Thursday, January 12, 2017

Walls.

Last year this time I was painting walls.
And packing up bedrooms.
And kitchens.
And living rooms.
I spent 3 weeks in Florida helping my friend and her girls get a rental house ready to exit.
It was fun, hard, exhausting and satisfying as we plowed through job after job.

But those walls.
Life with four little girls and a dog had left it's mark. Everywhere.
We patched and sanded and painted, and patched and sanded and painted.
Sometimes just an area, and sometimes an entire room.
But one wall in particular was determined to break us.
It was THE main wall you saw as you walked into the home and it was at least 12 feet high.
It had the most work to be done and it had to be beautiful.
We tackled it last.
It would not cooperate.
The paint had faded and so our spare paint didn't match.
We chipped a piece off and took it to Home Depot and had them recreate it.
It didn't match.
It had to match perfectly because we just couldn't reach the entire 12 feet.
With each failure we would look at each other and try not to cry-ha!
Finally, someone told us to take it to a specialty store that matched paint as close to perfect as possible.
We were skeptical but we chipped off one more piece and took it in.
It was almost perfect. We painted as high as we could-- it looked amazing.
I think we might have really cried that time.
We were soooo happy.
From then on, no one was allowed to walk by that wall without saying some sort of "holy hallelujah" in praise of  its beauty--every single time and it never got old.
At the end of a really long 3 weeks, it was the pinnacle of our efforts.
It symbolized everything we had done.
It was a beautiful reminder that we could do hard things.
Yesterday, I had my friend send me a picture of that wall.
I just needed to see it.
I needed to remember that I can do hard things.
Oh yes, true beauty right there.
I did that.





Sunday, January 8, 2017

Distillation.



"It seems to me that the essence of our lives is distilled down to these two brief elements in these opening scenes of the Savior's mortal ministry. One element is the question, to every one of us, "What seek ye? What do you want?" The second is his answer as to how to get that. Whoever we are, and whatever our problems, his response is always the same, forever: "Come unto me." Come see what I do and how I spend my time. Learn of me, follow me, and in the process I will give you answers to your prayers and rest to your souls."  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  Come Unto Me  2 March 1997

Friday, January 6, 2017

Don't Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out...




Well hello there January--I've been expecting you.
And not in a good way-- but nevertheless you're here and 
I've done a little prep work to gear up for your awesomeness.

*I took a cue from the animal kingdom and added a little extra padding to keep me warm in the bitter month ahead.
Thank you Christmas treats. All. December. Long.

 *All signs of Christmas disappeared from my house on December 26th. Not sure how that works in my favor but somehow it seems that ripping the band-aid off, so to speak, adds the necessary grit to my determination to muscle through the worst month of the year.

 *New playlists have been added to my Spotify library. Playlists that include obscure Billy Joel and much less obscure One Direction. As a matter of fact, I tried to add my new January anthem, We Are Never, Ever, Ever, Getting Back Together, by the one and only Taylor Swift, but alas, no Spotify for her. 
But that truth still stands my dear January. Never.

 *And finally, I have planned a nice mid-January trip to a place where the temps rarely dip into the negatives and sunshine abounds in the form of four little girls, who aren't so little anymore-
If that doesn't make January a little bit more bearable, what will? 

February--I've got my eye on you. 
Let's do this.


 
 
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What He Got For Christmas...

Despite a mild case of sweater shame-
he was elated to receive SIX of his favorite things in the whole world.

His cup runneth over.
 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Muchas Gracias...

Favorite gift this year? 


A Norman Rockwellesque portrait 
of my son working at the ice cream store.

Let's get a closeup of that puppy.

Awesome.



Pretty cool, I must say.
Thanks Grandpa and Grandma-- and thanks random photographer who thought it was a good shot, snapped it, shopped it up a bit, and then came back to Grandpa's to sell it.
 Thank you very much. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Grace Before Sleep.



I took my dog on a walk tonight.
We took the loooong way because Christmas has not been kind to my waistline.
As we passed home after home in my neighborhood, 
I thought of the stories of the families inside.
Too many of those stories this year have been of tragedy and heartbreak.
Stories of suicide, overdose, betrayal, divorce, loss of a parent, and more families than just mine with children who have stopped coming to church. 
My thoughts turned to sacrament meeting today, and to the wonderful talks we heard on the grace of Jesus Christ. 
I thought of how I have learned more about grace this year than all the years of my life combined. 
And I felt comforted.
I hoped that the families in those stories of sorrow and sadness know how much His grace can help them endure things that seem impossible to endure. 
And how it can help them find peace when peace seems hopelessly unattainable.
And that He doesn't want them to feel one more ounce of pain than they have to. 
His Grace can do that.
As I came to the end of my walk, I passed by my neighbor's home.
My neighbor who, out of the blue, wrote a beautiful card to my oldest son, sharing her testimony and her love for him. 
It was surprising to him and to me. 
And so appreciated by at least one of us :)
I want to be a neighbor like her this year.
I want to do more to share goodness amidst the sadness. 
Less pity parties, and more joy.
More reaching out and less turning inward.
More Jesus.
More recognition that I am not enough without Him.
A living testimony of His Grace.
I can do that this year. 
2017, I am ready for you.






 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Names and Stuff :)

I have made a few gaffs with the Christmas ornaments 
that I give the kids each year.
As in, I have given the same one to a child 2 years in a row.
Shocking, I know, given my intense attention to detail (that was a joke for my husband to chuckle at).
This time I did it with Hannah's gift from Santa--
but luckily not the ornaments ha ha!
(Because who doesn't want two Gregor the Overlander 
complete book sets, am I right?)
Have I mentioned how awesome being 51 is?
Anywho, for this year's ornament, 
I decided to commemorate each child's namesake.
So...

Michaela Lauren, named after her father, Michael Lawrence, received this one:


Bethany Emma, named after her great grandma Emma Lavon, received this one:

Elijah King, named after my dad, Larry King:

Hannah Nicolena, named after her great, great, 
Grandma, Nicolena Hansen: 

 And William Michael, named after his great Grandpa, 
William Theodore:
 He was obviously named after his dad too, but Michael already has a namesake and so....


Yep, they have a great legacy of awesomeness to be inspired by.
I feel the presence of these wonderful ancestors of mine often.
They love these kids like I do.
And I'm grateful for all the help I can get.

Happy New Year.