Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Prophet

At the news that President Hinckley passed away, I have become quite introspective. I love that man so much. He has taught so many valuable lessons, most meaningfully to me were those on how to live happily. He practiced what he preached, and he preached what he practiced.

Before President Hinckley I don't know if I can say I had a testimony of living prophets. This may be partly to do with the fact that I was 14 years old when he was called as prophet and president of the church, but for me it was more than that. I struggled for most of my teenage years knowing, not only whether or not the church was true, but even if I really had a Heavenly Father who loved me and a true Savior in Jesus Christ. This all came together for me when I was 19 years old, and living away from home as a nanny.

Being away from home was what it took for me. To be honest, at first I reveled in the freedom of not having to "pretend" to be an active member, and for a short while, I all but left the church in the dust. Then, seemingly out of no where I was completely miserable! Completely. I remember writing in my journal that I felt like I had no soul. I came to the realization that I was feeling guilty because I wasn't living up to the standards I had been taught were correct, but at the same time I didn't even know if I believed all of that stuff anyway! I was faced with a challenge; I had to know for myself whether or not the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were, in fact, true. If they were, then living the teachings would bring me the happiness they promised, and if not, I didn't need to feel guilty for not living them.

I started with the Book of Mormon and prayer, two things that had been gathering dust on the shelves and in my heart for a very long time. I started the Book of Mormon at Words of Mormon because I had read First and Second Nephi countless times, and I wanted this time to be different. As I read through King Benjamin's addresses to his people, and on in to the conversions of Alma, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah, and so many others, I knew that the words I was reading were true, that these men were in fact prophets of God.

Shortly afterward I had the opportunity to visit Palmyra, New York, where Joseph Smith talked with God the Father, and Jesus Christ. Although I don't think it is necessary to visit the Sacred Grove to gain a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, for me, with the timing of my visit and the current state of my seeking for truth, the reality of his vision became an undeniable part of my life as I felt a truly unique spiritual presence in that otherwise ordinary grove of trees.

I can say that I felt a love for and respect for President Hinckley before I actually had a testimony of his prophetic calling...what's not to love about a charismatic, witty, downright hilarious old man?? But it was during the April session of General Conference in 2000 that again, I sought for truth, and again I found it. I can't tell you a single thing that was said at that conference, but I can say that from that moment on I knew that a prophet of God was on the earth, and that President Gordon B. Hinckley was that prophet. My prophet.

Have I had doubts over the last nine years, you betcha. Have I sinned, and faltered, and lost my way from time to time? So, so much. But I have a redeemer, I have a savior, and He has saved me time, after time, after time, and for the last nine years I have never doubted that I have a soul, a valuable soul.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Behold 7-month-old Kate!

Well, almost seven three days. Hold on to your hats, a LOT of pictures are coming your way at the respective speed of your browser.

So since it has been far too long since I last posted pictures, we'll start with a recap.

Kate has been eating solids--and anything else she can get her hands on, for that matter--for about 2 months now. And growing as a result. (I know, whoda thunk it??) She now weighs just over 19 lbs and is about 27 1/2 inches tall/long.

Our ward Christmas party was right during nap time, but this candy cane was all she needed to be content. Santa was an hour late, and we never made it to a mall, so no Santa pictures for her first Christmas. I'm not too broken up about it.

Oh, this may be the first picture of my short, dark hair. But I guarantee it won't be my last weird face picture. Let's just focus on Kate here, people.

Ahh, you've gotta love the camera timer pictures. This one turned out ok; It was about our 5th attempt. I love how Kate and Zeus are staring at each other.

First Christmas morning shots! Mike's family has a tradition that they have to wait on the stairs until 7 am and they have to get a picture in their Santa hats. Kate looks awesome in hers.

Ryan and Kate were working on her balancing blocks skill. We heard it's a nine month skill, so obviously she's very advanced here folks. ;)

Zeus is, by far, Kate's favorite toy. Makes finding him a new home all the more difficult, but also makes doing it before she can remember all the more important. We'll get you a dog when you're older, Sweetheart.

How can you not fall in love with that face??

Other new skills Kate has acquired include sitting up, rolling from back to front, supporting herself while standing, grabbing at everything, speaking least, that's what I think she's saying. Mostly it just sound like "da, da, da" which we all know in baby means, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

I couldn't decide which of the following shots to include, because I love them you get all three!

Kate loves to stand and kneel at this mirror/stage she got for Christmas from her great-grandparents. That's "great" as in wonderful, of course. I especially love her messy morning faux hawk.

Kate seems to be teething, although I can't see anything yet. She is constantly feeling her bottom gums with her tongue and has been sucking her binkie like this...can you see the bottom edge on the inside of her lip? Another give away was the screaming in the middle of the night that was only soothed with baby Orajel.

Kate is such a joy in our lives. We don't even know how we comprehended happiness before there was Kate. She is growing and changing every single day. I feel so blessed to be at home with her so I don't have to miss a second of it...and so that I can excitedly tell Mike about all of her new tricks when he gets home from work or school. "Tanks, Papa" for working so hard to give us such a great life.

So there's the update you've all been salivating for. You can get back to your normal lives now. Go on.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A new home for Zeus Magoose

We have decided it is time to find a new home for Zeus. We love him so much, and Kate loves him, we just can't give him all the attention and exercise that boxers need. He has been a great dog and we will miss him terribly. We have shed tears together a few times this week at the thought of not having him in our family, but feel we are just postponing the inevitable at this point and that's not really fair to Zeus or us.

Ideally, we would love for Zeus to be with a family that we know so that we can visit him from time to time, so if anyone is interested or know someone who may be, please contact me! He LOVES kids, and so we think he would be best in a family with school aged children. We have posted an ad on KSL's Classifieds ( and we will be taking the adoption process very seriously.

This has got to be one of the hardest things we have had to do! We're going to miss you, Zeus Magoose!

Here are some pictures...

Friday, January 18, 2008

delighted and disgusted

The other day I was sent a very cute video via email forwarding. For the record, although I rarely forward things on, I always look at the ones that are sent to me. Anyway, before the video began it said something like "This media proudly posted by:" Blank was just four letters, an acronym I assume. They also had their website in the bottom corner of the entire video. Why am I going on about this, you ask? Well first, watch the video. (Compliments of YouTube)

Wasn't that the cutest thing!?! Well after watching that video about three times I decided to go to the sponsoring website, to see if it was their family site, or if there were more videos like this one. Innocent enough, right? BIG MISTAKE! To my shock and utter disgust, it was a porn site. Not only am I disgusted that they lead me there completely unknowingly, but more so that they were using this awesome home video of this adorable little boy to sell their smut! I had to wonder if the family knows and if there is really anything they can do about it. Makes me sick.

But, I hope you enjoyed that video! Who needs expensive toys when you have an old newspaper near by. :) And yes, we tried it with Kate...not sure yet if she doesn't have a sense of humor, or if she has a far superior one, but she didn't crack a smile, just looked at us like, "So...what's this, now? What am I supposed to do with this? Can I eat it?"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Last the best?

So I am officially the last of my bloggin' buddies to update my blog in the new year. I'm not sure why, exactly, as I have been "thinking in blog" almost non-stop. It's mostly that I am just lazy...well, that and I realized how much time I spent reading blogs for a while there that I have kind of avoided them. Granted, I check my homepage for updates almost everyday, but I have all but given up blog stalking.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I read about other people's seemingly perfect lives I just end up feeling sorry for myself. Not that I have a bad life, quite on the contrary, in fact. I remember one day of blogstalking I visited half a dozen or more blogs of people I knew from HS. One girl had just competed in a triathlon, another had just started her own business, another had just bought a really nice brand new SUV, and so forth. Later that day I noticed I felt fat, under motivated, and broke! Another day I came across a blog of someone I haven't seen or talked to in years and noticed my name in her linked blogs list. Has anyone else noticed a bit of a popularity contest in the blogging world? Needless to say, I was a bit bugged that someone would link my blog just to have a longer list without even stopping by it to say Hi.

Don't get me wrong, I love (love love) hearing the good news of people I really care about, but maybe that's because I also know you all have days that aren't all perfect and cheery and that's what makes you all so darn lovable and admirable!

Not sure where I'm going with this, or why. Maybe it's just that time of the month. :-) Anyway, stay tuned...I've got some great blogs up my sleeve, including the AMAZING book I finished today, the weight loss battle, and many more, Oh, yes. There will be pictures of Kate, don't you fret!