The day I met an angel

Thursday, March 27, 2014
How do you write in words something that only heaven can explain?

That's what I've been asking myself as I try to put into words my feelings. 

I've realized that I never will be able to adequately describe my thoughs. All I can do is my best, because a poorly written attempt at something so beautiful is better than no attempt at all. 

So try and understand that I am only human, and have exactly 26 letters available as I try to somehow convey what it's like when heaven and earth meet.  

• • • • • • 

I know an angel. 

Yes, I'm serious. I really do. 

I always pictured angels as glorious beings draped in gorgeous pure white, unwrinkled, soft robes. They resided in a beautiful place called heaven, and unless I was one of the lucky ones to be visited by one while on earth, then I would not see one until I died and went to heaven. 

Well... I was wrong about a couple things 

1. Not all angels wear robes. 
And...
2. You don't need to die to get a glimpse of heaven. 

Meet my angel: 


The first time I saw her, she was a tiny little 5 pound ball of perfection. I could not believe that something so tiny could even exist. I in all my unworthiness was given charge over this precious little human, whose deep blue eyes looked up at me with total trust and love. 

My little angel. 

Fresh from heaven. 

Pure. 

And beautiful. 

I have learned more from this tiny person who I call my daughter in 6 months than I've learn from anyone in my lifetime. 

God sent me an angel when I least expected it. 

I love every inch of that little face. 

I love the way she laughs at my silly dances in the kitchen, and weird voices when I read her books.

I love the way she looks at me, differently than anyone else.

I love the late nights when she snuggles into me and falls asleep.

I love waking up to a huge smile and big slobbery kisses. 

I love her little voice and the way she squeels at me to get my attention. 

I love what she teaches me: to be selfless... To be kind... To smile... That I am loved... That sometimes you just gotta play and save the dishes for later... That snuggles are the best medicine... And it's always a good idea to take a bubble bath. 

I love the way she makes me a better person every day. 

I thank God every day for sending me my angel and trusting me with her. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing. 

I used to believe that I would not see an angel until I went to heaven. But that's because I did not understand. I did not understand that the most beautiful of Gods angels are not the white, halo wearing, people you read about... They are the ones you get sick for and tired for... The ones you that you feel kick you from the inside... The ones that you labor to bring into the world and spend the rest of your life taking care of. 

Gods most beautiful angels are the ones you create, who call you mommy. 

What goes in, must come out!

Monday, March 24, 2014
I'm starting to officially adjust to motherhood...

I think.

I've learned that having a child means for the rest of your life, you'll be learning. Which, in my opinion, is pretty cool.

You also become a professional in many tasks. The most recent task I feel I have become pretty darn proficient in is diaper changing. This proficiency did however come at a cost. I have many stories related to changing a babies diaper, and when I say many, I truly mean MANY. But among these many, are a select few that stand out. I want to share with you my most recent diaper explosion experience.

The Restaurant Catastrophe: Me and Ash love to go out on dates. One of our favorite dates is going out to eat. Since Stwish was born (yes we affectionately call our child Stwish--a nickname that stemmed from the rolls of adorable chunk covering her legs*), she has joined us on most of our dates. This one was no exception.
*She likes to eat...

Now it is important to note that I have a fear of going out if Stwish has not yet done her number two of the day. This is because very often when Stwish goes number two... She REALLY goes, and it doesn't do a great job at staying in her diaper... Which is quite the process to clean up. 

So you can imagine my dismay when right in the middle of a bite of Chicken Alfredo I heard the unmistakable noise of Stwish unleashing her feces. I hurry and run her to the bathroom, to try and remove her clothes before the contents of her diaper escapes her diaper, but I was too late. They were already dripping down her leg, seeping through her pants. 

"It's okay, I've been through this before," I said to myself as I pulled off the now unwearable pants from my daughters body. I cleaned her up, feeling slightly sick to my stomach due to the fact that the bathroom did not exactly smell like a rose garden, and because of the warm poop that had just got on my hand as I tried to move the dirty diaper away from my now clean baby. 

I was almost finished! Phew. 

Then, just when I thought things couldn't get worse, a lady ran into the bathroom, pounding on the locked bathroom stalls (yes they were all occupied--except for a clogged one) declaring that she was going to throw up. 

This was not happening. 

I, being extremely petrified of the sounds and sights of watching someone puke, went into turbo mode and quickly re-diapered my baby.. Threw on her new clothes (I always carry a spare--thank heavens).. Closed my diaper bag.. And threw away the old diaper.. All while plugging my ears creatively with my shoulders.

I opened the bathroom door right as I heard the lovely sounds of someone losing their dinner begin. My appetite completely gone, I walked quickly back to my table, carting my half open-content-spilling diaper bag in one arm and my baby in the other. 

 As I approached the table, I was met with a big smile and "how did it go?" As Ash stuffed a big piece of steak his mouth and began to chew. 

"Please help me not to vomit" I silently prayed as I watched a bit of bloody steak juice creep from the corner of his mouth. Completely oblivious to what I had just gone through he proceeded eating as I sat down my stomach churning. 

"You have no idea what I just went through in there..." I said. 

"I think I'll get my food to go."

We asked for some to go boxes and exited the resturaunt. You can't imagine my relief when I was able to breath fresh air.

My only hope is that I never top this diaper explosion, on my top nastiest diaper experiences list. I am definitely fine with this staying n├║mero uno. 












You Can't Put An Age Limit On Your Life

Friday, March 21, 2014
When I was in high school, I used to map out my life. I had a little list of what I believed to be the perfect pattern for my life.

Age 18: I would graduate high school. 
Age 19: I would start college. 
Age 21: I would complete my bachelors degree.
Age 22-24: I would obtain a master and consider a doctorate. 

Then I would marry. 

Then I would enjoy my hubby for a couple years. 

Then I would have a baby. 

It was perfect. 

So perfect in fact that I knew the stars would align for me. 

Everything would fall in my lap, just as I planned it. 

I would live my custom designed life perfectly. And when I was old and gray I would look back and celebrate the picture perfect life I had lived. 

Lovely plan, wasn't it? 

Well guess what? 

Here I am, a couple months into my 21st year and I have a list of things I didn't get done by the time I planned, and a list of things I ended up doing waaaayyyy before I was "supposed" to. 

So I guess you could say I really messed up my life...  

But you know what's funny? 

I don't feel like I messed up anything.

In fact I think I'll go as far as saying that if I had followed my list perfectly, then... yes then, I may have messed up my life.

Because you can't put an age limit on your life.

The fact of the matter is that things don't always go exactly as we plan. And, a lot of the time we don't really know what we need to shape us, and grow us. I have found that most of the time, God changes my plans into something I wasn't ever expecting. Yet, as I head down the life he designed for me, I find myself chasing dreams I never even realized I had, surrounded in blessings that I honestly don't deserve.

So what I got married at 19 instead of 23?
So what I had a baby before I finished college?

My dreams are not over because I didn't reach them by a predetermined age. That's the beauty of life, there is not only one route to happiness, or one shot at getting it right. There is something beautiful about the fact that the picture I mentally paint of my life can be revised and changed into something much more glorious and divine than I could ever envision on my own.  My dreams are not erased, they've just been revised, swapped, changed and edited.

My life isn't over.

It's just began.

I am 21 years old, nearing my second year of marriage, with a six month old baby.

I have no bachelors,
I have no masters,
I have no doctorate.

I've accomplished so much, yet I still have so many things I want to do.

And that's just awesome, because I am not finished.

Not yet.

"But... How did you KNOW?"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
"But, how did you know?" 

I still remember how pressing the look she gave me was. It was almost as if all the deep feelings of her heart were piercing me through her eyes. 

It really was a good question, I thought, looking back at her.

"After all was said and done... After you went home and the chemistry and laugher was turned off... When you sat in your bed, by yourself and thought of him... How did you really truly know he was the one?" 

Again, good question. 

How did I know? How does anyone really know? Is that even possible, to know something so firmly in your heart, that nothing can dissuade you from believing it? 

I believe you can. 

In fact I KNOW you can, because I knew it with him. 


As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I was always taught that if you desired to know something, you could pray and recieve personal revelation for your life. And I've always felt like God has led me in every decision I've made. 

I've often heard people of many faiths and backgrounds describe having a single moment in which they knew and felt so strongly that the person they were dating, seeing, or even just met was the one. The type of moment where the heavens part and light shines down, or their whole body is overcome with warmth, or they have a dream that they know didn't happen by chance letting them know. 

I am a firm believer that these things do happen. 

But that didn't happen to me. 

And that's okay. 

I still know that the man I married was meant for me, as completely as if one of those things had happened. 

I know, I know... "But how?"

For me, it was a bunch of small moments that when looked at through a birds eye view just made sense. 

He had a bunch of little things that when combined made my heart happy and I just knew. 

I just knew that I had been led to the person who would make me feel complete. He always had, and he always would.

Like the time he held me close, as we walked down the busy city street after our first date. He didn't think anything of it... But me, I felt safe and shielded from the cars that briskly passed, and the people who walked quickly by, obviously on a schedule, pushing past everyone in their path. 

Or the time I caught him smiling at me when he thought I wasn't looking, and in that second I saw how much he loved me. 

Then there was the time he brought me up the mountain blindfolded to surprise me with an evening staring down at the city lights, and he played my favorite band the whole way up. It was the sweetest thing to know that a few weeks before when I told him about the music I loved during a casual conversation, he was really listening to me. 

And I'll never forget the time I wondered if he believed as strongly as I did in our faith, so we could always share in the same conviction. The very next day he shared his beliefs with me, and I knew he loved God as deeply as me. 

He always has had a way of making me feel beautiful without even trying, and I knew he would continue to do that the rest of my life. 

He was easy to talk to, when sharing my thoughts verbally never came easy to me. 

He accepted me for who I was: the many quirks I had, and the silly way I did things... like how I ate pizza and watermelon with my fork instead of my hands. 

I always felt peace when I was with him, I felt alive when I was with him and I felt whole when I was with him. 

I never had a moment where the heavens opened and light shown down. 

I never had any type of vision.

I never was overcome while going about my day with an overwhelmingly strong feeling that I was to marry him. 

And that's okay.

Because I knew.



Ladies: your husband is not a dog.

Monday, March 17, 2014
I don't know what is more frustrating, trying to train a dog...
... Or your husband. 

Which is why I choose to opt out. 

When I got married I was given various pieces of wonderful advice. However, among the loads of good advice, I found myself occasionally cringing as a frequent phrase escaped the mouths of many women: "make sure and train him while he's young." Followed by a classy, but serious-toned chuckle.  

I don't know what disturbed me more, what they said, or the fact that they actually meant it! 

Okay, okay, I get it. It's no secret that women want and deserve to be treated well, especially by the man they marry. I mean let's not get carried away here but... We dote on you... Feed you... Clothe you... Shut your toliet lid (over and over again I might add)... Clean up after you... Smell you... Sleep with you... Carry your children... Bare your children... Among a bunch of other things. So the LEAST we deserve is for you to kiss the ground we walk on right?? AND if you're not going to man up and do just that... Then it's our job to MAKE you. And if we have to drag you by a leash to do it, then that's exactly what we'll do!!!

Okay calm down and take a deep breath.

Here's where I'm going to stop you. 

Ladies: your husband is NOT a dog. 

He's a person, just like you. He wants to be loved, just like you. And if I've learned one thing in my almost 2 years of marriage, it's this: he wants to make you so very happy, as much, if not more than you desire. 

But... There's a much better way to go about it than making sure he "knows his place" and "how to treat you" while he's still "young and dumb."

I call it the: it's not all about you complex. 

I vowed that when I got married I would never look at my husband as someone who needed training, but rather as someone who needed my love. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all enter marriage as a flawed single about to merge our life path with another flawed single. 

Neither of us is perfect, and both of us have a LOT to learn. 

I think somewhere along this path of learning many people get caught up in the idea that you must train your spouse to be who you envision them being, and you both start pointing out exactly what each other is doing wrong and soon both parties feel unloved. 

I'm sorry to break it to you, but try as you might, you cannot force someone to change. You can teach them through experience that acting a certain way around you is not a good idea and will most likely be met with wrath... but they will silently and forever resent you for it. 

And a life filled with silent resentment, doesn't sound like a life I wanted to live. So I decided to do things differently. 

Have you ever heard the biblical phrase, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I believe this 11 word sentence has become known as The Golden Rule. 

Well I've got a little secret ladies... 

IT WORKS!

If you want validated, validate your husband. 

If you want a cute, no reason, surprise on a Wednesday, give one to him. 

If you need help with your to do list, help him with his. 

If you need a foot massage after a long day, ask him if you can give him one first. 

If you feel the need to be appreciated, let him know that you appreciate him! 

When it comes down to it, if you need to feel loved, show him you love him

Because there's one universal truth I can't stress enough: you cannot train someone to love. Love has to be given from the heart, and if it's not given from deep within the heart, it's merely just a meaningless act and that's exactly what it will feel like. 

Ladies: your husband is not a dog.

So don't treat him like one.

Respect him, love him, and adore him. If you do this I promise that he will reciprocate that same love to you, and he will do it with his whole heart, because he truly wants to, not because you told him to.