Monday, December 27, 2010

We all have a part in the Christmas Story

Here is a little Christmas poem I wrote for my Primary kids!

To live a life as pure and clean as little Jesus did, 
is hard to do for me and you,
we make mistakes and sin.

But when we make a promise to take upon his name--
to hear his charge to change our hearts, 
and let his spirit in....
we will shine as brightly as the star on Christmas night,
and guide all those around us to his pure and perfect light.

And like the holy angels, who sang about his birth,
we can tell the story of his coming to the earth.
We can kneel before him, as the lowly shepherds did,
and give our hearts and all we have
like the wise men gave their gifts.

We were not there that holy night, to hear the angels sing.
But we're here NOW to share the LOVE of our
Savior, Lord and King!!

The Christmas Grump!

I was really  grouchy on Christmas day this year!  I just couldn't get into the fun and excitement.  I tried, but my heart was somewhere far away.  I felt like I wanted to burst out bawling and throw myself into bed for the remainder of the day.  I was completely lonely in a house filled with people I love and I felt like there was no one who could understand how I was feeling.

I felt burdened with weird emotions, frustrations, annoyances and hard feelings that I just couldn't shake.  The more I felt them, the angrier I got with myself for feeling so weird and for choosing Christmas day, of all days to throw my inner pity party.  It was a lame party....let me tell ya.

Just the night before I had made a personal commitment to be more grateful for all of the good and "not so good" in my life, and here I was, already feeling sorry for myself and finding it most difficult to be happy on the happiest day of the year!

Tyler dropped me off at home in the afternoon to put the girls down for their naps, and then he quickly returned to his parent's house to play games and hang out with his family!  I was trying my hardest to hold all of my emotions down, just waiting to let them burst after he shut the door, but he paused on his way out to thank me for the Christmas gift I had given him this year (which was very sweet of him), and I couldn't hold it in for another second and burst into tears!  I wouldn't even accept his offer for a hug and just told him to go.

I had a good, hard, deep cry letting out all of my sadness and bitterness.  Sadness and bitterness that had a million origins. I didn't even know all of it existed until then.  When I look back at it, I can see that it had been building up for a long time, little aches and pains in my heart that I didn't really know what to do with, so I'd just grit my teeth and try not to lash out in anger.
After my cry I just sat on the couch thinking about how I was feeling.  Why was everything hurting me like it was?  I still don't know for sure.  What I do know is that sometimes life just does.  People are imperfect and we ourselves are imperfect, and sometimes our expectations don't line up with the desires and behavior of others.  People hurt us without even meaning to, and the unfortunate truth is some people are just a little too selfish.  It's all okay though, because we are learning.  We are all in need of repentance and forgiveness and on that day when we celebrated the birth of our Savior, I realized once again, just what he means to me.  How constantly I need him, and how all of the sadness and bitterness he took upon himself, was to allow me the choice to leave it with him, and not have to carry it all on my own.

Truly something to celebrate!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fine and Fancy

When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me I'd need to marry a wealthy man to please my taste for pretty and expensive things!  She used to say it with a tone in her voice that made me feel badly about my love of all things fine and fancy!  

As I've grown into a woman, I realize I don't need a wealthy man, but rather a man who loves the fact that beautiful things speak to my heart and when possible, honors my desire to be surrounded by that beauty.

For quite some time, I have admired a work of art entitled "For This Child I Prayed" by Elspeth Young.  It is a moving depiction of Hannah and the baby Samuel from the bible.  I have always loved the story of this brave woman who longed for the role of motherhood and promised the Lord that the child would be his, if he would just bless her with a son.  What a faithful and beautiful woman Hannah was!  I love a good story of feminine strength!!

This piece of art expresses something I feel deeply as a mother! It warms my heart with all of the joy and gratitude I feel for the babies I love!  It is more than art.  To me it is a masterpiece and whenever something touches me this deeply, I long to have it in my home.

A month or so ago, Tyler surprised me with this very painting and reminded me that enjoying the things that move your heart is an important part of this life.  Wealthy (which he is in so many ways), or not, my sweetheart has blessed me with many beautiful things over the years, and I love him so deeply for that.

I was reading a book about Marjorie Pay Hinckley a short time ago, where she tells a story of one of her travels to a distant and not so prosperous land.  She entered the tiny, modest home of a family and saw up on a high shelf a simple pitcher filled with plastic flowers!!  It put a smile on her face to see a mother doing her part to beautify her home.....even if it is with one vase of fake flowers!

As women, we put the final touch on our home, and creating a place of warmth and beauty is a part of utilizing our creative power!  "Fine and fancy" is in the eye of the beholder.  What is beautiful to me may not be to you.  The point I am trying to make here though,is that it's okay to love something beautiful.....that is what we were created to do!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Great Gratitude Experience

I am on a quest for complete joy and connection in my life, and I've had a brilliant idea!  This is a brilliant idea for MY situation and MY needs, but I think it applies to everyone and I want to share it and invite everyone I know to join in!

I am calling it "The Great Gratitude Experience of 2011", and my goal this new year is to blow my gratitude into a great big epic ball of energy that will heal myself, my family and the whole world!!! 

A little too ambitious?  Perhaps, but I honestly feel that if we can put more focus on giving thanks to God and those around us for what we DO have, amazing transformations can take place in our lives and I am set on proving that to myself in this next year of my life!!

2010 has been a beautiful year for me!  I think I can say I am a better version of myself now, having experienced this year!  I have so much to be grateful for.....we all do, and it serves us a great deal, to look for those things and then actually give thanks for them!

"Do we want our homes to be happy? If we do, let them be the abiding place of prayer, thanksgiving and gratitude"  
~President George Albert Smith 1944  

And who wants a happy home?  Hello.......all of us!
"Gratitude is a Spirit‑filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence."  
~Bonnie D. Parkin  2007

By being grateful, we become better people, and the beautiful thing is that it opens us up to receive those things we actually are lacking or desperately needing in our lives!

So here is my idea!

1- Buy yourself a journal, or notebook or stack of paper, and the first assignment is to simply write out exactly what you wish your life could look like.  This is your big chance to vent about all of the things that are lacking in your life, but instead of writing about what you don't have just write up a description of the way you want your life to look!  Include the type of person you wish to be as well.

2 - Find yourself a "Gratitude Buddy", someone who wants to participate in this with you.

3 - Everyday at some point write down at least 5 things you are grateful for that day.  

4- When you say your prayers be sure to give thanks to Heavenly Father for the good things you have noticed during your day!

5 - Once a week email or text your list from the week (up to 20 things) to your Gratitude Buddy, and they should email their list to you.  What this does is hopefully create an energy of optimism in your life.  If you want to, you can email your list to a whole group of people!

6 - At the end of the year look at that first page you wrote, about all of the things you hope for, and see how much closer you are to having that life, and to being that person!!
My guess is that it will "surprise you what the Lord has done"! (Count Your Many Blessings)

We don't need to dwell so much on what is lacking in our lives, or how badly we feel things are going, or the ever popular....I'll be happy when....statements! It seems like we spend too much time discussing all of our problems and disappointments with those around us, which isn't always bad, it is good to have friends to lean on and support us through trials, but what if we shifted our focus off of our lack and placed in on our blessings?  I guarantee our desire to complain will go down, and we will be blessed beyond what we think possible!!

"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."  ~Doctrine and Covenants 78:19

So are you with me?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angry Thighs

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself, and thought, "WHO IS THAT?"  

It happened to me on our trip to Oregon.  We were going over some pictures from the beach and I kept thinking, who is that plump lady playing with my children?  When I realized it was me, I felt my heart sink.  I didn't even recognize myself.

During the last few months, my body has packed on a significant amount of extra weight, and I have felt almost powerless to stop it.  It started during my training for the 5K this last summer, and it hasn't slowed down!  It feels like it is on some kind of mission to bust out of every pair of pants and stretch out every sweater I own!  I've done a lot of thinking and analyzing my situation, and it seems as though my body is crying out for my attention.  It seems it is looking for acceptance, patience, love.  All the things I haven't been giving it, and is acting out, it is rebelling, and it is waiting for me to accept it, no matter how big it is!!

In the book, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, she talks about different parts of the body and the possible emotions they are holding on to.  One thing that stood out to me was a comment she made about "big, fat, angry thighs filled with childhood resentments."  I had to reread it a few times!  My thighs are one of the places I have always carried extra weight, and the theory is that there are emotions stored in different parts of the body. One of the places anger is stored is in the thighs!  


If this is true, I really feel sorry for my thighs!  They have been carrying around my anger, suffering with the heavy load, which right heavier than ever!  I don't feel that angry on a conscious level, but it would not surprise me to know that anger is festering deep down inside.  The sad part is that my thighs continue to grow, they are bumping into furniture, knocking down small children, and making a tight fit out of everything.

Growing thighs make me feel panicky, like I'm in a fight I just can't win, and the more I dwell on it, the weaker I become.

The other day, while doing my hair, a scripture came to my mind, so I went and looked it up.  As I read it, I felt the spirit explain to me that I have been battling against my body, when in reality there is only one enemy.  He works night and day to shift the focus off of him, and onto something that is not even the real problem.  My body is not the enemy and just like so many other areas of my life, it is just lacking my love and attention.  In order for it to heal, I must trust it, and treat it with respect.  And if I must battle (and battle we must), the fight should be for my family because that is my job, and everyday it requires my faith and vigilance.  There is no time to compare my angry thighs to any other person's.

And who knows, maybe they won't be so angry when I quit picking on them so much!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Someone to love

Isn't love amazing?  I mean really!  I've watched my two girls, from the moment they are old enough to grasp a soft bear or dolly, hold and cuddle and kiss them just as though they knew they were born to love.  Their little caring hearts long to nurture everything soft and warm.

I know some women are more nurturing than others, but the gift of warmth and the need to comfort is innate, and I don't think anything puts a smile on my face faster than seeing love in its purest most organic form.  It is this love from my children that heals me and puts me in my place.  It whispers that there is a God.  A home in a faraway and lovely place, that our babies are sent to remind us of.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Charming Babies

While we were driving the streets of Coos Bay and North Bend last week, we saw the cutest little house for sale!  I gasped, and told Tyler "we just had to buy it".  He said something like, "Well I guess we could walk up to the door and show them our charming babies"  to which I replied, "Who wouldn't want to sell their home to someone with charming babies? It will be ours for sure!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hungry for Sand

For me, the coast is magical, and I think I know the magic my girls felt as they ran barefoot on the beach, dug their tiny fingers in the cool sand and gathered sea shells, sticks and rocks in their tight little fists and bulging pockets.

They ran, skipped, waddled, jumped, twirled, splashed and reveled in the grandeur and magnificence of the world around them.

Rewind to my twentieth birthday. The day I entered a new decade of life, I also boarded a plane and flew to Los Angeles to be a nanny!  It was there where I fell in love with the beach and the wind and the waves!  During that year we lived in Vancouver BC for a short time.  On a day off, we took a day trip to the near by mountains!  We rode a gondola up.....higher and higher until everything was covered in a thick white snow!  The soft white made everything feel slow and quiet.  As we stepped off the gondola, we stepped into a winter wonderland!  Children were bundled in mittens and snow caps.  They laughed and chased each other around on a small ice skating pond.  A horse drawn carriage brimming with rosy cheeked faces trotted through the trees.  There was skiing, sledding, and a beautiful mountain lodge to escape the wintry nip and warm yourself with a huge mug of hot chocolate.  It was a scene from a Norman Rockwell calendar.  Complete perfection.

At the conclusion of our afternoon in the clouds we worked our way back to the valley and ended our day on the beach.  My young heart pounded as I stood face to face with the crashing waves. The cold wind sent my hair whipping out behind me free and wild.  All of us held hands and screamed into ocean, something we often did together.  It was therapeutic, and in the end always turned into laughter.  On that day I felt so small in a big world.  I knew I was small, but I also knew I was an important part of this big picture!!  I felt like the Grinch with a heart that grew and grew until it would burst.  I wasn't a Grinch....just a changed person.   I had a new love for the world I lived in.  That day I grew hungry for sand and waves and trees and mountains and worlds within this world that I had not yet seen.  

A traveler was born.

Our trip to the Oregon coast reawakened this sense of wonder and awe at the creation God offered as our home.  We are lucky.

Our days on the beach were magic.  The warmth and sun and cool breeze in November where so unusual and I took it as a big "I love you" from a generous Father in Heaven.  

As we wandered the small trail away from the shore, Emilee whispered in my ear...."Mama, I'm hungry for sand".  I smiled.

A traveler is born.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Life Near The Sea

Howard and Haroldene live near the sea, in a perfectly charming blue house with blue walls, and even a blue hard wood floor.  Surrounded by rose bushes and knick-knacks and walls lined with books and photo albums, you can't help but feel the history and stories that make up their beautiful life together.

 Their faithful companion, Rosie, scurries about under foot and excitedly greets us with heavy panting and rough doggy kisses.  

My girls are in heaven.....and so am I.  

It is our first time meeting this part of our family.  Tyler has told us of their wit and together they make the perfect couple.....the perfect grandparents.  The type who dote on you and make you feel like the most lovable creature in all the world.  Being there in their presence only proved him right.

Emilee collapses in slumber on a nearby chair, completely worn out from our travels and adventures, as the rest of us enjoy a slide show.  You know, with the slide projector and one of those old white screens.  It is absolutely perfect!  Each slide that flashes by paints the picture of grandma's dream.   

To live in a look out tower on a mountain top.  

As the story goes, she took a job in her fifties, for the forest service at a forest fire look out.  She and her dog Maggie lived on the mountain every summer for ten years, and grandpa would visit on the weekends.  Grandma was good at her job, and living a dream made everything magic.  A tiny cabin perched on a cliff, equipped with wood burning stove, the perfect mountain view and dotted with vases full of wild flowers.  It was her home....and she made it her own.  Everything was more beautiful because she had been there.

I smiled, listening to them talk over each other, hastily trying to include every detail, then grandpa would apologize for interrupting and both would sit in silence for a moment waiting for the other to finish the story. They were so proud of their life together and the things they accomplished were important to us, because they were important to them.
Their stories made me cherish my own.  It made me realize that my life is the story I will someday tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

Grandma's health has been failing in the last few years, and as a result Grandpa has taken over all of the household duties.  Watching him take care of his sweetheart was so touching.  It was evident that their years together had forged a love for her in his heart that was real and deep and long suffering.  On the first night we were there I came into the kitchen to dish some dinner up for Tyler.  Grandpa quickly thanked me for "taking care of my guy", reminding me that when we love someone we must serve them.  His example taught me this more than anything he could ever say.

As we backed out of their drive way on a Friday afternoon, the image of them sending us on our way, filled me up completely.  I knew I had been given something valuable.  I had been tutored in love and encouraged by a wisdom greater than my own.  I think I saw more clearly the value of family and how we are all in this together!

Grandma and Grandpa,
I loved sharing a small part of your life near the sea!  Everything about our visit inspired love and restored the magic of adventure in me!  You showed me what it means to be generous and inspired me to take care of everyone and everything around me.  Thank you for all of the gifts you give.

I'll love you forever and ever.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once upon an All Hallow's Eve

The year was 1999, and I was partying it up before the new millennium arrived and the world ended, computers crashed and chaos ensued....or whatever such things we were all convinced would happen!  

Partying is a term I'm using quite loosely here though, because instead of dancing on tables and lifting drinks into the air in the throes of youthful rebellion, I was at the mall buying conservative skirt and shirt combos, sensible dressy walking shoes, and toiletries galore.  I was packing bags, tying up loose ends, and preparing to make a mark on the world....... in my own little way!  

I was going to be a missionary, and my party was a going away party.

For a year and a half I would be gone.  Gone from home and family.  Gone from television, music, shopping and hanging with friends.  In the absence of familiarity I would come to know the real purpose of life, the essence of our day to day existence, the greatest source of earthly joy.  

Love and service.  
Love of God, through service to his children.  This, my friends, is the sure route to real happiness.

And so, on October 31st 1999 I spoke my farewell to a congregation of fellow believers.  The faces of my most loved and cherished beamed up at me in acceptance of my meager offering to the world.  While the rest of the world celebrated with costumes and candy, we celebrated with family and friends.

I've decided that the real trick to growing up or gracefully maturing, is simply treating yourself to things that will give you the greatest experience!

Don't be scared of what YOU have to offer the world! No matter how small it feels....Let it shine!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You said Yes

The other day Tyler was chatting with Emilee on the living room floor.  They were talking about the temple, and Tyler asked, "What do you remember about Mommy and Daddy's wedding?  I'm sure you were there."  She casually looked over at him and smiled.  "You said yes."

We looked at each other in disbelief!  In the temple you say YES instead of I DO!  She was right.....we did say yes!

I like to think that our unborn children are allowed to witness our weddings!  What an awesome celebration it must be for them, knowing that we've made the commitment that will bring them into the world!

This conversation reminded me of a dream I had years ago!  It was one of the most vivid and real dreams I have ever had!  I kind of suspect that it was more than a dream......a memory perhaps?  In this dream I was there that rainy October day in 1977 to witness the wedding of my parents!  I saw them walking out of the temple.  I saw them happy and in love.....and so young!!  When I awoke, I felt like I had time was awesome!

My mother was pregnant with me two weeks after the wedding, which means if I was present at their wedding, I knew I would soon be on my way!  33 years ago on a rainy October day, my journey was about to begin!

I am forever grateful for my Mother and Father who, when asked if they would love each other for eternity, didn't hesitate to say YES!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funny Feet

When I turned 8 years old, my Dad was away at Basic Training somewhere in the Southern United States!  I missed him, and it felt like forever since I had seen him.

We spent most of the summer, while he was gone, in Garrison on my Grandma and Grandpa's ranch!  It was magic!!  Hours and hours spent outdoors, wandering, exploring, and pretending!  Playing with cousins and enjoying the freedom of childhood!

I knew that when I turned 8, it would be time for me to be baptized.  I knew this was a big deal and there was still so much for me to learn and understand about the promises I would soon be making.

I was a happy child on one hand, but I was also a worrier, I felt even at my young age, that I had a lot of things to repent of......dark and serious things.  A lot of it stemmed from fears and emotions related to things I wrote about in THIS POST.  Along with my worries, I also struggled with a lot of insecurity.

I wanted to be baptized by my father, so I waited until he returned, and on a beautiful October day I stood with my Dad, both of us dressed in white.  Now, being a Mother myself, I can imagine the feelings my parents must have felt that day.  I imagine they felt in awe at how fast the years had gone by and how quickly I had grown.

I was recently asked what I remembered about my baptism day.  I know it was a beautiful and important day.  I remember feeling so clean and shiny.  I remember a feeling of sweetness and satisfaction when I was confirmed.  The thing I remember the most though, is how I hid my feet under the pew as I listened to the talks, for fear of someone noticing my funny looking feet!  WHAT?  What 8 year old child is worried about what their feet look like?

I was.

I don't know all of the reasons I felt ugly at such a young age.  It breaks my heart to think of my little self carrying such feelings of guilt, and embarrassment about my body.  I am still trying to work through those issues, all these years later.  The good news is, that on that October day so many years ago, I was touched by the power of the Atonement.  I was given a gift of comfort and companionship, a voice of reason in a dark world.  I knew without a doubt that I was known and loved by an all powerful and very personal Father in Heaven.

I wanted to be wherever that love was.  I wanted to find that place of safety, light, and happiness.

God has been so good to me, because even as I write this, I realize I am there.  I have so much to be grateful for!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Ballerina

I think I have found my new mantra!

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."
*George Eliot*

Sometimes I wonder why I didn't become a dancer?  I love to dance.  When I was a little girl, I used to pretend I was a ballerina. I would move my tiny arms in graceful movements. I would dip and twirl and daintily prance around the house.

Then I grew up, and I used to live for the weekend institute dances! The music was a call I could not ignore and the dance floor was my stage.  No one was watching, and it wasn't about attention.  It was about expression and it felt so good to move, and laugh, and live it up!!
 Now I hesitate to move my body that way and I can't quite figure it out.  I think it might be due to the extra pounds weighing me down.  It could be that I don't feel like myself anymore, and because of the embarrassment I feel for my bigger body, I've allowed areas of my heart and soul to wither away.  Parts that used to make me happy!

There are other things too, like...
Why didn't I ever try out for a play in high school, or stick with violin, or flute or guitar?  Why didn't I ever tell certain boys that I "liked" them?

Why wasn't I more generous, kind, outgoing and adventurous?  What could my life have been like?  What would I be like now?

I've wondered that from time to time.

I can't imagine God placing time limits and expiration dates on His dreams and goals.  Who knows how "old" he was when he created you.....or me.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't place limits on ours either.  That is usually our own doing.

I know this little ballerina is somewhere inside of me, even now.  And when I've found the love inside that doesn't judge my size, shape, age and limitations...

...I hope she'll dance again!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that October is my favorite month of the year.....and it's not because of Halloween, because quite frankly, I'm not that into Halloween.

No, for me it has more to do with the feeling, the color and the memories.

October is the perfect combination of warm and cold and the perfect backdrop for happiness.  You get to wear tights and jewel tones, and you don't have to wear a jacket, but you can.......if you really want to!

I remember a stormy October night 11 years ago.  It was a night of great importance in my young life.....I was going to the Temple in preparation to serve a mission, and more importantly, in preparation for the rest of my life, and all those heartfelt renditions of "I Love to see the Temple.....I'm going there someday" somehow brought me to this October night!  Inside that hallowed building I made promises to God and to myself.  Promises that I was finally ready to make and in so doing, even without noticing it, I was a different person.  It was the most beautiful thing I had experienced and it was huge and important and I felt the warmth that only the spirit can bring.  I realized that there is so much to learn, and even though I caught only a small portion of it on that first visit, I knew it was true and I knew that I was loved and important to my Heavenly Father.
On the way home, dark clouds and cold wind swirled around us, but all the cold in the world couldn't penetrate the warmth I was feeling.

It was good.

This month of October is making me feel reminiscent, and even a little emotional.  A lot of the greatest events in my life have taken place in October.  I think I will write more about them through out the remainder of the month!

Now off to eat some pumpkin chili!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Is anyone hungry for a delicious burrito baby?

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lovely Letter

I want a pen-pal!

I've been obsessed with the idea lately and I'm on a quest to revive the forgotten charm of letter writing.  
I really want to buy pretty note cards and stationary and send little bits of my heart out to an unfamiliar place.  I want to  learn about someone interesting, with good ideas and a life that is different and new!

On the other hand........I want to reconnect with familiar places.

My cousin's and I used to write letters to each other growing up.  Unfortunately I have been so negligent when it comes to keeping in touch with people I love and care about.  
I recently went through a bunch of old boxes and found stacks and stacks of old letters from my childhood.  I only kept a handful of them, as there were too many to read and store.  In this process though, a little fire was lit inside and the need to share love and words has been swirling around inside me ever since.

There is something so warm and nostalgic about a handwritten letter, and it is always fun to have something real and personal waiting for you in the mailbox.

I think it would be fun to start a club where paper, pen, envelopes and stamps carry words of love and encouragement to people all over the world. Everyone who joins would be paired up with another member and for a whole year you would send and receive a monthly letter.  It could be about anything, but it would need to be positive and inspiring.....something to look forward to receiving!

I know writing letters isn't a new idea, but It feels fresh and exciting, considering the fact that everything is digital nowadays!
If anyone can match me up with a pen-pal....please let me know!


Friday, October 1, 2010

A Good Day

Five years ago today I found myself in my cozy bed in a tiny Orem apartment.  I was tired and didn't feel well.  Lying there in the dark I sensed someone enter my room.  It was Tyler, and he softly whispered for me to get up and get dressed and meet him in the living room!

"Whoa, wait......what time is it?", I thought.  "How did you get into my apartment?"  Everything was a swirl of confusion, sickness, and excitement!  It was a Saturday, and not just any Saturday.  It was General Conference Saturday, and I was excited to sleep in, and lazily lounge around the house listening to words of hope and counsel.

I jumped up and dressed in the dark, tried to comb my hair and met Tyler in the living room!  He seemed nervous and excited.  I couldn't say I was unaware of what was going on.  It was a short time before, that I had finally agreed.  It was time for us to be together forever.  We hurried out to his truck and together we started toward the mountains.  He had a back-pack filled with snacks and had even purchased a radio, so we could listen to the first session of conference together on top of squaw peak.  As I mentioned before, I wasn't feeling well, so it didn't take long before I broke down!  I felt horrible.  I knew he had put a lot of thought into his plan and I knew it would all be wonderful, but I just couldn't do it!  The work of hiking and climbing and straining and sweating was more than I could take considering the nausea and headache.  I sobbed, not because of how I was feeling physically, but because of  how I was feeling inside.  The last thing I wanted to do was ruin this important day.

Together we sat on the side of the trail and he held me while I cried.  We went back to the truck and he drove me home.  I remember he was so sweet and so understanding.  The truth was, it didn't matter where it happened.  After our long and emotional journey to this point, it just felt good to have our focus on eternity.

We watched conference together.  I don't really remember all of the details of the day, but I do remember that sometime after 4:00 p.m. we took a drive up Provo canyon and basked in the beauty of a changing season, both literally and figuratively.  This is my favorite time of year and there is nothing like being surrounded by the warmth of Fall kissed mountains!  I was in heaven!

We arrived at Sundance.  We found a place to pull off the road and together we walked up into the trees.  Tyler was nervous and knelt down in the leaves.  A car pulled up a few yards away disturbing our  peace and he quickly jumped to his feet.  We quietly waited until they drove away.  Again he knelt down and took my hands.  He began to speak his emotional request, when quite unexpectedly a man came bursting through the bushes  just a few feet away!  Again Tyler jumped to his feet!  We were both startled and quite surprised and laughed at the timing of the interruptions.  The whole thing was kind of rushed, because Tyler had to be back by 6:00 p.m. for the Priesthood session.

Finally after much distraction and interruption, he asked me the question......and I said YES!

I know his plans for that day included something a little more beautiful and meaningful than what actually transpired, but there is a spot....a beautiful and sacred spot in the golden trees of Sundance where our lives changed, and the days that have passed from that day to this, have brought us more joy and growth than I could have ever hoped for as I stood in that spot.

Today, my heart is filled and bursting with gratitude for a man who has been willing so often to stop on the side of the trail and hold me while I struggle through our journey together.  He has been willing to make alternate plans......plans that have sometimes been different than the original, but more beautiful than either of us could have ever hoped!                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love & Photographs

photo taken from Love & Photographs
I have a new button on my sidebar for Love & Photographs!!  I discovered this shop where you can find clothing from Anthropologie at extremely discounted prices!!  I'm talking super cheap!  They are used clothes, but pshhh.....they are still cute right? She sells other brands as well!  You should totally check it out!

Mommy Monster

Emilee has entered a new phase.....a phase of perpetual fear.  Her dreams are vivid and haunting.  Some of them have lingered until real world becomes confused with dream world, and there is no convincing her that everything is going to be alright.

Sure there are plenty of things in the real world that could hurt her, but one so little shouldn't be followed around by worry and fright.  It breaks my heart to watch her lay in her bed trying to be brave with her blanket over her head as not to catch a glimpse of the scary monkey in the closet!! 

I can't help but wonder if all of this fear happens to correlate to my new phase.....the scary grumpy mommy phase.  

During the last few weeks I have had moments and even days that cause me to cringe and hang my head in shame.  Where there should be love, patience and warmth, I have shown up with screeching disapproval and reprimands.  I have snapped at the littlest of things.  I have said no, when I should have, and could have said yes and I have created a home of chaos and disorder with my selfish grumpiness!  No wonder my daughter stays awake at night worrying about all of the most frightening things her little imagination can conjure.  How can I expect her to believe my assurances when they are bumped up against my own fears and anxiety?

Last night after I tucked my precious babies into bed, I slipped away to my own bed and looked for comfort and reassurance in the only place I know how.  I prayed for strength and peace to flow into my heart.  I want to lead my daughters by example, and matching temper tantrum with temper tantrum isn't what I was intending.

I found my strength and peace in these words:

"Children rise higher when they are treated with respect.  Use courteous and respectful language when you talk with one another.  We have always had pretty clear expectations in our home about using respectful language.  One day our little granddaughter had been playing with a friend and came home quite upset about something the friend had said.  Her mother asked her what it was.  She responded, "Well, it's such a bad word I can't say it, but it was shut (point upward)!"
A world famous psychologist, Bruno Bettleheim, said at the age of eighty-four, "You can't teach children to be good.  The best you can do for your child is to live a good life yourself.  What a parent knows and believes, the child will lean on."
You don't teach a child not to hit by hitting.  We cannot expect to be respected if we treat others in demeaning ways."

Marjorie Pay Hinkley 
(one of my favorite ladies)

I know moms get grumpy.....I get that!  I know we work hard and tend to whining children and clean up messes all day.  Sometimes it can be wearing and frustrating!  What I am NOT okay with is seeing myself behave as anything but loving. 

I must say I'm relieved I woke up today!  That I am still breathing!  I'm taking it as a good sign that the Lord still trusts me to love these girls and do better today!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Adeline swinging at her birthday pinata

This morning I held Adeline in my arms and looked into her bright eyes. They beamed up at me and without warning she planted a perfect little kiss right on my lips. We hugged and smiled at each other. I told her it was her birthday, that one year ago today she entered the world and expanded my heart. I thanked her for being a part of my life!

Emmy and I sang her a rousing "Happy Birthday", and she smiled.

I love this tiny girl. I love her voice, her laugh, and her warm and generous heart!! She is so amazingly affectionate. She cuddles and hugs and kisses all on her own accord. It is absolutely heart melting. Is there any more perfect gift than the love of a chubby cheeked baby?!!

Adeline, your sunshine warms me through and through! My lips are worn thin from the accumulated hours of kissing your glorious cheeks. I adore you, and am inspired by your sense of discovery and your determination to climb higher and higher!!

You don't speak much yet, but I sense in you a contentment that you didn't have in your early months. I do believe that you are fully embracing your new adventurous life. I know you feel, safe and loved. I can feel it when I hold you.

Today, the rest of the world goes on as usual, but I will quietly celebrate your perfect little life and all you are becoming!!! Being your mother is a dream come true!

I love you tiny!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful Crochet

Doesn't this image make you want to take up crocheting?

I would love to see colorful afghans piled up around the house, cheerfully warming little bodies and adding color to the drab days of winter!

I guess I'd better pick up some yarn and dig out my crocheting needles!!

*image found here

Crisp, Cool, Warm and Fuzzy

Summer swept through quietly, rosy cheeked and happy! Somehow we only managed one pool party on the lawn. It's kind of sad and very disappointing for my little Em, but we did manage a few sprinkler runs and camping trips. It has been a good summer.

For weeks now I have been waiting for the first of September to drop my cinnamon apple into the Scentsy warmer. For me part of the appeal of Fall is the smell of Fall. I love the warm pumpkin breads and apple cobblers. The homey aroma of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg! I LOVE Autumn. The colors are glorious, fiery and warm.

It's so lovely walking under the warm sun with the crisp cool air on your face. For me this approaching season conjures up everything cozy and nostalgic. It signifies the "getting back to business" time of year, with schools back in session and summer laziness all wrapped up in a pretty package and placed back up on the shelf. The exciting part is that another pretty package gets to come down. I look forward to the sweaters and socks again, and the familiar smell and warmth of our little wood burning stove.

I only wish this time of year lingered a little longer!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Envy My Cooking!

I was introduced to an adorable blog by my sister-in-law today! It's called Envy My Cooking and they have an awesome giveaway!

These two adorable aprons are up for grabs! I've already decided I'm going to win them, but I guess it's worth a shot if you want to check it out! *wink

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just Imagine

Isn't childhood fascinating? Being little in a world that is so big, seeing so many things for the first time? I wish I could remember how it all felt.

It's not that we come to earth as clean slates. We've existed forever. But because of forgetfulness, we are rediscovering things, and because of this mortal life....we are learning to manage a body and figuring out how to enjoy this physical world.

As a mother, I get to be a witness to this discovery, and I must say......It is beautiful to behold!

Imagining you are something bigger, better and more capable is all a part of childhood. In all this complexity of a forgetful spirit in a tiny body there is so much power and determination. We come to this earth full of it! It shoots from our beaming little faces and our shiny little eyes. We have been sent here with a mission.....a message from God. We can feel it just bubbling out of our fingers and toes in crazy bursts of energy. We come eager to fulfill the plan.

We are never more alive than we are as a child.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

True Love

Every year here on the ranch we experience what I'm going to call "moth season". The timing seems to be different each year, unless I'm just forgetting what time it occurred last year, which could definitely be the case. The moths work their way into our home by any means possible: cracked window, open door, vents, maybe even waiting in your hair and clothes to be smuggled indoors.....who really knows? All I know is that they get in, and they drive me crazy. They leave their red (yes I said red) droppings on everything! Walls, lamp shades, drapes, and now, just now I noticed a big splat on my white teapot! Not only that, but they dive at your head and flutter in your face. They hide in the toaster and come flying out at you as soon as it starts to heat up. They hide in the cupboards in between your dishes and die, then you get to be disgusted as you pull out a plate for lunch and find a dried up moth looking up at you with its wee beady eyes!

All of this brings me to something else. Adeline!

Adeline is the opposite of those moths, she is adorable, sweet, and though she does enjoy diving at my head and fluttering in my face, I love it and welcome it (most of the time)! As I type this she is crawling around the kitchen torturing the moths on the floor and trying to eat any dead ones she finds under the kitchen table (Nasty). Go Addy!

My youngest child, my baby girl, is almost out of the baby stage. A couple of nights ago Tyler and I watched some video taken not too long ago and the changes were obvious! She is growing like the ragweed around our house. Yesterday she walked, unassisted from the couch to the chair where Tyler was sitting. We cheered and celebrated! This led to several more attempts and stumbles, which led to Emilee walking and falling and stumbling.....trying to be like baby and get in on some of the attention!!

For about the first six months of Addy's life she was a total and complete "mama's girl" she was my shadow, my sidekick. She wasn't interested in anyone else......including her daddy! Emilee had always loved her "dadoo", and so I assumed that Addy would too. It kind of concerned me that they weren't bonding. She would scream under his care and insist that I and only I be the one to soothe her troubled heart.

Seasons change though, and as she has grown into a more secure and comfortable version of herself, she has also developed a bad case of the daddy crush! This girl adores her daddy! If Tyler is around, you will most likely find Adeline snuggled against his chest, offering her sweet baby kisses and gazing into his dreamy blue eyes. The way she looks at him tells you, she's got it bad.

I'm pretty sure he's got it too!