Friday, October 26, 2012

The songs I cannot sing (The Rickards part 2)

This is in Verona.  Last Monday before my good friend Karla left, we had a girls day out.  We went to see Verona and then Venice.  The whole time we kept pinching ourselves and saying how great it was that we were in Italy, in Verona, in Venice, eating gelato, drinking/eating hot chocolate...

 This is a view froma castle on the side of the hill.  This was the first city that I served in on my mission and it still brings back good memories.

 We also had to die for hot chocolate.  First hot chocolate that I've chewed!  It really was that thick, and delicious!
 Another castle...

 In Venice wandering the back streets.

 Streets so narrow that I could touch with my elbows!
 Izzy held up like a champ even though I think she's teething with more molars (don't know where they're going to fit in that mouth!).
Just thinking and reflecting on my visit now that Karla and Brad are back in Utah and enjoying a little snow. :)  I remember right before we left, Paolo and I went to listen to what's called general conference by my church.  It's where our prophet and apostles talk to us.  There was one particular talk that touched on my frazzled nerves and spoke peace to me while I was in the midst of turmoil.  Quentin L. Cook gave a talk called "The Songs They Could Not Sing".

Before leaving and moving to Italy I was having sadness over thinking of all the things, meaning people, that I would leave behind.  It made me so sad to think I didn't know when I would see, hug, look in the eyes, smile at, laugh with, etc. all of those that I loved so dear.  When I listened to this talk Elder Cook spoke to my fears and my heart reassuring me that even though life is hard, and unfair, and you don't understand why everything has to happen a certain way, that it would be all ok in the end.  There is a Savior Jesus Christ that will make sure that nothing that is deserved or fair or wonderful in life will be taken away forever from those that love Him.  He can give us back and make up for all those things we feel we've lost.  "And Jesus listening can hear the songs I cannot sing".

I feel like my time with Karla and Brad was a gift.  Some of those unsung songs have now been sung.  I've been given a gift by my creator, and I feel so grateful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

part 1 of 2 with the Rickards

Station in Prato
 We loved having Karla and Brad for the few days that we did!  They spoiled our kids, but even better they spoiled us with their presence.  Life's about loving and lifting other, and I feel loved and lifted by this great family.  I'm so glad they spent a lot of money to come and visit!
self-portrait in Lucca
We did some crazy traveling down to Lucca and back.  It's a beautiful city in the Tuscany, and a long train ride too. :)  We were worn out but happy by the end of our long day of travels.

 Lucca has the whole city wall in tact and there's a beautiful walk all around the city where you can ride your bike and go through a canopy of trees.  This picture isn't the best, but oh well.  I enjoyed the company.
 Enjoying our pizza and gelato.

Open market in Bologna, kids in melt down
 On Saturday after they took a trip to Parma, we went to the open market.  My kids were in melt down and were pretty terrible.  Thank you Karla and Brad for babysitting and letting me grab a few things!
gelato at Gianni's
 My favorite gelateria is Gianni's.  It's got really, really good gelato (ice cream).

Hip hip hooray for the Rickards in Bologna!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 Karla and Brad, some of the people that I love with all my heart on the face of this planet.  And now they're on this side of planet earth, and I feel so lucky!  Sorry guys, but this picture was after well over 24 hours of traveling.
 It was better than Christmas when they came.  Thank you to all who helped get ready those presents/much wanted items from home.  Aaron wanted to be a fire fighter for Halloween.
 Isabel got this ADORABLE outfit.
 And Jordan seriously looooooooooooved his Spiderman outfit!

 Christmas, but even better!
And this is a sneak peak of a few strips of a quilt I'm hoping to get done before Karla goes home.  I'm wanting it to go to a friend, but I really don't think it's going to make it time.  It's seriously taken me forever to work on it.  I'll cross my fingers!

We're off to sight seeing and I'll be busy for the next few days.

Friday, October 12, 2012

In slow motion

These were our silly faces at the end of the day.  I didn't get pictures of what I wanted to remember today, but I wanted to remember today, so I took these pictures.

Most days of being a mother are filled with stress, exhaustion, teaching, some stern voice using, gasps of wow, expressions of how great your children are.  I have a lot of arguing and convincing Aaron to try something new (stressing).  I have lots of tragedy end-of-the-world moments with Jordan, and non-stop chasing after Isabel.  Sometimes I feel like I might be getting high blood pressure.

But there are times when I LOVE BEING A MOM!  It feels like there are moments that go almost in slow motion and nothing could be so fun, and so sweet, and so rewarding as a being a mom.  I had multiple of those moments yesterday.  They don't last for long, and not that often, but they're so sweet, it keeps me going.

Jordan is my silly boy.  He makes funny faces.  He's 100% Irish and has the reactions/temperament of one.  In all honesty he's turning a reddish blonde, so maybe I can blame it on the red-headedness in him. He got all out of place when I tried to suggest a more effecient way to use the scissors.  It just made me laugh.  Then he volunteered to say the pray on the food at dinner and announced that now he was going to say a really LONG prayer.  And he did.  Hope that I never forget it.

I had a rare moment of being alone while picking up Aaron from school and walking home.  He held my hand the whole way home.  Melt my heart.  His sensory issues don't always appreciate the long skin contact.  Then as we were walking I told him how happy it made me feel to have him hold my hand and just talk together.  I asked him to look at my face so that he could see what my face looks like when it's this happy.  In slow motion he turned his head towards me and got the widest, most sincere grin on his face and looked at me in the eyes.  It was only brief eye contact, but Aaron gave me a gift!  Then we rounded the corner and we stopped to smell some roses.  Aaron surprised by the good smell announced "it's like honey!"  Honey is his very favorite food.

And Isabel was about as cute as she's ever gotten.  We were at the top of our little road that is closed in by a gait.  She loves the challenge of stairs, and learned that she loved the challenge of learning to walk up and down a steep incline.  She'd walk from me to the gate.  Jangle the gait and then come running at me with a big toothy grin and laughing.  It was slow motion sweetness.  It almost made me ache with how much I loved her smile and laugh.

I hope that when I die and get to meet my maker, he'll give me the gift of seeing again in slow motion the sweetness of those moments.

Alas, it doesn't last forever and we went back to the march of life this morning.  Still grateful for the after taste of goodness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trip to Rome

 Yesterday some of our very good friends arrived in Rome.  They are headed on a cruise and will come up in a week to see us.  I went down to Rome welcome them to the mother land.  It was a long day, but we made it.  Isabel only slept about 30 minutes on the train ride down.  After that it was chasing after a busy toddler all day.

I also had the added bonus of meeting a friend, Jenna, that lives in Rome.  She road the train into down town and we met and had lunch together.  It was good all around to see friends!

I must give a note of thanks to my sweet husband that took care of the boys all afternoon, put them to bed, and then came and got me late from the train station when he had to get up 3 hours later to go to work.

 Isabel was a good sport despite our long travels.  Thank heavens for an easy baby!
 Welcome Karla and Brad.  Unfortunately only the bag with presents for us made it, and the rest of their bags stayed in the states.  Lucky me, poor them.  Supposedly their bags will get here this morning before they embark on their cruise.
I did shed a tear or two, but was able to keep in control.  I had to leave about 30 minutes after I saw them in order to get all of the connecting trains home.  Made it home safe and tired, and happy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

sick but better now

 This last week we had our first round of being sick after starting school.  Aaron had a high fever (102) and was vomiting.  This kid that can't slow down did nothing but lay on the couch or throw up for 2.5 days. It was 3 days of movie marathon.  Then the morning that he started to feel better he woke up and asked if he could eat cheese and salame.  I'd say he felt better.  Jordan had a low grade fever for an afternoon, and so far it was only Aaron that had the pukes.  Thank goodness they didn't get Isabel sick.

Since my kids get very little TV time every day, we're needing to detox from the TV.  Aaron for the next two days when I told him he needed to get ready for school would lay on the couch and say his tummy hurt and that he wanted to watch TV.  Nice try bud.