My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I haven't slept in three nights.
Well, lets be honest. I did get about 2 hours of sleep last night. That was nice.

I have never in my life heard of Hand Food and Mouth Disease..(HFMD). Now I know.

William has it.
Mary has is.
Sam has it.

And I spent last night barfing (the symptoms that adults get), so I guess I have it too.

Mary and Sam aren't really that bad. They just had some sores in their mouths and Mary had a headache for a few days. They are good to go now. At the time, I had no idea that they could actually be sick, I thought they just had some cankers in their mouths. Go me.

William is a whole other story. I cannot belive how sick he has been. It is horrible!
The doctor said he has over 20 open sores in his mouth. (tongue, cheeks, roof of mouth, throat, lips)

He also has little blisters on his hands and feet. He has an awful rash on his little chubby bum as well.

And did I mention the fever, and that he is getting his bottom molars?

Because of the sores, Willam hasn't been able to eat or drink a bottle. Therefore, he cannot sleep. He can't even close his mouth all the way, because it is too painful. He just drools all over his shirts. He wore four different shirts yesterday.

The poor kid just cries and cries and cries. He cried until he lost his voice the other night. He gets so upset with the pain that he will grab his hair and yell, or he will run himself into things while crying. It is so, so sad. Motrin and Tylenol don't seem to help.

He is starving, and he walks around the kitchen pointing to food and begging for it. I will give it to him and he will put it in his mouth. He will try to chew it, but he will then scream and spit it out. It makes me cry to watch this. ugh.

We tried popsicles, pudding, yogurt, and everything in between, but he just can't do it.

And then today happened.

William ate two pancakes! He cried while he ate them, but he ate them. And then he ate mac and cheese for lunch! He has since been sleeping for 3 hours and I am praying that he stays asleep. He is exhausted.

The end is in sight! I must say, that aside from Swine Flu, this is one of the most nasty bugs I have seen my child have. I hope to never repeat this again.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Mud, Water, Snow, Hay, Tunnles, Walls, FUN!

Saturday was the Dirty Dash 10K. My family came up for this dirty event, and stayed with us. Needless to say, we had an awesome weekend.

The Dirty Dash was in Midway, UT. The place was packed! There were hundreds and hundreds of people everywhere. Very muddy people, I might add. The costumes were endless and the event was awesome.

Our team (team name "Easy Street") start time was 11:00.

Right from the start, you run up a very muddy hill. My two brothers, immediately got in front of our team, and then proceeded to kick and throw mud all over us as we ran up the hill. We couldn't let that slide by, so we started off the race with a big mud fight. I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, and we were completely covered in mud.

It only got better from there. We threw each other into the huge mud puddles, and then helped each other scale the slippery mud walls, to get back out. We ran and slid on our bellies during random parts of the race. My brothers did front hand springs over the hay bales, and we kind of ran/laughed/and slid ourselves through the race.

Some of the obstacles were nuts! My favorite one was a bunch of walls we had to climb over. Some of them were too tall, so we had to squish ourselves under them, with our entire body in a mud puddle. During this, there was a snow machine blowing snow onto us. It was blowing really hard, and it felt like we were in an absolute blizzard with really strong winds. It was so crazy!

We went down a huge water slide, crawled through tunnels, with another snow machine blowing snow through the tunnels and blocking our vision, we waded through a swampy, smelly, muddy, nasty lake, we ran through tires, climbed a huge rope wall, did a rope swing, hurdled over several hay bales, and so much more.

We just laughed and laughed and laughed. And we got MUDDY! Most of the time, we had a hard time knowing who was who, because were were completely brown. We had some moments of mud clots in the ears, mud in the contacts, a tweaked knee, and some scrapes and bruises, but overall, we had so much fun.

The kids and my parents were able to meet up with us at the water slide and get some pictures. Mary and Sam didn't quite know what to think of it all. William bawled when he saw us. I am sure I would be worried too, if my dad was wearing a dress, my mom was wearing a shirt with Edwards face on the front, and they were covered head to toe in mud. ;)

We ended the event swimming through a huge mud puddle. It was our last mud fight.

After the Dirty Dash, Mary participated in the Piglet Plunge. I wasn't sure how she would handle it, but she laughed the whole time. She loved getting all muddy and going through the big water slide. Her race was one mile, and she did really well. She was a good sport!

The freezing showers at the end were a killer, and the drive home in cold, muddy clothes wasn't the best, but once we got home, showered (and only got about 2/3 of the mud off) we were all laughing about it once more.

It was my sister Kelsey's Birthday, so we went out to dinner and had a yummy Cold Stone Birthday Cake at our house afterwards.

The next morning was the Primary Program. We had colored the kids hair (and ours) for the dirty dash, and not all of it came out. Poor William was sporting black and pink polka dot hair at church. Ben had a nice black stripe going down the back of his head. I didn't have any more color in my hair, but I still had dirt in my ears and under my fingernails.

The Primary Program was adorable. Mary did great with her speaking part, and Sam participated from the audience in his own way. It was so nice to have my family there to watch them. They were also able to go to Sunday School where Ben was teaching. It was nice to have them there to support and to participate in the lesson.

Everyone left after church (and a yummy dinner) and we all crashed for a while before spending the evening at a friends house.

It was a wonderful, dirty weekend!

I love having my family here and I am so grateful that we live close enough now that we can have experiences like this and be together more often. I really missed things like this when we lived so far away.

The Dirty Dash is definitely something that needs to become a tradition. It was so much fun!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Timponagas Cave

Saturday was a very busy day for our little family. I got in a great 6 mile run with a good friend to start the day. I LOVE starting a day like that! Early morning runs are my favorite. They are the only thing I will happily wake up early for(aside from Christmas morning).

Then it was off to a soccer game for Sam. His team "Orange Thunder" did great. I was so proud of Sam for wearing the entire jersey, shorts, ect., and for staying out on the field. He is a very coordinated little athlete, and he is slowly coming out of his shell to show us what he can do. I am very proud of him.

Before the game, we took our Pathfinder to the shop for a little repair.

After the game, we picked up the Pathfinder, and I dropped Ben and the kids off at the gym. I then drove back to the car shop, got the other car, and then went back to get Ben and the kids at the gym.

As soon as we got home, something wasn't right with the Pathfinder, so I dropped Ben and the kids off at the car shop while I rushed home and packed for our hike to Timpanogas Cave.

I picked up Ben and the kids, we ran to the store for some munchies for the hike, and then finally made it to the canyon to begin the hike.

And yes, I literally had no time to shower, get changed, or eat breakfast up to this point. Rock on.

The hike up to Timpanogas cave is a mile and 1/2 long. Not so bad, except for the 1000+ elevation gain!!!! Pretty much, it is like stomping straight up the side of a mountain.

The hike up was steep, but so pretty! There were some tunnels to go under, and the cliffs and mountain sides were so majestic.

I was SO proud of our kids! Mary and Sam hiked the entire way up to the cave! Ben and I were very shocked and so proud of them. We stopped a lot to give them breaks, and to give them snacks, but they were troopers. Really. They did awesome!

We made it to the mouth of the cave, right on time...literally. We had an assigned tour time (the tours were sold out three days in advance), and we had to be there by that time. We reached the top within seconds of our tour starting. Go us!

The tour through the cave was so neat. Sam was wide-eyed the whole time, and he kept saying things like, "hey Mary, we are inside of a big mountain right now!" or "I can't wait to tell Landon (his best friend) all about this." He was so intrigued with the whole thing.

William was very squirmy through the whole tour, but there were parts where we could let him roam, and roam he did. When we were done with the tour, William's face was completely black. He must have taken a few bites of out the cave at some point. Our tour guide thought it was hilarious.

Mary freaked out at the beginning, because it was so dark, and they shut the door behind you. But, she got used to the idea, and soon she was just as interested as Sam. She like making pictures out of the different formations.

(um, yeah, the pictures are dark..but so was the cave)

Ben and I loved looking at all of the different formations and learning about how the cave was found, and all of that good stuff.

The hike back down wasn't as bad as the hike up, but it put a lot of pressure on our knees because it was so steep. I ended up carrying Sam down a lot of it, and Ben had William on his back. Mary stomped back down the whole thing by herself. Again, we were amazed.

We thought the kids would crash in the car on the trip home, but they were still bouncing around and hyper, as if they hadn't just hiked 3 miles and done a 45 minute tour through a cave.

We came home, ate pizza, watched a move, and zonked. It was a great day.

All in all, we would totally do it again. It was a great family outing for us, and the kids, as well as the adultes, loved the cave. We love finding these little things here in Utah that we can experience and make into memories.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Superman Does Triathlons Too!

My kids are absolutely positive that their daddy is Superman, or at least something so cool that he couldn't possibly be human.

Sam is convinced that Ben can pick up boulders the size of our house and throw them. He is also sure that Ben can jump high enough to land on the moon.

The kids are positive that Ben is the fastest runner in the world, and the he can snow ski "as fast as a race car!"

They are constantly asking me things like, "Hey mom, can dad hold his breath for 20 minutes?" or "Hey mom, I bet dad could lift up our whole house."

I always reply, "I am sure he can." I think it is great that my kids think their daddy is the best. I know I sure do.

So, on Saturday, as we watched Ben complete his first triathlon sprint, I knew that he had just moved up to a whole new level of coolness and superness with the kids. As well as with his wife.

Ben has been training hard and has gone "out of the box" with what his normal workout routine is, in order to do this. He improved very fast and quickly adapted to swimming and running (he is already very good at biking). I was impressed!

With abs like that, he has to be Superman.

He rocked it at the triathlon! It was weird for me to be a spectator during an event like this, and it was also kind of nice. It was really fun to watch Ben do something that he has been working towards, and to see him do it well. It was so cool to see so many people, do so many different events. It really is a very well-rounded race to do. It looked HARD! Almost as hard as that bicep. ;)

We all cheered Ben on while he was at the transition stations from swimming

to biking

to running

to the finish line.

He is now contemplating doing an Olympic triathlon. Go Ben go! We are proud of you. And we are happy to have our very own Superman living in our house.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home Away From Home,...but feels like home????

While we were in Colorado Springs, we stayed with our rockin' awesome friends, the Fortin's. We stayed at the "Fortin Inn" where we received 5 star treatment. Seriously! We had amazing food, awesome company, good conversation, lots of laughter, and one night, they watched the kids for us, and then bathed them and had them ready for bed when we got back. Wow!
We even had a survey, left on the nightstand by our bed, that we were to fill out regarding our stay.

On the bottom of the survey, in small print, it says..."18% Gratuity will be added to all guest parties of 3 or more. 25% added for children 6 and under. 48% for Utah residents."
It was hilarious...uh, I mean, it was very professional and courteous of them. We hadn't planned on staying with anyone overnight, because we didn't want to burden anyone. After watching Mary, Sam and Tyler so happy together, it was impossible to separate them. Not to mention, Ben and I and Mike and Mel. We are very grateful that we were able to stay with them. The kids were grinning constantly. They played hard and begged and begged to stay longer. Ben and I felt the same. We love Mike and Mel so much. We went to the park for a few hours on Saturday, and got some good pictures. Mike put a video together that pretty much sums up what going to the park with our family is like. I am trying to get it to work on the blog, but until then, I will let you all guess what went on. While we were at the park, we met up with a few other friends as well. I didn't get any pictures with them. In fact, I didn't get many pictures of this trip. We were all too busy enjoying the moment and soaking it all in. I don't think pictures could really capture the feelings we felt anyway. It was awesome, to say the least.

Saturday evening, Ben and I met up with some of his good buddies from Cintas at a restaurant one of them started up. It was fun to hang out with them and their families. I know that Ben holds them in high regard, and really loved being with them again. The Philly Cheese stakes were phenomenal as well!

We went to our old ward on Sunday. It was so weird to be sitting there, and to feel so at home and comfortable. It felt like we had never left the ward. Everything just felt so right and we fit so naturally. We stayed behind after Sacrament meeting and relished in the goodness of so many good friends and people. The warm embraces of so many friends warmed my spirit and filled a deep hole inside of me. The hole that was created when we left. I didn't want to leave....ever. I had a good cry in the car after we pulled ourselves away from the church building. It was one cry of many this trip. I felt so torn between where I wanted to be and where we need to be. It was so hard. I am so grateful for Ben, who just held my hand and listened. His Faith helped me a lot on this trip.

Sunday evening, Mary was jumping on Tyler's bed, and she tripped. She smashed her face on the bed post with such impact, that the blood from her nose literally sprayed part of the wall. Mary does not cry from pain very often, so when I heard her screams, I knew something was wrong. Her nose bled through my shirt, Tyler's sheets, Mary's dress, the white carpet, and everything else Mary got near. Her nose swelled quickly, and she is now sporting two black eyes and a very bruised and swollen nose. We won't know if her nose is crooked until the swelling goes down. Mary was down for a while, but after some ice and Motrin, she was back to playing and laughing later on in the evening. Her nose continued to bleed about every three hours for the next two days, and it is very tender, but she is doing ok. Poor kid!

We had dinner Sunday evening with our good friends, the Murdocks. They live just down the road from our old house. We drove by our old house, but to be honest, I couldn't stand looking at it knowing that someone else was in there. We didn't stay in front of our house very long. It would not have done anything good for my already fragile emotions. I LOVED that house, and I love the memories we have in it. Dinner was great and it was really fun to be back in the neighborhood, with friends, just hanging out on a Sunday evening. Again, it felt so normal and so comfortable. I felt like I was home. The kids had a blast playing with their friends they haven't seen in a while. They hit it off again quickly.

Monday morning, we went on a hike in Monument, with the Fortins. It was a pretty hike, and the kids (and Ben) had fun climbing the rock we hiked to. We also saw some VERY random people with Lamas??? Monument, to me, is one of the most pretty places I have ever been. I thought that when we lived there, and I still feel that way now. We did a lot of hiking there. (that white building is part of the Air Force Academy..can you believe we got to see a view like this every single day!) After the hike, we said a sad goodbye to Mike, Mel and Tyler, and headed back to Utah. We made one quick stop on the way home. "Santa" had to stop at the American Girl store. Once I saw how cool it was though, I found an excuse to have Mary go into the store (after my Santa duties were done and safely hidden in the trunk). Her black eyes were wide with excitement, and she loved everything about it.

I have to admit, it was pretty amazing! It was like a museum of very cool dolls and hundreds of accessories. There are currently only three American Girl stores in the United States, so we were excited to see the place. It did not disappoint. This is what Sam thought of the store.

We made it home at midnight Monday/Tuesday, and started school and work the next morning.

Aside from the emotional roller coaster I mentioned in the last post, it was truly a wonderful trip. Our family had so much fun! We plan on visiting Colorado Springs at least once a year from here on out. It is too much a part of our lives and our hearts to not go back. After is our home away from home now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We spent this past Labor Day weekend in Colorado Springs.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as we began our trip back to the place where we left a piece of our hearts just over a year ago. We were all very excited and looking forward to meeting up with good friends and being back in the absolutely gorgeous town that we couldn't get enough of, even when we lived there.

I knew it could be a little difficult, but I wasn't ready for the major flood of emotions that swelled up inside of my heart as we drove up to Colorado Springs, and only got stronger throughout the time we were there.

I am usually pretty open on my blog. I am not normally a very open person, but I have always felt for some reason, that my blog is a place where I need to be. Some posts can be very uncomfortable for me to put out there, but there is always a feeling that I am doing something I should be doing, so I go for it.

To be honest, this time, I just don't know what to write. I am so incredibly vunerable right now. My heart hurts, and it hurts badly. In order to protect it, I am not going to go into much detail about the thoughts and feelings that plagued me on this trip. I am needing to take a step back and let my feelings get back to their proper place.

We are happy here in in Utah. We have wonderful friends and neighbors. Our home is in a wonderful location. We have been so very blessed. I have no reason to complain, and I honestly am happy here.

That said, it literally almost killed me to be in Colorado Springs, and to feel so much like I was home, that sometimes I felt like it still really was. Once the realization would come, like a slap in the face, that we were visitors this time, the tears would flow and I would hurt. My spirit was home there, my heart was home there, and I ached with every part of my soul, to still be a part of that wonderous place.

I cried a lot. I laughed a lot. I felt the warm embrace of numerous friends that in my heart and mind, are family. I clung to them, and didn't want to let go. I stared and stared and stared at the beauty. I felt so many feelings and emotions, it was almost like drowning in the ocean. One wave after the next, without time to recover and get your feet on the ground. Everywhere held a memory, a feeling, and a piece of me.

And I prayed. What was said in those prayers, I don't feel the need to share. But I needed my Heavenly Fathers help this weekend in more ways than one. And I still need him near me, to help me heal my heart and gain some understanding.

Sometimes the Lord asks us to sacrifice, and we won't know why. But one thing that Ben continued to tell me over and over and over again, is that the Lord will bless those who are willing to sacrifice for Him. Moving from Colorado Springs was the single most difficult sacrifice I have ever had to make. Ben will say the same for him. One day we were planning our life there, our long term dreams and goals...and one strong revelation and two months later, we had a house in Utah. The next month, we were gone. And so was a part of my heart, a very big part.

I am clinging to my faith right now, and the hope that I will get the anwers I yearn for and the peace I need. The Lord needs us here in Utah, and I know that. I can never deny the feeling I felt when the Lord told me that we would be leaving Colorado, and we would be leaving very soon. My heart broke into a million pieces, but my spirit knew it was right, and Ben and I chose to obey the Lord. That is why we are here.

Overall, I do not regret going back to Colorado. As a family, we had a wonderful time. In fact, we decided to make it, it the least, an annual trip. We took pictures and had some blog worthy moments, and I will probably post those at a later time. For now though, I need to protect my heart once more and go forward with faith.