Thursday, January 16, 2014

Marin's Growth, and Breastfeeding Gratitude!

                   Marin's Growth Chart!

Weight: 2 week visit, 7.78
            2 month visit, 9.8
            4 month visit, 13.78
            6 month visit, 18.28, 82.78% YAY! She has gained weight.

Height: 2 week visit, 21.5, 97.25% haha!
           2 month visit, 24
           4 month visit, 26.25
           6 month visit, 27.5, 94.77%

Head:  2 week visit, 14.2
           2 month visit,15.5
           4 month visit,16.5
           6 month visit, 17.3, 88.83% Smart girl with a big noggin!

  Marin was SO skinny in her early months because I was not producing enough breast milk.  I was absolutely distraught that I couldn't provide the bare necessities for my child. I wept for a week straight, and felt inspired to ask a friend with the fattest, cutest baby I know, if she would be willing to donate breast milk to my lady bug.  She was so touched and willing to help.  I reached out to other women and friends and I was so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love I received, and the willingness to share what I consider the most precious gift one woman can give another.  She is now 6 months old and has never had to have formula, and is still going strong because of the women who pump on a regular basis for me.  It is astounding, the service and charity rendered for me and Marin.  It has made me so grateful to be a woman and be part of a strong bond that men could never understand.  So quickly was the response, it reminds me of this quote; “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” 
― Magaret Thacher
I am so blessed with the example of woman "doing" in my life. All the wonderful supermoms who saw my need and came to the rescue in a matter of moments.  My mom is the most capable, strong woman I know.  She is so dependable and sees something that needs to be done, and does it.  My sisters are that way too, along with my sister in law Shelby.  This is something I need to learn to do better.  Having the eyes to see a need, and do it.  It is something I have to constantly be aware of, but what a good thing to be mindful about.  I get to be a woman!  We should rejoice in this idea.  I have really claimed this role, and I have never felt more peaceful doing something than being that of a mother.  It is what I was made to do.  I love it, and I love all of you for aiding me in my effort.  Martha Johnson comforted me when I was so sad about not being able to exclusively breast feed Marin by saying how Marin is so lucky.  She is lucky to get all the different energy and love from the milk of all these wonderful ladies that are contributing to her growth and maturation.  Not to mention she will have an amazing pallet from all the different foods shes getting haha!  It is true.  Marin is literally being filled with goodness and love from different women in my life that I love and respect.  What a gift.  For this I can never repay, but I can try and have eyes to see other women in need, and be quick to respond to the call as so many of you have to mine!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A boy meets girl, falls in love, and adds another GIRL!!

So...I know I have not kept up on this whole blog thing, but a LOT has changed and I want to keep track of the monumental moments, and the not so big ones too!  The following are just a few snapshots into our lives and some pretty big and awesome events that are going on.  

My life changed on January 14, 2012.  Heath and I were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple for time and all eternity.  It was an amazing day with family and close friends.  Marriage takes time, tenderness, and a lot of work, but in the end I have never been happier!!  I am one lucky lady!  

 Which brings me to the CUTEST cupcake that would forever change our lives.  We went to my midwife and they saw the sex of the baby, but we didn't want to know yet.  I had her go call my Auntie Diane Lungo and she proceeded to fill in a bunch of cupcakes with the color pink filling for a girl.  I had over 20 people come that night to find out together as we bit into it all at the same time.  We skyped in my sisters and were all SHOCKED that it was a girl.  I SWORE it was a boy, but the previous couple weeks I just knew it was a girl.  A mama knows best I guess.  Out of 10 grandkids this will be the 3rd girl so it is just a weird thought that she has a little Va-JJ!!!  And we couldn't be more thrilled!  She is due July 7th.  Hoping for the 4th though, because I want this little angel to think the world is celebrating her along with us!
I know I am a fat fat magoo, that is probably why no one believed I was pregnant because I was barely showing till about 6 months.  I also have carried really low and deep.  This is my first baby bump pic at 5 months.  I feel her move and I softly touch my belly in wonderment and awe that I get to experience this.  Of anything in my life, this has been a dream of mine to feel a baby move within me.  I am so in love I could die!  My midwife laughs at me because I say this little girl is so sweet and rad. Haha.  
 LOOK AT THAT NOSE!!!  I like to think it's my cute small button nose but we shall see.  I love how her arm is bent up behind her head as if relaxing and saying " Yep, I'm cute, you love me, keep lookin'" On her first ultra sound it was like watching her jumping on a trampoline and doing flips.  It was awesome.  She must be like her Daddy who can't stay still either....oh great!
                                      Those lips and nose kill me.  I cannot wait to kiss those!
 The midwife just giggled and giggled it was so sweet.  She was darling and acted like it was her first one she had performed.  She just kept saying oh how cute she was and could feel my excitement as well.  She said "Whoa, those are some long fingers and toes!"  I'm guessing this little bug won't be so little.  I was 10 lbs. and Heath was 8 1/2 but almost 2 ft. long.  Hopefully she will be athletic and put that height to good use!
Her name will be Marin Berret Capps!  Marin is my middle name, not to be confused with Maryn.  It sounds like Muhrin, pretty huh!  I know...;)  And Berret is Heaths sisters name who leaves to serve a mission in Lima Peru a week after she is due.  Who better to have a name sake after a beautiful, amazing, spiritual, sister missionary?  It is an honor to be able to use that name, love you Berr.  Hopefully with all the sister missionaries in her life, Marin will want to keep that legacy of spreading the gospel too and make her namesakes proud.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amazing story of a man from Saipan!

Elias Magabo, “Hope in the Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Sep 2010, 36–38

My wife assured me on the phone that she was feeling better and that everything would be all right. Three days later everything changed.

I was born and raised in the Philippines, where I met and married my wife, Monina. It was there that our son, Mark, was born. In the mid-1990s, our family moved to Saipan, which is a small island in the Pacific. There, we were active members of another church. Occasionally, I’d see pairs of young men walking around the island, dressed neatly in white shirts and ties. I knew they were Latter-day Saint missionaries, but I had no plans to join another church. When I saw them coming my way, I would literally turn and run in the opposite direction.

My attitude toward the missionaries changed when two friends, Mel and Soledad Espinosa, were baptized into the Church. They encouraged our family to meet with the missionaries, and mostly out of curiosity, we agreed to do so. Our first meeting was in August 2007, and as the missionaries shared their message, I felt something powerful. My heart beat faster, and I felt a tingling sensation throughout my entire body. I later learned that my entire family felt inspired and uplifted. Our feelings intensified in the ensuing months as we learned more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About the time we began meeting with the missionaries, Monina’s energy began to decrease, and strange bumps started appearing all over her body. Her arthritis flared up as it never had before. We sought medical help, but none of the tests gave us any answers. As the months passed, her health deteriorated to the point that she needed additional medical attention. In December, Monina flew to the Philippines to meet with doctors there. I stayed in Saipan so I could continue to work and care for our teenage son.

Before she left, Monina told me that she wanted to be baptized when she returned to Saipan. She also asked me to continue meeting with the missionaries even though she would be missing some of the lessons. I promised her that Mark and I would do so.

During her time in the Philippines, we talked regularly so that I could hear about her doctor visits and she could hear what we were learning about the gospel. My wife reported that she was feeling less and less pain every day, and I was glad that the medical attention was working. In early January 2008, I purchased a plane ticket so I could go visit her, but she felt certain that she would be back in Saipan soon and that there was no need to waste money on the trip. She told me she loved and missed our son and me but assured me everything would be all right.

Three days later she died suddenly. The cause: undetected leukemia. Mark and I were stunned—and heartbroken. We immediately traveled to the Philippines for the funeral and then returned to Saipan. This was the most difficult time of our lives.

The sorrow I felt was profound, so much so that I found it hard to get out of bed each morning. One particularly difficult day, Mark reminded me of something the missionaries had taught our family. He said, “Dad, don’t cry too much. Mom is in a place of God. She is in the spirit world.” How grateful I felt that a just God had provided a way for Monina to continue to learn about the gospel, that everyone who has ever lived will have a chance to either accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ—either in this life or the next.

As I continued to learn the teachings of Jesus Christ, I realized that Heavenly Father had provided much more than that: He also made it possible for her to receive essential ordinances like baptism. Before my wife left for the Philippines, she and I had started talking about being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even though she wasn’t able to be baptized in this life, Heavenly Father had not left us without hope.

Mark and I faced several trials in the following months. After returning to the Philippines for my wife’s funeral, I lost my job. I sold our car to pay Monina’s hospital bills. Plus, Mark and I had to adjust to life without Monina. Despite the adversity, Mark and I found hope in our newfound faith, and we were baptized in April 2008. In the months that followed, I was able to find another job and pay the hospital bills. Mark and I made a goal to attend our branch trip to the Manila Philippines Temple so we could be sealed together as a family.

After saving all our extra income and preparing ourselves spiritually, Mark and I traveled with our branch to the temple in May 2009. As we prepared for the trip, we saw firsthand the destructive hand of the adversary as well as the strengthening and uplifting love of our Heavenly Father. I got extremely sick the day before we were scheduled to leave for the temple. Some members had unexpected immigration problems, while others had trouble obtaining passports. Our friends who introduced my family to the gospel, the Espinosas, lost their jobs the week we were scheduled to attend the temple. Even worse, a member of our branch presidency who was scheduled to attend the temple for the first time lost his father to a sudden illness three days before our trip. But in the end the Lord strengthened each of us and made it possible for 42 members of the branch to attend the temple. Sixteen of us attended for the first time.

May 13, 2009, is a day I will never forget. When I arrived at the temple, the weight and pain of my wife’s death immediately vanished. Although I was initially nervous about the temple because I didn’t know exactly what to do or where to go, I was struck by the calm, peaceful presence I felt once I stepped inside. It was very different from the busy streets just outside the temple doors.

As the day progressed, my temple experience became only more meaningful and more powerful. In the morning our branch participated in baptisms for the dead. As I watched, I found myself thinking of my wife, who a year and a half earlier had expressed her desire to be baptized. I then witnessed the fulfillment of that desire as a friend was baptized for and in behalf of Monina.

The most significant portion of my trip, however, came later that afternoon when I walked into the sealing room. My wife and I were married years ago, but we were not married in the temple by Heavenly Father’s priesthood authority. When my wife died, I thought I had lost her forever. But as I met with the missionaries, I learned that in the temple, families can be sealed together for eternity.

As I walked into the sealing room at the Manila Temple, I was overcome with emotion. Ever since my baptism, I had known the blessings of the gospel were real, but in that instant I truly witnessed their worth. As Mark and I knelt at the altar to be sealed as a family, I felt my wife’s presence. I could hear her voice, and it was as if I were holding her hand. I felt Monina’s presence with every feeling in my heart. I knew then that we were an eternal family.

The missionary lessons helped our family feel uplifted and inspired. Little did we know how much we would need that comfort in the coming months.

At the temple with my son, we regained what I thought we had lost forever

Friday, July 30, 2010

Let There Be Light...

I read Genesis chapter 1, verse 3 saying:

'And God said: Let there be light. And there was light.'

I stopped reading and I reread the verse. Then I stopped to really understand the weight of this scripture.

1. God 'SAID'
It was a command OR a commandment for the elements as they are and were to listen and obey the Ultimate Architect.

2. God say's: 'Let there BE...'
to BE means to exist, to live, to become, to fulfill. It's an active verb. In essence a living thing - a beautiful fulfilling statement...'TO BE'...even Shakespeare in Hamlet quotes...'to BE or not to BE' - what an awesome question; and God states it within the first 3 verses of the first Book of Moses.

3. God invites or commands -
'let there BE light' to BE LIGHT. It's a source, a comfort, a guide. Everything on earth; EVERYTHING NEEDS the essence of light. To grow, to live, to 'BE' or in a spiritual undertaking; CHRIST is the light of the world(Matt:5:14) and Heavenly Father allows him, his son 'TO BE' a source, a comfort, and a guide.

4. 'and there was light.'
meaning: with the ultimate creator, architect OR BEing; how much we as individuals have power to shine - we all have to 'obey' the command or the rules to please. Progression comes by how faithful we can be by becoming...God has already chosen our paths because he knows whom we are and have the potential to become, it is our lack of faith that halts our progression to excel and succeed in whom we can ultimately be. And when God stated, 'let there BE light' and it was - I don't imagine it was a dying star or a flicker of a wavering flame but a perfect harmonious alignment with the Savior - 'the LIGHT' - shined so brightly that any darkness from the void hid itself. For there is no place for darkness in the brilliance of light. Therefore to please the Absolute Being: the Savior - when he asks and states his words, we should BE ready and willing as it was from the very first verse in Genesis chapter 1, verse 1.


'For God said, let there be light and there was light."

I was carried away in this amazing insight and if it means nothing to anyone else - it doesn't matter because to me - it was as if someone had opened a window and in came an outpouring of light and allowed me to see in a a way that has been dimmed over the years.

'let YOUR light, shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.' (Matt5:16)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I wrote this for a class....

My Life's Metaphor

"My life is a blueprint and God is my architect."

I feel this expresses my life's meaning and purpose. I kept pondering this great question for many days and my spirit continued to prompt me, that what expresses me best is the way I give my will to God. My life and body are His for the molding. From the very beginning of my life, he has used different materials to build me a strong foundation that would withhold and outlast the elements of time. My feet are firmly planted in cement to help me stand tall and proud. My legs are built with great metal beams to hold strong, but my knees are on hinges, so I will be quick to fall to my knees and call upon my architect, to render gratitude or when things get to be too much.

He used strong bricks and beautiful rock for my torso and exterior; to shield me from the ways of the world and the hurtful things that are thrown at me. He was wise to leave plenty of room on the inside for my heart and organs that are passionate, warm, and inviting. He also built magnificent spaces in my soul, that I keep things sacred and wonderful to me. I have a vast family room where much laughter and joy takes place. The spirit abides there and I feel safe when I visit that part of my innards. I have a melodies' music room, where there is no roof so I can sing praises up, up and out, so I can give glory to my God.

Then there is my bedroom; oh what a sacred place. This is where I build on my testimony and read His holy words, and converse with my architect. He is never too busy to hear my pleas. He built me a special front porch, where I can step outside of myself and be vulnerable to the world. When I walk out and look at his vast creation, He assures me that he chose this location especially for me. You should see the view. He built my arms firm and outreaching, able to envelope others but also to be able to work hard and keep my home clean and pure. He took a great deal of time on my hands. Oh so carefully he built them out of soft materials that I may use them as tools to cultivate my life along with those in need of tender care. To be able to wipe away tears without scratching a face, or to clap loudly when giving praise of encouragement and cheer. Most importantly to clasp one in the other, offering thanks for the tender mercies given. My neck and spine are made of hard materials to make my center core unyielding and tough. My neck then holds my head up high proudly displaying the final touches of my home. My eyes are my windows green and fierce able to distinguish the storm approaching. Also able to witness the miracles that my architect gives so often and freely. He built my mouth and lips to sing and laugh and give wise council, but again to give thanks for my bounteous blessings and spread the joy of faith and hope. Watching myself be built from scratch was a miraculous journey.

The meticulous care and all knowing design He made, was just for me. The end result is a perfect infrastructure built and molded into who I was supposed to become. He made me capable and strong; to withstand a variety of storms, floods, fire and heartache. He gave me safe havens within myself that protect me, and sustain my longing soul. If you are lucky enough for me to let you into any of my rooms, you will find that in every single one, the spirit and presence of the architect abides. He built me up. He is in every nook and cranny of my being. I readily gave my will and life to him, to become not only who I should be, but who He needs me to be. I am grateful…..I am His…..He is my everything!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Grace Of God

I cannot even begin to describe what it has been like for me this last 7 months. I have been on an emotional roller coaster and in a personal hell. I never dreamed coming home from my mission would be so hard. I gave my ALL to the work and my God to serve Him in a pleasing manner. My heart will forever remain in those islands and so to get even a little of it back has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I was totally and completely lost when I came home. School had already started, and work was very unappealing because nothing could fulfill me in the way that I needed at the time. I felt empty and unmotivated. I am motivated by purpose, people and love and I had lost that to the greatest degree. I didn't know what to do with myself. So I found ways to cover up or be the band aid to the boil and rot that lied underneath. I idled away my time and days hoping that time would be the thing to make the hurt and heartache go away. What it did was only make it worse. I got involved with people that brought me down and slowly I was poisoned by degrees. I am in no way blaming my unhappiness and choices on others but it just compounded the issue.

I was vulnerable and Satan knew it and used bad things to make my bad situation even worse. By the end I found that I had let the great Sister Phillips go dormant. This was the greatest heartbreak of all. Leading up to and on my mission I discovered who I was and Co-created my life with God. I started to reach my potential that God has in store for me. I LOVED me, who I was, what I was doing, and all I had to offer. To see her slowly slip away was torture. It would have been almost better to not have seen what I could become, because seeing my reflection in the mirror and knowing I wasn't her right now, killed me. I wont go into the gory details of what has gone on, but what I will go on to say is that my testimony of the Atonement, sweet repentance, friends, family, prayer, scriptures, good music, clean thoughts and actions, desire, passion, purity, productivity, grace, mercy, communication, priesthood, example, leaders of the church, nature, school, work, trials....on and on I could go about what I have learned and how I have been strengthened but it is a personal journey and I have been blessed enough to share it with some of you.

Huge events have happened to bring about this great change. They have been some of the hardest of my life. All I can say is that I have felt my Savior take away or lessen each of the pains or aches that have come along with them. It is nothing short of a miracle all that has happened to me. I am proud to say that Sister Phillips is no longer dormant but very much alive and thriving. I am back and nothing has ever felt so good. It comes down to the little primary answers. Read, pray, serve, love, be clean and keep the commandments and all else will be given unto you. He grants us the desires of our hearts and as I do His will He has given me more than I deserve. I am growing everyday and feel His outpouring of grace on me continually. I opened the blinds this morning and the sun streamed in on my face. The warmth enveloped me and I was reminded of the Only Begotten Son, that warms our hearts and souls and both that offer life! I was overcome by the spirit and Gods love for me. Tears filled my eyes for the billionth time out of gratitude and thanks.

I am so beyond blessed I can hardly take it. I want to shout and share the joy that I feel. I know that no matter what is going on in our lives that if we are doing whats right, have the spirit, and be in good standing before God...then peace comes and nothing is better then that. I have so much. I am able to get an education and go into a field that will bring me joy by helping others. I have an amazing job where I help troubled girls feel Gods love for them by being a conduit and instrument to be an example of what healthy unconditional love means. My family is my rock and constant that makes me better and be true to all I have been taught. My friends are there for me through all this rooting me on and loving me no matter what. The gospel that is my foundation for all that I do. I would be NOTHING without the knowledge of the principles that bring me so much joy. I could go on and on but I wont. Regret is the worst thing in the world and yes I have some...but I'm so grateful that I can be forgiven and overcome. Life is hard, but how blessed are we that we don't have to do it on our own. God is good....I stand all amazed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A little update and random thoughts!

Just a little update on me....Hmm, well after feeling like i fell off the face of the earth and didnt know which way was up... i finally feel like im getting my bearings. Being home has been the hardest thing i have ever done. I have never felt more useless and empty in my life. I know what i should be doing and how to do it but there is no fulfillment that follows like there was on the mission thus the lack of motivation needed to get things done. I am motivated by love and purpose and i feel like i lost all of that. As of late though i have moved out and feel like i am finding reason and purpose again. I am so deeply in love with my roommate Jessica. It never ceases to amaze me when you find a soul mate of sorts, the missing puzzle piece of your heart you never knew was missing in the first place. I meet people like her and it feels like a portion of my heart was placed in her to find. I worship her and we are SOOO much alike. My other roommate Sarah who is Jess's cousin who is in Cali for a month, i love too. Im excited for her to get back so we can all play. There is another one from England that i havent met yet.

Life is so crazy! I know all things are for a reason but man it is hard. I am so blessed to have people in my life who help me out through these hard times. I could not have gotten through any of this without my brother Tanny! He is my besty and i worship him. We are closer then we have ever been and im so grateful to get to claim him as mine. Also Alikan. He has been my friend through all of this supporting me, loving me, and being there when i needed a shoulder to cry on...yes i have cried a LOT! It all means more to me then i could ever express. My parents too. I know they wouldn't agree cause they feel i have pushed them away, but they are amazing and just want the best for me. I know they are SO frustrated with me right now, but they continue to be there for me and desire my happiness and success. I love them dearly.

I love my new ward and the people are amazing. I do NOT do well with change but i feel i am taking moving out in stride and doing pretty well actually. I have met some awesome people already and am excited to continue to cultivate relationships that will hopefully be lasting. I have made some big discoveries too about who i am and what my quirks are. I am one who is always looking inward to see what is going on and where i am emotionally and how i can improve. I love awareness. With that brings power to change. And we all know i have a lot to improve on....sigh! I know this is random but just some thoughts. It feels good to write a little bit.