Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Really Great Day

This was a very personal, touching experience for me. I want to share it because so often the bad things get top billing in life (mine, everybody's).

Cameron was in the living room building with Legos. Harrison was doing a puzzle. Mary was babysitting and Tyce was at work. So just the twins and I were home, and I was doing the dishes. I had the radio on, Christian radio, and suddenly I was so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my kids, my home, my family, my life. I couldn't contain my emotions and tears spilled down my cheeks. I said to the twins, "I love when we are together. I really feel the spirit in our home when we are calm and kind." Harrison said, "That's because we're listening to uplifting music."

So often I am on autopilot. That day I was able to be present in the moment. And man, am I grateful for that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tyce got a job!

He works part-time at Jimmy Johns, the sandwich shop. He loves it.

He takes orders and makes sandwiches. He likes his co-workers and his boss. His favorite sandwich is the Vito. We are so happy for him!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

When Going to Church is Hard

Photo credit
Today in Relief Society part of our lesson was on the sacrifices people make to go to church; for example, women in other countries who walk miles to attend meetings. Our teacher asked, "Have any of you experienced sacrifice like this?"

And I thought to myself: physically, no. But there are women in this room, or who SHOULD be in this room, whose emotional hurdles are as daunting as 15-mile walk though mud fields with a baby strapped to their backs.

I live with one of those people.

"Mom, I hate everyone at church. It's too bright. Too loud. People talk to me and I have to be polite. I'm expected to respond. I can't stand it. Every Saturday I tell myself I'm going to do it, I'm going to go. And then Sunday comes and I'm physically sick. You know how I always say I'm sick on Sunday mornings? I AM."

It's been four weeks since she's been. Her attendance has been spotty since she was about 11. Her dad is her Sunday School teacher and I said I'd go with her to Young Women, but it's still too much. I've bribed her with privileges, threatened her with punishment. You may recall me saying that I once tried to drag her out from under the bed while she held on for dear life. It's been crazy here--I've said and done things that make me feel like a monster.

"I see these other girls and they just have their lives together. I think to myself, why can't I do that? Why can't I be a better person? And it makes me feel bad."

"Can you take those feelings and do something positive?" I ask,

"If it were that easy of course I would," she says.

I believe her.

She has a good heart. She believes in God. She teaches great Family Home Evening lessons, shares the gospel with her friends. Is that enough? She doesn't go to seminary, won't go to the temple with her youth group, hates Mutual, rejects her nice leaders. I want her to experience all of these things because I know first-hand how beneficial they are. Beneficial for ME. My eyes are being opened to the fact that others find those things painful.

I'm the stake Young Women's president and every rah-rah-rah activity I help plan is something my own daughter can't stomach.

To people who judge her absence: You have no idea what she goes through.

Crowds can be daunting. Nice people can be overwhelming. Spiritual promptings can be uncomfortable. Getting up and getting dressed is sometimes just too hard. But you know what--despite that, sometimes my strong, sweet girl does it anyway.

So do I know people who sacrifice to go to church? Yeah, I do.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mary's 15th Birthday

As you know, Mary's birthday is January 5th. For her birthday she had her friends Bella, Madi, Nikki, Sara, and Alyssa over.

The girls in the kitchen at the regional New Year's Eve dance, minus Bella.

They played Murder in the Dark and ate snacks. They were very, very loud.

Flowers from her daddy.
She is such a cute girl. I absolutely love her and she is a delight to have as a daughter.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Birthday AND Easter

When I was a little girl in elementary school--8? 10?--my mom used her perpetual calendar to figure out that my birthday would finally be on Easter when I turned 41. Of course that seemed a million  years away back then. But lo and behold, the blessed day finally arrived and what a treat it was to celebrate my special day on THE most special day of the year.

Mary decorated this egg for me.

Since Easter always coincides with spring break the kids were off school. Bryce took the twins to Utah while I worked full-time hours for Clinique bonus time. (I was incredibly busy.) Mary went with Nikki's family to the beach in southern California. Tyce stayed here. The boys were back on Saturday night but Mary didn't come home until late on Sunday. She is my cheerleader and fan so I definitely did miss my sweet girl that day.

But we had a great day of General Conference and Easter gifts AND birthday things.

Instead of a cake Bryce made me these awesome fruit cones!

Are these beautiful or what?

Oooh, pretty.
 Harrison made me a giant poster. Forty-one puppies for 41 years!

Very sweet.
 Cameron's card came with candy!

I'm a smartie.
 My handsome boys and I.

Serious one.

Harrison's face!
Some highlights were these messages:

From Bryce: Happy Birthday to the love of my life! One of the hardest working and most compassionate people I know. I can never keep up with her enthusiasm to do good. I hope we fill your day with a few of your favorite things.

 From my dadHappy Birthday to our beautiful daughter, Rebecca Jones. Her sweet spirit is a blessing to our family and to anyone who knows her. It is a blessing to be her dad.

 I am grateful for wonderful people in my life and I am glad to be alive another year.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

California Adventure

Next day, California Adventure! This was my first time, though the second (or more) for the others. We spent part of the day here and then went back to Disneyland to do some of the things we liked the most.

Highlights of California Adventure were the Cars ride, where Harrison got to drive us all; playing in the snow at Frozen; and the Toy Story ride. Mary loved the roller coasters. The rest of us endured them to varying degrees.

When all was said and done we rode the Indiana Jones ride 6 times! At the end Bryce wanted us to take a family picture with "cousin Indy" but it was super crowded. So we went into a gift shop to try on hats. I only have a snake around my neck and I cut off Tyce's head and will it surprise you to hear that Harrison utterly refused to pose with us? Well, to get the perfect picture I guess this means that we'll have to go back. That'd be fine with me.

Disneyland Overload

Had a blast at the happiest place on earth! We got our tax refund and headed off to California. The kids were surprisingly nice to each other--like strangely, overly nice. I guess they didn't want to ruin a good thing with their normal behavior.

Bryce had the good idea to give the kids Visa gift cards for the trip so they could pay for their own food and souvenirs as they saw fit. Two of the kids were frugal, so much so that they had a lot of money left over. Two of them spent every last dime. One of them blew the entire amount the very first day and had absolutely no money left over for food. On the one hand he loved his purchases. On the other, he begged and cried for better food than granola bars and beef jerky from a backpack.

The two nights we spent were awful because of people's significant sleep issues but somehow the days were pretty good. Sometimes it feels like Bryce and I are up 24 hours a day.

However. We had a lot of fun though and I'm really glad we went.