I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

March 15, 2009

Families Are Forever

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one principle that I have always felt very connected to and extremely grateful for is knowing that Families Are Forever...that we can see and live with one another even after life here has ended. As a young girl, this knowledge made me feel very peaceful and happy. It helped me see the importance of family and my own relationships I made with them. When I married Alan in the temple, and now with our own little family,this principle has stirred much deeper feelings in my heart. Three years ago, my aunt Michelle, who was someone I was very close to and loved almost like my mom, passed away. I felt an even greater appreciation for "Forever Families". She was so young to die and leave her young family...especially when she was doing so much good and inspired so many people, both within our family, neighborhood, ward, and the entire community. The knowledge that the gospel gives, gave me peace and hope for her sweet family.

I have again learned on a new and different level about the concept of Eternal Families. This past weekend, I had an amazing experience with some very good friends, Phil and Shannon Biancamano. Just over one year ago, this couple was baptized and became members of our ward.

Last Friday, Alan and I were able to attend with them in the temple and be part of them receiving their endowments and then watching their family be sealed together. This was a new experience for me and all I can say was that it touched my heart so deeply. Watching Phil and Shannon this past year take all the steps in preparing for this day has been inspiring and has strengthened my own belief and testimony of our church. And then to observe their temple marriage and then the sealing of their beautiful children was absolutely amazing. I can't really describe the feelings, other than I felt so warm and happy and fulfilled. I saw another piece of what it means to have your family forever. I am so grateful for this experience and for Phil and Shannon...they are great examples to me and I cherish our friendship.

As I think back on the circumstances that brought me to know Shannon, I can't help but feel that there was a hand that put us just at the right places and at the right time. About 3 years ago, I took a job that I wasn't too excited about. As a new nurse, I needed a position in the hospital where I could really learn and keep up with my skills. However, due to several obstacles and for the best thing for my family, I took a job in an outpatient facility. This is where I met a girl named Pam who was also LDS. Because I didn't work at this job very often, I didn't see or talk to Pam much. Then one Sunday, I saw Pam in my ward and went to talk to her. She was visitng my ward and bringing her good friend Shannon, who lived in my ward boundaries and who was interested in taking the lessons from the missionaries. This became such an easy transition...I was a ward missionary and a friend of Pam's, so this gave Shannon an immediate connection to our ward. I feel so grateful that I have experienced watching her and Phil choose to join the church. Their dedication, faith and love for the Gospel has truly touched me and strengthened my own testimony. So thank you Phil and Shannon...you are both amazing!

The Biancamano's...Phil, Shannon, Hannah and Gavin

March 9, 2009

Ahoy, there Matey's!

Captain Mason and the rest of his shipmates had great pirate fun for his Birthday Party! The treasure hunt was the favorite game because of course...there was a treasure chest full of loot! They had lots of fun saying pirate talk like "Ahoy me Matey" and "Shiver me timbers" and "Aaarrggh!" Mason has such fun friends that are all great kids, too. Thanks for celebrating with us and making his birthday a swash bucklin blast!

Captain Mason with his deckmates

Mason and Maggie Mecham

Jalen, Caviston Herbert, Brody Matson, and Mason

Brock Hammond in pirate action...Aarrgh!

I love this picture...catching the kids redhanded...stealing candy off the cake!

Mason with his Pirate ship

Happy Birthday To Mason!

Happy Birthday to you!

Mason was so excited to open his presents. He went through them so fast...quickest present opener I have ever seen!

Of course when the last one was opened, his response was "Is that all?!" But he had a wonderful day and has loved all his presents...so THANK YOU to everyone!