Wednesday, April 13, 2016

weekend getaway, st. george style

We are mega, super lucky to be able to play in St. George often and try to take advantage of any 3-day weekend. A couple of weeks ago we went... and I'm trying to pretend like it made up for our lack of travel over Spring Break, which is only partially working. In lieu of trying to be more adventurous, less controlling, more free thinking, etc. etc. etc. I decided we would go hiking as a family as much as possible. This is like super pushing my limits - I mean... Girls Camp consisted of me wearing lipstick, pink boots and floral leggings. I'm totally the outdoor type #inserteyerollemoji. Alas, my children love to explore dirt and rocks and mountains, so we're trying new things that make me cringe and have mini panic attacks inside (and outside too sometimes).

Thankfully a friend of mine is ├╝ber great at the whole hiking, outdoorsy stuff and she directed us to some hiking for beginners. Check her out at Crayons and Cairns for all the info on adventuring with kiddos. Seriously, the best info around. Anyway, I digress. So, with help - we were directed to some hiking. 

We went to Snow Canyon and attempted to hike on the Butterfly Trail, which was more or less a short pathway to a mountain of petrified sand dunes that I'm assuming, you just climb around on - which is exactly what we did. All the expectations of a "hike" failed me as we wandered aimlessly around these giant rocks. The kids loved it, Dad-man loved it, I tried really hard to love it (and came out feeling like it was a pretty decent experience). Gosh darn those expectations.

The kids had a blast and that's all that matters, right? Right. It's true that change is hard and uncomfortable and trying new things is exactly the same. But, if it does make us stronger and see the world (and ourselves) differently then it's 100% worth it. 

^^ Could it BE any more obvious how new this whole "dirt" thing is to me? ^^

Sunday, April 10, 2016

scripture power! 2 nephi 2:26

2 Nephi 2:26
"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

So simple. So true. The Lord loves us and wants us to be happy. Sometimes we all become a little self-involved and even a little self-inflicting - like sometimes we think we deserve bad things or trials. But no, we are were created out of goodness and love. When we follow God's commandments, joy is our reward.

Recently, a friend shared that she feels joy when she knows she is doing what the Lord wants her to do and is where the Lord wants her to be. Later that evening I experienced exactly what she meant. I came across an event that took place that same evening - it looked glamorous, fun and exciting. The jealously of not being there was tangible within my heart, but as quickly as the jealousy came, it left - replaced by surety, peace and joy. If I had been part of this event, I would have missed out on the endless inspiration and guidance I had received earlier that evening. And it was clear, in that moment, that the Lord was happy with where I was that night and nothing else mattered. 

That was joyful. 

Not only did I understand more fully what my friend shared, but also what true joy means. True joy comes from listening to the Spirit, following the commandments and not comparing ourselves to others - Why? Because we are all needed in the kingdom of God, each individually, in different ways.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

scripture power! alma 32:27

Not too long ago a sweet friend of mine began sharing some of her scripture journal entries on her blog. It has been inspiring to read the thoughts she shares on a weekly basis and inspired me to do the same. Her series is titled "Sweet is the Word" (check her out, here) and in light of not totally copying, I've been on the hunt for my own title for this scripture series.

This afternoon while driving in the car, Sadee belted out from the back seat, "Scripture Power, keeps me safe from skin.... sin! Scripture Power, is the power to win!" And there it was, after weeks of thought - a title that encompassed my feelings about the scriptures, as it probably does for many.

For a long time, I had been really deterred by spiritual messages on social media for two big reasons. 1) my heart had become hardened to spiritual things and the Holy Ghost and 2) everywhere I looked, hypocrisy lurked in little quoted phrases. It was hard to recognize the lack of guidance in my life and was hard, and even more damaging, to judge people on the difference between their real lives and what "spiritual" thoughts were shared in public. I wanted to try harder to be better, but I didn't want to be hypocritical by sharing scriptures or uplifting quotes, when in reality, most of my time was spent being judgemental and critical of everything and everyone. More importantly, I wanted to change for myself, my husband and children - not for applause from others. I didn't want people to think that I was some kind of spiritual giant, when in reality praying felt painful and opening my scriptures felt daunting.

One day, while feeling particularly discouraged by my lack of faith, knowledge and understanding, I stumbled upon this gem:

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

And there it was, my hope. My faith was wavering, my path unknown - but I DESIRED to believe and the Lord knew, so he blessed me with hope to continue pressing forward, regardless of my questions and weaknesses. And oh how my weaknesses are many! From then on, my heart has opened and my testimony has been strengthened.

Many out there know me personally (most, in fact, that read this do) and may roll your eyes like, "There she goes on her soap box again." And it's true. Many of you know my weaknesses far too well and have been on the negative side of my shortcomings. I'm not here to preach or to say that I'm perfect - in fact, more than anything, I know that I'm far from perfect and fail daily at many things, especially my relationships with others. But, I'm trying. I want this life portrayed on social media to match the life I live from day-to-day. I want others to know it is possible to build a broken testimony, to know that God lives and loves us. The scriptures have not always been easy for me to read, or want to read. Those that have shared their personal testominies in public through various capacities provided beacons for me when the thin pages of the Book of Mormon were too heavy to turn. It made it easier for the Lord to talk to me, through those angels who so bravely shared their light.

My testimony has grown greatly in the past couple of months. Why? Because the DESIRE deep in my heart. I never knelt down to pray or ask the Lord, but I thought about it daily - What am I missing? Why does my faith feel weak? And as I thought, the Lord guided me to people, scriptures, talks, meetings that taught me specifically. It became apparent that because my heart had been opened, the spiritual guidance was being poured down and my empty bucket was being filled. I understand more fully what it means to have an older brother, Jesus Christ. I know that he loves us each individually, for all of our similarities and differences. I know that somehow, when we make time to read our scriptures, we have more time in the day to finish those menial tasks. I know that we each have a purpose here in this life to grow and learn. And I know more than anything else, that we are eternal beings, created by a loving Heavenly Father. We are not forgotten or alone. We are loved, sooooo loved. With that same knowledge, I know that Satan is real and tempts us every minute of every day because he wants us to fail. But, when we hold fast to Christ and his Truth we can ask for strength to overcome those whisperings of self-doubt, anger, fear and bitterness.

And so there it is, my testimony - that all started with a simple desire to feel the Spirit in my life. It runs true and deep to my very core. This little series will normally be more concise, but you know - All. The. Feelings.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

happy second birthday, cameron!

All day today, we've been asking Cam how old he is - with three fingers up, he says, "Sree!" Oh little one, not three - just two... and that still seems like you're growing far too quickly. Let's not skip straight to "sree" and find out what age two might hold. 

And so, my Cameron - you are one silly little dude. My hands have been full since the day you entered this world. You're curious about everything. You're a perfect mix of mom & dad - mom's love of sweets and dislike of sharing, dad's looks and love of sports. There's nothing more magical than watching a tiny human, like yourself, discover the world. You love airplanes, helicopters, motorcycles, basketballs and bikes. Garbage day is the best day around this house, and on any given Friday, your tiny little self will be found with your face pressed against the front window. As adventurous as you are, you are also cautious and thoughtful. You are best friends with your sister and watch her carefully before attempting new things. You love dirt, rocks, sand and mud. And you like baths and bubbles equally as much (thankfully). You've added a lot to our family, taught us how to love more fully, how to laugh ALL the time and how to see the tiny details.

Happy, happy, happy birthday Cam-Bam! We love everything you are and who you'll become.

Friday, March 25, 2016

friday favorites | easter style for boys


I've been stressing about what Cam was going to wear for Easter - shopping for boys is so tricky... I mean everything looks kind of the same, except totally different. The bow tie has been purchased (c/o The Baby Cubby, hallelujah! Any points I'd lose in the clothes-as-gifts department can be made up by way of chocolate, since little man is 100% like me when it comes to all things treats. Bless his heart! Also, if there was any chance those glasses would be left on his cute toddler face, I'd buy them in a heartbeat.

If you have any style recommendations for boys, please share! Please, please, please. Also, are shorts acceptable for boys to wear to church? I've been on the fence about this and need answers.

Happy Easter in t-minus 2 days!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

still here... promise!

We are still alive and well over here - there's so much I want to catch up on, but the reality is that it's tax season and I work for an accounting firm - aka my life belongs to work right now, which I absolutely adore. In other news, did I mention I work for an accounting firm before - because it's true and it's awesome. I've been there about 9 months, it's less than 5 minutes away from home and everyone I work with rocks, which makes up for the fact that tax season consumes my life #amiright.

Also, this is what a Costco run looks like when you are buying food for an office. It doesn't look like much, but it overfills the cart and fills the back of my car. Every Tuesday, man.

Cheers to tax season and caffeine... huzzah!