Monday, February 25, 2013

Maybe God really does know what He is doing after all

I wrote this two weeks ago after a trip to the park with my dear girls on a beautifully sunny day. It still makes me smile to think about that day. Enjoy! 

Today was the first sunny day in about a week, so I decided Lily, Kimberly and I should soak in some Vitamin D and happiness. I imagine a bar over my head that I call my happiness meter that needs filling. Sunshine is a very quick and easy happiness meter filler. Maybe I have watched my husband play too many video games. I wish I had an energy bar that actually reached the top for once. 

As I sat on the park bench watching Lily explore her surroundings I had plenty of time to think. I like to let Lily explore on her own. She knows her boundaries and limitations. I trust her to be able to climb and slide as she feels comfortable. I love when she has finally conquered an obstacle and the pride that she feels as she realizes she has done something HUGE and all by herself. It took her a long time to feel comfortable going down a slide. I didn't push her. Finally she felt ready to do it on her own, and she was wonderful! She was so happy! I trusted her time table and it was perfect. 

I wish I could say that I trusted Heavenly Father's time table just as much. As I marveled at Lily and her carefree nature, I thought about how I used to want to rush things along. I couldn't WAIT to be married. I wanted to be married by the time I was 20. Crazy, right? I was afraid of getting too old and then my future husband, whoever he would be, wouldn't think I was pretty anymore. 20 came and went without a marriage. Each year that passed I fretted about running out of time. For some reason I had it in my head that I needed all my babies out by the time I was 30. I knew I wanted 3, so I needed to get on the ball. I wanted there to be enough time to get married, enjoy time being married without kids, and then have time to pop out all 3 kids before reaching my 30th birthday. 

Well, I didn't get married until I was 25. I felt like an old spinster getting married at 25, but that's when things happened for me to be married in the temple. 

I had my first baby at 27 and it just changed my life. Childbirth was the most amazing thing, and I was hooked. All of a sudden, I didn't care that I wouldn't have all my babies by 30. I didn't want time to go by too quickly. I didn't want Lily to grow up too fast. I didn't want my childbearing years to be over in a hurry. I fell in love with this time in my life. I began to cherish this time in my life. I've made an effort to enjoy it so much, to soak it in so much, that when I would look back on this time, I would have no need to miss it. 

And today I realized something. Things had to happen exactly the way they did in my past in order for me to marry when I did, to get pregnant when I did, to meet the right people to encourage me to give birth where I did. I know there is a lot of luck in birth, but there is also a big difference in approaches to the way childbirth is handled depending on the philosophy of the care provider. And it's not just a matter of midwifery model of care versus the obstetrical model of care. What does that individual think about birth? I feel like I got amazing care and I had an amazing birth that wouldn't have happened that way if I had given birth anywhere else and any other time. Even when I begged Heavenly Father to help me get married earlier than I did, He really knew what He was doing by saying, "Not yet. It's not time yet." 

I am so thankful that He placed the right people in my life and blessed me with these beautiful birth experiences that I cherish so much. I am thankful that He has placed the desire in my heart to serve other families as they bring their babies into the world. I am thankful for each and every family I serve. Things had to go the way they did when they did so that today could be the way it is. 

I am feeling so blessed today. I have an amazing husband who, even though I am almost 30, still thinks I am gorgeous. Even after seeing me give birth twice, he makes me feel pretty. I have two beautiful daughters whose births made me realize that everything else that happened in my life before they came was just keeping me busy until I could be their mother. There are anonymous angels in my life, that for whatever reason, have taken care of our family in so many ways. Whoever they are, we are thankful and wish we could return the favor. But we'll just have to pay it forward when we can. 

So hopefully this little tender mercy I've been given, this moment of understanding that I have, this bit of testimony that Heavenly Father really does know me and love me and wants me to be happy and has a plan for me and its a plan that I'll actually LIKE, hopefully this will help me remember that while times are hard for us, while we wish things would just HURRY UP AND GET BETTER, Heavenly Father's timing really is the best timing. Hopefully this will help me remember that when I wish Lily would hurry up and potty train or Kimberly would just hurry up and let me put her down for once so I can eat, or that our current trials will just HURRY UP AND BE OVER HAVEN'T WE GONE THROUGH THIS LONG ENOUGH, hopefully I'll remember God's timing. Because today I realized, it's actually perfect. I never knew just five short years ago while I was begging Heavenly Father for things to get better, that I would be blessed with my darling husband, with my much longed for temple marriage, and my beautiful daughters that I had no idea at the time how much I would love and cherish. I just didn't know, nor could I know, the things He had in store for me. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I didn't want to be a mother

I have an amazing husband. I always knew he would be an amazing husband for some lucky lady out there. I'm glad it's me.

Want to know why he's amazing? Well, I will share just a few out of the hundreds of reasons why.

Almost daily I hear some variation of what a great mother I am. Sometimes it's, "You're such a good mom." Sometimes it's, "You're so nurturing." Sometimes it's, "You are so maternal." And it's usually followed by, "I always knew you would be." This still surprises me.

Continue reading here. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What to do when you no longer love a spouse

I have been reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey and came across a quote I wanted to share. Yes, I realize that book titles don't belong in quotes, but I am doing this from my phone. Options are limited.


At one seminar where I was speaking on the concept of proactivity, a man came up and said, "Stephen, I like what you're saying. But every situation is so different. Look at my marriage. I'm really worried. My wife and I just don't have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don't love her anymore and she doesn't love me. What can I do?"

"The feeling isn't there anymore?" I asked.

"That's right," he reaffirmed. "And we have three children we're really concerned about. What do you suggest?"

"Love her," I replied.

"I told you, the feeling just isn't there anymore."

"Love her."

"You don't understand. The feeling of love just isn't there."

"Then love her. If the feeling isn't there, that's a good reason to love her."

"But how do you love when you don't love?"

"My friend, love is a verb. Love-the feeling-is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?"

In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling. They're driven by feelings. Hollywood has generally scripted us to believe that we are not responsible, that we are a product of our feelings. But the Hollywood script does not describe the reality. If our feelings control our actions, it is because we have abdicated our responsibility and empowered them to do so.

Proactive people make love a verb. Love is something you do: the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world. If you want to study love, study those who sacrifice for others, even for people who offend or do not love in return. If you are a parent, look at the love you have for the children you sacrificed for. Love is a value that is actualized through loving actions. Proactive people subordinate feelings to values. Love, the feeling, can be recaptured.

End quote.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Putting an end to mom guilt

Every morning as I hug and kiss my husband good-bye for the day, he says, "Text me lots." So today I sent him a message that said, "Lily did not get up until 10, so I have pretty much just been laying around cuddling babies all day. I kinda feel guilty, but I shouldn't. This is the most important thing I could be doing as a mom."

Of course it is. Right? Right??? 

Then why do I feel so guilty? Aren't so many of us trying to do better about being more present with our kids? To slow down? To enjoy the moment? To love them more? Hug more? Kiss more? Hold more? 

Why the guilt? Really? I shouldn't feel guilty.

I have dishes and laundry to do. The living room needs to be tidied. I need to organize and sort mail. Lily's room is a mess. There is clutter in our bedroom that I could always go through and organize.

I could focus on getting those things done, but I would feel guilty for that too. If I did all those things instead, my text message would say, "I'm super productive today, and it looks great in here. But I feel kinda guilty because I haven't paid much attention to the girls today."

In fact, I HAVE sent those messages. But you see what's missing? I wouldn't even think, "This is the most important thing I can be doing as a mom." Not even close. Important? Yeah, kinda. Necessary? Yes. Sometimes. Can't live in a pig sty. But THE most important? Not even close.

So that mom guilt needs to hit the road! I'm loving on my babies today. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I had a baby!

Our family welcomed our new baby girl, Kimberly Alexis, on January 11, 2013. She was born in the comfort of our home after a speedy 2 hour labor. We love her so much. Admittedly, we were very surprised that she was a girl. Although we never had an ultrasound during the pregnancy, daddy intuition said that we were having a boy. Oh well! We'll keep her.

Birth Stats:

Weight: 9 lbs 4 oz
Length: 21 inches
Time: 8:16 am

The long version of the birth story can be found here.