Sweet Moments with Charlotte

09 July 2017


Below are sweet little moments with Charlotte that I jotted down.  So many!  I'm glad I got some written down.

- bouncing with Charlotte on the bed at my mom's house.  She was laughing hysterically and holding onto my knee for dear life .

- having her mimic me in the car by bouncing our fists off our mouths and making sounds.  i love that she is responding to what i do and copying me!

- playing with Charlotte on the floor, saying, "Let's put our heads together!"  And then she would put her forehead to mine and giggle, giggle, giggle.  Over and over!

- going for a walk with Charlotte and loving her hands suspended in the air as she looks around.  i love how babies hold their arms and hands in midair, like on the brink of curiosity.

- reading books to Char and noticing that she is starting to sit still and pay attention to where my finger is pointing, wanting to touch the picture with me.  SO exciting!

- having Charlotte lean back in my lap and lay against me for a long time.  i let her chew on the tv remote as an exchange for her snuggles.  since she never was a snuggly baby, these tiny little moments are so wonderful!

- And of course, Charlotte's big, wide, two-toothed grin that she loves to give so freely!

Man, Ryan and I sure love this little girl!  What a sweetheart.

Upward and onward,


Motherhood, Grace & Peace

I have been going in and out of a hard time lately.  I'll tell you what it is...  

the loneliness into full-time motherhood.  Oh man.  I've stayed loyal to my meditations and my work-outs, because those can help with anything.  And one can try for all the mommy groups and play dates.  But it's still so hard. 

I've recently made a stronger push towards putting the Gospel first and setting aside focused time for it every day.  When I'm tapped into the Light of heaven and angels and Jesus Christ, I do feel better.  (I really like thinking about angels since I've become a mom.  I feel like they are around to help me).  I'm more aware and grateful for the simple things, and I'm more pleased with how things are, even though I'm still trying to grow my support system.

Grace makes everything feel okay, not in a loud, iconic, popular way.  But a smooth, graceful, quiet way.  How about this quote:

“The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us." -Billy Graham

Also, some other beautiful quotes that are so uplifting:

"'Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. . . . [But] the unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.' It is when we are beyond our own abilities that we lean into Christ, allowing a connection with Him to strengthen us until we can bear what we have been given. Christ doesn’t shame us in our weakness. Nor is His grace all about a pat-on-the-head “I’ll overlook it” kind of forgiveness. He empowers us, educates our desires, and fortifies our faith until our strength is born of what once was weak." - David A. Bednar

"The Lord is not saving up His grace, His power, for one dramatic display at the Final Judgment, nor is grace something that kicks in at the end of an ordeal. It is there from the moment we exercise even a 'particle of faith' and ask for His help. Jesus Christ is Alpha and Omega, literally the beginning and the end, which means He’ll stick with us from start to finish." -Sheri Dew

"Peace can come to an individual only by an unconditional surrender—surrender to him who is the Prince of Peace, who has power to confer peace. One may live in beautiful and peaceful surroundings but, because of inner dissension and discord, be in a state of constant turmoil. On the other hand, one may be in the midst of utter destruction and the bloodshed of war and yet have the serenity of unspeakable peace. If we look to man and the ways of the world, we will find turmoil and confusion. If we will but turn to God, we will find peace for the restless soul." - Howard W. Hunter

"Peace of mind, peace of conscience, and peace of heart are not determined by our ability to avoid trials, sorrow, or heartache. Despite our sincere pleas, not every storm will change course, not every infirmity will be healed.... Nevertheless, we have been promised peace—with a condition attached. In our search for peace amidst the daily challenges of life, we’ve been given a simple pattern to keep our thoughts focused on the Savior, who said: 'Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. I am Jesus Christ.'" -Christopher Waddell

Upward and onward,

The Peace of Wild Things

The below poem goes along with my post from last week about letting go.   Nature is always a good aid.

When despair for the world grows in me
 and I wake in the night at the least sound
 in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
 I go and lie down where the wood drake
 rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
 I come into the peace of wild things
 who do not tax their lives with forethought
 of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
 And I feel above me the day-blind stars
 waiting with their light. For a time
 I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


A Rich Man

28 June 2017

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."

Henry David Thoreau

I LOVE THIS QUOTE!  There is so much that I keep with me.  Then I recite this quote to myself and feel a release.  There is much to let go of in every moment.

I like to think:  in 5 years would this matter?   nah.  Or:  would 100 diverse people - across countries and generations - find this significant?   nope.

Then I will become richer to let it go.

I know people who let their hands physically release an imaginary balloon, or stardust, or an explosion of energy.  And then imagine it all drifting far, far away.

I love to build on these ideas, so do tell, what words or images help you to let things be?

Upward and onward,

image source

My Sweet Baby Girl

Charlotte is such a doll.  Perhaps I need more children in the mix to be more objective about this one, because she just seems too good to be true.  If Charlotte represented the nature and easiness of all babies, I would have 29 of them.  And if her happy and playful essence stays with her, granted she can have some extra grace around three years of age, then she is going to been known for the joy and light-heartedness she brings to everyone!

Charlotte is just so good-natured.  She is just as happy as can be, smiling and laughing all the day long.  I totally love how goofy and playful she is!  She's also comfortable and engaging with everyone, which makes her extra sweet and enticing! Yet, she's also so content in her own company.  When she wakes up for the morning or from a nap, she'll just lay in her crib and talk to herself and to her stuffed animals. 

Last week, we had a family in our ward watch her for an entire day.  This included a mother and several of her six children.  They were all just overcome with what "an angel baby" she is.  They were so astounded that when Charlotte woke up from her nap, she just laid quietly in her bed and looked around, until someone happened to peek in on her, and then she was all smiles!  The mom said that is unheard of amongst her children!  I pray all my babies are as healthy and sleep and eat this well.

Anyway, I just believe Charlotte is such a good person.  I think there is already something really special about her, like aspects of her countenance that she has brought with her from the premortal world.  I think she's going to bring so much light to the world, and I will learn and grow a lot from her example.  In that way, being a mother to Charlotte feels like I am under her tutelage.  

Upward and onward,

Hubby Half Marathon

21 June 2017

Two Saturdays ago, Ryan and I ran a half marathon together!  

This started out as a decision back in November, right after Charlotte was born, to run a marathon.  Well, Ryan ran about 2 miles a few times.  And I ran up to 8 miles a few times.  And our commitment to the time involved in training went elsewhere.  He stayed more high-spirited for his soccer games, and me with my boxing.  So we shifted to a half marathon, and we had one heck of a time doing that.  

It was probably the least intensive race I've ever run.  It was basically husband and wife off on a morning stroll.  Though the morning stroll did start with an alarm clock at 3:30 in the morning.  Getting ready.  Meeting a bus.  Riding to our race spot.  Camping with a thousand other people.  And then starting the run at the 6:00 am gun time. 

Ryan and I later remarked that this race was more the production of the entire experience and less about the run.  Because we took the run easy and it wasn't bad at all.  We talked and talked.  About Charlotte, about our lives, about our goals and dreams.  It was all so nice.  I love quality time with Ryan, because I love his listening ear and his mind.

Though, my favorite part, about 7 miles in, Ryan looked over me and said, "You're so pretty.

Upward and onward,

FHE for the win

For Family Home Evening on Monday, Charlotte called out the window to Ryan and said:


"Hey Dad!  Let's go to Jamba Juice."

Those were her first words.

So we had a little spiritual lesson.  And from there, we'll work this story backwards with some pictures:

Why is Charlotte half naked?  You may be wondering.  (At least that's what I wanted you to notice from those photos).

Answer:  Because I did not foresee the ramification of my choices at lunch time when I fed her a whole container of prunes.  She liked them, and I liked that she liked them, so I let her eat all of them.  And then, several hours later, when we ventured out for our sweet pre-dinner treats, Charlotte somehow achieved the most inverted diaper explosion we've seen yet.  More on the outside than on the inside.   So we stripped her down and cleaned her up and dressed her with what we had - one pair of pink polka-dot pants.

Boy, does our baby look cute wearing only those.

Then, our FHE proceeded with Charlotte going home to bed, and Ryan grilling up a tray full of chicken legs.  And we got to end our night licking our salty, greasy fingers.

It was a glamours night for everyone.

Upward and onward,

Hiking Rose Canyon

Nap time!  And I am going to take advantage of it by sitting here and writing as many words as I can before our Little Princess wakes up.

On Saturday, we drove out to the canyon just west of our home, and our little family embarked on a hike.  I heard rumors that something spectacular was at the end of the hike.  Though, there were many trails; and we didn't know how long each of them were; or which one even led to the special place; let alone, what it even was.  A waterfall, an overlook, a cave, a new country.  I also don't know if I made up this rumor in my own head, and then started the passing of it.  Regardless, we hiked quickly in hopes of finding out.  But alas, after hiking for about 1.5 miles, I got the mama's intuitive hunch that it was time for us to turn around.  A baby has got her life to live, and it ain't in the backwoods of a mountain.

So we hiked back out, and as soon as we crossed the bridge to our car, Charlotte was ready for some food and a nap.  Mothers know.

However, the hike was gorgeous.  We found large stick teepees, streams, and endless trails veering away.  We were lost in a field of trees, and the rest of the world was so far away.  It was a really great time, and I look forward to going back very soon.

And also, what is really at the end?  Is there an end?


Upward and onward,

Yard Work & Soccer Games

04 June 2017

All of my siblings came down this last weekend because the US Men's Soccer Team was playing in Salt Lake City.  Ryan and I were scheduled to go camping this weekend, but we altered our plans last minute to stay home.  I'm SO grateful we did.

My siblings arrived on Friday evening.  Ryan, Charlotte, and I were just returning from a walk through the neighborhood.  Whereupon, we found that a bird had pooped on Charlotte's head during the walk. We laughed about that for awhile, and then we all stayed up late talking, eating snacks, and watching a brilliant comedian I found on YouTube.

The next morning, I left for boxing, and I came home to this sight:

All my siblings were hard at work in the yard with Ryan.  It was so funny / AWESOME!  Ryan and I were planning on kicking out some major yard work projects, and my siblings cut that time down for us from a few days to a few hours.  I tended Charlotte inside, preparing homemade BBQ sauce and a nice dinner that evening.

After yard work, we all lined up for the showers, and then went out for lunch at In-N-Out.  Afterwards, Angie and Matt went to IKEA, while the rest of us went to Boondocks for mini golf and some arcarde games.  For one game, I tended Charlotte while Ryan and all my brothers battled it out shooting werewolves.  I told them the winner would be the one who could take the funniest photo for the screen above the outside waiting line.

Afterwards, we came home to a nice BBQ meal, and then we all set out for the soccer game!  We met up with several of our friends.  It was way fun!!

And now, the moment I've been waiting for!!!!!

I present to you our disheveled front yard.  And this is at one of its finer moments.  You should have seen it last fall when we had plants bursting from every inch of the space.  It was overgrown chaos.  Also, Ryan was building our fence when I snapped this photo.

And now, TA DA!!!  Oh it's so pretty.  We love it.   Ryan and my family did such a good job.

Upward and onward,

Memorial Day Weekend with My Family

Last weekend we drove home to visit my family for Memorial Weekend.  Trevor had texted me earlier in the week and said everyone was coming home, so we should too!  And I'm SOOO glad we did.  It was just what I needed to get out of a funk.  My cousin, Jarae, drove over too, and it was SO fun to have her with us.

We all kicked back all weekend and enjoyed each other's company to the max.  We all went hiking, then toured the Idaho State Penitentiary (I'm tired after typing that word), then we hung out in my parent's gorgeous backyard for a couple days on end.  We had barbeque, played volleyball, played racquetball, played board games, and played with the two babies.  Myself and my sisters even brought all the jewelry we no longer wore and had a little jewelry exchange.  

It was just perfect.  I'm so grateful for my family, and I'm so soooooo glad I went home to gather up all those good feelings and laughs with them.

 Heading out on our hike! Charlotte was a trooper.

Oh my goodness, do you just love this baby?

 Sitting at the peak of our hike!

Touring the Idaho State Penitentiary

Hanging out in my parent's backyard!

Jarae and Charlotte!

Kami loved to pet Charlotte's head.

And what better picture to show that even Charlotte had a kicked-back weekend:

Upward and onward,