Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And yet again...

I was working my regular 7/7 shift this week, when Sunday night, the most dreaded of texts came. 

"Did you hear about Sean Sumner?"

 Immediately, I called the friend who sent me the text. 

"What kind of news is it? Should I be sitting down?"

"Its the worst kind. Yes, sit down."
And, the dreaded news came out. 
My good friend, Sean Sumner, had passed away Thanksgiving morning. 

I feel that around the holiday season each year, someone passes away. I feel devastated every single time. How could you not? Every January, I find myself getting up during Fast Sunday in church and bearing testimony about the Plan of Salvation. I am so fortunate to have a belief of what happens after we die; watching friends and their families struggle without that knowledge is heartbreaking. You share what you can, and you pray as much as you can.

Sometimes I feel like I've betrayed my east coast friends by moving far away - the viewing was Monday night and the mass + burial was this morning. To not be there is difficult, to say the very least. I wish I was there. I wish we were all still here.

Tyler asked me how I was doing, and all I could think to say was, "Why are all of my friends dying?" In the past 4.5 years of marriage, I've lost almost 10 people. Over the last 12 years, the number has almost reached 70. The numbers aren't supposed to be impressive - I simply count so that I can remember each one of them. Never forgetting the impression they made on my life, never forgetting their contributions, no matter how insignificant they seemed.

I feel weary.

I wish it was enough to call everyone I know and tell them I love them, tell them thank-you, and tell them to stay safe. I wish I was still in touch with everyone I've known. I wish I was better at that.

As I hold my sick little baby, watch him cough, rub his eyes, and snuggle against me while he sleeps, I think of the ultimate blessing that I hope to continually qualify for - forever families.

Entering the Christmas season will always bring Christ to the forefront of my mind. He holds the balm of Gilead that I need; He holds the Atonement that can and will bring peace to my soul. And in turn, I will try to be His hands here, in the lives of those around me, to bear them up and give them peace. Sometimes, I even pray to God and ask him to say hello to my friends/family for me. I pray that they'll find the truth of the gospel. I pray that their families will find peace. I pray that we will all find peace this holiday season.

I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.

Merry Christmas

Monday, November 5, 2012


“This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.

I've been thinking about this concept a lot lately. I've posted about it a few times, I'm sure. So, in light of this concept of happiness, I thought I'd share a thing or two I've learned lately.

This morning I wanted to get in some laundry-folding while little man was asleep - so, I sat on the floor and grabbed my phone and chose a conference talk to assist with the folding. The talk I chose was "Of Regrets and Resolutions" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  

There are a few passages that I really loved. They spoke to me, and reminded me that happiness is something we choose, regardless of our circumstances. 

Lately, (ok, all the time) I've found myself thinking, "Well, I'd love to hang up cute pictures/decorations/etc but I just live in an apartment - I'll do it someday when I have a house," or "I'd get dressed up but I'm not doing anything, so I'll just sit around and do nothing." 

I'm not saying that happiness comes from baubles or strings or shiny things (this sounds a bit like the Grinch who stole Christmas, huh). I am saying that I have a hard time failing, and maybe my house won't look like its from a magazine; maybe I won't either. And maybe that's what holds me back.

Regardless - Happiness comes from within. 

The best advice I've received recently is that once scriptures are read and prayers are said, facing the day is a little bit easier. [Thanks, Aunt Cynthia] My Aunt Nancy also told me once that getting up and getting ready for the day makes the day so much better - she is totally right. I've found that when I can do those 3 things: get dressed, pray, and read scriptures, the day is so much easier. I find it easier to eat lunch (which I totally detest doing - haha) and eating breakfast and taking that morning nap come right into play. Baby is happier because mama is happier. 

I know I don't have to cure cancer every day - some days its just an accomplishment to get dinner on the table before 8pm! And I do pat myself on the back every time I do. haha 

I have found that little bits of service make me happiest. Just calling to say hello, sending a thoughtful text, or even doing the dishes so that my husband doesn't have to do them every night {haha}. 

The biggest asset I've discovered is: patience with myself.

Being patient with myself means not getting down when things don't go as planned. That's part of life, and I'm learning to deal with it. Being patient means loving myself for who I am, and letting mistakes happen, and vowing to be better the next time around. Being patient means holding on for one more day. Being patient means having a positive body image. Being patient means reading my scriptures and learning from them. Being patient means learning to accept compliments and constructive criticism. Being patient means being patient with others. 

In the words of President Uchtdorf:

"Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?

I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.

I can’t see it.

Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time."


"When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be.

Declaring our testimony of the gospel is good, but being a living example of the restored gospel is better. Wishing to be more faithful to our covenants is good; actually being faithful to sacred covenants—including living a virtuous life, paying our tithes and offerings, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and serving those in need—is much better. Announcing that we will dedicate more time for family prayer, scripture study, and wholesome family activities is good; but actually doing all these things steadily will bring heavenly blessings to our lives."


"I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier"


"We do matter. We determine our happiness.

You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness."

"We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”6

Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.

Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”7"


Those are some of the passages that I really loved from that talk. As the seasons are changing, I hope I can change too. I hope to shed some of those leaves of regret and spend the winter storing up all the good and positive elements of my character, so that when spring comes, I will be better then I was before. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

And, in case you missed it....

 Ethan was a monkey for Halloween.

And a mighty cute one at that!

 We went to Ty's work for a trunk or treat,
since Ethan wanted a lot of candy this year.

And Tyler ate it. 
(me too.)

 Look at that smile!!!

 I've been singing "If I Only Had a Brain"
from the Wizard of Oz lately.
Ethan decided he could take a part,
and become a flying monkey.
Tricky baby.

 Silly baby.

And, I wish I would have taken more pictures of his 2nd costume!
My mom bought Ethan this onesie,
which is a skeleton whose bones glow in the dark!
It was soooo funny to sit in the back of the car
on the way home. 
He just lit up the back seat!
 Why did we have 2 costumes?
Because my son is the Niagra Falls of spit up. 
Good Grief. haha

Thanks Lauren for letting us catch you mid-sentence!

Happy Halloween :)

The Ultimate Accessory

Let's be honest.

Hair is the ultimate accessory.

Mine is no exception.

iPhone photo.

you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures,
my sister and her husband had me snap some quick shots of them last night.
We missed the best light of the night,
as we went up into the canyon,
but I still think that they look amazing - 
that's what happens when your sister looks like a model.

Next time,
we'll go shoot photos when it isn't 37 degrees outside.

What champs!

I'm loving my weekend.
How about you?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Letter to the Editor(s)

I've thought about how to start this post
for most of the workday. 
And I've basically come up with nothing!

I find myself in an incredibly new position as of late.
I can't seem to remember the simplest things!
Some are really silly:
1) did I email that person back?
2) did I text that person back/return a phone call?
(ok, who am I kidding. I never remember to return phone calls. haha)
3) where did I leave ____ (fill in the blank)
4) "Tyler, can you get the thing that's on the thing by the thing?"
(good grief! I cannot think!)

Others are a little different.
I feel like I was once an extremely motivated person. 
Maybe a little too much.
College was intense, not just for me,
but for everyone around me.
[I used to write all my roommates apologetic letters after each semester]

Now, looking back,
I wish I would have relaxed more and enjoyed the experience.
And, after I had Ethan, I tried that.
It was pretty nice!

Quite quickly after Ethan was born,
I was out and about, 
shopping at Ikea with my family,
walking around the park talking to friends,
and now that he's a little older,
we go hiking with friends!
Here's the dilemma.
I'm having a hard time.
Not surprising, right?
But with what?
I can't seem to motivate myself anymore.
I want to work out.
I want to eat healthier :)
I want to be more efficient with housework, etc.
 I want to be a fantastic wife!
I want to take Ethan out to do things and not be nervous that he'll fuss.
I want to go to the Halloween parties we've been invited to.
I want, I want, I want.
[blah, blah, blah, I know]
 And, instead of seizing the day,
I just sit.
Take naps.
And then work for 7 days straight. 

Instead of doing the things I want to accomplish,
I find myself "explaining away" why I can't or shouldn't do them.
For instance, 
we're sleep training Ethan this week and he's doing great!
He's down by 8:45, asleep most nights by 9:15-9:30.
 And instead of working out, 
I watch Bones, the World Series, or fold laundry.
You get the picture.
Instead of going and doing things,
or even getting dressed up for work like I used to,
I now find myself nervous to do those things.
The getting dressed up thing is hard b/c a lot of stuff doesn't fit.
Hence, the working out! haha
Why am I nervous?
Simply put: because I don't like to fail.
And I'm afraid that I'll fail.
Does this even make sense? 
I guess that I'm having a bit of trouble finding myself again.
I felt like this after each semester was over,
as the study partners change with new classes,
roommates came and went,
and I was given the opportunity to change myself repeatedly.
I love that opportunity to change.
I'm not re-inventing the wheel necessarily,
but I'm trying to develop different aspects of my character.
And, in trying to find myself, I feel a bit selfish. 
Shouldn't my situation in life be enough for me?
Why can't I be happy with what's going on?
Honestly, its because I know I can be more.
I just don't know where to start.
Luckily, I have a super supportive husband.
He doesn't mind when the house isn't spotless,
or when we have homemade pizza for the 3rd time in a week,
or when I come home from work and don't look amazing - haha
He'd love to support me in all my goals. 
I just wish I could start trying to achieve them.
And the only reason I haven't started
is because I'm holding myself back.
What do you do when you find yourself in this kind of a position?
Let me guess.
You probably start doing stuff instead of just thinking about it all the time. 
So, help a sister out.
Even the smallest or largest explanations would be helpful.
If you don't want to post online,
feel free to email me with those suggestions too :)
lilbebedol19 {at} gmail {dot} com
 Thanks for listening.

Two more days of work,
and then I'm off for a week!

ps - totally getting my hair cut/colored next Friday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Photo Montage

Seriously. Could my kid get any cuter? Yes. Just keep scrolling.

 This is my favorite face.

Oh my! I laugh every time I look at the "O" on that chubby face. Just kills me! haha

Today on facebook, my friend posted this article. Its all about how moms are super self conscious about appearing in pictures with their kids b/c they feel unattractive. I read this after making the decision to try and have pictures with Ethan + I. Our kids aren't going to notice how our hips are a bit wider, or how I haven't done my hair for days...(ok, maybe you can tell, but I'm not stressed haha) or how my face is still round. I hope that Ethan can see how much I love him, how fun he is to hold, and how much his mommy cared to preserve a memory. He is darling. I hope he'll see how I tried hard to make him smile, even when it was so chilly in the evening mountain air. I hope he'll know that whether I'm here for the next 40 years or the next 40 days, I will always be his mother and we will always be together.

A big thanks to Nancy and her adorable son James 
for having us tag along for the fall photo shoot.
I always wanted to go, but was nervous about doing it alone.
So glad for good friends!

Happy Conference Weekend!

After all, 
Family is what Life is all about.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chomp Chomp Chomp!

This week, we decided to start teething.

We turned 3 months old on Sept 24th.

Oh my. Where did the time go?

 I wish this picture wasn't blurry, but oh that smile.

I love Tylenol.

And I love that smile.

I love that smile + Tylenol the best.

 Tiny feets and tiny toes.

Teething brings a lot of woes.

Can't you tell we've all lost a *little* bit of sleep this week?

One bottom tooth up - the other is almost through.


Thank heavens for the best husband under the stars.
Otherwise, no one would have slept.
Tyler is incredible.
And so is baby.

We are all lucky to:
a) still be alive after my first week back to work
b) have each other
c) have the gospel
d) have Tylenol
e) have a *cloud* {this is what I affectionately call my down comforter - it comforts me}

Tomorrow = first day off.
Hopefully, lots of sleep.
Anyone want to come and hold my hand while I try and find my sanity? hahaha {don't volunteer; this might take a while and may not be too pretty}

I like challenges - not trials, challenges. The week back at work was full of fun and lots of challenges. Teething = trial. But luckily, the kid thinks its a challenge. He did great. He is doing great. And now that it's 11:30pm, I wish we were all doing something other then this being awake thing.

Wish us luck :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nesting...3 Months Late

Little man can always tell when you've got a camera on him. I told you, he's sneaky.

I don't know if I was just too busy before he came, but I never really got into a "nesting" phase. I did clean the grout in my shower with a toothbrush + bleach, but I think that's just what I do normally. haha

Anyway, last night, it hit me. HARD. haha I sent Tyler off to mutual with Ethan so I could clean the WHOLE house. A little ambitious, no? Well, it was. Tyler came home 30 mins later and I was all grumpy! "You're going to throw off my cleaning groove!!!" Instead of throwing it off, he helped :) Wasn't that nice of him?

So, we re-arranged everything. [At least, I felt like we did.] And we deep cleaned a bunch of stuff. I did a zillion loads of laundry, mopped {what?!}, and now we have a clean kitchen, dining room [which is now a multipurpose room, which it was anyway, but now it looks much better haha], and baby room. Our room, on the other hand, has blown up. Oh dear. That's next! And by clean, I mean organized. I studied infectious disease for too long to ever have a "dirty" house. [shudder]

And now, the reason why I'm in such a frenzy? I start back on my 7on/7off schedule next Tuesday - the 25th. I don't know how it will all work, but I'm going to try my best. Working 11.5 hr days, coming home and making dinner, plus looking after a baby will be tough, especially when Tyler works full time, and then teaches breakin' on Tues and Thurs nights and has mutual on Wednesdays. Luckily, we've enlisted the help of an awesome gal in our ward to watch Ethan in our home. She's rad and definitely an answer to prayer.  As of now, she's only going to be here until November. Back to the drawing board for that one....

Its been a challenge for me to decide to work - I believe strongly that the Lord has a plan for me and I intend to follow that plan. I also believe in having health care/insurance. Hence, the main motivator for going back to work - my insurance plan is stellar and we have saved lots of $$ and have been really blessed by having this job.

I tell Ethan every day how much I'm going to miss him, how much I love him, and I hope that he'll understand. It just breaks my heart. And this might sound rotten to say [and everyone says it anyway], but having that mental break at work will be a blessing - and the best part? Its only every other week for now - which means I get him all to myself every other week :)

I can't believe he'll be 3 months on Sunday. What a stud. And what a blessing. He's teaching me a lot about myself - and I needed it more then he'll ever know.

Stay tuned for our re-do of his room and the craft that I'm working on for him!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let's do the Twist!

Sneaky baby syndrome, part 2.

How does he turn himself all about while sleeping? I hear his little talking and go in to get him, and what do I find? A sideways baby, with a grin the size of the Mississippi - he is as pleased as punch with himself, as if he knows he's not supposed to be doing this.

Time to get a bumper. And a thick, padded one. Otherwise, he'll end up with the "breathable mesh" imprints all over his noggen, and not just the lines from the crib. It kind of looks like the red marks people get when they sleep in church by leaning their heads onto the pew in front of them.


But it might be Voodoo. See the sock monkey in the bottom of the picture? He was all turned sideways too.... Conspiracy? Hmm. You tell me. 

Sneaky baby.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

73* and Sunny!

Today has got to be the most beautiful day that Utah has ever produced. Sweet Mercy! We have the windows open, the breeze rolling through the house, and football is on. Oh, and did I mention that the munchkin is napping? Yes, we are happy over here!

 Each Wednesday, Ethan and I join our friends for a hike - this week we hiked a Willow Creek trail up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Oh my. I should have busted out my inhaler. I don't care if I've lived in Utah for 4 years, I grew up at 6' below sea level! This elevation kills my lungs! haha It was such a great hike and it was an awesome chance to push myself!

I wore my splint during the hike, and let me tell you - it really helped! I've really enjoyed wearing it - and I don't wear it all the time, which is probably why I still enjoy it. haha

Here are just a few phone snapshots from the hike - I love how Instagram boosts the colors in the last one!

 This picture is what the whole hike looked like - the blue skies were stunning! There were so many Aspen trees and they were so lovely - I can't wait to hike it again so I can take pictures of the sky peeking through their leaves.

On Wednesday I visited with my doctor, and I only have a 2 finger gap with regards to my diastasis. This is such great news! I can hike (while wearing the splint), run a little, and walk, walk, walk. Pilates and a lot of yoga is out, but I just have to keep plugging away with what I'm currently doing and I'll keep seeing results. Today, I buttoned up a pair of pants that I've been wearing with the assistance of a hair tie - you know the style! Hooray me!

Then, yesterday, Marissa and Tyson met up with Ethan and I at Ikea. I had to get out and about and Ikea is just the place! Besides, we made some stellar purchases! I cannot tell you how great it is to spend time with my family :) Its the very best!

After Ikea, Marissa and Tyson came up to our house in Salt Lake, where we grilled the most amazing chicken! Our house smelled like charcoal all morning (well, more like we'd made bacon), and it was so nice - which sounds funny, but I love to grill. We also made delish potatoes, thanks to Mom for the recipe, and thanks to Tyson and Rissy for helping out with dinner!

We taught Marissa and Tyson how to play a game that my BIL, Paul, invented - its called "Good One!" and it is such a blast. Our first year of marriage, Tyler and I played it allllll day long on Christmas day. We played for hours last night and barely noticed the time passing!
 Marissa teaching Ethan how to use strategy!

 Ethan must be catching on - Rissy looks pleased!!!

This morning, Ethan slept for such a long time - it was heavenly! He always seems to know when its the weekend, the little stinker! He was extremely talkative this morning and we were dying of laughter. He is getting really loud and I cannot wait for more chatter to come our way!

 Tyler wanted to see if Ethan was ready to wear his hat....

Is he not the cutest thing in the world? haha  We are so happy to have him. And lucky, too.


By way of thanks, I just need to thank the wonderful people that have stepped in over the past few days to really keep my spirits up. I could not have made it through this challenging week without my grandmother's perfectly timed phone call (Thank you so much, Grandma!), my Johnsons, my good friends Nancy, Kate, and Chels, my SIL Wendi, my cousin Carlie, and my dear family. Everyone can say, "call me when you need something," but rarely do people step up and lift you when they know you need it. 

Thank you so much!!! We love you and are so lucky to have you in our lives.