Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Light of the World

I have been thinking a lot about Him lately.

Who He was and still is.

What He did and still does.

How and why?

The only answer that makes any sense at all, is LOVE.  He was, is, did, and still does because He loves us.  Me.  You.  His Father in Heaven.  My Father in Heaven.

The more I think and learn of Him through focused scripture study, the more my understanding, connection to, and love for Him deepen.

How I want to be more like Him.  Motivated, guided, and strengthened by love.  More willing to serve and share that love with others.

He truly is the Light of the World.  His love for us is beyond comprehension.  The more I go to Him, the more I feel that love.  The more I look to Him, the more I see Him in every detail of life.

I know He lives.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Trip for Sunshine and Soccer

Jake plays soccer.  A lot. :)

Which comes with the territory of being on a club soccer team.  But he loves it and we love the team he is on!  We also love to watch him play, grow, learn, and accomplish with a group of other great boys.  He seriously has the BEST coach ever!  Who also is driven to see these boys succeed.  

One element that I have come to love in being a true Surf Blue soccer mom, is the tournaments throughout the year.  Most of them take place over the summer but there is one that we play in January down in Mesquite, Nevada.  The President's Cup.

Last year Jake didn't go.  Largely because Trev and I felt it unnecessary at his age (he was only 9 for crying out loud) to travel when there is so much comparable competition right here in the valley.  Our decision to not attend wound up being good for our family, but a bummer for Jake.  After that experience, I decided if the team went to that tournament again I would take him.  I LOVE watching him play and wanted to support him in his endeavors.  So when it came time to register this year we signed up! 

Jakes best buddy, Luke, also plays on the team and his mom happens to be one of my very best friends - so we worked it out with them to be roomies and off we went!

Originally, when I thought of heading south for the tournament in the bitter cold of January, I was super excited for some sun.  But we had to work our way through a pretty nasty storm to find it.

 Lucky for us, I lucked out to need a rental car that weekend and the only available SUV was a brand new Suburban.  I felt safe the whole time!

We stopped in Cedar for Cafe Rio, and about the time we hit St. George, we finally saw sunlight!  A welcome sight. :)

We got into Mesquite, checked into our hotel, got settled and changed, then headed straight to our first game.  Which wound up being canceled due to "hurricane force" winds.  Another bit of welcomed news since other teams had to play in it.  We decided to head back to the hotel, and the boys decided to play cards to get the wiggles out before bed.  They were quite funny and loud.  I beamed at watching my boy have so much fun with other boys.  He doesn't get that at home. :)

The next morning, Jake and I woke up early to exercise together and then we headed off to breakfast at this cute little diner!  

The boys did some light, yet information-packed reading.  Ha!

We also saw our friends from the team who obviously had the same idea. :)

We still had a little time to spare before our first game, so we went over to this amazing hotel that they have built in Mesquite JUST FOR TEAMS!  It was unreal and made us all want to stay there next year. :)

While the boys played, Lindsey and I did some light, yet also information-packed reading as well. :)

Then it was time to get ready and to the first game.  These boys and their hair prep time was hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time.  Hahaha!

Our first game, it took the boys a little time to get a good groove going and we wound up tying in the end.

They were bummed.  It had a been a while since they had played outside and on turf no less, but they settled in and I thought it was a good start to the weekend. 

The next game the did much better and won that one!

It was super cold that night, but this kind friend of our team mom had his amazing lens and got these great pics of the boys for me!  I was so excited, I almost didn't notice the cold...almost. :)

After the game we went out for some celebratory pizza and I was texting our coach to see how the other teams were stacking up and where we would wind up in the standings. :)

The boys still had extra energy so we took them and some other teammates to the hot tub and pool.  It was freezing but better than sitting in the hotel trying to corral them. :)

Meanwhile, I got this cute picture sent from Trev of our twins, and his brothers that are also identical twins at a family party we were missing back home.  I treasure this picture!

The next day was all business.  The boys made it to the semi-finals, and wound up not making it into the championship by one goal.  The team we tied one the whole thing.  The sad thing was, that we thought we had made it into the final but found out after that we hadn't.  The boys were sooo bummed.  Kind of a heart-breaker but a good learning experience in dealing with disappointment.  The silver lining was that the final would have been late that night, and another storm was rolling in.  I was going to be catching a flight out of SLC to Denver with my little girls the next morning at 6 am, so if we had gone to the finals, we would have been driving back late in that storm.  So even though it was sad to see the boys not get as far as they wanted, it wound up being a really good thing.  And I got more pictures like this:

It also sparked my search to get a lens to capture these moments. :)  Which I am happy to say I did!!!  More on that later. Yay!

It was a great trip and great tournament!  We made it safely home, but sadly missed our flight the next morning anyway.  Which stunk!  I told the girls I owe them a do-over trip.

What a weekend!!  We had lots of ups, downs, and everything in between.  I am so glad we went this year and can't wait for next year! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Getting Back and Coming Home

It's been almost a year since my last post.  

I am not sure how that year could have passed so swiftly but I do know that so much has transpired in that time.  

And you know what?  Time and life just seem to keep accelerating.

There are so, so many things I want to document and preserve before that acceleration pushes them even further into the recesses of my already poor memory.  

So with that in mind, and a new determination to keep this blog up for that very purpose; I am getting back to blogging.  

I am coming home to the only space I currently use, other than my personal journals and Instagram, to chronicle my life and my family. 

It's hard to know where to begin, so I am just going to start with a little snapshot of our lives today.

This was taken back in August but it's the most recent "formal" family picture.

As a family, we are well into the summer years of raising kids.  

We now have kind of two sets: the olders, and Liza.

Morgan is officially a teenager!  She just turned 13 two weeks ago, and is loving all things teen.  She spends her time Instagramming modest fashion, baking, diy-ing, texting friends, and has recently taken up running.  

Jake is 10, and will turn 11 in a couple months.  He is still all boy with a talent for soccer, and teasing his sisters.  The one however, that gets whatever she wants out of him is Liza.  She has that boy so wrapped around her tiny fingers.

Abby and Claire are still the cutest twins there ever was.  They continue to be attached at the hip and giggle constantly.  Occasionally there are squabbles, but for the most part they are total BFF's.  They are both still doing gymnastics, got baptized, and are wanting to give soccer a shot this spring.

Now on to Liza.  She doesn't turn 2 for another month, but her behavior tells a different story.  She is always up for anything.  She loves to "GO!"  She has the typical 2 year old tantrums down, but for the most part is really sweet and fun.  We all still dote over and adore her. Perks of being the baby of the family.

Trev is super busy with running Lighten Home Health, and adding Hospice; while serving in the Bishopric and being a wonderful husband and father.  He is seriously awesome!

I am a focused and dedicated wife and mother.  I just turned 35 (today!) and am trying to get us all settled into our new home and routine.  I still run, take pictures, and serve in the Young Women's.  

And now I can actually say I blog again too! 


Not to end on a sad note, but for those who don't know...after 14 years in our family, we had to put our sweet puppy, Daisy, down right before Christmas.

She was old and her back was rapidly degenerating, causing a lot of pain among other things.  

I don't believe there has ever been a sweeter dog.  She was loyal, friendly (unless you were another dog), and always there to give love.  

We miss our sweet puppy a lot, and frequently walk up the hill behind our home to visit her final resting place.  

On the other hand, we firmly believe she is having a blast chasing Grandpa Lighten's pigeons all around heaven.  It will be a sweet reunion to see her again one day.

We love our sweet Daisy.

Well that gives a little snippet into our lives right now.  I desire to document so much more of it here!

Oh, it sure feels good to be back. :)