Friday, December 23, 2011

Cooper and Minnie (or Mini)

This is Minnie, the dog we are hoping to adopt when we get back from Ohio.  I love that I can hold them both at the same time. 

On a totally unrelated note, these are some powerful words from Jeffrey R. Holland about the Savior.  I usually try not to be too "wordy" in my blog, but I remember reading this talk on my mission (4 years ago!) and still think about what he said, so I'd say it's worth a read.  (I bolded some of it).

"In spite of life’s tribulations, there is help for all of us on this journey. When Christ bids us to yield, to submit, to obey the Father, He knows how to help us do that. He has walked that way, asking us to do what He has done, but He has made it very much easier for our travel. He knows where the sharp stones and the stumbling blocks lie and where the thorns and the thistles are the most severe. He knows where the path is perilous, and He knows which way to go when the road forks and nightfall comes. He knows that because He has suffered “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind … that he may know … how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12). To succor means “to run to.” I testify that Christ will run to us, and is running even now, if we will but receive the extended arm of His mercy.

"When we stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours. Remind others that it is the wounded Christ who is the Captain of our souls, He who yet bears the scars of our forgiveness, the lesions of His love and humility, the torn flesh of obedience and sacrifice.

"These wounds are the principal way we are to recognize Him when He comes. He may invite us forward, as He has invited others, to see and to feel those marks. If not before, then surely at that time, we will remember with Isaiah that it was for us that a God was “despised and rejected … ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” that “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:3, 5)."

-Jeffrey R. Holland, "Teaching, Preaching, Healing," Jan 2003 Ensign

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Few Notes about Running

1.  Cooper can run up to 5 miles without EVEN having to open his mouth!  What is that about?!

2.  I've been wearing socks on my hands this winter when I run.  It happened the first time kind of by accident, I couldn't find my gloves and James' (eek) dirty socks were sitting by the front door so I thought, "What the hey?"  The good part about using socks for gloves are:  how different are socks than mittens, really? and if your nose is a little drippy, you can just wipe it on the socks because you know you're just going to throw them in the wash when you get home.  And you have a bunch more pairs for succeeding days.  And the reason I can justify using a pair of socks for my hands is because...

3.  I haven't been wearing socks when I run because I've been wearing my vibrams to run.  I slowly worked myself into them and I like them.  They are not way more comfortable or way less comfortable than my old running shoes.  I haven't done any huge distances in them, nothing more than 5 miles.  I like feeling kind of au natural.  I feel kind of cool/xtreme when I wear them to run. 

4.  I still love running.  It's just such a good way to exercise for me.  It's refreshing.  I feel so good when I finish.  I feel good while I'm doing it.  I can see myself doing it for a long time.  I love getting done with a run and knowing I've done it.  I have been wearing my marathon t-shirt a lot lately to remind myself that I have done and will do hard things. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Adventures in Baby-Making

So I don't think it's really a secret anymore that James and I have been trying to have children for a while now without success.  It has been hard on us and I will spare you the details because some of you know them already and it would take a lot of time to tell everything. 

What I really want to tell you is that we had a conversation with our Bishop last week that has really changed my perspective.  We have been given the gifts of time and freedom.  For whatever reason, Heavenly Father has withheld this blessing from us, and I really believe it's because He wants us to be able to accomplish and learn certain things before we have kids.  (I know we will also accomplish and learn certain things when we DO have kids and life doesn't end when that happens.)  And I really want to (and I'm starting to) understand and appreciate and trust in His timing. 

So since then I have been thinking a lot about what I really want to do, both individually and as a couple.  I always have sort of limited myself (except for running the marathon) because I figured I would be getting pregnant soon and I shouldn't start something big. 

Now I realize I should open my mind up to possibilities.  I don't really know what I want to do but I know it includes travel, improving my talents, especially sewing (I want to improve my sewing, not just expecting it to be easy and then getting frustrated when it's not and rushing through a project, just to get it over with), and probably something to do with fitness.  I really want a new physical challenge, one that I can pursue while still trying to conceive.  I'm not supposed to run as much, but I can still run some.  I just liked having the marathon to work towards and having prescribed workouts that I felt compelled to finish.  And maybe it will also be about things I'm loving or learning at work.   

So I guess I'm using this blog to brag about all the things I'm accomplishing and enjoying in life.  I guess that's what it was about before.  But I will be more consciously doing it.  Hopefully that's not obnoxious to people.  I am a "Brogger."  (bragging blogger)

Here are the Christmas decorations that have been added to the lineup this year: 

Christmas Tree topiaries
I made these with my friend Rachael, she mixed her colors, aren't they so cute?

Before, denim, ugh....

And after.  This is for holding Christmas cards and pictures
I made this at Super Saturday, I love it!

A little Christmas Cross-Stitch, I need to find a frame for it.

Rolled paper tree, it's not quite right, is it?  Sort of bulgy looking.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"It's like a warm little secret in my pocket."

Hand warmers:  a little fabric, a little rice, a little sewing (like 2 minutes, tops) 30 seconds in the microwave.  Awesome.  I love them. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Turkey Day

I forgot that I had taken pictures on Thanksgiving. That morning we did a 5K Turkey Trot. We all walked it together, it was fun. My Mom was a little disappointed that she didn't get a number to wear on her shirt.

Cooper staked out his spot below the turkey oven.  (It was warmest there.)

Hamburger Rolls

I think Jeff is pretending to eat a raw sweet potato

Cranberry Sauce, one of my favorites.
I started taking pictures of the food with the intention of taking pictures of everything.  I didn't get that far.  It was a nice Thanksgiving.  We are very blessed.  Grateful to be able to be with family.  Grateful that we never want for anything.  Grateful for eachother.