Back in the summer of 2012 Rick was called in at work for his annual review and was given a raise and he felt really good about how things were going. There are always areas to improve, but he really enjoyed where he worked and felt that he could be there for a long time. Then in September he was called into the office and was told that he was being let go or "fired", however anyone wanted to look at it. It came as a HUGE shock to him. He had been out sick the week before for a few days with pneumonia and had done his best from home and being so sick, but was aware there had been some problems. Sometimes things are completely out of your control like serious illnesses. He was given two weeks so that was helpful to give us a little bit of time to figure things out for our next step in life, but not much time. He went into the office daily and each day was more and more uncomfortable. Fewer people talked to him, his replacement had been promoted to Rick's job so that was moving in motion and then he wasn't included in meetings and each day was harder and harder. In fact, I would say emotionally hard, because these were people he cared about and he loved his job. On the last day no one was around. No one really said anything to him, he went to turn in his computer and no one really knew what to tell him to do with it, the accountant handed him his check and he was gone. No one said good bye. The bottom line was he could only say "Good riddance" after the long 2 weeks and how things had been handled. In fact, we were happier to have him done with that job because of how hard the last 2 weeks had been and so much didn't make sense.
Over time things have calmed down and he has had a little contact with some of the employees that have gone through the same thing he went through, but generally he has moved on and kept his distance. Then on Friday he started seeing posts and all kinds of things going on with the company he had worked for. He started chatting some of them and realized all of these people were being put in a REALLY difficult situation. All of a sudden, the hurt feelings from when he left were gone and he wanted to stand up for his friends. It really came to light that Rick was in the better spot leaving a few months ago. I commented to Rick that I was surprised how he had changed how he was feeling and he said, "It's like family. You can be mad at them or even be hurt, but when it comes down to it they are family and when someone hurts them you are going to stand up for them."
I am grateful that these people are his friends and he feels like they are family. Sometimes, the things that hurt the most or are the hardest are because you really do care and it is just hard. People are a very important part of our lives and it's things like this that give that "wake up call."
So, today I posted on Facebook "I have always known this, but it has become so strongly obvious to me that in times that appear to be the greatest challenges are truly the greatest blessings. The Lord really does know the BIG picture and the timing of certain things that need to happen in our lives. So grateful for the gospel." I have kept pretty quiet about some of the challenges that our family has gone through over the last few months, but I have decided to share.
Back in September I decided that I was going to focus on getting healthy and decided that since I was 40 it was time to just go in for an annual check up. I went in and decided that whatever the doctor said I needed to do I was going to do. We had insurance and it was time. I had several concerns and was ready to get to the bottom of them. My doctor did several blood tests and said it would be a few days before we got the results.
The next day I was in charge of a PTA Council Meeting in the morning and then had other things going on in the afternoon. I got done with my Council Meeting and noticed that my doctor's office had called. That made me nervous that I was getting a call the next day instead of a few days later. I called immediately and talked with my doctor at length. I was on the verge of diabetes, had really high cholesterol, high blood pressure and some other stuff that he was really concerned about. He wanted me to come back in and visit with him. I told him I would call back and schedule a time.
About 30 minutes later I was at Lindon Elementary and talking with a few friends when Rick called. I figured I would call him back, but instead I got a text from him. I looked down at the text and saw, "Hope you are having a good day, because I just lost my job." I didn't even know who it was from, because it was scrolling across the top of the screen. I was feeling bad for whoever it was and clicked on the text. That is when I realized it was from Rick. We had been through unemployment before and it was a very hard, stressful time. That day was full of news that shook our world. The company he worked for gave him 2 weeks and then he was gone. Of course, right through the holidays and some of the tougher financial times of the year.
There were many things that didn't line up or make sense about Rick losing his job. So many questions and no answers. I was a wreck and decided I needed to go to the temple the next day and figure things out. As I went to the temple I felt so peaceful. I didn't want to leave, because it was the only place I was finding peace through everything. That evening we went to my parent's and received priesthood blessings from my dad. I don't remember a whole lot from the blessings, but one thing that stood out to me in Rick's blessing was that he was told this was the Lord's timing and in His plan for our family. There would be opportunities that would come that would not have come any other time for his future and to provide for his family.
There was a job that he was really excited about and we thought for sure this was it. Things were going smoothly and then the job didn't come through. The boat rocked a little bit in our lives, but then things fell right in place. The timing ended up being perfect in our lives. The job he has is PERFECT for him! He is the happiest I have ever seen him. The money is a little tighter than before and we currently don't have any insurance, but I have never seen Rick so happy. Our children are happy because he is more a part of their lives than before because he is working from home. The job fits our lives perfectly. There is flexibility and that is what our family needs with all that we have going on.
The holidays were simple and perfect! We were able to enjoy time together as a family, share the gospel with many and the boys were happy with what they received. We are working through catching up from the time of unemployment financially, but we feel that we are on the right road and find peace in where we are at.
Rick has been contacted by some of those he worked with over the last few months and he has watched what happened to him happen to others. Then yesterday he saw several posts, twitters, etc. from many that he worked with and knew that major things had happened at this company. Nobody was happy and it was very evident that it was a blessing he wasn't there right now. He got out at the right time. We have found that the grass is greener on the other side and thought it seemed unfair, difficult and things didn't add up we are soooo grateful to be on this side. He is so glad he wasn't in the meeting yesterday where so many lives were turned upside down.
I agree that there are many things in life that are in our control and we bring on in our own lives, but I also believe that there are certain things in our lives that the Lord specifically guides to bring us greater happiness if we are willing to follow and trust despite how challenging and hard the road might look.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I thought it was really fun and would share it on my blog today. Have fun with the play on words :).
Need to smile today? Try one of these:)
I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
When chemists die, they barium.
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity, and I can't put it down.
I did a theatrical performance about puns; it was a play on words.
They told me I had Type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
PMS jokes aren't funny, period.
Changed my iPod name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
The Energizer bunny was arrested and charged with battery.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it!
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
Today I have really thought about how much of an example my children are to me. My son just turned 12 a week and 2 days ago and he has accomplished so many great things in the last week. He received the Priesthood last Sunday, attended Deacons last Sunday for the first time, got his recommend so he could attend the temple, went to a farewell party for him in his 11 year old Scouts, went to his first YM's activity on Wednesday, went to the Temple for his first time without either Rick or I with his older brother and cousin on Thursday morning at 4 a.m., went on his first campout with the Deacons and Teachers on Friday night, snowshoed 1 1/2 miles on that campout for the first time, passed the Sacrament for his first time today, shared his sweet and tender testimony in Sacrament Meeting without any prodding and then went out after church with his dad to do Fast Offerings for his first time. He didn't ever express any fear, concern, nervousness or even sadness about moving onto the next things in his life. Instead he did all of this with total excitement. He has enjoyed every day and cherished each experience. He has felt the spirit and is being such a great example to his brothers and his dad and mom.
Then when we got home from church today my 2 youngest came to me and said they wanted to play a game together. Usually I settle in for a nice Sunday afternoon nap soon after church or start going through my list of things that are Sunday appropriate that can be accomplished, but instead played an hour of games with my 2 youngest. We were laughing and having so much fun. They were such simple games, but there was so much joy found in the games and being together.
I am so grateful for all four of my boys that teach me that there is much joy in becoming like a child. My oldest for setting such an amazing example for the other ones and truly choosing the gospel as the center of his daily life. My second one for going at each step of life with such joy and excitement and showing that there is nothing to fear and my two youngest for just enjoying the simple things in life. There is so much happiness found in daily living our lives like children. There was great wisdom from the Savior when he said to become like a child.
So, it has been a very long time since I have blogged on this sight, but have decided that it is time to come back and make this a regular thing for me :). I have so much I want to share that I have learned and hope that it will benefit someone else.
First and foremost I want to go back to the No REGRETS post
. At the time I posted about someone I didn't know, but over the last year I have had my own experiences that have really woke me up.
I have always strived to enjoy every day and every one I come in contact with, but we all have our days. A year ago in November was one of those days. On Friday, November 4th I had been in charge, with a friend of mine, of an auction fundraiser for our school. It is a huge endeavor with all of the donations wrapped in baskets and a special evening event for adults. We generally raise around $7000 - $9000 from this event. By the time the night was over I was exhausted, but on Saturday my niece was getting baptized.
We got up early and went to the baptism and then had lunch as a family. After lunch many of us decided we wanted to go play laser tag. Between my brothers and sisters and spouses and their children there was around 30 of us. We had a great afternoon and it was really fun, but I was even more tired.
Sunday we went over to my parent's for dinner. For about 20 years or so we have loved playing Acquire as a family with my parent's and often times we will play on Sunday evenings. My brother tried to talk me into it, but I had hit a point that I was sooo tired. I decided that we would have the next week or there would be another time. It was one of the first times that I just didn't give in and enjoy a game with my family.
The next morning I sent my son off on the bus around 7:05 a.m. and told him it was going to be a low key day and I would be home when he got off the bus. About 7:15 a.m. my phone rings and it is my sister. She is panicked. She tells me that my dad hadn't been breathing for awhile and the paramedics were working on him. I don't remember the exact words, but it sent major panic in me. I didn't know what to do, but walk around the house and say, "Perfect Faith." It was all that could cross my mind. I hurried and got ready for the day and ran to the hospital with my husband and my 3 boys that were still home. When we got to the emergency room they were working on him and said they had finally gotten a pulse, but he had gone a long time without oxygen. As I am writing this I can still feel the emotions of that day. Several of the men in our family gathered to give him a priesthood blessing before he was taken to ICU. They were going to freeze my dad to slow down the potential damage.There are many days and a year worth of stories that go into this, but as I sat in the waiting room with my family waiting for the doctor to come out and tell us the status of my dad I had the thought come into my mind that I just wish I would have stayed that one hour and played the game with my family. It was a regret and I didn't know if I would ever get to play the game with him again. It seems so trivial, but when I hugged him goodbye Sunday evening he was healthy and fine. Monday morning by 7:00 a.m. he is having a cardiac arrest. This is a major thing, but how many times in our life could we go to a party and enjoy it even if we don't want to be there or enjoy the time reading with our child even though there is frustration with reading. Are there times that our children ask us to play a game and we say no, but in reality if we spent 10 minutes with them playing the game they would move onto something else and feel totally happy that we spent time with them. Do we take an extra second to hug our parent's when we leave their home. Are we mad at someone that now seems so trivial with what we fought over, but refuse to raise the surrender flag? What do we have to lose - what do we have to gain? The outcome for my dad turned out to be witnessing immense amount of miracles and he did return home to be with his family and can function and enjoy his life. We have played that game again several times, but I definitely cherish every time we play it. It is a constant reminder of cherishing every moment. My children will tell everyone that their mom's saying is, "NO REGRETS" and I mean it. Take each day at a time and find ways to cherish each moment.
With this time of Thanksgiving and then Christmas following right after it there are several different feelings that people are having. With the stress of the economy it can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and wondering how you are going to pull the holidays off at all. Then there are others that have so much to do that they are moving through their check list and not really stopping to really think about the holidays and why we celebrate. For others they are taking time to really think about what each of the holidays mean and striving to get the most out of each of them.
Regardless of where you are at in your life it is important to take a minute each day and "Think to Thank." Whether it is thanking those around you that bless your lives or just remembering to thank those that do the simple things throughout the day for you. Whether it is holding a door open for you or a taxi cab driver or a boss, children, wife, husband, etc. As you "Think to Thank" you will be amazed at how much better you will feel. All of a sudden you will find that you are giving something that truly comes from the heart.
This is really deep, but something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and this week hit home really strong. Over the last several years I have found myself not wanting to leave people with bad feelings or even having a fight carry on for very long. I have always thought to myself that I didn't want to have any regrets if something happened to someone I loved and couldn't fix the silly fight or mean things that were said. We never know what people are going through and what is causing them to act they way they are. In the grand scheme of things is what we are fighting about really worth the fight and harming family or friendship relationships.
The other thing that I have thought about is that we more than likely won't ever have the same people, same activity, same feelings, same experiences happen all at one time again besides the moment that it actually happens. How do you want to remember that moment? How do you want to feel about that experience? Do you want to remember the stress you were feeling, the list of things that have to be done or should be done instead of being there, being mad at someone who is there, etc. Or , if you have taken the time to go to the event do you want the memory to be fun, laughter, conversations with positive memories, etc.
With these things to think about there have been a couple of experiences that have happened this week that has caused me to reflect much deeper on this:
On Wednesday, November 17th an instructor and student from a local college were in flight. Their plane stalled and it ended up crashing near an elementary school. Both the student and instructor were killed. The student had just recently gotten married. The instructor was a mother of a 4 year old and an 18 month old. I didn't know her at all, but the story struck me really hard. It has caused great emotion in me. I found her husband on Facebook and he posted the day that she passed away that he had lost his wife. Then the next day he posted a video he made of his 4 year old saying bedtime prayers. It is a short prayer, but the power behind the prayer is very powerful and emotional. He wants Jesus and Heavenly Father to take care of his mom and misses her. As I watched this I thought about my own children and what memories I would want my children to have of their mom if something happened. What memories and things am I teaching my children.
The other thing that struck me was an interview her husband did on the news and he talked about the last thing that he remembers with her is giving her a hug and a kiss and telling her that he loved her. What a great last memory to have with her. What if they had just had a fight and they had said mean things to each other as she left? What do you want your last memories and words to be with the people you love in your life? At least he doesn't have any regrets on what his last words were to her.
We were at a Family Christmas Party (I know it is a little early) last night and a family tradition that this family has had for as long as I have been in the family is to have my husband's grandpa read the Nativity. There have been years with young children that I have thought to myself that we needed to get it over with so my kids wouldn't be so noisy and frustrating to everyone. I have thought at times that I know the story and so do my children and do we need to do it every year at the family Christmas party since we do it on Christmas Eve. These have been thoughts that I realize now I shouldn't have had.
To my children it is their Great Grandpa and the years with him here with us might not be many. Over the last couple of years that he has read the Nativity it has been a more emotional experience for me. I want to always be able to capture Grandpa reading the Nativity. My children will never forget the sweet spirit that comes with him reading the Nativity. It is something they know happens every year and something they talk about.
How will you live your life with NO REGRETS? During this holiday season as the list of things to do and places to be becomes longer than you can possibly do take a minute and think about these things. Capture the memories and take time to enjoy right where you are at. The list of things to do will continue to grow and will always be there, but the people won't.
On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
On a Septic Tank Truck sign:
"We're #1 in the #2 business."
Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."
At a Proctologist's door
"To expedite your visit please back in."
On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."
On a Plumber's truck:
"Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.."
Pizza Shop Slogan:
"7 days without pizza makes one weak."
At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
"Invite us to your next blowout."
On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door:
"Hello. Can we pick your nose?"
At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."
On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts."
In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."
On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."
At an Optometrist's Office
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."
On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."
In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."
On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive."
At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet -- miss a car payment."
Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."
In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"
At the Electric Company:
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."
In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up."
In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."
At a Propane Filling Station,
"Thank heaven for little grills."
And don't forget the sign at a ChicagoRadiator Shop:
"Best place in town to take a leak."
Many of us have watched the TV reality show, "America's Got Talent" . On the show there are always amazing people along with some less than amazing people. It is a fun show to watch. A lot of the contestants have a story behind their talent that has made them great at what they do.
The same is true of this armless Chinese man on China's version of the same show. This video is truly amazing to watch. I think my kids no longer have reason to not practice the piano. :)
This is a video that I thought that you might like to see. In fact, share it with your husband. You will be laughing and he will be getting a "subtle hint" about how he can help be a bit "nicer". :) Enjoy.