Saturday, May 30, 2009

A few thoughts

from the last few days...

It is just wrong for a child to pass away. It's just wrong. And hard to see. Children are meant to grow old. But some are too precious and special to be left in this world.

It's been bugging me that the world just seems to keep on going when such a special person is gone from it. That went away yesterday while we were driving to the cemetary. Seeing all those people pulled over on the side of the road, stopped for Charlie, made me feel so much better about things. The world did stop for him, even if it was just for a few minutes and only on the way to the cemetary.

You have to laugh to keep from crying. It's not disrespectful, it's a way to cope. It's a way to remember such a wonderful life... My reasons for laughing: Getting ready for the wake, I got Taylor and Maddie ready first. While I was fixing my hair, Taylor got baby powder all over herself and Madison. There are pictures... but I don't know where they are right now. Another reason... At the funeral, taylor was being her usual self and wouldn't be still or quiet. I finally had enough and stood up to walk her out of the chapel. Only thing was, I had a strapless dress on (covered up with a sweater) and the top of my dress was at the bottom of my rib cage. Taylor had squirmed so much in my lap, it had slipped down without me knowing. I walked through the chapel, the overflow, and half the gym before I noticed it. Hopefully, not too many others did.

There is a plan for everyone of us. It is amazing what just a few little acts of kindness and love can accomplish. There have been 4 times in my life that I know I did what I was meant to do then. Meeting the Sandstrom boys and falling in love with them was one of them. The other three are marrying Chris, and having Taylor and Maddie.

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have. I don't know how else to put it other than that. And it is AMAZING what can be accomplished when we use it the right way.

Charlie's brothers told their mom and dad that they knew why his body was so cold. They said his soul was what made him warm. It's amazing to me the truth that little kids understand. I wish I understood all of this like they did. But I do have faith in the plan of salvation, and it may not be anywhere near perfect, but it's good enough for me for now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A rough day

One of the sweetest little boys I've ever known passed away yesterday. Charlie (Alex) Sandstrom was a little boy so full of life and joy. He was always trying to give you something, whether it was his new toy, or some his special "origami." He loved to put smiles on others faces and he usually had one on his. He was always trying to negotiate, even if he wanted what was offered. I can hear his little voice saying "How bout this?"

It is AMAZING to me that a little boy who had been through so much could be so sweet and loving. For those who don't know, I first met Charlie when I was his younger brother Jo's daycare teacher. When I heard that DCS would be splitting up Jo, Charlie, and their older brother Sidney, It broke my heart and I told my parents about it. My wonderful mom and dad took these boys in to keep them together. After years in and out of state custody and in and out of foster homes, they'd found a real home. These little boys were such a joy to my family.

A few years ago, They found their mom and dad. It had a been a long, hard road, especially for three little boys, but they were troopers and waited patiently for their parents. When they all found each other, you couldn't help but notice a change in the boys. They immediately loved their mom and dad. It wasn't easy for their parents either. After years of abuse, both by parents, grandparents and DCS, the boys had their issues. But their new mom and dad have worked with them and loved them with all their hearts. There are no better behaved boys anywhere. There are no cuter little men anywhere.

These boys have touched SO many lives. For me personally, they were my first glimpse of what a parent feels. I'm SO very proud to call them my brothers. I'm grateful my little girls have got such great uncles. I'm grateful I had any part in their lives, and I'm humbled to have had anypart of these little angels.

It is a very sad day here without Charlie, but I know he's with his Heavenly Father. He's in a place where no one can ever hurt him again. He's in a place where he can watch over and protect his brothers.

Our hearts go out to Charlie's parents. Our thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you. Tomorrow, Chris and I will be fasting for Charlie's mom and dad and brothers. I would appreciate it if y'all would keep them in your thoughts and prayers also.

On a Much happier note, We've got a new nephew. Our new nephew Cole Thatcher Neely was born this afternoon weighing 8lbs, 10oz and is 20 inches long. He's a cutie. And we're so glad he's here now. :)

It's been a rough day, going from one extreme to the other emotionally. But it only strengthens my testimony of my Father in Heaven and his love and plan for us. I'm so grateful to have the gospel in my life at times like these. It truly is a great blessing.
****Just a note, Charlie was in an accident on a farm. He wasn't sick. It is a Terrible Tragedy. It's been on both channel 4 and 5 news. He's one of the two children who died in rutherford county on memorial day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work I go

That's right... I'm going back to work! At first, I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. After all, the girls are my number 1 priority and if I'm not here to take care of them who will? Oh, yeah... Chris! :) I'm going to try nanny-ing for a little bit. See how that works. If I don't like it, I may try to find a good mother's day out or something like it that I could take the girls to also. But nannying pays almost twice as much as most other jobs I could get right now. So hopefully I don't hate it. I will only be nannying in the evenings and on the weekends, so the girls will be here with Chris. We will be crossing paths on the road though, so they'll be here with Grandma or a babysitter for like 30 minutes. I'm excited to be contributing to our family budget instead of only taking away from it. And I'm excited that we'll be able to get a house faster. I'd do just about anything to get a home! So... Off to work I go.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



I just haven't been in the mood to post. And It's hard to fake it. So when I'm feeling all "Yay! My daughter is 2" Then I'll post it. Til then... it maybe a little quiet here on my blog. Maybe it'll come after her Party!

For anyone who'd like to come, i think we'll be having it here on Sunday night at Chris's Parents. If you want more info, let me know. til then...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

5 years...

And two kids later, He still is the man of my dreams. I'm so lucky to have found him. And I love being married to him. He always makes me laugh. And I love goofing off with him. I'm having so much fun with him right now in Florida. I don't want to ever go back. I love him so much. He's perfect for me in everyway!

I love you Handsome... Happy Anniversary (a day late.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My best friend

These are my favorite pair of jeans. They've been with me along time. I think I got them when I first started working at the Picture People (04.)

When you're taking pictures of little kids, you're always on your knees, so the knees began to wear out. In the past 5 years, the knees have just simply unraveled!

These jeans have fit me on my skinny days, they've fit me when I'm 9 months pregnant. I have a bond with these jeans like no other. (Actually i had another pair of jeans similar to these, but chris made an ugly comment about them and I pitched a fit and threw them away. I'll always miss those jeans!) These jeans have been through alot with me.

Here's purple paint from the girls bedroom.

Here's deck stain from when I helped chris and john stain John's deck when i was pregnant with taylor.
I'm not getting rid of my jeans, they could crumple into heaps of thread, and I couldn't get rid of them. I love them. :) So, I decided earlier this year that when it got warm enough, I'd cut off the bottoms. I HATE my short stubby legs, so I usually wear pants, no matter the weather. This is a big deal for me. But I did it.

I cut them. And I don't think they look too bad.
And yes, I'm slightly bow legged! :)
Now, my only problem is deciding what to make out of the bottoms... A purse? A crochet bag? Any ideas beyond that?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

The past year has been the HARDEST of my life. It's been the hardest on my marriage, my body, my brain, my emotions, my heart. I have been the saddest I've ever been, I've been the maddest I've ever been, but I've been the happiest I've ever been. I celebrated my daughters 1st birthday and 4 months later had another daughter. I've had aches and pains that I've never had before. I've lost more sleep than actually slept. I've been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, depression, and I need atleast 2 root canals. Some days, it's all I can do to get out of bed. But then,

I see their faces
I hear their laughter
I see them play
I see them learning
I see them growing
I watch them sleeping
I see those smiles
I feel their hugs
I get their kisses
They make every moment of my life worth living and I'm striving to be the best I can for them (and chris too.)
This last picture is my attempt to get a good pic of my girls together for my mom, chris's mom, and our grandmothers. As you can see, it didn't happen. Oh well. I have two gorgeous daughters. And a wonderful husband. I am blessed beyond compare. This past year has been the hardest, but the most rewarding. I love my girls more than I ever thought was humanly possible and I'm so greatful to my Heavently Father and Chris for them :)
Here's my favorite mommy stuff....
It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie
The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along.
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?
Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.
Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.
Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother.
One of the very few reasons I had any respect for my mother when I was thirteen was because she would reach into the sink with her bare hands - bare hands - and pick up that lethal gunk and drop it into the garbage. To top that, I saw her reach into the wet garbage bag and fish around in there looking for a lost teaspoon. Bare hands - a kind of mad courage.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you wonderful moms out there. You're great examples and thanks for that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Lucky Guy

When I was little, Me, Cayce, and our neighborhood friend, Jill would all lay face down on our trampoline, studying the clover on the ground below. We would spend literally HOURS searching for four leaf clovers. I never found one... NOT ONE. But I always liked clovers (St. Patrick's Day, and pretty much anything green!)
Yesterday evening was actually pretty decent outside, and so after we finished dinner, Chris and I decided to take the girls out for a little walk around the back yard. While we were out walking chris found these.

HE WASN"T EVEN LOOKING! He just glanced down and POOF, there they were, so he picked them up. I'm SO jealous. I could kick him I'm so jealous. Of course, he let me have them... But still... I want to find my own. I looked for a bit outside before we came in finally, but no luck. That's me... NO LUCK. But Chris, that's another story! It must be because he's got more Irish blood than me. That's gotta be it.

I pressed the clovers in my scriptures. Did you know scriptures are great for pressing leaves and flowers? Here's the rose petals from Maddie's first valentines!

And I've kinda forgotten what these others are from, but it's something like mine and chris's first valentine's day married, or our anniversary or something. Whenever they're from, they're from chris and I like them.Though it is a great use for scriptures, it's not the only thing i use them for. One of mine and Chris's goals as a couple is to read the New Testament. I know this is a great way to come to know Christ better, and I'm so excited we're doing this. It's kind of been unofficially agreed that we'll read 5 chapters a night. When i make the bed every morning, I'm putting our scriptures on our pillows so that we have to touch them before we get into bed. That way, hopefully we'll remember.

The night before we last, we skipped reading! I know... after only 2 nights reading, we missed one. But we made up for it last night, reading 10 chapters. And it's not just reading. We discuss them too. I ask stupid questions and chris explains them to me. Some scriptures we've interpreted differently and it's nice to have his opinion to counter balance my own. It's been very interesting. Chris keeps telling me that Christ was the king of tough love. There are a few parts where the disciples just weren't getting it, and Jesus had to say "Come on guys! Seriously!" Well, maybe he didn't say it quite like that, but that's what makes it fun to discuss what we read. We stayed up til 12:30 last night reading. We almost stopped a few times cause it was so late, but we were having fun and spending time together so we just kept going.

We'll have finished Matthew tomorrow night and started on Mark! That's one book in only 6 days! I really hope we're able to keep this up. We may end up missing a few nights here and there, but hopefully we'll be able to make them up like we did the night before last. I'm so glad Chris came up with this idea... It was inspired. Sooooooo, Maybe I am a little Lucky. I've got one great Husband! Now if only I could find a four leaf clover, I'd be set!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

If you're happy and you know it!!!

I was talking to my mom earlier today and I just have to say that it hit the spot:) She's one crazy lady and I love her dearly.

My mom has a facebook page. It helps her talk to her seminary students and family. I think it's funny, but great too, that she has one. It's fun to tease her about it. The funniest part is when she first got her facebook account, she kept calling it "myface" and not on purpose either. She'd talk about getting on "myface." I crack up laughing just thinking about it.

Here's another little joke I heard from her... Ya know all those people who said we'd have a black president "When pigs fly!" Well, Swine flu! LOL... I love that one!

While I was on the phone with my mom, I was trying to lay Taylor down for her nap. Of course, Taylor's crying woke Maddie up, who'd already been asleep for about an hour and a half. Taylor was exhausted, but kept fighting nap time. She was kicking, screaming, pitching a HUGE fit. I finally had to put the baby gate up in her doorway and just walk away, letting her scream. My mom told it was about who could hold out the longest, me or Taylor. It was about enduring to the end!!! I told her I didn't know that was what Jesus had meant all those times!!! It's all about parenting. It took taylor 2 hours before she finally caved and fell asleep... but that 2 hour fit she threw will only result in a longer than usual nap time! I endured, and this is my reward! :)

My mom cracks me up. She's a nut "bless her heart," but I love her so much and love our crazy phone conversations.

Maddie is at that stage now where she's learning new things daily. Here's one of my favorite new things...

Monday, May 4, 2009

yay for chris!

Sometimes in your life, it seems like you just struggle. I have been struggling for a few months now. It's not that there's really alot for me to juggle, but for some reason, I'm just having a real hard time lately. Me and Chris have talked about it a few times, but never like we did night before last. He is an incredible man and I'm very lucky he's mine. We've figured out ways for us to work together to fix it, and ways I can work on my own to get to where I need to be. Tonight, we're going to sit down and write out our goals for our family, us as a couple, and me and Chris as individuals. I'm so excited. That may seem silly, but even just from us talking about it, I'm feeling and doing better.

Another reason for me doing better is that me and Chris have decided to go to Florida!!! We were really wanting to go to Cocoa Beach for our anniversary (5 years this month) because that's where we went on our honeymoon. But it's a long drive, and alot of gas. So, we searched online and we found Fort Walton Beach. It's not quite 8 hours away(about 4 hours closer than cocoa beach!). That's a very doable amount. Plus, it's in the gulf, so the water is warmer (around 80 degrees all year) and the beaches are gorgeous white sand! We getting really excited. We even found a hotel right across the street from the beach that's pretty reasonably priced. I'm excited to go and just relax. No sight seeing. No agenda. No schedule. Just me and Chris, the girls, and the beach! Yes, we're taking the girls. I think Taylor will LOVE it. I think maddie will sleep! We're just loading up on swimmy diapers and baby sunscreen. Maybe we'll rent an umbrella for Maddie. Who knows what will happen, but I'm so excited for the change of pace and the relaxing.

Taylor will be turning 2 that weekend also... and maddie will be 8 months old. So we won't be celebrating with a big party then (obviously) But be on the look out, because we will be doing her birthday sometime before the end of the month. We just need to figure out when.

Hmmm... I don't think I got the point of my blogging today across. I'm so very grateful for Chris. For his sense of humor. For his knowledge of the Gospel. For his priesthood. For his great anniversary ideas. For being such a great dad. He can always make me smile when I'm not in the mood. And i can be pretty stubborn. I love him with all my heart and I'm grateful for him everyday of my life. He's the best!