{Ketchup}

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Every morning, when I am having breakfast with the B man, we {usually} have a smoothie and {sometimes} eggs.  Every morning that we have eggs, Bekkett and I both want ketchup on our eggs.  Every time I put ketchup on my eggs, it reminds me of Desi.  Why?, you may ask.  Well, let me tell you…

Just before we found out that I was expecting, we went up above Bear Lake with the Mac Munns Family on a camping trip.  I was in pretty good shape at the time, but we loaded Bekkett on our backs and as we were hiking around, I was feeling super tired and not feeling like myself.  I was wondering what was wrong with me.

Now here is where the ketchup comes in.  I mean, I like ketchup…always have, and probably always will {who knows what the next kid will do to me}.  But, during that camping trip, after I had already applied ketchup to my breakfast, lunch and dinner, I was making my way back to the ketchup bottle for more.  I probably could have drank ketchup and would have been happy.  Even though I previously had LIKED ketchup, it seemed like that “like” had turned into “love” and I needed more.  I remember thinking to myself, “What is wrong with me?  That is an insane amount of ketchup on your eggs, MacKenzie…. {Gasp} are you pregnant?”  

And that is when I was pretty sure I was expecting, and that is when the journey began.  

Today, Desi was playing in Bekkett’s room.  She found one of his pictures on the floor and was playing with it.  I looked at the picture and it was our first family picture from the hospital.  Made me sad that she is growing up so fast, but it also made my heart BEAM with gratitude for her spunky, happy-go-lucky personality in our lives.  She has changed my world in every way, and I could never count the ways I love her, for there are far too many…

-M.

Father time.

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This morning as I was getting ready to make breakfast, it was a quiet morning.  Most mornings Bekkett is right by my side, but he decided to rest in my bed watching “Georgie” while I started breakfast.  I was grateful for this quiet morning.  I turned on Pandora to some holiday music(left over from yesterday) and Mindy Gledhill’s “Little Soldier” came on immediately.  I most definitely did not expect this song to bring back a flood of memories, extreme gratitude to my heart, and a few tears down my cheeks.  

The song is so simple.  You can turn it on and listen to while reading by clicking HERE.  Lyrics here:
“Little Soldier”

Little soldier under the tree
Play a Christmas song for me
All the house is slumbering deep
But I have secrets I must keep

[Chorus:]
Father Time comes creeping in
We fight back but he will win
If I asked one Christmas wish then it would be
Soldier, could you win back time for me?

Little soldier, tap, tap your beat
I will stand on Daddy’s feet
We will dance as if I were ten
Even if it’s just pretend

[Chorus]

 
It seems like time just won’t slow down.  I don’t know why this distinct memory came to mind, but it did.  I remember the first or second Christmas after Kaylee had come to our family.  We were at mom and dad’s house for Christmas Eve, as usual and we had had a wonderful evening.  As the evening was drawing to a close, we couldn’t find Breton.  As we searched for him, I found him laying behind one of the couches and he was just crying.  I layed by him and we just snuggled for a minute and when I asked him what was wrong, his response was, “Why does everything have to change so much?”  We chatted a bit and I remember telling him that if time slowed down, we wouldn’t have the good things in life and the good changes that come with it.  I remember pointing out that we wouldn’t have Kaylee in our family if we didn’t have change.  
 
I thought of that memory and tears were streaming.  Sometimes I wish life didn’t bring so many changes, too.  I wished that time would slow down.  I wished that I could go back to childhood and remember dancing on daddio’s feet.  Lounging around on Sunday afternoons.  I wished I could go back to simplicity, when I didn’t have to worry about money, paying bills, cooking food.  As I thought that, I was also reminded that if time never passed and change didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have the two most incredible kiddos blessing my life every single day.  And that made even more tears come.  
 
Although I can’t change the fact that I can’t go back in time, I am grateful to be grounded in the present.  My gratitude of being a mom to Bekkett and Desi brims to overflowing.  There are times I get so frustrated and I wonder how I will make it through the moment.  But, luckily this week, I have had more experiences of gratitude for being a mom than frustrations, and for that I am truly grateful.  
 
With the time passing, it is so amazing to me to watch Bekkett learn new words, catch on to them so quickly, to start to make sentances, to speak words I didn’t even know he knew, to see him sharing with his sis and loving on her, to have him ask me if he can feed her any chance he can get, to see him interact with other children, to remind him to be soft with them, to see him develop in running, catching a ball, climbing on the jungle gym, sliding down the slides with him on cold windy days when no one else is at the park, to see him copy cat me, to have him ask me for a Norwex(like mother like son), to have him gaze out the window to see the birds, to have him help me walk the dogs, to hear him sing primary songs with me, to listen to him pray, to ask for the “church, God” song(I Am a Child of God), to hear him ask for “a baby deer” every time we go to SueSue’s house, to hear him say Santa Clause, Christmas, Jesus, to have him carry around a baby doll and give the baby so many loves, the list could go on all day.  
 
To see how much Desi loves her brother, gigles and kicks her feet every time she sees brother, to see her learning to sit up on her own, to watch her play with toys as she sits up, to see her learning to crawl {backwards for now}, to see her stick her tongue out as she plays, to watch the little wheels in her head turn as she looks around to see the world, to see her roll towards toys she wants to play with, to see her sleep and snuggle with me before she falls asleep, to see her bend over to eat her feet as she is sitting on the ground, to notice her looking at me from the other room, to see her walking in her walker, or playing in the jumparoo.  
 
These kids have my heart and there are moments that they steal it away again, every single day.  I am looking forward to these next couple of months, to the holidays and to see it through my own children’s eyes.  Mom always said that Christmas was even better as a parent.  I am just BEGINNING to see how true that is!  
 
I am thankful for those moments when time seems to stand still and I can just bask in the beauty of my life, but I am also grateful for the time passing, so that I can see my beautiful children grow and develop as they make memories that they will hold dear in 25 years.  
 
I am truly blessed.  My cup runneth over.
 
-M.
 
 

Luckiest.

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This morning, I let the kids play in Desi’s room with mega blocks while I was getting ready for the day.  As I was standing at the mirror, I was thinking about what I am grateful for today.  

I could hear the kids playing in the other room and my mind wandered back to the time when Bekkett was NOT a fan of Desi.  It was a hard transition for him to go from the center of our world to sharing the center of our world.  I thought to myself, “I am so grateful that Bekkett loves Desi and that Desi loves Bekkett.”  She lights up every single time brother walks into the room and just laughs at him all of the time!  He can’t wait until sissy is up every morning and awake from nap times.  They just have the cutest little connection and for that I am so grateful.  

At that moment, it was rather quiet in Desi’s room, so I snuck in to see what was going on.  This is what I found and tears started streaming.

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Is that not the cutest picture ever.  He just kept snuggling her and getting toys for her and then I watched him carefully help her onto her tummy to start playing again.  Up to this point of mommy-hood, I think this one experience has made my heart sing more than any other, aside from the births of both children, and the tears that came to me the first time Bekkett walked.  

There are times every single day that I feel so grateful for my kids, and today it has happened over and over again!  I truly am the luckiest!

-M.

Why I am a Mormon.

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This post has been a long time coming, but today, as we went to Stake Conference, we were blessed to be in the presence of Elder Fred A. Parker of the Seventy.

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This guy was JUST as cool as he looks, if not cooler!  I was so impressed with his talk…more to come on that.  But, today he challenged us to bear our testimony in some way, whether that is on social media, or face to face and I figured I would tell my friends and family WHY I AM A MORMON on my blog.

First of all, I have never seen a vision, or heard a voice tell me that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true, but I have surely felt the calm and peaceful assurance as I have studied out different principles of the Gospel, and I truly know that this Church is true.  I have felt the peaceful assurance of a loving Heavenly Father, telling me that I am His and that I am of worth.

The biggest reason I know I am of worth to Him is because He gave His Son, even Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for sin that I might be saved.  Every day I fall short of perfection, and as taught in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God.”  But, I know that through the Atonement, I can improve myself, and one day enter into God’s presence again.  Without my Savior, Jesus Christ, this would not be possible, and I am forever grateful.  What an incredible gift that is to me.

I am grateful to know that the same Priesthood Authority that was here when Christ ministered on the earth has been restored again.  The fullness of Christ’s Gospel was restored completely through Joseph Smith, Jr.  I can relate to Joseph Smith and his story because I have had questions about the truthfulness of the Gospel, and I have had the opportunity to kneel and ask God if it is true.  And like I said before, I have had that peaceful reassurance come to me and help me to know of truth.

Although when I pray, I do not receive visions, I have prayed about Joseph Smith’s story and I know that he truly did see God the Father, and Jesus Christ, and They called him to restore the fullness of the Gospel.  I know that is true.

As Joseph Smith was martyred, and he sealed his testimony with his blood, the keys and the mantle of the Priesthood were passed down from prophet to prophet and are still on the earth today.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of the world and he receives revelation from our Heavenly Father to steer us through these troubled times.

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Although my testimony is much larger than these simple words, these are the basics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Each person has the ability and opportunity to ask God, for themselves, if these things are true.  The peace and joy that come to me, being a member of the Church, will push me through the hard times and will expound upon the great times!

Those of you who read my blog, I love you, or else you wouldn’t be reading my blog! 😉  May you feel peace in your heart as you read my words!  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Much love!

-M.

To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon, press here.

Listen and obey.

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Ironically enough, I had planned to sit down and write my “Bekkett” post today, but let’s just say that it hasn’t been the best day in the parenting field for me.  It seems as though Bekkett has pushed every one of my buttons over and over and over again today, so I think I will wait to write his post for another day {let’s pray tomorrow will be better for us}.  

But, I have been thinking a lot.  I have been reading parenting books, I have tried to make changes and it still seems that no matter how consistent I am in the changes I have made, the only thing TRULY consistent is that some days are good and some days are bad.  

Mom text me today to see how I was doing and I said, “I have had better days.  But then again, I have also had worse, so I can’t complain too much.”  She asked what was up and I told her that Bekkett had been being really obstinate and would do everything I asked him not to do, and refused to do anything that I asked him to do.  I just told her that I am still trying to figure out how to parent him and trying not to lose my cool.  

Here is where the wise words of my mother come in {seems that she always has the right answers}:  “Listen to the still small voice.  Maybe he needs a huge hug, a long tickle, or a swift kick in the butt, or a combo.  Listen.  I love you.”  Just as I read that, it made me realize that all of the parenting books in the world won’t teach me as much as the Spirit can if I just listen and obey {the two things I repeat over and over again to Bekkett every day}.  

Am I listening and obeying?  Do I do all that I am asked, WHEN ASKED, by my Father?  Do I ask for my Heavenly Parents help in ALL things?  This experience gave me so much perspective of how my Heavenly Parents feel about me sometimes.  I am sure they look down at times and wonder, “Why is she being so obstinate?  Why won’t she just do what We ask her to do?”  

It also reminds me of something that Greg and I heard last week.  I don’t remember where {I will have to ask Greg when he gets off of the trail}, but the gist of it was that our Heavenly Father is our friend!  Just like I love Bekkett and Desi SO MUCH, I would NEVER want anything bad to happen to them, but sometimes bad things happen to them, out of my control.  I want Bekkett and Desi to be my friends so badly, but I am first and foremost their parent and I want the best for them.  

Likewise, Heavenly Father and Mother LOVE US and WANT THE BEST FOR US.  They will not FORCE people to do/not do certain things.  In consequence, sometimes bad things happen to good people.  It doesn’t mean They love us any less, it doesn’t mean They don’t exist, and it doesn’t mean that I should ever turn to God and ask, “WHY ME?”  Chances are, He didn’t choose for things to happen to me.  BUT, I can react in a way that brings me closer to Them, and that is MY choice.  

A friend posted this on Facebook today and it rang true to me.  “The work of devils and of darkness is never more certain to be defeated than when men and women, not finding it easy or pleasant but still determined to do the Father’s will, look out upon their lives from which it may seem every trace of God has vanished, and asking why they have been so forsaken, still bow their heads and obey.” [Paraphrased from C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961), p. 39]

Last week in YW, we were learning about patience.  We spoke of Job and of how he went through hell, and he could have forsaken God, yet he CHOSE to remain faithful.  I know I have not even taken the slightest tip toe measurement into the trials that Job had to endure, but I still have the choice of whether I will remain strong and obey, at all times.  

Becoming a parent has sure shown me much perspective on how my Heavenly Parents feel.  And as I CHOOSE to listen and obey, I pray that I will have the ability to help encourage Bekkett and Desi how to do the same.  This parenting thing sure isn’t easy, but it will all be worth it someday.  

-M.

 

Uncomfortable shoes.

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I used to laugh at people when they would say that they were so grateful for their trials.  I would always think to myself, “WHATEVER!  Not possible.”

Although this move to North Carolina has brought its share of tremendous blessings, days like today, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the challenges it has brought as well.  It is not easy being a single mom 8 days of 14.  I have thought a lot about how grateful I am that I am really NOT a single mom, and that at least I don’t have to work for my family’s income AS WELL as raise my children {raising children is hard enough}.

I was talking to a friend this morning and this is a direct quote that totally stuck out to me, “Although sometimes we have to walk in uncomfortable shoes, those shoes might just be taking us to where we are truly supposed to be.”  That really stuck out to me.

As Greg and I have chatted about life, we both know that we are supposed to be out here in North Carolina.  At times we have worn uncomfortable shoes in the past 6 months, but without those uncomfortable shoes, I don’t think we would know where to go next.

If we were still in Logan, he would probably still be {miserably} working at ThermoFisher, feeling STUCK and not really knowing where to go.  At least out here, he has gained experience in a new field, and now has aspirations to go back to school and get a Masters {not knowing in what, yet}, but at least we know we will be applying soon.  And in the meantime, we will work and continue, one step in front of the other, cause that is what we do.

Ostler family motto: “{We} can do hard things”, even if sometimes it is really uncomfortable.

-M.