Friday, December 19, 2014

BIG MOMENTS... celebrating LIFE

On Thursday, my son Tyler turned 16 years old. I can't believe how fast time goes. It goes by so fast. My son in law Devan also had a birthday. I truly love both of these young men with all my heart. They are special buddies too. The truth is my son Ty was so close to his dad. I know he is hurting from the loss. He never says a word about it though. This is just him. As the "baby" of the family, our family is really having an adjustment. I can see it prominently with Ty. His birthday was very hard, in that his dad was not here. It just felt different. No matter what I did, it was obvious that it's different now. I tried so hard to make it a happy day. Ty does not read my blog, but the truth is... he has really pulled away from me. Our family really changed as you can expect and the loss of Tyler. They are in high school. They were both so dependent on their dad and his role in their life.

I never once thought how much it would change the "role" I have as a parent. I would have to adjust with Tyler gone. Remember, denial was with me for 17 long months. Ty was such a strong parent in that he was very hands on in our family with our children. Yesterday, I was trying so hard to just connect with Ty and let him see how much I love him. I have moments of just feeling helpless and then I remind myself that I can't give up. 

We went to City Creek for the night. We waited for almost 1 1/2 hours to get into Cheesecake Factory. We walked and laughed together. I was having a really hard day and it was sad for me to see Tyler not enjoying our time together. I wanted to just connect with him. I fought back tears the entire night. I tried to "pretend" that I did not see his mood. I guess, I hoped it would go away. After dinner, we all walked to Temple Square to see the lights. It is absolutely stunning and the cold air was refreshing. 

I so enjoyed being with the kids. I kept thinking of how important it is to me that we are a forever family. It was truly so much fun and the kids made me laugh more than I have since Ty passed. They love being together and it shows.  They were acting silly and goofy. This is exactly what they are like. The waiter at dinner said our family was the BEST family that evening because we had him laughing so much. I enjoy their fun and crazy personalities and their support right now.

I never let an opportunity pass to not take photos with my kids. It's so important.  

They are silly kids. We had to pass the time waiting for our dinner reservation. I had to take photos. 

Zach likes to make fun of the way girls pose for photos... hence his leg pose. Seriously, Zach is a fun kid to hang around with. He loves his sisters so much. Ty and Zach both love it when the girls are at the house. 

The kids love to "pick"on me. I think it's really funny and don't mind it one bit. I am thankful they want to spend time together and with me. It helps me so much to have their influence on the boys and that they care for one another. 

Cheesecake Factory was delicious. I always get the SAME thing.
I love the lettuce wraps. My favorite!!!!!!

DEVAN is such a sweetie. I adore this boy. He is going above and beyond in helping me get things in order. He has fixed things and it helps that he is getting ready to graduate with his Masters in Accounting- he is helping me with all types of financial business. He adores Gentry and can't wait to be a daddy in early May. 

I love having McKay home. She is full of light and happiness. If we could find her a place to live at BYU, we would be set. Yes, we can't find her housing. It's in high demand for girls. 

This is the SLC Temple at night in downtown. 

I love my kids and hope that they enjoy all the photos that we take together.  

This is the NEW 16 year old.
He is in 10th grade now.

This is my favorite photo from the entire night. It is FAMILY.
It is worth the tears,worry and pain. It is the unit that God has given us to love and support each other. We cannot buy or replace this type of love. It is everything to me. I hope my kids know this and understand this.

I will keep trying hard to somehow, someway make this boy know and feel my great love for him. I am trying to show it and realize that I have to try harder than ever to be a great mother. 

Tonight, I am feeling so much gratitude.
It is truly through hard times that we find out
HOW strong we are. I am not a quitter. I will not give up.
I told Ty that I would not give up.
I get out of bed and face the new challenges ahead with
knowing that somehow it will work out. The setbacks are making me even more determined to work harder and FACE things I would rather not. It's definitely day by day and sometimes hour by hour. I have cried more tears in the past five weeks than I thought humanly possible. I have witnessed tender mercies along with sad gut wrenching moments of despair. I know that it's a journey to find inner strength for not only me, but my children. I cherish
moments of strength and answers to prayers.
I know for certain, I am not alone.
God is here with us. This is so evident as we go on. I am thankful.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014


I have been a BIG crazy emotional mess. 
SO many feelings and I am trying to embrace and understand them. 
I have to say that I did not expect the extreme emotions that I have felt this week. I thought I would share a few photos... of course, many are not in order so just know, I may skip around.

Waiting at the airport for her to come home. We missed her so much! 

We were so excited. 

Devan and Ty are buddies. I love these two. PS- they had a birthday TODAY. Photos of this tomorrow... 

Zach is so happy she is home. They are VERY close and they have so many "inside" jokes. 

Made this sign with my new TC Alpha foiled gold (produced for JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. *I did the entire banner and had lots for alphas left (TC Studio Gold)

Leann was adorable and brought Santa hats for EVERYONE to the airport. She wanted it to be fun. I love her family.  

It seems like we waited FOREVER for her to get off the airplane. 

Gentry made this sign and we decorated the house, trees and garage to welcome her home (even though her plane got in at 7:30 pm) Monday night. 

Yes, we made sure she would NOTICE us. 

This is Shane her "other" mother's son. They both are right off their missions. He got home on Thursday from Spain. This is her other brother and I love that EVERYONE came to support her coming home. To me, it's all about being together. I am so thankful that McKay has her dad and his family who love and support the girls so much.

I was just so excited and thankful. It was such a crazy tearful day. This week has been so hard. I will not dwell on it. I wish I was feeling "normal" but I don't.

This is McKay right as she got off the escalator. I hugged her so much. I felt so happy and kept thinking of Tyler. I knew he wanted to be there with us. I know he still was. I was a BIG emotional mama. 

The WELCOME HOME committee. 

The boys prior to her coming home, enjoyed video games... yes, I'm sure to "calm" their excitement. ha! 

Gentry made the most amazing signs. I sure loved the help and that everyone was EXCITED. 

I even sported reindeer ears. 

Devan and I hanging up yellow bows. Every one of our neighbors knew she was coming home.

Sorry, I know out of order. SO many more photos too. I just have been taking it moment by moment. I have been just dealing with emotions and emotions. I am so happy and thankful she is home. I just wish I felt more "me." I am trying hard to face, accept and go forward in my new journey. I have a newfound understanding, love and deep respect for others who are single parents, widowed or divorced and feel like life has changed and shifted directions for them. 

I am MOST thankful for my sweet McKay and her love, light and presence in our home. She is being very loving and kind to me. 

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Sunday, December 14, 2014


Each day I push myself to keep GOING. Keep LOVING. Keep looking for the POSITIVE. I can choose each day to stay in bed or LIVE life. I am up early getting ready to take the boys to church. I had a HUGE... I mean HUGE moment last night with my son. 

It was 4 weeks ago that Tyler passed away now. It is now the ONE month mark. Our life has simply changed. I have been struggling in my new role as a "widow." It also means I am alone to parent two high school boys. It is now me who is running a household and taking care of things that I have never done. Emotions have run really intense and I think our overall sadness and missing Ty has been felt within our home. It's reality that we are all grieving in different ways and stages. I find it harder for each of us to understand each other right now. It's just OFF. I don't know how to explain it. The "STRONG" presence of having Tyler is gone. 

Zach sat with me last night and we talked for a long time. He told me that I had changed. I listened as he told me, that he needs me to parent the way I used to parent. I was a little taken back. Truth is... it hurt my feelings. I had no idea what he meant. He told me that I was trying to be dad now and was missing "me". Okay... What did that mean?  I thought and we discussed how I do feel like I need to be the stricter parent now, and I have to be more like dad. Zach opened up and asked me to just be me again. The problem is that Ty and I were a team. I am the easier going parent. Ty was respected and when he asked the kids to do something, it was taken more seriously. I guess you could say, that my parenting was very nurturing and talking. Now I feel like I HAVE to be both and my boys are resisting. I feel very alone in this new role. 

WHERE IS THE MANUAL FOR THIS?????  I am so not sure what I am doing here. I just keep trying our new "NEW" and it's just not the same. The grief is so present and I feel that I am  certainly making mistakes. I wish the kids could know how hard this new path is for me. I never thought I would ever be a "single" parent with no help in raising them. LIFE can change in a instant. I am trying to pick up the pieces and "figure" it out on my own. 

I have never been more appreciative for Heavenly Father in my life. I have turned to God to help me. I cannot do this on my own. I know I will need HIS help. I know that I have to find a "new way" to connect with my boys especially. I can't give up when I get discouraged. I am trying hard to stay positive and surround myself with things that inspire me. I have been listening to the song for the past two days (almost non-stop)- GLORIOUS by David Archuleta. 

 Each of us are truly GLORIOUS. We have so much within us. We all are searching to figure out life.  I know I listened to this over and over and I thought about how AMAZING each person is. I feel a little aimless right now, but I know there is a HUGE purpose in going through this journey. I'll keep listening to God as I face LIFE alone without Tyler here. 

McKay gets home tomorrow night. THIS is such a blessing. I know  her spirit and love for us will be GLORIOUS to have back. She is a piece that has been missing and how grateful I am to have her home.  


There are times when
You might feel aimless
And can't see the places
Where you belong
But you will find that
There is a purpose
It's been there within you
All along
And when you're near it
You can almost hear it

Its like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oohhh its glorious

And you will know how
To let it ring out
As you discover
Who you are
Others around you
Will start to wake up
To the sounds that are
In their hearts
It's so amazing
What we're all creating

And as you feel
The notes build
You will see

Friday, December 12, 2014

THAT GIRL.... I want to be like her!!!!!!!

This is McKay right before she went on her mission. We had went to the temple with her for the first time. She GLOWS.
From the time she was a little girl, I was blessed with this sweet child to inspire me. She has always been a mommy's girl.
She would CRY very easily if she thought she did anything wrong or hurt your feelings. She is YELLOW to the core.
As a little girl, I said she was so friendly that she would be found talking to and becoming friends with ROCKS.

We had no idea that Tyler was so sick in this photo. He had been losing weight and was just not feeling great. He loved his little Mickey D. (only Ty called her this)
He was so proud of her. We had no idea that he was sick and
that on the day we took her to the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah... June 15th 2013 that would be the last time they would see each other on earth. He fought so hard to see her come home. He found his first lump on that same day after we got home from the MTC.
This sweet man... my best friend is one of the best things that ever happened to me. He helped me raise my girls with so much integrity, love, values and always that FAMILY IS EVERYTHING.

As she was preparing to go on her mission, I could not stop taking photos. We can be a silly bunch. I would say we all are
just best friends. We believe in each other. We support each other. When the world go CRAZY... we have EACH other.

My sweet McKay called me one day to tell me that she KNEW that she was supposed to go on a mission. She was attending BYU and had just listened to conference and learned that girls could choose to go on a mission at the age of 19.
She called me and we cried together. I knew that my sweet girl would want to go and serve. I knew her passion for life and family and God would help others. I know her LIGHT is
strong. She was the head captain for her MHS drill team in high school. I saw her kindness and leadership. There was no MEAN GIRL inside her. I always have told my children this-

Don't be a follower, be a LEADER.Make a difference in LIFE and to the WORLD.
Each of us can brighten the world and bless others by serving and
helping others. It's so not about US. 

She came home from BYU and prepared to go on her mission. She loves her ZACHY and went to ALL of his baseball games. This girl has inspired me to want to serve others more.
It's easy to just think of yourself... it's easy to just
be caught up in the world. It's easy to worry about what others think of you. Her focus has been what GOD thinks of her and helping others to know this too. 

I love this girl.
I will say that her inner beauty is like the brightest STAR.
She gets home on MONDAY.
I know Tyler will be witnessing this and there with us.
This is a HOMECOMING celebration.
I am so thankful that God gave me this beautiful girl to help inspire me in life. 

I know that in the end... THIS IS WHAT MATTERS.
Life inspires me. LOVE inspires me. 
My products are being debuted today at
Life is GOLD.I'm so honored to be on this site with my gold foil wrapping paper, notebooks, stationery, card sets, clipboard, party decor and more. I find that I am outrageously BLESSED to design and LOVE what I do.
I thank GOD for this.I'm so THANKFUL for my sweet family, my company and for the many people who don't realize how much they help me.

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