Sunday, July 28, 2013

Understanding Struggles

This week has been a struggle. Many have asked how I keep a positive attitude always, even in the midst of the hardest trial I have ever had to walk.

I try to remain positive because I have known that if I allow myself to slip into a deep depression that I have no way of climbing back out of it. My body is just too weak. 

I have so much greater understanding of life and why I am here now. Spending a lot of time alone, I have had to rely on my Savior and those he sends to attend to me. With that, valuable knowledge has come. I am really beginning to know who I am. Not as the world sees the worth of a person. Lucky for me that does not play into it. For in the world's view, I no longer have worth. There is no longer a need for my existence besides a burden being placed on those whom I dearly love. 

However, in my Savior's eyes, I am his daughter. I am a child of God, literally, in every sense. 

With that knowledge and greater understanding, comes an added power, an added responsibility. 

I have had the unique opportunity to see myself as my Savior sees me. He has shown me my flaws and weaknesses so that I can overcome them and better myself. He has also lovingly pointed out my strengths so that I can use those qualities to help keep me here on this earth, continuing in the struggle and fight of my life. 

As the Savior shows us ourselves, based on how He sees us,eyes of understanding are opened and additional strength comes. 

Even with all of these extra blessings, opportunities and gifts, the body and flesh is still weak. My body gets so tired it screams out for relief. My body is in constant torment. Excruciating pain engulfs my body at most any given moment. 

With that, it is sometimes difficult to see beyond the pain, past the moment and feel anything but the thrashing torment that plagues my body. And I do succumb to the feelings of frustration, despair, hopelessness and almost give up. 

This has been one of those weeks. 

I spent so much time hoping and praying that Cali would bring relief. A break from seizures. A vacation from pain. A time being able to just be me again, a least a little glimmer of me. 

Instead, my reality slapped me in the face. I was keenly aware of how much sicker and weaker I have become over the last year. The things I could do last year vs. this year were so greatly diminished. The pain cried out with each activity I tried to endure. I plastered a smile on my face and tried my hardest to not show how I was feeling. Some to protect those around me and some because I was facing the extent of my reality and situation for the first time. I was so afraid of completely losing it and didn't want to ruin anyone's vacation. 

This week I have been primarily alone. Hayden started school, Thomas went back to work and I was alone. Alone with my fears, alone with my reality and alone to try to figure out where to go. 

My writing this is to be honest. To show that no matter how hard I try and how much I want to stay positive and hopeful and ok with my situation in life, that it is hard. Just as all trials we each face are hard and push us beyond our comfort zones. They try us and push us well beyond anything we think we could face. I am no different. 

Yes. I am in constant prayer. I plead with my Father in Heaven every day, sometimes hundreds of times a day to help me. I have learned utter and complete dependence on my Savior. I know I needed to. 

I have been so humbled. I have been the recipient of so much good. I have had so many incredible tender mercies sent by my Savior. I have been surrounded by loved ones. 

I am hoping that I am able to pull myself out of the hopelessness that has taken hold of my heart and soul. I know it is a bad place for me to be. I know my body cannot hold out long trying to conquer the physical ailments it must along with the emotional stress currently piled on. I'm trying. It is hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. 

I am doing all I know how to do to pull myself from this endless torment that has taken hold of me. I am spending my days pleading with my Savior. I am reading his words.

Along with my Savior, Hayden brings out the best of me. He helps me to reach down and find strength and hope. He believes in me. And more than anything, I want to be here to experience all the great things that are coming into his life. I want to be here to ease the blows of the years coming up. I want to help him be able to help him navigate the rocky waters that surely will try to engulf him in the coming years. 

Bottom line, with what little strength and hope and stamina I have left, I will continue to try and gain control over my body. I will try my best. 

Prayers are appreciated. I'm really struggling to conquer this on my own. Hugs to all of you for all you have done to make this earthly walk easier. And more joyous. I feel so blessed to have had the great life I have been given. I would do it all again.  Love, Jerlyn

Sixth Grade

How is it possible that Hayden is in 6th grade?

I feel an overwhelming urgency to teach him all I can. I feel my influence fading as the world's views are now bombarding him at every turn. I am aware that my time with him, to influence him, teach him and protect him is quickly fading.

As he got ready for his first morning of sixth grade, he was calm and anxiety free.

My boy has really grown up. He really didn't skip a beat and sliding from summer vacation and two weeks at the beach, straight into school and routines and homework was a easy transition.

I was sad as I helped him get folders ready, his school supplies together and make sure his clothes were all ready. It is probably one of the last times I will do that. For the most part, he is so independent that I conquers these tasks on his own.

He sure has developed his personality and changed so much over the summer. I am sure that sixth grade will bring many changes. His vocabulary is changing into a punk teenager with quirky phrases and funny comebacks. He has really come into his own witty personality that keeps us laughing. He is becoming a huge help and a great worker.

I love who he is! I love watching him become a better version of his own true self.

Is it possible that he will actually be an easier teenager than young boy? Is this just the calm before the storm? Honestly, this has been the easiest transition we have ever had.
Regardless, as much as I want to keep him at this age forever, I sure love watching him grow and discover untapped talents and become the person he was born to be!

He brings me joy! I miss him like crazy! I count the hours down until I know he will walk thru the door yelling, Mom!
In case I forgot, this boy of mine is a huge tease! He laughed and laughed that he was leaving me and joked about how much I would miss him. He, of course, said that since he would be with friends, he wouldn't have time to miss me. I want him to love every minute of school, make incredibly wonderful friends and expand his knowledge, understanding and learning. I will still miss him like crazy! I love you, Bubba! I have had the best summer of my entire life with you. Thank you for being such a great help to your mom! You make me so very proud of you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Welcome Home

This is the first year that while at the beach that a piece of my heart was at home. Hayden and I both missed Max like crazy.

We have had dogs before and I have honestly loved them. I especially was close to Toby and he was my bud. I am just in awe at how quickly and how deeply that I have fallen in love with Max.

Max was supposed to be Hayden's dog. A dog that I would eventually grow to love because Hayden loved him. However, Max is ever bit as much my dog as he is Hayden's.

I am utterly and completely in love with this little dog. He is like another child. I guess with me at home all day long, mostly alone, that Max has become my companion.

He spends most of the day curled up on my lap.

When I hurt, he gets Thomas or Hayden. He puts his head on my shoulder and licks my tears away when the pain is more than I can bear. Most of all, I think he makes me feel needed and useful. He calms my soul and lifts my spirit. When I struggle to just make it through another day, Max sits patiently on my lap, just content that I am with him.

Max was heaven sent when I needed him most.

After school yesterday, Hayden asked me, "Mom, do you think that Max was supposed to come to our family, just like I was supposed to be yours and Dad's boy?" I sat and thought for a moment. I remembered the day, how I found out about Max and the feelings I had when I knew he was the dog for Hayden. I looked down at Max on my lap, keeping me company and helping me to feel needed. I put my arm around Hayden, took Max in my other arm and whispered, "Yes, Hayden. I do. Our family is now complete."

I honestly do not know how I would be surviving Hayden going back to school, Thomas working such long hours and being confined to my home alone without Max.

Our dear Savior continues to bless me in ways that I could never imagine. In ways that I would never even know to ask. With blessings that I didn't even know would bless my life. But, my Savior knows me. He knows my heart. He knows my needs and what will bring me happiness, peace and joy. Because he loves me immensely, he wants to bring me comfort, peace and joy and he knew what my heart needed and longed for.

We had a great time at the beach, but instead of being really sad to head home, it was wonderful to have Max to great us, excited, happy, runny crazy around the house and filled with love and anticipation of our return. As I went to sleep with Hayden on one side of me, Thomas on the other and Max in between me and Hayden, I smiled. My life really is good. I have been incredibly blessed beyond compare.
(Thanks Julie for taking such great care of Max while we were gone. It was so reassuring to not worry about Max and know he was in great hands.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Goodbye Beach

With Hayden starting school on Monday, we decided to head out on Saturday night. We could avoid the direct sunlight of the day, so that I could ride in the car instead of flying. We could also get back in time to get Hayden's school supplies together and laundry done for school.

We hated to leave. I didn't want to leave my family. I wanted to remain in the cool weather. I wanted to retain my ocean view with beautiful ocean breeze. I wanted to keep Thomas and Hayden near me and not have school and work to worry about. I wanted to keep playing. I wanted to enjoy everyone. But all good things must come to an end.

We packed up the car and said our goodbyes. We were so tight in the car that we opened our unused food and had cans of tuna, peanut butter, treats and random food items just shoved amongst the suitcases and in any crammed little space.

Josh, Jodi and JD had all left and us and Jake were the first ones to arrive, a week before the rest, and the last to leave. We made so many precious memories that I will cherish always. I love my brother and his sweet family. We made plans to see each other next week so we could ease the pain of saying goodbye.
I was so sad to say goodbye to my aunts. They are so much fun. With them being in Florida, I am not sure when our next opportunity to see them will be. I held tight to the beautiful moments so I could remember each one with gratitude and love.
It is nice to know that whatever vacations come and go, wherever we are, we have each other. I love Thomas and Hayden with all of my heart. They are my world. They are the reason I get up each morning. They are the reason that I fight this disease. They are the reason that I struggle when breathing is hard and find joy in the moments that breathing comes easy. Wherever I go, I know that these two will be with me for eternity.

It was a wonderful two weeks. It flew by as vacations always do. We are already looking forward to next year and the wonderful memories that are yet to be made. So grateful for our time at the beach and the time we were able to spend together. The memories we made will last a lifetime!

Simonton Five

With JD living in Minnesota, it isn't often that the five of us are together. I sure cherish the moments that we are able to spend together. These brothers and incredible sister of mine are some of my dearest friends. I love the people that they are and the friendships that we have developed over the years. I love the lasting memories that we have. I cherish each additional moment and precious time that we can be together.

I cannot believe all the good times we have had together throughout the years. If I needed anything in the world, I could call any one of them and they would be there for me.

I have been really blessed to have them as siblings. I love, cherish, admire and adore each of them.

I am so grateful I was able to spend this evening with those that I love and treasure.
It was even more special having our Aunt Faye and Aunt Carolyn with us this week. They are so much fun and liven up any room they walk into. We loved having them with us and our families.
Life really is good. My heart swells with joy as I look at these pictures. I am so thankful for the gift of families. I am grateful that families are forever. It brings me so much peace that we will all be together after this earth life is over and we return to live with our Father in Heaven.

I am grateful that the precious memories that we make here can be taken with me into the eternities. The bonds of love and family we share will not end in this life but stay with us forever.

As we took this picture, I took the time to really look at each of my brothers and precious sister. I recalled good memories with each of them. I recalled times that each were there for me. At one time or another, each of them have been an answer to my prayers.

Memories of a lifetime came rushing back. My heart swelled with gratitude for these amazing siblings.

My Heavenly Father definitely blessed me with the family that would love me and take care of me. I am so very grateful.

As we said goodbye, my heart ached. I resolved it was a see you later and refused to say goodbye. But, as each of them turned and left, I silently felt a tug at my heart. I was so grateful for the opportunity of another year with all of us together. Grateful for the gift of time. Grateful I was well enough to be able to at least go to the beach and make more memories with these incredible people that I am lucky enough to get to call family.

Beach Baseball

What do you do the last night on the beach? Have a family game of beach baseball on the sand. All week the men and older boys had been playing but the girls and younger boys wanted a turn. We decided to do boys against girls with the dads splitting up teams.
Within the first few minutes playing, both Brooklyn and Katelyn were crying. Jake smiled and told Kaylee that there was no crying in baseball and that is why they usually didn't let the girls play. Of course, both of them were hit with balls or a bat, but it was still funny to see the difference in the boys and girls.
JD and Austin took the boys while Jake and Josh took the girl team.
Thomas was in charge of Talmage and some of the ones not playing. Of course, Thomas had to bug Hayden, that is his job. I love how hard these two play and laugh together. Makes my heart swell with joy!
The game was fun with the girls scoring one home run after the next, much to the boys dismay.
Thomas loved playing with Talmage.
I think I watched Thomas playing with Talmage more than I watched the game.
Carolyn, Faye, Suzi, Jodi and I just sat and cheered all the kids on.
Carolyn, Faye, Suzi, Rosie, Josh, Steph, Coby with Jodi and me in the front.
One of the funniest moments of the game is when Brooklyn hit the ball head on and did a line drive straight to JD. It completely knocked JD to the ground. We all laughed hysterically while he lay on the ground and moaned in pain. Poor JD.
Coby and Hayden quickly lost interest with the game and decided it was funner to jump waves than field the ball.

My favorite comment from Josh regarding the game was, "We learned two very important things about the Simonton family tonight. First, the girls are better ball players than the boys. And second, most of our younger boys have ADHD. They would rather jump waves than play baseball."

We laughed and laughed because all the younger boys are that way... Hayden, Braden, Coby, Brigham. Oh well, they loved the ocean. The best part about beach baseball is definitely chasing the balls into the ocean.
Afterwards, we had an ice cream party. I could not believe that when we all brought our ice cream together that first of all, we all had gone to Thrifty to buy ice cream. And secondly, is it possible that between four condos that we really had 14 tubs of ice cream? Yes. Us Simonton's, we love our ice cream! Yum yum!
It was definitely a fun way to end the beach vacation! Family togetherness, beach baseball, waffle cones filled with ice cream and sitting around laughing, talking and enjoying each other's company.

Boogie Boarding

This is the first year that Hayden really caught the boogie boarding fever. He has always spent a few minutes in the water but preferred the sand and digging to the ocean waves.

This year was different.

Hayden found his love of the ocean.

He learned how to boogie board and ride the waves in and he was forever changed. He found a new love. His love of the ocean grew and he conquered his fears. He became a great boogie boarder.
The first day on the beach, Kaylee gave him some tips. He followed her out and attempted to conquer the ocean and learn to ride the waves in.
I love the pep talk that Kaylee gave Hayden as they headed out.
I loved his expressions as he caught the first big wave that rolled in and he rode it the entire way in.
He then caught the next one.

He was hooked! From that point on, he spent more time in the ocean than he did on the shore.
I loved watching all the kids in wetsuits go out to the ocean.

Had I not been in my room, one of my favorite mental pictures is that of Hayden heading out to the ocean with over a dozen of us cousins, each of them armed with their own boogie board, ready to catch the waves and feel the thrill of ridding them in.
He loved it so much that Suzi went and bought him his own boogie board so he didn't have to be in on the rotation of boogie boards from the condo. He joined the ranks with Josh's, Jake's, JD's and Jodi's kids and earned his first great board.
Most of all, he set a goal and conquered his fears. I am so proud of my boy and his constant effort to better himself, push himself and to try harder.

I am not sure when my boy grew up. I definitely noticed how much he has changed in a year. He has made amazing progress. He has tackled hard things. He has been amazing. He has come out on the absolute top.


Aunt Suzi was lots of fun and took Hayden to Legoland so he could use his annual pass one more time before it expired.

Hayden loves legos. That is an understatement. His latest endeavor and dream and goal is to be a lego designer. Not just any designer, but the head master chief lego designer for Lego.

He had saved his money for months so that he could spend it all, every last penny at Legoland on exclusive products they carry there. He was thrilled as he left knowing he could spend over $70. Problem is, it doesn't go that far on legos. Those little bricks are so expensive!

He had a great time on the rides, even conquering his fear and riding the biggest and scariest rollercoaster at the park.

He and Suzi were both the most fascinated with Mindstorm. They were able to program a robot to preform open heart surgery on a patient, administering medicine and keeping him alive, by programming, during a surgery. They loved it. (I loved that he has talked about legos helping him to become a topnotch surgeon again). He is now wanting Mindstorm and the robotics parts to the Lego blocks.

One of the Lego designers told Hayden that a career in Legos was best accomplished with an engineering degree.

He is now ready to tackle the world of science and math so that he can achieve his dreams.

Of course, he came back to the beach condo armed with several new Lego packages to build. He created the new kits in no time flat and admired his work. He then immediately moved on to re-engineering the designs, giving them upgrades and completely transforming the Lego kit into other designs and objects.

Hayden would never quit playing Legos if it were his choice. As much as he loves electronics, he would hands down trade every electronic he had for Legos. So, for a boy that loves his Legos, he was in heaven being at Legoland all day! Thanks Aunt Suzi, he had a great time!


Imagine my surprise as I am sitting on the beach and Jake comes up with two plates full of fish, shrimp, fries, coleslaw and clam chowder from our favorite Harbor Fish and Chips.

The rest of the gang had all gone the night before, keeping up with our annual tradition that we started years and years and years ago with my mom. Each year, the first night we are all at the beach, we go to fish. We then venture out for fish at least another time or two while we are there.

With my limited capabilities, I was not able to go sit in a restaurant or walk far enough to go to eat fish with the gang. I guess Jake missed me there because the next day he went just to get me fish, so I could eat it with everyone and not miss out on our annual tradition.

I wish I could adequately express my heart as Jake walked up and said, "Jer, Jer! I thought my sister would love to eat some fish. It breaks my heart that you had to miss out. I wanted you to know that I remember you and love you." If I wasn't so overjoyed, I would have broken down in tears because of how touched my heart was. I cannot express the love I felt for Jake, my sweet brother, that was watching out for me. I was in awe at his kind and generous gesture.

As I sat on the beach and ate the fish and shrimp, I cannot remember a time when it had ever tasted so good. Each bite was filled with love and gratitude for such a loving brother. I sat in between Jodi and Thomas and shared with them. I think both of them were equally grateful for the kindness that Jake extended to me.

Being sick isn't fun. I absolutely cannot stand to miss out on fun, especially with my family. I love and honor traditions, so to break them, hurts my heart and soul. But, thru being sick, I have seen the best in people. I have been the recipient of so much good. I have felt unbelievable love. I have seen amazing acts of kindness and charity and genuine love.

Jake gave me so much more that day than a meal. He gave me hope. He made me feel important. He gave me a wonderful memory that I will always treasure and absolutely cherish.

How lucky am I to be surrounded by such incredible people?


My sweet friend, Kerri, was over in San Diego while we were in Oceanside. I wanted to see her so badly but I was with all of the Simonton's and she was with all of her family. I was so excited when she called and said she was going to the Oceanside Pier one day. I was so excited to see her.

We worked together for years at Belden. We both were pregnant at the same time and had our boys within a couple of months of one another. I had Hayden. She had twins, Tanner and Tyler. We went through all of the working mom trials together. We laughed when I went into a business meeting with spit up down my back and another time with moshed banana on my skirt. We comforted one another with sick kids and were the greatest supports as we navigating being new moms together. Kerri and I formed an incredible friendship. I still consider her one of my dearest and best friends today.

Problem is....we live about two or more hours away from one another. It makes it hard to get together very often. But when we do, we pick back up like not a day has passed since we last chatted.

Our husbands were good sports and sat and listened while we reminisced, discussed the upcoming school year, talked of different challenges we were having and the incredible blessings in our lives. I could have talked to Kerri all day. I loved each and every moment that we laughed together.

I will make sure to catch up with Kerri and not let years pass before our next visit. It was definitely one of my highlights of my vacation getting to spend time with her. Thankfully some friendships were made to be forever friendships. Mine and Kerri's, definitely a friendship to last a lifetime!

Boiled Peanuts

My dad saw JD headed down to the beach and threw down three bags of boiled peanuts that he had cooking for the past 48 hours.

We all are southern born and raised kids. We love food from the south. One of those delicious treats that we long for and hardly get is boiled peanuts. They have to be fresh and green when boiled or they just do not taste right.

We were so excited to each get our own bags. The three of us sat on the beach, eating our boiled peanuts and laughing about great times when we have eaten them before.

I think the only thing that made it better was that my dad was so proud of himself for finding us such a special and memorable treat.

Good times! Great memories! Incredible company!

Life on the Beach

There is something about sitting on the beach, listening to the waves roll in and crash on the shore. Compile that beautiful sound and rhythm with a gentle cool ocean breeze and the sound of children's laughter and that is my personal heaven.

I love listening to Hayden and all of my nieces and nephews talking, giggling and playing on the beach. I take a deep breath with each wave crashing, as it sets my heart back into a perfect beating rhythm. I find joy as I hear my brothers laughing and teasing the kids and the tenderness of my sweet sister consoling the last child that was plummeted by a wave. I cherish each, I love you, as a child asks for a treat, help wrapping a towel around them or finding them a shovel amongst the sand and piles of toys.

To me, each of these small and insignificant moments by themselves encompass what I affectionately know as our Oceanside annual beach trip with the family.

I marvel at how grown up Hayden has become. I still love him in a wetsuit with the ocean waves crashing behind him.
I love that Hayden idolizes his Uncle Jake and that Jake always takes time to tease and play with Hayden.
I love the first time each year that I watch Hayden venture into the waves of the ocean. I sigh with reflection at the changes in him and marvel at the incredible young man that he has become.
I find joy and awe in watching my sweet husband carry arm fulls of chairs, towels, sand toys, boogie boards, drinks, bags and usually carrying a child to the beach. This is after he has already woken up early, checked out chairs, found the perfect spot on the beach and reserved us the perfect beach spot for the day. He always takes care of Jodi, Suzi, my aunts and especially me and Hayden. I marvel at the goodness and kindness and selflessness of my husband.
I absolutely find joy in Hayden smiling as he grabs his shovel and is off for a building adventure. He loves the sand. He loves to build. He loves to create. He has the best imagination around. Sure he loves electronics but boy, he could entertain himself all day with sand and a shovel or a simple rock and stick. I love that about my boy!
I love love love getting to spend so much time with my beloved nephews and nieces. I love each of them dearly and each holds a very special place in my heart. Brigham was a delight this trip. I enjoy his hugs. I love that if his momma isn't around that I am the one he wants.

Talmage hates the ocean. He wanted nothing to do with the water. I love his expression here as he is telling Jake why he hates the ocean is because the sand crabs will eat him if he touches the water. My scared of nothing nephew that is a dare devil and adventurous in every way is terrified of the ocean and it made me laugh. I secretly loved it because he would cuddle on the beach with me and was always ready to head up to the room to take an afternoon snooze with me.
Suzi is great! She made this trip so amazing for us. She went every morning to get me a fountain diet coke so I could have my daily fix. She spoiled Hayden like crazy. She spent time with all the nieces and nephews individually doing what they wanted and making them feel like a million bucks. What a true gift.
Hayden and Chase boogie boarded in the waves, dug holes, made forts, battled pirates, made sand castles, played Pacific Rim games and had a fabulous time together.
My dad actually made it to the beach a little more with his sisters in town. He loves his big sisters. He adores them. I always hope that my brothers adore me as much as my dad adores them. He loves spoiling them rotten. It reminds me how Jake treats me and Jodi. They are definitely loved by my dad and all of us.
Jake and Rosie and the girls. Jake is crazy and brings Kaylee and Katelyn friends. Why? I do not know. Kaylee is 13, Katelyn is 12 and Kiley is 10. There are definitely a lot of cousins to play with. In fact, quite often Natasha and Kierra are off doing their own things while the sisters play together and with the rest of their cousins. Natasha and Kierra are around so much that we have just adopted them and know that Jake has five girls instead of three. It works. The more the merrier.
Talmage, Kaylee and Brigham. The best way to keep track of kids on the beach is definitely to bury them in the sand. They are stuck and cannot get out which means they cannot roam and get lost. I am all for burying the little ones every morning.
Hayden absolutely adores his Grandpa! They are buddies. Hayden treasures each and every moment spent with Grandpa. He loved him being on the beach so he could show him how well he was boogie boarding. We are so grateful to my Dad and that he makes this amazing trip happen each year for all of us! It is something I look forward to all year!
My sweet sister with her daughter, Brooklyn. Oh how I love these two. My sister is such an incredible mom. She is consistent, loving, kind and parents intentionally. She is the greatest example of an absolutely amazing mom! Because of her, I have three absolutely incredible kiddos that I love. No, they are technically not mine, but I definitely claim them. I love them like they are my own. So Missy Brooklyn, is my girl! Thomas and I adore her!
Hayden spent the entire first week we were at the beach counting down the days until his dad arrived. He had all of his cousins coming in to look forward to, with only Jake's with us the first week. Who he couldn't wait to see was his dad. He kept saying, when dad gets here..... I love these two and the amazing relationship they have. Hayden thinks his dad walks and water and well, I would have to agree he is the best dad ever!
My sweet sister. I love love love each and every moment that we spend sitting on the beach and chatting. We talk about everything from the latest parenting books we have read to our church callings to our thoughts about life. I could spend every day for the rest of my life sitting and chatting with her and never run out of things to talk about with her and never get tired of her. She is the most amazing woman that walks this earth. Hands down.
My sweet husband. Like Hayden, I counted down the days until he arrived. I feel safe when he is with me. I do not worry about seizures or episodes or anything. I know with him by my side, I am completely safe. He takes care of me like no other. He makes me breakfast, he gets me diet cokes, he carries my chair, he helps wherever and whenever he can. He is the most attentive husband in the world and he is mine. I love him and cherish him with all of my heart. I am so grateful for the precious moments we were able to spend on the beach smiling and enjoying this life together. I am so lucky that I get to spend eternity with this amazing man by my side!
My sweet little Talmage. He is one of my most tender mercies ever. Heavenly Father knew I would need his tender little spirit and his amazing little spunk to keep me going even on my roughest days. He loves and adores me. He is wrapped around my finger and could get absolutely whatever he wanted out of me. The joy he brings to my life only compares to Hayden. He thinks me and Thomas are Grandma and Papa half the time and we love it. He makes us so excited to be grandparents. Oh how I love that sweet boy!
Thomas is with me on loving Jodi's kids like our own. Brigham can get Thomas to do whatever he wants. One flash of that smile and Thomas melts. If Brigham pulls out all the stops and flashes the smile with a tender hug, he could have whatever he wanted. It was pretty easy for him to convince Thomas to bury him standing up! Love these guys!
Most of all, I love my little family. I love when the three of us are together. I love vacationing with these two. It has been a rough year. It was so nice to get away and take a break from it all. Sure, seizures still came and I was exhausted and slept a lot, but we made incredible memories. We had moments that will carry us through the crazy days that lie ahead. We cherished and treasured the days spent on the beach. We laughed. We played. We prayed. We thanked our Father in Heaven for these precious and special moments together. Life really is good. I am so grateful to be on this journey with these two. They make the roughest days bearable and the best days amazing! Love you so much Thomas and Hayden!