Friday, January 30, 2009

Who Am I?

In my email, I am starting to get rquests to fill out "Getting to know your friends in 2009."

Last fall, my mother-in-law invited me to go to TIME OUT FOR WOMEN. There, I was really touched when Kenneth Cope said, we need to be honest. He said, you would be amazed how many women go to church and smile for three hours, but really they are aching inside.

DON'T WORRY. This post will just be information about me (not a long sad story about life.) Real information. The truth, and nothing else. Because really, what I ate for breakfast and what color my socks are will probably not help me or you learn anything of value about each other.

Getting to know the real Brandi; 2009
I am 28 years old.
I remember when my mom was 28, because I was 7.
My favorite colors are pink and yellow.
I think one of God's greatest creations was making Gerber Daisies in my two favorite colors.
We have struggled with infertility.
We have been eternally blessed to have Lincoln and Henry.
We love Our Joanie Girl.
I still believe that I will conceive again.
To me, miracles are such things as snuggling with my kids until they fall asleep, hearing Lincoln sing all the words to "I Am A Child of God," and hearing Henry laugh.
My husband is my favorite person, he is my number one, and I would give my life for him
It is he who has taught me about forgiveness, compassion, and patience; not because I have to be these things with him, but because he is these things with me.
He graduates from Law School in May.
This is an incredible milestone because he has planned on going to Law School his entire life.
We are so proud of him.
I plan everything in advance.
When we go on a trip, I lay out clothes at home so that I know our kids have something clean to wear when we get home.
I organize my shopping list according to the layout of the store.
I do laundry just about every day.
I love food, but my husband is a way better cook than I am.
I'm okay with that, because he still tells me how good my dinners are.
When my two year old yells, "Mama you are my best friend, ever, in the whole world," I say "Really?" but honestly I am wiping tears away from my eyes, because I love him that much too.
I have three brothers, 5 sisters-in-law, and two brothers-in-law, who I love. Individually, they have each impacted our family at different times, and in different ways, and I know no matter what,
they've got my back.
I would be willing to fib about how bad my back really hurts, if it meant my doctor would prescribe a weekly massage.
My dad called my boyfriend when I was 17, and told him to kiss me.
His reasoning was that I would cry and say my world was ending
because I had never been kissed.
He. Was. Right.
(first he called his bishop and seminary teacher to make sure he was a good boy.)
I always go on a least one date with my husband a week. When he winks at me
I get the exact same butterflies I got when we were courting.

I'm afraid of the dark.
But mostly, I'm afraid that someone
will break into my house and I won't be able to save both my kids.
I don't like ice cream.
I love Salty snacks.
I love the sunshine
I don't have any love for the snow.
I like Nebraska.
I LOVE Arizona.
I want 6 more kids, all in the next 4 years.

Who Are You?

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today is Monday, January 19, 2009.
As I thought about New Year's Resolutions for this year, I had decided that I wanted to be able to keep the goal(s) I set, instead of just making it to March.
I even considered not having a resolution. That would make the already chaotic 2009 more attainable. (in the upcoming months we have to sell our house, find David a job, finish my music for Brazil, and re-apply for adoption (The reapplication happens in April. SO, IF ANYONE KNOWS A BIRTH MOTHER LOOKING FOR TWO AWESOME PARENTS--LET THEM KNOW ABOUT US.).
I have been thinking really hard about what I can do this year to be a better me.
I would like to state here that I will not be making any goals that have to do with dieting. I actually like who I am. I am not a size 6 or 105 pounds, I like to eat "Blondies" from Applebees once in awhile, and I don't always walk three miles a day. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that they should be dieting all the time. And, I definitely don't want a negative self-image to be put on them because their mom was never happy with her own body image. So, let it be known. I like me.
As we were getting ready for church yesterday, we were listening to some of David's favorite church music, "The Garden," by Michael Mclean. I was trying to listen and understand the message, and then something amazing happened. The Lord sent and abundance of tender mercies, infiltrated with my 2009 New Year's Resolution.
I will not be A SHADE TREE.
Yes, I know. What the heck is a shade tree?
Now, before you read on keep in mind that I count myself EXTREMELY blessed to have the beautiful children and the most amazing husband the Lord has so lovingly given to me. I don't want that to go unsaid.
I love them more than my own life.
In the song, "What Good Will I ever Be," The old, barren olive tree sings a song that I have felt in my own life numerous times. She desperately says,
"The sun is setting, without regretting
another day has passed again and left me barren
Nothing is showing. No buds are growing,
my branches ache to hold the fruit I should be bearing.
Oh what good will I ever be?
This isn't living
If I'm not giving
What I was made to give when first I was planted
What curse forbade me?
I wish to bear the fruit most gardens take for granted.
How else will I be known
If it's not by my fruits alone?"
Oh what good will I ever be?
Sometimes shade trees are really nice. Especially when they are shading us from the heat, exhaustion, and trials of our lives. But sometimes, we, I get to comfortable under the shade and accept that it will probably always be too hot or to exhausting to do anything but sit under the shade tree. Sometimes we invite those we love most to come and partake of the shade we are willing to share. We become their shade trees. We don't help each other realize that the greatest blessings come from our willingness to accept the Lord's will and become the people the Lord would have us become.
In my early twenties, I wanted to get married like all my friends. I was shaded by the fact that the Lord had a plan for me that was different than the plan I had for myself. When I accepted His will, and went out into the wild unknown, he blessed me with a strengthened faith. He regenerated my body. He first gave me David; the greatest blessing of my life. Then he blessed my bodyto be strong, healthy, and ready to become a mother. He gave me Lincoln; my first sweet boy. With the curse of infertility, I allowed the shade back in. But, as soon as I moved an inch and accepted that the Lord knew what he was doing, he blessed us with Joanie, and with sweet baby Henry.
I hope this year allows me to remember to be accepting of the Lord's will. I pray that my faith will be strengthened daily and that I can be accepting of the adventures the Lord has in store for my family. I am grateful for the Lord's gentleness and compassion in teaching me that:
I am not a shade tree

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SUPER Tuesday...

Tuesday was a SUPER day at our house.

Henry legally joined our family.

We'd like to first thank our Heavenly Father for managing our first adoption experience. It was an overwhelming, emotionally charged experience that we would definitely do all over again. We have felt and continue to feel the Lord's tender mercies in our family as we think about our sons. We love them, and we are so grateful we get to be their mama and daddy.

We'd like to thank our lawyer, Chris Curzon, who has handled 16 years of LDSFamily Services Adoption hearings. He treated us with kindness, and we felt the Spirit together at the hearing as we expressed our love for Henry Louis.

Thank you Judge Rouse for asking us if we loved Henry. When you welcome a child into your family the traditional way, no one asks you if you love them in order to make a decision to allow you to keep the baby. But, being asked this question allowed us the opportunity to remember the countless prayers sent to heaven, pleading with the Lord for another choice spirit to love.

On Valentine's Day this year, we will have Henry Louis Johnson sealed to us for eternity in the Winter Quarter's Temple.

We love you Henry.
We are so glad you were born.