Thursday, April 18, 2013

June is a Swimming Prodigy

For the past five weeks, June has participated in "Baby Genius Swim Class" at the YMCA, also known as "Baby Swim Class", also known as "It's Been Five Weeks, and My Baby is No Closer to Swimming Class."

True to its title, this class is not so much centered around swimming as it is helping babies become more comfortable with being in the water.

Yesterday was her last class, her "graduation" you might say.  It was without ceremony, as is probably best for young babies.  A fellow classmate screamed and cried the whole time.  June, whose prime Baby Swim Class event is pushing herself off of the side of the pool into my arms in the pool, refused to do so.  Another baby girl, who is the only baby in the class that can stay on her back for an extended period of time, kept flipping over to her belly.  It's like all of the babies reverted back to how they were the first day of close to honor their teacher's efforts over the past five weeks.  How special.

As for her highest achievements, June can:


 1.  Hold herself up at the side of the pool.


2. Stay afloat while her mom makes weird faces.





3.  Stay under water for two seconds (apparently while Dad holds his breath for her).


 4.  Pull off a midriff-baring bathing suit better than anyone I know.


5.  Tolerate affection from her fans.

Yay Junie!





Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Break and June's Birfday

We had visitors for June's birthday.  My cousin Cami is a high school senior, and her family brought her and a friend, Mallory, down for their last Spring Break with her.

Uncle Sherm and Aunt Susan and Tanner and Devon stayed in a hotel in Clearwater, but Cami and Mallory wanted to do their own thing and so they stayed with us.

Let's review . . . staying in a hotel near Clearwater Beach . . .

or

Sleeping on our fold-out couch . . .

They obviously made the right choice.



I had SO much fun with these girls.  They couldn't get away from me.  As much as I love being married, I do miss the gigglefests and ridiculousness that comes with having fun females around.  We would stay up late (past 10) and play uno or watch movies.  Daniel reminded me that I am no longer 18 more than once during the week.

If my own daughter(s) end up like Cami and Mallory, I can die happy.  They are confident, beautiful, smart, and low-maintenance.  And super helpful with June.



And they let me pick the movies we watched.

This is my exact movie cover.  Can we please discuss the fact that SJP's hair never looked like that in the movie?  And look at their heads!  Obviously just pasted pics of them onto some bodies.  Creepy.

And . . .


Sigh.  Both classics.

Cami and Mallory didn't seem to share the appreciation for these movies.  While I was laughing hysterically at scenes I have seen 398247 times, they watched silently.  I offered to rewind certain parts because they didn't seem to realize how funny they were.  They declined.

I also wanted to watch Goonies, and they asked, "Is that like the other two we watched?"  I took the hint.  Not everyone loves the 80s like I do.

Hanging out with family was so fun.  We went boating with them and out to eat, and they even helped us celebrate June's bday.

I had my friend, Tara, make the cake:




I took a photo of the top of it, but the pic won't load onto the computer.  But, to give you an idea, here is the smash cake:



Isn't that so cute?  She even made the chicks herself!  

Please note my amazing photography skills.  June waiting in the background foreshadows the upcoming event of:





I received mucho flako from the hubs and extended family about bringing her tub to eat it in.  But I still think it was a good idea.  Easy clean-up!

Thanks to Sherm, Susan, Cami, Mallory, Tanner, and Devon for coming to visit us!  We had so much fun with y'all.  I just can't believe I don't have a single photo of us all together!


Some odds and ends:

What is a dad to do when Baby's shoes won't stay on?  Tape them, of course!





Another example of my photographic genius.  I always say--There should be more vacuums in photos!





June playing with the present Sherm and Susan gave her.  She loves it.




I hate selfies, don't you?  Plus this is how mine turn out.



Happy Birthday, June!




Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference

I love General Conference!  

It's funny how we change our attitudes toward it as we grow up.  As a child, and a part of the one of the only families in the U.S. of A. who did not have cable television, my family and I always made the trip up to the Independence Stake Center to watch conference.  My mom would pack a picnic lunch to eat in between sessions.  I thought that was the best part.  The hours spent during the actual sessions of conference consisted of trying to get out of watching conference.  I would draw pictures of the speakers, walk up and down our pew (or worse, the silver fold-up chairs--ouch for the bumster!), try to locate snacks, and take my younger brother, Mark, on walks.  Every kid in our family asked to take Mark on "walks" around the Independence Stake Center up to the time he was 12.

Now I look forward to conference.  It is a supreme combination of uplifting messages plus kicking-my-bum-into-gear that I often need.  Of course, now we have June to watch it with us.  That means it's payback time.  While I tortured my parents through conference, now I get to be tortured as I try to glean anything from the words of the prophets while being poked, bitten, jabbed, crawled on and climbed under.

Despite some distractions, I felt my prayers answered in a couple of ways I feel the need to share.  Thank you for indulging me.

1.  The doctrine on the family.  Let's be honest; this is a tough one.  Even though I have a testimony of the church and gospel, it is still really hard to reconcile all of my feelings on this from time to time.  I have good friends who are gay, inside and outside of the Church.  I feel like I have heard arguments all across the spectrum, and everyone has a good point or two.  

So lately, I have felt myself pleading with the Lord to understand more about this issue.  To be stronger in my testimony of the family.  To maintain all of my friendships.  To have the courage to voice my opinion.  And to do so with love for all of my fellow man.  To live my life full of faith, not fear.

All during Conference, I felt the Spirit testifying to me time and time again that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.  I know that's true and that it's worth fighting for.

I have also had words of a talk by Elder Quentin R. Cook of the Twelve going on in my mind--

Let me be clear that all voices need to be heard in the public square. Neither religious nor secular voices should be silenced. Furthermore, we should not expect that because some of our views emanate from religious principles, they will automatically be accepted or given preferential status. But it is also clear such views and values are entitled to be reviewed on their merits. (October 2010 General Conference)

I need not be afraid to express my view in the public square.  Also, I need not be afraid to let others, though they disagree with me, voice their opinions in the public square.  And, at the end of the day and conclusion of our discussions, I hope to be still considered a friend to all.  I want all people to feel welcome in my home and a part of my life.  For I consider all I engage with to be my brothers and sisters whom I love very much.

2.  Motherhood.  Going along with the doctrine on the family, I have needed some reminding on the importance of motherhood.  Sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like being a mother isn't a valid use of time.  I feel like less because I don't have a career.  

How wrong it is to think that way!  

Now, please don't misunderstand me.  Everyone is different.  Lots of moms work because they need/want to, and that's great.  I work from home.  Sometimes it's a nice mental break from "Did Junie make a poopy?" and sometimes I hate it because I feel like it's hard to focus on work and June.  I'm not trying to make a statement here about how other women should be mothers.

But I have been needing to understand myself that motherhood is enough.  Not only enough, but the most important thing I can be doing with my time.  That mothers save the world by teaching their children the Gospel.  That mothers make all of the difference in the life of a child.

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.  If you would like to read/watch the LDS Conference and don't know where to go, please visit http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/04?lang=eng.