Friday, February 28, 2014

Visiting Teaching

At Baptism I Covenant with the Lord to:
1. Come into the fold of God.
2. Take upon me the name of Christ.
3. Bear others’ burdens, that they may be light; mourn with those that
mourn; and comfort those in need of comfort.
4. Stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in
all places.
5. Serve God.
6. Keep his commandments.
When I Keep My Baptismal Covenants the Lord Covenants to:
1. Forgive my sins.
2. Pour his Spirit more abundantly upon me.
3. Redeem me that I might be numbered with those of the first resurrection
and have eternal life.
I have a new calling at church which I am absolutely ecstatic about. I am a visiting teaching supervisor. I have not been able to have a calling at church for over two years. It has frustrated me more than I can express. I love feeling needed and wanted. I had been praying for something to do to help the Savior. About a month ago, visiting teaching was constantly on my mind. I felt the need to work with those to help them understand the importance of visiting teaching.

When the Bishop showed up at my house last week, I was thrilled with the call. When the Relief Society president came to talk to me, I relayed my feelings of visiting teaching and the excitement I felt over this call. As the visiting teaching coordinator stopped by yesterday, we spoke of visiting teaching and the importance of it. 

I have a deep love for visiting teaching and feel it is at the center of the church and all that we do. I was expressing my feelings and thoughts on visiting teaching and all the ways that my life has been blessed by my own visiting teachers. I thoroughly believe that the Lord wants to answer our prayers. He wants to let us know that he is aware of our needs and cares about what we are experiencing. I have learned that he sends these sweet messages and tender mercies to us through others. If visiting teachers are listening and praying for their sisters and asking what they can do, it is easy for the Lord to prompt them to help answer prayers. 

Furthermore, I believe that visiting teaching is at the root of our baptismal covenants. We are called to take upon us the name of Christ. And bear one another's burdens, mourn together and comfort one another. We are to witness of God in all we do. We are to serve him and keep his commandments.

By visiting teaching, we do just that. We go to a sister's home. We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we testify of Christ, we stand in for him to help those in need, we help our sisters, we bear their burdens and share by listening and helping, which lifts the spirits and hearts of those suffering. We relay messages of hope and understanding and of comfort and miracles. We help one another. Essentially, when we visit teach, we are keeping our baptismal covenants. 

As I relayed my feelings on visiting teaching and compared how it relates to our baptismal covenant, I was in awe that it seemed no one else present had thought about the two being so intertwined. To me, visiting teaching and home teaching are at the essential core of the gospel of how we take care of one another. 

I also love the blessings that come when we keep our baptismal covenants and respond as we should to visiting teaching. 
We are promised our sins will be forgiven. Huge! I will take the Savior forgiving me of my shortcomings and weaknesses. I love the promise that as I visit teach that his spirit will be poured out more abundantly upon me. I need my Savior. I need the Holy Ghost to prompt me. I need his help. And most importantly, that I will be able to have eternal life. That I will be numbered among those of children of God. 
In addition to receiving such incredible blessings, I firmly believe that the visiting teacher is the one that benefits from the visiting teachee. The teacher prepares, puts in the time and effort and by doing so, not only are the blessed with all of the above beautiful promises, but it is usually where we find answers to our own prayers. We are also uplifted and blessed by the message, by the interaction, by mutual sharing of testimonies, struggles, strength and endurance. Each time I have left my sisters' homes, I have been the one uplifted, touched and rejuvenated. 
I am so excited for this next phase in my life. I hope that I can encourage and support those that I work with. I hope they will feel the spirit of visiting teaching and the beautiful plan that the Savior prepared for us to take care of one another. Just as the Plan of Salvation is perfect, so is the Visiting teaching program, when we do our part and implement the program how the Savior intended.
What's next? I guess a podcast. They want me to talk and share stories, motivate and explain my views on the program. And although I am secretively terrified to do it, I know the Savior will walk with me on this assignment, just as he does whenever he asks me to follow him. I am excited to be apart of sharing my enthusiasm for this inspired and beautiful program. 

Monday, February 24, 2014


I have been lucky to have some amazing cousins throughout the years. Loving and caring ones that have been close friends. I love that it doesn't matter how long it has been since we communicated or seen one another that a phone call or visit, we can pick up like it was only yesterday. 

Last night I received a text message from a cousin that lived with us growing up. We were buddies. As we sent messages back and forth, it felt as if we were back in high school laying on the couch or on the floor talking. 

Our situations have changed. Life has definitely made our current challenges a little more intense and tougher. But the principles and ways to overcome the challenges... The same. 

Both David and I have had our own unique and very different set of trials. Mine with illness. His with family difficulties. But, regardless of the situation, the ways of coping, dealing, enduring and becoming better is the same. It is with the help and gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I loved the encouragement we gave each other last night. That through a text message that inspiring experiences can be shared. That testimonies can be shared. Common experiences bonding us together. The spirit was so strong. 

We talked of Christ. We discussed the ways that the Savior had encircled us in his love. We talked of struggles and what really matters in life. 

We encouraged each other. Set goals together. 

One of my favorite discussions was on the scriptures, where Nephi is relaying Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life. I talked to David of how at the end of the iron rod was the tree of life. There Lehi stood partaking of the fruit. He said it was " good and delicious. It was desirous above all other."  Most of all, when Lehi partook, he was desirous that all could taste its goodness. He wanted his family and friends to be there with him. 

I talked to David of these truths. I told him that I have partook of the goodness of Christ. I have felt and experienced his arms around me. I have tasted of that amazing fruit. When I partook, all I wanted, was those I love to be there and partake with me. 

It was a very spiritual conversation. One where goals were set. Testimonies strengthened. And bonds of friendship and love increased. 

I'm grateful for cousins. I'm grateful for relationships that can last throughout the years. I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that helps us no matter what trials and challenges we face. 

Face plant

After filling out the disability paperwork, I have been more aware of my daily routine, struggles and obstacles. 

I was again determined to beat this. I've never let anything I really wanted be lessened by things like obstacles, challenges and limitations. I've learned to work around them. I thought I would try some different techniques and again figure out how to push the limits. 

Hmmm. What I discovered is why I am cautious. Why I move the way I do. Why I slowly move from laying to sitting then sitting to standing then standing to moving. Each of this is a distinct command to the brain. Not something done without thinking. But a verbal command to do each thing. Lift right foot. Now left. Balance. Lift. Put foot down. Now the other. Bending requires me to balance. Stay still. Slowly bend down. Balance. More. Balance again. Pick up what I need. Then slowly return to standing position. Stay still. Let my body and brain and equilibrium catch up. Then command it to move again. 

So it didn't work too well when I forgot to pause before moving. And tried to command my body to do all of these movements together in one simultaneous movement. Legs collapsed. Vision blurred. Equilibrium gave out. And down I went. Face plant of epic proportion. 

Wow. Didn't see or anticipate that. After regaining my composure on the ground. I slowly crawled to the bed where I tried to pull myself back up. Exhausted. I collapsed back into bed. I am not one to give up easily. Regain composure. Try again. 

This time with a weaker body, the collapse came as soon as my body realized what I was trying to do. This time, trying to pull myself back into bed caused full body sweats. Great. Now my body doesn't want to even move. 

Instead of frustration, I decided to go back to how I work with my body. Went back to the very slow movement and one command at a time. And balanced a little better. 

However, ever since, my balance is off. I continue to walk into walls. I swear my eyes and body are not working together as I think I am clearly in the hall or door opening and I smack into the wall or door. 

To begin walking is taking more effort than it has in months. I have has more crashes. More collapsing. More walking into things. More days of inability to pull myself up than I have has since before we moved. 

Where last week, I wanted a smoother transition, longed for easier movements and quicker response times from my limbs, brain and systems. Today, I just want to be back where I was two weeks ago. I guess it is all relative. It could always be worse. Yes. It could be better. But I have learned to be grateful for what is, what I can do and what abilities I do have. 

So I am back to trying to figure out how to retrain my body to be slow. Steady. Accurate. Precise. For after all, this life is long. It isn't a sprint but a marathon. It isn't what can be accomplished in an hour or day but what one can learn, understand and become in a lifetime. 

I am grateful for the ways that The Lord teaches me. He shows me what I need to know. He teaches me to be grateful for what I have, what I can do and the abilities I do have versus focusing on my disabilities, shortcomings and weaknesses. After all, it is in my weakness that I have drawn even closer to my Savior. I have learned that my best is enough. Whether I can walk a marathon or I am lucky enough to just make it to my bed, my all is all he requires. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

I'm grateful for his teachings and his perfect love and gentleness with me. He really does make our weaknesses become our strengths. And gently teaches us in a way we can understand. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I had to fill out paperwork for disability.

I have finally come to the conclusion that life is what it is. For right now, whether for another season or two, or for the rest of my life, I am physically compromised and do not have the capability of leading a normal life filled with activities that most do without thinking.

I have dealt with some of my anxities of being sick and disabled. Being able to even refer to myself as disabled has taken a few years and many many tears. After all, no one aspires to or longs to be deemed disabled.

Only after exhausting all other resources, routes of healing and ways to get better, did I finally seek help with finances and sought disability payment from the government. Whether or not, they deem me eligible for financial assistance is yet to be determined.

But, the road to the decision has been a long and frustrating and hurtful road sometimes for me. Most of all when I was sent a packet to fill out. My only concern when I saw the packet and details involved with the uncertainty of could I fill out from a physical and mental capacity.

Little did I know or realize is that this packet, filled with questions from the state, would take me on a journey that I was obviously not ready to emotionally deal with.

Question one: Name. So far, so good. Question two: when did your disability begin. Long story. But clear. Question three: How has this impacted your life? Not so simple. It has affected it in EVERY WAY! Question four: How does your life now differ from the one you lead before? At this point, I was in tears. Not just a single drop or two lightly dropping down my face but the tears that make your face swell, turn bright red, cause your eyes to puff and requires utilization of an entire box of Kleenex.

Tears fell so hard and fast that I could not write. I didn't know what to do. How do I adequately record what a day was like three years ago compared to what my daily routine consists of these days. I tried to take a deep breath and fill out the questions. Everything has changed.

Previous to my disease/illness/complications, I worked full time. I drove Hayden to school. Dropped him off. Worked hard all day making big financial decisions. I balanced over 30 different bank accounts that moved money all the time, with checks and acquiring and selling land and homes. I could recall the balance in each, sometimes down to the exact penny. I knew what had been paid, what was outstanding, which properties were owned by which companies and more. After a long day of juggling work, I left to pick Hayden back up. That is where my daily life really began... grocery shopping, making dinner, completing homework, reteaching school subjects, cleaning the house, church responsibilities and callings, emotionally listening to Hayden, supporting Thomas, welcoming all children into my home whether for an hour or weeks, organized, blogged, went out on dates with Thomas, played with Hayden, ran errands and the list goes on and on. Simply, I was a mom and a wife, a friend and a daughter, a sister and an aunt and a daughter of God.

Fast forward to today. My life has drastically changed. The things I took for granted, such as waking up, walking to the bathroom, brushing my hair, getting dressed, breathing, controlling my heart rate, coping with excrutiating pain, dealing with coma symptoms, trying to digest food and struggles, I took for granted. They were automatic, not something I even thought about. I now struggle to just exist, survive, from the moment I wake up until sleep finally comes in the night. The cycle repeats. There is no driving, no errands, no cooking, no cleaning, no dates, no going out, no freedom to do it all. I simply spend all efforts to do the things that most do not think about.

The paperwork forced me to take a good hard long look at my life in a way that I have purposefully avoided for almost three years. I had to face the facts. I had to come to terms with all the things I have lost. Many, many tears were shed.

Most of all, when the question came, "List all ways in which you are no longer able to be a mother." Devastation followed. In the world's eyes, I am no longer capable of being a mother. This was the hardest realization or struggle of all. Prayers and tears were mixed to the Savior. For comfort, understanding, love and peace. It came but not right away. I had to deal with my loss. I had to come to terms with it so I could again move on and fight to live.

It brought me back to the gospel, as everything does. What does being a mom mean? Does it mean tying shoes? cooking a meal? dropping a child off at school? Or being the one to attend to the physical needs of my son?

Or, does being a mom mean teaching them where to turn during trials? Showing him how to persevere? Being an example of not giving up? Of finding strength in our Savior? In learning to rely completely on our Savior for everything? Teaching him where to turn when all is lost or looks hopeless? How to kneel down and really talk to our Father in Heaven and older brother, Jesus Christ? To make them the focus in our lives? How to feel the Holy Ghost? How to listen? How to love? How to submit willingly to all the Father asks?

Both. The answer and conclusion I came to, is that both roles are vital to the role of mother. Mother is sacred. Mother is the God-like power to create life. To love unconditionally. To teach and to love.

Motherhood is a divine calling. A blessing.

And, just because I can no longer do the physical things to mother, I can completely teach and exemplify the qualities required to return to our Father in Heaven. Interestingly enough, when the physical abilities were no longer available for me to utilize, I became a better mother in the spiritual and emotional ways.

The paperwork was one of the hardest trials I have been called to bear yet. It tore me down. It made me really even doubt if I should keep fighting to live and keep holding on. After filling it out, I found myself wondering if I was even worth the air I was breathing. I felt so useless. So much of a burden to all around me.

I am so thankful for a loving husband. He put his arms around me, he hugged me, he reassured me that I am worth the breaths that I take. That I do still matter. That I do make his life and Hayden's life better by continuing to fight to live. He reassured me that I am still a mother. That my divine roll has not changed. That the values that I am teaching Hayden are just as critical as the food he eats. He offered the sweetest prayer. That our Savior would wrap me in his arms and let me feel the love that others have for me. Peace came and then slumber.

Without prodding or any encouragement, my dear boy, without knowing my inner turmoil, woke up in the morning, put his arms around me and told me how grateful he was that I continue to fight to stay with him. He added that although I couldn't take him to school or do fun things with him, that he loved that I was always home, waiting for him. Always there ready to listen about his day, his struggles. That I always had time for him.

What a tender mercy from my Savior. He prompted my son to voice how he felt. He allowed my heart to be touched by my husband, my son, my Savior, my sister, my friends. Within a 24 hour period, I received more texts, more calls, more hugs, more comforting words, cards in the mail and reassurance that I mattered. That my life was worth continuing to fight for. That my being here, even in the disabled body that my spirit is housed in, is enough. Me. Right now. This condition. I am enough.

I sincerely hope I never have to fill that paperwork out again. I pray the outcome will be worth it and we get the financial help that we so desperately need. But when I look back and remember the awful and horrible days of filling out the paperwork and feeling my own weaknesses, I will immediately be comforted with and grateful for all those that reached out to me, to comfort and show love to me, even when they did not understand how much I needed them.

And, yes, I do absolutely believe that I am a mother. Wife. Friend. Sister. Daughter. Servant of the Lord. Despite a disabled body, my spirit knows I am a daughter of God. My spirit has been made strong during this illness. All that I have lost physically has been regained spiritually.

I will continue to fight to live. I will continue to fight to get better. I will continue to live the life that my Father in Heaven and Savior have granted me. I will be grateful for just being able to still be here with those I love.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My crazy family!

We may just go a little stir crazy here some days. The boys get out to go to school/work/activities. But much much less than we used to. They hate leaving me so we spend a majority of our time together at home. 

There are only so many movies to watch. So many iPad games played sitting by my boy. Books read as a family. So we spend so much time just laughing on the couch. Playing with dogs. Thomas tickling Hayden. Playing with Max and Maya. Yes. We are crazy and goofy and silly and weird. But we love one another and have lots of fun together. Doing nothing. Just being together. And together is my favorite place to be. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Antibiotic miracle

Tuesday morning I awoke to an abscess in my mouth. Painful. Swollen. As I touched it, it ruptured.

 Illness was rampant within my body. I could feel the illness taking over and fear creeping in. Uncertainty plagued my mind as I battled finding the strength to deal with another problem on the long list of health concerns and struggles, I face daily. 

By afternoon, the reality of my situation had set in. I spoke with JD, my brother, the endodontist in Minnesota. Although he is against the overuse of antibiotics, he agreed my conditions warranted such drastic treatment. Without it, my chances of greater complications arose. 

Thomas called the doctor and a prescription was called in. One tablet of a medication/antibiotic that I have had many many times, caused a horrific reaction. 

During the night, I struggled for breath. Unfortunately, this is such a normal occurrence, I didn't think much about it. Max and I stayed up to battle the fight. I calmly breathe in and out. Repeatedly. Methodically. Establishing a normal rhythm. I know as time ticks, I am closer to help I need. I pray. I ask for strength. To be protected. I didn't think much about it other than I was so thirsty and burning. (I get so many weird symptoms, I honestly tolerate what I can and address those things I cannot.)

By morning, the intensity grew. The burning was brutal. As I tried to walk to the bathroom, I was keenly aware that my tongue was so swollen that it was blocking my breathing and ability to swallow. This now hit the unusual symptom radar. I felt extreme burning. Heat engulf my face. Pounding. Swelling. 

As I looked in the mirror, I was shocked by what I saw. Swollen, redness, disfigured features and I could not see my ears. My lips were triple their normal size. Jaw. Cheeks. All swollen. And painful. Ever so painful. Red spreading across my face but not in rash form but more of a burn. The pain became more intense. 

Panicked, I had Thomas utter a beautiful priesthood blessing. Peace and comfort and love extended to me. I was promised protection. Intervention. I was also told to seek immediate medical attention. 

A strong impression came over me to read the medication pamphlet. Why? This medication-antibiotic was familiar to me. Bactrim. One I have been on many times while in the hospital. Still. The prompting came. I have learned to obey no matter what. 

In the side effects section it talked of a very rare severe and life threatening allergic reaction to he medication. It went on to describe how I felt exactly. It stated my skin was literally burning. Weeks to months would be required in an intensive care unit or burn center to overcome this complications. 

Tears shed from my face. Pain. Confusion. Angst. Fear. Frustration. More fear. More excruciating pain. Swelling. Greater struggle to breathe. And more began taking over. 

Thomas called Suzi to take care of Hayden. I called my sister. Jodi tried encouraging me to go to the hospital to get treatment. I could not bear the thought of being confined in a hospital. I despise them. As I have spent an overabundance of time there in the past several years. Emotionally I couldn't do it. Physically. I was terrified at the outcome. Would I survive a hospital stay in my health condition? Probably unlikely. 

Pleading internally with the Savior, ever so softly, Dr.Shiflet came to mind. Then peace. 

In over 2 years going to see Dr. Shiflet, this was a first to call after hours. He said to meet him at the office. He wasn't sure but would try. 

Before we left, Hayden offered a beautiful prayer. Fear still encompassed my soul. Pain was abundant. My sweet boy uttered the words, "Please bless my mom to feel better. To get better. And to be comforted." As that sweet boy said those words, peace and comfort wrapped me from head to toe. I was emotionally okay. My boy asked for the Savior to protect and comfort his mom. The Holy Ghost immediately responded. 

At Dr. Shiflet's office, I sat under lasers, had a foot bath, used colloidal silver gel and liquid. Dr. Shiflet lovingly and gently treated me for several hours. Thomas by my side, as always. My rock. My strength. 

Little by little the burning decreased. The swelling went from a disfigured face to less symptoms. When the girls walked in at the office, they jumped as they asked me what happened, since I looked so awful. I went from swollen to minimal symptoms. From burning to a sunburn pain. 

The Savior answered our pleas. Our prayers. He again allowed a miracle to be preformed for me. He again spared my life. 

I found the strength and will to continue fighting this disease. 

Instead of fear, when told I will never again be able to take an antibiotic. No treatments are available to me in the future. No more transplants. No additional immune support. No antibiotics. No Novocaine at the dentist. Nothing. I felt peace. I felt the Savior wrap me in his arms and tell me he had already provided alternatives for me.

I'm so grateful. I'm so blessed. I cannot express the love and gratitude in my heart for my Savior. He literally sustains my life day to day. I would not be here writing this post, if not for His love and daily support. 

I'm so grateful I am not sitting in the hospital or ICU but at home, curled up in my bed. 

Sure, sleep evades me as the painful burn on my lip will not stop throbbing. But I am alive. I am ok. And words cannot express my gratitude. I'm so blessed. 

Yes. Chalk up another miracle. I testify the Savior lives! I love Him with all my heart. I trust him. I believe him. I will always follow him I'm reminded why because he will never leave me nor forsake me. He will be at my right and at my left. He will buoy me up. He will be my pillar and my strength. I love Him. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I'm absolutely heartbroken!!!

These three little precious mugs and my amazing sister and her husband are moving. Yes. MOVING!!!

I'm devastated. They are moving to Glendale. Close to the Cardinal Stadium. An hour and a half each way. <<Insert Tears and heartbreak>>

What am I going to do without these precious kids in my life every week? 

Don't even get me to start on how much I will miss my dear sister. I've loved living by her for the past 8 years. I have cherished each moment just knowing she is right there. Right around the corner if I need her. Close by. For whatever I need. A friend. A hug. A ride. A diet coke. To show something to. Run to the doctor. Discuss raising kids. Switch kids. 

I will miss my precious niece and both my nephews. 

Talmage came over distraught. He said, "Aunt Jer. I'm moving far far away. I won't be able to see you every day. I can't just tell my mom that I need a Jer day and her bring me over."
I hugged him and said I know sweetheart. 
With those big huge eyes, he looked at me and said, "I will always be your little buddy, won't I?"  
I reassured him and hugged him. Oh sweet little Talmage, yes. Oh yes a million times over. You will always and forever be my little buddy.
That being said, I know this is the right thing for my sister and her family. I know that she has received an answer from our Father in Heaven. I know that the people in Glendale will be so lucky for them to be in their area. 

These are five of the most precious people in my lives. I love them with all of my heart. 

I want my sister and her husband to follow the Savior. I wouldn't expect anything less from her. She is amazing! She has a heart of gold. She loves our Savior and he loves her. I see how The Lord has opened doors and windows for them. How he has helped ease all of my sisters fears. How he has eased all of her concerned and answered her prayers. 

She is so obedient. She is learning to walk into the dark by faith. It is a scary thing to do. But learning to walk with the Savior is the best thing to do. Most of all, I want my sister to follow the Savior. 

Yes, I have cherished my time with the best sister alive. And as much as I want to live by her forever here. I need her to do all she can to follow the Savior. As I will. This life is short. Eternity is long. Very long. This is a short and small sacrifice to be together forever in The Lord presence. 

So Jodi, although I will miss you like crazy. I will shed many tears. I will live for your visits. We can still talk in the phone every morning. You and your children can visit me anytime. I know you are living the life the Savior wants you to. I pray this is a short time that you will be gone. That The Lord only needs you for temporary. But, do what you need to do. Be obedient. Follow the Savior. There is nothing more  important on earth. 

I love you. Always and forever! Always have. Always will. 

(But please..... Please...bring me these sweet faces as often as possible. I'm going to have serious withdrawals.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Max. Jodi. Miracles.

Another miracle has occurred. It is true. Jodi loves Max. Let me say that again. Jodi loves Max. A dog. I am shocked that in this picture she is actually holding him. Let me state the miracle. Jodi has agreed t get a dog for Brigham.

Jodi has always always always hated dogs. She despises them. She thinks they are awful little creatures that stink and are annoying. 

However, Max has made her realize that seem dogs are great. They cuddle. They are gentle. They are sweet and loving. 

Most of all she sees how much her precious boys love Max. 

She asked me for Max. I told her that is like me asking her for Talmage. Uummmm. No. He is my baby. 

But, I will help find a great family dog for their family. I still laugh each time I see this picture as miracles do occur. Even in the form of Jodi wanting a dog.
Look at that smile. That boy needs a dog of his own. And even more than Talmage needs one, Brigham needs one. Brigham is absolutely amazing with dogs. He is gentle. Sweet. Loving. I think he will make the best boy for a dog. I'm so glad that Max softened Jodi's heart to dogs. I even think she will fall in love with her own family dog. Who knows. I may make a dog lover out of her yet.

Our puppies

One boy. One girl. So cute together. So fun. So loving.
Max is my soul mate. My protector. My shadow. Always with me. Always taking care of me. He is so precious to me.
Hayden and his 2 loves. Yes. They definitely rank above me and Thomas. He loves and adores them and they cherish him.
This is why she is renamed my Miss MayaBelle. Precious. Love her. So sweet. So loving. She can make me laugh. She kisses me. She gives wet willies. She loves to play. Sweet little girl.
My Maxwell! My cuddle but. I love that he curls into me.
Maya sleeps with Hayden. She curls up next to him. Sleeps on his head. Lays on his neck and even across his face. Hayden doesn't care. He loves his Miss Maya.
Talmage and Max have a special bond. Max loves Talmage. Max lets Talmage get away with anything although will get him back. He knows Talmage is always good for treats and will share whatever food he has. So fun.

This is how I sleep. Usually Max and Maya are in switched spots but this is how we sleep. Whether on the couch or bed. These are my babies. My cuddle sleeping buddies. It's funny. I can say nap time. They follow me to the room. Max gets in his spot. Maya stands still to be lifted on the bed. I lay down. Max snuggles in then Maya takes her spot. We all sleep for several hours. But, I am not alone. And I love the comfort and love these dogs provide. So blessed. Hand picked angels and blessings from heaven. 

Sweet friends and family visits

Yesterday was a day that I will always remember.

Jodi dropped off Brooklyn and Brigham at 8:30am. We laughed. We played. As usual, Brooklyn and Hayden did their thing, talking, laughing, playing and having a great time. Brigham helped to teach Maya new tricks, to catch a tennis ball and cuddled with both Max and Maya. We loved every moment with Brigham, as he just played with Thomas, me and the dogs. He is so fun when he is in his element. Jodi moving will kill me but I will love having longer one on one time with each child. We adore each of the kids but Brigham is so special and fun to be with. He loves the dogs and interacts more with us than Brooklyn does. We loved our time with Brigham. Hayden always loves every moment with Brooklyn. 

My dear, sweet and amazing friend Marla, her son Frankie and sister, Briana, came to visit us yesterday afternoon. To say I loved every minute was a huge understatement. We laughed, talked and shared stories. We talked of miracles, Christ, struggles and the power of prayer, seeing the hand of The Lord in our lives and just caught up. Oh how I miss my friend. 

Life is a funny thing. We are weaved in and out of one another's lives. I am so grateful for Marla. I sat with her yesterday and thought of all the ways my life is better because of her and her friendship. 

Marla entered my life as the most amazing scout leader for Hayden. She loved him, encouraged him and became the teacher that Hayden holds all others to. Whenever he gets a new teacher, and we ask if he likes them, it is in comparison to Sister Cavallaro. I loved her for her sweetness and kindness to Hayden. Then, as I was sick, she would lovingly come sit with me. She comforted me. She lifted my spirits. She was a true friend. Always there if I needed her. She started work for Dr. Shiflet, got me to his office and needless to say, I am alive due to the efforts of Dr. Shiflet. Marla spent several days a week encouraging me, strengthening me, helping me and just being a dear and true friend. I was devastated when she moved to Fresno. Seeing her yesterday was a breathe of fresh air, a blessing and a joy. I loved the break in monotony that fills my days. I love my sweet friend and am so grateful for her and all the ways she has blessed my life. 

Right as Marla left and I was headed for a nap, Jake called. He asked me about my sister moving. We laughed and joked. I'm so lucky to have this guy for a brother. Such a great man. I'm so thankful, beyond words, I was blessed to have him for a brother and friend. 

He asked if he and his sweet family could come over. Certainly. Anytime. I love each one of them with such a deep and unique love. I went and laid down to get some sleep in before they came. Sweet Rosie brought dinner over and we ate together. 

I loved talking ith my sweet brother and his wife. I adore them. I loved interacting with my cute nieces that are growing up way too fast. I loved watching Hayden play with his cousins, laugh and truly enjoy them. I cherished each precious moment with them. 

We agreed to do this at least once a month, if not more. Once a month as siblings together and once a month just our two families. I love each and every one of them in a unique and precious way. 

As my brother and family left, the door was shut behind, I said a prayer of gratitude. I am loved. I have great and incredible family and friends. I love the life I have been given. I adore the people that have been brought into my life. Whether by birth or by design of our Father in Heaven. I am lucky to have people that love blessing my life. They bring joy. Peace. Happiness. Comfort. Peace. And love. To my heart and home. 

I have been given a beautiful life. I just am so incredibly grateful.  It was a beautiful and perfect day. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Front entry way

Love my front entry way.

I have traded and traded to get our house the way we wanted it. 

I had two broken pieces off of our entry hall tree. They had been sitting in my garage for the past nine years. I went to sell them and someone wanted to trade picture frames. I was in. And a picture wall began. 

When I received some of the frames the person made, I wasn't in absolute love. Some I did. Some I didn't. So I sold the ones I didn't like and bought ones I did. Luckily, Hobby Lobby was having a huge sale on frames. 

Thomas spent an entire Saturday hanging frames. I'm so grateful for all the hard work he has put in to make our house a home. 
The end result..... LOVE! I love it all! I love how bright and cheerful it is. I love that it brings me joy and happiness and peace. I love the smiles the memories bring. I just LOVE it with all of my heart.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Our office!

Bookshelves. Curio cabinet. Desk. All the necessities.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Piano room

Our Piano Room. Has a little more to go. I want to have the chairs recovered.... Eventually. 

For now. Love it. Love the way it feels. 

A picture of our family and the Piano which is the heart of the home bring so much joy.  Music. Peace. The Savior. My childhood piano. My parents bought it for $50 used. A cute grandpa let my parents have it for a great price if they promised to give me the love of music.  They did. 

Books from ancestors. Parents. Childhood. On one side of the piano. On the other side. Scriptures. Family proclamation. And our printed blog books. 

The trunk holds precious scrapbooks. 

The box on the scrapbook was my dads. He bought it while appraising house in the 1970's. It was apart of my childhood. 

Yellow basket adorns the piano with white flowers. It is cheery. The bright yellow pillows and stripped pillows add sunshine to the orange polka dot rug. 

It makes me smile. 

New home

Kitchen. Family room. Love our new home. The colors. The decor. All have a very special meaning to me. I feel so at home here. I love how it is coming together. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Max meets Maya

Max did surprisingly well with Maya from the beginning.

We introduced them outside as to have no competition. Max was enthralled with her instead of jealous, at first. Max at first would jump on the couch to get away from Maya. But they loved playing with one another. They ran. They chased one another. They wrestled and had a great time. 

They have become the BEST of friends. The sure tire each other out and sleep so well at the end of the day. I'm glad they have one another to keep each other company while I am at doctors. I think it will work well. And I don't have to share Max as much.

Meet Maya

Meet Miss Maya Belle. We originally introduced her as Maya Malie but have changed her name as we have gotten to know her personality.

How Maya came about..... Oh. I don't know. Obviously she was a member of our family. The missing piece as Hayden says. Since Max was supposed to be Hayden's dog and became mine.... There was a spot to be filled. 

I made the mistake of showing Hayden a picture of her online. I show him a ton of dogs. However, Hayden immediately fell in love. Serious love. He made me call on her. The more we found out, the more we fell head over heels in love. 

I was putting anything to chance. We prayed as a family.... Peace. Thomas and I prayed together ....peace. I prayed alone.....overwhelming peace and a confirmation to go thru with adopting her. I asked why. I didn't want another dog, especially now. I can't potty train one or anything. Thomas is working a lot. Which left all responsibility to Hayden. Still, I felt Hayden needed her. 

We had discussed what to name this little 4 pound chihuahua /terrier, 4 month old mix. Maya. Thomas and Hayden were set on Malie. So Maya Malie. But, Hayden wanted to know her name. So one last call.... Her name....Mya. Chills. Overwhelming peace. Our dog. I knew it. Confirmation. 

We headed out early Monday morning to get her. Excitement. Anticipation. Thomas went in to work late. Hayden missed school. Immediately we were in love. She practically jumped into Hayden's arms. I was going to hold her on the drive home. She didn't want me. She wanted Hayden. 

She has been Hayden's girl since. She sleeps with him. She is his dog through and through. 

I'm praying that Miss Maya Belle continues to be a joy and light in all of our lives but especially Hayden's. 


"I'm not ARGUING, I'm just explaining why I'm RIGHT!"

Hayden saw this shirt and fell in love with it. 

That is his philosophy. He loves philosophy. 

He is constantly asking "what if?"

He has a reason for everything. 

He wants to discuss everything. There is no, just because I said. It is a discussion. Always. 

Love this boy. Love his inquisitiveness. Love his out of the box thinking and approach to life. 

He is amazing in each and every way. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Aunt Suzi

Aunt Suzi is beloved at our house. We love and adore her and all she does for all of us. She is definitely a favorite of Hayden, me and the dogs. We adore her. And our lives would not be complete without her.

Suzi is an incredible friend constantly taking care of us, doing nice things, providing rides for Hayden, bringing us dinner, helping us and just letting us enjoy her and her presence. 

We are so grateful for Suzi and the wonderful way she blesses our lives! We love you, Suzi!!!