17 May 2017

ten thoughts on a wednesday |5|

one.
to those of you who took me up on my dare (in my last post), thank you!! it has truly been a joy hearing from each of you and connecting with you and learning from you! i happen to know that there are more (thousands more, actually) of you readers out there that haven't yet fulfilled my dare -- i'd really love to hear from you, too! :) human connection is so valuable and so beautiful and i just adore the ways this blog has allowed me to do more of it!
(note: reading through the comments on that post, i think, is a cool experience for anyone, not just me! :) you now need to click "load more" at the very bottom of the page (under the comment box) to view them all.)

two.
a belated happy mothers day to all! i know this day can be hugely special for many, and also poignantly painful for others. but i really believe we all, all, all have great reason to celebrate motherhood in all its forms. of course i feel differently about motherhood this year than i ever have before, and i'm just deeply humbled and amazed and moved by the power and beauty of mothering, which to me is just any nurturing of souls.
a bunch of people reached out to me this past sunday to wish me a happy first mothers day. i giggled at that because actually, mothers day is celebrated in march here in the uk. so in a way this past sunday was my second mothers day ;) and i kind of love that, as an american living in england, i have two days to celebrate motherhood (and to be celebrated in my motherhood :)).

three.
speaking of mothers, i just started watching call the midwife this week while ian has been traveling for work. and i. am. obsessed. i love it so so much, and i sob every time a baby is born. i could read birth stories and learn about childbirth and watch call the midwife all day, every day and not get bored.

four.
also speaking of mothers, i have been thinking recently a bit more about heavenly mother. the other day i pulled the book our heavenly family, our earthly families of our bookshelf and carefully read through it as part of my daily scripture study. this is such an awesome book (and it is gorgeously illustrated by my childhood friend and uber-talented artist caitlin connolly [as is the painting i've included an image of at the top of this post]). the main takeaway i had after going through it this past week is that our family life is the best school - where we learn how to be a true friend and a good neighbor, how to make mistakes and practice forgiveness, and how to recognize god's spirit and influence.

five.
i came across a quote from one of my favourite poets, mary oliver, simply describing her instructions for living a life: "pay attention, be astonished, tell about it." i love it. i strive to follow this pattern.

six.
on the tube the other day, moses started making friends with a stranger (as he does every single day). the guy he was waving and smiling at remarked, "he's sure a happy chappy!" and it just made my day. i think i'm officially adding happy chappy to little mo's list of nicknames (to go with mr. cuteface and sweetie boy).

seven.
i completed an item from my bucket list this past week! i finished reading the chronicles of narnia! i love, love, love those books - the magic and the adventure and mostly the powerful, intriguing, beautiful christian symbolism. i have genuinely felt closer to god and christ through reading those seven volumes.

eight.
at the gym, i've been realizing that i need to challenge my body more or my workouts won't really make much of a difference. and then i've been thinking about how the same applies to my mind, my spirit and my character. i need to push myself more - leave my comfort zone, engage in new challenging projects, stretch my brain and perspective and daily activity. i hope that in a future "ten thoughts on wednesday" post i can report back on how i am doing this!

nine.
ian and i are working on strengthening our marriage. in that (neverending) process, i have recently been thinking a lot about the concept of unconditional love. i believe that the type of love that is completely unattached to any requirements is the only type of love that can truly empower us and our partners to become better. i'm trying to practice more unconditional love by forgiving more readily, by offsetting negative thoughts or sentiments with positives, and by striving to be more humble about my own shortcomings and my own yearning for unqualified love.

ten.
ian and i have always wanted and hoped to have multiple children, so i've been pondering a lot recently on how this one-on-one parenting time i have with moses is so unique. i've been trying to really cherish and relish this season of life when i get to focus on, play with, learn from and enjoy just my one little buddy. he is so much fun and i feel so blessed that he's the one to teach me about being a parent. every chapter of life is so beautiful in its own way!

---and here's a few photos from life lately in london! ---

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^^ a view from a run i took one twilight evening after ian got home from work and moses went to bed. the views i took in down and across the thames filled my soul with wonder and beauty that i really needed after a heavy couple of days. ^^
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^^ i came across this view into camden locks on my way to yoga, and loved it! ^^
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^^ moses and i go to “mummy & me” yoga most tuesdays, and it is the best! i get a pretty good workout in, moses plays with some new toys and new friends, and at the end we do fun nursery rhymes and giggles and stretches together. ^^
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^^ from a walk with a set of mum & baby friends in little venice! there’s always a new corner of london for me to explore. ^^
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^^ someone woke up from his nap really happy and with some fantastic bed head. ^^
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^^ this is how moses looks everytime he hears the facetime ring and sees himself on the phone. he looooooves it and gets so excited. // last saturday while ian was studying i took moses to the banqueting house on whitehall. it’s a kind of random destination but has incredible history and a spectacular preserved painted ceiling. i love how there’s just a bunch of beanbags on the floor so you can have a sit and enjoy looking at the amazing ceiling. ^^
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^^ lately, we’ve often walked down to victoria embankment gardens to spend the last hour before bedtime playing in the grass. the first time we did this, moses reaaaally wanted to eat the grass and tiny flowers. the picture on the right is his face after i explained that those things aren’t for eating (darn!). ^^
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^^ another snap from my run – taken from beloved waterloo bridge. ^^
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^^ ian took these photos of my baby and me on american mother’s day. we had a picnic in the park and then took a family walk in the spring sunshine. ooooooh my i love being this boy’s mama. ^^
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^^ a random pretty sight i noticed while out running some errands. // i adore how moses constantly crosses his ankles. i just think it is the cutest thing ever, ever. also, he’s pretty much always wearing mismatched socks these days because he keeps pulling them off and we lose them! ^^
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^^ ^^ from a walk through the rose garden near hyde park corner. when moses falls asleep in his stroller when we are out and about running errands, i have to walk walk walk to keep him asleep for a good nap. not complaining!! ^^ ^^
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^^ post bath, hanging out on the grass before bedtime. that is some wild hair! ian and i are just having such a hard time with the idea of cutting it!! but i think we’ve decided at last that we will let it grow until we are in the states in july and then little mo can have his first haircut at bear lake :) ^^

happy wednesday! life is beautiful!

15 comments :

  1. looking at these pics of happy, adorable Moses is reminding me how much fun 10 months is (which was 6 months ago for my little guy). great age!

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  2. You have really learned to "pay attention, be astonished, tell about it." Love this post!

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  3. My two year old son just came in as I was scrolling through your pictures and he said, "that baby is really happy!"

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    1. i love that!!! thanks for sharing. he is a happy chappy! :)

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  4. I agree with your sweet mom, you are so good at being present. Your posts truly inspire me and make me want to do better. Something I hope to do with my new blog! I'm just a few days away from posting about my journey with post partum depression and I'm so nervous! www.aprilrises.com

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  5. I'll introduce myself here instead of the previous post. I read your blog because I think if we met we would have loads to talk about. I love pretty words, pretty views, pretty music, and deep thoughts. I love to dance. I enjoy watching you travel the world and your thoughts about it. I relate with your thoughts about how special time is with just you and Moses. I lived far from family when my daughter was little. We walked everywhere and had so many adventures together. Now I have four children and though they learn so much from one another and have great relationships with each other I have a hard time remembering to connect with each of them in a beautiful way every single day. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. You are a lovely person!

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    1. hi lindsey! thank you for reading and commenting! sounds like we definitely would enjoy chatting and hanging out - maybe one day :)

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  6. Call the Midwife is THE BEST!! Excellent choice!!

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  7. I saw you mention in your previous post that you welcome questions about your faith and rather than comment there, I thought I'd ask here. First, I should say that I have great respect for people who are very religious as I think that is a difficult path to walk in a secular society. My current questions are less doctrinal based and more technical. Are your Sunday church services held at the temple or at a separate church building? If not at the temple, why? How long is Sunday church? What is included in that time? Are all members of a ward assigned a responsibility in the congregation, like head of primary? Do people have to take on these assignments? Some of them seem very time consuming. I think that Mormons are supposed to have a food storage with enough for 1 year. How does that work in a small flat like yours? Thanks for your openness to these questions. --Kathleen

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    1. hi kathleen!

      yes, i am always very open to answering questions about my faith! please never hesitate to ask. there's also loads of information on mormon.org if you want to explore there (but i am also happy to answer any and all of your questions myself).

      most sunday meetings are held in a church building (not a temple). our congregation here in london actually meets in a school, as a church building is in the process of being built for those members in our area. in many places where the church is new or membership is quite small, meetings are held in schools or offices or even members' homes. we don't meet in temples each sunday because their purpose is different than being a meeting place. temples are places where we make sacred covenants (promises) with god, where ordinances (simple religious ceremonies) are performed. so they just serve a different function than meetinghouses.

      our church meetings on sundays are three hours long. one hour is for what we call sacrament meeting, where we sing hymns, listen to talks (given by regular congregation members who essentially rotate - we have so much to learn from each other! - and occasionally local leaders - who are normal people with regular jobs, they are not paid by the church) and, most importantly, partake of the sacrament (bread and water as tokens to remember christ and our commitment to follow him). ((wow sorry that was such a run-on sentence!)) the second hour is for sunday school - the adults meet together to discuss gospel topics while the youth and children do the same in different rooms. the third hour we split by gender - the women meet together and the men meet together to discuss a lesson (manuals are provided to volunteer teachers).

      ideally, yes, all members of the ward are asked to fulfill a responsibility in the congregation. leaders pray for inspiration around who should fulfill which responsibility, and ward members are asked (not told!) to serve in varying capacities. it's certainly not a requirement per say, but it is fairly uncommon for someone to turn down a calling (it definitely happens and in those cases there's no backlash or anything!). when ian was asled last year to be a counselor to the bishop in our ward, we felt really overwhelmed and did not say yes right away. after praying about it, we felt undeniable peace and knew that god would bless us for taking on this service opportunity. the same happened when i was asked to be the primary president. we took the time to commune with god and make sure that taking on that responsibility was what was best for our family. and genuinely, we have been amazed in both of our callings how god has helped us - to fulfill church responsibilities and to just thrive in other parts of our lives concurrently.

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    2. on food storage, you're right that we are counseled to have a year's supply. we are really bad at this one and actually have next to nothing stored - eek! but our goal is to have a three month supply of food and water gathered and stored by the end of the summer. we feel that, because of our limited space, three months is a reasonable amount.

      i hope this information is helpful! let me know if you have any other questions.

      thanks for reading and for commenting!

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    3. May I ask why you need a year of food suplly?

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  8. I so love the work of your friend Caitlin Connolly-totally jealous that you know her! My goal is to someday own a print of her work. I have a niece that has left the church, had a divorce is rearing her 3 children and yet has climbed up the cliff and gotten through school and is in nursing school to become a midwife. She has become so estranged from the family and has refused to have anything to do with most of us. At Christmas time I came across Caitlin's print of "She Became herself through tears". The spirit kept screaming at me to get it for her. No way could I afford even a small print so I finally printed it off got a frame at Goodwill and took it to her. I told her how I saw her as that woman, how she had become the strong person she is through lots of tears and struggles. It totally broke down her barrier at least with me. What a blessing to have a talent that will touch the soul of others.

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    1. hi debbie! can you shoot me an email at charityeyre@gmail.com? i'd appreciate it!

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    2. well, my email is sisterjohnson@gmail.com.

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