Monday, December 19, 2011

For Women Especially At Christmastime

“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”
Marjorie Hinckley

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Get ready for action, adventure, and explosive entertainment like you've never seen it before! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to check out Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol in IMAX theatres. You can watch the trailer here. It's already been showing in some theaters and I can't wait to see it. You can also "Like" IMAX's Facebook page for more details.

The information was provided by IMAX through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cousins Will Play

After our tour of temple square to look at lights we went back to my sister's home for dinner. We had breakfast casserole out of the crockpot and it was tasty and had been cooking for 12 hours and was just ready for us when we got there - AWESOME - thanks pinterest!

Anyway, after barely eating anything all the kids were down and playing. They were running up and down the hall to Kyle & Aiden's bedroom and having a great time. Kyle takes up a little more room these days when connected to his feeding tube and you can see that Addison really wanted to go where she wanted to go. After yelling her need vocally but with no comprehension for Mr. Kyle she just gave him a two armed shove. Way to behave little miss :)

Kyle cried to his mom that Addison shoved him, and she did, and his nice mama gave him some explanation about how she's little and can't use her words and whatever. Must be hard being the oldest grandchild with nothing but little ones that have free reign and few consequences.

I'll have to re-read this to Addison when more kids come along and she can remember she already had her turn at being excused at naughtiness. The thing I love best about my sister is she just doesn't get too hung up in how the little ones interact - she just lets them figure it out themselves!

Here's her cute family showing our true family alliance!

*PS Yes, she graduated from the Y. But her husband is now a Ute and our mom was offering to buy her a sweatshirt - and who can turn down free? :) It really isn't a matter of school loyalty - it's loyalty to the pocketbook!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Prison

Our singing group was asked to perform our Christmas program for the women's RS Christmas activity at the prison tonight. I was excited for the opportunity to serve and to help. I hope the women felt the Spirit of the season and the love their Savior has for them - I sure did. It was palpable.

I was writing in my journal earlier this week and wrote: "I have a deep sense of love and respect for these struggling women - because we all struggle with some aspect of our lives - and their choices have just resulted in a very visual and outward consequence."

I don't fear them women in prison - though I know some do. I have done bad things in my life (nothing jail-worthy) and I have hurt people (even just their feelings or self-esteem or the like). The consequences of my personal actions might not be broadcast and publicly recorded in court transcripts - but I still have consequences to bare.

Then my good friend Meghann (whom I love so much more now that I have read her ENTIRE blog and feel like I really know her) pinned a quote on Pinterest that says "You are not the mistakes you have made". I truly believe that - and that is how Heavenly Father sees us. Now, since we are trying to be perfect and like him, it would be nice if we could "see" that about each other.

As we sang tonight I couldn't help but feel indescribably blessed. Some of those women must have come through rough time or grown in rough childhoods and I couldn't help but think - that could have been me. I spent over 11 years in the foster care system - I know rough times - what have I done to deserve the deliverance of God?

I own my home, married the man of my dreams, have a debt-free bachelors and masters education, a flexible job that allows me to be with our daughter, food on my table, and so many more uncountable luxuries. I know the Lord guided my path and protected my life to have come out so well. I feel saddened for those women and understanding of just how hard it is to fight against those temptations. They are not the mistakes they have made - it could just have easily been me - and I get it.

The greatest spiritual gift I was given was to be forgiving. I truly believe that one divine attribute that I posses has set my feet right and transported me to the fairy tale life I lead. I love the sinner - even the ones who have done so much personal harm to me and my family - but I just hate the sin. I can honestly say it's easy for me.

Serving at the prison has reminded me that repentance is real, we can be forgiven, and we are all part of a heavenly family and should love each other. I am glad to have found time this season to take pause and to really FEEL the meaning of the season and find quiet ways to serve and love.

May I look back on this moment when my life seems rough and my trial unconquerable and witness just how far I have really come and how the grace of God in undeniable in every facet of my life.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best $20 I Ever Spent

Okay - maybe not ever - but seeing how we paid $25 at the mall last year and only got a 5x7 and 2 3x5 - with no digital rights - we totally came out ahead. (Because we don't have digital rights to last years picture you have to come to our house if you want to see it.)

I have said it three other times since Addison was born - but we LOVE fotofly! If we ever move out of state then I am going to open Eric's out-of-state fotofly studio! This is the fourth time they've taken her picture and we are never disappointed. Starting in January Fotofly is going to have a permanent spot at Thanksgiving Point and shoot outdoor sessions. We might have to change it up next year and try something new (I sort of sound like an advertisement but I think the greatest honor you can give a small business is word of mouth referral.)

Anyway, without further ado - here is Addison with "Santa".

I can't decide which hugging picture I like better so you get to see both. Merry Christmas.

The picture of Addison pouting is when her dad is dressed up so we had to do a quick change and dress me up as Santa which resulted in the other shots. Addison loves her dad, but when she is in new situations or ones with too many people she is a total mama's girl.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Surprise Birthday

We celebrated Oliver's mom's birthday tonight with a little surprise dinner. She always does so much for us and we wanted her to know how much we love and appreciate her. She honestly didn't know anything about it which makes it a very successful night. The saddest part for her is that she thought she was coming up to pick up Addison for a sleepover. Luckily - Addison will have her sleepover tomorrow so it all turned out okay.

Tasha was awesome to come and help me with all the food preparation and Addison did her part by taking her two-hour nap. We had lemon parsley chicken skewers in fiesta lime rice salad(don't forget that I don't really follow recipes - so this is what inspired me but I made tweaks where I felt they were needed). I made fresh ground wheat rolls and we had melon. YUM!

When everyone was arriving and I was rushing to finish getting the food on the table we think that Addison could feel some of the anxiety. She wouldn't go to anyone but me and she was fussy. So this is the only quick picture I got while she cried in my arms before we sat to eat but I was pretty impressed with Tasha's and my work. (The one downside to having an open floor plan kitchen is getting everything served for dinner and having the kitchen all cleaned up. Luckily I am a tad OCD so when we sat for dinner all the counters were wiped down and all the dishes done.)

For dessert we had apple nachos (recipe here).

As Addison would say it was all very mmmmm.