Thursday, September 26, 2013

She's Leavin' on a Jet Plane

My sister Holly left home this morning for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She'll be serving in the Salt Lake City, Utah, Temple Square Mission!  She is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I'm so proud of her for being worthy and willing to put her life on hold to serve the Lord with all she's got for a whole 18 months!  She's going to bless so many people's lives in such a short amount of time.  

"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19
 (That's the scripture she chose to go on her missionary plaque.)

We are all missionaries for the good cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some are blessed with the opportunity to dedicate a small portion of their lives to full-time service, but all have the opportunity to be a missionary wherever they are.  God is good.  He is the Father of our spirits.  He loves us and wants so much for us to have true joy in our lives and to live eternally with Him and our families.  True happiness is possible!  Real hope is possible!  Salvation and exaltation are possible.  We can overcome anything.  Through Jesus Christ.  His Atonement has made these possible.  I know that's true!  He lives!

"The Atonement was made. Ever and always it offers amnesty from transgression and from death if we will but repent. Repentance is the escape clause in it all. Repentance is the key with which we can unlock the prison from inside. We hold that key within our hands, and agency is ours to use it." 
— Boyd K. Packer, "Who Is Jesus Christ?", Ensign and Liahona, March 2008

"[Jesus Christ] made salvation available to every repentant soul."
— Richard G. Scott, "The Joy of Redeeming the Dead", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

"Wherever our members and missionaries may go, our message is one of faith and hope in the Savior Jesus Christ." 
— Boyd K. Packer, "The Atonement", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Be a Humble Follower of Christ

I was reading in the scriptures this morning about how there will be many people who will have gone astray from the Lord's way because of pride and wickedness, etc, and came across this short phrase:

"...because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ..."

I was humbled by this statement.  Just last night I was thinking about how I wish I could have and could still spend more time in the musical theatre scene, and was getting a little consumed in the thought.  "I chose a different life -- that of a wife and mother."  I told myself, "My choice was the one I was supposed to make...  And I'm happy about it...  Right?"  I wasn't completely convinced last night, though I knew I was right.  But coming across this verse in my scripture study confirmed to me again that I was on the right path.

The family is central to God's great Plan of Happiness.  And it's called that because it's our road map to happiness in this life and in the next.  The world tells us to put ourselves first, and do whatever we want.  I've put Jesus Christ at the center of my life instead, and have found the greatest happiness in having and being a part of a family.  I love my family!  I love my husband and my son.  I love being a wife.  I love being a mother.  I knew there would be sacrifices I would have to make.  But I knew they would be worth it.  I may not have a ton of extra time on my hands to explore interests like participating in musical theatre, becoming a professional photographer, or website and graphic designer, learning to be a seamstress or expert crafter, or even having my house completely organized.  But my family is happy and healthy, my house is functional, and we're on the Lord's path to eternal life and exaltation.  What more could I need or even want?

Isn't it amazing how you seem to always hear what you need to when you're letting the Lord speak to you through the scriptures?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colorado Trip - Part 1

At the beginning of August we went on a trip with a few destinations.  Our first stop was Utah, and our second stop was Colorado!

** Disclosure: There are many, many pictures. **

We took an Amtrak train ride from Salt Lake to Denver.  We left Salt Lake at 3AM and arrived in Denver around 6:30PM.  Phew!

Looking out the window at the hotel:

We stopped by the Colorado temple.  Eli was taking a nap and we wanted a family picture but we didn't want to wake him up, so we just brought him out with the carseat!

We visited the Aquarium in Denver.  Eli loved it!  So many moving things to look at!  I think he tried to catch some as they swam by.  ;)  He really liked the sting rays!

Denver has a really cool, pedestrian only, mile-long outdoor "mall" -- the 16th Street Mall.  We walked up and down it.  Eli liked playing in this water fountain.

We also went to a Rockies game at Coors Field with my parents and my cousin Nik and his girlfriend Sydney.  It poured on us!  And there was lightning so we weren't even allowed to go to our seats for an hour or so until it cleared up.  But there was a beautiful double rainbow!  Oh, the beauty of the earth.  :)  We left after the 5th inning because it was so late after the hour rain delay, and Eli needed to go to bed.

My dad found out about this old castle-like building and we stopped by it after church.  It was built in the 1800's I think, or maybe 1900's, as a school and they wanted to become "the Princeton of the West" -- they wanted to be as good and prestigious a school as Princeton and the best in the West.  But they ended up deciding not to continue admitting women, and then WWII happened and there was no one left to attend the school because all the young men were being drafted into the war...  Oops!  Looks like a cool building though.  Too bad it never lived up to it's intended potential.

Our last stop on our way out of town was to see my Aunt Evelyn.  Eli had fun listening to the piano, playing with Grandma, and hanging out with Daddy while a rainstorm passed by.

[7 1/2 months old]

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Becoming Mobile (Baby Eli)

Eli has been mobile for a while now.  For the past 2 months or more (at around 6 months old) he's been rolling EVERYWHERE!  It's so cute and fun to watch him roll and roll to get something he wants.

On Tuesday (5 days ago) I spied Eli inch forward while on his tummy once.  A couple days later I saw him do it again!  That's really good considering he doesn't crawl, just kick-kick-kicks his little legs!  I think he might finally be starting to get the hang of crawling, maybe.  A start, anyway.

I've been half-joking, half-seriously saying that he will probably just skip crawling and learn to walk.  Well he's been walking with us for the past couple days.  And he's gotten pretty good at it!

And he's really pulling himself up now.  He'll grab onto our hands and pull up to a sitting position or all the way up to standing.  He's already been standing on his own with something to lean on or hold onto pretty well for a while now.  He's learning so fast!  He's such a smart kid!  It's so incredible how babies just learn how to do things.  There is definitely Divine influence there!

[8 1/2 months old]