My Family

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




Friday, October 30, 2015

Wax Museum

Josh went and saw Colton do his wax museum yesterday. He said Colton was so nervous and wasn't able to do his speech. Poor little guy. I wish that accommodations would have been made to allow him to do it in another way. But, they weren't and so we go on! I am grateful that Josh was there and that this is in Colton's rear view mirror!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Surgery Update & Selfies

Josh's knee seems to be healing nicely. We unwrapped it last night and gave him a little time without the bandages. He is a superstar when it comes to most everything, especially surgery. He isn't using his crutches and he is just taking a small amount of Ibprofen and Tylenol. He is, however, getting very depressed. We always want to take work off, but then when we have it off and there is nothing we can do, all we want is to go back to work! He'll be back in no time and everything will be just fine! :)
My Sweet Pam challenged me to a 10-day selfie and positive thought challenge. I have to post a flipping selfie on Facebook everyday for 10 days!!! Who does that?!?!

As I thought about it today, after posting my first selfie, I thought about what a great idea that actually is for those of us who don't typically think so highly of ourselves! It's important that we show ourselves, and our children, that we see ourselves as children of God. We aren't being narcissistic or arrogant. But, we aren't embarrassed of ourselves. So, I am proud to accept the challenge... although a weeeeee bit uncomfortable!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Misery - Check

Martha recently told me that when it rains, it pours, and we are in a hail storm. I try SO hard to be strong and to "fake it til I make it." I finally broke. I have been really sick since Friday, or so. I worked through the weekend, feeling worse and worse. Then, Saturday night I did something to this frail back of mine. I could barely walk on Monday as we walked through the hospital for Josh's surgery. After receiving some less than optimal news about Josh's knee, coming home and feeling like a wreck, I broke. And, I mean b.r.o.k.e.

Yesterday, I tried to go to work but I was so sick and barely able to walk. I left and went to Brandon's office. After he worked on me, I asked him for a blessing. It brought me comfort. I was able to go home and rest. Martha brought dinner last night. The Bishop called and we talked for a bit. I slept well last night. And I'm at work today.

This is what I know: Life is not easy, nor is it supposed to be. There are times when we feel like we are scraping the concrete with our faces and the skin is peeling off little by little. The feelings of being overwhelmed cannot even be described adequately. Physical pain, exhaustion and stress can take over. Our ability to see the big picture becomes clouded. But we just have to keep going. We have to push ourselves back to our feet and keep walking.

I am so grateful that Josh is healing. I am thankful that he is strong, physically and mentally. I am so thankful that our kids are doing their best everyday. I am thankful for their help and their constant, "What do you need me to do, Mom?" I am beyond grateful for Martha. I am thankful for the meals that have been brought in!!!!! The blessings that come from other people are comforting in a way that shows me on a regular basis that Heavenly Father's hand is in all good things. I am thankful for my co-workers who lift me up. I am thankful for the Priesthood in my life. I am thankful that I know that I am a daughter of God.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Knee Surgery - Check

On Friday, we found out that Josh would go into surgery yesterday. He has a great surgeon, who he happened to wrestle against in high school. The goal was to go in, scope his left knee and find out that we could do a partial replacement. That didn't work out. The scope is done, but Josh will need a full replacement. The doctor is wanting to hold off on that for 8 - 10 years. So, the goal is that we can nurse it along until he's 45, and then get that thing replaced.

I sent the kids a picture of him in the hospital bed. Jackson said, "Is Dad wearing tights?!" I said, "Yes. Yes he is." He said, "Gross." Ha ha ha. I thought that was so funny.

Last night, Gus would not leave Daddy alone. He wouldn't. He had to lay right next to him. He was so gentle around that knee. Sweet boy.

Friday, October 23, 2015

This 'N That & More

Oh, the chaos that is our lives. Do you ever feel like you are just doggy-paddling through life? Like you are in a fog and you are just barely, by the skin of your nose, keeping your head above water? Like you aren't good at anything because you aren't giving enough time and energy to anything at all? Everything is getting only a portion of me! But, in the end we are all just trying to put one foot in front of the other. We are all just doing our best, which is all we can do - AND it's all that we are asked to do!

Wednesday night, Jackson brought me a caramel apple from work. It was heavenly. I love my children. They are thoughtful, hardworking, independent, and diligent. They give everything they have and more. SO much more is expected of them than most children. Most nights, they do not have parents there to feed them dinner, make their lunches, help them with homework, and just talk to them. They are on their own to do all of that and more. They don't complain. They don't fight. They just do it. Sweet, sweet boys. I love them so.


The football season ended last night with Layton losing to Davis. In so many ways, I am sad yet grateful. Until November 9, when wrestling starts, Josh will be at home at night with his children. They need that desperately.

I love wrestling season. I love to watch my husband coach wrestling. He is in his element. He is oh, so good at what he does. I love to watch his children watch him coach. They love that their dad is the coach. They love to wrestle with him and work out with him. They love to be around the wrestlers. It reminds me of my childhood. I loved, more than anything, to watch my dad coach. I loved being around his players. I loved all of it (except the parents). It was a good life.

Monday, Josh will be getting his knee scoped and probably preparing for a knee replacement. His years playing football have now caught up with him. Neck surgery a couple of years ago and now the knees.

Today is the end of the term for the kiddos. They made it through one more term and I am so glad!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Answers Come

I love that after General Conference, we are able to then read and re-read the talks that were given. As my children have been coming to me with problems, concerns, struggles, and fears, I have prayed for them. I always pray for them. They are in my thoughts every minute of every day. Last night as I laid in bed, I read this article. It was a direct answer to my prayers.

I asked Heavenly Father for the first time EVER (in 38 years!!) what it was that I was missing, what was I not doing that I needed to be doing. A couple of very direct answers came to my mind immediately. I felt comforted and peaceful. This morning before I left to drop Brooklyn off at daycare, Jackson off to school, and to go to work, I pulled Braxton out of the shower and the children and I knelt. (Josh had already left for work) Together, we offered a family prayer.

I am fully aware that this is not a new concept. I am sure that everyone who reads this blog does the same thing at least once every day, along with family scripture study. I have not been doing it because I felt that I was just too hurried, too busy, and not "able" to do it. I was wrong! That one minute prayer allowed me to tell my Heavenly Father, with my children listening, that I was thankful for every one of them. I prayed for specific things for each one of them and they were able to hear me do that. When I left, still in a hurried rush, I felt peace. I felt like I had given my children the best possible chance at a good day.

As I have said before, this life is not what I expected, not what I planned for, not what I wished for, but it is a good life. Last night, as Josh taught our family during family home evening, I heard him tell our children that no matter what time of day or night it is, he is available to them. He will drop everything and help them. I know this to be true. I have watched him do it over and over again. I asked my children during the lesson if they are saying their prayers. Some nodded and some shook their heads. I reminded them that without saying their prayers, they are essentially doing everything on their own when they don't have to. They never have to be alone. Ever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can I Have Your Autograph?

I am SO big!!! I got my notary. I was a notary like 20 years ago when I worked for the bank. I had to take a test, and pass it :), then jump through lots of hoops to get this sucker. But I did it! I swear, I have had to take so many tests lately to be certified on this and "legit" on that. So what if I couldn't ever pass Math 1010?!?! I am a smartie pants anyways!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hello, I'm Mom

On Friday, I took the day off from both jobs. I needed to reintroduce my children to their mom. We slept in. I got up and ate my favorite frosted shredded wheat, which I never get to eat anymore. Delicious! Then, Kaydon asked if I'd make cookies with him. Why, yes!! They were delicious. I made the family lunch, followed by warm homemade cookies. Yummo!

In the afternoon, we went to see Goosebumps. It scared the tarnation right out of me, but let's face it - EVERYTHING scares me! They children loved it. Josh said he could hear Kaydon laughing through the entire movie. We ate our extra buttered popcorn and laid back in the sweet recliners. Afterwards, we had Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Heaven!


It was SO nice to be able to spend time with my family for the day. I feel like I miss out on everything there is to miss out on. I loved having a day with all of us together to catch up, laugh, play, and just be together.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gotcha!

This. This is awesome sauce. This is what I text my children every time I get them!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lunch With My People

Josh brought my children to have lunch with me today. It made my heart happy, my smile reappear and my eyes light up. Literally. I was so happy to see my kids and my husband, even if it was only for 45 minutes. It was everything that I needed, all in a short amount of time. I am so grateful that our team captain knew just what I needed!

I am taking tomorrow off of work (both jobs). I need to be with my people.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mommy Martha & Anubis

Colton has his Egyptian wax museum and presentation coming up at school. He has chosen Anubis. Below is a picture of Anubis. Creepy if you asked me! You didn't, but I'm going to tell you anyways. Anywho, while talking to Colton about Anubis, Kaydon chimed in about what Egyptian figure he was at his sixth grade wax museum. I couldn't remember who he was because I wasn't there - see previous post. I asked Kaydon if he was sad that no one was there to see him at his wax museum. He said, "Mom! Heidi came, remember?! I wasn't alone. She was there!!" Then I started to weep and went to my room to put myself in timeout.
Heidi is Mommy Martha. Mommy Martha was there for my boy because his mommy couldn't be there. He wasn't alone because she was there. It wasn't weird to him that his real mommy wasn't there because all he cared about was that he wasn't alone. What would I do without Mommy Martha?!

We are never alone. God always answers prayers - not in the way we might want Him to - but He does answer them. He has put Mommy Martha in our lives because I need her, and so do my kids.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Love Notes

I love notes. I love to write my kids notes. I love to send them texts in the middle of the day to remind them that I love them. I love to write my Josh notes and remind him that he is better than he thinks and that I am grateful for him.

Brooklyn gave me this note/drawing that she made last week. She gave it to me after a 16-hour work day. I have a lot of those. I have them at least five days a week now. Her note says, "How is work?" and "I love you mom." I have it hanging next to my desk. It reminds me why I am here, why I am doing what I am doing.
I always pictured myself as a stay-at-home, full-time mom. It was my dream. I always thought of that as such a righteous desire. It is what is talked about in General Conference, in Sacrament Meeting talks, in Relief Society lessons. We, as women, are taught that our primary role is that of wife, mother, and homemaker. It is our responsibility to be those things and to be the very best at them as possible.

I am a wife and a mother. But, it's not my primary role. As much as I want it to be, it's not. My present boss, and my previous boss both talk about their wives, who are at home with their children every day. They talk about how they volunteer in their classrooms, they go to their school presentations, events, and parties, they take them to their doctor appointments, they are home with their children when they are sick, they are there when they get home to cook for them and help them with homework. They take them on field trips. They fix cookies for them and with them. They make sure they have their hair combed and their teeth brushed. They make their home clean - both physically and spiritually.

I can't do any of that. I can't attend my children's school events. I can't stay home with them when they are sick. I can't make sure their hair is combed and their teeth are brushed. I don't get to go on field trips. I am at work. My time - almost all of my time is spent at work, away from them, serving other people. I am not there to make their lunches for the next day. They make their own. I am not there to do their laundry. They do their own. I am not there to help with homework. They do it themselves. I am not there to welcome them home and comfort them when they've had an off day. I am not there to wipe their tears, fill there tummies with homemade cookies, hear all about their days. And. It. Kills. Me.

That has not been my walk through this life. Mine has been the need to work and to support my family. My prayer every day is the Heavenly Father makes up for what I cannot give to my children. I don't work two jobs to have nice cars, vacations, extras of any kind. I work two jobs to literally put food on the table for my children. I work two jobs to put gas in the car. I work two jobs to buy shoes for my kids. I do it out of necessity. I do it because I can't ask Heavenly Father to help me if I am not giving it all that I have. I am literally giving it all that I have. I have nothing left to give.

I pray that my children will know that Mommy loves them. I pray they will know that I missed them more than words can ever describe. I hate that all of the mothers are there for school events, but when they look out in the crowd, their mom is never there. It kills me. I hope they know I so wanted to be there. I hope they know that I wanted to be there when they left in the morning and when they got home at night. I hope they know that I wanted to come eat lunch with them now and then. I hope they know that my desires were righteous, but that it wasn't the plan for me.

I hope they know that they have all of my love.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Earning It

Jackson is a busy boy. He is trying to figure out how to juggle school with a job that is giving him plenty of hours! He is working at Cold Stone in Layton. I think he loves it. I am particularly proud because my first job was at TCBY! I worked there for over four years and I loved it! Some of my greatest memories are from long night serving up frozen yogurt. Some of my best friends worked there and it was a great four years!

Jackson gets to serve up some seriously delicious ice cream AND he gets to sing crazy songs when they are given tips. A lot of the people he works with go to different schools, so he is making friends from all over, too.
Saturday, after Josh picked him up from work, they came into Kohls to see what I wanted for dinner. There was a pair of pants on clearance that Jackson REALLY wanted. When it came time for them to leave, he had put the pants back and only had a wallet. Josh asked him if he no longer wanted the pants. Jackson said, "Yeah I want the pants but I NEED a wallet." Josh and I looked at each other and smiled. It's funny how our priorities change when it's our own money that we are spending! Jackson just rolled his eyes, paid for his wallet and they left.

Earlier in the week, though, I had asked Jackson to take Colton to two different houses in our neighborhood to drop off thank-you notes. Colton came home, but Jackson didn't. Naughty! He had gone to Walmart to get Josh and I a little thank-you gift for all we do. Dad got a 2 liter of Mountain Dew and some Reeses Pieces. Mom got a 2 liter of Diet Coke with some Hersheys drops. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Warm Apple Crisp

Wednesday night, I didn't have to work. So, on my way home from my full-time job I stopped and purchased some vanilla ice cream. After I made dinner, did the dishes, helped with homework, made lunches, did laundry, and pooped - I made some amazing apple crisp. As soon as it came out of the oven, I called the boys to the table and served hot apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. It was perfect.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Angels on Earth

Yesterday, when I got home from work, Colton told me that he HAD to show me what he got at school. I was busily making dinner, dessert, getting thank-you cards ready for Jackson to deliver, getting laundry started, making lunches, and watching my phone to see if I was getting called into my second job. I was half-ignoring him when he came up to the counter with an absolute treasure. When he laid it out, I stopped in my tracks - in awe of the angel on Earth who took the time to do this for my boy.

When Colton got to school, his desk was covered in post-it notes and a little note on a white piece of paper. The note, paraphrased, said, "We noticed you have been bullied recently. We want you to know the good things about you. From two people." They then laid out compliments in the form of post-it notes all over his desk. He peeled each one of them apart and read to me what they said.

To that person, or people, who did this for my son:
Thank you. Thank you for noticing. Thank you for noticing AND doing something about it. Thank you for killing the bullying with kindness. Thank you for your words, your time, your effort. You may never know how much that meant to my boy, and to his mom. I sometimes feel like I just can't get this right, or like I can't do enough for him, or like I can't protect him the way he needs to be protected. You did so much for my boy that I couldn't have done. I am sure that you have other things you could have done with your time. Oh, how thankful I am that you didn't. How thankful I am that you did what you did. It made his heart burst with joy, happiness, and confidence. "Someone thinks these things about me, Mama!" I told him that they sure do!

Thank you for noticing and doing something about it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Uno

A little family Uno game. Daddy played with Sis and Colton after dinner. Daddy won.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gus Update

This boy will be nine months old on the 21st. He is something else!! I seriously love this little man of ours. He LOVES rope. In fact he loves it so much that when he has rope to play with, you can find it in his poop because he ingests it! He loves raw hide bones. He also loves when mommy feeds him scraps - daddy doesn't love it so much when mommy feeds him scraps.

He loves to wrestle with daddy. He loves to play football with the boys. He loves to snuggle with mommy. He loves to play with Sis. He is such a good dog!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Daddy Daughter

Several years ago, Nana began blow drying Sis's hair after baths. It was their special time. Brooklyn loved it. Well, now she won't even get dressed after a bath or shower until her hair is blow-dried. Usually I do it. Last night, I laid in bed and caught this...
There is no person on this planet that Josh loves more than his daughter. He very gently dried her hair while she talked and talked. She showed him that she has lost 11 teeth. She sang songs. She told him about what she drew on the shower door. He just listened and gently took care of her hair. This is a special relationship. He loves her and she loves him.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Not What I Pictured

When I was young, I used to carry my Cabbage Patch kid into the living room of our home. I would pretend that I (as a grown-up) was coming into the Chapel at church and sitting with my big, happy family. The Cabbage Patch kid, who I named Madison, was the baby of the family. But I pretended that there were four other kids - two boys and two girls. Madison wrapped up the happy, perfect, loving family of five children and two committed parents. In my imaginary world, I was a stay-at-home mom. I took care of my children while my loving, supportive husband worked. In our spare time, in this imaginary world, we would go do art projects with the elderly at rest homes and we would make cookies twice a week. We went on walks and visited the local library often. In this dream world of mine, I was everything I had always wanted to be. I was pretending to be a 38 year-old mom in a world that was beautiful and perfect.

I was so devastated when that world of mine, that perfect imaginary world was not what actually happened. Time and time again, I failed. Time and time again, I realized that I had not actually created that world for myself. I made bad choices. I so desperately wanted that world that I didn't take my time to find it. I went with the first option - door number one every single time. I settled for less than what that imaginary world would have gotten me.

I often wonder what imaginary world my children dream up. I wonder what they would draw their world to be if someone asked them to do so. No one dreams of being in a "broken" family. No one dreams of growing up and having their parents divorce. No one dreams of working 18-hour days. No one dreams of barely making it every single day. That's not what we think of when we imagine our world at 38 years old.


Sometimes, I look back at the road behind me and I wonder how in the heck we ended up where we are. I wonder how many time Heavenly Father has shook his head at me. I wonder where we would be if I had made different choices. What if I would have gone on a mission? What if I would have gone to nursing school? What if I would have said "no" a few times? What if I had decided that being treated certain ways really wasn't okay? What if? What if?

This is not the life I pictured, but it is my life. Although I have no doubt that I have disappointed my Heavenly Father, my family, and myself repeatedly, this is where I am now. I have a good life. My boys and I have traveled some avoided roads - roads that other people are smart enough not to go down. Tangent - I like to sit outside in my camping chair on my lunch breaks. I sit very, very near the weeds on the side of our building. My boss told me early on that there are a few parks nearby that he never wants me to go to by myself. Well, it is my personality to want to go there to find out just how bad it really is. Tangent over - I repeatedly go down the roads that others are smart enough not to go down. I need like a shock collar!

My boys and I have made it, barely, to this point. We have a roof over our heads. My kids sleep in beds, with blankets and pillows. They have clean clothes to wear each day. They have food in their bellies each day. They have education and teachers who do their best everyday. We have the medication we need. We have health insurance. We have family who love us, even though they don't always like me, they love us. We have cars to get us to where we need to go, even though sometimes we barely make it there. :) And, I have said this before, but Heavenly Father has always strategically placed people in our path. There is not a time of my life that I cannot look back and see one person, or more, who were strategically placed there for that very time and purpose.

When I was managing apartments, pregnant with Braxton and had little Jackson, I had sweet Juli. When I was managing my next set of apartments and had Jackson and Braxton, and was pregnant with Kaydon, I had sweet Heather. When we moved into our home and had Jackson, Braxton, Kaydon (who was critically ill) and I was pregnant with Colton, I had Becky and Mo. When we moved back to my parents home, I had Katie, Heidi, and Alicia who were my nannies. When we moved to West Jordan, I had Rebecca and Marni. When we moved back to Sandy, I met my Sarah (Miss Birdie). When we moved to West Point, I met Heidi (Martha). The list really goes on and on. But these angels on Earth don't even realize that they have saved my life. Literally. Miss Birdie knows. But the rest don't realize what a blessing they have been to me as I have walked the road of failure.

This is not what I imagined my life would be, but it's a good life. It's a life full of challenges, yet joys. It's a life full of hard ship, yet mercies. It's a life full of stumbles, yet triumphs. We are blessed. I am grateful.