My life is like a kitchen floor

When we first moved into our home, we were delighted by the bright and spacious kitchen. It had 6 recessed lights in the ceiling, plus one over the sink. After a few months, one of the lights burned out. I put "buy replacement bulbs" on my list of things to do. Perhaps a month later, a second light burned out. I moved my shopping trip up the priority list slightly, but there was really no rush. It was still easy to see, I told myself. … [Read more...]

House Beautiful

I used to be a bit of a neat freak. As a child, when it was time to clean my room, it always took 3 days because I started by reorganizing all the labeled boxes in my closet. I remember one weekend early in my marriage that my parents and siblings came to visit. In preparation for their arrival, I had carefully cleaned and tidied our small apartment. As they arrived, and removed their shoes, there was no good place for the shoes, other than at the doorway. Those shoes piled up and got under my … [Read more...]

Family traditions

General Conference has come and gone, and the holidays are fast approaching, reminding me of family traditions. Our traditions are pretty low key. We go to church together. The night before General Conference, the boys sleep in a tent in our living room, making sure that the door of the tent is facing the nearest temple. We have Family Home Evening on Mondays. We eat blue pancakes for breakfast on BYU's opening game day for football.  We read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. And every summer, my husband … [Read more...]

Remembering Catherine

There was a recent bout of stomach flu at my house. In a period of 4 hours, my three children vomited 11 times. I was grateful to be living in a house with a washer and dryer, since we moved fairly recently out of an apartment with only public, coin-operated laundry facilities. I considered what it might have been like living in an earlier time and trying to cope with such an illness: chopping wood to make a fire to boil water to do laundry or perhaps going down to the rocks by the river to … [Read more...]

Gratitude and pain

A few weeks ago, I got sick. It came on steadily throughout the day. I felt tired and miserable. My body ached. When DH got home, he sent me to bed. As I laid there, I started identifying where I felt pain. My waist hurt. My toes hurt. My belly button hurt. My elbows hurt. My knees and wrists hurt. All the places in between hurt. As I was lying there feeling sorry for myself, my thoughts broadened. Some people are in constant pain because of illness or disease. I felt both grateful and ashamed - … [Read more...]

A God of Miracles

A few years ago, it was not uncommon for me to feel beaten down. As the mother of two preschool boys, it seemed like the dishes and the laundry were never done, and the house was always messy. My husband was in grad school and was also serving as the bishop.  I was lonely, I was tired, and I was grouchy. I worried that my bad temper would have lasting negative effects on my family. … [Read more...]