December 5, 2013

Giving Thanks Is More Than A Holiday



"Things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us." –Thomas S. Monson

This video really touched me this Thanksgiving season. Our lives are filled with blessings that are sometimes difficult to see. I love the point of my life I am in. This video gave me perspective. I looked around. I saw my children laughing and playing on the hard wood floor at Grandma's house. I snuggled closer to my love. We may not have ALL of the things that the world offers, but we have ALL of the things we need. I am thankful for the faith I have developed in a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my beautiful boys. I am thankful for my extended family.  Even when the world feels like it is crashing down, look up. Appreciate the beauty of this earth. A simple bird flying by, singing her heart out or the blue sky against white fluffy clouds. There is much to be thankful for. Look around.

November 28, 2013

Just slow down

Five months has traveled in the window and out the back door. Our family has changed, our first home sold, and Daddy got a job outside the house.

Sometimes change is good, sometimes it is too fast. Well, at least for out little one. It hit me today while spilling my guts to our sweet pediatrician. Just SLOW down. 

Change is difficult for little minds who cannot wrap their thoughts around the idea that we won't ever go back to the house with the star or that daddy will be at work all day or that baby Gordon is a part of our family now. Change can't explain that things won't ever be the way they were, but that is okay and wonderful. I guess I need to face reality that I won't sit on the ugly brown tile front step on rainy summer days to share Popsicles and laughs with a sticky smile. I will never stare at the perfect bright yellow painted walls of our bedroom that echo so many memories and "talks" my love and I shared. I'll never burn another dish in our kitchen or kiss my babies good night in their blue ocean painted room. 

We'll miss leaning over that chain linked fence sharing our lives with the best neighbors we'll ever have. 

Slowing down will help them. Individual time because too often they get thrown into "the boys" category instead of the growing individuals they are. The beauty of meeting a new baby is discovering the differences he has. 

Our love for sweet baby Gordon grows everyday. He smiles and lights up my heart. Even when he is ill, he will muster up the strength to flash his love for you the only way he knows how. He is so patient with me and his brothers. I didn't know when he was born and probably not fully aware of the blessing he is to our family. My heart could burst with gratitude that I have this family of boys in my life. I am just over joyed.
 

October 29, 2013

Campus Book Rentals and Operation Smile =)

My husband is changing careers so we have been in the business of finding ways to save $$$. A new trend in the college world is to rent textbooks... So this post goes out to all college goers!

One reliable site we found is called CampusBookRentals.com.
Here are the perks of renting textbooks with CampusBookRentals:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-we donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented
-etc...(you can find more perks at our website :)

Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives. Campus Book Rentals is keeping their partnership with Operation Smile and have committed to donate a minimum of 80 additional surgeries between June 2013 and June 2014.

They are an incredible organization that forever changes children’s lives through reconstructive cleft lip surgeries. The long-term improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible.


They also have a new addition to their site: RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes you 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buy back options! (selling their books back at the end of the semester) Isn't that awesome?!
How does it work?: CampusBookRentals.com RentBack:
Let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you! I know we will be using them for the Spring semester coming up! Registration has already started for most colleges, so get going with your textbook rentals!

October 28, 2013

A New Message




One of my favorite things is to watch these videos on Mormon Channel. If you ever have free time, you should check it out. This message really made me feel like we need a family vacation. To reconnect. To recharge. To bond. After all, we do have a new addition to the family. Enjoy this video. Tell me what you think. Email address is above.

June 19, 2013

A new addition


Here is another video of a new addition to the family....

Quincy from Mostwhatmatters on Vimeo.


Terrible Twos

Originally written March 2013...

Even before becoming a parent, I always heard about the "terrible twos." A time when life is horrible, dramatic, hormonal, and extreme for everyone involved. I guess I didn't really believe those myths. I guess it didn't matter if I believed or not...until I had children and they turned the magical age of two.

Our firstborn is an adventurous spirit, filled with curiosity and a love of nature. Even when fussy as an infant, days old, we would soothe his cries by taking him out for a fresh breath of nature. A calm would consume him. Thinking of those infant days, I never expected those terrible twos. I would get sympathy from passers by as he laid on a public floor, with an infant in my arms while pushing a cart. I thought it couldn't get worse. Then, people warned of the unknown, "torrential threes." I honestly worried for my sanity. Could it get more stressful? Well, it has been quite the opposite. Oliver sprung up like a weed in maturity during his torrential threes and has been more understanding. Even, a sweet reminder of how to show love to others in times of need.

Today I experienced a, "terrible twos" kind of day. It seems like a string of bad days for me. I am nearly six months pregnant and still motivated to take both of my "toddlers" out for errands. We all seemed to be in a great mood so off we went to the feed store for wood shavings. (We are housing baby chicks for mom and the boys couldn't be more happy). To my surprise, Calvin opposed going to a favorite stop of his by lifting his feet while walking through the parking lot and whining. I stopped once we safely crossed and patiently questioned him, while trying to keep track of my curious, sweet three year old. The crying didn't stop so I decided to press forward and leave the store quickly. After walking through the entire store with a crying boy, I found someone who informed me that I was to pay for the shavings up front and then load them from the outside of the store afterwards. Meanwhile, the "terrible-two-stricken child" was on the floor gathering the attention of everyone present, banging his head on the floor, snot and drool leaking from his face. I tried holding him, but his kicking and pinching were too much for my ever-growing belly. I tried "leaving" him to cry, but that just encouraged our audience to offer more sympathy for him. I felt like throwing myself on the floor, but it was a feed store, after-all.

I was so frustrated. I still didn't know what he wanted or why he felt the way he did. After many attempts to find out, I decided to carry him to the car. It seemed like a long walk. I just wanted to get the shavings and go home. I wanted to have a nice day. The weather was beautiful. I wanted to be patient and better than days past. It took five minutes of struggle to buckle him in the car seat. My eldest looked afraid. He knew we were all upset, but didn't know how to fix it. He said, "I will sing him a song." I said,"Okay, what ever you want," and continued to seek support from my love, by calling to complain over the phone. I don't know who was showing more signs of the terrible-twos, me or my two year old son?

After we got into the house, I was so upset. I sat on the ground, up against the wall and tears began to fall from my tired eyes. I felt like a failure as a mom. I hadn't been my best. I could have responded in a different way. I opened my arms to my crying baby and he immediately accepted the invitation. Then, out of nowhere, I heard my eldest singing, as much as he could remember,  Nearer My God to Thee. I cried harder and held my boys. I had never heard him sing this beautiful, comforting hymn before, though I had soothed his cries many times with this same song. I apologized over and over until their eyes showed me that they accepted. Although it was unconventional, I appreciated the chance to hold my boys today and really feel their love and kisses. We are only three months into the terrible twos, so hopefully I will grow out of them soon ;-).


An update

Life has become a season in which we are consumed with duties. I am unloading videos from my phone, which are low quality but nonetheless a record of what our family has been up to over the past few months. Here is one with my love and my brother, Uncle Norm, who was visiting. Check it out.


It's A Race from Mostwhatmatters on Vimeo.



February 22, 2013

Death

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Something that one cannot escape, well sort of. We come to this earth to live, gain a mortal body, learn, change, become better, develop, experience, and die, a part of this life. I know we can live again, but everyone in the world, doesn't have that same understanding.
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After attending my grandfather's memorial, I had no idea I would be confronted with death so soon. Monday I watched a family suffer, pains that spread through the entire congregation. Our soul longs to be with those we love on this earth. It doesn't seem fair when a child is taken. A sweet son and brother and friend. I had not attended a child's funeral since becoming a mother and this one was too much. My heart ached for my friend, a sweet mother who just wanted her baby back. He was 17, but nonetheless, her firstborn. With each moment I compared my life. I looked towards the future and thought of my two boys, my husband, my unborn children. I can't fathom a thought that would include such a horrific scene.
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Tears streamed down my face as I looked into the eyes of my husband. I knew he was thinking what I was thinking. How grateful I was to have him there to support me. To support our family. As they lowered the coffin, it was almost too much to hear the reactions of those surrounding his grave. The crowd was dismissed, but no one stepped away. We couldn't leave this aching family who mourned so vocally, the loss of their son, brother, cousin, friend. We couldn't step away as the mother cried out for her son. We all shed tears, feeling hopeless in offering comfort to such a loving family.
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The whole ride home, I thought of my boys. I thought of their laughs and smiles. I longed to kiss them and hug them once more. I longed to spend any waking minute with them. My perspective had changed. I was a mother who still had her babies here on this earth. I thanked my Heavenly Father for the opportunity on my knees that night.
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Watch this video below for a quick change in perspective. For more information about life after death, click HERE.

February 6, 2013

Photo Card

Little Hearts Valentine's Day
Send Shutterfly Valentine's Day cards to those closest to you.
View the entire collection of cards.

January 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to Calvin


Time has gotten away from me in the blogosphere. But it has been time well spent. I think it is better late than never to recognize a special occasion. For me it was celebrating our sweet little Calvin's birth. So sweet in fact, that I spent each moment soaking it up.

Calvin, your mood, though ever-changing lately, is apparent in almost any situation. You are an expert at expressing your feelings. You seem to have your mother's sleep patterns, wishing to stay up until dawn and then sleep through the day, with your little feet pounding on your bedroom door until your body gives up. Your beautiful red hair and dimples could not make you any more charming, but then your laugh is discovered and you make parenting a challenge. Your speech is impecable for your age. You are your older brother's shadow, sticking close to his side as the day passes. You are very curious, asking many questions and already showing such a strong interest in Science.

Almost every night before Mommy crawls into bed, she can't help but sneak into your room to look at you once more, ever dreaming of puppies and lollipops. The sounds of crashing waves and a glowing blue light make your room so dreamy. Most nights, you end up in your brother's bed, after quietly playing until your eyelids are too heavy to hold open.

 Mommy can't help but wish you were a baby once more as she watches you sleep. Your body so lean and toddler-like. It has only been two years, but really it would be impossible to give up how far we have come, how much you have learned, how strong you have become in two years. I can only reminisce of nights spent slowly singing you to sleep and wonder how much harder it will be to let you grow old. I guess it's something that I can't stop, but must embrace while holding onto to such innocence and sweet memories of chasing you around the house as a lion or teaching you to wash your hands or reading you Goodnight Moon until you choose another book.

I can't help but hold back a few tears realizing that these experiences are the best of our years together and they will be impossible to let go one day. You slid down the slide over and over today at the park and climbed up a ladder above my head. You laughed with glee and pride as you reached the top while I reached for your legs! So quick to get away from my grasp that it brought you utter joy, while I clung for dear life. We are so blessed to have you, our dear Calvin, in our family for eternity. We are so blessed to be a small part in your development and growth. We love you with such magnitude that it is hardly defined here. Happy second birthday Cal!



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