Monday, August 19, 2013

Men of God

One day, when I was probably in Jr. High, I had a run in with one of my four brothers. He had just torn some ligaments in his ankle and was in a walking cast. I don’t remember what the altercation was about, yet I remember he invited me to, “suck an egg.” Being the bright preteen that I was, I realized that he couldn’t walk very fast, so I quickly retorted, “make me!” Well, this brother had minions, and he told my little sister to go get him an egg out of the refrigerator. We were downstairs in the family room. There was an extra fridge located just a few steps away in the laundry room. She quickly ran to the extra fridge, grabbed an egg, and brought it to my invalid brother. I must have had a short lapse in judgment because I didn’t run at that point.

Although he couldn’t run, he still could use his brute strength. He swiftly grabbed me and pinned me to the couch. He yelled at me to open my mouth. I refused—soon I felt the egg being pressed against my tightly closed mouth. The egg soon gave way to the pressure, and my face was covered with raw egg.
If you know my family, you may be wondering which brother this was. It was #3—Brett.
muscle man

If you live in Prescott, and are a member of my faith, you probably already know. This is the man that was called yesterday to be the leader of the Prescott Stake* of Zion.
Joe cool

So why do I tell this story? Is it because I don’t have faith in my brother’s ability to be a Sake President? Quite the opposite—I love that I got to see this amazing man grow up. He has always been stalwart and amazing. He is a man full of faith and love for the Savior. He is a man that has dedicated his life to having clean hands, ready and willing to serve. He is loving and kind (even if he did have his moments of being a typical big brother.) More often than not though, he was defending me. 
In all his "teen-age awkward" glory

See, God only has real humans to do his work. As close to perfect I see all of my big brothers, they are really regular ‘ol guys doing the best they know how. All of them—ALL of them are AMAZING men! I am sure that there were moments when my parents wondered; maybe they still have those moments. I think we all wonder if our kids are going to turn out okay. We wonder if we are doing all that we can.
My family (cousins included)

I have faith that if we do our best, God will make up the rest. So don’t worry little mommas, even rowdy boys, will probably grow up to be men of God. 
The family minus Rick

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lift up your heart with gladness

Yesterday's post was really depressing. Did you see how I tried to sneak in a little happiness at the end by saying 3 things I was thankful for? That is usually how I get out of funks like this. When I am done feeling sorry for myself (that can take from hours to months) I start thinking of all the good there is in my life. 

Thing is, God is good. Being an earthy mother, I can see how God really does want to give us everything we want. I want to do the same with my kids! I can also see how getting everything we want won't really get us everything we really want. Like how I want things in my life to be easy, and I want to be a strong person. The two don't go together. God knows this, he loves me, and he know that I really want to be strong more than I want things to be easy. Just like how my kids don't want to do their jobs but then they want to grow up and be contributing members of society (okay, they probably don't want that yet--but they do want to be happy!) 

So today I wrote a list of everything I love about my life. I realized that I have a pretty fantastic life. I have an amazing family, not only my kids, but my family of origin and my in-laws too. I love my garden (although there are a lot of cucumbers calling my name to be pickled right now!) I love my friends, old and new! I love my little red brick house (that I refer to as a cottage sometimes to make me remember that I love little houses.) 

It is a good life. My problems, although really real, are really not big in the grand scheme of things. God is good.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


So, when I started blogging about "my blessed body" I stated that I would blog about it all. I would share the joys, the triumphs, and the hard things, the failures. So here I am--I've got a bit of both.

I wake up every morning a little after 5, get ready and go to the pool. I swim laps for 20 minutes and then I do water aerobics for an hour. There are three different types of aerobics and 4 different instructors so it does keep challenging my body in different ways. I am often sore, so I know I am getting a good workout. Not the hurt sore, the good sore--where you can feel your muscle, but still use it!

Physically I have seen some positive changes. I notice that I walk faster and don't waddle as much. Josh says that I don't snore anymore. I feel stronger and more confident. My clothes fit better. I am more active in other ways too. I have ridden bikes with my kids, played with them on the playground, went hiking in Mesa Verde

and I get up off the couch easier and more often (i.e. I don't order my kids around from the couch as much.) I seem to have more energy (although it still gets exhausted before I am ready for it to) For these reasons, I will continue to do what I do.

Yet, I am frustrated. My weight isn't changing and I still often feel sick. The nutrition aspect is something that I need to tackle more, but I have made some positive changes there too. We have all but stopped getting fast food, I have reduced the amount of treats I eat, and am overall trying to make better food choices. 

I think it is something hormonal and maybe food sensitivities. I know this seems like I am blaming something else--maybe I am. I just don't know what to do. This is why deciding to blog about my journey was really intimidating. Every time I have tried in the past to lose weight, I come to this. I have taken metformin in the past and that has helped. I was prescribed it for PCOS. I am thinking about getting on it again. The last time I was on it though, it didn't really help with my weight but made me sick.

I have an appointment with a nutritionist in Prescott in a couple of months named Jane Kohner. I have had several friends that have had a lot of success with her. Another friend of mine told me about a foot zoner she had gone to and a friend of hers that went to a hormonal specialist. I am so interested in alternative forms of healing for the very fact that western medicine has been trying to figure out what is wrong with me since puberty. 

If you have any insights, please share!

Three things I love about my body:
1. It can take me to chat with friends
2. It can hug my kiddos
3. It can type this blog

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To my love, on our 8th anniversary (plus 1 month)

Dear Boy Toy, (on our 8th anniversary)

This letter is a month overdue now—probably even longer than that. I think about our life and our relationship often. In fact, as you know, I am writing our love story. 

Often when I am writing, I stop and get lost in thought, “what if I wouldn’t have first dated so and so . . . would I have been ready for you?” or, “what if I wouldn’t have had this experience.”

The thing is—God knew I am a wimp. I am sure that he sent you to me to bear me up when things get hard (for me, average for everyone else.) God knew that I questioned everything—and you nothing. He sent you to me to keep my strong, and following my path.

Josh you know me better than anyone. You know when to push and when to back off. You believe in my dreams, even when I can’t seem to find them anymore. Josh, you are my anchor, and my sail. Your support our family—not only physically, but emotionally too.

When times are hard, and I want to just run away from it all—I know I wouldn’t last long without you by my side. There are two people I want by my side through it all—you and the Lord. We have been together for 9 years (married 8 of them.) Those 9 years have taught me so much. They are only a drop in the bucket compared to the eternity we have promised each other.

I love you Josh Thomson, thank you for my wonderful life!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Running on fumes

I will be the first to admit I LOST it today. After my 7 year-old yelling at me when I asked him to do his jobs and then demanding to be PAID to do them. After my 3 year-old was taking drink of milk, but then spitting it all over the floor, and then when I asked him to clean it up he said "I can't." After my 7 and 5 year-olds were found in a shovel fight with the local boys, and my 5 year-old talked back to the adult that found and took care of the said shovel fight. After my two 3 year-olds have both yelled and screamed when I asked them to do anything today. After my 7 year-old was attacked (so he says) and then proceeded to get into a fight with the neighborhood boys. After my 5 and 7 year kept arguing with each other. After my 3 year-old daughter attacked me (nails and fists) when I took my lip gloss away. After my 3 year-old son kept getting out of his bed at nap time, ignored me, was angry and yelled at me. I lost it. I didn't lose it once, after all of this happened, I lost it EVERY TIME. My cheeks are tear stained and my heart feels broken. 

Most of my friends are looking forward to sending their kids to school next week. Most mothers are rejoicing that they get to send their kids to schools to be socialized, taught, trained, and most of all taken care of. Moms around the nation are planning their "me" time--or at least all the money they will save by not having to pay for full time daycare.

Today it sounded great. I am beat-down, broken, and feel like I have NOTHING left to give. My house is trashed and my kids are unhappy. Wouldn't it make sense to just send them to school? That is what everyone tells me when I say I homeschool, "oh I couldn't do that because I don't have patience." or "my kids don't listen to me." Their solution is to send them to public school--leave it to the professionals!

I was loving the idea so much took all four of my kids to the local elementary school to look around. I talked to the secretary. She wasn't happy at the idea of having two new kids. She seemed annoyed that I hadn't decided a long time ago what we were going to do for school. We walked around the empty hall ways and went into a dark classroom. The kids seemed to like the school.

We came home and I decided to look for a job. If I was going to be treated so poorly, I was going to get paid for it. They didn't have anything for a broken down, middle-aged, out of energy woman! Hummm.... seems like no one wants to pay for what I (don't) do!

It was taken back to a day a month or so ago. The thrill of waking up at 5 am and working out was gone. I went to the pool and struggled. As I swam laps, I kept bumping into the ropes--my arms and legs felt more like flinging than swimming. At water aerobics I kept bumping into the side of the "lazy river" (that we were going against the current in.) We did an ab exercise that I couldn't do. On the way home, the thought crossed my mind--"I am no good at this, I should just give up." Luckily the next thought that came was, "if you give up, you will never be good at it."

This morning I swam in a lane next to a REALLY fast swimmer. He probably did 3 laps to my one. I noticed how effortless he seemed to glide through the water. The thought that crossed my mind this time though was, wow look at what a lot of hard work, practice, and time did for him. I am sure that he has a natural ability, but he had to choose to develop that talent through hard work over time. 

It has gotten better for me. I actually think I am getting stronger. Most days I still feel worn out, yet I realize that is because I am doing more. If I had given up, I wouldn't be better.

Today I wanted to run away from raising my kids. I wanted to give-up, throw in the towel, and quit. I am not talking about homeschooling--I really wanted to give up on the WHOLE thing. But I know that if I do, I won't get better. The things that I know I need to learn right now won't be learned. 

I am here, barely, but at least for one more day. And I am so thankful that I get to try again tomorrow. I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven that doesn't give up on me!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I really am back, I promise.

It has been CrAzY-cray around here! (Does that make me sound young and hip or just an old lady trying too hard? Not that I care ha ha ha.) I really am back and YES (to those who have asked and those who are curious) I have been continuing to work out M-S in the pool swimming laps and doing water aerobics. I wasn't able to swim everyday while on vacation but I have been back for over a week and I am back in the saddle.

I have so much to write about! Oh so much. Yet, I am first a mom and second--I have a little job too. I am a photographer. Some of you may already know that. I haven't been doing too many jobs since the twins were born but it has been picking up lately. I am LOVING it! So since I have been back I have been working on a lovely wedding I shot early in July. It is done. I have to admit I really enjoyed it--once I made myself stop thinking about all of my insecurities. 

So at the top of this page there is a a new page--Photography by Tiffany. I will post some of my professional stuff on that blog. Take a look around!