Monday, March 16, 2015

Not Being Happy

During Family Home Evening one Monday night, Mr. Brown Eyes gave a lesson about talents. We talked about all the things we're good at.

For Brown-Eyed Boy, the answers were "playing, building with blocks, and riding his tricycle." Baby Blue Eyes was told she's good at making silly faces and dancing. Mr. Brown Eyes is good at fixing things and making us laugh.

When asked what Mommy's talents were, Brown-Eyed Boy said, "Not being happy."

Um, what?

Mr. Brown Eyes told me just to laugh it off, that it was just a four year-old spouting words the way four year-olds do.

And I did laugh it off, but I haven't been able to forget about it. Because, in a way, he's right.

I am an expert at seeing the worst in myself. In rushing through fun because I can't get my eyes off the next thing I need to get done. In taking myself so seriously that I forget to laugh.

I need my goofy children--who stand on their heads, and pull their arms inside their shirts, and bust up over words like "booger" and "poop," just because it's silly--to remind me that life is meant to be enjoyed.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said it well in this talk that I love. "The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

I am trying.

Not a Gloomy Mama,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Real Life Family Pictures

Every time we get family pictures taken, I always pick the best ones to post on facebook and hang on my wall.

Naturally.

But I get a kick out of the pictures that don't make the cut, the ones in which we are not all smiling happily and looking at the camera.

The ones where, yes, sometimes, I look like I am about to strangle my children.

In other words, the ones that are a little more true to life.

Here is a sampling:

 


 
 


Those imperfect moments will bring back happy memories in years to come.

Keepin' it real,
The Brown-Eyed Girl
 
 

 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Three Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas!

 
Mr. Brown Eyes works Christmas Eve and Christmas this year, so we're celebrating tomorrow. Today I am doing my best to distract my kids from their pile of presents at home by hanging out at my parents' house. We've opened presents, played legos, and eaten cookies for lunch.
 
And tomorrow--we'll do it all over again!
 
Here's to three days of Christmas!
The Brown-Eyed Girl
 


Gingerbread House

Homemade graham crackers
 
 
 + homemade frosting

 
+ not-so-homemade candy
 

 
= an awesome gingerbread house

 
Or more like a gingerbread cottage.
 
It taste delicious,
The Brown-Eyed Girl
 


 

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Share the Gift

If you are trying to get into the Christmas Spirit, please go here and watch this video.

I love everything about Christmas--the lights, the music, the food, the presents, the excitement (ok, I don't love Santa, but that's a story for another time)--but when it comes down to it, the Savior is what matters. He is the reason we have Christmas at all. He is the greatest Gift we have ever been given.

Merry Christmas,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Messes

Brushing my teeth at the sink, I turned away from Baby Blue Eyes for just a second. When I turned back around, she had emptied an entire box of band-aids, scattering them all over the floor.

Normally I probably would have sighed, scolded her, and told her to clean them up. But instead, I immediately knelt down beside her, held open the box, and said in a gentle voice, "Help me put them away, sweet girl."

As she smiled at me with that heart-melting, gap-toothed smile and started shoving bandaids into the box with her baby hands, I suddenly had the feeling that this is how Heavenly Father deals with us.

He sees us make messes. All kinds of messes. Sometimes horrible ones. And He doesn't roll His eyes at us and yell, "Look at that mess you made. Clean it up."

No. He kneels down next to us. Puts His arms around us. Says gently into our ears, "Let me help you."

Sometimes our efforts are clumsy. Our hands shake and falter. But He is so infinitely patient with us. He will see our efforts, take our shaking hands in His, and give us of His strength.

I am so grateful I don't have to clean up my messes alone.

Sincerely,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Saturday, November 15, 2014

He Will Bless Us

“Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for his holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence” (George Q. Cannon, “The Logan Temple,” Millennial Star, Nov. 12, 1877, 743).
 
 
I could go on and on about the Phoenix Temple and how I love it so much already. Helping with the open house in October was such a blessing to me and my family. I wish I could do it again. Aching feet and empty stomach included.

The last few months have been tight financially for the Brown-Eyed family. I signed up for one shift to help at the temple, but when I saw that lots and lots of shifts were still open, I thought, "Well, we don't really have the gas money to drive out there so much."

And yet.

A little voice whispered that that was inconsequential. If we made the committment to serve, we would be blessed.

So I signed Mr. Brown Eyes and myself up for four more shifts.

 
I can't say anything miraculous happened. Money didn't pour down from the sky. We had to fill the car up with gas multiple times. We had to take money out of our savings account to pay our bills. We even accumulated extra bills when Baby Blue Eyes had to stay in the hospital for a few days.

And yet.

We had everything we needed. We didn't go hungry. Our children were happy. Baby Blue Eyes quickly recovered from her bronchiolitis. In the middle of all our stress, we felt peace.

If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is.

Already, before it's even dedicated, the Phoenix Temple symbolizes to me this truth: if we obey the Lord, if we serve Him, if we try our best to show Him we love Him, HE WILL BLESS US.


He wants to bless us.

He's aching to bless us.

We just have to let Him.


The Brown-Eyed Girl