The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at
home in the bosom of my family.

-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hope Brightened by Pain

Yesterday I spent the majority of my evening reading a most remarkable blog that I had found while “blog hopping” (thanks, Force for Good for the link!). The author is a mother of four children. During the pregnancy of her fourth child, she found out that the baby would be born fatally ill and would not live beyond a few hours after birth. This woman, Angie, painfully and spiritually follows the grief journey of a mother losing her child. She is an adept writer whose talent is amplified by her experience as a psychologist. Her husband sings in the Christian group, Selah, which adds a very meaningful gospel perspective into gaining wisdom despite the hardships of life. The bitter pain of Angie’s loss is eased by her deep and ongoing relationship with the One who knows all our pains and a Father who also watched life being taken from His Son.

Angie’s anguish and unfathomable strength mirrors another mother who admirably has dealt with countless trials that have helped her become who she is today. My amazing mother has taught me about the Gospel in many ways. It has been through my mother's example of enduring a life of hardships (accompanied with countless blessings, of course) where others might crumple, she has risen above. Nephi explained best what my mother busies herself doing, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2N 31:20).

This coming weekend will mark seven years since my sister, Rachel, passed away in a car accident. I have never felt as close to my Father in Heaven with such a clear understanding of the Plan of Happiness as during the weeks and months following her passing. My greatest understanding that led to peace in continuing on with life, despite having lost my best friend, was my need to keep up with her progression. She has the advantage of being relieved of many of the cares and burdens we carry in mortality. Her spiritual journey will continue and surpass my own if I am not diligent in daily communicating with my Maker and studying His Word through the scriptures and living prophets.

Rachel is a bright example of love, joy, beauty and side-splitting humor. Do I miss her? Yes. Am I disappointed at the way life sometimes turns out? Yes. Do I believe in a God whose understanding can turn my nighttime sorrows into an eternity of joys? Yes.

My heart right now is reaching in prayer to mothers and fathers who have lost their children. I believe that Christ “…will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces…” (Isaiah 25:8)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Discovery in the Deluge

With all the nostalgia associated with rainy days, it is darling to see that Alli loves them as much as I did as a child. The Eyre’s tell me to foster her creativity and imagination that are innate gears built into a child’s mental engine. So, when she devised a way to keep her eyes dry while playing in the rain, I didn’t comment on the perceived “waste” of two circular Band-Aids (what use are those things, anyways?) but praised her on her adept use of her resources. The result was one happy child who successfully performed her first hands-on science experiment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Making of a Triathlete

So it was in St. George that I learned even more about the dexterity and fortitude of the human body and soul. Wow, triathlons are awesome. Wow, Nick is awesome. He ended up finishing 26th out of 128 in his age group.

We left Friday morning so we could get into town soon enough for Nick to do a trial swim at the reservoir and a run on the course. Meanwhile, Alli Jean (our newest nickname), Nene, Drew, and I spent some hard working time at the hotel pool sweating to the oldies. Nick returned donned in Sharpie pronouncing his number 1423 placed conspicuously on arms, legs, and hands. The cool thing about the marking is that they put the participant’s age on the left calf—which feeds the voyeur in me and engenders admiration for the amazing stuff that 65 year-olds can do. We attended the Tri-Club carb dinner at the park and returned to the hotel to service Nick’s bike and dowse all his gear in baby powder (to improve transition times).

Despite the horrid temperature battles we all face while sleeping in hotels (why can’t those dang box fans accommodate us through the night!?), all three of us were up at 5 a.m. slathered in sunscreen and wearing our finest to suit the predicted 84 degree sunnyness in Dixie. Ummm, did someone forget to tell us that 5 a.m. temperatures are far below the daily high? That was my airhead moment for the trip. Brrrr! Nick’s age group put him in about the fourth wave to start the swim. He was out in the water waiting for about forty minutes freezing in his slick looking wetsuit before they called off the swim since they had to rescue about forty people from the previous waves. So, we dashed to the starting lines and watched him begin his bike ride and return to complete a record breaking run (based on his personal best). Nick did better than his last St. George tri and we are very proud of him.

I wonder what Alli really thought of the race. Maybe in her head were thoughts like these, “My mommy woke me up when it’s still nighttime, put me in shorts, and drove me to a place where we sit on lava rocks by a lake and freeze while eating raisins. We move around a lot looking at all these people who look just like my daddy when all I want to do is ‘Go back to the hotel!’ At least my mommy keeps me entertained while I watch her jump up and down and sing songs!”

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Self-Appointed Hiatus

Lest the cybershpere deem us boring, I would like to assert that we have indeed been living a fruitful life. Occasionally, I think it is healthy to just fall off the face of technology. So, we did! But, we have had several fun happenings recently.

1. It has finally stopped snowing and we have christened the BBQ and eat outdoors twice a day (if not more!). The routine of several mile-long walks have started up again and Alli was glad to be stroller-free on our last outing.

2. Alli turned four and had a successful book party full of family and new books. She has found a new passion in the recreation center gymnastics class she is attending.

3. Nick is prepping for the first triathlon of the year that will take place this weekend in St. George.

4. Miriam is loving stay-at-home mommyhood and felt spoiled to be able to attend BYU Women’s Conference