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

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 ;)




Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Me and Captain Moroni

Today I was reading in Alma chapter 48 about Captain Moroni.  I have always thought he was pretty great, which makes it kinda fun that today I felt a real kinship with him.

Here is what he spent his days doing:

While his enemies had been doing their thing, "Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.  Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about." He raised the "Title of Liberty" to invite all who would, to gather together in the cause of righteousness.

Here is what I spend my days doing:

My people are not armies in the traditional sense, but they are people who are in a spiritual battle that is ferocious.  In my home, I do my best to prepare the minds of my people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.  I am constantly looking to create and identify "forts," or places of refuge and resort.  My home is one.  Our church community is one.  Our friends and extended family members offer their own forts as places of safety for my people, and I gladly offer the same to them.  It requires a constant effort- "throwing up banks of earth" around these places of safety and keeping my children's armor in good repair.  My Title of Liberty is much more simple than Moroni's.  I just try to hold up my own example, and invite any who will, to join in this cause of righteousness.

Moroni was surrounded by Ammon, Helaman, and many others who were equally as valiant and actively engaged in the cause- each in his or her own way.  I am surrounded by amazing and inspiring people- friends and family- who are each doing their part to prepare their people.  We are doing a great work. Each individual act may seem small, but together we are preparing ourselves and our people for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.  That is no small task!  I am grateful and proud to be a part of it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bearing fruit



This morning I sat at my kitchen table, looking out the window at the pecan tree.  It’s massive, and its branches shade a huge portion of my back yard.  This time of year the branches are starting to hang a little lower, heavy with nuts.
I sat thinking what a miracle it is that trees just know how to make fruit!  I don’t have to do anything to make sure the pecan tree makes pecans, or that the peach tree makes peaches.  I provide the soil and some water, and they just do their thing. And they do it beautifully!  I just get to enjoy the fruit.  The world is a better place because there are peaches and pecans in it!
I feel like people are the same way. We were each born with amazing and unique potential, and the world needs what each person has to offer.  My job as a mother is just to provide a little soil and water- to offer my children the tools that will allow them to be the person they were created to be. Then I get to sit back and watch the miracle happen. The fruit just appears, and it’s so beautiful to watch.
I have the best job ever.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Eli

I sure have loved having Eli home with me this year!  He is in afternoon kindergarten, so we have all morning together.  We read books, do homework and chores, run errands, and generally have "special time agether."  






Here are a few random things about Eli that I want to remember:

He is pretty obsessed with muscles and strength.  He is always planning ways to invite all of his friends over at the same time so they can form an army.  He does exercises to build up his muscles, and comments on nice muscles whenever he sees them.  He loves karate and secretly wishes that a bad guy would come try to steal him so he could unleash his mad skills of self defense.  We have to talk a lot about never using karate moves on other people.  And about not bragging.


Eli to Clayton: We're both really strong, huh?
Ya.
We're both the same strong, huh?
Ya.
But we're just saying that to make each other feel happy, right?
Ya.






He's also "a big fan of girls."  He has had multiple crushes this year, and always lets everybody know about it.  Apparently the girls like him a lot too!  One day he came home and said in exasperation, "Mom, all the girls keep on falling in love with me!"

I asked how he could tell, and he said that they kept on looking at him "with a love face."  I chuckled to myself and figure that was all in his head until I went on a field trip with him.  He pointed out one little girl and said "See mom... she has a love face!"

Sure enough... I turned to see Belle, peeking around a corner, smiling a "love smile" and batting her eyelashes at him!!  He knew a love face when he saw one!