Making Family

It’s really hard to live so far away from our families. Andy’s are in Texas and Hawaii, my family is in Utah– all six of my siblings and their families and my parents. I’ve gotten “used” to it for the most part, but holidays make the distance a little more obvious. That being said, Andy and I have learned how to “make family.” While there’s no real replacement for our immediate family, we have made some dear friends that feel as comfortable as family. They’ve helped us through some pretty difficult times and we them. It’s a testament to me of the power of unity and belonging. Often on my mission I would hear people’s reasons for not listening to our message because they were already “spiritual” people and didn’t need church. While I do believe that our relationship with our Savior is deeply personal, I have learned through experience that that relationship is best cultivated through belonging to His church with all that entails. This past general conference D. Todd Christoferson gave a talk called, “The Doctrine of Belonging.” He states that belonging includes 1)taking a role of belonging in gathering the Lord’s covenant people. This can be done through accepting and fulfilling assignments the Lord gives us either by the spirit or from a church leader. I have made my dearest friends from service in the church. Which plays into the second principle of belonging: the importance of service and sacrifice. Even in my marriage, the more I give, the more I feel I receive. And finally, the most fundamentally important principle of belonging: the centrality of Jesus Christ. The belief we have in the savior brings a foundation of understanding, forgiveness, and charity into all of my relationships: in my marriage, with my friends (even those who aren’t members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), my children, and my eternal extended family.

This past week was filled with fun. Andy and I were able to go to “Annie” the broadway musical at Evans Town Center. It was phenomenal. The actress who played Annie had a voice that resonated through throughout the theater. The play left me smiling. It was so uplifting!

Saturday we met three different families at Steed’s Dairy. There were supposed to be four, but they had been hit by the flu that has been making its way around. The Woods (who are going through orthopedic residency), the Rogers (in our ward and assistant Football coach to Andy AND just moved closer to us into our neighborhood!), and the Deharts who moved into our neighborhood this summer. We love them all and they get along so well with our kids.

We stayed for four hours, but if we had let the kids decide, we would’ve been there till it closed. Harvey visited the petting zoo at the farm as often as we were willing to walk over to that side of the farm. He had to say hi to all the animals and give them little pats on the head. He even scolded the chickens when they tried to peck at his hands. Sunday morning he was not happy to discover that we were not returning to the farm. He is now insisting we go visit Papa’s farm, though I’m not sure when we’ll have time to do that next.

Beverly and Harvey’s school pictures came this week. They’re pretty darn cute in my opinion. This was the only proof they had where Harvey was smiling.

Beverly got to show me her latest Halloween dance at ballet this week. She is very graceful and really enjoys going to ballet every Saturday morning.

Wednesday evening we had a football game for Max and while we were there I got a text from our Nextdoor neighbor. Afton and split open her chin. Lindsay tried to keep a bandaid on it, but it wouldn’t stay and the cut was pretty wide. Andy recommended she take her in (his supplies for suturing had run out due to a previous ward member needing some stitches). When Andy finished coaching, he checked the hospital’s staff schedule and realized that he should probably go in and help because it wasn’t someone he trusted to handle Afton’s face. Our neighbor’s were even more grateful because it meant they weren’t in the ER all night long since it was so packed. Afton was very proud of his stitching job and showed it off to all of the teachers at preschool the next morning. I think she felt pretty special to have her own personal doctor take care of her at the ER and Andy was happy because Afton has finally conceded that indeed, he is a real doctor.

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