Sunday, June 19, 2016


the last month I have had this feeling that something was going to change. I couldn't put my finger on it, I tried worrying about it, scott felt it too. I thought maybe scott would be getting a different church calling but I kept feeling change with our house. Were we going to have to move? Were we going to win the lottery and get to pull out the upstairs carpet that I have regretted for 6 years? (as a compromise for doing wood floors I scrimped on the bedroom carpet and it is such a horrible grade, after a year it was matted flat) it was just the strangest feeling of impending change.

Also of note, correlating with this feeling of change my post partum hormones have been on a roller coaster and I am regretful to say that my gratitude has been hanging by a thread. I have been hard pressed to find any silver linings in my life. I have come to recognize this state of mind and try to detach from it, comforting myself with the thoughts that it will pass but really praying that it can be lifted. I wouldn't classify it as depression but maybe an inability to fully feel joy without significant self talk and pattern recognition.

With these things in mind, we had an amazing fast and testimony for the month of June. I could feel the spirit so strongly and felt powerful impressions throughout the meeting. One sweet girl, who was newly engaged to a member of our ward, stood and bore her testimony. She talked about her physical disability and her new fiancé's limited ability to do some things. She talked about life in such a powerful way and delivered a line that had tears springing from my eyes the second she said it. After describing her love for Alex, her fiancé, and her pride in the awesome things he is doing for her, she talked about the things that were hard for him to do, physically. She talked about her limitations and about how we all need help.

We all need help.

It was a tearful plea. It was heartfelt and so emotional.

It was so profound for me.

We all need help.

That line ran thru my heart daily and I was able to embrace the truth of it. If we plan on returning to a loving Heavenly Father, we have to come to know help, both  receiving and giving. It is an essential part of our time here.

I thought of the amazing family this girl was marrying into and how perfectly matched she and Alex are. I was so impressed with this girl and in my deranged way of negative thinking started to feel bad for myself. I was thinking what a phenomenal job Alex's family has done with everything they have been faced with and felt myself shrinking with my duties as a mom. i admire this particular family immensely and was feeling like I was falling short in a lot of things I was doing. I resolved to do better and be the kind of mother to raise kids like Alex and his fiancé. They are a family that is love. They give it, they feel it, they share it.

With these thoughts swirling in my mind, I resolved to beat my negative feelings. To stop my brain from this stupid way of thinking.

Scott was supposed to be to scout camp over my birthday, which seemed okay in March when he told me, but the closer it got, the more that decision seemed to be a very bad one. I was trying to remember a year when he had been able to give me a day of his time. Suddenly I was mad because I was pretty sure my birthdays were always devoted to youth activities for the past 8 years. I decided to celebrate me by really being kind to myself and not letting this get in the way. I scheduled a hair color, a massage, dinner with friends, I was going to do it right!

The day of my hair color 5/7 woke up with the pukes. Flat down for 24 hours. It had been years since that had happened to all of us that fast. The day of my birthday turned into meetings and a drive thru for dinner. There were some tears.

The night before scott was to come home from scout camp in the uintahs, I was awakened at 2:10 am to our fire alarm going off. At first, I thought the house was on fire. It was filled with smoke. When I got up, I could hear a noise coming from the bathroom. When I went in, I saw that the newly hooked up claw foot tub had a cevered hot water line
in the floor. What I thought was smoke was actually steam. Hot steaming water was pouring everywhere. The kids were up now, distraught. I was panicked. In my delirium I tried to put the pipe back into the fitting but it was immovable and incredibly hot. The water was coming straight from the water heater, about 110-120 degrees. I ran down the stairs to the main floor and found that the fire alarm was going off because water was pouring thru it and it must have been causing a short. Water was pouring thru every can light, a wall of it pouring down all over a new couch we had saved for for a year. All over the computer, the floors, the antique chairs from Scott's great grandma. I ran to the basement to find the water had gone all the way to the basement as well. Pouring in all over. I was looking at the water heater and trying to figure out what needed to be turned off.  By this time I was panicked. I ran back upstairs to see if what I thought was happening was really happening. I was loudly, and very verbally pleading for heavens direction. Help me know what to do, I repeated over and over. I need help.

My dad was out of town, my in laws were out of town, my brother in law that works construction was out of town. I called the police, and deservedly so, the dispatcher laughed at me and told me to cal a plumber. It was at that point I realized that we were all safe. No one's life was in the balance, this was just stuff. But the line ran thru my head, we all need help. I told Grayce to start calling neighbor's and the other kids to grab buckets and start bailing water out onto the patio. As I went out to the patio with my first bucket of water, I was horrified to see the water pouring out the backside of the house, the patio completely soaked. I ran again downstairs and went to a small lever on the water heater and pulled it down. The noise stopped. I ran upstairs to see that the water stopped.

Kind neighbor's and friends that heard grayce's call came to a bunch of sobbing people with a very wet house.

I was able to fully accept all the help that was given because I was in a deep deficit. If I hadn't heard those words and hadn't had them affect me the way they did, I think the outcome would have been different. My kids had a warm, dry home to go to and to finish sleeping that night. I had dear trusted friends stay and watch the sun filter thru the windows to reveal a beautiful sunrise and a disaster crew to clean the water up! Hot cocoa and donuts were given and received, food brought over, water bottles, advice at the perfect time, comfort, love, kindness. Golde McKay slept thru the entire thing and only woke up once, it was the first time that has happened in her lifetime!! Scott got a text as soon as he got cell service:

we are all safe. Water main broke, house is flooded. Welcome home.

My parents came home early from their trip to house a ragged group of relatives and we have been here ever since. It looks like this may be our home for a bit until we get water turned back on and the exposed electrical covered with drywall.

Suddenly, I can feel that this was the change I was feeling and yes, I get new carpet, but in a strange be careful what you wish for kind of way. The thing is, I don't know if I would have ever wished for my house to flood but I would never ever give away the chance to feel help. Suddenly, that negative cycle I was caught up in has turned into a whole lot of love, just like this family I was feeling so far below and I realized something. We don't become great while being stagnant or comparing ourselves and feeing deficient. We get the chance to become like those we admire when we live life and feel help. As if my parents heavenly abode wasn't big already after raising 6 scoundrel children, it will surely be multiplied because they have made room in their hearts and home for us without question this past week. I was able to go to sabbath worship today and not feel so far below what I should be doing but feel renewed because I was able to feel help from my most admired and loved brothers and sisters.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


it's all coming out here. so many months of building up and thoughts. they are begging to be here. it's accountability and it's so therapeutic.

if i would have known how wonderful the aging mind and heart are i would have wished my whole life to be in my 36th year. honest. but mostly, if i would have known in the years before this one how necessary the belief in the separation in our spirits and bodies are, i would have fared my twenties with much less bruising.

things that are so good right now.

my relationships with my people. scott. grayce. easton. ella. rowan. golde.

i feel so connected and so in tune with them. i feel like we are all working together and going forward. we aren't in life's boat with someone hanging out wanting to stop. there are no leaks, we are afloat and we are loving the ride.

i have tried so hard to receive fully the gift of this baby. her spirit with us here, physically, has added something to us. it has changed me. it has given me priority and perspective that is nothing short of heaven's windows pouring straight to my spirit. all those hard rough places feel so right. it's not because she is soft and quiet and easy. its not because being tired is my strongest quality or the easiest on a marriage.  it's because i acted on this teeny tiny particle of faith. and i didn't try to change my husband's mind about our family's size. i surrendered. i stopped worrying. i asked with all the faith i have ever accumulated that if this is what our plan is that all the things will line up. that all the hearts will be soft.

and he knew i needed that attitude for this baby. i could not have appreciated a golde in my twenties. this girl.

she is loud.

she does not like sleep.

and she loves 3 people enough to allow them to hold her. they are as follows: me, my sister, grayce.

unfortunately this list doesn't include her father. or her grandma's or grandpa's. or her brothers.

back ups are my friends angela, rachel, and taleese.

her mornings are spent not sleeping and making loud animal noises. her nights are spent staying up until every last person has gone to bed. it's like she is so plugged into the energy of this house she just can't miss one second.

and i am the happiest i have ever been, ever. that's the gift part.

it's like having her here gives me constant perspective because i see how quickly it goes. screaming all day? no problem, grayce and ella will be home soon to take over loving and adoring her. poop coming out her backside? bonus bath which includes more time to take in her majestic thighs! i have come to see there are worse things in life than these small inconveniences. i know i will blink and she will be packing those bags and leaving us for grand adventures leaving only these memories in her wake.

every year i come up with what the theme was, what i was able to focus on or what came up the most. my 2015 theme was a healthy mind. i have never learned more about the importance of a healthy mind. there has been a lot of therapy this year to help this little family work better. little glitches that felt like i was above my head and heart and capacity. someone referred to me recently as a downer, it was done lovingly and with good intent. i immediately texted my most treasured friend and asked for honesty. she responded that i am a spiritual person and a thinker. maybe these can be confused. i feel a lot of things, like so much. like my heart and head have so many feelings. so many. and at night, it takes a lot to go to sleep because i have so many ideas and concepts and it has taken copious amounts of discipline to turn it off. hence why therapy has been so helpful for me and my little family. i have come to see how my weaknesses affect everyone around me. we all fall short. therapy has helped me see how to better adjust myself to situations that really overwhelm me. i struggle with OCD. my thoughts become so focused and i really have to work to recognize that and tell myself to stop. i have struggled with depression thru the years and holding all the sad things inside is no good. no good. when i eat a high sugar, high carb diet i get extreme bursts of energy that cause severe crashes. that is not fun to think about but being real about it and not holding on to it is vital. i have to do everything i can to keep my mind healthy and happy! mostly, i have to remember my spirit is not my body. they require two different kinds of care. i am not tied to the limitations of my body. yes, it's crappy that i have malfunctions with my physical body but when i forget about my spirit and am not so gentle with the thoughts my mind tells my spirit, i will experience sadness. sometimes all consuming.

the things i have put in place to combat my weaknesses.

cleaners. i actually love to clean. so much that it's a problem. i have a hard time separating pick up and surface cleaning. by cutting back on certain things we are able to have help twice a month. my kids do know how to deep clean and pick up, not perfectly. wherein lies where i get overwhelmed and my OCD takes over. it is not worth being overwhelmed and compromising my relationship with my people over how shiny a toilet is but my limitations always surface and it can become an issue over time. cleaning help allows me to be on top of dejunking and pick up without being constantly burdened and overwhelmed.

love. time and time again i have come to the conclusion of the importance of our hearts. they are directly tied to our spirits. when i am overwhelmed with the shuffle of 5 kids, household duties, financial duties, yard work, menu planning, and on and on i tend to let my heart be hard and impenetrable. i don't want to be like that. i don't want to compromise my relationships over the thick of thin things. i am not a yeller but when i get overwhelmed i get sad. when i am sad i pull back and hold back contributing to those vital relationships. that's not okay. love always wins. if i can remember to have a sincere heart always i can keep the important things in the right order.

friends. i have come to the painful/sweet/valuable lesson that friends are the bonus of life. they are not the staple of life, they are not the mainstay of life. they are the dessert menu to a complete meal, they are the august of life - the sweetest berry summer has to offer. in observing women and friendships thru the years i find that the most conflict occurs when friendships are held to main course standards. friendships become the most prized treasures when they are treated as that bonus they were meant to be. i have been the receiver of the most delicious desserts this year. i hold my friendships high and close and i have been so rewarded this year and feel lucky to add another layer to all my desserts.

so here's to 2016. a new year. a new chapter and a chance to be more.