Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Best Birthday Ever!

(Levi, Xavier, Domingo, Aiden, Miriah, Brigham, Maddie, Tyson, Jordan, Zander, and Hyrum.  6 other friends ended up coming after this picture was taken)
 This is our "off" year for birthdays, which means no parties.  They still get presents though and they also get to choose something fun to do with a parent or the whole family.
But why not still have some friends come over on your birthday and pelt each other with water balloons?!
We just casually let friends know we would be getting wet on his birthday but no presents.  We even had "Barbara's Cake."  That's David's Step-Mom's cake.  It's as simple as can be but it is David's favorite and has now become Brigham's favorite as well.  It is just a white cake with whipped topping and then the canned cherry pie filling on top.  I have to admit, it is pretty good....even if it isn't chocolate :)
Later, when Daddy got home, Brigham opened up presents.  He declared it was his best birthday ever as he got money from Grandma Helen, a 3DS game from MeMaw and Poppy, a tablet from Nanny and Poppy and a Spinner Shark from Mom and Dad (along with some other random small stuff).  Later he will be getting something in the mail from Uncle Chuck.  Then he and David went to see the Minions movie. 
As much as I love not having to mess with parties on our "off" years, I always worry their birthday isn't special enough.  So to hear that it was his "best birthday ever" made me feel like I was successful.  I'm pretty sure every year he says its his best birthday ever!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Family Cycle

(David and Steve)
On Sunday, most of David's immediate family was able to go to church with us and then have dinner at our home afterwards.  The reason being that David was made a High Priest on Sunday.  I don't publically talk about our callings a lot, because I never want to come off as bragging, but I felt it important this time.
On Tuesday, David and I were called into the Stake's office to have an interview.  This wasn't unusual because David has had many callings in the Elder's Quorum.  I just assumed it would be that calling again.  But when the member of the Stake Presidency asked David how old he was before issuing the call, I have to admit that my heart raced a little.  Why would he ask such a question unless it was unusual to get a certain calling that is seems to only have older men in?  The Bishopric came into mind and let me tell you, that is a calling I would never wish on someone!  I know that sounds terrible.  I imagine the blessings that come from that type of service is great but I also know that it takes a lot of time away from families.  It's just a calling I have never wanted my husband to have.  So when he said that he was being called as an assistant to the High Priest leader, I have to admit that I was relieved.
Yes, it is unusual to have someone as young as David called as a High Priest and I know it will be time consuming but hey, he's not in the Bishopric, right?!  Ok, again, I know that is terrible to say but I just don't know how Mommies do it.  We have a very young Bishop in our ward and they just had their 3rd baby.  I just can't even imagine.  Anyways, this occasion brought David's family to us as Steve was able to confer the office of High Priest to his son. 
Which brings me to the reason I wanted to write about this.  That morning, I had a training at the church.  The First Presidency of the Church feel that the members need to focus more on keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  This was our 2nd training for the Presidencies of the organizations of our ward.  One of the main points being taught was this:
Multigenerational families are very important.  They hold to traditions their fathers and mothers before them held dear.  We learned that often the cycle is broken in between  point A and B.  This is usually because of a lack of important principles taught in the home.
Just a few short hours later, my husband was receiving the office of High Priest through his own father.  Amazing.  I truly felt blessed to have married into this family on Sunday.  I pray that our family can tap into that strength that David's brothers and parents have displayed.

(top: Steve, Barbara, Brigham, Rachel, Chloe, David, Kieran, Aaron, and Helen.  Bottom:  Levi, Hyrum, Abbey, Holly, Stephen, and Stephen J.R. holding Baby Boy)
And since everyone was here, Holly baked Brigham an early birthday cake.  Yeah, that would be the birthday boy, in the picture, hiding behind that deliciousness!  It may not look like much but trust me, it was soooo good.  She made it all from scratch and it tasted like it!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fourth of July Weekend

This past weekend was so fun.  David got Friday off, since the 4th of July was on a Saturday.  We used that day to have some family time.
 We went to the Clearfield Aquatic Center.  It was a little more crowded than I cared for but I had my family and that is all that mattered.  Then we went to Swigs, which is a Pop (Soda) shop where they mix all kinds of different flavors in your pop.  It is seriously so good.  I'm so glad that it is in Clinton though because I don't usually drink pop anymore and I fear that if we had a Swigs close by I just might start that pop habit up again.
 We posted on our ward's Facebook page that if anyone didn't have plans that they were more than welcome to join our family for fireworks.  We ended up having 18 people all together. 
My friends have always been so important to me.  And in our early years of marriage, I relied heavily on making those friendships because we moved around so much.  But as time has went on, new friendships aren't as fiercely important to me anymore.  It's not that I don't appreciate new friendships, its just that I am so comfortable with my family now that even if we were to pack up and move tomorrow, I know I have my little family to rely on.  And most importantly, my husband is my best friend.   So the 4th of July firework celebration at our house was a great time but honestly, I put out that open invitation because I know how very important it was to me when we first were moving around like crazy.  There were so many good families that knew that we didn't have family near by, so they lovingly took us in on certain holidays.
One of my favorite memories of that was the Thanksgiving that we spent in Colorado.  Thanksgiving screams "family holiday" to me.  Yet, the Applegate's invited us anyway to their home and it was wonderful.  In fact, 2 other families had invited us over.  So, I remember how special that was for our little family to be invited and I wanted others to feel the same in our ward.

(Just a throwback memory of that Thanksgiving in 2005)
I love this picture because you can see not only our firework but one in the background!  It was so fun to sit in front of our house and watch our fireworks as well as lots of them going on around our house.  They were coming from every direction.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Other Mother

A few Tuesdays ago, in court, we got some very good news for our family and Baby Boy.  Without going into details, it looks very good for us adopting him.  It was a neat experience in lots of way and I hope to be able to share them someday but because everything has to be so private, just know that it was a wonderful day for our family.  

Here I am about 2 weeks later and I couldn't stop crying this morning.  Crying for Baby Boy's other mother.  I read this article online a few days ago and it choked me up then but I let it go.  But last night I was over at a friends house and we started talking about something that was said in the courtroom and I just started crying.  Just out of no where.  It was like it finally hit me.  

While in the courtroom, Baby Boy's mother cried and cried and said something that was very heartbreaking at the time.  But because I was so happy about where this was leading our family, that heartbreak was quickly turned to joy.  But yesterday, it didn't feel so joyous.  It wasn't quilt, it was pure sadness for her.  My friend said she thought she knew how I felt as she told me about her brother's experience with adoption and how he'd said, "How can we be so happy when it means someones else's pain?"  

I woke up, read that article again, and felt it all over again.  Felt last nights pain.  Maybe it's because the first paragraph couldn't describe me more.  He has been in our home for 7 months now.  I have put off writing about Tuesday's experience with his other mother also.  Maybe its because the rest of the article fits so very well, as well.

So I want to share the article.  If Baby Boy gets to legally be a part of our family I want him to read this someday.  I want him to know this was never easy for EITHER of his mothers.  Make no doubt, she loved him.  I loved him.  And both of us always will.

"Since day one, many have asked about The New Chick’s biological mom. And for all seven of the months he’s lived in my house, I’ve put off writing about her. But there is a season for everything, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
The first time I saw her it was in the Chambers County Courthouse. I looked up from admiring the five-day-old baby who was snug against my chest, and saw her walking toward us. I knew her by the tears pouring unchecked down her face. She humbly asked me if she could hold him, and I began to wonder at the world I had just entered.
As I unswaddled all five precious pounds and placed him in his mothers arms, I realized this entire endeavor was going to require more of my heart than I had expected. I felt all at once tremendous pain for her, and ferocious protection over him.
Those two emotions would only swell with the passing weeks. At times they were at war within my soul.
Someone commented on her right after he came to us. They posed a question, that was really more of a statement, along the lines of how could anyone do what she has done. The person went on to make her out as a total sinner, and me a total saint.
I just blinked and ashamedly said nothing. But inside was a raging inferno.
Ya’ll, there is nothing fundamentally different about she and me. The only thing that polarizes her life from mine is that I was given a gift when I was 6.
The gift of the Holy Spirit when I got adopted by The King.
Without that gift I would have been her. I would have chased this world and let it have its way with me. I would have made stupid decisions; looking to all the wrong things to make me feel happy and all the wrong people to make me feel loved. I would have given myself to a man way too early and gotten pregnant and had a baby.
It would have been me watching the social workers walk out of the hospital with my firstborn son, still sore from giving birth to him.
It would have been me wondering where they took him.
And who was holding him. And what was going to happen to him.
It would have been me facing every parent’s worst nightmare.
It would have been me.
But Jesus.
I won’t lie. There’s another side to my feelings about her. It’s not jealousy. Or competition. It’s more like looking at her and wondering if I will be her in a few months.
I fear the pain she’s already lived through.
Handing my baby over to the social workers to be cared for by strangers. Wondering where he is and if he needs me. Missing his firsts and wanting him so desperately it hurts. Fearing that he wants Mama, but can’t have her.
I hate the notion that her success will mean my greatest loss. And just as much, I loathe the idea that if she fails, I somehow win.
Because if he goes back, I’ll curl up and die for a while. But if he stays, I’ll grieve with the knowledge that she’ll do the same. Either way, pain will be thick.
It’s true that she and I are very different. I was adopted and she wasn’t. She brought him into the world and I didn’t. I know him in ways she doesn’t.
And every time I say “Come to Mama” I am reminded that there is another.
But in this we are the same.
She and I are both the other mother." -Beth Lawrence