And of course the last thing I will write about for this special month is the thing that matters most to me..my family..all of them. I feel so blessed to have such a supportive, happy, active, and loving family that I have. I believe that we are sent here to earth to be tested, and that the family is the most special and sacred of all relationships here. Home is a place that is a training ground for the rest of life, and I certainly had and have some great training!:) I have been blessed with parents who are open, honest, supportive, faith-filled, loving, patient and always worried about me. I was blessed with siblings who are supportive, fun, loving, and always the best of examples. I was blessed with Beej's family who have always been sweet, supportive,service-oriented and loving in all of our crazy adventures, and who would give us the shirt off of their backs if needed. And I have the best sister and brother in laws a girl could ask for...I guess the best way to describe them is to say they are true friends. I'm so thankful for eternal families and that as we all work together in this life to better ourselves and those around us, that this greatest of all relationships, our family, can last forever. I couldn't imagine spending a second without them now or ever. I love you all!
one of my friends posted this quote and it couldn't be more true....
"Sisters, we are all in this together. We need each other. Oh how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young. And hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth." -Marjorie Pay Hinckley
I couldn't make my list of things I am grateful for without adding my friends near the top. I have had incredible friends throughout my life who have lifted me, strengthened me, helped me, guided me and loved me and helped me be a better friend myself. Whether I have found them at church, as my neighbor (hi michele!), playing ball of any kind, at playgroups, etc...I am so grateful for ALL of my friends and the great joy they bring to my life. YOU have made my life better by being in it.
yep, this is one of those cheesy posts. I am thankful for parks. Most days this is because I have so much fun playing with and watching my children play. I love watching them interact with other children, seeing their personalities take over their play and of course watching their imaginations make a playset a pirate ship, a big superhero building, even a fast food drive thru. And then there are days like today where the park is my hero. It saves me from yelling and screaming, from pulling my hair out and gets me back to being a sane, happy woman and mother. I cannot tell you HOW thankful I am today for parks!:)
Last night as I sat at our ward's Young Women's in Excellence meeting, I was reminded over and over again by the spirit how important the temple is. For the Young Women, how important it is to stay worthy and prepare, and for me to stay worthy and GO! As these amazing Young Women I work with got up and explained what each of them had done this last year to prepare them for the temple, I could not have been more grateful for such a gospel as this, which has programs with standards and activities for the youth to help guide them through this craziest time of the world we live in. In my mind, I only saw 11 years down the road when Maizie will be doing the same things, and even further down the road that this program will produce the wives and mothers that my sons will marry. I know that is so far down the road, but for a moment last night I had a big picture moment, where you see things from really far back, instead of right in the moment. I think it really was because the whole focus last night was the temple, and that is exactly what focus the temple gives me...that BIG picture. The ETERNAL perspective of my life, the PEACEFUL, INSPIRING moments of my life where I can see and feel the Lord's hand in my life, and in my crazy life right now, I could not be more thankful for the blessings of the temple and the promises that I have made to keep my family an eternal one. What a great life I have. I am so blessed!
I love THIS message about WHY we build temples and THIS one about the blessings that come from the temple.
The very first time I told Ben I liked him, it was on the phone. Chicken, I know. But in that conversation I couldn't help but think that the next morning I was going to feel like I had said something that I would for sure regret. I mean, really, when you tell someone you like them, you can never go back to being the same friends you were before, right! I woke up to go to work the next morning really early and quickly checked my email before I left and found this:
Regrets? I hope not.
That email calmed all my fears that I had had the night before and made me like him even more!:) And of course things have worked out great. He has been everything and more than I ever imagined. Superdad, Superhusband, Superstudent, Superworker, Superson, etc..you get the picture...BUT through this he has also been Superfun, Supercrazy, Superloving, Supersupportive, Superpositive..well, you get the idea. I feel like everything I am most grateful for has come or been enhanced because of our marraige, our love, and our friendship. And for him I am so thankful..with no regrets.:)
Maybe it would only be me who would be soo thankful for this. I love cool air. Not freezing, but cool. After our first summer here in Las Vegas (we survived!):), I am loving this mild, beautiful fall weather. Both Ben and I decided that fall, winter and spring MUST be beautiful after the summer they have here. There are just too many people here not to believe that! The changing of the seasons for me is always a time of renewal and excitement. One of looking forward and enjoying the activities of the current season. And that certainly is the case here. Thank you for coming, fall!
When I think back to relatively not that long ago, I remember a life with no computer. I would have a really hard time with that now. haha. That is the understatement of the year. And my husband would agree whole heartedly!:) I am so thankful for not having to have papers stacked and stacked from bills and lined paper that don't have to be used now because of this wonderful machine. I am thankful that I can keep in touch with friends and family much faster and easier with the touch of a button. I am thankful that grandparents and family can SEE the kids grow up and change and not just have to listen to their voice on the phone, because of the computer. And more than anytime in my life, I am so thankful I can write a little bit about my life and preserve it for my kids and family to come because of the computer. I am trying to learn balance with my life and the computer :) but truly am grateful for the sweet blessings it has brought into my life.
Last night as we were watching the game, we couldn't be more proud. This is the place who really taught us how to LOVE a team, how to really SUPPORT a team, and of course, it was also the place where we learned how to be and find really great friends.(more on that soon):) AND this one place brought us so many great opportunities and will for the rest of our lives. We hear the fight song and join in. We see a fellow buckeye and hear "O-H" and respond with an "I-O", and each time we wear our buckeye apparel, we get countless comments. This place has a special place in our hearts and always will. Today, I am so thankful we became a Buckeye, four years ago, for life.
* at the triathlon the kids had been waiting at the finish line for what seemed like forever when the first racer finally came in. Ben's mom told the kids, "Hey guys, the winner is coming in, let's make sure and cheer 'cuz he's been running a long time." Booker looked really hard and when the runner came around the corner he fell down on the ground and started throwing a tantrum. Ben's mom went over and tried consoling him and asked him what was wrong. (She wasn't sure if he had been hurt, etc.) Booker looked up at her and said, "My daddy didn't win and that made me sad." Wow, his expectations for the race were MUCH higher than ours were!:)
*If you have ever seen the word factory video, then this story might make sense. There is a song on this video that says, "First you take the "C" (C sound) then you take the "H"(H sound), put them all together and a whole new sound you make.."CH". Okay, you get the idea. Well, lately Booker has been loving spelling and putting words together, so we heard him singing the other day and all of a sudden he says, "First you take the "SH", then you add the "IT", put it all together and a whole new sound you get.."SH#!." And you can bet that he did NOT hear that word here at home. We are hoping it was just luck of the draw with sounds because we did not hear it again. So funny.:)
Today I am so thankful for children who bring a smile to my face every day.
I know this should have been yesterday's post, but better late than never! Yesterday I had a few moments to remember those who serve so diligently for my freedoms and I couldn't be more grateful. It only takes hearing a few stories about those who do NOT enjoy freedom, who may not even know what life is like where you actually make your own choices, who do what someone else tells them to do, and then take a step back and smile because of the great bounty that I enjoy. Even more than that, I so appreciate those who serve and fight for others freedom as well. And of course, their sweet families who sacrifice many moments of time where they wish their loved ones were home, and for what? Simply for me and for you, so we can CHOOSE what we do and how we live. That is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
6 months ago, Ben's dad and brother did a triathlon that they both just raved about. And they had an idea. "Let's do it all together in 6 months!", they said. And we said yes. So many times in the last 4 months we wondered exactly why we said yes. But it gave us something to wake up at 6 am to workout for, and something to make us workout at 10 pm every night. There was some sort of excitement we had in both working toward the same goal, in sweating every day to achieve it and then ultimately in finishing the triathlon together. What a fun and memorable thing it ended up being to do together. It's so fun to set goals and then reach them, but it makes it even better to do it with my husband.
So here Ben is...starting our day out at 5 am headed off to the race. The car was packed and ready to go.
nice bikes..and a banana peel? yep, that was ben's breakfast. he forgot the bikes were on top, so when he threw it out the window and didn't see it land on the ground, he was thoroughly confused until his brother, Calvin, reminded him the bikes were on top! We laughed SOOO hard...it could have been from the nerves, or lack of sleep, but it was pretty darn funny.
here we are getting things ready at the transition area.
here we are before the start of the swim. IT. WAS. CRAZY. I wouldn't usually put a picture like this up of myself...but I just always want to remember this moment.:)
ben and calvin getting ready to take off...see all the people on the boats ready to save anyone who needs it?! crazy.
then the biking took place...and it was good until the monstrous hill at the end which about killed me.:)
when I finished, the kids were there with Ben's mom to cheer me on...it was so nice to see them, and REALLY nice to see the finish line.
When I came to see the kids, Booker was often found doing this:
waiting for his dad:
and still waiting...
and then he saw them...
and ran with them...so sweet.
I think it's safe to say they were also happy to see the finish line.
and they finished.
here we are afterwards..#55-58. sweet.
and the kids you ask? what exactly did they do while we were racing?
maizie tested out the powerade..and gave it 2 thumbs up.
and the boys? I asked Lincoln what he was doing when I saw this...
"Mom, I am just making the groundhog a bigger hole to live in." Then he promptly put his hand down the hole and said, "But it's kind of yucky because I just put my hand in poop."SICK!!
It was so fun and so worth every ounce of sweat put into it. Thanks, Tod and Calv, for doing it with us, and Kim for taking the kiddos!
Early yesterday morning, Booker came into our room and asked, "Mom, is today school day?" "Yes," I told him and it was followed by an enthusiastic "Yeeeessssss, I get to go learn something new today!" I love that he loves school and loves to learn something new everyday. I am thankful today for my own education that I have recieved and for the new things I learn everyday. I'm also so appreciative of the hard work that I saw my husband put into his education every day. We were just talking this weekend how "in the moment" things just look hard and long and depressing sometimes, but when these moments pass so quickly and we look back and see just how lucky and blessed we are to be able to get such great education. I was taught from an early age how important an education is and how worth it, it is, to work hard for one. (I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I had 2 educators as parents!):) And in fact, right now I am taking a design class from UNLV to spruce up and gain some new skills and I have never loved school more. I hope to pass on to my children what my parents passed on to me, and what Ben's parents passed on to him, and that even when learning has it's mundane moments that each of my children will still wake up each morning with a thirst to learn something new.
Today I am so greatful for a good job. With so many neighbors and friends out of work and looking so hard for anything to provide for their families, it makes me so thankful for not just any job, but a GREAT job that my husband gets to work at everyday. He couldn't love his work or the people he works with more, and having just been through school and looking for jobs in this scary economy, I couldn't ask for anything more.
Since having the great opportunity to cook for my family every day, for the last 7 1/2 years, I have come to really love cooking and baking. When I think back to how other women and men have had to cook over the ages, it makes me so incredibly happy to be able to reach with my hand, turn a knob and i have a heated oven every night. I have a hard enough time coming up with recipes to cook knowing I have any kind of heat (oven, stove, microwave, griddle, bbq, etc.) on hand, and couldn't imagine having to worry about that too. So thank you, Miss Oven, for your hard work and consistancy every night..you make my job sooooo much easier.
My favorite sites to look at are: taste of homes (i love this magazine times a million)
and no, not just watching, but am doing it! For the last 3 months, Ben and I have been busy training and training and never thought this moment would get here, but alas it came. coming into the race today i am grateful for:
*the love of running..especially when it feels good:)
*my love of saying "yes" when my head says "no". ha.
*full body wetsuits...ahhhhh, i'm a little scared about the swim
no, in all honesty, it has been so great training, and each and every day i have a great workout, i just cannot be more thankful for a healthy body that works. even when its hard and hurts, it works and for that i am thankful.