Monday, May 30, 2011

What it's all about

Mother's Day 2011
With my favorite little (and not so little) people in the world

The month of May has flown by, and I'm sure it's been just as crazy for the rest of you as it's been for our crew.  So, I'm attempting to catch up with a few posts capturing our favorite memorable events from the past month.   I'll begin with probably the greatest Mother's Day I've ever experienced . . .

Maybe it's the unsettling feeling that we only have a few short years left having Ryan with us everyday, or the fact that our family really does have a lot of fun just being together, or possibly that I truly do relish my role as "mom" to these kids . . . whatever the reason, this past Mother's Day everything became crystal clear as I reflected on my family, our past, and our future.

It's becoming a tradition on the Saturday before Mother's Day that we celebrate with dinner and a movie of my choosing.  The little girls look forward to our outing because the past few years we have seen the Disney Nature films that are released every spring - this year to our delight, it was African Cats.  So after a yummy meal at one of my favorite spots (which is always fun for the family since our friends own the restaurant and we always see someone we know), embarrassing Ryan to no end (note to other parents: don't reach down your shirt in public to retrieve a stray piece of ice), and laughing so hard together after my slight slip of the tongue while telling the kids we had a box of "Reece's Pieces" for the movie, I realized there was no one on earth I'd rather be spending my evening with.

As I sat in the movie theater while the lights dimmed, surrounded by my family, I couldn't help but think:  This is what it's all about - this is it - my family, the love we have for one another, and the support system we have created in our little Cantera unit - it really doesn't get better than this.  

It's powerful moments like these that keep me trudging along when the kids argue or when I'd appreciate more harmony in the home, because deep down the kids know how much fun we have, how much we really do enjoy being together, and I think that has got to count for something!

It was truly a Mother's Day to remember.  On Sunday Ryan was ordained a priest and blessed the sacrament for the first time.  What more could a mother ask for, than to have a son worthy to become priest and watch him prepare and bless that sacred ordinance.  Furthermore, the young women were asked to say a few words about what they learned from their mothers, and it was nice to hear from my sweet daughter as she expressed her thoughts.  The little girls couldn't wait to shower me with homemade cards and gifts . . . and the best part was the Sunday nap on the living room couch while the crew fixed dinner.

Yep, a Mother's Day I'll never forget.  Thanks Family!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The smile says it all . . .

Chris, Caroline and I got a kick out of these pictures that appeared on Ryan's facebook page this morning after an evening of fun last night with his friends (not to mention the hilarious video that was posted).  We're guessing our boy is having the time of his life these days . . . ahhh, to be 16 again!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


"There are some days when I think I'm going to die 
from an overdose of satisfaction." 
~Salvador Dali~

Simple pleasures . . .

Early morning run through historic Monterey and along the bay, relaxing by the pool with a book, time alone, the beauty of the California central coast, kayaking, seals & otters, Steinbeck country, uninterrupted conversations, cottage in the grove, ocean sunsets, Phil's fish market, 17-mile drive by bike, exploring together, crashing waves, sea air, brilliant ice plant, gnarled cyprus trees, birds, rocky shores, sand . . .

Our adventure.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

BYU Women's Conference 2011

"By small and simple things, 
great things are brought to pass . . ."
Alma 37:6-7, The Book of Mormon

This past week my spiritual well was filled to the brim as I spent two inspirational days at BYU Women's Conference.  The theme for this year's conference, "By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass," couldn't have been more relevant for me at this time in my life.  I am grateful for the beautiful messages and insights that were shared by Virginia Pearce, Elaine Dalton, Kathleen Hughes,  Julie Beck and many others.  These women are true followers of Christ and such examples to me,  their testimonies are sure and unwavering.  How I admire each of them and appreciate their devotion, service, and especially the love they have for Savior and the women of the church.

I know that it is through the small, seemingly insignificant things I do, such as consistent prayer and scripture study, that I see the Lord's hand in my life and witness His tender mercies upon me and my family.  What a blessing it is to know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who does care about me personally and allows my faith to be strengthened and my spirit to grow through difficult mortal experiences, yet allows me to feel His love each day as I continue to reach out in faith, desiring to come closer to the Savior and become more like Him.

I am so thankful for these reminders and hope I can carry the sweet, peaceful spirit of Women's Conference with me throughout the year.