Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Its weird to get older.
Yesterday at said family gathering, my nieces, nephews, and children ran around my grandparents backyard. Circle after circle, in the nice green lush lawn. The adults were in the shade, sitting on white lawn chairs talking about boring adult things just like adults do. Teresa, said I have to keep pinching myself, should I be the one running around in the lawn. Yes, weird we are adults! Ahh, one of my nieces was 9 the other was 10. I first went to my grandparents house when I was 9, yes I ran around that lawn many summers, in a little 9, 10, 11, or 12 year old body, running around and around. But now I'm the an old adult, that sits in the very same white lawn chairs my parents, my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles sat in all those summers.
The best part of yesterday was when a nephew tried to climb a retaining wall and my grandpa yelled, hubba hubba. Ahh, memories, I thought that is the grandpa I know and love.
Speaking of weird places in life, the other night I went out to dinner with an old young women's leader and three of her kids. When she first became a young women's leader I was 13, and her oldest child was 2 or 3. Now I have a four year old, and her oldest child is 14. Crazy, life totally switched. I was in seven grade, her daughter is going into ninth.
When did I become an adult?
My son tells me all the time, when I grow up I'm going to be expensive and buy a big house. I say oh really? Well maybe when daddy and I grow up we will buy a big house. He says, no, you are grown ups. I say, maybe, but not quite yet, daddy and I still have a lot of growing up to do, we are still really young. Yes he will be the oldest child that complains to his little siblings about what it was like when mom and dad were poor, and he didn't get all the cool stuff they get.
I got married down the street from my grandma's house, but miles and states away from my own, so I was sleeping at my grandma's house before the wedding. I had spent many summers sharing the hideabed in the back bedroom with my younger cousin Kiersten, for whatever reason she decided to let me have the room to myself, I told her I did not mind sharing a bed with her but she insisted sleeping on the couch. I got a text message from my intended, and snuggled into bed since it was the middle of winter, then thought two things, oh Kiersten could have shared the room with me, I'M GETTING MARRIED IN THE MORNING!, back and forth my thoughts went, for a few short moments until I fell quickly asleep, and was a woke the next morning with a knock, "Lesli, I think you should get up now"
Now for the second, my sister in law, Teresa is a hair stylist and did my hair. She did quite the extensive do, and so we sat in the large downstairs bathroom for a long time as she did my hair, and we just had a lot of fun. I was giddy in excitement that I was about to marry Brent, and kept singing a song with some modified lyrics. I don't quite remember the exact wording, but it went something like this,
I love to see the Temple,
I'm going inside today,
I'm marrying Brent Hunt...
I came up with about seven verses, luckily no one recorded my morning giddiness, so I have no idea what all the verses said. But I remember my older brother Mathew walking in at one point, and laughing at me, and Teresa then laughing because I was being so silly and giddy.
Oh, I'll share one more memory for the sake of history.
Marriage was not an easy decision for us, we really wanted to be together, but marriage was sort of scary, like really scary. It doesn't have the best statistics, plus we were contemplating eternity. Not to mention we were REALLY young. We spent a lot of time deciding if we really should get married. We really really loved each other and wanted to be together so we decided there was no other way than going to the temple. As the date approached I never got nervous, I had spent months and months being nervous/contemplating, once I made my decision I made my decision. (Which I have never regretted) As the date approached I get got more and more excited and giddy. I couldn't wait, I was totally smitten with my best friend. So when I was waiting for my turn at the cermony, I remember sitting there with my future hubby, we were smiling, quietly laughing, having so much fun waiting together, counting down the seconds until we would be married. We couldn't wait we were so excited. It was fun, I think I will always remember sitting there in white with my hubby, with our little yellow name takes, holding hands and giggling. Although I have no earthly idea what we were actually saying.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their father... (the white heart is the dead, while the red represents the living) Feel free to use this picture as a visual aid next time you have to teach this lesson in Sunday School.
Is going to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and playing with the toys in the in the Family Search room on the main floor.
I'm really quite fond of these bronze seagulls, much more so than the real seagulls that are laying around.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
I was worried, that I had my first born too young. At the time I knew I was doing what was right for me and my husband in our lives. But then what happened over the last four to five years? Whats with all the questioning and doubting? My biggest fear recently is when my son graduates from high school, people will think I'm in my mid 50s not 40. So much so that I've been obsessed with the whole thing, like seriously overwhelmed that I was much to young to have a 4 year old. So much so that I loved my four year old, and what happy with him I just wished I was 5 years older. (I guess that is what happens, when you let vanity overpower inspiration.)
But after thinking about this for months, I've got a lot of conclusions. Everyone in my family but my little brother is older than me, anywhere from 5 to 13 years older than me. Which mean I was a little one, I was always too young, or had to go to bed or something. I hated being young, so much so I thought I wouldn't be able to love my first born children, and would only like my younger children. (Silly, I was young at the time).
I couldn't wait until we were all adults (most of my siblings were adults for most of the childhood I remember) and we would all be the same age, because when you are young, everyone that is an adult is old. After age 20, its all old, right? That's what you think when you are a kid. Then sometime in high school, I realized my siblings kept aging too, they were still all 5-13 years older than me. I would always be the young one. Ok, I could accept that. Plus now I had a niece or two, so I was the fun cool young hip adult. (Even if I wasn't legally an adult yet.) (I'm not the fun cool young hip aunt anymore, 5 years ago when I got pregnant the first time that all went out the window, never to return.)
I had accepted my place in life, I was the young one. I got married young, (not the norm for either my family or my husband's), but that was ok I'm the young one. I can do things young, because I'll always be the young one. I was young in my student married wards but that was ok, I was the young one in life. I was young when I had a kid and that was ok, because I was the young one. I had truly accepted my position in life, for the first two years of my marriage, I spent a lot of time around my husband's family and his younger brothers were on missions, so I was truly the young one. Especially since I'm only a year older than them. I was the young one in all my circles.
Then something happened I continued to grow up all our younger brothers came back to life, got home off their missions and I was no longer the youngest one. Now they are all almost married and I am no longer even the young girl, because all three of my sister in laws acquired in the last three years are younger than me. But that is not where my freak out point came.
I continued to grow up, we graduated from college moved and I found friends with kids my kid's age, and they were older than me, because I had a baby young, I was the young one remember. That was fine, didn't even phase me, but phased me was the young newlyweds moving into the ward, some were younger than me?! How could anyone be younger than the young one?! Some weren't as young as me, but some were younger?! It was hard to handle, someone was taking over my role in life. I just didn't think about it, I ignored it in the back of my head. Then we moved again. I found more friends who had kids my kids age, who were once again older than me. But I also found more friends, who were my age, but didn't have kids because even in Utah 21 is still young to have a baby. It was quite funny the day one of my friends realized we were the same age. She didn't say, I said it for her, but she looked at me like I was crazy when I told her my age. She thought I was so much older than her, I had a three year old and an infant, while she was only pregnant with her first. She was speechless, I said you can say it, you thought I was older than you. She said no, um, well, yeah, but, then just stared at me. I could tell by the stare she assumed I was sooo old in comparison to her.
My husband also had to come to terms with not being young. One day in Elder's Quorum someone asked who had been married the longest, everyone looked at him. He said, I'm not old, and the response was we know, but none of the rest of have kids, we didn't get married as young as you. (There were guys married longer than him, and ones with kids they just didn't happened to be there that day.) That took some getting use to for my husband, but not years like it takes me. We moved again, this time I got visiting teachers who were younger than me. They hint at me giving marriage and future children advice to them. I think what I'm not old, I don't give advice yet. But yet as one complains about her mother in law, I find myself giving slight advice, and holding my tongue and not saying, look get over it, you love your husband, he loves his mom, she can't be that hard to love, if she raised him. You are stuck with her for eternity by this point, so you might as well get over yourself now and enjoy the next couple of years.
So I might always be a young one in my family but apparently I'm not the youngest adults at church. That scares me, hence my new biggest fear, that when my son graduates people will think I'm 15 years older than I am. There are plenty of people in Young Single Adult wards that are older than me. Not to mention most other white middle class women would never think of having a baby before starting their career. What was I thinking when I had a baby at 21? Did the Lord lead me astray? I mean mentally I was getting to a freak out point, but I was trying to keep it under wraps. I almost started asking the question during my prayers, but never really did, maybe lacking the faith. I don't know.
I have a sister in law, with a very young mother in law, she says her mother in law so young, and is so active and just has so much fun. But see the problem with me thinking oh ok, is her mother in law has a lot of kids. I don't want a lot of kids, kids kind of drive me out of my mind. I would like more than I have but not much. How would I stay active and fun if I didn't have kids at home, when I was still young. Seriously I was mentally having a silent breakdown. I didn't want to have a lot of kids, I've never really wanted to have a lot of kids, I was born into a big family, but not raised in one, I only celebrated the holidays with them, and honestly they drove me bonkers being all together more than a week. I like my own space, I like things quiet, I like things clean. How could I have a big family and enjoy it being young? You need a big family if you start young right? I didn't want that. Or you are a teenager pregnancy single mom, I didn't want that either. I felt lost in a limbo, stuck in a class that no one existed in but me.
Then one night a few weeks ago, my problems were solved. I laid down in bed, next to my husband and thought how much I loved him. We both got annoyed at the other one earlier in the day, so my relief of him being by my side was more than other nights. It wasn't taken for granted, like some nights when I'm super tired. I thought I'm so glad I'm with him, and all the time we have been together. Then it hit me. BANG! like a lightening bolt. Having a kid young, doesn't mean worrying about what other people think of me when he is high school. Its getting to spend more time with him. I mean heck I should be able to spend at least 65 years with my cute brown eyed boy. That sounds great! Plus I realized I don't have to have another baby anytime soon. Just because I'm "young and healthy" doesn't mean I have to pop out babies as quickly as reproductively possible, ahh the benefits of living in the 21st century in a developed nation. I love freedom. Heck I realized my son could be 8 before he gets another sibling, now doesn't that sound nice? Yes, I'm happy to be young, I'm perfectly content with my age, and my children's age. But that doesn't mean I don't feel too young to be their mom, but that's probably normal. Just like when my middle age young women's leaders told me they felt like they should still be in young womens. I thought they were crazy but now completely understand.
That also doesn't mean, I don't wish I could freeze my children right now in their ages, get rid of the cries, and keep them as sweet cute young kids, my babies forever. Before they ever become awful teenagers. Last night when I was talking to my dad for father's day, he said good grief when he saw the picture I put of them on his father's day card, he said, good grief they are getting big. Oh I'm so painfully aware my babies are getting big. But at least I'm still young.
My husband loves being young, he talks about retiring at 40. I don't believe him, I don't want to retire at 40, if we retire at 40 when do I get my career? The benefit of being young.
Then as I was reading the scriptures or praying or something, I remembered a student ward bishop I had who always said "nothing changes if nothing changes" (he meant it in application towards sin, ie we aren't going to stop sinning unless we change something), but yet still applicable. Nothing changes if nothing changes, well the MBA program will not change. It is going to be the same thing until my husband graduates in a year and a few months. This phrase kept popping into my head for many days until I was in the temple. In which case I realized it is fine I'll survived. It will always be hard, but that doesn't mean I won't survive. Nothing is going to change so nothing will change. I can handle this. All of sudden admitting that the MBA sucked changed everything. It was much easier to endure. I didn't have to be a victim because I was accepting what I was doing.
Then the amazing thing happened. Things changed. My husband entered into a new group of classes. He had free time, his classes got over sooner. He was around. I didn't know what to do. He kept coming home one minute before my son was put into his bed. Literally one minute. Guess what happened to that one minute it turned into 15, because then my husband played with my son.
Then I got annoyed my schedule got disrupted. I should be overjoyed my husband was at home. But instead I was annoyed I had to do the dishes, bath the kids alone, and put them bed alone for him then to disrupt the only hour I have alone. Yeah stupid I know.
But then I realized something else.
I had been secretly worried, I doubted my husband's schedule will change but never really free up. What was I going to do if I could survive the Master's Degree #1? But it turns out, I will I'll survive it all. I am surviving it all. It was liberating to admit life sucked. But true be known, life didn't suck just our schedule.
With all this being said I have to say, we are really lucky with our blessing/curse. Brent works at home a lot. Like most of the week, which is fantastic, I rarely take two kids to the store, if daddy is working at home baby can sleep in the next room over, or if daddy is working at home the big boy can play at home. That truly is a great blessing with him gone all the evenings, but its also a curse, its hard to be quiet during conference calls, its hard not to have anywhere to take a breather from my kids (grocery shopping doesn't count as a breather), its hard not to have two bedrooms at naptime. But for the most part its a blessing, especially when I see the door open and I see a little blondie sitting on her daddy's lap completely still except for the sucking of her thumb as her dad reads linux logs (or something like that).
Friday, June 18, 2010
Then something happened, a few months ago, the semester let up, finals were looming, for what ever reason this meant he was home more. He kept surprising us by coming home before my son's bedtime. We were actually had family home evening on monday instead of sunday. This should be good, right? This is what I've been waiting for since Christmas Break finished.
Expect, he interrupted my schedule, I'm a creature of habit. I didn't know what to do with the extra Brent time. How was I suppose to watch my TV shows?! If he was home, shouldn't I be spending time with him? What about the jewelry I planned to string after the kids were in bed?! My son was up past 9 playing with his dad, I hate my children awake past 9.
My husband suggested he stay at school longer. I relax, my habits aren't that important. But then something important did happen. I realized I can handle life. I can handle my husband only around his kids an hour or so a day. I can handle bed and bath time alone. I can really handle alone time, I love alone time. If I can handle the MBA, then I can one day handle a commute (we've never had one longer than 20 minutes), I might be able to handle scout master again in my future. I can even handle long work weeks, I know that for a fact, my husband had an insanely busy work schedule when my daughter was colicy and refluxy. Oh it was miserable, but we survived. Apparently I'm a fully functioning mother. I don't need my husband to clean the house, cook us dinner, and take care of the kids. I can do it. I like his help, but turns out I don't need his help. Its just an extra bonus, to the nice comfortable life he provides through his good honest hard work, in the over bureaucratic medical billing industry, that has just become socialized, awesome.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
My niece and my daughter, they are a few months apart in age. Yes, my poor daughter had to eat her Popsicle without a shirt, I didn't want a sticky Popsicle shirt in my luggage.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
(Lucky nursery leaders, they get three new 18 month olds this month.)
Oh and, her dress was wet. The first thing Mormon kids learn in church class... how to drink without a lid on their cup. Its a vital skill, it paves the way to more important lessons, like Jesus loves me, and I have a body like Heavenly Father's. Maybe they'll even be able to teach her to fold her arms, something we have not been able to do after 7 months of trying, although she does bow her head.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I think my daughter missed her dad, by the end of the day there was quite the collection of toys in my room. Every time I would clean them out, when I reentered they would be back?! She likes to put baby dolls in the stroller and leave them in our bedroom/Brent's office while he is working at home. Today she add lots more than baby dolls.
I'm not quite sure if my son missed his dad, or if he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, he was in a choice mood today. It took a lot to be that patient with him.
Overall it was a short business trip so slightly uneventful. Not to mention we are getting almost use to business trips. A trip to McDonald's while he is gone, a new toy, and well that's our routine. Once my son figures it out he will want my husband to go on a business trip.
One a side note, my son is picking up on his father's genetics. He likes to hide when people are about to walk in so he can surprise them. While my daughter is starting to understand how to play. She has always been able to pretend, but now she understand you are suppose to do certain things with toys. Today she was having a little plastic chicken walk across the floor and make noise. Later on she was working on cause and effect of one of our few noisy toys. It was fun to watch the wheels in her head grind as she pressed the animals. Her other new past time is carrying the bucket of wooden blocks around, and getting out the duplos. She has been walking for 9 month now, but she is officially a toddler based on development. Oh and she likes wooden puzzles, I only have the ones with 10 pieces or less out.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I guess life is about moving two steps forward and one back right?
Earlier in the week my husband was given a big task at work. Something he wasn't prepared for, but yet I'm sure he'll step up to the challenge he always seems too. It made me realized that we won't be stuck in our station in life forever. We will move on and do slightly more exciting things. So then I didn't feel overwhelmed with our future. I was excited, about what the future held, but then last night the insecurities ran deep.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I'm catching up on my TIME magazines, I use to have probably 15 in my house, now I'm down to two. Don't mind my behind the times, this article on How to Deprogram Bullies, was in the TIME a few weeks ago. I thought the article was quite interesting it was about bring babies in for kids to observe. The end of the article says this:
That helps explain why simply punishing bullies doesn't work. Most already know what it's like to be victimized. Instead of identifying with the victims, some kids learn to use violence to express anger or assert power.
After a child has hurt someone, "we always think we should start with 'How do you think so-and-so felt?'" Gordon says. "But you will be more successful if you start with 'You must have felt very upset.'" The trick, she says, is to "help children describe how they felt, so that the next time this happens, they've got language. Now they can say, 'I'm feeling like I did when I bit Johnny.'"
When children are able to understand their own feelings, they are closer to being able to understand that Johnny was also hurt and upset by being bitten. Empathy is based on our ability to mirror others' emotions, and ROE helps children recognize and describe what they're seeing.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
I feel blessed, I feel gratitude, I try to be better, I want to live up to my duties, but at the same times I'm don't think I'm better than anyone else, and don't understand why I have so much while some have so little. I know I don't understand, I know I'm imperfect. But really that is where my faith in the Redeemer who will make everything right one day comes in.
That being said, I do believe I can receive blessings through obedience, but I'm imperfect and always fall short, so deserve no, blessed yes. Even though I have been taught blessings are predicated on our obedience, I'm pretty sure I don't feel worthy of any of my blessings. Although I do love a good tithing blessing, I'm pretty sure anything that goes right financially/materially, is a tithing blessings. Paying tithing is the best on going decision in my life.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The year is half over, which is means, we only have a few more months before we decided what we want to do when my husband graduates. Do we want to purse a MIS afterward, immediately, or a year later, do we want a new job, do we want to move to another state? If we want to do a MIS, then we have to find some schools, apply this fall. This fall, that is way too soon to think about my future. Its overwhelming. I haven't particularly loved the MBA, but at the same time I don't want it to be over, because I don't like time passing. Which all the makes me think about my future/my family's future 5 years, 10 year, 15 year, 20 years. What do we want to do in life, where do we want live in the next two decades, what are we expecting? Which is also overwhelming, when contemplating life choices, like other members of my faith, I often look at my patriarchal blessing. I read it, and think I can't accomplish that, that's in store for me, are you sure Lord? that's a lot to ask of me. I'm pretty sure I'm not up to the task. Which is where the mission president's message comes in. I'm not up to the tasks of the next couple of decades, but I'm pretty sure the Lord is thinking, that's ok we can work on that.
Although I'm pretty sure nothing could be more overwhelming than being called to Activity days (out side of Sunday church activities for girls 8-11 years old) the first time, and the first six months in the role. Check back with me in forty years.
I never thought I would but I love being in Primary I never want to leave, I want to stay in until my last child turns 12. My husband helped me in Primary today because my team teacher wasn't there. I like my team teacher, but I think it would be so fun to serve in primary with my husband, he said you don't want me in I'm not good with kids that age. (Plus he sings the songs!, its so great for the kids to see a Priesthood holder singing primary songs. My boys in class loved having a man in class.) I said you get the call, you get set apart, and then it comes out. I said, have you ever seen me been like that with kids before? Do I talk to your nieces and nephews like that? He said, I guess that's true, that is a side of you I've never seen before. Apparently I've channeled my inner primary voice, and I'm loving it. I love junior (3-7 year olds) primary. Which now that I type this it gives me hope for the future, apparently the Lord will qualify me for my future endeavors. He has in the past, I felt ill prepared for Activity Days, and each time I left the girls acted like it was the end of the world, as did their parents.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It wasn't even an option with my first born, we were too poor, but once again I'm glad I didn't have a professional photographer. Birth was worse than I expect, way longer than I expected and just not a good time. I don't think I want pictures showing my look of doubt. Seriously I went through all of that, for this with the disgusting cord? After birth the first go around there was no love at first sight. But that's ok, neither was meeting Brent. Don't worry, their brown eyes quickly worm their way into my heart.