Friday, December 23, 2011

Nutcracker with Emily

As an update, our house has been much more loving. :-) I think my kids understood what I was saying, and I have been more aware. It also helps that we are out having fun, enjoying Christmas break. Trying not to be inside the house too much. :-)

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Nutcracker with Emily. This year she had a chance to see a performance with her friend in it, but it would have meant I couldn't go with her. She started crying and said she only wanted to go with me. :-) It was so sweet! So, we got a great Groupon deal and went just the 2 of us. I was a little bummed to not have friends with us, but enjoyed the time with her. When we got there, we ran into our great friends and they ended up sitting by us. The show was fabulous! I love watching Emily's face as she is mesmerized by the dancers. 

Anyone else have a tradition they love?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To yell or not to yell...

We have a lot of expectations of ourselves as parents- before we actually become one and reality hits! It is hard work! It is so rewarding, but it takes patience, diligence, a good sense of humor, and an ability to calm down. If that last one doesn't happen, then some of us react by yelling. I had promised myself that I would not be a "yeller". I am uncomfortable around raised voices. I feel like for around the first 8 years of motherhood, maybe even 9, I was able to keep this promise. I had slipped up a couple of times, but it was definitely not the norm. Well, enter Bryce and his ability to bug everyone. My kids, who had not really argued and/or fought, suddenly became very short and annoyed easily with each other. I have a noise sensitivity and when it comes to whining and fighting- it is like nails on a chalkboard and brings out the worse in me. Slowly, I have turned into the "yeller." I do not like it one bit!! So, I have decided to own up to it, put it out in the universe, and hope that makes me more aware. I actually had a conversation with my kids about it yesterday. How can each of us add more kindness and softness in our home (and in the car especially)? I told them I will be taking "Mommy time outs" when I can feel my blood boiling! I also told them that I will give them one chance to go upstairs and do their arguing up there, or I start charging them by taking away screen time. We will see how it goes.

Anyone have suggestions for what works for them? What about in the car? I need something immediate! Ranell and I will chatting about this on gmail and Sarah said she has a link she is going to send me (hint, hint!). I would love more ideas and to know that I am not alone. :-) I want to enjoy parenting again!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Conquering Fears

Today was my very first piano recital. I always wanted to take piano as a kid, but we were too busy playing sports. :-) I taught myself the right hand and then when I went to BYU, I took one semester of piano. That was 12 years ago! So, now that Bryce is in preschool, I feel I am at a good stage to learn. I have really enjoyed it, but I forgot that I would have to perform in front of people. I am not good under pressure. My first marathon was horrible- remember? I start to panic and it is tough for me to recover. That being said, I am also a finisher. I do not quit. So, today was the day. I have been practicing and practicing, but I was very nervous. Right before I went up, I felt like I was going to throw up. My teacher said if I really didn't want to do it that I could pass at the last minute. But again, I am not a quitter!

It was a beautfiul Christmas concert, with many ranges in talent. It was fun watching the kids and even some of my adult friends play. We were almost at the end, which added to my anxiety. So, I followed Dallin, who of course, played beautifully! Then it was my turn. It started out alright, and then all of a sudden, the music didn't come as naturally. I had a hard time keeping track of where I was. I did get through it, but not as well as I would have liked. I am a little bummed about that, but I am not dwelling on it.  I am proud of myself for trying and for not giving up. Hopefully, it will get easier!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

34 Reasons why Ranell is awesome

Ranell and I became friends in 2005 when I was teaching Connie (her oldest who was 3) in a Kids Gym class at the Y. We always seemed to chat for hours when we would run into each other. Over the years, our friendship has grown as we have become a support for one another. I am so grateful to have her as a friend. Here are some things about Ranell:
1. She is a fantastic mother.
2. She finds joy in the little moments.
3. She works very hard to talk kindly and calmly to her children. (I have even heard her when she doesn't know I am listening when she "butt dials" me!)
4. She is always striving to learn. We definitely share in our "self-help" obsession.
5. She is extremely organized. I have learned a lot from her.
6. She is willing to watch kids for anyone and everyone.
7. She is not "tit for tat." We have know idea who "owes" who when it comes to services or cash. :-)
8. She is willing to trade for time alone with our husbands.
9. She gave me the second best gift I have ever received (the first was my surprise weekend to CA to see Wicked from Jeff!)- she made me dinner every night for a week. That is heaven to me!
10. She accomplishes what she sets her mind to do. One year it was running a marathon, another year it was getting her Group Fitness Instructor certification.
11. She is completely loyal.
12. She forgives quickly.
13. She recognizes her mistakes and is willing to apologize.
14. She is fun to be around and makes me laugh.
15. She supports me in my goals and believes in my ability to achieve them.
16. She doesn't judge others.
17. She is patient.
18. She is one of the most thoughtful people I know and she follows through with it.
19. She is willing to do last minute crazy plans!
20. She doesn't bad mouth others.
21. She doesn't flaunt her money. :-)
22. She is a great friend, and I know she would do anything for me.
23. She is a great listener.
24. She is a fun mom who likes to do crafts with her kids and encourages them to do what they love, even if it makes a mess.
25. She is a great decorator.
26. She keeps a very clean house. I am very impressed by this skill! She will sometimes stay up all night to do it.
27. She is a hard worker.
28. She doesn't make excuses. 
29. She accepts me for who I am.
30. She has a strong testimony of the gospel and is willing to share it.
31. She has a love for books that she has passed on to Connie.
32. She loves her husband!
33. She likes to try new things.
34. She is awesome!!

Happy Birthday Ranell! I hope you had a fantastic day! You are the best!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good news, bad news...drumroll...

...the good news is I am in a better place- mentally, spiritually and physically. I did not lose as much weight as I would like- probably about 5 lbs. :-) ( I would have liked to have lost 15!)  BUT, I have found my love of running and realized that I am happiest when training for a marathon. My body seems to need intense exercise and consistent mileage. So, that is what is next for me. My tentative plan is to run Newport in May. Originally, I didn't want to train for a marathon if I was trying to get pregnant, but I have decided that I can't put everything on hold. So, that leads us to the bad news...

...I was really hoping when I took the test this morning that it would be positive, but it wasn't. :-( The toughest part for me is hearing my kids' prayers for another sibling. I really want their prayers answered as well as mine. I am extremely happy and feel blessed to have my 3 kids and my awesome, supportive, cute husband! Hopefully at some point you will be hearing an announcement from me, but as for now, just know I am enjoying the blessings I have and I am ready to become a marathoner again!!

Who is with me? :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Little Bit of Catch Up

November and December have been a little bit of a blur for me. I wanted to make sure I don't miss too much on here- both good and bad! :-)

Here are some pics to hold you over! (My 3 readers!)

Merry Christmas!
 Preschool Bowling Field Trip
 Grandma Nise in Town
 Bryce is silly, but can be a stinker!
 More Grandma Nise- yeah!
Our family pic- before Dallin's haircut. :-)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

My son, the klepto (need advice)

Jeff has always teased me for being a klepto because we end up with hymn books or people's sweaters at my house. BUT, my stealing is always unintentional. :-) Jeff texted me yesterday to ask if I had borrowed cash from his wallet. I told him no and when he looked again, he realized he all that was left was half of a dollar bill, so he knew this was a small kid's doing. Well, come to find out, it was Bryce in the middle of the night. He is obsessed with getting money and buying his own Ipod Touch. (He's 4 1/2, remember?!) So, Jeff decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. He took every dollar bill and coin out of his piggy bank. When Bryce discovered it was empty, he cried and cried. Jeff said, "Isn't that so sad that someone came and stole all your money? How does that make you feel?" Jeff thought he had gotten the point across, but then an hour later we see Bryce's piggy bank has new change in it. He had taken Dallin's money. Ugh!!! Has anyone had experience with this? What should we do?

In good kid news, we taught them all how to play Settlers of Catan. I played a game with them last night, and it was surprisingly fun. Bryce actually won, and I realized he is just too smart for his own good- and mine!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grateful for great parents

As I left Jeff with the kids at the restaurant tonight because I am frustrated that they aren't responding the way I want, I have gained even more appreciation for my parents. They were 16 and 19 when they were married and ended up being married for 37 years. They were not perfect, but they were an amazing example of love, dedication, faith and perseverance. It is not easy being a parent, but they taught me that the most important relationship is that of husband and wife and then you can be united as parents. I am so impressed that they both broke the cycle of broken marriages(of their own parents) and found comfort in a secure relationship with one another.

I thought of their marriage and my relationship with my father as I attended the temple this morning. I am so grateful that he fulfilled his duty as a father. I learned so much from him- mostly patience and love. That is what he gave me unconditionally. I am grateful that I can still feel him close to me, being my personal cheerleader and helping me not give up when I get frustrated with my weaknesses.

I miss him every day, but especially today. I love you Dad!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for the beach

We had a very nice Thanksgiving with good friends. We did not take many pictures, but just enjoyed the time together chatting away while the kids played. We had a fantastic dinner, and I believe my first attempt at a turkey all by myself was a success! I also made the homemade rolls, and K made everything else. She is a fantastic cook and everything was yummy! She even made my favorite-banana cream pie- on a moment's notice. That brought back all of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. We missed being with family, but were grateful to share it with friends.

I am a little behind on posting because I am at my favorite place- the beach. It is gorgeous weather and it is just our little family. We are enjoying the time we have to relax and be together. The weather has been incredible and we are loving it! We are thankful for friends who share their amazing condo with us. I will share pictures when we get back home!

The beach has always been a special place to me because of the connection I feel with my dad when I am there. I am never happier or more at peace than when near an ocean. I also love how happy the kids are just playing in nature.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for Dance Parties with my kids

One of the little perks of this house was a surround sound stereo system. Jeff was excited about this because it is something he wouldn't have bought on his own most likely, but can appreciate good sound! So, many nights our house is found with all of my kids and Jeff and I rocking out to whatever comes up on my Ipod. Some of our favorites: Dynamite, Eye of the Tiger, Beat It, Evacuate the Dance Floor, Hey Soul Sister, California Gurls, anything else!

This nightly practice has made 2 of my 3 kids very comfortable up on stage! For the church talent show, Bryce performed Beat It and Emily sang "What a Wonderful World".  I was very proud of both of them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for an unexpected date with Jeff

I know I already wrote about Jeff, but today I got to enjoy being with him! My good friend, Ranell, called and asked if I could watch her daughter while she went to the doctor. I said "Sure!" I said that I would be bringing the kids to mat time at the Y and then she mentioned that she had child watch appointments for the kids at 11:30. She offered to keep Bryce with her too from 11:30-1pm. I was very excited because I was wanting to get some alone time with Jeff today anyway! It is the anniversary of our first date and I love celebrating it even if it is a movie at home after the kids go to bed. This fun lunch date was exactly what we needed today. I surprised Jeff and he loved it! I am grateful for a friend who is willing to help out like this!

Bryce and his half birthday

Today is Bryce's half birthday! My kids are so funny that they like to celebrate this. Last week, someone asked Bryce how old he is and I said, "4 1/2". He said, "No, I'm not. Not until November 21st!!" We have just started a tradition this year that on their half birthday they get a date with mom and dad. So, I took him and his buddy Spencer to McDonald's for ice cream cones and cake! It was fun watching them play. Those are some of my favorite moments as a mom!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful for Co-op Preschool and my sister Crystal

 I promise that I am still feeling thankful, I was just busy this week with nine 4 year olds at my house! It was my turn to teach the kids in our co-op preschool. For the past 2 1/2 months, I have been dropping Bryce off at different friends' houses from 8:30-noon and he comes home a happy boy who has loved learning and being with friends! In return for this "free" preschool, I take my turn teaching. This is something I have chosen to do instead of traditional preschool. I tried it with Dallin and found that I really enjoyed being part of his school experience. I am always nervous right before my time to teach, but each time I do, I remember how much I love this age! The kids are so fun and eager to learn and they say the funniest things. (I learn some good dirt sometimes!) The other moms are fantastic and good friends of mine and I feel strongly that my kids have a good base for school and have a great time! But, when it's my turn to teach, not much else gets done, hence the blog not getting updated!

I am also thankful for my "older" sister Crystal who turned 29 today! I had a long conversation with her today and I was reminded how kind, generous and loving she is. We have grown even closer over the years and I am so grateful to have her in my life. I love when people say I look like her, because I think she is just beautiful! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grateful for Biggest Loser

That sounds silly, but it inspires me every time I watch it! Now, I just gotta get my behind in gear. No, I won't tell you how much I have lost yet. :-) You still have to wait until December 13th...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful for the Book Of Mormon

It has taken us a few years, but tonight we finished the Book of Mormon for the first time as a family. Woo hoo! We try to read at least a few verses each day, but it doesn't always happen. I remember when we first started becoming consistent, Dallin's reading ability really improved. Now, it is amazing to hear Emily and Bryce both read through the Book of Mormon verses. Moroni's promise is in the last chapter of Moroni, and I hope my kids will take the challenge for themselves. I have prayed about it and I KNOW that it is a true book. It was written for us. When I take time to read it each day on my own, I am given the strength and the answers I need for that day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grateful for friends and family

Today I was working on my Christmas cards*. As I wrote each name, I loved that different, special memories came flooding through for each one. There are the family members who have been there for me since I was a kid. There are the friends that I had in high school and college that I love seeing their families grow through pictures. There is the family that I gained when I married Jeff, all of whom I love deeply! I really hit the jackpot with my in-laws, and I mean that!! Last there are the friends that Jeff and I have made since we have been married. Jeff had an internship in Austin, TX the first summer we were married and in Ft. Collins, CO the second summer we were married. We still hear from some of the friends we made in those cities. And of course, there are friends that have moved from Oregon since we have lived here almost 11 years. All of these friends and family still hold a special place in my heart. One of my favorite things about Christmas is receiving Christmas Cards. I love putting them up on a door in my house, and I probably leave them up too long because I love seeing all the faces! So, here is my plug! Don't forget to send us a Christmas card! We love them!! And if you would like one from us, and you don't know if you are on my "list" let me know!

*Don't be too impressed with my sending Christmas cards out so early. I want to send them out first with our new address. Last year, Jeff told me not to put the address of our rental house because we didn't know how long we would be there. He said to put the P.O. Box. I said, "We are going to be here for years, I am sure!" Well, he was right, so here I am sending out cards in November!