Saturday, April 13, 2013

7 Years

road trip - 1999
Today was a hard one. Some years are definitely harder than others. I just miss her. I've been thinking a lot about this quote:

"Sometimes people will ask, 'How long did it take you to get over it?' The truth is, you will never completely get over it until you are together once again with your departed loved ones. I will never have a fulness of joy until we are reunited in the morning of the First Resurrection."*

I can't wait for that great, big hug. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

6 Years

Life is good... No worries.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

David's Baptism Talk

Today my 5 year old preschooler gave a talk in Primary at church. He chose to read the following and then bore his testimony:

"Baptism by immersion (going completely under the water) by one having authority from Jesus Christ is necessary to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus was baptized and set an example for all of us. To be baptized we must be at least eight years of age so we will be old enough to know right from wrong. When we are baptized we covenant, or promise, that we will follow Jesus and keep His commandments. Each week when we take the sacrament, we remember our promises to Jesus and what He did for us."

Did you see what I wrote?! He read that! I helped him with two words: necessary and covenant. No joke, he did the rest by himself. Just wanted to capture this moment somewhere, so that in 20 years when he perfects cold fusion, we'll be able to look back and see where it all started.

Friday, April 13, 2012

6 Years

No great meaningful things to say this year. I just miss her. And I love seeing her in my sister as she follows in my mom's footsteps of beautiful, loving, enthusiastic mothering. 

Her favorite song... made even more meaningful now than before she died. We got to see Garth Brooks live this last September, and no live song has ever touched me more. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Finite and Fleeting

Read this in Parents magazine tonight in an article titled Savor the Moments:

"Try this mental trick to help you readjust your thinking: In the course of a crazy day, imagine your biological parenthood clock wound forward to the time when your children have grown and left home. Picture their tousled bedrooms as clean and empty. See the backseat of the car vacuumed and without a carseat or crumbs. Playroom shelves neatly stacked with dusty toys. Laundry under control. Then rewind the imaginary clock back to now, and see today's minutes of mayhem for what they are: finite and fleeting."

When I read this I honestly pictured that old west scene right before a gun fight when the music comes on (wowowow weeyoweeyo...) and the tubleweed blows by. Dusty, dry, and deserted. Sad.
I've been complaining a lot about all of the things I have to do each day, but can't because my feet are sucking the life out of me. But I don't need perfect feet to spend more quality time with my kids. I can snuggle more, read more books, play more games, build more Lego-masterpieces, and dress more Barbies for the ball. The powerful image of my house being clean, empty, and devoid of the whirlwind that is my children is devastating.
I still feel it's important to maintain a clean and orderly house, have well fed and healthy children, be punctual, and fulfill all other responsibilities. However, it is more important that I savor this time as a parent, because once my kids are all grown up and important, I'll need a big vault of extra special memories to carry me through the lonely days in between grandbaby visits.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ten Years

10 years ago I married my best friend.

9 years ago he gave me my first child and I felt the greatest love possible.

8 years ago he showed me how to pick blackberries and my world will never be the same.

7 years ago he brought a little bit of heaven to earth with me as we welcomed our second daughter.

6 years ago he brought me back to Cali to be close to my family.

5 years ago he carried me through the loss of both of my parents.

4 years ago he gave me an angel for a son.

3 years ago he showed me he his faith and trust in me as his partner.

2 years ago he took me to the other side of the world to bring home a suffering child.

1 year ago he gave me a glimpse of his biggest dreams and he began to work toward them.

And in this, our tenth year he helped me learn about sacrifice and the blessings that can come as we keep our priorities in line with what the Lord has taught us. Here's to a lifetime of loving, learning, and finding joy in our family. I love you, Ian.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

4 Years

3 Years, 2 Years, 1 Year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I was just talking with a friend who mentioned that I haven't blogged in a while. I used the excuse of needing a new camera(or just getting our two fixed). She reminded me that you don't have to have pictures to blog. Later in our conversation we were talking about some of the struggles and triumphs of raising Malachi. I told her that when I go back and read my blogs from the hard times it makes me realize how far he's come. And she said I should write down those triumphs so I can look back on those and be grateful for the positive changes. So, thank you, Betsy! I needed a little kick in the pants. I love reading about my life through past blog posts. I'm not much of a journal-er, but this is a great way for me to remember my wonderful life.

Malachi really is doing exceptionally well - especially considering all of the positive changes. I was asked by one of his church nursery teachers today if he screams a lot at home. If I'd been asked that question 9 months ago, I would have said, "YES!" But today I hesitated. Sometimes he does. Not all the time. This week he did a lot because Ian was gone for 6 days and I ran out of patience on day 2... so you can imagine what Kai's week was like. But overall, I can say that he's not much of a screamer. He's learned most of the rules in the house and even though he doesn't always obey them, he does a pretty good job for a 2 year old. He still gets sent to time out more times than he or I would be okay with, but the nice thing about that is that he actually stays there.

As long as I look for the silver lining, I really can't complain. And the best thing I can say now is that he is a genuinely happy kid. I couldn't say that last August when we brought him home. He is sweet, loving, funny, and happy. He tries my patience, but what two year old wouldn't? I was just so blessed to have an angel of a son in David, that any normal kid would seem like a holy terror in comparison... and many days Malachi does.

I am very grateful that Malachi has his sisters and brothers to play with. He loves running around with them, playing hide and go seek, tag, wrestling, and any other physical game. We've tried to go to the YMCA pool at least twice a week this summer and Malachi is my little fish. Last Friday he was jumping in and swimming to me. One time when he got out to jump to me he changed his mind. Instead of jumping feet first into the pool like he'd been doing, he just leaned forward and kind of fell head-first into the water. It looked like a combination of a dive and a flip. And when he came up he was oh so proud. I've been working on better form, so he can actually move forward when he swims, instead of flopping all over the place. But that boy just LOVES the water!

His speech is continuing to improve. Friday night we were watching a movie and he leaned his head back on the couch, looked at me, and said, "I tired, Mommy." So cute!

So, there you go, Betsy! I blogged! And I'll try to do it again soon! Thanks for the kick in the pants, I needed it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is This Real Life?

Have you ever been sitting on the toilet - while two of your kids are brushing their teeth, two are finishing dinner - and after flushing, stand up and look at yourself in the mirror and think... Is this real life?

I know I shouldn't have to point the obvious out to myself but as I looked in the mirror and noticed my fading dyed hair, expanding waistline(no I'm not pregnant), and over-all slobbish look I just had this realization of who I am.

I am that mom. That is me. I'm the one who just finished yelling at her kids to finish their dinner. The same one who went on the toilet, with the door open, while two of her kids brushed their teeth. I'm also the mom who is dreading the daily bedtime battle and that I am doing it by myself. I'm the one who will go tell Malachi to take a bite for the 567th time tonight. Also the one who will tell Mckenna that the towels don't have to be folded perfectly, to just put them back on the towel ring. I'm the one who will then sigh as she hears Emma and David running around upstairs instead of putting their jammies on. She's me.

Don't get me wrong, I like being her. She's fun, she's outgoing, she's got a great husband who has a great job, four kids who are gorgeous and sweet, a beautiful home that she loves, friends who will drop anything to help her, and family who is always a phone call away. She's happy.

But she's a mom. She's not JUST a mom. She realized years ago that to put the word JUST in front of the word mom is nearly a sin. The word MOM is a strong one. For many people it means many things. For me it means many things. Yes there are times when MOM sounds like a four letter word. And there are times I wish I could push the mute button right before the word MOM is said.

But there are other times when the word MOM is followed by the sweetest words, the softest hugs, and the smooshiest kisses. There are also times when the word mom brings to mind feelings of remembrance. Like what it felt to become a mom. Or the one person in the world who I first knew as mom. Or the woman in my life who became my mom-in-law.

So... back on topic here: I like being the mom. It's just at moments like today when I realize I have lost all privacy, self decency, and for today - all desire to keep up appearances - that I look at myself and remember who I am. And take a few seconds to mentally whine to myself about my naughty kids, messy appearance, missing husband(church), and expanding waistline, before focusing on the fact that my Ethiopian son has enough food in front of him that he is choosing not to finish. My Mckenna Rae has just spent ten minutes folding the bathroom towels so they look pretty. My Emma and David are playing together. PLAYING. TOGETHER. My husband is serving in our church. And I am healthy and in shape. And I am happy.

So, yes, this is real life. And I kinda like it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4 Years

Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
-Henry Van Dyke

3 Years

Today has obviously been a tough one, and there have been other completely unrelated things that have made it harder. However, there have been some very sweet and tender moments that remind me that I am loved, watched over, and so so very blessed. Many big changes have happened in the past four years and there is not a single time I haven't wished my mom could experience it with us. But through it all I have a best friend of a sister, a husband who adores me, children who are my whole world, and friends who go above and beyond the definition of friendship. When my parents left this world they left my sister and me in good hands. And thankfully the two of us share a bond that has been made stronger with each passing year. I love my sister and she has become so much of the woman my mom was. She is strong, she is beautiful, and she doesn't ever let anything get in the way of her dreams. I know in some ways I am also like my mom. And I will spend the rest of my life with her as my hero. So as I finish this post, I hope to inspire those of you who knew her to emulate her amazing qualities in your own life. And for those of you who didn't... then Cowgirl Up!