Friday, October 29, 2010

CrAzY Hair Day!

The other day, Alakina had "Crazy Hair Day" at her pre-school. She has looooong, thick hair, so coming up with something pretty crazy is not really a very difficult task.
Having said that, Aja totally outdid herself! She took a small water bottle (emptied it, of course), placed it on top of Ali's head and then pulled all of that long, luxurious hair up over the top, securing it with an elastic around the lid then put a cute decorative hair ribbon around the elastic, sprayed the heck out of it and voila! was SO cute!
She was a hit! Now she wants "Crazy Hair Day" everyday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stella!

(sorry about the flash...I had to take a picture of a picture...)

Today is this sweet little girl's birthday! Today she is 3...
This is Stella and she came into this world at the very moment that the Boston Red Sox won the 2007 World Series. The really funny thing is that her daddy is a huge Red Sox fan and the Pediatrician who was on call was from Boston AND of course, a huge Red Sox fan...

She had a rough start in life because she was premature and so tiny. She stayed in the NICU for 2 1/2 weeks fighting for her little life. She basically has no immune system and currently undergoes regular immune builder shots and blood tests...she is so used to them that she now rarely cries when she gets stuck with the needle! We're hopeful that these shots will eventually build her immune system, but so far, no luck. So she is sick every other week (on schedule, without fail!) but she continues to grow and develop in every other area.

Today, Stella is a beautiful, smart, sweet, tender-hearted little girl. She has an unbelievable stubborn streak, but that's OK. She is tough and has had to learn how to stand up for herself. Somehow, she melts my heart like no other...
I wish for her every good thing that life has to offer. I know that she has been and will continue to be challenged, but I will always be there for her to offer my love and support. Happy Birthday, Miss Stella!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Brittany, just moments after giving birth to Brooklyn...
One of my favorite "rituals" each morning is to read a few of my favorite blogs. The women behind these blogs are amazing and never cease to fill me with inspiration that sometimes sustains me through the entire day. This morning I went to one of my favorite blogs and was inspired to write a few of my thoughts on the subject of motherhood as well.
2 of my beautiful daughters, Aja & Natalie...
I too feel so overwhelmed at times with the whole motherhood thing...and I'm an empty nester!! Yes, it's really true! Sorry to be the one to inform you that the worries of motherhood never go away, they just morph into something that is usually unexpected.

My beautiful Britt...
It's no secret that my son is a recovering heroin addict. I say recovering, but I'm not even really sure anymore. I have little contact with him and struggle to relate to him in any miniscule way. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore him, but I have built some sort of fortress around my heart and it's so difficult to break that down. Having said that, I do pray for this sweet boy. I think of him often. I used to think of him every waking moment but that almost killed me (literally) so I learned to push him out of my mind and go about my everyday life...without him. It was heartbreaking, but necessary. He consumed me. He broke my heart over and over and over. I was sick with worry and was quickly becoming disfunctional. That was then...this is now. Now I have conditioned myself to not "obsess" over him.
My sweet boy, Ty on my wedding day...
I was raised to believe that Motherhood is the most important calling/job you can possibly do...and I believe that! I was raised to believe that you sacrifice EVERYTHING and then some for your children. I was raised to believe that the payoff would be worth it. So this is what I have discovered and it has become my top 10 "requirements" of motherhood:

10. Motherhood requires limitless hours of selfless service and sleepless nights.

9. Motherhood requires the ability to heal broken hearts without a doctor's degree.

8. Motherhood requires a listening ear even (and especially) when you really "don't want to hear it"!

7. Motherhood requires unwavering committment to a job that we had no idea how to do when we signed up for it.

6. Motherhood requires super-human physical strength and stamina more times than not.

5. Motherhood requires unwavering faith that we are able to raise these precious souls as responsible citizens who will contribute great things to the world.

4. Motherhood requires great faith in our abilities to keep moving forward even when we don't really know which way to turn.

3. Motherhood requires the ability to forgive ourselves and probably more importantly, the ability to forget our past mistakes and move beyond them.

2. Motherhood requires that we remember that we are not alone in this. Hopefully we have a supportive husband who will be there to stand beside us to make us united and stronger, AND always remember that we have a Heavenly Father who is standing right beside us all the time who is supportive and offering us all the strength we need in order to be successful in our efforts.

1. Motherhood requires B.A.L.A.N.C.E.!

Balance is my biggest nemesis. I am working so hard to learn how to apply balance in my life (I'll save that for another post)...I am truly a work in progress!

My sweet family...(2004)
I am no expert on the topic of Motherhood, but I do have lots of experience. I have been a mother more than half my life and I have {almost} loved every moment of it! It has been the most difficult thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding thing I have ever done. The pay-offs are amazing and (at least for me) they are the healers of all of the heartbreaks. And I know that I am never alone.

I have learned the most about motherhood since watching my two daughters become mothers. I watch as they encounter the very same issues I encountered with my own kids. I laugh with them, I cry with them. I admire their strength and unselfish attitudes as they sit up all night with a sick child. I am touched by the tender nurturing they offer on a daily basis. I am amazed at their stamina and energy even when they are exhausted. I am warmed by their unconditional love for the perfect little souls they have brought into this world.

So to all of you AMAZING mothers out there (and YES, you're all amazing) I believe that we are all "great mothers" because everyday we wake up and we do what we need to do. We try our best and we make tons of mistakes...but then we try again and we try to do that makes us all GREAT MOTHERS.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Age: Is It Really Just A Number??

It's Monday again?? Time flies faster than I can keep up with it! I remember being a kid and thinking that my Birthday would NEVER COME...Easter was so far away and Christmas, well it was a lifetime away! But now, weeks race by like mere hours and each time I blink, it's a new year!

I have a theory. Maybe, just maybe, the world is revolving faster on it's axis and all of our brilliant, illustrious scientists just haven't discovered this phenomenon could be happening, I mean after all, doesn't time just fly by for you too? I even hear young kids say things like, "Wow, it's Halloween already"...

Yesterday in church, I was looking at the program and noticed under "Birthdays" that one of my *Littles* was listed under Oct 21st...sure enough, I was listed under Oct 20th! The thing is, my birthday is April 20th her's is April 21st...even my ward program was making me 6 months older! So I mentioned this to one of our ward clerks who pulled me into his miniscule office to verify our family's birthdates...They were all correct and when he saw mine with the year attached and my actual age listed, he looked at me, smiled and said, "Wow, you wear your age very well, I never would have guessed!" I basked in that glow and felt pretty good, for a moment then the reality of my age hit me, He never would have guessed?? What?? He never would have guessed that I'M REALLY THAT OLD?? 

You see, I am SO in denial about how old I am. So much so that I actually have to stop and think about it when someone asks how old I really am! Several years ago, I was on a flight (as a Flight Attendant) and I was talking to the pilots about my family. Something I said triggered the captain to ask me how old I was...I answered, "forty eight...thirty eight..forty eight..." Honestly, I couldn't put my finger on it! (He finally asked what year I was born and we figured it out!)

I joke and say that I am much too immature to be my age! (More truth than a joke)... I think of myself still in my thirties...O.K, maybe early forties, but the point is, I can't keep up with all of the years piling up on me! I really don't mind getting older and I will tell anyone how old I am (54) But it's like those commericals: "Life comes at you fast"...YA THINK??

My body may begin to creak, my skin will wrinkle (but only a little because I am a "moisturizing feind") and my greying hair will one day turn snow white (I can only hope!) In the meantime, I am just trying to enjoy the moments in life that make a life worthwhile and significant.

So as each day passes, I just try to roll with it all and hope that I have the mental capacity to remember the day before! Is age really just a number or a sum of all kinds of life experiences that make us older and possibly wiser?? I just don't know...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Life In One Post

I've been a little under the weather the past few days with a silly sinus infection (hate those!) Generally, I am pretty healthy but this one really got me. After a few days in bed, lots of hot herb tea and homemade turkey noodle soup (thanks, honey), I'm back among the living, still a bit weak, but feeling MUCH better. A special thanks to my dear friend, Julie who with her adorable daughter, Rebecca, brought me the most beautiful orange tulips. They cheered me up and tulips are my favorite flowers!

Ever since my brother's accident, (he's doing great BTW) I have noticed that my almost 82 year old father is continuing his downhill slide. He calls all of his kids everyday now because he is certain that his time on earth is running out very quickly and he doesn't want to miss being able to tell us how much he loves us. It's very sweet! I think Mark's accident really took its toll on my sweet daddy. He is now pretty much unable to get out of bed and is just waiting to "go". It makes me sad, but we have lived with his health ups and downs for 30 years (he had his first heart attack at age 52). He is the sweetest man and has been an amazing father to us. I am so blessed to have him in my life and I love him so much.

My mother fell while gathering canning jars the other day and cut her right hand between her thumb and forefinger. She had about 10 stitches and has it wrapped and in a partial cast! She is a violinist and needs that hand to move her bow...she was sick about it.Thankfully she has been on vacation and should get her stitches out on Monday. She's supposed to go back to Symphony on Tuesday...we'll see! But knowing my mother, she'll be back right on schedule, after all, the show must go on!

I read "The Hunger Games"...I normally don't read books like that. My genre of preference is historical non-fiction/fiction or the classics. Someone had given me the book to read so I decided I'd see what the fuss is all about. I admit that I read it in one day (it's a super quick read) and it was pretty entertaining in a sick, macabe sort of way. I can't say I loved it, but it was a fun diversion. Not sure if I'll read the other 2 in the series.

I've decided that I am a "Food Network" junkie, and I especially love the challenge shows; "The Next Food Network Star", "Chopped", "The Next Iron Chef", "Iron Chef America", "Just Desserts" etc...I ADORE watching these people think on their feet and the things they come with completely blow my mind! If you like blogs that have fabulous recipes, here are two that I love...Both of these women are amazing and have wonderful recipes that are pretty easy to make!

One of my *Littles*, Stella, is having her third birthday party in a week. She is SO into princesses (Cinderella is currently her fave) and loves to dress-up as one (on a daily basis!) So Aja hired a gal who will come to her house and be a princess for one hour. She teaches them how to dance like a princess, sing like a princess and play games like a princess. She even has stuff for little boys to do so it should be a good time.

And my tiniest *Little* will be 1 in November. I can't believe how fast this year has flown. It seems like it was just a few days ago that we were driving back and forth to the NICU to see this tiny little guy fighting for his he weighs 22 lbs!! He's a tank!

So that's about it. My life in a nutshell. Today is the day that, if I have the strength, I am going to bring out my winter clothes and shoes. I have the tubs sitting in my kitchen from the other day right before I got sick. It's always kind of fun to pull out the winter things, but also sobering because it reminds me of what's to come...and we get TONS of snow!

There's a lot to look forward to. The seasons have drastically changed and the Holidays are quickly approaching. Time is the one constant in life. It keeps up its pace no matter what. Now if I can just keep up with it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Human Garbage Disposal

In an attempt to get myself out of this funk that I have been in for the past few weeks, I have been trying to figure out what I can do to improve my attitude and feel better. I had a bout with the 24 hour flu on Friday, woke up with a sore throat yesterday and woke up with a sinus headache this morning. In evaluating what has gone wrong and what is going right, I have realized that I have neglected to take care of my poor, aging body...and it happened a little at a time.

First of all, I cancelled my gym membership since I was going to start flying again. Since those have plans changed, I haven't renewed because they will charge me the "start-up" fee again. I just don't want to come up with the $79.00 plus the monthly membership fee because, well, I'm stubborn! Can't they see that they are losing money on people like me who just want to start working out again and will pay their dues?? Why oh why do I have to pay the start-up fee...I just think it's stupid...Yes, I'll end up paying it, but I still think it's ridiculous!

Second, I have been taking inventory of my eating habits...No Bueno!...I used to really eat healthy. but have become a "human garbage disposal"!  I LOVE fruits and vegetables and usually only eat meat maybe twice or three times a week. I used to start my day off with a smoothing consisting of fresh strawberries (and any other delicious berries I might have in my freezer), banana, natural unsweetened pineapple juice, half a lemon (peel and all) kale, spinach and a little agave for sweetening. It looks like something out of a Shrek movie, but is really delish and even my *Littles* loved them! I've gotten away from that...not really sure why, just laziness I guess. So after really paying attention to what has gone into my body, I am actually shocked to see that I am not eating the raw fruits/veggies like I was, I have been eating way too much refined sugars, red meat and haven't had a good piece of fish in ages. No wonder I feel like crap most of the time!

Third, I LOVE to bake! I find some of the greatest recipes online through some amazing blogs and the Food Network (that darned Food Network) and have found so much satisfaction in re-creating these delectable treats. The only real problem is that I have sampled WAY too many of them and am now paying the price!

And Fourth, I haven't been as vigilant in studying my scriptures every day. I READ them, but humbly admit that I haven' t really taken the time to STUDY them and for me that has made a huge difference (not in a good way) to how my days have gone. I love to read and have been reading other books (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I haven't given the time I should to the scriptures that I should. Just like the healthy raw fruits and veggies, whole grains and pure proteins that help purify my blood, strengthen my bones and give me energy, the scriptures were written and preserved for me to strengthen my faith, purify my soul and give me the energy that I need to be healthy and successful in life.

Since I have become a human garbage disposal and have abandoned my healthy eating habits, I have felt lethargic and blah. I haven't been as motivated as I once was and my energy levels have dropped immensely. My moods have fluctuated up and down and I haven't felt the joy of living as I normally have.

So now I am on a new diet of healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, more physical activity with a strong dose of daily scripture study. I am anxious to start feeling good again because, after all, I am NOT supposed to be a Human Garbage Disposal !!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome to Fall

I am blessed to live in a part of the country that has 4 distinct seasons. In Utah it's definately FALL and I love it! The leaves have fallen (and are continuing to fall) off of our 2 large willow trees and our yard is perpetually a mess, but I don't care because the crisp snap in the air, the vibrant colors on the mountains and the delicious smells in my house more than make up for the leafy mess outside!

We took a ride with my parents to see the Fall foilage around our home and this year did not disappoint!
This is just 1 bush...crazy, huh??
Fall, to me, represents the beginning of the Holidays. I adore Thanksgiving and Christmas, but quite frankly, I could pass on Halloween...I know, I know, most people love Halloween, but me...not so much. Never have! I did enjoy making costumes for my kids when they were little and I loved seeing the cute little goblins who came to my door, but I have never liked dressing up. I haven't ever really understood why we celebrate this macabe day other than to celebrate the creation of refined sugars {?!?} I was one of those moms who allowed, even encouraged, my kids to eat all of their candy as fast as they could. My reasoning was that they could be obnoxious and hyper for a week, then it would be over and we could move on...didn't really work!

Of course, one of my favorite things about this time of year that I absolutely adore are the warm, homey amazing foods with their wafting aromas...probably a bit too much as I become an obsessive baker which doesn't help my waistline!

Fall also represents to me the beginning of this year, I'm determined to take time to simplify and enjoy the ride. I am determined to enjoy all of the holidays. Yes, even my dreaded Halloween.

Having said that, I am anxious to pull out my fall decorations, and yes, I do have some cute Halloween decor.

The colors of Fall are my very favorite colors ever. Since I was a little girl, yellow has always been my favorite color. It doesn't matter what shade, I just LOVE yellow! But put together with the rich reds, oranges, greens, purples and browns, I just go nuts...

So as we begin our arrival into the Holiday Season, I just want to say that I hope everyone has a magnificent season and that we take the time to stop and enjoy the sites, smells and, most importantly the people in our lives who mean the very most to us!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sunflowers and Inspiration

Aja was given a BEAUTIFUL arrangement of flowers the other day from a friend after her visit to the hospital. This was not your ordinary "grocery store" arrangement, it was beautifully arranged with rich purple and red flowers and in the center were some amazing sunflowers. I am always struck by their beauty and simplicity. They have become one of my very favorite flowers.

The French name for Sunflowers is "Tournesol" which means "Turn to the Sun"...Sunflowers always turn their faces to the sun. During the day they bend and twist in order to be in alilgnment at all times and at night they unbend and untwist. There are 33 varieties and they grow to heights between 5-10 feet.

This beautiful flower has inspired many including Vincent Van Gogh who was well known for his beautiful sunflower paintings. He began painting sunflowers after he left Holland for France in pursuit of creating an artistic community (his first works were created to decorate his friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin's bedroom.)
Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to an asylum for about 1 year during his stay in France which actually turned out to be a very creative time for him! His room looked out over a beautiful field which no doubt served as great inspiration for him.
So why do I write about sunflowers and insane asylums, you ask? Not really sure, but somehow I can relate to this amazing flower and artist...not sure if this is a good thing or not!
It's no real secret that these past 6 months have been so completely overwhelming for me. At times I have honestly felt like "checking out"...maybe an asylum would have been a good option (lol). I feel like I have been the queen of gloom and doom and that is just not what or who I am.
So let me start by saying that I spoke with my sweet brother, Mark Thursday night for the first time since his accident. He sounded AWESOME! His voice is very raspy from the ventilator, but his outgoing personality and great sense of humor were very present. I could hardly talk with him as I was choking back the floodgate of my emotions...didn't see that coming. Anyway, he went home yesterday morning and is well on his way to recovery. He is unable to fly for 2 months and that, in and of itself, will drive him crazy! But even he admits that that is a very small price to pay. Everyday that he was conscious, doctors and nurses would come in and tell him that there is "no reason" that he should be alive. They did all they could do, but ultimately Heavenly Father saved his life! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. They have been felt by us all and his family appreciates all you have done.

My daughter, Aja, has been having some problems with her heart. She went into the ER Saturday night with chest pains and her EKG came back abnormal. Speculation is that she suffered a mild heart attack on Friday night. There is fluid around her heart that is causing her a lot of pain so she has been seeing specialists who are checking her for everything possible! The latest is that she may have a form of Lupus. Anyway, if I haven't used up my quota, please send a few prayers upwards on her behalf.

I read blogs that are so uplifting and inspiring. So many seem to "glide" through their trials. I often feel as though I am just barely plodding through mine. So I have decided that I need to really change my focus on things and remember to have an "attitude of gratitude" and stay positive.

As this crisis with my brother is coming to an end, I have been more keenly aware that trials are just a very normal part of life. I know they are for our good and that each time we endure and, more importantly, survive them, we are made stronger. I know this...I think we all do...but it is still HARD. My faith is made stronger, but not without a lot of fear and trepidation. I even admit that I have questioned my abilities to work through certain situations and have even fallen apart. Then I beat myself up...

So now with the certainty and acceptance that life is full of challenges, I am more resolved then ever to work a little harder on maintaining my faith and keeping a positive attitude. I know that I have posted about this before, but I am more aware now because the future, while it looks very bright in many ways, also holds many new and uncharted challenges for myself and my family. Economic times are hard, family and friends get older...I get older! We are faced with health issues, certain death and heartaches that can crush our very spirits if we aren't armed with the right ammo for dealing.

I welcome any suggestions or proven methods you have experienced in dealing with such life trials. We are all in this together and life is meant to be cherished and loved. We all want to be happy and experience joy in all that we do...That is the plan.

So I, like the majestic sunflower, am going to try to always turn to the "Son" and let His warmth radiate through to my soul. I am a very blessed woman who loves her life. I have more to be thankful for than I really deserve and I am reminded everyday of the miracles wrought by God's loving hand. It's up to us to see them and recognize them for what they are. I'm far from perfect, just a continuous work in progress.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Latest Update and a HUGE Thank You

My brother Mark is now awake! This is GREAT news and it has been a long time in coming. He is still unable to breathe on his own so is still on the ventilator, but that's O.K., just really uncomfortable. He has been responding by nodding his head and by writing. Not surprisingly, he was shocked to learn that he had been in the hospital for a week and has a bit of pneumonia.

Pneumonia scares me, but the doctors were expecting this and watching for it so they were able to immediately start him on antibiotics.

I sincerely want to thank everyone for their prayers, kind thoughts and messages. They have all been felt and mean the world to me and our family. Prayer is an incredible power that never ceases to amaze me!  I love that prayer has no boundries of ethnic, social or religious groups. We are ALL children of God and He hears and answers each and every one of our pleas no matter how sophisticated or simple they are...even my *Littles* have been praying for Uncle Mark! I am forever indebted to the Lord and love Him so much!

Finally, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to my sister-in-law, Peggy, my adorable niece, Shannon and my three wonderful nephews, Jason, David and Daniel...They have all been ROCKS through this entire ordeal. Their faith and dedicated commitment to their (husband) and father has been overwhelming to say the least. What a beautiful example of how a strong family should operate! I am proud of all of you and your strength has been a huge support to the rest of the family.

Miracles do happen...he is not entirely out of the woods yet and he has a long road to recovery but we have just witnessed one that I will NEVER forget!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Sweet Brother

As I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post, my older brother, Mark, was in a terrible motorcycle accident on Monday. His current status is that he is still in Critical Condition at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, NV. I just spoke with my adorable niece, Shannon, who informed me that there is no real change from yesterday. This is not necessarily bad news, but certainly a lesson in patience!

Mark is the oldest child in our family, I'm second. There is a 5 year age distance between us and my other brother, Paul, my sister Carol and I have always looked up to Mark and have always respected him as a VERY driven, highly intelligent, ridiculously funny man. He is a published author, an airplane mechanic as well as an airline pilot. He is a father, husband, grandfather, brother, son and uncle. He is focused and has always excelled at everything he has ever tried...I think we have all been a bit envious of this particular quality.

Mark has a personality that is bigger than life! He is very friendly and doesn't know a stranger. As a Captain for United Airlines, he is always in charge and commands a plane of over 300 people. As a former flight attendant, a Captain like Mark is a real blessing for a flight crew. He has dealt with emergencies on the plane with expertise and grace, ensuring confidence in his passengers in his highly trained and skilled abilities, always with a great ending.

But more importantly, Mark is my big brother. I love and adore him. When I see his name pop up on my phone as an incoming call, I always smile! I know that he will be positive and lift my spirits.

Now he is fighting for his very life. His actual injuries are amazingly minimal: a broken ankle, broken rib and a small puncture in one of his lungs. He arrived at the hospital in good spirits and was chatting with the doctors and flirting with the nurses...he immediately endeared himself to the ER staff and had them laughing. As they administered the medication to him so they could insert a tube into his chest and re inflate his lung, he began reacting violently to the meds. His throat was rapidly closing and they had to quickly use an infant tube to intibate him. Before we knew it, he was on Life-Support and in Critical Condition.

To make matters worse, his wife, Peggy, was in California visiting friends and was suffering from Kidney Stones! She was drugged up, waiting for them to pass and she couldn't get home! It was frustrating for her as well as her sweet children who were rallying together for their parents. She made it home on Tuesday...complete with kidney stones still intact!

My sister, Carol and her hubs, Jamie decided to drive up from Phoenix and Brad and I drove down from Utah (coincidentally, we booked rooms at the same hotel, across the hall from each other!!) Yesterday was my first day seeing Mark. It was surreal and unbelievable to watch this amazingly strong, in-charge man lying in a hospital bed restrained, paralyzed (medically) and filled with tubes. I looked around his room and was overcome with incredible gratitude for modern technology and highly skilled trauma doctors, nurses and various medical personnel who have fought so valiantly for his well-being.

His prognosis is pretty good. He had little change today, but he did not slip backwards. Yes, the doctors wanted to get him off the respirator, but it didn't happen. Again, patience! I know that he can survive this. I know that he is a fighter and I know that he can emerge stronger for having gone through this...but it will be a long road...that's O.K....he's used to long hauls!

To learn a bit more about him, check out his website

So thank you to all of you who have offered up your humble prayers on his behalf. We, as his family, have felt the strength and comfort of all of them. Please continue to pray for him and his wife, Peggy. They are amazingly strong and have always been there for they need all of us!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


My older brother, Mark, was in a horrible motorcycle accident Monday morning in Las Vegas, NV where he lives. He is currently on Life-Support, is responding better to stimulation and we are hopeful that he will be out of his coma tomorrow or the next day. I will not be able to do much with this blog, as we have come down here to Vegas to be with family.

Please keep him in your prayers, I will try to update as much as possible.
Thanks in advance, you're all the best!!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Adorable Family in Idaho

My beautiful daughter, Britt, her hubs, Evan, Anthony & Brooklyn

I post a lot about  Aja's 3 *Littles*. Really, this is only because they live around the corner from me and I see them everyday. But, I do have 2 others who live in Idaho. I don't see them as often as I would like to, but I love and adore them every bit as much as my other 3. They are precious and I miss them terribly!

Anthony and Brooklyn are my daughter, Brittany's children. Anthony is almost 4 and Brooklyn is almost 18 months.

Ah, yea...he  decided to stamp his face!

Anthony is so sweet, full of energy and personality. He is precocious, curious and always doing something goofy! He is constantly saying hilariously funny things and Britt posts them on her Facebook page every once in a while. I have asked her to make a list and send them to me so I can write them in my blog posts...she has yet to do that...I'll get on her!

I do remember some that she has posted:

1. You know its bad when your 3 yr old tells you "its terrible" I just colored my hair "dark brown" Anthony says ok mom lets see it... Its just terrible =( oh well what do you do???

2. Evan: Anthony you cost me so much money! Anthony: no I dont! Evan: uh yes you do! Anthony: no dad trust me I dont!!! Lol he cracks me up!!!

3. Anthony: mom where is the spray bottle? Me: why? Anthony: because I need to style my hair... I dont want my friends to see my messy hair! Me: What hair???

4.  Britt: Anthony you are too cute! Anthony:Mom why you say that every day? Britt: cause you are cute! Anthony: No I'm awesome!!!

Not sure who's sense of style he inherited!

Just a few of is "Anthonyisms"...more to come.

Getting her hair cut...she has the thickest hair!!

Look at those gorgeous mother, like daughter...

Brooklyn, on the other hand, is more least as far as I have seen. It has been several months since I've been able to be around her and she was more subdued, mellow and just a real lover. From what I've been told by her mommy, she is getting quite the little temper! I have to laugh because Britt was my feisty child with a strong-willed temper...hmmm...

I miss these beautiful children. They are my heart and soul and I think about them everyday.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Forgive and Forget

As many of you know, I have been in some sort of a funk for the past few months and have had a really difficult time even posting to my beloved blog. I HATE when I get like this and don't understand because I am a really upbeat positive person most of the time...I really really do try to be optimistic and thankful for all that I have.

With that being said, I am least I hope I am! I have had some serious conversations with myself and have done some serious reflection on these past 5 1/2 months. It has been a difficult time, fraught with many changes and betrayals that have really thrown me for a loop. But hey...that's life...right?!?

Brad changed jobs after a very lucrative 34 year career with a company that he had loved for the majority of those years. He started when he was 21 years old and he worked alongside the founder of the company whom he grew to love, respect and adore. He rose through the ranks and was the #1 salesman for most of those 34 years accumulating award after award, year after year. He helped build the company to what it is today and his talents, skills and passion for the work they do was admittedly unmeasured.

But it got ugly. Brad was frustrated and had been given conflicting information. He wrote a letter to the person he was told he was to work under, because his phone calls to this person went ignored for months. Admittedly, the letter could have been written better; he was frustrated and said so in said letter, but, on April 28, 2010, it generated a phone call from the CEO, a man he has known for years and who he thought was his dear friend.

The CEO left a threatening message on Brad's company voicemail and when he "thought" he had hung up the phone, he proceeded to go off on a tirade where he ridiculed, trashed and made fun of US, calling Brad names and demeaning his character and even bringing me into his gossipy rant, belittling me (we have a recording of the phone call)...are you kidding?? He talked about my husband's income with people in his office (not really sure who...does it really matter?) like cheap "water-cooler" gossip and to be honest, I was FURIOUS. So I called him. Brad tried to stop me, but I am the type of person who confronts someone head-on...I got him on the phone, calmly told him what we had heard, he stammered, sort of apologized and then proceeded to YELL at me, reprimanding me for "getting involved" (Let's just remember that HE involved me when he gossiped about me to his office staff!) Like I said, we have the phone message recorded...he can say what he wants, the recording says it all...

I have never posted about this, in fact, we haven't really told many people but so many of his colleagues have been asking where he is and what happened, so thus, this post. Brad and I were destroyed that day! The betrayal from this man, as well as his son, the President and his son-in-law, the C.O.O. was overwhelming and to this day, I have NEVER received an apology, and know that I never will...although he later told Brad that he wished he could give me a "big hug" because he felt so bad...for the record, my door is always open!

Brad resigned! He realized that he was "shopping at an empty store!" It was a painful decision at the time, but after hearing what was said on that horrible voicemail debacle, we decided that we would NOT be associated with a company who treats their most loyal, top-producer the way they did that fateful day. They have used Brad's good name for years and the relationship that he had with the founder to their advantage...and that was O.K. at the time An award was named after him just 2 years ago in honor of his amazing career successes! This was unprecedented as no one living has ever had an award named after them. Hmmm...

So we have moved on. Brad is now with a company who respects his talents and abilities and who gives me the respect that I deserve as his wife. He is happy and prosperous and our future is brighter than we could have ever imagined. Those dark, painful months after hearing that disgusting message were bleak and miserable, but great lessons were learned and the value of those lessons is unmeasurable.

Life is so interesting. Just when you think things are the way they are supposed to be they can change on a dime. I learned that faith is SO easy when everything is going as planned. It really is only effective when you are going over the edge of the cliff and just before hitting the ground, the Lord helps you make a parachute to save you from the inevitable.

I learned that faith and fear are absolute opposites and CANNOT occupy the same space. If you have fear, then you really don't have faith!

I learned that "Forgive and Forget" have to go hand-in-hand. It is my opinion that if you can't forget, you really haven't forgiven...Let me explain because I have struggled with this for my entire life: I know that our Oh-So-Human minds cannot just forget when we have been wronged, and I don't think that is what the Lord is talking about. And maybe we are even supposed to remember the actual "wrong" so that we can learn from it. What I do think is that the "Forget" part comes in when it is resurrected in our hearts and minds. Meaning, we are to put the actual betrayal out of our mind and NOT bring it up or talk about it. For example, Brad would often say, "so what do you think about ______?" and I would proceed to share my feelings only to have us both end up so worked up with all of the hurt and anger rushing right back in and we would have terrible feelings about this person who we have worked so hard to forgive! The magnitude of the incident would open up and the healing scab would be ripped off, only to leave a deeper scar. It became impossible to fully forgive.

Now, after 5 1/2 months, we are both able to really and truly forgive and forget! It is marvelous and it has been a true blessing in our lives. I have come to the realization that I will never receive the apology that I feel I deserve and that's O.K. I actually have love for this man. I loved him before and I love him now. He is one of God's beloved sons and I know that he has a family who loves and adores him...I can love him too.

I feel badly that things ended the way they did. Were we perfect? Of course not, but we did all that we could to rectify the situation and the result was not really the outcome that could have benefited all parties concerned...but they will go on without Brad...we will go on without them. I admit that it still is a bit painful to know that we will not be associated with so many wonderful people whom we have fostered sweet relationships with and that Brad has been "forgotten" since no one in upper management will acknowledge to the work force that he is gone...but now you know why. And that's really alright because he is still here and he is doing so well. He is a hard-working, resourceful and very talented man who has strength and integrity that is now being acknowledged and he is being rewarded for his efforts. 

Forgive this person who "wronged" us? Absolutely! We will forget the intensity of the pain of betrayal. We love him, forgive him and we wish him the very best in all that he does. I'm only sad that 34 years of a business and maybe more importantly, a personal friendship have been dissolved so unnecessarily.

Now we are healing and now we are becoming whole again. It's a beautiful thing and I only hope and pray that this lesson has been learned and that we can apply the principle of forgiveness in every aspect of our lives. The Lord has blessed us more than I can even put in words...He knows us, He loves us, He hurts for us and He wants us to succeed and most importantly, He wants us to be Happy...I am so thankful to Him for his incredible mercy and compassion for all of us! What more can I say?