Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Family Pictures

- Thanks Cheryl, I love them!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I heard the bells on Christmas day...

Our Christmas Festivities started off on the Eve of Christmas. We went to the mall and rode the Christmas train - Jack LOVED it and screamed as we left. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas buffet prepared by Liz, Ben's Dad's wife. Jack went to sleep, Ahhh, and Ben and I read the simple account of our Savior Christ's birth. After drinking sparkling cider we fell asleep in a snuggle while watching "It's a wonderful life."

7am and Jack wakes up! He has no idea that it was any different than any other day. He eats breakfast and then began the stimulation overload... Stockings were opened. He got bubbles which brought great joy, roughly 10 or more minutes was dedicated to blowing bubbles into his face. He got silly string, again he loved it and we sprayed him for another ten minutes. Then the whoopee cushion came, it freaked him out! Jack was thoroughly spoiled by his grandparents, he loved ripping off the wrapping paper and the moment he opened a gift that has anything to do with Thomas the tank engine he lost interest in everything else.

9am we went over to Ben's Dad's for breakfast and pressies. Jack had a blast with all the commotion. He loves his new aunts and uncle. Finally Jack got his very own Thomas the tank engine track and train from Grandpa - he was in heaven, although he was more interested in watching the train roll under the coach than along the track. We went back home for a well needed nap and returned again for dinner.

Jack's funny Christmas Faces

I am amazed at how Christmas has changed. When I was little it was so magical and now it has taken the form of a spiritual awakening. Listening to the pitter patter of reindeer on the roof and a tip toeing Santa has been replaced by listening to the spirit of God urging me to perform acts of kindness, love and charity. The last few years have been financially challenging and as a result Ben and I have not bought gifts for each other. Not having a pile of gifts to distract my attention has allowed me to dwell on why we have presents. It is interesting that Christmas is a celebration of Christ birth so it's his Birthday and yet we celebrate his birthday by rewarding ourselves with gifts. This Christmas I have pondered on what is most important about Christmas and I have concluded that "Christ" is the center and reason for this celebration. I decided that I would give Christ a gift, the gift of patience, this is a trait that I dearly want and know that with the help from my savior I will slowly acquire it. I now look at Christmas as a time to renew my covenants with Christ, strengthen my relationship with HIm, my husband and family and to do good will to all. It is amazing how the challenges that we pass through generate personal growth and a new perspective that brightens the path ahead.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We live in Colorado!

I can not believe it, we officially have moved to Lakewood, Colorado. Our moving date was postponed by a day due awful weather causing the roads to be closed. Saturday morning arrived and we set off. The roads were great until we reached Evenston, Wyoming. Evenston greeted us with what seemed like a never ending wall of blowing snow, at times I couldn't see anything but whiteness which elevated my heart rate dramatically. Finally we rolled into a super 8 motel around 7pm located in Rawlins where we spent the night. Again Sunday began with the last four hours of our drive and finally found ourselves at our new apartments around 1:30pm. After unloading the moving van and attempting to unpack as many boxes as possible while trying to entertain Jack we collapsed into a well deserved night of sleep.

With packing, moving and unloading we have been the recipients of many acts of service. I am always touched by the unconditional love and prayers offered by friends and family members and this experience magnified these acts of kindness. I hope I can always follow examples such as these...

May the spirit of Christmas be with you all, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I bid farewell to Little Provo...
The much anticipated time of moving is only two days away. I can't believe I am at the doorstep of moving my life to Denver, Colorado. When I think of Provo I think of "Growth." When I arrived in Provo five and a half years ago I was a teenager longing for adventure and new experiences and now I leave as a wife and mother who strives to live optimistically while embracing life's ever present challenges. Provo was defiantly a culture shock to me, it is so different to little Shepshed in England. No longer was I surrounded by rolling emerald green hills decorated with a forest of trees rather enormous mountains shadowed my every move. When I fist moved to Provo I didn't like the mountains, they intimidated me and made me feel insignificant but now I love their awesome height and rugged character. Now, the mountains hold so many found memories and remind me of Gods power.

I have personally grown so much during the last five and a half years. I feel like I have had glorious times, fun times, challenging times, being poor times, awful times, solemn times, excited times, times of learning, times of faith and times of love. Being so far away from home was one of the hardest things I have ever done but the best thing I ever did. Making the choice to move far from home gave me an opportunity to rely on God and on my own abilities.

I have loved being a student! Brigham Young University is a great school and has offered me many opportunities to grow, develop my talents and allow my intellect to expand in multiple ways. I have looked forward with eagerness to this time when Ben and I would be finished and now that we starting it in the face it seems so serial. Ben is DONE with school, he has his Undergraduate degree and a Masters. He has worked exceptionally hard and excelled in his classes,. I am so proud of him. I am done with on campus classes and just need to finish my Independent Math class. Although I have been at university for 5 and a half years almost going every semester it has been great but I can happily say it's over for a time so I can focus my efforts towards my family and whatever happens after school.

As I ponder on leaving Provo my heart aches as I leave so many glorious friends behind. The type of friends that have been there when family couldn't, the type of friends that shared their testimonies of Christ, the type of friends that served unconditionally, the type of friends whose door is always open, the type of friends that make you want to be a better person, the type of friends that were always a phone call away and the type of friends that pray for you. I will miss being so close to these friends that have strengthened me in so many ways.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There is so much to be THANKFUL for...

Twin Falls, Idaho was where we enjoied Thanksgiving. 19 family members piled into mom's house. Laughter, screaming, chatting, food bubbling and being chopped, rock band playing and pattering feet filled the air with the feeling of family. It was so nice to be with loved ones especially those who I see very little of. Memories were created as the cousins played and took from one another while we parents sat close by to intervene with the constant lesson of sharing and kindness.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving was just taking a moment to observe family members interacting, talking, laughing and reminising, it made me long for those back home in England. Sometimes it becomes really challenging to be so far away from my family but I am blessed to have married into a family equally as crazy and wonderful.

Other highlights of Thanksgiving was cooking with Ben's mom, learning the Thanksgiving recipes so one day I might be able to create such wonders. Looking through the enormous pile of clothes Jessica was throwing out- I scored big time, my closet is now full of new and exciting wonders that I just can't get enough of, the girls and Mom were kind enough to let me teach them a movement combination for my school project and of course the cousin baths were AWESOME.

As I reflect upon the meaning of Thanksgiving (which I don't fully understand) I think of the many blessings that decorate my life. I am thankful for family. There are so many types of family- immediate family being Ben and Jack, there are parents and siblings, in-Laws, dear friends and church members. I am thankful for all the families I have in my life that lighten my life and breathe joy, love, laughter, kindness, support and comfort into my life.

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