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The first hero I will talk about is Aaron Jr.
The day before Easter was a particularly difficult day for me. I won't bore anyone with the reasons, it was just difficult and I was feeling super lonely. So, instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen, I got Aaron Jr. in the car and we headed to Salt Lake to go to the cemetery. As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, I lost it. I was crying so hard and once Aaron Jr. realized I was crying, this is pretty much how our conversation went throughout the rest of the drive to Salt Lake...
Aaron Jr: 'Mama, you crying?'
Aaron Jr: 'Mama, why are you crying?'
Leslie: 'Because I'm so sad.'
Aaron Jr: 'Oh, because you are so sad?'
Leslie: 'Yes, because I miss Daddy.'
Aaron Jr: 'Oh, I miss Daddy too.'
a few minutes later...
Aaron Jr: 'Mama, you still crying?'
Aaron Jr: 'Are you done crying yet?'
a few minutes later...
Aaron Jr: 'Where ARE you?' 'Where ARE you, Mom?'
That is when I looked back at him and this is what I saw...
Aaron Jr: 'Where ARE you?' 'RAWR!'
I just had to smile and tell him how much I love him. Then he made a face like the one in the bottom right corner. He made a few other faces trying to make me laugh. He got several laughs out of me after this experience. After I laughed and told him that I love him, he asked me:
Aaron Jr: 'You done crying yet?'
Leslie: 'Yes, I am done crying now.'
Whenever I cry, Aaron Jr. seems really concerned. I just couldn't get over the fact that my 3 year old son was in the backseat trying to get me to laugh just like a parent tries to get their child to laugh. He really cheered me up.
Last week, I had another experience that sent me in to lay on my bed crying and when Aaron Jr. found me there, he got up on the bed and just layed there next to me until I was ready to get up.
This boy is one of my heroes and has saved my life this past 16 months.
When we were almost to the cemetery, I told Aaron Jr. we were going to see 'Daddy's Rock'. So, he did what he always does when we are looking for something and he put his hand up to his head as if he is looking so hard for it. I had never gotten a photo of him doing this and I am glad I got one before he stops doing it.
At the cemetery, Aaron Jr. walked straight to 'Daddy's Rock' and put his hands on top of his own hand prints. It was really sweet. He took some photos there and the top right photo is one that he took of me.
Me and my hero, Aaron Jr.
On the way home from the cemetery, we passed these beautiful trees that had pink blossoms on them. I had to stop and take some photos. Everything is finally coming back to life and I just love this spring season where we get to experience new growth.
My other hero that I wanted to talk about is the Savior, Jesus Christ.
First, here is what we did on Easter Sunday...
My brother, John, and his wife, Tawnie, and their kids stayed overnight at my parents house and they prepared an egg hunt for their kids and for Aaron Jr that morning. It was so nice of them to include Aaron Jr. He loved every second of it. They do the egg hunt scavenger style where they give clues to where the eggs are. At each place, in one of the eggs, there is a trivia question about something to do with Easter and the Savior's atonement and resurrection. I liked that a lot. I will probably have to adopt that idea from them. Thanks John and Tawnie!
Samuel, Jack, Thomas, Aaron Jr, John, Emily
When I was taking these photos of their kids for them all dressed up, Aaron Jr. jumped into the photo and would not come out of the photo until we took some photos of him with them. He loves to be a part of things... especially with other kids. He loves kids.
After that, we all went to church and had a wonderful day hearing testimony and stories of our Savior.
Aaron Jr, Hannah (or Elise), Caroline, Angus, Stella, Elise (or Hannah)
Lisa, can you help me out with which twin is which? :)
After church, my sister, Lisa, asked me to go to the Bountiful Temple with them to take family photos for them. Aaron Jr did the same thing again. He sat himself down next to them and wanted to be in their photos. SO cute.
I had Lisa take a few photos of us as well... as long as we were dressed up and already there. :) Thanks Lisa.
I took these of Aaron Jr. He is such a sweetheart. I finally had him wear a tie other than the cowboy tie that Aaron had given to him. This tie that he wore on Easter was a tie that was Aaron's grandpa Sverre's tie. Aaron inherited it when he passed away and then wore it the day he blessed Aaron Jr. at church. So, now Aaron Jr. will wear it. It will be very special to him, I am sure.
After taking photos at the temple, we went to the Harkness home and had dinner and an egg hunt with them. It was yummy and it was fun.
Isaac, Malia, Grace, Pearl, Aaron Jr, Sophia
Leslie and Aaron Jr. at the temple again... one more.
I am grateful for Easter because we can set aside a day to remember the wonderful gift that Jesus Christ has given to all of us. He suffered for us, he died for us, he was resurrected for us... ALL so that we could live again spiritually and physically.
This is why Jesus Christ is my hero. He literally saved my life and I cannot express the feelings of gratitude that fill my soul. If you want to hear an amazing testimony of our Savior which will bring the Spirit of the Lord into your heart, play this video. (Go up and pause my other music while you watch.)
As I sit here and listen to it again, it brings me to tears as I think of what the Savior has done for me.
Recently, I read a book called The Peacegiver. This book helped me look at the atonement of Jesus Christ in a different way than I ever had before. As I read it, I had a change of heart and I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders as I learned again how to be forgiving of others and how to forgive myself. I had more understanding as I read the stories and analogies of the atonement of the Savior. I felt peace in my life as I reflected again on the promises of peace and hope that come because of the amazing gifts from our Savior.
He truly suffered for each of us. He suffered our sins, our sorrows, our pains, our disappointments, our heartbreaks and heartaches, our grief, our discouragements, our temptations, our guilt, our loneliness... everything. He felt it all for us so that we could turn to him in the times of our lowest of lows and our greatest sorrows.
'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.' -Psalms 54:22
'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.' -John 16:33
The Savior overcame ALL things FOR US. We can turn to Him at any time. I have drawn closer to Him throughout these past 16 months than I ever have. He has truly sustained me through this heartbreaking time of my life. Again, in the world, we SHALL have tribulation, but we need to BE OF GOOD CHEER, because the Savior has OVERCOME THE WORLD.
I love Him and I am so grateful for Him and the peace He brings to my soul.
Easter CHEER to all...
* As Aaron Jr. looked at a photo of Jesus a couple of weeks ago, he stood there staring at it and said: 'I like Jesus, he's cute.' I thought that was precious. *
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