Saturday, June 30, 2012

A carseat blessing.

It's been too long, but only having my phone for a hotspot makes posting difficult at times (add to that a teething, walking one year old and any break I get is spent reading/watching Bones on the couch).

Recently I decided Max needed a carseat upgrade. He was still in his infant carrier and it was clear that he would soon be too big. I was in denial for a bit, but realized we needed to get one soon.

Choosing to have a baby at my age is not usual by today's standards. Most of my friends were happy but a little confused why I would be jumping into motherhood so early in life. Making the decision to start a family was a decision of faith, a decision endorsed through prayer by a loving Heavenly Father. I too was curious as to why I should start a family instead of pursuing continuing education but I figured He knew better.

He definitely knew better.

It has amazed me over the past year (Yes, Max is almost one. Let's all pretend that isn't happening.) how much I have been taught by having a child. Lessons that I feel I could not have learned otherwise.

Back to the carseat.

So I started doing my motherly duty and researching. You can get convertible (5-65lbs) carseats for as little at $50 up to $350 (sometimes even more if you are really excited about carseats). I read customer reviews, scoured the bestseller pages on multiple websites that sell carseats, and asked my mom to talk to the pediatric nurses she works with. I wanted something quality for not too much money.

The problem is that we are on a grad student family budget. It made anything above $200 dollars completely out of our budget. I cried to Kyle about wanting the best for my son, every mother wants what is best for their child, but how do you resolve what's best with the reality of your budget.

I know that all of the carseats are safety approved but I wanted safety and comfort. I also wanted top of the line safety.

So when we got to the store I completely freaked out seeing all the carseats in person and froze my speech even though going into the store we had decided on a specific carseat. When I saw that carseat next to the luxury (read:padded) ones, my heart fell and I didn't know how to tell my husband. So I did what I do best when I don't know how to explain how I am feeling, I stop talking.

Eventually we decided on a higher grade carseat which I still wasn't super happy with but remember I stopped talking.

We got home and set up the carseat and drumroll.....It didn't fit if Kyle was driving.

We talked it over, meaning I finally started talking and getting to the heart of the matter and we decided to go back. Kyle finally understood my desire for wanting what is best for Max and we found a good carseat for $199. Right under the budget (I am ignoring tax..).

Kyle was in line, I was chasing Max around the store when I saw another carseat, we had passed it numerous times wandering around and I had just ignored it but it was standing out to me now, especially its red price tag reading $179.

I yelled out to Kyle, and he came over as did an employee.

Turns out it was a second floor model that they no longer needed. It was top of the line and marked down mainly because people had probably stroked it's plush material and padding. It was also a 3-in-1 carseat, meaning that it is good for 5-100lbs, infant to booster.

At the end of the day, I reflected upon the week, upon the emotions and feelings I go through as a mother. It is hard. There is so much that I want for my son and sometimes I feel so much guilt for bringing him into the world without a budget worthy of exclusive "top of the line."

But Heavenly Father has been teaching me. He has been showing me that my son doesn't need an iPad, he needs my time. He has shown me that my son doesn't need a membership to the children's museum, he has the world around him. We have good food to eat and a library full of books for us to read.

Amongst it all, Heavenly Father has taught me how aware he is of my desires for my son, for my family, for myself. He wants to bless me with my righteous desires and He does. But would I learn if He always made it so easy, giving me an expendable income? No, he teaches me through trial and struggle, stretching me, causing me to dig deeper, to think in more complex ways and sometimes in simpler ways. But in the end I am blessed and I know that it is His hand which constantly provides.

How grateful I am, for the chance to learn and grow in this way, to see my child grow everyday and to teach/show/tell Him how Heavenly Father blesses our lives.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Falling in love at sixteen

As a teen a read far too many young adult novels with basically the same plot. Teen girl fraught with inner turmoil shows up in a new environment and must face life all while falling for the guy she least expected and in the end finds herself.

I loved them and plowed through them on lazy summer days.

When I was sixteen my life was not full of a whole lot of turmoil but being a teen I definitely had my fair share of inner turmoil that I pretty much talked to no one about. It wasn't life or death stuff but more along the lines of self-doubt and confusion.

Then I was thrown into a new environment, Camp Dudley. It was just what I needed and in the end I ended up falling for the guy I least expected and found myself as much as I could for that time in my life.

Falling in love at sixteen was something I dreamed and fantasized about but didn't actually think would happen to me. But it did. I was blessed to cross paths with the boy who would become my future husband.

Yes, I married my high school sweetheart and guess what?

I love my choice.

I love that he still makes me feel sixteen and gives me butterflies like he is kissing me for the first time all over again.

I love that when I am 32 I will have already spent half of my life with him in it, already I have more memories with him, than without him.

I love that our relationship has an element of youthfulness to it.

I lucked out finding my husband when I was sixteen, I wasn't looking, it wasn't a plan but when a  healthy relationship presented itself and made me challenge myself to become better in the best possible ways and made me feel comfortable with who I already was, man I held on to that opportunity.

I am so grateful I did.

Yesterday I celebrated three years of marriage to my husband, Kyle.

Three years of fun, challenge, trials, trying to communicate while brushing our teeth, faith, some bad impulse buys, laughter, water being poured on my head, snuggles, being asked "what color?" to anything and everything, and love, lots and lots of love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In arms.

Last week was difficult for reasons beyond my control. It left me feeling anxious, fearful, and worrisome. My body reacted by welcoming a cold that left my throat burning.

There are times in life that are uncomfortable, we are brought to places that stretch us. They stretch our minds, our hearts, our emotions, until we feel ready to snap. Sometimes we do. I feel as if we are always so quick to avoid these times of trial and darkness. It's not to say I enjoy them or welcome them, but I understand their place in my existence.

If I am not brought down to low points, how will I ever know when I am up?

The contrast helps me to see the blessings that bring me joy.

The other night I tried to go to bed but my body was on alert for some reason running through anxious thoughts and plans (going through lists and more lists of things to do). I started getting frustrated why my tired body was resisting the comfort of sleep. After about 45 minutes of tossing and turning, I heard a cry from Max who happens to be cutting a tooth...

...and I knew.

I knew I was kept up for him. Who woke up in pain and fear, definite low points for a baby.

All he wanted was to be in my arms. He wanted to hear my heart beating close by, to know that he was safe and that a little breast milk would sooth his sore gums.

When I am in my trials sometimes I feel like I have to fight through it and show my warrior status. Take that anxiety! Karate chop to fear! But really all I need is to seek out the arms of the one who knows exactly what I am going through.

Not only are we given low points to reference the high points but trials occur to bring us to Him, to His arms. The arms of the Savior will push out the fear and anxiety and make the pain melt away through His warm, healing embrace.