Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I haven't done a Thankful Thursday post is quite some time. So here ya go!

1. I'm thankful for this little guy and all of his excitement at discovering new things.
2. I'm thankful for an AWESOME camera that takes such great photos like this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Invisible Mother

A friend emailed this to me today:
The Invisible Mother
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm onthe phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic,when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals- we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built,and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkeyfor three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
I hope that none of us feel like the Invisible Mother! God knows us and the hard work that we put forth each and every day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Family Nights

When we were in St. George at the begining of the month we went to the LDS Distribution Center and I got the new Nursery Manual called Behold Your Little Ones. I've been wanting to get this since it came out. Since getting it we have had regular family home evenings. I never knew when a good time would be to start involving Zachary in our family nights. But I really felt inspired to get this manual and give it a try. When Joe was working he was working ALL of the time and our family nights were sporadic. Now that we have been having them regularly I feel more peace in our home. The lesson we used last night was definitely inspired. It was about prayer, and how to pray and thank our Father in Heaven for our blessings. Zachary used to fold his arms, close his eyes, and bow his head when we said prayer (at times he would even kneel with us)....but now he doesn't. Occasionally I'll open my eyes just a bit and he will be doing it but it doesn't happen very often. At first he wasn't really listening or paying attention. He was more focused on tickling myself or Joe. But by the end he quieted down and I feel that he was listening to me. This might be a lesson that we will do a few times.
I'm grateful for the Church and the literature that they publish for our benefit. I know that if I can teach Zachary out of this manual everything will be in line with the Lord's teachings. Let's just hope that he actually listens....

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I came home yesterday to find chairs and blankets forming a "fort" in the living room and Zachary in the kitchen wearing my apron. It put a smile on my face. Joe and Zachary had been playing all afternoon and Zachary was in the kitchen "helping" daddy make dinner. Although he mostly just wanted to bang the spoon on the floor, the fridge, the table, the stove, etc....
love love love my boys!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Oh happy's Joe's birthday today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I work for an awesome company! As much as I would love to be home instead of working....I'm thankful to be working while Joe is looking for new employment and I'm thankful to work for a company that is more than generous to its employees. We set certain goals each year and are rewarded should those goals be met. Well, I met my goal this year (as in years past but due to being preggers and then a young baby was unable to make the trips in the past) and the reward was a trip to MEXICO! I was able to take Joe and Zachary with me too! We stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen. It is about an hour south of Cancun.
This place rocked! I'm telling you if you have ever debated over whether or not to stay at an all-inclusive place or have GOT to try the all-inclusive! Joe and I were talking on our last day there that we felt like we starting eating when we got there and didn't stop until we left. They had the BEST food!

And as you can see Zachary got in on the food action as well. Here he is chowing down on some mussels.
There was a private beach that we went to a few times but it was pretty windy. And if you remember from my posts about Hawaii, Zachary is not a big fan of the sand. Zachary was a bigger fan of the pool. At least we can say that we went in the Caribbean a few times.

They had this great central area at the resort where most people would gather before and after dinner at any one of the several restaurants. They had this huge fountian that Zachary loved to run around several times a night. They would have different performances going on as well to entertain the crowds.
One morning while Zachary and I were hanging out in the pool area....

....Joe was learning how to scuba dive! They gave a complimentary lesson in the pool and then a group would go out into the ocean. Joe said that he would love to become a certified diver after this experience. He said it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

We went into town a couple of times and saw these monkeys. Zachary was so excited to see them.
He even got to feed them some sunflower seeds.

Both Joe and I wanted to see some Mayan ruins while we were there. So we went to Tulum. It was only about 45 min from where we were staying. We were going to take the bus but decided to pay for a guide. We had this guy all to ourselves! This guy had a degree in Mexican history and architechture. Joe got more out of it than I did due to Zachary trying to climb under ropes and get up on the ruins and basically just running all over the place. But that's ok...he had a good time.

This place was breath-taking! We learned that this was a place of worship, a place to trade goods, as well as a look out point for any invaders. It was a lot of info to take in...I can't remember it all. But you can bet that Joe could give you the complete run down. So if you are interested...give him a call.

And here is Zachary's new "I'm smiling for the camera" face.
Like I said before...all-inclusive is the way to go. No worries about food or drink the entire time. We had 24 hr room service, a bar downstairs that had sandwichs and fruit all the time, and a most helpful staff that could answer any questions that we had. And I do have to say that they were so friendly to us....especially to Zachary. Here is the link of the place that we stayed at. I highly reccommend it!
Now we just need to work on losing all of the weight we gained while we were there....and maybe some more.

St. George

After spending the Christmas holiday in California with our families, we headed to St. George, UT to Joe's brother's house. The main reason for going was to attend the baptism of our nephew, Tanner. To find out more about baptism click HERE.

It was so nice to get to spend so much time with family over the holidays. I think that Zachary might possibly miss everyone the most. Now he is back to being the only kid around. There were so many cousins for him to play with for so many days and now just his boring mom and dad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We've Been.... MEXICO!
Updates to come as soon as we unpack.