Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"We can just go as friends..."

That's what this hot, funny guy said to me when I told him I couldn't go out with him because I had a boyfriend. I met him at Wal-Mart. It's where we both worked.. There's so many particulars to this story, particulars that were heaven sent. Things that happened that without divine intervention wouldn't or couldn't have.

I never worked late....he never came in early.

I had a boyfriend....he had a girlfriend.

I was in school...he was just home from his mission.

He teased me relentlessly. I loved his attention. And one day when I just couldn't take it anymore, I said to him, "You're making this really hard on me."

"What?" Like he had no idea that the continuous flirting he was doing had no affect on me.

He asked me out on a date. "I can't, I have a boyfriend."

"We'll just go as friends."

And that was the end...or the beginning.

We met at the college in the parking lot that is no longer there. We took his car. We went to Chili's and sat in a booth toward the back. I ate. Something I never did on dates. I never felt comfortable enough to eat in front of guys. I knew then that this one was special. He made me feel at ease. He made me feel special. We talked and ate and when I left, I knew I needed to break up with my boyfriend.

I spent that night praying. Praying that I was making the right decision...and then I did it. I broke up with my boyfriend and started dating him. It was wonderful.

And a month later we were engaged.

We prayed together, asking if this was right. At that moment, I received the strongest answer to a prayer that I have ever felt in my life. People talk about that burning, that fire. I had never felt so strongly that this was the man I was to be with for eternity. And I knew it.

Two and a half months later we were married. It has been 15 years. There have been tough times and there have been wonderful times.

I love him.
I love him more than he will ever know.
I love him because of those hard times.
I love him because of the good times.
I love him for who he has become and who he has helped me to be.

I never knew what I was in for when he said, "We can just go as friends."
But I've never regretted it and never looked back.
Because I love him.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The " Key

I liked a friends post the other day that was titled "Spew". Doesn't life seem like that sometimes? Sometimes you just want to tell it all and leave it at that. The hard part about writing "Spew" with quotations is that I'm missing my " key and I really have to concentrate to get that quotation in there and then it messes with my flow of writing and I loose my train of thought.

I thought I'd write a little about our life up here in Erda. Erda is a farming town between Stansbury and Tooele where all the houses are on 5 acres of land. It reminds me of Hurricane before Hurricane got so big. We live just down the street from the jerky factory. Not really a factory, but a small building that makes jerky. Haven't been there to get any yet, but I hear it's delish. If you ever come to visit, we'll take you to get some jerky.

While it's cold, it's not unbearable. I've increased my winter wardrobe by 100% and have gotten good at sporting the t-shirt over long sleeves look. So far, the winter hasn't been really, really cold. People tell us that this is one of the more mild winters. I blame it on the fact that for 34 years I lived in the southern part of the state and the southern part of the state couldn't live without me so it followed me up. So far, not a lot of snow. What we did have has already melted, which the kids are grateful for. Brandon told me the other day that Erda has ruined snow for him. He's really not a fan anymore. Guess he won't get a lot of use out of those snow clothes he got for Christmas.

Our job is good. Hard sometimes, but good. When we go out sometimes, I think people think we're a polygamist family. There's me, one of our associates that work with us, 10 girls, Kendal, Brandon, and Derek. The boys are a little outnumbered. Thirteen girls to 2 boys is really just unfair.

A lot of people we talk to ask us what our job is like and what we do. It's like being foster parents to 10 girls. It's rewarding, fun, spiritual, and sometimes a little challenging. I love these girls though. Each of them has touched my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

Derek and I were talking the other day and we both agreed that it's weird to have found a job that we both love so much. The other day, I had a moment with a girl that brought me to tears. A spiritual, defining moment that reaffirmed to me that what we were doing was right. And that's not the first time I've felt that. Almost everyday, I'm lucky enough to be witness to the Master's Touch.

A day in the life looks like this....
6:30 - wake up the girls to get ready for school.
6:30 to 8:00. Get them ready, check their chores, feed them, etc.
8:00 - Send them to school. It's located right on campus which is pretty awesome.
8:00 to 9:00 - Get our kids ready for school. Unless it's a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Brandon has Advanced math and on Wednesdays and Fridays he has band both at 7:45.
9:00 - 2:30 - Do paperwork, take a nap, watch a movie, go to the gym, go shopping, just relax...
2:30 - The girls come home and we work. We do what other parents do with their own kids after school. Homework, talking, loving, caring...what we all do with our own kids.
3:30 - Go get our kids. Bring them home and do the same thing. Homework, talking, loving, caring.
6:00 - Dinner. The girls make dinner with our supervision. We found out early on that supervision is vital if you want to be able to eat it.
7:30 - We have a family meeting to talk about things of the day and things we want to accomplish during the week.
8:00 - Bedtime for my kids...which usually doesn't happen as quickly as I like. They like to prolong it so by the time I get them to bed it's usually around 9.
9:00 - 9:30 - Bedtime for the girls. I tuck each of them in, tell them I love them, and give them a kiss on the top of their heads...just like my own.
10:00 - Our day is over. We usually spend the time after work veging in front of the tv. I usually have a mountain dew and some chocolate...my favorite!

After that, it's to bed and we start over again the next day. We do have time off every week. Usually it's Sunday and Monday or Monday and Tuesday. On those days, we have three associates that work for us who take over. They're pretty awesome and do a great job with the girls.

Well, I had to use the " key more than I wanted, but it worked. I "spewed", updated you all, and that's the end.

Till next time...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Three Month Play-by-Play

 It starts with this...

  This is where we live. Right now it's covered in snow. This is what it looked like when we first got here. It's so beautiful here! We really love it! Our house is on five acres of land. It's so nice to be able to let the kids play and not worry that they're going to get hit by a car.

We also have about 6 horses. On our first day here, the kids decided they wanted to ride a horse. They got on bareback to just take a little trot around the arena. As I watched, they started to tip...until they landed flat on the ground on their stomachs. Yep, we're a bunch of city folk!

This is something that we found. They are everywhere! Sometimes, we go out late at night to just enjoy their flavor. You kids sure don't know what you're missing...or maybe you do.

We get to do lots and lots of fun things! One day we went to a Real soccer game! It was so much fun!

Waiting for the game to start!

A real live soccer game! 

The fans are awesome! It was so much fun to see!

For Halloween we went to an awesome pumpkin patch! It was acres and acres and we all got to pick our own pumpkins. 

Kendal and her pumpkin.

Derek, the master pumpkin carver, carving my pumpkin. 

Our pumpkins all finished!

We had a great Halloween. We had the day off so we were able to go down to Derek's sisters' and spend it with them. We had so much fun having dinner and trick or treating with them. We cant wait till next year!

Harry Potter and his Golden Snitch. 

 An adorable, happy devil. So cute!

Now on to Christmas! Kendal got to finish up the tree and add the star on the top.

In our home, we have so many different personalities. Each girl is so unique and brings their own fun into the house. One of our girls loves mustaches. For her birthday, we bought her some mustaches and everyone tried them on. I would recommend that Kendal not grow a mustache!

Christmas was wonderful! This is one of Kendal's favorite gifts. They have the cutest winter clothes up here and when she saw this monkey, she fell in love! 

Brandon got what he wanted...Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And after he opened it, I had to twist his arm to open the rest of his presents.

The three months ended with this. It's my new snowmobile. During the first snowfall, we were headed to Salt Lake to see a movie. On the way, we saw five cars slide off the road. We decided that since we were not versed in snow driving we needed something that would keep us safe...just in case. The funny thing is that the second day I drove it (in the snow) I slid into a curb. I learned that I don't drive well in the snow and that I should just leave it to Derek.

And now we're all caught up. 

This experience has been so wonderful for our family. It has been so wonderful for the kids as well as for us. Before we left, Brandon was being bullied every day at school. Here, he has found some really great friends and is in a school that is helping him grow. There are before school gifted programs and during school gifted programs and he loves it!

Kendal also loves it! She has found some great friends at school and her teacher is a great fit for her. She also loves having 10 older sisters who love to spend time with her. 

While I miss everyone so, so much, this experience has been wonderful! I really never thought that a job could bring so much joy and love into my life. I feel the spirit testify to me everyday that this is where we need to be right now.

I'll try to update more so you can enjoy what we get to enjoy on a daily basis!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School

I'm alive! It's been a very, very crazy last 9 months. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. (Mostly because I don't have anything better.) Lots has gone on, so I'll make you a quick list.

*I started school in February. I'm getting my degree in Early Elementary Education so I can teach Kindergarten through Third. My ideal would be 1st or 2nd, but we'll see what happens. So, watch for me in 2013!
*I got a new calling in Relief Society - 2nd counselor. I was so, so sad to leave Primary. I had been in primary for about 12 years and had never been to Relief Society. I really miss Primary but am thankful for the opportunity to see what it's like to mingle with adults.
*My kids got older. Let's see, Brandon is now 10 and Kendal is 7. Man, I feel so old.
*Brandon got contacts and Kendal got glasses! My poor children are doomed because they have their fathers eyes. He used to be completely blind until he got Lasik and I fear they will be the same way. Darn!
*Brandon joined the swim team and did awesome for his first year! His favorite stroke - the butterfly - and he's good at it!
*We had a fun summer! We spent lots of time swimming, going to movies, playing at the new splash pad, and just being together. I loved spending so much time with my kids. I love the summer and having them home with me. I won't miss the fighting but I will miss them.

So now, it's back to school. Kendal is in 2nd grade now and Brandon is in 6th grade. So far, they both love it. They are both a little odd because they would rather be in school than at home with me. What? That's crazy talk! I'm awesome!

Here's a few pictures from our Back to School Photo Shoot. First we have the outtakes and then a few professional shots...with no smiling. We're all about looking sophisticated.

For some reason, he could not keep his eyes open. I probably have about 10 shots like this.

She was not happy. It took about a half hour and lots of arm twisting to get her hair done and she was just not feeling it.

She is adorable! I wish I could keep her that little forever!

Her new school shoes. They are so her! Funky and glittery! The best of both worlds.

I love her freckles so much! Cute, cute, cute!

He's getting too big! When I look at him I still see him as my little one year old baby.

He's too cute! Ahem...handsome. And does not like to be called Bubba anymore.

Here's hoping to a great school year!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jax's Last Day

I've hesitated writing this because I really wasn't sure what to say.
We're good.
We keep on keeping on.

The day he left was the hardest.

All day long I thought to myself,
"This is the last bottle I'll feed you."
"This is the last nap you'll take in your room."
And on and on.
I tried to memorize every little thing we did together.

When his new family came, we took some pictures together and talked a little.

We were all holding it together pretty well until his new mom, Phoenix, started sobbing.
It was all over then.

As I went to hand him off, I couldn't let go. I held him close and kept kissing his little face and head over and over again.
I didn't want to forget.

After they walked out the door, I didn't watch them.
I held my little Kendal who was sobbing uncontrollably.
We sat for awhile, her crying, me holding my baby tight.

And then life went on.

For about two days after he left I had dreams of his new family bringing him back to us and then taking him away again. The dream would repeat itself over and over again all night long.

At night, I would wake up thinking he was crying and ready for a bottle.

For some reason, today while shopping at Wal-Mart I found myself in the middle of the baby section. I looked around and hurried out before I had myself a minor breakdown.

About 10 minutes ago I thought I heard him crying over the baby monitor.

Even now, I feel emotional over the smallest things.

I think I didn't want to write this because I knew I would cry.
And I am.

But, he's happy.
He has another family that loves him just as much as we do.
And really, they are wonderful.
They are an amazing, awesome family.
And I'm thankful that if he's going to be somewhere other than with us, it's with them.

Luckily we have the most awesome friends and family.
I've gained a few pounds because of all the wonderful meals and goodies we got.
And really, there's nothing wrong with cookies for breakfast (me, not the kids), it's the breakfast of champions!

Even though it's been hard, I know that we've gotten through it because of you.
All your prayers, good thoughts and love have been felt.

thank you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jaxson Day Eleven

I love this picture! It's so us.
I love the fact that Jaxson chose that exact moment to stick his foot in Kendal's ear.