Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I heart babies

These cuties came to visit tonight and I am absolutely and utterly in love with them. I love that Rex can say Aunt Jer so clear. He says, "I love you Aunt Jer" so fast and so swirled together he has almost created a new word combining all five. It's uniquely mine and oh how I love him and my name, "IloveyouauntJer". He is only two and a half but full of energy and life and tons of fun.

My little Zee man has endured so much. Oh how I pray that Jordan and Sarah get to adopt him. We are all so attached, but none of us are more attached than Hayden is. Hayden and Zee have been buddies since baby Zee was only a few months old. He is trying to say Aunt Jer but he can get out an "I wubba you, Jer, want cookie". Of course with that sweetness, he could have all the cookies in the world. He's my teeny tiny bundle of love two year old.

Baby Ace has had my heart since he was days old. Tonight he actually lunged at me. Every time Thomas, aka the baby whisperer, held him, he would lunge for me. He is such a cute little baby. He is sure smiley now and is so happy and full of love. I love watching him watch his older brothers and Hayden. Too cute. Plus, we don't get near enough baby love over here.

Jordan is Hayden's playmate. Jordan will spend hours playing games with Hayden and talking to him. Hayden worships the ground Jordan walks on. He idolizes him. He thinks he is the funniest older buddy. I am so grateful for Jordan and the great example he is to Hayden and how tender and sweet he is to him. Jordan is a great uncle to Hayden and a great dad to my cute nephews.

Sarah is one of my dearest friends. I love her. She is so sweet, so tender, so kind and a wonderful mother. She is so fun to be with and she can lift my spirits by just walking in the room or calling me on the phone. I am so lucky that I get to call her my friend. I am in awe at her energy and stamina at juggling four kids under two and a half years old. She amazes me.

I love when they come over. I love the cuddles. I love the joy that they bring into our lives. I love that they have such cute little boys. I just adore them all.

After an evening with them, I feel uplifted and rejuvenated and ready for bed. Just kidding. I feel much more relaxed and love the joy they bring into our lives. They are definitely life long keepers. Great friends in life sure are the icing on the cake of a wonderful life.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cupcake Day

Jodi had another Cupcakes for the Cure cupcake making day. When she does, her munchkins come over the night before and spend the night. Thomas gets up and takes Hayden to school and then drops of Brooklyn and Brigham. Talmage hangs out with somedays, and others goes to his friends' house.

Talmage is funny, especially when he spends the night. The older kids have a slumber party on my floor. But, Talmage, absolutely not. He makes Uncle Thomas hold him until he falls asleep and then he wants to cuddle with Thomas all night. As evident by these pictures, Thomas absolutely loves it!

However, this day was different. Brigham got sick during the night and Hayden needed to miss with some things going on at school. So it was a party at our house. Me and the three boys had a party day.
I tried to make it fun, after I got Brooklyn ready for crazy hair day. When my little miss found out that she was staying at my house on an important day like crazy hair day, she panicked. I reassured her that although I am terrible at doing hair, crazy hair day is right up my alley. I can make hair look crazy, just not good. She was thrilled with the results and said it was her second best crazy hair day ever. Not too shabby for one who can hardly brush and do my own hair.

Brigham wanted an "Afro circus" hair do. I tried. Talmage and Hayden were so cute swinging ipon the bench while I conquered hair.
After Brooklyn was at school, Hayden helped the boys make their own cardboard swords. They loved them. Hayden was a great babysitter! He played and played with Brigham and kept him entertained.

Talmage spent most the day on the couch with me. Although he did play with the older boys on and off.

It was one of the craziest cupcake days ever. The support was phenomenal, as usual. I am so grateful for all the co tuned support and love shown to me and my family. I am forever grateful.

Suzi came and took me to the doctor and watched the boys while I was gone. Lots of new answers and diagnosis to deal with but that is a post for another day. Still getting my own head wrapped around my future. I am so grateful for all those that support us and help us to juggle all we need with rides, diet cokes, babysitting, doctor appointments, etc. etc.

By the time Thomas walked in the door, I was exhausted and headed right to bed. I am so grateful that I only have one child during this time. What I once thought was my biggest trial ever has sincerely become a blessing. Hayden plays so well independently that I am lucky to not have to get up very often. Jodi's kids were great, just busy. Thank heavens I let Hayden stay home or I would have had to call in reinforcements. (Other than Thomas coming home from work to feed the kids lunch. And Suzi taking over for several hours while I went to doctor and took a nap.)

I love my life. I am tired. I am exhausted. But I am here. I am ever so grateful to still be here.

iPhone recap

Life via iPhone is so fun! I love having a camera on my phone to capture the world thru my eyes. I love the precious moments that I get to capture.

We have had so many fun little moments lately, that I love.

We were teasing Hayden the other day about how long his hair was getting. He told me when he could successfully put it in a mohawk, that it was time. He laughed and laughed when we easily got it to stick up far and told him it was actually too long for a mohawk.

Hayden is so excited for Monsters University to come out, and so am I. We went and saw The Croods last weekend and loved this cute display. The Croods was a great movie!
We are excited for all the great movies coming out this summer. I am excited for Despicable Me 2, while Hayden is also excited for Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs 2. Me, not so much!
Jodi's munchkins came over last Saturday night for some cousin bonding time. The played and played outside on the swinging bench and the baby teeter totter. Too funny!
When Jodi came to pick up her kiddos, we were all outside on the porch swing talking and laughing. She sat and talked with us for at least an hour. I love Arizona springtime evenings. They are heaven on earth.
Thomas and Talmage were playing Nerf wars while we were outside. Boy does Talmage ever love his Uncle Thomas. They are the best of buddies. That boy adores me but only if Thomas is no where in sight.

Of course, there is never a weekend at our house where legos are not involved. Hayden is venturing away from the big sets and creating pretty cool inventions on his own. His latest goal in life is to become a lego design engineer. He definitely thinks that is the coolest job in the world. Bye bye heart surgeon, hello full time lego designer.
The kids spend so much time outside on the swing. I am hoping for a lot more beautiful Spring evenings before the dreaded Summer heat kicks in.
Jodi's boys tackle her, or anyone else, that lays on the ground. The want to tackle and wrestle and jump on you. I loved sitting and laughing as the boys totally took her out. In the end she got some great cuddles, but she definitely had to work for them.
With all the great garage sale donations, some of the nicer items we decided to take a stab at selling on Ebay. All I can say is that is a lot of work. We definitely made a little more than we would have if we would have sold the items at the garage sale but holy cow is shipping a lot of money.
Jodi took me to her house the other day so she could get caught up on folding laundry. She laid down on the ground for a minute for a little snooze. Talmage jumped down off the couch and started covering his mom up with the clean clothes from the basket. After he put on each article of clothing, he would tuck it in just right and pat her. She didn't get her nap but boy was it the sweetest little gesture that I witnessed. He sure loves his momma.
Along with his sweetness, he definitely is feisty and has a stubborn streak. He was laughing so hard because I was trying to get him to do something and he thought he was so funny that he wouldn't cooperate. Man do I love this kid.
Hayden had an entire posse of neighborhood boys at our house today. They played water gun wars on the trampoline, had sword fights, played Nerf gun wars, rode bikes, went swimming at Jackson's, came back for $5 Little Ceasar pizza night here and rounded off the evening at about 8 pm, after another all neighborhood Nerf gun wars outside. Best. Night. Ever. according to all the boys involved. I sure love these little punks. They are the sweetest boys ever.

Life is an adventure but I love it! I love that I can at least walk outside to take a picture, even if I was still in my pajamas today at 5pm. Life. is. Good!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Proud parenting moment

Hayden came home from school yesterday with a tear stained face. I knew something was terribly wrong but wasn't sure of the details of the problems. Hayden's first sentence out of his mouth was, "Mom, when dad gets home today, can he give me a priesthood blessing."

He went on to explain the problems and anxiety causing situations at school. Why he was afraid and what could we do to help him. I listened intently knowing that this was a real crisis for him, not just a bad day.

As I took my son in my arms and hugged him, I reassured him that yes, his parents would help him out and help to rectify the situation. I told him how proud I was of him for coming to us to help him with the situation. Even more so, I was so proud of him that he knew where the greatest source for peace, understanding, guidance and help would come from, his Father in Heaven and his older brother, Jesus Christ.

As I hugged him, he took a big sigh of relief, he was unsure as to the outcome of the situation, but he trusted that between his Heavenly Father and his earthly parents, we would help to show him the way to handle the problems that he faces.

Later that evening, when Thomas came home, Hayden and I laid out the problems and situations going on at school, then Hayden ever so tenderly again asked, "Dad, I know that I will feel a lot better if you just give me a priesthood blessing." He continued with, "I need my Heavenly Father's help to understand what to do and to help me not to be afraid and scared."

My sweet husband took our son in his arms, hugged him and offered a beautiful priesthood blessing.

The look on Hayden's face when the prayer was over was one of contentment, peace, relaxation and trust.

Hayden knew that he was given the answers in how to handle the situation. More importantly, he was reassured, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that he was a Son of God. That his worth was is great. His Father in Heaven was proud of who he is, what he does and the valiant spirit that he is developing. He was reassured that he would be given the strength and added ability to handle the situation. He is loved. He is surrounded by people who love him. And that through his goodness and love he would bring many to the Savior and teach them the ways of our Lord.

My boy. He has such a beautiful spirit. His spirit is so much stronger than the mere mortal body that houses his spirit. I was again reminded that Hayden will do great things on this earth. That there is a very special mission set in place for his life.

I love that he asked for a priesthood blessing. I think that he needed to know who he is in the eyes of the Savior. I think as his mom, I needed the reassurance that although I fall short in so many areas, that Hayden is learning what he needs to and developing the skills that our Father in Heaven deems important. He stood up from the blessing with added courage, added strength, add resolve and added knowledge to do what needs to be done.

I needed the sweet reminder yesterday of the love our Father in Heaven has for each of his sons and daughters. We have a divine mission and purpose for walking this earth. I was gently reassured that he knows each of us personally. Our situation. Our strengths and weakness. Our heartaches. Our shortcomings. Our needs. Our desires. Our good points. Thank you my sweet son for the kind and tender reminder that there is one who knows the way out of each situation, that knows the answers, that knows how to fix any ailment or problem that we face.

I love my son and his faith. I love that my husband honors his priesthood and is worthy to lay his hands on Hayden's head and call down the powers of heaven to help Hayden. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father that shows mercy and love to each of us. That he takes the time in each of our situations to reassure us that we are his and if we ask, he will always guide us and walk with us and help us find solutions to all of life's challenges.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cupcakes for a Cure

Jodi is making cupcakes on Wednesday, if anyone is interested in buying some of her delicious cupcakes. Please text her at 480 710-0750. You will not be disappointed. They are so good.

As always, all money will go towards my medical bills and ongoing medical costs, to try and help me find a cure and healing.

My gratitude for the kindness, love, prayers and generosity of so many are without words. My heart is forever touched by the kindness of my friends, family, and even those that I do not know. Thank you. Thank you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Remodeling Oneself

Becoming better is not a fun process. I have learned that there is a great correlation between remodeling a house and remodeling who we are.

In order to remodel a home, demolition needs to be accomplished first. Hammers are used to knock out walls, jackhammers used to pull up the tile, tools of all sorts are used to disassemble the old in order to rebuild the new.

The knocking down process is a mess. There are pieces and fragments laying everywhere. Dust accumulates, trash covers the ground and remnants of the old, the relics are all that is left.

Clean up then begins. The trash is removed, debris collected, dust swept into piles, broken pieces discarded and the old removed so that the rebuilding can begin.

Once the slate is clean the new must be built on the foundation. Flooring laid, cabinets placed and constructed, nails hammered into the wood to create strong walls, drywall placed up, paint, furnishings, etc. All the while, clean up of each new mess made is required. It is a long and tiresome process. One that is barely endured, with the remodelers only holding on with hope of the desired outcome well within their reach.

As I have watched a lot of HGTV lately, I have seen that renovations about kill marraiges, meltdowns are frequent, tempers lost and people hang on with all they have in hopes for the glorious reveal of the outcome. However, along the way, with the debris mixed in with the new, the building creating dust flying everywhere, projects half way done, people almost always lose hope and patience and wish they had never begun the process.

As compared by so many, our sweet Savior takes us and remodels us. He helps break down our weaknesses, our faults, our bad habits. As we purge these behaviors, holes are created, debris accumulates and must be cleaned out. The Savior lovingly begins to help us to take out our trash, clean up our debris from within and helps us to get a clean fresh start. Although painstakingly hard for us, when the Savior remodels us, we are his renovation. He can see the grand and glorious desired outcome but we are blinded by all the debris and hammers and chaos going on inside to see the outcome.

Through trials, the Lord build us. He helps to remove our blemishes, insecurities, our bad habits and helps us to get to a place where we want to rebuild our lives. With the Lord standing  by our sides, renovations are still so very difficult.

I find myself being okay with a nice house, not a mansion. I am ok with just some standard revisions, the Lord sees me as a grand masterpiece with so much more potential. He sees who we can become, I feel the pain and want to sell myself short.

The Lord has lovingly and painstakingly brought me to a place of clearing out the trash from within. He has broken down my bad habits, behaviors and has told me that I am more than I am currently. I am content and just want my old body or house back, he desires more for me.

So the renovation of my life begins. The foundation has been cleaned, the old removed and the Lord is willing to let me rebuild.

Although painful and hard, I know that the beautiful plans and outcome he has for my life is more beautiful and brilliant than anything I can imagine.

Yet I must trust him and push through the pain, the demolition and rebuilding to walk out the other side of this renovation the person he desires me to be, not just me settling for someone nice and good but someone wonderful.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Health Update

My heart has been forever touched by the kindness of so many, the prayers offered, heartfelt expressions of love and support and all the service rendered for me and my family.

Sitting in my position in life, I have witnessed the true goodness of the multitudes. Those that quietly serve, give, take care of others and love with all their hearts. I have been surrounded and buoyed up by the love and service of so many, for which I will be forever grateful.

The last month has been a change. I am slowly building strength, finding answers and learning how to heal my body. With each doctor visit, as I relay the events that have miraculously unfolded in the past weeks, the doctors are speechless and are in awe as to how I am surviving. I take each opportunity to bear my witness that my life has been spared by my Savior. With no other possible explanation, they shake their heads in agreement and wonder.

Even with the miracles, the daily progress is slow. It is a hard walk back to health. A journey that takes each waking moment to try and figure out what I should be doing to heal, slowly building strength and trying to learn the physical limitations of my body. The physical limits are still significant. I breathe easier. I do not struggle to walk within my house as much. For the most part, I can now get dressed on my own and my personal care is getting less taxing. Any exertion beyond just the daily functions of getting up, dressed, eating and conquering the day, takes a real toll on my body.

I am trying to figure out how to push my body to gain strength without setting myself back significantly. The first weeks were extremely frustrating as I felt healing should come quickly. When my body didn't seem to make any progress and my efforts showed minimal improvement, if any.

I spent a lot of time in prayer trying to understand what I was to do now that my life was spared yet healing seemed to elude my body.

My prayers changed. I no longer pray for the strength and the life I once had. I pray to see and understand the road that lies before me. Although I would love to be able to have the strength and energy to do what most consider the bare minimum in life, I am finding joy in any and all improvements, and realize that whatever healing comes is in the Lord's hands. I will continue to seek his guidance while doing all I can to gain strength and healing, but ultimately, I trust my Savior and will gladly accept whatever path he has placed before me.

In this journey, I have learned so incredibly much and have met some amazing people. I feel this is the path I am to walk right now to gain the much needed healing and strength my body needs.

So although the improvements are slight, I welcome each little glimpse of hope, each extra step I can take, each breath that comes with ease, the days that I can get out of the house, if even for a drive, the afternoons that I am able to sit and help Hayden with homework and the times I can actually stay awake while watching a movie. Most of all, I celebrate each day that I have with my family and those I love.

I realize that with time my gratitude with the waking of each new day will fade. I may possibly forget that there was a time when I just longed to be able to be get dressed without assistance and ached to be able to do the everyday motherly tasks of cooking, homework, laundry and driving. That this may all be a distant memory of a hard won battle that taught me that I am cap,e of doing really hard things.

But for now, oh do I cherish the small stuff. I cherish the things I once took for granted. I get all excited that I can just bend to pick something up off the floor without fainting. That I can take baths again. That I can have a conversation without dozing off. That I can actually get out of bed without help. That I can help Hayden get his backpack ready for school. That I can remember my conversations with Hayden. I love that Thomas and I can dream again.

Most of all, I love that I do not have to worry about whether or not Hayden totally grasps the Plan of Salvation. Of course, I want him to understand all the important truths contained in the scriptures. But, the urgency of feeling like he has to understand it all and now, has faded. I know I will be around to continue to teach him, answer his questions and help him learn day by day, line upon line and precept on precept. I no longer have to be consumed with his understanding it all right now. There is no greater relief. It is one of the sweetest blessings ever.

Although healing is slow, I am improving. Life is becoming more enjoyable. I am learning that joy in this life really is contained in the small stuff.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nap time

Jodi had her hands full with Troy getting his wisdom teeth out and Brigham with the flu on the same day. To try and help a little, I had her drop Talmage off with me. I told him we could watch a movie but then we would eat lunch and take a nap.

He was perfect. We watched a movie, ate lunch and he turned off the TV and said, "It's nap time now!"

Within 5 minutes of laying on the bed, he fell asleep. We slept for the next three hours until Suzi walked in the door with Hayden.

Loved having a little cuddle bug for my nap time buddy.

It was such a relaxing day. Love that I get this opportunity to just stop, cuddle and cherish precious moments with those I love.

Great day!

Ditch day

Whether Hayden was needing a ditch day or I was needing Hayden to have a ditch day is debatable. Regardless, I let him stay home from school for some mom and son bonding time.

We watched movies, played games, talked, watched mormon channel messages, took a long nap, ate treats and cuddled on the couch.

There is nothing that makes my heart as happy as precious time spent with Hayden really connecting and talking and bonding.

He loved this precious day as much as I did.

We really talked. He asked questions I believe he had tried to get the nerve up to ask of a long time. He asked how close I came to dying. He communicated of his fears during this past two years and the moments he was comforted by the Holy Ghost. He spoke of his own miracles, answers, comforting moments and lessons learned. He was the teacher and I the student.

We cuddled. I spoke of miracles I was blessed with. I spoke of the peace that the Holy Ghost brought when I wasn't sure of the outcomes, the faith required to walk this road and the strength and hope Hayden always brought.

We played games. We laughed. We talked of school and the courage he has to walk his days. The example he is to so many. My hopes and dreams for his future. The qualities that he has and who he is in the Lord's eyes.

It was a great bonding moment. I realized how much my boy has matured and grown up in the past year. He has been strengthened and taught, just as I have. Remarkably, he is so much stronger and has gained so much as he has learned to rely on his Savior and friend for comfort, reassurance and peace.

I am so lucky to be Hayden's mom. I am in awe that The Lord chose me to be this amazing boy's mom. He has so much potential. He is going to do great things in this life. He will bring many people to our Savior. He will stand up for the right.

The responsibility and weight of training him to be the man that he is destined to become has been impressed upon my mind. I have been rededicated to doing all I can to help shape him into the man that he was born to be. To really partner with Thomas and our Savior in being the best parent I can be. To try harder and be a better mom.

It was exactly what I needed. My boy strengthened me and lifted me up. He helped me to reach deep inside and find the strength to try harder, be better and love more. He is one great kid!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Davis gang

Thomas came to pick me up from Jodi's after priesthood session of conference. Brigham ran up to Thomas, hugged him and begged him to go pick up the nerf guns that Hayden was giving to him. Brigham was being so cute that Thomas had to say yes.

Talmage heard Brigham was going to our house and ran to the car. Brooklyn quickly followed. It is not often that Thomas and I have all Jodi's kiddos without Hayden and so we decided a quick run thru McDonalds for ice cream comes was in order. Jodi heard the plan to celebrate Thomas' birthday and jumped in the car with us. After a quick stop by our house to pick up the bag of hand me down toys for Brigham, we were off for yummy ice cream cones.

The kids were so cute and so excited. As Brigham pulled toy after toy and nerf gun out of the bag, the bigger his smile grew and he was so excited. Talmage loved the goggles and immediately put them on. Thomas and I relished in these precious moments spent with the cute Davis munchkins.

We hadn't told the kids where we were going, so when we pulled up to McDonalds for ice cream cones, they were ecstatic! We laughed, chatted and had the best time.

It was a very short outing. Maybe 20 minutes tops in the car, if that. But it was so much fun. It was a memory I will always cherish. I loved getting out, listening to the excitement in the kids voices and seeing the excitement that a bag of hand me down toys and ice cream cones brought to these cute kids lives that I love. It was a perfect way to celebrate Thomas' birthday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fun Run

Hayden participated in his school's fun run. He was great about getting pledges and determined to raise as much money as possible for his class. He had a goal of 26 laps and man alive he ran 27.

I am so proud of this boy of mine for setting a really hard goal and then pushing hard to not only meet it but exceed it.

It wasn't easy for him. It was a really hot day and he was miserably hot, thirsty, tired and had cramps. However, he persevered and pushed through the discomfort and kept going.

He and Gunter had a great time and cheered each other on.

I love that Hayden stuck to the goal he had and when he reached it, found the strength to do just a little more. Oh how I hope that this sticks with him in all that he does. If I can get him to reach his goals and stretch just a little more, he will move mountains. 
After a water jug was poured over his head he felt much better.
Goal accomplished. Refreshing water. Popsicle. Great friends. Half day of school. What a great day!

Church in PJ's

This is definitely one of my favorite weekends of the year. It's a pajama wearing, cinnamon roll breakfast, cuddling on the couch, being spiritually fed weekend.

Twice a year we are blessed to listen to General Conference on TV and hear wise council from the prophet and general authorities, women leaders and other officers of the church.

As I have spent the last two days listening, I have come closer to my Savior, rededicated myself to his will and have vowed to be better at living as a disciple of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am grateful for the wise council given.

These are some of my favorite tidbits of knowledge that I walked away with:
  • I have come to know that FAITH is a real power, not just an expression of belief. - Elder Packer
  • As we remember the covenants we make within the temple, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. - President Thomas S. Monson
  • We must build upon a sure foundation. - Dean M. Davies
  • We are meant to age, for with it comes the knowledge of truth. - Elder Boyd K. Packer
  • You can depend on the Lord. - President Henry S. Eyring
  • We are not Alone. We are not spiritual orphans. - Stanly C. Ellis
  • The Power by which the Heavens and Earth were created is the Priesthood. - Elder Russell Ballard
  • True friendship is like the asphalt of life. It fills in the potholes and makes the journey smooth. - Elder Richard G. Scott
  • She understood who she was & whose she was. - Elaine S. Dalton
  • There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother. - Boyd K. Packer
  • Our part matters because we matter. - Elaine S. Dalton
  • Regardless of your circumstances you can center your home on the Lord, Jesus Christ. - Elder Richard G. Scott
  • The answer is the Savior, the author and source of Peace - Elder Quentin L. Cook
  • Hold the ground you have already won. Be true to the faith you have. - Elder Holland
  • If you're not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart. - Elder Neil L. Anderson
  • God's light is real, it is available to all. It has the power to soften the sting of a deepest wound.- President Dieter F. Uctdorf
  • Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your children? - Rosemary Wixom  (or as I am referring to it, Disconnect then Reconnect)
  • Spiritual light rarely comes to those who merrily sit in the darkness waiting for someone to flick the switch. - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • May we be a light on a hill. May we in this latter day be a beacon to this whole earth. - Tom Perry
  • With Christ, Darkness cannot succeed. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • Terrific marriages are completely respectful, transparent and loyal. - Elder L. Whitney Clayton
  • Darkness exists, but do not dwell there. Light also exists. It is the light of Jesus Christ. - Uchtdorf
  • Seek after any of the flock that stray. - Dallin H. Oaks
  • Stay on the Lord's Side and you WILL win every time. - Richard G. Scott
  • When our only desire is to please God, we will be blessed with Deep inner peace. - Bruce Porter
  • Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns. But first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe. - Jeffrey R. Holland
  • Virtue is the strength and power of the daughters of God. - Elaine S. Dalton
  • What e'er thou art, act well thy part. - Elaine S. Dalton
  • I shall ever praise Him for the privilege of being a woman, a wife and a mother.-Sister Dalton
  • The priesthood in the boy is the same as the priesthood in the man. - Tad R. Callister
  • God is not the author of confusion but is the author of peace. - Elder Quentin L. Cook
  • We don't have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God's blessings. - President Uctdorf
And possibly my favorite of the entire conference - 
  • Imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with! That must be terribly frustrating to him, but he deals with it.  - Jeffrey R. Holland
I am hoping that these great quotes will stick with me as I strive to become better, remember who I am and try to reach my goals at becoming closer to my Savior. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fun Morning

Talmage was missing me this morning. Jodi needed to run to Walmart so me and Talmage hung out on the couch and watched Rio for about the 100th time this year.

At one point, I was looking at Pinterest on the I-pad. Talmage looked at me with his cute little face and said, "Hey, we are supposed to be cuddling here". He took my arm and wrapped it around him and snuggled in next to me.

I sat the I-pad down and just snuggled up with this cute little guy.

He started making funny faces at me when I sang along with the movie songs. He grabbed my phone and told me to take funny pictures. We laughed and giggled and had the best time taking silly photos. He loved that he kept making me take pictures of his stinky, dirty feet. And completely laughed hysterically when I stuck out my tongue and made funny faces with him.

I had made a goal that when Hayden was home, before and after school, that I would disconnect and reconnect with him. I learned this morning that I should be doing the same thing with Talmage or with any sweet little child that is visiting me.

I am so glad I put the I-pad down and just spent an hour with my little T-man. We had a great time and he must have known how much I just needed to laugh and smile.

Love this boy. Love the precious and fun time that we get to spend together. He is precious beyond words.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Celebrating a Great Man

I am so lucky to be married to such an amazing man.
He has so many great and wonderful qualities.
He is my strength, my rock, my support, my confidant, my safety net, my best friend and love of my life.
He is all that is right and good in the world.
He loves with all of his heart.
He spends each day trying to make my life and Hayden's better.
He serves, sacrifices, gives, loves and is constantly doing for others.
He honors his priesthood. He lives each day with the knowledge that he is a son of God
He walks his life with this knowledge and responsibility. He is the most Christlike man I have ever known. 

I am so thankful this amazing man is my husband.
I. Am. The. Luckiest. Gal. Ever. 

 Happy Birthday, Babe!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I invite all to join in and watch a prophet of The Lord and his apostles council and teach us the the way back to our Savior.

By listening, my testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, is strengthened. I receive direction in how to teach my family truths, the things I need to do to come closer to my Savior, and I am rededicated in doing the Lord's will.

If any of you have questions such as "Why am I here? What is my purpose? What would my Savior have me do?" Or if you are looking to find strength, in these inspired talks, I always find answers to the questions I am seeking. I am blessed for listening. I invite you to join with me to be lifted, inspired and strengthened.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, I would be happy to send you a free copy of The Book of Mormon. No obligation. No pressure. No one coming knocking on your door. I would love to send you a copy of the book that has changed my life. It has given me strength to walk the path I am on. It brings me closer to the Savior as it read it. Like the Bible, it is filled with important teachings that bring us closer to the Savior by learning of his will.

I hope you enjoy these beautiful talks and uplifting music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. May you be strengthened and brought peace as we join together in learning more of our Lord, Savior, older brother, friend, Jesus Christ.

Sacred Temple Experience

What a beautiful and long awaited day I was blessed with yesterday. Julie made the decision to go thru the temple and make sacred covenants with our Savior. My heart cannot express the joy that has overcome me for the peace and understanding that her choice has brought her. She has spent a lot of time coming to this decision. My heart is so happy for her.

With the way I have been feeling, I was trying to figure out a way possible be there for her on this sacred and special day. My heart desired to support her, be with her and let her know how much I care. However, when the spirit is willing, sometimes the body is weak, and endurance is just not possible.

Jodi picked me up and went with me to meet Thomas at the temple. Thomas and I were going to participate in sealings and meet up with Julie at the end. As the day went on, my prayers and pleading with my Father in Heaven, became more fervent. I really wanted to experience this with her.

As I walked into the temple, I pleaded with the Father for added strength to be able to go thru a session. I said a silent prayer and asked that I be able to have the strength to walk thru the next couple of hours.

Peace came over me and I decided to have the faith to walk thru the session. As I walked in, ward members were all shocked to see me. Honestly, I do not have the strength to sit thru three hours of church, much less handle a session in the temple. But my faith was strong.

As I sat next to Jodi, I about had a panic attack. What was I doing? My strength was gone and I had only rode the elevator up one floor. I took a couple of deep breaths and prayed or pleaded for strength. I prayed for the Savior to take over and make up for my lack of strength.

Half way thru, I was in big trouble. I was white as a ghost and had no strength to move. I struggled just to not pass out. I spent the entire time pleading for help. So many tender mercies occurred while I was in that session. When things became rather dire, I let my head drop and put it in the Lord's hand. I knew I was passing out. I know the symptoms. I have never gone that far into the process without going out.

As I lifted my head, Jodi looked at me and told me that I looked like a different person. My Savior let me walk until just before my strength completely gave out and then He stepped in.

I trusted him and he didn't disappoint me. He did just as I expected and had asked. He knew how important this event was for Julie. He knew how important it was for her for me to be there. He wanted to make the day perfect and special for her. He wanted her to know that he knows her, he is aware of her, he knows the true desires of her heart, he walks with her and he has the power to do the impossible.

Once again, he taught me.

I learned so much in those moments. I was required to walk in faith and into the darkness before I was strengthened. The Lord pushes me farther and I must walk longer in faith than I have before. However, he always comes. The darkness always turns to light and he comes.

I will never forget walking in and seeing Julie. Hugging her in the temple was a beautiful experience. I want so deeply for her to be happy. I want her to experience all the love and joy and peace and happiness that The Lord has to offer.

The Lord has promised us that all he has is ours if we will just come unto him.

I have tasted the sweet peace and joy of following the Savior. It is desirous beyond any other joy that life has to offer. When I saw Julie, her face was glowing. She was filled with peace and the happiness that only comes from the Savior.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to spend those precious moments in the temple. The sweet moments spent with my friends and family that I love dearly, was so uplifting. Seeing Julie there touched my heart. Being strengthened by the Savior and having my prayers and deepest desires of my heart answered again, absolutely priceless.

My heart is so full! My Savior knows me and has again answered my prayers. He loves me enough to fulfill the deepest desires of my heart. And although I cannot do much, when the stakes are high and the deepest desires of my heart need to be met, my Savior strengthens me to do what is needed. He takes over when the frailties of my body are too weak to do what is wanted and needed. I am so grateful to him. He loves me, he knows me and I am his.

Talmage and the Temple

Jodi took me to Seagull book earlier today to get me out of the house. I had a great time just talking to Jodi and the sun beating down on us as we drove the car. I walked around Seagull book and found a great new book to read. And the perfect gift for a friend.

When we walked outside to the car, Talmage spotted the temple. He kept saying, "I want to go to the temple. I want to see Jesus." Jodi drove him around the entire temple, but that was not enough. When he realized she was leaving without him getting to go in, he had a complete and utter meltdown with gator sized tears.

He kept saying over and over, "But I want to see Jesus. I want to go inside the temple. I want to play with Jesus."

Jodi pulled into the parking lot and looked over at me and knew I would never make it. I was exhausted. I looked back at Talmage and he was just begging to go inside and see Jesus. How do you deny that sweet and tender request?

I said a silent prayer. I knew how important this was for Talmage. As I stepped out of the car, the strength to walk came. As I walked into the visitor's center, the pain left my body. My prayer was answered and I was given the strength so Talmage could have his sweet tender heart renewed.

Talmage walked over to Jesus, and Jodi lovingly talked to him about Jesus and the nail prints. He stood for a minute but he didn't want the statue, he wanted to see his Savior and friend. He missed him so much and was aching for that sweet reunion.

Talmage started running from room to room, opening each door, walking in, looking around and could not find the Savior. When he made it to the back of the visitor's center, he looked outside and saw the temple. He raced outside, pointing and saying, "I want to go in there. That is where Jesus is."

Jodi took him outside and loving taught him about the temple. She taught him about how that the special feeling he was feeling was the Holy Ghost, he had found Jesus in his heart. She taught that while on this earth we feel Jesus with our hearts on the inside and do not get to see him with our eyes.

Talmage was happy. He felt his Savior. And although he didn't understand and was disappointed that he didn't get to run into our Savior's arms, he did feel him.

As Jodi told him it was time to go, he sweetly asked if we could go get Brooklyn, Brigham and Hayden and come back. He wanted them to all experience the love and tenderness and spirit that he had felt while in the temple visitor center.

I have spent so much time thinking about those precious few moments. My little three year old nephew taught me some valuable lessons. I should spend my life searching, really searching to find my Savior, to follow him and do all I can to be with him and have his spirit with me.

Sweet Talmage, I love that you remember and know who you are, which is a son of God. Jesus is indeed your older brother, your friend and Savior. He loves us all. You taught your Aunt Jer so much because of your great desire to see Jesus. Nothing should stop us from seeking him. We should also take every opportunity to spend time with him. There is definitely nothing more important that that. Thank you for the sweet reminder. I love you buddy!

Jodi, if you ever doubt you are a good mom, remember this moment. You stopped what you had planned to help your sweet son search for his Savior, older brother and friend. When it all comes down to it in life, what else matters. As I listened to you teach Talmage today, I was in awe of you and the incredible mother that you are to your children. They are each lucky to have you. What a precious moment for all of us.

Friday, April 5, 2013

And it came to pass

I have struggled with how much faith do I really have? How much am I expecting a miracle? How am I feeling with the events that have occurred? Most of all, am I doing all I should be in order to qualify for the blessings of heaven to be poured down upon me?

As I have sought for answers to these questions, I have really searched the scriptures. I wanted to understand more clearly the workings and miracles of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I started in the New Testament and read about the miracles of the lepers, healing the unclean woman, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing the blind and many others. I was specifically looking for time frames. How quickly did healing occur and what steps were taken. I then switched to the Old Testament and studied Moses, Joshua, the children of Israel and the time frames. It struck a cord with me that a few short verses span forty years.

At that moment my focus changed. I quickly flipped to the Book of Mormon and instead of just reading the passages, I paid attention to the dates, the time frames and the years that were spanned in a few short verses. In my effort to catch the meaning of the doctrine, I lost focus of the time that some of the events took. Since the verses are back to back, it felt as though the events happened in a relatively short time frame.

However, there are usually five little words that represent years and tens of years of time. "And it came to pass".

A miracle or event occurs. Then "and it came to pass".  The next verse states the healing or lesson is learned. Fascinated by this new found knowledge, I began searching the scriptures with a new outlook. I again started back in the New Testament to search Christ's miracles since I knew most of the Old Testament stories took a long time.

Themes were constant. Miracles or life changing events occurred. Time passed. Then the scriptures show the changed person or the changed events. But because the scriptures are so close together, it feels like the changes should come quick, be instantaneous and trials over.

However, as I studied, I realized that where life really is made or lost is in the moments that the scriptures simply state, as it came to pass.

What will we do, I do, in those moments after the miracle or change and before the conquering is complete? I believe that those moments, the ones we struggle to figure out, cling to hold on, and keep trying, are the moments that actually define us.

We have received an answer, a change of heart, the overwhelming feelings of understanding have passed, life has taken back over and the day to day struggles of life have set back in. I believe it is in those moments that really define us. Will we stay true to the change or will the daily challenges of life take us back to who we were before the miracle?

I believe that is why there is so much talk of enduring to the end.

The change of heart is uplifting, a feeling we may have never felt before, we feel close to the Savior, and want that feeling to never end. But then real life sets in and we have to learn to maneuver the change and incorporate it back into our regular lives. Find the balance. It takes time. It isn't a change that takes place overnight. It takes practice, reconfiguring, juggling and a lot of prayerful moments or trying to balance what is needed to be done.

These moments are so personal. They must be balanced and conquered thru much prayer and help from our Savior.

These moments can be a real struggle. There are ups and downs. There are successes and failures. Many times it is an internal struggle to just figure it all out.

I believe the "and it came to pass" moments are the ones that build character, help us learn who we are and where we learn to find balance in our lives.

After studying and researching this topic for days and hours upon hours, I learned that in the "and it came to pass moments" is where we see who we are and what we are really are made of. We find the strength deep inside to change, trust our loving Savior, persevere and endure to the end. Once we have been sufficiently tried and test, the miracles come. The blessings promised are granted.

I am living in the "and it came to pass" moment, right now. I am trying to find my way. I am trying to figure it all out. And although I want all the answers now, all the blessings to come and all promises fulfilled, I know that right now is not the time. It is my time to remain faithful. My time to persevere. I must do all I can to endure to the end.

Although I may not have the blessings immediately now, I am so grateful for the understanding that was given to me, so that I can more patiently bear the trials given to me. I will forge my course while living in the "and it came to pass moments".


I've heard a thousand times that laughter is the best medicine.

As I sit on my couch today, all is quiet. No TV. No noise of the washing machine or dishwasher to distract. The hum of the fan lulls in the background, quietly and rhythmically keeping time. The rhythm and quiet movement of air often hypnotize me to slumber. I have come to find comfort in its soothing steadiness. It is constant, it helps me breathe, and it is comforting the way the fan creates a gentle breeze across my face. If I close my eyes, I picture that instead of being cooped on the couch, that I am sitting by the creek with a gentle breeze blowing ever so gracefully against my face. The image brings so much joy and comfort and the peace is all encompassing. Peace fills my soul and transports me to a place where I can run free in meadows and rock hop in the creeks. I am free.

Usually interruptions startle me out of this alternate reality with a sharp jerk as the doorbell rings, the dogs bark or telephone sounds. I find gratitude in those moments where I can escape and find strength to keep going, keep holding on and find peace to endure.

But today, as I sat quietly on the couch, my thoughts were interrupted by laughter. Loud, screeching, full out laughter. My heart smiled. The more Hayden and Gunter laughed, the bigger the smile across my face stretched.

I moved over to the window to look out and take part in their joy. I should have moved and took a picture but I became mesmerized in their joy. My smile grew as water gun fights took place on the trampoline. Water guns in one hand, nerf swords in the other, water sprinkling from up underneath the trampoline. The water poured off their faces and their clothes hung down while their faces streaked with water and streaks of dirt and boy sweat. Most of all, smiles stretched across their faces. The laughter was loud and boisterous but from a place of deep down childhood joy.

My heart smiled. I found myself inside, watching these boys jump, sword fight and shoot water guns while playing some game only understood by them. But the joy they let off was immense. It was real. It was wonderful.

I made a goal. Laugh more. Not the weak small laugh but to find something so funny that causes a deep hearted belly laugh more often. To allow joy and happiness to sink so deep down that I laugh more with my boy. I won't worry if it causes pain or inconvenience. I'm going to make the effort and take the time to find laughter and joy in my day.

After all, if laughter is the best medicine, I definitely should be partaking in the wonderful gift of its healing properties much more often. Goal for April: laugh more. I want to have the best laugh smile lines and creases in the world. When I am old and wrinkling, I want my face to show that I was happy, had a great life, that I loved the life I have been blessed with and I took every opportunity in the world to smile and laugh.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Family Night

Hayden came home from school and had a "psychic" vision. His vision was that we were headed out of town this weekend to go to Disneyland. I told him his psychic visions were about as good at Shawn Spencer's. That was about as far from the events happening as could be unless he considered a weekend in pajamas, with yummy cinnamon rolls, listening to General Conference, eating treats and delicious food a "staycation".

We all laughed. He then asked about going to the movies. He wanted to see G.I. Joe. Would his psychic vision be accurate if we were to go on a school night?

His Dad laughed and said, why not. We all loaded in the car and headed to the movies. I am trying so hard to start doing more normal life things again.

Talmage fell asleep not long into the movie. At one point he picked up his head, looked up at me and said, "Jer, if I go to sleep will Thomas have a donut for me when I open my eyes in the morning?" Oh how much I laughed and laughed at him. I may have dozed a little too during the movie. But we had an adventure thanks to Hayden's psychic visions.  Glad he is so much fun.

During the night, I woke up and went to sleep on the couch while the pain subsided. When I came back to get in bed with Thomas, Talmage was in my spot. I climbed in bed and Talmage immediately rolled over to cuddle with me. After cuddling for a while I was tired and just wanted to sleep. I tried moving him and he told me no. I gave up and went back to the couch. After a couple more hours I was going to attempt  bed again. This is what I found. Oh how I love these boys and that they are both such cuddle bugs.
Thomas and I laughed and laughed at both of them cuddled up in the bed. These are the moments that I cherish. It won't be long and I am sure Hayden will stop finding his way into our bed. And although it is quite obnoxious while I am sleeping, I love it when I am awake. I love these boys. They make my life wonderful and magical and exciting.

Easter's Memorable moments

 Easter brought many touching moments. It is honestly one of my favorite weeks of the year. We try our hardest to spend the entire week focused as much on the Savior and the last week of his life, as possible.

 As we spent each evening watching video clips on the Savior, listening to the prophets speak of the events of that sacred week of events, read the scriptures of the recorded events and talked of the importance of all the events, our hearts were touched and we were able to learn so much. We each gained a greater depth of appreciation and understanding of the Atonement.

Some of my favorite events of the week included:
  • Easter Sunday at church. The talks were amazing. The Spirit was so strong. There were some beautiful musical numbers. Beautiful service.
  • A friend sang a beautiful arrangement of "I know that my Redeemer lives".  As she sang I felt as if the Savior wrapped his loving arms around me assuring me that He lives.
  • Hayden's face on Easter morning as he rounded the hall and saw a new backpack in lieu of a basket, both confusion and joy stretched across his face.
  • Listening to Hayden bear his testimony of the Atonement of his Savior.
  • Hayden asking to learn more each night and not wanting to stop talking of the miracles of the Savior. His desire to learn and understand exceeded even my hopes.
  • Sitting on the couch watching clips of the Savior work miracles. 
  • Testifying to Hayden of the Atonement and how it works in our lives.
  • Mine and Thomas' study of these same events after Hayden was asleep trying to expand our own understanding and appreciation for these sacred events.
  • The joy that comes from knowing that while the Savior was in Gethsemane, not only did he atone for my sins and wrong doings, but also my pain, my heartache, my unfulfilled desires and my suffering.
  • How much I need the atonement.
  • Realizing how much the atonement has played out in my life this past couple of years.
  • The gratitude I feel at this time of year when I take the time to remember my Savior and all that he has done for me personally. 
  • Testifying to Hayden that He Lives! He lives! Two simple words that empower all that I try to do in my life. For this knowledge, I am so grateful.