When Nothing Else Makes Sense

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I haven't quite been able to pinpoint my recent thoughts and feelings and adequately put them into words, but I feel like it's time to at least get something out. So, here's a little bit about how our family's world was recently rocked...
 It was a Saturday morning and I was fast asleep after being up all night. Hunter was on a camping trip and all sorts of anxiety kicks in keeping me awake when he isn't home. I can't recall what I was dreaming about when my sister in law came frantically running through my door, but what she had said made me think I was still dreaming... no wait, I thought I was having a nightmare. It was 9:55am on July 30th when I felt her tear hit my arm as we held each other close and I realized it was in fact a reality. A really horrible, devastating, unfair, unexpected, and surreal reality.  "I guess he was running and then just collapsed" I heard her say. "Right as I was headed out the door for brunch I read the text saying that dad died." We were sobbing in each other's arms and before we could even process the news we had just heard, our phones began to ring. It was other family members all as hysterical as we were. There was one common goal, get to San Diego as fast as possible. We were bawling and packing and praying and wondering how any of this could even be real. We managed to have the car packed and ready to go around 11:30 and thinking about meeting up with my sweet heartbroken husband devastated me. He had been at a campout with the young men in our church and getting the news to him, was quite difficult. I strongly remember silently praying the shortest and most sincere prayer I have ever uttered that I would somehow be able to comfort my sister in law and my husband during our unplanned car ride back home, amidst the gut wrenching feeling even I had. That 10 hour trip was something I'll never forget even though I was slapping my face to try to even stay awake. At times we were laughing about memories we had made with him and the next moment I could hear sniffles and saw tears streaming down cheeks. My own eyes were constantly welling with tears and the road was blurry almost the whole way. We were anxious to be with family but also dreading all that we were about to go through. It absolutely didn't make sense, any of it, and the rest of that week was the biggest blur. There were flowers and cards filling the kitchen, friends stopping by to offer support and comfort, funeral plans were arranged, finances were discussed, and there were tear stained cheeks everywhere you turned. 

I can hands down say, that Pat passing away has been the absolute hardest trial of any of our lives... and I cannot stand to believe that it's only beginning. It's been a month as of last Saturday, yet that time has felt like a lifetime. Sometimes, it doesn't feel real. Then again, this is the most real pain I have ever felt. I've gone through a variety of emotions these past few weeks and I'm sure the rest of the Moore family has as well. I've felt sad beyond comparison, then I'll remember a happy memory and smile through the heartache. I'll be listening to a song that brings me joy which quickly turns to tears. I've felt encouragement that we can do this incredibly hard thing, and then a blanket of fear takes over my mind. I've luckily felt a glimpse of peace knowing that our Father in Heaven has a wonderful plan and yet the next moment, I'll feel anger that we were robbed of what could have been.

It may seem odd to some people that I'm so upset over my father in law passing, especially because of all the jokes that in laws are hard, but I won the lottery in this department and loved him like a second father. So, to give you some background, here's a glimpse of the kind of man Pat was. He was humble and teachable yet always seemed to know the answer. He was kind and loving, yet tough when he needed to be. He was athletic and ate well, yet knew life was short so he enjoyed a treat or two. He got excited over his new "toys" but never bragged or let his "things" be the center of his life. His prized possessions were his family, faith, and country and he could talk your ear off about all three if you let him. He made the world's best cookies and really enjoyed a movie night if we were watching Sweet Home Alabama, A Cinderella Story, or Galaxy Quest. He has an incredible testimony of the restored gospel and served in his church callings diligently. He managed to care about and help everyone that came into his life in some shape or form. He also made sure all of his good deeds went unnoticed as he never sought praise. Pat accomplished more before 9am everyday than anyone I've ever known, and finished all the Lord needed of him on this earth in only 57 years.

It's safe to say that none of this makes sense to me. Not any part of it. I've gone through several scenarios in my head just trying to understand how this could happen to us, or better yet, why this happened to us. You know that line in the song "If I Die Young" that goes, "funny when you're dead how people start listening?" I think that was written for Pat. His teachings, even though he isn't physically here on earth, are still being taught. I know that his legacy will live on and his short life with bless others, but it just doesn't seem fair to us. I know the Lord needs him but it's hard not to feel like we need him more. As I was thinking about my sweet mother in law and recognizing her strength through this incredibly difficult trial, I realized the only thing keeping her going, is her testimony. The same goes for the rest of the family. Without it, I'm positive this would be a million times harder. Even though nothing else seems to make sense to me, at least my testimony of Heavenly Father's plan  does. I know we will see Pat again. In fact, I'm positive he's preparing to show us all around and can't wait for us to be there with him. The veil between our earthly home and our heavenly home has been incredibly thin these past few weeks as I've pondered the concept of life and death.

 I know what the plan is for all of us and I truly believe in it, but I'll admit I have wondered how "The Plan of Happiness" could be anything but happy for us right now. It's taken a month of deep thought and prayer to come to understand that His plan is so much more than what happens on this earth and what we can comprehend. True and complete happiness, the kind where families can be together forever, where children don't ever go hungry, where slavery doesn't exist, where goodbyes aren’t necessary, where bodies don’t age, get injured, bleed, or die, and where "bad news" is never said, can only exist in a greater place. This is the happiness we’re being shaped for while being tested and tried on this earth. It’s the happiness that will be ours, without end, once we make it through our time on a fallen world that promises opposition daily. It’s the joy that will be our rest once we work hard and have done all we were meant to do in mortality. His plan of happiness, is happiness, and that will bring hope and faith to our hearts during this life when nothing else seems to make sense. 

I've began to think a little deeper about the blessings we all crave. You know, to pay the bills without worry each month, to take away the physical and emotional pain our loved ones experience, to see those struggling with infertility finally have children, and to be reunited with the loved ones taken from us too soon... These blessings that seem to never come make so many of us wonder, “How is this really in a plan of happiness?” And that’s when we need to be reminded that if we lived a life free of opposition and trouble, we truly would never know the complete joy waiting for us, and we’d never have a need for Him. After all, happiness isn’t a lack of misery, it’s knowing the feeling of misery and then living eternally in a place where that is overcome.
Every so often, we are blessed with a little reminder of a broader, more eternal plan. A plan that we can't quite understand because the concept of eternity is not one our minds can quite grasp in our mortal state. But, there’s a beauty in knowing that our eternal value is far greater than any feeling we'll ever experience during our time away from home and that a seat is being saved for us by our loved ones we dearly miss. 

It's hard, honestly, to not feel discouraged when hardship falls upon us. It's scary to think of the rest of our lives without a spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend, or grandparent. I'm sure several of you are nodding your head because you have been through the same sorrow, though a different gravestone. It's easy to question and wonder how this could really be a perfect plan when it feels far from it while going through the trials we once agreed to enduring. But, let us always remember that the Lord has felt every pain we will ever feel and wants us to need Him. He agreed to the plan just as we did, and though it's everything but easy currently, it will lead to pure and eternal joy.

Pat, we'll miss you every day until His great plan is fulfilled. Thank you for uplifting us, teaching us, helping us, and guiding us. Thank you for being the perfect role model for my husband. I can't wait to teach my kids all about you and I must admit, I'm a little jealous you get to meet them before me ;) "Our ultimate goal is to live together forever in the presence of The Lord, Forever Moore."

If you'd like to see the beautiful memorial video made for Pat by my sister in law Michelle, click here.

And lastly, thank you to everyone who has supported our family in the form of words, prayers, meals, cards, hugs, texts, phone calls, monetary donations, and just being there... We appreciate it far more than we'll ever be able to say. 

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Changing Table Necessities with Huggies

Monday, August 22, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias

I'm a young mom, I'm also a first time mom, but I've learned more than I ever could have imagined these past 18 months in the parenting world. I've learned that at times it's going to be hard, at times it'll be challenging, and sometimes you'll want to throw in the towel and just run away... I've also learned that your heart will grow ten times bigger, motherly instincts do actually kick in, and you'll love like you've never loved before. But, most of all, I've learned that being prepared will save you a whole lot of time and energy during your day to day life. Whether it's always having a snack on hand or keeping stocked up on Huggies diapers... being ready with "mom supplies" will keep you mentally sane during all hours of the day (and night!).

Let's flash back to a moment I'll never forget for a second. Oaklyn was only a few months old and was going thought a major sleep regression. I was sleep deprived, incredibly grumpy, and I was lucky if I remembered to put shoes on on my way out the door. Because I was so tired, I forgot that my wimpy little package of off brand diapers was just about to run out. It only came with about 24 diapers, was over $15, and I was already almost out! One night, Oaklyn absolutely would not go back to sleep. I had tried just about everything and was about to lock myself in my closet because I was flat out exhausted. I felt her diaper and even though it was nowhere near full, it could still probably be changed. I had one diaper left in the changing table, it was a risky move, but if it made her sleep it was well worth it. After I changed her, I began to rock her back to sleep. She was drifting off into dream land and I was holding my breath and wishing so badly that this was all it took. Then it happened... Her little body began to tense up and her little face got all scrunchy. I knew exactly what was coming. Then with a whole lot of force, she let loose. Part of me was happy that her tummy must be feeling better, but the other part of me was clueless as to what I was going to do now. With lovely baby poo coming up her back, I yelled for Hunter to search all corners of the house for just one clean diaper. Luckily, he did find one but can you imagine how much easier it would have been if I just had a huge box of Huggies Little Snugglers Plus from Costco in her closet? 

I don't know about all of you other moms, but I get incredibly stressed if things don't go smoothly. That stress then rubs off on Oaklyn and it's a big mess all around. I have learned over time that a high stress mama will rub off on her child and will create a high stress kiddo in return. I'm nowhere near perfect, and I absolutely get stressed several times a day, but I'm learning how to manage that and especially how to be more prepared. I've discovered certain baby products I love and had to throw away several I definitely didn't like. I've had to slow down and really listen to what it is that Oaklyn needs and take mental notes so we don't run into the same problem later on. I've also had to learn that stocking up on everything we need, will save me hours of worrying in the long run. Two things I absolutely always keep stocked with our favorite baby items are my diaper bag, and the changing table. I know people say you don't necessarily need a changing table, but I truthfully feel like you do. We do both the morning and night time routine on the changing table, and every single diaper change happens on it. It's comfortable, safe, and holds everything I need. So, today I'm going to share exactly what it is I always keep in our changing table and a very inexpensive and effective way to keep it organized. 

My changing table drawers have definitely evolved over time. In the beginning, I probably could have stocked every drawer with diapers and still not have enough ;) As time went on I had to make sure I had toys to entertain Oaklyn during changes and blankets to keep her new little body warm. However, there's a few things that have stayed consistent.

Drawer One:
-Huggies Little Movers Plus size 4. We love these diapers! We've tried several different brands and have decided that sticking with Huggies is absolutely the way to go. We get these diapers at out local Costco. These are Huggies' most absorbent diapers, hence the Plus, and are exclusive to Costco. With the double grip strips, they are an absolutely perfect fit for my really active baby. Not to mention, they have a 12 hour Leak Lock protection which is perfect for night time! They come in sizes one through six and if you get them at Costco, you won't have to worry about running out any time soon. They come with so many and have truly been a life and money saver for our family. There is currently a deal running where you can get Little Snugglers Plus (Sizes 1 & 2)  for $37.49, $31.49 after $6 discount and Free shipping. (this offer valid 9/1 to 9/25) Or Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) for  $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and Free shipping. (this offer valid 9/1 –to 9/25) Also, starting in August Little Snugglers Plus will also be available in size Newborn starting - $29.99 available in select warehouses and online at Costco.com 
-Wipes. Find a brand of wipes you like, and always keep them stocked up right next to your diapers for quick and painless changes.
-Rash Cream. Again, you are going to have to find one that works for your baby's skin, but always keep it on hand... you never know when a rash will break out!
-Hygiene Essentials. This is one that will change with time as your baby's needs change. We always keep her toothpaste and toothbrush, lotion, and a little medicine in case a cold comes on. 
-Hair Care. Obviously this is different for every baby but mine came with a whole lot of hair! So I keep a brush, hair elastics, and occasionally a few bows but her big stash is in her closet. I also keep her pacifier clips in the top drawer. 

separated the different compartments in efforts to stay a little more organized and you'll never believe how easy it was to make the separators! I actually just cut the flaps off of my Huggies Little Movers Plus box and stuck them in my drawer! As Oaks gets older I'll probably get little containers to stick the smaller items in. 

Drawer Two:
-Jammies. Part of Oaklyn's bed time routine is to get in her jammies while on the changing table so it only makes sense to have some clean ones in a drawer!
-Blankies. Blankets are the easiest way to get Oaks to calm down. Some diaper changes are rough, so I always keep blankets close by to let her snuggle. 

Drawer Three:
Extra Sheets. Being prepared with extra sheets makes the world of a difference! Waking up to a wet bed, a spilt bottle, a diaper explosion, or even worse throw up can make for a messy clean up. While I wash her sheets, having an extra to throw on for nap time helps take my stress down immensely!

Obviously over time I know some of these things might not matter anymore and if you are a mom of a smaller baby, you might need a whole lot more! So adjust your separators as you need to and keep your essentials close by. Keeping your favorite items stocked up will help you stay calm during the most stressful situations. So now I want to know, what do you keep in your changing table??

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



Binder Organization with HP Printers

Monday, August 15, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias

"Back to School" happened a whole lot faster than usual this summer. I swear I started seeing back to school supply setups in stores much earlier than usual this year! I didn't know wether to be excited or sad, but I'm honestly so ready to get back into a routine and for Fall to get here! While I'm not actually in school anymore and Oaklyn isn't anywhere near ready to start school, we still do have one student in the house! Hunter is finishing up his last year and a half of college and just recently got accepted into the business program! We were so excited when we found out and I of course am so proud of him because it's a hard program to get in to. With Hunter about to start his most challenging semester yet, I figured it would be a good idea to get him all the reliable supplies he really needed to stay organized and work efficiently.

On top of starting a new program at school, we are also moving... in like a week! This came as a bit of a surprise to us, but we're headed just up the street so it isn't too much of a change. We've been going through the things we will need when we get to our new place, and one thing we needed was a printer! I had a few standards for our new printer including:

1. Wireless, to make printing from any room or device a breeze. Also, less setup. Don't we all want less setup?
2. Pretty and compact. We don't have much space as renters, so the less bulky, the better. 
3. Reasonable ink consumption.
4. All in one, and durable so it can last us a while. 

We headed straight to our local Walmart to look for a printer to ensure affordability and value. The printer that quickly caught my eye was the HP Deskjet 3752 because of how sleek the white looked.

I also honestly could not believe how compact it was for all of the functions it includes. It manages to print, scan, and copy without taking up a bunch of desk space. I was a little bit worried about having to constantly buy ink, but luckily, it can print 2.5 times as many pages with optional Original HP high-yield ink cartridges. The HP Deskjet 3752 is the world’s smallest all-in-one printer and is designed to fit, and look good anywhere! I was sold right as I saw it but once I learned that you can print straight from your phone, I knew I needed to have it. It fit our budget, and it definitely fit our needs!

The setup for this printer was a breeze! I set it up almost immediately after picking it up from Walmart and it took less than 20 minutes. No crazy wiring or messing with hefty setup instruction manuals... I literally typed a web address into my browser and followed the simple instructions to set it up. Each printer even has it's own email address to make it convenient and simple to send things you want printed. To make things even easier, You can download the HP all in one remote app to easily connect your smart phone or your tablet to your printer, and easily print or scan without a network!

So what was the first thing I did with this printer? I made sure my husband would be organized as he enters an all new program at school. I made him some nifty class dividers so he can keep all of his assignments and notes in one place without worrying about losing them. I also made him a fun binder cover in honor of his dad who recently passed away so that he can stay uplifted and inspired during a hard school day. 

Here's how I made the dividers:
1. Design each divider image on a photoshop option of prefereance. If you don't have a photoshop program downloaded, check out picmonkey or canva for free. You can also design it on your phone.
2. Save the image to your computer and easily print wirelessly from your desktop, tablet, smart phone, or laptop with the HP Deskjet 3752.
3. Stick the printout in a plastic page protector.
4. Use colored paper cut into little rectangles and tape them on to the edge of your divider to make easy to navigate tabs. Cut off the excess tape.
5. Stick the new dividers in your three ring binder and you are all set for an organized school year!

If you want to make yourself a fun and inspirational binder cover, download the one I made for my husband here and insert your own pictures. My Father in Law always said this quote to his kids growing up to teach them to reevaluate the situation they were in. It has also stuck with me as I try to learn a new skill and find myself having to make adjustments to get the end result I had hoped for.   

I hope you enjoyed this fun little tutorial and I really hope you go pick up one of these printers! They are a perfect fit for millennials and college students heading back to school this fall. So now I'm curious, what kind of subject divider are you going to design with your HP Deskjet 3752?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Pamper Yourself With Groupon

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
This post has been sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are mine alone. 

One thing that I have come to realize I really need since becoming a wife and a mother, is "me time." I love making memories as a family but there's just something about getting pampered and not having a worry in the world during it. Often times, the days are long and I go to bed realizing I didn't do anything but chores and I feel stressed about all the things on my plate. Getting pampered helps relieve some of that stress and really helps my mental health. Whether it's receiving a much needed massage, getting a fresh coat of polish on my nails, or getting a new hairstyle, having some time alone helps me feel refreshed and rejuvenated. 

As much as I love feeling special and getting a spa day, these sorts of things can really add up fast. That's why I'm so glad Groupon helps me save on all things Health, Beauty, and Wellness while also providing quality services on their site. I ensure that I'm always signed into my Groupon account on my computer so that I can pull up all the local deals right around me making it easy to save money in my area. There are so many different ways you can save on pampering yourself with Groupon thanks to their daily deals on massages, nail salons, hair salons, day spas, and much more!

My family also loves to go on adventures together. We love getting out of the house and doing a fun activity together, trying a new restaurant, and going on vacation. Groupon helps you save on all of those things with new listings constantly. Groupon has been such a wonderful resource to help my family save on services and dining, to retail products.

Groupon is also a completely free service! That's right, no paying a membership fee! Simply create an account, log in, and start saving! I know you'll love Groupon just as much as we do so go ahead and give it a try!
Trust me, you need a spa day ;)
How do you save money with Groupon Goods?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy