Sunday, June 27, 2010

Posting on

Just a heads up that I posted on Skim if you desire. I need to make it more succinct next time, but its late and its the first post, so better to begin than do my Hamlet brooding and wait, wait wait...
The post is on the book "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy 2 years Henry!

On May 14th this year, we celebrated Henry's 2nd birthday. As I have looked back at so many of the pictures from the past two years, I am overwhelmed. My life has been blesses in large measure because of this little boy. My priorities, my commitment and my ability to love have all been changed by this one little life. I look forward to so many more years of joyful reflection and celebration over this little love's life.
Happy Birthday, Henry Dean!

New Blog

I have noticed my ability to communicate my thoughts through writing has taken quite a hit recently. Additionally I never give my thoughts on things that I am reading or thinking about a good amount of written attention anywhere. There are some schools of thought that say until you have spoken or written something down, you have not truly thought it. I don't know that I would go that far, but there is something about articulating thoughts through words orally or on paper that can help the thinking process more fully than I use to realize.
With that in mind, and the belief that most of the people who read this blog are mostly looking to see what Henry is up to or what we as a family are doing, I decided to have another blog. This blog I will keep for our family and Henry updates. This other blog will serve as a place to write some of those thoughts and polish up this inarticulate writing I have been practicing. Another benefit is if I blog on something perhaps a bit more controversial, I don't have to feel like I tricked anyone into reading it and offend someone who just wanted to know if Henry was going poo poo in the potty yet. =)
So if you are so inclined, please check it out. I will try to post on something weekly. Leave comments and help me refine my thinking process.
Thanks =)

Gerard Terborch, Woman Writing a Letter, 1655

"In romance and love the world will disagree, but all couples' concern is charity"**

Shortly after we returned from California where we celebrated Henry's birthday and got to celebrate a friend's marriage, we were able to celebrate our own three year anniversary.
Three years seems like an odd amount of time, maybe its just because three is an odd number. Not very long, but not necessarily 'new'.
Now I am not the world's most sentimental person, so you'll have to excuse my mode of "romantic declaration" in recounting my thoughts about celebrating three years of marriage to Johann.
One idea I have pondered a lot in relation to our marriage is something Enlightenment thinkers explained as the "bonds of charity." Two people who fall in love and become bound together in their love for another being. I think it goes without saying that the most perfect form of this would be love of God and his son. I think second to that is love of family, or children.
I find that there has come into our lives a deeply satisfying feeling of mutual love when we lay down at night and I hear these words frequently uttered, "I just love our little Henners."
I don't think marriage is an accidental "falling" in love. I think it is something that is made to refine our souls, to teach us to be selfless and ultimately to be more charitable than we would have been otherwise.
I think it is two very imperfect people who are equally willing to help the other become the best person possible. The person God wants them to be. It is also two people who are willing to sacrifice together for someone or something else beyond themselves. Two people acting as one in love and sacrifice, in charity.
I know neither of us are near perfection, but I am grateful to be married to someone who believes and hopes and lives like some day I can be. I am grateful for someone who extends our bonds of charity beyond just our son to any who might be in need; someone who when Christmas money is already scarce responds affirmatively to a prompting received that there is someone else in the ward who needs those few dollars more than our family needs big gifts.
Upon reflection of these past three years, I am grateful. I love my husband and I have every hope of that love growing and changing to become the kind of bonds that keep us and our family through eternity.

**adapted from quote by Alexander Pope which reads "In Faith and Hope the world will disagree, But all mankind's concern is charity." Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 307)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Goals Check Part 2

June. It is June? The halfway mark month. Yikes. Seems this would be a good point to do a little checking up on my goals for this year.

1. Complete Henry's 1 year memory book
CHECK. Woot.
(Note, this was a pre-made scrapbook so most of the cuteness is only due to Henry or whoever manufactured the book. I only added the pictures and some stickers etc.)

2. Make 72 hour kits for the family
Still haven't gotten it together here. I have been stocking up on water though...I know, need to get on this.

3. Hold weekly family home evenings and plan them a month in advance
So far, I would say, check. I think we've missed maybe two weeks, one of which was Memorial Day because we did a family BBQ. We were appreciating nature though, so that is a lesson in and of itself, right?

4. Get second blog up and running
No. But the normal stewing has elevated itself to little bouts of I don't know what, agitation? Alright, by the end of the month. End of story.

5. Forget all my stupid and embarrassing moments in the past; sans the ones that make me laugh rather than cringe
I actually forgot about this goal. Whoops.

6. Attend the Temple as a couple monthly
As I mentioned in my last check-up we missed February but we have been every month since then. I think I will also start trying to go once a month on my own as well to do ordinances.

7. Go to ward activities
We're failures. There is an ice cream social coming up though, so, maybe then.

8. Learn the new family search
Slowly. I did get some information from my uncles and a PAF file from one to add in. Also my Uncle Gary sent me this website: that has some pictures of my family. I was excited to see the one of my Great Grandpa Hamp whom my brother Hamp is named after. It was also fun to see the pictures of Great Great Grandma Mattie Jane is who is full Cherokee. I'm actually thinking of registering with the Cherokees. We'll see.

9. Read through the standard works
Still in progress. I finished both the Book of Mormon and New Testament. I'm working on the Old Testament, still doing Book of Mormon each day. Right now in the Old Testament I'm in Leviticus which is actually quite interesting. I was reading about the sin offerings and thinking about all the connections and references to blood in the scriptures and culture. It got me to wondering if there are any sort of historiographies on blood in religion and culture. I'll have to look into it.

10. Accept help
I think I am getting better at it. I still don't enjoy it though, especially outside of family.

11. Take a family portrait
It has been far too yucky outside. Hopefully we're turning a corner now and warm, sunny, beautiful days are ahead so we can do this!

12. Read 15 novels from master book list and 5 scholarly texts
Six novels down and two scholarly texts. I am, again, surprised at how slowly I am going with this one. I am learning to love sleep far too much and I fear with summer finally arriving I won't be spending much time with my books. I hope I'll find my assessment inaccurate.
The last text I read was a collection of essays by Richard Bushman (Rough Stone Rolling) which deserves a post in and of itself. Every LDS student should read it.
The last novels I read were Stories of Anton Chekov (enjoyed so very much); Tess of the D'Urbervilles (holy depressing, yet I liked it and may even read it again. Any Hardy fans out there? I think I might try Jude the Obscure next); Pride and Prejudice (Finally! I needed some levity after Tess and I got it. Very delightful); and lastly Dead Souls which took me a bit of time to adjust to but I really enjoy Gogol now.
I'm not sure what I will take up next since I just finished Dead Souls today. I might go with Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy or maybe Middlemarch. We'll see.

13. Clean up no more than twice a day (minus the kitchen, my OCD just won't allow that to stay dirty for very long quite yet).
Haven't done so great with this one except on days when we're gone and no mess is made. I'll start trying to remember to just wait and clean at the end of the day instead of a million times throughout. Can I still count that I used the dishwasher a few times too even if I ended up rewashing half the dishes?