Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Calling All Campers

You may know already, but Tobin and I are not campers. I camped quite a bit with my family when I was younger and attended all six years of girls camp with the young women in my ward. And we did real camping--sometimes tents, no showers some years, wilderness. But I have not been camping in a long time. Tobin has been a few times when he was a boy scout, I think. But he really doesn't enjoy it.

Our kids have started asking us to take them camping, so I am determined to have a family camping experience this summer. I need your advice! We are driving up to Idaho to see Tobin's family and I want to camp at Yellowstone for a couple of nights. Suggestions? Advice? Seriously, even the most basic advice will not be lost on us. I'm trying to conjure up all of my camping memories and knowledge. I'm not coming up with much so far.

My husband is not convinced that he wants to camp, so advice I could use to convince him to go would also be helpful. Otherwise it will just be me and the kids (and my brothers-in-law and their families).

Please help me!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

This weekend has been wonderful! Friday happened to be Tobin's birthday, so we had a lot to celebrate. Our kids spent the night at my sister-in-law's house, so we had a whole night to ourselves. We went to Kohls and bought Tobin a few new articles of clothing, since much of his current wardrobe is too big now. (I'm so proud of him!). It was really fun to shop with just the two of us, no kids crying or whining or running away. After shopping, we went to dinner at La Veranda, an Italian place just down the street from our house. The food was great, and again it was nice to sit quietly and eat our dinner without struggling to get the kids to eat theirs.

Saturday morning we had a couples massage at a fairly new sports club/spa in Oakley. It was fabulous! They were having a Mother's Day special, including brunch, that we didn't know about. A lovely coincidence for us. We had a very nice time relaxing together, and we both really needed a massage. We picked up the kids shortly after the massages and had a nice afternoon with them. I went to the senior ball for Antioch High last night, so Tobin was home alone with the kids. While I was gone, he was super dad, even making sure they got a bath so it would be an easier Sunday morning.

This morning, Tobin and Peyton brought me breakfast in bed (Maryam was still asleep). Then, the kids joined me in my room for breakfast, so we had a picnic on the floor--I'm not really fond of the idea of three-year-olds possibly spilling syrup in my bed. It was so cute to sit and eat french toast with my sweet boy and girl on the floor of our bedroom. Church was pretty nice, and tonight we had dinner with the Cali family, minus Aunt Mary and Victoria. Dinner was awesome, especially the baby lava cakes I made for dessert. They didn't quite turn out right, but melted chocolate is hard to really mess up. Yum!

I'm so thankful for my husband and kids today. It was not so long ago that Mother's Day was really hard for me because it was a huge reminder of something I couldn't have. Something I feared I would never have. I think because we had to work so hard for our kids, I appreciate them more than I might have otherwise. My heart was breaking today, though, for the friends I have who are still struggling with this same trial. I hope all women know that they have an influence in the lives of the people around them, even if those people are not their biological children. Many women have been incredibly influential in my life, especially my mother and grandmothers. But there are some others who are not related to me who have also had a big impact on who I am. I'm so thankful for all of these women. I'm especially grateful for my own mom. She has taught me so much about being selfless, giving, caring, loving, etc. My mom is my inspiration. I hope I can be like her someday!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Filling My Lamp

I love to attend baptisms. This is the little epiphany I had today. Because of my service in Primary, I have had the opportunity to be compelled to attend many baptisms. Because of the number of siblings I have, I have been able to attend many more baptisms. Every time I go to one of these special services, I am overwhelmed by the spirit of the Lord that attends me. I am filled with His great love for me. Even though attending is sometimes a duty, I always benefit from being there. I love seeing the innocence and beauty in the eyes of the young children who are baptized at age eight. And I love to see the hope and joy in the eyes of the adults who are baptized once they learn the truth of the gospel. What a wonderful, beautiful ordinance that opens the door to salvation and eternal life with our Heavenly Father! I am so blessed by his Spirit and His love!