Enduring Through Trials

We all have times of trial in our lives.  8 years ago at the age of 24 I found myself in one of the hardest times of my life.  I was separated from my husband and quickly headed towards divorce.  This was not something that I ever had planned or imagined would happen to me in my life.  I always knew I wanted to be married in the temple and have a large family and I felt so disappointed and discouraged for my future. I spent lots of time in the temple and with family members.  During this hard time, I focused a lot on the Lord and my family.  I felt very unprepared and scared to go back into the social, single LDS scene.  I prayed and prayed for comfort, peace and answers.  At times I didn’t understand why this would happen to me in my life.

Elder Paul V. Johnson has said:

At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope. Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal—almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses. And no one is exempt, especially not Saints striving to do what’s right. Some obedient Saints may ask, “Why me? I’m trying to be good! Why is the Lord allowing this to happen?” The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of Saints by burning away the dross in their lives and leaving behind pure gold. Even very rich ore needs refining to remove impurities. Being good is not enough. We want to become like the Savior, who learned as He suffered“pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.”

Knowing that my Savior had suffered with me already was a great comfort to me.  Eventually the problems and hardships associated with that trial in my life passed and I have been able to move forward with great purpose and great happiness.  I ended up reconnecting with an old friend and was sealed to him almost 6 years ago.  Looking back on that trial I cannot imagine a better outcome for this part of my life and it is so obvious to me that the Lord had his hand in every step of the way.  Enduring through the hard trial of an abusive marriage and heart wrenching divorce definitely left me stronger than I had ever been in my life.

In the Book of Mormon, there is a time when Lehi and his family are traveling in the middle of the sea.  There is a disagreement between the brothers on board and Nephi is tied up by his older brothers for several days.  Great storms come and the brothers don’t know how to steer the ship.  Everyone is fearing for their lives and they all basically think that they will drown.  It isn’t until “they are about to be swallowed into the depths of the sea” that they finally release their brother.  I could not even imagine getting treated this way.  Nephi had as much right as anyone to be angry with God and frustrated with his family, but after all of this when his wrists and ankles are very swollen and sore he says:

“I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.” (1 Ne 18:16)

I love this idea of praising God all the day long.  It makes me think about all the days when I get bogged down with mundane details of life and I easily forget to praise God in every moment all day long.  I have always been optimistic and I know that when we look on the positive side of our trials that we can be made stronger and more like Christ.  I know that the trials of our lives are given to us to help us become stronger.  I truly don’t believe that God will give us anything that we can’t handle with his help.  He is so waiting to help all of us, all we have to do is ask.


well then

so its been quite long since i’ve posted on this site.  life has been busy in the last few months, but the cartwrights are having a great time.  we bought a house, celebrated thanksgiving, christmas, new years, etc etc, and somehow grew ourselves a one year old baby!

how the heck max has become a whole 12 months old, i will never understand.

we had a very fun birthday party for him a few days before his actual birthday, which then let us conveniently keep up the decorations and the partying for a few days.  i’m planning a separate post all about his birthday extravaganza(s), but in the mean time, here are my favorite things about max right now:

  • how he sleeps!  i shouldn’t even be writing these words for fear of jinxing this, but right now max goes down around 8 pm and often sleeps in past 9 am.  it is quite joyous to say the least.
  • he loves to read – he has this cute little laugh that he does when he is pleased about things, kinda like huh,huh.  he specifically does it on his favorite pages of his favorite books.
  • he doesn’t really walk yet, but is getting quite close.  he cruises all between the furniture and takes one or two steps here and there.  his first actual steps were on his birthday!
  • he loves to copy us and tries a lot to mimic sounds we make, including animal names and sounds.  sometimes to convince him (or distract him) to stand on his own, we’ll put toys on our heads.  specifically this little M magnet from one of those alphabet magnet sets.  now, whenever he sees that M, he puts it up on his head right away and laughs.
  • he has started snuggling a lot.  i will usually say, “how bout a snug?” and he smiles huge and lays his head down.
  • when we closed on our house, our good friend (and realtor) gave us a little stuffed mouse/ball for max (picture here) and he LOVES it!  he sleeps with it every night and every nap.  we usually ask him if he wants to go night-night with mousie and lots of times he’s super stoked about it.  he’ll hold him next to his neck and snuggle in.
  • max fah-reaked out at his last doctor appt.  apparently, he hadn’t forgotten his last shots.  from the second we had to lay him down to measure him, until we walked back out to the elevators, he was one unhappy camper.  (this isn’t the cute part).  a few days later, we had to take scott to the doctor.  max was in a great mood that day, he was wooing all the old people in the waiting room but the second we got into the examination room, devastation!  he calmed down really fast though and i think it was good for him to see that not all doctors visits are bad.  maybe now he won’t be so so sad next time.
  • his old man hair.  its kinda in this awkward, in-between stage where it goes halfway over his ears, and its long on top, but just weird altogether.  i’ve been thinking about cutting it, but keep holding off hoping it gets cuter.  regardless, it adds to his cuteness to have weird hair.  🙂

i love this little time in our lives.  its really unique for both of us, as mom & son.  its probably going to be one of the few times in my life that i’ll be able to focus on just one child, and i realize that it’s special.  i went out of town for about 10 days after thanksgiving and left scott and max to their own devices.  when i came home, i had been replaced!  dad was the new favorite for sure.  for the first week or so, max cried every time his buddy went off to work.    now that we’ve been back to our old routine (of everyday, pretty much all day together), i’m back at number one.  as much as i love that scott is such a good dad and that him and max are buds, i am stoked to be back in first.  there’s nothing quite like it.

putting the M on his head



How stinkin’ cute is this kidlet. Dang!

Not much time

Whew!  This last month has been a busy one.  Not much time to blog, but I’ve posted some cute pics of the baby on good old facebook.  Even if you don’t have a facebook account, you can see the latest pictures by clicking here.

Here is a preview of the cuteness:

A short post in honor of Andrea

This last weekend we celebrated Andrea’s birthday, it was a fun celebration, with lots of yummy food.

In belated honor of her birthday, I proudly present a google voice translation of a voicemail she left us:

By all of the Dina on it. Okay. Yeah. Okay, bye bye second fine.
Mack got. It’s a great day. Bye eat so. Okay, back to me. Okay bye.

The actual translation? Listen for yourself.

Just one of the many reasons we love her to pieces!

101st Post

Goodness Gracious that’s a lot of blogging. (Never mind that it took me more than three years.)

Yesterday I lost the lid to the peanut butter jar. How do these things happen? After searching high and low, I gave up and improvised with aluminum foil, leaving the jar on the counter to remind me to look and have Scott look too.

I continued complaining about it well into the evening. “What the HECK happened to the lid??!?” I was floored. Finally I decided to put the jar in the pantry, aluminum foil and all. As I picked it up, a hint of blue lid smiled up at me from under the foil. My first thought was that I hadn’t ever lost it at all and had put that foil on top of a lidded jar. Was I going crazy?

That’s when I found out that Scott found the lid while I was out and replaced it, along with the aluminum foil. A true foil, you could say.

I laughed so loud I woke up the baby.

I can't eat peanut butter yet....

10 Happy Things

I’m feeling pretty funkish tonight.  Nothing feels quite right.  So instead of continuing to give in to my bad mood as I have been doing all day, here’s this.

1. Anna Nelson – the newest, cutest little girl born to my soul sister Alli.

2. How Max gets really excited whenever I fake sneeze at him.

3.  Scott’s at hockey right now.  The ice is a happy place for him, so him being there is a happy place for me.

4. This song

5. The making and eating of scotcheroos.  If you don’t know what these are, let me know, I’ll make you a batch!

6. Cooler Fall Weather – and this recipe.

7. Pretty fonts

8. Bloggers that I love portraying my thoughts in a way that I never could.

9.  We finally have a wedding picture on our wall.  It’s this one:

10. This bum!