Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Faith Rooted in Optimism and Tears

Brian Kershisnik, Thorn and Sparrows, Found here

Last night, I filled up my old journal. Tonight I will begin a new one. 

After writing my final words in that volume, I flipped back through and reminisced about the last 9 months of my life - my worries when having to decide between my missionary and Brandon, how I decided that he was the one, our engagement, our wedding, our first 5 months of marriage.

I've been sick for the past 6 weeks, and I'm not sure why. (And to nip any rumors in the bud, no, I'm definitely not pregnant.) Although I get enough sleep and take my multi-vitamins, I'm tired all the time. I often have dizziness, migraines, and difficulty concentrating. We've been to the doctor and found out that I'm not anemic, diabetic, or a victim of thyroid problems. He prescribed some medication about a week ago, and it's been helping, but I'm certainly not back to normal yet. 

As I read through my old journal entries, I missed my old self. I missed the girl who was able to handle 12-hour school days with a smile on her face. I missed the girl who was so happy and bubbly all the time. I missed the girl who found everything about life to be so exciting. My body has forced me to slow down, and in some ways, I've lost a part of myself. 

In my prayers tonight, I asked God to help me bring back the old, energetic me. Instead, He answered, You don't have to be her. 

Yes, my body has forced me to slow down, and my spirit has slowed down with it. I've lost a lot of my energy and enthusiasm, but I've gained something in return. 

I'm more content with my place in the world. I find more satisfaction in my relationships. I cherish the temple more. I'm driven to my knees more often. I talk to my mother more frequently. I think more deeply and creatively. I'm more content to observe than to join in the action. I have a more eternal perspective. 

I have a better relationship with my husband. I have a better relationship with my family. I have a better relationship with myself. I have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

This trial has been painful, both physically and emotionally - but I am better for it. I feel like it is helping me to grow up. 

As Melissa Young wrote,  "I’m finding that my faith is rooted in both optimism and tears."

Monday, July 18, 2011

I finally feel like an aunt.

When we first got engaged, one of the things I was excited about was becoming an aunt. As the oldest kid in my family, I had no nieces or nephews, and when I married Brandon I suddenly got 10 1/2 (the eleventh was born about a month after our wedding day). It's been a bit of a challenge learning how to relate to that many kids and how to show them love. For the most part, I've felt like I've just been pretending, but this weekend at our family reunion, I finally felt like an aunt.

We had a blast driving up with Benson, Adi, and their dad Nephi. When we pulled up in the driveway, they were all ready with their backpacks, sleeping bags, water bottles, and aviators. "Bwandon and Dasha! We going camping!" Benson cried. They were pretty excited.

Who can resist Bensie?

Our reunion was in gorgeous Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton Girls' Camp, which has been run by the LDS church for 90 years. I love going up into the mountains and being surrounded my streams, trees, rocks, and dirt. Something about it awakens a part of my soul that is left dormant by suburban life. When I'm in the mountains, I feel like I'm truly myself.

From our hike around Silver Lake

But my favorite part of the reunion was seeing the love everyone had for each other. I didn't know the extended family very well, but they all treated me with such kindness and welcomed me with open arms. There were no cliques, no fighting, no put-downs, nobody left out. Everyone took care of each other, from the grandparents right down to the little kids. It was heaven on earth.

I had so much fun making bracelets, tie-dying t-shirts, hiking, and sitting around the campfire with my sweet nieces and nephews. I loved getting to help the kids with their crafts and the conversations we had as we worked side by side. Something about working together really helps you bond. Even little Ezra, who has always been shy around me before, opened up as we painted rocks together. I feel like I know the temperament of each child in the family now - Lauryn is bubbly and outgoing, Adri is graceful and introverted, Benson and Adi are sweet and easygoing. I feel like I am finding my place in the family, and that I really belong. I feel loved and accepted - and isn't that what family is all about?

Little Pierce, or "Baby Bierce" as he's been dubbed by Benson

Adri's face when Brandon claimed the bunk next to mine

Benson putting on sunscreen

My new favorite photo of us

I'm so glad that I found sweet Brandon who added me to this sweet family who loves me as much as my own. I feel so blessed to belong to 3 wonderful families - mine, my husband's and the one we will create together. I don't think that I could be any luckier. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


I'm not easily provoked, but when somebody hurts a family member of mine, I get pretty mad. Introverts are fiercely loyal, and I am no exception.

Well, someone has recently disappointed and been unkind to someone who I dearly love, and I am less than  happy about it. There are so many things I wish I could say to them, but I know that they are better left unsaid. This song helps me feel better when those angry thoughts come to mind.

I love this song because it helps me remember that this incident isn't the end of the world. This person's rudeness doesn't change my family member's sweet, glorious, brilliant spirit. Meanness hurts, but we don't have to let it stop us.

I'll be less upset in a day or two, but for now I'm letting T-Swift help me get out my anger. Banjo music is some good stuff.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Overheard at the Moons': Benson

Benson at our wedding
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Benson is the cutest member of our family. Hands down. We got to spend some time with the extended Moon family this weekend, and our 3-year-old nephew kept us in stitches. Here are some of the things he did to make us laugh. 

We were up in the mountains visiting a ranch, and the kiddos had fun riding horses. Poor Benson fell off and got a boo boo on his head. We asked him about it later on.
Me: "Did you get a boo boo?"
Benson: "Yeah...I got it..."
Brandon: "On the horse?"
Benson: "No, [points a finger in the air] on the ground!"

Being an introvert, Benson often gets overwhelmed by all the people at family gatherings. He finds solace in playing games on his dad's smartphone. But when the phone died, he got a little bit frustrated. 
Benson: "I want to go back!"
Me: "Oh no, the phone is dead."
Benson: "No, it's not."
Me: "Yeah, it ran out of battery juice. We need to charge it."
Benson: [laughing] "It's not juice!"

But the best part was when Benson's dad was trying to get him to pee on a tree. He was not easily convinced, but when Brandon agreed to go with him, Benson finally decided it was a good idea. But poor Benson didn't have any of his own juice, and burst into tears when he realized that his manly tree-peeing dreams were not going to come true that day. 

Sorry buddy. Better luck next time. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"The influence of art is so powerful in shaping our lives for a higher appreciation of the creations of our God. We should be as eager for its companionship as we are for food to sustain our lives, for it has as important a mission in shaping our character and in conducting to our happiness as anything we term necessities. Life is incomplete without it.
-John Hafen

(Thanks Ee Chien for this quote!)

Monday, July 4, 2011

State Mottos

I just discovered the State Mottos Project, which commissioned an artist from each state to illustrate their state's motto. The artwork is amazing, but the state mottos are so beautiful and uplifting themselves. I wish we all knew them and tried harder to live by them. 

Here are my three favorite. Enjoy, and happy Independence Day!

Connecticut, by Meg Hunt
Rhode Island, by the MVA

Hawaii, by Berton Hasbe