My Family

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Three Weeks

It's been three weeks since P gained his angel wings. It seems like not that long, but it also seems like so much longer. I've needed, so much, to have P time - where I just sit in his office and talk to him about life and he lets me cry while he hands me all of the purple taffy from the bowl. I need a back-to-school chaos blessing, but he's not here to do that. I need to hear him sing. But he's not here to do that. I need to talk to him about opportunities, frustrations, funny stuff that only he would laugh at. But he's not here to do that.

I messaged Kenzie Lou last night to remind her that she's loved and supported and KNOWN. Sweet Kenz has her hands full. I remind her often that she is prepared for this. I also remind her that all she has to do is reach out. We will all be there for them!

P, we are going to have our fall employee appreciation softball game and lunch! Except, this time the entire Public Services Department will be there. I have my hands full to make sure it's just what would have made you smile. You won't be catching this year - razzing everyone who came to the plate. You won't be hitting doubles, that only turn in to singles because you were getting old. You won't be making the salads for me while I set everything up because you knew just what I needed you to help me with so I didn't stress - like over the top stress! But, I hope and I pray that you're close by. I hope that our guys will hear you razzing them from behind the plate. I hope that we will all hear your voice and your laugh in our hearts.

I miss you every single day. I think you'd be proud of how we are doing. We have been told we are on "auto-pilot." However, I think that we continue to go about 65 MPH, which is the exact speed you lived your life at. Sometimes we play Neil Diamond. Sometimes we cry. Still. Sometimes we hug - okay every day we hug.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Single Mom Life - Putting Them To Work

I have almost always worked for men, who have wives who are able to stay home and raise their families and make their houses homes. At times, they have been less than understanding about the fact that at my house, all of those things that their wives do during the day still have to be done at my house, just in much shorter periods of time. I have to make the money, pay the bills, run the errands, get kiddos to doctor and dentist appointments, do the shopping, make the meals, do the laundry, do the dishes, vacuum, do the garbage, plan the meals, attend the functions, cut hair........ It goes on and on. But, it's just me. Just me.

However, I am not raising my children to sit and watch Mom do it all by herself. I can't. I won't. Not only would that not be fair to me, but it wouldn't be fair to them. They are capable and we are a team. For this reason, once they turned 10, they did their own laundry and ironing. Even Colton. I have not done their laundry in years. I have not done their ironing in years. They do dishes. They fix meals. They do grocery shopping. They clean the house. We all pitch in and do these things. And, sometimes I'll notice that one of them grabbed my laundry and did it for me! They are great organizers and hard workers. I am proud of them.

Sunday, Bishop came over to our house to set Jackson apart as the 1st Assistant in the Priest Quorum. Afterwards, he gave us blessings. In each blessing, he told my boys that their mama loves them and that I sacrifice for them and that I do everything in my power to take care of them. Kaydon said, "That's so true. You can see it in her. She sweats sacrifice and hard work for US." I cried a little. But, how grateful I am that they see that their mama loves them. How grateful I am that they never, ever complain about being part of this team where we work hard and love hard.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Baby Time!

Friday night, Jackson and Braxton met me at Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie's house to babysit the babes. As always, Anson was completely chill. Asher, not so much. Baby Asher was not very happy with the world. Poor little guy. We had to do lots of snuggles and bouncing and walking. Jackson and Anson just chilled and watched Baby Einstein.

Saturday night, we all met Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie at Farmington Station to get Baked Bear to celebrate this month of birthdays! The boys loved it!! We loved some more on these babes and laughed and talked. Brandon has been having talks with Jackson and Braxton about what they think they want to do after high school. Braxton is the tough one to get through to. I am so grateful that my boys have amazing uncles who are helping them to become great men.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kaydon is 15!!

This miracle boy of mine is 15 today! As per tradition, I will be emailing his gastroenterologist an update on this boy who so many thought would die in infancy. His doctor felt otherwise and always fought hard for Kaydon! Kaydon is creative, hard-working, driven, spiritual, loyal, and has so much personality! He will be a 9th grader this year!! I cannot wait to see what this year brings him! Love you, Buddha!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites - Memories

I am so grateful for pictures of P that are at my desk. On Wednesday, I called his voice mail (which still has his voice mail message on it) and recorded his voice on to my phone. That might sound weird, but some days I just need to hear that dang voice that irritated me so often. My favorite thing about my memories is the picture that Colton drew during the funeral. Colton was so much better at the funeral than I thought he'd be. Two hours of sitting there, listening and being "reverent" is so hard for adults who are neuro-typical. As soon as the caskets came in, Colton shrieked, "Why is Perry in a box?!?!" I thought that for sure that was the beginning of the end, but with the help of Skittles and a drawing pad, he made it through. Sweet Colton and his love for Perry make me smile big everyday!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trading in Sassy for Sweet

The guys brought me in a donut yesterday. They said I was being a weeeeee bit sassy and needed to trade it in for some sweet. I don't eat donuts. But, I sure as heck ate this one.

Don't judge.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Single Mom Life - Real Freaking Furniture!

I've decided that once a week on this blog, I am going to highlight single mom life. People, let's be honest - life is not supposed to be this way, but for so many people it just is and that's ok! So, I will be highlighting the highs and the lows, the good, the bad, and the ugly, the tender mercies and the struggles. It's our life and it's a beautiful life.

Saturday, Brandon texted me that his assistant, Keeli, had a bedroom set. I jumped on the chance to get it! We literally have no real furniture. It's just not in the budget. Don't get me wrong, we have a couch. It was $50 on KSL six years ago. We all have mattresses. We have broken down, used dressers. But, not real furniture.

You guys!!! This is my new bedroom set:

The boys so gladly switched rooms for Braxton and I. They put together the furniture. They helped me put all of my clothes away. They helped me clean. They were so glad for me. They told me to lay down and see if it was comfortable enough for me.

Jackson and I ran an errand on Thursday night. Just me and him. He told me that he is so grateful for our challenges in our family of five. He told me that because of what we have been through, the boys don't take anything for granted. They know they have to work hard because they see me work hard. They know they are not entitled to anything. They know that life is hard. They know how to budget, how to prioritize, how to work hard, how to pay tithing, how to be so grateful for what we do have.

As he told me these things, I realized that indeed our trials and struggles and hardships are blessing in our lives.

This single-mom thing is not such a bad gig when I hear my boys speak of our blessings like that.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Celebrating 14 Years With Colton

Uncle Ernie wanted to make sure that Colton had the biggest ice cream ever. So, he supplied and we delivered! Jackson and I made THE biggest ice cream sundae of all time. I'm pretty sure it was about 586030 calories. And what?! Colton went outside and told everyone to come in and eat. We sang Happy Birthday to him and he just grinned! Then, I handed out plastic spoons and everyone dug right in.

This cute little nugget, David, came from no where. I've never seen him before in my life and I seem to feed A LOT of kids each night. He was like four years old and he was SO excited to be at a "party!" Everyone, besides Jackson, had given up. Either because they had extreme brain freeze or because they were praying they would vomit! Little David looked at Jackson and said, "Well, guess it's just you and me." Jackson got such a kick out of him.

We sure love our Colton. He bore his testimony in church yesterday. You never know what's going to come out of his mouth and so I was relieved that nothing inappropriate popped out! He is a sweet boy, who is always worried about everyone else. Here is hoping that he will have another amazing school year!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Colton Turns 14!

Today is Colton's 14th birthday!

Colton has been excited about this day since about September of last year. He has not told everyone who he looks at that today is his birthday about 1,283 times. I'm sure he's been busy knocking on doors, as well, to tell them of the importance of this day! Colton LOVES to celebrate his birthday every year!

Sweet Colton is our loving, sensitive, inquisitive, curious, happy boy. Autism has been a blessing in our home and in our lives. I often wish that we all lived in his world. It is a happy world, where everyone is good and everyone means well. It's so awesome!

I can't wait to celebrate this boy tonight.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

You Wear Your Best Boys, I'll Wear My Pearls


Today is our last prom date. So, you wear your best boys and I'll wear my pearls. My biggest pearl earrings are in! I'm wearing pink, mostly because you hated pink. So, there. It's pretty much the only way I can get back at you for all of this. But, really...

Jason will be taking the boys and I in one of the new tweeners. Can you believe that it took you getting your angel wings to get those suckers? Ken just came in to tell me that it's all shiny and clean for me and there is a new, fresh box of tissues in it. I don't know why they think I'll need those!

Colton asks me every morning, "When will Perry not be dead anymore?" I try to explain to him that only your body is dead, and that your Spirit is alive and with Heavenly Father. He doesn't really think that's good enough. I love that he can articulate what all of us think!

Your viewing was beautiful. Your four babies were composed, articulate, and full of the Spirit. They are strong, just like their mommy and daddy. Caden told me he is going back out to Florida next week. I said, "Oh, thank goodness. Your dad would be furious if you didn't!" He said, "They both would and I don't need that right now." We both laughed. That Kenzie Lou is beautiful. She is such a lady. She has grown up so much. Gosh, you did good. Jaxon is tall, strong, funny, and very protective of Aubs. Miss Aubree is struggling. But, she is surrounded by brothers and a sister who will carry her. The pictures of you and Miss Red were outstanding. Oh, how I wish I had the pictures of your mullett a LONG time ago! What I could have held over your head with those!!! That thing was fabulous! You rarely took a serious picture. Such a dork!

I wrote a letter to the kiddos yesterday. It has memories of you in it. It also has the words you spoke of them and your bride most recently. It tells them how immensely proud you are of them and how you would tell me that you were "in love" with your kids. I want them to never forget that their daddy was proud of them and that he loved them more than I've ever witnessed a daddy love his children.

This will most likely be my last letter to you. Last night, I put my hand on your casket and said my goodbyes to the body inside. I am so grateful that I know that your Spirit is alive and well and busy - you hated to not be busy.

One last time, P: thank you for believing in this broken girl. Thank you for the Diet Cokes in my inbox. Thank you for the ice cream runs. Thank you for the long drives, listening to Elder Maxwell speak and talking about testimonies. Thank you for the Priesthood blessings. Thank you for the stupid songs you sang. Thank you for the love you had for my boys. They knew it and they felt it. Thank you for the example of what a worthy, noble, honorable husband and father looks like. Thank you for always protecting me. Always. Thank you for letting me cry and making me laugh. Thank you for your dumb jokes. They were so dumb! Thank you for my decorated office. None of these decorations will EVER come down. They are my bit of P everyday. Thank you for those moments when I feel you close to me, when I feel you telling me to calm down, when I feel you telling me to be strong, when I feel you telling me to laugh.

Gosh, I miss you. More every day. I miss you.

Until we meet again, P...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'll Huff, I'll Puff, I'll Blow Those Candles Out!


Yesterday there was a beautiful vigil held for you and Miss Sarah at the Amphitheater. Christy and Ashley, in Special Events, did an absolutely perfect job. It was extraordinary in the most simple of ways. From the flower arrangement to the podium that you hate, to the words that were spoken. I even spoke some of those words, P. I hope they made you proud of me. Justin told funny stories through tears and so did Monte. They made me laugh really hard. I needed that. Jay, Todd, and Kenton also spoke. Rodeo and Christmas Village spoke. And almost all of OTN was there. I thanked them, personally, for being there. When it was over, everyone lit candles. You blew those candles out repeatedly. The wind would just pick up and all of the candles would go out. It was silly and I giggled out loud. I know it was you. Trying to be funny. Yesterday, it worked.

After the vigil, Miss Camille (one of your very favorites) sent me these:

The Muffin Man would have been honored to be your date to the prom today!!💕You are so brave and strong and did a wonderful job this morning! P would have been so proud of you!! I laughed that he kept blowing out our candles. Still making us smile...

I loved when I was on the phone with him and you'd walk in the room. Hearing how much he loved you and loved to tease you! His entire voice would change when you walked in, I could always tell when you were there with him. I wish there was something to ease the pain of the next 2 proms. Hopefully they will give us some closure and remind us of how many lives he touched and how much he was loved to carry us through the hardest moments. I've thought about your office a few times this past week and I'm so glad he decorated it for you. I hope it still makes you smile and is a reminder of how much you meant to him and how much he loved you.

I loved you, too. I still do. I always will. Tonight is your viewing. You hated all of this. You went to viewings, but not to funerals. You never looked at the caskets. Your focus was straight ahead. Tonight, I'll talk to your family and I will put my hands on your final resting spot. It's our second to last prom tonight, P. I'm all dressed up again. Waiting for my corsage.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Last Prom

Dear P,

Starting today, we are having our last three prom dates. I put on a skirt and pretended when I walked in to the office to hear you say, "Heidi Ray, you look pretty enough to go to prom! Are you going with the muffin man?" Then I smiled.

Time isn't making things easier, but this OC family is growing tighter and tighter, just as you taught us. We will be holding hands the next three days. We will be crying. You'll just have to deal with that. We will be hugging. We will be laughing, I'm sure of it. Jimmy came in and checked on me again yesterday. He told me about how, while you were in Italy last year, you got up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night. So, he snuck in to your bed and waited for you. When you climbed in to bed, he was wedged up against the wall. He rolled over and put his arm around you. You flipped the flip. Jimmy could not stop laughing. I was laughing, too. It felt so good to laugh.

Randy Marble came to see me yesterday. He said he has been praying for your family and for me, personally. He wept. I told him that you respected him so much and told him about how you said to me a couple of weeks ago that he was the type of boss everyone should try to be.

Gosh, I miss you. It's time for you to come back now. Please.