My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Friday, April 12, 2019

It's the little things


Becca was in town yesterday, and we had the best day!  We mostly just ran errands, but doing it together made it so much more fun!

At one point we decided to make a list of some of our favorite "little things" that make life so great.  Here are a few of the things we came up with:

-rose bushes
-sitting down after you've been standing too long
-hot showers
-the first sip of ice water when you're SO thirsty
-or even better... the first sip of Chick-fil-a lemonade!
-climbing into a cozy bed at the end of the day.  Or the middle of the day :)
-baby shoes (We talked quite a bit about how great babies are, since she's expecting!)

Once we started talking about the little things we love, we were on a roll.  Pretty soon we both felt like being alive was just the BEST!

Our brains like to be busy.  If we give them a specific job to do, they are super efficient at doing it!  Our brains could find SO MANY reasons to love life!

If we don't give them any direction... they are pretty efficient at finding things that are wrong.  Things we should be upset or worried about.

Let's give your brain a job to do:  What are some of your favorite "little things" about being alive?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Finding them where they are




Last week my dear Aunt Andy passed away.  She was my mom’s only sister, and her children were almost like siblings to us growing up.  She was a wonderful example to me of faith and love, and of keeping an eternal perspective.

She was also a great musician, and helped to foster a love of music in our extended family.

When my cousin spoke at her funeral, she talked about what a great accompanist she was.  She had a talent for being able to follow the singer (she was playing the piano) even when they got lost or sang the wrong thing at the wrong time.  The audience never knew something had gone wrong, because she could find them where they were, and support them there.

She talked about how that was one of her talents in life as well.  She could find people where they were, love them there, and support them in their journey.  There were so many people that were drawn to her and her home because of the love and acceptance they felt there. Her kids’ friends wanted to be in her home as much as possible.  She had a large house, and there was always room for someone who needed a place to stay.  Often she would arrive at family functions with an “extra”- someone who was living with them for a while. Everyone who was around her felt loved and supported right where they were.

I’ve been thinking all week about what a valuable and Christlike skill that is, and one that I want to purposely cultivate in myself.  I don’t want to waste any time believing people should be different than they are.  Not my husband, my children, my extended family, or even strangers that I come in contact with.  I want to love and accept them right where they are, and for that to become my “default setting.”  I want everyone in my circle to feel welcomed and “found” just as they are, and then supported as they move forward.

I am so grateful for Aunt Andy's influence in my life.

It turns out love really is always the answer.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Morning scripture study



This is real life folks.

We wake the boys up every morning to "study the scriptures as a family."

This is what that looks like much of the time.

It's a circumstance that doesn't seem to be within my power to change.

I can either be annoyed with them, making the morning really unpleasant for myself, or I can choose  something different.  This particular morning I chose to be amused.  It felt much better than annoyed.

But I believe in following the prophet.  Here is what President Nelson has promised us:


I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight. Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease. Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.

I want those blessings for my family, so we will diligently work toward that goal.  We will keep getting up and keep praying and keep reading.  And we will watch for the blessings that are surely coming to our family.  I hope we're awake to enjoy them. ;)

Monday, January 14, 2019

The one and only Caleb

I don't know anyone quite like Caleb.  He has a strong sense of self, and is living life his own way.  He's an interesting mixture of fun and adventure with logic and no-nonsense. Of incredible talents, with zero interest in showing them off.  He bristles at most authority, but has a deep and sincere desire to do what God wants him to do.  There are so many things that he doesn't care about AT ALL, and so many things that he thinks really deeply about.  Being Caleb's mother has demanded much personal growth and change on my part.  I'm a better mother and person than I was 18 years ago!

Here he is with his recently shaved head (due to a lost bet) spray painting his car gold in time for New Years Eve.  It actually looks better to me now.  Before that it was covered with graffiti done by himself and his friends.




Anyway... I just wanted to remember this story:

Caleb had recently received a bag of hand-me-downs from his uncle Emet.  Which, by the way is pretty much the only way he acquires things to wear.  Everything he owns used to belong to someone else, or it was a birthday gift from his sisters.

His friends were in his room as he was getting ready to go somewhere, and I heard them giving him a hard time about what he was wearing.  His response cracked me up!  "You guys!  You have the wrong idea.  It's not like I get to choose what clothes I own.  They just show up randomly in a bag, and that's what I wear!"  Their disapproval didn't dissuade him at all.  Classic Caleb.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

ALIVE!



Every year, instead of a long list of New Years Resolutions, (which I tend to forget,) I like to pick just one word to focus on.  This year the word I picked is ALIVE.

When I picked it, I envisioned myself saying yes to more things.  Living bigger!  Enjoying the moment.    I envisioned being healthier and more energetic.  Laughing more.  Being more curious and more spontaneous.  Feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair... that sort of thing.

I love the way that vision makes me feel!  Just by thinking "I'm ALIVE!"  I can summon all of those feelings of freedom and energy and wonder!

I started off the year with a bang, too!  My first step into the world of living bigger and saying yes to more things came on New Years Eve.  I decided to wear silver stretchy pants and sequin high heels to the family New Years Eve party!  I'll spare you the picture, but my outfit was a big hit!  My five year old niece asked if she could have those pants for her birthday.  🤣

But, being nine days into the New Year now, I'm already increasing in wisdom.  I've noticed that sometimes being "ALIVE" means that I have a headache.  Sometimes it means that I have chores to do that I don't really feel like doing.  Sometimes it means that people I love are struggling, or that I don't have all the answers.

But as I experience those "negative" things, I remind myself that I'm alive.  Sometimes this is what it feels like to be alive.  And that thought brings me a feeling of peace and gratitude.  It feels like a privilege to be able to experience it all.  I'm willing to embrace the highs and the lows of being alive.

So this year, I'm going to be more ALIVE than I have ever been.  I think 2019 is going to be the best year yet!


Christi

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Am I enough?

I was reminded today of a life-changing experience I had several years ago.

I had five kids at the time, and I felt like my hands were really full.  The youngest was three, and I was thinking I was done having kids.  I had even started giving away those bins of hand-me-downs that were piled up in the garage.

One day as I sat in the temple I had a very clear impression that it was time for me to have another baby.  ANOTHER ONE?? In my mind I asked “Are you sure??  Have you noticed how things are going down here lately?  My home is chaotic!  I’m struggling here- I’m not doing such a great job with the five I have!”

The answer was a confirmation that is was time for another, and I felt heavy.  Of course I knew I would love another child, but the heaviness was more about me.  I didn’t know how I could possibly muster the energy to be everything that everyone needed me to be.  How could I give more than I was already giving??

I happened to be sitting near a woman from my ward that I had always looked up to.  She had raised eleven children, and always seemed to have a smile on her face.  Her kids weren’t perfect, and her house wasn’t perfect, but she was always smiling.  She seemed calm and confident and happy.

After the session I asked her a question, hoping she would have a secret formula for me.  Maybe she could teach me how to be a super woman. So I asked, “When the prompting came for you to have another child, how did you know you would be enough?”

She did have a secret formula, but it was not the one I was expecting.  She smiled and said simply, “I was never enough.”

As the tears welled up in my eyes, it felt like I was setting down a huge burden I had been carrying.  She was never enough because there is no such thing as enough.  No mother will ever be perfect.  That’s not what’s expected, or even what is asked of us.

It may sound confusing, but I invite you to try on this thought: “I’m not enough, and that is OK.  I am enough.”

I am enough.  You are enough. Wherever you are, however big of a mess you are today, it is enough. Take a deep breath and bask in that feeling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

An Eagle Scout

Caleb finished his Eagle project four years ago.  We insisted he finish his Eagle paperwork before he could get his license. He decided at that point that the Eagle award was a waste of time, and he didn't want to turn it in.  He wasn't interested in actually receiving the award.  Jeff and I decided to let it drop at that point.

So imagine my surprise when, one Tuesday evening, Caleb asked if I was free on Thursday at 7:00.  "Free for what?" I asked.  "I just need help with something.  Are you free?"  I was.  After I agreed to help he reluctantly told me "They said I had to bring a parent with me to my Eagle board of review."  He would much rather have done the whole thing without me ever knowing.  Thank goodness they require a parent!

I tried not to look too proud ;)