Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tag-Along Trip

Sam doesn't usually travel too much for work,
but the past several months he has had a number of trips out of town.
At the beginning of this week, he had to make a quick trip to Phoenix,
and I was delighted when they offered to let me come along!

We arrived at our hotel well after midnight and then left that evening to come home,
but it was nice to have the chance to accompany him on his travel,
regardless of how brief it was.

Our hotel consisted of small "casitas," nestled in the midst of walking paths and stunning gardens.
I was expecting to be in a pretty barren desert spotted with gravel-filled yards,
but the hotel was absolutely lovely.
Sam had work meetings all morning so I rested at the hotel and wandered around taking pictures.
There was an almost tangible peaceful feeling in the air,
and I was surrounded by the fragrance of flowers, oranges, and delicious smells wafting from the restaurant
while soft music played and the fountain splashed.
The weather was perfectly gorgeous--warm with a slightly chilly breeze.

I was so grateful for the chance to re-charge a bit (our first night away since having kids!).
And I'm still dreaming of that warm chicken and goat cheese sandwich I had in the airport...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Four

I almost decided to let this blog be.
This is an incredibly busy season of life, and I thought perhaps it was time to let this little side pursuit go.
But then, last night I attended the General Women's Meeting,
and I was inspired once again by Sister Eubank's urging to Latter-day Saint women to be articulate
and to lift their voices in defense and testimony of truth.
So even though I'm not perfectly consistent in my writing,
and even though this blog is read by very few other than family and friends,
and even though these posts are very simple,
they will continue.
Because I want any passer-by who happens upon this little corner of the Internet
to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what has brought our family the greatest joy we can fathom.

***************



So, with that being said,
this little boy turned 4 earlier this month!
4 is one of my absolute favorite ages.
I just ADORE 4-year-olds.
And I adore Lincoln.


-Lincoln is hilarious. He makes us laugh consistently with the things he says--sometimes intending to be funny and other times giving us cause to cough hurriedly into our shoulders while hiding our faces which are spread with gigantic smiles because of his innocent, unintended humor.

-Lincoln continues to be proactive. He loves doing things himself and is quite able.

-He loves to help, especially in the kitchen. He looks forward with excitement to his assigned day to help me with dinner and begs his brothers to let him help, too, on their assigned days.

-He loves working in his workbook with me after Wesley leaves for Kindergarten and is in the very first stages of beginning to read. He gets so excited when he sounds out a word correctly.

-Lincoln brings an enthusiasm and excitement into our family. He is SO enthusiastic and feels things with passion.

He wanted Oreo cupcakes, popsicles, and Thai curry for his birthday dinner,
and he was beyond thrilled with the sword and shield I made him to match his brothers' from several years ago.


Sam and I decided to come up with a symbol for each of their kids as their personalities emerge
that can serve as an emblem and reminder for them throughout their lives
of their strengths and characteristics we hope they will use for good.
We plan to use these symbols in various ways as they grow.

Talmage's symbol is an eagle, signifying leadership and the ability to fly above those things that would not help him progress in his life.
Wesley's symbol is a sun, signifying his bright spirit and his desire to be a light to others through example and service.
And we just decided Lincoln's symbol would be a river, signifying his happiness and enthusiasm and the way he brings life and joy to others.
These symbols are painted on their shields.


Lincoln was so thrilled to be able to join his brothers in their make-believe battles for right at last.
After he opened all his gifts, we went into the backyard to watch the boys play.
Maxwell toddled around, chasing the balls he is so obsessed with
while Talmage, Wesley, and Lincoln ran around through the wind,
wielding swords and jumping off rocks.
Sam and I sat swinging on our porch swing, watching the excitement.
I leaned into him, his arm wrapped securely around my shoulders,
and a feeling of perfect contentment settled upon me.

Things aren't perfect, but every once in a while I am hit with the realization of how truly good they are.
Happy birthday, Bobo-Linc.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When the Light is Dimmed


I go through phases in mothering.
Much of the time, I feel totally content in my role as a mother.
Of course, I see areas I need to improve,
but I rejoice even in the day-to-day mundane
and cherish every moment with the precious souls that have been sent to us.

But every once in a while, I get stuck in a rut
and the light of motherhood seems to be dimmed.
Often this phase starts with me feeling overwhelmed.
Once I explained to Sam that I felt like my goal was to get to the bottom of a swimming pool,
and I used to be only a foot under a water but the water was only 8 feet deep
whereas I had progressed to be 4 feet under water but the water was now 20 feet deep.
In other words,
I was making progress as a mother,
but not as quickly as the needs were growing.

And when those overwhelming feelings mount up,
all of a sudden motherhood isn't so enjoyable.
I long to curl up in a corner with a good book and hide away for a day or two,
but instead there are constantly hungry mouths to feed,
pots and pans strewn about I'm tripping over,
and stinky diapers needing to be changed.

Motherhood, by nature, demands selflessness,
which is one big reason it is such a sanctifying role.

When I'm stuck in a mothering rut,
I find myself praying, napping, listening to uplifting music, spending more time in the scriptures, reading old blog posts, striving to find joy in small moments with the children, and reading talks like this.
And eating chocolate.
And ice cream.

How do YOU get out of a rut?

Monday, September 11, 2017

That Time of Year

It's that time of year...
when my kitchen is turned into a factory,
the smell of warm, sticky peaches fills the air,
and the baby spreads jangling canning rings all about the house while I work.

The work is enjoyable enough...
but there are few things more satisfying than seeing bunches of full jars lined up on our shelves.
So much of motherhood does not yield immediate or long-lasting results.
The laundry is completed, only to stack up again the same day.
Dinner is finished only to be quickly eaten and the process is repeated every day.
But canning...
not only are the results more long-term,
but it brings with it the fulfillment of providing for our family.

Today our project is freezer jam.
I am feeling an urge to try a new project where I can something different every month.
I have plans for pulled pork, chicken, apple jelly, apple pie filling, and more over the year,
but we shall see if it actually happens...
so many of my grand ideas just sit and remain ideas.

I often think my heart belongs to the 1950s,
but since I'm a millenial I guess I'll just settle for being an old-fashioned one.

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