Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally Normal

Two years ago, the kids and I were crying almost daily as XDH had just left and our separation had begun. Everything was so new and scary.

One year ago, the divorce had been final for a few months. The kids still hated the change in their routine. They found it difficult to leave Mom. It was a challenge for me as well. I missed having them on Saturdays so I could do "fun stuff" with them. I felt like I only got "Business Hours"- homework, chores, baths, bedtime, etc..

Now, finally....life is pretty much normal. The kids are used to their times with XDH and most of the time don't mind going. He is doing an outstanding job with them, especially lately, and I am so glad. At the same time, they are also excited for CK to move here. I had one child pray in family prayer last night that they were so grateful that CK and I were getting married, I had another child ask if they could spend an extra night with XDH this week, and the third one was not afraid to ask him for time when they had an event at school during his time. -sigh (of relief)- Much better. I am so grateful that while we don't have the ideal family situation, we are making it work. The kids are much happier. I am much happier. Life is so different, but now is normal in its own way. We are blessed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Honoring a great man

This morning, my uncle passed into the next life. He was a great man. He will be missed. He is rejoicing with being with his mom and dad and brother and others he loved that have passed on.
The last time I saw him was last summer at my grandma's (his mom's) funeral.

He was a great uncle and a great man. Just a few of the things I will remember or cherish about him:
  • He was a giant kid. He had all these new toys he'd bought for when his grand-nieces and grand-nephews visited. He would annoy my aunt with his need to bring out so many to entertain my kids. He didn't fool anybody. It was really for him that he brought them out.
  • He loved to play games. My earliest memories include playing "Oh Heck!" at his house until wee hours of the morning on New Year's Eve.
  • He served. He served where ever and whenever he was needed. He has been a temple worker for years and years and years.
  • He loved family. There were times that I didn't have much time to visit my grandma, let alone make a trip across town to visit him, too. ALWAYS if I was in town, he and his wife came to be there and spend time with me and my family. A visit from us was a time to put everything else on hold. I appreciated that.
  • He loved to travel. The yearly, and sometimes more frequent trips, were almost legend. They drove across the country stopping whenever they felt the urge. I am grateful that one of those urges took them to my town. We got to spend K's birthday sightseeing with them. It was awesome. They flew. He had conferences and seminars in Europe and they would go and make a vacation out of it. Since he was quite young when he died, I am so grateful that he took these opportunities to travel with his wife.
The death of a loved one is always difficult. I am grateful for some text conversations with my cousin this morning. He said his dad looked so peaceful and that that, in turn, brought him peace. We chatted about how grateful we are that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ, we know families are forever, and we know we will see our loved ones again. I am so grateful for this knowledge. It makes me even more long for the day of being sealed to CK. I want to be sure I am worthy to live with this wonderful man forever. It can't happen soon enough.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I think my last post was too down. I was sad and blue then, but I also need to document that now I am okay, happy, in fact! :)

Some things that helped me chase away the blues:
  • Just blogging about my blues helped tremendously. I needed to get it out and see it in print. Once I realized that I really did have reasons to be sad and that I wasn't just being irrational, I truly felt better-ready to conquer the world!
  • Putting up our new family pictures with CK and A. This helped in two ways: I got something I'd been meaning to do accomplished and I got to rejoice in how blessed I am to have CK and I combining our families.
  • Booking my flight for the next time I go to St. Louis. Open-ended stuff is more difficult for me. Now that I know that in 32 days I will see CK (and even BEFORE then...this weekend), it makes it much better.
  • Having 7-8 kids here is really fun. It is chaotic and I was ready for them to all go to bed, but I love having younger kids around. J is 4 1/2 and I miss out on some of the younger ages. FHE tonight was great fun. :)
  • Having C get soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to see me when he got home from school. He went with his dad Friday night and then his dad dropped him off at school today so I didn't see him until he got off the bus this afternoon. It melted my heart how excited he was.
  • Getting a short nap and then reading and studying my scriptures while all five children that were at home took a nap this afternoon.
  • CK took care of some of the details of our wedding this afternoon. :) :)
  • I talked to a dear friend that was worried about me and took action to show she cared.
  • It was a beautiful day outside. I wasn't out much, but when I was.....I loved it!!!
  • And....a bittersweet moment: I sorrow so much as I have been informed that they did make the decision to take my uncle off of life support. But, it also allows the whole family to no longer be in limbo. There is relief in the decision being made. I am grateful that my mom, aunt, and sister got to attend the temple together this morning. I am so grateful for the peace and direction that is found there. How lucky we are!
I wasn't blue for long. I am truly so blessed. There is not much I can complain about. Life is good. Very good. I am happy. :) (Of course, I am extra giddy right now-I just got done with my nightly Skyping with CK! Another blessing. We live 700 miles apart and yet we see and hear each other daily.)

The Blues

I have the blues. Not sure why. I just feel kind of down.

Some possible reasons:
  • My uncle is in a coma following a couple of massive strokes. The doctors believe he will be a vegetable even if he does awaken. My aunt (also sick herself-recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's) has the very difficult decision to make regarding when to take him off life support.
  • My cousin (son of said aunt and uncle) is my age. No siblings. Never married. No kids. With both parents so ill, my heart aches for him in a huge way.
  • I just got back from visiting CK. It is irrational, but I miss him like crazy. I will see him this weekend, but then we have a 4-5 week break. I am really struggling with the thought of not being with him for that long. If I struggle with 4 days, how can I do 4 weeks?
  • Planning a wedding. AND being a mom. AND having the wedding in a different state and planning long-distance. -sigh- As excited as I am, there is some stress related to this event.
  • I am really missing my friends. So many dear friends have moved. I miss them. I was reading TXMommy's blog and I miss her a lot. I also miss my friends that live 15 minutes from me. My life has gotten so busy with CK, kids in middle school, elementary, and pre-school, my calling, my home, etc.- so I just don't see them like I'd like to.
  • Or, maybe it is that I got home after midnight last night and the pure and simple reason is this: I haven't had enough sleep.
Anyway: our family challenge is to serve others every day. I know as I find ways that I can serve....I will be happy and the blues will disappear. (A nap might help, too....but, I have 5 children here: my nieces, nephew, and J...ages 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6. My sister went to visit our uncle and her hubby had to travel out-of-town today. I love them and I am excited to have them here! They are so much fun!)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Before...during...and (not quite) after!

I should have taken a before-before picture. I took down the calendar and pictures, but the paint remains how it has looked for about a year: very unfinished. It began with me not being sure I liked the color. Then, I got busy. Then I didn't have the paint. I finally bought that about a month ago. Then, busy again.

Today, even though I had a million other things to do, I decided it was time to solve this problem and FINALLY finish what I started.


During (J loved to help):
And.....after....sort of. I ended up not having enough paint. With how far the other paint had gone plus how far the sample jar had gone, I really thought I had more than enough. Nope. So.....it is finished (for now), but not really finished. -Sigh- I had good intentions. It did feel good to put aside all the stress of this last week and just do something I wanted to do! :)

And... a little less than 7 hours and I get to see CK! :) What a blessing. I am soooooooooooo excited. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Break Revisited: March 14-18, 2011

So, Spring Break is almost a month in the past....I still want to blog about it! In the past, I would've just skipped this post and gone on, but I got my first blog book published. I love it! And, it gives me a great desire to document even if I am behind. What a great family history and treasure!

For the first part of Spring Break, we were in St. Louis. Some of these pictures I already posted with my St. Louis post, but now I am documenting Spring Break!

Day 1 (March 14, 2011):

It snowed in St. Louis, so A's school was canceled. While CK went to work, the kids and I played:

It was fun and a little odd to go swimming inside, when it was snowing outside. :)

We got our family pictures done for our wedding announcements and after took the kids to dinner and a movie.

Day 2 (March 15, 2011):

This is the day that we drove home. Because it was Spring Break, I let the kids dictate where we would stop. They chose this Candy Factory first:
Then, we stopped by this Precious Moments chapel. It was a little way off of the main freeway, but soooooooooooooooooo worth it. The artist is amazing. He has truly spent his life sharing his faith with others. Now that he has made some money through his talent, he has donated time, land, and money to create this beautiful chapel. Very touching and very worth it.

Day 3 (March 16, 2011):

We planned on going to Putt-Putt, but a dear friend texted us that they were going to the park. Since we were going to do that later, we quickly switched days and headed out. It was PERFECT weather-which means the park was crowded, but still fun.

C played kickball.
K hung out with her friends. J was also around-playing with his friends. I got to sit and talk to mine. :) It was good for all of us.
Day 4 (March 17, 2011):

We got to go to Putt-Putt. It was so fun. K's best friend, E, joined us there.

Both K and C ended with quite a few tickets. K was happy to hit the jackpot on this game.
Day 5 (March 18, 2011):

I don't know why this is underlining...it is annoying. Day 5 was Yogurtland, as well as some final preparations for K to go to Camp G.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I have a couple posts in drafts...waiting for me to finish.

Tonight, though, I feel the struggle of change.

Change is constant. Good changes. Bad changes. Expected changes. Unexpected changes. Changes that hurt. Changes that bring joy. Always changes.

Tonight is Monday so my kids are with their dad. I have been using this time to clean out some files out of my filing cabinet. So much sorrow fills my heart as I find old family pictures, XDH's valedictorian address from chiropractic school, budgets from 1999-2009, all the financial info that I had to gather for us to be approved for our business loan for the clinic, etc.. All of it evidence of our lives together-and the plans we had for the future-together.

Oh, how my heart aches! This is so not how it was supposed to be.

BUT, I am so filled with love for and from CK. I cannot wait to be his wife. The tide is changing. As I clean out these file folders, I am really fulfilling the old adage, "Out with the old, in with the new." I am ready for the future. I am so excited and ready for this new stage in my life that has already begun and will continue as we wed this summer. A loving God has known for the last three years how to succor me through all my heartache. He has provided me with a future husband that is better for me than I could have ever dreamed. This last weekend, he really proved to me (again!) how perfect he is for me. I am so lucky.

I guess this wasn't how it was supposed to be, but it is now how it is supposed to be. :) Still hurts, but soon those wounds will be only an old scar, no longer with a scab that can be pulled off once in a while. I am thankful for the healing power of my Savior, Jesus Christ.