Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A letter from Santa to a Mom

Santa Claus

Dear Mom of these children,

Let me tell you why I thought you needed a present from me too. Moms usually focus on what they can't do and what's left undone, like why the car never stays clean or why they can't find that stupid matching sock or why the UPS man comes while they are wearing Dad's Ford t-shirt and a maxi skirt. Because you normally pull out the symbolic "guilt bat" and beat yourself up, let's take a minute to celebrate what you HAVE accomplished in the last year or two.
Like the times...

*You cleaned cottage cheese out of your toddler's hair. 

Cottage Cheese styling session
* When you held your temper and didn't yell.
* When you yelled and apologized.
* The times you hid vegetables by putting them through the Vitamix first.
* When you admired their pretty picture they drew and displayed on the fridge.
Family Portrait
* A few trips to Wendy's drive-thru and your children still have no idea what a "kids meal" is.
* How about your record time in making the "fake house" before company comes?
* Your "relaxing" bathtub time included one or more littles jumping in with you.
* Not being able to sleep because someone was sick.
* Worrying about not being good enough for your little family.
* Attempting yoga, with little people jumping on you.
* How about dishing up your lunch way after the kids, and they come to eat yours after you made them something else because they said they didn't like it?
 * Those nights you woke up with three kids and a husband in your bed.
Full Bed
 * The feat of doing your business- no, really business- emailing, texting, planning- in the bathroom, because there was nowhere else to go.
* You remembered to switch the laundry sometimes before it smelled in the washer. 
* The times when you didn't even look at yourself in the mirror until 5pm.
* Nursed the baby while walking around the house, while doing dishes.
* Carried the baby in a wrap while you took pictures.
* Throwing yourself in front of the tv to save your kids from a Victoria's Secret commercial.
* Attempting that arm-knitting tutorial to teach your daughter, only to realize you don't have time to be tied up.
* Choosing healthy food because you choose to love your body instead of paying attention to the scale.
* Googling stuff for your son, like "are dragons really real?"
* The many, many times you stared at one of your sleeping children and thought how beautiful they looked.
* Pretended to have it all together.
* Letting go and having a complete meltdown in front of someone who you tried to pretend to.
* Telling your husband thank you.
* Giving your husband a hug.
* Making your husband lunch.
* Being so pregnant that you pay your kids to pick up things for you.
* Trying to play tetris by fitting five kids in a house the size of a matchbox car.
* Enjoyed nature and focused on our beautiful world.
* Encouraged your kids in going for their dreams, telling them they can do anything they put their minds to.

* When your son suggested his plan of building "cat armor" for the fighting tomcats. And you suggested "building a cardboard prototype first" before he asked Grandpa to weld it out of metal.
"Cat Armor" Armor was carefully removed, cat remains unharmed.
* Found the "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" song on YouTube for your 4 year old.
* Tried harder to talk positively about your body in front of your daughters.

* Sometimes you gave up in utter exhaustion and allowed yourself time to watch "Fixer Upper" or funny videos on facebook.
* Smiling and nodding when the hundredth person in Costco creatively stated that "you must have your hands full".
* Smiling and nodding when your kid let you know that Dad said it was okay for them to wear this.
Nice Outfit
* Smiling and nodding when your son explained his ninjago/robot/megatron/flying bike invention for 30 minutes.
* Smiling and nodding when well-meaning people offered advice.
* In fact, a whole lot of smiling and nodding. More instances to even count.
* Saving the baby from a toddler wanting to ride him like a horse. * How about the multiple times you threw yourself on your bed and cried because it was too much?
* Or the times you ugly cried to your husband?
* You endured hours of Disney Pandora.
* You cried when the kids opened the door and the mail lady saw your messy house and possibly you in your underwear.

* You paid bills on the phone with an automated system and kids screaming in the background.
* You even hid the noisy toys on top of the fridge.
* You changed a diaper blow-out in your car.
* You had multiple days where you had peanut butter/snot/puke/glue on your clothes.
* You cleaned cottage cheese out of your toddler's hair.

* You took a "five minute" phone survey to be nice.
* You made funeral potatoes even when you were busy and had to plan way ahead.
 * Occasionally you forced yourself to pray for help instead of throwing a fit.
* You tried harder to recognize God's hand in your life.
* You felt gratitude.
* The many instances where you knew that angels were helping you.
* There were times that you sobbed uncontrollably for someone else that had lost a child.
* At times you deliberately chose to be grateful for what you had.

* AND to top it off, you almost gave birth to 9lb 2oz baby, in a minivan, on the freeway.

       Even now, you are reading this, thinking of the times you didn't do those things, the times you zoned out, got depressed, gave up, panicked, compared, complained, screamed, and failed. Oh, you failed many times, but you got back up. You kept going. You kept caring. You pushed through the anxiety, the fear, the hopelessness, the lack of sleep, the judgment and expectations you put on yourself. And guess what? You made it. You are still here. Your kids love you. They probably won't remember all of the things you didn't do. They will remember YOU. They love You. Not because you dress nice or look nice or have it together. But because you are their Mom. Heavenly Father gave them to you. Even in your imperfection, you are perfect for them. So, let go of the expectations of others. Stop fretting about what everyone else thinks and live the life you are meant to live. Discover your divine purpose. You have unique strengths. God has a plan. Now is the time to feel love, giving, and peace- and that includes within yourself.

Merry Christmas.
 Love, Santa

P.S. There is a year's supply of Dove Chocolate in your freezer. You will probably need it. Pin It
Pin It!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Maternity Shots

\ I had fun working with my friend Becca, as I experimented with crossing over my digital art and photography. I'm very excited to do more of this in the future! She is expecting her fourth baby girl in March. She was a great model! Thanks Becca!

Pin It
Pin It!

Salt Lake Temple "Rose Blush"


Pin It
Pin It!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spaghetti Baby

This is what happens when you are eating spaghetti and learn how to cover your face and play peek-a-boo at them same time. Pin It
Pin It!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My website

\ I'm excited that my new website finally has the ability to "pin" your favorites on pinterest!, click on your favorite and pin it! Pin It
Pin It!

Monday, July 30, 2012

More at the Beach

My pretty little niece at Bear Lake

My baby niece with her name in the sand.

Pin It
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beach Baby

My sweet little nine-month old, enjoying the water and sand.

We spent Pioneer day with the Williams' family at Bear Lake. The kids had so much fun, they played in the water all day long and even the baby got in on it. I played in the water too, but kept coming in and out to grab my camera because there was so much action going on, I couldn't restrain myself from taking pictures in the beautiful setting. I have about a hundred more I'm looking through. Pin It
Pin It!

D Bridals

I had to share some of these bridals from the other night. 

Pin It
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Honoring the "Gift of Giving Life" a new LDS book

\ This book review  is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life.  

I heard about this book as I was going through my own birth journey last year. For those that don't know, in October I gave birth to my third baby via VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After Two Cesareans) even after an inverted T incision. We felt the Lord's hand in making this decision and what a blessing it has been to us.

I know Robyn, one of the writers, from ICAN and she was actually a part of my VBAC journey. Ever since I heard about "The Gift of Giving Life," I think I've been a cheerleader for them. I've been telling all of my friends and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I finally got mine in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised at how big it was! Over 5oo pages!

As I sat and pored over the words while holding my sweet little one, I had to wipe the tears of off my cheeks. As I read, my testimony was reaffirmed that we are guided and watched over as we help to deliver God's precious children. I rejoiced as I read stories similar to my own as women sometimes made choices that were unconventional and not the cultural or social norm. But they trusted in their intuition to honor what the Lord had in store for them.

It even met my expectations in that it covered just about every issue I hoped it would. I would say, for example, "I wish this had a section on VBAC," and then I would find it in the next chapter. That happened many times. I can't believe the diversity of topics covered. The book contains a great variety of birth knowledge, science, research, LDS quotes, scriptures, guide to meditation, thoughts on creating a spiritual baby shower, healing and forgiveness, beautifully written histories of LDS women, testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Atonement, and of course many personal stories of courage and triumph. "The Gift of Giving Life" can validate women no matter what birth choices she makes or has made, and increase her feeling of closeness to other women, both living and passed on.

This is not just a book about pregnancy and childbirth- though it is certainly is about that. In a world where women's divine and sacred powers are frustrated and belittled, this book brings hope and empowerment. In a world that teaches us to rely on the "arm of flesh" this book helps bring back our trust in Heavenly Father. As I read about the Lord's hand in the stories and essays, I realized that Heavenly Father is there- not just through our birth journeys- but throughout all of motherhood, to help and deliver us in a wide variety of circumstances. This is a knowledge that every woman can benefit from.

There was an underlying message throughout all of the pages of this book. And the message that spoke to me, was faith. Faith in our divinely designed bodies. Faith in the precious spirits that we help to nurture and bring to this earth. Faith in the deeply spiritual and symbolic process of childbirth itself. And most importantly, faith in our Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ. And faith that when we are acting as a co-creator with God, we will never be alone.

Thank you to the wonderful and amazing women that wrote this book. It truly is a gift.

My friend Shannon, expecting her fifth little girl.

Visit The Gift of Giving Life site to sign up for their newsletter and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth.  

For my readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. 
Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code. GWFWXR3F 
This code is good until Father’s Day 2012. 

Pin It
Pin It!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Surprise

\ Look at these beautiful eggs that were in my neighbor's orchard. The Mama bird was not far away. It was amazing to me to see how much even a robin cares for her babies. I loved the beautiful colors.
Pin It
Pin It!

Salt Lake Temple Purple Flowers

Pin It
Pin It!