Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Day 2014....So Grateful!

We had such a terrific start to this lovely holiday season! I frequently hear people say that you shouldn't start listening to Christmas music and putting up decorations until after Thanksgiving. I read a little post on Instagram that sums up how I feel, it went something like this: I love the way these two holidays blend so beautifully together. I can't think of anything else I am more grateful then the Savior, and recognizing His birth by putting up Christmas decorations is the best way I can think of to get our minds thinking and expressing gratitude more fervently for the beginning of His most important life!" I feel the same, in fact, I think next year I will start slightly earlier. We had company come visit the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and we started that weekend and following Monday putting up decorations. Here is Tess with her very own beautiful tree! She loves it. She just started at it. Eventually, we will take her to the store and let pick out her own ornaments and such to go on the tree. We will continue this tradition with each child. I remember having my own tree, oh how I loved it! So begins the tradition of the kids having their own tree.

 My friend, and dear sister companion from my mission, Sandra Wideriksen came to visit us. I was so thrilled to have her come. She brought her beautiful little girl, Gali, with her. She is a young two months old. Sandra is busy taking care of this still young little girl. It made me excited to be snuggling a little baby of my own. Tess isn't that old but it's amazing how fast they change and grow in just a year. I also realized, each age comes with it's own demands and inconveniences! I forgot how often such a young child eats and how demanding this is on a mother who is breastfeeding. I am grateful for the precious little moments and time I had with Tess while feeding her.
 Here is Gali, what a little beauty. I love her and her arrival was greatly anticipated. The miracle of life is sometimes confusing and doesn't happen quit as a couple plans, but it's amazing when they do! This little girls parents spent years trying to get her here! What a miracle! 
 We had a relaxed weekend with Sandra and Gali. I didn't plan much, we just did crafts, went to Hobby Lobby, relaxed, watched a movie, went to a potluck, visited the aquarium, and just enjoyed a lot of catching up! I am grateful for good friends, I don't believe such friends are coincidences. What an angel she was on our mission and still is today.

Here we are finishing up the tree. We have since put garland and ornaments on the banister and windows. I loved putting up our tree for the first time! This is our first real Christmas tree, I think it turned out beautiful. Tess leaves it alone for the most part but has become more and more daring...lets hope the tree survives! 

 On our way to Lyman, Wyoming! Tess did great on the drive there and the drive back wasn't too bad. She fell right asleep both times and enjoyed the used DVD player Greg's parents let us have. We rented a bunch of DVDs from the library. Tess isn't totally into TV and I am so glad, but for moments like this....when we are driving 7 hours in one day...I am glad she will watch at least a little. We didn't get out of our seats once! I was anxious to get there and not doodle around. Tess and I stayed in the back seat and Greg drove, stopping only to go through one drive through for lunch and stopping to gas up once. She was a trooper!

 Getting some sling shot fun with the blanket. My Dad started this with Tess and once you start, she NEVER wants to stop. She points to the blanket constantly grunting for more! She giggles and laughs the whole time. 
 Tess chowing down during her second Thanksgiving, but, her first time to indulge and enjoy any food she wanted to eat.
 Getting primped by grandpa and grandma! I loved this picture, photo credit goes to Molly. 

 My parents always play and entertain Tess nonstop when we are around them. She pretty much doesn't care about Greg and I and follows them around and wants to do everything with them. She eats with them, takes naps with grandpa, goes outside and plays with them, and gets the biggest kick out of the fun things and ways they play with her. I love that they are so close and have so much fun! 
 We enjoyed an evening at temple square. I can remember many times when I was living with my parents, when we had Thanksgiving in Lyman, we headed to Utah to see the lights. How I love this tradition. The weather was really nice and it was especially crowded. A lot of people in our group weren't excited about the crowds. I will admit, it was crazy, but there wasn't another time to go and I enjoy the lights so much. Of course, this place is especially important to me and brings back numerous memories!

 Tess enjoyed the lights so much. She really enjoyed looking and trying to run around and play. I think next time, we will try and go on a week night so we can get around easier and enjoy the lights more then trying to move around a big crowd. Here I am, 6 months along with baby bean #2. He moves like crazy, he tumbles more then kicks. I think he is beginning to run out of all the room he has enjoyed because he does seem to kick more then he has. No name yet, we have decided to come up with a few names that we like and then once we meet him, we will decide on the name. I think this strategy has been driving my family nuts. Although, the Sloats are used to it with Reed and Carolyn keeping the name a secret until the baby is born. I think they do this regardless of whether or not they know the name. I am not sure what we will do in the future, but this seems to help take off the pressure of deciding a name when we can't seem to decide. We just knew right away that we would name a little girl Tess. 

 Our Thanksgiving table, my Grandma Bluemel did a beautiful job! We even had gold utensils! Fancy! I loved the day, we had a coffee cake and sausage from Greg and I, then everybody chipped in a little to make the Thanksgiving dinner happen. With everybody doing a little, we had a TON of food and quit a variety! We even had appetizers to hold us over until dinner. We had plenty of food for several days and we left my grandparents with plenty of food to graze on for another day or so. What a fun day! 

What a lovely start, like I said. I have many things to be grateful. Starting with the Savior, I think with some personal struggles this year...I have found myself knowing that only with his enabling strength am I able to overcome my shortcomings and accomplish the most important job of motherhood. I have thought and treasured this sacred role since I can remember, I have looked forward to it and shaped a picture of what kind of mother I would be in my mind. I still have the picture, but reality seems to tell a different story. This has been a great source of discouragement to me. I feel I am never coming even close to the kind of mom and wife I would like to be and at times I have almost given up on trying. There have been many tender moments that the Lord has taught me and given me encouragement to seek His help and strength to become better then I currently am. I have found when I make this a priority, I have the energy I desire, the patience I need, the diligence required, and everybody or everything around me seems to be infinitely better and smoother then I even imagined. He truly does have the ability to help us be better then we are able to make of ourselves. I am grateful for this blossoming knowledge and effort to find my strength from Him and not myself.  My goal in the coming months is to nurture and utilize this knowledge as my greatest priority.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you have already started so many great traditions with your family! When I was growing up, we also had our own trees in our rooms and I loved lying in bed looking at the twinkling lights! I'm sure Tess will treasure these memories as well! I also loved reading your testimony! This time of year is a great reminder of so many blessings!