My Family

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Missin' Them

Dear Boys-

Mama misses your mugs! You had a super fun weekend with Pops and Nana, two big sleepovers, and lots of lovin' - I'm sure of it. You love to be there with them. I am so thankful that you get to make memories with Pops and Nana. They love you!

Mama worked all weekend, but when I didn't all I did was think about you! I went to the gym, went grocery shopping, and cleaned the carpets. But, mostly I thought about you guys. I sure miss you when you aren't home. And, Gus REALLY misses you. He still sleeps on your beds. Mine just isn't good enough for him.

You'll be home today. I can't wait to see those mugs of yours and squeeze those cheeks! I'll do that until the end of time, FYI. I can't wait to hear about your adventures and the scary movies you watched with Pops. I can't wait to hear what yummy food Nana made for you. She really is the best. Mostly, I just can't wait for all of the stinkiness, chaos, loudness, and laughter that will be back in our home today.

I'll love you forever. I'll love you for always.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Our Trial and Triumph - A Week Full of Blessings

As we do every week, we have had a week full of blessings and tender mercies!
1. I was able to pay rent and bills
2. Special delivery from Miss Sarah
3. Burt (Kaydon's home teaching companion who is full of love and grace and charity and kindness and everything good)
4. Hugs from my boys
5. Health
6. Insurance (health and car and renters and life and just insurance)
7. Notice that I'm going to be an auntie in February to a baby boy!
8. Scripture reading
9. Ability to kneel in prayer
10. Ability to sit out in the cut-down weeds for lunch
11. Leggings weather!
12. Hot baths
13. Laughing with Logan
14. Colton's eye glass warranty
15. Ryan
16. A week of peace and joy - no anger!
17. Pumpkin-scented candles
18. Recovering from the stupid important flu shot whose needle hit my bone
19. "Love Life and See Good Days," by Emily Freeman
20. A window in my office

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Favorites

I absolutely love my time at the gym with my Braxton! We go four times a week - usually Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. Then we try to either do Friday or Saturday. Sometimes we don't get there all four times, but we try. And, when we do - I love it! I love that time with my boy.

I also LOVE that he makes me THEEEEE best protein shake ever when we get home. Seriously. I crave this goodness. He is the best protein shake maker of all time, I am pretty sure. Chocolate protein powder, milk, banana slices, crunchy peanut butter, ice and love. Delicious!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kaydon's Sewing!

Sewing does not take place in our abode. If a button falls off of a shirt, it's time to get a new shirt. I don't even own a sewing kit, the kind with just a needle and white thread. What's the point?! Well, Kaydon has sewing this semester. Heaven help me! My kid has to sew! Turns out - the kid can sew!! He made this awesome draw-string bag. It's pretty much perfect and I am so stinking impressed! So is he.

Also turns out that from now on, we won't be replacing shirts! Kaydon will now sew the buttons back on them for us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Love This Family of Mine

Can you even stand these boys of mine?! Oh, they are so handsome, so smart, so funny, so kind, so naughty, so loud, so stinky, so perfectly mine.

I am so thankful to Pam for her time and efforts on our behalf. She offered to do these for free, or I wouldn't have ever been able to have family pictures done. She is so sweet and so loving and SO talented.

I look at the difference between the pictures she did in the early Spring and these pictures -- the smiles are bigger, the light is brighter... we are doing oh, so much better!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Freaking Shot in the Arm

I got my flu shot yesterday. Owie freaking kazowie! I couldn't sleep last night because it hurt so bad. Yes, I am a wuss. I know this. However, this is real-life pain that I am experiencing. P believes the guy hit my bone with the needle. People ask me if it is bruised. I respond by telling them that it is on the inside!
In other news, when I returned home last night from work there were numerous police vehicles. Uh oh. This cannot be good. Turns out a young man went around the complex and shot every single windshield with an air-soft gun. Thank the heavens above this young man is in no way related to me. Looks like both cars will be getting a new windshield for free with the case number provided. The officer was so nice and literally went to every single door to get their information.

And, truth be told, I was super relieved that it wasn't one of my boys who did the damage.

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Break

Oh, how I needed a break. The boys had a scheduled break, thanks to the school system giving them one. I decided I must get on that and join them. So I did. And, we kept rather busy over the four days.

Grocery shopping, hair cuts for the crew, eye doctor for Colton, shoes for Braxton, adjustments from Uncle Brandon, a walk around Farmington Station on a beautiful day, workouts with Braxton, carving pumpkins, homemade caramel corn, a matinee movie (it's cheaper), family pictures (thanks to Pam!), a temple visit with Nana, coloring, movies on Netflix, cuddles and naps... It was just what I we needed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time For a Break

I am taking a break for the rest of the week. The boys have Fall Break Thursday and Friday. I took work off so that I could break with them. We don't have any big plans, but we will be together. We won't be stressing out over deadlines or start times or work. We will just be together, taking a very necessary break from life.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lacking in Grace

Yesterday as I was reading my scriptures and scrolling through positive quotes, I came upon a quote that stopped me in my tracks.

"In the end, only three things will matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

Oh, Friends, how I have failed at this of late. I have not been gracefully letting go. I have been unkind and angry. I have sent several text messages to J that have expressed my feelings and emotions in a most unkind manner. I immediately asked Heavenly Father for forgiveness. I realized right away that being unkind and ungraceful is not me. It's not helping me. It's not allowing me to go on with my life in the way I need to either.

As I really force myself to go through the entire grieving process, I realize that I am feeling so many emotions that perhaps I haven't allowed myself to feel in the past. I am learning that it is a process. Sometimes, we get to what we think is another aspect of the grieving process, only to find that we have slipped back to one that we thought we were done with. It's very exhausting, but necessary.

I am ready to be more graceful in my attempt to get through this as a whole, better, more complete person. I am determined to do so.

And, thank you all for your patience with me as I work through this.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Stormy with a Chance of Meatball Vomit!

Saturday night, in the middle of the night, my boys found me sprawled out on the bathroom floor. Jackson ran to the gas station to get Sprite Zero. Kaydon checked on me about every five minutes. Braxton kept his distance so that he wouldn't join in on the vomit fest. I had made the kiddos meatball subs for dinner Saturday night. Even though the packaging might say, "pre-cooked," DO NOT trust the bag! I had pulled one out of the pot and tasted it to see if it was ready for my kids. I remember thinking that it tasted weird so I cooked them a bit longer. Good thinking, Mama! The kids were fine. Mama - not so much!

Sunday, I didn't leave the couch. At all. And, Colton got in on the napping also. He slept for a good couple of hours just like this:

Meatballs now get added to the list of *will never eat again foods*! Reeses Peanut Butter cups, apples and bananas at the same time, and now meatballs.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cleanin' Up

Thursday, some of us City workers and a whole bunch of LDS missionaries went back down to the river to do some serious cleanup. We (the boys) chopped down weeds, invasive species of trees and bushes, and vines that seriously made that place look like a haunted forest. Me? I stood by and yelled, "Watch OUT!" a lot. I also moved a few branches. I laughed a lot. Oh, I also held a rake and the needle purse. (the needle purse is for any needles we might find)

I talked with my boys. I sometimes threw things at my boys. I stayed very close to my boys, just in case there were transients that were hidden in the bushes (and there were a few). On the way back to the office, Jason's phone rang a few times. It was the other boys making sure that someone had me because they couldn't find me. They are such good boys!!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

An Ask to a Dance

While I was in the midst of cleaning up a flooded bathroom last night, the doorbell rang. Braxton answered it and found this:
Jackson was at work, so B-money took pictures of it and sent it to him. I suppose we will be figuring out a super duper way to respond!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mama's Boy

Tuesday afternoon, around 2ish, I was sitting in my camping chair in my cut-down weeds. Suddenly, Jackson was walking up to me with a Kneaders sandwich and a loaf of frosted cinnamon bread. He needed his mama. He plopped right down on the grass next to me and just talked for an hour. Yes, it is pretty unacceptable that he sluffed his last period. But, he was with his mama. He needed his mama. And, this mama will always, always be here for my boys. Always.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What Makes Me Special?

So, let's be honest - the gang conference is traumatizing every year I go. It's absolutely terrifying the world that our children live in. The second class on the second day was a huge eye-opener for me. It was taught by a department director of a gang unit in Salt Lake County. She taught for two hours on girls in gangs. In fact, this is one of the pictures that was shown:

She taught about the different roles that they play in the gangs, how they get into gangs, what they do once they are in there, and why they join gangs. Something that she said hit me so hard. She said that even though the male gang members treat them like crap, use them, abuse them, rape them, sometimes kill them - those things make them feel "special." As soon as she said that, I looked at Rock and said, "That's me, isn't it?" He nodded his head.

If a guy "let" me pay his bills or "let" me buy him the things they wanted or "let" me take care of them or "let" me be the one they would call only when they needed something, then that meant that I was "special." That meant I was needed and wanted. That meant that I was good enough for them. How sad is that?!?! That is how I have been living my life. So what if they hurt me. So what if they never returned the favor, if it was only a give and give relationship on my part - never a give and take relationship. So what if I gave everything I had, literally, with no promise of any return. Because I was "allowed" to do that for them, I was special to someone.

It was a huge eye-opener for me. I was sad for a moment to realize that this is what I had become. But then it was enormously empowering! I realized what I had been doing and I was ready to shout from the rooftops that I am special just the way I am! I am worth it just the way I am. I don't have to live like that any longer. I am free to just be Heidi - who already has worth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Like Magic

When we went to Nana and Pops' house on Sunday, there was a new, beautifully framed picture above the piano. It was the picture of their sealing day at the Bountiful Temple. Pops is SO proud of this picture. Know why? It took him a lot of painstaking time to take someone out of the picture and make it look like he was never there. It's a beautiful picture. My mom is especially glad that Miss Brooklyn is in it. And, she should be. Brooklyn will always be part of us, even if we don't see her anymore. We love her so.

Also on Sunday night, I sent someone a text message. My children thought that is was, perhaps, a bit harsh. My parents didn't. They said that I said exactly what they were thinking. The text message read: "Hi J. I'm mailing the divorce papers tomorrow morning. I have to be honest and say that I'm disgusted that I am paying for a divorce you caused. Not to mention the last year of trying to put me and my kids' lives back together because of your lies, cheating, and complete dishonor. I would like to plead with you to stop ruining lives. You've hurt so many more people than you know. Unfortunately all that you care about is you. Stop teaching your children to lie and to be like you. The fact that you're teaching your daughter to lie about who she is with is heartbreaking. You're teaching her to lie just like her dad. I have no doubt that you have plenty of mistresses that you are living a fantasy life with. Your addiction to women, attention, and your own wants is something I'll never understand. I used to believe that the fact I paid your bills, paid for everything actually, loved your children like my own, worked two jobs so you could coach, took care of everything made me special. News alert: I'm special and worth it just by being me. If you have any shred of honor at all, you'll step up and figure stuff out. You'll pay be back for this divorce so I can buy groceries. How lucky are you that you can choose to not work at a second job? Living with your dad, behaving like your sister. Some of us single parents have to work two jobs because no one else is going to step in and pay rent, utilities, and give me a car to drive. I'm relatively certain no one will ever love your children the way I did. But you don't care. It's all about you, not them. Goodbye."

I want to focus on the part about my definition of "special." I'll blog about that tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcome Back, Ray!

I have been off the hook for a few days. By that I mean that I have been like a phone, dangling by a cord with that beep beep beep beep sound. Yesterday when I got off work, the boys and I drove down to Nana and Pops house. I needed my mama. I needed to have my mama love on me. I also needed a blessing from Pops. And, it was the most beautiful blessing I have ever had. It was word for word what I have been praying for. It was beautiful. I felt better when I left to go home.

Last week consisted of Colton getting a black eye and then lying to me about how he got it. It consisted of Jackson flooding the kitchen because he put hand soap in the dishwasher. It consisted for two days at the gang conference, which is always emotionally draining. It consisted of a lot of work. It consisted of days when I just didn't want to fight anymore.

It also consisted of trips to the gym. It consisted of hugs and loves from the boys. It consisted of making dinner for my boys. It consisted of coloring, movies, and smoothies from Kneaders. It consisted of blessings. Weeks always consist of blessings.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Colton's First Dance

The Junior High had a dance on yesterday. It was Colton's first dance. Kaydon made sure that he had a dollar to be able to get in. Kaydon is always looking out for Colton - making sure he has what he needs so he can participate.

Kaydon sent me this picture:

That is our sweet Lia. She is in our ward. She is part of an amazing family, who are loving, accepting, funny, and extremely talented. This picture makes me oh, so happy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

You Never Know

Saturday was a Heidi Day. I went to the gym, then went to the movies in my gym clothes. I bought myself a large bucket of extra buttered popcorn and found my seat. I had been wanting to see "Sully," with Tom Hanks. I remember the news clips about the "Miracle on the Hudson." So, that was the movie I chose. I was completely shocked by what actually happened.
In my ignorance, I had no idea that Chesley Sullenger was accused of doing anything but saving 155 lives. I had no idea that he had to stay in New York until decisions were made on his future as a pilot, and on whether or not he would be held responsible for the airplane landing in the Hudson River. I, like many people, had always believed that he was a skilled, experienced hero - one who did everything he could to save every single life on that plane on that freezing-cold day.

I was fascinated by the interrogations of Pilot Sully. I was fascinated by the questions they asked him and the accusations that the panel made. Further, I learned some powerful lessons by listening to his responses to the questions and accusations. You see, Sully asked the panel to consider the "human factor" when making determinations. He asked the panel how many tries that pilots in the simulations had prior to making a safe landing on a freeway runway. (the answer was 17) In total, the pilots aboard that plane on that day had 208 seconds to act, react, and determine what they were going to do. That is less than four minutes to determine what to do with a fully loaded airplane in an enormously populated city that had lost both engines. Once the human factor was added in (by giving the pilots in the simulations 35 seconds less time to react), there was no where for them to go but in to several populated buildings in the city.

I thought a lot about that all weekend. The human factor. I have had several (more than I care to count) people tell me for a long time what I should have done. I have also had multiple (more than I care to count) times when I thought to myself what other people should have done different. The reality is that it is so easy for us to say what should have happened, what should have been done, what shouldn't have been done. In reality, I think that most of us do the best we can with what we have. We make the best decisions we can make in the time allotted. We do what we think is best in the moment. And, no one else has the right to make assumptions or judgments based on those choices.

Now, unfortunately our choices have the real possibility of hurting others. Mine have. Those are regrets I carry with me always. But, that was never my intention when making poor choices.

The reality of the situation on the Hudson River that day was that all 155 people aboard that plane survived and none were critically injured. Not one. Mr. Sullenger did everything in his power to ensure that would be the case. Not everyone liked the choice (mostly the insurance company), but no one can argue the fact that had he not done what he did in the way he did it on that day, lives would have been lost and damage would have been done. And that's a great story.

Monday, October 3, 2016

So Close

Meet my Ashabash (Ashley). Ashley is one of my boys at work. I have 86 of them who are full-time and several more who are seasonal. Also, I have nicknames for everyone I meet, so Ash is Ashabash.
Friday, there was an accident. Ashabash was at a location to haul wood off once my Forestry crew cut down a tree. Ash was about 30 feet away when a large log fell, demolished the caribeaner, and a metal piece (the size of a candy bar) flew into my Ashabash's face. One inch higher, it would have killed him. One inch lower, it would have killed him. The doctors spent a lot of time getting pieces of his cheek bone out of his face, then sewed up an enormous hole (the size of his entire cheek) back up from the bone out. He has four layers of stitches.

Our guys do dangerous things - pave roads, work in trenches on sewer lines, climb poles and trees, work with heavy equipment, work with sharp equipment, work with the public... the list goes on and on. But, today I am so thankful that my Ash is okay. He's alive. He is swollen and black and blue and purple and sore. But, he's alive. I loved on him and loved on him this morning when I saw him.

So close.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Our Trial and Triumph - A Week Full of Blessings

1. Flowers from Jackson
2. Jody getting Colton's ride situated
3. A new water heater
4. Pam offering to do family pictures again
5. Pictures of my Victoria all week (That child is perfection)
6. Package from Miss Sarah
7. Younique makeup!!
8. Scriptures
9. General Conference
10. Blankets
11. Scout leaders
12. Gray Cliff Lodge with my handsome boys
13. Clarity
14. Apostles
15. Tears
16. Strength when I am so weak
17. First Aid Kits
18. Health and Strength
19. Family on the other side of the veil
20. Autumn!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

They'll Always Love Their Mama

Thursday, I had a bit of attitude. Strange, I know. I finally walked over to my boss's office and plopped down on my chair. I informed him that I was only in their for counseling. (He's totally used to this, by the way!) I told him I was angry. I was angry that I was paying for the divorce. I was angry that there is not going to be any discipline given by the Church. I was angry that life was just going to go on for him, while my children and I continue to try to recover from the last six years. He stopped me and said that he was sending me this article.

Then he said, "Heidi, why do you think he wants you back?" I answered that it was probably so that I could just continue to take care of everything. He said, "He wants what you have. Your boys are never, ever going to love him again. But they will always love their mama. So, when you feel like you don't want to go to the grocery store, or the park, or the post office, or the high school football game, or McDonalds because you're afraid he'll be there - you just remember that you'll always have the love of your boys. He'll never again have what you have." Somehow, that made me feel all better. Well, that combined with the article he sent me.

So, I put my big girl pants on and went on with my day. The anger went away. The bitterness went away. The frustration went away. And, I trekked on.