My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent shootings.
You are all in my prayers.
I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the details; my mother-heart can't take it. But the shootings have led to a lot of interesting conversations between my husband and me. Conversations about gun control and how wicked this world has become and what we can do to make our home a safe refuge for our children.
It's enough to make me want to live as a hermit for the rest of my life, to keep my kids under a rock so they never have to face the ugliness of the world.
But then Mr. Brown Eyes gave a Family Home Evening lesson about Jesus Christ and everything He's done for us. And we sang this song from the Primary songbook:
"How could the Father tell the world
of love and tenderness?
He sent His Son, a newborn babe,
with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world
the pathway we should go?
He sent His Son to walk with men
on earth that we may know.
How could the Father tell the world
of sacrifice, of death?
He sent His Son to die for us
and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us?
What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like His Son.
Help others on their way.
What does He ask?
Live like His Son."
Words by Mabel Jones Gabbott
It doesn't matter what we are going through, Jesus Christ has been there. He can heal all hurts, dry all tears, and fill all loneliness. Because of Him, the world will know peace again.
It was my husband's idea. We felt justified because he worked on Thanksgiving.
And we are as impatient for Christmas as two little kids.
Yes, our tree is fake.
This is bittersweet to me.
I ADORE real Christmas trees. The smell of them makes me giddy. Growing up, our trees were always fake because of my mom's asthma. But when I married Mr. Brown Eyes, I had my first experience with my own real tree. I fell so deeply in love with that tree that I named it Gustav and I just might have kept it up until it was nothing more than a skeleton surrounded by a pile of dry needles.
Luckily my husband intervened and convinced me Gustav would be happier in that big tree-lot in the sky.
We bought real trees for a couple years. Then we decided it would be more economical to buy a tree we could use more than once, that we could leave up for months without worrying about it drying out and catching fire.
For now, at least.
I do miss that real-tree smell.
Has anyone ever found a close imitation in candle-form? Every "pine" scented candle I have ever smelled just reminds me of an old lady's house.
No offense to all you old ladies out there.
It was pretty close to Christmas when we bought our current tree. It was the display and the last one in the store, so they gave us a deal on it that included all these cute little ornaments:
Cute little glass ornaments. As we hauled the tree out to our truck, we were accompanied by the sweet tinkling of ornaments falling off and shattering on the asphalt.
We managed to save most of them, though. And hopefully the rest will survive Brown-Eyed Boy.
He wanted so much to help us decorate the tree. We tried to confine him to the less-breakable ornaments, like these cute little glittery birds:
He hung most of them in one spot, upside down. His own special two year-old touch to our tree. It made me smile.
He begged to put the other ornaments up, too, and he did a really good job when we told him to be careful.
Then we told him that Christmas trees are just for looking at, and not for touching.
1. It's the only time in his life my husband can crack fat jokes at my expense and not incur my wrath. I don't know why, but hearing him lovingly call me "butterball" and "pork rind," having him touch my belly and smilingly say, "Wow, you've really let yourself go," and getting texts from him that say, "I love you, chub chub," makes me love him more and more.
Now if I wasn't pregnant...that's a different story.
2. I have an insane sweet tooth. Brown-Eyed Boy's Halloween candy didn't stand a chance against me. Since getting pregnant, I have made at least four different kinds of muffins and devoured them all, whipped up late-night batches of cookies, and happily dunked graham crackers into a big tub of frosting.
Unfortunately, my stomach is now being squished to a smidgon of its usual size, so I can't eat as much as I usually want to.
With Thanksgiving coming up, like, tomorrow, that's probably a good thing.
3. Although, at this point, Brown-Eyed Boy is pretty much in denial that there will soon be another child in our family, sometimes, when I ask him to, he will bend his little blond head over my belly and say, "Hi, baby sister." And then, as he jumps and rolls all over me, I will feel baby sister wiggle, as if to say, "Hey, I want to play, too!"
4. I can go from happy to angry to sobbing tears in five seconds flat. You should have seen me when Romney lost the election. And if I happen to enter a crowded place, such as a grocery store, when my pregnancy hormones are raging, there is a good chance someone is going to get kicked in the shins. Very likely the perky Fry's worker who not only had the nerve to ask me how I was doing, but called me "ma'am" several times.
Ok, maybe that part is more of a sarcastic "fun."
Danielle Bright Photography
But I will take it all if it means I'm pregnant.
...this quote from Harold B. Lee, eleventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made me feel better:
"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in theGarden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I have faith in America ; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ...
I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."
(Excerpts from a talk given at a Ricks College Devotional Assembly, “Have Faith in America,” October 26, 1973; see printed in two sources: Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee, 340, 350-351, and The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 365-366.)