I am dedicating this to my wonderful husband, my 4 beautiful daughters and my heavenly son "AJ" and also our newest addition Colt. This is a place for me to share my/our journey. I am a wife, a working mom, and a grieving parent.
My 2 younger daughters have Birthdays in August!!!
Happy Birthday Ceralyn and Annayln!!!
This is a little belated post...But I need to catch up on some post
A recap: 1. Cera's Birthday was busy spent on getting Roma ready to be sent off to college. The morning of Cera's birthday we had doughnuts her favorite breakfast beside pancakes. Several days before her birthday G-pa/G-ma Kemp took her out for pancakes. G-ma Kemp made her a "Super Cera Cape" Cera loves to play super hero!!!
Cera announced on her Birthday that it was the "WORST 5th Birthday EVER!"; all because she had to make her bed....Oh' that girl!!! Her day was spent driving to Cedar City, she was so excited to "Party in a hotel for her birthday". When we got to Cedar City, We ate at Applebee's, They sang to her and gave her a sundae. After dinner we went to the hotel and swam....Cera was delighted to play in the water!!!! The day got away from us...We didn't get a cake for her. We planed the next day we would stretch out her Birthday a little bit more... We went and got her a small "Brave" Cake. She was happy!! We sang to her at the hotel and had cake and swam again....She loves playing in the water!!
Cera is so excited to be "5"!!!
2. Anna's Birthday was a week later!!! She Turned 9!!! Several days before Anna's Birthday G-pa/G-ma Kemp took Anna to dinner at Red Lobster!! She loves seafood!!! On the day of her Birthday she got to spent the day with Gamma Hurd. She was here visiting for a week. The evening of Anna's Birthday she Chose to attend Dance practice and Soccer Practice, She loves being at both. Anna has a traditional birthday dinner we make her every year the past few years..... Spaghetti Tacos!!! Keep in mind we all ate just plain spaghetti and Anna is the only one whom ate it in a taco!!!
Anna wanted a Dance Wii Game.... 3 Sister's that were home.... Jammed and danced the rest of the evening away!!!
I have so much to catch up on..... or to share!!! Hopefully this weekend I will share on my blog about Some Cooking, Birthdays, Roma Graduating High School and going off to College, School is starting for more than just my kids soon and ...so much more!!!
Keep checking in and keep an eye on so much is going on in and around our family!!!
Sometimes I wonder if life keeps me to busy that I forget to find/notice the JOY in everyday life. I came across this amazing speech. Here is the link..."In This Life I shall have Joy". This speech was written by; Elaine S. Marshall she was dean of the BYU College of Nursing when she gave this Women’s Conference address at Brigham Young University on 30 April 2004. What amazing insight she has to share.
She speaks of Joy and how we can recognize JOY, obtain JOY, be apart of JOY and keep JOY in our life.
Joy Is an Act of Courage
To Have Joy You Must Be Grateful
Joy Requires Forgiveness
Joy Comes from Service
Joy Requires Your Presence
The Message of the Atonement Is a Message of Joy
In our journey of life we get distracted easily. We forget in moments to easily that JOY takes work and effort. I Love how honestly Elaine Marshall speaks of Joy as a decision and as a Choice. Read this part of the speech, she speaks of how she had to make the Choice to be Happy and find Joy. First, to live joyfully you must be brave. True joy is not for the fainthearted. You must decide to be happy. Joy is an act of courage. Joy will not abide until you make a conscious decision to treasure it. Ten years ago one evening in March, I was in the ward kitchen putting pink mints on glass plates for my niece’s wedding reception. The organdy lace wedding apron was barely holding my soul together. I was quietly just hanging on spiritually and emotionally. It was a time in my life of little joy. My mother and her sister were talking together nearby. I heard my aunt ask my mother, “How is Elaine?” Mom responded, “I believe she has made a decision to be happy. She has a garden and flowers in her yard. She sews and writes, and she works hard. She keeps a clean house and plays beautiful music. Her children are doing well. I think she has decided to be brave and to be happy.” I wept a few tears as I eavesdropped on my mother’s conversation. I was lonely, tired, and grief stricken. I didn’t know if I had made a conscious decision to be happy. But hearing my mother’s hopeful description of me, I wanted it to be true. So I did decide to be happy. I decided that night to find joy in every day. It has been difficult. But I was brave. I am not so brave every day, but I do try to remember that joy is a decision that requires courage. She also spoke of how Adam and Eve had to have courage. After they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they learned that in order to have joy, they must know pain. Elaine quotes from Moses 5:10 "in this life I shall have joy"
Another point that I felt was so forth coming and a great reminder of being in the moment of life. "Joy often lights in little fairy twinkles. I call them angel gifts. They are fleeting moments of sparkling enlightenment, like gentle kisses of meaning when everything comes together. They are little heavenly glimpses of eternal joy. Joy can happen quickly, so you have to pay attention. If you are not present in your life today, you will miss the joy as it happens. We cannot change the hurts of the past, but we can let go of the grudges and reflect today on past joys. We won’t recognize joy in the future if we don’t practice noticing it today. I once heard Annie Dillard say, “Grace happens anyway; the least we can do is be there.” The least we can do is be there in our own lives. It is not enough to simply take breath. We must live every moment of life. We must find the joy that is there to be had anyway. This life today is part of our eternal life and a time to practice knowing eternal joy." The best reminder she gives us is that the importance of the Atonement brings us JOY!!! "But the greatest gift of the Atonement is that it is real and there for us regardless of the state of our testimony. Whether we believe it or not, it is true. The Savior lives. His Atonement allows us to try again, to repent, to have hope, and to live. He suffered, died, and rose again for us, regardless of where we are in our belief or doubt about that reality. Sorrows and losses will come. We will sin and regret and need to try again. We will be hurt and need to forgive again. We will grieve and need to find joy again. We must help each other to remember the gift of life, that “men [and women] are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25; emphasis added). Our very existence today is to know joy."
I'm sorry that I placed alot of her speech word for word, but she eloquently explained how to make the choice to be Joyful. She wonderfully reminds us all to have JOY. She is right when she states; "If I must live, then I am going to live fully, embrace life, and engage in each moment.... We must live in joy.... If we do not have joy, who will? "
How wonderfully blessed I was to stumble across these words of JOY!!! I hope those of you who take the moment to read this, find VIVACE in her words.
My greatest JOYs are before me some are in plain sight and others I have to look for a little harder....Where are your greatest JOYs????
Sundays are a family day..... As a grieving parent my family has a empty earthly gap. It will forever have a empty spot till we are with our sweet AJ baby. So often other grieving parents have agreed that Sundays are difficult. What I find hard is being at church seeing all the happy moms. These moms holding their infants. It is difficult, knowing my arms have ached for my infant son AJ for so long. I miss holding my son and smelling him near. My arms often feel empty!! I am not alone in these feelings, I know. I would NEVER wish the road I have had to travel on no other mother!! This has been a nightmare no parent should bear.
I truly am happy for families at church and others. The sweet little spirits that are sent to us by Heavenly Father all have a purpose short or long. At church when I have have moments of tears from missing AJ, I dive myself into reading my scriptures. I search and ponder for comfort through the teaching of Christ. This is my way of hiding my face. When I struggle the most I say a silent prayer asking for comfort.
Admittedly...Today I struggled!!! I placed my face deep into my scriptures searching my usual comforting Scriptures. When I felt I was about to burst ....I quickly silently pleaded for comfort. My prayer was answered, I felt my tears dry up and not feel so empty in my arms. Thank you to, My Angel AJ, Heavenly Father and Christ for giving me the strength when I need and ask for it.
Romans 15:4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
If you are someone reading this that has troubles at church due to Grief, What do you do that helps you? Please, comment you might help someone else reading this with what you do that helps.
I felt impressed to share and write down some thoughts on this day to wish my Dad a HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!! He is entering a new phase of his life. What opportunities are before him. Enjoy your milestone this day Dad, I love you. More then that we all LOVE YOU!!
I have been fortunate to have a Father that would do anything for me and my children!!! Anytime I needed anything, he has been there. In the moments that I have needed him the most, he is right there at my side with his arms around me. I remember when I ventured my life to Utah many years ago at the same time Roma was having hip surgeries at Shriners Hospital. I didn't have to do it alone, he was there!! He traveled from Colorado, to put his arms around me and comfort me and Roma when she had surgery. So many other times he has rushed to our side for future surgeries for Roma, Baby deliveries, important moments when he could and most when AJ passed away.
At the moment he found out AJ had passed away, he and my mom quickly headed here from Texas. They made the long journey in record time. I remember him calling while the were driving, saying to me "I'm coming". Just hearing my Dad's voice gave me the strength to hold on during my heart ache. When they arrived all I could do and wanted was my Dad and his arms around me. How wonderful he was with me and my family to put his arms around us! His grand-daughters and I all needed him and my Mom. I remember crumbling in his arms. What comfort he brought me. But this time he couldn't fix my my broken heart. I don't know who hurt more my Dad or me that he couldn't totally fix everything. (Keep in mind like most Dad's, he wants to fix things and make it all better) But, he was here and helped and took care of everything he could!!! Thank you for every effort you make!!!
My Dad Living out one of his dreams, Going on a Buffalo Hunt!!!
Thank you for leading, teaching and guiding me in so many aspects of my life.
Enjoy your future of retirement and adventuring closer to us!!!
Thanks for being the Best Dad an Papa you can and you have accomplished it!!
Think of all the things you have done and plan to do....it is just a number. Look at all the fun you have to do here in Utah down the road!!
Cera's Comment today regarding her Papa's Birthday; "How come we cant go to Papa's for his Birthday?"
Anna So badly wants to take a card to her Papa and sing to you today..... Texas is so far away, It seems to get further away as my kids get older!! How wonderful it will be when they move closer sooner than later!!
I know this is not a fancy gift, But it is a gift from the heart to say "Dad what a wonderful phase is next in your life and you will be a lot closer soon! " I LOVE YOU and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
Next year I will cook you a birthday dinner, I promise!! Well, just remind me, I might forget I'm getting older and that makes you older!!!
I would like to occasionally share Talks that were given at General Conference. In sharing these talks I would like to point out what I have gained and learned from these talks. I would like to start with a talk about Joy.
October 2008 Click here to Link up to the original talk.
At the beginning of this talk Pres Monson speaks of the one aspect in our lives that is constant that is change. Some Change is welcome and some is not. My personal change in my life that was unwanted was our son passing away. Change that I welcome, seasons changing, kids growing up and positive life experiences. We all go through life experiences of change; some are similar but the details are ours alone. Time/life marches on day after day and change comes at us on its own time.
Pres Monson speaks of ; Find joy in the Journey --Now! He tells us one of the greatest lessons we are to learn in this mortal existence is to learn distinguish between what is important and what is not.
I always have said, "Tomorrow never comes, but today is always here". He reminds us " There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something now". How similar my thought goes along with what he states. It is always important to do today what is important. ENJOY LIFE NOW! We need to take moments at hand and live every moment without regrets. Live without "what if'" and "if only".
A story was spoken of regarding how to share with our family what is important in life.
In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, Church member Jay Hess, an airman, was shot down over North Vietnam. For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words. What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote—and I quote: “These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.”
What would be your important list???? That is something I need to make and remember.
Realizing what is important helps us see our blessings. We cant feel Joy or Happiness if we have the attitude of, it is greener on the other side. We need to choose to tend our own garden.What someone else has is not so great if we are greatful and joyful for what we have in our own life. The ancient Roman philosopher Horace admonished, “Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily.” It is important for ourselves to see the JOY in front of us everyday.
We are told in this talk of the importance of, gratitude. We see those that have true gratitude are happy.
My 2 favorite statements in this wonderful talk regarding Finding joy in the journey
Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.
Brothers and sisters, my sincere prayer is that we may adapt to the changes in our lives, that we may realize what is most important, that we may express our gratitude always and thus find joy in the journey. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
What a wonderful teacher and leader Pres Monson is for us all!!! Heavenly Father wants us to find JOY in the journey!
I should of posted on this weeks ago!!! But for some reason kept getting distracted from it.
I have a new found interest in sharing our family's story and journey through our healing of Grief. I'm wanting to Share that there is "JOY beyond GRIEF"!!!! Back in June, I had an opportunity to start networking with other Bloggers. It was an amazing evening I spent at KSL. I went with a friend of mine, Nicole Carpenter. Her Blog/Website is http://www.momentity.com/ . She has a wonderful idea she is promoting for moms.
This night was filled with:
Meeting the KSL news staff. Which by the way they are wonderful men and women!!!
Nadine Wimmer was great she was so sweet!
Doing a Mock News segment. Click here to see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy3lFjL3hTc&feature=plcp . Nicole did amazing...I'm not so the natural on TV. IT was fun to see behind the scenes, to see how it all comes together. Not as easy as it looks! Had fun tho...At least I can chuckle about it.
A brief moment on The KSL radio show "Night Side Project"
Meeting wonderful women that are amazing in what they want to share, teach and inspire to others!!!
To be TOTALLY honest......This was one of the Funnest nights!!! What an opportunity!
I got a door prize of a flower arrangement!!! it smelled wonderful!! I used the idea of the original arraignment and made a new one that would last forever and to remind me of the wonderful evening I had!!
This is the one I received.
This is the arrangement I recreated
While there that evening 2 cute gals from KABOOBAGS were there. Their Bag/Purse is the cutest product ever. I just loved it!!! I LOVED it so much I actually....Ordered one for my B-day that is in September. It is still sitting in the box waiting for my day ( I know silly me). But I found an awesome deal could not pass it up!!!! The idea is that Paul (my husband) can give it to me for my B-Day with a Tablet in it....(Sometimes you need to assist in gifts to get what you want).... The icing on the cake is...I got a second Kaboo Bag; I got coupon that night and gave it to my mom to order me another bag for my B-day!!! AND...That box also sits unopened till my B-Day!!!!Click her to see the Amazing bags that can organize your life!!! http://www.kaboobags.com/
I dream someday to be able to do public speaking to help other women and families find "JOY beyond GRIEF". One day...One experience at a time will get me there!!!! If we all can find the Joy in life even during and after the hard times, We all can be much happier!!!!
Thanks KSL for the Great night!!!
A few weeks ago Roma, Maddy and Anna were gone for a WHOLE week in St George. They spent the time there with their wonderful Aunt Tam, Uncle Dave and Cousins!!! The Girls are so lucky to spend time with extended family that is so wonderful. They got to do Crafts and all sorts of fun.
While they were gone Cera missed her sisters immensely!!! Paul and I enjoyed the quiet house. But...I honestly missed my girls!!! Each one of them bring there own special light or noise to our family. - I wonder what AJ's earthly imprint everyday would of been.
Paul and I drove down to St George to get the girls. It was a enjoyable ride down with just one little Girl in the back seat of the van. Cera I think enjoyed the ride of no sisters controlling the choice of movie to play. When we got to Tam and Dave's house, the 3 older sisters were so excited to see their little sister and Cera had the same excitement. I am not sure who missed who more...
The next day Tam and Dave took us all out to the lake for fun in the Sun!!!
Roma did great boarding...Maddy even did also not pictured.
This is ME!!! The 1st time I have EVER tried water skiing!!! I didn't do so well...But I tried!!!!
ROMA, MADDY, ANNA AND CERA HAVING fun!!!
It took a little while but Cera finally got in!!
They of coarse had a rip roaring time!!!
Every chance Anna had she would jump in she apparently loves being in the lake!!!
In contrast to the ride to St George...The ride back was the longest drive ever!!! Bickering, Whining and Fighting girls!!! They all were back together!!! But the 2 biggest dilemmas on the way back were
1. A throwing up girl (only once, thank goodness) 2. Paul and I both had sunburns from having FUN!!! (Paul's sunburn was greatly worse than mine)
In society we have question of social interaction that are just normal conversation starters. We meet strangers in our jobs, standing in line at store and meeting up with old friends.... Some questions are quick to answer then become a thought out process.......Certain questions effect you differently after life changing events happen....
What would be a normal social interaction question?
What do you do for a living?
How many children do you have
How are you ?
Are you married?
Where do your kids go to school?
Enjoying the weather today?
What kind of pet do you have?
In my job, I meet total strangers every day that we make conversation to pass time and to show kindness to one another. It is in my personality and my genetic make up to be outgoing and friendly to strangers. My kids always get embarrassed when I talk to random people at the store.
The question that has become a planned out, thought out process and picking and choosing whom to say what to is..... How many children do you have? I have heard many grieving parents regard this as a tough one!!!!
Here are my varied answers .......
I have 4 beautiful daughters, that keep me very busy. (I use this response when I am protecting myself for the moment, sometimes I don't want to open a can of worms)
I have 4 daughters and a angel son. ( I use this when I feel it is ok. Most times I feel it is an inspired moment to share)
I have 5 kids. ( just a generic answer)
What ever my response is my Angel AJ knows I love him and his sisters all the same!!!
Depending on my answer I get several responses....
Wow, only daughters!! No Boys??... I really hate this response!!! Then I say; I do have a son. He passed away. (Can of worms still opened) Then I get the sad look...
I either get an inspired moment that is shared between people and the bonus is that AJ is always there in my moments or... I get the sorrowful look of sadness that I comfort them.
Conversation continues and moves on...
As I have talked and listened to other grieving parents... It sounds like my responses may be about the same..... For those of you, who by chance talk to a grieving parent and ask that hard question. Admire their response and recognize their ANGEL child!!!!
If you are a grieving parent what responses do you have?
What are your difficult questions regarding your Angel?
Well....things on the Bucket list are getting checked off. Here is a quick catch up of some things we have done recently. We went to the Salt Lake Aquarium. We had a nice time exploring and learning about all sorts of water creatures near and far away. I think the girls had fun learning and seeing fan water creatures.
Afterwards we went to the store Orson Gygi. Paul and I both share in the Joy of cooking and spending time in the kitchen. I love that I can spend quality time with my husband.
This is when We did the "mentoes and Coke" explosion. How entertaining they all are!!!
AND..... HERE IT GOES!!!!
Another day we went to Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Ut. Cera was sooo....Excited. She even said we were the best parents ever, because we were there!!!!
But Cera's excitement soon turned to being scared... The Dinosaurs that were loud started to scare her...She told us she didn't like the dinosaurs with speakers...Oh Cera!!!
I thought she would like seeing the TRI"CERA"TOP
Cera started to relax and have fun digging for Dino bones.
Cera once again started to get scared again!!! Silly little girl. She said "I don't like the fake dinosaurs".
Another fun day...But we always miss Roma when she is working and misses out on adventures
An idea we had to make a HOT July day was....we had WINTER IN JULY!!!!
Shaving cream and lots of bubbles are always lots of fun!!!!
After playing around we made smores!!!
I so enjoy seeing my family have fun and enjoy LIFE!!