Sunday, May 28

Leap of Faith

Many may already know, some may have been wondering and some may not even know, but Tyson and I after much prayer and consideration are moving to Dallas, Texas.  It is something we never dreamed up or even imagined for our family.  I have been wanting to document our experience, in order to never forget the way the Lord has guided us in this decision.  There have been many tender mercies and  experiences where I know without a shadow of a doubt, we are supposed to make this life changing move.  It hasn't all been easy, but we know with faith everything will be as it should.

Over the past thirty years of my life I have had many powerful experiences that have put me in the position to be able to act in faith, knowing that the Lord's will, will always prevail.  He has never let me down and know that he will continue to bless me and my family as I put my full trust in him.  In those moments where it would have been far easier to pick or choose what I wanted, I am so grateful I put my wants aside and trusted in the Lord's plan.  Looking back he always knew what was best for me and after the trial of my faith, I was blessed a hundred fold.

Back in January Tyson called me and asked if I would like to take a quick trip to Texas.  My first response was asking him how far away Magnolia Farms, was from Dallas.  He said it was only an hour and a half away.  In that instance I replied with a firm and immediate YES.  I couldn't wait to check off one of my bucket list items.  Little did I know that getaway was going to change or futures forever.

As the trip was getting closer I remembered that one of my childhood friends lived in Texas.  I wasn't quite sure which city she lived in, but thought it would be fun to meet up, if proximity was in our favor.  As it turned out, her and her family only live thirty minutes from Dallas.  She scheduled a babysitter and made us reservations at a yummy restaurant in downtown Dallas.  

Aside form meeting up with the Jones's and checking out Magnolia, we were excited for a little getaway and break from our busy lives. We had Tyson's parents to thank for always being willing to watch our girls and allow us a trip away, without ever having to worry about them.

February came before we knew it and we were off to check out a new city.  We had heard so many wonderful things about Dallas and couldn't wait to see it first hand.  We had a handful of food recommendations and plans to see if everything was really bigger in Texas.

Our first night in Dallas we met up wit the Jones's (my childhood friend, Ashley and her hubby Collins).  It made us both a little nervous not knowing how the conversation would go, seeing as our spouses had never met each other.  They hit it off right away and Ash and I picked up right where we left off. The dinner was amazing and the company way even better.  We talked the night away and left wishing we lived closer. 

The following day was Sunday, so Tyson and I decided to find a chapel nearby.  We found one not too far from where we were staying.  From the moment we walked through the door we felt the spirit so strong.  We were sandwiched between two investigator families who were both radiating goodness.  

It also happened to be a fast and testimony meeting that day.  I don't remember if it was during the sacrament or shortly following but I had a distinct impression come to me.  One that I will never forget.  The feeling that we should move to Texas.  I leaned over to Tyson grabbed his arm and in all seriousness, told him I could move to Texas.  He didn't really respond and we didn't discuss it any further at that moment.  

The investor that was sitting in front of us went up  and bore a powerful testimony.  He had moved his family from across the world in hopes of giving them a better life.  He shared how he had searched the internet for truths of Christ.  A few days later he said he received a knock on his door an two LDS missionaries were on his door step.  He read the Book of Mormon and said how he had found the truth.  He said it much more powerfully than I am sure I am portraying.  Nevertheless I will never forget his testimony.

The meeting continued and Tyson walked up to bear his testimony.  As he was making his way toward the stand I felt again an overwhelming feeling, that we needed to serve the people of Texas.  He too testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel and joy it has brought into his life.  The meeting ended and we made our way out to parking lot.  We found our rental car and that's where everything changed.

Tyson broke down into tears as he told me the spiritual prompting that he too received in that same meeting.  He said as he was sitting there he had the undeniable impression that we should move to Texas.  He had a conversation in his head, thinking well that's not going to happen and if so a brick needs to hit me over the head.  At that exact moment, I leaned over to him and said that I could move to Texas.  We both cried as we realized what was transpiring.  He went on to tell me that he would not be this emotional, if this was something he knew not to be true.

We talked in that small church parking lot at how this was all going to work.  There were so many questions.... Everything was going wonderful in California.  I had finally grown to love where we lived, Tyson had a fantastic job working alongside many of his family members, we were surrounded by family and friends, we had just bought a home and had put a lot of money into it, High Fitness was going so well, we were happy!  We talked about needing to pray about this and attending the temple, to get a firm witness.  I already knew what the outcome would be, but knew it was something we needed to do.

We drove straight from church to the Dallas Temple.  It was beautiful, as all of the temples are.  We walked around took a few pictures and couldn't believe what was happening.  Our minds going a million miles per minute at the same time knowing we would do whatever it was that the Lord asked us to do.

The remainder of our trip was spent discussing how we were going to tell our families, where would we live, when would be a good time to leave, what would Tyson do for work,  how was I going to leave all of the wonderful people I had met through High Fitness.  Our final day we knew we wanted to attend a session at the Temple.  I had never gone to the temple with a specific question in mind.  I had gone for other reasons, but never for something like this.  

I knew without a doubt during the session that Texas was where we would soon call home.  I sat with tears streaming down my face as I wondered how this would affect my little girls.  They LOVE their grandparents and cousins.  All of the memories of the past seven years came flooding through my mind.  I knew though, that this was what needed to happen.

We left the temple with a vivid answer that we needed to take this leap of faith.  The anticipation of telling all of our loved ones, was the most difficult part.  My mom had just packed up her entire house and had made the decision to move to California to be with us.  I didn't know how this would affect her.  I thought about each person who has been there for our family through these past seven years.  It was a lot to take in, but again the feeling of peace kept washing over us.

I told my mom what transpired, before we had even boarded the airplane.  She was in shock and didn't say much.  I felt horrible throwing this wrench in her life, but there was no denying how we felt.  As soon as we landed we knew that we needed to tell Tyson's parents.  This was beyond difficult.  We didn't know how they would react either and in no way wanted to hurt them.  Tyson shared our experience and not much was said at the time.  We went to bed in bit of a shock ourselves.  Was this really happening?

We took the necessary steps of getting all of our ducks in a row.  We slowly started to tell our family, friends, co-workers and clients.  Each reaction was different than the next.  Some were completely supportive, some questioned our decision, some were excited and some still wonder what on earth are we thinking.  We put our house on the market and with one open house it sold, to a family who happened to be in Clovis on the weekend that our house was showing.  There time frame worked seamlessly with ours and again we knew, this was the Lord's plan for us.

Attending church for the next few weeks was very emotional for me.  I had such spiritual impressions over and over again, yet I couldn't share what I was going through.  Tyson still needed time.  We sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go Dear Lord" and again tears couldn't help but swell in my eyes.  The talks and lesson were on spiritual revelation and the importance of following those promptings. 

These verses of scripture pierced my soul, as I sat through Sunday school. 
D&C 85
6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest.
D&C 6
15 Behold, thou knows that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.
23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?
D&C 8
2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

Things have continued to further confirm our decision with the prompting we had that Sunday afternoon in Dallas.  It has been a whirlwind of events, but honestly things have continued to fall into place and we couldn't be more excited/nervous to make this move to Texas.

We flew out in March and found the perfect neighborhood and home that we felt was meant for us.  We will be in the same ward and living only seven minutes from Ashley and Collins.  We feel so blessed to be able to have instant friends, so close to us.  We have heard nothing but wonderful things about Texas and can't wait for the yummy food!

We have definitely had our moments were our hearts hurt because of the people we will be saying goodbye to.  I get emotional teaching High and looking out into all of my participants faces.  They have changed my life and will forever be grateful for them and will miss the energy and love that they have brought into my classes.

Tyson found an office to rent in Dallas and will continue to service his clients in Fresno.  He will travel back to visit them often, as well as strive to grow his book of business in Texas.  I will be on the search for a space to teach High Fitness and am going to take a break from photography, in order to give me time to adjust and focus on my family.

I'm sure most of this sounds crazy or mere coincidence, but I will always remember the powerful feelings I have felt that have led us to making this decision.  Looking back on my life, I know the Lord has led me to this point and I am not quitting on him now.  His will has always blessed my life and as I continue to align mine with his, the blessings will continue.  It doesn't mean there won't be hardship and tough times ahead, but through Christ everything will always work out. 

Monday, May 1

There is Sunshine In My Soul Today

It's Monday afternoon and the girls are down for their naps.  Oh how I live for nap time.  Not only is it good for them, it is GREAT for me.  It is those few hours where I can plug myself in and recharge, to ensure I have enough battery to get me through the rest of the day.  

I have a thing for Mondays.  They didn't used to be my favorite day, in fact they were almost dreaded.  I know like to look at them as a fresh start to a new week.  A new opportunity to conquer whatever tasks are at hand or picking up any shortcomings from the week prior.  And who doesn't like new beginnings?   

P usually begins every morning with asking whether it's a school day, gym day, stay at home day or church day.  She loves them all equally and is thrilled at what each day has to offer.  I love her optimistic outlook on life.

Today was a gym day, followed by her four year old physical.  I didn't realize how late in the game I was.  Apparently she was due back in November.  Better late than never, I guess.  She was so brave in anticipation for her shots.  She made sure to tell all the gym workers, what lied ahead.  

She knew she would get a sticker and a lollipop at the end, followed by a small Target trip.  I couldn't help it knowing she was getting four shots, a finger prick and took two shots in the booty only a week ago.  She bravely stepped out of the car and continued to take deep breaths the entire appointment.  I am starting to realize more and more, we can learn a lot from these little ones.  In with the good, out with the bad.

They checked her height, weight, hearing and vision.  All around she was as healthy as can be.  And seeing where this little one has come from, it was music to my ears.  The shots came and went and not a tear was shed.  Was she nervous? Oh yes, but she took them like a champ.  The MA was fantastic and even gave her a little teddy bear as a constellation prize.  

She skipped out of the office, proud it was over with and climbed into the car.  We made our way to get some lunch.  Food always makes everything better.  Especially if it includes cookies and grilled cheese.  We decided to sit outside.  We couldn't pass up the amazing sunshine and slight breeze.  Lucy enjoyed running around chasing the birds and I thoroughly enjoyed my diet coke and tuna fish sandwich.  As I was taking in this moments with my mama and my girls, P looks up at me with that cheesy grin of hers and said, "mama, this is the best day ever."  There she went again teaching me something new.  She choose to see the good in her day, she brushed the bad away and inhaled the beauty that surrounded her.  

I simply love this little girl and all that she teaches me.  Being her mother is truly one of my biggest blessings as well as Lulu's mama.  Instead of fighting the bad in the day, I am really trying to focus on the good. Acknowledging the bad and focussing on the greatness that each day has to offer.  We only get each day once and I want to make each one count.  Sure I am exhausted most days.  Lucy still has a hard time making it through the night.  Lately I take that moment when she finds herself in my bed, scoop her into my arms and inhale all that baby goodness that is left in her.  I kiss those chubby cheeks and hold her squishy hands.  Because I am the lucky one she chose to hold her tight.

I hope my little girls will always know how much I love and treasure being a mama even on those hard days and hey there is nothing food can't fix!  Especially on those days were it's a little harder to find the good.

Tuesday, April 25

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is in the air and we are soaking up every last minute of this perfect weather.  I have made a conscience effort to get the girls out each day.  We have found ourselves at the park, on bike rides, discovering new places around town and getting our hands dirty while we color with side walk chalk in the back yard.  The girls and I have been suffering majorly from allergies, but will sacrifice a few sniffles and coughs for the cherished memories that have been made. 

One of the highlights of the spring season rolling in, is the strawberry fields full of luscious red strawberries.  I have a hard time eating any other strawberry.  Nothing seems to compare to the Central Valleys fresh fruit.  I knew that I would be making my fruit pizza over the weekend and had to top it off with these gems.  I had high hopes the girls would inhale them and boy was I right.  They are better than candy.

I wish you could have heard Lucy demanding that I give her a strawberry.  From the moment I walked in the door she wouldn't stop hanging on my arm, until I handed her a strawberry.  

I don't know if it's the change of weather or change of heart, but we have been doing a major overhaul in our home.  Tyson and I cleared through our fridge and pantry and threw away almost all of the sugar.  I stopped taking my pre workout and decreased my caffeine intake.  We donated clothes from all of our closest and drawers, have been getting the kids down earlier and have made sure to have less screen time, especially before bed.  All of these things are still a work in progress, but have made a huge difference.  

I am trying to simplify my life in so many ways, but am realizing it's a lot of work to simplify.  Kind of an oxymoron if you ask me.... Life seems so incredibly busy and difficult and am doing all I can on my part to let my kiddos enjoy being kids and having a mom who is present, instead of being pulled in a thousand different directions.  It means sometimes that I have to say no and am becoming more and more okay with that answer.

I am looking forward to and have been enjoying a slower paced day to day life.  I can't wait to take the girls to the zoo and hit up the park as much as possible, before the blazing heat makes its way onto the playground.

And without further adieu, miss Lucy bug eating her weight in strawberries!

Tuesday, April 18

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is easily turning into my favorite Holiday.  The peace, joy and excitement that surrounds this day means everything.  Taking the time to explain to our girls the reason we celebrate Easter was extra special.  I was full of all sorts of emotions on Sunday.  I am ever grateful for my Savior, for his perfect example and the price he paid that I shall have ever lasting life.  I know he lives and celebrate his resurrection. 

Mosiah 16:8-9
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. 9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

The weekend was packed full of festivities.  The girls had so much fun on their egg hunts.  P can't stop talking about finding the golden egg, in which contained a one dollar bill.  She pretty much felt on top of the world.  The endless amounts of candy consumption and family time was enjoyed by all. We didn't end up getting around to dying easter eggs and half of the things I ordered for their Easter baskets didn't show up, but the girls didn't know the difference and were thrilled with the outcome.

We enjoyed attending our church meetings, naps and more family time and of course more food.  Now time to take down the pastel colors and embrace a clean clutter free house.... until the next holiday.