I took on a challenge to write 1000 words on motherhood with my friend Michelle. I have been thinking a lot but at a loss of what to write until tonight. I was rocking Astrid while she was drinking her milk thinking about our day. I just finished watching a bunch of the www.mormon.org youTube videos. What would my Mormon.org video profile say?
My name is Jamie Braithwaite. I am nerd wife. I am the mother of four girls. I am a loving neighbor. I am a creative chart maker. I am a Mormon.
I am the only daughter of Jim and Joy Lea. I come from a family of 5 children, all boys except myself. My parents are awesome! I did not fully realized their level of awesomeness until I was married and ready to start a family of my own! Now with four of my own children I truly appreciate the sacrifice and dedication they gave to us children. I remember my parents coming to all of our extra curricular performances, shows, ceremonies, track meets, games, competitions, camp outs, field trips etc! I also remember attending all of my brother’s activities. And when we went we had fun! Our family would be the first one to show up and often the last one to leave. We would help set up, run the activity, and clean up after. I never realized that was doing more than most. It was how I was raised and it is how I am raising my children. My mom says, “Families that work together and play together will stay together!”
My family grew up knowing that we would be together forever! My mom would remind me that friends come and go but our family will be family forever. My best friends are brothers, my mom, and my dad. Every night since forever we kneel down as a family together and my father chooses someone to say the family prayer. (Now my husband chooses someone to say the family prayer.) After our family prayer we all put our arms around each other and squeeze in tight with big endearing sigh of love “mmmmmmmm”. Then we tought our right hand fingertips and twist around and say together while our hands are tightly spinning, “SURE LOVE YA”! We throw our hands in the air and cheer! We all knew as teenagers if someone was over at night at the end of the day they would be asked to participate. It was our family thing and everyone knew it. We were not embarrassed because we had done it everyday since forever! I guess I was more surprised when I would go to other peoples houses and they did not do the same family ritual. When I left for college I missed it! My parents would call me on the phone some nights and I would join in on the family prayer alone from my college dorm. I love my famLEA.
Growing up my mother went back to work when we were all in school. She became a school teacher and later on went into administration in the Clark County School District. In my teenage years I became bitter and longed for her undivided attention. What I understand know is that she was trying her best! She always worked at the school I attended or the neighboring school. She was close to me but selfishly I did not understand. My grandmother lived at home with us and I grew very close with her. I had a great childhood but still struggled with feelings of being alone.
Then I met and married Garth Braithwaite. We met shortly after my Grandma passed away. Now fast forward 10 years and we have four beautiful daughters of our own. My mom and I talk about parenting a lot! She is full of tricks and tips! She said she prayed so hard for a girl that God did not answer her prayer until the next generation. Now I have all the girls and am trying to raise them right. I have a graphic design background and have chosen to stay at home with my girls. I use my computer skills daily to help enrich our lives and hopefully the lives of others. I love to take pictures and blog our daily happenings. My blogging habit started when my husband was working several jobs and was off to work 12+ hours in the day. I would blog so he could see what we were doing while he was working. GrAnnie Annie and Grandma Joy would check the blog too and stay in touch with our growing girls. In 2007 I was listening to the Church’s General Conference and I heard this message from President Eyring and I decided I would do the same thing!
“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.”
Now here I am 7,348 posts later my blog is full of small simple things that happened in our every day lives. Simple moments. Simple memories. I find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. Before I blog, I would ponder this question stated by President Eyring: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”
The answer is always yes! It is small and it is usually very simple but unquestionably YES! I will go into a few details of just this weekend.
Garth and I had a block party where we invited our neighbors out for a movie on the garage. I have made it a priority in our family to love our neighbors as ourselves because Christ taught: Love Another as Jesus Loved You! Our neighbors do not go to our church but they are good people! They know that I am mormon and they know that if they ever need anything I am always willing to help.
Garth and I went to the Temple on Saturday morning. We were able to leave all the children behind and a neighbor babysat for us while we went across town the the Las Vegas LDS Temple to do family history names.
Gracie helped me do laundry. I like to have fun doing mundane chores and I usually call out with a funny accent that the pile of clean laundry is full of “BLACK MAGIC oooooOOOoOoOoo” becuase it is never ending and magically grows and grows and grows! I sat on my bed folding and folding while Gracie, my oldest, and the other girls quickly delivered the laundry piles. They would come running into the room as different animals delivering the pile before the Black Magic could get them. Cheetah’s run fast, Eagles fily high, Mice are small, they would tell me as they appeared ready to deliver and over take the “Black Magic.” Slowly but surely the pile disappeared and the laundry is done (for now).
We had friends from High School come over and visit on the day off of school yesterday. My children explained them our JOYrific chart. The chart is what I have developed over the years with my mom to help our children understand and communicate their emotions. There are five reasons someone will be having a bad “temper tantrum” or “grumpy” attitude. They are hungry or tired. There is something wrong with their body. They need attention or they have expectations not being met or explained. My girls know and understand how to communicate with my when they are having a rough go. It is not perfect and we are all working on the plan of happiness. But we have a tool for communication. We help each other. We work together. We are going to be a family forever. We are going to take it one day at a time. But most importantly we all know and can sing without a doubt “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God’s plan. I’ll follow Him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ll honor His name. I’ll do what is right; I’ll follow His light. His truth I will proclaim.”
Garth is amazing on MOTHER’S day! He is so thoughtful!! He ordered me surprises from my Amazon wish list! I have broke 5 of my buzzer guide combs and my buzzers squeal uncontrollably! So he ordered me a new set and a styling cape to keep hair off the body for haircuts. He also ordered me my “prettiest” book on my wish list. It is a children’s book by Frank Viva “Along a Long Road”. He loved the illustration and knew I would love it too!
These gifts are to add to the amazing day he and the girls gave me! They let me sleep in! They brought be breakfast in bed! Garth is showering, dressing, and getting all the girls ready for church! I am relaxing and blogging. My favorite thing in the world.
I asked Garth to not buy me flowers for the counter this year and so he surprised me and planted me this beautiful rose bush that the girls picked out with him at Star Nursery.
I am blessed! And spoiled!
HOPE of his LIGHT in the dark. I am the LIGHT. Accepts that Darkness exists but do not dwell there. Healing comes when we move away from darkness!
Faith. Hope. Charity. How?? 1 Start 2 Turn heart to Light 3 Walk in the light! Singing in the Dark in Africa.
Rosemary M. Wilxom. COMFORT!! You are a child of God! This is my FAVORITE talk as a mother! Increase a Child’s confidence and Faith. Watch your words!!!!!!! Pause to Listen!!!!!! To speak to a child’s heart we must know their needs. Technology time out! Full attention. Say “I love everything about you!”
L. Whitney Clayton (SUPER FAVORITE as a wife) marriage priority! “Watch and Learn”
To do: Dinner Hour, Technology time out, read to children, doing chores, work in the home. Finances together. Freely share & sacred trust. @GarthDB is the love of my LIFE!!
#Packer Boyd K. Packer
Understanding comes with age.
The Ivy, Snake, and bird story.
#FAMILY built on Prayer, Faith, Love, Agency, Knowledge, Jesus Christ.
Faithful Prayers of Righteous Mother.
If YE Prepared YE need not fear.
Light of Christ.
#Davies Dean M. Davies San Fran 1989 Earth Quake.
Build on a sure Foundation.
Jesus. Temple. Prayer. Scriptures. Sacrament. Ponder. Atonement. Be prepared for MAX strength! Holy Ghost will guide. Do our best in ALL SITUATIONS. WISE MAN built on the rock. Foolish man built on the sand.
#Dalton Elaine S. Dalton. MY FAVORITE TALK!!!!!
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him! We will stand as a witness at all times, and in all things, and in all places.
Motto: I am bound when you do what I say. When you do not YE have no promise. What E’er Thou Art. Act Well Thy Part. Stone in Scotland. Each unique and different but OUR PART MATTERS!! Paramount mother daughter relationship & mother father relationship and example. Vacuum. Equal partners woman mother & man father. Mosiah 18:9 Stand as a witness.
#Ballard M. Russell Ballard. The creation. Earth and heavens. Priesthood Power. Equal partners. Life! Tomato plant starts with a seed and grows to MILLIONS. MUST have water and light. Unlimited potential.
#Eyring Henry B Eyring Draw near to Me. Seek u Find. Ask u Receive. Knock and it will open. Service. Faith. Prayer. HE IS RISEN! Circle arms of Love. Come unto Christ. Satan wants to destroy families!!!
Gracie is HEALTHY as a HORSE!! Here Villi look beautiful and no sign on Celiac. This is great news!!! I was excited for answers but the blood work has been identified as a false positive (5% chance) and the biopsy determined there is NO sign of Celiac. After a long conversation with the doctor she has come back to tell me her opinion is Gracie suffers from Encopresis. We are going to continue our education and understanding of anatomy. But for now doctors orders are do not go gluten free.
Here is more information on Encopresis
The exact diagnosis has not arrived yet. But we are transitioning into our Gluten Free life. Stage One is acceptance & identification! Stage Two is education!
the adventure begins. It is a full family adventure. Mom takes Ainsley to school. Dad takes the babies to Grandma. Astrid and Emi will play. Garth and Gracie meet Jamie at the hospital. Driving across town I listened to the Young Women Broadcast on the Mormon Channel by Uchtdorf. It really helped me calm down and feel ok with our current Journey we have been traveling to find answers for Gracie.
once Gracie got changed into her gown we watched Wreck It Ralph while we waited. There was a lot of doctors and papers. A lot of anxiety. Garth pointed out that the anxiety was more ME than HER. I am so glad he is able to be here with us!! I’ve had a few emotional breakdowns building up to this…..
as we were walking into the Hospital I told her that if we were making a movie of her life this would be the part where there would be intense “Dun….Dun….DUN.” music because we were getting ready to get answers but we didn’t know how exactly and we had to be brave and go forward. And then when we leave the hospital there would be fancy schmancy dancing music because the scary part would be over. She liked that. It made me feel better too. We walked down the hall chanting “dun…dun…dun………” together.
Now Garth and I are waiting…….
Today was a busy day at church for the Braithwaite family. Garth and I both sing in the choir and performed 4 songs. We started singing in the choir in Cedar Hills. I wanted to be part of the clique of “preaching to the choir”. I wanted to learn how to sing. I still don’t have proper pitch but I can follow just dandy! I’m working on the pitch confidence and ear. Most importantly I wanted my little girls to be surrounded by good music and sacrifice. Then after singing, Garth taught the third hour on Temple work and the Plan of Salvation. A great lesson for Easter morning.
read more on LDS.org Sharing Time Article. The parts that stood out most to me are
1. I know who I am. I am a Child of God.
2. I know God’s plan. I am going to return to him and be judged. I am going to have my family together forever being sealed together in the Temple by proper authority for time and all eternity.
3. I believe in my Savior, Jesus Christ. I will honor his name, especially on this Easter morn.
4. I will do what is right.
5. I will follow his light!
6. His Truth I will proclaim!
Gracie and I were taking care of business while Garth headed into the park with the little girls. Once we were finished we walked into the park together and enjoyed the Castle and magic together! Seeing everything Dinsey for the first time through the eyes of one of my children was magical! We had a great time!! Towards the evening while I was alone saving our seats for the parade the Doctor called. Gracie’s blood work had come in from last Friday. She had suspiciously high results on the Celiac Test I had requested. Everything else came in normal. But she scored 19 and 11 on a 0 to >100 scale. Not sure exactly what everything means yet and I didn’t have anything to write down all the information but the info I could gather was a score <6 and <4 means NO celiac. And she had a 19 and 11. There is a five point error adjustment but still that is high enough for concern and reason to take a closer look. So we have an appointment scheduled at the hospital.
Doctor Elizabeth Millete will perform an endoscopy and a biopsy to look for damage to her intestinal villi. 3 samples will be taken the size of the tip of a ball point pen. She will get laughing gas to be put to sleep and an IV. It takes 35 minutes. She will not feel anything and will not see anything.
More about Celiac symptoms in children:
More about blood testing: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/diagnosingceliacdisease/a/Celiac-Blood-Tests.htm
More about the Endoscopy
I am grateful for the first time since November 2011 we have some sort of answers and direction for Gracie. Garth was able to reschedule his flight and we will learn more soon. We are going to have the whole family tested because Celiac tends to be genetic. I am pretty confident that Gracie and Emi have similar symptoms. Lots of questions. More coming soon!
on a scale of 1-10. I said a 12!! I told the urgent care staff I almost died last night. I have given child birth 4 times and I have never been in so much pain!! It started last Saturday with a runny nose. Just allergies. Sunday I slept! Gracie prayed I would feel better so I could go to Disneyland. Monday morning first thing she said is IT WORKED!! I prayed for you and you got better!! We headed out of town Tuesday night and I still was sniffly but again just allergies. Wednesday was magical with Disney! Thursday was rough. Headaches etc…but I thought it was my Disney Magic Hangover. Thursday Garth stopped at a drug store and picked up more decongestant and pain meds. Thurs night we got to Temecula for the wedding. I took 2 TyPM which usually knocks me OUT! But I was up every hour in pain and not being able to breathe. Everyone slept in til 7am so when we finally all got out of bed I decided to go to Quick Care or DIE. I choose quick care. After a long wait I got two shots in my bum and 3 prescriptions. Everyone was so sweet and wished me and the family good luck at the wedding. Picked up the meds. And finally started feeling some relief. It was major pain below my right eye and cheek bone down to my ear and into my neck. Like someone had smashed my face with a brick and karate chopped my head with their foot kind of PAIN! I slept much better Friday night and we were able to pack up and head home. Sunday, Easter morning was fun! I’m still feeling the pain but the meds work and I can feel then wear off. And I take more. I use my nedi pot but its not in my nose….it’s my face! So painful. I’m ready for sleeping now. I’m ready to have my face back!
The girls have got so good at arranging in the camera so they are visible for our traditional photo. Emi is still learning.
we will say “Everyone get in the picture… Emi get in the front by mom. We can’t see you behind dad.” And so she does! And stands right there in the very front so all we can see is her HUGE HEAD! It’s kind of the running joke now and she thinks it is hilarious!!
Mom is blogging.
Dad is listening to Harry Dresden books.
Oh, and 1 girl screaming (maybe pooping or gas). Stop number 2 coming up soon.
nevermind….. She cried for 10 min and joined her sisters in silent slumber. Now it’s my turn! 5 girls sleeping = YAHTZEE!
growing up – since I could remember – we went on road trips. We would all ride in the back of the suburban on the make-shift luggage bed. Part of my BEST MEMORIES!
Actually MOST of my memories are from the journey more than the actual destination. My parents always did a great job of enjoying every part of the trip. I hope to pass this on to my kids. We had a TV in the car – before that was a thing! We rigged up an actual TV and VCR plugged into the cigarette lighter converter. The rule was we could turn it on once we were on the freeway and out of the city. I don’t remember any of the movies we actually watched but I remember knowing that we were AWeSOME for being able to watch. There was never any fighting. We knew if we fought over the movie it would be turned off and never turned on again. “One person will ruin it for everyone” is what we were taught. So we would learn to solve the problem on our own before we involved Mom & Dad.
My mom always packed the best snacks! I always remember having Ritz crackers, cheese, summer sausage. Popcorn was another favorite. If we were good my dad would give us money to buy a snack or ice cream at the next rest stop or town. I learned (or was taught) to stay close to the money. Pay attention to whoever was buying (mom or dad) and be extra obedient, observant, and attentive to that person and I would always get me what ever I wanted at the rest stop. Stay close, wait in line, go potty with the person paying was the secret my mom would whisper to me. Cause the boys would go and adventure and when it was time to get back on the road it would be too late to get a treat. Another favorite memory was eating shelled pine nuts or pistachios.
On our trips I remember mom telling stories about the scenery. She or my Dad always knew something about where we were. Or had a memory attached to this or that on the trip.
I remember Mom reading books out loud to all of us. Historical fiction were my Dad’s favorite and of course became my favorite very early in life.
I remember the time we had the air mattress on top of the luggage in the back of Dad’s red truck. He had a truck bed cover so it seemed more like the back of the suburban. Eric and I were in the back. I think Eric was probably in High School so I must have been 7 or 8 years old. It was really comfortable but tricky to move around because there was not much space between the top of the mattress and the roof of the truck. We read books or colored or slept. Eric was bigger than me so I always rolled towards him eventually. We usually ended in a tangled up mess of sorts sleeping with legs and arms everywhere. If one of us moved the other person bounced around. I was more of the bounced and he was more of the bouncer. Then it turned into a game of bouncing Jamie. Then he went for a BIG BOUNCE. And WHAM!!!!!!!! My whole body flew up, flailing, and hit the roof. It wasn’t fun anymore. It was like a face-flat uncontrollable belly flop on the roof of the pickup!
But it’s funny now!
I have many o memory where I don’t actually remember the destination but I enjoyed the “getting there” part.
I hope my 4 girls in the back of this blue honda van are starting to build these same sort of bonding memories. It can’t be planned – it just happens while we are enjoying our journey.
I have not updated in a while (curse Instagram for throwing off my good habit of daily journaling). Loving life! Always busy bees at the Braithwaite Beehive. Celebrating 10 years of magical love we are going to Disneyland for a day of adventure and magic. We are also going down for the wedding of my cousin Aaron & Amber. Excited to see everyone.
In my blue leather journal I wrote overnight the things that were happening in my life. Now, 10 years later, I am typing those things out to pass onto my kids…
R&J are packing and preparing for their big move on Monday across many states to the beautiful green Washington State. I am of no use helping pack with my four babies in tow. BUT adding two more babies to my crowd sounds like my kind of JOB! We went and picked up Zackary & Scarlett. Our first stop was the Scout Office.
I love @GarthDB with all my heart!
This is a virtual high5!
I love that he is tall & handsome!
I love that he is a nerd just like me!
I love that he is a faithful father!
I love that he encourages me to fulfill my potential as a mother, wife, & nerd.
I LOVE that he is my best friend and encourages me to do all of my adventures and endeavors!
In Sunday School we studied chapter 34 in the Gospel Principles class. “We all have talents”
“I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.
As I have reviewed the past 49 years, I have made some discoveries. One is that countless experiences I have had were not necessarily those one would consider extraordinary. In fact, at the time they transpired, they often seemed unremarkable and even ordinary. And yet, in retrospect, they enriched and blessed lives—not the least of which was my own.” (2012 October General Conference, Consider the Blessings, Sun. Morning Session – By Thomas S. Monson)
This is my small unremarkable moment for the day. Astrid sat on my lap (happy & quiet) so I could sing in the choir after church. The Easter program is coming up and I have wanted to develop my “singing” talent. I joined the choir but it has been difficult to attend every practice. But I know I am blessed greatly when I go. I am blessed when i make an effort weekly in developing my weak talent.