Thursday, April 27, 2017


It's not often that kids will blow my mind, but this morning my head is spinning with the amount of dynamite that just surged through it.  I can understand kids in Uganda or Ethiopia telling me tales similar to what I just heard, but we live in the United States of America, the land of indoor plumbing, home of the light switches.  What makes it worse, is it happened twice this morning.

Lets back up a few minutes.  My daughter, Holland, was getting ready for school this morning and was running late on time.  She decided that sweet pickles were her solution to a quick breakfast (I agree, sweet pickles should be illegal!  I haven't kicked her out because I'm trying to love her in spite of her bad decisions).  She shoved five or six pickles in a small sandwich bag and we headed out the door for the bus.  As we chat, she chomped, savoring every bite (I tried not to spew at the idea of what was taking place inches away).  A neighbor girl joined us on our commute and declared her love of sweet pickles over dill pickles (this is bad, but believe me, it get's worse).  Soon, the two girls have formed a line in anticipation of filing into the bus.  As the line grew, I asked the boy directly behind Holland his preferred, sweet or dill.  "I've never had a pickle", he confessed.  Silence.  Staring.  "What?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "You've NEVER had a pickle?!  What about a cucumber?"  He denied ever even having a cucumber.  My brains were wreathing in pain, this could not be true, but how should I know?  Convincing myself that this third grader was an exception, I turned to the second grade boy just arriving, "YOU'VE had a pickle, right?"  A confident "Nope" sent shock waves through my body.  As this sad line of children filed toward the halted bus, I turned and stared at the transient flashing through my vision as I walked in awe.  Could this really be?  These kids come from good families.  Yet, they have been deprived of basic essentials for living.  Pickles are necessity in life, if not regularly, at least at Thanksgiving.

Now, I find myself asking the world.  Is this normal?  Have you tried a pickle?  They are on at least half of the fast food hamburgers throughout the world.  Please affirm you've tried a pickle and please proclaim your love for dill.  You cannot say, "It's a dill pickle" with a bread & butter or sweet pickle.  It just doesn't work.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life Events

Life Events
Thursday, May 21, 2015   
I knew I would be writing about this last few months at some time or another.  What I didn’t realize were some of the twists that would be thrown into the mix.  I’ve always found it fascinating that when heading into planned events we always have one picture in our minds of how we expect it to turn out and often times it has similar results but the details are so different.   I guess you could say we are charging through 3 major life events:  Changing careers/buying a business, moving, and having a baby…or at least we thought we were two days ago. 

We are buying a Budget Blinds!  I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  Years ago when one of my friends ditched basketball to open one of these franchises in Missoula I thought she was crazy for opening a business with the name “Budget” in it.  But as I watched it bless her life and the lives of other friends who own their own Budget Blinds franchise in Bozeman, I found myself intrigued…which really didn’t matter because Jaret was only mildly interested.   If he’s not on board then it doesn’t matter what I think.  As time progressed, however, Jaret’s interest grew as he noticed and discussed his biking buddies success in his franchise.   If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my husband who has a numbers job right now, numbers speak to him. 
Jaret has been pretty involved with his current career, calling, and the school board here in Ennis.  It seemed like two years of relentless working hours that kept him barely with his head floating above water.  He took his first week long vaction in December and that’s when the wheels started spinning.  We had previously talked about how the Heber/Park City area would be a fantastic place to open a new Budget Blinds franchise but at the time the two territories were split and we couldn’t afford to buy them both.  Our Missoula friends gave us tips on franchises for sale and so on but none of them seemed to feel like the one to go for.  We also considered Alaska and I was thrilled that our recruiter suggested that Alaska might be a better vacation spot then a permanent home.  Somehow that spoke to Jaret and I had no complaints about giving that option up!  So, the blinds thing was on the table but it was more just a thought and topic of conversation.  After all, we have been discussing this for years.  This time words started to turn into action because the timing was right.   We were already planning on selling our house so we could afford for me to stay home and have another baby, but we also realized that we sell the house and use the money to help us get into this franchise.
We talked to the BB recruiter weekly, called other franchisee’s, Jaret worked a full day with Budget Blinds of Bozeman and was constantly harassing him for information for hours on the phone.   I even spent a day in Bozeman with the office trying to cram as much as possible into my brain.  The amazing Budget Blinds team even agreed upon combining the Park City and Heber territories because of how small the Park City Territory was to start with.  We are really blessed for this to work out and if this territory were on the board as it is now I have no doubt it would have been snatched up before we could get to it! 
Once February rolled around I was pleasantly surprised to see Jaret’s interest increasing.   By March, he was ready to go all in.  Only, he seemed to forget to let me know that part.  He had gotten on me at one point for leaking information because he didn’t want to jeopardize any of his current positions…and in a small town I don’t think that’s hard to do.  So, completely against my nature I tried to deflect questions (feeling like complete liar, even though I never “technically” lied.  I hate doing that.)  Come to find out later, he tells me that he told his boss!  Let’s just say that there was some tension about that one not being discussed beforehand.   BUT, with all the tension that has come from this whole thing, it really has been something that has brought the void that was between us to a close.  We’ve never been closer.  I can only hope it continues. 
At the end of March we took a little couples vacation and flew to California.  We went to a bunch of beaches and to a Budget Blinds Discovery Day.   We loved the whole thing and resolved tons of reservations concerning the business.  We love the team that runs the show and the vision they have for the franchise.   I think that’s were Jaret’s decision was cemented in and he wanted in to this business more then I’ve seen him want anything…accept probably me and our kids ;)  …there was only one problem.  The clock was ticking and the house wasn’t selling.

When we bought our house, two years ago, I made a deal to Jaret that I would work part time for that two years so we could have this nice home/investment.  We agreed we would then sell, so I could stay home and have another kid.  While I was dispatching I learned for myself a few reasons stay at home wifes & mothers were so important and was aching to be home taking care of my family.  So, I quit and have never regretted the financial strain.  In fact, I don’t know how God does it but he has made such a beautiful life for us where I work a few days a month subbing and I teach piano lessons two days a week.  The bills still get paid and I am home with my family the majority of the time.  Well, sort of.  As it turns out, keeping a house clean for showings is a full time job in and of itself.  I clean A LOT.  It’s been really nice to live in such a clean home and has probably dissipated the chaos going on around us.  It took me about nine months to go through everything in the house, plus de-clutter and toss clutter into the storage unit or give it away.   I got some advice from a friend and brought a few decorations into the home and it has made the place shine.  Why didn’t we do that sooner? J
With reasons for selling steadily changing from, “sell to have a baby”, to, “Sell to buy a business”, the pressure was increasing to get this place under contract.  We listed it March 2nd at a fair price in hopes that it would go within the month.  No dice.  April?  Uh uh.   Well, we missed the opportunity to do the end of April training.  Our two next options were mid June or September, and heaven knows we didn’t want to have to wait that long.  So, we called up our agent and bought her lunch.  We chat about some incentives and things we could do to get the house under contract before the month was out and she worked miracles…that day actually.
Our listing agent (Tanya Mattson with Birkshire Hathaway if you’re looking for a good agent) was at the office that same day and answered a call for another agent.  Someone was asking to look at a different property and Tanya pepped up, “Well, don’t you want to see my property on Sunset Court?”  She booked an appointment with them for the following day and by the next week we settled on a cash offer and a closing date of June 8th.   I have no doubt that God was looking out for us.  How could he not be, If the house didn’t sell soon my husband would soon be anorexic due to how often he was fasting and praying for this to happen.  I’ve never seen someone so motivated to sell a house.  He’s been right there cleaning and fixing things up every chance he could get.  I really couldn’t have held it all together without him.  So, the house is supposed to close before the mid June training, we should have a check for the franchise owners, we’ve taken a personal loan out for survival in the first few months, we are looking for a cargo van for the business, and we even found a place to live in Heber!
Finding a place in Heber turned out to be more of a challenge then we realized it would be.  I thought housing would be more affordable in Utah, not more expensive.  You can get into a decent house for under a grand in Ennis.  In Heber the supply of available housing is low and the demand is hi and we found ourselves facing a range between $1500 for low end housing and as high as $2500 for a nicer housing with three Bedrooms and a garage (Planning for the new baby and business office and place to store inventory).  We could have gotten into an apartment for around $1200 but we need a garage to store blinds. Now ya know).  My jaw hit the ground.  We were budgeting for around $1200/month and were not planning on this budget buster.  I guess it’s good we didn’t jump in and buy the brand new van for $30k.  I think we’re going to go for a cheaper alternative to make up the difference. 
Last weekend we set up some appointments to walk through all the options available to us…like 3.  The three options ranged from $1400 to $1950.  Gulp.  The more affordable priced home was not as nice but perfect layout for what we needed.  We were not at the top of their list and we didn’t get the house.  The expensive condo for $1950 (all utilities included) was fully furnished in what felt like retirement community.  We could have taken that but all I could see was my kids destroying the nice furniture.  Last, we were going to take a look at a really nice home for $1875.  I told Jaret.  There is no point in us even looking at this house because I know I’m going to love it and it’s just too high for our budget.   We let the kids play at the park around the corner while we waited for our appointment  and Jaret said, “you’re going to have to do a lot of convincing to get me to commit to this house.”  I didn’t want to convince him though, because I was struggling with my selfish desires of wanting to be in a nice home versus sucking it up in a small place to help us get our feet under us with the business.   We went and looked anyway…and we probably would have taken it if the renters before us didn’t claim it!   The property managers mentioned another home that would be listed soon and gave us the address to drive by.  Deflated, we drove by and saw that the yard was in pretty bad shape…what did that mean for the interior?  The PM’s met us and we briefly chatted about the home but they didn’t have pricing and other details worked out with the owner yet.  We let them know we were interested and would wait to hear from them.  We drove by a few other places that were really expensive or dives and just couldn’t seem to find what felt like the right fit.  We returned to Montana empty handed.  Frankly, it ticked me off.  Mostly because I was torn not knowing if my desires were legitimate concerns for a nice home for our family or selfishness I couldn’t get past. 
Days later we heard back from the nice property managers with information and later with pictures.  The house looked really nice inside and they could get us into it for $1700/month.  After seeing our limited options, getting beat to the punch, and deciding against the ghetto neighborhoods, Jaret and I submitted our applications and were approved!  All we needed to do is send in the deposit…but a twist was in the works that made me question if we still should.  I had a gut feeling I was having a miscarriage.   

It has taken me a long time to have the guts to plunge back into another pregnancy.  After having the girls, I had had such a hard time staying out of a chronic rut that I had finally climbed out of that I could barely stand the thought of going back to the darkness.  The good news is that I knew I would eventually feel better, because I was.  So, in December we had my IUD removed and went on faith from there.  At about the same time I joined a running group.  Although I felt like a tubby marshmallow trudging along behind these ladies, I found motivation to eventually run WITH them someday.  I kept at it and slowing saw myself shedding the laborious pounds I so much wanted to part with.  By March I was really starting to feel good and even signed up for a 12k at the Lewis & Clark Caverns with these sweet ladies.  I did a pre-run of the course and was slow but steady.  I felt pretty good and was extremely motivated!  What I didn’t know at this time in early March was that Buck Buck #3 was growing in my belly.   At the mid to end of March I got a nasty bug that put Jaret and I out of commission for about a week.  I’m not sure what caused the miscarriage but I wouldn’t be surprised if this had anything to do with it.   Regardless, at around the same time, I noticed that I was days past due for my period and a pregnancy test came up positive!  Of course we were thrilled, but I was slightly sad that I have finally started losing weight and now it would have to go on hold.  April proved to have nauseating morning sickness throughout the day that drove me to massive amounts of carbs and ultimately I gained the weight back that I had lost.  Running was back to feeling arduous but I was determined to maintain physical activity during this pregnancy.  I really started feeling better once May arrived and thoughts of eating healthy actually seemed appealing.  My most recent run on Monday felt really good…for the first half.  Then I started experiencing some cramping.  I walked for few minutes but was on a time crunch to pick up my daughter.  I finished strong and feeling a little better.  Overall I was glad I had gone. 
In previous pregnancies I remember being able to feel the ridge of my uterus as it grew with baby inside.  Throughout this pregnancy I kept feeling my tummy but could never really find a distinctive ridge.  My uterus tips back a little so I tried not to worry too much about it but with it being week 11 I was wondering what was up.  My stomach was clearly growing bigger but I gave myself another nice tummy massage trying to find this ridge. Nothing. I asked Jaret to feel and he said he felt the ridge, but I still wasn’t there.  It was the next day when I had some spotting and that evening (Tuesday) I really started to feel some heavy cramping and I knew that it was bad news.  I was thrilled about getting the news of being approved for this new house but if I was having a miscarriage would we really need that third room?  Jaret said we should still go for it and we sent in our non-refundable deposit.  The house is actually something I am so excited about!  It is a 3 Bed, 2 Bath with an unfinished basement so we will have plenty of room.  It backs up to a park and I’ve heard there are lots of kids in the neighborhood!  I loved growing up with lots of friends and I’m so glad that my kids can have a taste of that too. 
I went to bed with strong cramps and awoke the next morning with no relief. A bathroom break proved to be the beginning of quite the “release”.  I ended up spending the next hour in the shower with blood clots and tissue clogging the drain.  I was supposed to be a chaperone for Hollands fieldtrip that day and before the big bleeding fest I was going to gruel through it.  Poor Holland somehow made it past Jaret and saw me with blood running down my legs.  I told her I wasn’t going to be able to go on the field trip with her and that I was sorry.  She asked why I had blood and I had to explain that we wouldn’t be having a baby after all. 
“It died?”, she asked. 
“Yes,” I replied in tears. 
“It’s okay, we can have another one, right?” 
“Yes, we should be able to have another one sweetie.”
“Can I get you some cloths or something? Here is some toilet paper if you need some.”
That’s when she started crying.  I crouched down trying to hide my bloody legs and give her a hug through the shower.  I asked if she was sad about me missing the field trip or about the baby. 
“I’m sad you can’t come on the field trip and that our baby died.”
“Me too sweetie,” I sobbed.
I told Jaret I would just go into the clinic here in town so he could still go to work.  With the amount of blood I was losing I didn’t want to drive into Bozeman feeling light headed.  Jaret took Holland to school and was back informing me he was going to take the day off of work and drive me to Bozeman.  I agreed and tried to find a good stopping point that would allow me to throw something under me to help control the bleeding.  Once I was finally dressed we headed out.  We weren’t able to get into the OBGYN so we headed to the emergency room.  They checked me in and checked me out.  Took an ultrasound and by the time we finally heard back about results we had been there for about four hours.   They recommended a D&C to clean a lot of extra tissue and blood out of my uterus.  The doctor also mentioned that the tissue was very vascular and they wanted to test it to see if it was a form of cancer.  He said the chances were small that it would be the case but we are still waiting for the results.  That’s a little nerve wracking but we are keeping our fingers crossed. If it does come back “Molar”, there is a possibility it could have gotten into my lungs and even brain.  I can’t say that I would like a twist like that to come into the story, so once again, I’m anxiously awaiting results. 
We consented to the D&C and didn’t realize I would have to be put under for the “surgery”.  Poor Jaret was being put through the wringer and said through tears, “I’ve already lost one today, I don’t want to lose another.”  It has been endearing to see how much my husband loves me.  It’s really tough to see each other suffer and I realize that he is going through much of the same thing I am but without the physical affects.  I think it is sometimes harder to see others go through trials then it is to go through them yourself.  We called some friends to assist in administer a Priesthood Blessing and I once again found myself sobbing as my husband could hardly get the words out to ask our buddy for his help.  I remember when Jaret had to have emergency surgery for his appendix and it was excruciating waiting for him to come out of surgery.  I knew Jaret would have to go through the same thing.
By 3pm they had me wheeling through the hall on my bed.  Everything felt surreal. So much so that I felt like I was in a movie.  I’ve never had surgery before.  I said goodbye to my hubby and sweet daughter and off they took me through the maze of hallways.  I secretly wanted them to run with the bed because it would have been fun, but like I would be that lucky.  As they wheeled me into the operating room it totally looked like the movies; everything so clean and stark.  My thoughts went directly to the idea that I would have an out of body experience and find myself hovering above everyone as I watched them work on my motionless body.  I probably freaked everyone out when I revealed my morbid mind but I thought it was funny…and I didn’t end up doing the creepy hovering thing, for the record. 
I didn’t come out of the anesthesia until around 5pm.  I guess I had lost a lot of blood; more then they expected.  Luckily I didn’t have to have a transfusion but they kept me under for a little longer.  When I finally did wake up I seemed to be able to wake up pretty quickly.  They told me that I had lost a lot of blood and put a balloon in my uterus with about a quarter cup of fluid to blow it up.  They were going to keep it in for a while then gradually release it with the hopes that my bleeding would subside.  Happily, it worked. 
All the doctors and staff at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital were very kind to me.  I got teary eyed just because of how kind the admitting nurse was.  I know a lot of people are happy to get out of hospitals as fast as they can, but I think I secretly like the attention and all of the pampering.  I don’t mind being draped with warm blankets, and being fed ice chips because I’m shaking too badly from the anesthetic.  I love having my husband bring me pudding and chocolate milk.  I love being able to chat with nurses with no rush to go anywhere.  I usually stay for as long as I can when I have a kid because it means no cooking or cleaning tugging at my conscience. 
Finally, it was time to go home.  After overcoming my dizziness and being wheeled to my car we said goodbye and headed off for the pharmacy.  I’m not much for drugs…except when they are legitimately needed.  At around 2pm last night they wore off and I could not lay on my stomach or bottom.  Everything was on fire, so I sat on the pot while I waited for the ibuprofen to take charge.  It was very welcome when it finally set in an hour later.
Today has gone well.  I’ve kept up on the meds and the body feels pretty good with a little soreness here and there.  What would I do without drugs, eh?  I’ve been flooded with support from friends and family and the day has flown by.  I keep asking myself how I feel about everything and I often times can’t figure it out.  I’m so sad that we won’t be having our baby.  I have hope that we will be able to try again soon and hopefully have some good news again within the year.  I feel blessed to have such amazing support from my friends and family.  Even my little daughters keep asking if I’m feeling better.  All of the support has made this challenge so much easier.  I’m not sure if more sadness will set in later.  I woke up and shed a few tears and I find myself tearing up once in a while.  But what I’m most surprised to feel it peace and calm.  It kind of feels out of place for such a circumstance, to feel so calm.  Shouldn't I be bawling my eyes out for this heart wrenching situation?  I dunno.  I’m not.  I’m sad, but okay. 
I am trying to see some of the positive things that will come with this sudden change.  I felt that my weight loss journey was cut short when I found out I was expecting.  Since I have a second chance to attack the fat I am hoping to maintain the motivation to really make some progress.  Since we are moving, I’m also excited to get out and do some hiking and exploring with the girls and my man.  I want to step it back up with my running.  I also see this as an opportunity to help my hubby get this business running.  I think he is going to have his hands absolutely full and I can be a huge help in lightening the burden. 
All in all, I feel that God has strengthened me in my trials.  I see His hand in the timing of selling our home, finding a rental, moving before Jaret has to go off for his two week training and even in this miscarriage.  I have a feeling that this business is going to be much more difficult than I’m realizing and I just don’t know if the hormones of pregnancy would produce a sane, supportive wife.  I dunno the reasons for having this miscarriage, but I do feel that God is in control of my life and there are good reasons for why He leads it in the direction He does.  I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father and all He has blessed me with.  I really do hope that within a few months we can receive happy news that we are expecting again.  In the mean time I’ve got PLENTY of distractions to keep me occupied. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thank you, dear God, for the Fleas

I watched "Ephraim's Rescue" twice yesterday and I've been reading "The Hiding Place". Here are two sets of people who were put through very physical, emotional and spiritual trials.  They were stalwart believers who not only sustained their faith in God, but increased it. As I have thought about these people's gruesome and challenging experiences I have been perplexed by the caliber of their perspective in the midst of their trials.  

The pioneers who looked to God in faith and gratitude were strengthened in their trials.  They saw miracles on the trail but more importantly they kept their faith when they were given hunger, cold, weakness, and even death.  Why??  Why would a loving God put such worthy believers through such gruesome trials? Why not their persecutors?  Why not the unbelievers?  

I've often found myself wanting to progress but avoiding the prayers that plead for it.  I want so badly to become a tool for good in Gods hands.  I want to be the kind of person who turns from selfishness and follows a prompting to answer some weary friends prayers.  I want to be the shoulder to cry on, a compassionate listener.  I want to be able to instantly love people so that they feel Gods love through me.  But, regardless of what I want, I have once again found that I shirk having to go through the trials to get it.  Trials are hard and painful.  I often don't like who I see when those trials come.  I complain.  I'm easy to anger.  I get depressed and stagnant.  I avoid praying for humility because the last time I did I went through a dark period that was so piercing that I can hardly stand the idea of going back.  

So, why would God put a people who saved up, left their riches and their homes and their friends and even families, through having to bury their husbands and children?  Why would he make them walk through ice cold rivers in the snow and force them to trudge on through the snow in their wet cloths? 

In "The Hiding Place", the author, Corrie Ten Boom, explains that she was brought up by a God fearing father who read and lived the scriptures and gospel of Jesus Christ how he knew it.  His devoted and faith created family community of love and sacrifices.  Corrie and her sister, Betsy, found themselves as political prisoners after helping the underground movement to save Jews.  In the concentration camp, the two sisters found their living quarters infested with fleas.  Corrie's reaction was most similar to what mine would have been.  Thank goodness for Betsy.  When they arrived in the new "home" Betsy encouraged Corrie to say a prayer of gratitude.  Corrie prayed in gratitude for the place to sleep, that they could be together as sisters, and for their little Bible they were able to smuggle in. Betsy encouraged Corrie to pray for the fleas, "Oh no, Betsy.  Not for the fleas!".  Betsy explained to her sister that God had provided this place for them.  All of it. Including the fleas. "Thank you, dear God, for the fleas."  

I don't blame Corrie for not wanting to thank God for the fleas.  If I were her I would by lying to God to thank him for something I loathed.  What good can come from an unsanitary, blood sucking parasite that can only cause grief and annoyance to say the least?  I love this book, though.  It has opened my eyes to a newer and deeper way of gratitude.  Corrie and Betsy enjoyed uninterrupted daily sermons and spiritual meetings in their home.  Corrie later found out that the reason for this was because the soldiers didn't want to go near the housing for the fear of the fleas!  To my amazement, and to Corries, the fleas really were a blessing and a circumstance that Heavenly Father prepared for these prisoners.  Although there were afflicted by many trials, they were strengthened by the word of the Lord.  The large majority of people who were put through such trials during World War II were God fearing people.  Through their trials they were nudged to turn toward their creator for peace and refuge.  Those who turned, found Him.  

So, why suffer good people to be thrown into concentration camps?  Why allow them to be tortured and torn up by fleas and the Nazi's?  Why send faithful saints on a bitter trail with the onset of an early winter?  I believe Heavenly Father gives us trails, even the ones we do not yet understand, because this is how we become.  We become more like Him. He will bless us with an added measure of patience.  He will soften our hearts and bless us with Love for our enemy's.  Our trials accelerate our path to perfection.  So, we tell ourselves, "I could never do that".  We tell ourselves that we would be too bitter, and too selfish to do what "they" did.  Although some were bitter and selfish, I imagine the majority who kept trying were able to look back and see how far they had come.  They had become more like God and He used them as a tool for good to strengthen the weary and bring hope to the discouraged.  Do I dare say that these people have been given the ultimate blessing for progression? More so then those of us who live in luxury and comfort? (Matthew 19:24 - it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God).  I realize now that it is essential for me to plead for these trials, then to put my trust in Him and stay with Him as He guides me to be a light unto the weary and to become like Him.  I just might be happier through those circumstances then by living my current selfish, unfulfilled life.  I am looking back at those trials in my life and I'm going to make a list of reasons those trials were essential in my growth.  I'm going to try to be grateful for my trials.

Yes.  "Thank you, dear God, for the fleas."  I do not yet understand my trials, but I pray that when I finally do I will be able to look back and know that I put my trust in Thee even without knowing why.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I'm feeling overwhelmed but determined.  I quite my job at the Sheriff's office because it was too hard on me and on my family. It was a very hard decision and there is a lot I miss about it but each time I've found myself asking the question, "Did I do the right thing." I've felt, "yes".  I'm at peace with it...especially with all that is going on at home.  I am still working two days a week at Sugar High and Madison Valley Arts but lucky for me I can pick my days and hours.  It's got to be done, but I sure appreciate the idea more now then I used to of being able stay home full time with the kids and get the house clean.

I've appreciated my time of from the Sheriff's office and the same week I finished up there I was released as the Primary President for our Branch.  With the massive work load relief I feel like I've been able to regroup a little bit and take my anxiety back down to a normal level.  The month of June was sooooooooo so so crazy for me. I was working at the Sheriff's Office 2 days per week, Jamberry, Sugar High & Madison Valley Arts on top of being the Primary President, going to a Jamberry Conference, and having our family reunion. Jaret had an employee quit on him so he has not only been doing his 50hrs/week job but her 40hr job on top of that. The anxiety level was so high for us that I could often feel it in my chest for days at a time.

July has been busy enough but not quite as crazy.  This past week I have finally felt mostly normal!  Yay!  I even jumped in and taught the youth Sunday School lesson and Young Womens last minute yesterday. That's a big deal because I've been so tunnel vision that doing anything outside of that tunnel has been non-existent.
So, why am I overwhelmed? In spite of having a few weeks off from my major church responsibilities (I've still been embarrassing myself by playing the piano and just took on being responsible for making sure the missionaries get fed) I was just given another calling. I can't "divulge" the info yet because I haven't been sustained and set apart but I'm excited and overwhelmed at the same time.  So, I have a new major calling, I am the Sacrament Pianist, I'm in charge of missionary feedings, I am a Team Manager for Jamberry and am still trying to keep up with the daily responsibilities of that business. I am trying to be a landscaping maniac and recently moved over 170 yards of dirt, seeded 10,000 sq/ft to grow a beautifully grassy yard and planted 17 trees in rocky soil.  I am trying to get my almost five year old ready for Kindergarten, play with my kids and make sure they feel loved, and I just want to deep clean and organize my house...but is that likely to happen?  I hope so!  I am determined!

Going to Jamberry Conference was surprisingly one of the most uplifting and inspiring things I've done!  I was surprised to leave with such a load of excitement, encouragement and tools to having a more positive attitude!  I am using what I learned to make my life a success instead of just surviving.  One of those things is having positive mantras and here are some of mine today: I am a doer. I have God's help and I rely on Him.  Everything is going my way! I am happy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Montana Law Enforcement Academy

I just returned from a week at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy!  I had to go in order to certify as a dispatcher for the State.  I was a little apprehensive about going.  The unknown can be intimidating.

I set off for the academy Sunday afternoon after working an early shift.  Thanks to modern technology I safely found my way to this new adventure through the back roads and snow covered gravel.  I arrived relieved that I didn't find my way into a ditch while in the middle of the beautiful know where.  After checking in I headed to my room to find what would be my (and four other lady's) biggest shock of the week.  I expected to be staying in what can be mistaken for a "small jail cell" - minus the bars.  You can imagine our surprise when the five of us (Brooke, Barb, Deb, Susanna, and I) found ourselves in a large room with six beds and five small office cuticle dividers.  "Where is my jail cell?!", I thought. "I want my jail cell!  Where's my privacey?".  In addition to our exposed beds we were each assigned a small 2x3 locking coat closet. As new roomies, we all looked around at our beds and at each other.  I'm pretty sure the phrase, "Are you kidding me" was used repeatedly.  Nevertheless, we picked up our jaws off the floor and made up our beds with minimal complaints.

All the dispatchers were welcomed to join PT (Physical Training) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings if they were interested.  Monday morning came too early but I headed over to the gym. I wasn't surprised to find myself as the only dispatcher in attendance at 5:30am.  I WAS surprised, on the other hand, to find that my workout was with about 50 law enforcement officers in training.  I threw my shoes on and jumped into the action and felt like I kept up alright. One of the deputies in training even thought I was going to be a State Trooper. That was cool, I guess.  There were about 25 different stations set up for pairs to rotate into every thirty seconds.  Although I am out of shape I found the workout refreshing and I was sore each time I attended. I sure do wish I could take the class home to motivate me to get in shape!

After getting ready for the day we headed to class.  Our daily schedule was basically 8am-5pm give or take. Our instructor, Roxanne, set the tone for the week.  She was enthusiastic, funny, informative, and caring. She shared some meaningful thoughts and asked for volunteers to open Tuesday morning.  Our eyes locked and I found myself with a small stack of books to glean my inspiration from.  I really enjoyed our classes for the day.  Our first class was on ethics.  Although, I enjoy learning technical topics once in a while I have found that my interest in how to interact and get along with people is growing.  Any classes that are based on values, human interaction and psychology are really intriguing to me and I was happy to find several of these types of courses throughout the week.

Tuesday was an interesting day.  I shared my thoughts to the class about the importance of us loving and potentially making a difference to callers and it seemed to go over well.  I am very grateful for the public speaking training I've been given through church and school because it has really raised my confidence level when I get in front of people.  In fact, I really enjoy public speaking if it's a topic I am interested in.

Our diversity class was stimulating.  Roxanne shared a video about a teacher who did an experiment on her class quite a few years ago.  This experiment is something that no teacher in the US would get away with in our day.  She decided to divide the class against each other based on their eye color.  One day the blue eyed kids were superior and the next the brown.  As I watched this experiment I found myself filled with many emotions and questions. I guess I wasn't the only one because the class was filled with hot and cold emotions and I think it even ended that way.  Over all I appreciate mind bogglers, things that get the wheels in my head spinning.

By the end of the week we were all ready to go home but it was sad to say our goodbyes.  I connected with all of my roomies and enjoyed getting to know them.  We had some extreme laughs often and it felt good to let loose and be myself.  I felt very accepted and was surprised that I didn't see an ounce of drama from any of the 25 ladies attending the academy.  How cool is that?

I'm grateful for the things I learn and the friends I made.  It was hard on my family, especially Holland while I was gone. Poor Holland has asked me several times since then to ask my boss to not let me work so much.  That's been really tough on me but I think I will work a few less hours in the near future when our trainee's are ready to go.

In spite of rough times life is good and I am blessed.  Can't complain about that!

It seems to me that it's people that make or break the fun times.  My apprehension turned to "you've got to be kidding me" after I arrived and saw where I would be staying.  I was told I would have something similar to a jail cell - minus the bars.  When I, and four others, arrived we were surprised to find ourselves in a large room with six beds and a couple small dividers similar to work cuticle dividers.  The extent of our privacy was limited to 2x3 foot closets that we could lock our valuables in.  We shared a community bathroom with four toilets and six showers with 28 other women.  When we (Brooke, Deb, Barb, Susanna, and I) all arrived and looked around our jaws were on the floor and we agreed that this was not we had expected.  Although we were caught off guard, no one really complained.  We all set up our beds and unpacked a few belongings and headed off to orientation.

Our instructor, Roxanne, set the tone for the week.  She was enthusiastic, funny, informative, and caring.  She gave us the down low on the week and sent us on our way for the evening.

The first evening I found myself a little surprised at how early my new roommates retired to bed. 8:30 seemed pretty early to me but I didn't mind since I was planning on getting up early to work out.  I think I hit the sack by 9:30 and was up at 5:10 for PT (Physical Training).  I was told that there would be some future cops doing stations and anyone was welcome to join them.  When I arrived I didn't find a FEW.  I found around 50 ...and I was late.  I didn't really mind since I wasn't being graded and I knew how out of shape I was.  So, I hopped into a vacant spot and got at it.  The training wasn't as difficult as I expected but I was still pretty sore the next day.

She shared a meaningful story and asked if anyone was interested in sharing something the next morning.  Somehow her eyes locked on mine and I found myself preparing a thoughtful message for the next morning.  

17 Miracles

As I watched the movie "17 Miracles" with Holland today, I bawled.  The bawling part comes as no surprise to me, those poor pioneers were put through h.....well, you know what I mean.  The part that caught Jaret and I off guard was Holland.  She wanted to watch it. She sat next to me and watched the whole thing.  I can't believe how grown up she is and how much she understood. She asked questions and we talked about the many miracles.  I even ran an ice cube down her poor leg to help her get an idea of how cold it was for the men to carry people across the river for hours.  Numerous times throughout the show I cried.  As tears where flowing down my cheeks Holla ran and grabbed a tissue for me.  Our little Holla is such a sweet heart and so thoughtful.

Part way through the movie I saw an eye lash on Holla's cheek. I told her to make a wish.  Do you know what she wished for?  She wished that the people in the movie would feel better.  My little girl is finding a lot of opportunities to pluck at my heart strings.  I feel so blessed to be taught by such a thoughtful toddler full of innocence and love. I really enjoyed watching this "grown up" movie with my smart little munchkin.  It was just the cup of tea I needed. I love you Holla balla.  I hope to have similar experiences with my little Brookie in the near future.  Love my girls.

I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and his tender mercies that remind me of not only how blessed I am but what others have sacrificed to bring us so many of the blessings we enjoy.  From freedom to doctrine I find myself amazed at the selflessness that many possess.  It's a great example to me and makes me want to be a better person, complain less, serve more and simply be grateful for what I have.  I really have lucked out in this good ol' life of mine...even though luck really has nothing to do with it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Miss You Already!


I've been with Madison County Sheriff's Office for about seven months now.  I've gone through the miserable graveyard shift, the okay swing shift, and the desirable day shift.  I'm still alive.  I'm trying to keep other people alive. I GOT MY BADGE!!!  I had a training badge earlier but at our last work meeting all of my coworkers had to write up a paragraph on why I should or shouldn't get me permanent badge. I prepared myself to hear about all of my mistakes and was pleasantly surprised to hear nice things from my coworkers and boss.  It was unanimous, I earned my badge!  A couple of days later I was "sworn in" by the Sheriff.  It was a fun experience and brought a lot more meaning to gaining my permanent badge.

It's LE Academy Day! After I get off of my shift in dispatch today I will be headed to Helena to dedicate my life (for a week) to learning all the in's and out's about dispatching.  7 months ago when I accepted this job as a communication officer I thought going to the Law Enforcement Academy for a week would be a breeze.  Now that I'm facing it I'm finding it hard to go due to ... family.

First off, I live in the rural town of Ennis.  I don't get a lot of visitors up here.  My sister, Callie, and her family were thinking of coming up for Presidents Day Weekend.  Oh, wait.  That's this weekend.  Yeah, I had to turn them away from the Ennis Inn because I won't be around to see them.  Lucky for me they just miss me sooo much that they rearranged their plans to come right after I get back!  Wahoo!  I'm not sure who will make it to my house first this next weekend - the Davis Family or me.

I feel like I've been working a lot lately and haven't had a lot of time to see my hubby and kids.  We went out together for Valentines Day and had a good time at the bowling alley a couple of days ago and now I am leaving them.  As I was tucking my little girls in last night I announced that I would be gone for a week.  "How many days is that?", asked Holland. I show her 6 fingers.  "THAT'S A LOT".  Holland ended up bawling almost uncontrollably and I had no idea of how to console her because everything I was trying was not working.  I eventually sang her a song and she seemed to calm down a little knowing daddy could still sing the song to her.  It really pulled at my heart strings.  Holland has been pretty emotional lately and I feel some guilt because I could have to do with the lack of time and attention I've had to give to her lately.  : (

I also feel bad leaving Jaret for a week.  He has a lot on his plate let alone being a single father.  He has been such a sweet heart and so patient with me working crazy hours.  He has plenty of reason to complain but instead he has been totally supportive.  He's a good husband.

Speaking of Jaret being a sweet husband, he surprised me with flowers and pizza at work the day before V-Day.  It was not only perfect timing because I was starving but his thoughtfulness meant a lot to me.  I love red roses!  He topped it off with bringing chocolates home for me and the girls on the night of V-Day.  What a sweetheart!  I love him :)

I've only been at work a few hours and I miss my family already.  For the first time going away isn't so much a vacation it is actually proving to be pretty hard on me.  I know we will all be fine though.


Jaret's goal this year is to save up for a decent 4 wheeler. He's been so excited about how much we've been able to set aside in the last few months that he's got his radar up for the perfect deal.  We still have a ton to save but it's fun to see him so excited about something.  I've been putting him to work full time with his job and the kids and he doesn't get a chance to get out as much as he deserves.  Hopefully he will come upon the perfect deal and have a chance to get out and enjoy it this summer!

We got the girls bunk beds!  We asked around and found some used bunk beds a little over a month ago. We (well, Jaret mostly) painted them white and got new bed sets for the girls.  They are seriously loving them.  The girls had some friends over for a Valentines Party the other day and I had no idea what an entertaining hit they would be!  Holland thought it would be funny to squeeze between the mattress and bars and get stuck yesterday so now I have to worry about that.  I told her not to do it again (this is while I'm putting them down for bed last night) and because I helped her get out the first time she squeezed right back in again.  She was pretty irate when I made her figure out how to get herself out a few minutes later when she thought it would be funny to do it again.  I felt bad because I didn't help her get out the second time. I had to see if she could get out on her own so I didn't have to worry that she's going to get herself stuck and get hurt while I'm gone.  After her screeching performance she figured out a way to pull herself out I don't think she will intentionally do it again. I have to say I was impressed and relieved she could pull herself up. Whew!

The girls as they get ready to "help" us paint.

Our little helpers

Finished Product

We put up some fun little stickers for the girls

We didn't actually see Rio 2.  This was when we took the girls to see Frozen and they LOVED IT!  I'll put the disney station on Pandora once in a while and the girls get so excited when each song comes on.  They have to run up to the ipod and see the picture and guess the disney character.  They especially get excited when the Frozen songs come up! 


Holland is our little creative chef.  She is constantly preparing thoughtful meals for mommy, daddy and sister.  If we left her all by herself I'm confident she would survive longer then a lot of the teenagers out there. Above, are a couple different breakfasts she whipped up.

This is a tea party Holland worked hard to prepare.  She used our old fingernail polish to write on the plates and cups and she served punch.  She's just too cute for words!


What do you say to something like this?  Nothing.  
(If you're wondering, it's toothpaste)


Part of what has been taking a lot of my spare time has been my new hobby. Many know that I gladly got sucked into being a Jamberry consultant.  I know, me selling Jamberry is hilarious. I'm such a tomboy and every time I show people how to apply Jams at parties I almost start laughing because it's me!  I'm such a tom boy and here I am (insert sexy voice) "applying elegant and decorative nails for beautiful women to flaunt".   I actually feel like an idot but I don't mind.
The second reason it's kind of funny that I'm selling Jamberry nails is the fact that this is a mult-level marketing company.  Anyone who knows how I feel about multi-level marketing knows that I hold a deep despise for most of those companies. I can't stand it when people try to ruin friendships, pretend to start friendships, or abuse friendships just in order to sell you something.  Half the time with these schemes people are trying to sell you the get rich quick scheme and they can't even tell you anything appealing about their crappy product...if you can figure out what the product even is.  I've had "acquaintances" call me up and ask me to go to lunch and make me feel like I might actually have a friend out there (lol) only to find they're simply using me to try and sell their load of crap.  What do I look like to these people?  Obviously not a friend.  I'm an easy,naive target.  Not cool.  So, just to ensure I'm not incriminating myself, I don't believe that all multi-level companies are bad.   I have been ALRIGHT in the past with some direct selling companies that have quality products.  I just don't like being expected by friends to buy if I'm not interested.
Anyway, here's how I became a hypocrite and joined Jamberry:  One November day I find myself browsing Facebook. I see a post about Jamberry and am intrigued.  I can't remember a thing about the post itself except that it was too good to be true and I could get a free sample.  I ordered the sample with skepticism.  When it arrived I expected this little nail wrap to either be a pain in the butt to apply or fall off in a day or two. I was surprised because the application was actually very simple and I kept my sample on for over three weeks! I LOVED IT!!!  I kept eyeing the cute Jam designs and dropped plenty of hints to Jaret to get me some for Christmas.  Being the fabulous and observant husband he is he got me some!  He actually gave them to me early so I could apply them before heading down to see family for Christmas.  In my excitement I applied them and then couldn't wait to apply them on my mom and sister once I got to Utah. The designs I had were adorable but I wanted MORE.  So, Jaret encouraged me to sign up as a hobbyist to get the discount ... only because he likes it when I do my nails (which is never).
I bought my kit and thought I would do a few parties to earn the money back I paid for my kit.  I threw my first in-home party.  I was so touched with the support I received from my friends and coworkers.  It meant a lot to me to have them come to my Jammin' Party.  In fact, I had such a good time that I found myself wanting to throw more parties for those who offered to host.  Something that has been good about doing Jamberry already has been the opportunity to meet more people in Ennis. I've had a difficult time breaking into the friend market here and selling Jamberry has given me opportunities to meet more people and make more friends.  Yes please!  So, it is now a month and a half later and I'm still at it.  I love all the people I've met, the Jams I've earned/worn and I definitely wont complain about the commission.  Who knows where it will go from here but I'm enjoying myself.  I just hope my friends give me a kick in the pants if I'm annoying them ;)

I've really enjoyed the mommy and me time I've had with the girls when we do our nails together.  Jams sure beats the smudging fingernail polish that we usually try.  My only quam is that Brooklyn immediately puts her fingers in her mouth and starts chewing them off.  Holland's stay on for quite a while though.  They are always asking me to put them on their fingers.  Holland even asked me before I left for the week to put some on her but I didn't get to it.  I feel like such a bad mom.  We'll have to do it when I get back.

Anyway, here are some of our pics!  The first pics are of Holland from a few dif. times.
Brooklyn's Fingers and Toes

Some of my Jams

This pic may lead to my hubby to leaving me.  I did a horrible job of painting his toes!  Lol. 

(Sorry Jaret, I had to post it)

I guess that's it for now.  Lots of stuff going on all over the place but here's a break ;)

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Holland is such a sweet heart. I took the girls on a trip to Utah for my Grandpas funeral last weekend. I brought a huge bag full of peanut butter cups to bribe them with. I was pretty generous w my bribes and the girls were great. It got to a point where Holland started saving her treats in a small wooden jewelry box. I would give her reward for being good and she would stash it away.

Throughout the week when we would drive places she would carry her box with her and share with Brooklyn once in a while. She continued to save most if them until we arrived at Day Care yesterday. She wanted to share all of her treats w her friends. I didn't think she would have enough for her friends so I had her keep them in the car. She pulled them out again today when Brooklyn refused to share her treat. She had three left. After eating two she turned to me with her last one and gave it away.

I am impressed with her desire to share with others. Jaret said that he bought a small package of 4 cookies yesterday and said Holland could have 2 and the other two were for me when I would get home. Holland offered one of her two cookies to Jaret. What a sweet heart.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sparkly Bra

This morning Holland noticed that one of my bras had a few small sparkles on it. She complimented it and told me how pretty it was. Then she expressed her desire to have one like that. I told her she probably would someday when she's as tall as me. She just came up to me with her shirt off and pointed at her nipples saying, "Mom, I think they're getting bigger". This girl crack me up. She's so stinking cute!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

RIP Hero

Four months ago, If anyone would have asked me if it was possible for me to grow attached to a dog they would have heard a firm NO. No questions asked.

Today I came to find out just how attached I became to our little puppy. He tragically passed while Jaret and I were at work. We are devastated.

With Hero being my first dog ever, he has set the bar so high that its impossible to imagine we could ever get such a perfect little puppy ever again. Sure, he ticked me off once in a while but Jaret and I agreed that for each step back Hero took two steps forward. He was the perfect companion for each one of us.

Last Christmas, Jarets sister offered us a puppy. It took a lot of convincing from multiple people for Jaret to finally get his dream dog but we picked Hero up in March. Jaret had always wanted a dog he could take hiking, biking, and fishing. He was that and more. Jaret loved coming home from work and playing fetch and rough housing with Hero. They cuddled while watching movies. They ran errands together and Hero even went to young men's activities.

Hero was the girls best playmate and victim. They ran in the fields together, played fetch, rolled all over and jumped on him. Holland was constantly tying him up and I don't think Brooklyn could touch him without torturing him...and he took it well. He entertained the kids when they were board.

For me, Hero helped me realize I don't need to be afraid of all dogs, its ok to pet them and even let them sit on my lap. He hardly shed, had a stinkin cute bat face, hardly barked, was great with kids, wasn't too big or too small, and was pretty easy to train. He entertained my kids and husband. He welcomed me home every time I walked through the door and was always excited to go places with me.

Hero- If you can read in dog heaven you should know that Jaret, the kids, and I love you. We are sorry for the moments we took for granted and most of all grateful for the moments we had with you. You enhanced the happiness in our home and you will be missed. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. We wish we could have you back. We will miss the constant attention you attracted on walks, your excitement to be around people and other dogs, your companionship, kisses and all around personality. No words can say what you mean to us, but you probably know. Thanks for being our Hero for a little while. Love US.