Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"At Least..."

I've had a breakthrough. I finally found the answer to what I've been thinking about the past two months in the video that I'll share later in this post. Denis and I are in a rough patch, probably the roughest rough patch I've roughly been through. I mean it's a serious one...sometimes I think I could take all the difficult times I've ever been through in my life wrap them up, feel them all at once and it still wouldn't come close to the hurt I have been feeling the last couple months. When you watch the video, it feels like I fell in a hole just like that, but instead the hole is a mile deep.

I've been trying my hardest to find comfort and peace. What has been disappointing, disheartening and depressing for me is that I haven't found a lot of comfort from those around me. Don't get me wrong, I know that others are not responsible for making me feel happy etc. (only I can do that), but finding comfort is not about being happy again. For me, it's about finding safe places to feel everything I feel without any judgement.

As others have tried their best to "comfort" us during the last couple months, I've been wondering why humans, in general, struggle to do this for each other and how I can learn to comfort those around me better. Honestly, no matter what advice people would give me, it was not what I needed or wanted to hear. I kept thinking to myself, "What is the matter with you? Why are you being so hard on everyone? Why can't you just realize that they are trying their very best to help you?" I felt like such a horrible person because I couldn't find the comfort I yearned for in other people's advice.

I've thought about the times I've felt like I was comforted in exactly the way I needed. Why did I feel comforted then, but not other times? What was the difference? I couldn't put my finger on it...until I watched this video. It teaches that empathy is much different than sympathy. When people need comfort, they our need empathy not our sympathy.

My husband is my number one place to go to feel comfort, he has been so empathetic because he knows exactly how I'm feeling and he is feeling it with me. My parents have been very empathetic and supportive. They are so wonderful. I can't tell you because I can't count how many sobbing phone calls my mom (and dad) has had to listen to in the past two months...I mean I don't think I would have her patience. If I were her listening to me all the time, I would have told myself to buck up and get over it by now. But no, not my mom. She would never say that. Instead, do you know what she does? She cries when I cry. She sobs when I sob. She grieves as I grieve. And I know she feels some of what I feel. She never makes me feel like I need to apologize for the way I'm feeling. She just lets me be and is there with me, listening and connecting, while we sit in that mile deep, dark hole together.

"Willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort", that scripture has been on my mind constantly. What this video made me finally realize is that as humans (me included), we tend to forget a crucial part of this scripture..."mourn with those that mourn". It doesn't say, "feel sad with those that feel sad and then try to make them feel better". No, it tells us to mourn with them. The end. That's it. Don't try to make it feel better. Don't try to give happy advice. Don't ever say "at least...". Instead, just feel with them.

I hope I can be better at comforting others, now that I'm learning and understanding more about it. I know I'll never be perfect at it, because no one is, but I really want to be better at it and I think I will be after watching that little video.

At least now I know never to say the words "At least..." when I'm trying to comfort someone.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Did you think I forgot? HA! An Unforgettable 5 Years!

I didn’t forget! How could I forget to post about our 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY on August 22!! Really, I didn’t. Here was my logic. Denis has the whole month of September off from school and so we planned a GIANT road trip of New England to celebrate our five amazing years together. On August 22, 2013 we celebrated by going on a nice little date. It was a great, simple day! A day that reminded me that everyday I get to spend with this man is a blessing beyond belief.

As for our 5 year anniversary trip…it was stellar! Even all the planning that we did for it a month before was so fun! And of course when we got home and Denis sat down to catch up on our finances, we celebrated even more when we learned that we only spent $1.56 over the budget we set for our trip…nailed it!

Places we visited: Hershey Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Sharon Vermont, Manchester Vermont, Palmyra New York, Niagara Falls, Kirtland Ohio.

Things we did: Hershey factory, Valley Forge visit (loved that place!), Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philly, dinner and staying with my awesome cousin Shayna and her husband Ian, the train ride fiasco 2013 from NJ to NYC, 9/11 memorial, a delicious lunch at Shake Shack, matinee of Lion King on Broadway, a walk through central park, top of the rock, mastered the NYC subway system, a drive by looking of Yale, a tour of Harvard, Freedom Trail in downtown Boston, visited the place where Joseph Smith was born (beautiful!), stayed at a 5 star resort in Vermont (gorgeous!), a very wet camping night spent near Palmyra, Peter Whitmer Farm, Hill Cumorah, Palmyra temple, Sacred Grove, Book of Mormon publishing store, a very happy me that we decided to get a hotel instead of camping in the rain and cold another night, Niagara Falls, Maid of the Mist boat tour of the Falls, Kirtland temple, Issac Morely Farm, and then HOME!



I made Denis some balloons with memories written on the outside from each year we’ve been married, love notes hidden inside, and hung them from the ceiling to surprise him in the morning.

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My beautiful flowers

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I don’t want to forget that we got two free extra pieces of cheesecake on our anniversary from the Cheesecake Factory…want to know how? Message me and I’ll tell you the secret.



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Let’s move out!

Hershey, PA

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Valley Forge, PA

(one of my favorite places on our trip)

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Philly, PA

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Independence Hall

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New Jersey

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New York City

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Subway experts!

The survivor tree at the 9/11 Memorial

The survivor tree

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Shake Shack!

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Sharon, VT

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The original foundation of the home where Joseph Smith was born

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Manchester, VT

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They upgraded us to their suite for free because it was our anniversary

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The upstairs our of suite

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A quarry where people go to cliff jump

Palmyra, NY

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Hill Cumorah

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Sacred Grove

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Smith Farm

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Peter Whitmer home

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Niagara Falls

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Kirtland, OH

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Going HOME

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