Grant me patience
to deal with my

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kitchen "Demolition" -Woo Hoo!

 Here are a few pictures of the kitchen "project" Russ and I helped his parents with.

 They put in new flooring and all new cabinets and fresh paint.

 Russ was very "manly" doing all the macho manly stuff that he does so well!

 These cabinets and I are very close. I pretty much sanded (with Peg's help), stained, and applied the polyurethane to ALL of them! It took FOREVER!
I'm sure my cells have mutated from exposure to fumes...

 Yay!! It was such a HAPPY moment when Russ FINALLY got the sink in! We were all getting tired of having no stove and washing dishes in the bathroom sink and tub!


 Finished....pretty much....and it only took...oh....10 days....

 So SO pretty! I will post later some before pictures so you can get the whole effect! And I have some pictures of the new light fixtures too!

 This is what we had to live table in the middle of the living room! It was enough to drive us crazy!
 But we had a few little cuties who added some comic relief....

 and drama to the work!

I never imagined re-doing a kitchen would be so much work, but I am SOOOO glad we could help! My in-laws....who I consider my own mom and dad.....were worth EVERY minute we spent transforming their kitchen! They are the most AMAZING parents in the whole wide world and our love has gotta be etched deep into their "new" gathering place....I mean....the counter-tops are made of Amber, you know....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Resolution # 2

Be INSPIRED by this, as I was:


This year...I wish to create! Oh my, I have so many many plans, ideas....even ones that remain, still, upon the tip of my tongue!
I want to fill my home and every aspect of my life with wonderful creations.
I now, proudly, own a Cricut. Yes! That definitely spells...c-r-e-a-t-e!
I received for Christmas lots of new, fresh-smelling, clean and white and ready to be painted....canvases!
Yup....did I hear a little "create-song" ring in my ear?

Oh...the possibilities!

But not only will I create with brush and paint anything, any feeling, emotion, thought....but I will create something more within the walls of my home.

I want to fill our home with the LOVE only a mother can bring, the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, laughter when something goes awry...

Quiet after there has definitely been WAY TOO MUCH NOISE...

And fill up our moments with words from the best kinds of books....and especially words from the scriptures. I want to create times where there is more music than television noise, more singing of hymns and primary songs...even if I TOTALLY CANNOT sing in tune at all!

I want to create more days where we spend LESS time being busy...and create MORE time to BE STILL.

I want to know, at the end of the year, that we logged in more hours sitting upon the floor in our tiny little living room, or at the kitchen table, on our bellies in the bedroom, having spent abundant minutes upon minutes talking, answering questions, playing pretend, making up stories, LISTENING, pondering, searching with one another for all the reasons why we live the way we do, why we choose to believe all the things we do, why we wear this and don't wear that, why we have made this decision and have decided to stick to it....NO MATTER WHAT!

I was made and born to CREATE...

And there is NOTHING in this world I cannot do....nothing I cannot accomplish...
Though the world might try to entice me....make me believe that being at home will cripple my spirit, reduce my worth, or discredit my achievements...
Oh, the cunning ways of the world might try to get me to spend more time and money in malls and shopping centers where new "things" will surely solve my problems and unhappiness...
The world might try to persuade me to become so busy with all the things it has to offer...that I barely spend a moment worth REMEMBERING or my own HOME.
Oh no! I will not let the world trick me into believing such lies.....
Home is where the HEART is. Where is your heart? What do you seek for each day?
The greatest and most wondrous truths will instill upon the hearts of each of us and our family members
as we seek to CREATE a HOME that is a HAVEN from the world, a home where we realize our DIVINE potential...

For I am a DAUGHTER of GOD.

A spirit daughter of the "most creative being in the universe."

"Isn't it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God?

Think about it!

Your spirit body is a MASTERPIECE created with the beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

Creation is your opportunity in this life...
and in the life to come...
start small...
creativity does not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano...
Don't let the voice of critics paralyze you...
you will make the world a better place...

Improve, Beautify, Extend, Smile, Cultivate, Develop, Create

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Once again, I have been truly inspired by such words...

I feel a change inside of me....

a new kind of burning.....

a new kind of thirst....

to become more...

To create something that has not existed inside myself before this moment...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Resolution" #1


I'm not really one who makes a "list" of things I want to accomplish in a new year. Sure, I make many mental lists, but they are always changing. This year, as people are blogging about it, talking about it, teaching about it....."it" got me thinking about what I wanted to do about it! I mean, sure, we all wish we had a thinner waistline, better hair, that we drank more water and consumed less chocolate, that we could manage exercise early in the mornings, Pilate's in the afternoons, and a little Tae-bo in the evenings. I thought about the many things I had already put down on my mental list....things like: I would like to have another baby someday, run a half-marathon, set time limits to t.v. time, organize the closets, and stock back up on our food storage. All of these things are important to me, but not, I decided, worthy enough to make it on my "list" this year. I wanted to work on those things which "matter most". (A special thanks to "Mormon Messages"...a site that is fast becoming a favorite....sort of like a life-line for me)

President Thomas S. Monson says that what matters most to us usually includes those close to us....FAMILY. He admonishes us to love our family. We should never assume that they know of our love, but rather, we need to let them know.

*Cherish our family members
*Express our love in WORD and DEED
*Send a heartfelt note
*Give a hug
*Say "I love you" more often
*Express your thanks to those around you


Wow. Never has a statement hit me so hard. I thought about all the times I tried to solve a "problem" when the more important matter that should have taken my time and attention was the person behind the problem. For instance, my daughter Anna, who has become very naughty, once again, at bedtime. I can't figure out why! She has been on and off with the bedtime trauma since we put her in a toddler bed before she was 18 months old! We get going on a good streak, and then out of the blue, the troubles begin all over again. It is very frustrating. It sucks up my patience as fast as Carter sucks up pop through a straw! It was a "PROBLEM"! And so Russ and I have been working, quite inefficiently, to solve it! Why have we been so inefficient? Probably because we are still young and need a bit more I am looking to a dear prophet to help us with this one. We are focusing so much attention on the "problem" that we have forgotten about the little one who probably just needs a greater dose of our LOVE.

So...kinda sounds like a resolution...but I am going to try a little harder to respond to the problems that arise in my life with greater LOVE. When my kids are grouchy, disobedient, sassy, whiny, stubborn....I am going to try responding with just some good ol love. I have just a hunch that it's going to work much more efficiently than my previous attempts that I will not disclose to you at this time because of their now seemingly absurdity when compared to an answer like LOVE.

And now a special thanks to a few who definitely "matter most" to me:

For Russ...thank you for showing me how to cherish the ones you love. So many moments you offer me sweet affections of your love....I know beyond any doubt, that you cherish me.

For Anna...I think my little one has been more keenly aware of my many tears I cry over the struggles we face as a family and the ones I face individually. I have noticed her tender acts towards me. The ones I love the most are her random expressions of her love for me when she interrupts her play to come running up to me and gives me a great big HUG! What a blessed little miracle she is in my life!

For Carter...He is always pulling on my hand, and in his unique way of talking, says, "Tum....on.....mooooommmmmy!" That's all the kid needs...just some belly-time pushing around trucks, tractors, cars, and trains yelling as he does, "Aaaaallllll abooooooooard!" He fills up my he approaches me throughout a day, wraps his little chubby hands around me, and gives me a kiss on the back of my head!

It's all about the LOVE. Little children inherently know...and innocently perform acts of love everyday! I don't want to get so caught up in all the "problems" that I forget to LOVE.

I know there is love in this world, all around me, from

*A text to me which said, "You are sunshine!"
*A comment on my blog, "Amber, I love you."
*Knowing a certain family member who always, weirdly, wants to squeeze me!
*An adorable red-headed niece who always prays for me....and she's only almost three!
*Another beautiful red-headed niece who is not yet a teenager, yet she stands for truth and righteousness.
*A mother-in-law who makes home-made ice cream for me on my birthday. She's a good mom.
*Another "mother" who got me through high school, then off to college, always remembered my birthday, honored me with her presence as I received my own endowment and attended my temple wedding...and I cried as I hugged her because of all she did for me...out of love.
*All of my sisters, who I can laugh amazing they find laughter after all they have been through.
*Nanny and Grandad...the BEST grandparents I could have ever asked for! Nanny and I and our long phone conversations, her prayers and advice, and being the role model, the example of who I wanted to be like someday....Grandad...and words he spoke in behalf of me 14 years ago at a young women's activity inviting the new beehives...and I'll never forget his words, which gave me strength to overcome the struggles of my life, as he compared me to a tree, who stands strong and immovable through the terrible storm. His words gave me faith, because I knew he had faith in me. And don't you ever go off and have another heart attack! What would I do without you singing a silly song, or telling those dumb blond jokes?
*My running friends in high school, encouraging me each step...up "Satan's staircase", from falls to falls, grueling fartlecks, through intervals of lung-busting, muscle-tearing speed work down in Rock Creek Park, miles upon miles on a hot back water, those years of running blessed my life, even up to this very day.
*A home-made necklace made from a pop joke...and it's perfect....for me...
*A father-in-law...who just knows what's in your heart...and he doesn't have to say it, you can see it in his eyes....and he reminds me everyday by his life lived and yet to be lived of what should matter most.

There is so much LOVE in this world, and by golly, I'm going to find it in every crevice and crack! And if I feel like I am at wit's end, discouraged, depressed, hurt....whatever....I am going to just forget about everything else, and just LOVE.....someone.

What about you?

"Despite the changes which come into our lives...
may we fill our days, as much as we can, with those things...
which matter most."