Thursday, May 29, 2008

we found him...

We found our baby boy. He will be coming to us in August. In fact, John and I know the birth mom. I know her really well, and have known her since she was a baby. I have always felt a special connection with her, as I used to babysit her and her sisters. It's been amazing for me to witness the Lord's dealings the past few months, and how perfectly he has lined everything up for us, and for our beautiful birth mom. There have been too many "coincidences" to be labeled coincidences. I call them tender mercies. Without divulging too much, and to avoid sharing things that are too personal and too sacred, I will just say that this little boy is ours. He is part of our family, and always has been. I don't know why he needs to come a different way, but to me, it doesn't matter. I know that he's ours, and I know that preparations for him to come to our home and family have been made for a very long time now. I feel honored that we have been chosen to be the parents of this valiant spirit, and I'm glad that we have been deemed worthy instruments in bringing about this most beautiful and sacred work of the Lord.
This is just another testimony to me that when the Lord asks us to do something, He will provide a way for us to accomplish His work. Back in November, we recieved promptings that we needed to adopt a child. We had no idea how to even start the process. But as we did everything in our power to remain close to the Lord and worthy of His Spirit, we began to see miracles happen. Many times we had to exert our own faith and take a few steps into the darkness, but, little by little, our path was illuminated. The Lord always keeps His promises. Of this I am a witness.

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men: for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.

1 Nephi 9:6

this may sound crazy, but...

I love it when Ruby wakes up crying in the middle of the night. I love it - not because she's sad, or uncomfortable, or frightened; but because she calls for me, and I have the privilege of rescuing her. I get to be the one to lift her out of her bed, and to hold her in my arms, and to make her feel all better again. I love to tell her that everything will be okay, and then to get the feeling that she believes me. That she trusts me. I love to tell her to lay her head on my shoulder, and then to wait as she does. And usually by the time we make it down the hall, through the family room, and into my bedroom - and before I even have the chance to place her head on the pillow - she's asleep again. I love to snuggle up to her, and kiss her soft cheeks, and hold her tiny little fingers. I love how much she tosses and turns in the night, searching for a comfortable position. I love how she frantically kicks until her legs are free from the binding sheets. I love it when she uses my head as a pillow for her own, or when her body ends up laying horizontally across my neck. I love to wake up to the sound of her squeaking binky. I love it all. I love it because she loves it. And I love it because I know it won't last forever. It can't last forever. Not because we as her parents will stop allowing it, but because one day she will decide she doesn't need it anymore. She will grow up and value her privacy, and her sleep; and won't want to snuggle; and will think it's weird for her mother to kiss her cheeks, and to hold her hands. I think when she's grown I will long for the sleepless, blanket-less nights. The nights that I awoke suddenly to a foot in my ribs. The nights in which the sound of the squeaking binky sabotaged my dreams of an uninterrupted slumber.
So for now, while she's still young, while it's still cool for her to sleep with mom and dad; I welcome her cries in the night. I look forward to getting up and bringing her to bed with us. I love it because it has provided me with some of the best, most tender, mother-baby bonding moments imaginable.

Ruby lying in mom's bed with her "squeaking" binky. (We are down to only one binky...and yes, those are buck teeth protruding from plastic lips. It was something I picked up for Halloween, but recently had to resort to using, after losing all the others...and no, I do not let her out of the house with that thing.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

six day celebration...

I love having a May birthday. It's so fun to be able to celebrate right at the onset of very favorite time of year. I also love sharing a May birthday with John, and I love that that our birthdays are just two days apart. It's fun because rather than just having one day to celebrate, which always seems to come and go too quickly anyway, we get like an entire week packed with festivities. This year was particularly fun because our birthdays fell during the Memorial Weekend - giving us an excuse to prolong the celebration...yet another day.

So here's a brief recap of our six day revelry...

Thursday- due to the fact that John would be waking up at the crack of dawn on Friday to participate in a golf tournament that he and Rob had organized, I let him open all of his presents the night before.

Friday- John turned 29! We stayed the night with our nieces and nephew's while their parents were in Vegas. We ordered Barro's Pizza with the kids, then sang to John, and had cake and ice cream.

Saturday- John and I went to the Police concert. It was held at an outdoor venue in Phoenix. I love going to outdoor shows. I love getting lawn seats, and throwing a blanket down, and just lying there listening to the music with the person I love more than anything on this earth. Nothing beats it. In fact we were so relaxed that we even fell asleep a few times during the show. At one point I woke up to a man, who seemed totally irritated that we would actually be sleeping during the Police concert, saying "you two enjoying your nap?". Yes, as a matter of fact, we were :)

Sunday- I turned 31! We got home from our concert after midnight, technically making it my birthday, so John let me open my presents before we went to bed! I just have to say that I have the sweetest, most thoughtful husband. He has heard me talk for a while now about wanting to get a telephoto lens for my camera. So, doing all the research himself, he got me a really nice lens for my birthday. I was so completely shocked...and overwhelmed...and surprised that he would do that all on his own. He also got me some camera accessories, and tickets to the Idols concert on July 1st! Can't wait for that...especially to be able to see that adorable little David.
The young women sang to me in church, and our darling YW's president brought brownies for everyone.
And finally, we had a family dinner to celebrate the three birthdays (John's-23rd, Rob's-24th, Mine-25th) at John's dad's house. We ate in the back yard, and enjoyed the beautiful weather and conversation, while the kids played to their heart's content.

Monday- John and I shopped to our heart's content, went to Oregon Stop Pizza with Rob, Brooke, and the kids, and ended the day by watching two bed!

Tuesday- My sweet friend, Celeste , organized a birthday dinner, in my honor, with a bunch of my friends from the ward. I really feel so undeserving, but also so thankful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me beyond measure with so many wonderful friends. Thank you again, Celeste, you truly are a sweetheart.

Wow...what a fun, action-packed week- full of festivities. Can't wait to do it all another 362 days!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

for amber...

My sweet friend, Amber, came over yesterday to give me a birthday gift. Just to give you an idea of how sweet she truly is...she brought Ruby a gift, too, so that she would have something to open while I opened mine. Seriously, that Amber is one in a million. Who thinks of things like that? I just love that girl. Unfortunately, Ruby was asleep when she brought the gifts by, so I had her open hers as soon as she woke up from her nap. Amber had long since gone at that point, so I took a few pictures so that she could see how excited Ruby was to have her very own gift to open.

Amber, thank you! Ruby was beyond ecstatic about her new dress, and looked absolutely darling in it today. These are for you...

It had been some time since Ruby had opened a gift. She wasn't quite sure what to do with it in the beginning.

After several minutes of staring with awe and excitement at the untouched gift bag, I told her to pull out the tissue paper. She did, and then blew her nose into it. Well, isn't that what tissue is for, mom?

She was so happy to get a new dress. She kept saying "pitty dwess mommy...put on."

Amber, thank you again for making her day...and mine!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

mystery man...

I still can't believe I did this.

I raised the camera (gripped firmly in my trembling hand), high above the frenzied mob of star struck David fans, and (without the advantage of using the viewfinder), did my very best to line up the perfect shot...and... you can see, it was far from being perfect. How could I have been this close to David Archuletta , and have blown the perfect opportunity to capture the perfect shot? How could I have been so close, yet still so far away? I will never forgive myself for this photography blunder.

With only a 50mm lens affixed to my camera, I suppose I still managed to snag some OK shots...

My sisters and I followed David around the entire valley the day he was in town. It was fun to run, and scream, and laugh, and chase...and feel like a love sick teenager all over again. I can't wait for tonight's American Idol Finale. I am seriously such a big fan of his. He has the most unbelievable talent. Not to mention, he is extremely humble, and oh so lovable. Good luck tonight, David Archuletta...I'm rooting for you all the way.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

renewed dedication...

Seriously what is happening with the time? Am I the only one who is in complete shock that we're already nearing the end of May? And wasn't it just yesterday that I published my oh my goodness where did April go!? post? I feel really bad that my blog has been so neglected, especially because it's something that I have always enjoyed keeping up on. I would love to be able to go back and recap everything that has happened over the past couple of weeks, but because of the lack of time and energy it would require, I don't think I least not now. Rather, I think I'll just start with today, and try to be more consistent from here on out. I do have some pictures and stories to share from our recent trip to Utah which I will probably post - bit by bit - over the next little while. In the meantime, however, and for what it's worth...I hereby commit, with renewed dedication, to improving the quality and consistency of my poor, neglected, disregarded, slighted, and utterly ignored...


Sunday, May 4, 2008

happy four years...

The lesson in young womens today was on the temple endowment - which caused me to reflect on the day that John and I were married. Because of my service as a full-time missionary, I had been endowed for five years by the time John and I were married; but the Temple endowment (and all the other ordinances that I had previously participated in) took on a whole new meaning the day I was able to enter the beautiful Salt Lake Temple and be sealed to my eternal sweetheart. That blessed event took place exactly 4 years ago today. These four years have supplied us with many life changing experiences and unforgettable memories. We have had countless opportunities for joy and laughter, and also some moments of heartache and tears...but through it all - and because of it all - we have fallen more and more in love with each other.

Last night John surprised me by lining up a babysitter, and then took me to a very fancy restaurant, followed by a movie. As if our wonderful evening together wasn't enough, this morning he presented me with this most beautiful, framed picture, of the Salt Lake Temple. I will forever cherish this special gift from my sweetheart, as it will serve as a reminder of, not only the promises we made together as we knelt across the sealing alter, but also of the countless blessings the Lord has bestowed upon our marriage.

John, thank you for blessing me with four of the best years of my life. I love you with my whole heart and soul, and look forward to celebrating many many anniversaries together.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

by candlelight

The other night the power went out in our entire subdivision. It was only a matter of a couple of hours before the problem was fixed and everything was up and running again. However, during that short period of time, I managed to learn a few lessons. First of all, I take a lot for granted. I hadn't realized before that night, that the gate to get into our neighborhood is powered by electricity. Lucky for me someone had manually opened it so that I, and others arriving late, could actually get home. I hadn't previously realized how much I appreciate having lamp posts on every corner...until I had to drive down a pitch black road surrounded on each side by unlit houses. I had never before considered that it would be impossible to open the garage door, thus making it impossible to get into the house . Lucky for me, John had gotten home before the power outage, and had the front door open in a warm welcoming manner. He had rounded up as many flashlights and candles as he could, but even still, I couldn't navigate around my own house without some difficulty. I had never before realized how wonderful it is to have a microwave to warm Ruby's milk, or to be able to command a whole room to light up just by the flip of a switch. Without any light, it was pretty difficult to get Ruby ready for bed. I was fairly confident that I did okay, until she woke up crying in the middle of the night. I went in to find her little legs frozen like Popsicles. As it was, without the light, I hadn't noticed that her blanket had fallen from her crib. So yeah, there are a lot of things about having electricity that I had previously taken for granted. But the power outage also had me thinking on the flip side. One of the first things I said to John upon entering our seemingly lifeless house was...oh no, now what are we supposed do tonight? I had never consciously realized how much we rely on power for entertainment. What a boring night this will be, I concluded, I'm not going to be able to get on the computer and finish my blog post, and I've been waiting ALL DAY to see who will be eliminated from American Idol.
So, I said to John, I guess we'll just have to sit around all night doing nothing.
And then the Spirit reproved me...Why not pick up your Book of Mormon? You don't need any more light or power (to read the word of God) than what emanates from the candle sitting two feet away from you. I was humbled as my thoughts were directed to Parley Pratt, and how when he first discovered the Book of Mormon, he read it all day long, eating was a burden to him...and then when night came and darkness fell all around him, he continued to read; by the light of a candle or lamp, he read...and read...and read...and even sleep became burdensome to him. It was then that I started thinking about how sometimes our modern conveniences, as wonderful and convenient as they are, can also be to our great detriment. I wonder - if there was no electricity - how much more time I would spend reading my scriptures, praying, or taking quiet moments out to ponder and think - to receive revelation. If we didn't have electricity, how much more time would I spend strengthening my relationship with my husband through wholesome conversation and quality time together? How many more memories could I be creating with Ruby, and for Ruby, if I chose to spend less time checking emails, or uploading/editing pictures, or blogging, or reading other blogs, or browsing the Internet?...none of which were even around before the invention of electricity. I know that we are blessed by having these modern conveniences, but sadly, at times, I think I have allowed them to take over. They cause me to commit sins of omission. Do I sometimes omit my scripture study because I'd rather be blogging? Or if I do read, is it just a quick rush through of a chapter or a few verses so that we can start LOST or American Idol? Do I ever stay up too late on the computer so that when I do go to bed, I end up omitting my prayers because I'm just too tired?
I'm really not saying that TV, and Internet, or anything else that uses electricity, is long as it doesn't take priority...over something even better.

Just a little lesson the Spirit taught me as I read the final chapters of candlelight.