Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

Wedding Stuff

I can’t believe that the 21st is only 3 days away. Everything has fallen into place wonderfully — beyond what I could have imagined. 

I knew some specifics of what I wanted — a life together with Neil by my side. The wedding is just one step to get there. I wanted a traditional wedding dress, good food, family and friends. I don’t want a tiered wedding cake, reception line, or doing things just because. I especially didn’t want cake smashed in my face. I was ok with some kind of tablecloth and the “fancy” clear plastic plates so that people weren’t doing dishes forever afterwards. Enter in “more than I could have imagined” my sister-in-laws family being amazing at decorating and making things beautiful.  I walked into Heather’s front room and she had a table set with beautiful china and my heart went pitter patter a little inside. In just talking to them they were able to pull together a gorgeous table. Things have been falling into place like that everywhere, down to being able to get the church on short notice, the Bishop not being busy, and the list goes on. 
The fact that every part of this wedding is being pulled together by people who have seen me through some really ugly times and cheered me on, picked me up, or came down into my chaos to help me find my way out means so much to me. Every part means something special.  I can’t wait to see it all pulled together and then be able to share it with all of you. 
So here I sit tonight all sappy and grateful my mascara doesn’t run easily because I’m confident that I will be a mess on Friday. 
Here is a teaser photo of what I’ve been working on. 

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I’m so rarely happy with pictures of me in front of the camera. I love, love, love being behind the camera. Today Carmina took some family/engagement pictures and I great big huge puffy heart love them. I didn’t think to ask if she cared if I snagged one to post here, giving her full credit of course so you’ll have to click through to our album. 

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On my short list of Priesthood blessings that have moved me the most are a few I’ve been present for as an RN.  Something different happens when it’s someone you only just met as a patient. It was that kind of day today.  I’m also grateful that oh so very soon there will be a Priesthood leader in my home again. If I take a moment to be quiet and still I can already tell a difference. 

Sorry no picture tonight, I’m exhausted and worn out — plus I don’t have one handy that will work. 

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We had our first snow storm of the year on Sunday and I was without power (and therefore heat) for nearly 24 hours. During daylight I enjoyed sitting by the fire cuddled up to Neil but as it started to get dark and crews were without an estimated repair time I worried and the novelty of hunkering down for the storm grew weary. 
The storms that bring us moisture are so necessary in this region.  They allow the fields and crops to grow, my flowers to bloom, and quench the thirsty earth. Often they are inconvenient, poorly timed, messy, ruin my hair, and cancel fun plans. Vital but not necessarily fun. 
Storms of life are similar. I’m at a point that I can sincerely say I’m grateful for the things I’ve learned through my storms and Hard Times. The storms were inconvenient, poorly timed, messy, ruined many cute hair days, and I’ve had to cancel many fun plans. Vital for me learn of my own strength, to grow my own testimony, to learn humility and perspective while drawing closer to Christ. Vital but decidedly not fun. 

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As soon as I could leave work I bolted so that I could get to St George to check out decorations for the wedding so that I knew what I had to work with. We were meeting with Becky’s cousin. 

A little background here. When it comes to parties, girls camp, gatherings of any nature I can quickly plan a menu and feed people well. If people are hungry it’s their own doing/choice and I’ve found that well fed people are happy. I care significantly less about decorations, china patterns, etc. It’s very hard for me to visualize the end outcome and I’d rather do all kinds of prep work than a difficult clean up. Here is where fancy paper plates and the like come into play and I’m okay with that. 
We walk into Heather’s (no I’m not talking about my house) and there is a table set up with a silver tablecloth and blue charger, china set around etc. and it was so much more than okay. As we start talking they are putting things together and soon we have a mock-up of a beautiful table that is absolutely perfect and makes me smile. 
I may be able to feed people but this family can decorate and see the end picture from the beginning and they are so willing to help–they get the credit for everything beautiful that day. I’m grateful for the diversity in talents that is pulling this wedding together (many people are helping in many roles) and their willingness to help. 
Special thanks today to Becky, Heather, Monica, and Sharon. Oh and David for putting up with us. 
Yes I do have a picture but no I’m not sharing it yet, you’ll have to either come or wait until after when I get around to posting pictures. 

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It’s not yet 10 am and I already have pictures (poor quality phone pics, but that’s ok) for four days worth of gratitude. Maybe I can make it all the way through the month. 

Today I am grateful for the strength of my testimony in the Gospel. Like the candlelight I used this morning when the power was out it has given me the ability to see enough to have hope during my darkest times and Hard Things. The days I felt completely isolated and was certain that night had the ability to swallow me up without anyone noticing I knew that Christ was aware of me and understood in a way that only He can. My testimony got me through that night, then the next few weeks hour by hour and sometimes breath by breath. 
Like the candle light above, a testimony positioned properly can be magnified while one hidden and suffocated will die out. As a child my testimony mirrored my parents actions until it was strong enough to grow on it’s own, I don’t believe that scenario to be very unusual. 

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For a short time I’d considered not doing 30 Days this year, but I’ve done it (with varying degrees of success and completion) through photography for the last 10 years.  It’s given me better perspective and strength through some rough times. I don’t need it this year the way I have others but it’s a tradition I don’t want to give up and it always refreshes my attitude of gratitude so I’m doing it again.  

I am grateful for everyday heroes. Not just the ones who stories are told about and recognized on the streets but the ones who come to my rescue on stressful busy days when I lock my keys in the car. The stranger who held the door open when I had arms full of toddlers and babies, a kind smile on a bad day. 
My definition of hero is someone who steps up when others don’t and they leave the world a better place even if just for a moment. 
p.s. I know I haven’t updated in forever, but I’m getting married. Nov 21, yes of this year. I’m sure you’ll be hearing details in posts to come. 

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Warm fuzzies

There is some online bickering tonight among some very real friends of mine. It makes me sad and my heart is feeling a little fragile tonight so I’m taking that extra sensitive and turning it to good. 

Thinking about this group of friends, they’ve walked me through weekly trips to Orem, twice/month to PCH, tests, procedures, evals, Early Intervention, and IEP fun. We have shared stories, tips on how to best get a stool sample of liquid stool from a diaper, campaigned for funding at Capitol Hill, laughed together and been a friend when things seem lonely and no one else really understands and the world seems lonely. I’ve cried over children who have passed away, cheered at milestones met years behind schedule and watched kids grow from babies in a stroller over video conferencing to going on trek last summer. It’s an amazing group of amazing women and I would have been lost without them. So grateful for technology that keeps us connected. 
I’m similarly grateful for my ward. When they juggled us up I felt lost and invisible. I knew I wasn’t, but my heart didn’t. All of the people who checked up on me if I missed a Sunday or activity I’d typically be at were gone. I still miss them tons, but I have grown to love our ward. They don’t just love and care about my kids in emotions, they use the action form. I can’t begin to explain the depth of my appreciation for my ward family for all they do for us and the example they are.  
The weather lately has been beautiful. Amazing storms and gorgeous sunsets with golden leaves up the mountain. 

I have more, but it’s late and tomorrow starts early.

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I have Dad’s eyes. Not his beautiful hazel irises but his tear ducts that can occasionally be tight as steel but usually resembles some kind of slow watering system. I never realized growing up that men aren’t “suppose” to cry, the men I love the most have excellent tear ducts maintained by frequent flushing.

It’s been a great few weeks, and an amazing weekend full of peace, admiration, gratitude, realization and pride in a job well done. It’s been amazing and exhausting. I’m beat and not done yet either.  
I worked today, the exact kind of day that is the reason I became a nurse. I didn’t walk out feeling like I was wearing a superman cape or had significantly changed the course of well, anything, but I found joy in today. In seeing a patients face light up when his wife walked into the room (adding that to ‘the list’) and a twinkle come back into his eyes. I didn’t do anything spectacular but I was happy to see improvement today and be there for those moments and see family be supportive, loving, and kind. The kind of perfectly normal work day that makes me get all fluffy eyed. 
Driving home my mind ran to a list of different sorts. Things I still needed to do tonight, so I ran to the store and bought the wrong sized sheets, took a break from have to’s so I could water the flowers and fill the bird feeders. I walked to the north flower bed and noticed something. 
North Side where the rose thicket still annoys me
I just stood there and cried.  Someone who I can stick a name to came by and mowed down the stupid wild roses that won’t die, the weeds, the foxtails, the everything all the way to the back fence. Mowing was on a list, one that wasn’t going to be prioritized until next week but in quiet unsung acts of service this ward is a perfect example if what a ward family is and why I can’t picture being anywhere else. Those mowed down weeds all whispered “you are loved, and you matter”
Thank you, so very very much. I can’t even begin to say how much you mean to me and have since we first moved here. 

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I mentioned the other day that I’ve been happy lately and I’ve wanted to expand on that idea. So often the world thinks that happy comes from external forces. Lack of trials, Hard Things missing in your life, good things happening, a beautiful home, well behaved and talented children. Those things may be fun and exciting and have a Christmas morning type of Happy (like Pharrell Williams Happy) that’s not what I’m talking about.

This happy is internal and present even in the midst of Hard Things and absence of wonderful things. It’s who I am, who I’ve fought so hard to find because I knew she was in there somewhere yelling and screaming to be found. I’ve heard her voice when I can look at the chaos in my life and realize that it’s okay, when I look in the mirror and am able to laugh at myself and broken tailbone grateful I went skating still I could see a reflection, or reading a book when my life is hidden behind the words I could feel her close.  She’s been nearby but just out of reach for too long.
On a particularly hard day I remembered back to high school and Brother Harr asking me if I ever didn’t smile because he hadn’t seen it. That’s the part of me that’s is back. My resting face smile has returned. Just like meeting an old friend I know the date and time she found me. I feel more like myself than I have in years. Hard Things are still all around and I don’t know how I’m going to do everything I’m suppose to much less everything I want to but I have a smile on my face, peace in my heart and faith that everything is going to be okay. 
To those who stood by me and drug me through my mucky days I am forever thankful. The muck would have swallowed me up if you hadn’t been there. Thank you. 
Just because flowers make me happy
~Heather ❤️

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