Russ and I have been scanning a lot of our pictures onto the computer lately. Russ has kind of made it his mission to try and do any kind of family history work he can, and we have felt the need to document our lives and the lives of our families throughout the past years. I have been going through piles and piles of pictures and it is so much fun! They bring back so many memories from the past! So, what I would like to do is start posting some of my favorites on my blog and tell a little bit about my history and my family. Maybe, someday in the future, the little bits that I can do here and there will be worth something to the future generations. At least I know we will be able to pass down memories to our children and grandchildren and so on.
The first two photos are quite recent.(scroll down to next post to see them) They were taken on October 23, 2004, when Russ and I were married! It was truly a great day! I will always, always treasure my wedding day. We had so many friends and family who attended and celebrated with us. The first picture is of me and my sisters, Haylee, Alisha, and Emma. I love this picture! There is nothing better than sisters. We grew up together experiencing great trials. And when Alisha and I left as adults, Emma and Haylee grew up together experiencing great trials.
Words cannot express the emotional hurt and pain we went through, the things we had to see and hear, the desperation we felt at times, the depression, anger, tears we cried, loneliness we felt, confusion, and so much more. But one thing remains true to this very day...we found the strength from deep within to withstand the storms of life, to move on with life and not let the past take away from the happiness that each person should be privileged to have. Too many statistics probably said we were all destined to fail because of the life we were subjected to. The odds were against us in so many ways and sometimes it felt like the more frantic we were to climb out of the darkness, the deeper we plunged down.
I decided a long time ago that I would not become another statistic. I could prove that my spirit and soul and life was worth something better than the life I went through because of the actions of people I could not control. There were so many moments when we were practically spat upon and called every swear word and bad name, and combination of the two, that a person could think of. I remember being told that I was worthless...good for nothing. Some children, if they hear it enough, start to believe it. I wondered sometimes if I could live through another day. There were times I wanted to run away and never come back, but I could never leave my brothers and sisters behind. Emma and Haylee were so small, their lives so precious to me. Who would protect them? And yet, there came a time when I did have to leave them. I wish now I could have taken them with me so they didn't have to suffer more. Life is never free from trial and tribulation, and we have to allow even our loved ones to experience both the good and bad.
When I look at this picture of me and my sisters, it reminds me of so much more than a celebration of my wedding day. It should be a reminder of triumph over adversity. I am not another statistic. I will not become an alcoholic because my predecessors were, I will not become a drug addict because my parents were, I will not emotionally or physically abuse my children because that is what I experienced, I will not allow myself to be more likely to get a divorce because of my parents failed marriage....too many people could use these as an excuse for their behavior and mistakes but they are not my excuses. Everyday I make a choice as to what kind of person I am going to be. The second picture is of me and my dad. Maybe someday I can tell a little more about him. My dad has lived a hard life. There was a time when he was more of a monster than he was a man. My dad has overcome great obstacles too. He has made mistakes. Even though we suffered greatly from choices he made, I have found peace and forgiveness. He is a much better man now. There is always hope. My dad is a fighter and my sisters and I can be fighters too. We can fight for the right to be happy. We can always become better. The late President Gordon B. Hinckley said what is mirrored in my heart:
"Now, brethren and sisters, let us return to our homes with resolution in our hearts to do a little better than we have done in the past. We can all be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more thoughtful of one another. We can be a little more tolerant and friendly to those not of our faith, going out of our way to show our respect for them. We cannot afford to be arrogant or self-righteous. It is our obligation to reach out in helpfulness, not only to our own but to all others as well. Their interest in and respect for this Church will increase as we do so.
Let us continually work to strengthen our families. Let husbands and wives cultivate a spirit of absolute loyalty one to another. Let us not take one another for granted, but let us constantly work to nurture a spirit of love and respect for each other. We must guard against faultfinding, anger, and disrespect one for another.
Parents, safeguard your families. Bring up your children in light and truth as the Lord has commanded. Shower them with love, but do not spoil them. Share your testimony with them. Read the scriptures together. Guide and protect them. You have no greater blessing and no greater responsibility than those whom the Lord has placed in your care. Pray together. There is no substitute for family prayer when all kneel together before the Lord.
Let us be a people of honesty and integrity, doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances.
Great are our blessings. Tremendous is our responsibility. Let us get on our knees and plead with the Lord for direction. Then let us stand on our feet, square up our shoulders, and march forward without fear to enlarge among people everywhere the righteousness of the Lord." President Gordon B. Hinckley (April General Conference 1999 )
Okay, so I have read a few other blogs where you write about six quirks you have. They were very entertaining for me so I thought I would write down six of mine! Russ seems to think that I have MANY quirks about me that he just can't understand, so here goes...
#1. I am what Russ calls the "Volume Nazi" at our house! There are many noises I can tolerate, but t.v. noise really grates on my nerves! Why is it that the volume can be on a reasonable level during a show, but when the commercials come on, the volume is twice as loud? And I can't stand the annoying music many commercials use that is loud and obnoxious! Can't we have them with no music or background noises? So...I have become the volume Nazi! In essence, when the television is on, it is always too loud, and I am constantly saying things like, "Hello...it's a bit loud, eh?" "Seriously, if you turn it up again, I'm going to smash the screen with a hammer!" (this being said on my bad days!)BUT, I have trained my husband well, and he can now vary the degrees of volume according to what is going on, and he does it much to my acceptance!
#2. I have a fetish for grooming. Explanation: I cannot stand to see Russ, Anna, Carter, or family member, friend, or stranger with ungroomed hair, finger nails, toe nails, dirty face, ear wax, eye boogies...you get the point? I am constantly grabbing my kids and locking them in my mommy-death-grip to scrub a face, clean and clip finger nails or toe nails, fixing hair, and so on! No one in my family can get away unscathed!
#3. I cannot stand for things to be out of place. I despise clutter and am constantly putting away the piles that Russ creates for his weird and odd purposes! If I walk into a room and notice something that is not supposed to be there, I can't stop thinking about it until it is where it belongs! If I have to wait to do the dishes, I can't stand to have the dirty dishes all in disarray on the counter tops and in the sinks. I always tell Russ that if there has to be a mess, it at least has to be an organized mess! So, I even have to organize the dirty dishes just so, stacked just so, and then I am okay! Weird quirk? You tell me!
#4. I hate walking on the kitchen floor barefoot and stepping on a crumb or on the minuscule tiny organic materials that gather from everyday activity! Ooh, I get SO annoyed! So, usually I have to wear socks or slippers everywhere! But If I step in something wet in socks.....
#5. I can't go a day without showering and washing my hair. There are many very clean and hygienic people out there who do not shower everyday, and I think that is all fine and dandy, but it will drive me crazy if I do not shower every single morning! I have tried, believe me, but I end up crumbling and jumping in the shower mid-day because my scalp feels funny! And I can't stand that yucky smell a person's scalp gives off when it starts to get oily....ugh....oily head smell!
#6. There is a huge difference when I cook a meal and when Russ cooks a meal. While I am cooking, I wash and clean what I can in the process, and always put everything away after I use it. If a splatter gets on the stove top, crumbs fall on the counter, a drip in the sink, I always have to wipe it all clean! I am very methodical and organized in my own quirky way! When Russ cooks, I can barely stand to not intervene! It looks like chaos to me, with pots and pans all over, food here and there, crumbs and splatters galore....aaaaahhhh.....it's my nightmare! But, I am very thankful to have a husband who cooks for our family, so I try not to let it drive me utterly crazy!
Now that I am done, I feel like the quirkiest quirk there is! Like some have said, maybe it is obsessive compulsive disorder...who knows....I am just glad we all have our quirks about us! Makes life more interesting! So....share your quirks with me!
I know I don't comment enough on the blogs I love, but comments are the best! Some of you have made my day by your simple comment. Thank you for those who have taken the time. Be a follower and if you have time, take a moment and share your thoughts with me.
Those who make my heart happy:
Anna Belle-9 years old!
Carter John- 7 years old!!
Kya Lyn- almost 4 years old!
Brennen James- 2 years old!
Married 10 years this October!
BEING HAPPY doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.