Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two


Some people believe that by the time your child reaches two years of age, their value system is already in place. While I don’t buy this in its entirety, I do think that the first two years have a very large impact on kids' values. Emily is now two. That’s a little scary. It has got me thinking about what I hope she’s learned from her time with us.

I hope I’ve taught her the value of service. I try to encourage her desire to help me with housework (even when it means the job I’m doing takes four times as long), give her jobs to help take care of her brother, and explain to her what I’m doing when I go visiting teaching or drop off her dad at cub scouts. I hope I’ve taught her independence. I know I often err on the side of not setting enough boundaries, but I try to encourage her to make her own choices as much as possible and cope with the consequences. I hope I’ve taught her to love learning and books. I try to surround her with books and read with her, praise her pursuit of new skills and knowledge, and show her that her dad and I love reading and talking about what we read. I hope I’ve taught her God loves her and following His commandments brings happiness. We pray and read scriptures every day, and I try to make bearing my brief testimony of my values a habit as situations arise. I hope I’ve taught her about the goodness of family. I try to show her how much I love and enjoy my family, and how much happiness a good marriage can bring.
I'm so grateful to be able to spend so much time with this incredible girl, and I hope I've been able to teach her the values that have brought me so much joy in life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anniversary (belated)


After our wedding, Rob’s sister Kathryn told us that she couldn’t imagine two people better suited for each other than us. I was surprised. I obviously thought we were compatible enough to agree to spend our lives together, but really? I thought about couples I knew that seemed made for each other, and didn’t think we were that well-matched.

About a month ago, Rob and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. As the years have passed, I’ve come to see how absolutely right she was. I think about those nutty exercises they have you do in young women where you describe the kind of man you want to marry when you grow up (what teenager really knows themselves well enough to know what they need in a husband?), and even if I had some superpower where I could create the ideal husband for myself out of clay or a pineapple or whatever a superhero would use, I wouldn’t use it because Rob still continues to surpass everything I could ever imagine for myself.
He encourages me to be my best self and do the things that bring me fulfillment. When I’m struggling, he listens to me, and rather than trying to fix my problems for me, he helps me discover how to solve them myself. He treats me with so much kindness and gentleness, I can’t help but reciprocate. He knows all the quirky things that make me feel loved and does them. We share a love of libraries, a hatred of having to dance to top forty music, and passion about all kinds of nerdy stuff. Even our differences complement each other. His perpetual calmness reins in my impulse to overfill my life, and he eats those nasty cherry Tums in the bottle while I feast on the delicious lime he for some reason finds disgusting.
I know I’m better, happier, and more fulfilled because he’s in my life, and I’m so grateful he married me.
*The picture is us at Warwick Castle when we were on study abroad*

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mimicking


I should really be using the time when Elliot's napping and Emily wants alone time to do something productive like work on our budget or finish assembling my Christmas gifts (in my defense, my parents didn't suggest us doing this one until about the 23rd). But I couldn't resist. Any guesses what Emily recently walked in on me doing? What makes it even better is that when I peeked in at her to take this, she declared "NO!" and promptly closed the door on me. Priceless.