Thursday, June 9, 2016

Grin and Bear it...or Don't

I have hesitated to blog lately. Here's why: Every time I look at my blog title I am a little discouraged.  While it makes a punny blog title involving our last name, "grin and bear it" is an awfully optimistic saying, and I tend to have a more realistic (ahem-negative) view on life. What if I don't want to grin while bearing it? What if I can't?

If I have learned anything in my last 23.5 years of life, it is that life is full of opposition. Life is challenging and disappointing and one trial after another. There is no escaping the heartache and the exhaustion. I cringe when I hear the popular saying "God won't give you more than you can handle." I know of a surety that He certainly will give us all more than we can handle. And it hurts.

But that's the point. If life was easy, we wouldn't turn to Christ for help. We couldn't progress and grow if we weren't being challenged. We simply can't bear these burdens thrown at us on our own. And that is the whole point of the atonement. This blogger says it perfectly.

I'm not suggesting we might as well just wallow in self-pity. I think it's important that we are strong. It's important that we sort through the muck and find things in this unfair world that make us happy. Really soak in those fleeting moments of pure joy. Because they are out there too. And those moments are what makes this life worth living.

My point is: I am not always going to grin through my trials. I don't think that is what's expected of us. I think we are expected to do our best. And that is what I plan to do.

"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Some Thoughts on Having Two

I've had several people tell me going from one kid to two kids is the hardest transition. I can't verify that yet, but I can verify that two kids is harder. Period. Here are some conclusions I've drawn since Brady was born:

1. I am nursing, and changing diapers, and nursing nursing nursing, and changing diapers. This is how I am spending my days now. Now throw in getting the toddler fed, trying desperately to manage her newfound tantrums and attitude, and nursing some more...there is very little time for anything else.  Getting everyone bathed, and dressed (this includes myself), and out of the house even for a walk around the block is a much bigger accomplishment than I thought it ever could be.

2. Keeping up with the housework is next to impossible - but an untidy house stresses me out. So I make time! I am tired.

3. I miss having time to myself. At this point, it is hard to believe I will ever have time to read a book (I'm talking a book with no illustrations and more than five words on each page), work on any projects, or exercise ever again. I got one of those coloring books for adults that everyone is raving about these days. I got it right at the end of my pregnancy and I loved it! Now I'm afraid the pages will remain colorless forever.

4. Carly is TERRIBLY two. There is a saying that a toddler is like a blender with the lid off. Now add some extreme sass and a dash of dictator and you've a got a two year old Carly. She is very obviously feeling what it's like to share her parents with another kid and she isn't crazy about it. Fortunately she LOVES "baby budder" and only shows her darkside to Mom and Dad.

5. A handful of you know while I was pregnant with Brady, a few sad, stressful, and downright scary things appeared in my life quite suddenly. I truly feel that Heavenly Father sent me this beautiful boy to lift my spirits when no one else can. He is a blessing through and through. I love and treasure him more than I can say. He is calm and sweet and everything I need right now.

6. Despite the stress and tears having two kids brings, there are countless and fleeting moments that make it all worth it. The three of us took a walk the other day. Brady fell asleep on my chest, and Carly was holding my hand while softly singing one of her made up songs. I could only smile. In moments like that, I have never felt such a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

I've got this!!