight of our night. Our poor baby was so tired and it was only like 8:00, but we called it quits and took her to bed.

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Although our previous Vegas trips have been much more exciting and relaxing, we did have a good time and it definitely beat being at home going to work! We love our little Vivi so much, but we won’t be taking her back to Vegas anytime soon. :-)

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