And here we go

Packing for 8 people is a serious job. SO MUCH stuff. Then add in bedding and towels and food for camping. Oh boy oh boy.

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6 backpacks
1 duffle bag
7 trash bags filled with bedding
Two baskets filled with car snacks
Ice chest
2 bags of food for while we are camping
Trash bag filled with shoes
2 bags of stuff for family
1 bag of craft supplies
2 packages of water
10 pillows

In cause you are wondering I fit all of it into my van. I was pretty proud of myself to get it all in and we still have room for the 8 of us. I can’t even imagine being the Duggars.

We used to give the kids phones and iPads to play on and before that it was DVD players. Then we discovered that without those things we have a lot more interaction and laughing (some fighting still) and lots of full blown all out singing, that’s my favorite part.

Bring on the Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons.
And of course silly moments like this.

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Minnie Mouse and rattlesnakes

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Today was a little out of the norm. Sarah has chosen to do student council this year along with volleyball, basketball, and track. Makes for a rather busy schedule.

As part of student council they have/get to full blown participate in spirit days. Today was disney day and Sarah choose to be Minnie Mouse. She’s not much of the princess type. I loved the idea she had to use her hair as mouse ears. So adorable this girl.

Then today I got to help again in Jacob’s class. Those kids crack me up. Today I learned about cupcakes and birthdays, snakes and siblings. Among other topics.

Then when it was time for me to leave and for them to go to recess we saw a baby rattlesnake. Right under where the balls are kept and at the entrance to the playground. His teacher corralled all the kids while I got the janitor. Fun times in Arizona today.

Creative

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Sometimes I feel this pull to drop my regular responsibilities and create something. That creativity can take the form of food, cake decorating, words, or home decor. Today I am preparing a flag for our family reunion this weekend. It’s nothing elaborate or over the top but I am loving the process.

Ryan and I have been going to Yoga and on one of the walls is written rather large Embrace the Journey. Today that stuck out to me and I felt the truthfulness of the words echo in my soul and I felt like shouting in a southern baptist voice, “I believe” Thanks to my sister-friend Amy who put the image in my head yesterday.

Anxiously awaiting this weekend with Ryan’s family and to enjoy my little people out in nature. Next week my post will be filled with many fond memories and hopefully pictures to share that capture the adventures we plan on having.

A heart that’s full

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Our dear sweet friend lost her 24 year old son to a car accident two weeks ago. I have had a lot of tears and many prayers for Monica and her other son Austin. Having a knowledge that the atonement has made it possible for us to be with our loved ones again helps the sadness from taking over. But I still feel sad for their lose. I feel the sadness that comes from missing someone and not being able to out your arms around them. The mourning that comes from what you thought would be just can no longer be the way you thought it should be.

And when someone has a lose s deep their is nothing you can do and I was left with a feeling of helplessness. Then I was given a little gift. Right before Justin left 8 months ago to join the military Monica asked me to take pictures of them. She has planned on making big photo strips to put on their walls but she never got around to it. I was able to make those for her and have them at the funeral. Every time I worked on it I cried for the happy times they had and the sad times to come.

We were able to go to the funeral in CA and I was grateful to show our support and love. While we were there Ryan’s family all went to the temple. I got to go with the 12-16 year olds and do baptisms. Such a good group of kids and such a blessing to be in a place filled with peace and comfort. I felt tears come to my eyes on many occasions this last weekend. As my kids Grandpa baptized them I felt such gratitude for the faith my husband was taught as a child and for the person they help my husband to be.

Then we had a full day spent with family and a girls night out. I love these people. A lot. I often wonder how I got so luck to be married into a family with such amazing women. We laughed and chatted and for a couple hours and rested our worries from the world.

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Also do you see that adorable nephew of mine? I got to love on him and that was wonderful.

What if your healing comes through tears?

 

I was blessed to be at my sisters wedding.  I love this lady.  She was my first friend and one of the very best sisters!! I have always looked up to her.  It was an honor to get to help her and be with her on this most important and precious day.  I got to help her get ready and take pictures for her and do the cake and cupcakes.  As the little sister I feel like I need help a lot and so it made my heart full for me to be able to be there for her.       wheelwrightAnd then my help ended up not being so helpful.  This picture is one of maybe 6 that remain from the 200+ I took of them at the temple.  We really are not sure what happened but somewhere in the downloading process the files were all corrupted.  They are gone.

I am usually very good at keeping my stuff together until I am home and with my husband.  Usually that is when the tears come.  But while at my Dad and Moms, I cried.  The kind that is deep and long and you can’t seem to stop.  I felt horrible.  I was so excited about the amazing clouds that were their that day and I was so grateful I could give this to my sister.  She has been through some hard things and to be able to offer her this gift was going to be a source of pride and joy for me….

It took me over a week and a half to even look at the few that remain.  And when I did, I cried, again. My sister-friend (my sister-in-law who is more then a sister and more then a friend) Sarah shared with me some strategies to overcome what she calls sabotage.  Basically, I took a long hard look at why I let myself get so upset when difficult things come my way.

I believe very strongly that we are meant to find joy in this life journey. Even when and often inspite of our trials.  But believing that and applying it are two entirely different things.  Often I find myself thriving in this concept and then something “real” happens and I have allowed myself to get down and sometimes even not-want-to-get-out-of-bed-depressed.

 

Elder Ucthdorf gave an amazing talk awhile back. It was titled Come, join with us click here to go read it. When I first read it I actually didn’t relate much to it. I feel vary solid in my faith. I believe I was born with a believing heart and so doubting my beliefs was not something I was concerned with in my life.

But then a man in my church gave a talk that got my mind thinking differently about the phrase Doubt your Doubts. I started to really ponder on what exactly doubt meant to me. I realized doubt also means fear, stress, worry, anxiety etc. So when I read doubt my fear, doubt my stress or doubt my worry it takes on a new meaning. When I am feeling those negative emotions I am to take that as a cue to doubt them. Are they real and valid? Is the fear or worry serving me or hiring me.

So then I started to wonder, what is the opposite of doubt? Faith, trust, security, peace, relaxed. If I am to doubt my worries and stress then I need to embrace, no cling to my faith, and my trust that with God all things are possible. Like in Proverbs 3:7 Trust the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. Let Him carry my doubts and replace it with faith and peace.

Then taking this even farther I began to think if we should doubt our doubts what should we do? Instead of fearing how things might be or stressing what I can’t control I can hope that things will work out. I can hope that peace will come and I can hope that through my Savior I can be more then I can on my own.

My motto now is
Doubt your doubts (and fears)
Cling to your faith
And Hope your Hopes
And when I can’t quiet see the hope and peace trust in my Saviors hope and peace.

Jacob child.

At dinner Jacob was telling us about his day. He was telling us about one particular girl who was as he put it “cranky”. He said “…so I told her she should take a nap, it was just a suggestion.” I had to hide my face I was laughing so hard.

He also said “the whole day was bad. Except for recess.”

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And here we go

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With 6 kids in 3 different schools we have 3 different start times and so I don’t have a picture of them all together. The little leave at 7:20, the olders leave at 7:45, and Emma leaves at 8:20.
It is a weird mix of emotions today to send them off. On one hand my stomach hurts a little. I’m nervous for them and I will miss them so much. I love summer and no schedule and just being together.
On the other hand for the first time in 16 years I have a quiet house every single day. I want to do small things. Like shop without help and read a book and take a nap. I also want to to do big things like write a book and learn to paint and play piano and become amazing. My children mean everything to me. I devote all my time to them and when they are around I don’t like talking on the phone or running errands.

These new things I want to do are still centered around my kids. I want to write a book so they have something tangible that tells them how I feel about motherhood and my Savior. I want to learn to play piano to show them you can always improve and learn new things and you should always try to do more then just what you are comfortable with.

But writing a book is hard and uncomfortable. Learning new things can be hard and uncomfortable. But this morning the thought came to me. It is time to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

So for all of us in this house today, here is to a new start of uncomfortableness. Bring it on!

Hard

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Some days are hard. Like really hard. Crying on your knees and not wanting to get up kind of hard. But usually those feelings of sorrow don’t last long. Usually it’s very temporary. And Saturday happened to be one of those days. I felt the weight of the world crushing in on me. To sum it up I allowed my doubts and fears to overcome me. I felt a lose of hope that in the moment felt so tangible it hurt.

It’s strange to me that in Tahoe moments we forget to turn to our Savior. It is as if you are squinting and your eyes are barely open. All you can see is blurry and it makes no sense but because it is all you can see you are tying desperately to make sense of something that makes no sense. It is not until you turn to the Savior that your eyes may be opened and you can then understand He is standing with you trying to show you the way. And once you open your eyes you wonder why you didn’t turn to Him sooner.

Saturday night I was starting to feel better and I realized I had not been studying my scriptures and I was sure that was why my eyes were closing to the hope that is all around me.

While Ryan went to go get the older kids from a party I had a quiet minute to myself. I was thinking on the day and pondering how I can keep myself from feeling that again. For some reason I went on Pinterest, I don’t usually go on unless I’m looking for something specific. And one of the first things that came up was an article the said “how to never miss reading a day of the scriptures again”. I felt like that was such a tall claim but it peeked my interest.

What this lady had found was so simple but it pierced to my soul that I needed what she was saying. She said she started a texting group with a few friends. Everyday they would text each other their favorite thing they read that day. It was meant to be short and to the point. She said that knowing she was going to have to write something to her friends made her not only read but really look for something that she could write about. So not only did she read but she understood more of what The Lord wanted for her.

I then knew this was placed in front of me for a reason. I instantly thought of three wonderful sister-friends who I feel inspired by and I was hoping they would be interested in this texting group.

And to my amazement they were all just as excited about this as I am. So we started yesterday and I feel like my whole day went better because of the conversations we already shared. I know everyday won’t be as amazing but I am filled with hope and optimism that this will be the filler to the whole I was feeling.

Here is to standing strong in the faith I believe in.

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The girls are away at girls camp hopefully make amazing memories with new found friends.

We on the other hand are doing lots of swimming as it is to hot to do anything else. Seriously it’s like death. In the worst possible way. I’m hoping our first summer is the worst and it will get easier. denial Optimism.

We all took naps today after doing some Father’s Day shopping, even Joseph who never naps and Jacob slept for such a long time. We were able to do dinner prep and swim all before he woke up.

Dinner prep was lots of fun with these two boys. We have chicken drumsticks marinating. Seasoned sweet potato fries all ready. Sauce for chicken and sauce for our fries all made. We played a mean game of toss with our cut up sweet potatoes to coat them with seasoning. It’s fun just having the boys around. It’s quieter. Which is nice and sad. I miss the girls chatter and they are so much fun to hang out with.

This guy

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I realized today that my days with just him and I will be gone Friday. This makes me so sad. I love my little people. Even if sometimes I need a break or stay in the bathroom longer then needed just for a quiet moment. I really do like being around them.

And lately he has really discovered his voice. He has an opinion about everything and he tells me stories all day long. Today he declared that an evil half duck half scorpion was chasing us but not to worry because they couldn’t get into our car.

Everywhere we go he tells me about his world. My life will be a sad quiet place when they all start school in August. So this summer we are going to explore our new area together. Even if we have to get up at 6 to beat the heat. I want all the time they will give me to be together.

In two years Jared will leave on a mission and my home will never be the same.