I'm back to blogging, I think. I've had so much swimming through my brain and life as of late. So much that I want to capture but haven't taken the time to write in my journal (yes, I'm still in pen-and-paper mode with my personal journal). So I may be doing more here again.

These past few months have been really hard in some ways. We had some unexpected things happen that threw our lives for a loop, drained our financial reserve, and sapped my physical and mental and spiritual energy as well. I look back and still am sort of befuddled about it all. I like it when I can make sense of things that happen, but this one? Just doesn't make sense. But strangely, I'm still at peace (at least most of the time), and life has gone on. Here's some of my Mormon life as of late:

-#1 turned 12. In the world of Mormon life, that is a big deal. (Read more about my reflections here.) He received the Aaronic Priesthood. He now gets to pass the sacrament. He was in the temple doing baptisms for the dead the first day he could go. He went around last week to help collect fast offerings. He is beaming with joy about doing these things. He came home from church on Sunday ready to share all that he had learned and thought about. This weekend, he goes on his first winter campout (oh, heaven help my mother heart).

(While I'm on the topic of scouts, I have to say for all the world to hear that I think I'm finally getting how scouts works. It only took me four years, but I no longer feel so much like a fish out of water, and I am enjoying working with my boy to help him work through his merit badges. You have to understand as a woman coming from a family of all girls where my mom did not have a scout calling that I can recall, I had zerozilchonada in terms of exposure to scouting. And it felt like learning a whole new language. But now, I speak Scoutish.)

-I got a new calling at church. I get to help with the Activity Days for the 10-11-year-old girls, which includes one of my darling daughters. It looks like it will likely be temporary until the other leader can get back into it all -- she just had a baby. I love the chance to serve in this way and to be involved with my girl.

-My other calling presents a challenge -- the new lds.org presents much for me to navigate and learn as the ward congregation website manager. But I really like where the new tools are going.

-We're nearing the third birthday of this project. I'm really excited about the new series that we just started, called "Forward with Faith." It was perfectly summarized on Mormon Times, as a "series about how faith helps people get through trials and overcome challenges." The first piece seemed to really resonate with a lot of people. It's so interesting to watch how things unfold and work together. I have definitely felt tender mercies with this particular series. Next week, we'll be featuring the story of an elderly Mormon woman who is legally blind and who does more family history work than just about anyone I know. She's been an inspiration to me and I can't wait for people to meet her!

And now for the most important parts of my life:

-I cannot express how much I love my children. Being LDS has given me an even deeper appreciation for my role as a mother than I think I ever would have had on my own. A mother loves her children -- it's almost a biological fact for most moms. But to understand the doctrine of motherhood and, over time, to feel that doctrine distill on my soul...it's life-changing. I remember when they were little and I was so. very. frazzled and struggling with post-partum yuck and who knows what else, and then dealing with the chronic physical illness that hit -- I felt like they deserved better. And I still feel that way sometimes, but through all of that, I have felt God's Spirit remind me that this matters. *I* matter, because I am *their* mother. And what's more -- being their mother has changed ME. The process of growing into this role has changed me, and they and their amazing spirits have blessed my life in countless ways.

-Hubby and I celebrated the unlucky number 13 this past year. But we don't feel it's an unlucky number for us. I have a feeling 2011 will be our best year yet.

Here's to hoping it will be yours, too.
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