You’re not inadequate, you’re the perfect fit.

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family walk time

I got a phone call from a friend I haven’t spoken to since – 2008? Now that I count it up, almost a decade ago! Wow. Thank goodness for social media to help keep tabs on those friends!!

We talked of many things, but something that stayed on my mind was the feelings we shared in our ability to be good mothers.

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run baby run

After pondering on the matter for some time, the thought came into my mind that my children chose me.

They chose me.

Of all the brilliant, kind, talented mothers in the world, these kids chose me.

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run dance run

I don’t have any evidence to prove to you that this is true, it was just something that came to me and brought me peace.

I want to remember that feeling any time the temptation to feel inadequate creeps into my life.

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our deep thinker

They knew you before they came to this earth and thought, “yeah, you’re going to be the perfect fit!”

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He loves to bring me flowers

Keep trying your best. Keep giving them your time, your love, your hugs and kisses.

Keep praying that they will continue to grow up to become the incredible humans you pray they will be.

Keep taking the time to do the things they want to do – even if you can’t finish all the things you want to do.

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They need you. They want you. They are your greatest treasure.

There are still long days ahead. They will need your guidance, your patience, your understanding and most importantly…

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everyone gets a turn on daddy’s back

They need to know that you love them.

Each child will understand, feel and show love in different ways.

Just like you understand, feel and show love in different ways.

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Take the time to learn how they communicate.

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In time you will see that not only were you not inadequate, you were exactly who they needed you to be.

“Life must be understood backward. But… it must be lived forward.” -Søren Kierkegaard

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hold on as long as you will

In writing this open letter to myself I want other parents to know that you are doing better than you think you are.

XOXO

Me

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Raising children in an uncertain world.

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Every other day I wonder what kind of world I’m raising my children in…

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I want to shelter them forever from the absence of love, so I love them more.

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I want to shelter them from anger, so I try to be more patient with them…

I don’t always succeed in that, but I will keep trying.

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I want to shelter them from unkindness, so I try to teach them to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’

We’re still working on sharing.

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I want to shelter them from other people’s bad choices, to I teach them to be aware.

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I had a happy childhood and I want my children to know what happiness is, so they can look for safe and longterm solutions to cope with the world.

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I want them to know how much God loves them, how much God loves every human on this planet and how we need to see each other as brothers and sisters.

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I want them to know that every human has the potential for greatness – not the world’s definition of greatness – that, in the words of Howard W Hunter,

“True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitutes the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord.”

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Children, your time for service and sacrifice is coming. Your job now is to know joy, to know love, to see beauty in the world you live in and to know that in the end, everything will be alright.

Indeed, in the end, our life is in God’s hands.

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Play on babies, play on.

Before I Heard It, I Already Knew It.

On May 14, 2010 I wrote

“I imagined to myself, the place I existed in before
I came to the Earth. My feelings of excitement to
come to such a beautiful place were also accompanied by hesitance.

My Father in Heaven sat down with me at large,
heavenly dinning room table, like any home, the place were families talk.

I asked Him how I would navigate through life – with all of it’s twists and turns. He told me there would be trials, even asking me which trials I might be able to overcome and learn from while I lived upon the Earth. I was promised, with each trial came blessings through my obedience to the predicated laws. Included in those promised blessings were a list of special people who would lend support and encouragement throughout my life – I would in return be a blessing to their lives. I believe that I chose my life-trials, knowing that the Lord would send help and give me access to the light that would guide me safely back into His presence.

Leaving that heavenly dinner table, I was confident in the words of my Father and excited to do His work here on the Earth.

In the short time that I have been on the Earth, I have been given many blessings and made friendships that have brought me comfort and joy. I think about my conversation, as I imagine it, from time to time to remind myself that I chose to come here and I hope to always remember my Eternal heritage as a Child of God.”

Saturday night I heard Henry B. Eyring (of the LDS church, during the women’s meeting of LDS general conference) share similar views. That as daughters of God, He spoke with us, prepared us and assured us that help would be here during this mortal life.

I always knew it was true, but it brought me so much comfort to hear someone else express it.

Working On My Inner Beauty, Meanwhile I Enjoy Outer Beauty

“High times, hard times…sometimes the living is sweet and sometimes there’s nothing to eat…” (Lyrics from the Newsies movie)

I remember my grandmother tore a picture out of a home and garden, then painted it. Here it is.
I remember my grandmother tore a picture out of a home and garden magazine, then painted it. Here it is.

I have had hard times in my life, or the difficult times when I was maybe treated less than fair, I don’t want to look back and dwell on the way things should have gone, I want to rejoice in the fact that things are better.

This is not a water color, Gramma painted this with oil paint and then splattered it with Turpentine.
This is not a water color, Gramma painted this with oil paint and then splattered it with Turpentine.

Why do I sound so “sickeningly” optimistic and cheerful? Some people start to get nauseated from all this cheer…

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I’m so optimistic and cheerful because I’m going through trials, I’ve been through trials and I always face opportunities to be: angry or kind

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and believe me, I’ve failed the “be kind” many times.

OnceUponATImeI keep trying.

MotherDaughterSometimes I work out a great oratory response that will obliterate my trials or the people who cause them.

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But, I stop and listen for the voice that says, “and what good will that do huh? just make you feel awesome for a split second? Because you know that it isn’t the right thing to do, even if you are being treated unfairly.”

Comes from an old story out of India, about a clever little boy who outsmarts three tigers!
Comes from an old story out of India, about a clever little boy who outsmarts three tigers!

I am smart, I am talented, and I possess a razor sharp tongue, capable of bringing people (figuratively) to their knees…I know, I’ve used it before.

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And it feels empowering and energizing…but who’s power is it? What am I proving?

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I want to follow the path of the Savior and I usually fall short; I am human.

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But, rather than focus on hate and anger and “getting even” – I want to “be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Denail Rae, my cousin...about 17 years ago?
Denail Rae, my cousin…about 17 years ago?

Another snow day for me, I’ve already spent way too much time on the internet, but I’ve also had more time to play and cuddle with my little boy.

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Here’s to the kind of change that comes from choosing to do good.

p.s. all the above paintings were done by my maternal Grandmother.

Ta Ta.

In Case You Didn’t Know

I enjoy reading Facebook friends lists of “Things you didn’t know about me” and like my friend Lindsay said, “who doesn’t love talking about themselves?”

Here is my list of things you may not know about me:

The first boy I ever had a crush on – circa 1989/1990 San Diego, CA – was blue eyed, blonde haired, tanned skinned and the “strong, silent” type. Which are physical attributes that I would give to my husband.

The second boy I had a crush on – circa 1992, Mechanicsburg, PA  – was a black kid named Lisbon.

The last time I pooped my pants, I was 12 years old. I was visiting my grandparent’s cabin in Truckee, CA. The opposite side of the mountain was on fire and all the homes were evacuated. Grandma took us to a park to play. So, it’s not like I had ready access to a bathroom.

When I was about 10, I decided that I was going to be the mother of 15 boys (Scott, Mark, Sean, Jeremy, Jimmy, John, Jesse, Peter, James, Luke, David, Keegan, Joe, Matt and Bob). Ever since, my mother would tell people about my 10 year old fantasy and make me recite my names for strangers. So far, I have a little boy named James…14 more to go. (I was ten people – TEN!)

I used to sing all the time, but after years of NOT protecting my voice, vocal cords have been damaged. So, I still sing, but it hurts afterward, sometimes for days. Kind of a bummer. Protect your voice singers!!!!

I was a late bloomer – I never felt the need to have a boyfriend in high school or college – but most of my friends in college were guys.

I am not a morning person – I don’t want anyone to talk to me, look at me or even make noise in the nearby vicinity. Now I teach early morning seminary.

Most of my baby molars/canine teeth were pulled out by a dentist. I don’t like the dentist, and I haven’t seen one since early 2001.

I brush my teeth after every time I eat/drink something that isn’t water.

I have flawless skin and I rarely wash my face before bed.

On that note, I have to put on clean undergarments before bed. I can go to bed with a dirty face, but not the underwear I’ve had on all day!!!!

I can entertain my mind for hours with nothing but my imagination – I’m constantly telling myself stories – some new, some are continuing stories I have started long ago. I don’t have multiple personalities, but sometimes characters talk to me/tell me the story. I’m never bored.

I love people. People are really important to me. I sincerely care about how people are feeling or why they are the way they are – why they live the way they live. I think about people I’ve only met once and wonder where they are in life. I think about people I knew for a short time and wonder how they are and if they are happy. I genuinely wish people happiness.

My family members are the most important people in the world to me.

I’ve studied Spanish, some Italian and a little Russian. I would like to be fluent in five languages before I die.

Although I care about people – when it comes down to what people think of me – I’m more concerned about what God thinks of me.

I am allergic to wheat, soy, peanuts, eggs and milk. I sometimes eat them anyway, because I love them. I’m also allergic to all animals, rag weed, yada, yada…

I’m not allergic to poison ivy. Which, ironically, my husband, who is allergic to nothing, is allergic to poison ivy. (It’s okay Danny, even Superman had a weakness).

There are loads of things about me that people don’t know – but I think this list is sufficient.

Happy Monday.

Where Can I Turn For Peace Today?

I have a nasty cold today, which also happens to be September 11, a day to remember.

I have a list of go-to things to do when I need to find peace (especially when I am laying in bed).

First, browse old photographs.

Old time photo of my Maternal Grandmother
Old time photo of my Maternal Grandmother

I don’t want to spend all day reading the news – depressing – and I could spend half the day reading interesting – non depressing – things, but I love to look through photographs.

looking through photos reminds me of other things that bring me peace.

Maternal Grandparents enjoying a day at the park.
Maternal Grandparents enjoying a day at the park.

Spending the afternoon outside – that’s assuming you don’t live in the south right now and your melting from the heat/humidity – the early mornings and evenings in Missouri is perfect for enjoying nature.

Alone or with loved ones.

My paternal Grandparents having a laugh together at home.
My paternal Grandparents having a laugh together at home.

Sitting around with friends and family laughing about the good times, the best times or just swapping movie lines. Being together is sweet.

Family reunion in Durango, CO. We are due for another one of these soon.
Family reunion in Durango, CO. We are due for another one of these soon.

Taking trips, taking trips with family. My sister and her family have flown out from Washington state this week to visit – due to arrive any minute. I love having these times together, now that we are grown, it is the time for our children to become better friends. Cousins should be friends.

I lost a cousin six months ago and he and I were friends, but not nearly good enough. I am reminded that I should continue to be friends with the family I have left. Time runs out before you know it.

CHEESE - the cousins from California, whom I never see enough.
CHEESE – the cousins from California, whom I never see enough.

My life mantra is “Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men”

September 11th is a wound that reopens for many and today I want to remember the good things in life. I want to remember that white, black, brown, really white (that’s me), freckled, tattooed, short, tall, people are good. Evil will always exist, but Righteous will prevail.

So today, if it makes you happy to get dressed up?

I had a 1920's birthday party to celebrate my last year of being in my 20's...taken three days after becoming engaged.
I had a 1920’s birthday party to celebrate my last year of being in my 20’s…taken three days after becoming engaged.

get dressed up.

Go to a movie, play golf, read a good book, look at old photographs.

AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE, Make TEA (herb for me) NOT War.

Making a cup for Maggie
Making a cup for Maggie

Alright, more like Make Peace, Not War.

I still believe that there is good in the world.

I pray for peace, I live for peace and I pray to God that someday I will live to see it.

Kayak Trip Down The Piney River

Yesterday as many of us paused to remember the American soldier of past and present, I too took time for reflection. I’m grateful for a day set aside to remember the important things in life.

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God and Family

we went with two other couples, the Petersons
we went with two other couples, the Petersons

My Brother and Sisters in this world

and the VonAllmen couple (who provided all the kayaks).
and the VonAllmen couple (who provided all the kayaks).

Things worth protecting: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

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Our Earth – the magnificent creation that it is

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Plants, Animals, Rock Formations (really neat to see where the water rises and leaves a pattern on the underside of the rock).

IMG_1851I’m grateful for the time that I had to spend the day enjoying this beautiful area in Southern Missouri….not everybody had the time yesterday to do something fun or relaxing.

IMG_1863I’m grateful that I had a some nice girls to watch my baby for three hours while I paddled down river.

Danny can spot a turtle anywhere!
Danny can spot a turtle anywhere!

Grateful for the men and women who have and currently serve in the Armed Forces, so I can have a care free day to meander down river every now and then.

Keep On Keeping On – God Bless.

It’s Been 84 Years, Here’s What Happened

This beautiful creature is 85 years old, the baby is 11 months.
This beautiful creature is 85 years old, the baby is 11 months.

In the last 84 years there have been so many discoveries and innovation.

Without trying too hard I can think of:

Velcro – “next to The Walkman and Tab, it’s the greatest invention of the twentieth century!” movie line from Girls Just Want To Have Fun, but it true.

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Cell Phones – which have and continue to undergo metamorphous, from the very first cell phone to the newest touch phone/computer/music player…I’m pretty sure my Great Grandparents couldn’t envision such devices.

Tampons – I’m a woman, I think of these type of things. I’m sorry women of the before and early 20th centuries, life was hard and I recognize that. Bravo!

Uncle Kevin, me, Aunt Gail
Uncle Kevin, me, Aunt Gail

NASA – Orbiting the earth, walking on the moon, exploring the universe is something our grade school kids of today take for granted, “yeah, pffft, we walked on the moon, satellites? like, hello? my cell phone has GPS!”

Transportation – trains, planes and automobiles. This encompasses many new modes of transport. In the original Back To The Future film, there was a hover craft…not too far off base from some of the stuff people are creating now, stealth jets, super sonic trains, and speedboats…without which we could not water ski or wakeboard.

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ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) reconstruction – I know this, because my maternal grandfather, who was born 84 years ago, pioneered ACL reconstruction. He is a brilliant retired orthopedic surgeon and my close friend.

He was born in March 1928, on a poor farm in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. During the Depression, his family didn’t know there was a depression, they were always poor and struggling…life went on as usual.

Grampa White
Grampa White

With hard work, Grandpa White worked his way through college and medical school, eventually graduating from the University of Oklahoma a married man with a baby on the way (my mother). He and Gramma went on to have 5 more children. He started a large and prosperous medical clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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I am grateful for the good examples in my life and thank God every day for my good family. I have been blessed in this life and I recognize that.

Happy Birthday Grampa White. The world wouldn’t have been the same without you in it.

 

 

Motherhood + Science = Awesome

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Today I’m grateful that my baby isn’t throwing up anymore – he went down to sleep around 9:20 pm last night. I went to my room to sit and crochet my long term project. I heard the baby start to cry around 10 pm, and normally I would let him cry a bit before checking on him, thinking he was just tired (he skipped his nap yesterday). Something told me, this was worth checking on.

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My poor son was sick – sick – sick. That’s about as graphic as I’ll get for you. I changed the baby into fresh clothes and took his soiled clothes and bedding to the laundry room. While I was starting a large load of laundry – my husband starts calling my name from our bedroom. What I didn’t allow myself to think at the time was, “this is his first child – he is the baby in his family – he has never babysat before and this is all new to him.”

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My husband was really scared because the baby was throwing up again and shaking (like big people do after such an event) and crying. Dan was scared and nervous that the baby was in grave danger. Dan looked completely hopeless.DSC_1023

After the baby’s second bath, I held him wrapped in a warm blanket on my lap and curled my hand around his. I thought to myself, “this is so wonderful.” He continued to empty his tiny stomach until about midnight, still wrapped in my arms. I feed him to keep him from dehydrating and he kept that down, so I put him in the crib in our room to keep an eye on him.

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Mommy and Baby suffer from the same problem, we are both cranky when we wake up.

I woke before 7 am to find he was still laying where I left him, fast asleep. I thought about my life before I became a mother and I couldn’t remember loving a job more than I love being a mother and wife. It’s hard work, the most taxing I’ve have ever had.

crying, eating, pooping, crawling, chaos machine that I love.
crying, eating, pooping, crawling, chaos machine that I love.

Which got me thinking about how the best things in life take work.

Work is a transfer of energy (from a system to the surroundings or vice versa). And as we all know – mass can be converted into energy and energy can be converted into mass via E=mc2 – therefore, there will be a physical manifestation where our work is being done.

This little person is the best reason to work, and I think his daddy would agree.
This little person is the best reason to work, and I think his daddy would agree.

I would venture to say, that some people choose to put their work into things that I could care less about – living in a Manhattan Penthouse and leaving their kiddies with a nanny whilst mommy and daddy earn a big income. (Would I love living in a Manhattan Penthouse? of course, but it’s not a priority).

The physical manifestation of my daily work is my child, my marriage, my family relations, my health, my education and my spiritual enrichment.