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!