Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mid-Life Crisis? Already?

How old do you think this hottie is (the one on your right (ha ha)- I couldn't find a pix of Ty alone that I had saved on my computer)? So he's only 30 and I'm worried. It seems that Ty's already going through what some might call a mid-life crisis.

If spraining your ankle while playing church basketball (and then standing on it for 10 hrs. straight for the next two days at work)...

buying this kind of toy...

2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 900

and if pulling a stunt like this...

skidiving with friends Mike, Rudy, and AJ

...doesn't qualify as a mid-life crisis, I'm really in for more adventure than I can handle when Ty turns 40 or 50. But doesn't he look good on that bike? Mmmm hmmm.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Wanted To Share

There were two women who were asked to share their own stories of "sweet assurance" during the Time Out For Women conference. Both were moving, but this Sister from Sweet, Idaho has dealt with some pretty amazing things and come out SO strong! I was amazed as she stood in front of more than 1,000 of us women and didn't choke up once as she bravely read her totally inspirational story. I, on the other hand, was having a hard time controlling my tears, especially as they projected family photos of Emily with her husband and 4 daughters and then the picture that is shown below. I hope that I can remember her courage especially during my own difficulties and know that Heavenly Father loves me no matter what.

A Sweet Assurance of Life
September 14, 2009
By Emily Coburn Sweet, ID - Shared at the Boise TOFW

I have sweet assurance because I know I have a purpose. Heavenly Father wants me to receive eternal happiness. He loves me enough to allow me to face trails and challenges that are especially designed for me to grow spiritually and fulfill my divine purpose.

One beautiful Saturday morning in May of 2008, my husband and 3 of our 4 daughters were headed to our local cemetery for a community clean-up. Little did we know that a week later 3 of them would be laid to rest in that same cemetery. Less than a mile from my home, an oncoming loose trailer collided with my husband’s truck and he was forced off the road and down into a creek swollen from winter runoff. My husband and two of my daughters, one 8 and one 4 years old did not survive. My 6 year old daughter did survive even after being submerged under water for approx 40 minutes. According to doctors, she should not be here. But she is, and it was through the tender mercy of our loving Heavenly Father. Looking at her gives me hope and reassures me that the Lord is in control of all things. He knows me personally and what it will take to make me better, stronger, and more faithful as I strive to return to Him.

My daughter, Taylor, spent a month in the hospital, struggling to recover from her near drowning. While I was with her, I asked her doctor about a lump that I found in my neck. The next day I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer. When I heard the word cancer just two weeks after losing half of my family, a rush of thoughts ran through my head. Instantly, I thought this was good news! I would get to die and be with my husband and girls. Then, in the next split second I realized, “Wait, I can’t die, I have two little girls depending on me.” At that moment I panicked wondering how I was going to deal with all of this alone. I left my radiologists office full of fear and doubt and went back to Taylor’s hospital room. As I walked into her room and saw her lying in her bed, a calming sense of peace came over me as I considered the Miracle I had witnessed in her. In those few moments I realized that I am not alone. My family is with me always and the Lord is with me. Once I realized this, I was filled with determination and strength and my final thought was “Bring it on!”

Although I was experiencing great trial and sorrow, He did not leave me alone to endure the unimaginable pain that I was filled with. I had a choice to make. I could be bitter and angry, or become better and sanctified. Through the grace of our loving Savior and Heavenly Father I choose correctly. No matter what the trial is, I know He is there. I have learned so many priceless lessons from the challenges I have been blessed with. I am far stronger and more resilient than I ever thought I could be. I have learned to let go of the attempt to control my life and accept what the Lord wants me to do. When I let go of anger or blame, I can see the love of the Savior in my life and it lifts me up. It is then that I recognize the many tender mercies He continues to bless me with.

Ultimately, I know that all of this has a sweet purpose. It is my job to find that purpose and fulfill my mission here in this life. I want to turn the tragedy into triumph. I want my children to look at my life and be proud of what I have become and accomplished. It gives me hope and the strength to endure to think that my life has meaning and that through my trials I might be able to help others. I find peace in knowing that “Sunday will come” and that I will again be reunited with my family. After all, isn’t that our ultimate purpose? Life is Sweet. Each of us has a sweet purpose. Through our faith we can fulfill that purpose… no matter what!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Needs and Wants

So most of you have heard about "Time Out For Women" put together by Deseret Book right? Well, I had the blessing of a good friend call me to extend the invitation that I join her to the Boise event. Normally I would probably not even hesitate to make the decision on whether or not to go but let me explain why I did, in fact hesitate...

...Ty and I had just made a couple of somewhat large purchases over the past month or so (post of them to come soon :)) and since then, we have been trying to carefully discern between our needs and wants so that we have enough saved up for Christmas and to simply be smarter with our spending. This will forever be an ongoing process, I know, but in my efforts to be "smarter" I was asking myself, "Do I really 'need' to go this time (I have been to several before and LOVED them)?" When I presented the question to Ty, of course, his response was, "I don't care." He's so good to me. So I went :) And as it turns out - as it so often does with these sort of things - it was the "smarter" decision because I so "needed" that spiritual boost. I'm always in need of that spiritual boost rather I think I am or not.

It was wonderful to hear Hiliary Weeks and Cherie Call perform and to listen to speakers like Emily Watts, S. Micheal Wilcox, and Emily Freeman. I definitely went home with my cup filled to overflowing. Thanks Brooklynn for the invite. And to anyone who hasn't been to a Time Out For Women - I could recommend it enough - you'll love it!

And if that wasn't enough - that Ty let me go without any fuss - he watched the kids all of Friday night and most all day Saturday while I was gone! He took the kids to an airshow in Ontario where apparently the kids were very facsinated. It was so fun to listen to Cash try to show me with his hands and explain how the planes would fly across the sky while spinning, how they would fly straight up and fall down while swirling, and how fast the jets flew by. It was darling!

Ty's comment afterward was, "Yeah, I had a good time with the kids - I wish I could always stay home with them and have the kind of fun you have with them all day, every day." Haha, if he only knew what it was like right ladies? No really, I'm so grateful for a husband that is so good to me - in every way, for a man that enjoys spending time with his kids. He is always who I NEED and who I WANT. I'm grateful for the sweet kids I have who really are a load of fun to be with! They are always who I NEED and who I WANT.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Orchard Tour

I love living in this area - it's variety in fresh fruits and vegetables being pretty close to the top of my list of reasons. There is tons of farm ground that produce onions, peppers, corn...about anything you can think of. There are also tons of orchards and vineyards that produce tons of grapes, pears, peaches, apples, plums...again, about anything you can think of. Today I took the kids to a large local orchard for a tour.
Cash trying to share an apple with the orchard owner's dog.
Kids chowing down on their plums.
Vanna running away from the little dog (plum in hand- she loved that
thing and ate it right up). She gets so excited to see cats, dogs, etc. but when they get
too close to her - she gets a little scared and cries for mommy.
We had a great time learning about the variety of fruit their trees produce, we each got to pick our own plum to enjoy, and of course, I couldn't leave without purchasing a few peaches for eating and pie making - YUM!!!