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.