Sunday, June 22, 2014

Just a Little Gem

So you may have read about this.  But yesterday, my allergies kicked my tail.  Majorly.  And I was majorly grumpy about it.

So Jeremy made me what I have dubbed a de-allergen-izer.  Out of a bra strap, an old piece of scrap fabric, and a couple safety pins.  The result:

It looks even better on...

Lynnaea likes it because she thinks it's funny and wants to bite it (nose and all).  I like it because it actually works.  I don't sneeze my head off and feel irritated all day.  I'm telling you...  This could become haute couture for allergy season.  (Oh, and if you couldn't tell by the picture, Lynnaea also likes the idea of grabbing the camera.)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just Because...

So I felt like taking lots of pictures of Lynnaea the other day.  And of me too...  Haha.  She actually looks at the camera better when I'm holding her.  So aren't you lucky?  You get a bunch of selfies.

And in the last few minutes before I head off to bed, I figured I'd upload a few. 

I'm sure I have some real blog material I want to write.  But at the moment, it has escaped me.  So I guess I'll cover things quickly with what I can think of:

Lynnaea walks everywhere.  It is now her preferred method of travel.  Even if she is slower at it than crawling still, since she still has to work to keep her balance a bit.

She had a rough weekend.  I'm not sure if it's the beginning of tantrums, some of her molars (she has all 4 first-molars in various stages of eruption), or just that she wasn't feeling great.  But yesterday was full of extreme meltdowns -- the kind where she cries like she just lost an arm or something.  It was sad.  And I was pretty glad when 8:00 rolled around and she went to sleep, because I hoped sleep would improve things.  Today was better, but she is still doing an abnormal amount of whining.  Also, her appetite hasn't been what I'm used to.  But anyway, we're trying to go with the flow and learn right along with her :).  She's still a sweet little munchkin.  And has the sweetest smiles.

She loves climbing up stairs.  And fortunately for me (sarcasm), our church building has 2 sets of them...

We have carrots in our garden!!!  Well, seedlings.  But we can finally identify them from the leaves and I was able to weed out the grass, finally.  (Before they all looked pretty much the same, so I was concerned about weeding out the carrots.)

Went on a youth Temple trip yesterday.  Had a good time.  Even in spite of having to leave here at 4:15 in the morning.  Yuck

Went to a THRIVE Foods party.  Fun.  More on that later, possibly.

And I need to go to bed.  So here are the pictures :).  Some are from Samuel's birthday party (bowling). 

Oh yeah...  And my baby loves to dance!

And I finally got a good picture of her sleeping on me :).  Awww.  Love her.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Because Some People Are Too Cute For (Many) Words

We went to check on the garden today.  And Lynnaea-bug got to play in the tall plants for a bit.  After discovering dandelions -- and that one should never try to eat them (since the fuzz sticks to your tongue...).

She's so stinkin' cute!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dear Me (15 Years Ago)

Fifteen years is a long time.  And in fifteen years, you will learn a lot.  Unfortunately, real life isn't like some episode of Quantum Leap or like the very awesome movies 13 Going on 30 (make sure you see this movie... it'll be one of your favorites) and Click.  So you'll never read this at age 18.  But if you could, here's what I'd tell you:

1.  You're gorgeous.  You know that Sunscreen Song, and how it states that, years from now, you'll look back at photos of yourself and realize how fabulous you really looked?  Well, it's true.  I know you don't think it right now, but you are beautiful.  Yes, I know you have insecurities about your body.  But pretty much everyone around you does, too.  They are just different insecurities.  Yes, I know you feel like you don't look "normal."  But what is normal, anyway?  You are not the only one of 3 billion women who has the issues you dislike about yourself.  Yes, I know you think no guy will ever find you attractive or want to marry you, based on looks alone.  But you wouldn't want someone to want you based solely on looks anyway.  And don't worry.  You'll get married.  And there will be guys who think you are beautiful.  Some will tell you, but others will tell other people who will tell you.  There probably are guys right now who think you are beautiful, you just don't know it.  So please try to recognize how beautiful you really are.  Because you will look back at photos of yourself in the years ahead, and you will realize that, while right now you think you are ugly, you are anything but.  And you will wish you'd have realized how fabulous you really looked :).

2.  The Gospel is true.  It would behoove you to find that out for yourself now, rather than later.  But even if you don't, just know that you will one day find a reason to know for yourself.  And you will get your answer.  And from that answer will spring some of your greatest heart-aches.  But it will also bring forth your greatest joys.  It will provide you with direction and assurance.  So keep the faith, even when it's hard.

3.  Don't be afraid to love.  This, of course, means you will open yourself up to hurt.  But love is beautiful.  And to avoid it for fear of being hurt would be a tragic loss.  You will lose more by not loving than you ever will by loving.  But, in your desire to love...  Don't allow yourself to be mistreated. 

4.  Appreciate your parents.  It is the natural course of things (well, at least it still generally is when you are now) for teenagers to clash with their parents.  Apparently science and psychology say it's because that will help you want to move out one day and be independent.  So it's normal that they annoy you from time to time.  And it's normal that you don't always want to do the things they want you to do.  But recognize they only want what's best for you.  Because they love you in a way you can't fully comprehend right now.  They have sacrificed and still sacrifice for you in ways of which you are not yet fully aware.  But trust me, one day you will know.  One day you will understand.  One day you will see that they are people just like you.  That they have their ups and their downs.  Just like you.  And they are trying their best to live life and balance all their responsibilities the best way they know how just like you are.  They make mistakes just like you do.  But they love you.  More than you really know right now.  So love them.  Appreciate them.  Listen to them (they know more than you think).  And tell them thank you.  Because it will mean more to them than you know, right now.  And trust me that one day, you will understand.

5.  Repentance is real.  You make mistakes.  You've made mistakes.  But Heavenly Father knew we all would.  And so, He sent His Son.  He did it because He loves you.  Just as your earthly parents do -- only more so.  The opportunity to change is real -- and the power to change is within you.  Don't let them fade away as though they don't exist.  Because it feels so good to be clean.

6.  It doesn't really matter who you are in high school.  You've never been in the popular crowd.  And that's okay.  You never really yearned to be there, but I think you put more concern on how others view you than is really necessary.  (And, even though I've learned this lesson about high school, maybe I'm still working on learning it about all of life.)  The truth is, you will move on with life -- and so will they.  And it won't really matter who you are now, as far as cliques go.  You will share a common past with people, and that link will become stronger than how popular you are.  And you will find that those who everyone thought would be most successful may not be.  And then there will be those who will surprise you.  And you will discover, when the opportunity arises to connect up with people from your past, that -- for the most part -- we are all just people, trying to get along in this life.  And whether or not we were popular in high school won't really matter, in the end.

7.  You are strong.  You will face challenges you can't even begin to imagine right now.  But you'll make it through.  Even when you feel like the world is crumbling, you will keep going.  So believe in yourself.

8.  Be kind, learn patience, be forgiving, and be more generous.  Everyone around you has struggles, just like you do.  You will find it easy to think judgmental thoughts.  But try to overcome that.  Learn to be patient.  Do I sound like our mother?  Well, turns out she is right...  Patience is a virtue.  And you'll need it in the years ahead.  Better to develop it now...  Because, even if you don't, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do so.  Forgive others.  We've all made mistakes.  And you always hope others will forgive you.  So be willing to forgive them, too.  And be more generous.  It's easy to be very self-centered and focus on yourself.  But you have been blessed with a lot.  And that will continue to be true.  So be generous -- in word, in deed, and in thought. 

It's just advice, of course.  Do with it as you will.  But you should trust me...  After all, I've been where you are... and I've been where you're going. 

And, though in all reality, I know you won't read this at 18...  And I know I can't advise my younger self no matter  how much I wish I could...  I know there will be people I can share this wisdom with.  One special one in particular.  So here's to hoping I remember to do so -- all along the way.


An Older, but hopefully wiser, you.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Of Things That Matter

Well, because I tend to put blogging to the side often, I don't keep quite as up-to-date as I used to with things.  But there have been quite a few things going on.  And some of them are of great significance.  Especially to me.

We were expecting a baby earlier in May.  We found out for sure on a Tuesday.  But we lost the baby on Friday of the same week.  We hadn't originally planned to get pregnant again quite so soon.  But we knew it could happen.  And we were excited when it did.  Imagining how things would be.  With two munchkins running around.  But it just wasn't meant to be right now.  And though it was still so new (I was only 5 weeks on the day I miscarried), it was sad to lose the baby.  In fact, I was so emotional that day, I started crying outside of the JoAnn's store because I didn't realize I could use two coupons and ended up spending $5 more than I needed to.  Dumb reason to cry?  Yeah, probably.  But I was emotional.  And I think I wasn't really crying about the $5 anyway.
I'm grateful I took the picture of the pregnancy test.  Because though we won't hold this baby in this life, I know there was a life growing inside of me, even if only for a very short time.  And I'm grateful to have picture evidence.

The truth is, I'd planned to tell everyone about the pregnancy earlier than we did with Lynnaea.  Though I knew there was the possibility of miscarriage (because it happened before), a part of me had decided I wanted to share joyful news, no matter what the end result was.  The reason is because we thought we'd lost Lynnaea, just like we lost the first baby.  It ended up being a broken blood vessel that time.  But even so.  We thought, at 7 weeks, we'd lost her.  And if we had...  Well, no one would have known.  Because we waited until after I was 13 weeks along to tell anyone.  And I guess, for some, they prefer it that way.  And I respect that.  I also understand that.  I've done things both ways now.  But I decided from here on out, I want to celebrate the blessing of life.  Even if it ends up being hard later on.  Because there is always hope, until there isn't.  And even then, I think there's still hope.  Just a different kind.  So, I was planning to share our news sooner than later.  But I hadn't decided how I wanted to do that, and then it was too late.  And so I sat on the news for a bit.  Contemplating if I wanted to share it at this point or not.  And I decided I do.  Because, for a short time, I was going to have another baby.  And that is a blessing.  Babies are blessings and miracles.  And, as one of my new favorite quotes states:  "Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world." 
In other news...  My Lynnaea looks like the picture above when she wants the camera and I don't give it to her.  She does like things her way...  And she looks like the picture below when Mommy makes a less-than-tasty dinner.  Which you can check out here, if you feel so inclined.  I have to give her props for eating the stuff I put on her plate.  She made a face with every bite (and I wasn't forcing her to eat more than one bite, either... she just kept going back for more.  Maybe in the hopes it would get better?).  In the end, I gave her leftover macaroni, chicken, broccoli, cheese skillet.  She really likes that.

And this is how she looks when she's ready for church!  This was today.  Such a happy little bug!  And, by the way, she's pretty much mastered walking.  And she's very excited about it.
She really didn't want to look up at the camera.  She was more interested in playing with her barrettes. 

And as I write this, at 9:45 at night on a Sunday, my husband is over helping a friend finish the roof of the house they are selling.  And need to be out of Tuesday morning.  A friend whose wife (who is a dear friend of mine) is staying with her in-laws along with their two kiddos while he works on completing the house.  Because she is on a bed-rest.  Because she miscarried and then hemorrhaged over the weekend.  And because she texted asking for help.

And why do I include this?  Well, because.  Because I was having a funky mood day.  I was throwing myself a pity party about feeling old and ugly (because I do that sometimes...).  And then I was blessed to help a friend.  To serve them.  To make dinner for her husband so he would eat.  And it gave me an opportunity to get outside of myself.  To stop having a pity party.  To realize there are people with real struggles.  And sometimes that person is me.  But sometimes it isn't.  To remember that we are here to help each other.  It was a blessing to our family that they asked us for help.  It was a blessing to me.  And as I pondered all of this... pondered things that matter...  I remembered another quote I found years ago.  A quote I've saved and I've loved.  We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. -- Lucretius.  Oh how I realize more and more each day how true this is.  How much we need each other.  How grateful I am for a good husband who drops everything and goes to help a friend in need.  On days like this, he is my hero.

And it made me grateful, too, for our church congregation.  Because a call for help has gone out.  And I am beyond positive tomorrow will find many helping hands at that house, cleaning and finishing the packing, and helping this wonderful family we love so much so that they can meet their deadline.  What a blessing it all is.