February 28, 2013

Say Cheese!

Have you ever taken a photo of a three year old? You know how it goes: Say cheese! Smile. Wait, look here at the camera. No, look at me. Try again… you get the idea. Making sure everything works just right is like making sure the stars are aligned perfectly.  Get the three year old to look at you, make sure your camera is in focus, make sure the lighting is right, now get the toddler to smile… oh boy. Well, try taking a photo of 5 toddlers!
I had this genius idea (right?) to have the kids take a picture to send to Jaren in Argentina for Christmas. I made a page for each child to hold with a word that, all together, said “We love you Uncle Jaren.” All they had to do is smile and hold their paper. Ha ha . Add a prop and just add more complications to the challenges already listed above = Disaster? No, just hilariousness!!

So, here’s how it went…

Uhhh, Rhead & Halle I need to see your faces. Carden make a HAPPY smile. Emma, I can’t see your sign. Let’s try again…

Oops, Rhead your sign is upside down. Halle why are you sad now? Try again…

Okay, wait, Carden open your eyes. Rhead I can’t see you. Brooke what ARE you doing? Emma, turn your sign up and look at Nana

Oh my goodness! So close! That’s good kids. Everyone’s page is actually the right way. Now, just look at Nana and smile nice. Make a happy smile. I know we’ve done it 100 times, but just one more time with a big smile and we’ll be done. I have skittles for you if you smile!!

Okay, I guess this is the best we get. Ha ha. Not sure which is best. We were cracking up! Say Cheese!!

But the WINNER of making me giggle when trying to get a picture is Halle. I have several sequences of photos with her before we get it right. I love them all! But, this is my favorite, at the BYU basketball game with Papi… J

February 27, 2013

Don’t Worry Be Happy!
“Don’t worry be happy.” Those are the words to Bobby Mcferrin’s popular song from 1988, encouraging us to be happy.
Benjamin Franklin is believed to have said, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”  Since the beginning of time man has yearned for, looked for, hoped for happiness.

So what is happiness? We may each find happiness in as many varied and different ways as we, as individuals, are varied and different. However, research shows that no matter who we are- whether we live on an Asian Island, in the Louisiana Bayou, or the African desert-all humans find happiness and joy, by sharing life with loved ones.

And so, this weekend, I experienced true joy with the birth of another grandchild. The scriptures tell us “man are that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi  2:25) I love that! Life is difficult. We all have struggles, trials and hardships. Sometimes, there may seem to be no shortage of problems. And yet, we are meant to be happy! Our Creator, or God, our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. 

This past week I watched my daughter suffer the pains of contractions, sweat through the agony of labor, and rejoice in the giving of life! What joy!

Giving birth is the perfect symbolism for life; that only through the most difficult, even sometimes the going to the very edge of death itself, we are rewarded with the most precious, beautiful gift of love and life and joy. An angel straight from heaven!

That act of complete unselfishness of the mother and the absolutely, amazing instinctiveness of the newborn babe, still slippery and slimy, turning his little head to find his mother’s breast: Giving  - Loving - Life - JOY!

Watching my daughter successfully and courageously give birth to her son - JOY!

Cradling that sweet, innocent, pure baby boy in my arms - JOY!

Day by day, minute by minute, second by second we can choose to be happy. We choose to find joy! Jeffrey R. Holland once said “If you’re missing the joy, you’re missing the point.” Cherish those moments. Find joy! Don’t worry – be happy!