Wednesday, September 30, 2009

'Because She Is a Mother'

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting next to Aaron Jr. while he watched a show on TV called 'Franklin'. It is a cute cartoon about a turtle and his friends and family. Anyhow, on the show, Franklin at one point tells his mom 'Mom, you're the best mom I've ever had.' Well, a few minutes later, Aaron Jr. turned to me and said through a smile, 'You're the best mom I ever had.' It melted my heart and I had to smile and give him the biggest hug and tell him that I love him. Ever since then, he randomly tells me that and I tell him that he is the best son I have ever had. He seems to like that.

I have been reflecting a lot lately on motherhood and my role as Aaron Jr's mother. I have been reflecting on the overwhelming task at hand to do right by him, to make sure he is being taught and molded into what he needs to become. I have been reflecting lately on whether or not he is truly feeling the overflowing amount of love that I have for him. I tell him I love him, but does he FEEL it? It is through our actions that they would truly know and feel the love. That is where I am falling short I think.

I have been overwhelmed and stressed lately about life in general, and even more specifically about the worries of finances and worries about being a 'lone' parent to this little boy and giving him what he needs. I am IT for him. I am his one and only. Neither of us get to look forward to someone coming home at the end of the day. For me it would be someone to talk to and to share in the emotions of the day... good or bad, someone to just take over for a bit while I get a few things done that need to get done. For Aaron Jr it would be someone new to play with, someone new to pay attention to him, to wrestle with him, and to show all the news things he experienced that day with me. This is life for us... I know that... and I am accepting it more and more each day, but times come when it gets a little more overwhelming than other times to deal with life without Aaron here to deal with it along with me. That is when relying on the Lord becomes a must. Because He is always waiting for us to do so.

These are some of the matters that are weighing on me heavily. There are a few more that are a little more personal, but a little too personal to write here.

The calling of being a mother is such a divine calling. One that I am so grateful to have... I am just feeling so inadequate lately. Aaron Jr was sent to our family for a reason. He is the light of my life. He is such a special boy and is teaching me far more than I am teaching him. I keep being brought to tears the past couple of days when I think about my sweet boy and the areas I am not reaching my potential as a mother. The desire is there. I desire to be all that he needs me to be.

I was talking to my sister Lisa last night about some of this and she reminded me of a posting she had done on her blog one day during the summer and wanted me to read it again. So I did. (thanks Lisa) She had shared her own thoughts about being a mother and then these are some excerpts from the General Conference talk given by Elder Holland. It says:

"Yours is the grand tradition of Eve, the mother of all the human family, the one who understood that she and Adam had to fall in order that "men [and women] might be" and that there would be joy. Yours is the grand tradition of Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel, without whom there could not have been those magnificent patriarchal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which bless us all. Yours is the grand tradition of Lois and Eunice and the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Yours is the grand tradition of Mary, chosen and foreordained from before this world was, to conceive, carry, and bear the Son of God Himself. We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high.

When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, "pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task," that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.

You can't possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you--He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.

Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope." You are doing God's work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even--no, especially--when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master's garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole." And it will make your children whole as well."

"Because She Is a Mother" Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference April 1997

I pray that Heavenly Father will give me the patience, the strength, the wisdom, the love, and the knowledge to be the mother that Aaron Jr needs me to be. The mother that he will look to throughout his life and FEEL my love for him and truly KNOW that 'I was the best mom he ever had'.


Below are the rest of the photos of Aaron Jr and me from the photo shoot with Sara. Thanks again Sara. I wanted to have them in this 'journal' and they go along with this posting about motherhood.

Sara Boulter Photography

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Are You Sitting down?

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I gave blood again. They call me every 8 weeks to give. I don't go in EVERY 8 weeks, but I do when I can. This time when I got there, they gave me this pin that says '1 gallon donor'.
At first I wondered if it was only a gallon, but remembered that I used to give blood at a different place called ARUP. My sister Lisa and I would go there together to give quite often. She also has the O- blood. So, they would call us often to come in. In fact, several of my siblings do. Anyhow, I guess since I started giving at the American Red Cross, I am up to 1 gallon and 1 pint with them. :)
One interesting thing I learned the last time I gave blood was that I have what they call pediatric blood. It means that my blood is O- which is the universal blood, but also it means that my blood doesn't have a certain virus in it. I think the virus is called
Cytomegalovirus (CMV). They said that most adults have it in their blood and that it doesn't really affect them, but it is there. So ever since they started calling me and asking me to give a 'pediatric blood' donation... I try harder to get in there. Isn't that funny? Just simply knowing that my blood can be used for the babies and children, it makes me want to get in there quicker. It shouldn't be that way though, right?

Anyhow... I am a big advocate for people giving blood. So I am going to put the link to the American Red Cross website again and I hope that if you can, any of you will go in and give blood. It is such a worthy cause.

American Red Cross

Now, this is why I asked if you are sitting down... :)
So, sit down...

They make it as pain free as possible. The techniques they use now are so much better than when I started giving blood when I was a teenager. So... if you are well and able to give blood... I urge you to just go and give. They are grateful and it makes you feel so giving. :)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Labor Day Triathlon

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(You will want to turn up your sound for this inspiring song :)
Well, the triathlon that Kerianne and I planned on doing at the beginning of the summer finally came and went. A few days before Labor Day, I started getting a cough and went to the doctor to try to get it figured out and cured before the triathlon. So he prescribed an inhaler and some antibiotics. I was on day three of the antibiotics when the race rolled around. The night before I was trying to decide if I should risk it. But I had had a couple of really rough weeks and I felt like I really needed to run in the triathlon since I had been planning on doing it with Kerianne for over two months. I wanted to do it.

This is me with Kerianne before the race began.

Kerianne and Leslie
These were our numbers.

Our bikes. Anyone who remembers what happened in last month's triathlon will know what happened with the bike I used last time. This time, I borrowed a road bike from a neighbor of mine. It made a huge difference. Once a girl showed me how to shift gears in the middle of the race, I was flying. :) I guess I should have ridden the bike at least once before the race. What is my problem?
I should also thank my sister in law Christa for loaning me a pair of running shoes for both of these triathlons. Sue for loaning me her bike for the last one. And the Miseners for loaning me their road bike. I really should get my own equipment, right?

Doing the run at the END of the triathlon this time was really hard. It doesn't even look like I am running. My legs felt like jello and I was having a hard time breathing. These medications were my best friends that day. The inhaler was a much needed friend before and after. These photos were taken by my sister Lisa. She and my sister Lori came to cheer us on as we passed by... with water ready to hand to us. It really brightened the run when I saw them and heard them cheering.

I had to end up walking for about a third of the running part. I was sad about that since I didn't have to walk at all in the last one. But my lungs were having a hard time and I was struggling to breathe some of it. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do a triathlon while I had bronchitis... now that it is over... I am glad I did it, but I will never do that again. :)

These are shots of us after the race. Somehow I just don't feel as pretty as the before photos. :) Maybe the buckets of sweat on my face and body have a little to do with that.
I should have stepped back a bit... my head looks huge compared to Kerianne's. :)

My brother Mark pushed his baby in her stroller over to the finish line to cheer for me as I ran in. And Sue brought Aaron Jr. to cheer as well. Kerianne's sister in law and my friend, Darci was there as well and she was actually supposed to do it with us. Next year Darci. :)
I am really grateful for all of the people who came to cheer for me in both of these triathlons. I realize how sad I would be if there was no one who cared about me personally waiting to cheer me on during and after the race.

And here is me and my #1 fan, Aaron Jr.

To be honest, during both of these races, I kept thinking about Aaron and wishing so badly that he was standing at the finish line with Aaron Jr waiting for me to cross and tell me how proud he was of me. I actually have pictured it a few times and wished it could be so. I miss him.

Leslie and Kerianne
Thanks for doing this with me Kerianne. Hopefully we can recruit more people for next year...

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trike to Bike

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Aaron Jr. on his tricycle.

The summer before Aaron passed away, we went to look for a tricycle for Aaron Jr. He was about 18 months old and we figured he would probably be ready to ride it soon. (We were a little early, but now I am glad so that Aaron could help pick it out.) So, we went to Wal-Mart and looked through the few options and we were both agreeing that we weren't finding the right one. Then we saw this one... we had both wanted it to be one that had the look of the classic looking Radio Flyer tricycles. THIS one was the one we both loved, so we bought it.
Well, this summer is really the first summer that Aaron Jr. has been interested in actually learning how to pedal and ride it. So, here are a bunch of photos of him riding it recently.

WARNING: I loved too many of my photos of him riding to be able to narrow it down, so this posting is to humor me. So, there are a RIDICULOUS amount of photos in this posting of virtually the same thing. :) Enjoy ... if you want. :)

Ode and Aaron Jr. Aaron calls Ode his best friend.

Aaron Jr. working on his trike.

He kept pretending to crash onto the grass. Such a funny kid.

Notice the shirt. This shirt has become his favorite shirt lately. He calls it is 'Mommy's Hero shirt'. I would let him wear it every day if it didn't get so dirty and need to be washed. I love that he loves it... because he truly is my little hero.

He was getting so fast on it, his legs were pedaling faster than the pedals would go, so his feet would slip off the pedals and he would almost crash. So... I was talking to a couple of my neighbors one day and told them that I was hoping to find a small bike for him at the thrift store. My neighbor, Julie, said that they had gotten one at a thrift store for their son and it was too small for him now and she said she would check to see if they still had it. Well, a few minutes later, she came walking back over following her son, who was riding a great blue Huffy bike. They wouldn't hear of me paying them for it, they wanted to give it to Aaron Jr.

I am SO grateful for their generosity. It is perfect for him. And in the photos below you will see how much he is loving it...

First, we had to buy training wheels to put on it. Here is Aaron Jr. working on getting the bolt off...

Once we got them on, it was bye bye trike, and hello bike.
Here he is getting ready to ride it for the first time.

The tires needed a little air, so he got off to push it into the garage...

and PUMP... (clap) ... it up. :) I am lame.

And again with the 'Mommy's Hero shirt'.

And here is my sweet boy who is growing up way too fast...
He seriously couldn't get that smile off of his face the whole day as he rode.
He begs to go outside several times a day to ride his bike. It is great!

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