May 29, 2009

An Interesting Fact

Did you know that I've never attended a single one of my academic graduations? That's right - three missed opportunities! For some reason it was too inconvenient to attend my high school and bachelor's degree graduations, plus I was a bit disappointed about having to move on in life and I didn't want to think about it, so I skipped. By the time I earned my master's I didn't want to break tradition, so even though I was elated it was over, it seemed too boring and embarrassing to attend, so I didn't bother.

Why am I telling you this? It occurred to me that the only graduation I've ever cared enough about to attend was from seminary. I was so happy it was over that I wanted everyone to know and celebrate with me! I picked out a special outfit, did my hair the best I knew how, and sat there beaming through it all.

Funny side note story: midway through my talk for graduation I realized I forgot the last page back at my seat. So I had to leave the pulpit, crawl over 4 fellow students, and search for my lost paper. I then returned, apologized, and finished my talk. God probably thought I was too prideful that night and needed to humble me. He did a good job.

Anyways, for some strange reason, I set the goal in high school to never miss a single day of seminary. So, "come hell or high-water", I was there for every single day. Even during colds, exams, wisdom teeth surgery - I was there. I wasn't always there on time, but it was close enough. And I felt so elated that I had successfully survived, that I wanted to 'shout it from the rooftops', as people say.

Well, guess what? I feel that same way again. Today was my last 'teaching' day of seminary. We are having one seminary breakfast day next week and then it's over!!! When I accepted this calling I had no idea it would be such a major stress and huge challenge for me. If I had to sum up the year in five words I would pick: insulted, ignored, tired, endure, and supported. Sad list, I know, but it's accurate. The beauty in all of this though, was that I survived, again. I truly feel like I did the best possible job that I had the means with which to do - that's a good feeling.

Allow me to talk about the 'supported' on the above list. If it had not been for Ben I would have given up long ago. He has done every weekday night time feeding for the entire year (except for rare occasions when Sadie was sick (which she was a lot) or having a hard night). Ben has also taught for me several times when things were just getting too difficult or frustrating. Sometimes I would ask him to prepare a lesson for me and he would read all the material and then we would talk about it and come up with a plan together. That was helpful. He's cut, copied, glued, and stapled things for me all year long. He has been a perfect support to me through it all, and I think when the question is asked of me, "Will you support your spouse in this calling?", I have a much better understanding of what that means. I'm trying really hard to support him in his, but I don't come close to being as good as him.

Anyways, we both have made it to the end and I would like to say it's a bittersweet feeling for it to be over but mostly I just feel sweetness about it all. Seminary has taken three of my daily twenty-four hours for the last 10 months and I feel like a kid in a candy store to get that time back for myself again. Yes, I've learned a lot. Yes, I've grown from the experience more than I probably realize. Yes, I'm thankful that I could serve in the church. But I'm still thrilled that it's over! And, in the end, as always, I feel like the blessings we were given to compensate for the sacrifice far outweighed any inconvenience we endured. You can't put a price tag on the peace and confidence that comes from doing what's right. That's for sure!

So, for any of you that may be attending seminary graduation this Sunday night, although it's in honor of the graduating seniors, I will secretly be sitting there feeling that same sense of accomplishment and joy due to having completed my 5th year of seminary. I'm thinking by the time Sadie gets to high school we will move to Utah where they have something wonderful: in school seminary.

May 20, 2009

Dear Sadie

Dear Sadie,

Why are you so scared to go to sleep lately? Do you have nightmares? Are you afraid there are monsters under the bed? How can I assuage these fears so we can return to our normal state of being? I have to say, one thing we've always had going for us was your bedtime routine. I'd rock you and read to you, put you in your crib with your Binky, kiss you and turn out the lights and you would peacefully drift off to sleep. Oh, how I miss those days! Now when we lay you down you seem panicked and terrified. We have to sit in the room until you fall asleep and then ever-so-slowly tip toe out. Sometimes you hear us leaving and we have to start the process all over again. I have to say, your father has the patience of a saint! He has officially earned his place in heaven as he tries his best to let me sleep because he knows I have to get up early for seminary. But sometimes you get up several times each night and can be up for a hour or more, so I'll get up to relieve him of his duties. What a guy!

I'm really sorry to have to tell you this, but in desperate moments, we have tried letting you 'cry it out'. The doctor, the books, and most of your friends' parents highly recommend it. But I ended up crying right along with you, and it didn't work anyways, and now you're worse than ever! I just want you to feel safe, loved, and content. It may sound silly, but I feel like you are still scared from the things that happened to you when you were in the hospital at age 2 months. Those mean people are far away and they're never going to touch or poke you again! I promise!! So, will you just trust Dad and me to protect you and know that we'll always be here when you need us.... but can you try not to need us every hour or two? We would really appreciate it. But ya know what, even if you do need us every hour or two, we'll be there for ya! But could you possibly try not to need us during the hours or two and four am, because if I get woken up during those hours I can't get back to sleep and it's hard to function when I only get 3 hours of sleep and then I'm sleepy and grouchy the next day and I take a nap instead of working and then we can't go shopping to buy you cute, could you keep that in mind?

Thanks kiddo,


May 18, 2009

Troy, Becky, and Jadyn

We have been blessed with visitors again! When people visit it gives us an excuse to play and check out the touristy sites around town. Our guests this time were Troy (Ben's oldest brother), Becky (his wife, our sister-in-in-law), and Jadyn (their 9 month-old daughter). A little about them: Troy is a physician's assistant and works for an orthopedic surgeon in Park City; Becky is a dental hygenist, native to Orem, worked as a bartender to put Troy through school, and is always happy; and Jadyn is the most independent, self-entertaining child I've ever met. It took Troy and Becky 9 years to get pregnant, so I think Jadyn is one special kid! Anyways, on to the fun....


Ben had to work but we had a great time at Clearwater beach. Kimmy came along, too. Jadyn liked the water but Sadie was scared of the roar of the waves. Hopefully she'll get more use to it as the summer goes on!
(Sadie and Jadyn shown getting into trouble in the pantry.
Look at Sadie's innocent face!)

That evening we attended enrichment (Ben had to speak). I'll be honest, it was a little long and boring at times but they had tons of helpful information about food storage, wheat recipes, how to cook with your food storage, square foot gardening, storing water, ect. I was happy I attended!


The boys went fishing while the girls (including Kimmy, Sarah and Ethan - well, Ethan is not a girl - anyways....) went to Lowry Park Zoo. The boys caught lots of really tiny fish and us girls had a fabulous time despite the heat and the unpleasant animal smells. We cooked up all 4 bites of fish for dinner that night and then we went for a dip in the pool. It was relaxing!


We headed to Tarpon Springs for pastries - this is quickly becoming a tradition! We also picked up a few mother's day presents and then we went down to the Homestead. Sarah and my mom made delicious Thai food and then we went for a walk on the beach that night. We battled with an angry condo owner, found a lost cell phone, and did a family pyramid. It was a fun night!

We are already planning the next involves Tarpon fishing and Disney World. Can't wait :)

May 05, 2009

See Sadie Walk

Ben took this video on 4.26.2009. This was the weekend that Sadie started walking so well. She's doing better now but it's cute to watch her figure things out.

"Help! I'm stuck and I can't get out." says Sadie

Sadie shown above enjoying a mid-morning dip in the dog bowl. It is my daily battle to keep her away from toilet bowls and dog bowls. I had just gone in the bathroom to put something away and I accidentally left it open. Then I heard a frustrated grunting coming from that direction and this is what I found. She had gotten herself stuck and couldn't lift herself out! After this video I pulled her out and her whole backside and diaper was soaked. Don't worry, I cleaned and powdered her and she returned quickly to her life of mischief.