28 April 2014
I'm never sure how to break months long silence on my blog. So here is a picture of Ezra, just after he turned two, at the zoo. He has gotten really hard to take portraits of lately because he doesn't want to smile at the camera.
Other Ezra news: He is potty trained. We did the bare bottom method. He has a chart up in the bathroom where he gets to put a sticker up each time he goes, and then gets a chocolate chip for a treat. The first day was hard (which was to be expected), but he is doing really well. He still has some accidents, but has really impressed us. He still wears diapers during naps and bedtime.
As for the things I was waiting to hear about in my last post, one did not work out and we are still waiting to hear about the other one. We're sad about the one that didn't work out, but hopeful about the other. I know that's cryptic, but I don't think I can really talk about the former because it involves someone else and the latter I don't want to jinx.
We're still loving our ward (Mormon congregation), but it is so unique from any other we have ever been in. The ward feels like it is 35% medical school students, 35% African refugees, and 30% misfits like us.
We probably have quite a bit in common with the medical school students, but they mostly hang out with each other. It makes sense because humans are naturally drawn to people they have a lot in common with. But it is still somewhat disheartening for me. I don't know why I've had a hard time making friends, but I am making some.
A lot of our Young Women are African refugees, mostly from Liberia. All of our Young Women have difficult circumstances. They have seen war, been abused by family members, live in homes where there have been suicide threats, serve as translators for their parents who don't speak English as well, don't have dinner, have parents who don't really care about coming to church, serve as second mothers for their siblings because their parents work, and a variety of other hardships. But still they want to be good and do good, and come to church, and if not church, mutual (aka youth group) on Wednesdays. We drive our girls to pretty much everything because their parents either can't or won't drive.
This ward is very Back to the Basics Christianity, which is a good thing. There are so many people who need help that the opportunities to serve are numberless. Mormonism and other Christian religions have a lot of interesting and important theologies and teachings, but at the heart of Jesus Christ's ministry is loving and helping others however we can. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)
Things have been pretty good, but still hard for me sometimes. Which is really how life is for everyone. We've been lucky to see a lot of people we love within the past couple of months. We're taking a family vacation, just the three of us, for the first time ever. We haven't taken a trip that hasn't been for work or to visit people since our honeymoon (which was only three and a half years ago, but still). I feel kind of guilty doing it because we have soooo much family in so many different places and doing this probably means we won't be able to go visit some of them. Hopefully they understand. We're going to Florida because that's where Jeff's hotel rewards had some cheap points nights. Jeff has to work in Tennessee and then we're going to drive down to Florida. It will be nice and I'm looking forward to it, but I still feel guilty.