The sand in my grasp.

I feel like the older I get, the faster time seems to slip by. I often don't remember what happened just a few days ago. Life was so much slower when I was younger. I can remember things I experienced in great detail, and sometimes I cannot put into words how I felt during those times. So, they are just locked in my mind with only myself to revisit often. I think that maybe I paid more attention when I was younger, so that is why I remember so well. I don't have too many pictures or videos of me as a child, but I seem to still remember more about my childhood than about my life as an adult. Interesting. I try really hard to remember everything I experience when I know that I am having a wonderful or life-changing moment in my life. I want to lock them in my memory, but it's just not the same as when I was a child. Does anyone experience this?

I think that my little girl, Jocelyn, is like I was as a child. She has always been very observant. As a baby she would love to look around at the people surrounding her, especially at church, while all the other babies her age would be lying in their baby carriers or fixed on a toy. I know that she will grow up fast in my eyes. But the greatest thing to remember is that she feels she is not. Time takes               f o r e v e r  to go by as a child. So I need to be extra careful with the time I do share with her...because we are sharing it. Five minutes to me may feel like an hour to her. So I need to be careful with what our "sharing time" consists of.

I listened to a song today by Mindy Gledhill called Hourglass. I loved how the lyrics say that life is an hourglass. It is very true that after time passes, all we have are the grains to look back on. I hope that those I love will have happy "grains" of me in their own pile of sand, especially my child(ren). I was called to be in the Primary presidency in my ward recently. I have felt the Holy Ghost so strong lately and I know I am being influenced by him because of the newfound passion I have for teaching, loving, and getting to know the children of my ward.
I read a message given by Jeffrey R. Holland to primary presidencies in the church. He said, "...Your influence will, quite literally, affect these children for eternity...However much we love and admire children, I am certain we underestimate who and what a child is and what in the hands of God he or she may become." I really loved what he said, especially now being a mother. I know that the Savior understands the way children observe life around them. He must know for He experienced everything and remembers it all in greater detail than I could ever imagine. He never forgets. And every movement He made and word He spoke was good. Every person who has and ever will live on the earth will have happy "grains" of Him in their pile of sand. I think that one of the greatest things we can do for the children in our lives is to share with them this happy "grain". Just thinking about how much joy comes from being able to do that for someone else...especially a child, is overwhelmingly awesome!
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have once been a child and that I still have memories from when I was one. I am grateful for the children in my life. They remind me of how precious our lives here one earth are. The time we have here and the grains of sand in our grasp are gifts from God. He gave each of us the opportunity to influence the grains of sand of those around us. The Savior is the perfect example for us. He was always thoughtful and careful. He understood how precious the sand was that he held in His hands.


I can do hard things.

I think writing here as much as I wanted to begin with is harder than I thought it would be. Oh well, I will just try to do as much as I can.
Anyway, this week has been a good but challenging one for me. I have definitely jumped a few hurdles, which feels great, but having the courage to jump over them was hard to muster up. For one, I began jogging again. I have been consistent the past three days; jogging to the park with Jocelyn in the stroller, letting her play on the playground and then feed the ducks, then home again. I am sore, but not as sore as I thought I'd be. I am happy I have been consistent cause the more I do it the easier it is for me to just do it, and really WANT to do it! I hope that I remember how good it feels. Endorphins are really a great natural anti-depressant. (Not that I have been depressed, but it sure does make me ease up on life!!)
The other challenging thing has been that I feel that I don't have the confidence I wish I had in certain things. I was called to be in the Primary presidency in my ward, which is great, but I'm just a big sissy!! I am the queen of fearing I'll fail! Whether it be as a mother, wife, friend, church leader, whatever! It really holds me back at times and I have seen many times where I have missed some great opportunities. Ughh. That is by far one of my greatest weaknesses in life.
Anyway, Abe was sweet the other day and surprised me with flowers. I see them every morning on our card table/dining table and they make me smile. Do they make you smile?
 I am not going to lie. It has been rough at times to stay positive and find time to spend one on one time with Abraham since we have been here. I am waiting patiently until we get a good opportunity to go on a date. I think Jocelyn is getting tired of always playing and being with "mommy". I don't blame her. I get tired of myself too sometimes. She always yells "daddy" when she wakes from her nap or finishes her bedtime bath. I do find that we have tender moments together and I really love how precious my time with her is now. I know I will miss having so much time with her later in her life, but she will always be my baby girl. 
I need to make dinner now; I hope these foil dinners turn out better than last time.  


Feeling happy.

I have been feeling very happy lately. It is exciting! I know a (very) large part has to do with my consistency with reading the scriptures and praying regularly. It was amazing to see Jocelyn fold her arms for the prayer before dinner last night. Abraham and I just looked at each other in shock to see her get ready, even though we didn't ask/tell her to. It was awesome. It made me feel like she is learning how to be reverent...and we, as parents, are doing something right! 
Last night I made cinnamon rolls for the first time. They turned out to be great and Abraham took some to school this morning to share with some of his friends/airmen. When he brought my chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, he found out he gets bonus points for company morale. I thought bringing cinnamon rolls would give him even more points. Hopefully the guys liked them.
It took me a little while to get fall asleep last night. I kept thinking of really happy things...but I don't remember what they were. Sad. I need to write them down when I think of them from now on because I always forget them, no matter how much I try to remember. 
Just like now...I am writing this so I don't forget how much joy there is in my life. Heavenly Father has really blessed me. Although we have to wait a while to own a home, we have been blessed to live in some nice places. The trees in our yard here in NC are very beautiful to look at. 

They provide a lot of shade so that our house stays cooler throughout the day. I see cute, little squirrels running up and down their trunks daily. We live on a quiet street and our neighbors are very nice. 
I read this quote today:
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. -- Oscar Wilde
I am hoping that we are causing happiness wherever we go.

We are ageing.

Lately, I have been thinking about how old I really am. I think whoever said that 25 is when your body begins to get old was right. For example, Abraham spit out the car window (I know...gross) yesterday and then moaned "aowwww". Yes...spitting out a window caused his back great pain.  Lesson from story= getting old.
Abraham and I realized how old everyone is in our ward last Sunday as well. We are definitely the babies of our Sunday School class. And when I say babies, I mean that we are younger by like 10 years or more. The few other "baby" couples in our ward are in primary, and when I say "few" I mean two. We stand out because we walk too fast and don't die our hair. There is one chair in the mother's lounge, and it is ALWAYS empty.
Abraham told me he would rather die than get to an age where he relied on a cane. I told him that he would, and that I would have a walker...tennis balls included. With the rate I feel my body is aging already, it is evidence enough to presume that I will definitely need some kind of assistance by the time I am 75, probably earlier. I hope he has perfectly silver hair like his dad.
Abraham bringing a crying/screaming Jocelyn into the house. Maybe we start aging when we become parents?
It's OK to get old though. The years fly by faster, you know who you are better and what you like, and you have more friends...because families grow over time and that means more friends:)


Making choices.

I gave a talk in church last Sunday about our agency and responsibility. It was great motivation for me to study more than I usually do. It seems that Heavenly Father knew I needed to learn more about this right now in my life. So, I studied and pondered all last week. I read quite a few talks and articles written by church leaders and found some great quotes as well. Here are just a few of my favorites:
"Our Father in Heaven wanted our growth to continue in mortality and to be enhanced by our freedom to choose and learn. He also wanted us to exercise our faith and our will, especially with a new physical body to master and control." 
-Howard W. Hunter
"How do we make correct choices? A choice involves making a conscious decision. To make an intelligent decision we need to evaluate all available facts on both sides of an issue. But that isn't enough. Making correct decisions involves prayer and inspiration." -James E. Faust
"Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man [or woman] who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. Christ, because He was [and still is] the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means." -C.S. Lewis
These quotes made me think of our willpower. I think willpower has a lot to do with the choices we make. I think that some decisions I made were influenced by my lack of confidence in myself. I know that some people are blessed with very strong willpower. I think it is very important for everyone to understand that charity is the main force that will have some influence on a person's level of willpower. The more we put down and judge others for their weaknesses, the more damage we do to their willpower. Yet, the more we encourage and strive to help and serve one another out of love, the stronger their willpower becomes. It is essential to have a strong willpower in our lives. It is the source of  motivation to endure through the trials we face.
My sister, Emily, wrote a few inspiring posts about her decision to have a natural childbirth. She gained some spiritual enlightenment from her birth experience. Her willpower was strengthened through her experience, and she is confident to share her knowledge with others so that they can strengthen their willpower as well.
She said:
"It is time to take a look at what society tells us about birth and change our expectations. As women, we use the knowledge we have to make the best choices for us and our baby but we must be knowledgeable on more than one kind of birth. Why believe the comments of people who haven't experienced natural birth. Don't let them scare you into thinking it is a stupid wasteful idea and that you can't do it and will be begging for the epidural. There are plenty of women who can testify of the amazing grace of a natural birth and want to do it again and they are all like you!!! They aren't Wonder Woman. Look them up, there are a lot out there."
She is very right. It is important to share what we know and experience. We need to know every side to every story to make the best decision for ourselves. God's input needs to be there as well. The more we go through this process and make decisions, the more we grow and our willpower grows along with it. I see that in Emily...for sure!
When I had Jocelyn, I planned to have a natural birth...to see how far I could go with the pain. I did have medication, but her delivery was great. I felt the spirit very strongly. I saw my husband, Abraham, in a way I had never seen before. It was a wonderful experience.
And so, as a woman, I did see a glimpse of what my sister talked about. Although a man will never have the opportunity to experience pregnancy and birth as women do, it is exciting to know that through life's experiences we can all grow in several ways we never thought we could.  The most important part of these choices is whether they bring us closer to our Savior or not.
And for some reason, I kept thinking of the birthing class Abraham and I took after reading her post. We wanted (well, it was mostly for Abe!) to know what to expect from a birth in the hospital. This was a large part of what we watched...

and this too...

I admit it is pretty funny. But then again, most of the choices we make in life and how we handle them are very amusing to look back on! Am I right?


It is raining this morning.

I love it when it rains. The humidity gets tolerable this time of year and the bugs aren't in a state of attack as soon as I walk outside. Yet, as soon as the sun comes back out the bugs will go back to their natural state.
I slept pretty well last night. Getting in bed around nine o'clock is always a good thing. Especially when Abraham is already fast asleep in it. I fell asleep fast last night. It's a rarity when that happens. My mind is usually running a mile a minute; thinking about this and that. Last night was Schoolhouse Rock. I think I used to know...well maybe I still do...almost every song. Watching it in Miss Booth's 5th and 6th grade classes were the best. My best friends, Lindsee and Lisa, named our space project after Interplanet Janet. We even drew our spaceship in her shape. We might have been obsessed. Anyway, that's all I recall from last night. I'm happy it was a 5K and not a marathon!

This is me. Just glimpses of some dancing I did in my prime. I wish I had more. I'm in white.

I danced in my dream last night. It felt great. I was actually dancing pretty good, which most often I dream I'm doing the opposite. Sometimes I want to dance again. I know it is something that is a gift of mine, but as I was folding clothes this morning, I felt that I am where I need to be in my life right now. Being a helpmeet for Abraham right now is important for our marriage. Helping him with school right now is helping to secure his career, and that will make our life easier in the future. Staying home with Jocelyn and spending lots of time with her is needed greatly since much of her life so far has been in constant change. I need to be here for her.
I am grateful to look back at where I've been and what I've been through seeing how much I have been guided by my Father in Heaven. He has been there the entire time, and has only put things in my path that I could handle. I'm grateful for:
the rain
my hard-working husband
falling asleep quickly
old memories and friends
pleasant dreams
my motherhood
knowing I'm needed.