Monday, November 6, 2017

Just me

Just me!  Being born as a first child to a family makes it just you for a while.  "Just me" and my mom, or "just me" and my dad.  Then along comes the other children, which makes life even better!  However, they aren't "just me" kids, there are always others around.  My "just me" syndrome was emphasized as I am the only girl in my family.  When people had girls night  it was "just me" and my mom, and since my mom is the only girl, when we visited my grandma it was "just us".  

As history or society would seem to have it, girls generally gravitate more naturally to their mother.  So I spent a lot of time with my great grandparents and grandparents as "just us", and a lot of time with "just me" and my mom.  Fast forward to present day, my husband is the only boy so it's usually "just him" and "just me".  I think this worked out to our advantage, we seem to get each other, seem to not really need much more company than the two of us, which works smashingly well with my introverted tendencies.  So when we attend family functions and it's "just me" and "just him" we often don't really feel connected to anyone.  No one else is the only daughter in law or son in law.  And when I do as society has done and gravitate to my mom it's not a group of sisters coming, it's JUST ME.  

Hunting trips at my house included the majority of my family... so either I went or "just me" and mom stayed home.  I didn't share clothes or fight about makeup or curling irons, it was "Just me" I had my own room, no one wanted to borrow my shoes and they could've cared less about my eyeshadow.  I experienced things, like, brothers using my (expensive, paid for by me) conditioner to slide all over in the tub like it was a water slide park, or finding tampons strung apart as part of GI Joe's parachuting launches off the second level.
These experiences have made my eyes open to different family dynamics.  I don't understand the sister relationship at all, I've never had one.  I do however fully understand the brother relationship because that was my norm, my life.  My husband however can't relate and he thinks that girl relationships are more normal than I do, HA!  

With three girls of our own and two boys, none of our children are able to take our "norm" as their own.  It's interesting watching sisters be sisters.  I see how much fun and how much they will rely on each other as they get older and I can only relate it to the relationship I have with my mom.  I'm so grateful for these three daughters that I get to have as best friends!  I'm so grateful that my two boys will marry and have wives that will be able to "relate" to not being a "Sweat" or laugh together at our silly tendencies or crazy ways.  I'm glad my son's-in-law will be able to sit around and talk about those  Sassy leadership skilled Sweat girls they married.

I love that my husband gets me, he gets it... he understands what it feels like to be a "just me", to not really fit in, and not be uncomfortable with that either.  He was raised with opposite gender domination in his house too HA!, his mom only had a sister and his sisters had each other.  When we got married he thought when I said I was going to Provo that meant my mom had to come... nope it's "just me" I'd say on the phone.  He found it odd that I didn't have to take hours to shop and make up my mind...He, on the other hand takes an extra long time to shop (hehehe). I found it odd so many people were expecting an invitation to attend when we got prom dresses or a wedding dress...the thought had never occurred to me that others would want to come, you see at my house it was majorly boring so "just me" and mom would do those things by ourselves.
I'm grateful for the things in life that help you realize what you want.  The way people treat you that makes you think... I don't want to be like that, or I love them and I want to emulate those characteristics.  I love being "just me", but not a lot of people understand this personality type.  I don't like to shop with other people, I don't love to do a lot of things girls love to do. When the guys go hunting or shoot guns and the girls are supposed to shop, or darn socks, or whatever they do...I really HATE being labeled in the girl group.  When the guys leave the table and the women clean up... I really feel like I've been betrayed (LOL)! I love being a wife, a mother, a girl... but sometimes those things that are supposed to be my ROLE, don't come very naturally to me.  I don't want to make small talk and shoot the breeze most days, I get really overwhelmed when I've had too much people interaction in a week.  Most times I want to have some "Just me" time.

When Shelby got married her sisters wanted to go wedding dress shopping... this was foreign territory for me.  Why do we need an entourage?  But I've learned in all this gender diversion that there isn't a right or a wrong we're just different!  I'm grateful to have amazing Sister's -in-law and Brother's-in-law.  To be the "Favorite" daughter in law, and to be able to write Sweat on our things and everyone knows their ours LOL! I'm grateful to be able to go wedding dress shop with nieces, to kayak with nephews and to experience all the different things I get to being "just me". I love that we get to introduce our "normal" to those our children choose as spouses.  This life is crazy and I'm so happy I get to be "just me"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Same God

It amazes me, the same God that answers the prayers of the woman who desperately needs help with her down syndrome baby, and creates a program that gets passed by the state to fund things for down syndrome kids, is the same God that answers the prayers of the mother who desperately wants to rely on her own efforts and not have any government dependency at all.  The God that helps a coach rally his team and win a game is the same God that speaks to another that their spending too much time with sports, and helps them to direct their paths to other things.

It is such a testament to me that God lives! He loves us Individually!! He cares about what we want and what is important to each of us. The mother who home schools her kids and wants to bake bread and raise a garden,  and the mother whose kids attend a private school and works in an office in the corporate world, to the mother who is PTA president participates actively in her children's school and helps other children around her. He loves us all, no matter our choices, our differences, and he helps us and leads us and answers our prayers.

He wants us to have the righteous desires of our hearts. That doesn't mean that if we wish our neighbors dog would die it'll happen, or if you dislike your kids soccer coach they'll magically get a new one. Just like the apostles, some wanted to merely be with The Lord and he told them their desires were good and they were given the desires of their hearts,  and yet John desired to tarry on Earth until the Lord comes again, and the Lord told him this was a righteous desire as well.  No shun, no shame in different desires. God is merciful!

We have to do our part, and we should ask him if our desires are in the right priority, but I know He cares! He loves us and He listens to us and knows our desires. It is our job to align our will with His. This is a never ending process and one I'm sure I've failed at more times than I care to admit.  I've judged people for their desires as they weren't my own, and I have so far to go, I'm so far from perfect. The fact that God sees our hearts and knows them is such an amazing thing to me and makes me want to be better, to try harder and to see others as God sees them.  To not compare and to let others righteous desires be theirs.

Sometimes guilty pleasures sneak up on us.  Sometimes I binge watch Gilmore girls til the wee hours of the morning, sometimes I do genealogy, sometimes I'm ever so faithful to schedules and priorities, sometimes I just want to eat chocolate and pretend I'm not an adult anymore.  I think that's the beauty of mortality.....experiencing it all.  If we don't know pain we can't know joy. I'm ever so grateful for a Father in Heaven that loves me, that knows my heart and each of yours.  The awe that fills my mind when I think about how the person that I don't see eye to eye with or that might annoy me, is loved by my Father in Heaven, is glorious!  It's masterful...His plan!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Making time...choosing time

I read a poem recently that went like this:

Funny isn't it?
Keith H Woodland

When the other fellow takes a long to do something he's slow.
But when I take a long time to do something, I'm through.
When the other fellow doesn't do it, he's lazy.
But when I don't do it, I'm too busy.
When the other fellow goes ahead and does something without being told, he's overstepping his bounds.
But when I go ahead and do something without being told, that's initiative!
When the other fellow overlooks a few of the rules of etiquette, he's rude.
But when I skip a few of the rules, I'm original.
When the other fellow does something that pleases the boss, that's polishing the brass.
But when I do something that pleases the boss, that's cooperation.
When the other fellow gets ahead, he sure had the lucky breaks.
But when I manage to get ahead, "Man HARD WORK did that!"

I ran across this poem randomly on the internet and I just loved it!  It went right along with things that have been filling my thoughts lately.

A week or so ago I sat on a sunny patch of grass catching up with a good friend.  We talked about our lives, our kids, our work, our husbands, our families.  As we talked something she said struck me.  She was telling me about a person she knew who didn't always put forth great efforts in keeping their relationship, and she talked about making time for relationships and how it's so important to make the time to keep the relationship, it takes work but if we want the relationship we have to work for it.  I nodded in agreement, but something inside of me stung a little.

You see, I'm not a people person, I don't crave that kind of attention.  I have a handful of GREAT friends but don't love crowds of people.  In fact, I could literally be all alone for a long time and be totally content.  Most weeks I just do my own thing, my own little family takes up my time and that suffices me.  Literally I've gone weeks without talking or seeing my mom and she lives like 25 min away. I call it independent, but maybe it's socially awkward-ness, or maybe I'm odd, HA! Really! I don't think you're taking me seriously, but I just don't even think about things like that very often.  Most days I can't see past the end of my nose and I'm perfectly unaware of things going on with others.

When my friend said this I really started to think about carving out time for relationships I want to strengthen and keep.  And maybe not necessarily because I need to or crave that, but because they do!  WOW! Hit me like a ton of bricks!! How selfish I've been as a friend, to just think "Eh, I don't have time we'll get together sometime" and shrug it off.  (Yep, the introvert in me makes that all to easy)  So what if I just gave an hour or a day or a few hours? What would happen? How would my life change?

I remember having girls night once a month with some pretty amazing gals I taught preschool with.  We'd leave those nights late and heading home and laughing, and being happy, and knowing my cup was full.  I was a better mom, a better wife and all around a little happier because I had spent time cultivating a relationship with people I wanted to be with.  Do I want that again? Yes, yes I think I do!

Life get's crazy and I can't bank that once a month things will happen.  But I do know that I want people to feel and know that they matter in my life.  I want my visiting teaching sisters to really know I care and not think I'm just there to turn in a number.  I want my friends to know that our relationship means something to me and that I am willing to make time to spend time with them.  I want my family to know they matter and that I want to be with them and spend time, not just co-exist.

As I read that poem above I thought how true it is that we always think we are too busy (aren't we all?), or that person doesn't understand, or how we wouldn't do things like that if we were them.... But what if we made time to listen?  What if instead of saying we were too busy (Amazingly enough we ALL have the same amount of hours in a day) we simply chose things that we wanted to take part in, and honestly said "I choose to spend my time in other places" to the rest of it?  Isn't that really what we do anyway?  Are we really that busy?  I know there are days I am really busy, but I seem to find 5 min to check my email and to respond to texts during the day.  I seem to find a little while at the end of the day to read, blog, study, or whatever it is I desire to do when the kids are tucked in at night.  I seem to find time to walk in the early hours of the heat seeking days of why don't I have an hour to help my neighbor weed the garden, or to chat with the widow down the street, or take a friend to lunch, or make dinner for a new family?

I want these habits to be a part of my life. To show my kids that relationships matter, that we have to make time for other people and sometimes it's not for's for THEM!  When we get outside of ourselves by serving, listening, giving, engaging...I know we'll find more of us out there than we ever did 'being too busy'.  So what about you?  What are you willing to do?  Will you carve an hour out of your day to chat with a friend? A Saturday out of your week to sit with your grandma an reminisce about things of her childhood?  Or 30 minutes to introduce yourself to the new neighbors?  I Hope to do all of these things!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

2016 Focus

Missing in action lately.  Sorry, life caught up with me.  I wanted to take a minute and write about my 2016 goals.  As many of you know I choose a word or phrase each year to focus on.  Last year was delight, it truly had an impact on my life to find the good, seek out the fun and joyful things in my life.  It gave me purpose and excuses to do more exciting things and to be happy about my choices. This year will be no different in purpose but I have a new phrase!

For 2016, I chose three words:  Present, Patience and Purpose.

I feel that in an ever increasing world of technology we seldom look up from our devices to actually pay attention to the world around us.  We have so much at our fingertips, google, questions answered, maps, directions, anything and everything.  I see so often, young adults who don't know how to be bored or to just enjoy one another's company because if they are bored they simply pull out a device and scroll, or read, or do something so they don't have to endure what they are currently situated in.  I see this happening in church meetings, in conversations with family, during family events, at dinners, and any other time and place you could dream of.  Being present takes action in this world.  You have to want it, you have to try to be with people.  I too am guilty of checking my phone WAY too often, of not letting things that need to be present in my life be.  I respond to emails for my primary calling, texts for my Kimber Academy job, paying bills, making lists, reading articles I feel are necessary, all while telling the things I need to be present for "just a minute!"  Yes, this trap is a tricky.  Did you know that 20 years ago, I didn't even have a cell phone, heck 15 years ago I didn't.  I went to town without anyone being able to get a hold of me.  We went on vacations and shopping trips without the interruption of someone or something else in our daily routine, and We SURVIVED, actually we probably did so a bit better than today.  So, the first part of my focus this year is to BE PRESENT!  To put the blasted phone away and not have to email or text back when someone wants to converse.  Trust me if it's that important, they'll find me!  And if they don't, well it obviously could wait.

Patience, I've struggled with this for.....forever!  Also, not being present creates a lack of patience, with so many things at access so quickly no wonder we all have no patience, we want it now and we have no need to wait, no need for delayed gratification.  This is something I hope to work on diligently.  To be patient with my family, to be patient with others choices, to be patient in the Lord's timing, to be patient with myself and to be patient as a wife and mother.  So many good things are worth the wait.  A baby takes 9 months to grow, can you imagine if we just wanted them here NOW, it just can't work that way, GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH THE WAIT!

Purpose, with all of these things, purpose ties in so perfectly!  We need purpose, if we are looking for an answer on google we need a purpose, if we are responding to emails and texts we need purpose.  Instead of flying on a whim, if we purposefully choose to respond to those emails, to do the laundry, to read our scriptures, to play with our kids, to clean the bathroom, we will be able to accomplish more and to be doing so with a PURPOSE behind it.  I don't want to find myself scrolling through Facebook for hours unless that is my purpose and I've given myself time for that.  I want to live this life with PURPOSE to have my choices be meaningful and my decisions be made with intent.  I want to look at Pinterest with my girls with purpose, I want to make time to play at the park, and by having purpose in my actions I can create this time and the things that need done will come first.  Priorities will come more easily with Purpose.

With all that said, I have to be a better blogger this year as well.  Writing to me is healing, it helps me sort out my thoughts, to be a better version of me and to express ideas and things I keep penned up in my head.  My mind is clearer when I get to write what's in there.  I hope my sharing will help those reading as well.

May we all practice being more Present, having more Patience and having a Purpose in all we do! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Women of Faith

Women of faith! Women I know and admire, who are stronger than they think, and braver than they believe. Sometimes we don't want to be brave, sometimes it hurts to be strong, yet we do it! Through it we gain a greater strength, give strength, and give hope to those around us.

Today I am grateful for women of faith!  I have many friends and family members who are such great examples to me.  Women of different faiths, religions, cultures and ages.  Women that have helped shape me into the woman I am and the woman I continually strive to be.  In their moments of weakness I find my strengths.  In their triumph I see my purpose and am sometimes reminded of my weaknesses.  When I see a new mom struggle to keep her little ones quiet in a store, or an exhausted mother shopping with a screaming toddler, I smile.  Not from spite but from the pure fact that I've been there!  I remember thinking how hard it was, but then you wake one day and those toddlers are teenagers.  I smile because she doesn't know how fast it will go, and I didn't either back then.  When I see a woman who has been through divorce I admire her courage and her dedication to her children and all she's been through and at the same time I am grateful for the man I married and the strength he is to me.  When I hear of a family struggling with death, a little bit of my heart can relate as I think of my sister who lives in heaven. Or when I hear the word cancer, I immediately recall my dealings with cancer and being there when my grandfather took his last breath.  When I see an accident on the side of the road and the EMT's attending to someone's medical needs or working to save someones life I am reminded of my weaknesses and my inability to deal with trauma or blood.  But in the same thought I am astounded at their selfless service and thrilled that those who have that gift share it with others.  All of these experiences help us grow, help us to relate to others and to share our experiences and gain love for one another.

I know... women who know how to throw a killer party, women who know where they are going and who are confident and strong, women who would drop whatever they were doing and help, women who have shared trials and joys in my life, women who have more faith than I could muster, women who have had life hand lemons to them and they've made some KILLER lemonade! Women who have insanely clean homes, women whose children are so well behaved it makes me think I'm dreaming, women who think of others first no matter what, women who make me think I can do anything, women who make others feel so important and welcome.  Women who wouldn't say a bad thing about anyone, women who when we get together we laugh until it hurts, women who love to serve, women who accept others unconditionally, women who are amazing wives, women who can cook like a master chef, women who are so creative it makes my brain hurt, and women who know how to balance life and all that they are handed.  Women whose homes are so warm and cozy you could stay forever, women who know who they are and aren't afraid to share their opinion, and women whose inner beauty shines so brightly you almost have to squint!  How grateful I am for each of them!
The women I know are women of faith, faith in getting back up when they fall down, faith in putting one foot in front of the other ......every. day.  Even on the days they just don't have the will power to do so.  Women who sacrifice for family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.  When I see women sharing their weaknesses it strengthens me, it helps me to be grateful for the strengths I possess, and humbles me to know  I do not have the same challenges to contend with.  We all have talents and abilities and skills that we can use to bless the lives of others.  We all have weaknesses and inabilities that allow us to seek the greater good in others, allow us to depend on others, learn from others, and to be grateful for the talents others posses.  This is all for our good!  Sometimes it HURTS to stretch and grow, sometimes we want to take away another's pain and make everything better, (this too is a strength to others) compassion shows we are alive and shows others we care about them individually.  This life was not suppose to be easy, but it was meant to be worth it!  So here is to all the women in my life who have touched my heart and my mind, brought me through things, helped me, befriended me and assisted me on this journey to become a better woman, A woman of faith!  Thank you!!! For your example, your faith, your dedication, your friendship, your weaknesses, humility, honesty, strengths and abilities.  With out ALL OF YOU the world would be pretty DULL indeed!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vaccinations....more than meets the eye

Beware: This is a long post... I will delete any rude or unnecessary comments.  These are my views and this is me exercising my FREEDOM TO CHOOSE! 

When I had my first baby the immunizations were given at the hospital as routine.  Not many mother's think too much about it, it's what "everyone" does now right?!  I knew differently.  You see, my mom studied things, researched them out and followed her own pattern of normal ways of life.

When my youngest brother was a baby his immune system wasn't up to par and for this reason my mom did not vaccinate him as she had the rest of us.  He needed more time, more natural immunity's and time for his body to catch up.  He was an at risk birth and was pumped full of antibiotics before being born, which may have been necessary, but didn't help with his well being.  When he was in 3rd grade he still wasn't caught up on his immunizations.  A county healthcare nurse called my mom to "remedy" the situation and my mom explained to her that she was not going to immunize my brother at this time.  The nurse, thinking she was doing her "duty" told my mom over the phone that she would drive to our home and inoculate my brother herself. Threats?! Wow.  Because he could cause an epidemic if something broke out, she then told my mom that my brother could no longer attend school if he was not immunized.  My mom drove to the school and removed my brother, thus began her homeschooling journey (but that's another story).

Having this experience as an example in my life, I knew that as a mother it was my CHOICE whether I wanted to immunize my children or not.  While I am not against all immunizations, in the back of my mind there was always this uneasy feeling, sometimes referred to as mother's intuition :) you may have heard of it.  My decision to not immunize didn't come from simply observing what my mom had chosen, nor did it come from only the uneasy feeling.  It started small and grew into something I knew was the right CHOICE for my family.

My beautiful baby girl was injected with the same vaccines most babies get at the hospital.  When she was 2 months she received her immunizations and at her 4 month check up got them again.  Except this time something happened...she developed a severe allergy to the shot itself causing her to breakout in a leopard like rash from head to toe.  My beautiful baby looked like a jungle animal.  The doctors told me that she was allergic to something in the shot....although they weren't sure what because they are given not just one at a time but several so pinpointing anything is a little hard.

(Now here me out... I am so grateful for modern medicine, for doctors, I LOVE this doctor and many other doctors that have helped my family and I!! I have to deliver my babies C-Section, so without modern medicine I'd be dead, my baby would've died and that would me my story.  I know that doctors and nurses have helped numerous people in my family and I am most grateful for their talents and skills! However, I feel there are certain situations and things where modern medicine is needed, and other places where it is not.  My issues with vaccines are the dosage that is given, and the mixing of more than one vaccine at a time, thus making it difficult to view the bodies reaction between one vaccine's.  We as a family choose not to use modern medicine as a daily practice.  As I stated I believe there is a time and a place.  We do not go to the doctor for the sniffles or for the flu, or ear aches, etc. we go to the doctor when my husband slices his palm open with a knife, or when my son can't breathe because he has a bad case of croup and the cold air just isn't helping.  We aren't freaks, we simply CHOOSE to do things differently than some, and we CHOOSE what is best for our family.)

So here I was  a new mom with a baby leopard.  Needless to say that was the last immunizations my first baby every had. When the next two babies were born I proceeded down the same path.  One child had immunizations up to 6 months and the other only had them up to 2 months.  I felt a very strong feeling with the second baby that 6 months was enough!  In fact I felt an overwhelming feeling that his life could be in jeopardy if I chose to give any more.  That was when I CHOSE to stop vaccinating.  My children are all healthy, average kids.  The older two (that I didn't have as infants) were immunized and they are as healthy as the 3 that were not as immunized.  When I went in to get an exemption when school immunzations were upon us the nurse was a little agitated at my choice and gave me stacks of paper that I could read about the "danger" I was inflicting upon my children.  I smiled as I thought to myself, "I could give you a stack of papers twice as tall that would show you the "dangers" of choosing to immunize my child".  (Please note the nurse that helped me with my exemptions with my youngest two was a gem and she was very respectful of my choice and gave me options if I ever wanted to start slowly down the immunizing road! That is how situations should be handled.)  She signed the paper and we were done.


I am not writing this to stand on my soap box and tell you that if you vaccinate you are killing your children.  You can research whatever side of the story you want.  But there is a deeper concern that applies to this and many other situations on the rise in this modern world.  The freedom to CHOOSE!  I have many friends, family members and acquaintances that choose to immunize their children.  I do not think these mothers are bad mothers, I do not think that they should make the same choice I did.  I do not believe that all immunizations are bad.  I do believe that as an American citizen I should have the RIGHT to make the CHOICE to immunize or to not immunize.  I do believe that we are all individuals and that the vaccines made do not fit the mold for every person.  How do they know what effects it will have on my baby, toddler, teen?  They don't! As the mother, I know my child more than the government or drug company does, and I know if I feel good or bad about something.  Some people have severe allergic reactions to vaccines, some people's bodies do not accept the vaccine and therefore they don't develop the antibodies they are suppose to...or maybe they were naturally immune already, and some people accept them free of any effects whatsoever.  But shouldn't that choice be mine?  When people say to me....and yes they've said it..."If I'd have known your children weren't immunized I wouldn't have enrolled my child in the same preschool"  I smile because quite simply, if you believe your vaccinated child will contract something from my non-vaccinated child what does that say about your belief in the vaccine?  Yes I know that people at certain ages can't have the vaccine, I am aware that they may be exposed to something they don't know they are being exposed to.  But, there are outbreaks of the very diseases that we have vaccines for, and a lot of the time the outbreak effects those who WERE immunized.  Chickenpox for example, whooping cough.  These are two that I personally know of.  People I KNOW have been vaccinated and then contracted the disease anyway.  Do your research and make your own choice.  But know that YOU have a CHOICE!

The point is, if we are all forced to vaccinate our children then we give up our freedoms.  Haven't we given up enough freedoms?  Genetically modifying our food, Healthcare, and common core, just to name a few.  When we give up our rights because we feel we want everyone to be the "same" to have to do something that may not be right for them isn't that communism and socialism? Too extreme?! Well it starts with a simple freedom and gradually we will have NO CHOICES left.  I value my rights as an American, I value the freedom of CHOICE the freedom that we can CHOOSE what is right for our families, in education, in health, in vaccines, in religion, in so many things.  I urge you to think about that before you tell people that don't immunize that they are making the wrong choice.  Think about what freedoms you're willing to give up.  As for this mom, I CHOOSE to have a CHOICE! And I choose the same for you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Choose your love ~ Love your choice"

Calves to be branded
Summer brings on a whole new list of "to do's" at our house.  While we enjoy the new season, warm weather and the chance to be outside more, we also remember why we like winter to come back around as well.  Spring sprung and we branded the cows again, seriously one of our favorite times of the year.  This year we recruited the help of my cousin from Cali, it was super fun to have him experience all the cows and dirt, ropes and shots, branding irons and dry ice.  

Now that the FUN part is over we move on the other "farm livin'" items.  Watering, cutting, baling, fixing, raking, fixing, spending, fixing, driving, fixing, watering, fixing, did I mention fixing?  It seems to never end! We are running (co running some) over 200 acres this year, the hubs is working overtime at his job most weeks and I'm still keeping my "plate spinning" acts at full capacity.  The other day Hank and I met up in the garage (he was going to change water, I had come from changing another field) I smiled and said "is it winter yet?" he looked at me a little confused and asked "why?" I replied, "Cause I need a NAP!"  Yes this time of year it seems the peaceful slumbers of winter and hunkering down by the fire are missed dearly.  We are a lot like bears, we work and work all summer then hunker down for the winter.  There is still work in winter but much less.  I don't think I have fed my family dinner before 8pm (most days between 9 and 10pm) this summer!  My kitchen floor is a disaster and I swear I sweep 5 times a day.  There is more laundry to do, fuel to buy, sheep to walk, weeds to pull, flowers to water, lawn to mow.  Then we top it off with all the regular things we do and it seems like it's never going to end.  I was thinking about all of the "to do's" and feeling pretty overwhelmed.  The kids still have their activities to do like baseball and swimming lessons to add to the list.  We have jobs and church and checking cows on the mountain as well. I run Buckwheat to baseball and watch his batting get better and better and his love for the game improve, listen to Jo play the star spangled banner on the piano, watching Peanut count down the days until swim lessons, changing water with Bud (who by the way will be a licensed DRIVER soon!), chatting with Sue on the phone, picking up Hank at 1am from a field he's baling, and washing the dishes by hand cause the dishwasher gave it's last wash months ago....I can't help but think of the quote by President Monson, "Choose your love ~ Love your choice!"  

Bud, waiting for the cows

the lovely shot giver and the new chute closer (oh, and the alley pusher)

roping cows

Jo and the boss in the new Kubota 
I love EVERY busy, chaotic, nap needing, so hungry we could eat a horse at 10pm, filled day!  This is what WE CHOSE!  Our family chose to live this life, we chose each-other, we chose to work HARD and hardly play....(except it is our play).  We are addicted to our jobs for sure, but we don't' regret it, we don't hold a grudge, we thrive when we are working hard and getting in late.  Not only do I LOVE my choice in the man I chose to be my eternal companion, and the family we chose to have, I love the choice in what we decided to make of our life.  There is nothing as truly AMAZING as changing water at dusk with your almost 16 year old son and talking, laughing, watching the sun set.  The wheel lines on the horizon, the gorgeous valley we live in and the BEST family I could have imagined by my side.  I chose this, I love this!  It's not always easy, and often times we are so tired we can't see straight.  There are times when more things break than we care to name, and times when we've spent so much money on fuel, seed and farm stuff we aren't sure if it's worth it....But in the end it's our Happily Ever After, it's the Ying to our Yang, it's the best life we could imagine!  So as you rush around in the life you've made, remember the choice is yours....Choose your choice and love's better that way!