Here is a quick preview of photos I took tonight. The kids were so easy to photograph because they are so darn cute!
Click on the title of the blog post to view the entire entry.
Here is a quick preview of photos I took tonight. The kids were so easy to photograph because they are so darn cute!
I think that 2008 was a hard year for many. Can we collectively decide to put 2008 on a shelf and forget it ever happened? For me 2007 is already on the denial shelf, and 2008 will be joining it.
Now in all fairness 2008 wasn’t all bad, some really great things happened. I guess 2008 just had really high highs and very low lows. Lets just focus on the positive shall we?
My wonderful mother-in-law won her battle with cancer and is enjoying renewed health and happiness. Miracles happen and prayers are answered. With her new found health they decided to embark on an adventure of a life time and accepted a call to serve a two year mission. Not only is this great for them, but it is such an awesome example for my kids especially my boys.
Ash got a new job, and is loving every minute of it. I have never seen him this happy and fulfilled. He works with great people and looks forward to going to work everyday. More importantly he is finally getting the recognition for being the genius that I always knew he was. He is enjoying the success he deserves.
The kids and I had an awesome carefree summer and hated to see it end. We played and had lots of fun adventures. We enjoyed visits from cousins and explored fun places in Utah.
In September our baby started kindergarten and this was very bitter sweet. For me more bitter than sweet. Cole is loving every minute of it, but sometimes thinks he should get to choose which days he goes and what days he stays home and hangs out with mom. He doesn’t quit get the idea that school isn’t a choice.
Ash in his wisdom knew that I wouldn’t handle this as well as I thought I would and encouraged me to pick up an old hobby I had long forgotten about. So for my birthday I got a new camera and have been filling my time with picture taking.
The very best thing about 2008 is the family time we have spent together. We as a family are better than we have ever been. We have really learned this year how wonderful our friends are and are grateful for everyone of you. We really have the greatest family and friends and are truly blessed, and that is what I am going to take away from 2008. The rest… good riddance!
As usual for me I’m the last one on board, but I couldn’t let the opportunity to help pass me by. I just couldn’t come up with an idea of what I could contribute. Today while in the shower it hit me, it is the small and simple things in life that make all the difference.
Stephanie was an expert at perfecting the small and simple moments. So in honor of her I will be auctioning off 10 childrens stories. My favorite small and simple moments are cuddling with my kids and reading to them.
In addition because Stephanie loves pretty things I’ll auction off a hand made bracelet. It is made of Turquoise in honor of her home in Arizona. (I have pretty small wrists and it fits me perfect)
Last but not least for all you Utah County bidders I will do a photo shoot for you and your family scheduled any day in October. This would be a great opportunity to get your Christmas photos done. I’m willing to do up to 5 of these shoots so bid away.
Please place your bid by leaving a comment with your Bid Amount in the comments section of the item you are bidding on. For the childrens books bid for item #1, for the jewelry bid for item #2 and for the photography session please bid for #3.
Following the close of the auction, the winner will pay for their item via the Stephanie and Christian PayPal account. The winner will then forward the PayPal receipt email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their mailing address. I will then contact the person who donated the item and give them the winner’s shipping address and email to send the item.
Please bid in increments of one dollar. The auction will end at Midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 31.
Don’t forget to go over to Design Mom to see what other Nie Nie Esq things are being auctioned off!
Tonight hope will be floating all over Provo and Mesa as we launch balloons in honor of a fellow blogger and her Mr. Nielson. As they struggle to recover after a horrible plane crash we pray for them and celebrate their lives.
This blog as been all but abandoned for a long time now as I struggled with whether or not to continue blogging. There were many reasons why I considered giving up my blog, but most of all I felt like I didn’t have much to contribute. After reading a post from this funny lady, I realized that there is a place on the internet for all of us.
In the after math of Stephanie and Christian’s accident I have thought a lot about the beautiful things in life. Stephanie has a gift for seeing the beauty and the blessings in life and I want to try and be more like that. I also have went back and read through a lot of her older posts and I’m amazed at how inspired they are. I think our blogs can be used for many things, but I choose to use mine as place my children can look later to see the type of person their mother is striving to be.
If you are the praying type please keep Stephanie, Christian and their children in your prayers as they fight a good fight.
Our friends, Phil and Adria, just learned that their youngest daughter has Leukemia. She’s too cute to have this happen to her and they could use your support.
Check out Serenity’s blog for updates, information, donations and to sign her guestbook with your thoughts.
We visited her in the hospital last Saturday, the day after diagnosis, and she was very sleepy. Sunday morning she went in for her port surgery so her treatments will be easier to handle over the next 2 1/2 years. Can you imagine chemo for 2 1/2 years?
* I just found out that after a really rough week Serenity if finally home with her family. She is still very sick, but resting at home now. She has a long LONG road ahead of her, but making it home is a big step.
It seems that all the blogosphere talk has shifted towards babies. Everywhere I turn people are talking about having a baby, being pregnant, or considering becoming pregnant. I think it’s great. I love hearing about everyone’s families.
I have a few friends who have recently announced they are expecting and I couldn’t be happier for them. I must admit I’m feeling a little left out. It is a strange feeling being 31 and having your youngest and last baby turn 5. Part of me says I’m to old to have anymore, and part of me can’t believe that I’m done. At this point the idea of starting all over is to overwhelming to think about, but the idea of the next baby in the family being my grandchild is even scarier. My daughter turned 13 this year and it seems like life is flying by way to fast. If she follows our families pattern I could be a grandmother in about 6 more years. How scary is that?
The idea that my youngest will be in kindergarten next year, and I could choose to do something for myself like go back to school is a wonderful thought. I am feeling free to pursue things I’ve always wanted to do, but is this a selfish thing? The idea of him being in kindergarten also scares me. I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I remember. My job has always been to take care of my little ones and now I feel like that is coming to an end. If I’m not just my kids mom anymore then who am I? Dad’s have it easier because they also have there career as part of there identity. I’ve been a wife and mother only, and wonder what else am I?
This may seem like a pity party, but it’s not. I really am enjoying the idea of having options for my future. I just don’t know what I want more, freedom in my day, or more babies to cuddle.
So tell me how did you know if you were done or if there were more babies meant for you?
I never win ANYTHING. I just don’t have that great of luck, but today I won.
I entered a raffle for a Valentine’s gift basket that my friends MOPS group was giving away. I figured it was a charitable contribution, because there was no way I was going to win. I never win anything.
Yesterday I got a phone call that she needed to come drop my prize off, and I couldn’t believe it. Winning is fun!
The basket included:
So I asked for suggestions on what I could write about, and I got a couple of great ideas. Lucky says that I should write about my childhood, but I don’t have interesting stories like getting run over by a taxi while laying in the middle of the road on a speed bump like she does. Really you should ask her about it sometime.
Compulsive writer suggested that I write a year in review, and since it is New Years Eve I thought that wasn’t a bad idea. The problem with that idea is that we had a really REALLY horrible year that I have so generously spared you the details of.
I think a year in review is the perfect way to say goodbye to a horrible year. If you choose to click away now I would totally understand. If your still with me here we go.
January started out as a total whirlwind. January is our busy season (we do wedding trade shows) and we worked even more than usual. My hubby travels about half the month, but this year he was gone the whole month except for a few days when he was home in passing. So I spent the month playing single mother, while putting out fires at work. Ash spent the month in airports, and hotels.
January spilled into February, and although life was suppose to slow down we found ourselves working 7 days a week through all of February. Ash was asked to speak at conferences so he ended up out of town about half of February.
March came, and we were ready for life to get back to normal for a while, but it didn’t happen. While going to the doctor for a physical so she could put in her mission papers, my mother in law found out she had breast cancer. When they went in to do the surgery they found that it had spread through her lymph nodes and was worse than they thought.
By April we decided that we were in desperate need of a family vacation. There was a huge divide between us and the kids because we had been in survival mode for so long. We set off for southern California to hang out in the sun, swim in the pool, and be with Ash’s mom while she recovered from surgery and began chemotherapy. The day after we got there I received a phone call that my dad had passed away.
My dad left before I was 2 years old, and only made brief appearances in my life for the next 18 years (that is probably a post for another day). I never realized how much pain and grief I could feel for the loss of a man a barely new. I grieve the loss of opportunity to spend what little time I had with him. I find myself angry at those who kept my dad from being part of my life (his second wife). I once read another bloggers post about her dad, and she said she felt like she had “a dad shaped hole in her heart”, and that’s how I felt.
The next few months are a blur, as I put my head down and avoided life. I trudged through every day until the dark skies finally parted.
In June Ash got me a new puppy, that I love.
In July my mother and father-in-law moved to Utah, and I threw myself into taking care of her to distract myself from my own pain and problems. I cooked, cleaned, and ran errands for her while taking her to many appointments for her cancer treatment. We also had 3 teenage nephews come and stay with us. Two of them came for 10 days and the third stayed for 6 more weeks until mid August. We had a great time, and it was a wonderful distraction, but was also very tiring.
August was spent entertaining the nephews, and showing them all over Utah. I went to Cub Scout day camp with my Wolf den. During lunch I got a phone call that my mother-in-law had a seizure and was on her way to the hospital by ambulance. She ended up ok she had a few stitches and a huge black eye but over all she was fine. They did take her license away for six month so we started having to drive her everywhere.
At the end of August we decided to try another family vacation since our last attempt was a total disasterÂ so we left for Hawaii. Ash and I have promised the kids a trip to Hawaii for years (Ash is from Hawaii).Â We can’t mange a family vacation without a major disaster, and this one was no different. We had a earthquake, and a hurricane during our trip.
Is anyone still with me?
Well next comes September, and September is our second really busy season so Ash was gone the whole month, and half of October to. By September I realize that we need to make some major changes and I started doing some serious soul searching.
October brought still more craziness, but attending the temple while Ash was out of town, and a lot of scripture reading brought a little peace to my life.
I got a phone call in mid October from Ash’s brother in Iraq asking me if I knew what had happened to his friend Ben. I will spare you the details, because I wrote about it hereÂ and here, but after a little detective work I found out that Ben had been in an accident, and was now a quadriplegic, and I spent the next few weeks at the ICU helping out as much as I could.
November was spent at the hospital doing what I could.
Mid November the bishop called me in to let me know that he was going to release me from my calling because he thought I needed a break.
In December family relationships came to a full boil (because of the family business) and we decided that it is time to leave the family business and do something else. I know this is the right thing to do, but it makes our future a little unsure. I have faith that the Lord will take care of us, but I don’t know what the next few months will hold for us.
If this whole post isn’t pathetic enough I’m spending New Years Eve taking care of my hubby, who is horribly sick.
I’m sure by now I have lost you all with my whining, but on the off chance that anyone is still reading this I need to throw in a few good things that happened this year.
Here is hoping for a better new year.
Happy New Year everyone!
I am totally in a writing funk, and have been for quit a while. I swear I’m not this boring in real life. I have resorted to only posting pictures of my kids, weight watchers results, and my latest book reviews. Snooze-ville I know. I’m kind of in survival mode with life lately.
Today I had the pleasure of going to lunch with some amazing, Witty, and fun ladies who make me want to step up my game, and blog about something real. I felt like a school girl going to school for the first day. Totally worried I would be discovered for the dork that I really am (I think I might have fooled them). Thank you Azucar for letting me crash your party. When you put it out on the Internet that your meeting for lunch you open yourself up to all the crazies to show up, thanks for taking that risk and allowing your fans to come meet you.
So any advice on my writing funk? Maybe some suggestions on what I could write about?
P.S. Azucar the marshmallows are Divine!
I went yesterday to see Ben and Megan’s new baby. He is to cute. Let me introduce Curt Corey Benjamin Brust.
When I was young girl’s camp was the highlight of my year. I looked forward to it for months. I would get our camp list of what we had to bring, and carefully go over it to make sure I had everything necessary on the list (most of which I never used, like what did I really needÂ mole skinÂ for. Really it wasn’t like we actually hiked anywhere).
My first year at camp we had meetings months before camp to get us ready. There was lots of stuff that had to be passed off before we could go. One of the things we had to learn was sign language. I was very excited to learn, especially when they told us that their was another first year girl, who was deaf that would be at camp that year. We were all going to be assigned times during the day to buddy up with her, and interpret for her. We had to learn all the camp songs, and signs for general conversation. We all worked really hard to learn our parts, and I was extra excited to get to know this new girl.
When we got to camp and were introduced to Shelly (not her real name) she made it clear right away that she wasn’t interested in being our friend or getting to know us. She was cranky and mean spirited, and didn’t want anything to do with anyone except for a few girls she had know since she was little. All week long I tried to talk to her, and ask her about herself but I could never get through to her. I felt horrible, I truly wanted to get to know her, but she was not interested.
The second year of camp I once again tried to befriend her, but after only a day I realized that I was there to do my “job” and nothing else. I continued to sign for her for all 4 years of girls camp, never learning a thing about her. I knew she was capable of being pleasant I saw her with other girls having a good time, but when it came to me she was all business.
Years have gone by, and I have thought about Shelly from time to time. I’ve realized that she probably didn’t like feeling like a charity case. I’m sure she resented the fact that people seemed to want to befriend her just because she was deaf and all she wanted was to be like everyone else. I’m sure she questioned our motives especially because we were assigned toÂ help her. I know her mother insisted on having people around her that could help her while she was away, and being a teenager she probably hated that. Whatever reason she had to not trust or like us I wish I would have got to know her better.
A few months ago I was at my local grocery store and noticed a lady a few cash registers down. I couldn’t believe that it could really be Shelly. We now live far away from home what are the chances of running into her here in Utah? Then I noticed her signing to what I assume was her husband, and she had a little baby in her cart. I watched them from afar to chicken to go up and say hi. She looked happy, and her baby was so sweet. I wondered how she would react seeing me years later. I watched them go out to there car and drive away.
Then again a few days ago I saw her at that same Macy’s store, this time with a van full of kids. I wonder why I care so much that she didn’t like me. I’m not one of those people who has to have everyone like me. Maybe it is because she never gave me a chance. I’m not sure, but maybe this is my chance to try again.
Blogging is such a funny thing. I’ve been blogging for work for about 2 years now. I sometimes struggle with writing this blog because I’m so used to blogging for my job, and there is just something you can’t say when working. It’s strange to me that I can write about whatever I’m thinking, and total strangers could be reading it. (I convince myself that they are not, it makes me feel better;0)
I flip flop between not wanting to share stuff for fear of being embarrassed, to saying everything that pops in to my head (and probably offending someone).
I’ve been reading others blogs for a few years now, and it seems like I know more about these people, and their lives than I do about very good friends. I read about their children, families, hobbies, and experience. I listen and grieve with them through hard times and get excited for them in good times. Many of these people I will never meet, and probably don’t even know I’m following along. Which brings me to another point; I love seeing so many people comment on others blogs, but I worry about intruding if I do. I know its not intruding if they put it out there for the world to see, but still it feels like voyeurism at its best.
Lately a few of the blogs that I have read on a regular basis have been shut off, and I feel like I’ve lost a friend, how weird is that. When people go a long time without posting I feel some kind of with drawl. (I know sounds obsessive) It’s just like missing a friend.
I know that some of the Utah bloggers get together from time to time, maybe I just need to get up enough courage to introduce myself and make some more friends online. The few times I have met people from online it has been great (not scary at all). When I got brave enough to post a comment on Isabel’s blog she realized that her and I had a connection from Seattle that we hadn’t know before. Like she said “we are practically related.”
Those who know me will be surprised at how shy I really am (I can be quit a loud mouth in person). Blogging is great, I might be an addict, but I don’t watch to much TVÂ so everyone has to have one obsession. This just happens to be mine. Thanks to all the great witty bloggers out their that make the Internet a fun place to hang out.
My assignment for the week: introduce myself to 2 new bloggers, and leave comments on their blog. (I’m starting small)
What are your goals for the week?
We have got a lot of phone calls, and emails from people asking where they can donate money if they can’t make it tonight. Ash has set up an account to take donations, just go to www.ashbuckles.com, and click on the donate button.
Thank you to everyone for your support, we really do have the greatest friends!!! Hope to see a bunch of you their tonight.
OK I’m finally able to let everyone know about the benefit dinner for Ben and his wife Megan. On Tuesday the 23rd (sorry about the late notice) at Biaggi’s Restaurant in Salt Lake city we will be having a benefit dinner. It will be from 4 until 10 o’clock, and the cost is only $10 a person. All proceeds will be going to Ben and his family to help cover medical expenses. If any of you have been to Biaggi’s before you know it is a fabulous restaurant and this price is a real steal. They will be serving Spaghetti Pomodoro, and a salad. Biaggi’s is located at the south east corner of the Gateway mall, and the address is 194 South 400 West.
We really appreciate every ones support, and hope so see a lot of people Tuesday night. Children are welcome, and this would be a great family night out or a date night for a worthy cause.
PS we just got a phone call from a friend who won’t be able to make it but wanted to know how to send money. That is incredibly sweet. We have the most loving and generous friends around!
With recent tragedy hitting so close to home, and spending a considerable amount of time at LDS hospital, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on life. Looking at what really matters, and how your reality can be changed in an instant. As time goes by we realized more and more how this event is going to impact not only Ben’s life, but the people around him. I can’t begin to wrap my head around the heart ache he must feel, knowing he will never walk again. We take so much for granted. He doesn’t have much use of his hands, so he can’t even feed himself.
I’ve been thinking a lot about faith, and I came across this blog at Segullah that I really enjoyed. I have never had a problem with faith, I have never struggled to know that the church is true, and for this I am very grateful. I have struggled withÂ obedience. Although I have never doubted the church I have had a hard time from time to time doing what I knew was right.
Last week I watched Ben ask for a blessing while he struggled with pneumonia. (He is not a member of the church, but knows that we are) He honestly thought at one point that he wasn’t going to make it. We were able to get him a blessing, by tracking down someone in the hospital who was able to assist. The next day when I came to see him the pneumonia was all but gone. I pointed out to him that the blessing worked, and then someone pointed out to me that Ben’s faith was what made the blessings a success. For some reason that hit me hard. It wasn’t anything that I didn’t already know, but being born and raised in the church I forget that we don’t have exclusive rights to faith, and that others not of our faith can and are blessed by Heavenly Fathers priesthood based on there faith.
I’m grateful he had the faith to be healed, and that I was taught a lesson in the process. Right now I’m finding a lot to be grateful for.
Stay tuned for an announcement about a benefit that will hopefully be happening soon for Ben and his family. If it is pulled off as planned it should be a fun night for a worthy cause.