Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's a wonderful life :)

A few pictures over the past few weeks of my 2 sweet kids :)  Followed by a great story if you are patient enough to read it...it is worth it!

Over the past couple of weeks...more specifically this last week after my mom left, (she was an absolute lifesaver for 2 weeks, and was the greatest help anyone could ever ask for--we miss her SO much) I have felt a little overwhelmed with having 2 kids!  Maybe it was because Matt was having a really busy week-getting home in time to help for a bit before getting back to work until long after I was asleep!  I was wishing that I had a weekend to look forward to, but the weekends are almost busier for Matt than the rest of the week.  Anyway- I guess I was feeling a little bit incapable of getting everything done that needed to be done, while being able to spend time with my 2 babies (I feel like Colton is still a baby!) 
 So, I have been trying to take a nap every day while they are both napping, but for some reason Saturday afternoon I could NOT sleep.  I have not gotten on the computer much or looked at any blogs or anything really, and I decided I would catch up on some blogs :)  My mom had posted the following story for our family to read from a girls blog who is living in Italy while her husband is playing basketball, I found myself reading it while bawling, it goes as follows:

"I read an article recently about Mormon Housewife Blogs.
It implied that our lives seem too perfect to be real and some even questioned whether what we blog about (crafts, family, religion) is fabricated because there never seems to be a unhappy moment. So perhaps it's my lovely opportunity to squash that assumption.
To share a story...
And give some insight into why our lives may seem that way from the outside because of what we feel on the inside.
But to start let's just begin with last Saturday Night.

Jonathan was on the road.
It was time to call and set up a ride for me to go to church the next morning.

Only problem was....
No one from my town would be going to church the next day.
No one.

That leaves me with the train.
Not only does it leave at 7:30 in the morning but I have to ride my bike to get there.
Trying not to be too discouraged with having to go to church in this country all by myself and knowing taking the train meant a LONG day ahead of me...

I got up early, packed a lunch for the train ride home. Doubled up my leggings, got four packets of Hot Hands and headed down to my bike.

When I stepped outside, I saw it...SNOW.
It was snowing. Lovely.

Nope. This isn't a seminary video. No one magically showed up with a smile and a ride to church (or even the train station.) I had to ride my bike uphill the entire way to the train station in my church clothes with my purse around my neck and my lunch sack hanging from the handlebar.

I barely had time to lock up my bike, buy a ticket and run to my platform before the train took off. Thankfully the conductor saw me running from the Ticket Booth and waited for me to get on before leaving.

When I got to my first stop, I jumped off the train and looked for my connecting platform.
After almost getting on the wrong platform, I found my way to where my train should be.
But it was late.
We were all left standing out in the snow for 30 minutes just waiting for our train.
Finally it showed up.

I jumped onto the heatless train, pulled out my HotHands packets and shoved them into my gloves. When my stop came I got up to get off.

I was on an older model of train I'd never been on before and realized when I got to the door I had no idea how to open it. There were no signs or labels to indicate how to open the door so I just struggled in front of a ton of people to open it.
I even asked (in Italian) for help.
But no one budged.

So I ran to the other door thinking that maybe the other one might be broken... but same thing. It wouldn't open.
No one helped.
And I watched as the train pulled away from my stop and I couldn't do a thing about it.

I was so frustrated. I had no idea where I was headed next, had no clue how I would get back to my city, and had no hope of making it to Sacrament on time.
I pulled my hood up over my head and cried.
I cried out of frustration.
I cried out of fear.
I cried out of just plain helplessness.

At the next stop I got off, ran to the ticket booth and asked about getting back to my stop.
Thankfully the return train was delayed (otherwise I would've missed it) and I could make it now if I ran.
I ran to the platform and jumped on.
As I sat on the train I wondered why it had to be so difficult to just get to church.
I wanted something good.
Then without any conscious thought I began singing the song we had sung in Family Home Evening that week.

"Come come ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear.
But with joy, wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear.
Grace shall be as your day."

I could do this.

When I got off my stop (and successfully opened the door) I walked the 10 minute walk to the church through the snow and finally made it to the church building an hour and 15 minutes after I had tried to get off my stop in the first place.

After finally making it there I thought my troubles were over but it seemed my lesson was yet to be learned.
The second the closing prayer was said in Relief Society I ran out of the building and through the snow to the train station. My train was leaving 15 minutes after church ended so I had no time to spare.
When I got to the station there was an enormous line to purchase tickets, but I didn't give up hope - the train wasn't at it's platform yet - I could make it.
So I got the ticket with less than 1 minute til departure time and ran to the platform.
When I got to the platform I saw on the kiosk that the train would be delayed 35 minutes.

So I waited, ate my lunch, froze in the snowy weather and waited some more. Just as my train was supposed to arrive, a stream of announcements came over the station's P.A. system.
The announcer was speaking too fast but I definitely understood one word "cancellato".
So in my pathetic, starting to panic shaky voice I asked in Italian if my train was the one being cancelled.

The man I asked spoke English and explained that not just my train was canceled they wereall canceled.
I looked at the kiosk and watched as the status of one train after another switched to cancelled, cancelled, cancelled.

Now church here isn't like it is back home. When church is over - everyone clears out. In fact, one Sunday I had actually been the last to leave because my ride was taking a bit longer to get things together.
I knew very well no one would be left at the church building.

So here I was. Standing on a platform, a 2 hour train ride - a 1 hour car ride - and who knows how long walking distance from my home.
I have no phone.
I don't know any phone numbers of anyone even if I could find a phone.
I don't know where the missionaries or other members live in this big city.
I was completely stranded on a platform in Italy knowing perfectly well NO ONE knew where I was or even that I was in trouble.

I felt completely alone.
And I was completely scared.

I sat down on a bench, pulled my hood up over my head and through tears said,
"Heavenly Father, you have to send someone."

I gathered up my things and soaking wet and cold, headed back to the church. The one building I actually knew of in this city.

Right as I reached the church building, as I was reaching out to grab the door handle - two doors down at that exact moment...walked out the missionaries.
I yelled out in a strangled cry "Elders!"

When they turned around I'm sure they were pretty surprised to see Sister Tavernari, tears streaming down her face and barely able to speak a word through the hiccups and sniffling of a really terrified, really worked up cry - running towards them.

Do you want to know the most incredible part? They had been walking home about 10 minutes ago (about the time I was sitting on the bench, turning my heart towards heaven in a plea of help) when they realized they had forgotten something and felt like they needed to turn back.
And they walked out of the building at the exact moment that I would've seen then. Any earlier. Any later. And I would've completely missed them.

The rest of the day didn't go perfectly - they took me back to the station, verified the trains were all cancelled, walked me to the bus station to wait an hour and a half for a bus that never showed because...surprise, it was cancelled, then took me back to the church where we called members all over the north of Italy and found one that could come get me. From there I was driven back to the station in my city, rode my bike through the snow (downhill at least this time) back to my house and got home around 5 pm. But just because it didn't go perfectly, didn't matter.
God hears our prayers.
When we are as alone as ever. Stranded on a platform without a way home or a hint of escape - God hears our prayers.
The world and all that are in it may leave us but He never will.

That's the difference in the lives of the Mormon Housewife Blogs. We may seem to have no end to our creativity, happy homes, loving marriages, and perfect lives but we have terrible days too. We have trials. We have troubles. And our hearts ache too.
The reason why they don't swallow us whole and we can continue on in joy and happiness is that we know, we absolutely KNOW that there is Someone we can trust in to make it better. To dry our tears, lead us to a hand and heart we can trust and take us out of the dark days to brighter ones up ahead.
I absolutely know that to be true."

Okay, first of all, this girl is an incredible writer, but also--what an amazing experience she had. 
 Now, this story has nothing to do with my situation now (it does remind me of a few situations we had in Germany for sure) However, she related it to why we are Happy, and it can relate to anyone in any situation.  So, as I was sitting there Saturday afternoon reading this, I realized something.
 I am SO blessed and lucky to have my two beautiful children, and a husband that is so hardworking, and although having a baby isn't easy-- there are so many incredible blessings that come from having a baby that they make up for the hard days! 
 I am also grateful for my Heavenly Father who knows my needs and helps me get through my difficult days and who has blessed me with the responsibility and opportunity to take care of 2 of His children!  I couldn't be any happier than I am right now!


Dwight and Kristian said...

great story... thanks for sharing. your kiddos are beautiful! although, i have no way to relate to what you are going through right now, i know that you of all people can handle it. you're a great mommy. hang in there chels! remember how worth it, it is. colton and mylee are so adorable!

etreiersen said...

You have such a good attitude. The transition to two children is hard but so worth it, like you said. Your kids are so adorable. It looks like you are having fun dressing up a little girl.

karrie jo Winder said...

I too had tears while reading this! Thank you for sharing the story. I hope you're doing good with the new little one. She is adorable, of course, and I LOVE her hair!

Diana said...

What a good story Chelsey, thanks for sharing it. Mylee is beautiful, and Colton seems so big!

Tanya said...

thanks so much for sharing this story. It really gave me the extra lift I needed. Your children are so cute and enjoy it!!

Abby said...

Chels..you are so good. Thanks for sharing that story. Its oh so true. I have been going to church in Haiti and I don't understand a thing but it stills feels like home because God is aware of us. I know you are a wonderful mother and your children are soooo cute!! You are very blessed to have all that you have. You have a good attitude about it all too. You are wonderful and I know you can do it!

The Henry's said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It sure made me tear up. It makes all the rough so much more bearable to know we aren't alone. Your babies are beautiful. A great attitude makes all the difference in the world when dealing with two little ones, and you seem to have it.

Rachelle said...

I hear ya Chelsey! Seriously I was having a super hard time when we came back here after being home with family for the holidays...I felt kind of lost, alone and overwhelmed...but then I started reading this amazing book by Sherri Dew "No One Can Take Your Place" and it just touched my heart and made me realize that we all have trials, heavenly father wants to help us, we are strong, and overall how noble of a job motherhood really is...After that I prayed hard and realized how lucky I am that while I am away from my family the lord has placed me in an area with the most amazing, supportive friends. I realized how blessed I am to have such amazing, wonderful children and how happy they make me. I was inspried to keep the kids and I busy this semester and that is what I have done and seriosuly I am so much happier because of it...it is amazing how when we think we are at our wits end, with just a pray heavenly father can make reprioritize our lives and make it all seem better...I love your post, thanks for sharing!

Winters said...

hey congrats again your kids are so cute..we miss you guys hope all is still going well!

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