Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Christmas Week

What a blast to have Daddy home with us this week! We loved being together, seeing Santa at the mall, watching Mora makes efforts at crawling, last minute shopping,late night wrapping/organizing- toy assembling, seeing the neighborhood Christmas decorating winners, Spencer trying to finish his book (he's been on the last chapter for what seems like weeks),watching all the motab Christmas concerts past (including our favorite with Bryn Terfel several times- I would put it on repeat throughout the day just to enjoy the music), Christmas Eve candle dinner (ham, funeral potatoes),teaching our girls why we have a birthday celebration for Jesus, Reading about His birth and life, Singing a duet in Church, Remembering Christmases past, tickling, laughing, watching Elmo's Christmas Movie, Taking Polar Express rides around the kitchen, Singing Addy to sleep with Christmas songs, Eating lots of chocolate, Picking up Spencer after his car broke down, finally getting our cars to the shop, Talking with Family on the phone, Reflecting, having Sally, Brad and Tyler over in their pajama's for Christmas brunch (creamed eggs on toast, breakfast casserole, hot chocolate, fruit, and more)reenacting the nativity,Going to Fredricksburg and down town to see the Riverwalk lights, Feeling closer to each other and our Savior. Indeed it was a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I am a Mormon!

And by that I mean I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just when I was feeling like that statement was beginning to get respect or at least tolerance from most, strange stewings of controversy arise in the political and therefore national scene and it seems that, in some instances, we are back in the former days of persecution. I don't get personally offended by the ravings of self proclaimed mormon bashing scholars but rather personally empowered in my own testimony with greater enthusiasm to speak out. While I know this is just a small way of doing that, I'd like to spend the next few minutes, unedited, to throw some randomness out from my mind and heart so that I can more organize my impressions and ask for yours. A few thoughts...

First of all
Mitt Romney.
(wow, I've gone and done it now, inviting politics onto my blog..but you wouldn't really get a true picture of me if I pretended I wasn't involved and totally interested in the scenes of campaigning. And quite honestly, I feel we are not doing our duty to our country and therefore ourselves if we aren't. We can not depend on others info to base an opinion on who most qualifies to govern this free world. We need to research, listen and watch- to be actively involved) OK, I'll just get it out there, he is my favorite. And that is not coming from some ignorant,go with the crowd Mormon, who just wants to see him do well because he is "one of us". In fact I have been more impressed by some other candidates on certain issues, but overall: the problems he puts focus on, his honesty, willingness to change, the trust I feel in his abilities to manage,prioritize and organize, similar ideals and principles,- matches what I am looking for in a commander and chief. In saying this, I do not wish to convince any other person that he is the man for them, but rather put influence on the fact that it is crucial that we not only decide what issues matter most to us but who can most effectively take on the challenge of them. As always my opinion is subject to change as I become more informed. I do not wish to defend Mitt Romney, but regardless of anyone's political opinions, his running for President has opened the door for reviews and rebuttal's of the LDS church and we have the opportunity to defend THAT! I get excited to think of helping others understand the restored Gospel because I know it will increase my own understanding.

Onto my next thought...
It is not all roses but that doesn't change the truth.

One day on my mission I was run off a doorstep by what seemed to be a ranting crazy man, yelling out "you murderers! Your people are murderers! You kill innocent people!" He continued to describe details of a mormon massacre which I assumed he was making up or misinformed about because I wasn't familiar with. I was shocked when I found out it was true and embarrassed at how I must've responded to him. I couldn't believe I had never heard anything (that I remembered at least) about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Another example: While discussing some church history with a friend (who was brought up in the church) she paused to say "wait, Joseph Smith had more than one wife too?"
I couldn't believe she didn't know that and yet why should she know any differently? Many of the church manuals (including the new one of Joseph Smith's teachings) mention nothing of this or any other of the controversial history of the early church. Do I think they should? No, at least not most of the time. Sometimes I wish they would though, even though I know it is better that they don't. I was so pleased with the article in the September Ensign that shared the accounts of the Mountain Meadows Massacre- the first detailed account shared with the entire church. I'd just love to hear one of the Apostles share some of their personal thoughts and understanding on the churches history with plural marriage, but why should they? We have far too much truth and light to share that it seems a waste of time to spend our precious teaching moments reviewing incomplete records of the past or principles that are no longer needful at this time... not to mention all the mistakes members of the church have made. Yet we can not ignore the past while others not of our faith are informed. So how do we prepare for their questioning then, like the one I experienced on my mission? I am no sure exactly, but I do think we have to do our own research, with the spirit. Joseph himself would not have received many revelations with out first having stirrings and questions of the soul. We can't be afraid of thorns and let imperfections of man startle our Faith in God and His church. A thorough study of the early church history and the life of our prophet Joseph could leave the tender dependent testimony questioning. For the past few months I have read some (and discussed more) of "Joseph Smith-Rough Stone Rolling" by Richard Bushman. For me, I enjoy knowing that Joseph was a man- called to be a prophet, but very much a mortal with struggles and weaknesses. It gives me more hope and faith to know that Father can take a humble man and make him into someone who can be used for such a marvelous work. While Joseph may have been one of the most Christlike men to live, he is not our Savior. He has done more for the world to know the Savior than any other man yet it should not be expected that he made no mistakes simply because of his calling.

I wish we weren't so afraid of showing and sharing weaknesses. So often I feel we go through our lives surrounded- in stores, homes, congregations and classrooms with hungry souls, questioning, struggling and even unbelieving, yet we feel we can't share with each other. That somehow we are not faithful or good if we have a questions or don't understand something. That we need to be perceived as perfect. There is so much more we could do for each other. Is it pride? One of my favorite testimonies was from a couple who shared humbly that although they firmly believed in Christ they were struggling with some specific parts of their testimonies but trying to receive answers through the spirit. If we all had perfect testimonies on every principle of the gospel it seems our test and learning on earth may as well be over...but since we're all still here, apparently we could use a bit more. :)

Well, I had no agenda in writing this. Just a lot on my mind. If you are still reading this, I hope you might take a moment to share some of your thoughts, agreeable or not, on this blog or your own.

I am imperfect, yet striving to know Christ better.
I AM A MORMON and couldn't be happier!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"When the world falls in love..."

So thoroughly enjoying this time of year at our house!

I've learned that it's not so much what your reality actually is but what you believe your reality is. In my "reality" I have a beautiful, elegant, warm fireplace with a majestic chimney to enjoy for the season.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Welcome to Texas!

So, a few weeks ago, after I had frantically raced to get the garbage out as I heard the garbage men coming, I returned to my dishwashing station to look down at my side to find this creature. I really cringe looking him alive, reliving it, eewww!...needless to say, this was the last shot of him in the flesh. Of course it's a him. I wouldn't be scared like that over a girl. I think all cockroaches must be males. I give my apologies for sharing him with you and hope you don't start constantly scanning your floors for the next few weeks like I did. I am happy to report that there have been no further sitings and that I have come to the conclusion (due to it's size, antenna's, and convenient arrival upon leaving my doors open-)that this was an outside roach(and if you know differently please don't tell me). Since I usually go on and on about how much I love my life and everything is nearly perfect, I thought you might enjoy hearing about something not so ideal.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Two years and yet it feels like probably has been.

My heart is so full. Right now I don't know whether to burst into tears or race upstairs to wake up my beautiful little girl and just hold her. You know those moments where you really feel heavenly feelings. Like something different than what a mere mortal can experience. A little reminder that this life is not the beginning or the end. For the past few days I have been reliving my precious daughters life through pictures and journals..contemplating the last 2 years that she has been on earth with us. Surely it has been longer than that! What a gift Father has given me. I feel so humbled to even think of it...I am her Mother.

One night of her life I am particularly grateful for. She was just a few weeks old. For some reason I awoke startled and looked over at her in her bassinet... she seemed to be holding her breath. I shook her and she immediately began taking deep breaths. I just held her and sobbed. What if I hadn't woken up? Had she stopped breathing? Thank you Father...Thank you. Even before this night I had been feeling so consumed by the fact that she could be taken from me that I couldn't sleep for fear of what I might awake to (In large part because of some experiences with SIDS and working in Labor and Delivery). I was exhausted as I lay awake looking at her. Watching her little breaths and crying...thinking of how I could not bear life without this new life that had instantly seemed a part of my very being. I begged, pleaded with Father that he protect her. I felt a compelling feeling that I had to turn her over to Him and trust Him. Not only that He would not let her go from me, but that even if He did, I must still trust Him.

I don't know how, but that night I did completely trust Him. Maybe it's because I was so grateful to have woken up. Maybe it's because I felt for a moment how fragile this life is and how soon one and each of us will leave it. But I knew that He was going to make sure life happened for me and my family when it was supposed to.

So that little gal just turned two a few days ago... and tonight I spent close to an hour- laying on her bed with her as she kept asking me to "sing one more song" "sing next song Momma". How could I resist. I would've sang all night to her if she wanted.

This is but an earlier heaven isn't it... and I don't want to miss one day with her.

I love you sweet Addy. Thanks for coming to our family. May we have many years ahead to enjoy and learn from you.

Thank you Father. Thank you.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What we've been up to...

A splendid Thanksgiving and fun Daddy-Daughter Zoo trip date! This is the life...