Friday, November 20, 2009

A Rejuvenating Day

Today I went to the temple after a 4-month unwanted (and completely unwelcomed) hiatus. I’ve been feeling myself needing to go for quite awhile, but have not gone due to my work schedule and crazy, busy life that I’ve had since starting working at The Picture People back in August. Although I am grateful for the job and appreciate that they hired me back on, I am already feeling that it is not where I belong long-term. I have to work too many nights and too many Sundays. And although even one Sunday a month would be “too many” I’m currently suppose to work 2 a month. So 50% of the time, I don’t get to go to Church. Add that to not teaching Seminary, not going to the temple weekly, slacking on my scripture study and prayers, not getting my Visiting Teaching done, and the list could actually go on and on. . .I have been in somewhat of a downward spiral these last few months as far as my spirituality goes. And it has had me feeling very concerned. I am not the same person I was 6 months ago and I do not like who I am becoming. I feel an old, familiar but undesirable, rebellious nature being brought back to the surface. I have felt quite frustrated a lot lately and feel an internal fight going on as I try to come to terms with where I am at and what I am responsible for.

Tuesday, I was feeling pretty down about everything. I had been thinking about the branch balanced on the rocks a lot. And I contemplated what it is that I need to do differently so that I could, once again, be balanced. I did a simple checklist with the basic Seminary answers. To be “balanced on the Rock” one must read the scriptures, pray, attend Church meetings, serve, be obedient to qualify for the Holy Ghost’s protection and guidance. As I pondered this list, I was embarrassed and humbled to see the glaring reality. No wonder my spirituality was suffering. I was struggling in every area.

During this time of frustration for me, my dear friend Lynn called. I felt bad because I’m sure she called to share something from her life and I turned the call into something completely about me. I shared my frustrations. My concerns. And I also think I scared her some because I was, at the time, feeling pretty apathetic towards making things better. She gave me some firm, but loving, advice to do the things that I knew I should do. She also reminded me of a talk from the most recent General Conference that I should read called "Preserving the Heart's Mighty Change". I read it and knew immediately that she was inspired to tell me about it. It was exactly what I needed. I’ve read it like 5 times since Tuesday! And it gives me hope, encouragement and strength. Here's a link to the talk:,5232,23-1-1117-31,00.html

The temple today gave me a spiritual rejuvenation that I so needed. I felt the Lord’s love for me and I was given answers to my prayers. Which, really, just sort of amazes me. How quick He is to come running to my rescue. Even before the words can be formed and leave my lips, the Savior is there to hear me and to respond to me. Before I am fully aware of the cliff that I am about to fall over, He is standing at ready to catch me and save me from my demise! I am so unworthy. Yet He is there. I have such a rebellious nature sometimes and yet, He loves me. He believes in me. He saves me. How can I ever be worthy of all He gives?!

I am so grateful for the time I spent in the temple today. I know that there are many things I must do to bring myself back to where I need to and want to be spiritually. I received some wonderful gifts today. I went into the session asking for strength, courage and wisdom. I came away with all of the above.

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Changes, Trials, and Rocks!

I have been going through a lot of changes in my life lately. Changes that, for me, are good, but hard. Needful, but painful. Changes that are causing me to really find out who I am and what I'm made of. Trials in life are an interesting thing. I have always understood that they are necessary in order to progress in life. Today in Church we discussed momentarily about the sin of being idle: what it is and why it is bad. I thought how when a car sits idle, it's not going anywhere. In our life, we definitely want to be going somewhere! Sitting idle just wastes gas and doesn't do anyone any good!

Well, I can without reservation state that I have not been idle in my life this past little while! In fact, I have been too busy. So busy that I do not feel like I am accomplishing anything that I need to! Although I have decided to "close down" my business, I am still taking on new projects. That added to working 40 hours at my job. . .I work more than ever and am available for my family less than ever.

I am learning in a painful way the dangers of being too busy. I have found that I don't make time lately for all the really important things in life. While our bills are getting paid, there is so much that goes undone. I have felt my own personal spirituality slip to a level that I am definitely not comfortable with. I miss teaching Seminary. I miss going to temple every week. I miss having time to ponder the scriptures, to hear the promptings of the Spirit guiding me.

I need to figure out how to get back to such a place in my life. How do people balance it all?! How do I make it all work and be everything for everyone that needs me?! I feel very conflicted these days.

As I think and ponder on these thoughts, I am always brought back to an experience that I had a couple of years ago. I was going on a hike with a friend. We walked by a river. As I walked along the path, watching the water, I thought of how much water represents. For me, it is a source of fear, grief and anger. Yet at the same time, I think of how water represents life. Even eternal life. It represents the cleansing process. I, however, got stuck on how the water represented trials. It was Springtime and the water was high and moving fast. I thought of how easy it would be to get caught up in the water and be rushed away, out of control. I felt overwhelmed as I thought of how, in life sometimes it is the same. We get caught up in everything and before we know it, everything seems out of control (much like I feel now).

As I continued on the path, it wasn't long before I came upon a scene that made me stop and re-evaluate everything. I thought to myself how there was a definite lesson in what I was seeing. What I saw was an group of rocks in the middle of the river with the raging water splashing all around. And on top of the biggest rock was a branch. Balanced perfectly. It was getting splashed on by the water, but it remained balanced on the rock. With the river raging all around, it seemed that the branch denied the river the satisfaction of washing it away. Instead, it sat in peace and safety. . .on the Rock! I felt a great peace come over me as I realized the lesson.

It is a simple lesson, yet the principle is so profound. It works EVERY time. We must balance our lives on the Rock of Salvation: even Jesus Christ. He is there for us. We must balance everything upon Him and then we will have peace amidst the turmoil.

See? Simple! So if it is so "simple", why do I struggle so? If I understand and believe the principle, why do I still find my life out of balance so often? Sometimes, making the balance actually work takes time, practice, and tenacity. I know that I will find balance again. And I know that when I do, I will be so much the better person. Experience is a wonderful thing. I look forward to being able to look back on this time in my life and feel gratitude for the lessons I've learned. For now, I'm making a list of all that I need to do differently so that I am balanced properly!

A final thought: "And now. . .remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. " Helaman 5:12

PS - In case you're wondering if I had my camera with me that day, the answer is "of course!" The image of the branch balanced on the rocks hangs in my office as a constant reminder of what I am striving for. I didn't post it here because the image file is on my hard drive at the office and I am at home tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I spent the day at a gymnastics school playing with a bunch of little kids. The instructor had them all dress up in their halloween costumes and I was there to take pictures of them all. It is one of the best things I get to do! Malory went with me today. She is such a fun daughter to have around. I think she may have had as much fun as the adorable little preschoolers! I get to go again on Thursday and Friday.

It is quite dangerous, actually, for me to do such activities though. It makes me want to go back to doing my own thing full-time. Yet, I know that this isn't the time for that. Yet, that is so hard to stay committed to! I truly hate working retail hours. Maybe hate is too strong of a word to use. . . No! Actually it isn't. But I suppose it's good that I hate it so much. I don't think I will get complacent where I am at. I will always be trying to find a way to move on and have control of my life back again. Just don't tell my district manager that.

I read a really great quote this morning that I want to share. It's from a guy named Wayne Dyer. He is an author. He says,

"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever."

I really appreciate this because I am one who definitely has a problem with being self-defeating. Even to admit that is a HUGE step for me. A few close friends know this about me. They know my hopes, dreams, aspirations and know that I can succeed. But I don't know it. And it scares me into not doing anything. Do you ever find that to be true about yourself? Please tell me I'm not the only one who has this problem? What do you do to overcome it? How have you pushed past the paralyzing fear to do something that you REALLY want to do?! I need some great advice here, so pour it on me!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Honey, Onion, Licorice and Elderberry syrup. . . .

My Herbs/Medicine

I think I have the flu. I am not willing to say that it's the "swine" flu, but they say here in Colorado it's really the only strain that's going around. I thought I was feeling better earlier today, but now I am feeling quite yucky.

I am so grateful for my good friend, Robyn, who knows a lot about herbs. She made me up some cough syrup from honey, onion, licorice and other "unknown-to-me" herbs. Helps my coughs to be more productive. She also gave me some elderberry syrup to help clear my lungs and sinuses. I'm also taking some "composition herb" capsules for my immune system. The whole herbal thing is pretty cool. I tell my friend all the time that if the time comes that we have to travel long distances without "modern conveniences" I want to travel with them for sure!

Makes me wonder. . .who would you travel with if you had to? What are your thoughts on herbs versus medicine?

And a favor. . .pray that Roland doesn't get this yucky crud!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A New Season

I have been very neglectful when it comes to this silly little blog. I actually completely forgot about it for a little bit as I dealt with "life". It's crazy how life seems to just take over and everything that we want to do just gets put onto the back burner for awhile. It's crazy, for sure!

The summer swept by and we are in the midst of a very cold Fall already. Colorado has seen it's first snow, much to my disappointment. And just as the season has changed, so too has much in my life. Again, much to my disappointment!

In a nutshell, I am in the process of "closing" down my studio. I have gone to work full-time (plus) for another portrait company. It is a good thing. . .and not. I am still trying to convince myself that I didn't "fail" as a photographer. . .I'm just moving on. The main reason I have changed directions is because I found myself being too involved with my business and not involved enough with my family. I realized that I really loved being at the studio, working and that I wasn't really enjoying being at home with my family. I recognized the error in my thinking, but didn't know how to change anything. On the one hand, I felt grateful that I enjoyed my work so much, but I also kept thinking about something David O McKay once said about how success outside the home cannot compensate for failure within. I decided to pray about it and ask for help. It didn't take long for things to change and I soon found myself with very little work to do. It took me all summer to recognize it, but finally I realized that this was probably an answer to my prayer. Just not the answer I had hoped for! It was time for me to change gears and put more focus on being a mom. I applied for a management position at The Picture People and was hired almost immediately. It's not my ideal place to be, but the bills are getting paid and I get to be home with the kids more and be "mom" more.

I still have aspirations to do other things and continue to try to figure out how to do what I want to do. It's a battle with my self-confidence. There seems to be a constant battle trying to figure out what I'm suppose to do, what I need to do and what I want to do and how all these fit together--if they even do fit together!

Times and seasons. Always changing. Always learning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Too Much To Blog

It's been way too long since I posted anything. It's been a crazy time in my life. Since I last blogged my daughter got married, my husband was in and out of the hospital and I've had to face some sobering truths regrading the economy and it's impact on my service-based business!

Suffice it to say that I have come closer to my Heavenly Father in the past 2 months than I ever knew possible. I have come to know how much He loves me. How willing He is to support me in the midst of my trials.

One experience I had during this time I will share. We've been having a very wet season here in Colorado. A little unusual for us. Every afternoon it was storming. A lot of rain. It really is welcomed because we've been in a drought for several years. I was thinking about how a lot of people were complaining about the rain though. For me, however, I was loving it. I love the rain. I love how it seems to clean everything around me up. I was out driving in the rain one afternoon and thinking how much I loved how everything around me was so green and alive. Then I thought of the "storm" that I was in the middle of. My life. My burdens that, at the moment, seemed so overwhelming. I was fearful for my future. For the future of my family. And somehow the two things connected. Although it was raining outside, I was able to see the beauty that the rain brought. I realized that I needed to focus on the beauty that my trials would bring. And then I felt it. The love of my Heavenly Father. He bouyed me up. The circumstances that I was in did not change, but my focus did.

I have learned that there is a law of opposition in play. I have learned that the deeper the trials that we are asked to bear, the closer Heavenly Father can pull us closer to Him. At one point a friend said that she wished that she could remove the trial from me. I told her to not wish for that. It is through such difficulties that I have come closer to God. That I have been able to feel Him and His angels bear me up. I would not trade that for anything!

I do not ask for trials. I do not go seeking for them. But I am profoundly grateful for the experiences! If we didn't have trials, why would we petition our God for His Grace? If we didn't petition for His Grace, how could we know--truly KNOW--that He is there for us, that He loves us, that we are His child and that He will not leave us alone. These things I know and I am so grateful to know it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Springtime is my Favorite!

Whenever I am asked what my favorite season is I always answer without hesitation, Spring! I love Springtime! This picture was taken today in my backyard. We have a Robin's nest in a little tree off our deck. Yesterday there was only one egg. Today, two.


Friday, May 8, 2009

My new favorite song

I bought a new cd this week. It's become something of a tradition for me to go to Deseret Book after being at the temple and buy a "treat" for myself. This week I picked up Hilary Week's new cd, If I Only Had Today. Something about it just "looked" like it'd be what I needed. The photography on the insert is awesome. Makes me want to find a pianist and take her into some beautiful meadow with her piano. . .well, maybe I'll find a violinist!!!

Anyway, I listened to it yesterday and there's a song called, "Just Let Me Cry" that has immediately wrapped itself around my heart. I can't figure out how to get it on here for you to listen to, but if you go to Hilary's website you can listen to a little snipit there. Just click here to listen (btw, the entire album is awesome! You should get it. . .money well spent for sure!)

Here's the lyrics. And can I just say that it is EXACTLY what I needed this week. I've been caught up in worrying about being so emotional about something that is so far in the past. . .yet still such a constant source of pain. I worry about how my emotions will affect those around me. I don't want to appear weak or unstable in my faith. I don't want to make other feel uncomfortable when I display moments of emotion. Anyway. . .here's the lyrics.

I believe that everything happens for a reason
We're not just tossed by the wind or left in the hands of fate
But sometimes life sends a storm that's unexpected
And we're forced to face our deepest pain

When I feel the heartache begin to pull me under
I dig my heels in deep and I fight to keep my ground
Still at times the hurt inside grows stronger
And there's nothing I can do but let it out

Just let me cry
I know it's hard to see
But the pain I feel
Isn't going away today
Just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen
Don't ask when and don't ask why
Just let me cry

When I agreed that God could put this heart inside me
I understood that there would be a chance that it would break
But I know He knows exactly how I'm feeling
And I know in time He'll take the pain away
But for now

Just let me cry
I know it's hard to see
But the pain I feel
Isn't going away today
Just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen
Don't ask when and don't ask why
Just let me cry

I have felt joy the kind that makes my heart want to sing
And so my tears are not a surrender
I'll feel that way again
But for now
For this moment

Just let me cry
I know it's hard to see
But the pain I feel
Isn't going away today
Just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen
Don't ask when and don't ask why
Just let me cry

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Thank you, Hilary Weeks, for writing such a perfect song for me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Laurie Ann

Today, May 6th is my daughter Laurie Ann's birthday. She would be 16 today. Here are a few pictures of her.

This is in Washington in our front yard. I loved the Azalea bushes that were there and so did Laurie Ann. She loved flowers. And bugs. Anything to do with nature!

Easter, 1995. Laurie left us on May 31st, 1995.

With Grandpa Grant in Colorado. Grandpa loved to garden and Laurie loved to harvest! They made a good team! I like to imagine that they get to enjoy lots of time together now!

I love this picture because it shows how light her eyes were.

The blanket really belonged to Erika. But Laurie bonded with it and Erika let her have it. It was Laurie's prized possession!

This was taken in Colorado. I love the love that is evident in this picture!

Water fun! (love that Laurie didn't have a diaper on! Cute little butt cheeks!)

The girls loved to play outside together (this is in Washington)

(just a few more. . .although I have a LOT more that i could share.)

Christmas 1994 (I love this pic)

Laurie's birthday is May 6th. Here she is turning 2. We celebrated Carlie's and Laurie's birthdays together (Carlie's is May 5th). 25 days later (on May 31st) . . .Laurie left us.

Here's the birthday girls! Laurie LOVED her cake!!! Ask Carlie about the cat. It's a VERY funny story!

Carlie and Laurie having fun in the forest.

Thanks for looking. It's emotional for me, but also very therapeutic to be able to share. So thanks for helping me "heal"!!

Paul's Epistle to the Phillipians, Conclusion

I have been so busy that I neglected to conclude this little series on Paul's letter to the Phillippians. Sorry about that! There are just a few more points that I wanted to bring out.

In chapter 4, verse 11 of Phillippians, Paul says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

I think this is a great challenge for our world, our families, us individually. To learn to be content in every situation. not that we don't set goals and strive for better, but that we don't whine & complain about everything! We should count our blessings and be grateful for what we do have. It is so easy to see the negative side of everything. But everything also has a positive side. We must train ourselves to be content in "whatsoever state" we are in! In verse 6, Paul basically teaches us that we shouldn't be overly concerned about anything! President Hinckley taught this very well by his example. He always believed that everything would work out. . .one way or another, everything will be ok.

Verse 12 of chapter 4: "I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Paul had learned how to be humble and accept difficult circumstances as well as how to be humble and receive of the Lord's abundance!

The last great thing that I want to touch upon here is that we can do anything because we are strengthened by Christ. Chapter 4, verse 13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." What a GREAT thing! I am reminded of a talk from our recent Stake Conference. The speaker said that the best way to get strength in the midst of our trials is through our faith in Jesus Christ. He and He alone can give us the strength to accomplish, to succeed, to come off conquerer! I know this to be true. I know He can and will help us through whatever we must pass through. He will help us endure through all that we must live with. He loves us just that much. He wants to have us back to live with Him again.

How grateful I am for our scriptures. For the Apostle Paul. For his teachings, his example, his willingness to be so much for so many. I am so grateful for the Gospel. For all that I am given daily. I want to stay the course! I want to keep the faith! I want to finish the race!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Paul's Epistle to the Phillippians, III

So the next thing that I want to point out that Paul teaches is that we should forget the trials of the past and press forward to the future. He says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

I don't think that "forgetting those things which are behind" means we abandon the lessons learned but rather that we don't continue to suffer and stir up past trials. Some trials, we pass through. Gain the strength, learn the lessons, and move on! There are, for certain, going to be more trilas to pass through! There are also some trials which we must learn to live with. These, I believe, we must allow to grow with us though. These type of trials attempt to define us. While such trials for me have, in my mind, defined what type of person I am, I don't want to be known for "the one ______" (fill in the blank for whatever trial(s) I am having to live with)! Does that make sense?!

My "BIG" trials (Laurie Ann's death, Roland's illness, there's others but they don't need to be listed). . .these things for me have shaped me, refined me, helped me to be spiritually stronger, enabled me to become more reliant upon my Savior. I don't want, however, for everyone who knows me to say, "Oh, that's Patti Merrill. The one who's daughter died" or "who's husband is so sick". It's ok that people know these things about me, but I don't want that to be what defines me. If you looked up "Patti Merrill" in the dictionary, I don't want my trials to be listed!!! Rather, I would want things like faithful, valiant, kind, loving, compassionate, etc.

(Ok, anyone out there reading this?!!! Share with me your thoughts on these things. How do you feel about what Paul's teachings teach us? Give me your perspective on the whole enduring our trials thing!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Paul's Epistle to the Phillippians, II

(This is a multi-part post. It will take several days for me to put everything. I understand if you don't read it all. It's just my ramblings regarding what I learned from the epistle of Paul to the Phillippians.)

The next thing Paul teaches by his attitude is that through our sufferings, we can aid in our own salvation. In verse 19, chapter 1 he says, "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ."

If we endure our trials, our hardships, our sufferings well we will enjoy many great blessings. Even all that "salvation" encompasses.

D&C 136:31 (which by the way, I was looking for a different D&C scripture but came upon this one which is so perfect) says that we "must be tried in all things, that [we]may be prepared to receive the glory that [God has] for [us], even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom."

There are many scriptures in the D&C that teach if we endure our afflictions well, we will be blessed. The one I was thinking of before I found the one above is where the Lord comforted Joseph Smith while he was in the middle of a huge trial. It is D&C 121 starting in verse 7

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

As we pass through this mortal existence, it is requisite that we experience grief, sin, pain, temptations, sickness and other things that will try us. These things are meant to aid in our salvation. And as we recognize this, I truly believe, it will strengthen us. Can we remember (and when I say "we" I really mean "I") this in the middle of our trials?! Can we have such clarity?! If we can then it will certainly help us to "endure it well". Knowing that there is purpose. REAL purpose.

I think, also, that it is paramount that we always remember that it is because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can even have a hope for salvation. We must always remember that he went forth, "suffering pains and afflictions and temptation of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)

Which leads me to the next thing Paul teaches us. Phillippians 3:10 says "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Paul teaches us that through our experiences in life we can come to know Christ and the power of the resurrection.

I think that as we struggle and suffer even some of the same types of things that Jesus suffered for us--sickness, pains, afflictions, temptations, etc--that we can have a greater sense of gratitude. For, while what we suffer is difficult, it is our pains alone. The Savior's suffering was for all the inhabitants of the world! Such great love. Such great mercy! To borrow a line from one of my all-time favorite hymns, "I stand all amazed!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paul's Epistle to the Phillippians, I

We had a really good lesson in Seminary last week. I truly enjoy teaching Seminary! I love feeling the Spirit as I bear testimony and teach Gospel truths. This particular lesson, however, was especially meaningful to me.

We were covering Paul's letter to the Phillippians. It's a short little book in the New Testament, but as I studied it enough to teach it, I discovered some wonderful things that will probably help me for many years to come. I find myself wanting to be more like Paul. He was steady in the midst of his trials.

When Paul wrote this letter to the Phillippians, he was in a Roman prison. He was put there for preaching the gospel! What kind of justice is that?! Here he is, doing the right thing and how is he rewarded?! It seems that he could've been spared such treatment. That God would've protected him and helped him. He'd done it before. . .He has the power. Yet, He allowed Paul to be put into jail. To suffer many great hardships.

Paul's attitude as he endured these hardships shines through as he wrote this epistle. He does not question why. He does not whine and complain or get angry (all of which I often do in the midst of my own trials). Rather, he expresses his total faith and willingness to endure.

In verse 12 of the first chapter he says, "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." In other words, he is saying that because of the things that have happened to him, the gospel has moved forward. Others have been brought closer to the Savior.

This causes me to reflect on my own life. I ask myself, "have the things which have happened to me, the way that I've dealt with my trials, my attitude, my example. . .has it helped anyone else come closer to our Savior?

I feel like I can answer in the affirmative. I also, however, fear that I haven't always been as faithful, as valiant as I could've been. How differently, how much better trials and hardships can be endured if we have the attitude of bringing others closer to the Savior because of what we are experiencing. To glorify God in all things. I love this example from Paul. It is so powerful!

(to be continued. . .)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bad Blogger!

So I've come to the realization that I am just not cut out for being a blogger! I mean, really. . .once a month?! What am I thinking?!!!! Although I do enjoy the whole blogging experience, it is so ridiculously absurd for me to think that I can find the time to write about all the things I experience in a day in a cute, attention-holding manner so that all my cyber-friends and family out there can giggle, ooh and/or aaah their way through my life!! (sigh)

Once a month. It seems to be about all I can handle! And really, how do I sum up a month's worth of happenings, ponderings, silliness, retardness in a simple little blog! It is simply not even possible. At least not for me anyway.

I do want to share something that I learned recently though. It's pretty profound really and it makes me really want to be a better person. Not just sometimes. . .but always.

I think first, I need to share a little secret of mine. It is that I don't always want to do what I know I should. Sometimes I feel like it is ok to be just a little bit rebellious. To be just a little bit not 100% obedient. I know. . .it's rotten of me! I am probably the ONLY person I know that feels like this! Right?! Anyway. . .I feel like lately it's more of a struggle than it used to be to want to do what I should. I find myself over and over before tempted by things that haven't tempted me for, literally, years!

Last Wednesday I went to the temple (I go every Wednesday, 9:30 am session) and I traditionally go to Deseret Book afterwards. . .just because. Usually I don't buy anything but I find myself getting inspired just looking around. This day, however, I was looking for something to help me feel stronger. To help me feel like I could overcome these crazy feelings I'd been having. I looked at several books. . .all of which I wished I could buy. But I knew that I probably woudn't have the time to actually READ anything! So I started to look at the CD's. I picked up a Book on CD by C. Max Caldwell called Power From on High. I started listening to it. There are many things that have helped me and given me reason to feel better about myself. One thing that I heard today though has really impacted me and I hope that by sharing it, someone else will benefit also.

Ezra Taft Benson is quoted by Brother Caldwell and said, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment, God will endow us with power." What a great principle! To know that as we strive to be obedient God will give us the power we need to be obedient! All things are possible with the Lord! It is because of Him that we can succeed.

I am so very grateful to know that God will help me. By myself, I am so weak and will always fall short of what is needed. But with Him I am strong and can achieve all things.

Here's a picture and a good quote. Not necessarily related to the above post, but what do you expect from someone who only blogs once a month and then rambles on and on and on and on. . .

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Officially "Cool"

So I was informed today by my sweet 5-year old daughter that I am "cool". I am always striving to be seen as "cool" in the eyes of my children, you know. It's something that, at my age, I don't hear from my children very much. Usually they are letting me know that I'm NOT cool, that I'm soooo old-fashioned, or don't know how it is anymore. It's not a fun thing to be told by my children how completely out-of-touch I am with their world now! So, as you could imagine, when one of my children told me today that I'm cool, I had to get more details!

The conversation went something kind of like this:

Lindsay: Mom, you're so cool!
Me: Wow! Really! Thank you! Um. . . why am I cool?
Lindsay: Because you can fit a whole piece of bacon in your mouth in one bite!!!
Me: Wow! Really?! Um. . .cool!

So, now you know what you have to be able to do in order to be considered "cool" by your kids these days!! And, just so you do it right, when I cook our bacon, I cut the pieces in half before cooking them. So really, you only need to fit a HALF of a piece of bacon in your mouth in one bite!!! Good luck! It's a real feat to be seen as "cool" by your kids! I'm so glad that I successfully accomplished it!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time for some Retro-action!

So I was running around, doing some errands this morning and in the mood for some good, soul-stirring music. I pushed the buttons on my radio to the usual stations and couldn't find anything that seemed to fit my mood. I needed something to just get me going. . .ready for the day. . .something fun, upbeat and um. . . ."just right"! I finally pushed the button that Roland likes. It's a station that plays "whatever they want" and you can often hear some older music. I don't usually like to listen to the older music from my younger (aka wilder) years. However. . .there was a song playing that was pretty much my FAVORITE song when I was in college. By a group called INXS. Anyone know of them? Anyway, I cranked the radio up louder than I ever have it and just soaked in the moment! Wisked away to another time (longer ago than I really want to be reminded) about 25 years ago (ouch--that was a long time ago! Can I really be that old?!) It was fun! It was just what I needed I guess because it set the tone for the rest of the day and I have just felt good all day!

Maybe it's reflecting on my past and realizing how far I've come that makes me feel good? Maybe it's remembering how much fun I had then and helping me "lighten up" and remember to have fun again. Life sometimes gets sooooo overwhelming and I get so bogged down with all the stresses and unwanted necessities.

So, I thought I'd put together a playlist of some of my favorite songs that I listened to so long ago and give you a little glimpse into what I liked. I feel like music says so much about a person. Please understand. . .there are some songs that, although I've put them on the playlist, don't reflect who I am NOW but rather THEN!!!! Some of them I am embarressed to have on here. Some songs that I remembered listening to did not make the cut this time. WAAAY too much not who am I anymore!!!

Anyway, have fun listening. I'm going to go to my Mom's later and find some pictures of me from that era. Now THAT will be fun!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Her name may not be Caroline, but she certainly was Pretty in Pink!!!

This sweet little girl was so fun to photograph! She was all smiles and posed like a pro! We had lots of fun pink props for her to play with and she enjoyed every minute of the session, as did I! Definitely, the most fun I've had all month!!!!


On Wednesdays, Carlie usually has a late-start at her school. Most weeks, she goes back to bed after Seminary for a nap. Sometimes she stays up and helps me get the little kids ready for school. This morning was one of those mornings. I love it when she helps because things go so much smoother for me and I can get things taken care of without feeling like I want to scream at the whole world!

I caught this picture while they were playing thumbwars. Lucas' smile is enough to make my whole day worth whatever might happen!

Crazy Smiles

Lindsay wanted in on the action, but not in the way you might think. She wanted the camera! So this picture comes to you courtesy of Lindsay!

Some mornings are better than others and some are plain and simply given to us to enjoy and cherish!

Love these kids of mine!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today's best moment was early in the morning when Lucas woke up before anyone else (except me) and snuggled with me on the couch for a bit. Then it turned into a kissing contest. This was something like a "gotcha last" game (or tag if you've never heard of "gotcha last"). He would try to kiss me and get far enough away before I could kiss him back. He couldn't win. Everytime he kissed me, I kissed him back before he could pull back far enough. Of course, I was holding him pretty close and tight too! Then he thought he'd give me a "kiss attack" and get ahead of me on how many kisses he'd given for every one I'd given. I kiss attacked him back. It was so fun to play with him. Lucas has the best laugh and it is so contagious! In fact, our laughing and carrying on soon woke Lindsay and she had to join in the fun. I had no chance of winning a gotcha last kissing game with both of them, so I changed it to a ticklefest. We laughed until our sides hurt. Then Lucas accidently snorted and we laughed more! He couldn't stop snorting. And then he wouldn't stop snorting! Once he realized that it was a way to get me to laugh, he snorted and snorted until we were all snorting!!!

I love days when I can just relish in the joy of being "mom". There is nothing that brings me more pure joy than spending such moments with my children.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Facebook Delimma

So I'm starting this here blog because I am pretty much thinking that I should shut down my Facebook. Which is really a sad thing to me because I really like how I am able to keep in touch with a lot of people who I care about via Facebook. I have been able to reconnect to some very special people in my life who, because of time and distance, I had lost touch with. I wonder how many of those people will keep in touch with me via e-mail, blogging, and other means of communication. Wow! Maybe some of them will even call me on the phone more often!!!

I wonder if I just pull all my pictures off of Facebook and post them on this new blog. . .then I could maybe taper myself off of Facebook slowly. . .kind of like some drug that I've become helplessly addicted to! Augh! I think this really stinks. Anyone else out there think that this stinks?!

Well. . .(sigh). Just what I need to occupy what little extra time I have. A blog! It does give me a chance to find my voice and write more though. I do love to write. The concern is, is there anyone out there that wants to READ what I write!!!!