My Family

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




Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dream Catcher

Colton made a faux stained glass dream catcher at school yesterday. He brought it home and gave it to me. It is beautiful. Actually, it's perfect. I hung it in my office. Colton loves Art. He loves to draw and create and be creative. It makes him happy and gives him confidence.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Date Night

I am pretty anti-all-you-can-eat buffets. Like, they kind of make me want to vomit. But, Braxton told me that the Chuck-A-Rama in Ogden is the best and that the Young Men went there after being at the Temple and that we had to go. So, date night was at Chuck-A-Rama. The boys were stoked. I was bracing myself.

They loaded up on salad, rolls, ham, roast, potatoes, mac and cheese, and stuffing. Then, they made themselves amazing rootbeer floats. We sat and talked about girls (like every other minute we are sitting and talking), school, bullies, seminary, and their goals. I love to sit and talk with my boys. They make me so happy. They really are a bowl full of joy... most of the time!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What Helps?

When going through something(s) like this hulla baloo I am experiencing, what helps?

1. Family love
- I cannot even begin to tell you how Logan and Skipper and Brandon and Carrie have been there for us. Just this morning, Brandon talked me off the ledge, or off the sledge hammer.
2. True friends
- I've never had many friends (like real friends). I can count them on my hands, and not even using all ten fingers. But the friends that I have are Heaven-sent, and I mean that literally. They have been hand-picked for me. The texts, the cards, the emails, the notes in the mail, the times they've listened to me cry, the food, the treats, the gift cards. The list goes on and on. But, I am blessed to have friends who love me despite the fact that I am not perfect.
3. My Babies
- The boys that I have been gifted with are extraordinary. I love them more than I can describe. They make it necessary for me to choose to get up every morning and stay up late at night to work hard. They make me laugh and they make me cry! They are my joy. Real joy comes from motherhood and I am so blessed.
4. Scriptures/Conference Talks/Messages from General Authorities
- How blessed are we that we can go onto our phones and pull up talks or scriptures or short videos from our Apostles and General Authorities. I love to do that during the day at work when I need a boost, and at night before I fall asleep. I love to feel the comfort and the direction that comes from their wisdom and experience.
5. Prayer - Personal and Family
- Family prayer has undoubtedly blessed our home and our family. Kneeling in personal prayer has strengthened me beyond words. The ability that we have to talk to our Heavenly Father is such a blessing.
6. The Temple
- Enough said. It is where I crave to go. It brings me comfort and peace that I cannot feel any place else. It is so needed.
7. Gratitude
- I write in my thankful book everyday. It reminds me of all that I have been blessed with - of tender mercies that occur every day. It really is true that when you begin to count your blessings, they are too numerous to count.
8. Sunshine
- Sitting outside in the sun, playing in the backyard with my boys while listening to the sound of the creek, going to Lagoon with my boys and being in the sun. Even laying in a tanning bed when the sun hasn't shown for a week. I need the sun and it helps me so much.
9. Ability to write
- I have been blessed with the ability to write and write and write my feelings down. Sometimes we just have to get them out of us and onto paper. Writing my feelings down is helping me process them, get them out, then put them away. It helps me so much.
10. Treats
- It's okay to treat myself. If I want a dipped ice cream cone, I am going to get it. And that's ok. If I feel like painting my nails, I am going to do it and that is ok. If I feel like taking a hot bath, I am going to do it and that's ok.

More than anything, my faith keeps me going and those who surround us with love and patience and kindness and warmth have kept me away from the ledge, literally. We got this!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BTW. FYI.

I have a strong testimony of my Heavenly Father. I have a strong testimony of His son, Jesus Christ. I have a strong testimony of prayer, of the Priesthood, of the Atonement, of Prophets. But I don't have a strong testimony of my ability to HEAR and to SEE and to DO. I have been struggling SO much the last few weeks. I cannot for the life of me figure out what I am supposed to be doing about my marriage. Josh is wanting to get back together, as if nothing happened. BTW, something(s) did happen. FYI. He is wanting to go to couple's counseling together. Although I haven't had a great feeling about it and I don't really ever have good feelings when I am around him, I can't figure out if I'm supposed to be doing those things. I have prayed my ever-living-guts out about this. I have sat in the Celestial Room, praying my ever-living-guts out about this. I have prayed day and night - rarely sleeping. I have told Heavenly Father that I will do whatever He wants me to do if He will just tell me what that is! Please!

I feel like it is so easy for others on the outside to tell me exactly what I should be doing. It's easy for them. Yes, I see that everyone who actually loves me only wants what is best for my children and I. I am so blessed to be loved. However, when they just go right on and tell me exactly what I am supposed to do, I wonder how it is that they feel so confident in what they are saying and I don't! It's MY trashed life, after all!

Monday, B.Beck texted me. I told her what I just wrote. She asked, "When you asked Josh to leave, did you feel guided to do so?" I responded with, "Absolutely." She replied with, "Heavenly Father was guiding you. He's pretty consistent." Oh. I suppose that's true. Actually, I know that's true. I thought about it all day yesterday, all night last night, and most of the day today. I talked to my sons about it last night in Family Home Evening. Heavenly Father has never said, "Whoopsie, I was actually not quite right about that." OR "Ooops a daisy. I messed up on that." He doesn't mess up. He doesn't waiver. He doesn't change His mind. He told me months ago that Josh did not belong in our home. I held firm and asked him to leave, before knowing he was having a baby in June with someone else. Just because he isn't happy with the outcome of his choices doesn't mean I have to pay the debt for him.

...

A beautiful woman that I work with at my part time job came to me a couple of weeks ago while we were working together. She asked me how I was really doing, as if I am faking it til I make it... BTW I am. I told her that I had never been better. She laughed. She told me that she had just completed a class that changed her life. She told me that she had experienced a horrible event with her husband cheating on her with her best friend ELEVEN years prior. Her daughters noticed that she was just "coasting" through life, but that the light in her was gone and that she wasn't really living. They asked her to please get help. She chose to go to this class. Then, she asked me a question that stuck like a brain-sized wad of gum in my head for a week: "What is YOUR responsibility in this, Heidi?" WTH! WTF! GTG! I was speechless. She walked away. I thought, "Ummmm, is she being serious right now? I have zero responsibility in the fact that my dishonest, cheating husband got someone else pregnant AND left his family!" FYI. A week later, she and I worked together again. She said, "Heidi, my responsibility in my situation was that my husband was always flirty with my friends and I never said anything to him. I never told him my feelings about it. That doesn't mean he wouldn't have cheated even if I had told him, but I didn't voice my concerns. I have learned that about myself and forgiven myself. But, knowing what my part in it was has helped me to heal." I thought, "Well good for you!"

That thought that was a brain-sized wad of gum was still in my head. I thought about that constantly and then it hit me! I have ALWAYS stayed in when I should have walked away. When I should have left, and had every single right to walk away, I stayed in. I have always believed that I could love people enough to change them. I have always thought that I could make people want to do the right things. I married someone who left marks on my long before we were married. He would stop. I would show him that he was safe and that he didn't need to hurt me, or our unborn children. I stayed in. I married someone who had cheated on his first wife. HELLO Heidi. I stayed in. I could certainly change him. I would love him better. I stayed in. I married someone who I knew was talking to other girls the entire time we were dating. I would show him that marriage and family were optimal and that this was better than random strange girls who didn't really care and who weren't supportive like I was. I stayed in.

I never needed to stay in! I was worth it. I still am. I had decided that I was someone else's used garbage before all of this, therefore I wasn't worthy of someone who actually honored his Priesthood, someone who actually didn't cheat or lie or hurt. I was worthy of someone who knew how to love and showed it everyday. I didn't need to stay and I don't need to now.

...

I have parents (four of them), brothers (five of them), sisters (three of them), grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins who have stayed in with me and I could not be more grateful. They must be exhausted. I have four boys who are - princes, warriors, earthly angels. They continue to stay in with their mama. There are times when we need to stay in, but I have no doubt that Heavenly Father does NOT expect us to stay in when we are being hurt, when we are being betrayed, when we are being lied to, when we are being treated like less than the children of God we are.

Heavenly Father only needs to answer us once, because He doesn't make mistakes and He doesn't change His mind.

BTW. FYI.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Home

The boys and I are home. We moved over the weekend. We are home. My boys and I. Home.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Braxton's One-on-One

Braxton had his one-on-one with Grandma and Papa on Saturday morning. They ate an enormous breakfast and then went and got some running shoes.

Sometimes I have to stop and look at my Peanut and realize how lucky I am to have him around. Two months ago, I was told that he might not make it. He was oh, so sick. He was drowning in his own blood. I was terrified. I cannot imagine my life without this boy of mine. He is such a gentleman. He is a comedian. He is so genuine, and so sensitive. He is attitude with a flare. He is such a hardworker and such a great handyman!

Oh, how I love him. And his Grandma and Papa.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Surprises

Stress has caused my hair to literally burn off and fall out and completely break off. It was not pretty. I was so self-conscious about it. So, back down the street to the hair girl I was sent. My boss was literally terrified that I was going to come back looking like Sinead. I was too. I asked the hair girl if she was going to have to buzz it. She said she didn't know yet. Then she started cutting. I actually love it. Like, a lot.
I got home from my jobs at 11 last night and found this note and a superhero cake from my 16 1/2 year old. I cried a little. Or a lot. I unloaded the dishwasher as quietly as I could, all the while thinking how blessed I am to be a mom to these four gems. I absolutely love them. I am so lucky!!
And, my weeds. They need to grow! I love sitting outside with them for lunch every day. I love the sun and the slight breeze. I love that people walk by and see me sitting there and just smile. I love my weeds!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dear Boys:

Dear Boys-

Mommy loves you. I am so proud of you. We are doing it, aren't we? Just like I promised you - we are doing it. Every day we get up, we get out of bed, we eat, we pray, we do our awesome-sauce cheer, we go to where we need to be, and we do it to the best of our ability. There is food on the table and clothes on our bodies. We are smiling and laughing, and sometimes crying. But we aren't crying because we are weak. We are crying because we are human.

Jackson, thank goodness you drive now! Yikes. You are working hard as a new shift leader at work. You are working hard at school, even though you keep telling me to pray that you'll just make it through the school year. You are learning and growing. You ripped your brand new contact on Friday and wanted to say a bad word but you didn't - at least not out loud. Good work, Bubba! You want to take care of everything, but you don't have to. Mom's got it. You are handsome and funny and emotional and courageous. You're a survivor and a dang good one!

Braxton, thank goodness for modern medicine! Yikes. You are recovering from one of the scariest experiences of my life. You are trying out for the track team today. Not sure if that is a good idea, but you want to try and I'm going to support you in that. You make sure Mom is taken care of all the time. You make sure I am walked into buildings, the door is held open for me, and that I am comfortable. Girls are ringing the doorbell at all times in the middle of the night. I want to scream, but I don't because someday I'm going to miss this oh, so much. You are handsome, hardworking, loyal, and such a gentleman.

Kaydon, thank goodness for Dr. Mizell who saved your life all those years ago! Yikes! I can't imagine my life without your sweet heart. You are doing so well in school. You are practicing for the awesome dance you agreed to be a part of, even though you are regretting that decision now. You'll do great! I can't wait to see it! You are so sensitive to Mom's feelings and emotions. You ask lots of questions, which I hope never changes. You are so goal-oriented and you have big plans for the future! You are handsome, creative, imaginative, and hilarious.

Colton, thank goodness for your sweet spirit in our family! Yikes! You teach us patience and love like no one else could. You work so hard to navigate this world that is oh, so hard for you. You try so hard and you are almost always happy. You love everyone you meet, even if they aren't worthy of your love! I love that about you. You are handsome, genuine, loving, affectionate, and you love your Mama.



I used to tell Heavenly Father that my most righteous desire was to be married and have a family. I have that family! Not all families look the same, but ours is amazing. Our life is not what we pictured it would be, but it's a beautiful life. We work so hard as a team of five and we make things happen. We are moving mountains, Boys. They might not be literal mountains, but they are definitely mountains in our lives! We need to keep working hard and smiling and laughing and living. We need to work together to do these things because we can't do them alone.

Mommy loves you for eternity and every day I will do my best to live worthy of being with you for eternity!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Our Trial and Triumph - Week Full of Blessings

1. Trip to Lagoon!
2. Trip to the Temple (that really should go first)
3. Starbucks card from B. Beck
4. Coloring pages and package from Miss Sarah
5. Auntie Carrie going with Colton to lunch for Loved Ones Day
6. Jackson getting contacts (hilarious!!!)
7. Braxton practicing with the track team
8. Kaydon practicing for his dance performance
9. Being able to get the boys belts & ties
10. Logan and Skipper. Logan and Skipper. Logan and Skipper.
11. Learning
12. Bearing my testimony
13. Flowers growing
14. Medication
15. IEP being over with
16. Colton's Medicaid approval
17. Ability to pay bills
18. Hard-working boys
19. Our health
20. Life

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Really Love to See the Temple

I went to the Temple, again, last night. I love it there so much. So much.

Braxton was doing baptisms with the Teachers and Priests while I was in a session. I never saw him, but it was neat to think he was there too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sunday at the Park

Sunday after dinner, after church, after scripture studying - I loaded up the boys, minus Jackson who was at work, and headed to the park. Even Gus came. That might not have been the best idea. Braxton only had to run after Gus three times at full speed. Gus really, really likes chasing after bicycles and skateboards. The boys played some catch while I walked Gus around. It was such a pretty day!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lagoon Trip #1

For Christmas, the grandparents got us Lagoon season passes. We went for the first time on Saturday. The weather was perfect. The lines weren't bad at all. We had so much fun! I even went on the ferris wheel! I am so big!!! Colton loved the Odyssey ride. He went on it over and over and over again. We went on the bumper cars, the race cars, the boys went on the bigger rides that make me sick just watching them. Colton also went on a couple of the kid rides. He is too tall for most of the kid rides, which is a bummer because those are the rides that are really more appropriate for him.

I absolutely loved, loved, loved spending the day with my boys. Oh, how I love them!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Our Trial and Triumph - A Week of Blessings

1. Sam's Club adventures with the boys
2. B. Beck's texts
3. Haircuts at Mommy Martha's
4. Pizza date with my boys
5. Sarah's love
6. Eating lunch in the weeds
7. Sunshine!!!
8. Brandon's help
9. Parent advocates & Networking
10. Kathy covering for me at Kohl's
11. Reading and listening to the Conference talks
12. One-on-one time with my boys
13. Family prayer/cheer
14. Logan and Skipper
15. Mama's calls
16. Prayer
17. Music
18. A good night sleep
19. Ability to voice my convictions
20. Love. It's every where. I don't have to look far to find it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Happily Ever After

My baby boys will always and forever by my happily ever after. I wanted to take them out for pizza last night to our favorite, Rita's. They arrived before me and got our special table. Braxton walked outside, offered me his arm, and walked me to my chair. This is normal. My boys always make sure I am taken care of. Always. Last night, he and Kaydon continued to pack and move stuff. I haven't packed one item. Not one. Yet, so much is packed and ready to be moved. They are my joy. They are my reason. They are my happily ever after.

Do you know what else makes me happy? Sitting outside in my weeds for lunch! Oh, I LOVE sunshine. It's my happy place. Everyone at my work knows that when I am outside in my pink camping chair, you best leave me alone!!!

Oh, and that Rita's visit - we went for pizza because it IS a pizza joint. We all ordered salads. Is that weird?? Only if you're not us!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Roller Coaster

Life is really tough right now. And it's okay for me to say that, I suppose. I have tried and tried and tried to get Josh to sign the divorce papers. They have now been mailed certified mail. I am hoping that will do the trick. But am I? Of course I am. This has been such a devastating thing for me and for my boys. So many people have tried so genuinely to tell me how to think and what to do and how to feel and what I'm doing wrong and what I should be doing, etc. etc. etc. I believe that people are telling me this because they genuinely care, but no one is walking in these unbelievably heavy shoes of mine. I loved Josh. I loved the Josh that I thought he was. I knew all along that he wasn't being loyal but I stayed. I take full responsibility for that. I've done it my whole life, I've come to realize. I have always stayed in when I should have walked away. I guess I believed my whole life that I could help people, that I could love them enough to change them, that I could make them want to be better. That was a myth, and I take responsibility for my part in this. I need to forgive myself. I'm working on that. All I ever wanted was to be married and have children. This stings.

Jackson has mono. Braxton needs a follow-up chest x-ray. He is having more and more chest pains. Kaydon just plugs along, but I wonder how he is doing emotionally. I am working on getting Colton's disability paperwork going. I have two meeting over the next two weeks for his IEP and for his Special Ed transition.

We are moving in three weeks. I need to get the house packed and cleaned. The truck still isn't registered. The DMV told me this week that this is the last temporary plate they will give me. We are still waiting on a lien from Wells Fargo. It's really just one more thing.

I am up every night for hours with stomach cramping and pain, so severe that I can't move. I lay there and pray that it will go away. After several hours, I fall back to sleep just in time for my alarm to go off. I suppose it's stress that's building up in my very tired body.

This is not a blog meant to gain pity. Pity isn't what I want. Love is. Sometimes it's important to be real and to be honest so that when my children look back at this blog, they know that things were hard but that we kept going. We kept trying. We stayed together and gave it our best.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Colton's NeuroPsych

I have been avoiding this post because I feel like I am still trying to process it all in my own head. With everything else going on in our lives, this has hurt. This has stung. It's so weird how our emotions work. Things go on the back-burner when we are overwhelmed already. I can't push this back because I know it will come back and haunt me soon if I do.

About two weeks ago, I took Colton for his all-day neuropsych evaluation. Last Friday, I went and met with the doctor for the results. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. It was heart wrenching. Sweet Colton's world is so hard to navigate. I can't imagine what his every single day must be like. We are able to do what we need to do to handle situations that come up every day - loud noises, taking notes, hygiene, self-control, understanding the conversations that take place around us, etc. He just isn't.

Colton has Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and numerous learning disabilities. His issues are cognitive, not behavioral, which is a blessing in many ways. Colton does not do things to be oppositional or mean or cruel or intentional. His brain does not recognize cause and effect. He operates at a much younger age. He is very, very, very vulnerable. He requires Special Education, but has never been afforded that because the School District is so against his diagnosis. He needs someone to walk him through his day, every day.


Today, I will begin the process of applying for Medicare, then Disability, and Social Security. My Colton might never be self-sufficient, but he will always be mine. He will always love his mama. He will always love everyone. He will always try his hardest. He will always been loved in our home. He is a special boy, who was absolutely meant to be mine. I will do my best everyday to make his life what it is supposed to be.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Boys - Time with Nana and Pops

My boys got to spend more time with Nana and Pops this weekend while Mama worked all weekend. They got to watch conference and play games with Pops. They also got to eat super yummy food - because that's what you do when you're at Nana's! They came home rested and fed to the brim and happy. I came home from work Sunday night happy to have them home. Oh, how I love my boys. I am so grateful that my boys are loved so much!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Our Trial and Triumph - A Week Full of Blessings

1. Ogden Temple Session
2. Ability to pay my bills
3. Forgiveness
4. Sleep
5. Jackson's promotion
6. My job and my guys
7. Paula's offer
8. New office d├ęcor
9. Seeing Brooklyn
10. Yellow Flowers from Leesa
11. Good movies
12. Mobility/Sight/Hearing/Smelling
13. West Point sunsets
14. Salmon dinner from Nana
15. Excitement of General Conference
16. Pam's text
17. Priesthood
18. Quiet moments
19. My jobs
20. My testimony

Friday, April 1, 2016

I Love to See The Temple

Wednesday night, I drove the three or four minutes from my office to the Ogden Temple. Oh, it is so lovely. It is actually exquisite. Beautiful. As soon as I walk in, I also feel lovely, exquisite and beautiful. I changed into my white gown and headed to the front of the dressing room. I felt like the queen that I am. And, I am. So are you. I entered the chapel. I was the only one there without a spouse. For a few minutes, it didn't matter. I said a prayer and listened to the music. Then, we went to the session.

I was doing so well until the part of the session that talks about chastity. Then, tears uncontrollably streamed down my face as we listened to the importance of chastity and marriage and wives hearkening to the words of their husbands while their husbands hearken to the words of the Lord. I was particularly touched by the witness couple. Every time they went to the alter, representing Adam and Eve, the husband literally held his wife with his left arm wrapped around her waste. Never letting go. Ever. Not once. I cried. And crying is okay. I was also touched, as I have never been before, by the example of Jehoval, Michael, Peter, James and John. They never waivered when God commanded them to do. They just did. They never questioned, they never delayed, they never said they had other things to do. They just did and they did right away. Immediately. What have I NOT done that I should have done because I was scared, because I waivered, because I delayed. Oh, what have I missed?

The veil was particularly difficult, or beautiful for me. I cried through the whole thing. But, as I entered the Celestial Room, my tears felt more exquisite. I was not alone in the Celestial Room. I felt comfort and peace and love. I sat there for many, many minutes. I prayed. I cried. I read the scriptures. I prayed and cried some more as tears streamed down my cheeks.

As I left the Temple, the sunset was beautiful, lovely, and exquisite. Just as I am. I went home to my babies. I hugged them and loved them.