Sunday, July 5, 2015


I am so thankful each day and especially on the 4th of July for the reminder of the freedom, liberty and blessings we have.
I am thankful for the brave men and women who fight for that freedom. 

Yesterday, I was able to do to my first Webber 4th of July breakfast celebration. I took lots of photos and so enjoyed being apart of Brian's great family. His parents have many great traditions. This is something that I love. 

I love that Brian is so close to his parents and siblings. This is his dad. His parents have been open arms to me and my children. I am so thankful for this. Brian and I have been doing "date nights" with his parents too. Yes, family is everything. This was a strong vital connection that Brian and I share. 

This is his mother. Pat is as kind, giving and her kids adore her. Well, they all do and I do as well. I remember the very first time I met her. She got tears in her eyes and thanked me. She saw his light and happiness in his eyes. Brian and I had barely started dating when he sent his entire family a email about meeting me. He expressed his instant feelings for me. He wanted them to know that he had met someone and how he felt. I think his family thought he had "lost" it and was just head over heels in love. ha! The truth is and I tell people all that time, that we both felt it immediately. It was a connection that we could not almost articulate in words. His entire family was only happy for him and welcomed me into their life. 

They never questioned how fast it was because they knew Brian. It's funny because Brian is logical and always thinks things through. He said when he met me that his family just "knew" if he was expressing his love for me so fast that it was serious. It was within a week of meeting me and I remember he forwarded the email he sent to his family and closest of friends. I was so touched and had no idea this was not like him at all to be so "emotional" and "not logical." The things we do for LOVE... ha!!! *thank you Webber family for not thinking he had "lost his mind" and trusting him and me as we knew that Heavenly Father brought us together.

This is Brian's oldest daughter Madi. She is so sweet and kind. I knew the first time that I met her that we were going to be close. I knew it would be so tough in a "divorce" situation. I wanted and still want for her to be as close to her dad (and I) as possible. Love grows and this is what we always wanted for our children. We did not want anything more than to love and be there for each other and our children. This does not change how I feel for my "bonus" sons. I have Matt and Seth in my heart and life forever. I still don't like the word "step" anything. They are my boys. I never see Matt anymore and yet he is my son. They are still living in California and I'm so proud of him. He is the hardest working dad and husband. Seth is on his mission and I can't WAIT for him to get home. I will be at the airport along with Amy (yes, his mom and my friend) with the biggest tears of joy in my eyes. He gets home in March 2016. Families are what matter most. I gained family and for this I am so happy. Yes, I am crying as I type this. My kids and his kids are getting to know each other. They know that it is new and it's really about being kind and loving to everyone. The relationships are and will just naturally grow. In a short amount of time, I see this happening. If you are dealing with "step" or I like to say... bonus children. I have done it before and am doing it again. I have learned it really is simple- be patient and TIME is vital. It's all about LOVE. Focus on loving each other and if a child or someone in the family is having a hard time, just LOVE that person. Isn't that what we all really just want and need? 

You come to my blog thinking you are going to read about the 4th of July and I always end up talking about life and family. This is me... I took many more photos but I love the ones that show the relationships and fun times that everyone had.

Pat simply put together a beautiful party at her beautiful home. They are about 15 minutes from our home. I consider this a blessing. I feel so strongly to share something. I still love my Collins family so much. NOTHING has changed this. I think of Ty's mother every single day. I talk to his sister all the time still. We share emails and we are still family. Ty's death did not end these relationships. Living life and accepting God's will in a horribly sad situation was a matter of faith. Marrying Brian only brought more people in my life to love. My boys spent part of the 4th of July at the girls dads house. This may seem weird to some people. The girls dad and I are blessed to have a great (very nontoxic relationship). When Ty got sick no one could come to our house and Bob invited my boys and I at times to family events. I am so happy to say that my boys spend time with Bob and the girls too. They had a great pool party at his house yesterday. I support and encourage my boys and my daughters to find all the love they can in life and be surrounded by it.

This was our first 4th of July. This is new to us and yet we feel so connected that it's natural and easy. I know God knows that we both needed each other. This "logical cute boy" will spend hours talking to me every day.  Last night from the balcony of our bedroom, we watched over 20 different firework shows. It was the perfect way to spend a day of celebration.

We are headed as a family in a few minutes to go to Disneyland. Yes, we have three cars headed to Anaheim and we are going to spend the next few days making memories and having FUN! This is our first family trip in a very long time. This is my first trip with  some of his children. This is my first trip with my grand baby Cooper. This is going to be amazing. Mckay is super jealous to not be able to go, but she is in Peru so we are jealous of her. Taylor is so pregnant now and the doctor said she has to stay home now. This only means more trips to include our kids that could not make it. I am so thankful for this opportunity and time away with our family. 
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At July 5, 2015 at 9:57 AM , Blogger Vanessa McKelvey-Smith said...

I am so happy everyone is welcoming - from all sides of your families. That is what it is all about!! Loving, helping and just being with each other! Have a great time at Disney and safe travels!
Many hugs,

At July 8, 2015 at 6:46 AM , Blogger creature teacher said...

You have no idea how much this blog post has helped me. I don't know if you remember, but I lost my mom just a couple of weeks before you lost Ty - and her's was cancer too. I had no idea where this left my stepdad and me. Were we supposed to remain a family? Were we supposed to go our different ways? Now he has a girlfriend, how am I supposed to feel about this? My kids have only ever known him as 'pa', and they feel the same way about him as they do their biological grandparents. I hope I don't put off any vibes in which their feelings change towards him. I know I still have a lot to work through, and I will be rereading this blog to remind myself that it's all about LOVE. I look forward to seeing you at the event in Las Vegas.

At July 8, 2015 at 6:47 AM , Blogger creature teacher said...

I didn't realize how my name would come up, I am Janet Dickens from TN

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