Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In Response to a Comment

Little Man showing off his dimples.
He is my only child with dimples. So cute.

There was a comment when I got back from vacation that suggested that it seemed I loved Noble less than my other children because he apparently got shafted by not getting a post about his blessing. I wanted to clear things up a bit.

First - I hope that none of my children will ever look back at this blog and try to gauge my love for them based upon the number or types of posts I do about them. If the number of baby pictures each of us has of ourselves were the judge of who was most loved, I am sure all oldest children would win that contest.

The number of posts I do about each child is in no way a reflection of the amount I love them. I love all my children equally and uniquely. That is why each has a flower. No flower is better than the other. I love all the flowers equally but for different reasons.

Now I know many have asked if Noble will have a flower. The answer is probably not. But he will have something. I am not sure what yet. I don't know him well enough to pick out what he reminds me of yet. I am sure as we get to know each other better I will choose something. Maybe a tree or some other kind of plant or animal.

Back to posts = love. Actually, I felt like I had done many posts on Noble as of late. I actually have been thinking I need to highlight Ann Marie and Lauren more since they seem less "represented" here. I do try to be sensitive to highlighting each child because I am a classic middle child who had identical twin younger brothers. (translation -- I was attention starved as a child.)

I do have a couple of posts brewing in my head about those two girls. But they are not time sensitive. I will get to them.

Second, to answer the question about why Sabrina's baptism got such the spotlight and Noble's blessing was more of a footnote.

Baptism is a big deal. It is an essential step that an individual must choose to take for herself in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. By choosing to be baptized we make promises or covenants with our Heavenly Father to keep His commandments and take the name of Jesus Christ upon us (or live a Christ like life). In return Heavenly Father promises us that we will be forgiven of our sins and have the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion as long as we live worthy. We mess up all the time, but we can renew these promises weekly by attending church and taking the sacrament.

Baptism is the first step we take in our lives toward returning Home. When Sabrina choose to be baptized she was taking a step closer to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and to being with her sister Camille again. I want her to remember her baptism day. I want personally to remember the feelings I felt as I watched my little girl take that step and be "reborn." I felt a strong witness of the Spirit that day. As I saw her baptized I felt powerfully the reality of what a significant GIANT step she was taking closer to Home. I want to share my feelings with her now and as she grows older and understands this more fully.

As for baby blessings, they are spiritual experiences and the blessing given is inspired. The blessing is not prepared ahead. It is literally what the priesthood holder giving the blessing feels inspired by the Lord to say in that moment. Sabrina was also given a blessing as part of her confirmation. (After she was baptized, her father put his hands on her head and confirmed her a member of the LDS church and by the priesthood authority he holds gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. He then gave her an inspired blessing. The things he told her were things the Lord would have her know. Things she was doing well and counsel to help her in her life.)

Blessings are very personal. I wrote as much of them down as I could so my children could have a record of them, but they are not the kind of thing I feel comfortable sharing on the internet. They aren't MY blessings to share.

So there was not much to report on Noble's blessing other than he was blessed. I would certainly have shared a photo of him in his cute blessing outfit (and I still will) except that my sister in law took all the photos that day and has them on her camera. When she sends them to me I will be posting one of the little man with a story about the outfit he is wearing. That is a good story to share.

In the mean time I took a couple of photos of the little man on the way home. I was trying to capture on film the blueness of his eyes and how big he has gotten. Somehow I never can capture the beauty I see through the lens of a camera. Still I will share what I did get.
He has grown so much! Now if he would just think about sleeping through the night ;)

The Blue Eyes.

I wish you could see how blue they really are. This photo still doesn't do them justice. They remind me of Camille's eyes. But it is often hard to see the blue for all the light that is continually in his eyes whenever they are open. His beautiful blues are ALWAYS filled with light. Even when he is crying.


Karen said...

I've never commented before but look forward to reading your blog every single day (and so does my Mum). I just wanted to say don't ever feel you need to justify yourself, especially over how much you love each of your children. You are a wonderful mum and that is more than obvious. Karen xx

cmhl said...

oh Stephanie, the dimples!!!!!!!!

I absolutely love dimples-- so cute. Beautiful baby.

Anonymous said...

you're a fabulous mother!

Chelsa said...

i can't believe someone would suggest that... how terrible! noble is sooo cute! i can't wait to learn more about your middle two girls :)

Leslie said...

Hmm, I haven't been reading the comments (or commenting) on your blog, but will say I am shocked someone had the nerve to say such a thing to you. Unreal.

As for what to name Noble after instead of flowers like the girls, how about Nascar drivers? :-)

When Noble starts smiling, please post a pic. He looks so serious now. Hehe. And, of course want to see those blue eyes.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

I find it to completely and absolutely ridiculous when people DARE to try to accuse that mothers love one child more than the other. I will speak broadly because I believe this applied to ALL mothers. Sure we love each child differently, but ALL our children are special, unique, and completely loved.

Sue said...

All I can say is that you guys make beautiful babies...and also not to worry about the commenter who felt your parental "attentions" were uneven.

People who are sensitized to look for such inequities probably experienced them in their own childhood, which is sad, forgivable...and clearly has nothing to do with your obviously devoted parenting.

Cyndi W said...

I'm new to your blog, I've only been reading it for a few months, but enjoy it so much.

I was so sadden today when I was reading all the justifying you felt you needed to do. I can feel the strong spirit through the words you convey. I'm sure your children know for a surety that their Mother loves them...how did you put it...equally and uniquely.

I don't even know were you live, but I wish I could bring my sweet daughter over to play with your darling daughters. And we could enjoy an afternoon chat.

Please do not worry what others think, I'm sure you have such a tremendous following because you write what YOU feel. And what YOU know to be true. Continue with the good work. Love, Cyndi

The Nielsen's said...

I have never commented before, but I read your blog on a daily basis, you are an inspiring woman and I have been touched by your stories and heartache. I share the same religion as you do and I too understand the importance of ordinances. I remember my baptism day, it is such a spiritual experience to look back on, I have a picture of me with my father in front of the church, each time I am reminded of the covenants I made on that day and how that step brought me closer to living with my Heavenly Father again. I have 3 young children, all were blessed by their father, I feel a great love when I hear him speak the words that Heavenly Father wants me, my children and everyone else to know, but I know these times are sacred and treasured.

I actually never read the comments that are on your blog, I enjoy your spirit and find myself striving to be a better person and more in tune with the spirit because of you. It is so hard to imagine what you go through on a daily basis. I can see how we never comprehend what Christ must have truly went through on our behalf, when I read or hear what other people are going through I have a stronger love for my Savior. You are a loved individual, you are a strong daughter of God, and you are making a difference by having this blog, you are a strong messenger from God and you are using one of your “talents” by sharing your stories and life experiences with so many.

I am the 5th child out of 6, I only have but a few pictures of myself as a young child, I have never felt unloved or felt my love was greater or lesser than my brothers or sisters because of this. Your children will look back and treasure every entry you posted, this is so much better than a journal for them, they will realize what a choice mother they have and what sacrifices she went through to become the rock in the family. As your girls become mothers they will look back and know that you went through so much to be the best mom you could be for them. You are real, you are you, and you are where you are supposed to be. You have a beautiful family.

Thanks for being such a great example to me

mckenna said...

You should NEVER feel the need to have to defend the love you have for each of your children. Never. But I love the comment you made about hoping your children will never gauge your love for them through posts or pictures or whatever else. Whoever left that comment must have either been being sarcastic or was not a mother. :) And I must add that that is one beautiful boy!!

Sharon said...

I can't believe someone would say that to you! That's incredible.

Noble is gorgeous and we can all tell how much you love ALL you children.

It was great to hear about Sabrina's baptism. I hope to have a great post about that in just over a month when my soon-to-be eight year old gets baptized. :-)

a.k.a. Jack said...

It would never had occurred to me that there's even the most remote possibility that you don't love Noble as much as your girls. Now that the initial shock of such a suggestion has worn off, I will put such silliness behind me. Craziness, really. As McKenna said, there must have been some sarcasm that we missed since it was written instead of verbal. By the way, he's super-cute, like the rest of the kids. Love ya.

Amber said...

It is funny to feel defensive for someone you don't know, but that is how I feel about random blog commenters. I have to say, I think...okay, just continue to read your own awesome blog and bask in your own perfection. Sorry, if you could hear my tone, I am joking, and trying to make it light. :) Thank you for your wonderful words! I am really glad no one but family reads my blog...man, the pressure!

Morg.Jess.Audrey said...

I hope you don't ever feel like you have explain or defend yourself. Your posts are always inspiring & it's obvious you are an amazing mother. Besides, baby blessings aren't essential to our eternal progress -- they're more of an introduction of the baby into the world.

Anonymous said...

I read the comment the other day and was horrified by that comment. But today, I am amazed again by your elegance and grace in your response. You answer with pure kindness. I don't think I would have been able to do the same. You are a great example for me. Thank you again!

Susy said...

Gracious...yep that's what you are....If only some women would get the idea that you are an amazing woman and you put it all on the line for us to read. There is a blog called "a little sussy" on it she has a little ditty and it says "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it here..."
p.s..what a punkin!

Brimaca said...

He's so cute! I love his dimples.

I am shocked every time I read posts like this from popular bloggers. I guess it comes with the territory but I don't even count how many posts are about each kid on my own blog let alone someone elses.

kathryn_m said...

Awwww .. such sweet dimples. I had secretly hoped that at least one of our children would have dimples, a splash of freckles and curly strawberry hair. Chances seemed pretty good since these triats describe most their father's family and half of mine. Alas - it was not to be. It seems my genes were dominant - all brown eyed but three do have curly hair!

I am amazed at how Noble has already lost that "newborn look" and is looking like a "boy-kid" as my daughter so dubbed her second brother.

I am not a bit surprised to learn that blessings are a private matter - I kind of sensed that along the way. I cannot begin to imagine Jon's pride, humility and sense of responsibility as he performs these Priesthood duties. Truly awesome!

You have much to look forward to as each of your children takes this monumental step towards Eternal Life. I have no doubt that Sabrina will be a shining example to her sisters and that cute blue-eyed boy-kid.

love 'n hugs,

Jennie said...

I am appalled that somebody would even suggest that you don't love Noble as much. If they 'knew' anything about you- they would never say or think such a thing. It is quite obvious of the love you have for each of your children. I am sure people looking in on my blog may think I love my youngest the best, because I write more about him. There is just so much to write at this stage- but it in no way means I love him the best, and my children all know that. I know yours do, too. I knew you would respond to that comment with grace, and you did. Thank you for your example.
Noble is ADORABLE! Seriously, those dimples, and his eyes are beautiful. I am sure when you look in them you can see a little bit of Heaven and Camille.

Kim C said...

He is truly adorable!

Seriously? Someone would question you like that? Uggh.

Kristen said...

it's pretty shocking that someone would question your love for Noble because you did not make a bigger post about his blessing. That must have been hurtful to read.

As for todays post, both of my boys have amazing blue eyes (I might be a little biased :)) and I try to get it on camera, but like you said, it never comes through the same. He is really, really adorable and looks so cuddly with his big dimples. Thanks for sharing some wonderful pictures!

Melissa-Mc said...

Ahhh, he is cute! I am trying to not be offended on your behalf. I remember you writing that you are not easily offended and, I am glad. You are an absolutely amazing mother.

Anonymous said...

First off, whoever wrote that stupid comment is some lame grandma who has nothing to do with her day than count pictures on a blog. You are a mother of 4 amazing children. I am a mother of 2 kids (2 and 10 months) and I am going crazy! I am amazed you can post to your blog so often. Good luck with all of your beautiful kids!

Clark and Annmarie Huggins said...

good job. said very well.

Anonymous said...

He is so adorable, Stephanie. He DOES look big!!

Gorgeous - as all your children are.

Love to you,


Anonymous said...

He is so adorable, Stephanie. He DOES look big!!

Gorgeous - as all your children are.

Love to you,


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Who would write such a comment??

Rey and Meegan said...

DO NOT EVER apologize or justify for your own blog and your own feelings and thoughts! This is YOUR blog. For you to say what YOU want to say. We read it beacuse of your sensitive spirit and situation. NEVER again apologize for being you :) Noble's dimples are adorable! PS-I like the tree idea!

Janae said...

Great post! Baby Noble is so darling:)
As for the anon. comment, just about, one of the stupidest comments I have ever read!
My posts definitely are not "equal" among my children. I have an almost teenager who prefers not being blogged about, so there ya go.
Your grace and kindness is amazing!

Mama Jo said...

Dear Stephanie: My name is Joanne Rich. I am mother to Coby Rich, mother-in-law to Tif and 'Honey'(Grandma) to Corbin and our sweet Jackson. Since Tif added you to her blogspots, I have been lifted and inspired by your life and wisdom beyond your years. As a wanna-be-writer myself, I add my thumbs up to you writing your memoirs! You have a wonderful gift and your testimony of the gospel is so purely shared that I'm sure it's influence is far reaching. Congratulations on darling Noble. I have four amazing sons and one darling daughter, all of whom life would be quite colorless without. But boys...oh boy! They are teasers and pleasers and I've always held a soft spot for them. I think of you and pray, as we do for Coby, Tif and family, that you will always feel the Lords presence in your healing and continue to give strenth to others through your great faith. Happy days ahead!
With love and admiration,
Joanne Rich

Olsens R Us said...

Remarkable. You are simply remarkable. Not only do you bless lives with your blogging through the most difficult year of your life, but then you needlessly "defend" yourself with class, honesty and integrity beyond reproach. You don't owe any of us ANYTHING, never mind an explanation as to why you write what you write on your blog. As a mother of seven, I hope no one is holding a penlight up to my comings and goings to try to see if I "love" one child more than another because nearly every day under scrutiny like that it might seem like I do! Sometimes one child needs more attention than another. Sometimes my focus is on teaching a skill to one while the others play quietly. Do I love the ones I'm not interacting with less? How crazy a question is that? You handled the remark well, and with much more kindness than I might have. Another lesson learned from Stephanie, the woman I feel teaches me a lot about life in spite of never having met you!

Jenna said...

No justification is ever necessary on here. I've never seen a mom love her children more than you. Noble is so cute... Dimples are my absolute favorite thing on a baby!!!!!!

Stacy said...

He has the cutest cheeks! I really enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing! :)

Christina said...

That made me sad that someone would suggest that! As a mother of 5, I constantly worry if I am spreading myself equally, if birthdays and Christmases are exactly equal for each kid, if I had the same amount of one on one time with each kids...and sometimes I feel bad when it seems like a particular child's pictures or stories are dominating our blog for a time. Truth is, it will never be exactly equal if those are the things we are measuring, because they all have different needs. They all cycle through times where they need more or have more to report about. My 2 year old is the only child of mine who will be home with me for 3 whole years alone before starting school, just because she is the youngest and that is how it worked out. She will definitely get more time one on one with me than the others did; however she has also endured being dragged around to other kids' school and sports events since she was born while the older kids probably had more relaxing at home, play on the floor time as infants. My oldest child (14) will insist that I love my 2 year old more because she doesn't have to clean her own room ;) Sigh. It is so complicated. We are all just doing the best we can, and I know my kids feel loved, nothing else matters. I think there have been plenty of posts about your sweet baby boy, but that is not a measure of love. It is obvious how much you love EACH of your kids and I am sorry if anyone could look at ONE blog entry and conclude otherwise! Hugs!!!! You're doing a fantastic job juggling it all!

DownerFam said...

Are. You. Serious? Someone actually made that comment to you? Good gravy people. Please don't take their comment to heart, or think that any of us thought any less of you because you did not post about his blessing. You are a mother of 5 children for heaven sakes! You're busy!
My daughter was also baptized and confirmed on the same day as her sister's blessing. I loved that. It made the day a very special spiritual one. (It was also my 8 year old's birthday, and we attended a temple open-house. I thought it would be neat for her to get baptized and go to the temple all in the same day!)
Take care, and please don't feel like you have to respond to the nay-sayers. You're fabulous!

Ashlin said...

Isn't funny how some people have a lack of brain cells?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just think it is so sad to hear... So sad to hear that there is some loneley, bored to death person out there, counting pictures and stories of your kids, making up graphs of measurments and percentages to compare each child and the amount of info/love there is of them on your blog?!? Hello?! Oh my ...! Sometimes you just have to laugh at how pathetic some people are. Get a life. And when you do (the rude commenter) I sure hope other people will not be watching and analyzing every little thing you say or do. I sure wouldn't give a crap. How cares?!