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?