Monday, December 22, 2008

Dont ya hate it when.....

So after I uploaded this, I realized it looked kinda gross. But anyways... As I am a fatty I have candy in my drawer at work. And it being Monday, I was glad for the stash. But I was a little sad when I pulled up the Reese's and the bottom stuck. I just hate when that happens. It messes up the perfect chocolate to peanut butter ratio that is the Reese's peanut butter cup.
I know, I know...Spoken like a true fat girl....

Recliner heaven

I love this kid. Honestly. So I was putting back together the carseat after washing the cover to get it ready for storage and left the room for a second. When I came back I found Reed chillin in it like it was a recliner or something.

On a different note... The carseat is in great shape (neutral for either girl or boy) and I would love to pass it on to someone in need. I also took down the crib the other day (as he never slept in it) and if someone has a good home for either just let me know.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


So, the point of this horrible tag...(THANKS A LOT STU) is to post pics that you wouldn't normally post on your blog...
This one is after a week of camping.... What a beauty!
Being stupid with Sarah......
Whoever thought this was a cute idea.... Really. Preganacy pics are horrible... The only justice in this pic is that James looks even worse than I do.

And last but not least, post labor pics.... (I think Im still buzzin from the morphine)
So, I now pass on the pleasure of this tag to: Jen, Mom Christensen, and Nicki.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

18 hours....

I remember hearing a speaker at stake conference once talk about the pioneers and how those who pulled handcarts were limited to 18 pounds of personal belongings on the trip. He went on to explain that our trial is not a limitation of personal belongings but a limitation of time. If you take out 6 hours for sleep (which is pretty close to what we all get) we are limited to 18 hours in the day. I thought this was a fabulous parallel and it stuck.
Yesterday, a day off of work for me, was filled to the brim with things that HAD to get done. I had letters and packages to address and mail, copies to make, a little shopping to do, baking to be done, laundry, dishes, etc, etc, etc. There was no downtime. As I was bouncing from one thing to the next, I kept finding more and more things that I NEEDED to add to my list. It was exhausting. Poor Reed, got shuffled from one person to another all day long. Although much of my list was accomplished during his naps, I could see in his eyes a little look of "its my turn, Mommy". But the list prevailed. I'm embarrissed to admit that he spent the rest of the evening with Ella. She was so good to him, playing with him, getting him ready for bed and laying down with him to watch movies. I stopped long enough to lay down with him until he fell asleep and then I was at it again.
When my alarm sounded early this morning to get me up for work, I thought I was going to die. I am beyond exhausted, my legs sore. But the only thing I can think of is, not that I got a big chunk of stuff off my list, but that I had a whole day off of work and only spent about a cumulative hour with Reed. And the lesson from the talk so long ago came back to me.
So back to my original 18 pounds/hours. The pioneers had a limited 18 pounds. You better believe those 18 pounds were filled with the weight of very important things both spiritual and temporal. And here I was with my limited 18 hours that was filled with such silly, unimportant things that just HAD to be done. So, today, while I still have things on my list and will never have enough hours in my day, I think I will take some time and actually dedicate it to the more important things. No, not even the "more important things" but the most important things. Our (my) time should be as precious as those pounds were to the pioneers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas past-- Here's to you Spence

I dont know what it is about this time of year that makes one (me) get sentimental. I think its that with all the festivities there are more opportunities for memories to actually keep. My brain get less and less efficient as I get older and I need those sense triggers to help me out. One of the memories that keeps circling in my brain is the second Christmas I spent in Montana. Mission Christmases were always very memorable and as I shared some of my feelings from the first, I wanted to share an experience I had just before I returned home.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, the first Christmas was filled with homesickness and I found reassurance through music. My second Christmas was spent with much less homesickness and far more "taking in" as much as I could before I left. It was spent visiting families and funning with the Elders in the same apartment complex. It was spent busy with teaching opportunities and tying up loose ends. With all this bustle there was no time to feel anything but excitement. And then I got the call that stopped me in my tracks.
I'll never forget the shake in Stu's voice as she said, "he's gone, Martin..." I didn't really understand what she was saying. After a few more sentences that I dont really remember hearing, I put it together. A very close friend of mine, Elder Platt, had died in a car accident the day before.
Platt, or Spencer, was one of my boys. Those of you who know me, know I always seem to collect "boys" everywhere I go. He was added in after I threw out a smart ass comment about one of the elders who was playing basketball without his shirt on. He was giving me trouble about checking the elder out and I just laughed and said if I was gonna look at a guy I would wanna look at a man not a stick. From then on he was a puppy that always seemed to follow close behind.
We followed each other around the mission, always running into each other at District and Zone Conferences. At first, I was kinda bugged by his attention, but after a while I came to depend on his excitement to run into me and tell me everything he had been up to. He became a little brother.
My favorite memory was when we were helping fix up a mobile home for a very large, very poor member of a ward in our District. Their daughter, about 4 at the time, followed him around all day and called him Prince Phillip. He was sweet and played along. He never lived it down and we forever called him Prince Phillip.
All the time spent around him came rushing back, kinda like now, when the call came and I crumpled. Luckily it was prep day and I didn't have to put on a mask. I was able to have a good cry. I went about the rest of the week, numb. Our Zone Conference, usually a big celebration at Christmas time, turned into a memorial. And while it felt good to share memories and feelings, it hurt to even try to enjoy our meeting.
Finally, after about a week of moping around and just keeping it all in, I remember falling apart again. I remember falling down on my knees, crying out Why? And so quickly and so very clearly my question was answered with another question. "What have you been teaching these people all this time?" I was struck. It hurt. Here I was at the end of my mission and I still didn't get it. What had I been teaching all this time? How could I teach it over and over and over and still not get it?
It was one of those moments when you realize that religion, that tenets and beliefs are not just abstract concepts. They had real life application. While I was still smarting from the forceful nature of the answer, I found a peace that I had never felt before. I knew that he was looking down on me, shaking his head, and letting me know he was busy being a missionary, if not in Montana anymore. Its funny how trite that sounds. How many times do we say, "they are in a better place", or "the Lord needed them on the other side" when we really haven't had the opportunity to grasp what we are saying. But, I knew it. And I felt comfort from both Platt and Heavenly Father.
Now, so many years later, he still comes to mind every Christmas. And I am reminded of my not so subtle lesson. And I hope, that when I get to cross my finish line, that he will be waiting with a big smile just as excited to see me then as he was every time we ran into each other in Montana.
Merry Christmas, Spence. I miss you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The forgotten verse

My favorite Christmas song has always been "O Holy Night". Im not sure why it was in the beginning, but as I got older and life got more... well, lifelike, it took on a whole new meaning. The sad part is, as it gets played over and over again on the radio, they take out the best verse, the second verse. And in a world so cold and difficult, it seems to be the verse we need to hear the most.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

I remember being in Helena just before Christmas and singing with the ward choir. We were practicing this song (for the first time) and we got to the second verse and I just fell apart. I was a greenie and so homesick and so overwhelmed with mission life. It was one of those moments where you know the clouds are opening up and you know that the verse was written just for you at that very moment. I cried for pretty much the rest of the day.

This year, a billion lifetimes since, I keep hearing it on the radio, missing my verse. But I still apreciate the message as it is and cry, if not quite as much. And everytime I hear, "fall on you knees" as an adult, I can say I know what that means. I know why every knee will bow and every tongue confess. I know what it must be like to wash the Lord's feet with my tears. And I can hope and truly feel my worth because Christ was born and fulfilled his mission. May we all realize our worth, recognize what we are really celebrating this Christmas season and may that knowledge guide us to fulfill our own missions in this life.

I love you all.