Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tis' the season to be jolly

This is the conversation we had in the car on the way to my Mom's. The girls spent the night Friday... they made gingerbread houses, worked on their Christmas play, and had a ton of fun!

Me: Please, be on your best behavior. Give Grandma lots of help and do everything she asks of you!
All the girls: Don't worry Mom!
Addi: ... and Mom? I promise we won't burp. Grandma HATES it when we burp!
Me: (I'm trying not to laugh)
Addi: ... hey Mom?
Me: yes?
Addi: Is that why you burp so much? Because you couldn't when you were little?

That's when the laughter could no longer be contained!

Friday, October 14, 2011


So I think that after 32 years of trying to communicate I've actually learned (actually applied) a few things...

First... don't give anything much credit if it's not given to you from the source.

Second... don't ever let others communicate for you... or expect them to.

and the most important...
If you want to know something? Ask that person.

Life is good for me in the communication area, if only for a moment. I'm not sure I've ever been this happy about some of my relationships... and it all really boils down to communication!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The San Francisco Treat... ding, ding!

We decided to accompany Mike on an event... like Orlando, just blessed with an opportunity to play while Mike works.
Mike left on a Wednesday, and I worked the rest of the week and planned on leaving Saturday morning. Well... Friday night came and I knew that it just wasn't going to happen.
I had a cement walking path poured to the studio, and the aftermath is still messy. It messed up the grade of my flowerbeds... so I needed to build some sort of wall to hold back the dirt. I knew I had to do it before I left, or it would rain and I would have a major problem when I got home. So Saturday, I bucked up and build a wall. Of course I care much more about aesthetics rather than quality, so we'll see how it holds up!
I left Sunday morning... got all the way to Stansbury and couldn't keep my eyes open! I pulled off and decided if I could just get a quick power nap, I'd be fine. Mike called and woke me up... I had been asleep for an HOUR! When I told him what I was doing he immediately said "GO HOME!" I thought about it... and decided he was right.
I drove home and slept from noon to 8pm. The girls were so good to babysit and kept quiet. They cooked dinner and kept the house clean. When I woke up at 8pm, I re-loaded the van and took off!
I drove straight through... almost ran out of gas on Donner Pass at 3am... not my smartest move of the night! We got to Sacramento and I pulled off to take a quick nap. Then we went to breakfast and got to our apartment in downtown SF.
Day 1- (which was a continuance of the longest day ever!) I unloaded the van and got settled. Our apartment was incredible! When we travel I will tell Mike "I lived like this in another life". There are two scenarios I see myself in... if I hadn't chosen the life I did. This downtown city life is one of them! (backpacking across the world and staying in hostels is the other)
We rode the municipal bus to Ghirardelli Square. There was a slight drizzle outside... so a cup of hot cocoa hit the spot!
Then we walked to Pier 39 and explored Fisherman's wharf. We saw the sea lions, the submarine, and ship. We went to the visitor's center and learned the history of the city. It was very good.
Then it started raining... so we went to a restaurant on the end of the pier. The girls had bowls of clam chowder. (not me)
We took the bus home... stopped at Safeway and grabbed groceries for the week. We were quite the sight on the bus. Four kids and groceries? Yes... we were a circus.
Day 2- We went to the Golden Gate Bridge. The girls were such troopers! As we got out farther on the bridge the wind really got strong! We walked the 1.4 miles across... then the 1.4 miles back. As we were walking the girls would periodically stop to look over the side. Cori said "LOOK! Mom... dolphins!!" Sure enough a huge pod of dolphins were making their way through the bay and under the bridge. We saw about 20-25. Lexi looked down at them and said "Those aren't dolphins!! They are only THIS big!" as she held up her fingers measuring about 3 inches. I couldn't help but laugh, "Lex... we are very high up above the water" She then said "yeah... but not THAT high." She's starting to pull attitude... I know it's the age. But I've noticed that she doesn't think I know what I'm talking about most the time.
After the bridge, we went to Chinatown. It fascinated the girls! We saw some interesting things... we found a city playground and they loved it!
Day 3- I wanted the girls to ride a cable car, but I still think I like them more than anything! We took the cable car to Lombard Street. The girls walked down the famous steep street. Then we walked to the wharf and got some lunch.
Mike's boss invited us to come to dinner that night with the Company. They were celebrating the success of the event... and it was great to see the relief and happiness. I know that there was so much hard work and stress leading up to the event. This was the biggest event they had ever done.
I took the kids to the Moscone Center... all they wanted to do was ride the big escalator. Then we went to dinner.
Halfway through dinner Mike's boss came over to chat with us. He was talking to the kids and he told them how "smart your Dad is, and he is very important" Addi said "I know he is!" It was a laugh!
On a side note... fancy SF restaurants aren't used to having customers under 18 years old. It was rather difficult to get quesadillas and carne asada tacos. It really wasn't a difficult but dividing it into 4 plates was like pulling teeth! I'm not sure the servers understood the concept of division, it was strange! But the kids loved their quarter of a $20 quesadilla!
Day 4- Mike was able to join us... so we went over to Alcatraz. The older two were definitely fascinated by the prison and it's prisoners. I think an island of birds was not Mike's idea of a good afternoon. While we were there the Blue Angels had a show over the bay... so we had front row seats to a spectacular sight... not to mention SUPER loud!

Friday morning we drove home. It seemed like a much shorter drive on the way back. I don't know if it's because I wasn't alone... perhaps because I wasn't driving! The interesting thing was while the kids got a great education and exposure to culture... I think we were more of a novelty to the natives! People either thought we were the cutest thing ever... and complimented us up and down... OR, they were disgusted by us... and saw me as a 'breeder'. I figure to each their own!
Hopefully life will settle down for a while. I love my kidlets, but they need to go to school... and I need to do some laundry!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Keeping up!

So little time... so few blogs.
The summer (and fall) of 2011 can go down in our family history as one of the busiest ever. In my efforts to try and make family memories... I think I've overdone it. That is my tendency... go big or go home!
I think that knowing my kids are all officially gone to school this year has sent me into a type of race against time. It's as if I feel time ticking away, almost a kind of countdown. For many years I felt like I was just getting through... diapers, feeding, trying to sleep... I just looked forward getting through each week. Now I'm ready to hit the pause button!
I'm not sure if I can play "catch up" with recent events, but I sure will try!

The girls started school. Yes, that means all of them are now gone... crazy! Surprisingly things haven't been much different though. I still feel super busy, I'm just not dragging little people around with me all day. I'm working more hours, and I can't keep the house clean or the laundry done! So not much has changed really.
Cori is in 6th grade... she loves her teacher and is really enjoying 'ruling the school'. I'm hoping she has some educational growth during the year, but he sure is having fun!
Lexi's in 5th grade and has a really good friend in her class. She also loves her teacher and is having fun being an older kids at the school.
Addi's 2nd grade teacher happened to leave after the second week of school, so she's got her second teacher of the year already. She is happy as ever, and loves school.
Sophie is in Mrs. J's 1st grade. I love her teacher, so I have a peace of mind knowing she will have a good year and she is doing well with being there all day everyday of the week.

Most recently we drove to TX to visit our good friends and go see BYU play Oklahoma. It was 22 hours driving each way... we stopped in Albuquerque, NM and spent the night both there and back.
It was a super long drive, but a ton of fun. On the way down... day 2 we stopped and took pictures aong the historic route 66. There was an old car museum and a town that was just like a little 'radiator springs' from Cars.
We also stopped outside of Amarillo, TX at 'Cadillac Ranch' and got our graffiti on! The girls thought it was crazy to spray paint cars... it was surprisingly liberating. It was fun... I'd love to meet the artist who thought of that! Genius.
We finally arrived in TX late Friday night. Our friends were kind enough to put us up in high style! It was so great to see them... they have four daughters, so our families mesh famously! The next morning we slept in and got ready to drive to Austin for the game. We had some fabulous TX bbq and had a blast at the game. It would have been even better if the Cougars had won... but oh well. The stadium was great and the game atmosphere was fantastic! After the game we had tasty Tex-Mex and drove home.
Sunday we had an adventure... thought we were spending the afternoon at church and ended up in the ER. Sophie had eaten a pecan with her breakfast. She was having a reaction and I thought some Benadryl would fix it. Needless-to-say... we went to the ER and now I have to keep an Epipen at all times!
Monday my dear friend Linds took me to buy my first pair of real cowboy boots... and we headed home. Cori and I got super sick from some chinese food on the way home... but we made it back.
It was a great trip!... with44 hours in the car, awesome TX food, fun southern people, a bit of a sad football game, and the most amazing friends!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Lovin'

So crazy busy!!!!
I've decided that I will take the opportunity to catch up on my blog after the kids go back to school. Especially since I'm a little excited to have the time to do things like that during the day.

It's no secret that Summer is my favorite time of the year. This year has been exceptionally great... and exceptionally busy! We have gone to Bear Lake (family reunion), Idaho (family reunion), Lava Hot Springs, 7 peaks... and still are fitting in a camping trip down to Escalante. Not to mention the overhaul of our backyard... which has kept the kids inside more than usual.

It's also the first Summer I have worked... it's been harder than I expected. I was realizing that since I started working in January, I have not had any projects! I feel more tired than I did before, but I'm getting used to it. I really enjoy working, and I know that in a couple weeks when the kids go back to school, it will get a whole lot easier to work during the day!

I have always loved having the girls home, and this year is no exception! I wish Summer was just a couple months longer. It flew by, and I'm not looking forward to sending them off the school again. It really feels like they just got out of school! But I know they are excited to get back to friends and learning fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It ain't about the money

We had to sit down and plan out Mike's time off for the rest of the year. We've planned a few family trips, and I'm excited to have something to look forward to. But dang it get's expensive!

My Sis-in-law called me last night, and asked me about going on a trip. We touched a little on priorities. It was so nice to talk with someone who... without judgment or details... views things similar to the way I do.
I really do HATE talking about finances... or even more, when other people like to talk about their finances. There's nothing worse than people who won't shut-up about what they think is the best way to spend or save money. Seriously.

One of the big things we decided early regarding saving vs spending was about vacations. We have decided over the years to prioritize our relationship, and by doing so, spending quite a bit of time together... without our kids. (Gasp! Horrible parents!) But I have LOVED it, and I really see it as an investment in our marriage. And as far as investments go... I personally feel like that particular investment gives me the greatest return!
Some people plan on doing those things after their kids are gone, or when they retire... but I think that by then you never know what might keep you from all the dreams you've put off. Plus, physically... who knows? I also think my perspective is because Mike's parents both died young, before all their kids were grown. My Mom is single and my sister will go to college next year and she doesn't have a spouse to enjoy that time.
Not to mention, I want to always be 'in love' with Mike like I am now. I want him to know he is the most important thing to me, and I want to excitedly look forward to a time when it is just him and I. I love my kids... but Mike is my eternal companion... and someday my kids will find their own eternal companions, and I hope to set an example for them to put their spouses at the top of their priority list.

With all that said, I do feel we've taken plenty of time alone so we are taking the next 4-5 years and going on adventures with the kidlets. Mike and I will have to sneak time in between... but I'm excited to make the 'investment' in family memories and time together. I'm so happy for my in-law's, and glad they are going on a trip together!

I once heard a quote that said something like "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money." And I'm happy to say that if my home, money, and material wealth were taken from me... I'd have no regrets. I treasure the places we've gone and the memories we've made. I'm excited to make memories with the kids over the next few years.
I really admire people who save lots of money, and people who manage finances well... but I think that my Step-dad ruined my idea of being 'frugal'. I guess not 'frugal'... but maybe 'cheap'. That man will die with a butt-load of money in the bank. But his life sure has sucked! As far as relationships and memories go... no amount of money will replace what he has lost in his life.

They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination. It's important to set goals... and it's important to reach those goals. I think you can still be smart with your money and plan for the future... but what's the point of any destination if you're not enjoying the journey?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime happenings

The pass of all passes...

(Sophie and Cori on opposite sides)

(Addi... holding on for dear life. Lexi... hand's up and laughing. Sophie... hand's up and a big smile!)
I decided that a weekly activity would put these passes to good use.... so Monday it is! We spent 4 hours at Liberty Land. The girls rode the bumper boats (twice)
Funny story... Sophie was really getting into shooting the water, but she struggled steering and shooting at the same time. Her boat turned towards the people watching, and she sprayed a stream of water near the people waiting at the entrance. This lady literally yelled at Sophie "Stop it! You are NOT supposed to shoot the water over here!"... seriously screamed it. Then she looked at me and mumbled "... well that's what they told us..." I just smiled extra big. I didn't see the need to say anything, she yelled at Sophie already... loud enough for the both of us. I think she wanted me to say sorry... but I didn't... because I wasn't! She looked like a few streams of water might do her some good. Maybe chill her out a bit.

They rode the carousel, the airplanes... and we played a round of miniature golf. Then they climbed the rock wall, rode the frog ride (a million times in a row), did the bumper boats again, climbed the wall again... and we ended with a game of laser tag. It was a lot of fun. I love spending time with my kids. Now other kid's... I'm not so fond of.
Funny Story... The girls were waiting in line to climb the rock wall and a couple teeagers cut in front of Cori. She turned around and looked at me like she was going to cry. I said "tell them they can't do that!" Cori said she couldn't. I said "Well I'll tell them..." and Cori grabbed my arm, "No Mom! Don't make a big deal!" So I looked at her and said "Fine, then don't complain about it to me if you aren't willing to do anything about it." I could see the internal debate. Do I make a big deal about it? or do I just let it go? She looked at me and said "It's not a big deal." Alrighty then.
Not more than 30 seconds later another girl just casually walked towards the line. I think she was just looking at what the line was for. Cori got right up to her, "The back of the line is over there!" and pointed. My eyes got wide with surprise... surprised by Cori's behavior mostly. She looked at me and covered her mouth. "I bit her head off, huh?" I said "Yeah... but it's okay."
I don't think she'll let anyone cut in front of her anymore! Too funny!

(Cori, Lexi, and Sophie)...

It got pretty crowded as we were leaving. I felt like I left with a nervous twitch. You know, the kind of tick when my nerves are shot and I'm seconds away from screaming just to see if I can hear it! It was so loud! We had a great time though.

Later that night we had a bbq with one of Mike's mission companions. It was so good to see him and his cute family. He served with Mike and my Bro-in-law, so they all have some funny stories. I love how much they all enjoyed their missions, the people they served, and the other missionaries. It's so fun!

I've been busy working, things have really picked up. I'm booked 3 weeks out, and it's fun to be building a regular clientele. I'm finally getting better at re-stocking supplies and knowing what I need and what I don't need. It will still take some time, but I'm getting there.
It feels so great to work! I have always loved working... but to be able to do what I love and get paid, not to mention do it at my house! I can't think of anything better.

I am getting a cement walkway poured from my studio to the front of my house. They are also pouring a big pad in the backyard as well. We have started the process of fixing the retaining wall and fence. It will be a messy and pricey summer. But I can't wait to get it over with and get that much closer to our goals with the backyard!
I figure that it will take at least one more year to get things where I want them. It's only been 5 years!... the first year we moved in it was August, so we waited... year two we did basic sprinklers and grass, the wall and fence... year three was the trampoline area, flowers and gardening... last year was the basement doors and studio doors... now this year cement and fixes. Bleh! I always joke that it will be done when the kids move out. Now I'm convinced there is no such thing as 'done'.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Daddy Day

Mike came home later Saturday from Scout Camp. He was so sweet to take a super quick shower and then drive with me to the last two Parade of Homes down South. Man it was far! Woodland Hills and Mapleton. We barely made it in time, but got them both in!
Then we went to dinner at Gloria's in Provo. The accordion player was playing Italian songs, it was dusk, the restaurant was buzzing... I took a bite of Gnocchi and closed my eyes. I had my hands of my eyes and said to Mike "I feel like I'm in Italy! Try this!"
It will be three years this summer since our trip to Italy and the more time passes, the more I think I want to go back someday. But I think I might just go to Florence. *sigh*
Sunday was Father's Day. I'm happy that this Holiday can now be a bright spot in my year... and not a Sunday I dread and skip church.
Mike is such a great Dad! I love watching him with our girls... he loves them so much! I'm glad he's such a good example to them, and know when the time comes... they will have a bar set pretty high when they are husband-shopping.
I love that he's real... what you see is what you get. He doesn't put on a show for anyone. He honors his priesthood and is a great leader. He's just a really, really good person.
I'm so proud of how hard he works for our family, how much he has done in his career. He never talks about his successes, he is so humble. I feel so blessed and taken care of. He is the hardest-working person I know.
But I love that he works hard, and plays hard. He is so fun to hang out with. He is the best traveling partner... I never worry about getting robbed or mugged. We never get bothered, just asked how tall he is, or what size his feet are. People just nod and point... or I get asked if he is my bodyguard. "Why yes! He sure is!"

Funny story... Mike's size 16 feet don't fit inside the blue booties they want you to wear at the Parade of Homes. Most everyone looked at his feet and told him he could just wear his socks. (Which by-the-way are SO much cleaner than those booties!) There was just a couple houses that made him wear the booties. So he had to take off his shoes still, because there was no way to even get his shoe through the opening of the bootie. He then would stretch this thing over his foot... and kind of curl up his toes. I had to try SO hard not to laugh... because he was so frustrated! They just didn't fit, and there wasn't anyway to make them fit! Poor guy.

I just love him. I don't believe in luck, just blessings and Karma.... so I can't say I feel lucky... I feel SO blessed to have him in my life. We are blessed to call him 'Daddy'!
For Father's Day he got a new tent. We set it up in the living room... don't ask how... and surprised him with it! 14X12 and he can almost stand up in it! We are all excited to put it to good use.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Places to go, things to do, people to see!

Yard work... bleh! It is a never-ending battle. Curse those weeds... which can grow so fast and huge. Curse the plants and flowers... which die no matter how much I take care of them!
I go to the nursery and drop loads of money, then come home and spend all my time and energy getting it planted. Why would someone pay so much to work so hard! Oh how I need a magic wand.

I had my sister and her family over for dinner Monday. It was so wonderful! She's got a great husband and an adorable little girl. It was so nice to see her and visit. We haven't always had the strongest relationship, so I have loved feeling close with her again.
My girls are in love with babies now. Cori can't wait to babysit... and Sophie thinks it's cute when a baby pulls her hair!

Mike left for Scout Camp this morning. He's lucky to have awesome leaders going with him this year... he always has a great time, and I'm happy he can get his testosterone fix. He has had the most amazing boys in our ward. They are such good kids!
The girls and I party pretty hard while he's away. 'Girl's Nights' we call them... and it's always fun for me to catch up on all the latest chick flicks.

I've been walking in the mornings... seriously. I think we've gone everyday this week, and I want to say we did at least three mornings last week. Wahoo! It is so nice to have a good friend to walk and talk with. I love her!... just sayin'
We are setting goals together and celebrating victories together. I'm so glad to have someone to do it with!

My Primary class came over today for a party. I teach the CTR 7 class... I have 8 kids and a sweet summer visitor from Alabama. They earn points every week for bringing their scriptures and participating in class, then whoever is the most reverent earns the 'reverent point' that Sunday. It's worked well, and I promised them a party when they hit 100 points... they hit it really fast!
I must admit I was nervous. They are good kids, but I wasn't sure I could keep them all entertained for 3 hours. We had pizza, played Mario Kart, watched 'Despicable Me', ran through sprinklers, and jumped on the trampoline. It was great!
I LOVE my Primary kids... even the challenging ones. I prayed really hard at the beginning of the year to be able to love ALL of the kids I would have in my class. Last year was a bit of a struggle for me... and I knew that the Lord would help and bless me if I sincerely asked for my heart to be softened. Well, it worked! I feel blessed because they really are the best class!

On a sad note... a friend of mine is moving far away. It is breaking my heart, because we only became friends a little bit ago. I worked with her husband in the nursery, and she was one of Cori's leaders... but our paths just never crossed.
I haven't had many friends in this ward... shocker! I just haven't felt that I fit in. I was burned pretty badly by some people I was close to, then just pushed everyone away. I can't do drama, so I've tried to remove myself from situations where I get in trouble. Although I still find myself in trouble way too often.
So I remember hearing this person's amazing testimony and she talked like a REAL person. So refreshing! I thought "I could totally get along with her!". She recently told me that when she was helping in nursery, I was singing the snowman song and when I got completely flat on the floor she thought "Oh! I could be friends with her!"
So sadly it took us two years to find each other... and as soon as we did, her husband got a new job and life got complicated. While I'm so happy (and quite frankly jealous) that she gets to have new adventures, I'm so sad to lose her.
I will miss her amazing testimony... which she somehow shares in subtle and somehow powerful little ways. I'll miss her great example of honesty and humbleness. She is hard-working, a loving wife, a sacrificing Mom... and a dang good friend! I know the impact she has made on me will last my entire life... she'll never know how much I treasure our short time together.
I will admit that she has given me hope... hope that there are other hidden friendships I just need to explore. Who knows what I've been missing?!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't rain on my parade!

So I have been going to the Parade of Homes for many years. I used to go with my sister and she decided she wouldn't go with me anymore (she said it depressed her) so the past few years I've gone with Mike. I wasn't sure if she would like it... but he LOVES it almost as much as me! It's always a week or two before my birthday... so I either get tickets for Mother's Day or my birthday. I la-la-LOVE every bit of it. Even the things that are not my taste, or things I wouldn't do... I still love the creativity and truly respect the forward thinking it takes to come up with things that are new or different.
It makes for awesome date nights, and it's funny to see the things we agree are nice... and the things we disagree on.
This year did not disappoint. I'm in love with all the blues and greens. I adore subway art, glass tile back-splashes, double fans in the workout rooms, and the big family rooms centered around games, movies, and fun!
So here are some of my favorite things this year...

We are going to start our basement and Theater Room this next Spring, so I really took inspiration from some of these kitchens and basement kitchenettes... basements have come such a long way!

I can do this to my Kitchen Island!

I think that this is the 'plantation shutter' solution over my sliding door!

My favorite offices...

My favorite colors...

And the overall winner is...
Basically I see it like this... Anybody can create their favorite things about these home on a smaller scale. Even if it's just duplicating the color pallette! I love to spray paint, hot glue, sew stuff I find from Garage Sales, DI... or stuff I already have that just need a face lift!
I have enough projects and ideas of projects to last 5 years!... or at least until the Parade of Homes next year. I could totally wrap the corner of my walls with faux columns... LOVE the dark wood!
Huge shout out to ALL the homes this year... you fed my creativity and inspired me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Caffeine Crusader

A conversation this morning with my friend sparked an issue I need to get off my chest. I miss blogging for this reason, I feel like I can get it out and move on. Maybe this will help me get on my way already!
We have a Caffeine Crusader in our Stake. He recently decided that the Stake would enforce a policy on caffeinated beverages. It was proposed as a concern with the youth drinking energy drinks, and evolved into leaders being told they can no longer drink caffeinated soda at any youth mid-week activity, day trips or scout/girls camp.

I will preface this rant with the admiration I have for people who do not drink caffeine or any soda. I know that it is a healthy goal I have set a few times in my life... and now and then I cut myself off from soda just to prove to myself that I can do it. But I am a big fan of DDP and Mike lives on Mtn Dew... and we are okay with that!

So this 'policy' came a little over a month ago... I'm sorry, but when things start with words like "Effective immediately" and use the terms "prohibited" and "confiscate"... let's just say I was more than a little shocked! They referred to Coke and Pepsi... and grouped them with energy drink because they didn't know where to draw the line. Ummm... maybe draw the line at energy drinks if you are concerned for the health of the boys? Ummm... don't tell the leaders they must "abide by the policy so the youth do not receive mixed messages" Mixed messages such as the fact that we have free agency? If you believe that the gospel is true, how can you believe that taking away one's free agency is your job? If the church has not mentioned this policy, how can a person create rules based on what they believe is best for them and their family?
They claim the policy is because they are “concerned about the safety and spiritual well being of all our wonderful youth and leaders” The Crusader said they didn't know where to draw the line... "was Mtn Dew better than Coke or Pepsi? Is a 5 hour energy better than a Rockstar?" So ALL caffeinated drinks it is! Maybe it's hard to decide because he is basing things off his own opinion about these beverages... not the Word of Wisdom or church doctrine! They also go on to say that not ALL soda is prohibited... you can still drink Sprite and Root Beer. Really?!!! Oh, thanks! So what about Sunkist?... there is caffeine in that. Most of Barq's Root Beer also has caffeine... sold outside of Utah County... is that okay? Maybe there could be an approval hotline people can call to see if their beverage is approved.
Perhaps I need to be educated in the process of this matter, but I feel that creating such policies could be considered an abuse of authority. Can people use their position in the church to create and enforce rules of their own? If so, we need to make sure that the people given authority don't abuse it pushing their own agenda. I believe that the church is set up with a Prophet and General Authorities and a chain of command to avoid issues like this.
So everyone gets upset and talks with each other about it, complaining, etc. I thinking if everyone voiced their concerns would this type of stuff be stopped before it became a big issue. Maybe?
I don't think that consuming a lot of caffeine is healthy, that has been proven by medical science. However... neither is consuming too much sugar, or too much red meat, or too much of anything. I am unsure how you create a policy prohibiting something that the church has not approved. The Crusader himself stated... this is NOT in the handbook. So why caffeine and not sugar?
I also believe that there are many other things our children and adults of the church are exposed to that could use the same time and focus. I'm referring to things that ARE in the handbook, and HAVE BEEN spoken against by the Prophets and General Authorities.
I am under the belief that the church doesn't protest or make policies against every little thing as to ensure we receive the guidance of the Lord, but still have the gift or our free agency.
There is so much negativity being discussed and shared throughout our Stake. I would be lying to say I have not partaken in any of this. But I heard some things on Sunday that sent me over the edge. Plans to hide beverages in everything imaginable. Filling other containers and sneaking it into the shower. That's crazy! So now there is dishonesty and deceit surrounding an issue that should not be an issue.
So my question is... If caffeine is NOT against the Word of Wisdom, if a person can drink caffeine and have a temple recommend, and if the prophet of the Church is known to drink his own caffeinated beverage of choice... how is this Caffeine Crusader able to create and enforce a policy against caffeine?!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

blah, blah, blah

I'm just going to try and keep up at this point! I can always go back an elaborate... but for now I'm just making a goal to write more often.

Summer is so freakin' AWESOME! I absolutely love having my kidlets home... it's the best. They are doing pretty well with chores so far. Lexi is continuing her math program through the summer so we set up incentives to help her with daily homework. (Especially since nobody else in the family has any)

Mike and I have been going to the Parade of Homes these past couple weeks. I get so excited to come home and get creative about changing things. I'm getting really excited to start on the basement!... someday.

Wednesday I put in 6 hours of yard work... Thursday 8 hours... and Friday 2 more hours. I wish I could say that all those hours actually added up to much... but there is so many things still to be done. I slacked off last Summer and by the f=Fall I just left it all to deal with in the Spring. Well, then we didn't really have Spring and now I am seriously paying the price! We are starting the demolition of the back wall. If we wait much longer the retaining wall will collapse and we will have a major mess on our hands. SO we are taking down the fence, securing the wall, building it up, laying the grass again, and putting a stronger fence back up. Bugger of a project!
I got a bid for my cement walkway back to my Studio. We will have to wait on the backyard fence project to start on the cement walkway and back patio... we I have a lot of work ahead of me. Maybe I'll get a good tan this Summer as my payoff.

I have to say that I'm not looking forward to much else. We do some family trips, and I can't wait to get out camping. But... extended family crap on my side has made it difficult to get excited about much. Last year there was a fiasco at Bear Lake, and things have just been super negetive and (quite frankly) not the best. On the other hand... we have done a ton with Mike's family this past bit, and it is always awesome. No drama, no competitions, no 'one-up' people... just relaxing fun. I'm excited to plan trips to the sand dunes!
It's just funny how things can change. We used to get together with my family all the time! We hardly saw Mike's family, we just didn't feel like we fit in. Now... we don't fit in much with my family and it's better to be with Mike's family! Who would have thought? I sure never did!

Addi and Sophie were in a dance camp this past week and got to ride a float in the city parade yesterday! Addi LOVES to dance, and this is the very first dance of any sort my kids have been in. I feel bad that I haven't been able to encourage it... but once again, my fears were justified! The older dance group teaching the kids performed on Friday with the kids. They were amazing dancers... very talented! But the outfit and some of those moves they had going... I just can't encourage it. I looked at Mike and said. "Do you want our 16 year-old dancing like that in front of everyone?" That would be a Hell-to-the-NO!!! I'm sorry, but I just can't.
On a side note, Sophie almost beat up another little girl when she got tagged in their game. Now THAT kid needs to be playing a sport! She's got some major aggression to get out.
Their float was adorable! It was so fun to watch them. And can I just say that I LOVE the city we live in?... the parade started at 10am! I was just looking around at our community and the High School and I feel so blessed to be able to raise my kids here. I know that this was the right move for our family. (Even though we still get crap for it... yes, still.) This is where we are meant to be.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Swimming through the Roller Coaster

just keep swimming,
just keep swimming,
just keep swimming swimming swimming,
what do we do we swim swim swim...

You know how life is compared to a roller coaster with it's up's and down's... It feel like lately my life has been a roller coaster, but a coaster stuck in high speed's of 100+ mph.
I'm not even sure what I've blogged about and what I haven't. Since I don't even have time to write, I sure don't have time to go back an read... so here we go.

Addi has been through a medical nightmare. She landed in Primary's ER, missed a bunch of school, and has to have surgery in a few weeks. Hopefully she will recover quickly and never have to revisit this nightmare! She has been a real trooper.

Mike went on a 'guy's trip' to Moab and got hurt on his dirt bike. I received a call on Friday and left around 10pm to drive down there and pick him up. I got there about 1:30am and turned around to drive straight back home. Mike and Amanda came with me so I wouldn't fall asleep. LOVE THEM! Mike (BIL) is one of my favorite people. We chatted the whole way down and back. They really saved me that night! Needless to say, my Mike cracked his sternum and injured his arm a bit. He was thankfully wearing his chest protector... which is ended up cracked and busted up. I'm just so happy it wasn't his chest that ended up that busted up. He's been in a lot of pain, but has pushed through a lot this past week. I realized just how much I like having a big strong husband when he couldn't lift anything or reach anything! I depend in him more than I know!

I've been working like CRAZY! It's a good thing, but I just never seem to have enough time to work and get my housework done. I'm going to need some adjusting... I thought for sure I'd have it figured out by now... but I don't. Shocker.

There was Teacher Appreciation Week... which will eventually have it's own post. Andthen there was a crazy class party. *sigh* I tried to do what was asked of me... it was all I could do to bite my tongue and 'go with the flow'. I ran into the bathroom and puked right before the kids showed up! I puked so hard it splashed back up on my shirt!!! DISGUSTING!!! I felt horrible and no patience to deal with an incompetent person who I wanted to strangle. This quote kept playing over and over in my head... "Lack of preparation on YOUR part does not necessitate an emergency on MY part!"... especially when I'm running a fever and have vomit splattered all over me!

Memorial Day was great! We spent it with Mike's family, and had a wonderful time visiting and had our annual Mi Ranchito's lunch. Loved it!

I went to a wedding up in Bountiful on May 27th. My cousin Steven's wedding! Well, techincally he's my ex-step dad's, half-brother's, son. He and his family were the cousins we were closest to growing up. Ther are some of my most favorite people in the world! It was so awesome to see them all. I love temple weddings, it's a good reminder of how blessed I am in my own marriage and the blessings we receive in having an eternal family.

I had 'bridal hair' last Friday for another cousin... Kara. She is an amazing and beautiful girl! I love her and loved being a part of her special day! (pics will come)

School also got out last Friday. Oh how I LA-LA-LOVE summer!! Sleeping in, sunshine, days at the lake, Popsicles, late-over's, no bedtime... pretty much I love the weather and the lack of structure in my life! I'm such a happier and better person from June to September!

We had a Garage Sale the next Saturday morning (yesterday)... made a little over $400. Not to mention, cleaned out the basement. Halle-freakin-lujah!!! And it's only taken me 10 years!

Whew... that's all I can think of for now. I have got to write more often so I can keep better track of life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The good. The bad. The ugly.

The good.
We are planning a get-away. A much needed escape from life. I have a lot to do before we go, but at least it's something to look forward to. I'm so excited for the kids. It's a complete surprise... and I know they will absolutely love it!
This weekend was very difficult, but Easter was wonderful! I love to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior. The miraculous life he lived, and that he died for me. The ability we all have to conquer death, thanks to this selfless man... who suffered so much. What an amazing celebration!
I am grateful for amazing family who I can share things with. I was telling my girls that Heavenly Father gave us families for that reason. They are people who can help you through things, and you don't have to worry about them thinking less of you. You don't have to be embarrassed or scared... because family is there to help, or just lend a listening ear.
I seriously love my Primary class. Which doesn't seem like a huge deal... but for me it is. I decided to pray for the ability to really love each of the kids. And I can honestly say that I really do. They teach me so much... and I hope I teach them a thing or two this year.

The bad.
Mike's work is killing us. I know the end is in sight, and I know that I am grateful he has a good job that supports our family... but it's been pretty bad.
I'm not sure I've seen Mike this stressed since he was working 35 hours a week and taking 16 credit hours. I think it was 2000 or early 2001. He about lost it... breakdown, meltdown, it was a struggle. I hate seeing him go through so much, especially when I can't help him with it.
I'm tired... tired of going to bed alone. Tired of not having a partner... I miss my best friend.

The ugly.
I've been hit with something I didn't see coming... okay... really I was blindsided. As a mother... you want your children to never suffer. My daughter has been faced with a difficult trial, and while I have complete faith that things will get better... it's another thing I can't fix. I'm so thankful for good Doctor's, PCMC and the U of U. (I can say that I NEVER thought I would love the U, but I do. Not the college teams... but the incredible teams of Dr's at the U of U hospital) It is an incredible blessing to live here.
It's something personal, and hard to come to terms with. I really struggle with asking for help during things like this. I think that I'd rather get through it... and then when I can breathe again, I'll try and sift through my emotions about the whole experience.
I'm doing my best to be strong as a Mom. I can't convince my daughter that things are okay if I can't convince myself. It's one of those things that you can't always see... but it's there.
So I will buck up, be strong, and push through.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Oh heavens...
Life gets so crazy, and just when you think it can't get busier... it does.

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. ~Emily Dickinson

I'm trying my best to push through this 'Utah Spring', this time of year is when I hit my breaking point. I look back through the years, and it's the month of April when Mike and I have gone on almost all our warm weather trips. I probably wonder on a daily basis why I live here. Yet, I know it's not as bad as it seems... I just need a few more weeks to get through the confidence that summer will actually be a reality again.
I wonder how crazy Mike would think I am if he came home to lounge chairs, frozen drinks, the thermostat cranked up to 90 degrees, and me in a bathing suit. I would need some steel drums playing and 'ocean sounds' soundtrack. *sigh*

Mike has been traveling a lot and working from home almost everyday. I start to feel overwhelmed and bad for myself, but I feel worse for the kids. I haven't had patience, and as much as I love working again... things are taking a toll. Nights that I'm not working, Mike is at scouts or at work. Mike's new position has come with so much added stress and has practically doubled his work load. On one hand, I feel so thankful he has a job, I feel bad for complaining. I'm thankful he hasn't always traveled like this. Being home alone is not easy on me, and I don't know how some wives do it regularly.

I started lifting weights and I'm taking a 12 week 'Body for Life' challenge. I haven't been prefect, but I've been proud of my dedication in spite of circumstances. It feels good to take some of my stress out on exercising... but it's also difficult to find the energy and time to do it! But for 12 weeks... I can do 12 weeks.

Taking the time to try and focus on myself and my health always make me think about where I'm at, and why I'm not feeling good. I try to evaluate my priorities, my relationships, and how I headed down a road I'm not happy about.

I can come up with excuses all day long. I'm tired, I don't have time, or the plain and simple... I don't care. If I dig deeper I know that there are specific things that need to change. There are feelings I'm not dealing with, and there are relationships that are toxic. Sometimes it's as easy as letting go... but sometimes it's making changes that are REALLY difficult. The goal is to feel worthy of happiness and success, and surround myself with a support system that helps me achieve my goals. I have to pick apart my life and see what's holding me back... and what's an obstacle. The hard part is that sometimes I care deeply and love my obstacles, or I'm just too lazy to want to let go of some bad habits.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dear Lord...

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
Marilyn Monroe

I was talking to a friend tonight and after she left I had one of those moments where I said to myself "why did I say that?" and "why did I bring that up?" I hate that! When I walk a way from a situation kicking myself and thinking "have you not learned anything?!!" Seriously!

I have a problem... I'm missing filters in my brain. I'm trying to establish them... but if I'm tired, had a long day, or just too darn comfortable. I open my mouth and it just starts coming. Next thing I know, the conversation is over and I'm thinking "I shouldn't have said that!"

It was nothing specific, just a general topic I can't seem to get away from. Certain things I just can't seem to get over. Geez... get over it already!! I feel like I'm over it... the emotions aren't raw... but the fact that I still talk about it just kills me. It's like it's always there, and I just try and pretend it's not. ARGH!!!

So instead of being an uplifting and positive friend, I just dump on other people. People who don't need to be dumped on, but need me to be a listening ear for them. Oh if I could take back some of those conversations. But I can't... so... like I tell myself over and over again...

(there, now maybe I will)

I've found myself on the downhill again. Oh how I hate the up's and down's. Things were so great no that long ago, why can't they just stay that way?
I seem to lose control of things, and next thing I know I lose control of my feelings. I can't lose weight, I can't keep my house clean, I can't get out of bed in the morning. It horrifies me to think that my children will have memories of the days I couldn't get out of bed. I try and make it up to them the next day or two... but it's ridiculous that I have days where my body thinks it needs 12 hours of sleep, (up to get Sophie to school) a 5 hour nap, then literally another 14 hours straight of sleep. Ridiculous!

So the next day I make myself get out of bed... and I'm sure everyone who lives with me would rather have me just stay in bed! I'm short, impatient, emotional... and I go to a place where I decide I have no friends, any the world is out to get me. Crazy, I know... but even knowing I'm crazy doesn't change it.

So my new plan...
#1- Screw the 'no caffeine' kick, if I can't drink coffee I've got to have my DDP
#2- I must try and make my treadmill my friend (to get this weight off, and to try and get me to sleep at night)
#3- keep my mouth shut! (I'm not allowed to talk to anyone for more than 5 minutes anymore!)

... at least that might get me through the week!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hated or Loved

I've learned some good lessons this week.... lessons about who I am, and what I am. I've had to make choices that don't look good from the outside... but they were the best choices for me. They weren't what other people wanted me to do, and they weren't easy decisions to make.

I spoke in church a couple weeks ago, and was able to speak on a very interesting topic. I spoke on a talk given about how God wants us to find our own answers. So... basically... I told everyone that if you need answers... you have the resources to make the decisions you need to. You have the very same resources available to you as great leaders do. The same scriptures, same doctrine, and the Lord wants you to make decisions for yourself.
We "can't put our faith in the infallability of men" If our faith lies with God, we won't be let down. Because guess what? As much as we want people to be perfect and wonderful... they will make mistakes. Sometimes they are put in positions where we think they can't make mistakes... but they still do. They say things or do things that are stupid! In understanding what our faith is... we can realize that our trust and our answers come from faith in HIM... not faith in a person. Even a person with great intentions can really get things wrong. Believe me... I have been in the wrong... and I have had some wrong done to me!

I have some good friends who are struggling with different challenges. Some are physical challenges some are spiritual challenges, but they all involve family dynamics that are unique.
I so admire the strength and courage of these women. I admire their love and devotion to their families and the wonderful women they are. The decisions I've had to make are so petty in comparison to the choices they are faced with.
It breaks my heart to hear of people are put in situations where they have to "go against the grain". Especially here... where differences seem so apparent! Sometimes people think they know what's best for another person, even with good intentions... but they are wrong. It's hard to tell a person "You have no idea what you're talking about." or "You don't know me."
And I think we'd all be surprised to see what's behind other people's choices in life.

I often think about teenagers... the ones who do everything they are supposed to and the ones who break every rule they are given. On the outside they look so different. One girl may dress modestly, go to church every Sunday, get straight A's, never even THINK about dating before she is 16, play an instrument, be on Seminary Council, and just glow brighter than the sun. On the other hand... another girl may wear too much make-up, sneak out of the house, skip school, have a piercing or two (or three, or four), fight with her parents, and just look like trouble. But what you can't see is the intention of either of their hearts. You can't see what's inside they're mind, what they plead with God about, what they struggle with and what they have endured in their past. And often what they look like on the outside is totally different than the inside.

You can see it in teenagers... but is it any different when we are 30... or 50? What's inside of everyone is different. I think that when we don't fit into a mold we feel there is something wrong with us. We can still try and better ourselves, but not try and fit into a mold that just won't work for us. God can see that I'm square, and he's not going to try and fit a square peg into a round hole! However, I know I'm square... God knows I'm square... but someone else may think I'm round... and that person is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Not that long ago, something was asked of me. I really felt I SHOULD do it. I really WANTED to do it. I even said I would do it... then, for very very personal reasons I could not.
It was nobody's business but my own, and yet I felt so guilty for not being able to do it. I felt like I was letting down everyone... and I worried, and cried, and got so caught up in what people might think.
Mike finally said "who cares!" and it sounded so simple... but I did care. Then I realized that the person I was afraid of letting down was my Father in Heaven. Funny enough... he was the only person I didn't have to explain myself to! He knew exactly my situation and why I couldn't do it. At THAT point it hit me that I knew I wasn't letting him down.
God knows why we do the things we do. He knows the intentions of our hearts.

We tend to have a "one size fits all" approach to life. Especially within smaller or more conformed societies. We know things based on our own experiences... and we like to try and apply the same mold to everyone.
Even with my own parenting the same rules apply to all my children, but I'm still learning that each child is so different... and each needs different ways of learning and growing through different forms of discipline. I believe our Heavenly Father sees us in the same way.

Which is why when all is said and done, we are only judged by the one person who knows what's in our heart. The only one who understands what we've been through, our strengths and weaknesses, and the only one who knows what hand we were dealt.

I've also learned that you find out who really cares about you when you have to "go against the grain". The people who pull away from you when you don't conform... they aren't true friends. It's funny how fast you can gain and loose friends based on the choices you make, and how that choice looks on the outside.
I think that the people truly who care don't even need an explanation. Because that person is just happy that you are doing something that makes you happy. And if people 'hate you for who you are'... than they never really liked you to begin with. And you have to do what's best for you! Hence the quote...

"It's better to be hated for what you are
than to be loved for what you're not"
Marilyn Monroe

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So much to smile about

"This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up.
Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.

As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And babe, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but
you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything...
Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything.

Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about."

-Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No regrets

"We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets."
Marilyn Monroe

We decided to be spontaneous over the weekend and go play up at Solitude Resort. We got the call while we were at church... Mike's brother invited us up to stay at a condo with them.
We literally threw some clothes in a bag and left. Left dishes in the sink... the kitchen counter a mess... kids ripped their dresses off... we grabbed all our snow gear and we jumped in the truck.
Mike kept saying "This is so impromptu!" Which kept making me laugh!
We stayed in the Powderhorn Lodge. They got 25 inches of snow in two days. The condo was amazing, snuggling up by the fire. Visiting with Greg and Anita... and enjoying the snowfall and white mountains from a nice warm lodge! Homemade soup and rolls, pancake breakfast, and warm grilled cheese sand-o's.

Monday morning we woke up to sunshine and knee-deep snow. We took the kids out sledding. It was so much fun! I absolutely hate the cold... so this was the first time I've been out in the snow with the kids for... maybe 9 years?!! In fact, I believe the last time I went sledding I got the name 'Tink'. (I won't elaborate on it any further... but let's just say it was not my best day)

The fun of it was that 'knee-deep' for Mike and I meant shoulder and waist deep for the girls. There was SO MUCH snow it was crazy! I think the most snow I ever seen.

The girls had a hilarious time with uncle Greg. Lexi picked a fight and got whitewashed... then she got him back. The girls were flying off snow jumps and landing face first in the snow. At one point Greg got sprayed with snow so badly that all the hairs on his face were dusted white. Eyebrows... stubble... everything! Sophie said "It's Santa!!!"

We made snow angels, buried each other in the snow, and the younger two girls ate it by the handfuls. Despite my absolute HATE of the cold, Mike even got me to go down on the sled!

We had a great weekend, and I'm so glad we took the opportunity to enjoy some family time together. I love that we are getting closer to Mike's family and building relationships that I treasure!
"You never know what life is like, until you have lived it."
Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What the hell

"Ever notice how 'What the hell' is always the right answer?"
- Marilyn Monroe

Funny how depending on where you put the emphasis on the phrase "What the hell?" it can mean two totally different things. Isn't that true about most of life... depending on where you put the emphasis it's a whole different story.

I feel like the last couple years of my life have been full of decisions. It's been overwhelming at times, and I feel like no matter the decision... it's wrong. I've noticed that the more I care about things... the more I get hurt. The more I invest, or the more I want something... the greater the disappointment.
I'd like to say that I get most everything I want. I don't. I'd love to say that I set goals and usually achieve them. Nope. I also would like to say that I don't put trust in people who I shouldn't. Well... I do that too.
I'm finding that as I get older, I'm learning acceptance. I think maybe I'm learning not to care. Not to expect so much... from myself or others. That way... when I actually accomplish something it comes as a great surprise!
I struggle with my 'follow through'. I have great intentions, and I give it EVERYTHING I've got... for about 5 minutes. (No! a little longer than that) I want immediate results... I want to achieve my goal right when I want it. I struggle with say... endurance.
I think that to approach something with "what the hell?" Is probably my solution. I don't need to analyze it... get scared about it... try and change it... or even let it consume more of my thoughts than necessary.
Oprah (yes... I'm using her as a reference) said that she "doesn't get angry anymore". Now granted... if I were Oprah I would probably not have to get angry about much. But I thought about what a great idea it would be to just "not get angry"... just not allow it.
I think I could still feel sad, disappointed, frustrated... but what if I just took angry out of my emotional options?

Then there's "What the hell?" in response to things I've been faced with where I honestly think "How did I get in this situation?". I recently experienced some things with a group of "friends" that just made me angry. Angry is a polite way of expressing how I felt. I have a real problem when religion finds it's way into places it doesn't belong. Or when people use their authority in the church to try and control things they don't have any business in. An even bigger struggle I have is when petty matters of insecure women become.... Anyways... not the point... At first I was really ticked-off. I fumed just thinking about it. However, I've really tried to keep my feelings to myself, venting my disappointment to some people outside of the group, but trying not the 'stir the pot'.
It surprises me how quickly I can get over something like that if I just remove it from my life. I found myself so upset about it... but it was what it was. There was no changing what happened. It's not the first time I've had to deal with the unique and often confusing culture I choose to live in. Instead of festering in my anger ... I really just felt shocked, disappointed, saddened, and then just walked away from it.

Similar to hurtful relationships in my family. I just distance myself from the situation... and in the long run I end up on the other side, feeling sad for people who still hang on to stuff they don't need to.
I've carried my share of emotional baggage. It's held me back, it's made me angry, it's gotten me in trouble, it's prevented me from doing things I'd like to do. I think in a lot of ways it's caused me unnecessary pain.
I'm going to try to no longer do things I don't want to do. I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not... or let unimportant things affect me. This week, my visiting teachers came over and I didn't need to have my house spotless! I delegated out everything for the class party I was in charge of, and didn't apologize for anything. I was honest about not socializing with people who piss me off. On Sunday, I took two kids to their parents, instead of getting angry about the situation in my Primary class. And guess what?... since Monday the 7th... I've lost 10 pounds. That's 10 pounds in 10 days.

It was so much easier to control what I eat when I wasn't trying to control everything else. But what the hell do I know? I'm just on my way on my handbasket.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small girl in a big world

"I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love."
Marilyn Monroe

My lil' Sofa Loaf. She's more like me than I realize sometimes... our personalities are too alike at times... hence the clash of two strong and opinionated people! I always tell people "the things that make her difficult at times... are the things that I love about her!" She's often all over the place, but I steal the moments of her sweet and soft side. (because I don't get to have them when I want them... only when she's in the mood to give it to me.)

I'm one of those parents who truly wants to know how my child is behaving. I know how my kids behave when I'm around, my fear is how they behave when I'm not there. Sophie's so strong-willed and I don't know how she does with other authority figures.

Sophie has some funny things about her. One of them, she does not see a difference between age or gender. She will speak to a 6 year-old girl the same way she speaks to a 60 year-old man. Recently our ward changed the location of the Primary room. She walked into the room... now being used for Elder's Quorum... walked right to the front of the room, and with an almost disgusted face said "Ummm... what are you guys doing in here?!" she stared at them all and shook her head "I don't know what's going on!" She promptly walked out in the hall and started asking another adult what was going on.

I help in her school class every other week, and see her interacting with the kids. Her teacher said she hasn't had problems with her... but I'm not sure I always believe her.

I spoke with a friend on the phone who told me a story someone told her who witnessed Sophie at her best. Apparently she and another little girl were sticking their tongues out at each other. It went back and forth a couple times... until Sophie had enough! She just got up... walked over to the little girl and licked her face. WHAT??!!!!

So I've always wanted honest feedback from Sophie's teachers... and I definitely got what I asked for last week!

I came in to help and noticed Sophie wasn't there. Her teacher told me that she had gone into the 'special needs' class. Apparently they take a few kids in there each week to help the children with needs have interaction with other Kindergartner's. It was Sophie's week, and her teacher said she likes it and had done it before.

After helping for a bit I see Sophie and a few other kids come in with the teacher of the other class. The teacher walked over to Sophie's teacher and is whispering something to her. I see Sophie's teacher smile, cover her mouth in shock... and I just knew they were talking about Sophie. Sure enough Ms Palmer motions for me to come over.
I went over and Sophie's teacher asks the other teacher to tell me what she had just said. Sophie's teach prefaces it with "You'll think this is funny."

The 'special needs' teacher proceeds to tell me how Sophie was asking why one child couldn't talk. Apparently they were trying to tell her "he hadn't learned yet" and she kept responding with "I don't get it" which of course she says with attitude. Sophie then said "So he's just like a big BABY?!" Then the teacher tells me how rude" Sophie is.
I was a bit taken back... but then she started a sentence with "If she were my child..." and it hit me that she had NO IDEA I was Sophie's mother. Ms. Palmer quickly interrupted her and started defending Sophie. She said "If you knew Sophie..." and "That's just Sophie's personality" and I could tell she felt horrible.
I called Sophie over and explained that Sophie was very "blunt" and also used the word "brash". (offensively bold) I explained to Sophie that saying the child was a "baby" was not nice. She was asking why the child couldn't talk... and literally was asking if he was a big baby.
Of course I cried all the way home. It was exactly what I asked for... I've always asked as she is doing.

At parent-teacher Conference I brought up a few concerns. It worries me that with the school year half over, she doesn't know the names of kids in her class. I noticed after seeing a few kids in her class outside of school, and asking her "who is that?" She responds "someone in my class"
Ms. Palmer said I was right, she points to people or says "Hey you". And she confirmed that it's not normal.

It's as if she cannot 'connect' with people. She also has become obsessed with funny little routines. If someone is leaving the house, there is a 'goodbye' routine. And OH MY GOSH! If for any reason she is not able to do it... or heaven forbid someone leave without telling her... she freaks out!

She has things she does to comfort herself. Sometimes she rocks back and forth. She is very literal... and needs everything explained to her. She's extremely independent, stubborn, and strong-willed. Her fuse is super short and she is quick to anger. She really struggles with some different things.

So with her neuroglogical issues when she was little, she was given 'behavioral therapy'. I understood the importance of physical therapy, but I didn't like the therapist for her behavioral therapy. I didn't do what I should have. I worry that I didn't give her what she needed.

I don't know if her issues early on are in any way connected to her issues now. But I spoke with her Dr. about my concerns. She is overdue for a MRI, and he wants to follow-up on her Chiari (a rare abnormality at the base of the brain that results in brain issue extending into the spinal canal) So she will go to Primary's tomorrow for that. Then we meet with the Neurosurgeon a week from tomorrow.

I'm not really worried about her Chiari, she has not shown physical signs of problems. But I guess it's nice to know if it has grown, or how much.
After that, we will start working on 'behavioral' issues. I know as a mother... my concerns are exaggerated by the desire for her to be happy and healthy. I'm not ready to settle with a blanket statment of "that's just her personality".
She has taught me more than I would ever think I could learn about parenting. Just when I think I know what I'm doing with her, it stops working. I know it will be a process... and I know that her feeling 'unconditionally loved' will be the best medicine I can give her.

I just love my little Sof. She makes me laugh at least once a day. She's a blessing in my life, and a spark of excitement in our family! Love her.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy LOVE Day

So I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's... but I'm also not the bitter people who think it's a "stupid holiday made-up by retailers". I think that if there is a day to celebrate love... that's kinda nice! No need to get angry about it.

Love comes in all forms. I love lots of people... my family, friends, people I'm close to... but I also love the woman who invented Spanx and the strangers who return lost wallets. I really think there is a way to love almost everyone for one reason or another. ("almost everyone" I said)

I'm 'in love' with lots of wonderful things that make my life easier. Clorox wipes, the garage door opener in my car, Dyson... (the weird guy who's apparently dedicated his life to blah, blah, SUCTION, blah) cell phones, laptops, wireless internet, remote controls, my dishwasher, super capacity dryers, clothes that have a little stretch to them, MAC makeup, and I've yet to meet a shoe store I didn't love. Those are just a few things I love.

It does warm my heart to say that my husband is my best friend. We have been through 13 years together. There has been easy times, and harder times. We were both so young, it feels like we've 'grown-up' together. I'm thankful we've found ways to grow together and not apart. We are just about as different as two happily married people can possibly be. Our differences have been a challenge along the way... but no deal-breakers.

'Love' doesn't seem like the right way to describe how I feel about Mike, simply because there is so much more than 'love' that I feel.

Happy Valentine's to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that I love! But especially to my best friend... who happens to have my heart.

"The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead"
-Marilyn Monroe

Monday, February 7, 2011

Perfection is so overrated!

Some of my most favorite quotes ever... come from Marilyn Monroe. It may seem a bit strange, but the woman was smart... smarter than anyone gives her credit for. I may just base all my next few post in dedication to her, maybe that will be my theme for February. She said...

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring"

I don't think I would label myself as a 'perfectionist', but there are certain aspects of my life I do expect perfection. I've realized that in seeking such perfection, I tend to miss the lessons I should be learning from my mistakes and failures.
I get so down on myself, and mad at myself for not meeting my expectations, that I miss what it is I could have learned from my failure. Which is why I think I make the same mistake over and over.
The biggest area of my life where I think this is happening, has to do with my body! My body and my personality! I feel it's easier to control the things around me... but not so easy to make myself as perfect as I think I should be. I'm trying to come to terms with what it is I can... and can't change about myself. Just some of my imperfections...

My pinky fingers are 'freakishly' too small (makes it really hard to play the piano)
I never learned all my times tables, have to use my fingers
I also struggle with addition
I have adult acne
My ankles are super thick... I've yet to find an anklet to fit
I overeat... I feed my emotions
No matter how much weight I lose, I'm built... bigger bones, broad shoulders, and muscular legs
My ears are too small (and I'm not sure they grow)
I don't have toenails on my pinky toes... I paint the little lump on it, and the skin where my nail should be
I have stretch marks from the back of my knees up to my neck
I've never been able to float
I have thin hair, and paper thin fingernails
I can't say the word 'specific' or 'aluminum' without really concentrating
I have a hard time asking for help, a really hard time

I could go on and on! So I think I've spent way too long not liking things about myself. When the truth is... I must accept the flaws that I can't change, and change the flaws I can't accept.
There are flaws about myself that I can work on... things I can change. But there things that bother me, and I have no control over them!
I feel like at 31 years-old, maybe it's time to come to terms with the fact that many of these things will never change... no matter how badly I want them to. Instead... I should be focusing my energy on the things that will make me a happier person. Turning some of the flaws into just unique things that make me who I am.
I am built with bigger bones, broad shoulders and a muscular frame. This has always bothered me... always. I know my feelings won't change overnight, but I think that working out... specifically lifting weights... makes me feel good about myself. I am strong! I can build muscle like nobody's business. If I embrace that fact, focusing on how good it makes me feel to be strong... than I think that I will love my body more. Rather than suffering on the treadmill... because that's what all the skinny girls do, so I think it will make me look like them! Granted, I may turn into this...No! I wouldn't!
But I think I would have a much better body image, and I would feel better!
So this week, I'm not beating myself up for all the things I shouldn't have eaten... I'm going to celebrate the good choices I make! I may have had a few pieces of candy yesterday, but I got in my fruit and veggie servings!... and that's a hard one for me.
KT Tunstall's song 'Under the Weather' has one of my favorite lines...

"You say you feel like a natural person
you haven't got nothing to hide.
So why do you feel imperfection
cut like a sword in your side?"

I think there is a lot of beauty and wisdom in this world that is overlooked because it is not considered perfect. What makes us all interesting... and unique... is that we are not perfect. I don't need to try and keep my house as clean as my friend's, or look as good as my neighbor, or be as good of a Mom as a woman on TV. I have somehow determined that as perfection. Instead... I will be who I am... imperfections included. I will try to realize that some of those imperfections are who I am, how God made me, and let them go.
I will try to learn from my mistakes, not being upset that I'm not perfect, but maybe reevaluating what I am expecting. Being more realistic, and working on the things that I can change.