Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to School 2015-2016

New Haircuts
Mine-Craft Head?

Elizabeth (K), Noah (1st), Jack (2nd), Abbi (5th), Marlie (6th), and James (4th)

Back to School Dinner
Back to School Theme - Stand for the Right. Be true, be true.
Brownie, Strawberry, and Whipped Cream Dessert!
Abbi loves Baymax
 

 
 

Daisy cries and stares at the school while she waits for the kids to come out.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Temple Square



Ellis Island Photo Booth in the Family Search Center
Primary Room in the Relief Society Building - CTR Rug
Young Women's Values Rug
In 1947, my great-grandmothers donated $5 to help build the Relief Society building.
Florence Stone
Hilda Irene Kunz

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's a little dark where I'm walking

Yesterday, Noah and I rearranged his bedroom.  We took down all of his Kindergarten and Preschool artwork that was pinned all over his walls.  We put away the wooden letters spelling his name that, nearly six years ago, had announced his birth.  After adjusting his bed and rearranging the National Geographic magazines on his nightstand, we hung up his newest poster, the Star Wars characters performing a rock concert.  We finished by removing all of the clothes or shoes that were once purchased in the toddler sections of the store.  He's a big kid now.  Noah's shoes are nearly as big as mine and his clothes come from the same section as the big boys.


Abbi and I sorted her closet and piled up all of the shoes and clothes that are purchased in the big girls section to make space for clothes and shoes that will fit her long body.  Her feet are two sizes larger than mine and, while her waist is narrow, her legs are long enough that we had to start looking in the juniors' section.  We put away the special things she had collected over the years but now considers to be for little girls.  Even her special stuffed bunny was tucked away into a drawer.  She has organized her science and craft supplies onto her newly inherited desk.  Abbi's room has transitioned from pink and cozy to a zebra stripe tween room.

They love to work in their rooms with me.  My kids appreciate having something added to the wall or a nightstand scooted a little bit.  They admire their space like it's a whole new room.  While they admire, I haul a bag of donations and garbage to the garage.  I walk past the fabric I once collected to make into receiving blankets and burp cloths.  I drag their old toys past the boxes up high on the shelf full of their baby blankets.  

There used to be a couple other boxes there.  Baby toys, miscellaneous baby gear, even a beginning hoard of diapers/wipes/etc., and a Bumbo seat.  Thing we started to tuck away a little at a time to prepare for an addition we've never had.  Now, the collection is down to just a box for Abbi and a box for Noah full of their baby blankets.  We've gifted away the diapers and wipes when Jake's co-worker had a baby.  And finally, I took down the bright green Bumbo seat that smiled at me every time I went to my car.  My friend has a baby that fills that empty seat up well.

I haven't followed through with everything my specialist recommended.  I lost my motivation.  I'm not saying we haven't invested in our attempts to add to our family.  We've spent over $15,000 on procedures to get our bodies operating.  But, I've lost my motivation.  Unfortunately, I haven't lost the disappointment.  I'm satisfied with our family but I always wish, maybe, we'll be surprised this time.  Negative tests have passed through this house by the dozens.  Sometimes, I delay taking any test because the mystery feels better than the one lonely pink line.  Or sometimes, my body does it's work which mean it didn't do the work I was secretly hoping for.

I have two good babies and the best Jake there could ever be. 

But, sometimes in the middle of the night I wonder:

What would it feel like to have a big stretched out belly where I had a baby growing inside?  Is it the girl I feel like is missing?  Would I name her Mia or Quinn?  Would she have my blue eyes?  What chair would I pick for us to rock her in?  I just want to pick out the little things: a car seat, a stroller, binks, a diaper bag.  I just want to see Jake rocking and loving her.  I'd like to see Abbi try to change her.  And, I'd like to listen to Noah teach her his secret ways.  I'd like to take her to my grandma's house so she could kiss her.  I'd like to dump her off with my parents while I sneak away for an hour alone.

But, these are the things I only wonder in the night.  It's a little dark where I'm walking so I'll just turn on a few lights and wait for the sun to come up over the mountain.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"I've had to add you to my inactive list."

Helpful?

Encouraging?

Hurtful?

Offensive?

I don't know how the message was meant to be received, but I'm not sure it was helpful or encouraging to have someone knock on my door and tell that my name was added to the inactive list for Relief Society.  Luckily, I didn't find it incredibly hurtful or offensive.  I considered the source, I considered the truth, and I decided to leave it at that.

I love Relief Society.  I've spent more time serving in callings with the Relief Society than any other organization of the Church.  I'm an advocate of the spiritual and temporal blessings it can bring to the women who participate purposefully.  I love the lessons and the insights that are shared or that I discover during the lessons.  I love the diversity of the sisters there.  There are friends with backgrounds and stories there who you never meet if you don't attend.

Anyone who knows how my church attendance has bounced around for the last year or so, has never really asked why.  It's no one's responsibility but my own to get me and my children to church.  But, I do see and hear how others view my spotty attendance as laziness.  And, with my visitor's information, I saw and heard how I was a missing check mark on an attendance roll rather than a missing sister in Relief Society.

I never would have guess that my name would have been on any "inactive list."  I never anticipated the feeling of scraping up my mental, emotional, and physical stamina from off the floor to try and get myself out the door to church every week.  Add in the way little flu bugs pass around a family to my struggle to gather my senses on a daily basis and you'll find a partly inactive family.  Sometimes I make it there, with or without my juvenile entourage, and sometimes I don't.

But, I'll try again next time, just like I did every other time.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

I've been going through my blog to find posts to put into the kids' private blogs I have started as a way of journaling the early part of their lives. I just about scrolled past this post when my curiosity about what the title meant made me pause. I'm glad I did. 

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 Life is full of twists and turns. Think of the time you sit on the front row of the roller coaster. The bright sun shines in your eyes while your stomach probably feels a little like butterflies when you strapped yourself in, thinking "Why am I doing this?" Then, the ride jerks forward and your body feels a little tense. You know it's going to be alright and you know you're going to have fun but the adrenaline just takes it's time hitting. Once it does, every twist and turn is exciting and you may have even found enough courage to raise your arms before the camera shoots while you're hanging upside down. What a memory! You hop off the ride, running to get in the line for another go. 

 Sometime, the rides we take are in the dark. We know there will be twists and turns, ups and downs but whether or not we got over the first scary loop, we're already shooting into the next. Sometimes there is no time to catch your breath before the next twist takes it away again. The thrill of the ride is lost in the dark unknown. You can't quite explain what you've just been through before you've been thrown into the next loop. There doesn't seem like there will ever be a break in the uncontrollable speed of the ride. You can hardly wait until the ride slams to a stop. But then it does. When you pull your body up and out of the seat, you trudge off, hoping to never see that ride again, let alone be a passenger. You even debate whether or not to leave your lunch in the bushes near by. 

 The thing is ... it just may be the same roller coaster. Sometimes we get to feel the rush of the wind on our face and sometimes that same wind overwhelms us. Whether it's light or dark while you zoom through the twists and turns, the ride goes on. The difference is the light. The light is when (or what) makes us feel safe, it gives us the power to hold on until the end of the ride and hopefully, helps us even enjoy the ride. 

 I just gotta find the switch to turn on these darn lights.

Written April 26, 2012.