Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Motherhood and Other Adventures

       Hello Motherhood you are looking much like I thought you would and showing me sides I never thought I would see. April 17 at 23:40 my water broke, and at 17:36 April 18 little Miss Ruth Helen Steenblik made her triumphant entrance into this crazy beautiful world. 

     The first night home was so difficult, but thanks to a great lady who gave me some pointers the next day, I learned that not every tiny noise a baby makes means they need to be picked up to be fed or changed. Sleep came to visit a little longer the next night. So many wonderful moments have come and gone since that first week. In a few days she will be four months old and is bursting with smiles and sweet little babbles. 

5 weeks

3 months and 3 weeks

     I yearned to be a wife and mother and now I am. I am so thankful for this new stage of life. However I have been contemplating on some of the ways I have allowed myself to look at how to go about living. I willingly admit that I spent most of my growing hours day dreaming about what this stage of life would be like. The lesson I am learning now, is that today is a gift, it is called the present right? (Okay I didn't make that up, but I don't know who said it first). It is a struggle for me to live in the moment, for some that is their curse/blessing but for me I have to work to really enjoy the moments as they are. Having a baby who is growing just as quickly as everyone said she would has helped me to embrace that now is the only moment that I will ever have her at this exact stage and age. 




       My dreams are still alive and vivid, but now I am living in them and letting the designs of further hopes show themselves. Yes I still have a picture of the home and lifestyle that I believe would add to my happiness, but that is just it, it will not ever make me happy. I have to bring my happiness from this moment into the days ahead and not hope that it will magically appear when the square footage of our abode increases. Happiness is a choice, and that is something I am earnestly trying to embody. 

      This summer has thrown a more than fair share of difficulties our way, but the other day I came across the quote "Life is ten percent of what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it." - Lou Holtz   I have tried to be positive throughout my life and the point of the matter is; life is hard but that does not mean you are required to sign over your happiness just because hardship and inconveniences my be stacking up in your life at alarming rates. Yes mourn, grieve, and do what you need to, to deal with loss and pain, but do all you can to see the glass half full and in one piece. (I am not trying to say those with clinical depression should just snap out of it. That is a different topic, for a different time.)

So this is my birth story, because both a baby and a mother are born on the same day. Life is full of lessons and I am thankful to be learning new pieces of information and perspective each day. 


Thank you for reading. Thoughts, comments, or insights are welcome. 







Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pictures for BYU I Welcome post

My Dad, myself, and Jonathan my husband. Taken at the end of 1/3 receptions!


Wedding day picture.


My parents, us, and his parents.


At the end of 2/3 receptions. 



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Perfect Little Dream

Hello!

I went to education week in August of 2011 where a teacher said something that really struck me...
in my own words though-
     
      "You really do not need permission to dream your dreams, work towards them, or live them out". She said it much simpler but wow it was like lightning striking in my heart. Before that point I felt a little guilty having this as a lingering dream in the attic of my mind.

So I have many dreams and aspirations, let me paint you a picture of my dream...

New England think Massachusetts, Connecticut or New Hampshire perhaps.

I find myself dreaming and longing to live in the architecturally rich environs of New England. I see the tiny towns with bookstores and little restaurants lining the small down town areas.

This is a picture of a town in Massachusetts.
Picture Credit - Remax - click here for link to website.

I see a beautiful home that I have designed. I would love to build our home, but I also could
be happy with an existing home that has a floor plan close enough to the ideals my husband and I have
for our home someday. I plan and dream of decorating each room.

Here is a sample of a home facade that I would love to have someday


( I took this picture, it is not illegal to take a photo of a home)


There are so many details that I have in mind...

Christ Centered living and giving:

      Soft music, cleanliness, loving words, regular daily scripture study and prayers. Family home evenings. Inspiring quotes, books, movies and games. The walls will have inspiring art work both of Christ and other glorious pieces of art work.

Furnishings from Pottery Barn and Antique pieces:

      I love white furniture. I also love french floral fabrics. I want clean, traditional, and appealing staple pieces of furniture.  Antique is almost the only way to find quality pieces of furniture anymore.

Art:

     Fine papers for crafts, letters, and special occasions. I would love to have fine pieces from Lladro, Waterford, Wedgewood and more. I dream of beautiful pieces of Art, originals, paintings that are pastoral, nautical, architectural, spiritual, pastel, and inspiring.
     
Food from Whole Foods and the like:

      Organic, tasty, and delicious meals set at the family table where stories are told and bonds are built.

Decorations similar to or from Martha Stewart omnimedia:

      I would watch Martha Stewart for fun when I was a ten year old... I fell in love with most of her tastes when I was a child. I love to make things that look like her designs or look like they could be out of her photo shoots. I love crisp, traditional, and beautiful interiors and exteriors. Her products reflect my tastes most accurately.

      I love the idea of making my home my own, decorating it so it appears professionally decorated, yet knowing that it was mostly all my own doing.

A beautiful library:
 
      I treasure books, handsome books, intriguing books, how-to books and so many many more!
I see in my dreams a room with gorgeous wooden built in bookshelves. Knowledge can be so wonderful when utilized, it becomes wisdom to us when we put what we learn to practice. I want my children to be inspired by time proved printed pages of words, stories, and facts.

A formal entry room:

      I love the idea of having a place to entertain company and have a peaceful room to sit and read in.

A formal dining room:

     I hope that Thanksgiving and Christmas will often be held at our formal table with great food and memories both made and shared there.

The kitchen open to a family room:

     The kitchen is the heart of the home and as such I believe it being open to the family room allows for greater bonding and family togetherness.

1/4 of an acre or more:

      I long for the beautiful cottage I dreamed of as a child and hoped to somehow bring to fruition in my 11 year old ambitious heart.

Simple but beautiful landscaping:

     I want some beautiful trees, flowers, shrubs perhaps, but mostly a well kept grass lawn.
Easy to take care of and easy to look upon. A Backyard Cottage for the children to play in. As well as a guest cottage for me for crafts.
Delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen:

      I hope to make food that smells the home with lovely scents. I want to be a chef to some extent.
It is very important in my opinion to share as many meals as possible around the family table. Delicious food is a must!

An inspiring childhood:

     I dream of my children having wooden toys to play with, train sets, model planes, American Girl dolls,  Melissa and Doug toys, blocks, kidkraft, doll houses, crafts, and legos. I dream of reading books with them from the local library, having them give me and their Daddy puppet shows. I want them to be inspired by classic artwork, music, science, and exploring talents they admire. A television set for family movie nights and to watch documentaries and historical films. I want them to be filled with joy and awe when they play with music boxes or look at snow globes. Maps of the world would be accessible in the learning/play room.

     I also see the great value of Montessori and Waldorf learning styles. I believe children have so much imagination to create and explore with. I don't want them to forfeit all the wonders of childhood to endless screen time.

     Love for their ancestors and their nationalities. I want a wall of framed pictures of all of their relatives that I can lay my hands on. I want them to feel as though they are a part of something great, because in reality they are!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Chapter 23


Hello my dearest friends!

Today we will be discussing themes from chapter 23 which is entitled Crucibles and Healings: Illness, Loss, Death, and Bereavement.

This quote comes from pages 239-240

        “In many ways, the principle of opposition is an important part of the crucible experience. Many of life’s experiences are oppositional in nature and involve learning through contrast and comparison…” later they go on to say “Scholars in family and health sciences have explored the oppositions and paradoxes of illness experiences, noting the emotional roller-coaster ride that is both draining and empowering.”(McDaniel, Hepworth, Doherty, 1997, p. 3).”

        I myself have gone through many crucibles in my family as the years have progressed. The first one I recall comes from my childhood. I was 5 years old and my beloved grandfather passed away in a hospital bed in the room next to mine from cancer. I remember that time very well. I remember my mother talking on the phone a lot and making lots of arrangements. I know it was a very difficult time, but it drew us closer.

        There have been many difficult times that have happened over the years. My mother has a heart condition and so I was very familiar with calling 911 from a young age. My mother’s illness allowed for me to see the priesthood administered and my testimony grew as I watched her deal with the challenges her poor health presented her.

        Most recently my parent’s divorce occurred, and then the loss of my treasured home that I had found as a 15 year old girl. The opposition in our life allows us to grow into stronger and more empathetic people if we allow it to. Though it has not been so easy to cope with their loss as I begin my own marriage, I know that it is helping me live in reality and helping me value the  delicate relationships that I currently have.

       This chapter talks about coping with the suffering and pain that occurs within families. All families will have difficulties, all people will lose someone or something dear to them. The ultimate good that trials can afford us, is knowledge and refined characteristics.
What trials have you faced in your family?

       How have you seen another person or family cope well with loss, death, or illness?
What blessings have you seen from hardships you or someone else you know has had to face?

Aunt Julee (me) with my darling niece and nephew


       I want to express my gratitude for the Savior Jesus Christ who took on my burdens to help them be lighter. I know He loves us and will help us through all hardships we are called to face. In the Book of Mormon, in Alma chapter 7:11 which says:  “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.” ( Click here to see more)

      I know he knows me, loves me, and has helped me to overcome the very dark and lonely times throughout my life and I know he will help you.  As we each go through hardships, try to keep in mind it won’t be forever. You are loved!