Sunday, September 25, 2011


Were you at the Women's Conference last night?

Jason dropped me off at the stake center after a couple hours of fruitless lot-searching. I was feeling kind of discouraged. And even on the sad side. I usually go to these kinds of things with my mom and sisters. Even though it was nice to visit with a couple women from the ward/stake, I still couldn't shake the loneliness.

After the dinner, we filed into the chapel & the meeting began. As the opening song played, I wrote down questions/concerns that I've been having & hoping to find inspiration at the upcoming meeting(s). Julie Beck's talk was wonderful, as was her counselors. I found they each touched on one or more of my questions/concerns. But my heart stayed a bit heavy & sad.

Then, Elder Uchtdorf. Wow. Somehow that man can speak right to my heart. You see - forget-me-nots are my favorite flower. Ask my husband. Look at THIS post. They've been my favorite flower since I was a little girl. Yes - I love the smell of roses. I love the color of the tulips, but there's something about the forget-me-nots that is just me. So - when he started talking about my favorite flower - and even had a tie on that matched the color of my flower - I couldn't (and still can't!) stop the tears. Such a precious talk. It touched me deeply and really reminded me that even though at the time, I felt like that small little flower, the Lord loves & appreciates me for who I am. Truly changed me & made my heart rejoice. The Lord truly knows & loves me! I hope you are able to watch it. I know I will be re-watching it- whenever I'm feeling small & insignificant.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cedar Half!

Well, last night was a lot of fun and we went & played at the park & visited with my friend Gayla who came up for the half. Then we went to SUU where they were having a big homecoming shin-dig. Free food. Free music. Fireworks. Good times all around. The only damper was an on & off rainfall. We had to head home around 9, though, to get the kidlets in bed, so we headed home & eventually went to bed.
Well, let's just say it wasn't in my top 10 best nights sleep ever. Lightning flashing. Thunder crashing. It was C R A Z Y! Then I kept dreaming about the race & having to climb up mountains & also about having a torrent of rain during the race. Because - seriously - it was a downpour outside. Then I got up at what I thought was 5:30am for the race. Lo & behold, Miss Kezia had been playin' with our alarm clock again. It was only 5. So - I hung out for a while before Bonnie Jones (the 2nd counselor in our YW presidency - and an awesome athlete) picked me & another girl up and we headed to the buses at the park. I had to hold myself back from singing "the wheels on the bus." Guess I was a little excited. We got to Woods Ranch & hung around the fires & I met up with some friends from Herriman - Jacie & RuthAnn. And started the race with another friend, Cindy Clawson. Let me just say that it was FREEZING up there. Not too rainy, thankfully. But FREEZING. When it was time to head out, I knew I shouldn't run too fast, but it was hard to hold back. My legs & lungs felt fine, so I just let myself go. I did sub-7 min/miles for the first 7 miles. SUB-7!! I just kept saying to myself - way too fast!! way too fast!! I'm going to feel this soon. Well, my legs did start whining at about mile 9. At mile 11, they were shouting, and that last mile, they were screaming, but I just kept pushing it. I found some fast girls that I could keep up with & talk to & kept my mind off my legs. Jason texted me on mile 12 & it said "Run Mom Run!" - I really wanted to see my favorite little cheerleaders, so I really pushed that last mile. It was sooo good to see my beautiful little family cheering me on. I always get a little teary-eyed seeing them there. They support me SO MUCH. So - my time was 1:35. was SO happy! My previous PR for a half was 1:43, so I crushed it!! I also got 1st in my 30-34 age division. It seriously could not have been a more perfect day for a run. No rain. Just a bit chilly. SO nice. I, of course, did not do this alone & prayed some prayers to keep me going, so I have to thank my Heavenly Father, too :)

(Bonnie did AWESOME & got 1st in her age group, too! Go Bonnie!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts & Feelings - 9/11

Where were you on this date, a decade ago? I really find it interesting, finding out what everyone was doing, how they found out, what they did, how they felt.
As for me... I was working in the Federal Building - downtown SLC. I remember walking in the building that morning & a few people were gathered around the T.V. in the lunchroom. My co-worker, Karen, told me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I have to say... I wasn't aghast at this point. I just thought "Hmmm - wow. That's a crazy thing. But things like that happen in this crazy world." I thought it was an accident. I had no idea it was a premeditated attack. I went to my office. But more & more people gathered around the TV, so I went back in & watched as that 2nd plane hit the WTC. And then the Pentagon. By this time, everyone had forgotten about work. Panic had hit me by then. I just kept thinking "our nation is under attack - HERE!" I heard about Flight 93. Now I was really anxious. I didn't imagine it would hit where I was, but I have to admit I was a little worried about being in a Federal Building. After staring at the TV for quite a while, I think people drifted off, but I think they gave admin leave by the early afternoon. I talked to Jason, who was at school. I cried some. I went to my mom's. We came together as a family & made sure everyone was okay. I just remember the hurt that day. So many horrible images kept pouring out of that T.V. So many horrible details of the attacks. Stories of emergency personnel and loved ones. People jumping out of buildings...Oh... it still hurts my heart so much. We, as a nation, came together so much that day & the days following. So many flags. So much patriotism. So much anger - and humility. Both sides of the spectrum.
I just wanted to take a minute & remember that day. Remember those whose lives were lost & honor them.
Also - today, I guess, my heart is a little more tender as well, because my brother is one of those men over there in Afghanistan, continuing - a decade later - to fight those terrorists who cannot seem to get over their hatred of us. We're praying hard for him. And for all those still fighting for our freedoms.
I hope God can continue to Bless the U.S.A.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August Newsletter

A bit late, but I have my excuses. I'll have to post pictures at a later time. Enjoy!

August 2011

FAMILY: Another busy summer month for the Hamilton family. Our sad news this month is that Grandpa Tew passed away on the 28th. We are going to miss him so much – and at the same time we know he is happy & peaceful on the other side. On the 3rd, we had a picnic in the park with daddy J On the 5th, we loaded up & headed north. WAY North. It was our annual Potts Family Retreat & this year we went to Island Park, Idaho at a nice cabin that the Potts rented. We had some great memories, including going to Yellowstone & seeing Old Faithful, some elk, and some other geysers, yummy food, a family talent show, watching movies, roasting marshmallows, playing games, sitting in the hot tub, having a Sunday School lesson by dad, coloring, singing songs, baking, picking flowers, the girls sleeping on bunk beds with their cousins, playing at the park, and just enjoying visiting with family that we don’t get to see a lot. The girls sent Grandma & Grandpa Potts thank you pictures for putting on the retreat. It was wonderful. On the 9th, on the way back home, we stopped to see the Bensons & Jason got to meet Maliyah & we got to see Brent for a little while, too. It was a looong drive home – we didn’t pull in till around 10:30 – and Jason wasn’t feeling too well, but it was all worth it! On the 19th, we headed to Richfield for Heidi & Kim’s triathlon. It was great to see family & Heidi did well – finishing as the 2nd woman overall. Afterwards, she used her prize money ($30) and we all celebrated at Ideal Dairy with ice cream and punch bags. It was a downpour when we got back to the Devenish’s & the girls had a blast playing in the rain with their cousins & getting soaked. The 23rd was our ward STOMP (Summer Trying Out Moroni’s Promise) Banquet. It was a fun picnic and the girls always love seeing their ward friends. On the 26th, Heidi took Ireland & Kezia to Discovery Park for fun day Friday while McKinley was having fun at Grandma Devenish’s. On the 30th, McKinley started Kindergarten! She was so excited to go with her friend Addison & ride the bus. We also saw a big home in Legacy Estates in Enoch that we’ve been debating about making an offer on. We’re trying to be prayerful about where the Lord wants us. Other than that, we’ve still been enjoying the wonderful summer weather – walks & hanging out outside. The girls seem to have definite preferences to colors in our home. For meals (plates, bowls & cups), McKinley wants blue, Ireland wants green, and Kezia wants purple. MIRACLES: Heidi & some girls & Diane Bealer were going up to Bonnie’s cabin & the truck just completely died. She had to pull over & they had to have someone else bring them to the cabin. It happened just as they were going to try & pass someone & she’s thankful it didn’t die as they were passing. The other MIRACLE was that we were worried it was going to cost an arm & leg to fix the truck, but after Jason installed a new fuel filter, the check engine light went off & it’s been running fine. Another MIRACLE: Heidi could NOT find her new cell phone at the pool, and was worried it might have been stolen, but after a while of searching, found it buried in her purse. Thank you Heavenly Father!

JASON: Jason did shave off his beard right after our last newsletter. He’s feeling much cooler now J He was sad that we forgot fishing poles for the Yellowstone trip, but still had fun seeing Yellowstone & showing all the geysers to his daughters. He’s still enjoying his job & the flexibility it gives him. Jason got called to be the 2nd counselor in Elder’s Quorum this month (a change from being the Secretary). The Elders were in charge of the ward activity this month, so Jason got to help out (with Heidi’s help) with the invitations and set-up & clean-up. He’s also helped a few people move in or out this month. Jason got to go with McKinley to her back to school night & had fun on the mini daddy-daughter date. Jason & Heidi got new cell phones this month since they changed their T-mobile plan to a contract. Jason’s had fun figuring out his new Android and loading music & downloading apps for it.

HEIDI: Heidi had a great time seeing her family on our Potts Retreat this year. She went running one morning with dad & it was such a beautiful setting. She also loved seeing the geysers and eating the yummy ice cream. Heidi had lots of fun with her Young Women this month & got to go water skiing on the 3rd & then had a sleepover at Bonnie Jones’ cabin by Panguitch Lake on the 26th. She really enjoys the Young Women girls and leaders. She’s also really thankful for Jason’s support as she does these activities. The Richfield Triathlon was a lot of fun & Heidi was pleased to do so well – especially since the overall women’s leader was doing the ½Ironman the next weekend – so she didn’t feel too bad about losing to her J It was fun to get $30, a pair of socks & be featured in the newspaper. She’s still training & hoping to complete the Cedar City ½ marathon in September. Then she’ll be ready for a little break in training J She’s also put a lot of time into McKinley’s birthday book this month. The sad part is that she had 80 pages completed & then the software program completely crashed & wouldn’t open her book any more. The technical support tried to help for a few days, but in the end, she had to start over L Thankfully, she had the scrapbook pages done & she found some files with the layout, so it was just a matter of bringing it all together again. She’s also put a lot of time into back-to-school shopping for the girls. She’s probably been to 10 different stores (with all 3 girls) & hopes that they will be completely set for the year!!


-McKinley’s BIG NEWS this month is that she’s officially a KINDERGARTENER! She was so excited for her first day of school & even made a count-down chain. She had all her prep work done this month, including lots of back-to-school shopping, a trip to the dr’s for booster shots (more on that later), a back-to-school night with daddy, a 1-on-1 teacher assessment with Mrs. Jones (where she told mom that McKinley was basically the top of her class), and her first official day of school on the 30th! Mom & dad took her to her first day & mom put a special note in her backpack telling her how special she is & how proud she is of her. McKinley loved her first couple days and is excited to go to recess, meet new friends, and ride the bus!

-McKinley had to go to Doctor North twice this month. Once she went for her Kindergarten booster shots. Unfortunately, her body did not like them and her leg swelled where her shots were and it was hot to the touch. That lasted a week & a half before it got better. Then she had a mild reaction to the chickenpox vaccine & got spots on her face. Thankfully, this all went away after a couple weeks, but it was a bit nerve-racking! The 2nd time she went to the Dr. was for a bad ear infection. It started hurting her while we were in Island Park. She said she woke up one night crying & she was going to go to mom & dad but then remembered that Kezi was sleeping in their room, so she just cried & Michael (who was sleeping with her) told her to say a prayer & she was able to sleep that night. Thankfully she was OK until we got back & could get to the doctor. She had to take ear drops for the next week and a half.

-McKinley had a great time on the Potts retreat – especially seeing her cousins and getting to go see Yellowstone.

-After we got back from Yellowstone, we were in mom’s room and McKinley said “Yuck! Kezia’s diaper smells like a geyser!”

-McKinley & Ireland love to get in their leotards and have mom put on some classical symphonic music (they call it ballerina music) and dance and dance!

-One day while mom was getting lunch set out, McKinley said “Mom – Satan thinks he’s perfect, but he’s not. Well… he’s the perfect bad guy!”

-We finished reading the first 3 books of Little House on the Prairie this month. We had such a great time reading about the adventures of Laura Ingalls and life in the “olden days”. And it was even more intriguing because the stories were true!
-McKinley got to spend a couple days at Grandma Devenish’s house this month. She said she had a lot of fun with her grandma & cousins. They baked, went shopping, and read books!

-One day McKinley said “Mom – let’s pretend I’m six already. Because… I have to practice being six, OK?”

-McKinley was so sweet when mom was crying after finding out that Great-Grandpa had died. She hugged her & made her a sweet paper.

-Mom was pretty stressed about getting Great-Grandpa Tew’s Memorial Slideshow done in time & she was working on the computer a lot. McKinley made mom a peanut butter & honey sandwich (microwaved, even!) and brought it in to her at her computer. It was SO thoughtful.

-Daddy gave McKinley a father’s blessing the Monday before she started school. In it, daddy talked about being a good friend, having fun at school, using kind words, being more obedient to parents, and a desire to learn.

-McKinley was singing the “Days of the Week” song & realized that Sunday was first. She said “Mom – the first day of the earth was church.”

-Before we left for SLC for Great-Grandpa’s funeral, McKinley was thinking about seeing Michael. She said “Mom – Do you think Heavenly Father ever tells people to marry their cousins?... Maybe that’s why I love Michael so much. Because I’m supposed to marry him.”


-Ireland had a lot of fun in Yellowstone – especially getting to sleep in the top bunk with her cousin Joshua every night. One night around the campfire, Ireland looked at her Uncle Josephs arms and said “Did they put STAMPS on you?” And when Joseph didn’t know what to say other than “yes,” Ireland turned to mom & said “MOM- They put STAMPS on him!!”

-All the way home from Yellowstone (and on other trips), Ireland says “We’re in Cedar City!!” We have to keep telling her that we’re not there yet, but she’s just SO excited to be in Cedar City!

-Ireland still has some problems with tantrums – especially when she’s tired. She just won’t be reasoned with and will scream and scream. Things have gotten a little bit better, though, and we’re trying to do better about making sure she gets enough 1-on-1 time and rest.

- Ireland calls it “fork & beans”

-When we were in Richfield, the sky was dark & starting to rain. Ireland said “The sky is sad. It wants a tissue.”

-Ireland is STILLLLL infatuated with leotards and cannot go an entire day without one or two different leotards on.

-Ireland had a rare accident one day & decided to get the bleach & shake the bottle over the top of her accident. Thankfully, hardly any bleach came out, but we had a good talk about not touching the bleach.

-When we pulled into our twin home neighborhood, Ireland said “The houses are stuck together!”

-For FHE one night mom asked “Why do we come to earth?... To get….?” Ireland said (raising both arms above her head) “CANDY!!!”

-Ireland is getting more & more outgoing. When we go to the store or the park, she will just come right up to someone & say “Hi! What’s your name? I’m Ireland…” and proceed to tell them lots of “interesting” things J

-Ireland found a blue flower & gave it to daddy & said “It’s a BOY flower dad!”

-Daddy gave Ireland a father’s blessing at the end of the month and it talked a lot about friends and being a good friend, paying attention to the teacher, and being a big helper.

-Ireland is REALLY turning into quite the artist. She loves drawing animals lately and drew a VERY good elephant in her journal the other day. She also loves to write notes like her sister & give them to people (especially when she’s supposed to be in bed asleep)

-Ireland has played a lot more with our neighbor Shaylee Johnson. She’s excited to be able to go to preschool with her next month!


-Kezia was a bit of a little trouble-maker this month. Some examples? She got out a carton of eggs and proceeded to drop them on the floor, she got a permanent marker and wrote on walls & doors, water messes outside and in, and a HUGE peanut better mess – all over the kitchen table, wall, floor, herself and on both dogs J Just to name a few. Mom’s hoping she calms down just a little bit next month.

-When we were in West Yellowstone, we went to a park there, and 2 girls (probably about 9 years old) just thought she was the cutest thing ever & followed her all around the park & helped her go down the slides & things.

-Kezi likes to simplify. Instead of saying “Barney the Dinosaur”, she says “Barneysaur!”

-One day were all saying Okey-Dokey. We told Kezia to say it, too. She was kind of grouchy & said “NO-key-Dokey!”

-Kezia loves to say “cheers!” with everything she eats & drinks.

-Kezia says “I don’t know” so cute. It comes out “I nowt!”

-Kezia loves to press the open door button on the van door. She will sit there & open & close that door all day if you let her.

-Kezi thinks she’s grown up now & refuses to sit in her booster chair. She wants to stand on a big girl chair instead.

-We’ve had to buy some more onesies just to keep this girl contained. The second she gets out of that onesie, her diaper is OFF & she doesn’t want to put it back on again! She likes to run around with a naked bum as much as possible.

-Kezia is growing so quickly! Can’t believe she’s almost two. There’s almost nothing she can’t say. We all LOVE to hear her sweet little voice as she says prayers, sings Twinkle, Twinkle, says please or thank you - or just talks to herself. She can be quite a handful sometimes, too, but we sure love our toe-headed Kezi-boo!