We had the lovely opportunity this Christmas of spending lots of time with lots of family. We spent a week in Edmonton with my family, then a week in Castlegar with Dave's. Over that time I was taken aback - over and over again - by the wonderful women I have in my life - the wonderful women I have in my family.
I don't know why we do it, but way too often, as women, it's our first instinct to compare ourselves to other people, and feel resentment because of it. I had this beautifully liberating experience today as I reflected on my beautiful sisters, and recognized that their strengths don't make me weak. In fact, their strengths can strengthen me. What a thought! After reflecting on them and how much I adore them, as well as feeling like I'm ready, in this new year, to make some changes in my life, I've decided that my sisters are just the inspiration I needed to step up and take control of a few things.
And so, to my beautiful, strong, empathetic, patient and sweet sister in law Lauren, I say Thank you. Thank you for your quiet words, and adorable giggles. Thank you for being such an amazing example to me of hard work and determination. Thank you for being one of the most positive people I've ever met; for making really hard situations seem doable, maybe even enjoyable. Thank you for your testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. You amaze me. Because of you, I want to work this year on my own relationship with my Savior. I want to invite him more fully into my heart and life. I want my scripture study to be more consistent and my prayers to be more fervent. I want to share with you in your conviction of our Redeemer.
To my darling, sister in law, Laura- with your perfect skin and gorgeous hair. With your dance moves that put the rest of us to shame, your style, your creative spirit, your no nonsense attitude towards things. I thank you, my sweet friend, for your ability to get 'er done. No questions asked. I was overwhelmed with admiration for you this Christmas. You know your needs and the needs of your boys and you set out to meet them unapologetically. You press on with faith, with hope, with grace. You set goals, and you work to meet them. You make quiche that tastes like rainbow's tears and angel's breath. You dip things in chocolate and make cookies that taste like flowers. You don't doddle around a subject - you address it. You inspire me to want to set goals, and look at how I'm going to accomplish them instead of why they aren't going to work. You make me want to be a better friend, a better mom, a better cook, and a better steward of this planet. You make me want to stop asking how or why or when. You make me want to do it. This year, I am going to cook. I am going to look for recipes and make them. For years I felt this looming sense of failure hanging over my head with each and every meal I make. Because of you I'm kicking that to the curb. I'm learning to cook this year.
To Bonny. The most practical human being I have ever met. So generous and thoughtful, so kind hearted and sweet. So adventurous and loving. So organized, so tidy, so clean. So. Clean. The smile on your face, at the skating rink, when we stepped on the ice with 10 kids in tow will forever more be how I think of you. You are so good at keeping things simple, at stripping away the useless, and making an experience out of the basics. I really just love being around you. After spending almost a week at your house I came home wanting to purge my house of all the excess. I want to declutter. I want to take my kids on adventures and find happiness with them without the trap of consumerism sneaking its way into our days. I want to stop buying junk and eating junk and saving junk. I want to feel content and at peace within my home. The way I feel in yours.
There are more. My amazing sister Amie - the most inspiring human and mother I've ever known. Shannon, who oozes creativity and ingenuity. Nicole, the most single minded, open hearted lady I've ever met. Janelle, who knows her needs and speaks her mind. My mom, my mother in law, and my other mother in law. I am so blessed to have so many women in my life that I adore. So many women that inspire me to be better. Women that strengthen me and give me hope.
In conversations, lately, about who we would ask to care for our babies if something were to happen to us, we have come to no conclusion. I feel awful admitting that we don't have a plan for this, but we are in the unique situation of not being able to decide between too many wonderful people. We know that if we were gone, our families would be there. To take care of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our 3 sweet babes. We know some are better suited to care for a wildly emotional 4 year old boy. Some are more well off financially. Some are better at connecting to a certain unapproachably sassy 2 year old. Some will keep them connected to this island I love so much. Some will be better at keeping them connected to both sides of the family. But all of them. ALL OF THEM, would love our children. All of them would do all that they could to shelter them and nurture them and share their wonderful gifts with them.
These thoughts took a turn I wasn't expecting, but I suppose I went there because I want to share that ultimately I admire these women because they have qualities that I would love my children's mother to have. And if knowing them makes it possible for me to become like them in any way, then I and my children are very blessed indeed. I am so grateful to know these beautiful women and to have them in my life.