Sunday, February 22, 2009


I am feeling especially grateful this morning. I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the blessing that we can be together again after we leave this life. I am thankful for the peaceful reassurance from my Heavenly Father that He lives and loves me.

I feel so much gratitude in my heart for my life, my family and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The last couple of days I have really found myself re-evaluating my life, where I am, what I am doing. It has helped me really put things into perspective and re-focus on the truly important matters.

I feel so grateful to a kind and loving Heavenly Father that put such a beautiful plan in place so we could all be together again after we die. For the gospel and how it brings people together. I have realized what an amazing family I have been blessed with and how they all come thru for me when I need them. I am thankful for wonderful friends, who I cherish. I am especially grateful for my immediate family and the love that they bring in my life. I love Hayden and cherish him. I love all my girls and the joy that they bring in my life. I am especially grateful for a wonderful, loving and kind husband who is supportive and loves me. And, grateful to my Savior, the peace and reassurance and strength that he gives me in my life. I feel incredibly blessed and very thankful.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life is fragile

Feb 19th at 3am, my phone rings and I jump. Suzi is on the phone and says that she is at the hospital with her brother, Dave. Thomas and I rush to the hospital and get there to find out that Dave has just had a massive heart attack. The doctors are still trying to revive him. After 20 mins of continuous CPR, Dave comes back and regains a pulse. We are all relieved as he starts getting better over the next couple of hours. As they are trying to transport Dave, via life flight, Dave's heart stops beating. They work on him for over an hour and pronounce him deceased. Meantime, Suzi and her parents had already driven to the heart hospital. The doctors come out and tell me and Thomas that Dave has died and to notify the family. I can't do it. The hospital told them to come back.

My heart broke as I sat there and watched Suzi have to deal with the death of her brother. He was only 35, healthy and extremely active. I have been friends with Dave for over 14 years. I loved Dave like a brother. But, my heart has broken for Suzi and her family.

Yesterday, as we sat at the funeral home making arrangements, it really hit me how fragile life is. I hate funeral homes, morturaries, hospitals and any places of illness and death. I am amazed at how much smells, sights, can take you zooming back to another place and time and can transport you like you were there yesterday. I could see my mom, vividly laying in her casket. It was a very surreal experience.

I have held Hayden a little tighter the past couple of days, leaned on Thomas and experienced so much love and support from so many family and friends. These are the moments that I will take with me. The goodness in people, the support and friendship that is lent at this time of loss. I more clearly see the Plan of Salvation and the Lord's plan in each of our lives.

I have had the opportunity to teach Hayden about death, the plan of salvation and why we are on this earth. I told Hayden that Jesus needed Dave more than we did, so he called him home. Hayden's response, "What if Jesus decides he needs you? What will happen to me?" After a discussion about heaven for a while... Hayden decides that may be a better place to be than here and decides he would rather live with Grandma Sue and Jesus and I will be okay without him. Oh my little bug! I sure love him! I treasure my relationships and am thankful for another day with my family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Answered prayers

Thomas and I laughed as we were out for Valentine's lunch. We cannot believe how much our lives have changed in the past year. I remember vividly sitting in the temple and telling the Lord that I must not understand his plan for me because although I was trying really hard, it didn't seem that my prayers were being answered.

Since I was a little girl, all I dreamed of was being a mom. I raced home from school to be with Jodi, JD and Jake. I dressed Jodi up and pretended she was my own baby. My friends would ask me to go off, but I would have rather spent time with her. Jodi went on her fair share of dates with me thru high school. I secretly enjoyed babysitting even throughout high school. I loved kids!

So, when Thomas and I had failed adoptions and so many miscarraiges, I didn't understand why we couldn't have more kids. I dreamed of being the kool aid mom with the entire neighborhood of kids at our house.

Although I have not been patient as I should have been. I see clearly now how the Lord did answer my prayers, just not in the way I planned. He knew what was best for me! He knew the perfect plan for my life and my perfect family.

I feel so blessed. Although, I laugh that I need to be much more specific when I pray. I prayed for more kids, anticipating babies, but they came as teenagers. I could have never dreamed that in a year we could go from all little boy stuff to dealing with curfews, dating, school projects, young womens and so many other girl things... but I am so thankful that it has. I love each of these girls. I couldn't love them more if they were completely mine. They have each grown to be so important to me and I love them. And, I am even more reassured that the Lord is watching out for me and blessed me with exactly what and who I needed.

Thanks girls! With you my life is much more complete. I love you! And, I do love my life!


Hayden is the most excited little boy ever! He is thrilled that his Tay-Tay is moving in with us. We have been busy re-arranging the bedroom, purchasing a new bed and getting things ready for her. We are excited that she wants to be with us.

Taylor, we hope you know how much you are wanted and welcome here. We love you!

I feel so blessed to know Taylor and be a part of her life. She is an amazing girl with so much potential. I am excited for her to be with us more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Most Wonderful Valentine

Thomas got me the perfect gift for Valentines Day, with Jodi's help. :)

Jodi made a book of our trip last year to Oceanside, California. We go every year as a family and it is definitely my favorite week of the year. I love being able to relax and spend time with my siblings and their families. It is wonderful.

Jodi made this incredible book for her of everyone at the beach. It captured us talking on the beach, the water fights, each of the nieces and nephews and just some of our fun moments. She ended the book with a beautiful picture of the pier. I absolutely love the book and the precious memories it brings back. I cried the first time I went thru the book at how perfectly Jodi captured everyone and all the moments. She is amazing!

Thanks Jodi for creating a masterpiece and thanks honey for buying me the perfect present!

Valentine's Day

We had a wonderful Valentines Day! It wasn't the ordinary, but nothing in our lives seem to be anymore.

We woke up to presents on the table for everyone. I love holidays and celebrations. I think they should all be celebrated big!

We had such a busy day that Thomas and I decided to go to lunch. We had a wonderful Korean food, my favorite. Then, we went mattress shopping for Taylor. Suzi was wonderful enough to keep Hayden so we could go off by ourselves.

We came home in time to help Ann and her friend Amanda get ready for Sadie Hawkins. Taylor, Ariyona and I worked on math homework, while Thomas and Trevor talked. But, we ordered cute heart shaped pizzas and had a great time. Suzi came back from the movies with Hayden, Brooklyn and Brigham and the kids had a wonderful night playing. After we got Ann and Trevor off to the dance we all jumped on the tramp and had a fantastic fun evening as a family! So fun!

Sadie Hawkins Dance

Ann and Trevor went to the Sadie Hawkins dance on Valentines night. Ann was so excited to dress up and go. Trevor was so funny and didn't like being dressed up. My favorite part of the night was watching Trevor's face as Ann walked out. His face lit up. You can tell he really cares about her. I so like Trevor, he is such a good guy and I think he is wonderful for Ann.

The Beach

I love the ocean. I love the relaxation of the rhythm of the waves. I think it is my favorite place on earth. So, we had to hit the beach the first day, in the middle of the week and before we drove home.

It was really cold and windy but it was still refreshing. It was a great end to the perfect week! Thanks, Suzi! We appreciated this trip more than you will ever know!

My Boy

When did he go from a little boy to a boy? I looked at him the first night in Cali and here he is, laying on the bed with his ipod and then grabbed his Nintendo DS. While Suzi and I talked he was just chillin with his electonics. I don't know if they all change so much in first grade or if him going from the oldest to the youngest in the past year has changed him that much. I know all the teenagers have definitely had an affect on him but it made me so sad to see Hayden looking like one of the teenagers.

Science Experiments

Only Hayden would be attempting science experiments on the beach. He took the bubble solution, ocean water and sand and was trying different ways of putting them together to see if the end result would change. Nope, no matter how you put them together, the three separated themselves in layers. He was so utterly amazed and proud of himself.


During the middle of the week, we took a day off from Disneyland to go relax at the beach. The weather was gorgeous. Hayden is more at home on the beach than anywhere. It is totally his element.

The water was really far out and the beach seemed to stretch on forever. In fact, the water only came half way up the pier. As we were walking along the beach, we came across this huge starfish that was still alive.

Suzi and Hayden decided to throw the starfish back in the ocean. I was reminded at the story of how there was a man walking along the beach and throwing all the starfish back in the ocean. Someone approached the man and said you can't possibly save all the starfish, why do you walk along and throw them back in? The man replied, I may not be able to save them all, but I made a world of difference to this one. I have always tried to live my life by that principle and was really touched when I saw Hayden and Suzi trying to save those they could. It was a great reassurance from my Heavenly Father that day on the beach. That although I am only one, I can make a difference in those people that are around me. It also gave me the strength and reassurance that I am doing the right thing in trying to help out these incredible girls in our lives.

Santa Monica Pier

Suzi and I took Hayden to the Santa Monica the first night in Cali. He won his first game on the pier and was so proud of himself. He had to call his dad to tell him. I loved his conversation.

H: "Daddy, I won a game and won a stuffed dog! Aren't you so proud of your boy?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

California Adventure

The first part of the week was gorgeous and then on Thursday, right before the girls and Thomas arrived it started raining. We didn't care. We bundled up, threw on rain parkas and we kept going. I think the girls actually liked California Adventure better than Disneyland. Of course, they loved Tower of Terror, Screamin over California and the Aladdin play. We had such a great time!

The girls at Disneyland

All of us on our way to Disneyland. It was the girls first time there and they were so excited. Thomas brought the girls over on Thursday night so we could go to Disneyland on Friday and Saturday all together.

Taylor's dream was to meet Cinderella.

Ariyona loved meeting Cruella De Ville.

The girls and Hayden in Fantasy Land.

The kids with Pooh and gang.

Hayden was so excited to have his Dad back. He had their day all planned out!

Taylor and Ariyona... don't they make the cutest pirates. :)

Lost in Mickey's house

Suzi, Jill, Ollie and I were right ahead of Cooper and Hayden in Mickey's house. We go thru the movie room to see Mickey and we cannot find Hayden. I jumped over the rope and ran quickly throughout Mickey's house looking for my bug. He was nowhere! I was beginning to panic, knowing that if Hayden realized he was "lost", he runs and doesn't stop. I ran throughout Toon Town and over to Fantasy Land and knew that he couldn't have gone faster than me, I only had my eyes off of him for less than a minute.

As I go back into Mickey's house, Suzi met me. They had found Hayden. And, where was my little bug? Behind a poll watching the huge screen of Mickey cartoons. Yep, should have known, he loves movies and screens. I was so thrilled to see him. He didn't get much freedom the rest of the trip. I made sure he was right next to me. Scary! We did get a good picture with Mickey right after.

Create your own Ears

What is better than a pair of Mickey Ears??? When you can create your own. Hayden loved creating his own set of ears. He had to have the standard black hat and wanted Goofy and pirates on there. So, he has a Goofy Pirate Mickey Ears. He loved them and wore them proudly!

My Jedi

Hayden was chosen to be trained as a Jedi at the Star Wars show. He was so excited! He looked so cute fighting Darth Mal.


The highlight of all of Disneyland for me... seeing Mickey Mouse. He is my favorite!

Koda Bear at California Adventure is really cute, too!

Breakfast with the Characters

Hayden loves the rides at Disneyland, but his favorite part is definitely the characters. I love the character breakfasts because the kids can really interact with all of their "friends". Hayden was fortunate enough to get to go to Minnie and Friends breakfast in the park and Lilo and Stitch breakfast at the hotel. Suzi sure planned an amazing vacation.

Hayden was so much fun with the characters. He would follow Captain Hook around saying, "Tick Tock! Tick tock!" and teasing him about Peter Pan.

Hayden loves Chip and Dale. Definitely his favorites. He wanted to bring peanuts for them to eat at breakfast. He kept teasing Chip that Dale was his favorite. He had such a great time!

Happy Birthday Suzi!

Suzi took us to Goofy's Kitchen for dinner on her birthday. The boys loved the characters and eating with them.
What the boys love best is playing with Aunt Suzi. She is such a good sport.

Suzi and Hayden on her birthday

Hayden and Cooper with Pluto at dinner.

The boys at Paradise Pier hotel where we stayed.

Okay, so Hayden loved all the characters besides the princesses. He was so embaraased when Princess Aurora came over, he couldn't even look at her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cool Aunt Suzi

One new Mickey pirate shirt $18
Pair of Mickey sweats $28
Mickey crocs $35
Laughing, giggling and getting wet with the coolest Aunt Suzi in California Adventure.... Priceless!

Suzi let Hayden and Cooper get soaking wet. Of course, the mom said no cause it was cold. Suzi went ahead and let them play and get wet. The mom in me said lets go to the hotel and change the boys... nope. Suzi just bought them all new outfits. No wonder they like her better. :)