Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Judge Not

When I decided I wanted to be a better person, I knew one thing I would have to get rid of was judging others.  It seemed almost impossible to me. Judging is seen as part of the fabric of our society; it’s totally acceptable to bash someone on tv, to a friend, or even type it out for the whole world to see. It was hard to imagine that something so prevalent could actually be overcome. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that judging had become a way of life for me, how I looked at the world, and how I viewed other people.

My Savior knew my heart, my desire to be good. He knew I was finally ready to change. He let me in on a little secret: it all starts in your mind. That old adage that you crosstitched as a kid was true: sow a thought and you reap an action, sow an act and you reap a habit, sow a habit and you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny (thanks Ralph Waldo Emerson).

It’s been hard, but wow it’s made a world of difference. Instead of seeing someone’s shoes and making a snap judgment, or reading something and drawing immediate conclusions, I try to step back. A couple realizations have really helped me in my quest to be judgment-free. First, the better you know someone, the more likely you are to think kindly of them. I realized that a lot of the judgments I make are simply because I don’t really know the person and was making assumptions about them. Which brings me to the second thing I realized: there’s no one you know well enough (besides yourself) to adequately judge what’s going on inside their head.

To stop saying judgmental things is a good idea, but to actually stop thinking them altogether is going to change who I am. Our Savior Jesus Christ, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who knows our motives and our secret sins, still responds with kindness. He says to us, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” And that’s what I want to do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Montana Thanksgiving + Cheyenne's Birthday

If you're concerned that the Thanksgiving and Cheyenne's birthday posts will always be combined (like last year), no fear, Thanksgiving is super late next year so it should stop the trend.

We made our annual trek up to Montana to visit Ben's grandparents and it didn't disappoint. Did I mention that two kids means twice the fun?

And SOMEBODY I know turned two! I made her these delicious blueberry almond cupcakes (she loves blueberries and she loves cupcakes). Ben is still dreaming about them.

Love this little girl, despite her trying to run away from me in this pic.

The drive is gorgeous and is one of the reasons I love visiting Montana. 

On top of the mountain, there are trees as far as the eye can see. If I didn't have an incredibly lame camera, you might just be able to see the beauty that I see. It really is breath-taking.

I love towns like this, nestled up in the mountains.

We stopped quite a few times to feed Delaney. Cheyenne got in some quality time with her Dad. I loved this view from where I was sitting.

Ben got a gift from his grandpa-- this elk skin coat. It is totally awesome. He'd probably be embarrassed for me to say this but I think he looks like a rugged mountain man in it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm Grateful

Despite the hard days, the days when I want to pull out my hair, to scream or more likely cry,
Despite the 9 months of uncomfortableness, of tiredness and sickness,
they are so worth it.

Have I mentioned how much I love love love having a little baby around the house again?

I love it. I love babies. I love being a mother. So grateful to be here right now. In this phase of life. Tiny feet, tiny hands. Chubby fingers, handprints on mirrors. Words that aren't quite right and clothes that don't match. Baby kisses and baby smiles. This is where I'm supposed to be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brother Dillon

What does a good leader look like?

A good leader is someone who is in the trenches. Someone who does the work right along with the rest of us. Someone who inspires others by being the best "ordinary" worker there is. Then when I'm wondering how to best do my own work, I can look to the leader and say, "Hey, I can do what he does."

My brother Dillon is one such leader. He has initiative. He jumps right in. He does what is right. I would want him to be my leader because he's ordinary. Not ordinary as in boring, bur ordinary as in, he's exactly what all of us should be. What I should be. The world would be a better place if more people were like Dillon. Going out there, doing what you know to be true, doing it every day and not slacking. No hesitation when called upon. No dilly-dallying (although we like to call him Dilly Bar). Putting in the hours, doing his best.

I hope I can follow Dillon's example in my own life.

Happy Golden Birthday, little brother. You're my favorite brown-eyed sibling, and the best 20 year-old I know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It Was Fall Today

It was Fall today.
It wasn't too hot it wasn't too cold,
The leaves were crunchy,
The wind was blowing.
The next day it was winter.
I pulled out my furry vest
and stayed inside.

1. Saw this scene (below) when I went to get Cheyenne from her nap. She was obviously busy!
2. Cheyenne made this face when I said, "Cheese." If you can't tell, she's really into picking out her outfit these days.
3. Outfits like this are why you have baby girls.

1. Daddy and his girls hanging out Sunday night (ask him about his blue shirt...)
2. All bundled up for a walk in the snow!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Family Pictures

We happened to luck out on the most beautiful fall day ever in Utah. 
With the light filtering through the trees, it was a breathtaking sight down by the lake. 
So glad we were able to capture our little family of four on a perfect day.
And thanks for shooting us again, Caitlin Sheffer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I Believe

I know these things are true. I know they are true because I have lived my life in such a way as to test out their validity.

I know that God lives.

I know that he has a son, Jesus Christ, who died for us.

I know that this life does not end at death.

I know that God and Jesus Christ have a plan for each of us.

I know that the most important part of this life is family.

I know that how we spend our time is a reflection of what we know.

I know that we are not supposed to just have good ideas about how to be better, but actually live those ideas.

And I absolutely know that the way to return to live with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ again is through his true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ben's Iphone pics and Halloween

Our date nights lately have been going for drives. It's the easiest way to keep two kids contained, and Ben and I get to have some great talks. This particular date night we went to check out the construction on the Payson Temple.

We love having my younger brother live so close and having him over for Sunday dinner. Unfortunately our ceilings are a little....short here in the basement for my 6'3" brother. Cheyenne loves Uncle Derek!

At Ben's work dinner, three of us wives all had babies in July.
Here they are showcasing the "fruits" of our labors har har!

Cheyenne is a bit of a bruiser sometimes, so we thought it only fitting that she be Nacho Libre for Halloween. Delaney was the cutest kitten! I took Cheyenne around for her first time trick-or-treating. The weather was perfect and she loved it!

Our pumpkin carving was a little basic this year, we opted for a simple luminary design. We used a drill to poke the holes.

Carving our pumpkin