7/20/17

After the Trial

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Andrew, you may never know how much this means. The only thing I can imagine it compares to, is adoption. That may sound insensitive, but we are looking at grief and joy. From a perspective, not as a birthmom, but as that parent who has longed for a child of their own, then finally given an incomparable gift, out of someone else's sacrifice.

Thank you, for seeing beyond your loss, and reaching out to me, and my family. My life will never be the same.
As I contemplate the web of miracles that have happened leading to this point, I am in awe. There is truly no way to know where it began. It was a seemingly small event, when Amy and Crys knocked on my door over a decade ago, and the twists and turns of life has somehow led us here.
All because we both happened to be in the right place at the right time, under the right circumstances.
******To those of you reading, who wonder why I would share something private and personal: Not only should you be used to it from me, but I truly feel I needed to share my thoughts on this matter. *****
After the Trial
Always look for the sunshine,
Even in the heavy rain.
You never know whose life you'll change, Through your deepest pain.
When it's hard and tough to bear,
And you long to have her near.
There is a Father with a plan,
Though you are unaware.
We may not know the blessings,
The Lord has soon prepared.
But if you have faith in what's ahead,
A miracle is waiting for you there.
Remember in your heartache,
The Lord has mighty plans.
Perhaps you may bless another,
And be His helping hands.
(Melody Boast, 2017)

6/24/17

We Are Tatiyee

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, tree, plant, child, grass, outdoor and natureI wrote this 20 years ago this summer for Lions Camp Tatiyee. Returning this week after a 16 year absence, has caused these words to reach deep to my soul like never before. It has never been more true. There truly is no place like home.

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Fulfilling the Dream
There was this time
that I was strong
There was this place
That I belonged
This was the place
I learned to fly
Soar to the highest
Or atleast I tried
This special place
Is very dear
I hope to return
In upcoming years
There were these people
Just like me
Different from others
Or so, it seems
The sincere love
Of a true friend
Goes on forever
Without end
We learn to live
With separate ends
As we grew up together
The best of friends
The family I love
Must now depart
The strength they give me
Deep in my heart.

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The joy,
The laughter,
The sorrow,
The tears...
Will be there forever
For many years

6/23/17

So many memories and so many miles
the road that stretches behind us
We've had some laughter and our share of tears
But all these moments unite us
I'll be your friend for a lifetime
Against the wind and the rain of every season
Won't walk away in the hard times
I will be your friend

8/6/14

Girls Camp

Sam left for her first year of girls camp today.  It's nuts.  I can't believe it.  I remember going to my first year.  I am so excited for her, I hope she's staying warm and dry and having a blast.  She was so nervous.  This is her first time away from home for an extended period of time, when not staying with family.  I guess I didn't realize how nerve wrecking it is.  I started going to camps at age 7, so I guess it didn't phase me by the time I was 12.

Three Things I am Grateful for:
1. Thank you, neighbor, who lent me rice, when I discovered my lack thereof after already starting stir-fry for dinner.

2. Tonight I changed the bedtime routine, and put Jayce down first, rather than Kayla, and instead had quiet time with her.  For how difficult two year olds are, I am grateful for those quiet moments.

3. I am grateful Blogger will let me schedule posts.  I have all my missing days written down, I just haven't had time to put them online, but when I do, I can put them in order.

7/31/14

#24: Laci

Laci is my good thing today.  She is so amazing.  All my children are, in their own ways. Laci is the prime definition of middle child.  Her older sister gets a lot of attention for how much responsibility she takes on, and the younger ones get a lot of attention because they are toddlers.

We as parents, love them all, and do our best, but I think she often feels stuck in the middle.

Tonight, she stayed up the latest.  And I really enjoyed our one-on-one talk.

Laci is growing up and so intelligent.  She has a great logic, and I love the way she thinks and the ideas she comes up with.  Today she said it would be great if there was something to make it so we didn't have to clean at all.  She is always coming up with crazy ideas, and the way she gets to the final product just brings a big smile to my face.

She is also an excellent entertainer!  Her giggle is contagious, and though she may be shy with those she doesn't know, she is the biggest clown I know.  With both her little brother and sister, she is the first to make them laugh.  It is her daily goal in life, to make them laugh.  And she will do absolutely anything to accomplish it.

She loves fun, and hates work.  In our family, we work together to pull the load around the house.  She struggles with it, but never gives up.  She has the biggest heart, her emotions are deep and strong in all directions.

I can't wait to watch her grow and see who she becomes as she develops and uses all these traits for good!

Three Things I am grateful for:
1. Play & Pretend at the library. It was our first time- so much fun!
2. Beautiful weather!  We spent time outside, and Kayla finally has figured out how to peddle her bike.  Too bad it doesn't keep her attention for more than thirty seconds! :)
3. I am grateful to live here.  Where I am, right now.  Yes, sometimes it is hard, it isn't super close to the bus, and that bus only runs a 5 days a week/6am-6pm. But after today, and the friendships strengthened with neighbors, and friendships created, I am feeling really blessed!

7/30/14

One Good Thing #23

Today Sam was able to go to another friends house.  I am so happy to watch her grow up and become her own person.  I am really proud of who she is becoming, and she doesn't hear it nearly enough.  She is my good thing today.  When she was born, I was told in a blessing that Heavenly Father sent her to me, to show me how much He loved me..  Well, that couldn't be more true.  She brings such a sweet spirit to our family. And it wouldn't be complete without her.

Three Things I am Grateful For:
1. My sister-in-law, Emily (I love movie nights out!)
2. Girls willing to calmly take over making mac n cheese when mom slices her thumb open cutting a hot dog.
3. Super glue.  It saved me a lot of blood and band aids today

7/29/14

One Good Thing #22

Wow, I can't believe it's already been over 3 weeks since I start of this project. It has been interesting to watch it transform. I have gone from looking for things to be grateful for and a good thing that happens each day, to hoping and praying that I don't forget whatever it was that happened by the end of the day!
Today was it pretty average day when it comes to motherhood. potty training is always an adventure. And I think that's all I have to say about that!

The thing that made my day today was something that Jayce did.  I had just finished changing his diaper a few minutes before, so I was still on the floor.  He got up, walked over to the wrapped up diaper and picked it up. I was going to stop him, but I decided to see what he was going to do instead.  He examined it a moment, then proceeded to toddle over to the diaper pail by the door, open it, and put the diaper inside. He closed it, and continued on with his exploring!  How awesome is that?  Barely one, and already throwing away his diapers.

Three things I am grateful for:
1. My amazing kids.  Heavenly Father has blessed me so much.
2. Oreo Pizza
3. Summer Thunderstorms.

7/28/14

One Good Thing #21

One Good thing that happened today: Sam had a friend over today who said I was cool! But better yet, it was a great feeling to hear them laughing from the other room. My girl deserves the downtime!

3 things I am grateful for:
1. A nine year old willing to clean up sister's accident because mom was busy
2. The ability to kiss and snuggle an accident-prone 1 year old all better.
3. 5 min family home evening lessons from The Friend.

7/27/14

One Good Thing #20


Today my sister brought me clothes.  That may not seem like much, but when you have lost a lot of weight, it is definitely a plus.  I guess I can say I officially love hand-me-downs! (never thought I would say that)

1. My sister taking the girls for a well deserved cousin time.
2. Sleeping in.
3. Good kids.

7/26/14

One Good Thing #19

Today we got to spend time with my parents, who were in ton for a wedding, and my sister! Its been a year since I've seen my mom and it was a lot of fun! They took all 9 grandkids school shopping! (It was quite the sight) And we even got some needed odds and ends. Then it was a quick lunch, said our goodbyes to Grandma and Grandpa Lake then, along with Cass, took the kids to the museum at thanksgiving point for the afternoon. Fun times had by all.
Three things I am grateful for:
1. My sister for taking Sam and Laci for a sleep over.
2. Toddler cuddles.
3. My parents' health.

7/25/14

One Good Thing #18

This morning before we went out on our crazy family excursion, I decided I wanted to watch Frozen.  The girls completely were not interested, but watched some anyway.  Makes me sad that they must grow up.  Sweet Kayla, though, when the other girls gave up and went on with their lives, came and cuddled with me for the rest of the movie.  It was heaven.

Three things I am grateful for:
1. Public Transportation
2. Easy Dinners
3. Kids that do dishes and husband that makes said easy dinners.

7/24/14

One Good Thing #17

Today we decided to get the girls new bikes.  We were going to wait until Christmas, but they have both outgrown theirs, Sam is headed to middle school, and they were both rusty from being outside in Houston.  I am really glad we did.  We even got Kayla a bike. She wants so badly to be like the big kids, and she hasn't even figured out how to peddle yet.  But she is so darn cute!  We spent the majority of the day outside, on the basketball court. Even Jayce brought his walker out and was toddling all over feeling so big!

Three Things I am grateful For:
1. Growing kids, even though it hurts.  Sam is now in a full adult bike.
2. Boys like simple things, like balls and wheels and happiness happens.
3. Ice Cream

7/23/14

One Good Thing #16

Today we spent outside riding bikes etc.  Sweet Kayla wants a scooter so bad.  It really is cute. Jayce kept monkeying away (his version of crawl on hands and feet).  I love being out side with the kids, and being able to chase them around in my wheelchair!

Three Things I am Grateful For:
1. Warm weather/
2. Otter Pops
3. My Power Wheelchair

7/22/14

One Good Thing #15


Today is Jayce's official birthday.  I can't believe it.  Where has the year gone?  I love this little boy so much, and I can't picture life without him.  One of the highlights of my day, was this afternoon.  Everyone was outside squirting each other with spray bottles, Jayce was on the grass in the play pen, with a basin of water and some water balls.  He was so excited and soaked.  It brought great joy to my heart seeing all four of my kids play, even with the large gaps in age.  It makes me wonder what life will be like when they are older.

Three Things I am Grateful For:
1. Slobbery Baby Kisses. (You know, where they open their mouth and pretty much slime your face)
2. Kayla totally rinsed the dishes today.  She got out the step stool, climbed up to the sink, and rinsed the unrinsed dishes, then moved them to the other side of the sink, with the rest of the already rinsed dishes.  Cutest little helper ever.  I gave her 5 pennies and lots of hugs.
3. You know the water fight?  It was during that play time Sam managed. I didn't have to do a thing.  So grateful for her!

7/21/14

One Good Thing #14

The girls started this new thing of making little videos of Clayton Family news.  Tonight's was so great.  They said that tomorrow, they would do the dishes for 10 cents.  Sam said she had a Craft and play time planned for the little ones at 1pm.  And the list goes on.  It was really cute.  I love these two girls, and even though they fight a lot.  In the end, they love eachother, and it is fun to see them pull together and do cute little things like a 5 minute news cast.  They even put their blazers on.   So professional!

1. Sisterhood.  I am so grateful for my sister, and that we are so close.  I am grateful to have had those fun times growing up.  So many fond memories.
2. Being a mom to two girls so close in age.  It is so rewarding to watch Sam and Laci, and be reminded of what life was like when I was little.
3. I am grateful these girls are willing to help out so much, and turn it in to something fun (most of the time)

7/20/14

One Good Thing #13

Bryan couldn't fall asleep when he needed to last night, so the kids and I went to church on our own today.  I am so grateful to everyone that helped me with the kids, and especially Jayce so that I could enjoy the lessons.  I was really touched during Relief Society (LDS Women's Organization) and the lesson that was given.  I was reminded again, how much I rely on my faith to get through every day life.  Without it, I would not have the confidence and joy I have.  With all the daily adversity I face, it is a blessing to know it is a blessing, and a strength, that it is not forever, and that my Heavenly Father is aware, and sends me constant comfort and angels.  Without the help and support of people in my ward (LDS congregation) I would not have gotten as much out of it.

Three things I am grateful for:
1.  It truly takes a village, and I am surrounded by loving people who understand that.
2. Even though Bryan needed sleep, he was able to get up in time to put the lasagna in for dinner.  One less stress for me.
3. Sunday evening golf. Both watching on TV, and live in our living room thanks to two active ball whacking toddlers.

7/19/14

Good Thing #12

One good thing for today: Our Sweet Sam was willing to babysit tonight, and get the kids in bed while Bryan and I grabbed a quick dinner at Subway and then over to our dear friend's to play games for the night.  We played Quiddler, which is a game Bryan introduced to me the first weekend we met!  It's basically scrabble in card form.  We had a lot of fun, as usual.  And ate way too much junk food... as usual.  Thanks, Samantha for a great night out.  I owe her $3.

Three things I am grateful for:
1. Good friends
2. Golden Double Stuffed Oreos
3. That my calories start over in the morning... :)

7/18/14

Good Thing Day 11

Today we celebrated Jayce's Birthday with Grandma and Grandpa Clayton.  I can't believe he will be one in just a few days.  It was fun to watch him eat his cake.  We gave him his birthday presents today too.  I love watching him play with his little plastic golf set!  He gets soooooo excited to hit the ball!

3 Things I am Grateful for:
1.  Little Boys - I LOVE having a son.  It is the best.  I am so glad he was saved for last!
2. Simple things.  He loves playing simple things, like golf and just throwing a ball.  Girls are more complicated
3. I am grateful for Bryan. He took care of dinner tonight, and serving up the birthday cake, AND cleaning up Jayce after.

7/16/14

One Good Thing #9

Tonight I was able to have a Girls' Night Out with my sister-in-law.  It was quite fun. I am so glad we started a movie night once a month.  It is so nice to catch up with her. I am so glad we get a long, especially since we are the only two add-on girls in the family. I am so grateful for her. Even if we only got to watch part One of Deathly Hallows, it gives us an excuse to do it again next week!

3 Things I am grateful For:
1. Arctic Circle shakes
2. Wal-Mart Pizza
3. The ability to sleep off the calories and begin again tomorrow.

7/15/14

One Good Thing Day #8

This morning, Laci let me sleep in, while she watched Kayla and Jayce for an hour.  She woke up when Jayce started blabbing, and quietly went and got him and played with him in the living room.  Kayla soon followed.  She even took her potty! My kids are so special and I am so blessed.  She then asked for a dollar for babysitting for an hour.  I owe her a dollar!

3 Things I am Grateful For:
1. Modern Technology.  I am so grateful to be born and live in this generation.  I am grateful for medical advances and that I have the opportunity to thrive and live life to the fullest.
2. I am grateful for kind neighbors.  I took a neighbor brownies today, and ended up talking for an hour.  It was so nice to finally get to know them, and I am so glad I reached out.
3. I am grateful when children go to bed without a fight, even if it mean sacrificing their afternoon nap.

7/14/14

One Good Thing #7: My Glass Balls


Tonight we had Family Home Evening. It was slightly chaotic with a busy two year old and one year old, but it was so nice to gather the family together after a lot of busy times, and just enjoy eachother. I am grateful that Sam took it upon herself to make sure it happened. She made brownies and made up a game, teaching us what we can do to be more like Jesus. Even Kayla said the prayer, Laci led us in "I Am a Child of God, and Jayce participated by trying to eat the dice.

More and more recently, I am being reminded and guided to putting my family first. I have a new business, in Direct Sales with Younique, and I love it. I love that it's whole foundation is to provide a way for mothers who would otherwise have to work, to stay home and fulfill their most important role: Motherhood. Granted, I have never had a job, but, I love that I can now work. Without having to leave my home(not that I can, anyway)

My friend, Ashley, recently went to a leadership retreat with Younique, and this is what she had to say: "So today, I'm thankful that I learned the difference between my "Glass" Balls in my life and the "Rubber" Balls in my life. As Melanie, the Younique Founder talked about how our Glass balls are the things in our lives that should be and are most precious to us. And the rubber ball can be important, but if you drop them they will keep bouncing and you can pick them up later when you taken care of the glass balls. As she talked about this concept it really hit home to me and made me really emotional. I decided my glass balls need to be my children, my husband and my faith in God. I need to set a schedule for myself and that it's ok to drop all the other rubber balls in my life when the glass ones need a little more attention. I need to hold them close and care from them. I need to protect them and not let them break. When my children need me I need to drop the rubber balls and be there for them. I learned that it's ok for priorities to change. To set times to work. Starting yesterday, my phone doesn't need to be in my hand 24/7. My team can wait when my Glass balls need extra attention. I'm so grateful to be a part of something where they teach us it's ok to be a mom first. So today, I'm grateful for my lessons I learned about the glass balls in my life."



7/13/14

Good Thing Day #6: Smooth Sunday

Time was on my side today. With church not starting until 1 pm (in order to have 4 kids and myself ready, while Daddy got as much sleep as possible), we started getting ready at 8:30 am. I was even able to take a 30 minute nap when the baby went down at 10 am. Because L loves me and entertained her sister. We were able to be on time, with out any major drama trying to get out the door. I was even able to get dinner in the Crock-Pot.  Kayla was pretty good during the first part of the meeting (gosh it sure helps when Daddy can make it), and I came home refreshed, with renewed patience, and ideas on how we can be better as a family, and I better myself.  I couldn't ask for a smoother Sabbath Day (and I don't expect it to happen again for a very long time)!

3 Things I am grateful for:
1. Tender Mercies: In my world where everything is chaos, I am grateful for those moments of calming reassurance, and the peace that comes in knowing there is someone Greater in charge and profoundly aware of me.
2. The ability to change.  Every moment is an opportunity to become better.
3. Crock-Pots.

7/12/14

Good Thing Day #5: Nothing! (read on)


Today, the good thing that happened is the fact that nothing happened.  It was just a great day with lots of family time. I got some cleaning and organizing done, Bryan took/picked up some stuff to the storage that had been cluttering our house, the oldest two girls went to the library for Lego Day (Well, Sam took Laci), and we watched Legend of the Guardians as a family.  So today, my good thing is plain old down time, without somewhere to be, or errands that could wait til next weekend. :)

3 Things I am grateful for:
1. I love that S & L are getting older. They are turning out to be strong and independent young women, with big hearts and a desire to do good.
2. I love having J & K around to make me feel young again, and remind me to have joy in simple things.
3. Microwaves.

Good Thing Day #4: Birds

Good Thing for today:  This morning Bryan sacrificed sleep so we could go as a Family to the Tracy Aviary downtown.  I almost didn't go, and I almost stayed home and cleaned. The weather was beautiful and I couldn't resist.  It was so relaxing and a ton of fun.  The three girls got to feed the Sun Conures.  And they all had birds hanging out on their heads!  Fun times.

3 Things I am grateful for:
1. This beautiful world we live in. It was a beautiful day!
2. Younique.  The opportunity I have to work from home with some great products and great people.
3. Spill-proof sippy cups :)


7/11/14

Good Thing Day #3: Jayce-face!

Jayce is walking more and more!  Now he will randomly stand up in the middle of a room and walk a few steps to me.  I am definitely his favorite go-to!  I am loving it, and he is so excited to be walking.  Who knew he would golf before he could walk!  (He would crawl around chasing a plastic golf ball with a toy golf club) Now he is starting to walk with them too!


3 Things I am grateful for:
1. Good supportive friends who have been supportive of my business venture with Younique.
2. Modern technology. The internet has given me so much freedom and ability to do so much!
3. Sleeping children.  Their sleeping positions put a smile on my face every single night!

7/9/14

One Good Thing & Gratitude Day #1: Full Two-year old!

Each day starting today for the next 3 weeks, I will write down a good thing that happened each day.  It is a goal of mine to help change my brain's way of thinking.  So grateful for the opportunities I have had for growth the last few months, and this is just one thing of many!

When I placed Tyler for adoption years ago, the first week was the hardest week of my entire life (now coupled with the week that Jayce spent in the NICU one year ago).  My adoption counselor admonished me to write down 3 things I was grateful for each day before going to sleep, and it would help me sleep, without the nightmares.  I now more fully understand why.  Along with one good thing, to change positive thinking, I will also list 3 things I am grateful for!  Here we go!

Today I made Shepard's Pie for dinner.  And I think it was the first day in a LONG time that Kayla ate every bite and even asked for seconds and thirds!!  So grateful for my sweet family.  I still can't believe I have four kids, and often wonder how I get through each day with my patience levels, and how my children somehow survive it and still want my loves at the end of the day.  But it is the small things.

3 Things:
1. Prayer when something is lost.  Bryan was headed out the door for work tonight and I could not find his keys I had used earlier in the day.  I said a quick prayer and they were soon found.  I also said a prayer for my wedding band tonight as I was getting ready for bed.  I had apparently misplaced it, and noticed it had not been on my dresser where it was suppose to be for a very long time.  A prayer and my thoughts led me to a place I would probably randomly find one day, but definitely not my first inclination!

2. Children who try hard to do right.   We have been working with Laci in encouraging her to be a more positive thinker when asked to do something.  She is the middle child, and it is a constant struggle to get her cooperation.  Well, today, she has been an absolute sweetheart, and hopped up first every time I asked for something!  (Usually it is her older sister)

3. "How to Win Friends and Influence People"   I am loving this book!  So grateful to my dear friend, Renae for the recommendation!  It is this book that gave me the idea she change my wording just slightly in asking for help, that has improved Laci's reactions!   Highly Recommended!

4/16/12

Continuous Miracles

On December 16th, Bryan woke up with a blind spot in his far left peripheral vision, which progressively worsened in to nearly complete blindness in his left eye.  Bryan spent Christmas in the hospital awaiting test results.  The doctors and specialists have done every test in the book, everything from MS to bacterial infection and were not able to determine a cause. For a while, there was a very real scare that it would spread, and go to the other eye, causing him to go completely blind.  That was a very scary time for us. Gratefully, Heavenly Father is aware of us, and our heartaches and fears and desires, and He has blessed us.  Whatever it is that caused his blindness, it seems to have halted, and we now have been able to move on, without fearing the worst.  Bryan has adjusted to single-eye vision.  Though, it makes ping pong more difficult, and as a result, we will no longer be seeing 3D movies, it hasn't affected his golf swing nor his ability to read, and play video games.

My pregnancy continues to progress!  We are past the scary stage, of things going wrong.  For a while, I kept thinking something was going to go wrong, because it was too good to be true.  But, that doesn't seem to be the case.  I am getting closer and closer to the end, and I couldn't be more thrilled, nor relieved!  I will be 31 weeks this week.  I am ready for this little girl to make her arrival.

Bryan is continuing to go to job interviews.  He decided to quit his job at Wal-mart vision in March.  He felt it was time to stop the hassle of working on Sundays.  Hopefully, He will be blessed for his faith in doing what he felt was right, and get a job in the science field soon.  I guess, better wording would be, I know he will be blessed, it is just a matter of how long the Lord sees fit to test our faith.

This quote really touched me when I heard it at the beginning of the month, and I feel it rings true to what we face, in the best and worst of times.

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word." (Henry B. Eyering, "Mountains to Climb" LDS General Conference, April 2012 )

I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, and His constant care over me and my family.  I know He hears our prayers, and blesses us, sending us miracles daily that we may not even see.  I can't wait to see how His continuous miracles tie into the next chapter of our lives

11/19/11

Gold to Refine

I can't believe it is Thanksgiving time again!  This makes me happy!  We have so much to be grateful for.  As I have said recently, amidst all the trials, miracles seem to be filling my life.  Bryan and I have been trying to get pregnant for about two years, and a little extra.  It has been very emotional on both of us.  Hard on Bryan, because he would like more than anything to have a child of his own, and especially a boy, to carry on his family name.  Hard on me, though it may sound selfish, being a diligent birth-mom, and having made the decision to place my baby boy for adoption, knowing I could have taken care of him, but knowing it was what the Lord wanted and the miracle he brought to the world around him. Now, wondering why I couldn't have a miracle for myself.

There are a few people who knew of the situation, and I am forever grateful for their ongoing support and prayers.  One of those people is actually Jen, Tyler's mom.  I told her of my heartache, and she seemed to understand my pain.  I feel so blessed to have someone who truly understands, and yet cares so deeply about me and my happiness.

Finally in September we went to the doctor with our concerns. She ordered tests.  The tests came back in mid September, and they came back bearing bad news.  We were told that we would likely not be able to conceive without invitro fertilization.  This of course, is very costly, and not a guarantee. So, though it wasn't completely impossible for pregnancy on our own, the 2% odds were not in our favor.

My doctor was really supportive.  We were touched by her reaction. She said she would love to continue to be my woman's care doctor.  She also said, "I don't know your religious background, but there are two woman in the Bible who were told they wouldn't be able to have kids, and God provided them with children. Don't give up completely."  I am grateful to have a good doctor, who seemed to be inspired to say what she did at the time.

Throughout this whole ordeal, my mom has been a great support.  Because of the recent premature birth and of my older brother, who died shortly after birth, the doctors told her that she should go on birth control for at least three months.  She refused. A previous diagnosis had been given that she did not have but a year that her body could sustain a pregnancy. Her response to the doctor was, "If God wants me pregnant, then I will get pregnant."  I was born 361 days after my brother.  Just four days shy of the one-year deadline. My mom has told me this story several times, being the miracle story of my birth, but it really hit home now.

It was hard for Bryan and I, but we accepted it.  No longer did we have to plan on a bigger vehicle, or a bigger home.  No longer were we calling out names we would see on TV, to cross as possible baby names.  We adjusted.  Over the next couple weeks, the baby names on TV became dog names.  We would get more dogs.

It was now October.  We all the normal October things.  We put up Halloween decorations, bought Halloween costumes, and started gearing up for Bryan's parent's visit the weekend before Halloween.  His parents were scheduled to fly in late Thursday, October 27th, and we planned on seeing them first thing Friday morning.  To my dismay, I was sick all day Wednesday, with some kind of stomach bug.  Thursday, still sick, I declared it the flu. Company was coming, and my house was a mess.  Not only that, I'm likely contagious. What bad timing!

In my frustration, I started texting my mom.  After a bit of correspondence, she sends me a texts that says, "Don wants to know if you are pregnant."  Now, this was slightly awkward.  I mean, with everything we had recently been through, how could my step dad crack a joke about me being pregnant?  I let it go, and just responded with, "Not likely, but if I ever am, you will be second (technically third) to know!"

When I got up to use the restroom, I decided to take a pregnancy test just for kicks.  After all, I had a bunch, expiring in January, and I could then take a picture and send it directly to Don as proof.  That would teach him!  I mean, who (especially male) wants to look at a used pregnancy test?

I took the test, and had to look at it several times.  I even reread the directions, thinking I was misinterpreting it.

 It was positive.

I didn't believe it at first. Sometimes it is still hard to believe.  I went to the doctor as soon as possible, as this wasn't something that was suppose to happen, I wanted to make sure it wasn't all a joke.  When the doctor found out why we were there, she was absolutely elated.  She used the phrase, "tickled pink!" It has since been confirmed by the doctor and by ultrasound, with visual and audio heart beat. I am due June 21st 2012.  Which means the baby was conceived the same week the doctor gave us the bad news test results.

Apparently Heavenly Father has different plans for this little family.  He has been there all along.  He heard our prayers, and was just waiting to bless us.  After all the heartache we had been through, it seems He just wanted us to let go. Once we did, and put our faith in Him, then came the miracle.

"Fear not I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and do still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply
The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."

("How Firm A Foundation," LDS Hymnbook, #85, verses 3, 5. See also Isaiah 41:10)

11/1/11

Masterpiece

I feel so blessed with where life is right now. It makes me slightly nervous to admit it, knowing one day trials will come.  But I figure, if we don't count our blessings, then they will be that much harder to look back on when we need something to hold on to when the hard times come.

I am grateful for miracles that happen in life. I have learned and relearned, and currently learning, that our Heavenly Father doesn't just give us half the miracle. He gives whole miracles.  For example, my decision of adoption.  That was a difficult choice, but a spiritual right choice.  I knew it would bring both me and Tyler the greatest happiness. Finding his parents was a miracle, but how on earth was I ever going to be truly happy and go on in my life, finding my happily ever after?  I did not know how it would work out, but somehow it continues to. And it seems, things continue to happen in my life, that bring me back to that life altering event, and I see how it is all connected. Though, He may give us one piece of the puzzle at a time, after patience and faith does the full miracle come.  And it seems, no matter how many chapters we come to in life, all of the small miracles, have been woven themselves into a magnificent endless and eternal masterpiece. And He is the Creator.

9/26/11

Everybody needs a Kolo!

I know you all have probably been wondering how Kolo, my service dog is doing.  Here is a fun little update!


Words Kolo Knows:

  1. Heel
  2. No
  3. Sit
  4. stay
  5. up
  6. down
  7. off
  8. lay down
  9. bathroom
  10. no lick
  11. no bark
  12. kennel
  13. ball
  14. duck
  15. treat
  16. outside/play
  17. eat/hungry
  18. basket
  19. phone
  20. Mom
  21. Dad
  22. Laci
  23. Sam


Commands:

  1. Push – Push a door closed
  2. Pull- pull a blasket or a door closed/open
  3. Grab my phone- retrieves my phone. Will not stop until she finds it. When it rings, she does this without a command.
  4. Grab it- Follow a point to pick something up off the floor, or something across the room. (ie. Remote, clothing, paper, coins, pens, cord to my charger) She grabs based on popularity if I point to a pile. She hands me the most commonly asked for item first. If I drop something, and she is aware, she picks it up without a command and gives it to me. (ie. Keys, folded socks, silverware from the dishwasher, phone, clicker) She is very smart, if she starts looking somewhere too high, sometimes I can say 'down' and she looks down.. She is very good at following where I point. I can say up, and she jumps and looks up.
      For example, if something is on the bed, I point to it and say grab it, she still doesn't see it. I can say, 'up on the bed...grab it' and she will jump up on the bed and look.
  5. In the basket- Place object in the basket. Most common item, shoes and braces. She puts my shoes away for me, as she also retrieves them for me when I am getting ready each day.
  6. Take- Carry and object (ie purse, keys, phone, leash, water bottle, grocery bag, empty box)
  7. Follow- follow behind me in tight spaces (ie. doors)

I take words she knows and turn them into commands. For example:

“Grab the basket, bring it to me” (She can pull a basket of laundry behind me)
“Take it to ____(Dad, Sam, Laci, Mom)
“Grab your duck”

I love her Personality!

A lot of times if I stay in one place for a period of time (ie. The computer) she will bring her toys in, and play with one til she gets bored and get another. In consequence, I end up with all her toys right behind me when I go to back up. I can then say, “grab your duck” Hence the convenience for this command.

She is very eager to learn, and works well for treats. In fact, just yesterday, I was in the kitchen doing something. Kolo randomly jumped up on the washer across the room, and grabbed a bag of treats I had left there earlier, and brought them to me. Handed them to me, and sat eagerly. Even right now while I type this she did the same thing, and is laying next to me with her treat bag in tow, waiting for me to notice.

Kolo is very aware. She kinda reminds me of Samantha. Only in dog version. Sam was always very concerened for me, even at a very very young age. Kolo is the same way. She seems to understand more than she should. She knows she is helping me.

This past weekend, Bryan had a tooth pulled, so he spent a lot of time relaxing. We have two recliners at our house. One is a big lazyboy type, and it is mine. The other is leather and a bit smaller, and it is Bryan's. It is well known at our house that Kolo prefers my chair. Its big and comfy. There is room for both her and I on it. Well after a while, because Kolo refuses to lay with Bryan on his chair, he switched to mine, hoping she would stay with him. She did, for a while. I discovered, that be cause I was up and about doing things around the house, Kolo didn't stay put. She would get up and come check on me, follow me for a while, and go back to Bryan. And she continued to do that.

So, it seems, that my dog is just perfectly concerned about me. If I were sitting in my recliner, you better bet, she wouldn't move at all, expect to get a drink. She is always watching what I am doing, looking for opportunities to help, and get treats.


I feel so blessed, she is the companion I never knew I needed this much.  And I can't picture life without her!

'Til the End of the Road

You Are My Best Friend

When the world is against us
We are never alone,
We can lean on each other
And the stress will be gone.

When darkness fills the room
And you don't know what to do,
I will light a candle
And stay by you.

You are my best friend

I will always love you
For all that you do,
You are my best friend
My dream come true.

When decisions are tough
And I don't know what to choose,
I'll call out to you
I can never lose.

When I need a shoulder to cry on
Or someone to just be there,
There are tears in your eyes
When you tell me you care.

You are my best friend.

I will always love you
'Til the end of the road,
When your burden is heavy
I'll carry the load.

I will always love you 
For all that you are,
You will always have a best friend
When you look in your heart.

Dedicated to: Francisco 'Frankie' Villa (1975-2009)
Written in 1998, Melody Clayton

As you can see, this poem was written in my adolescence.  It was written during a very difficult time in my life. My parents were going through divorce, my sister whom I was very close to, and relied on in hard times, had just gone away to college, and I was struggling with my self-confidence.  During this time, I turned to the internet for friends.   This was back in the day, when having a picture online was rare. The phrase, "friends without faces" was commonly used. I found solace here.  It was a place that I could be myself, without being judged by appearance, or physical ability.  And often, we didn't know the appearance of each other.  In the process, I created a network of friends, with disabilities.  Seems I wasn't the only one out there with the same desire.  I was actually the youngest in this group of people, my being only fifteen at the time, and they were all in their twenties. In time, I became like the little sister of the group, and we all became very close friends. We each were dealing with our own real life problems. It was here, that I met Frankie. I still remember vividly the night I found out my mom told me that she was leaving my dad.  It was to these friends that I turned to and cried with.

Time passed, friends come and gone, and passed on.  Frankie and I lost touch in 2003. Another time in my life, that was very difficult.  I cut off ties with a lot of friends.  I wish I hadn't, but that is just the kind of thing that happens in life.  In July 2008, I found him again, online.  What a blessing it was, and we just picked up where we left off. Even though there was nothing we could do for the lost time.  I am grateful for that time, as Frankie passed away in 2009, just days before my first date with Bryan. One of the last conversations that we had, was of finding happiness in this life, and love, and family.  I can't help but think maybe, he was a guardian angel for me, and helped bring my husband and I together. Possibly not, but it makes me feel better. I still think of him, as anyone who loses someone knows, different things in daily life can trigger a memory.  Yesterday, I was listening to my Ipod, folding laundry, and his favorite song came on, "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban, and tears came to my eyes. I guess that is where all this reflection comes from.

Over the last few years, I have lost a handful of friends to health problems.  I guess that is part of growing up, and part of having a lot of friends with disabilities and health issues. I am grateful for the time that I had with them.  I have learned to be grateful for the friends I have.  In the last few months, I have reconnected with some of those close friends I cut off ties to several years ago.  Better late than never.  Frankie and I never met in person, and he has since gone on, running, and jumping in heaven. he can rest assured that I am well taken care of.  Not only by my husband, but now by friends, that will be there 'til the end of the road.

9/23/11

My Constant Star - 2007

My Constant Star

When I was born
And there was no hope
She was the one
Who wouldn’t let go

When I was in preschool
And I ran a race
She was right by my side
When I won first place

She was the one who taught me
The things I know
Of my noble birthright
And heavenly goal

When I was in junior high
And I was failing a class
She was right on it
Making sure I passed

When I was in high school
Dealing with the death of a friend
She was there to remind me
Her life didn’t end

She is a constant star
Everywhere I go
Reminding me of
The truths I know

When I was in college
And we moved to a new place
She was there to help me
Find my space

When I was in labor
And almost died
She was by my side
When the baby cried

When I got divorced
And my world came crashing down
She was right beside me
Keeping my feet on the ground

When I made my mistakes
And went the wrong way
She was still there to love me
Every single day

Now as I move on
To get married again
If only she knew
What her love meant

I love you mom
For all that you are
You’re my best friend
And constant star


Melody Jynnette Weight
April 10, 2007

4/24/11

A Day to Celebrate

I am scrambling to gather my thoughts today, staring at the blank page, not really sure how or where to begin. I feel as though some magical profound words should be showing up to demonstrate how I feel.

Today is the most special of all holidays for me. I am awestruck of the reverence I feel toward the resurrection of mankind. Actually, I am not really sure whether I feel like dropping to my knees or leaping for joy. I guess sitting here blogging, and telling the world about it is somewhere in between. Or perhaps it is not quite enough at all.

Today I celebrate what it means. What it means for me. Jesus Christ overcame death, and all that was placed in His path, that we (or that I) may one day do the same. Not only did He take on all the sins and pains of this world, but he died, and rose again. Not only did he just rise again. But he rose again, that we may do the same. Not just rise again, but rise again perfected. Made whole. Restored. Proper and perfect. That the pain and anguish of this life will not endure forever. But instead, the peace in perfection in the presence of God. Today I celebrate redemption. I celebrate my Savior and Redeemer. The Redeemer of Mankind.

Perhaps one day, when I am a little less scrambled, I will make a poem out of that paragraph. For now, it does not seem possible to summarize into poetry the way I feel.

I feel like proclaiming as Job did... For I know that my Redeemer lives, and though, old age, disability, bug bites, sickness, depression, baldness, sadness and pain destroy this body... yet in my flesh I shall see God. And I shall leap. And I will run. And I will dance in gratitude for my Savior, even Jesus Christ.

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:3-5)

2/27/11

The Past, the Future, and Today

The more and more I think about it I am absolutely amazed at how fast time seems to be going. I am amazed how grown up the girls have become. It half breaks my heart everyday. The three of us went through so much together, and it blows my mind where we have ended up. We have many blessings now that I couldn't have even begun to imagine back as a single mom in California. Most important, the girls have the influence of a father in their lives. Not only Bryan, but Russell. They have been able to build a relationship with their dad, in spite of the three years of lost time.

Yes, I know I can't turn back time. Samantha is already almost nine, and I remember fun times when she was four dancing on the couch. And then, Laci and her little squeaky gibberish. Back when the center of her world was her big sister and her little stuffed dog. I am realizing everyday that I don't have toddlers anymore. They are both in school all day now, and though bringing me joy everyday, it is hard not to wish to take them back to that time of greater simplicity.

We have grown, and experienced much together. Through the years, I am grateful I am to have had them on this adventure of growth and challenge. They are my little companions in life. The journey to this point would not have been so enjoyable. In some ways, I think, I would not have made it without them. It was them, and their dependence on me, that kept me going on those hard days. Not to mention, the undying help of a loving Heavenly Father. Though, yes, there are some experiences I wish I could have protected them from having to go through, I am grateful we all have overcome with grace and a smile.

Looking forward, I wonder what is in store. I am excited to watch their personalities grow. I wonder what they will be like as teenagers. Will they be best friends? It seems I get glimpses everyday. As a parent I can only make guesses. Samantha is full of compassion and awareness of those around her. She has a strong desire to make people comfortable, loved and happy. While Laci is the artist full of humor, with a love of animals, and animals love her back. It will be exciting to see how they decide to use their gifts and talents as they grow up.

In the mean time, I will just continue to try and take it one day at a time. I need to look for what I am grateful for everyday, as to not focus too much on the past or the future, but the present.

"Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.

Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, 'The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.' " -Thomas S. Monson October 2008 General Conference



January 2007

1/16/11

The Adventure Continues

As we were preparing for Christmas, I found myself saying to Bryan, "Just think, next year we will be somewhere completely new, with our little family, enjoying the holidays together, reflecting on the year passed."  I knew change was coming, I did not expect it to come this quickly.  It is amazing to me, when we do our best to do what is right, and make wise decisions, putting our trust in Lord, how things that seem so big and scary, just fall into place.

As you have probably figured out, Bryan has finished his degree, all except a class that was neglected by his guidance counselor, that he found out, during finals week, he needed to have taken in order to graduate.  This is after his counselor insisted he did not need it.  Luckily, this class has nothing to do with his area of study, and he can take it online.

Over the last several months, Bryan and I have been considering our options, trying to decide where and what we wanted to do when we got to this point in his schooling.  At first, we were planning on Bryan going on to get his Master's in Medical Physics, from an accredited school.  That would take us out of the state of Utah.  Over the course of time, that plan has been changed. Instead, Bryan would like to find a job right away, and build stability for the family.  Okay, so that was our plan.

The next step would be deciding where we wanted to be. It was decided that we wanted somewhere it didn't snow, yet something new (Arizona and California off the list). That is when we decided on Texas.  I was still willing to go other places, but in my heart of hearts, I knew it was where I wanted to be.  Come to find out, there are a lot of jobs in the science industry over there.  And actually, in all his research of what is available in Texas, he has become interested in Nuclear Physics instead.  He would love to work at a power plant.

It seems since we made this decision, everything has fallen into place. We have become very interested in Houston. We have applied for an apartment, and we find out either Monday, or Tuesday if we get it.  If that happens, we will be moving the following week. The apartment is huge, compared to here, and for nearly the same price.  We are very excited for the warmer weather, and just simply starting a new life.

I will have to take a lot of my rehabilitation into my own hands, which has me a little worried.  But, I think I can do it.  I plan on taking Kolo on walks, and taking advantage of the weather.  I also look forward to the extra space for my yoga mat, and having room to do some of my PT exercises I learned in PT. Not to mention, I will be cleaning my own apartment still.  It is my hope I will continue lose weight, and gain more stamina. We plan on taking my manual chair out of the van, and have me use my crutches a lot more often when we go places.

I am going to miss my neighbors, our family, our ward, and dear forever friends here in Salt Lake.  I will miss my doctors and the convenience of the hospital.  I will miss my amazing Physical Therapist who has become a very close friend.  Not to mention, this will take us further from my family in Arizona. But, it is just that time to open the next chapter in the story of life. I will not miss the snow.  I will not miss the cold.  I will not miss the cinder block walls!

I am excited for this new adventure that awaits.  I am thrilled to see what Heavenly Father has in store.  I know, wherever we go, we have our little family, and we have the knowledge of the gospel, in knowing that if we strive to do what is best, then what lays in store will be better than we have ever imagined!  So I say, let the next adventure begin!

11/17/10

Blessings

I feel as though the last six weeks, since I posted last, my life has been richly edified.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I feel it is my duty to share these blessings with my readers, who ever you may be. It is hard to believe it has only been that long.

I would start off by saying that my husband is amazing, but I think I have elaborated on that enough for the time being.

Back in June, I had surgery.  They implanted what is called the baclofen pump in my abdomen.  I call it my puck, because it is about the size of a hockey puck.  My puck has a catheter that goes directly to the spinal cavity, at which it disperses a muscle relaxant directly to my spinal cavity, then to my muscles.  The reason for the puck is to relax my muscles and help eliminate my spasticity due to my cerebral palsy.

Since June, I have been going to rigorous physical therapy.  With the elimination of most of my increased tone, I am now able to move my leg muscles individually instead of firing them all at once.  My goal in PT has been to retrain my brain, and learn how to fire these muscles.  With a lot of work, I have made immaculate progress.  Though, most people may not see how much my body has changed from the outside, I can see the positive effects this has on my life and daily tasks.  My muscles are stronger, my body more flexible, my stamina is higher, and my gait is straighter. I feel rejuvenated, and young again.  Though I still have a long road ahead, I feel like I can conquer anything God may put in my path.

My second major blessing is that of anti-anxiety medication.  I am much less irritable and worrisome. I have found it easier to enjoy my family without being stuck on the little things.  My mood is stable, and life is easier to handle. It may be weird for some people that I share this on a public blog, but it is not something I am ashamed of.  I am proud of who I have become, even if it required help from science. It is the Lord that gave us the knowledge of all these medications.  If it is used properly, and it works, and I am okay about it, great!

I am grateful for my weight loss.  I have lost over 12 lbs since August.  I am feeling a lot better about myself.


And then there is Kolo...


Bryan and I have been playing with the idea of getting me a service dog for a few months now. After doing some research, I found out that the law doesn't require you to go through an agency to get a dog.  I have wanted a service animal for most of my life, but I always dismissed the idea because the service dog agencies, such as Canine Companions, have a 5 year waiting list for a dog match. We have the right to train our own dog ourselves.  When I learned this, we decided to contact the University's Disability Services office.  Because we live in campus housing, I needed special permission and approval in order to have a dog here.

I set up the initial interview and talked to the Director.  I was really nervous at first, but then decided, they really can't deny me.  My disability is obviously there, and the things a service animal can help me with are undeniable also. He said approval would take 1-2 weeks.  I got my approval 3 days later.

It was November 1st when I got the okay.  I called Bryan immediately and let him know.  Then I went to the local online classifieds to start searching for the perfect dog, with the right price range.  Bryan's dad being a vet, he recommend the golden retriever as the most docile temperament. I knew I had to be picky, I couldn't just get the first cute dog I saw.  It had to be one eager and aware, ready to learn, and calm too. I saw an ad online for two black lab muts. Females.  I wanted a female dog. Bryan liked the one on the left with lab style ears, and I liked the one on the right, with golden retriever style ears(such a little thing, I know) I set up an appointment to go meet these two sister dogs that evening.  We went, very sure we were being picky.  The lady introduced us to both of them, and they were adorable. They were six month old black lab muts. I wanted a lab so bad. They were 50% purebred Golden Retriever, and 25%/25% Black Lab and Collie. Well we loved both, but couldn't have both, and didn't know how to pick.  I explained to the lady our plans for the dog, to train her as a service dog, and she recommended the one with shaggy ears, saying that she was the calmer of the two and she would be perfect for that. So we took the first dog we saw, free of charge, kennel, leash, and brush included.

We took her home, and she has been perfect ever since.  I have thouroughly enjoyed having a little companion to be by my side.  She has adapted well, and has yet to have an accident! She is very calm and just lays at my feet all day.  When I first took her on public transportation, she was very afraid of the bus, and now it is just routine.  She has also adapted well to her vest, and walking beside me in my chair, almost always aware  every time I turn or change direction and does well at not getting run over.

She has also done well with training.  She knows the following commands already:

  • sit
  • stay
  • come
  • lay down
  • off
  • kennel
  • go potty
  • up (climb on my lap)
  • down (get off my lap)
  • climb 
  • bed (move outta my way by getting on a nearby bed)
  • chair (move outta my way by laying down on my recliner)
  • no bark
  • don't lick (this one is still hard, as it is instinctive as a puppy)
When we first got her from the owner, her name was Neytiri.  We kept it a couple days, but then decided to change it, because no body had any idea what it was from, or how to say it.  It is from the main female character in the movie Avatar.

We changed her name to 'Kolo." Kolo comes from a book by Brandon Sanderson(our favorite author) called Elantris. In Elantris, "kolo" is used by the character Galladon as a softening interrogative tag. Similar to our language when we say, "Eh?" or, "Understand?"  Like, "Pizza sounds good, kolo?"  She seems to be a very understanding dog, so I think Kolo is perfect.

Kolo has changed my life for the better.  Even if she is not completely trained as a service dog yet, she has been my companion since that following Tuesday.  She sits or lays at my feet whatever I am doing.  She even has been known to lay on my bed when I am folding laundry, and lay her head on a folded pile ready to fall over. Even right now, she is laying right behind me while I am typing at my computer. She definitely is a very special dog, and I am grateful we found her. 

Life with Kolo...

After her bath

On the bus

 At therapy.  She has discovered that my chair is more comfortable than laying on the floor.

 
I put text on this before I found out she was actually six months old, not seven.

Watching movies with Laci.

Kolo and her number one fan.  My best girl friend ever!

 Saying cheese for her morning belly rub.

Listening to Samantha read to her!  Yay!  Sam now has no problem reading every day for twenty minutes.


I am grateful for this time of year.  I am glad for the opportunity to count my blessings, even knowing, we should do it all year round.  The blessings are everywhere.  It helps to point them out.

10/9/10

Something Else to Learn

I feel so blessed.  This year has been incredible.  I can't even tell you how much I have learned about life and it is already October.  Life sure flies by. I have learned that marriage is hard, but a good one is totally worth the effort. I have discovered how good I have it.  Yes, it has taken me a year and a half to figure that out.  I am not used to having a good marriage, or for lack of better words, a good husband.  I have had to learn, that he is good, and he is not like the others.  Yes, I have learned the hard way.  But, I do not think there is a better way to learn it having been through what I have in the past. My husband is amazing, patient, and kind.  I feel so blessed to have him.  And what we have is so good. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder how I got so lucky.  He is just so easy to love.  I absolutely adore him, and I LOVE being his wife.

I have learned that it is the simple things that make a difference.  For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with just being content with my life.  I have learned over the last couple months, that it is okay to take it with the punches.  Life doesn't have to be perfect all the time.  I don't have to be perfect all the time.  If there is one thing my husband has taught me, it is that, sometimes, if you just let the little things go, and allow life happen, it will surprise you, and the things you worry about will turn out just fine.

I have learned, once again that the Lord will see us through.  These past several months I have been dealing with a lot of different things on my plate.  They range from emotional, and physical to spiritual.  I have been through the grinder it seems between being in regular physical therapy, and coming home to have the energy to take care of two busy kids, and a hard-working husband.  And then still find time for me, and a social life.  I have really struggled with this balancing act for several months, and through a lot of prayers and faith, along with trial and error, I can see that, even though I thought it was impossible, I feel as though, the success is finally coming, and so is that balance I so desperately wanted.

Even though not all my entries will start or turn out to be serious, heartfelt with a lesson to be learned at the end, I can take it as a reminder, that it is okay to find joy in the simple things, even if it is a simple blog entry about something a child does.  After all, children are one of the greatest blessings we can have in this life. (Especially my children)

Though, I do not have it all figured out, consider this to be my continuing journey to find that place, that balance, with no matter what comes my way.  Even if there will be things I have to relearn, there will always be something to learn.  And maybe this entry, as my first, is more for me, so that I have it to look back on as I go, when things get hard, and it's hard to see what the Lord is trying to teach me, that I'll have something good to say when all is said and done.

3/21/10

There is Always Something More

After a fabulous day, I think it is time to sit down, take the time, and share what I have taken from today.

Today in church, I was asked to share an experience in my life dealing with a trial, and then being blessed in return. Well, I decided to share a condensed version of the story of Tyler, and my experiences with adoption. 

My last night with Tyler, in the hospital alone, I spent hours looking into his all knowing eyes. His little spirit was so incredibly strong, I do not think I could properly relate it to anyone, if they were not there to witness it for themselves. I honestly believe that his spirit, being so close to the veil, knew who he was, and the situation in which he came down to earth. And now, looking back, I wonder if he knew what was in store. I wonder if he knew what was in store for me, and perhaps he was trying to tell me in someway, by sharing his soul with me. I will forever cherish those moments I had with him in our final quiet hours of the night.

I could not have remotely imagined that this is what was in store for me! 2 years ago, I was dealing with so much grief and loss, just struggling not to cry myself to sleep at night, worried I would see my baby boy's eyes when I closed mine. But now, 2 years and a few days later, I am sitting at my computer, staring at the screen wondering how to put into words what I feel I need to say.

Currently, my anthem of hope (one of many), "Hope Hiding" is resonating in my ears. I am reminded of those feelings, of letting go, of growth, and feeling peace, and that I was strong enough, and that my Father was looking out for me. I once thought that Tyler was the final chapter to a part of my life that needed closing. Finding peace with the adoption and moving on enjoying life, was the puzzle piece needed for the most spiritual experience of my life, to finish, and come about.

I have moved forward to a different chapter of my life. Soon after the adoption, I met Bryan. Bryan, a person who, at first glance would not be a person to fit into my life. Bryan had his own share of trials. Somehow, those trials prepared him to be with me. If you read my previous blog, you see how blessed I feel to have what I have. To have my children, to have my husband. This husband. The one in which I have no doubt I am meant to be with. I understand now, that though, I have been through two marriages that did not work out, they were meant to happen, only in God's grand design, to bring us together.

So it seems, though two years ago, I did not know what was in store. I was willing and ready to face it. Going back and reading, I think I really wasn't expecting anything less than more trials. I did not know what laid ahead, but I knew I was taken care of. There is no other words to use, than the grand design of the great creator some how he found a way. I have no idea how he has been able to piece our lives together so delicately, as to provide the trials we need to grow in faith, and pull things in we don't expect or have anything to do with to bless us and move us forward where we need to be.

“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” (Joseph B. Worthlin)

It seems to me, that maybe I was wrong. Life isn't in chapters at all. No, I thought finding peace in the adoption was the final chapter. But see, then I could also say, finding Bryan, working hard, and discovering happy marriage is the final chapter too. No, I do not think that is the case either, then what is it? Perhaps life isn't about succeeding at each chapter, but it is about realizing, that there will always be something more. That our work is never done. And more importantly, that the Lord, creator, and grand designer of our souls, will never be done with his work, in shaping us. It is about realizing through the pain that, "around every corner, though you're unaware.... there is hope hiding there."(Michael McLean, "Hope Hiding")