Sunday, January 26, 2014

This Brand New, Beautiful 2014

I don't know if I've ever been happier in my whole life.

Part of me is afraid to even write that because it's like asking for a big problem to land in my lap.

But this past month, I have felt excited and peaceful, and all of those challenges I couldn't talk about are finally getting figured out.  It's like I've been climbing a mountain in the fog for a long time, and all of a sudden, I can see the top (and I know I can get there).

If I wrote out all of the details, it would be way more than anyone would want to read, so I'll just sum it up by saying that I have zero doubts that the Lord is aware of each of us, my heart is beyond grateful for Him, and I am very excited for 2014. (Thank you for all of the support you have given me. It means so much.)

And for those of you who like to keep up with what our family is doing, I've posted a handful of pictures below:

We took a week of our three-week Winter Break to visit with Eric's family, and my children couldn't get enough of the snow:


Alia turned 14, and she wanted to spend the morning at the temple with me and Eric, which was such a precious experience:


Eric's sisters are big "Dr. Who" and "Psych" fans, so we brought them some original pieces of art from an art show a friend of ours put on in Anaheim:


And Eric's mom helped put together a fun birthday party for Alia. (Still can't believe I have a 14-year-old.)


It's always fun to play with baby cousins. This is Uncle Marc and baby Richard:


And Richard with Aunt Tara:


Alia and Grace did "photo shoots" out in the snow:



And we spent an afternoon sledding with my sister Page and three of her four children:





Priceless expressions:



Page and I always dreamed of the day our children would play together.


And now the cousins have started a club called "BCE," which means "Best Cousins Ever."



Eric's little brother John came to visit with his friend Kristi, and we stayed out there in the cold until our feet were numb. Then we scurried back to Page's house for hot chocolate.
 Now that we're home, we spend quite a few hours a week at the basketball gym. Spencer's the defender here:


And below is a photo of Ethan. (I need to find one of Grace to post soon.)

Even though I'm not a good basketball player, myself, I sincerely love to watch them play.


In other news, I am giddy about these new charts we set up for the new year. These, combined with our simple money chart and our simple behavioral chart, keep things rolling smoothly (in general...you know how family life goes).


Since I've been putting in some extra hours preparing our new Power of Moms Radio station to launch, Eric took on the science fair project with Grace. She had a great time collecting bacteria samples and letting them grow in Petri dishes, and even though we all stayed up until 10:30 the night before it was due to get the final details completed, I think it turned out really well.


And thank you to all of you who have asked how my mom is doing. I will have to post more photos later, but, in general, she is happy and healthy and doing amazingly well.

We took her over to my elementary school last Thursday, and I showed my children the stage where I learned to play the violin, sang with the glee club, and performed in the talent show to Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop." Oh, the memories!


My mom can't remember very much, and sometimes she gets anxious or discouraged, but the past few times I've cared for her, she has been incredibly sweet and alert.

"Mom," I said to her one evening, "I'm so glad to see you like this--doing so well. When you were in the rehabilitation center, and when you were on your heavy medications, there were days I thought I was going to lose you."

She didn't remember any of those days, and she looked surprised when I told her she'd broken her hip twice. But then she smiled and said, "Well, April, the Lord must have answered our prayers because I've never felt better!"

I know that so many of you have been praying for my mom and sending your supportive thoughts our way. And I am quite sure that this improvement we're seeing in her and the joyful experiences we're having are being provided to us in part because of all of those prayers.

There may not be a way to reverse Alzheimer's, and I know there will come a day when we are going to have to say goodbye to this angel (for a time), but I've learned not to take one day for granted, and I am just happy. Truly happy.

Wishing the very best to all of you this year!

Love,
April


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