Yesterday, as my dear mother-in-law, Barbara, and I worked in the kitchen while most of the men and the children (yea, even the adult children) caravanned on the traditional drive through the mountains of the Uintah Basin to count deer and elk, I recalled the Thanksgiving before. Some forty of us had gathered last year to break bread and give thanks together in the hogan family room my father-in-law built on to their home long before I joined the family.
I looked at Barbara, who is still dealing with the ill effects of breast cancer treatment from last year (no one tells you of the way lymphedema will affect the rest of your life, because they are just trying to get you to survive the chemo and radiation required to beat back the cancer). I thought, “What were we thinking, descending upon her last year like that while she was still trying to regain her strength and regrow her hair and reclaim her life?” Continue reading
Kristie is a proud graduate of Utah State University (GO AGGIES!) who also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. Her passion for finding the perfect recipe for chile verde is matched only by her intense dislike of folding laundry; nevertheless, she remains determined to perfect the art of properly folding a fitted sheet. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart (who, through all of this, cheers for the BYU Cougars) and blogs about the adventures of parenting her spunky three-and-a-half-year-old redheaded daughter and one-year-old son with the most delicious chubby cheeks at www.paddyandkris.blogspot.com.
“Unsettled!” I announced, and I felt that sense of relief wash over me that comes when I finally catch that elusive word that has been dancing on the tip of my tongue, just out of reach. “I am feeling unsettled.” My ever patient and long-suffering husband nodded appropriately, good-naturedly enduring yet another soliloquy from me as I struggled to articulate how frustrated and helpless I felt.
He had heard this tearful rant in one form or another countless times in the 5 months since our first baby had reached that inevitable 12-week-old milestone that sent me reluctantly back to working full time. I was sour, irritable, and generally unpleasant about the whole situation; even though I had known throughout my pregnancy that my returning to work was just part of our family’s economic reality, I continued to harbor some sort of vague resentment that the stars of the universe had failed to magically realign themselves in a way that left me, well, independently wealthy, I guess. Continue reading
THEY LOOKED UP
and saw a star!
This Christmas, may we also “look up” and receive the light that ever shines from above, and remember not only that first noël of long ago, but the whole life our Savior lived; his examples of kindness, forgiveness, service, and the myriad gifts he gave to us…especially the gift of everlasting life.
May this day be filled with gratitude for all that God has given you. He knows you, he loves you, and he always remembers you.
We thank you, dear readers, for all you add to this community. Merry Christmas to each of you from all of us here at Segullah!
- Swedish Pancakes – photo by cookiedog
This month I am participating in Jana Riess’s “Flunking Sainthood” Gratitude Challenge on Facebook. The task is to come up with – and write down – five things everyday for which you are grateful. This hasn’t been be too big of a stretch. The process of developing an attitude of thanksgiving has lots of good benefits – for which I am, as you might suspect, grateful.
One thing I have noticed as I pinpoint things I’m grateful for is that I am just as inclined to be thankful for little things as I am for grand things. I try to draw no conclusions when I see that my list of five includes things as diverse as fresh raspberries in the fridge and the Atonement, or pinkie toes and my husband’s successful cancer surgery. I’m just writing things down and allowing the bliss of gratitude to carry me along during the day.
This morning over breakfast I was telling my son Chase (26) about this discipline I’m involved in. He then introduced me to another kind of value-driven challenge or “game” called Pancakes or Waffles. Continue reading
Two weeks before Valentine ’s Day my daughter’s teacher sent home a box with instructions to decorate it and bring it back for the class party. We’ve made Valentine boxes for the past few years, so I was no stranger to the tradition and was at least grateful that this time we were given a box and did not have to scrounge for one ourselves. We kept running out of time to work on the box and it eventually got lost under the pile of debris that perpetually accumulates in the one corner of my kitchen that I’ve started referring to as the Black Hole. I tried to forget about the fact that we needed to decorate a Valentine box because I had much more pressing things on my mind in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Then, on the Friday before Valentine’s, my daughter announced that she wanted to decorate her box to look like a tea set and that she would need some stiff paper in red and pink. Inside I began to panic a little, because I’m not that crafty and I certainly do not have the skills to turn her vision into reality. But I still went to Hobby Lobby the next day and loaded up on pink and red cardstock and Valentine stickers. Continue reading