Monday, November 28, 2011

i never had cousins my age

I have been missing my camera so much. It's off to be repaired and I am wishing I had waited until after Christmas. It's no surprise I completely tired out the shutter. I can't wait to get it back. These pictures are 6 months old, but I had forgotten to post them. I love these little cutie pies. We miss them; the boys miss their cousins. I have been so, so bummed out about Thanksgiving. We had a nice one here with friends, but we missed the big Wood get together in Arizona. I had been so excited about it for months. Matt ended up being scheduled to work Black Friday, and despite my efforts, I was unable to finagle a way to make the trip. I was so disappointed. I adore that family and was so looking forward to seeing everyone all together. I wish it could have worked out.
Kaden loves his little friends Ruby and McCoy. I am sure he would love to have a cousin his age, but he cares about these two so much. Beckham is only 4 months older than they are, and I am sure they will love each other forever. McCoy and Ruby are already best friends, and I think they won't mind a tag along every now and then.

I really can't wait for the next time we get to see everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the ending is perfect. the now is happy.

I read this quote today and it just stuck with me. It got me thinking. While I scrubbed counter tops and remained baffled at the incredible tantrum my two-year-old had just thrown, letting my mind stew over things I cannot control, and wondering how on earth I can mend some of the stress in my life, I was drawn back to these words.

Really, how many times do you have one of those days when you look around you and think, "is this really my life? Is this really how it's supposed to be? Is this what I am supposed to be doing? What can I do to make it different?" There are some things in our control, and so many things that just aren't. Learning to accept that is really tough.

For years after our accident it was actually painful to receive wedding invitations, attend showers, and participate in wedding festivities. It was a blaring reminder of so many dreams lost. I literally hurt, cried, and felt so cheated. I feel bad saying that. Despite the many miracles I'd seen, the countless moments of peace and comfort, the innumerable tender mercies, I still felt that I had been robbed. It was unfair, not the happy ending, or beginning, I had dreamed.

Fast forward to now. I feel genuine happiness and excitement when I receive announcements in the mail or attend nuptials. I know how those lovebirds are feeling and I am excited for them to start their lives. I also know that their happy ending isn't going to be like they had planned or wanted. Is any one's? No one plans on bad things happening, unexpected hardships, illness, addictions, the trials in life that are thrown at everyone.

I absolutely would not have imagined my life to be what it is now, seven years ago. I would never have dreamed the challenges we would face. I also wouldn't have been able to imagine the wonderful things that far outnumber the "is this really my life?" moments. It is truly vast and amazing. I still am not sure if I am at the point where I can say that I wouldn't change our situation. Some people go through incredible trials, come out on top, stronger, and easily say, "I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now". I am not sure I can say that with 100% surety. I do know that we are all here to learn the same lessons. Every one's way of learning those lessons is different. I have gained perspective and learned so much (and hopefully I will figure out how to apply those things). I know that had our specific situation not happened, something else would have. Our happy ending still wouldn't have been like we'd pictured it.

I have many nights when I wake up fretting over one thing or another. I have moments of guilt, sadness, frustration, emptiness, loneliness, and sometimes I just feel lost. I am not unique. I also have many, many moments of overwhelming joy, happiness, gratitude, excitement, love, and optimism. Our life was intended to be that way. It is an absolute truth that you really cannot truly know the sweet, without having first known the bitter. Despite the bitter in life, there is not enough time to consume all of the sweet.

I think it comes down to a matter of perspective and faith. Everyone has a right and a need to feel cheated sometimes, to feel sad, to experience the sadness for what it is. Everyone also has a beautiful opportunity to acknowledge those feelings and to move to a higher level and see the good. To see the beauty now. To see the artistic creation that is really your life, and to realize that indeed, it does have a happy, a PERFECT ending. A happy ending much, much, better than one you could have ever pictured.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

fall festival

We went to the Three Springs fall festival again this year. Lots of fun kid's games, a bounce house, trick-or-treating, bbq, live music, and the most adorable and creative costumes. We love going every year. The weather was gorgeous. Kaden loved the unique playgroud, while Beckham was much more interested in his bag of "popporn".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

happy haaawweeen!

(yes, this boy is much too old to be clinging to a sippy cup.)

We didn't go all out for Halloween but still had such a good time. Kaden was so excited to be a ghost and his costume was the easiest thing ever. On Halloween day we went trick-or-treating around the businesses on the main street which is always so fun. Beckham acted so shy and wouldn't say anything or look at anyone. After we were by ourselves he would say, trick-or-treat and happy haaawwweeen over and over. That evening we went to the ward trunk-or-treat. It was so fun. Kaden had a hat and sunglasses on and called himself the gangster ghost. Wish I had a picture of that one. He was walking up to everyone and getting within inches of their face, staring up trying to see. It was hilarious and he refused to remove the glasses; he is such a character. He was social and independent; he is growing up so much. I will never be able to get enough of the kid's excitement over holidays.

Beckham didn't hate his costume as much as it appears. He woke up a little grumpy from his nap. He was just getting into character, I guess.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

first snow

This morning we woke up to snow on the ground. Kaden ran into our room so excited. "Mama, it's snowed! Winter is coming! Christmas is coming! I am your Christmas baby, Mama, and my birthday is coming!" I hope he figures out how to wait another month and a half. He was so cute putting on his boots, hat, jacket, and mittens. He got this getup on all by himself and hurried out the door. It was the cutest thing, watching him circle the yard, make footprints, and run around like it was Christmas morning. Beckham, on the other hand, didn't know what to think about about it. He managed to sneak out the door in his jammies while I was taking pictures of Kaden. He was only out there about a minute and hurried back in. Maybe when he is bundled up he will like it better. He loved watching the snow fall from the window and sat and watched it for a long time. I love living here and experiencing all of the seasons.