Do you remember being a child and thinking about what you would be like when you grew up? Do you remember your hopes, dreams, loves, and fears?
Did you think you would be famous? Did you think you would be rich? Did you think you would be a football player or a singer or a teacher or a fireman or the president?
I remember wanting to be a mom and wanting to have babies. And I wanted to have lots of horses and be a "horseback rider". I wanted to be a writer, too. I wanted to travel, and go and see lots of places. I wanted to have a lot of friends. I wanted to be beautiful, smart, and tough, and I wanted to have a handsome prince who loved me. I never wanted to disappoint anyone and I hated being alone. I was afraid of falling and of failing (and was REALLY afraid of gorillas). I wanted to make my Daddy proud.
|Me at about 3 years old|
|With my Daddy|
|I love these girls!!|
|My best friend and my soul mate|
|We've been married almost 16 years. I would not have this life without him.|
|Ooooooh, I love him. :)|
I certainly am not smart all the time, but I was a straight A student, graduated at the top of my class, and got an academic scholarship to college. I left college to become a mom, but have continued to learn and educate myself on many things. I have made mistakes, but I believe that the BIG decisions in life I have made well.
I still don't like disappointing people, although now I really only care about what the people who matter the most think. My Heavenly Father and Jesus. Josh. My kids. My parents. My brother. My close friends. I used to care too much about what everyone thought, and tried too hard to get approval from everyone. And let me tell you, when you have 12 kids, when you adopt kids of different races and have a transracial family, when you adopt children who are HIV+, when you advocate for children who are HIV+, when you adopt children with significant special needs, when you run A LOT, when you become a marathoner and make lofty goals - there are plenty of people who don't approve and let you know all about it. But that's ok. I have the love and support of a wonderful group of people, and if I am doing what is right for me and for my family, then, as my wise Dad says, "No one else gets a vote."
I am happy to say that I am no longer afraid of failing either. Somewhere between the age of 5 and 35 I discovered and learned that it is ok to try and fail, and the trying is what makes life exciting and worth living. And even more importantly, "You have not failed until you quit trying." - Gordon B. Hinckley
So what would the child I once was think of the adult that I have become? I hope that she would be proud. I hope that she would think that I was kind of cool. I hope that she could see past the mistakes I have made. She would probably think 12 kids was wild (Brady Bunch times two!) and that 26.2 miles is really, really far.
I know she would be amazed with how blessed I am - not because I am famous or rich monetarily, but because my life is rich in what really matters. I have been blessed with the most incredible people in my life to love and be loved by, and with so many amazing experiences. And just when I think it can't get any better, I am blessed with another new key person in my life, or have another experience to treasure.
Discovering my love of running and finding a talent and my inner athlete was a fun surprise. I never dreamed of being a runner when I was a little girl, and I never could have dreamed of how much running would give to me and what a big part of me it was.
My life has turned out so much better than I ever could have dreamed. Of course there have been challenges big and small and it has not been easy, but such is life. The challenges and the blessings have helped shape me into this adult that I have become. There have been many twists, turns, and surprises, but in a lot of ways I am the same little girl who doesn't like to be alone and who loves horses, hoodies, books, and babies. I am just older, wiser, and faster. :)