Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Letter

Dear Zoey,

     It's official, you're finally 3.  I'm a little relieved that I no longer have to deal with gawking strangers commenting on how big and smart you are.  Now if you can just slow down a little bit and act your age, that would be wonderful.  Although, I know you never will.  You'll always want to be 10 years older than you really are and I know that will not change no matter what your age.  How do I know that my Zoe's nose?  It's because you're just like your mama.  I know, I'm sorry for telling you that, because there's nothing worse than parents telling you, you're just like them. So hopefully you won't read this until you're 30 and have accepted your fate, or maybe you won't read this ever, if you're really lucky. 
    The good news Zoey is your Dad and I happen to think you're the coolest lady around.  You have charisma oozing out of every part of you.  People love you from the second they know you.  Because of that, you'll do amazing things.  I can't wait to watch you grow and watch you choose your profession and husband(hopefully he's just like daddo) and more importantly I can't wait to watch you have your own children. 
     I know, I told you you're just like me, but know this Zoey, you're also better than me.  The Lord choose you to be a little sister to two rambunctious older boys and you have a special calling to be a big sister to a little sister that will always need you and your help.  Don't forget that you chose this calling before you came down to this earth. You and Evey made a deal before you came here and promised to look out for one another.  You may feel discouraged some days and wish you had a "normal" sister, but remember there's no such thing as "normal" in this mortality.  Because of your gifts and talents, you've been given a lot of responsibility.  You'll have all the opportunities in the world to bless your own brothers and sisters and all those that come to know you through them.  Stay close to the Lord, use all your gifts and talents for good, and you'll accomplish anything you put your mind to. 
    We will definitely have some bumps and bruises along the way, that I am sure of.  But you are oh so loved, Zoey.  You are loved by your siblings, by your parents, and most importantly by your Heavenly Father.  Don't ever forget where you came from and where you're going.  We love you more than you'll ever know, thank you for being you, and for blessing our lives more than we deserve.

Mom and Dad

Monday, February 3, 2014

Growing Pains

    Evey's spinal rods are protruding like crazy out of her back because they're fighting against her body as it tries to grow.  I can't help but think how bad that must hurt her, but at the same time she's been blessed with such a high pain tolerance, so she seems to be managing just fine.  Metaphorically speaking, I think I'm experiencing my own growing pains.
    I tend to lie low when my mind is racing faster than my actions can keep up.  Sometimes, I can get a little too introspective and escape into my mind and thoughts a lot.  Nate calls it my island.  It was our joke when we first got married that I live on my own island and Nate just had a day pass to visit me there.  Nate now has full privileges on my island, he's earned them over the years and I trust him enough to allow him full residency there.
    On that note, I'm learning new things about myself lately.  I feel growth as a wife, as a mom to four evolving children, and more importantly as a daughter of God.  That's the gift that Evey has brought to our lives.  Having her around does not allow us to be complacent.  There's always something new that pops up with her: new medical issues/surgeries, new bills/insurance changes, new late nights.  Something to keep us on our toes - and there's that unknown aspect of 'we could be doing this for the next 30 years with no end in sight'.  Seems daunting - but yet, it is such a blessing - and I hate monotony - so it's perfect for our little family.
    With all going on, I've been tempted to hop on here and do some doubting, questioning, and so on.  But then there's this quote that has not left me since I heard it last year during General Conference.

     "When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

In today's world, if you don't talk about your doubts and troubles, people are cynical and think you're faking your perfect life.  For me, it begins and ends with my faith, with me sorting out my "growing pains" with the Lord somewhere in between.  My life is by no means perfect, or even pretty, most days.  I think down deep, we all know that about each other.  But wouldn't it be amazing if all of us started our day with the Faith that we do have - and stayed true to that until the sun goes down? I'm working on it, and I know the Lord expects me to keep trying and to do a little better each day.  Even though my Faith isn't perfect, the Lord stills continues to work miracle after miracle for our family.  And that is the Plan of Happiness.  That through his infinite mercy, he'll continues to shower us with his Love as long as we keep trying.  We are blessed.