2 Nephi 2:11
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.

As mothers we have a lot of responsibility to take care of our children. Some days it’s really hard and some days it’s the easiest thing we’ve ever done. We often hear things or receive advice or comments from people that we would rather not hear. We wonder why people feel the need to share these little tid bits of love as we are out and about with our kids. Sometimes we smile and nod or give a little pity laugh while we’re thinking “And this is your business because..??” and maybe sometimes we get a little feisty and defend ourselves OR maybe sometimes we are genuinely happy to receive such comments from strangers. For example, the one I hear the MOST…(in my own experience and from the experience of others) is…”Enjoy it now, because you’re going to miss this someday.” Or something along those lines…ever heard this? Ever felt annoyed by this comment? Ever felt like it was a stab to you because you think that whoever is saying it means that you DON’T enjoy your kids? I have. Once or twice. Not too much, but I’ve had friends share this same experience with me.

I think as moms we feel a lot of pressure to be the perfect mom. To always do and say the perfect things. To act in the perfect way. To never lose patience. To enjoy absolutely every second of our children because one day they will grow up and we will miss our babies. But, I’ve been thinking a lot about this scripture. “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11) ALL things. There will be good and bad. There will be beautiful moments and not so pretty ones. There will be times when everything seems flawless and times when it all seems completely out of control. I sometimes feel the need to express just how much I love my kids and how incredibly grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for trusting me with his beautiful babies. Almost like I need to defend myself, because maybe once I made one comment about them driving me nuts. But, I don’t need to. Because moms get it. All the other moms out there feel the same way about their own kiddos. That overwhelming sense of love and gratitude for their sweet babes. I read something somewhere once that said all we really have to say is “You’re a mom, you get it.” (Or something like that) SO TRUE. We are moms. We get it. So we don’t need to pretend. We don’t need to try to be perfect, because none of us are. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and that’s OKAY. But we ALL have moments where our kids drive us CRAZY. We all have moments where we want to hide in our closet….and if you haven’t yet…I’m sure you will. 😉 And that’s okay. Because there is opposition in all things.

I have a 2 year old. He is the sweetest, most tender, loving little guy. He repeats everything we say, he says “Hi mom mom” about 27,000 times a day. He never stops talking. He gives me tons of hugs and kisses. He has the cutest voice that I could listen to all day. Except not every day, sometimes I just want him to go to bed. Sometimes I just want it to be quiet for 5 minutes. Does that mean I don’t enjoy him? Absolutely not. I can’t even put into words how much I enjoy him and then there are moments where I can’t put into words how crazy he makes me. But those are just moments and they don’t last. Because he is the best thing that ever happened to me. He made me a mommy. And now I’m like you. The one with the kids that loves them so much you can’t even stand it and the one who sometimes just wants them to GO TO BED. And so in those moments when you are down to your last pair of underwear and you HAVE TO get the laundry done and your 2 year old is nagging you to come help him and your baby won’t stop crying because she needs you to hold her and your husband will be home soon, but then he has to leave right away and you told him you’d have dinner ready, and and and….AGGGHHHH. I think that it’s okay if you don’t enjoy that moment and I also think it’s okay if you look back in 10 years and don’t miss the really hard moments. I will miss my silly, giggly, talkative 2 year old. I will miss his crazy shenanigans. But I’m telling you guys, I won’t miss sleepless nights. I will miss the reason for them…the little boy who just wanted to snuggle me in the middle of the night…but I won’t miss being exhausted all the time or the headaches I get from being so tired. I will miss being woken up to that same cute boy who kept me up, but I won’t miss how hard it is to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I will miss my babies and I will miss these precious moments, but I am human and it is not possible for me to enjoy every single moment of being a mom. And I have a hunch that it’s not possible for you either. So if you ever feel bad because you didn’t enjoy your kids as much as you should have. Don’t. Don’t worry so much about it. Because I know that you love them. Other moms know. And most importantly, Heavenly Father knows…and your kids know. So try not to worry so much when you have those hard moments. Take a small break, in your closet if you have to, and you’ll enjoy the next one. I’m going to try really hard not to be bothered by this comment in the future, because I know that I am enjoying this time in our lives and I know that I am going to miss my sweet babies when they are gone. I know that when I have times that are hard to endure, that there will be better times ahead. The good outweighs the bad in this whole mommy gig. But, there is good…and there is bad. There is opposition in all things.

I promise that I will try to enjoy every moment, even the hard ones, but I also promise to try not to get too down on myself when I don’t. I promise not to think badly of another mom when she says her kids are driving her crazy. Because, I know she loves them.

Heavenly Father loves us. He loves us so much. He knows our hearts. So we don’t need to defend ourselves. Let’s just smile and nod at the strangers with the best intentions. They were there once, they raised kids and they didn’t enjoy every moment…so that’s why they want us to, because they wish they did. So to those lovely strangers, don’t feel so bad that you didn’t. You’re human… and there is opposition.


Hello Again

Oh hey, remember me? Over 2 years ago I received a challenge to start a blog to share my testimony with others and I’ve written 4 posts since then. Pretty pathetic, right? I have a lot of good reasons/excuses for not keeping up with it.
Reason #1 Instead of following through with what I feel inspired to write about, I say no. Reason #2 I’m afraid of what people will think about me.
Reason #3 I make a lot of excuses.

Let me explain better. I felt so strongly that I was supposed to start this blog when we received the challenge at the Relief Society Broadcast. I was not happy about it either. But I did it anyway. And a few times since then I wrote when I felt inspired. I wish I could say that I just haven’t been inspired since then and that’s why I haven’t shared. Not true. I have…and I have had the whole post written in my mind and instead of writing, I said no and tried to ignore what I was feeling. In the past few weeks I have been fighting with the feeling that I should write again. I have been wanting to scream NO! But, the problem with that is if I can continue to say no to inspiration, I’m probably going to stop receiving it. So it’s time I listen and share again.

“Reason #2 I’m afraid of what people will think of me.” Now this is probably not what you imagine. I’m not afraid (well not totally) that people will think I’m stupid or that I have dumb opinions or that I don’t know how to write. I’m not afraid that people will leave me mean comments (okay, I’m sort of afraid) or disagree with me. I’m afraid that people will get the wrong impression and think that I have it all figured it. I’m afraid people will assume I read my scriptures everyday like I should. I’m afraid people will think I never lack the faith to pray to my Heavenly Father. I’m afraid people will get the wrong impression. I don’t want people to think I have it all together, because I don’t. Not. Even. Close. I don’t want people to ever read my words and feel bad about themselves because they aren’t doing what I’m doing. As an example, I read a sweet blog post from a girl once about how to be a good wife. It was well written and came from her heart, but I walked away feeling like a failure. That is not what she intended and I know that. I was having my own personal struggles at the time and was not feeling good enough, so I immediately assumed she had it all together and that I would never be as good as her. I do not want people to think that. That is what scares me the most. Because, I struggle, I cry, I judge, I offend, I get offended, I selfishly take and don’t give as much as I should, I yell, I get annoyed….I struggle. And sometimes I struggle hard. But…I do also laugh, see the good in others, pray, choose not to take offense, love my husband, love my kids, stay patient and choose to be happy. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I have good weeks and bad weeks. Heck, sometimes I have bad months. But I do try. I’m just like you. So please don’t ever let my words make you feel like you are less than me. Because I promise you that you are good even when you struggle. I have so much to learn from all of you and feel so inadequate to share any of my thoughts and feelings or beliefs because I know how imperfect I am.

AND Reason #3 I make excuses. Enough said. I make a lot of excuses. I’m going to try to stop doing that.

I have felt the spirit so strong these past few Sundays as the talks were given and lessons were taught. One man spoke about missionary work and why we should share our beliefs with other people. Why we should not be afraid to reach out and talk about what is so important to us. He mentioned that one of the reasons it’s so scary to reach out is because people WILL break your heart. It’s inevitable. That’s why it’s scary to date, to make new friends, to open up, and to just be in any relationship really. Even the people we love the most will break our heart. So, when we have the desire to start a new relationship and make new friends, we’re afraid. We’re afraid of rejection and afraid of getting our hearts broken. We’re especially afraid to share the most important things about our lives. But, he also talked about the people who have gone before us, who have shared their beliefs openly…and he said “I guarantee you won’t be tarred and feathered. I guarantee you won’t be beat and hung on a cross.” It really hit me…people have gone before me and have shared their testimonies and they got more than just a rude comment on the internet, they were physically beat…their lives and the lives of their loved ones were threatened. But they still stood up for what they believed. I believe in God, I know he lives and loves me. I know that he was perfect and people still hated him and broke his heart. But, he loves them still.

I’m grateful for the knowledge that I have a loving Heavenly Father. I’m grateful to know that when everyone else has let me down, he is there to pick me back up. But, we have to let him. We have to invite him. If we do, he’ll be there. He wants to be there. As I work toward a better relationship with Heavenly Father this year, I invite you to come along. I invite you to pray to God and ask him for whatever you need. And don’t be afraid, because Heavenly Father will be so happy to hear from you.

“If I Only Had Today”

I had the opportunity to attend Time Out for Women this past weekend. I’ve always heard such amazing things about it. You probably have too. I’m here to tell you that it’s all true! It was an incredible experience. It was my “Rexburg” for the weekend if you will. 😉 It was my overdose of the Spirit that reminded me about what is important. It started out with John Bytheway on Friday night. Enough said right? He is a brilliant speaker. I loved Friday night. But where it really hit me was Saturday, when a beautiful lady named Emily Watts spoke. Let me just jot down a few of the notes I took:

“Live for today.”
“Recognize the goodness of the Lord everyday.”
“It won’t always be like this.”
“In a world gone dark, God’s covenant children have light.”
“The only light you have in the tunnel is the light you carry with you.”

Her talk was titled “The light at the end of the mom tunnel”. So obviously, she talked about being a mom. I have been a mom for 14 months now. It’s a wild ride. It’s filled with all sorts of emotions and worries. It’s also filled with the most beautiful love I’ve ever experienced. It has helped me understand our Heavenly Father’s love differently than I have ever been able to understand it before. Being a mom is amazing. Being a mom can also be really hard and really scary and really frustrating. But it’s worth it. Every single moment is worth it. Even when it gets incredibly hard, the kind of hard I haven’t experienced yet, I know it will still be worth it. So…back to Emily Watts. More than once she mentioned that “It won’t always be like this” and she meant that as a way to encourage us moms to keep on going, it won’t always be like this, the things that seem really hard and really big right now, won’t always be really hard and really big. Someday they won’t even be anything at all. So…I kept hearing those words “It won’t always be like this” and I thought of my sweet 14 month old and I thought, “Oh my gosh, it won’t always be like this! He’s gonna get big and grow up and leave me and get married and he won’t be my sweet little baby. but, but, but…I want it to always be like this!” Do I love changing stinky diapers? No. Do I love cleaning “petrified cheerios” off the floor? NO! But yes, I love it all. I love the journey. I love watching him grow and learn and play. I love when he gives me loves and silently gasps in excitement. I love it and I’m going to keep loving it…even when he’s big…and old..and married…but it just really made me realize how important it is to “Live for today” and to not take it for granted. I need to stop worrying so much about the things that don’t matter. I need to recognize if it’s something that will still matter in 20 years or if it’s something that will make me think, “Man I wish I wouldn’t have worried about that so much!” I need to enjoy the journey. Live for today. Enjoy my baby. Diapers and messes and all!

Moving on. Next speaker/performer. Hilary Weeks. Wow. My heart about burst with every song she sang. I will own every one of her albums someday. Right after Emily Watts spoke, Hilary Weeks spoke and here are some notes I took:

“It’s not the length of life, it’s the depth.”
“How deeply are we loving?”
“How deeply are we giving?”

And then she told a fabulous story about a guy she met on a plane and she showed him the song “If I Only Had Today”. Then she sang it for us. My mind went back to Emily Watts and “It won’t always be this way” and I thought of my husband and my sweet baby and I thought about what I would do if I only had today. I wouldn’t do the dishes or clean the bathrooms or sweep the floors. I would spend all my time with my husband and I would hug and squeeze and kiss and love my baby until all my time was up. “It’s not the length of life, it’s the depth.” “How deeply are we loving?” “How deeply are we giving?”
I am not without weakness and trial. I am so far from perfect. According to me, I’m pretty far from good. I struggle with feeling like a failure most days. Thank you to Emily Watts and Hilary Weeks for reminding me what is important. Because I’m gonna try a lot harder to love and give more deeply. I am going to try not to be so hard on myself when I don’t get it right. I’m going to try to live for today and love my husband and love my baby.

Robert L. Millett was next. Here are a few notes:

“Let Him care for you.”
“Let Him worry for you.”
“Try to obey him in a new way, a less worried way.”
“We cannot do everything we are asked to do, at least not right away.”
“Be patient with yourself. God is.”

Right? Thank goodness for that. If God had my patience, we would all be doomed. I’m grateful for a Heavenly Father who is patient with me.

Next up, Elaine Dalton. “Make your homes the most comforting place to be.”

Our job as wives and mothers is kind of huge. What we do is important. I hope my family always has a place to come home to where they feel comforted and loved.

Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt:

“You are his perfect mother.”
“God’s gifts are enough.”

Some of God’s gifts include: The gift of asking, listening, being able to weep, avoiding contention, avoiding vain repetition, not passing judgment, caring for others, offering prayer, bearing a mighty testimony…etc.

We have all been blessed with gifts from God. I have a hard time recognizing my own. The last one hit me and is what made me remember that I started this blog. I may not have a mighty testimony, but I do have one and I was reminded on Saturday that I started this blog so I could share it.

Next up, Emily Freeman:

“The Lord knows such a person as you.”

As me? It’s not always easy to remember. Heavenly Father is there. He loves us. He knows us.

So I learned a lot. I was reminded of a lot. I felt the spirit. A lot. I hope I can go to Time out For Women every year for the rest of my life. And I hope all of you lovely ladies can too. 🙂

The biggest thing I took home from the weekend is “It won’t always be this way.” And here is a video I made to remind me. Here is my way of freezing time. “If I Only Had Today.”


Oh Hey, Remember when I started this blog to share my thoughts and feelings about what I believe? Well…I forgot. Not completely. But enough to let myself put it on the back burner for 6 months. A lot has happened in my life the past 6 months. There have been a lot of changes and a lot of moments where I struggled. I struggled enough to not have any desire to write and share. My attitude changed a bit. I moved from Rexburg, ID back to Arizona. Now, you would think that would be the best thing EVER, considering how much I hated the snow. However, it was a pretty hard transition. I tried to tell myself it wasn’t, but I’ve been a little more honest with myself lately. Rexburg was a place like none other I’ve ever experienced. Rexburg was a place where I was CONSTANTLY and consistently spiritually fed. I didn’t even have to try, which actually made me want to try harder. I went to church in a ward with young married couples. Young couples, babies, toddlers, and maybe 1 or 2 primary aged kiddos. This kind of ward does not exist outside of BYU (at least not in AZ). This kind of ward is amazing. My first testimony meeting there was like WHOA, we just hit the jackpot. We just moved to the best place on the PLANET. I made friends immediately, I had more confidence than I’ve ever had, I wasn’t afraid to reach out, I actually loved Visiting Teaching. I even loved Sunday School!! I loved my calling. I loved my calling so much. I loved my Relief Society President and her passion for the Gospel. I loved the way she shared her testimony and said “Can I get an Amen?!” I loved that the spirit was just there. Everywhere. All around me. No matter where I went. I learned so many amazing things in Rexburg that I thought I couldn’t learn anywhere else. I was in love. And then just like that…it was gone. I was moving back to AZ when I thought I would have to endure at least two more winters there. I thought I would get at least 2 amazing summers. And just like that…my spiritual high started slipping away. I thought I would never like a ward again. I thought I would never be constantly surrounded by the spirit. I thought I was doomed.

Fortunately, I have amazing people in my life. I have one friend in particular who puts up with my crazy self and talks me out of my insanity on a regular basis. She talks to me about the Gospel. She talks to me about what matters. She reminds me that my Heavenly Father loves me. She reminded me that sometimes I won’t always be spiritually fed without trying. She reminded me that I might have to seek out the spirit more often and that I might have to be the example to someone else. She told me that maybe somebody in Arizona is like the me in Rexburg who thought I needed everyone else to lift me up. She was so right. Everything that I experienced in Rexburg can be experienced anywhere in the world. Everything I learned, everything I felt, and everything I loved, can happen right here in Arizona. But it certainly can’t happen with the wrong attitude. I’ve been working on it. I’ve been trying to understand the Lord’s plan for me and I’ve been trying to seek out the good in everything. And let me tell you, when you do that, you can find it. You can find the good in absolutely everything. God is good. He loves us. I know that more than I ever have. And I believe that if we can just hold on to that knowledge, the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us. We can overcome anything.

I am happy to be here in Arizona. I am in a great ward with great people! With amazing examples. Amazing women. Amazing moms. Amazing people! It doesn’t just exist in Rexburg. The Gospel is good and true no matter where you go. And I know that now.

I challenge all of you to try to find the good in everything and everyone. It’s there. I saw a thing on facebook the other day that said “There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story.” We all have a story. Let’s try harder not to be so quick to judge. Heavenly Father loves ALL of his children. You. And you. And YOU….and ME!

(Not to mention it’s 5 degrees in Rexburg right now…and 59 degrees here. But, that’s totally beside the point!) 😉

Growing Up “Mormon”

Before I start, I want to be sure to say that although people refer to us as “Mormons”, that is not actually the name of our church. It is a nickname that has been given to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are times when I’ve said the full name and people say they have never heard of it…but when I say Mormon.. suddenly it clicks. 🙂

I have been a member of the church my entire life. I was born into a home where my parents were already active members. So I don’t know anything different. I grew up going to church for 3 hours every Sunday, saying prayer before meals and before bedtime, reading scriptures as a family, watching General Conference twice a year, going to Young Women’s on Wednesday night and attending early morning seminary. This has always been my life. As a child, I learned from my parents and I probably relied on their testimonies more than my own…as an adult I’ve taken what I’ve learned from my parents and from church and have gained a testimony of my own. I am so grateful for the testimony I have today. It’s so good to know for myself and to make the decisions I make because I want to and because I know how important it is for me and for my family. I know some people went to church in their teenage years because their parents made them and they had no other choice. I never tested that with my parents because I always wanted to go to church. When I was young it might have been because my friends were there, but I don’t remember it that way. I have always liked church. I didn’t always pay attention and I ditched Sunday School A LOT in my youth. (My best friend and I would go into the bathroom and sit on the counter and talk…when the ladies would come in we hoped they wouldn’t tell our dads…lol) But I always went, and when my teachers thought I was not getting anything out of their lessons, I was. I learned so much at Church. So many amazing things that I hope my children will learn and live by. In the Church there is a pamphlet for the youth called For The Strength of Youth. (You can click HERE to read it online.) It’s amazing. I promise you that no matter how old you are, if you live the standards in that pamphlet you will be blessed and HAPPY! I am so grateful for the standards I was taught in my youth so that I can look back and be happy with the choices I have made in my life.

I was so blessed to have amazing friends growing up. That made all the difference. I was always taught to choose good friends, but it wasn’t even hard. I was blessed with amazing friends. We kept each other strong and helped each other along the way and we are all still friends today. 🙂 I hope that I was a good example to them like they were (and still are) to me.

It hasn’t always been easy. I got made fun of a lot in grade school for being mormon and I definitely got made fun of in High School for the choices I made. I wasn’t cool. I didn’t go to parties, I didn’t drink. I was a “mormon” and at my high school that wasn’t the coolest thing to be. But I had a lot of friends that weren’t mormon and they respected me for my choices and beliefs and never made me feel bad and never pressured me to do things I didn’t want to. I am grateful for those friends. The ones who stood up for me even when I wasn’t “cool”.

I wouldn’t change anything from my experience growing up in the church. I am who I am today because of the way I was raised and because I was raised in the Gospel. I still have so much to learn and so much to work on, but I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that helps me get through my trials. This past week I was visiting my family and when my Dad was dropping us off at the airport he asked, “Are your testimonies strong?” I was happy to be able to say yes and really mean it. He said “Good, because that is what will help you get through the trials that will come.” And they will come. I just hope that I am strong enough to handle them when they do. I am a daughter of God. I know he loves me. It might not always be easy to remember in the midst of a hard trial, but I hope I never forget it.

I am so grateful I was raised in a home where prayer was normal and the spirit was strong. 🙂


The Challenge

A little over a week ago I attended the General Relief Society Meeting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Before the broadcast a member of our Stake Presidency spoke to us. He talked about how social media can be used for good and he challenged us to start a blog to share what we believe with the world. I felt like he was talking directly to me and it made me CRAZY…I am NOT a blogger. I am NOT a writer and quite frankly, I don’t feel like I have anything to say that people would want to read. I did not think I would actually do it. However, I do have a testimony and I do believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I haven’t been able to get his challenge out of my mind. I love being a member of the church. I LOVE being a mormon. The peace and happiness it brings me is just too much to even express in words. So why wouldn’t I want to share that with the world? I’ll tell you why…it scares me. I have never been one to go out of my way to talk about the church or my beliefs with others. Not because I am embarrassed or ashamed, but because I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. I don’t want people to think I am forcing my beliefs on them. I don’t want people to think I judge them because I believe differently than them and because I am afraid they will ask me hard questions. Some members of the church can quote scriptures and talks without even thinking, some members know just the right things to say. Some members only know how to talk about their love for the Gospel. But me, not so much. My hands start to sweat and I get nervous that I won’t be able to say what I really feel or that people will just be annoyed because the last thing they want to talk about is church or Jesus Christ. So instead of taking a chance to share something really wonderful…I just don’t. The stupidest thing about that is that I love the gospel. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love going to church for 3 hours every Sunday. I love listening to others bear their testimonies. I love going to Relief Society Meetings and being uplifted. I love hearing the Prophet and Apostles speak at conference. I love all of it! I feel so blessed and so grateful to know the things I know and to be a member of such a wonderful church. So I decided to take on the challenge. To share what I believe in a blog and people can choose whether or not they want to listen.

I was trying to come up with a name for my blog and like I said, I am NOT creative. I thought about it for days and came up with nothing. Then last night I was upstairs and my husband was listening to the Priesthood Session downstairs. I don’t know who was speaking and can’t remember much of what he said, but I do remember him saying “Because I have been given much, I too must give.” Those words come from my favorite hymn…and it made me think. The Lord has blessed me with so much. I have been given so much. So I too must give. I want to share my reasons for believing and my reasons for loving the Lord. I don’t want to force my beliefs on you, but I would like to share them with you. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I believe that it’s true.