I love that it is Easter.
And I love my family.
I love my husband.
I love my Savior.
Life is great.
Five beautiful children.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My relationship with Jesus Christ.
My life is full.
Aunt Sharon just went home. We had such a great time with her! She made me get out of the house nearly every day she was here. The zoo, volleyball and going out in the country for a photoshoot, were all highlights. Here are some pictures of the zoo!
The peacocks followed Ang...she wasn't sure how she felt about that.
Josh and Aunt Sharon!
This frog was looking at us for a while too. I was feeling a real connection to all of these animals and it was just so much fun!
The lighted ceiling before entering the reptile place. The artwork is beautiful there!
Little orange froggies
My little girls are growing up! They look and act like they are the same age-best of friends.
I LOVED this guy!
Sharon and me
Posing for me!
He started out far away, swam right up to me and just sat there staring at me for a long time.
An orangutane~climbing down from the post after standing up straight, showing off.
Beauty is the love I feel for my husband who is many miles away. Beauty is the pride I feel, when my son invites his younger sister to play Beauty is the warmth of the sun on my face A genuine smile when I'm feeling out of place Beauty is the quiet solitude following a storm-filled day~ a rainbow peeking out, an ounce of hope that is hoped will stay Beauty is the soothing comfort I feel from angels' hands When life seems impossible, and no one understands. Beauty is a child's words of encouragement and love Tears of exhaustion begin to fall...a quiet thought, kindness from above Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I've heard it said before To me the greatest beauty, is found in one's existence Have I forgiven and let go...or am I secretly keeping score?
Whater we define, who we choose to become may appear simple minded to not all, but to some
Greater love hath no man than he who lays it down for another Perhaps I should treat those around as my only brother... And let them know that there is a way to overcome Beauty is the power that comes from only One
The power to keep focus on what is real and what is not the ability to see beyond that which is all too often sought
Beauty is what I become as I give my life to Him. Transcending above and beyond the ever present dim. It is the transforming grace from which true love is made That thing called faith which allows us to 'be not afraid'
He lives, He lives, I can't help but cry...from the depths of my soul I will not deny He loves, He loves each one of us, personally, graciously Someday we will understand just how much, emphatically
Beauty is what you are made of~so what on earth are you afraid of? Let it out, let it free...it is what you're meant to be
Get on your knees and ask Him who knows-He from which morning glory grows. If you do, you'll know soon enough, that you are made of all the right stuff. Keep looking ahead, walk forward alone It is you for whom the Master of all beauty has Atoned
I think that all of us stay-at-home Mom's especially ought to record a typical day of what we do-just to give those who have never experienced it an idea so that there isn't so much curiosity as to invoke the question "What do you do all day?"
So, here is my Sunday...and it would have to start at midnight, right?
Well, between midnight and six am, I was up four times nursing my three-month-old son, and changing his diaper, covering my other four kids with blankets, and asking my husband if he was going to get any sleep. That was after a Saturday of doing everything for my children while he watched shows on his computer. About six-thirty am is when the kids began waking up. I immediately started getting everyone ready for morning church. Told my eight-year old to get in the shower-a few times, until I yelled it. Then he listened. Filled up the tub for my two little girls (two and four)-while of course, holding and taking care of my baby who often has tummy aches to work through.
Told six-year-old to get in shower as well. She complained and asked if she could take a bath. Sure-but only if she promised to wet and start washing her hair right away. She did.
Shower was getting cold already-eight-year-old got out into the tub and I got a cool shower-washed my hair and body quickly as I could because it was cold all the while talking the two through washing their hair.
Got out, got dried and dressed. Helped six-year-old with conditioner because it is thick and long. Time to get out and get dressed. Eight and six-year old get dressed without too much complaining. Time to bath little girls. I get them in, wash their hair and tell them they can play for ten minutes. Baby is fussing, so I go and nurse him and change his diaper again.
I get the first little girl out and get her dressed then give her a comb to comb her hair. Second girl out-get her dressed-and tell the eight-year-old to get a tie or vest on. He comes back for a second time saying he can't find it. By this time I am down washing out clean bowls because I never did wash the dishes yesterday...(too busy getting everyone to help put away three loads of laundry after folding them, and directing kids to clean up living room floor all while comforting a sick baby)~so holding baby, I wash bowls and spoons out by hand in a really messy kitchen. I pour four bowls of cereal-and milk, two year old cries that she wants regular milk, I tell her regular milk will make her ear more owie (she was complaining in bath about her ear hurting). So she is okay with almond kind.
I sit them all down to eat while I brush their hair and hold the baby. After they are done eating, I ask the oldest to put in a sunday movie so I can do the girl's hair after they all get their shoes on.
I do a quick hair do on the six-year-old (most hair by far)-then four-year-old, in between blow drying my own hair. Ask her to please go get baby some clothes in changing table drawer. Baby needs another diaper change. Time to go.
I still need my shoes on-and some paper. I give almost three-year old the keys, ask four-year old to open front door, six-year old to help buckle little sisters, eight-year old to please take out some of lesson things.
I eat the few bites of cereal the kids left...that'll have to do. I grab the extra paper, get boots on, go upstairs to get last thing. Come outside, and eight-year-old is in front pretending to drive (not with keys though), six-year old in passenger, little girls climbing on seats.
I get the two little girls buckled, and baby in his car-seat. Run in for one last thing. Come out and we're off to church. On the way, I try to comfort crying baby-and put on makeup.
During Sacrament meeting, trying to get kids to be reverent-one or two wants to get up and bear testimony, one is thirsty. We go out in the hall while I'm nursing baby, I ask oldest to lift two year old for a drink at drinking fountain. Six year old tries, but two year old starts crying something is hurt. She can't, so I do while holding baby. Four and eight-year old are wrestling on the floor. I tell them to be reverent if they want to go up to bear testimonies...while nursing again. I hand off baby to friend. I carry two year old while other three follow me to the stand. We wait our turn. Six-year old wants help. So I whisper to her ideas to say-while at pulpit and holding two-year old. Then I motion for eight year old to come-he responds "I want to go last." Lost his turn, there are five other people coming for a turn. I begin walking off stage and out to get my fussy baby from friend.
We sit back in chapel in regular chairs. Kids aren't listening and acting up. I take them out and sit two on the naughty spot.. Trying to hold two-year-old she's not feeling good, and really tired while holding baby too. When kids are done on time-out I tell them that if they are reverent, they may color. We walk back into chapel area where our seats are, and I while holding baby, bend down to get some papers out. I hand them out, then go sit so I can look for markers in bag. There aren't any. So I ask oldest to go down hall and get lesson bag which has crayons in it. He does, and soon it's time to clean up and go to classes.
After getting kids to classes and trying to get one girl in class to stop touching baby, help another person find a couple Mom's whose toddlers needed to go potty, took one girl out to use the bathroom, got a drink all while holding baby.
Lesson was hard alone-wiggly kids, who were helpful overall but one having a hard time listening.
After lesson, went to gather my children after cleaning up lesson supplies a little. Couldn't find a daughter. My kids drew all over the board while I was gone. Had them erase it, had eight-year-old go return chalk set to library. Made sure all kids took their papers and scriptures home. Had my oldest two stack chairs, little girls pick up left over crayons and papers for me. I carried large picture in frame (18x20") lesson bag and diaper bag, and baby out to van while herding other four out to parking lot, yelling at eight year old for running in parking lot-then opening trunk to put all stuff in after eight and six-year olds climbed over seats to get buckled. After unloading, buckled in baby, two and four year olds.
Came home to messy kitchen to make lunch in -made lunch, did dishes, took out trash, helped six, four and two year old make cookies on floor as I cleaned up some more. Sent them up for quiet time, Nursed and changed baby, looked at facebook and typed some comments, read one blog post, yelled at kids to stay in rooms for quiet time, typing this blog post. And here it is almost three o clock in the afternoon. Two year old just climbed in bed with me, baby is sleeping. Life is good.
After quiet time, I will help kids finish up living room. Have them clean off table and mop floor, then together we will set up our Christmas tree. All while husband is watching shows on his computer because his job is so stressful during the week (I mean, weight-loosing, insomnia, depression stressful) that I try really hard to give him the weekends to just relax.
I have to say, he usually comes to church with us, and helps with the lesson. But almost always, I am the one to get everyone ready, get lunch and do all housework and disciplining.
I enjoy motherhood overall. But I swear, if anyone else even points to the notion that stay-at-home mom's are lazy, or wonder what we do all day, I'm going to scream " I am raising a family while keeping a marriage together, developing useful skills any chance I get, and meeting needs of five small children day and night. What do YOU do all day?!"
Let's see...so Dan had returned from his sister's wedding, and immediately asked me out for the following weekend. He may have never known about the engagement that had happened while he was gone, if I wasn't such an open book. It can be a blessing for sure. I can't hide anything...I cannot lie. My children know about Santa and the tooth fairy (may be a little sad to some of you). I've never been good at keeping secrets, but have done my best to be open and honest always.
Anyhow, as you can guess, I told him the entire story. And honestly, after that it wasn't the same between James and I. We'd talk akwardly on the phone. But the relationship died after that...couldn't go back to just being friends, apparently. I still feel sad about the heart-break I caused in him. I hope with all of my heart that wherever he is, he is happy and has found the love of his life.
Dan and I continued dating as often as our schedules would allow, and I was beginning to wonder if I should be looking anymore for my future husband. I was in a hurry-especially because whoever this guy was was keeping me from serving a mission. I had my papers ready to hand in and continued to get the same answer to my prayers (marriage is next). I fought it, was scared to death of marriage knowing the hardships that had followed both my biological parents, and the hardships I had to endure as a product of divorce.
Two months after the break off with James, Daniel set up a romantic date at a dim-lit restaurant. We had spoken of marriage, but by the time he popped the question, I had practically been ready to move on-and it came as a big surprise to me. As a result, I hadn't had time to think about it if he were to propose, and was not confident in my ability to make a good choice especially after the last experience. I told him I needed the weekend to think about it, and that I'd have an answer by Monday night when he came to pick me up for Family Night. He was understanding, though I'm sure a little taken back with my response. I was determined not to repeat mistakes.
So, during the weekend, I pondered, prayed studied my scriptures and was just full of anxiety at having to make such a life-altaring decision. Sure I was an adult, but there were some issues not yet worked out from my childhood that caused heart-wrenching anxiety on my part.
Monday was approaching all too quickly, and I was still at a loss as to what to do. It seemed the anxiety had overtaken any logic, and clouded my ability to listen to the spirit.
Daniel came to pick me up. He asked immediately what I thought. I told him I did not know. He went a bit pale at that point...here he was at his most vulnerable (not to mention having been rejected in such a large way in a past relationship)-and...I didn't know?
I asked my Dad to please give me a blessing-I had bugged the Lord enough, and I needed a definite answer or I was NOT going through with it.
Dad took me by the hand and led me upstairs. He sat me down and asked what was the matter. I will always remember that day. I had a close relationship with my Father in Heaven and had for many years...but had never been able to get past the wall that was between me and my Dad to form any sort of good relationship. I recognize now how similar our personalities always were which was grounds for conflict. He told me to pretend he was Heavenly Father and to look him in the eyes. He said words like "I love you. I don't know anyone who has been better prepared for marriage and motherhood."
A warmth and love filled the room at that moment. "Sometimes in life, it is necessary to walk a few more steps into the dark in order for the light to be revealed."
He asked if I was ready. He placed his hands upon my head, and a rush of undescribable warmth, peace and a feeling of love washed over my entire being. The words that he uttered gave me an unmistakable answer to my many pleadings.
The Lord had heard my prayers and pleadings, and had answered them most assuringly. I now had what I needed (His approval in my decision), and could confidently move forward.
I went downstairs, tear-stained face (no dry eyes after such an experience). Dan seemed a bit nervous, and really pale...my mother had been trying to comfort him best she could.
I stood there-not sure what to do. My Dad told me to kiss him. So, I went up, sat on his lap, kissed and hugged him and told him I'd love him forever.
He asked if I was ready now and pulled the little black box out of his pocket-got down on one knee and said something like "Rachael Maria Campbell...you are so beautiful through and through. I know I could never find anyone as good. Will you be my wife?"
"YES!" I said without hesitation. We hugged and kissed, and began celebrating.
I can't say I didn't experience marriage anxiety after that. Because I did, pretty much every other day of our engagement as well as on the day. But because I understood that God was my back bone in this, I decided from the moment I was engaged that I was going to follow through with the marriage. And on the day I was married, I once again promised myself I would follow through no matter how difficult times may be.
I have been tempted many times (having struggled greatly with depression and anxiety among other things) to leave. It only takes a small moment of prayer to be reminded that God is there and is going to help me keep my promise to myself and my love. We have worked through many things together. Marriage is hard work.
And I can say from the bottom of my heart now that he is THE love of my life-and he is certainly right for me. We have created a beautiful and amazing family together, and I KNOW that if we continue to put the Lord first, we will continue to accomplish great things hand in hand.