Monday, March 31, 2014

General Women's Meeting with my nine year old.

"Heavenly Father sees greater potential in his children than ever your earthly mother sees." 
~President Henry B. Erying

What a unique experience it was to have had eight to eleven year old young girls invited to General Women's meeting. When I heard about the age change I was so excited! Not only is it my job as a mother to teach my daughters true principles of the gospel, but taking them to conference at an even younger age is so important. 

This past Saturday I had the privilege of escorting my two daughters ages 14 & nine for a lovely dinner, and to watch the broadcast afterwards. This age change is indeed an advantage being that girls these days seem to be growing up way too fast & their need for spiritual guidance in preparing them for the young women program by taking them to women's conference is so important. 
Mothers & daughters in our ward gathered for an evening of spiritual fun, bonding with my nine year old by making washer necklaces, and playing a "getting to know you" game with the other mother and daughter duos in the ward was absolute fun! Dinner that evening was prepared by some of the brothers in our ward, and we are so grateful for the time they took in doing that for us.

Watching conference on the big screen in the chapel gives it so much meaning & it makes me feel as if I'm actually there. Made me a little homesick to tell you the truth. Seeing so many faithful mothers with their daughters sitting in the conference center made me miss my oldest daughter who is currently attending college in Utah. 

The messages tonight were so important about sisterhood, and how we truly need each other. We are all that we have, and our daughters are looking up to us as their role model to learn a proper behavior as to how we treat our fellow sisters. No matter how old my girls get I want them to become a faithful daughter of God & for them to pass it down to their prosperity. Society is changing everyday & as sisters & mothers who hold the truthfulness of the gospel it is our responsibility to pass that down on generations to come. 

President Erying brought me to tears throughout his whole talk on how he emphasized on treating every person we meet as a child of God. His words were so encouraging, and I pray that I will continue to strive to see every human being in that nature. It's so true when he said that we are more alike as daughters of God than we are different. We all carry the one thing that makes us strong, and unique as one and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we love, forgive, and are kind to one another we are being like our Father in Heaven, and that "divine inheritance" comes from Him. 
Women need women, and as sisters in the gospel we truly need each other. No matter how old we are we need each other. Some of us may be at the level where we may be comfortable in how we love, but in the end we truly need to love each other better. That is my hope, and I pray that I can be able to exhibit that to my children, and to sisters I meet everywhere around the world. 

Now we plan to "unplug" just a bit by being tech free this week by spiritually preparing for the 184th annual General Conference this weekend!

***If you missed the General Women's broadcast you can watch it here

Have a great week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

a good cause: part II

^^^ two more weeks until this head of hair is gone ^^^
A week has past since we announced that Lexie will be one of the candidates at her school in volunteering to shave her head to raise funds for childhood cancer. We have received so much support, and love from our friends, and I appreciate those of you who have "liked" the St. Baldrick's Facebook page. I know ya'll get bombarded with invites to all sorts of pages, but it touches my heart to see those who've accepted it. You exemplify your caring, and love, and empathy for the cause by just a click of the button. So I, we thank you!  

Lexie has received her first donation online, and I want to thank everyone who is able to do that. I can't stress enough how important this foundation is, and how we'll never give up on finding a cure for childhood cancer. I don't want to sound too pushy, but if you can donate as little as a dollar that would be wonderful. I know nowadays a dollar may be too much for some, but I ask to find it in your heart to strive your best to donate...you will be blessed for your efforts. 

I know some of you have had loved ones die from it, and some who have survived from it. Whether you've already donated before in the past, or feel that you've donated "enough", and feel that you did your part already it shouldn't stop there. Even if you can't donate money to the recipients who are shaving their hair off, or donating their hair to locks of love why not  "donating" a smile instead, a hug, or a "congratulations, I'm so proud of you" moment (which some of you have already done on my daughters picture on Facebook) Those compliments are worth a million dollars, and I so appreciate all my friends...especially those from out of state, and friends from the St. Baldrick's Foundation page , (who I don't consider strangers) who have done that so far.  

Finding a cure for cancer is never going to end, and we will continue to go forth until a cure is found. I'm so proud of my kid for doing such a bold, and selfless move. This is a story she's going to tell to her future posterity, and an experience that she's going to hold dear in her heart for the rest of her life. 
This past week her sister has been finding excuses to play with her hair, and Lexie tells me that all the kids in her class are constantly playing with it too. She doesn't mind, and when they tell her "I can't believe your gonna give up your hair!" Her response is always the same, "it's for a good cause, and it's just hair...it'll grow back!" 
I continue to be amazed at all the choices she makes, and all the things that she does...all in the name of service. 

Again...if you want to donate please click on this link. This is her personal page where donations can be made through the St. Baldrick's website. It will be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks and may God bless you always. 


^^^ Have a wonderful weekend! ^^^

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Moab, Utah.


Moab. 

This was one place where I loved venturing out to get away when I lived in Salt Lake. I can't believe it has been eight years since we left Utah, and I'm sure missing it right now. Especially since we've been hit some massive, windy, cold weather. What happened to spring anyway? It's like it just sprung us over! 

I love looking back at old photos reflecting on the good times we had when the girls were little. Don't get me wrong...I love all the memories we're making now with a boy in the mix, but this part of my life watching the girls grow up, and developing into their own personalities was amazing. 

Still is...
Especially since these two girls are now teenagers, and one of them is about to turn nineteen in a couple of months. Now that Sierra is back in Utah going to school I hope that she is taking advantage of her surroundings and hope that she'll get the chance to go back to Moab.
The years fly by way too quickly especially with this cute little girl who is now nine! It seems as if she was this small yesterday. There are times when I look at Noah, and see Chelsea all over again. It's beautiful to see the way God creates our children, and how they all carry the same resemblance. 
Memories of a four drive to Moab was certainly worth it. The singing in the car with their squeaky voices, and giggling all around. Toys scattered about, and crayons rolling back and forth as we'd make a turn. The drive down is so peaceful, and the sun...oh man that sun can shine on my face for eternity if it could. The great part of my life while having three daughters was taking them to the most beautiful places out west. I think moving from a small town in Texas to a state like Utah gave me many opportunities to want to explore the western hemisphere, and we sure did a lot of that before moving out here. 
Jon is such a great photographer. I always tell him that he should go back and take up photography as a career. I love the way he captured the girls in all their beauty. I wish I'd been in some of these pics, but I was too busy taking in the beauty of Moab too! I was also making sure Chelsea wasn't running off, or putting rocks and dirt in her mouth! Living on the east coast is great and all, but sometimes you just need to get away...far away, and venture out to the other side of the hemisphere, and that is what we hope to do soon!

Cross country drive in our plans for the future? Who knows.  Right now all i want is some warmer weather. Taking it day by day, and living in the moment...for now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Middle School 1st Annual Talent Show '14

Last week Lexie's middle school put on a talent show that consisted of dancing, singing, piano playing, and more singing! This is the first time the school has done a talent show where they were awarded a cash prize. Lexie was excited to have participated along with her pal Alicia who paired up with her to sing "Sweater Weather" by the band The Neighbourhood. I am surprised that the song "Let it Go" from the popular movie Frozen was only sang once. Then again I don't think that contestants can duplicate another persons choice of song. 

For weeks Lexie and Alicia have been waiting for this moment, and even though they didn't practice as much as they wanted to they did phenomenal. Unfortunately they didn't place, and in my opinion (among numerous others including teachers who will remain anonymous) agreed with me. However everyone did such a wonderful job. 
^^^ paparazzi with iPhones ^^^
Oh my gosh...the talents our kids have today! I was blown away by some of their performances. I had to take a picture of these group of kids who were like paparazzi recording the lovely Maya who sang "Dark Side". So impressed with kids today on their talents, and how some of them are involved with music. 


I was not involved in anything that involved "major talent" (not sure if you count winning the spelling bee in 5th grade is a talent) until I was in my 10th grade year of high school. I'm just so grateful for the open mind that I had in deciding to have my girls take piano lessons. I wish my mother had the means to do that when I was their age, but it was not feasible...like at all! To be musically inclined is indeed a blessing, and sometimes a god-given talent. Lexie only took piano lessons for three years, and has never had voice lessons. Her forte is the violin, and I'm just so pleased that she has the desire to teach herself to get better on the piano. I wish I could afford for all my children (including myself) to take all the lessons in the world with multiple instruments, but I'm grateful for what the Lord has blessed them with. The sacrifices we make as parents to have our kids take music lessons, or be in any sport is a huge blessing. 



The girls performance was exceptional and well received. I'm just so bummed that my video got cut off due to my phone running out of storage! Luckily I recorded most of the performance, and that it's a clear sound & picture of my girl playing and singing. If you're my friend on Facebook there is another video on my timeline filmed in its entirety which I borrowed from my buddy Chuck. 


It was a great evening, and we really enjoyed the talent show. All i know is that no matter what these kids decide to do in four years after graduating high school they all have a voice, an act, and a talent that they can share no matter where they go. They were all very brave in participating, and all did an amazing job! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

a good cause.

I began to cry. Not because of the fact that her hair will be gone. Not because she's going to look different. Not because I'll be embarrassed to be seen with her. Not because of the questions I might get asked. I cried because my 14 year old daughter decided on her own motive to be one of the candidates to have her hair cut, and buzzed to raise funds for child cancer research. I cried because of her bravery. It's official. She has been chosen, and so the short story goes like this... 
"Mom, what would you think if i shaved my entire head off?" I was like..."uhhh...why, what for?" "It's to raise funds for cancer research." Without hesitation, and a little bit of tears I said "it's fine with me." (my wow moment came shortly after!) She then asked me what her dad would think? I then told her go ask him. Better yet I called his name out to come into the living room. "Hun...come here." "Okay Lexie, ask him now." She asked him and he immediately said "go for it". I knew he would be supportive as we usually are when it comes to something huge, and different like this. I stood up from the couch, gave her a great big hug, kissed her on the cheek, and told her she was amazingly brave for her wanting to do this. 

We began to discuss the details of when it's going to take place, and how does one get chosen. Apparently the staff chooses three students from each grade. Lexie was so serious in wanting to do this that we got up early the next morning to sign a permission slip allowing her to be one of the candidates to participate. We got there a little late, but signed the permission slip anyway. She didn't think she'd get chosen, but I had a strong feeling that she was going to be, and sure enough she came home Friday after school telling me she was one of the chosen ones. I was really happy for her, and let me tell you something...I didn't recant in telling her that she shouldn't do it, and wasn't disappointed that she was chosen. As much I love her beautiful hair, I will love her even more without it! 

My heart swelled because of the choice as to why she's doing this. It is such a great feeling to know that I have a child full of strength and courage with a heart so big that she is willing to do this even thought she's not sick. The fact that we have had many family members from both sides of our families die of cancer has given her more encouragement to do so. Uncles, grandparents, and even friends who have suffered long battles with it, and eventually died from it. 

I began to cry because of the offering she is so willing to give, and in thinking of the cause. I am so pleased with myself in the way that I have raised this child. All of our children are sooooo different, and not everyone would have the audacity to do such a thing. I know that I would not have even thought twice about cutting my hair (was made fun of too much as a kid with an afro) much less having it buzzed off at her age. What an awesome young woman! 
I am in awe of her bravery, and the willingness for her to do such a selfless act of love. I count my blessings that the Lord continues to give me when it comes to our children. I am thankful for having a heart so big in allowing my daughter to give up her gorgeous hair for this stupid thing we call cancer.

And lucky for locks of love to be soon receiving some beautiful, healthy hair that has never been damaged by any chemicals! 

She has three weeks to enjoy her hair before it gets buzzed off! 


The End.

**Our goal is to raise at least $500.00, but we hope to surpass that. If  any of you who would like to donate funds please visit the St. Baldricks Foundation website and you can donate there.  Donations as little as a dollar will help increase the funds! This is such great cause, and again I am humbled that our daughter has chosen to do this.  

A special thanks to those who keep up with this blog!

xxx-Rose


Friday, March 21, 2014

the one about "R" rated movies.

^^^ picture via google ^^^

Growing up my mom had the tendency to take me to R rated movies. Some of them were soooooo not appropriate for a child, but when you have no babysitter what do you do...take the child with you & and that's what she did. So in a sense it wasn't my choice because I was a kid, but now that I'm an adult I have a choice as to what movies I want to watch. 

One movie that I'll always remember seeing with my mom is The Warriors. I didn't really understand it as a nine year old kid, but watching it while in my teens oh yeah...I really enjoyed that movie (still do...shhhh!) One thing about that particular movie is the fact that it portrayed gangs, New York City, & Coney Island. It wasn't an influential movie but it sure taught me to not be affiliated with any gangs, or cause trouble for anyone. 

I don't judge my mother for some of the movies she took me to see. I actually thank her in some instances for showing me that there is more truth & feeling to life in the movies rather than sheltering me from the world outside of the movie, hence having an open mind.

As members of the LDS church we are advised to not watch R rated movies, and I normally don't, but if I ever do I guarantee that they are movies that will make a difference in our lives. The "R" movies that I have watched have been influential, inspiring and most importantly it teaches me to teach my kids that sometimes movies show more of the truth than just a book with just words, or an 'R' movie that has been edited for television, and pre-edited over, and over again. 

I have heard parents complain about the movies they have their kids watch in high school, but in all honesty I am grateful for some of the movies they expose our kids to.

First of all if it is a movie that's not going to teach my kid morals, and the only meaning you get out of it is to have sex, get drunk, scare you to death to the point where you end up going to bed at night with the lights on until your 30, or the ones that murder for a dumb reason without no meaning behind the story...then I agree. Bag it. Have your child do extra homework, stay after school, or whatever it is they have them do.

But...

If it's a movie that I know is going to have a huge impact on my child teaching them about the history of the world whether it's good, bad, graphic, ugly, or sad, then yes...I will sign off on it. 

Why...

Because the movies that one of my children have watched thus far have been influential, and inspiring. 

After reading this article I have to agree that there are some PG-13 movies out there that show more violence than the R rated movies depicting true stories from U.S. history.

They show these movies for a reason. Whether they're rated R or PG-13 I commend them for not sheltering our kids, and that they are allowing them to watch such movies so that they can learn, and have a better detailed understanding of what historical movies are all about...especially the ones that show cruel reality. 

My oldest daughter Sierra, took a holocaust/genocide class in her senior year last year which consisted of having her watch movies such as Schindler's List, Hotel Rwanda, Behind Enemy Lines & American History X . She was old enough to make her own choice at the time, but still asked us if it was okay to watch them. As a parent I personally feel that it's important to expose our children to certain movies that depict the ugliness of man so that they can get a better understanding by seeing the full picture. I can't even begin to tell you how much she learned & developed the truest of compassion for human kind. She had a lot of 'aha' moments, and matured in many ways by watching these films. Two of these movies were rated R & I signed her permission slip fully supporting it...without judgment

Last Friday Jon I went to the movies to watch 12 Years a Slave and yes...it is rated R. I have been wanting to watch that movie since the Oscars aired. Learning how Solomon Northup was abducted and sold into slavery in 1841, and seeing how wicked the nature of man can get really makes me appreciate his story.

Some people may feel that they don't need to watch the movie because they read books, but again...I personally will not shelter my kids in anything that will teach them about "reality" in the world now and then. Books are great, but sometimes we need to go in depth, and see the realness of human unkindness, and how brutal history was through a film. 

Movies such as the ones they showed in school can be life changing for all generations to come. I just learned that 12 Years A Slave will be added to the high school curriculum in September, and I'm glad. I feel that every teenager and parent should not only read the book, but watch this harrowing true story because it shows unimaginable strength, courage, and survival. It truly is an extraordinary story.

I have no regrets in giving my daughter  permission to watch the "R" movies in her holocaust/genocide class, and no regret in watching 12 Years a Slave because that is what happened folks. It's called history, & if we don't teach our kids about history...then history can repeat itself. Having our children learn about the past can shape the future. In most cases today...sometimes history is the present. 

**If you're a huge U.S. history buff here is a list of influential movies that are true stories that I really appreciated. Unfortunately some of these are rated R specifically for graphic war scenes, & language, but that's how they portray it folks. It's realistic, but uplifting at the same time...at least it was for me. 

Glory
The Patriot
The Killing Fields
The Pianist
Platoon
Saving Private Ryan
Amistad

and a list of some of my favorite PG-13 movies that are influential (& true stories) as well!

Lincoln
Empire of the Sun (one of my all time faves!)
Malcolm X
Gandhi
Amazing Grace

Now go to town on your netflix to watch one of these movies. They are all good! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello Spring!

As i was organizing my pics in iPhoto I stumbled upon these pics, and realized they never made it into the blog last year. Now why is that?? These were taken while we went out for a drive in the outskirts of Jersey and stumbled upon this beautiful garden of flowers. I couldn't help but to get down, and capture my kids enjoying the beauty of some of the earth. I love flowers, and hit myself silly because I wish I could be a green thumb like my mama, and not kill every flower that my kids want to plant. I leave it in their hands to keep up any small garden they plant whether it's inside a huge pot, or out in our little back yard. 
^^^ matching shirts & american flags they actually grabbed from their garden...I made sure they put them back!  ^^^
^^^ a little sweat & gum in his mouth...a sure sign of spring ^^^
Even though it's 40 degrees right now looking at these pics gets me so excited for warmer temperatures, and going out on nature walks. Spring and summer are the seasons which bond us even more as a family, and the older my two younger children get i see that they are beginning to "really" catch the meaning of how beautiful God's creations are. 

Here's wishing everyone a Happy Spring wherever you are, and if you are in colder temperatures hang in there...it won't last very long. Unless we get more snow just like we did last year on the fifth day of spring! 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

life lately with sick kids.

I am not used to sick kids...like at all! I am always grateful when Jon is around to calm me down, and take over when I start to freak out. I am reminded of a scene from Terms of Endearment when the parents come home from a date, and Shirley Mcclaine walks in and practically climbs into her child's crib to make sure her baby's breathing! While she's doing this her husband is saying, "she's asleep Aurora." For god's sake Aurora, she's asleep!" Or heaven forbid acting like her in this dramatic scene when her daughter becomes ill with cancer. I always get a kick out of those scenes every time I watch it. Well....my life certainly isn't like the movies, but I can assure you that I can be kind of like Aurora every time I feel one of my children isn't doing so well. 

We have been very blessed this winter with no one getting sick...until now! Why, oh why do my kids have to get sick. I myself have caught myself catching a cold, and sneezing every now and then, but I immediately take medicine, and try not to stress so that my cold doesn't go into full mode. I've been really blessed with a strong immune system this winter, and that I haven't gotten sick. Still...that doesn't mean that I won't ever get sick. I truly believe that Heavenly Father is looking out for Jon and I who both can't afford to get sick especially at this time with all the sickness going around so that we can help each other out to tend to our sick children. 

Jon is such a good sport when the puking begins, and when that happens I immediately hand Noah over to him. My heart can't take it when he starts throwing up. I begin to cringe, and cry. Funny how I can clean up the puke, but I can't take it when his little body begins to shiver due to barfing.

Chelsea has been tough and strong, and this is the first time she's ever gotten sick. She missed two days of school for the first time this year, and has always fought the battle of overcoming severe sickness. But when you have other people's kids coming to school sick it's hard not to avoid it...especially when you have one sitting right next to you. Poor Chelsea...luckily she's feeling better, but I wish that these kids would stay home when they're sick! I know that some of the parents can't help it because they both work, or some of them are single parents, and can't afford to call in for work, but I really wish there was a way where parents can keep there kids home when they're sick. It's dangerous, and scary when a sick kid comes to school because you never know the extent of their illness. I just pray that all those sick kids get well, and that their folks advise their kids to always wash their hands, and cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. Something that kids don't do in class...according to Chelsea, hence her getting sick. 

Luckily Lexie's cold didn't last very long (sorry no pic). It's a good thing because she's going to be singing, and playing the piano for the talent show at her school tomorrow! I honestly believe that the Lord is looking out for her as well because of all the things she's involved with in and outside of school. 

Each day has gotten better and better for them especially when the sun is shining. We take each day as it comes with hope for a better tomorrow. 
Now if only winter can officially be over so that Spring can officially begin! I love seeing the kids happy...especially little Noah with a smile so big! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

a snowy st. paddy's day & snippets about our weekend

Let's be honest...after enjoying a beautiful weekend of sunshine I am soooooooo over this snow, and the fact that I have two sick kids doesn't do well for me! Well, kind of. I love that the snow makes my community so peaceful, and still without cars speeding down my 25 mph narrow road, but with Spring officially arriving in three days I would love for it to be over, and done with. 

I also didn't mind the two hour delay we had for school this morning, but let's be real...

I want to wake and hear birds chirping, see flowers in bloom, and watch my neighbors hydrangeas blooming (wish I had a hydrangea bush.) I want my kids to be able to play outside, chalk the heck out of our driveway, walk on an unsnowy bike trail, and catch fireflies. That's my personal favorite. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, bask in it, and pull out the little blue pool per Noah's pleasure.

Like I said...the weather this past weekend was absolutely beautiful, and we took advantage of it. I remind myself how lucky I am to live in a place where we have the change of season, and that winter is always temporary (thank goodness for the life I once lived in Utah!)

*****

Driving down to D.C. to much warmer temperatures was bliss. It felt so good to drive with the windows rolled down. It was a beautiful day having gone to the temple again, but there was something amiss...one of my children. Actually two. Every time we've gone to the temple in D.C. we've never gone alone. We've always taken the kids. The car is never quiet, but on this trip it was. Jon, and I had a peaceful ride, but it was something that we are just not used to. It felt really weird. We left Chelsea behind with a friend due to being sick, and well as most of y'all know Sierra is out west going to school. 

Nonetheless we arrived and enjoyed a beautiful session at the temple

I wasn't going to write this, but feel as if i should share this unique experience with you. It may seem small to you, but it was a big deal for me. There are times when I have gone to the temple, sat down, and not really observed my fellow brothers and sisters. This time as we were waiting for the session to begin I did. I would turn back and smile at each couple or individual that would enter in. This company that I was surrounded with seemed very bonded, but yet didn't know each other from Adam. It was as if every single person that was there knew each other from before, and came in with a heavy heart in hopes to have a prayer answered. We felt the spirit so strong, and this was one session where everyone was smiling at each other. We went late in the day, and probably had about 20 members in our session. It was great. 

*****

Whether we eat before or after going to the temple I always make sure that my belly is on empty so that we can experience a hearty lunch. If I could live on Capitol Hill I would. There are so many delicious restaurants to choose from. Being raised with Whataburger which is based in Corpus Christi, Texas has caused me to become this huge burger connoisseur. Having lived in various states with so many burger joints I can't help but to test every one out, and so far there have been some pretty good burger joints out here in the east. 
One burger joint that has made it to the top of my list is Good Stuff Eatery. Oh. my. goodness! These burgers are just as it reads...good stuff. It's right next door to one of the yummiest pizza joints on Capitol Hill.

We were lucky to get a table inside which is very rare, and even though the line was long, we managed to get our food at a decent pace. We all had a good time, but still felt as if something was off...Chelsea was not with us. She is "the life of the party", and even though she pesters her brother and sister she truly brings a lot of fun to our family. 

I really don't think we are going to leave our baby girl behind ever again...especially when we go to the temple. When we picked her up she said to us that she really missed us, and wished we'd taken her. You'd think that kids may find the temple boring after a two hour drive especially since they can't go inside, but not our kids. They love the visitors center, walking to the book store, and ever since they discovered a nearby park, Lexie loves taking Noah & Chelsea to release their energy. Our kids have a little routine of their own every time we come here, and if makes me feel less guilty as I'm entering inside the temple knowing that they are making their own 'spiritual & temporal' fun. 
^^^ selfie in front of the temple doors ^^^
The temple is about family, and even though they may not be allowed to enter inside until they're 12 they sure seem to have an understanding as to what it's all about. I feel that it's important to always bring the kids with us to the temple. They will learn to appreciate it, and eventually get in the habit of going once it is their turn. We have been taking our kids on temple trips since we got sealed as a family, and we have never left them behind until now. I cannot wait until it is their time to enter inside the temple, but for now I hope that they will enjoy all the temple trips we take in hopes that when it's their turn they will enter in with a firm testimony of their own, an open heart, and a mind willing to take in all that is willing to help them spiritually. 
^^^ Mandatory picture of my two favorite boys. Didn't realize that they were both wearing green neck & bow ties. ^^^
 Happy St. Paddy's Day! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

"No...I'm not expecting."

After reading this post I've decided to write something similar but with a different vein of thought. 

I don't know if it's a trend, or the fact that the weather was so brutally cold in different parts of the country causing some of us to eat a lot of warm foods that a few of us are being asked the same question, "Are you expecting?" 

A couple of weeks ago a dear sister in my ward asked me if I was expecting. You can imagine my surprise along with my answer when she asked! "I wish!" is what I exclaimed. In the past almost 20 years of my life I have never had anyone ask me such a question...even when I was pregnant. The good thing about the outcome of it was that I didn't get upset. It didn't make me feel insecure, it didn't make me feel fat, and I certainly didn't take it personally. The fact that my last two pregnancies resulted in C-sections leaving me with a muffin top, mushroom, or whatever you call that piece of extra fat, skin, layer, what have you didn't offend me in the least. It also didn't help that this winter has been brutally ice cold which prevented me from serious exercise. I can't help it if my belly craved all those warm foods in the past two months! Luckily spring is just around the corner, then summer and then I can go walk on the bike trail every morning (or at least three times a week!)  

A couple of weeks went by, and because I hadn't seen this sister at church in a while decided to pay her a visit. I was checking up on her to make sure she was okay, and as I was leaving her apartment I happened to tease her about the "pregnancy question." She chuckled, and said, "You know Rose...I don't know even know why I asked you that because as I see you now you don't even look it. It must have been the skirt you were wearing that day." 

True. True. There are certain clothes that show off my muffin top because I can't suck that in, but I can't help it if that layer of skin due to c-sections sticks out. It did feel good having a conversation with her telling her the why's, and shouldnt's about getting pregnant at my age, and how I basically have given up. I was flattered when she said to me that she was not aware that I had already reached my 40's. She was nonjudgmental, easy to talk to, and the fact that I told her two years ago how I would love to have another boy gave her the conclusion that I might be pregnant. 

But...

Let's face it...I'm 42, and don't think I'm going to have a fifth. It's been four years since I gave birth to Noah, and I do remember telling her that it would be nice if Noah had a baby brother to hang around with. As much as I would have loved that I honestly don't believe it's going to happen. I know that there are many women out there who are having babies clear into their mid-40's early 50's, but as the years go by that lovely vision slowly diminishes.

I have numerous friends who have suffered miscarriages, and infertility at various ages, and I commend those who share their experiences about that online. I thank my Heavenly Father that I have never miscarried or had trouble making babies. I'm extremely grateful for having four healthy children, and if Noah is the only boy that I get to share my life with in this mortal life then so be it. He is so special, is spoiled by his three sisters, and because he was my surprise baby I count my blessings even more. 
I have to admit though...it was a bit of a shock to me when this sister asked if I was pregnant, but if anything I took it as a compliment only because she thought I was younger! haha! I have also trained myself to not take anything personal. 

See...when you've been through some pretty rough stuff such as I have in my life, you have the tendency to be able to handle any adversity, and I strive to not let anything get to me. I really try to not let anything get in the way of my happiness. Hitting my 40's and gradually maturing in the gospel of Jesus Christ has helped me to let all the little things go...especially when it comes to intrusive & personal questions. 

Still...one should never, never assume.

The world (unfortunately) is full of people who don't think before they speak, and many of us do not know the full story behind someone's home front, and we should really be careful of the things that come out of our mouth, and be mindful of that person. Most importantly we should never judge as to why someone is not having babies close in age, why they're having a baby late in age, or why they're not having babies period! These choices are our own, and not anyone's business. Furthermore, we need to reevaluate our brain before the brain asks a stupid, and hurtful question. 

Luckily for me I have a heart so big, and the ability to create great relationships with people that if anyone asks me something out of the ordinary I know I'll be able to handle it. Just be prepared to have an 'out of the ordinary' answer from me if you do (smiling.) 

I want to be that person that doesn't take anything offensive. I want to be one of those understanding, think before you speak, not hurting anyone's feelings kind of gal, I want to be able to laugh about the silly & stupid things people might say, & when I do that's proof showing me that I am indeed a true grown up...with feelings. 
Now, seriously...do I look pregnant?? 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rockaway Beach


Even though I'm not a true new yorker, a brooklynite, or a born and bred "jersey girl" I really feel as if I'm beginning to feel like a true "east coaster" and have become extremely comfortable around my surroundings. My family and I have developed such a strong love for New York for the mere fact that this state has gone through so much heartache throughout the years. From the World Trade Center bombing in '93, to the 9/11attacks in the year 2001, and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy that occurred at one of New Yorks most popular beaches...Rockaway Beach.
I had never been here and have always wanted to check it out, and if I had the time to help the community of Long Island by cleaning up the mess that Sandy left behind I would have, but Sandy also left a huge mess to clean up in South Jersey

It felt surreal being at this beach. I never had the opportunity to go before Sandy destroyed it, and it would have been interesting to see how the boardwalk looked like before Sandy took it apart. Luckily our friend google provided us with a ton of pics to peek at to see how it once looked like before. 

This winter has been a little rough in our neck of the woods, and because of it we have been going through major beach withdrawal. Since the weather was gloriously beautifully this past Saturday we decided to go to the beach, and all that was needed was a hoodie. 
We are so fortunate to live in an area where we are an hour away to south and north jersey beaches. We have always gone to Ocean City or Spring Lake, but we heard Rockaway Beach calling our name. 

There were a few people, but not as many as we thought. I could see that they are still trying to rebuild. This area suffered more, and the destruction was brutal. 

I was amazed at how big the parking lot was. Then again I can see why they have such a big parking lot to accommodate millions of people that live in the new york area! Apparently it was filled up with mountains of trash while cleaning up after the storm. Here is a photo from my friend google, and my oh my I can't believe all the debris... it literally looks like the trash in the movie Wall-e. 
^^^ can't believe this is the Jacob Riis parking lot where we were at
Picture via google. ^^^

The kids had a blast and as soon as we got out of the car Noah & Chelsea ran straight to the playground to release some much needed energy form the 75 minute car ride!
^^^ apparently water comes out of the holes not the rings. Perfect for the kids on a hot summer day. ^^^
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They didn't last too long as they wanted to dig for sea shells, and we all just enjoyed walking down the beach and having fun as a family. Captured this moment when everyone is running away from the tide.

^^^ amazed at all the baby swings they have! ^^^

This day was so much fun, and these kids are looking forward to going to the beach more this summer. 

*****

As I was deleting some of the photos on my iPhone I decided to keep this one. It's dark, blurry and grainy but it truly is one my favorites. It reminds me of the good times I had when my mother used to take my sister and I to the park until it way past our bedtime! Swinging in the swings and catching fireflies in between. Running around from the merry go round to the monkey bars & back to the swings. Because that was our favorite thing to do when it was just the three of us. 

Seeing my family as a whole swinging away warmed my heart...too bad I couldn't get in the photo with them!
It was an old school kind of day, and it is going to be documented as one of my most memorable moments in this blog's history. 

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