Dougherty Family Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."

To Anna, my four year old little girl,

It's hard for me to believe that this week you turned four. Wait no, it seems hard to believe that you are already four and you can write your name, hang up your clothes and button buttons. I felt like since you were my baby, you could just stay little forever. That I could keep you all to myself and we could spend our days reading books, playing doll house and just stay us, the way that we are now.

You are so funny and you really know how to make people laugh. You never, ever wake up in a bad mood and you are never grumpy for long. It's actually really funny how extremely mad you can get and how very quickly it goes away.  You are so loving and so affectionate. You laugh and cry and love easily. If I cry you cry and you demand to know what happened. Your imagination is WILD! You are known for stories,  tall tales and silly joke (like you actually think of your own punch lines for knock, knock jokes) Demanding and straight forward are also good ways to describe you and maybe the combination of all the so many good things about you mixed with the fierceness of your personality makes it so easy for your brother, father and I to always give into you. Good thing you have found friends that have the kind of fight that you do. No one gets pushed around. You, Taylor, Alyssa and Reagan can all hold your own and Emily, she's just so sweet!

You weigh about 33 pounds and in August you will start Pre-K at John's school. You like Hello Kitty, playing with your doll house and reading books. You also love to color, write, cut and work on letters and numbers. You love to learn! That being said, on Sunday you told me that you know more than me. I thought you were going to wait until you were 12 or 13 before you said something like that... Your favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese. Favorite shows are Little Bear, Oswald and Pepper Pig. You love our Dog Bella and your favorite color is pink. You love to laugh but more than that, you love to be funny and make others laugh. You are so sweet, happy and loving and I am so blessed to be your Mom. You love to sing and listen to church songs, it is so sweet! You are the one that reminds us to say our prayers and you talk about Jesus like you know him and that's because you do. You are a sweet, funny and strong spirited girl and I love you so much! It has been really awesome to see who you have grown to be at the sweet, busy age of four. Always remember my girl, that I love you for everything that you are, eveything you will become and for all these years that we have shared.

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.-Sophocles

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Know how to live the time that is given to you."

I miss this. I miss it dearly. My Babies.  

And this. My three year old little boy in dishtowel capes and super hero underwear. The boy who played Star Wars night and day and thought those pajamas that he was wearing would give him super human speed. The boy who once gave me 100 kisses for a Birthday present.

But I love this. I love it dearly. My big kids. Happy and sweet. Smart and funny. Our family is so blessed. Just look at that girl who's gonna be four next month! The girl who loves Hello Kitty, baby dolls and hair bows.

“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” Harvey MacKay

Sometimes when I wonder why I haven't been able to have more babies, I remember that if we are ever blessed enough to have another child, it will be a very special soul that was saved just for our family. God proved that to me by sending John and Anna just for me. I was made for them and they for me. When I remember all the babies that I lost before they had a chance to be here for us to name and to hold. To know and to kiss, it only makes me more grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing me with John and Anna. I will be forever grateful unto Him for blessing me with the profound and life changing blessing of being a mother. I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for saving these two precious spirits just for me and for His gift of Eternal Life so that one day, our family may meet those sweet spirits that never experienced life on earth with us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Music is just feeling out loud"

I have always been someone who loves and responds to music. When I was six, my grandma Patsy gave me a purple radio/tape player for Christmas. I was in love. Sometimes at night when I was supposed to be sleeping and my parents were watching the news and M.A.S.H, I would be in my room sitting by my night light quietly listening to that purple radio. When I was eight my big Christmas present was a full, sized huge stereo with a double tape deck and a record player. The speakers were almost as tall as I was. It was my pride and joy. I quickly bought my first two records - Michael Jackson's Thriller and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Lately I have been rather emotional and I have noticed that the music that I listen to seriously influences how I feel. It can pick you up and bring you down in an instant and to me that's wonderful! Bon Iver makes me want to live in sweatpants and never leave the house again. When you can't shake sadness Bon Iver is the place to go. From the song Skinny Love - "I told you to be patient and I told you to be fine then all my love was wasted and who the hell was I".  When I hear the Stone Temple Pilots, it's almost as if I'm once again that 14 year old girl who smoked Marlboro Reds and wore a black leather jacket. I can feel the weight of that girl's lies. I can taste the smoke and feel the chill of that cold 1994 October air. For just a minute, I am that fake, insecure, empty 14 year old girl again. I don't like to stay in that place for very long. I never listen to STP.

By the way, if kids "grew up" quick in my time then I can't imagine what John and Anna will be facing, seeing, doing when they are 14..... My parents tried to protect me, just as I will try to protect my kids. I grew up with love, care bears, cartoons, big Christmas mornings, church camps and happiness so why at 13 did my parents lose the daughter they knew and I morphed into a girl that even I didn't recognize or know anymore?

When I hear Cat Stevens, it reminds me of being 16 going on 21 and thinking that I knew it all. I read Javan, Abby Hoffman and Jack Kerouac. I read poetry and philosophy books. I listened to the Beatles, ditched school and spent entire weekends at coffee houses talking about life with people like me who thought that we could change the world. At 16, I married a man that I still love. My poor Mom, Dad and Brother. Did we ever really make it back after all those bad times were over? I don't think so. All of us lost some of who we were before all of that. Remembering those things makes me think of what might have been lost if Heavenly Father didn't protect my past so I could have today. He knew me, he loved me, he had plans for me to be better, to be happy, to know Him and to be the mother of my children. God's love saved me then and it saves me now.

When I listen to Dave Matthews, my crush of 16 years, I go back to the sunny days of  being the girl that thought she could completely throw herself into the world and just exist and live life to the fullest. I didn't understand that the world was kind of a bad place and the bad that I did understand, I thought I could change. I wanted to travel the United States in a VW bus, love Ryan forever and take him with me to write and photograph the world. He was a pretty different person back then too. We were free spirits. One day, if I'm lucky enough to be an old woman, maybe I will write and travel and take photographs like I dreamed that I would. I think Ryan has other plans for when he's old and they aren't even close to that. Maybe we will end up serving a mission for the church or babysitting grand kids. Who knows!

Memories are irrevocably tied to music and some of our most personal feelings are expressed through music. Some of my best memories of my Dad and I together were of us in his Oldsmobile when we would take road trips to the lake where my Mom was waiting for us and we would camp. My Dad and I would listen to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and just talk. I love those memories I have of he and I together. I love that he and I saw Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Widespread Panic in concert together. I love that every time I hear Elvis, I see my Mom when she was in her thirties singing and happy and young.

I'm a music addict. Always have been, always will be.  I can't even clean the house, cook dinner or drive a short distance without music on. When the van radio was first stolen, I would drift off in thought and actually be surprised at my own inner thoughts because I didn't even recognize the sound of my own mind. It was a very weird experience to be lost in thought. It's funny the path your mind will take if you just give it a chance to drift without the influence of music, tv, Internet, conversation or literature. It's almost as if media is our constant companion instead of our own quiet beings and the Holy Ghost. All that being said, it has prompted me to follow the council of our church and be careful of what kind and how much media I surround myself and my family with. I need to spend quiet time in scripture study, prayer, journaling and family time. Honestly, my own mind kinda drives me crazy and I think that's why. My thoughts are heavy with the cares of this world and not the peace we find in Christ. My mind is often times scattered and random and loud and overwhelming so if I ever have a stroke, go into a coma or become incapacitated, someone please take my ipod and the docking station and leave it playing while I am alone. Wish I was joking. I'm not.

I'm surprised at how much of my past came out in this post. I guess now that I'm a parent, my past keeps calling to me. I want my kids to be different than I was. Actually, I just want them to stay little and happy and I want to stay young. I guess it's time to let go and move on and do the best I can for today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have."

After attending the memorial for Sgt. Mycal Prince who was killed Sept. 15 2011, I am left to wonder what his death and the deaths of thousands of other U.S. Soldiers, means to our President and to this Country's "leaders". Was he just another name on a long list, another face on the news? Not to his wife, not to his Mom or to his little girls, or his brothers and sisters and friends and the soldiers that served with him and not to me. So my question is this: Isn't it more important than ever to start winning the War that we are fighting? In my opinion, it's time to TURN UP THE HEAT on the Middle East. Isn't the very definition of insanity repeating the same act and expecting different results? We have tried the U.N., we have tried diplomacy, we have tried letting them take care of their own troubles but guess what? They keep kicking in our doors and robbing of us of peace. Are you aware that in a recent ABC interview, most Afghans said that they don't even know why the U.S. is there or why there is a war? They don't even know about 9/11 or America's beef with the Taliban or more accurately put, The Taliban's obsession with killing America. They don't have fox news 24/7 or freedom of the press. In the interview that I saw, one Afghan man said he knew about 9/11 but that was only two buildings and we have bombed hundreds of theirs. Uh ok...whatever that means... Maybe he was trying to say we should be done over there? However much I would like to be done sending soldiers over there, we can not quit until the job is done. Yes that means more death for us and them and maybe, just maybe one day it will mean peace. Evil is still alive and well and at this very moment, planning more attacks. I have already asked what the deaths of these soldiers mean to our President. The more important question is what these deaths mean to us the American People? I used to have this fear that "young people" would not know how valuable freedom is and would not be willing to fight for it. But I was wrong. Young people are fighting for freedom and their fatherless children will know what it means and hopefully, they won't have to fight our government, the Taliban or each other for it.

Yesterday the memorial was filled with hundreds of flag waving, small town, good American people and it was awesome to be a part of! There's a lot ot be said for standing shoulder to shoulder to honor a good man and a fallen soldier with people who believe in the same America that you do. I see things a little clearer now. People were kinder than usual , we all felt like "One Nation Under God." Moms with babies in strollers were passing out flags and a guy that was a father of three handed out bottled water to those who were thirsty and let Anna and Tay sit on his truck when they were tired of standing. That's him in the picture standing on top of his truck waving the American Flag. I wish I could thank him and the many others that were there for helping to restore my vision of the real America. For making me see that America is alive and well in all of us even when our foreign and domestic enemies are trying to kill it.  Yesterday I once again got to see that good can and will come of everyday people working together.

Thank you to all who have served and serve now. We appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family's have made.  Your service to our country is greatly appreciated. Your contributions to the goodness of America and your sacrifices for freedom can not be measured.

May all of our fallen soldiers rest in peace. I hope and pray that their families will find strength and comfort in these hard times. I am thankful for their service to our country and I grieve their sacrifices.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

Having one of those days/weeks/months/years... Lately, all I feel is not good enough. It's a vicious cycle and it all starts with feeling tired, like all the time. Then I'm not motivated because I'm wallowing in tiredness. Then I feel like a loser because I'm tired and my house is only half way clean all the time. It's never spotless. Ever. Just good enough, so then I just feel lazy. Then I start feeling sad and chubby and hungry and out of shape. Then I move on to feeling irritated and defeated. Then I play the blame game and all the blame goes straight to me. My head is filled with things like: This is what I get for not reading my scriptures like I'm supposed to and for skipping family home evening for four nights of football and baseball practice per week plus games and weekly date with the PTA. I must admit, I love helping at John's school. It makes him so happy to have me there. Last Friday, I helped the PTA in the morning and had lunch with John in the afternoon, we were both happy and Ryan and Anna got some much needed one on one time.

When I look at my kids, I feel a surge of joy and thankfulness that is automatically followed by the thought that I'm not good enough for them. I could be more fun, I could be happier, craftier, more patient, smarter, healthier, more compassionate, more resourceful, more spiritual and more joyful. So why must I dwell on all the things that I am and am not and wish to be? Hmmmm.... What I do know is that I love my kids with everything that I have and I do everything to make sure that they are happy and loved. Then I realize that my kids don't see me the way that I see myself. They don't focus on my faults, they focus on the good. Who I am right now is enough for them. They are happy. Today I was looking at an animal book with John and Anna and we were picking out what we wanted to be and I picked something furry and sweet and John said, good choice Mom. It's cute like you. Awwwhh!

So after all of this, I have realized that I must recognize the good in myself, keep striving to be better and draw near unto the Lord in this time of doubt instead of falling to the ways of the world. Lately, I have just had all this doubt about the tender mercies of the Lord. Why would he know and love and protect my path and meet my needs while thousands of innocent people lie starving on the other side of the world. There are literally thousands of men, women and children starving in Somalia this very minute as I sit on my leather couch complaining about having too much food to eat. This seed of doubt has made me not want to ask the Lord for the things I need because I feel so unimportant compared to all of those in this world that really need the blessings, protection and mercy of our Father in Heaven, the comfort of the Holy Ghost and the redemption we find in Christ.

I may not be able to change the world, but I can keep trying to change me. I will strive to love and serve the Lord and raise my children to do the same and when I feel doubt, I will pray.

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The days are long but the years are short

To John. My seven year old little boy.

Happy 7th Birthday! About once a year, I try to write a letter ro you and here it is. You weigh about 53 pounds and in August you will start second grade. You like sports, you like to read and play video games. Your favorite food is Generals Chicken. Favorite show is Deadliest Warrior. You love our Dog Bella and your favorite color is orange. You love to laugh and you love to make others laugh. You are kind, affectionate, funny and sweet. You love to be tough and strong. You flex your muscles and show them to me at least once a week. George W. Bush was President when you were born and Barrack Obama is President now. Our Country is at War in the Middle East and has been for many years. This is a profound time of change for not only our nation but for the world as a whole.

I believe that we are all born with gifts and talents, and in my eyes, you were born with many. You are kind, generous, loving and very protective. When you were three and it was time for me to have Anna, you wanted to save me from the hospital. After she was born, I would take you to Pre-School two days a week. I would walk you to your class and set Anna down on the floor in her carrier so I could say goodbye to you and talk to your teachers. You would stand in front of her carrier and block all of the curious three year olds in your class from getting near her. When I had to have a minor surgery this year, you were the one by my side. When I got home, I couldn't do anything but sit in a chair in our living room with my feet up. You stayed on the arm of the chair next to me and made sure that I was comfortable and even more importantly, you made me feel loved and not alone. You did more for me that day than any pain medicine could have done. You are also protective in the small ways too. You notice when Anna isn't in the same room as us and you always ask where she is and you just instinctively keep an eye on her when you guys are away from home. No wonder you want to be a Missionary, a Soldier and a Father when you grow up.

"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would give my life for you. This is the miracle of life. ~ Maureen Hawkins"

It's hard for me to explain to you how quickly these seven years have gone by and how much you have grown and changed and then again, how much you have stayed the same. When I look back to those days when I was 24 and you were a newborn baby,  I mostly remember how I felt. From the day you were born, all I ever wanted was to be good enough for you. I wanted to love you enough, teach you enough, give you enough and just be everything that you needed me to be.What I didn't know at the time was that our Heavenly Father gave me the privilege of being a mother so that I could become the woman I was meant to be. The instant you were born, you changed my life and my soul forever. Yes, before you were born, I existed but after you were born, I became something new. I became a mother. A mother so full of love and newness that I could barely comprehend the enormity of what I was feeling.

As I try to imagine the years ahead of us, it occurs to me that soon, you will be stronger and taller than I am. Soon you won't want me to hold you. Soon, I will have to let you go in a car with your friends and very soon after that I will have to just let you go. As you grow into a man, I hope and pray that you will have the strength and the knowledge that you need to overcome this world. That you will understand that the only way you can do that is by following Christ our Savior and obeying the commandments of God. By doing so, you will be able to live a righteous and good life full of love and mercy. I hope that you grow to be a happy, kind and accomplished man. I hope you love and serve the Lord as well as those around you.

You have been blessed with a strong faith in God, a loving testimony of Christ and you believe in the comfort of prayers and scriptures. You and Anna spend a ton of time together and a lot of it is spent laughing, joking around and playing. Anna wasn't your first friend, but she has become your best friend. You love, protect and take up for each other. I hope that you and your sister only grow closer and find a way to sustain your awesome love for each other throughout your entire lives.

My heart is filled with gratitude and love for you. Thank you so much for being who you are. The happiness that you have given to our family, can not be measured.

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. ~Louis Pasteur

Monday, July 4, 2011

You can't trust freedom when it's not in your hands

Yes, that's a line from a Guns -N- Roses song. I'm old school like that. However lame that was, there's a lot of truth in those words. Today is the fourth of July. A day that always reminds me of how much mankind gained 235 years ago and how much we have since lost, given away or stopped caring about.

America is becoming the land of the un-free. Yes, we are free to make choices as long as those choices are within the guidelines set by about 1,000 regulatory government agencies like the IRS, the EPA and two corrupt and deceitful political parties. An America where Fifty-one percent of the people get to tell the other 49 percent what to do. An America where the people don't have a say in what the Senate and Congress do once they are elected.  That's why I long for an America without EPA regulations, without two ruling  political parties and Planned Parenthood funding issues.

When you think about the things that the government either directly controls or heavily regulates, things like education, Medicare, energy and Social Security, they are over budget, crazily in debt, broken and out of control. The broken things that the Government controls are vital to us, our families and our well being yet, still remain out of our reach. People are left feeling fearful of the future because it is unknown. People are desperate for change.

So what's the answer? What will help America? In my opinion, first we need to dedicate our lives to knowing, loving and serving the Lord. Second, we need a return of moral character and virtue. Third, we need to uphold and understand the U.S. Constitution. Wouldn't it be nice if one of these days, we could live in a world where good prevailed? Where freedom was real. Wouldn't it be nice to have political system where perverted photos, lying, cheating and cover ups weren't the norm and a "Global Agenda" wasn't put ahead of America's well being?

All that being said, the greatest contribution to freedom is given by our soldiers. They have said goodbye to their families, their friends and their homes to preserve our freedom and ensure the safety of our people. They are doing what needs to be done. What none of us want them to have to do and then what none of us would personally want to do. Thank you to all those who love and serve this great nation and her people. We are forever in your debt. What you have given can not be measured.

America is the only country where freedom is completely taken for granted. Mostly because all of us who are living here now had it given to us and we have never known anything different. It reminds me of a verse from Joshua 24:13 "So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant." 

So on Independence Day let us always remember this: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" -Edmund Burke. All those years ago, after many lives were lost and battles were won, 55 good men; under divine inspiration, signed the Constitution and gave to the world America. The land of the free because of the brave.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

She gets that from her Dad...

It seems like at least five times a week or more, I am asked by friends, strangers and even family where Anna gets her curly hair from so I have decided to post this picture of Ryan from before we had kids. A picture from those days when we thought we could change the world and our nights were spent hanging out with friends while we watched our favorite bands play at clubs that reeked of patchouli and cigarette smoke. We danced, we camped, we drove VW Buses. We wanted to be anything but normal. We thought we were too smart for college and main stream media. Just the kind of people that make me crack a smile and think "whew, glad that's not me!" every time I see them buying their copy of Whole Living. We thought we knew it all. We thought we knew everything about "The way things should be" I actually used to think that it was my calling to help restore America, get rid of corruption and make the world a better place. Boy was I a dreamer... So enough about our past. We ended up ditching our dreams of traveling America or living a summer in Spain or Guatemala and getting good jobs, buying a house and having our beautiful babies who are now 6 and 3. I am so thankful that God protected our past and helped us find the path of real happiness - our family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those are things that matter, that make life worth living and lead to everlasting happiness and eternal life. So yes, Anna gets her curly hair from her Dad. Along with her fun sense of humor and her mischievous personality.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If we were all a little more like Spongebob

The world would be a happier place. Yes. I'm talking about the cute yellow guy that lives in a pineapple under the sea. I love him, flaws and all. After I was able to get past his annoying laugh, his silly voice and a little innocent toilet humor, I was able to see the real Spongebob.

1. Spongebob can not tell a lie.

2. He is a hard worker. He never misses a day of work. In fact, they can't keep him away. The best part about watching him work is he's enthusiastic. He puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

3. He never gives up. Ever.

4. He is a very loyal, rarely judgemental friend. I actually think he should be a little more judgemental of his friends and neighbors but that would take away from who he is. He sees the best in everybody and remains blind to negativity.

5.He loves to have fun and use his imagination. His favorite pastimes are blowing bubbles, singing, dancing and jellyfishing with his BFF Patrick or practicing his Karate with Sandy. You rarely see him watch tv.

6. He is always neat and clean. He takes good care of his snail pet Gary.

7. He loves with all his heart.

8. He doesn't hide his emotions.

9. He's so innocent, naive and sweet. He never hurts anyone. He doesn't care about money.

10. He forgives and forgets. He has no enemies and he loves and serves generously. He wants everyone to be happy and often finds a way to make that happen.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So it's been a while

I wrote two blog entries in the month of May and didn't finish or publish either one. Did I run out of things to say? Nope! I just ran out of time to think uninterrupted thoughts in a peaceful and quiet environment. For me that place was the gym and uhhh I haven't been to the gym in quite a while. I think my mind misses it as much or more than my body does! I have realized that the only time I can think clearly is when I'm on the elliptical machine and I feel like I'm all alone and the only thoughts or needs I have for those 35 minutes are my own. No crying or filling milk cups or *yelling, errrrr, uhhh I mean *playing with the kids. Just kidding. Yes, I do yell (I know bad. Very bad.) but I also laugh, play, read, teach and have fun with my sweet kiddos. One time my Mom told me that she thought I was a better mother than she was. (Just so ya' know, my Mom is a great Mom) She said I was made to be a Mom. Well, as much as I want to be the perfect person or perfect mother, I'm not. But I do hope that my kids end up being better parents to their own kids because of me. Maybe they will do some things the way that I do or maybe they will do some things for their kids because I didn't do certain things for them. All I know is that the whole world goes away, every sorrow, care or disappointment disappears and every fiber of your being is filled with love when at the end of the day, your child wraps their arms around you and tells you that they love you and that you are the best Mom in the world.

So what's been going on? Just stuff. John just finished the first grade and is moving on to second. Ryan is on a new shift at work and has been able to spend more time with me and the kids and it really has been fun! We all sleep in a little, we go fishing, watch movies, take walks, go swimming and watch John's T-Ball games. Anna loves all this summer fun! She is so happy to have her Dad and brother home with us during the day! As for me...Maybe, just maybe I will finish the quilt that I started in October of 2010...Sewing is not my strong suit. As it turns out I can sew anything together the wrong way. And to top it off, I can't even cut in a strait line, even when I use the ruler thingy. I have a hard time following directions and over the years I have become a bit impatient. So anyways, maybe one day I will finish that dang quilt and be able to forget the harsh feelings I have towards it and give it to my daughter with love. And then I will start on a new quilt for my sweet John. He wants a twin sized American Flag colored quilt so that he can take it with him to college, then on his mission and then to the Army. Ummmmm. Can't talk, write or think about that for too long because it makes me feel the need to fall to my knees and beg for these sweet times that my kids are young to never end. Is it bad that when I try to picture John as a teen or an adult all I see is the way he looks now? Yes, I know I have trouble letting go of things. It's who I am.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things I've learned from T-Ball

Yes, I know the title of the post should really be things John has learned from T-Ball...But what can I say, this whole little league thing has really opened my eyes to a few things.

1. It's finally time for me to admit that well, I have kinda, sorta over the years turned into a pretty intense person. There. I said it. Oh, I've tried to rationalize it. I say things to myself like, I'm only passionate about parenting. Oh wait...And our country, politics, my faith, Twilight and uh now, T-ball. Why my friends am I so dang fanatical about T-Ball, it is after all, only T-Ball...Right? Well let me tell you what I think. It's not the game that gets my adrenaline going. I've come to the conclusion that the root of the problem is this: For the first time in John's life, I can't help him. I'm not in control of the outcome. He's on his own. And it kills me. I want to be able to protect him from any failure, bad feeling, wrong choice and/or loss. I've learned that all those things I want to do are not possible or sane and that if I try to do those things I will be robbing him of the good things that come from making his own choices, working hard to accomplish a goal and succeeding on his own. So anyways, this year has been a year of new beginnings for John. This was his first year of riding the bus, going to school all day, making his own friends, making a lot of his own choices, suffering his own consequences, playing ball and liking girls. It's also time for me to let him know that it's ok, wait no, it's good for him to let go of Mom and accomplish good things on his own. The only problem is me. I don't want to let go. I want to get him dressed, hold him, read to him, brush his teeth, hear about every part of his day, kiss him a hundred times and laugh at his silly jokes and funny faces.

2. It's ALWAYS COLDER on a baseball field than it is anywhere else in the whole entire town.

3. It's ok to lose. No, it's better than ok, it's necessary. In my life I have learned more from the losses than the wins. In fact, you won't find a better teacher than heartbreak, let downs, lost chances, bounced checks, regret and mistakes. So as much as I want to shield John from all those things, they are just part of life and they must happen so that he can grow to be a stronger better person who understands accountability, self-control and determination. But more than that he will grow to appreciate the sweet and good things in life and cherish them. Once you taste bitterness the sweet is so much better. I have always like that old saying: May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

4. It's impossible to keep up with all the baseball equipment and the entire uniform. We are already missing the belt. And a red sock...

5. Why can't I stop myself from being a crazy nutcase when John is playing??? I can't tell you how many times I've yelled at him on the field. Things like: Look alive, pay attention, CATCH THE BALL, run home, throw it to third, THROW IT HOME and last but notleast RUUUNNNN! And to make it worse, I'm not even supposed to be doing that. He has three really good coaches on the field with him at all times that will tell him what to do. I feel so bad about myself that I want to send a note of apology to the coaches. I promise I am trying to stop. Lets see how it goes tonight, maybe I can for once keep my lips sealed.

6. How will I ever make it through pictching machine and real baseball if I can barely make it through T-Ball? Why am I crazy now? I made it through basketball and soccer just fine. The difference is he loves baseball and he may have a talent for it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Switching Gears

Often times, I write just because I like to or sometimes just to vent. And just between you and me, writing has always been my secret, silly and what I over the years had come to think of as "my long lost and unobtainable dream." I always wanted to be a published author or a journalist or a freelnace writer. Maybe even a big time blogger like Pioneer Woman but I have decided now is not the time to polish and practice my writing skills. Over months of visiting a friend's blog (yeah Birrd, I'm talking about you) and admiring how hers is more of a journal and a way to document everyday life, I have decided to do the same. I want to remeber the small things, the everyday things. I want to look back at this blog in a few years and be able to read about what we did on a Tuesday afternoon or just whatever. Small, everyday things that make up the sum of our lives. So I'm switching gears in an effort to document now for later. A family history blog. So no more holding back on a post just because what I want to write about that day seems like something no one else wants to read about. Here comes all the cute and funny things that my kids say, that trip down memory lane that no one but me wants to take or just the rambling thoughts, small breakthroughs and spirtual promptings of a stay at home Mom doing the best she can for those she loves.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We have two rules in our home

1st rule: Obey the first time. 2nd rule: Be kind. I find that with those two rules everything else is taken care of. Things like sharing, no fighting and talking back fall under the rule of be kind. It is working because it allows growth, understanding, choices and consequences. I received a prompting at church on Sunday that the plan that I have made for my children is much like the plan our Heavenly Father has for us, his children. God gave us our families so that we can grow to be more like him and more like our Savior Jesus Christ. As parents, we are more able to feel and understand a love that is never ending. A love so tremendous that we can barely express it through words so we show it through what we do for those we love. That means service, sacrifices and time. For parents, service often means cleaning the house, oh and the clothes, the bodies and teeth of those we love. Or maybe it's preparing meals, tending to sick children or any and everything else that our families need from us. Service if we let it, allows us to become more Christ like because it helps us to want to put the needs of others first. Being a parent also helps us to feel more compassion for others and it helps us to also understand the need for guidance and the protection given in following rules. The hard parts of parenting help us grow too. When our children do things that we wish they wouldn't or things that we know will hurt them, maybe it gives us a glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels when we put him last, make bad choices or forget who we are. Just as we would all want our children to come back to us and do the right thing and love them just the same or maybe even more. I know that Heavenly Father feels that and more for us too. Only, he wants us to go and find our brothers and sisters who are lost and show them the way home too.

I live by a church that often posts little thoughts on a board in front of their building. One day a while back, the sign read: God loves you just the way you are. And it bugged me every time I drove past it. I wanted to scream, Yes, he does love you just the way you are but he wants more for you. I believe that he wants us to grow and change for the better. He wants us to love and serve each other. Repent and ask for help to change. Not just believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and do nothing more than merely believe. We wouldn't want our children to get to a certain point in life and just stop growing and changing and becoming better and do nothing more than simply exist until their time on earth was up.

So I took the long way around but I think what I was trying to say is that being a parent is a blessing and if we let it, parenting will draw us near unto God. Like I said in the beginning, if my children follow the rules we have at home, everything else will take care of it's self and my hope is they will have goodness and happiness in life. I also believe if we follow the "first and Greatest Commandment" to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt a love thy neighbour as thyself. That as President Monson likes to say - everything else will take care of it's self.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earn it first

I really love John's Tee Ball team and his Coaches. I like that our coaches teach them how to really play the game the right way and that they are expected to show respect to their own teammates as well as the teams they are playing. I like it when I hear the coaches say things at practice like "earn it first" because lets be honest, the kids are learning about more than just baseball, they are learning about life. They are getting to the age where they are learning things about life through their own experiences and from other adults and their peers. These will be some of their first lessons they learn about team work, playing fair, hard work, follow through, winning and losing and how to do both with honor. So may new things. School, sports, new friends is when our kids will start to notice that they have been raised differently than a lot of kids out there and that they will have to work hard to stay set apart from the world's view on things and not do what is easy but what is right. Believe it or not, it starts right now, when they are young. Yes, I may be taking which team he is on and his conduct in the sport too seriously, but to me the lessons he learns today build his character and will help give him the strength and the knowledge that he will need for the rest of his life.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's time

Hi! I haven't blogged in so long because well, I don't like blogging about negative things and bad feelings. And honestly, lately I have felt uninspired, boring and sick. So what's keeping me down? A bad gallbladder that has been described to me by my doctor as not just sick but very sick. I think he said that twice. And about three to five times it's normal size. Let me tell you, a sick gallbladder is so painful. The gallbladder attacks that I had were so painful that I didn't know if I could make it through them consciously, nor did I want to. Passing out on the bathroom floor after the fourth episode of vomiting while in the midst of severe pain would have been a welcome blessing. The pain was so bad that I thought I was having a heart attack at the age of 31. My chest was exploding, I was short of breath, tremendous back pain, unyielding shoulder pain and more pain than I had ever felt. Ok, enough of that! You get the picture and I think I am writing myself into another attack. No need to re-live the worst pain I have ever felt.

The other thing weighing me down was the looming Government shutdown, which for my husband could have possibly meant unemployment. Rumors are still circulating about layoffs and furloughs, as early as Monday. Tomorrow, the day of my surgery. I keep thinking, am I going to wake up from surgery and find out that my husband doesn't have a job anymore? I can find the good in that though... At least I'm awake to hear the news because that means I made it through the surgery that everyone keeps telling me is no big deal, it's nothing. Apparently my dad went to a concert the same day he had his removed. Let's hope that I'm that blessed!

On to the good stuff now! I have been so blessed with so much love from my family and friends. My Mom is going to be at the hospital with me while my kids are being taken care of by Ryan's parents. The Relief Society is bringing dinner to our family tomorrow. One of my best friends will have my kids all day Tuesday and is even taking them to McDonald's for McTeacher night and has offered to do my laundry, clean my house or just lay around with me and hang out while I recover. Life doesn't get better than being blessed with so many people who bring life, laughter and love to us in such profound ways. I also keep thinking how lucky we are to get the privilege to love so many back. I feel thankful that without even having to ask, those that I love are coming to my rescue. Thank you!

And last but not least, the kids and I had a great weekend. Ryan had to work and we missed him but the kids and I made the best of our time. We had a sweet picnic in the park, fed the ducks and played. Our funny picture from the picnic was just an impromptu self portrait that has really made us laugh. I wish that my kids could know how much I love them and how happy they have made my life. I try to show it by being the best mother that I can be but for some reason, it doesn't seem like pouring out my love to them with every fiber of my being is enough. I bet that even if I had an eternity on this earth with them to show them my love, it wouldn't be enough. That's what makes this life and our time on earth so profound. That no matter how much time we spend with those we love, it is never enough. My grandma is 81 and even if she lived another 50 years it wouldn't be enough for me. I will never be ready to say goodbye to those I love. Here's the thing about that. I don't think I will have to say goodbye forever. I believe that through the atonement and redemption we find in Christ, that we will all live again. Even more than that we will live again in a place where goodbyes don't exist and time is eternity with our loved ones and if we are worthy, we will enter into the presence of Christ our redeemer and our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. I am thankful for this life, my family and my friends. We are all so blessed to be able to live everyday in comfortable homes with nice beds, heating and air, food and all the while surrounded by love. Life is good, even when it's not what we dreamed it would be.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

After you hit the ball you must run

Today John played his first T-ball game. It was so cold and windy outside that it was hard for the boys to have fun. They played a good game and worked hard. They were only beat by 14 points... And I'm ok with that! They are just learning the game and having fun. I also love the Coaches. They are really good at baseball and really good at building the kiddos self-confidence. John hit the ball both times that he was up to bat, he just forgot to run. I hate to mention this because it's kinda of bragging but it's my blog and I can do things like that. He is really good at throwing the ball. Like really good! Good control, speed and accuracy. Maybe I'm just pleasantly surprised that he is actually kinda good at something sports related. He doesn't get that from me. I can't even run in a strait line... It was a fun day and I'm glad that he has a good team and great coaches. Now to my sweet daughter: Dear Anna, You are three so you must stop asking when you can get your own cell phone, wear makeup, cook on the stove and get married. The answer is when you are 30. So now that you know, you can stop asking us everyday. Thank you. Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If you're a kid Disney still has magic

Walt Disney World, also known as "The Magic Kingdom" or as my Mom so sweetly calls it, "The Happiest Place on Earth". For kids, maybe it's all those things but not so much if you're an adult who spent as much as a mortgage payment on tickets to the park, another $14 per day to park the rental van and another $30.00 per day to rent a double stroller only to make it into the park and end up buying nine dollar hot dogs (I am not exaggerating the cost of food. The hot dogs really were $8.67), fighting major crowds and waiting in a one or two hour line for most rides. As an adult, it's not so magical. In fact, it's the exact opposite of magical. It's frustrating and heartbreaking and sad. Yes, I know that it's my fault. I had high expectations and vivid dreams of how I thought Disney would be. I bought into the dream of "Disney Magic" that they have been selling for generations now. Before I even had children, I knew that I would try my hardest to make it to Disney World as a family. Maybe it's because my parents took me and my brother to Disney World when we were kids and it was magical for me then. Thank you Mom and Dad!

Thank goodness for Ryan's parents who paid for airline tickets, a nice van and an awesome timeshare for all of us to stay in. All we had to do was cover the cost of the tickets, our food and souvenirs. The hotel was amazing! The hotel pools were heated, clean and fun! Thank you John and Mariann! Without your kindness we would have never, ever been able to take our kids to Disney World and they both had so much fun.

There is just no cheap way to Disney. I tried, I planned, I hoped and I spent hours researching tips and tricks on-line. I had a plan people! You may be thinking, why pay to park? Shuttles to the parks aren't cheap or practical and there are major time restrictions. Why not pack your own food? Oh we did but you just can't carry enough food or water for a family of four and still survive the day. A heavy, overloaded bag would only add to your problems at Disney. You can't hold the bag all day but you can't leave it with an unattended stroller all day either. A day at Disney will make you feel more mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted than you could ever imagine. I felt nickel and dimed to death, I felt pushed around by food service people who refused to change wrong orders, I felt overwhelmed by the crowd and the procedures at Disney, things that should be simple like entering and exiting the park. The trams, the trains, the ferry, the parking, just everything. Speaking of nickel and dimed to death, they take pictures of you in the park, like the one posted above. They took 14 pictures and we have the option to purchase them for a mere 14.95 or more each. Needless to say, we just bought one. The icing on the cake is you have to order in a specific amount of time or they expire and you have to pay on a weekly basis to extend your viewing and ordering time. And just so ya' know John's shirt says LUCKY to be an American....

All that being said, I am so glad that we got to go. As a mother I am thankful. I will always remember the smiles that you only see on your kids faces at places like Disney. My kids are so precious to me and they had an awesome experience and LOVED every minute of it. My son getting to ride Space Mountain and other great rides with his Dad, the way he loves his Goofy hat, the way Anna lit up when she rode Dumbo and the way she laughed in the Buzz Lightyear ride. Those sweet memories are worth every small thing that I had to "endure". Small things that I made into a big things. And then those things like losing sunglasses and breaking cameras that don't belong to you. When I look back at this trip in 20 years and all the beautiful pictures that we have from the trip, I will not remember the price we paid for tickets and food or the rude Disney workers that wouldn't help me find my husband and son when I was lost. I will remember my husband, our kids and their happy, sweet faces and that time when the kids were little and we all got to go to Disney World.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It won't always be bloody noses and silent alarms.

And recently I have realized that if that's the worst day I have to deal with this week, I'm blessed and lucky and thankful. My week of bloody noses, wet beds, a sick kiddo and a silent alarm clock is easy compared to what the people around me are going through. My life is easy and my problems are small. The sad thing is that I have to learn that same lesson over and over again.

Today I learned that a girl in my son's 1st grade class has cancer, a rare and hard to treat cancer. Like most kids, she is sweet, happy and kind. When I went for the school Valentines party, she gave me my own valentine card and a big chocolate covered pretzel for me to take home. She melted my heart that day. I can't stop thinking of how much I want things to be alright and how I want her to know that she is loved. So now I am doing the only thing that I can. I am praying to my Heavenly Father and asking him, no pleading with him to draw near unto this little girl who needs his comfort, his love and his protection. Tonight Ryan and I gathered our family in prayer on her behalf and we will get down on our knees and pray for her and her family every night from now on. I am so thankful for the power of prayer and the comfort it offers to those who pray and the comfort and peace that it brings to those who are being prayed for. A good friend reminded me last night that our Savior Jesus Christ bears the burden of more than just sin. He also takes on our sorrow, our ailments and every thing else that we have ever felt and are willing to give him. So now I am asking any of you who feel prompted to pray for this sweet little girl Harmony, please do so.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Music is going to be the "deaf" of me

And probably sooner than later... You see when I work out at the gym, which is everyday except Sunday I listen to music on my ipod. Very loud music and it keeps me going. Really, it does, it's not my will power or my desire to be fit. I am convinced that I can not, I repeat can not work out without music and as I said, it must be loud. I have the "exercise playlist" down to a science. I have the most upbeat and make ya' wanna move songs just where they need to be. When I feel like I can't go any further, Usher's DJ's got us fallin in love again comes on followed by More. When muscle failure rears it's ugly head again, P!nk comes on with Perfect followed by Dynamite. Here's the thing. I don't want to stop. I actually love working out now. I always feel better when I leave the gym than I did before I got there. Today I was feeling a little, ummm grumpy or a better word might be aggressive. When we left the gym I felt satisfied, accomplished, sweaty, happy and I just knew I was leaving 5 pounds lighter than when I arrived.

I also love the fact that Ryan and I have grown closer over the past few weeks of dieting and exercising together. We have finally found something that we both like and we can do together. Sure in our 20's we had plenty to do together. Hanging out with friends, going to concerts, driving VW buses and sneaking into Bob Dylan shows but then came the best part of life, our kids. Then all the real joys and sweetness of life followed. One look at our sweet baby boy changed everything and I am so thankful. My kids really are the miracle that made my life complete. Without the love that I have for my children and the tremendous love they have given me, I would not know the true meaning of my life. I wouldn't have been capable of accepting and understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to be the mother of my two beautiful children. Thankful that I get to have kisses and hugs everyday and laugh at the silly things that my three year old little girl says to me. Things like "my dad has parents!!!" and telling our dinner guest that she has "plenty of money in her piggy bank" Yesterday My six year old little boy had his first T-ball practice and today I got to see my sweet John climb a 20 foot rock wall. He had a harness, a rope and a safety person at the bottom. He struggled, he fell away but he tried again and made it to the top! It was hard for me to watch but exciting to see him keep trying. This was his fourth attempt and he finally made it and we were there watching his every move and cheering him on. I am truly thankful that he has grown into a person that will push himself to keep going when things get hard. I feel a Gospel lesson coming on! I can't wait to tie this experience to Lehi's vision of the Iron Rod.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100 things...ok not really just 6 or 7

1. Diet and exercise is not as bad as I once thought it was...It's almost kinda good...Did I really just say that??? It would be even better if weight loss was immediate and my size 12 jeans were too big for me. The reality is I have lost 4 pounds, my jeans still fit and my bra is a little loose.

2. I haven't had a Dr. Pepper in 12 days

3. This is embarrassing and I don't know why I feel the need to share this. Guess I just need to confess to feel better or maybe it's my OCD and I can't stop myself. Our dryer is broken and my son went to school without underwear for the second time in his life. I felt so bad and I worried all day that he wouldn't get his zipper up or the back of his pants would split and he would be the laughing stock of the school and be made fun of until he graduated High School. Then his sweet teacher Mrs. Fletcher would call me and tell me I was the worst mother in the world for sending my kid to school without underwear on. I have also been terribly worried that John would never forgive me if something like that happened so I have decided to go buy two new packages of underwear for him and go pick up my clean laundry from my mother -in-law's house.

4. This diet and exercise thing really got me down for a while and not for the first time I realized that when I'm down I wanna shop and I don't mean just go to the stores and look around. I want to buy. I have it figured out though. It's the instant gratification thing. I just need something to make me feel good because food and soda aren't options anymore. Good thing I have a supportive husband, wonderful friends, two beautiful kids that make me smile and laugh, some self-control and almost no budget for shopping or I could easily turn into a major shopaholic.

5. I hate quilting. Wait, hate is not a strong enough word for the way I feel about quilting. Even looking at the quilt puts me in a bad mood. I have so many mistakes on it and the thought of trying to fix them only means more to screw up, thus more time quilting. When I was a kid I always cringed when people asked a group to share their talents because I didn't have one to share. Talent show season was the worst. I wonder if I will ever discover a talent that I posses. That last sentence gave me an "ah ha" moment. Sewing is not a talent right away, it becomes a talent after a lot of practice and hard work. So I guess if I want a true talent, I will have to practice and work hard first. Dang.

6. Remember the warning I gave you when I started the blog? Read at your own risk? Well today is that day. I would love to end this post in a positive note but I can't think of anything else to say. I'm grumpy and as I write this my kids are being exposed to the cold virus through some kiddos that I'm babysitting. Anyone who knows me knows that I am more than just a little germaphobic. There was no warning either like, hey my kids have a runny nose but I don't think they are sick, can they still come over? It was just like here they are, give them some of this if they get worse. We haven't had the cold or flu all season and I was quite happy about it. In fact, I felt like we had won a battle, a major battle - we went one winter without a cold or flu. Hallelujah! Who knows, maybe the snot running down their faces is allergy related and they will feel better soon and my kids won't get sick. Yes, I know this post makes me seem a little uncaring, self absorbed and rude. I wish I could change the way I feel. Here's something positive. It's most likely just a cold and if we get it we will get over it and things will be just fine!

7. After reading through this I have realized that what I am missing is prayer. If I want to rise above these negative feelings I need to pray for myself. That's a hard thing for me to do. I love to pray for others but to ask Heavenly Father for blessings and help for me is hard. I know that through prayer I will be a better mother and wife and a better servant of Christ and I am thankful for the power of prayer and the scriptures that we have to guide and teach us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How did a nice girl like me get into a mess like this?

Today I went to the doctor and realized that I have gained 18 pounds in one year. That's right people, 18 pounds in one year. It was easy too. All I had to do was eat too much, drink too many Dr. Peppers and sit around on my laptop way too much. So after a nervous breakdown in the doctor's office and a phone call to a friend, I have decided I'm gonna fight back. I will not sit idly by while my body stores more fat.

I am going to eat right, exercise, cry, sweat, cry avoid eating, exercise and not drink Dr. Pepper. Sadly friends, that is most likely what I will be doing for the next 6 months or so until diet and exercise become who I am not what I do.

So tonight I went to Zumba at the community center. I left with shin splints and a very wounded self-esteem. I can not keep up with the class. I can't even move my arms and legs in the right direction at the right time. My hips will not, nor have they ever moved like the 20 year old instructors hips move; nor will I ever be able to smile and clap while working out. After Zumba, I walked the track and listened to my ipod and that's when I realized that I used to fight for what I wanted and lately I haven't been a fighter. I also realized that I have won tough battles before. 7 years ago I quit smoking, two years ago I quit drinking coffee and six months ago I quit drinking Red Bulls. Believe me caffeine is mentally, physically and emotionally addictive. Saying goodbye to my beloved Dr. Pepper is going to be hard. Saying hello again to my size 10's will be worth it, or at least I hope it will be! So I guess if I want to lose weight, I am going to have to fight for it and work hard. Have I mentioned that I kinda hate working hard and I am really, really bad at self-discipline?

The title of this post is from Marjorie Pay Hinckley. What a wonderful woman she must have been! The more I learn about her and who she was, the more I love her.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So lately, I've just been thinkin about people.

"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" that's a quote by Marjorie Pay Hinkley and those are the words that I hear when I meet people now. Not just when I meet someone but when I'm checking out in the grocery store, when I'm being waited on at a restaurant or just anywhere at any encounter. Lately I have been taking the time to just treat those people like they are significant because they are. I will ask how they are and actually care instead of asking to only be polite. There is so much to find out about the people around us. So many funny and sad stories. So many memories they have of a different times and places. The old lady at walmart who was married many years ago but lost her love when the airplane that he was piloting crashed over a field of crops. The lady who made it to work at a local fast food restaurant during one of the snow days. You could tell that she's had a hard life and has worked very hard for the better part of it and will most likely work long hours on her feet for many more years to come and will still not be able to live a comfortable life. She was getting ready to say goodbye to her youngest son who is leaving for his third tour in Afghanistan. She had tears in her eyes when I thanked her for her service to this country and let her know that being the mother of a Marine is no small job. The old man who remembers America the way it used to be when people were different and America still manufactured things and the words "made in China" meant it was junk. The way things were before the Internet and credit cards. When working hard to provide for your family was the ultimate American Dream. The funny thing that I wasn't expecting is that I have changed because of it. Last night when I went to Braum's after dinner to get ice cream for the family there was a really long line and only one lady working the counter and the register. A lady who I know is a single Mom and instead of getting annoyed at how long it was taking, a thought came to my mind: Wow, I bet she is always really tired when she gets home form work. I bet she's too tired to spend fun time with her kids and clean the kitchen. The next thought that I had was how thankful I am for my comfortable life and my sweet family. Thankful that I have a husband who loves and provides for the needs of our family and enables us to have a comfortable and happy life. Thankful that I don't have to go to bed with sore feet and a worn out body and wonder if I made enough money to pay all the bills. Thankful I can wake up and play with my kids and clean our house. So why does any of this matter? It matters to me because I feel like humanity is drifting apart, like we find it hard to relate to each other. It seems like witnessing the suffering of others is easier because we aren't connected to one another anymore. When I was 20, I read an article that named the three things that ruined America. 1. Fast Food 2. Air conditioning 3. TV. Those things ruined America because they took people away from each other. Dinners weren't being eaten together as a family anymore. Before airconditioning and tv people sat outside in the evening to cool off and talk. I feel like people needed each other more then. If someone was in need they were taken care of by their neighbors or their church, not the government. They didn't have all the stuff to keep them occupied, things like internet, tv, video games. I also think I could add a few more things to the list that ruined America but that's for another day....

So what am I going to do about it? I don't know just yet. For now, I guess I will do my part to make things better and I will pray and promise to serve others with love and compassion as my savior Jesus Christ did.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

5,475 Days

5,475 days, that's how long Ryan and I have been married. It doesn't seem possible that 15 years have come and gone. It also doesn't seem possible that in the next 15 years, our sweet little ones will be 21 and 18 and Ryan and I won't be the parents of little kids anymore. I love our family just the way it is. I could play dress up, kiss the top of their heads and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of my life. I promise I could! Yes, even the not so fun things sound like a fair trade right now, things like wiping bums and enduring temper tantrums, if I can just keep my life the way it is now. I know that we are so blessed. Ryan and I are young, healthy, strong and we are happy. Our parents and most of our grandparents are still here with us. We haven't endured the heartbreak of loss. Our kids are sweet, funny and huggable. We have a nice home, a wonderful family and incredible friends. I guess what I am trying to say is the last 15 years have gone by too quickly and I'm afraid the next 15 will go by even faster. Who will I be when I'm not mommy 24x7? Who will my kids be when they are 18 & 21? Will they have the strength and the knowledge they need to overcome this world? Will they still say their prayers and love the Gospel? Will they still need me as much as the air they breathe? Life will change. Ready or not, here it comes.

15 years later, I am still not the perfect wife. We haven't seen our upstairs tv remote in three days and the laundry is's normal for us. Three or four clean loads to be put away and a few dirty loads of laundry on the floor, near the neat little basket that is supposed to contain it. I still ruin meatloaves, sometimes I skip cleaning and just play. I only wear makeup on Sundays, special occasions or on days that I just need to feel a bit younger or prettier. I drink too much Dr. Pepper and some days, I spend too much time just hanging out with my friends or the kids. I lose my keys quite often and every once in a while I accidentally cuss. But to Ryan, these things don't matter much and for that I am thankful. He loves me faults and all and I am the girl he has spent 15 years with. So here's to making the next 5,475 days the best they can be! And here's to being thankful for the wonderful life that we have and the people we love.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The other calendar

The other calendar is a gift I got for my Birthday from a girl who knows me almost as well as I know myself. It hangs on the back of my closet door which most of the time stays open. First I will say Ryan really doesn't mind this. I'm telling you the truth! Ryan gave me a huge Edwards poster in my Christmas stocking that hangs on the back of our bedroom door. He makes fun of my Twilight obsession any chance that he gets. We both know how silly, stupid and juvenile this whole thing is. That being said, it's fun to talk, read, watch anything Twilight with friends and it gives us something to do other than eat, sew, talk about our kids and guzzle Dr. Pepper when we get together. Yes, there is a double standard. I wouldn't like for him to have a picture of some 20 year old actress hanging on his side of the closet but I'm pretty sure that I could let it slide if that's what he chose to do. After all, next month we will be married for 15 years and we are for the most part happy. Honestly, if it made him uncomfortable or jealous, I promise I would know and I
would take it down.

You know you're obsessed with Twilight when: 1.You have to stop yourself from reading the series again. 2. You have a playlist for each book 3. The characters in the movie will never live up to the ones in your head 4. You have memorized your favorite quotes from the books. 5.You have posters in your room and you're over 30 and last but not least, you're friends paint your van with a Twilight reference for your Birthday. I'm not gonna lie, it was fun! The picture you can't see is from the back of the van, it says HONK it's her Birthday! We got honked at all day and one time on the highway while Ryan was changing lanes and he thought we were crashing and dying. I laughed so hard that he made me drive for the rest of the day. The other funny thing is I got honked at even in my driveway. People would literally drive by and honk.

The rest of the day was pretty awesome too! Lunch and snow tubing with family, dinner at Grandma Patsy's and shopping at the Stockyard Mercantile with a cousin that I don't even deserve to be friends with now because I was so mean to her when we were kids. So thank you Emily for being my friend!

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm gonna call it random Monday

So many random things are running through my head today.

1. I feel betrayed by my husband who is starting a "Man Diet" with out me. We got chubby together and dang it we need to get skinny together. I have wanted to do Weight Watchers for a long time but haven't because I knew he wouldn't want to eat the stuff I would be fixing.

2. My house needed more cleaning than I thought it would. I knew when I started cleaning this morning that it was gonna take a while but I didn't expect all the sticky spots on the floor, pretzel crumbs and countless toys under the couch.

3. I'm still not done cleaning, I just needed a break.

4. Will it ever end????

5. I can't get the red out of my hair. I have tried every color to cover and kill the red but it's still red. I think I need professional help!

6. Why did I ever start dying my hair????? Argh!

7. I think I'm prepared for the snow. I did the Okie shuffle (I think I just coined a new term?) and went to the store and got bread, milk, fruit, cereal and junk food. As you can see by the picture, the bag had mercy on me and didn't break until after I got in the house and put it on the counter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The gift that keeps on giving

Why that saying is so often associated with negative things I will never know. On Christmas Day, I opened a gift from my brother and his wife Alicia that has made me smile everyday since then. It's a calendar with pictures of my kids, along with sweet or funny things that they have said over the year. The month in the picture is one of my favorites, it's pictures of John at the Temple and the Zoo and the text says: Hey, Mom you know that dent on our van? Uh yeah. Dad did that with a broomstick while he was teaching me KungFu in the driveway. I just love to look at these pictures and the stories that go along with them. It makes me remember how good life is, how quickly things change and how fleeting time is.

The calendar is also part of the reason for this blog, it has inspired me to journal in a way that I will keep up with (I hope). I want a way to better remember the sweet things is life. Thank you Jason and Alicia for giving such thoughtful and sweet gifts every year. You guys have really inspired me to give more personal gifts to others. Alicia's good at everything! She's a photographer, talented photo editor, scrapbooker and maker of handmade gifts that I would pay a ton of money for if I had to. Did I mention, she can spike a volleyball as good as a pro and she's an outstanding aunt to my children!
I love this picture of Jason and Alicia. Their wedding was so beautiful and fun. It is still one of the happiest days of my life. I was so happy to see my brother marry a girl that he loved so much. A girl who is kind and funny and loves him too. Plus, I felt pretty lucky to have such a sweet sister-in-law!
I can see her and I becoming even better friends over the years. One day, we will even be the old ladies of the family together...

And last but not least, I love this picture of me and my little brother. It's from when summers lasted forever and we could lay under the table in the living room and watch cartoons. The days of laughter and sweetness when our parents had young faces and Jason and I ate McDonald's happymeals and played hide and go seek. The days that I hope I will never forget. Thanks Mom and dad for our happy childhood, our safe home and all the good times. Thank you Jason for always being the best brother a girl could ask for.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So I've decided to start a Blog.

There I said it. I have wanted to do this for a long time but I always thought, why bother no one will read it anyways. Then I decided, who cares, I'll read it! Maybe my kids will too when they are older. I may even make my husband subscribe to this drivel and very possibly discuss it with him at dinner along with my opinions of American Idol, Grey's Anatomy and everything funny, cute or irritating that our kids or dog did that day. Poor Ryan...

Warnings about the blog: 1. Although I have always had dreams of writing for Rolling Stone or changing American politics by writing powerful articles, uncovering corruption and inspiring change, I am not a writer. 2. Sometimes I misspell and use the wrong punctuation and when I do it keeps me up at night thinking about who saw it on FB and how a 31 year old woman could make such silly mistakes. 3. I think I have OCD or ADD. You may from time to time see posts about my anxiety over how fast time goes or how sad I am that my kids are growing so quickly and last but not least, how upset I am that I don't look like I'm 23 anymore. So read at your own risk and try not to judge too harshly.

So the more I write tonight, the more I realize that this is going to be a good outlet for me and I need it.