Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life at the Hansen's. Oh boy!

Can life get any crazier?? (Don't worry I just knocked on wood).

I read a blog post today from a blog I regularly frequent. Stephanie Nielson is my hero! She is a walking miracle and a total rock star! Her blog post today helped me stand a little taller and remember how blessed I am to be a mother and how I can no longer be a whimp about it. It's tough, but so am I! And I LOVE a good challenge.

And it helps that my kids are so gosh darn cute! (What? Biased? Me?)

Malia and Dalin...they love each other 50% of the time so I had to document it.

Tyler rockin' a skeleton costume we found in the Halloween box. I thought he should have gone with it, but he thought it was a tad small.

 Just lovely. How is she already so beautiful and mature? She is such a good girl and so far (we're only 7 months into teenage hood) she is a pleasure! I am one lucky lady.

I love this picture because it shows Dalin's serious side. He is always thinking and trying to understand his world. Today, while watching Curious George, he said to me matter-of-factly, "Mom...banana's come from monkeys!" After a couple of minutes of trying to explain that monkeys just like to eat banana's and that banana's grow on trees I gave up, cause he had already figured it out. Banana's come from monkeys. Yup. Let's just hope he figures it out before he shares that with his Kindergarten class...

Malia posing with a leaf. By the way, this little cutie turns 7 on Friday (((((((gasp)))))) Which leads me to my totally irrational, totally useless and totally weird phobia of odd numbers... And how do you think I feel with Kylee who is 13, Tyler 11 and Baily 9...all ODD. Now Malia will be 7 and I will turn 35 next month! The only sanity I have to hold onto is that Dalin is 4 and James is 36...Phew.) Okay that was random, don't judge. I know you have a weird phobia...hidden in there somewhere.

 Baily (9) throwing out the peace signs. With her fringed shawl and tutu that needed to retire 10 washes ago!

 More of Kylee. She has her own phone but yet, I still find dozens of selfies of her on my phone.

Tyler holding his first cousin on the Hansen's side. Sweet, sweet baby Emma! She really is the best baby ever- such an angel

Dalin with his bat pumpkin.

Then there is this handsome man who I don't give enough credit to. He is working so hard right now, tons of overtime so we can make ends meet while we "patiently" wait for our rental home to sell. He is the best. THE best. 

Yup. Life is crazy. 5 kids is a lot of kid. I struggle to juggle housework, kids, my side jobs (passions), my calling as Primary Prez, taking care of pets which I loathe love, eating right, exercising, paying bills, staying on budget...blah blah blah...But, you know what, when I leave this earth and meet my maker, He sure as heck isn't going to ask me if I kept my kitchen floor mopped and all the grass stains off my kids pants...He's gonna be making sure I made people feel good about themselves and that I taught my kids how to pray and how to be kind. He's gonna make sure I made my man feel worthy and loved and let him lead our family. He's for sure gonna make sure I tried my best, not that I was perfect, but that I never stopped trying. That's what I will get to stand up tall and answer to.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating Dalin

Every mom says, on their kids birthday, "I can't believe how old they are! Time goes by so fast!" So pardon the cliche, but I truly can't believe that my baby is 4!

I can't believe I have 5 kids. I can't believe that my oldest is in 8th grade. I can't believe my baby is 4!

Dalin was laying on the couch this morning, pretending to be a baby, sucking on a pretend pacifier. I had a flash back to when he was a new born. He was so perfect...his bright blue eyes and dark brown hair. He brought so much joy into my life. Joy that our family was complete, joy that he was here safe and joy because I knew that my life would never be the same (check out why here).

D surprised me and came 3 weeks early. I labored all day, not believing that it was real labor. Around 5:00pm James strongly recommended that we go to the hospital. When we got there, it was a full moon AND had been storming. (For those of you in the medical field you know that that is a double whammy for hospitals!)

My labor at the hospital was hard, mostly because of the horrible epidural, but Dalin was born at 11:36 pm and weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz.

 He completed us. His bold, precise energy filled our home with love and made each one of us realize how lucky we were to be alive and to be a family.
He has taught me so much in his 4 years on this earth and I can say with all seriousness that I am a better and stronger person because of him. Thank you, Dalin! We love you! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why I Love Eeyore

My whole life I have simultaneously felt so sorry for eeyore and related to him. Remember when he would lose his tail? Then one of his friends would find it lying around and pin it back on his rear! Then he would always say, in that low, monotone voice, "No matter. Most likely lose it again."

Oh Eeyore!

My friend made an observation of the me the other day and said that I "wear my worries on my skin." I was really troubled by that comment and it took me a minute to process it. I didn't take offense, because she was simply making an observation, but it really got me thinking.

 I am a pessimist by nature. Always have been...sorry my friends but that glass, ya know the one with the water in's half empty. BUT I pride myself on the fact that I fight, each day to be happy, that I am careful of the way I speak and think and the things I fill my time with. I want others to see me as a happy, joyful person who tries hard to be a good mom, wife and friend.

Lately I have been feeling a bit more like Eeyore than normal..."No matter, I've already lost my mind and will most likely lose it tomorrow, too."

The single greatest challenge I experience is remembering to be patient with myself! To honor my nature and to see what I use to think where my greatest weaknesses as my greatest God-given strengths. Yup, I probably will lose my mind again tomorrow, but that's okay. I have piglets and tigers and Pooh's in my life to help me reattach it. They see me for who I am and love me despite all that. So I may wear my worries on my skin more than some people, but that is me.

My sweet Kylee was with me when my friend made this comment and she responded with wisdom beyond her years by saying, "That is who you are mom. You worry. Worry is what makes you you. You worry so much because you care so much, and that is why people are attracted to you and love you." Isn't she a peach!!

Which Winney the Pooh character are you? There's one for everyone!

James is Pooh! awwwwww

Kylee is Owl, of course!

 Tyler is Rabbit.

Baily is T-I-double G-ER!

Malia is Piglet to a "T".

Dalin is our Roo.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Today I Met an Angel

Today I got to meet an angel! A long awaited for little baby was born yesterday, July 13th. The proud and wonderful parents of baby Emma Nicole are my brother-in-law and his wife. Emma was bundled up so tightly in 3 hospital blankets, in the traditional burrito-style roll that you need a degree in baby swaddling to re-do. She had a precious knitted hat on her tiny head.

I have only seen my husband cry a handful of times, and this was one of them, as he held his first niece (on his side of the fam.) It was magical. I can't wait to watch her grow up! What a wonderful addition to our family.

They don't want this little princess on the world wide web just yet, so here is a picture of James holing her...He was beaming!

The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. I finished painting Dalin's room-It only took me three days because everything has to be done in little increments around here. It is "pirate blue", as Dalin calls it. I will put the finishing touches on his pirate themed room this week; black and white stripped curtains, some art work and other fun piratey things!

Next is Kylee's room. Corral and Aqua with something like this muraled across the wall.

And then the little girls room...We're still not sure of the colors for that one. This house is getting a makeover! Painting is exhausting.

Now, time for a date with Netflix =)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I was out on my morning run today. I love these runs...Even though most of the time I feel like passing out...I do love the way my heart pounds and my muscles scream. I do my best thinking on these runs. I love the way my mind feels open and free.

I had been pleading with God this last week to help me understand why I have been feeling so heavy-hearted lately...anxious...looking over my shoulder for the next bad thing to happen. I use to live every day like this and so these feelings are very familiar to me, and ones that I fight everyday to stay on top of. I had been asking questions like,  "Why am I feeling this way? Was it a warning, an impression of some sort? What was I doing or not doing in my life to be stuck in this negative thought pattern? And I found myself going over these questions again as I blazed crawled along.

I love God. I love how he listens to me and answers me. He waited to answer this particular question until I was in the still of nature, running along the beautiful mountain roads of North Ogden, Utah.

His answer came to me in my own thoughts, as it almost always does. "Your heart is heavy because you are not sharing. You are not sharing the oils and you are not sharing your story of healing, hope, peace and JOY! You are not sharing the wealth of knowledge I have given you. Remember when I promised to heal you and teach you how to be happy? Remember that you promised me if I would do those things that you would share what you learn with others? Remember?"

My heart did 2 things almost simultaneously....It rejoiced as it always does when I hear God's instructions to me, and then it sank...He was right. I wasn't sharing. I was too busy...busy with GOOD things, mind you...slathering sunscreen, cooking meals, cleaning fingerprints off walls, etc. etc. But He was right.

I am happiest when i am sharing.

Remember when you were little and your mom would say over and over again, "Share your toys! Share your candy! Share share share!" I say that to my kids all the time. Sharing is so IMPORTANT. Why??? Because when we share, we are happier. It's a weird phenomenon how taking something from yourself and giving it away can grow your heart and melt away your cares. But it does, doesn't it?

It was no coincidence that my wonderful friend came over today with her 2 boys and we let the kids play while she picked at my brain and I SHARED with her the tools I had learned on how to be happy. It was awesome. She left feeling hope and she left me feeling happy. Thank you Father for knowing me so well and reminding me of your promise.

Isn't God amazing?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Heaven is Here

I am listening to the book Heaven is Here, by Stephanie Nielson. It is a heart-wrenching autobiography. Stephanie and her husband were in a plane crash in 2008 and she was burned over 80% of her body. See her story here.

In the beginning of the book she talks about how she met her husband, married and started having their family. The tender way she talks about her sweet husband and each of her children is so touching. It has truly inspired me to slow down. To take time to really see my children, each one of them, and my husband who does so much and gives so much. In the chaos of each day I need to remember what is important and what memories I am creating for my family. That is really all that matters.

Thinking back on today I remember the things that I saw with my eyes, but am now just seeing with my heart...

Like just now, when Dalin climbed on my lap while I was sitting in bed, writing this post and curled up and fell asleep, enveloped in my lush blanket. He felt completely safe. He completely trusts me. He knows so little of the world, and through his almost 4 year old eyes I am his world, his rock. There is nothing in this world that compares to kissing his warm cheeks when he is asleep.
Or the time I went downstairs to get some water after I had tucked the kids into their sleeping bags in the living room to watch a movie and found Kylee, face down on top of the counter with her long legs hanging off the edge taking funny pictures of herself and giggling at each one. She has this amazing ability to be happy and to see good.

I remember this morning when James gathered us for scripture reading and then loaded up all 5 kids to take them to lunch in the park.  I did not fully appreciate his service until now. I was just concerned with how much free time I would have, not the sacrifices he was making being gone all morning and then heading straight to work some overtime. He is always so compassionate and loving toward me!

My eyes saw, and my heart is now basking in the memory of looking out the window this afternoon to see Baily. She had shimmied up the tree and out onto a sturdy branch. She was rigging the sprinkler hose so that it sprayed down on the trampoline like a shower so that her, Malia and Dalin could jump in their swimming suits. She is so bright and determined. I never have to worry if something will get done with Baily, she does anything she puts her mind to and she does it with a smile!

Malia had been asking me all day to glue her My Little Pony wing that was falling off. She cherishes her pony's and so I told her of course I would, and to put it on the counter so I wouldn't forget. After a couple more reminders I finally grabbed the pony. After discovering we didn't have any glue that would work on plastic I took some purple duct tape and bandaged the wing, good as new. When I handed it to her, she looked over the wing and gasped. I thought for sure she would be upset at my work, but than wrapped her arms around me and thanked me for fixing her pony! My heart melted as her and her pony fluttered away.

Then there is my Tyler. We were watching a show all together after dinner and I was starting to "zone out" after my busy day. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the body I felt nestled against mine was my tall, thin boy. He had found a little nook to sneak into and was resting his head against my shoulder with his arm wrapped around my arm. I kissed the top of his head, "Hi Ty!" I said, in my usual greeting to him, smoothing his hair. He looked up at me with his huge smile and those electrifying blue eyes.

My life is far from perfect. I cringe when people sugar coat everything and make their lives look so glamorous, but what Stephanie Nielson reminded me of in her book, is that life doesn't have to be perfect for us to see all the good! There is so much good!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Love for Wyoming

We took a trip to Wyoming and just got back today.

What can I say about Wyoming? I drove through it once as a young married woman and all I saw were sage brush and I remember a ton of wind. Meh...wasn't my thing. That was, until my brother and sister-in-law (sister from another mister) decided to up and move to Pinedale, WY after we had finally convinced them to move to Utah a couple of years before (rude, right?).

That is when my eyes were opened to the beauty that is Wyoming. The first thing I noticed about Wyoming was the clouds. I have a bit of a fascination with clouds, especially Cumulus clouds! Ya know, the ones that are so heavenly puffy and white and have a flat bottom!!! Like these!

They get my heart racing and speak to my soul. So, there's the clouds...and no air pollution! (((((breath)))))))) These fill the skies almost everyday.

Then there are the many lakes! And the forests around Pinedale are covered in Aspen (my fav tree) and pine trees.  It's paradise.

Then there are the people! So nice and friendly. People actually make eye contact with you and don't flip you off if you sneeze wrong or cut them off. Time slows down when you are there. It really does feel like you are in a different world.

In Pinedale we went horseback riding, kayaked, camped, hiked, had great food and spent time with Troy and his rock star family.

Let's talk for a minute about Jackson Hole! It is a huge tourist town, so if that isn't your thing, you've been warned...but it is A-Mazing! The city itself is quaint and adorable, with lots of shopping and fun things to to. It is just another reason why Wyoming is so great.

In Jackon Hole we played with lots of cousins, Aunts, Uncles and family, ate amazing food, hiked Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons (5 mile hike which seemed like 100 miles with all the kids), did a couple runs of the Alpine Slides (you take a ski lift to the top of a mountain and then slide down a water-slide-looking-thing on a little sled with a brake. It is totally radical. (yeah, I am bringing back radical), then we hopped over to Yellowstone where we saw Old Faithful do her thing. It was lovely.

Now...enjoy some photos =) and then get online and book a trip!

 My siblings, Tami, Troy, Tara and me
 Malia and her other half...Zachary
 Me...just posing with a statue of a scared hunter...ya...I know it does't make sense to me either.
 Kylee and Dalin getting eaten by a bear
 Kylee doing her thang with a great view of Jenny Lake and the Tetons.
 Kylee, me and my mommy. Three generations right there.
 Some cute cousins
 My dad, the mountain man and Dalin
 The water fall that feeds into Jenny Lake and the 2 of the best hikers you ever did see!
 Tyler and his other half-Troy Jr.
 James and I. Awwwwww
 Waiting to go down a second time on the Alpine slide.

 Old Faithful

 James and I enjoying our anniversary and some time alone (Thanks Troy and Rae for keeping the kids)

 Getting our horse back riding on! Boy-were we sore after our 2 hour ride!

 The adorable little cabin we stayed in on our last night alone. Cute as a button!