Sunday, July 8, 2018

Trust

I've had this post - or at least the concept of this post - on my mind for months now. I actually had a half written one on answered prayers several months ago. And then there were what seemed to just be so many challenges surrounding selling our van that I just deleted it and threw a little tantrum in my heart. Part of that post was about throwing tantrums, oddly enough. I think it's funny that I get so frustrated at my kids for their tantrums when I know it's such a dumb thing to be flipping out about. And yet I do the same thing on a different level all the time. I want something. It makes sense to me why I should have what I want. It doesn't make sense why it can't just happen. And then it doesn't. And I throw my adult version of a spiritual tantrum with God. And I'm sure He gets a little frustrated with me because He sees the big picture and knows perfectly what's good for me and what I need and it's a dumb thing to be flipping out about. And EVERY single time in the course of my 35 years, things have worked out. That's a lot of time to have "things" happen. Why have I not figured out the trust thing better yet??? By the way, despite the stress and chaos and fiasco and financial burden that selling our van happened to be, it worked out. Would it have been nicer to never have it break down and get $10k more for it? Ya. But, other things and other blessings occurred in those specific places I was requesting. If that makes sense. I'm mad I didn't write this down better because now I don't remember it verbatim and it was powerful to me verbatim. Kind of in the middle of all of that and just other dumb things, I was in the temple and the Brother saying the prayer in the prayer circle said a couple things that just seemed very atypical. Not that it's a scripted prayer ever, but the one thing that I remember is that he asked that we in the temple would trust God to work out our problems. It was poignant for me at that time. And I want it to continue being at the forefront of my mind. But I still feel like it is SO hard to really let go and really TRUST. It's so scary. Why is it? It shouldn't be. Like noted above, it always does work out and I do KNOW that God cares about me and WANTS to bless me and help me and take care of me. And that He does actually know what's best for me. And I know it does always work out in the end. So this is something I'm really trying to make more a part of my character. I know I'll have to have it tested though and I worry I won't pass. In the last week, a family of close friends to Tanner's family found out one of them has a really horrible form of brain cancer and probably won't live much longer than a year. He's mid 40s and has 6 kids. And his wife has been battling ovarian cancer for some time as well. Mason has been forwarding texts he receives. I'm going to include the one he sent after Casey got his diagnosis.
"...Please don't feel the need to say sorry or apologize. We're really in a great place. Do not know how much time I'll have, but will to God I have years! We each have our custom curriculum of trials and challenges that I honestly believe we were aware of before we came to Earth. We have been strengthened and carried by the Lord in so many wonderful ways so far. Make sure your family and kids know how much you love and care for them. This trial has brought so much clarity and focus to the things that matter most. It's been so beautiful..."
Wow. That's some serious trust and faith in God's plan. And today on a LDS ish Instagram feed I read this quote. It's kind of long but goes along with it and I want to have it here.
If it is true that a picture paints a thousand words, then there was a Roman centurion who got a dictionary full. All he did was see Jesus suffer. He never heard him preach or saw Him heal or followed Him through the crowds. He never witnessed Him still the wind; he only witnessed the way He died. But that was all it took to cause this weather-worn soldier to take a giant step in faith; "Surely this was a righteous man." That says a lot, doesn't it. It says the rubber of faith meets the road of reality under hardship. It says the trueness of one's belief is revealed in pain. Genuineness and character are unveiled in misfortune. Faith is at its best, not in three-piece suits on Sunday mornings or a vacation bible school on summer days, but at hospital bedsides, cancer wards and cemeteries. Maybe that's what moved this old crusty soldier. Serenity in suffering is a stirring testimony. Anybody can preach a sermon on a mount surrounded by daisies. But only one with a gut full of faith can live a sermon on a mountain of pain.  - Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior.

I love that so much. Especially that last line. Wow. I feel like I'm a pretty "faithful" person and I want to be and to do what's right and be obedient. It makes me embarrassed and ashamed of myself when I think of what I've grumped about by way of challenges. People endure so much more with so much more faith. It makes me want some challenges so I can prove I do TRUST God and I want that character that can only be built by those challenges. But then I don't really want any challenges. Ha. Perspective is key. And without the perspective of "what matters most" like Casey was talking about, life would be unbearable I think. This life is just a blip and the point of it is not to get a job and have money and travel and buy stuff and check of bucket lists and eat ice cream. All those things are great and I do believe God is awesome for letting that be a part of the ride. But preparing for the much longer eternity that comes next is THE most important thing. Always remembering that should help keep the challenges that come along in perspective and enable us to endure with faith and trust.
I'm not all the way there. I'm grateful God lets us repent. I have to of my tantruming often. I hope He lets me live a lot longer because I think I'm going to need that time to figure it out. I'm going to remember Casey. And pray for him and to be like him. And I'll read that quote by Max Lucado often, and hopefully I can trust God to work out my problems and know that "all these things shall give me experience and shall be for my good." I want my testimony to be unshakeable. Where it couldn't be squashed by cancer or death or pain or poverty or anything. Because I do know that there is significant and crucial purpose to this life and that Jesus is my Savior and that His gospel IS true. I know without a single doubt that God answers my prayers. The insignificant ones. The important ones. The ones I don't deserve. Oh there's so many wonderful little and big times He has answered in positive, affirmative ways. And there have been plenty answered in a way contrary to my will. But I know He's there. Listening. Helping. Answering. In the best way that I NEED. And ultimately, that's really actually what I WANT too!

4th of July festivities

We got a good solid 3 days worth of celebrating for the 4th of July. Monday the 2nd we went to the Eaglewood golf course for a car show and food from food trucks and running around with cousins. There were way more cars, and way more cool cars than I was expecting. I guess I don't go to car shows that often. I had a lot of fun. I think everyone did.



She didn't have fun when I made her sit here.


I got them all dressed cute the morning of the 3rd because we were going to Eaglewood again for the fireworks. They all looked so dang cute I needed to take a picture just in case I never got them all together cooperating again. It couldn't have turned out more perfect. Love.
She was monkeying around in the kitchen while I made cookies. And I included the picture of the cookies I made because I think the picture turned out cool, the cookies turned out cute and they were quite delicious.


I love this tradition. This is the third year we've come. I was sad my parents couldn't come but Kathryn and Laura and her fam did and we sat by Carson and Nat and Nat's fam again and it's just fun. I love sitting out there. The kids play so good independently, running around and playing in the sand traps. It's just so festive and fun and I love it. The huge deterring factor is the traffic getting out. It takes FOREVER to get down the hill after it's all done. Such a pain. And tired grumpy kids with meltdowns in the car. Well, Greta and Harvey. But more importantly is that it's super fun. I played frisbee with Kathryn which was so fun and bumped around a volleyball with Laura which I loved. And just snacked and ate and enjoyed the evening.



These pics are so cute of Tanner and Lottie.








Cutest little cousins.

Greta being silly.






Wrong holiday pjs.
All the kids did really good with the fireworks. Greta sat for the first few minutes in the stroller so excited and yelling and loving it. Then she got bored and just wandered around. Harvey sat and watched them in Tanner's lap and fell asleep halfway through. Lottie seemed to enjoy them but she was just past her end point and got pretty fussy, so I watched them standing up with her. Still so great.
I worked on the 4th during the day. Afterwords I met everyone up at Clare and Berries. They had BBQed some lobster tails and had a delicious spread. It was delicious and so fun and different to eat :) Then we played in the pool for a bit. I got in for a little while until Lottie was done. Lots of late nights. It was catching up to everyone. But the pool felt so good and it was so fun.


Then we enjoyed the millions of fireworks going off ALL around our house for the next hour or so. Apparently we didn't have as many sparklers as we thought - each of them did 2. Haha. But they both did really good. I thought Greta would be scared. Some close neighbors bought at TON of fireworks and so we watched them launch all of there's for awhile. And we had a great view of the one's going off at the city park. We missed some lower flying ones but overall - we saw most of them. And there were a lot of really cool, unique ones. Eagle Ridge is cool and long but I feel like they don't have too many unique or fancy ones. Layton shot off a ton of star shaped ones during the finale and it was so cool. And there were no crowds to fight when it was over - just a nice walk into the house and straight to bed.








It was all worth all the late nights and grumpy kids. I think we are mostly recovered. I really did have a few profound moments over the few days of how grateful I am for our freedom. Sorry to be cheesy, but it really is an amazing blessing to live in America. We have a great life and I'm so happy and grateful for all the blessings we have because we are American.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June swimming fun

We didn't buy Cherry Hill passes this year because I knew there was no way I was going to be able handle that place and all 3 kids by myself. I kind of thought swimming would be minimal this year, but turns out we've had tons of water fun this month! The kids got invited to Remi and Hadley's going away party at a park and splash pad. That was fun! Both of them enjoyed it a lot more than they did last year. 









We bought a pool at Costco a month or more ago and finally put it up. They LOVED it. Logan and Clara and Laura came over to help us break it in. Greta got in with her diaper first. Oops. Check out that ghetto booty!

















We kept it up the next day and invited some other friends we met through Harvey's preschool (Gwen - who picked him up for school half of the year - so awesome, and her kids Peyton, Madi (in Harvey's class) and their baby that's almost Greta's age that for some reason I can not remember her name. Oops.)




We also did 2 weeks of swimming lessons. Harvey loved it. I think he's SUPER comfortable in the water but when it comes to specific lessons and performing tasks, he's not as good. Ha. He just likes to do his own thing and play "alligator, alligator, what time is it?" They said he needed to do this same level again, which I thought was dumb. He had a sub half of his classes and I know he could do more than half the things on the list they just weren't checked off. Oh well. He can do that one again :)
Greta was a good sport mostly. The first one she was so sad she couldn't get in. Then did okay the next couple. Then Heather took him once for me and let her get her toes in the water so we did that the last few times and she was happy as a clam. And usually got more than her toes wet.





His last swim lesson we took Kathryn and stayed after to swim. Laura joined us too and I thought it was a blast! Everything about the pool was perfect for my kids. Lottie and Clara could just crawl around the shallow part and chase toys. Even when the waves came, it was still just fine for them, except it did push toys all over the place. And there was tons of shallow areas for them to play in. Harvey sometimes strayed a little too far, but mostly it was just easy to watch them and not have to hold Lottie the whole time. It was hot and sunny and felt amazing to be playing in the pool. I had a blast and I think everyone else did too. We'll have to make it back there a couple more times. I think it worked better for the kids than Cherry Hill, anyway. Well, it was a lot easier for me. Having an extra adult always helps too :)








No one quite liked the waves at first, but towards the end they were loving it. Clara loved this little thing. I tried Lottie out in it after and she loved it too. Giggled and splashed and chilled for a good 5-10 minutes. So cute.










This is his excitement when the waves started.


And to finish up the month, Harvey got invited to his first birthday party! Madi's the girl from his preschool that came to our house invited him and they have this cool blow up slide/pool that is super cool and he had a blast playing on. My kid gets invited to birthday parties now!? Again - how is he this big!?

I really am loving this summer!