My Family

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How Do You View Yourself? Please watch the video on the link above. It's magical! As women, we tend to forget that we ARE beautiful, that we ARE worth more than words, that we ARE needed and noticed. I forgot this for most of my life. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that I am a daughter of God, that He knows me and loves me. I know this to be true.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I have a big, fat crush on this guy! My parents got us Yankees t-shirts when they went to Boston! It took everything they had, as they are Red Sox fans. I am so proud of them for doing what they had to do to get out of their alive after buying Yankees shirts!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Let's Take A Picture!

Yesterday, Brooklyn said, "Let's take a picture of us, Mom!" Ok!!!!!! Love my girl. She said to me yesterday, "Mom I'm not your baby girl anymore. I'm getting big. I'm getting big teeth and soon I'll be in fifth grade!" I told her that I was so sad that she was getting big. She said, "Well, it's okay. I'll always be your girl. And, I'll always be your baby." Oh, ok!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Failure... Almost

I swear if you saw our first attempt at a garden, you would either hug us and tell us how sorry you are that we suck, or you would just shake your head and walk away. It's bad! Like, really, really bad. However, in the midst of what we thought was a complete failure, we have five pumpkins. Do you know how many kids we have? FIVE! We have a pumpkin for each kid. Miracle. Then, on Saturday, I was in the kitchen cleaning and I looked out at our aforementioned garden and noticed that the peach tree that I thought we also killed had produced a boat load of peaches. I sent the children out with large bowls to collect the goodness. The brought in bowl after bowl. I started researching how to freeze these suckers, how to make peach cobbler, how to do anything to preserve all of this goodness. They are delicious. They smell so good. They are such a blessing! This week, I will get them frozen and dried. I will also join my family in continuing to eat them fresh. They are delicious.
I was reminded that in the midst of what we think are epic failures, we can find success and triumph. We can find things that bring us hope for something better. We can find blossoms amongst the thorns. We are so blessed to have this fruit for my family to eat. #grateful

Monday, September 22, 2014

Movie Night!

On Saturday, Jackson announced that he would be doing a movie night. I was all excited! I asked him what movie we would be watching. He informed me that Dad and I were not invited. Uh?!?! Okay!! So, for the rest of the day, the kids kept asking him and asking him when movie night would be, where it would be, what it would be, how it was going to happen, etc. etc. etc. Finally, it happened. It took place in the game room/computer room. They watched Transformers. They requested that I pop popcorn for them. I should have said, "no," but I didn't. Good mama! This picture is classic! Notice Brooklyn, please. This is our norm! That girl makes herself comfortable no matter what brother she is laying across. She has her sippy cup, her Braxton, and her Braxton's nose. She is good to go! Jackson is front and center. Kaydon and Colton are hogging the popcorn! There are no parents! Love my kids!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Little Layton Lancer Pride

The sophomore football team plays on Thursdays at 3:30. Apparently whomever came up with that schedule is not a working mother. Just saying. It's okay that I only made the last few minutes of one game so far, though, because Jackson hasn't played in a game yet. He was injured and he's been sick the last week and a half. When you miss practice, you don't play. So, he's the best teammate ever! And Little Miss is the best cheerleader ever!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My B Beck

I totally stole this picture off of B Beck's blog. I didn't even ask if I could use it! It was a real-life robbery! Guilty as charged! Anywho, onto my post. As I have said many times on my blog, I have never, ever doubted that I am a daughter of God. But, sometimes I forget. Sometimes I let Satan do a little more than bruise my heel. Sometimes I let him make me forget that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me and hears my cries. B Beck is one of those angels that we are taught about... one of those angels who walks beside us, here on earth. I believe that Heavenly Father send angels from the other side to help us and guide us, to walk beside us and comfort us. But, I know that Heavenly Father also gives each of us people, here on earth, to walk beside us, to remind us who we are, to say to us just what Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ would say to us if they were right here beside us. B Beck is one of those angels for me. B Beck and I have known each other for 13 years. She and my Mo were my visiting teachers. They were so much more than visiting teachers, though. B Beck was very instrumental in getting me and my four boys out of our home and safely into my parents' home. Although I can't ever remember B Beck and Mo coming to my house and reading a lesson from an Ensign to me, we went out to lunch or dinner every month and we talked about things of the spiritual nature, i.e. tithing, trials, prayer, the Priesthood. As the years have gone on and the three of us have all endured our fair share of trials, heartbreak, loss, blessings, triumph, and love, we have continued to meet two or three times a year for lunch where we catch up, and talk about things of the spiritual nature, i.e. tithing, trials, prayer, and the Priesthood. We laugh, we cry, we comfort each other, and we even push each other to do better... at least B Beck pushes Mo and I to do better. You see, B Beck really doesn't have anything that she needs to be better at. Seriously. Nothing. I remember a couple of experiences with B Beck that have never left me: 1) She offered to have her dad give me a blessing about 11 years ago. Her dad is awesome. Right after the blessing, he said to us, "Heavenly Father loves his girls. He isn't always so fond of his boys, but he loves his girls." It made us both laugh. 2) I talked to her about how frustrated I was with the situation with the boys' father. She told me that I was quite possibly praying for all the wrong things. She admonished me to change my approach with my Father in Heaven, and to pray for forgiveness, even love for their father, and to ask Father in Heaven for the ability to have what the boys and I needed regardless of what their father provided. My whole way of thinking changed that very day. So much of the anger and frustration and inpatience that I had been weighed down with went away that day. 3) B Beck knew that I needed a little pick-me-up this week. She listened to my frustrations concerning a situation in our lives right now. Then, she told me that Satan was winning by getting me down about this. She told me to get a blessing, and to remember that sometimes I have to let things go, give them to Heavenly Father and let go. *** I am so grateful that Heavenly Father knows us. He knows just who we need in this life to make it through with some degree of sanity. I am so grateful for my B Beck and my Mo. I am so grateful that she has always loved me, despite myself. She has never given up on me, just like Heavenly Father will never give up on me. Love my B Beck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Driving me Crazy!

This boy has started driving with Mom and Dad. I am taking him to get his learner's permit on Friday. He is a hoot! He is pretty dang nervous about driving, which I think is a good thing! He is extra careful. It's one of the many benefits of living in the country! He has much less traffic, and more open spaces to practice in. His brothers are ruthless, though! They cannot shut their mouths about it and Jackson gets a wee bit frustrated... like he about explodes. I, personally, cannot wait to have another driver in the house!

Monday, September 15, 2014


Josh gets a terrible cold every year at about this time. This one has been really rough. He actually had to take three days off of work, which never happens! Well, Jackson has it now. Coughing and headaches and "I'm dying, Mom" have been what we've been dealing with. Last night, he came downstairs with a sad look on his face. Josh was sitting on the love seat. Jackson sat next to him, then laid on him. He just wanted to cuddle with Dad. The love seat is SMALL. Like, really small. It broke my heart to look at him not feeling well. I'm so glad he has a dad to cuddle with when things are hard!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seeing a Little More Clearly

The last couple of weeks have been really tough for me. I just can't find my swagger! Officially, I really have no idea what swagger is, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any! I have been struggling with everything: Math, finding time for school work, missing having time with my kids, two hour commute time, our relationship with Brooklyn's mom, having patience with Colton, struggling with trust, really struggling with feeling good about myself... you get the idea. I'm pretty much a basket case all of the time. Both Josh and I stayed home sick on Monday. That night, he said to me that we need do that once a month, just so that we have time alone. It's pretty awesome that we have to call in sick to get time together, alone! On Tuesday, we had yet another incident with Brooklyn's mom and that was it for me. I cried and cried. I expressed to Josh that I just didn't get it. I feel strongly that I have done everything in my power to make that relationship work, and it just doesn't. I have spent more time on my relationship with her than I have with my kids! I told him that I feel like I sacrifice so much for everyone and I'm just miserable. NOTE: I am NOT great in the Christ-like category right now. My thinking is selfish, I know. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I didn't know. He told me that it's important for me to find out what I want, and then to do it. I fell asleep pretty miserable. I woke up the next morning and noticed that my sweet husband had stayed up almost all night, researching videos and resources to help me feel better about all of it. He had sent them to me, and told me to watch them. I was able to take a deep breath and see things a little more clearly. Aren't we blessed? Aren't we blessed to know the purpose of all of this? Aren't we blessed to be children of a loving Heavenly Father who knows SO much more than we do? I would say YES!
Oh... and I got my new specks. I can see now! Literally see.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Secrets Seriously, copy and paste this link into your browser and listen to what she is saying! I love Mary Lambert. A lot. I was listening to this song on my long drive home last night and it made me think... What are my secrets? What do I keep hidden because I am so stinking afraid that people will find out who I really am?! I absolutely love that she dispels the idea that having secrets is necessary. She gave me a wee bit of courage, too, you know? SO, lucky audience members... you get to hear what MY secrets are. Right now. I am literally going to tell you what my secrets are, and in the future when my five kiddos read this blog they, too, will know that mommy didn't have to keep secrets, that I finally believe that I AM good enough... just the way God made me! Secret #1: I am so ashamed and sometimes lost in my cellulite. It is my most embarrassing physical feature. My legs are covered in cellulite and I am humiliated and disgusted by it. I try to hide it in any way I can. When I wear maxis, I wear Spanx. Well, I did until a couple of months ago when my husband told me to knock it off. But, I have cellulite People! It's part of who I am, part of what makes my body my body, and it aint going away anytime soon! Secret #2: I am really terrified of crowds. I don't like them. I avoid ward parties and big work things. I feel awkward and out of sorts when I am in big crowds. I actually DON'T want people to approach me because I am so afraid of it. I am afraid of EVERYTHING, and Josh knows this, but I don't think he has any idea how afraid of crowds I am. Secret #3: I consider myself an enormous failure. I actually have defined myself, personally, as a failure. I feel that I have failed as a parent, as a daughter, as a sister, as a wife, as an administrative assistant, as a calling-holder in the Church. It bothers me that I don't feel that I have succeeded at anything. Sometimes I think that I still hear the little voices in my head from my past and I let them get to me and define me. Secret #4: This is not a secret to some of you. I was in-patient in a psych ward for over a week. I was 103 pounds. I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, which I had probably had for years. I have depression and anxiety. I wanted to die. I sincerely wanted to die, and tried to do that. Although to say that being in a psych ward (only four years ago) is humiliating, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I finally learned about who I am, what triggers me, what I can do to avoid it, or to cope with it, and I learned that I have a voice. When I was admitted, I was full of rage. I thought, "what right do these people have in telling me that I can't die?" "Why would Miss Birdie put me here?" "Why can't I just die?" But, in the end there was no better place for me to be for one week of my life. Secret #5: I enter every radio station contest there is! I do it online, and I've even won a couple! Secret #6: I love my freckles. I love my ears. I love my belly button. I love my toes. I bite my finger nails until they bleed, but when I don't bite them, I am so proud of myself! Secret #7: I wish that my brothers and I were close. I wish that we talked all the time and hung out. Secret #8: I regret not serving a mission. I also regret not going to Arizona with Doug the night before my wedding to RJ. I regret those decisions a lot. Secret #9: I drank alcohol for about six weeks of my life. It was so stupid. It was disgusting. It was gross. It is a sure-fire way to live your life, while having zero control over yourself. It is stupid. It is so, so dumb. There is zero things that are cool about it. For some reason, I just HAD to try it, then I just kept doing it. Six weeks of just pure grossness. Secret #10: I don't fear dying. At all. It, along with speaking in public, might be the only two things that I am not afraid of! What are your secrets?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Josh has coach's meetings every Sunday night. We haven't made s'mores for SO long and Kaydon asked for them every week, so I decided it was time! I asked Braxton to go ahead and start the fire. LOL!!!! It was rough, People! Eventually, we had a good fire going, but it was quite the adventure. He tried to start a charcoal fire at first. It was an epic failure. So, he got a PLASTIC container to put the HOT CHARCOAL BISQUITS in. NOT A GOOD IDEA! It melted. Duh. So, Kaydon thought he needed to morp into a fire-fighter. Water EVERYWHERE! Then, Brooklyn's marshmallow started on fire, like a BIG fire. She was NOT happy. She ran with it to the side of the yard and stepped on about 17 stickers. NOT happy. Colton ate about 18 s'mores during the chaos. He had taken his nighttime medication and was pretty much unaware of the absolute genius comedy taking place around him. Jackson was laughing. Not helping. Laughing. I was snapping pictures. In the end, no one was injured seriously. Nothing of great importance burned down. The s'mores were delicious! The sunset, as always, was unbelievable over the lake. Kids went to bed happy. So did their mommy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Brooklyn Kind of Day

On Saturday, Miss Sassy Pants got Mom and Dad all to herself! She wanted to go play games, so we went to Rush in Syracuse. This place is magical! She played and played and played. We even did the Nerf Blaster! She kicked my butt! When brudders got home, she dressed all of us up in the princess get-up that she won with all of her tickets. It's amazing what that Jackson will do for that girl! Love my girlie!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Go ahead... ask me if my kids LOVE having selfies with Mom... They don't! And I don't care!!! We love sitting out at our football games on Friday nights. I just wanted to prove it by taking selfies!