Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summering.

{We are on break enjoying the love of summer, see you soon!}

A few quotes that have been on my mind:

 "I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine." - Joseph Smith

“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed” -J. Reuben Clark

"Yes, say, what is truth? 'Tis the brightest prize
To which mortals or Gods can aspire;
Go search in the depths where it glittering lies
Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies.
'Tis an aim for the noblest desire." - John Jacques


"...The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same." - Joseph Smith


"I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually." - Brigham Young


"No Prophet of God, no Apostle, no President of a Stake, no Bishop, who has had the spirit of his office and calling resting upon him, has ever asked a soul to do anything that they might not know was right and the proper thing to do. We do not ask you to do anything that you may not know it is your duty to do, or that you may not know will be a blessing for you to do.If we give you counsel, we do not ask you to obey that counsel without you knowing that it is right to do so." - Boyd K. Packer
“Give me truths: for I am weary of the surfaces”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson
........................................................
To John Dehlin,
Thank you for your work. For years now, it has benefited and blessed my life.
To Kate Kelly,
I am proud to call you my Sister.
  {even if I don't always agree, who says we have to?!}

Rae





Sunday, June 15, 2014

Manly Men.


Today I will be thinking of all of the amazing fathers I am surrounded by. I sure love my babies and children, and hate to think of what life would be like for us without the incredible love and support we have from the men in our lives. Thank the heavens above for GOOD FATHERS.

Especially feeling sentimental today for my own. I sure love you, Dad. Thanks for being a much needed {and often leaned upon} rock in my life.

A few Father's Day links

*The Haack Ladies will be serving the following breakfast for their #1 man:

*I think this was awfully sweet (plus, I know the guy):

*And because once wasn't enough...


HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!









Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Poospective.


So, as evidenced in my last post, I'm going to admit that there has been a lot of crying in this house during the past week.

These last few days have been a doozy. A poo-zy doozy. This time around I'm speaking of Miss Emerson. We have entered a new phase with her. A phase that two of my other girls have gone through around this same age, so you would think I'd be used to it. But nobody ever gets used to fecal matter. NOBODY. NOT EVER.

It all starts with nap-time. Emerson goes down to sleep, at some point wakes up quietly, poops in her diaper, removes all of her clothes AND her diaper, and proceeds to finger paint and sculpt pottery and color in all of her books with poop. She reduces, reuses, and recycles EVERYWHERE. EEEEEEEVERYWHERE.

She will eventually come running out, covered in brown and smelling worse than the worst possible thing you could ever imagine smelling.

Insert me here, losing my shi* all over the place. Pun intended.

I was calm (er) with the first two kids who did this. However, three kids deep, I am quite literally at the end of my rope. We had 5 episodes of this in the past 10 days. I will be duct taping her diaper, but honestly the main reason I haven't resorted to that already is because I don't think it will even stop her from reaching on in. I will pause now to say this: if you need to forward this to someone who you are desperately trying to convince to NOT to have children, you have my permission. This story should do the trick. And if not, email me and I'll recommend a few more past posts. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm kinda becoming known as the birth control blogger around these parts. Moving on...



I sobbed my way through the last episode yesterday.

One minute, she was sleeping - darling and clean and well fed - until around an hour later. The smell preceded her by about 40 seconds before she came running in with her hands held high and happy and completely smothered in gggggggross. I broke. I cried and cried and shut myself in the poop stained bedroom, scrubbing with clorox, in a state of completely shattered, martyred despair. London and Lily were particularly sweet and concerned. London said, "Mom, I think you need a bweak. How about I give Emmasin a bath and you west {rest}." Sweetness which only made me cry MORE and HARDER for being so pathetic in front of my kids. I just couldn't take anymore POOP!!!!! MY HOUSE CAN NOT SMELL. LIKE. POOP. That is MY LINE. THAT IS WHERE IT IS DRAWN. I can do crying babies. I can do sleepless nights. I can do stretch marks. I can do tight budgets. I can do messy rooms. I can do laundry piles everywhere. I can do stress. I can do thankless jobs. I can do sagging breasts. I can do the occasional potty accident. I can do the stomach flu. I can do broken eggs on the kitchen floor. I can do an entire bag of flour dumped on the carpet. I can do shattered vases. I can do nail polish on the walls. I can do marker on the furniture. I can do just about anything but I CANNOT. I CAN.NOT. DO MY HOUSE SMELLING LIKE POOP ALL OF THE TIME. MY. HOUSE. CANNOT. CANNOT. CANNOT. SMELL LIKE POOP.



This was what I kept repeating to myself, along with a whole host of expletives, while cleaning down the individual crib rods that were smothered in greenish satanic excrement.
This time around, she had even managed to rub poop into the hand-made framed art piece that I painstakingly made when Lily was a baby (when I actually had time for painstakingly detailed hand-made framed art pieces) - which was on the floor, waiting to be hung. This was like a sign from the devil himself. He had officially popped a squat and crapped all over my existence. WwwwaaaaaaaAAAAAaaaaaaAAA. Why does this sort of stuff happen to me?!!!!!! Is it because I keep blogging about it so the universe keeps ping ponging it back? What is wrong here?!!!!!! What defective gene am I carrying?!!


Such was my state of pathetic self-pity last night as I texted my sister pictures of the incident. She concurred, it was bad. And as a nurse recommended that, from what she could tell by the color and consistency of what she was seeing all over the bedroom, Emerson needed more fluids.

Then she asked me if I wanted some perspective. I said NO.

She has never really listened to me though.

She continued, and updated me on a patient in her cancer unit who I have periodically asked about. Of course, no names are ever divulged, but there are a few patients who she has been especially concerned for in the past year and spoken of from time to time.

One of which is a young mom, with a little daughter in kindergarten. She arrived back at the hospital recently, her condition taking a sharp turn for the worst. She is dying. As my sister and I sat in our homes texting each other, the grief-stricken husband of this sweet woman had long been sitting faithfully at his sedated wife's bedside - refusing to go home and shower in order to make sure he was there when she drew her final breath.

Sometimes there are no words to describe the violent shift in reality such experiences can induce. It was instantaneous and true. I have no problems.


Today, I feel tremendously heavy and and sad for this Mom who I never knew. I am also really, really grateful.



I am going to share a few things that I believe deeply. As if this post hasn't been insane enough. But I don't care. Sometimes I just want to talk about what I think and what I believe regardless of who shares this belief, or what theology it aligns with, or how nutso or wishful thinking it may seem or whatever the case may be. I'm going to just allow myself to be free and go wherever I need to go.

When I think about this Mom and what is happening, I can't help but feel that I am in some way a recipient of the wisdom imparted from a soul who came to this earth to serve as a teacher. She is a teacher. I think that the noblest of souls, the true celebrities of heaven, are the people who come to fill this needed capacity. They can come in a wide variety of forms, but many of the very best are the handicapped, the disabled, the sick, or those struck by premature death and tragedy. The teachers come to wreak all sorts of havoc on mistaken ideas, selfish desires, and shallow wills. Through their lives, and even in the giving of their lives, they infuse existence with meaning and perspective. Perspective that would otherwise go undeveloped. For example, how your child pooping all over your home is really not a big deal in the grand scheme of life.



I think we each vacillate back and forth throughout our entire lives as both teachers and learners, depending on the circumstance and time. But the critical, primary question of identity has yet to be determined. Are you really a teacher, or a learner? I think we have yet to know until our lives lead out their course to the end. It isn't until then that we can know for certain what title we chose.

That Mom, I feel quite sure, chose to be a teacher. In the great courts of eternity maybe she stepped forth, knowing that life could never be as beautiful or precious unless there was death. We would never know the priceless value of a mother unless we understood the reality of losing one. And so in keeping with a grand opposition in all things, she accepted the masterful role of teacher. And I, a mostly ridiculous and even cowardly learner, am indebted to her. She taught me. Stories like hers will continue to teach me.


I am totally going to get her autograph in heaven. And when I do, after waiting in what will surely be a very long line of adoring fans, I'll be sure to thank her profusely for reminding me that dirty children and messy homes and exhausting days in this mortal life are gifts to be savored. Poop 'n' all.





Friday, June 6, 2014

Lundy the Wundy-ful.


Gosh this face. Oh this face, how I love it.

Tonight I plopped down into bed with London for a few minutes. She was devastated when the reality of 9pm had arrived, which meant an inevitably excruciating, unfair, tyrannical, cruel bedtime summoning. She cried her whole way upstairs, lamenting her existence and her life and her low status on the parent/child hierarchy.

She was exhausted. A long day at the pool only exaggerated the excessive amounts of adrenaline that were released the moment school dismissed for summer, and the crash had come. As she laid her head on her pillow I put my face close to hers and wiped her tears, feeling somewhat frustrated at this kid's level of emotion! She went on and on recounting the infractions of the day, all the ways that life was cheating her out of her full London glory. Lily pushed her in the pool. She was starving and someone ate her cheetos. Ellie Jane stole her Elsa doll when she had promised she would be Anna because yesterday London was Anna and it was her turn to be Elsa and she never gets to be Elsa because Ellie Jane is so mean and never listens and steals her toys everyday...aye yei yeiiiiiiii. The tears just poured down her little round cheeks, her nut-brown eyes glistening and her little lashes grouping tightly together with moisture. Aww, London.

I just laid there listening, in a state of annoyed bafflement. I was exhausted too.

Until, unexpectedly - like a whispering from heaven itself - a voice reminded me, "She's incredibly sensitive. Remember, this is her GIFT."

Suddenly my heart hurt. It felt like a stabbing sense of intuitive shame. She IS sensitive, I agreed. She is innately nurturing and thoughtful and so, so incredibly loving. Feeling is the way Lundy girl navigates life. Feeling deeply. Too often I get frustrated with her levels of shyness, the way small disappointments seem to weigh so heavily on her, her difficulty dealing with vocal praise or adoration, and her supreme distaste for public attention. I think, come on kid. Toughen up! Don't be such a cry baby! Thinking that somehow I have to coax her out of this. I too often take a hard stand. Falsely assuming that what she really needs is a dose of some kind of brute cynicism, apathy, or cold wit to shield her better throughout life. Life is rough, girl, so you best grow a pair. I mean. Uuuggg. I can be such an idiotic mother.

..................................................

Earlier today, when it was time to leave the pool, Lily got to stay later with a friend who happened to be there. London felt this was entirely unjust. Regardless of my reminders that she had also enjoyed play-dates previously in which the tables were turned and Lily was not invited, she continued to pout and cry. Because of the incessant crying, I informed her that I had planned on taking her to get an ice-cream cone, but due to her melt-down and refusal to listen, she would not be receiving that privilege anymore. Enter the Londpocolypse.

As we drove away and she quieted her hyperventilating down briefly, I asked her if she remembered how we had previously agreed she was going to try her hardest to not cry over "little things" anymore. She said, "Please stop talking to me wight now because I don't want to hewe {hear} it and you're huwting my feelings." This is London's M.O. for any and all situations involving reprimand or instruction. I told her that was too dang bad and she was going to have to sit and listen. Avoidance/Denial strategies just don't sit well with me.
I asked her if she had ever heard the story about a little village girl who cried "Wolf!".
This peaked her interest.
As well as Ellie Jane's.
They listened wide eyed as I recounted the tale of the little shepherd girl on the hillside. The one who repeatedly cried out "wolf!" to get the villagers attention, even when there was no wolf and no crisis. Which of course, completely backfired the day she really WAS in crisis and the big baaaad wolf arrived with his sharp teeth and dark, beady eyes. Nobody came to her rescue, because nobody wanted to listen anymore.

"So what happened to the girl?" London asked.

"She got gobbled up by the wolf along with her sheep." I solemnly responded.

Deafening silence enveloped the interiors of our vehicle. Wide eyed horror on two little girl faces stared back at me from the rear view mirror.

"Derrrrrr....I mean, I think I got that part wrong...oh yeah! I remember now! He didn't eat her completely....um, just kinda chewed.... on her leg a little bit...it hurt but she survived..."

There was still a profound quiet after this story ended. Until London timidly broke in from the back,

"Got any more stories?"'

{HOPE HAS ARRIVED!!!!}

"UM, sure!! Oh boy do I!"

We went into the story of the Little Red Hen next. And that was the end of that.

.......................................

I think I was gifted with a truth tonight when I was in bed with my precious London. I think the truth is that for my sweet, pure, sensitive, deeply introspective Lundy girl...life does merit some worthy tears now and again. It is hard when your sister isn't treating you nicely. It is hard to be forced to wake up early every day when your body yearns for sleep. It is hard to learn the orders of social play and friendship dates and age differences. It is hard to suddenly be at school among strangers, without your Mom there. It is hard to learn the rules of humor and jokes, especially when they sometimes come at your expense (even in good humor, this is a hard thing for a kid to learn). It is hard to have responsibilities every day. It is hard to have life largely dictated to you by adults. It is hard to have only been on this planet a mere six years and have so much to learn and absorb in an enormously big and complex world.

And you know what, Lundy girl is doing a magnificent job at life. What a good kid she is. What a perfect spirit. Tears, sensitivity, and all. I need to get out of the way a little more. Because, I think what I have on my hands is a God-sent little Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables). Which, if you must know, is pretty much my favorite character in the history of ever EVER EVER.

So, now if you'll excuse me, I need to go have myself a good cry for not having recognized this all a little sooner.