Monday, August 31, 2009

Camping Out

Well, it's been some years since we last camped out...not because we don't enjoy it, but because of how...interesting it can be with the kiddos. :) But we got brave and tried it again! The girls were full of excitement.

The night was long and chilly, but Daddy watched over us all and kept us warm. :) This is my favorite picture from the next morning:

Everyone was just a bit groggy. :)



It was a great time to be together as sisters. :)


Mmmmm. :) Who's lucky enough to be married to that man? :)



Daddy explaining to the girls why the squirrel was so angry that they were near. :)

Tromping through the woods with friends. :)









Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mothers



This morning, as the sun shone in through the windows, I snuggled in a warm blanket on the couch with my little 3-year-old. We were the only two up, and the house was quiet. We talked, read books, and giggled.

At one point, as I was reading, she turned, looked up at me, and said, "Mommy, you sound just like Grandma. I like it when you sound like Grandma."

I kept reading, but my mind was caught up in the thought of being like "Grandma," like my mother. All growing up, I can remember hearing women say, "Oh, dear...I'm turning into my mother." I can remember my own mom saying, "One day, I put on a sweater, and my mom's hands came out of it." :)

As I thought about my mother, and the ways I am the same as her, and even the ways that I am different, I found myself being so grateful for her. I am so grateful for the parts of me that are like her...the parts of me that try so hard to be kind and patient, even when it is hard. She is far better at that than I am.

I also thought about the support that she has shown me lately in things that are incredibly important to me. I try to remind myself often of Neal A. Maxwell's quote...that "we underestimate how genuinely and frequently our children want to please us." It struck me, as I realized just how very much I have needed my own mother's support lately, that, though I am a grown woman with children of my own, I still genuinely and frequently want to please my mother, and her encouragement and support mean more to me than she can know.

Mothers are beautiful creatures, who nurture in us all of the good we have. We are all children "who learn to love by watching [them]." (-Lucy Kaplansky) I pray that I can be that kind of mother, as well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Don't cast it away

For months, I have been striving, working, changing.

I have been trying to give so much of myself to things that are important to me. I want to serve and lift and help. As I and my family have followed this course, we have been very happy, and very blessed.

But this week has been difficult. I have felt such an oppression in my mind. Such doubts and such discouragement. Thoughts of negativity have raged in my mind.

"Do you honestly think you can change things?"

"Who do you think you are?"

"Do you actually believe you're making a difference to anyone?"

"You're wasting your time."

"You don't matter at all...quit trying so hard."

"No one cares about those things...you're being silly."

"You're tired. JUST GIVE UP."


Sigh. It's no fun to have those thoughts be a constant companion. We've all been there, right?

Today I hit a low. I sat in church and watched change and growth all around me, but for some reason, I just couldn't see it in my own life. Discouragement overwhelmed me and flowed out my eyes. I silently pleaded for help, but even that was difficult.

The day wasn't easy, but I continued to try and to smile and to do my best. And as I kept trying to plod along, gradually light returned, little by little to my mind. Gradually, the negative voice of before was replaced by one I dearly love:

"Once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts... Don't give in. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you."
-Jeffrey R. Holland

Was anything worth doing ever easy? Was anything good and worthwhile ever unmet by opposition?

I don't believe so.

In fact, tonight, as I think about it, I find myself believing that if you are experiencing severe opposition and discouragement, it's probably a good sign that you're on the right track.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

-Hebrews 10:35–36

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I Run

Many of you have been asking why it is that I have taken up running. This is why.



Please take just a few minutes to visit my page on the Congo, read a few articles about these women, and think about how you can help. Even a small donation could change a woman's life forever. It's worth it to me to sacrifice my time and energy to learn to run. It has been a very painful process, but one I am gladly doing, because I care very much about what is happening to these women. I want to help.

Thanks for taking a minute to learn more. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MommYoga.com

The new release of MommYoga.com is finally here!

Matt has worked so hard to get this ready, and I am so grateful. :) Now, rather than just advertisements for my DVDs, there will be free weekly yoga video podcasts! I hope you all enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

eew...



Yes, pests have been pesky in our home the past few weeks. I have been doing my best to rid us of them, but there always seems to be a commando holdout of a renegade bunch or two.

Last night, I looked under the table and saw a fruit loop covered in ants. Deciding that there were surely more under there than just the ones on the fruit loop, I decided to grab the vacuum, rather than just a tissue.

When I came back 10 seconds later, the fruit loop was gone. As I stood there, marveling and scratching my head as to how the ants had taken the fruit loop away so fast, my 18 month old came up to me and hugged my leg.

I looked down at her, and she smiled...

...and there, in her sweet little mouth, was the fruit loop.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bonk Beds

Our little women are loving their new "bonk beds," as one little one calls them. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

All she wants for Christmas...

...are her two front teeth!



Friday, August 7, 2009

Living up summer


This summer has been beautiful, and with the last sweet days of summer left, we are trying to enjoy every minute. :)







Such a fish!





They love their swim teacher. :)


We love summer!






Visiting Grandma and Grandpa



A visit always means rides on the tractor,





and lots of snuggling from Grandma. :)




Sunday, August 2, 2009

Change

I find my mind is drawn up in change this week.

Some things in my life are changing...things I never thought would change. Things I have been working for and hoping for. Blessed changes.

But then there are other things that I would give just about anything to change, but which, despite our best efforts, seem hedged up at every turn, with unending obstacles. It seems that change will never come, and that we will be stuck forever.

And then there are the parts of myself which I try so hard to change, but which I seem to keep coming back to, time and again. The same mistakes, over and over.

With all of these changes and non-changes, with all of these things that make such perfect sense and things that make no sense in any way, one thing is constant.

And that is the knowledge that somehow, everything that is happening is "unfolding as it should." Having the faith to trust that, regardless of the way things do not make sense to me, everything is truly happening as it should, is the challenge, and it is the key.

I believe that "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here." Not just here to earth. But here, right where I am in my life, right now. He sent me to these joys, and to these trials, because He knows that these are the things that will bring me back someday.

I'm trying to hold on to that, and to not worry so much about the rest.