Loving life together!

Loving life together!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas 2017!

Another year has gone by, and wow, what a year! The boys are growing too much, too fast! They keep us busy and are so sweet, kind, loving, yadda yadda ......of course, I am their mother, so I think they are amazing! And truth be told, they really are. There are a few hurdles we still come across, and this year was no exception. That very cute, responsible 10 year old (Kaden)...well he has entered this new phase called "I think I am always right". Which, I swear was inherited from his father, because his mother KNOWS she is always right, so as soon as he builds that self confidence enough, we will have our next president! At least once a week, we get to have an apology session, which is great in two ways: 1. We learn to be humble and both his frustrated parents and him get to apologize for not-nice attitudes and strategically work together to form a plan of action, in how we can be kinder and wiser in our words and actions. 2. In addition to all that sweetly smart babble, we have dusted base boards, matched socks, and very clean windows, due to all the extra chores done by children in trouble! Don't let him fool you though, he is insanely smart; very efficient in his Chinese fluency, which aided greatly in him being the translator for the recent Chinese foreign exchange student we recently hosted; his is killing it on the soccer field, with Olympic dreams in the near future; and he would die for his little brother. On his way out, though, said brother would definitely receive his fair share of grief and teasing! In regards to this little brother (Kross), he is truly adorable! I always say he has Nutella running in his veins, accompanied with Christmas spirit and a love of snuggles. Speaking of Nutella, this boy can make a mean Nutella sandwich, but CANNOT wipe his own bottom, to save his life! To all you new parents looking forward to potty training, you only truly win, when your littles can wipe their own tooshes! Until then, you are still in the depths of hell, where little people yell from the bathroom, "MOM!!! Come wipe me!! I am done!!!" at all hours of the day and night! I can't wait for his wedding day, when I can share beautiful bathroom pictures with a crowd! I also can't wait for the day, when in my old age I can yell, "SON!!! Come wipe me!! I am done!!". Pay back is coming - anything worth while, takes time! We do know, that he will be the one to take care of us in our older years, as he truly has a very kind and caring heart! He loves people and counts some of his best friends, people in their 30s and 40s, which is totally fine with me! He loves to sing, loves preschool, and connects with everyone! He will easily have a 20 minute conversation with you, even when you don't have 20 minutes! Both these boys have our hearts and keep us busy! They put up with their parents' crazy, pretty well. And if only one of them needs therapy when they enter adulthood, well then, we can pat ourselves on the back in light of our great parenting skills! 50/50 is pretty good! Job well done! In regards to those crazy parents, well Patrick does nothing wrong! His socks always make it into the hamper, and thank God for the magic fairy that turns off all the lights, shuts the cabinet doors, and picks up all the random man-stuff around the house, or his wife would loose her ever-loving mind! Right?! Like, get real! Fight club happens at least once a month, and the winner usually is the last one who did the laundry, so...noone! In all honesty though, we truly adore each other. This year has pushed us and stretched us, which also means we have grown in so many aspects! One of our biggest jumps, has been that Patrick started his own Electrical Firm. While it was scary at times, leaving the continuity of his really great job, he has been fruitful! In all the craziness entrepreneurship brings, God has been faithful. Making our careers work for our lives, instead of our lives work for our careers, has always been our goal, leaving room for lots of traveling and fun, and enjoyment! And Patrick only bugs his wife a little with the dirt bikes, gear, boating accessories, hunting attire, wire, equipment, all. the. stuff. in their garage. And his wife, you ask? Well, she is staying busy with family life, church life, work life, soccer life, school life....life in general. But in all things, I still get to do what I love, serve people. Whether it is our own family or strangers, we have always said "there is always room." Our house is a revolving door for anyone needing a meal, a bed, or a hug. We fully believe love happens over a dinner table, around a coffee table, and on couches playing cards. And that is how I like to keep it!

We are a messy bunch of people. Sometimes we yell, sometimes we play the silent game, sometimes we even hide each other's phones, "to focus on the more important things". But at all times, we love each other, we love Jesus, and we love His people. We are real. We make mistakes. But we also have victories, big and small. We celebrate each one. We celebrate each other. We give grace and the ever so hard, forgiveness. We love loud and big. We are the Lierd family. And we wish you a very Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and had a great year! We certainly cannot complain, as we are continually blessed, even when the blessings are sometimes hard to see! The world has been a little crazy this past 2016, but that only gives us better perspectives into our 'why'. Why we wake up in the morning? Why we do what we do? Why we are here? This year, our 'why' has been people. Spending time and investing in relationships that are lasting and move beyond the superficial "how do you dos". Specifically, for us, we have focused on experiences. Each month, having an experience with our children and teaching them to enjoy the moment of that experience, has been so wonderful! We have enjoyed some cabin time and snow tubing in Breckenridge, snorkeling off the Maui coast, riding dirt bikes in Caineville, road trips to and from Colorado, milestone birthdays, rodeos, soccer games, roller coasters, small town 4th of July celebrations, cross-country Harley rides, fishing trips, camping trips, Texas day trips for book launches, 1st day of pre-school, 1st day of 4th grade, another cancer free celebration, a new year of MOPS, another UTES football season, wake-boarding and boating at Starvation and Lake Powell, school field trips, Wendover runs, a new amazing job, Alpine slides and coasters, grandparent visits, a Jungle Book Halloween, celebrating a 70th birthday and family reunion, ghost tours, 11 years of marriage, friend parties, coffee dates, brunch dates, poker games, freighbor dinners, service projects, and the ever awaited for Christmas tree hunting!  Our year has been spectacular! And in large part to the people who enjoy it with us! You all add laughs and friendship, bring good food to share, jump on board with our adventure ideas and service projects, invite us into your homes and hearts. You celebrate milestones and success with us and comfort us in times of heart ache. Beyond any of the intangibles, you, all of you - our family and friends- are the 'why' in our lives. We love doing life with you all and pray that you all know how grateful we are for each and every one of you. 2016 was another year of life for the Lierd Family and we are thankful for every single moment of it!
-With Love, Patrick & Candace


Kaden is now in 4th grade and still loving school! He is still in Chinese immersion and his language ability still amazes us! We are almost zero help when it comes to homework, but occasionally we are able to keep up with him! He has made some great friends and it is fun to see them each year as they grow and to be able to form friendships with their parents. He moved up into the Fusion class, at church, this year and loves "hanging in youth group" with such sweet friends. We love hearing his tender heart pray and getting a peek into what child-like faith, means! His big venture, this year, has been competitive soccer. He was drafted onto a great team, The Strikers, and he has enjoyed pushing himself to become a better athlete and soccer player! He is an amazing Left Forward and his left foot is almost unstoppable! He definitely has surprised us with his skill and dedication. His passion is right in line with his father - and those two are never ever ever competitive - ever! haha! Yes, we are the yelling parents, but we love it! We have spent many hours, this year, on a soccer field and that is just fine with us. He still loves a wakeboard, though and finally jumped the wake! He is trying skiing and snow boarding this year, and he may decide a board is better for water, rather than snow - we will see! 

Kross is growing so quickly! He started preschool this year and LOVES it! He has wanted to go to school for some time, now, so he is overjoyed when Tuesday and Thursday roll around. He loves Sunday school and we love to here his recap of that day's Bible story! We celebrated his birthday in Maui and he asks us almost everyday if we can go back to the Maui house "so I can swim everyday with my turtle Spike!" He is a little fish and loved spending every day at the pool. He named the tile turtle Spike and would make sure no one stepped on him! He is a funny caring little soul and loves to snuggle, sing, and talk - with EVERY.BODY. He hates bad weather and would rather spend a day in pajamas coloring and creating, than brave the wind! With his birthday, we were able to do some milestone allergy testing and finally he is able to tolerate more foods and specifically gluten! The world has changed for him and now his cravings include pizza and doughnuts! He is OBSESSED with anything Christmas and loves singing Christmas carols. He is a chatter box and always keeps us laughing with his quick wit and unique thoughts.

                      We adore these two boys!
They definitely have their daddy by his heart and their mama by her soul. Children are such a gift and have taught us so many things. We have changed our perspective to not just worry about what the world holds for them, to making sure they are prepared to enter it, with kind hearts, encouraging words, and character that fits a man after God's own heart. Of course, we have those hard days of needing a time-out and a few days of being grounded, and every little boy's room, we have to believe, carries a funny smell, that you just can't get rid of! These two keep the laundry baskets full, the house never quiet, and our schedules busy, but we cannot picture a life without them and are embracing the messiness of a beautiful life of parenting. 

Life is full of adventure, as a couple, and deciding to experience it together, has been amazing! There are times we feel like chaos is getting the best of us, times when we have to follow up with an apology, and times when we experience disappointment. But that is what we signed up for - for two real people to do life, together. We celebrated 11 years of marriage, this year, and look forward to many many more! We have had so much fun being busy with the boys and running away together on week night date nights, and Park City ghost tours. Laughter is in great supply in this house of ours, and we will be sad when the day comes that the laughs have died down. We love all the craziness and God must have known that our own crazy would complement each other's crazy, so well! We look forward to a 2017 already getting filled with adventures and new endeavors and are holding hands, ready to take off! 

We pray you have peace, this year and that you are filled with the wonders of the unseen, and really know what your 'why' is!!

Marry Christmas and Happy New Year!! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Wow! I can't believe another year has gone so quickly! And I can't believe I haven't updated the family blog, this year! I guess, when you are busy living life, it makes it difficult to document all the wonderful memories you are making! So, in an effort to capture the essence of 2015, here is a quick line up of the Lierd family!

 Patrick is always our solid rock! He, of course, is busy with great projects at work, and always has lots of fun when he is NOT there! 35 was a big year, and we spent the year enjoying this amazing dad and husband of ours! From boating, to camping with new toys, to motorcycle riding, Garth Brooks concerts, Las Vegas vacations, weddings, missionaries, and new family additions; this man of ours sure knows how to enjoy life and takes such great care of us! We love him so much and are so thankful for him!

Kaden is growing up too quickly! This year, we really saw this little boy of ours grow up into this awkward, fun, a little attitude, a lot of grace, amazing big brother, Chinese speaker, spelling whiz, social butterfly of 3rd grade - 8 year old. He loves school and participated in tech league, is becoming an amazing Chinese linguist, never misses a word on his spelling tests (which happen to be in the highest category), loves recess and PE (as every young boy should), includes everyone in football games, and is currently preparing for the Spelling Bee. He keeps us on our toes and many times is too smart...for his own good! He has really excelled in his soccer league and we love having most of the team from our neighborhood. In the spring, he worked on his motocross skills, and really broke in his latest motorcycle. In the summer, he became quite the little wakeboarder! Santa brought the worst gift ever last year - a wakeboard! When you get a summer gift in the dead of winter, it really is just painful! So, he suffered through the cold winter months and definitely took advantage of the warm summer days on the boat, and in his words "has some sweet boarding skills" now. Fall brought soccer and school activities. He is such an athlete - gets it from his athlete dad! Too fast, too hard, and loves to win! He is so fun to watch. Winter has brought lots of fun family traditions and he is counting down the seconds to winter break! Kross adores him, and he is such a great big brother. Just the other day, he spent 3 hours showing Kross how to build a lego monster. I am so glad Kross has such a wonderful brother! We love this kid!! (did I brag, enough?!) He does have his mornings of being asked to brush his teeth -3 times- then rushing to school; nights of being grounded from being too much of a social butterfly at school; and definitely gets a "come to Jesus" every now and then, when that attitude (I swear that also comes from his dad - wink wink) gets a little too fiery! But honestly, he is such a great young man and we are very proud of him!

Kross - seriously, look at that picture! Do I need to say more?! This boy...oh, this boy! God knew that I needed this little spirit! He is so so amazing! I love his big, empathetic heart! He is such a sweet little soul. He is so smart and often asks me questions that make me wonder if he really is just 2 years old! He talks - a lot (takes after dad...man, these boys get a lot from him!). We call him a little chatter box and he will often tell me "I not a chatter box, I just talk a lot!" He loves his mama! And when Patrick is trying to give me hugs, he will run over and say "NO! My mom mom!!" He has fallen in love with Star Wars, this year, and was Yoda for Halloween. He wears his costume at least 3 times a week! He loves a good light-saber, pirates, giraffes, reading, playing basketball on his Ipad, and playing anything with his brother! He is so funny to watch, as he wants to be just like Kaden and will get on his Ipad or the Wii U when Kaden is on his Ipad, and even though I don't think he knows what he is doing, he will jump up and down and say "I won!" He sets up train tracks all over the living room; pulls every costume out of the costume box; spills water when he is insistent upon getting it out of the fridge, himself; wants to read every book twice; sings every song in the car; and gives the best hugs and kisses! He loves to take selfies and talk on skype to anyone who will answer! He also loves any treat - chocolate especially, and I think his blood is really just a blend of chocolate milk and Nutella! He is such a little cheeser and we just adore this baby boy of ours!!

And me - well, I kept busy, to say the least! From graduation, to book launch teams, to traveling, writing, a new position, school parent board, MOPS, charities- you name it! This has been such a fun and inspiring year for me! I always say I am going to take a few things off my plate, but I think if I do, I must replace them with something else! I had the opportunity to do some things that really incorporate my love of writing and am excited for new adventures planned for the near future! I really learned to understand who I am, who as a daughter of God, I am. And I am learning to embrace that with the grace and beauty, He intended. There are many times I wonder which direction God is pointing and this year, He definitely put me in a few unexpected places, and though I was nervous - fearful, even - the blessings and outcomes are simply amazing JOY!

 We celebrated 10 years of marriage, this year! And I can only say, WOW! I am blown away at how quickly that came upon us and I stand back and am in awe of the life we have together. I love this man of mine, with all my heart. We are learning and growing, and making an amazing life, together.

And how could we not mention those little babes, that I wonder about so often?! Well, our sweet photographer made sure to have them in the family photo and did a wonderful job of showing our little girls running to Heaven, where they wait for us. I cannot wait to see them again, and I love that I have them in a family photo!

To sum it all up, 2015 was a year of life! We lived it - the good, the not so good, the down right ugly.....and we survived. Even better then surviving, we LOVED it! We are blessed, beyond what we need! And I am so thankful to do life with this family!!

So from this crazy tribe to yours....Merry Christmas! We hope you experience the love and joy that was born on Christmas day, and no matter the circumstances, you live life and you love it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Lierd Family!

We love....Love......LOVE Christmas at our house! And we truly pray that you enjoy the season and remember why all this madness, even happens! This year, I wanted to get all my shopping done by November 1st! I was so excited to have everything wrapped up by the second week of November. The most wonderful thing about that, is that I actually have been able to just sit back and enjoy my boys, enjoy nights with my wonderful husband, and enjoy the magic and miracle of the birth of Jesus. What an amazing promise unfolded, long ago, that night in Bethlehem. As Kaden was making Christmas cards for our family, he often wrote about Jesus' birthday and reminded all, that Christmas is not about the gifts!

We have been blessed with such an amazing life, and this year did not disappoint!! We are so thankful for the blessings we have, and all the opportunities we have had this year!

Patrick is still working hard and being such a great provider. He was promoted, which has had wonderful benefits, but also big time stresses. I am so proud of him, and our boys love to call him daddy! Nothing warms my heart more, than to see my boys run to his arms at the end of every day! The moment they hear the garage door, they drop whatever they have and yell, "Dadda!! Daddy!!!". Even with some longer work days, he has had his share of fun and bought a new Harley Davidson! We have had a lot of fun on some bike rides and enjoy rides into the city! He had a big ride planned with his dad, but unfortunately, my grandma passed, and instead of riding across country, he rode over the mountains to be with us. He did enjoy lots of dirt bike riding with Four Horsemen Racing, touring ruins in ancient cities, on vacation, had a great time boating, wake boarding, and sun bathing/napping, tailgating and cheering on the Utes, and loves being a daddy! We love him so much!

Kaden is growing up too much! It is bittersweet! I love watching him grow and move into new stages of life, but I feel that it comes too quickly. He loved soccer this year, with his competitive league, and we enjoyed watching him! He is quite the athlete and has surprised us time and time again, at his abilities! He is doing so well in school and becoming fluent in Chinese! He loves dual immersion and we love his school! He really is a fun boy and makes me laugh at the funny little things he comes up with and says. He has such a big heart and just loves his brother so much!! Watching them play together in the evenings is so sweet! Kross loves him so much and follows him around everywhere! Kaden is so sweet with him. He is an amazing big brother!
Kross is just ....ah.....he so completes our family and this last year has been nothing short of miraculous. We waited and prayed so long for this little one, and he was so worth the wait! He brings us so much joy and is just a funny sweet little guy! I cling to him, tight, which is probably why he is such a mama's boy! He loves to sing and has been singing Christmas carols, Let It Go from Frozen, and every song on Christian radio, when we get in the car! He is such a music boy and loves to dance to any beat! He is still allergic to wheat and lactose intolerant, but luckily, eggs, peanuts, and fish are all ok! He definitely isn't missing any meals! And lately, has a love for applesauce and homemade smoothies! He adores Kaden and Patrick and I am so glad he has these 2 to look up to!

And me....well, life is full! I am always busy, between organizations, charities, school, work, family, the boys, the man, and everything in between. God has definitely given me a lot to do, and I love to do it all! I am slowly learning to say no, and understanding what it means to be still and that the Lord gives you people in your life to help you and walk beside you. I miss my grams, and have definitely put some of her lessons and recipes to work! There have been many times this year, that struggles I have had and asked 'why' to, have been clarified, and God has used lessons I have learned, and comfort I have received, to help others. I have enjoyed just playing with my boys in the evenings and have been able to let the dishes wait, while I have a monster climbing all over me. I have enjoyed days, weekends, and weeks away with just my husband. God blessed me with an amazing man, and I just love being in love with him! I guess this year, could be summed up in one word, Blessed....

We have always been blessed, but this year, as I have seen the world around us become a little more chaotic, and in need of Jesus, I take a look at my little world and see my blessings every day. They come in the form of little juice spills I clean up that end up in cuddles with a messy baby; watching and being proud of my little soccer star; good night kisses in a warm bed; and a promise of hope that was born long ago. So whether or not, you have all the gifts you wanted to buy, have the best decorated house, have to work on the 25th of December, or are going home; my prayer, this season, is that you recognize your blessings. In the midst of a crazy, chaotic, materialistic world, we pray you find your blessings and know the hope and love that was born long long ago, in a little stable, in Bethlehem.

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born
Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn
We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth, no way to escape In fear, no faith, no hope no grace, and no light, But that was the night before Christmas
Warm hay, cold sweat, a mother, not yet.
Praying godspeed the dawn

She looks to her man, holding her hand.
They wonder how long.

And the shepherds, wise men come to find them, and bow to a king.
One star above shining on love, so bright it lit up the night before Christmas.
 And the world didn't know, mercy meek and so mild. And the world didn't know that truth was as pure as a child.
The night before Christmas.

And the world didn't know, redemption was sweet and so strong.
And the world didn't know salvation was writing a song.
The night before Christmas.

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born.
-Brandon Heath "The Night Before Christmas"

Christmas Tree Hunting!!!!

The day after Thanksgiving, we always go tree hunting!! It is tradition to cut down our Christmas tree and we found a beautiful one this year! 

There was not very much snow, so it was a little easier to get up on the mountains and to hunt around for the perfect one!
I love this tradition and am so glad that my husband loves Christmas and this, as much as I do!!! We are just giddy little kids, when it is Christmas time!

Of course, it isn't a tree, unless it is 20 feet tall! Ha! We love the big ones!! As soon as we got home, I told Patrick, we had to put it up, right away!! He is such a great sport and got right to work! It is absolutely beautiful. I kind of wish we could leave it up, all year!


November came with a bang! We went from costumes and pumpkins, right into Vegas lights, service projects, Utes games, and Turkeys!

 Our anniversary is in November and we love going to our favorite place.... Las Vegas! We met in Vegas, so there is always a special little place in our heart for this city! We had a wonderful weekend away, in a king suite at the Wynn Encore. We have never stayed here before and really liked it! I still love the MGM penthouse suites better, but this one was definitely great, too! We had a great time celebrating each other and just being together! I love this guy of mine!!

We went to see another of our favorite shows, Cirque De Solei,  Le Reve. It was beautiful and probably one of our favorites! This one incorporated water and had lots of amazing diving stunts!

Life doesn't always go as planned....sometimes it's better! We have been blessed with such an amazing life together. It's not a fairytale, it is real; and Patrick Lierd I would live real life with you, over a fairytale, any day! No matter what life brings, you always make me smile and I am beyond excited to keep smiling and laughing with you forever! Another year for the history books! Happy Anniversary, babe! I'll see you in Vegas on Friday. ..bring your ninja turtle pajamas!!
 After we got back, we started the holiday season off with my all-time favorite service project, Operation Christmas Child! We hosted a service project dinner, and had our sweet friends over for a shoebox packing dinner party! 

The kids love to pack shoe boxes to send off, and I love that our kids start off the Christmas season, giving! 

One of the most amazing things, is that our sweet neighbor girls, came with their family to our dinner party last year, and this year, decided to host a packing breakfast party! The girls invited all the girls in the neighborhood and collected 30 boxes! I was so excited, humbled and proud! Amazing job girls!!

Thanksgiving!!!! (not gray Thursday, or the beginning of black friday!) We went to Hanksville, again, with my in laws and we had so much fun! We had a wonderful dinner with my sister in law and her family! We had a great weekend of thankfulness and spending family time playing games and just relaxing! It was wonderful!!
We are so thankful for all that God has given us!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Halloween!! Turtle Power!!

For Halloween this year, we were the Ninja Turtles! Of course the boys were overly excited to be turtles! We even had the dog dress up!

 I went to Kaden's Halloween bash at school and we had fun all dressed up! Then we went to Patrick's brother's house, for their annual Halloween party! We had so much fun! This was a fun family theme and everyone loved it!