Monday, February 8, 2010

Prayer

I really need to show my gratitude more often these days, since I sometimes tend to get bogged down in the crazy routine of life these days. My good friend Kateka, who is always so positive and happy, wrote a post a little while ago about prayer that I really appreciated. I am so grateful for prayer, and I wanted to share an experience I had about it recently too.

A few weeks ago a new semester started at school. Brady and I have decided that we are going to finish school once and for all, even if it kills us, so we really dedicated ourselves to taking classes. Since I work full time and Brady works and goes to school too, scheduling can be pretty tricky. In the past I've just taken one class a semester, but at that rate I'm going to graduate when I'm about 50 years old. So, this semester I signed up for two classes. One fit pretty well in my schedule, but the other one was on a Friday, and I had no baby-sitter for Claire. Brady worked during that time, as did my mom and all my sisters. I really hesitated to call on a neighbor for help. Because of my full schedule, I feel like I never am giving to others, just always taking. I couldn't offer anything- I have no money, and little time to help anyone else out. I hated to ask for even more from someone else. I agonized over what to do. Do I drop my class and keep going at a snail's pace toward my degree? Do I put her in daycare (which I really didn't want to do, nor could I afford it really)? I really felt like I shouldn't drop my class, but I had no idea how to make it work. So I prayed. I prayed and asked if I was doing the right thing. I prayed that I could make it all work.

School started and we dove in. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a class that ends at 9:45 and Brady has one that starts at 10:00. That meant Brady would drive Claire down to school and we would do the baby-swap so we could both attend our full class. Poor Claire had to spend an hour in the car twice a week. Friday came and Brady decided to use some time off so I could go to class and hopefully we would figure something out the next week. It so happened that he was allowed to leave early that day without using any time off, so I felt my prayer had been answered that week!

I still didn't know what to do about the following weeks. A few days later my friend Sara called me. We had a class together last semester and she has a cute little boy Claire's age. Not only that, I just think she's awesome. Anyway, she called with a proposition. She was having a hard time finding childcare so she could attend her classes. Was there any way we could work out some sort of swap? She offered to help while I went to work if I could watch Owen another time. I couldn't believe my luck! I told her that I was having a hard time getting childcare so I could attend my classes too, and would she be free on Friday? Angel that she is, she was more than willing to take Claire during that time. I just happened to mention too how crazy everything was with us driving Claire down to school to swap in the parking lot. Lo and behold, she and her husband were doing the same thing two nights a week! She offered to watch Claire on Tuesday and Thursday mornings too. So now, Claire goes over there to play 2x a week during the overlap hours, and then on Fridays while I am in class. And Owen comes over to play 2x a week during their overlap time, and then on Wednesday nights while Sara is in class.

After I hung up with Sara I was overcome with gratitude. Heavenly Father had heard my prayer, and had sent help. Sara probably thought I was doing her a favor, but really she was the answer that I needed! I read in the Ensign a little while ago that we should serve those around us for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons we should serve is so that we can be an instrument in answering the prayers of others.

Claire loves playing with Owen and they get along so well. I know she is in good hands when I drop her off and I can attend my classes without worrying. Not only that, Brady decided to add the class that I was taking and change his schedule at work, so now he has the opportunity to get more of his schooling done and we can do it together (and we rarely get to spend time together, so any extra time together is great!). What a blessing we have been given!

I am so grateful for prayer and the simple blessings that have come my way because of it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

18 months!

I know I say this all the time, but sometimes I just can't believe how time flies! My baby is 18 months old now and really isn't much of a baby anymore! I have loved every stage so far for different reasons, but I have to say that 18 months is such a CUTE age! A tough age sometimes for sure (hello tantrums!), but very cute.

At 18 months Claire loves:
-Cheese
-Fruit
-Anything sweet
-Reading stories, especially If You Give a Pig a Party. I think we read that about 10 times a day.
-Music, especially the "Glee" CD.
-Making messes out of everything
-Animals of all kinds
-Organizing her toys a certain way
-Playing peek-a-boo
-Singing songs, especially ones with hand motions.
-Tickling and being tickled. And I just adore the way she says "tickow!" in a high pitched voice with a huge smile.
-Playing with other kids
-Baths
-Imitating mom and dad...
On Saturday I was cleaning the house and sat down to rest for a second while Claire was playing. I looked over and she had gotten the duster out of the cabinet and was cleaning the hall table, just like I had been an hour before!

Claire currently hates:
-Having to do pretty much anything that isn't her idea.
-Having her nose wiped
-Having her nails clipped
-Wearing socks (most the time anyway)
-When daddy leaves for work

It still amazes me how much joy this little person has brought into my life. I couldn't be more grateful for such a sweet and funny little girl.

One of her favorite ways to spend her time: "talking" on the phone while roaming the house.