Homecoming ’12

Since Thursday, I’ve been hopping with Homecoming madness. The girl came home from school with a note that said something about participating in the Homecoming parade, and I didn’t pay attention to it.
The past week, this pregnancy has really sucked pretty much everything out of me. I just didn’t have it in me to help with a float.
The day before the parade, my daughter came home from school and announced that she was going to be in the parade. She was going to wear a mask. She was going to throw candy.
Oh, and she was going to have chalk in her hair.
I was at a loss. She didn’t ASK, and she was so dead set on it that there was no wiggle room for me to whine my way out of it, “Can’t we just stay home, pleeeeeeease?”
I mentioned it to my little brother.
“Lacy’s decided she’s GOING to be in the parade. Are you going?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m in it.” He said.
“You’re going to ride on your class float?” I asked. I was a little confused. It was sort of out-of-character for him.
“No,” he sighed, “I’m on the royalty float.”
And then I proceeded to make a scene, the likes of which I made when my sister was nominated for Homecoming royalty… the likes of which drive my younger siblings crazy. I tend to get worked up about every little thing in their life. My sister put up with it patiently-ish… only a few eye rolls now and then.

Jim made sure to throw lots of candy to his nieces and nephews… and the boy sported his irrigation boots. Thank goodness, I mean, LOOK at all that flood water (*sarcasm*).
We did chalk up the kids’ hair. I didn’t do a very good job since the only colored chalk I have on hand is the dry stuff they use on blackboards and I really should have been using the softer chalk (not oil based) they sell at craft stores. Don’t worry: it’s on my list. The kids absolutely went NUTS for their colored hair.

After the parade, I went to the school pep rally to hear if my brother had won the royalty for his class.
There’s a few things you should know about Homecoming at this point.
1) In small towns, homecoming is a HUGE event.
2) We wrestle in Jell-o.
3) The homecoming game is -without fail -one gigantic reunion when people from miles away come “home” and spend more time visiting about old times than actually watching our football boys play the game (which, by the way, they are insanely good at. Seriously, they slaughter everyone).

My kids couldn’t wrap their minds around the Jell-o wrestling.
Why are they doing it?
Why is everyone yelling?
What’s going on?
It’s loud.
Can we go home now?
Mom, it smells like Jell-o…

My brother and his wife were here for a few days, and we were able to go enjoy Root Beer Floats with them after the pep rally. I had to snap this picture of niece, KyKy. I’ve probably told you this before, but I want to EAT this KID!

My brother and his wife didn’t just bring Root Beer Float fixings with them -they also brought their dogs! We’ve all fallen in love with their Italian Greyhounds. While visiting with my sister-in-law their dog, Rari, climbed up on me and wrapped himself around my belly:

I also scheduled a family photo shoot with Mike and Brittany while they were here. Do you know what that means?!?!!?!
Well, it means you should be jealous -because Mike and Brittany are a husband and wife professional photography team and they are the best!!
HERE is their site.
And here’s what they did for us last year:

I can’t wait for this year’s shoot!!! I know I’ll be as big as a house, but I don’t even care. Their pictures are so awesome that even my housiness can’t mess them up.
Anyway, I stayed at the homecoming pep rally for an hour before I had to leave, and just as I was pulling out of the parking lot… my aunt texted me that my brother had won royalty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had JUST missed the announcement, so I made sure NOT to miss the game!

It made me nostalgic for my sister. This was 5 years ago:

Five years ago, she held Lacy in her arms while she waited to be crowned:

Five years later, that tiny little thing was shaking her bum-bum with the cheerleaders on Homecoming night:

Because I’ve been hopping all around, I was too tired to cook last night. I ordered pizza from our little pizza shop here in town and as I brought him home managed to spill half of a Root Beer all down the front of myself.
I’m talented like.
Sorry -no picture proof.
Also: sitting in Root Beer while you drive makes you speed. Thank goodness I didn’t get stopped. Can you imagine?
“Sorry, officer, but I’m soaking up carbonation in ways that are just… unnatural…”
AND BEFORE I GO -I have to share you with you perhaps the GREATEST thing that has ever happened to me.
Marriage and kids aside, of course.
I was able to substitute teach SEMINARY! My Bishop called me and asked if I would like to do it, and it was like someone calling and saying -in essence “Hey, would you like to live your dream for a day?”
I was so excited! I read my lesson plan and picked an outfit out and bounced off the walls of my house.
My husband was a little more cautious, “Teenagers can be hard,” he said, “They try to take advantage of subs…”
He doesn’t mean to be a rain cloud, really. And I asked him to please stop raining on my fiesta.
So he did.
And the two classes I taught were AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve known for years that teaching is really what I want to do, but right now I just can’t make a full-time go of it. But to have it for just two hours on Friday meant so much to me.
I was high on life, people. High.
Also: I love teenagers. So much. And I hope in ten years when I’m living with two that I’ll still love them. I’m sure I will… how could you NOT love these kids?

Problem? Solved.

When you’ve got homework to do and you end up directly in the line of cold fire bursting out of the swamp cooler…

You adjust.

There and Back Again

Yesterday, we had the opportunity as a family to go the Mesa Temple. Our sister-in-law went through for the first time, and we went down to be there with her.
Because our planning skills are pretty much the worst, everything was last minute. We didn’t get a sitter, and so I sat outside with the kids during the session while my husband went in to be with his brother.

It ended up being a good thing because the session took quite a while, and I couldn’t have gone that long without paying a visit to the bathroom. Even my daughter was amazed at how many bathroom trips we took.
I tell ya: the longer I’m pregnant, the less crazy Depends seem.
Gross? Maybe. But not if you’re almost 30 weeks pregnant.

I’ve waited outside the same temple once before while my husband went in. We were engaged, and I hadn’t taken out my endowments yet so I couldn’t go in with him. I waited patiently outside while he sat with his cousin (who was taking out his endowments) inside. A few hours later, my husband came out of the front rotating door, enveloped me in a hug (he gives the BEST hugs. And I’m not just saying that to gush. He really can fix so many things with those hugs), and said, “I hated being in there without you… it just felt wrong.”
And he hugged and hugged and wouldn’t let me go, and I giggled and smiled and we kissed.
It was all very precious.

And then.
Eight years later.
I sat outside (and in the Visitors’ Center) and waited and made the kids pick up their trash and pulled their feet out of the fountain, and told them to stop swallowing their gum and that we DO NOT chew up our apple and then SPIT IT OUT on the Temple Grounds, slapped mosquitoes and went to the bathroom, once, twice, thrice, and told them to stop running and to get off this and don’t stand on that and MOM CAN’T CHASE YOU WHEN SHE’S FAT and then… when even angry birds wasn’t enough to keep them from winding in and out of railings…
My husband came out.
“How ya doing?” He asked.
“I’m fine,” I think I tried to say through the sweat and gritted teeth.
He didn’t try to hug me, and thank goodness. Because if he would have TOUCHED me, I would have slapped someone. When you have to pee THAT BAD… you DO NOT want to be touched anywhere, especially when there’s a little she-goblin bouncing on your bladder.

As we drove home late last night, I joked about eight years ago. The hugs, the kisses, the sweetness.
“I have to admit that I was a little bummed that you didn’t come out and fall all over me like you did eight years ago,” I said, “Then again, you didn’t exactly come out and greet the same girl you did eight years ago.”
He laughed so hard I’m surprised we didn’t wreck.

Ah, love. Thou are the master of change.

And children.


Yesterday I spent a few hours refreshing.
Not shaving. Not facial masking. Not juice cleansing.
SOUL refreshing, people. SOUL refreshing.

And yes you DO have time to watch that. Put it on while you do your make-up, or get dressed or while you juice.
Also, if you haven’t taken the time to watch (or listen to) Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s CES broadcast, you have GOT TO.
This video is of the entire devotional. I put it on and listened to it while I did other things, and I will never regret it -no, not ever.
Elder Holland has a way of moving my soul. When I hear his voice, I can FEEL something working inside of me. I’ve gone back to the words in this devotional so many times that I can’t imagine living the rest of my life without hearing them.
And lastly. If you’re still reading.
HERE is a talk mentioned in the first clip. It’s titled, “Grounded, Rooted, Established, and Settled.”
Lately, I’ve been experiencing so many emotions -thank you, pregnancy. Thank you -and it’s been so much harder for me to
“Look to the light!”
“See the good!”
“Dance in the rain!”
And when my husband said to me a few days ago, “Just look for the good in the pregnancy,” I nearly nailed him in the crotch… you know, just so he could get a true FEEL for what it’s like to be kicked around all the time.

And that last sentence alone should be enough to prove how much I need a soul refresher (and probably a juice cleanse, but anyway).
Elder Maxwell also has a way of speaking that moves me -it hits me and it really changes my perspective.

In other pinteresting news, here’s what I love today:

The kind of newborn pictures I want -I absolutely agree with her point of view.  Great read if you're expecting and wanting newborn pictures taken!
Please check out melissaephotography.blogspot.com
Her talent for taking pictures when the subjects are at their selves is just… gosh, I love it so much.

Cowboy Hat Crochet Pattern Baby for BOOT SCOOT'N Cowboy Hat.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Found at THIS store.


Mug shot.  I can't decide if it's creepy or cute...
I’m trying to decide if it’s cute or creepy. Thoughts?

Parties, Pans, Past and Present

I’ve never done a “friends” birthday party before. I’m not awesome enough to do decorations, a cake, games, invites, and goody bags. I WISH I was, and I really WISHED I was when my son told me that he wanted a “just boys” party.
He only wanted three of his friends to come over, so I decided to give it a try.
“What do you want to do?” I asked him.
“Have just da boys and watch Capture d’Merica and eat pizza and popcorn.”
Gosh, well. I can do that! I either told or texted parents about the party, and I did make another cake. But I didn’t decorate. I went to Safeway and got 6 frozen pizzas and 2 two liters for under $10 (a small miracle).
The boys ate pizza and popcorn and watched Captain America for maybe thirty minutes… after that, they ran outside and fought with each other. You know, for FUN.

After opening gifts, the boys got busy playing with everything in sight and my husband and I ended up watching Captain America.
I’ve seen it before, but I didn’t remember every little scene. At one point, I was watching Captain America’s woman and Tommy Lee Jones (my favorite old man Hollywood crush) speed toward the edge of a cliff… just at the last minute, Tommy evaded death. But not before one wheel slipped off the edge.
“CRAP!!!!!” I squealed.
“Where’s the crap?” my son’s friend, Soren, asked.
Oh. Oooooops…
Sorry, Jamie. I’m teaching him bad crap.

When I was frosting the cake, I gave my son one of the beaters. He licked it clean in no time, but he wasn’t satisfied… so he remedied his own situation the best way he knew how. He plunged the beater back into the fresh bowl of icing.

I took it away. He was well aware that I didn’t fully appreciate his savvy problem-solving skills.
The next morning, we went to a baptism for one of my Primary kids. Before we left, my husband decided he wanted Ramen noodles… so he boiled some water.
A few hours later we came home to a burner on high, an empty pan, fumes out the wazoo, and the fire alarm going off.
Luckily, our birds are still alive. The pan, however?

After the baptism, we were able to eat the most delicious lunch with the baptized boy and his family. On our walk home, I had to snap a picture.

In my mind’s eye, I can practically see the screaming crowd running away from the radioactive calf…

Later that night, I took my daughter with me on a walk. We passed by some flowers that my grandma grows in her yard. I stopped to take a picture because I had taken her picture by the same flowers 5 years ago…

Pictures like that make me want to cry.
Remind me why I’m doing this all over again?
Love, that’s why. Love, love, love. And apparently, I have a crying hobby I need to feed.


So, I miss bacon.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to cut back on fats or be more healthy or whatever. I mean, I should be. But I’m not. Because it’s BACON for crying out loud. I was raised in a farming way and bacon was a staple in our house. It was never a question of IF we should have bacon but WHEN and HOW MUCH.
When mom was gone and dad was in charge of cooking, we always had bacon, eggs, and grits.
We never had grits, eggs, and bacon.
BACON came first. It deserves the honor. Because it is worthy of it.

That said, I’m not a true fan of the bacon revolution going on. I’m a bacon purist. I do not put bacon in my chocolate. I do not put it in my ice cream.
Truth: I put it in my mouth.
My older brother (bless your heart, Steve) once told me that when you eat bacon it has the potential to turn your blood the consistency of motor oil. It should have stopped me in my tracks, but mostly all it did was bring fond memories of the time I spent trailing my mechanic Dad along on parts runs into town… I would sit on the greasy stools at the parts stores and crank the little motor oil toys they had sitting on the counter. I was mesmerized by the oil glistening through the gears.
Wow… pretty…

I went without bacon in college. I went without pretty much everything in college except canned spinach and frozen tater tots. I also lost five pounds.
But anyway.
Once I was married, bacon was BACK on the menu.
Those were such happy years: The BACON years.
And then my husband met (figuratively speaking) Dave Ramsey.

The Bacon Years are now only a cherished memory. We don’t buy bacon anymore… something about how we don’t need it for survival or whatever.
Bloody bull if you ask me.

Also missing from our cupboards? Cold Cereal. Fruit Juice. Chocolate Chips (don’t even get me started on that one).
I’ve also learned to go without certain cleaning supplies and other household products that were standard in our home. It’s no big deal, really. Besides, concocting my own cleaning products from what I have on hand makes me feel like a master chemist.
“Warm water… a cup of baking soda… a splash of ammonia…”

But the bacon thing.
It bothers me.

Because of Dave Ramsey, I also never replenished my molasses supply when it ran out.

HOWEVER, since we’ve been following ol’ Dave’s plan, we’ve witnessed many small miracles. They’ve always come after we’ve showed a little bit of faith. Although it’s been hard to make small sacrifices, it’s humbling to see that the Lord sees them. They’re so small that I hardly notice them, but HE does.
So many times my husband and I look at each other and say, “I have no idea how such-and-such is going to work out. We just can’t afford it.”
And then we find money in a pocket. Or someone calls and says something that fixes everything. Or I get a new piano student.
After which, we look at each other and say, “Oh, wow… I wonder what kind of little miracles we’ve been missing out on all of these years.”

One of the little miracles that came to pass last shopping trip was that I had JUST enough to buy molasses.
Yesterday I juiced some freshly-picked apples and made hot cider and warm, gooey chewy gingersnaps. The kitchen could have been it’s own Scentsy Scent and no foolin’.
“Come home soon,” I texted my husband, “There’s hot apple cider and fresh, warm gingersnap cookies.”
“Ooooooo weeeeee!” he said, texting back his signature reaction to Crap He Loves, “What’s the occasion?”
“WE HAVE MOLASSES,” I texted back, fairly dancing in my highly unbalanced body.
And he text-laughed at me.

And so I dream of a day when we’ll have JUST enough money left in the food budget to buy bacon.
“Come home soon,” I’ll text my husband, “There’s BLTs all over the place.”
“Oooooo weeeee!”
“We have BACON!”

via bacon.wikia.com

In the meantime, I haven’t lost five pounds like the last time I cut bacon from the menu. Probably because I’ve been baking gingersnaps.
Or a baby.

Sick Day

Even though I’m technically over the morning sickness stage (incidentally I never got over it with my son), I still get attacked every now and then.
Yesterday was one of those days.
The upside? I got the Primary Program written (look at me and my smoking gun).
The downside? Well, I was sick.
The upside? My husband is nice enough to bring me Sprite and Gatorade and make Ramen for everyone for dinner.
The downside? Well, I was sick.

I also have a bad case of the Miss Hilly Holbrook’s goin’ on:

It’s grown substantially since I took that picture, and it isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever had on my face.

I’m beginning to think there’s something magical in Sprite. It carried me through my morning sickness, and every day I’ve been hit with morning sickness reruns, it serves as my primary healer. I know it isn’t the healthiest thing to down while I gestating, and honestly I think yesterday’s sickness was a direct result of my sugar indulgences.
I’ve cut pretty far back on sugary things lately, but the day before yesterday? I was so sad over my hair that I ate an unholy amount of pancakes.
And then I went to Family Home Evening (a family talent show) and didn’t exactly step away from the cookie platter.
My system (or as my daughter would say “zyzstem”) truly balked.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my kids are asking for ice cream for breakfast.  I’ve got to serve them some oatmeal and teach them all about how too much sugar is terrible for your little zyzstem.


Hair Today

I talk a lot about the retreat my mom and I went to last summer. I got a new hair cut and color there, and I learned a lot.
One thing I learned was that men don’t understand certain emotions.
“We don’t understand what it’s like to cry after getting a bad hair cut,” the male motivational speaker said. And the room full of women he was speaking to laughed.
Except yesterday it wasn’t so funny… because two days after getting a hair cut and style, I cried for a good thirty minutes. And when I say “I cried” I’m not saying that my eyes were moist and I dabbed a little at them… I’m saying I hunkered down on my bed and BAWLED.

Before you roll your eyes, let me just explain a few things.
I don’t ever get my hair cut and colored. After going to the retreat, I didn’t get my hair cut for over a year… forget about color. I saved up money like you wouldn’t believe and I swore to myself that for my birthday, I would go back to an Aveda salon and get my hair redone.
I absolutely could NOT love my hair more last summer. It was prettier than I ever thought it could be! I would style it everyday and just LOVE it.
I couldn’t wait to have that again -no matter how much it cost. And COST it did.
Well, $193.
And while I tried to push aside thoughts like, “That’s a baby stroller” and “guess how many diapers you’re NOT buying so you can spend all that money on yourself? You selfish vixen.”
I have never spent so much on my silly hair before. Heck, I’ve never spent that much on myself anywhere on anything!

When the stylist at the Aveda salon in Utah -where the retreat was -styled my hair, she wrote down the color formula she used on a card. And she gave the card to me.
And I gave the card to the stylist at the Aveda salon I went to.
She seemed doubtful, and offered instead of a complete dye with highlights to give me instead a lot of low lights and some highlights.
Now. I listened to her reasoning and I agreed, and I’m glad I did.
Because the colors on the card WERE NOT the colors I got at the retreat. If I had dyed my hair the base color written on the card rather than just gotten low lights… oh ho, buddy.
I showed my stylists pictures of the haircut I’d gotten in Utah. And now I don’t really know why… because my hair.

And I shouldn’t care so much because hair grows, right? But ladies. I’m planning on getting maternity pictures done, and I’m planning on holding a brand newborn in my arms… with THIS hair!  It’s not long like it was.  It’s not my friend.  And it will forever be immortalized by the birth of my newest baby!  I’m so sad!

Okay, now that I’ve said that: it isn’t the worst hairstyle I’ve ever had. But it is the most disappointing because after spending $193 and waiting a full year for a cut, you want to absolutely love your hair.
I don’t even LIKE my hair. So yeah. I bawled. And then I phoned a friend and shared my cloud o’ doom and gloom with her, and she was sweet and understanding about the whole thing.
I took a before picture out in the parking lot of the salon. It isn’t awesome because… who does their hair before going to get their hair done?
The after picture was taken in my yard because you can hardly see the expensive color in my hair unless the sun is blazing down on me. And yeah, I had just finished crying all of my make-up off.

Like I said: I’m not about to bury my head in a million different baseball caps or opt for french braids until it grows out longer or the color fades. It’s fine. It’s a fine cut.
And I just paid $200 for a fine cut.

Like a crazy lady, I had all these images of me walking out of the salon, meeting my husband and hearing him say, “WOW! I’M SO GLAD I MARRIED YOU AND THAT WE MAKE BABIES… IF IT WAS POSSIBLE TO PROPOSE AND MARRY YOU ALL OVER AGAIN, I WOULD!”
What do you think he said?
“Um, is that what they gave you when you went to the retreat?”
*sigh* “No.”

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, I’m seriously considering calling the salon in Utah and asking for the other stylist… getting her cell phone number, TEXTING her the picture I took of the two of us together after I got my hair done and asking if she remembers what formula she used.
Or if she could guess it.
She did tell me last summer that if I had any questions to call because she had been wanting to try the colors she put in my hair on someone for a long time… and she wasn’t likely to forget them. But it has been a year.
Am I really crazy enough?

I would pay $200 for THAT!

The stylist at the salon I went to did make sure to tell me that what she gave me was not what my pictures looked like, color wise.  I hoped CUT WISE at least it would be.  But, no.
There’s a part of me that just hates myself.
I should have bought the stroller. I should have bought diapers. I should have bought a pack n play.
I should NOT have ever thought spending extraordinary amounts of cash on my stupid hair would ever be worth it.
So I will wait for it to grow out and then I will cover my head in ashes and spend the rest of my days striving to rid my soul of vanity.
Not to be dramatic, or anything…

Frosting Will Fix It

Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother has crafted the most beautiful gingerbread houses. The day after Thanksgiving, when all the rest of the world was shopping, my mother sat studiously at her kitchen table and hand crafted a classy gingerbread house that would rest on a board (special made by dad) with a light inside. At night, she would turn the light on, and it would send the jolly-rancher windows all a-glow. The smell of gingerbread would waft through the house. The family would pick at the scraps, and we’d enjoy the cheery little house every Christmas season…
Come New Year’s Eve, we would SMASH her houses and devour them. Was the candy over a month old? Yeah. Did that stop 6 children?
What do you think?

We loved every bit of it.

When I moved to college, I missed the gingerbread houses. Sure, it was there when I visited on holiday, but it wasn’t at MY house. It was at Mom’s house. When I was married, I decided I needed to have a house of my own.
You know how some girls are so much like their mothers that it’s uncanny? Well, I’m not. And it’s not a good thing, folks. My mother does things so neatly -so in order.
When gingerbread house making comes to our house? Boy, look out. There’s candy flying everywhere and burned sugar crusted to the counter…
I clean it up when I’m done -I promise! But the thing is: Mother would never allow a mess like that around her hands, and she doesn’t HAVE to because she just goes about the whole process much much neater. Neatly? More neat?
Anyway, she’s a champion.
She was so patient with me that first year I made one. She let me borrow a pattern for a small “Love Shack.” It was about half the size of her big house, and just perfect for a newlywed couple.
I mixed the dough with her. I cut the pieces with her. She showed me the ins-and-outs of house crafting.
“If the gingerbread gets too hard to cut, just put it back in the oven for a little bit.”
“Use dark karo syrup instead of molasses for the dough if you want it to be more firm.”
The MOST important thing my mother ever taught me about baking (drum roll please):
“Frosting will fix it.”
I can hear her say it, you know. She had to say it so very many times to me.
I glued my chimney on crooked.
“Frosting will fix it,” she said.
I glued my ROOF on wrong.
“Frosting will fix it.”
One wall was backward.
“Frosting will fix it.”
And you know what my mother never, ever did? She never took the house from me. She never said, “Oh, here. Let me just DO it.”
She just stood next to me, offered advice, let me do with it what I would and assured me no matter HOW BAD it got…
“Frosting will fix it.”

All while Mom and I were in the kitchen putting our gingerbread houses together, my husband and the rest of The Boys were out on the first day of a two-day round up. As they all piled back in the warm, gingerbready kitchen that night my husband regarded my house with the utmost pride.
My little brother, on the other hand, was more honest.
“Aw, it’s okay Eash,” he said, putting a comforting little 8-year old arm around me, “It’s your first one.”

We all know that my mother is the smartest woman alive. This we all know. She denies it, of course (unless she’s facing off with my Dad in which case -she IS the wisest).
But I honestly think my mother is wiser than she knows. She teaches life lessons without meaning to, and the lessons that come from her are invaluable.
Remember her Why Not Philosophy? If you’ve never read that post, please do. No matter how many times I read it, I bawl like a baby.
Moms have a way of making us do that… and it all started with our first spanking.

Yesterday as I pulled two 9-inch Red Velvet circle cakes out of the oven and frosted them, I chanted over and over in my head.
“Frosting will fix it.”
One cake stuck stubbornly to the bottom. As I stacked them, cake flaked off into the frosting everywhere and I had to make more and more frosting to… FIX everything.
I could hear my mother’s voice saying to me that frosting would fix it, and I thought of her as I dotted red stars on what was about to be (I hoped) a Captain America Shield Cake.
She made our birthday cakes -they were always neat and wonderful. I loved them. Her cakes were beautiful. Mine?
Well… think of the sloppiest cake you can. Do you have it in your mind? My cakes are one baby step up from that. But I keep making them anyway because…
you guessed it.
Frosting will fix it.

As I thought about my mother and her Frosting Philosophy (My mom has no idea she HAD this many philosophies), my thoughts turned to my Savior.
I can see myself sometimes as he sees me: a sloppy little kid trying to navigate this maze of life. He’s letting me choose which way to go, never straying far from my side, and NEVER making my decisions for me.
Like my mother who stood patiently by and let me make mistakes, so does the Savior. He never once will say, “Here. Just let me DO it.”
He waits for me to ask questions -to ask for help. Then he gently fills me with a loving feeling when I do glue my figurative chimney on crooked and he says
“The Atonement will fix it.”
I don’t have any pictures handy of that first house. Boy, how I WISH I did. But guess what I do have? More pictures of different houses. I didn’t give up! I kept making more and more houses! Last year I forgot some of mom’s advice (used straight molasses) and my house was a wretched mess that never made it to the frosting stage.
It made it to the trash. That’s all.
But the more I try, the better I get. No matter what, I always make mistakes. My houses are never perfect, EVER. But you can’t tell because I utilized the HECK out of my frosting.
Here’s my second house:

My third house:

Proof of the mess that ensues when I embark on something that requires frosting to fix it:

And so as the years go on, I continue to try and I continue to mess up (literally. I mean, do you SEE that picture?) and turn to my Savior with “whoopsie-daisy” eyes, and He is always right there for me.
“The Atonement will fix it.”
And in the end what comes out is actually something really quite amazing. Now I’m on to teach Mom’s Frosting Philosophy to the Next Generation. Here’s one of our pictures from last year’s gingerbread making madness:

And here’s a picture of me instilling the words that have held me through many-a-tearfully-failed-project:
“It’s okay. Frosting will fix it.”

And -just like the Atonement -the frosting DID fix it. And thank goodness because I had one hopeful little boy that would have be crushed if he didn’t get a birthday cake:


I wrote this post four years ago.
I’m revisiting it again because it is one of my best pieces -not because it’s well written or makes a good point… but because it is one of my most sacred pieces. Every time I read it, I inevitably cry. It takes me back to a day when I was surrounded by angels and given one to keep -forever and ever. Today I’m reminded of eternity and love and WHO I AM.
Today my son is four.

My Surprise:

I wasn’t planning on him; in fact, I cried the day I found out he would be a permanent part of my life. I announced the pregnancy to my husband through tear-filled eyes with a choking voice. I wasn’t ready, I tried to explain, for my world to change. I wasn’t ready for this blessing that brought on so much sickness. I later found out that there were so many other things I wasn’t ready for: the stares and glares from strangers when they saw me holding a toddler with one hand and resting the other on my protruding belly. The financial worry that loomed in the near future was a constant burden.

Most of all, the one thing I was completely unaware of was how things would work out in the end.

An end which came much sooner than it was supposed to. Right?

No. He came at exactly the right time.

Just in time to remind me that this has nothing much to do with me at all. This is his story. This is his beginning. Since he initially began his growth inside me, he has continued to teach me. Sometimes, the answers aren’t where you think they should be. More often than not, true treasures are found when you look up and celebrate life as it is instead of spending your time looking around and accepting life as you see it.

After months of complaining about my aches and pains, I found that they abruptly came to an end. I found myself with little contractions at 5:30 am on Tuesday. I tried to rest them away, then clean the living room in hopes they would diminish (which they didn’t), and finally decided to take a warm bath, assuring myself that I would be relaxed and back in bed for a few more precious minutes of sleep.

That’s when I made Danny call my mom because I couldn’t speak through the pain. That’s when mom wasn’t home, so Danny asked my Dad to come over to help give me a blessing -during which phone call, I clawed my way through the house grasping for the front door. I didn’t care that my hair was nappy and wet. I didn’t care that I was wearing glasses and a blue robe that makes me look like a marshmallow peep. I just had to get to the car. I had to drive somewhere that had someone who would give me something to take the pain away. The only problem was that I couldn’t get into the car, no matter how hard I tried and, literally, screamed.

Danny did the only thing he felt he could do. He called the Fire Department and had an ambulance dispatched. Within minutes, my filthy house was filled with emergency personnel. I was whisked away on a gurney and the nearest hospital was notified that a young woman was on her way, and she would be delivering a baby. Danny insisted that we were already pre-registered in Flagstaff, and we would deliver there. Through the blinding pain, I shook my head. I knew we wouldn’t make it.

I was wheeled into Winslow Hospital at 7:45 am and had a wriggling baby in my arms at 7:56 am.

Short labors are not necessarily better.

But this one was. I felt every moment -every movement. All of the intensity that goes into long labors was poured into 2 1/2 hours. It was furious.

But I don’t really remember the pain much. Oh sure, it hurt. I was not brave. I was asking anyone who passed by for pain medication. I’m thankful none was given. I was aware of everything.

I was aware the minute Trenton was placed in my arms of how complete I felt. I suddenly didn’t know the girl who was worried about finances and what other people thought about her pregnancy. I realized all in one breathtaking moment who I was. Who I am. I am a trusted daughter of a Heavenly Father -Mother to His children, Wife to one of his elect Elders.

My eyes filled with tears.
My heart filled with immense gratitude.
My arms filled with an Angel.

When Danny went home to gather a few things, the nurses took Trenton away. For the first time in 8 months, I felt alone. Trenton left my side. I hadn’t even realized he had been there with me the entire time until he was gone. He was there -teaching me, preparing me. Preparing me for an amazing journey filled with surprises that bring tears, fears, worry, and, eventually, ultimate happiness.