Tuesday’s child is full of Grace…

henry1stbdayA year ago today, I lay alone in a hospital bed after our family said hello and goodbye to our son, Henry. It was the day after Memorial Day. I had gone to bed on Memorial Day with concern that I hadn’t felt much fetal movement that day.

I woke up still not feeling movement. We took Steve to work and Jane to school (her last week of first grade!) and Abby and I got a car wash. I called my ob-gyn, who was in a clinic, and the nurse told me to head to labor and delivery just to check on things, even though I had an appointment and ultrasound scheduled for the next day. I was 34 weeks along. I emailed Steve to let him know, and he said we should pick him up so he could come and help with Abby at the hospital.

We arrived a little before noon at Orem Community Hospital and, after checking in, I was taken back to an observation room. The nurse tried to find a heartbeat with one machine, then another, and then another, and then I asked to have Steve brought in while she went to get another nurse. Steve was able to quickly give me a priesthood blessing before one of my ob-gyn’s associates came in to try to find a heartbeat, and we were then told that Henry had passed away in the womb. I burst into tears and can remember apologizing profusely. I will forever be grateful that Steve was there with me to receive the news, to administer a blessing and hold me, and lovingly talk with me.

Henry’s delivery was too sacred to try to articulate here, and I am weeping at the thought of it, but I want to rewind to another sweet, sacred moment: almost ten years ago Steve and I knelt at an altar in a beautiful temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and by priesthood power, were sealed together for time and all eternity. Because of that happy day, Henry’s birthday will always be a happy day for our family. Of course, I will cry and feel a longing in my heart, as often comes to me, sometimes spontaneously and surprisingly. But just beyond that pain lies pure, eternal love and hope that has been, and will always be, our God’s gift to me for Henry’s birthday.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-9

A few weeks before this all happened, I was in charge of a ward activity that was an abbreviated Passover meal and ceremony, focused on the Savior. The part which touched me the most, taught so lovingly by Sister Burgon, was the Dayenu song. This portion of the Passover is about being grateful to God for all the things he did for the Jewish people, and if He had only given one of these gifts, “it would have been enough for us.” I thought upon this song, so fresh in my mind, many times as I was on that hospital bed a year ago tonight. The outpouring of love from God through people around me–family, friends, ward members, doctors and nurses, strangers, acquaintances–was beyond what I was capable of processing. My cup ran over, and over, and over. Today I remember that hallowed experience with tenderness and gratitude.

Happy birthday, my dear, sweet son. Your mother loves you.

On good fathers

“As I drove up here today I thought, you youngsters: [Your father] didn’t care a bit whether you had any of his money to quarrel about or not; he didn’t care if you didn’t have a cent. He didn’t care whether his name was blazoned in blazing lights somewhere or headlined in the newspapers. He didn’t want any badges or medals or certificates of these earthly things. He didn’t place any great store on Ph.D.’s and universities. There was one thing he was concerned about, ‘to raise six youngsters who were decent through and through,’ and he knew if he could raise you right and you would raise your children right and they would raise their children right, in that eternal realm to which he has gone, when you all come to him one by one, he would have a great start in the kingdom the Lord is going to give him. Now, that is the prospect that he holds out for you.”

– Harold B. Lee (January, 1961)

I give thanks to a loving Heavenly Father, our greatest exemplar of Fatherhood, for placing righteous fathers among my closest connections with men. To my father: you are leaving a lasting legacy of love and truth, more important than any kind of worldly wealth. To my father-in-law: thank you for raising a righteous family. And to the father of my children: I can’t even articulate my love for you and my gratitude for your mindfulness and efforts to be honest, virtuous, and focused on the Savior as we work together to raise our daughters.

How blessed I am, to live among men who are decent, through and through.

Sisters

I love these two girls, individually and as a pair. They have a natural affection for each other that just makes my heart swell! I can remember some feelings of trepidation when I was pregnant with Abby, worried about how she and Jane would get along. Thank you, girls, for each putting my mind thoroughly at ease on the matter. You are both a delight to watch together!

Abby turns 2: Party…”A”

Abby loves music, and music videos. Among her favorites is (brace yourselves) Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” (or as Abby says, “party…A”) so for her second birthday, we chose to throw her just that: a party in the USA. We had a brunch with family, and there was music. Lots and lots of music (with some “Just Dance” dancing thrown in there too). Abby is a bright, shining light in our lives and we are beyond thrilled that she is in our family. She is sweet, strong, and a joy to be with. Happy, happy birthday to our Abby dear!

The tradition continues…

For six years running, our small family has been going down to Santaquin in the Fall to visit the big red barn at Southridge Farm for pumpkin-picking (and donut-eating, cider-drinking, ice cream-licking, cherry jam-buying…) and a good time all around. We’ve been happy to have it become a tradition on a grander scale over the last few years with extended Mott family. This year, there were a couple of new additions:

Jambalaya. And other cajun and creole delights. We ate at Boudreaux’s Bistro in Payson on our way down and had some yummy food, all thanks to Kasey and Emily. Hopefully this really does become a tradition, because we would love to go again and eat more…alligator sausage! Oh yes, we did.

Southridge Farm also built this fun slide since last year, and everyone went down, young and old. Though a little bumpy, it was lots of fun!

Of course, we managed to find a couple of great pumpkins to welcome Autumn, too. Good times, yet again. We love our Southridge Farm tradition!