Friday, April 27, 2012


The first weekend in April our church has General Conference.  This is where our entire church (as well as anyone else who wants to listen) is able to gather and watch/listen to the leaders of our church.  This was one of my least favorite weekends as a child.  It required that I gave up not only my Sunday to TWO church meetings, but my Saturday as well!  As an adult I find myself so looking forward to General Conference.  I love to listen to these inspired messages and I can literally feel my Spirit growing stronger after every session.

This year there was one talk that jumped out at me particularly.  I literally feel like it was written for me.  There was a specific line that he said that practically made my heart stop.  I know that this was meant for me in response to my doubts/fears/concerns/prayers.  It was a message for single parents.   The talk is titled Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment:  A Message to Single Parents.

Before I go into more detail I will explain how I knew that this talk was meant for me personally.  (Besides the obvious reason that I am a single parent and the title states "a message to single parents.")  David S. Baxter said, "Your journey through life has had bumps, detours, twists, and turns, mostly as the result of life in a fallen world that is meant to be a place of proving and testing."  This phrase made my heart stop because on December 8th, 2011 I posted on this blog an entry titled "Bumps, Detours, and Melt-Downs". (Click the title to follow the link and read the post)  If you don't want to read the long and depressing post I will sum it up for ya.  I wrote about my road to motherhood and my struggles as a single parent.  I have always wanted to be a mother.  However, my road to motherhood was not the one that I planned to take.  "I hit bumps and I took detours."  What are the odds that the words I used, literally the EXACT words, were used in this talk in conference from a General Authority?  Just... Wow.

What a fantastic reminder for me.  When 99% of the time I feel like an utter failure and I feel so much private guilt and quite literal physical pain and fear that I am not doing what's best for my daughter, this is what I needed to hear to buoy me up.

He says,  "Whatever your circumstances or the reasons for them, how wonderful you are. Day to day you face the struggles of life, doing the work that was always meant for two but doing it largely alone. You have to be father as well as mother. You run your household, watch over yourfamily, sometimes struggle to make ends meet, and miraculously you even find the wherewithal to serve in the Church in significant ways. You nurture your children. You cry and pray with them and for them. You want the very best for them but fret every night that your best may never be good enough."

"With God’s help, you need not fear for the future. Your children will grow up and call you blessed, and every single one of their many achievements will stand as a tribute to you."

"Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier subcategory of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens."
One of my biggest concerns is that Ayla always feels the adequate love and attention that she deserves.  I hope, with all of my heart, that she never feels that she is lacking in these areas.  I hope that she feels my presence and is able to see past my short-comings and that everything I can give to her is enough.  I hope that she can feel the love from her biological father when she sees him and never doubts how much he loves her.  I hope that she knows how much Kyle, her future daddy, loves and cares about her.  I know that she feels the love from her extended family, I can see it in the way that she lights up when she talks about them and how excited she is whenever she sees them.  I hope that even though she was directly affected by circumstances our of her control, she can be a well-rounded, smart, fun, happy, and loving little girl.
I hope for myself that my guilt will be lifted from me.  My bishop told me that with time and prayer and patience the burden of the guilt I feel for so many things will be lifted from my shoulders.  I have already experienced some lightening of my load, but it surely has not happened over night, and it surely has not been taken away completely.  I'm still on this long road and though I feel like those bumps and detours that put me so off course are behind me, I'm not smooth-sailing on flat pavement yet.
I am so thankful for this message from David S. Baxter to strengthen me and help carry me through the remaining time that I have as a single mother.  (Only a little over 4 more months!)  I wish that every single mother out there would read this message and be reminded that they are good and that they are strong and that really, they are not alone.

"Thank you, sisters, for all that you are doing to raise your family and maintain a loving home where there is goodness, peace, and opportunity.
Although you often feel alone, in truth you are never totally on your own. As you move forward in patience and in faith, Providence will move with you; heaven will bestow its needful blessings.
Your perspective and view of life will change when, rather than being cast down, you look up."
"Single parents, I testify that as you do your very best in the most difficult of human challenges, heaven will smile upon you. Truly you are not alone. Let the redemptive, loving power of Jesus Christ brighten your life now and fill you with the hope of eternal promise. Take courage. Have faith and hope. Consider the present with fortitude and look to the future with confidence. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wedding Prep. Update!

I HAVE MY DRESS!  Whew!  One big thing is checked off my list!

I had gone to a discount bridal shop with my dear friend Lauren to check it out.  It's in South Jordan so I wanted to see if it was worth taking family with me (my mom, Debbie, and Charity).  Turns out it was definitely worth it.  The dresses range from $100-$300.  This is great considering they are all originally over $500!

I tried on a bunch of different styles.  A BUNCH.  I quickly found out what I hated.  And I quickly found one that I kind of loved.  I even almost bought it.  It had a lace bodice, dropped waist, and flowing tiered layers to the floor with a mini train.  I loved how it hugged my body and was super pretty.  But for some reason, even though I was literally ready to pay for it and leave the store with it, I kept going back to another dress.  I had tried it on but it didn't fit right at all.  It didn't hug my body and it was falling off my shoulders and chest, which is really odd if you have seen my chest, usually I can't fit anything over it.  Ha.  I just couldn't stop looking at it on the hanger.  Turns out the one that I had tried on was in the wrong section.  It was a HUGE size just shoved in with the dresses that are my size.  When I made this realization I knew I had to find one that would actually fit me and put it on.  I did.  And as soon as it was on it was a done deal.  I knew it was the one.  I no longer even cared about the one that I was ready to buy just minutes earlier.

The first one, though beautiful, had a few things that I wasn't comfortable with.  First of all there was something weird about where the bodice met the skirt.  Lauren knows what I'm talking about.  I couldn't get past it.  And then the lace...  I have been telling myself that I wanted a lacy, detailed dress.  Apparently that's not what I wanted at all.  It just didn't feel like ME.  If you know me you know that I'm not a super fancy girl.  I don't dress up really girly-girly.  I don't like things with lots of frills.  So having something so... frilly?  Just didn't feel like me.  It was beautiful but it felt like I was looking at someone else's dress.  But when I put on MY dress it felt like me.  It's simple and elegant and leaves lots of room for me to accessorize.  That's what I'm good at.  Jewelry and belts and hair accessories.  I won't go into detail about it because my future husband reads this blog, so most of you will get to be surprised just like him when I finally get to see it on September 8th!  Just take my word for it... It's beautiful and so very me!

Also... It was originally $700.... I got it for $150.  Wow.  If you are in Utah and in the wedding dress market, seriously check out BX Two in South Jordan.  They are discount wedding dress shop only open on Saturdays.  It will be worth it.  They have sizes 0-20+.  Be warned, they are all modest dresses with sleeves.  If that's not what you're looking for, this isn't the shop for you!

I ended up buying my dress that day with Lauren.  I didn't get to have my mom and Debbie and Charity with me, but I couldn't walk away from it and there was no guarantee that it would be there 2 weeks later when my mom was in town.  I'm sad that they weren't with me, but I just couldn't leave without it!

Yesterday I bought my shoes!  I had looked at looked at shoe stores and department stores and I wasn't seeing what I wanted.  There actually wasn't a whole lot of red at all, and when I did find red there was generally a cork wedge attached, which I wasn't wanting for my wedding.  Last night at Forever Young in the University Mall I found my shoes!  $32.95 and perfect!  They are red, stripy, open-toed, and they have flowers!  EVERYTHING that I wanted!  And the heel is pretty but not sky-high so Kyle is still a good 2-3 inches taller than me.  I know this because he was with me when I got them so I got to stand in the mirror next to him with them on.  :)  This was a concern for me because I am 5'7".  That's not short!  And most heels are a good 4" if not more right now.  I LOVE super high heels, but I do not love being 6"tall or more.  I tower over most every boy that I am around and that's not a good feeling for me,

This was my inspiration for wedding shoes:

These are the shoes I got:

They are actually brighter than they look in this picture.  This is from instagram so they have a fancy filter on them which makes them appear darker.  I love these shoes!

Shoes and dress down!  Now I need to work on a red sash/belt for my dress and a birdcage veil.  These are both things that I am considering making on my own because they are $100+ at bridal shops and that seems excessive to me.  The veil I may end up buying because I don't know if I can make it look the way that I want it to, but the belt I know can be done by me!  I got fabric swatches cut at Jo-Ann's yesterday so that I can match all of the red's and blues perfectly since there are so many shades of both colors!  I was getting overwhelmed and lost every time I tried to look at the blue because it can lean more towards blue or more towards a greenish/blue.  Eek!  But now I have swatches and I know exactly what I'm looking for!  I had originally picked out paint swatches with Kyle at Lowe's so I matched the fabric to these paint swatches: (Again, these were put on Instagram so they are altered a tiny bit by a filter around the edges, but not much, it's pretty much the exact colors!)

I just found this perfect birdcage veil on Etsy for only $39!  I think it's a yes!

I also need to find the perfect aquamarine earrings and necklace to wear that will match my beautiful ring that I still stare at all day long.  Gosh, it is perfect!

I am loving every minute of planning mine and Kyle's wedding!