Monday, October 28, 2013

The Return of Hot Topic Monday ... the return of the divorce topic ...

There is no way to describe what it is like to be in Texas again. I am grateful in every way to be home ... by my parents ... working heavily towards goals that wouldn't have been reached without being down here. Most everything about this place has been positive.

And then there is the big D word again.

I hate to bring it up ... it is nothing I am proud of ... but it is something that is ever present in my life. It is something that has influenced who I have become ... the way I live my life ... the way I love my husband.

Being back here ... there is something about here ... Texas ... the very name slides from my tongue as if it were mud ... the floodgates open ... almost daily ... with thoughts of who I was when I made the decision to say "yes". Yet, it is not the state that caused me to make the silly mistakes of my past ... to hurt ... to cry. But how do you wipe the memories from a place? I have always believed that houses hold stories ... a kind of muscle memory engraved in their 2x4s and sheetrock by the many residents who were fortunate enough to live there. But this was his state ... if houses have muscle memory then states have loyalty to those who love them ... he loved this state. I am here to invade it ... white flag of surrender already waving.

Forty-five minutes ... that is all that separates us these days ... forty-five minutes. I turn down streets that I have turned down a hundred times ... expecting to see his face ... preparing myself in case he is down the street at the house of his high school friend ... clenching my fists around the red of the shopping cart at every turn. But, there are still forty-five minutes and almost a million stores in between us. I ... there is still that ... fear ... that I will see that old white pick-up pull down my street again. Haunted by dread.

I don't know what would happen if I were to see him again ... I don't hate him ... I don't blame him ... I am happy that he is happy. There is just something so inexplicable about the way I feel about him. A nothingness, for sure ... a sorrow ... a desire to see inside his brain so that I may know why he never came after me after I walked away ... why he couldn't have done those three simple things I needed from him.

All of this opened like an old festering wound ... waiting for the right knife for just the right cut ... the move was that knife ... living in Texas again was that knife. Something about two thousand miles was more comforting than forty-five minutes ...

I was with my parents at Hobby Lobby the other day ... there was someone who looked like him ... it was as if I had been pulled over by a police officer ... all the feeling drained from my body ... I had this lurch of dread ... It was then that I realized how much I didn't ever want to see him again ... how I would avoid it at all costs ... I probably never will. How do you stop your mind when you are so immersed in the life that brought you together ... driving by the spot of your first date on a daily basis going to work.

It has been four years ... I used to be able to go months without thinking about him ... without seeing the scars ... but here ... I need to learn how to control here ... how to make it more of a present than a past ... Maybe that will only come when we move out of the place where we had our start ... where we fell in love ... where he proposed. When I stop going to the church building where we had our wedding reception ...

Not wanting people to get the wrong impression ... I know that I have a lot of new readers lately ... I am not in love with my ex-husband ... I do not hate my ex-husband ... I have healed immensely over the years ... more than I could have hoped for ... the lingering feelings are that of hurt ... I am hurt by the way our marriage was ... by the way it ended ... and by the way he just disappeared and left me with no closing statements. No way to close my own feelings ... just grappling for anything that might help me to understand what had happened ... that ... well ... that takes so much longer than anyone could ever expect ...

I don't have anything to take away this hot topic ... It is still something I am trying to figure out for myself ... I have no advice this time ... It has been on my chest like a succubus everyday since we have moved here ... I write in hopes that getting it out will help me to get what is going on and solve the problem.

So I am sorry my fellow divorcees if you were hoping for more this time ... like last time ... I will figure it out ... but for now take comfort in the fact that it can be figured out ... that things will get better ... and they do ... everyday.

sleep tight readers!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Trunk or Treat!


I can't say that it is my favorite holiday ... recently I have been getting into the folklore of it ... that has sparked a little bit of like ... but nothing too extreme ... but here we are again ... in the season of the dead ... and we have yet again immersed ourselves in the many festivities that abound.

Of course Fall is my favorite season ... we have participated in those events as well ... but the two weeks before the impending all hallows eve is what I am talking about. Last night was Trunk or Treat for our ward ... I got the idea for our trunk from google ... but I think it turned out great! look for yourself:

And to think all it took was white, pink, and blue paper; and a little bit of tape ... oh ... and that tongue is a red plastic table cloth ... dollar store stuff ... how could you not love it! R would move the trunk up and down to scare the kiddos ... probably should have not left him alone by the car!

As for costumes ... well ... R and I won best couple costume for going as Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler ... yea Big Bang! E couldn't decide what she wanted to be ... so basically we took her to the store said pick and that was that ... whether she likes it or not ... she was spider girl ... and a very cute one!

Thank you so much Braun Heights ward for a super fun evening!

Just a ramble ... but what this post has shown me is just how rusty I have let my writing get ... I am so sick of numbers ... anyway ... have an amazing evening my friends!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just because I can ...

As an English student I was always forced to look deeper into the words of authors. Well, as a self proclaimed author ... and slightly justified to a degree through a degree ... I am here to tell you that doing that may just be a crock. Want an example ... read this:

I stand among the living
yet feel like I am dead
standing at the doorsteps of incomparable mockery
the struggle of pain written all over my face
unable to comprehend the incomprehensible
forgiveness sought but rarely received
run, run for the life of the desired soul
control the uncontrollable
I will succeed ...

R said it sounded icky ... un -Christian ... he really didn't like it. I don't blame him ... I read it after I wrote it and it sounded dark. R asked if I was depressed.

I'm not.

Those words came out like word-vomit ... right when I was at a loss as to what to blog about ... so I looked inside ... and this is how I see it ... (and how I know that no matter how many times you look and over again at the work of an author you will never really know what they were meaning) ... The first two lines talk about how tired I am ... my b12 is still low and I feel like I could sleep all the time ... the next four talk about my shyness and social anxiety that I suffer from ... the next is work ... the following line is just filler, thought it sounded pretty ... the two that follow are about E and I ... The last three are about our monetary situation and the life that we are working towards.

I bet you didn't read it like that!

So, basically ... I don't know where I am really going with this post ... other than I didn't know what to write about ... but I knew I wanted to write ... and this crazy poem came out ... I thought it sounded pretty ... but then I didn't think that it would be a good idea just to post that because it makes me sound depressed and a little psychotic ... and so I turned it into something positive ... saying that literary studies are just as subjective as art ... so good luck and go with whatever translation benefits you most ... because ... honestly ... you will most likely be wrong.

Ok ... ummm ... let's let that be all of my craziness for tonight shall we.

Have a great night friends!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sabbath Day Views on the World

Hey! So it's Sunday ... and I have spent very little time thinking about things I should be thinking about ... there was a lot of movie watching today ... a lot of wishing I could have stayed home from church ... a lot of eating ... basically things that don't exactly keep the Sabbath day holy.

However, a couple of months ago my dear R and I were asked to speak in church ... no big deal right ... happens every time you move into a new ward ... but what killed me this time was the topic I was asked to speak on ... I mean ... I won't say more ... I will let you read it ... but I think it speaks to the relationship that I have with my wonderful and gracious Heavenly Father. He knows me. He knows what I am thinking and what I need to work on ... and he likes to remind me constantly ... in very amusing ways ... yea ...

Please enjoy my talk where I publically get told by Heavenly Father ... through my own voice ... how I should be behaving towards E and towards the idea of having more children:

"Good afternoon brothers and sisters. I am Amy Combe, daughter and current house resident of Brother and Sister Schmucker, married to Ryan Combe who is here on the stand with me and mother to the beautiful five year old Emma. Ryan and I just moved here about two months ago and will live with my parents for about a year and a half while getting settled. We moved from Logan, UT where both Ryan and I got degrees from Utah State University. Ryan currently works downtown at Frost Bank doing something in IT and I am a stay at home mom.

When I was first assigned this topic of having a mothers heart I was completely baffled. I laughed inside my head (and quite possibly out loud), good one heavenly father, your jocular attitude slays me, first nursery now this, you know I struggle with this topic the most, why would you have me speak on it. Later on this past week a conference talk was brought to my attention, it had nothing to do with having a mother heart, it had everything to do with being teachable. I see what is happening here, I am supposed to be learning something not teaching something, oh Heavenly Father, you got me again. And so I set out to educate myself, I apologize if this talk is a little heavy on the quotes side, I still have a lot to learn.

For those of you who know and those of you who don't, that beautiful red head little girl who sits with us is my step-daughter, she is the beautiful creation of Ryan and I am just blessed to be in her life. However, there is a learning curve to this whole motherhood thing, one that all of my years of babysitting and working in kids cluds never taught me. I never knew how difficult it was just to contrive a mother heart. I thought it just came naturally when it happened, hey, heres the baby, heres your mother heart. But as I read through the talk given by sister Beck I learned that a mother heart is not just the heart of a woman who has kids, it is so much more than that. In fact, a mother heart can be aqquired long before one has kids. She says:

"Every girl and woman who makes and keeps sacred covenants can have a mother heart ... A woman with a mother heart has a testimony of the restored gospel, and she teaches the principles of the gospel without equivocation. She is keeping sacred covenants made in holy temples. Her talents and skills are shared unselfishly. She gains as much education as her circumstances will allow, improving her mind and spirit with the desire to teach what she learns to the generations who follow her."

What sister Beck does here is list for us what it will take to expand our hearts to become mother hearts before the kiddos come. We must
  1. Make and keep sacred covenants
  2. Have a testimony
  3. Teach the gospel
  4. Keep covenants made in the temple
  5. Share talents
  6. Be unselfish
  7. Gain education and share it
Proverbs 31:25-27 give us even more understanding as to what it takes to have a mother heart, it says:

25 Strength and honour are her aclothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of akindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of aidleness.

Basically, we can add to our list:
  1. Strong (not just physical, but spiritual and emotional)
  2. Wise
  3. Happy
  4. Kind
  5. Hardworking
Now that we know what it means to have a mother heart, and where we need to be, what we need to be doing, how we need to be acting; it is time to figure out how to aquire these things. Standard primary answers come quickly to mind, obviously those answers of praying, reading our scriptures and going to church will help anyone to gain a testimony, make and keep sacred covenant, teach the gospel, and keep covenants that were made in the temple. President Monson even says: "Among the most effective ways to gain and keep the faith is to read and study the scriptures and to pray consistently". These answers that we teach to our precious primary children are the foundation of the Gospel and help anyone to emerse themselves in the Lord, and by doing such we grow closer, so all of those religious aspects become a little easier to aquire.

This remided me of the time, or current time, when Emma and I struggled to get along, I believed I wasn't ready to be a mother and she believed she wanted to be else where. In order to combat those feelings we have emersed ourselves in the Lord. Praying in the morning together, reading scriptures at night, having family prayer, only listening to primary music. I don't know if these things have helped Emma as much as they have helped me, but I have realized that doing these things, has helped me to slowly aquire, through my ever rebellious ways, my mother heart. I still have a long way to go, but progress is progress.

When aquiring the other aspects of a mother heart those are they that need to be worked on with dilligence every single day. While preparing for my talk I decided to invite the spirit in by watching the Mormon Messages, ones particularly on mothering. I stubbled upon the story of Stephanie Neilson, Her husband and she were in a plane crash in 2008, both survived, but over 80% of Stephanies body was burned, they had four young children at that time ... I knew she had a blog, so I looked it up. From there I was lost for the following two hours. I poured over the stories of this woman who was grappeling for so long to get back to being the woman and mother she was before the accident. I read over the stories where her children first came to see her after five months of being in the hospital (three of which spent in a coma). They no longer knew her, they were frightened, they didn't want to see her. I can only imagine the pain beyond the physical that this woman felt from her children not recognizing her. Day by day, hour by hour, this family picked up the pieces of their shattered existance. Through Stephanies continued decision to be hopeful, faithful, and joyful her children came to realize that this was their mother, When reconnecting with her youngest son, it took one night, seven months after the crash, she said "it was as if his soul finally just knew". I know that it was her mother heart that spoke to him, her boundless effort to be kind, happy, strong, and unselfish as she faced the everyday drugdery. It is important to use the example of Sister Neilson when working towards aquiring the other aspects of a mother heart, no matter what trial is thrown at you choosing to be better everyday in everyway is essential.

Once we aquire the bare bones of what it means to have a mother heart, I can only imagine the exponential growth that takes place when having children. Sister Beck helps us to understand what further must happen when we do have children by telling us this:

"she is a “goodly parent” who lives and teaches standards of behavior exactly in line with the teachings of living prophets. She teaches her “children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord”. Rather than listening to the voices and partial truths of the world, she knows that gospel standards are based on eternal, unchangeable truths. She believes that to be “primarily responsible for the nurture of [her] children” is a vital, dignified, and “sacred responsibilit[y]”. To nurture and feed them physically is as much an honor as to nurture and feed them spiritually. She is “not weary in well-doing” and delights to serve her family, because she knows that “out of small things proceedeth that which is great”

Out of this, we can make another list as to what a mother heart entails:
  1. A goodly parent
  2. lives and teaches good and rightoues behaviors
  3. Again, has a testimony (I'm beinging to thing that is key)
  4. Nurturer
  5. Provides physical needs
  6. Provides spiritual needs
  7. Serves
Wow, basically it takes a lot, a lot of self sacrfice, a lot of teaching, a lot of being teachable, a lot of rightouesness. We know that the Lord doesn't give us more than we can handle, if we strive to equally yoke ourselves with him all of these things, that seem like a whole heck of a lot, will become easy, or light as they say in the scriptures. We know that we don't have to be perfect, we are on this earth to become perfected, not to be perfect. A mother heart in not something that can be gained overnight because we feel like it. It is not something that i can just wake up and have just because I finally feel ready, it is something that has to be worked on everyday, every hour.

I draw upon the example of my own mother, we moved a lot while growing up and although it was not easy on my mom to leave her own friends and her own routines, she was able to become the rock of our family as we traveled the country. Sacrificing her on discomfort and longing to stay in bed in order to ensure the comfort of my siblings and I. On top of that when all but jordan had moved out and on with our lives Mom used her mother heart to help the young women of the church, becoming self-sacrificing with her time and her talents, providing spiritual nurturing to the young women of the stake. While continuing to care for my brother and the ever constant calls from my sister and I. And now, just as she is released from Young Womens, Jordan has grown and has a life all his own, She has opened her arms once again. Allowing me and my small family to live in her space, giving my five year old comfort by allowing her to live, and practically destroy, her newly remodled office. She may not think that she ever did much, but I assure you she did, and still does so much more than she will ever know, and if I could grow to be half as good a mom as she was I know my child and children will be blessed.

Some of the things on these lists that we made may come easy to some, more difficult to others, but either way as we all strive for a mother heart we will be blessed Sister Beck mirrors these notions when she says:

"As they keep their covenants, they are investing in a grand, prestigious future because they know that “they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever"

 "the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man. She has the vision that, if worthy, she has the potential to be blessed as Rebekah of old to be “the mother of thousands of millions"

"There is no limit to what a woman with a mother heart can accomplish. Righteous women have changed the course of history and will continue to do so, and their influence will spread and grow exponentially throughout the eternities. How grateful I am to the Lord for trusting women with the divine mission of motherhood. Like Mother Eve I am “glad” to know these things."

I know that no matter how much I struggle with the idea of a mother heart, if I work towards it everyday I will be blessed by Heavenly Father and the blessings will be enormous, like that of Rebekah. I know that Heavenly Father will help us to accomplish these goals if that is what we desire, he will be there to help us and guide us as we work hard. I know that even with all the hard work and the self sacrifice and the constant sharing of knowledge, having a mother heart is one of the greatest accomplishments that we can have on this earth, wether we have children or not. A mother heart will help us to be better people in general, and specifically it will help us help other people, we will learn how to love as Christ loved, which is basically what he wants for us.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Hey Bloggosphere!

When I was welcoming myself back to the land of the blogging day before yesterday I totally forgot one of my favorite things to post about ... food! Basically I love recipes ... I love to cook ... and I love to share it ... but let's be honest ... you already knew that.

Today I present you with a cake that is so delicious and easy to make that you will come up with excuses to make it all the time! It was brought to my attention when it popped up on my news feed on Facebook, posted by one of my dear old friends from the hospital ... I say this because I was totally surprised and excited that something this amazing would be shared there! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it ... like right away ... I mean ... the ingredients are pretty standard to any kitchen ... so ... I mean ... I had them ... of course I made it right away!

There is something so spectacular about a good cinnamon roll ... am I right ... I mean ... it fits so perfectly during fall and into the holiday season ... seriously ... I would kill for a good cinnamon roll sometimes ... no matter what the season! Well ... if you can imagine ... this cake is even better than a good cinnamon roll ... you may think I am joking ... but, trust me, I'm not ... I mean ... the ratio of cinnamon to cake in every bite is beyond perfect! And because you put the glaze on when the cake is still warm it stays super moist and succulent ... yes, I did just use those words ... So now ... without further ado I present you with:

Cinnamon Roll Cake!

Yes ... I wish I had a better picture too ... but just trust me and try it ...

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter (melted)

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake, and then feel free to bask in the glory that is this cake.

Doesn't this ooey gooey delicious recipe just make you want to melt ... I know it warms my insides ... especially now that we have finally hit fall in warm old Texas. Well ... Good luck my friends! let me know how it turns out!

I hope you have a fabulous evening!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Adventures Are Back!

I just took ... a super long hiatus ... not that it's really a big-o-deal-o ... but here I am ... back ... possibly for a while again ... who really knows ... all I know is that I missed it. Basically I look at numbers all day ... which is something I never thought I would say ... but it is true. I didn't really think too much about it ... and then I was watching a show ... don't even remember exactly what it was ... I guess I was only half watching ... either way there was this part ... a part where the male lead was trying to woo the female lead, in doing so he quoted a famous author ... who I cant even honestly remember either ... and then she answered back with who that author was. I died. Almost literally. There was a point in my life where I would have been able to do that exact same thing ... I realized that I don't really have that ability anymore ... that made me realize even further how much I love and miss the written word. Numbers give me a headache ... not almost literally ... literally. I mean ... I am not a math person ... I am not a numbers person ... and yet that it what I am doing ... and I am thankful for it ... I mean ... talk about strengthening your weaknesses ... but it is so true about what they say about not burying your talents ... you totally lose what you once had. When I finish with this job I have a lot of work cut out for me to get back to the things I really love. There is so much eloquence within the English language ... the ebb and flow of sounds ... the way it has the ability to transport you to just about anywhere you want to go ... it's the way we communicate ... its the way we express emotion ... I just love it. I missed it. And so here I am ... again ... writing ... not really for anyone ... but for myself ... hoping that maybe I will be able to not only strengthen my weaknesses but I will also be able to keep up with my talents.

Is there anything you should know since I have been gone? I don't think so ... life has been pretty stagnant .... which isn't bad ... we are working towards our goal ... and so it will stay stagnant ... parents house ... school ... work ... parents house. Hopefully before next Christmas we will be able to get out of limbo that we are in ... but until then we are just finding joy in the journey ... I mean ... let's be honest ... who doesn't need a little stagnancy every once and a while in their lives ... gives a nice rest from the everyday crazy. Doesn't lead much to blog about ... but hey ... how many people read this anyway!

And so I am back ... I hope the people who do read this are excited ... because I am!

p.s. I am going to be writing about the same things I did before ... divorce, being a step-mom, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ... and so if that is something you aren't interested in then I would stop reading right now.