Thursday, September 29, 2011

Faith

I've been thinking a lot about faith lately. Actually for a long time. Faith isn't something that I've felt like I've really struggled with. Having faith has come easily and naturally, even without a lot of understanding of all things spiritual. I'm optimistic and hopeful. So in my mind, I guess I've always felt like a faithful person. Until recently.

Let me clarify. Do I still feel like a faithful person? Absolutely. I think. Maybe? I guess I have been thinking more about what that means, exactly. Faith isn't something that is always tangible and that's where I can struggle. I like things to be black and white. So I've been reading and studying a little on the topic of faith.

Today I read Ether 12 which is full of words on faith. Some great reminders of receiving "no witness until after the trial of your faith". "They obtained not the promise until after their faith. And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." I naturally thought to myself...am I a faithful person? I can say that I have faith and quickly read through this thinking...yep...I'm good. But today was different. Instead of moving on without much thought like most days, the thought crossed my mind....this is all good and sounds great but now what? Just tell me what to do! Tell me what faith looks like. Show me how to show my faith. Black and white! To my surprise another scripture popped into my head, which pretty much never happens. I'm not a super scriptorian and mostly can never remember what I read or where I read it. This time I even remembered where to find the scripture (thank you seminary). It is simple and straightforward. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" (D&C 82: 10). And "If you love me, keep my commandments." So simple but so profound to me today. Exactly what I needed. How do I show my faith? I DO what He says. I keep His commandments. My actions should reflect my faith. I can't just think that I'm a faithful person. I must be a faithful person. I quickly thought about all of the good things that I'm not always doing. As always, I have much room for improvement.

Now I know that keeping the commandments and staying the course doesn't relieve me from my trials and pain. But it does bring peace and comfort. It is a daily reminder that the Lord is aware of me and helps me to keep an eternal perspective. Life will always be unpredictable and full of hardship. Showing faith is one thing that I can control; a choice I can make to better my days.

During last General Conference Elder Nelson included this in his talk on faith:

"Our beloved President Thomas S. Monson has given us his prophetic witness. He said: 'I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith'."

I am looking forward to conference this weekend. No doubt there will be more words of wisdom and direction regarding faith. I am ready and waiting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Par-Tay!

Here's what I've decided. Everyone needs a friend obsessed with birthdays! It really makes the whole birthday thing a completely different experience! For me, at least. Meet Stephanie. She is that person.
Not only does she love birthdays (and celebrates for an entire week), but she is a game player and loves to make amazing cakes. She even has a cake blog. Combine everything together...BiRTdaY PaRTaY!!! I was in good hands.


One of the games we decided to play was "Minute To Win It." You might remember this from last December...played it with my fam over Christmas. It was a hit. We managed a few pictures from it...not enough (from the whole party really). Jake and Stephanie attempted "tortilla head." (flip the tortilla up off the flipper and catch it on your head)

...And the excitement captured as Steph caught it on her FIRST attempt. I think she's been practicing...
And Tiffany totally rocked "elephant trunk." Creamed her husband's time.
Candles! We got creative...turning the 3 into an 8. It worked!
The cake was a chocolate 100 grand caramel cake. Need I say more???
I honestly can't remember the last time I had like a real adult birthday party...no kids, games, gifts, and food. I forget how fun they are! We might just have to do it again!

I'm happy I was borned and feel gratitude for my beautiful life. I have so much to be grateful for. My Mom reminded me of that. In her birthday love note to me, she reminded me to count my blessings. What great birthday counsel. Talk about becoming older and wiser! She is amongst my greatest blessings. This last week I was reminded that the Lord often shows us love through other people, and that I can do better in this regard. So hooray for birthdays....for the fun and love they bring! Only 363 days 'til my next one.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Gone Silly

video
Today is my BiRThDAy!!!!!! This is the birthday song I was graced with. Typical day with my boys. One thing is for sure. These two do not lack a sense of humor. They are full of silly. Cade let me know that he would not be baking me a cake today. He said I had to wait until Christmas. I think he's confused.
Happy Birthday to ME!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures Part 2

Squirt bottles=a Tucker household favorite, as of late. And why wouldn't they be? So many fun options with water and when you have played so hard that you are feeling parched, you have a drink ready and waiting. They started getting a little silly with them the other day, I couldn't help but to snap away.







Then Cade wanted to try his hand at the camera and I gave in. His pictures below.




The boys were so excited to take their daily bike ride with their squirt bottles. We had to stop every 15 feet so that they could water plants, attack ants and imaginary grasshoppers. Stopping to notice all the little things. Thank you to the squirt bottles for helping us to slow down and stop to "smell the roses"...or...kill ants.
I understand that I am their mother, but man, they are just the cutest ever.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Simple Pleasures






Can anyone guess who these box-heads are? They are Cat in the Hat of course! Surprised you didn't know that. They played like this for an hour. The one of them sitting on the carpet is them taking a ride in the "Thingamajigger." Cade was the driver and Carson sang the song in the background..."Here we go, go, go, go...on an adventure!" Their little imaginations are the best!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Loves

Our summer was filled with lots of great stuff. One of which was the infamous Harry Potter. He entered our home and took over for quite some time. Now, I know many of you out there think that my life and purpose will never quite be made complete without reading the Harry Potter series. That I will have a forever void in my life. A missing piece. You might be right. I have thought about getting started many times...read the 1st one even...and stopped there. But I'm done thinking about reading the books. It's looks like it's just not gonna happen. So to make up for that gaping hole in my life, Shane and I decided to have a Harry Potter movie marathon. Watching all the movies back to back confirmed my resolve to skip the books. Holy long! Honestly. It took us an accumulated 24+ hours to complete the movies. Thinking about the hours I would need to dedicate to the books completely wipes out any motivation. So even though I'm an avid reader and promoter of books, I'm totally recommending the movie route on this one (I'm sure many of you are cringing at the thought!). But it was great. Watching them back to back was exciting and a fun evening ritual with Shane (granted he's more of a movie-sleeper than a movie-watcher!). We had to watch short bits at a time to get him through them with his eyes open.
We went to the theater to see the finale. Thank you Harry Potter for keeping our summer days filled with suspense, imagination, humor, magic, and fierce bravery. We want to be like you when we grow up.
Another summer movie favorite was The Help.
As far as movies doing books justice, I think this one did just that. I just loved it. Loved the book. Loved the movie. I'm anxious to watch it again.

After Shane said good-night to Harry Potter and succumbed to sleep, I did go back to reading. I left the school of Hogwarts and entered the world of.....pAreNTinG!! I have read a few different parenting books and this has by far been my favorite. I'm a believer in Love & Logic. These have been SO helpful and almost therapeutic for me. I feel completely validated and also feel so much motivation to do better and be a better mom to my young boys. I highly recommend these books. I've read two: the one geared to the younger years and also one geared toward children with extra energy and attention needs. They are both fantastic.
Another something consuming my time is none other than my hair. My hair is longer than it's been since the 3rd grade...alright...maybe the 6th grade. Most days I like it. Days that I'm ready to chop it are days that I don't take the time to do it. On those days I just think, why have long hair when it's all flat and stringy and gross? Fortunately, I do enjoy doing it, and I get excited to try new things. It has become a little bit of an obsession. My latest hobby. I have spent too much time watching tutorials and reading styling and product tips, but I have also learned lots. Who knew there were so many different curling techniques and that they really do made a huge difference on the look of your curl? I've never really known how to braid and now I do! I even attempted the "halo braid."

This was the first time I tried it. I've gotten better since.

This is another fun idea.


These are my favorite sites to follow:
Hairdresser on Fire
The Beauty Department
Nature's Knockout
Watching tutorials and doing different fun things keeps me enjoying my hair and away from always wanting something different. It's easy to chronically want what you don't or can't have. At least for now, I am trying to love what I do have...before it's hacked off again!

I'm trying to get myself excited about the fall. Summer went too fast. My house is decorated for the new season. Makes such a difference in my attitude. It makes adjusting to the change much more fun. Our subdivision is lined with lots and lots and lots of trees. They are beautiful in the fall. Their leaves are starting to change.

Now if we could just freeze them (and Carson and Cade) in time for awhile that would make me happy. I miss these two.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day

On a whim, we decided to take one last summer hurrah over the Labor Day holiday. We made our way to Lindsay's and played. We played HARD. The little cousins were in heaven and did great. We did lots of fun things: went to Provo and played with Luke at "Kangaroo Zoo," ate yummy food, shopped, watched football, took the boys the little mini indoor fair called "Jungle Jim's," drank lots of Sonic, and last but certainly not least rode the tracks. This simple and cheap activity was like Christmas morning. They were just so excited, it was contagious. I love living life through my children's eyes. Helps me to appreciate all the little things.

Walking over to the "station."



"All Aboard!"
The weekend was great. We ran the kids into the ground...hence the reason for their recent 3 hour naps. They are still recovering. Cousins are the best. Travel is starting to get easier which is AWESOME. With their 12+ hours in the car, only one movie was watched. We have a trip to Mississippi in our future and after this last weekend I'm having that "bring it on!" attitude.