Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not Perfect, Just Complete: My Thoughts on the General Women's Conference

Saturday I got the wonderful experience to view the General Women's Broadcast. It was seriously amazing — not just because of the spirit. Here are a list of things I loved about the conference.

1. Holy #Hashtag — literally. In the opening sequence where they show Temple Square and all of the pretty flowers and such there was a grayed out hashtag in the bottom left corner of the screen. Don't believe me:

I love the Church's effort to reach out through social media. If you for some reason cannot watch conference next weekend, check out the hashtag #TwitterStake or #LDSConf. I truly believe that the internet is one of those miracles that, though dangerous at times, can do so much to hasten the work.

2. Adorable 8-year-olds. Seriously guys. Meetings just got 10x cuter. I don't know what my favorite part was— watching the choir moms sing with their arms around their daughters, the Beehive that gave a totally bomb opening prayer (Beehives are 12, btw) or the other Beehive who played the violin better than I ever could.

Actually, It was probably during Sister Wixom's talk. She asked all of the 8, 9, 10 and 11 year old girls — those who had never attended a meeting like this — to stand up and sing a song she was going to hum the melody to. Almost instantly, all the adorable little girls in the conference center, and the more adorable girls in the Stake Center where I was, started singing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light." Their little voices joined together in a strong choir of tender testimony. Next, Sister Wixom asked everyone else in the room, while these young girls remained standing, to sing the second verse of the song. The first line really stuck out to me:

"Come little child, and together we'll learn."

The song doesn't say "Come and I'll teach you everything." It says that we learn things together. In other words, I have just as much to learn from those 8, 9, 10 and 11 year old girls as I have to teach them. Probably more.

3. Spiritual Multimedia. I already brought up the Twitter hashtag they had, which was incredible, but the Multimedia Department of the Church was busy before conference. They had two amazing videos that still made me cry this morning when I watched them again. The first was of women from all around the world singing "I am a Child of God" in their native tongue. From little children to adults, it reminded us that we are all children of God no matter our age.

The other video showed the stages of a woman's life from baptism until death. I can't do it justice writing anything here. Please take a moment to watch them. I was in tears.

4. Striving for Completeness. Sister Burton talked about the rich man who wanted eternal life, but wasn't willing to sell all his things and join Christ in his journey. At one point, Christ tells the man to "Be Perfect." Being perfect is normally something that gets all the women feeling really down on themselves and beating themselves up — but it doesn't have to be that way. Perfect, in that passage, was translated from the Greek word meaning Complete. All the Lord asks is that we try to be complete. 

5. The Spirit. There was such a special spirit during that meeting. I am so grateful I went. I am grateful for living prophets and apostles who help guide and direct us. I'm grateful there are sisters like Sister Wixom, Oscarson and Burton who take so much of their own time to strengthen others. I am ready to start working to be better.

If you ever have any questions about my beliefs (I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) please feel free to ask me. Or you can press the button on the side column. That will lead you to, which is an awesome resource for any questions you may have but are too afraid to ask. 

And, don't forget to join us for General Conference next weekend. All the details can be found here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"When E.T. Came to Earth" A Story

So, Shutterfly was giving free 8x8 photo books away, and I totally jumped on the idea. (Full disclosure: not free, $8.44, but beggars can't be choosers)

They also have this cool thing where you can share it on your blog, so here it is :D

It's the story about how "E.T." (Eli) came to Earth (you know, because he's our little alien) and joined our family. I had fun writing it.

Also, if you see a mistake, I don't want to know. It's coming with the mistakes in it whether I know about them or not. :D

Presenting: "When E.T. Came to Earth"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm starting to like this spring break thing...

So, MCW actually has a spring break. I'm loving it. Garrett still studies a bit each day, but it's so nice to have him home with Eli and me.

Garrett finished up his second set of tests for this semester and has two more to go. I know he's looking forward to being done, but he is doing such a good job. During his finals week he would leave around 9:00 a.m. and not come back until 3:30... a.m. Yeah, not until the next morning. I don't know how he kept it up, but he is sure enjoying sleeping ALL THE TIME now. :P

This is what happens when Dad watches baby.
Dad's little sports fanatic.

I've been keeping busy. I'm not going to go into details, but I was recently checked in to the hospital because my depression got out of hand. After getting out, I had to attend an Intensive Outpatient Program, which meant I had to go to the hospital three times per week for three hours for group therapy sessions. I am so grateful for the amazing ward we have. I had no shortage of visitors when I was at the hospital, people sent meals for me to put in the freezer the next time I felt overwhelmed and everyone volunteered to watch Eli for me when I had to go, or even just offered me a place to hang out when I needed to. I am so blessed to be here in Wisconsin at this time.

I've also been working on being crafty. I've been making dolls for a while now, but I experimented with a monster for my friend who is having a little boy. It is definitely not perfect, but I think it is adorable.

As for Eli, he's keeping us on our toes. He's a crawling machine and can walk around anywhere as long as he has a hand on something. He has even started to stand — but only if he doesn't realize he isn't leaning against something. I've tricked him into standing for a good 10 seconds, and he only fell because he realized I was no longer behind him :)

Eli has been making lots of friends. He still needs to work
on charming the girls, though —not hitting them.
Eli and his "Big Sister" Abigail.

He has also been very busy saving the world.
He's watching out for crime.
(You know, because he's Batman)

And, finally, our favorite third wheel.