16 & Pregnant: What’s a Girl to Do?

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017

When I was 16 and pregnant and struggling to know what to do with my baby and my life, prayer was my answer.

I talked my options through with multiple people: my mom, my sister, my friends, my counselor and more. While I had an idea of what my choice should be, I didn’t feel sure. I made lists of pros and cons. I cried. A lot! I moved forward with my decision to place my son for adoption. After many steps, my counselor gave me some profiles of families hoping to adopt. I put those families in order of who I liked best to least. Based on? I have no idea. And finally, I decided I needed to pray. And not just say the words before I fell asleep, but to pour my heart out to my Heavenly Father and ask for his guidance.

When I finally did this, I KNEW. I knew with every fiber of my being that that precious baby boy wasn’t mine. I KNEW that he was meant to be with his parents now. I KNEW this was the right decision. And I knew that it was only through the power of prayer that I could feel this way. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t still hard or that I didn’t cry and sob and ache for that baby. But, even now, 20 years later, I KNOW it was the right decision. And without the power of prayer, without our loving Heavenly Father, I’m not sure if I ever would have known.



And Then There are Those Days…

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017

running away

The other day I took my kids to Arctic Circle (a local fast food place) after school so we could grab an ice cream cone. I was grumpy and chocolate sounded like heaven. So we pulled up to the drive through and I asked what kind of ice cream they wanted. Here is the conversation that followed:

B 5 years old: “Can I get mint chocolate chip?”

Me: “No that isn’t an option. You can choose vanilla, chocolate, or twist. You can also get it dipped in chocolate or strawberry.”

B: “I want mint chocolate chip!”

Drive through attendant: “Can I take your order?”

Me: “Give us just a second, please.”

H 8 years old: “Just pick one! Can I get a shake?”

Me: “No. We are just getting cones today. You can choose vanilla, chocolate, or twist. You can also get it dipped in chocolate or strawberry.”

B: “Can I get cookie dough?”

Me: Sigh. “No. We are just getting cones today. Hurry and choose.”

H: “Hurry up! Pick one! Do they have orange?”

B: “She said no! But I want mint chocolate chip!” He is now sobbing.

Me to the attendant: “I’m so sorry. Please give us one more minute.” To B and H “Choose one. Or we won’t get any.”

B: “I want mint chocolate chiiiiiiiiiiuuup!”

H: “Why are you crying!? Stop crying!”

At this point I slowly rolled my window up realizing the attendant could hear the whole debacle. And then we drove away. No ice cream. None. I drove home and parked in the driveway. H decided he was VERY unhappy with me and not getting ice cream. So he was going to run away. Because obviously I am the meanest mom ever.

I mean, how could I NOT take a picture of that!?

Can anyone relate? Please tell me you can! I need some other mean mom stories.



Sometimes I Just Can’t, But Maybe Tomorrow I Can…

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017

raining

I know some of you are struggling. Some of you are feeling down and like you just can’t. But I promise, you can. Maybe not today, but tomorrow. Or the next day. Things WILL get better! Trust in that and trust in YOU.

Sometimes I just can’t.
I can’t put on a happy face and keep pretending everything is okay.
I can’t smile and make the pain go away.
I can’t stop the fear, the hurt, the ache. I can’t shake the belief that I’m not (and never will be) good enough.
I can’t fill the pit of emptiness I feel deep inside. I can’t stop my body from shaking and the tears from falling.
The only thing I CAN do is to try to focus on all that is good in the world. Because there is so much.

So while today I just can’t, maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I can.



Remembering My Grandmother…

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017

I can clearly remember the day my grandmother died. I can’t remember the date. Or even the year, but those aren’t the important details, right? After I heard the news I went out onto my back porch and stared at the sky as the tears fell down my face.

My eyes were drawn to the sunset. The colors were beautiful! The purples and blues, oranges and yellows; Each color reminded me of a different talent that my grandmother possessed. The colors seamlessly meshed together, just as her talents had to produce the awe inspiring woman that she was.

I watched the colors swirling, as they formed different designs and created new shades of colors. As the sun slowly sunk below the mountains I could picture my grandmother at her best. Before long, the sun was completely gone. As was my grandmother.

In that simple sunset I had relived every memory I had ever had with this amazing woman. To this day, sunsets bring me a peace that I can’t describe. I know it’s my grandmother watching over me from heaven.



Yesterday I Let Myself Cry…

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017

Yesterday I let myself cry. I let myself feel. I let myself grieve. Yesterday I let myself carefully open the box where I have been shoving all the feelings and thoughts “I couldn’t deal with” today so that I could feel them another day. Yesterday was another day.

Yesterday I allowed myself to be flooded with emotions from that box. And I was nearly overwhelmed by it. There was pain. And grief and loss and hurt and so much more. My heart ached at the memories of a little boy I never got to raise; a son I never got to hear giggle or cry. A boy who I felt move inside of me, but was denied the feeling of him moving outside of me. I can imagine what he would look like now. I can see his sweet twelve year old face with blue eyes and brown hair. He would be perfect. He IS perfect, but he only exists in my mind.

Quentin

Yesterday he was real. Yesterday I remembered. And while yesterday was hard, it was yesterday.

Today things feel a little better. I can walk a little lighter. I can look at my three beautiful children and know that I am blessed beyond measure. Today am so grateful for yesterday. Sometimes we need to open that box where we have shoved our feelings and let them wash over us so that we can start living in today and only remembering yesterday.



My Less Than Happy Mother’s Day

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017

The struggle is real, people.

On Mother’s Day, my kids were being assholes (sorry, but there’s no better word to describe it.) There was a special program at church just for mothers day and it included a video of one of my kids talking about me. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. But my kids had other plans. They cried and whined and refused to go to their own classes. So I took said asshole children home and totally lost my shit. As soon as I started crying, my kids started crying. And soon after, the guilt set in. Which made me cry even harder.

After quite some time of hiding in my bathroom and feeling sorry for myself (how dare they act like this on today of all days!?) I remembered that they are human. They are MY tiny little humans. And my entire life revolves around them. Without these asshole children, this day would mean nothing. They are my whole world. And my job as their mother is to show them how amazing they are. How it’s okay to make mistakes and be assholes sometimes. But we need to learn from those mistakes. We can try harder and be better.

After my crying session there were apologies all around. And hugs and more tears. But happy ones this time. Just because it was Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I got to stop being a mother. It’s the best job I’ll ever have. Even if it is the hardest.

Happy late Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Even the ones who lost their shit. Especially those ones.



10 Things I Said I Would Never Do as a Mom

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017

10 things

Before I became a mom I had a list of things that resided in my head that I swore I would never do when I had my own children. Little did I know…

After having three children (the oldest being 10) I have learned a few things. Or maybe just realized a few things. So here is my list of top ten things I said I would never do as a mom; before I actually became a mom and realized just how messy it can be.

1. Allow my children to watch TV before 2 years old: I just knew that if I let my kids watch TV before they were 2 they would be mindless idiots. Fast forward to actually having kids. I could not survive being sick, being crazy busy, or keeping my sanity without Sesame Street, Disney Channel, and YouTube Kids. They continually save me and they also have actually helped my children learn numbers, letters, and colors.

sleeping

2. Allow my kids to sleep in my bed. I remember silently judging those who talked about co-sleeping. That would never by MY family. Then I brought my first child home. After countless sleepless nights I was exhausted and pulled him into bed with me one night. It was the best night’s sleep I’d had in weeks. Thus, co-sleeping began. Best parenting decision I ever made. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my daughter sleeping ON my face.)

3. Leave the house without makeup. Ha ha ha! Do I even need to explain this one? I do not, I repeat DO NOT need to look put together at all times. Because, let’s face it, I am far from put together most times. A swipe of mascara and a touch of concealer are perfect for me most days. But if I’m not feeling it? Who cares!?

4. Touch any kind of bodily fluid with my hands: Oh man. This has happened more times than I can possibly count. I have cupped my hands for vomit (better me than the couch), picked noses, cleaned ears with my fingers and so much more. I have no idea how it’s possible to be a parent and NOT do some of these things.

5. Allow my kids to eat junk food. I vowed that my kids would eat homemade baby food, lots of fruits and veggies, and only have candy for holidays. Yeah, right. I now very strongly believe in the motto of all things in moderation. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, but my kids also eat candy and junk.


crying

6. Let my kids behave that way in public. Of course, I swore my kids would be perfectly behaved at all times when we were in public. And then, my bubble burst. A melt down happened. I don’t even remember what the first one was about. Probably candy. Or sugar cereal. But now I just walk away from said child and pretend they aren’t mine. Ha! Not really, but I want to sometimes. I have some serious tantrum stories I could tell. One of the worst includes my middle child freaking out extremely loudly in the men’s bathroom because he was covered in poo. But that’s a post for another day.

7. Allow my house to look like THAT. There was no way I would ever let my house be overtaken by toys, laundry, and little shoes thrown everywhere. Now I realize that life happens and a clean house is not always the priority. Happy kids and family? Yeah, that’s a priority.

My mother

8. Use my Mom’s words on my own kids.  I hated the phrases my mom used to say to me. Now, some days I open my mouth and my mom comes out. Maybe more than some days. I now embrace my mom phrases. They are my favorite!

9. Bribe my kids with a treat or toy. I always knew my kids would listen to me the first time I asked them to do something. Every time. I have since discovered that negotiation skills are a must in parenting. And bribery? Yeah, also a must. A pack of smarties is a small price to pay for a clean room and a happy face.

10. Talk about my kids as much as I do. When I was child-less I swore I wouldn’t talk non stop about my kids… but once I saw them I was in love… and couldn’t stop talking about them! In almost 11 years that hasn’t changed much. They are my world and complete me in a way I didn’t know was possible. So, yeah, I’m going to talk about them. A lot. Deal with it.

Bottom line: There is no parenting guide book. We are all different. We believe and feel differently. There is no once size fits all in parenting. So do what feels right to YOU. Put your children and your sanity first and, believe me, it will turn out okay.

What do you do as a mom that you said you wouldn’t?



Happiness is Like Peanut Butter, You Can’t Spread it Around Without Getting a Little on Yourself

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016

peanut butter happiness

In my life, there is not much better for lunch than a well-made Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. I am definitely a bread person, homemade jam for me is the ultimate and I am partial to the creamy pb, but am certainly not picky. Something about it just calls me back to my childhood and makes me visit a time where I was pretty much endlessly happy. Much like my sandwich making, I was not exactly careful, but carefree as anyone. Spreading that peanut buttery goodness on my bread and getting it everywhere was half the fun. Being able to “clean” it up with one swipe of your tongue. Ahhh. That was the other half!

Those were the good ol’ days. With rarely a care in my young world, I was able to be content in just about any situation and somehow know that everything would work out- which attitude was usually contagious amongst my siblings. Have you ever noticed your kids when they are happy? (Whether eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or not?) The happiness is contagious. One sibling cannot help but smile with another sibling is giggling and soon after, all your kids are laughing, carefree and loving life. It made absolute sense to me then, when I was sent this quote.

Happiness is like peanut butter, you can’t spread it around without getting a little on yourself.

It got me to thinking of how many people I come into contact with on a daily basis and how many of them I am spreading happiness to. Why should I not want to make someone else happy- especially if I am happy myself? Truth be told, it’s hard not to. When you are having a good day, it’s our human nature to let others know about it. Even when we need to make a conscious effort to spread some Peanut Butter the outcome is worth it. You get some of it on yourself, true…But you also get some on others. And just like the happiness was spread when you were a kid- it tends to be contagious. I decided to test my theory over a few weeks period and this is what happened.

I work in a very busy Hospital. My morning routine consists of getting ice water from the break room which is a small walk from my particular department. When I opened the door from my office, I almost ran into someone who was pushing a rather full cart of operating equipment down the hall. As she said excuse me, and asked if I wanted to go ahead of her, I smiled and mentioned that we were more than likely headed to the same place. As I looked at her FULL load, it led to me saying- “That looks heavy. You push, I’ll pull” We walked down the remainder of the hallway chatting about our positions and what our day looked like. When we parted ways, she was smiling and thanked me again; wishing me a great day. I could not help but BET that the patients she came into contact with will be getting a bit more positivity from her, following our encounter rather than if I would have simply walked on as she pushed the heavy cart behind me. It’s all about the Peanut Butter.

I called someone on the phone at work and we ended up talking for almost 40 minutes. Some, of course, was work related, but she was new to the state and she shared with me her personal observations about living in the particular state that we do (Utah). More specifically, how different it was from what she is used to- her case in point? The drivers. She is from the South and is so used to a much more slowed pace of highway etiquette – meaning letting people in when they need to merge, looking them in the eye and a nice wave as they drive on. She was appalled at the lack of courtesy the drivers in the state she now lived in were showing. She let me know how THRILLED she was when a younger driver had let her in the other day and even gave her a quick wave and a smile. She talked about how it made her DAY. A simple merge made the rest of the day just a little sweeter. Peanut Butter with a little bit of jelly.

Now aside from the fact that I know you are sitting there salivating at the idea of having a pb and j yourself, think about what happiness you might be spreading. Take a week or two and see what it does for you and everyone around you. After all, just like peanut butter on my pb and jelly sandwiches, happiness was meant to be spread.

Charity

It’s Fun to Be One and All Things Pink Party!

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016

I can’t believe it’s almost time for another party for my little girl! She will be 3 this October and I can’t wait to plan another party for her. Seriously having a girl is SO different than having boys! And I love every single second of having her as part of our family. My daughter is as girly as they come. She loves princesses, pink, music, dancing, and every single thing Frozen related.

In honor of her upcoming birthday I wanted to throw out this refresher of the All Things Pink Party we had a couple of years ago and ask for YOUR ideas for this year’s theme. What would be fun, easy, and not crazy expensive?

Cake

Remember how I told you I wanted my mom to make a cupcake cake for my cute little girl’s first birthday? Well, she did! And it turned out AMAZING! I am so happy with how it turned out. You can check out her cooking blog to see some of her recipes and she will have a cupcake cake tutorial coming soon. And I think it was a fairly easy cake to make since it’s all cupcakes. My mom also made the smash cake (pictured below) for a one year photo shoot. She is one talented woman.

Smash Cake

There were so many fun things at this party that I have to share a few. I found a ton of cute ideas on Pinterest. I have an entire board dedicated to my daughter’s first birthday party. One of the things at the top of my list was a highchair tutu. Buy some tulle, cut it, tie it around ribbon and put it on the highchair. I mean, come on. Anyone can do that, right? Wrong. Not this girl. I am craftily (totally a word) challenged. I bought some super cute pink tulle. And I cut it. But it was awkwardly crooked. Some pieces were just meant for the garbage. I tied the crookedly cut tulle onto the ribbon. And tied. And then tied some more. I felt like I was tying tulle for a LONG time (at least three episodes of Supernatural long). At this point my tutu just looked like a big, puffy, not even remotely straight mess. So how did I solve the problem? The dollar store!

I snagged two tutu’s, a princess skirt, and a chair cover. All I had to do was to untie both tutu’s and cut the skirt down the middle. I secured all of them to the high chair with glue dots and put the chair cover on the back. Done. Best $4 I’ve ever spent.

birthday

A couple of weeks before the party I had some pics taken by the absolutely amazing Maganda Studios. I had to post a couple to go along with this birthday party post. But don’t worry, there will be a whole post dedicated to this awesome shoot and a discount (squee!)

I mean, come on. Could my baby girl be any cuter? Oh, and the adorable Birthday Girl dress? Scored it for $3.20 from BabiesRUs last January when I posted about their awesome clearance sale. Fingers crossed it happens again this year.

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson



Hold Your Little Ones a Little Tighter

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016

 

image

Sometimes, out of the blue, the loss will hit me. I will remember the little kicks I felt in my belly and pain when I never got to see his smile. So, today, hold your little ones a little tighter. You never know when it will be that last day you get to.

 

Today I held my children just a little tighter;

I squeezed precious little bodies just a little longer.

Today I ignored the bad behavior; the fighting and the whining.

And I focused on the amazingness that my children exude.

Today I remembered those horrible feelings of loss and pain from years ago;

And my heart hurt for others who are experiencing a similar pain anew.

Today I tried hard to ignore all the things that are wrong in my world;

And to focus on all the wonderful things that are right.

Today I watched my children play & sing & dance.

And in doing so, my heart felt just a little lighter.

Today, hold your little ones just a little longer, relish in their scent, their smile, their everything.

Because you never know if tomorrow they will be taken.