Sunday, December 7, 2014

Melt my heart with cuteness

I was eating cookie dough today, and Nathaniel came over and said, "Cookies!" Of course I shared some with him (how can you not?).

A few minutes later, he comes running over to me with a buttered roll that Daddy gave him exclaiming, "Butter!!" and he held it up to my mouth for me to eat. 

My heart is melting with cuteness. My boy wanted to share something he loves with me. "Mommy" is totally my favorite job.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Organ

My dad bought me a new gall bladder. See?


It's like a cuddly pillow!

I've been staying at my parents' with the two kiddos while Chris is back at home trying to survive his crazy week. He's got something like 10 concerts this week. Not to mention all the extra rehearsals and such that go with them. Keep him in your prayers, would you?

My recovery is going well. I've got some nice scars forming. They look pretty slick. And it's been a huge blessing to have help with the kids. Family is totally the best.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Eva's first Thanksgiving - Momma's first.... (pictures and a long story)

Yesterday was Eva's first Thanksgiving. She slept lots. See?

Daddy napping, too.

Me 'n the kids.
Eva met her Aunt Sydney for the first time yesterday. It was love at first sight (for both of them):


She's been smiling lots when she's awake. Here Eva's smiling at Grandpa:


We've been having a beautiful time here. And it was a lovely Thanksgiving.

Yesterday was also my first time ever at the ER (Yayy!!... or not really so yay ;). About 10:45-ish it started really hurting right below my rib cage. At first it was just uncomfortable, but in a matter of minutes it was really bad. I mean, right up there with being in labor kind of painful. I have never been in that much constant pain.

So Chris and Steve gave me a blessing and then Chris drove me to the ER just off of Eagle road. He sped to get me there, (even more than he sped to get me to the hospital when I was in labor with Eva or Nathan) and we checked in at the desk. I was trying not to hyperventilate but it was really hard to breathe normally with that pain and through the tears. After what seemed like forever (but was probably only a few minutes), we were taken back to a room and a nurse took my vitals, asked a few questions and said the doctor would be in soon (by the way, when the nurse asked me to rate my pain, I said nine).

A few minutes after the nurse left, the pain started to subside. Quite quickly actually. At that point I was thinking "well... I'm really glad that I'm not in hardly any pain now, but I'll feel really foolish if we came here and all it was was that the turkey and mashed potatoes didn't agree with me." Still, the doctor came in and decided we should do some blood work, a urine sample, and an ultrasound.

We did all three of those, and during the ultra sound, the technician seemed to identify the source of the problem, but since she's not the doctor, she didn't tell me what it was. She just asked if it hurt when she pushed a little on a specific organ and when I said yes, she nodded as if she knew what was going on.

After waiting around a while longer, the doctor came in and told me that I had gall stones in my gall bladder. She said her recommendation was that I be admitted to the hospital and they'd do surgery to remove my gall bladder some time during the day (it was probably about 1 am at that point). Thankfully, my mom had her gall bladder out a few years ago, so I was already a little bit familiar with the procedure.

Eventually we got moved upstairs to the surgical ward, I had awesome nurses who took such good care of me. And I even got to try out one of those hospital grade breastfeeding pumps. Whoa. That guy works fast. That's all I'm saying.

Chris stayed there the rest of the night and we both got a few hours sleep. At about 9:00 the next morning, the surgeon came to my room to explain the procedure and answer any questions. He said if all went well, I'd be able to go home sometime after lunch.

They wheeled me down to pre-op at a little after 10:00. The anesthesiologist came and explained a bit about the meds they'd be giving me and side effects and such. He was probably my favorite doctor there. We ended up chatting (he and Chris and I) about our kids and marriage and stuff for 5-10 minutes. It was really fun.

Soon after that, they gave me my meds, and I don't even remember falling asleep. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room and was really drowsy (and a bit dizzy). They wheeled me to where I could finish recovering for a little bit (just enough to be able to go to the bathroom and walk a little without aid) and Chris joined me there. We left the hospital at about 1:30 pm, and the rest of today I've just been taking it easy at Chris's parents' house.

This adventure totally wasn't in my plans for the weekend, but in spite of that, here are a few of the things I'm grateful about in this experience:

  • Chris and Steve were able to give me a blessing, and God's timing meant that it was after we went to the ER that the pain went away. If God had timed the pain to go away right after they gave me a blessing, we probably wouldn't have gone to the hospital, and my disfunctional gall bladder would probably still be in me.
  • We were here at Kim and Steve's so I didn't have to worry about Nathaniel and Eva being well taken care of. I knew they'd be safe, happy and loved with Grandma and Grandpa (and Aunt Izzy, too!)
  • I'm still on Medicaid. If this had happened a few weeks from now, I wouldn't be, and it would have been a very expensive trip to Boise!
  • I didn't have a gall bladder attack until after I ate turkey and mashed potatoes and rolls and pie. And I didn't throw up. That might have ruined Thanksgiving food for me. 
  • My parents are just a phone call away and offered to let me and the kiddos stay with them next week once Chris has to start school again on Monday.
  • So many people were praying for me. I feel incredibly loved. Even some people I hardly know. (like Selby!) Thank you for thinking of me and caring!
  • The staff and doctors at St. Luke's were phenomenal. Everyone was so competent in their duties, and even more, they were friendly and talkative and supportive. I felt treated like a real person, and it seemed like everyone truly cared about me getting better.

When you add all those things together, I'd say that's evidence of a God who cares about me, and loves me more than I can know. Wouldn't you?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jubilation

Yesterday morning I woke up to a triumphant shout:

"I did it!!"

Nathaniel had opened his door because it wasn't latched. He was soooo proud.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Birth 2.0

The three or so weeks leading up to Eva's birth were quite the mental/emotional struggle for me. Each week I felt like the contractions were "going up a notch" and getting us closer to the real thing, but because of how Nathaniel's labor/delivery went, I didn't really have a clue how many "notches" I still needed to go before we were at the real thing.

Enter Saturday, October 18th.

I'd had some uncomfortable contractions during the night, but by morning they had stopped being regular. One of the songs Chris wrote was being premiered up in Salt Lake that evening, and so his Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Tine came down for the premier. They took us out to lunch, took us shopping, and then drove us up to the concert in Salt Lake. I'd been having sporadic contractions throughout the day, but I wasn't timing them, and they weren't increasing in intensity.

During the concert I started realizing that the contractions were coming at a fairly consistent rate. We went out to eat afterwards and during dinner, the contractions were starting to get kind of painful. I was having a harder and harder time concealing them from everyone else (As a side note, I'm not exactly sure why I felt like I needed to conceal them, maybe I just didn't want anyone to fuss over me or worry about me? Whatever the reason, I just wanted to keep them to myself).

On the ride home (about a 45 min drive) I began timing them. Sure enough they were consistently coming 3-5 minutes apart and they were getting harder and harder to deal with.

As soon as we got home, I told Chris that I thought this was the real thing. I was fairly certain our little girl was on the way. So... now we had to figure out what to do with Nathaniel while we went to the hospital. A good friend told me we could bring him over to her house, but I couldn't get a hold of her. I tried calling my mother to let her know and see if she could start making the two-hour trek down to our house, but no one at home answered the phone (and no answer on any cell phones either).

Finally I tried my brother and asked if he could maybe just hang out on our couch until we got a hold of someone who could take his place (he had a one-month-old baby at the time and also worked early morning custodial). He answered his phone and was able to come over.

During all this, the contractions were getting hard. I was sitting on our exercise ball trying to do anything that felt like it helped me cope with the pain of each contraction. I also began singing during them. Each made-up song went something like ,"Oh maaaan, this is reeeeeaaally uncomfortable right nooow! I really really wiiiish that this contraction would end! I really really hope that this is the reeeeall thing because if it's not, then I don't want to know what the reaaaaal thing feeeeeeels like!! etc. etc. etc."

Hey, you do what you gotta do, right?

Once Stephen was on his way, I had the idea to try calling my aunt who lives kiddy-corner from my parents to just see if she knew where they might be, or if they were home. She answered and said she'd go over and knock on their door to let my mom know I was in labor.

Stephen arrived, I grabbed my hospital bag, and Chris and I drove over to the hospital. On the way over there (about a 5 min drive) my mom called. Yay! She sounded super apologetic. She said that they'd all been watching The Two Towers downstairs in the basement and didn't hear the phone ring. They were at the battle of Helm's Deep and it was really intense when they finally heard pounding on the door from my aunt.

Very appropriate I thought, that while my family was watching the orcs' chant of war, I was facing my own intense battle and chanting/singing to get through it.

We filled my mom in on what was happening and said we'd call her as soon as we knew for sure that I was staying at the hospital.

We checked in at a little after 10:00pm and were shown to a room. The nurses came in a little while later and checked me. Melanie, who did the checking said, "Oh, yeah you are totally having this baby. You are at like a seven!" Whhhaaa? a seven!? I had nooo idea that's what a seven felt like! I felt kind of proud of myself, but the first thing I asked was, "Is that too late for an epidural?" "Nope," Melanie replied, "but we gotta step on it".

Quickly the nurses got the anesthesiologist who gave me a very big dose of epidural stuff. I don't know how far along I was by the time it took effect, but I think I was further than a seven by that point (my contraction-coping songs and noises were getting stranger and stranger by that point, but thankfully no one commented :). They also called my doctor, and did all the other things like hooking up monitors, asking me questions about my health, etc.

My water broke a little while after the epidural really started kicking in, and I could feel as our little girl descended the rest of the way down into pushing position.

By midnight, we were at pushing time. My doctor had arrived a couple of minutes earlier and we started pushing. I was asked if I wanted a mirror to which I tried to politely but firmly say "no." My doctor, the two nurses and Chris all cheered me on with every push. Once she started crowning, my doctor exclaimed, "She has so much hair!" (woohoo! I thought. I'd certainly had enough heartburn for her to have a lot of hair.) She really was ready to come by then. Nathan took over two hours of pushing before he came out. With our little girl, I pushed for about 20 minutes. She emerged all beautiful and blue and squirmy and as soon as she was cleaned off and weighed and stuff, I got to hold her and nurse her.

Our Eva Magdalena Machado was born at 12:21am, October 19, 2014. She was 20 inches long and weighed 8lbs 8oz.


Eva and I spent the normal two-days in the hospital and have both recovered well. She's even more mellow than her older brother, and I thought he was an easy newborn. Nathaniel loves his little sister and calls her, "Uh-va."


We're happily adjusting to life as a family of four. There are some challenging times, but there are also lots of beautiful moments each day.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Siblings

Today, Eva fell off the couch. She was fine (there happened to be lots of pillows), I think it just startled her, but her momma felt horrible. Nathaniel was all concerned when he saw my tears. He came and sat by me on the couch and started wiping them away. Unfortunately, because Eva was laying on my chest, that meant he kept smacking her in the face. Sometimes being the little sister is hard.

Nathaniel likes to go try and pick Eva up when she's sad. He doesn't get very far, but the cuteness melts my heart.

Trying to pick her up

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Brutiful life

Its a: heartburn, nausea, 37-weeks-pregnant, I've-been-chasing-after-an-18-month-old, and I'm-starting-to-catch-his-head-cold.... day. I'm tired, and I'm scared to go to bed for fear of the aching joints and stomach acid. I don't want to focus on the bad, (ok, honestly, there's a little part of me that wants to just have a pity party) but sometimes you just need to tell someone about your battles.

So, now I've shared, and now I'm going to list some of the happy things:
  • Nathaniel turned 18-months old on Tuesday
  • I got to see baby girl's face on the ultrasound yesterday
  • Christopher bought me chocolate at the store today
  • Nathaniel let me take a 30 minute nap this afternoon and he didn't color on anything while I was sleeping.
  • General Conference is this weekend.
  • I have great friends. Friends who send me Facebook messages of encouragement, or who call and chat about life and help me feel like I can cope again.
  • I got the dishwasher emptied AND switched a load of laundry over to the dryer today
  • I have the Book of Mormon to read and find solace in learning more about Jesus Christ.
  • We have the internet with all it's wonderful blessings.
  • I've indexed several hundred names in the past few weeks, and learned about some incredible people who died in the past 20 years or so.
  • I'm learning patience, endurance, and lots of other things through the things I face every day, thanks to the strength I get through the enabling power of Christ's atonement.
Keep on keepin' on, fellow sojourners. Life is hard, but it is very, very good and oh so worth it. As one amazing woman said, "Life is beautiful and life is brutal. Life is brutiful." 

Monday, September 8, 2014

1 year-olds are fantastic

A photo essay of Nathaniel's recent escapades:

Toy bucket helmet

Reading in his chair

Coloring adventures (at least it was just pencil)

Can you tell what's wrong in this photo?
(yep. That's a calculator sitting in the humidifier)

When you leave the groceries on the floor,
someone is bound to find the apples.

He carried it around all morning.

Needless to say, Mom and Dad giggle every day because of this guy. Thanks for being such a wonderful boy, Nathaniel!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Gloom-ishness

Today is a bit of a gloomy day. I don't quite know how to explain it. I don't feel constant gloom. It's just interwoven between everything. I have these happy moments with Nathan, or a conversation with Chris and I feel happy. Then a few minutes later the gloom-ishness comes back.

I'm sharing this on the blog, not because I want pity, or because I'm in despair. I just wanted to share because I'm trying to not numb my feelings. I'm trying to work through them and along side them. We came to this earth to have the good and the bad, the happy and the painful. Even though the gloom is uncomfortable, I think I'm supposed to feel it, not try to block it out.

And you know, when I acknowledge that I'm feeling down, for some reason it helps me feel more like digging deep and pulling through. When I hide or try to suppress my emotions, they just end up building like a pressure cooker until I melt down. It's like I have to face the feelings at some point, and I think it's a lot healthier for me to face them as they come, rather than stuff them under the rug until they're bulging out and then I have to deal with all of them at the same time.

What do you think? What helps you when you're feeling the gloom-ishness (from depression or from anything else)?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A bit bowled over by tender mercies

So it's a little psycho right now at the Machado household. Here's the bulleted list explanation:
  • Chris is student teaching in Spanish Fork (with the awesome Shea Bradshaw)
  • Chris is assisting in BYU Men's Chorus this year (and they have auditions/callbacks this week)
  • Chris is the assistant conductor in Cantorum, an early music choir that got started in the Provo/Orem area a couple years ago
  • Chris is teaching several voice students at the Art City Music Academy
  • Sarah is pregnant (due October 26th)
  • Sarah is taking care of a 17-month-old boy
  • Sarah is training two new employees at Art City Music requiring about 16 hours a week (this is in preparation for her to leave when the baby comes)
  • We only have one car
  • We are poor college students
  • Both Chris and Sarah have two callings at church and are home/visiting teachers
  • etc...
It's been a week of ups and downs for me. That's for sure. The depression makes things seem bleaker, and it also combines with pregnancy to make simple things a lot more stressful. But holy. cow. I have been shocked at all the love and support friends and family have extended to us. As an example, let me tell you a story from this morning...

Chris went off to school at about 7:00, and I had a 32-week checkup with the doctor at 9:20. We've been asking everyone and their dog for help with babysitting and rides, so I decided that I'd walk the 11 blocks to the doctor's office and push Nathaniel in the stroller. Things went great until I actually took a look at the stroller. Two flat tires. hmmm.... well I knew we had a bike pump... even though I'd never used it. So I tried to pump up the tires myself.

No luck. Part of me thought, "how bad could it be to push the stroller on flat tires?" and decided to start walking. After about half a block, I realized it was not going to work. I started praying that somehow God would help us get to the doctor's office and that things would work out. 

After retrieving our bike pump from the apartment, I had the thought to see if my friend Beverly's car was in her driveway (she lives just around the corner from us). It was there. Not really sure what to ask for, but knowing that I needed help, I went and knocked on her door. She answered and I just asked, "Are you any good with a bike pump?" and explained about my flat tires. Beverly said that she wasn't, but her boys or her brother (who happened to be there) might be able to help. Her brother got down on the ground and pumped up those tires beautifully, and meanwhile, Beverly told me that if we were running late, she could give us a ride over to the doctor's office, and we could just put our stroller in her trunk.

I was sooo grateful. Beverly and I have been good friends since we first moved into the ward, and every possible chance she has to help, I have seen her jump in with a smile on her face to help out someone in need. She's one of my heroes to be sure.

So, tires pumped, we hopped into Beverly's car and ended up being a little early for my appointment thanks to the time we saved driving instead of walking.

I don't know how to express my gratitude to her and my Heavenly Father for their help. It was so much more than just getting us out of a physical predicament. It saved me from the emotional and mental turmoil I was swimming through (thanks to my depressed and pregnant body).

And so many other people have helped us too. Here's a list of some of the blessings:
  • Babysitting for several hours from former roommates, friends and ward members
  • Rides for me and Nathaniel to and from work and other places
  • Co-workers who are fun to be with and lift my spirits
  • A bag full of fresh fruit hanging from our door when we got home last night
  • Boxes of Chex cereal for $1.49 at Macey's and a husband who went and got me 12 boxes
  • A check from a dear Grandma to help us make ends meet
  • Encouraging words from friends and family
  • A mother who is coming to stay with us for a few days next week to help out
  • A visit from Mom, Shanna, Abbie, and Grandma on Labor Day with delicious food provided
  • Hugs from my little boy when I've been sad
  • Help from my little boy when chores need to be done (he helped empty the whole dishwasher yesterday. He'd grab a dish. Hold it out to me. Say "uh?" and I'd put it away)
  • Listening ears and encouragement from Christopher when I'm freaking out
  • etc...
Like I said, I don't know how to express my gratitude. I'm just bowled over by the love. Thanks guys. You all are definitely helping to lift up the hands that hang down. May God bless each and every one of you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

17-month-old

Tomorrow, the little guy turns 17 months old. Here are a few of the things he's been up to lately:

Sitting in his new chair. (thanks D.I.!)


Learning to wipe his own nose.


Discovering that keys are for doorknobs. 
(but that it's tricky to get them in the right spot!)

Life is full of giggles and joy when this guy is around. Can't believe he's going to be a big brother in about two months!

(all photo credits thanks to Grandma Kimi :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

1-year-old joy

It just might be impossible to go through a day without smiling and laughing at least once. 1-year-olds just have that effect on people.
  • Yesterday Nathan started pretend growling, and he thinks it's hilarious (so do his parents).
  • Today he learned how to say "uh-oh," even though he doesn't yet know what it means. 
  • He says thanks all the time. It usually sounds like "daints!" 
  • He often goes and grabs a book from his room or off the floor, holds it out to me and says, "uh?" How could I not read it to him?
He smiles so easily.
He laughs so quickly.
There is so much genuine joy in that little boy.

Chris and I will regularly turn to each other and ask how such an awesome little boy came to be in our home. The answer is God sent the us the soul that He knew would be perfect for our family, but I still can't get over how joyful Nathan makes our home.

Adventures with a spoon

Friday, July 18, 2014

A quote to remember

This quote doesn't fit onto a pin or into a tweet. But it's one I want to remember. May the truths contained therein bless your life.
Almost three years ago a devastating fire gutted the interior of the beloved, historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah. Its loss was deemed a great tragedy by both the community and Church members. Many wondered, “Why did the Lord let this happen? Surely He could have prevented the fire or stopped its destruction.” 
Ten months later, during the October 2011 general conference, there was an audible gasp when President Thomas S. Monson announced that the nearly destroyed tabernacle was to become a holy temple—a house of the Lord! Suddenly we could see what the Lord had always known! He didn’t cause the fire, but He allowed the fire to strip away the interior. He saw the tabernacle as a magnificent temple—a permanent home for making sacred, eternal covenants. 
My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally. 
In Doctrine and Covenants 58:3–4, the Lord tells us: 
“Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
-Linda S. Reeves - October 2013 General Relief Society Meeting 

Monday, July 14, 2014

To my daughter...

Dear Little One,

You are growing so much! I can tell because I feel huge already even though I'm only at 25 weeks. I'm already waddling, especially by the end of the day. You are a wiggler like your older brother was (and still is), although you might be giving him a run for his money based on the acrobatics you're already executing. Sometimes you move so much, my belly looks like the underside of a trampoline. The most sure-fire way to get you to stop wiggling is to turn to Daddy and say, "Feel her moving! She's going crazy!" That's when you stop right away. Occasionally I wouldn't mind it if you calmed down a bit, but mostly I love it. Every wiggle is a reminder that you are growing and developing and becoming. That knowledge fills me with peace.

You should know that your Daddy and I are so excited that you're a part of our family. You were welcome here even before we knew you were on the way. You should also know, that despite our best efforts, your older brother is totally clueless that you're coming. He probably will be until we bring you home from the hospital. But on the plus side, he'll also never remember not knowing you. He's a fantastic boy and I can't wait for you to meet him. I'm so happy knowing that you two will learn so much from each other. He's lucky to have you as a little sister, and you are lucky to have him for an older brother.

When I was a little girl, my momma (your grandma) would always tell me, "There's nothing better than being a mom!" And I believed her. She loved being our mom, and we loved being with her. I remember feeling special because I knew I would someday be a mom and could feel like that too. My brothers had to content themselves with being fathers, while I was going to get the best deal.

Now that I am a momma, I can say with Grandma, "There really is nothing better than being a mom!" It's by far the most wonderful job I've ever had. It doesn't bring me money or fame, instead it brings joy like nothing else ever has. Because you too are a girl, you are part of this heritage of motherhood. How happy it makes me to know that you will experience the joy of being a mother and a wife because you are a daughter of God. Not every daughter of God will be a wife and mother in this life, but it is part of our divine heritage to be mothers. What a joyful prospect that is!

Though I won't hold you in my arms for a few more months, I love you already. I'm nervous about being your mother because it's a big responsibility, and I don't want to mess it up, but I find peace when I remember that you are Heavenly Father's daughter too, and He will help me be your mother.

Dear Little Girl (DLG for short), I love you with all my heart. Keep on growing and before we know it, you'll be here!

All my love,
Momma

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The little things

It's remarkable to me how God is mindful of big important things, but also the details of our lives. Like when you really need that Tide-to-Go pen because you have to run out the door in 5 minutes and there's a stain on your one clean shirt, God cares enough to answer your prayer for help in finding it. He is our Father, and He is perfectly aware of us and our needs. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Things I love about Nathaniel

Nathaniel does so many little things that just make me smile. Here's a little video of some of those things:
video

I can't imagine a more prefect child. He's certainly the best little boy we ever could have hoped for.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Volunteering in the temple

On Saturday I got to spend three hours in the temple helping in the clothing area. First off, I didn't know that this was even a thing you could volunteer for, second, I had no idea it would be that amazing!

It was full of very simple tasks: fold this item, straighten these things on hangers, iron this or stack these. And everyone was doing them. From the supervisors to the new volunteers, (like me) no one was above doing any simple task no matter how repetitive.

And I loved the important attention to detail. Making sure that this thing was folded just so, and that these things were stacked all in a straight line. Checking for this popped seam or stray thread on each article of clothing. It was so fulfilling to do!

It must be because we know the temple is God's house, and all of us just wanted to give our very best to Him no matter how insignificant the task may have seemed.

To anyone seeking for meaningful ways to serve, this was definitely one of my favorites!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's a......

We had the 20 week ultrasound yesterday, (oh, by the way, did I mention we're expecting again? I'm due October 26th. :)  and baby looks great! The nurse said everything was just how it should be.

And in case you're wondering...

It's a GIRL!

photo credit
Oh, and we already have one hair accessory for her. The first of many, I'm sure.

Little girl, Mommy and Daddy and Nathan all love you and can't wait to hold you and watch you grow into a beautiful woman. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Graduation Trip to Boise

Chris's sister Isabel graduated this last weekend and we made the trip up there for the ceremony. It was a blast (but way too short of a visit)!

Our little family with the graduated girl!


This is one of my favorite photos from the weekend:


One of my favorite moments from this weekend happened Sunday afternoon. Grandpa Steve walked over to the kitchen counter and reached into a box of chocolate teddy grahams to munch on some. Nathaniel heard the rustling of the bag and went to investigate. Grandpa of course shared his teddy grahams with him, and Nathan went on his merry way to play. But for the next 45 minutes or so, if Grandpa went to the kitchen counter, Nathaniel would go on alert and watch him. If he reached for the teddy grahams, Nathaniel would start to walk over to him. If he rustled the bag Nathaniel would move quicker, and as soon as he saw a teddy graham in Grandpa's hand, he'd go right up to Grandpa and say, "Hi!" or, "mmm!"

Nathan totally knew how to work the system, and he and Grandpa were best buds afterwards.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eye-opening

Depression, anxiety, feeling the blues. It's been a struggle for about a year now. I have so much support from those around me. Friends, family, loved ones, my Heavenly Father. I'm on a road to recovery, I just can't let myself dwell on how long or short that road will be.

This has been such an eye-opening experience for me. I feel an understanding for things that I've never understood. I feel connections for people going through things that I've never felt connected to before. I think if there's anything God wanted me to learn through this experience it would be empathy. It's an increased love and understanding for my fellow brothers and sisters who are also inhabiting this world.

A little example of increased understanding. In high school, I learned that some of my peers "self-harmed". I was totally confused. I thought, "umm... why would you cut yourself? That, like, hurts, so why would anyone do that?" It made absolutely no sense to me. Along comes depression, and with it, lots of unwanted feelings and struggles. I couldn't control those feelings and they were unpleasant to experience. What I did have control over was what I did about those feelings. Suddenly, I could understand why someone would want to replace emotional and mental pain with physical pain. It's not what I chose to do about my feelings, but depression has helped me see so much clearly why people might choose destructive behaviors themselves.

I can choose what to do with the unpleasant emotions that I face, and I choose to feel them and to work through them (or sometimes to just work alongside them). I can't erase them, but I can prevent them from controlling me, and I can choose to not stifle them out with destructive behavior.

I'm still in the middle of this muddle, so I can't really summarize all that this experience has taught and will teach me. But I'm grateful for the eye-opening-ness of it all. I'm so grateful that I knew about Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon and so I knew what I should do when the mists of darkness came. I'm still in those mists, but I'm holding on, and I'm not letting go, no matter how long it takes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Slice of heaven

This evening Nathaniel and I went up to campus because I needed to print off some papers. I parked in 30 minute parking and carried him over to the library where we could print the needed things. It was a gorgeous evening. Cool but not cold, the grass and flowers so vibrant with color, and I thought that it would be fun to spend some time outside with my boy.

Quickly I printed of my pages, and then we went back outside and did just that. I let Nathaniel walk (he toddles on his own or holding my hand), and we took a nice slow pace. We stopped to notice the bright flowers. He took an excursion in the grass and figured out that he had to lift his feet differently in order to walk through it. We explored little pieces of dirt on the sidewalk. He fell and scraped his knee and his forehead on the sidewalk, I held him while he cried, and then he was off again, happy as ever to be walking and discovering. He waved and said "Hi!" to random students. We walked side by side, or holding hands, or with him a little ways away exploring, but never too far because he still needs to be near Momma in strange places.

I think heaven will be filled with moments like these.

Moments that Matter Most

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Learning how to blow

Nathaniel's learned how to blow. Enjoy this demonstration.

video

(video complete with fake giggles, and scrunchy faces)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Submitting to what is inflicted upon us

Mosiah 3:19
"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
When I first became acquainted with this verse as a teenager, I thought that "inflict" seemed like such a painful word. What father would inflict things upon his child?

But as I've gotten older, I've realized that the Lord inflicts things upon us because he knows they will help us grow in the right ways.  Scoliosis and a back brace was inflicted upon me as a teenager. Not the funnest thing I've ever had to cope with, but it shaped me in profound and important ways.

Since then, other hard and sometimes painful things have been inflicted upon me. Things that were completely not my fault. Things that were unfair. Things that caused heartache, and tears, and soul searching.

Am I willing to submit to such things?

Are you?

My answer to the first question, is a firm, "yes". It may be hard, I may be brought to my knees with sorrow and tears or simply from a burning desire to understand, "what am I supposed to be learning from this?" But I say, Yes. I am willing to submit.

I have faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that he is “an high priest of good things to come.” I believe that all of the afflictions I experience will be for my good. That they will help me become a saint through the atonement of Christ.

As for the second question, only you can answer that. But I believe that there is peace and joy found in this journey of submission.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nathaniel is one!

Someone had a birthday!


Nathaniel loved his new blocks. (Good choice, Daddy!) And that green soccerball-looking-thing behind him is one of his other favorite gifts. It's easy for him to grab and he loves throwing it.

Grandma Kimi, Grandpa Steve and Aunt Isabel all came down for the weekend to celebrate his happy day. (And Great-aunt Tine, Great-grandma Nancy, and Great-grandpa Quinten came down on Saturday for a little birthday picnic)

This was probably my favorite picture from the weekend.
Grandpa Steve and Nathan having fun!
In other news, we got Google Fiber internet, and are loving being able to watch General Conference at home. It is glorious. Join us tomorrow for two more sessions at 10:00am and 2:00pm here

It'll be worth it. Come and listen for yourself.