Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, because you get to dress up.  Last year I was going to make Ben a ninja costume (he was really excited), and I was going to wear a kimono my Brown grandparents brought back from their mission to Japan.  But it never happened because I was stage managing a show at BYU, and we had our first night on stage on Halloween.  Sad.  We'll have to resurrect that costume idea next year or something.
But this year we had a family theme.  My best friend Tiffanie Player gave us a Tinkerbell costume for Ellie at my baby shower.  I dyed her cap from the hosptical green and tied it with some yellow ribbon, and voila!  a weatherized Tink! 

So I made Ben a Peter Pan costume and I dressed up as...Peter's shadow (all black, very easy).  I didn't want to be Wendy and wander around in a flannel nightgown (especially since I don't own one). 

Some of you may know, but I've got a thing for Peter Pan.  I directed the a shortened version of the original script for my senior direcing project at BYU and it was pretty great.  I had to do tons of research on the play, J.M. Barrie, and the likes.  And Tiffanie was my roommate at the time, so she knows it all. 

We went to our ward Trunk or Treat and gave out candy and let everyone see what a cute baby we have, and admired all of the other kids in their costumes.  I really love Halloween because you get candy and you get costumes.  What more could I want?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some pictures

Nothing very new or creative here.  I've just taken a couple photos of Eleanor I found amusing.  She's gotten very good at laying on her tummy and holding her head up.  She even rolled over three times in a row one night, but hasn't done it since.

We went to the little park next to the house and enjoyed the fall weather.  I love how her eyes turn into little crescent moons when she really gets grinning.

Because every baby needs a naked picture (mostly to show to potential boyfriends to embarrass your child).

And Ben playing with Ellie.  It's so fun to watch the two of them watch each other.  These are definitely my two favorite people!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ellie, Conference, and the love of God

I haven't always loved listening to General Conference, in fact,  I didn't really "get into it" until I was in college.  But now I love it.  This October session was no exception.  I may have spent a lot of it rocking Ellie, but it was absolutely worth it.  In fact, having a child now gave additional meaning to my Conference experience.  I just want to share one example.

Elder Callister gave a wonderful talk on the restoration of the gospel, specifically about the truths restored about God and Christ in the First Vision.  One point he elaborated on was that God the Father and Jesus Christ are two seperate beings.  He explained how this is confirmed in the Bible and in the life of Christ.  Christ submitted his will to the Father's will, the ultimate example of obedience for us to follow, in taking upon himself the sins of the world.  And we are taught that "God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son."  If God and Christ were the same being, he would simply be offering up himself.  This really made me think. 

We all agree that it is a truly awesome thing for someone to give up their life for another.  But I think I better understand now, as a mother, what it must have been for God to sacrifice his Son.  I know that I would give up my own life for Eleanor, without hesitation.  But I don't know if I could do as Abraham was commanded, and offer her up for a sacrifice for others.  The thought breaks my heart.  How much then must God love each of us as his children to be willing to let Jesus suffer and die for our sins.  I know he did, and was resurrected because of his perfect obedience to the will of the Father, his perfect sacrifice for us.

I guess I had just never thought of the Atonement in this light.  I know that I will never be able to fully comprehend God and Christ's love for me in this life, but I see a small part of that now as a mother.  What a great blessing from my Heavenly Father to have the opportunity to be a mother and experience a fraction of what He feels for me.  And for that I am eternally grateful.
*I just thought this was too funny.  We packed a picnic and stayed in between sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.  It was rainy on Sunday, so we ate in a classroom off of the foyer, and Ellie took a little nap on the picnic blanket we brought.  Now if only she had napped more during conference.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Good Story and a Sad Story

Which one do you want to hear first?  I'll save the best for last.

A Sad Story
Ellie had a doctor's appointment on Monday.  She's just a few days shy of 3 months and she was "supposed" to start immunizations at 2, but whatever.  I scheduled the appointment for 9, since usually she eats at 7, plays a little, then naps and then is ready to eat again at 10.  Silly Summer, of course the doctor's office is going to be running behind, I just didn't count on how much.  Here's how it all went down (with a little venting about mixing sick and healthy kids).
We arrived at 8:50 and there were two entrances-one for sick kids and one for healthy kids.  When I got inside, I noticed the lobby nicely divided by a wall, with a walk through by the window for check-ins.  There was a window on the sick side and the well side, but only the sick side was opening.  Initially irratating, but not a huge deal.  I got paperwork and sat down.  Ellie had woken up, but wasn't fussing too much so I let her be.  When I took the paperwork back, I got more paperwork (hurray), but Ellie was unhappy about staying in the carseat and clearly having her nap cut short.  So I worked on my one handed writing and baby juggling skills.  But I was starting to get irritated at the wait.  By now it was 9:30, and I had overheard that one of the doctor's was a half hour late, so they were behind.  Splendid.  At 9:45, Ellie would wait no longer, so I whipped out my nursing cover and she went at it.  As I was nursing I noticed that more and more sick kids were spilling into the well child area.  The lady sitting across from me saw a friend of hers and invited her to come sit by her, which meant that her son was sitting next to me.  Not a big deal till the mom said "Yeah, my daughter has been sick and then my son woke up with a fever this morning."  WHAT!  Why are you letting your feverish son sit next to a nursing mother, whose baby is perfectly healthy!  The flu season has started pretty early here in the Dallas area, and that is the last thing I need!  I fumed.  Then the nurse called us back at a little after 10. 
But Ellie is doing great.  She weights 12.5 lbs and is almost 24 inches long.  She's definitely putting more effort into growing tall than into getting chubby.  It's funny because a lot of her 0-3 month onsies are big enough, but not long enough for her anymore.  She was having fun at the doctor's until the nurse came into to do immunizations.  I thought Ellie had cried hard at her two week checkup with the PKU heel poke.  I was sorely mistaken.  The nurse was great, and very quick, but Ellie got a shot in each leg and was not happy.  I held her little hands and arms on her chest while the nurse did, and boy did she wail.  I almost feel bad at how cute I think she is when she cries.  I might as well enjoy it now, because I know toddlers aren't very cute throwing a tantrum.  The nice thing is, she took excellent naps all the rest of the day. 

A Good Story
It was General Conference weekend!  We watched all four sessions at our ward meetinghouse in Mckinney and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I particularly liked President Uchtdorf's talk on the love of God and Elder Holland's testimony of the gospel.  I also really enjoyed Elder Callister's talk, and it gave some new insight into the gospel truths restored that I hadn't really thought about.  But more on that in a later post (mostly cause Ellie is going to wake up any minute now).  Here is the cool story:
On Sunday morning a very short woman and her two sons walked into the chapel just a few minutes after Ben and I.  The brother that was in charge of the building greeted them and they sat down and conference started just a few minutes later.  There weren't very many people at our chapel, but it was also being broadcast to the stake center, and I think a lot of people get BYUTV and watched it at home.  Anyway, when it was all over the brother introduced himself again to the woman and asked her name, which was Arlene.  I was standing in the backe rocking Ellie and overheard the whole thing.  She commented how she remembered this church being built (it's a faily new chapel), so she and her sons decided to come here today.  The brother explained that this is a very different meeting than what normally happens and how wonderful it was that she could come.  Then asked if he could introduce her to the missionaries, who taught people a little bit more about the church. She agreed, met the elders, chatted with them and they set up a time to come visit them.  Ben and I grinned at each other the entire time because we both knew what was happening inside the elders' heads.  Then the family left, and the missionaries looked a little shocked at what had just happened.  The one turned to the other and said, "She said she lived by Walmart, right?"  "Yes."  He pumped his arm and said "YES!"  I laughed and said how wonderful it was to have someone just show up for church and I wished it had happened to me.  He asked if I had served a mission, and I replied that I had.  He said "Do you know how golden that is, to have someone show up like that, and for conference?!"  We were really excited for the elders, but even more so for the family. They had just picked a church to come to that day and happened to stumble in on the one day when the prophet of God was addressing the entire church.  It was awesome. I pray that they come to experience the same comfort and joy I feel from having the restored gospel.