My Family

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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Still Going Strong

I am still going strong at the gym each week. My nutrition is another story. Whoopsie. I've put on a few pounds here and there and every where because of my lack of self-discipline with food, but life goes on!!

I joined a free challenge that starts next week. Hopefully, it will get me back on track. I feel better when I eat good. I feel better when I exercise. I feel better when I get plenty of sleep.

Work is super stressful right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. It's the busiest time of the year for special events and our division does the entire Rodeo. We are also paving roads, chip sealing, taking care of detention ponds, turning rows at Green Waste, handling the urban forest, etc. etc. etc. On top of that, we have three new software programs that go live next Thursday. These handle our financials, cashiering, and parks and rec. July 1 is the first day of the new fiscal year - so already an extremely busy time of year for me. I am feeling the tension and the stress. Doing this challenge will help me to stay on track physically which can only help me emotionally and mentally.

Or, at least we hope.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Magic of Autism

On Monday, I got home from work and walked in to a full family room of boys. This is an identical visual most every night. Colton, Jamari, and Eric were playing games. As I headed up the stairs to change into my workout clothes, Jamari said, "Wait! Put your arm out." He then put these most beautiful, colorful bracelets on my bare arm. He had spent the day making me bracelets. Of course, Colton piped up and said, "Mama, I will make you some too!!!" And with that, I headed to the gym with my arm full of homemade bracelets.

When I got home from the gym, I loaded Jackson, Jamari, and Colton in the car and we headed to get ice cream cones. On the way home, Colton said, "Mama, Jamari thinks that spiders made us." I said, "Oh, Jamari. Tell me more." Mari said, "Well, Colton said Heavenly Father made us. So I asked Colton who made Heavenly Father and Colton said that Heavenly Father's father made Him. And Colton said that Heavenly Father made Jesus. But, what if spiders made us?" Colton said, "It's really not that hard. Heavenly Father made us. The end." And with that, the conversation switched to Colton telling me that he got Jamari in to the scouting program in our ward. He said that he talked to the "teachers" (leaders) and told them that Jamari needs to be doing scouting stuff and that he needs to be picked up from his house every Wednesday. Oh!! Ok. "Jamari, is that okay with your mom?" I asked. He said, "I guess!" And with that, we ate our ice cream.

I realized last night that Colton's world really is magical. Most of us are nervous to have religious conversations with our friends and neighbors. We don't want them to dislike us or to make things awkward. For Colton, that's not a concern. To him, this is all stuff that people should know. It's simple. It's so simple. Jamari wasn't in scouts, or going to church. To Colton, that needs to be fixed... so he fixed it. To Colton, the thought of people not knowing that Heavenly Father created us is not okay. So, he fixes it by telling them that it's pretty simple. In his world, this is all very obvious and simple. To the rest of us... what is OUR problem?!

I love this kid more each day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Four Weeks Old / Four Months Old

Oh, these boys! Anson is four weeks old. He is so calm, so relaxed, so chill. He is the noisiest sleeper I have ever heard. He has the longest arms of any baby I have ever seen. He is already trying to roll over! He is so sweet. He loves to cuddle and be in the swing. He is starting to lose the hair on top of his head. Poor kid... bad genes from his daddy!

Asher is four months old. He is feisty, loud, has the best giggles, busy, and has attitude. This kid is seriously hilarious. He and his daddy are both a little dramatic at times. It cracks me up. There is nothing like going over and him looking at me and just smiling and laughing and giving me the biggest open-mouth kisses. He loves music and Baby Einstein videos. He loves going on walks with his mama. I actually do suck on those cheeks of his. I can't help myself!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

One of The Best Days So Far

It is so, extremely, rare for all five of us to be at church. In fact, I can't remember the last time that happened. With the two oldest working and me helping with the babies, it hasn't happened for a while. But it happened yesterday! I love watching my boys prepare the Sacrament. I love hearing Jackson bless it. I love watching my boys pass it. Colton slept soundly on my lap for most of the hour, but that's okay. I love sitting in the pew with my boys. There is something complete about that feeling.

After church, we went home and I made dinner. We sat and ate as a family... again, pretty rare these days. Jackson sat with us, but didn't eat. He was fasting. After dinner, Jackson and I headed to the Stake Patriarch's home. Jackson had decided to receive his patriarchal blessing. It was one of the most, if not THE most, spiritually powerful experiences of my life. There is something about hearing our Father speak to our children that is like nothing I have ever experienced. The blessing was beautiful, articulate, powerful... amazing. Simply amazing. Both of us cried. We wept, in fact. I have always known that Jackson is a special young man. But, hearing our Father speak to him through the Patriarch... it was like nothing I have ever felt before.

This boy of mine is so spectacular. He has been foreordained to do so much, to be so much.. and he is loved beyond earthly words. And, I get to be his mom. ME. I get to be his mom. Oh, the blessings.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites / Autism / Friends / Joy

Last night, I got home from work. I told Jamari to go ask his mom if he could go to Fizz with us and if he could ride in the back of the matchbox with Kaydon and Colton. He was VERY excited. His mom said, "yes." So, the three boys loaded up and we went to Fizz. Mari had never been there and was a bit overwhelmed with the choices. He selected a vanilla italian ice with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Jamari is quite a bit younger than Colton, but he is oh, so patient with Colton. They love to play video games, play outside, and just be boys. Wednesday, the three boys went swimming. Mari has slept over at our house the last two nights... boys asleep on the family room floor each morning I leave for work. I love that Mari is so good with Colton and sees him as just one of the boys. I love that Colton has a friend who sees him for him and accepts him. I love that Kaydon is an unbelievable brother who helps him along. I love that summer time is a time to relax and do things that we don't normally get to do. I love joy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

That Baby

Asher missed his auntie while I was gone. I headed over to his house after I dropped Braxton off at work on Sunday, and we bonded most of the rest of the day. This baby is smiling and talking and drooling and laughing and getting so excited. He loves music, open mouth kisses with auntie, being outside, and watching movies. He's been a little sick the last week, or so. Poor little man.

I went over Tuesday night to help his mama and he and I had to take a little walk outside so that he could calm down. I seriously cannot get enough of this baby. Little Anson is also getting so big and is such a good eater and sleeper! I sat Anson up next to Asher on Tuesday, and Asher was fine until he noticed I was holding Anson, then he started to sad-cry. I picked him up with the other hand and he buried his head in my shoulder. He was a little jealous. Sweet boy!

Being an auntie is seriously the greatest right now! I am loving these babies so much!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Little Break

Oklahoma was hot and muggy, but this girl enjoyed sitting outside and getting some Vitamin D. I also enjoyed eating Chili's chips and guacamole. I also enjoyed being sent to get a pedicure. I also enjoyed my last birthday gift... a beautiful necklace. I also enjoyed the road trip home: through Oklahoma, Kansas (on a brick road!!), Colorado (so beautiful!), and in to Utah. We live in such a beautiful place! I was so grateful to my dad, who stayed a few nights with Colton.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Youth Conference 2017

Last week, Jackson, Braxton and Kaydon headed down to Ephraim for Youth Conference with our ward and stake. I kept telling them that I was so excited for them because this was a youth conference that I did when I was 14ish. I remember how much I loved it. They were able to do so much more and I loved having them call me when they got home and saying, "That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life." "It was amazing, Mama."

It's so important to me that my children have spiritual experiences. I reminded them that the Spirit that they felt IS a testimony. I am so grateful that they are able to have experiences that remind them that they are children of our Heavenly Father, and that He loves them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lots of Black

When I opened my office door this morning, this is what I saw:
It made me smile SO big! I have the greatest boss, the most amazing co-workers, and a fantastic job. I am so spoiled. I love them so much and I think they missed me!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Update - Mama

I am 40!
Height: 5'5"
Hair: Don't ask!

I am still working at Ogden City, and feel so blessed to be there. I am well-taken care of and I really do enjoy my job on most days! I work with the greatest people!! I quit Kohl's a few months ago. P and my bishop finally talked me in to it. It's been an adjustment, but a good one!

I am super emotional, sensitive, feisty, sassy, impatient, strong, vocal, and loyal.

I am currently dating one person, but feel pretty lucky that I have been able to date several different people and really allow myself to say "no" to what I didn't want. I also feel super lucky to be dating Mister right now. I go to the gym four nights a week for an hour. I continue to feel my body and my mind getting stronger. It's also "me" time that is healthy and a good outlet for stress. I still love to color and am always doing that when I am just relaxing. I also LOVE being an auntie! I love going and loving on those baby boys.

I love my boys more than words can say. I am so stinking proud of them. They are stronger than they know and better than they believe. They are funny and fun. I love that they still go on dates with me, and that they are the ones who ask to do it!

I love me, too.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Update - Colt

Colton is 13... will be 14 in August.
Height: 5'2"
Hair: However Mommy cuts it!

Colton is sensitive, funny, imaginative, kind, and I wish everyone lived in his world. In Colton's world, there is no one who is bad, there is no hate, there is no ugliness, there is no fighting.

Colton will be in 8th grade next year, and we will try to do two main-stream classes again.

Colton loves to be with people. He loves to be outside. He loves to play games, watch movies, play catch, kick the ball, and get loves from people. Colton is no longer taking meds at night. He is able to get himself to sleep at night without meds right now. He still takes numerous meds each morning. Colton is getting better at showering or bathing every day. He doesn't fight it near as much. Colton struggled the most in his main-stream classes last year, which is not surprising. But, we tried it and that's what is important.

Colton wants to work at Subway when he grows up. I think that's a perfect idea!

I love you so, so much boogie!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Update - Kaydabada

Kaydon is 14... will be 15 in August.
Height: 5'11"
Hair: Still short on the sides and longer on top

Kaydon will be a freshman this year. He has worked super hard in school and really focuses and concentrates on his work. Kaydon got a part-time job with the school district, doing janitorial work. He is a very hard worker. Kaydon is emotional, funny, an introvert, loyal, and loving. He is also very organized and routine-oriented.

Kaydon still spends a lot of time with Bert. Bert calls him Kaydoni. Kaydon is good to Bert and Bert is so good to Kaydon. They like to go to the temple, do service projects, and go shopping for antiques. Kaydon also likes to collect swords. He is very much into the real art of mixed martial arts. He is super talented with different moves that he does. Kaydon also loves movies.

Kaydon is very aware of my emotions and my situations. He is such a tender boy and loves to be happy.

I love you so, so much Buddha!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Update - Brackalacka

Braxton is 15... will be 16 in August.
Height: 6'2 1/2"
Hair: Still short on the sides and longer on top.

Braxton will be a sophomore next year. He will be taking driver's ed the first semester. He is a good driver and drives the stick shift really well. Brax is working at Lagoon this summer and also just got a part-time job with the school district to be a janitor. Braxton is sensitive, loyal, emotional, fragile, and kind. He is a hard worker. He is creative and a very good artist. His drawings are pretty amazing.

Braxton is currently dating a girl named Camryn (Cam). Her mom works at the school with the special needs kids. My boys take turns each day with who is responsible for Colton. When it's Braxton's day, he usually takes Colton over to Cam's to jump on the tramp or go on a motorcycle ride. Colton just loves it!

Braxton continues to have health challenges. He was recently diagnosed with a genetic disorder that causes constant, severe headaches. He will have this for the rest of his life. He takes precautionary medicine and then is learning to do what he can to help the symptoms. Braxton is our fixer. He can fix almost anything that is broken. He likes to ask me to go on drives with him, which is pretty awesome.

I love you so, so much Peanut!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Update - Jackalacka

Jackson is 17... will be 18 in August.
Height: 6'2"
Hair: Still short on sides and longer on top.
Jackson will be a senior in high school this year. I seriously cannot believe that. My baby boy will be a senior! Jackson is sensitive, kind, loyal, helpful, responsible beyond his years. He still works at Cold Stone in Layton as a crew leader. Jackson isn't sure yet what he wants to do right after he graduates, but I know that he'll make the right choices.

Jackson is good about dating different girls. Right now, he really likes a girl named Jaydon. Jacks tries to go down to Sandy a few times a year to spend time with his best friend, Dalton. They are such great friends and bring out the best in each other. Jackson is a gamer, and came in first place in a gaming-development competition. He also likes to spend time with his family (which is totally awesome), go to movies, and chill with friends.

Jackson is the most generous kiddo. He went with me to take Colton to his last Autism check-up. Colton introduced him as his big brother who has a cute girlfriend! Colton's doctor asked Jackson how he has handled all of the responsibilities that have been on him at such a young age. Jackson said, "I feel pretty lucky. I feel like it's made me more mature. Kids my age don't handle themselves the same way. They feel like things are just handed to them. I know that's not how life works." She was so impressed with him, and so was I. He is such a great help to me and to his brothers.

I love you so, so much Bubba!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Birthday Buddies

I always wished that I had my own birthday. Seriously. I didn't even get one birthday all by myself. Brandon went and ruined my big day by being born on my first birthday! But, seriously, I am so grateful he was. I am so grateful for him, his wisdom, his wise-crack personality, his strength, and his example to me. He really is such a fantastic husband, daddy, and provider for his family. He is running a successful chiropractic practice. He is a movie-buff, an MTV Classics addict, a camper, and a great uncle.

My boys absolutely trust him and rely on him. They confide in him when they won't talk to anyone else. I think we have become even closer since these little nuggets of him were born. Last week, I was holding Asher when Brandon came home from work. I was trying to put Asher down for a nap, but he heard his daddy come in and popped right up. Brandon came right over, scooped him up, and talked to him for a bit before he brought him back to me.

Happy 39th birthday to my birthday buddy! I love you, B.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites - Birthdays!

I freaking love my birthday. I love it. Everyone at work has known for months/years that it's my birthday on Sunday. It makes me so happy to be turning 40!!!

I came home from work last night to three boxes from Amazon. Mister spoiled me rotten with bubble bath, bath bombs, lotions, and bath stuff. Logan and Skipper spoiled me rotten with gift cards and coloring books! This morning, my staff sang to me and brought treats. I love them all so much!

Sunday morning, I will wake up to my four most favorite faces. I love my boys so much and they are the best gifts a girl could have every single day. Then, I will fly out to Oklahoma for the week with my other favorite face.