Friday, April 18, 2014

I spy!

Let's play I spy. I'll go first. I spy something gold.

Did you find it? Congratulations! It's a tough one...

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Am Whole

Our Relief Society Meeting on Sunday was centered around the Atonement. If there is one topic I will never get tired of studying and discussing, this would be it. As a primary child, I had the common misconception that the atonement was only for repentance. This aspect of the atonement is crucial and should not be diminished by any means. But as I have become older (and wiser too) I have come to learn, and even experience, that the sacrifice of my elder brother can do so much more than cleanse me from sin. 

Life is hard. This is true for everyone. There are an infinite variety of ways in which each person experiences trials and hardships, but the one commonality is that they exist in every life. They exist in mine. They exist in my roommate's. They exist in my missionary sister's. They exist in the lives of my divorced friends, my never-married friends, and my happily married friends. They exist in the lives of those who are laden with sin and guilt, but also in the lives of those who are repentant, pure, and innocent. They exist in wide varieties among the young and old, the rich and poor, the learned and uneducated, the popular and the invisible. Diverse trials are experienced by my closest loved ones, and least favorite people (relax about it, we all have them). And I can say with certainty that adversity exists in your life too.

No matter who you are, I am sorry. I am sorry that life has put you through things that have been difficult. I am sorry that you have had times that you weren't sure you could get through. If you are like me, I am sorry for the hours you've spent in solitude and tears, not quite envying the life you think others enjoy, but wondering what you could have done, maybe should have done, to be worthy of the same blessings. But if I had an infinite number of wishes, I would never wish a trial away.
WHAT?! I'm sure you are thinking I am crazy. Shelly, how could you see all of the horrible things that have happened, and continue to happen in the world, and not wish that a single one of them be different?

The reason is simple. Believing whole-heartedly in it is not. But, as we discussed the atonement in Relief Society, I thought about my diverse problems, and found it strange that they had always had the same solution: turn to the Savior. 

I took a moment to write down the ways the Lord's sacrifice has helped me in specific trials throughout my life. This is what I came up with:

So no, I would not wish away a trial. Not because I've never felt real pain, because I have. And not because I am a masochist, because that's crazy. But because through my latest struggle, I have learned enough to be able to get down on my knees and SINCERELY THANK Heavenly Father for the hardships I experience. Because without the problems, I would never have thought to ask Him for the answers. And then where would I be?

I have never relied more completely on the Lord than I do now, and I have my trials to thank for that. I am not perfect. In this life I never will be. I can't promise that I will never complain, or cry, or doubt, or become upset when I think life is just unfair. Sometimes there just seems to be unanswered questions and missing pieces. But I will be OK. Because when I let the atonement envelop me,there are shining moments, however long or brief, when I AM WHOLE. And as crazy as it may seem, this feeling is worth every struggle.

"My son, peace be unto they soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
-D&C 121: 7-8

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Texting Megan

Yesterday morning:

        Megan: I was just telling Lila how lucky i am to have her and she said "Shelly ask me she can keep me!"
       Me: Haha i did! And she said no. Until i offered her a cookie :)
       Megan: Yes! You know the way to her heart.

I don't know why the universe is delaying my chance to have children. Clearly, I know what I'm doing.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Marley Darling

So all my sisters get to blog away about their adorable children. Frankly, I'm more than a little bit jealous. But, as I thought about it, I realized that just because I have never given birth to adorable children, doesn't mean I don't get to help take care of some!

I have had the chance to watch lots of different kids and, fortunately, often on a repeated basis. Currently I go to the Hill home every Friday morning at 7:30 when the mom heads off to work. The kids I get to watch are 9-year-old Aiden and 5-year-old Marley. I help them get ready and we mess around until 8:15 when Aiden leaves for the bus and I get the real treat of taking Marley to school.

Marley is perhaps the cutest little girl I have ever had the good fortune of meeting. I call her darling. The first time she protested, "I'm not your darling!" But I didn't stop and now she accepts it.

The first time I met her she introduced me to her two favorite stuffed animals: Unicorny and Dogbark. I bet you can tell what kind of animals they were. Later on I also met Sheepy-Lamby.

Lately Christi's (the mom) regular babysitter has been sick so I've been able to pick her up from school as well. And let me tell you, there is nothing like a little alone time with this cute girl. The first time I picked her up, her class had just read The Polar Express, and got to take a silver balloon home with them to represent the silver bell Santa gives as the first gift of Christmas. Naturally Marley named hers "Balloony" and declared that he was her new best friend.

Here she is, showing off the blue tongue she got from the sucker she so generously shared with her new best friend. As Aiden and I played a game on the wii she'd laugh and say things like, "Silly Balloony, this isn't a TV show! it's a game!" then turn to me and add, "Balloony thinks this is a TV show."

Maybe my favorite Marley moment was on the way to school one day when she was asking where my kids were and I had to tell her that I wasn't a mommy and I didn't have any kids. She responded, "When you grow into a mommy, maybe I can ask my mommy to bring you a baby!" and after more adorable comments she finished, "And you can name her Marley. And then there will be 3 Marley Darlings!" (I found out a moment later that she already knows one other Marley). But seriously. Whenever I get this cutie in the car the first thing I do is turn off the radio. Who needs it?

Photo Booth Fun!

Monday, October 28, 2013

He changed his mind.

Monday, September 9, 2013

something new

I love Corbin. So, here is a blog about Corbin and me. He brings a lot of joy to my life so I thought I'd document some of it. He is the best. Did I mention I love him? k, good.