Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gratitude, Attitude and Three Busy Days

For the past two weeks I have developed a somewhat unhealthy addiction to reading two strangers' blogs who are dealing with the death of a child. Nate cannot understand why on earth I would ever want to read such a thing and make myself so sad (crying myself to sleep more than once.) But it has really helped me in a lot of ways. First and foremost it has made me SO grateful for my kids. It sounds cliche, but I am truly cherishing the moments and taking time to stop and enjoy them more. When they drive me crazy I think, I would miss this if something happened to them. It's just put things into a whole new perspective, which was greatly needed. I had been going through a phase of not loving motherhood because I was being selfish and at times (I cringe to admit) resentful of how my kids were "cramping my style." Now I remember how much I wanted to be a mom my whole life. This was my ultimate dream/goal. I am striving to do a better job at it and focus on the positive. I have had a huge attitude adjustment. It's amazing to me that these women, who I don't even know are teaching me and strengthening me in their time of need.

I also have to give a huge thank you to Nate, who makes being a mom much easier when he's around. He has had the kids almost all to himself for the last three days and he's so good at it. I dare say, better than me. (Although when telling him what to feed them while I was gone he claimed he didn't know how to make oatmeal or PBJ.)

Why has Nate been playing Mr. Mom, you wonder?

Thursday night I drove 2 1/2 hours up into the gorgeous Colorado mountains (to 11,000 feet altitude) for the last night of Girl's Camp. As always, it was a wonderful experience. The girls were having so much fun, definitely bonded with each other and made new friends in the stake and had their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ strengthened (which is the whole point). I was privileged to be there for the testimony meeting, which is always the best part. I loved hearing their testimonies and having an opportunity to share mine with them.
The world's most amazing Camp Director (Colleen Cowden), our amazing girls, and me (looking as grody as I felt!)
I was very pleasantly surprised how well I slept. I hadn't camped in a tent in 7 years and I generally don't sleep well in new situations (even nice hotels, let alone on the ground in 30 degree weather). Thanks to everyone who lent me proper equipment to keep me warm, I was quite comfy, other than my face, which was freezing. Once I thought of this idea, I was able to fall asleep. I couldn't believe I was able to sleep with that thing on my face, but I did. It also shielded the morning light, so I didn't wake up at the crack of dawn like I have when camping in the past. I think the other thing that helped me sleep was that I didn't drink any water once dinner was over (I usually spend the entire night when camping trying to talk myself out of needing to venture out into the scary dark to go potty!) Anyway, it was so great to see the kids and Nate Friday afternoon, but then I was off again.

A friend called to tell me it was our ward's night at the cannery and invite me to go with her. I must admit, this didn't sound like the funnest way to spend my Friday night. But I am SO glad I went. I have been thinking more about food storage lately and had actually gone to the cannery for the first time in April. After these two trips, I feel like we are finally on the road to preparedness. Once we get a 55 gallon drum for water storage I'll feel even better. Then we will at least be ready for a "Katrina" like situation (although, thinking about it, there are still lots of other things we need to do! - It's so overwhelming!) And we're definitely still working on the year supply concept. Baby steps. I do have to say after going to the cannery once alone and once with a friend, I highly recommend going with a friend.

So last night was the wedding of my mom's college roommate's daughter, who lives here in town and has taken us under her wing since we got here. I figured I wouldn't really know anyone at the wedding besides their family, so I may as well go to help out. Cindy had made the most adorable aprons for all of the helpers and she wasn't sure if there would be enough for me. Trying to ease her stress I told her not to worry about it, that I didn't need an apron. Well, I must admit once I was there and saw everyone in their aprons, I REALLY wanted one. I was so happy that it worked out that there were enough and that I got one!
Julia (sister of the bride and my fun friend) and me. See why I wanted the apron so bad?
Julia and I showing off our purple details. I LOVE matching (grew up in the 80's and never got over it). Weddings are the best because everything is matchy matchy!
I had a lot of fun getting to know her other friends that were helping. At one point a precocious little boy came in and said, "Why aren't you guys working?" As I was drying the 189th fork I said, "We are." He said, "No, you're dancing." I guess you're not supposed to have any fun while you work! Gloria had picked purple for her wedding color and it was absolutely GORG! I was having small pangs of regret as I remembered considering doing purple at our wedding because it's Nate's favorite color. This morning I am at peace with my decision to do pink because I remembered how fun it was to tell everyone (with my best southern accent), "My colors are blush and bashful. I have chosen two shades of pink and one is much deeper than the other." We'll do purple at our 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.

Here are some of my fam at the wedding.

Harrison doesn't love getting his picture taken!
Nathan is getting better at doing Elizabeth's hair. This was one of his best attempts yet!

If you've made it to the end of this entry, I'm very impressed. I tend to ramble and this blog is mostly for me. It's as close to journaling as I'm going to get. The bottom line is, I LOVE my life, I LOVE being a Mom, I LOVE my husband and kids, and I've had a fun and productive last three days.


Jordan Merrell said...

I am impressed with Nates ability to do hair :) How fun that you got to go up to girls camp. I am sure the girls loved having you there. I totally understand about kids cramping your style sometimes. My boys have been insane the past couple of days and now I feel like I can't even go in public. Kids are wonderful but sometimes I think they are put on this earth as more of a trial than blessing. haha :) Good luck, I am sure that you are the best mom in the world!

Katie said...

I must say I am sad I my blog didn't make your list! No really it's ok but I love your blog. I have keith reading it becuase he loves the things Harrison says! I hope everything is going good for you! You can tell that you are a great mom!

John & Shauna said...

WoW! That is quite the post. I hardly know where to begin with my comments. I'm glad you are finding strength in the sad blogs I gave you. I have often wondered the same thing. I'm glad she is in such a good place with her thoughts. It helps me not to be in a funk. If steph is happy... I'm happy.

Luisa said...

OK, so is one of the blogs you've been reading my friend Jordan's?
If not, you should check hers out. She has lost two children and is AMAZING. Keep 'em coming. Love it!