Thursday, April 2, 2015

Take it for what it's worth...

My cute cousin Brighton posted on her blog the other day that she often writes essays in her head. I realized I do the same thing, quite frequently in fact. Although I'm sure mine aren't as beautifully articulated as her are, here is one of them.

My interactions with people these days are in about 15-30 minute bursts where we exchange some general information about ourselves and sprinkle in some funny anecdotes here and there. Then I leave their house or workplace and never see them again. In almost all of these conversations, the subject of kids comes up. I ask about their family (few people get life insurance without someone to leave it to, after all) to distract them from the needle I'm about to put in their arm or as a precursor to the fact that I'm about to ask them to pee in a cup. For some reason that's gross to people who aren't nurses... go figure... They usually tell me a little about each of their children and ask if I have any kids. I respond with a quip about how being a nursing student is enough responsibility for now. I don't know why, but this response is almost always met with something along the lines of, "You are so smart to do that!" or "Waiting to have kids until you finish school is SUCH a good idea," or my personal favorite: "I SO wish I did that!" and then, as if suddenly remembering, quickly adding, "Oh, but I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything."

Until recently, I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this. I used to say things like, "Yeah, we're having a lot of fun," and "My husband seems to always see the kid in the grocery store throwing a fit but never the little girl that runs up and hugs her dad's legs." While these are both true, that's not the reason we don't have kids. My response the last few weeks has been different, and more accurately expresses the way I feel about the subject. "It's just what the plan has been for us. We have friends who got married around the same time we did, and they're happy with kids, but we're just not there yet."

At the risk of sounding like I'm trying to justify the fact that it's still just the two of us after nearly five years (by Mormon standards we should at least be on our 2nd kid right now, right?), that's not my point. My point is that there is only one timeline that anyone should adhere to, and that's the Lord's. Because social media puts every wedding announcement, graduation picture and newborn in a basket right in our face, we are fooled into thinking that we're behind or missing out if we haven't accomplished the same things as our acquaintances from high school. We see their highlight reel and compare it with our outtakes. It cheapens our accomplishments in our own eyes, and frankly, it's a load of crap! If you feel like you're doing all you can to be a good person and do what Heavenly Father would want you to do, let that be enough, because it absolutely is. Whether you're single, struggling to have your first baby, on baby #3 and feeling like you're buried in diapers and laundry, what you are doing is important. Let's all try to keep that in mind, OK?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Weekend Away

I have something to talk about besides work and school. Yay!

We spent the afternoon at The Valley of Fire outside of Vegas yesterday. If you ever have some time to kill in Vegas, I highly recommend driving the 40ish miles there. It was absolutely beautiful! Ian's brother is getting married there in April so I wanted to go scout out wedding locations. I was getting so excited and Ian was not matching my level of excitement... We took some great pictures.

On the drive in.
Lone Rock was our first stop. I wish they allowed weddings there because it was incredible. The red rock was off set by these beautiful turquoise bushes with little flowers. The colors were so vibrant!

The contrast was absolutely stunning.
I had never seen anything like these little bushes. 
Those little yellow flowers are my favorite.

The place lent itself well to panoramic pictures.
Down the road from Lone Rock is The Cabins. They were built in the 1930s for travelers. We took pictures of them because they weren't much smaller than our first apartment. :)

Desert livin'.
Through the window
At least there's a fireplace...

I climbed up to the top. We decided Alex and Claire should stand up there and we could
watch them from below at their wedding. :)

A panoramic from the top.

Mouse's tank was our next stop. Mouse was a gangster, not a rodent. The story is that it was a hideout for gangsters in the early 20th century. We were told there was a rainwater lake after a short hike.

For the Harwells, it's all about picture spots. I thought this was a great one. 

Another picture location.

There was no shortage of beauty to take in along the way.

Here's the rainwater "lake" that sustained Mouse and his gang.
It was rather underwhelming.

There was a cute little rock formation in the sand.
It was definitely worth the afternoon we spent hiking around there. Alex and Claire's wedding is going to be absolutely beautiful. It fits their outdoorsy personalities so well. I'm so excited!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The last one.

Jillian really should've been first, since her birthday is the first one of the year, but I started with Meg.

It's Jillian's 20th birthday.

Jilly and some lovable puppies.
Mom: Jilly has lived this life on her own terms and in her own timing. She's smart, driven, fun, beautiful, and inspiring. I found out early to give her what she needs and get out of her way and enjoy what she does. I expect the same from here on. Can't wait to watch your amazing life unfold from this point forward. Love you. Glad I'm your Mama.

Jillian with Mom and Dad after her performance for the MoTab Christmas Concert.
 Dad: My little Jilly Bop is all grown up now, but will always be my little Jilly Bop. She came into this world with a smile on her face and hasn't stopped smiling for 20 years. She completed our family in so many ways, and has never seen a challenge she couldn't conquer! Thanks for being my dance mentor, and now my workout buddy! I love you so much and am so very proud of you!

My favorite picture of Jillian and me.
Cori: You are just the greatest. I would look like a hag without your great hair and makeup advice. You take on any challenge and make it look easy, no matter what it is. I love your zeal for life. I was thinking today that you were also baptized 12 years ago today. I remember when at the end, you were so touched by everything that had happened, you just started bawling. Everyone was congratulating you with your bright red face. You have always been wise beyond your years. Happy Birthday, little sis! Love you!

Ian: The big two Oh! Nice! One more year until you can drink, but decide not to. Its a good time to be alive. You always manage to keep things happy and cheerful and are always up for family activities. Keep living the dream and having fun. Hope you have a happy birthday!

I found this gem today.

Megan: Jillian is one of my favorite people on the planet. She knows how to work hard and play hard. One time, Jill put her legs through the sleeves of her hoodie and hobbled around on her butt. We were all crying, we were laughing so hard. I will always think of her when someone mentions nail polish or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. :) I look up to her in so many ways.

Jillian was the doll in The Nutcracker one year.
 Bud: Jill and I have gotten really close over the course of our junior high and high school years. Heck, we live in the same apartment complex right now. I love hanging out, laughing, and just being our weird selves together. It's been great seeing her grow up into the strong-rooted woman she is, even though she will always feel like she should be 14 to me. What can I ay? I love Jill. Here's to another great one, baby sis.

She looks pretty in every picture I've ever seen.

Jill's close up at the concert.