Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Have A New Friend.

I finally have given myself permission to be myself, and I am pretty great!
I feel like I have finally become friends with "the real me".
The real me is happy, even when I am alone.
The real me is able to set goals and not be afraid of the hard work it takes to achieve them.
The real me stands up for my beliefs, always.
The real me loves myself for who I am, not what others think of me.
I am now doing things that I love, because I want to.
2016 was such a great year for our family.

In March I went to my very first Utah Caucus. 
I was selected to be a Utah state Delegate. 
It has been such a great learning experience so far. 
I love everything politics, and this has been so fun. 
Man, I have learned a lot! 
The Utah Republican Convention was pretty fun too.
 I love being informed, and now I really feel like I have a vote, 
which is really awesome!
(Sorry Cory, I will stop talking about politics. On this post anyway.)

At the beginning of the year I made a goal to train for a half-marathon. 
A few of my new friends were all signing up. 
I had never run more than a few miles at a time in my life. 
But I thought, "Hey, why not?". 
 I had to work extra hard to strengthen my right leg. 
But it did get strong enough. 
In June 2016, after four months of training, 
I completed my very first half-marathon! 
It was such a great experience. 
Reaching the finish line was very overwhelming. 
I was tired, but I was also so proud of myself. 
I am great at making goals, but the sticking with them 
until they are complete has always been hard for me. 
The finish line of this race held so much significance for me. 
I felt strong for the first time since before I was sick. 
I felt like I was back. I was no longer defined by my limitations. 
I now had the ability to do anything I set my mind to do.
So, what did I do as I felt so empowered? 
I cried, of course!
This was my view after I crossed the
finish line. I cried tears of joy,
and ate my little heart out!
Loved this!!!
One happy girl!!


I can't really complain about running in Utah. 
What a beautiful state I live in!
Antelope Island. I actually took this
while I was sitting in my car.
The beautiful trail by my house.

Life in Utah has brought lots of visitors, and lots of fun. Cory finished his Master's in Taxation Degree (I know, he is super smart. I am so proud of him!) over the summer, and we finally had some free time. The fall got busy again because I decided to go to school to get a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. I needed a few classes to qualify to apply for the program, so I completed 12 units over the Fall. It took a while for my brain to warm up to school again. But I have loved it! I even had to dissect a fetal pig for my Anatomy and Physiology classes. That was quite the experience.
Now I just wait, and hopefully I will get in to the Spring 2017 Nursing program!!

Here are some of the things we were up to during the rest of the year:

G loves her stuffed animals.
We even had a wedding for two of them!

This boy is growing so fast!
We love him so much!
All we need is LOVE and S'mores.

My crew. We are a two cart family.
One for the kids, one for the groceries.

t-Ball might be one of the cutest things ever!
This boy brings us so much joy!
Excited for Tucano's.
If you are ever in Salt Lake City, this restaurant is a must!

This girl keeps things
very entertaining.
Love this guy.

Salt Lake City Temple
Visitor's Center.

We had so many apricots this year!
We love that Utah has all four seasons.

These pictures don't need captions.
 These kids are so good at entertaining themselves.
We even found the high school from the
High School Musical Movie!

This beauty turned 8 this year.
It was so special to watch her get baptized by her dad.

This little cutie loves being our baby.
So much personality in this little body.

If I don't text you back, 
it means my phone has been hijacked. 
She cracks me up!

 We had family pictures taken just before Christmas. 
It was SO COLD, but they turned out so good.

Second Christmas in our new house. 
We have so much to be grateful for!

Our life is far from perfect. But we are so blessed. We are not rich, but we have a steady income. We have a warm house, two cars, clothes to wear, and plenty of food to eat. We have access to the world's best medical care. 
I truly feel like we live in the greatest country in the world. I am so grateful for all of the blessings in my life. 
If I have learned anything these past couple of year it is that God loves ME. He knows my struggles, and he blesses me constantly. 
I know He loves each of us, and is aware of our specific needs.

There was a time this year when my sister had to have an emergency c-section to save her baby. 
She had to be taken back into surgery after he was born because she was hemorrhaging. 
All while her baby was being cared for in the NICU.
I felt so helpless. 
My sister was over a thousand miles away, possibly dying, 
and I couldn't do anything.
I found a quiet room, and prayed and prayed and prayed. 
This was 2016, women don't die in childbirth.
Let alone my own sister!

My prayer was interrupted by a very loud tapping on my window.

I tried to keep praying. I had important things to pray about. But the bird would not stop. Finally I realized what the bird was trying to help me remember. I opened my Bible to Matthew 10:29-31

God was aware of the situation. Everything was going to be okay.
 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Thankfully my sister, is alive and well.
Her baby has grown into a cute, healthy, chubby baby.
Am I the only one who has to learn the same lessons over and over?!

This is my new motto. 

There is so much negativity surrounding us, trying to bring us down. 
I know if we keep our focus on the Lord, we can feel peace. 
No matter our circumstances.
We have no reason to fear. 
God knows and loves every one of us.


  1. Amanda I love this so much! You inspire me and amaze me!

  2. Love you and your family!! Glad to hear you're all doing well!! Can't believe how old your kids are getting!Such cuties!!!Next time we are in Utah we will have to catch up!!!!❤ Dylan still talks about C.J. And how he had popcicles and you fixed the hair cut I gave Dylan. :)

    1. That is so cute Tammy! Please let me know next time you are here. We would love to see you all, and meet your baby!!