Thursday, March 13, 2014

Oh Olivia!!

      One of the biggest blessings about living out here is having Brian's brother and his sweet family live only a bit over an hour away. They had their third child and second girl in January and they blessed little Olivia on the 9th of March. It was a beautiful, sweet, and simple blessing that really touched Brian and me. These guys are such a great family and we are going to miss living by them in a year from now when they leave us for their next adventure.  photo DSC_0013_zpsaa565608.jpg
    I have to say-being an aunt is so much fun and I am SO happy I get the opportunity to be around these little kiddos while I can. I have such fond memories of my aunts and uncles and have always loved our relationship and I just hope I can develop a similar great relationship with my own nieces and nephews.

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I just love her little chub :)
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   After the blessing we went and ate a delicious meal of chicken and rice and then played a few games. You can see in the picture below just how much fun these two brothers were having. Bring on the competition haha
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     That's a crazy bunch of Larson's if you ask me :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Be Honest, Kind, and Silly

"Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we're on our knees but while we're on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone's prayer, we often find the answer to our own."
-President Dieter F Uchtdorf 

     Since writing the post about my miscarriage, I have had some incredible experiences. I never thought that something so sad could turn into such a blessing as it has. I am so grateful for the people I have had a chance to talk to and hear of their experience. In return I have been able to bear my testimony of my Savior and the comfort I have felt that has only come through Him. Many people have shared stories with me that weren't necessarily about losing a child, but about other life experiences. I think our experiences-no matter how different-can really be used to help lift each other up and help others find strength. While helping and encouraging others I have truly found the answers to my prayers.
    I am grateful for a loving husband and a wonderful family who loves me and supports me. I am grateful for the friends that surround me and often become my family away from family. A sweet lady commented on my post and shared this beautiful quote with me:

"First, please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father."
~Lance B. Wickman

     I am grateful for the comfort this sweet quote brought to me. So thank you to all who have supported and loved me. I pray that you will continue to do what you have done for me to others because I don't think we realize how much it may mean to them.

 photo newyear_zpsf24d824c.jpg       This new year has flashed passed me before I have really grasped the fact that it is really 2014! But we are excited for everything this new year will bring! Below are some of my goals for this coming year.

A bad habit I am going to break
-Stop Complaining
A new skill I would like to learn
A person I hope to be more like:
-My Grandpa Johansen who taught to always enjoy the journey
A good deed I am going to do
-Look for the good in everyone and everything
A place I would like to visit
-New York City
A book I would like to Read
-The Miracle of Forgiveness
A Letter I am going to write
-Thank you notes to all who have inspired me
A new recipe I am going to make
-homemade hummus
I'm going to do better at
-being positive
   This winter has proven to be the coldest winter Chicago has seen in over 30 years. I have never been so grateful for the invention of a snuggie! I want to wear it all the time! We've had to be creative on what we can do indoors since outside is a bit out of question!
    Did you know that Brian and I are big gamers? We LOVE games as you can probably tell from the picture below!
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     For Vaentine's day we did our traditional fondue. Sadly, I was super duper sick and so we couldn't do much for that day and the week or so after. I think the last time I was that sick it was right when we moved here to Chicago in August of 2012! So I had it coming I guess!
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    I have loved getting letters and emails from this boy! It has been one of the most amazing opportunities for me to watch him grow through writing and his experiences in Seattle. He is such a great example to me and he works so hard out there. I love this boy SO much!

     So remember a couple years ago (3 to be exact) when I thought the MCAT test (which would allow us to get into Medical School) was tough? Well that is nothing compared to Brian's next big exam called Step 1 or Boards exam that will determine if he gets to choose what kind of doctor he will be. This test is coming up quickly! Brian will be taking it June 12! So 3 more months left! We're getting ready to do A LOT of air kisses as he starts studying and working hard so he can do well!
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   Life is moving along nicely. We are learning to love all the little things-even the weather because it makes us be a bit more creative. Our anniversary is coming up-3 years! Woah!