Saturday, December 23, 2017

Thoughts at 37,000 feet

So, as I sit here an a plane, somewhere over Nebraska, but next to my little and a very nice older man who Snapchatted the boarding process, I am thinking of Christmas with my family. Yeah, it's been a pretty rough, wild, crazy, and eventful 2017. So much has happened, and not all of it pleasant.

I'm reading a book on the plane, one I bought specifically so I could read it on the plane. I love the author, Gregg Luke, and I have become a fan of historical fiction, and a huge fan of LDS historical fiction, like retellings of the Book of Mormon. (Ok, they aren't retellings, they are just the same Book of Mormon stories, just with specific fiction details about the personalities of the characters.) I'm reading "The Hunter's Son" and I love it. A young Nephite is captured and sold into slavery. He keeps his hopes and his faith alive with the help of his friendship with another slave. Once they are separated, he spirals down to defeat and depression. He catches a glimpse of his reflection and doesn't recognize himself. He dives deeper into his life and thoughts and has an amazing discovery :

Just like following evil leaders, I knew that finding solace in sorrow broke the spirit, opening the door to emotional, spiritual, and even physical destruction... It had been a long time since I had opened my soul to God. I still believed in Him; I just didn't trust Him. I knew that God did not delight in the sorrows of men. But sometimes sorrow was the only thing that could bring us back to Him, because sorrow is a precursor to humility.


*I knew that God did not delight in the sorrows of men. But sometimes sorrow was the only thing that could bring us back to Him, because sorrow is a precursor to humility.*

This helped me to look inside myself a little bit, and I realized that I am NOT a humble person. Yeah, sometimes I can be, but for the most part, I like people to see all that I am doing, see how hard I'm working. And I can honestly say, that when I'm doing things for ME, for the show of it, I feel awful. But when I'm out doing things for others, I feel great.

So I guess, my word for 2018 is HUMILITY. 

I guess we'll just see how this goes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Well, hello

Hi there. Soooooo, there has been alot that has happened in the past, what, year since my last post? Yeah. Lots and lots has happened. My boys just won't STOP growing! K1 is 6 now, like seriously! Oh, and he's like a giant, he's into size 7/8 clothes. Yeah. And K2 is still my little dude, he still looks like a little guy, he'll turn 4 in March, and he is finally into his 3T clothes. They are still the sweetest, cutest, most awesome boys in the whole world. I sure do love my boys. Shark is still working in Lehi, he's still making that drive. He's still a rockstar. :) I'm back in school, online school, but hey, it's still school. I had to take a step back and drop a few classes, apparently being a mom and taking classes is something I have to learn to juggle, and figure out something that works for me. I'm still figuring it out. Danger loves kindergarten, he has started to read everything, and he is learning soooo much! The Colonel is in his first year of preschool, and he is loving it, granted it's one day a week, and he's been sick for the past month, but he still loves it when he goes. Danger lost his 2 bottom teeth right around his birthday, and he is so excited. When he put his teeth under his pillow, he came down at 5am to show me what the Tooth Fairy had brought him. He thinks the Tooth Fairy is the coolest ever. She folded the dollar bill into a ring for his first tooth, and into a sword for his second tooth. He absolutely loves it, the Tooth Fairy has mad skills, even if it's just a single dollar bill. I absolutely love this family of mine. Last week, I was sitting on the couch after dinner, I was crocheting (of course!) and the boys were just playing with cars in the living room. The TV wasn't on, there was nothing to distract me or my boys. I got to sit and just watch them play together. I got to sit and appreciate the blessings that I have in my life. I know my having these boys is an absolute miracle, and I absolutely LOVE the quiet moments when that thought really hits me. It brings such a peace to me. I am so very grateful for these sweet things and beautiful blessings in my life. I love that I recognize them as blessings. :)

I know I have been missing for a whole, but I do plan to get back into blogging more often, you know, making it a regular thing again.

Here are a bunch of pictures....

Friday, December 4, 2015

Work in progress

So some days I feel like I totally rock the Mom Thing. Some days I feel like I totally fail. Like major "whomp-whomp"

I haven't been feeling like myself lately. Actually, I couldn't really tell you what "myself" feels like, cuz I'm pretty sure I haven't seen her in years. But in all reality, the past few months I've been a heat seeking missile with a very very short fuse, and I'm surrounded by 2 tiny volcanoes.

It's felt like anything and everything sets me off and when momma goes off the rails, oh man, you better buckle in. Shark says I'm "passionate" and very expressive, and when one emotion hits the whole tank needs to empty before another emotion can take over. Well, right now, anger, sadness, frustration and failure have humongous tanks.

Mostly anger. Yeah, that's got the biggest tank. Like freaking huge. Water tower huge.

And I'm very expressive. Ask my father in law how expressive I am during a Packer game. He got started and surprised at how I yelled at the TV. (I learned from the best football watching crew ever : my football crazy dad and uncles!) I yell. Apparently, that's my quickest reaction to everything.

Well, after taking Danger to preschool Wednesday, (after fighting him about going, and dragging his feet to find his boots, and put his pants on the right way, and then figuring out his underwear was on backwards too, and then his crying fit over not zipping his jacket, and then him having a meltdown in the car cuz he couldn't buckle) I was BEYOND frustrated. I think I yelled at him the entire 5 minute ride to preschool. Ugh.

I prayed the whole home about what to do, how to change him, how to teach him.

On the way back to pick him, I prayed again (or was it still?) but this time, as I prayed, it hit me. I was praying for the wrong thing. I needed to ask how to change myself, what I needed to do to change, to see it differently, to lead him.

I suddenly realized that I couldn't start with my children and expect that to change everything. The only way to change the way things are going is by starting with yourself.

I needed to treat my sons differently than I had been, I needed to show them love and kindness. I needed to give them an example to follow.

I discussed the new plan with Danger on the way home. Hugs and kisses, oh, and some Shaun the Sheep, please mom.

So Thursday was a day of kindness. Well, at least the morning was. There was tickling, and giggling, and laughing, and kissing, and running in circles, and chasing the dog, and lots of love. There was Ironman and Ultron and Hulkbuster. There was joy and kindness.

By Colonel's naptime I was starting to get irritated. But we had resolved/averted some issues with hugs and kisses instead of yelling and spankings. Danger seemed to be testing the waters, pushing the line. And after not helping to clean up his toys or put away his dishes this momma had tossed her hands up. (I had also had a rather sad trip to the store that sort of solidified my feeling of failure for the day.) So, Danger got to eat the ice cream he bought, and mom ate a cake in a mug with peppermint stick ice cream.

The afternoon did not pick up, although we did get the living room clean. Colonel got hold of an apple and proceeded to bite the skin off, only to spit it out. He did this to 2 apples. And lots of jumping on both couches left me feeling frustrated. I discovered that Colonel bit the tip off my tablet pen (the second one he's done that to) and I searched everywhere for it, and concluded that he ATE it. So I was sitting on the porch, literally, cooling off - both from frustration and from shoving my couches around in search of my tablet pen tip- when Shark got home.

I can say, I feel rejuvenated after my class tonight. It helped put things into alignment. Sort of readjusted my priorities. And I can see the results I want, and I can see steps of how to attain them. I know the plan will have to be refigured with each step, but I've got a battle plan to keep the anger, sad, frustration and failure away for tomorrow. We'll see about Saturday, but right now, I'm only worried about tomorrow.

Being a mother is hard, and some days I don't think I can handle it. I love my boys, and I love my husband. I love my Heavenly Father for blessing me with my family, and for calling me to be a mother. I also love Him for lifting me to the challenge that is being a mom, for making up the difference, for being ALL the difference! I've struggled with being a mom, and it's hurts my heart that some days I feel like I don't want to do it. But those boys cuddle and giggle and love me. For me, for who I am RIGHT NOW. I will never forget that. Ever.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

His Hand

Last night I was reading Ether 3: 4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
I absolutely love this. It reminds me that we have been so very blessed by His power.
I know that my boys are miracles. They trully are. It's an absolute miracle that I was able to carry them, and bear them and deliver them. It's amazing that we are all healthy and strong.
I know they are miracles, but honestly, some days, some moments it is hard to remember that they are miracles. Those days, those moments are when they're running all over, tossing laundry across the floor, dumping out toy bins, and fighting. I am working on seeing the miracle at all times. I'm working on seeing past the physical, temporal, the meaningless.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keep swimming

You know those days where you're at the end of your rope and its not even noon? (Heck, some days I don't make it to 10 and my boys wake up at 9!) Those days when the kids are goi g at it during breakfast and don't stop for a moment. The days where you sit in front of the TV all day and just let Sesame Street play on an endless loop because frankly, those Muppet puppets keep your children entertained when you just really don't feel up to it. You know those days right?

I have one of those days usually once a week, and never always on the same day. Like this week, today was that day, Tuesday was that day. It started good, everything was going good. We hung out with our neighbors for a while and then went shopping. Shopping always ends with 2 cranky boys and a frazzled momma. It was all I could do to keep the morale up, smiles going and the boys in the cart. 

Once home, everything erupted into a fit of tears and fists. Danger didn't want to go in the house, so I was leading him with my hand on his back. He hated going in the house but hated it even more when little brother started pushing him. He turned and shoved Colonel. Colonel got up fighting and started punching Danger. Danger got sent to his room with a swat on the tush, and Colonel also got sent to his crib with a swat on his tush. Momma also got sent to timeout. 

Sometimes everyone just needs a timeout, away from everyone else. Colonel ended napping, and once I explained to Danger that momma was in timeout he backed off and let me be in timeout. He was pretty cute when he asked "Are you still in timeout, momma?" 

Another thing that made today hard was Shark's schedule. He's been on this crazy project, and with our 2 week vacation coming up, he's been stressing. And his summer is ending, so his brothers have been making plans, but it seems like all their plans happen at night. Crawfishing. Frog hunting. So last night Shark, his brothers and Danger went frog hunting. So it was a late night for them. He's been exhausted lately and going frog hunting didn't help, but man, when they walked in the door, they were both smiling ear to ear. He was so happy.

Today Shark didn't get home until late. I have an app called Find My Friends, where I can track his phone. Danger and I "check the map" to see where daddy is on his way home. It's something that both of us do for fun as daddy comes home. Today I couldn't find Shark on the app, it never showed him, and suddenly he showed up at the house.

I was exhausted today, and just spent. Out of energy and out of patience. Heck I still am. But I've found some things to calm me down, help me collect myself.

I crochet.

I read.

I watch tv.

I like things that I can just shut my brain off and do. Now, I can't just sit and watch TV, my brain gets bored, so I usually crochet and watch tv. Reading allows me to shut my brain off to MY world and enter a new one.

Sometimes everyone just needs a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be given a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded to take a break.

One thing I've learned : no matter how hard today was, the fate of tomorrow is NOT dependent on today. I can make tomorrow into something completely new.

Just keep swimming. Just keep trying. Just keep being.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New obsessions

So basically it sort of started at Christmas when I got my FitBit Flex. I absolutely LOVE it. l immediately started searching about it. And I learned as much as I could about it. I downloaded the app to my Android phone and immediately changed all the stats and created a profile. I started searching for and adding friends. I even linked it to my Facebook and set it to make a daily stats update to my timeline. I never do that, I hate having apps post stuff for me. But this whole exercising thing was awesome. I felt I was truly doing something to help myself and even though it wasn't a whole heck of a lot, I still felt it was something.

I bought a treadmill in January, call me a New Years Resolutioner or whatever, but I was determined to get into shape. Not that I felt I was particularly out of shape, but I was exhausted. I have 2 little monster boys that keep me on my toes, but I felt I shouldn't be out of breath after going up our half flight of stairs to help my 3yo go potty. That just wasn't cutting it for me. I got a pair of used running shoes at the thrift store for $3, good find, but we'll have to see how they hold up or if they even really work for me. My husband's family decided to do an Atkins diet starting in January (right before my birthday!!!) so I joined it. I also decided to join in a DietBet type thing called The Meltdown Challenge, and even though I totally won and lost my allotted amount of weight (I lost 15lbs!) I forgot to do a final weigh in, oh well. I was getting my steps in almost every night, and if I didn't get them, I walked on the treadmill and watched a show. And I've got this last bit of momma-pooch I'd like to get rid of. I'm not looking to lose 50 pounds, just a few, and I'm more worried about getting into shape and getting healthy!!

Last month, I went in for a cardiac cauterization and the doctor enlarged one of my ventricles with a balloon, to help with the blood flow. Shark talked to the cardiologist because he had some questions.

1) Would exercising help strengthen my heart, and essentially give us more time before the heart transplant, or would it weaken it and make the heart transplant happen sooner?
-------Yes, exercising would strengthen my heart, it would give me more energy, it would also give me more time, but it wouldn't really make a difference.

2) About how long we were looking at until I needed a heart transplant? What was the time frame? Single digits or double digits?
-------About in there. Around 10 years is when they will really start to look at it, unless something else starts happening....

So call this a new exercise obsession, call it me trying to gain control over something I have NO control over whatsoever, call it a last ditch effort, call it what you want. I guess I feel a desperate need to change something and right now, I have all the tools to get fit and get in shape and exercise and run. Yeah my ankles and calves are burning but I am so proud that I've started something and that I've done it 2 days in a row.

I downloaded an app called C25K- Couch 2 5k. And I am so excited to use it and started jogging/running. In reading over the details of the training, I guess I'm not supposed to run on days back to back but I didn't see that until last night/this morning, so I'll be switching to either just walking tonight or yoga or Zumba or something. Part of me also feels like if I take a day off, that'll be the end of my jogging run...

I signed up for a 5K in May. My sister and I are going to do the Color Me Rad. Danger said he wanted to do it with us, we'll see how that goes. I'm not planning (nor even thought about) to RUN or even JOG the 5k, more like a brisk walk, that's all I'm aiming at. I got Danger some shades and a bought him a Color Me Rad shirt from the clearance section when I registered, he can run free. I'm pretty excited.

I know in the past, I've used my heart condition as a fall back, "Oh, I can't do that, I have a heart condition." "I can't do all those setups, run that whole mile, I have a heart condition." But when I think of the recent past, I gave birth! I've been shocked (cardio verted) like 5 times, I've hiked up mountains, I've done all sorts of things. Why on earth would my heart condition hold me back from exercising? So I'm done making excuses, I'm just going to DO!

I also feel like I have no other options. I guess part of me feels like my life is a stake, and running could be the answer... And if that's the case, than that's a pretty easy answer. So that's my plans and that's why I've got a sudden obsession with running.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

You beautiful mom, you

Oh moms. Oh women. Oh ladies.
I'm going to be honest and real with you. I'm gonna level. I'm not a real big fan of how I look. I never really have been. (Ok, I thought I was smokin' hot on my wedding day and in my bridal photos!) The photos I'm sharing today, yup, not my bests...
I don't know where my negative view of myself came from. My family always said I was beautiful, ok my mom said it, my siblings did not really help build that confidence until AFTER high school... Middle school and high school were rough on me. I got picked on, ridiculed almost mercilessly. 
I was always more interested in the engineering side of everything. I loved wood shop and drafting. I helped start an archery club. I wore my brothers clothes. I didn't wear makeup or really do my hair in any style other than a ponytail. 
I was the only girl in my wood shop class, and got called a lesbian. It was hard to be made fun of for doing something I loved so much. Plus I was freaking awesome at it. I hold those projects and creations so dear. I still love building and making things. I love talking with my husband about what he's building (propellers right now) and I love drafting and design. I followed that dream and became a professional draftsman. I was the only girl on the drafting side of the projects. I got tougher though. 
As girls, we are told from birth how beautiful we are. How pretty we are. How special we are. We are told that we can do anything we can possibly think of, as long as we try and do not give up. Our families, and sometimes complete strangers, help build our confidence and strengthen us, build us up. 
When do we stop hearing that we're beautiful? When do we stop gaining that confidence? When do we stop building ourselves? When do others (and ourselves!) start the demolition? When do those sharp words and thoughts start flying?
At what point in our lives, do we, as beautiful, confident, amazing young women, allow those negative voices, thoughts, and words creep into our hearts and when and why do we ever start believing them? 
I'm not always (hardly ever!) happy with how I look. I'm not good at the 1-and-done selfie pic. Trust me, I take like 10 and then pick the one that I look least "offensive" and it's hard cuz my boys are only available for 1 pic! 
I'm not confident in how I look and feel in my own skin. When I sit and think about it, it's sorta sad. Look at all the abuse my skin has taken from me over the years:
-2 open heart surgeries
-countless skinned knees and elbows
-broken arm
-those years of learning to shave my legs
-my inability to remember sunscreen
-carrying 2 baby boys
-going years (probably) being technically dehydrated
-the copious amounts of superglue on my fingers
-and hot glue
-and all the pins jammed into my fingers
-my experiments with makeup
-all those greasy burgers
-all the grocery lists on my hand
-the tattoos

Yeah, skin, you've done good. I shouldn't be ashamed of you, and in all honesty, I'm not. It's just sometimes, I'm not happy looking at my skin. 

Look at that list again. Most of those are some pretty amazing things to put my skin and body thru. I should feel good about most of those. 
My body creates PEOPLE! And darn cute ones at that! How can I not be happy and confident with something that is a miracle? 

My heart is all messed up and backwards, but I'M STILL HERE! How can I not be happy and feel so blessed with something that technically and anatomically should probably NOT have functioned past my birth?
There are times I don't like how I look. And I know I am not the only one. I'm going to share some stories with you. Events that I witnessed, that made me so sad. 

#1 : I was visiting a friend, she was getting ready for work, and this friend hasn't felt good in years. Her health has been in a slow decline for a while now but she continues to push thru and she is absolutely amazing and wonderful, she's a beautiful mom and grandma and she is an incredible woman full of strength and faith! Anyways, she was doing her hair and she kept apologizing to me for how her hair looked. Honestly, it was not bad at all. She looked great! But she didn't think she looked good. It could have been that she was sick, and didn't feel good at all but she looked good! After all she had been thru, she was so sorry for how she looked. 
#2 In talking with a friend at church, she was reading a story about a "super attractive" woman, and she instantly quipped "Oh, and I didn't write that!" She totally could have written it and everyone would have agreed! She's an amazing mom to a little boy, her husband is going thru school and I'm pretty sure she works outside of the home. Why would she think she's not super attractive? If there's one thing I know about husband's and offspring, they LOVE mommas. Husbands will do anything to get "under the covers" with their wives, and children will do anything to hug, hold and kiss their mommas! These humans, who you interact with on a daily basis see and know how beautiful you are, and they don't hesitate to tell you. Why don't you believe them? Your husband picked you. He picked you to look at every day for the rest of his life, he chose you to wake up to - morning breath and bed head included! You are super attractive, trust me, if you don't trust me, will you trust them?
#3 A friend posted a picture of her awesome shirt, but she put an emoji over her face because she thought she looked awful, had just woken up, and didn't want others to see. If I looked that good waking up, there'd be way more "good morning" selfies. She's a friend of mine who married another friend of mine, and they are an awesome family and I love them. She had her 3rd baby a few months ago, and her husband works long hours, I'm not sure if she works outside of the home.  (This one goes along with #2) Those children LOVE her. I know as soon as I see my boys in the morning, I'm showered with humongous smiles and giggles and that is ALL before I have a chance to rub the sleep from my eyes or use the bathroom. Children don't care if your makeup is on, hair is styled, or even if your socks match. They just care about you. My big boy will come up and give me hugs and tell me I'm beautiful. I love that. He'll look at our family pictures and pictures from our wedding and say how beautiful I look and how handsome dad looks. He loves us. 
I want my children to be confident and strong. To know they can do ANYTHING they want to. How can I teach my boys to be confident, if they don't see me being confident? Where are they going to learn it from? 

There are qualities in myself I'm working on, patience is one. I had written on my mirror : 
The boys watch everything you do. 
Be who you want them to see.  
This momma, this one in the pictures, is the momma my boys will remember. This one, with the weird smile and sometimes lazy eye, and at some angles, a double chin. This is the momma my boys and my husband think is beautiful. This is the momma they are desperately trying to convince that she's gorgeous. Even if she's just in a t-shirt and jeans. I shouldn't have to wear my wedding dress to feel gorgeous. 

My husband LOVES looking at me. LOVES how I look. LOVES what carrying and giving birth to our 2 children has done to my body. LOVES me because I love him. Even after 7 years! When he looks at me, I feel loved, I feel beautiful. And I am so grateful for the love my husband and my children show me. 
We are beautiful creations. I know, God created each of us, with His own hands. And I know that because of how I personally am put together. It is only by some miracles that my heart functioned for 11 days before the doctors preformed surgery. It is only by some miracles that I was able to give birth to my children. I know that each of us is here for a reason. I also know, one of those reasons is to HAVE JOY! We are to be of good cheer. Not wallowing in self-doubt and low self-esteem. We are beautiful. We need to start seeing how incredible and amazing and beautiful we are. We need to start seeing how incredible and amazing and beautiful others are. We need to stop mom shaming and self shaming. Weed need to show compassion rather than criticism. 

 I also speak to myself. Please, please, PLEASE, NEVER lose that confidence and strength in yourself. If there is anything to believe in, it is most definitely YOURSELF. You, yes you, are freaking amazing. You do and can do wonderful, amazing, difficult things. You are stronger and beautiful. You are super attractive, you are incredibly smart and knowledgeable, you are amazingly strong. 

Please continue to believe in you. I love you.

From the deepest part of my broken, backwards heart, please know that you, yes YOU, are freaking beautiful!