The Beginning

Every day, 97 things happen that I am sure someone would get a good laugh at. I may or may not be laughing at them. I had three adorable, manageable kids, then I had Brock, who is now the cutest, most loving 3 year old in the world, at select moments. Brock has a little brother named Blake, in the BTP, (Brockstar Training Program). I am 34 years old, have been married for 13 years, have 5 kids and sing now and then. I like to create, NOT COOK or CLEAN, which is turning out to be a great challenge since I am in charge of a house with 7 PEOPLE! I do love the people, though. Here for you all to laugh at me and with me, is a record of my funny life, the mistakes I make, and the lessons I learn while trying to earn, MY BIG GIRL PANTS.

Monday, October 22, 2012

35 Years

When I reflect on changing moments in my life, I have always thought about how big my 18th year was for me. In 1995, I became Miss Teen Utah, I graduated from high school, moved out of my parents' home, took an amazing and creepy trip to New York City where I think I almost got abducted, competed on national TV for Miss Teen USA (and almost won, but I got 12th in swimsuit, which I still struggle with and have bitter feelings about, ha ha), entered college, started dating Bob, and met Gordon B. Hinkley.

It was a pretty big year for a kid.

But in two weeks, I end my 35th year, probably the most eventful of my life.

This is how it all began:

October 2011, I had just gotten back from a big vacation to Texas with my oldest daughter. My dear sister flew us out to see Taylor Swift in concert at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. We bleed Cowboy blue here, so it was like visiting heaven. The day we were headed to Vegas to fly into Arlington, I got a migraine. My dad had to drive us down to the airport and I threw up all the way there. It was a pretty crappy day. The next morning, I woke up in Texas ready to party, but was hit with another one.  I knew something was wrong.

On my 35th birthday, November 16th, my sweet Bob got the most beautiful Patriarchal blessing I have ever heard.  We were married in the LDS temple 14 years before, but he had missed most of the teenage milestones in the church. I was so grateful to be with him and hear some of the things the Lord was preparing him for.

The next few weeks brought a cancer diagnosis, surgery, radioactive iodine, and a body going a little crazy from all the change in hormones and medication.

That time also brought the most spiritual experience I have ever had and solidified my belief in Heavenly Father and His love for us.

Soon after, my youngest child, Blake, turned 3 and later started preschool. 

                                                              Can I get a big Yeehaw?

I became the mother of a teenager for the first time.  Rilee turned 13,

Whitley decided to get her hair cut off and to be baptized.


        Trevor got his Arrow of Light in Scouts.

And Brock turned 5 and has remained alive. Perhaps my biggest accomplishment so far.

During this 35th year, I celebrated my 15th anniversary with Bob, who I don't brag about enough on this blog. He is almost a saint. He never gets mad at me or irritated that he hasn't been fed in 124 years. He just cooks dinner, vacuums the floor if it needs it, and puts me in my padded room with a kiss if I start, "Raving like a lunatic."

Bob also had his 20th anniversary with the company he works for as a sales rep for.

(Photo by Blake)

I went back to school because I finally figured out what I want to be.

My dad almost died and has spent the year in a wheelchair,

                                I became a GREAT Aunt, Kibba calls me "Grammy Love", in gurgles.


                      I met Mitt Romney and his worst staffer grabbed my phone from Rilee and
                                                took this great picture of us, thanks for that.

Then these final weeks of my birthday year brought the sad death of a very dear friend we weren't ready to lose, and I watched in pride as my Bob humbly conduct her funeral.

The 35th year was kind of like my, "This is Adulthood-Here is some reality and do you like what you have done with yourself?" year. It's been my hardest year, but man, do I have a great life.  I have some coolio kids, a husband I have never regretted marrying, and I am friends with the greatest girls in the world. I love my neighbors, my kids are healthy and Bob, who prefers I call him "Maximus," adores me. My car is too small and smells like spoiled milk, still, I feel like Looney-Tunes and my kids fight ALL THE TIME, so don't think I have it ALL together, but the life I have made, is the life I wanted. With less money.

So here's to my 35th year! A year of great new experiences and a year I am happy to leave behind. May 36 be uneventful and calm and full of health, God, gold, jewels and leprechauns!

And may you bring me presents November 16th.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Robin Eggs

For mother's day this year, Bob bought me a beautiful plant to hang from the hooks on our deck. Miraculously, IT LIVES! Although I must say, it is not looking so spry as of today. I do hope it can survive my black thumb.

A few months ago, we realized a "robin" (who knows if that is what it really is) made a nest in said plant and laid four perfectly speckled eggs. Well, as you might expect, there is a lot of excitement about four baby eggs in our very own plant on our very own porch, and so we must see them on occasion. One of those times we may have touched them with our tiny fingers and the mother may have abandoned them. Rats! I tried to stop the touching, but it was done with ninja speed.  Like Ra's Al Ghul quickness. So these perfect eggs never had a chance to become what they might have if the mother had stayed, in spite of her fear.

I can think of so many wonderful mothers who have stayed though, when their kids were touched by scary things. Kids that outgrew, were healed, repented and thrived because their parents stayed by their side.

In one of my 43 wards, we had a very talented musical family that used to make us all feel bad about ourselves when they would bless us with their gifts. The kids all knew how to play the violin beautifully and could play things that would make you cry. Mostly from inferiority. The daughters were gifted and lovely and full of young potential. This was the family you watch on Sunday that makes you feel like an utter failure as a parent. I adored this mom and dad. But I didn't really know how amazing they were until I heard the story about one of these young girls coming to her mother and telling her she was pregnant. This sweet mother wrapped her arms around her daughter immediately and held her while she cried. Then she told her Heavenly Father loved her and that everything would be ok, that together they would walk through the unknown, the scary. No, this mother didn't abandon her daughter when she was touched by danger and needed her the most.

I am just starting teenager-ness. I block as much outside influence from them as I can, but it still gets through and it gives me the creeps! However, I am not a fair-weather mother, a robin of rainless-ness, a poultry of perfection. So bring it on little fingers of danger! Me and my mom-friends are ready. We have serious skills and are scarier that what threatens our kids. When you show up at our door, which we know you will, we will not be ashamed, we will not fly away, and we will TAKE YOU DOWN. We were saved for such a time as this. We have been prepared. And we will stay until our sweet little eggs become all that they were meant to be.

Monday, July 2, 2012


It is 2:28 AM and I can't sleep. so I will just tell you a couple things, I have to get that thyroid post pushed down the line. It is giving me stress with all the whining.

So my suspicions of Brock being a genius might be correct. We have called him an evil genius for years, but last week, he was told my phone number 3 times and had it memorized. He did the same thing with his dad's number. This could be a lot of fun. I started wondering when he was one year old and could unlock doors with a butter knife.  I don't know where the genius/no fear of consequences correlate, though. He gets in serious trouble every time he runs to someone's house, yet he still goes. And he makes up stories like,"I am five (which he is not) and my mom said I'm big enough to come over by myself."

I felt better though when a friend told me her son who slashed all four of the neighbors station wagon tires with a knife is now a doctor.

He better do something that makes a lot of money, I'm starting a tab.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thyroid Journal *Warning-Severe Whining

Well,  I haven't written for a long time. It has been a crazy 6 months. I just read my last thyroid post where it says, 

"One day I forgot to take my thyroid pill and the next day I was a wreck. My whole body ached and I was an emotional mess. I wonder how many mental issues and depression are caused by an under active thyroid. I laid in bed and cried and was crazy and hurt all day.

I have some slighter mood swings now and then. I'll just feel like crying. I think before I had the thyroid out I was feeling symptoms of imbalance and was little crazy then also. I would flip out on the kids so quickly. I was also more aggressive and sometimes felt like I was running over people more than usual (I'm probably a little bossy by nature, I mean, I am bossy). 

Ok, that's all for now. Except for sometimes I am really hungry too. So bring me some food. Cause I'll eat it. But no onions. And I am so tired, but sometimes I am not tired and feel better than I did before. Yah, I'm all over the place."

That is pretty much how the last 6 months has been like for me. I have a lot of days that are fine and I feel normal, then it all goes to hell in a hand-basket. 

My poor family. I do a lot of yelling, followed by, "But I love you!" to try and minimize the effects of having a crazy-mom.

The scar is still a little bumpy and sensitive, but most people don't notice it. I put sunblock on it when I go out so the sun doesn't darken it. The skin is supposed to be very sensitive to that for a year or so.

Some people just go on after they have a thyroid taken out like nothing happened. I have talked to a lot of them. It is annoying. But some people have a harder time. My she-doctor says that she has had patients that have taken two years to get leveled out. I keep thinking I am good, then I'll forget my medicine or get sleep deprived or whatever and it all gets thrown off. 

Well, I am going to get my bottle and blanket and go cry in my corner now. 

Geeze, I'm a big baby.

Friday, June 15, 2012

He is Beautiful

  Last night I was laying on the love seat in the kitchen. I was having a rough day, so lucky for me,  I HAVE a love seat in my kitchen! That way I can just have a snack, then lay down, then chew on some jerky, then lay down, then have 2nd dinner, then lay down and so forth. It was probably like 10pm, since no one goes to bed until 11:30 this summer, (even if we are 3 y.o.). So I'm laying there feeling sorry for myself when Brock comes in with the biggest smile and joy pouring out of his ears like rainbows! He is on the fast-track straight to me from the other room and says, "Mom! I saw you on the computer and you were so beautiful! And I LOVED YOU!" Then he comes nose to nose with me and starts hugging me and kissing my face. After a minute, he gets this great idea! He takes my hand and yells, "Come on! Come on! Come and see you!" So I jumped up quick! Because I was like, "OK! It's been a long time since I have seen something like that!"
   So we get to the computer and he shows me some pictures of me from our family photo shoot two years ago, which may have been the last time I did my hair and make-up on the same day. Then at 10:05pm, he starts pushing me into the bathroom to "do that again" to myself, "right now!"
  Oh Brocker. Someday I will little friend. Someday I will. But not 2 hours past bedtime. And probably not this week. (PS, in the pictures I wasn't even that cute. But I didn't argue. I just reveled in his obsession with me.) He just kept smiling and saying surprised, "You are SO beautiful on the computer!"
   In reference to this little guy, people have told me things like it's a good thing you have him, or that they "couldn't do it", or even that they fear their child might end up being like him. I get little comments or remarks from strangers and friends alike. Our parenting has been criticized and countless times, I have had to make a valiant effort to not be offended and remember that people outside our home don't know how we are working every day on little things to help this child make it in the world. It's not their fault, they were just blessed with genetically perfect children. Our children, on the other hand, got mine and Bob's genes.
   What people don't understand that haven't been in my shoes, (and just so you know, my shoes are: "completely in love with a child that has an over-developed personality"), is that no matter what, I am on his side. Children can feel when they are being disapproved of, and this child is very sensitive to it. It is interesting to watch how he acts out the worst when he is with the people who are most critical of him. We adults are like that too, aren't we? I always find it difficult to say or do the right thing in the presence of someone I know is judging me.
   One thing I have found to be true is that whenever I start judging someone for something, the Lord offers me that person's challenge so I can see the other side of it. I am quickly learning to not criticize. As Brock would say, "I am therious, mom. Therious." That word is "serious", if you don't speak LISP, as in, I am serious that I keep getting challenges that I judge other people for. It's annoying! I'm just sending that out there as a warning...wooooooooooo (ghost fingers)! I have also learned to be grateful for the cute little old ladies or men who laugh and remind us to enjoy him or encourage us by giving us a "good job" shout-out, instead of giving us dirty looks. And we are tearfully grateful for the neighbors and family members who love us unconditionally.
  I contemplated posting this, but I know there are a lot of parents early in the parenting game that might have a challenge and need a little support. So here it is. Support! Keep going! Love! Don't beat the little one! I guess I'm also wanting people know what it is like to be on the this side of a strong child. I might love you, but I love him more. He is beautiful. And in case you haven't heard me tell him, he is just the little boy I wanted!

Thanks for checking in on the blog,  it has been a while. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


In my entryway, I have a quote from Abraham Lincoln, "I remember my mother's prayers and they have followed me. They have clung to me all my life." I don't think there is any kind prayer the Father hears that is more powerful than a faithful mother's prayers.

That being said, I have really struggled with the whole consistency thing with family prayer.  3 weeks on, 2 months off. One week on, 3 years off. I think a lot of people are like that, but not as bad. We just keep trying, though. We have prayer and scriptures at night before everyone goes to bed. Somedays, we are so tired by that point, it feels like we can't walk or talk anymore, my DH and I just spin in circles on the stained carpet slobbering and yelling. So I had to come up with an alternate prayer-plan. (PS, I am not getting the kids up at 6:30 to read before everyone leaves for the day. At this point,  I am way too lazy and if you think I would ever wake B&B up on purpose, you are crazy...... however, this is subject to change upon desperation.)

So this is the answer for me: Before each lovely leaves for school in the morning, we have a quick little Mom-Prayer at the door with their backpack on.  It is something that has magically been really easy for me to be consistent with. They have to go to school and they have to go out the front door, so my variables are always the same! The thing I love about it is the personal nature of these prayers. They get to hear what I pray for them individually, and they get to see how important they are individually.

This is the time when I pray that they will remember the spelling words we have worked on. I pray that they will have the courage to stand up for what is right. I pray that they will remember to treat someone sitting alone like Jesus would. I ask that they will know what to do if someone is bullying them or someone else. I pray that they will understand what their teacher teaches them in math, and everyday, I pray that the Holy Ghost will let them know if they are in danger, and that He will tell them what to do. I pray that they will remember all day that I love them and believe in them, then I tell Heavenly Father how grateful I am that I was given that child.

There are many mornings, when any combination of those prayers and others, are asked in 20 seconds or less so we don't miss the bus, but they are said. (In full disclosure, there are a few days days when I yell at them to say their prayers ON the bus.) But usually, we pray in the quiet of the morning at the front door with our backpacks and coats on, just before my good-bye kiss.

I wanted to share this with the few of you who will read this, because it has been an answer to my Other-Prayers. I asked the Father to help me find a way to pray with my kids that works with my craziness and willful opposition to routine.  Maybe it will work for you too.

BTW, you don't have to be perfect to get revelation and protection from Heavenly Father for your kids. I think you just have to have a Mom-Heart when you ask. As Abraham Lincoln said, Mom-Prayers prayers DO follow our children. They protect them, give them clarity, and build their faith.

Have the best week and don't give up prayer-trying! Anything is better than nothing!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday, I went to the hospital and took my radioactive iodine pill. That is what you take with thyroid cancer  instead of general radiation. The thyroid cells absorb iodine so they attach the radiation to iodine, it gets absorbed by the thyroid cells left over after the thyroidectomy, and kills them. I didn't really want to do it, but I have to have a body scan anyway and the radiation will show up on the scan if there are any other areas of concern. I feel fine, a little tied maybe from being off my thyroid pills for a couple weeks. You have to be hypothyroid when you get the radiation pill. Don't really understand why. Don't really care, just ready to move on. I have been very indifferent about everything, I think it is a depression or something from being hypothyroid. I'm also starving, I can see how you could gain weight with an underproducing thyroid.

In some ways, even without my thyroid pill, I think I feel better than I did before surgery. I don't know what it was doing, but I am functioning on less sleep better than I could before. Or maybe it is because my babies are 3 and 4 now. Of course, they still stay up with me until midnight most nights. They are at that age where they can't get through the day without a nap , but won't nap until 5:00, the witching hour. I need to get a grip on that situation. 

I can't be around my kids for 4 days. I am locked in my room now listening to them play with my 13 year old. She is amazing with them. They love her so much. It is adorable to listen to them giggling while she tricks them into getting dressed. It is also torture to not be able to squeeze on them. Bob is taking them to his mom's for the weekend. They don't know I am in here, or they wouldn't stay away. 

It is funny how you take contact with your kids for granted. I got to kiss Trev and Whit but they had to leave quickly. I wanted them to stay and I wanted to hold them. But every other day I do it mindlessly and don't realize what a gift that simple thing is. I have to keep my glands functioning and I woke up with dry eyes so I got on the computer to find something to make me cry. I watched Diane Sawyer's interview with Jaycee Dugard and cried and cried at the pictures of her mom looking for her. Not being able to hold her for 18 years. A hug is such a gift, and most of the time we do it so mindlessly we don't feel it or even remember it. 

My cancer is gone, we assume, but in quiet, alone moments, like the shower the last two mornings, my mind wonders about it being somewhere else. Anywhere else would be significantly more dangerous and frightening. When I was young, I always thought everyone could be cured, but I know better as an adult. I know it's dramatic, but every once in a while, I think about it anyway. I'll think about it every time I go in for a scan for the rest of my life. 

I don't have many regrets here, but I would regret not being more patient with my kids, and more understanding. I'd regret not listening and I'd regret enforcing the fact that I am the mother so I get to be right, even if I'm not. I am so good at holding babies and closing my eyes and breathing them in and giggling at their voices, but not as good at absorbing my big kids. Watching THEM in wonder. It is harder for me to appreciate the character they show and value it because I just expect it. And I would regret not holding them more, and tickling them and tucking them in. 

I used to lay with them at night and sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" or  give them the creeps with "Poison Ivy". As soon as I am not radioactive, I'm going to start again, because even if cancer never comes back, we could be separated by something else, like growing up, and I don't want to wish I had loved them more, or better.

Thyroid cancer has given me a few unexpected gifts and insights. Or perhaps, God has given me a few unexpected gifts and insights. As always, He has everything under control. So I'm just going to go with it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thyroid Journal Entry

I still feel great. My incision is healing nicely. It has quite a bit of scar tissue still but the bumpiness is a little better and the redness is calming down. I go to the endocrinologist on the 11th to talk about radioactive iodine and I'm going to see if there is a way to avoid it. Radiation gave me the cancer in the first place and I don't want any more, but I'll do whatever we decide. My ENT says it is controversial right now but he would do it since there was another small cancer spot starting to grow that they found from the pathology. I'm just going to throw out big words like "Pathology" now and then so I sound medically informed and a little cool. They may be used in the wrong context, I'm hoping you don't know.

The effects of not having a thyroid haven't been that bad. A few days after having the thyroidectomy, the extensions of my mammary glands (that means nipples, I don't really want to talk about this, but if someone is going through this also and finds my blog I want to give support and couldn't find much about it online), anyway, they hurt for a while but it went away. 

One day I forgot to take my thyroid pill and the next day I was a wreck. My whole body ached and I was an emotional mess. I wonder how many mental issues and depression are caused by an under active thyroid. I laid in bed and cried and was crazy and hurt all day.

I have some slighter mood swings now and then. I'll just feel like crying. I think before I had the thyroid out I was feeling symptoms of imbalance and was little crazy then also. I would flip out on the kids so quickly. I was also more aggressive and sometimes felt like I was running over people more than usual (I'm probably a little bossy by nature, I mean, I am bossy). 

Ok, that's all for now. Except for sometimes I am really hungry too. So bring me some food. Cause I'll eat it. But no onions. And I am so tired, but sometimes I am not tired and feel better than I did before. Yah, I'm all over the place.

 This was a couple hours after surgery. There were little spots all around the incision, even to my shoulders where I am guessing they had tacked the skin back or something for surgery.

 Two Days after surgery.

 10 days after surgery. When I took the tape off, most of that was just dried blood. The skin was really tender and red underneath. I took it off at two weeks.

Two Weeks after surgery. It was really bumpy. There was also a string sticking out from the inside stitches. The doctor had to pull on it and cut it and it was not fun. It feels almost like there is a long piece of cartilage running the length of the incision.

3+ Weeks after Surgery, today. You can't tell from this picture, but it sticks out little, I am told it is still swollen and that it will go down. It also still feels like the scar tissue or whatever is cartilage.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Post Without a Moral, Almost.

There is a lot of funny going on around here lately.

Like when when the whole family was driving around during Christmas break and Blake started crying because Trevor, 10, took his nose and wouldn't give it back. I told Trevor he already had a nose and didn't need Blake's, so he gave it back. Blake's cry turned into a grateful whimper and he said, "Thanks Treb."

Rilee and Trevor have been having a blast this week making winter camp fires in the backyard. I'm probably going to regret that.

Speaking of regrets, I thought I was so cool because I was totally going to follow the "Asking Jane" protocol about iPods and phones. No phone until 16, no texting until 18, and no Ipods until 14. But somehow, I gave into peer pressure and now everyone here has an iPod and Rilee, almost 13 got a phone! We had a deal that if she got one she could only call me. I added to the list her dad and the Grandma who arm wrestled me and won to get her the phone. The Ri asked if she could just have one friend to text. I agreed because I like the friend and her mom is strict like me, she doesn't have a phone. So Rilee comes home today begging for two more of her friends to be able to text her. Being a mom is hard. She has never really had a group of friends until this year and WE ARE SO EXCITED! But I'm also very cautious about everyone having access to her all the time. What am I doing? It is all spinning out of control! I hope I am not making a mistake. She is a great kid, so does she deserve to have a phone because she is, or is she a great kid because she is so sheltered? THAT is the question.

I found a magical fairy called the "Flylady". Do you know about her? She is crazy and distracted and her house used to be CHAOS like mine, so she understands my problems, and she magic-ed a way to keep our houses clean! And so I am figuring a few things out I didn't know and couldn't do before. I was doing great all through the surgery, then Christmas vacation hit and when the kids went back to school on Wednesday, I literally cried because of the mess they left me in. I called my BFF and she came right over and pretty soon I had HER crying while she was folding my clothes. It was a bad day. But my dear love came home last night and fixed a bed and put in a light and started putting more shelves in all my closets, which he finished tonight before he finished my baseboards in the living room. Swoon, he just made everything better, enough that I can see the light again. Plus also BFF cleaned and organized my master bedroom closet for me. I was just going to throw in a match and shut the door.

So a day after one of the worst in recent years, I am at peace again. NOTE: I am noticing a little imbalance now and then from the thyroidectomy/hormone pill situation. You should keep that in mind for a while.

Well, the boys are on my bed with some glow sticks they found. They are fighting over who's is the grandpa and then they are cutting each other up with them, so I need to get off and laugh and stop the pending fights. Wait, now the glow sticks are reindeer antlers, and they are fighting over who is Santa and who is not flying the sleigh the right way and how Santa is out of presents.

Aren't you glad to have a post from me that DOESN'T have a moral to the story? And no order? I know my kids will be. Rilee told me I ruin all the movies because I point-out or create life lessons from them so then every time she watches it again she thinks about the lesson, and it ruins the movie. I can't help it, I'm a teacher, without a degree. And that is why I should have finished college, and THAT is now the lesson to this post.