Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I had two very excited boys come home today with awards from their teachers. Chase, of course, received the Best Kid award (obviously!) from his teacher and Garrett received the Most Improved (which I think is crap... it's his teacher that needed improving....but that's a rant for another day.) The awards are now proudly displayed on the fridge! They got to get up in front of everyone at Pack Meeting tonight and announce what award they received. I am a beaming mommy, let me tell you. I love it when my boys accomplish things!

Ethan finally completed his Webelos! He received his badge today AND his Arrow of Light. We had to literally do some very last minute things so he could get his awards tonight, but he did it and I am so, so, so proud!! He's ready for 11-year-old scouts. (He's ready, I'm not)

We're counting down the last 3 days of school! We're so excited for summer. If the snow would stay away and the weather would warm up, we'd be even more excited! Mckenzie, Chase and Carter are gearing up for baseball. Garrett has a basketball camp coming up as well. Ethan has yet to choose his summer activity. He needs to hurry or Mommy will pick it for him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ethan is 11!!!!

11 years ago, I was trying to get someone's attention in Labor & Delivery at Logan Regional Hospital because I felt so much pressure in my nether regions and knew I was ready to push. But everyone was watching the Jazz game because they were in the finals. I could hear the nurses out at the nurse's station cheering as the Jazz scored a basket... I looked at Doug who was panic stricken but also somewhat absorbed in the game. I told him I was ready to push. He got a nurse who saw the baby had crowned. She grabbed the doctor who was covered in llama blood from delivering a baby llama moments before coming to the hospital. They told me to push, out came the head... they told me to push again... out came my beautiful baby boy! Ethan Douglas Montrose was born at around 9:00 pm on May 16th, 1999 after 13 hours of labor. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 21 inches long. And I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful he was. All purple and gooey, he was a gorgeous baby with big beautiful eyes and the sweetest spirit. He screamed until they put him in my arms. He settled down and was quite content from then on out. He was the best baby, a wonderful toddler and an awesome big brother.

We were so worried about him when we had the triplets. I took him to see them when they were still in the hospital. I was so worried he wouldn't want to hold them or that he would be jealous, but he insisted on holding all three, ALL THE TIME. And anytime anyone would come over, he would assert himself by saying, "My babies. Those are MY babies."

And when Carter was born, well, Ethan was just another parent to Carter. He was constantly holding Carter and kissing him, feeding him and loving him. Even now, I'll catch Ethan stroking Carter's hair while Carter is asleep.

And now, Ethan is 11. He's as tall as I am. His feet are bigger... his hands are bigger.... and his heart is probably bigger too. His humor is just as sarcastic as mine and his temper is probably as quick as mine too. (we're both working on the temper thing...) You may not see it at first glance, but he has a huge reverence for his Savior and for the church. I admire that in him. He is bright and articulate, but shy and reserved. He observes people before he interacts. He doesn't really come alive in front of people unless he knows he can trust them. He's had a rough time lately, but things are getting so much better and his walls are slowly coming down. A good sign is that we went shopping for summer clothes and he did not buy one single black item of clothing. He bought a gray shirt and a navy blue shirt, but not one single black thing!!! He even bought a turquoise shirt!! And he had fun shopping with me! He talked so much and was animated and funny. It was a big step for both of us.

For his birthday he wanted an air soft gun war. For those of you who know my boys, they are ALL BOY. Ethan is very into army stuff and this war thing was right up his alley. Doug rented some air soft guns and we took Ethan and his friends up Rock Canyon to have a mock war. Ethan's aunts and uncles joined us. The boys (and aunt and sister) split up into teams and tried to take each others bases. It was pretty funny. They played one game, then we had lunch and they went back up to play a couple more. Then we opened gifts and had cake. The boys had so much fun and are still talking about it today. I had dog tags made for each boy at Uncle Sam's in Orem and each boy had their face painted in real army camo paint. We were exhausted when we got home, but it was worth it.

Ethan got a leopard gecko from Mommy and an air soft gun from his dad. The original gecko actually died and we had to have a small, intimate funeral for it in the back yard on Saturday. Petco wasn't going to replace the gecko without the body, but after hearing it was Ethan's birthday AND upon hearing of the funeral and seeing how sad Ethan was, they replaced the gecko and gave us a generous discount off some reptile accessories for the cage.

Ethan also got a ton of presents from friends and family. Eric and I also took the kids to the zoo yesterday for Ethan's birthday as well, and Eric's son's birthday which is on the 18th. It's been a jam packed weekend!!! Good thing I get to recover for a couple months before Carter's birthday and the triplet's birthdays in July!

Happy Birthday to my huge baby boy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts on Joy

A friend of mine raised the question of whether or not there is a difference between happiness and joy. I readily told her there is. I've always believed that happiness is a temporal state, brought on by things, situations or events where joy is a state of being. I looked up both words in the dictionary and they had similar definitions, but pretty much reinforced my beliefs...

Joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

A happy person is favored by luck or fortune or a person who is notably fitting, effective, or well adapted.

But I've been thinking more and more about the difference and how they apply to me. I have never really believed in coincidences. I think this question was brought to me for a purpose, as was the entire conversation we had the evening it was raised.

In the scriptures we're told that men are that we might have joy. But we are also taught that we must experience pain to experience joy. Attaining joy is a process, a learning process, where happiness isn't really so much something we learn. I think it's something that is more accumulated.

Happiness doesn't usually exist in times of grief or loss. It doesn't for me, anyway. When things or people are taken from me, I can't be happy. But I always have joy. Especially now that I'm a mother. I always find joy in my surroundings, my home, nature, and my family. And now I find exquisite joy in my children. All of these bring me more than happiness, it goes deeper than that. It's something that's rooted in my being. Even in my darkest moments, dimpled cheeks, bright blue eyes, sweet freckles, chubby little toes, sticky kisses, precious giggles, and warm snuggles soothe my soul and can always bring a content smile to my face. On the same token, a blue sky against snow capped mountains, sweet smelling rain, colorful blossoms, clear running streams, blankets of green grass, and red cliffs bring the same response. No matter where I am or what my circumstances, all these things offer more than happiness. They anchor the roots of joy.

I've been struggling hard with my desire to be part of the church. I've experienced a lot of anger and resentment these last several months. I've realized that the majority of my anger is directed towards a very small handful of people. These people acted in the name of Christ in some private matters and claimed to have had the spirit of discernment, however that doesn't mean I should have allowed them to alter my relationship with my Savior. I've learned from my parents that no matter what has happened, I should rely on what I know and what I feel. Those people may have represented the Savior, but they don't now. And people are wrong all the time. And these people did what they thought was right. Hopefully they sleep well at night.

I have struggled with the church for so long. Probably the majority of my life. The logical part of me has trouble with a lot of things. However, the spiritual side of me found such joy in the gospel. And I separate the church from the gospel, because yes, the church is full of imperfect people who can drain our happiness. But the gospel is perfect. No one can alter it or change it. It is full of joy. That is what I need to focus on.

Another of my dear friends bore her testimony on Sunday. She told a story about the trek the youth took awhile ago. When they got to their camp site, it was full of grasshoppers. Laying tarps and things didn't help at all and the kids were really distracted by the bugs. It was not a conducive environment for a testimony meeting or anything of the kind where the spirit could be present. Soon, a little bit of rain started to fall, to the disappointment of the leaders. However, they soon discovered that the rain made the grasshoppers go away and they were able to have their meeting where the spirit was strong. The rain wasn't an ideal situation but it helped solve the bigger problem of the grasshoppers.

I think I've had a lot of grasshoppers over the years. And I've needed a break this past few months to gain some perspective. The break was my rain storm that has kind of washed away the dust and bugs and even though the grasshoppers are still there, they are not as distracting. Somehow the spirit touched my precious children and encouraged them to go back to church. And in that environment we rediscovered the joy of the gospel.