Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Big Announcement

Since I don't have a lot of experience with little boys, I used to be scared at the prospect of raising them. After we found out we were expecting, though, I started thinking a lot about "what if it's a boy??" Pretty soon, I realized that my older brother is awesome, and I'm so glad he was the first child in our family. My husband, the oldest child in his family, is also completely amazing. So then I started really hoping our baby was a boy. I'm excited that all our other children will have a big brother to look up to!

Friday, June 21, 2013

One year!!

I can't believe I have been married to my amazing best friend for one year. Spencer is so selfless, patient, kind, and wonderful. I have learned so much from him this past year!

Recently, something that has brought Spencer and I understanding and peace is Ether 6:5-7.

"And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, toward the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountainous waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were cause by the fierceness of the wind...therefore, when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters."

The Jaredites were trying to travel to the promised land in their barges, according to the direction of the Lord. It wasn't an easy trip--the wind was blowing and causing horrible tempests and storms. Even though the wind was causing great tribulation, it was ALWAYS blowing them in the direction of the promised land. Those were probably rough times, but as rough as it was, the barges were still moving in the right direction. When things got horrible, the Jaredites prayed and the Lord delivered them.

Spencer and I have had a lot of wind blowing this past year. We've been through some really hard things. There were times when we would sit together and cry because it seemed like the winds were too strong. But EVERY SINGLE TIME the winds died down, we saw how we had learned more about ourselves, more about each other, more about our marriage and sealing, more about the gospel, and more about Heavenly Father's love and the plan of salvation.

It's amazing that the hardest times in our lives often lead to the greatest understanding and blessings. None of our problems have disappeared 100%--the wind still blows, but we pray to the Lord and are delivered. Maybe not immediately, but deliverance comes. I can't stress enough how much Spencer and I have learned and how close we have become.

But it hasn't all been windy! We've had some amazing times in our marriage. Those amazing times have felt a thousand times more amazing with the perspective and understanding we have gained so far.

This has been the best year of my life. I am so grateful Spencer and I were sealed in the temple. I'm grateful for the blessings of our sealing that strengthen us and help us grow together.

Spencer is my best friend. I still don't fully understand why I was blessed with a husband like Spencer, but I'm grateful!!

We are living happily ever after!!

I love that you can see my scar in this me, it's a symbol that we can do hard things when we have each other.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

It's done!

I was so incredibly nervous going into surgery yesterday. A few times I almost backed out, but the Lord was mindful and sent me tender mercies to give me courage.

I was lucky--they only had to remove the right lobe of my thyroid! There is a chance the left lobe will need to come out next week, but we're praying I'm all done.

Things went really well with the surgery (I think. I can't remember talking to my doctor afterward, but Spence talked to him). We were able to go home after only a couple of hours. I'm not in too much pain, although my throat is pretty sore and this bandage on my neck is TIGHT! Tomorrow we'll meet with Dr. Money to check on things.

I am SO grateful for the Lord's hand in my life. There must be a reason why we discovered the nodule when we did. Hopefully having my thyroid removed will positively impact my health!!

My family has been amazing through all of this. My parents helped calm me down, talked through my worries, and stayed with Spencer during the procedure yesterday. Spencer's family came to visit yesterday and we've received flowers, dinner, gift baskets, and the like from family and ward members. We are so blessed!!

Spencer has been so wonderful in working through this with me, and now he takes care of me perfectly and sweetly. He is so good!!

I bought myself some new PJs and a couple of 5th graders made me that tape bracelet!

I am a Riley, I can do hard things!!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Into the Fire

This song has been my theme song for the past couple of months. Literally, I listen to it almost every morning. I LOVE it. Part of my love for the song has to do with my love for the story line of the show (Scarlet Pimpernel) but the other part of my love has to do with the message of courage.

With my thyroid surgery looming large on the horizon of tomorrow, I am absolutely terrified. I am listening to this song about once an hour. Like I said, I LOVE it.

David walked into the valley
With a stone clutched in his hand
He was only a boy
But he knew someone must take a stand

There will always be a valley
Always mountains one must scale
There will always be perilous waters
Which someone must sail

Into valleys, into waters
Into jungles, into hell
Let us ride, let us ride home again with a story to tell
Into darkness, into danger
Into storms that rip the night
Don't give in, but give up
But give thanks for the glorious fight

You can tremble, you can fear it
But keep your fighting spirit alive boys
Let the shiver of it sting you
Fling into battle, spring to your feet boys
Never hold back your step for a moment
Never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go 

Are there mountains that surround us?
Are there walls that block the way?
Knock 'em down, strip 'em back boys
And forward and into the fray

Into terror, into valour
Charge ahead, no, never turn
Yes, it's into the fire we fly
And the devil will burn

Someone has to face the valley
Rush in, we have to rally and win boys
When the world is saying not to
With God, you know you've got to march on, boys
Never hold back your step for a moment
Never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head ever higher and into the fire we go 

Let the lightning strike
Let the flash of it shock you
Choke your fears away
Pull as tight as a wire
Let the fever strike
Let the force of it rock you
We will have our day, sailing into the fire

Someone has to face the valley
Rush in! We have to rally and win boys
When the world is saying not to
With God, you know you've got to march on, boys
Never hold back your step for a moment
Look alive! Oh, your courage will grow
Yes, it's higher and higher and into the fire we go
Into fire!
Onward, ho! 

Wish me my students keeps reminding me, tomorrow I will come out of surgery with less mass inside of me. At least they're understanding some part of our matter unit...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On the up and up...a truth-filled blog

I have been very sick. 

Since the beginning of the school year I have been sick--emotionally and physically. There were months when I was fighting tears the whole school day. I would come home and go to bed, no matter what time it was, no matter how hungry I was, no matter what kinds of plans I had made with my best friends (including my husband!).

It was a dark time. 

I cried a LOT. I hated getting dressed because I hated the way I looked and the way my body felt. On days that I didn't have to go to school, I wouldn't get dressed until late afternoon/evening. I missed church a couple of times because I didn't want anyone to see me (and I didn't want to put on a happy face). It was so hard.

Things finally hit rock bottom, and I started getting professional help. Since the only way to go (literally!) was up, I started going up. Today, things are so much better. I am happy. I feel great. I love my life. I love my job. I still have bad days, but I finally, after 6 months of feeling like the worst stranger on the planet, I feel like myself again.

I cannot TELL you what a saint my husband is. He was never, ever, once cross with me. Even on the worst days when every single bad thing that could possible be said was flying out of my mouth, Spencer was there to tell me he loved me. He was saying that I was beautiful, and everything was going to be okay. He never gave up.

My parents have also been amazing. They've brought us dinner, come to talk, picked up medications, prayed, and so many other things. I am grateful to my parents for always telling Spencer how amazing he is, on those nights when I was far gone.

My Riley family has been wonderful as well. I'm new to this family, and I've been quiet, removed, and not myself. But it didn't matter to them; no matter what I was going through, they were there to love and support me. I feel like they have completely accepted me into their family.

I wish I could describe what it feels like to have my Dad Murray, Dad Riley, and Spencer give me a blessing. Being surrounded by the three most important and influential men in my life is incredible. It's so comforting to have worthy priesthood holders and I'm grateful for their diligence and examples.

I am so incredibly grateful  for the gospel. Without my knowledge of the atonement or the plan of salvation, I would be lost. My Heavenly Father has sent tender mercies every day of my life. I have seen miracles occur. I am so thankful to my Savior and Father in Heaven for what I have been blessed with.

The past few months have been rough. The next month will be physically draining. But I have learned SO much in the last little bit. I have a new perspective and I'm grateful for that. Things will still be hard, but I have  so keenly felt the miracle of the atonement that I feel stronger already.

I am so blessed.