Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Baby Shower

We gathered together yesterday to celebrate Cori & Brett by showering them with love, support and little pink things. My two very dear friends asked if they could throw Cori a shower. Debbie and Laura are amazing "shower planners" and soon plans were underway to gather addresses, find the perfect invitations and most importantly to find the perfect place. Everything was planned to perfection. Cori and Brett arrived late Friday night.. It was so fun to see Cori.. she looks amazing and is such a beautiful little mommy to be. Friday was a play day as Laura flew in, we met up with my sweet niece Alex and my mom. Alex is getting married March 11 and shared her excitement and details of her upcoming wedding. My mom is so excited about her first "great-grand baby" we took her shopping and then to lunch. My mom has always enjoyed a special and close relationship with Cori while Cori loved spending time with her grandmother. We had a nice morning, following by an afternoon of connecting with Debbie, running errands and shopping for the shower. I have been blessed with such great friends...

When Laura, Debbie and I get to spend time together we make every minute count... running, shopping and talking... well into the wee hours of the morning. We also have great stories to share and many laughs to be had.

The shower was so fun... I want to thank my sweet friends who came to support Cori and Brett, for those unable to attend their cards of congratulations came pouring in.. Brett's grandparents who are wintering in Mesa.. came and joined the celebration.. they are just darling. We enjoyed seeing them so much. Karen's gift of "baby RayBan's" may have just top the gotta have list. It was so fun to have you all there... A heartfelt thank you to all who attended....

It was "Bliss" to have my children all together. What a blessing to have such incredibly nice kids. We spent the afternoon together getting in a photo shoot, catching dinner and a movie. My kids love my friends who have been such an integral part of their lives showering them with love, advice and inspiration. It's so fun to all get together and spend time talking, laughing and reminiscing. It's so rewarding to see my children growing into great friends who love, respect and support each other. The next few days will be spend together, pampering Cori and Brett, taking in favorite restaurants, spending time with grandparents and treasured friends...

I am so blessed... Today as I blog while the rain gently falls outside.. I am reminded of the truly important relationships in my life. There is nothing more important than feeling connected to your children and knowing they feel equally connected to you.. the A baby is a celebration of life, opportunity and hope... Cori, you and Brett will be such good parents. You have spent time planning and preparing, reading and getting ready... The love you and Brett share will be passed on to your little one. Your little daughter will grown up in a home where love is the foundation. Kind words, encouragement and teamwork will serve your family well. I am so excited and thrilled I am such a huge part of your joy!

A baby shower.... the perfect way to usher in our anticipation of the Stork's arrival... in June...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!"

Ethan, Kylie and I went into Thursday with "Great Expectations"! Cori my daughter who is expecting her 1st baby was scheduled for a 2nd Ultrasound. We all made our predictions on the sex of the baby...some of us were on the blue side, while others were positive that pink would prevail. Then in a bold statement...my son in law, Brett laid his hand on table.. he proudly declared his prediction was absolutely "Pink".... Thursday morning drug on... I found myself holding my phone close for any communication come from St. Joe Missouri.... Ethan and Kylie kept calling and texting..any word? yet? At 1:30 my phone did ring and with great anticipation I answered the call... and sure enough Cori in her playful way let me know everything was great! The baby was healthy, active and smiling... We were laughing and crying when she told me, "Mom, Brett was right... we are having a "GIRL" and the tears continued to fall. Cori took Brett to lunch to celebrate "his being right"... funny how daddy's just know especially when it comes to their little girls...

My heart was filled with so many emotions.. First the overwhelming feeling of gratitude. To know that Cori is finally starting to feel better and the baby is healthy and growing strong is a blessing. One of the hard things for me is living so far way and not being able help her as she has been so sick or to see the physical changes at occur on a weekly basis so Brett snapped a precious photo (the only photo I have seen) of Cori and sent it to me. It was so fun to see her showing, smiling and giving me "2-thumbs up". Second knowing this little one will be blessed with amazing parents who have meticulously planned for her and her arrival, providing a home filled with love, a strong foundation and endless possibility and opportunities.. and finally.. coming to the magical realization that I am entering into a most cherished season in my life... A Grandmother...

It's amazing to me how quickly time passes. I have gone from being at home with 4 kids to have three grown and on their own... and just Ethan left for a moment.. Ethan is looking forward to high school graduation in May and moving towards his dream.. Time keeps moving.. and now here I am with my life ahead of me filled with countless possibilities. My sweet mom once told me she enjoyed her 50's and 60's the very most, understandably so... as a mother you start to reap the rewards of your parenting as you see your children go out into the world. For me.. this has been a most rewarding experience..

My dad picked me up from school on Thursday.. As I shared the news with him.. we both laughed... he could reflect on his two experiences of once being a father and second being a grandfather... now he is going to be a great grandfather. Today I am going to see my mom and share Cori's great news. I know how excited my mom will be. I am very grateful to have experienced seeing my mom in her role of being a grandmother. She was an excellent teacher and loved every minute of having her grandchildren around her... her lessons are now going to influence yet another generation.

My best friends have planned a "Baby Shower" and celebration for Cori in the next couple of weeks. We will all come together to celebrate life, love and possibility.

Today is absolutely Pink bliss...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Personal Responsibility.....

I was getting into my day when a story on the news caught my attention. A 9 year old girl had given birth to a 6 pound baby boy.. At first I was sure I misunderstood, a 9 year old having a baby???? I guess for hardened news reporters even this story was shocking.. I thought of my own two daughters trying to recall what their lives where like at 9. I remember church activities, piano lessons, basketball teams, softball games, sleep overs, friends, trips to the mall to hang out, talking on the telephone, watching TV and walking up to the corner for a yogurt being kids. I was saddened by the loss this 9 year old girl will be faced with through out her life especially the loss of her innocence and childhood.

My world has changed significantly since I embarked on marriage and motherhood 28 years ago. The line between black and white has been reduced to a gray matter. Entertainment has evolved into a platform of "Hollywood" activists, movies are filled with violence, language, sexual content which is labeled ... artistic and edgy. Music is filled with angry lyrics degrading humanity, sexuality and language now identified with a Parental Warning Label. TV has also evolved... no longer does "Father know Best"..... we have become a society "Lost" within "24" ... sex, violence, teenagers experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex in the comfort of your family room. Cable and satellite bring more stations with more and more of the same. Is it any wonder kids are confused, angry and desperate for attention?

I am blessed. My children who range in age from 26-18 are simply amazing, uniquely different and each focused on making their mark.. I used to think Hillary Clinton was crazy when she said, "It takes a village to raise a child" now I understand her wisdom. As a single parent I also struggled with positive role male role models for my children. I have experience many Monday Morning Quarterbacks during the past 13 years.. Those who are willing to dispense destructive criticism ... always willing and quick to point out perceived fault in my parenting abilities or choices my children had made... yet not one of them single nor what I would call a great role model especially within their own families...and never willing to walk a mile in my shoes. Yet in my village I have acquired a tremendous circle of great role models who have loved unconditionally, encouraged and inspired the possibilities of each of my children. Today I see the profound wisdom in the "Village". There is no way I could have raised my children by myself... I was blessed with great Bishops, excellent home teachers and ward members who just loved and accepted my family as an extension of theirs. To my cherished friends... you have seen each of my children grow into amazing young adults, you have celebrated tremendous accomplishments, marriage, college and high school graduations and the everyday experiences that make life so grand, and now we celebrate a baby coming... A heartfelt thank you to those who not only understand... but have chosen to make a difference in the lives of my children by feeling a sense of personal responsibility.

I have learned that life doesn't come in a perfectly wrapped package... Lessons, adversity and challenges are rarely planned for... In light of those lessons.. I have learned that personal responsibility can't be forced, or demanded but simply emulated. Like the famous poem of "Children Learn what they Live".. If a child lives in love they learn how to show love... Much the same, if we raise our children with a foundation of personal responsibility they will learn to live in the realm of personal responsibility. This does not mean that mistakes will be avoided... or the pain we experience from bad choices won't be felt.. As Proverbs... would suggest . "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." [Proverbs 22:6] For me this has meant... teaching my children to do the very best I can in light of being human.

For me, age has been a great friend. Learning can be very painful yet empowering.. Understanding can be enlightening and life changing... The opportunities for personal growth and evolution knock at our doors every day... the question is.. do we open the door? This past 7 months has been filled with incredible opportunities to reach, stretch and grown in ways I never dreamed possible.

Personal Responsibility is not a one time event... but rather conscious daily decisions that foster strength of character, integrity and the courage to live your "Personal Best".

I challenge you to live your life with intensity and purpose.

Monday, February 1, 2010

To Save A Life....

On the recommendation of a friend I went to see the movie "To Save A Life". It is an incredible journey of a young man, Jake Taylor who finds his life at a crossroads after a tragic turn of events. He has everything, is everything and is heading to college on a full ride scholarship. The movie realistically depicts every difficult "peer pressured" decision high school kids are living with and making. Drinking, Drugs, Unprotected Sex, Popularity and the Pressure to Exclude others, Teen Suicide, Cutting, Divorce of parents, Pressure of college plans, Unplanned pregnancy, Abortion, Adoption and finding room for God.

TAKE YOUR KIDS AND FRIENDS AND GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Most of us have experienced glimpses of Jake Taylor in our own lives. Having friends, maybe being popular, facing temptations of "peer pressure", drinking, drugs, sex, feelings inadequacy..not feeling thin enough, pretty enough, not having a boyfriend, feeling like you just don't fit. Feelings of why I am here? Why do I hurt? What's in it for me?

Life becomes most difficult when we feel like no one cares or understands.

Life presents us many new opportunities and challenges every day, that is no coincidence.. Our lot in life is one of constant learning, growing and evolving into the best people we can be.

We may never be called up to save the masses... But may I suggest, saving just one life certainly changes the outcome of future generations. When we no longer feel our voice is the only one that matters, we cease to have to be right, when there is no longer room for criticizing, gossiping and exuding others ... Then the life line of love, acceptance, forgiveness, reconciling and healing lifts us out of the depths of despair.

A LIFE SAVED...