Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

I have thought over and over again about this post. In fact this isn't even the post I want to write, but I figured since Thursday is Thanksgiving, there is a lot I have to be thankful for. I have decided I am most thankful for my family, which was clearly heavenly sent. I have a mother and father who are loving, a brother who cares and is willing to give all he has to help someone in need (what an example he is). My husband, how did I get so lucky? He truly is my best friend.

I also am grateful for my two kids. Bradley is the most sweet and kind three year old. I watch my neighbor's daughter and if I can't get to her right away, he is there and telling her it's ok and I'm going to be right there. He found a picture of me in my early twenties tonight. He said, "It's mommy!" When I look at it, I see the difference years have made. Bradley didn't care. I told him he could have it and he decided where to hang it in his room.

Sweet little Amelia. How could I not be thankful for her. I had no idea having a little girl would be so much fun. Already she loves to dress up and play. She's great at sharing and gets into cuddly moments. My favorite is her "surprised" face. So much a favorite that we made it one of our pictures to put in our Christmas cards.

Growing up I always wanted a sister. I have been very close to some and have some of the best friends in the world. This past year I honestly feel like I have a sister and I am so grateful for this woman in my life. I have never thought of someone as a sister like I do her. She tells me when I'm wrong and she tells me when I'm right and one day I will write a post about her, but needless to say this woman is an inspiration to me, a motivation and family. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings so I won't reveal her name, and maybe she knows who she is and maybe not. Regardless to this woman all I can say is thank you for being my sister!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Child of God

For those of you who do not know, I love to pray. I pray a lot. I always have a prayer in my heart, I pray before I go to sleep, I pray throughout the day. I definitely need to work on praying when I first wake up in the morning, but typically I'm getting mauled by my son or Amelia is crying and I'm going to her.

My son is a very inspirational little boy. He has learned to pray on his own and has had my husband and I pray before meals on his own accord. After our bedtime routine Bradley and I pray together. Last night my husband (who is Atheist) decided to kneel by the bed with us. I asked Bradley who he wanted to say the prayer.


"Ummm...Daddy doesn't do the prayer thing," Chris confessed.

Bradley then sat up in his bed and got face to face, more like nose to nose, with Chris and said, "You say it Daddy."

So Chris prayed. It was simple and childlike, but Bradley was very pleased. Later I thanked my husband for participating when he didn't have to. He said he didn't mind and Bradley made him laugh. I hope for more nights where Chris will listen to our prayers or will say one. It brings a whole new element of attractiveness to him.

Bradley is a very inspired little boy. He knows when to pray, he enjoys church and he LOVES reading my scriptures, which really involves him opening them up and saying, "WOW!" He will do this page by page. I am so fortunate to have a three year old who is so close to our Heavenly Father and LISTENS to him.

The veil between children, especially little children, is thinner then what it is for us and for that reason I am eternally grateful. When I say veil, I mean before we came to this earth we lived with our Father in Heaven in what was called the pre-mortal existence. We chose to come to this earth to be tried, tested, gain bodies and become more like Him. When we came to this earth, a veil was placed over us and we don't remember our pre-mortal existence. You can learn more about it and why we are on this earth here. Because of this knowledge I KNOW I am a child of God and He loves me. He loves each and every one of us.

Many people feel or believe that you cannot get answers to prayers, but that is not the case. Prayers are answered. We are all children of Heavenly Father and he hears our prayers. He loves us and he wants to help us, we just have to let Him in. I get answers to my prayers all the time, it may not be the answer I want but it is an answer, which in turn encourages me to pray more. We just have to be open and listen to that still small voice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat?

Halloween is a favorite of ours. This year Bradley chose to be Buzz Lightyear and Amelia was a lamb. I can't believe it's her first Halloween! It feels like she should have already had one under her belt but it wasn't the case.

Every year at our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you can find out more about what we believe here. Anyway in the Rome Ward, it is tradition that there is a trunk or treat. It's when everyone decorates the trunks of their vehicles and distributes candy to the kids that come. I have no idea if other wards/branches do it but Rome does. This happens to be Chris's favorite event, other then the occasional pot luck he attends. Chris is atheist so to have him attend any sort of church function is a BIG deal. I LOVE he is so supportive of our little family and participates in things that are important to us.

Anyway we decorated our trunk and sure enough we got hit with our small group of children, over and over again until all the candy was gone or nearly so. We also got hit with the camera. I knew I should have worn make up but ran out of time to throw something on. Prior to the Trunk or Treat there was a mummy wrap, donut eating contest, cookie decorating, sack races and an egg race, as well as a "fishing" game.

Neither Bradley nor Amelia made it home without falling asleep. We ended up letting them sleep in their costumes, minus the head gear. Chris woke up with Amelia in the middle of the night and left with a smile on his face because she was "a little lamb chop, sleeping in her bed."

The day following the Trunk or Treat, Bradley had a Halloween party at his preschool. The kids all gathered together for a group picture, then headed out of the classroom for a "parade" throughout the building. Bradley LOVES attending school and he has a great class.

Bradley is in the front row here. Bradley did tell me, while wearing the costume that he was Buzz Lightyear. When I asked where Bradley was, he said, "Bradley's over there," as he pointed to a random wall in our house. Let's just say he likes to be "in character" this Halloween season.

This is my proud little man walking in the parade at school. Such a happy kid and he came home with A LOT of treats that day.

Halloween night was my favorite. We were going to do trick or treating for our family home evening but Chris sprained his ankle so it was all up to me. I had both kids and a stroller. We went to my cousin's housing development and enjoyed the nice little walk. EVERY driveway we left Bradley and I yelled, "TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!" Amelia kept pulling off her head gear, but turns out it kept covering her eyes. Once we realized this, she was fine with it. It was the PERFECT night to go trick or treating, it was warm and just a joy with my kids. I love my little family so much. I am very fortunate to have two great kids and a wonderful husband. I couldn't ask for a better family.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jacob's Journey

Words cannot describe what I felt the morning I heard the news. I woke up, laid in bed, reached for my iPhone and checked my email. I started deleting spam and saw a message from Sara Woodward, my dear friend and roommate from Snow College. She entitled the subject: Jacob. I knew it had to be good. Her message was simple, only a few sentences.

"For those of you who don't know yet or haven't heard, our Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia this last weekend."

My heart felt heavy as I read the sentence over and over again. Tears welled in my eyes. The next sentence is what probably surprised me the most.

"If you have to pick your cancer, this is the one to pick. It has an overall survival rate of 95% We are just facing over 3 years of Chemotherapy."

Optimistic. The best kind to get. Of course she would look at the glass as half full, she always did.

"We stayed in the hospital for 5 days and we're home now. We started a blog to try and keep everyone up to date. It's not totally up to date yet (sorry about that) but it's coming."

Five days. This is just the beginning and already five days! And she's apologizing to us for not keeping us up to date. Of course we want to know but to apologize to us! I was set back, astonished, couldn't talk.

"Thank you for all of your love and prayers. I can not tell you what that means to us.
We love you,
~Sara Woodward"

Gratitude. Of course I would pray! It's the least I could do.

I read the email over and over again. I cried in my bed thinking of her family and her sweet Jacob. He's the oldest of three, yet still so very young.

I have been asked recently about my birthday and what I would like and honestly I would like everyone to donate to Sara's family. Even with their insurance it will still cost them nearly $20,000 out of pocket. If you cannot afford to make any monetary donation please make a card, send a card, write a letter, draw a picture or just say well wishes. Pray. Everyone please pray. Honestly rather then writing on my facebook page, "Happy Birthday," send her and her husband a message on facebook. This is what I want and this is what they need.

In Sara's email she did include the blog for her son. Please read it by clicking here, it's called Jacob's Journey. I encourage all of you to read it from the beginning.

When I lived in Utah, Sara and her family took me in for Christmas when I decided I wasn't going home. They treated me as their own and were SO very kind. Please help me to pay their favor forward to them.

In the blog you will read, when Sara listened to the team of doctors they said she would be in for a marathon. Her response was, "I always wanted to run a marathon." Follow Jacob's Journey and run this marathon with them. Please I beg you, help them.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

The slogan of the military, most don't know unless you have been in it. Honestly no one can understand that grueling task unless you've experienced it. As a spouse it was frustrating, even more so when you are dealing with it.

Recently I've noticed myself pushing Bradley. "Hurry up." "Get your shoes." "Let's go." The list can go on and on. Tonight I listened to my husband, "Bradley, hurry up let's brush your teeth." "Bradley, hurry up clean your room." "Bradley hurry up and finish reading the page, we have an entire book."

I have recognized myself hurrying my son along a few times here and there but it didn't hit me until I listened to my husband talk to Bradley. He's only three and will be out on his own in what will seem like a short time, according to seasoned parents. It seems like yesterday he was born. Three years have gone by so quickly and I don't want to hurry up. I want to enjoy my kids, now if I could just get them to age a little slower.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To Can or Not to Can...

That is the question.

Labor Day I learned how to can from a good friend of mine, Ginny. I told her I wanted to can salsa and sure enough she needed to can some. She had fresh cut tomatoes in a large bowl, I cut up peppers and her daughter diced onion. She told me the ins and outs of canning and what we needed to do. The particulars of cleaning the rims and when things aren't done properly how the jars will break in your water bath. She taught me how to listen for the water to boil a room away. Then when it was all said and done, it was to wait...until you heard the "pop." It is the most wonderful noise to anyone who cans. It means you sealed your product and it will be good to store for months.

Ginny's salsa is to die for and five hours after arriving I was leaving with my very own jar, I helped make. In fact as I am typing I am eating it now. It's delicious.

After much discussion with my husband we decided I should try it on my own. Today was my first adventure. I LOVE it and I made my secret salsa recipe. I was sweating it out, wondering if I got out the air bubbles, if my jars would break, if they would seal....sure enough it happened. Pop, pop, pop. They sealed! I now have six large jars of salsa! I am ecstatic. Imagine the amount of money we are going to save, how much money we have already saved! By canning my own salsa today I saved about $30 in the long run. My husband wants me to can jellies and jams next. I want to try apples for baking and apple sauce. I can't wait. I want to go apple picking tomorrow and pick pounds upon pounds of apples. I want to make gifts for friends and show them my new talent.

Most importantly the person I'd first give anything to would be Ginny, the beautiful, sweet friend who taught me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Put Your Toys Away

In Rome we live by railroad tracks. Oftentimes at night we hear them blow their horn or toot their whistle. Chris and I have come quite aware of a steamy vs a diesel based off Bradley's favorite television shows (Thomas, Chuggington and some new movie we found on demand).

Recently one night Chris heard the toot of a whistle. The next morning he informed me we had a steamy chug by. Sometimes the blows from diesels wake Bradley up on tears. We just tell him it's Thomas saying hi (even though he was a Steam Engine).

Near Chris's office there is a small number of trains parked. My favorite is a dark green and black one, written in yellow is the word "Adirondack." I'm sure there is something else written on there too but Adirondack is the only prominent thing I can remember. She is very shiny and clean, unlike the others. I told Bradley we needed to name this engine so we did, "Addy." I didn't think he would remember but yesterday we drove by her and he said, "Look, Mommy, it's Addy." Oh I love the childhood memories we are building.

As a fan of trains we have the Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway for Bradley. We find the engines all over the place, no matter how hard we try to contain them. Constantly we are telling him to put his trains away or doing so when he's not paying attention. Bradley can literally play with these trains for hours. He loves books about trains, playing with them, he recently got a train that blows bubbles for his birthday. It's a fantastic gift for a fascinated child, a rather annoying one for a parent because you are unable to turn off the sound, at least that we know of. Regardless he loves it and the baby does too. The wonder in their eyes and imagination that projects is amazing.

Today I was driving in Utica and saw railroad tracks along the way. There were baggage cars sitting on the side. They've been there for an awfully long time. I notice I see these cars lying around and all I can think is put your toys away, shouldn't they be somewhere else? I'm not sure why cars are out in random places but they look out of place where they rest other then to amuse the eyes and imagination of my precious three year old.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All Things Happen for a Reason

I had been debating for quite sometime about writing this post.

Back in March of this year I was on my way to visit some friends for a girls night out/surprise baby shower. Needless to say I never made it. My vehicle was hit by a car who was speeding, lost control of the vehicle and hit the back left side of my Escape causing me to roll it on a two lane highway (that's two lanes going in the same direction...then a median and two other lanes in the opposite direction). I ended up in his lane.

I couldn't even tell you if I was facing the correct direction or not. My vehicle was upside down and I crawled out of it. It was like a movie how all the noises were in the background and I felt alone, there was nothing left but my thoughts.

Since the accident, I have had a minimum of two doctors appointments a week. I am still in pain and I have an extremely hard time driving. I find myself screaming when vehicles are coming near me at times, when vehicles are coming to or near a stop on side streets (that seems to be the worst right now). I have nightmares.

This accident has effected everything in my life from sex to finances to me not being able to play with my children like I would like to. It's painful to do laundry, hold a phone to my ear, drive (physically, mentally and emotionally), I've had running and exercise (other then walking and maybe a recumbant bike) taken away from me. I just want my life back.

Recently I found the following picture from a news station of my vehicle and apparently there was footage of the aftermath of the accident. I had no clue there was a camera crew there until the weekend before last. I imagine it's when I was whisked into the ambulance.

I do believe all things happen for a reason. I'm know I'm lucky to be alive and it really angers me when people tell me that but I hold it in and smile. I am grateful I am alive and I have my family. My kids and husband mean the world to me. I'm still waiting on the reason why this happened to me, but I'm grateful it wasn't someone else who is hurt and dealing with these issues because they are horrible.

I know Heavenly Father watches over me and I am so grateful. I couldn't imagine life without my faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


So I've tried several times to update my blog and for whatever reason it's not doing so.....hopefully soon I will and there will be a nice photo post or something. Until then....it's just this quick message.