Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's a Baby!

Coming this fall! Baby Jensen due October 10, 2016.

Steve and I are beyond excited to become parents and are grateful for a healthy little one. We prayed this baby here and waited a while to see those 2 lines, so we are ecstatic that it's finally our time!

I have a hard time thinking about anything else. Thoughts about this baby and our quickly changing lives consume my thoughts all day every day! Our list of names is growing and shrinking and nearly every dinner, nighttime, morning conversation Steve and I have revolves around the tiny lime-sized baby in there.

I am so excited to be a mama. Can't wait to meet you, little one.

xoxo Abby

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sister Richards

I have sat down at my computer so many times in the last week and a half to write this post and have either walked away in tears or have written so much that I want to keep special to me in my own journal. It's been just under 2 weeks since Loline got on her flight to the South Africa MTC to begin her 18 month missionary service.

When she told us last summer that she wanted to serve a mission, my first thought was "Really? But you just graduated! And you're ready to leave!?" and then immediately I thought, "Duh!" I couldn't think of anyone more perfect for the call to serve. Loline's love of life, the gospel, and confidence in herself and her testimony had shaped her for 18 years to become an ideal servant of Jesus Christ!

Because my parents left for their own African adventure in July, a lot of responsibility to get Loline's papers in and ready to go was left on me. It was admittedly overwhelming at times (as I'm sure all moms feel when they send kids out on missions), but also so much fun! I loved being a part of it all and experiencing it all along with her. She received her mission call to the Zimbabwe Harare mission and after the shock stopped us in our tracks, the reassurance that that was exactly where she was supposed to be sunk in.

It's been 3 short months since she got her call and it's certainly been a whirlwind! After her semester ended, she moved back home where Steve and I are living and we became a sort of three musketeers! Between immunizations, millions of skirts, visas, police clearance, passport, doctors checkups, and so much more, the days flew by! In these last few months, we became inseparable, knowing every detail of each others lives. While we've always been close, we became the absolute best of friends.

I feel like a part of me left with her on that plane to South Africa and will be there in Zimbabwe until she gets back next fall! I miss her more than I can say but have never been more proud of her in my whole life! She was so ready to go and is going to do such incredible work in Africa - this is Africa's time and I'm so excited that she gets to be a part of it's growth in the gospel.

My sister heart is so proud of the beautiful young woman she has become and the wonderful missionary she already is! 13 days down, a million to go. 

xoxo, Abby

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Driving to School

Since I started Dental Hygiene school, I have tried to fill my mornings with purpose to prepare myself for endlessly busy days. I am not a scripture study in the morning gal (doing it at night has always worked better for me), and my morning prayers often sound the same when my mind is just turning on for the day, so I have tried to find another way to start my day off on a spiritual, positive note and have found my answer in General Conference talks! 

I admittedly and shamefully have a terribly hard time staying awake watching conference at home, snuggled up to Steve with a tummy full of yummy food. Nothing against conference, I can hardly stay awake for a whole movie either - the struggle is very real. To make up for my droopy eyes on those April and October weekends, I like to catch up by listening to a conference talk or two each morning on my drive to school. There are some I get hooked on and a bit fixated with and replay on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, andddd the rest of the week, but I generally find myself becoming familiar with most of the talks before the next conference rolls around. 

One in particular I've been hooked on is from this last October's Sunday morning session by President Russell M. Nelson titled "A Plea To My Sisters." I find President Nelson so endearing and love his cheerful countenance and love for life. I find myself feeling uplifted and filled with a boost of confidence after hearing his words. 

In this particular talk, he quite literally calls out to the sisters of the church and names distinct attributes that we as women need to strive for and become. I have loved listening to this over and over, because each time that I do, I think of a different woman in my life who fits one of these attributes so perfectly, and then I think of another, and another. 

My dear sisters, nothing is more crucial to your eternal life than your own conversion. It is converted, covenant-keeping women whose righteous lives will increasingly stand out in a deteriorating world and who will thus be seen as different and distinct in the happiest of ways.

I am so grateful for the examples of righteousness, determination, obedience, happiness, and love that I find in my mom, mother in law, sisters, and friends. If you are looking for a better way to start maybe a slow morning, check out this talk and so many others! I love using the gospel library app, or if I'm at home, hopping onto and find them all there. 

xoxo, Abby