Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not My Words, But Ever so Much My Heart

I came across this article. The author spoke exactly what I have felt. It is all about the Ordain Women organization that is asking for the priesthood to be given to the women of the church. Now, I do have to let it be known, I am not against women having the priesthood if that is what is to be revealed through those set apart to receive such revelation. In fact, I love doing initiatory work in the temple.  Not only am I promised such tremendous blessings through the priesthood, but it is women who are the Lord's mouthpiece promising them to me! I really don't understand how these women have overlooked this great blessing. Instead of rejoicing in it, they are not satisfied and it's not good enough. 

Anyway, I'll stop talking and just let you read the link.

You'll have to tell me what you think!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aching For My Daughter

I find it ironic that last night I was all positive and this next post is anything but! Such is the life of being a mother....

Occasionally I will steal my kids' handheld devices and take a peek at what's on them- I'm one of those moms. Tonight it was Grace's iPod.  I searched thorough it, all of it. It made me really, REALLY sad. It also left me mad and determined to do something for her.

After scrolling through an enormous amount of text messages (who knew 12 year-olds had so much to talk about), and even more Instagram posts, I discovered that my daughter doesn't think she's beautiful. Not only that, she's dying for someone to tell her! I thought this would be something I would never have to worry about because 1) her dad tells her all the time how pretty she is and 2) I never felt that way growing up, so she should too, right? WRONG!

This mom has just been schooled about kids "now-a-days" and how social media just might have more pull than you would like.

Holy cow! Kids are competitive!  Her text massages were nothing but preteen girls looking for the others' approval. 

"Oh, you're so gorgeous! I wish I was as beautiful as you- insert sad face"
"Oh whatever! You're sooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous- insert happy face"

or this one:

Please rate me! Above would be different things they can post to rate how great, how beautiful, how wonderful, blah, blah, blah, blah...

then I'd read a text:

"You're so lucky he put that for you. He didn't put anything for me. I wish he thought I was pretty."

My heart sank. I felt like I had failed my daughter. I never recall thinking I was not good enough or pretty enough. ME! I have always felt comfortable in my own skin. ME! The girl with the chubby legs, yellow teeth, and a slight mustache growing above her lip! These were all insecurities I had, but I always knew I was pretty. I'm 50 lbs heavier than I was in high school, but I still feel I'm pretty! So how can my daughter who is thin, has gorgeous green eyes, and totally lacking facial hair not feel that way?! How did she not get the message I was trying to send by always being confident, happy, and quiet about the weight I had gained?

I've decided that being a quiet example just might not be good enough now. Our kids have things screaming at them that they need to do better, be better, look better. I decided this mom needs to be louder than those ugly voices, text messages, or photo posts. 

So, I was!

It was 11:00 at night, but I marched to her room where she was sleeping and I woke her - it took a little while.

Me: Grace, do you not feel you're pretty?
Grace: (she shakes her head no)
Me: Why? What makes you feel that way?
Grace: I don't know. I just feel it sometimes.
Me: Grace, you are beautiful! Don't let anyone, or anything, make you feel differently. Who cares if some boy doesn't think you're pretty. All that matters is how you feel about yourself. I want you to start looking at yourself different. I want you to tell yourself how pretty you are. You don't need any one's approval. You are perfect the way your are! 

It was short and sweet and to the point. I think she got it. I hope she got it! If not, I don't know what else to do...I guess keep telling her. Eventually she'll believe me.



How does she not see it?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A New Chapter In Motherhood

Every now and then I get all sentimental while looking at my kids. Today was one of those days. What sparked it? My 16 year-old walking into the door of his new place of employment! I can't believe one of my kids is old enough to work. Well, old enough to work and get paid by someone other than me. 

I'll tell you it was a little like sending him off to his first day of school. I was worried  he'd be nervous. I was worried his boss might be mean. I was worried about what type of people he would be working with. Would they be nice to him? It all seems so silly. He's sixteen, not six! But I'm a mom. Mom's are like that sometimes.

I asked Ryan how it was when I picked him up- he's working to save money to drive. He really likes it. He worked the grill and firer. He was burned a couple of times. He said he was slow at first, but by the end of the night had found his groove. I'm glad he enjoys working. I'm glad he's building a good work ethic. If he keeps it up, I have no doubt that he can move up and succeed at whatever he chooses.

I've decided that instead of lamenting my children getting older, I'm going to find the joy in it. I choose to be happy about it. I hear lots of moms say they are sad that their babies are growing up.While it's true that I miss their cute little smiles and tiny voices- I still remember the way Ryan would say, "Silly Soccer," a game Aaron got for Christmas in 2003- I don't think that's the real reason. What I think we, as moms, might really be mourning is their shrinking dependence on us. Now that they are big, they no longer need us. Where do we fit in their new found independence?

Ryan may not need me to tie his shoes anymore, or blow his nose, or check his face to make sure it's clean. He now needs me to ask him how his day was, teach him the importance of being on time, following through with his commitments, or why he should tuck his shirt in at work. I'm still needed, I just don't have to take care of him physically like I used to.  I'm excited for Ryan! I'm excited to see where his life takes him. I may not be the center of his world anymore, but I plan on being a big part of it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

God's Grace...Heaven knows I need it!!!

I love Sundays because it is the one day in my life that is not rushed and chaotic- after the whole getting ready for church routine of course! I love that I can partake of the sacrament, renewing my promises I've made to God. I love seeing my girls in dresses and my boys in shirts and ties! I wish they would choose to dress up more often, but I know why not. I'm the same way! Give me jeans and a t-shirt any day! I love that my son blessed the sacrament today and the other was an usher, opening and closing doors that lead to the chapel. I love singing hymns with family. I love learning new things each week, or relearning and committing to do better. I love hearing Christ's teachings.

Today the talks were on tithing and God's grace. I love both of these topics. Each has been a learning process for me. Tithing I understood much earlier, but I'm still learning about God's grace. It is such a HUGE topic to explore! The brother quoted from a  talk given by Brad Wilcox, His Grace Is Sufficient (well worth the read). I love this talk! I love hearing that I don't have to be perfect at what I'm trying to do when it comes to living the gospel. I just have to be trying, honestly trying. And each day the honest effort looks so different. Some days I feel I'm on my game, I nailed it! Most days it's back to the drawing board. I love knowing that I am not alone in this journey. That my Savior is with me each step, carrying the burden if I'll let Him. With Him as my partner I will be successful and I am promised peace. He is the difference.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." -Matthew 11:29

Sunday, March 9, 2014

With Change Comes Plans

We have been in our home for almost 6 months. I say that and it seems like so long ago!! In reality, however, it seems like we haven't found our footing in those 6 months. Why does it take so long to adjust to change? I feel my kids are doing better than Dustin and I. They are slowly moving forward with friends and feeling comfortable, but the adults still seemed lost!

Dustin looks at me all the time like, "What have you done?" I want to hide my head and  yell. "I don't know! It seemed right at the time!" lol I can't, it did feel right at the time. I know it was the right choice for us. It is good to get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself. I think the problem was that we stayed too long in our comfort zone. Once we were settled, we were ready to never leave! I'm so grateful we did though.

We have been deciding on what to do with our .27 acre lot. That's a lot of land to landscape! That;s a lot of money, too!! We have come up with a few fun ideas. I have convinced my husband to build a fire pit. Surrounding the fire pit will be two yard swings and a bench. It will all sit under a square pergola. We can see it in our heads. The inspiration came from a photo I saw on Face book.

We will have a spot for a shed to house the quad and yard tools, a garden, and an area for a future deck. That's just the backyard! I was voting for a splash pad, but Dustin won't do it. It would be better than a pool, I think! HE says it would be too expensive. He's right. I can't believe how much things cost. Even concrete! Holy smokes! This is the reason this will all be done a little at a time. This year we hope to get the sprinkling system, yard, fence (almost done), and fire pit in. It's going to be a busy Spring and Summer! Yeah for busy days though! And yeah for projects that will help us to get to know our neighbors better!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy Teenager

A word I would use to describe raising a teenage boy would be...


Maybe it's too early, I don't know. But my boys are pretty calm, cooperative, and low maintenance. We ask them to take the garbage out, they do it. I ask them to watch the baby, they do it. I hope I'm not counting my chickens before their hatched. I would hate to see it change.

Aaron is so helpful. He is self motivated. He has been this way since he was little. I have rarely had to remind him to pick up after himself. I remember always finding his shoes lined up in his closet and his shirts always hanging nicely. I;m afraid he might be a little OCD, but there could be worse things. Being too tidy is hardly a complaint - I should know, I married one! 

When it comes to friends, Aaron is totally different than my other kids. He's more like me. We're kind of loners. We aren't anti-social, but we are fine with being by ourselves. It takes a lot for us to be bored, so I think friendships suffer from that, especially if you have made friends with a very social person. He has clicked with a neighbor kids, though. It make s me happy because I haven't seen that since 2nd and 3rd grade with him. He found a friend who is just like him and they get each other. They hang out everyday. I'm glad because I was worried when we moved here. 

Today was a beautiful winter day and he was outside playing basketball all afternoon. When he came in to get ready for mutual, I couldn't believe it was him for a moment. He sure is tuning into a good, handsome young man. It makes a mama's heart happy!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Can Do Hard Things...but it's hard!

My goal this year was to Live. I'm really trying. In really trying, I have realized that there are a lot of things in my life I have run away from because they were hard. A small example in my life right now: new ward, new calling, new job( and new side job), and still trying to figure out this baby. There was a point that I was running away from every one of these responsibilities. It was hard to move away from a ward where I knew everybody. I'm in the Primary now and feel like I know only a select few. That can make it hard to feel connected to a ward. Throw in  that I know no one in my neighborhood and won't be getting to know them anytime soon because I now work during the day. And the rest of the day I will spend taking care of my six kids! Not a whole lot of time to socialize! I was feeling so overwhelmed I shut down completely and had a little panic attack! I just couldn't see how I was going to do all of these things!
Nobody likes to feel stretched beyond capacity. It doesn't feel good. I'm starting to realize, however, it may not feel good at the the time, but when you look back and have seen that you are okay, you kind of smile and say, "Wow! I did it!" 

How did I do it? Or how am I doing it?

One step at a time. Dustin and I have always been social people. We don't mind being the first ones to introduce ourselves. We have met a few neighbors and are starting to feel at home. One thing I can check on my list of "Hard Things".

Yesterday, I took the "bull by the horns" in regards to my calling. I decided I could do all of it. I called and got training set up for cub scouts. I emailed everybody I needed to contact. I organized the notebook that I have been neglecting since I got it. I did all of it! And after I did it, I literally smiled and was amazed at myself! It felt so good. I no longer felt like the schmuck that I was beginning to believe that I was. Another check for me!

I may not have everything checked off right now, but I'm getting there. I've decided it's a lot easier to look at one specific thing on my list than the list as a whole. When I was looking at EVERYTHING, my heart seemed to stop and I could actually feel the adrenaline start to pump- craziest feeling ever! Fight or flight would kick in and I usually chose flight. I am not a confrontational person. I keep reminding myself that it's okay that everything is not checked off. The important part is that I keep moving forward. I can't compare myself to others. Yes, some people can sit down and just do what they need to do. For some reason that's not me. But I 'm working on it. By the end of the year I hope to be 100 times better. OK. Who am I kidding? I want to be at least 10 times better!