Sunday, August 31, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

Two kids. Yep, two. I know, I do have seven, but for the past two days we were down to just two! How weird it was!

I have a much greater understanding of people who are totally overwhelmed by our family! rofl! I can only imagine how our crazy herd of seven must seem, if you are used to only having a couple of kids around!

I totally did not appreciate how easy having only two kids was when I had only two kids. At the time, two kids was crazy, and difficult, and I couldn't figure out how I'd ever get anything done. I'm sure if I only had two kids now my life would be crazy, difficult, and I wouldn't be able to figure out how to ever get anything done! : ) Being used to 7 kids every day, well, going back to just two seemed calm and peaceful! Perspective is a great thing!

My parents took the oldest 5 kids on Friday night, and kept them until Sunday morning. My family has a reunion every year that entails spending the day at Bear Lake. With the new baby and Aaron having been sick (plus up until Friday night we were also planning on blessing Charli on Sunday), they knew we wouldn't be planning on going and they wanted the kids to be able to go. So they braved the craziness and took them! They picked them up Friday afternoon and took them up into the Uintas on Saturday morning, followed by the afternoon in Bear Lake. They had a great time and ended up keeping the kids overnight Saturday as well since they were so late in heading home. Two nights without all of the kids. Weird! Quiet. If we didn't have a little baby who was up every few hours, it probably would have been restful too! (or at least exciting or something! lol)

We wanted to do something special with Lincoln since he was all by himself (which must have been just odd for him). We decided we'd go with something that would be too expensive or too much hassle with ALL of the kids in tow and ended up at the Living Plant Aquarium. Lincoln had a great time and it was fun for us to watch him. He went nuts with all the "Shishies" (Fishies) and loved splashing in the ray petting tank. His arms weren't even close to long enough to reach any of the rays, but to be honest, I don't think he wanted to anyway-he just wanted to splash in the water! IMO, not worth the entry price for adults (sorry-jaded after having been to real aquariums, I'm sure this one will be great when they finish with big REAL aquarium they have planned), but fun for a splurge with him. Other than that, we took a walk with him, hit good old Arctic Circle for ice cream cones (twice!), and just hung out doting on him. That doesn't happen much as the 6th kid and he really enjoyed it, as did we.

Somewhere the camera holds pictures of our little outing, but who knows where that is right now.

We picked up the kids on Sunday morning after attending church with Aaron's family to hear his cousin speak on his mission that he returned from last week. Getting ready for church with two was interesting. Much less......intense than normal! What a change a few kids makes! ;)

It was a good break for all of us, and a good reminder as to the kind of mom I used to be years ago when my oldest were younger and I only had a couple of kids and there wasn't so much to do. I'd like to spend more time being that kind of mom again!

And props to the parents for surviving two days with 5 kids-especially since it involved outings and bodies of water! Yay Pomps and Beebs!

The Rebuttal: What REALLY happened

A good number of you have read a post entitled: "I'm a jerk". If you haven't, don't worry about it, and just go ahead and skip this post. If you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So, just to clear up any lingering concerns or misconceptions, I thought I'd let everyone know how it really went down.

First, I'd like to say that I love my husband dearly. Anyone who knows me in the least knows that! But there is a joke amongst some of our friends, in referring to him as A.B.E. As in initials. As in his name followed by Embellisher. heehee He tells a KILLER story! We should all be so entertaining. I have yet to see anyone fall asleep during one of his talks in church. Although that may also be due to volume, but whatever. I very much enjoy listening to him tell stories, they are usually much more exciting in his format! :P

That said-when I told him I'd have to post and clarify what actually went down last Monday, he said "Why? Is that not how it happened?" Well........sort of..... Yes, those are the events that took place. But, well, the way they were presented comes off, well, those of you who have read it know!

a-there are still toys at our house. No, he didn't really get rid of all of the toys. In fact, listing what we still have is almost dizzying! Little People, the play kitchen, blocks (regular and the giant make-a-playhouse sized ones), action figures, light sabers, cars, the puppets, a couple of the best Barbies (who needs 30 Barbies?), and each kid's favorite thing to sleep with among other things. Not to mention the baby toys. Yes, we did get rid of a ridiculous amount of play paraphernalia (think 9 years and 7 kids worth of toys! HOLY COW!), but it wasn't all of it. The good news is that it is much more containable, and it will be worlds easier to enforce the "put away what you are playing with before you get something else out" rule. And I'm no longer stepping on little plastic army men all over the basement floor. ouch no more. Plus, especially after seeing those Surfwise trailers (see previous post), I wanted to clean out anyway! It actually got started-and a great start it is!
b-There was no yelling! Yay! We all know how easy it is to yell to or at our kids, most of us do it much more often than we'd like, and sometimes more than we even realize. Aaron has made huge efforts to set a great example for all of us in not yelling. I think this was the first time a parent has been involved in the major cleanup of toys that there has been no yelling. It was great!
c-he really did only get involved because the kids asked him to. One day they will learn! :) Taylor and Alaina started fighting (about who was or wasn't doing enough (any) work) and when Taylor complained Aaron said "Do I need to come down and resolve this?" Taylor figured he'd be the winner and Alaina would get in trouble so he answered yes. One day they will figure out that it works out better when they resolve things themselves!
d-when Aaron says he "shot back" at me, you probably have a picture that came to mind, especially if you know how, um, enthusiastic he can be. No, it wasn't like that. And even if it had been, he would have repented of it quickly! ;) After I had gone through every toy that had been rounded up, I pulled the things I wanted kept, we discussed it, and we decided what was worth keeping.

And what seemed to be the biggest issue most people had was the postpartum comment. So I'm sucking it up and admitting that yes, I have had days that just flat out suck. I hate that word, but there really is no other that fits. I made my way through the baby blues that randomly hit the first week or two, but since then have had days where I spiraled back to something I've only ever experienced once before, and it was after giving birth to Jacob. I knew what it was, and of course I've been fighting it tooth and nail, but those of you who've been there know that it isn't easy. Thankfully Monday seemed to be my lowest point and things have gone much much better for the past six days. I really do enjoy feeling human as opposed to THAT way! (no fun) but obviously the timing of everything just crashing down on Monday was not optimal, especially when combined with the great basement clean-out. So, when we really sat down on Tuesday and talked about the whole of what went on on Monday evening, I had to come clean and be honest about just how far down I had fallen that day. I'm prideful and self-righteous (time to repent again!), and don't like admitting to times when I can't keep up. Even though he is my safe haven, it is still hard to come right out and say it, as it makes me feel like I'm failing him in some way. I guess I do ok at faking, because he really had no idea just how bad it had been. Ironic after my whole "don't beat yourself up", "find joy", "you don't have to do it all" talk last month, huh? So in effort to not be a complete hypocrite, I'm putting this out there. Not to ask for sympathy or help-although even without knowing I was having a hard time, my wonderful friends and neighbors have constantly offered help in the past few months-but just to fess up and take my own advice that it is ok to not be able to do it all, it's ok not to be perfect. And while we're on that subject, just to quash any lingering doubt, I totally cheat after giving birth. Girdle anyone? :P

So the PP comment was not from him-it really was from me. And yes, I really am doing much better-even on the days when I forgo the make-up and look really scary! heehee

Anyway-if you've made it this far, you really must have wanted the whole story! And now you have it.
Fewer toys, less stress, and the kids really did learn a valuable lesson.

Oh, and Heidi, the pedicure deal still stands!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Type A goes Awol

I'm a raving type A. With a tad bit of OCD thrown in for good measure. Yes, it really does matter which direction my two-way light switches are when I go to bed.

So I have to admit that I found myself a bit surprised when I watched a trailer for a movie the other day and found myself seeing the appeal to a life like the one documented. There is a movie called Surfwise. (I'd like to see it but I've heard the language is awful-if you see it, let me know if it really is bad or if it's worth seeing!) It is about a family that surfed. And that's pretty much it. The dad was a dr who got fed up with society and materialism and all that junk that bogs us down, so he decided to pick up and go surfing. He had surfed for years in his spare time and decided that he didn't want to be tied down anymore, so he and his wife and the few kids they had at the time bought a camper and took off. They drove around for years and raised their kids on the beaches. They ended up having 9 kids, and they all surfed. The movie is a documentary of the family's life and a catching up to where they are now and how the kids have turned out.

I don't surf. I've never tried it. It wasn't that part of it that was appealing to me. I could easily be a beach bum though; it comes naturally for a sun baby! :) What appealed to me so much was the lack of being tied down. To the mortgage, to the "things" all the stuff that invades our lives each day. There are 10 little shorts from the movie that you can watch on their website, and each one includes the phrase "9 kids living in a 24 foot trailer". By the time I'd heard that phrase for the third or fourth time, I was irritated. Because that statement, while technically correct, isn't really true. They didn't LIVE in the camper. They may have slept in it, and driven in it each day, but they LIVED out wherever they happened to be, mostly on beaches. There is an appeal to that kind of freedom.

Don't get me wrong; I am grateful for my mortgage (as odd as that sounds), for the responsibility that comes with a house and a schedule and church and friends and on and on. I guess I just admired that they weren't tied down with "things". They lived minimally. They weren't trying to keep up with anyone. I would like to do better at that. It makes me think of Dallin H. Oaks comments on "Good, Better, Best"; a poignant reminder to pare down to what is essential, and not let a million little things-no matter how good they may be-overtake our lives. As I look around at everything taking up space not only in my house, but also in my mind (that mental to-do list) and on my schedule, I realize that there are a number of things that can be eliminated. So that is the goal now-get rid of the life clutter.

"Live Simply, so that others may simply live." -Ghandi

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How Sweet It Is

I know. I'm sure this entire thing is totally my fault. I have a sweet tooth. Actually, most people have a sweet tooth, my mouth is full of them! I am the Sweet Tooth Fairy! :)

Apparently most of my kids have inherited this from me. Either that or I've trained them into it. Whatever. Thankfully they are all plenty healthy, and will gladly gobble up fruits and veggies when offered as a snack or with meals, but sometimes you just need something a little sweeter. You know, like when I was a kid and used to sneak into my grandma's kitchen, get to the sugar canister and just eat a spoonful of sugar. Hey-I blame Mary Poppins for that one. So in the spirit of passing blame, I suppose that one day my kids will blame me for this. You know, because I do crazy things like dare to have powdered sugar in my house. And don't get me started on the chocolate chips.

What is "this" exactly? "This" is what happens when I sat down to nurse the baby yesterday. (you can only imagine what goes on when I dare to go to the bathroom because then I am behind a locked door!) I hear the kids playing nicely, hear them going downstairs, being there for a bit, then I hear Alaina coming upstairs. She stopped abruptly at the top of the stairs and yelled "LINCOLN! WHAT are you DOING?!?" Apparently Lincoln stayed upstairs instead of going down to play with the kids. (I know-bad mommy) Being in a spot where I couldn't just jump and run to the scene, and knowing that no one was dying because if they were there would have at least been an audible crash, I just shouted out to Alaina "What is wrong?" Apparently Lincoln had climbed up the counter (again), gotten in the cupboard of baking things (again), but this time instead of raiding the chocolate chips, he decided to go for the gold with the powdered sugar. Yum! Can't say I blame the kid, it's good stuff. I am very impressed that he managed to eat it straight without ever coughing. But the real kicker is that he spilled gross amounts more than he ate. All over. the floor. the counter. himself. Pick a place near the kitchen (including the dining room carpet and table) and it was covered with powdered sugar. Since I didn't want to listen to the baby scream and she wasn't done eating yet, and since you can't very well clean up a mess that size with one hand, I assigned Alaina the job of trying to sweep up what she could manage until I could get to it. What a good girl-she sure tried. (in other words, the dustpan was put away caked with powdered sugar, which was then ALL over under the sink since that is where the dustpan is stored, among other things) This is a glimpse of the cleaned up version that met me when I put the baby down (hey-you know you would've grabbed the camera too!):

(After the toaster had been cleaned, and the counter wiped off-but notice he moved the rice krispy treats and the butter that was sitting out out of his way before climbing up on the counter)

Well, in the less than 5 minutes it took for me to finish with the baby, get her tucked in for a nap and get down the hallway to the kitchen, apparently the need for sugar spread. Dallin was standing in the kitchen with powdered sugar all over his face, shirt and pants.

"Dallin-are you eating powdered sugar?"
"It's all over you. I know you've been eating it. Where is it?"
"I don't know. I put it away."
(mean old mom opens the cupboard, and the powdered sugar isn't there.)
"No Dallin, you didn't. where is it?"
"I don't know."
"Where did you put it?"
"I don't know."
So we go on the hunt for the bag. (in other words, I close my eyes, breath in deeply, and wait for that hormonally driven need for sugar to surface so my body can just float it's way to wherever the hiding place is) It is finally located-behind the couch. Because you know that's what behind the couch is for. Hiding while you eat powdered sugar. Unless the couch is a dark chocolate brown color (see-there's the sugar fix again-even in the furniture color), and you leave the evidence smeared and sprinkled all over it.

Look closer-a double whammy-chocolate cake crumbs!

But hey-we did figure out who ate the last piece of chocolate cake, and where that took place. (impressive that he did that w/out a trace of chocolate on him or his clothing) And the good news is that the sugar just brushed right out of the drapes-thank goodness! We paid entirely too much for those suckers for them to be ruined by sugar. And, well, thank heavens for microfiber furniture and oh, the power of the Dyson. Phew!

Oh, and after washing the kitchen floor three times, with a good Swiffer wet-jet follow up, you no longer stick to it.

Aaron deserves a gold star on his forehead for just happening to bringing home a big bag of M&Ms for me yesterday. Perfect timing! Because as everyone in this house obviously knows-nothing soothes like sugar! :P

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Today I got one of the best wake-up treats that a mom ever gets.

My poor little Charlotte has had a cold for the past few days and has just been miserable. Darn congestion. And a summer baby with a cold at three weeks? C'mon!

Anyway-this morning after she got up for the day I was changing her diaper and she was just staring at my face. She locked into my eyes and gave me one of those giant full face smiles! Yay! She did it again just a few minutes later too. So dang cute! We've had little glimpses of smiles here and there, and I hate to admit it, but Aaron had already gotten a big smile out of her before me, but it was so sweet to see that today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of School

Malia's first day as a Shark....

Fourth grade already.

And one day that poor girl's allergies will be under control! : )

If I can just make it through the week

without my head exploding, I ought to survive.

yep. that good.

This week has been looked forward to, both with excitement and dread. The kids have been excited for school to get going again, though Alaina and Taylor have had minor reservations about the amount of curriculum that has arrived over the past weeks! I have to admit that I've experienced both sides of that too....I had no idea what was in store!

Malia had gone to our local school to meet her teacher and see who was in her class and was all geared up and ready to go. Then on Saturday we got a phone call from the district. Apparently they had decided to extend a pilot program to include another fourth grade class, and after pulling her test scores from last year they offered a place in that class for her. Yay! Honestly, my first thought was "Ha! I am a decent teacher after all!" I have to admit that it was a real boost for me that based on a test she took at the beginning of last school year (when she had experienced only a short amount of time in public school) her score was high enough that they offered her a spot in a program that you typically have to test into. We had only ever been told that she scored in the top 10% nationally, but have no idea just where she ranked in that, or how she measured up locally. This was good news! I have heard wonderful things about the A.L.L. program (Accelerated Learning Lab), and wondered if it was something we might have the chance to test for in the future. So honestly, the offer was great news. The bummer was when they mentioned we had two hours to decide if we wanted her in the program or not. Great. Less than 48hrs before school starts we are given 2hrs to make a decision whether or not to yank her from our local school to drive 20min each way to a different school to participate in the program. In our quick deliberation, and with Malia's encouragement we decided to go for it, figuring-worst case-if it didn't work out, we'd just put her back where she originally planned to be.

By 24hrs later, our brains had run through the cost of driving her each day (a full gallon each way, meaning 4 gallons a day at $4/gallon-*gasp, choke, cough*...goodbye budget, but lots of people live off of rice, right?), not to mention the logistics of her school starting at the same time as Jacob's (and now Jacob wouldn't be walking to school with her each day), and being pretty far away, plus picking her up each day in the middle of nap time, while I'm trying to school Taylor and Alaina at home.....*sigh* just wasn't looking promising.

Yet there we were at 8:45 on Monday morning registering her at said far away school. I was terrified for her. Though the adjustment to public school went fairly well last year, those first few days and weeks really had some rough spots. I had no idea how she would do having been yanked from everyone she knew, going to a new school, new schedule, and being surrounded by kids she's never met. As I sat out in front of the school waiting to pick her up that afternoon I braced myself (and my postpartum hormones) for the worst, reminding myself that if she came out in tears, or on the verge of tears, that I needed to be the one to comfort and encourage her, and help her keep going through this initial adjustment.

I was overwhelmingly surprised-and incredibly grateful-to be greeted by this sight:

A friend! And even better was the news that this girl lives in our neighborhood, and Aaron and I know her parents! Add to that the bonus that they carpool to school each day with two other kids from our area and were willing to work us into the carpool. Honestly, I can't even express what a relief that was! She loved school, enjoyed her class and her teacher, and made some new friends. Some of my biggest issues/obstacles were solved as well. What a treat!

So now Malia counts herself among the Saratoga Sharks instead of the good old Eagle Valley Eagles. It's not the most convenient thing, and the thought of driving carpool over there in the winter stinks, but hopefully it will be worth it. And apparently the only 4th grade class last year was in Highland, so it's a heck of a lot closer than that!!

Now if we can just get a little more settled in that whole online/home school thing with Taylor and Alaina, we just might make it. Thankfully today went much better than Monday (a nightmare) and Tuesday (less of a nightmare, but still not optimal), so hopefully we'll get the kinks worked out, get the kids running efficiently, and enjoy this whole process. One day my life will be boring again, right? maybe?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just like riding a bike....

And now-I'm committed!
Look-it's kind of pretty! lol

(well that picture turned out really small)

My cute husband surprised me on Friday by brining my bike home a few weeks before I expected it! It was his happy "you're 3wks postpartum and can now start working out again" gift. : ) And really-who ever thought I'd be excited for that?
(Disclaimer-he was indulging me-I've been antsy to start working out again, he very politely begged me to wait long enough not to hurt myself)

I know you never really forget how to ride a bike, but after not riding one for, gosh, like 13 years?, it sure feels funny! Especially since last time I rode it was on a mountain bike with nice fat tires. Talk about a different feeling. I got to try it out a bit last night when he brought it home and then suited up for my first real ride this afternoon. I'm trying to start out slowly and not overdo things (so that I don't crash next week!), so today was just a nice leisurely 20 minute ride. It felt so good! My only regret was that I was alone and Aaron wasn't riding along with me. But hey-someone's got to watch the kids, right? : )

I'm actually excited about this whole triathlon idea (except the swimming part. still working on that), and I'm even more excited about actually feeling somewhat confident out on a bike again! especially with really thin tires! eek! But hey, as long as I'm not the only one in the neighborhood wearing spandex and clipped into pedals, it's ok! ha!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Three is today's magic number.

A three in the price of gas-in the dollars! Yay! Granted, it was $3.99 a gallon, but just something about it not being a 4 looming up there on the sign made it better.

A three on my scale. That means I lost a pound. Double Yay! ;)

Right. I'm not putting up a picture of my scale.

But it's killing me that today Charlotte is three weeks old. Seriously? Already?! *Sigh*....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two weeks

Charlotte hit 2wks this past Friday, which of course comes with that lovely dr visit. My little bird legs is already up to 7lbs 3oz! Growing too fast! She still right on the 16th percentile, but she already looks so much bigger to me. I guess I'll never have one of those babies that just barely makes it *back* to their birthweight by the two week check. Oh well. At least they start on the small side, and not at 10lbs.....or bigger. (Rheanna you're my hero-lol)

But hey-the good news is that Aaron's camera came back today! Yippee! Thankfully it didn't take the 6-8wks that they mentioned. I almost had to take up the offer of borrowing a camera from another photographer out here! (Thanks Carma!) Now we can do a good shoot with her before she gets any bigger!


Malia is a very smart girl. In weird ways. She's very inquisitive into things that are interesting to her. How many 9yr old girls like to spend a good part of their free time making a science journal and playing with their microscope? More than one of her friends has flinched or balked when as they come to play she says enthusiastically "let's play lab! I'll get my microscope!" Fortunately she has some very willing friends, so not everyone reacts with disdain!

One of these friends that she plays with was here yesterday. Cute kid. Nice to have a friend that doesn't think that Malia liking things like science, reading, sewing (and an undying need to learn to crochet asap) are weird. In fact if things work out well, said friend will teach Malia to knit since I have stuffed that into a drawer for who knows how long! ; )

Anyway-they were hanging out yesterday and decided to get the microscope out. That was fine with me, the baby was napping and I was folding laundry (and watching was fun! lol). The girls occupied themselves with whatever prepared slides Malia had, then they decided they'd do something a little bit different. Like I said, Malia is very inquisitive. When she finds something interesting, she will read up on it. So while I'm used to some odd inquiries, I have to say I was shocked when the girls came into the office and said "we need some blood." Ummm, excuse me? I knew they hadn't been reading Twilight books, so I wondered where this was going! heh! The explanation was wonderful.

"You need what?"

"We need a drop of blood. We already have a strand of hair."

"Um, what are you girls doing?"

"We're making a clone. I've read about it. There is DNA in your hair and in your blood, and you can use them to make a clone of yourself."


"You know, a clone. And exact copy of yourself. Looks just like you. How can we get blood?"

"I'd really rather you girls not make yourselves bleed.....and how are you going to make a clone out of blood and hair anyway?"

"You just mix the hair with the blood. The DNA is already in there."

Ok then. True, the DNA is there. I glossed over how it was a little more complex than just mixing those things together and suggested that they find another way to use the microscope. That didn't involve blood.

Besides-if she's going to clone someone, it'd be nicer if it was me. That way my clone could get all the chores done and I could just sit and snuggle my baby all day. And maybe finish that darn Twilight book......

Friday, August 8, 2008

Photo Op

Ok-so I haven't posted many pics of our cute new little princess. Shame on me! lol I have a number of friends who are doing the 365 photos in 365 days game, so I thought I'd play my own little version. I've always meant to take weekly pictures of my babies, as they grow and change so quickly. I've done better with some than others. The digital cameras definitely have helped! :) I was really good with one of them and took pictures in the 'coming home outfit' every so often until he outgrew it. I wish I had done that with others!

Anyway-to the point! My version of the 365 game is with Charlotte. So all my friends who are photo-fanatics can get their little baby fix! (Lisa! heh!) Hopefully I'll even keep it caught up....

So, here she is,

Toss the guilt-catch the joy!

"Men are that they might have joy, not guilt trips!" -Russell M. Nelson

Last night I had the chance to be the speaker at our enrichment meeting. I know, I know, stop laughing! For those outside my bubble, this is the quarterly get-together for the women in my congregation. Typically it involves dinner and some sort of know, something enriching.

The theme for last night's meeting was finding treasure in your life....finding joy, appreciating the little get the picture. I didn't become the speaker until last Sunday, but when asked I thought "this will be great! I know exactly the direction I want to go with this!" That was odd for 2 reasons; 1-I am not a public speaker. In any way shape or form. I do not like to be in front of groups. Unless they are children, in which case I do fine. Probably because I fit right in with a rowdy group of 3yr olds! ; ) And even then, I never think "this will be great!" and 2-I never know what direction I want to go when speaking. I'm one of those people that will be up at midnight on a Saturday when I'm speaking on Sunday. And then when I finally do decide how I want to present the topic, I have to have my talk written down word for word because I freeze and can't just "speak".

Well, Monday came, and I changed my mind on how I wanted to approach this. Then Tuesday, then Wednesday, when I completely changed again. So by yesterday afternoon, my mind was completely jumbled! I ended up just jotting down all of the quotes/stories/ideas that I liked, and figuring I'd just go with whatever came out last night! lol I wasn't sure I'd be up to filling the at least 20 minutes I was asked to, but lo and behold, I ended up going 30. (whoops)

So the verdict? I think it went ok. If nothing else, there was plenty of laughing, a little bit of crying, and a doling out of some of my favorite books to my friends. I do wish there was a way I could have just dumped my brain before everyone and let them pick through everything I've read over the past few days that would apply best to them. Since Sunday I think I read 4 or 5 books, and then skimmed through some old favorites that have been read many times before. My biggest concern was that I had hit upon so many great approaches that I ended up with more than I could possibly use! I wish I could have just transferred everything I'd read to everyone, because as I got home last night I kept thinking "oh-I forgot this!" and "I wish I would have shared this!" I hate to sound selfish, but even if no one else got anything out of what I had to say last night, it was great for me to dig through everything this week! I really hit upon some things I needed to hear myself. Funny how more often than not, the things we are asked to speak about or teach about apply more to ourselves than anything.

Anyway-for those who were asking which books I used, here you go:
Toss the Guilt, Catch the Joy-Merilee Boyack (one of my favorite Authors!!)
Being the Mom; 10 coping strategies I learned by accident because I had children on purpose (Emily Watts)
No One Can Take Your Place-Sheri Dew
Finding Inner Stillness-Brent and Wendy Top

The others that I wanted to use and either forgot or ran out of time were:
Look What Love Has Done; five minute messages to lift your spirit -Joseph Walker
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and it's all small stuff)-Richard Carlson
What I Have Learned From Children-Michealene Grassli
Thoughts of a Grasshopper-Louise Plummer

And though this is getting long, there is one quick story I wanted to share here since I forgot it last night. I am totally bummed that I forgot it, because it really just hit the subject right on, and would have been a great way to wrap things up. Oh well!

Treasures in the Sandbox
It was the first day of second grade, and Sarah was ready.
And why not? She had been looking forward to this moment since...well, since the last day of first grade.
Now that she wasn't a little baby first grader anymore she was anxious to take her place among The Big Kids. So of course it was important that everything be just so. She got the world's coolest backpack, complete with matching pencils and loose-leaf binders. She had her hair trimmed to a shorter, more mature length. And she bought some stylin' school clothes, including a killer outfit that featured khakis, a hot yellow shirt, and these really neat shoes that were sort of like tennis shoes, only they weren't, and they had buckles, and...well, you just had to see them, that's all.
Mom helped to get the first day of school off to a great start by making Sarah's favorite breakfast-French toast. Only Sarah sort of dribbled syrup on her hot yellow shirt and stylin' khakis, so she had to run upstairs to change into her second-best outfit, consisting of blue jeans and a Disney Princess tee shirt-nice, but not killer.
The last-minute change put her way behind schedule, and the school bus was beginning to pull away from the curb as she rounded the corner. She dashed to catch the bus and was just reaching to pound on the door when the bus driver saw her, stopped the bus, and flung open the door-right in Sarah's face. Blood dripped from her nose onto her second best outfit and tears streamed from her now blackened eyes as the chagrined bus driver tried to soothe and calm her.
"Maybe we should take you home sweetheart," she said as she dried Sarah's tear.
"No", Sarah insisted. "I'm okay. Let's go to school."
They did their best to mop the blood off of Sarah's face and clothes. They chugged off to school. Sarah was so excited to see her friends that she forgot all about the morning's calamities. Since there were a few minutes until school started, she went to her favorite swing on the playground and pumped herself to heights that she had never been able to achieve as a mere first grader. At the apex of her swing she saw her best friend across the school yard. At precisely the wrong moment she let go of the swing with one hand to wave. She flew out of the swing and landed-hard and awkwardly-on the playground sand, breaking her leg and spraining her wrist. As she lay in the sand, slowly drifting out of consciousness she noticed a shiny object on the ground not far from her head. With her good hand she grabbed it. Then she blacked out.
After being summoned by the school nurse, Sarah's mom rushed into the sick room to pick up her daughter. She was stunned by what she saw:a sweet second grader with her arm in a sling, her leg in a splint, a swollen nose, two black eyes, and blood stains on her second-best outfit. but what really troubled her was what was on Sarah's face: the biggest, brightest smile you ever saw.
"Sarah, look at you!"Her mother wailed. "You're bruised, bandaged, and bloodied, and you've probably ruined your second-best outfit. Why on earth could you possibly be smiling?"
"Look, Mommy,"Sarah exclaimed, extending a still-sandy palm. "I found a quarter!"
School, like life, can be like that. It can be tough-even painful at times. but there are always treasures in the sandbox that make the challenges worth overcoming and the pain worth enduring.
On the first day. And every day.

With that said-do something fun today, or even this weekend. Find something that makes you happy and do it! Because as everyone knows, "If mama ain't happy, Ain't nobody happy!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

11 Years

Talk about time flying! Today marks 11 years since the day we tied the knot. That means I've been married over 1/3 of my life! lol
For a rousing review of some of our past anniversaries, you can read Aaron's run down here. To celebrate this year, we're doing something a little different-making a commitment that to me is much more frightening than marriage ever was! ;) We're buying bikes. No, bikes aren't that scary, but the reason we're getting them is. Aaron is competing as part of a team in a triathlon in a couple of weeks (as you that live near know all too well!), and he's talked me into joining him in doing an entire triathlon next year. With the purchase of a bike-I'm committed, there's no backing out now. EEK! Honestly though, I'm looking forward to doing something for "us", and as a friend mentioned the other day, it's a great way to celebrate hitting 30 this year-one event for each decade. So, aside from bikes, and maybe a box of Lucky Charms ;), we're just celebrating this year by moving on......

And for the picture people (excuse the picture of a picture-we are old enough to be pre-digital days),
August 5th, 1997

And now (well, 9 months ago anyway!):

I was going to write a big memory of the day, and how things have been different than we expected over the past 11 years, but I've decided just to sum it up by saying that I wouldn't change anything. It's been amazing, and I look forward to many more years with my best friend.

Love you babe!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Time Marches On....

Actually it is stampeding on, at double time, with no regard for the fact that I’d like it to slow down just a bit for now! I remember when I was expecting Malia, and then the first few years of being a mom, those wiser women (and men I guess, but more often it came from older moms) telling me to enjoy every moment because it just goes too fast. It was cute at first, then highly annoying when I reached the end of my first pregnancy and was miserable and impatient, then just plain maddening some days as I wasn’t getting any sleep, or had a constantly crying baby, or was having a day that...well....anyone who has children has had those days that just last f-o-r-e-v-e-r! And on those days, the last thing you want to hear is that it goes too fast! ha! As I look back at the blur of the past 10 years, I’ve found myself repeating those words to other moms. Usually it is in agreement as we sit and chat about how quickly the children grow, how the newborn phase never lasts long enough, how we can’t believe our “baby” is starting preschool/Kindergarten/turning 8....whatever it may be. I’ve found that many times the more appropriate saying for me is “the days are long but the years are short”. Both are too true for my liking many days of the week.

I can’t believe that it’s already been over a week since my little Charlotte arrived. I’m one of those people that just adores every second of the newborn phase, and that always passes much too quickly. I love the little squeaks and whimpers that come as a baby finds their lungs, the funny little faces that punctuate their deep sleep, the skinny little bird legs that chunk up so quickly on my babies.... I used to think the Carter’s (clothing) tagline of “if they could just stay little till their Carter’s wears out” was silly-until a couple of kids into this game when I found myself wishing sometimes it were true. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore each stage of discovery that my kids go through. I love the milestones that come over the years, and seeing my oldest kids becoming independent and discovering and shaping who they are and who they want to be. I guess the combination of the newborn that changes so quickly and my postpartum hormones is causing me to reflect on things a bit more right now! : ) Add that to school starting in a little over two weeks, and the curriculum arriving for my homeschooling kids for this year, and I can’t believe that July is already over. Where did this summer go? I fear that I’ve spent too much time worrying about things that need to be “done” and not enough time just letting things “be”. Hopefully we can make the most of the few days left ahead of us before life dictates that we go back to a regular daily routine....

I am loving every second with this sweet baby girl! I love watching my kids dote on her, constantly asking “how’s she doing?”, and wanting to be near her every moment. Admittedly it’s annoying at times (like when I’m trying to feed her! personal space please!!), but it really is sweet that they are all so concerned for her well being. It has been so cute to watch them try to help out this last week while Aaron has been home running the show.

Thursday was Charlotte’s first dr appointment-I promised I’d check in with our ped since they “let” (ha!) me leave the hospital less than 24hrs after her birth. She’s already gained an inch (how do they do that so fast?), and is back up to her birthweight. My babies always grow too quickly! She’s still a runty 6 1/2lbs, but I know that it won’t last long. bittersweet.

I’ve fallen in love with the song “You’re Gonna Miss This”. If you haven’t heard it look it up. The first time I heard it it was just another cheesy country ballad. Now I can’t listen to it without getting a little emotional. It’s true-I will miss this. I look forward to the many adventures that await me each day, and the growth and changes of our family over the years, but I will miss this. Hopefully I can keep in mind on a more regular basis just how quickly time flies-whether I’m having fun or not-and be more appreciative of the little everyday kind of moments.