Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 2014

I've been contemplating my approach to blogging lately. Once a week has proven too much for this lazy, tired mama who would rather spend her time napping, reading, or watching syndicated episodes of The Gilmore Girls during her downtime rather than do something productive like document her personal history.

Unsurprisingly, live goes on in spite of my laziness to document it, thus it becomes more and more difficult to catch up, so I won't even try, other than to say December was a wonderful month and I'll try to post pictures of both December and November 2013 so that I can have some remembrance of that time in our lives.

Mostly I want to remember my daughters. The way they looked, the sound of their laughter, the funny things they said. It would take a lifetime to document everything I wanted to about who they are in each little day and for now I'm just living it. I've gotten off Facebook which helps me to unplug a little from the things that keep me distracted and we've spent large chunks of time detoxing from the time we spend with the TV (seriously, it's been getting out of hand since baby number three entered the picture). So here is a little update on my daughters.

Hannah is the most eloquent, self aware four year old that I know, and I know a bunch of four year olds. She is smart and sassy but at the same time, she's extremely gentle and nurturing. She is always telling me if I'm not eating enough, or sleeping enough. "It's not good for the baby, Mom." She is constantly expressing her love either verbally, or by snuggling up and stroking my arm tenderly. Her bossy nature can be difficult to rein in (Adam prefers to call it natural leadership) but she isn't ever mean hearted. She's just used to being the oldest and having some sort of responsibility. She loves to speak into microphones in church, and to perform in some way. In fact, last month she sang "I am a Child of God" solo during the YSA sacrament meeting during my dad's talk. She made the mistake by starting to sing during the introduction, but covered it up by humming the tune. She then sang loud and clear into the microphone, looking at Mommy and Daddy the entire time. One of the YSA's commented on Facebook that it had been inspired, and had helped to remind her that she was a child of God.

Recently we've been getting better at reading the scriptures and praying. Hannah is becoming more aware of the gospel and the spirit, and makes insightful comments about what she is feeling and learning. The primary scripture for January is "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beliveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). After many recitations of this particular verse, (in which we'd go line by line and talk about what it means) we were repeating it together at the breakfast table. When we got to the part that says "whosoever beliveth in Him" Hannah's face lit up and she said, "THAT'S ME! I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST!" It seemed as if all the pieces of scripture had finally connected and she recognized herself as a believer, who had the potential of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. I could feel her spirit be glad. It was extremely touching and gratifying for me as a parent.

Paige surprises us every day. Ever since she was a new born baby she has been an effervescent beam of light in our lives. She was always the happiest baby on the block, smiling her beautiful gummy grin. Now, she expresses joy throughout her whole body. She jumps up and down, claps enthusiastically, throws her arms around you and squeezes so tight you think she's trying to transfer her joy straight to you, and she emphatically proclaims her feelings of happiness. Almost nothing gets her down. She'll ask for an orange plate (after I've already filled up a yellow one) and when I tell her that I am giving her a yellow one but maybe she can have orange next time she'll proclaim, "That's a great idea, Mom!" Even Hannah's learned, that if Paige wants something, the mere suggestion of a slightly altered plan will result in an appraising, "That's a great idea, Han!" Other phrases that you'll often hear from Paige include, "That's my favorite thing!" "This is the best day ever!" and "I've always wanted ____!"

Of course the bigger they are the harder they fall, and in spite of her joyful, Pollyanna outlook, she is also extremely dramatic in the worst sense of the word. Sometimes our alternate ideas aren't "great" and they cause Paige to fall into the depths of despair. One of her most commonly used phrases is, "I WANT to cry!" She refuses to be comforted so instead she'll put herself into time out or head off to the designated crying spot in her room where the tantrum will last mere moments without an audience to fuel her passion.

Paige was the first to feel the baby move, and as soon as he kicked her little hand, she recoiled in fear as if he bit her. She wanted to feel it again, but it kind of freaked her out, so she'll get close enough to try but then chicken out. I mean, something is moving in there...can you blame her? She is extremely excited to meet her brother, who she has suggested we name Baby Boy since we already took her first favorite (Cache) off the table. Cache is the son of our close friends and the only baby boy she is truly aware of.

Oh the book front, things are going well. I've loaned out several copies of my manuscript to willing friends who are working hard editing, suggesting, and commenting on the project. To date about ten people have read my book, provided AMAZING insight and feedback, and have encouraged me to keep going. It's been amazing that those ten readers have meant so much to me, because they are my friends and their reactions and feedback show they are taking me seriously. They don't coddle me, but instead provide honest, helpful feedback. They'll tell me if I use a phrase too often, or if I've misused a word, or a character is superfluous or a story line confusing. I love hearing their praise, but even more so I love hearing the criticism because I know it means they are taking me seriously and interested in helping me improve, and providing my characters a chance to be better than I alone couldn't make them. I sent one of my friends, Natalie, an e-copy of my book. Not only did she provide fantastic feedback and edits, she printed a copy of the manuscript and HAD IT BOUND. Just holding a bound copy of my work was more thrilling than I could possibly imagine. It's the most ambiguous part of my life, I've no idea whats in store for me, writing wise. Will I hold out for an agent or a publisher (I've had interest from SHANNON HALE'S AGENT!!!!) or will I self publish? Or will I sculpt and polish this book until my dying day or until it is perfect? (No, I won't do THAT). All I know is that writing this book has fulfilled a part of me that had been empty for a long time. There was a corner of my heart that had remained empty because I'd known forever that I wanted to write a book, and now I have, and I've got a few others in the works too!

Adam is doing fantastic as well. He is a wonderful person and husband and I could go on for days about him but I've written quite a lot already and I'm very tired, so more on Adam later. For now, goodnight.

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