Saturday, October 31, 2009

That was a good day.

Stated simply, I have not been posting because I do not feel, lately, that I could inspire, uplift, or entertain anyone. I've been alive, but not living.

A documentation of the last few weeks would have included numerous pictures of me in sweat pants with greasy hair, and if I had posted them in order you could have been watching my rear get bigger and bigger.

Thank you, piggy flu, for bringing me down. Goodbye now, and don't come back.

Pardon me while I inspire myself back into action by posting these happy photos of a happy day with my happy family.
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Art gallery viewing. Then to the park.
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All of us together. I did my hair that day.
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Sparky did a face-plant in the mud and we all laughed.
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The following quote has inspired me in times past, and is fueling my flight now.

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship." -Amelia Earhart

You must live, live, live, Megan Marie. Health is a blessing you mustn't waste. Right? Right.

Cheers to a happy halloween.

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We love you, daddy. Thanks for spending your halloween doing homework and grading papers. We know you are working hard for us.

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.

xoxo, your Megan

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A few autumn photos for you to drink in like hot cider

Come visit me and I'll take you to this park. The photos do little to convey the glory. You'll have to imagine the crisp air and sounds of migrating birds.
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I'm convinced there is something very special to be discovered in any climate and terrain. There are limitless treasures in this world, this I know. It just happens to be incredibly simple to find beauty here.

I just had to share a bit of it. Happy fall. Enjoy it before it gives way to its frosty friend.

On a day like today...

I wish I could curl up in the dryer with all the warm clothes.

I can't very well do that when I'm always telling my kids to get out of there.... Plus, when did I become such a giant in this world of tiny wonders?
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Instead I will relish the warmth on my hands as I fold.

Foggy, fall mornings in the northwest are so lovely. I hope it's lovely where you are, too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

here read my change of heart

BEFORE:
Right this second a screaming child is telling me "we have juice" though I just took him to the kitchen and showed him the empty bottle.

"We don't have water," he says, when I offer him a glass of the clear liquid.
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It is enough to make me feel totally insane.

I bought a new hat this morning. Retail-therapy, they call that. There's a name for what I'm feeling now, too; buyer's remorse.

I awake to the sounds of the boys crying and wonder how I can make it through the next 13 hours until their bedtime. When the only cure for the angst is unavailable, I string together tiny distractions. (Today was shopping, eating, TV watching, crafts, eating again, now the blog.)

I forget how hard this is on the boys. A few days after we made our paper chain, counting down the days until daddy returns, I walked into their room, just after bedtime, to find mass-paper-destruction. Sparky had pulled the chain apart and ripped each link into tiny pieces. When I asked him what he was doing, he started crying and said, "daddy comes home."

Maybe I should rip paper.

AFTER:
I am speaking as if the "only cure for the angst" is a lifting of my burdens. Duke comes home, happily ever after.... Have I forgotten the Lord and what He does to heal, not only sins but afflictions in all forms?

There are eternal principles here, ready to be applied to my situation. Rip paper?!

I've been inspired and uplifted. I felt prompted to read some writings of an East German refugee about what he learned in times of great trial. A few of his motivating words here follow:

"While I would not be eager to relive those days of trial and trouble, I have little doubt that the lessons I learned were a necessary preparation for future opportunity. Now, many years later, I know this for a certainty: it is often in the trial of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny."

He admonished hard work as a treatment for sadness:

"Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility. Whatever our circumstances in life let us do the best we can and cultivate a reputation for excellence in all that we do. Let us set our minds and bodies to the glorious opportunity for work that each new day presents."

He encouraged continued learning through reading:

"If formal education is not available, do not allow that to prevent you from acquiring all the knowledge you can. Under such circumstances, the best books, in a sense, can become your “university”—a classroom that is always open and admits all who apply."

I don't want Duke to come back to a lump of sorrow, sitting in the corner alone. I want him to know that I've worked along side him, though we've been far apart. I am a better woman than he left me. My children have gained wisdom and goodness. And I can do more.

Only 4 and 1/2 weeks left until my love visits.

What kinds of glorious things can I do and learn before then? Wow, I am suddenly invigorated. And away I go!

Thank you, Dieter F. Uchtdorf for sharing wisdom gained through endurance. Read more of his words here.

Halloween Mouse Hat Tutorial

Sparky says, when asked, that he wants to be "really cool" for halloween. That's all he's giving me. He does like cats quite a bit so I'm working on a "cool cat" idea.

And Iggy is going to be a really studly mouse. I think they're both going to look like little skater-dude animals when I'm done, if all goes as planned.

I started with the hat:
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You will need:

*1 beanie hat. I chose one with a brim for extra coolness. ($2 at Ross dress-for-less)
*2 plastic container lids. (example below)
*An old wash-cloth or some scraps of bright fabric.
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1. Cut the lids into ear shapes, whatever size you want.
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2. I tacked the bottom of the hat to the inner lining, about 2 inches up from the bottom, and then cut a square out of the lining for the backs of the ears. I went back later and sewed in some extra fabric to patch the spot I stole.
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3. Cut your bright fabric scraps to be the size of the ears.
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4. Stack the bright fabric with the lining, right sides together to ready them for sewing.
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5. Sew around the shape of the ear cut-outs. In stead of sewing the two fabrics flush to each-other, I tried to create a pocket between them by trying to sew the red as close to the edges of the black square as I could.
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6. Trim the edges and reinforce your stitching.
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7. Turn the ears right-side-out and stuff them with the plastic you cut out earlier.
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8. Remove a portion of the side-seams from your hat. Place the ears in the seams and re-sew them.
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There may be easier and cuter ways to do this but I thought I'd share how I went about it!! I can't wait to read all of your halloween posts and see all the creative costumes you come up with!!!

Hooray!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The road ahead

Dear little sister,
I hope that you can always keep that light in your eyes. They shine because you are good, pure, loving, and happy. They shine because you are trying your best to be like your Savior.
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For some strange reason, the next ten years of your life seem to be the most crucial, as far as decision-making goes. There will be dating, kissing, working, college-applying, graduating, packing, unpacking, self-governing, courting, perhaps marrying, most likely more graduating, and maybe even mothering.

The answers will come as you continue to seek to do the Lord's will. I know this.

You are beautiful. I love you,
Meg

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fly, little ones.

I entered a photo contest this morning with these photos of the boys. This contest was for the aviation museum near us. They wanted pictures of people enjoying the exhibits.
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I think my photos will be pretty different from most, because the majority of people they get coming through there are like 85.

The top picture is of the kids sitting in a small plane and looking up at all the beautifully painted planes suspended overhead.

"To inspire and educate, to promote and and preserve aviation and space history, and to honor the patriotic service of our veterans." -The mission of the museum

What a great outing, filling my life with even more of that splendid color I crave, and filling my heart with respect and appreciation for something so grand as flight.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

When they are yours

I have a fear. I will be a super crabby and strict parent. And no fun. Upon my arrival, my little sister thought we'd be having photo-shoots and playing dress-ups every day. Well, we don't. Since then she and I have had several encounters that have made me wonder if I could ever parent an 8 year old.
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I feel as if I spend 90% of my time correcting her poor behavior. Is that me? Am I mean? Why am I so impatient with her?
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It seems that I will just have to grow and change and learn as he does. I am willing. Because he is mine.
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My parents asked, "How old are you?"

I answered, "Eight."

"Would you like to live to see NINE?"
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Really, they were the ones hoping that they could survive my eighth year, I'm sure of it.

They always made it, taking it one year at a time, because they looked at me and saw their baby.

My baby boy took these photos, I am so proud. He told me where to set up the camera, and used the remote. Precious photos. And we will make it to eight and beyond, together.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I feel golden.

Ten things about this moment that are ridiculously delightful:

10. I am sitting in a patch of sun.
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9. No heartburn. No contractions. Only the joys of pregnancy.

8. The dishes are done. The laundry is caught up.

7. Everyone in the house seems content. All the needs are met.
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6. That windex I put on a zit the other day (strictly experimental) seems to have done the trick.

5. I'm involved in a good read, so I know what I'm going to do next.

4. Security. My Duke received a job offer, starting right after graduation. I am so proud of him.
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3. My sons are happy. We had an amazing outing, they both expressed their thanks, and now it is nap-time.

2. My love is only 6 weeks and 2 days from a visit for Thanksgiving. I can last.

1. All these blessings come from a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over me.


PS- I promised Duke I would take a picture of my new hair color for him, so that explains my tousled mane. Golden.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The healing power of theatrics

I have had this listless feeling that I just can't shake. I check off everything from my list each day, read my scriptures, do my exercises, say my prayers and still I feel unsettled.

I've asked myself why... and the answer is so obvious... I miss my husband. Duh. BUT I can't just sit around pining for him for 10.5 more weeks.

So bring on the silliness!
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I haven't decided if my silly-girl-photo-shoots are a cure-all or just a distraction from the pains. Band-Aids on a bruise. Pretty, sparkly Band-Aids; the kinds that cause celebrations over scratches.
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In the past, though, woman have let me know how much the shoots helped them through rough spots. And I guess I need a taste of my own medicine.

Tonight I dragged Emily away from the disney channel. I hope Hannah Montana will forgive me for stealing such an avid fan. I needed her more. We sat in the dark, set the camera for long exposures and used an external flash to take turns lighting each other up. (See below image)
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Photography... Makeup... Costumes...

Feel the healing power.

Click here for more of our creepy clown photos.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I won't wish so hard for time to pass quickly. Not when I have this.

About our Oreo Pie dessert, he said; "This is poop pie. Stop eating it mom, you will get sick."
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He asked me if he could have "crazy hair" so we styled it like he'd been struck by lightning.

I'm so glad to be his mother.

I had to share this picture, for it was one of those jewels that needed no editing and captured the moment perfectly.

I celebrate each time I seize a snapshot of the treasures he brings into my life.

Or remember to write down his sweet words and comic orations.

Because I don't ever want to forget.

A few thoughts and a doodle.

I was supposed to be taking notes, but I started doodling.
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Duke said, when I sent him this picture, that I drew myself way too tall... All legs.

I told him that when he draws fantasy pictures about our future together, he is allowed to add extra muscles.

I don't actually see that happening, though, because it's not really his thing. I'm the daydreamer. I was imagining having three grown boys, and being slender and lovey-dovey with my husband.

Even though I was drawing, my ears were open to the messages given at our Church's General Conference. I have learned some really neat things this past few weeks that were solidified through the words of great men and women:

1. Being wealthy doesn't mean you have a huge house. Actually, you are more likely to find financial security living frugally, and with modesty. I really am loving the idea of making a tiny cottage my home-sweet-home, and saving diligently to help my children be successful in their endeavors.

2. Sometimes, our quest to know more spiritual things competes with the charge we have to apply the things we already know. This is true in my life now, as I find myself suddenly running faster than I have the strength.

3. Implementing the practice of righteous principles does not guarantee immediate family peace. Actually, getting rid of bad habits causes discomfort, which can detract from the general harmony of a home. I know that the promised blessings of obedience will come through diligence, and among those blessings is a heavenly peace, greater than a mere comfortable status quo.

Just a few thoughts, really.

I am thankful for the things that I learn through my experiences, though it's not always fun or easy to learn this way. I am thankful for the things I was taught in my youth.

And I love my family. Even the little baby boy kicking around in my belly. It will be fun to see if the picture I drew ends up looking anything like the little critter.