Monday, December 5, 2011


Like most people at this time of year, I have been feeling more acutely grateful for the blessings in my life. I read a message by President Eyring and it touch me deeply. I have seen a direct coorelation between the gratitude that I feel and my level of happiness. My circumstances have not really changed. But I have drawn closer to Heavenly Father through gospel study, and therefore, have felt more grateful, and then more happy with my life. I like this part of his message because he stresses the need to pray for gratitude.

"Most of all, sometimes it is hard for us to be sufficiently grateful for the greatest gifts we receive: the birth of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, the promise of resurrection, the opportunity to enjoy eternal life with our families, the Restoration of the gospel with the priesthood and its keys. Only with the help of the Holy Ghost can we begin to feel what those blessings mean for us and for those we love. And only then can we hope to be thankful in all things and avoid the offense to God of ingratitude.

We must ask in prayer that God, by the power of the Holy Ghost, will help us see our blessings clearly even in the midst of our trials." (President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little blog stealing

My friend Kristi finds the most inspiring quotes for her blog. This one was especially relevant to me today. So, rather than print it off and tape it to my wall I decided to copy her and put it here.

“The family by its very nature is an institution based upon righteous self-denial and sacrifice. It is not an individualistic or self-centered organization, but a highly cooperative and other-centered institution. Successful families require that men and women make substantial and long-term sacrifices of their time, money, and personal fulfillment in order to dedicate their efforts to rearing the next generation. Selfishness in any form or degree weakens the bonds that hold families together. The rise of selfishness in our society is the fundamental underlying trend that undermines families and makes successful marriages so difficult. Many today find it irrational to devote so much time and energy to the welfare of the next generation, but if this commitment is not deeply rooted in society, civilization will decline and perish, while children grow up in a moral wasteland, confused, unguided, and unloved.

“Moreover, the sacrifices that fathers and mothers make for their children ultimately will result in the greatest possible happiness for those making the sacrifices. In all of human experience, there are no joys more tender, no love more sweet, no fulfillment higher than that found in the family. Those who honor the calling of righteous parenthood will find their souls refined, their hearts purified, and their minds enlightened by the most important lessons of life. They will rise to far greater heights of happiness than those who engage in the narrow and ultimately unsatisfying pursuit of self.”

Bruce D. Porter, "Defending the family in a troubled world", The Ensign, June 2011.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Party Fleas" and "Speed Bugs"

Rather than try to describe every photo in the previous two posts I thought I would show the pictures and follow them up with a brief explanation of the party. My beautiful and talented forever-friend Irene took the pictures for me so I would be sure and put something about Millie's birthday on this blog! Knowing that- I had to go through with it! Let me just say that many, many beautiful things have happened to our family that have not been recorded on this blog. I would love to say that I have still been doing my part of "Family History" or "Family Historian" and recorded it elsewhere. But, I haven't. My daily life is a serious roller coaster of emotions. Really frustrating moments followed by mundane followed by frustrating followed by mundane followed by... glorious.

Clearly this little girl is a beacon of light and life and energy to me. She seriously sparkles when she is happy and cheerful or devious and defiant! She takes my breath away. She knows what she wants and how she plans to get it. She is only four but she is a powerful kid. For the past 9 months we have been planning her birthday party. It ended up that everyone we invited was able to attend (18 kids and most parents!!!). We had pizza and veggies and fruit- cake and cupcakes from Publix. Millie and I made the "treasure box" together. It was her idea to cluster the colors of jewels all together. She wanted her party to have princess games. When the games we had come up with went by really fast we ended up coming inside for a Family Home Evening favorite of Millie's: Charades. We decided to make it movie themed but that was a bit complicated for the kids so we ended up doing animal charades. They collected lost jewels, made crowns and shields, got wands and swords, fought off the "bad knight" (daddy) and even got to attack him with water balloons. I hope it was everything that Millie dreamed of. On my end it was more stressful than I imagined and oh-so hard to corral 18 kids to do anything much less listen to me as I set the scene for the next game but I think it was worth it. Millie hasn't started planning her 5th birthday yet- so that is a good sign. Good moments or horrible ones, I am so proud she's mine.

4 years old Part 2

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kid History

Joe is always showing me videos on the Internet. This is one that actually made me laugh. A lot!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Joseph: "My own body communicates to me that I need to play video games all the time." In a whining voice.
Me: Laugh.

Joseph: "No really," with a pleading look, "my own body clock says that it's time."

Me: "Maybe later bud."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Day of Sadness and Rejoicing

Today was a big day for two reasons. For about 7 1/2 weeks my dad has been battling a bout of Pancreatitis and all the complications that accompany that illness. After a blessing by the hands of my oldest brother essentially releasing him from obligation to "fight it out", he peacefully passed away at 1:51 am. My brother did not have to make the decision to take him off the various forms of life support. He simply pronounced the blessing that was God's will and within 2 minutes my father had passed. I am so grateful for all the time that I was able to spend with my father. He is a fun, passionate, loving, spontaneous, intelligent man. He is one of those people who, when focused on you, can understand you and make you feel understood. My only regret is that I don't have MORE pictures/memories/time spent with him. It is just like people/the movies always say: death really puts things in perspective. I encourage all who read this to make the most of each and every relationship they have because we truly never know how long we will have with that person. (The pictures above were taken last thanksgiving in San Diego at the Old Ferry Landing in Coronado. It was the last time we saw my father. He and MaryBeth were very helpful and fun on the beach that day.)

We rejoiced in the birth of our son Isaac today as Joe and some dear friends and family blessed him in church. The men you see in the picture are those who helped with the blessing (and our Bishop who is not in the picture). I am so grateful to have such a wonderful support group behind me. It was a beautiful blessing.
Births and deaths are a very basic and essential part to Heavenly Father's plan for us. That knowledge does not take away all sorrow and sadness but it can give us comfort as we go through life and experience loss. I know that I will see my dad again some day, that he will hold me in his giant arms and kiss my face.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thanks to Irene!!!

Thanks to Irene I have some beautiful newborn pictures of my little Isaac! She was ready to shoot when he was only a week or so and I- due to my many post pregnancy issues- was not ready for that little bit of stress until he was four weeks old!!! I am still counting them as newborn photos though! It ended up being a lot of fun- for me at least. Christian (Irene's little one year old) had another opinion I am sure but Irene handled it all like such a pro! Thank you Irene for taking the time and energy to shoot my little guy! You did fantastic!