Monday, April 29, 2013

Marriage - for my siblings who aren't married yet - and anyone else

 I have been thinking about how to express some of the things Jon and I have learned in our short marriage.  So maybe this is more for me (I'm telling myself its for you) but perhaps I really just want to write down some of the things we've learned.  First, it is so wonderful to be married - it is such a blessing and a privilege to have a companion who you can completely trust and love.  Yesterday Jon was bearing his testimony in church and I almost had an out of body experience as I realized, "that is my husband."   I waited so long for a husband and there he is!  He is good and kind to me and to our family.  He serves the Lord and everyone around him with all his heart and soul.  He provides so well for our family and values the work that I do at home with the children.  There are often mornings when I come downstairs, and he has unloaded the dishwasher for me, and left a note or flower there to help me feel his love.  He cherishes me and our relationship is so much deeper than the one I imagined I would have as a girl.  I look up to Jon so much and I know that he does the same to me - we strengthen each other and lift each other.

Second is the principle that "marriage is work" which you hear a lot before you are married and can't really understand until after you're married.  I was reading in the Eternal Marriage student manual (pg 94) and found this quote that I really like.  

"Elder Dean L. Larsen
“Marriage is not an easy venture. It is largely a onetime-through, do-it yourself project for the husband and wife. I repeatedly encounter the illusion today, especially among younger people, that perfect marriages happen simply if the right two people come together. This is untrue. Marriages don’t succeed automatically. Those who build happy, secure, successful marriages pay the price to do so. They work at it constantly” (“Enriching Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1985, 20).

One thing Jon and I learned is that we had to overcome the cultural things we'd been taught about marriage from the media.  We often talked about the "Hollywood Marriage" - you know - the ones in the chick flicks - where it only shows the dating and not the real-life kind of stuff afterwards.  And you just assume that all the afterwards stuff is perfect and that because they love each other all their faults just melt away and they become perfect on their wedding day - when really that's just the beginning of truly coming to know yourself.  Anyway, I like that quote from the manual because I always want newly weds to know that its ok that it'll be a little different than they might've expected.  There's not something wrong with you.  Adjust your expectations to meet reality - accept your marriage as it really is and work at it to make it what the Lord wants it to be.  It is so much deeper and more valuable to learn to become perfect together than it would be to just suddenly become perfect on your wedding day.  Jon and I have gained so much trust and confidence in each other by working through those things together.  (And if you want some good movies that contrast that Hollywood marriage idea, here are a few: Ushpizin, Enchanted April, Tender Mercies, Fireproof, Middlemarch)

Last thing, I just listened to this talk, called "Covenant Marriage" by Elder Bruce C. Hafen.  The point I really loved, for those of you who don't want to listen to it (but its really good ) is an analogy from John.  There is a difference between being a hireling (or babysitter) and a shepherd.  This parable is in John 10 and Christ is teaching:

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

A good summary might be that hirelings are selfish as they flee from the wolf, and shepherds are selfless.  Elder Hafen talks about how marriage is a covenant - and that wolves will attack our marriages.  The wolves of 1- natural adversity 2- personal imperfections 3- excessive individualism.  I guess that when you're engaged, you don't really think about these wolves as a reality.  I did that, and really there is no way to avoid it because you simply can't know what its like to be married when you never have been before.  But when those wolves do come...that you can be shepherds to each other.  Jon knows my weaknesses better than anyone else on the planet.  As a single adult, I thought that I had things pretty well under control and that I was doing a good job at keeping all the rules and that I was...ya know...just pretty swell.  Perhaps I even thought at times that I was "practically perfect in every way."  :)  Oh man...I had a rude awakening, but my point with all of this is that I didn't realize how far I had to go until I was married.  Jon didn't realize how far he had to go until he was married and together he and I are helping each other work on our weaknesses.  Jon is a safe place for me - a shepherd who sees more clearly how things really are in my life than anyone else and who does not run away like a hireling would. 

Yet another philosophical post from Lauren - thanks for reading - any of you who did.  I'm so grateful that I've been taught so much truth about marriage.  Thanks Jon, for being my husband.  I love you.

Ok, and I just have to add this link from the latest General Conference on Strengthening Marriages.
Marriage: Watch and Learn by Elder Clayton

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DC Temple

We got to go to the temple this weekend.  Jon and I switched off doing initiatories and it was warm enough that the girls could play outside.  The drive and temple grounds were beautiful.  We're finding that needing to sacrifice a little more to go to the temple has been a real blessing for us.  We're also grateful that its only 2 hours away so we can go.

 Jon took these pictures with his phone camera - pretty great.

Sorry I can't figure out how to turn this video.  Just turn your head until Jon can help me fix it.
At the beginning, Lily is saying "I see a snail." I think you'll be able to understand the rest. :)
 And last, its finally happened.  Lily has learned to climb out of her crib.  I'd say these pictures are worth it though.  I love that she even made sure that Suzy got some of the blanket.

Monday, April 15, 2013

This is one happy girl.

Jon: Do you need a little push Lily?
Lily: Yeah...I want bigger
Jon: You want bigger? I don't want to do you bigger
Lily: I can do it bigger by myself. I can!  I did it. I can do it again.

She did get a pretty bad bloody nose about two minutes after this video was taken - so next time we'll put a crib mattress under her I think...or something like that.  Maybe we should just get a gymnastics pad.  

And here's an early "Happy Fathers Day" present for Jon:

Spring Break with Rust and Brit

Who says road trips aren't fun?  This last week we got to go down to Gatlinburg, Tenn to spend some time with Rusty and Brittany in Jon's parents condo.  It was so much fun!  We loved being with family, and having the cousins get to know each other better.
This is Suzy's "I just woke up...I'm kinda sleepy" face.

It was so fun to be in the Appalachian Mountains - not like the rockies, but a lot closer to what I would call mountains then anything we have in PA.

Birthday Buddies (Suzy was asleep when this was taken, but she is the 3rd birthday buddy).

And here is a link to videos that Rusty took of the awesome in-door water park they had there.  Lily and Suzy LOVED it.  The first time we went, Lily wanted to walk by herself through the lazy river.  She could barely do it on tip toes and she loved the challenge of bobbing along with the current.  Then, she threw up her lunch because she'd swallowed so much water, etc...but that didn't stop her.  We played for an hour longer and the lazy river was still always her favorite.  

Conference with the Sansoms

The Sansom's came up to watch General Conference with us on Sunday.  It was so much fun to be together!  Kirsten and I were in the kitchen cooking together and at the same time we both started saying how grateful we were to be with family.  

 Thanks to Anna for giving us their tent - this is now officially the special "conference tent."  The novelty of it worked wonders - the girls played really happily in it for a long time.
It was our first year doing conference on the internet.  Because of the time difference, conference goes from 12-2 and then 4-6.  I thought it'd be harder...but it was a little nicer I think to have it later in the day (although I can't speak for Jon having to go to Priesthood from 8-10).  
 There is nothing better than holding a newborn - especially when your family has a baby on the way.  Jon, the girls, and I all had a great time with our new cousin, Lael.

And here is Lael's baby gift - I made her a quilt during conference and it turned out so beautiful.

4.7.13 lily autumn playing from Lauren Terry on Vimeo.

4.7.13 suzy lael conf from Lauren Terry on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day to Day Videos

Visitors, Visitors! We love visitors!

My Mom came to Baltimore a couple weeks ago to help my Aunt Kristen with her new baby.  It was such a fun weekend and Kristen gave up my Mom's help for two days and three nights so my Mom would come spend time with me - so nice!  We got to see Ben, Kristen, Autumn, Naoma and the sweet new baby Lael (though I forgot to get a picture of that group - sorry).  Then, my Grandpa and Grandma Haskell came down later.  It was such a joy to be with family.  

Grandma even let Lily sit on her lap and share her food (something Mommy and Daddy don't let her do). What a treat.
We also had friends come last month.  (For those of you who don't know) this is my dear friend Suzanne.  We were roommates in college and had agreed that if we never got married, we'd be old maids together.  Happily, this picture shows how things really turned out but we sure had a fun time together at BYU and its a tender mercy for both of us to be just two hours away from each other.  Their little family is Suzanne, Kirk, Addelyn and Josh (I love his chubby cheeks!)

The price for some free Hershey's Chocolate is to sit on a ride and see how they make it.  The girls had a fun time.
Last but not least, my Uncle Arnold Haskell was down in Harrisburg on business and stayed with us for a couple days.  Suzy and he were buddies right from the get go.  She's knows a nice guy when she sees one.

Snow Day

No Snow Day is complete without making pancakes when you come back inside.  Thanks Mom, for doing that with us when we were kids - it sure is a fun tradition.