Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Thank Thee for my Family

I've been really selfish the past few weeks.  I planned on going to bed early tonight, but I realized I hadn't even taken a minute on Thanksgiving Day to consider the countless blessings I have.  That's ultimate ingratitude on my part, especially when today is one day set aside out of three-hundred and sixty-five days to express our thanks.

As Anna and my parents and I sat down to our little Thanksgiving meal that we prepared together, Anna said, "Can we just all agree that we're thankful for Scott this year?"  We adore that little man.  He is definitely the blessing for which I am most grateful this holiday season.

Expanding on that theme, I am so grateful for the family unit.  I have a strong testimony that the key to happiness on earth is through the family, which is why Satan tries his hardest to destroy it.  Of all the things he attacks, the family gets the brunt of his wrath.  It is becoming more and more evident to me as I get older, and it serves as a stronger and stronger witness to me that the church is true. 

I am grateful to my parents who raised us with love and tenderness and continue to show us familial joy that exists nowhere else on earth.  They paved the way for each one of us to go and do likewise with our own little families in the future.  I know raising four children isn't easy; yet, they made it look that way.  Only now am I beginning to understand a little about what that must have been like financially and emotionally. 

I am grateful to my married siblings and their spouses who work hard to create loving families.  They love each other and they love their children and they never give up on each other, even during the seemingly insurmountable trials life can bring. It takes strong, patient, and persistent people to have happy families and I look to their examples with hope for my own capability to be as valiant.

I am grateful for Anna, who makes me feel less alone during the holidays.  She is my buddy and I love getting to spend time with her.

I am grateful for Ella and Scott who remind us why life is so divine.

I am grateful to my extended family for their examples of love and service to one another and to me.

I am grateful for my Heavenly family.  My Father is ever near and He is always there when I need Him most.  Recently, He sent reminders of his love through sweet sisters who have come to the temple to serve while I was working there.  They said things to me unprompted that I needed so badly to hear and I knew their words were coming from Him.

I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches us about our responsibility to form families and guides us every step of the way.  I want to share some excerpts below that touch me most from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," which is the LDS church's official statement on the family. I added my own emphases.

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children."

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

"Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society." 

I know that families can be together forever, and they are the central part of the Father's design for our happiness.  And it is for families that I am most grateful today. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I can't help falling in love with you...


 I can't stop thinking about him. 



I can't stop looking at his face.


 Could this be true love?

video

He even makes me burst into spontaneous singing.  Yes, this is the real deal.

Monday, November 11, 2013

What is Love?


Love is giving up your tiny tummy to house a tiny baby.
Love is going to the hospital on Tuesday,  being pumped full of medication all night to prepare your body for labor, being sent home after 12 hours (9 months pregnant and now past your due date), and waiting until Friday night to come back and do it all over again. 
Love is receiving this picture at 4 a.m. with the caption "praying for you!" after  you've been in 10 hours of labor and sending back a message that says, "Maybe we should be praying for YOU"!
Love is enduring after 24 hours have passed and still no baby has come, starving because the last solid food you ate was a salad the day before.

Love is your dad taking the yoga ball for a seat in your hospital room after he stayed up all night the night before writing a eulogy for his father's funeral that he delivered while you were in labor.
Love is patiently hoping your son will come in the next 12 hours and (and courageously pressing forward when he doesn't, though your fatigue is overwhelming and your body is rapidly weakening).
Love is laboring for 40 hours to try to avoid a c-section, only to discover the baby is stuck and a c-section has to be performed anyway.  Love is feeling the pain of the blade during surgery while your whole body shakes because you've had the epidural for 24 hours and it's lost much of its effect.
Love is a mother who sat by your side for all 40 hours of labor without leaving once, only breaking down into sobs after you've left the room for your c-section.  Love are the tears she sheds not for herself but for having to watch you suffer for so long. 
Love is desperately wanting a miracle in your life, but experiencing a fulness of joy when the same miracle happens in the life of someone you love deeply.
Love is anxiously awaiting the next time you get to see him.
Love is red hair!

Love is when the swelling gets worse before it gets better.
Love is being hooked to IV's and monitors and wearing pressure garments even after babyhas arrived.
Love is this...
...and that...
...and this...
...and that...
...and this...
...and of course this.
Love is a supportive husband who tirelessly waited with you through every moment of pain, discomfort, new procedures, disappointment, fear, and joy, never leaving your side.
Love is your best friend coming to curl your hair after your first shower in three days.
Love is learning to get up and walk again after major surgery.
Love is what makes every single second worth it.
Love is your very own little family, little family.
Love is Scott Bryon Pendleton
Born November 10, 2013
7 pounds, 5 pounces

Mark Your Calendars!

Of course the most important event in my life right now is the birth of my handsome and charming nephew, Scotty, but I need a big chunk of time to sit down and express my feelings about him and his birth.  Coming soon!

In the meantime, wanted to tell you about something the Mundi Project is doing.  They are the organization that will be helping Renzo get a better quality piano in his home (see news clip from earlier post).  Here is the info.  I can't wait to go! Also, just a plug for CPK- they brought back gluten free pizza dough and it's to die for!

Pizza for Pianos - Nov. 16, 2013 (All Day)

In support of the Piano Bank Program, we are partnering with California Pizza Kitchen (CPK)  to raise funds to cover moving, tuning, repair, and administrative costs associated with operating the program.

This upcoming Saturday, November 16th, CPK will donate 20%  of the check for dine in, take out, catering, curbside orders, and all beverages. Both locations at The Gateway and Fashion Place are supporting our organization for this event. 

A flier or image shown on a handheld device must be presented at time of purchase in order for proceeds to go toward our organization. (Please see Attached) We also have a page dedicated to the flier on our website: http://mundiproject.org/pizza-for-pianos/

Your support of this event in spreading the word about this event would be extremely appreciated. . If you would like 1/2 page fliers deliver to place of work early this week, please let me know. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

P.S.

This part makes me sound soooo lame:

Houston said, "Renzo had a talent that was ready to be tapped into. I've brought him to a certain point. Now he can really soar."

It was out of context.  I was trying to say that he has exceeded my ability to help him and if he gets the help he needs, he can soar with his talent and their help. Ugh. NOT that I'm the reason he is going to soar.  Ew. I hate looking self-serving like that.  

In the News!

My piano student, Renzo, got interviewed and put on the news for his remarkable achievements as a beginning pianist!

He is also being heard by a professor at the University of Utah on Saturday to possibly begin private instruction with someone much more capable than I.

Here is the link to the news article and video.  I just hate the way I look/talk/act, but oh well!

http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_8004.shtml

Monday, November 4, 2013

Feel Great in 8

This weekend, I was feeling frustrated with myself for a few reasons.  I've started to watch a lot of TV, have been lazy in my scripture reading and prayers, and was giving in to a lot of temptation to eat Halloween candy all week.  I was feeling weak spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Yesterday, I decided to focus my fast on a fresh start, a re-commitment to doing the things that I know are the most important for my happiness (most importantly, the spiritual aspects). 

I feel like the "Feel Great in 8" challenge issued to me by Celeste was a response from Heavenly Father to my sincere desires.

Founded by an LDS mother, this is a program to help you improve your life mentally, physically, and spiritually.  Basically, I pay $18 and part of that money goes in to a pot for prizes.  If I refer people, I get $2 off for each friend I refer.  Then, the host, Tiffany, sends a bunch of information.

For 8 weeks, you keep track of your points.  You get points for reading uplifting material, for avoiding temptations that beset you (for me, that would be watching a bunch of TV), for prayer/meditation, for eating a balanced diet, for exercise and for spending time with family.  You also set a goal for yourself at the beginning and get bonus points for reaching that goal by the end.  Winners get prizes, but more importantly, it's a chance feel good about yourself in all aspects of your life. 

I know I sound like an ad, but I already paid and don't know that I'd get a referral discount anyway. I just think this is an answer to my prayers and it seems like a great thing for anyone to try.  So if you're interested, go to this link to read more about it and email greatin8challenge@gmail.com to sign up.  It starts today so it's not too late to do it.  For me, it's a lifesaver because of the holidays where I am going to be constantly challenged.  If you're going to do it, let me know so we can support each other.

Also, whether or not you do the challenge and you're a "myfitnesspal" user and want support (I always need it), be my friend (username: ktkarrots) and we can support each other.  I do a lot better with my health goals when I have friends supporting me.

I'll let you know how this goes in case anyone wants to try it in the future!