Friday, January 27, 2012

The Beauty Love Left Behind

The Beauty Love Left Behind. A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.  

I found this on
My cute neighbor sent me an invite to pinterest and I'm slowly (okay quickly) becoming addicted.
I fell in love with the above picture and poem and wanted to share it with you all.                

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A short step in my shoes

I woke up the other morning with my husband by my side. Shortly after, the kids come leaping into our room with their fresh morning eyes, and bodies outstretched followed with yawns.
They say, with their sleepy morning voices, that they are hungry.
They are ready to start their day.
My husband insists that I stay in bed and get more sleep.
Next, I smell the fresh, sweet aroma of breakfast cooking.
I hear the giggling and the playing taking place in the kitchen below me as my husband flips pancakes and plays with the kids.
I get served breakfast in bed. The delicious food feels so good going down my stomach, feeding my little baby who so delicately grows inside of me.
I work on my book and hear more noises downstairs. This time from the living room. Each of the voices are filled with cheer and laughter. Bowling on the wii. I could imagine their smiles on their faces as I eagerly listen for more. I couldn't waste one more minute away from enjoying the blissful day with my family, so I close my laptop, jump out of my bed, and rush down the stairs.

This morning started early. Only an hour before the alarm goes off, and as I slowly drift off to sleep once more for the hundredth time, I'm woken by the sound of Mady running into my room crying. She had puked all over herself and her bed. I walk into her room and see Courtney silently sleeping with the puke barely missing her. Ben delicately moves her into our bed trying not to wake her.
Ben insists on him cleaning it up so I don't have to deal with the joys of cleaning up vomit.
I refuse to have him do it alone and he refuses to have me do it alone. We work on cleaning the mess up together. As I start the washer and mix the soap with the hot water, he brings the rest of the bedding downstairs while I throw them in the wash. He goes upstairs and draws Mady's bath water and gets her all cleaned up and dressed in fresh clean clothes.
As the day goes on, I see the delight and excitement in Ben, Courtney, and Madison's eyes as they play bowling on the wii. It's becoming a staple around here. My game was over, and I decided to sit the next game out. As I sit the next game out on the couch, I listen and watch with delight. I know how blessed I am to be right where I am at that very moment. Courtney gets a strike, once again, and she starts laughing. Mady's little voice is filled with excitement as she takes her turn. I hear Ben say, "ALLLLRIIIIGHHHT!!!!!!!!!" followed by a high five after the kids take their turn.
As the time approaches for Marshall to get out of school for the day, I insist on picking him up from school. I am anxious to indulge in the book I'm currently reading while I wait for my son to dash into the car after school lets out for the day. Shortly after the bell rings, I see my son running toward me with that smile of his that makes my heart melt.
When Marshall and I come home, we see Ben and Courtney playing Yahtzee at the kitchen table.

At night as I peak in on each of my kids and see that they have drifted off to sleep into a land that I can only imagine, I just stand there, taking in their beauty:
Their soft, beautiful, milky white skin. Each scar and hidden freckles defining them with more beauty.
Their cheeks and lips, pink and soft.
Their eyelashes reaching out to toward their cheeks.
Their soft hands that spend countless hours blessing the lives of others. I imagine what those hands will touch tomorrow. Where their hand prints will be left for all to see tomorrow.
I close my eyes and take it all in.
I couldn't imagine my life without them. I am blessed.
They are so little. They look up to me to guide their lives, to create a happy life for them, to teach them, to comfort them, to love them. And that's exactly what I will continue to do. They need me and I need them.
I imagine them looking up at me with their big blue eyes, with their hands outstretched waiting for me to guide the way. And that's just what I will continue to do with as much honor as any mother could possibly have.

As my Husband drifts off to sleep, I can't help but run my fingers through his hair. I love holding his hand while I drift off to sleep. His touch is so empowering and makes me feel safe. I know I am loved and protected. I know the kids are loved and protected. As I lay in his arms with our legs intertwined, I feel safe. As we lay like this, I am mesmerized by his every breath, and I drift off to sleep.

Some days get busy and overtaken with the worries of the world. But today, those worries subside, and the blessings are well known.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas Eve 2011

We spent Christmas Eve at home, other than Ben and Marshall leaving to go get pizza, and Ben and Courtney leaving to deliver Christmas goodies. We spent the evening cleaning up so Santa didn't trip over anything, we ordered pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner, the kids opened their Christmas Eve pajamas and a family gift, we baked cookies for Santa and set them out with a glass of milk, and we watched the king is born with the kids wearing their new pajamas and munched on popcorn. This was seriously the best Christmas ever. It was nice, relaxing, and we didn't travel except for to church. It is a tradition I have made since my kids were little that we stay home on Christmas and enjoy each others company watching movies, playing with new toys, and eating our traditional Christmas dinner rather than travel around. I had the luxury as a child to stay at home all day on most Christmas' and we all loved it! I wouldn't want it any other way. Anyone is welcome to come visit us, but we stay home that day. We usually do our visiting before Christmas or the day after Christmas.
More about our Christmas day on my next post.

This is what our tree looked like before Santa came.
Courtney got her gifts wrapped in the blue wrapping paper
Madison got her gifts wrapped in the silver wrapping paper
and Marshall got his gifts wrapped in the gold wrapping paper

The kids opening their Christmas Eve pajamas. I didn't get a snap shot of the kids standing together in their Christmas Eve pajamas.
Marshall got Mario pajamas, Madison got Tinker Bell pajamas and Courtney got Dora the Explorer pajamas!

The kids opening the family gift

Our family gift: The Classic Fairy Tale Treasury Book

Next post, Christmas Day...... Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Marshall! Your letter and pictures included.

*Marshall, you turned 8 a few weeks ago. I can't believe my baby boy is 8.
*I found out I was pregnant with you on May 8, 2003 in a charming, cute, little, brand-new, hard-wood floored twin-home apartment in Sturgis South Dakota. I was 18 years old.
*My first doctors appointment and ultrasound was May 29, 2003 with Dr. Church in Spear Fish South Dakota.
*My second doctors appointment and the first time I heard your heartbeat was June 25, 2003 with Dr. Besendorfer in Nephi Utah. Your heart was beating about 150 beats per minute.
*My third doctors appointment was July 23, 2003 with Dr Besendorfer in Nephi Utah.
*My second ultrasound was July 24, 2003. I found out that you are boy!
*My third ultrasound was August 12, 2003. It was with a specialist in Provo, Utah at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Your cute little foot was 3cm long. The reason for the ultrasound was because they thought things in your brain were measuring off and that you may be basically a vegetable, and they thought you had problems with your heart. Needless to say, you were perfectly healthy and fine other than the problem with your heart which they detected when you were a few years old.
*My fourth doctors appointment was August 21, 2003 with Dr. Besendorfer in Nephi Utah.
*I felt you move in my stomach when I was 16 weeks pregnant.

Dear Marshall,
You are the coolest boy I know. You inspire me. You make me want to be a better person.
I love seeing your smile daily. There has not been a day go by that you don't smile. Even when you were in the hospital after your heart surgery, you were full of life and running down the halls just 2 days post surgery. You are so handsome. You are an abundance of love. You are such a great example of Christ. You are full of love and joy. It just shines from you. There is not a person that you wouldn't accept or love, no matter how badly they may have hurt you. You have been through more than any 8 year old boy deserves to have been through. You are strong because of it. You have been through some of my hardest years with me, and now you are experiencing my best years with me. You are amazing. Ben, your sisters and I love you more than life itself. You are everything to us. You are an amazing son and brother. You are loved by SO many. Don't ever forget who you are. You are special. You are meant for greatness. Thanks for blessing my life with you being my son. We are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. We are blessed. Never forget to kneel down and pray. He is always there listening. And always remember that you can go to Ben and I about anything. We love you. Always have. Always will. Always hold the door open for people; it will never be uncool to do that no matter how many people stray away from being polite now days. Never be afraid to stand up for what you feel is right. Love your future wife and kids with all your heart. They will be your main purpose here on earth so treat them good. I know you will be the best husband and father thanks to the great example of Ben. We are blessed to have him and his great example in our lives. Play with your future kids every day. Create a close relationship with them from birth up. Always help your future wife take care of them. Never expect her to do it alone. This will benefit not just your future wife, but more importantly it will benefit your future children. Always remember to smile. Smile and say hi to strangers; it may just make their day. You never know what someone is going through, so never judge. Always forgive. Never question your self worth. You are so important. You can and will make a difference in many people's lives. Open your scriptures often; they will give you the guidance that no one else can in life. Always be polite. There will always be people who hurt you, and you will hurt others, so remember when you hurt someone how it felt when you were the one being hurt. Never let people push you around or tell you how to live your life. Just be happy. Life is too short to be miserable. Live life for the right reasons. Never give up easy. Better yet, never give up on what is right.
I know you will understand this advice much better when you are older, but just always remember these words of advice. I will be here everyday to help you through life. Ben and your sisters will always be here for you, too. We love you more than life itself.
So, Happy Birthday Marshall. You are amazing!

Love, Mom

(Click HERE to see his 7 year old birthday post)
I think the girls were just as excited as you were to have you open your gift. They helped me wrap your present and couldn't wait for you to open it.

You opened your present right before you and Madison headed out the door for school. You played with this present a few days and then it got tossed aside as Christmas approached and your new presents took precedence over your birthday toy.

For your birthday party Ben took you and 5 of your friends to fat jacks pizza and to the theater to watch Alvin and the Chimpmunks: Chipwrecked.
This is the box the pizza came in for your party.
 It was huge!

This box was almost as tall as Courtney when it was flipped like this.

 The pizza slices were huge!

 These are the cupcakes I made for your birthday party. I shaped them into an M for Marshall.

 This is the cake I made you on your actual birthday.

 The girls had fun eating the icing.

 Courtney was so sad because she got in trouble for taking her icing in the living room and getting it literally everywhere; the couch, the floor, etc...

She was so sad :(

 You on your birthday getting ready to blow out your candles.
Grandma and Grandpa Kouns were there along with Aunt Terrie, and cousins Shyanne and Dakota.

Happy Birthday, Marshall! We love you!

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