It has been too long since the last post and there is so much to say, so much that I think about, so this may all be jibberish. The lesson today in Relief Society was focused on how our knowledge of the Savior and the Plan of Salvation can help us deal with death. This was one of the few times I had nothing to say, but much to think about. People shared how a knowledge of the Resurrection gave great hope and peace in their lives when they'd had family members with severe disabilities or limitations, or close loved ones pass on - both young and old.
I listened in humble awe. Jeremy and I have been so fortunate in our lives. All of our siblings are living with no disabilities. All of our parents are living with no disabilities. I still have four living grandparents. None of our children or nieces or nephews have disabilities or have been taken early from this earthly life. Death is very real for everyone, will come someday to all, yet it has not extended its cold hand to an immediate part of our family. Not yet. There will come a day when something will happen, no one can avoid death forever. And I'm not meaning to be depressing, I'm just at a loss for words for the gratitude I feel, and I am aching for people who have gone through such losses. I may not be able to understand it yet, but I can see I have much to lose when the time comes. I'm grateful our family relationships are as good as they are. No one is perfect, but we have a lot of love in our families. I think when all is said and done some of the biggest questions at the end of our lives may be: Did I love enough? Did I tell the people I love how much I love them? Did I enjoy and appreciate the people around me and how much they do for me? Do those I care for know I love them?
I wish I knew how to keep this in focus all the time. The beginning of this last week was awful. I'd had it trying to figure out how to be a mom. The girls knew every button they could push, and they did. I'm so grateful for the angels Heavenly Father sent in forms of friends and family that either came over or talked to me as I tried to get a hold of myself. But then, the storm cleared. Someone took the kids for me the next morning and I had time to regroup. Jeremy got home unexpectedly early and we had time together. We went swimming with the girls and just had fun playing. The rest of the week has gone so well. So in the wake of my meltdown and then turnaround, I wonder about how would things be if my life were to be over unexpectedly. Do my girls and husband know how great they are and how much I love them? I think so, but I'm also seeing the more I strive to remember that, the easier it is to love and appreciate them, and live without guilt and regrets of what I'm not doing. Katie, Sydney, and Cora don't need 20 activities a week to feel like I'm giving them a good life. They need me to love them and teach them right from wrong, to teach them how to rely on the Lord and themselves, how to love others and accept love. Jeremy and I are not perfect, but I think we do a good job of thanking each other and expressing love frequently. I can't plan or control everything, but when I look at what we're trying to do right, I think, as hard as it would be to lose any of us, love is expressed often enough that none of us would doubt how the others feel.
That will be something we will deal with when the time comes. Until then I will continue to kiss and cuddle each person in this house.
And give poorly put together updates with no pictures because we do not have a decent camera.
Sydney and Cora turned three the beginning of January. I made them cupcakes and cheesecake for their birthday, and I can't even remember if we gave them presents since it was just after Christmas. They all have yet to be emotionally wounded by my lack of extravagance for birthdays. I'm sure someday they'll have something to say about it.
We joined a gym here shortly thereafter. This gym has a pool and I have taken all three of them swimming by myself multiple times now. Getting into the pool and out of the pool are traumatic events for me, but being in the water is wonderful! All three of them now swim in the "deep water" with their life jackets on. They jump off the edge of the pool, go down slides by themselves, and love being thrown high in the air to land in the water. It's so much fun to see them do so well, and more fun to have them go to be exhausted at night after a few hours in the pool. I do have ulterior motives with all of our activities - I want to wear them out! We all sleep better at night if they've had active days.
They love to go on walks with me now. It's not nearly as much exercise for me as pushing two in the stroller with one on my back. We only go about a mile and it's slow. But even Pele is good with them. They take turns walking her and she is very gentle with them. We have had a lot of ice this year, so it's not often I take them out walking. We will be out more with the spring.
They all fell in love with the movie Brave, and have been very excited about moving to Montana since we've told them there will be horses to ride there. They all want to ride a black horse and shoot arrows through a forest.
Katie has become a rock climber. She started at a small climbing wall and decided that was her current calling in life. She now wraps her toes and fingers around our door frames at home and climbs to the top of them. Jeremy and I found a climbing gym close by and we've been taking her at least once a week (to help wear her out and teach her how to climb with a rope and harness). She has climbed to the top of those 45 foot walls many a time now. She just scurries on up there and sings away. Jeremy and I have also learned it makes for a great date night.
Sydney and Cora are finally potty trained, though we still have set-backs and accidents, we are no longer using diapers in the day time. They are both so eager to help me with anything - dinner, groceries, feeding the dog, walking the dog, dishes, even cleaning the house and folding laundry. Too bad when they're old enough to really do it they'll probably be fighting me on it.
Jeremy and I are chomping at the bit to get to Montana. We'll be heading there the last week of March to look for a home and we can't seem to contain ourselves. He just got his Montana license yesterday. I can't explain everything I feel about it. We moved here to New England almost 4 years ago and I loved it. Everything about it was wonderful and New England was home to us. But somehow my roots have started to pull out. I can feel my soul being called to Great Falls. I look at our time here and it has been so hard, but so wonderful. The hard has had everything to do with figuring out how to be a family with three little girls and Jeremy being a resident. Now at the end of it we realize there's a lot we just don't remember (I think it has to do with sleep deprivation), but we also have so many good memories. I love the people we've been around. They are who we need for this time in our lives. Yet that time is coming to a close. We will be in a whole new world in Montana. Katie will be starting kindergarten, the twins will not be babies anymore, and we will be able to pay for a babysitter. We will have vacations when we don't have to worry about nap time and diapers. I will be able to run, even if it means putting the twins in the stroller, on a regular basis. I'm trying to filter through how to hang on to every good thing we have now and keep it in this new life we'll be starting. I don't know exactly what that is, or how to do it, but I'm so excited that our girls are growing as well as they are and that we will not be in baby land forever. As much as I have loved what we've done here, it's been so much of baby land that I have lost my mind multiple times. I know it's not like my kids will magically be angels because we're moving somewhere new and can afford to buy the Brianna's poppy seed dressing, but I'm still excited.
Both Jeremy and I are seeing gray hairs here and there. I'm excited about that, too. I know that sounds strange in this have-to-look-22-forever culture, but I feel that we have paid our dues and have earned the age we are. I don't think "oh, we're getting old!" But I like where we are in life, and I don't feel like we've wasted time anywhere. Things have more meaning for me, relationships have deepened, and life is still teaching me all kinds of things. We are not meant to be the same always. We have to grow and move on. So I'm happy with what life now is for me at 32. And I'm excited for where we'll be at 42, then 52. So far it's been the best 32 years of my life.
OK, long enough rambling. There's the update over that last couple of months and hopefully I can get some pictures up. I cut all three girls hair a couple of weeks ago, so I need to get that up. It was successful! We'll see what I talk about next time....