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“Strong eternal families and Spirit-filled homes do not just happen. They take great effort, they take time, and they take each member of the family”

I knelt in my room wanting to pray but not knowing what to say. I knew I needed the Lord’s guidance in my life but I didn’t even know what to ask for. I pondered and finally uttered the words “help me to know where I need to be spending my time and efforts.”

With an amen I grabbed my scriptures and began to read. Experience has taught me that prayer is my time to give my thoughts and feelings to the Lord while scripture study is His time to talk to me. I just have to remember to listen. With only a few verses read, one of my kids knocks on the door and just wants to chat.

I put down my scriptures. We talked about little things and weightier matters. Because I had just been praying I was in a good place to listen and hear what he needed to say, and I was able to give council with the Lord by my side.

 Once he walked away and I picked up my scriptures again, I realized I had received the answer I was looking for. My efforts need to be focused on my children. As they have gotten older, it has become difficult to figure out what my role is. They don’t need to be sung to sleep or burped after a feeding. They don’t sit in a stroller or need to be carried as we walk.

But they do need my listening ear more than ever. They need my guidance. But really they just need to know that no matter how they turn out or what mistakes they make, that I love them and that God loves them. If I can give them that then all other things will fall into play.

Today I will be pondering how I can show that love a little more. That kindness a little deeper. I want them to never doubt the love I feel for them.

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To the wife I have yet to meet,

I need you to know a couple of things. First, I love my boy, this almost man, to the very core, I always will. And yet I have understood for years that I only get to keep him for a time. Someday soon he will leave me, and he will find you. You will become his everything, and I look to that day with joy and excitement, for it will be a blessing neither of you can began to understand. But then I began to wonder, did I do enough raising and teaching for him to be the best husband for you?

Right now he is entering his final year of living in my home as a child, his final year as mine. And he is becoming more than I could have hoped for in a man. In someone else’s man. I want you to know what an amazing person he is and the ways I have tried to help him be his best for you when the time is right.

I have tried to always make God and my family my top priority. I believe firmly in this statement by Gordon B Hinckley,

It is the home which produces the nursery stock of new generations. I hope that you mothers will realize that when all is said and done, you have no more compelling responsibility, nor any laden with greater rewards, than the nurture you give your children in an environment of security, peace, companionship, love and motivation to grow and do well.”

As I have strived to show my son how much I love and value my family I believe he has also come to cherish these things as well.

When he was young the nightmares came and I prayed with him so he would learn to come to the Lord with his concerns.  Both little and big.  As he has aged and matured, so have our prayers. I hope I have taught Him nothing is out of reach with the Lord.

His little self would sit in my lap and we would read books of every kind as he would snuggle into me. We read stories of Narnia and the Land of Oz. His favorites were stories of an ancient prophet who stood up for the rights of his family and his freedoms. Triumphantly he went about the house declaring he was Captain Moroni. I hoped he saw the dignity and pride one can feel when defending those we love.

In those early morning scripture moments, he began to teach us, I’m not sure when he became to truly understand the teachings we had been reading about for years. But his testimony is strong and I’m grateful for his example.

Through the years I tried to really show him I cared about what he cared about. If it was important to him, I wanted it to be important to me. Some day you will have interests that he may not find all that fascinating. I hope he has learned that he can listen and care about them because it’s important to you.

Mistakes were a regular thing in our house and in saying I’m sorry I hoped to show him how to ask forgiveness when he fumbles in life. Even when he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. Usually the one who needs forgiveness most is ourselves. I pray my example was enough so that he knows how to forgive and seek forgiveness.

We did fight occasionally, there are times you have to discuss your disagreements to work things out. I hoped I taught him the ones you love are worth fighting for.

“I love you” comes freely from my lips. In this world and especially in your home, there is never too much love and kindness. The way he lovingly treats me shows those things matter to him. Let him love you with his words and deeds. Giving love is just as important as receiving it.

Somewhere along the way he learned to be compassionate and show concern when people struggle. He is a really great listening ear to his friends, and one day he will be your safe place.

Most importantly, I want you to know I love you even though we have never met. I love you because he will love you.  I pray for you even now. I pray you will know God loves you and that you are of extreme worth. I pray you will have opportunities to really get to know your Savior and what the atonement means to you in your life. I pray you will love God more than you love my son. As I also pray he will do the same.

Once he is yours I will no longer be by his side to pray with him, but you will. He will hug and kiss you after those special conversations with God. May you learn to pray for each other as Henry B. Eyring recommends,

Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companion’s joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion.”

May God guide your future journey together as you walk hand in hand towards eternity.

With my dearest love,

Your future mother-in-law

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Why compare yourself with othersA young man came to our home last week to sell us some knives.

I let him make the appointment with us because he was the son of a good friend, and he said that he would get credit towards scholarships, even if we didn’t buy anything from him.  I had no intention of buying anything from him, but I just couldn’t say no. I know, I’m a sucker.

He gave a great presentation.  I let him know that he was doing a good job, but at the end, when he was trying to “close the deal,” I had to let him know that we just don’t really have the need.  I didn’t see any point to spending a lot of money on an admittedly great product, when I am doing just fine with the stuff I already own.

I told him “we’re good, we just don’t need anything right now.”

In contrast to all being well in my kitchen, I didn’t feel the same with myself.

When everything is good, we often don’t feel the need to do anything differently, but sometimes when life is “not so good” it can be hard to know what to do differently.

I had been struggling with feelings of inadequacy. (Okay, so it really is an ongoing struggle.)  I know there are things that need to be improved in my life, but so often I have allowed that to be a source of beating myself up.  “Why did it take me so long to figure this out” , “What was I thinking when I continued to ….”

Then it got worse… I started to compare myself to other women and moms. It always seems like other moms have it all together, while I constantly struggle.

I read two books over this summer.  The first one was, I Am More Than Enough:Helping Women Silence Their Inner Critic and Celebrate Their Inner Voice by Robert Jones and Bryce Dunford. The second was Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma.

I enjoyed reading both of them, but “Cleaning House” became my free-time read.  (The book I keep in the car and read while I’m waiting for kids at tennis lessons, violin lessons, or doctor appointments, etc.)  It was very entertaining and I was learning from it, but I soon found myself feeling like a failure as a mom, because I was comparing my parenting with the things that she chose to do with her kids.  I found myself thinking “why didn’t I teach my kids these things while they were younger?”  “She’s right, these things are important, I should have done (fill in the blank) with my kids”  Then pretty soon I felt pretty worthless.

And you know what happens when you have that kind of pity party?


No one wants to join you for that. No goals get set or accomplished. I wasn’t improving anymore, I just felt like a failure.

Then I picked up my first book, “I am more than enough” and I realized that there was a balance that was missing in my life.  This books subtitle is “Helping women silence their inner critic and celebrate their inner voice.”  It’s all about comparing ourselves to other women, recognizing the damaging effects it can play on our psyche, and how to combat that habit and learn to recognize that we are all okay just as we are.

So as I was learning to make some progress in teaching kids new skills in parenting through reading one book, I was forgetting the teachings of the other book, in letting “me be okay with me.”

I recognized right there that something needed to change.  I needed to re-discover the things about me that are good.  I have done a lot of things “right” in my parenting, even if I have made some mistakes also.  For me, I needed to accept both truths.  The only way I am going to make progress is to realize what I have done that is good, and has had positive results, and use that knowledge to address the problems that I own in my parenting.

For example, when they were young, I read lots of books on parenting and tried to implement the things that I learned. I had rules in regards to how they could treat each other. We read together. We went to church together. We took time to play and do projects together.  As a result, all 5 boys get along with each other pretty well.  They value the friendship they have with each other and will most likely be friends the rest of their lives.

I’m now at the stage where I’m trying to help them become men.  Independent. Self reliant. Responsible. A few of my boys are already there, but I still have two at home, and I know first hand, how quick those last few years will fly by.  There are still more lessons I need to teach them, before it is too late.

Then the other night, as we were reading our scriptures as a family, I read these words in 2 Nephi, in the Book or Mormon.

24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!

25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!

26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!

These scriptures really hit me.  Suddenly I realized that while it is important for me to recognize the good things that I have done, and that I am okay to be who I am, there is always room for improvement.  I should always be searching for ways to grow and become more and do more.Improvement and Gratitude

I made the decision that I would record my progress in a very simple way each night in my journal. (It has to be quick and simple or I won’t find time to do it)

This is what I have been writing.

Three things that I did right today:

Three things that I am grateful for:

Three things that I want to improve in:

If there are more than three, I save it for the next day.  By using this method it helps me to stay focused on what works, how God is at play in my life, and it keeps me reaching to become a little better each day.

So far, I have felt much better about my life as I record these simple things.  I think it keeps my ADD mind a little more focused, and it reminds me of my ability to progress with God’s help.  I look forward to the new school year, and the opportunities that I may have to learn along with my kids.

I am so grateful for the words of Christ that we learn through reading in our scriptures, and I also recognize God’s hand in helping me with the most important job that I have. That of being a mother. With his help I may have those wonderful moments when I can say “we’re good,” and know that means we are making good progress.


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5 dangerous things

As we go through the packing list for Scout camp, in getting my youngest son ready, I recognize that we need to go buy a pocket knife.

All of my boys have owned pocket knives (some of them have owned several knives), and each of them had to earn that right to carry a pocket knife by obtaining a totin chip from scouts. 34234B_sm

I’m sure there are a lot of “fun” things that happen at scout camp that a mom doesn’t want to know about.  Scout camp is the highlight of each of my boy’s summer once they have reached scouting age. They always come back full of stories of the adventures that they never could have had at home.

I heard this talk on the radio a few days ago, with one of my sons, and we thought it was entertaining, but we also agreed with the concepts. It was fun to have this experience with my son, and see his reaction to the recommendations.  I’m not sure I would let my kids do all of these things, but I think my kids have somehow experienced most of them throughout the years.

Having watched the video and heard the talk, I decided that my kids needed just a little more freedom.

Today, they asked if they could take apart a few older computers and put them together to create a more powerful, faster computer.

I thought, “they’ll be spending time exploring, tinkering, and possibly researching how to do what they want to do. How bad could it be?  I was going to throw out the old computers anyway, so why not let them see what they can do?”

They have grand ideas of what the final result is going to be. And who knows, maybe it will be awesome… maybe it won’t… but at the very least it will be a fun learning experience.

If anything exciting comes of it, I’ll let you know.

I hope we can enjoy a little more exploring of our world this summer, and step a little more out of our comfort zone, inspired by these 5 dangerous things that Gever Tulley suggests.

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Parenting shiftOne of my children once told me that he grew more, and learned to become a man, because he “had to, to take care of me and his father after the divorce.”

When he said that, I was hurt. And I felt guilty.

Parents are supposed to take care of their kids, not the other way around, right?  I struggled to try to figure out what I might have done wrong.

My conclusion?  NOTHING.

Why? Because he turned out to be a pretty awesome young man.

I didn’t fall apart after the divorce.  I didn’t need anyone to pick me up and make sure I was okay.

But I did expect each of them to help the family and learn to be responsible.  And because each of them are amazing young people, they rose to the challenge of helping out their mom.

At the beginning of this summer, we had the opportunity of helping out a young man who, at the age of 13, had spent most of his life being the caregiver for his mom.  Once again, I found myself saying, parents are supposed to take care of their kids, not the other way around.

But what if I’m wrong…. or at least not quite that accurate.

Hundreds of years ago, for families that lived on a farm, the kids had very real responsibilities (chores) that were necessary to the success of the entire family.  Was that hard work and responsibility bad for the kids? I don’t think so. I think it strengthened them and prepared them for adulthood. I think if the kids were encouraged to go to school and get good grades, and still had a little time to play, that hard work probably made them better adults.

So how does this apply to me and my family?  I may not live on a farm or have that type of hard work to give to them, but I want my kids to grow up to be responsible, capable adults.

Is there a shift in my parenting thinking that needs to happen to encourage this?

When I got divorced, i started working outside the home, AND I was running an at-home business.  I did need them more than ever to help the family out.  It was time for everyone to do their own laundry, help with dishes and cooking.  My kids with drivers licenses had to help with drop-offs and pick-ups of brothers.  This change happened out of necessity, and I’m so glad that they were all so wonderful about being more responsible.

I’ve read several books and articles lately, and watched a few TV programs about families, and I think I have come to a conclusion that there are a lot of parents out there like me, who want to love and care for their kids, (and do everything for them) to make their lives easier, so they can just be kids.

I guess for most of my life, I felt like my job was to help my kids make it to adulthood in one piece, no scars or permanent damage.  As the stay-at-home mom, I often felt like it was my job to make sure everyone had clean clothes, a hot meal every evening, and well cared for pets ready to play with when they all got home from school.

But does that really prepare my kids to be adults.

My change in thinking or “PARENTING SHIFT” has turned into this. As their parent, my primary responsibility to them is as a teacher not a caregiver.

Of course they count on me to care for them also.  I make sure there’s food available, and they have a home, clothes and bedding. I provide all of the necessities, but now it is time for me to teach them how to care for all of these things.

In my life right now, I have a smaller home, and I work solely from my home, so in a lot of ways, it would be easier to just take care of all the home and family responsibilities myself. I think most parents would agree with me, that we do things because it’s faster, easier and more efficient to just do things ourselves.

I also think that we tend to do things ourselves because it makes us feel needed… important.  Especially as a full-time mom. Especially as a mom with a little OCD.

Too many times in the past, I’ve done things myself because I wanted them done a certain way, or I felt like it was my responsibility, or I needed to feel valued because of the work that I did.

None of these excuses is more important than the value of teaching my kids, and having them learn to do these things themselves before they go out into the world on their own.  I’ve had to shift from the view of getting something done, to teaching and raising kids so that they can do these things once they are on their own.

I may only have 2 of my 5 kids still at home with me, but I continue to learn new things about myself and my parenting.  I want to be a better parent because I want my kids to be prepared to be the best adults that they can.

Life is hard enough for me as an adult, I need to be careful not to give my kids unrealistic expectations of how the world will treat them.  The world isn’t going to take care of them the way their momma did.  We each have to pull our own weight.

The truth is that the people who work the hardest and are the most innovative and care about the success of “the company” as a whole (just like they did in their family) are ultimately the most successful in their jobs.

And isn’t that what I really want for my kids, for them to find success out in the world?

— Laura

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Change is part of life

I have a confession to make.  I’m scared of change… and I embrace it.

I know that’s a total contradiction.

Change is inevitable.  The only thing constant is change.  This commercial constantly reminds me of this concept.

I’ve made some big changes in my life, and for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the adventure of it all.  Oh, there were plenty of scary and uncertain times, but I plowed right through the big stuff…. moving across the country, sending 2 sons on missions for 2 years, getting remarried.  For some reason the big stuff isn’t the problem.

It’s the small day-to-day stuff, that needs to be changed that is just so hard, and sometimes scary.  Maybe these small things are habits that need changing, or sometimes it’s something that is a part of my personality that I wish were different.

I spent 3-4 sleepless nights worrying about my mothering.  I knew what I needed to do… and I was unsure at the same time.  Unsure if this is going to work. Unsure if it will produce the desired results. But even though I was scared to make this move, I knew that I had to do something if I wanted to be able to sleep again.  What was the scary thing I needed to do, you may ask?  I needed to limit my children’s summertime TV and video game time. (It’s not really so scary once you say it out loud.)  My fear of conflict was the thing that made me scared and kept me from doing what was best for my kids.

I beat the habit of procrastination and had the conversation with the kids. I told them the new rules. Now I have to learn to overcome the bad habit of not following through.

I have to face my weakness: laziness (or busyness, depending on how you want to look at it) that may keep me from being on top of the TV and gaming time.  (I just now had to leave my blog post to go turn off the TV.)

I’ve been reading a great book that has been helpful, called Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, by Kay Wills Wyma.

Kay reviewed the steps to changing a habit.  The one step that stuck out at me and has stayed with me was “Go for consistency rather than performance” or “consistency over perfection.”

I may not be perfect at keeping track of their time on TV and games, but as long as I stick with the rules and make sure they are turning off their devices when I tell them too, or providing a consequence if they don’t, the new rule, or household habit, will stick.  Even if I have weak days and don’t follow through, as long as I don’t throw the rule out because of my weakness, it will eventually be a success.

So many times in the past, I have failed to follow through with some family rule, or responsibility with my kids, and then blamed the problem on myself and my lack of follow through.  Then I just gave up what ever the program was, feeling that it can’t be a success because I’m a failure.  Whether is was study time, chores or whatever else.  Once again my fear of conflict kept me from teaching my kids responsibility.

So maybe this is the real habit that I am trying to change currently.  I want my love of my kids to be big enough that I’m willing to have the fights with them that are absolutely necessary, so that they can learn how strong and capable they really are, when I make them do something they don’t want to do.  This is going to be harder than it sounds.  And consistency over perfection is going to have to be my mantra for a while.

Change is hard, especially when it involves doing something differently than what I’m used to or comfortable with.  There will always be something that I’d like to be better at or improve in. And there will always be something that tries to get in the way of making that change.

The good news is that I never have to do it all alone. My very best resource for making lasting positive change comes from my Savior.

Through prayer and study of the scriptures and modern prophets, I get the strength that I need to carry me forward.  The “mighty change of heart” has helped me to overcome so many problems in my past and I live in trust that He will always be there for me as I strive to make righteous changes in my life and in the lives of my kids.

In Alma 5:13 it says

a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God.

As long as I have trusted God in the past, good change has been very real in my life.  God will always help us in our desires for good. The beautiful gift of the atonement was given to help us as we make those changes for the better and leave the old self behind.

We have this one life to learn and grow and become the best that we can. It is possible. I know that I will be able to improve with my Lord’s help, and I know He will help you too.

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Satan wants you to fail. And to feel alone. And to feel inadequate to what Someone Else has CALLED you to do.”

Sometimes as a mom or just as a human being living on this crazy earth, I start to let satan into my heart. Never intentionally. He is too subtle for that. Usually it starts with one small thought that I either feed or starve. When my senses are weak, when I’m tired or hungry. When I’m stretched to my limits. That’s when the lies come creeping in.

When I came across this article I related all to well.  It’s titled When Satan Steals your Motherhood. It’s a fantastic read and I highly recommend  it.

Everyday I have to make the decision to turn to my Heavenly Father. For if I don’t, I open the door just a crack for the influence of satan to take a stronger hold on my heart.

I have felt this recently. Since summer break our regular scripture study as a family has been very sparse. And my personal study is not what it used to be. I have noticed my frustration is greater and my kids are grumpier.

Today? It is going to be okay. Take back your motherhood. It is a gift. Listen to the life-giver, NOT the liar.”

I am again rededicating my efforts to choose God daily and by doing so I am also turning away from satan and his lies.

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I sat around the table at my mother’s house listening to my children play a game. For the most part they laughed and enjoyed each other. But every once in a while I heard a tone of voice that wasn’t altogether kind or good. It made me wonder, why do my children talk like that to each other?

All at once I could recall the times I was getting after them and that same tone was coming straight from my mouth. How could I expect anything different when I was showing them the way?  My eyes were opened. If I want to truly help them I need to first model the change myself.

Gordon B Hinckley put it this way,

Children learn through gentle direction and persuasive teaching. They search for models to imitate, knowledge to acquire, things to do, and teachers to please.”

Motherhood can bring with it every single emotion all jumbled up at once. We want to give our kids the very best there is to be had and yet we fall short. This used to be so hard for me to come to grips with. But in later years I have come to learn the value in showing my kids my imperfect state.

When I make mistakes, when I fall short of who I want to be, I have the privilege of showing my children how to repent. I get to model what it means to need my Savior and fall at His feet when I fall short. I can show them how to say I’m sorry and I was wrong.

Isn’t that just as important as teaching them to speak kindly and say your prayers?

When my children leave my house as grown ups the most important thing I hope to have taught them is their need for The Savior. That no matter how hard life gets they can and should turn to Him and let Him carry their heavy burdens.

Just yesterday I had need to apologize to my children. When had been at a family reunion in Utah, our days and nights were filled with fun activities. I was so tired Saturday night I did not prepare for the sabbath day. Usually on Sunday we refrain from spending money as a way of keeping this one day special. Since we had to drive home I knew I would need to buy gas but I normally have my car stocked with food so that I wouldn’t have to buy any.

We got ready to drive thru a fast food joint. My daughter asked if she could just eat what we had in the car. She didn’t make a big fanfare about it. In fact she was very quiet about it. My heart sunk a little knowing I had put her in a position that compromised what she believed was right. As I went to order, one of my boys said he didn’t want anything. Again, he was also quiet about it. My heart wanted to burst from the beauty of the example of these people I love so much.

When we stopped for a potty break later, I hugged them both and let them know I would never put them in that position again.

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

As I saw my children show me the way, I realized again that our mess-ups can turn into glorious lessons and new determination if we turn to the Lord and let Him show us a better way.

I pray as I learn through my mistakes I will show them how to learn through theirs. My Lord is my Savior and I am grateful He walks with me through my imperfect mothering.

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 Yesterday I sat and visited with two of my friends who both have one baby under the age of two. We talked about toddler funness and craziness and the ups and downs of motherhood with a toddler. As they chatted I couldn’t help but think of those as the good old days.

I remember when my babies were small, and my feeling stressed out and wanting to cry when a child had a melt down in the store. But I also cherish the memory of sweet ladies whose babies were all grown. They would tell me how beautiful my children were and that I was doing a great job. Most often they would suggest that I treasure these moments because babies grow up so fast.

I found myself saying those same words yesterday. My teens are so much fun but it all seems to slip away into a void of time-sucking space. Where are those sweet chubby hands that used to hold so tight to mine? Where are those fantastic baby laughs that make the whole room smile?

Last night I sat at the table with my teens and had some very real, hard discussions.  We talked about the hard stuff life can bring, and my heart swelled with pride at the amazing people God has placed into my path. They are not my equal. At some point I didn’t even notice they surpassed me. They are better than I was and it humbles me.

As I watched this video

I couldn’t help but feel the need to slow down time. To value and love whatever stage of life I or my kids are in. To really strive to treasure what is placed before, good or bad. One sweet lady says in the video

Them years do go by in a hurry, yeah they do, don’t they”

There is good and bad in every single day, in every single phase. My mom once told me

With every phase brings something new and wonderful and usually something you don’t really love. The trick is to embrace the wonderful. And not mourn what has been left behind.”

So today I’m going to hug my teens a little longer than they would like.  And I am going to let my heart swell with love for the phase I am in.

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  Sticky faces from otter pops, swimming in the pool, basketball games, sleeping in, silly faces, and late night movies snuggled on the couch. 

 I love all of those things!  But what I adore the most is spending my time with my little people. It doesn’t matter what we do. I used to think summer had to be filled with big exciting adventures. I have come to greatly love and value the day to day moments just being together. Listening to them talk about their world. Watching them laugh and enjoying each other.   

When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us.” Dieter F Ucthdorf

My kids seem to cherish the now. I hear them say things like “this is the best day ever” when it seemed to be a very average day. 

The coming weeks while I have them with me I want to see the limitless enjoyment to be had. I desire to let their love of life burn like a fire in me as well. I feel the pains of them growing older and soon moving on.  


My oldest will be a senior and within the year he will be moving into adulthood and all that comes with growing up.   
 When they were younger I couldn’t wait until the were a little older. No more diapers no more long nights. And now I feel the sadness of wishing those days away. 

Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realize they were the big things.  

Laura and I were talking earlier today and we both have this same pull to spend more time playing with our kids while they are still under our roof. We might not be posting as much but know it’s cause we are out enjoying the game. 

Or splashing in the pool.  

I’m currently working on a basketball birthday cake for my sons 9th birthday  

while also preparing for a surprise party for my teenagers friend. 

Won’t you join us as we strive to breath in the very essence of the now.-SUSAN