Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's one of my most favorite days of the year! I love Christmas Eve!!

Today I am grateful for my oven and my fridge. I used the oven like a crazy person yesterday. Baked all sorts of stuff for tonight and tomorrow morning. And with the fridge, I am able to keep all those things good until we're ready to eat them.

And do you know what this means??? It means that on this blessed day, I have at least a few minutes to actually enjoy what is going on around me. Family, music, games, food, and fun! And I am so grateful for that. I'm especially looking forward to the reading of the first Christmas story and singing tonight! Pretty much my favorite part of Christmas; next to being with family of course.

Thank you oven and fridge!

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It has yet to begin to feel a lot like Christmas

I've tried for over three weeks now.

Most of the time, it's worked.

But the past three days have been chipping away the last of my reserves.

The optimism is fading fast. The feelings of Christmas spirit are fleeting. And I'm highly tempted to give into the "it's been a major bummer of a Christmas season and life stinks" thoughts.

Jonz has been sick the entire month of December. He's struggling with asthma, is on his second round of steroids this month, and has developed a respiratory infection so we've added antibiotics to his daily meds regimen.
We had such a wonderful few months respite from the regular vomiting our boys take part in. It decided to come back with a vengeance this month.
I missed the Relief Society dinner because I was coughing and didn't want to spread whatever it was I had.
We missed the ward Christmas party because Jonz and Goose were sick.
We spend most evenings and weekends at home because someone is sick instead of going out to do fun Christmas things.
The closer Christmas gets, the more of us seem to get sick.
Holiday gatherings with friends and family have to be postponed or more often cancelled because of someone in our family being sick.
But really, beyond all the "missing out on Christmas fun" things is the fact that having sick kids just wears on a parent. I can only take so much of listening to them struggle to breathe, coughing fits in the middle of the night, cries of pain and fright between stomach heaves, and continually disappointing them by telling them they can't play and have to sit still, they can't go play with someone, and they can't eat anything yet because they threw up less than four hours ago. My four year old has a hard time understanding those things and has spent most of the month angry with me, and my two year olds just think I'm straight up being a jerk.

Even though it's not Thursday, I'm posting an attempt to remember all the good things this month has brought in the hopes that writing it out and publishing it will help it to stick out more in my mind. Ready?

Happy December times- Christmas 2009
Breakfast with Santa, uncle, and cousins this month
The successful hunt for a beautiful Christmas tree
Singing Christmas carols with Bret to the boys most every night
The way the house looks at night with all the lights Bret put up and our fireplace going
Sewing superhero capes with friends late one Tuesday evening
Christmas shopping as a family
Scoring gifts at lower prices than we budgeted for
The First Presidency Christmas Devotional
Driving through a fun lights display and enjoying an evening with college friends
Bret's company Christmas party
Opening advent calendar doors with Jonzy
Peppermint ice cream
Hot chocolate and candy canes
Watching movies with Bret after the boys go to bed
Starting that puzzle that I don't know if I will finish
Hanging out late into the night with my siblings
That reminders of the Savior are everywhere I look and the strangest things remind me of his love

There have been many good and happy blessings this month. Really, it's a fairly normal month I think, but the holiday festivities make for starker contrast. I'm feeling better:) I think I'll go lay down with my four year old for a few minutes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

Today I am grateful for Christmas lights. We've got them strung all through and on our house. The house is lined with them. The Christmas tree is covered with them. The banisters are wound with them. And our fake ficus trees are adorned as well.

When the sun goes down, the lights go on. And when the boys go to bed, the normal house lights go off and we turn on the fireplace. It's so cozy and Christmas-y!

If you can (and haven't already), I say go to Walmart, buy a string of lights for less than $2 and spice up your house a bit.

Christmas lights make the season all the more special and fun for me. Despite the troubles with sickness and hectic ways of December, I am still loving this time of year!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Post number one hundred

In keeping with blogging tradition, for my 100th post, here’s 100 random things you never really wanted to know about me.

1. I eat my french fries two at a time.

2. I firmly believe all cats belong inside. (Unless, of course, they are barn cats in the country.) It's better for the cats and it keeps their "deposits" and disease out of my yard.

3. I like clothes pins. They make me happy.

4. I think beautiful music peaked in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

5. Not that I don't enjoy music from then on because I do. Very much.

6. My favorite songs with lyrics are hymns. Hands down.

7. I wish I could play the piano beautifully.

8. And the violin.

9. I love watching other people play the violin. And listening, of course, but it’s just so cool to see.

10. I buy hot dogs from Whole Foods because normal grocery store hot dogs don't taste right.

11. When someone almost kills me with their car and then flips me off, I've found that the funnest way to deal with that is to stick my thumbs in my ears, wiggle my fingers, blow raspberries at them, and imagine all the ways they could react to that if they would stop being cowards and look at me being just as childish, but much less dangerous, than they were.

12. Getting something I want on a fantastic sale gives me a big high.

13. I wonder what it is about Muppets that captivates all ages.

14. If I had an extra $1000, I’d go hog-wild on Christmas decorations from Michael’s and Shopko. They’ve cornered the market on my taste in decor.

15. If I practiced no restraint, I could also easily spend $1000 at a bookstore, a children’s clothes store, and a movie store…each. Good thing I’m a cheapskate or we’d be broke!

16. I’m a cheapskate. I rarely pay full price for anything.

17. I’ve been hospitalized three times; once for a nasty respiratory infection, twice for childbirth.

18. The scream of a child makes me want to bang my head against the nearest wall.

19. Unless he’s screaming because he’s hurt. It usually doesn’t bother me then.

20. I keep the A/C on in the car well into autumn because I like the chill.

21. I peel oranges to within an inch of their life and then break them apart and eat the little juice pockets. All because I don’t like pith.

22. I despise hypocrisy.

23. I realized my family was abnormal when I went to college. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal for families to get along peacefully and happily 99.9% of the time. I thought sitcoms and movies were major reality stretches, but apparently lots of people live that way. My abnormal family is the best!

24. I look like a teenager.

25. I suffer some consequences of looking like a teenager, but also get some perks.

26. I have horrible vision.

27. I’m right handed, but left eye dominant. So I write with my right and I shoot with my left.

28. Way back when I went to camp with the youth girls from church and totally fell for it on the snipe hunt. Three years later I got to play the part of a snipe. And two years after that I led the hunt and fully enjoyed passing on the con.

29. I can twirl a flag. I even went to color guard camp when I was 16. No laughing; it was done with dignity:)

30. The high school maturity level ended starkly for me midway through my senior year. I fail to understand why so many people can’t, or refuse to, move past it.

31. I do not think fast and so prefer written communication in matters of business.

32. I claim membership to “Pride and Prejudice” fandom.

33. I think I’m just as romantic as the next girl, but I do not like “Twilight” and I even think it’s a dangerously unhealthy obsession for many people.

34. I have auburn hair that hangs half way down my back and refuses to curl for more than 30 minutes.

35. I don’t like how shoulder length hair looks on me so it’s either short or long.

36. I wanted to grow it long in 2005, but kept getting fed up and cutting it until 2007.

37. I haven’t had a professional cut my hair since March ’08 (it was a trim and bang reconstruction).

38. I think I just made up a new hair term! Bang reconstruction. Or should it be bangs reconstruction?…

39. I gave myself a three inch “trim” this year. It was actually very fun to cut my own hair!

40. I play the barber in my family. Saves us a bundle (you know, for that cheapskate in me:)).

41. I’m not a good conversationalist.

42. I don’t like being interrupted.

43. I don’t like having to compete to talk.

44. Therefore, I prefer listening.

45. I enjoy people-watching.

46. Unless those people are doing inconsiderate things. Then people-watching just makes me angry.

47. I hate the word “potty.” My boys don’t (or won’t, as two are still in diapers) go potty, they use the bathroom. Silly pet peeve? Yes. But a pet peeve, nonetheless.

48. I’m a homebody.

49. I like my home. I made it so I would like it.

50. My favorite people live in my home.

51. People I like less are outside of my home.

52. So, obviously, home is my favorite place to be.

53. No, I am not a hermit. I very much enjoy getting out and about in the world. But home is my favorite and I’ll choose it 9.9 times out of ten.

54. I LOVE history and historical things.

55. I especially love being in places full of history. Museums, cemeteries, historical sites, and the like.

56. I love sentimentality and nostalgia.

57. I don’t wear jewelry.

58. I actually love jewelry, but I never wear it because I don’t want to ruin or lose it in my day to day life and it just seems to get in the way.

59. Bret loves and hates that about me. I’m less expensive during gift giving occasions, but I’m difficult to shop for.

60. However, attach some sentiment to a piece of jewelry and I’ll wear it on special occasions or days I want to think more about who it belonged to or, in the case of my wedding ring, I’ll wear it constantly.

61. I love nativity scenes.

62. I vote for real Christmas trees, but admit a temptation to go artificial.

63. Daisies are my favorite flowers. Gerbera daisies are fast becoming my specific favorite. They’re so big and colorful and happy!

64. I don’t like drinking milk unless it has chocolate syrup in it.

65. I haven’t been to the dentist in 4.5 years since that fateful August when I went in for a check-up, was told I had one cavity and three fillings that needed to be changed to the white kind, was scared into agreeing to change them, paid out the wazoo, and my mouth still isn’t the same. I went in with no pain and it took six months for the constant ache to go away, a year for the regular ache to go away, and I still get zings of pain.

66. I know I should go to the dentist, but my trust has been shot. I know…go anyway.

67. I hate being wrongly judged. It’s a pride issue. I’m working on it. But it’s going a lot more slowly than I’d like it to.

68. I like to take pictures.

69. One of these days, I’m going to take some photography classes.

70. I live next to a pond…which means I live under a main flight path for geese. They can get pretty noisy.

71. I took the ACT twice.

72. First time I took it, I thought I did great. I got a 26, not as high as I would like. The average for acceptance into my college of choice was 27. So I took a class (aka, “here, take these practice tests”).

73. Second time I took it, I thought I did worse than the first time. I got a 29. I thought maybe the trick was to come out of the test thinking I’d failed completely and I’d get in the 30s. I decided to leave well enough alone. And it turned out to be good enough to get me into that college. Crisis averted.

74. I never lived in the dorms. I went straight to apartment living.

75. I prefer to shop all by me onesies. Unless shopping is a date with Bret or Girl Time.

76. I wish I could, but I haven’t had my fingernails painted in years; too much chipping in my line of work.

77. I do manage to do my toes once or twice a year.

78. Some days, I long for a daughter. Some days, I want only boys.

79. There go those geese again.

80. I don’t have cable television.

81. TV is addicting for me. I’ve come a long way in keeping it turned off. I only really watch one show (and I watch it online with my husband since it’s never on when we can watch it. Who needs tivo when everything is online anyway???) and sometimes Seinfeld or Scrubs reruns. So why pay the outlandish price for cable when we don’t watch tv, it’s badly addicting, and everything we watch is online?

82. Yet, I’m tempted because our reception is crummy when I actually do want to watch something.

83. I (in co-ownership with Bret) have an amazing movie collection. It’s been the work of many years and It. Is. Awesome.

84. I heart Reese’s peanut butter cups. Deliciousness.

85. I’m not a big fan of chocolate. Sure, I enjoy it. But I don’t seem to crave it like most women do and sometimes I wonder if I received a faulty chocolate gene.

86. I take comfort in the fact that the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie. Maybe I’m not so different from the rest of my sex.

87. I like fountain soda better than bottled soda. Same soda, same brand, same temperature…but for some reason it’s just more refreshing when it comes out of a soda fountain.

88. I call it soda. I used to call it pop. I don’t remember when I changed over. But I remember calling it pop as late as high school…hmmm, interesting.

89. I love the mountains.

90. …”I love the rolling hills. I love the flowers. I love the daffodils.”

91. That song always reminds me of my grandpa:)

92. I am a citizen of the United States of America. Proud of my heritage, but admit I’m a bit nervous about the pathway my country is on. How did Thomas Jefferson say it?…I looked it up. “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

93. I love reading about the founding fathers of my country.

94. I love reading.

95. I miss my stomach.

96. I really really miss my stomach.

97. I love being a stay-at-home mom.

98. I hate that being a stay-at-home mom makes me a mindless slave in the minds of many.

99. I love my husband! I thought I loved him more than anyone ever loved anybody when we got married, but even that can’t be compared to how much I love him now.

100. “…All the gold in the United States Treasury and all the harp music in heaven can't equal what happens between a man and a woman with all that growin' together. I can't explain it any better than that.”

Congratulations for makin’ it alllll the way through! I realize that’s not really 100 things; that some were drawn out into more when they should have been one, and that much of it is senseless rambling. But this is what you get:)

Ten points to the one who correctly names the movie that #100 comes from and an extra ten points for correctly naming the actor who said it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Sure it's thankful Thursday. And sure, I'm thankful for lots of things today: Indoor plumbing (which we were threatened to be without yesterday), more than 45 consecutive minutes of sleep last night!, kleenex, a warm house, my totally-awesome-wonderful-rational-calm-understanding-makes-me-so-giddy-to-have-him husband. Lots of things.

But today I have a head cold (the latest slap in a string of physical misfortunes and ailments) and I don't have the energy to sit in front of the computer and elaborate on why I'm thankful for these things this Thursday.

So. Please know that I am thankful, that I want you to be thankful, and that I'd still love to hear what you're thankful about despite my lack of elaboration and excess of alliteration:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember Today

I am ashamed.

When I changed my calendar to reflect the date this morning, I thought, "December 7th...I'm supposed to remember something on December 7th..." Today it's been one month since the daughter of friends passed away. I've been thinking about them a lot more than usual today. If you're a praying person, please pray for them. It seemed like I was forgetting something else, though.

All morning and part of the afternoon, when life slowed down for a moment, I kept thinking that there was something I was forgetting about today. And it finally clicked! Thanks to my wonderful husband's facebook status update, I remember that it's December 7th! As in 1941. As in "a date which will live in infamy," December 7th.

And so I am ashamed that it took me this long to figure it out. Yet, I'm also a bit happy that at least some part of my brain remembered that today was historically special.

Please remember today, whether you're a citizen of the USofA or not because this date, 68 years ago, ended up affecting the greater part of this world. Pause for the lives that were lost, reflect on the valor that was shown that day and in the days that followed, and be grateful that because of the sacrifices of so many a world war was brought to an end.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today am an extremely grateful for Bret's job.

It provides us with enough money to support our family on. With careful planning, budgeting, frugality, and cost-cutting techniques we are able to live within our means and enjoy indulging in some of our wants.

But mostly, today, I am grateful for the flexibility Bret has with his job. That when situations arise, he can usually work things so that he can take the day off. Like today. I woke up sick and Bret was able to stay home with us and take care of me and the boys. I sure do feel spoiled...albeit sick, too.

I'm also grateful today for this lovely Christmas season. For the music, the movies, the decorations, and the wonderful happiness that comes from thinking more on Jesus Christ. What a wonderful time of the year!

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's the biggest Thankful Thursday ever! A day entirely devoted to gratitude...or it's based on that. I think most people turn it into a day of feasting and football and sadly, few take more than a few minutes to say, "thank you."

Be that as it may, I love this holiday. I am grateful that at least for a few minutes every year, thousands of people say a collective thank you for what they have been blessed with. I am grateful that this holiday is in autumn, one of my favorite times of the year weather-wise. I am grateful that we have family living close by and we can spend the day with them.

I am grateful for Bret and the amazing man and husband that he is. I'm thankful that I've been able to relax a bit today. I'm grateful that my kids are so awesome.

I am so thankful for my life. Life is often a kick in the pants, but boy am I blessed!

I hope you all will take time to really think on what you have and all the good that is in your life. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

I am going to put my kiddos to bed and indulge in some pie:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for the little things my kids do that make me so happy.

Like the way the little boys have taken to putting some toys in a bag or grabbing a toy car, and coming up to me for my attention and we have the following conversation-
Him: Bye!
Me: Bye! Have a good trip.
Him: (with a HUGE smile) chip!
Me: Be safe!
Him: seph.
Me: I love you!
Him: Uh ooo. Bye!
Me: Bye!

And they go traipsing off, only to come back two minutes later and do it again.

Or the way the boys equate my leaving at night to mean that I'm going to bring back Wendy's for them (which has only happened once! but their memories seem to have been quite impressed by it).

Or the way Al chants, "chick.uh.fies!" (chicken nuggets and fries)

Or the way Jonz fake laughs through his teeth and/or nose.

Or the way Al or Goose will bring their new favorite book to me to read and make the request by saying, "la la?"

Or the way Goose says, "ah.Mommy's?" every time I sit down to the table with my plate and he won't stop saying it until I reply, "Yes. This is Mommy's."

Or when we drive anywhere, the incessant way Goose will say, "Mommy? Mom? Mom? MOMMY?!" until I say, "What?" so he can point out the closest truck and say happily, "uh juck!"

Or the way Jonz will negotiate for something. "Two days? How 'bout two days, Mommy? Or wait! Four months. Can I have it in four months?!" Poor little guy doesn't know he's dooming himself to an interminable wait before he even asks for permission. But he's showing that he's beginning to have a greater understanding of time and I admire his smarts:)

I am so lucky to be home with my boys and that I get to enjoy so many of these moments. I am so thankful for my lot in life!

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Holy cow, it's Thursday again.

It's been quite a sobering week. I am thankful for my family. For my husband. For my Jonzy. For my Al. For my Goose. *(I hate using nicknames on this)* For my parents; we are so blessed to have them close. For each of my amazing three brothers. For the wonderful people that marriage has brought to me. For wonderful friends who share their love and teach me so much. For tender mercies from my Heavenly Father. For the gospel. For my scriptures. For wonderful church leaders. For prayer. And for the Holy Ghost, a priceless companion.

I love November. I love thinking of all the things I have to be grateful for.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Aahhhhhhh, Thankful Thursday. The week is nearly over. Two thirds of my boys are napping. This is nice.

Today I am grateful for good doctors. When Jonz was born we didn't know who should be his pediatrician. We decided to go with the doctor who answered questions during our childbirth class at the hospital. I had no idea how lucky of a decision that was! Great guy, great nurses, great office. And then we moved about an hour north of where we were. I tried to get recommendations for a good pediatrician from people in the neighborhood and all the responses I got were only so-so, no one was wild about their doctor. I decided that we'd keep with Dr. C since Jonz was only getting check ups once a year. We could make the trek once a year. And since my kids only seem to get sick after hours, it worked out that we took him to Instacare when he was sick and the doctor we love for check ups.

Then twins arrived in our family and we just couldn't add such a long trip every couple months into the existing stress of doctor visits with three small children. I looked high and low for a good doctor. I found stellar reviews online for one doctor, went there twice and for the life of me still can't figure out why people gave such high reviews for him and his office because we had poor experiences there both times. Then I found some more great reviews online for another doctor that someone had suggested to my mom. Kept them in my pocket for the next time someone needed to go to the doctor and used them for a doozy of a day. Finally, one friend suggested her doctor (I don't know how I hadn't asked her before!) and we tried her. Still not quite up to Dr. C's par, but a good doctor with nice nurses. We stayed with her for a year.

And then we moved again. South. Closer to Dr. C again. Now that the boys are all to the point where we only need check ups once a year and they seem to only get sick after hours and the Instacare is only a mile away, I wanted to go back to Dr. C. Today we did.

Dr. C, how we've missed you! And your nurses! And you're exam rooms that are big enough for my three boys to move around a little bit! And your wonderfully nice office staff! And you're great, kid-friendly decorations and wonderful atmosphere!

I never realized how rare of a find he and his office are until I had to search elsewhere. How lucky we are to have such a good doctor for our boys and that we can go to him again. Yay for good doctors!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me"

I'm going to be throwing out some LDS lingo in this post. If I don't make sense, call me on it:)

A couple weeks ago, I received a call to work in one of the Nurseries in our ward. Let me tell you, I was shocked. I thought it was an unspoken rule that you never called elementary school teachers to the Primary and you never called stay at home moms to the Nursery. Wrong-o!

It was very hard for me to accept this new calling happily. Not only would I be doing at church exactly what I do at home all week long and with far more children, but I wouldn't be in Sunday School and Relief Society "filling my well," learning more about the gospel, or meeting people in the ward and fulfilling the need to make friends with people in the neighborhood.

After a week or so, I was able to come to terms with all this. I need to step up my personal study at home so I'm still learning and filling my well. It's only two hours a week. I care for children most hours of every day; what's two more hours a week? Drop in the bucket. Al and Goose will put much less stress on their bodies since they won't be screaming because I'm not in there with them. It will be a much more peaceful place for them. I've met some very nice women who also work in the Nursery. I talked with the Relief Society President about my concerns. I've got a visiting teaching assignment now, which also means that somewhere out there I have visiting teachers of my own. It also turns out, I was part of a wave of callings to Nursery. Now there are enough women in Nursery to allow one of to go to RS every week! It's really okay.

Imagine then, what my mind did when I was asked to meet with the Bishop yesterday. But...but...but...I just got used to this calling! They're not going to release me are they? Was I too ungrateful, so God's going to put me somewhere else? What about my boys; they'll freak out!?"

Turns out, though, that I wasn't released. I was given another calling. First time in my life I've ever had three callings at once. I'm now a visiting teacher, a nursery worker, and an Enrichment committee member. And you know what? I'm excited about it. I can see that this is an answer to prayer and a testimony builder to me that my Bishopric and Relief Society presidency are following the spirit.

I can now take an active part in Relief Society and meet many of the needs I thought I would have while working in the Nursery. And for having three callings, I think I have it pretty easy as far as time commitments go.

It's wonderful to know that however insignificant I am and feel, my Heavenly Father is aware of me and continues to show his love.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for a simple life. My life is relatively free of complications, drama, unwanted and/or unexpected happenings, and hardship. And yet, I struggle sometimes...lots of times;)

But I am so grateful that through my hard times, I usually haven't had to worry about anything huge.

Writing this made me think of that Shaker song, "Tis the Gift to be Simple." While I've recently learned that it's a dance song and the word is "the gift" and not "a gift" I want to post the lyrics anyway because it's beautiful tune and the words are great, too.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
-Joseph Brackett

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, October 26, 2009


Okay, anti-vaccinators, I'm beyond ready for you to stop viewing me a stupid sheep and horrible mother. I understand why you don't vaccinate your children. I understand why you choose to have a delayed schedule. What I don't understand is why my opposite opinion makes me an idiot.

I've done research. I've talked to the doctor in depth about this. I know there are toxins in vaccines. Thimerosal, MSG, formaldehyde, etc. Ew, gross, yuck, etc. There's also disease in vaccines! If we're going to get nit-picky about things, maybe we can talk about TSP in Cheerios? Yes, believe it or not, TSP is an ingredient in Cheerios. Never heard of it? It's a potent chemical substance used as a wallpaper stripper. Did you know that? Maybe I'm not such an ignorant idiot after all.

Really, there's so much stuff out on the internet that if you want to find "proof" that vaccines do more harm than good, you'll find more than your fill. And if you want to find "proof" that vaccines are beyond worth the risk, you'll find more than your fill.

I've concluded that following the immunization schedule recommended by the AAP is what we will do for our family. It's not what I would wish for in a perfect world. No, in a perfect world there wouldn't be diseases to worry about in the first place. In my near-perfect world wish, my kids bodies could be made immune to harmful diseases by merely eating a single carrot every week. But I don't live in my near-perfect world. In the world I live in I hate taking my kids in for shots. I pray extra hard for the three days surrounding "shots days" that they won't suffer any bad effects from them since it's my choice and not theirs.

I'm not an idiot. I do care about my children, probably much more than you do. Choosing to follow a vaccination schedule does not make me a bad mom. Please stop judging me and poorly for it and calling me a sheep; I get enough of that about my religion, but that's a whole 'nuther ballgame;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Recently I stumbled upon an online forum about Mormonism. As the people who participate in this forum are, for the most part, good and kind people, I was drawn into reading through it. Several more discussions have since popped up about LDS doctrine on this forum. It's been interesting, disappointing, disheartening, and strengthening all at the same time.

It was interesting to learn about the things people think about the Church and it's members. It was disappointing to see that so many people believed the lies they've heard about LDS church members. It was disheartening to see how many good people have allowed Satan to harden their hearts against the Church. And it was so wonderful to see that most of the participants, members and not, could discuss this amazing religion in a respectful manner; the basic testimonies offered by some members were extremely refreshing when things started to stray.

But really really finding out just what people disagree with in my religion has, for lack of a better term, planted seeds of doubt in my head.

No, not like, "I'm not sure this is really true..." Try as he might, Satan has thus far been unable to crack my testimony. It's been getting firmer and stronger for 25 years, it definitely won't be an easy task for him to actually get me to doubt what I know to be true. I still would like to kick him in the pants for trying, though.

No, these doubting seeds are more like distractions than doubts. For example, when I read a scripture about a revealed truth the thought pops into my head, "Yeah, but people who don't believe this will just point to such-and-such a scripture interpreted in such-and-such a way and say that means this isn't true." Instead of allowing the Spirit to teach me in that moment that what I've read is true, my mind is busy thinking of how others refute it. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I am not happy with that, so in effort to push through it, I offer my basic testimony.

I know God lives. I know Jesus is his son. I know that I am his daughter and that he loves me more than anyone else does. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, redeemer, advocate, friend, and my way back to our heavenly Father. I know that his church has been restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that his prophet today is Thomas S. Monson. I know that the things taught in his church are true. I know my prayers are heard and important. I know that, through the blessings of temple covenants and ordinances, my family can be together forever. I know I have been richly blessed.

I am thankful for this knowledge. I am thankful for the direction and peace that they bring to my life.

I think it all comes back to this. I can be thankful for my washing machine, sunshine on the mountains, food in the fridge, the sweet smiles on my sons' faces, etc. But really, the meaning is sucked out of those things for me were it not for this knowledge that I have.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I feel fine now. Happy with life. Fine with my situation and how things are going.

The weird thing is: nothing's different (as far as I can tell).

My dryer is still broken. My kids still won't listen to me. Everything that was combining against me last week is not bothering me this week.


It's funny what a little time to digest things and have some consistent daily scripture study will do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rough Patch, Thankful Thursday

I'm not very chipper lately. Last week I was in a funk and realized that I have been a huge slacker in my personal scripture study. Days when I study the scriptures in the past have always been happier days. So I re-committed to doing daily study again. It worked for a few days. And then I got slammed into an even bigger funk.

It was a bummer of a weekend. I don't even remember Saturday. Sunday was a bear with a highlight of some family coming over for the evening. Monday, hopes were high as we planned and executed a Fall Family Fun Day. But each high seemed so fleeting and each low seemed impossible to crawl out of.

Guess which days I didn't read my scriptures.

Tuesday was an oddity. I got up way before the boys and studied my heart out. But what a downer day it was! I could not shake the desire to do things only for me. I didn't do the me things, but that desire stuck right to me and took the joy out of pretty much everything I did do.

Things are looking up though. Wednesday was better than Tuesday, and Thursday's turning out to be okay. And I have HIGH hopes for Friday:)

I've been struggling a bit with God lately. One reason I do Thankful Thursday is so that I am regularly remembering how good I have it and the blessings I've been given. I do that for a few reasons; one being that I hope that if I feel and show gratitude for what I have that God won't feel the need to take things away from me. I know there are lessons to be learned beyond gratitude when a blessing is removed or denied, but I have yet to understand what I'm supposed to be learning these last couple weeks. I very much would like to just have an answer right now. But, as my heavenly Father knows, patience is not a strength for me and I suppose he's trying to teach me to have more of it.

Take, for instance, the minor yet frustrating issue of our dryer. Sunday night it worked, Monday night it didn't. Why? Why?!?!?!

Yes, it's a small issue, eternally speaking. An issue that, though possibly expensive, we can solve without immense hardship. But after everything that's been going on this just felt like a slap in the face.

And so, I will try to focus on the silver lining. I stress about the clothes dryer far too much. "Is lint caught in the exhaust?" "Is running the dryer going to end up burning down our house?" "How much money is this costing me to run?" Irrational stress, yes. But I can't help it. So, every once in a while I get the desire to chuck the dryer and line-dry our clothes. With the busting of our dryer (and the fact that our new house has a laundry room that does not make me think a spider will jump out at me every time I move in it) this possibility presented itself to me again. More than a desire, this time I'm actually really excited by the idea.

And so we are going to move forward with it. We'll string up an apparatus in the laundry room for the winter. And I'm going to try to figure out where in the world we can get a hold of one of those awesome "tree" things to put outside for when the weather turns pleasant again.

Bret wants to have a dryer as back up. And for good reason. My past track record in staying on top of the laundry is anything but squeaky clean. I'm off to find a cheap temp dryer on online classifieds to be our back up while Bret tinkers with our kaput dryer to see if he can fix it.

Isn't this exciting? Even in the dumb times, there's stuff to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?

And any tips from the experienced dryer-less crowd would be appreciated.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday

The tantrum fairy is gracing us with her presence today and I, for one, would like to give her a swift kick in the can and send her out the door.

That said, I am very thankful that I can take this "break" and remember what I am grateful for. Today I am thankful for anticipation. It makes life so much more exciting.

This evening I am looking forward to gathering with the women of my ward and perhaps starting to remember names with faces and make some friends. The anticipation of getting together with some gals tonight and removing myself from the tantrum fest at home is bittersweet. I want so much to "get away" but I feel so selfish for thinking that. And who knows, I may find that no one wants to talk to me tonight. Still, it should be an enjoyable evening.

I am also anticipating the Christmas season. While shopping for jeans for Jonz this morning, I couldn't resist the urge to walk down the Christmas aisles and check out the decorations. Jonzy got hold of something with a button and pushed it. It played a little Christmas song and I felt so happy thinking of Christmastime. I am extremely excited to celebrate for a solid month soon.

I am thankful for the happiness that these anticipations have brought me today and the fun I have anticipating other things in life. Good times, good times.

What happy things are you anticipating and what are you thankful for this Thursday?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mother's heart- medical marvel

I don't know about you, but sometimes I wonder how my heart keeps on beating after all it's been put through.

I can't count how many mini-heart attacks I've had since the day Jonz became mobile. Since Al and Goose started moving on their own, I think the average number of mini-heart attacks per day is up to 12.

Everything seems to scare the tick right outta my ticker.

Every trip seems to be right toward a sharp corner or at the top of the stairs.

Every arm pulled back is going to send a toy flying into the head of a brother.

Every single time they pause going up or down the stairs I'm sure they're going to fall down them.

Every stumble flashes horrible thoughts through my head- head injury. Broken bones. Brain damage. Death.

And let's not mention this weekend when I brought all the boys into the open garage, turned to lift something out of the garage, thought "Lindsey, you can't not be looking at the boys for as long as it will take to get this out. That's asking for trouble. Put them back in the house, move this, THEN they can come out," turned back around to shepherd the boys inside only to see Al and Goose running feet from the street to pet a dog on the other side and a car coming far too fast for a family neighborhood. I think that one was worth fifty heart attacks right there. Not only did my heart suffer, my insides disappear, and my body become this super-human thing jumping, tripping, and flying over obstacles (how'd they get out here so fast?!?!?!) to get there in time, but my poor neighbor across the street about had a heart attack, too.

Seriously, how does this heart keep on beating when it has been forced to stop so many times?

Am I alone? Or is medical miracle something every mother is blessed with?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for our waste removal service. Thursday is "trash day" in our new neighborhood. Only one out of the three Thursdays we've been here have I remembered to get the trash to the curb before I hear the trucks rumbling down the street early in the morning. For three+ years, trash day was Friday for me and I'm having a bit of trouble getting the new schedule ingrained in my internal calendar.

I am so glad that I only have to remember what day of the week it is and pull the cans to the street. That along with a monthly fee is all it takes for our garbage, recycling, and yard clippings to be taken away from our house. Oh how glad I am that I don't have to pack trash into my van with my kids and haul it to the dump. Or worse- I'm so glad that don't all have to have personal dumps in our backyards (though some people decide to do that anyway).

What a great service! Thank you, City!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The plight of the stay at home mom

I, Lindsey, stay at home mom of four years and counting, do solemnly swear and assert the following:

The life of a person employed outside of their home is a difficult one. She/he (hereafter referred to as she) does not "have it easy." She faces many hardships and challenges each day. She is entitled to the respect her position affords her.

In stating such, I hereby declare it uncool that she employs the tactics of playground bullies in seeking to raise herself up by making another seem inferior. Having asserted my knowledge that her life is hard, the use of such tactics is uncalled for and it is deemed necessary that she cease such practice.

She is therefore requested to desist in the promulgation of the following falsehoods:
  • Stay at home moms disgrace the name of women.
  • Stay at home moms have allowed themselves to be brainwashed.
  • Stay at home moms are wasting their education.
  • Stay at home moms are incompetent.
  • Stay at home moms are just lazy and ignorant.
  • Stay at home moms are simple minded.
  • Stay at home moms lead boring and unexciting lives with nothing to look forward to.
  • Stay at home moms are trapped.
  • Stay at home moms have lost their sense of self.
  • Stay at home moms are pitiful.
  • Stay at home moms are slaves.

I firmly proclaim my gratitude at her compliance and, most especially, in the reciprocation of the aforementioned sworn statement on this, the thirtieth day of September in the year of our Lord, two thousand and nine.

P.S. Here's a good summary of the day to day life of a stay at home mom: "Tell me about it."
It's funny cuz it's true.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have to do something I hate very often these days as my family goes through the process of moving- conduct business over the phone.

I'm not a big phone talker and trying to do business over the phone is just aggravating.

Since this thorn in my side is currently getting pushed deeper, I figure I need to find something to be thankful for about it.

So- this Thursday I am thankful that I can do business over the phone and I don't have to drag my kids all over the place trying to do business in person. It saves on gas. It keeps the kids from being stuck in places where they aren't really welcome. It saves my ears the ache of listening to how they feel about being stuck in such places. It saves my arms the ache of getting everyone in and out of car seats all the time. I don't have to waste time in waiting rooms or lobbies or driving all over the place. Thank you telephone for helping me conduct necessary business without the extra hassles.

And with that, I am off to try and convince our lender that they made a mix up with home insurance. Yippee.

What are you thankful for today???

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Lucky for all of you that are waiting on pins and needles for Thankful Thursday...siiiigh, okay. Lucky for those of you who drop by every once in awhile, I got internet service turned on in the new digs- just in time for a Thankful Thursday post.

Do you know what today is? I mean, besides Thankful Thursday. It's September 17th! And that, dear friends, is a very special day over here in the United States of America. September 17th is Constitution Day! Today is a holiday because on this day in 1787, the US Constitution was signed into being.

And so, today I am extra thankful for the Constitution and the government it instituted. Granted, I believe said government has strayed into unhappy territory. And that straying, I believe, is due to the straying of the people.

Side note:

I love this quote from John Adams, second President of the United States-

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

And so, while I fear we are becoming a far too immoral and nonreligious people, I am thankful that the Constitution is not yet inadequate and hope it never becomes such.

Happy Constitution Day!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm feeling somewhat discouraged today; discouraged with the world I live in and how much worse it will get while my children are growing up. I'm also discouraged with people today since they are the ones making the world what it is and after I write this, I'm swearing off the news for a bit. Nothing like ignoring the issues to make you feel better, right?;)

Because of this downer feeling, I want to make a list of things I'm thankful for today instead of just elaborating on one thing. This is not a complete list because that's impossible, but it's a short summary that I hope inspires some happy and grateful feelings in you and me today. So, in no particular order, today I am thankful for:

  • Smiles on my sons' faces
  • Electricity
  • Indoor plumbing
  • A van for me and a car for my husband so I don't have to drive him to work or feel "trapped" at home during the day
  • Ice cream:)
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Scriptures
  • Good books
  • My generous parents
  • Totally awesome brothers and Tanya
  • A husband who is reasonable and logical, giving me contact with at least one sane person every day.
  • A husband who is handsome
  • A husband who plays with his kids and makes them laugh
  • A husband who is hilarious. To remove the need for jokes here, Bret, all "a husband" items are indeed referring to you and not multiple men.
  • The chance to be a stay at home mom
  • Common sense
  • Couches, chairs, and comfortable resting places
  • Showers
  • Gospel truths
  • Water
  • Food processors
  • Telephones
  • Portable cribs
  • Disposable diapers
  • Temples
  • Trust
  • Budgets
  • Shoes...and socks!
  • Disney movies and cartoons from back when cartoons were awesome:)
  • Ovens that I don't have to worry about my kids getting burned on
  • Refrigerators
  • Alone time
  • Family time
That's the list for now. I think it's time for me to go bake something. Enjoy this thankful Thursday and your weekend, too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am mighty thankful that Al and Goose are still good nap takers (knock on wood!). I got a small taste today of what it might be like when they give up naps and I'm beat! As it is, we only delayed nap time by two hours and they're conked out now. I'm so glad I don't have to face the end of naps yet.

AND, today I am thankful that we were finally able to close on our house!...sort of. The papers are all signed, but we don't get access to the house until Tuesday afternoon or evening. But we're that much closer!!

What are you thankful for today? Or tomorrow? Or ever?:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When will I learn not to expect things?

I have twins.

They are 21 months old.

They are adorable, and as such (especially as their lucky mother) I adore them.

But having twins, these twins, is nothing like I expected it to be.

I was surprised beyond all surprise when I found out I was carrying two babies instead of the expected one. But once I got over the surprise, I started to create some expectations in my mind.

I expected it to be hard. That came true, and then some...and then some more:)

I expected that it would be totally cute to dress them in coordinating clothes. That came true, too.

I expected them to love each other, to be each others' best friend. To not have separation anxiety because they'd have each other. False, false, false.

My sons are great pretenders. And when it comes to pretending, my youngest boys have it down to an art. They spend 75% of their time pretending that the other doesn't exist. Then 24% of their time is spent screaming and screeching at "that guy who looks like me and has a hold of my toy." A mere 1% of time is spent acknowledging the others' presence, with a sliver of that percentage accounting for the rare giggle they allow to escape when one of them does something the other finds entertaining.

I know they have it in them to love their brother. They are often cracking up at Jonzy's antics and will even let him hold their arm and lead them somewhere...sometimes.

But if I try and put Al and Goose in the same chair they start clawing at each other. Why, oh why don't they like each other? Did they have some sort of tense relationship before they came here and God said, "You guys need to work on that, so I'm going to send you together." ??? It's been this way since infancy. I thought they'd outgrow the propensity to look at everything but their twin. Nope. I still hold out hope that they'll find some sort of affection for each other as they get older. But is that going to just make it harder if/when they don't???

Anyone with twins or siblings who didn't pay any positive attention to each other out there? Did they grow out of it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Welcome to this week's episode of Thankful Thursday.

Bret and I are coming out of our latest big trial, with the possibility of sinking right back down to the bottom. Things are looking much more hopeful than they did a when this whole business started, but we're not going to breathe that sigh of relief until we're sure it's over. That will hopefully be sometime early next week. Very thankfully, we won't be left in limbo for too long because there are few things I handle worse than being left in the unknown.

While I wish that this had never happened in the first place, I am thankful for some aspects. I'm grateful for the good things that trials bring. Hard times remind me what's really important. They remind me that I'm not in control and I need to be humble. They remind me who really is in charge. They remind me that this life is just a short time in my existence and there are better things to come if I make it through. And they remind me just how awesome family is and how great friends are.

Not fun, but definitely not worthless. Today I am thankful for trials. And very thankful that this one is nearly (knock on wood, praying crazy hard:)) over.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

By golly it's Thursday again! I am making a mad dash to get the house packed up by Saturday (Friday night, really) and it's a crazy place here. No, I did not waste last week not packing. I still packed a box or two a day:)

And honestly, I'm nearly done. But it seems that packing those last things always takes forever. I've been packing the kitchen for a week and there's no visible change!

And despite all the junk that's involved in this whole mess of moving, I am thankful today (and most every other day, too:)) that we have this opportunity to move. It's been stressful. It's been expensive. It hasn't been what we planned, and we've definitely had our share of bombs dropped on us. It's been something I really don't want to do again.

But it is such a great opportunity.

We've had a great time here and are very grateful that we were able to get this house that has served us well over the years. And now we are very much looking forward to the next one.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Holy cow, it's Thursday already! I've been having a lot of trouble keeping track of the days this week. On Monday I thought it was Tuesday, on Tuesday I thought it was Monday, on Wednesday I thought it was Tuesday, and all of a sudden it's Thursday. I can't keep up with myself.

And so with all this craziness going on, it's only natural that I would be thankful today for the opportunity to have a slight lessening of pressure on my to-do list. We are moving. We were going to move this weekend and I was stressing about getting everything packed on time. Now we're not moving until next weekend. A whole extra week to pack!

Granted, I'll probably get to this same time next week and be freaking out because half the house is still needing to get into boxes. Once we got word that we had an extra week, I stopped packing because I don't want to feel like I'm camping in my house for a whole week. But when to start again? How to plan things just right so that I don't pack up something we don't need right now, but will need in three days? Moving is ridiculously crazy.

I am so thankful for this extra week.

What are you thankful for on this sunny Thankful Thursday?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Before I was a mom...

Before I was a mom, I knew what to expect.

Before I was a mom, I knew I'd be so great as a mother.

Before I was a mom, I'd get all warm and fuzzy at the sight of a baby sock. Seriously.

Before I was a mom, I knew what it meant to be tired.

Before I was a mom, I remembered everything; names, dates, facts, appointments-everything.

Before I was a mom, I was sooo patient.

Before I was a mom, I had conversations in my head with people whose children were screaming in public about how to properly handle the situation and raise their children right because they were obviously messing up big time.

Before I was a mom, I was so busy. School, church, apartment, work, social interaction. Whew! The to-do list was so long!


Now I am a mom and I know that I the only thing I can expect is the unexpected.

Now I am a mom and I pray daily that my kids turn out well in spite of me.

Now I am a mom and I fight the urge to scream when an odd number of socks come out of the dryer...And I do a happy dance when I find a missing sock hidden in a folded sheet.

Now I am a mom and I KNOW what it means to be tired. People ask me how I am and I no longer reply fine. My standard reply is, "tired."

Now I am a mom and the only way I'm going to remember something is if I have two solid minutes of absolute quiet so I can search my brain for it (and even that's not a guarantee). You can guess how often that happens.

Now I am a mom and I struggle moment by moment for the necessary patience. I was no where near patient in my pre-mom days.

Now I am a mom and the conversations are still there. Except they only last a few sentences before I realize what I'm doing, shake my head at my stupidity, cast a commiserating smile at the poor embarrassed parents of a public screamer and get my focus back on my own screamers and embarrassment.

Now I am a mom and I realize that I did not know the meaning of busy. There's normal person busy and then there is mom-busy. The to-do list is infinitely long and I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to cross everything off.

I have only been a mom for four years. Four short years. Not even a fifth of my life. And yet those four years have brought me more and taught me more than the previous years combined. It's absolutely incredible how much I've learned in four years. It's even more amazing how much joy I've experienced in four years. Though there are things I miss about the years before I was a mom, I don't ever want to go back to them again. These years as a mom are immeasurably better!

This post was written as part of MamaBlogga's August Group Writing Project. Come join in the fun!

MamaBlogga Group Writing Project

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'll tell you what I'm not thankful for. I'm not thankful for the wind. I should be; it's probably very necessary for weather cycles or something like that, but I still don't like it. I love a nice breeze, especially on a hot day like today. But the wind always manages to get hair in my mouth, dirt in my eyes, and the neighbor's trash in my yard. Don't like it.

I am thankful for most everything else though. Today I am thankful that my husband and I forgot about some paperwork that needed to be signed and sent off today (we're moving!). Forgetfulness is usually not something to be thankful for. But today it was! It gave me an excuse to drive up to his work and have lunch as a family. He works 40ish minutes away, so lunchtime get-togethers are rare. We ate lunch outside and played on the grass. Jonzy and I had rolling down the hill races. All three boys laughed their heads off when Bret started using a squirt gun on them. The sun was shining, the grass was green, a breeze (bordering on wind, but not quite) kept it from being too hot, and it was a lovely afternoon. Hooray for forgetfulness:)

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Time to think about all my blessings again!

This week I've been very thankful for the way my kids talk...or "talk" as the case may be. It's such a source of humor and joy for me. I love it when the little guys learn a new word or try to learn a new word, but can't spit it out anywhere near right.

Al loves being tickled and has interpreted my saying, "tickle, tickle, tickle," into "leeko, leeko, leeko!" He also learned the word "down" this week and I love to hear him say "doooooooowwwwwn" or another new one, "sar-lll" (cereal). And I love the way he sticks his lips out when he says his favorite word, "shoe."

Goose is not as into language as Al. He kind of gives off the I'm-too-cool-for-that vibe. The best way to communicate with Goose is to ask him yes or no questions. Questions that can be answered yes will be answered with an "uh" or "mmmm" and a nod of the head. Questions that he wants to answer no to will just be ignored. It's a strange game he plays, trying to get us to ask the right question so he can say yes.

I understand what Jonz is trying to say to me most of the time. "Can I have some milk, please?" is very clear. But sometimes, I have no idea what he's saying. When coloring recently, Jonzy says to me, "That's a monster," pointing to a bunch of circles. After coloring a smaller, similar looking bunch next to the "monster" I said, "Is that a baby monster?"

"No. It's a walkerlay with a squirrel."


It's a what?

This is a funny stage. A stage where 99% of the words that come out of his mouth are distinguishable, but 40% of the content just doesn't make sense! I'm entering a new stage of teaching, trying to figure out how to teach sentence structure to a four year old. It's more complicated than I thought it would be. But getting to teach sentence structure to one and vocabulary to two others is also turning out to be much more fun than I thought it would be. I'm lovin' this mommy business:)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have much to be thankful for this Thursday.

I am sick.

Sicker than I've been in quite awhile.

I recently got back from a vacation to California and Las Vegas. It was an awesome trip and tons of fun. BUT, I did not take care of myself when we went to the beach. I'm didn't put any sunscreen on my back. Fried crispy. For many a day, I've been dealing with the pains associated with second-degree burning one's skin. To add insult to injury, I had no idea that you could get sick from a sunburn. I'm alternately feverish and freezing, sweating and shivering. My throat is killing me and feels like it might split apart when I cough, my limbs ache, my head aches, my stomach hurts, and I can't sleep. And my back started to peel today, exposing new tender (and still burned) skin beneath it.

It is not fun.

And yet, everything is okay. My mom stayed here the other day to take care of the boys and me. My husband stayed home yesterday to take care of the boys and me. It's been so wonderful to have such awesome help and being able to lay in bed and hope that I'll feel better soon without having to worry about the boys.

This thankful Thursday, I am incredibly grateful for a fantastic husband, who threatens to out do me in the homemaking department. And a wonderful mother, who continues to teach me how to be the best mom.

And sunscreen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday. July 16, 2009

I am thankful today to be married. That's a bit too broad so I'll narrow it down for you. Today I am thankful to have a husband who will take charge of whiny kids so that I can get a break.

This marriage business is pretty awesome!

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Late again!

Yes, it's Friday. Yes, the weekly installment of Thankful Thursday was supposed to be posted yesterday. But I have had no internet access for a week (which has been quite nice!) so this Thankful Thursday is a day late and a bit short because I'm uber-dee-doober tired and need to get to bed. I just looked at the clock, technically it's I'm two days late.

I am thankful today for quality soda. The kind that comes in glass bottles. Few things help to unwind so efficiently at the end of a hectic day like a good, cold soda. It's been a day and I'm glad it's over and that I have this little luxury to enjoy before I crash for the evening. Find a comfortable seat and sip a cold one (soda, people!:)) and join in the relaxation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The cat's out of the bag

Happy Thankful Thursday, wonderfully loyal readers (all four of you:))!!

It's no secret that I have a severely messed up midsection. My skin does not stretch well. After my first pregnancy I had a bit of skin that just couldn't shrink back to normal. No biggie, and easily hidden. However...this last pregnancy I housed two little people inside of me. Not only do I have LOTS of skin that is still too shocked at what it had to endure and won't go back to normal, but I have complete separated stomach muscles. These two things combined lead to a number of problems. My bad posture has become worse now that my stomach muscles can't do as efficient a job of holding me up. My back hurts more often (I didn't know that could happen because of a faulty stomach; it's a completely different side of your body for pity's sake!)

Sadly, the hardest part of this for me has not been the physical aspects, but the vain ones. Yes, what concerns me most is that I have an ugly stomach that the rest of the world can see. This isn't just stretch marks that can be hidden with a shirt or one piece swimming suit. I will forever look four months pregnant, in a saggy sort of way.

In most pants, I muffin top. I know. Eek. I've tried higher cut pants to keep everything "tucked in," but everything comes back out the very first time I sit down or bend over. I'm sorry if this is too much information.

I know I shouldn't let this get to me. I shouldn't be worried about how the rest of the world perceives my stomach. I should be grateful that because of what my stomach went through to get this way I have three wonderful sons. And I am. Really!

I go through stages of acceptance. Some days I feel like I've completely come to terms with my one hundred year old looking stomach that is the consistency of pizza dough; I don't mind it a bit and I wear whatever clothes I want to, whether it shows or not. Most days I feel slightly self conscious and wear looser fitting shirts. But there are the days where I want to look pretty, feminine, womanly, etc. To wear something that makes me look female instead of the same width from shoulder to hips.

And so we come to the point.

To those of you who think that I "look great after having two babies," I confess.

I fake it.

I cheat.

I use one of these:

Call it whatever you like. Shapewear, corset, torture!, etc. I prefer to call it my girdle. I mean, come on, isn't girdle just an awesome word?!

It's really quite good at what it does. I can put it on and suddenly I have a waist again! It doesn't make me skinnier by any means, but it sure does take away that muffin top. It even improves my posture.

But I can't wear it all day. For one thing, my position as mother of three puts me on the move so often that it's just to uncomfortable for everyday wear. It's really not torturous at all. I only have issues when I try to sit down because it becomes a bit tight. If I wear it for more than three or four hours it starts to get uncomfortable. I mean, let's face it. The stomach and ribs were not meant to be all constricted like that. But it's perfect for an evening out, or those days when I just want to go out in public wearing something that is more fitted than a t-shirt.

And so today I am thankful that I have access to a girdle. That because of this little contraption, I can feel less self-conscious on those days when I'm having a harder time accepting my stomach.

What are you thankful for today??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can I get any broader in my thankfulness?

Probably not.

This Thankful Thursday I am grateful for life.

I was reminded to be grateful for life, in all its fragile glory, last night. I was driving along, all by my lonesome (I know! Wow!) when some poor little bug flew smack into my windshield right in front of my face. One moment it was alive and well, enjoying an evening flight and the next it was gone; a mere smear on the glass. Just like that it went from this world to the next.

Strange that I am, it got me thinking about how quickly I could lose someone I love. Just as quickly as the bug was gone, I could lose my husband, or a son, or any family member or friend. Or worse still, many at once. I've been feeling off lately, on the crankier side, and this helped me to remember that it's stupid to get worked up over meaningless things in this life. I needed a focus shift and this was it.

Every so often, I need reminders like this so I can remember to have a better perspective. And I'm grateful that this reminder came from the loss of a bug and not someone I love.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yesterday was Father's Day. I had such a happy and full day with my family that I couldn't find time to get on here and mark the day with a blog post. So here I am, a day late. But I figure that any day is a good day to blog about fathers.

It seems to me that the world really focuses on women. Is motherhood the crowning achievement for women or the last resort of the unqualified and stupid? Should a woman be afforded all the same opportunities as a man? Should she work? Should she stay home? Can she vote? Does she have the right to an abortion? Such topics seem to saturate the media these days. Here's a fun quote:

"The status of women is one of the questions of the day. Socially and politically it forces itself upon the attention of the world. Some … refuse to concede that woman is entitled to the enjoyment of any rights other than … the whims, fancies or justice … men may choose to grant her. The reasons which they cannot meet with argument they decry and ridicule; an old refuge for those opposed to correct principles which they are unable to controvert. Others … not only recognize that woman’s status should be improved, but are so radical in their extreme theories that they would set her in antagonism to man, assume for her a separate and opposing existence; and to show how entirely independent she should be [they] would make her adopt the more reprehensible phases of character which men present, and which should be shunned or improved by them instead of being copied by women. These are two extremes, and between them is the 'golden mean.'"

That was written in 1872, folks. We've been at this for over 100 years and we still can't find the "golden mean."

So, what about men? In trying so hard to gain equality for women and motherhood, we've pushed right pass the importance of men and fatherhood. Parenting is a team effort and to have the best chance of success you can't leave the father on the bench.

I love this article by President Faust, a leader in the LDS church. He talks in it about marriage and the need for children to have both a mother AND a father. And most especially, how each family member needs to respect the roles and special capabilities that other family members have to offer.

Fathers are priceless when it comes to raising children. Children are more likely to learn empathy when they have an involved father. Children with involved fathers are less at risk/less likely to participate in things like drug use, alcohol abuse, premarital sex, become school drop-outs, or have gender identity issues. And those are just things off the top of my head that I remember from delving into such studies back in my college days. There are so many facets in children's lives that are improved or, in the case of detrimental aspects, the risk significantly lowered when the father is involved!

When it comes to fathers, I think I have been a good way:) My whole life I have been surrounded by prime examples of what men should be and how they should act. My family tree seems to be teeming with excellent men. And while I have only known a handful of them in my life, the results of good teaching in generations long past have obviously carried down through the ages. I feel linked to those fathers I have not known in this life and yet have had an impact on me because their examples have carried on in children, grandchildren, and beyond.

It has been said that children, especially daughters, will see their Heavenly Father much like they do their earthly father. A child who grows up with an abusive father sees God as unfeeling, unloving, and someone to fear. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father. Because of his influence, I known that while my Heavenly Father loves me, that he wants me to come back to him, that he knows what is best for me, and that I can trust him. I have not been raised to fear men and so I feel more able to have an open relationship with the Father who knows and loves me best. Thank you, Dad:)

How can I post about fathers without mentioning the father of my boys? I'm married to Mr. Awesome himself. A man who changes diapers without complaint, gets down on the floor to wrestle, washes the dishes, vacuums, and works hard to put a roof over our heads and provide for our needs and many of our wants. I might lament over the fact that he won't do bath time for the boys, but this man also cleans the bathroom (a chore I despise) and cleans it well! Yes, I'm as lucky as they come:) Our sons could ask for a better father, but they're not going to find one. I hope that as they grow up, my children realize the treasure that we have in the patriarch of our family.

And so, Happy Father's Day to all you amazing fathers out there. You may not get the thanks as often as moms do (and we don't get it often either;)), but your efforts do not go unrewarded and they are certainly not fruitless. Keep up the amazing work!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's that time again!

Welcome to this week's installment of Thankful Thursday. A day to remember all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for. Yippee!

Today I am grateful for a prolonged spring. Normally at this time of year we're already suffering through very high temperatures. Spring seems to last for about a week most years. This year I've been able to keep my windows open for almost the entire month of May and, so far, half of June. It's wonderful! These weeks of cool temps and rain have kept us nice and cool, and brought lovely breezes and smells through our open windows. My one twinge of ungratefulness comes from my poor partially shade plants in the backyard. This rain and lack of sun is killing off my pretty flowers! *Sniff* I fear we may soon have a funeral for my hydrangeas who have been preceded in death by my cosmos.

But at least my petunias are flourishing in the window boxes! And, sad though it may be, I'll sacrifice a few flowers for such wonderfully comfortable weather which not only feels fantastic, but saves us a pretty penny in the air conditioning department.

Hop aboard the Thankful Thursday train and share with me what you're grateful for today. It's quite the ride:)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate measures

This morning was a doozy. Jonz is slightly sick. Enough to not be bouncing off the walls, but not enough to stop him from teasing his brothers and whining like a poor deprived soul more than he regularly does. Al and Goose were in fine form screaming, crying, yelling, and getting in, on, and behind everything they shouldn't.

Rain kept us from escaping to the yard or park. I couldn't think of any errands that needed to be run and didn't want to hassle with having everyone in a confined space, trouble with carseats, or deal with extra screams because boys who didn't want to be were confined in carseats. To top it off, I severely injured a toe while trying to get over a safety gate. For a bit, I thought it might be broken, but it's stopped throbbing and the swelling has gone down so maybe it's only bruised.

I was cranky. All the boys were cranky. We had to get a change of scenery before we went ballistic.

What's a desperate mom to do in such a situation?

This mom decided to put Jonz and Goose in the jogging stroller/bike trailer with the handy-dandy rain cover (that I thought was a stupid asset -"Who goes jogging with their kids in the rain?" but I now praise the skies for). I shoved my feet, including my overly large and pain-ridden toe, into running shoes. Then I strapped Al to my back, grabbed the umbrella, and headed out for a 25 minute jaunt through the neighborhood. I'm sure we were quite the sight.

No really, I'm sure. I saw at least three passersby who didn't try to hide their smirks.

It worked out alright. My toe stopped throbbing after about fifteen minutes. I only heard one shriek out of Goose while we were out. The air was nice and cool. And I got in some excellent cardio because I was moving along 90 more pounds than usual.

I brought the boys home, fed them lunch, put the twins down for naps, and watched Cars with Jonz. Perhaps we'll make it through the day after all.

What have you ever done in desperation?

Name change

I'm not a fan of referring to my boys by their first initial. Mostly because it gets confusing when I'm talking about A.

...A what?


So, I'm going to use some nicknames instead. J will now be known as Jonz, A is now Al, and W will be referred to as Goose. Yes, there is some sense behind those names. Jonz is a nickname my oldest has had since before he was born. A and L are my second-born's initials, hence the Al. And W sounded like a goose when he cried as a newborn so I started calling him my little goose.

Strange? Goofy? Insane? Yes, yes, and yes. But such is the world we live in. Where a mom with an over-active imagination combined with the fear of the being the one out of a million who has the worst happen to her family must go to extreme measures to protect the identity of her children online.

There you go. Objections and suggestions will be taken into consideration, so speak now or forever hold your peace.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Did I really just read that?

I just read an online Newsweek article about the blushing bride being a thing of the past. More and more women are opting for racy dresses, raunchy bachelorette parties, and bridal photos in lingerie or nothing at all instead of their wedding dress. Supposedly this is how women are showing how independent they are in these times.

Are you kidding me?!

How is it that throwing your sexuality in every one's faces means you're an independent woman?

This article said women are tired of acting feminine and proper. Excuse me, but when did feminine and proper become something to be acted, and something to be disdained?

Thankfully, the author of this article at least sited some concerns that sociologists have about such ridiculousness. "They see a problem with making exhibitionism the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony: it might crowd out other aspects of the marriage. You're highlighting what should just be a piece of the relationship." And I might add, making yourself look more like a hormonal teenager with no inhibition than a powerful independent woman.

No wonder marriage is counting for less and less these days, if this is how the majority treats such an occasion. How in the world did we become such a selfish group so fast?

There are just so many things wrong with this that I don't know what to write anymore. I've been shocked into writer's block.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Veritas vos liberabit - The truth will set you free

Growing up I always took a lot of flak for believing things that turned out to be untrue.

"I can't believe you thought that was real!"

"You seriously thought I was telling the truth?!"

"You're so gullible!"

Most such statements were followed by gales of laughter at my expense.

Haha. Very funny.

In my youth, I found it embarrassing. But for many years since, I've latched onto something my dad told me in high school,

"You're not gullible. You're trusting."

Can I just say how much better that makes me feel?! Gullible carries with it the connotation of being an idiot. I often questioned along with my peers, "why did I believe that? How could I not see it wasn't true?!" I am much more confident now in my non-idiocy:)

I think that it is inherent in everyone to trust. I'm not sorry that that tendency in me is alive and well while many seem to have had theirs squashed. I am sad that I continue to see and deal with lies and deceit.

Which brings me to my story. Have you heard of baby April Rose? April's story is a sad one. She was diagnosed as terminally ill in utero; not to survive long after birth, if she made it that far. Her mother started a blog about April's story, posting beautiful things about being pro-life, forgiveness, Jesus, and dealing with the prospect of losing a child she hadn't met yet. She gained a huge following, of which I was one for about a month. I prayed for April and April's mom. One afternoon, I read a post about April being born alive, but getting weaker by the hour. The next day I return to the blog to see what the latest was and the blog no longer existed. Weird...So I did an internet search for April Rose and the truth came out.

There is no April Rose. Never was. No such person, no such pregnancy. The stories on the blog were just lie after lie after lie. Turns out the woman who wrote the blog was outed after she posted pictures of "April." She used pictures of perfectly healthy newborns and dolls. What a story, eh? What a bummer. Word on the street is that this woman lost a baby a few years back, started the blog as a strange way to grieve, couldn't stop lying, and is now getting psychiatric help. Whoa.

Do I set myself up to have my emotions used like this with my trusting ways? No. I refuse to believe that my believing when someone else lies to me is a mistake on my part (within reason, of course). I don't think I can risk being a skeptic. There are good people in the world. There are people who need prayers and emotional support. I don't want to go through life second-guessing everything. I shouldn't have to, but such is life in this world.

Why can't we all just tell the truth?

Thankful Thursday- Transportation Tribute

Alliteration at it's finest:)

This Thursday I am grateful for planes, trains, and particularly -automobiles! I often overlook the fact of how awesome it is to have a van to transport our whole family in. Honestly, who could have envisioned so many years ago that people today would be able to climb into an oddly shaped container which would move by itself, at incredible speeds, taking said people to incredible distances and destinations? It still makes me laugh today and I know it's possible.

I sit in a comfortable chair, push a little pedal, hold onto a wheel, and the ground disappears beneath me. How convenient!

Can I visit my parents who are 20+ miles away for the evening? Easy!

Vacation to a completely different state, hundreds of miles away in mere hours. Sure! And even less time if you want to fly. Fly?! Seriously, how cool is it that we can fly!? Through the air!

I love living in the age of easy transportation.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm confused.

So I'm a bit behind the times, but in recent weeks there was a news story that made me go, "Whaaaaat?" Here's the long and short of it:

A young woman finds herself pregnant and she doesn't want to be. What does she do? She pays a man to beat her up; focusing on the stomach so she'll miscarry the baby, but making it look like a random assault. Guy gets nabbed by the police and fesses up to the whole story. Guy and girl are now both facing charges.

Strange enough story, right?

Here's the kicker though, if you think about it- If she had gone to a clinic and paid a doctor to give her an abortion, she would not be facing criminal charges.

Seriously. I'm confused.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baring my soul in the name of record-keeping

Before I get started, I think we all ought to be on the same page. What follows is an account of something very special to me and which I don’t have the ability to give justice. That said, I hope you won’t think less of what I have to say just because I can’t say it well. This is something I've wanted to share for years. Now is as good a time as any and I can’t let my inadequacies keep me from it. Just know that it’s special and if you don’t think so, don’t tell me:)

There. Same page.

Way back in August of 2004, my oldest brother was sealed to his wife in an LDS Temple. It was an amazing ceremony and my first opportunity of being present at the sealing of a family member.

After the sealing, I had the opportunity to hug my brother. Dan hugged me tight and the tears I was already battling because of the happy occasion were pushed out. Then, just as we were about to let go of each other, Dan gave me an extra tight squeeze and something incredible happened. For the tiniest and briefest of moments Heavenly Father gave me a gift. I saw, or perhaps felt or sensed would be the better word, my family together in the eternities. With that came the feeling of the most exquisite joy I have ever felt in my life. It was as if Heavenly Father was showing me how happy he wants us to be, how happy we can be, and how my family had taken a step closer to that goal that day with my brother’s sealing. I like to imagine that I felt similar joy as I witnessed sealings taking place among my ancestors and parents before I was born and that perhaps this was just a lifting of the veil so I could experience what I had before.

As quickly as it began, it was over. Why? Because it was too much joy for my mortal body to handle.

Yep, I lost it.

Big time.

In general, I am not a pretty crier. I claim membership with the blotchy faced, runny nosed, strange-noise-emitting group of criers. This experience did nothing but make my crying ways worse. In addition to the spiritual things I learned that day, I also learned that you shouldn't try to take a deep, steadying breath to make yourself stop crying. You’ll only succeed in embarrassing yourself further. Don’t try to get a hold of yourself until your body has naturally calmed down. Better yet, just try to get away from people so as to avoid the embarrassment as much as possible. Don’t hang around just because your brother is getting married. Leave, compose, and then come back. You’ll save yourself a lot of regret.

So, this Thankful Thursday I am grateful to my brother for marrying in the temple which created the opportunity for higher learning. I’m grateful for a sister in law who didn't let the fact that I put an unexplained blubbering damper of a moment on the most important part of her wedding day keep her from ever talking to me again and instead has become a most cherished sister. I am thankful for such a wonderful family. And I am thankful to my heavenly Father for pouring out such a wondrous blessing and giving me a taste of what I am working toward. This experience has sustained me many times over the years.

And thanks to you for “hearing” me out and letting me share:) Feel free to join me on the Thankful Thursday Train!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Green Corduroy Book

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to post this. That should tell you how awesome it is.

I am now in possession of something so cute that I have to share it with everyone. It's called the Green Corduroy Book. Click on the words "green corduroy book" to head to the website and see the pictures and get more info.

It's the sweetest little book that's purpose is to have one place to write down the funny, silly, crazy things your kids say. It's got cute illustrations on every page and a handful of fully illustrated pages of funny things the author's kids said.

I've already made a few entries in mine. My latest entry comes from J saying something funny yesterday as we prepared to walk to church. J has his own Book of Mormon which I handed him to carry as we walked. He stopped in our driveway and opened his book to "read" a bit while he waited for the rest of us to catch up. A breeze flipped a few pages over and J said excitedly, "Look, Mom! The wind is reading!"

It's so fun to have this awesome book to collect the funny things my kids say. Now I can turn to one place to find or remember something funny instead of trying to search through my blog or journal for a particular story.

Get one yourself and start creating a family treasure before your kids grow up!

Friday, May 29, 2009

*siiiiigh* I did it again.

Sure there may only be a few, more likely zero, people out there who would come to my blog on Thursday expecting to see a Thankful Thursday post. If there are any of you out there, sorry I miss it every so often. If not, at least be thankful that I am disappointed when I realize I totally missed it.

To make up for it, I'm going to try to remember to post something bigger, more important, more personal, it's-bigger-than-what-I-normally-post next Thursday. You might need to remind me...but even if I miss next Thursday, I'll post it eventually. It's something I've wanted to share for a long time.

And for now, I'll just leave with with the knowledge that I am grateful for naps today. Yep, it's been one of those days:) Naps are God's gift of sanity to moms, I think. And now, back to my screamers and to think of how to write next week's post.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's true- I'm strange

I love cemeteries. Truly. If I had a day of beautiful weather that I could entirely call my own, I would love to spend a good chunk of it exploring a cemetery. People react to this love of mine with indifference, amusement, whole-hearted agreement, or they're morbidly creeped out. But it can't be helped; I just love cemeteries.

I love the quiet in cemeteries. I love reading names and imagining the life that person had. I love imagining who has visited the same spot I'm standing on over the years. I get teary over people I've never known or heard of. Cemeteries are chock full of history. I love the spirit of reverence in cemeteries.

Lucky for me, I discovered today that I live very close to a fantastic, large, old, beautiful cemetery. Since my husband is out of town with two of our three children, I felt like I could handle taking just one and spending some time in the cemetery this morning. Being Memorial Day added an extra reason to go even though A has been screaming his head off 80% of the weekend. We didn't stay long, A wouldn't have it. But it was still a special experience.

As I drove around trying to find an exit, I put the windows down to let in the beautiful weather and the special cemetery feel. I drove past a family made up of a little girl, a mom, and a dad who was pushing a stroller. As I drove by I heard the dad say to the little girl, "And do you know where heaven is?" Immediately my throat constricted painfully and my eyes burned. I'm not sure why that one little question got to me so much, but it made me think of so many things I am grateful for. I'm grateful that the death of loved ones has not been prevalent in my life (*knock on wood*). I'm grateful to have my family. I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that has brought me a knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan. I'm grateful for temples that bring all our families together forever. I'm grateful that my parents, husband, and family have talked about loved ones who have passed away allowing me to feel a love for people I never met or didn't know well enough. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and His Son and the love they have for me and show me. It's been a hard day, dealing with far too much shrieking from A and missing the rest of my family. And yet it's been a beautiful day of sunshine and peace, too.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Getting creative...with just a hint of plagiarism

President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a talk back in October that I loved. Here are a couple quotes from it that I especially loved.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before."

"...remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe."

With that in mind, and the need to freshen up our home to sell, I took the opportunity to do a few things I'd always wanted to do but was a little too nervous to commit the time or money to for fear of failure. I planted flower gardens and I arranged flowers (fake ones) for display in the house.

I suppose what I've done may have a bit of plagiarism to it. First of all the flowers were God's design, not mine. He create the real ones and somebody else copied Him in creating the fake ones. But since I took the last step in the creation process and I'm doing my best to keep maintain the flowers outside, I'd like to say I'm slightly involved in the creative process:)

Here are the geraniums, which are bigger now but still haven't bloomed...Don't give up hope yet!

This is the flower bed just behind the house. There are many more blooms now and the Shasta daisies are just about ready to pop (and I'm slightly embarrassed that I'm extremely excited for when they do).

Here's the back flower bed. It also has more blooms now and I'm beginning to ease up on the worry that I'm going to kill off all these beautiful plants.

This is the front flower bed, which is surprising me by not blooming much despite being the bed that gets the best sun everyday...but at least they're still alive:)

Bret painting and attached these window boxes to the house. They're overflowing with white petunias now that are gorgeous and the purple petunias are fighting valiantly for some space, too.

This beautiful red petunia was my very first bloomer. I was so excited that something I planted actually bloomed that I took a picture:)

And here are a couple examples of the fake flowers inside. Sure the ones on the table are for Easter, but I think I can get away with them at least through the rest of spring and maybe even into the summer months...what do you think? Am I breaking rules of indoor flower etiquette?

It's been lots of fun using some inate creative talents to do some new things and improve our house at the same time.
President Uchtdorf was right. "As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is [our] heritage."
Happy Memorial Day tomorrow!