Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Women's Conference

Today was our stake's women's conference. I felt like I really needed to be there, and after attending I understood why.

There have been many different things on my mind lately, and most of them were addressed during this conference.

We had three different topics we went over, and I'm going to record my notes from this event.

In the opening remarks given my Sister Lori Toney, she talked about the importance of visiting teaching in the Lord's plan.  She reminded all of us that we serve through our visiting teaching, and that we need to show each other how much we love one another and how much the Lord loves us as individuals.  We also need to treat our sisters we visit as family, and that visiting teaching is all about family.  This notion of visiting teaching is all about family really struck me. I also remind myself that the church family really is a family of mine. It's hard for me sometimes to be so far away from my side of the family, and being reminded that we need to treat each sister in RS like family helped me feel like I'm not just here in MI all alone.  Also, I was thinking about how much visiting teaching strengthens me and helps me be able to better focus on my role in the home. Then the last point Lori made was how we need to help all of our sisters return home to Heavenly Father's presence.

After the remarks, we broke up into our different groups and then rotated through the church to our different lectures.

The first group I was in, the topic was The Lord's Jewels. The main focus for this group was fulfilling our divine mission here on earth. Then she talked about the different "powers" or strengthens that we are blessed with to be able to find our full potential so we can complete our missions we were sent here to do.  The different powers were: the power in revelation, power in priorities, power in the word of God, and lastly the power in fulfilling our missions. There were many quotes that she used from talks that I want to find and study. Those talks were by the following:

  • Sister Beck, General Conference, April 2010
  • Sister Beck, General Conference, October 2010
  • Sister Beck, BYU Women's Conference, May 2010
  • President Benson, General Conference, April 1988
Power in Revelation:

How do we stand strong, increase our faith during great opposition? There are a few things we can do, such as pray, read our scriptures, keep our covenants. But the main thing that will help us is personal revelation. Revelation is the manifestation of the power of the priesthood. D&C 8:2-3.

Power in Priorities:

In order to make something a priority, we must feel that it is important.  There are so many things that we want to do and have to do, that it can seem overwhelming at times and that we have no idea how we will be able to complete everything that needs to be done.  It has been said by many apostles that if we put the Lord first, then all things will fall into place.  All we need to do is have faith and trust in the Lord, and put him first.  If we trust his word, then we know that all things will be taken care of if we make HIM our first priority.

Sister Beck said that we need to make a list of our priorities.  The list needs to include the essential, the necessary and lastly, what we want to do.  The essential are the things needed for us to reach the celestial kingdom and exhalation. The necessary are the things we need to do in this temporal world, such as working to provide for a family, cooking, cleaning, etc. And the lastly, the other things we would like to do is just that. 

Power in the Word of God:

She started running out of time by the time we got to this topic, but she talked about WWII and how England did not succumb to the Nazis.  The UK government strengthened their people through words, and had posters such as the Keep Calm and Carry On. And then we read D&C 1:17-19.

Power to fulfill our Divine Missions:

We find the power to fulfill our missions by making and keeping our covenants.  We find the strength we need from the temple.

The second group that I attended was entitled Right Here, Right Now.

Christmas Letter December 2015

Dear Friends & Family,                                                                                      December 2015
            A lot has happened in our family since our last Christmas card two years ago!  First of all, we have a new addition to our family Juliana Elizabeth Seneca who was born March 19, 2014 on her due date!  She has been a joy and a challenge all at the same time, which is one of the reasons we didn’t get a card out last year.
            This year has been full of wonderful experiences.  Sean has continued working for Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety as a public safety officer.  He has been really successful and has also been testing to become a detective for the past two years; this year, he received the highest score!  We are hoping next year in our letter we will be able to say that he is a detective following the footsteps of his dad and uncle.  Sean has also been serving faithfully at church as the financial clerk up until last month, and currently is serving in the elder’s quorum (men’s group at church) presidency.
            Christy has been busy with the kids and running her two businesses with Young Living essential oils and Younique.  She was serving as the Primary (children’s Sunday school, ages 18 mo. 12 yrs.) President up until mid August when she was released and is now serving as Cub Master for both of the LDS Cub Scout Packs in the Kalamazoo Area.  She also took some much needed “me” time this year by going to Time Out for Women, being a leader at Girl’s Camp for church, and then being able to attend Young Living’s convention down in Dallas, TX.
            Elijah is going to be four years old this month!!  Where has the time gone?!  He is transforming from toddler to a little boy with his interests changing from wanting everything to be Disney to adding in super heroes such as Spider Man, Bat Man, and the Avengers.  It totally made his year when we went to Disneyland and he got to meet Thor and Captain America in real life!  Captain America told him to always be a good man, and Eli hasn’t forgotten!  Another HUGE milestone for him is that he started preschool this fall, and loves it.  He also loves to be mommy’s big helper whenever he gets the chance and is becoming quite independent.  His favorite things to do this year include painting, puzzles, his Montessori “activities,” and helping out Juliana whenever he can.  Eli has also made it very clear that he wants to be an astronaut and a doctor that helps mommies poop babies out!
            Juliana has grown so much this past year!  Last year at this time, she was still nursing every two hours at night (she did that every night until she was done nursing at her first birthday), not even walking or talking yet.  Now she sings “Let it Go” all the time and we have to watch Frozen everyday!  She is very strong willed and determined.  Her favorite people are Sean and Eli, she likes Christy too when Sean isn’t around and sometimes even prefers Eli to comfort her when Daddy is not near; Eli is, after all, her best friend.  And her little pink “snuggy” needs to go with her everywhere.  Christy made the mistake of putting oils on it when Juliana was congested one night, so now she sniffs her snuggy whenever she needs comforting or is tired or just wanting to relax.  She also loves to have dance parties like her mommy and brother.
            Our family has enjoyed many fun times together.  We made the most of Sean’s “7 days” which is when he is off for a week straight by going on day trips, spending many mornings at museums or libraries, doing projects around the house such as building compost bins, and taking a few trips.  Our two favorite trips were this summer visiting Christy’s aunt and uncle up in Traverse City.  The kids just love visiting Don & Judy.  Our other big trip was going out to California to visit Christy’s side of the family.  Christy took both kids on the plane by herself to head out early while Sean was working and then Sean joined the family later.  We were out there for almost four weeks and it was so much fun!!  One of Eli’s favorite things was going to the California Science Center and getting to spend as much time as he wanted visiting the Endeavor space shuttle.  Then seeing the Hubble Telescope IMAX movie just solidified his career choice as an astronaut as every 30 seconds he leaned into Christy saying that he just NEEDED to go to space and NEEDED to do all of the things he saw the astronauts doing.
            We have been blessed to spend much time with both sets of grandparents.  Eli would frequently go spend the night at Sean’s parents so Christy could sleep in with Juliana to try to get extra sleep.  And of course, there were many Sunday dinners and grandparents watching the kids so Sean & Christy could go out on dates.  We have also had the privilege of Christy’s parents coming out to visit on an average of every 3-4 months.  And there are plenty of Skype calls and Face time chats with the Davis side of the family!
We love you all and want to wish you a happy holiday and a joyous new year!

                                                                                           Love, The Szekely Family
                                                                                           Sean, Christy, Eli & Jules

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

     It has been another year of many changes for us this year!  We bought our first home this year in Portage, MI, Sean graduated college, and we are expecting an addition to our family!

     Sean graduated in April with his bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a minor in Spanish. He still loves his job as a public safety officer at Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS), and he’s had command officers comment on how hard he works.

     Christy has enjoyed being a stay at home mom, and making our new house feel like a home. She’s been spending a lot of time doing church service as Primary president with the children ages 18 months to 12 years in our congregation. She’s also pregnant with our baby girl, due March 2014. This pregnancy has definitely been difficult, but it’s starting to get easier.

     Elijah has been growing like crazy! He has enjoyed spending lots of time with both sets of grandparents. He’s been able to do fun things like go to various zoos, parks, and museums – including Discovery Science Center, apple picking, and the beach! He loves to play in water, no matter what the temperature and his favorite words are: balls, cars, Mickey!, cheese, juice, Mommy, and Daddy.

     This summer was busy with traveling! In June, we went to visit Christy’s family and Eli had his first visit to Disneyland! Right after that trip, Brenda came out to spend a week with Eli so Christy could be a leader at church girls’ camp.  Then we went on a camping trip with Sean’s family to the UP and Mackinac Island to celebrate Scott (Sean’s dad) retiring from KDPS. Lastly, we are excited to spend our first married Christmas in California this year.

     We hope all is well with our loved ones and that you have a blessed new year!

                                    Sean, Christy, and Elijah Szekely

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Christmas Letter 2012

Dear Friends and Family,                                              December 2012

     We have had a crazy year for sure! Sean and Christy have been adjusting to parenthood and other life changes that have happened.

     Sean has enjoyed his second year being a public safety officer for the city of Kalamazoo. He already has received the life saving award from the department, which was one of his career goals. He’s also been going to school and should be graduating Spring 2013!

     Christy has been enjoying being a full time mom. She spends a lot of one-on-one time with Eli and enjoys watching him learn about the world and grow. She also has been spending time doing enrichment activities with the 8-12 year old girls at church and is a Sunday school teacher for the 11 year olds.

    We have been able to travel quite a bit even though Sean has been very busy. We were able to go to California to visit Christy’s family this spring. Eli enjoyed his first time at the beach. Then we were able to make two family trips up to Traverse City this summer to hang out with our dear Uncle Don and Aunt Judy. Then, Christy and Eli were able to visit California once more in October.

     We have also had Grammy and Doppa (the Davis grandparents) visit several different times throughout the year. They love visiting with their first grandbaby. And even had a visit from Aunt Jeaninne!

     Another highlight of the year was when Sean’s sister Leilani visited for a week from Arizona. Eli got to see his aunt and cousins every day as we did fun things like Boo Zoo, going to the pumpkin patch, and getting to play with his very own soccer ball (as you can see in one of the pictures, Elijah loves soccer)!

     This Thanksgiving we were able to have Christy’s family come to Kalamazoo and join us for a wonderful dinner.

     We hope all is well with our loved ones and that you have a blessed new year!

                        Sean, Christy, and Elijah Szekely

The Arrival of our Sweet Son

I had Elijah Scott Szekely on Thursday, December 15th, 2011. He was born at 4:55pm and he was 19 inches long and 6 lbs 10.5 oz.

I had had a few nights where I thought for sure I was going into labor. My body went crazy with Braxton-Hicks contractions. What can I say, my wanting to be overly prepared for everything is a biological response more than a part of my personality. And my body was preparing for labor when I was 36 weeks along. At my appointment I was 70% effaced and dialed to 1 cm! So when I called my mom and told her that they thought I could go into labor at any time, she flew out two days later so she could be here to help me out getting everything ready.

I had an appointment on the Monday before I delivered. At that appointment I was 80% effaced and 1-2 cm dialated. While Brandi was checking me, she stripped my membranes. From that point on I had Braxton-Hicks contractions until real labor started at 5:30 am on the 15th. And of course, Sean was at work and it was the day that the department did vacation bid.

I was so grateful my mom was here in Michigan with me. I would have freaked out with going into labor with no one around. I had started to lose my mucous plug the night before, and my BH contractions were every 3 mins but not painful so I did not sleep much.

When labor started, my contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting for about a minute. Brandi had told me that when I was in labor and once my contractions were 5 mins apart lasting for a minute for an hour, then I needed to call and touch base. So around 6:45 am, I called up the on call midwife (who happened to be Brandi), and we decided that I should labor another hour and see how I felt. In that hour, I took a shower - which was AMAZING for the back pain I was already experiencing - did my hair, and ate breakfast. In the future, I will know to NOT eat once you're in labor. It leads to throwing up while in labor. Then my mom and I started to get everything into the car to head to the hospital. Sean wanted to finish up his shift and then do his vacation bid before coming to the hospital.. Yes, he is that dedicated to his job.

I ended up laboring with my mom helping me while Sean slept. As I entered into transition, my back labor wasn't letting up and I decided to get an epidural. It was amazing because I could rest, but when it came time to start pushing around 4 pm, I could feel some sensations without experiencing too much pain. My contractions spaced out to every 5 mins, and around 4:56 Eli was born!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Belly bump pictures

Taken July 2011. This is at Station 7 during Sean's FTO.

Visiting Donna and Jack Vizzard. During my California trip September 2011.

This was at the KDPS training center. Sean received the Life Saving award. October 2011.

Liz's 22nd birthday party. This was about 2 weeks before Eli was delivered.

Right before leaving for the hospital to go deliver Eli! He showed up about 9 hours after this was taken!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!!

It has been FOREVER since I have written a post on here, and life for Sean and I has changed so much!

Our April last year was crazy!! Sean and I took our first mini-roadtrip to Syracuse, New York to visit my brother and his girlfriend Erin for Easter. We weren't sure if we would be able to take this trip because one of Sean's coworkers was killed in the line of duty, and we needed to be at his funeral. It turns out that the funeral was the Tuesday after Easter.

Eric Zapata's funeral was so beautiful. It was a wonderful tribute to a public safety officer that gave his life to protect our community. It was amazing to see how many officers from all over the country came to support KDPS in our time of need. One of my greatest fears is Sean never coming home from work, I have been worried about being all alone dealing with the loss of my dear hubby. I realized that I am never alone, that there is a whole family in blue that will be by my side. Not to mention the blessings of being sealed in the temple, so I get to spend eternity with my love even if he is taken prematurely from this earth.

Here are some touching videos from Eric's funeral:



Last year I took my first graduate level classes and applied to the get a Master's of Social Work at Western Michigan University. Sean and I had been praying about what direction we should take our life and the big question was either we should have a baby or if I should get my Master's before we started our family. We had been praying for about a year, and we had decided that it would be easier for me to go to school before starting our family but I couldn't figure out what program I wanted to do. On April 28th, 2011 I found out that I was not accepted to the MSW program for this year (they wanted me to reapply for this coming fall) and then a few hours later I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. We thought for sure that I wasn't pregnant, and that I was just stressed out from everything that was going on that month.

We went to the doctor to see if I really was pregnant. Sure enough I was already 5-6 weeks along!! Right after we found out, the morning sickness started. It was a LONG summer being sick, Sean was working 24 hour shifts, it was an average of 95* when I was the sickest. It was a good day if I managed to get out of bed and make it to the couch for the day. We saw the midwives at Partners in Women's Health, and they had this medicine that helped with the morning sickness and once I was on that it was AMAZING and such a life saver!

In July, my mom came out for a visit. It was so fun to have her here. While she was out we visited Uncle Don and Aunt Judy at their lake house. And I had an appointment when I was 17 weeks along. At that appointment, Linda French said that we can do an ultrasound to see if we could find out the sex of the baby since my mom was in town. We were able to get in, and we found out that we were for sure having a boy!! Our little baby was NOT shy at all!

Here is a picture of his ultrasound:

The rest of my pregnancy went pretty smoothly. We did another ultrasound around 32 weeks, and I told the ultrasound tech that I still was having morning sickness. She thought I might have gallstones. She said she would check, but with how big I was that she might not be able to see them. Luckily, she was able to see my gallbladder, and I in fact did have one really large gallstone! Craziness. It explained why I was so sick and uncomfortable. I just had to wait till after I delivered Elijah to do surgery to remove my gallbladder. More of the story to come.