2 (1)I hear the comments wherever I go. They tell me how my hands are full or that I’m “brave”. They’re right about my hands being full and I’m working on the being brave part. I’m a young mom with two very young children, I get it. I get that from the outside it looks crazy. To be honest, sometimes it is crazy. I have plenty of days where I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.
Most days are like today, fairly ordinary. Early in the morning I hear baby snorts and grunts or tiny little feet running to my room. I begin mentally preparing myself for another round of madness. It’s so fulfilling to meet the needs of two tiny humans but it has a way of wearing me down. I wonder to myself how meeting such simple needs can turn so crazy. Why is my head spinning by the time Kellen gets home when most of what I’ve done all day is feed them and change their diapers?
I live for the split seconds of time when things are out of the ordinary. Or maybe they’re ordinary but I choose to see them in an extraordinary light. Today we snuggled and laughed ourselves to tears on mama’s bed. Somehow life made sense. In that half an hour of extra tickles and kisses I didn’t doubt myself. I didn’t worry about the growing mountain of laundry or what I could do “better”. I just soaked it in.37654



DSC_0346Watching my blue-eyed boy run wild, exploring and crunching leaves along the way, my heart felt all weird inside. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it until just now. It feels like yesterday but somehow forever ago that we were here in my parents’ back yard, just the two of us. The world felt so big and I felt so incredibly small and alone. All of our dreams & big plans for the future were falling apart while Kellen was a thousand miles away. It seemed as if nothing would go our way. We tried to make it feel like the distance wasn’t real with our nightly video chats and the million pictures we mailed to Daddy. But it was so real. It was there staring me in the face with every difficult day and lonely night.

As I look back I think it could have been easier if I had let people in. I wish I would have called my friends or cried to my mom. I think there was this tiny part of me that felt like it wouldn’t be justified. That because it wasn’t a deployment I didn’t have a place to struggle. The reality is, it was the most difficult time in my life. It’s hard for me to describe the fears that come to surface when you spend so much time away from someone you love so deeply. Maybe I’m prone to worry but my mind was filled with questions of how it would change us both. I reassured myself countless times that it would only strengthen us, that our love would grow. I am glad to see that I was right. Distance does have a way of making the heart grow fonder.

The months that I felt would never end have quickly passed. Our plans had a way of mending and changing in ways we couldn’t imagine at the time. We don’t have all the answers but we don’t need to. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for us that is far greater than the one that seemed so right in our minds when we started out this journey. So here I am a year later watching the last leaves fall as the cold air settles into the valley. Only this time I feel brave.

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October Rewind

We started the month off with Kellen’s paternity leave. He took on the role of mister mom, cooking, cleaning and playing with Dawson. I’ve never loved him more for it. Dawson, Stella and I caught colds. We spent most of one night in the hospital with Stella when her cough started sounding a little croupy. Luckily it was just the cold. Then by some miracle I got pink eye (yuck!) but it passed right on by the rest of the family. Those first couple weeks were a doozy. We were so glad to have some company when Kellen’s parents came into town. We took them up to Mt Lemmon to fish for crawdads only to discover they are hibernating this time of year. They spent most of their time snuggling Estelle, sword fighting Dawson and telling him endless stories. Jann bought Estelle the prettiest pink, sparkly dress for her first day at church.

We ended the month with some Halloween fun at the ward trunk or treat and an impromptu trip to Utah! I’m still scratching my head at how I got talked into flying on my own with a newborn and a toddler HA! They were great little travelers and it’s been a nice change of scenery. I mean, who could pass up Logan in the fall? The best part of the trip so far was surprising Kellen’s parents with my cute little trick or treater!

When Dawson Met Raphael

DSC_0164It’s no secret this boy is obsessed with Ninja Turtles. Our days are filled with stories of swords, shells, bad guys & pizza. I giggle every time I hear Dawson’s sweet voice yelling, “FIGHT WITH HONOR!!” My heart about burst to see his eyes light up when he “met” Raphael. DSC_0159DSC_0160DSC_0168

Heart of Gold

DSC_0126There are people who defy every obstacle and all that’s bad in the world. They are those who choose joy in every circumstance and love without condition. My grandma is counted among them. Her heart is so big. I have always had a deep love and adoration for her. The more I grow & learn through my experiences the more that adoration deepens. I have never met a woman quite like my grandma Cherie. I have kept a close eye on her throughout my life trying to grasp just how it is that she seems to radiate happiness. Cherie lets people into her heart. Without hesitation she loves them with all that she is. She has an undeniable spirit of joy and gratitude about her.
I could listen to the stories of her childhood over and over again. She remembers every detail as if it were yesterday. I’ve decided that’s because she lived each moment so fully. As the years pass and time catches up to her I feel my heart aching. I want time to stop long enough for my children to know her and love her like I do. I hope that they will hear her sweet voice tell the story of the boy she dated who sent her a package from an army base far away with one tiny yellow turtle name Cherie and one tiny green turtle named Clyde. Or the time she hid behind her teacher in grade school pulling faces at her classmates. I want to listen with them as she recounts a million memories of a life well lived. Selfless, vivacious, full of life and love; she is everything I hope to be.

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