I can't believe it's been a year! The last post I wrote on this blog was so emotionally charged. The entire last year seemed that way. 2013 has been a much better year for our family--and it's time I came back out of the shadows, and started journaling our lives again. I wish I could say our lawsuit was finalized, but it's pretty much the same status as 2 or 3 or 4 years ago--which is a stalemate. I'm tired of waiting for something to happen that isn't likely to--and I'm tired of being afraid of bullies. Instagram and Facebook have been nice for little status updates, and pictures here and there, but truth be told, I miss my blog. I miss sharing my feelings. I miss writing, and expressing my thoughts, and the satisfaction of seeing my words and pictures in print every year when I make a photo book. I miss being me. I don't really care who reads these words, because they are mine, and whether you like them or not doesn't matter because they were written for ME. So go ahead...sue me.
Blogging makes ME happy. Writing helps ME feel better. Journaling makes ME happy.
It's time I start doing something for ME again. Heaven knows I've spent plenty of time doing things for others the last few decades of being married and raising children! No matter what life throws your way--if you can't do what makes you happy, what is the point?
I haven't been the best at blogging lately--not because I quit enjoying it or anything, but because I'm finding it hard to have positive things to say. I'm in a little funk. Okay, it might be worse than that--I guess it's been worse than that for awhile. It's hard for someone to admit it to themselves, even harder for someone to admit it publicly, but I haven't been emotionally okay for some time. I realized this when I was starting my 2010 book, and reading over my blog posts, and comparing them to 2009. It has been a hard couple of years for our family. And yes, blog stalker from Oklahoma, you were responsible for that. While you were off having lots of fun with your new girlfriend, buying her a house, and a new truck, and all sorts of fun trips, at our expense, we were having our life turned upside down. In his letter to my lawyer it said: "Despite Tami's blog assertions to the contrary this has not been some grand slick conspiracy concocted to screw them out of their funeral home. It is just a business deal that failed." Whatever you say. You had every opportunity to make it right, and you didn't. Your lack of integrity has caused this problem, and the only reason we're still fighting this fight in court is to make damn sure you aren't allowed to screw anyone else like you did us. I don't care if I ever see a penny from you, as long as your credit is destroyed, and you have a nice little million dollar judgement on your record to prevent you from buying another business from some poor schmuck who you tell, 'You're going to have to participate in some of the risk with us". Blah.
Today, we got more bad news. We filed to have a writ served to seize assets at the funeral home to help to satisfy our judgement. This writ was going to be served by the sherriff's office tomorrow, until they got word that we couldn't proceed, because they got a lawyer here to file a motion to stop the seizure of assets indefinitely. What a nightmare. Further, we found out that they are planning on suing US now for the non compete clause in our contract, even though the 5 years is now OVER. What a joke. We will probably now be stuck defending a lawsuit, even while trying to collect on our judgement here and in Oklahoma. The justice system sucks. There is no justice here in America--because the legal system is a bureaucratic, hellish nightmare! The lawyers and the judges make out just fine, because the rest of us get screwed. A dispute that should take an hour to solve, like ours, takes YEARS because of the incompetence of the legal system, and the utter ridiculous nature of the process. Thank God Todd didn't decide to become a lawyer. I have little or no respect for the lawyers, or the legal process in this country. It is a mess.
Long story short, I have decided now to make my blog private. I'm not sure I had many readers left anyway, but I can't risk my entire life, pictures, personal thoughts and information getting into the hands of the scumbags who seek to do us more harm than they already have. That, and if you haven't noticed--I have a hard time not speaking my mind freely. I am not interested in sugarcoating my situation, or my life and wrapping it all up in some pretty little bow for the public just so I don't have to worry about getting sued. I'd like to be able to write my feelings without thoughts of harm or retribution for the words I use, or the feelings I express. It is MY blog after all. I also feel like someday, my children will look at these thoughts and feelings over the last few years, and see that their mom tried to do her best to make it through whatever trial came with my faith and testimony intact. I don't know why we have to pass through this hellish nightmare. I don't know why we ever felt we should sell the funeral home to these rotten scumbag idiots from Oklahoma. Every day, I wonder what went wrong, why we didn't see them for what they are. How could we have been so blind, and foolish to not recognize that we were being played? What I do know, however, is that I am not a quitter. I am not going to give up, I am not going to fall down without getting back up. I was not put on this Earth with such a strong opinion, and such a strong voice to be silenced, bullied, or pushed around by cowards who hide from their obligations and responsibilities.
I was listening to my favorite, Tim McGraw the other day, and I just loved this song. It expresses all that I'm feeling right now. We have been knocked down--over and over the last few years. But we will continue to get up to fight another day. We were not put on this earth to fail. Right now, I can't see all that God has in store for us--but I know we will be blessed if we remain faithful. For that, I am grateful.
Blogging lately is just something I can't find the time, or the energy to do. One of the reasons is that it honestly made me sick to discover that the people involved in our lawsuit were spying on me and reading my blog. Talk about creepy. I did, however want to share my thoughts on the historic election that we just had: These two beautiful girls were on the right side--even though it turned out to be the side that was defeated. Smart girls.
I want my children and grandchildren to know, when they look back at this historic, important time in our country's history, that we stood on the side of freedom, and liberty. Mitt Romney is an amazing man, someone who I believe was uniquely qualified to lead this nation during this time of deep fiscal crisis. I was shocked, with the country being in such terrible economic shape, that people couldn't see the forest through the trees, and voted not on the issues of the day--the impending fiscal disaster, but instead on their own pet issues, whether they be gay marriage, immigration, legalized marijuana, abortion, higher taxes, entitlements, socialized medicine, etc. I was also surprised that people of faith voted more for the abortion, and gay marriage candidate, than the family values candidate. I think when we look back on this election, we will see the turning point where our people have become morally corrupt, and morally bankrupt, and therefore vote for a leader who promises them the moon, knowing full well he won't be able to deliver on those promises. It reminds me of a scripture in the Book of Mormon: Helaman 5:2-3 "For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted. Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice, save it were to their destruction." Right now we are at a turning point in this great country. We have a choice between freedom and bondage, liberty and tyranny--and I pray to God that the people of this country will wake up and repent before it's too late to save the way of life that we enjoy. I want my posterity to know that I tried my best to stand on the side of truth and righteousness during an election period that was especially bitter and ugly. I will also try my best to keep up the fight for right, and the fight for truth so that this nation and its people can have the blessings of God in this land, and be under his protective and watchful care. I know that can only happen if our people turn from their wicked and perverse ways, and humble ourselves. Regardless, I want to live my life in faith, not fear--and I refuse to believe that this nation will crumble and fall like so many before it. This is God's promised land, and He will help us to save it if we will ask Him. One last quote that I found particularly interesting:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” And another: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” --Alexis de Tocqueville (author of Democracy in America) A sobering thought indeed. May we live to be worthy of the blessings of a loving Heavenly Father. We're going to need them!
Abby had "Shadow the Student Day" at her junior high today--I couldn't go, (I'm watching my sister's 8 kids this week while they are in Hawaii), but I was reminded of this post, that I wrote 3 years ago when both her sisters had the same thing. Oh, good times! HA! Junior high is the WORST--not only for kids, but for parents too.
Moms have feelings too!...
letter to my teenagers... I have 2 girls in junior high this year--Erin in
7th and Emie in 8th grade, and at their jr. high they had "Shadow your Student"
day this week. It's on a half day, and parents can come and go from class to
class to experience a day in the life of their jr. high student. When we first
heard about this at registration, Emie acted repulsed by the idea, and said
something like, "I hope you're not planning on coming to school with me mom,
that would be really embarassing." I said something like, "Well I'll be sure to
come then, and wear my pajamas and curlers in my hair." Erin was equally turned
off by the idea, and said--"Well, Dad can come with me if he wants, but not you
mom." Emie said, "Sure--I'll take Dad, all my friends think he's funny." Nice.
Fast forward a few weeks to this week. Shadow your student day
was today for 7th graders and tomorrow for 8th graders. Suddenly, yesterday Erin
is begging me to go with her. It seems that all her friends moms are coming, and
she doesn't want to be left out of the club. But she proceeds to tell me, "you
can come, if I can pick out your clothes for you." Ummm...yeah, that didn't sit
too well with me. I said, "no, thank you, I have plenty of things to do
tomorrow--and I don't need my 12 year old to help me pick out clothes. Maybe you
can ask your Dad." Then she said, "No, dad has a bald spot--that's
embarassing..." Ummm...how many of you would have smacked your child right
upside the head at that moment, because that's exactly what I felt like doing.
Then, so offended because her parents didn't take this kind
invitation she had extended, this same child gets on facebook--and posts "my
parents hate me..." for all the world to see. Now what the heck is that supposed
to mean--ummm...strike three. After this exchange, Emie comes up to me and says, "you can come to my shadow the student day if you want, mom." (This child gets it--when all else fails--be a suck up). Yeah, no thanks.
See, here's the deal. I had parents that
worked--a lot. They were both VERY busy. So when I had a game, or a concert, or
anything, it was very hard for them to be there. They had to rearrange
schedules, find babysitters, find people to work for them, etc. It was hard for
them to make it to many of my activities. I really appreciated it, and was
grateful when they were there for me. I guess that's why I feel so strongly that
I want to be there for everything that my kids do, because it always made me
feel so good when my parents were able to make it to my things. On the other
hand--I feel like I'm the type of mom who isn't trying to be "cool" or "hip". I
don't try to dress like my kids, or talk like them, or hang out with them and
their friends. I've been there--done that, and who in their right mind wants to
repeat their youth--especially junior high. Yeah, a big no thank you to that
one! I try to keep my distance, and let them do their own thing, and be who they
are, without interfering too much. I'm just not THAT mom.
That being said--c'mon kids--moms have
feelings too. I'm sorry if I threw a little tantrum because you didn't want me
along at school today--but it's only been a few months it seems since you were
11 and you actually wanted me to hang out with you. You actually
wanted me to come to things. Yeah, a few years ago, you actually
liked to do things with your parents and your family. Do you remember?
Pardon me if this new allergy to your parents that you've both developed is hard
for me to swallow and get used to. I'm not sure when your dad and I became the
plague--(or in your language--H1N1). All of that aside--I have decided that I
won't put up with the rudeness and sarcasm. There are some things you
think and don't say--especially to your
parents. Something my dad used to tell me seems appropriate here:
you into this world--I can take you OUT!"
I love you, Mom
I just got a new phone (Sprint sucks, by the way), so I had like 700 pictures on my memory card to go through and transfer to my computer! Yikes! Some of them are junk--but some are just awesome, and they need to go in my book, so here goes...
Cub Scouts has been my calling for 4 years now--so I have lots of these pics!
Lots of pics of Jack--he is the only one left at home! Love this kid!
Josh's Raingutter Regatta...not too shabby! :)
Cosmic Bowling, Yummy dessert, face painting, haircuts, good lookin belly dancer, and BATMAN!
Christiaan won state, Anniversary surprise, Jack is an indian, Abby is Egyptian, Lunch out, Carousel, Todd being Todd, Erin chillin', laundry sucks, etc.
Jack bangs his head up--A LOT! Mother of the year yet? NOPE!
Funny camera pics...
Emie got asked...and answered to prom...Gorgeous!
We got a DOG! Can you tell?
Random pics...Utah, Oceanside, Lake Powell, Women's Conference, graduation, etc.
People over here are WORN OUT!
Roadtrip Pics...Vegas, Utah, Lake Powell, Beach, Girl's Camp
Kinda love my family...never a dull moment!
Some of my favorites...things I've made or just LOVE!
It's been raining! A LOT! The kids loved all the water--until they got eaten up by mosquitoes! Bottom left corner is my favorite! Puddle jumping!
Finally, no matter where you are in the world, if you want to feel God's love, just look at a sunset. Beauty is everywhere--and I'm grateful.
UPDATE ON THIS POST: Today I found out that I have a creepy blog stalker in Oklahoma who's been reading my blog. You want to know how I found out? They sent a letter to my lawyer. Seriously? What a jerk. Yes, creepy blog stalker from Oklahoma--I share my feelings and my frustrations on my blog. So sue me. Go ahead. P.S. Oklahoma Sooners suck, and I hope they choke like they did last year. That was just thrown in for good measure.
Warning: Pity party, hormonal-fueled crazy lady rant, and brutal honesty ahead--read with caution!
This weekend, we got more news on our lawsuit, and *surprise*--the news isn't great. Actually, we should be jumping up and down, because for 3 weeks now, all we've needed is a signature by a judge on a pending judgement that says we win our case. But for 3 weeks now, said judge has been to busy, or to tired, or to whatever to sign the dang piece of paper. Nevermind that for 2 YEARS now, we have been in the middle of this litigation, and every deadline has been met with another, softer deadline (we found out that deadlines, in lawyer speak, are soft, or hard, and neither mean a dang thing), and the people we're suing are thrilled at the pace at which the justice system works. One of them is a lawyer--so that tells you he went into this knowing what was going to happen--unlike me. So there they sit, in Allen Funeral Home, the business we built, the business they bought (but never paid for), and here we sit...WAITING. Waiting for a stupid signature on a stupid piece of paper, that says, what we knew all along, YES, they owe you the money. So I should be happy, right (my lawyer thinks so)? But I'm not.
On Friday, we get a letter from the people who bought (but never paid for) the funeral home. Now, they are interested in negotiating a settlement. But they don't want to pay me money...NO, they want us to BUY the business back from them. Now that they are facing a judgement worth over 800K, now that they have destroyed the business that we built--and it is doing fully HALF of the cases we did, now that they have put us through four years of HELL (not to mention financial ruin), now that we have paid a lawyer for two years to deal with their constant stalling, and evading, now that they are facing a judgement that would put them on the hook at last, and destroy their credit--NOW, they want to sell the funeral home back to us. You don't want to know what my exact words were when Todd asked me what I thought about the letter. It had something to do with how they could shove something up somewhere, and it had a lot of 3 and 4 letter words that a nice Mormon shouldn't use, and it really wasn't nice. Certainly something I shouldn't type or think on a Sunday afternoon (but I do). Everytime I think that I have made progress, everytime I think that my heart has softened, (it really has, I couldn't even talk about this a year ago without breaking down), everytime I think that we are finally making some progress on this lawsuit, and there is an end in sight. Every time, I am disappointed. I am just so tired of all of it, and so tired of the process.
The justice system in this country SUCKS. It is totally ineffecient, and completely corrupted. You are at the mercy of a judge or a number of judges, who know nothing about your case, and a lawyer, who gets paid by the hour whether anything happens in your case or not. In our case, the other side wasn't even paying a lawyer, which meant they could stall or put up road blocks at every turn. Do you know that in this civil court process, I have actually gained respect for the ambulance chasing Accident Attorney? At least they have to get results to get paid. I am just tired of this process, and bitter, and fully aware of the fact that at the end of this horrible ordeal, all I may get is a piece of paper with a judge that we have never met name on it, that says, "Yes, you were right." Do you know what I have to do then? Hire ANOTHER LAWYER to go after these people and actually try to collect money from them, which could be another years long process, and an entirely different game altogether. aaaaaaaaaAAAAHHHH!
So there you go. People told us these things about the justice system, but we were just naive. We really thought our case would be different, the contract and purchase note were cut and dry. They were written by a LAWYER after all! And here we are now, 2 years later, and no closer to justice than we were the day we walked into our lawyers office. It's absolutely mind boggling, which brings me to my next point, when you go to church or people in your family say, "Trials are there to make us better people." Or, "Everything happens for a reason." Or my favorite, "You will look back on your trial and be grateful for it!" I heard it in testimony meeting this morning. I hear it all the time. Heck, I've said the same thing on this blog--trying to make myself feel better! Your trials make you better, make you stronger, make your testimony grow. I just sat there today and thought, what in the world are they talking about? Maybe some trials are just that--TRIALS. They are not meant to make us better people, or make us more patient, or more kind, or more loving, or more forgiving. Maybe some trials are just to there to let us know that life sucks! That everything isn't fair! Maybe some trials have nothing to do with us at all--but are caused by complete jerks that we have no control over! Even with time and perspective, I'm absolutely sure I will never look back on the last two years and be grateful for this trial, except to look back and realize that it finally ENDED--if it ever does-- (and right now, that is not anytime soon). Do you know what this trial has taught me? The great, earth shattering life lessons I've learned? Well here you go--here are just a few:
*Don't trust anyone--and don't trust your instincts about people.
*Sometimes even some decisions you've fasted, prayed about, and gone to the temple to confirm your feelings about can be wrong.
*Don't be naive. People that are naive get taken advantage of.
*Don't tell people during their trials that "everything happens for a reason", or "you should be grateful", or "at least you're alive, not dead". It's not all that helpful. In fact, sometimes it's hurtful. Some things happen for the reason that people are stupid and make stupid decisions--and they don't need you to patronize them about it. In fact, sometimes the best thing you can do is say, man, that SUCKS! Because it does.
*Judges get paid by the state, and they have no reason to do things quickly or efficiently. No one can question them, so they are pretty much God--and they know it. I wonder why they feel like they don't need to hurry. Duh.
*Not every trial makes you a stronger person. Some of them make you bitter and resentful. If you're still reading at this point, that is quite obvious.
Now, I apologize if you suffered through that whole post. Wow, am I a brat or what (and I warned you about the PMS)? Maybe you think I just have a bad attitude, or I need to be more prayerful, or I just need to go to church, or read my scriptures more. Never fear, I'm doing all of those things. Isn't it amazing that even doing all of those things, I sound like Satan's mistress on this post?
No, I shouldn't be thinking these things on a Sunday afternoon. But I am. I'll just try to keep on swimming.
It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since we decided to go ahead and open up a new Funeral Home, which later became Legacy Funeral Home. Trust me, it's been a LONG road, and one fraught with new challenges and trials, but it has been such a blessing to get Todd back to doing what he's good at, and what he loves to do. Legacy Funeral Home has been such a blessing to us, as we are still dealing with the aftermath and lawsuit from selling Allen Funeral Home. It has given us hope, and it has helped us to stop focusing on ourselves, and our problems, and get back to the work of fixing them, as we serve others.
This last week, we had the opportunity to serve a family from our old ward in Mesa, and some of our dear friends. Our friend died suddenly, with no warning, of a massive stroke. He bore his testimony on Sunday, and collapsed on Monday morning, never to regain consciousness, leaving behind a young wife, children, and some grandchildren. For me, funerals are always a reminder to be mindful of our mortality, and tell others how we feel about them each and every day. Life is precious, and we never know how much time we have. As I talked to this mans widow at the funeral, she expressed to me how kind and loving Todd has been to their family. She told me how much she appreciated him helping her, and how grateful they all were for him, for his kind, compassionate demeanor. It's amazing to me that over the years, I have heard this again and again as he has served thousands of families. It is truly what he was meant to do, and I think when my husband crosses over one day to the other side, there will be many there to thank him for how he served them. It is truly a sacred profession, the kind of profession not everyone gets to enjoy. I am so grateful for him, and the way he sacrifices time with his family to help other families in their time of grief. It's not always an easy profession, but it is worth it.
I was down at the Funeral Home yesterday, taking some pictures for our website, so I thought I would post them here. We are in a great location, on Arizona Avenue, and Knox Rd., in Chandler, and feel so blessed that we were able to find a building in an area of town we have wanted to get into for a very long time. Sometimes, when times are the most challenging is when God shows us the most blessings. We are grateful for our new business, grateful for a new start, and grateful for a Heavenly Father who shows us tender mercies daily.
Take a look at our building, and come visit our website! Click HERE...
I sure have a lot of catching up to do on posts in the next few weeks--I will be back dating them, but I hope to get these 600 pictures I have from summer edited and at least post some of them! It was a whirlwind summer! We had such a great time--and there was just no time to blog! Need to get back to the routine, and I'm sure I will in due time. Today, the first day of school, I got more done than I did in a week all summer. It turns out that I work better in a quiet house--who knew? Oh yeah, I did! It's why half my posts are after 11:00 p.m.!
I did manage to get traditional first day of school pictures--all of them posed for me--some more excited than others for school! I am so happy to get back to a schedule, and so happy for my house to get a break from all of these kids! We both need it...HA! They all looked so cute for the first day! :)