Saturday, November 12, 2016


It's moments like this above when one word pops into my head: grateful.

Each of our kiddies gets a turn to sleep between us in our bed each week. I'm so glad I had a quick moment when I woke up after Lily's sleepover in our room to take this picture. It's really priceless to me. They both were really asleep! (Although the flash may have woke Lily up!)

Being November, this is an appropriate post. It wasn't the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday that prompted me to write but instead the incredible outpouring from all of you. After our short clip about the Halloween haunted house fundraiser on the news we have been incredibly blessed by generous donations to our family. With this money, we spent a small portion on some special Christmas gifts for our children and have placed the rest in savings with the intent to use it for continuing medical bills or whatever may seem fit in the future to help our family. This money is very special to our family and we are trying to use it wisely because of the many sacrifices given by others. Tony and I were very touched by the simple coins donated from some families because they had nothing else to give; we were moved to tears from such great love.

There have been several other fundraisers (such as the Fun Run and online accounts) in the past that we just want to say a big heartfelt thank you to each individual who helped in every way. We have had meals brought in, many babysitting hours given, and have been given special opportunities that we may never have received without you thinking of our family. It means so much to us and has made a fun and relaxed atmosphere for our kids-- and that is something so important in our lives right now. Thank you.

*Update on Tony: He is doing well and continues his treatments each week/sometimes every other week. Many have noticed his decreased energy levels recently, which is expected with this disease, but he remains in good spirits as always! Tony is very excited for the upcoming holidays and I have planned a few fun family Christmas activities for him and the kids. His next appointment to check the stability of his tumor is on December 15th; I plan on posting that evening with the results. We are continuing to pray for Tony to get better, and our kids are the biggest advocates. Thank you again for the continued prayers in his behalf. Faith can move mountains if God is willing!*

Talking with a good friend the other day, I was trying to put into words my feelings of deep gratitude for all the help we have received and how I feel undeserving of it all. I feel that my "thank yous" fall short of how I really feel and that I cannot express truly how Tony and I feel toward you all. As I reflect on my imperfect heart, my mind quickly drifts to my Savior. All my life, I have always felt undeserving of His love and His atonement for me. Why did He do this for me? I am nothing special, I have no particular great talents to offer, I am just me, nothing of importance. I am "confused at the grace that so fully He offers me." And then again, why me?

Don't we all feel this way in our lives at some point? We have been blessed with so much yet our contributions are hardly any match to what we have been given. Through this past year, I have often paused to ponder the many blessings our Father has showered upon our little family. Interwoven with all the heartache, tears, questions, and worries are the wonderful things we never knew we could experience. My eyes have been opened to the wonders of heaven that are here on Earth and deep appreciation has grown in my heart, causing it to swell at times.

That burning feeling must be the beginnings to answer my question. Why me? Why are we so blessed? It's because of love. Our Heavenly Father and our Savior love us. Period. It's simple! We don't have to do anything or be anyone special because in their eyes, we already are. So that is what you all must be feeling about our family; you love us just because, even if we have done nothing of importance. You give and love so willingly because you are becoming as we are asked to become. Thank you for teaching me and helping me to better understand such compassionate love. In turn, I am trying to love as my Savior loves, to pray with more intent and think on others and less on my own life, to reach out more. My heart has felt more compassion towards others' situations, and I am finding that I want to be better and that I now know how I can do that. Your service to our family has not only helped us in our time of need but will continue to help us throughout our lives as we in turn "pay it forward" and try to become as our Savior. This is the most incredible gift you have given us. Thank you for buoying us up in all these ways.

And if you have days when you feel like me, undeserving of so much love, remember how God loves you and nothing will ever change that. He will bless you as you need and always beyond your comprehension! I promise that He does and that it will all be worth it, that you are always worth His love and the love anyone gives you.