Saturday, September 23, 2017

One Year Later

Thursday was the first anniversary of Dad B leaving us. The Double B was able to go up with his Mom and siblings to visit his graveside and be together for a little celebration of his life. The Double B had such a fabulous time and I'm so glad for that! I just love it when he gets to relax and laugh and just be. I missed him like crazy.
The kids and I had our own little Grandpa party. We all shared a memory and I told them a few funny stories and then we went out to eat to celebrate his life.
I am very thankful for my sweethearts Dad. He was a great man and we love and miss him.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Night Musings

Today I was the lucky recipient of a root canal --  which is neither rare nor unexpected in my dental life -- just the cards that I was dealt. No biggie. The endodontist that did it was awesome and sooo fast, too, which was a blessing. His assistant was adorable. And here I sit at 1:45 a.m. because that tooth is just wanting a little extra attention. That's okay. I understand. I really do get it. I will fall back to sleep eventually and I feel totally at peace, so what is there to complain about? Honestly, absolutely nothing. Life is good. I was really nervous going in and the Lord supported me, for which I am very thankful.
I also read a study recently that said that having someone you can talk with honestly is even more effective then medicine and counseling combined. I told that to my sweetie and we have both taken that to heart. I am feeling safe to be honest when I'm feeling uncomfortable like I was today and he has done awesome to be loving and free of judgement and a sounding board. He's so awesome. He's not perfect, thank heavens. But he is darn close. I really do love him, and I really do know he loves me. And that makes us incredibly blessed!

This quote from Russell M. Nelson came back into my mind fairly recently and I am putting it into action: "If you really want a certain blessing, you'd better find out what the laws are that govern that blessing and then work on becoming obedient to those laws." Pretty amazing, right? I feel that every single commandment must have specific blessings attached to it. Of course, our Father always wants to bless us and will bless us, but when we are exact in our obedience to individual commandments, we bind him (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10). So I want a sound mind and a sound understanding. That's the blessing that I want. So I went searching to find out what the laws attached to that are. Here is what I found, demonstrated by some of my ultimate Book of Mormon heroes, the Sons of Mosiah: search the scriptures diligently so that I might know the word of God, give myself to much prayer, and live the law of the fast. The blessing attached to those commandments is a sound understanding -- and also, the spirit of prophecy, revelation, and power (Alma 17:2-3). I was doing all those things but I was pretty casual about them -- I wasn't keeping those commandments with exactness. Since I have worked on becoming as perfectly obedient as I can be in those small ways, I have begun to feel the Lord working a mighty change in me. And those results are worth working for with all my heart! I am filled with gratitude and constantly astounded at all that the Savior does and is. He is leading me by the hand and teaching me, and I am so grateful for it. I am filled with love for Him. It reminds me of how King Benjamin describes it -- that we are always so indebted to the Lord, because He blesses us, and we strive to be obedient as the only thing we can give Him back, and then He blesses us more. We can never catch up. And my heart tells me how happy He is to do that for us, over and over again.
The more I learn of Him, the more I love Him.
Here's a conference talk that describes my feelings pretty well tonight: "Drawing Closer To God" by Elder Terence M. Vinson of the Seventy from October 2013. I really love that talk and have listened to it a lot lately. You'll like it, too.

Okay, it's 2:30. I'm tired. Hopefully my lovely neighborhood tooth is also ready to get some sleep. I love you all. Thanks for being my friend.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Rain Musings

I'm laying in bed listening to rain pour and thunder rumble. The air conditioner just kicked on and the lighting flashes and it's pretty great. Kids are in bed, not asleep, but safely nestled. Five minutes till lights out.
I've been listening to this podcast lately called Bold New Mom, and it's awesome. Today as I was scrubbing the sink and folding laundry and wiping down the bathroom I listened to her talk about being in the present --  living in the here and now. I think I'm getting better at this, but she said something that really struck me --  that the present is the only place that we can actually feel joy, because it's the only thing that's real. That really resonated with me. I'm on a little journey right now with the Lord, taking Him up on some of His offers, and I feel like that was the perfect thing to go along with what He's teaching me. I don't obsess about happiness because I am learning that I was meant to feel and experience the whole spectrum of life. But what I am seeking (and experiencing many times) is JOY. That's where the bread and butter is, and the only place that I can experience it is right here and now, regardless of any outside circumstances.
This is a good time in our lives, and I am so grateful for it. God is good, aware, interested, reliable, waiting for us to come to Him. He is changing my life in every way, and hopefully my heart forever. I believe that through Him, I can become a whole person. I trust Him that He can do it.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New Calling

One of my children downloaded this picture onto my phone. I have no idea what to make of it, but it's kind of funny to have a fancy picture of chicken nuggets, so I thought I'd share.
I've gotten a lot of rest the last couple of days and feel like I'm on the mend. I'll be careful for a few more days and hopefully we'll be back to normal!
Benson is snuggling and crawling all over me right now, singing "Old McDonald" with a serious case of the hiccups and a little bit of root beer on his face. Darn cute and very silly.
Today I was released as first counselor in Relief Society and sustained as first counselor in the Young Women's. I was really surprised, all the way around. I have really, really loved my time in the Relief Society and will miss it! But I am also excited to serve in the Young Women's again. I have loved working with Kimberly, Tayna, and Heidi and am really looking forward to working with Tashina, Priscilla, and Amy. The women in this church are mighty. I'm a little nervous at the commitment, but happy to serve with all my heart. I really love being a counselor.
And now Benson is sobbing his eyes out laying on the floor because he doesn't feel like anyone is playing bouncy ball correctly. This is the life of a three year old.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Worn Down/Looking Up

Benson scrubbing his elbows so he can be like brother!
The week before school was incredibly insane. Babysitting for a friend, rash and doctor and antibiotic fiasco with Benson, back to school meetings, Relief Society stuff, babysitting 4 boys for 3 days, and 2 families coming to stay with us a few days apart. It was so fun, but I was drained! Then back to school week and the Double B's birthday and a quick trip to Utah last week, and this week it all caught up to me. Big time run down, yucky headache most of the week, and feeling a little slump. A trip to the dentist for a mystery pain and an antibiotic. And like the lunatic I am, I thought potty training was a good idea to top it off. Today was day 4 and no further along, half successes and half accidents, and I am just ready to throw in the towel and crawl into a hole. Benson is in a diaper right now so we can both live another day, and at this point, I will happily change his stinkies forever! Sigh. I think I bit off more then I can chew all the way around. My body has just had it and I think is taking this opportunity to force a slow down. And I have to slow down or I'm worried I'll get really sick.
The Double B served me by giving me a priesthood blessing yesterday and I should be on the mend soon! I actually felt pretty good today until late afternoon when the headache and yuck came back. Anyhow, this has nothing to do with anything, just catching you up on the inner workings of my immune system, I guess. #teammarie #glugh #abolishheadaches 
Moving on.
The love of my life turned 37! How I love this boy. I could not ever have found a better match for me or someone I enjoy being with more. He was in the middle of inventory so we had about four and a half hours to celebrate his big day. Which isn't much, but it was relaxing and fun. He works so hard with no complaint to provide for us, looks cute, and really does make me laugh every day. Lucky, lucky Marie.
I am truly finding my place and finding a community here in Las Vegas. I could not be more grateful for that. I feel like I am really finding FRIENDS. Which shows how mighty the Lord is, that He will raise up friends, even for me -- the Doubting Thomas of friends. I love my Relief Society sisters and am so thankful that I've been able to get to know them. It's pretty hopeful.
Olivia has been reading Katelyn Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone every night and they just finished it. They came in like they'd won the lottery! So proud of them.
Everybody is having a great start to the school year. Hurray!
Feet are up and hoping for a miraculous recovery! Hope life is treating you kindly. Love you, one and all.

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Missionaries

One of "my girls," Melanie, came home from her mission recently and it worked out that I could make it up to listen to her homecoming talk. Sherine was also there and I was able to give them both big squeezes and look into their eyes and tell them that I love them! And also laugh at Sherine's jokes, because she is still so hilarious. Melanie told me some things that touched my heart so much. Those two hold a very special place in my heart and I was so thankful to be able to be there for that moment in time.
It has been over five years since I was released from young women's and almost nine years since I received that calling, but it was such an important and wonderful time in my life that I get to take with me. The Lord blessed me to LOVE those girls, every one of them, with such a pure and intense love. I saw the very best in them and truly believe I was allowed to see the goodness of their hearts. Because of that, I will always truly love them. They were "my girls" and always will be "my girls" in my heart.
I am so thankful for every chance I've been given to put my shoulder to the wheel and push with all my might for the Lord. He has given me so many precious opportunities to grow and stretch in my callings. I am so thankful for the things that I learned in Young Women's, in the Primary, and now in the Relief Society. I have made many mistakes but my heart has been in it. Hopefully I can become a profitable servant for the Lord. He has given me everything I have and I love Him so much for it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1st Day Of School

8th grade 
Can NOT believe my baby boy is in his last year of middle school! 
5th grade 
Pretty much horrified that my baby girl is in her last year of elementary school!
2nd grade 
 Why you grow up on me, Katelyn? Whyyyy???
Hope you noticed all their Harry Potter shirts. Priorities, people.
Last year with no social obligations for this guy. He needed a picture, too.
It was hard on little Ben to leave his sisters at school. As I pushed his stroller away "But where YaYa? Where Katelyn?" When I told him they had to stay for school he kept looking back and miserably asking "But why? But why?" That's what I want to know, too, buddy.
Thank heavens my children have their Dad or I'd probably still have them all swaddled. I don't want to hold them back, but their childhood is so precious and is flying by, and that breaks my heart a little. The Double B reminds me that this is what we WANT them to do.
I guess.
We sure adore them all.
Benny and Mommy, on our own again (plus Greyson). Next year, school for both of us! Preschool for Benny, finishing up that last year of college for Mom. We'll savor the full-time we have together until then!
And finally, the many faces of Kate. She just makes me laugh.
Hopeful for a happy, successful, peaceful school year!