Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Holding tight to family

A few years ago I received a necklace.  It has two discs.  The bigger one has the first initial of all 6 of my children, the second has the initials J & A plus the year of our wedding.  There are a few baubles as well.  I love this necklace and fiddle with it alot. 

I was at Sam's Club doing some shopping and my little part time side kick was being cuddly and leaning on me. He started pulling on my necklace playing with it.  I thought about it and figured that he was busy, not hurting anything and let him continue.  It wasn't until he started looking for something that I pulled back and asked him not to pull on it.  It turned out in his pulling he was able to wriggle one of the discs out of the jump ring.  I was so grateful he still had it because I would never have known until it was too late, I would have lost a piece.

Immediately I thought of my family.  I wear this necklace alot and mindlessly play with it but don't think much about it. I knew letting Mac pull on it was not the best idea but what was the harm so I allowed him to pull on it a little harder.  I was satisfied with his distraction that I allowed him to pull because it seemed harmless.  Do you see where I am going?

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Are there things in my family, that I allow to creep in and tug and pull? Are there things that I may not approve of but because it keeps them happy nd seems harmless because I am keeping an eye on the situation, so I allow them to be pulled? Then it falls apart and I didn't even notice?

Sometimes I feel like the responsibility of parenthood holds too much risk.  How do you let your babies go out in the world and protect them at the same time? The only answer I can come up with is  pray, remember by reading the scripture and writing in your journal, follow the prophets, old and new, and walk in faith.

It also reminded me to not get complacent or too comfortable with how I protect my family.  Not assume because the kids are not fighting that everything is OK.  To remember just because we are a close family doesn't mean we are untouchable.  We need to be constantly vigilant to protect what is most important and make conscious decisions when it comes to our family.  Knowing what is important for my family doesn't mean it is important for another, just because another family works a certain way doesn't mean mine has to.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Oh Little Dusty Blog

This little blog used to be my way of laughing through the hard times.  Reviewing what I had experienced and processing it.  Finding the joy in the storm.  The storm of raising young children is now a memory.  I truly miss parts of those years.  Now the storm has changed.  It is a little more subtle.  I am not frustrated with the powdered sugar spinkled in the living room, 2 year olds with my make-up on their faces or sibling haircuts. Now it is getting closer to the time of watching my amazing children fly and being left behind, alone and not knowing who I am or what I am passionate about.

The storm is not helping comfort boo-boos or hurt feelings.  This storm frightens me as my children leave and I have to let them learn, and trust that we as parents taught them well enough that they can problem solve during crisis and not fall apart. Dating is the worst!  It is still that mix of emotions watching your child fall in deep like or heaven forbid love.  To know that with that string of emotions comes a fragility that scares me.  Whoever my baby falls for has the power to break them and possibly shatter them. To trust that your child will hear your words and know that they are loved unconditionally by some one even greater than an imperfect parent is a difficult thing.

As these children leave and find out who they are and where they want to go, I get to sit and watch.  I get to wait until they need me.  I get to find how I fit into their life.  Ugh! Isn't that scary and exciting?!  Since I cannot just sit and wait, I have to rediscover who I am.  Actually I need to disover who I am for the first time.  What am I passionate about? What am I really good at? How can I serve? What are my weaknesses, not the ones that you beat yourself up over but the ones that I hide under other stuff?

I know I want my story to help people.  It is not a miraculous story, or even an amazing story but it is mine.  The experiences I have to offer again are not earth shattering, they were common trials that many go through.  I have found as soon as you find out you are not alone, things tend to not be so bad.

Some of my experiences:
  • I am from divorced and remarried parents. I was very young and have little to no memory of their marriage.  I have watched both parents be single, date and eventually marry their perfect match (29 years and 10 years).
  • I tried going away to college on my own and it was REALLY hard.
  • I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I got married in the temple and none of my family was there to witness the best decision I ever made.  They were there to celebrate afterwards.  It was difficult to do what is right for me and at the same time hurt the ones I love. I do not regret it,I know that sometimes even the best decisions do not come without heartache.
  • I have 6 kids and I wanted every single one of them.  Even when we shockingly got a 2 for 1! I like to call birth stories badges of honor.  I really had uneventful pregnancies and births but I sure am proud of them. I can do hard things.
  • My first baby had hip problems and was in a brace during the first 3 months of her life.  The first 12 ours were an emotional roller coaster.
  • I have not one but TWO diabetic children. How did I get so lucky to have 2 diabetes sweeties.  There is so much in this experience. Diabetes is like living in a world of guidelines where even guidelines changeat any moment. You can do the same exact thing everyday and have wildly differenct experiences.  Atleast that is what I have heard.  I do not have a consistent bone in my body.  
  • I had to hold it together while I could only watch during some of the hardest moments in my husband's life.
I have felt this urge to blog again.  Maybe it is more about journaling but I want to find who I am before all my kids are gone and I am left as a stranger to myself. Hopefully I can figure out how to serve others on my journey. I know without a doubt there is a bigger picture and I am responsible for opening my eyes to see it.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Grateful for relationships

When my thoughts get too long for a Facebook status...well they usually are too long any way, but this will be longer.  At this moment I have a truly grateful heart.  Don't get me wrong life still has problems, but I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful people around me.  Different walks of life, different beliefs, different makes life good.  I wanted to take a moment to thank the many of you who have touched my life, made me a better person and those that say nice things about me and my family it means the world to me.  It is like a daily dose of chocolate without the calories!  I would love to name you personally, but I will try and catch all of you in a category.

I am thankful for my family, the one I grew up with, we are still different and I can be difficult, but you love me and are still excited to spend time with me!  I am thankful for the family I married into, you have each accepted me as one of your own, like I had always been a part of you.  I am grateful for the family that I have the pleasure to share my home with, each of you bring me so much joy, a joy I didn't understand before I had the opportunity to be a wife and mother.

I am grateful for those who I have met through church.  Your example has definitely helped me have a desire to be a better person, I have work to do, but at least there is hope.  Some of you have taught me invaluable lessons and you probably don't even know it, but I have been humbled and grew from those experiences.  For those I have been able to serve with in a church capacity, and those who have served me, whether it is by teaching, visiting teaching and helping run the show, you all have taught me a great deal about service.

The friends I have made through the years, it is easy to get lost in the role of mother and you help me keep a bit of my silly self and allow me to have fun being just me.  Life has changed over the last 15 years and some of us are further apart then we would like to be, but your friendship still means the world to me!  Late night chats when guards are down are still my all time favorite moments with the gals! ;)

Those people who I have met through my kids school.  I never thought it would be possible to enjoy a community so much.  I have had a blast getting to know you and knowing that my kids are surrounded by great people! We have been so fortunate to know those that teach my kiddos, and I feel even more blessed to call you friends as well.  Your hard work and diligence and passion for what you do never cease to amaze me...even when I am scatter brained, you are still happy to see me!

Those of you who I have had the pleasure to do preschool swaps, baby sitting swaps and any other kind of swap, I am thankful for you and the experiences you have brought with you.  Again I feel so lucky for those friendships my kiddos have established when they were young and continue to grow.

Getting involved in swim team, I have meet so many amazing people and created another little community.  Some of you would seem to be an unlikely person for us to create a friendship, but I am so grateful our paths have crossed and the moments we get to share.  I adore the passion you have for those Gator guys and gals.

I was introduced to a new world a few years ago when Lauren and Jackson were diagnosed with diabetes, I am grateful for each of you who have shared your personal struggles and experiences, been willing to offer advice and even knowing that someone I know truly understands the challenges of this disease.  I feel a kinship to you even if we are not in the same tight circle of friends.

There are a few of you who we have had a difficult path, whether it is political, religious, or even my prickly at times personality.  There has been times when tears were shed and my heart hurt because I didn't know if these differences would be too much for a friendship.  I truly am grateful that our friendship has stood through those tests and I adore each of you who think differently than I do, it keeps me flexible and open.   It doesn't mean we have to agree, but it helps me understand a different point of few and appreciate those differences.

I am so grateful for each of your examples and influence in my life.  Most importantly I am grateful for a Savior, who knows my flaws and imperfections and loves me unconditionally.  Sometimes life is difficult and hard to swallow, sometimes I just don't want to face what lies ahead, but because of each of you I can find joy even when times are rough.  If you have crossed paths with me in anyway, please know I am sending a heartfelt thank you for all that you do!


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Prayerfully seeking guidance.

My best thinking happens when I should be sleeping. It is also when I bear my testimony.  I know the more you share it the stronger it gets. So I want to share a piece of my testimony here.  I always wish that the words I speak come across as well formed, clear and eloquent as it does in my head. Usually what does come out is a series of disjointed thoughts.

I want to share an experience, I will be a bit vague but hopefully there will be enough for you to understand. For a while Jeremy and I have felt like we were in a stagnant place and that Heavenly Father was waiting for us to take a leap of faith. We needed to make a choice but we didn't know what it was yet. Finally after a time we decided to move forward. We started making some decisions and acting on them. It didn't feel right or wrong other than the good feeling of acting instead of waiting. Out of the blue we received a blessing that was a long shot. It was everything we had dreamed about. It felt so perfect. I will remember that day for many reasons. The spirit spoke so strongly to me. The dreamer in me had our life planned in 3 seconds tops! The spiritually sensitive side was quick to say this isn't the answer but a reminder that your family is not forgotten and Heavenly Father knows about you and loves you. I spent the rest of the day on the brink of tears of gratitude. The feeling of love and comfort was so strong. Well as things went along it has not been the answer to prayers that we had hoped. It is frustrating, disappointing and sad. As these dreams are yet to be realized and that hope has vanished it has left me feeling numb like where do we go from here and why was this experience needed. How are we supposed to act on faith when there are no obvious decisions to be made at this moment. As I sit here awake tonight, I am reminded of that feeling or impression that I had at the moment my mind took off and planned our future. The still small voice of the Holy Ghost testified to me of the love of my Heavenly Father. Not our future. The experience did show how the path we were looking into was not the right one, but the right one is still to be seen. Although I would take great comfort in knowing what we should do, I also take great comfort in knowing that my family is not alone in these times of unclear decisions. There is an amazing future laid out before us and like a good mystery I am sure to be surprised at where we end up, but I know we are in good hands and trying to be patient for it to be clear in front of us.

A post is hard to read when there are no pictures so to tie it in, these six cuties are the reason we choose to prayerfully follow the spirit and walk with our Father in Heaven. I am truly grateful to walk with them on this journey.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

He loves me!

After a few weeks of planning a new schedule and feeling strongly that I can go to the temple and make it work.  I was able to go because of a babysitting swap.  Life at times can be challenging and I knew that I have been neglecting my covenants and responsibility as well as comfort guidance and blessings by not going to the temple.  At this time in my life, I know that it is hard with a little one at home, but I realized I will do 3 babysitting swaps a week so I can work in the classroom.  While that is important, it is more important that I be spiritually uplifted so I can be a better mother and wife, which makes the additional volunteering possible and beneficial.
Today I went and it was so worth it and man was my life enriched because of it.  I won’t go into all the details of why, but I want to share with you a particular aspect.  I got to the temple a bit early and was waiting for the 7:00am session to start.  The room never filled up.  Finally one couple and another lady showed up.  We proceeded to begin the session.  As I looked around I had the distinct feeling that they were there because I was.  It seems vain, but I truly believe they were temple workers who made sure that session happened because I needed it to.  At the end of the session we say a prayer.  The purpose of the prayers is to pray over the names that have been shared by temple visitors.  During this prayer they also prayed for those who were in the session that day.  I cannot recall the words exactly, but in this prayer I was told through confirmation of the spirit that Heavenly Father Loves me and will give me the strength that I need.  I am not alone, He will never leave me!  When the prayer was over, tears started flowing and I had to control myself so that it wouldn’t turn into sobbing.  They were tears of joy and peace.

The love that I felt in that moment knowing that all those people in that room participated so I could have this experience was amazing.  I know we have to go through hard things, but we also need to receive the love of our Father in Heaven.  I am grateful for the blessings of the temple and the peace that resides inside.  I am grateful for a friend who is willing to watch Jackson so I can go to the temple and for a husband who will get the children ready for school without giving instructions so I can go early.  Lastly I am grateful for my children who asked many times when is Mommy coming home, they missed me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Hello there Blog...

It has been a long time since I have posted and it has been a roller coaster of emotions. Here I am in my early thirties for a few more weeks (35 is mid-thirties folks so please don't judge me when I say I am still in my early thirties! :) ) This past year we started out with our son diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I still have a hard time balancing it with "so what, it's not a big deal. He will survive and live a long healthy life" and "this is just too hard!" Most of the time I am in the former, but every once in a while I find myself with the latter attitude and I want to shake myself and remind myself of the first. Soon after that we had to deal with a job change for Jeremy. It was a several month limbo land. Again I found myself struggling between two emotions. "The Lord has a plan and we will be taken care of" and "this is just too hard." Of course this isn't mentioning that this particular struggle weighed more on Jeremy. In April we found out that Lauren was also Type 1 diabetic, this was easier to handle but still nobody wants to have their child medically dependent on anything. The pendulum of emotions did not swing quite as hard, but pricking her skinny little fingers was a bit harder than Jackson's pudgy bear hands. After we found out that Jeremy would still have a job, he was asked if he was opposed to moving to LA. That was a horrible time. I couldn't talk to any one about it and part of me was emotionally pulling away from anyone that I care about. I understand now when friends move, they tend to stop socializing so much. Good-byes are hard. Lucky for us we found out that we do indeed get to stay here. There is this constant emotional battle with having faith that it will all work out and I just am tired, I don't want to do this any more. The truth is I am tired, but I know that my challenges are nothing compared to so many that are struggling with far greater issues. My kids are healthy and the Lord did bless our family, in every circumstance. Is it the road I would have chosen? Not really. I don't like shedding tears. I do know it is so much easier to see the blessings when you have the backdrop of yuckiness. It is like looking at the planet Venus. It is the brightest thing in the sky next to the sun and moon! I love walking in the morning or at night and seeing that planet. It is bright enough that you can even see it mid-day when you know where to look. In my case all these rough spots I see are the darkness, but there are bright spots. I know where to look when things are tough, the scriptures, talks by church leaders and even when I attend church and am uplifted by a person's testimony. Each of those things are like that beautiful bright star in the night. During the day when the sun is up and everything is shining it is so much harder to see that brightness. Those great blessings are camouflaged by the light of day or the times when the trials are fewer or less noticeable, we tend to not look as hard for the bright and shiny stars. I do miss blogging, it is my journal, my often extremely emotional journal. I hope I can find the time make the priority to write more. It is soothing to the soul and I seriously think it will make my head less crowded if I just get these random thoughts and feelings out. What inspired this post? My mother-in-law gave me President Uchtdorf's book: Forget Me Not. It is basically this talk in a beautiful form. As I read it I was reminded Of the first petal "Forget not to be patient with yourself." That section alone got me thinking...all day. I have a horrible problem with comparing myself to others.I can say that at least 98% of the time, I am feeling inadequate or not good enough. The other two percent I might be feeling up to par. I hear things like "How do you do it all?" and I feel fake because I don't! I look around and see everyone else "doing it all" and wonder how is that possible. I loved when President Uchtdorf reminds us that
God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
It seems silly with all the great counsel in this talk this is what I need to hear. He words it perfectly when he says
God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal.
. Which means again I need to learn patience. I will have you know I never pray for patience NEVER!!!!! Do you have any idea why? Every time I do, I receive a trial of patience! 100% of the time!!!! Luckily Heavenly Father wants me to have patience and has decided I need patience rather quickly and since I won't ask He will give it to me anyways! So as I ask for patience with family, children, people I work with (on a volunteer basis of course), the answer is not to have patience with them but with me. Stop having such high expectations of who I am supposed to be and enjoy who I am. I am sure it isn't an easy task, but knowing the task at hand is such a relief. I am so grateful to have a knowledge and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know with out a doubt that he suffered so I could find happiness. And through his atonement, I will find every happiness that the Lord has in store for me. I am also grateful for a pretty phenomenal husband. I feel so fortunate that he chose me to be his wife. I can tell you, I didn't see it coming! But I am lucky to share the responsibility to raise, teach and love our children with such a GOOD man. I am grateful for 6 amazing children who love me more than Jeremy (You can ask them!(: ). They truly are my crown jewel. I know pride is a sin, but I am so proud of who they are, they blow me a way with their understanding and kindness. I love each of them very much and count them as my greatest achievements in my life. If you read this all, answer me this: Who is someone you look up to and what quality do you wish you had like that person? Signature

Friday, May 11, 2012

The best patient ever

We received Lauren's test results and it is official she is Type 1 diabetic.  I am still alittle shocked and now have a worry that more will come.  The good news is that Lauren has taken to this so well.  I am impressed for some one who is so sneaky that she will not eat anything without asking first.  After about a week of having us test her sugars she asked to do it and did it well.  She checks her own sugars at least before two meals a day.  I am flaberghasted that she is already doing that.  Today I asked her if she wanted to try practicing giving a shot with a real needle (she gives me shots with the cap on!).  She said yes.  When we had Jackson they sent us home with a bottle of sterile water, a needle and orange.  It is what I used in the hospital to practice.  So I let her use a needle and pulled out an ugly cutie (haha!) and walked her through it.  I video taped it the second time still being coached, but she still did it.

I always marvel at the intelligence and ability of children at such a young age.  We are not handing over the reigns and she has rules such as an adult needs to be present when she tetes her sugar.  As for the shots, it will be many moons until we trust her, besides the math calculations involved are a little above her smarty pants level.

She is still emotional but I can already see a difference in her behavior.  When she is short tempered or super sensitive, her sugars are high.  Her lows like Jackson are hard to detect.  Luckily we check fairly frequently so it hasn't gotten bad.  I think Jackson's sugar was in the high 30s before we atarted seeing signs.  Lauren had her first real low today at 49 and she was sompletely normal.  So that is a little scary.  I never want to see how low they can go before they are in a danger zone.

I love my little sweeties (I like to call them that more now that when we test we say we need to test how sweet you are!)  I am grteful for the lessons they teach me.  Being a parent is hard work, but when you look and watch what these kiddos can do, they are so amazing.

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