Monday, December 29, 2014


It is absolutely a BEAUTIFUL day here in Utah. It is snowing and it's really glorious. I woke up this morning with such a feeling of thankfulness. I have come a long way in the last couple of years. I have to say that I am feeling more me again. I can definitely see a huge difference in my children at home. I can see happiness in their eyes again. It's been a journey and I can see that our trials have truly made us stronger. 

I am so FORTUNATE in that we are going to have a new baby in our family. I told Gentry to take LOTS of photos. You can never take too many photos. I had her send them to me so I can print them out on my Canon PIXMA iP8720 printer. I like to print them often, so I can TRY to keep up. 

This was is giving me the biggest gift. I love so much that Gentry and Devan live close to me. Their baby boy will be born in late April/early May. Well, you never know.  I am so going to love being his grandmother. This photo was taken today of Gentry at their house. LOTS of beautiful snow!!!!

Gentry was 20 weeks along in this photo. After two miscarriages, it truly makes you so aware of the gift of her being pregnant again. 

This is what our morning has looked like. Thank goodness for google, and learning you can use a hair dryer to loosen lug nuts. Oh yes, Zach is really stepping up to be the man around here. McKay had a huge nail in her tire. He helped her since she has work today in Provo. Yes, McKay now works at BYU at the Creamery. It's quite the place for the BEST ice cream in Utah. I shall stay away from the place since I LOVE ice cream. 

I am loving that we are just a team. I love that we bonded together to figure it out. I am learning to take it day by day and finding I can do things that I have never done. It all works out somehow. 

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

You can do this!!!!!!

I think that for me, I am growing in ways I never thought imaginable. I find times where I just want to be alone to THINK. I overthink so much. I want to remember. I am afraid I will forget Ty. I will forget something important. I found myself in our closet last night for about three hours. I shed many tears as I looked and went through some of this stuff. I wanted to be close to him. I wanted to remember it all. I found that I would laugh, cry, smile, be sad and just go through the process again. 

I have strongly felt Heavenly Father has lessons for me to learn in Ty's absence. I think because his is gone, I am meant to grow and have this opportunity to test my faith. I strongly believe in God's Plan of Salvation for his children. I really do know with my heart that death is not the end. Still it's sad to not have our loved ones with us. My house is different now. For weeks, I expected him to walk into the room, but now I no longer expect this. It has felt like long long long weeks since Tyler died. It seems like so much longer. 

I don't and won't let myself feel sorry for myself. I know so many widows have faced this and raised their children without their husband. I could choose to use this as a excuse for a sad and dysfunctional life, but I won't allow this to happen. I have too much gratitude and thankfulness to not only survive but thrive. We all have trials and I know bad things do happen to us in life. It's how we handle what happens to us. 

Yesterday, I was spending the day designing at home, going to a meeting, calling countless companies and dealing with "issues" on my own. I need to get "new" health insurance, "car" insurance, deal with countless accounts to close them and liquidate things. So many forms and papers to do. I felt OVERWHELMED. It's just things that weigh on me and I have had to PUSH away what Ty often told me, "you can't do this without me, you need me." 

Oh how I need him, but I also have found that in the last SIX weeks I have grown so much. It is taking me time, because we were not prepared. Our denial has caused some setbacks and I am facing the issues now. I am facing the tasks ONE at a time. I am trying to just be gentle and patient. I can do this. The best thing was yesterday, and Gentry said to me... "Mom, I am so proud of you. YOU are doing this. I know this is hard, but you are taking care of things and YOU have proved to yourself that you can do ANYTHING. YOU always did and NOW you know it yourself." I was smiling and knew she was right, I can do this. It may take some time, but I will get it done... 

McKay is talking in Sacrament tomorrow in our church ward at 9am for anyone who wants to hear her talk about her mission. It is the ward right by our home. I am so thankful for her and her sweetness. Last night she had a cookie making party here with her friends. I love to hear the laughter and talking. It reminds me of the goodness of life and of good times. 

I am busy preparing for CHA in January in Anaheim too. It's going to be AMAZING. I am thankful to be speaking and to debut new products. I feel OUTRAGEOUSLY blessed. I hope to see many of you there. 


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Thursday, December 25, 2014


I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude this year. It has been the hardest year and journey for me personally. I know that more than ever I have grown to see the Lord in my life and in our family and certainly in our home. I know what matters most. I always have, but losing Tyler has given me a greater perspective on life, and the future. 

I know that in my weakest and darkest times, there is a LIGHT that I have in my life. It really is simple it's GOD. I know that I am alone now, but not really truly alone. I have been surrounded by the most amazing friends, family, neighbors, and my kids. I have had so much time to THINK. I probably think TOO much. 

I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I know that we are NEVER too old to learn, to grow and to discover MORE about ourself. I see the good and the gifts that life offers...even alone without Tyler. It's hard the world just goes on, but for me... it's oh so different. I have never been great with change so I'm having to adjust and accept things out of my control. I am choosing and focusing on being THANKFUL for what Tyler brought into my life and the many valuable lessons he taught me. I adore this man. I am never ever going to forget him. I simply live each day with the most profound feeling of LOVE for him still. I cry because it happened. 

How outrageously LUCKY am I that a man could LOVE me so much????? I only wish everyone could feel this kind of love and adoration from a man like him. He was certainly not perfect, but he was perfect for me. He loved God and gave this same love to me and his children. He choose to be a doctor to help others. He cared. I want to raise my children in such a way that they see me being strong in character like their dad. I am learning a "new" me. I am learning to be more self reliant. I am learning that I am stronger day by day. I still cry every day. I think this is allowed, right? If not, I'm okay with this too. 

It's CHRISTMAS 2014.
We woke up and opened gifts and showered to go visit the grave.
It was a beautiful snowy day.
I know Ty knows how much we love him.

The headstone is not there yet, but that is okay. I wanted to take a flower for him. I look forward to the headstone being there. I was so scared today I was going to be the BIGGEST MESS. I had prayed for strength and for peace. I have felt it so strongly. 

Zach wanted a photo today visiting his dad. He has been so strong, but it's been really hard for him. I love this kind boy so much. 

Christmas is so special with McKay home. She is just a truly special girl. She just LOVES others like no one else. I know she was so happy to be celebrating with us this year.

Tyler was the sweetest. He went and bought me a really nice bluetooth music player. It was all white, stylish and  easy to use. He said, "Mom, I wanted to do what dad would have done. He always took care of you and gave you gifts.  I didn't want you to not get something special like dad would do if he was here." He used his whole paycheck to buy it for me (he worked for Matt recently). This was so touching and his thoughts behind it made me cry. 

I am learning to SMILE and just be thankful MORE. I am so fortunate to know that Tyler and I will be together again. Death is not the end of LOVE or of US. I feel this so strongly.

Taylor and Travis and Jaxon were running behind and finally made it. YEAH! She is loving her new dog- Kevin. Isn't he precious?

We always have the CRAZIEST times. Oh, how
we missed this crazy girl. 

I loved wrapping all the gifts this year with my own designed wrapping paper. It made it extra special.  

McKay has a tradition to wear her "CHRISTMAS" sweater every year.

Our dear neighbors surprised us by lighting our walkway to our door with lights. It was so very special and we loved it. We have the most amazing friends. We really do. I am so thankful.

I love that my kids made me smile tons and we have really enjoyed being together as a family.

The highlight was talking to Seth today from his mission. We got to talk for an entire hour. I was so thankful and he just lifts my spirits. He is amazing and I love and miss him so much. We are so close and I adore him. In all ways, he is my son. Even though Tyler is gone and I'm really just his "bonus" mom- well, that is not how we role. HE is very much still MY son. I can't imagine my life if he was not in it.

Seth was sick and came home from his mission in Mexico. He and I had months to grow so close and we bonded forever. I can't wait to hug him again.

My sister did the most kindest, thoughtful thing ever. She told me a surprise was coming to our house today by 10:30 am. I had NO IDEA what it could be. She is all the way in Hickory, NC. I opened the door to see my friend Michelle Dahle. She said she was just the ELF delivering food sent from my sister. Yes, my little sister called around and talked to food businesses to ask them to make sure we had breakfast on Christmas morning.

Crazy, we had breakfast planned then the store closed earlier than we thought, so we were going to have cereal. 
My sister had a hard time finding a company that could make breakfast. She called Golden Coral and asked them to cater it. She explained that her sister was widowed with seven children and wanted to make sure that we had a hot breakfast. They had to think about it and call her back. They did not open that early.
They called her back and said, we will have workers come in early and do this for her. WOW... WOW... this was such a kind and amazing service to our family. It was a blessing of love and I will never forget my sister, Michelle and Golden Coral for
making this Christmas day so special.

PS- the food was really AMAZING!!!!!!
I love you so much Shelley.

In the END. It's really TIME with those you love.
I appreciate TIME and PRAY that I will have 
much more time with these amazing children and my family and friends. I wish you the most JOYOUS and happy
Christmas, Holiday and pray you will feel
surrounded by love and people who UPLIFT you. 

Don't take this TIME- your time for granted!!!!!!!

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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 weeks/months and years than I ever 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.  Oh how I ADORE this sweet girl.

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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