Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my in-laws who kicked me out of my house for two hours this morning! Twas a lovely chunk of quiet time for me.

I'm also thankful for the Ensign. The March issue arrived in my mailbox today! And right on the front is a picture of Jesus and the words, "He Can Heal Us, Every One," telling me there's something I'm going to love to read on page 44:) Followed by the teaser, "Preparing Youth to Defend the Family," on page 12! Youth my eye, I need that, too!

And finally, today I am thankful that two of my three children are potty trained. We are currently setting the "reset button" for the third one in the hopes that when we try again next week we will find more lasting results.

Happy Thursday! What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When there's love at home

Chocolate on my Cranium is doing a Wordfull Wednesday about: Beauty.

First thing that popped into my mind was the gorgeous mountains outside and how amazing they looked all day; first with a clear blue sky and bright morning sunshine, then shadowed with lots of fluffy clouds in the afternoon, and now glowing yet a bit hazy with the cloud cover and beginnings of a sunset.

I love living within view of the mountains.

But when I read the second to last sentence in Cocoa's post, "What comes to mind when you think of BEAUTY?" the hymn, "Love at Home" started playing in my head. The very first line in that hymn is, "There is beauty all around when there's love at home."

How I love that hymn (Oh come on, I love most of the hymns:)). Such a simple, heart piercing truth. How beautiful life is when there's love and harmony at home!

The value of home and hearth seems to be continually diminishing in this part of the world and many parts of the world. Consequently, people are much less happy and see much less beauty in the world around them.

I'm a big proponent of home. It all starts at home. It's amazing how wonderful the world looks and feels when everyone in my home is happy with everyone else.

When the boys aren't screaming about whose turn it is to play with a toy, sitting on each other, blatantly disobeying me and are instead giving me smiles, sharing with and helping each other, and singing silly songs as they pretend I see so much beauty. The sun shines brighter, eyes shine brighter, colors are more vibrant, I notice the birds singing outside, a smile lifts me, and I can take on the world.

There is so much beauty around us! Having a loving home makes it all the more beautiful.

If everyone tried just a little harder to do what they personally can to make their home a more loving place, think what a positive impact on the whole world that would be.

How beautiful:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Made whole

Late last Friday night, Bret called me over to the window to see the amazing, moonlit view. I had already removed my glasses for bed and was too lazy to walk to the other side of the room to put them back on. So Bret offered me his.

I put them on and...nothing. His glasses made the large blurs of light into medium blurs of light and that was it.

I felt crushed. Seriously, it felt like the wind was momentarily knocked out of me. I feel like crying just remembering it. Then again, I've been a bit teary the last few days already. Dumb hormone shifts.

I forget how awful my vision is. Not because I don't notice the stark difference between my bare eyes versus my eyes with glasses or contacts in front of them. But because I forget that other people don't see like I do. I get fairly jealous of other people and their vision. I don't remember what it's like to see clearly without anything on my face or in my eyes. Quite the bummer, if you ask me.

It's times like these that I have to focus on what I do have going for my eyes.

I live in a day and age when having bad vision is correctable.

I have the means to own glasses and contacts specifically prescribed for my eyes.

My eyes do still work, with the proper help.

Colors are just as vibrant for me as anyone else (at least, I think they are...).

A few years ago, I had a conversation with three year old Jonz about this very subject. While putting my contacts in one morning, Jonzy asked what I was doing. I said, "I'm putting my eyes in." Of course, this was right in the middle of the "why" phase so I gave further explanation (as simple as I could make it given the particular audience) that my eyes are broken and those little pieces of plastic helped my eyes to see better. I needed to put them on my eyes so I could see.

Upon hearing that Mommy's eyes were broken he was a little unnerved. So I went on to say that it was okay that my eyes are broken. Because of Jesus they wouldn't be broken forever. When I was resurrected I'd have perfect eyes again.

He doesn't remember that conversation. But every time I start to get a bit down because I can't see without help, those few moments with my son pop back into my head. I remember how great it felt sharing such things with my son and how it was true then and it's true now.

I'll have whole eyes and perfect vision again.

Just another awesome part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. What an amazing plan:)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Things I am finding ironic today:

The Iowa State Wrestling To-Do of 2011.
Girl competing in boys wrestling. Boy feels it inappropriate to engage a girl in such a way. He defaults to hold to his beliefs and not wrestle her. He publishes statement commending girl and explaining why he defaulted. She (technically, her father) issues a statement respecting the boy for doing what he believes is right; this obviously isn't the first time girl or father have faced this issue.

Respect all around, right? Nope. Certainly respect has been shown between girl (technically, girl's father) and boy. But the internet masses? Calling foul, sexism, inequality, lack of fair competition and recognition for achievements, name-calling etc. etc. etc.

Seriously, people? Let's take a clue from the ones who are actually involved.

Wisconsin. Unions. Budget.
Teachers walk off the job. Not striking. Just not working. Many students rejoicing in the free time. Many parents tearing their hair out because they can't go to work when the kids aren't in school.
If you really want my respect teacher's unions, encourage your members to do their jobs. Wait. That won't earn my respect either. For the teachers, certainly, but not the unions.
Teachers want respect for their work, but they're not working...ironic.

P.S. I love teachers. Most work harder than many, with little appreciation and too much stress and responsibility put on them that belongs to parents.
P.P.S. I don't love unions. Damaging to the system and the individual, I say. Not to mention, most are extremely corrupt.

Planned Parenthood voted to be de-funded by the US House of Reps. (HOORAY! Except odds of passing the Senate and President's desk are almost nil so I don't know why PP supporters are worried.)
This of course, spawns abortion debates across the internet world. Which brings to the forefront of my mind something that has long confused me.
Many who are pro-choice will go to great lengths to tug on my heartstrings of the horribly awful things some women face and that society shouldn't judge them or take away their right to choose an abortion. The compassion they show for these women is admirable. But where is the compassion for the one whose life is being taken away???? I don't understand how someone can show so much love and compassion for someone who is suffering and zero love or compassion for the child inside her.

P.S. I think PP is evil and they don't have women's best interest and health at heart as they say. If they did, and they didn't preform abortions I would be a big supporter. But they're corrupt and hypocritical and I say- good riddance (even though they're not going anywhere; like lack of federal money will stop them:/).

Isn't it ironic?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm tired.

(I know. "We know, Lindsey. Drop it already.")

Point being: the brain and I are not getting along in writing out a lovely, inspirational gratitude post tonight.

It's been a fun day. Co-Op. Sunshine. Fairly smooth errand-running. A successful trip to the library. A quiet evening at home (until Goose broke down from exhaustion). It's been a nice day.

And for that I am thankful:)

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You think you know a guy...

I was planning on culminating my posts on depression with a spiritually slammin' finish. I've decided that was a silly idea. Why go on and on and finish with the key? Why not acknowledge the key right from the off so it can be used throughout?

Well, I'm sorry I didn't do such acknowledging before. I hope I can make up for it now, but I think it's impossible to do this subject justice and I welcome any additions you have.

I'm here to tell you that without Jesus, I might as well be running myself into a brick wall over and over with my own efforts to conquer depression. This fight has taught me more about the Atonement and my Savior than anything else.

Yes, even more than motherhood.

I wondered for a long time why that was, still do in fact. Motherhood is the biggest challenge I've ever faced; one that doesn't end and I doubt I'll ever feel like a master of. I could not be the mother I am or accomplish an eighth of what I do without the support and strength and inspiration and tender mercies of Heavenly Father and Jesus.

I've felt the power of the Atonement often in my struggles with my role as a mother.

Why then has this depression junk struck more chords and helped me to understand the Atonement on a deeper spiritual plane than ever before?

Honestly...I don't know.

What I do know is that I comprehend in a whole new way that I am nothing without Christ.

That he is everything.

That he is the only way back to the Father.

That he gets me.

That he knows my mind better than I do.

That he's right there waiting to help me if only I ask (and often, even when I'm too prideful and I don't).

That he responds immediately when I ask.

That he perfectly understands my heartbreaks and joys.

And that he LOVES me!

From my earliest memories I have been taught about Jesus, what he did for me and you, how no one understands me better than him, and His life and ministry. I thought I understood. I thought I knew him. I thought we were pretty close.

But I know now that I barely know him at all. I have a feeling I've only begun to crack the shell to understanding Jesus Christ and the Atonement. Part of me is a bit terrified of that...(what else will I have to endure to find out more?) and part of me is yearning for more (Seriously? It gets even better?!?! I want that!).

So I suppose I am grateful for depression and how it made me see more clearly that there are things that can't possibly be overcome without Jesus. More things than not!

He is the way, the truth, and the light!

I've loved this scripture for at least a decade. It's come to mean even more to me in the past few years.

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.
Alma 26:12

Please, add to this. What have you learned about Jesus through your struggles? Share scriptures, hymns, thoughts, ideas- anything! I want to know what you know, too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Pills and bills. Pills and bills"

Two thousand points to the one who correctly names the movie the post title comes from...

I always get a sour taste in my mouth when I hear about depression medication. For a long time, I didn't know why. The fact that people take medicine for such things just rubbed me the wrong way. Disclaimer: That doesn't mean I harshly judged those who did take such things. It merely made me cringe a bit and that was the extent of it.

It wasn't until last year when I put a name to specific personal trials that I decided to figure out why I innately recoiled from pills for depression. When I did name my struggles as depression one of my first thoughts was, "Dang. Do I need to go get some pills?" That actually made me shiver. Literally. It was a creepy moment. Until I said, "okay. No pills." and felt relieved.

So pills were definitely not the right choice for me. But why?

It wasn't until I concluded that depression was a fight against temptation that I figured it out, and there's lots of different aspects of my disdain for such meds. Here they are:

My emotions are MINE; one of the few things I can exercise control over. I can't balance out a God that would give me agency to choose my own way and a God who wouldn't give me a way out of struggles I found myself in unless I purchased medicine.

I tried before to take control of my internal chemicals. Birth control messed me up in multiple ways. Never again will I subject my body to externally-controlled chemical levels unless absolutely necessary (e.g. should I suddenly find myself without ovaries).

I shouldn't be able to take a pill for temptation. That's cheating.

And lastly, here's an idea I take from a discussion on this subject with someone I love and respect who didn't know about the extent of my personal struggles. Honestly, what's the difference between popping a pill for depression and having a glass of wine? Dulling my senses, taking the edge off, or helping myself relax with such assistance would not be a good idea.

Oddly enough, the decision to not take medication has added a new struggle (while also empowering me with the confidence to really fight back against these temptations). Before I put my opinions on depression meds in concrete, I didn't care one way or the other what other people did. Now? Now I get angry when I think of other people taking them, or worse find out someone I know takes them.

I feel like they're taking the easy way through what I have had to fight tooth and nail for and my pride wants other people to recognize how hard this is and that the fix isn't simply taking a pill. At the same time I feel sad because they're probably just making the process that much harder on themselves because they're not finding a real solution.

I also try to remember that in today's society, the way to fix depression is to take a pill. Most people accept that at face value. Many of them don't like it, but they don't think there's another way.

So I can't make assumptions or be upset at other people who take depression meds. Unless of course they call me a jerk and spit in my face and tell me that my conclusions are idiotic, then I might be upset for real. Yet another personal problem I have to work on.

There you have it. My thoughts on depression pills. What do you think? Agree or disagree? Anything to add that it looks like I haven't considered?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Semper Fi

I mean, Simplify!

I got tired of the bold colors here, so I went for major simple. What do you think?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm feeling kind of flighty today. I have no desire to sit in front of the computer. Flighty-ness notwithstanding, I have been thinking of lots of things I am thankful for today. Such as:

My amazing, logical, rational husband who makes me smile even when I'm not inclined to.

Freedom to play with my hair this afternoon


Inquisitive sons

Crock pot dinners


The opportunity to talk to women especially since I hang out with little boys all day whose favorite forms of entertainment involve choking, punching, and general inflicting of pain on their brothers (seriously, why do boys find these things so amusing; 'bout drove me bonkers today!).


Love songs

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Well, that was nice!

Way back in October of 2008, I was a busy, bordering-on-crazy woman.

Sure I was before that and I still am, but I had to start this post somehow.

I had three year old who was almost potty trained and 11 month old twins. Life was tiring, to say the least. I had breaks, but they were only ever at night after the boys were all asleep because the little ones were still nursing. I appreciate getting out and about whenever I can, but I prefer to do it in daylight.

So imagine my shock and delight when a woman approached me at church one Sunday and told me that she was going to come over on Tuesday and watch my boys and I was to leave and do whatever I wanted. I sputtered for a bit, wanting to accept, but feeling bad that I was getting the better end of the deal. She assured me it was no big deal, she'd bring her nine and ten year olds to help play with the boys.

I planned some errands and was super excited to be able to get three knocked off the list by myself instead of the one-at-a-time I accomplished with all the boys in tow. Tuesday arrived and so did three wonderful people. I told them I'd be back to relieve them in an hour. To which she said, "Oh no! Stay out longer than that! Stay out as long as you like." She'd even brought lunch for the boys!

Oh what a relaxing day it was! I got so much done. I even grabbed some lunch, went to a park, and ate and lay in the sunshine for a while. When I got back I got the boys settled for a nap and got some things done around the house. It was so wonderful!

And it left me with the conviction that when my kids are a bit older, I'm going to be like Donna and find a mom with little kids and make her take a long break. Regularly. It's going to be my go-to "how can I help?"

Such a simple act on her part left a major impression on me. And even though I'm not able to do the same service yet, it did give me a big shove in being more aware of what I can do to reach out and lift up others around me.

This post is part of Chocolate on my Cranium's Wordfull Wednesday.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Bret and I had a first on Saturday.

For years we've been getting these offers in the mail. You know the ones- "Happy birthday! We want to send you on a 3 day/2 night stay anywhere in the continental United States!" Right down to, "Dinner for two on us!"

We finally decided to take up an offer when a big one came a couple weeks ago. Of course we knew there would be catches. These things always come with a requirement to sit through a sales pitch of some kind. And with travel it's usually for timeshares (of which we are not fans). We assumed we'd be listening to a timeshare offer-of-a-lifetime, which we would easily say no to, then be on our merry way.

Turns out it was a vacation club once-in-a-lifetime pitch. I'm not gonna lie. It was a tempting offer. And if we were the kind of family who traveled often, we probably would have gone for it. But the one big catch, the one that hit the nail in the coffin for me, was that this really was a once in a lifetime offer. A you walk out that door and try to come back, the price goes up many thousands of dollars so it's now or never offer. And we told the guys, flat out, we're just not going to buy something before we have a few days to think about it; we never have, we never will. To which they tried to give us the whole "statistics show that if you don't sell people on this the first time, they're not going to come back so we have to get them at the first visit." And the whole time I'm thinking, "Um, they don't come back because you told them they can't." Or, "Maybe they're not coming back because when they thought about it, it really wasn't a good idea to buy...didyaevathinkathat?"

But really, it was a great deal...for people who plan to travel extensively. And I'm glad we didn't take the bait and buy in. I feel like such a responsible adult:) Plus, when our kids are older and we get the hankerin' to travel all we have to do is ask my parents or one of my brothers to go listen to the pitch and split the cost with them because the membership is transferable between family. Cha-ching!

Unless of course they change the deal ten years down the road and that's no longer available. Which leaves us no worse off because we weren't planning on traveling that much anyway. Cha-ching!

It was a very funny experience. One that wasn't on my bucket list, but should have been. It feels like a right of passage:) And now---Bret and I have a free round trip to anywhere in the lower 48! Major restrictions to be sure (3 days/2 nights- read two days in airports, one day vacation), but for the cost of a rental car and souvenirs, we can see somewhere in the US that we hadn't planned on seeing. Cha-ching!

Time to start researching where to go, but preliminaries have my mouth watering for Philadelphia or Virginia. The site seeing that could be done!

I wonder how far Mt. Vernon is from Monticello...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Things to be thankful for today.

That's a lot of words starting with t...I wonder if I can make the things I'm thankful for today start with the letter t...

Temples. That was easy.
Bret and I got to go to the temple with some people from our ward tonight. It was spectacular, as always:)

Time. Time to work, time to rest, time to shower:)
I love the fairly flexible time my schedule has that makes life a little easier for me to handle when a wrench comes flying in.

Too-tees. Delicious too-tees.
Okay, so I had to cheat. That's supposed to be cookies. But if you pronounce it like my talented family members do when using their Donald Duck voices, it sounds like it starts with a t!
I'm going to go eat a too-tee and crash for the night!

What are you thankful for today?