For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years

Here we are on the eve of another New Year. A New Year. I can't believe we are here already. I swear it was just yesterday that we were starting 2010. Now it's 2011's turn to be heard. A whole year. Wow. So on this eve of a new year I have to think about what that means. Webster's Dictionary defines new as: as having come into existence recently. I have been sitting here trying to think of a negative connotation to the word new. I can't come up with one. New baby...always a blessing. Newlyweds....very sweet. New car...who doesn't love a new car? New Year.

A very wise person once told me that you get to start all over again every single day. I loved that wise person. She was right, but I feel like the most significant day would be the first day of a new year. I don't like to make resolutions. In my personal opinion we should be making resolutions everyday to become better friends, siblings, parents, children and people. But the new year does bring with it a sense of freshness, rebirth and a new beginning. Hope, faith, and resilience I believe are all born with a renewed sense of self and strength.

So what does this new year hold for us? Most of my personal goals are just that...personal. I am not sure I am ready to share with the entire world what my plans are. But they do involve moving my family forward, maybe even just moving them altogether. I have felt for a few years now that this might be coming, and I think this might be the year. Now don't go running around telling everyone that the Loutensocks are moving because until it actually happens, it's not happening. I would like to end up somewhere near St George or Cedar City, but we all know how our plans go....

Even without major changes this year holds a lot of new things for our family. McKenna will graduate from high school and go on to college. That is huge for me! My oldest, leaving home and starting the rest of her life....wow...still blows my mind. Jessi starts school all day this year and Colby starts kindergarten. That leaves me and Skyler alone half a day. Not too long ago I was home with 5 children during the day. The year Megan started kindergarten was the year I had Joe and I had a lot of little people home all day. I can't believe I ever survived those days...they seem so overwhelming to me now. I know I couldn't do it now. Megan will start ninth grade, and speaking of Megan...new hope for her and her health. Mental health I mean. Thank you Lori and Dr Ali for that hope...Abby will start her last year in elementary school. Isaac becomes a teenager. I could go on and on I think, but I won't. You all get the idea.

New, everything from this night out is new. New year, new hope, new lives, new dreams and new plans. I pray my hopes and dreams carry me through till next New Year's Eve...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Survival of the fittest

We have 11 people in our home. Our home is only 2600 sq ft. That's not very much, especially considering that we have seven bedrooms. That translates into just pure craziness. In my home, it's survival of the fittest, and from day to day that varies as to who survives and who doesn't.

Kenna, she survives most days, but she's also 18 and can come and go pretty much as she pleases. If she is getting too overwhelmed she can just hop in the car and take off. I want her life. Megan, she survives because she is so strong and tends to attack first. Isaac has on days and off days. Some days he survives, some days he is just a blubbering mess. Abby and Lacie both seem to do ok, although some of the older kids wrath is directed exactly at one of these two. Joe doesn't survive well most days. He is up and down all day long. Jessi, Colby and Skyler do ok because they are small and cute still.

Me. Well, I am a different story. I have to survive because I am in charge...supposedly. But I do have my tactics in surviving. Writing...everyone knows I love to do this. I not only write on this blog, but I write in my journal, in my Susie notebook and in my small "ideas" notebook. I also read, but that's really hard to do with kids around. One of my favorite things to do also is to check out all my favorite websites, such as Facebook, my email and a mommy website I discovered a year or so ago. When all else fails I start browsing the Internet for new games. I love Zuma, Jewel Quest and Diner Dash. I have reached ultimates levels on all of them and as silly as it sounds I think it actually helps keep my mind more sharp. Most of the games I play require thinking and problem solving. Is that me rationalizing?

Non the less, we all have our survival tactics. Mine are fun, time consuming and even time wasting, but I find that I need those. I need something everyday that is mindless and helps me just get through the day. Today just happens to be one of those days where I do next to nothing...except the very basics. Like change the baby's diaper, give the kids insulin, make a few meals and break up a few fights. I am still in my jammy pants with the need for a shower and my list of "to do's" is a mile long. Now that I have written about it all, maybe I can get up and start to function. Maybe....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Me and my sister Lisa :)
My friend Polly is in Hawaii right now. I have to say that as this week approached I seriously thought I would be dying of jealousy. I have to admit, I would love to be in Hawaii right now, I really would. However, there is a however.

I am not nearly as jealous as I thought I would be. I also had something to look forward to this December, aside from Christmas and all, and it was my trip to Vegas. How many times can a girl go to Vegas before she gets sick of it? Apparently a million times for this girl. I was looking forward to the testing for Megan, hoping and praying for some real answers, and we got them. It's not really good news, but at least we know now what we are dealing with and how to move forward. That was so liberating and validating for me. Someone was finally listening to me, hearing me. This doctor cares, my sister cares and it shows in their efforts for Megan. They will never know how many years I have searched for answers and how good it feels to find someone who is willing to help us find them! That all by itself made the trip worthwhile.

Second to that, and at times first and foremost was spending time with my family. By the end of our trip me and my sister were calling each other sister wives. We shopped together, ate, lounged, watched tv, talked and who knows what else. I ran errands and took the kids to the bus stop, picked them up from the bus stop and helped shop for Tracy and Chris since they were stuck at home with a very sick little boy. I got to be a genuine part of everyday life with my family and it meant the world to me. My heart has ached for that and it felt so good that it was almost impossible for me to leave.

I have to admit that looking back at this December if I were given the choice to go to Hawaii to hang for a week, or go to Vegas to hang for a week, I would choose Vegas. Now, in the future I may need that Hawaii trip to save my sanity, even as I sit here I listen to my kids fight. But for now what I really need is family time.

I love you Lori, Lisa and Tracy. I love your hubbies, I love your children and I even love all your pets. I love the Strip, love the palm trees, even the fake ones, love 60 degrees in winter, love the Gin Mill, Black Mountain and everything else associated with you all down there! But most of all I love the fact that you have loved us back. That means more to me than any beach, any ocean swell and any amount of sand. And for those of you that know me, that is saying something!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas....time for fun, family and lots of chaos. Today was no different. I think my kids frustrated my mom last night at her house, then I got mad at Jon, then on to today. It's been nice overall...but just an hour or so ago Skyler woke up from a nap in full blown reaction mode. While we were skyping my sister and her kids non the less. They all just looked on while he seized and cried in my arms while McKenna tried to draw up some glucagon to bring his sugar back up. What a day...and just to think...it's not over yet! :)

Whats important and what's not

My kids are quietly playing. They got a lot this year for Christmas and yet it's definitely not what their friends got. I am hearing from McKenna as her friends text her what they got. My kids are reading posts from friends on facebook that got i touches, ipods and laptops. These were not gifts that we could afford. But don't be sad for them, for they got a lot.

Jon and I warned the kids that this year would be scarce. Grandparents came through and gave them each some gifts, and nice ones. Aunts and Uncles came through and gave them gifts. But from us they didn't get much. But I am finding this morning that I am feeling a bit emotional, not because we couldn't give our kids what others have gotten, but because we got what we did. People, friends, came through, slipped us a bit of cash or a gift card here and there, just because they love us. The singles ward gave each kid a few gifts and with the generosity of others Santa was able to visit our home this year. We were blessed, yes that's true.

I have learned a lot in my lifetime, and it seems one of the biggest learning times seems to be Christmas. I want to do what everyone else wants to do. Give to their kids as much as their little hearts desire. But this year I want more than that. I wanted to give to my children what money can't buy. I wanted to give them something that lasts well beyond the scratched wii games and broken toys...I wanted to give them family. Each other. Cousins. Grandparents. All of it.

I want them to be able to see beyond what they did get, and what they didn't get and see what they have. You should have seen my kids faces when a package came in the mail from their cousins. It didn't even matter what was in the package, what mattered was that they were thought of. That they felt cared about.

I love the people in my life this year. I am not sure what has been so different about this year, but I think it has something to do with four babies lost, a hospital stay for Megan, getting closer to the sisters in Vegas and all the time we spent as a family this summer, but something is different. Life is getting harder, the economy is scary and my children have quite a while to still live in it, but what I want them to always have is each other. As long as they have that...they can overcome just about anything. Life is teaching us that this year and I am trying to learn from it. I hope they are too...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Family and the holidays

I am forty years old. So if you do the math on that I have spent 40 years on this earth, 8 major holiday's a year (give or take depending on what you feel is a major holiday) which comes to roughly 320 holidays in my lifetime. That doesn't include my birthday, which I guess I should. Anyway....out of those 320 holidays I have spent zero with my biological sisters. That's none, 0, zilch, nada....you get the picture. After spending this last week with my sisters down in Vegas I have to say that this season as we approach Christmas I am feeling it.

Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter and even holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, Halloween, you name it. None of them. I got a bit of a taste this year when my niece Maddie came for Halloween...and for the first time in my life I have pics of someone from that side of my family in a holiday pic...and it was wonderful. I want to remedy that...but it takes money. Money to drive down to Vegas, money to afford a hotel, money for food and of course time to do it all.

I guess for all that blathering it all boils down to the fact that I miss my sisters. As we make plans with my folks, with Jon's family and even friends, I don't get to see my sisters for Christmas and it makes me sad.

I think I just miss them. A lot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A walk in the park

My very favorite thing to do I think, walk. It's a simple activity that allows you time to think, reflect and hone in on feelings. I have spent so much time in my life walking. I would have everyone in my life know that you have walked with me, every step of the way.

Snow College was such an amazing place. The campus was within walking distance of just about anyplace in town and I would walk, and walk and walk. With my headphones in and just a jacket my feet would take me to every square inch of that town. Old cemeteries with tombstones that were worn down with age and seemed to be sinking into the ground. Old houses born in hard work and labor that then stood with plaques on them to tell the stories of the people a hundred years ago that built them and loved them. It was never hot there, just too high altitude, but it would get cold. In the wintertime it would dip below zero and I would still walk. I would bundle up, put on my walking shoes and leave long before the sun came up. Some would consider this dangerous, but to me it was peaceful and quiet. The snow would be fresh under my feet, just enough to crunch as I stepped and the air was cold and black. I loved to think and walk on mornings like that. Everyone of my college friends and roommates walked with me those mornings. Maybe not in body, but they were with me. I take all the people I know with me when I go on a journey, whether it be long or short, I take you all with me.

Now. I take walks when I can, and most days it's with someone else. Usually Polly. But every now and again I go alone. My mind seems to work it's best when I am walking and I only wish I could take the laptop with me to write while I walk. I might just get out words that could compare to some great writers. But maybe then again I give myself too much credit. When I walk now I take my kids with me, thinking of each and every child as I trod along. I take Jon, so so often Jon walks with me. My parents, Susie, my sisters and brothers and my friends. My mind and soul are lost in the sound of my feet on the pavement and I let the pavement absorb so much pain, hurt and loss while I allow the beautiful sights and smells around to fill me with hope, joy and contentment.

I walk to think. I walk to work it out. I walk to put away the bad and bring out the good. I don't run. It isn't a time when I feel like I have to be hurrying. It's good for my body but it's essential to my mind. Lately my walks have been with very specific people and events. I try so hard to bring certain people with me at times, and at other times I let my feet and mind determine who's with me. I love to walk. Just know that so often you are all with me on my journey, even without knowing it, you are. Walk with me my friends, walk with me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My christmas ditty

One day, two days maybe three.
"I wanna do it now!"
How many more days till we put up the tree?

It snows, it's cold,
the bottom of my pants are constantly wet,
get to the store before that toy is sold.

Run around town, look high and low,
gotta find that "thing",
jump up and down, look to and fro.

Christmas lights, soft sweet glows,
late at night
people love it and it shows.

Sit quietly while the kids are asleep,
sit in the couch alone
My mind wanders but I don't make a peep.

Savior's birthday, think of Him
I try to teach my kids,
The importance of the season is sometimes dim.

I fret and I stress,
I cry and I weep,
don't want to see the decorations as a "mess".

Look at me, look at my home,
Christmastime has come,
Why do I feel alone?

Running here, running there,
put up lights
Do we have to have them going up the stairs?

Listen to me, Scrooge it might be,
I will get over it,
Just wait and see.

This is my favorite time of year, and my least favorite. Just depends on the moment you ask me. My kids love it and I always put on a good front for them, they deserve all their hearts desire and then some. They deserve to feel the magic of Christmas the way I did when I was a child. I miss that magic...