Monday, September 21, 2015

plant a tree

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

When we were at Sundance for Labor Day, Papa pointed out several trees that were growing on the property in difficult places.  He grabbed pots so that we could replant them at home.  Danny planted them tonight and gave us a Family Home Evening lesson deciding who we want to be and what we want to do...and starting NOW.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Ellie was asked to give a talk in church and she wasn't excited.  Not even a little bit excited.  Her topic was THE SACRAMENT.  They have had workshops in our congregation to improve talks and presentations.  One aspect in public speaking that has been emphasized is sharing relatable personal experiences.  That seemed a bit tough given her topic but she (really "we") pulled it together.  

When I was 9 years old my Grandma Davis passed away.  She loved movies, dolls, going out to eat and giving gifts.  Christmas was her favorite time of year.  She died a week before Christmas.  I learned some lessons at this time that are special to me.  

First; Life on earth is fragile and will not last forever

Second; Celebrating & reflecting on her life brings comfort to mine

Third; Feeling gratitude for all that she has done for me helps me to be a better person

If those things are true, and they are, for my Great Grandma, they are surely true for my Savior and the Savior of the world.  

The Sacrament, like my grandma’s funeral, is a time of reflecting, remembering and recommitting.  At my Great Grandmas funeral, it was a reverent peaceful environment. I played guitar and sang with my sisters and cousins.  I spent our time there thinking of her and her life.  If we approach the sacrament in this same way, we will benefit from its blessings.

Elder Holland taught “…every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why this particular ordinance with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. It comes in what has been called “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church.  Perhaps we do not always attach that kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service.”

Then he asked:  How “sacred” and how “holy” [is our worship?]”  

I know that I can make the sacrament more sacred and holy in my life.  I can take this ordinance more seriously, spend time reflecting & repenting.  I am promising to remember Him.  I can do better.

Elder Holland speaking of the night of the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane shared this,

“One request Christ made of his disciples on that night of deep anguish and grief was that they stand by him, stay with him in his hour of sorrow and pain. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” he asked longingly (Matt. 26:40). I think he asks that again of us, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed.
'How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed, and die!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!'”

After church I congratulated her on talking clearly, looking up from her notes and speaking confidently.  "Mom, I was shaking so much I spilled the sacrament water all over me.  I felt so sick. I didn't stop shaking until it was over!"  Even though we wrote the talk together, she made it hers.  She is surely glad it is over.  Hopefully each time it will get easier and easier.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

sleeping beauty

It is 10:37 am and this sleeping beauty is still asleep.
It is going to get a bit ugly around here in a few days at 6:30 am.

Friday, June 19, 2015

ten little toes

My nephew Oliver.
Eleven days old.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


It was her birthday and we were talking about how many years until she was an adult. (That traumatic conversation was NOT my idea!) When I said "7 years" out loud I almost had an anxiety attack!  7 years...that is NOTHING!  We have lived in this home for 10 years...and that moves seems like yesterday.  I am not sure if it was the panic in my eyes (I was trying to disguise the horror) she quickly reminded me...that she is moving in the basement when she is 18 and has elaborate plans for a remodel!  Phew!  Happy 11 year old birthday!

Friday, May 22, 2015

a birthday in DC

A quick trip...celebrating two birthdays... (Danny and Alex)...seeing family...and friends who are just like family...ate amazing food (a small portion of which is pictured)...visited Dumbarton Gardens (LOVED!)...saw our favorite monuments...walked every inch of Georgetown...basically we LOVED every minute of it!

Monday, May 18, 2015

stand still

ISO 800, f 1.4, 1/100: 35mm

Miles above the earth, flying around 600 mph is where I recently found the insight and inspiration to BE STILL.  I was sitting in the middle seat on our flight home from Washington DC.  Danny and I had enjoyed the most wonderful time.  I was anxious to get home, hug our girls, check on Mozart and dig into the crazy schedule of the coming week.  My book was boring me so I turned to the monitor in front of my seat.  After a few games of Solitaire (and frankly not playing very well) I continued to browse the monitor.  I found TEDtalks, which almost always interest me.  I sat in my seat and listened to THIS talk.

"So, in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still."  -Pico Iyer

I have recognized the value of stillness many many times...a heart of peace after attending the temple, a clear head after a yoga session, prayer, enjoying a quiet walk.  One of the stillness ideas that inspired him was an Internet Sabbath- a full day completely unplugging from electronic devices.  As I listened to him, I was re-energized in taking stillness seriously.  Lately I have felt distracted and busy, feeling like my wheels were spinning at maximum speed, yet I was staying still.  In seat 40F I made some quick decisions to put this into practice in my life and not just recognize it as a good idea.  Some ideas I want to experiment with---

Internet Sabbath- I will turn off electronic devices on Sunday, my family is already with me and it is the weekday I already enjoy recognizing as the Sabbath.

Device schedule- 
wake up-until kids leave for school...leave devices alone and use cell phone on a need basis (no internet browsing)
3:00 p.m. (when the girls get home) and later just use my cell phone as needed (texting, communication, etc...)
9:00 p.m.  turn my devices (iPad and phone) in for the night.  If my phone rings or a text dings attend to it...but other than that leave it alone (aka don't waste an hour browsing Instagram, Facebook, Pintrest, etc...)

Morning routine-
wake up, do morning pages (I love these and learned this practice from The Artist's Way and I have let it go lately), prayer and scriptures (study by topic with paper scriptures and journal instead of iPad)

We are going to watch this talk as a family tonight.  What everybody needs as far as creating stillness in their lives is COMPLETELY different.  I look forward to learning what Danny and the girls feel like they can do to apply this for them.  

This morning my scripture study was STILLNESS.  I found Exodus 14:3.  The Lord turned the hearts of the Egyptians against the people of Israel so that they would know that HE is the Lord.  The children of Israel flee with Moses into the wilderness.  They feel trapped, the Egyptians have "marched after them."  The children of Israel lamented to Moses- they would rather live in servitude to the Egyptian than me killed by them!  Moses gave them the reminder I found on the plane last night-

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord...The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace."

I may not walk across the Red Sea on dry ground BUT I will be led, protected and guided if I like Moses-

fear not
stand STILL
SEE the divinity of the Lord

update:  Danny loved the talk but the other girls weren't sure if they understood it.  They did come up with an idea after we discussed the talk...
Danny- spend more quiet time while driving, find time to step away from his phone
Ellie- create alone time every day
Kate- spend time in the backyard every day
Sophie- spend time reading

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I asked her to grab ice...

Sophie was playing at a friend's house.  The mom called and asked me to come down because Sophie was hurt. When I got there Sophie was crying and holding a paper towel to her head.  She had joined two of her friends on a hammock and fell straight off landing on her head.  I carried her to my car and stopped at our house hoping Kate would come with us to Instacare.  "Kate will you grab ice?" I requested.  She came back quickly with a ziplock bag of ice and Sophie's stuffed animal Vinci.  It was so sweet of her to consider Sophie's comfort.  That stuffed animal helped alleviate Kate's nerves as doctor's and nurses discussed the staples that would be required to close her wound.  She was brave, Kate was helpful and the doctor was kind...and Vinci never left her side.