Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recovering

I spent all week trying to recover from our vacation to Disneyland. It's always funny to me that you end up needing a vacation from your vacation! I am finishing up laundry, trying to. I still have about 4 more loads. I've done 5 so far. I try not to do anything other than dishes on Sunday, but sometimes I have to. By have to, I mean choose to because I want to get caught up. I feel exhausted!

When life gets like this, I tend to draw inward and run away from my responsibilities. I'm trying really hard to change this behavior. I don't know if it falls in the category of anxiety or depression. It almost feels like both! I'm typically a very relaxed person, but when my life feels like it needs to go faster than I want to go, I just want to stop and lay in my bed. I think it also might be diet related. Since Britten, my diet is terrible and I can't seem to get back to my emotional well-being. I feel better when I eat better, but I also really want the sugar...such a terrible cycle. Any recommendations are welcome.

I have had some good moments this week. My kids have gotten along exceptionally well. That always makes my heart happy. My pre-school kids missed me and that felt nice. I was able to go to lunch with some very dear friends. The move has made the friend department seem bare, but I love getting together with those I've known for years. Camille and Heather were my workout buddies and mom buddies. I have missed them! I rediscovered the library with my friend Stephanie and our kids. I forgot how good the library is for kids and moms! It's nice to have stacks of books again! Dustin and I went to dinner with some friends from across the street. We visited The Leonardo to see the mummies. Very fun! I love science and history. It was a different way to spend time together and I loved every minute of it.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Time: You Never Get It Back and That Can Make a Mom Want To Do Crazy Things

I say it all the time, "My kids are growing way too fast!" I really don't know how this happened, or when. I have been wanting to get moments back. Like snuggling, reading, singing...they aren't coming back. So, instead, I'm just going to relish in the time I have left with my 5 kids (yes, I have 6, but I still do all those things with Baby. It's the older ones I miss).

Tonight we invited the neighbor kids over to have a movie night. We watched, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. My girls were complaining that they are the only ones who haven't seen the new Star Wars  movie. I want them to understand what has happened before I take them for a girl's night, so we are watching them. We ordered pizza and decked the ping pong table with major amounts of junk food! A kid's dream!

I love that all of the kids can watch these movies! Ryan who's 18 all the way to Britten at almost 3, each loving them for their own reasons. It makes me feel we are winning at being a family because everyone is happy, all at the same time. That's a big accomplishment for us!

Enjoy your little ones! Time is precious and you never get it back! It's sad to me that I learned this as my oldest is getting ready to spread his wings and fly. I expected him to fly well. I just didn't expect these feelings of wanting to cut his wings off so he can stay a little longer...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Word for 2016- DIVINE

Every year I come up with a word. This word is to remind me what I want to work on through the year. I have goals this year, I do. But, my biggest goal of all this year is to remember who I am. 
The other day as I was getting ready for church, a memory came flooding back to me. Now, my mind does this quite often. I have an extremely short short-term memory- two shorts are needed because I forget. A lot. Because of this, things come rushing into my head in a panic-like fashion. There is always a sense of urgency. This is what happened that Sunday. Only, it wasn't something recent I had forgotten, it was from 20 years ago.

When I was going through the Temple for the very first time, Dustin and I had a minute to talk. He said, "Do you know what my mom just told me?" I shook my head. I wasn't paying attention- hello, there's all this incredible beauty around! I'm not paying attention to anything! He pulled me close and said, "She just told me that when you came into the room, she felt like if Christ had a sister, she would be just like you." My eyes got huge! What a compliment! Of course, when someone pays you such a compliment, what's the first thing we do? We don't believe it. We try to cast it aside as totally false. That's exactly what I did that day, 20 years ago. That's exactly what my mind did just recently. I thought she was crazy then and I still think it's a crazy comparison now. But, this time my mind did something else. I stopped for a moment and dwelt on that thought. And as I thought and questioned, all of a sudden a light bulb went off! And after the light bulb, a rush of warm fuzzies. My spirit loudly whispered to me, "You are Christ's sister! You have the same Father He does. You are made up of the same stuff! You are DIVINE!"

Now, before you think that I was never taught this, I was. I heard this my whole years in Young Women's. Divine Nature happens to be one of the values. It's color is blue. I remember it all. But, somehow, it has never sunk into my brain the way it did a few days ago. To actually take time to dwell on the thought that I was a sister to Jesus Christ really changed me. And, it challenged me.
It challenged me to remember that I am someone DIVINE. That deep within me there lies qualities that are sleeping. My job on this earth is to wake them up! And I'm going to start doing it.

My first quality I have been working on is compassion. I'll be honest, I thought that was going to be my word for the year. I have been working on this for a little over a month. It all started in November when the church changed it's policy about children of gay parents. After I did the whole social media debates, I finally knelt down to ask how this is to affect me. The answer surprised me a bit, but it was very clear. My Heavenly Father reminded me that I knew what was right. I know why He has a prophet. But, then He asked something of me. He asked if I could just be compassionate. I thought about it and realized in all the wanting to be right I had most certainly thrown compassion out the window. Not on purpose! But, I had. So I promised I would work on it. And I have. 

I'm not sure what my next quality will be. My goal is I will be doing the things I should, so it can be revealed to me. Right now, I'll just keep reminding myself I'm DIVINE and I can be compassionate. I guess if those are the only things I improve on this year, that's enough. But, I hope not. I hope I can find those things deep within that will enrich my soul and make me who I can be.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 16th

November 16th is my wedding anniversary. A happy day for me. 12 years ago, November 16, 2003, was a different story.

Two days before, I had just got word that my dad was put in the hospital for dehydration. My father had been fighting cancer for 5 months. Two of my brothers, a sister-in-law, and I decided to make a quick trip from Salt Lake City to Vegas and surprise him. As I packed for that "quick" trip, I heard a voice tell me that this would be the last time I would visit my dad. The thought was not pleasant and I pushed it out of my head, thinking I was overreacting. I finished packing and waited for my brother, still thinking about the voice. He pulled in the driveway around 10 pm. ( yes, we were leaving that late!)

We arrived early in the morning of November 15th. I don't remember who let us in and I honestly don't recall ever falling asleep. I do remember getting to the hospital pretty early, so maybe we went straight there. My dad was in bad shape. He was bleeding internally because a blood clot had passed in his colon -he was suffering from colon cancer. While passing, it ruptured. They told us they were going to do surgery to stop the bleeding. We were all nervous. He was admitted for dehydration and we were expecting him to come home, but it didn't look like that was going to happen for a few days.

Pretty soon, the doctor returned. He asked us all to follow him. Those of us there were pulled inside a room. Something was wrong. They continued to explain that the bleeding was too great. If they cut my dad open, he would bleed out on the table. He would not survive the surgery. They told us they could try to keep him alive until all of our family got there. We were spread in 3 states! It would take a while.

I called Dustin. I told him to get the kids in the car and get to Vegas as fast as he could. I let him know what the doctor had said. He said, "Okay." He was on his way.

My dad was in the ICU. They had him in an induced coma so he would not be in any pain. His belly was big and swollen from the bleeding. It's hard to see someone you love in such a state. That tube down his throat did not look comfortable. I wanted him to be comfortable. The room was quiet, The beeping of his machines kept the awkwardness at bay. No one was talking. I'm not sure who was in the room with me, we were only allowed a few in at a time because he was in the ICU. We must have caught some one's eye because soon one of the nurses was letting us all in at the same time. She knew she was breaking the rules, but I think she sympathized with us. She shared our religion and knew how important it would be for us all to be there with our father as he was given a blessing and would soon slip through the veil.

Those we were waiting for arrived in groups. With each group she would sneak everybody in, even our little ones. With each group his heart rate would drop. We knew he was hanging on and fighting. My brother from Kansas City was the last to arrive, his heart rate was now around 50. It was almost 10 pm- twelve hours later! 

My brother, Mike, gave him a blessing of release from this life. We all say our goodbyes. As I tell him goodbye and that I love him, I can see tears coming from his eyes. He could hear us! He knew we were all there. He knew we loved him! When everyone was finished- all 40 of us- my mom signed the papers to take him off of life support. It was not easy for her.

We all stood quietly as we watched him. We watch his heart rate. It falls lower. I don't remember how long, or how many breaths, but  it took longer than I thought it would. Soon he was gone. We left his body in that cold room. He would not be coming home. He was already home. 

We gathered in a waiting room for quite a while, just talking. It had been a very long day.We eventually leave. We now had a funeral to plan. The whole process would take a week. Everyone traveled to Arizona for his burial. 

I was reading the program and noticed that it read: April 12, 1937 - November 16, 2003. I did not want to share that date with my father's death! What an awful thing to have to remember every year on your wedding anniversary. This made me sad, but also mad. My mind started to think about all that had just taken place. Soon, my heart was being softened. 

While my father was dying, I was a witness to several tender mercies of the Lord. 1)  It was the Holy Ghost that whispered to me, letting me know my father would be passing away. 2) We were blessed with a kind nurse who knew and understood what our family needed. She put all 40 of us in the room! 3) I did not have to wonder if my father heard my final words that I whispered to him. He let us know he could hear us by the tears running down his face. 4) My father was allowed to stay until we were ready to let him go.

Yes, November 16th has a sad part to it, but I choose to remember the good. It is the day when my family started. But, it is also the day that I absolutely understood that my Forever Family was, indeed, forever.






















Sunday, November 8, 2015

Today Was a Pay Day

I was going to write about the policy change in the church that occurred over the weekend, but my mind hurts from discussing it over facebook much too much. Don't get me wrong. I love talking about things like this, but I would much rather have a face to face conversation with people. Facebook leaves me with anxiety. So, I want to write about something different all together. I will save the policy change for another time

On Sundays I make my kids work on their church programs: Duty to God, Personal Progress, or Faith in God. They only have to do one thing. But you would think I'm asking them to cut off their big toe. Kate and Becca were working in their Faith in God books. Kate worked in the "Living the Gospel" section. Becca was in the "Developing Your Talents."

Kate chose to write someone a letter. I got the letter. I don't know if it's because I'm the easiest, but I'll take it!


Dear Mom, 

I appreciate you because everything you do is for us like you keep our house clean, go to work, keep a roof over our heads. I respect you because you sacrifice a lot of stuff for us. You let us do fun stuff and cook and clean.And you have time for us. I love you so much.

                                                                                                     Love, 
                                                                                                        Kate


I don't know why I always expect longer letters, but I do. This one was short, but oh so perfect!! It made my heart happy today!

Becca chose to write a play. She had to choose a gospel principle to write about. She decided on modesty. I was curious as to what she would do. When your kids do things like this, it really gives you a chance to evaluate what they are taking in as you teach them.

The Modest Clothes

Narrator: Once in Minnesota, a girl was walking with her friend from school.
Girl 1: Hey are you going to Joey's party?
Girl 2: I don't know what the dress code is. If I did, I would know if I would go or not.

(I cringed a little to think my daughter wouldn't go some where because of the way she is required to dress and curious that a party would have a dress code)

Girl 1: The dress code is Bikini Time.
Girl 2: Are you sure? Ask Joey to send you a picture of what we should look like.
Girl 1: Ok...done! Oh, he already text back. LOOK!
Girl 2: I don't think I should go.
Boy: (walks up) Guys, are you going to Joey's party on Friday?
Girl 1: I am!
Girl 2: I'm not.
Boy: Why?
Girl 2: Because of the clothes we're supposed to wear.
Boy: Oh, come on!  Everyone is going and it's just 1 time!
Girl 2: I know, but it's not modest...Oh! I have an idea! I'll see you Friday!

Girl 2 walks in, all stare at her

Girl 1 : WHAT are you wearing?
Girl 2: It's a bikini...with another swimming suit under it!
Girl 1: Why are you wearing it?
Girl 2: Because I still match the theme, but I also get to be modest.
Girl 1: You're right and at least you are here!

The End

This made me chuckle. I was totally surprised at the end! I'm glad that my daughter knew that if she wanted to go to a party, even if those around her were not living her standards, she could still go and live hers. We live where 70% of the population is LDS. Most places in UT is around 50%. I was worried moving here. My growing up experiences were so different and I feel they really taught me what I want to believe. I sometimes worry that the Mormon culture is so thick, that my kids will miss out on that. So I'll take this as a win in that category! My daughter knows that she can be herself and live what she feels is right in her heart no matter what others think of her. And she knows that if her friends don't hold her same standards, that's ok. 


When your child recognizes your efforts as a mother and learns what you are hoping for, that makes for a good day!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halloween 2015

This Halloween was different from the others. We trick-or-treated for an hour. We had only one child in tow. We have 6 kids...

We are those parents that give a "too old for Halloween " age. Our kids' last year for scoring candy from neighbors is 7th grade. In 8th grade they must find something else to do. I know many who would frown on this, but for us, it works. I guess if we got more complaining from our kids we might reconsider. Out kids have been okay with it so far. Grace is 8th grade this year. Her and some friends got together and ad a movie party. they had fun. Ryan was working. Aaron stayed home to hand out candy. The other three went out for candy. Becca and Kate chose to got out with friends, hence the 1 child who remained with us.

It's kind of weird entering this new stage of life. Our kids are big. They love us, but are okay to not be with us. At least Britten wants to be our little side-kick. I'm glad we have him. I still feel young when he's around! 



a mime








Batman (he would say, "Britten Batman.")








Robin








We did pick out our pumpkins this year. This was the only decent picture. Our pumpkin is a little sad. Apparently, the pumpkin crop was bad this year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

School Year: 20015-2016

I am officially the mom of a senior in high school! I really just can't believe it. I'm not quite sure what it is, but all of a sudden i am feeling the urge to be a better mom than I was. I think it's because Ryan will be leaving home the end of this school year, like in 9 months. That's the plan anyway. 

I made sure to take the day off work so I could be with them. I got up at normal time and made them breakfast, pancakes were on the menu. To my surprise only 2 of them wanted them...isn't that how it always goes? 

I wanted to get pictures to document, so I did. Of course they all grumbled about it. While taking these, a friend of mine was chasing down her jr high schoolers. She reached them at the bus stop! heehee! "See, I'm not the only one!" I told them.




Ryan, 12th grade


he wanted a picture of the cat shirt...he really likes this shirt!



Aaron, 10th grade (really hates getting his picture taken)



Grace, 8th (love her pants!)


Kate, 6th (last year of elementary, lover of comfy clothes)



Becca, 4th grade (loves pictures!)



Britten, 2 1/2 (not in school, but didn't want to be left out either)

Hoping for the best year ever for my kids. Last year they were all new. This year I hope they feel more comfortable to be the great kids that they are!