Sunday, September 7, 2008


As my mom left for home this morning, I reflected on the past week. We truly enjoyed a week of celebrations - Ella's birthday, our 4-year wedding anniversary, plus mom's visit. In addition, this baby I'm carrying seems to be more determined each day to make his presence known. When I consider these tremendous blessings in my life, I feel immense gratitude.

My mother is truly an incredible person whom I admire greatly. I love her determination, sense of humor, patience, understanding, and deep affection for her grandchildren. We talk each day on the phone, but having her here in person to hug and to sit with felt so wonderful. I loved how quickly Ella became attached to her "grammy," looking for her whenever she left the room, climbing into her lap, and eagerly asking to play. We can hardly wait for mom to come again at Christmas!

Looking at Ella, I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be her mother. I love having the chance to get to know her each day, to teach her new things, to comfort her, and to be her companion. She constantly amazes me with her delight in the world around her, the interest she shows in the small details, and the intensity in which she strives to take in everything, to learn its name, to understand how it works. I find myself enjoying today and looking forward to her next discovery. Motherhood isn't easy or always fun and often frustrating, but it's incredibly rewarding, revealing, and life-changing.

While driving behind Tim the other day, I caught a glimpse of the back of his head and felt this unexpected rush of affection for him. My husband is the greatest guy I've ever known. I love being married to him. He is the best of companions. Most of all, I love who I am when we're together. We spent Saturday in Springfield running errands, eating out, and seeing 2 $1.50 movies. It felt so wonderful to just be out together, talking, and enjoying each other's company without any time pressures or cranky toddlers. Marriages are never perfect, but I love the opportunity to face life together, to talk it through, and to experience life as companions.

I know my appreciation for these people in my life has been greatly enhanced by the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've spent a lot of years pondering my definition of progress and success in this world. I've come to understand that Heavenly Father offers us a joy that is truly unique as we strive to follow him, strengthen our families, and follow the commandments. In my early twenties, I worried about the roles of wife and mother and fretted over what I might lose of myself in choosing these things.

Despite my fears, I've been able to enjoy an education, a career, marriage, and motherhood - and in the process I haven't lost myself. Amazingly, as I've followed the Lord, I've discovered depths to myself, found a new confidence, and uncovered and developed new strengths. I feel as though the last few years have greatly enhanced my understanding of God's definition of joy. I am grateful for weeks like this that provide so many opportunities to reflect on life and recognize the blessings surrounding me.

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