Thursday, December 30, 2010

I had a bad day.

Who wouldn't love James in a witch's hat?!?

I had a bad day yesterday. I just felt like I couldn't get motivated to do anything. Laundry days are Monday and Tuesday, but last night I still had 3 piles of clean clothes piled on my bed that I needed to put away. I didn't do it. I just pushed them into the portable crib at the end of my bed (the crib is used for for Emerson) because I didn't even want to face it until today. My house was a mess, I didn't feel like cooking because something was stinking in my fridge and I didn't want to fish it out. Oh yeah, and Jared has been working from 6am till around 7pm for the last couple of weeks. Only yesterday, he worked from 6am until 10:30pm. End of the year engineer stuff. Sariah's room is an absolute mess, and I kept stepping on sharp toys which really irritated me. I thought of visiting teaching I had yet to do, with only 2 days left in the month. James' molars are coming in, so he is extra cranky. He's throwing things, throwing himself onto the floor, and is now starting to hit. It just seems like everyone needed some quiet time and time-outs yesterday because we were all in a foul mood.

Also - Sariah is being a pill. This is what she was doing during naps:
She has an unusual attachment to her toy buckets. This is how she fell asleep:
My thoughts turned to mothers who are amazing. You walk into their house, and even with small children, things are in their places. Moms who have hot home-cooked meals on the tables every night, moms who don't have dirty dishes in the sink...and I started to feel like crap. Sure, we pick up at the end of the night. Sure, I cook almost every day (except last night I ordered a pizza). Sure, my kids are healthy and happy, but for some reason I still had a really rough day.

(I miss my husband. I think that's what it boils down to - I really miss Jared.)

But you know what? I'll bet you that those moms who seem to have it all together have bad days, too. I'm sure their house isn't always picked up, and I'm sure they even take their kids to McDonald's once in a while, too. We all try really hard, and that is the important part.

(Once the year comes to a close, I will have my husband back. Date night, here we come!)

I've also decided that it's alright to have a bad day once in a while, because it makes you grateful for all of the other good days you have. And for all of you moms who have bad days and are envious of those who seem like they don't, and who feel like things are falling apart around you - hang on. You'll wake up happy, and ready to take on your role again. And remember - even those moms have bad days, too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

9 Years Ago...

I became his.

He became mine.

We became one, forever.

I love him. I adore him. I treasure him.

Best decision we ever made.

And I still want to be his forever.

Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa's Real To Us

Merry Christmas!!

I love this magical time of year. The smells, the sights, the music, and the magic. This is the first year where Santa is truly alive in our home. We've been talking about him for more than a month, and Sariah had a lot of fun decorating and preparing for him. We also talked about how Santa and Jesus Christ are alike, and how we should also give this season. Santa is so Christ-like that I feel believing in him helps me be a better person. Of course, it can get out of hand (as with almost everything), but Santa is a great lesson if used in the right ways.

Here's the loot:

There are many ways that different families to Christmas gifts, and each one is special because it's meaningful to their family. In our home, our children get 4 things:
1. Something they want.
2. Something they need.
3. A special surprise from mom and dad.
4. Something from Santa. But of course, Santa fills the stockings as well.

We don't want all of the presents to be from Santa because then we don't get any credit! Also, it will help them to be more careful about what they ask for Christmas. And, we won't break the bank when Christmas rolls around.

Santa's note back to the children:

A couple pictures of the kids:

Sariah in her new bug boots, strapping her new baby on. SO CUTE!

And of course, Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting.

I am thankful for the holiday season, and especially for the birth of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Meet Stubs

He's 2, he's happy, and he loves children. For the most part. He's a little wary of strangers, but eventually warms up to them. He's temporary - we're fostering him while his real family figures out a job loss, a foreclosed home, and living with the in-laws.

We LOVE him!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sole Survivor

If you haven't heard, the Provo Tabernacle caught fire last weekend. It wasn't a malicious act, but was probably an electrical shortage somewhere that caused the fire. The inside of the tabernacle is a total loss. "They" are still determining if the outer shell is sound enough to rebuild around. The Provo Tabernacle holds a special place in my heart because it was on those grounds that I made many important decisions during my short stay in Provo, at BYU. BYU wasn't the place for me - I had a horrid experience. I'm among the very few for this to be the case, but I somehow found peace and solace on the tabernacle grounds.

There is only one sole survivor from the fire. A picture. But not the entire picture, only the center portion, where Christ is. The fire burnt the entire picture, except the Savior, who stands in the middle. The charred canvas creates a perfect circle, somehow illuminating Christ.

(Source: Meridian Magazine)

How surreal this is - for we all have fires in our personal lives. When the smoke, flames, and destruction of life ensues us, sometimes the only survivor is Christ. We can still see Him amongst the crumbling blocks of life, and it seems as if everything is burned except for Him. I have had experiences where days were dark, gloomy, depressing, and I felt nothing. I didn't feel happiness, I didn't feel sadness...I just didn't feel anything. The only thing I had to hold on to was hope, my testimony, and our Redeemer. He survived, so I survived. And then I started to feel again, and then I flourished. I am sure I will feel the flames again, as we all do. But next time, this image will be in my mind.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shutterfly Giveaway

Shutterfly is having an incredible promotion! Blog about your favorite Christmas cards, and get 50 free from them. I. Adore. Them. I have made calendars, books, and have even turned some of my blogging into a photo album/book/journal. I even received one Shutterfly Christmas card that was a pop-up with the family's picture. It was outstanding!

Speaking of Christmas cards, here are some of my favorites:

I plan on using Shutterfly to create my Christmas cards this year. My sister in law always does these amazing cards, and this year's is brilliant! I'm going to try and be creative this year...and I have a very good idea. If I don't have your address, email me, message me on FB, or leave me a comment and I'll be sure to get your address! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Stockings Were Hung With Care...

Some do it the day after Thanksgiving. Others do it before Halloween. For us, it's December 1. Christmas decorations. In our house, we decorate, but it doesn't overtake our home. I always want the first thought of Christmas to be towards Christ, so our decorations are simple and meaningful.

Our stockings were hung with care...

The Christmas tree was thoroughly investigated...

And the star was carefully placed...

I adore this time of year. It allows us to be more charitable than we usually are, more service-oriented, bake more often, and who doesn't love the anticipation of Santa Claus?!?

Let the gift-making, shopping, letters to Santa, baking, yummy candle-burning, and present-hiding begin!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

A "spoonful of sugar" means something different to everyone. For some, it's a Diet Pepsi in the morning. For others, it's a piece of chocolate. For others still, it's listening to their favorite childhood CD. Whenever there's a job to be done, there is always something you can do to help it go by a little better.

This morning, I looked at my to-do list for this week:
* Laundry (2 weeks worth because we were gone)
* More laundry (towels, sheets, etc.)
* Pack for our little anniversary getaway this weekend
* Make Primary Activity Day invitations for our Ward Primary Program practice next weekend
* Create a new seating chart for the primary program (because the one I originally made was turned upside down and inside out due to me not thinking that the tall kids should be in the back!)
* Grade for University of Phoenix
* Participate for University of Phoenix
* Weekly lesson for NAU
* Curriculum goals for POHS

So, I got started. I threw a load of laundry in the washing machine, took Sariah to preschool, came home, thought about doing the dishes in the sink, but decided to play instead. In between loads of laundry, I read, sang, and played with Emerson and James.

Naptime came, and I sat down at the computer to do my online work. But I could not focus (which is why I'm blogging instead of working!). My head was so full of all the things I need to do, that I just could not get my act together. But then a thought hit me - my thoughts were so cluttered because my working space was also cluttered. My living room floor was a mess - toys everywhere! I decided to take 10 minutes and pick up. I normally do this at the end of the day, with all the children helping. But because this isn't a typical week and I have so much to do, I decided to do it quick. I picked up everything, got a Diet Pepsi, and got to work. I could not believe how much work I got done once my work space was cleaned!

Now, I know that we don't want to put our family aside while we clean our home. But my evenings are so much better after I take 15 minutes with my family to pick up toys, put shoes away, and make sure dinner is put away. My day comes to a close, and I wake up refreshed with a clean slate (literally). So for me, today, my "sugar" was a clean living room floor. I hope you find yours as well!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Illinois In Pictures

It is hard to accept that our Thanksgiving trip is over tomorrow. On this Thanksgiving Day, my heart is full.


Uncle Doug:

Manly Tools:






Winter Clothes:

Thank you, Illinois, for being so good to us this year. We will see you again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Many Men Does It Take...

To install a new toilet?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magic Stairs

I have an amazing husband. He completed an exceptional Eagle Project that took 3 weeks to complete - he built stairs in a forest. We took the kids to see them. They loved it, and Sariah kept calling them her "magic" stairs. I'm not sure why, but they do seem magical in this beautiful wooded area. In the first picture, you can see the staircase off to the left, going up the hill.