Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boarding the train of change

Life moves on. It always has to. You get shoved forward even when you wish for better times or the past.

It's been interesting these last few days watching life. Not just mine but many around me.

We have so much changing and right as ducks were getting in a row for the perfect situation...well the ducks for someone else also got in a row. Problem is some of their ducks to be in a row require some of my ducks.

I am willing to share ducks. I just am now concerned I am going to loose a home I was looking forward too.

Life moved me forward and switched my path again.

Today I went from happiness for one, to grieving with another sister this evening. I am so grateful for sisters. That we have one another.

As for Jana, oh how I wish I could just mend her broken heart. I wish I could take her anxiety. I wish I could protect her. Instead I just stand beside her, give her hugs and listen. I try my hardest not to push and bite my tongue often from offering advise. She has a good gut instinct. The Spirit of the Lord is also helping lead and guide her.

I also see the fear she has in swimming in a whole new pond. I am pretty sure some of her swim is filled with cold water and darkness. You just have to keep swimming though.

Darin was sick. I keep reminding myself of this. I love him. He was my brother. My poor, poor sister. She loved him more. He was her husband. My grief, sickness, sorrow, pain, anger, frustration is NOTHING compared to her whole new world.

This last year has been a HUGE year of me questioning "Why?" I don't understand soooo much. I have learned you just can't judge because you just do not know. Even if you had a similar situation, it does not mean you will have even close out comes. Everyone is lead and guided in directions that help with their growth, you just hope they have the guts and ability to follow. I do have to say, this last year has been a year of growth.

Over the summer and early fall when finances were so bad I didn't have food in the house nor money to purchase food, I thought, "why am I even trying to live? If this is all I will do all my life, what is the point of living? Ben is working 2 jobs, I am working 1 and we still can't survive."

I understand Darin's questioning that. My difference is I would than look at my beautiful children, my amazing husband and I would say...I have them. Life is about the people not the items. The problem is when you are in such a huge, horrible financial straight and you are also struggling with health is hard. There were times it was really hard for me to even hold onto the light of my family when I was super sick and no end in sight. I can't nor will I judge him.

I wish more would feel that unwillingness to judge. I wish more could understand. I wish more empathy and sympathy could be and would be shown. The people left grieving NEED that. Honestly, I wish for 1 more time I just being able to let him know that I did and DO care for him.

Life is shoving us forward. New horizons and lives. Movement forward is good just sometimes you still wish for some of those past moments but with your current wisdom!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Penny Pinching Fun!

Tonight I get to go to bed thinking, "I have been a fun mom today". I LOVE nights like that. Too often my nights are, "man I didn't..." or "I should have spent more time with the kids".

Today was a super busy but FUN day. I was awake at about 6 this morning. Went to work at 700. When I got off work, I hurried and got dressed then drove to Jana's and picked the kids up (they slept over). I got the girls dressed and hair done at Jana's and we went straight to the Aquarium.

I LOVE the Aquarium. It is so fun! The kids had a blast. Lyse LOVES the sting rays. Talks and talks and talks about them. I hope one day to be able to take them back (and take Ben for the first time) to Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman. It is amazing and sting rays really are docile, graceful creatures!

Anyway, back to the Aquarium. The kids had a blast. We watch the electric eel put off enough electricity to light up a Christmas Tree. We watched the penguins swim around and overall just enjoy all the sea creatures.

Following the Aquarium, Debbie was awesome and invited the kids back for cookies! YAY cookie making! They cut out and decorated a bunch of ginger bread men, trees, stars, snowflakes, etc. It was fun to watch them decorate their cookies. Cousins played and played and I dreaded having to go back home to work, but alas I had to!

We got home and I worked for a bit then when I got off we went to Jana's old Riverton property to finish emptying out the last of her stuff. We got it all loaded and taken to her house then we left and went to Trafalga in Lehi.

WOW! What fun! This year for Christmas we all got a "Pass of all Passes". It gets us into Trafalga, Seven Peaks, Blaze games, Grizzly games and so much more. We got an awesome deal of only $19.98 per person and we have unlimited access to so many places. Trafalga is one of our unlimited access places. I have a feeling this pass is going to get good use!

The kids loved the rides that were opened and we even played some mini golf. We all decided Dustin was made for a real golf course not mini one :) We had to yell "FORE" a couple times. LOL We also got to enjoy some of their food (which was GOOD) that we had gotten for an excellent deal of city deals. $3 for an extra large (and really tasty) pizza - now that is a deal!! Following our treats we ended the night with Laser Tag. What a perfect way to end it. The kids are already planning the next time we can go and play Laser Tag again.

The whole day was so fun. Yesterday I got a season pass (for free thanks to Cyprus Credit Union new checking account) to the Utah Hogle Zoo. We went into the zoo for about 30 minutes while up there but we did not see much other than some monkeys and the elephants. Tomorrow the plan is to go up and have an adventure seeing more! YAY! Another fun filled day that will be free!

I am so grateful for our blessings. We have season passes to several places (between the "pass of all passes" and the zoo pass) that we can go and have fun with our kids and not have to spend any money. We have been blessed to not have to pay an arm and leg for these passes. I hope that for the next 12 months I can get really good use out of our pass of all passes and zoo pass. Who doesn't love fun adventures that don't cost a dime?!?!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

I know it is AFTER Christmas and I will be taking down my tree in a couple days; however, I never got around to posting our putting the Christmas tree UP pictures! I love putting the tree up. Even though it has to go in front of our front door in order to fit a tree in our living room...I still enjoy it thoroughly!

Tree putting up night always has dancing! We put the tree up, put on Christmas music and the girls dance, twirl and leap around the room. I love it!

I am blessed with such an amazing family. I love them so much!!! (Sorry the pictures are out of order...yes the girls dance AFTER the tree is decorated but the pictures are in with them dancing and then decorating.)

Christmas Dance Performance

On Tuesday December 13, 2011, the girls had their dance performance. They both did awesome. They are becoming such great, talented dancers. I love watching them dance. There is a great magic in it all! Here are some pictures to enjoy!! :)

Christmas Loot

We were so blessed with Christmas this year. Seriously, we were spoiled! At the end of the day I sat and looked at everything in amazement for the love and generosity of all our loved ones. I am so grateful.

Ben always says Christmas is about the presents. It is about the biggest, greatest present that could ever be given to the world. Our Savior Jesus Christ came down to show us a perfect example. When you give a Christmas present in love, you are emulating our saviors love. The gift could be a pack of crayons, but if you gave it with true love and sacrifice, that is what Christmas is about. I agree. Christmas can be about the presents if you view it in that light. :)

When asked about favorite presents, it was truly hard to figure out. All our presents were given with such love and thoughtfulness of us individually it made me stop and think "well what was the best present?"

For Ben - He loved his kindle fire the most, until he climbed in bed with the new mattress topper on it. That caused a toss up on which was really better. Than of course he got toys and those are always just fun. His nerf gun is WAY over used (lol) and the helicopter "pilot" aka controller skills have been greatly fine tuned.

For me - I LOVE sweater season. I think I have mentioned that one before. I got several beautiful sweaters from many different people. YAY! They all know me! I also got a much needed coat since the zipper on mine broke. The biggest surprise of all to me though was the piano!!! I got a keyboard piano and I am soooo excited. I had no clue. I was completely shocked. This holiday season was really sad not to be able to play the Christmas songs I love to play each year. I am so excited to start practicing again!!

For Katy - Her first reply when asked her favorite gift was "Toms". She got a pair of Toms from Ben and I. Seriously, that girl found that package first thing in the morning and she would not put it down. I made her wait to open it until after church cause I KNEW I would be fighting her on "Toms are not appropriate shoes for church" if she got them before hand. She hasn't taken those things off! She even got up yesterday and was still in her pajamas yet her Toms were on her feet. Silly girl and her love for shoes!

Such a silly girl!Katy was also very excited to get a coat, Lalaloopsy, MP3 player and a docking station for her MP3 player.

For Elyse - Her Mp3 player. She has not taken that thing off her ears. Want proof? This is what I found last night:Yes, that is her SOUND asleep with her MP3 player playing in her ear. Silly girl. I had to get a picture before I turned it off and put the player away for the evening. She also loved the Panda, Fijit and her alarm clock. She has also enjoyed her dad's helicopters and started to fine tune her skills with that toy! Such a silly little girl!

We have been greatly blessed and had a lot of fun and joy this Christmas season.

P.S. Even though it isn't pictured...Katy too got a MP3 player and she has had it in her ears a majority of the time too!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the Season to be jolly...

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas and I am so blessed to get to spent this WONDERFUL Christmas season with my family.

What a blessing it is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so deeply grateful for his sacrifices for me personally. I am and always will be indebted.

The Christmas season is amazing because there is so much love everywhere. People trying to do good to others. That is how Christ lived his life, always caring for and doing good for others. He was selfless and that is my favorite part of the Christmas season...seeing other emulate the perfect example.

I know it is not perfect. I know there is the ugly side to Christmas of greed; however, I like to focus on the positive, happy side of seeing complete strangers go out of their way to pay for lay-away items, gas, treats or whatever else they might or can for a complete stranger. It warms my heart!

I am grateful that we have been blessed and Christmas is in our home. I truly am a blessed woman!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Perfect Day

You know those days that things go so well you think, "Ok seriously something bad has to happen, it's just been too great a day?"

Yesterday was that day for me.

I dreaded yesterday. I feared it. Bankruptcy court hearing. Dr. appt. Lots of not fun things.

The thing is each thing went perfectly and smoothly.

I honestly can accredit it ALL to my Heavenly Father and answered prayers. Days just do not go smoothly like that unless you have some heavenly intervention! Lots of good and amazing prospects opened yesterday. I have so much hope and even a little faith ;)

Now we get to get ready for Christmas. Bring the craziness! Today we are doing laundry, cleaning the house spotless and making Christmas Cookies! For my little family Christmas starts tomorrow on Christmas Eve. I am excited to get a couple days to celebrate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hope in Gratitude

Today I need to do a gratitude post because I need it!

I am grateful for my amazing, loving, caring husband that works sooooo hard to provide for our family.

I am grateful for my beautiful daughters who make me smile and bring light to my life.

I am grateful for pets that sense when I need some lovings :) (I know silly but true)

I am grateful for extended family. My parents (biological and in-law). My sisters, brothers (including the in-law). Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

I am grateful for hope. We can always hope for better even if we have a hard time having faith, at least we can cling onto the hope.

I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who sent his son as a newborn babe to our world. We are so loved by Him. I KNOW it!

I am grateful for a Savior that loved me (and everyone else) so much He was willing to come down and live as a perfect example to all.

I am grateful for trials because through them we are able to see so many blessings.

I am grateful for service. I have not been great about serving others lately. I try but it seems I always get so darn busy. I do always try to serve my family (my own little one as well as extended). Each week I try to find something I can do for someone in my family. Yes I know I need to extend beyond my family walls but at the same time, isn't it best to serve your family first?!?

I am grateful for beautiful, large snow flakes. I love them. There is always so much peace when there is snow falling.

I am grateful for my job and Ben's jobs. Although at times I curse them, I am beyond grateful that we have jobs and are able to scrap by.

I am grateful for my health. What a roller coaster this last year has been in health issues. While I still have some, I am so grateful that my health is where it is. There are many in this world that are praying to just live a couple more days to spend Christmas with their family. I recognize and feel gratitude to my Father in Heaven in helping me heal.

I am grateful for a wonderful church in which I get to associate with amazing, wonderful loving people. I have some of the best people in the world in my ward. I am so grateful that I know these wonderful people.

I am grateful for the leading and guiding whispers of the Holy Ghost. I am constantly amazed at the love I am shown through these promptings. I am blessed greatly.

I have so much in life to celebrate and love. Trials come and go but I hope I can always remember the things that I can hold onto, that their is always something to be grateful for.

I am looking positively towards the daunting future with hope and gratitude. Attitude WILL help it be better, even if the circumstances only get worse. I want to live a positive, happy life (even when surrounded by deep trials).

My life is blessed. I am blessed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lost in Limbo

I have so much going on right now that I have become so overwhelmed that I am going into shut down mode.

I don't know where to start and some of the things don't even have anything I can do.

I wish I was in the personality type that could just "let sleeping dogs lie" on things that I can't do anything about or change. Instead I sit and stress, stew and fret to the point of complete exhaustion.

I am not saying our life is horrid. It isn't. My life is greatly and richly blessed. It is also just really tough right now. I am not sure how to or what I should do on many things right now. I feel lost in limbo.

Part of me want to go and shop til I drop. The other part of me wants to return every item I have purchased and put the money in savings. The sane part of me says, "you stayed to your spreadsheet budget...just go with that and it will all work out. Have faith." That is the part that I am clinging to with dear life. that I have put some of my feelings to words I guess it is high time I get my butt in the shower (yes it is 1:30 in the afternoon) and I go about trying to get my house in order. At least that is something I have control over.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The magic of dance

Last night was perfect.

I went and got my hair professionally done.

I put on my "little black dress" with super cute red heels.

I got my sexy husband on my arm.

We took the kids to a friends house to be babysat and we were off.

It was my husband's work party. There was laughter (a lot more once some people had some alcohol). I have to say I LOVE that we don't drink because we get such great entertainment out of those that do!

Dinner was nice.

The setting was perfect. The games were fun.

Then we got to dance. Ben took me in his buff arms and we swayed to the music. It was WONDERFUL! Seriously amazing!

I love dancing with my husband.

We joked. We laughed. We smiled. We enjoyed just being close and dancing without little girls jumping between us.

For a night I was able to leave the world of heavy cares behind and enjoy time out.

It was magical.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Life is just so fragile.

10 years ago on December 23, I was a newly wed. We had a honeymoon baby so not only was I a newlywed but I was also pregnant and sicker than sick. I got a call at about 8 in the morning telling me that my grandpa was in the hospital and really really sick. It was my mom on the phone and she told me that they were asking everyone to just stay home please. I asked if she was sure I shouldn't go up there. I was told no, they didn't want everyone up there.

I had seen my Grandpa just the night before. Ben and I had went up and taken him to dinner. We were SUPER poor but I had to get something for my Grandpa for Christmas. I felt it so strongly that I NEEDED to. I asked him over and over again and all he would ever say is he wanted my Grandma back. My Grandma had died about 3 1/2 months previous. He told me over and over again he didn't want to have Christmas without her.

On December 22, 2001, Ben and I drove up to Ogden and took my Grandpa out to dinner for his Christmas gift. We went to our favorite Mexican dive and just talked for hours with Grandpa. He talked about so many people. Shared stories about the war (something I wasn't aware he had never really done before). He shared his life with me.

Now remember we were super poor. Well I knew that every Christmas my grandparents gave us money for Christmas. So that year, I opened my present early. I am kinda sad that I have to admit that it was my Christmas money that HE had given me that paid for dinner that night. I guess Christmas came early for us all that night! I do not regret opening up that money and using it to go to dinner.

My grandpa was a war veteran. He served in WWII. After having missed Christmas with my grandma due to the war, he promised her he would never go a Christmas again without seeing her.

He kept his promise.

On December 24, 2001, my grandpa died. He was our santa. He did santa MANY MANY times. He had the perfect Santa bells. And he died on Christmas Eve. He spent Christmas eve part of the day here with his family but he made sure that by Christmas day he was with my grandma in heaven.

Darin's death at Christmas time was a hard hit. It brought back 10 years ago when my grandpa died.

I got a call today. Well rather I made a call today. I called my mother in law to ask if I could borrow her popcorn maker. In turn I found out that she was up in Idaho with my Father in Laws husband's grandpa was in the hospital. Mini strokes, heart problems...the works.

Emotions engulfed me. My grandpa's death flooded back to me. Why didn't I drive up to that hospital and give him one last hug while he was alive. Yes my last memory of him is a great one of sitting at a table enjoying a life time of stories but I still wish for that one last hug!

Ben's grandpa as far as we know should be ok but I can't help but fight that urge to just jump in the car and drive up there. I have been saying for about 2 months now that we HAVE to get up to Idaho and see the grandparents. Darn work! Either Ben is working or I am and it makes it really hard to get up there. When we both do have the full day off work we are so exhausted and have our lives so full of other things we can't make it.

Well we are going to make it happen. We have to. I can't have the regret of "why didn't we" hang over me with Ben's grandpa like it does with mine. Grandpa Hawker has become my grandpa too over the last 10 years. I love him dearly. I have spent the last 10 years wishing I would have driven the hour up to Ogden and said good-bye to my grandpa.

We get such a short time with them here on earth. We need to make it last! Life is fragile, something that I am being reminded of constantly right now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today I feel...

Wanna know how I feel?

Betrayed. Hurt. Angry. Lost. Sad. Emotional. Anxious. Forgotten. Selfish. Envious. Distraught. Heartbroken. Suffocating. Unsupported. Unloved.

I would say the biggest ones are Lost and Forgotten.

Can I just run away?

No this is not all just tied to Darin's death. I know it plays a factor into it all but it is just a piece to the pie...the pie that is CRAPPY pie of my life right now.

I am thinking a Christmas in NY or somewhere in the Caribbean sounds PERFECT about right now. No one other than just me and my little family. Caribbean might have to be the location cause we would be sleeping in a tent. NY would be a bit nippy for tent weather. Although, it would probably be more homeless friendly.

You can camp out on the beautiful beaches on a Caribbean Island right?!? They are totally fine with tourists flying for free and then camping out on their beaches for a couple days, scrounging for food, not spending a dime and then flying home?!?

That's it! I have decided we are going to be spending Christmas in a tent on the beach of some Island somewhere. I just might really do it too! I just fear you will never see me come back, I will just take up residency.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moving forward on the mountain of grief

The funeral was nice. It was great to see all the love and support that was given to my sister and her kids.

It is still hard.

Amazing how once a funeral is over for most not closely tied to the situation, it means the grief is gone. Unfortunately, that is not the case for us. I am afraid it is just starting.

Tonight as I tucked Katy into bed she said, "Mom I am really sad." I told her I was sorry. There is no reason to even ask what she is sad about, I already know. I asked her if there was anything I could do for her to which the response was "no". I reminded her and Lyse that I loved them both very much and reminded them that they could always pray and Heavenly Father would help them.

There are times I am sad. Sacrament today was hard. That quiet moment lead my brain to how desperate my brother in law was. It breaks my heart. Every time I go there I pray fervently that he can now feel true love. That when he was wrapped in the arms of our Savior, he felt true love. It's hard seeing what our family is going through. It is just as hard knowing he is still having to face hard times in watching his family in despair.

Yesterday at the funeral I kept myself busy. If someone asked me something, anything about it and if I felt emotions, I would find a reason to be busy and take care of that. I know I have to face it the emotions of it still. There are times when I really face it I can't breath. When I think of my sister. When I think of her children. Those are the hardest.

Today when Lyse said the blessing on the food, over and over again she prayed for her family and our safety. I see and know there is so much going on in their little world. So many concerns. Mortality has reared her ugly head and my children have become extremely aware of it.

My life has much going on. Lots of chaos, change, turmoil. When I think of about anything, it turns to that. The song, "Where can I turn for peace" comes to my mind often. I find myself humming the hymn or singing it in my mind often. My Savior and my little family is what brings me peace.

My grief and sorrow are not gone but life has moved on. I now have to face life and work on helping bring peace to the new reality my sister is going to face. We may be living in Bluffdale in 2 weeks, we may not. Whatever she needs, I will be there to help any way I can. When I can't, I just pray she can remember the Savior.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breaking Point

Today I just can't do more.

My brother in law died. I am not coping and/or dealing with this well at all. I go through the steps all day and don't sleep a wink at night.

We also have the stomach flu at our house.

Ben got his wasn't even a dollar an hour. There is NO WAY he can quit his second job unless I go full time at mine. I am sick about this. Don't get me wrong I am excited for a raise just knowing another one won't come for at least 6 months but most likely a year just makes me sick. No sure what we are supposed to do.

My job has a lot of strife and unhappiness in my department. I don't mind so much the changes; however, others not the case. It is hard to deal and cope with it all.

Bankruptcy - oh ya have to meet with them the day before Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas :(

Moving early than planned. I am not sure I want to talk about or can talk about it at this moment.

Still having panic attacks. Consistently!

At what point are you allowed to have a breakdown and people don't say, "What she didn't have that much?" I am thinking a white padded room sounds fitting about right now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


How do you sleep when totally exhausted but you are having such bad panic attacks its impossible to sit much less sleep.

I am struggling bad with anxiety. Have been all day.

On the plus side, I managed to make it through the day without too many tears.

I think I prefer tears over anxiety.

Today has been a day I am glad is over and I just hate grief. Dealing with this funeral, helping get everything organized and helping my's hard.

I hate the fact that my sister had to find a mortuary and go to it today.

I hate that we are finding beautiful pictures and putting them in a funeral montage.

I am just struggling.

I am very concerned for tomorrow. I have a work meeting. It's not just work, it's a meeting in the center. Other people. I have to control my emotions. I can't cry. I am not sure I will make it. So there it is - my anxiety for the most part is due to my work meeting tomorrow and my concern over keeping my emotions in check. I also have to make sure my kids are taken care of.

Katy is struggling a LOT right now. Lots of tears. Lots of heart ache.

Lyse is doing great. She struggles, she gets out papers and writes and colors. Many books for Darin have been made. She writes her feelings and love for him in each book. I truly think it is helping her a LOT! The other morning, she was coloring like crazy before school. I asked her what was going on and she said, "I woke up with this feeling and I just knew I needed to write this book. I need to do this!" She said it with such conviction, I KNOW it was the Spirit guiding and directing to help her through this. I am so grateful for the Spirit and the guidance we are given!

Katy doesn't do that. I have asked her to and she just doesn't want to. I am not really sure what to do for Katy to help her.

Lots is going on. Staying way to busy and get WAY WAY too little sleep!

My emotions are all over. Oh how I need heaven's help to continue.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Those left behind...

How do you make it right when there is so much pain? What do you write to express the roller coaster of grief?

Death is not fun.

Death is not fair.

People choosing death makes it ten times worse.

My heart is broken.

I wish I could heal and mend the broken pieces of my sister and her childrens' hearts.

I wish my children didn't have to experience this grief or pain.

All I can do is pray that the Lord does. He does know how. I pray fervently and frequently.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sandwich Making Love

I am so grateful for my beautiful daughters. Seriously, I have the best kids in the world.

This morning Ben teasingly told Katy, "Get downstairs and make me my lunch! 2 sandwiches, one ham, one turkey."

Katy jumped up and ran down the stairs while asking, "Mayo or mustard?"

Ben laughed told her both and cheese. He chuckled as he got ready for work than said to me, "I gotta get down there and make my sandwich." I told him I was fairly certain Katy was making him his lunch.

When I got downstairs Katy had made 2 sandwiches. One turkey, one ham. She had sliced cheese and put it on each sandwich. I helped her put the sandwiches in baggies and in a brown bag. Right before I put the sandwiches in the brown bag she said, "hold on" and she ran with the bag into the living room. Several minutes later she came back and packed his lunch (even got him an apple and salad). The outside of the bag had a beautiful little art work of flowers and hearts with a heart melting "I love you Daddy Love Katy"

What started out as a joke ended with making Ben's day as Katy really did get him a lunch with a beautiful note. After Ben left for work and Katy and I were making Lyse and Katy's lunches, Katy exclaimed, "Oh man!!! I should have put jalapenos on it. I know he loves those and it would have made his sandwiches even better!" :) She is definitely a keeper.

All the while this was happening you could hear Christmas music blaring through the house. When I came downstairs Lyse was in the living room dancing her heart out to it! She seriously has really got some talent in dancing. She gets what is being taught in dance class and she comes home and applies that to songs on the radio...making up her own dances.

I need to add, this was 8:00 am when I came downstairs for the day. Both girls had been up, dressed, eaten and were ready to leave for school. They got up on their own this morning. They didn't even try to wake me up. It was 7:30 before I was awake and even knew they were up (I layed in my nice warm bed for almost 20 min this morning...ya it was nice). They had already gotten dressed and ready for the day (including breakfast) at that point.

I have such sweet, responsible girls. They try hard and work hard. I am so grateful for the joy they bring to my heart each day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 30

Today ends my month of gratitude postings. Although, I might try and keeping doing this just because it is great!!

Today I am grateful for life. My life. It is not always easy. It is not always fun. I do have fun times. I do have easier times. I grow, I learn. My life is blessed with so many amazing people. My husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, my parent in-laws, my sibling in-laws, my ward, my friends, my co-workers. I have so much to be grateful for!

I love the quote, "Life is the messy bits!" It is so true. You can't know true happiness if you haven't had to experiences true sorrow. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven that is there in thick and thin and willing to help with all of my messy bits of life.

I am grateful I took this month to try and focus on gratitude. This month has not been easy but it has been easier as I have had to each day come up with something to be grateful for. It made me think each day about positive gratitudes.

I am thankful for my life. I am blessed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 29

Today I am grateful for friends and friendships. I am grateful we have people in this world that care about us and our lives. My life is blessed with MANY great people that are friends. Thank you friends!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 28

Today I am grateful for Christmas Trees. I love their glow, warmth and happiness they provide!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 27

I am grateful the the healing and spiritual power of music. I am grateful it brightens my life. I am grateful for the way it touches my soul. I am grateful for uplifting, fun, energetic, spiritual...all the music that brightens my day and soul.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 26

Today I am grateful for the Christmas season and the joy it brings. I love watching my kids eyes light up as they see Christmas decorations start to go up. There is a true magic to Christmas and I know it comes because we are celebrating the birth of the most amazing person to ever walk the earth, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 25

Today I am grateful for fun family traditions (even if it involves LARGE crowds, LONG lines and little sleep on the day after Thanksgiving).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 24

Today I am going to say I am grateful for holidays in which both Ben and I are off work and the kids are out of school. Days that start with baking pies and you have dancing in the kitchen and living room that follow. I love dancing with my husband and of the greatest joys and best things in the world.

I am grateful for Ben, Katy and Lyse and that we can have fun as a family (even when Lyse gets a black eye because she walks behind me as I am swing dancing with Katy).

I am grateful for life - my life with my beautiful little family.

Here is Lyse's black eye :( Poor thing!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 23

Today I am grateful for a living prophet that leads and guides our church. My life is deeply blessed with his priesthood power, kindness, guidance and love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 22

Today I am grateful for the sunrise and sunset. I love beautiful sunrises and sunsets (although I must admit I do experience more sunsets than sunrises and I normally take more time to appreciate the sunset more than the sunrise). I love the beauty it creates in the sky, clouds and surrounding mountains.

Isn't it great that no matter how crappy the day goes, Heavenly Father always wants to start it off and end it with beauty?

Even a bad day ends with a beautiful sunset. What a blessing!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 21

Today I am grateful for modern conveniences such as WASHERS AND DRYERS! Yes those need to be in caps cause would you live without them?!? I heart them lots and lots!! Today as laundry is almost done it makes me think what a great thing we have in this modern convenience!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 20

Today I want to state my Gratitude to a God that truly loves and knows each one of us. I am so grateful that I have a Father in Heaven that knows me and what I need more than anyone else ever could (even though I try at times to tell him that I know what is best ;) ). I am grateful he answers prayers, sends tender mercies and gives me constant peace.

I am grateful He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for my sins so that I might return to my Father in Heaven one day.

I am grateful to my elder brother, Jesus Christ, for his willingness to come to earth and live as the perfect example to us and then die for our sins. I take his sacrifice for granted a LOT more than I should. I hope I learn and grow and stop doing that and start learning. I am so grateful that He gave me that opportunity to be able to learn, grow and become a better person.

I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I am blessed and even on bad days I am trying to see and show that I know I am blessed. I am thankful for the blessings in my life. I know that many of them have come as tender mercies from my Father in Heaven.

Month of Gratitude day 19

I am grateful that I have family. There are many in this world that do not have the luxury of having a loving, caring family. My life has been blessed with this. I am blessed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 18

I found something. I am grateful my girls cleaned their room. It is a blessing and a big one!

Gratitude shouldn't be this hard

Today I am having a hard time with this. I know it should not be this hard, yet here I am stuck in the situation of it being hard.

It has been a tough bit.




You name it and I am worried about and over it. I am overwhelmed, underwhelmed and all the in between. It's pretty hard being grateful when you are in that situation but I am trying.

This morning I sat and thought and thought and thought of what I am grateful for. I could name things but nothing just rang deep down true.

I am loosing and have lost so much that my lines are blurred (mostly by tears) and I am not really sure what to do or where to go. The people I love most, many truly have no incline of how I am really doing or how hard life is right now. I have support yet at the same time I don't. I know everyone wants to support me but how can they when by trying to support and ask it only makes matters worse and makes me feel like crap.

I swear if I hear, "You will never be homeless" one more time! lol No seriously, I will be! I won't be in a shelter on the street homeless. I will always have somewhere to STAY but that is the difference. It's a place to STAY not a place to call HOME.

The saying, "Home is where the heart is" is so true but what if you have given and given and given until you just don't have a heart any more? What does that do for my children and creating a home for them? I fear they have lost that security this last 2 years, especially this last year and last 6 months.

I am trying to hold the dual roll of stay at home mom and working mom and as of late I have been working full time hours and trying to still fulfill both roles. Then you add church and trying to do visiting teaching, callings and service to others. I just don't have more to give yet I don't have choices but to continue to try and keep all the balls in the air. It is starting to feel like I am juggling several bowling balls that keep growing and growing. Some days they feel the size of boulders.

I have lost me.

I have lost my husband.

For the first time EVER, Ben informed me the other night he couldn't keep doing it. The girls were crying and fighting, I was working, dinner was cooked but not on the table because I was working. Ben had just got off work of his 16 hour day. He walked in the door to the fighting, lost it on both the girls within 5 minutes. In turn I took personal time from work to settle the girls and ask him to please not yell...he walked back out the door. Later I was told he contemplated just not walking back. Ben is just as overwhelmed with juggling boulders.

I want my husband back.

I want a life back. My life.

Ya it's gotten that bad.

There is just plain and simply too much on our plates and I just don't know where, how or WHAT I can do to change it. I work more and it helps the finances and kills the house having any order, the kids getting homework done, the family life and my sanity. I work less and it kills the finances and my sanity. I give up on it all? I am trying to work more so Ben can work less but that just creates bitter feelings. I work less and Ben still works the same and finances crash. All around we are loosing.

I am trying so hard to find things each day that I am grateful for. I am trying to bring gratitude into my life more. Today it just isn't least not right now. I have spent a LONG time on my knees this morning praying, begging and pleading. The day seems to get dimmer and gloomier as time goes by. I am looking for gratitude in things I won't loose because so much is being lost right now. It terrifies me that the only things I do have left are being torn apart by the things I am loosing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 17

Today I am grateful to have a job. I am grateful for that I have been able to work a lot of hours this week (even though I feel like it might kill me) and that it has allowed me the opportunity to have some money to provide Christmas for my family. I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 16

Today I am grateful that I have girls. I love that they like girly things like twirly dresses and painting their nails. I love that Lyse got up at 645 this morning as I was getting ready to sign into work and she brushed through my hair - felt so nice! I love that they look forward to our year end tradition of going and getting pedicures together at the end of the school year. I am grateful for girls to do girly things with!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 15

Today I am grateful for fun fall clothes. I love fall wardrobes. I love the colors. The sweaters. The boots! I love the fall wardrobe...wish I could really get away with it longer but I find I can usually only get away with wearing my boots for 6-7 months a year :( wish it could be more!! Sweaters I am able to manage to get to use at least 9 months a year! The colors I MAKE work year round cause I LOVE THEM!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 14

Today I am grateful for friends. Friends really do make this world and life a lot better with laughs, smiles, tears and hugs!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

Ya I am behind. My computer was down for a while and I have been super duper ally uper BUSY!

So here is my list:

Day 7: I am grateful for my mountains....oh how I love them!

Day 8: I am grateful for working computers and internet. Seriously my life has so much technology between working from home and needing the internet to paying bills online (and of course some facebook). It's very much a part of daily life.

Day 9: I am grateful for a washer and dryer that work and are in my house. Seriously, I am so glad I don't have to do the laudromat or parents house. Been there done that. Blessing to not have to!

Day 10: Grateful for Organization skills. I love to organize and I love that I have the ability to look at a room and know what to do and how to organize!

Day 11: I am grateful to live in the United States and experience freedom. It is a great blessing.

Day 12: I am grateful for pets. Even though at times my cats are pains (like 5 in the morning when they want me up to play with them).

Day 13: I am grateful for phones. It is so nice that no matter if your family is across the world or across town...we have the ability to talk and keep in touch! Love it!

Whew made it through. Sorry been so far behind. I will try not to do this again but can't guarantee especially since I have 40 hours of work this week!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 6

10 years ago today, Ben and I made the BEST decision in the world. 10 years ago today Ben and I were married for all time and eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple.

Today, I am grateful for 3 things that go hand in hand in hand. I am grateful for Ben (my love), I am grateful for our marriage and I am grateful for the Temple which allowed us to be sealed for all time and eternity.

I do not know how I lucked out with the ying to my yang. Ben and I really do even each other out pretty good. When I am a mess, he is put together. When I feel the weight of the world and my knees start to buckle from it, he is their to take it and help me stand.

I am so grateful for the good and the bad in the last 10 years because it has truly strengthened us and our marriage.

I love you Ben! I am so grateful that we both wake up each day to each other. Thank you for sticking with me for the last 10 years. Hoping for another 60 here on earth and of course, eternity here after!

Month of Gratitude Day 5

Today I am grateful for beach and oceans! Seriously, I think I would like California and Nevada to fall off into the ocean in an earth quake just so I can stay in my great Salt Lake Valley with my Rocky Mountains AND have the ocean! (I would just have to have prior knowledge of this so that I could get every person, animal and living creature out of those states so that they didn't fall into the ocean too...cause than it wouldn't be so great!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 4

Today I am posting my gratitude post early. We are headed out for the start of our 10 year wedding anniversary!! YAY!!!

Today I am grateful for airplanes! Think how much they have influenced and changed almost everyone's life for the better. They allow travel all over the world in hours rather than weeks, months and possibly even years!

Month of Gratitude Day 3

I had to think for a bit about what I wanted to put here today. When you start listing things you are grateful for your list can go on for miles and miles. Today I had to think of something that makes me smile and feel warm inside. I thought of it when I saw a cute picture frame hanging with a picture of my daughter and her teacher on Halloween. We also had parent teacher conferences last night and that brought me to think of what I am grateful for today.

I am grateful for good teachers.

At church my kids have the most amazing primary teachers. Katy's teachers (Brother and Sister Dorian) do parties, makes class fun and encourages the kids to help get other children in the area to church. I am so sad they are leaving (especially Sis. Dorian). He got a job in Texas so they are moving there and Katy (and me) are very sad. Sister Dorian has helped to teach Katy a lot of important things and she has been a great influence and role model to Katy.

At school, Katy ADORES her teacher (and honestly so do I). Her teacher is kind, gentle, loving and always willing to help Katy so that she can do her best and succeed in life. Katy could not have gotten a better teacher and I love her dearly. She has really helped Katy to grow and develop so many talents this year. I am grateful for Mrs. Smith. She is a wonderful woman that is truly helping me by being a great example to my daughter each and every day. I couldn't pick a better person to have instructing my daughter for 7 hours 5 days a week. I love that she truly lives what she believes. She has the Spirit with her and she always as a CTR ring on her finger. I honestly could not give enough positive feedback on how wonderful Mrs. Smith is. I am so grateful that my daughter is in her watchful care!

In Primary Katy has Bro. and Sis. Jensen. AMAZING people! Love them. They are happy, cheerful and kind. They do an amazing job with what can be a quite rowdy bunch of kids. Lyse loves her teachers and all the fun activities they bring for the kids as well as the great lessons they teach. Honestly, I have been looking forward to Lyse moving up to their class because they weren't put in until after Katy had already been in that class. I hoped and prayed they wouldn't get tired or a new calling before Lyse was able to have these wonderful teachers.

Elyse's teacher at school really likes Elyse and she is working hard to help Elyse succeed. Lyse loves to learn and is honestly excited each day to go to school. I am grateful that she is learning and growing. We had a rough start but honestly I think the year is just getting better and better and Mrs. Gregory really does love her students. Lyse is happy and does great with the positive feedback she gets from Mrs. Gregory.

MY life is blessed by my children having great teachers.

I am grateful for great teachers!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Month of Gratitude Day 2

Today I am grateful for blankets, quilts, etc!

Homemade are the best but even nice soft throw blankets are great!!!

There is NOTHING better than snuggling up in a warm thick blanket (especially when it is freezing outside). It just feels great. I especially love it when I get to snuggle in the blanket with my hubby and/or kids!

We have a favorite blanket around is the one Ben's mom made for his bed when he was younger. It is the PERFECT blanket!

Mountains in the Fall!

On October 23, 2011 we went up Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was a blast. Ben, Katy, Lyse and myself along with Jana, Brookie and Dustin came. The original plan was to hike to Cecret Lake in the Albion Basin. They already had the road to that area closed off, so our plans had to change. We drove down a little ways to the Tanner Flat area. We ate a little picnic lunch (and climbed an apple tree next to our picnic table and ate an apple that had grown in the wild - yummy!).

After we ate lunch we tromped around and through the woods a bit. It was GREAT! We crossed the river to the other side for a while. It was a great adventure and we all had a blast! I seriously love a hike in the mountains more than just about anything out doorsy. I love to camp in them, hike in them...everything. It is VERY enjoyable!

We were going to grab our camera and forgot last minute so we only had Ben's phone. Jana took her camera and I am going to have to get some photos from her but for now these are all I have (and Ben isn't in any of them)!

Katy's balancing act!

Lyse would not give a happy non silly face! The mountain air must make her a silly monkey!

Testing her balance...

Doing good, only a little further!

Phew, she made it! :)

Silly girls!

Not sure what face I am pulling here or why...but oh well. It was my errr what?!?!

You can see me and Katy pretty good but you have to peak way far in the back to pick out that Elyse of ours!

How can you not smile in those beautiful mountains?!?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Month of Gratitude Day 1

This month I am going to post something each day that I am grateful for. Before I can state my simple "I am thankful for" I need to also share my Halloween night story!

I am always Grateful for the large, HUGE blessings in my life that my husband and children bring. I would always love to start off with those.

Last night watching my kids Trick or Treat I of course fell in love with watching the joy it brought them. The simple pleasures of being a family. We piled in the back of my parents pickup truck with blankets and drove the kids to each circle. Mainly it was out of my lack of energy to walk the ENTIRE neighborhood but oh how the kids loved it and had fun. My sister and her 2 kids, my brother, his wife and daughter than Ben, me and the girls were there. Later my other brother let his little girl join us. It was a riot and blast having the 9-10 of us in the back of that truck. GREAT memories!!!

It was so fun to watch Lyse literally RUN from house to house in excitement. Katy LOVED getting to ride in the back of the truck which is usually off limits. I really enjoyed when Ben gave up the drivers seat and joined me in the back. All the adults sat and talked as the kids ran from house to house and we slowly followed. It was great. If 1 kid got tired for a bit they would come ride along, regain energy then off they would run once their energy was regained. is one of the greatest ways to do trick or treating with a large group of kids that have a wide age range.

Other groups would say, "hey smart idea!". One little boy watched us and turned to his mom and said, "Hey mom they are cheating!" Best comment of the night. We cheated at trick or treating I guess!

We watched and smiled and watched more the joy of the kids running house to house.

We laughed and pretended scared as an adult dressed up as a scary scarecrow with pumpkin head "chased" after the truck full of kids. The truck killed out and was unable to move (its a clutch and yes it was all in fun). Seriously soooo fun!

At one point Katy fell and got hurt. She climbed onto my lap in the back and we snuggled for a bit. I joked with her she needed to convince a cousin to take her bag up to each door with them so she didn't miss out on the treats. We smiled and laughed and she stayed on my lap for another 5 minutes or so. As I reached for a treat in her bag I realized her bag WAS missing! As I searched through the blankets for it, my sweet niece Brooklyn hopped back into the back of the truck with the bag. She heard us and decided to do just that for her cousin. As she climbed in she had a story to tell! She was appalled and laughing. When I asked what happened she told this story (realize she is 12 and looks about 14).

"I went to the door, said trick or treat and I was the last of the group left. All the other kids left me. I put out my bag and she gave me a HUGE handful of candy bars. I had Katy's bag cause I didn't want her to miss out on the candy cause of being hurt. I pulled out my second bag and said trick or treat and before I could explain it was my cousins bag that old lady gave me the NASTIEST look and took 1 candy bar out of her bowl and put it in my bag and just glared. I was going to explain it was for my cousin and the whole situation but I looked at that lady and thought to myself "nope she wont believe me anyway whatever' so I just walked off"

I haven't laughed that hard in AGES. Seriously, my stomach and abs hurt from laughing so hard! I keep thinking of this little old lady handing out candy. I would think of what she must of thought. I realize the truth of it. I laughed even harder. Oh man alive, it still brings a smile to my face and makes me want to laugh! Priceless I tell ya!

The weather was great, the company was wonderful. It was an amazing Halloween! We ended the night at my neighbors spook alley. We got lost in his maze (it was ingenious the way he had it designed...super smart!!)

It was a great night. I think I might clue the "old lady" my niece "duped" in on the whole story. I actually really know her and I think she would get a GREAT laugh out of it, knowing the full story!

Anyway - so now to finish the post with the reason I even started it.


This month is a month of gratitude so each day I am going to try and come here and state something that I am grateful for. I am always grateful for my husband, kids, family. So I am going to try and go outside the box. Find little things that make me happy.

Today - Hot Chocolate! It warms you up and there is just something about it that makes you HAPPY! After great weather last night, today SNOW came! It has been mighty COLD. For breakfast I had a piece of toast and hot chocolate. Man alive that tasted delicious. It also warmed me up! It was great!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So many things... (an update)

First - I decided against Aruba. I was trying to convince myself it was ok and I knew it wasn't. After my older and wiser sister said, "You know maybe it is the Spirit telling you no and you are saying yes, maybe you need to go with the no" I realized she was right and followed that. Ever since I said no and followed that, I have had a lot more peace. No more of that back and forth. Still not sure what we will do for our anniversary but we will figure something out!

Second - man alive I have been busy lately! Saturday we spent the evening at Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving point. The kids and us had a BLAST!!! I have a whole post just for that. I am so grateful that I spent the money on KSL deals and did it. We seriously had so much fun!!! Well worth the $9 each!

Third - yesterday and today I had to drive into the center at work due to network connectivity issues at work. Let's just say I am super UBER grateful to finally having it working tonight. I just hope and pray it's working tomorrow. I really take for granted the working from home thing. I like it. A LOT! :) Although being in the center every now and than isn't bad either!

Fourth - On Sunday we did a little tromping around in the mountains by Tanner Flats up Little Cottonwood. Need to get the pics from my sister. It was a LOT of fun and I love it up in them there mountains. It always brings me so much peace and happiness. Seriously it is my favorite place in the world.

Fifth - why am I numbering these things? I am sure there are a ton but oh well when I get to eleventy hundred we will all just laugh right?

Sixth - Ben is loving his job and I am loving him loving it! It is such a huge blessing to have him love what he does. I see how much the Lord has blessed us with that. I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven having more knowledge than I and leading and guiding our family and husband in his career. During unemployment and unevitable financial ruin I often was praying why oh why and getting blessings telling me there was a bigger picture eternally and temporally. I am finally able to see some of these and understand them more.

Seventh - my Elyse LOVE to sing. Seriously, I can often and always here her sing. More often than not it is church songs! Monday she was a little sick and had a sore throat so she was home with me. All day long as she puttered around the house I could hear her singing this song or that. She sang "Praise to the Man" the most. At this moment she is in the kitchen doing her chore of unloading the dishwasher and she is singing her own version of "The wise man and foolish man"...basically it is I love to see the temple, praise to the man and other primary song words to the tun of "The wise man and foolish man rain song". I LOVE it. I love the joy music brings and I love that my Lyse has that bug and loves music and singing too. I love that she knows it brings her closer to her Father in Heaven. She has the music Spirit and bug!

eighth - My kids won't stop fighting lately. It's is putting me on edge. I don't know what it is or why it is. I need help and a LOT of patience to make it through this rough patch!

ninth - Katy is coming into her own and really making a great group of friends. It makes me so happy and breaks my heart (more on that in 10th update). She really has a great group of girls that buoy each other up and encouraged betterment and greatness. I LOVE it! She always comes home with such joy and happiness for her friendships.

tenth - I guess I am gonna have to announce it sometime. We are moving. I am TERRIFIED!!! This isn't a move because we decided to move and sell our place. Yes we are loosing it. Yes I am heartbroken. Yes this has brought MANY sleepless nights, many tears and unfortunately a mom on edge that looses her cool a little too often. This last 2 years has been the HARDEST 2 years. So many trials and tribulations. Along with those have been MANY MANY blessings and tender mercies. I see more and more each day. The weirdest thing in this all is I know that my family is being guided and Heavenly Father is watching over us. I know that Ben and I are being guided and it breaks my heart that this is the direction we are being led but I know it is for a reason. Just part of the lots of changes. I have no clue where we are going to end up but I know it will be where we are supposed to be. Who knows maybe we (Ben, Katy, Lyse, me and the cats) will be taking up a room at my parents along with Jana and her kids in another room and Shay in another room. We could just have a cozy 10 living in that home! LOL That or maybe my in-laws will allow us and our cats a place to live for a while until we get on our feet. The second bout of unemployment just killed us financially. This is a VERY hard step and one that breaks my heart. I do not know when, how and where we will be moving. I only know it is in our future. I hope I know a little more so I will know what to do with and about Christmas (and where we will be) but who knows! I have no clue about just about everything right now. I have no clue if the girls will continue in their school through the end of the year or switch to a new one. I don't know much. For a planner like me it's hard but I know the Lord is in control and the best things for our family will happen. Please pray for me that I can keep my sanity about me during this because I am loosing it often lately. I need the prayers to just keep it together!!!

Eleventh - We are looking for all new doctors! Our insurance that I thought covered all our doctors doesn't cover ANY of them. Yay just as we have decided it is time to probably start infertility and that we really feel another child is supposed to come to our family and we need to try for it - we have to get all new doctors! The new addition to our family was a long in works process anyway, now we just get to find a new doctor to see if it will even be possible for me to get pregnant again! :) I know the timing seems weird amid all our financial stuff but no matter what financial situation we are in, Ben and I have always agreed and already decided we would take a new addition to our family at any time, no matter what is going on around us. That is the most important and if Heavenly Father wants us to have another one, he will provide the means to help take care of that new little one. Along with new doctors for me, we are finding a new pediatrician for the kids. That is always fun! We have been with the same Dr. for almost 9 years now! This is going to be a big adjustment and I will really miss their doctor! He was great with the kids and really knew their history (and Katy's asthma). Oh well, I am sure we will find an equally great doctor for them!

Twelveth - honestly we don't have much more just figured might as well end it on a non-sense update rather than the heavy crazy ones like our last 2 updates. Prays are always welcome. :)

Honestly, life is going good. Along with our hardships, trials and craziness we have found great blessings and tender mercies. I am so grateful for my calling in primary. It really has helped push me forward and stay close to the Spirit through this all. It has helped me see and understand so much. My life really is blessed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Aruba or Dinner and a movie??

To go or not to go. I go back and forth DAILY!

One day I have it decided - we are going!

The next I say - ummmm hold your horses there girlie.

MOST days, I go back and forth between confirmed going to confirmed not going.

It is our 10 year anniversary and I have been able to work an amazing deal to go to Aruba! Yes, ARUBA (working for the airlines has some MAJOR perks).

The problem comes with the money.

Can I justify spending that money right now. We have a LOT (and I mean a LOT) going on financially. Do I dare spend that money when we might be needing it in a month or two?

Christmas is coming and FAST. What about that?

I get myself thinking and decide no, we will not go. It isn't the wise thing to do.

I kneel and pray and tell my Father in Heaven why we should go. I ask for guidance and direction to be wise and do the right thing.

I get up off my knees and I think about my marriage. I NEED to make it a priority. When I talk to Ben about going he always says how peaceful it sounds to getaway to a tropical destination, just him and me. So than I go back and say, "We are going!!"

I start planning and getting everything put together. As I plan I start looking at the money again. I plan and plan because well I am a planner. I get everything planned out and look at the money and I stop.

$300-450 will be the cost for the ENTIRE trip. Airfare, hotel, food, transportation, etc. My bet is we end up closer to 450 than 300. Can I really justify that much money?

I go back into justification mode. We will spend at least $100 here just going out to a nice dinner and movie. IF we do a room we are looking $150-200. If there is only $100-200 difference would MUCH prefer Aruba to Salt Lake City.

Than I stop and say, no we can just stay at our home, eat at a nice but inexpensive restaurant and just spend quality time together...I can keep it to under $100 easy.

And the circle goes round and round like that. Each time I justify the decision a different way.

Christmas, deposits, needing a car...that $300-450 can go a LONG way.

10 year anniversary, time to unwind and relax, putting our marriage as a priority. This too will go a LONG way.

In 6 months how will I feel about this? What about 1 year or 2 years from now?

I know myself well enough to know...if we stay home I will NOT take the time to solely focus on my marriage. I will have all the intentions to and we will make efforts but we will fall into our daily routines we have at home. Maybe go into this knowing that, so put a focus on making it a priority?

Last year, we had no money and I couldn't justify it, so we didn't go anywhere. We spend a total of about $40 on a matinee 3-D movie for Ben, Katy, Lyse and myself that the girls wanted to go to. We didn't go to eat, we didn't stay in a hotel. We didn't have money to do anything and since it was a choice of us or allowing the girls to see the movie they wanted (and honestly Ben and I wanted to see it too!) we had to make a decision and that was the one we made. It was a great anniversary; however, it was not a relationship building, stress reducing, regroup and re-strengthen anniversary.

I am not saying you have to go away to get that. I am thinking I NEED to do that though. I have considered doing Aruba for just 1 night. The problem is we would spend probably $250 for less than 26 hours in Aruba. Might as well spend the $100-200 more and get a LOT longer there.

Do I pull back and just stay home?

Do I go exotic and just go for it?

I can fly anywhere Jetblue goes...maybe I need to just be spontaneous and plan on sleeping in the air and fly back east and get Key Lime Pie from in the Florida Keys and Buffalo Wings from Buffalo NY, sourdough bread from San Fransisco and then fly back home? In reality though, all that food is going to cost money. All that time in the air is not going to be relaxing.

I want someone to give me the answer here. I know I am going to be judged either way. Which is worse being judged by family and others for not doing the prudent thing or being judged by your spouse for not putting a priority on your marriage and relationship?

Oh how I wish $2000 could drop in my lap so I would know how and where to put each money priority while at the same time allow me the ability to go to Aruba for a couple days and rejuvenate with the love of my life.

Truth be told, I am grateful to have him. Grateful that we have made it 10 all those nay sayers...we made it a decade ;). I am grateful we have each other and I want to continue to love and cherish each other for many, many decades (and eternities) to come. I am married to my best friend. You can't ask for more than that! Just having a weekend with him, anywhere, seems like heaven right now. We have so little time together between his 2 jobs and my 1 that it will be nice just to be together. No work to worry about!

No our marriage is not in turmoil but even the best of marriages need time and rejuvenation. I feel ours is coming. We need time solely for each other. Time we can talk and it doesn't have to be about everything going can be about that beautiful sunset or the amazing fish we saw or the calming sea and beach. So what do we do?

Frugal - dinner and maybe a movie $60
Frugal w/ hotel - $160
Extravagant - ARUBA $300-450

Yes I see the significant price difference too!

I guess I could always stay in UT, drive to Moab and spend the weekend camping and hiking. Truth be told, that would be just as much as flying to Aruba by the time you count gas to and from as well as food and everything else.

Ughh sometimes being a responsible adult sucks :)

Stay tuned. My decisions have not yet been made!! Aruba still might be in my near future!

Than again...maybe just home.

Monday, October 17, 2011

1 year anniversary

So I was going to write this last week but me being on top of it and all, never got around to it.

Last week I celebrated my year anniversary with Jetblue.

It seems so odd to see where I am at right now vs. where I had planned on being.

Know what - I am happy! Even though my life plans and where my life is at are completely opposite, I am happy.

I heard a saying the other day and it has really stuck and I have thought about it several times. The saying goes, "People plan and God laughs".

It took me time to really have that saying sink in and think over it. After I allowed some thinking I decided I liked it. How many times in life have a planned for this, this, this and this only to find myself with that, that, that and that. I think that is the way we learn though.

If we really pushed and followed every one of our plans rather than listening to what our Father in Heaven wants for us, we would not be happy. I have known a few people who have done just that. Decided what they wanted was more important than following inspiration and guidance from our Father in Heaven. Their lives have been just where they wanted them to be but look back and regret what they didn't do instead.

I think sometimes I say, "I am going to do this" and Heavenly Father chuckles a little and says, "I know that is what you think you need but I am taking you here to show you what you really need". Sometimes it's a swift kick in that direction (usually I find that happens when I don't follow promptings and inspiration). Other times I find it is gentle nudgings to take a road I personally wouldn't have chosen but in the end it's the exact road I needed to be on.

In March I got super sick. I was hospitalized and they honestly believed that I had lymphoma. It was a very scary time. While I was in the hospital, I don't recall many things. I was so tired and on pain meds for much of the time. I slept a majority of the time away. That week in the hospital was supposed to be one of my first weeks back to work after the leave of absence (LOA) I took for my Intussusception. I recall very strongly getting the inspiration that I should NOT call and get the LOA extended and that I needed to call a co-worker and try to get help trading away my shift.

My wants at the time were the LOA and to go home and get more sleep. Instead, I phoned my wonderful co-worker and got amazing help getting work traded. I had a little stress worrying that I would be in the hospital and unable to work and be scheduled but I still followed.

Around this same time the position I wanted at Jetblue opened and I applied for it. The week after I got out of the hospital I was called to go to an interview for it. Had I taken a LOA, they would not have been able to interview me and I most likely would have missed out on that opportunity.

The crazy thing about it was that was just the beginning. Following the instruction to apply full time (when I wanted to not work at all much less increase my hours). All along the way I had gentle nudgings in the direction my Father in Heaven wanted.

In the end, I was offered the position the day before Ben was layed off. Insurance would not be an issue because we would be insured through my work. Money wasn't as big of an issue because I would be making $3/hour more and working full time. All those gentle nudgings helped my family be at least a little prepared for a great change in our family.

Now this is how this story ties to the saying I was talking about. See **I** was planning on Ben's job staying steady and within 5-6 months QUITTING and being a stay at home mom again. I remember even saying, "I just can't handle Ben loosing his job again and me being the sole provider for the family. I just can't do that!" Umm, that is the point I am sure in which Heavenly Father chuckled and said, "Let me show you what you really can do!".

At the time, I was mad. I was frustrated. It was really hard and honestly I did become bitter. I couldn't understand why my righteous desires were being thrusted in the other direction.

Today I am seeing a little more. I love my job and I really am happy there. Would I prefer to be a stay at home mom - yes...but who wouldn't? The fact is that it just isn't an option right now and my plans to go back to it and trying to force it just made me unhappy. Instead be grateful for what I have NOW and saying, "If and when we get the chance, I will quit but for now that is not the plan".

I also remember stating to my sister one day the plans that once again Ben and I had. **We** decided that it was better for Ben to work 2 jobs and me to stay home than him work 1 and me work 1. This summer and past several months Ben has worked 2 jobs. As we were talking, we have now changed our minds. As soon as we have the ability, Ben will quit his second job. Today we even talked about if I took on about 10 more hours each week, that should make up the difference of what he brings home minus gas and he can go down to just his 1 job. Once again, my priorities were changed and I am ok with it.

I look at Ben right now and even though he is miserable with little sleep and working 70 hours a week currently...he is happier right now at those jobs than he was at the one he was working late last year, early this year. He LOVES his one job. He has even told me he loves the second job and moving around if it weren't for his lack of family time and sleep due to it.

My eyes have been opened. I see more how my planning isn't always what is best for our family.

I am so grateful for the amazing blessing of my job. That I am in the department I am in and that I work with the wonderful people I work with. I seriously LOVE where I work and I am very happy with my work. Sometimes I get worn out because I over book my work hours and my days off I fill up with 2-4 hours of work but even then...I love my job. There is NO better job than just being a mom; however, since that isn't in the cards for me right now I am so grateful that Heavenly Father nudged me to a job and department in which I could be and would be happy.

So I have learned. Elder Cook from the Seventies talk about looking up really hit me hard this last General Conference. I will keep my head up. I will try to not make so many plans of my wants in life but I will still be making plans for the future (and hopefully Heavenly Father won't chuckle too much at those plans). I will embrace what has been given to me. I will find happiness in what I have. I can't let what has transpired this last 2 years drag me down anymore. I need to look up and smile because the even with the MULTIPLE hard trials over the last 2 years, I have been given so many tender mercies and blessings. I can't be doom and gloom otherwise that doesn't show gratitude to my Father in Heaven for helping guide my family on the path we NEED to be on (even if it's not the planned path). Some of the hardest movements forward are coming over the next few weeks/months but I go into them with Faith; knowing my Father in Heaven has led and guided Ben and I to where we are going (even though for a while I was kicking and screaming).

And to end this HUGE, LONG post of baring my soul (when really I was just starting out to say "Hey I made it a year!") here is a song that seems to lift my soul whenever it comes on the radio and reminds me again of what Heavenly Father was telling me via Carl B. Cook: