February 16, 2018

You Are Loved...

I, like many of you, have been saddened by the school shootings in Florida this week. On a day that we are supposed to be celebrating the love we have for others, we are all combined in prayer and positive thoughts for those impacted. As I commute to the office I listen to NPR and there are several thoughts that have gone through my head the last few days. One is that it is extremely sad that school shootings are almost commonplace now. Another is of the bravery of the school's teachers and administrators, whom are paid so little for the sacrifices they make everyday in order to serve our children--some the ultimate sacrifice.

I would be amiss to tell you that there were a few times I became emotional listening to the conversations. One of which was a mother and her twin daughters who go to the school in Parkland, FL. It was heartbreaking to hear the girls tell about the fear and trauma from that day--a sentence you never want to hear your child utter, "...I thought that I was going to die when the door opened and there was yelling." Yet, the relief of the mother to know she COULD hear her daughter say that, and after a brief period of separation to be reunited.

I also was touched to hear of the people that put their lives in danger to save children. One clip NPR played of President Trump rang so true for me. Now, I don't support many things Trump does or says and this post is not meant to be political in any way, but I can say that in this one moment I completely agreed with him (or at least his speech writer). He said, "To all the children in this country, I want you to know you are loved. And that there are people who do and will sacrifice everything to protect you."

I could see in my mind's eye the service men and women, the policemen and women, the myriad of other public servants, including teachers who live their lives to help others. Then I could see parents who sacrifice dreams, time and other things to help their children and often do not refer to them as sacrifices.

Another mother on the radio commented that this experience helped her wonder if her children left her home each day knowing they were loved by her. My heart breaks for the families who have an empty chair at the dinner table that at the first of the week there was someone.

As I continue to think about it I realized I want to be the type of parent that no matter what, my children know they are loved. Yes, that means that sometimes they will need correction, but that at the root of it all, they are loved.

So, to you my Lucky Dragon and Koala Bear, this is for you, from me, your Dust--

If there is one thing that I want you to know that you are a Child of God. There is more power to that knowledge than anything that I can ever tell you. You have divine worth. You have talents and skills given to you from generations of ancestors to use and make life wonderful.

I want you to know that life will sometimes be hard, you will make mistakes. I have made them, over and over. But there are always people to help and nobody is beyond loving. When you find yourself in those moments of fear or problems, remember to reach out, in my experience there is always someone to help.

I love you more than you will ever know. I am happiest when you are happy. I hurt when you hurt. I worry about your future: what trials you will face, what hardships will you have to bear, what triumphs you will have, what joy you will experience, and what wonder you will create. My hope is that as parents we will provide you with the foundation to face it all with grace and fortitude.

None of us are perfect. I will make mistakes, you will make mistakes. But with forgiveness and understanding we can try to make it better. We may not always agree, but we can learn to celebrate diversity. We may not always want to talk, but through perseverance we can learn true charity. You may question the world or what I say, please do, in a respectful way ask those questions as it will bring answers that are right for you. Forge your own trail. Laugh, it has helped me get through the good times and the bad.

You are brave. Face challenges with the knowledge that you are not alone.
You are kind. Know that loving others with genuine charity will bring some of the greatest happiness to your life.
You are intelligent. Use that gift to bless others.

I love your hugs. I love your conversations. I love to see you excited about simple things in life. I love to become interested in the aspects of life you are interested in. I love to hear you say you enjoy being together as a family--and I hope you know that no matter what happens, we always will be that, a family forever.

February 14, 2018

Valentine Surprise--An Early One

Knowing that Valentines day we would be busy doing other things I planned ahead. A few weeks ago Lucky Dragon and I went to do our shopping while Lady Hiva was in another store. This year the theme I wanted to go with was Beauty and the Beast. Lady Hiva, Lucky Dragon and I all loved the musical that came out last year. I had done all my research so I knew exactly what I needed and wanted.

We went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book that I saw--it was a decorated hard bound copy of Beauty and the Beast to match other beautiful books we have displayed throughout the house. He also wanted to get her the newest Illustrated Harry Potter book. We have the other two already. Then we hurried over to Michael's to get a conch terrarium cover.  We were so sneaky and made it back to the car and pick her up before she knew we were gone. We hid our presents under Lucky Dragon's coat by his feet. He was diligent in not allowing his mum to see it. And even sacrificed being cold to keep it a secret.

We then went to Costco and purchased some red roses (which by the way were the same price for 2 dozen last week that 1 dozen is this week!).

We spent the next hour down in the utility room in the basement (the only dark room in the house during the day). We cut ribbons, Lucky Dragon put in batteries to candles and we decorated. He had so much fun putting the bouquet together. I was proud of him. I cut the stems then he did the whole arrangement himself. He kept saying, "Mom is going to love this! I am so excited. This is fun!" He then took the candles and arranged them, stood back and looked. Arranged some more, until he declared it was perfect.

He then went to get his mum to see it. He was so excited he invited everyone else in the house too...so that made it a bit awkward and slightly less of an impact because she was embarrassed instead of being excited. Lady Hiva said, "I wondered why you were shopping at Michael's!" Lame! Unbeknownst to me she had alerts set on her phone when money is spent..and we thought we were being sneaky! haha. 

Not bad for a 4 year old Flourist

The turn out was amazing. Just like I had planned. It sat in our bedroom as a nightlight until the rose finally died.

Arranging the candles

He was so excited for this! 

Happy Valentines Lady! We love you!

February 11, 2018

Tea Party In Utah Complete With Fascinators and Macarons

This past week Lady Hiva and her Relief Society Presidency put together a tea party for their group at Church. It was a fun day. Lady Hiva and I prepared for a few weeks prior including going to consignment shops to find tea cups because we don't have any. That was not an easy experience in Utah because tea is not a big thing around LDS people! haha.

They day before Lady Hiva and got into our team creative mode. I sewed a banner using scraps of material from other projects while she baked chocolate macarons and sugar cookies.
Laying out the scraps to sew together

Making Macrons

Later, we decorated those cookies. That was really fun to do. Except for when one of the cookies I had decorated really detailed was ruined with a glob of icing from another cookie! I was so irritated! But it gave Lucky Dragon a cookie to each the next day. He was grateful.

The blue blob and ruined my cookie

Making Cake Pops...they look like meatballs to me

The day of, more preparation ensued! I baked red velvet cake pops. (those are SO unhealthy by the way). Lady Hiva finished her German chocolate macrons. We enjoy working with each other. Lucky Dragon likes to help us too. We have him read the recipe (helpful to learn fractions and reading). Lady Hiva made homemade raisin scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream (it took all night to make the clotted cream!)

The finished banner and the wildflower arrangements Lady Hiva made

Lia's aim was perfection with the decorating...and she did it. The place looked amazing when she was done

We then went to help the team set up. They brought decorations from all their homes and by the time they were done it looked amazing!