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Mamas, Stay Sane: Tips to help you be in control when you feel like you're not!

LIFE.  You guys. I don’t know about you, but I swear, after becoming a mom, things seem to become… less achievable shall we say? Things that used to be simple and easy may suddenly seem like mountains to climb (or  a literal mountain of laundry). It’s like dark magic- you clean the dishes, and an hour later, there’s another pile. You clean the living room, then the baby plays with all his toys, which litters the floor again. And don’t get me started on the amount of baby throw up and diapers you clean up every hour! The point is, being a mom is hard and busy. Particularly, being a new mom is hard and busy. It’s like learning how to juggle, but instead of juggling balls or apples, your juggling having meals ready on time, making sure the laundry is done, making sure the baby is safe and happy, making sure you get that deadline for work or school finished, and whatever else life throws at you. And unlike learning how to juggle where you might learn to juggle 2 or 3 things at a time, yo…
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The Newest of "Normals"

I remember that night as if it were yesterday.
I remember that the living room light in the apartment was off, but the kitchen light was on. I remember I was wearing an old EFY T-shirt with pink cotton pajama bottoms. I remember that whole day was a good one, a great one even- we had had dinner with an amazing family and had a great spiritual lesson. We were on a spiritual high from the day, excited and ready for our break the next day, excited to be able to check our emails, excited to talk to our families.
I remember kneeling next to my bed, saying my night prayers. I remember saying, “Please bless Mom, Dad, Keegan and Liam at home. I’m grateful to be able to talk to them tomorrow.” I remember the knock at the door right at the end of my prayer. Confusion seemed to buzz throughout the apartment as the six of us girls poked our heads out of rooms, wondering, “Who is knocking at 10:30 at night?”
I remember seeing my mission president and his wife, their faces sad, scared, nervous. I…

A New Normal: Our Shots in Life

His blue eyes seemed to sparkle as he smiled at me, exposing his teeth that had begun to cut through his gums before he rams his toy into his mouth. As I look into his eyes, I see my reflection as if I was looking into a clear blue lake. I stroke his head, reminding myself that this was good and that it was ok if it hurt.
The nurse takes out some needles and gloves before saying, “Ok, I just need to make sure that he is laying down. The shots will be in his legs.” With that, I lay my son back. All the while, he continues smiling, looking up at me—I am his familiar. I am the one he counts on. I am the one that can help him when he is scared. He trusts me.
              The nurse snaps her gloves onto her hands, then takes out the needles. She already has the band aids ready. “This will just be really quick,” she says before placing one needle into my son’s chubby thigh.
              As she does so, I watch his eyes. At first, they widen, shocked and unsure about what …

A New Normal-A Mother's Journal: When Pregnancy is NOT Beautiful- A Valentine's Post

I've always heard that pregnancy is a beautiful thing. I've always loved seeing new mom-to-be's baby bumps in their cute new maternity clothes as they stand in the check out line or sitting at the reception desk of some company or sitting on the bench in the mall talking on the phone. They always seem so happy and glowing.

Then I got pregnant.

And let me tell you something- it ain't always beautiful.

I'll admit, I had the thought "What in the world was I thinking?!" run through my head once or twice. "Why would I sign up for this?!" I would think as I knelt over the toilet, vomiting everything that I had eaten for not only myself and my own hunger, but also for the little human that was growing inside of me, realizing that all of those nutrients were no good for me anymore.

And the weight gain! Growing up, I've always been on the smaller side. Comments such as, "You're so small I could wrap my arms around you twice," or "Y…

A New Normal- A Mother's Journal: Prologue

As I have said before, life is unfigureoutable.
No, I do not mean “unpredictable.” “Unfigureoutable” and “unpredictable” are two different things. You see, when you say something is “unpredictable,” you’re thinking about the future. You’re referring to not knowing what’s going to happen because unfortunately, we are not psychics who can avoid all the pains of life, or even prepare for all the great things in life. We just go with the flow and when the unpredictable things happen, we work with it.  
Which leads me to “unfigureoutable.” In my opinion, when life is “unfigureoutable,” we are living in the present. It can work with its cousin, Unpredictable, because when Unpredictable happen, Unfigureoutable tags along, and while we are trudging along with Unpredictable, we sometimes can’t figure out why things happen the way it happens in that moment. Why did this person act this way towards me? Why do I feel this way about this situation? Yes, we have science, yes we have psychology, bu…

When Grief becomes Scattered

There are no clouds. The leaves twirl a little dance with the breeze, and the sun relaxes. Summer is long over, but the sun still has some warmth to share with us.
Jake and I drive down the street, on our way to a family gathering, minding our own business. Suddenly, Jake notices something. He pulls the truck over to the side. I'm confused, and look out the window.
A man in work clothes is running. He's in a hurry to get somewhere, so Jake rolls down the window and says, "Hey, do you need a ride somewhere?" The man gratefully smiles, and says, "Yes, thanks man! I'm just down the road!"
"Well, that's where we're headed, so hop on in!" Jake smiles. I move over, allowing the man to sit in the truck.

Jake introduces himself, "I'm Jacob. And this is my wife, Jensen."
The man introduces himself (forgive me sir, I forgot your name) and looks at me and says, "Sorry, what's your name again?"
"It's Jensen,&qu…

A message from a Daddy

I need to find it.

The back room/guest room/storage room's bookcase is filled with books from friends and dvds from my parents' house. At the bottom of the bookshelf, I see them: binders full of letters from my mission. Every letter that was ever written to me, most of the emails ever sent, are stuffed in those binders.

I pull them out. Where do I begin?

I flip page after page, letter after letter, until I realize that the words spoken at my setting apart, the words my mom had typed out for me to read, the words I am looking for, would most likely be in an envelope, and if it's in an envelope, it would be in one of the binders' pockets. So I start looking.

Flip flip... pull pull... "Not that one..."
Next binder.
Flip flip... pull pull... "No..." 
Last binder.

Something catches my eye. Not an envelope. An email that has been printed.

On it says, "How is my precious girl?"

It's an email from Dad.
I can't help myself.
I sit down…