Saturday, September 5, 2015

I turned him in...

Somewhere between Jeremy coming home on July 21st and September 2nd  I seemed to have sent another missionary off.  I turned Kyle over to The Lord this week.  It was kind of an unusual way to send a missionary off, but he is in the MTC and hasn't called for a ride home, so I guess we are good to go.

Due to all of our moving and craziness, we did not have all of Kyle's missionary items purchased. I told him I could focus on him once we moved to California and had Baylie and Brandon settled into school.  He was bored out of his freakin' mind hanging out with his Momma all day every day for two weeks.  We decided we would head up to Provo about a week early so we could run all of the errands and he could let loose some of that pent up energy.

Our original plan was to leave early on Wednesday morning and have him set apart the following week before he entered the MTC in Provo.  We all thought it was a great plan... except for our Stake President.  He felt James should be present when Kyle was set apart as a missionary and highly encouraged us to have Kyle set apart before we left for Utah.  That didn't go over too well with Kyle but he complied.

So, Thursday August 27th he was set apart as a missionary.  James, Brandon, Baylie and I were there and it was a wonderful time as a family.  He was given a great blessing.  We went to Olive Garden afterwards as our last "family" meal. 

The next morning Kyle and I left.  Boy did he drag his feet.  He realized how much he was going to miss the small family he had left in CA, as well his dog Tucker.  He made Tucker one last fried egg with cheese, gave the old boy a big hug and off we went.  Kyle and I had a great time driving to Utah together.  It was a wonderful experience.  I am so glad we had that time together.  We tried really hard to keep all of the mission rules, but after about 30 minutes of listening to hymns we were both ready to fall asleep.  We gave into more worldly music to keep us going for the 11 hour drive.

We arrived in Provo around 8:00 p.m. and he was off and running.  It was very difficult to insist he keep all of the mission rules.  Jeremy was his companion for the most part.  They took off to spend time with cousins immediately.  The next day was the same thing.  They played tennis, went running, anything he could do to stay in shorts and a T-shirt as long as he could.  They played and played until Sunday.

On Sunday Kyle and Jeremy went to a student ward and I went to church with my mom.  Later the boys went to say goodbye to some of their favorite people in Ogden.  Our good friends have an elderly aunt with Down's Syndrome.  Kyle has a huge soft spot for her and had to take her one last Diet Coke and a bag of Cheetos before he left on his mission.  Sunday was a much easier day to keep the mission rules.

On Monday Kyle, my Dad and I ran a bunch of errands.  We picked out a speaker, an MP3 player, a super big memory SD card.  My dad had enough shopping for one day so we took him home and went back out.  We stopped by Missionary Mall on a fluke to compare them to Mr. Mac.  As we were browsing we were introduced to a recently returned missionary from Cape Verde mission!  Kyle was so excited to finally meet someone in person who actually served in this tiny mission.  He was a wealth of knowledge and gave us a ton of information.  Kyle was more excited the more they talked.  It was fun to see the anticipation in his eyes of what lies ahead.

We then grabbed a quick lunch together at Rumbi Grill and went home.  He and Jeremy were back at the brotherly companion thing.  Back up to the cousins they went.  Kyle decided to stay the night at his cousin's house.  About 2:30 in the morning, I got the call.  He was toooo hot.... ugh!!  Boy was I mad at this kid.  Seriously?? I thought we did this when you were 7 or 8, not 19.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself he was leaving in two short days and I didn't want to fight with him.  So, there I was at almost 3:00 in the morning driving through Cougar town with my glasses and nightgown on to pick him up.  We didn't talk much on the ride home.  We both knew we were too exhausted to say a word to each other lest in end up in a huge argument.

Tuesday we had the great idea of hiking Y mountain as a farewell to Kyle.  I was all in, despite the lack of sleep the night before.  Did I mention Jeremy called at 7:45 asking me to bring him his shoes that were left at my parents house?  Yeah... not a lot of sleep going on for the mom, even at 19 and 21.

Earlier this summer we all hiked to Timpanogos Cave and I was honestly the first one to the top.  I had no problem going up or down the mountain.  I was sure I could easily tackle the mountain.  We picked Jeremy up and off we went.  When we arrived, I thought all of the water  bottles were gone. So off we went.  Yeah... easy... right.  About half way up the first switch back I realized I had bitten of way more than I could chew!  I kept up for a bit, but was soon winded.  We had to stop and start repeatedly.  Jeremy and Kyle were both very patient.  Kyle even suggested I wasn't acclimated yet and that was causing my short breath.  No, I reminded them I was old and fat.  Jeremy tried to comfort me by sang " You aren't old Mom ".  Thanks son!

By the 6th switch back I was becoming nauseated, sweaty and shaky.  I told the boys to go on ahead. They really didn't want to but I insisted.  They both left and I sat on a rock, ready to cry.  Ready to give up and head back down the mountain.  As I sat there I realized I couldn't let that darn mountain get the best of me.  My mom would never quit!  I got up off of that rock and started up the trail.  Even if I could only take 20 steps between breaks, I was going to do it!  20 minutes later I was being cheered on by my boys who were sitting on top of the Y.  I did it!  

( All of the red spots show the many times I stopped and started. Sadly my phone died just as I got to the top of the trail )

As I was huffing and puffing up the mountain, I thought about the sweet investigators they will/have one day.  They had so much patience for me as I struggled to hike that mountain.  They both waited and encouraged me.  Just as an investigator needs the loving and patient guidance of missionaries as they learn about the gospel.  I am sure there are many converts who are ready to quit but the missionaries encourage and support them along the way. And when I finally made the decision I wasn't going to quit, there were those two great young men, waiting for me to celebrate my accomplishments.  It was actually a very spiritual experience for me as I watched my two boys show me the compassion they have/will have towards the people they teach and fellowship into the church.

We walked back down the trail and couldn't wait to get a drink from the water fountain at the bottom.  When we reached the fountain, we discovered you would literally have to put your mouth over it to get water.  Gross!  We went back to the car and to our delight found three unopened not so very warm bottles of water.  One for each of us!  We all chugged the water down.  We then went to J-Dawgs and feasted on some great hot dogs and chips with cool ice water to wash it all down.

Later that night my dad cooked us all a steak dinner and then we had a small ice cream dessert bar to say goodbye to Kyle.  My mom wanted to make sure he felt special. Alex as well as my sister and her daughter came over to join us. We then went up to the cousin's to say goodbye to the family.  He "let" Penelope cut his hair one last time and played a video game with the younger kids. It turned out to be a great experience as we have little family in Provo.  Just before we left, we all sang a hymn that Kyle choose and then we knelt in family prayer.  It was a short and sweet evening tradition, but it sure helped Kyle to feel the Spirit as well as family love and support as a missionary.

Wednesday was the big day!  We started it off with Kyle and my Dad going golfing in the morning while I went to breakfast with an old friend.  She couldn't believe I would give up our precious time together the day he was going to leave.  To be honest, I think Kyle and I had enough time together over the past month and we were both ready for a break.

I picked Jeremy up from his apartment on my way home so he could say goodbye to his best bro. They joked around as usual for a few minutes, shared a big bro hug and Jeremy headed back to school.

We then went to say goodbye to my Mom at work and had a small lunch with her.  She almost cried when she had to say goodbye for two years.  She had grown fond of our little firecracker over the summer while he worked at BYU Sports Camps as a counselor. 

We then ran to Missionary Mall to exchange shirts that were a size too big.  When Kyle told the salesman he was going into the MTC in an hour and a half, the cute salesman literally ran across the store to help with the exchange.  It was kind of funny to see the slight panic in his eyes.

We stopped at the dollar store to buy a few odds and ends and returned home where I began to very quickly iron the white shirts that my Dad and Kyle busy removing the packaging from.  It was funny to hear how frustrated Kyle became with the 100 pins they use to keep the shirts looking nice.  Same ornery kid!!  I enjoyed ironing those white shirts for him one last time.

I finished the last shirt, packed his suitcase with him.  Laid the perfectly ironed shirts on top, zipped up his suitcase and we realized he was ready to go.  At that point, he became very quiet for his boisterous, energetic self.  He called and said goodbye to Baylie and then James.  He had called Mikenzie earlier and sent her one last Snapchat before he handed his phone over to me while we were driving to the MTC.  We all had a good laugh when we read James' last text telling us he was teary eyed.  James is the softy in the family, we all know that.

We pulled into the MTC at 2:02 p.m. where we were greeted by a very kind senior missionary.  He asked if we had an Elder available.  I told him we had a great one in the car. He then asked where we would like to send him.  When I said Cape Verde he told us they had one opening left and Kyle was a perfect fit.  I love older people. They are a hoot!

We were then directed to a parking spot in front of the MTC.  I jumped out to say goodbye and get my last hug.  By the time we had opened our car doors, a handsome young missionary was already shaking Kyle's hand a welcoming him to the MTC.  He was excited to find out Kyle would most likely be in his zone as he was going to Mozambique, Portuguese speaking.  He grabbed Kyle's suitcases, shook my hand,  waited for my Dad to give Kyle a hug, took Kyle and he was gone.  My dad and I drove off by 2:10.  It's kind of good to rip off that band aid and get it over with. 

I drove off proud of myself I didn't cry.  I think Kyle would have cried as well if I did so I am glad I stayed strong. The tears sure came when I returned home tonight to see an empty bedroom with just a few soccer shirts laid on the bed.  I might have shed a few tears on the long, lonely drive back to California as well but I was all alone and no one saw me, so that doesn't count.

I am so very grateful Kyle is able to serve a mission. He will be so very blessed throughout his life from all of the things he learns and becomes.  I can't wait to see the great-er young man that he will grow into.

Be grateful!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Our crazy life continues...

It has been a while since I last posted.  Life has been a whirlwind but in a kind of good way.  If we roll back the clock to July 22nd..... where do we begin??

With my awesome missionary returning!!!  Yay!! It sure was an interesting morning.  We were all counting down the hours until 9:15 a.m. arrived.  Baylie hastily made a couple of homemade posters ( No, I was not that Mom, the one that orders a huge banner complete with pictures and maps to welcome Jeremy home ).  We rushed into the airport and waited for Kyle who so kindly parked the car for me so I could find my spot to wait for my Elder to give me a long awaited hug.

We were pleased to be greeted by another family in our Stake who also had a son returning from Brazil.  We were so excited to see both of our sons returning together, as they had been set apart together.  We hugged and talked.  Two more friends came to take pictures for the blessed moment.

Finally, Baylie came running down the walkway telling us she could see Jeremy.  We all searched and before we knew it, there he was!!  We all gave him a big hug or two.  He then saw The Lehnardt family and said " Um... Jason isn't on the plane"  His mom was shocked and asked if he was kidding. I mean really... where is my son?!?  Jeremy said he did not connect with the rest of the group in Sao Paulo and he had no idea where Jason was.  We all kind of stood around and waited as the plane emptied and talked a bit, I tried to comfort his Momma and then, well, I took my missionary home after wishing the family the best.  I felt so guilty but so grateful MY missionary was the one to deplane on time.

We all returned home with Jeremy who was astonished at being in an air conditioned car, listening to English and driving on paved roads in his home town.  His English returned very quickly and we enjoyed hearing the slight accent he picked up.  His stories were wonderful and we enjoyed every single second.

He shared is crazy green grass tea, gifts and more stories.  Alex soon arrived.  He had been picked up by a good family friend at the airport so I could spend time with Jeremy.  Before I knew it the boys were off and running and Jeremy was done being home, hugging and telling stories!

We finally met up again at the Stake President's office for him to be released.  Jeremy brought every single mission journal with him to return and report on the promise of writing every single day.  It was a wonderful, spiritual experience to hear him recount many experiences that helped him grow and become the wonderful young man he is.  He was then released and we were on our way.  We ran into The Lehnardt family who finally had their son in tow.  He had missed a connecting flight but landed 2 hours later.  All of the missionaries in his group were bumped up to first class, so I guess it was worth the delay for them.

After the release, we then went to Jeremy's single requested location: Red Robin!  He had been craving an American hamburger for months.  We all ordered and I was grateful for the $25 gift card my mom had sent us.  It was going to be a pricey meal.  But we cherished every moment.  Alex had left for a friends house so it was just the  six of us.

Just as we were finishing up our meal, our waiter approached me and told me that he had never had something like this happen before but a gentleman who wished to remain anonymous had paid for our meal in full!  We were all surprised and could not imagine who had been so kind towards our family.  It was such a wonderful blessing and such a great example to my children of how generosity can bless the lives of others.

Later that night as we knelt in family prayer, I felt so wonderfully blessed and grateful for my children.  Especially the opportunity we have shared as a family supporting a missionary.  It was by far one of the best days of my life!

To be continued...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Time sure does fly by.  These two cuties were heading off to work one Saturday morning and I had to take a quick picture to save the moment.  Five of our six kids have been employed by Culver's and we are so happy with the great work experience they have been blessed with

Thinking about all of the details of prom can make one weary....

Luckily... we made it through.  Don't my kids look great??

Baylie had a great time singing in the Stake Youth Choir at Stake Conference.  She even had a solo and did a great job!  I was so proud of her.  She has such a confidence about her.

My kids are growing up so fast!!  I sure love them!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Catching up

didn't realize how wonderful it is to maintain my blog until a few nights ago when Baylie needed to remember life events for each year in her life for a class at school. Because it was 10:30 at night and I was tuckered out, it sure was handy to check the blog to spark a few memories. 

So as I sit in my warm van watching the first soccer game of the season, I thought I would catch up and share some pictures. Maybe I will feel less guilty about camping out in the car instead of freezing my tooshka off on the sidelines. You win some and you lose some!

Brandon has a great time camping out at Watkins Mill State Park last night with his thinned out scout troop. A lot of boys are out of town for Spring Break. We almost jumped in the van and headed out for Utah, but the responsible financial nerd in held strong so we will stay home this year. I am grateful for the comfort of prayer as this was actually a tough decision for me but deep down, after praying about it, I know it is best for us to stay home. 

I sure enjoyed Baylie's concert on Thursday night. We are so blessed to live in a school district that puts a lot of time and money into music programs. It is a joy to watch her play in the Symphonic Orchestra. 

This little guy sure has warmed the hearts of everyone in the family. He gets more attention than the rest of combined. It's a good time in our lives to have a dog and I almost feel bad we didn't get one sooner. I am not a dog person nor an animal lover, but Mikenzie is and I love seeing her eyes light up every time she sees her dog. And to hear Brandon's happy laughter today as he blew past me upon his return home searching out his puppy for the first hello from home. 

I was beyond thrilled to see Kyle post this on Instagram the other night as he was at the Stake Center waiting for his mission interview with the Stake President. His papers go in next Wednesday!  I am so very grateful he is serving a mission. 

This picture really touched my heart. I took Baylie to a friend's house so she could take a few pictures around their property for her digital photography class. She was shyly walking around snapping pictures when our good friend offered to give her a ride over to see the new calves. I appreciated him going the extra mile-- literally. And lucky for B, there was a brand new calf that even our friends weren't aware of. 
Life sure is full of wonderful moments. It's easy to loose track of them quickly. Modern technology is awesome!

Well, the game is over. More pics to come in my next post. Love playing catch up!

Be grateful!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Know?

To the son who has forgotten all of the good, wonderful happy times in your life....
this post is for you.

Do you know how much I truly love you?  Do you know how much my heart aches to mend fences and move forward? Do you know how very emotionally weary I am?  Do you know I pray for you every day, put your name on the temple roll every week and fast for you every month?

Do you know how overwhelmed I was as they wheeled me out of the hospital with my beautiful 8.4 pound newborn baby boy.  My first son,  My oldest child.  They just let me take you home.  No questions asked.  They just trusted that I would be a good mother...probably more than I did.  Do you know it has taken me 20 + years to finally accept that I did my best?  That I spent years and years beating myself up for not being a perfect mom?  For not having a clean enough house? For losing my temper? For struggling with 6 little children under my feet, plus an extra 2 for a while? Do you know I loved you instantly and gave you everything I had, every day until I was exhausted and then I would wake up the next morning and start all over? 

Do you know the first and only time I ever called 911? It was when you were 9 months old and I thought you were choking on a cracker.  Do you know the fear that washed over me in a second?  I was all alone in a basement apartment and you were sitting in your blue high chair.  Suddenly you were coughing and sputtering.  So, I called 911 in a panic and by the time I told them I was pretty sure my first child was dying right before my very eyes you coughed up a little piece of cracker and through watery eyes, smiled at me and resumed eating your cracker.  Do you know how sheepish I felt for bothering the very busy 911 people?  Do you know I don't think I have ever told your dad that story because I know he would chuckle and my pride doesn't like being laughed at?  Do you know I worried about you from day one and still do?
Do you know which mole was your first mole?  I do.  It's on your left leg, between your ankle and your knee.  It's grown a lot over the years but I remember the first time I noticed it.  I was giving you a warm bath, getting ready to put you into your jammies and then take you for our evening stroll.  It was our little routine, just you and me before all of your rambunctious siblings were a part of the mix.  Your dad worked nights so we would head over to Grandpa's to spend time with him because Grandma worked nights as well.  I would drop dad off at work and away we would go.  You in your car seat and me behind the wheel of my shiny red Toyota Carolla that I adored.  It was my first car that officially belonged only to me.  I named it Chae-- translated from Spanish means "dude".  I had to sell it so Dad could go to medical school.  It was the only time I have ever cried about giving up an inanimate object.  And boy did I cry.  Did you know your mom cried over selling a silly car? Do you know Grandma Nielsen put arms around me to comfort me and then told me to suck it up and get over it? Do you know I loved her for that loving but tough way of hers? 

We would have dinner with Grandpa and then you would take a warm bath.  We would head out walking the familiar streets of the neighborhood that I grew up in.  I could hardly keep your busy little self in the stroller for the first few blocks, but as the sun set and the world calmed, so did you.  After a while your eyes would get heavy and we would end up back at Grandpa's where I would quietly open the garage door, roll the stroller into it's parking spot, slide your sleepy little soul out of your stroller and into your carseat.  I would say goodbye to Grandpa and we would head for home.  

Do you know I can still remember putting you into Clifford The Big Red Dog pajamas one evening at Grandpa's house.  Grandma was there and you went running out of the bathroom as fast as your little legs would take you and Grandma just laughed and laughed at how darn cute you were.  Do you know how much I loved you?

Do you know why you have a scar above your belly button?  I do. Is it still there?  I know how that scar came to be.  It was your first chicken pox.  You caught the chicken pox from friends in Iowa.  I'll admit, we had a chicken pox party as they were spreading like wildfire in our apartment complex and we figured we might as well get it over with. So we played for the afternoon and about a week later, lo and behold, there was the first little pox, presenting itself in all it's glory.  I had the virus as a baby and had no idea what was in store for us.  Before I knew it, you were covered from head to toe with little pox and your fever was spiking quickly.  I had figured you wouldn't get too sick as you were my healthiest child who never got sick.  But this little bug sure got you down. You were so very sick and I was so very worried. I even made Dad come home from studying to give you a blessing because I was convinced you were sicker than any other child had ever been from the chickenpox. Do you know Dad laughed at my worry? 

Did you know you fell asleep in a oatmeal bath?  I guess it was so warm and soothing that the moment I turned my back, you were fast asleep, floating on top of the water, like it was a cloud of comfort.  It still makes me smile, that picture of my sick little boy, covered in spots, sleeping like an angel in a bathtub. Do you know I was your nurse?

Do you know that the only time I have ever run out of gas was while we were on our way to a primary activity in Rapid City, SD.  I called dad to come and save the day and you worried that he would bring jet fuel from the airport where he was working insted of regular gas.  So many worries in that little 7 year old head of yours. Do you know I think you are inquisitive?

Do you know you would ask me such complicated questions at the age of 4,5,6,7,8,9... that I couldn't even understand the question let alone come up with an answer.  The question of how quickly the rocket booster falls from the space ship once it has detached?  That was a question you asked me one day driving home from preschool.  I still don't know the answer but I'll bet you do, along with an explanation of the answer along with many other brillaint facts that maybe if I had known... that maybe if I could have answered... maybe you wouldn't be so eternally mad at me. Do you know I think you are brilliant? Do you know I think it's wonderful you have an insatiable appetite for knowlege?

Do you know the first day of preschool and kindergarten I didn't cry when we parted because I was just so stinkin' proud of my little boy.  I was so excited that you were with your friends and could learn and grow that big brain of yours.  Do you know I think you are capable?

Do you know the first day of first grade in Pennsylvania I was just as terrified as you were?  Dropping you off at the huge elementary that seemed more like a fortress?  You looked terrified.  I pulled out a pen and drew a smiley face on your palm and told you to look at it everytime you were afraid and to remember how much I loved you?  Do you know I still love you as much as I did that scared little first grader all those years ago? Do you know there was a rotten bully who sat next to you on the bus every afternoon the first week who you thought was a friend even though he slammed your head into the window?  That it was me that went marching down to the fortess, stormed into the gates and demanded that you be moved to a new seat, closer to the bus driver with a student your age so I knew you would be safe?  Do you know I was your protector?

Do you know I cried when you were baptized because I was so grateful I had a husband who was a worthy priesthood holder?  And that my chest almost burst with pride when you were ordained a deacon?  And a teacher? And a priest? And an Elder? That I am pleased as punch that you are an Eagle Scout and a seminary graduate? That I am thrilled you were accepted to BYU?  Do you know I am your biggest cheerleader?

Do you know I have thousands of wonderful memories? Do you know how much I wish I could hug you and welcome you home with open arms and an open heart?  Do you know how much we all miss the son and brother that brought us so many smiles and laughs?

Do you know living in the past will not help you move forward? Do you know how much I think about you every day?

Do you know how much your Heavenly Father loves you and that no matter how much pain you may be carrying around, He can lighten the load if you let Him in?  If you open your heart and let Him, He can heal you?

You have tried everything.... except the only thing... that will bring you the healing and peace you are seeking.

Do you know our doors are always open?  You will always be our child.

Do you know, I mean really know you are of worth, have value and that you mean something to us?  That the world is and can be a better place because YOU are in it?  Do you know YOU can make a difference?  Do you know it is a simple as making a decision to move forward, to be happy and to embrace all the Heavenly Father has blessed you with?

Do you know it's okay to have weakness and faults?  That you can overcome them and develop them into strengths?

Do you know how much a mother loves a son?
 Do you know I love you?  I do!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day...

This morning was not a good one.  It actually started last night and dragged into the early morning hours.  Nothing I can't handle, but honestly, I am kinda tired of "handling" things. This has been a long, long year and I am really tired.  Not only has it  been a long year, we are gearing up for an even more challenging year ahead.  To say I am discouraged is an understatement. 

My kids weren't horrible this morning.  Two out of three attended seminary.  Kyle gave me a bit of an irresponsible attitude when he realized he overslept and was late for school ( again... senioritis is really kicking in lately ).  He tried to tell me he was going to fail a quiz because his mom didn't wake him up in time to study.  I don't think so.  

Just as I pulled into the high school parking lot to drop Kyle off at school, I received a text from B asking me to bring her the camera for her class.  My first and only thought was  " No... I'm not doing that today".  It was 8:30 and she needed the camera by 9:00.  I just really did not want to rescue today.  I am tired of rescuing my kids.  So, I told her no and she said   " Okay ".  Just like that.  Just like Baylie.  Always sweet and understanding.

After dropping my two boys off at school, both late, I came home and looked at my slightly disheveled house.  I wandered around, smiled at our sleeping puppy and felt tired.  I made a conscience decision to go back to bed.  I usually don't, but today was a pull the covers over your head kind of day.  A I don't want to face the day, kind of day.  It's all too much to deal with kind of day.  I just can't take another step, kind of day.

You see, last night my husband finalized his arrangements to go to California to work for the next year, without us.  Lest you be concerned, we are all good.  It was a tough decision, but with Kyle graduating in 4 months and Jeremy coming home from his mission in 6 months and Mikenzie graduating early, it's just best the family remain in our home here while James sets out after yet another lofty career move, one that we are praying is an answer to our prayers. 

It is really hard to "feel good " about said move when there isn't a single cell in my body that wants to move.  We really love it here.  Take the humidity away and it would be almost perfect.  The schools have been great, friends have been awesome.  My kids are so very happy.  We love our ward and all of the people in it.  I like the neighborhood, the city, the whole area.  I love the church history that we are surrounded by.  And now, we are in a position where we need to say goodbye to it all.  And move, to crazy California.  Somewhere I swore I would never live.  But, the career opportunities have all  but dried up here.  James hates his jobs and is tired of working 70 hours a week only to be broke, exhausted and discouraged at the end of every pay period.  There are so many pros to moving, but so many hurdles to jump over just to get to said pros.  So he is leaving and I am staying.  Single mom, again.  We've done this before, but I am tired and it doesn't sound too fun this time around.

My real discouragement comes not from all that I listed above, but from my lost little lamb. Wandering.  Lost.  Confused.  Defiant. Stuck. Lonely. It is truly heartbreaking to see such a brilliant, funny, handsome kid so utterly chained down by his own thoughtless and kind of dumb decisions.  And he is just swirling around in circles, not even realizing how truly lost he is and how much ground he has lost.  Difficult. Frustrating. Ornery. Angry. Resentful. Rebellious. Hard hearted.  Bitter. Spiteful. Not words I would have ever chosen to use to describe any of my children.  And yet, he is.  He is all of that and more, but I am the mom and I am trying to be polite.  

The hardest part is the solution to almost all of these problems is right before his face and yet because it is "conforming" to something his parents want to him to have, he rejects it.  I am so heartbroken over this prodigal son.  He hates me.  He resents me.  He " will never forgive " me.  He promised me one day he would make me regret choices " for the rest of my life" and he sure is living up to that promise, all to his own self defeat and destruction.  

What exactly have I done to my child to make him so hateful?  Nothing really.  Absolutely NO abuse whatsoever.  We moved when he was 14, to a better city with greater opportunities.  We sent him to work at Scout camp at 16.  We "made" him earn his Eagle.  We "forced" him to graduate from seminary.  We tried and failed at getting him to study for good grades.  And he hates me/us for all of it.  He has warped memories of only having one sock for church, being ignored and not having glasses that he needed ( yeah, I'm talking about the $400 glasses still sitting in a drawer right this very minute, because they cost $400 and I can't bear to toss them out ).  He laments that he is not the favorite ( can parents even have a favorite? )   Claims he raised himself from the age of 11 years old. The word mission will cause an nuclear explosion like none other.  

I don't even know how to deal with this adult child anymore.  I don't know how to heal this relationship that he has cast aside.  I send letters that go unread.  I send care packages that are never appreciated.  I make sure he has birthday and Christmas gifts galore without even so much as a text to say thank you.  We can't joke.  We can't tease.  We can't even give each other a hug.  He is not the only one that is lost.

So, my heart is heavy today.  My shoulders do not feel equal to the tasks that lay ahead of me.  But I got out of bed... Tucker had to go out, so... I got out of bed.  I washed dishes and did the laundry.  I cleaned and organized.  I had some chocolate.  And I will take another step forward.  I am going to the temple to find some peace tonight.  I can only pray for the comfort that only Jesus Christ can give me.  The comfort that I wish my son could find, and apply and change his life with. Pray for me.  

Time to pick up the kids and be the strong mom.

Be grateful!!