Sunday, January 29, 2017

...3 months later. An update

The problem with not writing regularly is not knowing what to include on recent happenings.

I think the biggest aspect of our lives right now is Urban Alfandre. Praying that Steve and James are able to provide for their families through their development company. We have definitely seen God's hand blessing their/our efforts, and there has also been many opportunities to exercise faith, pray more, and have patience. This has been a really positive experience in so many ways and a faith strengthening experience for both james and I. James has expressed to me how he has felt God strengthen him in so many ways. Especially in allevieing his fears and making the burdens an stressors he feels light. That has been such a blessing to James that has also blessed my life.


I have gone through a small conversion process over the last few months. I was feeling like my connection with God wasn't as strong as it had been or I wanted it to be. I was feeling bogged down with all of the contention in the world, and all the words of doubt from nonbelievers, including those I love and respect. I definitely had doubts creeping in, and I wasn't really willing to give the energy to deal with them. Around that time I went to the temple. Afterward in the celestial room I was trying to decide where to sit and ponder for a moment, because being alone I didn't want to sit in the love seats/sofa but I also wanted a little privacy. It hadn't been a particularly spiritual session for me but I just wanted to sit and reflect for a moment before I hurried home to get kids ready for school or relieve James. I decided to walk into one of the rooms just off of the main room and when I walked in on the opposite wall was a beautiful large stain glass of Joseph Smith kneeling in the sacred grove. It was an immediate answer to an unuttered prayer. I needed to ask! I was feeling afraid of asking God. What if I didn't get an answer? I was feeling like my spiritual strength wouldn't be able to handle get a vague answer or no answer or just not feeling the closeness I was wanting. I knew that I was avoiding asking and here it was - the answer I needed to hear.

A month later the Mutual 2017 theme came out and it was James 1:5-6 "if any of you lack wisdom let hime ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea and driven with the wind and tossed." So this idea has been on my mind a lot, both as my personal conversion and through exercising faith to ask God to bless our family with temporal success. I have felt God answer me and strengthen me. Questions that I was having aren't all resolved but because I felt his love I was able to know He was answering by letting me know He was there and feeling His peace.

I also taught a lesson to the Young Women about Heavenly Father. As part of the lesson I wanted to encourage the girls to find out for themselves if they believe God is real and that He loves them. I knew that if they prayed He would answer them. I felt that in preparing for the lesson I needed to ask God if He was real and loved me too. Even though I have already done that in my life, knew He was real, and had felt his love I just wanted to experiment with what I was asking the girls to do. I knelt to pray and as soon as I uttered the words, "are you real God? Do you care about me?" I felt a warm wave of love fill my body. I was surprised and thankful that He answered me in such a clear and sweet way and that has also strengthened me.

For the past couple of weeks we have also been having family counsel on sunday and couples counsel. It has been a blessing for me and james and also our family. I feel James and I strengthening each other and coming closer together when we have these simple counsels. I feel united on our goals and desires and it helps us recharge and reframe our perspective.

We are in a fun time of life right now. We still have young kids, but it's also fun having the boys get a little older. Our time is easily filled up with family things. The weekends are full just hanging out together and it's more interactive then just caring for the needs of little ones. I don't really know how to explain it, but I look around and can't believe I am in this part of life and i feel really grateful. Yesterday we cleaned the chapel together (it was our assigned turn) then we went to the stake bowling activity and it wasn't just switching off holding babies, but interacting and bowling together. Later we went to dinner and then took the kids to the climbing gym and they all had fun in the boulder room and then I belayed them on the big wall. Finn made it to the top! By the time kids were in bed, it was late and we read and went to bed ourselves. Our days are just really full, but in a rewarding exhausting happy way.

We have had a lot of snow this winter and that has been really fun. James has done a ton of backcountry skiing and is really good at it. I've been learning and gone out a few times. I see why he likes it so much. We had a really fun day skiing lots of fresh snow at alta and we've also spent afternoons in albion and on sunny side skiing together. One run was pretty magical skiing with all four kids together, and I had des in the pack and it felt like we had accomplished some sort of amazing goal to get to that moment.

We have been pretty consistent with family home evening and i'm in a place where I'm more happy to give up my time at the climbing gym or wherever it may be to have this important time together as a family. I definitely see it blessing our relationships and bringing more peace into our home. I love hearing our kids testimonies and thoughts about Christ, God, and what they care about. We have been trying to have them do more of the teaching and there has been some fighting over the "hot seat" but it's worth it. At our last family home evening we all set some personal and family goals.

Family:
Lucas: be on time to school
Finn: Build a really big snowman
Dad: get a new van! by June
        - go to the temple as a family 4 times a year
Mom: - finish reading the book of mormon together
          - family counsels with mom and dad and one child 1 time a month
          - go on a road trip exploring some new places with us
Personal:
Lucas: Prosper at bike camp and succeed at Bio Eyes
Scout: Ski all by myself
Finn: skiing off a jump and getting air
Dad: wake up before 6:00 every morning
         lise 5 lbs by April 1st.
Mom: Run marathon in under 3:17
(I signed up for the Ogden marathon May 20th and want to beat my PR).

Lucas is really happy in school, has a lot of friends, loves to read and learn (harry potter and Diary of a whimpy kid would be favorite books). He loves to ski, but hasn't loved soccer or basketball that much. He still loves to play in the basement, mostly with legos and has a full imagination. He loves his fruits and veggies.
Finn is doing great in Kindergarten, has taken off with his reading, made lots of new friends. He loves Juni B. Jones and Diary of a wimpy kid. He loves creating and drawing and makes lots of pearler bead designs that are really cool. Finn is doing great at skiing and swim lessons and continues to be so sweet with Des.
Scout is loving preschool and I always hear positive reports from her teacher that she is a good friend and good listener. We are starting to learn how to read and write. She loves Desmond and holding him and carrying him around. She loves playing with elsa and leah and mostly likes to put on princess dresses with her friends and play "kid." She is doing well at skiing and swimming and is brave and amazing.
Desmond is hilarious. He is walking all over the place. He has learned sounds like "choo choo" for his trains, "uh oh" "ooo, aaaah," (monkey noises) He shakes his head no when he doesn't want something. He is tough and built sturdy. We went to fairmont pool and he was cracking me up how much he loved the water and wasn't afraid of going under. he is finally sleeping through the night again and that makes me love him so much more. He loves food and has a good appetite.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

kids thoughts

I'm going to talk to the kids today and get their thoughts.

Finn:
"For Halloween I'm going to be batman. I like carving pumpkins. I like trick or treating. I'm working on how to read at school. I like going to my Granny's."

Finn scored 2 goals at his soccer game yesterday. He was so proud in such a humble cute quiet way, beaming. It was really fun to watch. He is making a lot of friends at Kindergarten and loves school. He's learning to read quickly and enjoys doing his homework. There is something about Finn that causes friends and family to often tell me "he is so sweet." It's true. Finn is extra sweet and I'm so grateful I can be his mom.

Scout:
"Elsa and Millie, but Elsa didn't want to dance when the song was on when she was a princess, but Millie wanted to dance with me and they started a game without me and then Millie wasn't letting me read that book to her when we were playing a mom and dad game, then we played a princess game and Millie gotted lost, and then we played a princess game again."
What do you and elsa do at preschool? "we wished the horses would be there but then they are not. What I likeded about the party is watching the movie."

Scout talks a lot. She is spunky and full of life and excitement. She can challenge me in lots of ways and melt my heart in lots of ways. I get frustrated with her when she is purposefully annoying to members of the family. But she impresses with me with how independent and confident she is. She is always singing songs. It reminds me of me.


Lucas: (does not want to participate :) )
"nothings going on in my life. mom we haven't even had lunch. Soccer is really fun. And I do not know what I am going to be for Halloween. Is that enough?!"

Lucas is busy. he is social and his life is social.
He makes me crazy sometimes. It's really difficult getting him to participate and have a good attitude in certain things and that makes me cranky and I act immature about it. we got in a fight this morning about some pants I bought him bc he is growing out of all his old clothes. I have been watching our old videos because we loaded our photos and videos up to google photo so we've been going through them. it's been good to see how sweet and little our kids were and realize how sweet and little they still are. I love hearing Lucas' little kid voice. One of my favorite things about Lucas is when he is in th mood to talk and he tells the detailed stories of his day, or his book, or something that happened to him. I'm glad he will sometimes share those things with me. I love him so much.

I'm trying to learn how the Atonement can change me. I don't think I really get it for the day to day sins. I'm not sure I know how to repent and take the sacrament in a way that will cleanse me. It's not that I don't believe in Christ. I do. But I guess I don't know how to activate the enabling power of the atonement in my life yet.

I'm constantly needing to try again and have do overs with my kids. It's challenging and can be discouraging to make the same mistake time after time. I feel like if i knew how to repent better I wouldn't keep doing that. I want my heart to be changed, my motives and desires to be more pure. For example I encouraged James to go biking and really wanted him to, which meant I wouldn't have time to get out. I was happy to do that but then i got jealous of him and my heart wasn't sincere in serving him and I was grouchy. I have good intentions but then I don't always hold onto them.

This week I would like to be more nurturing and sincere in my love and service to my family. to find more joy in selflessness and to be an example to my kids of having a good attitude being kind and helping each other. I want my heart to be more like Christ's. How does He change me?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

thoughts lately

Just got back from Regional Conference. James is camping with Lucas and Finn in the Uintahs so I was definitely considering not going to church today with Scout and Desmond. I'm really glad I made it though. I wasn't able to listen as closely as I would have liked but I thought the messages were so relevant and prophetic and such good reminders and warnings.

I want to be more grateful for the ways that we are prospering. We as a community and as our little family have prospered so much! Sometimes I think about what is next. What is next to buy, have, drive, vacation, etc. instead of feeling humble and grateful for all that is in front of me. I want to be more aware of all the ways we have been blessed and prospered and not worry about keeping up with neighbors and friends. Life is so good.

I want to have more meaningful Sundays. Better worship, better family time (family counsels), better quiet pondering time, more delight in my sabbath and more rest from the things of the world. I've been working on this but I think I can still change my perspective and do better.

I feel so much protection for our family and my kids. I want to be careful that I am making the right things my priority. Family is my priority but it needs to be more than just family. As in not just, who are we hanging out with next, what fun thing are we doing next where and with who. How am I helping my kids gain testimonies, develop their own skills and talents, setting the right limits and giving enough freedom. Am I over programming them? Do I take the time to spend one on one with them. Do I listen to what they really need from me? What are my parenting motives? Do I worry about appearance (pride) or am I concerned with eternal significance and my relationship with them (humility).

The gospel means so much to me, yet it is so easy to get casual. I don't want to be casual. I want to delight in it and immerse myself in it. They also spoke of hastening the work. I want to be part of that. Yet I also want to sleep in, recreate, spend time with friends, and all of the fun things. I know there is time for both. I don't think God asks too much of us. Plus I know he wants us to find joy in his service. It is so much more meaningful than a fun friday night or whatever the alternative is. There is time for both. When we make time for Him first he will help us fit in what we need. This is a silly example but I see this when I go to the temple. It always ends up working out that I am able to fit in some exercise for that day or make up for it that week when I sacrifice a morning workout for the temple. Which for me exercise is important.

I want to be more truly converted and a better disciple of Christ. I see many friends who are no longet active in the church. It seems that this is a time when you can't afford to be casual with the gospel, or you'll end up not active. That's not what I want for me and my family. I want to be firm and immovable. Elder Ballard gave such a good talk. There were so many truths and things he observed and hit on describing the people here in the salt lake valley. And the counsel he gave to stay on the path is so simple and straightforward. Outward observances of our faith - keeping the simple commandments yet I can do better at being more consistent and sincere with this. Church attendance, temple attendance, prayer, scripture study. It really does work.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Thoughts lately

We just got back from Bear Lake after spending the weekend there with friends. Holding onto summer fun a little longer.

I kind of got discouraged in Bear Lake, which started over the past couple of weeks. Lately I've felt worried that I'm not capable at many things. Hopefully i can explain what I mean. I just got a new church calling as Young Women's 2nd counselor and I'm excited about the calling. I'm excited to work with the Young Women and leaders and to focus on Christ and how to help build testimonies including my own. We were talking as leaders about making the girls do hard things. Apparently they've been catered to a bit too long and the bishop would like to see them pushed in new ways. I can respect that and believe in it 100%. Girls can and should do hard things.

Anyway as we were throwing out ideas for activities that didn't include baking cookies or going out for ice cream, I started to reflect on what hard things I can do. I felt like the emphasis was on showing the girls there is more than just taking care of kids and baking - which is what I feel like I've spent the last 7 years doing and not much else. It made me feel inadequate and concerned that I'm not more capable at more things. Of course that isn't what the leaders were intending and this is my own insecurities and comparing myself. I have a lot of well accomplished friends who balance careers and callings and run their own businesses and I feel like I do one thing.

So in bear lake the girls took the boat for a water ski and back to the marina to take it out of the water. I didn't have any confidence that I could do this, but another friend felt sure she could so I reluctantly went for it. I had a friend back down the trailer for me and I tried to drive the boat on the trailer. It went ok. It was pretty ugly but I got it on. Then after only driving a small distance the boat felt really bouncy so we stopped to check it out, but again I just felt helpless and inadequate. I didn't know what was wrong or how to solve it. my friends figured it out and we put the boat back in and got it up higher and correct and then I drove it home.

There were other things too, like getting the gas going, and the water heater and turning on the water. I just didn't know how to do it and felt so unsure at trying. I't might sound silly but I just have been struggling a little bit about what I am good at and where I contribute and why I feel so incapable of doing things and lack confidence in being able to try new things, or balance more.

I rely on James a lot. He is good at anything with electronics, and then I am often watching kids while he is taking care of things like loading the boat, setting up the tent, really whatever else there is to take care of. I just am questioning if I've been stupid or needy to let him do all this. I want to be a confident independent woman. I also really appreciate that I can rely on James for help with things he is better at that me, and I also recognize that I gave up some things so I can be a home and want to do that well.

Which of course leads to my last insecurity that also surfaced amidst all of this is that I'm really not doing the mom thing as well as a lot of other mom friends. They seem to know how to interact better with their kids, do a better job combing their hair :), plan better vacations, teach better, sign them up for the right activities, etc etc.

I hope to take from this moment of quarter life mini crises that I can challenge myself to do more. To be ok at learning new things, and not knowing how to do them, until I do. To be willing to take on the challenge of doing more, (figuring out our finances better, learning how to more with my technology problems, being a capable leader with Young Womens, launching a taking out a boat, hanging pictures) just to name a few. Mostly I just want to approach things with more confidence. I also want to learn from Heavenly Father what talents I have been given and how to use them better. Then to add to those talents.

Maybe the start of a new school year and new calling has got me feeling a little off balance and insecure about new roles and schedules. I don't know. I definitely expect to be challenged with my calling and hopefully to learn and grow and be able to maneuver the challenges with some sort of know how and confidence. Maybe not. Maybe this is Heavenly Father's way of helping me understand how to rely on the atonement better. I have been wondering and questioning in my head about that a lot lately too. I don't understand how to use the atonement. I get it for the big stuff of forgiveness for heavy sins, but I don't understand how to use it to change me. And now maybe I will be given more of an incentive to figure that out.

Just what's been on my mind lately.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School

That was fast. It's officially the last day of summer vacation. It's a warm Sunday night and the kids are in bed, except Lucas who is reading outside on the couch with dad, right next to me. Summer felt non-stop, one fun thing after another and it's left me exhausted. In a good way. I'm anxious to see how this new year and new schedule shakes itself out. James is coaching Lucas' soccer team, Finn is playing on a team, I just got a new Young Women calling serving as 2nd Counselor and James is still in Elder's Quorm. It should be a busy year. In a good way.

We've been to Beacon Heights to meet Finn's teacher and for him to take his assessments. Lucas has met his new 2nd grade teacher, and next week Scout will meet her preschool teacher. Walking home from church today Finn said he was so excited for tomorrow to go to Kindergarten! Back in the spring when I had to register him he wanted to do halfday but now he is disappointed to know he won't be eating lunch at school and staying all day. Although the half day schedule isn't ideal for all the driving back and forth I'm looking forward to some built in one on one time with Finn during the day while Scout naps and Lucas is at school. It will be my last year having him home with me and I hope to take advantage of it.

Lucas is confident and excited to go back to school. He doesn't seem anxious or nervous about any of it. I think he is looking forward to seeing friends and learning. He loves the social part of school, but also takes the learning seriously and I think he enjoys it. Scout of course is so excited that she is going to school, and has it figured out that she is going to finn's school, finn is going to Lucas' school, and Lucas will be going to her school (which was preschool mom group last year). I think she is going to love school. I have a lot of confidence in my kids and their ability to do well away from me, working with others, being kind, responsible, respectful, and ready to learn.

Tonight we had a little back to school feast. Something i copied from an lds blogger I follow. We had dinner together just our family, and I talked to the kids about our theme for the year. "inasmuch as much as ye shall keep the commandments ye shall prosper in the land." We talked about what it means to prosper and what each kid would like to prosper in. Finn - reading, Lucas - reading harder books and faster reading, and skateboarding, Scout - being a peacemaker and a good friend at preschool, James - providing for his family, me - helping my kids develop testimonies and balancing my new calling with my responsibilities at home. I know God cares about the things that are important to us and that the promise is true. We can prosper if we keep the commandments and put God first. We are also going to continue our Peace jar and help each other earn "peaceballs" by noticing when someone in the family is a peacemaker.

After dinner James gave all the kids priesthood blessings. I loved feeling the spirit fill our home and seeing James serve our children in such a special important way. I think each kid felt special having the attention, and hearing the words in the blessing all about them. Then they hugged James and hugged me. I asked James to give me a blessing and was crying by the time I sat down. I felt so peaceful and gratfeul having him rest his hands on my head and begin a blessing requested god's help in my life. It was such a sweet blessing and I appreciated the works of love and appreciation he spoke about me. It meant a lot to me, and made me feel so loved.

Then we looked at our chatbooks from our trips this summer. Mostly Lake Placid and NYC. I read about the pictures to the kids. After we went outside and had brownies with whipped cream and James squirted it into their mouths and then on their noses and then I said to stop before everyone was too sticky. It was a really nice evening spent together with just us. The kids are so excited for their day tomorrow and I feel ready to send them. It's really going to be sad to say goodbye to Lucas all day again. I've loved having him around, even if we don't exactly play together, just having his company and presence in our home has been so fun.

I'm so grateful for the gospel. That I have a guide in how to raise my kids and that I can teach them truths and ways to live that have eternal promises. All of the promises that God has made to me I believe will come to true. I trust in his promises. From the scriptures and from the prophets and from my patriarchal blessing. I feel I have prospered so much in my family. In having James as my companion and my sweet kids and the knowledge of eternity. Keeping the commandments bring joy. God cares about us and how we want to prosper and he will help us if we put Him first. I think I can do an even better job of putting him first and I'm excited to work on that this year with my kids and see his promises be full filled for them.

I'll have to do a little re-cap on summer at some point but that's all for now. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

weekly update

Summer is in full swing and we have a busy month ahead.

I took my kids to Lake Powell with my family and they had so much fun. It was a great trip. I drove down with my mom and she was really helpful, climbing over seats to hand people snacks, helping desmond, changing the DVD etc. Basically doing what I do when James drives. It looked exhausting but I was grateful for the help.

I also asked my mom lots of questions about her family and her dad and relatives. I loved hearing her stories and from her perspective. It's not something she talks about a lot. I didn't realize my grandpa Pete was in hand to hand combat with the Japanese in WWII and that of hundred of men only 17 survived and he was one of them. Apparently there is a picture of him on the cover of Life Magazine somewhere. He had a hard life and drank hard and that's what I knew of him, but I also got to hear about his kind and charismatic side. My mom said my grandma never complained about his drinking and although I'm sure it pained her so much in many ways she was generous in her forgiving and compassion for him. My mom said he adored my grandma. They met while she was running an ice-cream shop that she and her friend had opened next to an army base. Very industrious of my grandma and I'm not surprised to hear it.

The kids didn't stop playing the entire trip. It was hot and the water was nice so they were in and out of the water, on the kayaks, jumping from the houseboat and going off the slide, drinking sodas and making up games all day, until it was time to hold still so I could reapply sunscreen. I spent some good one on one with Scout since Lucas and Finn were occupied with Henry and Winslow. She loved floating in the water with me and hanging on to my life jacket while we puttered across the lake to the rocks and back. Even Des loved the water and I put him in a little floaty raft I brought and he kicked around happily. It was fun being down there with my family. Me and Kelly and her kids went on a night swim and adventure hike which made me pee my pants twice from laughing so hard. Roman has gotten so much older and was much more helpful this trip. The kids also loved playing Farkle, a dice game they learned. We all slept on the top of the houseboat together when it finally cooled down enough to take off your swimsuit around 10:30. All my kids including Desmond did so great and it was easy to take care of them and we had a lot of fun.

Getting home took a long time. The unloading process was slowed down bc my dad's boat broke so we only had Gregg's boat to unload things. We left lake powell so late that we drove to price and stayed over night there. It made for lots of late nights for me and early mornings with Des. When we finally got home Sunday afternoon I was exhausted and took a long nap while James resumed parenting duties. My mom's bother Doug left for Peru the next day as mission presidents so we went and said goodbye to him that night.

The kids have been in lemonade stand mode all week. It's been three days in a row of lemonade stands and I might have to call it off today. Lucas has been working hard on the signs, creating "menus' and open and closed signs. Finn helped me make the lemonade and rice crispy treats and Scout follows everyone around. Of course all the neighbor kids are in on the action too. Yesterday I had 4 neighbor kids and my kids in the kitchen making Koolaid slushies. It's such a right of passage of a childhood summer and it's been fun watching their enthusiasm and efforts to make their stand look good etc. Yesterday Lucas went around knocking on the doors of all the people he knows in the neighborhood recruiting them to come to his lemonade stand.

I love watching and being with my kids this summer and having everyone together. Lucas and Finn have a great relationship and love each other. It strikes me how much they are physically together and touching and how different that will be when they are older. They are often head to head playing something together, sitting together, sitting next to each other in the car, sleeping next to each other, wrestling together, fighting together, playing in the pool together. They are such a big part of each others lives. I'm so glad they love each other and are good to each other now. They include the other one and seem to genuinely have fun together. I hope their bond can always be strong.

It's time to start my day. I hear little ones rustling. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Weekly Update

We went to American Fork canyon on Friday to camp and bike and climb. Saturday turned into pretty much a downpour so we called it quits in the afternoon and came home. The kids played with friends and made rolypoly homes out of wood, rode bikes and got soaked.

I'm slowly understanding more the purpose of the sabbath day and finding joy in it. Not that I hated Sundays before but I didn't understand their spiritual significance. I look forward to Sundays as a rest and recharge and break from the week and as a chance to spend more focused time with our family and to feel renewed hope and motivation to face another week. Church on Sunday has been a strength to me as well and has helped strengthen my faith. I'm glad for that and for the people in my ward who have influenced me.

This week I felt Heavenly Father's love and felt him let me know my efforts are good enough and he is pleased with them. I found myself angry and out of patience at the end of the day and not as nurturing to Scout as I should be. As I was writing in my nightly journal I was going to write I wasn't patient with Scout today and I felt a feeling of it's ok and yes you were patient for most of the day until the end. There is still lots to work on, but I'm trying and I'm slowly improving and that's important to try. I had this thought also when I was reading Alma 8:15 "blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice for thou has great cause to rejoice, for thou has been faithful in keeping the commandments of God..." I am joyful when I keep the commandments and I can rejoice in my efforts to keep the commandments. I know God cares about me and my efforts and loves me for trying despite my imperfections.

We had a lesson in Relief Society that I missed half of because of kids but what I caught was about what makes someone truly great, or what is true greatness. I sat by Marsha Winters an older woman who knew my grandma Phyllis and she said how my grandma Phyllis was truly great because she didn't put on any airs, and always was helping others and working hard. It was nice to have that reminder of what a good example my grandma was to me. She was so humble and didn't do things to be noticed or get a lot of attention but was kind and generous and helped others. I'm sure much more than I ever knew. I remember when she gave me my temple apron that she had crocheted and how she was so quiet and simple about it, and got embarrassed when I hugged her and made a big deal.

I want to be someone who serves out of love and a desire to serve God, not to get noticed or approval for others. I want pure motives and a willing heart to do God's will and help my neighbors whoever they may be. I'm still working on how God's grace makes this possible by helping me with my natural man tendencies and changing them with Christ like qualities.

We are painting our house and it's been a challenge to pick a color. I want to paint it something pretty dark, but i think everything I pick is coming across as much too dark.

Lucas had his first swim meet today. He was so nerves about his first race. He got a little panicked in the middle of his race but then he saw me and I was cheering for him at the other end and he pulled it together and made it across. He did so awesome! I was so proud of him. He didn't want to do the next race after that but I made him and at the end he was feeling pretty good and by the last race I think he was really proud of himself and had fun. I loved watching him, and was so proud of his efforts. He wasn't winning but he was working so hard and trying his best and having a good attitude. ha ha! this ties in so perfectly with what I was saying above. Gotta love the church analogies. But even though it was such a long afternoon and evening getting there at 4:00 and not finishing till 8:00 just for 3 short races I still think it was awesome for Lucas and I hope it gets him more excited about swim team. It seems like they could shorten the meets though! Sheesh! Finn and Scout were such good sports and played with other kids, colored, ran around, ate snacks, sat on my lap, watched other kids play on the iPad for much too long. Des was a good sport too and got hauled around and fed by me.

I'm pretty ready for bed.