Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Word of the Year


One of my newer traditions I have adopted in the past few years is choosing a one-word theme for the year. It really seems to help guide and direct me to what I feel is important, as well as keep me grounded and focused on the right things, the things I think I need most in my life. I always work my goals around my word, not always in the same way, but it helps my goals feel like there's more of a natural ebb and flow and that they are in line with what I want for the year completely. Sometimes my goals lead me to my word, sometimes it's vice versa. The first word that I did was in 2008, and it was SIMPLIFY, which was definitely a good one for me. Last year it was CHOOSE.

I guess because I have been feeling a little more contemplative lately, I had so many ideas for my word of the year this year. I really liked FOCUS, to really concentrate and horn in and put my focus into what really matters, and it was so easy to tie into my goals for the year. I also really liked CHERISH. When I looked it up in the dictionary, it defined cherish: to hold dear, to feel love for, care for tenderly, to nurture. Totally perfect for my feelings of life. There were so many other good words! But I think I will tuck them all away somewhere and hopefully next year I'll have my word all ready before the year begins. But the word I picked for this year just kind of came to me today, and it really stuck with me. There are so many reasons I picked this word. I am really excited about it now that I've finally decided what it is!

So, the one-word theme that I chose for this year is....drumroll please....


The definition for harmony 1. Consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity. 2. Agreement, accord.

I found it a little ironic that I have been full of such gratitude for music finally being back in my life, and that I chose a word like harmony. In music, harmony is when you sing several different notes played/sung at once, but when blended together from each singer/instrument with the right output and balance from each part, sounds absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking. Sometimes life-changing (I know it sounds a little dramatic, but for me, music really is life-changing). There's so much to it. Let's say I have five people all singing a different note in a harmony. If everyone sang as loud as they could, to their heart's content, without paying any attention to the other parts and how they were doing, harmony would be absent. The music may sound good, and may not sound good, but it definitely wouldn't sound harmonious. Harmony would come when all the parts are in perfect balance. Maybe someone had a louder voice, someone a quieter voice, so they would have to compensate for that, balance one another out. If the singers listen to one another, molding their voices a little to put them in balance with the other voices in the other parts, that's where the harmony takes place. And oh man, if you've ever heard, played, or sang a great harmony, you know that there is such an amazing feeling of synergy (another word I love).

That's what I want in my life this year. I feel like the events of the past year have truly led me to this next one. Amazing how that happens, isn't it? There have been so many changes, there still are so many changes, taking place in my life, in our family's life, all the time. I love change! But I will be the first to say that change is also a challenge. But challenges are such an adventure! I am excited for all the challenges we have coming this year. The challenge of potty training another child (sigh), the challenges of my body changing so much all the time, hosting another little soul in there until he/she is ready to come out and conquer the world, the challenge of all the new opportunities that lay in front of Wes and me, such as Mona Vie and lia sophia, the challenge of continuing our debt repayment plans and Wes's extra hours at work each week. We have so many things we want to do and accomplish. We have many things we want to do to our home and yard this year, we have many more health goals, we have goals to continue being politically active, which can be a challenge when life gets so crazy sometimes, and we have many, many preparations to make before this new little one arrives halfway through the year. We also have some goals and dreams for our family life, including revamping and changing around some of our family traditions, strengthening relationships and developing some quality relationships with neighbors/friends, serving others more....becoming more aware of what is going on around us and what the needs even are.

So many things encompass our everyday lives I guess. Each one of us is overwhelmingly busy, all the time. It's so hard to pick and choose, constantly (because it's always changing), what is worth how much time, and what needs to be done to compensate for it.
Slowing down the past few months has really shown me a lot. I have learned so much about being still and listening, and being more aware of little things, the little goings on that sadly, I was missing some of the opportunity for before. It's also taught me how to talk and listen to the Lord even more every day, and to have more faith that things will all go according to his plan, and that everything will be okay. My anxieties of life are still there, as are frustrations and stresses, but they have lessened immensely.

The biggest challenge this year is going to be arranging that harmony. Making sure the important parts are all there, and all equal in a way that each part of my life is in harmony with the next. Finding that "perfect balance". I am so excited to see what the next year brings, and how that harmony comes into play. Wish me luck for lots of HARMONY this upcoming year!

Monday, January 4, 2010

With a Full Heart

The past few months have been very challenging ones. Well, probably the past year or so has been. Don't get me wrong, we feel very blessed and wouldn't change a thing that has happened, but it's been hard.

Between the poor health I've experienced the past several years, and our lives being life, and just continually changing, I have slowly shifted into survival mode. I had gotten to the point that my life was just completely out of control. Seriously.

And then I got pregnant, which was totally an act of faith for me because although Wes and I want lots of kids and I would probably welcome a new baby into our home at any given time, I just wondered how in the world we were going to pull it off. We already had such crazy lives with both of us building our own little "side hustles" and Wes working long hours with an hour-long commute, making him gone most of the boys' waking hours. We had already cut out of our lives nearly everything that didn't feel absolutely necessary, and even some of the necessary, because there was just no room for extras in our lives. So, how was I supposed to factor in pregnancy, recovery, and a new baby into all the chaos? Was it really the right thing to do?

But we both thought about it often, until we finally decided to pray about it. I think we waited to pray for a bit because deep down, we knew what the answer would be. We prayed and nearly immediately felt like it was right to add another sweet little spirit to our family. Then, I was reading one of Linda Eyre's books, "A Joyful Mother of Children" and she talked about a similar experience she was having....that it felt time for a baby, but they were very busy (her husband was a Mission President in London at the time, and she had several small children already), and she wasn't sure if she could do it, or wanted to at that time. Her and her husband discussed it, made a list of pros and cons, and took it to the Lord, and received a very strong conformation that it was right. She then went on to talk a little about that child, and how much they needed him in their family, and how grateful she was to have followed the promptings of the spirit. Anyway, like I always feel when I read their books, I could totally relate to this experience, and it gave me the courage I needed to just "go with it".

Fast forward to now, and here we are, almost 4 months pregnant, 15 weeks today. I look back and hardly remember much about the last few months, except right before Halloween, everyone getting a nasty flu bug that lasted almost three weeks. At different times. I was still having my turn with the flu when much to my surprise, morning sickness hit. Both times before, I have felt a little nausea and definitely the fatigue of pregnancy, and the sensitive stomach, but I could function, and the second time around I never even threw up. Not the case this time. I've lost count, and I've felt so horribly sick that at times I have worried something was wrong. Just because it's been so incredibly different this time around. But all seems to be well, and we feel very blessed for all the things that this little challenge has taught us.

Being sick all through Christmas time was no fun at all. But now that I am beginning to feel better (although I still throw up daily) it seems to have been very fleeting. We had to simplify our lives even more. I had to surrender to morning sickness. I've spent so much time in bed that Wes finally got me a more comfortable bed, in hopes that I would sleep a little better and be a little more comfortable when I'm not feeling well (what a guy! it's really helped!) I quit watching our money, I quit cooking and cleaning and the poor dogs were so bored and stinky and Tucker's hair grew so long that he almost couldn't see before I got around to cutting the poor little guy's hair. We haven't been on too many dates. Poor Wes has still never had a birthday party (I'll need to cook up something really special since he's been such a good sport about it). I quit agility, I quit knitting, I couldn't shop or drive much, it's been tough.

But let me tell you, the blessing and miracles we have experienced through all this craziness has far outweighed the challenges. I have felt so much strength from the Lord. I have felt closer to Him than ever before. I have had to totally rely on him for everything. It had made our marriage stronger, and the boys have become much closer and learned a lot about "helping" and have really adapted each day to what I can do for them. They are so amazing, and my love and awe for them has grown immensely. They are really amazing people! Another blessing that came back into my life was music. That was one of things that has kind of fallen by the wayside as we've struggled to get our bearings. But one day, I just needed a lift so bad that I went down to the basement and brought up my keyboard, my guitar and flute, all my music, and I have played and played and played. Boy oh boy has that brought an amazing spirit into our home! I had forgotten how music can reach you like nothing else. I feel like that alone has made everything worth it. I draw so much strength from it. And everyone else seems to also. I will never again let music fall by the wayside. In our family, it seems to be as important as scriptures, prayer, and food. Another way to nourish the soul. :) What a special gift to have been given at a time when we needed it so much.

The other thing I have learned is to just surrender. I tend to throw myself into a million things at once....I LOVE to be busy, and feel like I am contributing and improving every day. But boy howdy I had to learn to slow down even more than I ever thought possible, and I've had experiences sweeter than ever before, and so much time to think about things....what's important, what I need, what will improve our family life, how to make the best of and thrive in our current much! My heart is just overflowing with gratitude and inspiration. I have learned so much in so little time it seems. Now I feel so much excitement and enthusiasm for what life is bringing, and the direction we are headed. We have just been showered with so many blessings, and I feel so strongly that it's because there is so much that we need to be doing, and the Lord is making it possible for us. I hope with all I am that I don't let Him down. We will see what the next year unfolds for us, already there are so many changes and challenges and ADVENTURES! We can't wait! I have so many goals and ambitions and dreams for this next year, as well as many unknowns. I am excited to see it all unfold!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is it Really 2010?

My goodness, when I think about the past decade, I feel so blessed. I was 15 a decade ago! What magic a decade can bring! Life is so wonderful, isn't it? I just thought I would review, for my own documentation, the highlights of the last decade.

The Good: I got my drivers' license, learned to play the guitar, flute, oboe, and piccolo, got involved in Clayton Productions (the most AMAZING singing/performing group ever), made the volleyball team, learned how to rock climb, snowshoe, ran a 1/2 marathon, met and dated Wes, finally began my dream of dog sport while learning agility with my dog, started and ran various businesses, finally settled on Mona Vie and lia sophia, won an award for sewing a beautiful dress, learned how to cook, learned how to grow many beautiful and yummy things in my garden, taught a bird how to talk and do tricks, went on many mini weekends with friends, family and of course my hubby, moved 7 times, learned to surf, got to watch some amazing beach volleyball in person, started writing my first song, got two new brothers and two new sisters, a new brother-in-law, and a new sister-in-law, took the boys on their first airplane ride, got better at writing, read hundreds of books, got to be in a really fun play, learned a ton about photography, learned a little ASL, got to ice skate competitively, got ironically much better at dance once I quite figure skating, got involved in a daily yoga practice - all these things have really enriched my life

The Bad: both my Grandma and Granny passed away, as well as two of Wes' grandparents, lost a nephew to an extremely preventable, tragic situation that sadly heightened my awareness to the sad reality of child abuse, learned a hard lesson about car buying when we got stuck with a lemon for two years in which we lost thousands of dollars when we finally sold it, had the worst job of my life - really a nightmare, went on a bad honeymoon (really, I promise on this one. I am not hard to please, but our original plans fell through and we had to throw something together very last-minute. We ended up at a cabin with no running water and very little power that we had to conserve for what little cooking we could do. I had to shower in the boys' bathroom by the pool all the way at the bottom of the mountain, we rode motorcycles that broke down quite a ways from where we left, we were in a near-death rock climbing experience which involved a rescue from another neighborly group of rock climbers, we finally left a day early to have somewhere to shower and sleep before we started our trek to Nevada.), my mom and I got into an argument with an unconcerned, unprofessional Lehi cop that has resulted in a strong dislike for most cops for both of us as well as hating to live anywhere near Lehi - watch out for this guy, he is a creep! we've acquired a Valentine's jinx in which every single Valentine's Day from the time we were married up until now, has been ruined by some catastrophe...hopefully this one will change with the start of a new decade!

The Ugly: gained 46 pounds with each pregnancy that I am still struggling to get a handle on while beginning my third pregnancy, after five years of telling every do tor that would see me that something wasn't right, I had a large, benign ovarian tumor removed in emergency surgery which stemmed a plethora of health problems ranging from severe acid reflux to asthma to anxiety, got a third job doing medicine deliveries while living in Nevada which quickly proceeded to be the biggest, most expensive nightmare job ever, student loans and medical debt....need I say more?

The Beautiful: married my sweetheart and best friend in the Salt Lake temple (I still pinch myself every morning when I wake up next to him), had two sweet, beautiful, healthy boys, found some new passions in life including gardening, the great outdoors, health and nutrition, handwork and making things, to name a few, got to be a youth counselor in the Special Needs Mutual for a few years, having the joy of carrying our third child, due this summer, climbed Mount Timpanogas during which I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life, got our two sweet, darling dogs, have learned and grown at a much faster rate since becoming a wife and mommy and seen so many little blessings and miracles come our way, met many amazing, inspiring people that have touched my life in so many ways, started and continued a gratitude journal for nearly a decade now, got my patriarchal blessing, set and reached many goals and dreams

Wow, when I look back, I know so much more has happened. It seems like such a long time and such a blur at the same time. I feel so happy at all the good (and bad) things I have experienced and accomplished. I have learned so much and been so enriched! Now as I am in the process of writing my New Year's resolutions, here's to another year, and decade, of many miracles, blessings, joy, and success!


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