Dougherty Family Blog

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The worth of all souls

I have a habit of sharing a lot of personal things with my friends and family on-line. I have always been comfortable with that because the people who read my blog or my Facebook updates, are literally people I love, that I am close to. So that being said, the experience I am sharing now, is very personal but I feel impressed to share it because, sometimes we all need to reminder about how much God loves us. Last night, I said a prayer and it was answered. Not in God's time but in my time. When I needed it. Did I receive an answer because I am worthy or special or righteous? No. I received an answer because I am a child of God and he loves me. He loves me and all of us, as a parent loves a child. As a Mother, I am more able to understand the kind of love that is unfailing and unrelenting and without an end.

Lately, I have been feeling like it was time for me to change. Time for me to be better than I was yesterday. I knew that God's answer for me was in the Scriptures so I said a Prayer in the name of Jesus Christ for me to understand what God wants from me right now and I wanted to understand what I needed from Him. I also wanted to know if The Book of Mormon was really true. My testimony of the church has been weak. I have been doubtful at times, discouraged at others but always sure that for some reason, this church was the path that my Heavenly Father wanted me and my family to be on so I was compelled to stay. 

After I closed my Prayer, I opened my Scriptures, turned to The Book of Mormon and THIS my friends, is the first thing I saw and what I read. THIS was God talking to me: THIS is what God wants from me and for me. That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye give thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
Yea, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing. Alma 34:38-39
That was God talking to me when I needed His Tender Mercy. His Guidance. I love every part of that message. Every bit of it is meant for me for where I am now. I especially loved the part that said - worship God in whatsoever place ye may be. To me that means, when I am in darkness, or doubt or light, doubt or pity, high or low, that I need to worship Him. That I need to give thanks for all my the many mercies and blessings that God bestowes upon me.

During that same scripture study, I also found this:  Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.  And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
Small and simple things - Prayer, Scripture study, church attendance, obedience to the Comandments.
So thankful for the Love, Mercy and Guidance of our Father in Heaven. Thankful for answered prayers. Thankful, that our Heavenly Father sees the worth of all souls, even when we don't.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Marathon Post

So it's been a while. A really long while. So I'm just going to do a rundown of the past oh 4 months....

. One minuIn October, Halloween night to be exact, we found out that we are going to have another baby! We have since found out that the baby is a boy and he should be here around The 4th of July. One of my all time favorite holidays so I am pretty excited!!! An Independence Day baby. Swim party Birthdays, fireworks, watermelon and lots of friends and family. This little boy must be quite a force because he has put up a good fight. For nearly 15 weeks of the pregnancy, I was so sick and so tired (part of the reason for the blog hiatus) Sick to the point that one time, I even threw up while shopping at Wal-Mart. One minute I was fine, the next minute, I couldn't make it to the bathroom. In fact, a bathroom has NEVER been further away. I ended up throwing up a little bit in my purse, a little bit in my shirt and a lot in the ladies room trash can because that's as far as I could make it. So enough about me.

Christmas was awesome! John and Anna got matching BB Guns from Ryan. Anna's was pink and John's was a red rider classic from that movie A Christmas Story.

Anna sat on Santa's lap for the first time without crying and the picture i got with my phone just melts my heart. My how those tow kiddos have grown.

In January, John and I went on his school field trip to the Science Museum of Oklahoma.

We signed Anna up for her first team sport ever -  soccer.  Th season starts in two weeks.

And last but not least, yesterday or as Anna would say Yeshterday was mine and Ryan's 16th Wedding Anniversary.

16 years of marriage and exactly half of my life has been spent being married to and loving my husband. We have had a thousand laughs, a hundred tears, a few I want to quits and many more I never want this to end. Lots of mistakes, tons of happy memories and even more of we will get through this together. Two beautiful kids, one more on the way and many more happy years to come. So thankful for this wonderful, happy life that we have shared. Thankful that Ryan loves and takes care of our family. Thank you for still surprising me with sweet gifts, fun days out and random up all night watching movies and eating fried rice.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."

To Anna, my four year old little girl,

It's hard for me to believe that this week you turned four. Wait no, it seems hard to believe that you are already four and you can write your name, hang up your clothes and button buttons. I felt like since you were my baby, you could just stay little forever. That I could keep you all to myself and we could spend our days reading books, playing doll house and just stay us, the way that we are now.

You are so funny and you really know how to make people laugh. You never, ever wake up in a bad mood and you are never grumpy for long. It's actually really funny how extremely mad you can get and how very quickly it goes away.  You are so loving and so affectionate. You laugh and cry and love easily. If I cry you cry and you demand to know what happened. Your imagination is WILD! You are known for stories,  tall tales and silly joke (like you actually think of your own punch lines for knock, knock jokes) Demanding and straight forward are also good ways to describe you and maybe the combination of all the so many good things about you mixed with the fierceness of your personality makes it so easy for your brother, father and I to always give into you. Good thing you have found friends that have the kind of fight that you do. No one gets pushed around. You, Taylor, Alyssa and Reagan can all hold your own and Emily, she's just so sweet!

You weigh about 33 pounds and in August you will start Pre-K at John's school. You like Hello Kitty, playing with your doll house and reading books. You also love to color, write, cut and work on letters and numbers. You love to learn! That being said, on Sunday you told me that you know more than me. I thought you were going to wait until you were 12 or 13 before you said something like that... Your favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese. Favorite shows are Little Bear, Oswald and Pepper Pig. You love our Dog Bella and your favorite color is pink. You love to laugh but more than that, you love to be funny and make others laugh. You are so sweet, happy and loving and I am so blessed to be your Mom. You love to sing and listen to church songs, it is so sweet! You are the one that reminds us to say our prayers and you talk about Jesus like you know him and that's because you do. You are a sweet, funny and strong spirited girl and I love you so much! It has been really awesome to see who you have grown to be at the sweet, busy age of four. Always remember my girl, that I love you for everything that you are, eveything you will become and for all these years that we have shared.

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.-Sophocles

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Know how to live the time that is given to you."

I miss this. I miss it dearly. My Babies.  

And this. My three year old little boy in dishtowel capes and super hero underwear. The boy who played Star Wars night and day and thought those pajamas that he was wearing would give him super human speed. The boy who once gave me 100 kisses for a Birthday present.

But I love this. I love it dearly. My big kids. Happy and sweet. Smart and funny. Our family is so blessed. Just look at that girl who's gonna be four next month! The girl who loves Hello Kitty, baby dolls and hair bows.

“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” Harvey MacKay

Sometimes when I wonder why I haven't been able to have more babies, I remember that if we are ever blessed enough to have another child, it will be a very special soul that was saved just for our family. God proved that to me by sending John and Anna just for me. I was made for them and they for me. When I remember all the babies that I lost before they had a chance to be here for us to name and to hold. To know and to kiss, it only makes me more grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing me with John and Anna. I will be forever grateful unto Him for blessing me with the profound and life changing blessing of being a mother. I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for saving these two precious spirits just for me and for His gift of Eternal Life so that one day, our family may meet those sweet spirits that never experienced life on earth with us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Music is just feeling out loud"

I have always been someone who loves and responds to music. When I was six, my grandma Patsy gave me a purple radio/tape player for Christmas. I was in love. Sometimes at night when I was supposed to be sleeping and my parents were watching the news and M.A.S.H, I would be in my room sitting by my night light quietly listening to that purple radio. When I was eight my big Christmas present was a full, sized huge stereo with a double tape deck and a record player. The speakers were almost as tall as I was. It was my pride and joy. I quickly bought my first two records - Michael Jackson's Thriller and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Lately I have been rather emotional and I have noticed that the music that I listen to seriously influences how I feel. It can pick you up and bring you down in an instant and to me that's wonderful! Bon Iver makes me want to live in sweatpants and never leave the house again. When you can't shake sadness Bon Iver is the place to go. From the song Skinny Love - "I told you to be patient and I told you to be fine then all my love was wasted and who the hell was I".  When I hear the Stone Temple Pilots, it's almost as if I'm once again that 14 year old girl who smoked Marlboro Reds and wore a black leather jacket. I can feel the weight of that girl's lies. I can taste the smoke and feel the chill of that cold 1994 October air. For just a minute, I am that fake, insecure, empty 14 year old girl again. I don't like to stay in that place for very long. I never listen to STP.

By the way, if kids "grew up" quick in my time then I can't imagine what John and Anna will be facing, seeing, doing when they are 14..... My parents tried to protect me, just as I will try to protect my kids. I grew up with love, care bears, cartoons, big Christmas mornings, church camps and happiness so why at 13 did my parents lose the daughter they knew and I morphed into a girl that even I didn't recognize or know anymore?

When I hear Cat Stevens, it reminds me of being 16 going on 21 and thinking that I knew it all. I read Javan, Abby Hoffman and Jack Kerouac. I read poetry and philosophy books. I listened to the Beatles, ditched school and spent entire weekends at coffee houses talking about life with people like me who thought that we could change the world. At 16, I married a man that I still love. My poor Mom, Dad and Brother. Did we ever really make it back after all those bad times were over? I don't think so. All of us lost some of who we were before all of that. Remembering those things makes me think of what might have been lost if Heavenly Father didn't protect my past so I could have today. He knew me, he loved me, he had plans for me to be better, to be happy, to know Him and to be the mother of my children. God's love saved me then and it saves me now.

When I listen to Dave Matthews, my crush of 16 years, I go back to the sunny days of  being the girl that thought she could completely throw herself into the world and just exist and live life to the fullest. I didn't understand that the world was kind of a bad place and the bad that I did understand, I thought I could change. I wanted to travel the United States in a VW bus, love Ryan forever and take him with me to write and photograph the world. He was a pretty different person back then too. We were free spirits. One day, if I'm lucky enough to be an old woman, maybe I will write and travel and take photographs like I dreamed that I would. I think Ryan has other plans for when he's old and they aren't even close to that. Maybe we will end up serving a mission for the church or babysitting grand kids. Who knows!

Memories are irrevocably tied to music and some of our most personal feelings are expressed through music. Some of my best memories of my Dad and I together were of us in his Oldsmobile when we would take road trips to the lake where my Mom was waiting for us and we would camp. My Dad and I would listen to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and just talk. I love those memories I have of he and I together. I love that he and I saw Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Widespread Panic in concert together. I love that every time I hear Elvis, I see my Mom when she was in her thirties singing and happy and young.

I'm a music addict. Always have been, always will be.  I can't even clean the house, cook dinner or drive a short distance without music on. When the van radio was first stolen, I would drift off in thought and actually be surprised at my own inner thoughts because I didn't even recognize the sound of my own mind. It was a very weird experience to be lost in thought. It's funny the path your mind will take if you just give it a chance to drift without the influence of music, tv, Internet, conversation or literature. It's almost as if media is our constant companion instead of our own quiet beings and the Holy Ghost. All that being said, it has prompted me to follow the council of our church and be careful of what kind and how much media I surround myself and my family with. I need to spend quiet time in scripture study, prayer, journaling and family time. Honestly, my own mind kinda drives me crazy and I think that's why. My thoughts are heavy with the cares of this world and not the peace we find in Christ. My mind is often times scattered and random and loud and overwhelming so if I ever have a stroke, go into a coma or become incapacitated, someone please take my ipod and the docking station and leave it playing while I am alone. Wish I was joking. I'm not.

I'm surprised at how much of my past came out in this post. I guess now that I'm a parent, my past keeps calling to me. I want my kids to be different than I was. Actually, I just want them to stay little and happy and I want to stay young. I guess it's time to let go and move on and do the best I can for today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have."

After attending the memorial for Sgt. Mycal Prince who was killed Sept. 15 2011, I am left to wonder what his death and the deaths of thousands of other U.S. Soldiers, means to our President and to this Country's "leaders". Was he just another name on a long list, another face on the news? Not to his wife, not to his Mom or to his little girls, or his brothers and sisters and friends and the soldiers that served with him and not to me. So my question is this: Isn't it more important than ever to start winning the War that we are fighting? In my opinion, it's time to TURN UP THE HEAT on the Middle East. Isn't the very definition of insanity repeating the same act and expecting different results? We have tried the U.N., we have tried diplomacy, we have tried letting them take care of their own troubles but guess what? They keep kicking in our doors and robbing of us of peace. Are you aware that in a recent ABC interview, most Afghans said that they don't even know why the U.S. is there or why there is a war? They don't even know about 9/11 or America's beef with the Taliban or more accurately put, The Taliban's obsession with killing America. They don't have fox news 24/7 or freedom of the press. In the interview that I saw, one Afghan man said he knew about 9/11 but that was only two buildings and we have bombed hundreds of theirs. Uh ok...whatever that means... Maybe he was trying to say we should be done over there? However much I would like to be done sending soldiers over there, we can not quit until the job is done. Yes that means more death for us and them and maybe, just maybe one day it will mean peace. Evil is still alive and well and at this very moment, planning more attacks. I have already asked what the deaths of these soldiers mean to our President. The more important question is what these deaths mean to us the American People? I used to have this fear that "young people" would not know how valuable freedom is and would not be willing to fight for it. But I was wrong. Young people are fighting for freedom and their fatherless children will know what it means and hopefully, they won't have to fight our government, the Taliban or each other for it.

Yesterday the memorial was filled with hundreds of flag waving, small town, good American people and it was awesome to be a part of! There's a lot ot be said for standing shoulder to shoulder to honor a good man and a fallen soldier with people who believe in the same America that you do. I see things a little clearer now. People were kinder than usual , we all felt like "One Nation Under God." Moms with babies in strollers were passing out flags and a guy that was a father of three handed out bottled water to those who were thirsty and let Anna and Tay sit on his truck when they were tired of standing. That's him in the picture standing on top of his truck waving the American Flag. I wish I could thank him and the many others that were there for helping to restore my vision of the real America. For making me see that America is alive and well in all of us even when our foreign and domestic enemies are trying to kill it.  Yesterday I once again got to see that good can and will come of everyday people working together.

Thank you to all who have served and serve now. We appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family's have made.  Your service to our country is greatly appreciated. Your contributions to the goodness of America and your sacrifices for freedom can not be measured.

May all of our fallen soldiers rest in peace. I hope and pray that their families will find strength and comfort in these hard times. I am thankful for their service to our country and I grieve their sacrifices.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

Having one of those days/weeks/months/years... Lately, all I feel is not good enough. It's a vicious cycle and it all starts with feeling tired, like all the time. Then I'm not motivated because I'm wallowing in tiredness. Then I feel like a loser because I'm tired and my house is only half way clean all the time. It's never spotless. Ever. Just good enough, so then I just feel lazy. Then I start feeling sad and chubby and hungry and out of shape. Then I move on to feeling irritated and defeated. Then I play the blame game and all the blame goes straight to me. My head is filled with things like: This is what I get for not reading my scriptures like I'm supposed to and for skipping family home evening for four nights of football and baseball practice per week plus games and weekly date with the PTA. I must admit, I love helping at John's school. It makes him so happy to have me there. Last Friday, I helped the PTA in the morning and had lunch with John in the afternoon, we were both happy and Ryan and Anna got some much needed one on one time.

When I look at my kids, I feel a surge of joy and thankfulness that is automatically followed by the thought that I'm not good enough for them. I could be more fun, I could be happier, craftier, more patient, smarter, healthier, more compassionate, more resourceful, more spiritual and more joyful. So why must I dwell on all the things that I am and am not and wish to be? Hmmmm.... What I do know is that I love my kids with everything that I have and I do everything to make sure that they are happy and loved. Then I realize that my kids don't see me the way that I see myself. They don't focus on my faults, they focus on the good. Who I am right now is enough for them. They are happy. Today I was looking at an animal book with John and Anna and we were picking out what we wanted to be and I picked something furry and sweet and John said, good choice Mom. It's cute like you. Awwwhh!

So after all of this, I have realized that I must recognize the good in myself, keep striving to be better and draw near unto the Lord in this time of doubt instead of falling to the ways of the world. Lately, I have just had all this doubt about the tender mercies of the Lord. Why would he know and love and protect my path and meet my needs while thousands of innocent people lie starving on the other side of the world. There are literally thousands of men, women and children starving in Somalia this very minute as I sit on my leather couch complaining about having too much food to eat. This seed of doubt has made me not want to ask the Lord for the things I need because I feel so unimportant compared to all of those in this world that really need the blessings, protection and mercy of our Father in Heaven, the comfort of the Holy Ghost and the redemption we find in Christ.

I may not be able to change the world, but I can keep trying to change me. I will strive to love and serve the Lord and raise my children to do the same and when I feel doubt, I will pray.

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The days are long but the years are short

To John. My seven year old little boy.

Happy 7th Birthday! About once a year, I try to write a letter ro you and here it is. You weigh about 53 pounds and in August you will start second grade. You like sports, you like to read and play video games. Your favorite food is Generals Chicken. Favorite show is Deadliest Warrior. You love our Dog Bella and your favorite color is orange. You love to laugh and you love to make others laugh. You are kind, affectionate, funny and sweet. You love to be tough and strong. You flex your muscles and show them to me at least once a week. George W. Bush was President when you were born and Barrack Obama is President now. Our Country is at War in the Middle East and has been for many years. This is a profound time of change for not only our nation but for the world as a whole.

I believe that we are all born with gifts and talents, and in my eyes, you were born with many. You are kind, generous, loving and very protective. When you were three and it was time for me to have Anna, you wanted to save me from the hospital. After she was born, I would take you to Pre-School two days a week. I would walk you to your class and set Anna down on the floor in her carrier so I could say goodbye to you and talk to your teachers. You would stand in front of her carrier and block all of the curious three year olds in your class from getting near her. When I had to have a minor surgery this year, you were the one by my side. When I got home, I couldn't do anything but sit in a chair in our living room with my feet up. You stayed on the arm of the chair next to me and made sure that I was comfortable and even more importantly, you made me feel loved and not alone. You did more for me that day than any pain medicine could have done. You are also protective in the small ways too. You notice when Anna isn't in the same room as us and you always ask where she is and you just instinctively keep an eye on her when you guys are away from home. No wonder you want to be a Missionary, a Soldier and a Father when you grow up.

"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would give my life for you. This is the miracle of life. ~ Maureen Hawkins"

It's hard for me to explain to you how quickly these seven years have gone by and how much you have grown and changed and then again, how much you have stayed the same. When I look back to those days when I was 24 and you were a newborn baby,  I mostly remember how I felt. From the day you were born, all I ever wanted was to be good enough for you. I wanted to love you enough, teach you enough, give you enough and just be everything that you needed me to be.What I didn't know at the time was that our Heavenly Father gave me the privilege of being a mother so that I could become the woman I was meant to be. The instant you were born, you changed my life and my soul forever. Yes, before you were born, I existed but after you were born, I became something new. I became a mother. A mother so full of love and newness that I could barely comprehend the enormity of what I was feeling.

As I try to imagine the years ahead of us, it occurs to me that soon, you will be stronger and taller than I am. Soon you won't want me to hold you. Soon, I will have to let you go in a car with your friends and very soon after that I will have to just let you go. As you grow into a man, I hope and pray that you will have the strength and the knowledge that you need to overcome this world. That you will understand that the only way you can do that is by following Christ our Savior and obeying the commandments of God. By doing so, you will be able to live a righteous and good life full of love and mercy. I hope that you grow to be a happy, kind and accomplished man. I hope you love and serve the Lord as well as those around you.

You have been blessed with a strong faith in God, a loving testimony of Christ and you believe in the comfort of prayers and scriptures. You and Anna spend a ton of time together and a lot of it is spent laughing, joking around and playing. Anna wasn't your first friend, but she has become your best friend. You love, protect and take up for each other. I hope that you and your sister only grow closer and find a way to sustain your awesome love for each other throughout your entire lives.

My heart is filled with gratitude and love for you. Thank you so much for being who you are. The happiness that you have given to our family, can not be measured.

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. ~Louis Pasteur

Monday, July 4, 2011

You can't trust freedom when it's not in your hands

Yes, that's a line from a Guns -N- Roses song. I'm old school like that. However lame that was, there's a lot of truth in those words. Today is the fourth of July. A day that always reminds me of how much mankind gained 235 years ago and how much we have since lost, given away or stopped caring about.

America is becoming the land of the un-free. Yes, we are free to make choices as long as those choices are within the guidelines set by about 1,000 regulatory government agencies like the IRS, the EPA and two corrupt and deceitful political parties. An America where Fifty-one percent of the people get to tell the other 49 percent what to do. An America where the people don't have a say in what the Senate and Congress do once they are elected.  That's why I long for an America without EPA regulations, without two ruling  political parties and Planned Parenthood funding issues.

When you think about the things that the government either directly controls or heavily regulates, things like education, Medicare, energy and Social Security, they are over budget, crazily in debt, broken and out of control. The broken things that the Government controls are vital to us, our families and our well being yet, still remain out of our reach. People are left feeling fearful of the future because it is unknown. People are desperate for change.

So what's the answer? What will help America? In my opinion, first we need to dedicate our lives to knowing, loving and serving the Lord. Second, we need a return of moral character and virtue. Third, we need to uphold and understand the U.S. Constitution. Wouldn't it be nice if one of these days, we could live in a world where good prevailed? Where freedom was real. Wouldn't it be nice to have political system where perverted photos, lying, cheating and cover ups weren't the norm and a "Global Agenda" wasn't put ahead of America's well being?

All that being said, the greatest contribution to freedom is given by our soldiers. They have said goodbye to their families, their friends and their homes to preserve our freedom and ensure the safety of our people. They are doing what needs to be done. What none of us want them to have to do and then what none of us would personally want to do. Thank you to all those who love and serve this great nation and her people. We are forever in your debt. What you have given can not be measured.

America is the only country where freedom is completely taken for granted. Mostly because all of us who are living here now had it given to us and we have never known anything different. It reminds me of a verse from Joshua 24:13 "So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant." 

So on Independence Day let us always remember this: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" -Edmund Burke. All those years ago, after many lives were lost and battles were won, 55 good men; under divine inspiration, signed the Constitution and gave to the world America. The land of the free because of the brave.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

She gets that from her Dad...

It seems like at least five times a week or more, I am asked by friends, strangers and even family where Anna gets her curly hair from so I have decided to post this picture of Ryan from before we had kids. A picture from those days when we thought we could change the world and our nights were spent hanging out with friends while we watched our favorite bands play at clubs that reeked of patchouli and cigarette smoke. We danced, we camped, we drove VW Buses. We wanted to be anything but normal. We thought we were too smart for college and main stream media. Just the kind of people that make me crack a smile and think "whew, glad that's not me!" every time I see them buying their copy of Whole Living. We thought we knew it all. We thought we knew everything about "The way things should be" I actually used to think that it was my calling to help restore America, get rid of corruption and make the world a better place. Boy was I a dreamer... So enough about our past. We ended up ditching our dreams of traveling America or living a summer in Spain or Guatemala and getting good jobs, buying a house and having our beautiful babies who are now 6 and 3. I am so thankful that God protected our past and helped us find the path of real happiness - our family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those are things that matter, that make life worth living and lead to everlasting happiness and eternal life. So yes, Anna gets her curly hair from her Dad. Along with her fun sense of humor and her mischievous personality.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If we were all a little more like Spongebob

The world would be a happier place. Yes. I'm talking about the cute yellow guy that lives in a pineapple under the sea. I love him, flaws and all. After I was able to get past his annoying laugh, his silly voice and a little innocent toilet humor, I was able to see the real Spongebob.

1. Spongebob can not tell a lie.

2. He is a hard worker. He never misses a day of work. In fact, they can't keep him away. The best part about watching him work is he's enthusiastic. He puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

3. He never gives up. Ever.

4. He is a very loyal, rarely judgemental friend. I actually think he should be a little more judgemental of his friends and neighbors but that would take away from who he is. He sees the best in everybody and remains blind to negativity.

5.He loves to have fun and use his imagination. His favorite pastimes are blowing bubbles, singing, dancing and jellyfishing with his BFF Patrick or practicing his Karate with Sandy. You rarely see him watch tv.

6. He is always neat and clean. He takes good care of his snail pet Gary.

7. He loves with all his heart.

8. He doesn't hide his emotions.

9. He's so innocent, naive and sweet. He never hurts anyone. He doesn't care about money.

10. He forgives and forgets. He has no enemies and he loves and serves generously. He wants everyone to be happy and often finds a way to make that happen.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So it's been a while

I wrote two blog entries in the month of May and didn't finish or publish either one. Did I run out of things to say? Nope! I just ran out of time to think uninterrupted thoughts in a peaceful and quiet environment. For me that place was the gym and uhhh I haven't been to the gym in quite a while. I think my mind misses it as much or more than my body does! I have realized that the only time I can think clearly is when I'm on the elliptical machine and I feel like I'm all alone and the only thoughts or needs I have for those 35 minutes are my own. No crying or filling milk cups or *yelling, errrrr, uhhh I mean *playing with the kids. Just kidding. Yes, I do yell (I know bad. Very bad.) but I also laugh, play, read, teach and have fun with my sweet kiddos. One time my Mom told me that she thought I was a better mother than she was. (Just so ya' know, my Mom is a great Mom) She said I was made to be a Mom. Well, as much as I want to be the perfect person or perfect mother, I'm not. But I do hope that my kids end up being better parents to their own kids because of me. Maybe they will do some things the way that I do or maybe they will do some things for their kids because I didn't do certain things for them. All I know is that the whole world goes away, every sorrow, care or disappointment disappears and every fiber of your being is filled with love when at the end of the day, your child wraps their arms around you and tells you that they love you and that you are the best Mom in the world.

So what's been going on? Just stuff. John just finished the first grade and is moving on to second. Ryan is on a new shift at work and has been able to spend more time with me and the kids and it really has been fun! We all sleep in a little, we go fishing, watch movies, take walks, go swimming and watch John's T-Ball games. Anna loves all this summer fun! She is so happy to have her Dad and brother home with us during the day! As for me...Maybe, just maybe I will finish the quilt that I started in October of 2010...Sewing is not my strong suit. As it turns out I can sew anything together the wrong way. And to top it off, I can't even cut in a strait line, even when I use the ruler thingy. I have a hard time following directions and over the years I have become a bit impatient. So anyways, maybe one day I will finish that dang quilt and be able to forget the harsh feelings I have towards it and give it to my daughter with love. And then I will start on a new quilt for my sweet John. He wants a twin sized American Flag colored quilt so that he can take it with him to college, then on his mission and then to the Army. Ummmmm. Can't talk, write or think about that for too long because it makes me feel the need to fall to my knees and beg for these sweet times that my kids are young to never end. Is it bad that when I try to picture John as a teen or an adult all I see is the way he looks now? Yes, I know I have trouble letting go of things. It's who I am.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things I've learned from T-Ball

Yes, I know the title of the post should really be things John has learned from T-Ball...But what can I say, this whole little league thing has really opened my eyes to a few things.

1. It's finally time for me to admit that well, I have kinda, sorta over the years turned into a pretty intense person. There. I said it. Oh, I've tried to rationalize it. I say things to myself like, I'm only passionate about parenting. Oh wait...And our country, politics, my faith, Twilight and uh now, T-ball. Why my friends am I so dang fanatical about T-Ball, it is after all, only T-Ball...Right? Well let me tell you what I think. It's not the game that gets my adrenaline going. I've come to the conclusion that the root of the problem is this: For the first time in John's life, I can't help him. I'm not in control of the outcome. He's on his own. And it kills me. I want to be able to protect him from any failure, bad feeling, wrong choice and/or loss. I've learned that all those things I want to do are not possible or sane and that if I try to do those things I will be robbing him of the good things that come from making his own choices, working hard to accomplish a goal and succeeding on his own. So anyways, this year has been a year of new beginnings for John. This was his first year of riding the bus, going to school all day, making his own friends, making a lot of his own choices, suffering his own consequences, playing ball and liking girls. It's also time for me to let him know that it's ok, wait no, it's good for him to let go of Mom and accomplish good things on his own. The only problem is me. I don't want to let go. I want to get him dressed, hold him, read to him, brush his teeth, hear about every part of his day, kiss him a hundred times and laugh at his silly jokes and funny faces.

2. It's ALWAYS COLDER on a baseball field than it is anywhere else in the whole entire town.

3. It's ok to lose. No, it's better than ok, it's necessary. In my life I have learned more from the losses than the wins. In fact, you won't find a better teacher than heartbreak, let downs, lost chances, bounced checks, regret and mistakes. So as much as I want to shield John from all those things, they are just part of life and they must happen so that he can grow to be a stronger better person who understands accountability, self-control and determination. But more than that he will grow to appreciate the sweet and good things in life and cherish them. Once you taste bitterness the sweet is so much better. I have always like that old saying: May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

4. It's impossible to keep up with all the baseball equipment and the entire uniform. We are already missing the belt. And a red sock...

5. Why can't I stop myself from being a crazy nutcase when John is playing??? I can't tell you how many times I've yelled at him on the field. Things like: Look alive, pay attention, CATCH THE BALL, run home, throw it to third, THROW IT HOME and last but notleast RUUUNNNN! And to make it worse, I'm not even supposed to be doing that. He has three really good coaches on the field with him at all times that will tell him what to do. I feel so bad about myself that I want to send a note of apology to the coaches. I promise I am trying to stop. Lets see how it goes tonight, maybe I can for once keep my lips sealed.

6. How will I ever make it through pictching machine and real baseball if I can barely make it through T-Ball? Why am I crazy now? I made it through basketball and soccer just fine. The difference is he loves baseball and he may have a talent for it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Switching Gears

Often times, I write just because I like to or sometimes just to vent. And just between you and me, writing has always been my secret, silly and what I over the years had come to think of as "my long lost and unobtainable dream." I always wanted to be a published author or a journalist or a freelnace writer. Maybe even a big time blogger like Pioneer Woman but I have decided now is not the time to polish and practice my writing skills. Over months of visiting a friend's blog (yeah Birrd, I'm talking about you) and admiring how hers is more of a journal and a way to document everyday life, I have decided to do the same. I want to remeber the small things, the everyday things. I want to look back at this blog in a few years and be able to read about what we did on a Tuesday afternoon or just whatever. Small, everyday things that make up the sum of our lives. So I'm switching gears in an effort to document now for later. A family history blog. So no more holding back on a post just because what I want to write about that day seems like something no one else wants to read about. Here comes all the cute and funny things that my kids say, that trip down memory lane that no one but me wants to take or just the rambling thoughts, small breakthroughs and spirtual promptings of a stay at home Mom doing the best she can for those she loves.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We have two rules in our home

1st rule: Obey the first time. 2nd rule: Be kind. I find that with those two rules everything else is taken care of. Things like sharing, no fighting and talking back fall under the rule of be kind. It is working because it allows growth, understanding, choices and consequences. I received a prompting at church on Sunday that the plan that I have made for my children is much like the plan our Heavenly Father has for us, his children. God gave us our families so that we can grow to be more like him and more like our Savior Jesus Christ. As parents, we are more able to feel and understand a love that is never ending. A love so tremendous that we can barely express it through words so we show it through what we do for those we love. That means service, sacrifices and time. For parents, service often means cleaning the house, oh and the clothes, the bodies and teeth of those we love. Or maybe it's preparing meals, tending to sick children or any and everything else that our families need from us. Service if we let it, allows us to become more Christ like because it helps us to want to put the needs of others first. Being a parent also helps us to feel more compassion for others and it helps us to also understand the need for guidance and the protection given in following rules. The hard parts of parenting help us grow too. When our children do things that we wish they wouldn't or things that we know will hurt them, maybe it gives us a glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels when we put him last, make bad choices or forget who we are. Just as we would all want our children to come back to us and do the right thing and love them just the same or maybe even more. I know that Heavenly Father feels that and more for us too. Only, he wants us to go and find our brothers and sisters who are lost and show them the way home too.

I live by a church that often posts little thoughts on a board in front of their building. One day a while back, the sign read: God loves you just the way you are. And it bugged me every time I drove past it. I wanted to scream, Yes, he does love you just the way you are but he wants more for you. I believe that he wants us to grow and change for the better. He wants us to love and serve each other. Repent and ask for help to change. Not just believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and do nothing more than merely believe. We wouldn't want our children to get to a certain point in life and just stop growing and changing and becoming better and do nothing more than simply exist until their time on earth was up.

So I took the long way around but I think what I was trying to say is that being a parent is a blessing and if we let it, parenting will draw us near unto God. Like I said in the beginning, if my children follow the rules we have at home, everything else will take care of it's self and my hope is they will have goodness and happiness in life. I also believe if we follow the "first and Greatest Commandment" to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt a love thy neighbour as thyself. That as President Monson likes to say - everything else will take care of it's self.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earn it first

I really love John's Tee Ball team and his Coaches. I like that our coaches teach them how to really play the game the right way and that they are expected to show respect to their own teammates as well as the teams they are playing. I like it when I hear the coaches say things at practice like "earn it first" because lets be honest, the kids are learning about more than just baseball, they are learning about life. They are getting to the age where they are learning things about life through their own experiences and from other adults and their peers. These will be some of their first lessons they learn about team work, playing fair, hard work, follow through, winning and losing and how to do both with honor. So may new things. School, sports, new friends is when our kids will start to notice that they have been raised differently than a lot of kids out there and that they will have to work hard to stay set apart from the world's view on things and not do what is easy but what is right. Believe it or not, it starts right now, when they are young. Yes, I may be taking which team he is on and his conduct in the sport too seriously, but to me the lessons he learns today build his character and will help give him the strength and the knowledge that he will need for the rest of his life.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's time

Hi! I haven't blogged in so long because well, I don't like blogging about negative things and bad feelings. And honestly, lately I have felt uninspired, boring and sick. So what's keeping me down? A bad gallbladder that has been described to me by my doctor as not just sick but very sick. I think he said that twice. And about three to five times it's normal size. Let me tell you, a sick gallbladder is so painful. The gallbladder attacks that I had were so painful that I didn't know if I could make it through them consciously, nor did I want to. Passing out on the bathroom floor after the fourth episode of vomiting while in the midst of severe pain would have been a welcome blessing. The pain was so bad that I thought I was having a heart attack at the age of 31. My chest was exploding, I was short of breath, tremendous back pain, unyielding shoulder pain and more pain than I had ever felt. Ok, enough of that! You get the picture and I think I am writing myself into another attack. No need to re-live the worst pain I have ever felt.

The other thing weighing me down was the looming Government shutdown, which for my husband could have possibly meant unemployment. Rumors are still circulating about layoffs and furloughs, as early as Monday. Tomorrow, the day of my surgery. I keep thinking, am I going to wake up from surgery and find out that my husband doesn't have a job anymore? I can find the good in that though... At least I'm awake to hear the news because that means I made it through the surgery that everyone keeps telling me is no big deal, it's nothing. Apparently my dad went to a concert the same day he had his removed. Let's hope that I'm that blessed!

On to the good stuff now! I have been so blessed with so much love from my family and friends. My Mom is going to be at the hospital with me while my kids are being taken care of by Ryan's parents. The Relief Society is bringing dinner to our family tomorrow. One of my best friends will have my kids all day Tuesday and is even taking them to McDonald's for McTeacher night and has offered to do my laundry, clean my house or just lay around with me and hang out while I recover. Life doesn't get better than being blessed with so many people who bring life, laughter and love to us in such profound ways. I also keep thinking how lucky we are to get the privilege to love so many back. I feel thankful that without even having to ask, those that I love are coming to my rescue. Thank you!

And last but not least, the kids and I had a great weekend. Ryan had to work and we missed him but the kids and I made the best of our time. We had a sweet picnic in the park, fed the ducks and played. Our funny picture from the picnic was just an impromptu self portrait that has really made us laugh. I wish that my kids could know how much I love them and how happy they have made my life. I try to show it by being the best mother that I can be but for some reason, it doesn't seem like pouring out my love to them with every fiber of my being is enough. I bet that even if I had an eternity on this earth with them to show them my love, it wouldn't be enough. That's what makes this life and our time on earth so profound. That no matter how much time we spend with those we love, it is never enough. My grandma is 81 and even if she lived another 50 years it wouldn't be enough for me. I will never be ready to say goodbye to those I love. Here's the thing about that. I don't think I will have to say goodbye forever. I believe that through the atonement and redemption we find in Christ, that we will all live again. Even more than that we will live again in a place where goodbyes don't exist and time is eternity with our loved ones and if we are worthy, we will enter into the presence of Christ our redeemer and our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. I am thankful for this life, my family and my friends. We are all so blessed to be able to live everyday in comfortable homes with nice beds, heating and air, food and all the while surrounded by love. Life is good, even when it's not what we dreamed it would be.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

After you hit the ball you must run

Today John played his first T-ball game. It was so cold and windy outside that it was hard for the boys to have fun. They played a good game and worked hard. They were only beat by 14 points... And I'm ok with that! They are just learning the game and having fun. I also love the Coaches. They are really good at baseball and really good at building the kiddos self-confidence. John hit the ball both times that he was up to bat, he just forgot to run. I hate to mention this because it's kinda of bragging but it's my blog and I can do things like that. He is really good at throwing the ball. Like really good! Good control, speed and accuracy. Maybe I'm just pleasantly surprised that he is actually kinda good at something sports related. He doesn't get that from me. I can't even run in a strait line... It was a fun day and I'm glad that he has a good team and great coaches. Now to my sweet daughter: Dear Anna, You are three so you must stop asking when you can get your own cell phone, wear makeup, cook on the stove and get married. The answer is when you are 30. So now that you know, you can stop asking us everyday. Thank you. Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If you're a kid Disney still has magic

Walt Disney World, also known as "The Magic Kingdom" or as my Mom so sweetly calls it, "The Happiest Place on Earth". For kids, maybe it's all those things but not so much if you're an adult who spent as much as a mortgage payment on tickets to the park, another $14 per day to park the rental van and another $30.00 per day to rent a double stroller only to make it into the park and end up buying nine dollar hot dogs (I am not exaggerating the cost of food. The hot dogs really were $8.67), fighting major crowds and waiting in a one or two hour line for most rides. As an adult, it's not so magical. In fact, it's the exact opposite of magical. It's frustrating and heartbreaking and sad. Yes, I know that it's my fault. I had high expectations and vivid dreams of how I thought Disney would be. I bought into the dream of "Disney Magic" that they have been selling for generations now. Before I even had children, I knew that I would try my hardest to make it to Disney World as a family. Maybe it's because my parents took me and my brother to Disney World when we were kids and it was magical for me then. Thank you Mom and Dad!

Thank goodness for Ryan's parents who paid for airline tickets, a nice van and an awesome timeshare for all of us to stay in. All we had to do was cover the cost of the tickets, our food and souvenirs. The hotel was amazing! The hotel pools were heated, clean and fun! Thank you John and Mariann! Without your kindness we would have never, ever been able to take our kids to Disney World and they both had so much fun.

There is just no cheap way to Disney. I tried, I planned, I hoped and I spent hours researching tips and tricks on-line. I had a plan people! You may be thinking, why pay to park? Shuttles to the parks aren't cheap or practical and there are major time restrictions. Why not pack your own food? Oh we did but you just can't carry enough food or water for a family of four and still survive the day. A heavy, overloaded bag would only add to your problems at Disney. You can't hold the bag all day but you can't leave it with an unattended stroller all day either. A day at Disney will make you feel more mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted than you could ever imagine. I felt nickel and dimed to death, I felt pushed around by food service people who refused to change wrong orders, I felt overwhelmed by the crowd and the procedures at Disney, things that should be simple like entering and exiting the park. The trams, the trains, the ferry, the parking, just everything. Speaking of nickel and dimed to death, they take pictures of you in the park, like the one posted above. They took 14 pictures and we have the option to purchase them for a mere 14.95 or more each. Needless to say, we just bought one. The icing on the cake is you have to order in a specific amount of time or they expire and you have to pay on a weekly basis to extend your viewing and ordering time. And just so ya' know John's shirt says LUCKY to be an American....

All that being said, I am so glad that we got to go. As a mother I am thankful. I will always remember the smiles that you only see on your kids faces at places like Disney. My kids are so precious to me and they had an awesome experience and LOVED every minute of it. My son getting to ride Space Mountain and other great rides with his Dad, the way he loves his Goofy hat, the way Anna lit up when she rode Dumbo and the way she laughed in the Buzz Lightyear ride. Those sweet memories are worth every small thing that I had to "endure". Small things that I made into a big things. And then those things like losing sunglasses and breaking cameras that don't belong to you. When I look back at this trip in 20 years and all the beautiful pictures that we have from the trip, I will not remember the price we paid for tickets and food or the rude Disney workers that wouldn't help me find my husband and son when I was lost. I will remember my husband, our kids and their happy, sweet faces and that time when the kids were little and we all got to go to Disney World.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It won't always be bloody noses and silent alarms.

And recently I have realized that if that's the worst day I have to deal with this week, I'm blessed and lucky and thankful. My week of bloody noses, wet beds, a sick kiddo and a silent alarm clock is easy compared to what the people around me are going through. My life is easy and my problems are small. The sad thing is that I have to learn that same lesson over and over again.

Today I learned that a girl in my son's 1st grade class has cancer, a rare and hard to treat cancer. Like most kids, she is sweet, happy and kind. When I went for the school Valentines party, she gave me my own valentine card and a big chocolate covered pretzel for me to take home. She melted my heart that day. I can't stop thinking of how much I want things to be alright and how I want her to know that she is loved. So now I am doing the only thing that I can. I am praying to my Heavenly Father and asking him, no pleading with him to draw near unto this little girl who needs his comfort, his love and his protection. Tonight Ryan and I gathered our family in prayer on her behalf and we will get down on our knees and pray for her and her family every night from now on. I am so thankful for the power of prayer and the comfort it offers to those who pray and the comfort and peace that it brings to those who are being prayed for. A good friend reminded me last night that our Savior Jesus Christ bears the burden of more than just sin. He also takes on our sorrow, our ailments and every thing else that we have ever felt and are willing to give him. So now I am asking any of you who feel prompted to pray for this sweet little girl Harmony, please do so.