Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

This is our Christmas letter (written by Eric) for this year.

Hello Everyone,

As 2008 comes to a close, we want to send our greetings and love to each of you. We currently live in Cheney, WA, while I attend graduate school, and we really like it here. Our three kids are so much fun. They are growing up so fast.

Aubree turned three, on December 20th, and she thinks that she is ready to be a teenager. She thinks that she should be able to wear make-up and earrings. The exciting thing that happened for her was that she became potty trained over the summer - it has been nice to have one less child needing diaper management. She is an excellent big sister. She loves to help take care of her brothers, tell on them, and play with them. She really tries hard to be obedient to her mommy and daddy - she makes us really proud.

Tanner, who turned two in October, keeps all of us on our toes. He plays hard and sleeps hard. We love it when he is awake and playing with us, and we also love it when he takes naps and goes to bed. Although he is really busy, he is also very sweet. I can always count on him to drop whatever he is doing to run up and give me a hug and kiss when I get home, and he usually says, "Daddy, I missed you." He knows how to make me melt. He and Aubree are best friends. They get along so good, but sometimes, they have some really entertaining fights (during these times, Jenny and I have to restrain ourselves from laughing and try to maintain our composure). Tanner loves to read books, and he is able to recognize most letters in the alphabet.

Travis, our youngest, turned one about two weeks before Aubree's third birthday. He is a really soft-hearted little boy. If Jenny or I walk past Travis without acknowledging him, his eyes well up with tears, and he acts as though we have deeply offended him. He loves his siblings. He crawls after them, as they run around and play games. Travis is a really sweet boy. He has a kind and gentle disposition. Each of our children are so special and precious. We feel so blessed to be their parents.

Fortunately, although we are really busy with our three kids, I have an angel wife. Jenny is such a great mom. The kids adore her. She made a seamless adjustment to having three kids. She is a great support and strength to everyone in our family. She has endured two moves this year. She is diligent about exercising and goes to the gym five days each week. She is a great chef, and she is always finding new meals to make. She has been teaching the gospel principles Sunday school class at church. She does really good at that, and the people in her class really love her. She takes care of me, and that seems to be a full-time job. I think I add way more stress to her life than the kids.

I am going to school at Eastern Washington University, working on a Masters degree in Exercise Science, which is keeping me busy. The plan is to complete this degree in June of 2009 and start dental school in August. I was accepted to the University of Washington and University of Southern California dental schools, and it is looking like we will attend UW. I am currently coaching hurdles for the Eastern Washington University track and field team. Life is going good, and we are having fun. We hope all of you have enjoyed this holiday season.

Merry Christmas! Love, Eric, Jenny, Aubree, Tanner, and Travis Nygard

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Aubree is 3!

Three years ago today, my life changed for the better - I became a mom. Through a series of events much different than my sisters and friends, Eric and I became parents. [It wasn't the normal way that most girls become a mom for the first time.] Before attending my work party, Eric and I discussed how we would wait a couple of weeks to inform my employers that I would be entering motherhood and exiting my job. Surprisingly, while at that work party, we received a call, informing us that our baby girl had been born five weeks early and that we needed to pack our bags in preparation to meet her (our birthmom had only selected us as the adoptive parents 5 days prior). We informed my boss that I was done working and got in the car for the exciting drive to meet our hero birthmom and sweet baby girl.
When I first saw her, I felt a love, deep inside me, unlike anything that I had ever felt before. I instantly knew that Heavenly Father had sent this special girl to be my daughter. She was terribly sick and needed to stay in the hospital, until she was strong enough to breathe and eat without any tubes. Our first Christmas as parents was spent in the hospital, spending as much time with her as the doctors would allow, hoping and praying that she would recover and be able to come home with us. The days seemed to drag on and on, as we watched our baby girl teetering on the edge of mortality. Finally, after nine days, the doctors released Aubree from the hospital. Before we could bring her home, we went to a church building, for the placement of Aubree.
We met Aubree's birthmom, her birthmom's parents, and our LDS Family Services case worker at a church building. This was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. After visiting for a few minutes, I witnessed one of the most selfless acts of my life. Aubree's birthmom walked over and placed Aubree in Eric's and my arms. We stood, hugging eachother and sobbed. A couple minutes later, we walked out to the car with Aubree and drove away, as a mother and father. Our lives had been changed forever.
Aubree affects every aspect of my life, and when I think about what she means to me, I have a hard time expressing myself. She was born in a small window of time, when Eric's cancer was deemed to be in remission - the only time we could have adopted a baby with Eric's health. She needed to come early, so she could come to our family. Only two weeks after bringing Aubree home, Eric's doctor informed us that the cancer had returned. This little girl was my miracle and my sanity. She gave me something to focus on, which took my mind off Eric's failing health. This girl is the SWEETEST little girl I know. She is not just my daughter, she is one of my best friends. I can't imagine my life without this little girl. I got to be a mom instead of watch and fret about my husband getting sick, losing his hair, or what the future held for us. I am so grateful to be given the chance to raise Aubree and to have her sealed to us. She holds such a special place in my heart. I think that with your first kid, they hold a different spot in your heart, because it is through them that you learn how to become a parent. Aubree is so awesome!

Eric and I made a gingerbread house birthday cake. Aubree loved it!

The rest of these are just random pictures (esp. snowstorm).

Trav talking on his cell phone. He says hi, it is so cute.

Tanner loved being out in the snow. Above he is shoveling our driveway.

We gave Trav his first real haircut. His hair was becoming like a mullet. It makes him look so old. He is so cute!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Year Old!

One year ago last night, I was blessed with the opportunity to give birth to a little boy. It was fun for me to go back and read this post of my experience. I can't believe that was a year ago. It has gone so slow at times and so fast at times. Travis is the sweetest little boy! Heavenly Father knew what we could handle and blessed us with a boy who fit perfectly into our family.Trav wasn't feeling very good on his birthday. He wasn't interested in eating anything but his bottle, so we tried a few times to get him to eat cake but he didn't want it (the pictures above are from the second time we tried to get him to attack the cake). Aubree and Tanner were happy to help him. Trav was more interested in the candle and kept trying to grab it. I love the picture above - he does this everytime I say, "cheese". He is so funny. It is pretty fun, to now have two 2-year-olds and a 1-year-old.

Handsome Tanner before Travis' party.
We had Trav's birthday party on Sunday night.

Aubree and her cousin Carly, at Trav's party. They love hanging out together.
All the Nygard grandkids. Poor Carly just got whacked by Tanner, so she was sad.

Happy Birthday to Travis. I know I'm a beautiful singer! :) I get so off key. Sorry!

p.s. My sister Jackie had a little baby girl on Sunday night. They named her Brianna Kathrine. She weighed 7lbs9oz.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Congrats to the Future Dr. Nygard!

December 1st is the first day that dental schools send out acceptances and Eric got two of them today. I got this post all done with just the acceptance from USC. Within a half an hour of posting this, the UW admissions lady called offering Eric acceptance! I am so proud of how hard Eric has worked to make this a reality. We are so excited for him and he is going to make such an awesome dentist.

On Saturday, I had the chance to play in an alumni game at Big Bend in Moses Lake. I played there from 2001-2003 and it was so fun to go back and play again. We (the alumni) played against the current Big Bend team. I wasn't in as good as shape as I wanted to be and there were a few times I thought I was going to throw up, but it was still so fun to play again.
This is the picture we took almost 6 years.