[from Scary] Jo and I recently had an opportunity to go home for the weekend. Because of unusual circumstances we found ourselves childless at Church. We watched the young women in our congregation walk in to the chapel in their beautiful modest prom dresses (prom was the night before). Jo leaned over to me and said, "It is fun to go to church with all the pretty princesses". Because of our childless state (first time in 10 years for Jo and 3 1/2 years for me) after the sacrament service we had time to talk to the women who were our cheerleaders, our teachers and secondary mothers. They hugged and expressed interest in current experiences. As I watched these and other women participate and teach in the Sunday School and Relief Society class I realized that I not only got to attend church with prom princesses but real royalty. Queen's who knew the best way to beautify their kingdom was to serve those around them, raise their posterity through their skill and knowledge knowing that no sacrifice of time or talents was too great.
|This picture was taken of me by Ryder, it is by far not a proffesional picture but I think|
my budding photographer captured my favorite features about myself
my blue eyes and a genuine smile.
When I think of my wardrobe royal robes don't come to mind. Instead I think of the --fill in the blank (i.e. snot, sweat, food stains, blood, ect)-- that is crusted on my clothes, or the x number of holes that can be found in my clothes from too many washes/too full of wash load/too many wears. Date night outfit is often times the only outfit that is clean, doesn't have holes (or at least not too big of ones) and helps me not feel too self conscious in the post baby(ies) body. I attended a parenting class at the start of the year where they taught that if I wanted to teach my kids to learn positive self talk they need to watch me do it, and then they would model that behavior.
|Al is such a fun aunt and mother. When Ryder was a baby |
she would always "kidnap" him and they would have fun outings.
[from Al] Being a mom has really changed my outward appearance, but not totally for the worst. I remember as a single college student I would fix my hair at least once a day and my makeup at least twice a day. I was vain and totally consumed with myself. I'm happy to say that I now live in a bigger world with 2 incredible, beautiful children and one hardworking, charming husband. I have 3 amazing distractions that sometimes cause me to lose track of myself. Now I'm lucky if I do something besides a messy bun and/or make-up more than three times a month. And my clothes? 85.7% (everyday but Sunday) of the time I am in basketball shorts/workout pants, a comfy shirt, and flip flops. Heck, I'm lucky if I eat something before 1:30 PM because there are so many other things to get done and I just forget.
It's truly amazing to give all you have in service to others, but I don't think we should lose track of who we are as we are serving. On the days the kids and I get to leave the house and go to the store, I always check to see that Ty and Heber have their face washed, hair combed, and are nicely dressed (while me on the other hand is in super causal attire with wisps of curls falling out of the pony tail I threw back at the start of the day, and black smudges under my eyes from the makeup I wore 3 days ago). Mom Shaffer has warned each of us girls many times to remember who we are and not be afraid to take care of ourselves; that each of us are a child of God and need to constantly remember that in order to fully take care of the special spirits we have been given to teach and raise. I'm so excited for this series so that I can take some time to be reminded of how to take time to create (I just got my serger today- so excited) some things that are an outward expression of my true character within and the love for the life I have been given.
Iron Man took this picture for us. Can you guess which one of my kiddos owns those eyes?
[from Jo] Holy Smokes! My sisters are the coolest, don't you think? I feel so inspired reading their comments. It makes me want to be a little better! It makes me want to be that "royalty" that Scary and I saw at church. It also makes me think of my mom. Just the other day, she threw on her work clothes and went out to mow her acre of lawn. She is almost 60. She is such a hard worker. And yet, when it was time to go visit her mom, she came in, took a shower, and put on some really cute clothes and makeup. She really is a SuperWoman! I love to think of the many outfits we wear. Maybe the quote could go something like this "To every thing there is a season, and a pair of shoes for every purpose under the heaven" Some times we are wearing our dress up shoes, our fancy clothes, with makeup, hair done, and the works. Other times we are wearing our flip-flops, mom clothes, and our pony tails. Either way, we are beautiful, and either outfit has its purpose. This month, we didn't want to be to specific on what you make for Mom, we just want you to do something a little selfish, and do it for you or the Mom you love.
Their is a fantastic quote that I absolutely love, and it says: “As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf