Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some night-time poetry

Listen to this song.

I grew up listening to BYU Singers. My parents met in BYU Singers. My 5th and final year at BYU I got into Singers. I sang this song.

This is a recording of a different year singing it.

This poem is a little window into my soul tonight...  

Water Night

Baby is in bed.
I need to listen to music
Need to feed my soul

I lost patience today.
Clingy baby
Hot desert
Lack of beauty.

As I listen now
It seems clear
I must simply do what is most important
Let me let go of things that don’t matter.

Eric Whitacre choral music
Water night.
singing Water Night in
Glaucester Cathedral
in England.

What a different life!
An oh, my soul.
How my soul used to FEEL.
If you close your eyes
A river
A silent, and beautiful currant

As I listen I finally FEEL
Fills you from within
My stressed body and soul thaw
And I feel.
The currant flows forward

Oh the beauty
The incredible liquid sound
human voices can make
when blended together
The rich contrast of male and female voices.

How deeply I used to feel.
As I say this to myself I think,
What am I saying?
I have a child.
I have an eternal companion.

If you open your eyes
Let this kingdom of deep
open to me
I have it within me.

God, let my soul come out
I want to feel.

Night breathes its wetness
To beaches in your soul.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Testimony and Recent Lessons in Motherhood

Friends, acquaintances...whomever might be reading this. Can I just share some things that I know? Sometimes I use this blog to update family and friends about trips and happenings, but often it is just a place to share my thoughts. I am a thinker. I believe every trait comes with opportunities for strengths and weaknesses. So yes, sometimes I think too hard and it is a hinderance to happiness. But being a thinker is one of my core traits, and when I have the Lord on my side, weak things become strong and it's one thing I do best!

First some things I know. This Sunday in fast and testimony meeting I didn't bare my testimony, so maybe I'll do that know.

"All things denote there is a God"
Alma 30:44
Photo by Elisa Skidmore, Glacier National park
I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He hears our prayers! He has a plan for us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Somehow he suffered and died to pay the price for our sins, so that we can become clean. Not only can we be become clean (justification) but we can grow! We can change, learn, become better, overcome weaknesses , and eventually even become perfect through Him (sanctification). This is God's plan for us. He values agency (the ability to choose) so much that he lets us make mistakes and suffer in this life so that we can learn for ourselves, how to choose the good.

I know that Jesus Christ has restored His church to the earth through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the divinely inspired institution God has given us on earth to help us live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It contains the God's priesthood power, the saving ordinances, living prophets, and the opportunity to be refined by serving in His kingdom. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. When I read it I feel the Spirit telling me it is the word of God. It testifies of Christ and teaches how to come to Him.

Now for some thoughts.

I am so grateful that God gives us commandments. He has high standards for us! He wants us to become. The past few weeks I have really felt Him help me change. But I had to put in the effort. This recent video explains that concept really well.

The specific things I have been learning lately are within motherhood. Sometimes it's hard to be patient and optimistic, especially when you don't get very much sleep. My ability to be a happy, loving mom was going up and down so I was feeling bad about my weaknesses.

[For some background-- I didn't know much about babies before having one. I didn't really research sleep training or know what the options were other than some things I knew I didn't want to do. So for all of Elena's life (just over a year now) she has mostly fallen asleep nursing. This has worked pretty well for us. It is a sacrifice at times, but I am a full-time mom of only I have time. Every time it's gotten hard I have searched my soul and usually learned something new (or got through that rough teething phase) and felt peace about continuing. Also, overall, as anyone who knows us will know, Elena is a very happy girl. She gets a lot of love and attention and is very bright and doing very well. But lately it is gradually started eating at me that my one-year old does not know, I repeat does. not. know. how to put herself to sleep. It is hard for me but also makes me feel bad she doesn't have that skill. As she gets bigger and bigger it becomes even more difficult when she's in a fighting mood because she is more capable of fighting ]

My precious baby girl
The past few weeks as I have strived to do God's will, prayed about my concerns, studied the scriptures and sought the companionship of the Holy Ghost in my life, I have felt two contrasting things happening at the same time:

God has answered my prayers and helped me be more patient. Our wonderful lesson in Relief Society this Sunday helped with that as well. Over the past few weeks I have tried and sometimes stumbled, but I have learned that when opposition comes (i.e. lack of sleep, needy baby, long days), I can pray for and strive to have faith, hope and charity anyway. God has helped me choose to be more compassionate to my baby when I'm feeing tired. He has helped me in my efforts to not resent her for my lack of sleep. I have learned to trust God. That with His help I can do this. That He will never give me something I can't handle. That He really knows what's best for me.

At the same time I have been prompted by things I've read and thoughts I've had that I do need sleep and God knows that. I have felt peace about my initial ignorance of sleep training. For some time now I've known I will do things very differently with the next baby. But I have been at a total loss to know what to do with my 1 year old who doesn't know how to put herself to sleep.  But I have felt peace from God and support for my husband as we've begun trying some things in order to make a change. I am continuing to research. Something I learned a while back really serves me well here: Do your research, then be still and listen to your heart. These are delicate things. Every baby is different. No one blog or one person has the answer. Another thing I've realized (perhaps again) lately is that it's ok that I have no idea what I'm doing as a mother, as long as I am filled with love and living in the present. No use worrying about the past or the future.

Just an experience reminding me that God helps us to both accept our circumstances, and to change them. Mostly He helps us change inside, and that is a miracle.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our little Family in San Fran (SF Part 2)

The week sort of flew by with my parents, and on Friday Jeff arrived! His presentation at the conference went really well. It was wonderful to be together again!

Eating at Persian restaurant

Elena eating rice

funny TURtle face

Point Bonita Lighthouse. This was a lovely walk! Elena enjoyed it and that made me happy. She liked watching the waves crash against the rocks.

 Golden Gate Bridge

Jeff and I on our way to Alcatraz... 

Very cool tour. Lovely date for us.

Solitary confinement for bad behavior. Totally dark when the doors are shut.

On the pier!

We went on a romantic stroll around the Palace of the Fine Arts as instructed by my mom. :)

We played a game! ...And it was fun!

Trip to San Francisco (SF Part 1)

I just had a wonderful week with my parents in San Francisco. I thought I would share all my pictures on here so I could cover my facebook and google+ bases all in one!

Jeff was in Hong Kong for the first part and being with my parents was a wonderful way for me to pass the time. Then he joined us and it was great to be on vacation with him! First time since Christmas really. That man is busy.

We did lots of sight-seeing! My mom is good at playing tour guide.

The incredible and modern Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption down town. What amazing architecture!

The beautiful gothic Grace Cathedral.

Seeing those beautiful churches that first afternoon fed my soul! I love my life in Tempe Arizona...but there's not a whole lot in the way of cultural wonders in this desert valley.

This was a wonderful vintage carousel in Golden Gate Park.

Grandma and Grandpa loved having Elena there! This is Golden Gate Park.

When we're not around this is my mom's baby. Elena had a love/hate relationship with the dog. 

She just squeeled/screamed with delight/anxiety her first day there. She was fascinated with him unless he was barking. This happened in the car a couple times and made her cry:  :(

My mom helped Elena make a lot of progress with eating more solid foods. Yay!

 Temple trip! My dad and I did an endowment session in the Oakland Temple while my mom watched Elena. We were all happy with this arrangement. :)


My mom took Elena and I to the Muir Woods.



So green! :)


Alright and that's all I could squeeze in during nap time. Look for part 2 sometime soon!