Monday, March 23, 2015

Here We Go Again


I keep telling myself over and over, "the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude."  I hope it will soon start to sink in.

This move is proving tough for me.  When I started packing I realized that I am a bit traumatized by all my past moves and everything we do move-related such as boxing and loading brings back all these past memories.  And last time we moved I said "never again."  Not only was I sick of moving but I loved where we were and I never wanted to leave.  Unfortunately we did have to leave, due to circumstances beyond our control that we could not have foreseen.  And that move hurt me a lot, even more than selling our farm in Oklahoma, which was pretty harsh.  So I go into this knowing that even though I want so badly to settle down in this lovely new house we're moving to and stay put, there is just absolutely no guarantee of that.  

But I can see that it was good that we were here when the twins came.  It was such an overwhelming experience-- I don't know how I would have made it through without the help I had from my in-laws and others.  I was nowhere near strong enough to get through it on my own.  I am glad we were here.  When the worst of the storm was over and the clouds were lifting, I was filled with an overwhelming desire to go "home"-- back to where we came from, back to our neighborhood and ward and school and community that we were so settled into last year.  But there is no employment for the Badger there.  So we can't go back.  I will cry if I think about it too much. 

There is employment for the Badger in Kansas.  Good employment.  And I trust that, once again, the Lord knows better than we do what we need and where we need to be.  Once we get there and get settled I know we will be fine and things will be good.  It's the moving process itself that is traumatizing me.  

So I keep telling myself that if I don't keep working on my attitude I will miss out on a big adventure.  Another big fun yellow truck!  Here we go again!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Three Months

I am a couple weeks late in posting this, but better late than never, right?  The twins hit three months old a couple of weeks ago.  They are just the sweetest, smiliest little babies.  And they are growing so fast!  Leaf keeps trying to sit up.  Both of them are teething (my kids cut teeth early; I honestly expect to see teeth any day now.)  They are sleeping quite well for me (thank heaven!)  Leaf is a couple pounds heavier than Twig, but Twig is definitely growing.  They are extremely content babies-- they know they are loved and they get held almost all the time.  I still have moments of "twin shock" (where I suddenly say "aaack!  there are two of them!") and it is still demanding and challenging trying to take care of two infants (on top of all my other kids!) but I am starting to get some twin mama confidence.  Outings and things are getting a little easier.  I was pretty much terrified to leave the house with them for the first two months or so.  I still don't take them many places because it's still flu season and thanks to my kind parents-in-law I can leave them home most of the time I go anywhere.  But now that the weather is warming up I have started taking them on walks and things and it's been good!








Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Legacy

A few days ago I attended the funeral of my father's oldest brother, who recently passed away at 94 years old.  I grew up seeing him every summer.  We would stay a couple of nights at his house when we took our Big Trip to Utah.  After I moved back to Utah, I saw him frequently at family reunions.  But in recent years I have not been able to attend many family reunions, so I had not seen him for several years.

I was so grateful to be able to attend the funeral.  There was a beautiful, peaceful spirit of love there, and something else that I can't quite put into words.  The closest I can come is to say that it felt like heaven was rejoicing over a life well-lived.

As I reflected on my uncle's life and the legacy he left, I really saw for the first time the impact he had on my life.  He was a great man with many great accomplishments which have been an inspiration to me, such as his military service in World War Two.  However, the most important thing about his life was his example of faith and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He was one who obeyed with exactness, who walked uprightly before the Lord.

When I was a child, he and his wife were so loving and kind to me.  They had nine children of their own and I was one of nearly three dozen nephews and nieces, but they cared about me personally.  My sweet aunt, who passed away a couple of years ago, was always just bubbling over with love and hugs and smiles.  My uncle was much more reserved, with somewhat of a solemn countenance, and yet he would always take the time to have a little one on one chat with me whenever we visited.

As I watched his casket being carried to the grave site, I thought about how rare men of such integrity and honor are becoming in this world.  I felt a fierce desire to do my best to raise my children to be honest and upright and valiant, to continue on the legacy of my family, which was so well-represented by my uncle and is also represented by my father and others.  I felt incredibly blessed to be a part of such a family, and also that it was a great responsibility to be a part of such a family.

It made me think of a little video clip I saw in college from the Covey organization about leaving a legacy.  When I saw the clip, I had such a profound yearning inside to make my life count.  But it was hard for me, at age twenty, to really understand how I was going to do that and implement a plan.  I have never forgotten that clip because I have been thinking about it for the last fifteen years, trying to piece together exactly what is my mission here on earth and how I am to accomplish it.  Some things are obvious: I have always felt that the most important things I would do here on earth were to be a disciple of Christ and a mother.  But I have been unsure of the details, and I think and ponder and pray about it a lot.  I am pretty sure I am still unaware of some of the major missions my life will hold, but perhaps that is a topic for another post.

So as I'm writing this I decided to look up that video clip on YouTube, and there it was!  I highly recommend you go take two and a half minutes and watch it.

At my uncle's funeral I realized that I have been given so many good examples in my family of how to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.  I am blown away by how blessed I am in regards to my heritage, and the older I get the less I take that for granted.  All I really need to do is take the baton and move it forward.  But that is the scariest thing, because when I think about trying to pass on to my children what has been passed to me it's a little overwhelming.

I am committed to doing my absolute best.  I know it won't be good enough.  I know I am not good enough by myself-- boy, do I know that!  I pray for heaven's help to fill in the cracks with my kids so that they will at least turn out to be decent human beings and hopefully appreciate and try to pass on the legacy of love and faith and integrity and hard work and personal strength that will help them to become all they can be in this life.  I worry constantly that I am going to fail at this.  And I might.  But not because I didn't give it my all.

Friday, March 6, 2015

More Energy

So, as I was saying, I have this strong sensitivity to my surroundings: colors, shapes, light, mood, energy, etc.  But unfortunately I do not have the talent of being able to easily make things look good. 

This may seem silly, but I struggle with this. 

I want so badly to, as I said before, make my home an extension of myself, a visual representation of my soul, a place where I can feel completely at home because it is Me.  But I have a really hard time with actually doing that. 

I can't tell you how many times I have agonized over paint chips in the home improvement store and maybe even picked several out but then never had the guts to paint.  Or had such a hard time deciding where to hang pictures that I just never hung any.  I was so afraid I would do it wrong that I never did it at all.  Isn't that silly? 

And then I have had some bad decorating experiences.

I remember one time in Idaho I went to a home decor discount store and bought some things I liked.  I brought it home and set up a little tableau on one wall of my living room: two framed prints of topiaries and a decorative clock and I don't know what else.  Then I was so afraid I had done it wrong-- that people would come in my house and say "that does not look good."  I could never enjoy it because I was worried about it. 

I learned from that that it needed to be about me and what I liked and not what looked good to other people.  I think I am over that now.  But I still have a hard time a lot of times deciding what I like and how to put it together.  

When we moved into our house in Oklahoma,  while I was waiting for the moving truck to arrive, I decided to repaint the kitchen.  The kitchen in that house was rather dreadful, but I thought it would be tolerable with a fresh coat of the right color of paint.  After some thought I decided I would enjoy a bright leaf green.  I had never painted anything such a deep color before and I was nervous because you never really know how it will look just from the chips.  So I went with some advice I had heard once: pick out the color you think you want, then buy the next shade lighter on the card. That's what I did, and it was a bad idea.  The green was too pale and looked sickly under the fluorescent light against the dark wood cabinets.   I didn't have time to repaint before the truck arrived and then I never got around to it, so I was never happy in that kitchen until we tore it all out and rebuilt it-- which it badly needed.   I don't know if the right shade of green paint really would have made that much of a difference in that kitchen, bad as it was, but the wrong shade really made it awful. 

When we remodeled, I decided I didn't have the color skills to be an innovative genius.  I picked up a brochure at Lowe's that showed good kitchen colors.  There was a pale yellow I liked, so I bought that exact shade.  That was a good idea.  It turned out really nice.  I need expert help with decorating.  I need to look at what other people have done and copy what looks good to me because I just don't have the eye and the skill to do it myself, much as I want to.  

I am so totally loving Pinterest right now.  I said that already, didn't I?  Well, Pinterest makes me happy.

I am also thinking about this energy stuff and how that relates to a home.  Homes definitely give off energy-- vibes.  There are a lot of reasons for this, and some of them I don't want to get into, but color and light play a role in this.  Shape does too.  

I have been reading about feng shui (okay, it's just fun to say feng shui-- it's pronounced "fung shway" and I love the way that comes out of your mouth!)  I think some of it is kind of silly, but I also think there is some truth in it.  There is energy around us and our homes can have a harmonious balance of energy.  Colors, shapes, light, and materials can be important in this.  Maybe this is what I am sensitive to, and why some colors and patterns really appeal to me and others are almost painful for me to look at.

I think it is interesting how Carol Tuttle says there are four energy types and we should always dress to reflect our dominant energy type, while feng shui (just say it again!) says there are five energy types and they all need to be represented in our home in the appropriate locations with the right balance.  As I said before, I think that energy is probably a lot more complicated than four types or five types, but I like the feng shui idea of balance in the home.  In traditional feng shui, the decor of the home is arranged based on the points of the compass and that makes some sense to me because the way your home is oriented in relation to the sun makes a huge difference in the angle of light in the various rooms, which has a big effect on color.  

I am interested in trying some of the feng shui techniques in my home because, as I said, I need help.  If someone doesn't tell me "hang this picture here and put this paint color on this wall" I will never get any pictures hung or any walls painted.  But at the same time I am not going to do anything that I don't really like, even if feng shui or the HGTV gurus say to.  I think what that means, though, is that after I get the help I need from the idea sheets I need to pay attention to my gut instinct in relation to this house.  If I do that, I think I will be honoring and balancing the energy of my home.  

I really don't know why this is so important to me right now or why I keep going on and on about it.  When I stop and think about how people are far more important than things all this seems very silly.  And yet, my job as a homemaker is to create a haven of peace and comfort and security for all the members of my family, to make my home a refuge from the harsh world.  For me, the colors and lighting and furniture and paintings and decorative objects in my home are a key component of that.  They are not as important as the words we speak and the love we share and the prayers we offer, but they are important, especially to me.  And so I think.  And plan.  And pin.  And dream.  And love every second of it.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Energy

I have been thinking a lot about energy for several months now. 

It started when I finally looked into what that "Dressing Your Truth" stuff was all about.  I had been hearing people talk about it for years and I finally looked into it myself.  I found it very interesting.  Carol Tuttle says there are four energy types with unique characteristics and that we all have some of each of them in us but that one is dominant for of us and that when we dress in clothes whose colors, shapes, textures, etc. honor our dominant energy we will look our best and feel good about how we look. 

I have had a lot of interesting conversations with family and friends about this over the last few months.  Some people identify strongly with this and feel very much that one of these types fits them and this has been very helpful to them (and they look great, I think.)  Others don't feel that any of the types fit them and/or that the type they are supposed to be is not them at all.  I think it is probably more complicated than Carol makes it out to be: that there are more types of energies than just four, that perhaps it is more like an energy spectrum of some sort.  I don't know.  Over the years I have found the various personality-typing systems to be very useful/helpful in some ways but limiting in others and I feel the same way about this. 

But it has been quite helpful to me.  According to Dressing Your Truth,  I am a type 2, which corresponds with the element of water.  I identify quite strongly with the description of type 2s.  And here's the thing: I have always been incredibly fashion-challenged and uncomfortable in most clothes.  Well, I like the look of type 2 clothes.   As I look back, the clothing items I have felt looked the best on me throughout my life have been type 2 styles and colors.  So I am finding this very helpful.  It has changed the way I look at fashion.  Now when I look at clothes I look for type 2 styles and ignore the rest.  Then from among the type 2 stuff I choose what appeals to me personally and what I know from experience will work on my atypical figure shape.  This has given me a newfound fashion confidence that has been really exciting for me.  Not that I really have any money for clothes right now, but I did need to buy a couple of items for my postpartum self and this made it easy and fun (and successful!)   I am looking forward to building a type 2 wardrobe once I have met my weight loss goals. 

This has also made me realize that it's okay that I don't like or want to wear certain things.  Many popular fashion trends right now clash with my energy.  For instance, chevrons.  I just don't do chevrons.  They are on Everything these days and I thought maybe they would grow on me after awhile.  But they haven't.  I find them as repulsive as ever.  Well, now I understand that their high-contrast and sharp angles clashes with my energy and that's why I don't care for them.  But I also understand that they go marvelously with some energy types and therefore many people will be drawn to them, will love them, and will look smashing wearing them.  Now instead of thinking they are insane for liking something so repulsive I say chevrons are wonderful for them but not for me.  And I don't need to feel bad about it. 

But while I am feeling really good about the type 2 styles (soft and subtle) I really think this energy stuff is way deeper and more complicated than we can comprehend.  It is connected to our spiritual nature, and spiritual matter is something that we simply do not even begin to understand.   When it comes to matters of spirit,  we are like blind people trying to comprehend color.  Carol Tuttle is telling us that there is something called "red" and things called "yellow" and "blue" and "green," and we can understand that in theory, but the reality is so much richer and more complex. 

The big epiphany I recently had though is that I think I have an intuitive gift when it comes to being aware of these things.  I think I have a stronger-than-average sensitivity to these energies around us, whatever they really are.  I think this is why I am so visually sensitive, like I talked about in my last post.  I am drawn to things that harmonize with my energy and I am uncomfortable in environments that clash with my energy.   I am highly sensitive to color and light.  I have a really hard time with fluorescent light, for instance.  

Over the last few days I have been thinking of more and more examples of experiences in my life where I reacted to the energy of people or objects or colors or whatever around me without realizing it at the time.  

But is this really a unique gift of mine,  or is it something we all have, we just don't realize it, but if we stopped and thought about it-- like I have lately-- we would see that it's a big part of how we all interact with the world without even knowing it?  

I need to go to bed now... I told you I was going to babble and ramble.  I am not entirely sure where I was even going with all this, and I doubt it makes much sense, and later on I might be embarrassed that I even put it on my blog, but it was therapeutic to try to get some of my thoughts into written words.