You know, from the outside, I can see how people would think that our life is tough. Or that we’re good people because of the challenges we face. Sometimes it really is. But we are so blessed. So so eternally blessed. It is challenging to have a lot given to us on our proverbial ‘plates’. But what I think is especially awesome is when people actively search for ‘food’ from others ‘plates’ to fill their own. For people who carry a little of our weight- especially when they don’t have to. Those are the BEST people. So I’ll name a few I know (but not all, definitely not all…there’s not enough time for that)
For everyone who made Abby’s birth not just a wonderful blessing- but a party. For my ward who rallies around us and our children. The people in the hall who coo over Abby or give Casey a high five. The teachers who have taught Carter lessons that he works so hard to remember in his life. Any teacher who has ever been called to teach Peyton. Ever. Every leader I had growing up that magnified their calling and helped me on my way. For Bishop Carter who got me to the temple.
I’m grateful for the people in the grocery store who do not judge me when my six year old throws himself on the ground and kicks at you as you walk by, but instead, ask what you can do to help. For the old man who held Peyton for me at Walmart while I ran to chase down Casey.
For the Fagers who have made their home Casey’s Disneyland.
For Pam Caudill who ‘likes’ every stupid thing I say on Facebook, who makes me feel funny, and who loves Abby as much as I do.
For my good neighbors. We live in a great neighborhood where everyone is so patient and wonderful to us. For teaching their kids to serve- a month doesn’t go by when we don’t see Chess, our sixteen year old neighbor, sneaking over to mow our front lawn. His sister is over at our house at a drop of a hat to help out and has more than once refused payment. For Tiffany who has shown me how to be happy when things are at their hardest. To trust in God no matter what.
For the Hoskin’s who force us to be social, even when it’s much easier for us to just stay home. For being our friends even when they knew going into it that we weren’t the easiest family to get together with. Who razz us without prejudice when we bail on any planned activity.
For Heather James who makes me feel wise and useful. Who is always willing to pick me up, at any time, during the day or night, to feast on nachos and listen to me vent about things that suck. For how much she adores my kids and makes each one of them feel special every time she’s with them.
For anyone who pretended not to notice when I’d gone too long between the times I took care of my facial hair.
For Mary Felts who brings the kids treats once a week and who got genuinely mad when she didn’t know I was having surgery done.
For Mandee who I could not love more even if she had stayed in Port Orchard. She’s a true friend. We hadn’t seen each other for YEARS when I saw her down in Phoenix, and it was like nothing had changed. I love her like a sister.
For my family. I could go on and on and on about how much I love each and every one of them, but for right now I’ll just talk about a couple of them.
For my brother Travis who tells me I’m great even when he knows me too well. For his wife who is constantly called upon to be my therapist. Travis had the opportunity to go to graduation where he would have sat in the presence of the entire first presidency. Because he was faculty there was probably a chance he would have got to shake their hands. I don’t know. That was also the morning that Lance had his kidney stone, and in stead, Travis chose to stay at home and play with my kids. He’s been Casey’s #1 favorite person since then. Travis and Katie are truly people that take from other people’s plates. Proverbially (and sometimes literally). They quietly serve those around them. I’m sure they do a lot more than anyone of us will ever know.
For Missy who is so good about keeping in touch even though she knows I suck at it. Who still tries hard even though I’m not good at reciprocity in this area (and anyone who’s ever talked to me on the phone knows I’m not a good phone talker). I love her for that.
For other family members who keep up on how we are doing and who pray for us.
I love my life. I have such wonderful people in it. I could go on for hours with this list. Just because I didn’t name you this time, doesn’t mean I don’t love you to pieces and aren’t totally grateful for your service and love.
Heavenly Father did give us some extra trials (wrapped in the cutest bundles you have ever seen). But He also gave us the best friends and family that make everything so much easier.