Thursday, December 29, 2011
There's minor difficulty associated with this week. The abrupt death of Christmas magic that is suddenly lacking when listening to the music of the season or watching Christmas movies always astounds me. And then there's the struggle to think of all I have accomplished this year and being excited for the new year versus the pull to feel like a continual failure and fear the new year.
But aside from that, this week is great!
Bret calls it National Slacker week. I think that's a brilliant name for it.
There's a leisurely vibe hanging in the air.
The boys are engrossed with new toys and games. And with new toys and games come expanded imaginations and new pretend scenarios. (I could watch these guys pretend and play for hours.)
I barely cook because there's so many leftovers from Christmas that need to be eaten and enjoyed.
I stay up late with my husband eating goodies and watching any Christmas movies we haven't had a chance to watch or taking in a new video one of us received as a gift. (Though I do have to battle some guilt at keeping him up so late when he has to keep a normal work schedule...)
And though the major holiday has passed, there's still the exciting anticipation and preparation for New Years Eve and fun with friends. I'm so excited!!
I LOVE this relaxed week and one last hooplah before getting back to the daily grind.
I'm so thankful to live a life that can include National Slacker Week.
What are you thankful for today?
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sun shining on snow.
Warm smells in busy kitchens.
Wrapping gifts with fun paper.
Classic, feel-good movies.
Brief reprieves from illness.
Soft blankets and warm houses.
Extra gatherings with family and friends.
Reading wonderful stories of Jesus and wonderful Christmases with my family every night before the boys go to bed.
Haltingly plunking out Christmas tunes on the piano, as far as my limited "skillz" will let me.
Walking down the stairs and smelling the Christmas tree.
Lighting up the house and seeing all the lovely lights in the neighborhoods.
Life is good:)
Here's the exciting conclusion to one of my favorite Christmas movies. Skip to about 5 minutes in and then click on "part 11" when this one finishes. Always always makes me smile!
What are you thankful for today?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
In the years since, I will regularly think (usually after flopping myself on the couch or jumping out of a chair) how wonderfully blessed I am to have a healthy body.
As I've healed from this latest sickness, I realized that it had been longer and longer between those kinds of thoughts. And I don't recall thinking anything like it since the summer at least.
Perhaps this latest bout, among lessons of patience and faith, was a reminder to be grateful for my health and my family's health.
Did it hurt? No? Then you are one lucky person!
Take a deep breath through your nose.
Possible? Catch the delightful scents of Christmas, to boot? Lucky you!
Did you have the strength to shower AND get dressed today? To make a meal for your family? To stand and walk across the room?
Good health is an amazing blessing!
I am taking great pleasure in swallowing without pain and having the strength and energy to be Mom again. And with antibiotics to kill this sinus infection, soon I will enjoy the smells of Christmas, too.
It's the little things:)
Merry Christmas! Happy late Thankful Thursday!
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
One of the reasons I love Christmastime so much is that it is so full of traditions.
Every year, I can expect the same wonderful things to happen and share in them with those I love.
My favorite traditions all take place on Christmas Eve.
I make reuben loaves to go along with our traditional potato soup for a lovely dinner.
We play games, we chat, we eat way too much good food.
And then before the littlest ones head to bed, the best Christmas stuff happens. The whole motley crew gathers into one room and either Bret or my dad (depending on who we're spending Christmas with) reads the Christmas story from the scriptures. We sing Christmas hymns and carols throughout the reading, too. I love singing together:)
I particularly love doing this with Bret's family. As there are more kids, Bret has devised ways to keep their interest longer. We wrap small gifts and each child gets to unwrap a present and read part of the story to the rest of us. Then Bret finds a story that illustrates in a simple way what Jesus has done for each of us and reads that, too. For example, one year this was the story.
We usually end up singing any and all other Christmas songs we can think of before the youngsters head to bed.
It's a beautiful night! One of my favorites in the entire year.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Monday, December 12, 2011
Whatever bug it is that we've been stricken with was formulated by Hades himself. There seems to be no end to it's ability to change and torment us.
Perhaps we get sick so often because I refuse to have the patience to be content with it 90% of the time...
Anyway, I am upset.
In going through my blog roll, I saw that Jocelyn is hosting a Christmas-themed Book of Mormon blog hop.
"What a better way to banish my upset-ness (however momentarily;)) than to share one of my favorite scriptures!?!?," thought I.
To start, back story-
Five years previous, the prophet Samuel announces to the people that the Savior of the world will be born in five years in the land of Jerusalem. As a sign, so these people would know that the Son of God had indeed been born on the other side of the world, there would be no darkness for a day a night and a day. The sun would go down and rise, but there would be no darkness.
Many people believed Samuel. Many didn't.
Those who didn't believe mocked those who did. They also had the audacity to say, "If the sign doesn't happen by such-and-such a date, we're going to kill all of you crazy believers."
Needless to say, the believers were getting pretty anxious and scared, but watched and waited faithfully.
Nephi, a prophet and of course a believer, was none to happy to see such evil among his own people (the unbelievers wanting to kill the believers).
So Nephi went out and prayed. He prayed for his people, he prayed for the believers, he prayed ALL day.
And so we come to the end of my ridiculous summary and to my favorite verses-
3 Nephi 1:12-13
Makes me cry. Every time.
Can you imagine?
Thousands of years of prophets telling people that Jesus is coming.
Your life and the lives of those you loved being threatened by people who refuse to believe the truth.
Knowing that tomorrow! the Redeemer of all mankind was to be born.
I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the testimonies of Christ that I read in it. I am so thankful for this touching story of the very first Christmas in the ancient Americas. And I am looking forward to being healthy with my family and enjoying this beautiful, wonderful, happy season of the year together.
Thank you, Jocelyn, for this chance to share:)
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I've spent the last three days ridiculously sick.
Lucky for me, the last two days were the weekend and Bret could take care of all of us.
I'm a bit scared about tomorrow, but I've been told I'll have the strength and patience I need. So at least we know that we'll come out of this alive;)
I wish that made this easier, though. Listening to little ones cough and knowing they're not sleeping comfortably is HARD. Seeing sweet little boys with glassy eyes and high fevers whimper because they feel so miserable and there's nothing I can do to make them better is HARD. Lying awake at night in pain is HARD. Having someone else take care of me AND my responsibilities is HARD. Getting behind on life and missing fun Christmas activities that only come once a year is HARD.
Being sick/taking care of sick kids is HARD!
I'm looking forward to having this plague behind us. Please send all the good health vibes you can spare our way;)
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
After an insanely long night with Al and/or Goose needing me every 20-40 minutes, they thankfully slept until 9:15 this morning.
After that we were all wrapped up in blankets, watching Christmas movies. There was a brief period when we moved to the living room and laid on the couches there while talking about Christmas.
I am definitely sick, but not as bad as the boys seem to be. I have been able to get up and get what they need, lift and carry, cuddle and hold, and take care of little sickies today without feeling too awful myself.
BUT, it turns out that I have been blessed as their mother and caretaker today. Not five minutes after all my boys were sleeping, my body was flooded with aches and pain. It all settled on me so fast and I knew that I had been strengthened long enough to take care of my boys.
I am thankful for tender mercies like this. I am thankful for Christmas movies. I am thankful for young children who feel better just knowing I'm in the same room with them when they don't feel well. I am thankful that the five days without my husband will be over in just a few minutes. I am thankful for my parents who are so amazingly awesome.
And I am thankful for sleeeeeeep.
What are you thankful for today?
Thursday, December 1, 2011
There. I said it.
It became quite clear to me just a couple days ago that I have quite high levels of sappiness.
See, there's this song.
It's a Christmas song that I grew up hearing, but didn't truly begin to appreciate until my later teen years.
Once I moved out "on my own," I would look forward to coming home for Christmas and putting that CD into the player and skipping to number three to hear the best version of "Angels We Have Heard on High" e v e r.
Imagine my shock when just a few years ago I could not find the CD in the cupboard and no one seemed to know what I was talking about.
WHY hadn't I taken the time to figure out what CD I was listening to all those years?? My song was gone and I had no idea how to find it because I had no clue who performed it. You'd think in this day and age it'd be super easy to find what I was looking for. Well then, you try to find the right version of such a classic hymn. Needle in the proverbial haystack, indeed.
Recently, I was lamenting to my younger brother (who was on his mission back when I discovered the CD missing so he didn't know my plight) that I missed listening to that song, but I didn't know who played it so I couldn't find it.
He looked at me and said simply, "Is that the one with the french horns at the end?"
*heart.stopped* "Yes...you remember it, too?!"
"Yeah. And I think I have it. Want it?"
On Tuesday, he emailed it to me and I tried not to get my hopes up as I clicked on the link to listen to it. Immediately, I recognized it as my long lost song.
I'd been having a bummer of a day, but in that moment this intense feeling of gratitude flooded over me as I got lost in this beautiful song.
I thought about how lucky I was to live in a time when I could experience such amazing music at the touch of a button. I thought about how much I love good music. I thought about how lucky I was to have a brother who pays attention to the details, loves music, and has built a massive collection of amazing songs including ones we both (unbeknownst to me, aka- the oblivious one) loved in our youth (this is not the first time he's helped me find a song). I thought about how ridiculous I was to be crying because the music was so gorgeous...
The intense feeling peaked, along with the music, and I felt like Heavenly Father was saying, "For you, Lindsey." I forget it easily, but that little moment reminded me that Heavenly Father loves me, that he knows me, that he's mindful of me, and that I am doing the right thing with my life.
And so today, I am thankful for music, for brothers, for technology, and for tender mercies.
What are you thankful for today?
P.S. In case you were wondering, it's "Angels We Have Heard on High" from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Joy to the World album.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
We busted out of our routine today.
The amount of children six and under doubled in our home today. It was actually super awesome. I had to lend my ear to excited sharing of goings-on more often and the noise level was even higher than normal, but it was so great to watch my boys have a blast with friends.
It's supposed to get stormy tomorrow and the leaves needed to be off the lawn before the snow sets in, so I raked. And raked. And raked today. Very refreshing to be outside with a gaggle of kids, listening to music, and finally looking over a nice clean lawn prepared for the storm.
I had thoughts of doing some school (even with the extras since we're both homeschooling families using the same curriculum), but after co-op this morning I figured that was enough formal education for the day.
Bret got stuck at work and won't be home in time for me to get to my book club meeting, but my mind is so full of things to be grateful for that I hardly mind. Isn't gratitude great?:)
I am thankful for our co-op. To be part of such an amazing group (headed by inspirational, creative, wise, spiritual, kind, and all around fantastic women) is such a blessing in my life.
I am thankful for grocery stores and the ease it is for me to get fresh food.
I am thankful for good friends.
I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Happiness.
I am thankful for my mom and dad. What great examples they are to me.
I am thankful for my amazing extended family. Each member is priceless to me.
I am thankful for a husband who works hard for our family, honors his priesthood, respects motherhood, loves his wife and sons, helps immensely around the house, makes me laugh, and is handsome to boot!
I am thankful for a patient Heavenly Father who keeps loving me and encouraging me even when I run myself into metaphorical brick walls over and over again.
I am thankful for my life and this wonderful time of year.
What are you thankful for today?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
My husband and I have been having some hard days lately. Don't worry, we're fine:)
After a long day yesterday, made longer by barely seeing each other until ten pm, we crashed in bed and talked about our lows of late. (I love talking with Bret late at night when everything is quiet and dark.) It was a great talk. We put forth the "so now what...what do we do about this" question and an idea popped into my head. Seemingly trite, but fun so I voiced it.
"Let's think of blessings from A to Z. A- Al. That was easy. You're turn. B. Go."
It took a few letters to sell Bret, but pretty soon we were laughing and helping each other think of blessings to fit each letter or suddenly thinking of something and going back to change a previous answer.
It was much easier to go to sleep after that; feeling much lighter.
Who'da thunk that the ABCs could be so helpful to one's mood? We didn't solve any issues or anything, but we got some happiness back. Try it out!
And so this Thankful Thursday I am thankful for Bret, that we can make even short time together quality time, spiritual promptings, and the ABCs.
What are you thankful for today?
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Seeing the lateness of the hour and thinking of my new-found goal to get to bed at a reasonable hour like the responsible adult I hope to be, I decided I didn't want to blog last night.
Turns out, I don't want to today either.
I'm bucking the trend! Breaking out of the mold! Marching to the beat of my own drum!
...well, you could argue that it's not a trend...and that the mold is of my own making...so if I'm drumming now, who was drumming before?...
Arguments aside, here we are with no Thankful Thursday post this week.
Apologies all around.
Why don't you share what your thankful for with me instead???:)
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It's been a while, hasn't it. I'm sorry I dropped this ball for a month. I got busy with the Family Celebration and lost momentum on this project. Let's build it back up, eh?:)
I don't understand why we shun work so much. I mean, have you ever finished a task and thought, "Sure wish I'd stared at the wall instead of doing that!"????
Work is satisfying. And yet, I think it will always be a struggle for me to forgo extra sleep in the morning or reading a book in favor of working. Wish it wasn't, but it's probably better for me to have to struggle to overcome that tendency.
Back to the issue at hand.
I'm a simple person.
That's simple, not stupid.
I have trouble concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Yet, I can hold my own at multi-tasking because it's fairly easy to move from one thing to the next and back when concentration is an issue. The more simple my surroundings, the easier of a time I have with things. Working forces my mind to be simpler. I have to focus on the task at hand; which makes it much more difficult to delve into depressing patterns of thought. Brilliant solution:)
As President Benson aptly said, "Work is our blessing, not our doom."
Or as President Hinckley's father said, "Forget yourself and go to work."
It really works! ("a-ha, a-ha! Who's next?" Twenty thousand points if you guess the movie correctly.)
Monday, October 24, 2011
When it comes to new glasses, I have a hard time not seeing the glass as half empty. Nothing says, "Man, your eyes are awful," like sharp, clear vision.
Don't get me wrong, I am super excited to have these new glasses. I've had the same ones since Jonzy was about six months old. I am very happy to have entered the world of current eye wear. They're cute, they're trendy, and I'm extremely grateful that I have these glasses to help me see.
When I was young and would get new glasses or contacts, I would always be so excited at the new details that I could see. I was always surprised at how much I hadn't realized I wasn't seeing before my newer, stronger prescription. It was fun opening that door, stepping into the sunlight, and seeing the world through new eyes (sunlight makes all the difference:)).
Then I became a teenager and it wasn't so much fun anymore. I realized that every time I went to the optometrist, I needed a stronger prescription. My eyes have been deteriorating for decades now and it's an emotional hurdle for me.
I hate not being able to see. I envy people who can. I hate not being able to read if I'm wearing contacts, so I rarely wear them. I hate that drastic blur around the edges of my glasses. I hate the headaches I get as my brain gets used to a new way of seeing, a new border around the discernible vision, and the muscles of my face adjust to the new accessory. I hate fumbling for my glasses in the dark of night when someone needs me. I hate squinting at the clock to see what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night.
I hate knowing that I'm making a big deal out of something that is not only inconsequential, but fixable.
I'm not blind. I can see. I can behold the beauty of my surroundings that are the source of tender mercies. Well, not the source, but you know what I mean. I can see color and shape and the sparkle in my boys' eyes. We can afford to get glasses so that I can see these things more clearly. Lots of other people have broken eyes, too, so I don't have to be a social outcast;) And beyond that, I know that my eyes will be perfect one day.
I think I will always fight off some sadness and jealousy when I get a stronger prescription or when I notice the difference between my eyes and someone else's. And I will always wonder if I'm seeing the world differently than someone with normal, healthy, and strong eyes.
But it sure is nice to know that it won't always be like this. Plus, the change wasn't as drastic this time. Turns out, my eyes didn't really weaken any more so much as they changed shaped and gave me some more astigmatism. Maybe a break from the deterioration is on the horizon!
Now, I think I better go get something for this headache;)
P.S. You should hop over to We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ. There's lots of awesomeness going on with the Book of Mormon Forum this month.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Motherhood to me is found and defined in the moments.
The moments that keep me going, the moments that make me feel like a mole facing a hammer in that classic arcade game, the moments that give me glimpses of the future, the moments that catapult me into the depths of fear of endless failure, the moments that feel like part of heaven.
Motherhood is moments.
A little hand slipping into mine while we walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, just because he wants to be close to me.
The dinner reaction. From, "Yuck! I hate that, Mom!" to "We're having THAT for dinner?! I LOVE you, Mom!"
Realizing that my but-he's-only-six! year old is already wanting to not be around me and that moment of euphoria when I realize all is not lost and I still have some time as he's skipping next to me because we're off to do something, just the two of us, and he's so happy about it.
Moments between a whiny "whyyyyyyyyyy?" and my response.
Big smiles and bright eyes.
Painful kisses. Who knew a three year old roughly grabbing my head and turning it to an uncomfortable angle so he could plant a soft one on my cheek could be so awesome?
"I luhz oo, Mom"s.
Smells. The you-need-a-bath! smells, the I-don't-even-want-to-know-what's-causing-that-smell-but-have-to-hunt-it-down-to-stop-it-in-case-it's-an-environmental-hazard smells, the hugging-a-clean-boy-in-freshly-laundered-clothes smells, the you-just-brought-me-a-dandelion-and-a-huuuuge-smile smells, etc. etc.
Embarrassing, "yes...that's my child" moments and proud "That's my boy!" moments.
Oodles and buckets and floods of witnessing firsts.
Motherhood moments keep me on my toes and I love them. All of them. They're getting me closer to the end goal of eternal life. Even the moment when Al comes down the stairs to me instead of the ten steps from his room to the bathroom resulting in him throwing up on the stairs. Cleaning up more vomit must surely increase my endure to the end levels and getting me that much closer to the pearly gates;) And the kicker in that moment: though we're constantly coaching the kids to run to the bathroom if they feel they're going to lose it, his innate reaction to seek out Mom for comfort and help when something goes awry superseded all else. That's love:)
That's motherhood. And I love it!
This post is part of MamaBlogga's October Group Writing Project, Motherhood to me...Join us!
P.S. Have you had any moments you'd like to share?
Mommy moments, when two boys are sharin'
Mommy moments, mem'ries of tempers flaring.
I'll never forget the moment he shoved that girl on
the hay ride
The way that her mom muttered an’ glared while I tried to
hide my pride
Mommy moments, mem'ries we’ve been sharin’
Mommy moments, when brothers are caring
I can't erase the sharpie marks
These mommy moments are filled with love
[Clarification: the little girl initiated the shoving and Jonzy wasn't going to put up with it. And yes, it really did rain in our family room.]
The sleep that I’ve lost with you throwing up for hours
The smile on your sweet little face when you
pick me flowers
(The way that we cheered whenever you made it
on time to the bathroom)
The time that you plugged the sink and it rained
all over the family room.
(The endless band-aids, the games that we played, the fun
A life that is full of trying to cope with whatever
Mommy moments filled with love
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I was super blessed to fly into Denver last weekend and attend the Time Out for Women event there. I met up with two of my most favorite aunts and we went together. It was amazing:) If Time Out comes to a city near you, GO! Two days of awesomeness, girl time, books, music, a totally cute free bag, all at a super low price?!? GO:)
I loved Kelly Ogden's debut TOFW presentation so much that I bought his book!
Since getting back, the boys and I are not quite seeing eye to eye. Mostly, it's my fault for my lack of patience. But they've also been off the wall hyper (despite the treats ban that's being enforced this week). It's been a hard week for all of us. I have much to be thankful for today!
One being, that this is our week off of co-op between sessions. I don't think I could have handled it today.
Book club is tonight. Woot woot!:)
The weekend is nearly upon us.
Tomorrow we're going on another fall field trip.
Al woke me up just before five this morning and I felt awful. I've been battling a cold and it was definitely winning at five am. I turned off my alarm and slept in and felt so much better getting up. First time in a long time that a few hours of sleep has actually had its intended result:)
I ate dinner from Five Guys last night. Best burgers ever. My taste buds are still happy.
I'm called Mommy by three amazing boys:)
What are you thankful for today?
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Some locals are already complaining about skipping autumn and getting dumped into winter.
I say, "What's not to love about this weather???"
Out come the long sleeves and hoodies. Chilis, soups, and comfort foods. Laughing with your boys as you breathe visible air. That feeling of breathing in cold air through your nose. Umbrellas. Boots. Yellows, oranges, reds, and browns every where. And two words: crunchy. leaves. :)
I LOVE this weather!
But...as I drove on the freeway through the rain this morning, I was beginning to not like this weather so much. My tires couldn't keep their traction. We weren't sliding anywhere, but the car was jerking along as we would continually lose traction and (oh-so-thankfully!) regain it. The windshield wipers were going. Many a car around me seemed to have forgotten their headlights and I kept getting surprised at cars in blind spots or behind me that crept up through the rain without warning. Just as I was getting ready to curse the weather, I looked in the baby-view mirror (yes, I still have it even though I have no babies. I've gotten used to seeing my kids in it and I don't like not having it.) beneath our rearview mirror. The sight was wonderful and right then, there was a moment...
Goose, bundled up in a cute little hoodie, was hugging a white and blue plush cow. His mouth was slightly open and in an unconscious half smile. His eyes were so bright with wonder, awe, and happiness. There he was, cozy and warm in the car with his cow and completely enthralled with the sight of the rain and wipers going on the windshield.
I love moments like that. And I love that my boys and I can help each other in our love of the seasons (or anything). I can help them discover and nurture that love and they remind me often of the simpler things and the bigger picture and why I loved them in the first place.
I love autumn! I am so thankful for it and this chilly change:)
What are you thankful for today?
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Here's a General Conference dealio from Diapers and Divinity.
Oh how I loved GC this October. I always love it, but the boys did so much better at not being crazy loud this time so Bret and I could catch a lot more. Very enjoyable:)
Here's the scoop, according to Lindsey:
General Conference Highlights, October 2011
1. Who were your three favorite speakers?
Just three?! Then I'm going to go with Elder Scott, Elder Ardern, and President Monson...and Elder Bennett...and Elder Curtis...and Sister Dalton...and President Uchtdorf...I can't pick three!
2. Which talk spoke to you the most?
Definitely Elder Ardern's.
3. What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you?
Praise to the Man. Because I always love that one, singing with thousands of people always gets me, and I was on a spiritual high from Elder Ardern's talk.
4. Which speaker was the best dressed? (Come on, we can have a little fun.)
I forgot to pay attention to this...so I have no idea. I really liked Sis. Dalton's hair...
5. Were there any topics that you felt like were repeated often? Any conference “themes”?
Scriptures and repentance seemed to be hit on lots.
6. Share a few of your favorite quotes from any of the talks (paraphrasing is fine).
I'll definitely paraphrase (i.e. misquote with a general gist).
"Compared to God, man is nothing. And yet we are everything to God." -President Uchtdorf
"Poor use of time is a cousin of idleness." -Elder Ardern
"Motherhood is what God gave you time for." Elder Anderson
"Our code of conduct is definitive. It is not negotiable." -Pres. Monson
"In a world where everything is changing, His constancy is something on which we can rely." - Pres. Monson
"I know you can do this." Elder Richardson
"You can learn the language of the Spirit." -Elder Cornish
"The Atonement covers all the unfairness of life." -Elder Cook
"I love you. I pray for you. I ask you to remember me in your prayers." -Pres. Monson
7. Name something(s) that made you smile or laugh during conference.
The way everyone gasped (including me!) when the second Provo Temple was announced.
8. Was there any evidence that your children paid attention?
A bit and with prompting. They'd recognize some faces and give some simple topic answers like "scriptures" and "Jesus."
9. What doctrine did you learn as you listened to the choir(s) sing?
A reaffirmation. And timely, too. Every so often I get so bogged down with sadness knowing that there are innocent little children suffering horrible things all over the world, many at the hands of those who are supposed to be their protectors. I can hardly bear to think about them. It hurts so much that I pour my heart out to Heavenly Father to be with them and to help me not think about it so I can function. The choir sang this verse in "Consider the Lilies."
Consider the sweet tender children who must suffer on this earth. The pains of all of them he carried from the day of his birth.
It spoke tons of peace to me. He's got them covered:)
10. Did the music enhance your General Conference experience? How?
It always does. Music and I are tight. Music speaks to me on a much deeper spiritual level than anything else.
11. What are some of your post-conference goals?
The only one I really want to share now is to not slip back into normal habits only to kick myself for not progressing as much as I wanted to when Conference rolls around again in April. I don't want to forget. I want to progress and meet the goals I've set.
Those are my highlights. Will you share yours, too?
Thursday, September 29, 2011
These poor little boys just don't understand the whole "sick thing."
They want so badly to play. But five minutes after getting off the couch they're coming to me coughing and crying, "My body hurts!"
Over and over and over again I have to tell them that they are sick, that their bodies need rest to get healthy again, and that they will continue to hurt until they listen to me and stay on the couch to get said rest (in much simpler words, of course).
It's times like this that make me see just how parallel the lives of earthly parents are to Heavenly Father's. And I wonder if he ever gets exasperated listening to all the "but whyyyyyyys?" and "I don't want to's" that we say just because we can't comprehend beyond a basic-instant-gratification-level what he's told us.
I'm sure he doesn't, but I sure do sometimes.
These lines of thought always make me more grateful for his patience with me and help me remember to be more patient with my boys.
Have you ever wondered anything like that?
I beginning to fear that by the time I reach the later years of my life that time will fly by at break-neck speed.
Anyway, what am I thankful for today?
The General Relief Society broadcast. (Dear President Uchtdorf, Can I please interrupt your busy day for the sole purpose of giving you a hug? Gratefully, Lindsey)
Sleep (I'd really like some right now).
That General Conference is a mere TWO days away:)
My new, beautiful, amazing, entire wall covering bookshelves.
What are you thankful for today?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Comment #5 - Jen!
Thank you to everyone who entered.
And a super HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in the Family Celebration!!! It's been wonderfully inspiring.
Jen, we'll be in touch:)
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I am thankful for The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
I wish I could say I remember how I felt when I first heard President Hinckley read it at General Conference. But I can't. I was an eleven year old from a happy home who had no real understanding of the bad in the world. I must have felt something, though, because I have a clear memory in my mind of President Hinckley on the big projection screen, getting ready to read it to us by telling us he'd read it first at the General RS meeting the week before.
Now that I am no longer a blissfully unaware child, but a wary mother of three innocent boys, I cling to the Family Proclamation. I first came to really appreciate it in college when we studied it for a class. It would later be referenced in many of my classes, but this was my first opportunity to really dive into it.
What a beautiful, straight forward, truthful, inspiring document!
Reading it makes me want to shout its truths from my front porch. (Very like the feeling I get when I read, Stand for the Family, by Sharon Slater: an amazing book with simple and clear (and secular, for all those who disregard what God says as religious mumbo-jumbo) answers to attacks on the family unit.)
These particular sentences from the Proclamation have been a joy in my life lately: "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."
I was in the capitol last week, driving downtown and surrounded by pedestrians. I stopped at a crosswalk and while waiting for the light to turn green I started to look at everyone walking around me. Oddly enough, what popped into my head was a Primary song.
"I am a Child of God" started playing in my mind.
It was such a beautiful moment. I got all teary eyed with this song going through my head and watching all these fellow children of God crossing the street, filling the sidewalks, getting on and off the train, driving on the streets with me.
It's beautiful moments like that, and truths (like those found in the scriptures and the Proclamation), and meeting other people who are refusing to believe Satan's lies and fighting for the family (like all the wonderful Family Celebration people!), that give me hope for my children's futures and remind me that I'm on the right side.
I get easily discouraged, seeing all the filth and lies in the world. The Family Proclamation helps to keep my spirits up and my faith strong. I am eternally grateful to have it.
What are you thankful for today?
P.S. I'll announce the winner of the countdown blocks giveaway tomorrow morning. Last chance to enter tonight!
P.P.S. And I recommend singing "I am a Child of God" when surrounded by people. It's very uplifting:)
Monday, September 19, 2011
He sees the side of the box up on the top shelf in our pantry. It says "Ages 6+." Ever since he turned six, he looks through our games seeking new opportunities to play.
This morning, he stood in front of the open pantry and stared up longingly at the games.
Without taking his eyes off the box he asked imploringly, "Mommy, will you please teach me to play Sorry! for family home evening?"
Well, okay then.
So we're playing Sorry! for FHE tonight. And the perfect lesson to go along with it?
Why forgiveness, of course!:)
Which happens to be item #4 in the most quoted sentence in the Family Proclamation.
And we're off!
Don't forget to enter the countdown blocks giveaway! I'm closing it on Thursday.
Happy Family Night to all!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
"President Hinckley referred to women as our Heavenly Father’s “final creation, the grand summation of all.” In fact, did you know that a woman is a walking, talking, moving symbol of Christ? She is one that can give life through her own blood, just like Christ does. Is it any wonder that Satan seeks to demean and disgrace women through immodesty and pornography? By degrading women he can degrade the Savior because they are symbols of Christ."
One, I'd never thought of it like that.
Two, I LIKE that!
Three, that punk Satan.
Four, I love being a woman. Especially a woman raising boys.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
But I really don't do a whole lot for them. We are a low-key birthday family.
Over the last year or so, I've begun to wonder if I should to ramp things up a bit. We've made some changes and they've all been great. But I think we need to keep going. After all birthdays are meant to be celebrated!
Think of what they signify:
The day someone awesome came into the world and we get to know and love them.
The choice each of us made to come to Earth.
That is a huge one.
The decision to follow God's plan and receive a body is monumental. A birthday marks an eternal choice.
I love this sentence in the Family Proclamation (really, I love the whole thing):
Birthdays are meant to be celebrated!
And I got some inspiration recently on how to celebrate more in our family.
I was asked to make a display for our up-coming Relief Society Super Saturday. I ordered the kit I was told to order and got crafting. And the result was these super cute Thanksgiving countdown blocks:
And then I thought, "What a brilliant idea!":) The boys constantly ask me how long it is until their birthdays. With a birthday countdown they can see how long is left and the anticipation will build and build and build until the awesome day arrives. They will love this! (and so will I...I like my birthday, too;) I'm not so sure about Bret. He's not big on his birthday and eight+ years together later...I still can't tell if he's being honest or he just doesn't want anyone to go to any trouble. But that's another story!)
I don't plan to have it out all year long; just two or three weeks before each birthday. But I'm so excited for Al's and Goose's birthday to get close enough to introduce the idea to them.
And because I love you all, I'm giving you the chance to win a countdown blocks kit for your very own. They come from the amazing Poppy Seed Projects store and they're so easy to make (if I can do it, anyone can)!
(can I make mod podge a verb?...Everybody else is doing it;))
Poppy Seed Projects is graciously giving a set of countdown blocks to one of you lucky readers!
If you live in the continental United States, you can enter to win your very own kit and personalize it how ever you want. Make a countdown for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, BIRTHDAYS:), summer vacation. The possibilities are endless!
All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave me a comment on this post.
Make me laugh and maybe you'll get an extra entry.
Remember, this giveaway is only open to those in the lower 48 (I'm very sorry if that excludes you. I'd still love to hear from you!). Please leave me a way to contact you in your comment, should you be the winner.
And make sure you check out all the other awesome photo essays in the Family Celebration today.
AND head on over to Poppy Seed to see what other awesome stuff they have for you. I love this store so much because they give you the kit and instructions and then you can create it yourself. The projects make me feel so creative and giddy even. I LOVE making things for my home.
My favorites are the FHE magnet board, the picture blocks, the Temple memory game, and of course the countdown blocks. (I'd add pictures, but blogger is freakin' out on me!)
Thank you for celebrating family with me!
Monday, September 12, 2011
It's a beginning of the school year tradition.
I love it.
The boys don't quite understand it yet, but they're more reverent than usual when we do it.
I get to get in on the blessings, too. I may love that even more. I really need the reminders, counsel, and encouragement that come in them.
The moment came when I watched Al climb up into the chair for his turn getting a blessing. He climbed up and folded his arms and gave me a little smirk. As Bret (looking ever so dashing in his slacks, shirt, and red "power" tie) placed his hands on Al's head the picture just looked so right and I felt so wonderful.
I love my husband and that he remains worthy to hold the priesthood and bless our family.
I love my boys and that I can be home with them.
I love my family.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love the moments:)
Have you had any moments you'd like to share?
I wrote up a whole slew of ideas and found that the ones I gravitated to were from the scriptures. Man, there's good stuff in there!;)
I never set aside time to talk with Bret about it and for months my notebook of ideas was forgotten.
And then I saw that part of the Family Celebration this year would be about family mission statements.
Oh, snap! Where did I put that notebook???
When I finally found it I got lost in it for a while. (Wow! What good ideas I had. Why'd I forget this?)
We still haven't set things in stone (or even paper), but here's the general idea for our work in progress:
A short, quickly to the point, easy to memorize, inspiring scripture to start us off. Here's a list of those currently at the top of the list-
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 Let all things be done unto edifying.
- 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life.
- James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.
- Romans 2:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
Then (with the great hopes that I can create on paper the eye catching design in my brain...) using the letters in our family name we will list attributes we want to cultivate, one attribute per letter. I went through the Topical Guide and wrote down words that can be defined as family attributes. For example, with the letter "e" I wrote down- earnest, edify, educate, embrace, endure, engage, enjoy, enlighten, enthusiasm, equal, eternal, excel/excellence. It's going to be hard to choose which one to settle on!
When all is said and done we will have an inspiring family mission statement to motivate us and refer back to when life gets thrown in our faces.
To read about other ways and why to's of creating family mission statements click that pretty button on my sidebar and join in celebrating the FAMILY with us:)
Update: "We got one!"
Friday, September 9, 2011
I love the third item that President Benson focuses on in this article. It's huge. Life changing even.
Perspective is huge when it comes to depression, but it requires something deeper than just knowing there are so many things great in life/others are suffering tremendously/a more eternal view, etc. Knowing and feeling are two very different things. And it seems it requires faith to get to work serving before those deep feelings of truth are realized and spirits are lifted; at least in my case.
Giving of oneself to service and sacrificing one's desires or needs for someone else's is a prime way to lift the spirit. Though it seems to be precisely opposite of what we hear from the world.
"Take care of you first or you won't have any to give anyone else."
"You have to put yourself at the top of your priority list."
"You can't draw water from an empty well."
Logically, that makes complete sense. If I don't take care of my needs or satisfy even small desires where would I find the strength to keep working?
But spiritually, it doesn't work that way. I do need to care for myself and make sure there's "water in the well" so I can be what my family needs me to be. But that's not supposed to be first on the priority list. We are happiest, we are most at peace, we are most fulfilled, we are most complete- when we forget about ourselves and serve others.
I've written about this phenomenon before. Concentrating on how it pertains to motherhood.
I'm going to be filled with more joy even if I haven't been able to shower yet, or eat breakfast yet, or get out to dinner with some girlfriends in months, or have had any time alone in two weeks because I am (trying to the best of my ability) focusing on something outside of myself.
Something bigger than I am.
Taking the focus off of ourselves is so freeing, so uplifting. It helps me feel that I am part of something beautiful. That I do have the capability to submit my will to my Father's. That I can be an instrument in his hands.
And a sweet perk: I end up being take care of any way! Whether by finding time to do something me oriented, or my husband doing something for me, or Heavenly Father sustaining me, etc. And never underestimate the power of an "I luhz oo" from a little mouth. A beautiful aspect of families. If we're all focused on serving each other, everyone gets taken care of! (more on that in a couple weeks:))
President Benson says it best: "A woman whose life is involved in the righteous rearing of her children has a better chance of keeping up her spirits than the woman whose total concern is centered in her own personal problems."
Has service helped lift you? Will you share with me?
Thursday, September 8, 2011
It's an odd combination.
On the one hand, I have the less-than-desirable things going on in my life- poor health (double ear infection+ UTI+ possible sinus infection+antibiotics that are just beginning to work on day four=extremely uncomfortable, fighting the urge to scream (UTI anyone;)) Lindsey with a constant pounding headache.), twins taking turns waking up at night for the last two or three weeks (tirrrrrrred Lindsey), boys being cah-razy boys (embarrassed, please-tell-me-the-neighbors-did-NOT-see-that Lindsey), can't get a handle on my responsibilities (failure Lindsey), Bret won't be able to help me for a few days (end of rope Lindsey), need to have the house beyond presentable for the Relief Society meeting committee gathering at my house tonight so we can mess it up again prepping our Super Saturday displays (are you crazy, Lindsey?!?)...
On the other hand, I have- what can I do about it?
-I'm taking antibiotics. And they are beginning to work. Patience...Endurance...I'm trying.
-Al and Goose both stayed in their beds the entire night last night!! (Can you say, "tender mercy?" Boy I sure can:)) Maybe the stage is over and I won't have to do anything about it, but I do have one idea that came to me yesterday so I'm not at a total loss if they start up again.
-There's not much I can do but blush, pull a few handfuls of hair out, and try to explain some things to the boys...again.
-"Mom up" and do a happy dance when Bret is able to help again.
-Clean up as best I can and be happy I can be the woman who makes the other women who come to my house tonight feel good about their houses;)
So I'm cranky, cranky, cranky! But I feel somewhat accepting of it all. 'Cha. Weird.
And what I'm thankful for today?
Antibiotics. Ibuprofen. Dishwashers. Ready mops. Vacuums. Gorgeous weather for the boys to play in and me to open the windows for a good airing out. Blogging. Frozen pizza (hooray easy dinner!). The sound of the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. That my life is a full one (even if it gets too hectic at times); I'd be a lonely one indeed if I didn't have such a full life.
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I'm going to be throwing myself into the mix of the brouhaha for the family in the next two weeks.
Some amazing women have put together another amazing celebration this year and I'm excited to see what is coming.
Wonderful words of wisdom, insight, fantastic ideas of things to do with my family, giveaways, "meeting" new people, etc, etc, etc.
Will you join in the party?
Just click on the button at the top of my sidebar for more info. Or go HERE.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
A morning spent at the first co-op meeting of the year. A great group of kids and a wonderful bunch of moms. I'm excited for this year:)
My Aunt Carole passed away five years ago today. We miss her.
I've got a head cold that is getting worse and worse and leaves me longing for alone time with a girl movie in my bed. But my name is Mom, so no can do. And there was only one dose of Dayquil left.
I went to the dentist this afternoon for my first cleaning in many years: swollen sinuses + hands and sharp tools all up in my mouth = mucho discomfort...o.
I keep hearing this Pink song on the radio. Since a couple of her songs have had funny videos I decided to see if there was a video for this new song. BAD. IDEA. The first two seconds of the video had me yelling at my computer and frantically trying to make it stop. Disgustingly inappropriate. Great. Now I can't listen to Pink anymore, either.
What am I thankful for?
That we have such great co-op that my family can be a part of.
That I have great Aunt Carole memories.
That I have faith in God's plan.
That Dayquil exists and can take the edge off.
That the amount of work needing to be done on my teeth is minimal. Especially since it's been six years since my last visit to the dentist!
That there is still so much GOOD music that I CAN listen to and keep the atmosphere a welcoming place for the Holy Ghost.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Catch up if you need to:
The second item President Benson discusses in his article is prayer. How fundamentally, monumentally, drastically vital it is in combating depression!
There's a hitch, though. Many people (me included) feel like their minds have been swapped for spaghetti when depression strikes.
I remember way back when I was pregnant with the twins and realizing how deep and dark of a pit I was in. As two year old Jonzy napped, I shut myself in my room with my scriptures; hoping to drive away the darkness with some spiritual light. Only I couldn't read. I'd stare at the same sentence and try and try and try to read it, but three or four words in my mind would jump to something else, then something else, then something else. I wish I could describe it better than that.
I sat on my bed and stared at my open scriptures, so insanely confused at why I could no longer read. So I decided to pray.
I lumbered the three of us off the bed and onto the floor. But I couldn't pray either! Every thought was suffocated in an Olympic sized pool of other random thoughts; none of them able to complete before being interrupted by another. I'd been struggling with jumbled prayers for a while, but it didn't hit me until right then that I'd lost my ability to pray.
Fortunately, I found I could still pray if I kept my thoughts super short. So my prayers became a jumbled mess of random thoughts interspersed by as many, "please help me's" and help me's" as I could stick in there.
I found that the more often I prayed, the more breaks from the dark I got. I love what President Benson said: "...prayer—persistent prayer—can put us in touch with God, our greatest source of comfort and counsel."
The more I filled my days with my simple plea of "help me, help me, help me..." the more I would get that answer he always gave me: "It'll be okay, Lindsey. Remember, I love you." And just knowing he loved me would give what I needed to go on.
After some years passed and I learned more about depression and my experience with it, I have been able to get into the scriptures more and prayer more deeply about it. It's been such a light.
The more I study the scriptures and pray for protection and help, acknowledging that this is a temptation for me and I really really need help, the better I feel.
I'd like to share two of the scriptures I found in my studies of prayer that have really helped me this last year.
3 Nephi 18: 18-20, emphasis added
"Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing."
Alma 34:39, emphasis added
That's all I have to say about that.
I hope these posts are inspiring, enlightening, encouraging, etc. If you have thoughts to share, feedback, or whatnot please do:)
Monday, August 29, 2011
I was slightly disturbed. One- because I didn't recognize that voice that usually makes my skin crawl. And two- because I'd started to like the song.
Imagine my surprise and happiness then when my brother informed me that I misheard the radio. It wasn't Katy Perry. It was Christina Perri!!
Most of my faith in myself has been restored. I have no idea who this Christina Perri is, but I know I like at least two of her songs now so I probably better figure it out before I get in too deep; just in case this isn't something I should be listening to.
I tell ya, it's so sad that we can't trust music anymore. Not just because of the lyrics, but because of the artists, too.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
**Disclaimer: These posts are in no way claiming that my experiences are the only way these things happen, that my choices are the only correct ones to make, or that I think myself better than anyone who experienced otherwise or chose differently. These are my experiences (though not the complete story; I fully intend on going to my grave being the only one who knows the complete story. Unless of course sharing some things would help someone I know...so maybe a few more will know before I die.). These are my choices and decisions. This is my story and what is working for me. I do believe it could help others though, so I'm sharing and discussing. Please don't judge me harshly if you disagree with me. Many thanks:)**
President Benson wrote this article back in 1986. What he wrote was true then and even more so now. Particularly this:
"Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression."
But!!- "To help us from being overcome by the devil’s designs of despair, discouragement, depression, and despondency, the Lord has provided at least a dozen ways which, if followed, will lift our spirits and send us on our way rejoicing."
Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I believe depression is rooted in temptation.
So let's get into the first thing Pres. Benson mentioned. Repentance.
***I started writing this three days ago and hit a road block (or better said, writer's block) right here when I was going to start writing about my own experience with this aspect on the road to rejoicing. My mind reverted back to a jumble of disconnected thoughts and I couldn't think of how best to write it out.
I've decided that my experiences with repentance and depression are just too close to the heart to share with the world at large (however small my readership may be).
So I'm going to continue to keep it close and just share some thoughts and scriptures with you on this subject.
First, I love how President Benson included a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
"When I do good I feel good, and when I do bad I feel bad."
Lincoln is often quoted on depression, and regularly in a tone that seems to say "it is how it is, so stop telling me to just be happy, punks." My opinion is that Lincoln had a much harder life than the majority of us, but he still managed to see that he was responsible for his emotions and he would employ whatever degree of power he had in improving them. What an example! I like that guy:)
And to conclude, here's a couple scriptures that have been especially insightful and poignant for me when studying about repentance:
P.S. The font was reverting to italics when I didn't want it to and nothing would fix it. So i got into the html code and after a few tweaks, I managed to fix it. I feel so smart!:)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
My disdain is quite strong.
We'll leave it at that.
Bret will attest to my uncanny ability to spot a Katy Perry song on the radio and lightening quick reflexes when it comes to then changing the station.
So imagine my reaction when after listening to a song in it's entirety and beginning to think, "this is an okay song. might even like it..." the automated announcer woman's voice comes on to announce that the last song was "arms- Katy Perry."
Darn it! One more song I have to avoid.
There seem to be more and more of those these days. Grrrr.>:(
I'd be more mad, but I have to laugh at myself every time I remember yelling "what!?!" right there in the car.
At the radio.
That can't hear me:)
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A handy dandy, compact and snazzy dehydrator.
Electricity to make the machine work.
Indoor plumbing to keep my hands from getting sticky.
And the amazing aroma of peaches that has permeated my home while they dry out in the dehydrator to become a delicious winter snack (who am I kinding? they won't last through the fall).
*big lungful of peach scented air* Ahhhhhhhhh.
What are you thankful for today?