ten thoughts on a wednesday |29|

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one.
baby boy is moving around like craaaazy these days and I love feeling him move more than most anything in the world. it is still so surreal to me that we are having another baby (and that it’s a boy!). it’s all so different in lots of ways the second time around. one of my goals this week is to take some “bump pictures” because i don’t even have one photo to show this little guy what it looked like when he was in mom’s belly. #secondchildproblems? 

two.
i’ve been feeling so far away from family and life-long friends the past few weeks. i think the cold, darkness, surgery, sickness and general drag of january just brought to the surface the “homesickness” that is usually buried under lots of awesomeness in my heart. my sisters and mom got together for a weekend in california and i just had to lay in bed crying about that for a little while. a close old friend is getting married in utah and many of my family members are gathering in arizona this weekend. it just sucks to miss out on this stuff. i love, love, love living in london and i really feel like my life here is incredibly wonderful - but being far away from loved ones is difficult. 
today after running some morning errands, i was surprised to see a package addressed to moses in the mail pile! it was a padded envelope full of valentine’s goodies from my sister shawni. opening this up with little mo honestly made me cry. it just meant so much to me that my sister and nieces would go through the effort of sending it to us. these kinds of tiny happy things make the feeling-so-far-away experience soooo much easier. 

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three.
while ian was away on a work trip last week, i ended up reading a bunch of old blog posts and emails (it is legitimately hard for me to fall asleep when he’s not next to me, as silly as that sounds!). i think it’s so important to go back and reflect on the past occasionally. by the time ian got home late on thursday night, i was ready to just smother him with cuddles and kisses and never let go, feeling so grateful for him and our love story and that we have each other forever. there is valuable perspective that comes from the past - and the present, and the future. 

four.
parenting is so much trial and error. ian and i have realized this past week that we needed to course correct on something and that has been kind of painful in a unique way. it’s overwhelming to think about the responsibility of raising a human being (let alone multiple human beings…) but i guess all you can do is your best - just keep trying and reworking and messing up and making up. 

five.
ian takes moses on a “daddy date” at least once a month, and this past saturday - after realizing they wouldn’t make it to the imperial war museum with much time to explore before mo’s nap - they went to burger king. haha ... moses’s first experience at a legit american fast food chain. ian snapped these photos and it looks like they had a blast :) 

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six.
in a class at church the other week, the teacher shared the marriage advice her grandmother gave her just before the wedding. and this was it: james 3. when the bride pushed grandma to elaborate or provide any sage council beyond that, grandma insisted that was all she had to say. 
govern the tongue. shew out of a good conversation your works with meekness of wisdom. 

seven.
bawled through the episode of this is us that i watched a couple days ago. if you watch the series, you know what i’m talking about (and if you don’t, you should! i hardly ever get into tv shows, but this one is seriously moving, inspiring, uplifting, wonderful - i love it). after it was over i immediately sent ian a text that said “i love you sooooo much and you can never, ever die!!!” life, and especially family life, is so very precious. watching something like that just makes you want to hold on to it all so tightly and well. 

eight.
i had the opportunity to speak in church two weeks in a row (with two different congregations). i gave essentially the same talk both times, because i really felt impressed that the topic was an important one for all to ponder. i spoke about becoming like a little child, as christ and his prophets repeatedly admonish. in the two and half years we have lived in london, i’ve gained a lot of close experience with children - becoming a mom and working in primary at church … and through that time with babies and kids i have learned so much about jesus and about finding joy. in my talk i mentioned the following qualities that i’ve noticed in children that help me to understand why we’ve been counseled to be like them:
—— simplicity / innate, easy love for jesus and for others / spontaneous delight and wonder / believing hearts / curiosity, observation and love of learning / friendliness without bias or judgment; willingness to show love without inhibitions / forgiveness and lack of holding grudges / imagination and a belief that anything is possible —— 

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nine.
i’ve found that the quality of my days - the likelihood that i would say it was a great day - is pretty much directly proportional to how much time i spend looking at my phone. i am really focusing on mindful use of screens lately. 

ten.
several blog commenters mentioned that they enjoyed the post i published about my normal days recently. that made me wonder if there are any specific topics you all out there in cyberspace would enjoy or appreciate me exploring on this blog (or just stuff that would satisfy any curiosity…?). leave me a comment here and let me know. 

happy wednesday! life is beautiful. 
{artwork by caitlin connolly}

34 comments:

  1. Charity-your thoughts on perspective and attitude making a difference, combined with your closing line "Life is beautiful" remind me of the movie by the same name "Life is Beautiful". Have you seen it? If not, you should! Talk about perspective and attitude making all the difference. It's a sweetly sad movie but inspiring just the same! Happy Wednesday to you and your sweet family!

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    1. yes, i've seen it! it's a really moving film.

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  2. I would love to see a tour of your new flat! I also love "normal days" type of posts.

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    1. I second this! I love to see what "life" and "home" look like for others!

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    2. Yes please, some photos of the new place.

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    3. we still very much feel like we are just moving in! hardly anything on the walls, waiting for our couch to arrive, wanting to make the nursery a bit cute for the boys ... but when things are all set up (my goal is by the time baby brother arrives!) i will definitely post some pictures :)

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  3. I enjoy your marriage posts. And a day in the life of Mo :). Any faith struggles you've had would be interesting to read about.

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  4. I would like to hear about what things/customs seem so strange in London. Also what you miss the most from the USA (not counting family). What are some things you think the US should adopt from England? Not big political stuff - just everyday things.

    We were an Air Force family, and were stationed in Germany 30 years ago. We lived on a US military base, but it was still so different. Our youngest was only 2. He was 6 when we came back home, and he found life very frustrating from what he was used to!
    When we were there, there was no internet, no cell phones, not even 800 numbers. I used to miss my family and my country so badly, I could literally feel it in my body. When I would hear of family celebrations, I would cry. My dad would put on a cassette tape player on Christmas morning in Utah, and then send the tape to me. The others didn't know they were being taped, and those tapes were like gold to me. I'd listen to them while walking each evening, on a Walkman!!
    But, I often miss things - even after all this time - about Germany. One of them is the smell of the forest in early spring. I used to just stand there and breathe so deeply, so I could remember the smell. *sigh* Now, I don't remember the smell itself, but I remember how wonderful it was.

    Laura

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    1. Love this... thanks for sharing!

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  5. These 10 thoughts posts are absolutely my favorites!! You have such neat ideas and tidbits to share. I told my husband while watching This Is Us that he canNOT die until we are both really old. Gosh, such a great show!

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  6. Nr. 9: YES! And yet I fail daily.
    Nr. 10: I haven't posted a comment on your normal days post, but meant to second the notion that your day seems very productive (and kudos to Ian for starting to study that late after such a long day). Which leads me to my first question: Does your day have more hours than mine? More serious, do you have tips für being productive (other readers' comments might be interesting as well).

    A while back you've mentioned your one big regret being not really working in your field of study (or something like that) and that you questioned your faith several times (I don't remember your exact words). I would be interested if you explained a little more.

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    1. “Number” wird so abgekürzt: “No.” oder einfach “#”

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  7. I love to read about your faith, as an LDS investigator! But I also just love your blog, in general!

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  8. Ooh, I know you had mentioned awhile ago about wanting to step up your make up game. I would love to hear about any products you like. I wear NO makeup and I don’t even know where to start. (Roughly same age/life stage as you.) —Marissa

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    1. i am sad to say my game has not been stepped up, ha! i hardly wear any makeup and have so much to learn about that whole world. i'll keep you posted if (when??) i get around to investing a bit more in makeup...

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  9. Charity: Hopefully your days brighten in every way. I love your spring photos. What is your three-day-visit-must-dos-in-London list? What do you do to pull your mood up, when you feel down (like a numbered list)?

    Thank you for your words! I look forward to reading your blog whenever you post! You are doing amazing things!--Melanie

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  10. Please do a post of your new flat. I bet loads of us would love that.

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    1. Also, possibly some tips on reading The Book of Mormon.

      I want to start reading it again but keep losing my concentration with it. (I can't do heavy doctrine etc)

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  11. As a Mom to a little guy around Mo’s age, I would love any parenting advice. You mentioned something in this post but it was vague. How do you deal with the challenging/defiant behavior? What about when they get so frustrated because they can’t do something themselves? Or have a little meltdown because you said “no” or won’t give them something they want? Does Mo prefer one parent over the other and if so, how do you handle those moments? You get the idea... thanks. :)

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    1. Agreed. I'd love for you to flesh out what you alluded to in #4. I love thinking about/ talking about/ reading aboutaparenting!

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    2. oh gosh, i feel like i am so so unqualified to offer parenting advice, ha! but then i think about how much i love to learn from *any* mom, not just really experienced ones. i'll do a post about this soon!

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  12. I just love your blog. Some ideas for posts....recipes you make regularly, how you stay in shape physically and mentally, parenting tip with toddler. how you decide which trips to take.

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  13. Like others, I would learn to hear more about times you have questioned your faith or specific frustrations with LDS culture. I would also love to hear more about specific issues that have come in up your relationship - the details of things you disagree on. Rather than being vague, it would be nice to hear some concrete examples. I love hearing about how other couples work through disagreements - it gives me good ideas for conflict resolution in my own relationship! You have such a lovely and thoughtful way of describing your thought processes, so I love reading your posts about the difficult stuff :)

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  14. Love your 10 thoughts posts! I would be interested in what you miss about the US (is it just what you can get in the grocery store? Is it a particular place? Restaurants? Activities?). I enjoy your updates about Moses at milestones. How about an update regarding your pregnancy like that (or comparing how it is to the last time)? I am also interested in how you and Ian plan out your vacations - how you decide location, dates, activities, etc.

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  15. I love your ten thoughts posts. I look forward to them. I am also interested in more about your life as an expat, my husband and I are relocating to nNew Zealand in May (provided our visa go through). I really enjoy all of your London posts.

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  16. Would love to hear roughly how you organize your finances - no need to share specific numbers or anything, but how do you budget? How do you track spending, how do you decide where your savings go (investments, savings accounts, travel, etc). How did you meld two finances into one when you got married?

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    1. I would love to hear more about finances and budgeting as well. I follow a lot of what your parents and Shawni have taught, but am curious about Ian and you since this is his knowledgeable area.
      Jamie Noto

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  17. I'm curious about your plans for returning to school and work.

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  18. Me too! �� I am going back to school this year as well ��

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  19. Please tell me who the artist of the first sketch is? Thank you

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  21. I love your normal days/routine type posts, and also your "ten thoughts" posts. Both of these types of posts highlight the sacredness of the everyday, and it's just so fun to catch a glimpse into another person's life. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

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