little girl

my little claire, you are two! where has the time gone? i remember the day you were born like it was yesterday, we barely made it to the hospital, then there you were, wide eyed and beautiful, taking in the world and staring into our eyes. i was so excited and humbled to have a daughter! it has been so wonderful watching you grow and learn and change from that little newborn into the sweet and spunky little girl you are today. you have so many talents that are already evident; you are caring, always looking after your brothers and so aware of everyone's feelings, quick to give a hug and a kiss if someone is sad. you are silly and, make us all laugh, especially trey! you are musical, i love to sing songs with you and watch you dance and twirl. you are smart, you always figure out a way to solve your problems and you are determined to keep up with trey! you can count to 11 and (kind of) sing the alphabet. you are brave. it amazes us the things you do and are willing to try! you are strong willed, right now this may cause some tantrums...but i'm listing it as a talent because I know as you grow you will be able to stand up for what's right. i love the feeling of your soft, tiny fingers playing with my hair and eyelashes. you love to wear dresses and high heels, and treys power ranger mask, you like to do whatever trey is doing, and you love your baby and your blankies. every night i sneak in and look at you fast asleep, i look at your beautiful little face, so still and peaceful, you're still so little, but it scares me how fast you are growing and how much you are learning and doing! i wish so badly i could freeze time so i could soak it all in for longer! last night as i was looking at you, your long legs sprawled out in your big girl bed, with your soft hair falling over your eyes, thoughts just started flooding in, so many things I want you to know and learn. watching you and seeing your determination, your abilities, your quirks and your total confidence, makes me so happy! i wish i could bottle up your innocence and silliness and save it forever! you make me so much better, because i am trying so hard to be the kind of woman you can follow and be proud of! there are so many things i want to share with you, lessons I have learned, and i know will always be true, whether you are 2 or 102!

*hard work is a blessing! there's going to be times when i force you to weed the garden, clean bathrooms, get a summer job, and do a neighbours yard work. maybe you'll love it, maybe you won't. but i promise one day you will thank me. working hard is one of the greatest things we can do. it's amazing to be able to complete a task and accomplish hard things, whether its physical labour or academic discipline, getting in there and "getting your hands dirty" is awesome! set goals- then work hard to achieve them! Hard work is never wasted.

*more is not better! there is so much STUFF out there! it is so easy to become obsessed with getting more, making more, doing more! but that's the problem- there is always more. i promise you you will find happiness and contentment when you look at all the blessing you HAVE!

*your body is a gift! it doesn't matter the shape or size, or even physical capabilities, your body is the body God gave to you. don't worry about the numbers, show your body you love it by taking care of it. eat fruits and vegetables, and some chocolate. go for a walk or run to explore, not to burn calories! say kind things about yourself and about others. we all look different, and that's a wonderful thing! don't waste time comparing, spend your time living!

*laugh! and do it everyday! laughing feels so good, if you're like me, your eyes will water and your cheeks will hurt- it's a great feeling. be with people who make you laugh- your dad and i laugh a lot, i think marrying someone who makes you laugh should be high on your priority list. no matter the challenges, if you and your spouse can find something to smile about, things will always be alright. and don't forget to laugh at yourself! sometimes, often times, little things just don't quite go as planned, just laugh!

*be brave to be you! it sounds chilche, but you are the only you! when you realize this, you will be happier! you weren't meant to look, or be like anyone but yourself! that means you have the freedom to discover things for yourself, have your own opinion, and do something even if no one else is.

*disappointment and heartache happen. i don't mean to sound pessimistic, but sad things will happen, but through these experiences we learn more about ourselves, our strengths and our potential. through hardships we learn how to help others, and we learn we are never truly alone. I will always be there, and The Lord will always and constantly be there. my heart aches at the thought of your heart aching, but i know if we rely on the Saviour, we will find peace.

*being sensitive and tender and kind does not mean you are weak. showing patience and love to your family and to strangers is the truest sign of humility and respect. always remember you don't know the whole story and your smile and kind words, sometimes are the only ones a person may receive. try to be a light for others to see and follow.  be a friend to the person who is alone. remember there is no greater gift you can give than your time and care.

*find things you love, and do them! i hope you always have the courage to try new things and make time for things that make you happy! i am a strong believer in working hard and playing hard! read books, take an art class, go snowbarding, play an instrument- try it all!

* know that being a mother is the greatest work. it's hard to put into words the feelings of being a mother. i feel as though you, and your brothers are pieces of me, of my heart, that now are outside my body. it's terrifiying and overwhelming to love so much. it's you more than you could ever imagine, until hopefully one day, you become a mother. i have never felt closer to Heavenly Father and the Savior than i have in carrying my children, and raising them. i know you are a percious gift, that you have inherent gift and qualities that i am to help you cultivate and grow, and watching you is truly amazing. being a mother is demanding, there are no breaks or days off and there is no one standing there praising you after you wiped the floor, or a poopy bum for the 100th time that day, but i hope you know, and i can show you, that there is absolutely nothing else i would rather be doing. i feel a sense of wholeness in being a mother, that i am who i want to be. i have a mother who made motherhood seem magical, i couldn't wait until it was my turn, i hope i can be that same example of joy in woman and motherhood for you.

* and finally, all encompassing, and most importnantly- love the Lord. it is a simple statement, but means everything. it means peace, safety, joy, courage, power and hope. the foundation of your identity is that you are a daughter of God, nothing else can give true self esteem or purpose. the world- quite frankly- is a pretty big mess, there is so much, too much, out there that will try to tell you what's important and what is right, but the only way to know is to listen to the spirit. the spirit brings comfort and guidance, we are reminded of the things that are of eternal value; covenants and faith and family. study the scriptures, they are a sacred and vital gift, and the source of truth. follow the cousel of prophets and apostltes. always remember there is a plan for you, that you, and everyone, is a child of God. rely on the atonement, the Savior knows and understands perfectly, He sees your limitless potential. you are never alone, and never forgotten.

i love you sweet girl


this view

this view means i am sitting down, on my couch, for the first time today. it's not even 7:30 and all three children are asleep in their beds, and i'm just sitting here watching the sun pour in the window, and i literally just let out a sigh just typing those words.

today, like a lot of days lately, was crazy. constant feeding, cleaning, wiping, hugging, holding, rocking, driving, cooking, singing, playing; the list goes on. the days pass by so quickly it scares me. it scares me that i'm not doing enough, or more like, i'm not enough. i've recently had an epiphany- what i do is hard, pretty boring epiphany i know, but let me explain. 

people all around me are going through hard things, things that break my heart, and i think, "woah, that is hard!" so when i'm feeling stressed, anxious, and worn out, i feel guilty because i think I should be able to handle this, i'm not having to endure ________. i have a happy family, 3 beautiful children a hard working husband and a safe home with a full pantry. but sometimes when the husband is gone all the time studying and working harder than ever, the baby is hungry, dinner is burning, and the 2 year old is screaming for juice while the 3 year old whacks you in the back with a plastic sword, i feel like maybe my life can be hard too. so letting myself feel like that is okay without feeling guilty is a big deal to me. instead of beating myself up, i've learned instead to slow down, breathe and find a stillness inside myself that hopefully can translate into the environment around me. someone recently asked me how having my third baby was, and the first word that came to me was, "refining." there is not a single moment, no matter how crazy, i would change anything about our lives. we are learning and growing and leaning on each other. my children are moulding me into something much better than i have ever thought i could be, and i only hope they can learn something from me along the way too.