Friday, May 27, 2011

Baker Boy

Austin was in charge of treats for FHE on Monday. 
He decided to make cookies. 
 (Those of you who know me well will be shocked to see an actual bowl of dough and not a sheet of break aparts.... )
He mixed the batter with only a little help from Mom on the eggs....
formed all the cookies himself
and made some of the best tasting cookies ever!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday

38 years ago today my best friend was born, to a young army veteran and his wife.  We wouldn't meet until almost 25 years later, and our lives would take very different paths in the meantime, but eventually we were destined to find each other.  I spend way too much time coming down on my husband, and not nearly enough time letting him know all the things about him I truly love.  Today, that is my gift in honor of his birthday.

Brian and I have been through more than our share of rough spots in our marriage.  We have overcome more challenges in 13 years together than most couples will in a lifetime.  One of the reasons we are still together, and striving towards eternity together, is because we can talk about anything, and we make sure we do.  Whether it's the big stuff or the small stuff, we hash it out til we find a solution.  We also stay in touch several times throughout the day and rarely make decisions, even minor ones, without talking with each other.  As a guy, I know it's not is favorite thing to do, but he knows it's important to me, so he does it.

Brian is very smart.  Beyond the regular "book smarts", he makes connections between things and has insights about topics that surprise and educate me.  He is a never ending fountain of knowledge for my kids and their ever inquisitive minds, and more often than not when they have a question about something, I tell them to go ask their dad, because I know he will know the answer.

Family is the most important thing to Brian.  From the early days of our little family, he wasn't really interested in going places that we couldn't take our kid with us.  He is completely happy foregoing steak dinners for Happy Meals and loves to take the boys on man-dates or have boys night at home.   He dotes on his Peanut and has no problem painting her nails or trimming her bangs.  Very early on, he embraced my family, never viewing them as "in-laws" but as brothers and sisters, mother and father.  Most important, Brian has never given up on us.  His family tree is full of divorce, but he has never lost sight of the commitment we made to each other, and even in the roughest of waters, he has never abandoned ship.

Brian has very easily stepped into the role of the spiritual leader in our family.  It surprises me what an easy transition his conversion has been, and how comfortable he has become in his role as patriarch and priesthood holder in our home.  We have been blessed in many ways because of his love of Christ and his commitment to the gospel.

Brian has an amazing capacity to forgive.  I know that alot of people think I have put up with alot over the years, but Brian has stood by me during some major moments of being a complete neurotic , and has forgiven me some major missteps in our relationship.  I have seen him extend this forgiveness to others as well, and it has humbled me.  I do not forgive so easily.

Brian has always made me feel beautiful.  Most days I can't be bothered to do my hair or makeup, and I would almost always rather be in jeans and a tshirt than anything else.  It has never mattered to him - he has always loved me the just the way I am.  I grew up taller and bigger than all the other "pretty girls" and always felt awkwardly out of place.  His love has done more for my self-esteem than years of therapy ever could.

Happy birthday to my husband and best friend.  I love you!

P.S.  Here's what the kids had to say............

Jacob - why I love my dad
He makes great pancakes and french toast.
He is nice.
He used to be in the Marines.
He is always willing to help anyone
He is good with cars
He teaches us about cars and animals and other things.
He is my Dad!!

Austin - why I love my dad
He is nice
He loves me and lets me hug him.
He lets me play on the computer.
He wrestles with me.
He loves me and I love him.
He lets me eat Popsicles.
He teaches me about Jesus and animals.
He teaches at church.
He always lets us ride our bikes.
He looks nice in church clothes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Matters Most

So I have been following this blog over the last few weeks.  I made the mistake of pulling it up today at work, and literally sobbed at my desk while I read this newest post.  As a mother, I cannot imagine the agony of losing one of my babies, especially this way.  Ronan was the same age Austin is and I couldn't help but picture him as I followed this mother's struggle.

The last month has also been a sad one for alot of people at work.  Two of my associates have lost their wives to cancer after long battles - one couple not much older than Brian and I, who had been highschool sweethearts, and the other  married for 40+ years.  Another associate lost his 19 year old daughter in a car wreck just days after she graduated and got her first job. 

Rich, who lost his wife to breast cancer, came to see me a few days after she died.  I sat and cried with him as he told me about her last hours and how he was with her til the end, holding her hand until she simply stopped breathing.   I spent time with TC, whose wife finally succumbed to a brain tumor, as he made insurance decisions and had to say the words out loud "now that she's gone".  And I talked to Jim just hours after his daughters death, when he could barely maintain composure enough to tell me he had to miss work for a few weeks to travel to Alabama and make arrangements for his now motherless 2 year old grandson.

I am not emotionally cut out to be a grief counselor.  It is one of the parts of my job that I have the hardest time with.  That being said, I also don't know why I read blogs like RockstarRonan.  I know it is going to tear me up, especially when it deals with childen and suffering.  But, when I posed that question to my friend Jennifer, she gave me an answer that hit home: "It helps us remember that we don't really have it so bad".  The family of that poor little boy seemed to have it all on the outside: money, prestige, celebrity friendships, but in the end it couldn't give them what mattered most - the life of their little boy.

When it comes right down to it, my cup runneth over.  Times like this are a good wake up call for me, a reminder that even though it seems like there is never enough money in the bank, time in the day, or relief from the struggles, I am rich beyond measure when it comes to what matters most.  I have three wonderful, beautiful, amazing, smart, HEALTHY children that I adore beyond expression.  I have a husband who I love, who loves me, and who has always made me feel more at home in my own skin than anyone ever has.   Most importantly, I have the sure knowledge that they are mine forever, regardless or what this life may hold for us.  That is something that is priceless, and no amount of money, fame or fortune could replace.

After you read this, squeeze your kids a little tighter, kiss your spouse a little longer, and get down on your knees and pray just a little more fervently than you usually do, to thank our Heavenly Father for all His gifts.  I know I am going to.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

Here's to hoping that this weekend is indicative of what May will be like all month long.  I love this weather!  It is crazy, after what feels like 11 and 1/2 months of winter, the things that I forget I love about spring.

  • Color.  The color of trees, flowers, the grass, and any color other than gray in the sky.  Lush beautiful color!
  • Seeing my babies with sun kissed cheeks.  Even the healthiest of kids look a little bleh after rain, rain, rain for months.  Pink cheeks remind me of the fun we had getting them!
  • The smell of sun and sweat on a busy boy's head.  It's one of my favorite smells of spring.
  • Feeling a "good sore" from working and playing outside.  I would rather walk, hike, play, garden, etc. in the outdoors for my exercise than anything else.
  • Seeing flowers that remind me of Primary songs... "Little purple pansies touched with yellow gold, growing in one corner of my garden old..."
  • Being able to say "GO PLAY OUTSIDE!!!"