June 15, 2016

the river trail.

i love living by the mountains. i can't imagine them not there when i look out my window or drive in my car. i would miss them. i love that i can pack my littles in the car and be on a hiking trail in a matter of minutes.
i grew up on 10 acres in a house that my dad built in a country town in missouri. i have such fond memories of playing with my brother and sisters in nature because we were absolutely bored and had no friends close by. thank heavens we had a swimming pool. it's always fun to watch my kids explore the world and hear them say things to each other that remind me of conversations from my childhood with my siblings.

more and more as i get older i see the cycle of life and appreciate moments. i wish i would have appreciated more of them when i was younger, like conversations with my grandparents or everyday moments with my parents driving to school or making dinner. live and learn, i guess.

that is the major reason blogging is important to me. so my littles have a place to "look back" whenever they want to. this day was a fun day and a trail we've done a hundred times. but every time they explore it, it is like their very first.

June 14, 2016

their first piano recital.

my little 6 year olds started piano lessons at the beginning of the year and last night had their first recital at a local music store. it was adorable, as you can imagine.
 ame' was first on the program and did a great job. she was soo shy and cute at the end when everyone was clapping for her. you can see it in her video. she wasn't sure if she should smile or cry.
aisa bounced up there and played his little bit - not once, but three times, just so he could stay up there longer. he had practiced a bow that he wanted to do after his song all week long; but, once everyone started clapping, he was blinded by the light (lol). 

piano has been such a blessing for my littles. my little shy ame' came up to me when we got home and gave me a big hug and said, "i'm so proud of myself mommy." that said so much to me. it meant she pushed through her fear and worked really hard to do her best - and even though it was difficult, in the end she knew she accomplished something huge. we are so proud of them both! it's a pleasure as a mama to watch them grow and develop their talents but especially to watch them hit milestones that grow their spirits and confidence in their abilities. such a fun night!
 all of the children did a wonderful job. what a blessing to have their sweet teacher, flo toleafoa, who is so patient and so very kind. most of aisa's lessons are probably spent with her as a counselor as he tells her all of his woes and troubles in the world - at least that's what he says. usually there is more talking than playing when aisa has his lessons, but i think it's super cute as he loves her so. ame' is always smiles ear to ear when she finishes her lessons, you can see how proud she is to accomplish her assignments. that's why it was so great to hear her say it. well done my little shining starts - so very proud of you.

June 13, 2016

love is stronger than hate.

i hesitated writing this post because part of me feels like it is a shame to categorize people or put a label on things  - and i feel like writing this post sort of forces me into doing that. to me i see humans, i see family, i see brothers and sisters, and loved ones. i see people trying to do their best, be their best every day.  i do not see color or lines.  i do not believe god loves his children between the lines. love is kindness, compassion, integrity, goodness.  love is bravery in the face of adversity.  love is kind hands and hearts who build the world up, not tear it down. we are all suppose to love one another as god has loved us. 

my baby sister is gay. she is also lovely. she is kind. she is thoughtful. she is talented. she is brave. she is one of the most christlike people i know. and she married her wife who is just as much my sister as she is. and beautiful in all the same amazing ways.  i do not, could not, would not love them any differently. i don't know how to draw a line like that. my heart broke when i saw the news today. i was a day late as i  enjoyed my family with the tv and news off yesterday until i put them to bed. and then i read the stories and cried, and then i prayed for the people and families in orlando, for me, the world, for my sisters, for my children's future, for the loss of life, and for the hope of kindness and compassion in the future.
and then i cried some more. 

i am lds - a "mormon." i was raised a member from birth but it is something i choose every day now. it is my faith. my testimony is strong and rooted.  some people think my religion hates gay people. i don't believe that. i have never believed that. i know that it is not true. i also know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that really smart people can say really dumb and insensitive things. i believe our heavenly father loves us all, each one, individual and uniquely. i have seen men and women of various faiths, mine included, who i once admired - immediately spew hate when someone mentions the word gay.  i often wonder if they see the hypocrisy in their words, in their judgement, in "their" hate. the golden rule has always said "do unto others as ye would have others do unto you." there are no exclusions, no exceptions. i have so many things i could be judged on, flaws in my spirit and myself, the fact that i can inhale a plate of spaghetti when i am stressed out.  but we are not here to judge anyone. we are here to love. we are here to grow as individuals who were made in the image of a loving Heavenly Father. and that's what i want my children to know. and that is why i am writing this. 

it always hurts to hear these stories of terrorism and hate. 
love is the answer. 
love is always the answer.
give love.