Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another bunch of Jamaica pictures

I'll be adding more daily as I sort through them...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Tom and Kelly!!!

Here's a preview of some of the pictures. We've got lots me and let me know what I can do for you. Thanks so much for letting me take your pictures. I had SO MUCH FUN!!! YA MON!

This might make a nice golf collage or series...I can see these side by side.

You guys are so gorgeous. I didn't get to make a toast, so here you go...
Kelly, I am so glad to have you as a sister. We couldn't have picked someone better for Tom, or our family. I can't wait for all the adventures ahead of us...let's try Hawaii next!
Tom, I am so proud of you. You deserve this! I love you both.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I can hear the birds outside my window.
It is still dark.
As I dig deeper into my covers, I feel a small hand on my back. Soft, slow tickles up and down my shoulder blades.
I love being a mom.
He must have snuck into my bed sometime in the night. How can I resist waking up to tickles from a four year old.
I roll over.
He kisses my nose and the day starts...
This is one of my favorite memories.

My husband travels a lot. More lately than I am comfortable with. This has been one of my stay positive and pleasant when I am doing it on my own. What a hard lot in life it would be to be a single mother.
I have four kids. My oldest is six, the youngest is one. As weeks pass without relief or help, I can feel the burden growing.
Motherhood seems hard, daunting, heavy.
Recently, this is how I felt . I ached to feel the joy and the passion of being a mom again. My thoughts were filled with guilt. Once the night came, and my four little ones were tucked soundly in bed, I would miss them.
Why had I wished the day away.
They were growing so fast.
My prized possessions.
So sweet while they were sleeping.
I would vow to be better the next day.

Again the sun would come up.
As the tasks of the day began, and brought with them fighting and other trials, I would remember those peaceful moments at night. I could close my eyes and see them sleeping again.
Sweet faces.
Quiet breathing.

My tired heart would then be renewed with love and patience for them, just from one little memory...
A small hand tucked inside mine.
The way their faces look with watermelon juice dripping from their chins.
The first laugh...a sound remembered from heaven.
Her breath against my cheek.
Three hands clinging onto my skirt as we cross the street.
A small chest rising and falling against mine.
How he looks at me.
Finding my bed made by little hands.
Feeling tickles on my arm, and realizing she is doing it to calm me in a troubled moment.

I have been practicing this over and over again. Pulling from my reserve of favorite memories. It is working.
Heart changing.
Love filling.
Patience growing.

I love being a mom.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I used to be so brave

I noticed her talking to my baby as I walked back to my cart. She was short, wore a head of white hair, and her face wrinkled as she smiled at me.

As we began talking her husband appeared. We got on the subject of Grandmas.
Oh how I miss mine.
I told them that our grandparents were in Utah.
They asked me if I was Mormon.
"Yes I am."
We visited a little more about the beautiful music of the Tabernacle Choir, missionaries, and their good friends who were also LDS.
My kids were tired and I needed to go.
While parting ways, they told me they could be our grandparents while we were so far from home.

It used to be so easy to share the gospel. I used to be so brave. Over the past few months I have wondered where that bravery has gone.
This is something I think about a lot.
Where did it go? When did I become shy and reserved about who I am?
I have this thought that wiggles into my mind often...
"be more brave."

I have a friend who I love to the very bottom of my soul. She is amazing and is one of the greatest examples of Christlike behavior.
I left Utah wondering why I didn't share the gospel with her more.
Left with regret.
Why didn't I share one of my most valuable possessions with her?
I imagine her asking me in the after life why I didn't.
Hopefully she won't be mad at me for long.
With that in mind I promised I would try harder to be a missionary.

After leaving the store, I couldn't pull my mind away from that sweet older couple. Every time I closed my eyes I could see their wrinkled smiles.
I kept feeling like I should have done more.
Should have said more.
That night I knelt down to pray.
I asked Heavenly Father if he could help me. I would put a Book of Mormon in my purse the next time I went to the store if He would have them be there.
Now when I closed my prayer, I wasn't really sure if this prayer would be answered the way I asked.
I really didn't expect it to. It is a big world out there. But I did feel that He wants us to share, and I had faith that he would help me do that.

Two days later, on Saturday, we headed back to the store.
Book of Mormon in my purse.
Prayer in my heart.
Wrinkled smiles on my mind.

As we pulled into the parking lot I saw a couple with their hood up on their car.
"Chad, pull over there. I think they need help."
We parked next to the car.
I rolled down my window.

It was them.

They were there.

So was my bravery.

Those smiles again.

We talked for a little while. I was happy to introduce them to Chad. They told me that they already had a Book of Mormon. We said goodbye and they said they would meet us there again.

In the end, I still have my Book of Mormon, but I also gained a few things I wasn't expecting...

A little more bravery and faith.
Love for complete strangers.
A testimony that our prayers are way or another.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our guests have left....

What a wonderful week we have had. After having Chad gone so much over the last month, it was especially fun to have my cousin Shauna, her husband Kevin, and their cute baby S come and stay with us. I have loved waking up in the morning knowing that they were here in our house. Thanks you guys for flying the red eye to stay with me. Please come back soon...

(Shauna, I will send you the rest of the pictures!)

Isn't she cute? She was supposed to be born the same time as Savannah, but she came three months early. After 100 days in the NICU, Shauna was able to take her home. You can watch an interview of her experience here. (Just push play on the video on the right side of the page.)