Sunday Was Mine

Our lesson in Relief Society yesterday was fantastic. I love it when I feel like what was discussed was specifically for me, and our teacher did a fantastic job of saying just exactly what I needed to hear. Life right now is messy, not horrible or anything, just messy. Sometimes there are a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. Maybe some missed opportunities, or just different opportunities laid out for us. As a family we are happy, but are we happy with where our family physically is? All that sort of stuff. Grown up stuff that I'm not overly fond of or that I don't really feel "old enough" to be dealing with, despite 27 creeping slowly towards me. I dunno it's just a weird stage of life to be at I think.

Anywho, this is the link to the talk we studied and one of my favorite quotes from our lesson yesterday,

"Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience."

So in short, the whole talk is awesome and our discussion of it yesterday made me feel a little bit better about where we're at right now. I just sometimes wish it were easier to see the big whole of the picture and not just the little piece in front of my nose, ya know?


Return of the Yogi

So this past week I went to Bikram once... it was my first time in about a week and a half just due to craziness with schedules, weather, etc... it felt different. I commented to my friend that if I had felt like that after my first class I probably wouldn't have gone back. But I still love it. Here are some of the things that made the class "different" than it has been for me in the past and if anybody is going to try Bikram in the future, things to keep in mind.
1. We set our mats up in the middle of the room, which happens to be hotter than the edge, duh way more uncomfortable especially when you haven't gone for a while.
2. My mat happened to be situated so that when the teacher was standing on her riser, her body completely blocked the view I had of myself. This makes it extremely difficult to see if I'm doing the postures correctly and focus on my self. It was nice in the sense that I couldn't see my rolls, but frustrating that when she said things like "find a spot to focus on yourself in the mirror" I was basically focusing on her, wonderful.
3. People were slightly chatty during class, which is completely discouraged and for good reason. It's super distracting when you are twisting and balancing in "eagle pose" when people are laughing... hello, I laugh at EVERYTHING but even I can stay quiet for 90mins.
4. I felt tired/exhausted during and after class. Seriously exhausted. I usually get a "high" and this time not a thing. I don't even know how I felt after because I didn't really feel anything other than tired. I yawned through class... So weird. I wasn't even chatty after, just blah...
5. It was my TOM so maybe my hormones were just like, "what the fetch is this" and just shut me down.
6. I was not well fed/hydrated that day at all. Seriously I was seeing stars more than once and had to take a knee.

So now I have goals for this week, including but not limited to:
1. Going at least twice this week, maybe 3 times so my body gets used to it again.
2. Setting up my mat early so I get an edge spot.
3. Eating better and drinking more water so that I don't feel heavy and gross during class.
4. Get decent sleep.

And a word about self-talk. I think yoga is a great way to touch base with my self. I like to go with my friend, but for the first time in my life I'm doing something that for 90mins can just be about me. It's nice to talk before, and have someone to talk to after, but for the majority of the class I find myself in deep conversation with me. What I found this week was that at one point I was apologizing to myself for eating junk, not drinking enough etc... and kind've struggling with the pose I was doing and all of a sudden inner me was like "who the heck cares just do the dang pose". So I shut up and everything was good again. Reading this over it sounds a bit crazy, but maybe it'll help someone else, so whatever, think I'm crazy! I'm learning that I maybe carry some useless guilt over things that don't really matter or find myself "caught up in the thick of thin things" (thanks Pres. Monson) So my next goal for this week is to be more aware of the things that matter, less guilty over the things that don't and to just let myself breathe a little bit more. I am a lot more "high strung" than I thought... ha!


The Princess and the Pea... er... Box

Kalea is really starting to develop and use her imagination lately. It's really fun to watch/listen to her play with her dolls or cars and Brynlee. I think she's finally actually treating her dolls like little friends now so it's no surprise that when her dolls go to bed, Kalea wants to lie down with them... even if it means squishing herself into a wipes box with them!

She was snoring logs, I could hear her from the landing on our stairs, and couldn't believe that she had actually fallen asleep holding onto the box. Needless to say, Kalea was extremely confused when she half woke up, in the box, with her dolls beneath/beside her. I should've taken a pic of her face she had a giant red splotch on her forehead from where it was resting on one of the dolls. Too funny. She was so out of it that she hobbled to her bed and stuck her legs in the air for me to change her diaper and then let me put PANTS on... sidenote, she's been wearing the dress pictured all week, as in even when I dress her in something different she unfailingly ends up in this dress- even going so far as to steal it out of the laundry room, and further, the dress is actually Brynlee's which makes it fit more like a t-shirt on Kalea's big kid self... You know she's out of it when she actually lets me put pants on her, it was awesome. After the day we had, I sure was glad that the eerie quiet just meant she was finally asleep, not destroying something else.
Oh and just for the purpose of remembering, yesterday Kalea and Brynlee broke into the laundry room which also houses the hot water tank/furnace/storage room... They somehow managed to tear the temperature control knob off the hot water tank- thank goodness it was just the plastic piece that pops back on, but still, what in the H were they doing in there, they could've done so much worse?!?!?!!!! They also tore my mom's VHS copy of Mary Poppins out of the VCR, I don't even know how they got it out but I pulled a good amount of the fragments out of the VCR while I practiced breathing deeply and counting to 10! They also decided it would be a great idea to climb onto the tv stand and jump off, which resulted in zero injuries but a million fingerprints all over the plasma tv that Steve gifted himself for Christmas... Um, yeah shhhhh he doesn't know about that one :) Let's just say, yesterday was "busy" and I'm glad that today we are dealing with a much mellower crowd.


Funny Valentine

We went out to Redwood Meadows with the Marusiaks this weekend. It was nice, to say the least. Shhh don't tell my parents we did this instead of going to church! It was actually a really nice break from everything and everyone and just what our cabin fevered family needed!
I attempted to get some pictures to accurately document our weekend... Steve and Jon showing each other more love than anyone else cares to see, Brynlee refusing to look at the camera- she probably couldn't turn her head from all the layers... Kalea only posing for one picture with Brynlee- of course she had to make a quasi modo face and last but not least, Kalea completely not paying attention to the camera!


Learning New Things!

This month has been full of fun so far, and we are loving it! Here are some photos to prove it!
Kalea learning to actually stay on Steve's feet and dance :)
Kalea posing with her gourmet pizza, I forgot to drizzle olive oil over top so the cheese wouldn't brown so much, oh well. Oh and I guess she's learned how to suck her belly in for pictures, I have NO CLUE where she learned that...
Last night I learned how to turn this...
Into this...
Brynlee approves!
Back story about my quest to learn how to crochet***
Our Relief Society is helping to crochet premie beanies for a women's hospital in Manilla. It's one of the few "free" hospitals for these women to deliver their babies in, but according to some of the missionaries who are serving there right now, the condition of the hospital is none too appealing. In fact if I lived there, I probably would rather have my baby at home. We complain about so much over here ie. having to share a room post delivery. Um, over there they get to share a delivery room with a bunch of other laboring women-with no dividers or anything, and then afterwards they share a bed with their own baby, another woman and the other woman's baby. The hospital handles around 108 births a week. If you need medication of any kind your family is supposed to bring it to the hospital and unless you have a c-section, there isn't any other alternative for "pain management"... Cannot even comprehend what that would be like in these kinds of conditions. Anyways, their babies are mostly premie size because of the lack of available pre-natal care in the communities that this hospital serves, and although it's a "tropical" climate, the babies still need hats to help them regulate their temp, etc... and very few go home with even a light blanket to swaddle in. So we're making a bunch of hats and receiving blankets to ship out at the end of March. If anyone wants to lend a hand, let me know, it's definitely worth the effort to learn a new skill!


That Feeling

Yesterday I got to teach our Relief Society lesson... Although since I got to pick the topic etc... it didn't feel much like a lesson so let's rephrase... I got to lead a discussion. We have some goals for our congregation this year, one of which is for every member of our congregation to have a temple experience in 2011. It was pretty awesome in the sense that we had a great great discussion. We are so blessed that we will have our own temple here in Calgary within the next few years (if the snow ever stops so construction can progress a little faster please) so long roadtrips and finding babysitters won't be such an issue. We talked about setting a date to go, being physically and spiritually prepared, things we can do to help our kids get excited about going even though they can't go inside yet, etc...
But, before all of that happened we had an opening song, and while we sung that particular song, I think for the first time in a long time, I felt the Spirit actually enter a room. So if I seemed a wee bit emotional in the beginning, I was. I had just had a profoundly enriching experience, and that continued for the next 45mins until we sang the closing song and I felt the confirmation that what had been discussed was right and I could go to bed feeling satisfied with my part in directing the discussion.
I love to teach, but I especially love to teach the gospel. It's a privilege to get to do that every once in a while because, as cliche as it sounds, I think I'm just a vehicle for the message of the Spirit and I'm happy to be used that way. The temple is one of my favorite places, for so many reasons. I love to feel close to God. I love to feel the influence of His Spirit, and there is no other place that I feel it as strong. What I hope everyone got from the discussion yesterday was that no matter what your situation in life is, you can go there and feel things that you've never felt before. You can go there and be enlightened and receive answers. You can go there and commit a lifetime and an eternity to the family you cherish. You can do things for other people that they can't do for themselves. Your children can sit on the grounds and ponder those all encompassing questions Who am I? Where am I from? Why am I here? Where am I going? and you can give them answers, and help them identify the things that they need to do to get to where they need to be. I think that's a wonderful goal to have and I really do hope that our family is able to have those experiences this year, I'm definitely planning on it.


Why Bikram Was So Great Last Night

1. When I am tired I get grumpy and need to get away, so last nights' class was a great escape.
2. I get "high" from it, I'm talking wired for the next few hours so I get a lot done- even if it means I'm up until midnight.
3. Post Bikram showers are the best and longest because I don't have little people waiting for me or wanting to jump in with me since it's usually after bedtime when I get home.
4. I felt looser/more flexible last night, I'm talking touching toes while stretching and all that good stuff.
5. I feel skinny after and I stand taller- yay for getting my good posture back.
6. It was hot and steamy and since my day was spent cool and dry it was a very welcome change of climate.
7. I got to enjoy a class taught by the girl who owns the studio and she was SO helpful, as in she did some of the poses with us and even paused the class at one point to show us all exactly how to do triangle the correct way, explaining the mechanics of how your body is moving, etc... It was so much more helpful. She also opened the door more frequently than any other instructor I've had, to let the cool air waft in and it felt awesome.
8. I really enjoy the mind over matter part of this yoga and although I suck at camel I did it for like 20 seconds last night and that's better than nothing. And then when I was leaving I saw a picture of a very pregnant person doing camel and I felt less accomplished :S
9. Post yoga chats are always a good reason to attend with a friend!
10. I slept like a log last night- remember how I hadn't had a good sleep in a few nights, yeah this totally made it all better. Yay sleep!


Teething Sucks But Steve Is Awesome

The only relief from Brynlee's pain: frozen, yogurt tube.
I couldn't figure out what to title this post. Brynlee is teething... but I think she has a virus too... maybe because of the teething... I don't know... What I do know is that our house has had two very awake nights because of it and this momma is TIRED. I am grateful that when her front, top and bottom teeth came in we didn't have any real issues, just fevers and runny noses, all miraculously cured by Infant Tylenol and teething rings. I am not so grateful that these molars are taking their sweet, irritating time to actually show themselves. I feel so bad for Bryn, she is usually such a happy girl. Last week when I ran my finger along her gums to "check our progress" there were actually little slits from the molars, yesterday when I did the same procedure just huge swollen mounds... POOR BABY! How frustrating! She couldn't figure it out yesterday, everything was just bad/sad/no good and she let us know it. Besides being up every 2hrs Tuesday night she was actually whimpering away in her sleep. She did the same last night too. It was no surprise that Kalea woke up at 6:30 right along with Brynlee, since let's be honest, it is hard to sleep through the whimpering all night. Hopefully we are past the worst of it now.
Because of the up and down through the night, Steve and I have been more zombie-like throughout the day than we usually are.
Example #1 of Steve's Awesome-ness: Yesterday he worked all morning, came home, put on sweats and decided to go tanning so he could have a 20min catnap and when he got home he informed me I would be getting my catnap at 2:30... Thank goodness because at 1:30 I was trying to fall asleep on the couch to the sounds of... you guessed it, whimpering/whining. Thanks Steve for making sure I got my nap too.
Example #2 of Steve's Awesome-ness: On less than awesome days I sometimes wonder how I will ever look back at this time in our lives with "fondness", I wonder how I will ever think that this was the "most wonderful" time in our married life because yesterday was a challenge and today probably will be to. But Steve, again, stepped in and made that post-dinner time so great. We play quite a lot of music in our house, so that equates to regular family dance parties, but last night was quite the spectacle. The girls weren't really happy with our usual song choices, so Steve found a song for all ages... THE CHICKEN DANCE... you all know the one I'm talking about, the one that people play at weddings and adults and children alike flap their arms and act a fool, well that was our house for a good 15mins last night. Kalea thought it was hilarious and Brynlee finally stopped whimpering! In that moment of hysterics and complete oddity I had the sense that that moment is exactly the kind that I will look back on with fondness. Mental picture taken and filed away.