Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday little angel!!  This week you signed 'more' to me when you wanted more chili.  I can't believe an entire year has gone by since you joined the family.  We love you more today than when you arrived.  So much fun!!!  We can't wait to see what the next 50 years will hold for you!  Love ya' Baby!!  Mom!  (So I didn't crop out the toes....oh well....next time!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why I LOVE the INCREDIBLES!!! (Part 1)

I have a Bachelor's degree in Family Science (FS) from BYU (Brigham Young University).  FS is a branch of psychology which emphasizes systems theory (studying relationship systems and groups, as opposed to individuals, which is traditional psychology).  BYU now has the School of Family Life which focuses on The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  I'm not sure what my major is called now, but suffice it to say, I had many, many, many classes on families and development.  Coming from a broken home, I am extremely passionate about what makes families function, and not just work, but THRIVE!!

I LOVE the Incredibles because of all the principles at work in the lives of this family.  I won't be able to tell you everything I see in one post, or even two....so you'll just have to come back periodically and see what else I have to say... :-)  Today, I'll just mention two.

'More than Mr. Incredible' Principle:
As they are saying their vows, Elastigirl says to Mr. Incredible, "If we are really going to make this work, you're going to have to be more than Mr. Incredible."

Isn't that so true??  A lot of times during the dating/courting process both the man and the woman are so enamored with each other flaws are not so apparent.  In order to really make the marriage work, we cannot rely on those rose colored glasses of early courtship.  It takes more....  usually MUCH more.  It isn't enough to focus on the more shallow public perceptions when deep flaws are noticed through the day in and day out process of married life.  It requires growth and patience on the part of both people....... usually over years of time, as all of us have rough edges that are painful and difficult to remove.

'Everyone is special' Principle:
Dash is driving home with his mother after being called into the principal's office.  Mrs. Incredible is trying to explain why his behavior is inappropriate and other ways he might express himself.  Dash, defending himself, says, "Dad always says our powers make us special!"
Mrs. I:  "Everyone is special, Dash."
Dash (under his breath):  "Which is the same thing as saying 'No one is'!"

I LOVE how each person in the family is 'SUPER' in a different way.  Their gifts are unique, just like in life!  Each person is unique and special.  It is their individual gifts that allow them to offer something that no one else can to the world around them.  Sometimes their strength can compensate for the others' weaknesses and sometimes others' strengths compensate for their weaknesses.  Awesome!!!!

I have a TON more, but my own little Jack, Jack is calling for me.  Like Jack, Jack, we are not exactly sure what his gifts are yet, but we know they are there!!  Sorry I can't just write them all now!!  Til next time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Aunt Sherry

This is a photo of my mom's family....most of them.  My aunt Sherry passed away last month.  My aunt Marie, aunt Janelle, uncle Buck, aunt Leona, my mother, and cousin Johnathan (Sherry's oldest) are pictured in this photo at Sherry's funeral.

I didn't know my aunt very well.  She lived in Texas and we lived there until I was almost 8.  All of my memories of her and her family are from before then.  It is so neat to see her siblings together, missing my aunt Sheila, the baby of the family.  They look GREAT, don't they?  I think my mom isn't comfortable going grey yet....too bad....I love her anyway. :-)  I had no idea my cousin was sooooo very tall!  My uncle isn't short!

Anyway, thanks Marie for sending the photos!  I wish I could have attended the funeral!  I am so very glad Sherry has reunited with her sweet husband, a son, her parents, and a dear grand-daughter!  Sweet peace dear auntie!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fabulous Five Friday Link-up: Family Edition

I LOVE where I live!!  On the 4th of July, we drove 30 minutes away, took a 20 minute hike and ended here:

Now, this photo doesn't really do the scenery justice.  This ledge sits about 30 feet above the ocean so you can look down over the edge and see it crashing on the rocks below.  You are out in the ocean so it feels like it surrounds you...about 280 degrees around.  We even took all the kids and the baby!!

The trail right before you hit the ledge.

My little one makes the silliest faces:

This week, in addition to our nation's birthday, I have 3 family members with birthdays:  My sister, happy 33rd!  and two sons--one turns 20 and the other 18!!  Happy birthday guys!

One of my very dearest friends celebrates her birthday as well.  So without embarrassing her too much----yes I am talking to you Mrs. July 3rd!  I always enjoy your company!  Even though you have your own problems, you are an inspiration to me.  I receive strength from your example and perseverance.  I love talking doctrine with you.  You know your stuff and I learn from our discussions, even though they don't happen as often as I would like.  (Not because of you...one of us is just a little busy  ???)  I miss having you live where we can interact personally every day.  Thanks for being my friend, for teaching me and encouraging me to be better.  I am a better woman from our friendship.  I love you!  Happy (late) birthday!!  You are always in my heart!

My baby started walking!!!
He has also started screaming for things he wants, yelling when things are taken away, head-butting when he is mad, banging his head on the floor when he is frustrated.....

Growling, hugging, kissing, and is finally learning to fall asleep by himself.  It just takes 1/2 an hour each evening of me lying beside him while he tries to figure it out!  Sheesh!  Like I said, high maintenance!

I forgot to add Heather's Link up.....HERE

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Strawberry Rock

The view (right)
The view (middle)
The view from our summit (left)

My son took me hiking the other day....  just the two of us.  Originally we were going to take the entire family but when he said the words, "Ya', the kids would HAVE to obey or they could really get hurt," I suggested we hike alone to see if it would be something the little ones could do.  Usually they are pretty obedient, but they have their days and their moments and I didn't want one of those to be during a hike I was unfamiliar with.

I LOVED IT!!!  When I go hiking with the girls---I do pretty well, don't need a lot of rest and push pretty hard....      But I am in NO shape compared to an extremely athletic 21 year-old male.   I am old, fat, and SLOW!  I constantly had to ask for him to slow down, to which he would reply, "I thought we were going slow....."  Ugh!  It was a steep climb, not the steepest climb I have done, but definitely steeper than these old lungs and knees could manage well.

I enjoyed my time immensely!  We talked about normal stuff---friends, school, girls, the gospel, the ward, family.  I felt like a real person---not just the cook, diaper changer, personnel manager, milk lady.  I don't know what it is that is so difficult about early motherhood that makes you feel invisible.............
Oh, ya' I do.  It is this:

"In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife—or both—may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s breadwinning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs—Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life. It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes sometimes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island.......

"One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” Thirdly, she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.
But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.
“It is this realization,” she says, “that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming."  (Excerpt, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Because She is a Mother," April 1997, Full text here)

He says it so well.  We are everything --  the entire world to our little children, and yet we usually have ZERO personal time or space, or suppose to have any needs.  I still do not always feel like I can breath with this little person.  He is so demanding.  He is still up 2-3 times a night, at 11 months!!  A lot of the time he sleeps in my bed.  Now lest you decide to argue with me and tell me to just put my foot down, please remember that I do have 8 other children and NONE of them were still getting up every night at this age.  I know how to help them learn it.  This one is just on a different learning curve.

So what did I learn from my hike:
1.  Four hours of ME time was glorious!!!!
2.  But still probably too long for my little one.
3.  I would exercise that hard and long everyday in the outdoors with good company (like that would happen!)
4.  The hike was too much for the rest of the family.
5.  We would have been in danger if we had taken the entire family.
6.  The view was totally amazing (see above) and worth the climb, even with only cell phone photos.
7.  I really LOVE being a mother to my oldest (who, by the way, up to this point has given me my very most difficult parenting moments and learning experiences).
8.  If child #9 turns out like child #1, the hike will be long and hard, but the view will be amazing and totally and completely worth the journey.
9.  I do love these two high maintenance individuals:
10.  We can still do things when we are older that we did when we were younger.......  it just takes us longer.  Hopefully we do it with our eyes and hearts more open to the process.