Saturday, May 9, 2015

Four Years

Aaron and I celebrated our fourth anniversary on May 7th.  It happens to also be 3 days before Mother's Day.  The two most treasured titles I will ever hold are that of "Wife" and "Mother".  These are also two of the most difficult titles I have ever held, but definitely the most worthwhile.  

Like I mentioned in my last post, there are many days where I feel like I am failing in so many ways. However, when I am able to  finally submit to the whispering of the spirit, I am able to see how merciful the savior is.  It is only through his atonement that I am able to become who I need to be for my family.

I am so grateful for my incredible husband and the support he shows me daily.   I am grateful for his love and forgiving heart. He is my very best friend.   Thank goodness we don't have many of the same weaknesses.  When things get tough I am reminded of the MANY qualities he has that help me overcome my weaknesses and compliment my strengths.  He is such a talented, strong, loving, and kind man.  He always can get me to laugh and I am so grateful to have him in my life.

Mother's Day is a hard day for me.  I never understood just how hard Mother's Day is for some people until it became hard for me.  Not a day goes by that I don't treasure the time that I had with my mom.  I look forward to the time when I can laugh with her, cry with her, and just see her face again.  Mother's Day can also be hard for those who ache to have children of their own, or who have lost children.  I know so many people who I pray constantly for their desires for parenthood to be fulfilled.

I am SOOO blessed to have so many  incredible women in my life who have shown me how to be a mother.  I am so grateful to my mom (Stephanie) who made the choice to marry my dad knowing she was also suddenly taking on four additional children to care for.  I am grateful for her strength and willingness to love all 10 children unconditionally.  I know I am guilty of not always showing the appreciation she deserves.

I am also grateful for the mothering qualities and gifts I have seen in my own siblings.  I look up to them so much even though they are younger than me and many of them do not yet have kids.

I have many other examples including 8 wonderful grandmothers  and many aunts who I look up to.

I am in awe when I think of the ways that Aaron's mom and sisters have taken me in.  I feel very much at home with them.  I am touched by the way they mother their own children and the many ways that they have nurtured and loved mine.

There is nothing in the world like being a mother and I am so grateful for all of the good times and the hard times of motherhood.  I feel continually tried and continually strengthened.  I am a mother of a very strong spirit. He is so kind and tender-hearted.  There are many times when he senses that someone is having a hard time and he knows just when to give them a hug, or to make them laugh.   What an amazing person he is.

I am so blessed to be a wife and a mother.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

There are so many days when I feel like I am failing my family--days like today.

Today, like many days I awoke feeling sleep deprived, depressed, and overwhelmed.  I forced myself to get up anyway.  I made Aaron a green smoothie for breakfast before he left for work.  He didn't have any jeans clean that fit him, so I assured him that I would have some clean for him by lunch time.  I have to admit it was pretty hilarious watching him stretch the small pair out, trying really hard not to rip them. He tried to tell me that it was okay, but I already felt like I had fallen short.

Once Aaron was off to work, I attempted to climb back into bed to let my exhausted mind and body get a little more rest--until I heard Hyrum waking up.  I went in to get him and immediately he wanted me to read  him books.  I happily took the opportunity because it's much better than him dragging me off to watch T.V.  After reading one book 3 times in a row along with a few others,  I took him into my bed so I could shower.  I usually let him watch a movie while I shower to keep him out of trouble, but I was feeling guilty for how much T.V. he has been watching lately so I surrounded him with toys on my bed instead. He was being so stinking cute!  I hopped in the shower and after I was done, gathered him up to go downstairs.

I have really been having a hard time getting him to eat lately, so I caved to letting him watch T.V.  while he ate his breakfast.  I then realized I needed to get some apartment work done so I caved again and let him watch a movie while he played with toys.  I told myself I wouldn't let him watch the whole movie, but before I knew it the movie had ended.  Feeling even more like a failure I brought him in the office and let him color.  What started out with a toddler innocently coloring quickly became him acting up in attempts to get me to pay attention to him.  I kept telling myself, I just need to get a few more things done and then he will have my attention the rest of the afternoon.  So, I let him watch another really short show on the computer.

 Suddenly it was lunch time.  I hadn't even done my hair or makeup and Aaron was home for lunch.  I hadn't even thought this far.  Hyrum was throwing fit and I needed to figure something out for lunch before Aaron had to go back to work.  Because of my lack of energy and preparation I took it out on  Aaron a little, feeling even more guilty afterwards.  I quickly apologized giving excuses as to why I reacted, and then said that none of them were really excuses and that I was wrong.  He quickly forgave me, but I still felt silly for acting the way I did over mostly self inflicted stress.  For lunch we had something completely unhealthy and I found that I had given in to Hyrum again just to get him to eat, period.  Aaron was off to work again and Hyrum didn't want him to go.  I don't blame him, after all I wasn't doing much to be fun.  I was merely surviving the day.

After lunch I realized what a wreck the house was from my letting Hyrum on the loose.  He was getting tired, so as I attempted to clean he just followed me making messes.  I gave up, but at least it was somewhat improved.  I then quickly put on mascara and threw my hair in a bun.   I spent some time with Hyrum, reading and playing.  I attempted to get him to sleep, but quickly found that I didn't have the energy.  Some tenants came over and talked to me for a little bit and talked to Hyrum--the little flirt. When they left, I let Hyrum play outside for a little while.  I then let him help me clean the clubhouse since he loves it down there so much.  I was counting down the minutes until Aaron would be home.  My mind was frazzled, so frazzled that I locked the master keys in the utility closet when I had finished cleaning the clubhouse.  I meant to call Mckay to ask for his key, but became distracted by Hyrum throwing rocks into a window well.  I took him kicking and screaming into the house.  He settled down pretty fast, but quickly became mischievous and delirious because he was so tired.  He began dumping out every toy in the living room, but quite frankly I no longer cared.  I began making dinner-- I was at least going to do this much today.  After all,  I caved the day before to getting pizza. I heard the door unlock and Hyrum immediately turned from asking me to get him milk to leading Aaron around by the finger, showing him what he wanted.  Aaron was finally home!!!

We fed the family and watched as Hyrum threw everything on his tray on the floor.  Why should this ever surprise us?  He doesn't take us seriously when we say no, ever.  He thinks everything is a game.  I left the room to answer 3 calls in a row and overheard Aaron getting slightly frustrated because there is no way to get through to Hyrum and he was continuing to find things he could knock off the counter and throw.  I recalled something Aaron had said the day before, "It's a miracle that Heavenly Father continues to get us to want of these little munchkins for how much work they are."  We cuddled Hyrum and then rough housed a little with him because he just loves to wrestle with his dad.  Aaron went down stairs to get something, and I remembered that the keys were locked inside.  He HATES when I do things like this and I don't blame him. I HATE when I do it too-- although It has been quite a while since I have had any sort of key incident. He reacted extremely well and was so patient with me considering how annoying it was to wait to have it unlocked.

Then before I knew it Hyrum was asleep,  Aaron was downstairs getting some things taken care of for the apartments, and here I am writing this.  As I write this it is therapeutic.  I realize just how many blessings I experienced in this crazy day.  I haven't totally failed my family today, although I could have done better to turn to the Lord for strength. My family has been fed-- even if not every meal was totally healthy. We managed to say family prayer together. Hyrum is beginning to really catch on and love family prayer. We are each healthy-- I might not always feel totally sane, but we are physically healthy.  I have a child who may create havoc, but I HAVE A CHILD when so many others long for just this. I truly ache for many of my friends who long for a child, or have experienced losing a child. There were so many moments today when he has brought me so much joy and I really do cherish those moments.  I have a husband who is loving, kind, supportive, and forgiving.  He forgives me again, and again, and again for the same silly things.  I think of all of the people in my family who have been through divorce or losing a spouse and realize how blessed I was to have today with my husband. I should cherish him more. He is my world.

 I know that was using a lot of comparisons to other people's trials. It seems like this tends to be a common way that we relate our blessings.  For some strange reason there are times when other people's heartache  helps us recognize our blessings. I don't mean that in a sick and twisted sort of way.  I mean it in the sense that we all relate to heartache.  We all experience hard times.  There have been so many hard things in my life that I can recall.  I believe that it's not necessarily that we are comparing ourselves to others, but quite the opposite.  I think it's the compassion we feel from hearing of  other people's trials which motivates us to recognize our blessings.  The Lord has been so good to me.  My life is by no means perfect, but I love it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Squish is two!

When I think of my sweet little Hyrum, so many emotions come to mind.  I can't even begin to count the ways that he has blessed my life.  He has made me realize that I still have so much to learn about being a mom; about life in general, really.

It's incredible how intelligent he is.  I love watching him learn his way around this world.  He LOVES his books and picks up so many new words as I am reading to him.  I love watching his face light up when something clicks or when he is praised for his new found knowledge. 

These are some of the things I don't want to forget about Hyrum at this age:

He says a lot of words now including:  Dadda, Mamma, Shzz (shoes), boots, Hu--m (Hyrum), A--mm (Adam), Copper (his cousin's dog),  Emma, Grandma & Grandpa (doesn't usually say it in front of them though), books, cars, choo choo's, cats, eyes, ba (bath), ball, chair, boy, girl, apple, chzz (cheese), cup, bed, boo, monser (Monster's Inc.)

He is very responsive when we ask him questions.  It's so fun!

When you ask him where your cheeks are he always makes a funny squishing sound and pinches them.  

When Hyrum wants something he always finds the nearest person and grabs their finger to make them point or takes them to pick it up, instead of using his own hands.  

As soon as Aaron walks in the door Hyrum either runs away laughing and excited, says Uh- oh and points to something,  runs up and pulls him to his toys, or points to his shoes and says (shzz).  

He has these flash cards we got him for Christmas,  he LOVES them and can do almost all of the things on the cards.  

His favorite movies are Monster's Inc. and Cars. 

He makes lots of noises including animal noises, truck noises, trains, etc.  

Lately at night when we ask if he wants to go to bed he runs to his bed squealing and expects Aaron to wrestle him and play.  

He still does not sleep through the night... He wakes up at least 2-3 times a night for milk refills.  He wakes up and when I come to him he shoves his cup in my hand and points to the  door expecting me to fill it.  He falls asleep right after he gets it back, and sometimes while I am still filling it up.  

He still doesn't say please or thank you, but instead points to everything and yells "Nah".  We are working on that LOL.  

He hates being dirty when he is eating so he either has to hold a wash cloth or asks us to wipe him off several times while he is eating. 

Some of the things I will never forget:  His crazy and miraculous birth.  Him grinding his teeth on a pumice stone! Yuck!  The way he cries so hard sometimes when he is mad and nearly passes out, or does pass out--  All we can do is try and comfort him and support him when this happens so he doesn't get hurt. He constantly turns our computer off when he doesn't want us to be on it, even if it is for a second (drives us crazy).  The day before his second birthday (today) he flushed 3 chunky wood puzzle pieces down the toilet.  They swelled with water inside.  It took a couple of hours to get them loose.  We got two of them out and reseated the toilet.  We then realized it was still clogged and there was still one missing piece, so it took even longer. We finally got the last piece out, but it was a LONG night, especially for Aaron.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Where Can I Turn For Peace/ Be Still My Soul

Lately, in the news and in social media there have been articles and posts embedded with fear. I admit that there have been times that I too have felt fear.  It's easy to feel fear when you know that you are responsible to protect your family in a world so full of uncertainty. I have been taught to study from the best books, sources, and from the best people.  I am able to feel  peace in knowing that I can find answers for myself.  Everyone has their agency.  Not everyone is going to make the same decisions for their family that my husband and I make for ours.  I often have opportunities to find places where the spirit can be and  I am able to feel the peace of the spirit-- faith once again over rides the fears I may have.

It saddens me to see people who let those fears take root and forget what it means to be free or to have agency.  We cannot control what others do, nor should we attempt to do so. Many posts I have seen are emotionally charged posts, which are posted out of ignorance and fear.  There are many things that might be right for one family and may not be right for another.  I have experienced times when I have felt forced to do things that I did not agree with.  It is not our right to force anyone, those who live here or in other countries, to live the way we do -- no matter how strongly we feel about it. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

I wish I could say that I am always a happy person.  That would be a lie, and I guess for most people it would be.  I admire those who are good at being happy.  There have been times in my life when I have struggled immensely with anxiety and depression.  Often those periods can be credited to what Elder Holland says to be "depletion depression".  I am not very good at saying no to people.  I often pile on too much, because I feel that it's my responsibility to help others--forgetting that there are limits.  I am a perfectionist and often feel like a failure because I can not possibly perfect everything I attempt.  I admit to struggling to love myself, or sometimes to even like myself.  I experience times when I am overcome with all of my weaknesses-- as a daughter, a friend, an apartment manager, as a wife,  and as a mother .  I often wonder how Heavenly Father or any one else could possibly love me when I make so many mistakes.

During these times, I go through the motions of going to church and fulfilling callings.  My testimony is tried and I get caught up in ME--unintentionally, yet still true.  I get caught up in my imperfections, trials, and emotions.  Sometimes, I feel like it takes everything I have to think outside of my hardships.  I do my very best at taking care of those around me especially my little boy and my husband, but something is lacking.  

I know what is lacking.  I am reminded often of what I need to do.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father is strained.  I feel guilty because there is no reason for it to be strained other than my own lack of faith-- especially, my lack of faith in the atonement.  I fully trust the atonement works in other people's life, but I sometimes forget the power it can have for me personally.  At times, I lose sincerity in my prayers.  I find myself reading my scriptures less and less, even though I know it's what I need most.   

It is such a relief when the cycle is finally broken.  Sometimes it is broken because I finally submit on my own.  Most of the time, I am humbled because of a series of experiences which lead me where I need to be.  The later has been the case lately.  I can not possibly name each of the times lately when my heavenly father has tried to get through to me.  Many times I experience these simple nudges by the sweet actions of my husband and little boy.  There are other times when I am reminded of the good that I do when I get a little note from a tenant, or a simple thank you from a friend.  

I was recently called as a primary teacher and what a blessing that has been to me.  I can honestly say that each calling I have had has helped me find a greater capacity to love.  I have gained more love, not only for the children and women I work with, but also a greater love for the gospel and for my family.  I am still working on loving myself.  

While cleaning out boxes, Aaron and I came across many of my old journals.  We read many of the entries and it helped me remember a time when I had a strong relationship with my father in heaven.  I am grateful that I kept a record of that time.  It has helped me gain more of a desire to build that relationship again. It is amazing  how quickly the relationship grows once I start nourishing it.  

I had a wonderful relief society activity about scripture study on Wednesday.  It brought back an excitement for scripture study. I also enjoyed the relief society lesson today on prayer.  Each of these were reminders I needed.  

The other night I read Alma 34.  The whole chapter is wonderful, but this time the verses which hit hardest were 38-41.  Immediately after reading those verses I realized that sometimes my depression hits when I am not taking as much time to be grateful. I look forward to that day when we will be able to rest from our afflictions.  For now, I can do much better at bearing them patiently.  

The day after reading this passage Aaron and I experienced a pretty rough day.  We headed out to Zion's National Park, on what we thought would be a nice drive.  We started up the road and not even 10 minutes into the drive, we hit a sharp rock just off the road and blew a tire. Aaron put on the spare tire and we headed back to Cedar City.  Both of us were pretty disappointed.  We were relieved to find that the mechanic shop was opened and we had the tire fixed.  We each were wondering why this  happened, but agreed that we would head back out towards St. George.  We did the Cedar Breaks drive and then were headed on our way to St. George.  Aaron wanted to go another way to see where one of the roads went.  We got off of the freeway and suddenly we lost all power and the car died.  We were able to get it to the side of the road, each of us were astonished that we really could have all of this happen in one day.  We called Sabrina and Dave (Aaron's sister and her husband) to see if he'd be able to give us a tow. We had a road map and were sure there was a way back home without hitting the freeway.  We also called my dad so we could trouble shoot some things on the car.  We had no luck with getting the car to start.  When Sabrina and Dave came we tried for almost 3 hours to find a way through.  We finally decided to get the car somewhere safe and come back for it, because the battery was now dead as well.  Finally, we got home and found that there was no way through without getting on the freeway, so we called a tow truck.  Our car now sits at the mechanic's shop.  It was an eventful and pretty depressing day.  At the end of the day I read Alma 34 once again.

Aaron and I both agree that things could have been much worse.  This morning I once again realized that there are so many things to be grateful for, even in rough circumstances.   We have such amazing family members who are able to help us when we get in a bind.  We were all physically unharmed in each encounter, and at least the costs won't totally break our bank-- even if it's not ideal.  We were able to work through the challenge together and I know that no matter what comes our way, we'll be able to work through it with the lord's help.

I am feeling extremely blessed and in a much happier state than earlier this month.  I know that over time I can overcome some of my other struggles. I know I won't always have good days.  I will come to face some of my challenges and begin to feel comfortable with who I am.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles."-- Pres. Uchdorf

The women in my family (on Aaron's side)  decided to do a "Facebook fast" for the two weeks prior to conference.  We also took turns choosing conference talks to watch and discuss.  I didn't realize how much time I was spending on Facebook and how it affected my life until I went without.   I don't think that Facebook is evil by any means, but I do know that I felt a lot more peace in certain areas, when I went without it for a little while. I was more able to live in the moments I was experiencing rather than worrying about where I was falling short.   Although I am always excited for conference, this time I felt a little more prepared. 

I have been touched by the messages from the talks shared among us women, along with the most recent talks from conference.  

I am not perfect. I constantly struggle to remember that this is okay.  I am often hard on myself and forget that I can overcome my imperfections.  

I am reminded daily of what it means to trust and love perfectly. Hyrum shows me what it means.  He needs my affection and love.  He needs comfort when he is sad.  He needs me to spend time with him.  He needs to be taught so he can learn and grow-- spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally.

I too need love, comfort, time, and teaching moments -- don't we all? I often forget that these things are made available to me because of the savior. He loves me perfectly.  He is ready to give me all of these things if I am in tune and ready to accept them.  
Sometimes I don't recognize his love. I get distracted by a screaming toddler or by sleep deprivation.  I become blinded by unrealistic expectations, of myself, of how to be a mother, of how I think my child should act, and even of what a husband and father should do.  I feel constantly bombarded by such expectations. 

I become downhearted by the horrific things in the news and the difficult challenges that people I love face.  I allow myself to become down about the repetitiveness of life.  There are times when struggles hit me, or those I love and I am unsure how to respond other than falling to my knees.  Sometimes there is no possible solution to these problems other than trusting that the lord will give us the strength to cope.  

I love what Elder Holland says when he states, "Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead."  

Thank goodness for happy days!  Each day we have is a gift. Many of these days are spent with the two people I love more than anything.  Aaron and Hyrum are my world.  Some of the happiest times I've had with my little family, are when we are enjoying nature and the incredible world that has been created for us. 

I have many opportunities to serve as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and visiting teacher. I am so blessed to be able to be home each day with my little boy.   I look forward each day to the time I am able to spend with Aaron.  Although I get frustrated with my job as an apartment manager, I know that it also provides opportunities for me to serve every single day.   Too often I let opportunities slip away.   I find that I feel more fulfillment when I remember that I am helping people who have bad days just like I do.

It is  helpful to know that there are so many people there to back me up in life. I am so grateful to be in contact with incredible employers who show us their support, not only in business, but in their interest in our personal lives.  I receive constant support from friends and family.   I feel so very blessed for the relationships which I have with each of my family members. I wish I could say I never take those relationships for granted.  I also have many cherished memories with wonderful ward members, church leaders, and visiting teachers who truly understand their callings. 

My life is great because of the people in it, because of  my parents who provided me the opportunity to live, and because of the gospel plan which provides me the opportunity to be with my husband and  all of my family for eternity.  All of this is possible because of the savior.  It is awe inspiring!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer 2014-- So far...

This rabbit lives on  the Stadium Way property.  Hyrum LOVES to chase it around. 

I found this table on the cedar city blog shop.  He loves it!

We stopped in scipio to get gas and went through this free petting zoo.  Aaron read Hyrum his "Dear Zoo" book  while we were there.  He showed him the camel in the book and then pointed to the real one.  He started laughing,  I think he got it,  it's hard to know for sure though. He loved the animals!

We've been able to spend quite a bit of time with my family this summer.  I'm so glad they were able to visit!

Hyrum with his uncle Quinn.  We sure love having him live so close. 

Hyrum always makes this face when he's teasing us.

He is all boy.  No doubt about that. 

This is a horrible picture, but we don't have many with all of us in it.  It at least shows that we did more than apartment maintenance this summer.  Sometimes I need a reminder.