It has been so great to get "back in touch" with so many of you via the world of blogging! Why didn't I do this ages ago? Who knows. But, it's funny- lately I feel like there are so many things that we are finally getting done. I don't know why it is all happening at once, but Nate is making major progress on getting his dissertation done, I am almost done with my last class for my degree, we have made some big changes in living a healthier lifestyle, we are getting our house de-junked and re-organized, and we are making some good progress towards meeting some big short-term financial goals. I don't know, it doesn't look like much in type, but it feels good. It feels a little less like my days are spent treading water.
The baby's cold seems to be getting worse this week - when you have had a "cold" for 7 months it is all a matter of degrees, but the poor little thing is just not his usual chipper self, and his eyes and nose are much drippier than usual. As a result, I am hesitant to leave him tomorrow, so now I'm really not sure what to do about attending the stake activity. If Nate would be home to watch him that would be fine, but he is off on his race. These are the times when it feels like life would be so much easier if we lived close to family. We do have Nate's sister Lora an hour away, but she keeps a pretty busy schedule, and she is off running with him this weekend (come on Lora, why can't you just be lazy like me!). Last night he was trying to convince me that I should run on this relay team next year. It all sounds great except the running part, but maybe I should give it a try. I do really want to do the women's 10k in Boston in October... at least I do today. Half of the time I just feel like it is a silly idea. I really can't run, and I don't want to slow anybody down or do it alone. I know that there are some women in my ward who are planning to run/walk it - I just need to get serious about training with them. Also, now that I think about it that may be the same weekend that my in-laws are in town, and I would much rather take my mother-in-law sightseeing. We REALLY have to go tour the Louisa May Alcott's home in Concord this time - it is becoming quite the joke that every time she comes out we intend to go there, and never quite make it (we did make it once, but we missed the last tour by 10 minutes and couldn't go inside). So, we are definitely going next month (they are coming out for a quick visit for Nate's Dad to attend a dental conference in Boston).
Today I am watching a couple of extra kids, getting caught up on housework (yesterday was packed full and the house is showing the neglect), and hopefully finishing a book I have been reading about the handcart companies. I am getting so emotionally wrapped up in this Handcart Trek that we are planning for our youth. I just don't know how to strike that proper balance of helping them understand the sacrifices that were made and the sorrow and pain of that experience, while also helping them see the hand of God in it, and in their own lives so that the story becomes inspiring instead of depressing. But, I know for certain that this is the experience that our youth need to have this next year. I've been doing presentations about it at Stake Council, Bishop's meetings, Stake Youth Committee meetings, and AP/YW committee meetings and every time I talk about it I get chills. I just feel this huge excitement about how it will be and what it will mean in these kids' lives, and I also feel the crushing weight of responsibility. Luckily, in the next weeks the High Council is extending calls to the committee heads, which will allow Brother Newey (the Stake YM President) and I to shift some of that weight. That will be a big relief - maybe I won't lay awake at night worrying about it so much (this is still 10 months away - not a good sign that I'm already this stressed!)
This is becoming a really long post, but this is pretty much it for my journal right now, and it is my blog so I can write as long as I want, right? Feel free to stop reading anytime . . . still here? Okay, well I was thinking about that quote from one of the survivors of either the Willie or Martin Handcart company who said that He knew that God was with them because they became "acquainted with him in our extremities." Isn't it interesting how true that is for all of us. In the extremities of life - big blessings, big trials, pure joy, devastating sorrow - it is so easy for us to see the hand of God. In the more mundane lulls of everyday life we forget to look for his hand. I love something President Eyring has talked about - how he kept a journal where everyday he would write down some way that he saw the hand of the Lord in his life that day. I think that if we look for it we will always find it.
I have so much to be grateful for, and such a good life. It is sad that I have to keep reminding myself to focus on that and ignore the things that I just can't change right now. I am loving this stage of life right now with my adorable kiddos. Isaac is just continually cracking me up (although yesterday I was MORTIFIED when he slammed our shopping cart into a poor little employee at Walmart - needless to say he spent the rest of the trip in the cart) - I think that so far the first 6 months are my very favorite (I know many of you disagree but I think that newborns are just the greatest thing EVER), but those are followed closely by 4-years-old. They are old enough to express their feelings and needs clearly, and young enough to still think that you are perfect and that you know everything. They haven't been exposed to the outside world enough to pick up bad habits and language so all they know is what you have taught them (for better or for worse).
I never know how to end these posts. So. The End (for now).