Thursday, March 2, 2017


I am sitting in Q's room rocking her to sleep. The arm she is laying on is starting to go a little numb. I have a couple drops of sweat running down the back of my neck. It's fareeking hot in here. I don't want to move too much or make eye contact for too long or else she will perk up and I really want her to sleep. I'm looking around her room. I see her crib, baby clothes, baby lotion, diapers and then I look at her little hands. All dimpley and round and she is grasping on to the neck of my t-shirt. I have so many thoughts going through my mind. I need to do these things, I can't forget to do this, I need check on someone that lives down the road. I just can't make myself leave this baby right now. She is my last one. Tomorrow she is going to be older. Something else is going to change. Maybe she will decide to take her first step? It will be soon, if not tomorrow, very soon. I can't believe that this is my life. I have three kids. Three beautiful girls. They exhaust me and drive me crazy daily. More than anything though they humble me, heaven knows they entertain me and they inspire me. I am in awe that God knew I could handle this. I didn't think I could handle having one more baby. I really didn't. Yet here I am doing it, it's made me better than I was before. It's made our family stronger. So much of the time I want to do something else. It's hard to be home all the time. But then I love being at home with my kids. I guess I just have moments of awareness when I realize I need to just soak it in. Enjoy it, love the good with the bad. 

Spring is coming and the snow is melting. I find myself daydreaming about my garden. The bulbs I planted in the fall are starting to sprout. Peonies, hydrangeas, tulips, chicks and hens... They are all starting to grow! I they peony poked its red head through the dirt and I about peed my pants. I did a full on jig in the driveway. I am starting some plants from seed and I can't wait to see how they turn out! I'm excited to have a small vegetable garden. It's a learning process but I love it. 

Love my sisters! I often think about my girls each having two sisters just like I do. It makes me really happy for them, that they will always have that support and love that only a sister can give.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We got each others Back


I need my sisters. I miss you both. Processing the quirks of our thoughts and actions is  the most helpful thing I have found in understand myself and my kids. Partly because we are the same, but also because we are different, but especially because we love each other and we all know that.


So I got some stuff going on. I have been reading about anxiety and I read this and it BLEW MY MIND.

The Anxiety Formula:

Overestimation of Threat + Understimation of Ability to Cope=  Anxious Response.

Does that sound like perpetual low self esteem?
Could low self-esteem just be the same as anxiety?
Are all the things, people, places, situations that I hate for a multitude of reasons simply due to a gut and instinctual response that my brain is making to protect myself from perceived threats? An assumption that I am smaller and weaker than any threat.

For example:

Overestimation of threat= A particular person will certainly judge me for being stupid, fat, unlikable, or unfunny

Underestimation of self= I totally might be stupid, fat, unlikable or unfunny.

Anxious response= It is always going to be better to not risk that judgement. Avoid all people.

What I am trying to say is that it has never occured to me that those "bad" things are not true, but a faulty wiring in my brain.
Just because I feel like someone is judging me doesn't mean that I am being judged or that whatever I think I might be judged about is even true or real.
In fact, thinking those things are true and fearing that I will be judged for being those things ACTUALLY starts simulating  those behaviors out of fear.

I have heard that kids will live up to expectation. If you treat a kid like they are dumb then they act dumb. But why? Is it anxiety?

I don't know if this makes sense, but I am trying to untie this big knot.

If the problem is ADD or Generalized Anxiety, It is brain wiring. And that is different than actually being unlikable or dumb.

Is it another example of "No one hates me more than me"? I'll beat you to the punch?

Help me figure this  out...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I need a two for one

In the interest of getting at least one thing accomplished in my life right now, I am posting my sacrament talk from a few weeks ago:

As a young adult, had several experiences that helped testimony foothold by Alma 32:27 - talks about experimenting upon the word..and says:

“even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words”

You have to want it to be true, the Lord is not going to bless you with knowledge you don’t want

I realized that I wanted it to be true, how could I not? The Gospel is beautiful and miraculous. I did then and do now desire it to be true and because of that desire I have been blessed to know that it is true

It was around this same time that I was given a lesson on divine nature, that resonated with me and further strengthened my testimony it was explained to me in the following way:

If I believe that my spirit is literally a daughter of God, than I have within me a divine spirit. A spirit that wants to be good, that wants to make right choices, that wants to return to Heavenly Father. That is who I truly am. A divine spiritual being in a human body. The gospel isn’t trying to turn me into something different, something unnatural like a square peg to a round hole-- On the contrary. If I commit myself to living the Gospel, it sets me free to become who I really am. Who I am meant to be. The more I follow the Spirit, the more I see difference in how I behave when I have it and when I don’t. The Gospel teaches me to honor the goodness in me and others, and faithfully the Atonement allows me to recognize, repent and overcome my humanness.

Quick disclaimer, the comments I am going to make are meant to be applied to difficult relationships, not abusive relationships.
  • Some time ago I found myself in the middle of a pretty drawn out argument. During this time I became overly concerned with how I was being treated.
    • personal empowerment had sort of taken over, mind filled with self-righteousness, fault finding and judgement.
    • I felt fully and totally justified. Other people assured me I was in the right. But the situation just kept getting worse. Became clear it was not within power to fix situation

I needed help. I plead with Heavenly Father to tell me what to do, whatever it was I would do it. I was impressed to turn to the scriptures and was reading in Mark chapter 8, when I came to the following verses:
31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
It was this scripture that surprised me, Peter rebuked Jesus? What would he have even said?? And then it hit me. He probably was telling Jesus, “you don’t deserve to be treated this way.” “You don’t have to put up with this, you can’t let them do this.” In this moment Peter no doubt felt like he was supporting Jesus by saying this, being protective even and he was right, Jesus did not deserve this treatment.
But Jesus turns to Peter and says:
    Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

This was a profound moment for me, what I needed to know was revealed to me. This scripture was telling me that nobody has faced more unfair or unjustified treatment than Jesus. But He was not concerned with how He was treated, He was not concerned with the things of men. He was concerned with the things of God.

  • The Lord had answered my prayers, revealing His presence and His awareness of me
  • He was telling me specifically how to approach my problem

I also learned that:
  • truly supporting other people is more than taking someone’s side. It’s trying to discourage sides in the first place.

  • Truly supporting = encouraging them to forgive, find healing and see the bigger picture. What would Heavenly Father want us the situation to be.

  • We can’t and shouldn’t try to judge another person into being a certain way. Our job it not to judge others. Our job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken and to heal the hurting.

  • How often in our lives are we more concerned with how we are being treated than how we are treating others? How often in our lives are we more concerned with the things of man than the things of God?

As I tried to move forward in this situation, I found myself caught in a revolving door of getting offended, trying to forgive and getting reoffended. Then I read the following verse:
Luke 6:35 - “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend , hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great”

  • Hoping for nothing again--meaning expecting nothing in return. If I try to do the right thing and it doesn’t work out and I am offended or hurt or bitter----then I am not following this scripture.
  • Any act, whether it’s a kind word, an apology, a gesture, act of service etc. cannot be contingent.
  • You have to be prepared to make these offerings for free, let others be how they will be. To not allow a negative reaction or even no reaction to make you bitter or discouraged. That is not love. Love is patient, love is kind.

We know we must forgive others, but it is living a higher law to not be offended in the first place. This is an attribute that can only be grown and strengthened with the Lord’s help.

If we strive to have eyes to see and ears to hear, God can communicate with us in infinitely many ways.

I am a stay at home mom with three little kids, in a modern could i possible identify with and learn from a war hero who lived in ancient america thousands of years ago. And yet, the lessons and comfort I received from reading Helaman’s epistle to Captain Moroni provided comfort and support during the saddest time of my life, the weeks surrounding the loss of my mother-in-law Christy Bollard. It was nearly 2 years ago that we lost her to cancer. And I do mean we, not only does she have family in this audience, but friends in this Ward as dear to her and to us as family
  • It is Alma chapter 58 where we read that the  Nephites and the Lamanites have been in a long war. Helaman and his stripling warriors have survived despite some intense battles.
    • Helaman realizes his forces are small relative to the enormous amount of Lamanite soldiers
    • Decides to hunker down and wait for reinforcements. Helaman sends a message to the government for provisions and soldiers.
    • Helaman says they wait “for many months,” and during this difficult time he and his nearly starve to death as they are surrounded, threatened and taunted by the Lamanites.
    • This is a clear message to us that things do not necessarily always go well for those on the Lord’s errand.

After so much hardship, I’m sure Helaman and his company felt certain that they would be rescued, that this must be as bad as things could possibly get.

At long last, help arrives, but it is not what they are expecting. Food and an army of only 2000 arrive. We read in verse 8:
“and this is all the assistance which we did receive, to defend ourselves and our country from falling into the hands of our enemies, yea, to contend with an enemy which was innumerable…
Helaman and his men had righteous desires, they were defending freedom and protecting their people
(skipping ahead)..and now the cause why they did not send more strength unto us, we knew not; therefore we were grieved and also filled with fear…”
Helaman and his poor band of Nephites have been tried, they have suffered and they have endured. And now they are hit with a crushing disappointment. Aid has been sent but to their human eyes it is far from a rescue.
So what is their reaction? In verse 10 we read:
“Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us…” The Lord responds to these mighty prayers as Helaman observes –
“The Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.”
It is such a human reaction to:
  • expect rescue, to expect happy endings
  • expect that we deserve respite after having a difficult trial instead of receiving more difficulties.
But Helaman’s reaction is full of faith, is full of humility, he immediately turns to the Lord. He pours out his heart and he is blessed not only with peace and assurance, but he is inspired with a course of action.
  • Helaman’s actual circumstances haven’t changed, but he has.
  • Helaman knows that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion, the tunnel is the illusion
He writes in verse 12 of his epistle:
“And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies..”
Helaman sets a faithful example and lead his army to victory against the Lamanites. We know that they were successful – which tells each of us that even though our
  • own situations may be dire
  • resources seem meager
  • with the help of the Lord we can face all our “enemies,” including grief, pride, sadness, sin, shortcomings and inadequacies.
At the time I read these scriptures I was moved by several very strong parallels. Firstly, Christy’s brave example as she faced the trial of her life, the trial that would end her mortal life. She told me once not long after her diagnosis that she had not been sleeping and had been up night after night praying and struggling with her new reality. She didn’t want to die and leave us all behind, even with a strong testimony it was a struggle to align what she wanted with what Heavenly Father’s plan was for her and by extension her family and friends. She hoped for healing, we all did. But like the rescue that Helaman waited for, that is not what came. But she turned to the Lord and asked Him not for what she wanted but for what she needed and again, just like Helaman, she did receive that peace and assurance—and the way she served Heavenly Father and touched the lives of those around her was magnificent. Her strength made us stronger. The way she faced this trial with faith, served us—it made it easier for us to cope.
We were so blessed that last year of Christy’s life, each of us had unspeakably tender experiences with her, we were so blessed by the Lord. It was incredibly difficult to watch her suffer and decline, and when she passed away we were grief-stricken and exhausted. Only to have the trial of being without her begin. I am a little embarrassed to talk about my pain in losing Christy. I am well aware it is a sadness and a longing that many of you share in. But for myself, I felt a little like Helaman struggling to hold on while waiting for reinforcements. Losing Christy was so devastating that without realizing it, I think I had an expectation that we would be spared further trials. At least for a while anyway. But within the next two weeks my own father would be fighting for his life in the ICU, another family member was diagnosed with cancer and our youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism. Not only were these difficult realities on their own, but they actually magnified how much we missed Christy. How we have missed her support, her humor, her unconditional love and her wisdom. We missed her help. But the Lord had revealed to me faithful paths to follow, the examples of Christy and of Helaman. Examples that taught me to get over my own wants and expectations, to accept His will, to lean on Him, and to carry on.
Many times in our lives each of us may feel like we are like Helaman, under siege, hoping for rescue and wrestling with disappointments and setbacks. Sometimes rescue doesn’t look like rescue, sometimes our enemies look innumerable. Sometimes it is struggle to forgive, to be patient, and to be more concerned with the things of God then the things of men. But as we rely on the Lord, as we turn our hearts to him, as we desire to know His will and receive revelation--we will be blessed with peace and assurance, desire and faith will solidify to knowledge and we will be blessed to see that the light at the end of the tunnel is not the illusion--the tunnel is the illusion and God’s love is all around us.
I bear testimony of God’s love for us, I am so grateful for my Savior, for the strength and comfort He provides. May we all strive to more fully utilize the atonement to overcome our human frailties, to have the eyes to see His hand in our lives and ears to hear His voice beckoning to each us is my prayer.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sing, Sing a Song, Sing it Loud, Sing it Long.

Alright, tonight I was singing songs to  to the girls at bedtime. For the most part singing the kids to bed has become more of a task than something I do for enjoyment, or as auto-correct interprets... French ointment. Occasionally though I find myself getting a little more into it. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's dad style when he really fluctuates his voice and sings loudly with gusto. I mean more like thinking about specific people in our family or tender memories that just pop up into my head. Sometimes when I start singing the songs that we always used to sing together it totally makes me emotional. Which I hate being emotional. Tonight I was singing that Beatles song, "Who knows how long I've loved you?", "Leaving on a jet plane", "Dream a little dream". I couldn't even get through leaving on a jet plane.  I think my trying not to cry ended up keeping the kids awake more then it helped putting anybody to sleep. I'm so grateful that we have those memories though there is one night that comes into mind particularly when we were in the car really late at night. I can't remember where we were going.  We were singing edelweiss in a round or whatever and then we got done singing Will was like uh, hmmm, uh that was pretty good. We were all thinking we were pretty freaking amazing. Isn't it crazy the things you remember? Listening to grandpa and dad singing on road trips together. This makes me want to go on a road trip really bad! It makes me miss being a kid. I hope I give my kids opportunities to have those kinds of experiences. Those solid kinds of memories. It's just the good stuff. I know I am really lucky. No one else in the world has a family like ours. For me, our family is just as good as it gets.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wake Up

If you had to live the last year of your life over again, what would you do differently?

Is there something you wish you had done? Do it now.

Is there something you regret. Stop doing that thing.

love you both.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This is going to make you cry, but I have a point:

Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

A friend sent this to me last week and I thought it was great, it has a re-orienting effect on me when I read it. I think just about any parent, or person really, can relate to this. I think I spend a lot of time numbed and tired with spasms of energy and anger. And honestly I'm not sure if there is a resolution that I should come to, like in the poem it talks about "the loss," but what exactly IS the loss? What will Maddie be like? What opportunities will she have? Literally--no one knows. Today Maddie has been on one, I don't think she feels very good. All say she has been grunting and crying at me and she kept slapping her face and her head--no matter what I did I couldn't get her to stop and in this one moment I grabbed her hand and I wanted to squeeze it so hard--I was so angry at her little hand--not her, her hand. In this world where I want to blame someone for everything from cupboards left open to stupid thing said--who do I blame for this? Autism is not my enemy when she is happy, I feel like we do a good job cooperating then. I so appreciate her quirkiness and the little strides she is making, her routines...but when she is unhappy--I feel like Autism builds a maliscious invisible wall around her and I'm unable to help her, unable to make it better and unable to find someone to blame...all the while Autism keeps slapping her face.

In short we had a really bad morning. The waitress brought her a grilled cheese sandwhich with white cheese! Who does that? Who makes a grilled cheese sandwhich with white cheese? Now I DEFINITELY have someone to blame for that. But you know, life moves on and tomorrow is a new day.

Yes yes...many tomorrows have come and gone since I wrote the above post! Maybe it's a tad depressed sounding but it's also real for me so I'm posting it anyway. I absolutely do not want anyone to feel bad for me or pity me, but I do long to be understood. Truly understood...then again, don't we all? Miss you guys to pieces and pieces and pieces.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A new year, the same old me....

Written before Christmas:
I know what your thinking. I have really screwed the pooch on the whole blog thing! I don't know how long it's been, I just know it's been too long. 
Well it's freaking Christmas. I love this holiday. I love the traditions I grew up with as well as the traditions Troy and I have begun within our own family. It's been fun to experiment and try out new traditions too. For instance, dad did not put on his child size Christmas tree socks over his thick tree trunk legs and sing "Oh banzai bush...", nor did we carol down the street or watch Will give Heidi a white wash. Although they are all truly excellent memories and traditions, it's fun to start new ones. We went to our cousin Emily's live nativity on Christmas Eve and I loved it. I thought it was totally sweet and tender yet short and imperfect. Macy wanted to be a star along with Jax and Jaders. I just love holidays, I love the hussle but I really love the imperfect moments that just make it so amazing. 
A few weeks later (today):
I hate starting a new year! I hate how everyone's is on a war path to "a happier healthier you". I want to be thin, I want to budget and save, I want to be cheery but I just don't want to start right now. It's too much. It's just too much. I try to get through the day without going crazy. I don't want to have to "stop drinking soda" or "spending money" or even "no fast food I'll just have a piece of lettuce, hold the dressing". I hate it all. I'm an overweight mom. It's the way it is right now. I will make my own changes on my own time. I don't need anyone to recruit me to their water aerobics class or join a Zumba class. I'm good. 

To top it all off we woke up yesterday morning. The kids were in bed with us and we were laughing about something then Macy says "hey mom, did you know when your walking in front of me your butt (this is where she motions in a large circle referencing my massive rear end) jiggles! Did you know that?" Hmmmm......... Well......... Hmmmm...... I guess I kind of assumed it did but thanks for confirming my suspicion!
Then this morning we were in bed and the kids are in bed too of course. Avery wraps her hands around my neck. I smiled at her. Our eyes locked. We were having a moment. Then Avery says "your breath smells like mayonnaise." Seriously?!? Mayonnaise? That's possibly the grossest thing I have ever heard! IS there anything worse that Mayo breath? I don't think so. It seems a little harsh! Considering how disgusting I find mayo. Yes, I think it was  quite harsh. Kids keep you humble. That's for damn sure.

A few photos from the live nativity: