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27 June 2013

You threw off my groove!

In exactly two weeks my little turns 1.  And on that day we will party and love her even more to bits, but there needs to be a bit of a celebration today.  There needs to be a celebration because today I found my groove.  See, there is this mysterious thing that I've noticed successful mothers of all kinds seem to possess.  It doesn't make everything go perfectly and I'm certain every mom has a day where she can't find it, but it is what makes these mothers capable of their superhuman feats.  Moms who have a groove seem to be able to actually get dressed, have livable houses, and children who thrive with the love and attention they receive.

Now, I want to be clear.  No two mothers have the exact same groove.  You can't steal someone else's or attempt to copy it exactly.  You can borrow a few notes, maybe try adding a bit of a different cadence, or sample other pieces of the sheet music, but each mom has got to find a groove that is all her own.  Some grooves are jazzy, others are classical, maybe there's some banjo-plucking folk rock.  And thank goodness for that.

All that said, I have found it so hard to hit my stride, find that rhythm.  I mean, Mili is going to be 1.  That's twelve whole months filled with days where I found myself thinking, "I have one easy child.  Why can I not get the hang of this?"  I've said so many prayers where I've told Heavenly Father how much I knew I was falling short, that I felt like such a failure, and please could He just help me get through another day or just the next hour...

I know He was listening.  I didn't go through those almost full twelve months because He ignored my pleas.  He let me have what I needed, not just what I wanted.  I needed those twelve months of struggle to learn how important my role is.  I found that I don't need a job outside the home to have value or to feel satisfied.  I discovered that all that education I worked at is not 'going to waste' by me choosing to not have a career right now.  I finally started to figure out that selfishness never did, never has, and never will equal happiness.

As I stood at the metro stop today and did T-Rex and crocodile impersonations to make Mili laugh, I felt in my heart of hearts the deepest sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.  I heard the beginning notes of my very own theme song and they were jusssst right.

21 June 2013

Happynesses

1. One of my all-time favorite bloggers found my letter I wrote to her.  And then commented.  It actually made her happy.  I may or may not have told Tyler about this about 1 million times because I was so excited/amazed.  This here internet can be a pretty amazing place. #usetheinternetforgood #dontbeafraid 
2. Mili Kay had this name tag on for over an hour before I realized what it said.
Reason #862 why having my brother-in-law live with us is the best.
3. I made rolls.  With Mili.  It was a terrific mess and we both loved it.  She kept stealing handfuls of flour to eat.  Carb lover.  She is so my child.

4. London temple visit!  This temple has the largest grounds of all our temples in the world - 10 acres of just beautifulness, as if the amazingness and peace from attending the temple wasn't enough.
Love how light it is at night during the summer here.  This was taken at 8pm-ish.
5. Tyler did some prototype testing. (Have I ever mentioned how cool it is to be married to an inventor?)  He always includes the little and she loves it.

6. Aaaaaaaand a dinosaur!
An allosaurus to be exact.  Sorry to disappoint all you T-Rex lovers out there...

13 June 2013

public transport

the day started off warm and humid
moved towards cool
and then the winds moved in.
i think we experienced all
three weather patterns at once
as we waited
waited
waited for the bus to come.
fifty minutes is a blink during fun
but an eternity
to a girl at naptime who can't play
in the broken glass
at the bus stop.

09 June 2013

An Open Letter

Dear Katie,

I've debated long and hard with myself about actually writing this letter to you for quite awhile now.  Truth is, I'm too chicken to email it and far too bashful to even dream of getting a real address to mail it to.  But tonight, I can't get it out of my head.  Maybe you need it?  Whatever it may be, this is for you.

You know how the writing of a favorite author sucks you in?  You become so involved, so engaged that you are compelled to read on.  Even when you may disagree or you can't bear to think what is coming next, you read on.  I didn't know I could find that in a blog.  I didn't know that on a blog I could find someone who, through their writing about their life, could make me laugh with them, cry with them, and help me find my own wings to fly (p.s. I also hate lemon water. But I think cucumber water is even worse).  Through your words I feel a real honesty and sincerity.  You are you and that is a wonderful thing.  As I (re)navigate this whole darn blogging thing, I take courage from your example and I'm learning how to just be me.  And let that be enough.  I am enough.

Recently I've watched with baited breath and a prayer in my heart as you've taken some mighty leaps of faith.  I have cheered your optimism and your trust in God.  I have wished I could be a shoulder for you to lean on.  Sadly, I haven't even commented, though I have come close.  My words always end up seeming so trite, so trivial that it does no justice to what I really wish I could communicate.  My heart has been in my throat for another reason too.  You see, in September, I'm taking (along with my little family) a huge leap of faith of my own.  And I've needed your words to give voice to all that is flowing, sometimes raging, through me.  I've clung to your expressions because they say all that I cannot.

So as you move to Northern California - I love that place by the way - and find what God has in store for you, I hope you know this: You have made a difference to me.  And for that, I thank you.

Ariana

05 June 2013

General Awesomeness as of Late


  1. Mili Kay busted out her first word on Sunday.  Aaaaaand it was totally unexpected.  No mamas or dadas here, this girl knows her friends.  "Jack!"  Plus, I swear she did actually say "dad" that afternoon.  And she may have "woof"ed at a dog.  Blake thinks he heard a "please."  She has little conversations with herself all the time now.  So, you know, it's pretty fun.
  2. Summer!  IT IS HERE!  And it might even stay!  For those of you dying in the heat, you probably don't get this.  But all my English friends know why this is a huge deal in my life.  Last year we got exactly one - that's right one - week of summer.  It came in February.  This much sunshine is calling for bbqs, celebrations, and the kiddie pool every day.
    Mili's favorite part was definitely trying to eat the rocks from outside the pool. And don't be fooled - the sunglasses stayed on for approximately 0.5 seconds.
  3. Though it pained me to uproot so much successful growth, I finally got around to clearing my impressive weed garden in the front yard.  The knee high dandelions were making our house look a bit unloved.  We now are proud owners of a mostly barren flower patch.
  4. We took Mili Kay to the beach on another beautiful day, fully expecting a day full of eating sand and fun.  She h.a.t.e.d the beach.  Hated it.  Sand is not her thing.  Our beach stay was maaaaybe 15 minutes.  At least she loves the kiddie pool.
  5. Today an older man stopped me in town and asked if he could tell me something.  I braced myself for a critique of my parenting or some unsolicited advice.  Instead, he proceeded to tell me that Mili and I are two peas in a pod, that we are beautiful, and that my husband is a lucky man.  Dear older man, thank you so very much.  It made my day.  (Especially since today is one of my semi-regular no make-up days.

01 June 2013

First Pair of Shoes

Today my little, we got your first pair of shoes.  And with that, I helped give you another piece of freedom.  Your little steps are already more confident and your world is a little bit bigger.  In this whole beautiful, new adventure that is mothering, being able to encourage your independence is my favorite part.  While I've enjoyed learning how to be the one who does literally everything for you, learning how to be selfless enough to have someone completely dependent on me, I absolutely treasure the times I get to help you learn more for yourself.

From the time you first began cruising on the furniture and then the day you discovered you could go round the house using the wall, I've held my breath in such excited anticipation of the day when you will run.  The day when you find out the intoxicating feeling of feeling your heart pump harder and breath come stronger as you fly on your feet, temporarily escaping the heavy downward pull of gravity.  The day when you discover that this body of yours lets you see and do things that take your breath away.


I sat and washed dishes at the window while you, your dad, and your uncle were outside in the back, working on the shed.  I watched you totter on the uneven ground, stumble, crawl, and explore with a spirit of adventure greater than you've ever showed before.  It sent such a thrill of excitement into me.  But you still kept looking back and waving; checking that I was there, making sure I was still watching you.  In that moment, my heart felt fuller than it ever has before.  Tears came as I realized that the reason you were so unfettered was because you knew I was there.  You know that when I am there, everything in your world is okay.  And even if everything isn't okay, even when you fall and smack your head or pinch your finger in a drawer, you know that I will help make it better.

And with that, I understood a little bit more about God's plan for us and why it is so often called the Plan of Happiness.  A loving Heavenly Father didn't send us here because He wanted to carry us in every step of the way, but to let us learn how to walk it ourselves - to find the joy as we learn and grow.  He also doesn't just shove us off a cliff and tell us to fly.  He stands at the window, watches, and waves, ready to be at our side in a moment's notice if we need comfort or to rescue us when we are in a predicament, to keep us safe however He can.  That's why we can be so adventurous, because just as Mili kept checking for me, we can look to Him for reassurance as often as we need.

And so today, my beautiful girl, and tomorrow, and every day after that as long as there is breath in my body, I'll do my best to keep helping you reach as far as your small arms can go.  And hopefully you can feel how much God loves you, the only one who can love you more than me.