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:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Paintings

Halloween is coming soon and so of course it means pumpkin painting time (not quite time for carving...would go bad WAY before Halloween got here!

The girls loved it and I loved seeing what they came up with! Both girls did it completely on their own without any help (other than me painting the word "boo" on Lyse's pumpkin). Katy's is the "scary faced one" with black triangle eyes and blonde hair with black streaks. Lyse's is the one one with glasses.

Love them both and can't wait for them to finish drying so we can put them out to decorate :) I just wish I would have gotten a picture of the girls painting :( Oh well, at least I am documenting that it even happened :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My stick figures!

My mother in law has a magnet on her fridge with stick figures looking like this:

Sorry its so blurry. Finally got a picture but it's not all that great of a picture. The camera just didn't like the magnet I guess!

ANYWAY - back to the stick figures. Lyse the other day was looking at my mother in law's fridge and saw that stick figure. With the most sincere and serious look she turned to me and said, "Whoever drew that picture is a really good artist. They did awesome."

Lyse is becoming quite the artist. She is always coloring and drawing. She is constantly making pictures for those she loves. Just like my little "note" on my white board, she does that with paper whenever she can (which is basically every day).

I let her draw and draw whenever she wants and just tell her she has to clean it up in the end. Many times I will find a picture left for me and will exclaim, "whoever drew this picture is a really good artist. I love it!"

When I heard Lyse exclaim that over the magnet I realized how much that must mean to her. Sometimes her coloring frustrates me, like last night as the living room was COVERED in crayons, paper, glue sticks and little pieces of cut up paper as I was trying to clean it because my parents were stopping by.

Lyse drew a beautiful picture for my parents. She kept telling me she was drawing one for me too. It was a corn maze (the girls are just DYING to go to a corn maze...FHE this next week is tentatively planned as a corn maze night as long as there isn't so much rain that all it will be is mud!).

At the end of the night, this is the picture I got:

I have to say, That is one AWESOME stick figure. Whoever did this is pretty amazing! Look at the wonderful job she did on that corn! Pretty amazing!

I am so grateful to have my children. I am eternally grateful for my family. I love the little things in life that bring joy and happiness. I am trying really hard to focus on them.

This picture brings me joy. It is Lyse's way of expressing love and excitement of things to come in life.

Katy too also makes beautiful pictures. She often is found next to Lyse coloring away!

This is a recent picture colored:

This picture was drawn for her dad who had recently said he wished he had a hammock on a beach he could sleep in and that he would just have to go to Grandpa and Grandmas and sleep in theirs because he didn't have anything different. Katy listened and then provided to the best of her ability.

I love these pictures. My fridge is currently decorated in these beautiful pictures, my stick figures, from my beautiful girls. I love that I don't have enough magnets to keep all my pictures. I love that they express their love to us in drawing and giving us a picture. I am truly a blessed mama!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Something lost, something gained

This weekend I came to a realization.

I have lost something very near and dear to my heart. It breaks my heart.

I have also gained something very near and dear to my heart!

This weekend my testimony was greatly edified and uplifted. I am so grateful for conference weekend. I am grateful I have the edification to help buoy me up and lift me through troubling times.

Today I came to the realization that I have also lost some very important things this last summer. Growing apart. Life taking you different directions. So many things have brought this loss it still makes me sad! I guess I take with gratitude into my heart the memories and love that was once shared.

I am grateful I have the gospel to help me through all things in my life. I am so grateful for a living, LOVING prophet. I truly know he is the prophet of the Lord. I am so grateful for him.

I am grateful for the gospel in my life. I am proud to say I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What a huge blessing that is!