Having children can strengthen your marriage

Last night my husband wanted to rock the baby to sleep. At first I resisted, she won’t fall asleep for you, If we rock her to sleep too often she’ll stop sleeping through the night, she won’t sleep as well, my mind rifled through reasons. Still I relented because of the absolutely adorably pleading look in my husband’s eyes.

As he rocked her I gave him hints on what usually works to get her to sleep. In no time he was proudly holding a slumbering babe. I expected him to put her in bed, but he didn’t want to. “Just let me sleep with her tonight.” He wanted to put a bed-roll out and sleep by her all night. I lovingly laughed at his request and found a middle ground. “Let her lie on your chest for a couple of hours and then we’ll put her in her own bed, so she can still sleep well,” I told him.

Over the course of the next two hours hubby fell asleep on the couch with the fruit of our labors nestled on his chest. I watched them sleep (ever vigilant that he not roll over on her) and felt such an immense love for both of them – my beautiful daughter and her loving father.

Baby and daddy sleeping

This was taken a few months ago, but it sums up pretty well what I'm describing.

As I watched them I remembered a good-bad piece of wisdom I was given several times while I was pregnant. I know it’s an oxymoron, but maybe you’ll understand once I tell you what I was told. I was told that having children ruins marriages.

This was in essence a horrible statement, but if I were to say that it is completely untrue that would discount the experiences of those who shared it with me. It’s a good statement because it’s good for young idealistic people like me to understand all of the possible consequences to major life events. When I heard this statement I became determined that not only would my baby not ruin my marriage – she would make it better.

And so, as we near my daughter’s first birthday I can see that I love my husband more than I ever have before. I see that through our daughter our marriage has become stronger than it used to be. Our mutual love for her has enhanced our love for each other and taught us better how to cooperate. As we work together to make our home heavenly we become more heavenly ourselves, and in turn, our marriage becomes more heavenly.

We went into this marriage with the attitude that we would always give 110 percent to make it work, but now we have this extraordinary reason to each give 150 percent.

May I just say that marriage is wonderful? Well, marriage is wonderful – and children make it even better.

 

What an LDS funeral is like

pretty purple flowerA loved one has passed on. He was very old and with every passing day he lost more physical capability. It was hard for him, and it was hard for us. He wanted to do more than he could, and we wanted him to be able to do everything he wanted.

When things like this happen, it’s a big deal, and so I’ve been wondering what I should write to sum up the experience. I’ve had so many different lines of thought going through my head. Should I share the peace I have felt, knowing that not only is there an after-life but we will all be together in it? Should I share what I have learned from being part of this great man’s family? Should I share thoughts about the great legacy he left behind? Unfortunately there is too much for one post. I have to pick and choose what I think will be the most valuable to those who read my blog. Remember that none of this is official doctrine from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (except for the link to one of their official sites) rather it is my perspective – the perspective of an active, orthodox mormon.

I have only been to mormon funerals so I can’t claim to know what the typical funeral is like. I have been told that they are really sad, but that is only hearsay.  However, I have been to many LDS funerals and I would like to share with you what they are like.

LDS funerals are a lot like other funerals in many ways. Family’s get together. Tears are shed. Good times are remembered. And together we find a way to cope with the change in our lives. LDS funerals are traditionally held in our chapels. There is an opening and closing prayer and there are several talks given by family members and/or close friends, a few words are given from the presiding bishop, and there are one or two musical numbers. The family and friends will then move to the graveside where a dedicatory prayer is given. This is a prayer over the burial site. Dedicating it as a holy place. Pall bearers carry the closed casket to the grave and the funeral is pretty much over.

Throughout this whole process there are a few things that I understand to be different from traditional American funerals. For instance, we aren’t required to wear black. To us a funeral is a celebration rather than a mourning. We celebrate the person’s life and return to Heavenly Father. Instead of the traditional black garb we wear our best Sunday clothing in whatever colors we wish.

We laugh at our funerals as part of the healing process. I’m not talking about anything like the weird Asian laughing classes, no it’s not forced laughter, it’s just that telling jokes and laughing in remembrance is not a faux pas, rather remembering and laughing at funny little things is accepted and expected.

We don’t feel a bitter sadness. It is immensely comforting to know that this is not the last time you will see your loved one. Even at funerals for the young we tend to lean towards joy rather than bitterness. We don’t have the same concept of heaven that traditional Christians do. We believe that we go to a place where we can continue to learn and work when we die. That our purpose isn’t over. It’s more than just lounging around and playing harps, it’s learning more about God’s plan for us and teaching it to others.

I’m sure we don’t have the market cornered on happy funerals, but I’m not lying when I say that most LDS funerals are happy occasions. That’s not to say that we don’t experience the pang of loss, but it is softened by knowledge of Heavenly Father’s Plan. The funeral I just attended was that of a good man. A good man who left a strong legacy of hard work and faith. Knowing what we know, knowing that he is with his Heavenly Parents how can we not rejoice for him in spite of the sadness we feel that we won’t see him again in this life? God be with you until we meet again.

 

Another Original Song – He Hears You Cry

It’s time to post another one of my songs. You would think this would get easier as I continue to share, but it still makes me shake in my boots.

This song is called He Hears You Cry. It was written during the colicy stage when I couldn’t stop my baby’s tears. In the end I just gave up and left it to God. My daughter is now a very happy little girl and she loves when I sing this song to her. I hope that it can help others. Again, sorry for the tinny recording. We do what we can with what we have. :)

Amber may be… sleeping through her pregnancy

Lethargic, worn out, exhausted, pooped, beat, done-in, tired, dragging, burnt out, weary…have I described pregnancy yet? This constant nausea combined with constant lack of energy, it’s like someone stuck me on the Tea cups at Disney World and wouldn’t let me off.

I know I should feel lucky. I can just hear all of those women who have already passed the child bearing age,

“When I was pregnant with my first, I couldn’t leave the house because I was glued to the toilet!”

Well good for you. Knowing that your pregnancies were all worse than mine sure makes me feel better…not!

I feel like I’m sleeping my way through my pregnancy.  I practically live on the couch… feeling sick but knowing that I won’t actually throw-up.

What’s worse is that there don’t seem to be any solutions. I spend most of my waking time at all of the different pregnancy websites and they keep saying I’ll be tired, but just eat healthy and exercise and it might get better. I eat pretty healthy (saltines are healthy right?), and my job involves hiking around the hospital pushing a heavy cart. Apparently it’s not enough.

I’ll have to just take comfort in the fact that I’m growing another human being inside me. It takes a lot of my body’s energy to create this baby, to help it grow all the things it needs.  WTE.com tells me that at ten weeks it’s growing bone and cartilage, little teeth beneath the gums, and at an inch and a half it’s rapidly growing in size. Not to mention I’m still growing the umbilical cord, the lifeline that will eventually feed my baby.

So I’ll have to remember that it’s all worth it, this never ending exhaustion and nausea, because in the end I will hold a beautiful baby in my arms, and my life will change forever.