Thursday, January 7, 2010


My kids have been driving me crazy lately. Between them each getting sick and then the bickering, whining and all that comes with having a long holiday, I was at breaking point. It's not that we didn't have fun during the Christmas holidays, but towards the end we were all just ready for a return to routine. I love them, but sometimes I'd find myself drifting away from the sounds of chaos and dreaming of when I used to be single or when we were first married, and how freaking awesome it was. {I know... totally seeing the past through rose-colored glasses.} My feelings were starting to spill over into reality too much. I was getting too frustrated when M would ask me to spell Willow (her BFF) or another friends name for the 1,000th time, I was being too short with my temper when P would ask me to yet again put Bumblebee back into his car form and I was ready to cry at J spilling his water. It's all calmed down a bit in the past week, but not a ton since it was my turn to teach Joy School and I was stressing a bit over that.
And then I found Natalie Norton's blog from someone on Facebook.
My heart crumbled. Her little baby boy, who was fighting so hard for his life, passed away today from Pertussis combined with other factors. Her beautiful little Gavin was born October 24, 2009, the day before J celebrated his second birthday. He wasn't even three months old. I can't imagine what they are going through right now. Babies should never die. Children should never die. It's not fair, and it's not right. My heart breaks for them, these strangers in so much pain, anguish.
Natalie's faith is in every word she's written, and she has shown amazing strength through her writing and for that I need to thank her, because in her fight for her sons life she's shown me how much I have, and how much I need to be grateful for:
This girl, this mini lady. Who teaches me as I teach her. Quiet but loud, friend to all. Ballerina in the making, with legs meant for an antelope. Full of attitude and love. Imaginary queen. Beautiful blessing.
Sweet, smiley boy. So happy, so friendly. Coming into his own, yet still thinks it's cool to be BFF with mom. Ridiculously athletic, shy to the nth degree. Friend of dinosaurs and Autobots alike. Sweet surprise.
Little man. Wise yet young. Fiesty, opinionated, adorable. Quick to get angry, quick to forgive. Laugh of an old man. Has already overcome a lot for someone so young. So proud. Adoration complete.
I'm also grateful to have such a great family, both immediate and extended.
I'm grateful to have a courageous mother who, in spite of being told she was making a huge mistake, decided to keep a baby she never expected, and raised her alone while working. And also managed to get her degree, get amazing job opportunities, and still find time to kick some disbelieving butt to those who thought she couldn't do it all.
I'm grateful for a stepdad who has never been anything step-like, who worried and looked out for me even when I thought I didn't need or want it. Sarcastic and funny, fits right in with us. His gentleness and love with both me and, later, my children is something that we have all been blessed because of. Thank you.
I'm grateful for a husband who loves me no matter what, no matter when, no matter anything. His unwavering faith in me and in us has made me a better person, a more complete person. Wonderful father, adored by the three short ones that trail after him. Stands tall and stands strong, and I couldn't be more lucky. Simply could not be.
I'm grateful for inlaws who raised a little boy into such a great man. Adopted him and treated him as if they had birthed him themselves. Taught him as best they could, instilled in him wonderful virtues and strong beliefs. Fought with him and fought for him. Stood by him as he grew, and now stand by us as we grow. Treat my children as if they were treasures to behold every day they spend with them. So very lucky to have them.
I'm grateful for a sister in law and then two brother in laws that make me realize how much fun it is to have siblings. So many laughs, so much great conversation. Endless playing with my children, so much love from my children for them.
I'm grateful for the wonderful, huge extended family that marrying CJ gave me. As someone who was an only child with a small extended family, coming into the Humpherys and the DeMartini clans was just so awesome. So awesome. So many cousins, aunts and uncles, so much love. I love following everyone's lives, I love the family reunions {we're coming this year, woo!! anyone else?} and getting to laugh hysterically with the family. So grateful for the examples and the fun that they all bring.
I'm grateful for friends new and old. SO grateful for friends. {and yes, family falls into the friend category as far as I'm concerned.} Friends have lifted me up when I was down, cheered me up, made me laugh at the world and at myself. I'm grateful to "re-find" some of those friends through Facebook or other channels. I'm grateful to look and see that I've surrounded myself with some truly awesome people. I wish you all lived closer, much closer, so that I could play with you more often. I'm grateful for "invisible friends", you know who you are. You are most DEFINITELY not invisible to me. I'm also grateful that this town has given me some amazing people to know, whether they live here still or have moved on.
God has been so good to me, to us. So many blessings in my life that I've not realized and not shown enough appreciation for. I'm {strangely} grateful for my calling as a Relief Society teacher. When I was first given it I didn't understand why anyone would want ME teaching anyone else about the Church, but I've come to realize it's not so much about me teaching them, but about me being taught. I've learned so much through this calling, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share what God is teaching us. If anyone wants to read a beautiful piece of work, read The Love of God from President Uchtdorf. It's one of those pieces you can read over and over and get something new out of every time. Better yet, listen to him give the talk. With his accent... it gives you chills but makes you feel so utterly warm and loved.
Life is good.
No, life is great.


mbr_flint said...

You are awesome Laurie and I loved reading that. We are pretty lucky women aren't we?

Jen said...

Wonderful and amazing post. Thanks for bringing the Spirit into my bedroom tonight!

ekedesignstudio. said...

<3 love you and your amazing kidlets.

Hilary said...

Thank you so much for that... I too have been having a short fuse with my children. There are times when it is so much easier to get down on life than to see the positive. I just love that we are related too. Thanks.

Mary Lynn said...

What an amazing post!!! I have not only been frustrated with my children, but with my computers, and with my husband, and with the weather ... haha Basically I just haven't been grateful for anything and I know I need to be. I'm grateful for your post tho. I wish I could convey my thoughts that well! I am grateful that you and CJ are part of our family too!! We will be at the reunion as well. I think we are going to rent a camper ... but maybe we'll brave a tent. haha Can't wait to see you!!

Renee and Jake said...

Thank you for making me reflect on my blessings too.

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.