My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dear J

I sometimes feel really dumb writing things about J on my blog. He and I have been dating for over 2 1/2 years. But, we're not married. There is no guarantee that we will continue to be together, therefore I feel like I might be judged when writing about him. I also wonder if ever I'll regret writing about him. I am also having issues with random females facebooking me and leaving horrible messages. It's pretty awful. When I began receiving these messages, I broke down in tears and realized that so many of our memories over the last 2 1/2 years involve J and Little Miss. Our trips, our holidays, our religious milestones, etc. However, my heart is full of gratitude for him today and this entire week. Therefore, I'm posting about him anyways.
Dear J- Thank you for making my boys smile and laugh. Thank you for sitting down with them, whether in person or over the phone, and discussing school, grades, teachers, peers, trials, successes, and fears. Thank you for loving your daughter as you do. She will forever have strength in her life because of the way her daddy loves her. Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for loving me despite the fact that I can be very hard to love. Thank you for having patience with me daily. Thank you for strengthening me through my insecurities. Thank you for making me laugh and smile when all I really want to do is cry. Thank you for loving my family. Thank you for holding my hand, hugging me, kissing me, and letting me kick your booty. Thank you for being you. Thank you for all of our memories. I am so proud of you. You are the best coach! You have such a gift for coaching, for seeing things on the field that the rest of us would never see. You are great with the young men that you coach. They look up to you, they respect you, they work hard for you. You work so hard for your daughter. She will forever know that you love her. I love you, J.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Caramel Apples

We made caramel apples over the weekend. I pretty much ate the crushed up Snickers bar while the caramel set up on the apples, but that's beside the point. They turned out pretty good for a bunch of amateurs!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Fresh Market Halloween

After a dollar movie on Saturday, we took four of the five kiddos to Fresh Market. They do a cute Halloween deal the Saturday prior to Halloween every year. There was trick-or-treating, donut eating contests, spooky bingo, coloring, a cake walk, and a fishing pond. The kids got hooked up! Brooklyn won the donut eating contest... don't mind that she is totally using the string to guide that thing into her mouth! :) They had fun while we grabbed some groceries. Brilliant marketing strategy, if you ask me!!

Her Daddy

This is a lucky, lucky girl. You see, she has a daddy who will do anything for her. He recently made up a song that he sings to her. It goes something like this: "Brooklyn is a princess and she has a prince named daddy and they go to the castle everyday and play, play play." It's pretty much adorable. He is also so good to my boys. He sits down with each kiddo over the weekend and has a little one-on-one with them. They talk mostly about school and grades. They go over everything that needs to be accomplished and how they are going to do that. Then they usually end up having a wrestling match. Last night, there was a bit of an issue... or four. This mama was done and done. He called and talked to each of the boys individually and things immediately calmed down. Even though he lives 45 minutes to an hour away, I am so grateful for his influence on the kids.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Raking Leaves

This weekend was so pretty! Perfect weather for what is probably the last nice weekend of the year... and until like May or something. Sad! Josh and the kiddos went out and raked/swept leaves on Saturday. I vacuumed inside and did some laundry and watched them as they worked. It makes me smile just to watch them.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Neighborhood Halloween Party

Our neighborhood Halloween party was a blast, as usual. The kids love it every year. Games, prizes, food, more food, AND a pinata!!! They cleaned up good! Pretty sure they don't even need to go trick or treating!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The children went to Papa and Grandma's house on Friday night for a Halloween party and sleepovers. They had a costume contest and won awesome prizes, like mustaches. Awesome. Then, they carved pumpkins, ate pizza, watched movies and eventually dozed off. They love having sleepovers with Papa and Grandma and the dogs. Parents normally aren't invited, so the only pictures I have are from the pumpkins that they brought home. They are pretty rad!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Peeps

Last night was my last night of service learning... at least the last night that I HAD to be there to complete the required hours. I cried the whole way there. I have fallen in love with these kids! They melt my heart. They have so many talents and strengths that we could never have because they are just simply closer to the Spirit. These pictures were taken during our karaoke hour. They LOVE to sing. Even those who can't speak will at least make noise with their voicebox. They sway to the music. Some of them just close their eyes and listen. You can tell it calms their soul. They are happy and kind. They are patient and compassionate. They love to snuggle and be loved on. They have a spot in my heart forever. The coordinator asked me to keep on coming back. I think I will, thank you. I won't keep going every week, just because it's too hard. My boys need their Mama home at night. But we will definitely stop in and cook and sing with these angels as often as we can!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Jackson had his braces taken off yesterday! Wahoo! One down, three to go!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Funny Pictures!

Friday was a ROUGH day for me. Like, ROUGH. Crappy! Josh drove down with Brooklyn and informed me that we were getting dinner and going to a movie. Best medicine for a horrible day! We took the kids to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. I took a picture of the kiddos before the movie, and then Brooklyn took the camera and laughed hysterically every time she snapped a picture and the flash went off... blinding the boys! The movie was adorable. The night was perfect.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Last Baseball Game of the Season

Done. This baseball season is over. Braxton really loved playing baseball. He was finally getting the hang of hitting the ball and now the season ends. I'm proud of him. He is such a great teammate, a great cheerleader for his teammates, and he is just a joy to watch. He makes everyone laugh and giggle and smile. I'll miss watching him play under the lights twice a week. What I won't miss is the four days a week commitment. Yikes! Until next year!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Catheter Ablation

I have to give a speech in my COMM 1010 class this week. I chose my catheter ablation as my topic. It's really not that interesting, or that entertaining, but it's an important topic to me. I was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia - Atriaventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia early this year. I had suffered through several severe, and worsening episodes with my heart. My body was not handling these well at all. I was vomiting every night, throughout the night. I was fatigued beyond words. I had fainted. My anxiety level was up because I never knew when another episode would hit. My well-trained cardiologist was able to detect exactly what was happening and prepare a plan to make it better. One sunny morning, Josh drove me to the hospital and I prepared to be all fixed up. A catheter was inserted into my neck and another into my groin. The two extra electrical connections that I was born with were ablated (or burned). I was back at work five days later. FIVE DAYS later. This was five months ago. For the past month, I have been working out four to five days a week. I walk, jog, kick-box, jump, lift light weights, and play with my kiddos. Yes, I still have minor episodes, but they are much less severe and much, much shorter than they were. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for modern technology. This procedure could not have been done 20 years ago. I am so grateful for well-trained doctors and surgeons who are able to do this procedure with confidence. Without this procedure, who knows where my body would be today. I'm giving this speech on this topic because 1) I want people to know the symptoms and to get checked, 2) I want people to know what their treatment options are, and 3) I want people to have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Colton and Brooklyn

Colton and Brooklyn spent lots of time together on Saturday and Sunday. Colton is so patient and kind with Brooklyn. He is so focused when he is playing with her... really at his best. He taught her the art of playing Checkers on Saturday. They laughed and talked and played. It's so great to see my boy able to focus for a few minutes when he plays with and teaches Little Miss. They had hours of fun!