My Family

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just Thankful, I Suppose

Last Thursday I made our Thanksgiving dinner. I am thankful to our ward for the food they supplied for us to have a Thanksgiving dinner. I am thankful for the appliances we have to be able to cook the food. I am thankful that my children were with me on Thanksgiving. I am thankful for our dishes and silverware, the hot water in our apartment, the power, the furniture, and the food. I am thankful for the clothes we have to wear, the blankets we have to keep us warm, and the beds and pillows we have to keep us cozy at night.

After dinner, I headed to work for a very long shift. I am thankful for my coworkers at both of my jobs. They make me feel special and valued. They make me laugh. They hug me, uplift me, and allow me to be me.

I am thankful that I was able to have an amazing lunch with Leanne and Paula from the College on Friday. I love them so much. That was a very wonderful eight years of my life. I met such good people - people I will love forever. I learned so much there about myself, work ethic, skills I would need, and love.

I am thankful for the time I have had to spend with Brooklyn and the baby. We had them a couple of times over the weekend. It turns out that this is hurting my boys and so we will no longer be doing it, but I love both of them. I pray that they will have peace and comfort and the knowledge that the love for them is seen and unseen and that there are angels surrounding them at all times. I pray they will know that none of this is their fault and that they are so special.

I am thankful for our ward. I am thankful for their love, support, and hugs. I am thankful for our Bishop and the Young Men's leaders.

I am thankful for my family. Because of my choices, they have experienced heartache, pain, frustration, and disappointment. I have learned I will never be able to make that better or make that go away.

I am thankful for our trials. This is not the life I thought I would live. This is not how I pictured my life. I always desperately wanted to have an eternal companion who loved me. That isn't in the plan for me, I guess. I have four beautiful children who have been affected by my choices. For that, I will always be so sorry. I work a lot of hours each week to support us and do my best to teach and train them to do the right things.

Sometimes, like today and this week and the past few weeks and this year, I am emotionally exhausted. I am drained. I have nothing left in the gas tank, but I am required (as we all are) to continue on, to keep going. So, that's what we do.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thankful! - My Co-workers

I have been so blessed with the most amazing teams surrounding me at both of my jobs. My guys at OC are simply amazing. They are protective, loving, kind, supportive, funny, and warm. They treat me like a queen and I feel it. My people at Kohl's are simply amazing as well. Every time I walk in those doors, I am greeted with hugs and loves and smiles and laughter. I could not do this life without these people who I often spend more time with than I spend with my children. I am so blessed.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thankful! - Boogie

Colton Walter Jorgensen. My Boogie. You were very, very early coming to this world. You stayed in the NICU for three weeks and then came home to crazy town! You completed my group of four perfectly. Nana and Papa got up with you most nights because I had Kaydon all night. You are very close to Nana and always have been. Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and learning disabilities make your life a little interesting, a little difficult, a little awesome. You always tell people that they are pretty and that they are your friend. You love to play games on your Kindle and on the phone. You love to play board games, too. You love to do Lego's and play with friends on the swings.

You love Church and mutual. You always ask to say the prayer at family prayer and at meals. You love to talk to Heavenly Father. You love to make pancakes and French toast and you're pretty dang good at it! You love to ride bikes and scooters. You love life, and it's refreshing. We love you so much, Boogie!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful! - Buddha

Kaydon Trask Jorgensen. My Buddha. My miracle boy. You had such a hard first four years of your life. You spent most of your time on the 4th floor at Primary Children's. When you were home, you were hooked up to machines and constantly monitored. You were the reason I was always interested in nursing growing up, I suppose. I was able to care for you in a very personal manner. I loved making sure you were comfortable and being your advocate always. You were always a fighter, and continue to be. Your imagination is one of my favorite things about you. You are so creative and always wanting to create and recreate things. You are a great brother to Colton. You are the one who will sit and play games with him and keep him busy. You love movies and games. You, too, are so sensitive. You will come and lay in bed with Mom and just talk to me about things that are hard.

You are so, so close to Heavenly Father. You are always wanting to do what you can to feel the Spirit. You love to serve and are loving the time you spend with Bert each day after school to help him with what he needs. You are so compassionate and empathetic. I love that about you. You love being around family. It's your favorite things. You are the only one who makes your bed before school every morning... thank you! You are protective of Mom and are constantly telling me that you love me. Oh, how I love you Buddha!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thankful! - Peanut

Braxton Dean Jorgensen. My Peanut. I am so thankful for this little munchkin. You were the best baby. You were my easiest labor and delivery. You were the only one I was able to nurse at all, really. You were the cutest baby. Your cheeks went on forever. Your eyes were always so big. You were bald for quite some time. You had this thing with having your binkie upside down and dragging your blankie behind you. You always had an arched eyebrow. Seriously, you made people laugh all the time. We had an exersaucer. You broke it by jamming out in it. So funny!

Brax, you are such a good worker. You can fix anything. You are the one we call on when something is not working or needs to be fixed or replaced. You can figure anything out. You are good with computers and technology. You are also sensitive and emotional. You get very quiet when things are tough. You give the sweetest prayers. You always thank Heavenly Father for our trials. I have learned so much from that. You are the best workout partner ever! I love that you go with me. You have some physical challenges. You seem to be easily injured, and it's starting to effect you. You get frustrated and a little down that you are always sore and injured. You respect and honor your Priesthood duties and I am so proud of that in all of you! You, like all of your brothers, take care of your mama. You tuck me in, you get upset when I cry, you are very protective. You love that Brooklyn. You've always had a very special bond with her. You are going to do amazing things, Peanut. Mommy loves you so much!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thankful! - Bubba

Jackson Neal Jorgensen. My first born. Oh, how I love you. You were a colicky baby and cried A LOT. You hated the car. A LOT. You always had tummy aches, but you loved being held. You liked the swing. You liked the front carrier. You liked your nana and your papa. You liked the stroller...sometimes. You have those blue eyes that go on forever. You are so sensitive to everything. Your relationship with Heavenly Father is noteworthy. You are so close to those on the other side of the veil. You are smart, organized, neat, and tidy. You have always felt like you needed to be an adult because for most of your life, you've been the "man of the house." You feel like you need to take care of things that mom can't. You are a good, loyal, loving, caring friend. You love your friends so much. You are an amazing brother, grandson, nephew, and son. You take your Priesthood duties seriously. You love your little sister, Brooklyn. You always will. And, she loves you. You love Goober. And, you always will. He loves you too. You have been hurt so many times, but you get back up and you learn and you love.

I cannot imagine my life without you. I know that you were handpicked for me, and I for you. You are going to continue to do amazing things in this life, Bubba. You are so amazing in every way. I am so proud of you and I love you more than you'll ever know.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thankful! - Josh's Kids

Yes, I am indeed thankful for Josh's kids. Brooklyn was my own for six years. She was my girl. I bathed her, helped to potty train her, did homework with her, colored with her, read with her, did her hair, picked out her clothes, comforted her when she cried, had girls' days and nights with her, painted her nails, cooked with her, sang to her, rocked her... She was my daughter, too. And, oh how I miss her. I will love her forever. I will love her for always. My baby girl she will always be.

Treyvan, who I call Goober, is the happiest and sweetest baby. His smile can make anyone's day better. He is content and loving. He is getting so big and the boys and I call him "chunky monkey." We love him, too.

My mom had one request of me for the last two weeks - for me to bring Brooklyn and the baby down for her to see. So, I texted Josh and asked if I could do that. He obliged. My mom's face lit up when she saw them. She got loved on and kissed. She was so happy for them to be there. They healed a part of her heart on Saturday. After a long nap, mom was sitting up and behaving much more like mom. She just wanted to be near the kids.

I am so thankful we were able to do that for her. Chemo starts today. It's time to fight!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thankful! - Rock & Jaker

These guys, though. Rock, on your left has been just that - my rock. He still texts me every day to see how I'm doing and ask what I need. He is almost always the one I text when I am in the middle of sobbing uncontrollably. He comes to my office every day to check on me. He has been my constant and my foundation when things have been very bad for me. He constantly reminds me that I can do hard things, and that all I have to do is look over my shoulder and I'll see my guys standing right there - holding me up. And, it's so true.

Jaker, on your right, is just the sweetest, most humble guy ever. He retired a couple of months ago and oh, how I miss him. He texts me to tell me he loves me frequently and asks how I am doing. Last year, he handed me an envelope - then HE cried. I opened it up and cried right along with him. He had the guys in Streets put money together for me to buy some Christmas. He is just my great big teddy bear.

I am so lucky to have all these guys in my life who love me just how I am and who make sure that I have what I need to keep going. I am so blessed to be surrounded with so much love!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thankful! - Ryan

Without Ryan, I would not have these boys of mine. Our marriage - actually our entire relationship - was very bad. It was tumultuous, scary, chaotic, frustrating, sad, and it had to end. There was no question about that then and there is still no question about that. It had to end to protect the boys and I from further damage. So, it did. For years and years and years, things did not get better. I remember talking to Sweet B Beck and telling her that I prayed for child support, I prayed that he would have a relationship with his children, and I prayed that he would be better. She told me that day that maybe I was praying for the wrong things. She challenged me to go home and pray that I would be able to forgive him. I did. And not that day, and not the next day, but over time I absolutely forgave him and I forgave myself too. This year has been a year of healing for both of us, I think.

Ryan's dad (his last family member) died over a year ago. How devastating that must have been for him. He was his caregiver for quite some time. Then, he was gone. Ryan has spent really quality time with his boys. He has really been more involved. He checks in on their homework and their activities. He is interested in when they go to the doctor and what is new with them. In June, he called me and told me to find an apartment and he would help me to pay the rent. And, he has. He has not missed a month since paying child support. What a blessing! This has never happened in 13 years.

We are able to have very civil, even friendly conversations now without any problem or discomfort or fakeness. He tells me often that he is thankful for the mother that I am to his children. I tell him the same. On Monday, I texted him to ask if he would like to spend Thanksgiving with us. I told him I would cook and he could come to our home, as I have to be to work at 5:30. He responded several hours later, telling me that he didn't want me to have to fix dinner, that he would take us to dinner and make sure I'd get back in time for work. So, next Thursday we are all going to Little America for Thanksgiving dinner. This will be the first time ever, literally ever, my children have had a Thanksgiving dinner with their father.

I am grateful for forgiveness. I am thankful that my children will have this opportunity. I am thankful that we have a good relationship and that we are able to raise our children with love.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thankful! - Bert

I sure wish I had a picture of Bert to put on here this morning! Bert is in our ward. Bert is Kaydon's hometeaching companion. Bert came up to me a few months ago, after Sacrament Meeting in tears. He said that he looked forward all week, every week, to seeing my boys taking care of the Sacrament. He said that it made him so happy and brought him such joy. He said that he hoped my boys were as nice in person as they seemed at Church. What a sweet man!

Bert dropped by one night and brought us donuts, because he thought we might like a treat. A couple of months ago, Bert told Kaydon that if KK raked his leaves every day after school, he would pay him. Well, Kaydon hasn't missed a day and Bert has paid him --- but he's paid him in far more than money. Bert often sends home treats and drinks. Last night, he sent home bananas and oranges. He has also planted in Kaydon a special spirit. He's taught Kaydon work ethic. He's taught Kaydon the gift of giving and charity.

I am so thankful for Bert, and so many other Priesthood holders. I have often tearfully prayed for help in raising my boys. My burden is heavy and I often feel that my efforts come up far too short. I have been told in Priesthood blessings that Heavenly Father would make up the difference. And, He has. My boys have been blessed with honorable Priesthood holders throughout their lives who have taught them, supported them, and loved them. I am so thankful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thankful! - Papa and Grandma

I am thankful for my dad and my stepmom. I am so thankful that my dad is married to a wonderful woman who is perfect for him and that they are happy. I am also thankful that all four of my parents get along and are respectful of each other. There is never an awkwardness when they are together for family events. My boys never see the ugly side of unconventional side of families. I am so thankful that they all talk and create a loving atmosphere for my children when we are together.

I am also very thankful to have four parents. I know that sounds weird, but I need every single one of them. Each one of them teaches me and supports me and my babies in different ways. I learn different things from each of them. I am so thankful that I get to have four parents and that my children have each of them in their lives to love them as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thankful! - A Little Break to Cry

First of all, this may be a depressing post to some. For that, I am sorry. Please remember that this is my journal. I hope to look back one day at trials and tribulations and exhaustion and hurt and heartache to see that Heavenly Father was really just paving new roads for me and my boys.

I will begin by saying how thankful I am for phones and text messaging. Sweet Colton texted this to me this morning:
I love that I can text my boys throughout the day and tell them how much I love them.

As you know, Nana was diagnosed with cancer little over a week ago. I have to back up a little to tell my entire story accurately. The week prior to Nana being diagnosed, I had been talking to and spending some time with a guy at work (the part-time job). After I had told him that I was planning to become a Mormon nun and never wanted to date ever again - he somehow began to heal my heart. He was so nice to me. He made me smile. He made me feel sort of alive again. He made me feel a little more complete. He was with me Sunday when Pops texted to say that we wouldn't be having family dinner because Nana was in the hospital. Then on Sunday, I sort of (like big time) flipped the flip. I decided that this was just a joke and that he, too, must be a fraud and a phony and I let him know that. Needless to say, we didn't talk a whole lot for a couple of days. After I realized what I had done (automatically assuming that every guy is going to do what J did and subconsciously blaming them for it), I tried desperately to apologize, but to no avail. I felt so sad. I cried and cried. I felt like I had ruined everything. Working together has been so awkward, to say the least. Finally, last night after talking to Nana and knowing the plan and the intensity of what is going on in her little body, I told him that I felt it would be best to just not talk anymore and that I would unfriend him on social media and that I was so thankful for the time we did spend together and I thanked him for everything and then I cried about that and Nana and everything. I made Braxton watch Pitch Perfect with me last night and it was just rough.

The last two mornings, I have gone into Kohl's at 5 am until 7:30 am, then headed to Ogden. This morning, he was there and blatantly ignored me. I said his name to have him help with some merchandise and he turned and said, "Did someone say my name?" I walked away and cried some more. But, as Rock always tells me - what did we learn? From this, I learned that no relationship is ever wasted. We can always learn from it and grow from it. I learned that not everyone is J and not everyone is going to do what he did. I learned that I need to stop building walls so tall that I can't see what is right in front of me. And, I learned that I'm tired and lonely and spent.

Now to the cancer. Nana has stage three cancer and it is very fast-moving and aggressive. She starts a very strong chemo on Monday. She will lose her hair immediately. She will be sick and tired. Now, I know she is going to read this. When I talk to her and I am with her I am strong. When I'm alone, I am not strong. So, Nana when you read this - just know it's my feelings and emotions right now - but we are going to fight like hell. My mom is the only person who has never left me. Ever. I can't lose my mom. Period. She is the one who has picked me up and cupped my face in her hands and told me it's all going to be okay. And, it has been. Now, it's time to show her that everything is going to be okay.

What I know: my mom has the most amazing husband. As I drove from Kohl's to Ogden this morning in tears, I thanked Heavenly Father that my family members are not alone. My mom has a wonderful husband. My dad has a wonderful wife. Both of my brothers have wonderful spouses. Pops is taking great care of Nana and I am so thankful. My mom is a fighter. I get my feisty and tenacious personality from her. She will not quit. She will fight and we will all fight with her. My mom is beautiful. One of my earliest thoughts of my mother is that I always found her to be absolutely stunning. Hair or no hair, my mom will always be beautiful. We will carry her for as long as she cannot walk on her own. We are going to fight like hell.

What else do I know? I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm really lonely. My boys and I have been through a lot and I have done everything in my power for the last year, three years, ten years, 17 years to be strong, to pick myself up and move forward, to have hope and faith. This was sort of the last straw for me, in a way. I am struggling right now to find strength. I am weak today. I am tired today. I am scared today. I am sad today. I feel really lonely. The loneliness is not like I am alone - I am constantly surrounded with love and friends and family and co-workers who lift me up with their love and their faith and their joy. I just feel sad that I don't have companionship. That's all. The end.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thankful! - Uncle Brandon & Aunt Carrie

These two, though. My boys are so blessed to live close to Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie. They are so good to my boys. They are fun and funny and the boys just love shopping with Aunt Carrie and listening and learning from Uncle Brandon.

PLUS... these two are making me an auntie in February!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thankful! - Miss Becky

From the moment I saw her, I remember thinking how gorgeous she was. I hadn't even gotten to know her heart and gorgeous is not an adequate word to describe her heart. This woman is one of the greatest examples I have ever had. She is a homemaker to a tee. She is a mother to a tee. She does everything right... I'm pretty sure. She loves our Savior and follows His path, no matter what.

She is a survivor. She lost her eighth baby just a few years ago and never once doubted her testimony or her plan on Earth. She is a wonderful mommy to seven kiddos and very soon will be a grandma. She will be the best, I have no doubt.

She is a woman of character, integrity, dignity, and love. Her little cards that she sends to me bring tears to my eyes each time. She is always in tune with the Spirit. I am so blessed to be her friend. So blessed to be her friend.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thankful! - Miss Sarah

Miss Sarah is my sister from another mister. There has never been any doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father knew I'd need her. I feel strongly that prior to my coming to Earth, as He described what it would be that would be required of me -- I hesitated to say I'd do it. Then He added that Sarah would be there with me when I most needed her. At that time I agreed to come to Earth and take this on.

Miss Sarah saved my life, literally, six years ago. Her tough love is the reason I am here today, loving on my boys and sharing my story of endurance so that others can know they, too, can endure. She makes me smile. She makes me laugh. She comforts me without being anywhere near me. She reminds me everyday that I am good enough and that I am tough. She loves this mess that I am. And, oh how I love her.

Miss Sarah is beautiful and strong and funny and bright. She is so smart. She is a wife to one of my favorite people, and a mom to three very blessed kiddos. She rescues animals. She rescues youth in detention facilities. She rescued me. I am so, beyond grateful that she saved me all those years ago and never once looked down on me. She just kept right on believing in me. I am so blessed.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thankful! - Miss T

This beautiful woman is such a lovely woman on the inside and out. She is an extraordinary mum. Her children are beautiful beyond words. She is full of light. She is a homemaker, a wife, a mum, and a business owner. She runs her own Younique business. She sends me makeup. My self esteem has actually been increased by her, her words of encouragement, and how I feel with this makeup. Now, don't get me wrong -- I am fine with going out and about with zero makeup on, but when I wear the Younique products, I feel beautiful and confident.

I am so grateful for beautiful, strong women in my life who lift me up when I am down. Miss T is one of a handful of those women and I cannot imagine doing life without her.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thankful! - My Mama

It's fitting that today I am thankful for my mama. Last night, we found out that she has ovarian cancer that has at least spread to her bowels. She begins chemo next week. The eight sessions will allow the cancer to shrink so that the doctors are fully aware of everything they need to surgically take out. It was as if we had been throat punched. And, throat punching sucks.

I am thankful for my mama. We haven't always been close. I was always a daddy's girl. I wanted to be at the ball field with him. I wanted to work in the yard. I wanted to watch football games with him. But, I look back and realize that while I was doing that my mama was at home doing her best to keep everything together.

My mom is beautiful. She is organized. She is smart. She is clean. She is sensitive. She is loving. She is talented. She is mine.

I am so thankful for my pops, who loves my mom like no love I have ever seen. He takes care of her everyday. He makes her feel loved and appreciated, and he works so hard to do everything he can do for her. He makes her laugh. He makes everyone laugh. He supports her in everything she does. We will all make it through this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thankful! - Grandma and Grandpa Nef

I have felt so blessed the last couple of years as my children have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. It seems like my kiddos have had more time with them than I did when I was their age! Even though we lived in the same ward as them growing up in California, I don't have a lot of memories of time with my grandparents. My boys see them every couple of months, and they love it. I love it too.

Every single time my grandpa sees my boys, he says, "It really is crazy when you have to look up to hug your great-grandsons!" It's so cute. We all mouth what he is going to say as he says it. He is such a loving, kind-hearted, hard-working, man of integrity. I have always loved my grandpa. He is affectionate, strong, and always has an open door to his heart. People are drawn to him.

Grandma is very practical, logical, organized, and strategic. She is the money person and is also a very hard worker. She was always the hostess with the moistest! People have always asked to have their weddings and other large gatherings in her homes and in her yards. She cooks like no one else can. She decorates and prepares like no one else can. She is smart and frugal. Grandma and I have become much closer over the last couple of years.

I love them both so much!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thankful! - Mommy Martha

When we moved into the West Point First Ward, I remember seeing this beauty from across the chapel and thinking how beautiful she was. We became friends after she started cutting my kids hair. I realized that her heart was even more beautiful than her face, and that is saying something!

Heidi is an amazing mommy and wife. She is an amazing homemaker. She is super creative and so fun. Everyone who meets her loves her.

She has listened to me vent and listened to me weep. She was the one I called right after Josh told me that he and his girlfriend were having a baby. She came right over and just held me and let me cry. She comforted Jackson who couldn't control his emotions. She was there when the Priesthood arrived to give us blessings. She was always there.
I feel so unbelievably blessed to call this girl my sister from another mister. I love her more than she knows!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thankful! - Logan & Skipper

I could not be more grateful for these two boys - my brothers - my Logan and Skipper. These boys are the joy of this family. There is not a person on this planet who does not love these boys. They are amazing in every single way. They are handsome as heck, kind-hearted, happy, fun, hilarious, so giving, so hard-working, so unselfish, so motivating.

They have been so supportive and so loving of my boys and I. They are always in touch with my boys and making sure that they have what they need, making sure that I know that I am not alone. These boys are so kind and so generous.

These boys make it easy to love!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thankful - Rachel Curtis Larsen

About 20 years ago, I sort of began my downhill spiral into marriage failure. It was not an awesome time. At all. I broke, and didn't heal for about 20 years!

One day, I opened an envelope that I received in the mail. The envelope was full of Laffy Taffy wrappers. Just the wrappers. Accompanying the wrappers was a note from a Miss Rachel. She simply said that she was thinking about me and that she hoped the jokes would cheer me up. They did! And, I never forgot that small gift from such an enormous spirit!

Since that time, I taught her youngest in Nursery. Mr. Jonah was my buddy. I could not get enough of his feisty personality. Miss Rachel is so much better than she thinks. This girl is beautiful, talented, super smart, completely practical, and an incredible mother! I am so thankful that for a moment in time she blessed my heart and my mind.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thankful! - Dr. Mizell

In this picture, Kaydon is a year old. He is on the couch, while Jackson and Braxton are pulling each others' ears. I believe this is in between his G tube and his GJ tube, and that's why the NG tube is in. He hated that thing... and so did I because he pulled it out constantly. I probably dropped 100 NG tubes in this kiddo. He was on continual feeds, so it had to be in all the time. The G tube and GJ tubes were life savers!

Kaydon was a sick, sick baby. He was not expected to survive. There were many, many, many times that we were in the hospital and told that there was nothing more that could be done, that Kaydon was going to pass away. Dr. Mizell was his gastroenterologist. He was also his advocate, his corner man, his protector, his cheerleader, his buddy. He loved Kaydon like I've never seen a doctor love a patient before.

There were many, many, many mornings when Dr. M would come in to do rounds early in the morning and he would gently wake me and tell me to go down and eat breakfast and shower and he would hold Kaydon. Those were the ONLY times I left my boy. When I would come back to the room, I would find him rocking my Kaydon in the rocking chair every time.

Today, Kaydon is 14. He is completely healthy. He still has his nissen in place, which prevents him from vomiting. But he eats just fine. He runs and jumps and can play sports (albeit carefully). He is full of life and energy and hope and love. He is my little love. He is now my protector and my advocate and my cheerleader.

I am so thankful for a doctor who not only did his job in a most excellent way, but who did it with love and compassion and confidence.