Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blog Switch!

Since I am getting married in less that three weeks {isn't that SO exciting!?!} we are starting a new family blog. SO ... if you would like to follow it the address is:

Thank you all SO SO much for your love and support over the past several years and as we make this big transition in our lives, it means the world to us. 

Signing off, 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

by the way ...

... have you heard?

As of June I will be Mrs. Bradley Jensen.

Dang straight -- I'm getting hitched and I cannot, cannot, cannot wait!!!!!

He is pretty much perfect ... wait, no, he is absolutely perfect.
He is the greatest thing ever to happen to me.
And, I love him. 
the end. 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dear 2011,

I can’t believe it’s already the end of another year, time passes quicker and quicker these days! But, ya know what 2011? I kinda like you. Not because you were easy, not because you gave me everything I wanted, not because I avoided hardship … but merely because of what you taught me and who you allowed me to become during the past 12 months.

I knew at the beginning of this year that I would be changing, and changing for the good. I had high hopes for myself and for my life. I resolved to be a better person, to be a better mom and most importantly to be a better disciple. To be honest, I didn’t start off on the greatest foot or with the best attitude but thankfully, that didn’t last long. As I look back over the past year, I am honestly amazed at what I have conquered and what I have learned and who I have become.

I like you, 2011, because you brought people into my life that I needed. People that changed me for the good, people that taught me valuable lessons, people that helped me through the challenges. It doesn’t mean that those relationships didn’t end in heartbreak and hurt … but I value the changes and the lessons more than I could have ever imagined. One relationship taught me the importance of being the best me and striving towards perfection in the gospel. The other relationship taught me what I deserve and that I need to not settle. See, how can you not be grateful for those things!?

I also love you 2011, because of the type of mom you taught me to become. I truly realized the importance of that calling. I also realized what a blessing it is to have Kason. I became very grateful for my entire family this year in all honesty. Before I was always glad they were there but, the deep level of gratitude was lacking. I think that this year, I was able to achieve that and it makes me grateful I get to have them around forever and ever.

I am also glad I joined the working world this year. I absolutely love my job, my bosses, my coworkers and the children I work with. It has been a greater blessing than I could have ever imagined. I love getting to go to work every day and be a part of everyone’s life there. It will be a sad day when I have to leave that place!!

Now, I make you sound like a perfect year and as much as I would like to say that that was the case … unfortunately, you weren’t perfect. Like I said, I didn’t get everything I wanted, I had serious heartbreak and hurt, I failed people and my Father in Heaven, I lost trust and confidence in myself & I am certain there were moments I would like to just forget. There are definitely things I am not proud of but, what kind of year would it be if we didn’t have our ups and downs!? Next year, I will work a little harder on that perfection thing…

Well, 2011, I’m not sure what else to say except thank you. Thank you for the lessons, for the blessings, for the knowledge gained, for the people who have come and gone, for the excitement and faith that was restored because of you. Thank you for teaching me it’s okay to fail, as long as we resolve to do better next time. Thank you for teaching me the true value of friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to experience the many ways my bishop and my ward can be of help to me. Thank you for always allowing me to have a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and people to tell me they love me. Just … thank you.

As for your buddy 2012, I have an incredibly good feeling about him! I say bring it on, come what may and love it & well, let’s rock and roll. I would say good riddance to you 2011 but, in all actuality, I might miss some of the things about you! However, I will say it will be nice to roll into a new year; new experiences, new challenges, new friends, new lessons … a clean and fresh start on my goals and desires! I do believe the curse of “bad years” has been ended. Or, perhaps I have just changed my attitude and perspective on life.

So, without anything further … good bye, aduei, farewell, sayonara, so long and adios. And again, thank you.

An incredibly grateful & stronger & smarter … Me.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wow ... have I really not updated this for 3 months!? I won't have any pictures to share (because I really haven't taken many) But, I will give you a run down of the months ...

May: I turned 26. Some friends and I went to P.F. Changs for dinner (one of my favs!!)  Then, Kason and I went to Arizona for Daniel and Arielle's wedding. It was a whirlwind trip but it was SO good to be in Arizona ... I miss that place. We went to the wedding the day of and then the reception that night at Arielle's parents house. Then we drove down to Sierra Vista and I got to see all my friends from there ... that was nice. We went to the Open House there Saturday night and then headed home! See? Whirlwind! But, with me having a job now, I couldn't miss a ton of work. (I got a job teaching preschool/doing daycare up at a school in Salt Lake ... I love it!)

June: Is it horrible that I don't really remember what we did in June? I pretty much worked. I started dating a boy in June ... so probably between him, Kason and work ... I didn't have time for much else! Ha!

July: July Kason and I went to Idaho with Josh (the guy I'm dating) to be with his family for the 4th of July. That was a lot of fun. Kason also went to Arizona for a few weeks to be with my mom and then also with the Haban's ... after a little car mishap in Panguitch, I was able to pass Kason off to my mom and have some free-time -- It wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was nice, but it was weird. I guess I didn't realize how much I relied on Kason. I took two weeks off work while he was gone so I had LOTS of free time ... It was nice but, I missed him a lot! It was nice to have him home!

August: Mom flew up with Kason to come to Kirsten Lambson's wedding ... she got married in the Jordan River temple on August 5th to Ryan Merrill. So, she was here for a weekend while we did wedding/family stuff. Then just this weekend Dad was here for a family reunion! So we have had lots of family time lately and I have loved it! I feel so blessed to have the family I do!

Friday will be my two-year mark of when Kameron passed away -- so crazy to think it has been two years. I feel like I am a completely different person that I was two years ago! Crazy how time flies though. I also can't believe the summer is almost over, we didn't really get to enjoy much here in Utah, it came late and hasn't stayed for very long but, school starts soon and before you know it the leaves will be changing colors!

I told you that would be a super quick update. But, life is good. I feel blessed to have what I have and I am grateful for many things in my life!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Run for it!!

Earlier this year I got the crazy idea to train for a race ... and the even crazier idea to make my first run a half marathon!! I found one online and got to work training ... 6 days a week at the gym made me feel like I was married to the gym!! But, on April 16, 2011, I ran my first 1/2 marathon (the Salt Lake City Half!) and I LOVED it. 

I was nervous going into it because I didn't really know what to expect or how well I would be able to handle it but I figured most of it would be a mental focus thing ... so, I talked myself up, prayed incredibly hard and headed to the start line! As we started running, I'm looking around at all these people about to run 13.1 miles and I'm thinking, "we're all crazy ... all of us! what are we thinking!?!"

But, I just kept running ... about mile 6 or 7, the Pandora on my phone decided to stop working, leaving me without any music for the second half of the run. That was awesome ... About mile 8, I hit a wall and just wanted to walk! But, I had a goal to not walk AT ALL the whole run so, I just kept telling myself if I could get to mile 10, I would be totally fine! And that was the case, by mile 10 you're thinking ... I only have 3.2 miles to go, I've got this. That is until you hit mile 12 which ... is UP HILL. That was a fun surprise! Here you've been running for 12 miles and then you get to go up hill! As I was running up the hill the first runner for the full marathon passed us, that was pretty impressive and gave me a boost!

Once I made it up the hill I had a mile left and it was mostly down hill so, I just pushed it and sprinted in for the finish. Once I crossed that finish line I couldn't believe I had actually done it but, I felt SO accomplished!! I had just ran 13.1 miles ... in 2 hours and 33 minutes. How many people in their lifetime can say that!? It was quite the experience. The next couple days my knees and back and hips hurt but, after the pain went away I realized I loved the feeling of running and accomplishing challenges (like running a half marathon!!) so, I've been looking for other races (10k & 1/2's mostly) and will run a few more this summer. It's just such a good feeling and I have never felt so healthy in my life!!

I love running and it is definitely my new addiction ... not to mention great therapy, it really clears my head!!

Here's a few pictures from the day. It was nice to have my dad here and see him and Kason on the side of the road every once in awhile cheering me on and then at the finish as I crossed the line. :)

Truckin' along!!! (prob around mile 7)

Sprinting to the finish line ...

Just finished!!!

Kason thinks my medal is pretty darn cool ... I don't blame him!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Easy Detour?

Today, me and some friends took our kids to the zoo. It was "free day" and the weather was decent (mid-40s!!). We were all doing good until it was bathroom break time. Sometimes, Kason does totally fine going in the girls bathroom but other times ... he throws the biggest fit and says he HAS to go in the boys. 

Well, today was the day he chose to throw a fit. I'm talking, screaming, yelling, hitting, crying ... all outside the bathroom. I told him, "Kason there is no dad here to take you in there, so either you go in the girl's bathroom or you don't go at all! I can't let you go in the boy's bathroom by yourself. I'm sorry." 

He didn't care. The tantrum continued for a good 5 minutes before I finally had to get up, walk away and turn my back on Kason. Then, I just started bawling. I was more frustrated than anything ... I have been dealing with Kason attitude since he turned 4, and it's exhausting. But, at the same time, I also get so emotionally exhausted always saying, "there's no dad ...", "your dad isn't here ...", "yes, their dad will be there, but not yours ..."

Nobody ever warned me that being a single (widowed) mom would be this frustrating/exhausting/draining/stressful ... So, I just stood there and cried at the zoo. My poor friends got to see a case of the "widow emotions" which more often than not, aren't very pleasant and aren't easy to turn off!!! 

Finally, one of the girls just hollered into the men's bathroom and since there was nobody in there, she had Kason go in and use it. (battle lost ... but, oh well) 

Sometimes, I wonder where the detour for 'Easy Street' is ... I can't even imagine doing this with more than one kid. I would be even more a nutcase!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guess Who is 4!!?

This little man ... 

And he is crazy as ever. 
Sometimes I wonder if the little man can ever sit still -- then he'll come and cuddle me for 30 minutes a prove that he can. 

It's hard to believe that 4 years ago he joined our family. 
I have a FOUR year old!! 

Anyway -- Kason makes me happy, insane, inpatient, laugh, scream, smile, learn ... and so much more. Mostly, I'm just grateful he's mine and for everything he helps me through and teaches me. 

Love you, Kason!! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Proud Moments ...

Yesterday, Kason got to do the "theme" in Primary (I still can't believe I have a Sunbeam!) so, I stuck around to watch him do that. It was super cute to watch him stand at the podium and repeat the theme. He did a great job! 

Before Primary started though, I had the Primary President come up to me and told me, "Kason's teacher is so impressed with him. She said that as they talk about things, Joseph Smith, Nephi, the Prophets ... it's not new to Kason. He knows all the answers and all the stories. She's just very impressed with how smart of a boy he is. So, good job, Mom!"

As a single mom, most of the time not knowing what I'm doing, I almost stood in the Primary Room and cried! I was so proud of my little man and that he can impress the teachers. He really is a smart little boy but, it makes me proud, as his mom, to have other people tell me that.

Aside from church stuff the kid is always impressing me ... He knows all of his numbers and letters and can write his name. And the other day we were walking up to the grocery store and he sounded out "food" on the side of the building. I kind of looked at him in shock but, still very impressed that the kid just read 'food'!

He's a stud and such a good kid ... I'm pretty much lucky to be his mom! (Even on the days that I'm ready for bed at 5:30!!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mind your Mother!!

Last night we were helping a friend get moved in and Kason walked up to me and had a penny in his mouth. I told him, "If you swallow that - you're gonna die! Take it out of your mouth!" (this is a common thing around our house ...). He took it out and walked away. 

I kid you not, 3 minutes later, Kason walks back up to me with PANIC on his face. I ask him what's wrong ... he says, "I swallowed it!!!" followed by panicked tears. 

I had to suppress my laughter and ask him, "Where IS the penny? Is it in your throat?" 

With tears streaming down his face he pointed to his tummy. Okay, we were good - he wasn't going to choke on it and die. I relaxed and picked him up. 

"Kason ... you're not going to die. The penny is already in your tummy. You'll be just fine. I promise."

He took awhile to believe me and to really understand that he wasn't going to die from swallowing a penny! I felt horrible but at the same time, I was laughing so hard about it! I never actually thought he would swallow the penny and I would be sitting there eating my words! 

I'm hoping this puts an end to money going in that little boys mouth!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Today ...

I am feeling ... 


I sit here and read back over everything I went through in 2009 and I realize that my life was turned UPSIDE DOWN at that time. During the actual trial I don't think I realized how upside down it really was because, well, I was in survival mode. I did whatever it took to make it through each day, and sometimes, each hour. I read back now, and I wonder how I ever did it. How did I survive the roller coaster of the hospital? or the emotional exhaustion that came along with it? 

Then I continue to read and I realize, I survived because of the blessings Heavenly Father gave me at that time ... a bed to sleep in, a wonderful son to make me smile, amazing friends to hold me up and support me, and wonderful family to guide me through everything. Yes, at the time, I was very grateful for these blessings but, now, I am even more grateful and appreciative of these blessings. 

To steal from my own facebook page ... "when you get right down to it, each and every one of us, regardless of our current situations in life, is very, very, very blessed. Heavenly Father will never leave us with out the blessings we deserve. However, it is entirely up to US to recognize the blessings placed in front of us. As I sit here and think about my husband passing away, or being a single mom, or struggling through certain periods of life, I realize that all along, I have had EXACTLY what I needed at that time. As I read back through what I went through... in 2009, I was INCREDIBLY blessed to have people standing by my side who love me very very much and they supported me through 6 weeks of hell in the ICU, they supported me through the death of my husband and they supported me through the aftermath of his passing. So, yes, life isn't easy, and life is challenging as HECK ... but if you EVER think that Heavenly Father leaves you stranded - you had better think again. He gives you just what you need - but do YOU recognize it?"

I think that too often, we are left wondering why we're left standing alone during a trial. In reality, we need to look right in front of us and realize that we HAVE the blessings we need to make it through a difficult time. Are we too stubborn to recognize them? Are we too blind to accept that they are our blessings? Perhaps the blessings come in a way that we weren't expecting and we let them pass us by without acknowledgment. 

Yes, life is challenging. Life is HARD. Life is exhausting. But, look around you and realize that there is SO much to be grateful for. It can all be taken away from you in a split second, so why not live for today ... enjoy this very moment ... recognize the good around you ... be grateful for what you have, regardless of whether is easy or hard ... and thank our Heavenly Father for the life he has given you. 

Life is short, why not make the best of it.
Be grateful. 
Be happy. 
Recognize your blessings.