datestampMonday, December 23, 2013

Silent Night

God is aware of us. No matter what stage of our life's we are in. He is mindful of us and our well being. I know He lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I am truly grateful for this Cancer in my life. Although it has been extremely difficult, it has taught me how to live, how to love, how to forgive, how to be...just be. My cup runneth over. I am so very blessed. I am thankful for each breathe, each moment. I am grateful for time. I am grateful for the simple things of this life.  I am grateful I get to be a Momma to my babies...even though they drive me crazy at times...I wouldn't trade being a Mother for anything! I am thankful for my sweet Andy...he is my knight in shining armor. I often wonder how I got so lucky to marry him?! I am thankful, so thankful for that Silent Night many moons ago...for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am in reverence of His compassion and love for all of us. I have felt His love and mercy many times in my life. I am grateful for this season.  I pray you will find peace, no matter where you are in life, or what you are doing.  May you feel His light surrounding you.  May you feel His love. May you know He is aware of you. May you feel Joy and let Him in.

datestampThursday, November 21, 2013

Living with gratitude

It's been a rough few days, and some long nights since doing my last treatment.  I've struggled to see the light at moments. Today I was reminded by all that I have been given...just by hearing this powerful man share his thoughts on gratitude. Instantly I felt better and remembered there is good in everything...even when things are hard, there is good.  I am grateful for a new night that darkness brings and a new day tomorrow for living and finding joy in all I have.

datestampMonday, November 11, 2013

I Lived

This morning when I awoke I bowed my head and kneeled...thanking my sweet Heavenly Father for another day of life.  For another year. What a gift He has given to me.  I am so grateful for this life that I have...I couldn't have asked for a better one.  I've been blessed beyond more then I could have ever imagined to experience so feel.  I've felt Joy. Hope. Pain. Sorrow. Empathy. Been broken. Healed.  Felt the bitter, to know the sweet. Felt the magic of the Earth. Warmth.  Rain. Wind. The Hope of new life. Freedom. Happiness. Darkness. Light. My absolute favorite; Love. I hope to live many, many, many more days on this earth.  I have so much to look forward too.

datestampThursday, October 31, 2013


I get to hold a little piece of heaven almost everyday.  I smother him with kisses. Hold him against my heart and listen to him giggle. Sometimes he snuggles me, and I swear he is hugging me! As soon as I see him he brightens up the room with his smile. We are connected.  He is not my baby...but he is healing my heart.  A while ago I mentioned in one of my posts that I longed for another child, and knew I would not have one again on this earth. Which is hard sometimes, but I am living. My sweet sister had a beautiful baby boy a few months ago. We were all thrilled for her...
A while back as we were sitting together with her new babe I told her something that was on my heart and mind since he was born. "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, or think it's weird, but I feel like you had this baby for me too. I get to hold him, love him, kiss him, feel his sweet spirit and soul. He is healing my heart...God gave me a gift through you." Being the lovely and in tune sister she is, she said she was so happy she could "share" him with me...she knew this sweet spirit was here to help me too. He is oh so young, but has accomplished much in his short life. How grateful I am for this blessed chance I get to love and hold on to him for little moments...What an honor it is for me to be in his life. Peace has surrounded my soul. Healing engulfs my feels so good.

datestampTuesday, October 15, 2013

Life is good, even when it's hard.

Sometimes life brings us a pay day and when they come I soak it all was one of those days.  For months we have been working with the kids to learn how to ride their bikes on their own. They just weren't interested in it. Last week my sweet Ella had her friends over to play.  They took off her training wheels themselves (tools and all) and were teaching her the things she needed to do.  I stood back and let it happen. I've noticed if I say too much then she usually backs down, so I watched.  She tried a few times and the excitement puttered out and they were onto something different.  The next day I'd told Andy about her adventure. He asked her if he could see her ride and she said sure. She got onto her bike and was a bit wobbly at first. Andy held onto her seat and talked with her...soon she was trying.  Again and again and again...and then it came, she was off Andy running next to her.  I was screaming and clapping; you're doing it baby girl, you're doing it! I was so happy.  We were thrilled!  Noah saw his sister and he ran to his Daddy and told him he wanted his wheels off too! After 3 times of falling and getting up again he did it, he was riding on his own! I probably looked like a lunatic from how excited I was yelling and jumping up and down! We loaded our bikes in the truck and headed out to an open space.  All of us got on our bikes and road around together. It was nice to just be.
I was so proud of my sweet husband teaching our babies how to ride a bike.  Grateful I was blessed to be apart of this moment that I'll never forget, and most likely they won't either. Proud that they didn't give up, and kept going....until they reached their goal.  Grateful I could watch them learn something new.  Thankful to have the blessing to be alive in that moment. To feel what I was feeling.  Pure. Joy. Peace in knowing that life is good, even when it's's still good.

datestampMonday, September 23, 2013


We love collecting rocks...well my kids and I do! I have jars and jars of them.  They have found there way into the strangest places. The other day I found one in my sons bed. He has them scattered on his dresser, and amongst his toys.  I did laundry and there were loud noises coming from the dryer. I opened it up and found 4 rocks! I had to chuckle, and I took a picture of them so I'd remember. My daughter has a huge collection and they are all lovingly placed in my Grandmas old jewelry box, it has so many drawers. Quite a few years ago before we had kids, Andy was moving us into an apartment.  I was the packer and he was the loader.  He picked up this particularly heavy box and asked me what I had in there because it was so heavy? I just shrugged my shoulders and said stuff! Well, he opened the lid and about had a heart attack because it was full of rocks! He exclaimed: "What? I've been packing out rocks this whole time?" He said a few choice words and then threatened to throw them in the back yard! Thank goodness he didn't, but I did learn my lesson; to disperse the rocks into several boxes, not just one! I'm laughing just thinking about it and seeing his face.  It was hilarious. While walking home from school the other day my sweet girl had picked up a rock and was showing it to me.  She had "found it in someone's front yard (oops). By looking at it, it was quite plain, but then she pointed out to me that when she put it into the sun something magical sparkled! I was so touched by her thought that I began to tell her that people are a lot like rocks.  Sometimes they may seem plain, hard and ordinary on the outside,  but when you put them in the sun they shine. They are beautiful.  They radiate. We never know what someone is like until we really get to know them and give them a chance. Our conversation started and finished within a minute...we held hands and walked home.  A few days later I asked her where her shimmering rock was?  She opened a few tiny boxes and handed it to me..."It's beautiful Mom, isn't it? Look at it in the light...So many lessons to learn from my sweet babies. I am Happy. This is what living is about.

datestampThursday, September 5, 2013

One day at a time

While driving in the car with my baby girl today this was our conversation: "Momma, were you sick a lot when I was younger?" I said "Yes, I was." She then asked me: "Momma, were you gone a lot to the Doctor?" "Yes, I was." "Momma, I remember you taking me to all of these peoples houses because you couldn't take care of were SO sick.  I am so happy now that you get to spend so much time with me now, and I get to stay with you.  I know you still get sick, but now we get to do a lot of fun things together and we get to be together."  "I know baby girl, it is so nice." I then explained to her that sometimes in life you have hard things that you have to deal with, but you keep going.  You never, ever give up, even if it might feel hard you just keep living each day and you do your best.  Today I had some hard minutes, yet I'm grateful for these quiet moments that I can reflect with my sweet girl. That I can remember where I've been, enjoy the present and look forward to the future one day at a time.

datestampSaturday, August 31, 2013


Today I felt joy. My heart beat was fast. I worked hard. I breathed hard. I lived hard. I talked with good people. I laughed. I shed a tear or two. I smiled. I reflected on this earth...this life...this journey.  I felt joy.  I let it in and it engulfed me. I saw God in many things: people, children, the grass, earth, the sun on my back. It felt so good to sweat.  To work.  To live in each moment.  To experience life.  I received love, sweet hugs, saw old friends, made new ones.  Living.  I am content...happy.  Ate sweet fruit.  Shared stories.  Shared. Met survivors, warriors and fighters.  I felt hope.  I felt peace.  I witnessed the human spirit and it amazed me.  I felt peace. I was connected. I am blessed.  Today I felt joy. How lucky am I? Very.

datestampTuesday, July 16, 2013

Be Brave

I just heard this song a few days ago and it really caught my attention. My kids were singing it to the top of their lungs, just belting out the lyrics. Apparently they had heard their cousin Jade sing it over and over again. After listening closely I got to thinking about being brave....we are all faced with so many different circumstances in this life; death, abuse, illness, broken homes, broken families, infertility, loneliness, whatever our situations or trials may be I hope we can  remember to look life in the face and be not run away, to face the enemy and say what needs to be said. Over the years I have learned that everyone has a story, everyone is living, we are all on a journey. If I could pass one thing onto my babies I hope it would be to show them that I was brave, and was not afraid to live, that I can do hard things...and so can they.

datestampFriday, July 12, 2013

2,555 days

 My heart is full of gratitude for many things. Today I am grateful for birthday parties, kisses, morning hugs, discoveries, sandboxes, sunshine, a strong body to work hard and feel sweat down my back, sisters, brothers, my sweet babies.  The ability to enjoy what I've been given, the opportunity to be.  Tonight Ella asked Daddy how many days she has been alive...over 2,555 days! My heart skipped a beat to know that I have been with her for this long! She was so happy to know she had been alive for so many days. How sweet it was for me to hear her sweet it was to know I've been blessed to be her sweet it is.  I look forward to seeing her grow  a million more days.

datestampWednesday, June 12, 2013

Sweet Jeanie

Tonight I wanted to talk about my sweet cousin Anajean, or Jeanie as I like to call her.  She lost her beautiful baby boy in a fire last year. Today marks the 1st year of his death.  My sister invited all of us over to her home, including Jeanies family and we had a memorable evening. While visiting with her I noticed that all of the kids were drawn to her. They all call out her name, want to show her what they have made, want to snuggle next to her or hold her hand. Jeanie is the fun Aunt. Jeanie is loved by all. Jeanie is a warrior, survivor, she makes you feel so special, like your the only person she wants to talk with at that moment. She notices the small things in life and they are important to her...a leaf, rock, a smile, an embrace, a moment. Even though she has lost so much in her short life, she has gained so much by living, moving forward, looking for the good in even hard things. I love her so. I hold my babies longer because of her, I take more time and listen because of her example, I am a better person for knowing her.  I know sweet Austin is near and loves you so. He was perfect. He is perfect.  I often think of her when I read this quote by George Leonard:  "The real juice of life, whether it be sweet or bitter, is to be found not nearly so much in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself, in how it feels to be alive." Thank you for all that you have taught me and so many others.You inspire me sweet Jeanie. I love you to the moon and back xoxoxoxo

datestampSaturday, May 4, 2013

No regrets?

Here we are... yeah that's me with my little sister Sarah. I shanghaied her blog for the moment. 
Well what really happened is that she asked me several months ago to write up a post for her. How cheesy is that. Who would want their big brother to do something like that?

Things come to mind. Blackmail? Humor? Childhood memories?

When she first came into this world I couldn't pronounce her name so I called her "Rah Rah Arie."

This is BLACKMAIL!!!!         She looks so peaceful. 

A bottle? Really? How old are you? Did you really get your sister to have one as well?

To quote a song that I really like
"I set all my regrets on fire cause I know I'll never take the time"

Lets put regrets in the past I don't like to focus on those.

Just in case you don't know
(She never looks right at the camera in posed photos)
And it seems to be to the left?      

Notice where everyone else is looking?

Charlies Angels hair
She always has a smile. 

She worked with my beautiful wife one summer on the farm. They both got really really tan.

 The joke was that they had leather skin...

This was the tannest picture I could find  -->

Sarah always brings light to those who are in need. 

Crazy faces...

Amazing  Hair!

Forcing me to look foolish at your expense...

Group HUGS!!!

Do you know that I have a Personal Bubble? Well she knows and doesn't seem to care.

Willing to hang out with the family.

She might even share that cabbage patch doll someday.

You are always so Pleasant! 

Even when I make you mad ;) 

I get this look all the time.

Sarah is also...   Strong, Forgiving, and Positive! She is also the best Example that I know.

Through it all no matter what she is my sister. Hopefully she knows how much I love her. I try to tell her on occasion. Sometimes I even roll my eyes when she tells it to me but that is just for drama.

Live life to the fullest, don't be afraid to do hard things, be grateful for each and every day!

With LOVE,
Your big brother Matt...

PS: Don't forget to be grateful today when you read this post.......

datestampThursday, May 2, 2013


Today I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of The Women's Conference held in Provo, Utah.  I had the blessing of  sharing my story, of having Cancer.  I know I've had this blog for a few years, and I've shared some of these things before, but this is an updated version, I thought I'd share with all of you. I just want to acknowledge that I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of us at all times in our lives.  I love Him.  I know He lives. I know We can do hard things. I believe in you...Love to you all on this journey we call life...

I have Cancer. I am 37 years old and have a husband named Andy, whom I love so much.  We just celebrated our 10th anniversary.  I have Cancer, but it doesn’t have me. My husband and I are raising our family, our beautiful six-year-old daughter named Ella and a rambunctious 4 year-old-boy named Noah. I am so young,  I have dreams, desires, and purpose. I want to live until I’m 95 years old!
This is my story: We went into the E.R. in 2006 because I thought I had a pinched nerve in my left shoulder.  While I was waiting in the X-Ray room, I knew something was wrong, and I started talking to God. Both He and I knew my life would never be the same. A few hours later we were told I had Cancer in my abdominal wall, fatty tissue next to that wall, liver, spleen, left ovary and left Kidney.  We initially thought it was a death sentence.  Andy and I sobbed in each other’s arms.  Andy began calling family. His brother Sean came with his wife Missy.  Missy was kind enough to hold my baby girl, who was only four months old, and love on her while I wasn't able to. My Dad came, as well as Andy’s parents and my sweet sister Bonnie.  I was so happy she came because she held my hand – there were many tears shed that night.  The men anointed me and Andy gave me the first of many blessings.  I do not remember what was said, but miracles proceeded that night. 
Doctors were unsure of what type of cancer I had, but they knew that it was quite extensive.  They decided to give me heavy doses of chemotherapy, and for me, my biggest question at that time was when would my hair fall out? The answer was in 17 days.  That, I would come to know, would be the least of my worries.  During this time of treatment, my body was stripped of all physical pride but my soul and spirit were made stronger.  I was blessed with a husband who is a worthy priesthood holder and who wasn't afraid to give me a blessing when I asked him.  He wasn't afraid to help me out of bed to get to the bathroom.  Andy took care of our four and a half month old daughter alone while these treatments were ravaging my body.  During this time I never once heard him complain or say a negative comment.  He was my rock and my light.  He was constantly positive and watched over our family.  I was so blessed to have him by my side and I still am today.  I credit him with why I am here at this time as well as Heavenly Father.
I know for a fact that God was by our sides, embracing us during this difficult time. I continued having the treatments for six months, and during this time, the doctor visits became more difficult because they weren't sure what type of cancer I had and my prognosis wasn't good.  On the flip side, my visiting teachers and our extended family arranged to bring us dinner and watch our baby during my chemotherapy treatments and many doctor appointments.  We were shown hope through our faithful friends and family, who went above and beyond their callings and were instruments in the hand of God to us.  Many of our prayers were answered through the service of those around us. 
Unfortunately, in May of 2007, I became very ill and the doctors said there was nothing they could do for us, but that I was going to die.  I asked the doctor if he was religious, and he said yes.  Then I told him I knew I was going to get better.  He said, No, you are not.  We then walked out of that office and never looked back.  I vividly remember sitting in the car after our consultation…we were silent.  Andy asked me what I wanted to do. He asked me if I wanted to fight this, or not? I said I wanted to fight, and he said, “Let’s do this then!”  I can only imagine what my sweet Andy was thinking. He would have been fine with either choice. He supported me through every decision. He went with me to every appointment, lab, scan, chemo session. Slept by my side in two different hospitals, comforted me, held me, tended to me, prayed for me, loved me and gave freely.  I never heard him complain once. Never. I am so in love with him. He is my knight in shining armor and my love story.  I look forward to the eternities with him. A few nights after that difficult talk, I was lying awake not able to sleep. I was watching Andy and thinking of the future.  So many people were telling us that the future was bleak, but God wasn't and I would rather believe Him.
We were prompted to go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, where a doctor actually diagnosed the type of cancer I had. Within a week I had started a new treatment and had gotten in to see a specialist, Dr. Chen, who was the best in the field.  She had just moved to Utah from Texas to be closer to family, but I feel strongly that she was placed here to help us.  We knew God was paving the way for us to find a cure.  He was leading the way and we were grateful to follow.  I got very sick during this time and was admitted to the hospital.  At that time, Andy stayed by my side every minute and family took care of our little one.  It was a very trying time and we were unsure of the future.  One thing that helped us greatly was our ward family.  They offered to have a fast for us, along with some other families.  I know that I was spared because of the faith and willing prayers of our fellow saints, as well as family.  It really goes to show what a little faith and love can do for someone.  I remember during the stay at the hospital some Brothers came to our room and gave us the sacrament.  We were so thankful to partake of this sacred ordinance. Many tears were shed for the opportunity to receive the sacrament.
Six months later, I went in for another CT scan and was called back immediately to see my doctor.  Usually, I would wait for a couple of days for the results to come in and then go back.  Andy and I looked at each other and knew something was not right. When Dr. Chen came into our room, she immediately asked if I could be pregnant. I told her no and that I hadn't had a period for two years. She said the radiologist said he saw a fetus in the scan.  Andy and I were floored and in shock. She sent us to get an ultra sound and they said that I was 11 weeks pregnant! We were beside ourselves and a little sick to our stomachs, because…I have Cancer and I’m sick.  I've been taking all of these drugs…a baby? We actually stopped taking Chemo that very day…as soon as I saw that little baby moving. What a blessing in disguise this was for us.
Our doctor told us that this was a miracle and we had a choice to make. Either we abort the baby or go through with the pregnancy.  We had no guarantees.  There were no studies done with women who are on this type of chemo and the baby being healthy. No one had been in this situation before with this type of cancer.  Our doctor strongly urged us to abort the baby and to save my own life.  We decided to go to the temple and pray about it. We felt so much peace and serenity there. Calmness came over us and we felt like we needed to keep the baby. I would carry the baby as long as I was physically able to. Under the circumstances, there was so much we had to take into consideration.   During our visit to the temple I actually felt our sweet baby kick inside of me. I knew this was right.  During that time we had felt Satan’s influence on us as well and it was real.  I had to remember that fear is not from God.  He lifts us up, and comes to us to help with open arms.  Satan, on the other hand, uses negativity and depression to get at us.  I said to myself a thousand times during this time that I will live! I will survive! I will have a healthy child! After a couple of months of testing to see if the baby was healthy or not, we didn't have a lot of good news. Many doctors had told us our baby would have birth defects and be addicted to the medicine that I was on among other problems. This made us sad, but we moved forward and did the best that we could.  Four months later, at 37 weeks, I had a beautiful and healthy baby boy! He was a miracle! We were thrilled! He was perfect…perfect! In fact, several doctors wanted to do a study on him because he didn't have any side effects. What a blessing and gift from God he is. I know he is so healthy because of Heavenly Father’s tender mercies.
It has been six years since they told us I was going to die and my doctors are still shocked that I am living – especially since this cancer is terminal.  There is no cure as far as they are concerned.  I believe and know otherwise. I still have cancer, but it doesn't have me.  It doesn't have my spirit or my soul.  It has molded our lives today.  Today we are grateful for each moment, for the laughter of our babies, for waking up next to the person you love, for being able to go to church and learn of God.  This Heavenly parent, who is waiting for us to reach out to Him, who is kind and loving, who has blessings in store for us;  I know He lives.  I am grateful for this trial for it has opened my eyes to know what this life is about. I have come to know God through these experiences and He has literally carried me through dark times and showed me the light. I know I am a Child of God.  I know that all things are possible through Christ, which strengthens me.  I know families are eternal and I am grateful to be in a loving family.  I know miracles happen and I know I am here because of one. I know through difficult times, there will be sunshine at the end of the road. I know I can do hard things…we all can. For this I am eternally grateful.

datestampThursday, April 18, 2013

Time and time again...

Looking back over the past few months my heart feels like it is going to explode with gratitude. I haven't needed to do my injection, because my blood tests have looked so good. I have been able to spend some much needed time with my sweet family, enjoying the little things. I am so happy that I've had the energy to run around like I used too...what a blessing it has been; a tender mercy from God. Sometimes I feel like He knows my heart completely, and loves me unconditionally...flaws and all. What a gift He is. This past week I found out I will be doing another injection soon. I was sad for a moment, but the thought crossed my mind about the gift I'd been given the last few months...time.  Time with my babies going on adventures during their Spring break. Time with my husband working side by side.  Time with my sweet family going on outings, play dates, hanging out with friends, visiting, making memories, feeling normal....feeling free. I am so grateful to have tasted the bitter to know of the sweet things of this life. Time and time again I recognize that this life has been so good to me.

datestampFriday, February 22, 2013

OG Ornery Guts

When I was a kid every morning when my Daddy would wake me up...I guess I was pretty ornery, and he would say to me each day "I'm going to be happy today!" He would then tell me to say it with him! I honestly didn't like to be told that every morning! I also remember my Momma calling me "OG ornery  guts", after really pushing her about not wanting to practice my piano...since then, I've been teased many times, (in a loving manner by my siblings) by being an "OG ornery guts"!   When I ask my Dad about how I was when I was a kid growing up, he said that I was mischievous,  always getting into trouble, and strong willed. He also said my sister Bonnie watched how I acted, and did the opposite! Well, I guess you learn from the best! (insert laugh here)
In a few hours I go in for my MRI...  I've been thinking a lot the last few days about being happy with what you have, in front of you. It took me years and years to grow out of being ornery in the mornings, and not having a good disposition. I can honestly say that now I wake up each day happy...not because my Daddy told me to be,(although it was ingrained in me)  but because I chose to be. Right now is a new day before me, and I choose to be happy today, no matter what the outcome is, no matter what the results come back as...I will be happy, because I can be...goodbye OG ornery guts forever!

datestampThursday, February 7, 2013


Sometimes I let myself mourn for the life I would have had. I long for one more baby, to have the choice to have another child, and not have to answer all of the difficult questions...What if there are complications? Is it selfish for me to desire another...would I chance leaving my babies alone on this earth? My heart breaks...literally breaks, and I weep, and somehow find comfort, and a still heart thru my tears. So much talking, and getting nowhere but the beginning...the same beginning. I long for the day where my life isn't filled with Dr. visits, iv's, shots, illness...where my life doesn't revolve around if Mommy isn't feeling well.  I try so hard to look at the good things, for there are so many blessings I have....but sometimes these thoughts creep up on me and I need to release them.  For so long I held them inside, pushed them down, but they always come back to me...Now, I'm letting them by one. God knows my heart, and He is good...He always finds a way to take care of me...and I am grateful and happy that He cares. In the meantime I wipe my last tears away, and move

datestampSaturday, January 5, 2013

A Thousand Times

A few years ago my Mother and Father in law were called to be temple workers for the LDS church in Salt Lake City Utah ( I later found out that my sweet Mother in Law politely declined the calling because she had a daughter in law who was sick, and she wanted to be able to help her...but she would come with her husband as much as she could.  That was me. That was more then 6 years ago. Since then we have called upon her for help a thousand times. She has nurtured my babies, cooked for us, helped clean, run our household when I've been sick in bed, driven carpool, taken the kids on special outings, and never once have I heard her complain. Never once.  I've prayed a thousand times to God thanking Him for her in our lives. How blessed we are to have such a strong, willing, able, kind, faithful and selfless woman in our home, in our lives, in our hearts. She is constantly striving to be better, reading her scriptures, doing genealogy, helping others. She raised a good son, and I got lucky to have married fact, she raised a good family. I am truly indebted to her. I don't feel like anything I say will adequately let her know how I feel about her...We love her. Our children adore her. We are grateful for her. We are so very blessed to know this sweet angel...for that is what she is a thousand times over.