Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pleasure versus Happiness

I rediscovered a piece of wisdom today, and typed it up for my own personal use. I thought others might find it enlightening as well.

Pleasure versus Happiness -“The present is an age of pleasure-seeking, and men are losing their sanity in the mad rush for sensations that do but excite and disappoint. In this day of counterfeits, adulterations, and base imitations, the devil is busier than he has ever been in the course of human history, in the manufacture of pleasures, both old and new; and these he offers for sale in most attractive fashion, falsely labeled, Happiness. In this soul-destroying craft he is without a peer; he has centuries of experience and practice, and by his skill he controls the market. He has learned the tricks of the trade, and knows well how to catch the eye and arouse the desire of his customers. He puts up the stuff in bright-colored packages, tied with tinsel string and tassel; and crowds flock to his bargain counters, hustling and crushing one another in their frenzy to buy. “
“Follow one of the purchasers as he goes off gloatingly with his gaudy packet, and watch him as he opens it. What finds he inside the gilded wrapping? He has expected fragrant happiness, but uncovers only an inferior brand of pleasure, the stench of which is nauseating.”
“Happiness includes all that is really desirable and of true worth in pleasure, and much besides. Happiness is genuine gold, pleasure but guilded brass, which corrodes in the hand, and is soon converted into poisonous verdigris. Happiness is as the genuine diamond, which, rough or polished, shines with its own inimitable luster, pleasure is as the paste imitation that glows only when artificially embellished. Happiness is as the ruby, red as the heart’s blood, hard and enduring; pleasure, as stained glass, soft, brittle, and of but transitory beauty.”
“Happiness is true food, wholesome, nutritious and sweet; it builds up the body and generates energy for action, physical, mental, and spiritual; pleasure is but a deceiving stimulant which, like spirituous drink, makes one think he is strong when in reality enfeebled; makes him fancy he is well when in fact stricken with deadly malady.”
“Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it calls for no repentance, brings no regret, entails no remorse, pleasure too often makes necessary repentance, contrition and suffering; and if indulged to the extreme, in brings degradation and destruction. “
“True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which like a thorn in the flesh, is an everpresent source of anguish.”
“Happiness is not akin with levity, nor is it one with light-minded mirth. It springs from the deeper fountains of the soul, and is not infrequently accompanied by tears. Have you never been so happy that you have had to weep? I have.”
James E. Talmage, Improvement Era, vol 17, no. 2, pp 172-73

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We're Home

Well, everything was "peachy-keen," so mom and baby came home yesterday afternoon. Several people have asked about coming over to visit, and we'd love to see you! Just give us a call and let us know when you want to come--I'll be home all week entertaining Aleia and helping out while Dixie works her motherly magic on Macie, so come on over!

Aleia is a wonderful sister, and she loves helping Macie find the binky! Ironic, because Aleia never took a binky or a bottle, she always gagged on them and wanted nothing to do with them!

Anyway, the pictures below include some photos at the hospital right before coming home, Macie's first car ride, and some photos at home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baby Macie Pictures!

Okay...here are a couple of pictures; we had a couple more, but they need to be censored before I post them... :) As mentioned in the previous post, we'll be sure to post updates and new photos as we have them!

Thanks to everyone for being so helpful and congratulatory!

Baby Macie is Here!!

Hooray! Macie May Downing was born yesterday, July 19, at 7:23pm. She was 7 lbs., 19 inches long, and very healthy! Mom and baby are doing very well, there were no complications, and we are so excited! And...since I know you all want to see the photos...they're coming soon! I'm home for a shower and breakfast break, and I failed to bring home the right equipment to be able to pull the pictures and post them! So...give me another day (maybe sooner) and I'll get the photos posted.

Okay, so now that you read the important stuff, here are the details for those of you that just can't get enough... :)

Dixie had her first contractions very early yesterday morning, at about 1 am. Every once in a while she'd get a long, painful one, but they were kind of scattered. Finally, at around 5 pm, the contractions were more intense and more frequent. We decided to scoot down to the hospital a little while later and arrived at about 6:30. We weren't expecting much...with Aleia, it was about the same story, but when we got to the hospital it was about 7 hours before we had the baby. Not the case this time! Dixie was dilated to 9cm the first time they checked, and it was basically show time! Macie was born 53 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, and as expected, she was gooey, bloody mess! :) But she was a VERY cute gooey, bloody, mess, and we quickly discovered that she and Aleia both suffer from the same pouty lower lip!

I got to "hang out" with Macie while the Doctor and nurses cleaned everything up, and I just can't describe how it feels to look down at a brand new baby, knowing its yours, and look into that sweet, little face! I felt very good about myself when Macie stopped crying after about 10 seconds of some proper attention from Dad...another heart-melting experience. I'm very grateful for my super-tough wife who did all the work while I merely stood by and offered my support! Dixie is doing remarkably well, and I'm very proud of her endurance for the last nine months! I'm also very proud of our adorable new daughter, we're so pleased she's finally here!

Anyway, watch for photos and updates soon...I'll post them as we get them!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bell has to go Potty

"Bell has to go potty mom"
In a total of 3 unsupervised minutes, the following occurred:
I actually didn't discover it until way later on that night after we came home from Grandma's house and the water had a chance to soak it's way up through the toilet paper. Great. Curious, I asked,
"Bell had to go potty Aleia?"
"uh huh".
"And she had a hard time getting the toilet paper to tear?"
"uh huh."
"I see."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jump On It

What a party at Jump on It! I'm so glad the Jenne's came into town so we would all have an excuse to get together! It is amazing how much everyone's kids have grown. For those of you that weren't there, we missed you! I'm grateful we can keep in touch by e-mail, facebook and blogs though. Technology is great in that way.


"One nation under God"Matt Aleia and I at the Hot Air baloonsMy cute family

I love the Fourth of July! I had an incredible day with my awesome family. We did the hot air balloons, free french toast breakfast at Macey's, a parade (that wasn't too hot thanks to cloud cover) and a fun BBQ and fireworks at night at grandma and grandpa Ahlstrom's house. The best part was having Matt's undivided attention the entire day! It was perfect. I love this country. I love the freedom we enjoy, and I love the people to fight to keep it that way (morally and physically). I love America!

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Well, it's been five awesome years (four awesome, one not quite as awesome) since Matt and I sealed ourselves off to each other! And he is still just as romantic now as when we were first dating. And even the year we were apart my life was better than it would have been had I been single. I truly believe there is nothing greater than a marriage where both partners love, respect, and sacrifice daily for each other (and still date and have fun). Matt has taught me so much about myself, and I feel like I've improved as a person just by being around him and watching from his example. He is superb in a lot of the things I lack. Most of all, every day I've been blessed with Matt in my life has been a thousand times cooler. He is so fun, upbeat, positive, smart, attractive, and life is so much more exciting with him in it! I love being married to Matt Downing! There is truly no one more perfect for me. Happy Anniversary!
Here is a glimpse of the most beautiful roses I've ever gotten~ they had these cool lighter red stripes in them. Beautiful. Thanks Matt!

And here's a photo of the day we tied the knot. :o) Man, life is great with him!