General Conference– beauty all around

  • Apr 8, 2014
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It’s no secret we love General Conference weekend. The semiannual meetings are a fabulous excuse to beg out of obligations, dump legos on the floor, eat crepes, pull out sewing projects, stay in pajamas all day and enjoy time together. photo EI3C7354copy_zpsea0ade4f.jpg

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 photo EI3C7127copy_zpsee805c31.jpgOnce we’d put out the Easter decor,  we simply had to increase the fun by buying four new chicks.

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Meet Elsa, Anna, Marie Antoinette and Anastasia.

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As usual, we are keeping the chicks in the master bathroom tub until they are big enough to move to the coop. They make a happy ‘peep, peep, peep’ all day and night.
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Every few minutes Saturday, Gabe asked “How much longer until Priesthood Session?” After years of watching Erik, Grandpa Fritz and his brothers go, Gabe was finally able to join them (he may or may not have fallen asleep the minute he sat down).
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In turn, Mary and I headed to the Linkous’ for a true girls’ night out.
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We don’t actually eat crepes all weekend– they are reserved for Sunday mornings. Sweet crepes for breakfast: strawberries, Nutella, whip cream, bananas, lemons, powdered sugar; and savory for lunch: ham, cheese, spinach, mushrooms… I must say, I think mine are as good or better than any you can find in France.2 cups milk
4 eggs
2 cups flour
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 photo EI3C8058copy_zps21c81382.jpgMary creating a countdown to summer; Xander with his Lego masterpiece.

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You might think Ben donned the king/superman cape just for the camera, but he wore it most of the weekend. I made it for Halloween fourteen years ago and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s been used in multiple school pageants and costumes; Stefan used to channel it’s powers while studying.
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Yep, it still works.
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A few favorite talks: Sister Linda Reeves, who spoke with grace and power against pornography, Elder Craig Zwick, on speaking kindly and Elder Uchtdorf on gratitude. He spoke of suffering grievous harms, expressed his love and concern and offered his advice for healing, “focus on gratitude.”I know from experience his words are true. When you’ve been hurt it’s easy to get your mind stuck in an endless loop of “Why?” “How could he?” “I’ve been so mistreated.” And although it’s important to forgive, focusing on forgiving a grievous harm can just restart the broken record of questions. It’s so much more effective to push those thoughts away and focus on everything good and bright and beautiful.

At the top of my list are always, always my husband and children, family and friends who love me. And then, I simply look outside. I believe God made sunsets breathtaking, mountains grand and wildflowers exquisite simply to offer daily reminders of “I love you.” in a world God knew would often be hard.

At times, I’ve been accused of presenting a world a bit too shiny and happy, but I’ll defend myself by saying I am simply counting my blessings, searching out silver linings. And I believe the more we recognize beauty, happiness and God’s hand in our life, they more we receive.

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Last year, Hans’ friend Paul offered us the idea of a monthly gratitude poster to hang on the fridge. All month long family members can jot down things they are thankful for– whether it be a word, or a few sentences. After Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, Mary joyfully created an April poster and quoted Elder Uctdorf as she drew, “We don’t need to wait for the rainbow to be happy for the rain.”
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March 27, 2014
April 12, 2014

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    thatgoodpart

    April 8, 2014

    First of all, your pictures are absolutely beautiful.

    We used to eat crepes on Conference Weekend, but now my kids get me to make crepes all the time…I can’t help it!!!

    Finally, regarding President Uchtdorf. I love his talks! I loved all of the talks, but his really resonated with me. I have been shifting myself – seeking joy in my life. And the thing is, I have wanted to have an attitude of joy and gratitude, not simply a list of things that I’m glad I have been blessed with. (Those are good, don’t get me wrong!)

    I love how President Uchtdorf eloquently described this in his talk. Such a shift in thinking is essential!

    A few years ago, I was listening to a program on NPR, and a cancer survivor was being interviewed (for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the man or even the program he was on). He talked about cancer and staying positive during his horrible trial. He was often feeling down. (obviously). During one particularly difficult part of his battle with cancer, he said, “I felt like death was kissing me on the cheek.” And it was. He was on his deathbed. He had every right to say it. He wasn’t being ungrateful. It was the truth. But it was a difficult and depressing truth.

    When he finally verbalized this feeling, he realized that it was only a part of the truth. He explained, “Just as much as death is kissing my one cheek, life is kissing the other.”

    There is opposition in all things. We Mormons talk about this all the time. But do we really know what that means? Opposites don’t exist apart from one another. They are connected. You can’t pick up heads without also picking up tails. You can’t pick up the north pole of a magnet without also picking up the south pole. Opposition is connected.

    With that in mind, we can find gratitude and peace. If we are going through a trial, we can rest assured that an equal measure of joy will accompany exquisite pain. Sometimes it is hard to get through it. And sometimes we can’t just “count our blessings” tritely. We have to live with a grateful heart and Spirit – one that is sure of God’s power and love.

    ANYWAY. this is a long comment. Thanks for posting. I love the pictures of your fun home. The chicks are so cute. Thanks for sharing these snippets of your life.

  2. Reply

    Montserrat Wadsworth

    April 9, 2014

    Superman flying had me laughing. Oh you guys have so much fun as a family! I love it.

    I loved Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk as well only because, as my family well knows, I like to preach gratitude and feeling grateful all the time. The best was hearing my son say, “Wow! Mom’s been quoting the words of an apostle before he even spoke them!” He doesn’t realize he was a tiny newborn when Pres. Eyring gave his O Remember, Remember conference talk on gratitude. It was the catalyst for my own journey.

    And yes, Sister Reeves! I can’t wait to read that one over and utilize some of her ideas.

  3. Reply

    Cath

    April 9, 2014

    Missed your words and photos here. Glad you’re home. I love your beautiful life. xoxo

  4. Reply

    Alisha

    April 9, 2014

    You have such an awesome family. love your words!

  5. Reply

    Unknown

    April 9, 2014

    I happened to drive by and catch Mary with that ensemble. I almost pulled over to make sure you got a picture of it.
    She was flying out of the garage, wind in her hair, the biggest smile on her face.
    It was amazing and made my day.

  6. Reply

    annie

    April 10, 2014

    I’m not an animal lover but the baby chicks are really adorable.

  7. Reply

    Becky

    April 14, 2014

    Michelle your photos are so beautiful. Love the chicks! And the cape. The cape! So funny.

  8. Reply

    Anne Marie

    April 17, 2014

    Absolutely lovely, golden sweetness abounds here. Thank you. Somehow you make almost anything seem possible here.

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