Friday, October 31, 2008

Testify, part 4

I know that God created all of this...

I look around me and wonder how anyone would think otherwise. These are pictures from some of the amazing and beautiful places I have been this year. They are just some of the wonderful things Heavenly Father has given to us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Testify, part 3

I know being a mom is the best thing in the world

There is nothing that could make me happier than being a mom. There is nothing I would rather be doing than spending my time with the kiddos. Seriously. I know that what I am doing right now is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Elder M. Russell Ballard quoted this in one of my favorite talks (you need to read it.) He said, "Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”

I do not want to miss out on any moments. I want to make every day, every minute count. They are too important. I am grateful for all I have, especially my kids. They are a gift in my life and I want to treasure each of them. I am going to do better. Everything else can wait!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Testify, part 2

I know getting an education is important.

I remember the feeling that washed over me during my graduation from BYU. I was sitting on the stand, with Pete by my side and miss S was on my lap. It hit me all of the sudden, and I couldn't stop smiling. I turned to Pete and said, "I am SO happy right now." It truly was one of the happiest moments of my life, no doubt. Partly because I was proud, partly because Pete & I were graduating together, but mostly, because I was DONE! The thoughts of test, papers, deadlines and all of the other little stresses were over & I felt such relief.

I started BYU knowing what I wanted to study and for the most part really enjoyed my classes. I graduated in Broadcast Journalism, and it was fun. I have always loved to sit in front of the camera or computer and "produce" my own little projects. I did it all the time, even in high school. So, I was really excited to finally get to the last year of school so I could do all the things I loved. I was going to be taking the class where we wrote, edited, produced and anchored KBYU news every day! Only, it didn't end up being quite as fun as I expected - surprise! I was pregnant.

You may think that is a normal thing at BYU, and it probably is in many majors, just not mine. Nobody was pregnant while they were working on the news station. I was the only one. We had to get to school by 7 in the morning to compile all the news coming in off the wires (it sounds cool, huh) and I would be so sick. I have some wonderful videos of me anchoring the news looking just a little pale. By then, I knew working was not going to be an option for me, my life was taking a different direction. School got a little tougher with a baby, but I did it.

When Pete and I graduated a year after little miss S was born, it was a great day. I rented her a cap and a gown and I carried her across the stage with me.

It was funny, I was so happy to be done with school and yet, I missed it after a while. I didn't miss the tests, quizzes, projects... I missed learning. My days were spent with one - and then 2 babies. I loved it. I wouldn't have traded that time for anything, but it was hard too. I didn't get much time for myself. I remember thinking I needed to find something that I could do, something I could learn about.

A couple of years ago, it hit me. I could learn and do whatever I wanted. Learning does not have to be done in school. Since then, I have found things that interest me and have done what I can to learn more about them. The things I have learned and have been able to do have brought a lot of enjoyment in my life. And I have so much more to learn! There are so many things I want to know about, so many things I want to do well.

I know learning is something we need to do always. We should never stop. Everywhere around us, there is a chance to gain knowledge. It makes me excited. I only wish I had more time in my day. I know it sounds cheesy, but it is true " the world is my campus."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Testify, part 1

I have to admit, when we first moved into our new ward I was not that excited to go into Relief Society. I haven't been in that class in so long, about 6 years. So, I wasn't really sure what it was going to be like. I guess I expected to be a little bored. I am not. I have thoroughly been enjoying the lessons and women in Relief Society. It is a great place for me to be.

Yesterday we had an amazing lesson. It was taught by a fun lady, who always does a great job teaching. She helped us to understand what testifying does for us. Not only does it help others to know how we feel, it strengthens us also. She taught us that if we are courageous and testify of the little things we believe in, then we will "shine brighter." I thought about what she said and was really touched by the message. She is right. I need to do it more. I need to be proud of who I am and what I know. I need to share more of myself with others and not be worried about it.

So, I decided this is going to be my start. I am going to testify of one thing every day this week. It will be something I know, something that is important to me. And if nobody reads it, that is okay. I will have thought about it, and I will have written it down. I want to be a little more shiny.

I Know Who I Am

I am a daughter of amazing parents, who raised me with love, kindness, trust and wisdom. I never doubted they loved me, ever. I never had a time when I couldn't turn to them, ever. I never did anything (on purpose) to disappoint them, almost ever!

I am a sister. I am the older, bossy sister who I am sure rubbed my brother and sister the wrong way many times. But, I love them very much and am so grateful for them.

I am a wife to a wonderful husband whom I love and trust completely. I am so blessed to have him in my life. I am grateful for the relationship we share and the opportunity we have to raise our children together.

I am a mom. There is not anything that could make me happier. I am amazed at the love I have for each of them. My heart sometimes feels overwhelmed. I hope they know how I love them.

I am a friend. I have so many friends who are such great examples to me. They show me many of the things in my life I would like to work on. I am grateful for them also and the love and support they show me. I hope I can reciprocate in a little way what they give to me.

All of these things represent a part of me. I think about all of them, and it makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to live happier, to be kinder, to serve others, to make the right choices for me and my family. But, all these things dont describe the whole of who I am. I know that I am a daughter of God. And that is all I need to know.

Yesterday, Miss S came home from school and informed me her friend told everyone they used to be monkeys. She was so confused. I could see in her face how absurd she thought it was. I tried to explain to her that is what some people think, but we don't. We know. We know we were created in God's image and that we have never looked like a monkey. So, dont worry. You won't one day be reunited with your great grandparents, the apes. Seriously, I was so happy in this instance that I could explain to her, without a doubt, the truth.

Knowing I am a daughter of God is incredible. It is incredible because I know what it feels like to have a child. I know the feelings you have and the love you are bursting with. That is how He loves me. I know it. I know He knows who I am. I know He cares about my life, my feelings, my actions, my choices, my happiness. I want to make better choices and be a better person because of that.

I know a cute family whose mom yells to her children as they are walking out the door, " Remember who you are and what you stand for!" I know who I am. I need to always remember.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin patch

We went to our favorite pumpkin patch to celebrate T's 7th birthday. We have been wanting our family to come and join us for years, but they could never make it. So, we decided if we had his family party there, they would have to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We went to Disneyland!

We were able to go to "the Happiest place on Earth" all last week! Pete had a work conference in the Disneyland hotel, so we went up a couple days earlier and had fun. We actually went into the parks for 4 days, which was the longest we have ever been there. By the end of the week, we were so tired! My parents came down on Wednesday night and joined us for a couple of days, which was great. We love it there, H is already asking me if we can go back!

Cute girls with their tiaras, you can tell they are having fun!

I love to kiss him - even when he wont let me.

Grandpa and kids on the big Sun Wheel in California Adventure.

I absolutely love this picture!

T celebrating his birthday at Rain Forest Cafe with his favorite new Jack gloves.

In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room...

H with Cinderella - one of the three princesses she got to meet after I waited in line for 2 hours!!

While I was waiting for the princesses, grandma took H and had her face painted. She was so happy! She told the lady exactly how she wanted it done and wanted it all in pink, of course.

I love the decorations for Halloween time in Disneyland! It is amazing. You feel like you are in a magical place.

Grandma, me and S on the Sun Wheel!

We were all so happy because H was finally tall enough to go on Soarin' over California! It was so much fun to go on the ride as a family. I could go on this ride all day long, I love it.

Dad and kids on the Orange stinger swings, T was just tall enough.

Yeah! T has been waiting for years to go on Screamin'. He loved it!! I love it that my kids dig the rollercoasters.