Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

There will be classroom parties today and trick or treating tonight but I wanted to get this recorded now so that I don't have to worry about getting the perfect pictures for the rest of the day/night.  I just want to enjoy it all.
Daddy as Mullet Man and Brigham as Steve from Minecraft.
Hyrum as an Enderman from Minecraft.
Levi as The Creeper from Minecraft.
And Alisa is feeling a little spooky :)



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What would you create?

Yesterday I was getting my hair cut while talking to the hairstylist about my family's adventures in moving around so much.  After sharing and laughing about the many interesting things about each place, I told her how I would love to create my own little place where I could combine all the things I miss or love about each place.

California - The adventures
Oklahoma - The people
Colorado - Our house
Utah - The mountains
Idaho - Everything

But since I am only in one of those places, I will share what we woke up to this morning here in Weber county, Utah



Monday, October 21, 2013

Wilson's + Adams = Fun Time!

So tonight we met up with the Wilson family, minus Shannon, at Carl's Jr in Layton.
 Tricia loves to use wordplay with expressing things and she didn't disappoint when meeting us tonight.  She brought the boys some Hot Wheels cars and told them that she was so glad that we "rolled" back into Utah.
And for me, she told me to "Take 5" minutes/hours :) to myself to relax now that the moving and unpacking is done.  So love her!
Preston was being silly and doing all kinds of stuff with his clothes.  I went to take a picture of him when Brigham stepped in to do the same...AND the girls started twerking behind them.  Oh my gosh, we had WAY too much fun tonight.
Sydney and I had to take a picture together since we were wearing our Okie pride tonight...and that includes our faces!  

I forgot to bring my camera for other occasions but Christine and Mike helped us when we moved here (along with some men in our new ward.  Soooooo thankful!).  I also got to have breakfast with her for her birthday.  And I got to spend a few hours with Peggy and then later having a family dinner night at her house a few days later.  

I seriously have been blessed with the best of friends.  Just these girls alone bring so much to the table of friends that enrich my life so much.  Tricia - Always thinking of some way to help others.  Christine - Have you  ever had "that" friend where you feel they give more than you do?  She is way too good to me.  Peggy - That friend that you only have to know for 2 months before moving states away and yet you can't get her our of your heart because she is just stuck there?

Yep, really blessed.


Swanson's North Fork Environmental Center

There is an environmental center in Liberty, Utah that caters to the Weber district schools.  It's pretty amazing, actually, that they have funding for this.  There are 3 classes in Levi's grade at Roosevelt Elementary School and only one parent per class could go.  I was blessed enough to be asked!
First we hiked about a half mile up to the main center.  After that we broke into groups.  We went on a hike that was strenuous, to say the least.  Maybe that was because I haven't exercised since we moved back, though.
 The guide was so patient with all the kids that wanted to tell him everything they knew about corrosion and the outdoors.  It was all very interesting but the changing fall colors on the mountain were hard to keep my eyes off of.  And yes, we did climb those mountains!
There were archery and geocaching as well.  Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use GPS to hide and seek containers with the students.
I even enjoyed the bus ride.  It was so beautiful going along Cobble Creek with all those fall colors surrounding it.  Just a really great field trip.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Getting Some Visits In

The boys had early days in school Monday through Wednesday of this week.  A perfect way to start off a new school, I think.  And to make it even better, they are out today and tomorrow for Parent/Teacher conferences.  So I thought it would be a perfect time to go down to the Provo area and see Grandma Adams.

We met her in Pleasant Grove at the Arctic Circle there.  All the boys loved seeing her but it is always so cute to see Hyrum with her.  Levi and Brigham ate their food and were off to play in the kid area but Hyrum still stuck around just to be near Grandma.  It took him a while before he went out to play with his brothers and the other kids around.  As always, Helen was a lovable as could be with the boys.

Then we headed off for BYU to go surprise Jasia Liftee.
She was just beaming with excitement of being there at college.  It is so fun to be around that energy.  That new life of freedom and feeling the gospel on a whole new level that can only be found at a church college.  Don't get me wrong, that is why there is Institute at most colleges in the United States; so that all can still participate in that growing spiritual experiences while being on your own.  But there is just something so special about religion classes, FHE groups, weekly devotionals that are sometimes give by Apostles, and regular classes that are started with a hymn or prayer that makes this college life so very different.  I will forever love my Ricks days because of those very same reasons that Jasia has fallen in love with BYU.

Then we headed to Amanda Robert's apartment to surprise her.  It was so funny!  I knocked on the door, she answered and it took her about 2 seconds for it to register that it was me and then she attacked me with a huge hug.
I purposely wore my "Oklahoma Girl" shirt today so that these girls would be reminded that even though they are far away from their Oklahoma homes, that they can always call and I will be there in a heartbeat if they need me.  Single life can be exciting and scary.  It can really test your faith at times as you are trying to decide if the gospel is what you believe and not just what you were brought up to know.  Add that life can be hard for all kinds of other reasons and there are bound to be some rough times but either way, I am so excited for these girls to get their own life experiences.

Provo is probably an hour and half away so it was a long day for the boys but I am really glad that we went. We have other ties in that area and I wanted to make some more stops but the boys were starting to get a little crazy by the time we got to Amanda's apartment.  

Always good to be home :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trailblazers

David got free tickets from work, for the whole family, to see the Utah Jazz (basketball) play against the Portland Trailblazers.
The 2 older boys were, of course, excited to go.  Bitty and I were along for the ride :)
I was a little excited, I have to say, about being able to feel that energy that comes from being at a live game.  It was a good game and the company around us was family friendly, but David and I just didn't feel that same energy that we felt when we all went to the San Francisco Giants game.  That's ok, though.  It was a fun experience to have as a family.
One of the more entertaining part of the night was when they involved the crowd.  Like the Scream Meter.
It was funny when the cheerleaders came out.  I told Brigham that I used to be a cheerleader.  He looked at me with shock and said, "You were?!"  I don't know if he didn't believe that I would wear that skimpy of clothes or was once skinny enough to fit in such clothes, but either way his reaction was worth telling him.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sure Have Missed You!

Well, we made it back to Utah!  But not without the help of wonderful ward (church) members.
We felt extremely blessed to have the Young Men show up with their leaders as well as the Sister Missionaries to help us move and clean up.  It went so quickly because of all the help and honestly, it was entertaining!  I had full intentions of leaving at one point of the moving process to head to a gas station to fill up for the following day; purposely waiting until all the help arrived.  Too many people in a small place and I don't mix well.  But the Young Men were cracking me up as well as some of the leaders that were almost just as "mature."  I loved it!

The boys, as well as the neighborhood kids, loved having the moving truck parked unloaded for so long before the help arrived.  It was a little boy's dream of climbing walls while dodging Nerf bullets.

I will miss all the neighborhood kids but I think what I will miss the most, and already do, is the diversity there.  The boys were surrounded by Spanish speaking students at school.  We would often hear something said in English followed by the translation in Spanish.  I loved learning new things about the different cultures as well as taking part in some of them.  

One of our neighbors is from Afghanistan and she would bring over food every once in a while because she knew I was fascinated with trying different things.

This was the first dish I tried.  It was interesting that is for sure.  I definitely like my American made stuff but I still wanted to try more and more, just to experience it all.

But I sure am glad to be back in Utah.  I have miss you!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's What Is On My Mind

Depression has been on my mind a lot lately.  I openly talk about it anyway, but it seems that lately it has been a part of most discussions that take place around me.  When I first was diagnosed with it (through tests given by a doctor and obvious signs through behavior) I was 18 years old.  I did not want to talk to anybody about it other than my therapist.  I can remember my parents trying to have conversations with me about it but I hated admitting that I had to take prescription drugs to be "normal."  Some of my closest friends didn't find out about it until years later when I would become severely depressed after having Hyrum.  It was my all time low and after finally being able to feel things again, I knew I needed to explain myself to my friends that I had avoided.  There will always be judgmental people but for the most part, those I opened up to, embraced it and had no idea I ever had been through what I had. 

For about 3 years now I have been talking pretty openly about depression without shame.  I have expressed my feelings at group settings, one on one, as well as on my blog.  It has led to some of my most personal and vulnerable feelings being brought to the surface that ultimately lead to others opening up as well.   The old me would be surprised if she could look into the future and see that today I believe that my depression is both a blessing and a "curse."  There was a time when I never would have considered depression as anything but a horrible and cruel description of who I was.  And I certainly couldn't believe that depression could ever be considered a blessing.  How could a blessing form from truly believing that all around you would be better off without you?  But I can say now that I have known darkness and with every bit of sincerity with in me I can also say that the very same debilitating "curse" that I was born with has lead to my most spiritual experiences.

April told me once that  my depression is what made me so empathetic to those around me.  That because I know such intense pain, I am mindful of others who hurt. I know now that she was right all along.  I have had more people open up to me about their depression than I ever did in earlier years.  And I listen and tell them that they have every right to feel all those horrible feelings of being alone, anger, and sadness.  One of the many things that I have learned through my experiences is that there are 2 types of depressants: the angry one and the sad one.  I have been both.  So I try to be that listening ear as well advice giver that both can be overcome a little at a time.  I don't know that I will ever completely be rid of my depression in this life but I do know techniques now that calm me enough to know that I need to walk away from a certain situation or person.  I can recognize when the angry depressant in me comes out and know that I have to leave immediately.  Unfortunately, when the sad depressant comes along, I have a much harder time letting that part of me go.  Sometimes it just feels that, that part of the depression tries so very hard to cling on to my spirit.  I haven't quite figured that one out but I am honest about that with others.  I don't have all the answers but I can listen and make sure that others know that their feelings are valid.
(Daddy and Hyrum on the couch listening and watching conference.  Brigham and Levi are hiding in the boxes :)
  
All these thoughts are on my mind because of a talk given by Elder Holland on Saturday at General Conference.  He spoke of mental illnesses and how very real they are.  I have had an immense amount of love for this man every since I ran into him one day in a restaurant in Provo, Utah when I was single.  I felt his sincerity for me then, as he asked all kinds of questions about me, just as much as I did on Saturday as I listened to his talk.  I will go to this talk in the future when I am having my bad days so I can be reminded that the Lord is very aware of my mind.  He loves me.  And one day, He will make it all right.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ta-Ta

As always, right before we leave there are always goodbyes to be said.  Right away (after I found out we would be moving) Brittany and I set up a time for us to meet halfway and have lunch on Wednesday.  I will miss our random "outs" and remembering our college days (and quoting Billy Madison, of course).  Thank goodness she has ties in Utah; so I will be seeing her soon!
I didn't make as much of an effort to get real close to anyone at church, like I usually do when we move around.  I guess it was because I knew it would be a short stay but before I knew it, girls were making me laugh and inviting me to craft nights.  That's all it took.  So when I found out that 4 of the girls that I see quite a bit at church and the craft nights all had birthdays in October, I had to get us together before I left.
(Top left: Kaylie, Kim, Veronica, Suzette, Nikki, and Oretta.  
Bottom Left:  Kristal, Maughra with Zoe and Kellye) 
We met at the Texas Roadhouse so they could ride the birthday saddle after our meals.  They really didn't want to get on but after some peer pressure, I succeeded.  And look...they liked it!
As always, the girls I come in contact throughout our moves just proves to me that the Lord looks out for me.  He knows me.  He knows that being surrounded by boys all the time means I need girl time every once in a while and He always provides a way.  Even if I "think" I don't need to get close to anyone because we won't be there long.  He just sends em' my way anyways!  And I'm thankful for that.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

For Your Entertainment

video
The Vice Principal, Mr. Lopez, stopped me yesterday at school to tell me that Levi had been in an "altercation" with 2 other boys earlier that day.  He said he wasn't at fault but that he had been hit and did not hit back.  So when Levi got home and I asked him about it, well, it turns out it was little worse than I thought.  He was hit in his "privates" by one boy but that boy had done it to other boys as well.  Dushan was over and when he heard it, well, he had us all cracking up!  He was his normal funny self telling us all about how he'd handle the situation if someone punched his "ling longs."  He didn't stop there though.  He entertained us all with his "country song." 

Sure am going to miss this boy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

California, you were fun but it is time to move on...

Last week David got word that he was wanted back in Utah.  At first, I handled it just fine.  Even David commented a few times how well I was taking it.  But within a day, I wasn't so sure about it all.  I am ready to go back to Utah.  I miss it there; I just was very nervous about getting there is such a short period of time (we were leaving in a week & 1/2).  Plus, they didn't let us know for a few days where in Utah we would be.  That makes it really hard to find a place!

I felt really emotional on Saturday.  That was the day we finally knew where in Utah we would be but we still had to get everything in order.  By the time David got home from work, I really needed the Relief Society Broadcast that was about to start.  I quickly got ready and headed for one of the chapels here in Tracy.

They were having dinner before it started but when I went inside, I didn't recognize anyone.
I headed for the bathroom and stayed in there for a while (yes, I am that insecure!).  After rechecking a few more times, I just gave up and left.  I would return at 7:00 p.m. just to watch the broadcast.  But as I was leaving, I got a text from a friend (Kaylie) who was asking where I was.  She had saw my car in the parking lot but couldn't find me inside.  So I turned around and had dinner with her and some other girls that showed up and I am so glad that I did.  They were just what I needed.

When the broadcast started, I really had a hard time concentrating.  I just wasn't feeling the spirit.  Luckily Bree let me hold her baby for most of it.  It felt so good cuddling a sweet baby.  Bree even cracked me up at one point as she got up on the back pew (everyone was standing up at this point for the intermediate hymn) and stood so she could see the lyrics to the song that was on the bottom of the screen.  I tell you this because of all the times that I shouldn't have felt the spirit, it would have been then.  I was seriously cracking up at her.  But all of a sudden, on the last verse of the song, right at the chorus, I had this strong feeling to sing and listen.  The song was "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go."  I teared up as I realized it was Heavenly Father's sweet reminder that He wanted me in Utah.  So calm down.

Sunday was a spiritual, emotional day for me.  I felt it several times throughout the meetings.  I felt prompted to bear my testimony during Sacrament but alas, my insecurity got the best of me.  So let me do so now.

I know that I belong to a Heavenly Father who loves me.  And though I belong to Him, he does not control me.  He does this because He loves me.  And even though I would MUCH rather Him just tell me what to do, I know that He wants me to make choices so I can grow and learn from my life experiences.  I know that one day He will explain things to me in a way that I can finally understand the things that make little sense to me in this world.  I am so grateful He provided a husband for me that truly loves me through my ups and downs.  Who is willing to take over when I just cant do it anymore.  He, like my father in heaven, is patient.  I am grateful for patience.  I bear these things, in Jesus' name, with a hope that I continue to have these feelings within me to remind me that all is well.