Monday, March 31, 2014

A day at the Zoo, Sage's first Birthday Party and the Broadcast

     This weekend was a lot of fun!  I think I told my husband at least 10 times that I love having one thing after the next and being busy even though I would never trade the quiet moments with my family at home either.
     First of all I want to talk share my feelings about the Relief Society Broadcast from Saturday.  I am just so thankful I have the opportunity to listen to Latter day prophets and leaders.  The spirit touched my heart that night and I invite you to watch it by clicking here.  At the beginning of the conference the General Primary President spoke and she asked all the 8-11 year old girls to stand up and sing the first verse to "teach me to walk in the light".  As I watched the little girls sing the words with such confidence my eyes began to fill with tears.  It was so amazing to me to get to feel of their strong spirits.  After they finished, the President asked us all to join in on the second verse and I could barely get any words out as I continued to be flooded with a spirit of peace.  I am just so thankful I was there that night.  I needed it.
     On Friday I drove up to work with Weston, dropped him off, and met up with my parents for a fun day at the Zoo.  When we first got there we were a little disappointed because there were a lot of exhibits closed until May but then once we started walking around we realized this was actually one of the best experiences we have ever had at the zoo because the animals weren't sweltering hot and we got to see a lot of action.  Also a cool experience that we had was seeing the Rhino's get fed and while they were feeding them they talked all about them.  It was a pretty neat experience.
It was pretty funny because my Dad saw a wagon sitting around and he decided that if the people were just going to leave it there carelessly then he was going to use it. He makes us all laugh.
The orangutan was pretty fun to watch, he kept looking at everyone then he would do some tricks.  Monkeys like to show off just like people do.  

I had to tease my Dad because I didn't think his photography was very good but still glad we finally managed to make it into a picture he was taking. 

When we got to the bears they were climbing on top of each other and playing just like puppies! Sage kept saying, "stop fighting bears!"  I have seriously never seen anything like this at the Zoo, usually all the animals are sleeping and look miserable. 

The giraffes are Grandma's favorite, besides Sage that is.  

Loose Rooster!
On Saturday, Sage got to go to her very first birthday party!  
It's hard to tell but Sage was so excited to give Brenda her present

Sage and Brenda playing.

Love, Becky joy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

He is Risen

    Today as I was scraping the dried cornflakes off the kitchen floor I started to think about the Atonement.  What really led to the thought was an Easter sign I saw today from
that had a bunch of cute sayings on it, one of them being, "He Has Risen".  I turned on the Mormon tabernacle version of the song "He is Risen" and Sage and I started singing a long to it, her version being, "He is prison, he is prison..."

     I started to think about how truly wonderful it is that He died for us and then rose again.  Death in not the end, thank goodness!  I also started to think about what that meant for my life, me personally.  It means that I will get to be with my loved ones after I die, it means that "though your (me and the ones I love) sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..." Isaiah 1:18, and I have a purpose and potential.  Without the atonement none of those things would be possible.  
     I am feeling so thankful today for the wonderful gifts and blessings I have been given and I have yet to receive. All because of the power that comes when someone decides, "nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done." Jesus Christ in Luke 22:42  

Love, Becky joy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kite flying and being with friends

      Today the weather was beautiful.  Spring and summer are definitely my favorite seasons.  I love the fall for it's beauty and holidays and the winter for Christmas and the beautiful winter wonderland but after a few days of cold weather I am ready for spring and summer again.  
     Last night while I was at Wal-mart I ventured over to the summer aisle and bought some bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a kite.  Then today I woke up and thought, it would be a whole lot more fun if we invited friends over to enjoy it with us. :)

THE BEAUTIFUL GROUP (taken by our 4 year old photographer Jordan):

First row: Audrey, Trisha holding baby Harris, Me holding Sage, Brittany holding Sadie, Nadia
Second row: Eva, Porter, Zach, Brenda

I sort of love these pictures where we are not quite posed yet.  
I had some tutus, headbands (crowns), rings, and necklaces from Sage's Princess themed birthday party (that I never ended up doing) and we dressed up all the little girls as little Princesses.  Can I just add it is so cute watching a little girl light up when you tell her she's a princess, I suppose each of us girls have royal blood in us being daughters of a King and all. 
 Red light-Green light

 Side-walk chalk, hanging out, bubbles, and kite flying.  Basically just a fun day out in the sun.

Thank you so much for joining me ladies, it was such a fun day for both Sage and I. 

Love, Becky joy


Monday, March 24, 2014

Why I stay home....

      Typically my day starts out waking up to an alarm clock of a little voice saying, "Mommy, I'm hungry".  Oh and let me not forget to mention my alarm clock also has this built in feature that pokes my face until my eyes open.  It is a beautiful feature because then I don't have to worry about ever pressing the snooze button.  My alarm clock also has a name: Sage.  Yes I am talking about my daughter who has entered the phase known to most people as "the terrible two's".
    My day of course does not end there, it is filled with plenty of "No, let me do it myself"  Or "Mommy, I am going to go outside, and you WILL stay in the house" and what was my favorite she said today, "Bexi! I am talking to Daddy and you need to wait until I'm finished before you talk to him."  Lol.
    I change diapers, wash lots of dishes, get on the floor and once again humor my daughter and build legos with her even though I would much rather read a book or watch a show while she plays quietly (she rarely plays quietly and even more rarely will just go play by herself, she needs constant attention), and sure enough it is another race with her giggling while running away and me almost losing it while trying to put a shirt on her head.
    So why do I stay home???  Well to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want it any other way.  I LOVE being a stay at home mom.  I had no idea when I would write this post that I would get tears in my eyes, sheesh!
     I remember one day with Sage when she was 4 months old, she was crying and crying and I had no idea what to do.  I knew she was fed, had a clean diaper, I tried a binky, wrapping her up...I tried it all and finally I decided that even though it was snowing outside I was going to bundle up and take her out to see if that would help (p.s. we lived in Logan, Ut at the time). In my journal on February 29, 2012 I recorded about that moment, "Today Sage has been kind of fussy and unhappy because she got immunizations.  i always want to remember this.  I put her in her big red sweater and we sat outside and watched it snow.  She likes sitting outside so she stopped crying.  It was so wonderful.  We just both sat there with her in my arms on my lap and watched the snow fall and the cars drive by.  She is so special to me.  I wish she didn't have to grow up.  I love having my little Sage baby."
     Now of course, she has to grow up.  But in spite of her pant size changing from 12 months to 2T I am enjoying every moment, well most moments.  I remember that day being so hard but it also brought a special memory that I never wanted to forget.  Being a Mom is so so fulfilling.
     I have moments that are hard everyday, sometimes I just want to pull my hair out, but those ugly moments always end and the special moments keep on coming and I want to be there when they do.    

   Love, Becky joy


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hiking: Daddy, Momma, and little Sagie

     On Saturday I woke up and decided I needed to get out of the house.  So we went hiking as a family.  It was cute (can I say that word enough while talking about Sage??)  because it had been a long time since we took Sage hiking and she had no idea what it was. As we were driving to the springs in Fountain Green Sage kept asking the question, "Is this hiking?"  To which we had to explain to her we were on our way there.  Silly girl.

I was trying to get a cute picture of both of them smiling but Sage had more fun playing with her Daddy's head.
Sage was surprisingly really good at hiking by herself.  She must get her hiking skills from her Daddy.
And she needed help as well...
It was a little cold.
Love him.
Weston took some shots of the scenery.  He is our fabulous photographer.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Before and now my After

Today I decided to check out a new blog.  One that I have heard about but never ventured to before: and watched this video:

Have I ever mentioned I am an emotional person?? I cried.  
   Now I have obviously never been through what this lady has been through but I did find myself remembering a couple things I needed to overcome.  First I had to overcome (perhaps I shouldn't say overcome, instead maybe get myself to a better place because I still find myself struggling with this at times) loving myself no matter what my body looks like and Second, a food addiction.  
    The reason I put food addiction second is because I overcame that one once I  got myself to a better place with the first one.   
    Okay some history:  I loved eating and I never struggled with weight.  Well that is until I moved out of the home.  While I was in high school I ate a lot but I ran X-country and Track.  When I moved out of the home, I stopped running consistently but I kept eating....a lot....consistently and I started gaining weight.
     I was devastated with myself and for some reason I could not stop eating large portions even though I told myself over and over I wouldn't do it anymore (sometimes after finishing off a batch of cookie dough all by myself).  
     Day after day I would get down on my knees and pray for help overcoming this.  As time went by I decided to join weight watchers.  I lost some weight and I felt good about myself but then I would hit a plato (not sure how to spell the word but hopefully you know what I mean) or feel tired of counting calories/points and I would decide to take some time off.  Frankly, I found that weight watchers made my food addiction worse.  It had caused me to think about food all day long.  Also while on weight watchers I still found myself at social gatherings and instead of enjoying people I was thinking about the plate of cookies on the counter and wondering why no one was eating them!!!  So yes, weight watchers helped a little but it did not fix the problem at all.  
   I kept praying.  
    One day while I was at home I asked my Dad for a priesthood blessing.  In it my health was blessed.  I didn't really know what that meant but I was happy about it.  
  When I returned back to school I realized I had stopped comparing my body to other bodies.  It was weird.  I had been finding joy in others when they had a weight problem and I hated (well not hated but felt jealous towards) the people with bodies that I desired.  For some reason, I stopped paying attention to what people looked like.  I also went to social gatherings and stopped worrying about the dessert plate, in fact it didn't even cross my mind that there were a pile of brownies sitting to my left.  
     I would start eating dinner and instead of thinking about, "okay this is my last bite, okay now really this is my last bite, alright I need thirds..."  I was thinking instead about things completely different than food and I didn't finish what was on my first plate because I felt satisfied.  
     The Lord had heard my prayers and helped me.  He not only blessed me with the power to overcome my food addiction, but He also blessed me to love my body no matter what.  I was happy with myself finally and since I was happy with myself, I stopped caring about food.  These 2 things go hand in hand.  The Lord healed my mind and I feel the difference from this blessing. 
     The weight or burden came off in two places: self worth and pounds.  I am still learning to love my body.  I also fluctuate and at times I am heavier than other times, but as Stephanie Nielson put it on her blog, NieNie Dialogues, "I am Stephanie Nielson, and I am not my body."
      Thanks to my Heavenly Father, today I can say, "I am Becky Joy Cook and I am not my body."      

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finding happiness while being married to a person with Depression


"Marriage is hard."   I've heard that statement my whole life.  While growing up I saw my parents have their quarrels.  I heard people often speak about how they got through the differences of marriage or how they couldn't make it work and ended up going separate ways.  Yes I was well informed that marriage was hard, but for some reason I was different.
    Growing up I quickly fell in love with the idea of being in love.  Let's face it, I was a succor for princess movies and chick flicks.  My future husband was going to see me and I was going to see him and we would be in love almost instantly and we would know that we would live happily ever after. Our trials would always bring us closer together (if we had trials at all) and we would never argue of course.  Also my future husband would be so in love with me that his whole life ambition would be to please me and give me undivided attention at all times.  I knew marriage was hard but that was for other people, not me. 
    Well any who, I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 22 (and of course when you are that age you are ready to be the perfect wife and husband, enough experience and knowledge for anything, right?  I remember it so well the first time I saw him.  I was attending Friday Forum at the institute (every Friday at the college institute building they had a guest speaker come) and I was sitting behind a couple of guys.  One of the guys tapped his friend on the shoulder before it started and said, "Let's find you a girl."  I found this kind of funny and they both stood up, turned around, and started looking around.  The friend who agreed to stand up when suggested (now my husband, also known as Weston) had this grumpy face expression as he was looking around.  We had eye contact for a slight second and then he looked away and just kept looking around.  No, I never imagined that I would ever marry this guy that day (or even after I knew him for a good while either) and he doesn't remember me at all from that day.  Ha, just like all the princess movies and chick flicks right??  I suppose from this experience I should have started to believe that my life was going to be normal, not another movie, but still "marriage is hard" was not talking about me, just every other real couple.   
     Well to make a long story short, we became friends, then best friends, then fell in love and decided to get married.  Marriage was pretty good, I didn't have much to complain about and so far I was living the dream, the princess/chick flick dream.  I even remember feeling like, the Lord did good in putting us together (another story on receiving revelation about marrying Weston) because we are absolutely perfect for each other in every way.  His strengths were my weaknesses and vice versa.  
      After about a year though things started to change.  I think reality hit for both of us.  All the sudden it was open if it was supposed to be shut, it was out if it was supposed to be in, it was lost when it needed to be found .... and this was just what he had to live with.  I was unorganized, I had trouble cleaning up after myself, and I lose everything!  
     I started to notice Weston wasn't perfect either.  He started to act different.  I didn't know this at the time but he was struggling with an emotional disorder known to most people as depression.  I soon began to learn something about myself through this, I let my self worth and happiness stem from my husband's self worth and happiness.  If he was unhappy, I was in tears.  If he was angry, I was in tears.  If he wanted to be alone.....I was in tears.   I was co-dependent with him, a phrase I came to learn later on in my marriage.    
    I am not sure how long it had been in our marriage, maybe 2 or 3 years, but I was attending church at our college ward (all young couples happily in love, hardly any children) alone again.  My husband began to miss a lot.  In that ward,  Sacrament meeting was first, then Sunday School, and last was Relief Society/Priesthood.  Well I went to Sacrament meeting alone, then Sunday School alone, and I was so excited for Relief Society to finally come because then I wouldn't be alone there would only be wives there.  Then right at the end of Sunday School they announce Relief Society and Priesthood are going to be combined next hour.  Hmmph!  I had enough.  I was so tired of being a lone at church.  I decided to leave but as I started to walk towards the door I saw a picture of the Savior and the words came to my mind, "You are not here to make friends or to gain favor to others, you are here for you, you are here because you need Him."  I turned back around and went to class.  That was my first lesson that truly spoke to me on where my happiness needed to come from.    
     On another occasion I remember reading my scriptures and it hitting me for the first time that the Savior died not only so that we could repent but he also suffered for our pains and sicknesses.  He could heal me in every way.  I probably had heard that a zillion times but it didn't register until that moment.  I could be healed from the Savior.  I didn't need my husband to be perfect for me to feel happy. I needed to build a relationship with my Savior.  In order to have my happily ever after, I needed to find my self worth from the Savior.  
      I still struggle sometimes but the times I am doing the best and feeling the most happy I am doing these things:  Daily falling to my knees and praying vocally to my Heavenly Father (of course privately), I have been in the habit of reading my scriptures daily but that wasn't enough, I needed to set a certain time everyday (right before bedtime is not a good time) and really study and ponder the words, journal writing, serving others, keeping the Sabbath day holy (this one surprisingly makes a huge difference), when I have a hard time sleeping because I am feeling disappointed or afraid I turn on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, really working to confront a negative thought quickly and replace it with positive thinking, and listening to conference talks while I am cleaning. 
      Yes I have come to learn "Marriage is hard" for myself.  It is not just a fairy tale.  Through the trial of living with someone who has depression I have grown a lot and this has resulted in my relationship with my Savior growing tremendously.  
     Now I don't want you to think my marriage has been all hard.  I love Weston.  He is so good for me.  He is organized, frugal, good with directions, smart, he makes me laugh, etc...and I have also seen him turn to the Lord through this trial also.  He is doing so well right now.  After Elder Holland's talk in October 2013 General Conference and advice from some good people in the church we have sought medical help for his depression, he is also working on his relationship with the Savior to help heal himself. 
     I am glad things are going better for my husband and I am really glad that I have learned through the times when he isn't doing so well that I can still find happiness.  

     Becky joy 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014 and my Irish roots!

For this St. Patrick's Day I actually wasn't very prepared and after I realized I dressed Sage and I in clothes that didn't possess green at all,  I quickly decided to paint our nails green.  I seriously can't say this enough but I love my little girl soooo much!
       After our nails dried we made green (with pureed spinach) eggs. I love it how Sage will eat raw spinach leaves right out of the bag.  Also she is really good at cracking the eggs for me.  That was a part of cooking I always did (since ya know, she's 2) but then one day she picked up an egg out of the carton and banged the egg against the counter, handed it to me, and it was actually perfect. She has been the egg cracker since (I of course check the mixture closely to for shells).
    When Daddy got home we went swimming for Family Home Evening.  It was so much fun to go swimming as a family.  Of course it took a little convincing.  When Weston walked in the door I asked him if we could go (spelling it out so Sage wouldn't know what it was if he said no) "s-w-i-m-m-i-n-g" and he said he didn't want to.  Well Sage somehow understood what I spelled and she said, "I want to go swimming Daddy"  and of course he couldn't say no to his adorable little girl.  It was fun, Sage is really good at swimming by herself in a life jacket and Weston and I had fun racing each other.  P.S. Weston is super competitive and wins everything.... except swim races! I totally beat him every time.  After a few races Weston and Sage played together with a ball while I got some exercise in.
     It was also cute because when we got there Sage had to show off her green fingernails and explain to the girl behind the counter, "they're green," with of course the most serious face a 2 year old can accomplish.  It was cute and gave us a little laugh.
     So I am actually Irish! Well part Irish.  My Great Grandfather on my Mom's side of the family was born in Ireland and from what I've heard his family loved it there and never wanted to leave.  If I am correct he left because he had bad health and the air there was not good for him.  So if he would have stayed, I may have been an Irish woman (or Italian since that is my Dad's side).  My Great Grandfather was a very kind man who gave to others.  My Grandpa (his son) now lives in Pennsylvania and I would say he is a very giving person as well.  So there is a little history on my Irish roots.