Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall in Texas

Sometimes I just ache to hold her.

My kids are growing up. My babies are not really babies anymore. We have moved on to a new chapter in life in so many ways. It is a good chapter so far. I am meeting new characters who are enriching my life. We are growing in new ways. In some ways it feels like I have lived here or been here in Texas forever but it still somehow isn't quite home yet.

It was a lovely fall day today. The soft air was a perfect temperature as I ran the kids to school. I slowed to a walk on my return to savor the season. It just felt like Fall. I decided I like Fall in Texas.

One fun thing I have done this fall in an effort to get to know my neighbors better is to host a weekly "community soup night" at my home. I invited my 50 closest neighbors to come to my home for a cup or bowl of soup each Tuesday in October. Tonight is the last soup night. I ask them to bring their own bowl and spoon to save me from the dishes or mess. I make a big batch of soup and we chat. It is like a little open house once a week. It has been an easy way to get to know some of my more social neighbors.

So far I have made sweet corn soup, carrot ginger soup, butternut squash soup, beef and barley chili, and tonight it is pumpkin soup on the menu. Each has turned out pretty well, but I think the sweet corn and pumpkin are probably my favorites.

When I have leftovers, I freeze them in muffin tins and pop them in a ziplock bag in the freezer for a quick lunch for myself or easy dinner to a sick friend.

It has been lots of fun and I have met about 8 new neighbors through it. How do you best get to know your neighbors?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mourn with those who Mourn

This weekend we took a quick family trip down to San Antonio. It was a last minute decision. That meant quite a bit of last minute planning for me. So Thursday was a rather busy day. Late Thursday night I texted with my friend Britt. Her son Daxton died the same week my Camille did - both in tragic, unexpected accidents. We have been close friends since we found each other online just weeks after our lives were changed forever.

She had posted about a missionary who had passed away so I texted to find out who it was exactly. Turns out it was her husbands little brother. My heart broke for her family, enduring yet again such a close and too soon loss of one so young. I told her I wished I could do something, take some of the weight of the grief for her. But knowing what I know about how unfixable grief is, especially in the early fresh stages, I was left with little of comfort to offer.

The next morning Britt got up early to drive her family to Idaho where her husband grew up. I got up just an hour later to drive my family to San Antonio. It was still the dark of night for both of us. My family quickly fell asleep and I was left alone in the dark with my thoughts. My thoughts were on my friend.

I thought of her driving in the dark, just like I was. I thought of the weight of grief on her shoulders and on her husband's shoulders as well. And I remembered feeling just a little bit that having others mourn with me when I was fresh in my grief did help me carry the load just a bit.

And so I prayed as I drove. I prayed for my friends and her family and for her husband's family. And I prayed that I might be able to lighten their load just a little bit, to help them bear this too heavy cross that weighs on an already tender spot in their heart. And I wept. I mourned with deep soul filled mourning.

I would like to think that somehow I did share a bit of the dark road with my friend that early morning. I felt an over powering charitable love for her family as I mourned with them those dark and quiet hours. I believe this is what is meant by our covenant to mourn with those who mourn. I think that in so doing, maybe we do in fact getting a better understanding of the Atonement and maybe we really do get to lighten that burden for another just a little bit.

On a separate note: To the commenter that asked more specifics on my previous post. The parenting dilemma - basically this move has been stressful on all of us, obviously. But this has allowed me to see how each of my kids deals with stress. Each has dealt with it differently, but it has shown up in everyone. For one of my kids, I think it produced some anxiety that is above normal. It showed me that I need to help her find good ways to deal with anxiety and stress. I am glad to know this about her when she is young rather than when she is a teenager and may be less willing to open up to me and less willing to go see someone to get help.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Today marks 4 months since our last night at home in Las Vegas. Texas is a lovely place and the weather has finally cooled off. It is green and the people are friendly and kind. The sky here is huge and beautiful and often inspiring.

But I am just feeling a little bit homesick. I know it seems crazy to miss the desert, but I do. I miss the people there whom I love so much. I miss our house. I miss the purple mountains and desert storms. I just miss home.

I have dealt with homesickness plenty of times before. I am sure I will deal with it many times again. It isn't so fun. But really there are lots of worse things to deal with in the world. So I am going to count my blessings.

Let me tell you 10 things I love about Texas in an effort to look on the bright side.

10- We have a big grassy backyard.
9- I have some really friendly kind neighbors.
8- The church congregation (ward) I go to here is full of great people who are teaching me new things and becoming good friends to me.
7- The State fair has really good lemonade and corn dogs.
6- The Perot Museum is amazing and we have an annual pass.
5- We have season passes to Six Flags and it isn't crowded all the time.
4- I found an amazing piano teacher for my kids.
3- This move has brought to light some parenting issues that I might not have seen if we had stayed in Vegas.
2- We get to spend lots of time with my brother Stephen and his lovely family.
1- Jon has a great job that he enjoys doing.

Well, I am going to keep adding to that list on my own time. Thanks for listening and if you are in Las Vegas--- hope you are feeling my love come through.