Sunday, October 6, 2013


This last week has been filled with major emotional roller-coasters. On Monday, I had an audition for the school opera, which will be Hansel and Gretel this year. I've started seriously studying for our mid-term tests coming this next week, and we are trying in earnest to do some behavioral control with Michael. Those things all together made me a little bundle of nerves, going from happy to seriously depressed on the turn of a dime.

But lets start with the really amazing thing that happened this week. Like I said above, auditions for the school opera where on Monday, and let me tell you, I was totally freaking out. I wasn't sleeping the best because I was pretty stressed about the audition. For me this audition signified the first of many that are to come in my career as a performer. I felt the weight of not just this one audition, but of starting everything off right for the coming Spring semester, and my career at the University of Utah. Yeah, no stress right? So I worked harder than I had before, preparing for the auditions, learning music from the show.

At the auditions, I felt very confident and that whatever happened, I was proud of myself for having accomplished something I seriously thought was impossible. As I am not in the class this semester that would find out first who got what parts, a friend of mine got my phone number and said she would text me when she got the news. I wasn't expecting any word until Friday. But come Tuesday night around 10:00p, the list went up online and I got a text. The conversation is a follows:

"Hayley!!! I knew you could do it! Have you seen the list yet?"
                       "No. What?"
                       "The cast list is up already?"
                       "Ps, who is this?" (As I didn't have her number, but she had mine.)

"Mother in Hansel & Gretel!!! Congrats!"

                        " Not a cover? But the actual role?"

"Yep. But it's on canvas. It will be up on the voicebox door tomorrow as well."
"Jenny. Sorry"
"Yes, ma'am."
"You did it kiddo!"

                         "Wow, I'm kind of shocked."

"Why? You're good. Duh."
                          " :)"

And that's how I found out I got the part of the Mother in Hansel & Gretel, the schools fully stated opera in the spring. Holy WHAT? At first I didn't believe it, my brain thinking it couldn't be true because I am just a sophomore. I was up that night until 2:00am because I couldn't get my brain to stop running.

But any questions I had were dismissed the next day when I got to school because everyone who was in Opera Workshop class were congratulating me on getting the role.

So this is me, 100% excited and ready to do the work for the show! AHHHH!!!!!

(my first opera, what a trip!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Michael's 1st b-day party!

We had so much fun at Michael's 1st birthday party! The theme was Pirate, and boy did we go to town!!!! Here are some pictures of the fun (exhausting) event!

Weston be Captin' o' this ship! 

We had a whole set of cool cut-outs thanks to Stephanie Petersen! 

Amazing cake from Grandpa White!

My little Pirate!

We also had a fun 'water cannon' (water balloon) fight after cake and it was tons of fun! We all got soaked!!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Through sorrow and sacrifice, we are made whole . . . or are we?

An idea has been floating around in my head for the last few weeks, and an article I just read from this months Ensign (published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) prompted me to write some of my feelings down. Please understand that these are my opinions, not gospel or doctrine in any way.

As Pioneer Day comes up here in Utah, many people become very focused on the Mormon pioneers, as right they should. Stories are exchanged in church, in special events, all pertaining to the sacrifices of those wonderful people. But after reading/listening/watching the umpteenth story about how a great-great-great Aunt left all her things behind, and traveled west with nothing but her clothes on her back, I'm beginning to see a trend here. Sacrifice is everything, joy is nothing in these stories. We, as member's of the LDS faith, put so much emphasis in sacrifice, in pain and struggle, trials and grief, that I feel we forget what the main purpose of our time on this earth is about. Yes, it is a proving ground, but it is also a place for joy.

'Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy.' 2 Nephi 2:25  

The whole reason the Lord sent us to earth is to have joy. In a talk given by Elder Russel M. Nelson, he say's this about have joy:

“My dear ones,” I replied, “in order to experience true joy in the morning, or at any time, at least three factors are needed. You need to feel good about the people with whom you live and work—your companions in life. You must feel good about yourself—not in any sense of conceit, but simply a proper esteem for yourself, well deserved. And possibly most important, you must feel good about your relation to God and sincerely love him.” (General Conference 1986 Joy Cometh in the Morning) 

We are supposed to be filled with Joy, no matter our circumstance. I feel so much of the emphasis of church talks, discussions  articles, and general feeling of this life is about the sacrifices we have to give in hopes that someday we will be happy and have joy. But the time is NOW! We can have joy now, we can learn through joy. I truly believe that soon, we will be out of the time when the only way we can learn is through trials, struggle and pain. We are entering a new age where the spirit of God can teach us through joy, love and acceptance. I'm not saying that we won't ever have problems. Being on earth, alive, will guarantee that we will have problems, but we don't need to wallow in them, searching for the answers because we will already have learned good lessons through joy and love. 

The article I spoke of above was an article in the July 2013 Ensign entitled Powdered Milk, Budgets, and Blessings. First I want to say that I am in no way discounting the experience of this family. I know how hard it is to not have enough, and try and scrape by without things to pay bills and keep a car running. I grew up in a home without much and since that time, there have been months that my husband and I have had to rely on the Church for help with bills and food. But what I feel is being totted in the article is not a lesson of humility and love, but being presented as a badge of honor that they had to suffer to learn a lesson. If you carefully read some of the statements, you can see that either individually, or as a family, there was a resentment to the money that they had. 

'I found myself wishing for bags of clothing to be dropped off on our porch instead of taking trips to the store when they outgrew clothes. Although we had done much to teach our children, we had not done enough to structure our lives so they would feel the necessity of hard work. ' 

There are a few things about this sentence that struck me. As the mother of the home, she had the ability to say NO. She could have said no to her children about new clothes, new toys, but this sentence shows me that she felt obligated to go buy new clothing for her children, not seeing the tool that money was in her life, the chance she had to get new things for her children. It had become a burden. Second was that they had taught their children, but not that they had to do hard work. We have seen in the recent years that 'good old hard work' isn't what it was fifty years ago. People who work hard all their lives, reach retirement and expect the company that they worked for for forty years to take care of them, but instead are shown the door and given only their last paycheck. 401k's, IRA's, CD's and other retirement accounts are not longer as reliable as they once were. So the idea that to succeed in life, you have to work harder, we are finding is fundamentally flawed. We shouldn't work harder, we need to work smarter. 

The article goes on to describe the struggles and hardship that the family has gone through, and the lessons learned. Please don't misunderstand me. I believe there are times when we have to be humbled in able to see what the Lord wants us to see. Sometimes we are blinded by something that we have no way of changing otherwise. But at the heart of what the Lord does for us is Love. There are too many stories, too many experiences that are totted as the only way to learn something, or change is through pain and trial. I would like to offer a different idea. 

Can we learn through love? Can we learn through joy? Can we learn through happy experiences? 

Personally, I believe we can. But what do you think? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What a Week!

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of WTF!

So, lets just dive into it. 

Friday morning, the last day of May, going to a cool seminar about women with my mother, what could go wrong? NEVER ASK THAT QUESTION!! I'm driving along, listening to Evanescence on Pandora and come to a quickly changing green light to get onto I-15. It was still yellow so I decided to go for it (especially since I was a few minutes late). But at the last second I changed my mind. I didn't want to actually run the red, so I put on the break and slowed down fast. The kid behind me didn't. He slammed right into me, shoving me into the intersection (at the perfect moment by the way because there was no one in the intersection yet). The engine cut and I coasted to the shoulder. There was nothing hit or broken, but as I sat there stunned, I couldn't stop the tears. They burst out without any restraint. The man who had been at the corner pan handling, came up to the window checking if I was okay. I called the police in the heat of the moment, but got a busy signal. They of course called back to ask if I needed anything, and I told them I was fine and I didn't need the police to come. I had already handled it with the other driver, so no need. But just as I get in my car to drive away, the police, the ambulance, a fire truck and a collision truck show up. WHAT? Seriously? Turns out someone else called the police and told them there were injuries. I had to prove to the EMT's that I was fine, so I answered some questions and they were like 'yep, she's fine.' (because of course I can't answer a questions without being sarcastic!) I felt bad for the other driver though, because he got the ticket and it was his first wreck. 

So I was late to the seminar, called 'Queen of the Kingdom'. But the weekend turned out really great. The seminar was all about women really owning their feminine power, letting go of masculine power (when it rules your life) and getting more in touch as women. I liked a lot of the principals she talked about and ideas of how to deal with the negative emotions without dumping on your family. Sadly because of the whiplash, the having to leave to go to the chiropractor twice in the two days, and the mental/emotional trauma on Friday morning, I wasn't able to focus as well as I would have liked. 

But I got another chance because Weston and I went to a relationship seminar, gifted to us by my parents, by the same company. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! For those of you that know me, I'm pretty skeptical of seminars. When people talk to me about how awesome something was, I wait a week to see if there is any change in their behavior. Normally, nothing ever changes and the high that they got from the seminar wears off and they have to find another seminar to get that high again. But from day one of Royalty & Romance, the presenters (a husband and wife, Kirk and Kim) explained that you can have a change of heart in 10 minutes, but it is a process. It's a process to change habits and change behaviors. They taught a lot about how to handle issues that come up in your life so that you can be 100% in your relationships. They gave us real tools, not ambiguous ideas that don't relate to real life, that really do help. Having had a few days away from the high of the seminar I still feel motivated to make changes in our lives. We are making steps forward on our journey for financial/personal success. The things we learned over the three days of the seminar felt good. It felt real. Kirk and Kim felt real, 100% genuine. We had the chance to spend some time with them in a smaller group, where they were able to open up about some really personal things, and you could feel that every word they said was real. They are also a couple that holds to their religious beliefs . . . well, religiously. Their relationship with God means the world to them and they consult him on every decision in their lives. I love that! How amazing is it to find a seminar coach/mentor that doesn't just talk about religion, but proclaims his belief's from the mountain top!!!

On top of that, Michael got a clean bill of health from DDI, the early intervention government people. I had asked them to come look at Michael because of Dr. Peterson's diagnosis of possible corneal dystophy. While they weren't able to do much to look at his eyes, they gave me some really great ideas for what to do about his weight gain. He is still pretty underweight, but I'm hoping that he will start to gain weight with the ideas they gave me. Also, they said his development is well. He's way above on motor skills, they said he would be walking really soon. Most definitely before his first birthday. So that was a nice to hear. Now, just to wait and see what the specialist says. 

Needless to say, I'm pretty exhausted. Since Michael is asleep, I'm going to go relax!! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I am exhausted. This is the type of tired that reaches into your bones and pulls out the marrow. The type that stays with you day and day out no matter how much sleep you get. This is the tired that will not be quenched, but only multiplied. This is the exhaustion of a mother. Men will never understand, no matter how tired they get, it will never reach the magnitude of a mother. We don't ever stop thinking about our babies. While falling asleep we worry that they might not be in the right position, maybe they are to hot, or cold, maybe we shouldn't have swaddled them so tight. This prompts us to get up from a dead sleep to go check on them, sometimes multiple times a night. Men don't get that. Once they are asleep, they sleep. When we wake up, our first thoughts are 'the baby is awake' and we force our eyes open and walk to the nursery to pick up the baby that is totally awake at 6:30 in the morning. We don't get a restful sleep in because we CAN'T GET ONE! Even if the baby by some miracle sleeps past normal time, we are awake because our bodies have told us, TIME TO GET UP!

Once awake and having fed the baby, we mothers have a new onslaught of worries to occupy our minds throughout the day. Is the baby comfortable? Anything he could chew on that isn't okay, Anything he could choke on? Did he eat enough? He is a little constipated, maybe we should do something about it? What about prunes? Maybe some juice? Then naptime comes and that is a beast unto it'self.

And right now we're working on trying to get him to go down for his nap without being swaddled. Yeah, that's been fun. So here I am sitting at the computer, listening to my baby scream because his arm is out and it's distracting him. I wish I could just convay to him that if he held still, he would fall asleep. But I can't, so I sit and listen to him scream, because there is nothing I can do short of swaddeling in his arm that will help him fall asleep. This puts me on edge and makes me want to claw at the walls.

There are hundreds of thousands of worries/thoughts that go through a mothers head in a day that is not condusive to relaxation. So, the next time you see a mother that looks like shes at the end of her rope, please remember there are a million things she's worrying about. DON'T MAKE YOURSELF ONE OF THEM!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blessing from Heaven

This past week, Weston and I have had a few very hard trials. On Wednesday I found out that I had a financial responsibility that I hadn't previously been aware of that was going to make our lives much harder. This revelation was very abrupt and shocking to me. For those of you that know me, you know that I am a worrier and so you can imagine how my brain has been going since I found this out. Then Wednesday night, Michael woke up at 2 in the morning and cried for the next two hours. Weston had to drive to Elko in the morning, so I got up with little man. He was so unhappy, no matter what I did. He only fell asleep if he was in my arms. But if I tried to put him down, he would wake up and scream. Finally by 4am, he had screamed himself out and fell to sleep in my arms and was out. I climbed into bed and looked at the clock. Weston was going to be up in just a half hour and I knew that meant I was only going to get a few more hours of sleep before Michael was up for the day.

Thursday afternoon Michael had his 6 month check up, and it happened to coincide with him developing a very wet cough. I got to the check up on time, but it was another half hour before the doctor came in. That normally wouldn't have been a problem expect that Michael hadn't eaten and was extremely cranky. Once the doctor came in, there were two things we talked at length about.
1. Michael's cough
2. Michael's weight

She was worried that Michael's cough could be a sign of the start of RSV, so I needed to watch it very closely and make sure that if it did develop into anything, I could bring him in. This really scared me because my sister's little girl recently had something very similar, if not exactly the same, and had to go to the hospital to get the mucous drained from her sinuses. Again, with the worrying, I was up every few hours that night to check on him and make sure he was still breathing.

Michael's weight was more of the concern for his pediatrician. He had only gained 1 1/2 lbs from his 4 month check up. This was a major concern for both Dr. Owens and myself. 1 1/2 lbs? How was that even possible. The little man ate all the time! Really! She gave me some suggestions, like breast feeding before giving him solid foods and focusing more on the breast milk. So as soon as I got home, I made a plan of feeding or pumping every two hours, drink lot so Organic Mothers Milk tea, and lather myself in Fennel and Basil Essential Oils to bring up my milk supply.

Once Weston got home from his 13 hour day, I talked briefly about it, but he seemed out of it (understandably) so that was where it had ended. Soon after he walked in the door however, his lethargy and irritability was explained. He had the stomach flu. He started throwing up around 7pm and didn't end until the next morning. It was horrible! The worst part of the whole thing is that I can't do anything to help. Sitting helpless while you watch your loved ones go through pain has got to be the most painful thing to go through. Needless to say, he stayed home from work on Friday. But was in the bedroom almost the entire day, so I got to hang out with Michael all day long.

I didn't realized how much help Weston gave me until I had Michael 100% with no help. By the end of Friday, I was totally exhausted. Having to be on for Michael all day long was difficult, and taking care of my sweet sick husband was difficult. Doing them at the same time was . . . difficult. It was interesting however how one big smile of Michael could make me feel better. How his joyful and happy spirit could lift mine.

But then Friday night came and it all was down hill from there. At 12:30am Michael woke up crying and I got up to put the pacifier back in his mouth. On the way back into bed, I realized my stomach was extremely upset. It didn't matter what position I was in, I felt horrible. Then I realized that what I had been dreading had come to pass. I got Weston's stomach flu. CRAP! So I was up until 6:30am in the bathroom expelling from both ends and completely miserable.

My fever finally broke sometime on Saturday day night, because I woke up today feeling better then I had since Thursday. No wonder I had such a problem taking care of Michael. I was getting sick!

Through this whole experience, I've learned a few very important lessons.

1. The blessing of spouses and friends
2. You are not going to die
3. Our bathroom needs to be deep cleaned

I had a friend bring over lunch without asking. She said she was going to bring it over, and she did. I had another take Michael for a few hours to give us a break. My parents came and gave Weston an Aromatouch massage (which is amazing btw). My father also gave me and Michael one on Thursday which was heavenly.

I am so thankful for friends and family that love and care. For people who just do instead of ask. I am so thankful for my Lord and Savior who helped me out in those dark hours in the middle of the night when I felt like I was dying. And I really did. With each new wave of nausea, I felt like there was no way I wasn't dying.  I had an open line to my Father in Heaven and leaned on him through the whole thing.

Through each trial we learn something about ourselves. We are blessed for coming our the other side. I am so thankful that this other side was a bright as it is. Thank you Father!