Friday, May 15, 2015

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was really great this year!  My family let me sleep in until about 10am and then brought me pancakes in bed for breakfast!  There were beautiful flowers in the kitchen and they wrote me songs, drew me pictures, and gave me all the hugs and kisses I wanted!!  I felt so loved!!  
I absolutely love being a mom!!  I'm not the best at it, but I have kids who love and forgive me all the time regardless!    

I sometimes can't believe I've been a mom for 8 years!  That's insane to me!  I just hope I can be half the mom, my mom is to me!  Talk about big goals!!!  She is the most God loving, unselfish, service oriented, kind, funny, positive, beautiful women I know.  Everyone who has even met her is automatically drawn to her.  She's just the definition of good and constantly bright so much light into the world!  I love sharing everything in my life with her!  I love her so incredibly much!!  

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Austin's Day 2015

Today marks 4 years from the absolute hardest day of my life, the day Austin started his new mission in Heaven. This little guy completely changed our family and who we are. His life has blessed us over and over again. I miss with so much and I feel so blessed that I got to have him here with me, even if it was only 2 1/2 short years.  Austin was the sweetest child and sometimes I still get surprised that I have a child I don't get to see grow up.  I can't wait to give him a great big hug one day and tell him how much joy he brought us while he was hear, and how big of an impact he made on our family. I love knowing that one day we will get to see each other again and I'll get to have my WHOLE family together forever!

This year was extra special for a couple reasons, first we got to share the day with the Putnams!  They lived right near me throughout Austin's whole life.  I know they love and miss him just as much as I do, so it was special sharing this day with them!

We went over there and did a balloon release, it was really special.  

Lily got really emotional during the balloon release and started to cry, which made me cry.  I love that she still remembers and loves Austin.

They were such best friends. 

Today was also an extra special day, because today Chris went to the temple for the very first time!  I try to go to the temple this day every year, because of the tremendous love and peace I feel there!! We miss our little guy just so incredibly much and am so blessed to know that one day I'll get to see him again!  This all forever be a special day.   

We went to Longhorn for dinner and did baptisms and we really enjoyed it.  Chris was nervous at first because he thought he would have to DO the baptisms, and so he had been trying to re-learn the baptismal prayer all week, but after I told him he'd be the one being baptized he was worry free (well besides the fear of being too heavy lol!)  Chris loved the temple and is excited to go back.  As we were driving home we both said that we felt the spirit the most when we both decided (separately) to say a little prayer in the changing room.  I thought that was a funny coincidence that we both wanted to pray in the dressing rooms, and that that was both of our favorite spiritual moments there.  

While we were at the Atlanta Temple, the Putnam's watched the kids and they did a special art project! The painted canvases for Austin of the balloon release we did earlier!  It was the sweetest surprise!!  I will love these canvases forevermore!  I'm so grateful to have an amazing sister who would do something so neat and thoughtful!!!

 We love and miss this boy so much and even though I feel a little further away from from him each year that passes, I know that that's just one more year closer to seeing him.  I love you Austin!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

East Greenbush, NY

For Spring Break this year, we decided to visit my mom out in New York before she moves to Utah in a couple months.  It has been such a bittersweet trip for me so far.  As I walk these halls, so many memories from such an important time of my life has flooded back to my mind and heart.  I moved here during one of the hardest times I'll hopefully ever have to go through.  Austin had JUST died, I found out I was pregnant (with Claire) at a moment I was absolutely not ready for- I wasn't sure if I wanted to have anymore kids at all after losing my baby, Chris had just deployed- which was fine since I wanted nothing to do with him right then anyway, and I was just in a really, really bad place.  

Even with all the bad things going on, I truly found God here.  This was truly MY turning point.  I felt the atonement change my heart here.  This was where I was supposed to be.

  I WANTED to find God and to repent.  Austin was my drive at first, I wanted to get back to him.  That, and all the love and comfort I felt from Heavenly Father during that time.  I needed to be clean- I needed to repent.  I wanted to know if my church was true.  I NEEDED to know.  I remember sitting in my room at this house reading the Book of Mormon for hours and hours everyday.  I would run into my parents room whenever I had a question, and thought, or just read something that spoke to me.  It brought me so much hope.  What a powerful feeling is such a dark moment.  Although it wasn't really a dark moment, the months following Austin's death were awful, but they were FULL of so much light and comfort.  I remember the nights I laid in my bed praying and feeling so enveloped in warmth.  I felt my Saviors love.

I remember after I went through the repentance process, I was sitting in the car filled with the the spirit, knowing that I was forgiven.  I was clean!  The atonement had saved me.  I remember feeling like the Savior was so close to me at that moment.  Like he was giving me a hug.  This all happened here.

As I reflect on that time period, I feel truly blessed.  I changed during those 9 months.  I started my relationship with my amazing, loving Heavenly Father.  I learned how much he loves me and how invested in my happiness he truly is.  While living here I felt closer to heaven than I could have ever imagined.  

This month marks the fourth year of my sweet Austin being gone.  That boy truly changed our whole family.  He touched all our lives in such a huge, lasting way.  He changed me.  I miss him.  My parents selling this house feels like I'm closing another chapter to Austin's book.  I hate feeling like with every passing year I feel further and further away from him.  He's in my thoughts less than he should be.  His memories are fading little by little if I hadn't written them down.  My kids are reminding me of him less and less.  I truly hate it.  I prefer raw sadness and true mourning over this.  I do love that I see the good in his time here instead of focusing on the sadness of him leaving, but I don't know.  I just wish sometimes that I could walk into my house and see my husband and all four of my kids there playing.  I know I'll see my baby boy again, but I want to feel closer to him NOW.  But instead I'm closing another chapter.  I'm leaving another sacred place to my heart.  Another home.  The last home I connect with him.  So yes, it's bittersweet.  I'm so grateful to be here and to remember how I became the Amy I am today, but I am so devastated that once again I have to say goodbye.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lily's Baptism.

Lily's baptism was a beautiful day!  She got to share her special day with her best friend and cousin, Kenzie!  And her Cousin, Maggie, got blessed that day as well!  They even wore matching dresses!  So many people came out to support Lily; Jeff, Cindra, Steve, Karen, Nikki, Emily, Sam, Kate, The Putnam Family, and so many great friends we've made in Grayson ward!  We had everyone sign her new book of mormon so she can always remember who all was there on her special day!

Chris, her dad, was able to preform her baptism and confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint which made it just so much more special!!

I'm so glad Lily decided that the gospel was important enough to her to be Baptized, confirmed a member, and received the Holy Ghost.  Kenzie and her (and Maggie too) looked so beautiful!  

I love how when Chris started saying the Baptism prayer, Lily started holding her breath.  She held her breath throughout the whole prayer so when he finally pulled her out of the baptismal font, she was gasping for air.  It was pretty cute and funny!  I couldn't help but cry, she was so clean in that moment, and watching my loving husband and oldest daughter in the font brought such joy into my heart.  I love my family so much!!  Lily is such an example to me!  She cares so much about others and wants to serve anyone she can.  She has such a happy spirit and I want to be like her when I grow-up!  I'm so impressed by her daily!!  I can't wait to watch her grow in the church, and watch her testimony grow!  I love you so much Lily!!

  I told Lily to write down her baptism experience and her testimony.  I just love both!

"I felt scared when I first learned about Baptism, but I felt like a new person.  Just coming out of the water. It felt like something else.  My jumpsuit was wet and my eyes were red and I felt new.  I was lucky to have such a nice daddy to baptize me.

I believe Jesus Christ is my savior and he watches over me.  I love President Monson he guides my way.  This church is important to us because it helps us learn about him [Jesus].  I listen to conference when I do not go to church.  It is important to listen to the Holy Spirit.
I love these cute scripture bags my mom made!  This is them on the Sunday after their Baptism!

A special thanks to these cute Missionaries for teaches the discussions to the girls!

And to the other girls getting ready to be Baptized this year too!  I'm so glad these girls have such fun friends!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I just want to quickly jot down my feelings of gratitude I have for my family.  I have been so incredibly blessed with parents and sisters who cheer me on, give me the best advice, are the BEST examples, and are my very best friends!  I seriously do not know what I would do without them!  They have seen me at my best and at my very worst and have continually supported me and have just loved me as I love them!

The past few months I have started down a spiral where I had absolutely no motivation or energy.  I was tired all the time and was seriously slacking as a wife, mom, and a general human being.  It was getting bad and everyone around me suffered.

I wanted to change and I prayed constantly for the motivation and drive to do ANYTHING.  It didn't come.  Mostly because I wasn't ready to change.

One day I broke down and vented to my family about how I was watching myself ruining my life, but felt too lazy to stop it.  I couldn't figure out why I couldn't just get my butt up and live!!  I just felt defeated.

My sisters who all could relate at some level decided it was time to do something about it and they figured out a way for us to be accountable to each other everyday to make sure we were taking the steps we needed to be a good wives and moms, live in clean houses, and live positive lives!!  And it is truly working!!  I feel so motivated!  I wake up feeling energized and ready for the day, I am excited to challenge myself and to get stuff done throughout the day, and I spend more time savoring my children's childhoods!  This is truly a life changer for me and I feel so incredibly blessed and happy!!  

This is just a tiny sliver of how much my family rocks, and I don't know why God decided to bless me so fully, but I am sure grateful he did.

My parents, sisters, husband, and kids are gifts in my life that came straight from heaven.  My cup is full.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I don't always celebrate holidays like I should, but I'm always happy and grateful when I do!  I loved spending time with my kids, sister, niece and nephew today!  We finger painted rainbows and then had a rainbow snack!  

Side note: My sister's and I have been challenging each other to become better, and this was just the push I needed!  I'm so grateful for them!!  This holiday would have been me laying in bed watching Daniel Tiger all without them cheering me on!