Wednesday, March 21, 2012


As much as I love to see all the white and pink blossoms on the trees in the springtime, I also LOVE to see new green leaves. Not just because I love the fullness and beauty of the tree when the leaves appear, but also because I love the color of the green. The first week or two of a newly formed leaf is my very favorite. Have you ever noticed the color of green that a new leaf has? It's the most beautiful color of green EVER!! It's bright and vibrant and I can hardly watch the road as I drive because it takes my breath away everytime. As much as I tried to capture it on my camera phone, I just couldn't do it justice.

Today as I was driving around, I was noticing all the new BEAUTIFUL green leaves and then also noticing the leaves that have been green for longer than a week or two and how their colors were not as vibrant or dramatic. I was wondering why that is. Why does the vibrancy of the color fade so quickly?

I think that in so many ways, we are like these leaves. The vibrancy and radiance comes into our lives at certain times and creates perspective, beauty, and hope but then with time, the feelings eventually dull and fade. The newness wears off and renewed desires tend to dull as old habits resurface. I have not only seen this happen in the life of others, but unfortunately, all too often in my own self.

I think that the time in my life when my spirit is the greenest and the most vibrant is right after general conference. There is nothing that compares to the feelings that I have as I sit with my family and completely immerse myself into the words of the Lord's annointed and also into the feelings of the Spirit that rush into my heart.

Lately, as I am doing the dishes and working in the kitchen during the day, I am always looking out my window at my beautiful tulips. I have observed many things about tulips. One of the things that I find the most amazing is that in the morning, after a night of darkness, the tulips are closed and slightly lean to the side. But, as the day goes on and the sun climbs higher and brighter in the sky, the tulips completely change. They stand to their greatest heighth and the flower completely opens itself up to reveal the incredible beauty within. It is such a sight to see. I think that is exactly what happens to me as I immerse myself directly into the "sunbeams" of general conference. My spirit soars as I spiritually stand taller and completely open up my heart in order to let the spirit's light change me from within. The mighty change happens and my color changes to that radiant color of green that symbolizes recommitment, rememberance, rejuvination, and rededication. This same processes happens after I visit the temple and after I leave a spiritually rich sacrament meeting, RS meeting, broadcast, etc.

So why do the colors fade with time? Why does the beautiful green always seem to dull? Because it is not only a process in nature, it is also a part of human nature. It is that part of us that we must continually work at. It is that daily immersion of the scriptures and of the words of apostles and prophets that keep our colors vibrant, our spiritual heights lengthened, and our hearts open. It is the continual process of renewal that brings beauty and radiance to a countenance and hope to a dull and dying world.

What I'm Thinking about Today

So, here's what's on my mind (in no particular order of importance)

*I have seriously got to start eating more vegetables. I've thought about giving up sugar all together, but what's the fun in that??!! No fun at all. So instead, I think I'll just add more veggies into my life. So right now, I'm snacking on sugar snap peas. YUMMY! Almost as good as dark chocolate m&ms.

*As excited as I am about moving near family (especially my sisters), I am going to miss Chattanooga TERRIBLY!!!! We have seriously LOVED it here. If only I could bring all my friends with me to Texas, then I'd be super happy. Also, I'm really going to miss the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. I love Texas but about the only thing beautiful are the bluebonnets on the hills for a couple of weeks in the spring. I'm trying to think of all the positives and be happy and excited, but then there are moments (many moments today) that I just want to sit and cry.

*We had our first garage sale on Saturday. We did okay. Not great but it could've been worse. I took a HUGE car load of clothes and toys to the Goodwill drop-off this morning. It felt so great to get all that stuff out of our home. I'm thinking that this could be just as addicting as finding really sweet deals at the thrift store. There is just such a great feeling that comes from cleaning out and getting rid of clutter and all that extra stuff!

*This morning I am going to our weekly workout in the gym at the church. My friend, Whitney teaches it and she is going to do a special Hunger Games workout today. Sounds fun, right!?! Afterwards, we are all going to one of my favorite pizza places to have a goodbye luncheon. I am going to SERIOUSLY miss these girls. I am crying right now just thinking about it. Tomorrow I am going to run 20 miles (I'm a little bit nervous about running on my ankle because it has been giving me fits ever since I ran my 19 miles run). Then tomorrow night I am going to my last girls night out that will include dinner and a midnight showing of The Hunger Games. I'm so excited!!

*Friday morning at 5:30 am, Cory and I will head out to the airport to go find a home in Texas. We'll be gone for the whole weekend and we are only taking Makayla with us. Holy cow has it been a chore to figure out a schedule for my other three girls. They will be staying with friends and they couldn't be more excited.

*Next Wednesday, the moving company will start the packing. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL for the fact that I don't have to pack, but there is still lots of work to be done so I'm just trying to enjoy the rest of my time here before all the craziness begins.

*Which brings me to the last item on this list...I have SO MUCH TO DO!!! My to do list is reaching its limit and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

*Yesterday I bought my airline ticket to fly from Dallas to Nashville for the marathon. By the time this thing is all over and done with, I will have spent around $500. Pretty crazy right? Yes it is, but I am SO EXCITED and really I know that the experience will be priceless.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thanks honey!

Katelund came running in the house so excited to show me this pamphlet that she found in the mail. She thinks that a maid would be the best idea ever. Apparently she is not very satisfied with the current maid. me!!!! :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Bestest Mom That They've Ever Had..or maybe not

Before I began this story, I have to preface a little bit. When my kids go on field trips, I always pick them up early from school after they get back. Part of the reason I do this is because as much as I'd love to go on the field trips with them, I just can't (or choose not to) in this season of my life with two little ones, so instead I pick them up from school and have a fun afternoon doing whatever they want. Cloey had a field trip on Tuesday and Katelund had one on Thursday. So I picked Cloey up on Tuesday (actually I went to part of her field trip and picked her up from there) and she had her fun afternoon. Well, when Thursday morning came around and Katelund asked me if I was going to pick her up in the afternoon, I told her no that she would just ride the bus home like usual (I totally forgot she had her field trip). Then once I figured out that it was her field trip day I told her that of course I would pick her up. So now fast forward to 3 pm. I'm talking on the phone to my sister Katie and all of the sudden I realize what time it is...3 pm!!! You know, when the bell rings for the end of school. I had TOTALLY spaced it and had forgotten to pick her up early. I felt absolutely HORRIBLE!!! I went out on the front porch and just sat on the chair waiting for her to get home and racking my brain for what I could possibly say or do to make this better. As she rounded the corner to our house, she saw me and immediately started running and bawling her eyes out. As soon as she started up our drive way she started crying out, "Mommy, why did you lie to me?" It was pretty much one of the worst moments of my life. We just sat and cried in each other's arms for awhile and then I explained to her how I had forgotten and how horrible I felt. I told her that not being there for her when I told her I would be was one of the worst things I felt like I could ever do as a mother. As I continued to ask for her forgiveness and cry my eyes out, she put her arms around me once again and said, "Mommy, please stop crying, it's okay and I forgive you." (Oh, the Christ-like ways of a child. How I long to be so quick to forgive.)

Needless to say, we spent the rest of the afternoon doing whatever she wanted. I also promised her that I would pick her up early today (which I did and then we spent the rest of the afternoon watching netflix and eating chocolate chip cookies that we made together...I had some SERIOUS make-up work to do). Anyways, as we were sitting at the dinner table last night before dinner, Cory asked Cloey to bless the food. In her prayer she said the following, "...please bless Mommy that she will repent tonight because she lied and forgot to pick up Katelund. Also, please bless her that she will remember to pick us up tomorrow. And please help her to know that we love her and that she is the bestest mom that we've ever had."

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Dear Grandpa,

About a month after Clairisa passed away, I decided to write a letter to her. In fact, I did it on my blog. (you can click here to read it). I know that she may never read those words, but for me it was a way to say all of the things that I wanted her to know. Well, I have decided to do the same thing for you Grandpa. Do you remember what I said to you when you were so sick in the hospital with leukemia? I told you that since you couldn't run anymore, that I would start running for you. Since that conversation and over the last 5 years, I have ran four 5Ks, 1 unofficial half-marathon (my friend Austyn and I made up a course and did it on our own since she found out she was going to be moving to New York), and one official half-marathon. During that time I have also had three babies, which meant that I have taken a lot of time off, but then I have always started it back up because I knew that someday I was going to accomplish the one thing that I knew I needed to a marathon in honor of you. It was and is a very lofty goal, but I am determined to do it. I will never be as fast as you (at 3 hours and 10 minutes) or even come close to qualifying for the Boston Marathon like you did, but I will give it all that I've got and eventually make it across that finish line, even if I have to crawl there.

The first half of my training, I was focused on the half-marathon. But now that I've finished that, I'm putting all my focus onto the full thing. Last Saturday, I ran 17 miles. I never ever dreamed or even imagined that someday I would be running 17 miles, and that is still not even close to 26. But, I will eventually get there too. Since this is such a lofty goal for me, I have decided to be better about documenting my training so that someday I can go back, remember, and relive the experience.

Grandpa, I love you and think about you all the time. You are one of my greatest heroes and I will forever be grateful for the example that you set me. Not just the example of running, your continual and incredible example of love for everyone around you. Although I can no longer talk or visit with you, you are still very much a part of my life and always will be.

Love Always and Forever,

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