I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp. I want there to be a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.
~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Invisible Mother

My grandma sent this to me in an email this week, and it really struck a chord to me. Sometimes I feel like my life is so mundane, and that no matter what I do no one will ever know. After all I'm just a mom. (By the way, I hate when people say that. Just the fact that I gave birth makes no justs about it.) But I know deep down that I am doing the most important work on Earth. So I hope maybe it will affect someone else like it did me. Enjoy!

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit..

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacr ifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cambree at 2 months

Since my baby will be three months next week, I figure I better post some 2 month pictures.

Oct 19, 2009 -- Cambree is 2 months

This is just a way cute picture after church one Sunday.

Cute baby smiles. She usually stops when I pull out the camera, but I was able to capture this one.

Cambree and me with my Grandpa Sitterud.

Cambree and me with Grandpa Dee and Grandma Retta (Larsen).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun

Halloween is such a great holiday! You can be whoever you want and people give you candy!

Aubree was Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place. I think she just liked the fact she got a new outfit instead of a costume.

Kaden was Megatron from Transformers. Last year he was Optimus Prime. This year he wanted to be a bad guy.

Tyson gets into Halloween more than any of my other kids. He loves all the "Spooky stuff" that comes with Halloween. His favorite CD is Kids Bop Halloween and he listens to it all year. When we first started discussing costumes, he told me he didn't care what he was as long as it was something spooky. So he found this skeleton costume and that was it.

Brennen insisted he wanted to be Mickey Mouse. Well, we could not find a Mickey Mouse costume. We tried and tried to change his mind, but he would not budge. Thank goodness for my friend Melissa who sent this to him from Idaho. She was a lifesaver! He got so many comments on how cute he was.

Cambree was our little ghost, although not too many people saw her. It was too cold to uncover her. She slept through it all anyway.

All my little spooks!

Carving Pumpkins

The Monday before Halloween, we carve our pumpkins. It is one of our favorite family traditions. We let the kids draw their own designs and it is fun to see what they come up with. We may not win any awards, but the memories we make are priceless.