Sunday, October 19, 2014

october could last forever

October has been slaying it this year. The weather! The activities! The all around vibes it's throwing down! All of it has been really spectacular. These photos are from a walk around our 'hood last Sunday when the light was perfect and the hats a plenty. EZ has almost stopped ignoring Sully at least 50% of the time and it's really cute to see them get all up in each other's face. I'm still thankful for the other 50% of time when he ignores him (hey! at least he's not being mean to him!) I love the pictures of Matt and the boys together so much. And that picture of Sullivan on the swing with the sun flare? Oh baby, let me nuzzle that face! EZ moves too much most of the time to get many photos of him, but look at the sass he's tossing around! This very first picture on the left might be my favorite of the bunch simply because it's just so classic. EZ looking all dramatic because we didn't do what he wanted exactly how he wanted us to, and then Sully just happily smiling in the background. Mmmmm. I like these punks.  

And in a matter of seconds, Sully lets us know it's time to go home and get ready for bed. Kid knows what he wants!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a day in the life of EZ Red


It only takes a few minutes for this kid to change his 'stume and his 'tude all day every day. I never knew a kid could love dressing up & getting into character so much, but it is thrilling trying to keep up. My favorite is how often he does it without pants! So risqué.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

tiny

One of the greatest pleasures of my life will be watching my babies sleep. Because the boys share a bedroom and EZ still naps (at least half of the time), Sullivan ends up napping on my bed. This particular day he stayed sleeping while I repeatedly kissed his lips and face over and over. His skin smells of baby and he's softer and squishier than anything in the world. I never want to forget how that blue elephant soothes him and how his resting mouth is turned down just a tiny bit as he sucks in his bottom lip.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

she sits and she sits

When was the last time you read Horton Hatches the Egg? Although it's a Dr. Seuss classic, I don't think I'd read it for 15+ years until my dear friend gave it to me a few weeks before Sullivan's birth (thanks Aubry! Sorry I never sent a thank you card!) So for the past 8 or 9 months I've read this book to my children and it's often given me pause as to how I feel about Mormonism (or rather, being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints if I'm being formal.)

Horton was minding his own business probably having a really great elephant life in the jungle when a bird asks him to sit on her egg. He does not take this responsibility lightly, and the theme repeats frequently as he reminds everyone "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one-hundred percent."  This elephant willfully chooses to sit on this egg even when it's rough (storms! hunters! loss of opportunities! being sold to a circus!) and isn't exempt from the occasional complaint, but without placing any conditions on the outcome (or may I say, unconditionally) he sits and protects that egg simply because he said he would.

Now the story could end here and I think a really good message of loyalty and keeping your word would suffice for an excellent morale of the story, but what I can't stop thinking about is the end. He sat and he sat and he sat and he sat and then finally, just as the bird is trying to claim the egg as her own again (keen timing of course), the egg hatches and because I will forever and always love a good poem, I'll just write out the rest of the story verbatim with the lyrical rhythm only a true wizard like Seuss can do justice.

"And out of the pieces of red and white shell,
From the egg that he'd sat on so long and so well,
Horton the Elephant saw something whizz!
IT HAD EARS AND A TAIL AND A TRUNK JUST LIKE HIS!
And the people came shouting, "What's all this about...?"
They looked! And they stared with their eyes popping out!
Then they cheered and they cheered and they CHEERED more and more.
They'd never seen anything like it before! 
"My goodness! My gracious!" they shouted. "MY WORD!"
It's something brand new!
IT'S AN ELEPHANT-BIRD!!"
And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that!
Because Horton was faithful! He sat and he sat!
He meant what he said
And he said what he meant...
And they sent him home Happy,
One hundred per cent!"

I've been clinging to this story as of late since I've been tossing on the sea of contention and confusion while trying diligently to find a footing in the current culture of Mormonism (and the variety of issues that are circling my brain and the internet.)

I am a Mormon by birth and also by choice. It is my heritage, my community, and my religion. I claim the gospel as my family, and therefore claim the church as my own too. I can never deny the peace that has been given me and the love which I've felt from Heaven on many occasions in my life. I have unceasing faith in Jesus Christ and pure hope in his grace and mercy. I cling to his Atonement for my life, and hope for nothing more than to be reunited with Him (and my family) when this mortal life is over. This is the egg I've been asked to sit on and I will sit on it and keep on sitting and sitting and sitting. I meant what I said and I said what I meant, I will try to be faithful one-hundred percent.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to complain or get hurt on the way. Because I am. And have been. And probably will again before it's all through. Women's issues and the fights around feminism has me tired. The issues surrounding the excommunication of Kate Kelly (and the talk of excommunication of John Dehlin) has me hurting. The black and white stance on the LGBT/SSA issues has me confused and feeling gray. The lack of information surrounding our Heavenly Mother has me yearning. The empty spots on the pews as my friends leave has me sad. Sometimes the lack of response from leaders has me confused (and hurt and angry.) SO MANY FEELINGS.

But just when I'm about to get up and walk away from the egg (for a minute... a day... an undetermined amount of time) I am reminded that I have to keep showing up. I have to care about my family more than I care about the issues we will face. I have to remind myself that Christ can (and will!) help us, even if I can't possibly figure out how. I have to find love, or create love if I can't find any.

I just have to keep sitting.

Because you know what? I want the elephant-bird! I will do my best to unconditionally stay loyal to the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because I desire that something-brand-new that we haven't even thought of yet because God is bigger than I am and has bigger ideas than I can imagine. I will cling to the current revelation and doctrine we have, but I will hold out for the MORE we've been promised. So women don't need the priesthood. Ok. Got it! I am going to sit here until we receive more revelation on our something-brand-new-elephant-bird as to how we're going to incorporate more equality between the sexes. So I have zero information on Heavenly Mother besides the mention of "heavenly parents." That's ok! Because I can personally study wonderful texts and imagine her and think of her fondly as I study as to what she might be like and wait for my something-brand-new-elephant-bird information! So I feel confused about how to be an ally of the LGBT community and also a member of the church... That's ok! I don't have to know how Christ will figure it out, He's better at the elephant-bird creation than I am, so I'll just focus on my own personal revelation for how I'll conduct myself.

After attending church last week, Matt said we should read 2 Nephi 31:20. It reads, "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

Good thing there is a plethora to study while I'm sitting. So much feasting to do! I aim to have hope above all else, love as fiercely as I am capable (and draw upon the heavens when I need more), and stay loyal to my people. Forever and ever, loyal to my people (meaning you. and you. and you!)

And while some of you are trying to do the same, may I suggest some reading material? Please read the book Women at Church. Go buy it at Deseret Book right now! And then pass it along to someone else. And encourage them to pass it along. I've already given out 5 copies! It's practical and informative and healing. Chapter 10 is my favorite because we need MORE voices speaking up, and they need to be from women. This interview with Bianca Morrison Dillard is wonderful, especially the quote, "I think most of us feel like we have to take a stand on moral issues; that we have to know all of the answers and we have to put a flagpole in our lawns that says, “This is what we stand for!” In reality, I don’t know that life is black and white." I can't wait to see her work in Far Between. Nathaniel Givens writes an article about how We are Made to Suffer and how maybe it's because of the pain, not in-spite of it that we can have a happy ending (and I'd argue, a happy present.)  Why the news that leaders at General Conference this weekend might speak in their native tongue should be important to all of us as we gear up for this weekend's televised event. And let's start talking about anything regarding Heavenly Mother! I had a friend tell me she listened to someone talk about Heavenly Mother and said it's a blessing that we don't have revelation about her, because that gives us the freedom to explore all sorts of information and form our own idea of her. And until we receive doctrinal revelation, I say let's study! Let's talk! Let's imagine! Let's get to know her! President Uchtdorf mentioned "Heavenly Parents" THREE times in his Women's Conference talk last weekend... it's like he's begging us to ask about her! I swear he wanted to talk about her himself. 

Other posts from me regarding stuff like this: find here and here


"My goodness! My Gracious!" they shouted. "MY WORD!"
It's something brand new!
IT'S AN ELEPHANT-BIRD!
And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that!
Because Carla was faithful, she sat and she sat.
She meant what she said
And she said what she meant...
she'll keep moving forward,
one-hundred per cent.

And I'll end this with a recent selfie because I always love a selfie, forever and ever, amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

reporting

In the last two weeks//dumping so I can get it out of my head//

Matt released his Intro to Zbrush and Character Design class and then we attended Comic Con where he sold some prints at his own Redbeard booth. It's been incredible seeing Matt come into his own as an artist this year, and it's been BIG in the last two weeks. Lots of opportunities and dreams are beginning to be realized & we're feeling like all of the hard work we've put into this life is going to pay off if we just keep working. 

I've spent a lot of time with my sister, Melina, and our kids are the very best frenemies. We go to reservoirs, parks, museums, train rides, Grandma's house, pick garden food, can stuff, meet up with Grandpa for ice cream... I'm so glad we're raising our kids together and dealing with the crazy that comes with that.

No one is getting enough sleep... especially mother bear (me.) Kids are waking up and I'm staying up too late and I suck at napping and it's just... exhausting.  

Sullivan is starting to sit up, but heaven forbid he roll over! Ha. It's the sweetest that he CAN roll, but chooses not to? Or something. He also smacks his gums a lot and makes the cutest popping noises. And he learned to swallow and is eating food (and pooping! hallelujah!) like a boss.

I am working a lot more and am feeling very fulfilled with this at-home-on-the-computer-but-occasionally-in-person job. I'm assisting Alison of The Alison Show with a random assortment of duties, and it really is a party. Also - learning some new skills that are helpful for Matt's business as well (perk!)

EZ did not start pre-school, but does dress up A LOT. Ninja to Pirate to Ninja again to King to Batman to Superman to Pirate again. He's serious about his roles and usually prefers wearing costumes with pants as optional. (So he sort of ends up looking like a little male dancer as he is in full costume... and underwear. Ha!)

I am getting used to life with bangs. And Vampire Diaries (Katrina... I'm still not sure.) And allergies. And eating entire meals with sugar as the main course because I'm on a kick and am not ready to stop (pass me another snickers please! oh, and a donut!)

We hung out with a hairless cat who looked sort of rat-like and decided he was cool. Matt wants one now, EZ asked if the cat would wear a costume for Halloween, and I smooshed it's face and then left without any desire for an animal (we still miss our guido dog!)

We went to a drive in movie and it was super fun. Guardians of the Galaxy with a terrrrrrrible showing of the new Ninja Turtles afterward (we left 15 mins in because it was just so bad) with all of us snugged in the back of our van on our "car bed!" as EZ loved to call it was a really nice evening. 

Matt just started his busy time at work, so that means the house is a disaster and we have breakfast for dinner a lot because I just have to focus on not being mean to my kids when I have to put them to bed every night. I love them so much but holy cow just go to sleep when it's time. I'm thankful that his busy times eventually end, and balance will be restored. Also, he passed his ONE YEAR mark working for Disney and I just want to write so much more about this whole year and how good it's been to us. 

I made 5 batches of baby food using my pears, my mom's garden squashes, and trader joe's sweet potatoes. I always feel like a supermom when I take the time to do all of that. 

EZ is growing into a little buddy which is so great, but it's taking it's toll on all of us. Growing pains (physical and mostly emotional) are tasking. He's sort of annoying and whines what seems a lot more than he used to, and since he's usually so great at communicating, I expect him to always do that (but really, he's a three year old and I need to stop thinking he can control his emotions or his communication levels all the time.) We've had some hot tears in the last few weeks, but oh my gooooosh he's so smart and amazing and sweet so it's all good (even when in reality, it's not.) I have some videos I should upload that show who he is right now at exactly three years old. He's imaginative and funny and loves stories and "reading" books (memorizing them.) 

Sullivan's head is so round and delicious it's irresistible. He sleeps on his side for naps (but swaddled for bedtime mostly) and is squishy and soft. I have hundreds of selfie type photos of him on my phone because I can't get enough of looking at his face.

I turn 29 in just about two weeks and it feels good. I like that number and I like that it means Matt will be thirty a few months after because I just think we're on an up-swing and I really enjoy up-swings when they come so we're going to live it up. 

I'm glad I wrote some of this down. I am not even going to bother uploading pictures.