Tuesday, May 27, 2008

list for lis

The new family I gained when I got married.

I got a lot of great things when I married my husband. Obviously, my husband was the greatest, but I think a close second is his sister. Lisa is truly one of my best friends and she is the older sister I always wanted. I am certain that a better sister-in-law does not exist. Today is Lisa's birthday and to honor her I made a list of 26 things I love about her (she is turning 26).

  1. She is such a good mama to her little boy and she treats her role as a mother with a sanctity that is uncommon.
  2. She doesn't place value on things-- she has her priorities in order and is so great at taking pride and pleasure in things that are meaningful.
  3. She is a fantastic cook and is always willing to invite people over for dinner.
  4. She knows how to have fun. Lis and I can laugh and laugh.
  5. She has a rebellious streak that completely complements that same side of me. When I first married my husband I thought that I might be a little too wild for Lisa's taste, but I quickly found that she and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to going against the grain from time to time.
  6. She is SO good at relating to people and making you feel like you are important. I honestly feel like I could trust her with anything and she would never be judgmental.
  7. She is open and honest. She doesn't mince words and I love that I always know I can get the truth from her.
  8. She is generous. I think I still owe her $15.00 from a wedding gift that we bought together like 2 months ago. Sorry Lis, I'll get that to you soon.
  9. She has been one step ahead of me in many big events in our lives (ie: getting married, having a baby, breastfeeding etc.), so she has always given me such great advice about what to expect, what worked for her, what I should do differently etc. She is totally my go-to girl when I have a question about something going on in my life.
  10. She is not easily embarrassed. Neither am I. This has made for some classic and candid conversations regarding the aforementioned topics (getting married, having a baby etc.). And I am so grateful I have her to talk to about all of those things.
  11. She has made her home a haven where the spirit can reside.
  12. She is fiercly loyal to her mom and her brother.
  13. She takes time for people even if it is inconvenient for her. My first year of college (well before we were family) I was feeling a little lonely and sad being away from home and my boyfriend--now husband (her brother). I didn't know who else to call, so I got brave and called her. She could tell I was sad so she immediately dropped what she was doing and took me to get ice cream and talk. I have always remembered that sweet act of kindness.
  14. She stands up for what she knows is right and she takes action to make a difference. She is the one calling the corporate offices of clothing companies to tell them that what is printed on their shirts is offensive and inappropriate.
  15. She gets stuff done. I don't think I know anyone that is better at just going out and getting things done and being efficient with time.
  16. She makes friends very easily and has a knack for making everyone around her feel welcome and comfortable.
  17. She can do hard things. She has been through some pretty rough times in her life and she is such a great example of relying on the Savior and her faith to get through them.
  18. She has a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she shares it often both through words and example.
  19. She has a beautiful voice and I love that she sang at my wedding luncheon.
  20. She isn't prideful. If she feels like she has an imperfection or weakness, she admits it and tries to work on it. I admire this quality in her immensely.
  21. She mows our lawn for us :).
  22. She is a planner and she thinks ahead. Sometimes I am not very good at that, so I am always grateful I have her to keep me in line when it comes to planning family events and such.
  23. She can be the life of the party at times, and at other times she can sit quietly and talk one on one with someone to make them feel included.
  24. If she sees a need she doesn't wait to ask if she can do something, she just takes action and does it. I love that about her and I need to be more like that.
  25. She strives to make meaningful traditions for our family.
  26. She epitomizes the charge to "bear one another's burdens" and she truly is the best at mourning with you in times of need, but also rejoicing with you in times of gladness.

See, I told you I had the best sister-in-law there ever was.

Lis, I love you so much and I hope you can have a happy day.

I love this picture of Lisa with her little Logan.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

we've been busy

See these sweet little gums?
We've been busy getting rid of them. And it has caused the baby to be quite the tongue sticker-outer.

He now has two perfectly tiny, white teeth on the bottom to show for all our hard work. Can you see them? (I tried to get a picture of them, but this was the best I could do. Look closely).

In other news, we really have been very busy (a couple of funerals, a bunch of projects--just call me Martha Stewart, a few soccer, softball, and basketball games, not to mention pouring the foundation in our backyard so we can add on to our master bedroom), so I have neglected blogging activities. I am looking forward to catching up on your blogs as well as posting more frequently on mine.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mother dear, i love you so

Baby G with my mom

Having a baby bundle of my very own has been very eye opening for me. There are dozens of things I know now, dozens of feelings I feel now, that I didn’t before my Baby G came. Last Mother’s Day (2 months before Baby came) I didn’t have a full appreciation for the incredible and sacred blessing it is to be given the title of “mother,” and therefore didn’t have as full an appreciation for my own mother’s motherhood.

I had never had occasion to reflect on the fact that I was once a precious baby to a new mother, and that my mother gave me all of the affection, devotion, and love that I now shower upon my little guy. I had never before thought about the way that my mom sacrificed and scrimped and went without for me. I hadn’t ever pictured my mom waking up in the middle of the night to feed me, taking me to the doctor to get my shots, or teaching me how to wave bye-bye.

But since I have become a mother to my baby, I have come to see my mom in an entirely new light—I was her baby. Just as Baby G is mine, I was once her little baby girl and she felt all of the same feelings for me as I do for him. I have been given a glimpse of what she must feel for me now, after 23 years of her serving me and worrying for me and saying prayers for me.

I am in awe of her. She has never once complained to me that being a mom is hard or thankless. I have honestly and truly not ever heard her utter one negative word about her motherhood. On the contrary, however, she is constantly reminding me that having babies is the ultimate joy in life and that nothing will bring more happiness or be more rewarding. I owe so much of who I am to who she was to me when I was her little baby, and also who she is to me now, a mother myself of her first grandbaby.

If I am successful as a mother in any way it will be because of my mom. From the time I was tiny I knew that I was her love and priority just by her actions. Now, I know those things because of our conversations and the way that she encourages me to be that kind of mother to my baby.

My mom gave me the greatest thing that any mother could give her daughter: a deep and abiding reverence and joy for motherhood. I pray that I can pass that along to my children and that they will be able to see from my example that I delight in my role as a mom. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.

I also want to express my gratitude for my sweet mother-in-law. I will never be able to adequately express to her how overcome I feel when I think about the amazing man that she raised my husband to become. I cannot imagine the heartache and adversity she must've experienced as a young widow with two small children, but because of her strength, nurturing, and unwavering faith, her two kids have become incredible adults. Instead of becoming bitter or angry through her trials, she let them refine and polish her and she has developed so many Christlike qualities that I admire. I have never met anyone that was as eager to serve as she is. I know that if I needed a favor she would drop whatever she was doing to help me. She truly has a heart of gold and I want her to know how much I love her. Happy Mother's Day, Mom J.
I love Billy Collins' poem The Lanyard. He so sweetly describes the mother/child relationship with both humor and depth and his words resonate with me every time I read them. I have the poem posted below.


The Lanyard by Billy Collins

The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past--
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never see anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that's what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones, and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift-- not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

it's in my blood (a note from the baby)

Last week I overheard Mommy and Daddy talking one morning about what a beautiful day it was going to be. Mommy said she was in the mood to go fishing, but Daddy had to go to work. After a few minutes I heard Daddy say something about being sick (which seemed weird to me because right before that he had been throwing me up in the air and playing), and Mommy was packing some bags of snacks while Daddy got out these long sticks. Before too long we were in the car headed up a canyon to go fishing. I didn't even know what fishing was, but Daddy kept telling me I was born to be a fisherman so I just played along.

After a long drive we got out of the car, Mommy rubbed this white lotion all over me, and they hooked me onto Daddy's back so I could be as tall as him. I loved being up so high.

Mommy and Daddy got out their long sticks and started swinging them back and forth. It was funny to watch.
Luckily Ne Ne (that's my grandma) was there to keep me company while Mom and Dad played in the water with their sticks.
They made me wear this hat. I hate hats. I take them off.
But pretty soon I heard Daddy whistle and Mommy ran me down to the water to see what he had. It was a tiny shark!
I loved touching his eyeballs. He was slippery so I couldn't hold on to him. But I wanted to real bad.
Then Mommy yelled for Daddy and she had a shark too! Hers was bigger and prettier than Daddy's and she was very happy about that.My family likes this fishing business and they say I should get used to it because we are going to go a lot.
I liked it too, but I started to get real, real tired.

As soon as we got in the car to go home I fell fast asleep.
But I dreamed of catching big sharks all by myself one day. I guess I was born to be a fisherman.