Good Timber + Free Printable

4/07/2014

The room felt chilly, and looked different with the early morning sunlight streaming through the window. It now seemed bright, small, and bare. The cold dark floors were anything but inviting, and the constant beeping gave me anxiety. But I was only focused on one thing in that room, and it was my daughter, laying in a hospital bed.

drowning

 The sweet nurse quietly but quickly pulled up a chair which allowed me to sit next to Preslee. As I held her hand, I replayed yesterdays events in my mind, still trying to make sense of how we ended up here. Twenty-two hours ago, Preslee and I were picking Patrick up because his car broke down on the highway. Nineteen hours before, the three of us were driving to Sam’s Club. Seventeen hours before, Preslee climbed out of her crib for the very first time. Fifteen hours before, Pat and I were walking out of the movie theatre when we received the devastating phone call which told us to rush to the hospital, where we would learn our daughter had drowned in a canal. From that point on, everything was a complete blur, filled with images of doctors, tears, family, prayers, sending Preslee off on the life flight plane, flying in a stranger’s private plane to SLC, UT, spending hours in the waiting room, and now finally being allowed to be with my daughter. As I sat and stared at my little girl, I knew whatever the outcome might be, life was going to be different.

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted as my mom walked in, and took a seat on the other side of the hospital bed. I filled her in on Preslee’s status, and then broke down. With tears running down my face, I asked her,“Why us? Why Preslee? What did we do to deserve this? We’ve done everything that has been asked of us. What were we being punished for?”

drowning 
(Preslee and my mom)

Three and a half years later, I’ve heard others ask the same question, “Why us?” as they too, experienced difficult trials. The more I study, and the more I watch good people struggle, the more I understand this phrase to be true-

Good Timber_2 5x7 printable (“Good Timber”, by Douglas Malloch)

It seems when people learn we lost our daughter, many of them tend to share the trials they’ve been forced to endure. Its been humbling and eye opening. I’ve listened and been amazed as they share how they drove their roots deep down into the earth, and they stood tall, and in the end, became stronger trees. I’ve learned that trials often make the most beautiful kind of people, they develop talents and qualities this world often tends to lack.

James E. Faust taught:

“The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength.” 

That cruel, hard, pain which Elder Faust speaks about has been present in my life, especially thinking back to that cold hospital room, to the moment we realized we were going to have to say goodbye, when we watched our only child take her last breath, battling depression, and even now, during those moments my heart literally aches to have a five year old little girl helping me with her brothers, I too know this pain. But with time, I’ve learned how to answer the question I asked my mom three years ago,

“Why us?”

Because the Lord had plans, and saw something I didn’t. (And still does when I doubt) Like President Faust taught, my prideful self needed to be softened, reshaped, and be given the opportunity to become something stronger. I may only be a small tree, who withstood the first storm, but I’ve learned from others to thrust my own roots down deep, anchor them in soil.

Good timber

And when my roots were anchored, I found:
Hope – which helped me put one foot in front of the other, and eventually brought happiness back into my life.
Love -  grief taught me to love much more deeply, with that comes compassion.
Faith – in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that this life isn’t the end.

But the number one thing losing Preslee taught me, is I don’t have to withstand the storm alone. When grief becomes consuming and detrimental, and it feels like I can’t withstand the wind anymore, I’ve learned I don’t have to fight the high speed winds by myself, I can trust in my savior, Jesus Christ to be the one next to me, shielding the wind at my most desperate times.

I just have to be the one who seeks Him out.

Whether you are battling the biggest trial of your life, or it is yet to come, remember good timber does not grow with ease. When you want to scream, “Why me?” Remember, God knows your potential, and he’s pushing you to become something beautiful, and usually something to bless someone else’s life. I know I couldn’t have gotten through the past three and a half years without those who already survived their storms.

If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is struggling, or those who have yet to face significant trials in their own lives, it would be to dig deep, and anchor your roots in the gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings. If I've learned one thing during this storm, it’s that you never know when the wind is going to blow, or how hard it will hit.


Free Printable created by:
Miss Audrey Sue

Water Safety…

4/04/2014

As summer quickly approaches, most of us will be spending time around water. A few bloggers (myself included) wanted to share what we’ve learned from the accidents that have happened in our own lives. Hoping all of you can learn from our experiences, and maybe even save a life.

Kate, from Our Best Bites, wrote a very honest post about her experience with her son’s drowning. It hits close to home, but I couldn’t have said it any better. Please take the time to read it, I promise it’s well worth your time. 

ALL THE THINGS I WISH I’D SAID (ABOUT WATER SAFETY)

Toddler Activities…Trucks!

4/02/2014

I’m always looking for ideas to keep Ledger busy. It seems like the web is filled with millions of idea’s for girls, and not as many for boys. So this is for all of you with boys who love trucks as much as my toddler does!

toddler activities

After bringing the twins home, there have been soo many times when I needed something to entertain/distract Ledger so I could focus on the babies for a little bit. I wanted the activity to be hands on, rather than more TV. My SIL, Cara, came to the rescue with this simple idea, and it’s become one of Ledger’s favorites. I don’t let him play with it too often, it’s used more as a reward or when I’m simply desperate. Therefore, he’s always REALLY excited to play with it.

toddler activities At first, I was hesitant to put this together. I was afraid the rice would make a bigger mess than it would be worth, but it hasn’t been that big of a problem. (I warn Ledger if he makes too big of a mess, it goes back up into the closet) And shortly after I took these pictures, I started laying an old sheet down, and having Ledger play on top of it. When he’s finished, I shake the rice outside. Easy cleanup :) But I’m amazed at how long Ledger will play with these trucks.toddler activities

Graduating in Elementary Education, I learned the importance of sensory activities. Ledger loves the feel of the rice.

toddler activities 

toddler activitiestoddler activities 

The best part is it has a lid, and when he’s finished, it goes right back up in the closet and is ready for next time.

What you need to make your own:

  • 1 large container (preferably with a lid)
  • A few mini construction trucks. (I bought these for only $5.88. They’re also at Walmart or the same price)
  • Rice, beans, anything you want to fill it. (I used rice)

Fill your container with rice, add the trucks, and let your toddler go crazy!

7 Month Old Twins

3/28/2014

(The boys are officially 8 months now, but I’m writing about up until now)

7 month old twins

Like I mentioned in this post {here}, life is sooo much better since switching out the boys’ formula. I’ve had a hard time wanting to blog because we play a whole lot more during the day. I feel like I’m just getting to know who they really are, and our little house has become such a happy place.

But here’s an update about their 7th month.

7 month old twins 

Cannon – is such a happy boy!  He still likes to spend time in the jumperoo, and still needs to be swaddled at night. He still hates being on his stomach, and has no desire to move around. Roles have switched and he’s become a definite Momma’s boy, and for the most part I’m okay with it. I feel like he continually let Cruiz have me up until now, and now is demanding his time. He loves being packed in the moby and bath time. His personality reminds me a lot of Ledger.

7 month old twins

 

 Cruiz – has become a little more of a go getter, and will be crawling soon. He knows what he wants and he’ll figure out a way to get it. He doesn’t like to sleep, and loves to roll over in bed and screams until I turn him back over and grins as I walk out the door.. it’s like he’s saying, “Isn’t this a fun game?” He’s become a little shy in public, and gets a very serious face when people talk to him. His personality reminds me of Preslee.

 

 

Growing - The boys weighed in just one ounce apart, and I blame it on Cruiz needing to eat while waiting in the Doctor’s office. Cannon weighed 18.5 lbs. (58%) and measured 29 in. (98%). Cruiz weighed 18.6 lbs. (59%) and measured 29 in. (98%) Cannon’s head was a half inch bigger. (No surprise)

7 month old twins

Sitting – At the first of the month, Cannon finally learned to sit by himself. It is so nice to be able to sit them by each other and not have to hold them all day long. Some days they like the company of one another, but most days I have to make sure they are an arms length apart, or they fight. They steal each other’s toys, and they like to grab at the other. Cannon goes for Cruiz’s ears, and Cruiz goes for Cannon’s hair and eyes.

7 month old twins 7 month old twins

Eating - Once the boys switched formula, they started eating really well. (It had been a struggle) They both eat 2+ jars of baby food daily. I introduced fruit this month, and applesauce is by far their favorite. 

7 month old twins

Teeth – Hard to believe Ledger had 8 teeth by 8 months! Cannon’s bottom two finally came in, which makes a total of 4 teeth all together.

7 month old twins

Sleeping – I’m just going to say it, these boys are horrible sleepers. I think a lot of its due to being overtired. Because of their stomach issues, they’ve never napped well, and usually catnap for about 30 minutes max. Slowly but surely I’m getting them to sleep a little longer each nap, and it seems to be helping at night. I’m usually up about 4 times a night. Cruiz still refuses to give up his feedings (every three hours) at night. So, we’ve started letting him cry it out… I hate it, but I know we’ll never sleep if we don’t.  7 month old twins 7 month old twins 7 month old twins 7 month old twins

Bath Time – Okay, so I saw this on Pinterest, and it has changed bath time! Place a hamper in the tub, and they can’t fall over! I can now easily bathe them together, which saves me a lot of time!     7 month old twins

7 month old twins 7 month old twins

Interacting - It’s been fun to watch Ledger, Pat, and others interact with these two since the crying has stopped. For the past while, Ledger learned to tune the world out, and is just now beginning to realize his brothers’ aren’t so bad. Ledger is a super star with them until he has to share toys… His Toy Story and Transformer friends are totally hands off to his brothers!

7 month old twins

We are sooo happy you two are feeing better. We love you!

The Jean Girl Giveaway

3/24/2014

The Jean Girl is back for a Spring Giveaway! I’m pretty picky when it comes to giveaways, so when I find a product/business I really love, I get excited to share it with all of you. Head on over to their shop and check out all their new arrivals, I seriously had a difficult time leaving with only a couple of items.

I wanted to share their cute/comfy bermuda shorts. They had nearly every color you could want this Spring. They are a perfect length, for a great price. You’ll just have a difficult time picking which color to buy.

bermuda shortsbermuda shorts

Photo credit: Remember my friend Rachel who’s hoping to adopt? You can view more of her work over at Rae Tay Photography.

I ended up choosing peach, and paired it with their white dolman top.

And my FAVORITE item in their shop right now.

This lace pencil skirt!

lace pencil skirtlace pencil skirt

I’m in love with this skirt, and it also comes in coral. One nice feature about this skirt is there is an elastic at the top, which helps it fit comfortably. (Which will hopefully enable it to fit when I finally lose the last of my baby weight).

The Jean Girl is giving away one $50 giftcard to one lucky reader. Use the rafflecopter below to enter.

And for everyone else, you can also use ‘10sullenger’ at checkout to receive a 10% discount.

Happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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