Monday, October 31, 2016

halloween skate party

Halloween has slowly become one of my favorite holidays. It has always been fun but since having kids it's so much more exciting. They get into dressing up just as much as I do and only one day is not enough! When I suggested throwing a costume party to S&P they were thrilled! Their very own party with all of their cousins and few friends. I didn't want more than 20 kids so that it wouldn't get too crazy and since they have almost that many cousins, they each got invite a couple of friends. 

Then I had to figure out where I could go with that many kids and keep them entertained!! Classic Fun Center was at the top of my list. I grew up going to Classic as a kid and my kids have been invited to a few birthday parties there. They always did a great job so I booked a birthday party package which included everything I needed and I didn't have to worry about bringing anything! The best kind of party, right?? We were assigned our own personal host, Timmy, who took care of our every need. 

Skating was the highlight of the party. The kids loved using the skate-walkers (that's what we called them) and the DJ was taking requests so the kids all got to hear their favorite songs. I even strapped on a pair of skates and whirled around and around with Perry. It was perfect for the big range of ages we had there.


We had the best time, if you can't tell by all of those smiling faces. We think this might be a yearly tradition! My kids might just insist upon it. Check out these tips to making your party the best of the best here. And if you'd like to book a fun party at Classic, use code emilysbrady to receive 20% off of your party. Now go party!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rio for Lunch

I am one of those Cafe Rio lovers so when I was invited to a fun Cafe Rio corporate event last week I was all about it! We got to try the new spicy pork and even though I'm a total wuss when it comes to spice I actually loved the bold flavor! Also, did you know a select few locations are starting an "on demand" line so you don't have to wait in line at all?! I was thrilled. 

And of course I loved seeing all of these amazing women! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Raspberry Tea + Nostalgia

7 years ago I was contracting regularly and it was 3 days before my due date. They started early in the morning when I woke up. Gentle little achey waves. Brett had a paper to turn in for a final at BYU and there was no way I was letting him too far out of my sight. I got dressed not even thinking to pack a bag just in case it was game time. Never did I think this could actually be it. 

We drove to campus and I waited in the car and labored while he turned in his final paper of college! Graduating and having a baby all within 2 weeks. When he returned to the car I told him things were picking up and this might be prelabor. We drove to his mom's where I sat on a yoga ball hoping the contractions would keep coming and get stronger. I drank a nice hot cup of raspberry tea and then continued to breath through each crampy ache. They began to intensify. For about 5 hours I labored with contractions about 5 minutes apart. I decided to eat some ramen. Haha, if you know me you know I love a good bowl of chicken ramen noodles. Especially when I want something comforting. Good ol Ramen does the trick for me and all I want to do is sit in a hot bath. My cheeks would flush with each contraction and Brett's mom suggests I go to the hospital. She knew if I got in the bath it would be difficult to get out and to the hospital. She delivered 6 children, 5 of which unmedicated so I trusted her opinion. 

We hopped in the car, two excited parents to be with big grins on our faces. Could this really be it? After all the heart ache and wondering if we'd ever be parents, could this be the day? After all the painful shots, blood draws, traveling to California, IVF, emotional ups and downs, would we meet our perfect little boy?

We arrived at Orem Community Hospital at 5:30 where I was hooked up to all the monitors and got to listen to that strong adorable heartbeat. I was dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced. 45 min later I was a 5 and was admitted. We walked to our room with all the surreal feelings on the planet. Would it be April 3rd? Or the 4th? It was my first go around at this so I assumed it would take a while. 

After I was made comfortable all of our family came to visit. It was actually the night of my Dad's 50th birthday party so my Mom and Dad were giving everyone the play by play as the texts came in. They both came over as soon as all their guests left. 

Brett and my Dad layed their hands on my head and gave me a priesthood blessing. I specifically remember feeling this overwhelming feeling of love for the men in my life. I had my Heavenly Father near, my earthly Father, my most amazing Husband and for the last little bit of time my sweet boy tucked away inside me. All of them encircling me. Such a tender moment. One I will never forget. 

It was about 1 am and I had reached 10 centimeters. With first deliveries they like to do something called rest and descend. It allows the baby to naturally come down into the birth canal and is supposed to cut down on pushing time. We turned out the lights and I tried to get some rest. 

After two hours it was time to bring our perfect little creation into the world. I pushed for about 35 minutes and we met our sweet Steele James Brady. 8 lbs 5 oz and 22 inches born at 2:41am. 

Our lives were changed forever. 

And here I am again, drinking raspberry tea hoping to prepare for labor but this time I never could have imagined doing what I'm about to do. Putting a baby in a very special family's arms. Here's to the next week! Maybe I need a bowl of Ramen. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

lunch with the littles

This belly buddy of mine is growing like crazy. I feel rather large for 24 weeks + 3 days. Yes, every day counts. I'm trying to keep us busy and stay distracted. May seems incredibly far away and sometimes it can be easy for me to get discouraged. Mostly because my due date seems far but being able to have our own baby seems even further. Thank goodness I have a very supportive family I am carrying for. I am very open and honest with Anastasia and I am grateful for her love and compassion. She sent me flowers last week when I was feeling extra down and throwing up a lot. Her mom also brings me dinner quite often, which really lightens load. I have been much more sick than I was with pregnancies and I'm hoping it will ease up at any time! 

Perry and I went to lunch today with my sister, Jenn and her boys. Perry was killing me with her cuteness. She wanted me to tie my skirt up with a hair tie just like hers, 80's style. Then she wanted to wear some sunnies just like Mommy. She has so much personality, I love spending all day with her. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

growing someone else's human

{snapchat: emilysbrady}

19 weeks + 3 days

Laying in bed at 1 am, can't sleep. It's pretty incredible growing a human, let alone someone else's human. He's got to be doing cart wheels in there or something. Little bubble like rolls across my stomach. It's strange feeling so happy and grateful for all of his little movements, even though he's not mine. You'd think it would be hard or confusing but really it's beautiful. I can't think of anything better I could be doing with my body then providing a safe home for 9 months of a persons very beginning. I feel honored in a way, almost a sacred calling to be this person's guardian and protector. Steele felt him move a few nights ago and seeing his face light up made me smile. I can't wait for those movements to be our baby's.  Someday they will be but until then it's still fascinating to feel a life thriving. I think Steele sensed that. We talk often about how this whole process will go down with both our children. I've gotten only one off comment from someone who said "good luck explaining that to your kids!" Eye roll. You think they aren't fully aware of this process? In fact we were at Chipotle a few days ago and the cashier asked if I knew if it was a boy or girl. I answered that it was a boy and then she asked Perry if she was excited to have a little brother. Perry quickly replied with almost a laugh and said "oh it's not my brother, it's Anorah's brother!" I always have a bit of explaining to do to strangers. But she just gets it. Both my kids do. 

You know, I can't say for certain how I'll feel as things progress or if labor and delivery will be hard emotionally just as I didn't know how I would feel once the baby was transferred or when the baby would start to move. I just know as of now things are moving along with out any emotional hurdles. I'm expecting there to be a few here and there but I truly believe this process is such a miracle, technologically and spiritually. Feeling gateful and in awe tonight.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

let it snow

                   Let it snow 2015 from Emily Brady on Vimeo.

If you know anything about me, you know how much I love the snow. Especially this time of year, there is nothing better. It has been snowing non-stop and we have been playing non-stop. We made it out right after I picked up Perry from pre-school and met up with Kelsey + Jacob to enjoy it all. I stopped and grabbed some hot cocoa and donuts. I spilled hot cocoa all over my leg, which you can probably see in the video. We soaked up every minute of it and I loved the memories that we made. Kelsey who made this amazing little video for us.

We then went and picked up Steele because it was early out day. We swung by and grabbed my nephew Braxton and hit the hills with our sleds. My phone died so I didn't get any great pictures of sledding. It was pretty exhausting since I can't sled down the hill (pregnancy complications and just safety) so I just assisted in carrying sleds and pushing them down the hill. It continued to snow the rest of the day and all through last night.

I want to head up the canyon and see the beautiful snow up there. Perhaps this weekend!

Monday, November 30, 2015

trolley square round up

A couple a weeks ago I went on a little shopping spree up at Trolley Square. They have the perfect mix of stores to hit for everyone in my family. From Pottery Barn Kids & William Sinoma to Lulu & American Apperal, you'll get everything in one stop. AND if you snap a pic while you're there and post with the tag #mytrolleysquare you are entered to win a $100 shopping spree. Winners once a week! 

I scored a little something for everyone my fam...

New comfy sweats + a soft tee. He'll be thrilled with casual, comfortable gifts. I'm always buying him dress clothes. AA has the best men's selection and the MR is super selective when it comes to clothing. 

{ american apperal } tee + sweats


Nothing wrong with treating yourself with something wrapped under the tree. $1 Nail polish perfect for stuffing the stocking too. They have a rainbow of colors at AA. And let's be honest, he needs a little help in the shopping department for HER. Spark had great unique items. Great sales going on too! 

{ spark } navy cream plaid sweater + hat
{ american apperal } polish


Right when I saw this hooded zip-up at AA I knew I had to get it for Perry, mostly because it's purple but also because you should feel it! I know it's quality and will wash up well. This lunch box is what dreams are made of for a certain little six-year-old. I think Santa will be bringing this to Steele. Cabin Fever is a quaint little shop filled with clever trinkets and toys perfect for stuffing stockings! I could look around for hours. 

{ american apperal } zip-up
{ cabin fever } lunch box

Sunday, November 15, 2015

their baby, my body

Writing things down is a form of therapy for me so bear with me while I share each step of my emotional ride. Going through this process I didn't know what to expect or how I was going to feel. There is no way of knowing other than to jump in with both feet. So far it has been an amazing experience and I attribute so much of that to Anastasia being so supportive and comforting. 

Yesterday we had the gender ultrasound it was incredible seeing a little active baby growing inside ME! I have no mixed emotions. I know they may come down the road but for now I'm feeling really good. I have been waiting all along for that moment of "uuuuuh what did I get myself into?!" But it hasn't come yet. It's hard at times when I'm sick and throwing up but I've never felt like it's not worth it. 

It was pure joy watching them be so happy. It is very surreal seeing them looking at the monitor but the image is coming from my stomach! 

We both got a huge surprise when we found out we were wrong and there is a little BOY growing snug as a bug! I was positive it was a girl! I have been extremely sick, much more so than with my two pregnancies. Anastasia also was thinking it was a girl. Perry came to the appointment with us and she and Anorah sat up on the bed with me. It's pretty hard for a 4 and 3 year-old to see the baby in black and white and see all the things we see. Perry asked if "the baby got to come out today?!!" She's a little anxious for it to be our turn. I think that everyone is still in shock that it is a boy but everyone is so happy! I'm excited for them to have one of each just like us! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

how the brady's make a baby {part 3}

Ok, so THIS is really why I decided to start blogging again. As some of you may have guessed we are at it again, trying to bring another little baby into the world. This time however is much much more complex of a journey to get that sweet baby for our family. In-Vitro in and of itself is such an emotionally, physically and financially draining experience even if it works. I can't imagine the pain that comes from going through that process and not having success. My heart sincerely goes out to all the families that are struggling to create the family that they have always wanted, whether that is through fertility treatments, adoption or foster care.

For us, we have chosen IVF as our means to expanding our family once again. The only problem for us was the finances. After I had Perry I knew that there was one more person that was supposed to be a part of our family but I knew deep down that it would be a lot of years down the road. I kept feeling like if there really was someone else waiting to come to earth, Heavenly Father would provide a way. I had a lot of faith. Brett and I talked for two years about different ways we could do IVF. Save for years and years, finance the expense, even ask for donations or do a fundraiser. In the end none of those options seemed to feel right. My faith was still strong but I kept feeling like we couldn't wait around for some kind of money to just fall into our lap. "Faith without works is dead", right? 

It was about a year of serious discussions between Brett and I and nothing was happening. Brett was convinced that our family had to be complete and I knew there was one more. One day we were at Grandma's pool and I had this crazy thought. What if I carried a baby for someone else? After-all our situation is male-factor so I knew my body could accept an implanted embryo and I knew what I was getting myself into because I had done it twice before. I could earn the money to do IVF AND I could help a family bring their own child into the world. It was a pretty incredible thought, one that I knew just didn't pop into my head for no reason. I felt like it was an answer to my prayers. Without telling Brett I started to look into the process. I wanted to be well informed before I brought up the idea to him. We had just moved into our new house and I found out that there was a neighbor of ours who had recently carried a baby for someone. That would be the best place to start because after all, how do I find someone to carry a baby for? I didn't want to use an agency because that would be an additional cost for the family, and this process is extremely expensive as it is. I got my neighbor's number and with all the nerves in the world called her. She happened to have her mother watching her kids and could come over right then. She was just the sweetest and answered all of my questions. There was a women she knew who was looking for someone to carry for them. Maybe this was all meant to be! I decided it was time to talk to Brett. After all this wasn't just going to effect me. It would be a big decision for both of us to make.

At first Brett was pretty hesitant and knew that there were a lot of risks with having a baby and that he would have to be by my side while there was someone else's child in my womb. It was a strange thought and one that took some warming up to for both of us.   

My neighbor lined us up with the couple, who lived out of state. We went through all of the extensive legalities that come with this process, went through all of the blood work and physical exams and got to know this couple. This process took about 5 months. We flew to their city in October 2014 and met with their doctor. There was something that just didn't feel right but I kept pushing it away throughout our trip. Their doctor examined me, did ultrasounds and did blood work on Brett and I. He brought us into his office to interview us privately. He kept pushing that he recommended we sign off on multiple reduction in case I became pregnant with multiples. Basically abort a perfectly healthy baby just because of the risk that comes with carrying multiples. There was no way I was allowing that to happen in my body even if they weren't my children. I made myself perfectly clear to him and he still insisted that we discuss this option with the intended parents. He also wanted us to consider abortion if the child had some kind of disability or genetic disorder. All of this talk just made me sick. Especially because at the time our family was loving on our special needs niece Brooklyn who was such a blessing in my life. We went to lunch with the couple after our appointment and talked through both of our feelings on these subjects. I left feeling heart broken because I knew I couldn't compromise my morals. They dropped us off at the airport and I just broke down in tears. Brett and I both decided we did not have the same beliefs when it came to these matters and decided to go our separate ways.

Back to square one and months wasted. I met with a few other couples over the next 6 months. Nothing fell into place, nothing felt right and we were left with no one in sight. I was really hoping that things would fall into place and that I would have that peace that I was longing for. I kept saying the whole time that it just had to feel right. I didn't want to force anything just because I wanted to hurry up the process. In June of this year, we all of a sudden had three couples who wanted us to carry for them. We had met two of them and the other wanted to meet with us but they lived out of state. I felt really good about one particular couple that we had been to lunch with but she was waiting to hear if her sister-in-law was going to carry for her. The other two couples seemed to be wonderful people but I felt a connection and peace with this particular couple. I had learned to not get too excited until all of the details were worked out. I was very upfront with my beliefs and morals as well as what I was wanting from the family I was going to carry for. All of our values lined up perfectly. A few days passed and I hadn't heard anything. I then got a call from Anastasia and she asked me to carry her baby.

This is Brady, (I know right, ha) Anastasia and Anorah. Anastasia was blessed to carry their beautiful three year old daughter herself. After many years of infertility and several losses they became pregnant and she was able to carry full term. I was glad that she had experienced pregnancy and childbirth herself. I loved being pregnant and giving birth so much and I was so happy that she had that experience. Last fall she became pregnant once again but had to have an emergency hysterectomy when her fetus implanted in her cesarean scar and her uterus ruptured. She almost lost her life. The doctors were able to save her but not her uterus. That's where I come in.

In July we started to really move forward and after a month of legal work and many prayers that the judge would sign off, we were given the go ahead to start the IVF process. I started my belly shots, all of my medications and later intramuscular injections. I never had to take those when I did IVF. Seriously ouch!! Big ol' needle in my butt. Every single day for 10 weeks! I thought the belly shots I had to do were bad. The process is just a bit different because they are not stimulating my ovaries. They have to prepare my body a bit differently. Did I mention that I hate needles. Yep, I hate them! Brett was so great and we learned that he has a crazy steady hand. He jokingly considered changing careers to anesthesia, haha. My kids loved the whole process and would always want to hold my hand and "help me be brave". I had multiple blood draws that Perry came with me to. If you saw my Instagram video or snapchat of Perry saying she wanted to be a phlebotomist, that is because she talked to the girl drawing my blood every time and she told Perry that is what she did. It is pretty cute that she still remembers how to say it and knows exactly what they do.

Anastasia's eggs were extracted from her ovaries and fertilized. 5 days later one little tiny embryo was transferred to my uterus.

10 long days later Anastasia called me with the best news. We're pregnant!! Due May 10th and we are all ecstatic that this whole process worked! I'm a little over 12 weeks now.  

Unfortunately when I was on my girls trip down in St. George two weekends ago I started to bleed and cramp pretty badly. I was devastated and was so worried I was miscarrying but my girl friends were so supportive and took me to the ER. My Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt and Uncle, who live in St George, came to the hospital and my sweet Grandpa and Uncle gave me the most promising blessing. Thankfully that calmed me down because I was a wreck and I spent 7 hours waiting to be seen. I just wanted to hear a heartbeat. I didn't want to worry Anastasia so I just waited until I knew more and had answers before I called her. Thankfully there was a very active baby and strong heartbeat when they did the ultrasound. The following Monday an ultrasound at the fertility clinic showed that I have a complete placenta previa, meaning the placenta is completely covering my cervix. We are all praying it moves so I don't have to be on pelvic rest (which means its difficult for me to teach at Xtend Barre) and it also means that I would need to have a c-section.

I sent this picture to Anastasia after I had called her to tell her what happened. Lovely picture I know. 7 hours in the ER will do that do you.

I'm so grateful we were patient and waited for the right couple. They are a beautiful family and we have grown to love them. Perry and their daughter Anorah are best little buddies and love when we get together. You may be wondering how we have explained all this to our children and it really has been very simple. We are honest with them about every single thing. Steele knows about uterine lining, periods, eggs, sperm, embryos, placentas, contractions and on and on. He is a very well informed 6 year old! He is so inquisitive and is constantly asking questions about what each medication does and how it makes me feel. They know the baby in my belly is not ours and that we are helping Anorah get a baby brother or sister! That we will hopefully be able to have our own after this baby is born and that means this whole process has to be repeated. They were pretty cute one day and brought all of our baby stuff up from the basement, including all the baby bedding, carseat and clothes. It pretty much made me sob but I reminded them that this baby has to cook for a long time and then I have to wait for my body to recover and then start it all over again. I think their sense of time is a little skewed. I am grateful they are so understanding and excited about the whole process. 

Thanks for reading about 'how the Brady's make a baby'. Here are a few more pictures of our journey!