Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear 2008 & 2009,

I am writing both of you because I feel like you both need to hear from me. You have both given me things to cry about, things to grow from and things to look back on and realize that they happened for a reason.

2008, let’s start with you. You started off great with a new house, a healthy family, a stable job for my husband, Kameron. Everything looked so promising and we were excited for 2008! But, March came along and stuck my husband in the hospital and he almost died! He was out of commission for months and because of that lost his job. He was unemployed for 6 months and the job he ended up getting just wasn’t cutting it so, we picked up and left the only place we ever knew and moved away from Thatcher, AZ and moved to Sierra Vista, AZ.

I hated leaving Thatcher. I loved that place and I still feel homesick for it at times. I hated having a sick husband, in the hospital. He lost SO much weight and was never the same after that lupus attack. I hated watching him suffer. I hated struggling financially and always wondering how things would get paid. I hated the job Kameron got – so many empty promises that would lift our spirits only to be let down and disappointed. I hated some of the choices I made in your year, 2008, some choices that I regret.

Now, even though I hated a lot of things about you, you taught me so much and I have a lot to be grateful for. You taught me to appreciate my husband. It was SO wonderful having him home for 6 months while he was unemployed and it was so hard to send him back to work. We have so many wonderful memories from those 6 months that I will never forget. I learned the amazing blessing of tithing, I had always known we were blessed for paying our tithing but, I really learned it first hand during your 12 months. There were times where we had hundreds of dollars to pay in bills, and no money in our account but we paid our tithing and you know what? Those bills always got paid. I learned to put faith in the Lord and really listen to answers given to our prayers. The guidance we were given by the Holy Ghost was amazing and has really gotten me to where I am now. We were given many acts of service and it taught me humility and taught me to accept others service. And now I am actually glad that we left Thatcher in December – I wouldn’t be where I am today if we didn’t move.

So 2008 … even though you were a horrible year, but not nearly as awful as your buddy 2009, I am grateful for you. You gave me lots of things to look back on a learn from and grow from and be grateful for. So, thank you.

Now, as for you 2009, we all know you were not very nice. We started off living with my in-laws. And I love them but, it’s HARD living with someone else and not having my own space, not having my own things, not running my own schedule. It was a long 8 months and we kept thinking we were going to be able to move out on our own but, we never got the chance. I had to go back to work and I hated it. Thankfully, Kameron was blessed with an amazing job with a wonderful company. But, then June came along and Kameron started getting sick again. July, he was back in the hospital, in ICU, on life support and in a coma. (see what I mean about you being meaner than 2008?!) I watched him struggle for his life for 6 weeks always thinking he was going to get better and be able to come home. Well, after 6 weeks of fighting Kameron passed away on August 19. That was the worst day of my life. I picked the shattered pieces of my life up and moved on though – I had to for Kason I had lots of big decisions to make and I made them without a spouse to help me. I moved me and Kason out of the only state we had ever know and moved to Utah. And here I am.

I have a lot of things I hate about you 2009 … I hate that the last home Kameron and I had together wasn’t our own. I hate that Kameron suffered for so long before he passed away. I hate, obviously, that Kameron passed away. I hate that I have had to plan a funeral at the age of 24 for my sweetheart. I hate the loneliness I feel. I hate the status I have now.

But, you know what 2009? I am NOT going to let you win and make me miserable forever – in fact, you have already lost. I have more to be grateful for in your 12 months than ever before. I am incredibly grateful that Kameron and I both felt a strong urge to go on a family vacation in June. It was our last outing before our lives changed. We felt the need to go and we prayed for the means to do it and, it happened. I am SO incredibly grateful that we moved to Sierra Vista. Because of this move, Kameron had an amazing job that gave him life insurance after he passed away. And because of this move, I have some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I don’t even exaggerate when I talk about these girls they have dropped SO much to be there for me. I could go on and on about my gratitude for my girls because every time I think of them my heart just swells with love for them!! I remember the morning that Kameron passed away, Kara, Laurel, Camille and Emily dropped everything that day to be there for me. You can’t ask for better friends than them. I love these girls with all of my heart and I am so grateful that the Lord brought them into my life. I have learned to be grateful for service and to allow others to serve me. Because of this, I have gained an amazing love and testimony for doing service and I’m constantly looking for ways to serve others. I have been blessed by SO MANY incredible, generous people who have gotten me to where I am now, I am seriously amazed at the generosity of some people – some of whom I do not even know. It really makes a girl feel loved and appreciated. I have taken a HUGE leap of faith, listened to promptings and moved to Utah. And because of listening to those promptings, I am INCREDIBLY happy. I absolutely love Utah and I love the friends I have made here. I love everything about Utah (okay, except for maybe the drivers). But, you know what 2009 – even though you sucked pretty bad, you have made me a better person. You have helped me grow and have taught me more than I ever thought possible in the last 6 months. I am grateful for you 2009. I am grateful for what you put me through and for what you have taught me. And I am grateful for ALL the blessings you have given me, I cannot even count them all.

Now, I would be lying if I didn’t say I am incredibly excited for 2010. I am excited for a new year and for a new decade!! So, 2008-2009 … it’s been lovely and it’s been nice but, things have kind of been crappy for two years and I don’t want to dwell on you anymore! 2010 is a new opportunity for me to become the person I am meant to be and I cannot WAIT for that opportunity!

Thanks for the memories, thanks for the lessons and thanks for being over!! And could you maybe tell your buddy 2010 to take it easy on me this time around? I would really appreciate that!

Much love, appreciation and excitement:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

well ....

BUT atleast the blog is up to date!!!

Holiday Bowling

The day after Christmas we met up with some of the family at went bowling! It was so fun, I love bowling! And Kason even got to bowl and he LOVED it!!! Thanks Mark & Kathy for the fun afternoon!!

Bowling with Grandpa:

Kason working his bowling magic:

And ... check that out - kason's mad bowling skills!

Doin' the bowling dance:

Ok, so Kason thought the ball thing was so fun. He would pull the balls out and line them up. So funny.

with cousin, Austin:

with cousin, Adam:

So much fun! Then that night we drove to Salt Lake and ate at a place called 'Red Iguana' ... it was DELICIOUS Mexican food! Every since moving up here I have been missing, really yummy, spicy Mexican food and I had heard good things about this restaurant and it was so worth it and definately hit my craving!! Thanks for going with us Gillmans!!

This was the end of our Holiday excitement. Now, it's time to get ready for New Year's!! I cannot WAIT!!!

Christmas 2009

Well, I wasn't really looking forward to doing Christmas this year. In fact, I was kind of a scrooge about it. I just didn't feel jolly and in with the spirit of it all. I was just ready to have Christmas day over with and move on. I have been more excited for January 1st that Christmas for the whole month of December! But, we survived Christmas!!! Kason's excitement over everything really helped me not be so bitter about doing this as a single mom this year. Plus, having my dad here was a HUGE help. I would have been a mess if there was nobody here. It was hard to not have Kameron here but, the day wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think being in a new house and new town really helped because it wasn't the "norm" for us. Anyways ... we survived and I can honestly say I am glad Christmas is OVER this year!!!

Santa brought Kason a tool bench with all sorts of power tools ... he absolutely loves it. Good choice santa! :)

With a few of his favorite toys:

Kason with all his loot, this kid is so spoiled. ha!

Santa also brought us a wii!!! We have been loving it! Here's Kason and Grandpa playin!

That afternoon we went to my Grandparents house for some yummy dinner and to hang out for a while. It was fun to just relax and visit.

Kason getting a massage on Grandma's new chair massager:

taking pics with his new camera!!

So ... MERRY CHRISTMAS (a week late)!!! We hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!! Ours really was great considering our circumstances this year! Thank you for all your love and care this holiday season! I felt so loved by all the cards, calls and emails we received this year, it really brightened our days!! Until next year - Ho Ho Ho!!! :)

Christmas Eve

We were so excited for Christmas Eve because Grandpa Jeff was flying in from Colorado!!! Kason was anxious all morning for him to get here ...

I just think this picture is cute, he climbed under our end tables and was being a train conductor. Love this kid!!

When Grandpa got here we hung out, ate dinner and then went out for our annual drive to look at Christmas lights. We found the most AMAZING house where every tree had lights ... and they had lots of trees!! It was incredible!

When we got home, our family elf, "frosty", had left pj's and an ornament for Kason. I love this tradition because growing up I would always try and get my mom to let us open one present on Christmas Eve but, she never gave in! So, this makes up for all the years we didn't get to do it growing up! HAHA!

Kason's ornament:

Kason's new pj's:

Then we baked some cookies and got the carrots ready for the reindeer. When we were at the store Kason kept holding the carrots up and telling everyone - "These are for Santa's reindeer!!!" He was SOO excited!!

And then it was bedtime! Kason was SO excited to go to bed!! That night he came into my room at like 5:00 and was like, "Mom, did Santa come yet?" I told him to just go back to bed - there was no way I doing Christmas at 5am!! I loved his excitement this year about everything! So cute and fun.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Christmas Sunday & A German Christmas

Just getting home from church the Sunday before Christmas ... Kason all dressed up in his Christmas best!!

Then that night we headed to my Grandparents house for our family Christmas party! Each year the family picks a different country for our "theme" so this year we did Germany! We had German food, learned about Germany, played German games and sang German songs. It was FUN! :)

Kason with his cousin Austin wearing that German outfit ... whatever they're called and however to spell it:

Austin and his rockin' outfit:

My Stud:


With Uncle Kim:

Playing handbells:

Present Time!!


"mom, it's like from Toy Story!"

With his cousin, Cameron:

I love my crazy, big family and I'm SO incredibly grateful for them and that I get to live so close to them!!!

Denver Trip (December)

Warning: Picture overload below!!!
The first weekend of December Kason and I flew out to Colorado to spend sometime with him and see his new house. Actually GETTING there was quite the experience!! Holy cow! I made sure we left plenty early but, there was an accident on the freeway and if anybody knows Utah traffic, you know it's HORRIBLE if there is an accident or anything going on really (I get so annoyed driving here!) So, we were seriously in standstill traffic for like an hour. FINALLY it cleared out and I BOOKED it to the airport. We got there like 20 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. Checked our baggage and ran like crazy for the gate. Of course our gate was at the very end of the longest terminal so I am trying to carry Kason, plus all our carry on stuff. It was insane. Anyways, we got to the gate like TWO minutes after the plane has pulled away. I just wanted to cry!! So, I went to the ticket counter and they put our names on the standby list for the 2:00 flight ... our original flight was at like 9:10!!! So, we got to sit in the airport for 5 hours. Kason did relatively good considering the fact that he was stuck in an airport and mad at me that he couldn't get on any airplanes. We did get to hear them announce the birth of a baby on one of the Southwest flights - which was kind of cool!

Anyways ... so, like 1:30 rolls around and they are boarding the 2:00 flight. They call us up to the counter and tell us they have one seat but, that wouldn't work because I obviously can't send Kason on his own. So, they have two seats of people who were supposed to show up but weren't there yet. She said if they aren't here in 5 minutes, the seats are yours. So, we wait and I am praying that security is just busy and it takes them forever to get through. RIGHT before (I kid you not, like she was turning to tell me the seats were ours) the guys come running down the terminal. I was SO frustrated and Kason was getting so tired. So, I went to talk to them and they said they had a 5:30 flight, which was delayed until 6:40 and there were a few seats left on that flight. Or they had a 6:10 flight that was full. So, they put us on the waiting list (again) for the 6:40 flight and said, just be back by 5:30.
So, I had to walk away because I was so exhausted and frustrated and ready to burst into tears! Kason was so ready to be out of the airport and so was I! I got to thinking ... it's only 2:00, I can sit around until 6:10 and MAYBE get on that flight (but probably not) or I can sit around until 6:40 and probably get on that flight ... that's another 4 hours!! And by the time I would have gotten to our car, gotten anywhere, it would have been time to turn around and get back to the airport!

SO ... I decided to see what other flights were heading out to Denver in the next little bit. Delta (or maybe United?) had one leaving in like an hour, so I walked over to their terminal and was asking the guy how much a ticket would be. They were decently priced, not as cheap as Southwest, but, I just wanted to get OUT so, I told him I needed two because Kason was almost 3. So the guy started working on the tickets and he looks at me and this BLESSED old man (who I love dearly even though I will never see him again) said, "Your son, he looks like he's about 23 months. Is that right?" I stumbled over my words and was like ... well, um ... I guess, you're doing the ticket not me. So, this sweet old man only made me pay for ONE ticket and let Kason count as a lap child. I must have looked pretty frazzled and exhausted for him to do that. I just stood there and started crying saying, thank you. thank you! It was a pretty amazing gesture that I will never forget. And right as we were getting on the plane I passed him and he said, "remember: he's 23 months!" and just smiled at us.
It was just amazing.

ANYWAYS - holy cow - that was our experience GETTING to Denver! Once we finally got there and met up with my dad ... this is what all we did...
Disney on Ice:
Kason LOVED it! He thought it was SO fun! He loved all the scenes but, especially Cars and Lion King. It was fun to see him so excited about it. I thought it was amazing too. I LOVE Ice Skating though - so it was fun to watch.

this kid was AMAZING!!!

Denver Aquarium:
This was SO cool! I loved it! I was just as excited about everything as Kason was! I love the Sea Turtles- by far the favorite of mine. :)

with sharks: look close - do you see 'em?!

Grandpa and Kason with sharks:



Kason was so excited that Nemo and Dorie were there. Then he saw the Jellyfish and he was like, "Mom! It's like on Nemo!! SO COOL!"

Love this pic, Kason adores his Grandpa Jeff!

Goofing Off:

Just goofing off at Grandpa's house...

And Shopped at Bass Pro Shops:

Kason WISHES he could have this! haha!

It was a FUN trip!! It snowed a lot while we were there so we didn't get to do as much as we were hoping but, we still kept busy and had lots of fun!! Now, we'll have to go back in the SPRING when it's not freezing and watch some baseball!!