Sunday, September 28, 2014

Okay.

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of another friend-
a young mom of five, who passed away from cancer. 
It was hard.
She was a beautiful, devoted mom and wife who leaves behind a missionary son, all the way down to a 3 year old, with 3 others in between.
The service was sweet--filled with tears and sorrow
as well as joy and celebration of her life.
The good news of the gospel means that funerals can be both.
As the brother of the husband left behind spoke, he shared a conversation they had.
After her diagnosis, Camille had the feeling that things were going to get really hard, that difficult times were ahead, but in the end, things were going to be okay. 
Three years later, when it became apparent that she was going to lose her battle with cancer, he asked his brother about that feeling.
His brother replied: "Everything is already okay. The Savior's atonement means that it is okay now. We are going to be together forever."
The eternal lesson of this mortal experience is 
that it will always be hard in one way or another, but in the end, 
everything is going to be okay. 
Jesus made sure of that.


 

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Too Cool For School.

Even though he's now a 7th grader, 
Will is more than willing to dress up for spirit week. 
Today was "Dress up like someone in the 50's" day.
Or 60's. Or 70's. Or 80's.
So sad that my decade has made it into the dress up days...
Ugh...
 

We settled on the 50's.




I told him to pose like Fonzy.
He was clueless.
And the more I tried to demonstrate, the more confused he became.
He ended up in this awkward pose.




Not too bad considering his lack of information...


Aah, spirit week. 
We get an A for effort. 
Or maybe just a B+.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Us.

A quick update on where we are in life at this moment:


Michaela is now working at Macys Department Store. She is very happy not to be working in the food industry this time around...:) She teaches a cute little primary class where she has found that all of her Russian teaching skills come in very handy. She has plans to attend UVU in January and major in the digital media program there.


 Bethany is off eating weird things in China. Seriously, who would ever dream of eating that cute little bird with a stick shoved through it? Ugh. This from the child who would not eat chicken off a bone.
Loving the hard work she is doing- what a great experience.


 Elijah is now a college student.
Can't emphasize enough how much he is missed here at home.
Hannah says that every day. 
We are not really thinking that the feeling is mutual.
Too many cousins out there to miss his real family :)


Hannah has become our resident home schooler.
She faithfully gets up every morning at 7:00, 
takes a run with  Buddha, and is showered and hunkered down for the morning with her school work by 8:30.
No mom, whining and begging for school work to get done-
#idontmissbethanysmathclass
It's really strange just having one child in "real" school.

 
Which brings us to Will.
He is staying busy this year as a middle schooler.
He runs Cross Country with the Centennial running team,
and still plays the cello.
If it weren't for Will, this house would be
 as solitary as a cemetery :)
He does his best to provide us with much needed entertainment!
Thanks Will.

And Buddha.
Buddha has finally decided to love me.
I knew he would.

And there it is. 
Our life in a nutshell.
Woot.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tiny Little Miracle.

After months and months of poses like this: 


 and this:



 The other day I received this:

A picture of Elijah smiling normally. 
From Washington. 
It's a miracle or something, right?

This just makes my heart happy.
(Now, let's work on Avery's smile...) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shhhh!


 Our house is a little quiet.
Some might say that our two "loudest" children are gone.
(I'm not saying that they are loud, but some might say that).
Not that Will doesn't add plenty of excitement from time to time, 
but he's a reader you know.
So that means quiet for long periods of time.
Last night he brought home five new books from the library-
and today the new Michael Vey comes out so....
lots more quiet. 

Hannah--quiet.
Michaela--quiet.
They are both intelligent, funny, and good conversationalists... just quiet. 

Family Scripture Study- quiet.
FHE- quiet.
I always dreamed of these things being quiet... but it's not necessarily all that it's cracked up to be. ;)

And so, to sum up, we are quieter around here.
Nothing more to say except that some of us better get a little more exciting soon.

Seriously.




 








Sunday, September 14, 2014

About Elijah.

Lately, I have been pondering a little whether I have done a disservice to my kids by raising them in Utah. 
It's a great place to live--really.
But so many things are taken for granted-
like, everyone is a member (not true) 
and every member is a faithful one (obviously not true) 
and that your kids will always have good, influential friends to count on (again not true)
But perhaps we are a little soft and unchallenged.
And maybe the lack of diversity in faiths
can lead to a lesser conviction to our beliefs if we are not careful. 
For me, I know this is not true, but for my kids? I worry...

Last month, we attended a ward in Orlando 
and I got a little nostalgic. 
A speaker with a beautiful southern accent testified of gospel truths that apply to blended families trying to make sense of life's curve balls. 
Another speaker, spoke about her testimony of Joseph Smith
and how after a period of inactivity, 
it was that testimony that brought her back. 
It reminded me just a little of my Atlanta ward, growing up--
somewhat eclectic in its membership. 
It was a sweet feeling, and I didn't want to leave.

Don't get me wrong, I love Utah- it offers a unique experience for a Mormon, but it has its challenges.
Sometimes I wonder what a little more diversity would do for us.
If being different would bring a little more strength to our character, and more conviction to our beliefs. 
I don't know. 

All this to say, that when the Neeley family invited Elijah to try out a college program in Washington with his cousins this school year...I had to give it some serious thought and prayer.
He was eager to get away from Provo and its culture, 
too eager I am afraid :)
But in the end we let him go.
There isn't a day that goes by that my eyes don't shed a few tears and my heart isn't a little bit heavier (sigh).

But after a beautiful Stake Conference weekend, I am reaffirmed in my belief we are in the right place at the right time.
And though it might sound strange, 
my religion comes second to my faith.
My faith, no matter where I live, will always be in Jesus, first and foremost.
Provo, Utah may not be perfect, but it's a perfectly wonderful place to be.

Shabbat Shalom.
.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sometimes Life Feels a Little Bit Like This.




You get what I am saying right?

Or maybe it's the whole eensy weensy spider thing.
We have to just keep crawling right back up that spout.

Ugh. Not my most profound thoughts ever 
but it works for me right now :)

Perhaps Elder Holland says it better :


So grateful for my faith, my hope and my willingness to hang in there...good things are coming.

Disclaimer: I'm stressed and tired 
and it's the end of a loooong weekend.
Melodrama is my specialty in this condition! 
 Tomorrow I will be positive :)