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


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.


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.
Sleepy baby.
Fall has come and gone here in Wisconsin, but I still have my fall decorations to brighten my day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Well, the cold has gone through the house. Cody stayed home one day last week because all three of us girls were sick. Even sweet Maurie has been battling a stuffy nose. With essential oils and the amazing nose sucker Nosefrida, she is on the mend and breathing better. Since Jane has started going to preschool, she has been bringing home sickness to our house. Her runny nose is really starting to bug me; it is in and out, along with a cough. Then last night Cody came home sick. He took some medicine, a hot bath and was in bed before seven. I started to think about how much I depend on Cody. I took care of both of the girls for the evening. Cody usually holds the baby or helps with dinner. He also helps with Jane and talks with me about our day. Without him, it was lonely and hard.

I also thought about how grateful I am for my healthy body. Life is already difficult when my body is functioning, but when it isn't, it is almost unbearable. As a mother, there are so many times that I want to be lazy because I am just tired, but I am just thankful I can move around to take care of my family and my home. I also have been thinking a lot about diet, exercise and stress. The last three and a half years I have done a poor job of all three. I ate out too often, exercised too little and stressed so much that it is amazing I am doing as well as I am now. So, I am going to tackle stress first; not that I am not going to try to have a balanced diet and exercise as well, but I want to focus on learning how to relax and "find my center."

Here is an article from the Huffington Post that I think has some great ways to  relieve stress. Click here.

Four that I would like to implement are:

1. "Go for a ten minute walk." Fresh air, exercise and time away from the house is a recipe for my relaxation.
2. "Pucker up." I can't remember the last time I made out with Cody...too long. ;)
3. "Watch a Viral Video"...LAUGH! Cody and I have had some tear-worthy laughs watching viral videos. Cody's sense of humor lends to these videos usually and I laugh at just about anything.
4.  "Step Away From the Screen" I need less blue-screen, TV, computer. First, I will have more time for the best things. Read a talk (article) about what the best things are here. Second, I will be less stressed, according to studies. Consider these words.

What helps you relax? Are there ones from the article you would like to try? Let me know.

Take care of yourself! Go find your inner peace and stay there as long as you can. I'm on my way now...turning the computer off to take a much needed nap.

© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.