Thursday, October 22, 2009

My's long and maybe overdramatic, so only read if you are up for it!

I keep thinking I need to update my blog about my life and not just a birthday post. Sometimes it is hard to want to put anything down for everyone to read, I don't really want to write about the bad stuff. When I look back at some of my journals from the past years, it seems like I only wrote when I was upset. It was an outlet for my frustration. I know that is a healthy outlet but it seemed like I was upset more than I wasn't and that's not how I remember my life. Whenever I think back on the almost 17 years of my life with Bryan and the kids, I hardly think of anything other than the joy of being a wife and mother. Even though it feels like I have been through so many obstacles and sometimes it feels as if my life is just one big obstacle. I don't want to give the impression to others that I am totally negative, because I don't feel as though I am. This past 2 years have been the hardest years of my life. It's as if I am living the life I NEVER wanted to have to deal with.

When I was younger, my family had a lot of instability with my father's construction business and when it finally went under in the late 80's, he changed jobs a lot until he found his footing and started a new business that has supported him ever since. He didn't find this new job until right before I got married. As a result of his first business going under, my family moved a lot when I was a teenager. We had lived in one home for 10 years and when I was in the 9th grade we moved from Mesa to Las Vegas where he got another construction job. I was really happy in Las Vegas and didn't want to move back here when his job ended, but being a kid, I had no choice. So, I moved to Mountain View area in the middle of my 10th grade year. We lived with my grandparents for about a year. My parents were trying to buy my grandparent's house from them, but when my dad lost his job again (this time he was working for my uncle and his company shut down too). My parent's couldn't come up with the mortgage payment for a month and my grandparents asked us to move out.

We had nowhere to go, so my parents rented a 2 bedroom apartment after my junior year. 2 adults and 6 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment. This apartment was in Dobson Ranch, so I changed schools again. I had a very difficult time there. Starting out my Senior year at Dobson was like a nightmare. I never made any friends there, other than my little sister JoAnn's friends being kind to me. Then my dad got another job and we were able to rent a house in my cousins (the Johnsons) ward. This was the middle of my Senior year and back to Mountain View. My cousins (and aunt and uncle, too) were so good to me. It makes me tear up to remember how they made me feel included after feeling so alone. They let me in there circle of friends but with the only cousin my age being a boy (Joel, he was still cool!), it was still hard. We stayed in this house for only 8 months and then had to move again. Thankfully, it was one street over and my parents were able to eventually buy that house and they stayed there for about 10 years. I met Bryan right before we moved for the last time. He was the young adult rep for the ward and I had just graduated from high school. He was just what I needed. Someone to love me with his whole heart, wanting to be with me and needing me as much as I needed him. He is my best match, best friend and my strength. His family opened their arms to me and his mom made me feel wanted in their lives and I will always appreciate her kindness to me. I think they changed my life back then.

That was 17 years ago. I never intended to write so much back story and so much of my soul here. It is hard to put my most painful parts of my life out there, I admit it I am afraid of criticism and even ridicule. But, I feel in order for people to understand why these last 2 years have been so hard for me, I have to explain my life somewhat. Losing Bryan's job and having to move my family from where they were happy was so very hard for me. When Bryan lost his job and we had to move, Jonathan was the same age I was when my family lost everything the first time. I was so afraid of him going through the same things I went through. I did not want my children to go through this and have the same fears I had.

I feel as though I have been searching for stability since I was a child. Bryan's last job, while overall it was good for us, was totally unstable and made me so anxious sometimes that I couldn't handle it. I feel as if I have grown so much over these years and I know that we have gone through this for a reason. I am stronger now than I have ever been. But I still have a long way to go. I am not even close to where I need to be.

That being said, my children are doing so well. So much better than I think they would be if we had never moved. All of my kids have straight A's (except Jon who got 2 B's, but that's ok!). Alex loves his school, Jenna is a smart little cookie and a budding artist. Connor is loving ELP and is so smart, he gets bored in class. Kaitlyn, miss Vice Pres, has so many people who love her and now she is the only student to get straight A's in her class. Her teacher made sure to tell me that! Jonathan has a fantastic group of friends now, they always seem to include him and I know he is grateful for them. I am grateful for them and how they make my son feel. We love this ward. We have felt accepted from the moment we moved in, flaws and all, broke or not, it never seemed to matter here. I feel so blessed to have been led to a place where I know we belong. I am happy here. I just need to work on finding happiness even when I get so overwhelmed that I forget which way is up. This is why I do not blog very much. Overall, I am a happy person. I promise! But when I am happy, I do not have the urge to write, instead I play with kids, cook, sing, go on walks, etc. When I am sad/angry/frustrated, that's when I think to write. Except tonight. I needed to share how I feel tonight. I am proud of my children and how they are coping. They are strong. Stronger than I was, that's for sure. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy 16th Birthday, Jonathan!!

I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. My first child is now 16 and will be driving soon! I would tell you to watch the roads, but he is a pretty good driver so maybe just be a little more cautious when he is out and about! ;)

I am very proud of the young man he has become. He is strong and kind, sweet and funny, handsome and good, loyal and honest. He is a great son, always concerned and caring for his parents feelings. He makes it easy being a parent, rarely questioning what he is asked to do. He is a good brother to his brothers and sisters. He is a great babysitter, always playing with them and making it fun for the kids when we are gone. He is learning so much all the time, right now his passion is his Chevelle and he has already learned so much about cars. He rotated my tires and changed my oil. (Love that!) He also is becoming a really good cook, he is always interested and willing to help make dinner. He is a gifted musician and we love to hear him play the violin. He is one of very few Sophmores to make it into Chamber orchestra and also to make it into the Regional Orchestra.

He is also a very spiritual person. He has a lot of faith and is often sharing the gospel with others. He is never afraid to invite someone to church. He will be a wonderful missionary someday. I can't believe that is 3 short years away!!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, son!
Jon and Grandma Hooper at his concert
Jon and Grandpa Standage and Grandma Standage
Jon and Grandpa Hooper

Jon and us

Jon's friends from the ward put candy all over the car
and they filled it with balloons and confetti.
More baloons!
It was a fun surprise for him, the only problem was that my car broke last night, so Bryan had to take the Chevelle to work and it required a lot of cleaning before it could be driven! He usually takes Jon to A hour on his way to work, so Jon missed A hour today! Oh well, he will have to consider that a b-day present too!

Have a great day, son!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bryan's New Job

Well, it's official, Bryan has a new job. He turned in his notice at US Foodservice on Tuesday. He ig going to work for Offsite Backup Solutions, the company my brother Todd started a few years ago. They offer data storage for individuals and companies so their data is secure even if they have computer problems. (We are going to put our family photos on there because I never want to lose them if my computer crashes. Shameful plug, I know! :)) I don't know if Bryan has a title or anything but it sounds like he will be an office manager. He will help Julie (my sil) with the books and billing and also assist with any support calls and such. I am not positive on the specifics, but he thinks it is something he will really enjoy doing. He said the stuff that Julie does is interesting and while he doesn't know a whole lot about the support side, he thinks he should be able to pick it up quickly.

We are excited about this job because it has the potential for being a great career and not just a job. Something that he will enjoy being a part of instead of just putting in his hours and going home. We have seen this business grow for the last few years and it is even growing during the recession. We hope that it will continue to grow and can be a great career for Bryan. It is a small company but they are still offering benefits. (We have come to love those paid vacations in the last few months and are so glad to still have them!!) It pays more than he is making now and if the business continues to grow (we think it will) there is the possibility of some great raises in the future. We feel like this is the best shot we have at getting back to where we are more comfortable and in a few years to buy a house again. Yay!!

So, we are hopeful and a bit nervous at the same time. Change is so scary! And since they are family, we hope it can be a situation that benefits us and them and not complicate relationships later.

If you want to check them out, here is a link: .

Wish us luck!!