Friday, December 19, 2014

On being Productive

Awhile ago a close friend of mine posted a picture of her house on Instagram. She deemed it a "real life" photo, or something like that. The living room had three little boys playing with toys strewn all over. I thought it was beautiful for some reason. My friend was embracing the moment instead of worrying about the mess that her sons and nephew were making. I mention this because the last couple of weeks I have embraced the mess. I have had Christmas presents to wrap, Christmas cards to send out, Christmas cookies to make and a Christmas wreath to finish. Ninety percent of the time my house is clean and organized, but I have realized that cleanliness and order does not always produce as much as a temporary mess can produce. I make a really big effort to have living spaces that allow my mind to be clear and a good feeling to be present, but the messes I have been making have resulted in making memories and making gifts for friends and loved ones. I think that is the key to enjoying the holiday season...embracing the moments with family and friends and producing as much goodness as you can. After sending all the Christmas gifts, wrapping all the gifts for my family, delivering cookie plates, mailing all the Christmas cards, finishing teaching preschool and hanging my new Christmas wreath, my house is back to normal, and I am ready to begin making new messes with Christmas around the corner. What kind of "messes" have you been making? I am sure the results were, or will be, beautiful!

Merry Christmas!

Lucy

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Celebrating

Bundled
Cody was a shepherd in the Christmas party nativity,,,thus the robe. =)
Happy Baby!
Ready to party.
Merry Christmas!
Six years of marriage.
Cutting down a Christmas tree,
An update...We have officially got through November--a busy month for our family. I will post a few pictures from our anniversary, my birthday and Thanksgiving break. All three were a success. For our anniversary we went to a chocolate shop, a movie (Hunger Games) and ate Texas Roadhouse. For my birthday I had a friend bring me cookies and a card, had a Chinese take-out picnic in the living room, ate chocolate cake and got a gift certificate for a massage from my husband. It was a great day. Thanksgiving break we went to our friends home and enjoyed a delicious dinner, visited, shared what were were thankful for, and stuffed ourselves with pie. The next day I did do some Black Friday shopping and then on Saturday we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree. I am enjoying the tree's smell and the pretty lights and ornaments on the tree right now as I write. I love Christmas trees! Cody is big on having a real Christmas tree, and the tree we found does not disappoint.

On my Mind

Yesterday, I officially decided not to work out of the home. I got offered a job teaching as an adjunct communications instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, but after I sat down with the department chair to get the materials and remembered everything that is involved in teaching writing courses, I did some serious reflecting. I realized that I am not ready to go back to work yet. I feel good about life when I get a shower in, catch up on laundry or just have an hour to myself right now. Adding a job to the mix completely overwhelmed me and after discussing with Cody and being honest with myself, I decided to wait. In theory going back to work was a good idea--a break from being a mom, adult interaction, academic challenge, extra money and a way to keep up my craft, but in reality it is 15-20 hours of work each week that I don't have the time or energy for right now. Maurie is not even three months old yet and I honestly enjoy being home with the girls. I am in a groove that I like. I know when the mail lady comes; I have time with Maurie Lu alone each day while Jane goes to preschool and Cody is home by 5 pm most days. I like the routines. So, I will be spending my days with my children and I am certain that there will be plenty of time later to teach. I am in awe at how much time and energy is required of me as a mom. Seriously there is an hour each day that I have time to myself, and if it is not used to take a nap, there is always more to do than there is time to do it. Although I am a little disappointed that it is not going to work out, I am grateful I have the choice not to work. As I walked away from dropping off the textbook and resources on campus, I felt peace about my decision. Here's to raising children!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Good News Minute

I did miss a post last week due to the holidays, but I think all my readers were okay without me. =)

I have good news to share. My best friend Tiara had her fourth son on December 1. I am so happy for her. She is such a beautiful lady and an amazing mother and wife. Look at her sweet family!





Also, my lovely girlfriend, that I have been friends with since childhood, got engaged! She is going to be a beautiful bride. I am so happy for her and Brandon!

 

I love these life events that bring joy and excitement into life. I got to talk to both Tiara and Kim on the phone and I am so thankful that both of them are a part of my life.



I hope you have good news in your life right now!

Best,

Lucy Bowman

Friday, November 21, 2014

Maurie Lu and Family Photo Shoot





















Snow (too early) and the Christmas Spirit (never too early)

Well, Wisconsin has delivered on the snow and frigid temperatures. Today was the first day that I really didn't want to drive. It got slippery and I got nervous. Snow tires are on the list.

I got a new coat to fight the cold. It is a down Columbia coat that goes almost to my knees. I have noticed that almost everyone has a long coat. My friend that has lived here longer says it is a necessity. I took her word for it, but now I know for myself.

I am already planning a trip to California for my 10 year high school reunion in February because I know that the winter is going to last longer than I want it to. Speaking of trips, we have decided not to travel this Christmas. Being with family at Christmas is wonderful, but we started picturing flight delays, crying babies, more snow in Utah and a lot of money for traveling and decided it would be better to hibernate in our warm house and try to make more of our own Christmas traditions. I was starting to get stressed out about giving Christmas gifts and shopping and then I thought about the kind of traditions I want to have at Christmas. Although gift giving and shopping can be fun, I want to make thinking about Christ the most important tradition in our family. What traditions help you to focus on Christ during the Christmas season?

Since I am already talking about Christmas, I should mention that Thanksgiving is going to be a hit. We are celebrating with a family from our church. It is also my birthday on the 26th and then our 6th wedding anniversary on the 29th. The end of November is always a whirlwind and honestly I feel like I get cheated out of two celebrations because all three get bundled into one. Cody and I rarely celebrate my birthday and anniversary separately and then my birthday even lands on Thanksgiving sometimes...that is really the pits. Anyways, I think we are going to celebrate my birthday and anniversary a week early with a few hours without the girls. I really wanted to travel to Chicago to go to the temple and to have a nice dinner and outing, but it is just too hard with a new baby.

This video gave Cody and me a great laugh. Enjoy!



I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Am a Child of God

Newlyweds...

to Parents

Hello Friends,

How did your last week go? Were you less stressed? I have to admit that I still watched my favorite shows...The Voice, Paradise (PBS Masterpiece theater), and Ellen. Since we actually have television now, I have found a few shows to be entertaining and or uplifting. It is nice because we have a DVR and can record shows, so I am spending less time watching commercials and less time watching TV in general, but when I am breastfeeding it is nice to watch. You can see that I still need to improve on less screen time because I feel the need to justify my shows. =) Thankfully, though, I have been less stressed because I have found a nice rhythm in my day-to-day activities. This is very nice since Maurie really changed everything. I think adults like routine almost as much as children do!

This week, my mind has turned to my divine nature. I know that I am a daughter of God, and I believe everyone that has been on the Earth, is on the Earth and will be on the Earth, are God's children who chose to follow God's plan of happiness. Learn about God's plan of happiness here

There is a scripture in Jeremiah that was read during Sunday School that struck a chord with me... "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5) The very first part of this scripture comforts me... God knew me before I came to Earth and if he had a mission for Jeremiah, he most likely had a mission for me and everyone that decided to come to Earth. I feel like I am finding what my mission is one day at a time sometimes, but I do feel that I have a specific purpose. Sometimes my purpose can be as big as being a mother to beautiful children or as small as smiling at a stranger. 

No matter the size of my purpose, one thing that I have come to appreciate as I have contemplated my divine nature is the seasons of my life, my experiences that have stretched me, brought me joy and bring me closer to God. I have had many seasons so far and all of them have had their own charms and challenges... Childhood, middle school, high school, college, single professional, newly married, first time mom, college students with a family, working mom, and now a stay-at-home mom with two children. As I list these I feel so grateful (my pictures above show two seasons). Think of the seasons of your life. Can you look back and see growth? joy? sorrow? I can easily think of laughs and tears through each of my seasons. I would not want to skip any of them and I look forward to the coming seasons of my life, even if and because those bring new challenges. I also know that my time here on Earth is just a small portion of my existence and a time of testing and refining for me. My hope is to live gracefully through each season and live fully to the end. 

Two videos express well how I have been feeling lately. One is "Something Divine" by Brooke White, who also has a daughter that she hopes to teach about her divine potential and the other is the song "Glorious," a song that expresses the beauty of our individual roles on Earth creating a beautiful "symphony." 

I hope you feel loved, have direction in your life and can see how important you are.


Best, 
Lucy 


Family History in Pictures


Grandma trying to balance at the Houdini Museum. Houdini started out in the low rung circus acts.
Grandpa's turn.
Cody displaying his magical touch.
Jane and me are locked behind bars. Houdini would embarrass law enforcement by breaking their locks with ease.
Jane is on stage about to show us how to disappear in this box. 
Cody was a champion and carried the baby around because we forgot the stroller.
About to take a hike at High Cliff State Park
Grandpa and Cody walking through the "deep dark woods." Cody, a desert rat, gets nervous in thick trees like this.
Maurie's baby blessing. I am thankful for Cody. 
Cody took Jane to ride horses. He is obsessed with this picture because he is so excited to teach his girls how to ride.
Maurie Lu right after a bath. 
Jacob, Moses and Jane pretending to be sailing a ship across the ocean on Columbus Day. Preschool is going well.
Two of my favorite blondies...notice the beautiful fall leaves.
Grandma Panganiban and Jane at High Cliff State Park. 
Jane with her letter from Auntie Joanie.
Jane with Uncle Mckay's epic Halloween drawing.
Love.
Sleepy baby.
Fall has come and gone here in Wisconsin, but I still have my fall decorations to brighten my day.
© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.