Friday, October 25, 2013

One year exactly.....time to post.

 "The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home." -David O. McKay

A lot of things in my life have been pushed over to make room for these 7 amazing people.  They are my work.  They are my joy.  They are my legacy.  They are my everything.  My home is a sacred place to me.  Look at all that is happening in it (quote above).  Being a mother is the most sacred of callings and such a great honor and privilege.  I take it very seriously.  As is being a wife.  It takes work, discipline, love, patience, kindness, forgiveness and so much more.   Characteristics and wisdom that can only be gained through a close relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Now I know why my Mom was always in her closet praying. ha.

I readily admit that I am not a perfect mother or wife.  I often find myself saying, "Mommy hours are over for the day!" and I never iron my husband's shirts (ok, maybe I have twice).  And the list goes on and on.   But I know that there is nothing more important than family relationships.  In the end, it is all we have, it is all that matters.  If we want a better world, we need to focus on our families.  

In the bigger scheme of things we are all family.  Children of our Heavenly Father.  Each dear and precious to Him.  Living here together on Earth.  What a marvelous opportunity to learn these life lessons together.  The importance of truth, honor, virtue, self control, education, honest work.  Realizing that our life has a purpose and is a privilege given to us by our loving Heavenly Father for our learning and growth.

So tonight, on my birthday eve, I am grateful for one more year of learning.  One more year of giving and growing.  I am hoping for many more years to work on these relationships I have been blessed with.  Both in my immediate family and in my extended family that includes all of you!  I learned so much this year!  Nothing stretches us like family relationships, right?!  As always, love is always the answer to any problem.  Christ like love.  You know the love that suffereth long, and is kind, envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things.  That's a lot of ething to do. ha

We are all imperfect.  That's ok.  It's ok that life is hard, that relationships are hard, that parenting is hard.  It's ok to feel regret, remorse, disappointment in ourselves.  No problem.  those feelings are built in to make us reach for better.  To want to grow.  Not to give in and just say I can't change.  I just can't do better.  That's what all this time we have been given is for.  Discouragement doesn't come from God.  Just remember that.  He wants us all to be happy and that comes from implementing all these important life lessons. If you're not happy, take a look at the list above, and work on where you are falling short.  

 I am grateful for my parents who did their best to teach me these life lessons despite being imperfect.  One of my favorite things that my Mom ever said to me that I share often with others is, "My parents did the best they could and I had to forgive them for their shortcomings.  You have to learn to do the same thing too."  (when would she have needed to say that to me you ask. ha ha)

So there is your pep talk.  (my sister is thinking Lecture you mean. ha)

So what exciting learning opportunities will my 43th year bring?!  We shall see.  I may just have to blog about it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


If you've wondered where I been. I've been instagramming.  It is so easy!  Even I can do it! ha!

After a long fun summer we finally arrived in Italy, and may never leave. (you think I'm kidding? )

We are still not settled in our house completely.  Things take time here in Italy.  Ci vuole pazienza.

My Italian is slowly coming back and I feel more and more comfortable every day.  I absolutely love it

here.  It is surreal being here.  There is so much to see and do it is overwhelming.  Every day I can't

believe it is true that I am here.  The pictures above are from August when we first moved here.  We

took a trip up to Austria.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  I already have a million pictures as you can

imagine.  Get on instagram.  My user name is hlives.  I will eventually get it together and blog.  My

birthday is tomorrow and my gift to myself is having my sister Gloria come out and help me get

organized, and of course party and sight see. smile.  I don't think I can do this moving thing anymore.

It about does me in.  That and having a kidney stone right after I got here.  fun fun.

Hey!  It's 12:03a.m.  I am officially 42.  My heart is full of such gratitude. Every night I fall asleep

thanking Heavenly Father for everything I have been blessed with.  Just to all be healthy, all home

safe together at the end of the day, in a comfortable home,  with full stomachs, and hearts at peace

knowing of God's love and care for us.  And all those little things every day that add up to treasured

memories of a happy family life.  My goal-to share that love and gratitude with others.  To smile at

everyone.  To have a kind word for everyone.  To share the joy that I have.  Or as jacob says my

mantra should be "Keep calm, and mother on."  Now to bed, so I can be a nice mother tomorrow. smile

Monday, July 2, 2012

We love korea!

Here you go Cheri!  Here are our matchy matchy outfits!
We are going to wear them traveling tomorrow, korean style!
Tonight was our last night out on the main drag right outside the base in Songtan.
Kids choice, Brazilian meat house.  Their favorite!  

Whenever we go, we bring along kids from families where the mom is a vegetarian. ha ha.
I think they are only friends with us because we feed them meat. ha ha.

in a meat coma. Rachel just barely can move her fingers to text. 

I love these ladies so much.  
I am a better person for knowing them.
I will miss you Jane, jackie, and kristi!!!

When you live overseas, your friends become your family.
Jane, you are my sister forever.

Jackie watched ammon when we went to thailand, and she was telling me tonight
that she showed him off to all the african families and they just loved him,
and couldn't get over how well he could talk.
Can't wait to show him off to my family when we get to Utah. smile.
His favorite expressions right now are "jiminy crackett" (not sure why)
and "oh yahhhhhhh, lightening mcqueen"

sad day.

I finally have to face reality.  I am moving tomorrow, and all of these bags need to be packed.  The playing must stop. It's a sad day.  I really would rather blog about all the fun stuff we have been doing.  All the lasts.  All the goodbyes.  Maybe if I am a good girl and get all my work done, I can blog all night. It's not looking good though.  Everyone has been barely eating all day so they can eat a sickening amount at the brazilian restaurant tonight.  All the meat you can eat!  It's the kids favorite and their one last request before we leave our beloved korea.
The kids are out of their mind excited to go to the states and see family.
Tomorrow morning the new adventure begins.  The saddest and happiest day of our lives.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

book club tonight & making sense of despair

I didn't like this book. at all.  
That is until I went to book club tonight.....

and heard jane read her favorite part.  It was enchanting.
I think I would have loved the book if she had read the whole thing to me.

Then to be cozy all together discussing the book, and life, with some
of the most amazing women, and friends.  well, it is just something
i am really going to miss.

a lot.

especially while sipping limeade, and 

eating Jane's homemade peach cobbler.

The book was kind of a tragedy of sorts, and then we started discussing 
the tragedies that we see around us.  Sad things happen in this life.
It seems almost daily that i learn of another heartbreaking situation
in the life of a friend.  
Let alone so many atrocities that happen all over the world every day.
I can understand how one might feel
overwhelmed, fearful, and overcome with it all.

One of the characters in the book felt this way.  But in her moment of
despair she was able to recognize a moment of pure peace and beauty.
Here are her thoughts on the matter.

"Thinking back on it (her moment), this evening, with my heart and my stomach
all like jelly.  I have finally concluded, maybe that's what life is about:
there's a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no
longer the same.  It's as if those strains of music 
created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere 
that had come to us, an always within never.
From now on, I'll be searching for those moments of always within never.
Beauty in this world"

I edited the quote slightly and didn't give all the details to not give away the book's
secrets, in case you want to read it.  Warning, it takes half way through the book to start
to really enjoy it. At least that's what they tell me. ha.

But isn't that the truth? Amid the despair, there are moments of pure peace, understanding,
and beauty.  And we appreciate them all the more knowing that they don't last.
Like youth, like flowers, like sunsets. etc.  They are special moments
in time where the world seems to stand still and our spirit is renewed.
We are strengthened by the good and beautiful.

A couple of days ago I had one of those moments as I enjoyed the 
beauty of these roses.  I actually felt my Heavenly Father's great love for me
as I thought of the enjoyment that looking at beautiful flowers truly brings me.
  A lot of thought was put into creating
such a wide variety of flowers with all their amazing colors and details.  
Really, everything detail of beauty on this earth. 
 I am so grateful.  Grateful for the beauty of this earth, and for that moment 
in time when I really felt that gratitude.

Today's moment came when I was rushing around, moving 
laundry, cleaning up, making dinner, so I could get to book club.
I was also very distracted thinking about some sad news I received today.
And constantly praying for them. 
 I asked ammon to get in his seat to eat his dinner.  
His reply was, 
"Mommy, I just want to cozy you on the couch,"
in his little sweet voice.
He didn't want to eat, he just wanted my undivided attention for a moment.
No distractions, no racing around, just hugging and being together.
It was one of those beautiful moments that you stop and savor.

Like book club tonight.
It was one of those long wonderful moments of warm goodness.
Something I will remember always, and be grateful for
when the moments of despair come.
And they come all right.
But oh those precious moments.  They are there for the taking.
That is the taking notice of.  Look for them.
I would love to hear one of your latest favorites.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Found this thrown out, and was super excited.  It is real wood and in great working condition.  Just needs some love.  Glor and Kelly....ideas for refinishing it?  Anyone?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

last day of school!

whoop whoop!