An open letter to President Donald J. Trump

Dear Mr. President,

I don't like you.  I don't like the things you have said towards and about women.  I don't like your arrogant personality.  I don't like that you were a candidate for President of the USA.  It still blows my mind.

However, I believe in not only second and third chances, but in endless chances.  I believe in forgiveness and change.  I believe that someone can be humbled and come to their senses.  I believe that most people are good.

Here's the thing, I don't want you to fail at this.  I want you to succeed.  I want you to be the greatest POTUS ever!  I want everyone to be shocked and eat their words in 4 years.  I want you to be so amazing at this gig, that we all vote you back in for another term.

Watching so many people fight against each other, and be divided, has caused my heart to almost break.  This is not the world I want to raise my three amazing children in. They deserve better than what we are giving them.  With that being said, I know that how they treat others is a direct reflection on how they've been parented, especially at these young ages.

I want you to know that even though I don't like you, I will be praying for your success as you serve this great country.  Even though I don't like the things you have said towards and about women, I will forgive you and hope that your apology was sincere.  Even though I don't like your arrogant personality, I will humble myself and realize that your personality may be exactly what this country needs.  I will put my trust in God.  I know that you becoming POTUS was not a surprise to the Almighty God, no matter how shocking it was to the rest of the world.  I trust that He will guide His people.

My prayer is that you will live up to your promises, and that you will truly have a desire to serve and bring together this land of divided citizens.  I pray that you will think of those who are less fortunate than you, and that you will use this position to lift them higher.  I pray that you will be calm and rational before you tweet the first thing that comes to your mind.  I pray that you can recognize what this country needs.

I keep hearing that we need to stop complaining and come forward with solutions.  I cannot come up with a solution that will change the world, but I can come up with one that will change my heart.  I will pray for you everyday.  I will pray for those who are by your side making serious decisions.  I will pray for the people who are hurting.  I will do good to and for others.  I will do what I can in my community to include everyone and make them feel wanted.  I will no longer bash you and put you down...pinky promise.  I will tolerate others I disagree with by listening and respecting their opinions.  I will stand with those who feel they have no voice.  And lastly, I will try to help you make America and Americans great (Notice that "again" is left out on purpose, because let's face it, when has it truly been great for everyone?! #AmIRight) by showing genuine love to everyone I meet without judgment.

A very nervous but hopeful woman!


My Grandma Tilini...

This is the life of my beautiful Grandma Mele Tilini...

To my beautiful angel…
I don’t even know where to begin. It doesn’t even seem real that we are at this point in our lives where we say goodbye to you. I know that everyone’s hearts are broken, but no one’s can possibly be as broken as mine…I didn’t even get to kiss your face and hug your body one last time.

I learned so much from you. I learned how to physically and spiritually take care of myself. I remember the many times you would braid my hair when I was a little girl. I remember it hurt so bad and you would tell me that it was beautiful and to be quiet! I even do that with my daughter now! I can’t remember a Sabbath day where I didn’t find you sleeping with your scriptures or Gospel Doctrine book open on your lap. My love of the scriptures is because of you. My senior year of high school I would go home almost every day at lunch and we would read scriptures together.

How lucky was I to be sent to this earth on the same day that you were?! This will be the first year in 27 years that I don’t hear your beautiful voice wish me happy birthday! I remember I was angry at someone and was crying to you about it. You told me that we were Leos and that we can be mad for a day, but when the sun comes up we let it go and we aren’t mad anymore! That made me laugh so hard! No matter what anyone says, I know I was your Princess…I mean seriously, how many were lucky enough to get the birds and bees talk from you!!!

You made each of us feel so special. We all knew we were your number one! I remember how proud you were of me when I would show you a dress that I sewed. You said, “Sassy, you so smart! Keep sewing and don’t be a stupid!”. I loved it when you would sit and look at my children and play with them! I remember how proud you were of them for knowing the scriptures and hymns. I remember you called one night to have them sing for you. They sang they’re favorite primary songs and then ended with “Love At Home” and even surprised you with knowing a Tongan verse. You were laughing and kept saying “Good job Donnie and Lyla! I know you are so smart!”.

Everyone that knows you thinks they are so lucky to have known you! But they will never know what it was like for me…to be your granddaughter…to share your blood. I’m not sure what any of us did to deserve you as the Matriarch of our family…but I’m grateful we did it! Not only did we choose to be sent to you, you chose us for your family on earth!

Your strength has guided each of us through this life. You didn’t choose to be a single mother, you were thrown into that. I’ve never known a harder working woman. I’ve never seen you complain about the cards you were dealt. I’ve never seen you curse the Lord and question why! I’ve never seen you withdrawal from the Lord during hard times. I’ve never seen you angry at life. You were always the opposite. You smiled all the time and joked around with everyone! You worked harder to give your daughters more. You gave thanks to the Lord and had faith through every trial and obstacle that our family was faced with. You were always pleading with the Lord on our behalf. I wish I could plead with Him right now to just spend another day with you.

I know that the Lord was so excited to hug His Tilini and thank her for being so valiant and enduring to the end. Grandma, do you know that you saved generations with your faithfulness and desire to serve the Lord?

The only way I find comfort during this time…the worst time of my life…is through your testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would say mine, but I wouldn’t have one if it wasn’t for your example and guidance. Each time I bear my testimony I can’t help but think of you. It never embarrassed me when you would call us up to the stand on fast Sunday to bear ours after you were finished. As an adult and a mother, I see the wisdom in that. And with that being said, I only find it appropriate to bear my testimony…

I know God lives. There is no doubt in my mind. I know that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. I know that we can only be saved through the Atonement and that is where we will find our greatest happiness and joy. I know that God speaks truths to a latter-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I sustain him and his councilors. I know that the Lord and Jesus Christ revealed themselves to Joseph Smith, and guided him through the translation of the scriptures and the restoration of the Church. I know the scriptures are for our benefit to lead us back home. I cannot wait to see you again. I cannot wait to throw my arms around your neck and tell you I love you. I know the only way to do that is to live the teachings of the Gospel. And I will. I will teach my children the way you have taught me. If there was ever a woman that has walked this earth that taught me how to be a woman of God, it was you.

I love you so much. I’m so grateful that I was yours and that I was one of the lucky ones to walk on this earth with you. Now send me all of those babies you told me to have!! UMA!




Don't have a heart attack!!  YES!!  I'm blogging!!  Can you believe it?!  

So...here is our family update!

We have a little one on the way!  I'm 27 weeks pregnant!  We are all pretty excited about this!  This is our "baby surprise" because we aren't finding out what we are having until it's here!  There are a few names we like, but we are waiting until we see it's face to name it!  Not everyone likes our idea of waiting...and by "our" I mean mine!  But I don't care!  =)  It's still so exciting...

We are getting ready to make a big change...not only adding one to the family, but moving the family...  We are moving to the Raleigh area for Brooks' job!  He will no longer be working at good ole CFP!  He will miss working side by side with his father, but the time has come.  We are grateful for this opportunity to grow and move forward with life!

Speaking of life, the children are full of it!  They are amazing!  They keep us going!  It's ironic...they give us the strength to live everyday...but take all that strength away by wearing us out!  Their perfect day would consist of:  Grandma Reece's pool, popsicles, Chuck E. Cheese, and playing with cousins and Uncle John John!  

Donnie is done with Kindergarten!  He did WONDERFUL!  His teachers were sad to see him go...he made them candy leis and painted cute frames for them!  He cried when we left his classroom...He said, "Goodbye Kindergarten."...it was pitiful.  

Layne is SO VERY excited to be a big sissy!  She said she will do everything for the baby...even change diapers!  I'd say something like, "Yeah right, we'll see how long that lasts"...but with this little girl, I'm almost positive she will!!  

We also have a sweet puppy!  His name(s) is(are) Milkbone (Milkie, Whiteboy, or Monkey)...everyone loves him...everyone does not include Brooks!

Well, that's our update...Not very long...that's why I haven't blogged in forever...not much to blog about!  But we hope everyone is having a great summer!  Stay safe!  We love you all!  I will probably update after the baby is born...so don't expect anything before then!  =)  


Who's got a birthday?!

The first thing I heard this morning was, "Mama!  I'm 4!!"...I couldn't help but smile.  Indeed, my Princess was officially FOUR YEARS OLD!  Where did the time go?! 

I'm afraid I've waisted it.
I'm afraid I've jipped (is that even a word?!) my babygirl of an awesome four years!
For someone so small and sweet, she has been through much more than you could imagine!

In four years she has:

Been born...(we all know how rough that is!)
Learned to walk...
Learned to talk...

Lived in 2 different states...
Broken a leg...

Had to go through 3 1/2 years of her parent's marital issues...
Lived in 6 different houses...
Learned to Tahitian dance & made quite a few stage appearances...

Been to preschool...
Attended 3 different wards/nurseries...
Traveled across the country more than once...

Wow!!  What a life!!  I can say with all my heart that she was truly heaven sent!!  She was perfect timing for my life (as well as everyone's!)...  Right when I needed to feel the Savior's love the most, the Lord sent her to our family!  She has the most contagious laugh!  She has the most beautiful eyes that change from blue to green!  She has the most beautiful porcelain skin.  She has the most beautiful long hair that we can't even decide what color it is!!  She's feisty, loud, funny, tender, happy, and giving!  She loves her brother more than life itself!  He is her best friend!  She has a personality all her own!  She knows exactly what she wants and how she is gonna get it!!  She is even pretty when she cries! 

Through these last four years, I, her mother, have never thrown her a birthday party...like, a REAL birthday party!  Her first bday luau was thrown by her nana because we were living in Missouri...so we came to NC to have it...  Her second bday was also thrown by her nana because I was working in Ohio...however, on her actual bday she was with me in Ohio and we went to a water park!!  Her third bday we didn't do much...clearly because neither her father or mother can seem to remember it! 

So this year, life seems to be as it always should have been!  So that means, SHE GETS A PARTY!!  That's right!!  We are having an "Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Tea Party"!!  She is so excited!!  We sent out invitations to her friends and cousins, we bought the decorations, and we have started the countdown to Saturday!!  She LOVES the 2010 "Alice in Wonderland"...so that was her theme!!  I'll be sure to post pictures after the party!!

I'm so grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to be her mother.  I know that she is destined for greatest!!  I know every mother must feel this way about their children, but seriously, there is just something about her!  What other child prays for the devil?!  LOL

I can speak for her father when I say that she holds our heart in the palm of her hands.  She makes us smile.  She is our comic relief when the realities of life set in.  She is our angel!  We love her more than she will ever know. 

Fun fact:  Layne was born on the same day as my father's paternal grandmother!!  So, Happy Birthday Gram!  We love you and miss you so much!!  I'm so honored that the Lord saw fit that my oldest daughter was born on the same day as you!  I pray she is just as wonderful a woman!!