Monday, December 28, 2009

So Blessed

I don't feel like I have had the best attitude this week. I am not great at being the one who needs taken care of. That being said, I am so grateful that Jeff was able to spend the week with us. He played with the kids, took care of meals, picked up the medicines I needed, and even did part of laundry. :-) He never once complained! I wish I could say the same about me, but I will admit I was pretty bummed. It was not the way I envisioned Christmas break. After complaining on facebook, enough of my friends reminded me what Christmas is about, and I quickly saw their point.

I have my family- a husband who treats me with complete respect and love and is a wonderful father. 2 boys and a sweet little girl who all make me smile every day.
I live in a neighborhood where people take care of each other. We had phone calls each day asking what we need. We were brought dinner one night and breakfast for Christmas morning. We were brought many treats to keep our tummies full and happy. (even though no one wanted treats from us!)
We were all together!

Some of my favorite December moments:
Picking out the Christmas tree on a cold Saturday morning.

Emily performing in a dance clinic.
Christmas parade.
2 beautiful concerts by amazing and talented friends, Sarah, and Karen. They really brought the Spirit of Christmas to me. One of the concerts was held at Festival of the Nativities and Ranell was kind enough to drive with me and all the kids!

Lunch with women from my neighborhood.

Building a gingerbread house with Jeff.
Cookie party with friends.

Visiting Dallin's class for the ice cream party.Nutcracker with Emily and lots of good friends and their daughters!

Kid Party at my house!
Emily's preschool Christmas party.

Dallin's first piano recital.

Emily's first Choir performance.
So, I am especially grateful that we celebrated early in the month, so when I got sick we didn't miss out on too much. :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Reason for the Season

I am not feeling the Christmas spirit very much as I am laying in bed with the flu, but I am getting the feeling that there is something I need to learn this season...

SLOW DOWN and enjoy life for what it is. These last few weeks have taught me to focus on the most important things- my relationships. When it comes down to it, that is what really matters. My relationships with my immediate family, my extended family, my friends, and even relationships with strangers. How we treat people determines how happy we will be, and these are the memories that will matter the most in the end.

One of my good friends, Kellie, lost her sweet 6 year old girl to a tragic accident. I wrote down these thoughts:

Life is too short... worry about all the things we are NOT doing.
... to let petty differences get in the way of a relationship.
... to hold onto hurt feelings.
... to focus on our own weaknesses instead of our good qualities.
... to compare ourselves to others.
... to judge people because they are different from us.
... to NOT enjoy the time with our precious children. They are truly gifts from God.
... to NOT find the beauty that is all around us.

So, especially this season, I hope all of us can turn to the Savior and let him heal us. Help us turn our hearts to each other and especially to our children. Help us see things from their eyes. I hope we can forget our differences and be there for one another. I hope we can be patient with one another and ourselves as we all travel different paths. I hope we can be quick to forgive and quick to admit our mistakes- to ourselves, each other, and our children. I hope we can remember how much Heavenly Father and the Savior love each of us and want us to help each other return Home. I hope we can admit when we need help and be quick to help each other. I hope that we can enjoy the good moments and lean on each other during the hard times. I am grateful to know of the Plan of Salvation and that we will be together again. As for now, I it is my hope that we can all find the good in each other.

I love all of you and feel that each person I have met has touched my life in a special way. Thanks for being forgiving of my mistakes and helping me through the tough times.

I will now do some catch up on earlier dates.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grateful for Family

I have just been enjoying making memories with the family. We were lucky enough to spend a week with each family. I am thankful to have them all in my life. It has been great seeing all the cousins play together.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Going off line

I am not sure how much computer access I will have over the next 2 weeks. I will not stress about it. I will put up cute pics whenever I get a chance. Have a great holiday! I can't wait to be with family!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Motivated by Love

This is the most important thing to me, and I need constant reminders. If my actions are motivated by love, then I will be in the right place at the right time. This includes even the seemingly mundane things such a cleaning the house. I want my home to be a place where my kids and husband look forward to being. I want my friends to feel welcome anytime. I just need to remember why I am doing it when I get frustrated.

This is definitely a quality that my dad possessed. It seemed as if everything he did was motivated by love.

I read a beautiful talk by Elder Uchtdorf called Love of God.

I recommend you read it tonight. It will change your perspective, I promise.

Bryce moment: He has discovered another way to suck me into a longer bedtime routine. He asks me to lay down with him on Dallin's bed. I sing to him, I cuddle him and then he is ready for bed. I am loving every minute of this routine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Much ado...

We had a fun day with the kids today, but no camera to document! We went with friends to the local Burger King playland and they played for a couple of hours. Bryce was so happy to be playing with the big kids. I am at a really nice stage right now where I can watch all 3 kids play together. Emily was very sweet with Bryce and stayed by his side. He is talking more and more. I love it! On the other hand, he is speaking his voice much more, and is very demanding. Here are some of my favorite Bryceisms,

"I try it." When he wants to something himself.
"It's coming." When we turn on the stereo.
"How about this one?"
"Bryce's turn."

He is very much into screaming right now. You have to acknowlege everything that he says, or he immediately goes to screaming. Sometimes, he doesn't even ask nicely first. I am trying to show him this is not the way to ask for things. I am a lot tougher than when he was a baby, and I have to just ignore it. He eventually gives up.

That is all for now. I am tired.

I did my mission today- the refrigerator is spotless. (And empty...I might have been too good at getting rid of food before we leave.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby steppin'

I am officially becoming a fly lady. Go to Today- I am getting my shiny sink! Anyone else follow this?

If not, tell me your secrets to a clean, orderly home. :-)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Catch Up

I need to get to bed, so I thought I would do a catch up post! I was able to go with Emily on her preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch. This is a great farm with lots of animals, apple cider, mazes, and of course pumpkins!
We started off by riding the bus. Bryce was most excited about this. He couldn't get over the fact that he wasn't in a car seat! It was very cute.

The preschool is run by a high school class and each child is assigned 2 "buddies." Emily is in heaven having two teenagers listening to her every word. They are so great with her. This was a perfect program for Emily! She is loving preschool!

I am glad I was able to go with Emily on the field trip. We all had a great time and ended with yummy apple cider doughnuts.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Soul

In order to be the person I was created to be, and the mom I want to be, I have realized the most important thing to do first is take care of me. This includes being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong. There are some areas that come easy for me and some that don't. As some of you know, exercise is something I enjoy and I look forward to. It is my time away and time to chat. I am working on eating healthy. I try to take time each day to read my scriptures and to write down my thoughts. I can tell what a difference this habit does for me. Emotionally, it is very important for me to connect with my kids, my husband, and other adults. Sometimes I go into my own little world, and then I realize I truly need people. Mentally, there is not always much stimulation. I enjoy working a few hours a week at the Y and answering questions about health and fitness. I especially enjoy teaching an 8 weeks to wellness class. These keep my mind active. I have been thinking a lot lately about the things I bring into my head. With my ADD, the more I fill my head with, the more easily I can be distracted and lose sight of my goals. My awesome aunt sent this forward today. Although I am not always a huge fan of forwards, this one made me think:

The Stranger

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped
talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?.... .. .

We just call him 'TV.'

(Note: This should be required reading for every household in America !)

He has a wife now...We call her 'Computer.'

So, I am planning to cut out as much TV as I can. When I have downtime, I am going to choose to read a book or play a game with Jeff. I will also be picky with my books. :-)

The other aspect to my physical health is getting enough sleep. So, that is my other focus.

What are everyone else's thoughts?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Family Fun- Pump it Up Style!

I am amazed that I am actually writing about something that happened today! The kids had a birthday party tonight, and for once we decided to all go together. Everyone was feeling better, so we were all ready to get some energy out. Here is the proof:

Now I am going to bed! (If you haven't read my last blog entry, please do and comment with your ideas!)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Always learning...

As I mentioned 2 days ago, I am a self-help guru! I love reading self-help books, reading blogs about productivity, and getting new ideas for how to do things better. I am sure this makes me a nerd, but I am okay with it. I love learning from other people and getting their ideas.

Here are some of my favorite productivity resources: Getting things Done by David Allen,,

So, I am hear to ask the rest of you. What is your trick? What do you feel you do really well as a "home manager?" Whether you stay at home or you work away from home, you are all managing your homes. I would love to hear your secrets. Don't be shy. Now is the time to brag. Bring it on...

I will start...

I am really good at getting my laundry done because of Monday Laundry Day. :-) It is a solution I came up with about 6 years ago and I have never turned back. I do all the laundry from start to finish on Mondays and that allows me to not think about laundry the rest of the week. (Except spit up, accidents, etc...)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Happy Brithday, Emily

(It is time to do some catchup!)
Emily turned 5 on October 5th- her golden birthday! Dallin and I heart attacked her to surprise her when she woke up. We had her favorite breakfast- pancakes and her favorite dinner- egg burritos!

She was pretty excited to have preschool on her birthday and her good friend, Amelia, shares the same birthday!

She received a gift from a neighbor boy that she has a crush on.

The only thing she wanted on her birthday was to go on the boat. It was cold and got dark very quickly, but the kids had a great time. (Okay, so the moms did too- sorry Jeff didn't get a chance to ski!) This boat trip was with our next door neighbors and good friends. We are glad they joined us!

We were focusing on the family this year instead of a big friend party. Her big present was to go to Disney on Ice with the whole family. She was in heaven!

So many things that I love about Emily, but mostly I love her big heart. She never wants to see you upset, and is always offering to give part of what she has been given. She is a spunky girl with many, many questions. I hope she is always so inquisitive. She loves to make up songs and dance through the house. She is a sparkle in my life. I love you, Emmers!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thankful for our health

I have felt very lucky that our household has stay illness-free so far. Today I am feeling a sore throat, which is the first sign for me. So, I am being a good girl and going to bed early. I hope I can beat this bug quick. Thanks for the responses on yesterday's post. I love hearing the dreams of others!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

When I grow up...

...I still want to be a mother! That will always be my number 1 priority, however it is fun to think about going back to school. Yes, I am a school nerd. Most of you already know that about me. I call myself the self-help guru. I love learning new things and trying to become a better me. If there was a class on how to be the fastest housecleaner I would take it because that is what I want to learn right now.

Here are some ideas for the future (still looking toward that next stage!)

a. Registered Dietician- The chemistry behind the food and how it works in your body fascinates me. Once I truly learn it, I won't have any issues, right?!
b. Exercise physiology- big shocker!
c. Sports Marketing
d. Piano
e. Vocal lessons (please don't laugh at that one- I have always wanted to learn to sing, but I am still afraid of being told there is no hope for me.)
f. Ballet
g. Pharmacy- I found out my senior year of college how much I loved biochemistry. It was a little too late to switch majors. I would love to go to pharmacy school. No blood- ha ha!

So, there you have it, a couple of my dream classes and majors. What are some of yours?

Monday, November 02, 2009

No more Babies?

This is the question for us. Having children has not come as easy for Jeff and I as I would have liked. Of course I have ended up loving the space between my children and the time I had with each of them. Bryce was our miracle baby and I am so grateful that he is in our family. We now feel that our family is complete and that it is time for the next stage of life. It is just so hard for me to think of not having another one of these to stare at and enjoy:

Watching Jeff with our babies has also been one of my favorite parts. He is also great with them as toddlers and beyond. Reading this blog by one of my favorite people helped me to get excited for what might be coming up, even as I think about what won't be happening again.
The hardest part for me is that I didn't enjoy Bryce as a baby as much as the other 2. There are many reasons for that, but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel guilty about that. Part of the reason I am using this month to focus on my "scrapbooking" is to remember the good times with Bryce. I am truly loving his little personality
as a toddler. He is so dang funny- we laugh every day.
I love the baby stage. I love watching their first smiles, hearing that first giggle, and watching their features change. I love cuddling with them on the couch and knowing that nothing is more important in that moment. I love the forced 2 week slow down that a C-section forced me to have, and a loving husband and mother allowed me to take.
I know I will miss seeing the kids with a newborn sibling...

But, I look forward to many more older sibling interactions. I know that I need to enjoy each moment that I can. I love 18months-3 and that is what I am in right now with Bryce! I am sure there will be stages that I will enjoy less than others. (Can anyone say potty training Bryce?!) And there will be others that I have not yet experienced that I will enjoy even more than I can imagine. I feel blessed to be a mother to 3 sweet beautiful kids and to have a husband who loves me and loves them completely.We have many, many more memories to make as a family. I am glad to be along for the ride! I love these 3 very different and unique individuals that I call my children. I love each of them for the little person that they are and that they are becoming. I want to know each of them individually and personally and appreciate their little quirks, even if I don't love those quirks at that time.