Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day

the scouts put a flag in our front yard today...

In 2003 I went to Arlington Cemetery.


Mom was in the hospital...of course.

There is a very special feeling at that place. So quiet and reverent. I understood more clearly what freedom meant as I walked passed all those hundreds of hundreds of graves. I remember my heart feeling very full and feeling grateful for all those who believed in this great country ...enough to die for it.

It was a very spiritual experience for me.

If you ever go to Washington D.C.- you have to make it to Arlington- far better than the lame White House.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

operation home

This dresser was free.

It was on the lawn across the street with a "free" sign.

I love "free" signs.

When Chay and I moved into our home we were without a dresser- so the free dresser, ugly, but free dresser came in handy for the first 3 years we have lived here. It was beaten up pretty bad...

but friends like Tiffani and Janna seemed to like the dresser when they saw it- that confused me because it was so "motel" to me.- you know modern 70's.

But straight lines have grown on me. Tiffani suggested I paint the dresser. I just wanted to get rid of it. But Since I already had all the primer and paint to paint it- I kept it. The hardware was about $16 dollars. Turned out lovely I think. Obviously not a perfect paint job- but we are learning. It's at least nice to practice on free furniture, right?.

We put it downstairs in the guest/baby room...which is still in the works...

I got the mirror at a thrift store for $10. It was hanging in our bathroom downstairs for a year or so. It's a rather large mirror and I hung it over the toilet...the wrong way- vertically not's just say Chay didn't like using that bathroom very much- he wasn't used to watching himself pee...I personally thought it was hilarious. Chay gladly took the mirror down from above the toilet and spray painted it white for me- and hung it up over the dresser...on Mother's day in fact. That was thoughtful of him.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

baby blanket

I finally finished sewing a baby blanket I started like 6 months ago.

A while back I came to the realization that I really didn't have anything for a baby "boy". So I ventured off to make a warm flannel batted blanket- thinking I could just throw it together. Well since I don't have any natural sewing skills, a loving grandma around, or a mommy for that matter, I resorted to YouTube to teach me. Bad idea.

I am convinced that learning to quilt and sew needs to be a woman to woman "time-together" event- YouTube wasn't all that satisfying or memorable.

The blanket I made almost brought tears during the process because I was messing up so bad on it- but by the end I was laughing so hard at all the mistakes and so I eventually surrendered to the flaws and simply said, "this stupid blanket is at least made with love, not perfection, but with love...and some freezing child in Russia would love this thing because it is heavy and warm." Plus Chay said it was an "awesome" blanket.

I'll take awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Julia has been binky-free for 24 hours now. holy smokes is this really happening????

Ju-ju is addicted to the binky like I am addicted to sugar. Both have to go.

You see, the binky fairy was supposed to come and take it away like 2 months ago but I didn't have the stamina, heart, will-power, the courage to take it away. It was on my "to-do" list but I just sort of freaked out just thinking about not sleeping through the night again before the baby even comes...and I wasn't sure how my little Ju-ju would do without her number one source of security. But together Julia and I have had several conversations about "saying goodbye" to the binky. She knew it was coming. I even made up a song about a binky that went bye bye...

it goes like this:

"there once was a binky that said bye bye
it made ju ju sad, it made her cry
but Mommy gave lots of love
and the binki fairy left a surprise
and everything's alright...everything's alright"

I know pathetic, but in the eyes of a 2 year old- it helped a lot.

Well Julia chewed a huge hole in her last binky yesterday. It was julia who said it was "broken" and that she didn't need a Binky anymore.


She didn't nap yesterday but fell right to sleep at bedtime at 6:45.
She didn't nap again today crying "I can't sleep...I want my binky" but at 7 tonight she was fast asleep- without one whimper of needing her binky.

I have noticed she is a lot more cuddly now and wants to be held...which is fine with me. It is hard to pass up a snuggle from a 2 year old anyway.

Oh isn't it crazy that something so silly like a pacifier can result in being a life crisis to a toddler...and to a mother???

becoming what you believe

Here is a nice quote of hope:

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it. I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 20, 2010

healing segment- sugar

Please read:

Researchers at Princeton University report that sugar-loving mice demonstrate all three criteria of addiction: increased intake, withdrawal, and cravings that lead to relapse. Previous work has shown that mice deprived of food for several hours and then allowed to binge on sugar water (with concentrations similar to that of soft drinks) soon developed addictive behaviors. Sugar intake causes the release of dopamine in the brain, a reward chemical. After a month of sugar binging and increased dopamine levels, the rats' brains developed fewer dopamine receptors and more opioid receptors--changes similar to those observed in mice on cocaine and heroine. When their sugar supply was suddenly cut off, the mice exhibited signs of withdrawal, including teeth-chattering, anxiety, and refusing to leaving their tunnels. The latest research showed that when these mice were offered sugar once again, they worked harder to attain it and consumed more than ever. (Discover magazine, December 2008)

wow isn't that interesting?

oh my, am I like these mice???, except I refuse to leave my tunnel when I eat sugar more so than when I go without for awhile...not so much teeth chattering, but I do feel anxious. I feel the most depressed and irritable when I am consuming sugar. I hurt the worse the next morning after having too much sugar the night before.- and yet I keep returning to sugar for that little "lift me up" to get through the day- Like one vicious cycle.

sugar sugar sugar...just you wait- you are going DOWN!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

sleeping children

What is it with children when they sleep? They suddenly turn into these magical perfect little angels sent from heaven who could do no wrong.

I mean let's be honest all parents love it when their child is asleep for the night. I don't know what it is- instant relief? peace, quiet...all of the above?

I know that at least with me when the kids are asleep I am rest assured that I can't do anything wrong for the next 10 hours or so that will catch me in a bad mommy moment- they are ASLEEP, they are in a different world, they are doing exactly what they should be doing- I have no reason to yell, ignore, complain, or gripe at them.

But funny enough- when they ARE finally sound asleep, I can't seem to leave them alone. One of my favorite things to do is to go into the girl's room every hour or so and watch them and rub their soft cheeks. I usually pray for them during this time.

My girls look so dang innocent when they're asleep. Their skin is flushed- long eyelashes- perfect lips. Heaven feels so close. I swear every mom and dad recommits to being a better parent when they watch their children sleep. It's like something slaps you over the head "Look how incredibly special they are!"

Friday, May 14, 2010


As I was getting out of the shower I noticed Kenzie and Julia were waiting by the bathroom door, wanting to take a bath. They beg to take baths every day. I hope that lasts into the adolescent years. Well the bathing part...not necessarily bathing together...that would be weird.

Anyway, I noticed Kenzie staring at my big pregnant body. She then kindly said to me, "Mom, you look like Ursula...on the the Little Mermaid."

oh could I hear anything more such a big and awkward time in my life?

It gets worse...

Kenzie then continued to say, "like when Ursula shakes her boobs and says "body language!!!!"

"what on earth?"

The clip from the movie instantly came to my mind. Obese Ursula singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls" Her words, "You'll have your looks, your pretty face, and never underestimate the power of BODY LANGUAGE!" And then Ursula goes about to turn around and shake her overly enormous booty for us all to enjoy. Earlier in the song she flatters us with jiggling her breasts center screen until all we see is her cleavage.

ok Disney, seriously?

I will admit that Ursula is one of my most favorite Disney characters. She is so fun to quote on a normal basis- but not so fun when I actually look like her- in the eyes of a 4 year old anyway.

For those who don't see me often and wonder how "cute" I look at almost 8 months pregnant- here is a video to give you a heads up of what you're not missing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

april unplugged- beware

I wish I had more of a back bone...Although I tend to have a strong opinion about things- I'm really a softy when it comes right down to it. I might harp and complain about being mistreated- but those who know me well enough- know to read right through it and rarely take my feelings all too seriously.

I'm more mad at myself than anyone for being this way.

I have a hard time deciding what's most important in my life. Well obviously God is...but I guess trying to figure out what He knows is best for me is where I struggle.

I am learning that I can focus really well on one thing at a time...but 3 or 4 things? I'm a complete mess. I was a really good student at the end of my college career, because I only worried about myself and all other areas of my life beside school were always falling apart it seemed. But my last semester in college I landed a 4.0, aced my finals despite early labor pains, and welcomed Kenzie into the world the very next day.

I think the most sane part of my life was during my stay at the Missionary Training Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For the first time in my life, every minute of my day was planned for me. I knew when I was going to study, go to class, eat, sleep, even write in my journal-. Food was provided by the cafeteria so eating seconds was out of the question. Gym time was 3-4 times a week. I went to bed at 9:30 every night, I was studying the scriptures and having many spiritual experiences, I was with lovely people all day...I remember just feeling so whole and complete. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, I was on a rigid schedule, and I was so so very content.

Sometimes I wish an angel would appear every morning and tell me exactly what to do each day.

I don't know how to budget very well and getting out of debt seems like the impossible dream. Eating healthy and getting my family on board...again the impossible feat. Being a proactive parent, finishing projects- each one of these things take ALL of me. I don't know how to divide up the day. I am a complete mess. And honestly, I am alone in all these efforts. So another thing on my to-do list: get family members to somehow feel the same way as I do about certain family goals.

If I just concentrate on one goal- the rest of my life would go to shambles. Yet when I concentrate on more than one life goes to shambles. And I get frustrated with myself and I just want a spoonful of marshmallow cream and hide under the covers all day.

I try to figure out what is most important....most days I swear it is health...but then when it's time to buy groceries or pay for my gym membership I start to think that getting out of debt is more important...or when I drop my girls off at the gym daycare and they scream bloody murder I start to think that I need to spend more quality time with my kids. I hear those words of guilt, "They are only young once" I walk into the house and see it's a mess and how it needs new carpet and then I start to say that the home is the most important and that I need to focus on saving money to fix it up and follow a cleaning schedule...I can not function if there isn't any function. I go crazy. If the house is out of order, I am out of order- checked out in a flurry. I need a place for everything- and yet I am always dealing with piles and backed-up "to-do" lists and too much clutter.

going to the gym, eating healthy, budgeting, order in the home, being a good mom and wife- these things do not come easy for me- they're all so life consuming. I so wish that I was normally healthy and strong, mothering came easy with all the perfect words of kindness, that money wasn't always such an issue, organization was second nature- I wish I had these things already in tack so I could enjoy the better part of life- to just sit down and make something, go on a hike, call up a friend and hang out- without feeling overwhelmed about how I can't find anything, how tired I am, how slow I am at learning new things.

Every day I wake up feeling overly stressed about the day because every little task is so hard. Even getting out of bed puts me in a bad mood. I hurt everywhere in the morning.

Sometimes these frustrations get me really moody and I feel like I'm ready to explode. I feel I just give give give and fulfil everyone's needs but mine- and then I feel selfish for thinking so.

Sometimes I am sick of being the supportive one, the one willing to change, the patient one, the strong example, the motivator, the bill payer, the budgeter, the cook, the advisor, the house cleaner, the teacher...sometimes I just want to do things for just me...but I feel the load is too essential to give up and all will crumble if I become too lenient. But if I was to do something just for me, I already know I wouldn't be able to figure out what it is I need to do for myself! I know serving others is supposed to make me happy???? AHHHHH I feel like I do that all day! I know its a privilege to be a mother and wife, but I can't figure out the balance.

I think throwing off the guilt plague might help a lot. Anyone have a vaccine/remedy?

Growing up I didn't dream of that perfect wedding or holding children. I didn't care about making bread from scratch or sewing curtains. Now I think about these things...and unfortunately I'm a little behind. The desire is there but the skills are lacking.

It makes me sad. I feel trapped with my feelings. I am so tired. I know I'm not right physically. How can I handle everyday life if it's painful to walk and I'm exhausted.

I really wish I could go to a 2 week recapture health place...a place to detox, sleep, exercise...a place where kids aren't begging for toast and butter and peanut butter jelly sandwiches. A place where husbands don't eat pizza and oreos for dinner. A place of solitude and escape from every day life. I don't even want people I know to be at this place. A place where I wake up and no one needs me- no meals to cook, no groceries to buy, no books to check out or return, no story time, no night's sleep interupted, no paper route, no bills to pay, no lesson to teach, no laundry to fold, no time-outs or sending girls to the corner, no arguments, no whining, no tight uncomfortable clothes, no butts to wipe, no house to fix up, no calendar, no motorcycles, no sugar, no matching socks or missing shoes to find, no counters to wipe, no feelings of being used or taken advantage of, no worrying ...just for 2 weeks...maybe 3 weeks.

I think I need a break.

I think I just need to go to bed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

trusting trials

Many of you are inspired by Nie Nie's story. For those of you who aren't aware- Stephanie Nielson, a mother of 4, was in a plane wreck with her husband about 2 years ago. They both survived but most of Stephanie's body was burned in the wreck. Stephanie blogs about her experience.

I love this video. Heavenly Father really knows what he is doing with us...despite the trials that come our way, we are loved and watched over by Him. Some of our greatest trials will bring us closer to Him, if we but choose to allow Him to work miracles in our lives.


Monday, May 03, 2010


Today 3 special people in my life are celebrating their birthdays- May 2nd- what a big day! Jaynee, Pat, and Stan. We are talking about 3 top of the list forever treasured friends. Happy Birthday you guys. I love you so much.

30 things that make me happy

1. My relationship with God
2. the smell of mod podge
3. touching my babies' skin
4. marmalade- my grandma loved marmalade jam also
5. zip lock bags and storage containers
6. my girls snacking on avocados and cucumbers
7. music
8. 70 degree sunshine weather
9. doing what I know I should be doing
10. Taking naps with Kenzie- I love to snuggle with that girl.
11. butter mints at weddings
12. finding a good deal
13. funniest home videos
14. when Chay gets home
15. feeling healthy, having energy
16. driving alone in Chay's car with music really loud
17. helping when I am really needed
18. nature, scenery, mountains, trails, trees, peace
19. putting on brand new socks
20. being with people I love and trust and knowing they feel the same about me
21. Malcolm in the Middle and Scrubs
22. older folks who are pure, wise, and make evident they have lived a good life
23. going to the temple
24. swinging
25. looking at house plans
26. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
27. garage sales and thrift stores
28. a clean functional house
29. remembering Mom's laugh...she had this contagious wheeze thing when she laughed.
30. reminiscing and re-telling college stories with Emily