Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 2010

There are a couple months in the year that I celebrated just because I was done with another semester. In December of 2010 I was finished with my first year back in school and getting ready to start my last semester at Collin College in January of 2011. These two status posts pretty much sum it up, "Is soon to be back among the living- yay! last final today- whoohooooo!!!! To celebrate I'm taking my darling loves of my life to dinner and looking at the Christmas lights after putting up our tree... maybe even making cookies! yay, yay, yay!!! Happy day, y'all! " Followed by, "I'm on the way to Comaland which is about 24 minutes north of Bequietimsleepingville, which is right outside of the village of Setthealarm. Nite y'all... zzzzz"

Looking back, I really had no idea how tired I could get. Two years later doing the same routine, maxing out all that I had to give- wow, it's a miracle that I'm sitting here typing!

In the single adults, we helped provide Christmas to many of the families and held a dance where there was mistletoe. Jeff and I said, "yes please." :)))

Because Taylor was heading to school in Utah, we packed up the bags and headed there for Christmas. This status tells of the family party, "Tonight is the BIG family party being kicked off with a family portrait, followed by dinner, crafts, treats, music and lots of fun/laughter :) My kids arrived safely yesterday and we will all be together again for the first time in two years- what a VERY Merry Christmas, indeed!" Yes, I'm the one with a mouth large enough to land a plane into... I love these people.

We visited the Carl Bloch exhibit at the BYU Museum. I wrote this, "I really did not expect the Carl Bloch exhibit to bring out so much emotion from me- this was an amazing, sacred experience and to all of my friends within the Utah area- this is a MUST see! His paintings of the Savior were divinely inspired and the stories behind the work are enlightening."

Jeff and I were able to spend a day together while I was visiting Utah because he was there doing the same thing with his family. We spent the day touring SLC- my camera in tow.

That evening we went to see Temple Square and the lights, followed by meeting his mom and sister for dinner. It was nice to meet them- they were/are both so nice and welcoming.

A friend posted this quote on my wall, "Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your h and in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without make-up on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have you... The one who turns to his friends and say, 'that's her.'"

I didn't know it then, but I had found him...

November 2010

November can be looked back upon and summed up in one statement: Taylor is home!!! I wrote, "I'm sitting here crying and typing! I'm overwhelmed by my joy at having Elder Taylor Barron home again! I'm overwhelmed by how blessed I am to have two such beautiful children! I'm overwhelmed by Heavenly Father's love and concern for us- and I'm overwhelmed by just having girl emotions (lol)!" 

My parents came in just to spend Thanksgiving with us and we took a trip with Tay to San Antonio. It was so fun to be together again- although I believe we then overwhelmed him...!

The kids pretty much hate family photos- but at least I got this one

Me- happy and my usual silly :))))

In other happenings- the single adults held their fall conference. It is always an amazing occasion! Out of these five friends, three are now married to people that they met later. So happy for them!
Posted in gratitude, "I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His gospel is fully restored with the priesthood and its promised blessings! I love the temple: we are eternally bound to Him and to each other! Let's seek and lift each other on our way to Him. I offer gratitude for the atonement of Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the journey Heavenly Father has given me. It is my desire that we all return to Him!"

October 2010

Focus for October- fun and growth, as always! "Sabbath thought from President Wright and the fireside last week emphasizing what will help us on our journey here: 1. Find a place every day and be still for your soul 2. Keep your eye single to the glory of God 3. Revere sacred things 4. Don't let your challenge get in the way of your goodness 4. The Prince of Peace is YOUR peace. Beautiful!"

"Yesterday, and many days like it, I am up early preparing for a day of work, school, teaching piano, and then homework, dinner and time with Emily. Whatever time I have left I give to the SA program and friends- and I just have to say that I feel so BLESSED by their support and friendship!!! Thank you for pulling me through. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!"

Two thoughts on the above: I needed then, as I do now, spiritual direction and love. I am thankful for the priorities that I have embraced that God comes first and family comes next- it is in relationships that we enter and leave this life and I have come to begin to understand how deep this goes. Without God, the commandments, ordinances, the example of Christ and the gift of the atonement, how will our relationships thrive? We need divine guidance and purpose for purposeful giving and receiving in our relationships. We need the gifts of forgiving and repenting to have a deep gratitude for all that is holy and good in this world. There has been a gradual weeding out of the people who aren't ready to be in this same place as where I want to be and while I'm sad to walk away, I realize that it is for the best. Progression is personal and the ebb and flow of our relationships doesn't matter if we have true charity in our hearts.

As for the fun, it was Tay's last birthday in the mission field and he turned 21 on the 28th. Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Also, the single adults had a Halloween party with lots of treats and friends in GREAT costumes. Oh how I have loved these people and what we have shared!

This photo is of Mert who joined our group in 2010 following losing his wife to cancer. It is now 2 years later and I am going to visit Mert and his wife of one year, Lynn. During 2011 Mert learned that he had stage 4 cancer and was given 3-6 months to live. Well, he has beat it so far and found love in the process. I'm going to their home tomorrow to visit. I love those two.

This was the first year that Jeff and I dressed up to go together, but not as a couple. ha! I helped him figure out his Elvis costume and then donned my flapper dress. We've now dressed up for three Halloweens and have had so much fun doing it!

September 2010

Something that I wrote in September of that year that speaks of my mindset, "Personal power: know who you are, live passionately, stick to a plan, embrace risk, deal in the TRUTH, be assertive, seek Heavenly Father's blessings and strength in our Savior. We CAN do it- so let's GO and DO!" :D

I was very busy with school, being a mom, and in my church calling. I was hosting events, running a facebook group for the metro area singles and meeting as many new people as I could as if my life depended upon it. At one such event I met Paul Cardall, pictured in this photo. He was a featured artist at a fireside and is an author (Before My Heart Stops), composer and pianist. He autographed my book and obliged this pic. Of this experience I wrote, "I love Sundays- the Sabbath Day. Wonderful meetings of worship and tonight spent time with Paul Cardall hearing his heart story and being uplifted by that and his music."

This was also shared, "Good: I can do hard things. Better: I can do hard things with a positive attitude. Best: I can do hard things with a positive attitude and a faith in our Savior that he'll pull me through!"

Today when looking back at the past couple of years, in gratitude I see a miracle similar to the New Testament story of the five loaves of bread and the two fish. I have never had all of the time, money, energy, ability, nor any resource that would fulfill all that was required of me to be a mother, student, friend, financial provider, and provider of service. I have seen that by being obedient and seeking to have the best priorities that through the Savior, Heavenly Father has blessed what I have had to be enough for what was required. It is my own five loaves and two fish miracle.

August 2010

In line with using facebook status updates to fill in the time missed, here is one from August, 2010: "Eleven weeks!!! I recently found this in my mailbox- Tay sent his first box home- journals, planners, letters... eleven weeks! :D

Time was approaching fast and I had been looking forward to his homecoming for nearly two years- since the day I had hugged him and said goodbye.

Shortly after this box arrived, we also received a picture of a very special day for a couple of families- two families were baptized, the Dukes and Greys!
I don't know the Dukes, but Ted Grey has stayed in touch with me through facebook and since this baptism day he and his wife have been sealed for time and all eternity in a temple of God and have had a baby girl to add to their family of two boys. Such a sweet family and I am so thankful for their faith and friendship!
This status update included more info about the baptism day and my Tay: "Elder B was asked to perform all of the ordinances and apparently wept throughout the experience. So wonderful! How do I know this? President Cook, from his mission, called and shared this annnnd... that Elder B's wallet had been stolen. lol... figuring out how to help him from TX."

Nothing fills a heart faster than hearing good things happening to our children and because of these children, good things are happening to other people! Tay was at a definite high, as was I.

For Emily, an entry from August 2010: "Enrolling my baby girl as a Junior in High School today! 2 more years people- 2 MORE YEARS and I'm an empty nester! I'm looking forward to having them both home for three weeks at the end of the year. I keep wondering- if it may be the last?" And yet another update which goes with this photo, "First day of Em's Junior year- love you Em- go rock it! (First time in 15 years that I'm not driving a child to their first day of school. Strange!"

As for me- this status update sums up my feelings about being in school during this time, "I am relieved to reach Friday but I'm also worried that I may sleep through TO LIFE!" and this too, "I put on my big girl panties and have accepted the fact that I had to take a year's worth of math classes after 26 years. I have accepted that I would give up a large part of my summer to homework and studying for tests, however, there is one thing I did not sign up for: dreaming about solving math... ALL NIGHT LONG. Give me a break already! LOL"

Now to look back with my today perspective on these events. With the excitement of Taylor's homecoming and success I had really hoped for a healthy young man to return home and jump into life. It was a struggle and it continues to be. He loved his mission! He loved the people and the structure and wanted to keep it with him , always, but the old negatives came charging back after he had been home for just a few months. Taylor is a wonderful young man who has to figure some things out. I look at the past and I know that in some ways I missed being the parent he needed, as did his father. Our family fell apart and each one of us are going to have to figure things out as individuals, with the Savior, to fix broken pieces (broken things to mend). I'm on that journey and pray for Taylor to find out how much can be changed through the atonement.

Evaluating my schooling and math experience- there is no way around stating that I had a difficult year. Interestingly, Jeff became my tutor and he helped me not only pass, but get an A. It sounds like a great accomplishment but the bigger accomplishment was a love that was growing along with a deeper trust being formed. He never deviated from being intent on only me and in turn, he also grew to have a deeper appreciation and trust for me, as I did for him. At this time we began to share the deep hurts from our pasts and how we used our agency while we were in that dark abyss of pain. Somehow we each came away being able to relate to one another in a unique enough way that it gave us each pause. Being understood AND accepted AFTER talking about sensitive things is somewhat of a miracle these days- and the gratitude began to grow for the opportunity we had been given.
This photo was taken at a bowling birthday party. We still had not had a first kiss, but I was feeling flirtatious with him and took advantage of posing for a photo to get a snuggle. :)

July 2010

I'm revisiting my past and hope to share both the perspective of the visited time frame and what I have learned, since.

In July I wrote on a facebook status, "a shift occurred without notice, sound, discussion, or discernible reason: getting ready for another life lesson. :^/"

At the time I noticed that the usually constant companion of the Holy Spirit had taken a step back. I was going through some major changes in my life while stepping up my service to others efforts and had been relying heavily upon the Spirit for direction. At this point, all I knew was- there was new distance. It is interesting to me that I felt it so immediately and sought answers to the change immediately but inherently knew that a life lesson was coming. And yes, it was.

Since that time several things needed to change and I am working on seeing those changes through to completion. I believe that I was so closely attached to the Spirit because that is all I trusted and could rely upon. My view of the world was tainted from pain and I approached everyone to some degree with caution. The Spirit was withdrawing so that I could grow wings.

About six months prior to this status update I met a man (Jeff) at a single adult New Year's dance. I took him and introduced him to many others without a thought of being interested- and that was the problem, I was emotionally unavailable and detached from the possibility of crossing over. In July, Jeff and I had been dating a few months without sharing a kiss or even holding hands. We did share something, and that was lots of conversation. I was wary- ever wary, but with an open heart to who he was and what his story was.

Our story is now years into the making and cannot be told in one post, however, I must share that I was only partially right- there was a life lesson, but really it was deeper than that, I was about to experience an eternal lesson.

In other July 2010 news- I went to a Michael Buble' concert and got to hold his elbow!!! Later that night I also got to meet the members of Naturally 7 and get all of their autographs. It was a fun, memorable night! :)))

In July I also met my fave quarterback, Steve Young

and the talented Alex Boye'!

Also in July, Em and I went to see Wicked, the musical. As a surprise for her 16th birthday, they gave us backstage passes.

Each close up photo is labeled as to its significance- each a prop that is used in the show. What a fun night we had!

People often ask me how it is that I meet who I do and get to have these "privileges." To that I say, just "ask." I have been so rarely turned down- what can it hurt to ask? :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Still alive and kicking :)

shameful. the time that has flown by where i haven't written a thing...

but, my conscience is nagging and i must return and fill in the blanks-

i'm closing in on a two year hiatus. school has been the biggest challenge, taking all of those science and math classes after years of being away. time is both our friend and our foe!

taylor came home, having served a beautiful, faithful mission. we missed him terrible and it was so wonderful to hug him, to see into his eyes, to watch him just be. he was asked to speak at a stake young women's meeting immediately after he deplaned so we went there after. he spoke with such authority and testimony- leaving a deep impression in all of those that heard him that night. he was released, following, and then we went to dinner. it must have been strange for him to be him to be home- walking into his home and room after all of that time... at any rate, we were glad to have shared his homecoming night in that way, because when tay was asked to give his talk in our home ward sacrament meeting, he passed out and the opportunity was gone. it was such unfortunate timing. emily was speaking that day, also, and got up following and gave an excellent talk, completely unshaken. i love and am proud of them both. <3

tay is now attending school at UVU in utah. he's had his ups and downs being back and we are staying close to work things through.

emily is about to graduate! she has had a fun senior year as a bowler and with her senior out, where students get out earlier from school, than their classmates do. she is attending UNT in the fall and choosing to live there, too. her bowling has led to competing at state this month and we are excited to see her last match! em is just shy of receiving her young women's recognition award, which is equal to the scout's eagle award. her work for the achievement has been amazing and i'm so excited for her future!

as for me, life is about to turn upside down- in a great way and in about every way!

to be continued, soon...