Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Advice for First-Time Parents

A pest control guy just showed up at the door. He saw me holding our 4 month old. He said his wife is 16 weeks along. Of course, I thought I'd give him some advice having this all so fresh in my mind.

1. Plan that someone will always be sick---especially when you have multiple children.

2. Plan that no one will ever get any sleep---especially when you have multiple children.

3. Give your wife a break, especially the first six weeks. She loves you, she may just not want to be romantic.

4. Do everything you can do to help your wife, especially the first several months of having a new baby. She may say, "aw, it's ok," but either just go clean the house to the very best of your ability or take the baby for a couple hours and just try and disappear.

5. Plan that you'll never do anything you want to again---especially while you have multiple, young children at home.

6. Figure out how to go on dates. I recently posted on Facebook:
"I used to have to make time to work because the rest of my time was for play; now I need to schedule time to play or I will always work."
It's the same for dates. Your relationship will suffer if you don't make time to spend together. There are always so many other things to do that together time just won't magically happen. I never understood this until I had 3 or 4 kids, now with 5 I totally get what older married couples were saying.

Now, if you follow these expectations, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Trust me. It's all about the expectations.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Faith and Works

I turn 40 tomorrow. Yikes. 40.

When my mom turned 40, two of her friends took her to lunch. One smuggled in a dead plant and put it on the table as the centerpiece. I remember 40 for my mom vividly, yet I really didn't understand why it was kind of a big deal. I mean, it wasn't a big deal to me: she was just mom.

After moving cities, then having a baby and staying much in seclusion the last four months, I've been a little worried about 40. Would anyone remember me? Would anyone even know it was my birthday? Usually birthdays aren't that big of a deal, but 40.

An older, single friend posted on Facebook how she prayed big and specifically. I decided that I guess I could do that, too. I prayed that friends would take me out to lunch; that's all I wanted for 40. I was afraid it wouldn't happen and wondered if I should drop a hint to my husband. I mentioned it, but I don't know that he'd take action on it.  I mentioned it to my mom.

Probably within a week after my prayer, my Visiting Teacher texted about meeting at a park so our daughters could play. Within an hour she texted again and said, "Your birthday is coming up! What if I bring you lunch and we can hang out at your house? Would that be easier with the baby?"  Four days later she messaged again saying two other gals wanted to come!

Not only did all these women bring lunch, they brought flowers, a card, and that crazy, amazing Costco chocolate-mousse-tuxedo-whatever-it-is-cake.

I could not believe it. Although I prayed to go to lunch, it was definitely easier to have people to my house considering the baby, the preschooler, and my two older girls are off track. I have to say, my Heavenly Father knows my needs before I do, and I thank Him for an in-tune Visiting Teacher. Wow.

That's the faith part.

Now, here's the works part. I said I mentioned it to my mom (works). After I heard initially from my Visiting Teacher, my mom asked if she should call some of my old friends and you know, put in a word. I told her, "I dunno" as I already had some new friends coming over and I really didn't want to beg for birthday wishes.

The day after we had this little conversation, I got a text from an old friend wondering about getting together for lunch for my birthday. After some planning and replanning we will be getting together with a bunch of friends, so that will be nice.

I just find it so interesting that this single situation was both answered directly in faith as well as in works. Faith, in that my prayer was directly answered without any human meddling, yet it was also answered through the works of humanly angels.

Yup, God does answer prayers and I haven't been so spoiled since I lived with my parents!

UPDATE: So I asked my husband if he had anything to do with my Visiting Teacher coming over after I wrote this last night. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was affirmative. Now, that may spoil the faith part of my post, but just knowing that he was sensitive to my wants caused tears to come to my eyes. My husband isn't the sensitive type and like I said, I didn't expect him to do anything, so this was a BIG deal that he cared enough about my feelings to actually DO something!

I guess it's kind of like the miracle of the seagulls. When I took Utah history at BYU, I learned that the seagulls actually came every year to eat the crickets in the SL valley, so it really wasn't a miracle, was it?  BUT, the Mormon pioneers didn't know it was a common occurrence, so it was still a miracle to them.

Either way, I'm just glad God answers our prayers.

UPDATE AGAIN: My Visiting Teacher had been planning to do something special BEFORE my husband even contacted her. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Opposition in All Things

My husband came home from work the other day saying that he'd heard someone speak on getting good sleep. Apparently the speaker had the opportunity to sleep in as long as she wanted for quite some time, and eventually fell into a 11 to 7 pattern or something. She shared how good she felt and how she didn't need stuff like coffee anymore.

I asked, "Did this person have kids?" I was guessing not. Evan replied, "No, she has a boyfriend and a dog." Ha. I knew it.

Recently it's really struck me that even though I know I need to sleep more and I know I need to eat better, I JUST CAN'T. Ok, I can probably continue to try and eat better, but frankly, I can't control my sleep. There's a cute little person who wakes me up once or twice a night who wants to eat. So, even though I know what is good and healthy, I still have opposition to good things.  Good isn't always easy.

I think I get caught thinking that if I make good choices, life will be easier, but you know what? It's not always true. There really is opposition in everything, both good things and bad.