Monday, February 23, 2009


Honestly, what's not to love about this!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Be still my soul

Sunday in church, we sang one of my favorite hymns. I had been singing it to myself all week and found it appropriate that it would be the closing hymn in our sacrament meeting. It brings a great deal of comfort to my heart. I will share the last verse of the song.

Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on,
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. We can no more deny his hand in our lives than we could the sun that rises in the east each morning. This is a hard thing to say, but I am very grateful for the experiences of this past week. The heavens have been opened and blessings poured out on all those who would receive them. I feel a peace and joy that before, had been buried in the everyday responsibilities of life.
I know that my sister and her family will be with their little Joshua once again. As for me, I know not the day when my children will be taken home. What I do know, is that the responsibility is mine to teach them the gospel and help them reach that same goal, so that when the day comes, they too can rest in the presence of their Father in Heaven.
I have always loved the practice of releasing balloons at the burial of a child, but this time it held a more personal and meaningful significance. As I watched the funeral director hand out balloons to all the little children, I was impressed that this was a likeness of their spirits that would live worthily and someday, rise up to meet Josh. It was beautiful to me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An angel goes home

There have been days in my life I wish to never relive. Today is one of those days. I feel isolated and alone, yet again, when tragedy has stricken my family. I feel helpless so I choose to write to get through the day.

I received a phone call earlier today with the most awful news one can get. My sister's 6 year old boy was hit and killed by a school bus this morning. This had to be a mistake. Things like this don't happen on beautiful sunny days. I feel sick. I feel guilty. I feel useless being so far away.

I picked up Andrew early from school. I had to see him, and yet I felt guilty. My sister has a Kindergartner too. Was she holding his precious body as I held my sweet Andrew? Why was her child taken and not mine? Why is any child taken from this earth?

Of course I know the answer- It was his time to go. He has work to do on the other side and Heavenly Father was calling him home. I imagine Kevin and Steven were there to greet him--to teach him what they have been called by Heavenly Father to do.

I'm sorry that I didn't know little Josh better. I hope that I can live worthy to meet him and learn more about his wonderful spirit when I am sent home. I'm sorry that I don't live closer--just to be there. I'm sorry that I haven't been a better sister. I hope that my sister knows how deeply my heart is breaking for her at this moment.

I pray that their family will be comforted. I pray that Riley and Ainslee will be able to remember their big brother. I pray that Riley will be strengthened and comforted by his brother's spirit. I pray that Cheryl and Chris will have glimpse into heaven this day and for many days to come. I pray that any who read this will join in a prayer with me for this wonderful family, that they may have peace.

Our tomorrow on earth is not guaranteed, but our eternity on high is. May we so live that one day, we can experience the unimaginable joy that comes from living the unspeakable sorrows of today.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Working my butt off

On my day of rest, after a particularly tiring week, I pondered my use of a common phrase. I am always "working my butt off", but I noticed it odd that it is-- still there-- In a big way. I must reassess (no pun intended) my use of such phrases, as I find it strangely frustrating when I look in the mirror after such a day.

No this is not my backside. I am woman enough to say I've learned to accept my ghetto booty, but still not woman enough to plaster it all over the internet. Props to this lady who not only posted the picture, but did so in a public image library! You go girl.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Funny Expectations

You know, for 9 long months you carry a child inside you and dream and imagine what they'll be like. Unfortunately, most of my imaginings are worries about the kid. Will they be ugly? Will they be too short or too tall? Will they be bald? Will they be ugly? I said that twice didn't I?-- It is a worry I always have! By the end of the pregnancy I'm pretty confident I know what kind of baby I'll be getting. The boys were like that for me. Everything I expected without all the things I had worried about-- well except for Andrew's conehead-- it was a sight to behold, but fortunately it didn't last long!
Ava, on the other hand, was nothing I expected. I was reminded of that when I went to get her dressed today. (I shared this with a couple of you- so please forgive the repeat of my thoughts). I pulled out an outfit I bought for her "coming home outfit." You see, I had Ava figured for a 9lb. baby so I bought her a 0-3month outfit to come home in. As I dressed her in it and pinned up the back so it wouldn't fall off her shoulders, I had a funny thought. Wow- it's so strange to have this child I couldn't imagine any different, but never would have thought before she came that she would be like she is.
Now I've spent the rest of the day looking at my boys and Ava wondering what surprises they have up their sleeve. Who are these spirits that were sent to live in my home? Will Andrew be a politician or a garbage man? Will Ethan be a stalky 5'6" like I suspect, or will he surprise me and outgrow Andrew altogether? Will Ava marry young and have children like me, or will she choose a different path in life?
I could go on and on with my deeper thoughts about their futures, but it just made me realize how little control I have over who these little ones are, and who they are to become.
I'm sure many mothers have had similar experiences and then, looking back years later, have said, "who would have thought." For now I'll enjoy looking forward with anticipation that one day, when I look back, they'll have become a little of what I expected, and lot more than I could have hoped for.

Ava's "coming home" (6 months later) outfit!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Byron and I do fo fun

We practice making cute babies!

Oooohhhh. I'm sorry. That was entirely inappropriate, but I had to post this picture of Ava, and since we were on the subject of Byron's hobbies..(Ahem!)

So back to the OTHER things we like to do for fun.

We love to haul 28 truck loads of dirt and and twice as many truckloads of bark mulch by ourselves- because it was free. We love to redo a bathroom (when it's the only one we have) and pee behind the tree in our own backyard until we can use the toilet again. We love to frantically lay saltillo tile on our back porch in 95 degree heat because it isn't going to get any cooler for 3 months and by then we'll have a baby. We love to haul 200 wheelbarrows full of landscape rock when Kristin is 8 months pregnant and watch the neighbors drive by shaking their heads at us. We like to sheetrock a basement (including the ceiling) when Kristin is 9 months pregnant. (fact: hard labor is sure to prevent childbirth labor from EVER happening- I have lots of experience in this area)

Basically, we just like to do anything that needs to be done-- because we can-- and because we're too cheap to hire someone to do something we can do ourselves! (That would explain the scar on Byron's leg from me dropping the washing machine on him. - That's right we move ourselves too- sometimes an inch at a time- literally.)

The current "we've got to be out of our minds" project is finishing the basement. 1200 square feet (a small house worth), start to finish, framing to finish work, yep you guessed it-- by ourselves. It's so fun I scream with excitement every night! (or screaming because I almost fell of the ladder again.)

So I'm posting these pictures to remind me of how much I would love (HATE) to do this again (NEVER!). I promise, promise, promise it is worth hiring someone!

Don't we look like we're having so much fun?!

Now, can we get back to that cute baby hobby instead honey?!?