March 08, 2011
March 05, 2011
I realized something the other day as I was kissing Tyler out the door. He was headed to his friend's home to play for the afternoon, and as a typical mother, I offered up some tips for him. Okay, in all actuality, I ordered him to do the following: Say "thank you" and "please", be nice to your friend's mother...and listen to and obey her, be careful, be polite, help clean up, and then from out of nowhere....a tidbit of advice from my childhood came back to me...."SMILE!" My Mother used to always tell me to smile. I am not sure if many moms do that, but my Mom always did. And I smiled, a lot. I started thinking about this simple advice and how truly valuable it is. I decided to google the benefits of smiling...Here are some reasons to smile that I found:
1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive
We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away -- but a smile draws them in.
2. Smiling Changes Our Mood
Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There's a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
3. Smiling Is Contagious
When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.
4. Smiling Relieves Stress
Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you'll be better able to take action.
5. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
6. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger-- if this aint a reason to smile then...
The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don't go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day -- you'll look younger and feel better.
7. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful
Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.
8. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive
Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It's hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that "Life is Good!" Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.
9. Smiling is the best advice for kids
Smiley kids are just plain cute. :)I realize more and more each day that I have a very wise Mother. She knew what she was doing. I do feel like smiling made me a really happy kid. I am still a grinner. Quite regularly my cheeks hurt. But look at all the benefits! If even one of these reasons to smile benefited my life in some way or at some point, then it is advice worth passing on! So try to SMILE more often today. Smile at everyone you see. Even smile to yourself. Oh and tell your kids to smile too!
March 03, 2011
As I was dropping off my eight year old son to his very first Cub Scout Meeting, I looked out at my handsome boy's face and couldn't believe how fast the time has flown by. I hate it. It truly seems like we brought him home from the hospital yesterday. He is so grown, yet still so pure and full of light. How do I keep that light of love, of hope, of promise, alive and bright? When kids grow up and become exposed to life, their little flames can sometimes dim. I do not want my children to ever lose their luster, not even an ounce of it. EVER.
Some people might say it is exposure to WORDLY things. Well guess what, we are living in the world. The world is beautiful. I don't blame the world. People from all walks of life grow up, and some start from the dirtiest, darkest places of the world and manage keep the light burning and rise above all their surrounding gloom to become successful, useful and happy adults. Others are blessed with loving parents and majestic opportunities, and then they simply throw it all away with a bad choice. We have seen it all haven't we?
I know that I can't tell Tyler who to be, or how to grow up and who to become....but I can LOVE him up. All arrows point to love in my mind. Of course we can teach them right from wrong, honesty, manners, charity, and many other gospel principles....but I feel like those things will only imprint on their hearts when taught with love. Love seems to be the answer for everything in my humble opinion.
When my son forgot to do his homework for a few nights in a row, I got angry and upset and I put pressure on my son to "grow up and be responsible". I look back and think that maybe all I did was tamper with his light. I definitely didn't make his light burn brighter that day. And to be honest, my actions made my own light go dim. Now, I only wish I could take that moment back. So, rather than push my kids to 'Be the Best' and to 'Act his Age'...I think I will encourage them to be themselves and to work hard, and then just LOVE them up as the children who they are. Love is the key.
So, in an attempt to start up my blogging again, I want to change the title of this blog. Maybe as I record and reflect on our little family on this digital journal, I will remember LOVE- is all we need.
**What do you think is the best thing to remember while raising children? How do you keep your home a haven?
February 16, 2011
September 21, 2010
On Saturday, September 4th...I had bleeding that was quite significant. Steve rushed me to the Emergency room. The doctors checked my cervix and thankfully it was closed and blood was not coming from it. The ultrasound revealed a perfectly healthy baby and no apparent loss of fluid. The baby was measuring a bit small, so they figured that maybe I was off on my due date and told me I was only about 16 weeks along. The diagnosis was a subchorionic hemorrhage. This happens in about 9% of pregnancies and if the hemorrhage is small, most women go on to have healthy deliveries. So they sent us home and on bedrest until we could visit with a High Rish OBGYN and do a more advanced ultra sound. We felt good and reassured that things would be fine.
Well, my appointment was Friday, September 10th and the High Risk Doctors took a look at me and measured the baby only at just barely 16 weeks again. This put fear in my mind as I knew I had to be at least 18 weeks along and that our little guy wasn't getting what he needed from the placenta. Then they took a look at the hemorrhage and informed me that it was indeed a subchorionic hemorrhage, but that it was very severe. They told us there was no way of knowing what would happen and told us that if it were to heal, things might be okay. They also said that if the blood continues to irritate the uterus, then I would cramp and contract and miscarriage would be inevitable. They would not give me anything to prevent a miscarriage because my pregnancy was under 20 weeks. I knew that with the size of my baby and with the mass of blood on the ultra sound screen that things might not be okay. I was so distraught and my intuitions were uneasy, emotional and deeply concerned. I became confused when the doctor told me that I simply needed to take it easy and didn't really need to be on bedrest. Steve and I both just felt helpless, there wasn't any advice or anything we could really do....other than to "take it easy."
Well, Steve and I were both exhausted after being in Dr. office for 3 hours, yep 3 hours. We came home, got our 4 rambunctious little boys fed and tucked in, and then my contractions began. Steve kept telling me to lay down, but the contractions were so painful that I felt an urge to move and walk them out....but they just kept coming. I did lay down from 7:00pm until we went into bed, and the contractions were just coming and going all through the evening.
We went into bed around midnight and that is when the contractions became very strong and frequent. I wanted an epidural because the pains and cramping were so intense and I thought for sure I would pass out. Contractions got worse and we knew that there was no hope. We called the doctor on call around 2:00 and got her voicemail. Then despite all of our efforts to hold on and keep our baby safe, our baby was born. I delivered our son still-born at about 2:45am. Steve and I felt so alone, so confused about what to do next, and in complete shock. The pain had subsided and I could finally breathe. I was exhausted and slowly sat down on my bed as I watched my husband weep as he looked at our still-born son. The phone rang, it was the doctor. Too late. She instructed us to come into Labor and Delivery and bring our baby. My sweet little sister Lindsey rushed over around 3:00am to stay with our sleeping boys.
The hospital experience was very much surreal. I do remember everything, but I don't like to remember it. Steve and I were both very much in shock and seemed numb the entire time. We didn't say much other than "I love you." We held hands and cried and cried. The nursing staff washed our baby and put a tiny little blue hat on his head and wrapped him up in the littlest blanket. They asked if we wanted to hold him. We both felt hesitant. Just less than 24 hours ago the doctors told us that if the baby was under 20 weeks, that it was just too small to save...Now they were treating him like a newborn baby and it felt very confusing and upsetting. We did hold him. I am grateful now that I did. He was very small, five and a half inches. He was perfect. Perfectly proportioned, perfect fingers and toes, most adorable little 'Christensen' nose just like his brothers, and as loved and cherished as any of my other babies. The love was strong and it hurt so much. We didn't spend longer than ten minutes holding him. The gentle nurse took him and made molds of his tiny feet and took some pictures of him for us. What heartache. I had just experienced birth and death in one surprising experience in which I was not in the least bit prepared for. I kept thinking, "The doctor's outlook was positive, it was good. How did we end up this way?"
For whatever reason, and we'll never know why, it happened. Our fifth little boy is not ours to have on this Earth. He is however with us, and he always will be. He will forever be mine and he will be in my every prayer, every wish, every temple session's warmest thoughts, every hope, and he has given me faith in and for the next life....faith to move mountains. I will have him one day. And in the meantime, I will ask my Heavenly Father to hug and kiss him every day until then...
I love you Miles...
2oz 51/2 inches
June 21, 2010
Like I honestly have time to think about a camera when I have four pairs of shoes to keep track of, a diaper and wipes to pack, a bottle and spare to pack, sippy cups to secure, and carseats to buckle.....And sometimes I even leave the phone. Managing these four little boys is like herding cats. Here are a few moments from the month of May that my phone just happened to capture. Thank you phone camera.
June 03, 2010
May 04, 2010
April 29, 2010
April 28, 2010
April 26, 2010
This is the group of boys in our neighborhood who are my son Talmage's age. They are all such cute little peeps and Tally adores each one of these guys. So do I. All year long the mother's of these little guys take a turn hosting a playgroup after their preschool class from 11:30-2:30. A mother/hostess job requires feeding them lunch, usually doing a craft or game, and allowing ten little boys to terrorize her home. It has been a hoot, and now that the school year is coming to an end, our last rotation was this last week. We packed sack lunches and walked to the park, we watched a hail storm from our back porch, and laughed like crazy as I gave quarters to the little boys who dared to eat Blake's spinach salad leaves!!!! Isn't Talmage lucky to have so many cute little buddies?
L to R....Ethan, Aaron, Talmage, Blake, Brody, Landon, Carson, Dawson, Davis, and Carson
April 08, 2010
April 06, 2010
March 30, 2010
our daddy did the Lollipop Guild impersonation as a child....looks like blake has inherited his daddy's skills.
March 23, 2010
Look at this sweet little boy. He is home. This little guy went in to Primary CHildren's Emergency ROom early on St. PaTty's day due to an asthma attack of which he had been fighting all thru the night and morning hours. I rode in the ambulance with this brave little boy. My heart has never felt so weak. After waiting for hours for a room to open up, we were admitted to the exact same room he had on his last visit in September of 2008.
I actually enjoyed the five days that he and I spent together up in room 3050. We colored together, painted crafts together, beaded together, watched movies, played cards and games together, laughed, hugged, slept side by side, and endured the attacking of the asthma attack. My hubby said that in the five days he was in the hospital that he "grew up". He is so strong, so brave, and I adore every bit of him. Mommy loves you Talmage. So glad you are back. Home.
*apologies for the photo quality, taken by cell phone.
How many more purchases do you think we might have in common? I LOVE it. We really need meet up for a day of shopping!