My Family

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nine Months and Six Months

Last night I went right from work to Brandon and Carrie's to watch the babes. I haven't seen them in over a week and I was super excited to let them know that Auntie is still the favorite!

Asher is just days shy of being nine months old. He has two teeth on the bottom. He is crawling every where and pulls himself up to things. He loves bath time and had both of us soaking wet! He is super ticklish and has the cutest dang laugh. He gets super jealous if Anson is being held and needs to be in on that action! He still does Auntie kisses with me and I just can't get enough of him!

Anson is six months old today. He is the sweetest, happiest baby boy. He is just starting to roll over. He loves his bouncy chair. He gets a bit irritated with his brother now and then. He isn't as excited about bath time as his brother, but they both love being naked! He is more of a cuddler than Asher and I just eat that up! His smile melts me!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Single Mom Gig - Gosh, I'm Thankful!

This has been a great year for my little family.

I have four amazing boys!
We only had one surgery this whole year!
We welcomed Asher and Anson and got to be at the sealing!!
Grandma and Grandpa Nef came for visits and were of course there for ordinations!
Nana is in complete remission from her cancer! She's badass!!
Boys got to spend time with Papa and Grandma!
Boys got to go camping together - the four of them!
Mama is strong and healthy!
P got his angel wings and we continue to learn from him!
Mama has the best job with the best guys!
We got to spend lots of time with Uncle Logan when he came to visit!
We got to spend lots of time with Pops and Nana this year!
Two Patriarchal Blessings!
We have been blessed with Randy in our lives!
We have an amazing ward and the best bishop in the land!
I finished the Book of Mormon, then started it again!
We are so blessed every day with love and strength and faith over fear. We continue to choose joy on this crazy journey because the alternative sucks! I am so thankful that we will be able to spend Thanksgiving with people we love.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Good To Be Back

I've been a weee bit sick... like pneumonia sick. Oooopsie! I thought for sure I just had a cold. I was wrong, which rarely happens!! ;)

Life continued to move while I laid on the couch, watching Christmas movies on Netflix, sucking on cough drops and coloring. Thursday, Randy drove up and he and the boys used the rest of the Boondocks cards up. The boys were so fun to watch. Randy told me that my face lights up when I watch my boys having fun, with no sense of stress or sense of time. They racked up the tickets! I wish I had taken a picture of all of their loot! They smiled and laughed and took their prizes over to Randy who was patiently sitting on the darkened countertop at Boondocks because they were closing. Braxton got a lava lamp! He walked over and said, "I've been trying to get one of these for four years!!!" So cute!

Colton got a TMNT mask. He was Leonardo pretty much all day Saturday! This kid is pure joy. Pure joy! I was able to go to the gym Saturday for the first time in two weeks because I haven't been feeling good. It felt awesome to get back at it! There is an elderly gentleman who comes to the gym everyday. He is on oxygen and is very fragile. Every single day he gets on the treadmill and walks and walks. Every single time I see him, I wink at him and he winks back. It's a little piece of heaven, really! He inspires me so much!

Yesterday, Randy drove up again. Poor guy! Kaydon had asked he and I to join him for his Patriarchal Blessing. Once again, sitting and listening to Heavenly Father talk to your child is a slice of Heaven that I just want more and more of! Kaydon is an incredible 15 year old. He is a miracle kiddo who fought everyday of his first three years to be on this Earth. He is so valiant in his beliefs and in his values. He normally doesn't like a lot of people, but has really taken to Randy. It's fun to see his competitive side come out. The blessing was unbelievably beautiful and glorious. We asked him his thoughts once we were in the car. He just said he was overwhelmed. These little moments are huge blessings in a mama's life and I am so grateful!

We had dinner when we got back. Then, we pulled Braxton in to my room. My peanut is struggling so much in life right now. So much. I started to talk to him and then Randy took over. I was stunned at the words that were coming out of his mouth. Later, I thanked him and he told me that they weren't his words but rather HIS words. I knew that to be true. It's impossible to describe what it's like as a parent to watch your children struggle so much and not be able to choose for them. He was reminded last night that he is never, ever alone. We are all here. He is loved beyond words. When he is ready to let God back in, He is waiting close by. When he feels like praying, he will be buoyed up. Until he feels like praying, we will do it for him. He is enough. He is worth it. He is incredible just as he is. He is an imperative part of this family and he is needed and wanted. Pray for Peanut if you have a chance.

Then, Randy headed out to the car and asked me join him. We talked about his excitement for MacKenzie and Colton to come home. We talked to his mom and sisters on speaker phone. We talked about challenges and tender mercies. We laughed and we talked about the coming week. Guys, he's pretty rad.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Little South Bound Getaway

Let me preface this by saying that I sucked at taking pictures this past weekend. I was just relaxing and enjoying...

Randy showed up bright and early Friday morning and loaded up my golf clubs and bag. We loaded Kaydon, Colton, and Amia in and dropped them off at school. Then, headed south for a little getaway. We drove to Mesquite Friday and met up with his sister, Melissa. Two of her boys were playing in a soccer tournament and we were able to watch both of their games. The weather and the setting were so beautiful! Then, we drove back to St. George to his mom's house. We grabbed some dinner then just relaxed. Saturday morning, we enjoyed the back yard and it's swimming pool, hot tub and porch sets. Randy ran and got me some markers and his mom had a coloring book for me. I sat with my Diet Coke and colored for a bit. His cousins came by. Little Sierra helped me color for a bit. Then, we headed to the golf course to play nine holes with his mom. It was really, really nice. We went out to dinner after the golf and then watched some College football until everyone fell asleep but me. :)

Sunday, we headed back home. We stopped in Paragonah, again. We checked on the house and visited the cemetery one more time... until the next time.

Being in the car with someone for hours is a pretty good way to get to know someone. Testimonies were born. Lessons were taught. Stories were told. Tears flowed. Laughter abounded. It was a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Single Mom Gig - Life Happening

The weekend was really, really wonderful. Mostly, Randy and I talked. A lot. And cried. And laughed. But, mostly we talked and learned. He already knows most of my insecurities and is learning, and teaching me, why I have them. One is my dad. One is P. One is assumptions. One is perceptions. One is lack of trust. (obvious) One is fear. We talked about all of them. We talked about MacKenzie, Colton, Zack, Jackson, Braxton, Kaydon and Colton. We talked about Asher and Anson... and how one day I'll be their favorite again! We talked about growth, mistakes, regrets, and experiences.

On the way home, he asked me about my dad and our relationship. He asked me why he hadn't met my dad yet. I started to open up about my feelings, and then just kept going and going. I cried. He listened. In the end, I decided to write my dad a letter... which I did yesterday. I wrote it with no expectation of anything in return. I got a response ( a couple of them), but none of it hurt me. None of it shaped any form of opinion on my end. I decided on the way home from our weekend that I was going to love my dad, just as he is... not as he used to be. Not as I feel he should be (who am I to make that decision anyway!). Just as he is now. I felt so much comfort after doing that and am excited, even elated, to move forward with a new way of thinking and with no more sadness or hurt or confusion. Just love.

As we got to Bountiful, I looked up at one of the digital freeway signs. For some reason, all I saw was "I15" and "Perry." I lost my mind. I started to sob. I wept. I asked Randy what the other words said, concerned that they said something about an accident. He continued to tell me that they simply said, "Love you Sis. I'm right here, P." I still don't know what the other words said, but I know that I did not expect to react the way I did. Randy asked me if I had written P a letter. I read him the letters I had on my blog. I realized at that moment it wasn't enough.

Yesterday, I spent my lunch break with P and Sarah (at least their dead bodies) at he Cemetery. I talked. I prayed. I cried. I laughed. I read my scriptures. I just was there. I felt so much peace. I felt so much strength. I felt so much that I needed that and that it's all okay. They have such a beautiful burial spot for their bodies. The view is extraordinary, even if it is under a pine tree (he hated pine trees!).

Today, I got a surprise. They are exquisite. The picture does not do these flowers any justice! They are unbelievably stunning. Even X-man is like, "Damn!!!" I love my X-man!

I am so grateful that life is happening and that I am learning and growing. Both with counseling and with life itself. I made myself a word board. Each week, I focus on one of those words. This week is "assumptions." It's about not saying, "I know..." when it comes to someone else's feelings. It's about not assuming that I know anything about anyone else. It's about being willing to ask. It's about being willing to stop myself for a moment and simply assume the best and most out of everyone. It's about not judging. Others or myself. It's about being open to people and their stories. It's pretty wonderful, really.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thursday Start To The Weekend

Randy drove up Thursday night because he wanted to spend some time with the gang before the weekend getaway. We headed to Boondocks, ordered some dinner and purchased our passes for the night. Before dinner even arrived, Jackson got a call from work and was super bummed that he had to go. He had traded with someone that night so that he could hang out with us. He headed off to work and the rest of us started our bowling game. I suck at bowling. Like, bad. Like, I don't even think bumpers would help. But, I love doing it with my family. Kaydon was super competitive with Randy, which just brought so much laughter. Colton had way more fun once Randy pulled out the ramp for him. Who wouldn't?! Braxton started off slow, but came back strong!
After bowling, we went in for a little laser tag. I'm a big trash-talker when it comes to laser tag! I think I'm pretty good. Sooooo... I had to finish it up with two back-to-back wins!!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Single Mom Gig - When You're Not So Alone

Meet Randy. Or Rand. Or LeRoy. Or Persistent Bob. You choose.

Miss T, and my family, have been aware of him. I'll talk more about him later. For now... I'll just leave this here.
Saturday night, I ran over to love on these two. I haven't seen them for a week and was feeling physical withdrawals. Sunday, we all met at Nana and Pops' house. Randy was there to meet the family. Allow me to remind everyone that I have always been Asher's favorite. Period. Like, no question about it. Until Sunday. Apparently, I am no longer the favorite. Randy is the new favorite. He sat with him at the dinner table, wanted him to carry him around the house (he can crawl), and every time I went in for Auntie kisses, I got his hand in my face. Carrie mentioned that I had been replaced. I am not willing to use that R word quite yet. Asher and I just need to have a little chat. These boys are SO loved. So flipping loved. They are just the greatest blessings for our family. I am so thankful to be their auntie and to live so close to them so that I can love on them every chance I get!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Autumn Camping

Friday and Saturday, my boys went camping. They went with the other young men in the ward. It was dry for them and they had fun hiking, just the four of them. It breaks my heart to think this is one of the last camping trips for these boys before Jackson leaves. They are a strong foursome. They don't always like each other, in fact most of the time, they probably don't like each other. But, they love each other and they depend on each other. I am so thankful for young men's leaders that they have had along the way, who have always been so supportive, loving, and motivated. This ward goes on more campouts than any ward we have ever been on. Usually, my children make up at least half of the squad. I am so thankful for their opportunities, especially just the four of them to grow and bond!

Thursday, November 2, 2017


I was told that the NICU at Ogden Regional Hospital was out of blankets. We had to get right on that! As you know - 27 surgeries... days and nights in hospitals... holidays in hospitals... grief and pain... exhaustion... my boys and I understand, truly, what it is like to be in the hospital. Gestures as small as blankets are such a gift, such a blessing. They are a bright spot in rough days. So, we made seven blankets that are all ready to go wrap babies up nice and warm.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Monday night, the boys told me about their plans for Halloween. I was not included in those plans. I may have cried.... I totally did! I cried. They are getting older and really have no use for Mom on Halloween any longer. Jackson and Kaydon did a party. Colton went with Amia, Jamari and Sass. Braxton went to Cam's. So, I set the bowl of candy out on the porch and went to play cards with Rand and his friends.

We mostly talked about how my babies are growing up. It's so weird. It's terribly sad for this mom. The boys cleaned up good on candy and had a lot of fun together and that's what really matters! I had a great time with the guys playing cards and eating cookie dough. So, it was another successful Halloween!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Single Mom Gig - Little Golfing Yo!

Saturday morning, Randy and I met his cousin, his cousin's girlfriend, and his cousin's friend at the golf course. I have not golfed for like two years! I was a weeee bit nervous. We had the best time! The guys were so patient with my lack of all-star worthiness! We played a solid 18 holes and had the best time! I only lost two balls. Randy's cousin switched up my grip on the clubs and I was able to hit with lots more power. It was the most beautiful day, too! The colors were amazing, the temperature was perfect, we had some music going in our cart, and the company was the best!

Find what you love to do and make time for it! It's good for you and for those you love!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Kaydon is a Star!

Last night, Kaydon received his Star. All of his grandparents and two of his brothers were there to celebrate with him. He is so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love him and support him! He has been working really hard on his scouting. He was pretty stoked to get this under him!! I was down in Orem meeting some people. How blessed we are that grandparents can come up and swoop these boys in to their arms and love on them for a bit!!