Wednesday, December 12, 2012

6 real things I love about my real life RIGHT NOW.

(This is decorating the Christmas tree this year. Brandon did NOT like the tinsel, but I put it on anyway.
Then I agreed it looked a little cheap. So we took it off. He wasn't super happy about any of it.)

1. Brandon Johnson. What does a "perfect marriage" look like? Is it two people who always look, act, and feel their very best? Is it a union void of any trials, tests, or turns? I admit my ideas have evolved over the past couple of years. I have learned, even over the short time we have been married, that a successful marriage requires hardships, because that's when a husband and wife have the opportunity to give selflessly and buoy each other. Jesus Christ is perfect love. And when we follow His example, we feel that, especially in the sacred bonds of marriage. Faith, Hope, Charity. We hear about these things all the time, but do we act when it really counts- when it's really hard? Brandon Johnson is my husband. He is my best friend. He is my partner. He is the person I share my most intimate self with and he holds my very fragile heart. And now, he is the father of my children. I love my life with him.

(Liam and Finn)

2. Liam and Finn. I love to hear Liam talk. It is one of the loveliest sounds. The more he grows, the louder the chatter becomes. And I LOVE it. At night, after we feed the boys, we sit in the rocking chairs in the nursery and sing songs to our babies. I love watching Finn try to sing along. It melts my heart. It makes me laugh. It makes B laugh. I love that Finn is almost above 80th percentile in almost all his stats. I love that he is 17 lbs. I love that Liam is 14 lbs. Because that means they are growing. And there were weeks and months when that's all my heart wanted. I wanted big, healthy babies. And that's what I have.

 (Whitney and Joey Rino)

3. I love that I can text my sister at 8:30 am and ask if she watched last night's episode of "Parenthood". I love that we will text back and forth about how many tissues we needed to get through it and how our husbands cry too. Then, our conversation evolves into expressions of love for our family, for our lives, for the goodness that we have been given. I love that we can still laugh at our childhood and agree that we have a good life. I love that she will drop everything to drive to my house so I can sleep for a couple of hours, while she cleans, feeds my babies, and cooks us dinner. I love that our husbands can laugh together. I love that she shares her dreams with me and I with her. I love that she loves my babies.

(T. M. Shaw)

4. I love littlest Chee. She likes to come over and watch Project Runway and I offer her anything in my pantry to eat. Usually she prefers a banana with Nutella. I try and keep Nutella stocked for this very reason. I love that she will automatically go pick up a baby when they start crying. I love that she has similar aspirations that I had at her age and that she stresses about them as much as I did. But, she can do the splits. And is much more popular. And has the best legs and feet in the family. And is more strong-willed than my young 15-year-old self. And I love that.

(Elder saying goodbye.)

5. I love that Elder Shaw is in the MTC. He has been there since November 28th. I miss him, but I know he is in the right place. I received a letter from him yesterday and my heart burst. He is growing up so fast and his testimony of Jesus Christ is so strong. It makes me miss my days as a missionary. It has caused me to have dreams for the past week about being called on another mission. It's weird. I am sad that he won't get to hold my children again until they are about 2 years old, but I am so so happy that he is able to spread the Gospel to people in Mexico. There are few greater experiences than watching an individual or family literally change before your eyes as they accept the teachings of Jesus Christ. (here's a little video of our family saying goodbye.)

(Baby Liam playing with Aunt Diane.)

6. I love that B's Aunt Diane is in town. I could sit and listen to her talk for hours...mostly because I love that eastern accent. I also love hearing her and B's dad talk about their childhood in New York. And I love her love affair with cakes, cookies, and other forms of deliciousness. Last night we met up at City Creek and had dinner. Then we went to Temple Square. What do I love most about Diane? She can laugh. I LOVE laughing. In fact, there were a couple of comments B made to me last night that got me laughing so hard, I almost didn't make it through the door and into the bathroom before wetting my pants. I grew up with a mom who can gut-laugh 'til tears flow down her face.  Some of our greatest memories have to do with laughing. Feeling down? Try laughing. Especially at yourself.


  1. I LOVE this blog post - just like all the other ones! Also, like father like son, Carl hates tinsel too!

  2. Your boys are getting so big and they are stinkin' ADORABLE!!!!