It's amazing how adding just one more tiny human has thrown my regular scheduled "programming" for a loop. I miss blogging and don't want to miss out on documenting some super awesome stuff, like how yesterday after rehearsing for the primary program (I took home a magical pounding headache as my souvenir) for the two hours of primary, Katelyn was very disturbed at me the whole way home that I didn't let her go to her "fun class." She wanted to stay at church, since I'd cheated her! Now those are some good Sunbeam teachers. Then when we walked in, she didn't like the smell of dinner cooking in the house (smelled great to the rest of us!). She was practically paralyzed by the door, holding her nose, tears in her eyes, "It smells like SKUNK! I can't stand it!" Well. Thank you. Compliment accepted. She is blessed to have the world's most loving sister, and Olivia stepped in to save the day. She convinced her to give the house another smell, then went to work preparing a "lesson" to give to Katee, since she was so sad to have missed class. She drew a very impressive coloring sheet for Kate to color that went along with her lesson on "Jesus and the ten leopards." I could hear her giving the lesson on the couch as I finished up dinner. Olivia gave a very accurate telling and then even expounded "How would it make you feel if someone didn't say thank you? We need to say thank you to Jesus and to other people, don't we?" Super cute. I like the story of the ten leopards.
We had a happy conference weekend, all told. This is what Saturday looked like:
Sunday was pretty similar, but with more sleeping. Something about the Sunday afternoon session just knocks me out. I was disappointed, too, because I missed Elder Scott's talk, and I love Elder Scott. I woke up "DANGIT!!!" just in time to hear his last couple of lines. They sounded like good ones, too. Oh, well. I am thankful to live in a day and age where I can now re-listen and reread very easily. It was cool to have the different languages, too! I was a little sad we didn't get to hear more of their native tongue, though. That would have been cool. And a few weeks ago in Fast and Testimony meeting, we had someone visiting from Mexico, and obviously bore their testimony in Spanish. It was awesome how strong I felt the Spirit. It was probably my first experience with any association with the gift of tongues. I couldn't understand what he said, but I felt the truthfulness of his testimony. So that was cool. I'm kind of hoping in the future they'll give us a minute to hear a few minutes of their native language in conference. It was awesome. I heard a few talks that were so helpful to me and us personally.
Tiny Benson B is so fun to have around. Even though it's been four years since we've had a baby, it's been a happy and easy transition. He is a sweet little guy. Loves his Mom and makes sure we all know he needs lots of snuggles and Mommy time, but how can you resist when your tiny one fusses and then feels so much better when you pick him up and nuzzle him? You can't resist. Benson brings me great joy! I'm totally in love with him and his silly smile:
The Double B is particularly pleased because Benson's new hair is coming in and it's a light brown. He feels so victorious. It is cute, that is for sure.
This is pretty much what my life looks like right now:
So many humans! They love to snuggle on my bed in the morning and have fun together. Pretty lucky.
KJ created this cool look for Bens and was so proud of it:
He is still not over the thrill that he finally has a brother. He's pretty helpful. The true baby whisperer is Olivia. She hears a peep and goes running to the rescue. Katelyn is getting really good at entertaining Benson, too. He's even giving her some smiles, which she loves and works hard for. She'll just sit and talk and talk to him if I'm getting ready and he is fussing. Cute.
Our friend Elyssa was baptized on Saturday! I was very honored because she asked me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost for her. The girls and I volunteered to make cookies for them to serve, and our idea was bigger then we thought. I felt like my own Mom when she makes cookies for the masses. We made double batches of chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter (the recipes I think I have mastered pretty darn well). Liv and Kate love to help in the kitchen, but it even wore them out and they didn't last through the second recipe! Here are my little bakers:
Here is my big boy and my little boy this morning:
The Double B got called as the assistant ward clerk. He is over the finances, and he was thrilled. It was kind of fun, because I was in ward council when he met with the high councilman over our ward, and we didn't get a chance to talk, so I found out what his new calling was when everyone else did -- in sacrament meeting. That one had definitely not crossed my mind. He's excited. His Dad was often the financial clerk and loved it, so I think it hits one of the father/son notes in his life.
I finished the Book of Mormon and so love that mighty work! I always feel of it's power and need the strength it gives. I started listening to the New Testament, which is where I am studying now, and wanted to try out listening and see if I like it... the Double B listens on the way to work and loves it. I am in Luke and have really enjoyed it so far. I am noticing different things then when I read it. It is so soothing to listen to the testimonies of the Savior. This time I've really noticed how much time the Lord spent healing those with mental illness. He is so compassionate and not condemning at all. My postpartum experience has brought out a lot of the anxieties that I have made such progress on, and has compounded them... not surprising and not my "fault", but something still for me to work on and not always easy to deal with. Things that would be stressful under a normal circumstance have seemed insurmountable to me. They are getting better, though, as I continue to work on myself with the Lord and have received a priesthood blessing that made such a difference. A leaning towards anxiety and depression is my "weakness" that I know the Lord will make strong. It's not a weakness as in I'm bad, or choose it like an act of disobedience, and it doesn't mean I myself am weak. It's just a weakness that makes me vulnerable, like tendonitis or something, one that I have dealt with since I was twelve years old. I don't feel bad about it and I'm not ashamed of it, and so appreciate Elder Holland and other leaders that are honest about their own struggles and accepting that these things exist. But it's not fun to deal with when it acts up, as so many people know. When I was 25, I took this issue before the Lord and removed the shame I felt about it within my self, and asked Him to fulfill His promise in The Book of Mormon "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Since that time we have worked hard together, and have made truly amazing progress! I'm so thankful for that. So I try not be discouraged by little steps back, especially when they are brought on by hormones or outside circumstances, and I try to be patient as I make my way back to more solid ground. I'm really thankful for family support even when they're far away and a husband that has stretched outside of himself to support me.
Life is awesome.