But - I gotta get a move on, regardless, so here goes a quick 2 month recap.
I have decided (like a whole 2 seconds ago) that for my monthly recaps I am going to do an "ABC" format for each month, trying to chose the most important events, things that stood out to me from that month - along with a section on how I actually felt about it.
January - 2013:
Things that we DID:
A) Landen turned 14 and became a teacher
B) Viki went to her mission reunion in SLC
C) Maelynn received her Patriarchal blessing
How I FELT:
A) It is so hard for me to see Landen growing at an alarming rate. He has already surpassed me in height - but luckily, I can
B) Not knowing what to expect, exactly, but super excited to see my sweet mission president and his wife, I headed down to SLC. I got a ride with my friend Christina and that was so kind of her to do for me. The moment I found the designated church and walked into the chapel, I had 2 thoughts: 1: "The voice of that man speaking is really him...they are really here. I really LOVE and RESPECT those people and I can't wait to hug them again!" And 2: "I prooooobably shouldn't have worn jeans and keens tonight!" (I was QUITE under dressed for the occasion) - but it turned out to be symbolic to me of the fact that for the whole 18 months of my mission that I was required to wear dresses/skirts, it was one of the hardest challenges I faced. Not. Even. Kidding. - I. Hate. Skirts. Like. A. Lot.
As the night progressed and they finished the talks and the Q&A in the chapel, we all moved into the cultural hall. I quickly queued up to be able to greet the Milders, and as soon as it was my turn, they grabbed me into such a warm embrace that I felt I could have just stayed there in that moment and never left - and all would be right with the world. The examples of strength and testimony and commitment to the Lord that those people have been to me has shaped my life tremendously, and I will forever be grateful for the association and friendship I have with them.
C) Patriarchal blessings are something that is very unique to our religion. People can get them at whatever age they feel ready and mature enough to - if they are living righteous and worthy lives. I received my patriarchal blessing at a much younger age than the average member of the Church does, and it was because of a special circumstance where I was going to be leaving the country for several years and my parents really wanted to make sure that I had the opportunity of receiving it from my grandfather before I left, in the eventuality of his possible death while I was out of the country. Truth be told, he ended up LONG surpassing the average life expectancy and stayed around to be a blessing to me for many years before he died. He was the most humble and righteous man I have ever met. I could do an entire post on my grandparents and their good good lives - but I digress. Needless to say, my blessing has been just that - a BLESSING - in my life. I have read and re-read it so many times it feels like it is nearly memorized. I carry a copy of it with me in my purse and refer to it often.
So when Maelynn finally came to me one evening and told me she thought she was ready and wanted to get her Patriarchal blessing - my heart did a little 'happy dance' inside for her. Our stake Patriarch was brother Guthrie at the time. (*it has since changed). He was actually home teaching partners with Greg at the time as well. He is another great and humble man and I am sure that he was called of God. He was so kind and took the time to get to know Maelynn before the blessing and then proceeded to administer one of the most tender and real and powerful blessings that I have ever heard!
I pray that she will be able to look back with fondness on that spiritual night and use her blessing to help guide her through life's stormy seas! ;)
Things that we DID:
A) Seth turned 12!!
B) 3D Archery Shoot
C) Ballroom Dance trip to Ogden, Ut.
How I FELT:
A) So many awesome things come with turning 12 - especially when you are in the Mormon Faith. Seth got to graduate from Primary, earning his Faith in God award. He got to receive the Priesthood. (So amazing to me what trust the Lord puts in 12 year old boys.) He gets to start going to Young Men's. He gets to attend Mutual on Tuesday nights and occasionally even do 'combined activities with....wait for it...GIRLS! He gets to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. He also gets to go on the scout camp outs with the coolest, hottest, sweetest Scoutmaster ever! (Yes, I am allowed to say that since I am married to him!) I am sure proud of my sweet Seth for all the goodness he brings into the world. I love you, Seth.
B) This was only a one day event that didn't take up very much of the month. However, it was significant to me because it has re-kindled the love of shooting our bows - you know, the ones that have been sitting in their cases for far too long. I actually wanted to go and do the shoot with Greg and Seth, but unfortunately it was being held inside of a large horse barn, so after stepping inside for about 2.5 minutes, I decided that breathing was more important than shooting my bow! Seth and Greg had fun and ended up purchasing a family membership to a new Archery club where we will be able to go and shoot our bows a lot more this year! Wahoo!
C) Maelynn is having so much fun with her Ballroom group, IBA, this year. They went to a competition down in Logan, Ut. and guess who volunteered to chaperon? Yup, Moi! It was so fun to drive down the family van, but instead of car seats and screaming and poopy diaper smells...it was 9 teenagers all laughing and talking and playing really loud music and dancing around and just being silly! I loved it. The team did great (placed 3rd with the team routine) and even staying at the hotel with those same crazy teenagers didn't prove to be too much. The drive home got a little bit rough with an unexpected snowstorm that swooped in - but we made it home safely. I hope that Maelynn continues to thrive in her group and make lots of good memories and friends from the experience.
Since I am still in March - I will wait for the "Monthly recap" till the end of the month. But so far, my favorite part of the month was definitely the 4 days that I got to spend in Mexico with my sweet hubby (and around 46 co-workers)!
We had a blast and it was so relaxing to just be able to sleep straight through the night, not change any poopy diapers or take puppies out to pee at 2 am, eat whatever food looked good without having to cook it or clean it up, and the free drinks around the clock - so delish. I LOVED the non-alcoholic margarita the best - there is just something super tasty about drinking lemony-lime goodness over a bit of salt on the rim of the cup - Mmmmmm! Mostly just laying in the warm sun and listening to the sounds of the ocean was such a gift. I will be 100% honest with you - I really didn't miss my kids at all. (I know - I'm a bad mom for thinking it, much less saying it...just tellin' it like it is, folks!)
That whole scenario that was just described was only made possible because of the unselfish and caring deeds of my awesome in-laws, Paula and James. They came up to stay with my kids, 2 in diapers and a potty-training puppy to boot! They even had to take kids to their Piano Festival and dance recitals and the whole 9 yards. The only difference is that in addition to pulling off my job flawlessly, they also made delicious meals, treated my kids, and went way above and beyond what was needed. In fact, a few days after I had been home, Miles asked me when Grandma was coming back because he liked her better than me! I just looked at him like, "The feeling is mutual buddy. I sometimes like her better than me, too". *big sigh*
So far March has been a great month...I am really enjoying the majority of my life.
That's like at least 51%, right!! ;)