Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

We have been so busy these last few months and I have totally forgotten to post updates.

Here's the short version!

Alexys is still getting straight A's in school, I am one proud momma! She is also doing competitive cheer. Unfortunately she suffered a level 2 strain of her MCL and has been out for the last 3 weeks but she is super excited to be released next week so that she can compete in January! She still has the same cute boyfriend, Jordan. I really thought I was totally going to hate life when my children started dating but I don't. I love that she has made good choices and that Jordan is a complete gentlemen to her.

Chandler is also doing well in school. I am so proud of him as he hasn't allowed anything to stop him from moving forward. I adjusted well to being fully mainstreamed in classes and has continued to keep his grades up. Lately he is interested in Parcore, girls and gaming. He thankfully has not had any injuries and still is the sweetest boy ever!

Lately I have been working two jobs to maintain however it has totally been worth it! I still work for the County Health Department during the day and work at Macys on evenings and weekends. But I have regained my financial independence and have worked my way out of debt once again. Totally worth it!

From our home to yours, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We are excited to see what 2014 brings our way and with the grace of God we will each continue to build upon our weaknesses and strengthen relationships in the new year.

God Bless

Tasha

Monday, November 11, 2013

JessBeautifulLife: Loving yourself

Jess is a beautiful friend of mine. She is kind, caring, loving and just simply an amazing woman!. Her blog post is genuine and so true. I just wanted to share it with all of you.

JessBeautifulLife: Loving yourself, true beauty, and the wandering ey...: Well to start off, I may not be a size zero but I am a gorgeous woman regardless. Beauty isn't about appearance. That is only a part of ...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf

I am always going on about my healthy turkey meatloaf and am asked to share - so here it is! There is no special secret. My family loves this!! And if you are struggling to get your little ones to eat those veggies this would be perfect for you. The first couple times I made it I made sure everything was very finely chopped and minced; now I don't worry about it because the kids love it no matter what. 


Healthy Turkey Meatloaf/Muffins


Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 35 minutes 
■1 lb ground Turkey (or chicken) 
■1/4 cup of egg whites or 2 small egg whites or 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
■1/2 cup of Rolled Oats or Quinou

■1/2 cup of Flax Seed (Optional)
■1/4 tsp ground cumin 
■1/4 tsp dried thyme 
■1 tsp dry yellow mustard 
■1 tsp black pepper 
■1 tsp chipotle pepper spice (I used my Mrs Dash Chipotle seasoning) 
■1/4 tsp salt 
■1 tbsp minced garlic 

■1/2 small onion, finely chopped 
■1 celery stalk, finely chopped 
■1 large carrot, finely chopped 
■1 red and or yellow pepper, finely chopped 
■any additional vegetables you choose to finely chopped and add (sometimes I will add broccoli, zucchini, squash or spinach)


Preheat oven to 375F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mush together. You might want to add all the spices in a separate bowl to start so that they are consistent throughout. Do not skimp on the spices, trust me! Mix together with hands. 

Spray bread pan or muffin tins with canola oil or olive oil. 

Loaf - Bread Pan
Place in pan and pat down to be sure mixture is spread evenly. 
Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes  Let cool, eat, enjoy and store the remaining. 

Muffins
Form 12 little balls or 6 big balls and plop into the muffin tins. Feel free to pat them down. Make sure they are all about the same size. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your muffin trays. Let cool, eat, enjoy and store the remaining. 

**If made into a loaf and cutting 6 even slices/6 muffins, there are 120 calories in each turkey muffin/slice with 1.5g of fat, 6.5g of carbs and 20g of protein using Jennie O extra lean ground turkey. Depending on how lean your turkey or chicken is, the nutrition information will change.** 

Crop Pot Mac N Cheese

I saw this recipe on Facebook this morning and totally have to try it!

~ Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese ~ 


 
***Best Part = You put the noodles in dry, uncooked!!!  
 Ingredients: 
Cooking oil spray 
2 cups skim milk 
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk 
1 egg 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1 1/2 cups pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 

 Directions: Spray the pot of the slow cooker or if using a liner bag, spray the bag well. 
In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. 
Pour milk mixture into the crock pot. 
Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. 
Stir gently to mix. 
 Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the custard is set and the macaroni is tender. 
(Do not cook more than 4 hours, or the sides will begin to dry out). 
Serve at once.

Will be making this one for dinner tomorrow :)


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where did October go???

Oh my goodness, where did October go? Between work and cheer somehow I lost that it is the last week of October. Usually I already have my Halloween decor up and around the house and have pre planned out where the Christmas tree will go (only because I like to set it up on 11/1). This year I haven't done any of that. At this point I am not sure that I am going to. Halloween wasn't usually one of my favorite holidays but it was so fun for the kids. 

The reality is that my children are no longer small, they are extremely tall and wonderful teenagers that apparently don't plan out their costumes unless they are invited to a Halloween Party (Alexys!). Is it sad that I miss the fight over the cost of the costume or if they can wear the one from last year? As much as I used to dread those moments, now that they are gone I miss them!

Chandler recently turned 14 and decided that trick or treating wasn't so cool or important last year. Alexys finally give up trick or treating because she is a Sophomore and has a boyfriend and has been invited to his families Halloween Party.

Does this mean I have to still pass out candy? Or since my doorbell is broken can I just go to bed early?? 

Over the weekend we took the kids to the pumpkin patch to pick out some WAY overpriced pumpkins. It was actually a lot of fun walking through and picking out the "right" pumpkins. 
We went to Plumper Pumkin Patch
 
The moment when they both decided they were still small :)
 
My beautiful daughter, Alexys
 
Chandler, Paul and Alexys
 
Chandler rocking the pumpkin patch - he so does not love pictures. 
All in all it was a great time! I am glad that we got out and walked through the mud together. Would have liked to save the $40 (which means each pumpkin was approx 10# each) but it was worth the trip. The leaves and the trees are so amazing here. Weekend mini trips likes these; to do something so simple as find the "right" pumpkin are the moments I think I will always treasure. Happy October!x

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall

Wow, I feel like I am on fire! Okay it just feels good the have some free time to update my blog postings for  those who follow me. Today - is two post Friday apparently!!! Summer and Fall are different season which have totally different events and in our family was the night and day difference and when all of the major changes took place in our lives.

Alexys and Chandler both started new schools the day after Labor Day. Chandler wasn't super thrilled about going from a High School to a JR High again but it has been a great move. The kids schools here do not have nearly as many elective classes or college opportunities. Both of them have settled in and have done extremely well either way.
Alexys Fall 2013

Chandler Fall 2013
I seriously couldn't be a prouder momma of these two amazing teenagers who have been through hell and back and moved across multiple states this year. They are the rocks that keep me grounded and the two people in life that give me the strength everyday to keep a positive attitude and strive to be a better mother. I am truly blessed.

CHEER
Alexys was heartbroken leaving RCHS in Utah. She lives, eats, and breathes cheer. We found a gym and decided to try out a tumbling class at the end of August so that she could continue to work on her skills until Spring Basketball Cheer tryout came around. Here is another perfect example of Everything Happening for a Reason: Midway through her trial tumbling class she was invited to assist the Platinum Cheer Team with some of their stunts. Her 45 minute class turned into 3 hours that night. The coach and owner of the gym invited Alexys to join their Level 4 Platinum Competitive Cheer Team!!

I was super excited and yet super nervous because there were a few skills that she really needed to work on and it is difficult at times to join a team that has already been together for months. Then there were all of the costs involved. We'll just say that I am not buying this girl a car because her cheer cost more than the $1800 I had budgeted for her first car. But it has been totally worth it. Amylynn and Heather at !mpact Athletics are some of the most amazing coaches ever and have been extremely encouraging and supportive of Alexys. I have never seen a coach be able to reach out to young minds and help them work through their fears and accomplish some absolutely amazing stuff.

So now our schedules are worked around cheer and practices and the next 6 months will be full of amazing trips and vacations that we would have never dreamed of or saved for. I am still not sure on the financial part will work out but we are really excited to be going to the Seattle, Washington area twice, Las Vegas in March and Hawaii in April. I decided that if there is a will there is a way and I would have never just taken the kids on any of these vacations had I not had a force (!mpact Cheer) pushing me to do it.

Alexys has made so many improvements just over the last 2 months she has been with !mpact and she has made so many new and great friends. I thankfully feel like I can call !mpact a family, the parents, athletes and coaches are priceless!
One year ago Alexys had a major fall and was told that she would never be able to do her splits again. With determination and support from her coaches she has defied all odds - she's pretty amazing!
Homecoming
Last but not least, Alexys was asked to Homecoming by Jordan who the same evening or the next day asked her out. He is a super sweet and respectful Senior that is on the Varsity Football team at their high school. Here's a couple pictures from homecoming.
Alexys all dolled up for her date.

Alexys and Jordan


Good ~ Bad ~ Indifferent
It just depends on how you look at it. Everything happens for a reason, it happens the way it is meant to be. We are all adjusting just fine here in Portland. We miss our family in Utah and our friends and the warmth of Arizona but Oregon is pretty nice. We enjoy the drive to the beach to play in the ocean and the walks in our neighborhood where we get to enjoy the autumn weather again after two years of missing it.
The beautiful trees we get to enjoy in our neighborhood of green.
The colors, the wonders and the possibilities. Hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday and enjoy your weekend. God Bless.

SUMMER

TGIF - Happy Friday Peeps

April through August had it's ups and it's downs; major highs and some rock bottom lows. All I can say is that I am thankful and grateful for the friends and family members who supported me no matter how right, wrong or indifferent my decisions have been. You know who you are...... THANK YOU!

Over the summer we had some great times. We took at trip to Las Vegas in June and hung out on the strip.
We got a family tattoo... temporary
Alexys designed them :)

Hung out at the pool

which had really cold water.
Alexys, Paul and I went to the Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood Resorts. She totally should have been a contestant.... and would have won!
 And that was the point that Paul and I decided it might be worth it to do it all over again. No we are not remarried and who knows if we ever will be. But my children got their "daddy" back and we are moving onward. Paul visited us in Utah over the 4th of July weekend which made it very easy for us to decide to take the leap. Shortly after that I was giving my notice to ESG, which was harder than I had thought it would be because I really enjoyed working with the AMAZING people I encountered there.

The kids and I arrived in Oregon just a couple days before Paul's birthday, this was planned so that it would be special and as you could tell from my previous post it was. From there the kids and I spent a few weeks settling in, took our last summer trip up to Eastern Oregon for Labor Day to spend time with the Brooks family in Summit Creek camping. On the way there we stopped at Multnomah Falls which is even more beautiful than Bridavale in person.This was was the weekend Paul taught Chandler to drive! He was pretty fabulous driving a stick shift for the first time.


Columbia River

There was a peek of our summer.... Alexys was cheering for RCHS and it was fast, crazy and furious. It was hard for her to move because she didn't want to leave her school or her cheer squad behind however I still believe that everything happens for a reason and we had even more changes with the kids starting school and the beginning of Fall... All of which I will talk about in my next post.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

6 Months Later....

6 MONTHS LATER......

The kids and I moved to Portland, Oregon. back in June Paul and I decided that it was worth it to try and work through some issues regardless of the outcome. After multiple trips of spending time together as a family we decided it just felt right. So in August Paul mad dashed to find a home for all of us. I gave my notice to ESG and on August 14th the kids and I arrived with my car and UHAUL in the driveway of our new home. I am so grateful for my brother Brandon who so generously took his days off to drive the UHAUL and my son here to Oregon; it was such a long drive but time well spent.

While Brandon was here we spent Paul's 40th birthday in Lincoln City and played along the coast.
Paul's Big 40

40th Birthday at the beach

Brandon and Chandler playing in the ocean

Beauty of the beach


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Options

Have you ever just been so incredibly emotional that everything seems to intensify that emotion regardless of what it is? That would be me today. I suddenly feel so overwhelmed with everything that simple small things are seeming SOOO BIG!

Work is still pretty great. At times it can be extremely overwhelming just because there is so much to learn. I am still not smoking!!! Even though days like today I really want to.

Kids are doing pretty good. Chandler struggles not having family around like Alexys does and I struggle to find an in between. I notably have stretched myself a little too thin even for me. Chandler goes to his grandparent's home about once a month and gets a 30 minute phone conversation with his bio dad. Sometimes I wish he had more, I wish there was more that I could give him and at times feel like I am failing him. It's rough. Alexys on the other hand is settling in every other weekend with her bio dad and family. I am really grateful that she has a really great step-mom who really tries to involve her in every aspect of their lives. I think that is important as she needs all of the love and support she can get.


And me, well besides the fact that I truly am overwhelmed with school and trying to find a balance am well... overwhelmed and unbalanced. It sometimes feels like I take two steps forward and five steps backwards. This seems to have been the theme lately. I get one dad there for the kids and then the other not, find a great guy to be there for both then have him bail. Sometimes I wonder if I will see the blessings in disguise over some of the turmoil and heartache and other days I really just want to give up. Thankfully I have two amazing children so I have at least five more years to hold it together for them.

So I have heard a lot of the ...you are so strong, yaddy, yady yaddah ... BS I am so not strong. What I am is great at putting a smile on my face and faking it through a bunch of public crap. I wait till I am home... and alone... to find an extra spot to bottle just a little more until I have one of these days....
Then I get online and find stories of others, of women and families who have it so much worse than me and then I pray. I pray that God will soften my heart so I am not angry with those who have the life I once had and not allow others to see my weakness. I read positive and uplifting posts and quotes and try to share them, to try to lift someone else's spirit that day and to push my anger and sadness away. 

I am sick of being an option! I am sick of my children being an option. I am not a rag doll that you can pick up, text, or call because it is so seemingly convenient. With that said, I will not change who I am either. I love, help and care to my own fault. Sometimes so much that when I am in a position that I need that same love, care and help I dished out... often there is no one there to return the favor. That doesn't mean that I suck or that I am a bad friend. It means YOU ARE! I have friends and family I would do anything for, I would forgive for the unforgivable, I would give them my last dollar, the shirt off my back and the food from my children's mouths but I couldn't say that many of them would return the favor. Guess that is the hand I was dealt or they all don't know me at all. Maybe a little bit of both.

Okay so this post is simply going bad. So here I am. Here is the vulnerable me. I totally wanted to delete this and not post it at all but decided that it would be wrong. It would defeat the purpose of me blogging, of me being me.

So here I post. Please, don't flood my inbox or phone because you suddenly give a crap! Instead, pray that God will soften your heart. Try not to treat people as if they were your second option. We all have a choice... thank God for free will. Everything Happens For A Reason. Still standing by that. Today, I am not sure of all of the reasons, or the lessons, I know that everything I have been through has made me who I am... and today, I am okay with it being, just that.

God Bless.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March Update

So I was about to update my FB Status when I realized that I had way to much to share in a status and it's been over a months since my last blog. 

Life has been amazing, crazy, hectic, wonderful, horrible, scary, overwhelming, emotional and any other feeling you could insert here <          >! So I guess I will attempt to update as much as possible before I fall asleep. LOL

WORK ~ I started an amazing job about a month ago. I am a Benefits Administrator for a human resources company here in Utah. Now when I researched and planned this job I though, benefits.... I can totally handle that. 401K's, health insurance, dental, life and so on right? Never did I realize that I would deal with every single insurance company under the sun as well as handle all of the accounts receivable, payable and reconcile all of the bills oh joy! Actually, I really do totally love my job. There is so much more to learn and each day I am excited to learn new things and new skills. I work with the most amazing group of people who are so warm and kind and helpful while I am still getting my feet wet. My first interview I just knew it felt right. My first day, I was taking a tour of the office and noticed more than half of the the staff had the fuzzy slippers under their desks and comfortable blankets wrapped around them. Totally my style! So I am excited to see what is in my future with this company and feel so blessed to have found such a great, family oriented company to work.

QUIT SMOKING ~ So I have quit smoking a million times plus one. I always had an excuse of stress, anxiety, blah blah blah for starting back up. Honestly for the most part each time I quit and started back up I became more and more of a closet smoker. I was so disappointed in myself and didn't want others to be disappointed in me for my lack of self control or commitment to quit.So, this time I did it for me! Not my kids, not my health, not my ex husband, not because I had to........ but because I was ready and I wanted to. I quit on February 25th, which happened to also be my first day of work. I didn't want anyone to know I smoked so I decided not to smoke that morning. I was fine all day long and questioned if I could just not do it... I struggled... BUT I DID IT! I am so proud of myself! So like any other addiction or habit - I have to take it one day at a time and be proud of my accomplishments and reflect on my past. I am so blessed. 

KIDS ~ Oh my children. My daughter went through a lot of firsts lately. She had her first heartbreak, she got to learn to drive, she passed the test and obtained her driving permit! She also became Suzy Homemaker to help out her crazy busy momma. She also made Varsity Cheer!! I just have to say, being a teenager was so hard for me, trying to figure out who I was, where I was going and who I wanted to be.... the only thing harder than being a teenager is being the mother to a teenager. We laugh, we cry, we argue, we fight, we sing, we make up, we live. I have the most amazing daughter, she makes her fair share of mistakes, but she learns quickly from them and moves on. She is so loving and kind. And lately has been our homemaker. She wants to earn money for a car and I am overwhelmed - so she earns money each night she cooks dinner. She offered to make and pack my lunches so she earns money for that too. But really, besides like any teen wanting to earn money, I appreciate that wants to help her brother with his homework and help me out and bless our family with her wonderful gift and ability to be an amazing cook! On that note - I totally have to thank Paul for being an amazing teacher - cause he taught her most of what she knows when it comes to cooking and grilling.


Chandler, well besides the fact that I wish this kid would cut his hair is the most amazing son I could ask for. Totally getting amazing grades, mostly A's and a couple B's! He is enjoying lots of extra time on the XBOX, playing basketball at the nearby park and just being a goof ball. I am so blessed to have a son that stands up for himself but also stands up for others. He is firm in his moral and belief system. He is looking forward to warmer weather and me being finished with school for the summer so we can enjoy more family outdoor activities. 

SCHOOL ~ Well both the kids are working hard and getting amazing grades in school. I am in the second session of my semester at ASU and taking way too many credits! 18 total this semester, 6 the first half and 12 currently. Let's just say I work, study and sleep. Which is why I am so blessed to have amazing children helping me pull through for the next six in a half weeks till the semester is over. I am looking into the Social Work and Psychology Programs at UVU and U of U to determine location and degree wise which school I will transfer to for this fall semester. Which also means I need to HURRY UP! I am taking the summer semester off to enjoy my children in my free time outside of work.

 FAMILY ~ Grandma M. The last two Sunday's we have been going to see my Grandma M who lives in an amazing assisted living facility. Unfortunately, Grandma is at that stage that she often doesn't remember who we are or that she is no longer a child but she sure can be fun to visit. Personally, I have a harder time visiting because Grandma often asks to go home or complains that she doesn't like it where she is, I have a harder time not visiting with my Grandma like we used to; but the kids... bless their hearts, totally love, embrace and enjoy our visits to see Grandma and look forward to the next week. Today we visited and took her some M&M's, we arrived and she was watching golf... really who watches golf! Se we changed the channel to a movie channel and started chatting. At first she wasn't sure who we were or how we got there; much less how she got there. Then when I was on a call Alexys and Chandler helped her open her M&M's and were talking about everything and nothing. Grandma started lobbing candy at Chandler to get his attention, then at me to get off the phone; we laughed! We had a few brief moments of the grandma I remember, asking about Paul and if we were moving back from Arizona, we shared that we moved back and how the kids were doing in school and then she was done. Back to questioning who we were. Alexys showed grandma her dance and new cheer that she learned and Chandler told her about his new XBOX game (which none of us understood. LOL) and then we had to go. I hate to leave her but am so blessed to have my memories with her. I look forward to each of our future weekly visits, each time hoping to steal just a few moments of time when she remembers.

~ BABY OWEN ~ So tonight we had a family dinner at dad's to celebrate Casey and Cheresa's birthday's this month and we all received the most amazing surprise! Baby Owen Arrived!!! No one was able to touch or hold him just yet but for the first time the kids were able to meet their adorable cousin and I was finally able to see my nephew again since I hadn't seen him since August. Everyone says he is still so small but to me he seems So BIG! I remember how tiny he was in August when I met him and now he is none months old and maybe small for his age and adjusted age but he looks absolutely perfect to me! He giggled, smiled and cood; even his brief little cry was a delight. We are so blessed to have him as a part of our family! On that note, Today was also the first time the kids and I had a chance to see my brother in law A (also known as Owen's Amazing Fire Fighting Dad) since we visited in August. With his work schedule and Owen not being able to be around anyone he has been spending as much extra time with his little guy as possible. So it was nice to finally have the whole family under one roof for a family dinner! Actually it was the first time since the kids and I visited last March - so the first time in the last year that we had all been in one place at one time! We all enjoyed great conversation, totally were all goo goo eyed over Owen and enjoyed simply just seeing and watching him. Several played a new card game with the kiddo's. All in all - I couldn't have asked for a better family dinner or a better way to end one week and start another.


FUTURE ~ I am unsure of what the future holds but what ever it is I am sure it will be wonderful. We are looking forward to continuing to resettle and reestablish our roots here in Utah. We are excited for warmer weather and summer cause we are still totally freezing here in Utah. Hoping we may take one or two vacations this summer to new and exciting places we have never been, going camping and spending time on the water with the family boating and fishing. And simply seeing what plan's God has in store for us. 

~EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON~ and I, am totally okay with that. Night all.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Faith




FAITH is like the wind, 

You can't see it

But you know it is there. 


I have been questioned about my faith many of times. I am questioned as to why I give God so much credit for the great things in my life, finances, children, blessings, etc.  So first to get things out of the way, financially I have to thank Paul, because of the long hours he puts in with few days off ever I have been able to meet my financial obligations. Because of his dedication to his career we were able to move to Arizona, purchase and sell a home which has enabled me to meet my monthly expenses so far.


Putting that aside, I believe that through Faith I can do anything. I am a Christian and I believe in God. I believe that through the power of prayer great things happen. I also believe that I am never alone; I believe that God has his arms wrapped around me all the time, he is all knowing and always there for me. My faith in God and prayer are the intangible things that have gotten me through the last few months. I have seen the power of prayer work in my life, I have seen when I give it to God and let his will be done that my life seems to fall into place and life happens as he has it planned out for me. 

With all of that said, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Life works out the way it is meant to be. I reflect on my past and realize that I have been the happiest and noticeably so when I allow God and faith to lead my life. I have overcome what seemed to be some of the most impossible situations and yes I give that credit to God for watching over me and leading me in the right directions in life, for showing me the greatness this life has to offer. 

For the last couple of months I have struggled trying to settle in back here in Utah, trying to help the kids adjust to a new and different way of life. It has been a very humbling experience. After two months of searching for a new career I was blessed with many interviews over the last couple of weeks and have accepted a new position as a Benefit Coordinator. I have dealt with Medicaid in the past and many personal health insurance companies but not at this level. I am excited for this new adventure and am excited for the many challenges I already for see for myself in this new career but for me what is most exciting is knowing that through faith and hard work I will be able to overcome obstacles and challenges and I will look back and giggle at the nervousness I have now. 

 

Today I reflect on how blessed my life has been and is going to be. I am grateful for new opportunities. I am also grateful for the humbling experiences I have had and am sure I will have more of in the future. Through each challenge I face I remember that each struggle or challenge from my past has created the person I am and chose to be now. One challenge that is a hard pill to swallow is the reality that I will not be as available for my children. I am really going to miss being a stay at home mom and I am sure my children will miss it to. Working full time and being a full time student and single mother are going to be major challenges, I am sure we as a family will struggle however I have faith that it will all work out and I have faith that when I am not at my children's side that God will be and knowing that gives me great comfort. 

Okay, so here's another super religious rambling post. Just love me and know that when I blog I blog from the heart and I blog about those things that way heaviest on my mind and heart. I am grateful for amazing children, great friends, family, a place to call home, and a new career. I am blessed to have such great people in my life; past, present and future. Night. 




Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Update/Friends

I saw this on Facebook yesterday and really felt that I had to share it. But I didn't just want to hit that lovely share button so I decided I would blog with the saying instead. I really feel that sometimes you hear, see or experience what you need to in the time that you need to most. This weekend was another one of those weekends where God just really spoke to me through others.

This weekend we were blessed to be able to go and watch a friend be baptized at church and then later invited to share an afternoon with the same family. This weekend was one of the first that felt like an every day normal weekend. I wasn't consumed with loneliness or anger and was able to truly enjoy a weekend with my children. Friday night we had a "Cheer Movie Marathon" and watch all four of the Bring It On movies. So good! Saturday we woke up and just had family time, and later enjoyed the company of great friends.

Seeing the above photo saying really reminded me that family is the close friends you really share life with. The people who call with concern when they haven't heard from you, show up when you are having a bad day, offer to help without even having to be asked. They are the people who know who you really are, the ones you don't have to put the "life is good" mask on for and the ones who see through the fake smile you put on your face or in the tone of your voice. I have come to greatly appreciate the importance of the friends of mine that I consider to be my family. You know who you are and thank you for being there for me in some of my darkest days, for listening to me go on and on and on and on, for offering advice and for telling me when I am being absolutely unreasonable.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Parenting My Children

Parenting has got to hands down be one of the hardest things to do.

I truly love my children with all of my heart and am extremely overprotective of both of them. No mother wants to see their child with heartache, heartbreak, or hurt feelings. And if you are like me.... when you do see your child in this position you totally want to verbally attack the person or persons that have hurt them or are involved. I have learned to ask, "Do you want me to talk to them?" Because I want my children to know that I am there to protect them at the same time I want them to be able to fight their own battles too. Neither is easy to do. I love that my kids can come to me when things are bothering them, for advice and when their feelings are hurt. 

Everyday I feel that I wake up and live my life attempting to model the behaviors I would like my children to emulate; I am NOT perfect - thank goodness! I have my moments of: Do as I say and not what I do. We teach our children the golden rules like treat adults with respect, treat others as you would like to be treated, kill them with kindness and so on and then they become teenagers and can see the world in a different realm altogether. That is when they feel like they are always right and life is still so not fair. I want my children to become happy, healthy, productive young people; I want them to make good choices, stand up for themselves and for what they know is right, I want them to know that their feelings matter and that NO One has the right to tear them down or make them feel less than.





One of the hardest parts of parenting for me is that when they hurt I hurt too. As much as I try to help stear both of them into directions and away from people who are, or have hurt them I have to respect their feelings and simply stand back and wait until it's time to help pick up the pieces and wipe their tears again. But I hate that they have to experience that hurt. I wish I could protect them from the negativity in people, in their lives and in this world but I can't shield them from it all, no matter how hard I try. That hurts.

I believe that no one is perfect.  I believe in second chances. I believe that I have raised my children to understand both of these beliefs. I try to see the good in all things and all people and I try to be an uplifting positive person.  BUT... of course there had to be a but in there... I am so tired of people in my children's lives thinking it is okay to hurt them, to hurt their feelings, to make them feel less than or unimportant. Everyday we wake up with a choice in how our day will go, who we interact with, how we will treat others and what will affect our lives. I just wish those who claim that they want to be there for my children or be a part of their lives would think about those things, think before making empty promises or plans. 

Okay, that was enough rambling and venting... I don't know that any of it even made me feel better. I am just tired of looking like the bad guy when I am trying so hard to do what is best for them. I love them so much and it just hurts so bad when they are hurting.

FUTURE POST TO LOOK FORWARD TO: Alexys getting her permit!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fun Weekend

It amazes me how quickly time flies by. It really seems like just yesterday the kids were starting preschool and kindergarten and now they are in seventh and ninth grade. I am so bless to have two wonderful and amazing children, their quirks brighten my days.

Saturday, Chandler decided he wanted to stay home and play XBox with his Arizona friends online while Alexys and I went to a craft boutique; poor kiddo doesn't like to do the girly things with his mom and sister. So Alexys and I went to Heartfelt Wall Hangings in West Jordan; we lucked out and there was enough space in the classroom that we were both able to pick out a craft project and each of us were able to do the cute free project. We had lots of fun picking out the colors we would paint our blocks and deciding which ribbon to add and how much glitter was enough or borderline too much. Really it was great! Of course I had a highlight moment - the gals that were coming in to do a project as we were leaving were talking and Alexys made a "MOM" comment and one gal looked over and said "She isn't your daughter? You look way too young to have a daughter her age." I just smiled and said, yep she sure is mine, she's fifteen and yes I am too young to have a teenage daughter. Totally made my day, the group of gals went on how they thought we were friends or sisters, so of course I had a "I'm feeling young" moment.

Alexys' Be Mine Craft
Her Cute Heart Project with a HUGE Bow!


Anyhow we finished off our afternoon by picking up her friend Kiana for a sleepover. Since went home and were all bored out of our minds we decided to do a family Walmart trip. Most people who know Alexys also know that it doesn't matter how big or small the shopping cart is or how tall Alexys is she is going to totally fit into that cart and have me push her around. (I just look at it as an extra weight to the cart I am pushing around helps with exercise, right? LOL) Anyhow here is a picture of Alexys and Kiana both fitting into the cart. - Oh and Chandler went with but took off and left us girls to go look at the magazines and games.Lil Booger!


After our Walmart adventure, the girls took off to do facials and paint nails while Chandler and I had some Mom and Son time watching movies together. We totally both fell asleep on the couch - ICK! But it was a great time.

Sunday we took Kiana home and on our way back home since we live in the boonies I decided it was time to teach Alexys to drive "Red" which is our name for the Ford. Now, Alexys went driving three or four times with me in Arizona but we went in the Chevy which was diesel and bigger and well it just didn't have as much pick up and go - and we drove around the dry school parking lot when no one was there. She has always been super responsible and cautious when it comes to driving, it actually is kind of cute how she gets nervous and freaks out just a little big. Anyhow, so we were about two miles from our house when I pulled off the road and told her it was her turn to drive. She was totally nervous because she had never driven the Ford or on wet roads, or half circles or roundabouts, LOL. But she has really been studying for her permit and constantly reminds me when I am making an illegal traffic violation, so I decided it was time to give her a try. She did AMAZING, I am so proud of her! She drove slightly under the 35 mph speed limit, was perfect around the roundabout, hugged the right side of the road but all in all did really well. I totally had to tease her about her left hand turns though.... both times she nearly stopped in the middle of the road to make her left hand turn but in her defense she had never really driven with other cars on the road so making a left with a car sitting there watching on wet road, she did great! Scary to think she will be driving by the end of the year. Growing up so fast.

The rest of our Sunday was peaceful and quiet. We all were good and completed our weekend homework assignments (Alexys had a research paper and I had several assignments I postponed for fun) then treated ourselves to watching a couple of family movies. I love Sunday afternoons when we all just spend time hanging out together, no arguing for fighting, just good old fashion bonding time. Bliss.

This morning, I was sad our weekend was over.... I love the quality bonding time with the kids, I love window shopping at Walmart pushing the girls around, dancing and having fun. I really do love being a mom, my children are the two most amazing blessings ever. I am so grateful that I get to watch them learn and grow and I can totally admit that even they are able to teach me a thing or two.

Simply Blessed

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hard Days

It's been one of those weeks. The last few days have been ever so emotional.


Everyone said that when our divorce was over it would be easier.... 
I am sure at some point it may get easier but I wouldn't say that getting those final papers made anything easier for me. After I received the email with the attached papers, I sat there on my couch simply shocked. I then attempted to find things to do around the house, sat down and tried to read my assignments... I couldn't concentrate. 

The reality is that I don't feel better at all. I feel lost and alone. After four months of separation you would think I would be used to having the whole bed to myself, but I'm not. Attending gatherings with friends or church, I feel like someone is missing. There is a hole, a great big hole with out him there. 

The most emotional reality this week for me was: I am no longer someone's wife. I no longer have a husband. So many people say that it is just a piece of paper but it's not, it is so much more. I feel like I lost a piece of myself, I lost my title of Mrs and Wife. To some this may be petty but to me just like being a mother, I felt like I worked hard to be a good wife too. Single - that is such a big, ugly word. It means I am starting all over - AGAIN! Now that the divorce is over, it is not easier, life is not better. We miss him. We miss our lives.

With that said, yesterday we also sold our Arizona house. So bitter sweet. It was what we needed to do but it makes me sad that we no longer have that home. A house we struggled to make into a home because it was so different to us, a house that we eventually become to love as much as the state that we became to love and call home. 

Lots of change - I have to remember that at times change is good - Change allows us the opportunity to learn and grow from our past and redefine our futures. I am sure we have many more hard days ahead of us.  I think I will end on that note.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Amazing Day

Today I had the most amazing day with the kids. We went to Bella's Birthday party; I totally rocked bowling with lots of gutter balls. 


We finished our day with a retirement party. My friend Claire's husband David Santiago retired from the military after 20 years of service in the Marines and Army. 


Claire planned an amazing retirement party with amazing food, entertainment and dancing. It was really great to be able to simply enjoy the company of great friends, Thanks Denise and Johnny for keeping me company. I do have to say as I saw all of the couples dancing together or father's dancing with their daughter's it did really make me miss my married life. It's hard when you feel like someone is missing. With that said, I do have to say this is the first time in months that I have seen both of my children absolutely carefree and happy. Alexys and Chandler were both amazing on the dance floor, Alexys helped with all of the younger girls while Chandler was having a blast showing off his moves and making sure the younger girls always had someone out there on the dance floor with them. 

 Chandler busting a move.
 Alexys dancing with the younger girls.
A bunch of the kids dancing.

Evenings like this make me a proud and happy mother. David thank you for your 20 years of service. Claire thank you for your friendship and for supporting your husband in protecting our nation. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and even more amazing children. 

~Everything So Happens For A Reason~

Friday, January 18, 2013

Interview


Yesterday I had an interview, it was kind of off the wall - so I totally had to share. But because I don't want to rag on a specific company I will call it Company X. 

So I had an interview at Company X and was kind of excited because the job location was super close to home. When I arrived and walked in the door the odor was horrible; come to find out they deal with waste. I walk in and introduce myself to be met with a cat. For those of you who don't know already, I am totally highly allergic to cats! I completed the paperwork and basic math skills test as requested and start interviewing. The "Lady" at Company X started out with no cell phones, EVER, inside the office. It's a simply rule, no biggie right? Then she proceeded to tell me that with the minimal which is about $5 an hour less than what I was last making that they also only have 10 employees and that there is no time off, no health insurance options, actually no benefits, ever. Because the person would be the only person in the office that it would also be unacceptable to take time off for children's school activities or doctor appointments as needed. Least to say, what she was saying is that she really needs to hire someone who has no need for benefits, will run a business for the owner for almost free, that has no children and will happily live in the rancid office with a couple of cats. Towards the end of the interview "Lady" asked me if I was okay, I explained I was fine however she said I looked upset or like I was going to cry. Finally I realized that since the cats were hanging around the office and walking all over the desk near me that my eyes had begun to puff and were swollen, making it appear that I was about to cry. I thanked her for her concern and explained that I really was just fine but super allergic to the cats, her response was oh, well if you can accept the $5 an hour less in pay and work with the cats in the office to let her know. 

Least to say, I will not be working for Company X. LOL It was a really good opportunity to practice my interviewing skills though. Everything happens for a reason - I received several emails and a couple of phone calls to line up interviews for next week. I am excited to see what the future holds for me. Kids, school and finding work..... it's great finding our new normal. 

Happy Friday - Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Having Faith

Sometime you totally just have to have faith....


A friend of mine posted this on Facebook. Today I decided it totally applied and I felt that I needed to share and post.

Alexys started school Tuesday. She has had a difficult time transitioning, my heart aches for her because she misses Arizona, her friends and her school so much. On the other hand, Chandler is thriving at school and has transitioned well. He is making new friends at school and adapting to life here, not that he doesn't miss Arizona life but he is handling the changes pretty well.

As for me, the challenges with the children have been hard but I am making it through day by day and sometimes moment by moment. Finally I have had a minor break through on the job hunting end of things! Who knows how many resumes I have sent out or online applications I have completed but today it totally paid off; I received three phone calls and have interviews lined up. School is crazy hectic for me but I am keeping up with it.

After taking the last year and a half off of work the idea of getting back into the working world was something I was half looking forward to and half dreading. It has been amazing to experience being a stay at home mother and a full time student. Being a full time homemaker was far more difficult than I could have ever imaged it would be. I easily filled my time volunteering with the kids activities, being carpool mom, and running errands, I often found myself wondering how I ever made time to do all of those things when I worked. I now have a very high respect for stay at home parents, it really is a full time job in itself!

I know that while continuing to be a full time student - silly me signed up for 18 credit hours this semester - it will be good for me to get back into the working world. I am excited to get my independence back and see what new adventures are to come.

*Everything Happens For A Reason *

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Humbling Weekend

This weekend was humbling. 

The kids and I had the opportunity to worship with The Journey Church on Saturday. It was so good to see some familiar faces and worship with a great group of people. The message for service was "Time to Change", those of you how know me well know that our family is going through a lot of change and it has been extremely difficult and challenging on myself and the kids. However, that night I was able to see a new perspective that I had not yet thought of and that is that instead of being down because I am broken ... I need to allow God to fill me up! As hard as it has been it was so important to me that I was reminded that even though at times I feel so very alone that I am not, that He is with me, by my side and guiding me through my days. It is amazing when I stop attempting to control what is going on and when I give it to God that he simply provides. My needs are met, my children are healthy, we have a roof over our heads and our food in our stomachs and we are surrounded by loving people when we allow Him to guide us and let those people in. We are so blessed. 
                                                       AMEN to this!

Today we were invited to worship with some friends at a City Church in Sandy, UT. First off it is located in the heart of my childhood stomping grounds. It was cool to drive through Sandy and see the changes. Sandy Mall is now Sandy Village, and where the Albertson's and Fred Meyers used to be they have torn down and begun to rebuild. So it was neat to see the changes. City Church is located in the (super old according to my children) dollar theater, next to the current Movie 9. It was amazing to see what the people of City Church were able to do with an old run down theater and how they were able to make the space meet their needs to worship and serve God. When we arrived the people there were so kind and friendly, (No, not all churches are this way). The worship team was absolutely AMAZING!! (Even though I pointed out to Claire today that when they started it reminded me of the old Disney Sing-A-Longs, LOL - Just because these people are so animated while praising and worshiping God). The message today was about Seasons and the pastor was really able to get the message across without the kids falling asleep. For me, the highlight of City Church was mine and the kids drive home when we were all alone and I asked them what they thought. Chandler said that the song worship didn't seem never ending and he actually understood the message. Alexys said that she also enjoyed it and really wants to go back. I have been trying to talk these two into experiencing something new instead of sticking to what we did the last time we lived here.... today I was grateful we did. The kids are excited about church again, they are excited about God! I am just thankful that we have found a place where the kids are excited to go and I won't have to drag them out of bed to get to church on time.

In all, I was reminded that it is okay to be broken. I was reminded that I need to embrace my brokenness and allow God to lift me up and trust in Him that when He see's fit that everything will work out the way he has planned for me.I am excited to start a new week in such good spirits and knowing that God's got it if I allow him. 

God Bless

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Today

I often find myself alone with my thoughts, at times they are overwhelming. I question if I made the right decisions. I worry that moving back to Utah was the wrong one for myself and my children. 

I genuinely attempt to be an optimistic and positive person, sometimes to a fault. I saw this photo posted by a friend in Arizona today and it really hit home. As hard as it is to close the door on the past, the what if's, and what could have been, Today I have to start fresh, Today I have to go forward. Not just for me but for my children. I have to focus on what will be instead of what could have been. 



Now, if you truly know me... you will know that this will be a difficult step to take. So many people have made the same comments, "You are so strong" or "You are handling this so well" or "You are so positive". Let's be honest here and now. I where my heart on my sleeve however lock my feelings up tight where most are unable to see them. Often times I want to crawl into a corner and cry, but reality is I can't. I have two children who are both going through lots of emotions and anger so I get to suck it up and be there for my children. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but what I do know is that it is time to take a deep breath and step into a new life. We will see

 Another fitting photo saying. Here is to the beginning of the rest of my life.