Monday, December 27, 2010

The End of Christmas

I love the feeling that comes along with Christmas.  I love the twinkling lights, and the smell of Christmas trees(or Christmas tree candles-wink).  I love the fun decorations and putting up the tree.  I love the spirit of giving that fills peoples hearts.

But by the end of the month I am about done.  The tree takes up space, the decorations collect dust, the smell is dead, and people have over spent.

So today it feels good to have it all packed away and ready for next year.

"...may the spirit of love which comes at Christmastime fill our homes and our lives and linger there long after the tree is down and the lights are put away for another year." Thomas S. Monson

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Surprises of Christmas

I have a love hate relationship with surprises.  I absolutely LOVE a good surprise!  But I HATE knowing about a surprise and having to wait for it.

You know, like surprising your kids with an unlimited amount of candy and frosting right before bedtime.

And being surprised when they don't want to go down for bed.

Or yesterday when Dan told me he had a surprise that would be coming today. I pretty much created an ulcer in anticipation for what would be coming. I tried to carry on my day as if nothing would be happening, but deep down I was dying. I imagined everything from my parents flying in for Christmas, to Dan losing his job.

So you can imagine my excitement when he finally told me I would be getting a massage in just a couple hours.  The kids would be in bed, she would come to me, and it was just because I deserved it.

And I loved all 70 minutes of it.

I also loved it when Ya Ya showed up right after and we all sat down to decorate sugar cookies-my husband, my friend, and my masseuse.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Smell of Christmas

Today we got into the Christmas spirit by making sugar cookies.
Camden was so excited when I pulled out this snowman cookie cutter. For some reason he is obsessed with the idea of snow and Christmas. He is positive we will know when Christmas is here because the snow will fall. Maybe the presents on Christmas morning will distract him from the not-so-snowy ground outside.
Jace could have cared less about making anything other than a mess.  Just give the kid a cookie to eat and he is content.
I may or may not have bribed my children all day with the fact that we'd be talking with Santa himself.  This is our second visit with Mr. Claus and Jace's reaction is always the same.  He cracks me up! 
The countdown is on.
*I just noticed I put my kids in the same shirts both times we saw Santa.  That's funny, or is it embarrassing?

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Meaning of Christmas

This year Dan's mom had our Christmas gift mailed to us before December 1st.  I was completely blown away!  When I asked her how come she was so on top of things she replied... now that her kids are all grown, the magic of Christmas is no longer there.  She tries to get everything out of the way in order to focus on the true spirit of Christmas.

With that being said...My heart was torn on how to approach Christmas.  Do we focus on the birth of our Savior, or the commercial aspect?  During the last two weeks I have witnessed the magic of Christmas through Camden's eyes.  I have enjoyed the best of both worlds!

As I explained to Camden why we drop our change in the Salvation Army's red bucket, I was reminded where the spirit of Christmas meets the magic.

After watching The Polar Express, Camden and Jace found a bell on their pillow before going to bed.  The look on Camden's face was unforgettable!

I'm excited for the magic to be had on Christmas morning, and the spirit that comes along with it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Puddle Splashing 101

For the past few weeks our weather has been beautiful.  Today it drizzled most of the afternoon.
When Camden woke up from his nap he stood at the back door. Pressed his nose against the glass and talked non stop about the rain.  So I decided it was time for puddle splashing 101.
He was a little worried when I told him we didn't need our shoes and that it was ok to get wet.  His approach was timid at first, but he warmed up to the idea of getting "messy" pretty quick. 
Good times.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

He Would Admit it...

Every Christmas since I have known Dan, he has been a Scrooge.  So when he went and bought a few Christmas CD's and had them blaring on the stereo, it was a sight to behold.  To be honest...I was weirded out.  I thought he was up to something.  And here we are half way through December and he is still going strong.  I'm holding onto it and enjoying it while it lasts.

So far WE have...
Put up the tree.
Devoured way too many waffles at Ya-Ya's annual waffle extravaganza.
Read several Christmas stories.

 Attended the Light Parade. 

Went to Zoo Lights with the rest of the state.
Temple Lights were a must.
And today we made it over to see Mr. C.

This year Camden asked Santa for scissors and a computer for the Jace Man.
Jace asked for Buzz(more like I asked him if he wanted Buzz and he flipped out with excitement).

Next on our list of things to do before Christmas:
Watch The Polar Express
Decorate sugar cookies per Dan's request
Gingerbread houses per Dan's request
Hot Chocolate
Ward Christmas Party
Read Luke 2

We are counting down the days and soaking up the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm not sure why I'm allowed back at the gym.  I always do stupid things.

Like a few months ago when I walked in the men's locker room
Or last month when I attempted Zumba.
Or last Saturday when I missed the step I was trying to jump on.
And the latest and greatest happened tonight...I ran an extra 26 minutes in order to finish watching biggest Loser(haven't watch an episode in years).  It sucked me in.  And my favorite part was when I started to cry big tears that I couldn't hide.  I was so embarrassed I had to hurry and get off my machine while the last guy weighed in.

Please tell me these things happen to everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Hard to Admit

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again...all three of my boys attitudes are, in large part, affected by mine.

For the last month or so Dan and I have been exhausted with the attitudes that are raging within our home.  Although Camden and Jace are at my all time favorite stage(so far), playing, wrestling, and entertaining one another; it is also a stage with lots of attitude, arguing, and butting heads.

I have been exhausted and irritable, my patience has worn thin.

For the past three days my voice has been slowly disappearing.  Today it is gone.  And today I was once again slapped in the face with a not to subtle reminder of how my actions(and words-or lack thereof) affect others.

Today my boys have played so well together.  The house has been peaceful(other than it's a complete mess), and happy.  My boys have not thrown tantrums when asked to do or not do something.  They have not talked back to me.  They have been incredible listeners.  They have behaved and not made a scene when we've gone out.  And in fact, they have whispered...not only to me but to each other.

Growing up I always wanted to lose my voice, I thought it seemed fun.  No matter how hard I tried to yell or scream it never disappeared(to my parents dismay, I'm sure).  Now that it's happened I know it's not fun, but I am grateful for the reminder that came with it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cancer happens

My Dad has cancer.
My sister had cancer.
I hate cancer.
My sister beat cancer.
My Dad will beat cancer.
I'm gonna beat cancer to a bloody pulp.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Have you ever been lucky enough to have a group of your all time favorite people come caroling at your door?
I did tonight.  It was magical!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Putting It Out There...

I am a huge believer in the power of prayer.
I am also a believer that as humans we have problems that need answers and weaknesses that need strengthening.
I am putting my faith in a higher source of strength tonight and tomorrow in order to find certain answers and overcome recent weakness.
I am positive He will listen. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble Gobble

This year went spent Thanksgiving with some dear friends.  We told lots of funny stories, ate lots of delicious food.  Enjoyed great company, met new friends, and had pie outside by the fire.
I couldn't help but get teary eyed as we all stood around the table holding hands to say grace.  Ten people, six families,  all different phases of life.  That was a moment I'll never forget.
Camden said he was grateful for "ketchup faces on food", Jace said "cewal"(cereal), Dan said me, and I said family.
Today I woke up wishing we were in the house I grew up in.  With my mom and Nanny in the kitchen, Papa asleep on the couch, my Dad upstairs, my brothers fighting, and my sisters lying in the "digestion room".  It's hard to grow up!

I am grateful for my so-called grown up life.  I'm grateful for the relationships I have with each of my family members.  And this year I've learned to better appreciate my own family of four.  We have had to rely on each other I little bit more, and a little stronger.  I have definitely grumbled and complained a lot more this year than in years past.  But I'm hopeful I can look at those grumbles later on down the road and appreciate them.  Today I am grateful for my imperfect family, they are perfect for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's no secret

Camden's into the tattle tale phase...

Yesterday when I wouldn't allow him a third gumball to cram in his mouth he quickly responded with, "I'm gonna tell Daddy on you".
And I can't even count how many times he and Jace are having a little spat and I hear, "I'm telling" as he is running in to find me.
Last night when he should have been falling asleep he was yelling out.  And when Dan refused to give in to his antics of needing his happy T-Rex(cause the first dinosaur wasn't a T-Rex and the second was a scary T-Rex)he yelled out, "I'm gonna tell Mom".

Jace could care less by this threat.  I think it's a phase and try reminding him that nobody likes a tattle tale.  But I can see Dan gets annoyed.
So this morning while getting ready I heard him tell Dan he was gonna tell mom on him.  I quickly explained that tattling on your parents doesn't work because we are the boss.

So I should have seen it coming today when I told him if he wasn't quiet during church I would take his toy away, and he responded with "I'm gonna tell Jesus, cause you're not being nice".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Your Day

Happy Birthday to the man with so many candles on his cake you can barely count them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today's Jumbled Thoughts...

Before having kids I remember feeling like every moment would be a teaching moment.  Every ouchie could be healed with a kiss, every word would be a nice one, and every day a joy.  Luckily I was proven wrong right from the beginning.

Every day I become more aware that there is no perfect way to parent.  There hasn't been a book written with all the right answers.  And my way is not always the best way.  So carefully I watch and try to remember who I don't want to be as a mother, and how I want to act instead of react.

And it is hard.
Camden is just like me.  And some days I'm not very easy to get along with.
So I'm trying to remember what it feels like to be 3. 
How hard it is to share, and have to take naps.
Why having treats sounds better than eating dinner.
And that yelling and hitting is easier than walking away or talking things out.

I recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments, and today I'm(trying to be)grateful for these moments.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Nanny,

In honor of your 29th birthday today, Camden decided to bite into one of the glow sticks you gave him.  He cried and told me his mouth "was hot".  I'm hopeful he will chose a better way to celebrate you next year.

We love you even though you send us toys not recommended for children under the age of 5.  Happy Birthday!

Glow stick tongue boy and his irresponsible mother

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

18 months

It's probably about time for an update on the Jace Man.  And seeing how we made it to the doctor for his well visit today, the timing is perfect.
26.2lbs  - 50%
34.25 inches tall  - 90%
head circumference 48.5cm  -  75%
 Jace has really been changing these past couple months.  3 months ago he didn't say a word(oh wait...he has said "Ya Ya"(his adopted Auntie) for as long as I can remember.  As you can imagine this was frustrating on both my part as well as his.  Not because I worried he never would, but because he would grunt or cry until you figured out what he wanted.  I decided to start with some basic signs.  The first sign he learned was "more", than of course "treat", and my favorite, "please" and "thank you".  Shortly after learning those signs he starting picking up on words.  He now says: Ya Ya, Mama(at first this term was used interchangeably for Mom and Dad), Dada(this one took awhile), brother, dog, ball, hat, shoe, please, help, Nanny, Papa, Jesus, banana, cereal, and most recently dan taught him how to say "pooper scooper".  He can point at nearly every body part, and hates having his teeth brushed, but loves doing the brushing.
He is always putting everyone elses shoes and hats on.  If you've got something, he wants it.  Some kids do things they know they aren't supposed to when they think nobody is looking.  Jace is the opposite.  He will do naughty things right in front of us for a reaction, and take off running.  He still likes to hit people, wrestle with his brother, box with Spencer, and ask for treats.  He is a total Mama's boy and cries whenever I leave.  He still likes to snuggle(just ask his dad who is a sucker for rocking him at night), and sleep with a stuffed animal and his blanket.  He hates getting his diaper changed, and loves to run around naked.  He has mastered smearing food in his hair as well as every orifice on his body.  He likes to growl, throw temper tantrums, and cause mischief.  Even when he is dog tired and wants nothing more than his bed, he always folds his arms for a prayer.  He is really turning into his own little man and it's been fun(and exhausting) to witness such drastic changes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how.
Don't let your son dress up as a horse or a cow.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 is the way to go.
So if your hair ain't blue, you better not show.
I had such a fun time making their costumes this year.
Dan even joined in on the fun and came up with the idea for their trick or treat bags.
We hit up two different ward parties, which meant twice as much fun.
And as tradition goes in my house, we filled up on chili and corn bread before we hit the streets for trick or treating.
We even ran into Cindy Lou Who at our ward party.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Festivities

I'm pretty sure I'm meant to be a city girl, and I don't think I've always been this way.  I'm not sure if it will last forever, but for now...this is me.
We took the boys to Mother Nature's farm this year. It was hot, dusty, there were flies, and the animals smelled awful(I may or may not have been holding back gagging as we saw the baby piglets).  The hay ride hurt my body and was way too long.

 But...the boys loved it, every single second of it.  And that made this city girl completely satisfied!
 Everytime Jace put his face in this cut out, he growled.  He was the scariest scarecrow around.
 What is it with boys and tractors?
Camden was so proud of the "wittle" pumpkin he picked all by himself.  Jace was more interested in throwing every orange "ball" he could pick up.

Maybe next year I will have grown out of this city girl phase.  Or maybe we will attempt a pumpkin patch instead of a real farm.  Until then...happy fall!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I've never been very good at keeping my feelings in.  Sometimes that is a good thing, other times...not so much.

I'm feeling stuck in a rut.  I'm sick of this feeling.  I'm sick of this rut.  So I was determined to shake it off today.  I woke up, showered before Dan left.  Opened all the blinds and windows.  Cleaned the kitchen.  Helped Camden make the lunch of his choice.  Sat outside and participated in the picnic lunch.  Read my boys a bazillion books before nap.

And then I felt it coming on.  I fell.  I fell back into my rut. 
I sat down.
I began feeling sorry for myself and all the things I don't like right now.
Ate myself sick with an ice cream snickers, Dr. Pepper, and homemade mac and cheese.  I looked out the window and saw it sprinkling, and thought...I feel blue.

Stupid blue, you used to be my favorite color.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sneak Peak

I love this time of year.
 I love how excited my kids get when they see me working on their costumes.
 I love getting butterflies just thinking about taking pictures in their costumes.
I love that Dan came up with the perfect addition for their costumes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

In Your Face

I'm no dummy.  I know why I picked the word COURAGE as "this year's word".  And I believe it more now than ever.

I can do hard things with courage.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grandmother's House We Go

I was lucky enough to take my boys on another trip to visit Nanny and Papa.  Flying solo with them to Idaho was quite an experience.  I may or may not have stood up and shook my finger in a "grown" man's face making threats to punch him on our flight over.  And I may or may not have sat next to Mitt Romney on the way home and told him he looked familiar.

The important thing was that we made it there in one piece and had a blast.
My parents have a beautiful garden and Camden was in heaven helping Nanny pick fresh veggies everyday.
I could not get over how much my LITTLE brother has grown up.  I even pinned him down to check his armpits for hair-it was there.  His voice was deep and he was tall.  Sniff sniff.
Growing up I remember "getting in trouble" for pushing the bar stools on the hard wood floor.  So you can imagine how quick I was to jump on Jace as he pushed the bar stools on my parents floor(in their new house).  And I about broke down in tears when my dad said 'things that used to be a big deal to them as parents (like the bar stools scratching the floor, and finger prints on the windows), they miss now' .  I love my dad.  And I love him even more when I see him as my kids Papa.

Ever since I told Camden we were going to Nanny's house he insisted on fishing.  So fishing we did.  It rained that morning which made it perfect for he and Nanny to go find worms.  They saved them in a bucket until Papa came home and off we went to the neighborhood pond.  Camden refused to get his hands dirty by touching the worms.  Lucky for him Nanny loves to touch worms.

Jace lasted for a good 5 minutes before he started using his fishing pole as a weapon.
Of course we ate like champs which included dessert right after dinner and again right before bedtime.
We were spoiled to have Aunt Kristi and Aunt Charly come while we were there. And our stay wouldn't have been complete without Kujo the dog for constant entertainment.
Notice my Dad has a black eye.  I'm pretty sure that happened the first day we got there when my mom and I left the boys alone for a short time.  Whoops.

Thanks for having us, we miss you already and can't wait for our next trip "home".

P.S.Thank you Southwest Airlines for conveniently cancelling our return flight so we could stay an extra day.