Tuesday, August 26, 2014

a thought on the spirit

Last night we had a huge thunder/lightning storm.  It was LOUD and CLOSE and it woke sweet Eden up.  She loves storms, but in the middle of the night this one was even making me nervous.  She needed some added comfort.  Of course, she had decided to sleep on the floor last night, so that meant that I spent the night laying beside her on the floor with my arm around her while we waited out the storm. 

She drifted in and out of sleep and stayed in a light sleep even when the big noises would come as long as I was there with her.  Every few thunders, she would reach her little hand up to my face to make sure I was there.  Her eyes were still closed and she was still half asleep, but if she felt my face, she would drift off to sleep again easily.

I thought a lot about the Holy Ghost as I lay there all night.  Feelings are so important; they are more powerful in lots of ways than sight. And our omnipotent Father sent the Holy Ghost to us because he knows how powerful our feelings are. I thought of my Loving Heavenly Father figuratively laying next to me as I "sleep" through this life.  And He has given me His Spirit to allow me to feel His love and comfort.  When I am wakened in the storms of life, I can keep my eyes closed and reach for that comfort.  And it will be there.  The Spirit is always there, with His hand on my back-although sometimes I don't recognize it until I'm scared and reach out for it.  But because I have the gift of the  Holy Ghost (given to me in conjunction with my Baptismal covenant) I will never be alone as long as I am living worthily.

What a beautiful gift.  What a precious memory I will have now of the night I got very little sleep, but was taught so fully of my Father's love for me. 

If you would like to learn more about this amazing gift from our Loving God, you can follow this link https://www.lds.org/topics/holy-ghost?lang=eng&query=gift+of+the+holy+ghost.  You can also find speeches on the subject and scriptures in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that teach us about the Spirit by searching for "Holy Ghost" in the search box on lds.org.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Did you forget? I live in a beautiful place.

This post is for those of you who think I'm crazy moving to Clinton.  I'm a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, moved to Idaho and fell in love with the open fields and non-existent traffic, but still found myself longing to live close to the shopping I needed.  I moved back to Bountiful after Idaho thinking I'd love it again, and realized that my ideals had changed.  Clinton has  provided me with the happy medium I've been craving.  I can get to about 5 of the best stores in less than 5 minutes (and two different major malls within 15 minutes), but I have a duck pond 1 block away and a whole farm country where I can buy fresh corn/peaches/veggies of all sorts right from the farmers 5 minutes the other direction. (Not to mention letting my kids see the hundreds of cows, pigs, and horses that inhabit the fields).  No cars drive down my street, and when I walk in the stillness, I get to see this...

P.S.  In true Becca form, none of these are edited; this is raw beauty folks.

Feast your eyes.  And please understand that I'm a LITTLE obsessed with the sky.  For me it is a symbol of my Heavenly Father and His love for me.  I just can't keep my eyes (and camera) away.  I may or may not be the crazy lady in the Walmart and/or Target parking lot running frantically to my car with my purchases because I just have to grab my camera and take a shot of the sky, light posts and all before it changes.  I may also have been crazy enough a few times to be climbing on top of my car in a dress in said parking lots to get a better shot.  Eden may or may not always be really worried about me being up there and wondering what I'm doing.

                     ^^ These two photos are credited to the Neighborhood Walmart parking lot^^

  Why yes, this horse pasture is 1 block from my house and takes me 7 minutes to walk here with my stroller.  #souljuice
 I love that I changed the settings on my camera with this one to make the horses and clouds darker-to me it only makes the beauty of the sun-burst better.  To me, it signifies that Christ can reach through any darkness I am feeling to light my path.  I love that the rays burst through the darkest of clouds.  I look at this and know that He is aware of me.

           ^^Gazing at serene farms with a beautiful sunburst?  Don't mind if I do.  Once again, about 5 minutes walk from my house.  Ahh, so picturesque.^^  I also love that mountain in the distance with the plateau.  God's creations astound me.
 ^^The Duck pond.  Complete with a perfect reflection of the sky above and beautiful trees.  To both my right and left (not pictured) were old men sitting on coolers fishing.  Seriously.  I live my life in a story book or something.^^
                        This needs no words from me.  It is simply perfection to my heart.
          Maybe it was growing with Anne of Green Gables that has me loving warm, quiet nights with beautiful fields.  But, I also can't give up my mountains.  Serious beauty I tell you.

Well, I warned you.  And just to make you feel better, please know that I only forced you to look at a few of the pictures of sky from my collection.  I hope you all like pictures of sky and kids, because that is really all I love to capture:)

Thanks for taking a stroll with me through my town's skies.  And come and visit, will ya?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

on being divergent

I sat rubbing Brighams back while he lay on my chest and suddenly my mind was thinking about how it's funny that people need comfort in different ways.  For my little Brigham, it seemed that out of the womb he was a touch-er.   Even in the hospital, if he was crying, I would simply lay him next to me and rub my finger on his cheek.  He would stop crying immediately.  The nurses were amazed that after getting his shots, I could just reach into the cot and touch his face or his little arm and he would calm right down.  When he was getting all his tests done for his heart those first few months, he was fine and calm as long as Nate or I was touching him while they were occurring.

(These pictures are from last September, but I think they illustrate perfectly the point that I'm making.)

These memories flooding back reminded me of the 5 love languages that Gary Chapman teaches in his books, and it made me really want to read and study about this for my kids.  I've been pretty good at re-evaluating with Nate and trying to make sure I'm showing love in the way that he needs it, but I think my kids need some focus. 

I know that he has a book that is specifically about 5 love languages for kids-but I'm assuming they're pretty close to the normal love languages.

  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
I'm thinking they need some re-working because I'm pretty sure that no child receives love from acts of service since they think the world resolves around them.  Me getting breakfast for the kids is just another thing that "happens" during the day.  Making Eden's bed and surprising her so she doesn't have to do it?  She says thank you (when prompted), but she really doesn't understand that I've done something special for her.

On the other hand, maybe it is their love language, because ALL mothers all over the world spend every moment of the day doing acts of service for their children, and don't all of those children feel loved and cared for?  Hmmm.  Food for thought.

I also feel that for most people they really do need all of these love languages in varying degrees.  For instance, my very least important love language is gifts.  But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate getting some beautiful flowers from Nate.  It just means that to really feel love from him, I need him to spend quality time with me in order for me to see the loving gesture in him giving me flowers.  Let's face it, we are all Divergent

So, I'm not saying that Brigham doesn't need quality time just because I know that physical touch is so important to him.  That helps me, because I'm not sure what Eden's love language is.  I think that words of affirmation are really huge right now (she's also 2, so me saying positive things to her is VITAL!) and quality time is a must for that girl.  Come to think of it-I think quality time is her key.  Even as a tiny baby it wasn't enough for me to be holding her, I needed to be looking at her and talking.  She never did well with playing by herself-she needs my attention (which is sometimes overwhelming and exhausting.) 
This pic is from the exact same day as the ones above as Brigham.  Notice that Eden is clinging to my leg.

Just like Brigham, it's not at all that she doesn't need the other things!  Of course that girl of mine needs hugs and kisses and she loves those-but those don't solve problems for her like they do for Brigham.  Those are the cherries on top. 

Mostly I guess I'm just spilling whatever is flowing into my mind, and I realize that this post is a little all over the place-I just needed to write this down before I forget it all.  Looks like I'm taking a trip to the library soon to pick up that book. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vacuum Moments

         Sometimes when I'm vacuuming I realize how precious my kids look while just doing their thing.  Sometimes that makes me stop vacuuming to grab my camera.  I just love the eyelashes on this girl.  I also love that she has orange marker smeared on her cheek.  And that she is SO concentrated trying to pour her popcorn kernels from measuring cup to measuring cup.  I also happen to think her hair is the most beautiful thing in the world.

If only she'd let me comb it without crying...

  Please forgive the blank wall.  I still have absolutely NO pictures up in our bedroom; mostly because I'm going to repaint but I haven't decided on a color yet.  There's a little too much brown going on for my liking:)

But I digress, this post is about my kids being adorable and distracting me from my household chores.  Brigham LOVES the vacuum and is very curious about it, so he follows me around and jumps in front of it to try to look really closely at it.  The makes for a very long chore, so I normally get him distracted with something else while I do it.  Brigs LOVES puzzles and I love when his little chubby legs are crossed.  Makes my heart hurt I love him so much.

 Have I mentioned that he is a total ham?  The second he noticed me with my camera, he had to put on some antics.  Oh, how I love my beautiful babes!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camping 2014-Part II

 Like so many things about this camping trip, our hike was good for the soul.  This is the view from the start of our hike.  It was interesting because we hiked down into the canyon to see the falls.  This is the view of the back side of Mount Timp.  It was absolutely breathtaking and has inspired us to make sure we hike to the cave before summer is out.

 The hike was at cascade falls.  The boardwalk crossed in front of lots of levels that looked just like this.

 We saw a deer dead center in the river as we were crossing the bridge.  By the time I pulled out the camera, it had turned to walk off, but I caught it's backside:)

 I realize that the shadow is right on her face, but she wanted to get down, so I only had one shot.  This tree was hollow and amazing!  I tried to get her to go inside the tree, but she was totally freaked out by that idea, so this is as good as we got.

Eden LOVES fairy tales/nursery rhymes right now.  I tell all of the stories at least 10 times a day, so when we got to a bridge, we had to act out 3 Billy Goats Gruff as per Eden's insistence.  She loves to be the troll.  This is her "coming up to eat you!" to the "Biggest Billy Goat Gruff".  I love this girl.  I love the pretending stage that she is in, and I love that Brigham loves to play along with her.  Life with two kids is so blissful right now.  Most of the time.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Camping 2014-Part I

I had to document our first annual camping trip.  We never made it happen when we were managing.  Our vacation days were very coveted so we could never justify taking days to do that.  Last summer, I had a 2 month old and a 19 month old...I just couldn't make that happen.  So, we finally got to it.  I LOVE camping and I have been craving the energy it gives my soul.  Thankfully, Nate is willing to put in the work to make it happen for me.

The kids were much better than I expected and it all went quite smoothly.  They loved rolling in the mud and catching the chipmunks and groundhog type things that ran around our campground.  Eden did her first hike and loved it...mostly.  I may or may not have carried her up every hill:)

I have a lot of pictures that I want to remember so I'm going to have to break up the trip into a few posts, but here are the first few photos.

Have I mentioned that Nate and Brigham are best friends.  Seriously.  They were not posing for these pictures.  I simply pulled out the camera when they were being their hilarious selves.  This was on our hike-beautiful by the way.  It was Cascade Springs up Little Deer Creek Canyon in Midway.   Please note that all of the pictures are completely out of order.  I just had to get something up or I will never get to this.


 We also drove down into cilivilization one day to get a milk shake and go swimming.   The kids LOVE to swim and we hadn't gone yet this week, so it was a must!  This is Little Deer Creek Resevoir.  It was beautiful.  We ate our dinner there and after we swam we made sand castles.

Brigham thought it was the neatest thing in the world that he had a little chair just his size.  Don't mind that he dove out of that thing a couple of time.  Things like that do not deter this kid.  Persistence is his middle name!

 My brother, Blake, is on a mission.  He loves anything flannel, so I had to snap this shot to send to our "Bubba".

Each night after the kids were asleep in the tent, Nate and I would sit around the campfire playing games or reading or talking and I just kept saying over and over again..."this is so good for my soul".  I just needed to be away from everything for a time.  We've had the blessing of going on lots of family trips, but we're always trying to cram naps to fit around everyone else's time frame, or the kids are super ornery because we're rushing them from thing to thing because it's what the group wants.  Don't get me wrong, those are so fun.  But this felt like a vacation to me.  We hiked as far as Eden was happy and then we left.  Because we could.  Because we didn't have to push her to do more because everyone else was.  We drove around the city for an hour so the kids could nap in the car because we didn't have to be anywhere.  And at night, I didn't have to think about all the things I SHOULD be doing.  I could just be still.  I could just enjoy this beautiful world and being with the love of my life.  It truly was so needed. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Williams Family Vacation

My aunts all call it a reunion, but let's be honest.  When we get together once a week, it's not REALLY a reunion when we go to a cabin and play more.  It's a vacation.   I've mentioned on this blog how important family is to my grandparents, so we've all stayed pretty close over the years.  Here are a few pictures to document Hidden Springs Ranch.

We gave my mom a ride up there because my dad wasn't coming until the next day, so we put both the kids in the back so my mom could be up by us and talk.   However, about 15 minutes before we got there, Eden started whining (very unusual) I kept asking her what was wrong and she wouldn't tell me.  Suddenly, there were throw up noises coming from the back.  Bless her heart!  She had no idea what was happening and it totally freaked her out.  Good thing my mom was there because she jumped in the back and used Nate's frisbee to catch the rest of it.  You can tell the woman has had 8 children; you've never seen such lightning reflexes in the face of throw-up!

We pulled over, got Eden out of her clothes and kept her naked just in case it happened again before we got there, threw away the books and coloring books that she hit with the lovelies, wiped down her seat as best we could and then moved her seat to the middle.  I had the thought to pull out the camera before getting back in the car.  But it felt so wrong to stop comforting my 2 year old to take a picture while she was sobbing her little eyes out.  Never fear though, as soon as we put her boots back on her, she was golden.

I will regret it if I don't document that my mother and I both took the opportunity while stopped to squat amidst the sage brush and take care of our own business.  I may or may not have somehow gotten a pokey in my bum that I had to fish out before I could sit again.  Classic.

As my mom says, "if things go perfectly, you don't remember them."  She just loves a good adventure where nothing turns out the way you planned.  I love that from my mom.  I need to try to remember that in my day-to-day life.
So, after our adventure, we arrived at the Cabin and jumped right into a game of soccer.  This family doesn't get together without some serious sports, water, and healthy competition.  There are a PLETHORA of teenage/young adult boys in this family.  Along with 5 young brother-in-laws they turn everything into a competition.  They spent every night on the ranch playing volleyball and basketball until 1-2am.

The next day, we found a lizard and while Katie's boys (Kyson and James) wanted to catch it and touch it, Eden watched from afar and was interested but nervous and Brigham was totally oblivious! I apologize in advance for the crazy bright pictures.  The sun was SO direct up there and it was midday.  Don't feel bad if you need to grab your sunglasses for a glance:)

The next evening, we had a Minute-To-Win-It competition.  We were split into age groups and each age group had  2 games to play.  Don't worry that Nate and I were in the 23-40 year old category... we dominated.
Aubrey took the first round for the young teens by keeping her two balloons in the air longest. #sheplaysvolleyball

I believe she also tied at stacking the most dice on her Popsicle stick.

Deep conversations occured while the other age groups competed.

The 16-22yr old group was a hoot!  Have I mentioned they are competitive?  They had to pick paper bags up with their teeth without kneeling on the ground and then run them across the room.  This is Ty and Levi representing.  Ty's long legs were a serious downfall in this game.

They both excelled at the tennis ball in the Nylon game.  They had to knock over water bottles with it on their head faster than the other players.

I took the Penne on a Spaghetti noddle challenge.  Although if you talk to Nate, he's sure that he is, in fact, better at this; his simply fell off before the time was up.  What he won't tell you, is that he cheated and placed the noodles all facing the right way before we began.  Karma came back to get him.

Nate totally conquered at candy cane golf.

 It's never a real Williams Vacation without a little dance party.  James took this very seriously and I don't think Eden ever let go of those balloons.

Kyson had his own dance style all together.  Like Eden, the 2 balloons were a must but he simply side steps around the whole cabin for the duration of the dancing.

There was also a rock wall that occupied most of our time.  It was quite challenging.  I didn't take my camera each time, so I only got a few people climbing, but here they are.
My mom and Brigham watching.  P.S.  It was HOT there.  We were in the shade but Briggs was still dying.

This is Eden trying to act sad so that I would take her back to the Cabin to go swimming.

Everyone waiting their turn and cheering on the others.

Kyson loved the rock wall and would climb about this high before letting go to repel down.  He loved that thing.

Eden wanted to climb but was scared of the belt, what a conundrum!  So this is what she looked like the whole time.

My dad was a total champ and I believe he made it the farthest out of everyone over 30.  He was high enough to ring the bell, but his arms were crossed and he slipped when he reached for it.
Katie will want me to mention that she also reached the bell like a boss.  I had a wonderful dismount technique called leaning back a tiny too much and my feet would somehow fly out in front of me and I'd somehow be on my back.  This was seriously the funniest thing in the world.  I could not gain my composer after that happened again and again.  Kyson even thought that's how you were supposed to do it.  His technique was flawless.  I will mention however, that after laughing at me like crazy, both my mom and Katie did the same thing. 

It was an awesome "reunion" and we were so blessed to have my grandpa with us.  We got a picture taken of all of us, so I'll have to get a copy of that to put up here.  He is still pretty weak, but we somehow talked his insurance people to let him come up.  He is still on a feeding tube, but he is able to get up by himself now and walk with his walker.  I'm so lucky to have that man in my life.  What a soft spoken, spiritual giant he is.  We love him and are so happy to have created more memories with him on this trip.