27 March 2013

A Post About William: Active and Adorable

William is now 19 months old. Can you believe it?! He's so fun. We love him a bushel and a peck ;)

I'm not very good at taking pictures but here are some from February. Our friends Kyle and Shea came over for dinner and brought us a DELICIOUS turtle pie (minus the turtle). There was one slice left and we thought it was safe on the kitchen counter.

Turns out, William is growing. In fact, today at his 18-month check-up (yeah, I'm a month late) he measured in at 34.5 inches tall (92%), 29.6 pounds (87%), and a head circumference of 19.5 inches (88%). I'm sure glad his head wasn't that big when he was born.


As you may have guessed, William got that piece of pie and helped himself. And he loved it.

26 March 2013

Things Denise Has Been Pondering: Enduring to the End

My sweet sister-in-law Amber is leaving for her mission to Recife Brazil tomorrow afternoon. On Sunday she gave her "farewell" talk about enduring to the end. I don't remember everything about what she said (although it was all wonderful) but I do remember a key point: when you have nothing left to give, endure.

The eternal principle of enduring to the end has been on my mind lately. As I've mentioned before, my loving husband suffers from depression. This is not something that just goes away and it's not his fault and there's not much I can do to help him.

Last week I felt completed defeated. I almost couldn't handle the pain and frustration that often plagues spouses of people who suffer from depression. Amber's talk reminded me that when the day or week feels like eternity, I just have to endure. Endure and remember that this life is short in comparison to the eternities.

Here are some inspirational things that really help me when things get bad:

When I feel alone and forgotten, I try to remember that God is my Heavenly Father. He loves me more that I can ever love my own son (which is hard to fathom) and just as I would never truly leave him, God will never leave me. No matter what heartache I am feeling, both my Father and my Savior know my pains and suffering. My trials may not be removed but I can pray for peace, comfort, and strength.

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (Doc. & Cov. 121: 7-8).

Things Denise Has Been Pondering: My Religion and Marriage Equality

Disclaimer: I'm not a highly political person. I don't like being attacked and I strongly believe the eleventh Article of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege: let them worship how, where, or what they may." I don't mind you voicing your opinions as long as they do not attack or degrade and I strive to share my own opinions under the same guidelines.

Today, Facebook has been covered in red.

Symbol for the marriage equality movement.
My heart feels very heavy today while I've been thinking about the marriage equality movement in relation to my friends, my family, and my faith. I follow the counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I believe that marriage is ordained of God and reserved to unify a man and a woman.

My heart is heavy because I have friends who are homosexual. Because they are my friends, I want them to be happy in this life. I cannot imagine the struggle it would be to endure those feelings and be true to the gospel and its teachings. I am sad for their life-long trial. I am sad that I must stand by my faith and risk losing the friendship and respect of some very wonderful people.

I try to minimize the degrading talk I sometimes hear from close-minded individuals who get  so wrapped up in the condemnation of it all that they forget something very important: these are our brothers and sisters. They are also children of God. We have ALL been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jokes and degrading comments about homosexuals are offensive to me. I cannot feel my Savior's love when people around me are participating in hate-speech against my spiritual brothers and sisters.

If any of my gay friends are reading this, I wish things could be different. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in despite enormous adversity and, often, ridicule. I hope that you can see that not all people who support traditional marriage hate the gay community. I lost some friends during the first Prop 8 tussle. I sincerely hope that during this next round of court rulings our discourse can remain calm and understanding and that we may remain friends.

Here is a statement released by the Church of Jesus Christ about this issue:

11 March 2013

Weird Sleep Habits and Productivity

Ever since I had William my sleep schedule has been completely messed up. There will be days when I have to go to bed at 8pm. Then there are nights like tonight when it's 1am and I'm not even close to being tired. This whole no-sleep-needed-tonight thing is the worst. Although, I try to use that time to be productive: do dishes, fold laundry, sweep. All my dishes are done but our bedroom floor is covered in clean clothes. I'm the worst at putting clean clothes away. I just don't like it at all. I think tonight I'll watch some Dr. Who and start working on the mountainous pile. It's so much easier to do chores when William is sleeping.
I will say that I'm working at being better at this. Since I'm 18 months post pregnancy I decided now would be a great time to re-evaluate my wardrobe situation. I still had some maternity clothes in there, some pre-preggo clothing that was making me depressed, and some stuff I just don't wear. I pulled out the maternity stuff and put it in a space saver bag under my bed. The pre-preggo clothing and most of the "stuff I don't wear" clothes went to Deseret Industries (kinda like Goodwill or Salvation Army). My closet and dresser are much happier and I feel better about getting dressed in the morning because I'm not being haunted by clothing that is two sizes too small.
I've also recently gone through William's wardrobe and done the same thing. Although most of his too-small clothes get put in bags to be saved for a future kiddo (far in the future. sorry, mom). Some of the items that I never really liked or that needed some extra TLC got donated.
Now I need to get Tyson in on the action. That man has like EIGHT pairs of jeans. I have two. It's absurd. It is physically impossible to put all of his clothing away. It just doesn't fit in our closet and dresser. Lots of it is too small stuff that he just hangs on to because it's just a little bit too small. Lucky for me, his BYU job requires him to wear a collared shirt so the polo to t-shirt ratio is improving :) I know most of what fits and doesn't fit him so maybe I'll just separate it for him and then be like "Here's all the stuff that doesn't fit you. Let's help the needy! Donate!" It'd be nice to have less clothing in our life. I'll continue my reasoning for that in another post.

10 March 2013

Things Denise Has Been Pondering: Trials and Eternity

The Relief Society lesson was especially wonderful today. We discussed trials, faith, and how sometimes God does not take away our trials just because we are faithful. 
I had a thought I didn't share during the lesson but I wanted to write it down because I need to remember it. Here it is:
Sometimes we are given life-long trials. These things will never go away and may never become easier to bear. Take comfort in knowing that these things will not last into the eternities. This is a lesson I learned indirectly from my mom. She has lots of health issues and she's always saying "I can't wait for the resurrection when my body is perfect!"
Especially if you suffer from a mental or physical illness or know someone who does, this is something to ponder. Tyson suffers from depression and that's really hard for me sometimes because I can't fix it. When things get hard I think to myself, today is just a blip in the timeline of eternity. Some days Tyson's depression wins but I'll have "happy Tyson" for all of eternity. This thought helps me be patient, kind, and compassionate when I feel negative things about his illness. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to endure through and it is not over yet. Lucky for me, Tyson and I work together to pull through bad days or bad weeks. Lucky for me, this life is so small compared to eternal life.
I'm grateful for the reminder today that God knows what I struggle with and He is always there to comfort me even if He does not take away my burden.
Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

03 March 2013

TMJ, Stress, and Stake Choir

TMJ is interesting in that, for me, it gets worse the more I am stressed. 
Today I directed the stake choir at stake conference. I worried about making it to the end of the two-hour meeting because I could barely open my jaw and the pain was radiating through my whole head. As soon as the song was over the pain was significantly reduced. I guess all week I'd been worried about people showing up to sing with the choir since our rehearsal turnouts were pretty sparse. 
I still have some pain and my headache didn't go away for a few hours but I feel so much better. I'm going to talk to my dentist on Thursday and ask him what he thinks I should do. I don't want this to happen again. Basically, the pain started on Monday and got progressively worse through the week. By the end taking four Ibuprofen was doing NOTHING. I even tried moist heat (like my mom suggested) but that didn't do a whole lot either. 
Good to know that stress can cause this pain though. Next time I've got something big coming up I'll be better prepared.
In any case, the choir was spectacular. The piece I directed was Sally de Ford's arrangement of "I Stand All Amazed". They did so well. I love being ward choir director and I really enjoyed preparing for stake choir. It was so much pressure though! The worst part of my calling is that if people don't show up, then what's the point? Well, I know that if I do my 100% best to prepare and prayerfully consider my calling then that is what really matters. But what is a choir director with no singers to direct? A crazy lady waving her arms ;)
I'm so grateful for my ward choir. They are so supportive of me and really make me feel like my calling is worthwhile.