My Family

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




Thursday, January 28, 2016

Texting

I just got this text from Kaydon. Seriously. He's 13. He just sent this to me. I am so blessed.

Hey mom your my happy thought today love you

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

These Nuggets

My kids are my whole world. Jackson, at 16, is driving and telling us amazing-sauce stories about his day everyday. I do not know how kids are able to handle their day-to-day these days. The things that happen in schools today are horrible, terrible, and terrifying. Braxton, at 14, is just a crack-up everyday. The poor thing is so clumsy and asks the funniest questions ever. Oh, I love him. Kaydon, at 13, is so tender and so close to the Spirit. He reminds me at dinner to turn on the scriptures so we can listen while we eat. He texted me today to tell me that a sweet girl, and her friends, asked him if he wanted to eat lunch with them because he was sitting by himself. Colton, at 12, tries so hard to navigate this life. It can be exhausting and frustrating, but I can't imagine our family without him. Brooklyn, at 7, loves to sing in the shower and tell me stories from when she "was a little girl." I have to remind her that she is still my "little girl."

I am so blessed to be their mommy. I love them more than they will ever know.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Ice Castle Magic

Saturday night, we ventured up to Midway to explore the Ice Castles. They were stunning. They were absolutely beautiful. Brooklyn loved them because it was just like "Frozen." The older boys loved them because there were cute girls there. Whatever. Colton loved the lights and the sounds.

On the way up, it began to snow and Kaydon leaned forward and quietly asked, "Should we say a prayer?" YES we should! And he did. On the way home, thankfully the kids all fell asleep. It was an absolute white-out all the way home and it was terrifying. I was in the back with the five kids, while Grandma Leanne was in the front with Josh. I prayed and prayed and prayed. You couldn't see anything at all. We finally made it home with one car-sick Mama and some tired kiddos. I was especially grateful that night that we were protected in every way.
Oh, and while we are speaking of ice and snow, Colton built a pretty rad "iceman." Love that kid!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Shine

Marianne Williamson said, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you to not be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates other."

For some reason, there is shame in being fabulous. There is shame in believing that simply because we are children of God, we are divine. There is shame in being grateful and confident with our bodies, our minds, and our hearts. Why is that? We can't possibly fulfill our roles on this earth - the ones God has entrusted us with - if we believe that we are anything less than divine. (Dear Me, Take note. I'm talking to you! Sincerely, Me) Because we are His children, and because we are divine, we CAN fulfill the purposes we are here to fulfill. We are fabulous, like really fabulous. We are beautiful, each of us in our own unique way. Our bodies are ours to help us fulfill our purposes. So, let's go do it. Let's shine.


I am done posting about my lessons learned from the incredible Holly Bowerman. She has inspired me. She spoke the words I have felt. She reminded me that we all live lives of hurt, frustration, fear, embarrassment, failure, and falls. But, we all have the opportunity (and responsibility) to get up and shine on. I have decided to write a book. I hope you will support me on this journey. Loves. XOXO

Friday, January 22, 2016

Feel It

"You have to process your emotions and you have to feel them if you ever truly want to let them go," Holly Bowerman.

So often we try to make our feelings go away. It sucks to hurt. It sucks to be angry. It sucks to be embarrassed. Why would any of us want to feel those emotions for any longer than absolutely necessary, like 5.3 seconds?!?!I don't have a great answer for you, other than to say that it is important to feel them. It's important to honor those feelings. If you are angry, be angry. Then let it go. If you are scared, be scared. Then let it go. My mom used to tell us that if we needed to go in the backyard and break old dishes so that we could get our anger out - to do it. I was never too good at this. In my very recent past, if I had emotions that were hard to deal with, I would stop eating. Like, completely stop eating. It was something I had control over. When I was admitted to the hospital six years ago, I weighed 103 pounds. THAT is not okay.

Now, when I am sad I cry my eyes out. I cry and cry. Then, I might text Miss Birdie and tell her that I need a reminder. That is a "life vest" that I was told I had when I was inpatient. If I can't quite pull it together after I have felt then I throw out up my white flag and ask for a life vest. If I am angry, I let myself be angry. I write a letter to whomever or whatever I am angry at or with. I usually DON'T send that letter because it's NOT nice. But I write it down. I write it all down. I sign it, then I either put it away or I throw it away. That is how I deal with my anger. Usually if I'm embarrassed, I laugh about it. Because someday it WILL be funny even if it's not today.

It's so important to understand our emotions, to figure out where they are coming from and to honor them. Then, it's important to move forward. If we don't honor our emotions, then they will come back in a very ugly manner. Let yourself feel them, then say goodbye to them and move on.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why Do I Keep Doing Stupid Stuff?

Holly Bowerman talks about a voice in her head (which I've always heard in my own head) that says, "Have you not noticed that those don't work for you? Why do you think going back to that will give you a different result?" Isn't that a great question?!?! My head asks me that all the time, then I just tend to go right ahead and do it anyways. I totally know what the result is going to be. At least I've got that going for me!

So what do I need to do to knock this stuff off? Oh, maybe listen to the voice in my head that tells me I'm going back down the trail that led me to no good? That sounds like a great idea! One of the MANY great things I learned while being inpatient was that I have triggers. We all do. I didn't even know what a trigger was until I was inpatient. We have triggers, which means that if we know what they are we can do our best to avoid them. For instance, if coffee triggers an anxiety attack for me then I would want to avoid coffee. Or, if being in the sun for 30 minutes triggers a sun burn, I would want to avoid being in the sun for 30 minutes. It's actually pretty simple if you think about it. However, when life is a trigger it makes it a little harder to avoid life. But I can sure try.

I love the saying below. The past really is the past. We need to learn from it, then we need to let it go. When I was in counseling 12 years ago, or so, my therapist had me do an exercise. She had me right now everything I had been told by my ex-husband and everyone else who had kept me pretty much in the gutter with their words. I wrote it all down on three pieces of paper. Well, three notebooks of paper. I wrote it all and it was so painful. Then she had me put one in the garbage disposal at the counseling center. The second one I flushed down the toilet. The third one we lit on fire in the parking lot. Obviously the symbolism of these exercises was that they were gone. They were no longer there. My mind didn't need to go there anymore because there was no where to go. It was powerful, but unfortunately my mind didn't make the connection that they were gone. Perhaps my mind didn't make that connection because I didn't exercise it enough. I didn't do exercises that kept those things at bay. I LET them keep coming back and continued to seek after people or activities who fed me with the same garbage. I made choices that just intensified the feelings of no worth, of self harm, of hatred toward myself.

At some point, I have to stop doing stupid stuff. I'm getting there. I'm not quite there, but I'm trying. I'm aware and I'm trying.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heaven In Hell

Holly Bowerman, in "Say What You Need To Say," said, "Life isn't so much finding heaven or hell, rather life is about finding heaven while in the middle of hell."

Guess what People? I've been in Hell. It isn't pretty. Funny story: when I was a Beehive in Young Women's we had a combined activity. That means all of the youth aged 12-18 participated. All of us received plane tickets (fake, obviously) and met at the church on a Wednesday night with our tickets. We all boarded a "plane," which was the area between the Chapel and the cultural hall (gym). It was partitioned off and it was set up like an airplane. We were all sitting there, pretending to take-off, listening to the fake pilot. Then the lights went on and off and there were horrible loud noises that I still remember almost 30 years later. We had "crashed."

We were all split up and escorted to different rooms. First, I went to the Telestial Kingdom room. It was one of the scariest places I have ever been in my life. Even though we were still in the church, it felt nothing like it. I, among everyone else in there, was crying and trying to get out. It was a horrible feeling. After they shook us up to the point of being hysterical, they informed us they had made a mistake and escorted us to a different room. The lights were out, but the dim light from outside was coming through the windows. There were tennis rackets on the walls. The people in there were dressed casually. There was some music playing, but not too loud. It was a far cry from the first room, which to me was absolute Hell. We were told that we couldn't go see our families, but that if they wanted, they could come see us. This was the Terrestial Kingdom Room. I seriously wanted to go home. Then, someone came in and told us that they made another mistake and told us to follow them. They escorted us to the Chapel, which was fully lit. There were gorgeous white flowers. Hymns were being played on the organ. And, every single one of our parents or grandparents who were temple recommend holders were there, in their temple clothes. It was the most amazing feeling. Everyone was crying. We had made it to the Celestial Kingdom. I never wanted to be anywhere else.

Life is so similar! I have found myself in Hell on far more occasions than I wish to admit. Sometimes, we have to find glimpses of Heaven while we feel like we are in a living hell. We have to find the strength to look for tender mercies. We have to find the strength to find light in the midst of utter darkness.

"We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing." It's true. Once the pain of staying in something or with someone or at some place becomes too great, we finally decide to change. What if that change took place before the pain had such a lasting impact? That's something I'm still working on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Choices

In "Say What You Need To Say," Holly Bowerman speaks of the addictions and choices that her mom made and how those affected her. She says, "It felt like she was choosing gambling and Jon over me."

Although my experiences haven't been that of my mom choosing gambling over me, my experiences have been such that I have often felt that someone I loved and was committed to chose other people or things over me and I have blamed myself for that over and over again. I should have been prettier, skinnier, more sexy, more fun, less stressed, smarter, a better lover, etc. etc. etc. I should have been someone I'm not so that they would want me, and only me.

Holly says, "It feels so personal. I found myself asking,'If she loved me, she wouldn't do this.' The pain from the rejection is hard to describe to other people... I would later understand that I wasn't too far off base when I thought it was personal. However what made it personal was the attack on themselves, not me."

I have finally hit a place in my own life where I get this. Holly said, "At the core of addiction is a lack of self-love and acceptance." I will add to that this: At the core of addiction or consistent poor choices is a lack of self-love and acceptance. It's not about me and what I am lacking. It's about making a personal choice to do what you ought not be doing.

Now, having said that this girl aint perfect!! I have a lot of things that I need to work on to be a better spouse and mom. A lot. Like, a lot. But, others' poor choices aren't on me. It's on them.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Angels

I have said many times that I have no doubt that we are God's children and that so often we are absolutely surrounded by those on the other side of the veil. In "Say What You Need to Say," Holly says the following:
"I have often marveled at how we know that God's children are as countless as the sands of the sea, yet there have been times I was certain, because of how He answered my prayers, that I was His only child. I remember very clearly having the feeling of being stronger than I should have been... I was being held up by a power stronger than my own and beyond what I could see with my mortal eyes. I sensed being aware, for the first time in my life, that angels were close by and were there to strengthen me."

Oh, how I believe this and how I second everything Holly said. There have been too many times for me to count where I look back on my life and see that clearly, and so obviously, I was strengthened and carried by those who were sent to lift me. Some of these people have been angels on earth. Others have been angels on the other side of the veil. But, regardless I have been the recipient of those blessings over and over and over again. We are NEVER alone. Ever.


I love the instruction that we often get to "Pray to see the tender mercies in our lives." They are there. We just need eyes to see them and hearts to feel them. We just need to ask.

Yesterday, my Jackson had a rotten - no good - very bad day. He called me at lunchtime crying. He said he needed his mom and he wanted to go home. I picked him up and took him home. I told him that he could spend the rest of the day/night crying and being sad and upset and scared and angry. I said a prayer that God would hold him in the hollow of His hands. Then I told him that this morning, he would get up and hold his head high. He would walk tall and do what was expected of him today. I told him I loved him and that I would always, always be here for him, but that sometimes we need to take the first step to keep going. I reminded him that Heavenly Father would be with him if he asked.

I have no question that if Jackson asked in faith, he will be surrounded by angels today.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Honesty

Last Saturday, I had the honor of sitting with my sweet friend, Kristin, at a wrestling tournament. I needed her terribly badly that day. As we talked, she introduced me to a website and a book, "Say What You Need to Say," by Holly Bowerman. I STRONGLY recommend this book. If you'd like to borrow my copy, let me know! I'll send it right over! It's worth the read, and worth the lessons that can be learned from it.
Today, I want to blog about what she said about honesty.

"There is no truth I can't handle, but dishonesty destroys and hurts like nothing else I have ever experienced."

There have been so many times in my life when I felt like I was living a lie. Some of those have been because of my own choices and others were because of others' choices. My first committed relationship - after 10 months, I learned that this person was not at all the person he had told everyone he was. Awesome. So, in my mind, my life was a complete lie for 10 months. I didn't know how to recover from that. My first marriage, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I had marks on my body long before I said, "I do." I just didn't think I deserved any better. (I hate the word deserved) I defined myself as someone else's used garbage. I had to take what I could get. The marriage was exactly what I knew it would be, except that my children were being hurt too. My second marriage, I fully believed I was making the right decision. I went through months of therapy and I was "good." Hardly. I had done everything to hurt myself. I had given my body to anyone who wanted it. I drank away my fears, anger, sadness, depression, feelings of failure. I was living my own lie. So, when I got married and later realized that he had been sleeping with my "best friend" for the entire relationship, I once again realized that the entire time frame was a lie. He wasn't at all what he was supposed to be. I was living a life that I thought was one thing, yet it was none of that. So, why not get married a third time?!?! There have been huge hurdles in my current marriage, some that have seemed insurmountable and like there was no way to survive. We are still working at it, but honesty has to be paramount. I finally believe that I CAN handle the truth. I WANT the truth. Tell me exactly what is happening so that I am not living a lie. Nothing destroys or hurts like lies. I can handle it. Give me the option of making decisions based on facts. Let me make educated decisions for myself and my children.

I am stronger than you think I am.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Krista Nicole

Last night, Josh and I were at InstaCare until about 10:30. He has been having some health issues that needed to be checked. We went to a different InstaCare than we would normally go to. We were told to go to this location just in case they needed to do a CT or ultrasound - which they did. We arrived at about 8 pm. Just behind us was a young girl, her young husband, and a very sweet service dog. I knew exactly why she was there, even before she told the receptionist her reason for needing to see a doctor. My heart broke for her.

As Josh and I sat and waited, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I watched as she cried uncontrollably. Her sweet husband rubbed her back as she cupped her tear-soaked face in her hands. Her service dog kissed her every chance he got. Finally, I couldn't sit still any longer. I took my coat off, walked up to where they were sitting, cleared off the chair next to her and sat down. She didn't see me. Her face was covered by her hands. I whispered, "Hi." She responded with a tearful "hi." I said, "My name is Heidi, what is your name?" She responded, "Krista." I said, "Hi Krista." Then I said, "I don't know what brought you here tonight, but I know what it's like to be where you are. I was hospitalized a few years ago. I know you're scared and embarrassed and sad and frustrated. I also know that everything will be okay in the end. And, I am so proud of you for coming here on your own. I had to be threatened with police to show up." She sobbed out loud. I asked her if she wanted a hug. She nodded her head, then fell into my arms and cried uncontrollably. I just held her.

I asked her if she had ever been hospitalized. She said she had, about a year ago. I asked her if she thought she needed to go back. She didn't know. All she could do was cry and shake and cry some more. I asked her if she had taken her medicine. She said she had missed a few days. I asked her what medication she was on and she wasn't even able to remember. Her sweet husband pulled it up on her phone. Turns out she has cystic fibrosis on top of her psychological issues. Fun. I asked her to try to remember when she took her medication last. She thought it might have been a week ago - she just kept forgetting to take it.

As it was obvious that she was in a constant panic attack, I asked her if she had been taught what to do while she was in the hospital. She said they hadn't and she didn't know what to do to pull out of it. So, together, in the lobby of InstaCare we did our four on - four off breathing. Then we did our body relaxation together. Then we did our visualization. Then we did our breathing again. She was not calm. I asked her if she wanted to lay down. She did, so I laid her down. It was at that time that Josh and I got called back. I promised I would be back to check on her. We got busy with Josh's exam and I wasn't able to get away.

A nurse walked in after we'd been in our room for a while and said there was a girl at the front desk who wanted to see me. I went out and saw my Krista Nicole. She had been given medication and was feeling a little better - stable at least. She told me she had been praying for me and that I was her angel. I told her to go home and make herself a note to remind her to take her medication this morning. I told her how proud I was of her for getting help. I told her that she was stronger than she thinks she is. I told her she was loved. I reminded her that everything would be okay in the end.

I saw myself in Krista Nicole. I remember so vividly how sick and wounded I was. Krista had me. I had Miss Birdie. I still have Miss Birdie. I was so grateful last night for my time in the hospital, for my compassion for her. I was so grateful that I was well enough last night to lift her and carry her through her trauma. I was so grateful that she let me. I was so grateful for the undeniable truth that we are children of God.

Her sweet husband whispered thank you to me, then "God bless you," as he walked her and their sweet dog out. I winked at him and told him he was doing just fine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Specialist Appointment

Peanut is so over going to doctors! So is his mama. Yesterday, he and I went to the Urologist. Good times. Poor kid. Good news, though. The infection is gone and surgery is not needed right now. That just might be the best news we have had on anything in a VERY LONG TIME.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Got Teeth?

The boys had dentist appointments on Saturday morning. After eye appointments for Jackson and Colton on Friday, I was not looking forward to this! Colton struggles with appointments. But, the dental hygienist is AMAZING sauce at our dentist office! Her name is Danielle and she is SO good with all of my kids. She hugs him and talks him through everything. She lets him hold the tools. She is so kind and so accommodating. I feel SO lucky and so blessed when I go there. I even let them do my teeth! I hate the dentist, and everything about the dentist. Pretty sure this is the first time in my life when I've gone twice in six months!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mommy Martha Time

We usually go to Mommy Martha's for haircuts. We did that last night. Well, Jackson and I did. I took Jackson for a haircut. While I held and kissed Baby Brooklyn, he talked to Mommy Martha about life and girls and dumb girls. She asked him about school and everything else. They talked and I loved on the baby. When they were done, he went in the other room and laid on her couch and looked at his phone. I asked him if he was ready to go and he said, "Not yet." So, I put the baby on the air hockey table and loved on her some more. Then he was ready to go. He just needed Mommy Martha time, I realized. And, I did too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hump Daaaaayyyyyy

This morning, Braxton and Kaydon came with me to drop Jackson off at school. Then, we had some time before their eye appointments so we went to Einstein Bagels so they could try the amazing strawberry banana smoothies. They are SO good, but you must request whipped cream. Why wouldn't you?? Anywho, then it was off to the eye doctor - which we couldn't find. We literally drove in circles for almost 30 minutes. I'm not very bright.

Once there, we signed in then my 13 and 14 year old boys proceeded to go into the little door and play with the Legos. I was not at all surprised. The others in the waiting room may or may not have been... I love my boys. Anywho, Braxton has great eye sight. Kaydon, not so much. Glasses are on their way. Hopefully he won't break this pair.

I informed the doctors and nurses we would be back on Friday. They may or may not have seemed excited about that. One down, one to go... then to the specialist for Braxton on Monday. Good times!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sweet Braxton

Sometimes I have to remind myself that Heavenly Father never gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes it's harder to remember that than others.

Saturday morning, Braxton woke me up and told me that he had a lump and pain in this groin area. He said he needed to see a doctor. Josh was at wrestling practice, so I got ready and we headed to InstaCare. Once there, and having waited for a half hour or so, they came out and told us that we needed to go to the emergency room. I called Josh, who was just pulling in to InstaCare, and told him we needed to head to the hospital. Off we went to Davis Hospital. The ER was relatively slow, or at least it seemed that way. The doctors and nurses came in and looked at Braxton (with Mom out of the room) and then did some ultra sounds. It was found that he has an infection, and some other problems that must be looked at by a Urologist.

Braxton had some issues when he was an infant. He has had two operations for these issues. We thought everything was taken care of, and under control. Poor kid isn't quite done with trials. We will be getting into a Urologist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this doesn't have anything to do with his other health problems. Those also need to be resolved as soon as possible.

Prayers for my Peanut.