Life is SO Much Better When My Wife is Healthy

I really hate it when my wife is sick.  It falls in line with the saying that if momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.  It really does make me sad to see her sick and not be able to do anything to help her physically.

About all I can do is try and help around the house, and to be honest I am just not as good without her.  Everyone gets fed and cleaned and where they need to go, but something is just missing without my favorite teammate.  

Since we have been back together this month we have probably worked as a team better than just about any other time in our marriage.  I don’t know if It was being apart that made the difference, or if we are just developing our relationship better but I feel like we are doing better.

Sure there are still things to work on, like her following through on the weekly back massages she promised before we were married, but it has been a good month back together.  Life only seems to get busier and busier these days and I know that the only way we will make it through is working together. 

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Finally Returning Home to Family

That’s right, after almost three months of waiting I am finally back home with my family.  It was a long and frustrating process, but I was blessed with people who did everything they could along the way to make it happen.

It was super hard lying to my wife and kids for the last week since I bought my ticket so that I could surprise them when I came home.  The wife did get a little suspicious when I didn’t answer my phone for 20 hours, but it was still a good surprise, as you can tell by the video.

They had already left for the drive-in movie by the time I got back so I had to go over there and surprise them instead of being at home which is why the video is not better.

It was fun spending the rest of the night with my kids just wanting to snuggle me and sit on me.  It has been a really lonely few months, but I am so glad it is finally over.  As luck would have it, the kids have all of next week off school so now we get a lot of family time before I go to work in a few weeks.

Life often doesn’t go the way that we planned, but it always seems to work out for the best in the end.

Happiness

I was a little surprised with myself when I picked this topic to be grateful for today.  I have not been exceptionally happy recently, but at the same.time I have much to be happy about.

I have a beautiful wife and children that I love dearly, and that love me in return.  I get to talk to them pretty much daily, and seeing them on video makes me so happy.  

I have a good job that supports my family well and provides all of the income that I need, and then some.  I get to work around airplanes, though not as much as I would like right now, and I work right next to a runway where I regularly get to see planes, which always makes me happy.

The biggest airshow in the world is going on right now at EAA Airventure in OshKosh, Wisconsin, and while I can’t be there personally, I get to live vicariously through the many friends that I have that are there.  It is easy to be happy when you get to share in the happiness of others.

As I write this I realize it is really just another list of many things I am grateful for, but isn’t that really what happiness is all about?  Acknowledging the great things that you have in your life and allowing them to bring you joy?

It is so vitally important that we always look for the good and joy in our lives, especially when they get hard, and that is why today I am grateful for happiness.

What are you grateful for?

Eternal Families

Ty Sealing Day FamilyFor those of you that may not know a lot about Mormons, eternal families are right at the heart of everything we do.  We believe that through the power of the priesthood we can be sealed together not just until we die, but that we can actually be a family even after we die.

In order to do that we must be sealed in one of the 150 or so temples that we have around the world.  Because my Queenie and I were sealed as a couple before our first three kids were born they are automatically sealed to us, but Ty is in a little bit of a different situation since he was adopted.

In order for him to be sealed to us we had to go to the temple again and have him sealed to our family for eternity.  The awesome thing about that is that all of our kids, along with tons of our other family, were able to be there for the actual sealing which just made the whole thing super special.

As we sat in the temple together surrounded by friends and family that love us, and I heard the prayer said to seal our new little wonder boy to our family all I could do was stare at him and his mom and take in the magnitude of the moment.  Three months ago this little guy was in a crowded orphanage with dozens of other kids not really receiving love and affection, a good diet, or much physical exercise.

Now he runs around with two sisters and a brother that love him, eats just about anything we put in front of him, and shares a room with a big brother that adores him.  Today he was surrounded by about 30 other people who also love him and will gladly take care of him for the rest of his life.  On top of all of that, he is now part of an eternal family that will love and care for him through thick and thin.

The magnitude of that reality is a little overwhelming.

In the 15 months or so since we started this process there have been plenty of ups and downs and trials along the way, but witnessing my newest son snuggle up to his mommy who was crying tears of joy as we were sealed together as a family will forever be etched in the most sacred memories of my mind.

The love of family is the most important thing that I have ever experienced, and continue to experience, and that is why today I am grateful for eternal families.

Coming Home

I have lived a lot of different places in my life all over the world.  Every one of those places has a special place in my heart and I have loved them all for different reasons.

I spent most of my growing up years in Utah so that is where many of my earliest memories are from.  It is where I learned to love the mountains which is why as I drove back into the Salt Lake Valley I couldn’t help but smile.

Seeing the Wasatch mountains grow in front of us as we drove in from the west was simply awe inspiring.  The snow still sitting on top of the highest peaks shows just how much snow the West got this year.

As amazing as the mountains are, they are not what makes Utah home.  After all the places I have gone and all the trips I have taken, family is what defines coming home.

Driving into the Salt Lake Valley with my Queenie and kids, including my newest son who only became a US citizen and few days ago, it really dawned on me how important it is for me to come home and visit family.

They are the ones that have always been there for me when I needed them.  They have celebrated my triumphs and cried with me when I hurt.  

I know that not everything has been perfect over the years, but that is part of being a family: you love each other no matter what.

So while I am excited to be back in the mountains and enjoy the wonderful outdoors, I am even more excited to see my family, and grateful to come home.

Service to My Family

Moving your family across the world can be challenging as I have mentioned previously.  There is just so much to do and so many things to think about that it can be overwhelming.

The thing that makes it possible for me is the service of others helping in any way they can.  I don’t know that I could list all of the ways that we have been helped in the last few weeks, but here is a sampling.

Watching our kids while the house got packed.

Brought dinner so we could focus on getting ready. 

Loaned a car for three days since we sold our car.

Offered their house for us to stay in after all of our stuff was gone.  

Loaned a big van so that all of our stuff and family could get to the airport.

Offered to drive our family to the airport.

Called everyone she knew to get us a babysitter in our new city so we can go look for a house.

Offered her house so we wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel while finding a place to live.

I probably could keep typing for another half an hour with all of the acts of service that have been done for my family.  I would like to think my family is just that awesome that people adore us, but the real reason is that all of these other people are awesome.  

They took time out of their day, or inconvenienced themselves to help my family in a crazy time in our life.  It probably helps that most of them have gone through the same thing before, and will go through it again in the coming months and years, but that in no way diminishes the value of what they did.

It can be incredibly hard to ask other people for help because we don’t want to impose, but I am eternally grateful for the people who stepped up at this challenging time and served my family.

My Father

Maybe it is a little cliche to be grateful for my father on Father’s Day, but it’s my blog and I do what I want.  I did consider writing about some of the other “fathers” I have had in my life but maybe I will go there next year.

Now that I am writing I am not exactly sure where to start.  

Many of my earliest memories involve my dad and developing what has become the biggest passion of my life, airplanes.  I remember traveling to the airport with my dad way before we would need to pick someone up just so we could watch the airplanes.  This was pre-9/11 so sometimes we would even go when we didn’t have to pick someone up and just walk around the airport.

One of the biggest life-changing moments was visiting the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.  We were there shortly after the end of the Cold War so there were miles and miles (at least it felt that way to a kid) of B-52s that we drove through on the tour.  

I was just in awe of these amazingly large aircraft and just the wonder of flight.  I don’t know that I realized it at the time, but that was probably the point at which I knew in my heart which direction I would go in my career.

To say that everything in our relationship was perfect would simply not be true.  We had our ups and downs like any child and parent, but I have always known that my Dad loves me.

That is probably the greatest gift that any child can receive, and is something that has been reinforced as I brought another son into my family through adoption.  Not every child has a father that loves them which completely sucks.

That’s why today I am so grateful today for my Dad.