Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Words of Comfort from Women's Conference...Because We All Need Them.

After having a beautiful belated birthday celebration with my family, and taking in the smell of fall while driving out in the outskirts of jersey going to the General Womens broadcast was the icing on the belated cake that i absolutley needed.  

Ever had one of those moments in your life when you feel that everything is going so right, and then bam, something happens so unexpectedly that your reaction to that situation is not what you'd expect. The fact that I received some disturbing news from home which at this moment will remain private was something that I would never expect in a million years. At least not now. I never thought that I would ever have to feel so much heartache for someone who holds a super duper place in my heart. One thing for sure in my life which I'm most grateful for is my family. Family means so much to me even more these days. Mostly because I'm far away from them all.

The General womens broadcast couldn't have fallen at a better time. Heavenly Father sure knows who we are, and He knows exactly what we need. He knows what trials we are going through, and hears our thoughts. Listening to all the talks that were given by the leaders of the church this past weekend was something that I needed, and as always were very inspiring to hear. I definitely made sure that my senses were taking in all the words of our leaders, and boy did I ever need that reminder. 

One thing for sure that I have learned in the past 72 hours is that our faith is totally tested when you receive terrible news. It tests us to the limit if we are going to give up, or fight, and be strong. I always want to choose the latter. I hope I'll always choose the latter. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to have the Lord in my life, and his gospel to help and guide me with the words I need to hear. I also wish the same for my girls. I hope that they all take in the words of our leaders so that they can look back, and say, "if mom handled it, so can I", and know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them, and guides their every move. 

This broadcast has been one of the most special ones yet. And it's probably because of the things that are going on in my life. It never fails that every time any type of sadness enters my life something inspirational happens. 

One very special talk that has now become a favorite was given by President Uchtdorf. I always look forward to hearing what he's going to address to us. I just love all his stories, and for the most part usually hits pretty close to home. I absolutely loved this talk, and it totally gave me a different perspective on life. 

Here is a snippet of his talk in which the words resonated with me, and it is something that I really needed to hear so that I will never give up hope, or lose faith. 
"In this painting a pioneer girl is skipping along a bright blue path. She has endured many dark and dreary days, bus she has a spring in her step, and looks optimistic, happy, and hopeful. As you walk through life, I hope you will feel a spring in your step as you trust the Lord, and continue on your own bright and happy path of discipleship. Faith will lead you to open your eyes to the things Heavenly father has in store for you. Love for God and His children will continue to brighten your path, even on dark and cloudy days." 

How true are his words. 

I have been having a lot of those days lately, but I know that with prayer, and faith I can hang on and like the little girl in the picture go out on the bike trial with the loves of my life, or even by myself and skip around like a little kid with a smile on my face telling myself that everything is going to be okay. That whatever happens will happen. That's in Heavenly Father's hands now. That it's okay to cry. That it's okay to not be strong when everyone else thinks you are. 

The story of "A Summer with Great Aunt-Rose" will be forever etched in my heart. 

I also believe that having Pope Francis visiting our neck of the woods was an answer to everyones prayers. Even though I'm no longer Catholic I know that he is a great man who strives to live at the hand of God. Because times are changing, what matters at the end of the day is that the family is important, that loving one anther regardless of our religious beliefs is important, and that keeping the faith alive is essential to our life.  

Yes...this past weekend was amazingly spiritual throughout the city of brotherly love as well as Saturday evening. So grateful to have a living prophet guiding us today, and to have one of his apostles share his love, and support with us. 

We are also Looking forward to General conference this weekend, and I encourage everyone to watch it, and for those of who are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to give it a chance and tune in! I promise you will leave feeling inspired, and rejuvenated! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

CELEBRATING 44.

My birthday this year felt somewhat different. Good, but different. With Sierra out west, and the rest of the kids at school, and with Jon no longer having days off during the week my birthday felt like any other day. And it was okay. Sure Jon could have requested to take this day off, but because he's only been with UPS for a little over a year doesn't want to take advantage of the company. And in all honesty I'd rather have him save those days for our children's activities/recitals as opposed to my birthday. We can always celebrate it over the weekend, and that's exactly what we did. 

So on the actual day of my birthday, and on Friday I had two great friends take me to lunch, and it was fun. I thought I was going to be home all alone all day on my birthday, but it turned out that I wasn't. I also helped a friend in need and serving her was something that I wanted to do as opposed to staying home feeling lonesome. 
Then this past Saturday, the kids finally baked me a cake. They have been so busy with school, and after school activities, and with Jon coming home late every night they just couldn't seem to fit it in their schedule. They didn't want me to make it either. Perhaps it's because they feel I'm not that great of a baker which they're probably right, but at any rate they baked me cake and had a fun time spreading chocolate frosting (my fave) all over it. And added sparklers for good measure. They sang happy birthday to me and it was the most sweetest thing I ever heard. I just love my family.
^^^ We then had dinner at the Rustic Grille which was actually pretty good. We'd never tried it before, but I heard it was good. I had a burger and fries, and it was really tasty! ^^^ 
Fall is definitely in the air with the leaves changing in color, and seeing fall decorations in the stores gave me an itch to finally put my fall wreath out as well as buying some mums for my little porch because let's face it...my porch needs a little help in the decorating department. We spotted this cute little spot out in the country which was surrounded by mums, corn stalks, and veggies that were still in season.The kids helped me pick out a couple of mums, and then afterwards I took a picture of them goofing around. Good thing the owner obliged to their silliness, and allowed us to take as many pictures as we want, and anywhere we wantted! I only took one.) I can tell that they love this season, and the smile on their faces proves that they do! 
I'm so grateful for my family, and for all the effort they made in making my day special. In spite of their busyness with school, and work I feel their love through their cards. I always look forward to the kids making me cards, and this year Lexie wrote me a letter. I love how she put the time in her busy schedule to sit down and put pen to paper to write down the most loving words, and to also strengthen me with her words. I love that Noah wrapped one of his Hess trucks in a Ziploc bag, and shouted "happy birthday mom! Open your present." I just love it. And as always with Sierra out west I love  it when she posts a photo of us wishing me a happy birthday through social media Also...FaceTime is a miracle!! 

Yes. I'm in love with my life, and I'm extremely grateful for all those who took a moment to think of me. Receiving not one, but two edible fruit arrangements was also interesting, but most of all awesome! See...I told you my birthday was different this year! My dear friend from Texas, and my in-laws from out west sent one to me. I have never tried one, and now I can say that I have. It was delicious, and nice to have eaten something healthy for once! It's all gone now with the help of my family, and once again I'm so grateful for their thoughtfulness. 

I also want to thank all my Facebook friends who sent me birthday wishes online via social networking. Although Facebook may be getting a bit old for some I don't think I'll delete my account. It's so nice to see friends I've known for half my life, and since childhood wishing me a "happy birthday." Those two words can sure mean a lot to someone, and they most definitely meant the world to me. 

I look forward to another year of living with my sweet family, and I'm thrilled to see what 44 has in store for me. 

Happy Monday! 


Friday, September 25, 2015

A CURRENT PHOTO OF THE PHILADELPHIA TEMPLE.

One cannot go to Philly without walking to the temple site to see how quickly it's progressing in being built, and what a beauty she is becoming. When we went to the franklin institute last week, we also went to the temple site. We all sat across the street from it watching the construction workers doing their job, and listening to the sounds of the city. We were already talking about making plans on what days we were going to attend once it's completed, and how we can work around the kids schedule during the school year so that Jon, and I can go on a date night to the temple every week. We are so fortunate to have a teenager who can watch her sibs, and we just cannot simply wait to take the train into  the city so that we can be spiritually fed on a weekly basis.  
Just standing around looking at it, I can tell that this temple is truly going to be the most beautiful building on Vine street.
These two love the city, and it makes my heart pitter patter when they don't mind walking to the temple site even though it's not built yet. They are always curious as to see what was added, and given that these two just love building things they look forward to seeing what's new with the temple. 

And now...the girls and I are preparing to watch the General Women's Broadcast via satellite tomorrow evening. It's worldwide, and I hope that y'all make the time to watch it!

Happy weekend! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

WELCOMING AUTUMN WITH A BIRTHDAY.

Putting the air condition to rest and opening up the windows is a breath of fresh air, and the 70 degree weather is a sure sign that fall is here. The white dresser in the entry of the small foyer of my living room that had Noah's shorts, t-shirts and swim gear have now been replaced with hoodies, beanies, and sweaters. Going upstairs to the attic where I stored the rest of our "fallish" clothing, and bringing them out made the girls all giddy. They too were looking forward to this season. 

As I opened up the green chest in my bedroom I couldn't help, but to feel like a little kid at Christmas time. I took out all the scarves, and light sweaters that were stowed away, and gently laid them out on my bed. The scarves, and sweaters that I've had for years, and leggings still fit! And that makes me happy. Even happier because that will make my bank account last a little longer. I grabbed the scarves, and hung them carefully on a hook behind my bedroom door to make sure I grab one when it's cold enough outside to wear it.


I'm grateful for this season. I'm grateful to be welcoming it with a birthday. I'm grateful to be living in my 44th year with young children who still enjoy 'all things fall' with me. 

Apple picking. 
Mum buying. 
Drinking hot chocolate. 
Baking lots of goodies (I don't, but my girls do!)
Picnics in our backyard.
Drives in the country. 
Leaf peeping.
Leaf wars. 
Fall foliage.
The smell of a wood burning stove. 
Hickory.
Pumpkin. 
Caramel.
Peach jam.
Soups, and stews from a crock pot.
The mist that sometimes lingers when we wake up in the morning. 
Crisp air. 
Bon fires.
Smores.
Hay rides.
Cuddling with my boys.
Chunky sweaters.
Warm socks.

Yes...I love autumn, and happy to have a birthday in the middle of it all! 
Happy Fall everyone, and a happy birthday to me! 




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

END OF SUMMER.

As I was looking back at all the things we did this past summer I saw the simplicity of it all. I recalled all the times we ventured out to the shore, and various places close to home. 

But now...the sand shovels are put away as well as the kids swimming gear, beach bags, beach toys, and beach blankets are now tucked away in the basement. This summer went by way too quickly, and we were hanging on to it like there was no tomorrow. Soaking it up with dear friends was the icing on the cake, because sometimes you just need that extra company to add a little fun to the mix. All one needs to be happy here on the east coast is a trip to the beach. And that was always satisfying to my kids. 

Playing tennis, going to the zoo, and splash pads in the city made up for one joyful summer. Adding a couple of trips to New York City, Connecticut, and D.C. for good measure.

And I wouldn't trade it for any extravagant or exotic trip in the world. 

This summer, I have to say was the best one yet. Hearing the sounds of laughter from my children, and seeing them smile with their eyes is proof enough that their needs were met with a simple taste of summer. 

And with everything that the summer of '15 brought will hopefully last us well into the next year. 

Thank you summer for being so good to us, and although we hung on to you a little bit longer than we thought...we are ready to exit this exciting season. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

NOAH-ISMS: THE HAPPY EDITION.


So two weeks have passed since Noah started kindergarten and I have to tell you I really do miss his musings. There are days where I wake up not feeling like myself, and here comes Noah to the rescue running into my room, climbing into my bed, hugging me with all his might cheering me up with his sweet voice. I honestly believe that there is a reason why he has half a day kindergarten in the afternoon that way he can make my mornings run smooth. He is a great low key, laid back kind of kid who isn't high maintenance who actually listens to me! I'm extremely thankful that he is home with me for the first few hours of the day because he truly puts a smile on my face. regardless of any news that I'll receive whether personal or of the world, how the weather looks like I just know that I'm going to make the choice to make each day count. I swear the older he gets the clearer his sentences are, and the more they make sense. When he says certain things it is hilarious, it is sweet, and it is so Noah. 

I may not have a lot of noahism posts in the future simply because i want to focus more on him rather than killing my brain to remember all the things that he utters. Then again down I don't need to jot them down right away because if they are that funny there is no need to document them, only to remember.

So on this particular day, I was not having the greatest day at all! 

As I was backing out of the driveway a car came racing down to beat me before backing up. I quickly backed up, but still had to move aside practically on the curb so she can pass and after my kind deed, I said, "uggh, that's why I hate this road! People speed down our neighborhood as if it's the freeway! I looked at the rearview mirror, saw Noah's sweet face, and with a smile he said, "just look at the sun mommy, it'll make you smile." 

On our way home from our labor day trip he randomly started to sing, and these were the lyrics to his own song, "happy road, happiness, happy happy happiness, happy road, happy song, yes I am happy." 

We went to a nearby catholic church to donate some items, and Noah saw a cross with Jesus Christ on it, and asked "who killed him mom, who killed jesus?" I explained to him that Jewish people killed him. "What are Jewish people? Are they nice or bad?" When he said that I had to again explain that even though they hurt Jesus they didn't know any better, and that one day they will answer to God for what they did to him. He had a sad look on his face when he saw that cross, but then I explained to him why we don't have one like that at our church. I explained to him that even though we don't see him that He lives, hence not even having a cross in our chapel of any kind. He then said, "so he's a happy Jesus?" Yes, Noah...very happy! 

We hardly ever eat chicken pot pies, but since the weather has gotten a bit cooler I decided one night to put some in the oven. Noah asked if he could have a "big muffin" for dinner. I explained to him that it's called a pot pie with chicken in it. He then began to dig in it making eyes, and a nose with the peas, and began to eat. I think he was trying to make a smiling muffin face. 

As Noah was standing on a bench outside of a walmart he said, "look daddy, I'm inside the store already!" Jon then said to him, "no Noah your not, that's your reflection!" Jon thought that was the funniest thing, and told me I had to document it.

I'm sure there's a lot more where that came from, but we are having too much fun listening and conversating with our little guy when we are out and about. No need to document and remember every little thing in detail he says, because what's most important is paying attention to the rest of the things he's saying than killing my brain to remember, and most of all living in the moment when he does!

Oh, and if you haven't seen this 14 second video on my instagram you gotta see it. Noah is so cute, and once again...he loves seeing anything that brings happiness...hence the "hearts."


Happy Monday! 


Friday, September 18, 2015

MISSION PAPERS ACCOMPLISHED!

So it's done. 

After one month of praying, and waiting to meet with her bishop due to being out of the country, doctors, and dental appointments to get her wisdom teeth out, Sierra finally submitted her mission papers. Now all we have to do is wait for her stake president to officially submit them which should be any day now, and wait for her mission call. Any guesses?? You should have seen her the night she pressed send while we were facetiming. She asked me if the picture she submitted for her portfolio looked okay, and I said to her it was beautiful and perfect! She was giddy, and while inputting her photo kept smiling with a giggle in between making sure all her i's were dotted, and t's were crossed. When she pressed send on her laptop she emphatically uttered the words, "I did it!" It was a surreal moment for her. Nonetheless, she had such a glow on her face with the biggest ear to ear smile I've ever seen. I can tell that she is ready and anxious to engage in the work of the Lord, and to share the most precious gift that he has given us which is the plan of salvation. 

I am so pleased with Sierra in all that she has done, and has learned up to this point in her life with preparing for her future, but most of all praying to serve a mission. Deferring her college plans to serve the lord is a huge sacrifice, but the outcome of it all will bring forth many blessings especially after serving. I know this from experience because I've seen it with my husband. He sacrificed two years of his life to serve a mission, and no matter what obstacles we faced as a married couple with four children for the past 20 years the Lord has always managed to take care of us, and I know that he will continue to do so as long as we do our part in serving Him with all our might. 

Sierra has sure come a long way in her young life since graduating high school two years ago, and being away from home is evidence enough that she can endure hard things, and still manage to hang on to her testimony no matter what obstacles she faced. We all at one time in our life will face trials, but if we hang on to our faith, and remember what we were taught, and valued in what we were raised with, there is nothing in the world we can't handle, and the Lord will never leave our side.

And to know that He is there to help, and guide us along the way is not only the greatest comfort, but the greatest blessing of all. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

MY SCIENCE GEEKS AT THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE.

Only two weeks into the school year and already the elementary kids had their fall field trip. I swear going to the Franklin institute never gets old. There's always new exhibits, and attractions to see, and the kids love it here! I have to say that this is the perfect place to bring kids of all ages! Noah is at an age where he is discovering all things about science, and slowly but surely it's beginning to make more sense to him. It also helps having an older sister who loves it, and when we bring books home from the library that are associated with anything science Noah becomes more engaged. 

Every year my crew gets smaller and smaller. With Sierra out west, and Lexie busy with school we came here with only Noah and Chelsea. Lexie had a tennis match, but since the kids only have one field trip in the fall to the museum we chose the museum, and Lexie didn't mind. The last time she came she had fun, and learned all about the brain. She has a ton of tennis matches to play, and we'll make sure to go to the rest of her games. By the way...she's been winning all of her matches so far!! 

As I was saying Noah and Chelsea both had a blast. We tend to go to the museum during the school year only because they seem to have exhibits that are specifically for kids. It's almost as if their brain somewhat shuts down during the summer due to all the beach trips we took, because when we entered into the kids science room they were all over the place relearning all the elements of light, water, air, and earth! It is amazing to see the light in my kids eyes when they are exploring the wonders of outer space! 
^^^ Noah has become obsessed with spacesuits. ^^^
^^^ There is this kiosk where Noah and Chelsea love playing with. It's basically a "space trip" where it helps you get outfitted in the perfect spacesuit for their destination when going into outer space. It's pretty cool. ^^^ 
^^^ We couldn't leave the museum without checking out the locomotive! Aside from the space center, Noah will always love trains! ^^^
^^^ oh...this was a fun hands-on project for the kids to do. There was a station with legos (which is the kids other favorite thing) where they had to guess what the other person is building by describing how they built their legos. And guess what?? They both nailed it. The men on the other side of the partition guessed exactly what both Noah and Chelsea built! It was awesome. ^^^
^^^ If you're wondering what they're looking at there was a light show on the ceiling with stars, meteors, and planets. It was pretty cool, and they couldn't take their eyes off of it. I just had to pull away to take a picture. I swear Jon was like a little kid in a candy store. He too loves coming here with the kids, and deep down is truly a die hard  science geek. ^^^
^^^ If you have a snapchat which is r_jorgensen I snapped the heck out of our evening here. They absolutely love it here. Three hours isn't enough at this place. Next time we'll have to come earlier in the day and spend longer hours here. There were a couple of shows to see in the planetarium, and franklin theatre that we didn't get to watch. It's amazing here, and I highly recommend every child, teen, and adult coming here to appreciate the earth, and how truly big space is getting! 




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

YOUTH CONFERENCE IN PALMYRA 2015

Four years have passed since the youth of our church went to Palmyra, and this past summer the youth endured the six hour drive to upstate New York to visit the sites. Youth conference, along with other church programs such as girls camp is something that my girls always look forward to every year. They love the camaraderie among friends as well as the spirit that it brings. 

When it comes to youth conference every stake in the church plans a spiritual activity. I know a few wards who have TREK every four years (which is something our stake should seriously consider in planning.) Some may have a temple trip like we did last year, but this year our youth traveled to Palmyra to visit all the historical sites. 

We almost didn't go this year, and I'm so glad that the youth went simply because not everyone in our church has ever been to upstate New York to explore, and see the history sites. So I'm extremely grateful that are stake president stuck to his word on having the youth go to Palmyra. So, so grateful

I know that if these youth take in all that they see, and put themselves in that moment of what happened in Palmyra including the hill cumorah, and sacred grove that they will feel the spirit. Testimonies will be strengthened, the spirit of the Lord will be felt so strong, and to learn about where the church started and to see it in person truly makes it more meaningful.

I remember when Sierra went with the youth four years ago. I remember how much fun she had, and how attuned she was with the spirit once she returned home. Having all those spiritual experiences throughout that summer really helped her deal with all the trials that she went through as well as issues that were harboring deep within her heart, and mind. It is remarkable to have talked with her about what she learned, and felt that summer because that was a very difficult year for her dealing with drama among "so called friends", and just overall life. And now...she's preparing for a mission!! Yay! 

We also had the opportunity this year to go to Palmyra as a family, and Lexie was excited to have also gone with the youth. She mentioned that it was different seeing the hill cumorah without the stage, but mentioned that the spirit was just as strong. 

Lexie didn't capture too many photos of her youth trip which is probably good because that meant that she was focusing more on listening, and enjoying time with her friends. Taking pictures is great and all, but to go without having that device of technology glued to your hand makes a huge difference, and you tend to pay more attention to your surroundings. 
I am so grateful for programs such as youth conference that remind our youth of the plan of salvation, happiness, and enduring to the end. And it is my hope that like her sister Sierra, Lexie will always remember what she is taught and to take that with her no matter where she goes once she is in college, and on her own. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

BE KIND & EMBRACE LIFE.

Hello, and a happy Monday to all of you. 

Last week I decided to go for a walk at a park where I used to take Noah before he started kindergarten. I was thinking all about the things in my life that have happened which has led up to this day. Going for a walk through the woods can really make you think, and do random things. And so I felt prompted to do a video and share a bit of my story about my suicide attempt back when I was about 15 years old. As I was sitting down on a bench I began to thank God for all the good he has given me. In spite of everything I went through to get me to the place where I am today life has been pretty wonderful. I'm alive, I'm breathing, and although some days are not as bright as I'd like them to be I strive to seek the joy in the little things. One being my kids. And how grateful I am for them. How lucky I am to have survived all that I've endured so that I can have the life I have today with my sweet family. Thank you a million times over to the man upstairs for giving them to me. 

Although World Suicide prevention day was last week, I wanted to share my thoughts, and story with you. Please excuse the pauses, and the umms in this video, because this was done so randomly. I originally was going to just blog about it. This vlog post may not be eloquently spoken, but I hope that my words will somewhat be enticing. For those of you who watch I hope that you will feel the passion, concern, and genuineness in my voice that being kind to everyone you meet even when you don't want to be is important, because you never know what that person is going through. You never know what is going on in their life behind closed doors in their home. You just never know. Kindness can come a long way to a person. Especially when they are a little kid. And when one expresses kindness or even acknowledges you with a smile man, oh man will they realize that there is a God, and that there is a beautiful thing called "life" just waiting to happen!! 

Here is a piece of my story...

Friday, September 11, 2015

WE SHALL NEVER FORGET: 14 YEARS LATER.

September tends to be both a happy, and somber month for me. Happy, because it's my birthday month, and because it's the beginning of fall to come. Somber because on this day 14 years ago at least 3000 people lost their lives. 

Memories of the day I heard that two planes crashed into the twin towers, as well as two others crashing towards the pentagon, and in Pennsylvania still haunts me. I can never forget what happened, and even more so when my family and I drive into the city. The first thing we see while crossing the bridge is a huge, tall, beautiful building as shiny, and clean as the eye can see. And every time we cross that bridge Chelsea will always mention how the freedom tower used to be the twin towers. She was about eight when she began this "ritual", and till this day it never fails that as soon we see the skyline from the Pulaski highway she will mention the twin towers, and how many people lost their lives that day. And Noah will utter the words "I see new york, I see New york!" It never gets old, and it makes me so grateful that our kids are being educated at school in regards to this day. 

We as parents have educated all of our children about what happened on this day as well as learning to love, and living each day as if there was no tomorrow. I want them to love hard, and accept everyone no matter who they are. To respect each other, their peers, teachers, but most of themselves. To laugh and to not take things personally. To never let the little things bother them, to always be kind to everyone no matter how different they may be, and to just focus on the precious moments that bring them joy. But most of all...to never take anything or anyone for granted. Not school, not friends, not their family, not God, but most of all life. 

I tell ya...when you get older, and your youngest is off to school and you're no longer raising babies your life slowly changes. At least it is for me. And because of that I want to live my life each day as if it's my last. To strive every second of every day to overall be a kind, and loving person not only to others, but most of all to my family. 

When we went to the memorial earlier today in Pennsauken I immediately felt the spirit as I walked towards the huge granite with the words "we shall never forget" with all the times the planes crashed engraved on it. It still seems surreal, and to see 2,997 American flags displayed throughout the memorial was very humbling. One for each life that was lost. It is so nice to see the people of this community to volunteer and help put up all these flags since 2003.

 I snapped a few shots of the memorial, and what a simple, and beautiful memorial it is... 

 
So many lost loved ones on this day, and I can't even imagine what they go through year after year as they all gather around the memorial in the city to remember. I even heard on NPR news this morning how every year the crowds get smaller and smaller, but there is one 81 year old man whose son lost his life in the north tower, and how he has continued to gather where the bells toll for the past 14 years to remember his son. He also mentioned that he will continue to attend the memorial every year as long as he's breathing. Such amazing stories of strength, and perseverance. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GETTING A TASTE OF BEING ALONE.

I have been thinking so much of my mom lately simply because today marks the anniversary of Joe's passing.  Fall was in full swing back when she came to stay with me for a few weeks after he passed away, and because it rained so much today I couldn't help but to constantly have her on my mind. 

What can I say...

I miss my mom. 

Even though we talk on the phone twice a month it doesn't seem like enough, and it shouldn't be that way. I love my mom, and will always make time for her no matter what. I wanted to share a bit of how I've been feeling lately since Noah started school, and how it feels for all my kids to be in school. 

To go along with this post I added some pictures back when we lived in Texas. My mother lived in Corpus Christi, and we lived in San Antonio. At that time in my life she always managed to stay connected. She was always the one making time for me, and because we were going to be moving back to Utah once Lexie was born she wanted to spend as much time with us as possible. I'm grateful that we captured these moments with each other, and memories with Sierra while she was little.  
Now for the short story...

The other morning I told Jon how I'm slooooooowwwwwly starting to feel how my mom felt once we were all gone, and how I'm beginning to feel how my mom felt once we all left the house. No more babies to raise, and being alone in a house for a few hours. Not technically, because Noah is still home with me until noon.  He likes entertaining himself with legos, drawing pad, and his train tracks. Of course I'm there for him on the sidelines front, hook, and center when it comes to growing up. I do however, have a hard time giving him his own space, but I'm getting better at that. I've gotten better at supporting him for being so independent since he began school this year. I'm just so lucky that he still likes to cuddle with me in the evenings before bed!

The three hours I have to myself seem to go by way too fast especially when i have to clean up after breakfast, have laundry to do, write in my journal, and just random things such as a friend calling to help take her on an errand. And endless sweeping!! I have ceiling fans in every room that run 24/7,  and because those fans blow dust I'm constantly sweeping throughout the whole house. Guess it's time to clean the fans!! I have hardwood floors throughout the house, except for a magic carpet in the living room, but nonetheless it gets done, and I just sweep, sweep, sweep. I"ll be so happy when I retire those fans once fall is in full swing. So being a stay at home mom doesn't require watching soaps, and eating hostess cupcakes all day. Then again...I"m so not into novellas!

A friend of mine has also asked me the other day if I could go back to work, and find a job. I was like, "who in the heck is going to hire me for three hours?" Not even three hours! More like two because I leave a bit early to put Noah on the bus, and have to make sure I'm at home when the kids get off the bus. Plus I have no motivation whatsoever to actually work in an environment where I probably won't be content working because all I'll be thinking about is my kids, and making sure their needs come before my own. Maybe one day I'll go back to work, or even school but in my opinion one must have the desire to go, and I don't have that drive at this time. Maybe later.

Anyway...

While we lived in North Carolina I was guilty of not seeing my mom as much as I should when she moved to be closer to us. I hated using the excuse of "the kids kept me busy", and no matter if we were 40 minutes away  I just didn't make too much time to see her in the two years we lived there. Here my mom gives up everything, and I mean everything (except her car) so she can live closer to us, and I hardly ever saw her. We did have lunch a few times, and the girls had a couple of sleepovers, but yet I felt as if that wasn't enough. And it want enough! There would be times when I would come over unannounced, and could see her from a distance through the window watching television looking a bit lonely. It was as if she had that look on her face of wondering why she moved here. 

My mom had hobbies such as gardening, and sewing and at times I felt bad because she wasn't doing that aa much once she moved to Notth Carolina. I hated knowing she was at home alone all day while Joe was at work, and that I didn't make more of an effort to come over. On the days that I brought the kids over her stnce would change. She'd cook, we talked, would go for a  drive, go window shopping. She was happy when she wasn't alone. 

There are days when I wish I could turn back time, and have a do-over with my mom. I think most of us daughters want that chance again to right all the wrongs we did in our younger years. Then again...I'm not sure if I'd be the daughter I am today had I not had that distant relationship, and experiences with my mama.  

Fast forward to 2015. 

Even though we are 1770 miles apart we constantly keep in touch. I wish she would have stayed with us when Joe passed away, but the transition was just too hard on her. I  still have hope that she will put her stubbornness aside and come live with us, but she says that as long as she can take care of herself she will do her best to manage on her own.  She has a few friends who keep her days fulfilled with activity. She tells me there's no need for me to worry about her. So far she's in a position where she can survive on her own on the limited income that she has. She truly is a survivor in my eyes, and after all that is said and done I know that she can hold her own. She truly is a brave woman, and I am proud to call her mom. 

One thing for sure, is that I hope to be just as brave as her once my nest is completely empty. I only hope that my future posterity won't live too far away! 
*All pictures were taken back in the fall of 1999. I can't believe how young we all looked! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

THE VICTORIAN GARDENS IN CENTRAL PARK.

We couldn't let the summer go by without venturing out to a carnival for the kids to ride. It's like a rite of passage for children to go to a carnival.  So over labor day weekend we decided to go to the amusement park in Central Park. This was our first time going inside and actually riding the rides. Normally when we go to the park we always walk right past it, and hang out at the sheep meadow to relax while the kids run around. I find that as the kids hit four or five years of age that they tend to find the rides more enjoyable. I was really hoping that Fete Paradiso would come to Governors Island again this  year, but they didn't. The Victorian Gardens in central park passed the test, and it's truly a fun little park. The kids absolutely loved it including  Lexie!! She said she would help me with the kids, but ended up getting on a few rides herself. She has a deep love for roller coasters, and anything that goes sky high at any kind of amusement park. Our times spent at Coney Island were some of her most memorable moments, and so when we go to any kind of carnival, or amusement park her eyes light up like a little child!   
I only captured a few moments of the kids on the rides. I was too busy watching the kids especially Noah giggling and having a grand time on the rides. He did get on an airplane ride with papa, and even though Jon's legs were a tad bit too long he still managed to enjoy the ride! 
They even had the same pose when they got off the plane..
Lexie and I got on a couple of rides with the kids, but it was mostly Noah and Chelsea having the grand adventure of riding all the rides. 


^^^ excuse the blurriness of this photo. They kept turning that thing round and round! It was so hard to capture a clear shot! ^^^

^^^ Noah was so excited when he got more tickets to play a few games. ^^^
^^^ He even won this little duck for scoring 20 points. Then again...every one is a winner! ^^^

^^^ Noah and I even got to play this game where you get to hit a few animals heads! It was so fun playing against my little man! ^^^ 
 ^^^ The rockin tug was one of Noah's favorite. It rocked back and forth, and also turned around and around! It was so much fun! I also love my crew!! ^^^

We could have been here all day, and we actually were until night fell. It was such a beautiful day, and everyone was so nice to our kids. We then off went our merry way to enjoy the rest of our holiday. One thing for sure is that we will definitely come back and bring the kids again!