Family Friday – How Our Little Family Came To Be

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Family Friday – How Our Little Family Came To Be

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I was 17 years old when I met Brandon.

It had been a rough year for our family. We had moved several times over the last few years and finally settled in Provo, UT.

I was a senior in HS and attending cosmetology school at the same time and would graduate from both in the spring. I felt so lucky to have this opportunity to learn a skill while still in high school so I would be able to work my way through college.

Susan - the Crafty Wildflower - Family Friday
Graduation photo

I was the oldest of the six left at at home at the time, 3 boys and 3 girls.

My mom had recently broken her ankle and had to have surgery and six screws to repair the damage. She would have to be off of her feet for several weeks. This was really hard on all of us, especially with no family close by to help.

I still remember coming home from school one day to my mom sitting on a stool and vacuuming the floor. Then she’d scoot the stool over a couple inches, hop over to it, sit down, and vacuum a couple more feet in front of her or as far as she could reach.

Some meals were brought in by our neighbors for a couple days which were so helpful and appreciated. After that we all did the best we could which often included macaroni and cheese or Spaghetti O’s. 🙂 My little brother Jon became really good at heating those up! My mom ended up having a blood clot in her leg which complicated things even further. Having lost my dad only 3 years earlier, and now having my mom with a broken ankle and a blood clot scared me. What if I was suddenly without either parent… what would we do? 

Being the oldest at home, and having my mom out of commission, meant that I took on some of the extra responsibilities of driving my siblings to all their activities and helping out around the house when I could. I remember one night being in the car for four hours driving my siblings around, and I had a new compassion for all that my mom did.

I remember one Saturday evening being tired, disconnected from friends because my life was so different from theirs, and lonely. 

It was October and I remember sitting in our front room for a moment staring out at the street. There in the middle of the road were our pumpkins we had carved from the night before, smashed to pieces (most likely from the neighborhood teens out on Halloween night). 

For some reason this struck a chord with me. Nothing in my life seemed to stay together… not even those dang pumpkins! And then I was really mad… and then sad… Like everything hit me all at once, bawl your eyes out sad. 

I was bitter and mad that I was graduating that year with few to little friends from being at yet another new school.

My dad had been gone for about 3 years and would miss another one of his kids graduations… this time it was mine.

I just wanted to be a kid and Heavenly Father couldn’t even protect my stupid pumpkins from being smashed. Ha! Funny now that I look back on it but at the time, it was pretty rough! 

I remember crying and pleading with God to send me someone to help me. Not sure what I wanted but what he sent me soon after was my beloved Brandon. 

Brandon and I met on November 2, 1996 and it was love at first sight… at least for one of us. HA!

Brandon was just what I needed and who God sent in answer to my prayers. If you know him, you know he’s funny and sometimes, ok a lot of the time, silly. He’s helped me to be silly which our kids LOVE! 

Famous Family Butt Photo

He’s kind, compassionate, and good and I’m so lucky that Heavenly Father sent me such a good person to connect with at the time when I needed it most. I learned at that moment we met that Heavenly Father cared about me, he saw my needs and wanted me to be happy. He heard my cries and my prayers over those stupid smashed pumpkins and sent me Brandon. 

We dated for several years before we got married. Our dates often included a cute little brother or sister of mine and Brandon didn’t mind one bit. Who does that? He is a keeper for sure! 

Brandon & Susan Wedding Day

More to come on the years in between but here we are 20 years of marriage later and we have 3 beautiful girls and one handsome boy.

It’s not always been easy, we’ve had our share of trials but having a happy person by my side has made all the difference in how I have navigated the last 22 years and I’m grateful every day that God saw fit to send me a great companion to grow up with and to smile with.

Our Wedding Announcement
Our 4 Amazing Kids
Brandon earning another degree

God exists, he hears our prayers, he knows our needs and he helps us when we can’t help ourselves.

In our loneliest moments, and our darkest hours, when nothing seems to be holding together, he is there working things out on our behalf. He can clear the clouds to allow the sun to shine in our lives again. 

Hold on until the darkness clears. Sometimes it takes a few days, weeks or years but the sunshine always comes. You will grow, you will bloom and the result of your trials will be beautiful. 

To be continued….

Have a happy day!

XOXO

Susan

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