Friday, January 31, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings and Compliments too.

Mmmm….Chicken and Dumplings….Mmmmm.  I love to cook.  Something my mother instilled in me at a very young age.  Maybe crazy for me to feel this way, but I am so thankful that I love to cook.  Every woman needs to cook, and every man should be able to.  If it’s going to be something that I do every day for the rest of my life and right now literally for the masses(my six kids) well than I am so glad that I love to do it and what’s better yet, I’m very good at it.  Now that’s not me being cocky, that’s me being able to be honest about my talents.  How many of us are?

Do you shake your head or role your eyes or deny a talent when someone compliments you on it?  I know that I do.  It drives Jason nuts when he tells me that I’m beautiful and I tell him that I am so grateful that love has blinded him.  Why do we do that as woman?  Why can’t we take compliments?  Not that Jason is much better at it.  He always puffs out a bunch of air making that Phew sound that means…you’re crazy, whenever I compliment him.  What is wrong with us as a human race that we can’t be grateful and accepting when offered a compliment?

I’ve been troubled lately with all of the divorce and unrest in marriage that is going on around me.  What is that crazy statistic that everyone quotes?  Something like 50% of all marriages end in divorce?  I have to wonder that if maybe we offered compliments to each other more and mentioned our short comings a little less and in return if we gratefully accepted those compliments when given to us if more marriages wouldn’t stay intact.  If Jason says “You’re so beautiful,” (or hot as he really says) and I thank him and really mean it and really feel the words that he is saying to me I think that it would do a couple of things…

1.      If I really felt what he said how could my self-esteem not grow?  And when I feel good about myself I’m more inclined to feel good about other things too, like my marriage.

2.     When complimented I tend to be more likely to compliment back which helps my husband’s self-esteem grow and my kind thoughts towards him also.  When searching for a compliment to give you can’t help but see the good in others.

3.     And when we express our love to each other, well it only stands to reason that our love will grow too.

So what are we really doing then when we blow off a compliment whether from our significant other or the people around us who love us?  Making the moment awkward, taking the graciousness that they are offering away, maybe shutting off the opportunity we have to be grateful.  And how likely are they going to be to continue offering us compliments if we make it unbearable every time that they give them?  I rather enjoy good thoughts coming my way but maybe if I can’t accept them when given, well they might be less likely to think them.

Having said that now I will try to be better.  Not quite sure how.  I just can’t seem to get over the awkwardness that follows as if I’m the one complimenting myself.  God’s blessed me with an abundance of gifts and plenty of little talents here and there.  Is it showing lack of gratitude when I cannot accept them for what they are and realize the potential that is me?  I don’t know for sure, but I think that perhaps maybe it is.


Monday, January 27, 2014


Ever have a friend that is so like you it’s practically like looking in a mirror, except that she is shorter than you and her hair is darker than yours and well you really look nothing alike, but you could almost finish each other’s sentences because your minds are so similar?  I have a friend like that and her name is Agi.

She was born and raised in Hungary.  She’s brilliant…she mastered the Hungarian language at an incredibly young age J, speaks German and even speaks Americanized English perfectly with the sweetest little accent.  Okay, so maybe we aren’t entirely the same, but all her likes and dislikes, her amazing…brilliant…weird sense of humor, and her basic outlook on the world are right in line with mine.  And what’s even better, today is her birthday!!!!  We are literally one year apart in age because today is my birthday too!  I call her my Hungarian twin…who really cares about the year apart in age anyways or the fact that we look nothing like siblings.

So this is my tribute to an amazing woman who is brilliant and strong and funny and kind and makes me smile just to look at her.  May your day be as awesome as you are…and thank you for sharing it with me!  Hope she doesn't mind I stole pictures off of her facebook page.  I just couldn't resist...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

No Pretty Titles...Just my Simple Blog

Is there anything better than listening to a little child breathe?  You know that deep relaxed breathing that only comes when they fall asleep?  I was sitting here watching something cute on YouTube with Sam.  And we were even discussing it when all of a sudden I noticed that he wasn’t talking back to me anymore and that the only sound that I could hear in my bedroom was the quiet deep strum of his breathing.  I listened for a bit, thinking that I should send him off to bed and turn the T.V. on, because…well…that’s what I do at night when Jason has a dance and it’s not one that I have to go with him to help him or play one on my own and the house is so quiet without him…I fall asleep to the T.V.  But after listening a moment more to Sam I decided that I would let his little mumbles and deep breathing in his sleep relax me and fill the quiet of an otherwise still house.

So what did I do after that, you ask?  I decided to read a new favorite blog that I have, “The Matt Walsh Blog.”  Now although we don’t completely agree on everything, after all we are individuals in ourselves, mostly his thoughts are pretty close to my own, and if nothing else he is a good, god fearing man who is trying to live honestly and righteously in a world that Satan seems to be slowly winning over to his own, or maybe quickly to his own.  What did reading Matt’s blog do?  Well it got me to thinking about just how much modern society laughs at the unchangeability of God’s laws and religious belief.  Then before long I was a little depressed and even angry that such a world is the one that I live in.  After all didn’t I deserve the general goodness of the world say 100 years ago? 

Of course that led to my agonizing over my little ones and the future world that they would be raising their kids in and how much worse that it will most likely become and before long my blood pressure was rising and my anxiety growing and I had to stop contemplating for a moment to calm down only to hear Sam in the background sigh in his sleep and mumble something completely untranslatable.

And that my dear is why there is no better thing to do than to listen to a little child breathe.  Somehow in all of their innocence everything will always be all right in the world even if in reality it is not.  Why?  I don’t know.  It’s hard to remember back to being that little, but the little glimpses of memory that I have of the me of my little girl years was filled with the absolute willingness to believe that there was some amount of good in the world and in the inhabitants of that same world.  And most of all the little bit of magic that I seemed to see in everything.  I believe God gives that to children because he knows that the adults around them need that more than anything and the adults that they will someday become need to have those ever flitting memories to draw them back to peace when the world gets too tough.

Now I can’t say that anxiety and stress run my life, maybe in years past, very many years past when I was a teenager and then for a short while as a very young wife, but to say that the world around me isn’t trying very hard to pull me down would be an outright lie.  Because it is.  That’s what the world does, because Satan lives here and his most precious desire that drives him more than anything else is to bring us down.  So why is it that over the years I have become the “Glass is half full” kind of gal?  I could relate a lot of things, but in reality it’s because I take the time to listen to my children breathe, and laugh, and sing, and tell stories, and play make believe, and share moments with me as they fall asleep in my bed.  It’s because I’ve learned how to go about with an attitude of gratitude and by choosing that first my eyes seem to find the beauty in the world all around me.  It’s because I look for Christ’s love in everything everywhere I go and the harder that I look the more that I find it.  It’s because I can find joy in the simple things and in the strength that I have to live here in this world and bring a little tranquility to it along the way. 

So now I sit here in the dark.  My mind quiet and my heart beating more slowly and I contemplate sending Sam to bed, because after all that is where he needs to end up sometime in the next few hours before Jason comes home to reclaim his side of the domain, and I thank God that he gives me these little moments so often in my life when I can find gratitude and peace in the quiet rhythms of my little child’s steady breathing.  I can only imagine what he is dreaming so sweetly…but whatever it is I know just a little bit of its magic will find its way into my dreams tonight.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


All kinds of craziness are happening around here.  I’m sure all of you could have said that the last two weeks.  The holidays do that…bring craziness, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Lots of friends, lots of family, and lots of late nights and about the time Santa put the last treat in the last stocking all he (or she) wanted to do was fall into bed.  Fast forward far too quickly and far too few of hours later to the giggles at the top of the steps and the knocking on the door that leads to downstairs and yes, Santa and Mrs. Claus were up rise and shine long before they had any right to be.

This year was different once again as it was the last several years.  When you have older kids it’s hard to watch as you see them one by one realize that they have lost a little bit of the magic of Christmas.  First it was Luke and this year it was Jenny’s turn.  And I couldn’t help but remember back to when my first Christmas as an all too old child seemed to squelch a little bit of the magic.  It breaks a momma’s heart to see it happen, but I know a secret that Jenny doesn’t know yet, Christmas still has a lot of future magic to hold for her. 

The first Christmas when you are so poor because you’re just a youngin out of school and you share it with someone who you want to spend forever with.  Pretty magical.  The first Christmas when you have that sweet baby in your arms and even though all of the gifts under the tree are really things that that baby needs and not really that exciting because they are too small to understand anyways.  Magical.  And driving from one grandparent to the next as they ooh and awe over that little grandbaby.  Magical.  That first Christmas when finally that little guy can walk and toddle and he can’t wait to unwrap all of the gifts just for the sake of tearing through the paper.  Magical.  The first Christmas when in the middle of the night you have gone through all of the gifts for each of the kids and laid them out end to end to make sure that they look like they each got the same hall and you realize one just doesn’t add up and luckily for you your dear hubby found a Rite Aid store still open in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and righted the horrible wrong that you almost caused and you fall asleep exhausted but completely satisfied cause all is right in the world.  Magical.  And the best one yet, that I am just dying to experience firsthand…when those sweet little chubby hands tear open the pretty wrapping you actually spent time to wrap cause finally your kids are older enough that you have a little time to do that sort of wrapping and they look up at you all giggles and eyes all wide with awe and say…”Thank you Grandma,” as they wrap their arms around your neck.  Absolutely magical.  See I know it’s all right and all of the magic will return and someday she will feel it too.

Christmas was beautiful and believe it or not full of the spirit of family and of giving and most of all of Christ and it was a wonderful day. 

Sam was in his all time pro during the holiday season and after all of the wrappings were cleaned up and toys tucked away our family took a little down time and Sam took to entertaining me.  Poor little boy thought that his mother was playing solitaire and certainly not recording him, but of course I was and I just had to share.  How can you not smile a little and brighten your day after you watch this video?  Jason cussed me later for not having my iphone turned right, but Sam would have known that I was no longer playing solitaire and I would have never caught the magic of all that is Sam.  From this moment on Sam will be known as "Gangster" as Nan calls him.  (For those of you on an Ipad you may not be able to view the video below.  Just got on mine and I couldn't.  Log in on your computer if you have time.  It's a sweet laugh.)

And then New Year’s Eve was spent as it always is on the Gibson front…playing a Holiday dance.  This year it was for both of the Stakes in our town and we got to enjoy it with our two older girls, Luke and his girlfriend Danielle and Bobby and Leigh.  We had sound set up and live camera shots of the crowd on a movie screen and I was running the photo booth!  It was awesome and the Stakes went all out feeding the kids both dinner and breakfast with a gazillion drawings…gift cards and even an ipad, a dirt bike, and a car…that’s right you read it right…a car. 

That's Jenny in the corner barely popping out from behind her photo bombing Uncle Cullen.
Nan in the top left with all of her friends.
Jason's awesome brother Bobby and his amazing wife Leigh along with Luke and his girlfriend Danielle.
And this next one is my favorite.  You can laugh.  It's totally allowed.  My crazy brother Cullen and his equally crazy wife Annalee.  If you're smart you'll blow it up and look a little closer.  Their expressions couldn't be funnier!!!
 And that night when it all ended our awesome friend Mitch watched our gear for us as we whipped away to the highschool football field with all of our family in tow to watch our son Luke propose to his girlfriend Danielle.  Magic!I couldn’t be happier.  She is the sweetest daughter in law any woman could ever ask for and we love her to death and she makes my son a better man.  Who knew I was that old?  Well in my defense I will only be turning 39 at the end of this month.  One more year until the big 40.

What do I have to look forward to this year?  Probably a lot more of ridiculous insanity.  My father and stepmom are coming home in April…crazy busy dance season starts in May…girl’s camp and youth conference and fourth of July and Stampede(Nephi’s rodeo) and 24th of July(Utah’s celebration of becoming a state) in July…I could go on and on, oh and can I just add a wedding to boot.

Chaos and crazy and somehow all the same but every moment of it magical in its own way.