Tuesday, July 27, 2010


In preparation for our week-long handcart adventure to Martin's Cove, Rocky Ridge and other Mormon history sites, we have been studying the lives of the pioneers from the Willie and Martin Handcart companies. Adam and I will be sitting reading together and look up at each other only to see that both of us are in tears. There are so, so many touching recorded and unrecorded stories.
Here is one that makes me tear up every time I read it. It's about James Kirkwood, an 11 year old boy from the Willie Handcart company. He was the 4th of 5 children. His mother was a recent widow and had lost one of her children but still wanted to emigrate to Utah with her 4 children, one of whom was crippled. On October 23rd, with the land covered in snow and a blizzard blowing through the area, Captain Willie told the company they had to find shelter. There was a cove 15 miles from camp, up and over Rocky Ridge. Joseph was James' four year old little brother and his shoes had worn out. 'That morning we left camp on the Sweetwater and began to hike Rocky Ridge. Joseph's shoes had worn out. His feet were numb from the snow and ice. Joseph would not and could not walk any more. The group was leaving us. I told Joseph not to worry, that I would take care of him. I picked Joseph up, first in my arms then over my shoulders and then in my arms again. Many times he began to slip from my grasp because my fingers were frozen. But I would take a short rest before picking him up and pressing on. The group had left us far behind. But I did not give up. I knew that if I stopped my brother would surely die. Over the last miles, Joseph tried to talk to me, but I could not respond. Mother was waiting for us at camp. I gently set Joseph down by the campfire. My last thought was that now, having brought Joseph to safety, I too could rest. I was buried in Rock Creek Hollow with 12 others.' John Chislett said that James,..."having so faithfully carried out his task, collapsed and died from exposure and over-exertion."

Mormon Pioneers - Act of Courage - LDS Church History

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thank You, Dear Readers

I just wanted to say thank you to those who have left kind and encouraging comments. I'm sure you probably think your comments don't mean much, at least that's how I feel when I leave comments on your blogs, but they have meant a lot to me. It's nice to know that you cared enough to leave a little message. On discouraging days, your comments have been a bright spot for me, so thank you!


After three months of continuous sinus and ear infections, three or four rounds (I lost count) of antibiotics, lots of interrupted nights, and days filled with stressful behavior (from both mom and son), James' adenoids were removed and tubes placed in his ears. The surgery only took about 45 minutes and everything went well. The way the nurses and doctors talked, they made it seem like he would be back to normal within a day or two. WRONG! James has been pale, droopy, and dumpy seven days post-op. He's been up in the night crying and he just lays around the house during the day. When I ask him what he wants to do he says, "Nothing. I just want to stay here," which is really abnormal. I'm hoping he turns a corner fairly soon. It makes me so sad to look at his little face and recognize the signs of discomfort and fatigue.
The other night he woke up crying from pain. I put him back in bed and he said softly, "I want dad to give me a blessing." So much trust and faith in his Heavenly and earthly fathers. So thankful that Adam holds the priesthood and is able to serve his family and those around him.
PS: I taught the lesson today and it was on the priesthood, can you tell?

Friday, July 16, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends from high school/college/post-college, came back to Boise to visit her family. We had the chance to go out to lunch and chat. It was so fun and I couldn't help but think of some of our crazy adventures together. The best one being the time we drove my tiny Subaru cross-country starting in Boise, down to the Grand Canyon, across Colorado, Kansas and over to Missouri, up to Nauvoo, and headed back home via Iowa, South Dakota, Yellowstone and Wyoming. We stopped at many of the National Parks along the way. It was epoch! We slept in the car, drove all night some nights, camped in Nauvoo, freshened up at gas stations, and witnessed some of the most beautiful places in America. It felt so free. The road was our destiny. Now that I'm a mom, I can only imagine how nervous our mothers were when we left, especially since it was before cell phones were so widely used and owned.
I think the best memory of that trip was when we stopped at Adam-Ondi-Ahman just before dusk. For those of you who have never been there, it is literally out in the middle of nowhere and all it is is farmland and rolling hills. We were the only ones there. We got out of the car and walked around for a bit and then we were attacked by a giant Mayfly. It would not leave us alone. We would run and it would chase us. We would stop, thinking it had gone away only to discover that it was on one of our shoulders. Then we would scream and run some more. All the while, we are getting farther and farther away from the car and it was quickly getting darker. We finally decided to say a prayer. So, while running, Amy says this quick prayer out loud and the thing flies away. So funny now but at the time it was pretty scary. We were crazy.
This is one of my favorite quotes about friendship:
"All of us should strive, therefore, to have some friendships that are deep and solid--so solid, for instance, that if they were interrupted, the unfinished conversation could be resumed months later almost in mid-sentence, just as if we had never been apart. You and I are believers in and preachers of a glorious gospel that can deepen all human relationships now as well as projecting all relationships into eternity. Friendships, as well as families, are forever." --Neal A. Maxwell

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Last Thursday I turned 33. Yikes! When did I get old? Anyway, it was a fun day. I went to Cafe Ole' for lunch with one of my sisters, my mom, and two SIL's. It was fun to get out and do something fun because I was feeling pretty down that week. I got quite a bit of cash for my birthday and I have been spending it! Christmas and birthdays are just about the only times of the year when I spend any money on myself.
This year, I decided to spend some of my money on a new pair of Chaco sandals. My first pair I bought back in 2002 in preparation for my backpacking trip to Europe. Those sandals carried me across Europe, all over the US, hiked everywhere and anywhere, and to distant islands. I love them and they are the best shoes in the world. They have a lifetime guarantee and will resole and restrap your sandals for only $35! Last summer I really only wore flip-flops everywhere and I started to have knee and back problems. I switched back to my Chaco's and haven't had any problems since.
I bought these (green) nifty new ones to take with me on the handcart trek to Martin's Cove. I needed some with better traction. Anyway, I'm excited so thought I would share!
The pic of my bare feet in the surf and sand was taken in San Sebastian, Spain.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Before I Forget...

I want to write this down.

Today while shopping James called me "my little mother dear." Cute!

One of James' gold fish met a tragic fate this morning. I found him sucked into the filter. James was quite sad and upset. Tonight, in his prayer he said, "Please bless Smally that he will go up into heaven with you." And then his eyes welled up with tears. So sweet. I love that kid.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Hanging out at Camel's Back!

Fire Truck Heaven

James had all of his fire trucks out the other night--19 in all! Most of them we acquired from yard sales for only 50 cents each.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Good News

It's amazing the effect a little good news can make in your life. Adam has been unemployed for about 19 months now. That's almost 2 years! (They should make a blog ticker for that. Ha!) I won't say it has been easy because it has pretty much sucked royally. And it has become much more stressful within the past six months. Adam went off unemployment and has been waiting and networking with a guy since November about a particular job. He has applied and looked for jobs almost daily. Unless you have been unemployed recently you really have no idea what it's like to be without a job in this awful economy. Entry level positions four years ago now require a minimum of 3-4 years of experience. And it almost seems fruitless to even apply for any job if you have little experience in that field. Employers are receiving 100's of resumes for one job and there is always a ton of other people who are way more qualified and have way more experience. It has been very discouraging, very frustrating, and at times, very depressing. We have been told countless times to just go get a job at Home Depot or someplace like that. Well, that would be a great solution if those places were ever hiring and when they were, even with Adam's construction background, they didn't even call him for an interview.
The only way we have been able to survive month after month is mostly from my job and the random side work Adam has been able to pick up sporadically. It has been a struggle EVERY month. It is so stressful EVERY month wondering if we will have enough to pay the mortgage. Fortunately, it has worked out for us every month but not without blood, sweat, stress, and prayer. It is so draining to worry about money on a daily basis--Do I have enough for this $5 item?? And most of the time it would end up back on the shelf. I can easily see how financial difficulty can strain a marriage relationship. Not that Adam and I have/had issues but it definitely takes more work to be polite, courteous, and loving when you really feel like being snippy and jerky. We have made the most of a bad situation by working together.
There have been added stresses along the way--Ruby's multiple surgeries and extended hospital stay in November, James' ongoing health issues (having adenoids taken out tomorrow--Yay!), my ongoing health issues, preparing for Faith Quest, and a ton of small daily tasks that seem so overwhelming at times that I can't get off the couch.
Don't get me wrong. I know our situation is awesome compared to others'. We are fortunate that we have been able to stay in our home, that we have never missed or been late on a payment, that we have food and a car. We have all of the necessities of life as well as many luxuries. We live comparitively well to those who live in other parts of the nation and world.
That being said, we also don't want to live week to week for the rest of our lives. It would be so nice not to have to worry and fret over finances EVERY DAY of our lives.
But I digress. The title of this post is "Good News" so on with it, right? Well, the good news is Adam FINALLY heard back from his contact. He was supposed to call us like 2-3 weeks ago and day after day we heard nothing. We both were starting to lose hope and we were really depressed all last week. Finally, FINALLY he calls and said they are posting the job and he is still pulling for Adam to get it. Now, before you start to wonder where the good news is because it's not like we were offered the job, let me just say that it is an absolute miracle to be at this point. They posted the job and Adam is guaranteed an interview and his contact wants him to get it. Amazing!
Adam definitely has his work cut out for him. This is an extremely competitive business (surgical sales). It is close to impossible to break into it as they are very high paying jobs and very desirable. If you are unfamiliar with the industry, trust me, it will be a miracle if he is offered this position. For example, Medtronic, a very large medical device company, only hires ex-military and prefers ex-semi or professional athletes. Plus, there are 10 interviews. Plus, an intelligence test (ie: Why are manholes round?) It's absolutely crazy.
Adam read a book recently called "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" written by some big CEO. In it, he says he got to where he is because he expected miracles to happen and they did. We are and have been relying on faith, knowing that everything happens for a reason and that we can expect great things from the Lord whether we feel we deserve them or not. We have read and re-read the talk "Continue in Patience" by President Uchdorf. He said that we may have to wait for a long time and we sometimes won't realize the purpose of waiting until years later when we can look back and see the hand of the Lord in our lives. Waiting is hard, though. Especially for someone as impatient as myself.
I haven't really felt like myself in a very long time. I have felt so distracted--constantly working to make ends meet, constantly having that little worry in the back of my mind, constantly feeling guilty for lack of motivation, never being able to turn my brain off. I guess that's why I have not felt truly present emotionally and mentally when I am with other people. I'm not one to casually share my emotions, although I would answer ANY question posed to me. I feel like an open book in that way. I'm never offended and I would prefer people to be more blunt with each other. However, I know I tend to push people away and I'm sure I come across as really unapproachable, which is sad. I'm really hoping to get some of my old spunk and spark back along with a job for Adam.
I know there is a purpose to trials. My faith has increased over the last two years. I know the Lord will always take care of us, even if it's not in the way we would prefer. I know that he answers prayers, even if it's not in the way we would prefer. I know he blesses tithe payers for more than any monetary amount. I know He loves us and is there to comfort us. We don't know what is really going on in people's lives unless we ask. I know I seem outwardly strong and capable but things aren't always what they seem.
This post has been cathartic. I feel great! I feel full of hope and I'm excited for whatever the future brings, but I hope that future has a job in it:) We will know by mid-August. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top pictures: A few weeks ago, James and I enjoyed a mother/son morning hike together. The weather was spectacular.
Fourth photo down: James and Ruby enjoying free lunch in the park in the rain.
Last photo: Taken at my parents 60th birthday party. The church was so freakin' hot and James was on medicine that made him more prone to dehydration so I didn't fight him when he wanted to strip down after all of the guests had left and we were cleaning up.

Happy 4th of July!

It was another exciting 4th of July at the Ogden house. Never a dull moment. It starts with firecrackers and smokeballs and turns into mortars and huge bottlerockets. This year, my parents' neighbors set a bush on fire at the neighborhood park. (Who lights fireworks at a park surrounded by pine trees?) Anyway, the fire department came and so did the police. It was pretty hilarious to watch my dad and brothers and brothers-in-laws scramble as they hurried and swept up any evidence. So funny.