Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Taking pictures with my heart

I'm definitely one of those moms who LOVES taking pictures of my baby! :) Whenever he starts doing something cute, my instinctive reaction is to grab the camera.

Cameras are great to capture moments like these. :) 

However, what usually happens (I'm sure I'm not alone in this) is as soon as my kiddo see the camera he stops whatever he was doing and starts trying to reach for the camera. What is it with babies and black, shiny things? ;)

An article I read recently got me thinking about WHY I take so many pictures of my son and if I really need to take as many as I do.

I had a few moments this week where our son has done something adorable, and I wanted to take a picture, but I realized that me getting up to get the camera and leaving his side interrupts the memory we were creating. When he's smiling at me and babbling away, he doesn't want me to leave to get a camera. He wants me to stay. He wants me to listen. He wants me to be there and share in a special moment that he saved just for me.

Those moments he saves just for me are one of the most fulfilling joys of being a mom, and I don't want to miss any.

So now when those moments come, I'm going to leave the camera on the shelf and start taking pictures with my heart.

The memories and pictures I have in my heart will be with me for a long time (considering I don't get amnesia anytime soon). When our son is a rambunctious toddler or an ambitious teenager, I can pull out my heart's photo album and remember his cute baby smiles and the cherished moments we shared looking into each other's eyes. Mother and son. Together.

I'll still take plenty pictures of my son as he grows, so we can preserve his cute chubby cheeks, record his milestones and share with others. But in a world so focused on connecting through digital means and sharing everything with everyone, we often forget to connect with others heart-to-heart and share a special moment with the people who are making it special.

So take pictures of your life with your camera, but don't be afraid to put the camera, tablet or smartphone away and capture the memory with your heart. Chances are, those pictures will be the ones you cherish most. :)

Capturing a moment is good, but living it is even better.

*If you're interested in reading the article that started my thoughts, click here. It's from Relevant Magazine "5 questions to ask before posting to social media."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Solid food adventures

So we started our son on solid foods about a month ago. He's been having a lot of fun exploring new tastes and textures. I think it would be interesting if we could remember what it was like when we tasted food for the first time. Sometimes I wish I knew what he was thinking, but these pictures do a pretty good job of showing his thoughts...

Rice cereal was a success. He wasn't sure about the texture at first, but he likes it now.
We tried carrots next (a homemade puree), and I think these pictures
explain his feelings pretty well.
"Bleck! What are you putting in my mouth!?!" 
"Ewww!" (Shaking his head no-hence the blur)
So yeah...he didn't like carrots.

We tried mashed avacado, and he liked that.
Sometimes he also just likes eating his foot. :)
After about a month of cereal and pureed foods, we decided to let him explore some non-pureed foods.

He really likes bananas.

So it's been one of the fun, messy adventures of parenting. It's exciting to see him explore and try new things, and the faces he makes are priceless! :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

My New Year's K.I.S.

Below is the traditional New Year's kiss. :)

Don't worry, this post is not about that kind of kiss. (Although I did get one of those too.) :) This is a post about my approach to New Year's resolutions for 2014.

K.I.S.S. is a common acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. Figuring out my goals was becoming really overwhelming. My list of "things I can do better" started to get long: spend focused time with my hubby, keep the house clean, fold the laundry the same day it comes out of the dryer, spend more purposeful time with my son, exercise more, get more sleep, organize our closet...yeah, you get the idea.

With my mind circling and wondering how I would do everything I wanted to without going insane, I remembered the beauty of simplicity, and altered the common abbreviation to K.I.S. (I spelled it with one "S" instead of two because I didn't want to call myself stupid all year whenever I remind myself about my goals.) Being positive has power too! :)

So I narrowed my goals down to four areas (1) intellectual, (2) physical, (3) spiritual and (4) social. This idea actually came from my husband who shared a scripture with me a few months ago. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52). For me, Jesus Christ is the prime example of how I want to live my life. I figure the best way to improve is to try to grow in the same areas as He did. 

So here are my goals for this year:

Intellectual-Read at least two books a month
Now that I'm not in school, I can read whatever I want. Yay! I want to read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book to expand my knowledge and imagination. I'd love recommendations if you have some!

Physical-Exercise 3x a week for 30 minutes 
It's small, but I'm working back to exercise after having a baby. I think I can do at least this much. :)

Spiritual-Go to the temple with my husband and on my own once a month
Being a member of the LDS Church is a huge part of my life. As I said in my first post, God is my anchor during life's adventures. It is hard for me to rely on Him if I do not have a strong relationship with Him. The temple is a place I feel close to Him, so I want to make an effort to go more often. If you don't know what a temple is, click here.

Social-Get together with friends once a month 
This may sound like a weird goal, but I spend most of my time at home now with our son (which I love), but I also want to spend time with creating meaningful friendships. I'm discovering I can only babble with a baby for so long before I need some adult conversation. :)

These are my goals. Short. Simple. Possible. Of course there are always other things I'd like to do or do better, but I wanted to keep it simple this year. These are things I'm going to work on all year, and as new adventures come up, I'll continue to make positive changes. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed with your New Year's resolutions, K.I.S. your worries goodbye and try to simplify. Remember it doesn't take a lot to make a change, you just have to start somewhere and keep moving. :)

"By small and SIMPLE things are GREAT things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6)

Baby's first Christmas: Part 2

So here's part two of our wonderful Christmas! 

After a busy Christmas morning with my family, we headed over to my in-laws' house so we could talk with my husband's sister who is serving an LDS mission in Honduras. It took a while to get Skype going, but we were able to do video chat.

While we were waiting for the video to work, my husband thought it would be fun to a chat conversation on behalf of our son. :)

Meeting his aunt for the first time. :)

We also took time to give and receive presents with my husband's family. Our son started to get the idea of ripping the wrapping paper. :)

Our kiddo got a board book of "You are Special" by Max Lucado

We got a great family gift of a camping stove that we are excited to put to use this summer. Camping is something my husband and his family LOVE, but we haven't been able to do it yet. My husband's gone on a few campouts with the scouts and with his buddies (The Manly Man Excursion). I'm excited to do it with him this summer. 

We had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Christmas has so much more meaning as a parent. When we were wrapping our son's gift I got really excited. I can't wait to play Santa! Next year when kiddo's a little older it will be fun to see him experience and understand the magic of Christmas. :)

Among all the visits, presents and adventures we made sure to take time to reflect on the Savior and His life. He is the greatest gift the world has ever known. We know He lives and is watching over us. Merry Christmas!