Sunday, May 27, 2012


This past Thurday, May 24th, we got to celebrate David's little sister Sharilyn's high school graduation from Highland High School.  I got off work early that day, since I work in the Gilbert School District and it was the last day of school/early release, and we went to David's Aunt Julie's house.  Sharilyn and her two cousins Nathan Shaw and Brett Judy were also graduating from Highland so Brett's dad put together a slide show of the kids growing up years.  It brought up many laughs and good memories for several family members in the room.  All of David's siblings, their spouses, and children along with Brett and Nathan family members were there.  Afterwards, we got to eat a yummy Mexican dinner.  We then headed down to the high school to get seats.  Unfortunately we went to the high school later than I suggested and therefore many of the seats in the bleachers were already filled.  We were able to squeeze our way in and after a short time of wresting with Easton, the little guy fell asleep on me.  The weather was absolutely beautiful with a cool breeze blowing.  Early in the week we were experiencing 108 degree weather so this cool down into the 80's was a pleasant surprise.  About a million speeches were given and then students all walked and received their diplomas.  Sharilyn also graduated from EVIT earlier in the week and so she now has her Dental Assistant license. Smart girl.  We are so proud of her in putting forth so much hard work!

Summer is beginning and I only have one more week of work!  This summer I plan on doing mommy-infant swim lessons with Easton at a public pool close by, doing play dates with friends and their babies, dressing up as a cow again with Easton (for Chik Fil A day), going to Utah/Idaho for a family reunion/go zip lining in Provo/play at Lagoon amusement park/get pictures taken by David's amazing photograph cousin Kate, and making a stocking for Easton.  Let's hope that I can finish the stocking by the end of the summer rather than taking two years (like my mom's) to complete.

I will also get to spend a little more time with this guy (he's my most favorite person in the world):

What are your plans for the summer?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Heaven is here

Have you read this book?  Perhaps one my greatest "idols" that I look up to, secondary to my own mother, is Stephanie Nielsen.  I recently read her biography entitled "Heaven is Here", and I don't think I have ever sobbed as much while reading a book.  You see, around 2007 (not sure of the exact year) Stephanie was enjoying a beautiful life with her four young children and husband.  Her husband, Christian, was taking flight lessons in order to get his pilot license.  At the end of his training, he needed to complete a significant flight.  He decided to take a day trip to New Mexico with his instructor Doug and his wife Stephanie.  On the way back from New Mexico, Christian stopped to refuel the plane in St. Johns AZ, just 30 minutest (flight time) from their home in Mesa.  Shortly after the plane took off, their were complications with the plane and it crashed.

Stephanie recounts her experience coming to consciousness right after the plane crashed and being engulfed in flames.  She couldn't see a thing and could not get her seatbelt off.  It was her angelic grandmother that helped her get her seatbelt off and guided her to where the door to the plane was so that she could get out.  Stephanie saw the skin melting off her arms.  She was taken to the AZ burn center where she was placed in a medically induced coma for 3 months.  When she awoke, her life was forever changed. 

Her children were scared to see her.  Her daughter refused to look at her for months. Her youngest son who was about a year old at the time of the crash, didn't even know who she was.  He kept crying for his "mom" who was Stephanie's sister that took care of him while Stephanie was healing.  After a year of excruciating pain, surgery's, and difficult trials just trying to complete basic functions (bathing, toileting, eating), she was able to hike "Y" mountain in Provo Utah.  I can't even properly share all that Stephanie went through-go read the book! My heart ached for Stephanie.  She is a beacon of hope in my life.

Today I was thinking about how many bridges I've burned with friends and family I love.  How much pain  I have caused.  I also thought of how much others have hurt me and hurt my husband.  I started feeling sorry for myself.  I thought if the opportunity presented itself to move out of state for schooling, maybe I should look forward to the chance to start over.  Then I thought, life is much too short to dwell in self pity.  I can ask forgiveness of those I have hurt or offended.  I can not make them forgive me.  I can't ask them to change their ways so as to stop hurting me or my family members.  And to me that is the hardest part-watching family get continually hurt.  I look at Stephanie and see all that she has suffered.  All that her whole family has suffered.  How much her siblings and extended family members have reached out to support and carry her.  How incredibly loving her husband is, no matter how depressed she has gotten, no matter the tattered scars on her body.  In her book, Stephanie closes by saying how her scars are a continuous reminder of how much God loves her and how precious life is.  They are a reminder that each day is a gift, not to be wasted.  And so with that thought, I resolve to try a little harder, to do a little better.  To be grateful for what I have, and to share my love and service with others.  To make the wrongs I have committed, right.  I am grateful for my life and all I have been given. Heavenly truly is here on earth.

Brinkley's blessing

This past Sunday 5/6/2012, our family got to see the newest addition to the family receive a precious blessing by her father.  Cody gave the sweetest blessing to little Brinkley and it was neat to see the tears in his eyes after giving the blessing-a sign of a father's true love and best hopes for his daughter.  I also had some tears in my eyes, thinking of all the blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for each of his children.  It was only two short months ago that Brinkley decided to leave the presence of her Heavenly Father to join her mortal family.  How greatful I am to be her aunt!  Here are some pictures of Brinkley's special day, courtesy of Brinkley's mommy Rosalee.

Mommy and daughter

All of Brinkley's family  

12 of the 13 grandkids