Sunday, July 29, 2012

Keeping the Flame Burning

We did our best to fit all the tips we gathered on how to keep the flame burning in a marriage into the 5 minutes we were given. We ran over but I feel like we gave good tips. Thanks to everyone for your help in the comments.

It all boiled down to finding ways to stay connected to your spouse as a person not just as "mom" and "dad." We pointed out that the best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse (their other parent.)

The flame of marital love does wax and wan at different seasons of our life. When you are in the baby stage (pregnant or nursing) perhaps the physical connection may burn less brightly. The key is to stay connected in other ways during these times so you can keep your marital flame alive.

We broke down ways to connect in 3 categories: Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.
Here are our notes about ways we can connect in those areas.

·      Take Trips Together
·      Or ship the kids off to do a staycation as a couple (plan some spice)
·      Touch your husband/wife. Hold hands. Scratch backs.
·      Women: say yes as much as you can.  Make physical intimacy a priority.  If you can schedule time during the day, do it because most of us are tired at the end of the night and do not give it the proper attention.
·      Be affectionate in front of the kids
·      Couple’s beds off limits to kids during night hours

·      Make a list of Random Questions to find out new things about your spouse and use as conversation starters.
·      Do something purposeful for the other person (leave a note, do a chore you don't normally do, give a compliment, buy flowers, give a massage)
·      Date Night-- DO IT: not just movie – something with interaction
·      PLAN a date in advance
·      Read a book together
·      Instagram photos of things that make you smile during the day.
·      Explore the likes of your partner that you don’t particularly care for, have no interest
·      Develop a common interest/talent together
·      Do not keep secrets; open lines of communication on all subjects
·      Time set aside to communicate with your spouse (no TV, other distractions)

·      Couple prayers
·      Go to temple together
·      When praying, vocalize the things you love about your spouse in your prayer
·      Share in the spiritual leadership of your home; discuss spiritual issues beforehand as a partnership
·      If you don’t read scriptures together, then at least read in the same place
·      Discuss the common lesson material together from church

     I hope you will find some of these tips helpful to you. I know I got a few good ones out of our assignment. Now I am going to go reconnect with my hubby. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How do YOU keep the flame burning?

Jon and I have been asked to be part of panel in one of our church classes this Sunday. We have been asked to share some practical tips on how we can keep the love alive in a marriage through the years and kids and trials.

I know what we have done and some things we could and probably should do better. One of our main ones is to take alone trips every couple of years. We have done one between every birth of a child (except between Noble and Harrison.) I guess we are needing 2 now. :) These trips have really helped us reconnect on a Jon and Steph level and not a Mom and Dad level. I always remember who I am and why I like Jon so much on these trips.

Jon and I were wondering if any of you have found things that work for you. Anyone got some good tips we can share?

Also, Dance party at my house tonight at 8:30. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bad Things Happen to Good People

I have been thinking about the suffering of good people lately. I think so often I fall into the karma trap of believing that if you are putting good out into the world good things should be coming to you. And while I guess this is true in an Eternal perspective, sometimes it just seems like life doesn't work that way. Bad things happen everyday to good people who don't "deserve" it.

They can be little injustices or huge losses. Either way these bad things can add up to be difficult to bear. And the kicker is that often they happen to people who are doing everything they can to do what is right and just and make the world a better place. They happen to people who "deserve" to win at the game of life. People who work hard and are generous to others and are kind.

But in my thinking on this subject, I have noticed how many times in the scriptures there are prophets who "deserve" to win and are subjected to pains and trials. They are imprisoned and cast out and rejected. I notice how often they pray for strength to bear their afflictions with patience and faith.

Reading these stories in the scriptures where we can find out how the story ended just a few verses further makes it almost seem that it was easy for these men or women. But I have thought more seriously about how it must really have been, in the moment, for these faithful servants of God.

How must Daniel have felt as he was thrown into the lions' den for being obedient to the Lord's commandment to pray? Did he ever doubt? Did he wonder if maybe the Lord just wanted him to die? Did he feel forsaken as he walked to that lions' den?

I guess the point that has hit me yet again in my reflections is that ultimately we "win" at this game of life if at the end we have become like our Savior Jesus Christ. And he was a man acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows, a man rejected by his own. He healed the sick and made the lame walk and the blind see and still he was falsely accused and put to death in a most cruel manner.

He allowed himself to suffer so that he would know how to succor us. Because He knew that in this mortal life, bad things would always happen to good people. And He knew that through those trials of our faith, we would find opportunities to grow in important ways and to become more like Him.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Famous Baby

For those of you who don't read the comments, a crazy thing happened when I was doing cousin's camp. Jon and the boys went to the aquatic center in Cedar City with my sister in laws and brothers and all the kids under age 5. While they were there a woman named Angie introduced herself to Jon as a reader of my blog.

I get that once every 6 months or so. Jon has had it happen a couple of times. But this woman, Angie, recognized Harrison. Actually, she saw Harrison and thought to herself, "that baby looks like Camille."

We think that often in our home. But to have someone who has never met us and never met Camille in person see it and recognize the resemblance between them without first knowing that Harrison is Camille's brother ... well it was a pretty awesome way to be recognized.

Jon, who was holding Harrison, then turned around and Angie recognized him as my husband and realized then why that baby looked so much like Camille.

Thanks for that Angie. It is a gift. Thank you for letting me know. I wish I had been there to meet you in person and give you a hug. Thanks to those who still read and support. I appreciate you more than my words can express.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cousin's Camp

For the last 5 years, my parents have held a cousin's camp each summer. They invite all the 5 year olds and older to come to their cabin for a weekend and they plan a little camp with lots of activities that are all based around some spiritual theme. The kids LOVE it. It is a lot of work for my parents but they enjoy being able to share time with the kids and give them some lessons too.

At the beginning of each camp they sit in Cousin Camp Circle and welcome the new campers who have turned 5 in the last year. Then they introduce the theme for that year and begin their activities.

Well this year my parents are in Africa on a mission. But we didn't want the kids to miss out on cousin's camp. And this year the only new cousin that would have turned five was Camille. So I volunteered to run cousin's camp this year with a theme all based around angels.

After months of preparation, this weekend we had our Angels cousin camp. It was an incredibly special weekend for me. I felt angels with us at cousin's camp. I felt Camille there. I felt my grandparents there.

We had lots of fun doing activities like fishing on a boat at Panguich Lake and making marshmallow shooter guns and doing an obstacle course. We also had some really spiritual times when we heard about peoples experiences with angels.

I shared some experiences I have had when I have felt angels helping me. We also heard from our Aunt Nikki about some experiences she has had with angels. I had Sabrina read Nie Nies book Heaven Is Here and report on her experiences with angels helping her. And I also had Ann Marie read and report on The Message by Lance Richardson. I love that book.

We all learned more about my grandparents and Camille as we shared what we knew about them and our memories of them. I hope the kids came away feeling that angels are real and that when we need them most, they will be there helping us even if we can't see them.

I have shed a lot of tears this weekend. I shared so many personal things with these lovely little campers. And I reminded myself that in my needy times, angels will attend me. All I have to do is ask for help from my Father and He will send His Heavenly help. That is a reminder I needed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Do you ever have a day when you just worry? You feel like the sky really is falling and your stomach is churning with a tidal wave of anxiety crashing over your soul. I have had a few of those days in my life. Luckily, they don't hit me very often because I find them rather debilitating. But when they hit I become desperate for relief.

It is at times like these that I am so grateful for prayer. When I pray I find a pocket of peace in my storms of anxiety. This was so very real to me when we were in the hospital with Camille. It was like I was a whale in the ocean of anxiety and grief and only when I prayed could I come up to the surface for air.

It is true now when I pray about my worries. I find peace in prayer. I know ... I feel that even if the sky does fall, even if the worst case scenario (whatever that is) happens, I will be okay.

I am so grateful for prayer. In prayer I find answers. In prayer I find faith. In prayer I find peace.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Now is the Time

Have you been needing a new laptop, tablet, or smartphone? Is your smart phone or tablet cracked? Is your computer feeling ill? Now is the time to go to the LaptopXchange. I want to help our little family business.

So if you head to LaptopXchange in Phoenix, or Las Vegas (excluding the Lamb and Charleston location) and this month and mention this blog, you will get $10 off your service or purchase. It is a summer Daily Scoop sale just for you!

Summer is a slower time of year for the stores so now is the time to get the best deals. We would love your business. If you or someone you know is having laptop issues, needs a new laptop, dropped their iphone or ipad and cracked their screen, lost or killed their smartphone ... PLEASE send them our way.

You will save money if you make LaptopXchange your first stop for all your computer and mobile device dilemmas. We have locations in Salt Lake; Phoenix; Ontario, California; Tampa, Florida; Henderson, Nevada; and Las Vegas.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Balance and Update

I just read a great article from the Power of Moms site on Balance in our lives. I am going to my learning circle tonight to discuss it. One thing I think I need to add a bit to my life if some good family fun. I mean physical activity type fun that we can all enjoy. It is hard to find such activities when you have babies.

So then I read THIS post by Heather and I thought, "I totally want to do that." Today I went to the site and found out they also have a kid version. I am talking about doing a Dirty Dash. A run through the mud - 5.5 miles for adults, 1 mile for kids 12 and under.

To me it sound like good family fun.

In other news, my eyes are doing fantastic. Dr. Waite removed my other contact to day and taught me a new word too! Regularize. To make regular. Apparently my eye is healing in a slightly different way (which actually helps me see better. bonus!) He told me it would regularize. Look I am even using my new word in a sentence.

So today my vision tested 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in the other. I have to tell you what an incredible thing it is to be able to see the word on this screen as I type them without contacts or glasses. AMAZING.

Every night as I get ready for bed I think to myself, "time to take out my eyeballs (contacts)." Then I remember I don't have to do that anymore. Imagine not having to ever brush your teeth anymore. That is how crazy this is for me not to have to do. I am so ingrained in this habit and it is a treat every night and morning not to have to worry about my eyes.

Thank you Dr. Aaron Waite! I'll bring you truffles at my next appt. :0)