Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Decade

What could you accomplish in a decade? (In no particular order)

3 college degrees (2 B.S.'s and 1 M.Ed.)
2 beautiful children
7 foster puppies
5 different homes
4 cars (2 old and 2 current)
0 fights (disagreements? of course! but no fights.)
14 church callings
Infinity inside jokes
Infinity hugs and kisses
Infinity tears of joy and pain
And the numbers keep growing...
It is hard to believe that I have been married for 10 years! That is 1/3 of my life! I was a bride at 20 years old, and it was the best decision I have ever made or will ever make. Who knew marriage could be so wonderful, enlightening, hard, trying, and speechless?

I love, am hot for, adore, treasure, and am thankful for my bacon bringer.

NOTE: Maybe when I unpack the boxes of books, I'll post some neat pictures from when we got married!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sariah's Family

Sariah's favorite gifts from Christmas are her two dollies from Grandma Franklin, her Zhu Zhu pet from her cousin, and her Ballet Teddy (named "Rose") from Santa.

She takes very good care of them all.

She will be a very sweet mother one day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stud Muffin

Monday, December 5, 2011

Noodles = Horsies


You mean foam noodles aren't supposed to be horsies?


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pistachio Sneaker

This boy LOVES pistachios. He calls them "almonds." He'll sneak them any time he can get his hands on them!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


It's a good thing I love them dearly.

Being a mom is so glamorous.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stubborn Streak

This little girl has one amazing stubborn streak. Case in point.

The rule in our house is: "If it's not in your dirty clothes' basket on laundry day, it doesn't get washed." This particular 4 1/2 year old knows how to pick up her clothes and put them in her laundry basket because I taught her how!

One week, she wouldn't pick up her clothes because she couldn't see them. They were on the floor, but her room was too messy to even get to them! She and Emerson always play hard in her room, so it's usually a disaster.

(NOTE: I was never required to keep my room clean. My mom knew that our room was our domain, so she would just shut the door and know that we knew where things were. I am alright if Sariah's room is messy. She'll reap the consequences. Can't find her shoes? Then she doesn't get to go with me. Can't find her crayons? Then she doesn't get to color. You get the point.)

The only day I make Sariah pick up her room is on Saturdays. Saturdays is our cleaning up day. this particular Saturday, she wouldn't pick it up. So she stayed in her room All. Day. This is what her room looked like at 7:00pm:
It also looked that way on Sunday at 7:00pm. It wasn't until Monday morning, at the thought of not going to preschool because her room was still messy, that she decided to pick it up.

And she had everything picked up and put away in 10 minutes flat.

Really? 2 days to do 10 minutes' worth of work?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wish I Could Say More

On Thursday night, as I was putting Sariah to bed, she was frustrated with the fact that she had to go to bed. She told me, "MOM! I can't close my eyes because then I won't be able to stay awake in the dark!"' Kind of the point. =)

On Friday night, after attending an amazing Mexican dinner in honor of my dad's retirement from practicing law, I joined my 2 sisters and some girlfriends to go see "Breaking Dawn Part I." All I have to say is "meh."

Nothing new here! Just a new appreciation for my testimony, my husband, and my children. Wish I had more to say! Sometimes, nothing to report is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chocolate Milk

Sariah loves rides in the afternoons, putting the windows down and letting the wind blow in her face. She's beautiful and peaceful when she does this. Here, she is singing "I Love To See the Temple" as we go for our afternoon drive.

Sariah thrives on routines. She has ever since she was born. When she knows what is coming next, she feels smart. She feels secure. She is happy. When that routine is thrown off, she becomes confused, insecure, and unpredictable.

Part of her daily routine is her morning chocolate milk. She wakes up, comes to get her dad (who is usually just getting out of the shower), and he makes her some chocolate milk. She snuggles on the couch with her yellow blanket, watches "Curious George" and drinks her milk. Once the show is over, and her milk is gone, she comes to get me and we start our day.

On Friday morning, her dad wasn't home when she woke up. He was helping my dad with his computer. Sariah came to get me, and with pouty lips, expressed her dissatisfaction that Jared wasn't there to get her milk. I told her I would do it! I was up to the task! As tears rolled down her cheeks, she explained that only her daddy could make her the chocolate milk. I couldn't make it right, so I couldn't do it. She then told me how much she loves her daddy, missed him when he wasn't there, and missed her chocolate milk.

My heart was both happy and sad at the same time - happy that she loved her daddy's chocolate milk so much, but sad that she missed him when he was gone. She happily showed me how to make the chocolate milk like daddy did, and was happy enough. I hope that she and Jared will continue to create these kinds of traditions, even into her teenage years, to strengthen their relationship.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Right Words

This sweet little baby, Landon, never got to meet his daddy. His daddy was killed in Afghanistan 3 weeks before he was born.

One of my difficulties is finding the right words. Often, my words come out in the wrong way either making me sound stupid, or offending someone, or sticking my nose in someone's else's business, or coming across as I have been offended when I really haven't. My words rarely come across the way I intend them to.

So as I think about Veterans Day, how do you thank someone for serving our country? For giving their life so we can enjoy our freedom? For saying thank you, while others are losing spouses and children? So instead of expressing my gratitude (which will never do anyone justice), I am going to share my favorite pictures.

Happy Veterans Day. May we always be thankful.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stickers and Flashlights

As a young mother, you hear it all the time. "Enjoy every stage in their lives because they're gone before you know it." I know, I know.

Sometimes it's hard, especially when you have a squirly two-year-old who wants to put stickers all over the house, shine flashlights in peoples' eyes, throw things over the wall into the neighbor's yard or in the street (on purpose!), hit, yell, tease his sister mercilessly, and defy every rule you have set forth.

But thankfully, most of the time it is easy. Especially when you get hugs, kisses, I Love You's, snuggles, thank you's, waves goodbye, wrestling, and song-singing time.

The other day, I had just about had it. James was a tyrant. He was throwing a hard brush across the room. After 2 warnings of me putting it away, he threw it a third time. I confiscated the brush, and he ran over to Sariah and hit her in retaliation. So what do I do? Scoop him up (not gently, mind you) and sit him in the naughty corner. Yes, we have a corner of the house dedicated to time-outs and punishment. While James sat in the corner, sobbing "I'm sorry, mommy! I'm sorry, mommy!", my heart melted. After the 2-minute timer went off (1 minute for every year they are old), I sat down next to him. I explained that he was in the naughty corner because he hit Sariah. He lost the brush because he didn't listen, but he was being punished for hitting his sister. He needed to tell Sariah sorry for hitting her. Which he did, and gave her a hug.

What a wonderful gift we have - agency. We get to choose how we parent, and how we react to situations. James even got to choose if he wanted to throw the brush, just one more time, even after 2 warnings. And I got really upset. How many times do I make my Heavenly Father upset? After repeated council to read my scriptures, say my prayers, bear my testimony, and countless other commandments? Does he put me in the "naughty" corner? I'm sure he would like to once in a while! But just like James got another chance at playing, we all get another chance if we say we are sorry and make it right. I will always forgive James, no matter what, just like my Heavenly Father forgives matter what.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghosts and Goblins Galore!

I'm sure there were a lot of Rapunzels this year. But I'll bet you that none of them had a prettier head of hair than this beautiful girl:
And if you know James, you know there is no costume that would describe him better!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Angels Among Us

Sometimes, there are no words to describe the feeling you get when you hold a brand new baby. My younger sister brought this angel into her family on Friday afternoon. I felt so close to heaven as I held her, smelled her, cuddled her, and even listen to her squawk. Welcome to the family, little girl!

Jared and James stayed in Tucson while I whisked Sariah off to Mesa to stay with Courtney's little girl while she was in the hospital. Courtney has to have c-sections, so she was in the hospital for a few days. She will go home tomorrow. Sariah and Makenzie had the GREATEST time together!

We played, we ate, we napped, and we played some more. But most importantly, Sariah taught Makenzie how much fun it is to run around in just your underwear.
We had a blast, and we can't wait to get back up there and snuggle the new baby some more! That's about as close to heaven as you get.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Now, brothers and sisters, we are anxious to listen to the messages which will be presented to us today and tomorrow. Those who will address us have sought heaven’s help and direction as they have prepared their messages. That we may be filled with the Spirit of the Lord and be uplifted and inspired as we listen and learn is my prayer."
-President Thomas S. Monson.

Growing up, I didn't really know that there was General Conference on Saturdays! (No offense mom and dad.) This year, we are going to try things a little different. I mean, how do you have your two squirly children get anything out of conference? Well, you really don't, but you plant the seeds.

Here's my plan.

Saturday: Have conference on, and we will listen. I won't make the kids sit down and watch it, but we will have it on as we play in the living room, and hang around the house.

Sunday: Print out these packets for our children to play with while we listen to conference in the morning, which we eat homemade cinnamon rolls. The afternoon session? Probably treated the same as Saturday - have it on while we enjoy each other as a family.

I want my children to grow up with the prophet's voice being familiar, positive, and loving. I want my children to know that there are sessions on both Saturdays and Sundays. I want to have a special date in the evening of Saturdays with my children while the men are at the priesthood session. We have to start somewhere, right?

Enjoy conference! Even if you aren't a member of the church, or haven't gone to church in a long time, you can still watch it online. You will be amazed at how uplifted and peaceful you will be after watching it. Go here to learn more.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forget Me Not

Yesterday, I went to our stake Relief Society service project - making blankets, stockings, and bags for an organization called Aviva. They provide children who have been taken from their homes by CPS with the necessities they need while in foster care. Hearing the experiences of these children made my eyes fill up with tears. I knew I was doing a good thing, and it was fun to be there amongst the hustle and bustle.

Afterwards, I watched the General Relief Society broadcast where I heard a talk that I will never forget. President Uchtdorf talked about the little flowers that often get overlooked in a garden because they are small. Our eyes tend to notice the large and beautiful flowers, and don't normally notice these little blue ones - the forget-me-nots.

In his talk, he listed 5 forget-me-not things to remember in my life. My heart was touched, and I felt he was speaking to me. As I talked about in my last post, my life is a little chaotic right now, but soon to slow down with my job setting in. I felt forgotten. Not after this talk. I know I am not forgotten, and I know that I have been given the strength to carry on.

1. Forget not to be patient with yourself.
2. Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
3. Forget not the happiness that surrounds you.
4. Forget not the "why" of the gospel.
5. Forget not that the Lord loves you.

I am reminded that my efforts ARE good enough. What I do each day is important. Even if it's just changing a diaper, playing in my messy living room with my children, or making spaghetti for dinner.

I am reminded to be happy every day, with my children, my husband, and my lot in life. To find joy in my children, as they do in me.

I am also reminded that I am not alone, that I am loved, that I am buoyed up, and that I am the daughter of deity. I am so blessed, and I am happy.