Raising Kids in a Home that Believes in God

My mom said that when I was about five years old I was very serious about love. She had walked into the kitchen one day to find me sitting at the table pondering intensely about something. She said my face was so funny she just had to ask what was on my mind. To which I replied, “I wonder who my husband is going to be.”

I know I have shared this story before because it is very true to who I have always been. Who was that man whom I would spend the rest of my life with and have kids with? Because it would be for forever, so it was a very serious decision. We believe that God has a way for families to be together forever.

A long time later in my teens, this goal of husband and marriage and love was overshadowed by simpler things like having a date that weekend, what boy in class was cute, and the eternities just was not a hot topic. Until.

One day, a thought just came to mind. Maybe it was a lesson at church on motherhood. Who knows. I remember talking to a friend of mine about dating and I had said to her, “My kids are in heaven watching me. I don’t want to date the wrong guy. Maybe they are up there saying ‘No mom! Not him! That’s not dad!’ I was not only looking for a husband for myself, but a father for my kids.

Believing in God does not shelter anyone from the woes of this world. I have had a lot of heartaches and headaches. Such is life, we live and learn.

As an LDS, we believe we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. Every night we sing the song “I am a Child of God” with Ethan.

Tonight, I felt Gods love in my home as I held His precious baby son.

In my hallway there is a full size mirror. I like to stand in front of it while holding my kids and watch their eyes get heavier and heavier until they are asleep. Tonight as I did so, his adorable face just overwhelmed me. I felt consumed with love for this baby. For both of my boys. And I thought, I LOVE holding my babies. I thank God for them.

I am the kind of mom that cries easily. So as I was holding Axel I sniffed, which made him jump and me giggle of the cuteness of his facial expression. Again his eyes closed and as I was trying to lay him down his arm wrapped around mine and his hand gripped me as if to say, ‘Not yet mom. Hold me a little longer.’ I rocked him in my arms a few minutes more.

I have only been a mom for a little over two years. It has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It has also been one of the most wonderful things to have ever happened to me. I am a mommy. And I love it. Is there anything more beautiful on this earth than for two people to love each other so much they create life together?

One day after church my husband and I were talking in the car on our way home about our little family. We both agreed, it feels like it was always this way. Us four. We were just apart for a little while so Shaun and I could grow up and get married, but now we are together again. Reunited. We belong together.

I can never tire of looking at these gorgeous faces, and I will forever thank God for helping me find the right husband and blessing me with these boys of mine. Our family is forever. x

“Well Done Son”

A friend of mine was walking into an open market hall when she witnessed a crime. She saw a little boy, about 5 or 6 years of age, run out of a corner shop with merchandise. Her first thought was: “darn undisciplined kids these days!” Until she saw him jump into a car with 3 grown men who were obviously waiting for him. And because she was still standing at the entrance of this market hall she was close enough to hear the driver say to the boy, “well done son.”

True story.

(photo credit)

Maybe She Was Just Like Me, With Two Young Sons….

This afternoon I stood outside hanging laundry. It is the first week of October, autumn has surely arrived with her cold wind and orange leaves. Ethan, my two year old, was running around kicking his ball, looking for bugs and pointing out the airplanes over our heads. In my right arm was little three month old Axel. He was wrapped in a quilt his grandma had made. Yes I was hanging laundry with one hand.  I looked at my children and wondered if I had dressed them warm enough. Time suddenly paused. My thoughts transported to another time. A time when a people were driven from their homes and persecuted for their religious beliefs.

I had heard the stories a hundred times. But this afternoon it became real to me. As I watched Ethan running around and held Axel in my arms, I wondered, “was there a woman just like me? With two young sons?” I imagined there was a woman struggling through the snow. Tired, aching, but determined. I know children died in the harsh winters. I wondered if she lost one of her sons because he got too cold? Did her baby survive? Warm enough in the blankets and quilts she had made for him? I know how my toddler loves to run away and explore. Did hers do the same and got lost in the snow?  With these thoughts suddenly overwhelming me, as if it were happening right in front of me, I took my two sons inside where I knew it was warm and gave them both a big cuddle.

My heart aches for the trials those women suffered, but I also thank God for their strength and their unshakeable faith. If I were to ever meet a woman who had lost her child, I would embrace her as if she were my long lost sister. As if I had been there with her, beside her, and shared her tears. As if I had known those children and remembered the sound of their laughter. And the way they smelled after playing outside all day. I would embrace her and miss them with her.

I cannot bear the thought of losing my boys, yet I know there are mothers out there who have lost theirs. How strong they must be to carry on. Since becoming a mother I have found an instant connection to other mothers. There is something that binds us, and I believe that it is the understanding of what it feels like to be a mother. The love we have for our children. The struggles we experience raising them. That understanding brings about compassion. I am grateful to those fellow moms out there who reach out to me because they understand and feel compassion when I struggle. We mothers also share the jokes, the funny things our children do that make us smile.

All those women, in the pioneer stories, now have a place in my heart. They lived a long time ago but the feelings of motherhood seem quite the same. There is much we can learn and appreciate from the women who have gone before us. They are our grandmothers. I am grateful for their strength. x

(all photos via google.com)

My Universe Revolves Around Them

It is not hard to know what my life is centered around. What (or who) I am always looking at. My focus every moment of the day revolves around my Ethan Smethan and my Axel Baxel. It is obvious, because I am always taking pictures of them.

I have hundreds of photographs of my kids, and it has only been just over two years! On Facebook I have several albums, my iPhoto is full of pictures and my instagram application again is full of my boys. Sometimes I wonder, what was I looking at before I had kids? I hardly remember.

How quickly life changes when you become a mother. And even though I am always watching my kids, noticing what they do and how they do it, how quickly they grow and I am desperate to not miss anything. Afraid I will miss their ‘first’ of something. I am their mother, I am their witness so that I can re-tell their tales when they are older. Today, Ethan ate his first booger. I saw it happen! See? As gross as that sounds, I am excited that I got to be here with him when it happened. And I know my son well enough to know that it was truly his first time because it was kind of an accident. He always wants me to wipe his nose when he sneezes snot and as I was bending over to get it, it slipped into his mouth! It disappeared into the dark abyss of his mouth. I never saw it again. I gave him a cookie in case it tasted bad. He wasn’t phased. Boys.

I did a degree in creative writing and I was encouraged to start a blog so that others could read what I write. Although I have lots of ideas in my head, I seem to keep wanting to write about my kids. And how I feel about them as their mother. These otherwise meaningless things that happen are actually milestones in my eyes. Each new thing they learn is a great achievement and I feel proud of them! Today was also the first day Ethan put on his wellie boots by himself on the correct feet! Soon he will be dressing himself and I am already missing him needing his mommy. Sitting in my lap while I do everything for him.

It must be in a woman’s nature to take care of and nurture these darling little ones. My heart has never been so soft and my tears have never come so quick until they came into my life. They turned me into mush! But I love them for it.

You know a person by what you see in their eyes. In my eyes, or through them, this is what I see, what I am always looking at, these boys are the centre of my universe. x

Axel "Baxel"

Ethan "Smethan"