Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

Last night we got to see a Sneak Peek of the movie, Rise of the Guardians!  It was awesome!  We had 6 Sneak Peek tickets that we got FOR FREE at the Everything Kids Festival.  We had to drive for 40 minutes to the theater in order to see the movie, but it was totally worth it.  The tickets were only good for first come, first serve, so if we didn't get there soon enough we wouldn't get in--even with the passes.  We invited Caden & Tina to come with us.  I was a little sad when we walked into the theater, because 3 rows in the middle were being reserved, so we had to go find a place for all 6 of us on the 2nd row.  But, didn't you know that 3D movies are BETTER when you're up close?  From the beginning snowflake, the 3D felt magical, and I was so happy we were sitting close.
Tyson was enthralled with the move the entire time.  In fact, everyone liked it.  I loved looking over at my kids with their 3D glasses as they would giggle at the movie.  Miles' favorite part was squirming everywhere and pulling the straws out of the cups.  We all had so much fun!

After the movie, the kids were pretending to be their favorite characters.  Emmett's favorite was the Easter Pageant Bunny  (he inserted the pageant part himself, haha!).  And Tyson was pretending to be Jack Frost...ALL THE WAY TO THE CAR.  People were smiling at him as he zoomed by in his own little world.  I said to one passerby, "He thinks he's Jack Frost." And the young man said, "No!  He IS. You've got to believe!"  He was right though--these are the days of wonder and imagination, and you've got to believe, because right now the MAGIC is REAL.  I love my Jack Frost & my Easter Pageant Bunny.  : )

This picture cracks me up.  Emmett LOVED the movie. He LOVED having his own drink & popcorn, he LOVED the characters and would talk totally loud during the movie trying to tell me the parts that just happened, and he LOVED being his favorite character after the movie.  But what he DIDN'T LOVE was the idea to take a picture afterwards.  He has a mind of his own, and it wasn't his idea, so tough noodles for the rest of us for trying to get him to look happy in the pictures, because he WASN'T going to do it. 
At any rate, I'm thankful for wholesome movies that have messages of wonder and belief at this time of year.  It's so important.  I always want to keep the magic alive.  The Rise of the Guardians is a MUST SEE--and Tyson already asked if we can buy it.  So fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Find Your Happiness

What's your happiness? 
Ours is Rita's Water Ice
(according to Mitch, the appropriate pronunciation is "Wooder Ice"--like they say it in New Jersey). 
Mitch says Bahama Bucks is trash compared to Rita's.
Ever since Rita's has decided to franchise out West, it has become a regular part of Mitch's diet.  However, we'd pretty much been sinning, because Rita's has been in the Valley of the Sun for a good year, but never once had any of the other Borden's experienced the joy that is Rita's.  I'm so glad we repented and took the family, because I will never forget the GRIN and excitement on Mitch's face as we were sampling the flavors of the day when he said to Nick: "Tell me that isn't Swedish Fish!  Can you believe it?!"
I love that everyone is focused on the flavors and Emmett is sucking his thumb.
This is happiness--when you take a picture like this you see that the Borden family is growing...and this isn't even 1/2 of us.  We had a totally awesome family night--we went to JumpStreet, where I did a flip on the trampoline for the first time in ages (love the sensation), Mitch & I rode the automated bull...we'll just say that HE did great, the kids jumped in foam pits, bounced all over the trampolines & played in bouncy houses, Mitch & Nick played dodge ball, and then we ended the night by FINALLY taking the clan to Rita's.  Going to Rita's is like entering a mission time-warp portal to New Jersey for Mitch.  And whenever you're with him at Rita's, it's like for a moment part of you is in New Jersey by his side, and you're happy because he's happy.  But you're also happy because you just got your own gelati with jimmies under the "Pick Up Your Happiness" sign. 

Miles getting his first Rita's (at the hand of Mitch, of course).

It was a beautiful thing.

 The only thing that's really left to say, is that
"The World Needs More Rita's"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Of Maggots, Earthquakes, & LOVE

You have to realize that these are PRECIOUS pictures that you're viewing here.  My brother, Taylor, has been on his mission in Guatemala for almost half of a year, and within that time frame he's only sent home a handful of pictures.  We wish we could see more, but these are beautiful glimpses into what life is like down there on his mission. 
This picture is my favorite--I love how TALL Taylor is compared to his friend.  These are probably the only 2 years of his life where he'll be the tall one almost everywhere he goes.  : )  We think that this is the picture that reminds him of Nacho Libre--"Hey, I like your cow." 
In his letters home, he's been pretty up & up. However, he DID write my brother Heber a personal letter in which he divulged some of the wonders of his living conditions. For most of his mission he has NOT had running water, or a bathroom in his living quarters. He has to drink bottled water to avoid getting parasites. It's like he's on a 2 year camping trip--no joke.  Are you ready for this? When he gets to take a shower/bath,  the water they use is dirty and sometimes has MAGGOTS in it, and they have to be careful when they're washing to make sure the maggots and gross things in the water don't remain in their hair.
Talk about making sacrifices to share the good news of the gospel.  : )

I love this picture, too.  We're not sure if this is a miniature garden where they're growing corn, or if it's a back yard, but I love seeing Taylor with the people.
This week, the day that Conservatives were proven to be the minority in America, I also happened to be sick, and just when we all were down and out and thought the day couldn't get worse, my dad got a text from Bishop Keller saying he heard there was an earthquake in Guatemala.  Mitch called me, I called my mom, we texted Erin, and did a Google search.  My boys were CONVINCED that the earthquake was caused by the VOLCANOES Taylor wrote home about.  Fortunately there were no volcanic explosions causing this earthquake, but we didn't know if we would hear from him, or how he was doing, so we kept up with the news reports.  Finally, the next morning, my mom couldn't take it anymore and she called church headquarters, where she learned that all the missionaries were accounted for.  About an hour later, she got a phone call from an AP letting her know that the missionaries were okay, and then much to our surprise we got an email from Taylor, too.  These are the highlights:

"When the shock wave hit us, me and my companion were walking in the street on our way to a lesson appointment. Also, side note, when a large semi truck passes by you in the street, you can feel the ground shake because the people don't really compact the ground very good before they put down pavers, but at any rate, when the earthquake happened, a large semi truck was passing by me and as usual I felt the ground shaking, but as it continued to shake even after the semi truck passed, I looked up to see the buildings and telephone poles around us shaking hard. I knew I would be protected because Monday I had the impression come to me of what to do if I was in an Earthquake and where safe places would be that I should go. I now realize that was revelation that I received just a day before the earthquake, and I realize the Lord was preparing me to be safe....It felt like a 5 on the richter scale when it hit us, and it reminded me of the feeling of being on a bridge over the ocean, and when a strong wind comes and shakes it, you can feel the bridge moving beneath your feet, that's the feeling of the earthquake. Hahah after it happened, everyone in the street was silent, but me and my companion high fived each other saying, my first earthquake, my first earthquake hahaha it was really funny."

I love this picture, because he looks so happy.  It reminds me that we take for granted all the blessings we have in America.  Even my kids are amazed with the kinds of houses these people live in.  We are so lucky to have sheets on our beds and drywall on our walls, and air conditioning and heating capabilities--not to mention running/fresh water.
One of my favorite stories from Taylor came two months ago when he got to perform his first baptism, and it was clear to me that he is serving the people in that country out of LOVE for the Lord, and LOVE for them.  The meeting for the baptism seemed to start out with a bit of chaos & people wanting to look at the Elders' cameras and last minute changes getting made to the program, but this was my favorite part of what Taylor said:
"The Family Escobar was my first baptism in my life, and was cool to say the least...because I got to bear my testimony before, that this was the beginning of their discipleship and the road isn't always easy, but its worth it. At times it isn't fair, (like 20 minutes ago when I thought this thing was going to go smooth haha)(I didn't say that, I thought that) but if we are patient and keep our covenants, it will all work out, the atonement will cover it for us. I then baptized Rolando Escobar, the husband. It was so fun to baptise someone. It was spirit filled as I held my arm to the square and used my priesthood, a literal power, to bind someones outward expression of an inner commitment, to the eternities. I left the font happy and as we changed into our clothes, i said to Brother Escobar in Spanish, "Rolando, you are my first baptism in my life. I will remember you forever. When we get to heaven, we will rejoice as we look back at that moment in our lives back on earth, where you first began your journey to Christ." What a blessing. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

I'm so happy for my brother, Elder Tenney, and that he is taking advantage of this ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to share his LOVE of the Lord with the people in Guatemala--a land so far and foreign from home, but a land that will now FOREVER be ingrained into his heart.  These days are becoming a part of who he is as an individual and as a willing servant of the Lord.  I am so happy for him and am grateful for his example--weathering earthquakes washing in filthy water, and changing lives forever.
If you're reading this, I love you, Taylor!!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This is the life

I love my boys!  These are the days when they fall asleep wearing hero capes and guitars.

(Emmett - left & Tyson-right)
And sometimes they watch movies under forts--or like today, they invent a new way to relax on top of benches & stools with pillows & blankets!  I love Saturdays!  I love my crazy, silly, messy boys!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Election Ramblings & Good Times at the Lake

Well...the election has come and gone.  President Obama has been re-elected, but this time America has never had a clearer choice.  The two candidates were complete opposites on almost every single major issue--especially moral issues--and for the first time in history, the nation is not just divided, the majority has swung to the Liberal side.  The America that believes in "The Modern Family" and that the degredation of society is no big deal--THAT America is now the majority, and I am grieving for what America has become.  I KNOW what the prophecies are about the end of the world.  I KNOW it has to get worse before it gets better, but my heart is STILL broken.  When the Savior of the world died, there were prophecies that He would rise again, but that didn't stop the people who loved Him from crying over the way the mobs openly turned against Him--they mocked him, and crucified Him, and IT WASN'T OKAY.

When it comes to America, the history of my ancestors rings in my ears.  Thomas and Ann Tenney gave up all that they had to move here and give this new land of opportunity a chance, where they could have religious freedom, and provide a future for their family.  The vision of America that they had DID happen, and it was BEAUTIFUL.  The American Dream was alive and right, and it blessed their family for generations to come.   As the days, weeks, months, and years of my life pass, I am watching America turn into something very different than the faith and principles it was founded upon.  And I am sad, because the things that are happening are not okay. 

Before the election, President Obama made it very clear that he does not stand with Israel.  It was interesting that he acted the way he did BEFORE the election, and I thought that it would hurt his campaign.  Maybe the majority of the American people didn't care enough to be informed about his foreign relations, or maybe they knew and agreed with him.  But one thing is for sure--America sided with President Obama this week, and essentially screamed to the world that they agree with him and his stance--even though the countries around Israel have threatened another Holocaust on the Jews, America has made it clear that Israel is going to stand alone.

I am heartbroken.  It doesn't matter to me that it is prophesied that Israel will stand alone in the Last Days--that doesn't make me happy to know that we're seeing the prophecies unfold, because it is embarrassing and shameful that MY America is turning away.  It is OUR America that is supposed to be a light unto the world.  I had hoped that there would be enough people to stand up for true and correct moral principles, but there weren't enough of us.  Our country has chosen a different course, and now that's the direction we're headed, so as our morals as a society continue to decay, we will ALL pay the consequences.

I know that come what may, the Lord will help all who turn to Him.  And I know that He is the only one who can really fix it in the end.  Amazingly the sun has continued to rise each day after the election.  : )  There is still hope and responsibilities upon our shoulders to do what's right and to do all that we can to make a difference in our communities and work together to keep our freedoms and all that the American Dream stands for.

At any rate--agree or disagree with me, this is the way I see it, and I have been sad this week about the path that America is taking.

After the election, I told Tyson that Mitt Romney didn't make it, and he said, "So the blues are in for 4 more years?  Dang it!"   : )  "The blues" part makes me smile.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that President Obama is ALL bad--he actually has a beautiful family, and he has done some valuable things for our country.  I just don't like that our country so openly supports him and the issues he stands for on subjects like abortion, gay marriage, foreign policies, and socialized health care, and I don't like his stance on how to "fix" the economy through his tax plan, and I don't like how he's quadrupled the national debt in the last 4 years. I'm still upset about the way the Libya attacks were handled and so the list goes on. 

We were talking to Tyson about moral issues and choices of the day, and he said, "The world needs more gospel."  He is so right!  I am so happy that the church has lowered the age for the missionaries.  I heard a statistic a couple weeks ago.  Usually the number of applicants for Sister Missionaries is in the hundreds, and within the month the prophet announced that Sisters can go at age 19, the applications rose to FOUR THOUSAND!  So, the works are in progress to continue to preach the gospel.  I pray it will make a great difference throughout the world!  I know it will.

Here are some happier thoughts--we went to the lake in September with our ward family, and we all loved it! 

 Emmett was a little apprehensive on the tube.  He also had a fun time, but any time I pulled the camera out, he REFUSED to look at the camera, let alone say cheese.  He's got a mind of his own--that's why we love him. : )

 Tyson & Mitch
 Tyson screaming
 Tyson giving the "a-o-kay" sign
 Bugaboo's first boat ride.  Haha!
 Cute picture of the Borden boys minus Emmett because he didn't want to take the picture.  Miles fell alseep.
 I rode the tube with Tyson & totally had a fun time, but Mitch didn't take any pictures...that's okay.  Tyson and I had a blast, screaming and singing at the top of our lungs while we rode, "And I set the world on FIRE, we go HIGHER THAN THE SUUUUUUUN, "and "I put my hands up in the air sometimes!"  Family favorites--totally worth screaming at the top of your lungs when you're riding a tube.  He also yelled, "BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!!!!"  and "This is the best day I ever had!"  On the beach, he found some sea shells for me, because he heard that I would look for seashells at the Canyon lake beach when I was a little girl.  We framed a lake picture with his seashells glued around the frame.  It was a GREAT day!
Oh, and by the way, Miles likes to eat his toes.  : )
Life is SO GOOD, and yes, we will LIVE through the next four years.  Haha!
God Bless America.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Patriots in the Making

On this, the most pivitol election day of my life, I am grateful for my children and the way that they love America.

Whenever we see an American flag flying (and my children can spot them from a mile away), Emmett will call out with URGENCY:  "AN AMERICAN FLAG!!!!  PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HEART!!!!"  Mitch and I smile that it's so cute, but inside I give a grateful cheer that my children know that it shows you love the land of the free and the home of the brave by paying tribute to the flag & all that it stands for.  (Tyson used to call out in the car like Emmett does now when he was little, too.  Finding the American Flag while we drive has always had equal ground with my kids as spotting semi-trucks, and cows, and awesome cars.  They have ALWAYS been so excited to see the American flag since the moment they understood what it was.)

Tyson knows that today is Voting Day.  Yesterday he was concerned about being able to spell Romney.  He said, "I know how to spell Mitt.  It's like Emmett, but you take off the E, but I have a hard time with Romney, so can you write it down for me?"

This morning he was blessing his breakfast and added all of his own accord, "And please bless Romney to win on Voting Day, today."   I was then amazed at our deep conversation that came next.  He was asking questions about taxes and I was shocked that he could make sense of bigger gov't vs. lesser gov't even though he is 5.  He's an old soul in this little body!  He surprised me after we talked about taxes by saying, "Romney wants more jobs and more money and less taxes, and Obama wants the opposite."

As he was getting ready, I told him that it was a good thing to pray for Romney, but that I want him to remember that no matter what happens--whether there are good things or bad things that America chooses, that if we pray to God, He will help us get through all things--good and bad.  It's SO important for us to do our part, but we also have to wait and see what the voice of the people all across America chooses.

That didn't sit very well with him and he said, "But we NEED a better president than Obama!  Romney knows things that will help our country and Obama won't let us do it!"

I can't remember word for word the rest of what he said, but what he said next was "I CARE!"

I love it!  I love that my children CARE about America, and that in their own little way can understand the importance of days like today.  It is so important that we do our part, to let our voices be heard, and to stand up for what we believe in.  I told Tyson that I'm proud of him for caring about what happens to our country and that he will make a great leader someday.

GO ROMNEY! (My stomach has been in knots all morning--I can't wait for the day to be over so I can know which path our country is going to head on for the next 4 years).

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tyson had the HIP idea of hosting a BUG MUSEUM.  All summer long he was collecting BUGS and he intended to charge $8 admission for people to come see his bugs.  Emmett was all excited about it, too.  Mitchell even made some deluxe bug catchers out of wood & mesh netting.  As the summer came to a close we realized on the last Saturday before school started, that if the Bug Museum was going to happen, it had to be NOW OR NEVER!  So we pulled it together and thanks to our friends and family, it was a smashing success!
It was hot and Emmett was NOT in the mood to pose with Tyson while wearing the cute bug museum hats that they made, so he marched off and went inside.
 The first ones there were Grandparents & Caden, and our friend Devin! 
 We had an amazing turn out of more friends, neighbors, and family!
 The little kids seemed to be just as fascinated with the ugly, stinky bugs as my kids were. : )
 We had Tyson tell as many facts as he could remember.

 We borrowed books from the library and did research, and we had some facts written out on the table for our guests to read.  Tyson's favorite bug in the books was called a "whirligig".  Whirligig beetles happen to have eyes that are special.  The top half of their eyes are made to see things above the water and the bottom half of their eyes are made to see clearly in the water.  AMAZING!  Some other fun facts we had on the table:
  • A person who studies bugs is called an entymologist
  • There are over 300,000 known species of beetles
  • Only female bees have stingers

 Mitchell lost sight of the amazing facts we had going on with bugs, and he decided to teach the children how to use a magnifying glass in the hot summer sun to start something smoking.  *Sigh*  The blazing hot summer sun really was miserable that day.
 A dead stinky millipede who had been eaten by worms.  YUCK!  This one was donated by Mitch as an amazing find from working on a house.

 (this pic makes my stomach turn just to remember that it was eating the insides of the millipede.  This is obviously a close-up...the grub was really small, but he still GROSSED me out!)

This is a stink bug and 2 Colorado Potato Bugs from Grandma Carlene's house.  The stink bug stayed alive for THREE WEEKS by eating the other two beetles once they died!  YUCK! It really did turn into a quality sort of Science experiment to have all 3 of these babies in a jar together.  We learned first hand that some beetles eat other beetles as well as beetle poop.  That's what scavengers do.  Fortunately for me, I now have fond memories of curling my hair while these beetles would crawl in circles in the jar in my bathroom.  Oh! This is the joy of having BOYS who love bugs in my household.  : )
Grandma Tenney donated the bumble bee that she found on her porch one day.  It was standing up, perfectly hardened, and dead, with shiny wings.  Also, this cicaida was donated by Uncle Hebes who caught it with finess and ease one night after it flew past my head and into the house.  I may or may have not given a little scream when that happened.  Tyson also took the cicaida bug to school for show and tell the first week of school.  : )  Love it!
It's probably a good thing that we collected bugs throughout the summer, because if we had done the museum the first week he thought of it, there would have only been a couple ants and dead rolly-pollies from the backyard on display.  But because it turned into an on-going process we found some amazing additions to our bug collection.  I'm really glad that we "seized the day" when we did.  We have been intending to get around to have another Bug Museum in the Fall, but the Fall Break has come and gone, and I'm so glad that we made the Bug Museum a reality in August.  Sometimes as a parent it's hard to find a balance between planning for things, and just going with it.  There's a balance between seizing the moment, and putting in extra effort to make things special for your kids.  In the end it's all about memories when you can, but so often that's easy to forget.  The squeemish side of me said "NO WAY!" to the Bug Museum idea the second it was mentioned, but what do you know?  Now we have a totally fun memory...we still have some jars of bugs that I still want to get rid of, but holy cow, do we know more about beetles than anyone else on our block. : )  It was so worth it and I'm so glad to all of the people who helped my boys feel special and humored us by coming to our Bug Museum--complete with coloring pages to take home and "bug juice" Kool-Aid to refresh you in the 116 degree heat.  Never in my life did I think this would happen, but I NOW have a part of me that has grown to like bugs simply because my little boys do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's the Place I reach for Heaven, and it Reaches in Return

Our family loves to look at the Gilbert Temple.  Whenever we drive by, Emmett is usually the very first one to say something about it.  We're almost always a mile and a half or two miles away and he yells something like, "I'm the first one to see the Angel Moroni!  And the first one to see the Gilbert Temple!  And the first one to see the crane!"  I love that kid! He's always so excited about it that it keeps me excited!  It definitely feels like "OUR" Gilbert Temple, and sometimes we drive right up next to it, even if it's out of the way, because the boys ask if we can go see it.  How can you say no to that? 

On Sunday, I had some extra time...which is NOT a usual thing on a Sunday, and I didn't want to be at my house because the kids were already loaded in the car, so we decided to go for a drive before family dinner and we wound up in front of the Gilbert Temple--directly across the street by the school.  Emmett had actually zonked out and Miles was asleep, too, so Tyson and I just sat there talking looking at the beautiful ediface.  The trees are out and the windows are almost all in, and it felt great to just look up and think about Heaven.  As we sat and talked about the temple, Tyson was very reverent and pensive and it touched my heart when he tried to explain what he felt.  He said:

"The temple is like a church, but it's different, and there's more Spirit there."

Then we talked about why there's a stronger Spirit there and that it's only in a temple that you can have the priesthood ordinances that seal families together forever--and that's very special.

Then as he was looking up at the temple through the window, he came up close to where I was sitting and said, "And as soon as you go inside...you feel...God.    Right here."  And he pointed to his chest.  He said it in a way that brought tears to my eyes, because I know he's felt the love of God, and I know he's felt it right in the center of his chest before, or else he wouldn't have explained it that way.  I love him. 

I hope he and Emmett will remember these precious, once in a life-time days, of watching the Gilbert Temple being built.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Don't Know How Long I've Been Married.

I love my husband.  There's no one else like him in the entire world.  The first night he met me, his opening line was something amazing like, "How did you get that scar on your nose?"  I was irritated that he would draw attention to the ONE thing on my face I'd been self conscious of my entire life, but I still answered the question.

He also made fun of my name...but I didn't get on the clue bus that he was making fun of me until later.  He asked my name and I said, "I'm Debra Jo Tenney."  He thought it was silly that I'd say my middle name, so he responded, "Well, then, I'm Mitchell Jay Borden."   Grrrr.  Didn't he know there are plenty of people in this world who go by two names?  They do it in the South ALL THE TIME.  At any rate, the young, naive me thought, "Ah--his name has a nice ring to it!"

To this day I still cannot believe some of our other classic dating moments...such as the time he told me I was breathing heavy (who has the audacity to say things like that?!), and the time he was trying to figure out where our relationship should go and divulged to me these immortal words, " When I'm around you, I want to tell you that I love you and that I want to marry you...but when I'm not around you, I'm okay."

That's when we broke up.  How ridiculous:  "When I'm not around you, I'm okay?!?!?!"   

I totally know how Sorcia felt in Willow:
"I dwell in darkness without you, AND IT WENT AWAY?!"

Don't worry, Mitch figured it out--we broke up and just a few days later he realized HE NEEDED ME!  I made him work for it, though.  When he asked if he could kiss me again, I turned him down flat and said NO!  Fortunately for me, though, I gave in like 10 minutes later and we got married a couple months later...and here we are in a wonderful place with 3 kids and a minivan.

But why do I not know how long I've been married?  BECAUSE the SAME MAN who has said SILLY things SINCE DAY ONE has RUINED our traditional way of counting.  It pushes my buttons, actually.  Last year I was SO EXCITED to have our "LUCKY SEVEN" year all year long, and what did Mitch do?  The day after our 7th anniversary, he said that we were "technically in our eighth year of marriage."  HOW RUDE!  It was supposed to be our cute & cliche, lucky-seven sort of year...and everything was supposed to be lucky for us, but no, we had to skip that, because my brain got all messed up.  Just a few months after our anniversary someone asked us how long we'd been married and I said 8 years...but it had only been 7!  Thanks a lot, Mitch!  

So did we enjoy our 8th anniversary this year?  Absolutely.  And the next day, did Mitch say, "Welcome to our 9th year of marriage?"  Yes, he did.  GRRRRR!  Just don't ask me how long we've been married, because I might just think next year is our 10th anniversary, but it's totally not.  At least I know we're married--that's all that matters, I guess.  : )

 Mitch surprised me with Les Miserables tix--so sweet!  We were on the 10th row in the Orchestra seating (somehow he totally scored the tickets for LESS than what the 2nd balcony tickets were going for).  LOVED it!  We barely made it in time, the traffic was horrendous, but we saw the entire show, and the music was fabulous.
 We got our favorite treat--Rita's water ice gelati.  I ordered mine complete with rainbow "jimmies" and strawberry custard.  Someday when we no longer have debt and are old and retired with a nest egg, we'll franchise one of these babies and live the dream as wrinkly old people who love Italian ice and making people smile.  And Mitch will remember his mission days with every bite.

Aw, I love this man.  He is so good to me.  I can never stay mad at him for very longHe knows how to push my buttons and he ALWAYS does it with a MISCHIEVOUS SMILE.  And then he cracks a joke on a whim that "smooths over" anything that could have had potential to make me mad.  What's funny is that most of the time he digs a hole for himself without a plan to get out, and on a whim he says something funny that gets him out of the hole completely unscathed.  It's miraculous, really.  He brings laughter to our home and I love him for it.  I could never live without him.   I love my Mitchell Jay Borden.  Here's to our 9th year of marriage...that we'll celebrate next year in September.  Go figure.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Azure Skies

It doesn’t happen very often, but when I hear the whirling blades of a Life-Vac helicopter, in an instant I’m back at the roadside watching CPR being performed on Azure and I’m holding her baby.  I actually hate the sound of Life-Vac helicopters.  It’s my least favorite sound in the world and it makes me cry.

I have a yellow burp rag with green and orange tie-dyed frogs on it that my mom and Erin made me when I had Tyson.  Every time I see it or use it for one of my kids, I remember pouring water from a water bottle onto the corner of it with my mom and trying to wipe away the dirt from Eric’s eye-lashes—the dirt actually looked a little more like mud from his tears—even though he wasn’t currently crying, and we were afraid the dirt would get in his eyes and that he’d rub it.  But he wouldn’t let us and he kept squirming and pulling his head back.  : )

I see that burp cloth and in an instant his big, bright, baby eyes are looking up at me.  There’s a chill in the windy mountain air that’s blowing around everyone’s hair, and I want to put a blanket on Azure.  I want her to live and all I can do is hold her little guy and cry.  And he’s wearing funny Tigger footie pajamas.  He is so cute, and innocent, and my heart breaks for him because his mom looks like she’s not going to make it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Azure this year.  I realized at the beginning of the year that our boys were going to turn 5 (which incidentally meant that it’s been 5 years since the year of her death, too). It pulls on my heart to know that I get to enjoy the milestones with my sweet little Tyson and to know that Azure doesn’t get to do that with her boy.  With all my heart I believe Azure is closely involved with her son’s life & that Eric is being well taken care of by Brian & Ginger.   But I still grieve for Azure.  I wish for her that she could hold him, and hug him, and throw him birthday parties, send him to Kindergarten, and still be here on Earth.

It’s amazing that someone I never knew in life has undeniably affected me through her death.  I still marvel that I was there the day of her accident.  I wonder at all the coincidental similarities between our lives.  Mitch & I were married the same year as she and Brian, we both dealt with the loss of miscarriage before we had a baby of our own, our babies were close in age, I was a school teacher & Brian was going into that profession, too—we even had the EXACT same car seat, so that when Mitchell crawled into the rolled car, he knew where the latch was and could pull the baby out with ease.  We were in the exact same place in life when she had her car accident, and the entire situation just broke my heart.

It’s been 5 years and Azure’s no longer around, but I feel like our lives have another parallel again.   About a month ago I realized that my new baby, Miles, was born just a few days after Eric’s birthday.  I didn’t think about it when he was born, because he had a due date in MAY, and I was just concerned about not being pregnant anymore.  But Eric’s birthday is at the end of April and that’s when Miles was born this year.  This year as I think about Azure I am fully aware of the beautiful days she had with Eric.  There’s something special about the first 5 ½ months of your baby’s life.  It’s just fun.  The baby days really are the best days ever.   As I’m writing this, I realize that as I watch Tyson grow I am aware of everything Azure doesn’t get to do with Eric, but right now as I watch Miles grow...even if it’s only been a short 5 months…I am aware of all the things that Azure did get to do with Eric.  I know where they were at—Azure’s baby could roll over, do push-ups, eat baby food, maybe scoot around on the carpet a little, smile and giggle. Come to think of it, he probably liked to munch on his fists and eat his toes, too.  A baby’s laugh is actually my FAVORITE sound in the world—I think it’s magical.  At least Azure got to hear that, and share those beautiful days with Eric.

I believe that Azure is my friend—even though we never associated in life, I believe we were friends before this life began.  I feel like even though I don’t really understand it completely, that I was meant to be there when she died, along with everyone else on that roadside.  I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to learn from that experience—sometimes I force myself to complain less about my struggles and I think about the gift it is to be here each day with my husband and kids—I’ve learned many things, but the memory of that day still hurts.  If it still hurts this much for me, how much worse it must be for her family and close friends.   I love them, too, and my thoughts will be with them this week on Saturday, and always—especially at this time of year.

Love At Home lyrics (we sang this at her funeral & the song always makes me think of her--I love the metaphor of the Azure Sky)

Kindly heaven smiles above,
When there’s love at home;
All the world is filled with love,
When there’s love at home;
Sweeter sings the brooklet by,
Brighter beams the azure sky;
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boy Emmett

I don't know what it is about love, but sometimes love just hurts.  It doesn't hurt a lot today, but thinking about our birthday celebration for Emmett just tugs at my heart a little bit.  I can't believe this kid is 3.  He, on the other hand, has a hard time believing that he's not 6, or 4, or that he's not JUST AS BIG as his older brother.  Haha!
We're in a really fun stage with Emmett right now, but it is definitely a new and different stage.  His favorite movie used to be Tangled, and he would hug me and kiss me at the end when Rapunzel kisses Flynn.  I often used to call him "My Cutie Patootie" and he'd grin back at me and say, "You're a Tooey-Tooey!"  And without fail, when I would ask him, "Will you be my little boy forever?", he would say, "Yes, I wiwll!"
But all of a sudden one day, about a month or two ago, when I asked him if he was going to be my little boy forever, he responded, "Nope.  I grewed up!"  And now his favorite movie is Star Wars, and he has me read him the beginning part every time.  He makes me insert something about Darth Vader (even if Darth Vader isn't mentioned in the paragraph).  And he doesn't "give loves" as freely anymore...and he seems to only like doing things if it was his idea... 
This picture is a prime example.  Don't you love his pouty face?  He was laughing two seconds before the picture, because he had the donuts on his eyes, but when I suggested a picture he was not happy.  Oh well--serves me right for suggesting the idea.  : )
Making faces was Emmett's idea, and he's the birthday boy.  That's also why we made donuts today.  OF COURSE it was Sunday, so we had to improvise.  I asked him, "What do you want for your special birthday breakfast?  Eggs, or pancakes, or cereal...."  His response: "Donuts." (clearly HIS OWN IDEA and not anything I suggested).  We only shop on Sundays for emergency things...even if it is a birthday...but it's a typical Emmett situation for this stage that he's in and fortunately we found a way to make him some donuts for his birthday breakfast.  Whew!
Here's another snapshot of life with this adorable kid:  we were in the middle of getting ready for church and he wanted me to read to him, but when we told him to pick his favorite book, he translated it into his favorite twenty-nine"That's my favorite, and that one, and that one, and that one..."

 I don't know if he's shy or what, but he wouldn't smile while we sang happy birthday.  I think he liked his pirate cupcakes that my mom made for him, though.

 He had fun opening presents and having the spotlight for a little bit.  He has a special place in his heart for all of his family and it makes me feel good to have the love from all of them.  He loves all of his aunts and uncles and grandparents so much, even if he shows it only on his terms.  : )  When we're at Grandma & Grandpa Borden's house, he will often refuse help from me because he wants Grandma Borden to take care of him.  I could mention the way he interacts with everyone, but I don't have enough room.  I'll just mention one more:  I also really appreciate the way Brian has treated him.  I don't know what it is about Brian, but he's got this really soft side with my kids, especially Emmett that makes me happy.  Ever since Emmett was tiny, it seems they have had their own little connection, and I know Emmett looks up to him and has felt special because of his cool uncle with a motorcycle who will pay attention to him.  : )

 Even though I knew it was impossible for him to be my little boy forever, I still kind of feel like it's not really fair that he thinks he's grown up already.  No matter what, though, I'm his mom, and no matter how big he gets, I will probably always think of him as my little boy, my cutie-patootie, my little buster, and thanks to Mitch's creativity he has his own Star Wars theme song that's here to stay, too:  "E-M-M-E-T-T, spells Emmett!  That is the boy who we love, don't forget it!"

Happy 3rd Birthday, Emmett!!!!  We love you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Another Day in Paradise

Just when you think your day is going great because you had a fun morning with cousins and friends, you get home to realize that the next half of your day is going to be disastrous!  Your bus driver is on vacation and the poor guy running the route was given the wrong maps, leaves the school 10 minutes after the kids should have already been home, gets all mixed up and returns your Kindergartner safely to his stop only 50 minutes after you were at the stop waiting.  He pulls up and you realize it's a friend of the family who actually wishes you didn't know him today and he drives off.  That's when you start laughing because the situation is suddenly comical and you call Transportation to let them know that even though you called earlier wondering what on earth was wrong with the buses today, that the driver is actually a nice guy and deserves a second chance.  : )

Then, just when you think things will calm down and you can move on with your day, you sit down with your baby and realize he stinks and there's something slightly wet and sticky on your arm and when you look down you see that there's a reason it stinks.  Yes.  The poopy diaper HAS just blown out ALL OVER YOU:  on your pants, arm, shirt, and all over the baby's clothes, and it's NASTY because he's recently started eating baby food.  By the time you get the child smelling powder-fresh and rinse out the poop stains from all the clothes, you realize that you were actually wearing the only outfit that was clean because it's time to do all your laundry again.  *sigh*  And then to top it all off, the lunch hour has come and gone because of bus issues, baby issues, and laundry issues, and fortunately your older children know how to feed themselves, because amidst all the chaos they made themselves a lunch out of chips--and not the nutritional kind.

How did my day turn into this?  I don't even know!!!!  But all I can do is smell my tropically scented candle melting and remember that this is my paradise.  The dirty dishes, the homework, the bills to pay, the poopy diapers, and late buses, and laundry...and I don't ever want to miss a day of this.

Because in My Paradise we also get to build forts and have Star Wars marathons when the boys' daddy comes come.

 And in my paradise, my 4 month old sucks on his fist, and he's such a cute, and good, and happy baby.  And he grinned at me the whole time I cleaned up his blow-out today like it was a normal day.  He didn't even know he pooped all over me!!!!

 And in this paradise, I have a son who sports his band-aids from getting his shots FOR DAYS, and he builds Lego creations that he won't let me take pictures of--such as a tower of Lego heads.  And he waters the plants for me, even though we have a drip system, and I can never get him to keep his clothes on for the day...somehow he always ends up without his shirt on, or only in his underwear.  Crazy boy!
 And in this Paradise, I have a Kindergartner who says his prayers on his own and writes notes to my Aunt Mary who just lost her husband, and his note reads, "Love to Aunt Lewis, From Tyson"  Naturally the Lego family includes some robot stickers, too.

Most days are crazy.  Most days I can't keep up.  Most days I wonder if we'll be able to keep making it on one income.  But no money in the world could ever make up for the time I have with these boys.
We're just having another, regular, crazy sort of day in Paradise.  : )