March 04, 2015

Sowing in Snow

Here is a glimpse into my life the past few days.  It is not glamorous, it isn't even always fun.  Some days (like yesterday) are awful, some days (like Sunday) are sublime.  I post my life as my testimony that normal life is a gift.  These moments, the good and the difficult, are all part of our journey.  There are ups and downs but we keep on moving forward together.

I hope you know that I cherish these days with my family.  I can do this today because I have hope for tomorrow.

My mother in law shared this quote with me this morning.  It's from Marjorie Pay Hinckley,

"Being a mother at any age is a blessing. But, as we age and our children become interesting and productive adults we really begin to savor the joys of the harvest, the fruits of our labors.  How could we have known when they were younger and the demands so constant that we could ever have the luxury of simply enjoying their companionship?"

Being a mother at this stage IS a blessing.
Morning snuggles with Eve.
One of Leah's many lists-- "Things you need for a hamster".  She checks out a non-fiction book about pets and devises a very in-depth plan for the next pet we should aquire.  I'm not a fan of rodents, but she has just about convinced me.  (Who are we kidding?  I would have bought one Friday, we're just waiting for a Dad to go out of town... I'm kidding, sort of.)
A special mom-date with Leah, grocery shopping and hamster LOOKING.  (She loves me to pick her up early from school.)
Todd and I chaperoned the 3 stake modest prom.  Jakob invited two girls from school.  I was so impressed that they went shopping for dresses just for the occasion.  Aren't they darling?  They were so cute when I explained kids don't bear-hug at Mormon dances, they hold one hand and put the other on the waist or shoulder.  The girls both squealed and said they always wanted to dance that old-fashioned way.  Haha.  We went to Denny's afterwards and they told Jakob he had the BEST parents.  I'm certain he was super embarrassed as we took the occasion to tell stories about when he was little.
A typical morning (lunch making, hair doing, breakfast eating, last minute project finishing).
The lunch station up close.
These little cups are the BEST for sending fresh veggies with ranch.  They don't pop open and you don't have to clean them.
I'm not sure whether Leah and Lily's teachers love that I randomly send One Fish Two Fish treats for Dr Suess' birthday or if they roll there eyes at my last minute surprises.  Ha!
Did I tell you Eve broke her foot?
The doctors couldn't find a fracture, but thought it was broken because she wouldn't walk on it.  After 10 days and a repeat X-ray, a radiologist found it-- on her first metatarsal.  Poor thing.
They didn't have "wainbow" casts, so she picked pink, and then red, and then light blue like Elsa.  (She got her cast changed after x-rays once, and after it got wet the second time.  Just FYI- trash bags are not water resistant.)

I don't have any pictures of the really neat opportunities that I've had the past few days to represent The Church of Jesus Christ on an Interfaith panel, speaking to over 300 Catholic middle schoolers, or speaking at a training meeting to 30 Red Cross workers.  

was a nervous mess as I was preparing to sit next to the most lovely Muslim, Catholic, Baha, and Sikh leaders.  I was literally sick.  Drew was asking me questions as we were lost trying to get to the church and I was stumbling all over myself.  Answering in one minute what your religion thinks of sin and forgiveness, or what your church teaches about homosexuality, or suicide, or the role of woman.  Try talking for three to five minutes about "what are the hot buttons in your religion?"  Yeah, that's harder than it should be, especially to one as verbose as I am.  They told me as we arrived that they were video taping it to publish on their website.  (Ahhhh.)

But, as I was presenting I felt a sweet peace.  I knew as each question was asked just how I needed to respond.  I used some of the things that I had prepared, and many answers I surprised myself.  It was a pretty neat experience.

Speaking at the Red Cross was also spiritual.  I was speaking to a room full of workers who help to set up and run blood drives.  I felt such love and gratitude for them.  People are good.  

I couldn't have done this without the sweet help of a friend of mine who came and sat in the back with my two toddlers while I spoke.  So grateful for her!  After Red Cross, we took a walk around a Destiny Mall.  We rode elevators, escalators, and the Carousel.  SO fun!  We even built a bear...
Eve, in her blue cast, giving her new "Elsa" a bath.  Eve is the sweetest, most cheerful, broken-footed, 3 year old ever.

Whenever anyone asks her what happened to Eve's foot she says in her cute little voice, "We were pwaying (playing) 'Lava' (where the ground is hot lava) and I jumped and twisted my foot on the piwwo (pillow)."  Lava?!! Oh my life.  

(Eve was playing lava when Drew told her to get down from the coffee table.  She tried to jump to a pillow, but missed.  Poor thing.  Her foot wasn't swollen or bruised, you could move it around and she said it didn't hurt.  But, she wouldn't walk on it.  She kept saying, "I'm OK Mom!  See, I can cwawl (crawl)."  I just knew it was broken.)

I can't even tell you what a sweet thing she is in her little cast.  Soo sweet.
Eve loved the carousel!  
It still cracks me up that Ben was terrified on the carousel.  The kid climbs cabinets daily but wasn't too keen on going up and down on a plastic horse.  :)
Rocco is no longer contained in our backyard fence.  (The snow banks are too high.)  Yesterday, he hopped the fence, went into the barn, and killed 2 chickens.  Grrr.  
Yesterday was an awful day in general.  We ended up back in the ER for three more stitches for Ben.  Yes, 3 stitches, 3 times, in the last 3 months.  It was so sad.  (Same place on his chin, this time it just barely opened up.)  Ben fell right as Rocco was killing chickens.  I couldn't imagine taking Eve (with her broken leg) and Ben for stitches the 3rd time.  Oh my!  So grateful my friend met me there and took Eve home with her.  

The ER gave Ben numbing gel on his chin and Versed up his nose.  He was out of it but just laid there calmly while they stitched him up.  Sweet boy.  (Maybe the lollipop helped?)

There was a huge snow storm as I was leaving the ER.  I got stuck on a mountain and had to BACK down a huge hill in my van (I couldn't make it up to pick Eve up from my friend's house) AND then I got the van stuck in MY driveway. 
I carried Ben inside through a blizzard, put him to bed, made dinner, got my boys to help with snow, and went back through the blizzard to get the van pulled out by my neighbor (who also got his own 4 wheel drive truck stuck in his driveway).  It was AWFUL.  Todd was teaching late.
My boys were great snow plow, snow shoveling helpers.

Anyway-- I was feeling pretty down when
my mother in law called this morning.  I said, "I think I'm cursed."  She said, "You are so blessed."  She was right.

These are just the constant days.  They are tough and beautiful all wrapped together.  These are the days of sowing and planting.  Oh how I thank God every day for these eight, strong spirits I am learning to parent.  I know that I am learning and growing each day and someday I will just bask in the luxury of their companionship.  (If I can keep Ben alive that long... oh, how I love that boy.)

"How could we have known when they were younger and the demands so constant that we could ever have the luxury of simply enjoying their companionship?"

That time is coming.
I feel it.
Being a mom is tough and wonderful.
God, grant me the patience and wisdom and endurance and love and ability to deal with my blessings.
Keep us safe, keep us sane, and magnify our loaves and fishes.

I'm still walking forward, through the snow, with my handcart.
I'm trying!
I am happy!!
I am grateful.
Life is good!


ashley said...

oh how i love you! this made me laugh and cry and amen... at the trials/blessings of motherhood. love that sister hinckley quote. sending you hugs & warm thoughts!

Evaly said...

Yes! Everyday is SOOO crazy! Good but crazy :)

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine doing all the ER stuff in the midst of a blizzard and then getting stuck in the snow and having to figure it out all by yourself. WOW- I think I would want to lay in bed for a few days after something like that. Noah has split his eye brow in the same place a few times because the spot was weakened by the initial injury. When it gets hit now it really splits open. It's the worst explaining stitches to toddlers (ice packs too). I am wishing you calm, no ER visiting days ahead of you. I really appreciate how you find the blessings and gifts even within the tough and challenging days. thanks for reminding me. -Annie

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