Tag Archives | LDS life

Tag Archives | LDS life

Easter weekend 2017

We doubled up on holidays this weekend celebrating our sweet Major’s birthday along with Easter, my favorite Holiday.  It was hectic and lovely and filled to the very brim with goodness and love. (I’ll post about Major’s birthday in another post)

On Saturday, we walked to the Art’s Festival which is my very favorite weekend in St. George.  Easter is wonderful everywhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the best spent in our little Southern Utah town.  I have gone EVER single year my whole life and I love bringing my own children now.  I also love living downtown this time of year (and every other time of year, too, actually).  There’s just a happy bustling down the streets, trees blossoming into Spring, flowers blooming all over the colorful houses.  I love it down here and think I maybe never want to leave.

After the arts festival, our church ward had their annual Easter Egg hunt at the park.  Of course it was a hit:

After that, MY cousins were in town and they stopped by the Miller Manor for dinner Saturday night.  I was having too much fun to snap any pics, but I super loved having my cousins and aunt and uncle over for dinner.  It made me feel like a kid and a grown-up all at once, which is a pretty neat feeling.

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Easter Sunday, my honey spoke in another ward, so me and the little Millies (sans Stella who had woken up with strep!) headed to support our main guy.  Mr. Miller is a fantastic speaker in church, and with his new church calling in the high council, he is able to speak a whole lot!  I think it’s a perfect fit.

My Mr. Miller gave the neatest talk about that first Easter.  My favorite part of his talk is when he spoke about Mary and her broken mother heart, seeing her baby on the cross like that.  Jesus did the hardest thing anyone will do, but I think Mary had to do a big part of that too.  As I sat with my own precious baby son on my lap, my heart broke for Mary – someone I have grown to understand and deeply love since becoming a mother.  I love that my husband paid tribute to this sacred moment, and it’s been on my mind ever since.  The atonement and resurrection are so vast that most of the time I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all, but when I can spend time pondering little aspects of it, I gain a testimony of the little pieces, and they weave together a testimony of hope, faith, truth, and love for my Savior and what He did for us.  

It’s amazing that the lives we enjoy today, the forgiveness we rely on, the happiness and hope we can feel is because of that sacred day when Jesus conquered death.  I have spent the last ten years of my Christianity learning to grasp this, and I’ve no where near mastered the enormity of this concept, but I’m learning, and I am awe-struck over the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Easter is my very favorite holiday.  It’s one of simplicity and love and beauty, and I love it just as much now (more so, actually) as I did as a little girl.  Each Easter, as I line up my darling babies to photograph them in their Easter ensembles I am overcome with gratefulness.  Grateful that my life took such a wonderful turn back there somwhere, and that by turning my heart to Jesus Christ, I have created this beautiful life.  It never ceases to amaze me.  This year I had a bench full of MY own children, and nothing could make me happier.

Of course, Jesus isn’t the only man we were feeling extra grateful for this Easter.  Celebrating my only son’s first birthday on this special day felt a little like magic.  In his dapper little Easter outfit, my heart nearly burst right open.  I sure love my little prince!

As I mentioned, sweet Stella woke up in the night with a hot fever and felt miserable all day on Easter. (She was also sick for Valentines – what luck!) I brought her to the doctor Monday morning and she has strep!  Poor sister.  We had to skip on the cousin Easter-egg hunt at Nana and Papa’s house and my girls were SO bummed.  But you better believe Nana and Papa brought that Easter Egg hunt to them on Monday so they didn’t have to entirely miss out.  (Thank you Grandma for braving the sickness and letting us come to your house on Easter!  You saved the day!)

 It takes a village to raise a happy family, and I am so grateful for ours.  This Easter weekend was one of my very, very favorites.

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Harlo’s baptism day

This weekend was a sweet one for our family as we celebrated Harlo’s baptism.

As Christians, we believe we are trying to follow Jesus Christ’s example.  It has been important to me to allow my children room to develop their own relationship with God.  I didn’t have a relationship with God until I was an adult, so I’m not exactly sure what that is supposed to look like for kids, but what I have found is that these children of mine are more of an example to me than I am to them.  Like praying when they need help with something, leaning into faith when they don’t have another answer, having forgiving hearts, loving unconditionally – like Jesus taught.  In areas that I over-think, my girls easily cling to truth.  Turning 8 in our church is special, because we believe it’s the time these children can clearly understand right from wrong, they can start to understand how the holy spirit guides us, they can see goodness and truth.  So a baptism at this age just feels so fitting.  It has been so sweet for me to watch Harlo mature in this way, and I am so excited for what is in store for this precious girl of mine.

For Mr. Miller to be able to baptize our girl was such a special milestone for us.  Harlo is our constant reminder of how far we’ve come in this life, and she was the perfect strong soul to push us to be better, do better, love better.  We truly are eternally grateful she came to us.

With each and every milestone that passes, I can see so clearly why Harlo was sent here first, as the head of our children.  She was naturally born with the unique gifts she would need for this role in our family.  I loved watching her younger siblings so eager and excited to watch her.  Grae and Stella have been talking about their own baptisms and how they too want to be baptized just like Harlo.  Harlo has been excitedly telling them all the inside details, how she feels, and how excited she is to see them be baptized some day, too.  As their mother, there is nothing better in the whole world than seeing them love and support each other in their own little ways.

At the end of the night, as I tucked the girls in for bed, I asked Harlo, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (between wearing a fancy dress, having a baptism, a special after-party with her favorite things, and being the guest of honor) she sighed and said, “Just being baptized.” and Stella chimed right in, “That was my favorite part too, Harlo.”

Bless their little hearts.

 

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(photos: cher houston photography)

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in my skin

Recently I had a sweet friend pay me a compliment.  She told me that she felt comfortable in her own skin around me, because I seemed to feel comfortable in my own skin.

There was a time that I wasn’t this way at all, there was a time I couldn’t stand my own skin.  I was riddled with insecurity, full of shame, and tried so hard to cover it all up with a pretty smile and perfect exterior.  That was a tough place to be.  But the thing that struck me the most, is even though I remember that time and feeling so well, I’m not sure when I grew past it.  But I did.  And it’s true: As I have learned to love myself better, I have learned to love other people better, too.

Sometime over the last ten years of adulthood, I have grown into myself.  I have settled into myself as a mother, and that has helped me settle into myself as a woman.  I appreciate myself.  I love myself.  I love the life I’ve made, and I’m so proud of myself for it, because even I had doubted me.  And I don’t say this in a boastful way, because I’m not boastful.  But I have been on this ride of life with myself and it hasn’t always been easy.  I have steered myself out of some tough times, and I have made the best of each decision I’ve made.  My life is very different now that it was those years ago, and I’m happy for me for that.

I have learned that it’s okay for my opinions to change from time to time, that it’s a sign of growth.  I know better now that I don’t want to be ignorant, or intolerant of something I can’t understand, because one day I just might understand it.  I can choose compassion over judgement when I can’t relate.  I can look at my own different hardships when I see someone else’s.  I can choose to love people over opinions.  

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be where I’m at spiritually.  Because it’s really not about the destination to get to a wonderful place with God, it’s about being in a relationship with God, and learning and growing along him each day.  Some days that looks good and peaceful, other days that looks resentful and weary, but each day brings with it learning, and a new day does dawn.

I have seen and felt the capabilities of my body.  I have seen it run, and dance, and serve, and carry, and mourn, and labor, and give, and grow, and shrink, and grow, and shrink, and soften, and age, and feel.  This body amazes me.  This body is healthy, and strong, and capable and I am so grateful.

I am glad I have been able to experience the woman in me being as loved as I have.  I have seen myself grow, and open up, and become as I have been safely and deeply loved by the man I love.  It has been astounding to me what that love has done for my life.  I don’t take it for granted.

I have learned that I am in charge of my own happiness.  I am in charge of pushing past hard times, making changes that are necessary, prioritizing myself and my own well being.  I have seen in difficult times that happiness is a choice, even when it seems just out of reach.  If you start walking toward happiness, you will find it.  I have prioritized happiness in my life, and that has proven to be a really great choice.

I don’t by any means have it all figured out, but I’ve lived a lot of life in my nearly 28 years, and I am grateful for the journey.  Because from where I’m standing now, I can love people in a much better way.  I can feel comfortable in my own skin, and love them just as they are, in their own skin.

 

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a day in our life

I am loving how we spend our days right now, so I wanted to do a little photo project to document each little bit of this season we’re in.

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After the big girls are off to school, we start our mornings with a long walk in our neighborhood.  I love this time in our day.  It’s the only time both the babies are quiet, still, and happy.  I set my intention for the day and love pushing the stroller as my feet hit the pavement in the neighborhood I have grown to love so much.  I usually listen to audio books or scriptures on our walks and I love the tone it sets for my day.  My body feels strong and healthy, my mind is sound, my spirituality is set for the day, and my babies are happy taking in scenery.

 Grae’s favorite part is the snacks. ;)

After our walk, if he didn’t snooze during the walk, he takes a good nap when we get home.  This is when I get the bulk of my work done for the day, whether it’s blog posting (like now) or house chores.  I switch off days of the week to create a balance to get things done.  After our walk, I’m usually inspired to write my message to the world for the day – or get home and get my hands busy with the most important kind – being the heart of my home.

This particular day was an early-out from school, so after lunch we took to the front yard.  We wait out front for them each day.  Sometimes we swing on the porch swing, sometimes we sit on the grass, some days we kick a ball around.  Every day I love this happy time when the girls get home.

I kiss the girls off the bus, let them love on their baby siblings for a while, and listen all about their days before we head inside.

Sometimes (these days more often not) Grae naps in the afternoons with the baby.  When we get this rare baby-free time, we do some big girl things.  My big girls lately have taken to planning.  In addition to playing with my kids with things they like, I like to invite them to do things that I like to do.  This has changed the way we spend time together, and I love it.  The girls love doing things I like – imagine that.  Once a week I ready my planner for the week, and the girls get theirs out.  They do mostly some journaling and they embellish it with stickers and cute pages.  I love seeing what they come up with.  I also love that as they grow up, we find more and more things to do, keeping us close and our relationship strong.  This is so important to me and I treasure my time with just them.

Before we know it… Grae is up from her snooze.

 

We make a little afternoon snack – popcorn is always the favorite.

And then it’s usually time for me to start dinner.  This time is usually busy with the babies up, homework needs to be worked on, the cooking needs to be attended to, so everyone has a job to pitch in.  If someone is bugging someone else, it’s because they’re not busy enough, so they get an extra job. ;) The girls take turns doing homework and watching Grae, Grae’s job is to play with Major, when that gets restless it’s time to set the table, etc.  For some reason I just genuinely like cooking dinner.  It can be stressful, but it just reminds me how full our lives are and it marks this season I’m in in motherhood.  There are a lot of layers to life right now, and it feels like such an accomplishment.  Sometimes I catch myself juggling several things and I can’t believe I’m capable of it.  But I am.  So I lean in to that when the stress level starts raising.

And this moment right here makes all the hard work I do as a mama for the day just completely and utterly worth it.

(I love when my girls set the table – they always take it to another level with little touches of fanciness!)

I’m sure our days look like millions of other mothers in the world, and I love that.  I think about that often – the sisterhood of motherhood.  We are so connected in this.  As we work from sun up to sun down, doing the Lord’s work to guide our family, love our family, working hard and putting so many others before ourselves.  What a special calling we have.  And just like anything God asks us to do, he blesses us 100x over for our sacrifices.  I’m so glad to spend my day serving in this capacity.  What a blessing it’s been to my life.

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