Saturday, June 9, 2012

More in store for us!

What's a post without pics??! Here's another update! A few weeks ago, me and B ran our first race together. It was the "Color Me Rad 5K". She did awesome! We ran the whole way and laughed our guts out. I'm so proud of her. It was a wonderful day! This is my friend Kim. (Her son Chase and B have been great friends since 2nd grade.) She's is so sweet and has been a great friend to me, B, and our family for the past several years. She was diagonsed with stage 2 breast cancer a few weeks ago. She's been going through chemo treatments. It's been so hard on her, her body, and her wonderful family. I've been able to visit with her, and take meals in to their family on treatment days. She is doing ok, but very exhausted. She's also trying to get ready to send her oldest off on a mission to Chicago. We have been able to provide service to their family (whenever she lets us!!) and me and B have grown closer by being able to serve her and her family. It's official...we are moving to Grantsville, Utah because Kevin is the new Chief of Police! I'm so proud of him! He has worked hard all of his career to get to this point. He beat out 26 other applicants; and had some stiff competition. We are so excited for the upcoming changes and are ready to move forward! When Kevin got sworn in at city council meeting, they gave him his "Chief" badge. The mayor asked me to come up and pin it on him. I was so excited and surprised! It was a wonderful moment for both of us. We couldn't be more proud of him and all that he's accomplished. I know he's way excited to get in and get his feet wet. He's looking forward to working with the guys and is ready to take on whatever comes his way! 2 weeks ago, my sweet Mimi passed away. She went very quickly and we were surprised by her passing. When we went to Arizona in April, she was there visiting my parents. We were so excited to get to spend time with her and she was doing so well. We even walked around the mall! My dad called and said she was ill and they were heading up to Portland to be with her. She had lung cancer and it was moving through her body very rapidly. She fought hard for a week, and then passed away peacefully; surrounded by family. I was able to go up to Portland last weekend to attend her memorial. I flew up and then drove home with my parents. Although it was sad that Mimi wasn't there with us, it was great to remember the wonderful things about her life, our memories, and spend time with family. My cousins are awesome! We've all grown up together and it's always fun when we get together. This is all of them, except for 1 that wasn't able to attend. I love them all, including my goofy brothers!! We had a blast! This picture...just cracks me up! B has been going non-stop since school got out and she looked wrecked this morning! We were outside for our yard sale. She was a little delirious!! She makes me laugh!! And lastly....Alex got his braces off and his spacer taken out! Yay!! He's so excited. We almost forgot his appointment, and I remembered and ran him down there just in time! We were both surprised when the dentist said they are coming off. It was a nice surprise though! He did great and has faithfully been wearing his retainer. He looks so handsome and grown up!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crazy Times!

Bear with me...there's gonna be a lot in this post! Just want to bring everyone up to speed on our crazy life! Alex has been doing GREAT! I have been able to stay home and we are using routine, encouragement, consistency, diet, and anything that helps him to keep on the "moving forward" path. We do not want to medicate him. This is working, and we are going to keep doing what works! Here is one of Alex's projects that he worked so hard on. We are so proud of him and the hard work he puts in daily at school. We know it's a struggle for him, but he's persevering and doing well.
Luke is loosing teeth by the handful! He's lost 3 teeth in the last month! He is a busy kid! He's doing well in Kindergarten and was the KING in his Nursery Rhyme Time Rhythm program. He had to recite a poem, they sang, and he was the King in the "Ol' King Cole" poem. He was excited that Kevin and I were both able to attend his program. They also made their own refreshments. He LOVES school! He does well. We are so proud of the progress he's made this year. Here's a picture of us at his program.
B is also doing well! She loves school and has all A's and B's. She is in the school band and loves playing the drums. She has played in a few concerts this year, and we love to see the progress she makes at each show. She has been babysitting a lot and earning money. She loves going to the mall with her friends and buying all sorts of stuff! She helps us all the time watching the boys and is a great big sister. She is loving, kind, brave, and beautiful. We are so proud of her and the good choices she is making daily in her life. She is GORGEOUS!!
Kevin...well, he's busy as ever at work. He is always busy with work! But, he loves working up at Bluffdale. He is a great leader and we are excited to see what changes will be coming this year. He works hard for our family and we all appreciate all that he does for us. He works even harder so I can be home with the kiddos. I will always be grateful for that! We have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks! He has been a huge support system for me and I love him for that. We got to take the kids to Camp Williams to watch the soldiers do some target shooting with some "big" guns. The kids had a blast, and Kev was right there having fun with them too. Here's a picture from the shooting range:
As for me, well we went to Arizona for a week so I could get my CrossFIT Instructor Certification. I am WAY excited. I have been doing CF for almost 2 years and I really wanted to do the training. Eventually, I'd like to do some of my own training and do a gym. For now, it was great to just add to my skills and knowledge. I'm so glad I did it. I got to train with some awesome people, learn a lot, and even get some good workouts in. 2 full days of information, training, and a test; I was pooped. I thought we would get our scores right then and there. We didn't. I had to wait for almost a week. I PASSED!! It was a great training and I'm so glad I had the support from Kev and the kids and was able to go for it! Here's a pic with the awesome trainers I got to work with:
After my training, we spent the next few days relaxing at my parents house and enjoying family time and the kids' Spring Break. All-in-all, we are busy, but having a blast!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My oldest is a teenager! I can't believe how time has flown. B had her birthday yesterday. We talked a lot yesterday about the time she came into the world. She is our first. And our only girl. She was the first grandchild on Kevin's side. She was a miracle and blessing. I am lucky to be her mom. She is so many things. She is not only beautiful, but kind, responsible, brave, amazing, loving, gentle, happy, helpful, and my friend. We decided to let her have a friend party last night. She cleaned the basement and we decorated it ready for her party. She was pleased with the decorations, the set up, the movie, and the guest list. She had 13 friends over. We heard music, laughing, teasing, and a lot more laughing. Sounds I love to hear at home! I did go down at one point to check on things, and everyone was on some sort of electronic. (Mostly cell phones!) Such a different time...full of cell phones, tablets, Iphones, Ipads, etc. I am glad that they were taking pictures and documenting their night...because I just realized I didn't take 1 picture. Not even a picture of the chocolate/yellow cake B requested. It turned out good too!! I am glad that B had a great party and fun 13th birthday. She is an amazing girl. I am so honored to have her in our lives. up her amazing-ness...she got up this morning and went down stairs and re-cleaned the basement. Vacuumed as well! I am one lucky mom! I LOVE YOU B. You are my sunshine, my love, my life. I hope you've had an amazing day. xoxox Mom

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not the what, but the how to feel

The feelings have been the hardest. I'm fine with A's diagnosis. It didn't come as a huge shock. We have seen his behavior and struggles and have been dealing with it for awhile now. I assumed that once we knew what we were dealing with, it would be easier. What I'm finding, is that being educated means my awareness is heightened. I feel like I finally have my eyes open and I can really see the struggles he is dealing with. I see it in his face when he is really concentrating, and I see it in his eyes when he is struggling. I see in him as he rages, that he doesn't know what he's doing, doesn't know why he's doing it, and doesn't know how to stop it. I don't know why I didn't see it before. A is a strong, big heart-ed, empathetic, the best laugh-ever boy. When he breaks down, he really breaks down. We are seeing it more and more. Our doctor did warn us that it would get worse before it got better while we are implementing some new tactics. I hope the harder part goes fast. It breaks my heart every time he breaks down. I wish I could take the rage, furry, and confusion for him. I hope that we can keep learning more tactics to help him get through his meltdown faster and easier. I know once he's done, he's exhausted. I feel like every time he does meltdown, he changes a little bit. I don't want his personality to change or for him to be any different that he always has been. He has the best laugh. It's contagious. Once he starts, we all start. It is such a highlight when he gets giggling, and then it turns into a full belly laugh. Laughing so hard our bellies hurt and one of us ends up running to the bathroom before we pee our pants. It's a moment of clarity. He is strong. Some days, I am too. Some days, I'm not. I am grateful that he only has ADD, anxiety, and OCD. I know there are so many other things that could affect any of us. I am grateful for the knowledge that is out there to help. I am grateful that he is happy most of the time. I'm grateful he is otherwise very healthy. I wish he didn't have to experience any of this. I hope that I can be the mom he needs me to be to help him cope with all the changes he is experiencing. I hope that I can continue to expand my patience-bank. Some days I need it way more than others. The diagnosis is one we can live with. The feelings...I'm learning to cope with as well. This will be a positive thing for all of us. Who couldn't stand to be more organized??!! Trying to be super positive. Even if some days...I cry in the car on my own.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pity Party for 1

Today has been rough. Not sure if it was harder on me, my dear son, or anyone else that came in contact with me.

I haven't blogged in a really long time. I guess life gets busy and time gets away from me. But, I've had a nagging feeling that the best way to cope with this new trial is to write about it.

It's been a crazy couple of months and weeks. But we finally had some answers on Friday. Our sweet boy Alex has been diagnosed with ADD. He is also showing strong signs of OCD and Anxiety. This diagnosis has been a blessing, because we've had a "hunch" with his behavior and his struggles at school for the last few months. We are also able to get some resources to assist him. He's been struggling in school and having a hard time with a lot of changes that have been happening at our home. (That's another post!) He was having more meltdowns that ended up with him and/or me in tears and feeling completely deflated and exhausted. We knew it was time to look into some testing and additional resources.

With our new information, we started working more closely with his teacher, the principle, and we've started organizing our home to help him with routine and consistency.

Today, I am not even sure what happened! He started saying last night that his stomach hurt. Kevin spent some time with him and talked with him a lot about having a nervous stomach and that school is great and we're here to help him however we can. There had been some talk about moving him to another teacher because he has been struggling so much with his current teacher. I guess this was on his mind more than we picked up on. When he woke up this morning, he immediatly started with the tears and stomach ache. I wasn't sure if he was faking or not. He really is good at convincing me that he's sick! So, I gave in and told him he could stay home.

He crawled into bed with me and we cuddled for a few minutes. Luke got up, and he was out of bed and wanting to play. I kep telling him that if he wants to play, he is well enough for school. After a while, he did come to me and said that he wasn't sick and he was faking it and should probably go to schoole. We talked about the rules of him going to school, what is bothering him, his teacher, kids in his class; I felt like we really covered all the bases. And then the meltdown came. And it came with the thunder.

After going back and forth, lots of screaming (him, not me!) and talking, he finally broke down in tears on the stairs. At some point, something clicked in him and he came running into my bathroom and threw his arms around me. He looked up at me and said, "mom, what's wrong with me? Why do I do this? I'm so sorry for yelling at you and I love you very much." I will never forget the moment I felt so completely helpless as a mother. My heart broke. I held him and we both cried.

I told him that there is nothing wrong with him. He just needs some extra help in processing his thoughts and emotions. We talked for a while longer and then headed over to the school. We were there for almost 2 hours putting a plan together and getting us, the teacher, and the principle all on the same page. (If things aren't going the way I think they'd better watch out. The mama bear has been poked!)

I was anxious when he came home from school. I was watching the clock. When he came bounding in and telling me what a great day he had, I knew he was ok.

I know I'm taking the diagnosis much harder than he is. But like I said, I feel so helpless. I don't know what his triggers are. I don't know how he's processing information in his sweet head. I don't know how to calm him as he rages and has no idea why he is feeling so out of control. I fiercly want him to know that he is ok. That we are only wanting him to be happy, healthy, and at peace. I want him to know that he is so loved and that he is not so different from anyone else. I know we will receive more answers and information as we are more educated; but I also know there will be more days like today. Days that have left me with buring eyes from crying all day, and simply defeated. And feeling like I've failed him. So, this is my pity party. And believe me...I've been crying.

I love my Alex. With all of my being. I am widly protective of him; even more so now. He is my boy with the biggest heart. He LOVES everyone and is so empathetic to others and their needs. He will be ok. He will be stronger, and he will still be the light of my life. We'll just take it one day at a time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The UP and the DOWN

It's been awhile, but feeling like tonight's a good time to write.  LOTS has changed in my world and I'm getting a headache just thinking about everything that's different...even from a few weeks ago!

I started the summer off on a HIGH! I ran with one of best friends/sister-from-another-mister a HALF MARATHON. Yep, I said that right. I still can't even believe it myself, but I did it! We did it! I couldn't have made it across the finish line without her. So, thank you Karalee, for not only keeping me going, but pushing me to do something different and challenging. Yet again. I also have her to thank for my crazy obsession with Crossfit. (In fact, a little side plug...the only training I really did before  the 1/2 marathon was Crossfit. The farthest I had run total was 3 miles. It works, and I am a total addict!!) And now, it's one thing I get to cross off my bucket list! Anyway, the most awesome thing about the day, besides finishing the race was the fact that it was on my brother Aaron's birthday. June 11th. A day that I never forget and will have a wonderful feeling each year now. There were a few distinct times I felt him with me that day. I felt his hand on my back pushing me on several occasions. I dedicated my run to him. I know he was right there with me, every step of the way. I am grateful I got to be a part of Aarons life; for the short time he was on the Earth. I love and miss him, every day.

So, the NEXT day, I got up and drove to Arizona with the kids. I was a little stiff, but was able to make the journey just fine. The kids were fantastic in the car and only had to say, "if I have to pull this car over"... a few times along the way.  My B girl was a HUGE help and was my co-pilot for the trip. She even stayed awake the whole time to make sure I had someone to talk to and keep me going. She was also my extra set of eyes in the disgusting gas stations we stopped at to make sure the boys weren't being watched! We had planned on Kevin coming down for a few days and driving back with us. However, the airlines decided to jack up the prices that weekend, so we opted to save our money. So, I made the dreaded drive home on my own. I really missed him this trip. Road trips just aren't the same. Once we made it to Arizona, the trip was a great one! We got in a lot of family time, swimming time, cousin-playing, friend visiting (thanks Linds, Beth, Skye & Christa!), more swimming, walks with my dad, shopping with mom, swimming, swimming and more swimming!! My kids are FISH! Alex is a pro at cannonballs and diving. Luke mastered swimming without the use of floaties this year. B would have stayed in the water all day and all night if I would have let her. In fact, they all would have! We rolled in at about 8 pm AZ time (9 pm UT time!) and the kids said HI to my parents, got their swimsuits on and they were straight in the pool. And it started again at 7 am the next morning. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the water. But, that's what we love to do on Arizona! We also celebrated Alex's birthday with all the family while we were there. (I'll have to upload some pics) It was fun. Although he misses out on the birthday celebration during the school year, we always get to celebrate when we go to AZ with all the cousins. It's such a treat, every year! Also, since this year we were there right around Father's Day, all of us kids decided to pitch in and get dad some new running shoes. (The ones he had were terrible and he was getting the "need" to run again. The man needed some good shoes!) It was fun to take him shopping and let him pick out a pair that we knew he'd put to good use. In fact, my dad, me, Kevin and my brother Jeff are all training for another Half Marathon to do in the Fall! I can't wait. It will be so much fun. On our way home, the TV decided to crap out before we even got to Wickenburg. I was worried the boys would get restless, but we had a BLAST! We sang songs, played games, and sang more songs. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile. I will treasure that trip home always!

Once we were home (it was GREAT to be home and back to Kevin!) it was back to REALITY. And reality had a big kick in the teeth for me. The DOWN part was the falling out I had with my business partner. I ended up buying her out. I wish the transition could have gone smoother and that we could have communicated better with each other. The sad part is; a relationship is lost and feelings were hurt. Everyone keeps telling me that we were like sisters and we need to work it out. I hope eventually we can do that. Time will tell, I guess.So, I will continue with the Boutique for a while until I figure out what I am going to do. I am wanting to go back to school and I've also been given the opportunity for more hours with my work. I want to be home more with our kids.

And an update on the family:

Kev is doing great! He broke his ankle (roller skating, read that right!) in January. He had to have pins, metal, and something called a tight rope holding his ankle together. Surgery was a success...I got some pretty funny videos of him coming out of anesthesia. He is hilarious! day. All I can say is he has a mean right hook and the nurse was a good sport. He also sings "Saturday Night" (Bay City Rollers) really well. Me and his sister and his mom had a great his expense. Anyway, he's all healed up and after months of physical therapy, he's even doing a lot of running. I've been dragging him out with me on Saturday mornings for our long distance running. I've really enjoyed getting to spend that time with him and I love that we push each other harder and faster! You're a good workout mate, babe!

B is getting so big and gorgeous! She's 12 now and in Young Women. She LOVES it! She's really growing up to be a wonderful young lady. She has grown her hair out and has decided she wants to keep it long for awhile before she donates it again. She babysits a lot for us and we've loved having the opportunity to be able to get back to Saturday Date Night again! She takes great care of her brothers and loves the responsibility. (She also likes the money too!!)  She did well in her last year of elementary school. She will soon be off to Junior High. (Wow, how did that happen!!) She took summer band this summer as well and has started playing the drums. I am in awe of her natural musical talent. I hope she sees what a gift she has and continues with it.

Alex is 9! He had a birthday on June 24th. He's such a good kid! He is really into Legos and Pokemon right now. He can usually be found on YouTube watching videos of both. (Typically with Luke watching over his shoulder!) He's a great big brother. He watches out for Luke. My favorite sounds are the two of them laughing and talking with each other. Some days, they would rather play with each other than with their friends. Those are my favorite days! Alex decided he wanted to take a break from his karate. So we decided to let him take the summer off. He has also decided that he wants to participate with a swim team. And, after seeing him at my mom's, I have no doubt that's exactly where he needs to be! So, swim team it will be.

Luke is Luke. Still crazy, sneaky, loving, cuddly, disctruct-o, funny, and yummy! He has been hit hard with his allergies lately, but he's been a real trooper. He takes his medicine and eye drops like a pro now! He graduated from preschool and will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall. He's pretty excited. He had some wonderful preschool teacher which helped him LOVE school. (We appreciate ALL the work and patience they put into a great program. Thanks Knowledge Explorers!) He is writing his own name, sight reads a few words, counts, sings, and tells some pretty darn good jokes! He mastered swimming at my mom's too. Yay, no floaties! He LOVES his family and tells us all several times a day. He's my little love bug!

As for me, I'm just trying to bounce back from the crazy hurdles that have been thrown. I was called to Young Women about a month ago, and now that I'm getting my feet wet, I'm LOVING it! It's so fun to see the youth in the ward growing up. They were just 5 & 6 years old when we first moved in. It's been a nice change from Primary. I've also been keeping busy with my store and my job from home. I LOVE my job and the flexibility it gives me. The store has been busy and taken me away from home more that I want to be away. But, time will tell how it will all play out. I just know I want to be home more! I am also going back to school in the fall to finish up by teaching degree and get my teaching certificate. I'm thinking 4th or 5th grade is where I want to be. We also decided to take our house off the market and stay put for awhile. We LOVE our neighbors, the kids have such great friends, and we love that more than we want to move. So, here is where we will stay for awhile. (We had to beat ourselves upside the head several times before we finally figured that one out!!)

Any who, now that this is the longest post're all caught up with our family. I'll upload some pictures soon, so everyone can see how the kids have grown.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shriek...a new post!

but not really...just an updated family picture! I'm too tired to blog now. Maybe tomorrow!!
This is one of my favorite pictures of us. We took the kids to stay at the Little America in Salt Lake. We had a blast swimming, seeing a movie, and going to "the Bakery". Plus, we all look pretty damn good in the picture!