Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not Funny Enough?

So I just got off the phone with my sister Andrea. She was talking about someone's blog that she reads and how funny it is. Then later on in that same conversation she said something that I heard as..."Your blog is always serious and never funny." So just to get the record straight.....I AM FUNNY!! Do you like how I have to declare my sense of humor to everyone...that must be a bad sign.

So here I am trying to be funny....

Yesterday was a pretty big day in my life. It was the opening of...(wait for it)....SUPER WALMART! Not only was it a brand new big clean store where I can buy my favorite brand of Great Value...but it is also 1.5 miles away from my front door. I was so excited about it that I was actually seriously considering attending the ribbon cutting. I didn't, but only because it was at 7:30 am (which is the time where I am frantically running around in my robe making breakfast, packing lunch, and forcing Katelund to brush her teeth and get dressed). So I ended up going later in the day and spent about 2 hours just pushing my cart around the store while Cloey was crying because she wanted everything she could see. So after picking out everything that I really "needed" and buying groceries for the rest of the week, I ended up checking out with a grand total of.....$66. You just can't beat that.

How did I do? Did anyone laugh, even just a little bit? So maybe I am not funny like MommyJ, Ciera, Leslie, Destinee, Andrea..etc, etc,....okay so maybe I'm not funny.

So on to more serious matters. :) For all of you serving in YWs, I have to tell you about our fun activity this week. We played glow in the dark basketball. I bought an actual glow in the dark bball at Target and then I bought a bunch of glow stick bracelets. I numbered off the youth and all of the "ones" got a yellow or green bracelet and the "twos" got a red or orange bracelet. Then I took them into the gym and told them the rules (really there aren't too many rules to playing basketball in the dark except be nice, play fair, and good luck getting a basket). Then I turned off the gym lights and turned on a strobe light and black light (thanks Destinee). It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Then I gave a spiritual message at the end about increasing the light of Christ in their lives and eliminating the darkness that comes from sin. Then I gave them Oreos for dessert (you know the light layer surrounded by darkness).

Oh by the way, Katelund and Cloey cut each other's hair last Saturday while they were home with Daddy. Good thing we just spent $50 a month ago getting them adorable little haircuts. So here we go with haircutting experience ROUND 3!!! What is the deal???

I know this is a long post, but I had a bad day and I can't call anyone b/c EVERYONE is watching the Office (ANDREA) and Cory is playing basketball at the church.

I can't find my camera battery charger anywhere and it is making me CRAZY!!! How am I supposed to make it through Halloween without a camera???

This week was Clairisa's original due date. Brittney (my other sister-in-law) had her baby today. It was an emotional week and that's all I'll say because I'm sure that everyone is sick of hearing about my sorrows.

That's it. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have a new running next door neighbor Lily. She is 10 years old and the cutest thing ever. One day I was telling her about how we are running a family fun run on Thanksgiving morning. She told me that she wanted to do it too and so yesterday she came and knocked on my door to ask me if I could go running with her. How adorable is that?? As soon as Cory got home we were out the door. It was SO COLD, but we had a great time. It is so fun to hear and see life through a 10- year-old girl's perspective.

This morning Katelund crawled in to bed with me and told me that she had something to tell me...she has a boyfriend. AHHHHH!!! I never imagined it would start this early...although even as I type that sentence I realize that I had my first boyfriend at 4 years old. What was wrong with me? I decided to set some ground rules. I told Katelund that she cannot have a boyfriend until she is in college and that she can't get married until she is 25. She then asked me, "Mommy when were you married?" At the very same time I said "almost 20" and Cory said "19" and started laughing his head off. Katelund then said, "Well there is nobody in my class that I want to marry." Should I be relieved or worried?

Last night Cory and I took the girls on a "walk". I found two cans of Halloween silly string that I'd been saving and I thought it would be fun to have a silly string attack on the girls. We walked them down to the end of the street and then we started to spray like crazy. Well instead of the fun crazy excitement that I was hoping for....both, Katelund and Cloey, were in tears. Apparently they were scared because they thought it was spider webs. So much for my great idea. Talk about the ultimate back fire.

Cloey is having some major trauma in her life. It is officially too cold to wear a skirt everyday of her life. I have been forcing her to wear pants. I don't know how she will ever get through fall and winter! She says, "pants are not beautiful mommy." "You are so mean to me." I am just so excited for her teenage years! (If you didn't notice, that last sentence is DRIPPING with sarcasm) :)

I swear the longer that Cory and I have been married, the more our minds are becoming in sync. I have been thinking for the last couple of weeks that I really need to buy us some anticavity mouth rinse like the girls use. Well yesterday on his way home from work guess what he picks up at the store? That's right....anticavity mouth rinse. How did he know? He said that he'd been thinking the same thing. That is not the first time this has happened. It has actually happened a lot lately. Maybe I should start thinking about how I want a cricut for Christmas???

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stake Conference

This weekend was Stake Conference. It was so wonderful, especially Saturday night. Every talk focused on a title of the Savior. For example; Our Redeemer, The bread of life, the Lamb of God, the Advocate, and the Prince of Peace. They were all incredible (especially the one on the Lamb of God....GREAT JOB Destinee!)
Anyways, on our way home this afternoon, Cloey said, "Wow that was a fun party." Cory and I started laughing and then she corrected herself and said, "I mean that was a really great show."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Last Saturday I took the girls to Walmart to pick out their costumes (yes, I know that if I were a really good mom I would make them myself, but this year it's not happening). Anyways, Katelund chose a Tinkerbell costume and Cloey chose a pink princess dress (surprise, surprise). :) They insisted that I needed to get a costume as well, so I told them that I'd wear whatever they picked out for me. They chose a purple Renaissance Queen costume. It is actually pretty cute. On the ride home Katelund said, "Ok, so your the queen and Cloey's the princess so I have to be Tinkerbell to protect you both. So what's Daddy going to be?" I said, "I don't know what do you want him to be?" She then said very matter-of-factly, "Well, I think he should be Superman because Superman saves the day and Daddy ALWAYS saves the day."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My life has been so crazy busy the last couple of weeks. Here's a list of some of the things that
I've been up to...

*A week ago, I attended my very first baby shower since Clairisa's death. I wasn't going to go but I was asked to help with the food so I decided to go and see how long I could last without falling apart. I actually held it in the whole time. I bawled for about an hour afterwards, but I did it.

*I planned, organized, shopped, and cooked for a pancake breakfast/planning meeting for the youth in our ward. We planned out all of the combined Wed. night activities for all of 2009.

* I am helping plan for a wedding reception at the beginning of the year and a baby shower next month (not for the same person) :)

* I have been getting crafty making YW in Excellence invitations and baby shower gifts.

* I've been shopping and making kits for the crafts that I am teaching at our ward's upcoming Super Saturday.

* I spent this morning decorating the gym for YW in Excellence tomorrow (it looks SO GOOD).

*I've been reading a book that a member of our stake presidency wrote about the Book of Mormon. It is in review at Oxford where it will hopefully be published. Oxford has one copy of it and guess who has the other...that would be me (I'm a family friend).

* Amber (my sister-in-law) had her baby last Friday. She named her Callie Clairisa. She is absolutely beautiful. I was so happy for her family but it was also a really hard day for me. There were a lot of tears shed that day; happy ones and sad ones.

* I went on a hike with the youth in our ward up in the mountains. It was breath-taking!! I LOVE Asheville in the fall.

*Youth fireside, BYC, interviews, and YW presidency meetings.

*And...on top of it all, I've had to be a single parent a lot lately b/c it is the time of year for Cory when he has to travel a lot and work lots of hours, which means I have to drag my girls around with me everywhere. They are beginning to hear the phrase "Don't touch that, it is for Young Womens" way too much.

Life is busy and crazy, but it is good. Cory is so supportive of me. He holds me when I cry, makes me laugh when I need a pick-me-up, and does so much for me all of the time. Katelund and Cloey are also so wonderful and patient with me. I am looking forward to next week when life will slow down for a little bit, but at the same time I am grateful for the busyness b/c it keeps me going strong each day. On days where there isn't much to do, I find myself feeling more down than usual. Time does heal all wounds, but I think that losing a child leaves a scar that never disappears and the pain never really goes away either. At the youth fireside on Sunday, the speaker played an interview with Viktor Frankl. In it he said the following, "despair= suffering - meaning". I think that is SO incredibly true. Although I have definitely felt suffering, I don't feel despair because there is meaning. There is meaning in life and death, and because of that, I feel hope.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? shooting
3. Your hair color? fake
4. Your mother? beautiful
5. Your father? hero
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? wierd
8. Your dream/goal? celestial
9. The room you're in? living
10. Your hobby? creating
11. Your fear? eyeballs
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? settled
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? good-at-answering-with-one-word
15. One of your wish-list items? cricut
16. Where you grew up? Texas
17. The last thing you did? meeting
18. What are you wearing? comfy
19. Your TV? datenight
20. Your pet? nonexistent
21. Your computer? essential
22.Your mood? happy
23.Missing someone? Clairisa
24. Your car? van
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Goodwill/Target
27. Your summer? hard
28. Love someone? MANY
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? yesterday

I tag....Destinee, Deon, Mandy, Amber, Crystal, Jenny, and Austyn.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What is it about blogging?

I don't know but whatever it is I LOVE it!! I had some friends over this morning and of course my conversation (like many that I have) found its way to mentioning how much I love to blog and how I think that they should do it too. I must have done a great convincing job b/c I have now introduced fresh blood to the blogging world. I don't know if they will curse my name (once they are addicted) or thank me like crazy (b/c hopefully they will love it too). There are a lot of reasons why I love blogging, but I have decided to narrow it down to a top 10 list.

1. Because writing down my feelings and frustrations is so therapeutic.
2. I no longer feel guilty about not writing in my journal...this is my very non-private journal. :)
3. Because I have gotten to know my friends and family on such a deeper level b/c there is just something about writing that really shows whats in your heart and who you are.
4. Because I love to feel the validation, love, and support that comes from all of those who leave comments.
5. I have kept record and written about things that I never would've otherwise.
6. Through my blog, I really feel like I have been able to feel more gratitude in my life.
7. I have come to see how amazing people really are.
8. I have learned so many things and gotten so many great ideas from other friends' blogs.
9. I have realized how much we really do need each other. I need to know that I am not alone in this crazy scary world and that there are other moms out there who have the same fears, worries, and dreams that I do.
10. And last but definitely not least...In sharing my sorrow and pain over losing Clairisa, I have found healing.

Thank you to all of my blogging friends. I love you all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Lady's Night"

The last couple Family Home Evenings, the girls and I have given Cory massages as part of the night in order to show our thanks to him for all of his hard work on our behalf. Well yesterday Cory said that he was going to do Family Night. So he turns on relaxing music, turns the lights down, and gives us each a towel to lay on. Then he says that since we have been spoiling him lately, that he wanted to give us a "lady's night". Then he gave each of us a facial with a mud mask, apricot mask, and moisturizing massage on our face and hands. It was AMAZING!! I wish my camera would've been charged b/c it was pretty funny to see all of us with our mud mask on. After the massages, he follows up with a scripture and mini lesson on service. I just kept looking at him in awe! Throughout these last couple of months, Cory and I's love and appreciation of one another has really increased. I am so grateful for such an incredible husband. He truly is my best friend, the man of my everything!


This morning I read one of the sweetest posts ever and I just wanted to share it with everyone. Leslie, I hope you don't mind. :) Click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Handbag Giveaway

Here is your chance to win a free handbag! Go to and register to win. To launch their new products, Handbag Planet is giving away 1 bag every hour on their first day (which is October 15th). Cute stuff!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Questions and Dreams

It is so amazing to me how much Clairisa's death has impacted Katelund and Cloey. They continually ask questions about her and about death in general. Here are some of the latest questions they've asked...

Cloey- "Mommy, can't we ride in a space ship to go see our baby?"
Cloey- "Can we buy this dress (we were at Target) and give it to our baby when we see her again?"
Katelund- (she was on the stairs crying when she asked me this question) "Mommy someday when you and Daddy die am I going to be left all alone?"
Katelund- "When will Clairisa be resurrected?"
Cloey- "When can we have our baby back?"
Katelund- (referring to the graveyard where Clairisa is buried) "Are those all babies that have died too?"
Katelund- "When will I die?"
Cloey- "When will Jesus bring our baby back?"
Cloey- (she was looking at a picture that Cory's parents gave us of the Savior holding a baby girl) "Mommy, is that our baby Claire?"
Cloey- "Is our baby with great Grandpa Black?"

We have had so many good conversations about death and resurrection. Recently, I have been a little worried about Katelund though. Her first reaction to Clairisa's death was anger and bad behavior. Then it turned to sadness and now it is just a lot of pondering and questions. This morning Katelund woke me up at about 5 to tell me about her "really good dream". I asked her what it was about and she said that she had dreamed about Jesus. In her dream Jesus came to our home and left a treasure box in our mailbox and then he told her that he will always watch over our family. I don't think that it was a coincidence that she would have had such a dream. I believe that she needed to have that dream to give her the peace and reassurance that she needs to know that everything will be alright.

My sister-in-laws are both about to have their baby girls. As their due dates are approaching, the pain in my heart has become more intense. I am so happy for them and their families, which makes it really hard to hurt at the same time. I know that it is normal for a grieving mother to ache inside when she sees a pregnant woman or a newborn baby, but I don't want to. I want to be happy for all of my millions of friends who are either pregnant right now or who just had their babies. :) Seriously, EVERYONE is pregnant around me. For all of you who are reading this blog and are pregnant (probably almost all of you), I want you to know that I really am happy for you and your families. I am sorry if I don't always comment on your blogs when you show your cute tummies or when you talk about how soon the day is approaching when you will hold your baby in your arms. It is such a mix of emotions, and for that I am truly sorry. I know that I can get past this, but for now please just know that I love you all. As this has been on my mind lately, I actually had a dream the other night that Clairisa was with me. It was the most incredible dream and I woke up so extremely happy and grateful. I consider my dream yet another tender mercy from the Lord.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More Pictures

I have a confession. I totally kept Katelund home from school yesterday b/c she stayed up way too late all weekend long with Grandma and Grandpa. She just needed a catch-up day.
My Grandma Black's FAMOUS Apple Crisp. It is a family favorite. Here is the recipe...
1 tsp cinammon
2 tbsp flour
1 c. sugar
3-4 cups grated apples
Mix together and put in bottom of an 8x8 pan
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. oats
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Mix and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. It is best when served with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream!!!

Picture Udate

First of all, as embarrassing as this is, I have to tell you what was going on while I was uploading these pictures this morning. There was a fire going on in my kitchen....yes, I'm serious. I had turned on a burner b/c I was going to boil some water and then I left the room to come to the computer. Well, I heard some funny noices and smelt a funny smell, sure enough I went into the kitchen and I'd turned on the wrong burner. The one that I had turned on had a plastic spoon laying over the top of it that had about 6 inch flames all around it. Yes, it was very scary and luckily it was easy to get out. Although now my house smells like burnt plastic. So nasty. The other week Cloey had her hair chopped off. She was very excited and I was very nervous.
This picture doesn't even do it looks SO ADORABLE!!!
My new toy

Cory's new toy. If you are wondering why he looks like he is growing a forest on his face, it is because "it is almost hunting season". Apparently, I am going to be married to a grizzly bear during hunting season every year.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Conference Goals

The man who said the opening prayer during the Sunday afternoon session said it perfectly, "our wounded hearts have been healed, our hardened hearts have been softened, and our weakened hearts have been strengthened." Instead of listing my favorite quotes like I usually do, I have decided to make a list of some of the things that I felt in my heart; things that I feel impressed to change or do better at...

1. Simplify my life.
2. Share the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the greatest gift I have to offer.
3. Prepare my family with "spiritual home storage".
4. Arrive early for sacrament meeting in order to prepare myself for the most important thing I will do all week.
5. Increase in hope
6. Be more angelic to others
7. Increase the unity of our home and Young Women
8. Be a peacemaker more often
9. "Step away from sowing seeds of disunity"
10. Look for opportunity in the midst of opposition
11. Make a stand for a return to virtue
12. Find joy in the journey NOW!
13. "Never let a problem to be solved more important than a person to be loved"
14. Adapt to the changes in my life and find joy in them.
15. Have more gratitiude
16. Be a more effective Young Women leader
17. Be a better visiting teacher!!!
18. "Find someone who is having a hard time and do something for them"
19. Be generous
20. Enjoy each day with my children

Friday, October 03, 2008

My Dearest Clairisa,

Tomorrow is the day. The day that I was supposed to be in labor with you, my last beautiful baby girl. It was a day that was supposed to be absolutely perfect. Instead, tomorrow will be a day filled with emptiness, loneliness, tears, and sorrow. A day where my empty arms will hang in agony and a day where my broken heart will seem to shatter all over again. Losing you has been one of the hardest experiences of my life because it has made me feel one of the most intense and paralyzing pains of mortality...the pain of losing a child, a baby, a perfect gift from God above. This experience has also been one that has brought me more purpose and motivation, a greater love for those around me, and a clearer understanding and recognition of my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

I feel such a greater urgency to fortify our family and to strengthen your sisters. We all want to be with you again, and that means that we must be more diligent, faithful, and steadfast. I do not understand God's purpose for all things, but what I do know is that there is a plan and a purpose for each of us in our family and your short little life has given us a glimpse of eternity, a glimpse of Deity, a glimpse of what we must become, and a glimpse of all that we must do to fulfill such divine roles.

One of those glimpses came when I came home from the hospital without you. As horrible and heart-wrenching as that experience was, it was also one of the most precious and sacred experiences that I have ever had. When your Daddy laid his hands on my head to plead with our Father to send comfort and love, I felt as if the powers of heaven were sent down to strengthen me during a time when I wanted to die and to comfort me at a time when I felt lonelier than I have ever felt in my life. In your Grandma Black's car that rainy afternoon, as I was cradled in your Daddy's arms, I felt not only the powers of heaven, but also the love and concern of a Father in heaven who knew that in that moment I needed His love and comfort more than I have ever needed it. During that car ride, I felt the loneliness disappear as I knew with in my soul that my Savior Jesus Christ knew exactly how I felt and that he would never leave me to suffer alone. I also literally felt the Holy Ghost fulfilling His divine role as the Comforter. As Cory's arms were wrapped around my shoulders, the presence of the Spirit was wrapped around my entire body. Clairisa, I don't know if you were there with me as well, but I feel as if you were. The glimpse of divinity that was shown to me that day is one that will forever be etched in my heart.

At your graveside service, your Grandpa Mann said that your life would be the means of creating miracles and healing hearts. Clairisa, I have already seen this happen as I have shared your life and death with those around me. You have touched people's hearts and in so doing you have fulfilled your divine role. The amazing thing is that in the process of touching so many lifes and effecting so many people, the most powerful healing I have witnessed has been within my heart and your Daddy's, and for that my sweet little angel, I will eternally be grateful.

Years ago I began praying for a missionary. Unexpectedly, Clairisa, your life and death has opened the doors to the gospel of Jesus Christ for many and I know that your work as a missionary has only begun. You have changed my life and many others in so many ways. Thank you. Thank you for strengthening our family and giving us greater vision. Thank you for showing us the way to eternity. I love you with all of my heart and soul and I look forward to the day when I will hold you in my arms once again and look into your sweet angelic face and beautiful eyes and feel of your pure, perfect heart. That is the day of my dreams. God be with us both till we meet again!
Love Always and Forever,

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