*Are you happy at the moment?
I’d be more inclined to answer this question by saying I am grateful. My emotions, of course, roller coaster from supremely happy to furious, throughout the day, as I try to calm a tantruming two year old, engage in power battles with my four year old, and try to slip past my baby before she sees me and cries out to be held. In other moments my kids fill our home with joy, love and laughter. Looking back it’s a lot easier to remember the wonderful moments than the hard ones.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I might tell her what we have been through, and tell her what she worries most about doesn’t ever happen. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful kids, and these things didn’t come easily. There was a lot of heartbreak getting here, but healing did come and now we are all the better for it.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have learned forgiveness is more about me than it is about anyone else. Feelings of anger and resentment bind you and tear you down inside. Faith is letting go of those feelings, believing that somehow difficult situations will resolve. The resolutions generally take years instead of days and the answers come line upon line. I’ve leaned to be patient when things don’t work out.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I am in those years when the most time consuming thing is my children —the years before they go to school and are just learning to walk and talk and get along with each other. I want to be a good mom this year. My other pursuits are becoming a better writer, photographer and friend; but my kids come first the next 12 months.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Love. Learn to love with your whole heart, no matter how many times you have been hurt! Some relationships bring pure joy and those relationships are worth the work.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Prayer helps me think clearly. Guidance is best when it comes from a higher power. I always like the saying ‘If you don’t stand for anything you will fall for everything.’ My convictions are based in the reality that I have a Heavenly Father who will guide me and direct me. “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9
*What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t have any big regrets, just a lot of little ones. Not inviting a neighbor over for dinner or speaking unkindly about others.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
Love the Lord and be kind to others. Anger and bitterness over things that are out of our power only causes unhappiness. The Lord is our creator, our protector, our Redeemer. Through knowing Him my children will learn love and kindness.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I think I talk too much and don’t listen enough. There are times this can be a great talent. I can make large or small groups of people feel at ease and comfortable. If I talk too much, it doesn’t give other people a chance to shine or feel important. I also do not have the chance to understand where they are coming from.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Not shrinking and becoming angry. Most people my age, 37 years old, have never had to be a caregiver for their husband after a stroke. To find a way to help him, raise children and provide for them has its challenges. At times I have been tempted to give up, but I didn’t give into despair. I hope I can always be as resilient.
*When were you happiest?
There isn’t just one time, I’m happy: whenever I am on a date with my husband; whenever we take our kids hiking or biking or swimming; before I was married at 30 it was whenever I took trips with my best friends; or spent time with my parents and siblings. I am happiest when my relationships are going well.
*What ten words best describe you?
Bubbly, friendly, driven, impatient, tired, thoughtful, well read, compassionate, concerned, and occasionally depressed.
I had 23 in mind for a good age to be married. My 23rd year came and went without any prince charming. One by one my close friends found their forever companion, and before I knew it I was hurt and hopeless. Somewhere in my late 20’s I picked myself up off the ground, and found out I was my own best friend. I kept looking for Prince Charming, however, and he came when I was 28. We were in love and I was going to move to Ohio to be by his side while he finished medical school. Those plans however didn’t pan out. My doctor got cold feet. Then a year later, during his medical residency, he had a massive stroke and returned to Utah. I helped to rehabilitate him and we were married December 2008. Meanwhile, he and I have fought some hard battles. The past six years we have been trying to get him back to where he was.
Since getting married we have had three children. I found a dream job working from home. I interview moms across the country about their experiences and the ways they find solutions in their complicated childcare situations. I love writing for Go Au Pair. My husband meanwhile, is doing much better and while he hasn’t gone back to practice medicine he is working in Health Information Management.