We Love to See the Temple

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On Tuesday The Captain and I took lunch to Wild Man and work and visited with him for a little while. On our way home something kind of special happened and I wanted to share the experience.

Before we had our son Wild Man and I were awesome at going to the temple. For more than a year after we were first married we went once a week and once that became a little more difficult we still were able to be there once a month, if not twice. When I got pregnant is when things started to slow down – way down. I was always terrified to be in the temple for fear of throwing up and not being able to make it to a garbage can, or passing out or who knows what else could happen to a sick pregnant lady. I know it was wrong, but that became my excuse as to why we couldn’t go very often. Then we had our baby and the temple has embarrassingly basically become a distant memory.

I know that when you become a parent getting to the temple is harder, but its certainly not impossible. People do it all the time, yet I was still making that my excuse. I couldn’t make weekly or even monthly time for the temple because I had a child. (shaking my head at myself)

As I was driving home with H chatting in the backseat I was thinking about this. I made a mental note that we needed to get there and soon. Almost immediately after I thought that another thought popped into my head – and I don’t think it was a thought of my own – that said, “then go.” I kind of shook it off and thought again that we need to go soon. Then the other voice in my head said, “then go.” I will, I thought to myself, but again I heard, “then go!” a little louder.

Um. I couldn’t go. Not right now! I had my one year-old in the back seat and you can’t enter in the temple until you are eight, everyone knows that. But again and louder I heard it, “then go!” More excuses popped into my head. Am I just supposed to stand outside? I can’t go in with H. It’d be silly to just stand outside, its freezing! I thought of every excuse I could, but then I also thought about how both H and I had our big winter coats in the car. We could wear those? But wouldn’t people think we were weird or think I’m a bad parent for taking my young child out in twenty degree weather to stand on the temple grounds for a while? And as you could probably guess, I heard it again. “Then go!

So I changed my course and we drove to the Provo Temple.

I’m embarrassed it took me so long and that I came up with so many excuses to not go. Because the second my car pulled into the temple parking lot my eyes immediately filled with tears and my heart and stomach felt like a fire was burning inside them. All the sudden I realized just how badly I needed to be there. I didn’t need to be physically inside the temple, I just needed to be in the presence of the temple and be able to feel the peace that radiates from it on its grounds.

H and I bundled up in our coats and hats and I carried him to the front of the temple and sat him down. Immediately he began running around and headed straight towards the fountains. We spent the next half hour pacing around the beautiful temple grounds as that same spirit kept raging inside me. I would look at my son and feel overwhelmed with love as I thought of our eternal family and how blessed we are. I felt so peaceful and joyful and like everything was right in my world for those thirty minutes. I was so happy I’d finally listened to the prompting and gone to the temple with my son.

I had no idea that I was in need of a spiritual boost and just a boost of heart. I had no idea how badly I needed to be on the temple grounds and to feel the spirit so strongly. It reset my heart and mind and gave me renewed perspective and positivity. It charged my battery exactly how I needed it to – even though I didn’t know I needed it. The Lord works in such amazing ways.

It was the highlight of my year so far. Being on the temple grounds chasing my sweet son and talking to him a little bit about the gospel and saying a quiet prayer in my heart. A sculpture of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus were up in front of the temple and that made the experience all the sweeter. It was incredible.

I want to also remind all the parents that even when you think you don’t have time for the temple because you’re a busy mother or father – you do! Heavenly Father loves you and He understands your situation and sometimes just being on the temple grounds is enough. I truly believe this now. (though I definitely still recommend planning a date to go inside the temple)

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

I don’t know why it took us so long but yesterday we finally took H outside and introduced him to the fun of playing in the snow. For his birthday in November he got a sled, a snow suit and snow boots and I’m not sure if there is anything cuter than my little guy all bundled up in his getup. In the morning Wild Man and I just took him out in our yard and pulled him around then let him play in it (which mostly consisted of him laughing as he stuck his little face in the snow) for a while. Then we went with Wild Man’s family to a nearby field and pulled sleds around behind their four-wheelers. We hooked H’s tiny sled up behind one and pulled him around for quite a while – he loved it! Eventually though he started to look sleepier and sleepier so we put him on the four-wheeler with us while we pulled Wild Man’s brother around and H eventually fell asleep in my lap. After a while longer I took H home to my parents house where we spent the rest of the evening. We ended the day in my parents hot tub which was the cherry on top of a really awesome day. I know 2017 isn’t even a week old yet, but I’m already lovin’ it.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Last Post of 2016

I wanted my last post of 2016 to be something really cool. You know, go out with a bang type post. I thought about doing an in-depth review of my year, or the typical New Years Resolutions post. Then yesterday H and I went to the aquarium with my family and as I was watching him oo and aw at all the different fish I was hit pretty hard with the obvious realization that he was my whole year. 2016 was our first full calendar year with our little guy and it completely consumed us.

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I think Wild Man and I changed a lot in 2016. We went from being 2015 people with no parenting experience or knowledge, to being these 2016 people who have this new little person in their lives that they’re completely obsessed with and want nothing but the best for. We changed the way we thought, the way we made decisions, the way we cleaned, decorated and organized, we changed our daily rituals, we changed our priorities and our hearts changed the very most. There is nothing quite as bonding as having a child together and working together the best you can to ensure that you’re sweet little one lives a good life. Its exciting and terrifying all in one, but there is nothing comparable to it and though its only been 13 months, its been the best 13 months I’ve ever lived. I turned into a different person this year (ok, last November) when I took on the title ‘mom’ and theres no greater joy to me.

Our family is small – just the three of us and in time it will grow, but I couldn’t help but think about what a great year its been with just our little crew. We have made so memories and we’ve all taught each other so much. I get real emotional thinking about the future as we add on more children, more memories, more lessons and more experiences – life is awesome! It has its downs, yes. Every year does and some are greater than others but I am feeling so fortunate to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints and to have faith in God’s plan for me and my family. I don’t know what 2017 has in store for our family but I’m excited (and as always, a little worried) to find out. As I say goodbye to such a nice, happy year I can’t help but thank 2016 for the great memories – and definitely for the entire year I’ve been able to spend with my husband and son. Those two fill my heart and bring me all the joy and happiness I could ever wish for and the more I think about it I know that as long as I have them, then my life – and 2017 – will be good.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Christmas 2016

I’m pretty sure there aren’t even words to describe what a perfect Christmas we had yesterday. To be honest I’m getting teary just thinking about it. Everything went perfectly, so smoothly and having our sweet one year old totally into it made everything so much more magical. I laughed because on Christmas Eve night when I went to bed I realized I felt like a little kid again and could hardly sleep because I was too excited to see H see what Santa brought him and open presents from mom, dad, grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins. At one point I woke up and thought for sure it was six or seven in the morning and I laid there impatiently waiting for H to wake up because I was so excited to start the day. After a while of waiting I looked at the clock on my phone at it was 1:30am! It was a total flashback of my childhood.

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Its almost like H knew it was Christmas. He woke up extra happy and was adorable when he walked into our living room and saw everything. He actually had a decent attention span when it came to opening gifts and was really cute and had a few specific toys that he really loved. We had Christmas morning just the three of us for the first time this year and it was perfect. It made the holiday more special and meaningful somehow – and also made me feel like an adult, big time. We spent a little over an hour opening gifts, taking pictures and playing with our new things then we got ready for church. We went to my families ward with them at 9am. I originally had a bad attitude about church on Christmas and now I’m embarrassed I ever felt that way. Hellllllloooooooo? Isn’t that what this holiday is about? Church was only an hour long and it was filled with choir numbers, congregational hymns and one speaker. It was a really neat way to remind me of the spirit that should be in our hearts on Christmas day. It put the day in to perspective for me and honestly because of going to church I felt a different spirit with me throughout the day.

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After church we went to my parents house for several hours. They hadn’t had their Christmas yet so we were able to join them for all of that which was really fun. I truly think I’ll be kind of sad the day I don’t get to be there to see the looks on my little sisters faces when they open their gifts. We exchanged gifts then pretty quickly started my FAVORITE Christmas tradition – we broke open a bunch of the new games we received and started playing! Games and Christmastime just go together in our family. It was a blast playing games and eating Chinese food.

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Then we made our way (five houses away) to Wild Man’s families house where his entire family was there for the first time in a few years! We socialized, exchanged gifts, played a couple games, ate a delicious Christmas dinner then played some more games. We got tired but it was well worth it.

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When we got back home H couldn’t stay awake and went down so good. Wild Man and I looked through the pile of gifts we got and reminisced on our amazing day. Like I said I seriously cannot put into words how great of a day this was. I knew it would be good – Christmas always is – but this was better than I imaged it to be. I hope you all had an equally as amazing day and that no matter who your day was spent with that you felt love and were able to remember the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Temple Square

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I love going to Temple Square – especially in December when the lights are up. We didn’t go last year because H was so tiny and there was no way we were taking him outside in the cold that little, so I was extra anxious to get back there this year. I was also very excited to take H and see him experience it. He loves Christmas lights and goes a little crazy when he sees them so I had high hopes of his reaction to this pretty place and he didn’t disappoint! He couldn’t point at everything fast enough and much to my happiness, he kept staring at the temple with his big blue eyes just searching it over. I loved it. This year was kind of cool as we all watched the Nativity that lights up as the scriptures about Christ’s birth are read I felt the spirit really strong as I talked to my baby about what the scriptures meant. I know he’s just one and doesn’t remember it, but it was really special to me and made me excited to continue talking about the gospel with him and our future children. I love the spirit that comes when you are in the presence of a temple.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Winter Skincare

Ah, the havoc that cold weather can wreak upon our poor, unsuspecting skin, am I right? We finally get our skin looking all nice, moisturized and pretty, then BAM! the cold weather comes along and messes everything up. Oh, the joys…

I am still working on finding the perfect remedy to combat what cold weather does to our precious skin, but in the last little while, I have had a few people ask for any tips and tricks, because they, too, are suffering the woes of cold weather.

I’ve acquired some tips and tricks along the way. Though they are few, they’ve worked for me. Without further ado, here are CeeCee’s tricks, tips and advice.

  • Use a richer, extra hydrating facial moisturizer. I feel like this is the most obvious answer, but it works. Ultra hydrating  moisturizers are going to obviously help your skin absorb extra hydration – exactly what it needs with all this cold weather.
  • Exfoliate your face (3-5 times a week). This will help slough off dry, shedding skin and help new skin surface.
  • Use hydrating serums and masks. I’m not going to recommend a specific brand or type because everyone has different budgets, likes, etc. But they really do work! Every night and morning I use a hylauronic acid serum (provides lots of hydration) and at night I use a hydrating mask and my skin has really been reaping the benefits of this habit.
  • Exfoliate your lips and coat them in a good, moisturizing lip balm or vaseline. Just like on your face, it sloughs off dead skin and allows your new, fresh, pretty skin to surface. Then with lip balm or vaseline you lock in moisture that your lips so badly need.
  • Add facial oils into your moisturizer. Its just a little extra hydration for your skin to soak up. Lovely.
  • Olive Oil. I dump a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto a cotton ball every night and rub it onto my face and neck. Again, another extra step to add in moisture to your skin.
  • Don’t neglect the rest of your body! Use a hydrating lotion/moisturizer on your entire body because its not just your face thats going to be feeling the negative effects of cold, dry weather. I also like using Coconut Oil. The oily feeling helps me feel extra hydrated and my skin feels soft and smooth a little extra longer. (just my opinion)
  • Use honey. Honey leaves your skin soft, smooth and happy. It always leaves me a little more moisturized and dewey, as well. And it smells divine!
  • Gloves and socks. For dry hands and feet I like to put several heavy coats of moisturizer, foot or hand cream on my feet/hands then put on socks or gloves to really lock in the moisture. I love the way my hands and feet feel afterwards, too. Its incredible.
  • Get a facial! 1. Because they’re amazing and feel like heaven. 2. They’re so beneficial for your faces skin and your esthetician will cater to your specific skin needs. Tell your esthetician you’re dry and winter air is wacking your skin out – she’ll hook you up.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

“The best foundation you can wear is glowing, healthy skin.”