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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Photo Credit Jenelle Lacy 
I love this tribe of mine.  Ups, downs and sometimes it feels like we’re in a snow globe that has been shaken up but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I don’t have a picture of extended family so you’ll have to imagine them in there too.

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Quote Hunting

I’ve spent the last 40 minutes looking for a quote that I can’t find.  If anyone knows it I’d love a reference for it. Meanwhile here is the background. 

My pain is getting worse, little things are stacking up on each other with little to no resting time. Last week at work was crazy, I only got lunch one day and the constant running was hard on my back —  especially my climbing over a feeding tube, vent hoses/wires going to the wall, under suction tubing and then stretching sideways. Last week was just the foundation for this week. Every day I have to be at the hospital between meetings, extra shifts, and picture day. Did I mention I’m hurting more? Almost like I’m back in July hurting. I have renters to move in, which means updating the lease that I’ve been putting off can’t be put off any longer. The kittens had a crazy day today breaking the glass out of my favorite picture of Christ and my good mixing bowl. I woke up to glass everywhere upstairs. I can’t neglect to mention the large and obvious chin zit because why should my skin cooperate with me?
I was around my favorite people today though. I’d rather have days (weeks?!?) like this with people I love around me than have a so called perfect day without them.  
Here’s my quote on one of my pictures that warms my heart. The idea isn’t mine and I’ve seen something recently that I can’t find tonight. 
~H

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Love

Earlier this year there was a Facebook post that asked “What do you want to teach your children the most?” I knew my answer before I even finished reading.  I want them to know, to believe, to understand that I will always love them, no matter what. I wish the power of love from me was enough to provide my kids with a kind of bubble wrap that would guarantee they would never deal with trials, pain and Hard Things.  I don’t even know that my love really makes any kind of difference in the big scheme of things.  It doesn’t make math tests easier, school drama go away, or general teenager life change much.  I’m still that weird Mom who wants to meet friends and get to know them, but they can usually count on me for a ride — best way of getting to know them, they’re trapped! It’s easy to love friends, family, and especially your children.

Since my last post about the worth of souls being great I’ve been wondering, if I’m taking on the challenge to see the worth in the souls of those around me, how exactly am I suppose to do that?  I’m great at thinking of good ideas without coming up with a way to accomplish the goal, but this time I think I’ve found my answer in John 13:4 where it says a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Okay, again it’s easy to love friends and family, responding to their needs and spending time with them laughing, bonding, working.  Let’s not forget as I have loved you.  Christ loves each one of us, individually not collectively.  He showed that love through kindness and service and ultimately the greatest service that only He could provide in Gethsemane. I’ve been on the receiving end of some amazing service the past several years, and each one makes me choke up a little and realize that I am loved and have friends who care about me.  I could spend a lifetime paying it forward, but this isn’t a budget where a ledger is kept requiring a zero balance when all is said and done, fortunately.

I’ve written before of those who see the worth of souls, who do the things that many others can’t, who help people look at themselves and recognize the worth there.  These aren’t random theoretical people, they have names, families, trials of their own but when I think of their willingness to serve others and to jump in and help people out I can’t imagine that willingness to serve, often times from people that didn’t initially know that is what I imagine loving one another with a Christ like love is and I am grateful for their example and especially their influence in my family’s life. They serve those who need it, not those who they deem worthy and they serve without hesitation or judgement of one’s situation.  If one gets to pick their legacy, I want love to be mine–the action sort of love, not the emotion of romance novels.

~H

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I’m not the first and likely not the last person to write about this.  I will likely have to hear it more often before I actually get it more than temporarily.

I’m not beautiful, pretty or cute.  I come to terms with this mostly avoiding mirrors and such until I see pictures of me.  Being the one behind the camera it’s easy to not be in many pictures, that might be one of my favorite parts of being behind the camera.  Couple this with the idea that pictures should be very, very close to perfect to be kept from my really into photography days and it’s like I have some kind of photogdysmorphic problem. Yes, I made that up. The problem isn’t though.  I have thousands of pictures of flowers, kids, skyscapes, landscapes, sunsets, textures, motel signs, street signs, etc. I like to document my life as I see it, capture the beauty I am able to see around me from simple footbridges to majestic sunsets.

footbridge on the way to The Big Tree

My beautiful Mom hates pictures of herself.  She is most likely to goof off and pull some of her famous funny faces in front of the camera instead of letting us capture her as she normally is.  I’m okay with that, she has an amazing talent of making people laugh and pulling faces.  Her face is beautiful though, see. How can you not love her?

Mom at the cabin for her birthday dinner 2014

Isn’t she amazing?  She hasn’t seen this picture yet but I’m sure she’d pick it apart.  She’s not happy with her hair right now and, and, and.  There is always a list of ands.  I’m very well acquainted with them myself.  The old photographer me wouldn’t have hung onto this picture, or taken it in the first place.  Those cars?  Too distracting?  The focus and framing?  Off because the kids took this picture and I had to crop it way down to get it to follow the rule of thirds.  Who wants such a flawed picture?  Well, I do.  It’s how Michael sees his Grandma.  A wonderful, happy woman with a bright smile and a delicious cake on her lap you can’t see.  This picture is us, family gathered together to celebrate a wonderful woman that has cheered most of us on to get us to where we are now.

This same trip, with both Charlet and Michael having the camera there are pictures of me.  Pictures I don’t like and ones I wanted to delete.

Me, at Grandpa’s Cabin for Mom’s birthday 2014

My cheeks are chubby, I don’t have any make up on and my hair had a mind of it’s own including visible fuzziness and I don’t like the way the shirt makes me look. and, and, and.  I have a hard time seeing anything good in the picture, including flaws and imperfections that aren’t visible.  I can see the looming to do list that I never seem to finish, the stress, the inability to be enough of anything for anyone on my own. Who needs a visible reminder of that?  Not me!

I’ve read, and agreed with, articles talking about the importance of not waiting until the weight is lost or whatever goal it is that is keeping you from wanting to be in pictures because pictures are important.  They show the relationship between a young mother (who may still have some extra weight) and a toddler, the beautiful Grandmother being sung Happy Birthday surrounded by her kids, grandkids, and a great grandbaby who all think she’s the greatest ever (of course that’s because she really is)

I’ve adjusted ever so slightly and will consent to pictures like this one because Grant is cute enough to make up for what I’m lacking. Isn’t his little mohawk the cutest thing ever?  I adore him and so I keep the picture.

Grant and me at Grandpa’s Cabin 2014
I also am a fan of the picture of me that really isn’t a picture of a person.  Feet at the beach (I’ll take one when I’m at the beach, if I ever get there) or something that shows a part of me, perhaps an insight into my personality without actually being a picture of me. It’s me, that’s my hand and it’s a picture I treasure without having to deal with an awkward smile, hair fuzzies, or lack of pristine make up (or any make up at all this trip!)
As I look at the pictures from this trip, most of which I didn’t take it’s a little easier to look past the soft focus, missing catch lights, busy backgrounds, and other flaws because each picture captures a part of what going to the cabin is.  Spending time at the cabin with family is amazing.  Fun, stories, games, laughter and love — if you don’t want to be part of that then you can go somewhere else.  One of my favorite pictures is horrifically flawed.  Two teens trying to a selfie in low light with a DSLR but with flash turned off and who knows where the focus or focal length was.  I love it, it shows the relationship that these two have been building up between them. Thumbnail size it’s just fine!
Charlet and Michael weekend of Grandma’s birthday party 2014

I’m keeping the soft focus, low light, technically flawed pictures and I’m taking a breath and not deleting the pictures of me where I see nothing but imperfections because 100 years from now I don’t want someone to be looking at my pictures and assume my children are motherless because I was too picky over something as silly as a photograph. I may not be beautiful but I hope when my kids see pictures of me that are able to realize how much I love them and that they are the center of my entire world forever and always even with fly away hair, no make up, and unrested eyes.

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Happy Father’s Day

I hope that today is a great day for everyone, yet I know it won’t be. Today will sting for the Mom’s doing double duty and I’m not just talking about single Moms. Military moms, moms who are married to the father of her children but he isn’t very involved, wife who’s spouse is ill or disabled and many other situations I’m unaware of may not love this day quite as much as others. There are those who long to be fathers but can’t or haven’t yet, fathers who have lost a son, fathers trying hard to improve strained relationships, fathers who take time today to make a list of every perceived mistake. To everyone who fits in that category, be kind to yourself because you deserve it.

Last night as I worked on a special project I was thinking about the fathers in my life and how not one of them is the greatest dad, but how most of them are the greatest dad for their children. I have known some not so great dads but all of the ones I’ve known and talked with have kept trying with varying degrees of success. It might not be a Hallmark plot line but seeing a guy working to be the best dad he can warms my heart — even if the rest of the situation is sad or strained. 
Dad Thanksgiving 20??

To my own Dad who probably won’t see this, thanks for teaching me patience in frustrating situations, showing me what unconditional love and support are, teaching me how to roof, drywall, run electrical, plus more things than I should list and for always having my back. I love you and you are the greatest dad I could ever ask for and I hope you have an amazing day. 
To the boys, thanks for being my brothers. Being there to answer my questions, shoulders to cry on, advise givers and antagonists for as long as I can remember has been wonderful. This little (non-spoiled) sister is grateful to be able to look up to you. 
To the guys in the ward who have helped be an example to my kids from showing them how to work and serve to building pinewood derby cars and early morning cross country runs thank you for filling a gap no one else could. 
It would be glaring obvious if I didn’t mention my kids’ dad but finding the right words is difficult, so the condensed version is what you get. Thanks for giving me three wonderful children, without them my life wouldn’t be complete. 
Happy Father’s Day everyone. 

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Dress Up

On Monday we found out that Charlet needed a formal dress for a party on Friday that she’s been looking forward to for a while. That’s not much notice and there isn’t a large variety of places to look for formal gowns and no time to go anywhere. 

Then ShaLiece told me about Cinderella’s Closet, a place in Enoch that rents out modest gowns. Maddie and Kelsey came with us and they had a blast. 
We even found a gown that works (really they all were okay, except one that was a little too big even with the corset back). The winner?
I will be out of town on Friday but Kelsey and Maddie promised to take pictures for me. 

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I think/hope to have started a yearly tradition. Timing kind if sucked, but when in the summer are you going to fun a Saturday that most people aren’t busy?  

Girls and I went up to the cabin Friday to de-cobweb, de-spider and open up the windows at the cabin. The time at the cabin was great without electronics {yes that includes blogging} we ended up going for a slow ride around the loop and while we didn’t see any elk we did see several bucks, a herd of happy cows, a gaggle {?!?} of turkeys and I ran smack into drifts of memories. No camera except for my phone {I know!  See what my life has become?!?} but this mountain is one of my places on earth. 
I’d trade all my bucket list locations to be able to call this home if I had to and I’m grateful I don’t. 
Or up on top

My heart lives in these mountains.

As we were locking up and double checking everything {except the dart board} I asked Charlet if we were leaving it better than when we came. Most of what we cleaned the spiders will replace by September but I realized it ran deeper for me. 
So much of my identity and core beliefs are tied up in that little lot and buildings. I was taught how to work hard, how to have fun, importance of family and friends,as well as so many other lessons. Grandpa built the cabin to be used and enjoyed by family and friends. I don’t think he was smiling down on us from heaven today I think was there with us for every pool shot, the burnt potatoes, the elk sausage breakfast. 

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My Boys

For those of you who don’t know I am the youngest of 4 and the only girl. Regardless of popular belief I’m not completely spoiled rotten.  I grew up knowing very well how to handle being teased, how to get dirty and just the right tone to add to “Dad! The boys are being mean!”  

I’ve been teased to tears, tickled until I nearly peed, and heaven help anyone who took me on a date in high school if the boys knew about it. Which they usually did. 
I spend a good chunk of time wondering what it would be like to have sisters instead of brothers. 
The teasing hasn’t stopped but I wouldn’t trade the boys for the best sisters in the world. No matter how alone I feel as I stand to fight {well, pretty much anything} I know that they are right behind me ready to do whatever needs to be done from late night conversations while working graveyard shift to making it so I always feel welcome including everything in between and beyond. 
I love my boys. {not the best picture of any of us but I don’t care}
Oh, and Happy Birthday Mom!

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Remember back when I finished, in a mostly timely manner, my 30 days of gratitude and I said I wanted to make it a weekly event?  No?  Whew, well then maybe you won’t care that I forgot too.

I remembered. 
If I were to detail out all of my gratitudes now in individual posts I’d be good for the rest of the year and likely still forget something, someone or a situation.  Not to mention the many little things that I’m unaware of while being globally thankful for a good day. 
Today I’m grateful for people.  From Dad who can do almost anything, Mom who would have stayed home from Alaska if I’d just asked {this year or others} and is the best laminator using clear contact paper that I know to brothers who sent me falling off cliffs, had many graveyard shift conversations, fixed my {whatever} and are only a phone call away. 
In the Mormon Messages video Mountains to Climb Elder Eyring says “the Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up” I fully believe that many of God’s miracles are done by ordinary people listening to the spirit and doing what needs to be done, much like the line in Fried Green Tomatoes that says “I believe God has angels walking around disguised as people…”  I don’t know what unseen angels are by my sides but I have friends in walking distance to the north, south, east, and west that bear me up, hold me when I can’t manage on my own, listen when I need to talk and don’t ask questions when I need to not talk. The list of reasons I am grateful for them looks much like a picture of Santa going through the naughty or nice list of all the kids in the world, for the most part innumerable. I’ve received cards, late night visits to keep me together, kid taxing, smiles and hugs each act of kindness or service keeps me going when I am not certain I can otherwise. Your thoughts and feelings that you have shared with me are invaluable. 

A significant part of my list is ward leadership. I’ve tried to journal some of the feelings I’ve had from blessings that I received and I don’t think those words exsist in the English language. Having a Priesthood blessing being only a call away is amazing–especially when that call comes in the middle of the night. Home Teachers truly do a lion’s share of the Lord’s work in quiet regular visits to their families. I have new visiting teachers, and I know that in the past Visiting Teachers have been just as important. 
Working last night in not my home department made me realize how much my work family means to me. The quiet support I get at work helps keep me going from one drip titration to the next. 3west people I miss you too, feel free to call me when the floor is crazier than you can staff.
I’m grateful for the people who are trained to help others, particularly those who love their job.
To strangers going through hard times and blogging about it, thanks you are an inspiration. Those who can tell a story and make me laugh I am grateful you share your talent. Laughter is a potent medication. 
My heart is full of gratitude tonight for all of you. 

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Growing up Memorial Day was full of tradition.  School was out so we could finally wear shorts!  Woot!  Saturday before was the family reunion at the cabin.  The reunion was always fun, but just as much I enjoyed seeing how much it meant to Grandma and Grandpa.  Little squares of construction paper color coded to which brother/sister you descended from and your name, and if you didn’t have one you were promptly hunted down.  The sign in register, carefully disguised poster paper where you sign in — again under which brother/sister you descended from.

Cousins I typically only saw once/year, but you’d never know it — now I only see them at funerals.  Seeing Grandpa have to prove “one more time” that he could still climb the rope up to the log holding the swing cut from an old tire.  I don’t know how many years he promised Grandma that he wouldn’t do it again.  We always walked to the Big Tree {it really is a BIG tree} and took rides in the best.swing.ever.

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See?  Best swing ever!

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Not always, but often enough for me to remember Grandpa would at least want to give rides in the Model T.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 9 -- Heritage

I remember Grandma picking flowers out of her garden to put on graves, mason jars full of lilac blossoms {our lilacs are through blooming, what’s up with that?} and whatever happened to be tall enough and blooming.  Her house would smell of lilacs for awhile afterwards, somehow she always had a few ‘extra’ lilacs that made it onto her kitchen table.  Everytime I smell lilacs I think of Grandma.

What did we do this weekend?  Charlet got to go to Colorado for a graduation but Kaede and I stayed home all weekend and worked.  At work, in the garden, on the house, on the 5 year plan to get rid of the purple thistles in the backyard {really, I think we’re on year 7 of the 5 year plan}  One of my favorite weekends full of memories and tradition has flittered away into nothing for my kids.

Going through years of pictures to find this has me feeling a bit sad and as late as it is I’m going to head to bed for some reading and contemplating.

~Heather

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