Tag Archives: Mormon

Re-learning Family Singing Time

The other day Dot and I were off on a Mother/Daughter date, which involved a little shopping, yummy food, and lots of talking. At one point, as we were pulling into a parking lot, Dot glanced at me and said, “Mom, we haven’t been doing very much music at home since Lizy passed away. I miss it.”

I hadn’t really thought about it until she said something, but she was right. Something that had been such a standard in the home had slowly drifted away. I thought of the times – at least a couple times a week – we’d gather around the piano. I’d play, they’d sing or get out the rhythm instruments and make a grand ruckus.

We had tried a few times since Lizy passed away. The first time was a half-hearted effort reminiscent of the sad little scene in “The Sound of Music” where the children are sad that Maria left and they all drift off. It was kinda like that, but without anyone to rally us together.

It seemed like each effort of family singing time ended with girls crying into my shoulders and boys staring wistfully out windows. So, they slipped away.

Until Dot said something. I knew Lizy would be bummed that we weren’t singing like we used to. Heck, I was bummed.

So, today I decided we’d sing around the piano. It had been a while. Maybe it would be easier.

Well, I can’t exactly say we didn’t end in tears, and I can’t exactly say it didn’t put me into a bit of a blue funk, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was just a little easier.

I decided that memories are packed into music so tightly that for our family there is nothing that gets those memories and tears flowing like it. It doesn’t do any good to avoid Lizy’s favorite songs, because inadvertently I stumble across a song that I can just hear her singing in my head along with the girls. That happened today. It was wonderful and heartbreaking all at once.

It’s been over a year. I like to think we’re doing pretty good. But to say it still doesn’t hurt would be a lie. There are still many days where my heart feels like lead no matter how much fun we’re having, how much we’re laughing, how many adventures we go on. It’s just heavy beneath it all.

I don’t say that to whine. But I know so many people expect to “be better” or “back to normal” in a certain time frame, and there just isn’t a time frame on grief. Even after you have invited it to leave and thought you locked the door, it comes back for lengthy stays.

So, what is my point with all this and our music experience today?

Well, it was hard, it was really hard. Especially singing “Holding Hands Around the World” a song the girls sang in primary some years ago – Lizy would belt that song out like no other and I didn’t remember until we were all singing the song and I half-expected/half-heard her singing with us and I could hardly see the music, let alone sing.

But we do hard things. And, as hard as it was – as much as I wanted to erase the pain as I held a sobbing girl in my arms at the end – it was wonderful and it felt good and it was easier than the last time (we actually lasted close to an hour before the tears hit).  So, I can only hope that each time gets a little easier and soon the memories will bring more smiles than tears.

Healing takes time. A lot of time. More than I ever would have thought being on the outside looking in, goodness – more than I thought being on the inside too.  But it will come. And the reason it comes is because we have hope and faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. That’s what keeps us going. Every day. He makes it possible to get through the heartbreak and do the hard things. He lifts us and carries us on when can’t possibly take another step. I have a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atonement. I have a testimony of His, and our Heavenly Father’s, great love for us. I have felt it. It has buoyed me up when I thought I would drown. I have watched my children with their sweet perfect faith feel his love and share it with me. He is always there, loving, waiting, and hoping we will turn to Him. I love my Savior and  my Heavenly Father, and I know that someday because of all that Christ did for us, I will see Lizy again because our family is eternal.


Filed under Child loss, Music, Religion


You know those moments in motherhood? The ones no one likes to talk about.

The moments when you flop it SO big time that you’re sure you have a neon


tatooed to your forehead.

Not only is it neon, but it



Well, I secretly think that EVERY mom has those moments – even if they don’t admit it, at least I HOPE so, because otherwise I am the only mom out there who accidentally sabatoges her daughter to FAIL her Intro to Languages class.

But now I’m getting ahead of myself. So lets back up and examine what made this moment my ultimate LOOSER MOM moment.

Liz had a huge project due today for her Intro to Languages class. We’ve known about it for weeks and weeks and weeks… and I promise I wasn’t procrastinating. I wasn’t procrastinating because it involved making a cake.

Well, I suppose I could have been an over achiever and made it three weeks ago, but then it would have gotten moldy and everyone would have gotten sick from attempting to eat it, and  then this would be a WHOLE different looser mom story.

Anyway, the cake. A Black Forest German Cake. YUMMMMM!!!! The plan was to make it on Sunday (so it would be fresh). Which meant Saturday I was supposed to buy the ingredients.

She reminded me.  “Don’t forget to get the stuff for my cake.”

And I, with my little ‘oh honey, I won’t forget‘ smile, said, “It’s on my list.”

I could blame it on the fact my husband had to work 6 hours, help someone move AND attend a wending with me. I could blame it on the fact that Jacob was sick, I was crazy busy with mothery stuff, I had a wedding to attend, and Liz was off babysitting another family when I got home from said wedding and couldn’t remind me. I could blame it on the fact that after 6 pregnancies my brain was left full of holes –


(the memory you suddenly loose when prego, never comes back)

Regardless of the excuse, the horrible, numbifying fact of the matter was that


It didn’t even enter my head until Liz walked into my room Sunday morning and said, “Oh, Mom, did you get the stuff for my cake?”

And there accompanied by

chirping crickets

was the biggest


moment I have had so far.

I gaped at her like a fish.  “I forgot.”

“Mom! That’s a HUGE part of my grade!”

“I know, we’ll figure something out.”

What to do? I was panicked. Granted we had a day, but it was SUNDAY. After all we had taught our kids about keeping the sabbath day holy and dedicating it to the Lord.  We always made a big point of making sure the car had enough gas to get to anywhere we needed to go, and making sure we had everything we needed for dinner or lunch. And here I was holding my daughters grade in my hands.

I suppose the ox was in the mire. More like I had pushed the ox in the mire. Well, ok, honestly, the way it would have happened was I was supposed to get the ox out of the mire on Saturday but tripped and fell in myself.

(Hey! I’m not nick- named Goofy for nothing – it would have totally happened had I oxen or mires about)

Anyway, oxen and mires aside, I couldn’t see breaking the Sabbath to go buy the stuff on Sunday. There had to be a way, some way to accomplish it.  I could call people, but Sunday mornings are hectic enough, and I couldn’t get a hold of the one or two people I tried. I finally settled on a solution, provided by my awesome hubby.


Wait until midnight when it technically wasn’t Sunday anymore and I could go to the store guilt free and attempt to redeem myself.

The one tricky part?

The cake is frosted with

whipped cream –

I can’t exactly put that on a hot cake.

SO not only did I have to go to the store at midnight, but I had to bake it,  so it could cool completely by morning.

So, in an attempt to seek redemption from my looser mom status, I ran to the store at midnight. By 12:30 A.m. I was home and whipping up a cake. by 1:20 I was pulling the cake out of the oven and putting it on the wire wracks to cool. By 1:30 I was in bed asleep.

5:00 in the morning, Liz tip toed in. “Mom, can you help me finish my cake?”

After my 3 1/2 hour nap I hopped out of bed.  (okay, honestly, I stumbled, staggered, and crawled out of bed) We sliced the cake into layers and slathered each layer with cherry pie filling and whipped cream.

By the time we were done we had a masterpiece of cake, whipped cream and cherries.

And I had a very happy and grateful 12-year-old daughter that was no longer in fear of flunking her class. Cake in hand, she hopped on the bus at 6:45 A.M.  (I did attempt to snooze between when we finished the cake at 6 ish and 7, but that SO didn’t work.  Ever notice how in that one moment when you actually NEED the extra snooze, EVERYONE is suddenly wide awake? Yeah.)

Oh, and not only did I redeem myself on that count, but I was also able to save myself from a second looser mom moment. Emily needed grapes for her class Halloween party today, so I got those while at the store.

So, I am functioning off of 3 1/2 hours of sleep (and a 15 minute cat nap from this afternoon).

Was it worth it?

The whole zombie mom lack of sleep status?

Absolutely. I would rather sacrifice sleep than compromise my beliefs. I would rather show my children that we make sacrifices to keep the commandments, then to do what is easy. I could have gone to the store in the middle of the day, or evening, and I would have been justified. It was an “ox in the mire” situation after all. But when there was an alternative available, I had to take it, no matter how difficult, to teach my kids that if we look hard enough we can find solutions that will allow us to stand firm in our beliefs. We may need to make a few sacrifices, but it can be done.

So, I suppose my looser mom status was redeemed, at least, I hope it was. In fact, I felt like at the end, I came out a



take that, swiss cheese brain!

(I’m going to take a nap now…..)

(oh, and Liz just came home and said the cake was AWESOME! YAY!)


Filed under Every Day Life, Lizy, Parenting, Religion

Is the Golden Guy There?

As we drove into D.C. Thursday night the kids were anxiously looking for the temple. We drove around a bend in the freeway and it lit up the night sky.

Jacob got very excited.

I see it, I see it! Is the golden guy up there?

“You mean Angel Moroni? Yes.” I pointed out the window.

Oh no! He should only be there in the morning!”

My curiosity was piqued. “Why?”

“Because if a bad guy in an airplane sees it he can fly over and take it!”

After a chuckle, and numerous reassurances that no one was going to steal

“the Golden Guy”

Jacob said, “We should sing I love to See the Temple.”

So we did.

EVERY time we saw the temple our entire trip (which was a lot) Jacob insisted we burst into song.


And I do love to see the temple very much. And I’m SO glad my kids love to see it too!

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Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Religion, Things Kids Say

Because He Knew What I Needed

I like to think that typically I have a good attitude about things, but on occasion I can be downright snarky. Especially when it comes to certain things. When my husband heard about Time Out for Women and asked if I was going (he thought it was some Stake or Ward meeting) my snark meter hit the roof.

After a scoffing laugh, I said,


The kind of “no” with the silent



He raised an eyebrow – well I think he raised both eyebrows, but if he could only raise one, he would have, so in my imagination he rose an eyebrow.

I groaned and answered his silent question. “It’s not an actual Relief Society meeting, is a conferency thing put on by Deseret Book.” I noticed he still had the brows raised so I continued with what I thought was a deal sealer:

“You have to PAY to go.”

He remained silent, just looking at me with those, “well, go on” eyes. So I went on, satisfying my snark meter’s demands. “It’s like paying someone to have a spiritual experience. I’d rather go read or re-watch General Conference, I can be spiritually uplifted for FREE.”

I’m sure during my entire tirade my husband was silently praying not to be struck by lightning, and Heavenly Father was thinking,

“This one needs an attitude adjustment.” 

Paul very sweetly said nothing and dropped the topic.

A week later, the day before Time Out for Women Cincinnati, I received a phone call from a friend. After we exchanged pleasantries, our conversation went something like this:

“I was hoping I’d be feeling better by this weekend, but I’m really not doing well. Would you like my tickets to Time Out for Women? Catherine is going and you could ride down with her.”


Well, it would be fun to hang out with her, but Jacob has a soccer game Friday, and both he and Em have their last games on Saturday. I’ll talk with my husband and let you know.”

I hopped off the phone and waited for Paul to arrive, all the time thinking that while I might not be that interested in Time Out the opportunity to hang with a good friend would be fun.

My head battled things out.

The snark meter went crazy,

the guilt ramped up

what kind of mom ditches her kids on the LAST games of the season (even if they have attended all the other games so far)?,

and the slight PING of excitement about getting out and away for an extended period of time snuck in.

The snark meter and guilt winning, I pounced on Paul the minute he arrived, most certain he would axe the plan for me and save me from having to make a decision.

After I told him about the available tickets he said, “I think you should go, but I have to work on Saturday.”

I couldn’t believe my answer was SO easy! “No problem, I don’t mind, and I’m sure someone else can use those tickets.” I turn to bounce into the house when he spoke again.

“Wait, wait, wait. I didn’t say no. What time are the games?”

“Tomorrow’s is at 5, Jacob would have to miss it altogether. Then Em’s is at 10:30 and Jacob’s at 11 tomorrow. ”


Jacob can miss tomorrow’s game. I can go in to work at 6 in the morning and get my hours in before taking the kids to the games and then if I need to I can work from home.”

“Are you sure? That’s an awful lot of running and juggling. Besides, Liz and Dot have done SO much babysitting, I’d feel bad making them do more so I can go.”

My million dollar man insisted, to which I replied, “Okay, but only if Liz and the girls are okay with the extra babysitting.”

I called the girls together and explained the situation. My incredibly awesome girls said, “You should go mom, we don’t mind the extra babysitting.”

My decision made for me, I called to say I could use the tickets. I was excited about getting out, mostly because of the time I’d spend with a good friend, a little because I thought I’d have fun, and a little in hopes of proving my snark meter right. My excited friend bubbled over how much fun I’d have when I told her it was my first time to ever go.

Well, my snark meter was proved


From the moment it started to the moment it ended I had the time of my life. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages, and I was spiritually touched and changed.  I felt inspired, uplifted, and motivated. I received answers to long sought after questions, comfort for discouragments and excitement for forging on. I felt like every talk was pointed right at me. It was as though Heavenly Father was saying,

“Listen up kid, you need this”

followed by a huge


So, I swallowed my pride this weekend, and it never felt so good. I thought I was sacrificing so much by missing my kids games, when I sacrificed nothing and received everything. They sacrificed their time for me, babysitting and not minding if I missed their final games. Paul was up at 5:15 in the morning on a Saturday to get his work done in time.  I am so blessed to have the amazing family I have. I was uplifted, enriched, and humbled…. and the next time Time Out for Women is in our area I will most likely be in line to get tickets if I can.

Heavenly Father knew what I needed and I am so grateful he insisted even when I was being snarky and difficult.

I know He loves us and I am so grateful!


Filed under Religion