My Family

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




Friday, December 30, 2016

Our Year of Trial and Triumph

January brought lots of change to our home. February, Braxton tried to die on us and we would not stand for that! March was Nana's birthday and we started our Temple fun with the Logan Temple. April was loaded with date nights and love. May was Mother's Day -- one of the best days of the year. June was my birthday month and my boys never disappoint. We moved to Layton and began our journey there. Lagoon season passes were just what we needed for good weekend breaks. July was the Nef Reunion. Auntie and Uncle were here and I found a baby! August was birthday month for my studs and the beginning of school - at a new school for the three youngest. Oh, they are so brave. September was Colton's first school dance. October was Halloween and lots of candy. November was Thanksgiving and Black Friday for this Mama. December has been Christmas and the beginning of counseling for my babes. In there were three moves for the boys and I, a cancer diagnosis for the Nana, new schools for the boys, doctor appointments for Braxton's recovery, lots of tears, lots of laughs, and more blessings than I can count.

2016 was a year full of trials. It was also a year full of triumphs. We are so blessed. I love my boys more than words can express. We are choosing joy on this journey, and because of you it is much easier to do so.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Meet P

Meet P. P is my boss at OC, although we can all agree on who the boss really is. In fact, all new hires get introduced to me as the "boss lady." They are also introduced to the manner of how Boss Lady is treated around these parts. One of our brand new guys was waiting by the door when I arrived one day last week. He held the door open for me. When I came in, I looked around the corner into the sewer office. Sure enough, the whole sewer crew was standing there smiling. They were teaching him well.


P had surgery on the 11th. He was gone for almost two weeks. I actually missed him - which is saying a lot since we usually bicker and tease and irritate one another. However, on Tuesday he was back to his old form. He would not stop shooting rubber bands at me. I was losing my patience quickly. I was trying to have a professional phone conversation and rubber bands kept flying by my head. He thought it was the best time ever. I did not.

Meet P.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Day

Christmas morning was perfect. The boys received everything they needed. They were full of smiles and joy. That made it perfect.

I took a four hour nap after I made some cinnamon rolls for the yahoos. When I woke up, we headed to Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie's in the snow. Jackson is such a great driver in the snow and I was so thankful! We played the saran wrap game and ate some yummy food. AND, we loved on the Nana which is my favorite activity of all time!

We were so blessed this year. So blessed. I am so thankful for this Christmas. It's the first time I've done Christmas by myself as a single mom. In the past, I've had my mom and dad or a partner. This was our first year just us and it was perfect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Eve with Bert

Our sweet Bert invited us for Christmas Eve dinner. We walked to his house in the beautiful falling snow. It was so pretty! We met his son, his son's wife, and three of their children there. We ate a yummy dinner and Kaydon took us on a tour of his home. His home is full of antiques. It is something to behold! It's beautiful. We played a couple of games before Colton was more than ready to head home. The three older boys stayed for a few more hours while Colton and I walked home in the dark, amidst the falling snow. It was so beautiful.

I am so thankful for Bert. He has healed Kaydon's heart in so many ways. And I believe Kaydon has done the same for him. It was a perfect Christmas Eve. I feel like we didn't mind to any of our traditions. I forgot to get the boys their annual Christmas tree ornament. In the moves, we seem to have lost most of them anyways. I had pajama bottoms for them, but couldn't remember which present they were. So, they opened them Christmas morning. We didn't take any neighbor treats around. I felt like a failure for a moment. Then, I realized it's all going to be okay.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Very Merry Christmas

These amazing warriors and I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I will be working at Kohl's on Friday and Monday. Saturday and Sunday will be me being a mama with the four loves of my life. What could be better? We will talk about our blessings, those who work as instruments in God's hands to bless us, those who we love, and what we will do better this upcoming year. I will tell them everything I love about each one of them. I will smile so big as I watch them open gifts that are from all of these people who carry us everyday. I will remind them that our greatest gift is the Gospel and each other.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Right in Front of Me

Rock says to me often to stop looking beyond what is right in front of me. I told him yesterday that I just can't seem to find peace, that I have this constant heavy chest and I feel the weight of the world crushing me. If I have any talents, my greatest talent is seeking out the storms. I am a pretty amazing storm-chaser. I just love seeking out the storms - the big ones - the ones that kill dreams and shatter hearts. Trophy, please!

Last night, I went to the gym and worked my trash off. Then I thanked Heavenly Father for a strong body. When I got home, Jackson had waited for me to take Brothers to get Subway with our gift cards. Braxton was with Blake and Cole, but the three boys and I went. I looked at them and realized that all I need is right in front of me. My babies. My family. My co-workers. My amazing friends. The Gospel. I have it all already. I don't need approval from anyone or anything. I already have it from my Father in Heaven.

Rock and B-money made this frame for Colton from his Santa breakfast. That smile, though. And, date night. Oh, how I love date nights with my boys. They are funny, kind, generous, a little wild, and my everything.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Chaos

Gosh, I am struggling. I feel so unsettled, so chaotic. I feel unstable. I feel it not only emotionally and mentally and spiritually, but I also feel it physically. It's a constant battle between my heart and my mind. I feel literal pain, literal discomfort. My mind and my heart are never settled. It's like a little war going on inside of me and both sides are putting forth all of their toughest men and women, all of their largest battle weapons, and all of their time and energy to win for their team. What they have forgotten is that they are all on the same team - Team Heidi. At least they ought to be. But they aren't seeing it that way.

And then there is my environment, my surroundings. J is putting forth a full-waged war. He is not giving up, although I believe that happened the day our "relationship" started. On Saturday night, he called me 41 times in one hour. Crippling. The papers have been sent in again. Although, it is still a process. It's been a debilitating process, one that has taken every ounce of water left in my well - physically and emotionally and spiritually. Why is this so necessary? Why must the hurt continue? Why must the instability dominate?

Rock reminds me often that I am in control, that I make the choices. It doesn't feel like that is the case, though. I don't feel strong enough to do that. I don't feel like my feet are planted firmly enough to do that. I feel completely off-balance.


This morning on my way to work after a long night at the other work, I thought about the fact that we haven't watched one Christmas movie together. We haven't driven to see lights. We haven't made any homemade caramel corn. We have not done any service projects. We have just gone through the motions of this life - working, school, cleaning the house. It's all mundane. It's all necessary. It's all hard.

I am in a realm that is so unnerving. Dating is so hard. I sabotage every possible opportunity. I am so positive that I am going to be hurt, so I make that known and get out. Even if I haven't yet been hurt. Even if everything appears fine. I treat them like yo-yo's. Perhaps because that's how I have always been treated. I am not sure. But it's hard.

Last night I laid in bed and cried. Not sure of the exact reason. Maybe I am tired. Maybe I am stressed. Maybe I feel stretched thin. Maybe I am not doing everything in my power to have the Spirit with me at all times. I am sure that one is positively true. I must do better today than I did yesterday.

My sweet boys are amazing. Have I told you that lately? They are incredible species. They are so full of everything wonderful in this world. Oh, how I love them. Oh, how I smile just thinking about them. They are beautiful, funny, creative creatures. I don't want to do wrong by them.

Are we blessed? No question. Are we loved? I know that we are. I desire foundation, stability, and peace. I so desire for this chest pain to go away forever. It is a constant reminder that things are in turmoil and I can't find my comfortable spot inside of my mind and my heart. I am ready for them to make peace one with the other. Maybe today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Still Here

I just realized that I haven't posted for a week. It's certainly not because nothing is going on. Heaven knows there is always something going on!

We have seen so many blessings over the last week: the junior high sent home a huge (Santa-like) garbage bag filled with underwear, socks, jammies and stocking stuffers for the boys. Kohl's bought each of the boys some clothes and warm, wool socks. Our Bert filled our fridge with food and our hearts with love. He also gave each of the boys some cash for Christmas. Gosh, I love him so dearly. An anonymous family left us with a box full of gifts, including nerf guns, sweaters for the boys, cologne, candy, and a 60 minute massage for this mama. My Becky came and took me to lunch Friday. I feel awful, as I cried most of the hour. She is so full of the Spirit. Always. She is one of my safe places, and oh, how I love her. PLUS, she gifted me my first Vera bag. Awwww! I will never use another purse/bag! Saturday, I went to a movie with my Sassy Sara. We laughed and shoved popcorn in our faces. It was perfect.

Yesterday, I got to work long enough to turn my computer on then headed right back out to get Colton from school because he was having a puke fest. An hour later, I went and got Braxton to take him to take his learner's permit test. He failed both tries. Jackson will take him back on Thursday to try again. Then, the three oldest boys started counseling last night.

I met with the counselor first. He wanted a background on each of the boys, individually, then on us as a family. After me giving details for about 15 minutes, he stopped me and just stared at me. He said, "How is it that you are still standing?" I told him that I don't know any different. I don't know stability or a lack of constant anxiety about what is going to fall from the sky next. I don't know anything different than really tough trials. And neither do my boys, which is why we are here. Good luck with us, Andrew!!

We are ready for a new year. We are ready for a new start, again. We are ready for lots of laughter and lots of hugs and lots of fun, mixed in with the trials that we know will come because that's why we are here afterall.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Zoo Lights

Jackson and Sam take care of Lucas in Seminary. Jackson absolutely loves it. Last week, Jackson and Sam took Lucas to the zoo last week to see the zoo lights. I thought that was the coolest thing ever! Lucas completely trusts the two boys and had the best time. That smile of his melts my heart!!

Folding

Between home, Kohl's and OC, I feel like all I do is fold! Our 500 crew shirts arrived with the new logo on them. I sat in the midst of them and folded and folded and folded and folded. Then I went to Kohl's and folded and folded and folded. Anyone know of a folding robot??

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The eLearning Gang

On Friday, I drove down to the Redwood Campus. RRH's last day is this week and I needed to send him off! I was already up in the room where their holiday party was taking place when he came upstairs. He looked at me and his face was priceless! Oh, my Ryan Randall Hobbs. I love this group of people so much. They have grown a ton and I didn't know half the people there, but those that I do know I was just able to love on and visit with. That place will always have a special little compartment in my heart!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday was the day. Saturday morning, Colton and I set out for the spot in the falling snow and freezing temperatures. Colton was anxious. We arrived early so that I could get him settled. He got his face painted first, and did so good. Ernie and Chris showed up just when they were finishing his cute snowflake cheek. Thank goodness. I love how Colton reacts to Ernie. All Ernie has to do is put his hand on Colton's shoulder and Colton's whole body relaxes.

All of a sudden, 20 teenage kids dressed as elves descended down the stair case. Colton was NOT into the elves. He began to screech and plan his getaway. It was not awesome. Ernie just held his hand and told him it was okay. We had to go through the elves to get upstairs to our table. Not awesome. Ernie and Colton walked right up the stairs! So cute! Our table was right by the door. Thank goodness. There were coloring place mats for him to do. The food was great. The other families at our table were so patient with Colton. Ernie stood on his left and Chris on this right. Cute fact - Colton refused to call Chris by Chris. He insisted that she was Christine.

There was an elf assigned to each table. We had THE best elf of all time. His name was Holly Jolly Jake. He was perfect with Colton. Colton just loved seeing Santa. He wasn't so big on Mrs. Claus. Who is?!

Such a great time! Thanks Ernie and Chris for the tickets!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Party

Guys, I am so blessed. I know that I talk about these people a lot, but it's because they have saved me in so many ways. OC is my safe place. I am myself there every day. Period. I am sassy and sensitive and emotional and raw and it's okay there. It's okay because they all take me - the real me - and protect me and carry me and make me laugh and wipe my tears.

Today was the department Christmas party. So, this involved more than just our division of 100 people. I got to sit with some of my favorite people - and my other favorites were surrounding us at nearby tables. It was amazing food and an awesome comedian who made us laugh so hard. It was a great hour and a half.


I love these people.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Learning

You know, throughout this life of mine I have had so many opportunities to learn. But I haven't taken them. I've tried so hard to hurry through the grief process. My way of doing that was to get right back into a situation that I had just gotten out of. That would make the pain from the last trial go away, I thought. I know that it sounds completely dysfunctional. That's because it is. Dysfunctional and sad and exhausting.

I have a team surrounding me that send me notes, quotes, directions, scriptures, thoughts, positive affirmation signs that I sit in front of my face at work, and so on. As I read them, and really read them I realize that it's okay to go all the way through the process. It's long and it's debilitating and it's scary and it's exhausting, but it's there for a reason. It's okay to be broken for now. In reality, I've been broken for 25 years. It's just that now I am allowing myself to be broken and to want to heal the right way.

I read yesterday that if we have to make ourselves smaller to fit into someone's life - we have no business being there. Oh! That is profound. For 25 years, I've been shrinking myself to be accepted into lives I had no business being in to begin with. No more. I need to stand tall. We all do.

The following quote is from Elizabeth Gilbert, sent to me by my Miss Sarah (whom I love and whom I could not do this life without):

Oh, souls — let us try not to worry so much, OK? It's so bad for our minds and our bodies and our spirits, and it's so bad for everyone around us, too. And when we get all bent-up and broken-up and fragmented from worry, we make it SO DIFFICULT for the universe to help show us our destinies.

The universe is wanting to communicate something with you. It wants to take you somewhere very specific (to your ultimate destiny, which is PEACE and wisdom and wholeness) but your worrying is a kind of crazy emotional static that prevents you from hearing the messages.

Have some faith. Have some faith in yourself, and have faith in fate, as well.

What if you remembered this: Everything you have ever endured so far in life, you have survived.

And sometimes, to your own surprise, you even thrived.

Maybe the worst thing you ever endured was a crucible through which you became YOU.

Maybe you could not have become YOU through any other means except by going through that trial.

Maybe a trial will happen again. Maybe a trial is happening right now. And maybe, once again, you will survive it. (All signs point to YES. After all, you have done it before.) Maybe you will come through these troubles re-formed, re-forged. re-born. Maybe you will insist upon that. Maybe that's the strange invitation at the bottom of all this anxiety.

You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your own golden wings. Why do you worry?

What if your story is unfolding just as it was always planned?

Be brave, have faith. You can do this.

Ninjas

Yesterday morning, I was SUPER excited. We were going to active shooter training and I was stoked. I was so prepared to be a ninja and I could not contain my excitement. Fast forward four hours and we arrived at the building. I immediately wanted to go home. I did NOT want to be there. P was there. Rock was there. X-man was there. I had my guys who would never let anything bad happen to me but I wanted OUT. It was intense. It was a four hour ordeal. We went through classroom training. Then we went through four different situations. The first was the "fight" part. If the offender is within 21 feet of you - you need to prepare to engage. I didn't like this part. I mean, I love kicking people and punching and kneeing. But, the thought of engaging someone with a knife or a gun who is intent on killing you was not my idea of fun. Then, we went to the negotiate part - the talk the person down part. Screw that! I'm not going to talk to someone nicely who wants to kill me!! Then, we went to the active shooter (and they used guns - with blanks - but guns!) part. It was an office building set up. They had us walking through and then they shot that damn gun. I was out! I mean like - run Forest run - OUT. I ran and didn't stop. Others barricaded themselves in. Some hid. I just ran like a bat-crap-crazy woman! Finally, we assessed the day and went home. I was traumatized. I am not a ninja. I am a runner.
You know who is a ninja, though? This beauty right here:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Our First Year Without Her

This is our first year without Brooklyn on her birthday. It stings. A lot. I have done a big party for her every year since she was three years old! Butterfly party, swimming party, pizza party, Frozen party, and a game night party. Today she is eight. She will be baptized on Saturday. The boys and I won't be there for any of it. It really hurts.

Brooklyn, we will love you for always. We will love you forever. Our baby girl you will always be.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nauvoo & Some Nana Lovin'

Last night, we drove down to Sandy to have dinner with Pops and Nana. I tried to think of something that would boost her spirits. Who doesn't want a foot rub?! Nana got a foot massage and a fresh coat of bright pink polish. She just relaxed. It made me happy to be taking care of her for a few moments. She is doing so well! Her bone pain and neuropathy are under control with meds. She hasn't vomited yet. She still has most of her hair, although it will be coming out soon. She smiles and sleeps. That's all we expect of her!
Saturday night, the children and I went to Old Nauvoo. It was our ward Christmas party and it was done SO well! We took a couple of neighbor kids with us, because we really seem to not go any place without extra kiddos. The boys were SO embarrassed by my outfit, but I was on point! Once we got there, they realized they were the ones who were out of place! I rocked that dress like nobody's business!

Friday, December 2, 2016

You Know What's Funny?

I am sassy. I walked right into my Streets guys' office with my hands on my hips and told them that someone was parked in "my" parking spot. Greg, our Streets supervisor, looked at me and said, "You know what's funny?" Uhhh, that my hands are on my hips and I'm even saying anything about this??!! Then, I go out and see this:
They make me laugh.

You know what else is kind of funny? Colton has never been able to do jeans or button/zipper pants. It's a sensory issue. Well, this morning he decided that he could only wear shorts. It's like 10 degrees. I tried everything to get him to wear his joggers, but he insisted that they were all dirty. So, he wore MY joggers to school today and he was perfectly happy about it. He even said, "Mama, what if I fart in your joggers?" I reminded him that he needs to try to make it to the bathroom. He was just wanting to make sure that if he didn't, it was okay if he farted in my joggers.

And, that is why Autism is a blessing. In the midst of heartache and trials, his world is always bliss.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rock Bottom

I received a call yesterday afternoon - a call that is every parent's worst nightmare. A girl had gone to the office at the junior high to let the assistant principal know that Braxton had sent her a text message that stated he planned to commit suicide last night. I immediately left work, calling Brandon to meet me at the house. It took Jackson and Brandon until about 5:30 to find Braxton. He was physically unharmed. Thank goodness. However, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally he is broken. As are Jackson and Kaydon. What they have been through has destroyed them and their ability to cope with the things that this life brings.

When I asked them why they haven't told me this, their simple answer was that they have been trying to protect me. The three oldest have all had plans to end their lives. My babies. My babies who are innocent, who did nothing but trust and love. My babies who are WORTH IT. My babies who are children of God. I cried with them last night. I told them they are worth it. I reminded them that they are children of Heavenly Father. They have each lost faith. They wonder why. So did I. They are literally broken.


I am waiting for a call from an intake coordinator from Davis Behavioral. My three oldest will be in counseling just as soon as I can schedule an appointment. I will join them. We will heal from this. From all of it. I have severed ties with Josh completely, including his sweet, beautiful children. I pray for them as well - that they will receive the help and support they will need as they grow older. But, my priority is on my babies. It is on my sweet boys, who are worth it.