Friday, December 18, 2015

So Very Thankful

Dearest Family and Friends-----

         We decided that being a blended family of 12 was not unique enough, so we thought it would be fun to send out Thanksgiving wishes, rather than the typical salutation of the season. Gratitude seems to be a dying art, in a world of instant gratification.  Everything and everyone is available with the swipe of your fingertip.  A grateful heart can dispel fear and cause abundance to appear as an Instagram of all that we have, rather than our have-nots.  Taking time to thank someone can change hearts, chase clouds, bring smiles, and lift burdens. Expressing gratitude, could turn social media into a public Pay-It-Forward experience, rather than the typical façade it daily portrays.  Gratitude could change lives for the better, with each “like”, hashtag and post.  The Hirchak Weidmers would like to declare EVERYDAY Thanksgiving --- as we try a little harder to be a little better about sharing our appreciation with those around us.
        2015 will always be remembered as an amazing year of graduates!  On May 1st, Debbie graduated from college and Amber graduated from high school.  We had one graduate from junior high, and one from elementary school while some, graduated from the school of hard knocks.   We no longer have any children that can buy shoes in the children’s department and Karmen is the last one who can legally order from the children’s menu.  Their talents are limitless.  We have been blessed with a writer, a welder, a performer, an Information Technologist, a salesman/gameshow winner (check out Facebook), a nurse, an athlete, a gamer, a goalie, a robotic engineer and an artist.   We are thankful for all of our children, who not only teach us and help us stretch and grow, but who love each other, get excited to see one another, encourage each other, and share thoughts and feelings with one another, sometimes, ALL NIGHT LONG!  And these attributes, we truly cherish in them all. 

        Brian continues to work as an all-star police officer in the canyons.  His office is that of trees and trails, and he definitely loves his “office view”.  He also serves on assignment as part of the Search and Rescue team.   Debbie is working part-time as a Health Clerk for the Provo School District.   She is able to help students with chronic diseases have a positive school experience, she helps those not feeling well or injured during school hours, and she also follows up on screenings and immunizations and improving the overall health of the school, one student at a time.
        A highlight of 2015, was spending a week at Bear Lake as a family and extended family.  There, with all the Weidmer Gang, we were able to sail, swim, chase babies, eat yummy food, spend time with one another, laugh a lot and realize that we should have applied sunscreen more often. 
        We have all spent another year, thoroughly enjoying our new roles as grandparents and aunts and uncles.  It has been remarkable to see the kids immediately love her and look forward to her next visit.  And, “Papa” and “Grammy” (“Mimi” as Addy calls her!) absolutely adore her love and spunk.   I think we have all realized that the room lights up when Addy’s around.  Everyone comes together when Addy’s around.  No one has a desire to argue, complain or even disagree when Addy’s around.  It is no wonder that the Christ child, came to earth, as a baby ------- to light up the world, an icon of love, hope and happiness.  We are excited for more grandchildren, and more opportunities for such love and light.

        We want to tell our parents and extended family, how THANKFULL we are for each of you, for your love, support, examples and generosity.  We could not make it without you.  We are THANKFULL for friends and neighbors that love our children and set magnificent examples of kindness.  And, we are THANKFULL for a baby savior who came into the world, for the Light and Hope of the Holiday season, because of Him.  He doesn’t just make a difference, He IS the difference, of this we are THANKFUL!
Brian, Debbie and Kids

Sunday, November 8, 2015


It was Spring 2005, when I found out that my husband was struggling and our marriage could end at any moment.  My life seemed to become a fog of slow motion.

As strange as it was, for those five and half years, I began to see only his strengths, the things that I loved about him, the things I couldn't imagine living without, the things I would miss if he were gone.  I could not manage to shut off my brain or my heart, for even a moment.  And, so I continued, day by day, week by week, unclear of my future.  Unclear of how all of this would impact my children.  Many days, this fog was physical.  My stomach hurt.  I felt nauseated for days at a time.  My head hurt from thinking too much, I'm sure.  And, my heart hurt, physically hurt, it was breaking and it hurt right in the middle of my chest, like knot of fear and pain, disappointment and failure, all wrapped up in "what more could I have done?"  And here, the pleading began.  This fog was also quite spiritual in nature.  This fog prevented me for weeks at time from paying attention to friends, to the news, to fun events I would have normally gone to.  This spiritual fog seemed to form a bubble around my family and I, enabling me to focus only on them, when that sort of spiritual concentration was imperative!  As this fog would quiet the nose around me, I would feel periods of peace, though unknown, it was definitely peace.  I quietly began my plea with my higher power in prayer to save my family!  Morning and night, just like I was taught as a little girl, I pleaded that things would change.  That He could save my family.  That I could remain home with my children.  The fog became emotional the more I pleaded.  I felt my higher power's presence with me all day every day, not just in the morning and at night.  And, the pleading continued.  I found myself jogging in the mornings and rather than allowing each step to pace my breathing, I pleaded.  
"Please let me have my husband one more day!"  Every other step I pleaded,  "Please, let my children have a father in the home,  just one more day!"  As I would prepare meals, and quietly cook, stir and bake, so often the tears would begin to pour.  I would look up towards heaven, and plead for one more meal together.  I love music!  Music inspires me.  However, during this five year fog, there were many times that I would sing and the pleading would begin.....usually inspired by the words in the song.  "Please, just one more day of knowing my whole family is safe under one roof!"  "Please, one more nightly phone call that he's on his way home from work!"  Please?  This pleading became all consuming.  At night, this pleading became powerful!  It was quiet.  Everyone was tucked in and my husband asleep by my side, and the pleading would begin again.  Though it was dark, these nights became truly light, as I would plead  for what felt like hours, into the early morning, for just one more night to feel safe and cared for.  "Please, one more night of someone taking care of Me!"  Please!

My Story and The Preface already tell the ending, but today, I felt impressed to share of my pleading during those years.  After 5 years of pleading, he left.  I was alone.  My family did not remain, as I knew it.  My children did not have a father in the home.  I felt as though the carpet had been pulled out from under my feet and I was scrambling to find balance, my new reality, my new normal, and make it great!!  However, I never once felt unheard or abandoned by my higher power.  As a matter of fact, it was quiet the contrary.  Because of this 5 year fog of pleading....... He was there!  Though things did not end as I had hoped and pleaded, that fog gave me spiritual power to endure, to do hard things, to survive, the live without the normal as I knew it and make it ---.  Five years of pleading taught me that He listens, He comforts, He provides, He brings safety to the soul.  Most of all, that fog taught me that He knows!  Those 5 years of pleading taught me that I am NEVER alone, that I will never get a busy signal!  What I learned during those 5 years of pleading could never have been learned any other way, other than that fog of challenge and trial, pain and sorrow.  My spiritual fog allowed  me to focus on family and what really matters.  That fog allowed me to gain a relationship with my Savior that I could not have gained on my own, without the challenge and the pleading.

I still pray when I run!  I still pray when I drive!  I still relish in the stillness of the night, which is never dark, when you're pleading!  Though my story did not end as I thought it would or should, it ended as He knew it would.  And, He continues to amaze me with a "story" I would have never dreamed of on my own.  For those going through dark times, the stomach ache does subside.  Time will quiet your mind.  And your heart, I found, when it breaks, it creates even a bigger capacity to love like I never thought of before.  If you let it!  If you plead!  It's worth it!  Doubt not!  Fear not!  Cease not to plead!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Did Anyone Think To Ask the Children?

Did anyone think to ask the children?
With the excitement of the day, I have a few questions and thoughts. Did anyone ask the children?
As one of our older children left the roost, we began to rethink bedrooms. One remained empty for some time as I mourned the unavoidable growing up of my little ones. After a few months, my husband and I tossed around many ideas, and finally decided to put the two brothers together who had similar school hours, and the other in his own room. One day, I overheard the boys all discussing bedrooms, and they had a completely different idea. So, I listened and put the two brothers with different schedules together -------- they are inseparable today. And, often times, all three are together. I learned a valuable lesson ---- Ask the children!! And, take the time to listen. Does that mean we make every decision with a consensus from the kids? No, but they do have a voice. They do have opinions that, more often than not deserve consideration. And, most importantly, THEY have to live with OUR decisions! My husband left after 20 years of marriage, to pursue and alternative lifestyle. My children have been affected, and will continue to be a affected by the Supreme Court ruling today. So, I would ask again, "Did anyone think to ask the children?" How many of you would trade your Mom for two Dads. Or, trade your dad for two moms? It's thought provoking, isn't it? I asked my 12 year old that question, about two years ago. He spends time with his dad and his partner. Both are great men. He loves his dad and loves spending time with him. But, his answer to my question made me think. He said, "I just miss the Mom stuff when I'm there. Like the pretty music, the messages and notes, the kisses goodnight and just the Mom stuff, you know, Mom" I think, if we all reflected back, we would feel the same way, no matter which we got two of.
We must wear seatbelts. We must stop at a red light. Marijuana is legal in some states. And, don't text and drive. And, you can marry a man or a woman and choose your team. No matter what, it's about CHOICE. Some of these we do only when someone is watching. Other's we always do because of fear. Others we have chosen because of education. We don't hate those we see text and drive, until someone we love is recklessly affected. We don't hate those we see without seatbelts. We might think they are crazy. It's not about hate, religion or right and wrong. It's about choice. Let's make them wisely. Children WILL listen! But will we even take the time to ask? I live it. I see the affects every day. My kids live it. This is my story.
Careful the thoughts you make........ The future will tell.
Wishes come true. Wishes are children.
It's about choice!

It's about choice!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Recently, I was reading in the Book of Mormon.  Particularly, I was studying the account of the brother of Jared, the barges he built and his faith.  Similar to his predecessor Noah, the brother of Jared was inspired to build boats or barges to protect his people from the calamities of the land.  This faithful brother was even instructed as to how to design the barges, like a dish.  As with most projects, there is bound to be a question or two along the way.  And, so it was, with the brother of Jared ---- how would they breathe and how would they see, within the walls of such a barge?  This brother seeks his higher power, and takes it to Lord in prayer, seeking guidance, inspiration and answer to the valid concerns of his heart.   The brother of Jared is divinely instructed to make a hole in the top and bottom of the dish-like barge, and uncork the hole when air was needed.  If water comes in, plug the hole and wait for the storm to subside.  He doesn't say, "I'll make the storm stop so that you can have air."  He instructs this brother, to replace the cork and wait, endure the storm and reminds him that it will pass.  The brother of Jared reminds the Lord about the much needed light.  This time, rather than giving  solution, the Lord asks this brother, "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?"  Rather than simply giving heavenly instruction, this time, the Lord gives the brother of Jared an opportunity to think for himself, to create a plan and to exercise faith, to stretch and grow like never before.  And, so it is with many of life's experiences.  I remember vividly, minutes after my husband left, draping myself over my bed and pleading in prayer, "What now?", was all I could mutter.  Over the sound of my own sobs I heard the words, "Keep it normal!" "Keep the Spirit!"  And, "Keep the house!"  Those words have run through my mind and heart, daily, as I have endured the heartbreak of divorce, the rigors of part-time jobs and full-time school, and on into remarriage and the daily blending, listening and compromise that is required.  I have tried to keep things as "normal" and secure as possible and, I have tried to make my actions consistent with the spirit.  The house, oh the house!  I was left with a defaulted and botched mortgage, and an income, that on paper, would not suffice.  I have asked for heavenly guidance and hoped for an answer, much like the "hole in the barge" for air.  However, I have been required to climb and carve, plead and pray instead.  Still not clear with a plan, but willing and listening for the way........and I know, it will come!

I have always loved this scriptural account, full of life's lessons, however, in reading it this week, this next part hit me like a ton of bricks.  The brother of Jared went to the mountains, mount Shelem to be exact, which is known for its "exceeding height."  There he did "molten out of rock sixteen small stones."  No doubt exhausted from ship building and worries of the calamities of his time.  He begins to hike to the top of the mount, a very tall mountain.  And so, the brother of Jared continues this hike to the top, with the 16 "small stones", in his hands!  This is the part I had to read and re-read again and again.  Here he is, tired, he has built 8 boats, followed the instructions for air, now he is hiking a mountain, with hands full of faith, to the "top of the mount."
 He approaches the Lord again, in prayer, after quite a hike, tired, fatigued, worn out I'm sure with worry and being physically taxed.   He recognizes the fact that storms will continue to rage and that he is far from perfect.  But, that as children of God, we have been taught to pray.  Then, he acknowledges the power of prayer, of deity.  The miraculous potential in the hand of God, if we but ask. And he states his faith knowing that the Lord CAN work miracles, and presents his plan and asks Him to touch the 16 small stones within his hands, and make them light.  And, he does..........because of his faith.  This boat builder and hiker, just as far from perfect as the rest of us, with his 16 small stones of faith, that fit in hands, became light.
 It struck me how small the stones were, if 8 fit in each hand.  And, how 2 stones would be enough to light a dark, storm-tossed, barge.  I realized the power of prayer.  I realized He listens.  I realized that if we just exercise a "small stone's" worth of faith, it IS enough light to brighten any day, lighten any challenge and triumph over any trial.  I also realized that sometimes we receive heavenly answers, other times we receive heavenly guidance through the storms and the building of one's character.  I realized that even though I do my best, I will still experience storms and may even have to climb a mountain for answers and strength to navigate the chaos of life, but He is there!  And, that those are the times when we can see the "finger" of Lord touching our lives........when we are willing to keep climbing, keep building and keep praying.  And, when we exercise just a "stone's" worth of faith.  It only takes a little bit of light to dispel darkness, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Just a little, one prayer, one page, one verse.........He is there, and what we have to offer is enough.  We are all boat builders, building testimonies, families and communities.  We can't do it alone.  If you haven't ever prayed, make today the first.  If it's been a while, now's the time.  There's guidance we cannot receive any other way.  Storms will come, and so will light, with hands full of faith and a willingness to climb!  He is there.  We just need to ask.  He is light!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


She stands in center field.  She knows the pitch is slow and it's coming right to her.  She prepares her mitt.  It's a line drive rather than a pop fly and she misses, with her mitt in the air, ready for the drop......that never came.  The next pitch, she's ready.
Mitt open, knees bent, she is low and in position for the drive.  This time, it's the pop fly she had anticipated.  She runs back, trying not to trip herself as she watches the ball rather than her feet.  Mitt up and open and.............she misses, AGAIN.  With more power behind the hit, she underestimated the power of the hitter.  Home run!  The first few games full of similar scenarios.  But after two or three, she is in the game.  History has prepared her for the strongest and weakest batters.  History has taught her to run backwards, steady on her feet.  History has instilled in her a desire to win!  Now, her eyes on the ball and she follows it to her mitt, almost every time.  Her failures have become her strengths, but only because of what she learned in the past. She has learned, she can't change history, but she can make it.  She goes on to catch balls no one dreamed.
 She finds talents she never knew she had.  And, she realizes that with patience, practice and pleading, she's a winner!

I think Confucius had it right:  "We must study the past to create the future."  When my husband abruptly left after 20 + years, I was angry and mad at the world!  My first reaction was to take down every picture, toss his favorites, and destroy the memories.  A frame hung in the living room which bore a current family picture.  That day, I stood and stared.  It was recent.  It was beautiful.  I could remember the day it was taken, the breeze, the laughter as one child wanted the dog in a photo, the hair fixing, the smell of freshly shampooed hair and the "normal."  I gently lifted the frame down and began to take out the picture.  As I removed the nails from the back of the frame,  I could see flecks of the many different colors of paint that the frame had been, over the years.  That frame has stood the test of time.  That frame had a history.  It started out light blue, then mauve (remember that?), forest green, cream, and then, the tried and true, brick red.  I then, lifted off the back and removed the piece of wood that held the picture tight in place.  A myriad of large family photos fell to ground.  Some with one child, then two, three and four.  Some in the fall leaves, some in a studio and some, on the bright green grass of summer.  I sat on the floor and studied each of them.  Brokenhearted, the tears turned to sobs.  What had happened to my family?  My forever after?  My normal?  Soon, the tears went from sad to fear as I was overcome with the unknown.  I pleaded to my higher power for comfort.  I was calmed with the thought that my past truly was history.  My future was definitely a mystery, but the present, was a gift.  And, what would I do with this gift of the present.  That family frame had been painted and repainted for every home and every season.  And, the pictures inside each told a story.  A story of a family growing together......then, falling apart.

How did this happen???  I just couldn't get this question out of my heart and mind.  What did I do to provoke such a change in him?  I was crushed, then I remembered the game and the girl in center field. I needed to be prepared for whatever life hit my way.  And, after this, I realized sometimes life hits a hard line drive and we are unprepared.  So, the first thing I did was to begin to prepare. Not that I wanted to remarry any time soon, but I made of list of things I could have done better in my marriage, that I would like to implement, if I were given the chance to be a wife again.  This list helped me realize that there is always room to improve, that I was not perfect either, and to not be afraid to change my position and that history, those pictures I wanted to throw away, could actually be the means of me becoming better not bitter, if I ever got to play that same position.  And, that letting go of who I was, could enable me to become someone even better, stronger and more secure in my position, because of history.  So, rather than throw away the photos and the destroy the frame therapeutically, here's what I did.  I invited my daughter's friend to come take some new pictures of my new family, my new normal.  Another friend of mine made a beautiful new, black frame, out of old barn wood, for my new family picture.  I also had the photographer friend take a picture of just the kids.  Then, I put my history to work.  I took the glass from the old frame and put it in the new frame, with all of the old pictures still in the back of it, history behind the present. Those old pictures of history actually seem to steady the new picture in just the right place.  And, I hung my new normal on the wall.
 Then, because I was part of a team with four kids, I asked them how they liked our new photo and frame.  They all loved the new, except the littlest.  My 8-year old longed for the past and struggled with our new future.  So, I lovingly placed our most recent family photo with Dad intact, above his bed.  It would remain there as sort of a score board, letting me know and him know when he was ready to accept today and move on to the future.  It took about 6 months for him to announce "game over" and come out of the dugout of sorrow and confusion and greet tomorrow with a smile of anticipation rather than fear.  He took the old picture down and up went a new.  I took the old family picture frame, with paint flecks and all, and purchased a new piece of light, clear plastic (easy to move around with)  for the glass and gave the frame a new coat of paint.  In that frame, I placed the new picture of the kids, wrapped it with festive paper and gifted it to their father, a picture of today, a frame loaded with history.  He recognized the frame and smiled with gratitude.

Now, I needed to learn how to run backwards, with my eye always on the ball, my family, making progress towards the future, but looking back towards my much needed history, while constantly reaching UP, to not miss the ball.  Struggles shape, trials trip and tame, leaving us never the same.........but sometimes a little better.  Running backwards  is hard.  Especially while you are trying to focus on not tripping over the next challenge, while still looking back to learn from the past, and stepping into the future, with faith as my guide and God as my coach.  I would surely win, with, 4 trusty teammates and bleachers full of family and friends cheering,  yelling, "You got this girl!"  "Be a hitter!"  "Stay in the box!"  "Don't be afraid of the ball!"  "You're a winner!" I needed those fans, and still do.   Going from being a Kool-Aid - Scrapbookin'- PTA Mom to a full-time student with multiple part-time jobs and responsibilities is the hardest thing ever.  Especially over night.  But, I can honestly say, letting go of who I was has allowed me to become who I am today.

Today, rather than cry and give up, I want to win!  I play many positions now, Mom, StepMom, Grandma, student, daughter, sister, friend and neighbor.  And, I even got a second chance to play my favorite position ---- being wife.  Everyday, I reflect on that list I made on the floor full of history.  I have rebuilt my life, and my family, because of my history, not in spite of it.  Because of what I have learned with the first out, I am bound and determined to stay in the game.  I still wear my old wedding on my right hand, with word engraved, "REMEMBER."  It reminds me to always be prepared for anything life may hit my way.  It keeps me steady on my feet, with past as my strength not my weakness, as I run backwards, reaching up to my higher power, ready for the catch.  And, it reminds me that though some days, the adversary wants me to feel I lost the game, it reminds me that I want to win.  History is imperative so that we don't make the same mistakes over and over again.  So I learned, not to throw it away, not to destroy my past in anger, in spite or a desire to get even.
 But, to hold on to my past, my history, and become something better.  Without the past, we are like a tree without roots.  Our past keeps up firmly planted in today.  Though the past may be full of pain at times,  the present can become a blessing when we see the future, the next game, full of promise.  Through practice, patience and pleading, our history will catapult us to who we are destined to become.  Treasure the tough!  Don't keep score!  What matters is getting better at the different positions the coach of life puts us in, and stumbling and falling only to learn to catch the ball, and win!!  Practice lots!  Patience in failure, which is synonymous with growth.  And, never quit pleading with yourself, with your bleachers full of fans, and your higher power and ultimate stay in the game, and Make History!