August 13th, 2014

moments

Don’t go blonde, and don’t suddenly forget the password to your blog. You won’t be able to log in. Noted.

I have wrinkles. I didn’t before and now I do. Suddenly. A couple of days ago I was cleaning the kitchen and picked up the waffle iron. While I was moving it, I glanced at my reflection and noticed them: wrinkles around my eyes. Later I double checked with a mirror, still there. Age happens slowly and yet all at once.

I have two toddlers; two little people who both want to be in charge. There are a lot of fits, tears, crumbs on the floor, late nights, wee mornings. Going anywhere seems like a major production. And yet, in the calm moments that always come and they’re playing, giggling, reading and singing to each other, I just want to freeze them. Don’t grow, please don’t grow. I dread the days when my hands will be empty of the little fingers tugging me on.

Earlier this week Lilly insisted that I watch “Rozen” with her. I sat with her curled up on my lap with her fingers in her hair. Don’t grow, please don’t grow. Can’t she always fit perfectly nestled in my lap?

At bedtime, again she’s cuddled in my lap with her fingers in her hair. I feel her body relax as she falls asleep. I feel her breath on my face. Don’t grow, please don’t grow.

I listen to endless stories of dragons, planes, fires, vehicles and superheroes. David’s always excited about something, and always has something to share. To say. Don’t grow, please don’t grow.

David called to me with a whisper from his bed as I walked out of their room. I knelt by his bed, “Don’t leave yet, you didn’t kiss me goodnight!” Don’t grow, please don’t grow.

David played with Legos for the first time over the weekend. Hours and hours of playing, building, demolishing and staging. It was the beginning of a new chapter for him as he goes from toddler to kid. So fun to watch, and yet, so hard to accept. Don’t grow, please don’t grow.

I know there are so many fun, important things to look forward to. It’s so rewarding to see their faces as they discover something new and exciting to them. When they learn new things and go new places. I know growing up is literally the point of life, but can’t it take a little longer?

March 21st, 2014

high five for friday

I’ve read that Some E-Card (probably pinned on Pinterest or posted on Facebook) that goes, “I’m so glad it’s Friday! Oh wait, I’m a mom.” I feel that way a lot — the weekends don’t really mean much because they’re basically the same as every other day, but on the other hand, I do have to admit that Fridays do have a different feeling and pace. Friday is just a special day of the week.

Five “highs” from today, so far:

  • I went to the gym this morning, marking 3 total trips this week. My buns (legs, arms, neck) are sorer than sore, but it feels good.
  • I finally broke down and did some chores I’ve been putting off. Huzzah!
  • Lilly is talking! She’s been for a while, but it makes me so so SO happy every single day.
  • Lilly went potty in the toilet 5 days in a row this week! We haven’t been successful today, but there’s still time…
  • David still says “thank you” for his birthday presents (and lists them) in his prayers. He’s such a sweet reminder of gratitude and appreciation for the simple things.

Here’s a virtual high five for each of you. Now, put a smile on your face and make today wonderful.

January 30th, 2014

10 things I learned: in the last week

number1The kids play better when I’m not close by. If I’m just outside of their sight or around the corner, my kids play way better together; they have to work out their own issues and no one can come running to me about the slightest offense.

numberJust bring all your important documents to the DMV. We went to be licensed in California last week and discovered, after driving 45 minutes to the DMV, that I needed my birth certificate and marriage license–we rummaged through all of our documents several times before leaving and I couldn’t help but feel like we should have just shoved the whole file in the car.

number3I need to trust myself more when driving. I’ve talked about my driving before, but as it turns out, my gut is sometimes right and I would save myself some annoyance following that gut.

number4In order to have a “balanced” life, you have to make some sacrifices. I’ve learned this lesson again and again, and will probably need it again later, too. A truly ‘balanced’ life is never split 50% what you want to do and 50% what you have to do; it’s mostly what you have to do sprinkled with what you want to do, so make it good sprinkles.

number5Time flies even when you’re not having fun. One day last week I looked at the clock and it was 3:12 in the afternoon, and I had an overwhelming realization that I hadn’t accomplished very much at all. Where do the days go?

number6There is goodness and kind people everywhere. It seems like there is a lot of focus in our lives (media, social networks, etc) on the negative parts of life, government, current events. I find it more and more important for me to dwell on the GOOD things that are all around us if we’d just turn off the negative.

n7Even when I’m not with my kids, I’m still a mom. I have nothing else to say about this.

 

n8Cleaning doesn’t stick. I know it should be obvious and I should have accepted it long ago, but I’m still disappointed when I seem to turn around and everything is messy again. Didn’t I just clean that?

n9Bedtime goes better with some quiet music. Sometimes bedtime can be this drawn out process with a lot of crying and me barking orders, as it turns out, if we just turn on some quiet music, the kids calm down a lot faster and are much more cooperative.

n10David’s attention span is longer when he’s getting paid. We started giving David little “jobs” to do to earn money so he could go to the Dollar Store and pick stuff out. I’ve been really impressed with his willingness to stick with a job for long periods of time in order to finish it and get his dime. He’s one hardworking dude.

 

 

January 27th, 2014

my somethings

something about yesterday

Yesterday was a regional conference for our church. Due to having two young children I usually don’t look forward to these types of meetings because I don’t feel like I get much out of them (because I’m in a wrestling match while everyone else is listening). However, yesterday I heard just what I needed to hear, despite the kids.

something I do well

Play. I really like to play and I think I’m good at it. I like to play anything: games, “pretend,” with toys.

something about my childhood

I had a divinely happy childhood full of love, games, and lots of playing, building and dressing up with my 3 sisters and 1 brother.

something I can’t live without

Chocolate. More and more I find myself in need of chocolate. I can do without the other sweets, but chocolate seems to be the mortar that holds me together. I think I bleed chocolate.

something I listen to

A couple of weeks ago while I was traveling to Idaho with Lilly, I heard the song Homeward Bound sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I’d heard the song many times before, but for some reason it just resonates with something in my soul right now. It really hits me deep.

In the quiet misty morning, when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing and the sky is clear and red,
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming, when the corn is past its prime,
When adventure’s lost its meaning, I’ll be homeward bound in time.

Bind me not to the pasture. Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.

If you find it’s me you’re missing, if you’re hoping I’ll return,
To your thought I’ll soon be list’ning; in the road I’ll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing as my journey nears its end,
And the path I’ll be retracing when I’m homeward bound again.

Bind me not to the pasture. Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.

In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing, I’ll be homeward bound again.

January 23rd, 2014

10 things I learned: being raised by Super Woman

We call her “Mom” but her real name is Super Woman. She does it all: shuttles kids, class parties, birthday parties, field trips, can build homes and everything else, caters elaborate dinners, survived cancer without so much as batting an eye, moved 20+ times in her married life, solves all the problems and still manages to stay sane. I’ve learned a lot and still counting.

number1Every super woman has her vice. No one can do everything perfectly. For my mom it was her ironing basket that sat under the ironing board (still does). While she spent several hours ironing every week for my dad, she never really got to the other things in the basket. I’m pretty sure there’s still a dress from when I was 13 in the basket, and that’s okay. Her other vice is Diet Pepsi.

Untitled2If you’re going to laugh about it anyway, you might as well laugh about it now. Take a picture, have a laugh and move on. She reminds me of this often and I’m able to sigh and move on.

number3The magic ingredient for any problem is elbow grease (and a dash of positive thinking). My mother knows something about everything and a hard worker, therefore no problem is a problem for long. The only thing I haven’t seen my mom fix is a car. She never gives up and never assumes she can’t do something.

number4It’s okay to break the rules sometimes. Often on my mom’s “hard days” (they even come for Super Woman), instead of getting after us, she’d let us eat dinner in the basement in front of a rented movie. Other times, when she knew one of us was having a rough patch, she’d let that one ‘ditch’ for a day alone with her, smoothies, playing, or hot chocolate and wrapping super-secret Christmas presents.

number5In order to be a mom you have to have a way to wind down. She’s a wise woman: she has scheduled herself her own time every single day she can spare. Sometimes just a few moments, sometimes a whole afternoon–dedicated to doing what SHE wants. She makes up for her ultra-busy days with calm and quiet ones enjoying herself without guilt.

number6Being a good mom means always being in your kids’ ‘corner of the ring.’ Even now as an adult, I know that no matter what circumstances I find myself, my mom is always on my side; no matter whose “fault” something was, she was always there to defend me (and everyone else) and still is.

n7“Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” She’s always saying that. Instead of getting overwhelmed thinking of EVERYTHING you need to do/face, break it down into pieces and handle one piece (“bite”) at a time starting with the most unpleasant and “working your way up.”

n8You can never serve too much. I can’t number the times I’ve been with my mother after a wretchedly long day serving other people, sitting in ‘her’ chair with swollen ankles and dry hands about to rest when the phone would ring and someone would need her help. She’d put on her shoes and go to work. Always.

n9It’s not official unless there is food being served; no meeting, gathering, family event is happening without food. Good food.There is ALWAYS food.

n10Families eat together. Period. My mom moved mountains so we could eat dinner as a family as often as humanly possible; she firmly believes that eating together is the glue that holds families together.

January 20th, 2014

my favorite DIY body scrub recipes

DIY scrub

If for some reason you live under a rock and haven’t tried body scrub, you simply must. I like it on my legs and feet the best: it makes them so fantastically smooth and soft. There are a lot of good body scrubs you can buy from the store, but they’re $15+ a pop. I’m all for splurging on things from time to time, but I can think of a lot of other things to spend $15 on if I can make body scrub with ingredients in the pantry.

Body scrubs are fast and EASY to make. I use the recipes more as a base, sometimes adding more or less of an ingredient until I get an consistency I like (e.g. more or less oily). As far as which oils you use, the best ones are coconut, almond, and grapeseed because of their high vitamin E content (I wait for coupons or sales and buy them up). If you don’t have those, use olive or mineral or baby oil.

For an ultra-moisturizing version, try

Coconut Oatmeal

1 cup coconut oil
2 cups raw brown sugar
1/2 cup ground oats (dump rolled oats in a blender to grind up)

For a sweet smelling version, try

Body Wash Scrub
6 tablespoons oil
2 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons body wash/shower cream

Tips

  1. Keep accessible so you remember to use it
  2. Rinse your shower/tub thoroughly when you’re through (the extra cleanup is worth it)
  3. Use up or throw out in 3-5 weeks
January 16th, 2014

10 things I learned: soul searching in 2013

In 2013 I went on a very private journey by myself, in search of “myself.” I didn’t really talk to anyone about it or my progress or discoveries. My whole focus was being “true” to me, my true personality and canning the rest; the bulk that was filling in my life and weighing me down.

I discovered that I had lost a lot of my “happy” me and filled in with a “grown up” me. I get treated like a child on a regular basis; I look young and my upbeatness translates to youth. It drove me nuts, so I tried to act more “grown up” and do more “grown up” things.

I discovered that I need to write more. It’s my outlet and my talent, and I completely agree with this article and many others on the benefits of writing.

I discovered that my life lacked color; monochromatic clothes and no accessories. I’ve pushed myself to wear things I’m immediately drawn to because of color and then I don’t talk myself out of it because it might not be a “grown up” color.

I admitted and gave in to my life-long interest for makeup, hair, clothes. For reasons too unimportant to write about, I’d always been embarrassed to be a “girly-girl.”

I tried new things and got rid of a lot of excess (both emotional and material).

I pushed myself to be more open and honest.

I discovered that in my effort to become more of an adult I had given myself an anxiety disorder. I’m pretty sure I have mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or something very similar. I’ve done a lot of reading.

I learned to more fully share my feelings with others.

I identified a need to spend time alone. Some morning alone time does a lot for my patience and the pent-up anxiety I was just talking about.

I discovered that  I had stopped doing a lot of the things that made me, “me.” Enough of that.

 end of 2013 face

Now for 2014. My focus for the coming year is “grow.” Rather than grow up (I’m too short anyway), I’m just going to tune and expand. I’m going to read more, write more (you know, like on my blog), break bad habits and form better routines. It’s going to be a good year people. It is. About the time I’m sure I’ll breakdown because of the limbo and uncertainty we’re living right now, I’m filled with an overwhelming amount of peace and a feeling of excited anticipation. Something great is just around the corner and I’m going to face it as the best me I’ve ever been.

January 12th, 2014

please pass the “catchup”

Holy smokes! I knew it had been a while since I posted on the blog, feeling guilty I finally logged in and realized it’s been 4 MONTHS since my last post. I’m so shocked and ashamed. It’s the longest I’ve gone without posting. Yuck.

The beginning of the year is the best time to start anew, right? So here we go, a brief update on our (partially nutso) lives of the last 4 months:

  • I was writing for a writing agency for a while and enjoyed it quite a bit, though I learned a lot about how to manage my time differently since it consumed a lot of time I had been spending doing other things (mostly sewing, but also doing laundry, cooking and caring for children).
  • Short story, Matt’s current business slowed down and we saw an opportunity to branch out of the life and business started in college and check out new career paths, opportunities, etc. In the meantime, we both worked. Matt worked at his business and also for a transportation company and I got a job working evenings and saturdays for a health supplement and all-natural cleaning company. Looooonnnnng days for both of us.
  • With some spiritual intervention, Matt took a job offer to work for his dad in California and we suddenly found ourselves out of familiar, chilly Rexburg and living in sunny California (it was only 3 weeks from the time we made the decision to move until we were pulling out of Rexburg).
  • We are living in Matt’s parents’ basement “apartment” while he works for his dad and continues to look for that career opportunity we’re sure is out there and I help with projects, take care of kids and adjust to life outside western-ville.
  • The kids are just as cute as ever and Lilly is FINALLY talking (mini party going on now) and David is just as much a little dude as he’s ever been.
  • Oh, and David went to preschool for a couple months in there too. Dang it.

Seriously, I’m so behind. I might cry, but not now I have more writing to do.

 

September 9th, 2013

chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies

no bake cookies

I used to make these cookies all the time, but then stopped and kind of forgot about them. Does that ever happen to anyone else? I made them this weekend and was reminded why we used to eat them so much: they’re addicting!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

1/4 cup butter

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 cups quick oats

 

Before making the cookies lay out sheets of wax paper to drop the cookies to setup.

In a medium size sauce pan heat butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder over medium high heat. Heat the mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter until peanut butter is incorporated. Mix in oats one cup at a time, until all oats are evenly coated.

Drop heaping tablespoons on the wax paper and let setup for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

September 3rd, 2013

adulthood, one step at a time

I found my first grey hair last month.

 teeny tiny grey hair

 

Here’s my progress on becoming a full-fledged adult

Decide to suddenly start a writing “career” and apply to writing agency: check

Write for agency and get totally in-sweats-all-day swamped: check

LinkedIn profile started and completed: check

Twitter account opened: check, nothing to Tweet about yet

Install a for real calendar on my phone: check, even scheduled some things

Write an about page for blog: check

Take a break from writing and go on sewing spree: check; 5 new pillows and new doll stroller seat done, 15 fishies still in progress

Update blog: 15 drafts and climbing