Jonathan has been consulting with several departments and committees at church headquarters, running More Good, taking classes at UVU (taking this semester off), is starting a new business, was called to the high council in our stake (he has truly enjoyed this calling...from my perspective, it just "fits" him), he loves his home teaching families, is a true friend and mentor to many, and has become obsessed with mountain biking (understatement of the YEAR).
He was a faithful and supportive son through Karen's (his mother's) ICU stay in the hospital, which proved to me even more what a gentle and loving man he is. (I wish I had the time to detail all of the miracles that occurred through that experience.
His whole family was brought closer through the tragedy. We are grateful mom is OK. She has a bowel re-attachment surgery on Tuesday (March 5th), so if you read this before then, please include her in your prayers. She's been put through the ringer, and it crushes my heart to see her suffer. Thanks!
Jonathan has been in contact with some of his friends from North Carolina, helping teach them the gospel and answer their questions. He's a missionary man. He loves the Savior, and His Gospel. This is is BEST QUALITY by far.
(Okay...so looking over what I just wrote about Jonny, you'd think I'm bragging about Jonny boy. I don't care if you think that I am bragging. I honestly am just observing the many changes I'm seeing in him...so there!!)
Heather (moi, shown above at a REALLY bad angle: hello DOUBLE CHIN!?), has been thrown for a loop-dee-loop this year. First off, my sweetest Grandmother, Kathleen Thornock, passed away in April 2012. I was so lucky to be able to spend time with her a couple times a week during the last few weeks of her life. I have been deeply affected by her loss, but her strength pulls me through the little battles I face. It has been so strange to not have her here anymore. I miss her terribly.
So... fun stuff:
Last summer (2012), we went to Yellowstone, Japan and Bonaire. Japan was an incredible experience, full of service, joy, learning, and meeting so many interesting and wonderful people. Bonaire was just a fun diving trip!!
I am so grateful to be taking a CSCS course. What? You don't know what that is?? LOL
CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) is a course I'm taking through NSCA (National Sports & Conditioning Association. The CSCS is similar to a personal trainer, but stepped-up a bit. I had to have a bachelor's degree (CHECK!), which many fitness certifications don't require.
My plan: to gain my CSCS, a prerequisite for the Masters Program at Southern Utah University (SUU, through an online program that I can take at my own pace).
Fitness is a huge part of my life right now. I've on Week 5 of a 12 Week Challenge here in my community. My mentor, Jolie Hill (see her blog "Be Fit With Jolie"), encouraged me to become trained, so that I could someday teach classes, too. I'm really nervous/excited/scared about it all, but know it will stretch me beyond my comfort zone. I found this quote on Pinterest:
So, there you go. I'm so happy being a "coach" for my team in the COMMIT TO BE FIT Challenge 2013. My girls are rockstars. They all have struggles, but have come so far already! I am so inspired by their determination, despite so many setbacks, trials, and doubts. I love it, and it's helped me know that this is what I have to do for the rest of my life, as I can find time.
I have felt a huge push of love towards my children. They are so special to me. I've been reading about Mitchell's Journey, who just passed away in the middle of the night 2 nights ago...if you haven't read about Mitchell, go get your tissue box NOW. What a remarkable young man. This, along with many other promptings, has drawn me closer to my family. As I have paid more attention to the little moments I spend with each individual child, I see them differently. I worry less about what is happening outside of my home. I am focused on the important stuff. I have a new perspective.
I'm amazed at the growth I've seen in my sweet children, especially Chanel. The interesting part is, I'm not sure she's really changed much. I feel humbled that all it has taken is a change in MY perspective.
I find myself worried less and less about what OTHERS think of my children, or of my choices.
My children are my new focus in life.
Here are a few more pics of some random stuff...
|Jonathan, speaking at BYU-Hawaii in November 2012|
He turned 8 in March of 2012. On the day he was baptized, March 31, we surprised him and the kids with a trip to Disneyland. HELLO!? That was so much fun. The kids were all so sweet, grateful, and a joy to be with. We especially loved Russell's Adventure Camp, which basically mimics what it's like in the Redwood Forest...sort of ironic. We probably would have saved a ton of money if we had merely taken a drive up the canyon.
Briggs played baseball last spring through Eagle Mountain city. It was sort of a waste...the pitchers were kids, who can't really throw well yet, so not many hits connected... but Briggs had a great attitude about it all.
All summer, he had a blast with his friends. Our Yellowstone trip was his highlight. He was able to hang out with all of his cousins and see some cool stuff.
He entered the 3rd grade in the fall of 2012. His teacher is Mrs. Strong. She has recently been gone, because she had her first baby. Briggs also played football, which pretty much started in July and ended in November, where his team won the championship! Then his team took 2nd place in Mesquite, NV at a tournament.
Briggs has thrived in any environment he's put into. I admire his qualities so much. He's a magnet to friends. He's thoughtful, kind, and funny as heck! His humor gets me through the day. I love him so much.
Jonathan walked past the boys' room about 1 month ago, and stopped to watch as Briggs was kneeling by Max, helping him say his prayers.
Enough said. The dude is a stud.
I have been able to glean a new patience with her. I am not easily set off by her anymore. We have our moments, for sure, but nothing like they used to be...
Let me take you back to Chanel, age 3 1/2...I was having a conversation with my mother about how Chanel and I did NOT like each other, and I was worried we never would!! Oh, the drama.
What I've realized is that I wasn't really paying attention. She is so different from my boys, who are so easy to read, emotionally. Chanel has so much going on in her mind, and sometimes can't communicate well...doesn't that sound like the reasons we usually are inefficient communicators??
Happy ending: Chanel and I are friends. Best friends. Whenever I'm given a choice of whether to yell and freak out or to take a step back, breathe, then listen: it's now obvious what I was doing wrong before. I still slip up at times, but she now is a pure joy for me to be around. I love her so deeply now, and look forward to our life of bonding! :)
She is in ballet, gymnastics, and hip hop. She rocks at all three. I keep thinking, "I've got to cut down her activities!", but it's hard to decide between 3 things she loves so much. ???
He's 2 years old. He is the funnest kid to hit the planet. Always excited about life. Loves TRACTORS, dinosaurs, cars, MONSTER TRUCKS (he went a couple weeks ago to "Monster Jam" with Jonathan and Briggs), running, chalky bah-bah (chocolate milk...I know, it destroyed by other two kids' teeth), friends (Remy, Maya, Brock, Austin, Bode), using imagination, reading...etc.
The kid can rock a mohawk. We shaved it a while ago, but he looked so cute with it. Our older two have stepped up to the challenge of making Max happy, at all times. They smother him! He loves every minute.
|Jonathan and Dad: at dinner before being set apart on the high council. Fall 2012|
|Who's that freak!? Me. At a race.|
|Grandma Karen and kids at the same dinner as above.|
|My sweet parents came too, to support Jonathan.|
|Here's the book we put together for my father's 70th birthday.|
Recently, Jonny and I returned from Hawaii, where we stayed on BYU-H's campus, in Laie on Oahu. We love those students so much. I met Ace, who's my new fast friend. I love her. Logan and Kristi went with us, as they were finding out more specifics on what they can do to help out there. They plan on moving there this summer to volunteer at the school. I'm so happy for them!
There are many more things going on right now, which I'll update you on soon. Thanks for your love and support through all of our ups and downs!