Friday, December 30, 2011

13 Things By 2013

Tis the season to make your resolutions. I was reading on one of my favorite blogs and I saw where she had a post about 12 things she wanted to accomplish by 2012, so I've decided that I'm going to try to do 13 things by 2013. Some of them may be able to be accomplished easily, but others will take a greater amount of effort and time. Hopefully I can accomplish them. I feel that it's important to always be setting goals and to always be learning something new, maybe that's why I've been in school for so long :) Anyway, here they are:

1. Purge and organize my house and my storage. I really don't know why I hang on to stuff, but some of it definitely needs to go!

2. Date my husband! We're on the cusp of extreme chaos in our house and it's more important now than ever for us to actually spend time together and reconnect so that we can be the best parents we can be.

3. Keep my car clean! I don't know about you, but with 3 kids our stuff just seems to multiply and take over any available space. Sometimes it's just my own junk, sometimes it's the kids' stuff and food wrappers, sometimes it's Jame's fishing or hunting stuff and sometimes it's all of them combined!

4. Drink more water!! I'm really bad at this. I am a Diet Pepsi junkie. I usually have one first thing in the morning and then again in the afternoon and then again maybe in the evening. I could totally use some more water in my life.

5. Re-vamp my wardrobe. I've become incredibly picky about what I buy. I have to LOVE it before I buy it. As a result, I have a lot of clothes that I've collected over the years, but not a lot that I absolutely love and wear frequently enough to justify having them. I want to try a wardrobe that I can be comfortable in and still look decent. It'll have to wait though, because right now I'm enduring living in maternity clothes until April.

6. Read to my kids more. The kids and I read a book almost every night, but lately we have been slacking. I'm just so tired that I'm having a hard time finding the energy to even tuck them in at night. So I would really like to be able to find the time to read more to them and spend time with them. I grew up reading with my Grandmother and there were nights when I would get in trouble for staying up reading too late. I just loved to read and I want to instill that same characteristic in my kids.

7. Buy less, make more. Ever since I've become addicted to Pintrest, I have found so many things that I would LOVE to make and that I actually think I could make. I made some fabric flowers the other day for a Christmas present and for my mom and I really enjoyed the process and the time I had to myself to be able to spend on it. It also wasn't that expensive which made it even better. I have big plans for my living room that involve recovering my pillows and introducing some homemade art projects. I can't wait!!

8. Continue to maintain my high GPA. Right now, my GPA is at 3.7 which is a pretty great feat considering that in the past few years that I've been in school, I worked, went to school and had kids. I hope that I can continue to maintain the momentum that I've built up so that I can set a good example for my kids academically.

9. Let my hair GROW!! I know that Jame will appreciate this one, but I have a feeling that I'll get the itch to chop either a little before or directly after this new baby arrives. It's just something that I do, I don't know why, I just do it. I haven't cut my hair since last April and so it's been about nine months since I've touched it which is a big deal for me. We'll see :)

10. Find some balance in my life. As I mentioned before, it's about to get really busy in my house and it's going to take more energy than what I feel I have right now, but if I am able to achieve some kind of balance I know that I'll be able to do it. I have to settle myself down thinking that I have to be perfect at everything, sometimes just being good is good enough.

11. Turn off the T.V. Sometimes I just have it on for background noise while I'm cleaning or doing schoolwork which doesn't make any sense because then I sometimes loose my focus and get completely distracted. Like right now :) So, I've decided that it just needs to be off. That and I don't want to waste the electricity.

12. Blog more. I know that I've said this in the past and that I've made this same promise before, but I really like my blog and I really like people being able to see my family grow and learn more about our lives. Lately, I've had a hard time thinking of what to write about and I've neglected it as a result. I promise to do better in the future.

13. Take more pictures. My kids are growing up before my eyes and I barely have any pictures of them. I haven't taken any first day of school pictures or monthly milestone pictures of Addy. I haven't been very good, but hopefully I'll be able to do better when I get a new phone (an Iphone, ha ha Jame!). Then I'll be able to actually have good quality pictures and I'll be able to load them on our computer. Either that, or I'll have to invest in a good quality camera.

Well, there it is. Lucky 13 things I plan to accomplish before the year is up. I'll let you all know how I'm doing because one of them is to blog more often. Good luck with your own "resolutions" and have a Happy New Year!! May 2012 be the best year EVER!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Right Now

Right now I am...

Watching: The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda, but I'm not really paying attention. I kind of feel that they are a little overrated and not really funny to anyone, but each other. How some people make such a great living gossiping and talking nonsense I will never understand. The channel is about to be changed, as soon as I find the remote.

Eating: Addy and I are both eating a candy cane. She has a bigger piece than I do and I really didn't think that she would like it because of the strong mint flavor, but she seems to be enjoying it. I see a stick mess to clean up in my future.

Drinking: Water and a Diet Pepsi, but I should just be drinking water.

Wearing: Jeans, a Long Sleeved Shirt and a Purple Short Sleeved Sweater. It's a lot colder outside than it looks and I just want to be comfortable and warm. I wish that I had some super warm socks on (they're just athletic socks, but they match) I could us some warm wool socks right about now. I just can't seem to keep my feet warm EVER!!

Avoiding: Dishes, Laundry and just cleaning anything in general. I am hoping that maybe one day, the cleaing fairy will show up at my house and it will all magically be done.

Feeling: Tired. I stayed up too late last night trying to solve some computer problems and then I had to check the status of my school financial aid and check into Facebook of course. I also stayed up reading, which I probably shouldn't have.

Missing: My mommy and daddy, but I won't be for long!!

Thankful: For a warm home, Addy's smile when she wakes up and her new walking skills, food in my tummy, the cookies my visiting teachers brought, my family, the place I live, so many things!!

Weather: Probably a little over 20* right now. I'm not looking forward to packing Addy back up in the car and going to pick Breckin up from preschool here shortly. I just have little motivation when it's cold outside. There is still a little snow on the ground, but not much.

Praying: For those that are lonely, hurting or having unbearable trials right now. I pray for them to have strength, comfort and love in their lives. There are too many people struggling out there and if the least I can do is pray for them, that's what I'll do.

Needing: Some fabric glue for some projects I'm working on. I also need Hobby Lobby to be closer because I love the fabric selection there, but I hate driving all the way to Billings and having to stay there all day to really get what I need and want.

Thinking: I really should make those peanut blossom cookies today s that Jame can take some to work tomorrow. I have also made a list of all the things that I need to do before next Tuesday. So much!!! I'm kicking Jame out of the house and I'm crafting, packing and cleaning ALL DAY!!!

Loving: Addy discovering things, the pictures that Ashlyn has been making lately, Breckin's complete obedience lately, my glue gun, the ornaments I made, the fact that I ordered my books for next semester on Tuesday and they got here today! The GREAT refund I got for the books I sold from last semester.

And you? What are you p to right now?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Randoms

So, the reason why I haven't been on here very much is because I have really been at a loss for anything to talk about. I know that many of you find that very hard to believe, especially those of you that know me very well, but it's true! So, I have decided to do a random post in the hopes that maybe I'll be inspired by something! Here are just a few random things that you may or may not know about me:

1. I HATE feet!! I can't stand feet, the smell, the look, the idea of feet. I love baby feet, but after the age of two they stop being cute and start becoming gross. When I was pregnant with Addy it was very difficult for me to get down and paint my toenails, so I would treat myself to pedicures. I have to say that I would rather work in fast food than do pedicures all day. I saw some pretty gross feet just from where I was sitting.

2. Sometimes I just let my house sit and be a mess. Right now is one of those times. I just don't have any motivation to clean. I know that this is unusual, but I just think about all of the stuff that I want to go through and get rid of and it is enough to exhast and deter me from getting any work done. So, my house is a mess.

3. I wish for a dishwasher. I went and looked at an apartment that we might move into in possibly January. The first thing that I noticed was a dishwasher!! I loved having a dishwasher in Laramie and it really saved me time and the headache of looking at a sink full of dishes. Hopefully we'll be able to move in and I'll get my dream dishwasher.

4. I am still obsessed with Veronica Mars. If you have never seen it, look it up on Hulu. It's got Kristen Bell as the title character and I just love how clever and snarky she is. I wish that I could have been that confident and clever in high school. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

5. I really wish that I was crafty. I see all of these projects on other blogs and on Pintrest and I wish that I had the time and patience to complete those things. I am going to put forth the effort next week to redo our Christmas decorations that will involve some fabric, a glue gun and perhaps some sewing. I will officially be done with my classes on December 9th and I plan on devoting much of the free time I'll have to doing some crafts.

6. I haven't cut my hair since last April. I went to a salon here in Cody and overpaied for a terrible hair cut. I decided that I would try to grow it out as long as I could stand it. It doesn't seem like it has grown that much, but it has. I like the fact that I can pull most of it back and out of my face, it's really nice when I actually do get the motivation to clean this house.

7. I actually like it when it snows. I like the big, fat snowflakes that just seem to float down gracefully. It's days like this when I just like to curl up on the couch and read a book or watch a movie. It's really nice.

8. In addition to a dishwasher, I really wish that I had a mantle. It would be great to decorate a mantle and fireplace this time of year. I also like the ambiance that a fire brings on winter nights when the big, fat snowflakes are falling.

9. I wear mismatched socks. Sometimes it's just fun to look down and laugh. It's also interesting when other people notice. They give you a weird look and then they might ask you if you know that your socks don't match. It's just good, clean fun.

10. I don't own a pair of sweatpants. I don't know what it is about sweatpants, but I just don't like them. My kids don't even own sweatpants. The closest they come are the fleece pants you can get at Old Navy. I don't think that I've always been this way, but they just remind me of my grandma.

11. Finally, for those of you who don't know already...We're expecting again. I'm about 21 weeks along and we have had two ultrasounds and all signs point to another little girl. Our new baby is due April 20, 2012. I know that many of you may be either thinking or even saying out loud-"Already!?!". It wasn't planned, but it is definently a gift that we are happy to recieve. All of the kids seem to be happy about it and Addy is just like Ashlyn was at her age. She has become more and more independent and obedient. I know she is only 10 months old, but I can tell. I feel that the Lord has blessed me with so many girls because he knows how good and obedient the girls that I already have are. He also knows that Breckin is my "Little Boy" and it needs to stay that way for a while.

So, there it is. A few random facts about me. Next time, maybe, it'll be less than a month between posts :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Life As A Stay At Home Mom

So a while ago I was talking to an old friend and he asked me what I was up to. I told him that I'd been married for 8 years, had three kids, went to school full time and stayed at home being a mommy. His reply: "So that's ALL you do? You just stay at home? Okay". WHAT!?! That's ALL I do!!! I will have you know that there is a lot to ALL of what I do. Here is a typical day in our house:

6:30am: Get up and say goodbye to Jame as he's going out the door to work. I don't usually know how long of a day it's going to be, so I do like to say goodbye to my husband before he leaves. Between now 7:00 I try to get myself ready to go for the day. My day can consist of a number of things, so I do actually try to get dressed. I am not a person that is comfortable going out of my house (unless it's just to run to the car) in my pajamas, so I try to look somewhat presentable.

7:00am: I get Ashlyn and Breckin up and going for the day. Usually Addy will wake up with them and I have yet another little person to get dressed for the day. I usually try to lay out the kids' clothes the night before, so I don't have to try to sift through clean laundry and try to find something that they can wear. I then proceed to get them some breakfast. This will be Breckin's first breakfast as he has breakfast again at school, but sometimes he doesn't like what they are having so I want to make sure that he has something in his tummy. Then I try to get the beds made and things picked up a little bit.

8:00am: We're out the door. All three kids with coats, hats, gloves and the two older ones with backpacks. Ashlyn has to be at school at 8:10, so I usually get there at about 5 after and walk her up to her door. Sometimes I'll stand there with her for a minute and some of her classmates will have me put on their gloves and zip their coats. So, I have another round of being a mom to other kids! Then Breckin has to be at school at 8:30. We usually wait in the car for a minute before we go in and then I drop him off and say goodbye to him. Addy and I then begin running errands for the day.

9:00am: Addy and I run some errands. On Tuesday's she stays with Grandma Kelley while I go volunteer in Ashlyn's class from 8:30 til about 10. We usually go to the grocery store or go to the library. Some days we'll just go home and start on chores for the day.

9:30am-12:00pm: I usually work on school work while I am doing laundry, giving Addy a nap, or paying bills online. Then I will wash the dishes, wipe the counters off and sweep the floor. I'll also start getting stuff ready for dinner that night. At least twice a week, I clean the bathroom. I have two boys in my house and one of them doesn't have very good aim. Then the other one makes a mess when he shaves. I am constantly picking up after one of them in the bathroom!! This includes, cleaning the counters, the toilet, the floor, and the shower. I then move on to the kids' rooms. I finish making beds and clean up toys that were left out before bedtime. Once a week I try to wash all of the bedding in the house. Finally, it's time to get Breckin.

12:00pm: I go pick Breckin up, talk to his teachers and find out what things are going on at the school that I need to be aware of. Once a month we have a parent meeting so that the parents can know about any upcoming activities or programs that they can help with. Then, if Jame's lunch isn't ready when he leaves, we usually go up there and drop it off and say hello to him because, again, we don't know how late of a day it could be.

1:00-3:00pm: I usually start on a snack for Ashlyn and Breckin to have when she comes home from school. Sometimes it's cookies, homemade bread, or something else that I've made. Other times it's just something like yogurt and fruit or popcorn or something simple, but I usually like to make something homemade. On Fridays she gets out at 1:30, so I go and pick her up then. Otherwise, I continue cleaning the house and trying to catch up on the never ending laundry!

3:00pm: We all load up again to go get Ashlyn from school. I go up to her door so that her teacher can see that she's with who she should be with and then we walk back to the car and I ask her about her day. After we get home, the kids get a snack and I try to put Addy down for another nap. Then the kids and I will read books or play or just relax and watch Spongebob.

4:00-7:00pm: Jame usually gets off of work within this time window, and since we only have one vehicle, we all go pick him up from work around now. Sometimes, we have to stop and do some errands for him, otherwise we just all go home. We relax and play together for a little while until it's time to make dinner. I usually like to try to have dinner at 6:30 at the very latest. The kids are very enthusiastic about being in the kitchen to help me when I make dinner, so sometimes it takes longer than if I were to just do it myself. We usually sit around the table together and talk about our day.

7:00pm: It's bath time for all of the kids, which means that Addy usually takes either a quick shower or a little bath. Then Ashlyn and Breckin have their bath and it's time to put on pajamas.

8:00pm: Now it's time to get the kids settled into their beds and get them thinking about getting sleepy. We usually read scriptures, say prayers and read a library book together. Sometimes I have to pat Breckin on the back for a little while, but he's usually pretty good about going to sleep. All of the kids are usually asleep by 8:30.

8:30-10:00pm: Now I'm just being generous to myself. I usually don't make it until 10:00. In fact, last night I started to drift off at 9. It was kind of amusing. Anyway, Jame and I try to catch up on things for the day and just enjoy some quiet time together. It's good for us because some people say that we have trouble communicating, you know who you are :) I have also been known to completely ignore him if I have a good book that I want to read, so sometimes he's left to his own devices and that usually includes the X-Box. Finally, I crash and think about doing it all over again tomorrow.

So for that ignorant (and yes, I'm getting THAT mean) individual that belittled my existence as a stay-at-home mom. I would like you to take a look at my day and see if you are able to accomplish even half of what I do. I would also like you to realize that on top of these things, I have a church calling, family obligations and every once in a while I've been known to help my neighbors and friends if they need it. I am very proud of what I do, even if you don't understand it. I am grateful for a hard-working husband who believes that the most important job that I can do is within the walls of my own home. And just for a little food for thought, if I did have a professional job title it would be this: chef, chauffeur, psychologist, housekeeper, nurse, teacher, bookkeeper, receptionist, personal assistant, and coach. On top of that, if you really need to have a monetary value on what I do, according to Fox News I'm worth $117,000 a year and according to MSN Money I'm worth $138,095 a year. But I'm willing to do this job for the satisfaction of being able to be with my children and make a house a home for my family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Promises, Promises :)

Okay, I already know, at the beginning of the new school year I had the best intentions of being more faithful in my blogging. I grossly underestimated how busy I would be with Ashlyn in school, Breckin in preschool, me in school, Jame at work, laundry to do, dishes to wash, dinner to make, and everything else to do. I am finally getting around to the blog.
A lot has happened in the last month. First, Jame is working a lot more. He's also beginning to travel for his work more. Next month he goes to San Francisco, CA. In November, he goes to Casper. He also has some tenative plans for December and January. They must like him if they are spending all of this money sending him places.
Next, Grandpa Hawkins passed away on September 8th, 2011 and we had a funeral on September 13th. It was a beautiful and uplifting funeral and I am so grateful that we were able to be there. I am also grateful that we were able to be around Grandpa and get to know him. I felt so bad for him when he got toward the end because he was beginning to suffer the way that Grandma had been when she died. Fortunately his suffering didn't last as long as Grandma's and he passed peacefully, surrounded by those that loved him. Breckin was facinated at the viewing by Grandpa's body in his casket. Finally, on the third time going in there Lynette said, "Yup, he's dead." Breckin said, "He's dead!" He just needed to be told bluntly what was going on instead of all of the mechanics of his spirit not being in his body anymore. He also thought that one of the men helping to bury the casket was Jesus. He is developing quite the personality!
Grandpa left this world a much better place and he also left his family with some guidance that we should all learn from. He said, "Do the best you can. Serve the Lord every chance you get, and if Satan knocks you down, get back up, even if it takes a long time." He was such a wise man and again I am so very grateful that I was able to know him.
Life doesn't seem as though it is going to slow down anytime soon. I have a paper due this Friday that I haven't even started, I have Ashlyn's birthday coming up, I need to put in some volunteer hours at Breckin's school and I desperately need to clean my house :) We may also begin a search for a safer place to live. Last night, when I came back from class, I pulled up and there were two Cody PD patrol cars outside, and a DCI agent. They were searching the car of a couple of kids that frequent an apartment in our complex. They didn't make any arrests, but if DCI is involved it is usually only a matter of time. So, we are starting to look for a place in a better locale. We also need something bigger, because we are about to burst at the seams! Hopefully we can find something bigger and more cost effective for us because winter is upon us and our heating bill last year was outrageous! I am not looking forward to that.
I know I did a lot of rambling here, but I just thought that I would try to update everyone about what was going on and what we were up to. I also thought that I might give some excuses for my absence. I'm really good at excuses, but I promise to try better!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Life As A Police Officer's Wife


So, for those of you who know us, you know that the Hubby is no longer a police officer. However, for almost 4 years of our married lives together, the Hubby served the community of Powell, Wyoming. There were many pros and cons to him being a police officer, but we are grateful for the experience that he had doing it.

When he was a police officer he was working shift work, which I HATED!! His shifts would change every month and when he worked the night shift it was nearly impossible to plan any daytime activities because he slept all day and then had to report to work at 6 pm. The other shifts that he worked sometimes required him to wake up in the middle of the night to transport a prisoner, who more times than not was pulled over for driving while intoxicated or driving while under the influence. So, he'd get up at 2 am, get all his gear on, try not to wake me or the baby sleeping in the nearby bedroom, go out in the darkness, report to the PD, grab the criminal, put him in his squad car, drive about 25 miles to the county jail, drop the idiot off, drive back to the PD, check back in there, drive back home, and try to salvage whatever amount of sleep he could still get before he had to report back to work. I have to say that I HATE drunk drivers even more after having experienced this.

The first year that the Hubby worked for the PD,, we had our first child, we moved twice, and the Hell's Angels came to town. The county was sprawling with police, from all around, including Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, etc. Because of careful planning and preparation there weren't any incidents and everything went smoothly. However, the hubby was working very loooong days for about a week, which meant that I got to worry about him even more :)

When the Hubby would work the night shift would be the hardest time for me, other than having him gone to the Police Academy. It would take me at least two weeks to adjust to not having him sleeping next to me. I would also be scared that someone he had arrested would know where we lived. Then there was the fear of something happening to him, there are just too many idiots out past 11:00. He always came home safely to me and reassured me that he always would.

With all of the worries and concerns that I had over his chosen profession, there were also a number of bright spots. When Ashlyn was born, we received a special visit from the Chief, who came to check her out and wish us well. He also told the Hubby that he should be prepared to start work pretty soon :) When Breckin was born we received more visits from the Hubby's fellow officers. They offered their support and congratulations. One of them even took the time to pick him up and hold him for a little while. It was great to have that support at such special times in our lives.

One year, during the week before fair, I was hustling around trying to get my entries ready for the culinary department. Since they only needed three or four individual items to taste, the rest of my treats went to the PD, needless to say they were more than gracious for the snacks that they received on nearly a daily basis for about a week.

Another time, the Hubby got really sick. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to use any of his sick time because he didn't have any, and he wasn't able to dip into the sick bank because he hadn't been there to participate in it. We were worried about how our bills were going to get paid, how we were going to pay our rent, how we were going to feed our little ones. We received a knock on our door one evening and there was the Chief and his wife with a manila envelope. He told us simply, that he had written a note on the envelope explaining the circumstances and informing people that any donation that they could give would be appreciated. The envelope made it's way to every department in the city. The contents of the envelope weren't emptied until later, but needless to say it was more than enough to meet our needs. We will be eternally grateful to those who opened their hearts to us at this time.

The whole point of this post is to give you a little insight as to what it means to be part of a law enforcement family. The Hubby was one of 16 brothers, with the Chief as their father. They really and truly are as close as brothers are. They would kill for each other, defend each other, they listen to each other, and give constructive criticism when it is due. A few weeks ago, the Hubby lost one of these brothers in a vehicle accident. When he told me what had happened, I didn't know how to expect him to react. When he came home from work, he was visibly upset and at this officer's funeral he became incredibly upset again. He told me outright, "There is no other bond I can think of that can compare to the one that I share with those guys. I feel like I lost a big brother." I felt for him, because although he is no longer employed as a police officer, he will always be a part of that family. We are so grateful for the experiences that we had as a part of that department, the good and the bad. It has made the hubby who he is and it has made us a different family because of it.

Source for picture: http://www.basinsradio.com/basin/images/stories/Stock_Photos/Crime_Justice_Emergency/police_badge_1.jpg

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Time For A Makeover!!

I know what you may be thinking, but if you follow my blog very closely you'll find that the makeover is for the blog, not for me, although if anyone is willing to put up the bucks to give me one, I won't put up much of a fight :) Just kidding! Anyway, I was getting a little bored with how the blog looked so I decided to do a little changing and rearranging. I think I'm happy with how it looks now, it took me a while and a few frustrations, but I figured it out. It's been a while since I messed around with my design.

Anyway, there are only 16 short days until I start school and 18 until Ashlyn starts. I am still waiting to hear about screenings for Breckin for Head Start and then I'll have a somewhat empty house for at least half of the day, 4 days a week. It'll only be me and Addy here. I'm thinking of how much I'll be able to accomplish and how clean my house will be. I'll also be able to do some baby-proofing hopefully because the girl is on the move! I like to start each school year with the best of intentions and a resolution to do my best, so far I've been able to achieve my goals. This semester is going to pose a challenge because I'm taking my first real psychology courses, which ought to be interesting. I hope that Ashlyn has the same resolve as her mother and even more follow through. I am so excited for her to start school and learn all of the things that she can. I am also excited for Breckin to start preschool because he needs the social interaction. The boy also needs to learn how to clean up on his own!! With just me and Addy at home, I'm looking into working for maybe half of the day at the Yellowstone Behavioral Center. It would get me foot in the door to later become a psychologist and therapist, so I figure that now is the time to start, and it's only for 4 hours a day, so I'll still have the time I need to be a mommy and a wife. Sometimes I put too much on my plate, but I think that I know my limitations pretty well, and if I'm not busy, I get bored and then I get into trouble :)

Another thing that I've decided to makeover, is the Life List that I started. It's not so much of a makeover as a few additions. I don't know if I posted the original on here yet, but as I look back, I can't find it, so here is the updated and revised edition.

1. Read the following books: The Articles of Faith, Jesus the Christ, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Mormon Doctrine, Our Search for Happiness, A Marvelous Work and A Wonder

2. Take a cruise with the Hubby

3. Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree

4. Learn how to sew

5. Learn how to grow, can and preserve my own food

6. Get in shape!

7. Go skydiving, para sailing, bungee jumping and river rafting. What can I say, I have a need for an adrenaline rush :)

8. Compete in a triathlon

9. Open my own cupcake store

10. Grow my hair out long

11. Blog at least twice a week for a year

12. Have my own organic farm

13. Write and publish my children's book

14. Compete in a pageant

15. Meet someone famous

16. Learn French, Spanish and Italian

17. Take a tour of Europe

18. Spend New Year's Eve in Times Square

19. Go horseback riding on the beach

20. Learn ballet

21. Visit every temple in the United States-so far we have: Denver CO, Billings MT, Newport Beach CA and San Diego CA

22. Document the kids growing up better

23. Climb a mountain

24. Spend an entire summer in the Hampton's

25. Go to New England to see the leaves change in the fall

26. Read every Jane Austen book

27. Read the Book of Mormon in a day

28. Learn to shoot a rifle

29. Get paid to do what I love

30. Own my dream house

31. Help make someone's dream come true

32. Coach my kids in a sport

33. Serve a Church mission with my husband

34. Host a holiday meal at my house

35. Give my husband the best surprise he could imagine

36. Complete the Personal Progress program, Duty to God program and memorize the Scripture Mastery scriptures

37. Host a craft retreat

38. Watch my kids live Happily Ever After

39. Win a contest

40. Throw a monthly dinner party

41. Start my own catering and party planning business

42. Compete in the New York marathon

43. Walk on the Great Wall of China

44. Visit South Africa

45. Go to Wicked with my kids *This is tentatively planned for next summer in Sacramento

46. Go to Disneyland and Disney World

47. Re-decorate my house

48. Learn sign language

49. Anonymously pay for someone else's groceries

50. Attend a spin class

Well, there is the list so far. If you have any suggestions of additions that you think I should make feel free to comment on it. I hope that I can achieve all of these things and more in my lifetime. I also hope that you all like the makeover, now it's time to makeover my life!! More on that later, stay tuned...

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Perfect Mom

Okay, so Ashlyn starts school in about 37 days, not that I'm counting or anything. I have to say that I am soooo excited for her. I remember the first day of school and the anticipation and excitement that I experienced. Now, I'm on a different side of the first day of school. I have a responsibility to my daughter to not embarass her either by my actions or by my apperance. This got me thinking about some of the moms that I know and have known over the past few years. There are so many attributes of them that I admire that I wish that I could be like all of them. Of course at the top of my list is my mom because she was the absolute coolest mom EVER!

Now I know that I look like I'm twelve years old, fifteen at the most. I know that I don't look like I'm old enough to have kids, let alone three. I also know that in the past few years I have let myself go a little bit. I'm not as fit and trim as I once was, I definenlty don't eat as well as I used to and I don't dress as well as I once did. I have to make choices between washing dishes and going to the gym, I have to choose between sleeping and getting up in the morning to make a nutritious breakfast, I also have to choose between catchiing up on some of the reading that I had every intention of getting through this summer and taking a loooong walk in the heat with my kids in tow. Each sacrifice might be a success, but sometimes I don't know if it's worth it.

Well, I now have put myself in a new mind set. With Ashlyn in school all day, Breckin in preschool half of the day and just me and Addy at home, I'm making the committment to treat myself better than I have been and become my version of the perfect mom. I want to have striking looks that attract the people around me and make my husband proud to be seen out in public with me (not that he's not now, but I would certainly feel better about it), I want to be able to be successful in my education and do the best that I can, I also want to be the cool, creative mom that can throw fun parties for the kids and think of fun ideas for class projects and activities.

All of this might sound like I'm a little vain, I'll be the first to admit that I am a vain person. I could never imagine going to the grocery store in pajamas, I'm just not that person. I usually don't go out in public without makeup on. I am just trying to make myself the best me that I can be and hopefully I can find some success!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Thrill!!




Okay, I know that I'm a dork, but when me and some of my family were playing the Loaded Questions game one of the questions was, "What awards show would like to go to?" I knew mine immediately...The ESPYS! I know that it's pretty unconventional for a woman to say that she would love to go to a show that celebrates sports and the best of sports, but that's where I would like to go.

There is something about participating in a physical competition that is unlike anything you will ever experience. It's the thrill of victory, the sorrow of defeat, the camaraderie you build as a team, the determination that you build within yourself, the blood, sweat and tears you put into something that you truly love. Perhaps it's just because the need for competition runs through my veins genetically, but there is just something about it.

Someday, I want my own children to know what it's like to be a winner, what it's like to loose a heartbreaker, what it feels like to train like a champion, and what it means to make what seems to be impossible, possible. I believe that the experience that you can have through athletic competition is unlike any other experience that you can have. I am grateful to my parents for their encouragement and support to me and my brother in helping us to learn all of these things, and I hope to one day be able to pass them on to my own children and that the cycle will continue.


Source: http://www.justpushstart.com/2009/11/12/playstation-3-not-syncing-trophies-as-of-today/

Thursday, June 30, 2011

More Things I HEART!!

Since I know you all can't get enough of things that I love. Here are some more:

Zach Galifianakis- I just hear my mother-in-law saying, "Who's the guy with the beard?!" He is a comic genius! I first noticed Zach Galifianakis when he was on SNL and did an AMAZING job as host. I LOVED it. If you haven't seen it, look it up on YouTube, it's worth a couple laughs.




TOMS Shoes- I asked for a pair of these shoes for my birthday and I got them! They are so incredibly comfortable, a lot more than you would guess. They have arch support and come in a lot of different styles and colors. On top of that, for every pair that you buy, the company gives a pair of shoes to a child in a Third World Country. I find this incredible because the founder and owner of the company is only 33 years old and has been doing this for a number of years now. Check out more at:



The mormon.org website- I really like the way that the site shares information with people in a simple, non-invasive way. I also appreciate the stories about being a Mormon. I have watched many of them and each one is inspiring and gives me the motivation to do better tomorrow than I did today. You can click on the tab on the right hand side that says, "I'm A Mormon" and go there to see more

Yard Sales- Since the hubby and I have been married, I have gone to yard sales. We've gotten a good portion of our baby stuff there and we've also gotten treasures for ourselves. This last weekend we did pretty well. We found an almost new bike for Ashlyn that she had actually "tried out" at Wal-Mart earlier that week, all we need is training wheels. We also got a little TV with a VHS player so that our kids can watch the classic Disney movies that I never saw :)



The game Loaded Questions- This is a great game for you to play to get to know people that you already know pretty well, even better. It always ends up quite amusing, especially when I play with Jame's family.



THE OFFICE- I CANNOT believe that I forgot this in the first go 'round. I am truly disappointed in myself! I have seen every, single episode of The Office, many of them more than five times. "Confict Resolution" is still my all-time favorite. If you don't know which one it is, it's the one where Michael sits down with Dwight and Jim and goes through all of the complaints in the "file in New York". It is a hilarious collection of pranks that Jim has pulled on Dwight. My ideal job would be to work in an office exactly like that!

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The Froggy Pond in Powell- We finally crossed this off of our summer list of things to do. We made the trip earlier this week when the temperature got up to over 90 degrees. It was a nice break and we ended up staying there for over 2 hours. It was GREAT. We also had a picnic and spent time with my sister-in-law and her daughter.


Maxi Dresses- When the heat hits, I put on one of these babies. They are light weight and comfortable. I also feel like I look a little more put together and polished because I have a dress on. It's a nice change to the monotony of jeans and t-shirts.




Working Out- This has been a GREAT way for me to relieve some stress and get some energy when I need it. I'm grateful that Jame has supported me in spending this time to myself and he's also paying for it :) I enjoy feeling that even on days that I haven't really accomplished anything, I can go work out and feel a little accomplished. I also haven't been able to shed this baby weight as easily as I did the other two and so I have to put forth a little more effort.



And there you have it people, more stuff I HEART!! There will be a continuation of this series as I find more things that I HEART so stay tuned. And if you are able, please check out the TOMS website. It is truly inspiring what one person is able to do. The founder, Blake Mycoskie, shares his favorite quote on the site which comes from Ghandi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Check it out!


*Sources:
http://www.best-of-web.com/pages/101112-106756-352042.html
http://www.bargainist.com/deals/2010/07/bargainist-product-pick-maxi-dresses-from-sears/
http://tv.ign.com/articles/103/1037147p1.html
http://www.areyougame.com/interact/item.asp?itemno=AE10231
http://www.harmonicflow.com/game/yard-sale-junkie/
http://blogs.pointloma.edu/thepointweekly/2009/09/28/toms-shoes-not-the-right-fit/
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20284492,00.html

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to... My brother!!


Keeping in the tradition that I seem to have established here, I want to devote this particular post to my brother. Today, he turns 27 and I personally couldn't imagine my life without him. We have shared so many memories and experiences together and there he is one of my best friends and most trusted confidants.

Here are just a few of my favorite memories with Sean:

*I remember when we were little and we didn't want to go to bed, so we'd play this game to see who could get from their room to the kitchen without getting caught. Depending on the angle of dad's recliner and the TV this could prove nearly impossible. There was also that creak in the floor in the dining room that would give you away every time. We played this game for quite a while, until one of us would give up and actually go to bed.

*I remember when we were playing on the dirt road by the canal and it had been raining and you and one of your little friends decided that it would be a good idea to throw mud at us. The next day you were supposed to go golfing with me and dad and you found a pleasant little surprise in the toes of your new shoes. I can remember dad waiting for you and going in the house to check on you. When he came back he looked at me and said, "Really, applesauce?" and then started laughing. You had it coming to you.

*I remember you an another one of your friends giving me a snow bath so many times that I finally decided not to get up and just let you kick snow on me because I was grossly out numbered. The next day you woke up to snow being thrown in your faces. You were so mad at me and you went into the kitchen, grabbed the Dijon mustard out of the fridge and squirted it all over me. To this day, I cannot stand the smell of Dijon mustard!

*I remember you and another one of your friends spraying a swear word on Grandma's wall in hairspray and then lighting it on fire. One night, mom was looking at the wall and saw what you had done. Grandma then made you and Matt paint the entire room, but you guys didn't get very far because you had only opened one of the small windows in the room and you were getting high on the fumes. As a result, you were also singing annoyingly loud, we could hear you down the street! So Grandma kicked you out and said she would finish it herself. I always wondered if you guys had planned it that way.

*I remember when we moved to Las Vegas and you were making fun of me because I had to go to school and you didn't. Little did you know that you would have to go to school during the HOT summer months and I wouldn't. Ha Ha!!!

*I remember moving to Texas and the first day that we were there we were a little confused about their lunch schedule and we ended up having lunch together at the back of the school around some scary people. After that, you were told that you were supposed to stay in your class for that half hour and I lost my lunch buddy :(

*I remember when a boy hurt my feelings and you and some of your friends cornered him in the choir hall and threatened his very existence. He stayed in the choir room for the rest of that lunch period. You were my little brother, taking care of me.

*I remember the same sort of instance happening again only this time on a much more traumatic scale, except this time you were far away and all I could do was get your advice and support from over the phone. However, when you did come back you scared the living daylights out of the guy and I haven't heard from him since.

*I remember one Thanksgiving Day in Texas when you and I were given the task of doing the dishes and we were messing around and you put a towel in your mouth. I wasn't thinking and I pulled the towel out an with it came the veneers that were on your teeth. You were SO mad at me. I tried to laugh it off, but when mom told you that the dentist couldn't get you in until the next week and that you would have to go to school for a day like that, I really felt bad.

*I remember when you and mom came to visit one Christmas and Jame and I announced that we were engaged. You and I laid in bed at Grandma Cyphers house, like we had so many times before that and we talked about our lives and our futures. You gave me so much support at that time, because I felt like the world was against me and Jame. You told me that as long as I was happy and that I felt like I was doing the right thing, that was all that mattered.


*I remember, just a few years ago, when you needed me for once. You were in despair and you didn't know what to do. I told you that you could come and stay with us in Laramie and I was surprised when you thought that it was a great idea. You aren't one for small towns anymore, so it caught me off guard. Fortunately, your life turned around and got so much better than you could have ever imagined, so you didn't have to suffer through the worst of Wyoming winters.

*Finally, I remember when you told me that you were going to propose to Jess. I can't tell you how excited I was for you and the only thing that I would change about it would be that I would be there to celebrate with you guys. I have always told you that you need to marry someone like mom and you FINALLY listened to me. I can see why you love her so much. She is a genuinely good person in a world where it is hard to find a person like that. She cares for you deeply and loves and respects you, she also wants the same things out of life that you do, she is smart and giving and all around perfect for you.

Sean, I am excited for your birthday and I wish that I could be there with you to celebrate another year. You once asked mom if you were and accident because some mean person told you that you were (you know who I'm talking about) Mom told you that you were a surprise. You were a surprise, the best surprise and one that I didn't even know that I wanted, but wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have. I hope that you have a Happy Birthday and always know that I love you very much!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Letter to My Daddy


I know that I'm a day late, but I think that it's better late than never right? Yesterday was a busy day for us and we spent most of the day at church and at the HawkInn playing games and hanging out so that the hubby could get some sleep. I did however call my dad and wish him a Happy Father's Day, but I was getting in to a no service zone and had to cut the conversation short. Here is what I would have liked to tell him:

Daddy,

You have ALWAYS been there for me. No matter what you have helped, advised and supported me. I am your little girl and I know that you would do anything for me. I have fond memories of our family together and many of them include you doing something entertaining and fun. There was the time that you and Uncle Pudge went fishing and neither one of you caught anything, but the dog did :) There were the times watching you play softball and for some reason you couldn't slide feet first, but you did know how to slide onto your tummy. There were the times that Grandma gave you Captain Crunch for Christmas and everyone could tell that you were genuinely grateful for the thought behind the gift as well as the gift itself. There were the summer water fights that we had and the time that we doused you with water after you came home from work and you were less than thrilled about it. There are so many memories that I have of spending time with you.

There are also the more difficult times that we faced as a family where you stepped up as the leader of our family and reassured all of us that everything was going to be okay. When we all grudgingly moved to Las Vegas, you kept us together and you would humor Sean and I when we played our trivia game with you and mom. Because of that move, I feel like we became closer as a family and although you may not have know it at the time, I relied on you to help me at this difficult time. When we moved again to Cibolo, we rarely saw you because you had to work so hard. When we did see you, you were usually grilling shrimp or teetering up the driveway after playing a little game with Sean and his friends, you know what I'm talking about :) You would also go golfing with Sean and come to as many of my swim meets as you could.

Now, we live far apart and Sean and I have grown up and soon we will both have families of our own. One thing will remain the same though, we will always need our Daddy. You have taught me so much and I am so grateful that God chose to put me in your family. You are always logical when I am more emotional and you help me to see every angle of the picture. You have taught me the value of hard work because let's face it you and mom are two of the hardest working people that I know. You have also taught me about confidence and how far the combination of good self confidence and hard work can get you. Most of all, you have taught me about unconditional love. It didn't matter if we talked back, went to jail, made mistakes. We knew that there was nothing that we could do that would make you love us less. I appreciate the fact that you told us that frequently. I also appreciate that you tell me that you are proud of me and that you love me often. Those are things that as your daughter, I need to hear. I hope that I can continue to make you proud. I just want you to know that I love you unconditionally and that I am proud of you and I am proud to be your daughter.

Love,

TD

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A More Healthy Me


If you haven't watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, you NEED to. I watched all of last season and it was amazingly eye opening. This season started off with quite the episode of shock value. One of the first things that they discussed was how "hamburgers" are made in our country. If you don't know, it's pretty disturbing and you need to find out. I also watched Food Inc. recently and it really educated me as to how the food industry really works in our country. Again, if you haven't watched that movie, I would encourage you to do so.

Jamie Oliver's whole goal is to make America more healthy and he targets our children because they are the future of our nation's health. I completely agree with his methods and his view points. I also feel that as a parent, I have to be a positive example to my children for healthy eating. Things are a lot different now than they were when I was young. My mother always cooked, every night. We didn't have a McDonald's in our town until I was in middle school. We didn't have the convenience of fast food. Now, I don't think twice about picking up a quick dinner for my kids so that I don't have to cook because I'm too tired. I just looked at a recent bank statement and over $60 in the past two weeks have been spent by my husband and myself on convenience foods. So, I am challenging myself to become more healthy.

My kids are actually pretty good eaters. They LOVE green vegetables. Breckin ate 2 whole peppers at his uncle's house the other day! They also ate a bunch of asparagus the other night, by themselves. This is a habit that I want to continue to encourage. I also want them to be more open to trying different foods and I want to be able to provide them with more home cooked meals during the next few weeks.

Finally, I want them to be able to become more active during the day. Right now, it's been unseasonably rainy and cold here in Wyoming and so we haven't been able to go outside and play as much as we would have liked too. We also have concerns about Ashlyn's allergies acting up and affecting her. So, for the rest of this month I want to be able to allow them to be able to have more opportunities to be more active. I know that next month they will have soccer for a half hour, twice a week, but right now they need to do something. I also feel that I could use the cardiovascular activity. So, I want to be able to try to go swimming every week day for the rest of the summer. This is an activity that doesn't put a lot of stress on my body and that I enjoy and I am comfortable with. All in all, for my kids, I want to be a more healthy me. I want to be a good example to them of positive eating habits and how much fun activity can be. I want to instill these good habits in them before they learn how to play video games and sit in front of the TV all day as so many kids now do. When I was young, we never got to sit around and do nothing. My parents kicked us out of the house to play EVERYDAY! I have to say that, although I wished that I could have just "hung out" at home, I'm glad that they made me get some fresh air in my lungs because it helped me enjoy my life!


Source for pic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Oliver's_Food_Revolution

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SUMMER!!!

With what seems like summer FINALLY upon us here in Wyoming, I've been thinking about some of my favorite summer memories from my childhood. You know the saying, "We might not have it all together, but together we have it all" that is the opitomy of my family. Our summers consisted of organized chaos. We ran from one place to another and my broter and I were constantly being kicked out of our house, away from the TV and into the sunshine. I have to say that looking back on it I LOVED it and I'm so grateful that I had parents that MADE me play! The husband always says that I have the most vivid memories of my childhood and here are some of my favorites:

*We spent a good part of our time at the baseball/softball fields during the summer. My dad ran softball tournaments and we were volunteered to clean up the garbage and sweep the rocks off of the sidewalk, but we never got to work in the concession stand which is where we really wanted to be. Anyway, after one particularly hot tournament weekend we were cleaning up with some help from some of my parents' friends and my uncle and cousins and some other kids and we broke out into an all out, no hold bar water fight. There was water EVERYWHERE!! Finally, everything came to a screeching hault when my brother came up and told my mom that one of the "adult" men had given him a swirly in the softball bathrooms no less. To this day we don't know if it's true because my brother hasn't told us. I think that it's because my mom reemed this guy like I have never seen before. I have never seen her so mad, so if it's a lie she's going to feel really bad. I think that maybe my brother is just sparing her the guilt :)

*My cousins would stay with my uncle for the summer and we would play together almost every day. One night we had a sleep over in my uncle's backyard in a fort that he had made for us. My youngest cousin fell asleep before the rest of us and so my brother and my male cousin we'll call him Patt, decided that for punishment she needed to have rocks stuffed in her nose. Thankfully there wasn't any serious damage done except that she was really made at them for doing it to her and at my female cousin and I for laughing about it and not stopping it. There were a lot of nights like that :)

*We had, in my opinion, the best yard around. It was green and soft and well taken care of, I should know, my dad made us do it. Anyway, we were able to reap the rewards of our hard work by having sleepovers in the yard and on the trampoline with our friends. There was always a whole lot of laughing and very little sleeping going on. In the morning, when it got warm enough we would take all of the sleeping bags and pillows off of the trampoline and put a sprinkler underneath it and start jumping on it. That was the best birthday present I ever asked for!!

*My dad thinks that he is the king of the grill, and he is pretty good. However, he should not be left unattended because he could hurt himself. One incident that occurred that I will never forget and he will NEVER live down happened on a warm summer night when he, my brother and I were sitting around the grill waiting for dinner to be ready. We were sitting in some green, plastic chairs doing impressions of cartoons and people. My dad started doing the Tazmanian Devil and just as soon as he really got going the chair gave out from all of the excitement and he landed on the ground. I remember laughing about that for nearly and hour and reliving it in our impressions. It was great!

*I remember that as soon as it got warm enough I knew that my grandma would have playhouse all ready for me. It was a little trailer that her parents had used when she was little and it only had one little room and a small space you had to have a stepstool to reach to get into a bed. I would clean that playhouse until it shined and then I would arrange all of the little furniture that she had for me just the way I wanted it. One year she even let me have some of the marigolds that she would grow in her garden to put around a tree that was next to my playhouse. I loved that place. I could play in there for hours and I didn't even need my brother to keep me company.


There are so many other memories to share, but there just isn't enough room or time. I have to say that although I loved school, I LOVED summer. I'm so grateful for the amazing memories that I have of time with my family and my friends. I hope that my kids will have memories that are just as good!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Like a Fish in Water





This was actually quite a challenge for me. After having three kids, I've noticed that my body doesn't bounce back the way that it once did. It is more of a challenge to me to get myself back into shape when I'm functioning on about 5 hours of sleep. There is also my evil sweet tooth that has been running rampant today. There's a children's book about a sweet tooth that I can definitely relate to. However, even though I'm not feeling particularly beautiful on the outside right now. I do know what it means to be an all around beautiful person.

For me, swimming really began when I was in eighth grade and I was initially going to try diving because my best friend was doing it and I didn't want to feel left out. The head coach advised me otherwise because I had such an athletic build. He wanted me to try swimming and on top of that he wanted me to do long distance swimming. I tried it and I actually liked it, even though during my first 500 meter race I thought that I was going to die! Hey, I had never swam 20 consecutive laps in my life! I survived though and I was asked to come back and join the high school team the next year. I told the coach that I would think about it, and in the end, with the insistence of my parents I joined. I would wake up at 6 am every morning to make it practice at 6:30. We would swim until about 7:30 and then I would put in a full day of school. After school I put in another 2 hour practice. I guess I was just a glutton for punishment, but it got me to the State swimming championships when I was a freshman.

After the season was over, my world was rocked by a move to Las Vegas. The first thought that entered my mind was that I didn't want to leave my coach. He believed in me like no other person in my life had besides my parents. He challenged me and he helped me to build my confidence. I didn't want to leave him, but I did and in the end so many opportunities were open to me. When we moved to Las Vegas I got to have another swim season and I was also able to be exposed to some really great swimming experiences. I competed against top swimmers in the state and I was able to hold my own. I was also the only person on my team to make it to the Regional Championships. Then we moved to a little town outside of San Antonio, Texas and I was challenged again.

If you don't know, sports in Texas are taken very seriously. Many professional athletes are home grown in Texas, it's just a way of life. When I joined the swim team there, it was relatively new and there were very few of us. We had to make sacrifices to find times and places to practice and if we really wanted to be serious about it we had to find these things on our own. My parents were able to find me a great program where I felt challenged and my competitive edge really developed because I was training with the COMPETITION. By law, Samuel Clemens High School HATED Judson High School and here I was making friends with the enemy. It was really a great experience and I was once again able to make the Regional Championships within our division. It was great.


So why did I share these stories with you? It's because to me, beauty is strength and confidence in who you are. The place that I feel the most beautiful is in a swimming pool while I'm swimming laps. I can feel the strength in my legs and arms propelling me forward. I can feel my lungs expanding and then releasing in a rhythm that is all my own. I feel confident when I am able to see the muscles that are building as a result of my hard work. I also feel confident when I know that I've put in a good workout doing a sport that I love and that I am really good at. I hope that one day my own children can learn the satisfaction of hard work paying of and the rewards of success and sportsmanship. Now, I think I hear the pool calling me :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Life Shines!!!

Some mornings I wake up and I wonder what life is all about and why I am here in this time and in this moment. Then I see these 3 faces and I know why...

Ashlyn ALWAYS has the best smile and the sweetest disposition. She is so obedient and helpful. She's such a loving and caring big sister and I know that someday she will be a great mommy. I'm so glad that she came first!




Breckin ALWAYS makes me happy no matter how sad I might be feeling, and he is so creative and imaginative in his play. Sometimes, I just stand by his door and listen to him play. He also is very funny and makes me laugh several times a day!




Addy is AlWAYS silly, she wakes up in the morning with a smile ready for you. She is also one of the cutest babies that I've ever seen, but I might be a little bias. On top of that, who doesn't LOVE a naked baby, especially one with her tongue sticking out at you!




So when I'm running on spiritual fumes, or I'm questioning my purpose. I look at these 3 little miracles that I've been given and I know why I am here. I am here to learn about love, pure and unconditional love, the kind of love that Christ and my Heavenly Father have for me. The most perfect way for me to learn about this love is to experience it myself. There is nothing that my children could ever do to make me not love them. They are a part of me and they are part of my purpose in this life. Thanks Ashlyn, Breckin, and Addy for giving my life meaning and helping to learn to love.

P.S. What's with the head tilt? I guess that's just how they pose.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I Learned This Week

Hey everybody, if you don't know about the Shine Project yet, you should really check it out, it is awesome. This week we were given the challenge to learn something new that we have always wanted to learn this week. There are so many things that I want to learn. I feel like I'm going to be in school forever because I want to learn so much. I did challenge myself this week and I tried to teach myself how to sew.

I won't post any pictures now, but I'll try on Sunday when I actually wear the skirt that I made. I had to have Jame help me with some of the technicalities which I really appreciated. He also watched the kids while I worked on my project. Two hours later I had my own homemade masterpiece. I hope to be able to make more and get a little more complex. I also have BIG plans for re-fashioning some of my kids' clothes so that I don't have to buy a whole new summer wardrobe for them. As I said before, there are many other things that I want to learn in my life so here's
THE LIST:

-scuba dive
-bake a souffle
-rock climb and repel
-garden
-live green
-knit and crochet, I technically know how to crochet, but I would like to be able to do it better
-run a marathon
-shoot a gun, I actually plan on doing this over the summer when I do a Trash The Dress photo shoot
-photography
-make jewelry
-French, Spanish and Italian
-ballet, I already took a semester of ballet, but I would love to do more
-use a Silhouetee and Cricut
-make my own furniture

This is quite the list and there are probably more things that I haven't thought of yet or that I have forgotten, but for now this will do. I really wish that I could find a ballet class for myself, but for now I will have to live vicariously through Ashlyn who will start ballet in the fall. I also can't wait to do my Trash The Dress photo shoot because I only spent $57 on my dress and I would love to be able to wear it again, just for fun. For the past week, my brain has been on autopilot, after all of the school work and papers that I had to do, but now I'm ready for more stimulation. I hope that you will all challenge yourselves to learn something that you have always wanted to.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things I HEART!!

So, I've been thinking about some things in my life that really make me happy. Of course, at the top of the list is my husband and my children. But there are sooo many things that make me happy, some of them are spiritual and some of them are silly. Anyway, here they are:

*Andy Samburg: I don't know what it is about him, but I have a small crush on him. I know that it's silly and I've talked to the hubs about it and he doesn't feel threatened by him :) I just find him incredibly funny and charming.



*Baking with Ashlyn: She is the BEST helper and she is able to understand what I need her to do and she wants to grow up to be a chef someday and a superhero!



*The Rain: In Texas the rain is warm and creates A LOT of humidity, but when it rains in Wyoming it's pretty cold, however, I bought myself some lovely black galoshes that Jame insists makes me look like a farmer's wife because I refuse to put them inside of my pants. They are the BEST for jumping in puddles, which I try to do frequently.




*The Color Pink: I'm a little obsessed. It can't be baby pink it has to be HOT pink. I have several shirts that are pink, an iPod that is pink, a pink cover for my phone, if it is pink I WANT it!! The best thing about this picture is that it's a pair of PINK CHUCK TAYLORS which I want sooo bad! Hey my birthday is coming, maybe I can talk my mom into some :)






*Glee: On Tuesday evenings from 7-8 I am glued to the television for an hour of peace in the form of Glee. Maybe it's because I was in choir in high school and I can relate to some of the drama that occurs, but I really do love it!



*The Prophet of My Church: I am so grateful that I am able to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I am also grateful that I am able to have the guidance from a prophet on the Earth today and apostles. The counsel that they give me has helped me to avoid many pitfalls in my life.




*The Beach: Jame and I have decided that if we ever get the chance to live by the beach, we are definenlty going to. We first fell in love with the sand and water when we went to visit my parents in Southern California and we still can't get enough.



*Mint Oreos: I am convinced that even though we don't need to eat in heaven, I want to and I want to have Mint Oreos and milk everyday! The best thing about it would be that I wouldn't gain any weight :) When I really need something super sweet and I don't have any cupcakes in the house, I go to the Mint Oreo.




*Reading: As I have said, my ideal vacation would consist of a secluded beach, myself and a few people to clean up after me, and a library full of GOOD books. I could spend all my time reading, but alas I have a husband and 3 little ones that NEED me EVERYDAY! Don't get me wrong, I love them and I love that they NEED me, but I would really love just one day to relax and do nothing but read! This picture is of the Library of Congress and someday I am going there!



*Lisa Leonard Designs: If you don't know about this woman, you should. She is an inspiration to any stay-at-home mom. I also LOVE her jewelry and home decor. She is so amazing!






I hope that you enjoyed reading about some of the things that I love that make me happy! I try to make it a goal to be happy everyday and honestly, some days are better than others, but a happy day is still a good day! I hope that you will consider things in your life, however simple they may be, that make you happy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On This Day 7 Years Ago


On this day, 7 years ago, I married my best friend. Jame and I are so different from each other, but some how we make it work. There is a lot of laughter and playful teasing in our relationship, which I feel has made it a lot more fun for us. We have grown to understand each other better than I though we could. He understands my need for busyness and excitement in my life and I understand his need for peace and calm. I understand his need for life outdoors and what it means to him and he understands my need for hustle and bustle and the excitement of a city's energy. I understand his affinity for hunting, fishing, guns and The Discovery Channel and he understands my affinity for shopping, cleaning, reading and my intese of love of all things pink, he even got me a pink iPod for Valentine's Day one year.

I am so grateful to have Jame in my life. He is my best friend and the person that I go to when I am upset about myself or frustrated with my life. We have been through some intese trials in our short marriage, but we have also been given so many blessings. Jame is the person that has paced the halls of the Powell Hospital while I was in labor. He is the one that takes care of our kids while I go take a swim, he is the one that makes me feel beautiful even when I'm in my jammies and my hair is all messed up. He is the best daddy to my kids, he gets up with Ashlyn when she is having a bad dream, he takes Breckin camping with him and he takes care of Addy while I try to relax and take a much needed bath. He sacrifices his time and sometimes his sanity to provide for our family. Finally, he loves me when I sometimes feel the least lovable. I have to say that he's the BEST!! I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father put us together and provided a way for us to be together for time and all eternity.

On this day, 7 years ago, I married, my best friend and I couldn't imagine life without him or the family that we have made together.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Lesson Learned, A Heart Changed

A Lesson Learned, A Heart Changed

Tonight Ashlyn and I were relaxing together while Addy slept and Daddy and Brecky were away. We were watching 20/20 and a special about a woman who had been in a plane accident with her husband and another individual was the story for the evening. I could remember seeing this woman on a short video online on the Mormon Messages YouTube channel. I wanted to learn more about her and I was glad that I tuned in.

She is such an inspiration and the fact that although she will never get over what happened to her, she hasn't made it define who she is and she hasn't wallowed in self pity. She has carried on with faith. She is a person that I truly admire and I hope that I can be like someday.

Here is her story, you should really check it out: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/

Another thing that really touched me is that while Ashlyn was watching this she informed me that someday Heavenly Father would make her like she was before and she would be perfect again. It gave me hope that maybe I am doing something right. Maybe I'm too hard on myself when it comes to being a mother because my children throw the occasional fit in the grocery story or that their bedrooms are in disarray more than they are clean and orderly "the way mommy would do it". It also made me realize what is really important for me to teach my children and that is to have faith to hold on to that faith even in the midst of the most grave of trials and to always have eternity in your sights.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Summer Plans


So since the past 10 months have kept me so busy I have some BIG summer plans. We have had a really challenging year. The kids and I were in California with my parents for 10 weeks and then we had Addy in January and another semester of school started 3 days after she made her appearance in this world. Then there was the launch of the Cody Cupcake Company. I also have some cleaning and window washing work that I've been doing the past couple to be of weeks, so I want to be able spend some time doing some things that I WANT to do! Here are some of my tentative plans: They are all subject to approval and cooperation of the management which would include a 5 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old.

*READ!! I have only been reading textbooks for the past 5 months and I am so anxious to get to read something that I actually want to read that I have already sold my textbooks back, just to get them FAR away from me.

*CRAFT!! I have found some awesome tutorials of things that I want to make for my kids, myself and others. I want to re-fashion some of the kids' clothes and I want to be able to make them some cute clothes too. I also want to make some cute stuff for their rooms and for our house, and finally I want to starting to hand stamp metal jewelry which I think is so beautiful and I would love to make a few personal pieces for my mom and mother-in-law.

*PLAY!! It is getting warmer here and we want to play outside! The kids and I all have tennis rackets and we have like 10 tennis balls around this house, so we have big plans to go out and play.

*RUN!! There are a few races around here and I plan on participating in at least one of them. Hopefully I can have the time to train and get a hold of it.

*WORK!! I want to work a little bit so that I can save some money up for our trip to California in November and a little surprise that I have in store for 2 little kids and 1 big one!

*CAMP!! Now for those of you who know me very well, I am not an outdoors person. I have a serious fear of rattlesnakes and I think that they are going to sneak up on me and bite me, even though I know better. However, I was watching the TLC show Quints By Surprise the other day and they went camping with one 8 year old and 5 two year olds, so I figured if they can do it, Jame and I certainly can try at least, so we're going to try it.

So, all in all, I plan on making the most of the time I have this summer. I plan on enjoying myself and the company of my family as much as I can especially because Ashlyn is going to school this fall and that Breckin will be in preschool. So we're going to do as much as we can!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day!!

For Jame and I it was never a question of if we were going to have children, it was when. It just so happened that the "when" occurred just a year and a half after we were married. With three children now, I have spent 27 months pregnant, that's 2 years and 3 months, 820 days, 19,680 hours, 1.180,800 minutes and I wouldn't trade that time for anything. My children bring me so much joy, along with the occasional annoyance. They are such special individuals and I feel so grateful that Heavenly Father chose to give me such choice blessings. Here they are if you want to get to know them better:



Ashlyn: Also known as "Monkey". She is just like her mommy, bossy and stubborn. She is also very sweet and loving as well as intelligent and obedient. I am so excited to see what she decides to be when she grows up because I know that whatever it is she will be the BEST!!




Breckin: Also known as "Brecky". He is also like is mommy in his stubbornness, but like his daddy in that he is quick to forgive and forget. He has the best imagination and loves to play pretend with his sister. He says the funniest things and is very friendly. I have a feeling that he's going to be an incredible athlete just like his grandpa and Uncle Sean because he has great hand-eye coordination.



Addy: Also known as "Addy-Paddy". She is a mommy's girl. She frequently sticks her bottom lip out if someone other than her mother is holding her. She's so happy and sweet. She's also very loving. Her newest trick is to roll over and she's working on perfecting it. She's my baby and I love her. She smells so good and is a GREAT cuddler.

So, this is why I do it. This is why I have sacrificed my body, time and in some cases my sanity. This is why I wake up at 3 am after finally falling asleep at 11 pm and then wake up again for the day at 6 am. This is why I have postponed my dreams of travel, career and leisure time. No matter what I have sacrificed, I wouldn't change my life for anything. My children have made me into the person that I have become and the person that I want to be someday. They have taught me the greatest lesson about charity and the pure love of Christ that I could ever learn. I know how our Heavenly Father feels about us because I have been fortunate enough to have children of my own. I love being a mother, not just today, but everyday!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To My Mommy, On Her Birthday

Okay, first off, I know it's not your birthday yet, but I don't know if I'm going to have time for more than a phone call tomorrow, so here is a little birthday present for you.

We were in Heaven and loved each other and belonged to each other before we ever came to this earth and I have to say that I am so grateful that I was fortunate enough to belong to you. Without you there would be no me, and as we all know, I'm fabulous :)

You gave your time to me when you stayed up with me at night when I was scared, when you came to my sporting events or choir recitals and supported me regardless of the distance, when you spent time cooking, cleaning, and creating so that we had a home and not just a house, when you comforted me when I was suffering and broken-hearted, when you worked to provide our family with the comfortable things in life, when you ran around like a crazy person to the various activities of two busy kids so that we knew you were there, when you put yourself last and others first.

You gave your talents to me when you created some questionable outfits the evidence of which will never see the light of day, and you know what I'm talking about, when you coached my softball team and put me in my place one afternoon for swearing, when you first taught me how to make my own house a home, when you gave me encouragement and advice for raising my own children,

Mommy, you will ALWAYS be my closest friend, my greatest confidant and my heroine. you are always there when I need a shoulder to cry on, even if you are all the way in California, when I need a good laugh, because we all know that driving you crazy gets the biggest laughs, and when I need support and unconditional love.

For your birthday I would wish that all of your dreams would come true and that you could have every good thing that life can offer. I love you, Mommy, and I am truly grateful to my Heavenly Father every day that he gave me you for MY Mommy.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding




So, I really didn't start getting into the Royal Wedding until it got closer and I have to say that I was pretty excited. I have to say that it didn't disappoint either. I was moved by the love that you could see in the eyes of Prince William and Catherine, it was genuine and you could tell that there was no other place they would rather have been at that moment and no one else that they would have preferred to be with besides each other. For me, the greatest reward that I gained was the fact that dreams really do come true!! You can go from a "commoner" to a princess, you can move mountains, what seems impossible is in fact possible. It got me thinking about what I dream about. Here are a few thoughts:

*I dream about make a real difference in this world. I have an innate need to make people happy and I want to make as many people happy as I can!

*I dream of being able to give my children every opportunity that I can. I want them to get the best educations and experience the best things in life.

*I dream about traveling the world and learning about places that I have only visited in my dreams. I want to see it ALL!

*I dream about being successful in my business and helping to provide for my family while still having the freedom to enjoy them.

*I dream of a big house filled with laughter and fun. I dream of playing in a big backyard with my kids running and jumping and having birthday parties.

*I dream about being able to drive a nice car, hey let's not be judgemental we all dream of this. It can't be smaller than my suburban though because I wouldn't be able to fit all of my stuff in it.

*I dream about being able to buy all of the books that I want and being able to have the time to read them all. That would be my ideal vacation. On a beach with a good book, napping in the sunshine, what a great life :)

*I dream of being able to meet my Heavenly Father and my Savior and have them tell me that I have done well with my life and that they are proud of me.

So, now it's your turn, whether you have a blog or not, leave a comment or publish a post on your blog and tell me what you dream about! Dream as big as you can!! It worked for Kate Middleton :)

New Movement

I was watching the news the other day and they had a special about cell phone use and driving. Now, I'm guilty of being on my phone and texting while I'm driving even though it is against the law. The hubby and I had a discussion about how badly it really impairs you when you use your cell phone while you drive. He told me that it impairs you as much as marijuana use or drinking and driving. As a result, I have made the decision to QUIT using my phone entirely while I am driving. There really isn't any reason for me to use my phone while I'm driving I don't have any business to conduct. Usually it is just a time when I'm on the phone with my mom, so this should be easy. Well, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It was actually very difficult. I didn't realize how much I used my phone when I drove, or how unsafe I was when I did it. I live in a rural area and so there aren't a lot of people, but there are enough to make it dangerous for me to be using my phone while I'm driving out to the in-laws house or to the next town. So the moral of the story is that I want to make my community aware of the dangers of using their cell phones while they are driving. It's already against the law in Wyoming when you are driving, but simply talking on the phone impairs you also. I want have the people in my community pledge that they will stop using their cell phones all together while they are driving. I plan on going out into the community and make people aware of my movement. It's not going to be easy, but I know that in the end my community will be safer.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thinking About Easter



When Ashlyn was 3 years old and in daycare in Laramie she walked into her preschool room the Friday before Easter weekend and informed her teacher that she knows why we have Easter. She told her that we have Easter because "that's when Jesus was resurrected." Even though she didn't know what resurrected meant, she did know that it was a holiday when we thought about Jesus and what He did for us. This Easter I want our family to focus more on the Savior than bunnies and baskets. I think that in the world of excess that we live in, it's hard to keep the spiritual things in perspective sometimes. I know that I am guilty of it. However, I have new resolve and I want to be able to celebrate the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for me and you. I encourage you to learn about the days that preceded the Savior's death. What did he do? How was he feeling? Think about these and study His last days on this earth. I know that last year in my Institute class we did this and it was AMAZING. I was able to learn so much and love my Savior even more. I hope that you will join me in forgetting the world and remembering Christ this Easter! We will all be better for it.