Thursday, June 5, 2014

What we're up to!

Trials are something that have been on my mind lately. Whether it's my own trials, or hearing about the trials of others, I've really found myself in deep thought on the subject. Here's what I've come to find through study and prayer.
Every trial in life is meant to make us stronger. To build us up, to strengthen our testimony, and in some cases, to strengthen the testimony's of others. Just remember that! Every. single. trial. has reason and purpose. With our mortal blinders on, it's hard for us to see the entire reason behind trials. 

   The purpose of this life is to be tested. To prove to our Heavenly Father that with faith, keeping the Commandments, and following Christ's teaching, we can make it back to live with him. But we have to do this through faith and faith alone. The only way to be tested is to experience hardships and happiness. To feel sorrow, so we can better understand joy. There is opposition in ALL things. And we have to prove to our Heavenly Father that even through the deepest and hardest trials, we will rise above and overcome. 

I can't even count how many incredible heart felt messages I've received over the past few weeks. People thanking me for sharing my testimony, for being strong when they thought it impossible. For strengthening their testimony by simply sharing mine.. I have seen how many people have been touched by this event in our life. I know our Heavenly Father needed Miloh on the other side for bigger and better things, but why not also use his story to teach and to strengthen those that are still here in this life. 

We are all placed on this earth at a specific time. A time where our talents and abilities can be used to the fullest to help others along their mortal journey. We are God's instruments, and he uses us to help each other. To lift each others burdens. To strengthen one another. To be there for one another. I know this to be true simply because I could not have made it through these last few weeks without all of the family and friends that surrounded us. Without them, and all the prayers given in our behalf.. I think it's safe to say I would not have ever gotten out of bed. I also have found comfort in reading others blogs.. One of my favorites is from Al Fox- She never fails to post something that I needed to read that day (and the link I tagged of her's was definitely something I was needing to read today). I'm so grateful for everyone who shares their heart through blogs or other social media sites. It's not an easy thing to do, but you can strengthen thousands by doing so.

Switching gears a little bit.. this is what the Hughes fam has been up to this week!

This week we have found ourselves lost in a little project. We've probably spent an unhealthy amount of time on this thing every day, but I really think it's been good for us. Our little camper Lola is getting a revamp! And I think we all know why we chose the color we did ;)

Still not all the way done, but looking mighty cute!

The inside is coming along as well! We basically gutted it, taped off the stove and fridge and took a paint gun to the entire thing. 

We've really made this a family project. Which means little Simon & Cohen have helped all along the way. It has taken us longer by including them, but we have already made so many great memories. This summer is going to be filled with adventures! Thomas is already working on installing the new floors, so stay tuned for the full "after" pictures!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Miloh's Funeral

I don't really know where to begin this post, except by saying Thank you. Thank you to everyone who has said a prayer on our behalf, thought about us, stopped by with a card/flowers/gifts. Thank you to everyone who shared our boys picture and name, even if you don't personally know us. Any time we have gotten on Facebook or Instagram it has put a smile on our face to see him everywhere. My biggest fear was that my sweet little boy who I knew was incredibly special didn't have the chance to show the rest of the world just how special he was. And within 4 days, we saw over 100,000 people on my blog be touched by him. I'm completely amazed.

I won't lie and say any of this has been easy, because it's the hardest thing we have and ever will have to go through. It's a parents worst nightmare, and it's something that I would like to live in denial of every day. Facing the fact that this is real and this is our life is the challenging part. Knowing we must move forward and continue on with our lives is something that seems impossible. We take things day by day, allowing ourselves to grieve and miss our boy. But through consistent scripture study and prayer, we have been uplifted each day with the energy to go on and to be the best parents to our little Simon and Cohen.

Tuesdays memorial services were better then I could have imagined for our little boy. I woke up all through out the night (thinking I had the stomach flu) and spent the majority of the night in front of the toilet. It may have been nerves, but I prayed so hard that I would be able to make it through one of the toughest days of my life. 

I arrived early to the funeral home to meet my mom and set things up. I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when they brought my son in his tiny little casket. I began shaking when they opened it, and I ran over to be next to him. My mom and I both sobbed as we looked at my peaceful Miloh. I touched his hand and told him how much I loved and missed him. I literally felt a warmth around me just standing near him. 

When Thomas and our twin boys arrived, the four of us stood over Miloh. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I wont ever forget this bitter-sweet family moment either. As we began to close his tiny  casket, Simon and Cohen both broke down in tears, reaching for their little brother. We opened it again and they both ran off smiling and happy. They ran around the room kissing different pictures of Miloh during the entire viewing. It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen, and brought a smile to both mine and Thomas's faces.

It's an indescribable feeling to bury your child. But I felt reassurance and peace just looking at him that his body that we were burying, was not my son. Miloh's spirit is what made him my happy perfect child. His body was his shell, and our body's are nothing without our spirits. Believing and knowing this is what gave me comfort through out the ceremony. Being in tune with the spirit to be able to recognize him all around me also gave me great comfort.

Here's a few pictures we were able to capture through out the day
(If you were wondering about all the orange- Everything I made for Miloh was always orange, so the color reminds us of him) :)

Utah SHARE made those hand and foot molds of Miloh right after he passed. They are so precious to me!
We plan on doing some sort of fundraiser for them. They were so much help to us through this time and because they're non-profit, they did everything for free.

Simon pointing to Miloh

Cohen giving Miloh kisses

Thomas watching his video

My 2 brothers with Cohen

The cemetery was beautiful with it being the day after Memorial Day!

My cousin Lauren got this picture of Cohen. Everything about it is absolutely perfect! But something even more amazing about it is the baby face you can see in the top left corner. I see it as our little Miloh there with us in spirit! And as silly as it may be to anyone else, it's given me comfort. Most people see things like this (and other things in life as well) as a simple coincidence. But I believe coincidences are God's tender mercies.

"The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish? Some do falter as they find themselves unable to rise above their challenges. To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself."-(REFERENCE)

When  all of this happened, I saw that I had two choices. I can let this brake me and I can live in misery thinking how unfair it all is, or I could use the situation for good. It was really hard to make that second choice. But It's a lot easier to live with peace in your heart and mind instead of anger. I have yet to be angry. That is a choice I have made, and I won't allow myself to feel that way. I think because of this, God has given me more strength then I ever thought possible. It's not anything I can even describe, because I don't understand how we have kept our heads up through this all. The only honest explanation is that HE has given us the strength.  

Wednesday morning, we woke up to a different feeling in our home. It made us realize how strongly we felt Miloh here the past week. I never wanted to leave because the feeling was so powerful in our home. Today it feels a little different. In his place is a feeling of peace. I know Miloh is busy doing the Lord's work, but that doesn't mean he isn't with me. Anytime I pray and ask to feel him near I will feel him. But the strong feeling we are now left with is peace and comfort. 

"'Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with His comforting words:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."- (REFERENCE)

For most of my life, I've leaned on the testimony's of others to believe our church's teachings. I wanted to believe, but I always looked outward for my answer when I should have been reflecting and looking inward. I should be praying and asking in faith what is and isn't true. The spirit will testify to your spirit, and the truth will be undeniable. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father in my entire life then I do right now. I pray that my faith and testimony will give someone some sort of hope until you no longer have to lean on mine or others testimony's, but you too will have the unwavering faith in it as well. Nothing will bring you more joy and happiness than this!

I am a better person than before. A better mom, a better wife, and a better friend. I am more sympathetic to my fellow man, I am more trusting and more faithful. I don't take things for granted, and I look for the best in any situation. Miloh has changed me more than anyone ever could. I know that was just a part of Heavenly Fathers plan. For Miloh to come and grow our family closer together and to help both me and Thomas gain a much stronger testimony then we ever thought would be possible to have. 

 "'We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before."-(REFERENCE)

The last thing I wanted to add, was the gratitude we have for everyone who has participated in our #HugsForHughes movement. It has been so fun watching all the different people from all over the world participate in this! A few days ago I asked everyone to take a picture hugging someone and use that # so we could see them all. This was my request simply because when I felt the need to go upstairs and give Miloh a hug and kiss on Tuesday, May 20th, and I neglected to listen to that prompting, I was left regretting that I didn't give my baby that one last hug and kiss. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. I never in a million years imagined I would have to endure such a tragedy. So with that being said, I challenge everyone to go hug someone right now and continue this movement of love! (Use the #HugsForHughes and/or tag me and my husband on Instagram @ashleyhuze / @tkhughes718)

We have also seen several pictures of people letting go of orange balloons in our little boys behalf. From Mexico, Hawaii, Texas, California, Utah, Florida, New York and more! His story has touched people from all over the world! He has also touched more people in the 5 months that he was alive then most people are able to in a lifetime! And for that, we are grateful!

(Here's just a FEW pictures from Instagram and Facebook! We love them ALL! Keep them coming! Also thank you to everyone who wore the color orange, anytime we see it we will always think of Miloh!)

We LOVE you Miloh. We will never forget you. Our family is FOREVER.