Friday, December 4, 2009

October and November...

I was just going through my camera, and I realized that a lot has been going on and I need to blog about it. I need to do better and not go 2-3 months between entries. I will just use pictures to tell you what we have been up to.

First things first, we got our Archie back!

We celebrated Ben's 27th birthday with good friends

Took him to Sushi...his fave!

We spent Halloween with my adorable nieces

We did our first DIY experiment, painting the office

We got to spend Thanksgiving in Oregon with our Crisanto family

This is Ben's Lolo (Grandpa) and his Auntie Becca. He has a great family!

Ah, the little sisters...DJ and EJ!

While in Oregon, we had some great adventures...visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory

And bowling...Ben's mom said she thinks this was the 3rd time she has EVER been bowling...imagine that.

We had a great time with the fam and are glad to be home. I will try to do better at posting and keeping everyone updated on the life and times of the Crisantos in Utah:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

He's Home

Archie came back to us. It's good to have him home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Letting Go

Any of you that know me even remotely well know that I love my dogs. We got Archie in the fall of 2006 and he has been our baby ever since. Through the thick and thin of the past three years, he has been right there with us. Then we got Clifford about 2 months ago to keep both us and Archie company. We recently decided for the benefit of everyone to give them to a family with a stay at home mom and two little kids. Ben and I are gone so much and no one was here to take care of them, love them, and give them the attention that they deserve. I never imagined giving away my dogs, never, but we had to make that choice. They have now been gone for two weeks and my heart is still broken. I feel like I have lost a best friend. I know how cheesy that sounds, but Archie got me through some tough times. I remember the day we found out in vitro didn't work, I was so sad. That night I went to the gas station and brought Archie with me, walking out and seeing Archie's little face through the window, waiting patiently for me made my day. I felt loved... comforted. My dogs made me smile every day and I miss them more than I can express.

Um...can anyone say stuffed animal? He was the cutest puppy I have ever seen.
Archie and Mommy in our first home together...where we weren't allowed to have dogs:)
Archie and Daddy (Ben will kill me for putting that) hanging out in his new sweater Fish got him for Christmas.

Hanging out at the Nelsons, his second home while we were in California
The big moving day...he sat on my lap or on the floor of the moving van the entire 14 hours. He was a trooper.

Aiden giving him slobbery kisses, they both loved this!
His first snow at the new house
Just looking SO DARN CUTE!
Hanging out in the crate. Ben was not the only one to do this, I am pretty sure all of the neices and nephews have tried this as well.
Our first Christmas in Utah, posing for the camera.
One of our favorite things to do. He wasn't allowed on our bed, so I would take naps on the couch just so we could cuddle.
Our new addition. Clifford loved to play fetch, he is just waiting for someone to grab that ball and throw.
Two best friends hanging out (with their long and mangy hair)
Taken on our last day together, saying goodbye.

We went to visit last night and they really are with a GREAT family and they are going to be so happy there. I am so grateful we found such wonderful people to take care of our babies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I just had an experience where I received an automatic answer to a prayer. I remember this happening one time on my mission. Kind of a funny story actually. I was on splits with another sister missionary. She was Taiwanese and had only been a missionary for a few weeks. I had also only been out for about a month, so needless to say we were both very "green". I guess I was a pretty anxious missionary, trying to get a lot done, making sure I was doing my part (this would be thanks to Sister Janette Priddis, best trainer a girl could ask for). So anyway, one night we were riding our bikes back to the church to meet with an investigator and we were running late so I guess I was riding extremely fast. Well, this sister asked me once to slow down, but I didn't. The next thing I knew.....I was slowing down because my TIRE WAS FLAT. You know what this sisters response was when she finally caught up to me? "Wow, I have never had a prayer answered so fast". I laughed about it....later.

Tonight I had a prayer answered that fast. I had just done some scripture study (studying the New Testament right now and the life of Christ) when I decided to kneel and pray. I have been very stressed about a specific situation with doctors bills and insurance companies. I am going to be talking to the people involved again in the morning and am worried that it is not going to get resolved, so I was praying for help that this situation will get resolved. The issue is all around a tax id number that the insurance company has and the doctors office does not. Its a long and complicated situation and has been going on for months. I spent an hour on the phone yesterday and an hour on the phone today trying to figure out where this tax id number came from and why the doctors office didn't have record of the same tax id that the insurance company did. If this doesn't get resolved, we are looking at paying $2200.00 for something that should be covered 100% by the insurance...all over some number. So, I was praying, asking for help when the thought came to me "google the tax id number". I know it sounds so simple, maybe even something I should have thought of myself, but I didn't. I went straight to the computer and googled that number. Only 3 results came back, but two of them gave me the exact information on this tax id number and where it came from. I wanted to shout for joy. It was one of the most clear and overwhelming answers I have ever received. I knew without a doubt that the Lord was aware of me and my situation at that moment and that the Spirit whispered that answer to me, simple as it was. I have no idea if this information is going to fix the situation, but I KNOW it is going to help, I KNOW that the Lord gave me that answer and I am so grateful for that.

I know that there are plenty of people that read my blog that maybe don't believe that the Lord hears and answers prayers, or maybe don't even believe there is a God. I disagree. This and way too many other experiences I have had in my life testify to me that there is a God and He will answer us....any of us.

Try it, you might be surprised:)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Girls Weekend

So, my friend Lindsey posted a picture from our girls weekend. She was worried we would hate her for is a bathing suit picture, but I am pretty sure my pictures are worse, but oh so fun!

First, jumping from bed to bed on the first night. Soon after we were called by the hotel and told we were being too loud. It was 3 AM. I bet they didn't guess it was a bunch of sober Mormon girls acting like 10yr olds:)!

The next one is the best picture EVER! We were all dying laughing. At the moment of the picture, Jennica was jumping on the bed, who KNOWS what Kimmie is doing, and Lindsey was tripping in front of the camera. I love this picture. It depicts exactly what girls weekend is all about....CRAZINESS!

This was some of the yummy food. It was a Hawaiian Shaved Ice place, and anyone who has had real Hawaiian shaved ice knows how great it is. This place was awesome and don't my girls look so cute? This was during a break from shopping, cause that was all we, eat and lay by the pool.

Sorry Linds, my camera is horrible, but I had to post a picture of the MOUND of treats! This has become a tradition. Since our first girls weekend 3 years ago, Lindsey has been in charge of bringing our favorite treats. This wasn't even half of it either. Um...she definitely takes her job seriously! Thanks Linds. My tummy thanks you, but my oh too tight jeans don't!

I almost posted a picture of me in a bathing suit by the pool, but that just wasn't as cute as this one. We spent a LOT of time by the pool. Our hotel was awesome and the pool was surrounded by big cushy beds. There was even a real sand beach for the kids to play. It was so nice and we loved just laying around reading and catching some rays.

I didn't get one picture of all of us, but I just have to say, I have the best friends ever. These girls keep me sane and happy. I love our girls trips because I love these girls. Thanks for the fun shopping, laughing, talking, eating and just relaxing. It was just what I needed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family Reunion

Last week we traveled up to Calgary, Alberta for the McMurray family reunion. I was looking so forward to going up to Canada and spending time with family, vacationing, relaxing, being away from work, etc. I was actually so excited that I was concerned I would end up being disappointed, that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. Thankfully I was wrong. I was not disappointed at all. The trip went way beyond my expectations, seriously!!!! I cannot think of anything I would have changed. Even the hours and hours in the car just added to the experience.
I wish I could write about everything we did, everywhere we went, everyone and everything we saw, but I can't. I really liked what Tiffany did with her entry, so I am going to do the same. I am going to put down some of the highlights of the trip, but I am going to do it day by day. WARNING: it's long, but totally worth it.

DAY 1: Saturday, July 11th (full day driving with Jess, Justin and Avery)

1. Stopping in Lima, Montana (said like the beans) for lunch because we had passed all the big cities and entered TINY town territory. Really, we stopped in two other towns first and decided against them cause they were way too small and had NOTHING.
2. Jogging in Great Falls with Ben. I love just being new places and doing everyday things.

DAY 2: Sunday, July 12th

1. Ben speaking to the Filipinos at Subway in Lethbridge. Alberta seems to have lots of Filipinos. Maybe we could fit in there:)
2. Arriving at the reunion at Eric and Tina's and seeing cousins that I have not seen in years.
3. Hearing my mom tell stories about my Grandpa McMurray and what a great father he was.
4. Hanging out with Jordan and Melissa at our quaint little Bed and Breakfast.

DAY 3: Monday, July 13th

1. Dave (owner of the Bed and Breakfast) saying his "AWESOME" prayer over breakfast in his very thick Canadian accent.
2. The Alberta honey on the homemade bread at breakfast.....oh the honey!!!
3. Going to beautiful Lake Sundance, setting up games, only to be rained out and end up at the local Church Building.
4. Being caught by my Grandma in the middle of eating a grape before lunch was ready (the cardinal sin).
5. Napping all afternoon!!
6. The talent show, especially Jayna's rap!!!
8. Convincing Jess and Justin to come to Harry Potter at midnight the next night. I never thought they would do it and was so glad they decided to.

Day 4: Tuesday, July 14th

1. The Alberta honey...again! It definitely deserves to be on the list twice.
2. Elbow Falls in the rain. So beautiful. It almost has me convinced I could live in Oregon some day.
3. Eating lunch at Bragg Creek with Ben, Jordan, Melissa, Kristen, Nolan, Aiden and Regan.
4. Melissa's bucket list!
5. Visiting my friend Tanya and her family. It's been a VERY long time.
6. Sitting around the campfire, sharing memories of Grandpa and just remembering times together when we were younger.
7. Standing in line for Harry Potter (thanks Spence and Michelle). I especially enjoyed the time we had to spend with Travis and Robin. It was fun to get to know them better.

Day 5: Wednesday, July 15th

1. Coras breakfast....I have NEVER seen crepes so big! My favorite part of breakfast was actually taking my niece, Addy, and just getting to be with her.
2. Not the drive to Banff.....expecting 1.5 hours, ended up being over 3! Yikes. It was worth it though.
3. Lake Louise.........the pictures don't even do it justice. It was more than beautiful.
4. The most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen, arched right over the town of Banff.
5. Dinner at The Spaghetti Factory. I think it was just nice to take a break and eat what I wanted. (too much dieting lately)
6. Walking around Banff with Ben, buying fudge and our matching CANADA jackets.

Day 6: Thursday, July 16th

1. Stopping to go to the bathroom at the gas station in some tiny town town and Ben and Justin both having to go outside behind the building.
2. Meeting Ryan Scott and his adorable family in Waterton. Ryan and I were in the same MTC district and have been great friends ever since. This was the first time I have seen him in 8 years.
3. Looking through the telescope at Cameron Lake and yelling "I see a bear". Oh I got some great reactions.
4. Actually seeing 2 bears only 10 minutes later as we were leaving the park.
5. The two Elk we saw outside of the park. It was just as the sun was going down and they were just standing there, looking majestic.
6. Seeing my mom and dad packed into a tiny hot tub with like 10 other people, haha!
7. The Cardston Temple.
8. French Fries with gravy at Dairy Queen.

Day 7: Friday, July 17th

1. Turning around at the Canadian Border to go to the Duty Free store and having the Border Guard (is that what they are called?) YELLLL at Ben out the window.
2. Having to stop on the road to let a BEAR CUB cross.
3. Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier Park: WOW! Scary if you are afraid of heights, but totally worth it.
4. Stopping to let Justin fish and just putting my feet in the cold river water.
5. Dill Pickle Potatoe Chips
6. Driving thru very scenic towns in Montana.
7. Eating at Outback after our long day

Day 8: Saturday, July 18th

1. Uh.....the long drive!! (not)
2. Avery singing "Shssshh Girl, Shut your lips" :)
3. Getting home and finding out we were locked out, haha!
4. Being home, out of a car.

Honestly, I don't even know if I included everything I wanted to. This was such a GREAT experience, an awesome vacation and such a great break. Thank you to our Canadian family. It was so good to see everyone. We missed those of our family and others that weren't there and can't wait for everyone to be at the next one.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back to the Simple Life

A few days ago I sat and went back to the beginning of this blog and was reminded of why I started writing it, why we moved to Utah and the fact that we have kind of gotten away from that. It is all about the Simple Life! This weekend was a great reminder of why we are in Utah and what it is that we love about it.

We got to go to the Lehi Round Up Rodeo....the perfect reminder of small town America and how much I love living in it. We get so caught up with work, school, and just being busy that we forget to enjoy the small things. Another reason we wanted to be here was to be by family. This weekend we got to go to little Addy's birthday party which was another reminder of how great it is to be close to family.
Back to the simple life!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The words I cannot express

I have been thinking about stopping my blog. I feel like I say too much, I expose myself and make all my personal information public. I am not sure how everyone else feels about this, and previously I didn't think I cared. But this IVF experience has made me question the sanity in always sharing everything. That is how I am, how I have always been. I talk, I express myself, I do not hold things in. But...sharing makes you vulnerable and that is scary. Over the past 2 weeks, since we received the news that our IVF cycle didn't work, I have really questioned whether sharing is the right thing or the wrong thing to do. Throughout this process, I thought that talking about it would help me, that I would have more support, and I did. But, it brought along with it the pressure of other people hoping with you, and the added disappointment of knowing that it isn't only my hopes that have been shattered. It also brings with it the aftermath, feeling that everyone knows it failed and no one knows what to say. I have always been a talker, but this experience has changed me. I don't want to talk about it. In the past 2 weeks, I have shockingly talked to no one but Ben about my feelings. I can't. I don't tell people what I am feeling, because I don't want to feel vulnerable anymore. Anyway, I don't know what I am going to do about my blog, and I still feel that this whole process is what the Lord needed for us to go through, but it has been even harder than I expected. I found something on another blog that describes quite perfectly how I have been feeling and why about this whole experience. I hope reading here helps you to better understand what this process is like, and then you will know what I am feeling without me having to tell you because I don't know when or if that will happen.
Thank you all for letting me deal with this in my own way!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sad News

I know, it's been almost 2 months since we have posted. We are slackers. But, we have had a lot going on. The biggest thing was that we have been doing an IVF cycle. We started taking shots on March 22nd. On April 17th we had 8 eggs retrieved and 5 days later on April 22nd we had 3 embryos transferred back. We found out today that the process did not work. I know there are people out there that have gone through the same experience. It is impossible to describe the overwhelming sense of sadness I am feeling right now. But, this process was not only about the end result.

Ben and I went through a lot of prayer, fasting and faith before making the decision to move forward with In Vitro. We received an answer and a confirmation that this was the path we needed to take and the timing was right, and that whatever the outcome we were moving in the right direction and the results would be what was best for us and our family and our future.

I want to thank all of the people our there that were hoping and praying with us for a different outcome than this. I think part of what makes this so hard for me is the fact that I know it's hard for other people too, people that I love and care about. I wanted to be sharing good news today, news that would not only make my day, but that of so many people that were hoping with us. I wasn't able to do that, and that makes me sad. But, someday it will be our turn to share the good news. I cannot wait!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finally an update!

It's been a long time, I know! I guess I just didn't feel like there was anything worthy of blogging about. We have just been going about our lives with work, school, the nursery...oh, and the other nursery. We were called to be nursery leaders in the ward, so with that and the crisis nursery where we work we get plenty of time with kids.

Ben's brother, Archie, moved in with us. Yes, he has the same name as our dog....let's just say that's gotten a little confusing at times. For example, one night last week I was taking Archie the dog outside at 4AM. On the way back into the house, the dog decided to go into Archie the brother in laws bedroom. Well, I immediately thought "I can't yell at him....Archie, Archie...cause that would wake the human Archie up" So, i was out in the hallway in the middle of the night, yelling softly " here". Lets just say Archie the human wasn't very pleased being woken up in the middle of the night to that. But, other than the confusion with the dog, we have enjoyed having Archie living with us.

Two days ago, March 11th, we celebrated our 3 year anniversary. Ben brought me flowers to work, I decorated his office, and we went out to dinner. We had a good day. I am so lucky to have him, and I think he's pretty lucky to have me. Really though, it has been a great 3 years and in so many ways it has flown by. I am looking forward to all the time I get to spend with him. He truly is my very best friend.

There is one big thing that has just come about in the past few weeks. We are starting IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in just one week. I had a follow up appointment for my surgery a little over a month ago and everything is looking good and healthy (that's a first) so the doctor really felt like we should move forward with fertility treatments right away. I immediately made an appointment for the consultation, which took place last Thursday. We went over the whole process, my situation, had an exam, met with the nurses, signed a bunch of consent forms and decided that we could start our IVF cycle as soon as March 22nd. At the time of the appointment that scared me. I felt like I needed more time to prepare, but then i realized I have been preparing for this for 3 years. What else do I need to do? This is our chance, so we are jumpin on it. We just don't know how long my body will cooperate and feel like this is the best time and opportunity to move forward. It is a scary process for many reasons. It is a LOT of money, it is a lot of medications and shots and side effects, a lot of doctors appointments, a lot of hope, and it kind of feels like the final thing we can do. I know that what the Lord wants to happen will happen, but I just hope that entails us getting pregnant the first time and moving forward and having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Ha, not that I would tell the Lord what to do or anything. Anyway, we are extremely excited and anxious to start the process. If there is anyone out there who has been through it, please comment and tell me anything you think I need to know.

We appreciate all the love and support we have received and continue to receive from our family and friends. We know that we have had many prayers said for us, and hope that will continue. We love you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A reflection on love and my wife

This is a post dedicated to my wife. A shout out if you will. Wife, thanks for all that you do for me. Even though I am a grown man, many argue that I am still like a child. I guess it's the Peter Pan syndrome, I just really don't want to grow up. But you keep me looking foward towards the future. I realized that growing old with someone, someone you truly care for and love is the most beautiful experience one can have in this life. Isn't that an amazing thing? What a wonderful blessing it is that we can have the chance to find our sweetheart in this life and then be able to be with them throughout this life. We have our lives ahead of us. There are many more experiences waiting for us, more adventures, more times to laugh and cry, and we'll be together through all that. I think what makes our relationship so strong is that we are willing to see both sides of ourselves, the good and bad, and still choose to be committed and dedicated to each other. You know how frustrating I can be, and I with you, yet we embrace those sides of us willingly. Honey, we need to laugh more. We need to be more silly. The stresses in our lives aren't supposed determine our happiness. We choose what makes us happy. In my office I look at your picture and I realize the most important thing, above all, is to be happy with each other. That is our most powerful weapon to combat against the powers that want to tear us apart. I believe if more people do that in this world, the quality of live as we know it would increase tremendously. Love is being forgotten and being replaced with different emotions; frustration, irritation, anger, boredom, and pride. This isn't to say that our relationship is in trouble, it's just me reflecting on what I see in the world around us. We have our days, everyone does, but what makes us solid is our love for the One who loved the most and our love for each other. Our unbaised, non judging love. You have truly completed my life in so many ways. I feel that I am a better man because of you. I don't know how I could function daily without you. You hear stories of animal pairs, when the other dies the one follows thereafter. I think this is a great example of how to love; you couldn't exist anymore in this life without their companionship. So thank you wife. You're great.