Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finding our Special Gifts

Help Them Aim High
"God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve."

I receive daily messages from that include quotes and scriptures from our latter day apostles and prophets.  Usually I glance over them quickly while I am trying to multi task but this one stuck out to me and I have been thinking about it a lot over that past couple days. 
When I was little I would try to figure out my special gifts and how to improve them and why they were given to me.       My gifts I considered to be more artistic or athletic type talents.  Now that I am a little older I can see so many much more meaningful gifts I would like to develop and that I enjoy finding in others.  I have one friend I admire for her ability to forgive, another that accepts others whole heartedly no matter what, and another that has the most incredible ability to love and serve others being completely selfless.  I greatly admire these gifts and am striving to become more like them through their examples and actions.  
I was thinking of how I can help others to discover their gifts as well as harness my own.  One example that came to mind was earlier this week I was impressed to check on a friend.  She informed me she wasn't doing well and I asked if there was anything I could do and if it would be ok if I brought her dinner.  My friend responded she was in no position to be prideful, normally she would decline but she would accept.    I can relate to wanting to decline the offer.  I know when I am sick physically or emotionally it is hard to accept help and I don't want to feel any weaker,  but I was so grateful my friend let me serve her in this way.  It gave me the opportunity to come closer to her as well as my savior.   I felt his love for her through me as I got her meal ready .  It was a really wonderful experience for me and again I am grateful she allowed me to have it.  I know next time I won't be so quick to deny the offer from someone wanting to serve knowing the greater blessing often comes to the giver, not the receiver.  I know in this way I can help others to develop their special gifts and believe mine might be just a little bit stronger now too.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

A very Happy Birthday!

(sing to the happy birthday tune)
Happy Birthday to Me! 
 I turned 23!  
Im a wife and a Mommy, 
and I love my dog Moz-zie!

Yup made that up all by myself. what-up!

So yesterday was my 23rd birthday and it was lovely!  Jason and I have had a tradition of setting up a birthday display for the other on our b-days and I have to say it is probably one of my favorite traditions of ours.  It's a combination of silly decor such as balloons confetti, our favorite treats, flowers, and its always corny which makes it so fun!  
Here is this years arrangement.  My favorite part were the balloons.  There were 23 until Mozzie popped a few, but Jason blew them all up by himself the night before.  I love it, and of course the roses are my favorite.  Receiving Flowers is my love language..and chocolate, and massages, and chocolate.   ( :
 Instead of a nice diner I opted for a brunch with my two handsome men!  Yum brunch is delicious and I got crepes for my b-day, can it get better?  No it cannot.

Also don't get out of control with your "pin it" buttons but wait till you get a load of this little beauty of a cake....I know it may seem obvious but don't feel bad if you can't tell that's a 23 on top spelled out in candles.  ( ;  
So last year my friend Stephanie made me a beautiful delicious cake and I wanted it again this year so I decided I could make it... Stephanie I should apologize for thinking so lightly of your talents, they are not easily replicated as you can see.  
The good news is it still tasted good!  Bad news is I will never fulfill my life long dream of being a cake decorator with my own show on TLC.  Bummer.  
Thanks to my sweetheart for making my birthday so sweet!  I couldn't ask for more.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Freezing in Logan

Let me first start by saying Logan in the summer time is my absolute Utopia!  It is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.  That being said WHY DO WE LIVE HERE!  It is so cold and the inversion is suffocating.  Yesterday the news said the air quality here is the worst in the nation!!!  ahhh I can feel the lung cancer forming as I type this...
Bad air quality isn't our only problem.  Our temperatures have been dropping well into the negatives every night and our pipes are freezing!  I haven't had a kitchen sink for days because our drain froze!  Seriously... I didn't even know your drain could freeze, but it is a big old mess.  Our pipes have already frozen 3 times this winter but we have luckily gotten them unthawed before anything to serious happened.  With the drain frozen though I have been forced to do all the dishes by hand using buckets in the sink and under the sink.  Then I take them all outside and dump them.  Our dishwashing drain and sink drain are the same so they are both out of service.  I thought not having a dishwasher was rough but not having your kitchen drain is awful!  We have had a mini heater under our sink for a few days and there has been some improvement but still clogged!  Jason has tried everything from boiling water, rock salt, sticking a snake  down, and now the heater.  We are avoiding calling a plumber until we are positive we can't fix it ourselves, and when I say "we" I mean Jason 100%.  Except I don't want to pay for the plumber but I think I would rather have my kitchen sink functioning more...? Maybe? yes? no? ugh
Also the car broke down.  We just got it fixed too and put a large hunk of savings into it only for it to not start up the next morning.  I believe a large part of this has to do with the cold as well.  So as I am throwing my pitty part I am wondering about states, countries, tribes, penguin communities that are way colder than here.  How do they do it?

This is a picture from over a year and a half ago on the beautiful Island of Taiwan.  Oh how i wish I was there on that beach right now!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Rolling, Scooting, Persistent, 8 Month Old

Would you believe that 30 seconds before this picture was taken this little guy was screaming mad?  I was shocked when I pulled out the camera and it was like a switch was flipped and he went into full cheese mode.  I don't think this little one is camera shy at all...
 We have reached 8 months and it is so bittersweet!  I know I am a broken record when I say time goes by way to fast, but I love seeing the milestones.  Liam has 6 teeth now and likes to use them!  I have the welts to prove it.  Luckily I haven't had to much trouble with him biting during feedings but I feel like I am playing with fire every time.
 I have also seen a huge improvement with introducing new foods just in this last month.  Yogurt was a huge hit!  Also foods such as vegetables that he hated in the past he will tolerate now...except pea's.  
 He is still a daddy's boy 100%.  When daddy is home he is at his maxed out happiness.  He laughs so hard he can barely breathe it seems like.  I like to think though that when he is upset he wants his mommy.  Jason might argue that but I am going to believe it anyway.  
 Liam desperately wants to crawl and is getting extremely close.  He gets on all fours and rocks back and forth and than drops his hips back down to the ground.  He can scoot backwards really well though and usually just roles to his destination.  He never gives up until he gets what he wants.  This can be difficult when you don't want him to have something like your phone, computer, paper, food, and Mozzie's bone.  Mozzie likes to help Liam by purposefully giving him his bone to chew on.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why.    
 Um.. don't you just want to kiss those cheeks?  Don't worry I'll do it for you x100!  

Love J

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fighting Off the Winter Blues

I took this picture this morning when the temperature was -11 degrees outside.  brrr  I love Logan but this is the hardest time of year and the inversions are a killer.  There is no color outside and it can be grey and white for weeks.  This picture really doesn't do it justice because there is a little blue sky peeping through, but that's gone now.  I find it really easy to get the blues.  Especially now that I am a stay at home mom.  My interactions with adults are cut down significantly and I find it very difficult to motivate myself to leave the house.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love and feel incredibly blessed to stay home with my beautiful bouncy baby boy every day, but it can still be hard.  You kind of go crazy after staying in your house for so long...
So to fight the winter blues I have 6 things I am testing out to improve my mood!  My friend told me she was at a meeting with the General Relief Society Presidency (of the LDS church) and they said if your depressed at least do these 3 things every morning and it will help!
1. Read your scriptures.  Even if it is just one verse!  I love that they point out it doesn't have to be way long and time consuming. Just start simple!  I am finding that keeping it simple is benefiting me in a lot of ways lately.  (more on that later)
2. Make your bed.  Seems easy enough...most days...some days...( :
3. Get dressed.  I am proud to say this one I usually accomplish.  Usually.
I have been really trying to focus on getting these 3 things done first in the morning and have been pleasantly surprised how much they help.  Once they are done I am more motivated to accomplish other tasks and I generally feel more uplifted.  
Some other things that have helped my winter blues..
4. Exercise.  This is always difficult to motivate myself to do but I have found if I put on my exercise clothes as soon as I get out of bed I am 84.2% more likely to exercise.  Also I keep it simple!  I don't have a crazy long exercise regime and I don't force myself to do it for a certain amount of time.  I found that if I do say I HAVE to exercise for 1 hour than I avoid it like the plague.  An uninterrupted hour is hard to come by with a baby.  So I just start and go for as long as I can.  Sometimes this is 20 min.  Sometimes its 45.  Either way I feel like I accomplished something and move on.  
5.  Filter your entertainment.  I love TV drama but some of the shows can be very depressing.  I find that during months like these I have to watch upbeat shows, movies, even music or I feel crappy.  
Or I go on youtube and watch funny baby/animal videos!  These are some of my favorites. 
6.  Most importantly I look for the small treasures through out the day like this handsome little boys smile, laugh, or pretty much anything he does.  

 I also found this little rose plant at Sams Club for $5 and I love it.  It is so pretty when everything outside is so ugly.  

 I can also be extremely grateful for indoor plumbing.  Poor Mozzie has to go potty outside and I have been worried his pee will freeze in midstream and .....ok actually I am pretty curious if this is even possible?  
Anyway poor guy comes back in looking like this...and I unsuccessfully try not to laugh and take pictures every time.  
If anyone else has any tips on staying happy during the winter/grey/freezing/ time of year let me know!  

Love J

Friday, January 11, 2013

pics by Steph

We got to see my best friend Stephanie over the break while they were visiting from Minnesota.  She grabbed a few shots of us in her parents backyard.  She sure is amazing with a camera!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The White Rose

This has been such a bitter sweet holiday season.  Among all the fun and celebration there was also a lot of heart ache.  I feel like after thanksgiving there was a whirl wind of disaster striking some close families around us as well as around the country.  From the devastating shooting in Connecticut to some family friends losing children, and parents it has been difficult.  I kept thinking to myself this just isn't fair for these families around Christmas time.  My friend put this in perspective when she said, "What a sweet time to go home to our savior during this special time of year."  I couldn't grasp that at first but now I understand.  Not that it makes any of these losses any easier.

Jason's friend who also lost a sweet little family member shared this story with him, and he shared with me, and I shared with my Relief Society president, and she shared at a funeral in our ward for another sweet little one.  Now I wanted to share it here as well in case anyone else can find some peace in losing a little one.

 The White Rose
By, Myrna Cox
All the earth’s mothers were gathered together at God’s Garden of flowers; those
beautiful budding spirits, who would someday come to earth, were nurtured and
tended in the garden. A loving father spoke to the Mothers; “See the works of
my hands, someday you will be the mothers to these radiant spirits,” the garden
glowed with the mixture of all kinds and colors.
“Choose Ye,” He said, Now in the East corner of the garden pure white roses
stood as sentinels. They were not as colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind
of purity which set them apart. One by one mother’s stepped forward “I want the
blue eyed, curly haired one, who will grow to maturity and be a mother in Zion.
“Yet another chose a brown eyed, brown haired boy full of life and love who
would someday be a prince in a grand country. The garden buzzed with
excitement as the others chose their own special spirits, those whom they would
soon welcome into warmth and love of an earthly home. Once again the loving
Father spoke,” But who will take the white roses, the ones in the East corner of
the garden. These will return to me in purity and goodness, they will not stay
long in your home, for I must bring them back to my Garden for they belong with
me, but they will gain bodies as was planned, you will miss them and long for
them, but I will personally care for them.” “No, not I,” many said, in unison. “ I
couldn’t bear to give one back so soon.” “Nor I,” said others. “We will take those
who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives.” The loving Father
looked out across the multitude of mothers with a longing in His eyes for
someone to step forward, Silence. Then he said, “See the most pure and perfect
of all the white ones, I chose Him. He will go down and be a sacrifice for all
mankind. He will be scorned, mocked and crucified. He is mine own. Will not any
one choose like unto Him?” A few mothers stepped forward. “Yes, Father, I Will.”
Then another, and, “I as well,” “Yes, we will Father” Soon all the pure white roses
were taken and they rejoiced in the choices of the mothers. The Father spoke
again “Oh, blessed are your who chose the white roses, for your pain will be a
heavy cross to bear, but your joy will be exceeding, beyond anything you can
understand at this time. The white ones, embraced their mother knew they could
endure the tasks. And the Greatest of all the white ones, gathered them as a hen
gather her chicks. And the outpouring of love surrounded each mother and child,
consuming all the white ones as He prepared them for their task. And each
mother who bore the weight of the White Rose, would feel the overwhelming love
of God, as they all shouted, “Thy will be done.”

During these times I look at my family and thank Heavenly Father for every second with them.  I have been truly blessed and recognize every day is a gift.