1. Life Never is Easy, But It's Worth It - Sure, there are times when you look around and think, "Wow, everything is going so smooth." However we all know that as soon as you have that thought, the next trial is just around the corner. Then there is that moment when all the trials and blood, sweat and tears all seem to have made the hard times worth it, because you appreciate them so much more.
2. Having Children is the Best/Worst Thing Ever- Children bring you the most joy and the most heartache you will ever experience. Having one of them wrap their arms around you and say, "I love you mom" is one of life's greatest joys. Having them then say, "I hate you," feels like they stabbed you through the heart. But I have to say one of the hardest things about being a parent is....all their disappointments, failures and bad choices, are things you get to experience and worry about. I often have to remind myself that they have to experience them and I don't need to take them personal or responsibility for them. They are for them to experience.
3. I Love My Children More Than Anything - They are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Why I put in hours of volunteer time at the school. Why I put hundreds of miles a week on my car. Why my bank account is always teetering on the brink of collapse. Why I believe in an Eternal family. They are why I believe we have a loving Heavenly Father. Through them, I understand the atonement. Why our Father in Heaven wants us to return to him. And how hard it must be for him to watch us stumble and fall.
4. Life Goes By So Quickly - I remember my brother-in-law saying once that, life goes quicker as you get older, but as soon as you have children it goes by in warp speed. He was so right. I can't believe how quickly the last 20 years have gone by. It seems like just yesterday when we lived in a little apartment in East Portland, with our two little ones, just trying to scrape together enough money for Drew to have gas for work, for the week. Trying not to go crazy in that little 600 square foot apartment. Trying to keep Sydney from once again tearing out the books from the book case. Experiencing our first ever Earthquake. And just wishing I could spend more time with my mom before she died.
5. Enjoy Life While You are Young - Not that life isn't still exciting, but for some reason as you get older something happens that kind of dulls new experiences. I look back on the adventurous parts of my life and remember how exciting they seemed. Now, I don't really anticipate a lot. I mostly just look forward to the times when all my family is together. That seems to be the most thrilling of times.
6. Embrace Life - I've watched a few of my children not go forward with things out of fear, and it saddens me that they are not embracing all the things that they could, because they are afraid. Just take a step forward and hold on.....It's ok not to know what is around the next corner. It's ok not to have a plan. It's ok to fail. It's ok to make mistakes. We all do. But from those things we grow and learn. If you don't do anything you gain nothing. Just LIVE life.
7. You don't have to have a lot of friends but make sure the ones you do have are good ones - I have some of the best friends in the WORLD. They are loyal, kind, loving, good mothers, selfless. They are the kind of women I want to be. I look up to each of them in different ways. Each of them have a quality (or qualities) that I want to incorporate in my life. I have had friends come and go, but the ones I have kept are the ones that help me to strive to be a better person.
8. Don't Take Life to Serious - I think of all the things that I used to stress out about and wonder, why? My kids always had to have matching socks, that were white. No characters on their clothing. Pajamas always had to fit and be nice. Hair had to be cute when leaving the house (that only lasted until Syd was about 8). My house had to be spotless when company was coming. When we would have a clean day, my kids would always ask, "who's coming to visit." Laugh/smile often. Play games, often. Run, jump, skip and swing, often. Tickle, often.
9. Things I Think Are Still Important - Scheduled bed times for little children. Washing hands after using the bathroom. Opening your door to people in need, (what's the point of having a large house if you don't share it). Sharing with others. People are more important than things.
10. Time is Important- whether it's sharing your time with others. Or saving some time for yourself. Make sure your time is valuable to you, and other peoples time is also valuable to you. Whether you are late or on time for an appointment says a lot about how you feel about others.