Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Times Have Changed

A little over three years ago, I hiked Ensign Peak and saw this view (except it was too dark to take pictures that time):

On a Tuesday evening in October 2010, I stood on top of that mountain and said YES to the best question I've ever been asked.

Last week, Graham and I hiked it again, for the first time since we agreed to marry each other. The hike was still the same in many ways: we found the spot where he proposed, we looked down on the same view of the city, and we even laughed at the stretch of trail where I was hit by an owl.

But things have changed, too. This time, instead of strolling casually up the hill, Graham hefted this little man in a back pack. Instead of the sounds of nature, we listened to Will's squeals of delight from his perch in the pack.

Instead of gazing out at the view together, we took turns chasing Will around the top, trying to make sure he didn't leap off the cliff.

Since our feet last stood on that ground, we've been married in the temple, moved into our first apartment, traveled internationally, changed careers, had a son, bought a house, and had countless little adventures along the way.

It's interesting how revisiting a place over the years makes it into almost a measuring stick of time. I look forward to making that climb again and again, adding to the list of changes that occur between each visit.

It may not have been as romantic of a hike this time around, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I was surrounded by my boys, taking in the adventure of life...just where I want to be.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


It's getting cold around here. I had to turn on the heater last week, I've started wearing socks again (gasp!), and I've put soups back on the dinner menu. Graham even suggested that we put the down comforter back on the bed. So now I know it's not jut me. Fall is officially here.

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of cold weather. I'd much rather bask in the warmth of summer with all the sunshine and outdoor adventure it brings. But, I've made a distinct effort this year to focus on the good things about fall. I even made a bucket list.

All this changing weather has got me thinking about seasons...not just the meteorological ones, but the seasons of life. Graham and I regularly comment about how fast Will is growing, and how it wasn't that long ago he was just scooting around the house and learning to crawl. I don't always see that progress day to day; sometimes I get stuck in the rut of laundry, sweeping cheerios up off the floor, and just trying to stay alive until Graham gets home. 

Last weekend, during General Conference I was struck by a particular phrase spoken by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He described a specific woman whom he admired in the following way: 

"The demands on her were many and her tasks often repetitive and mundane, yet underneath it all was a beautiful serenity, a sense of being about God’s work."

I was pierced...and I was humbled. I asked myself, "Is there a beautiful serenity to my mothering?" Honestly...not as much as I'd like. 

This week, I have a new reminder for myself: This is MY season. 

Will is sure to grow up way too fast, and soon he'll be in the season of school, and then the season of learning to drive, and then the season of moving out on his own where I can't be there to protect him from the world. 

But, THIS season, these few years where I have him to myself, this is is MY season...to love him and prepare him for all those other seasons life will bring to him. 

So, I'm embracing this time, in all it's messy and sometimes mundane glory. I'm going to sneak as many kisses as I can, log lots of snuggle time, and get down and play with balls and cars as much as possible. 

Because this season will pass. And then I'll probably want it back.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Seeing the Stars

Here's a little inspiration for the day. I've been playing around with Photoshop more lately, trying to expand my skills.

Here is my most recent creation: 

I love this quote (although I truthfully had a hard time figuring out who said it...it's attributed to several people). It reminds me that there is always meaning in the suffering we experience, even if it's hard to see. Sometimes, we're so stuck in the middle of life that we can't see the stars. But, if we get away from the lights of the city and the pollution of the world (in all its forms), we're able to see the stars peeking through the darkness. We can see the Lord's hand in all things. We just have to look up.

Here's another version of the same quote:

Which one do you like better?