3 years ago today my life changed forever. I had come to terms with the fact that I may never be a mother. And while that fact was a sad to me, I had faith in my Heavenly Father plan for me and so we moved forward with joy that all would made for our good. Nothing in this life happens by chance and I believe we are lovingly guided through this wonderful and sometimes tumultuous life. The rungs on the ladders of our life guide us heavenward and sometimes those rungs let us feel the love of heaven more intimately. That was what happened on this day three years ago. This little angel was loving placed in my arms, and I could feel that Heavenly love. The miraculous story of my sons coming to us is just that miraculous. No other word can describe it. I have often heard that miracles no longer exist in our day but I attest that I have been the beneficiary of one. I can’t help but be grateful and humbled by this realization. I have no doubt that my son was meant to come to us. That he found his way through these incredible birth parents who honored us with this gift. What sacrifice is more Christ like, and more representative of Him during this time of year than that? My love for them is more than I can state, together we share this eternal glimpse of family and it is truly amazing.
I have one brother, one in the whole wide world, my only sibling, one. Today is the day he was born, 5 and a half years before me. All growing up it was me and him. I never disliked him, or really remember having any massive fights even. He was so patient and kind with me, letting me clip lego’s in his hair, sharing his legos (which you know was a major sacrifice for a big brother.) He was a pretty great older brother. And I’m going to take a second to brag about this really amazing guy.
He has always had this smile that radiated happiness, it’s the best smile in the world! And his laugh, it’s the most genuine laugh and his whole face and eyes fill with this indescribable joy. You can just feel it, he just radiates it. I think it’s something that attracts everyone who is lucky enough to call him their friend. There is truly something special about this brother of mine. He’s not made from the same cloth as everyone else, there really is something unique about him and you can only feel it when he’s around. He can make anyone feel at ease and finds real interest in everyone he talks to. No I’m not saying he’s perfect but gosh I have to admit I love that about him too. Even in his imperfections he’s got heart and he’s teachable, always trying. He is a true definition of a continually courageous man.
I know he has a family of his own and a wonderful companion who is so lucky to have him, yes and vice versa. But there is always part of him that I feel is mine. He was my guy first. The one I looked up to, the one I am proud to say is my big brother, the one who to this day emulates to me the love my Savior must have for me. What a blessing for me to be able to look at the divine love my earthly brother has always given me and wonder how would the Savior love me more than that? I know it’s possible, but gosh my brother set the bar really high. He really is that great. And I love him, and I know I don’t tell him enough but gosh I do.
I only have one, just him and I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have him. Happy Birthday to You, big brother, you will and have always stood as an example in my life, and made me the better for it. I love you.
Growing up she would always say to me, “I want to be your best friend.” As a child it was hard to wrap my mind around a mom and a friend? Friends are kids my age right? But as I grew that thought, which she continually reminded me of, crept into my thoughts. My Friend. As a teen I was really close to my Mom and regardless of my adolescent selfishness and mistakes she continually befriended me regardless. Many “age friends” came and went but there she was, my best friend. Offering comfort and encouragement, love and honesty. Teaching me selflessness and thoughtfulness, seeking the spirit and using it, positivity and rising above. And even; though I know she’ll deny it, SNEAKINESS. 🙂 Now, as grown as I can say I am, she is indeed a best friend. I still call her to shed a tear, and seek advice, to share joys and pit falls. She is still there.
Ok, so here’s the deal. In Washington for some reason very few people use the doorbell. Now this could also be that people are trying to be courteous and not wake my son if he is napping, and thanks for that. But that being said there are times when clearly he is awake and people still knock. This is problematic in our lovely new home as it is pretty hard to hear due to the doors location in relation to the most used rooms of our home. Now if you were my little Mr, he is very efficient, he not only rings the bell, I mean it’s a two years old he has to push any button at any time, and then knocks and he may even call aloud “Hellooo?”. Bases covered buddy. But this is not the case when others come to visit us typically. So what should I do? Do I put up a massive arrow above the doorbell? A sign to use the doorbell? Do I go all fancy and get a door knocker? (I kinda want to do this as I love little details like that.) Or just forget it and say whatev’s? “Text me if you want to enter my domain.” There is a 50/50 shot I hear my phone but heck those are better odds then taping on the door. Is this really all a clever ruse that “hey we tried to stop by but tapped on your door and you didn’t answer?” Maybe I’m not getting the hint. But what’s the solution folks? What should I do, what would you do? Or do you even care? I’m throwing this out there lovelies. Because in the 4 years I have lived here this is my experience regardless of location. I’m happy to share my findings on the topic and update you with my solution because I won’t be satisfied til I work this out, your welcome by the way! There you have it, what goes on in the crazy I call my mind, enjoy!
Our little Mr. has sensory disorder. There I put it out there. Why? Because when my little miracle, wonder boy, is screaming in the store and throwing the ice cream container on the floor you’ll give me a sympathetic smile and say “you go girl.” And you’ll realize this is only a second of him, a snip, he’s pretty great, just give him a minute and you’ll see.
Several months ago I just didn’t get it. Why did my precious, scream, cry and hit me when the doorbell rang and the dog barked. Or how leaving him in nursery would insight a catastrophic break down that would end with me staying or him crying himself to sleep. How a tantrum over a simple break of an object could elicit a breakdown that requires a quarantine to his crib for 30+ minutes. We were baffled. I expressed my concern to a friend at the park and she, gratefully, empathized with me, having a sensory kid herself, and recommended I have him seen. I worried, had I done this? Had timeouts made him more tenacious than other kids? As first time parents we were baffled that the regular old parenting techniques didn’t work for him, in fact they sent him into a tail spin. I soon came to find out that this was him regardless of us. A mix of his own special temperament sent from above, some prematurity factors (most premies have some sort of varying degree of sensory disorder, duh that totally makes sense now), and a strong willed nature. This is our boy. So much like myself without my even realizing it. As his Occupational Therapy (OT) began we clamored for anything to help him work through the barrage of information shooting at him. Any way to help him cope with it before it sends him skidding to uncontrolled rage. He’s sensitive, he’s incredibly observant, he’s spiritual. Now I know how can a 2 year old be spiritual, but he is. He’s keenly aware to the feeling and spirit floating around a room and will react in the like. It’s amazing to watch. I was daunted by all the information at first, but gratefully reminded by our OT that this is a marathon not a sprint. So take it bit by bit. He will be learning how to cope with this for years, or a lifetime to come. And if we can help give him the right tools he will eventually be able to do it himself. I so want that. It is hard in the trenches day after day, and yes I’m human I get frustrated at times. It’s a lot of mental analysis having to retrace the signals of what may have set him off. What stimuli he was reacting to. What his signs of overstimulation are. And finally how I teach him to cope with them before or after they happen. Each day is a lesson in patience, compassion, self control and the most amazing love. To show you just how astute this sweet boy is he will have an episode, a breakdown an atomic explosion that will send me reeling. And given some quiet time, he will eventually lay his head on my shoulder and say; “I sorry.” “Oh I luv u.” All his little neurons are finally calm, and he relaxes his body onto mine. I envelop him in a gently firm hug, no rocking or rubbing (that’s too much stimulation), just stillness and we find peace again. He knows he went off the rails, he knows he shouldn’t, but the gravity of all his senses taking it all in at once; the sound, the feelings/emotions, the sight, the touch, the smell. It overwhelms him and he reacts. He feels it all and he feels it deeply, deeper than we understand. He’s amazing.
He’s doing better. Somedays are great and other days we are the shrieking family in the grocery aisle as he tries to comprehend the transitions he had to go through just to get in the door, and now we are filling the cart item after item, the temperature changes from warm to the cold dairy section, the baby on the aisle over crying. He’s feeling it all and expressing it . . . . loudly. But were working at it, we’re a team. It’s not a 30 day quick fix. It’s a catalyst. One driving me to push myself to be a better me. To work on things that if he didn’t have this character trait might go unnoticed, or brush it off. From the minute he was born he has made me better, made me take stock of the person I am and make changes to draw closer to the person my Savior wants me to be. I look at this, curious, tenacious, determined, loving, spiritual little boy and think “Wow, you are miraculous!” He is!
These lovely flowers are from the hydrangea bushes I planted, and didn’t kill,this year.
My life is full of things, I’m sure yours is too, and my little blog which I love and love to post on is well, desolate, empty and neglected. I know in a world of the quick posts on facebook and instagram, blogs are kinda a bother. I mean you have to go off the social networking page just to read ughhhh what a hassle :). And yep you just saw me use an emoji which is so crazy even for me to think about but apparently you gotta get with the times. But I’m going to work back and share some of our past adventures and some current ones with you because I still love my little space as neglected as it is and I hope you lovely internet people will take a second and travel to our little spot to share our life with us.
You know sometimes mom’s gotta let loose. I have been so blessed to come to Washington and meet some of the most amazing women. With all the differing opinions and backgrounds the conversation is never boring. I always find myself inspired and more understanding after a night out with them. Oh one night recently we got together to let loose. I had at another get together mentioned that I I wanted to be on Jimmy Fallon and do his lip sync battle as I felt he had NOTHING on me. This of course was taken as a challenge and another Girls night was planned to, well see if I was actually as confident as I said I was. Now I’m no dummy I’m not standing up there and performing just me. So we all hit the candy bar, Thanks Meri for providing, and let the sugar flow. It also happened to be late and thanks to a lot of encouragement by Melinda we got the party started. Now I won’t divulge anything further about the night other than that I did perform, and lots of wonderful music was shared and enjoyed by all. The rest of the details will be locked firmly in the confines of the brave few of us that were there. It will always be a treasured and amazing memory! I am so grateful for this wonderful sisterhood who loves me for the weirdo I am and have been (and continue) to be such a wonderful support to me. Thank you ladies your friendship means more to me than you know.
Our flight back from the cruise was cloud covered and beautiful. I looked down in wonder of the amazing colors and textures. I have always felt that clouds add so much to scenic photos and to see them from the heights of the sky is awe inspiring. And as I always talk about . . . . . Light! I won’t bore you again with how light effects me, you can read here, another moment of reflection on my many blessings. And my gratitude for my knowledge and faith in things that are unseen but deeply felt.
In this season of Thanksgiving I share my feelings of gratitude as I reflect back on this time last year.
This week marks the one year anniversary of the greatest news we have ever received. Our wonderful birth mother called us and told us that she had chosen us to adopt her baby. I remember next to nothing about this day except that incredible call. The gratitude and love I have for this amazing woman and her wonderful husband are beyond words. They are like family to us, she has in the year since Little Mr.s birth become the little sister that My Mr and I never had. We share a love so deep that the feelings and words of this world cannot describe it. We are bound by something so much deeper then blood and greater than love. It is indescribable to me. As I have had time recently to reflect on the place I was in last year I am even more grateful and can see how my Heavenly Father was gently preparing me. I was involved in the practice of regular personal and family prayer, my scripture study was meaningful, I was in a job where I was able to share the Gospel and dispel rumors which was gratifying to me. At this same time a beautiful young woman was doing the same, preparing herself spiritually and making one of the biggest decisions of her life. We were all in the right place, we are all doing the right things. After all the talks, lessons and scriptures that over the years have been repeatedly testified to me of these principles I can now testify for myself of it’s truthfulness of these teachings. We have seen how doing those small and simple things in our lives prepare us to receive, recognize and appreciate the gifts our Heavenly Father gives. They have blessed our life in immeasurable ways.
Now we look forward to the future, so incredibly grateful for all that we have been given; our son, his birth parents and their amazing supportive families, and the creation of our Forever Family. The blessings of this world are real and I am grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have that makes them all that much sweeter. I love you Kayla & Zach.
It was a fantastic weekend! As all General Conferences tend to be. We were edified by the words of our Apostles and Prophet. The video of our home state made me realize that we don’t live there anymore.
I have adapted to my new Washington home with ease, which is something I have to admit I was a little worried about. And yes I do continue to love all the new and different things that this amazing place has to offer. I can’t get over all the diversity and unique things the state has. Green hills for miles, ocean beach fronts pebbled with sand and rocks. Off in the distance towers Mt. Rainier seeming to stick out of nowhere! We have fallen in love with this new place. Upon my reflection of this new home of ours I often think of my home state of Utah. Now in growing up there I think I always loved it, yes but I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I do now. Utah too is incredibly diverse in it’s regions. From literally the best snow on earth, and you can that that to the bank because it is just fact, nothing is like Utah powder! To the red rocks of Zions National Park, Lake Powell’s majestic waters or MOAB with the deep red sandstone that kisses the clear blue skies is a truly amazing sight of nature’s colors. I recently read an interview with Robert Redford, a Utah import who settled in the beautiful Timpanogos canyon area. He too fell in love with Utah and his words to the articles author regarding this place resonated deep in me.
“I know,” says Redford when I get to Sundance and try to describe what the drive felt like. “It’s almost biblical.”
“Or Beijing. When we get in an inversion, which is the hot air keeping the cold air down, then all the fumes from traffic, all the pollution just sits there — and then you rise above it. It’s a wonderful feeling.
“We’re in Redford’s office at the Sundance Resort; the festival films show in Park City, about thirty miles north. The five-thousand-acre resort, packed with Saturday skiers, sits on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos. Redford’s office, a creaking one-floor affair hung with icicles, is a far cry from Santa Monica.
Redford has homes in Napa Valley and Santa Fe, but here is where, long ago, he fell in love hard with Timpanogos.”Before I got kicked out of college, I would drive from Colorado home to Los Angeles, and I always loved taking different routes. There was a canyon road, a little shortcut. I looked up and, Whoa — I saw the back of this mountain. It reminded me of the Jungfrau in Switzerland. Its strength and its gruffness are masculine, but it also has an embracing shape to it. If you sit at the base of it, you’re going into the womb of this mountain.”Robert Redford Interview – Esquire Magazine April 2013
I grew up at the base of the mountains he describes. Watching the sun crest over their tall craggy tops and escaping into the night by disappearing behind their canyon creases like a blanket tucking it in for the night. It was an incredible place to grow up.
My Mr. and I have often discussed our conflicting feeling for our 2 states. Almost like we have to throw out the qualities that we loved so much about one to fully adopt the other. And is just isn’t so. These two places make us appreciate the other more for the unique differences they each offer to us. We feel lucky to get to have both places to call ours.
“I think they could be a little bit more well groomed-—if you know what well groomed is, you just take a look in the mirror. Their hair doesn’t look neat, they look like they are all messed up. I don’t think messy is pretty, I think they should study themselves a little more and not wear something that’s in fashion because it’s in fashion. And you see some enormous young women wearing the skimpiest clothing and it really looks dreadful.” – Iris Apfels
Agreed! Irsid Apfels a fashion maven recently made this comment in this article caught my eye while reading online. Though this 90-year-old Lady, yes she is a lady, is born in a different time I think she is absolutely right! What’s wrong with dressing up and looking nice and put together? My Parents are all about this and often, to my dismay, make comments about how that “person looks like they just rolled out of bed for the day.” Or that “they need a belt because their pants are falling off”, or “Is that a boy or a girl I just can’t tell.” This is not a judgment on the person’s character or quality. But we all have to admit that first physical impressions make a difference. When I hired employees to work for me I saw the whole gamete of people. I had some in full suits and some come in sweats, yes really sweats! Can you guess whom I hired? That being said I had people come in who fit a nice, well kept in-between and I hired them too. It’s just this messy or skimpy looks that seems to be what so many now days feel is ok is I’m sorry just not. Recently I have noticed these shorts that barely (barely is the correct word) cover these young gals’ bottoms are completely inappropriate to me! No I don’t want to see the bottoms of your cheeks, Thank You! I understand if you have a day where you’re a little under the weather, sure, get feeling better. But as for Iris and me I think we are going to enjoy dressing it up a bit and enjoying just looking Well Groomed. Well Said Iris!
Another successful trip to COSTCO and an abundance of fun cart observations. You can read previous COSTCO posts if your tuning in for these fun real life observations as witness by Me and My Mr. Here are some of the best.
Diapers & hot wings – interesting combination, hopefully your not feeding the wings to your baby.
Bread sticks and a tent – interesting camping food.
Tomatoes & red vines – red fetish
Waffles & a connect – waffles and video games, perfect mesh
Spinach and a human sized stuffed moose – Are they planning on feeding that to the moose?
Chicken pot pie and an ice scraper – Something warm after you scrap off your car too!
Green house & socks – Gardening in your new socks!
Adult and baby diapers – I don’t want to know
Jerky and Gillette razors skim milk – beef and milk while shaving your legs?
Grapes and basketball – Can you say Soccer mom (in charge of refreshments)
2 apple trees and a rotisserie chicken – nothing like a rotisserie chicken after planting trees!
Baby food and salsa – both options don’t need teeth!
Bacon and roasted seaweed – if a vegetarian and carnivore lived together.