Thursday, May 31, 2012

Work, work, work

Raise your hand if you've wished you could go to work and your husband could stay at home and figure out what your life is like.

Turns out both lives are pretty hard.

And I'm just post-day 2 of working.

Some thoughts:

1.  I may be too anal.
2.  I should never treat someone with disrespect.  Let's just say one of our doctors wasn't my biggest fan, and I sure wasn't his either.
3.  Zzzz.....

Monday, May 28, 2012

First Day

The schedule is in full swing.
We did this from pintrist.
We did fitness testing, a favorite each summer, and my husband has only thought about divorcing me for about an hour this morning.
Go team.
How's your summer going so far?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Belated photo Friday

I couldn't go this week without sharing some of the awesome pictures from my phone....

Guess who got over her fear of bikes this weekend and got on ol' bessie.  Even with my little buddy (and pelvis ruiner) behind me.  She liked to pull my shirt up and draw on my back on the way back, and then twist my pants by pulling on my belt loops.  She's fun.  BUT, we rode almost 7 miles.  Maybe a bit more.  If I'm not at church tomorrow, you'll know why.  I literally feel like my tailbone is going to shoot out of my buttox.  Why on earth?  Either way it was a beautiful day today and I hope we can do it fairly often (in the mornings).


I'd always wanted to do something "fun" on the last day of school.  Last  year was pretty well crowned with me crying the entire day.  Yup, pretty fun.  I made it more fun this year, by making a little balloon banner, got the kids some summer snacks, a new wii game (that I found on clearance a while ago) and I bought the family a kindle... in hopes that Conner will find some joy in the classics you can get for free on there.  We also went swimming.  And then, I collapsed. :)


I made my first foray into Phoenix on the last day of school, with Drew.  We went to go pick up circus tickets!  Turns out that buying tickets with Ticketmaster was like double the price.  Stupid, stupid Ticketmaster.  We are excited.  We also ate at Matt's Big Breakfast, which is the tiniest little breakfast place ever.  But, super popular.  It was very yummy.  Mom, you would love their potatoes.


Princess P looked awesome as usual....


 Here is Spencer and his Second grade teacher Mrs. Q. She was so sweet and loving, it was a great "landing" for him for 2nd grade. We are so glad for all the work she put into it. We will miss her!


School's out, I've got lots of shifts scheduled for myself and hopefully some fun.  At least we know we'll have the circus.  Hope you're excited for summer too!

My Happily Ever After

Drew came to Tempe long before I did.  He had an AMAZING experience at the high school and just knew it was the one.  Then, he informed me it was 80% which would put his salary about 50% of what he was making in California, meaning I'd have to get a job right off and we'd live like poor students for a year.  The amazing perk being that ASU was just up the road and he'd be gone EVEN. MORE.  YAY!!!  Every girl's dream!

But, during a crazy Jillian workout I succumbed to the fact that this was the place for us.

I lived in misery.  I had no happily ever after.  I had to sell and buy a house and get a job. 

I was miserable.  I cried 3 to 4 times daily about what my life was going to turn into.

And then I flew here.  And I had my interview.  And I knew that was where I was supposed to be.  Part of me wondered if every interview would be like that, but I quickly realized that while the 2nd hospital was lovely it wasn't my happily ever after.

And I guess I just wanted to say that while God may give you the faith to get through a situation, he IS going to give you your happily ever after.  Has this year been delicious?  Um, no.  But I'm just grateful I had that moment.  I am also grateful I was looking for it.  I remember calling my mom after just telling her how much I loved it.  I think it may have been a happily ever after moment for her too (because she happened to talk to me about once a day while I was crying prior to that).

Anyway, just puttin' this story out there.  Hopefully it helps someone. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Noticed

I have noticed a few things....

  • Princess P is afraid of plastic snakes.  She wouldn't clean it up, she ran around screaming, and I threw it down her shirt.  Yup, just like my mean cousins.  I am so bad.
  • I remember the last week of school in CA I SWORE I would never drive my kids to school again.  Guess who drove S today.  Of course, I had to say goodbye to his teacher and make sure she gets our gift, but it was a bit ironic.
  • Turns out I pretty well love all teachers.  Maybe that's why I married Drew (although, he wasn't going to be a teacher at the time we got married).
  • The vacuum is much lighter when you empty the bag.  Who knew?

Can't believe we're at the end of school.  A much happier ending this time, with anticipation for next year as well as a lovely summer ahead of us.  If only it could be a BIT cooler? (btw, it is supposed to be 85 this weekend, THANK YOU!!!! weather gods!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Learning

Schools out soon around here and it's time to get on the summer learning train.
Toot-toot!

I went to Lakeshore and came out with these 2 books:


A few thoughts:

1.  I like the summer bridge because it gives a little bit of everything each day or every other day.  S will be bouncing around the brainquest workbook.

2.  I like the brainquest workbook because it's full color and more engaging.  A little bit more "learning is fun" type feeling.  BUT, I think I'll get him the summer bridge next year.

3.  You'll notice my kids grades aren't what they're doing.  Both are ahead a grade.  I also got smaller math books that are more specific to where they are at.  Make sure you open the books and look at the problems and get one where your child is "at".

4.  I have an intricate color-coded system for S's workbook and what he should do each day, he will love it. :)

5.  Along with these I hope to do some special "fun" projects I've found on pintrist lately... If anyone else has "fun things to do with kids" board I'd love it if you'd link to it in the comments.

6.  My plan is about 45 minutes of "desk" work (aka workbooks) and then 15 minutes of a "project" (we rotate between art, music and PE) and then something "fun" when I'm off.

8.   Princess P also has workbooks and I will use her busy bags to help fill her hour up.  I need to make sure to stick with reading with her, and I'm sure the older two would love to read her books if they're finished early.

7.  Last summer is pretty well a blur, and I'm not sure how we worked our schedule here, but here's my rough draft:

Before 8: Get ready/get jobs done
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Outside activity (blech, Arizona! -- but if it is a PE day or a day that they need to weed, we need to get it in early!)
9:00 Worksheets (read after worksheets if there is extra time)
10: 00 Extra activity
11:00 Playtime/ finish jobs if needed (I am planning on having some extra jobs availble if they want to earn more money during the summer)
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Reading/Naps
2:00 Quiet activities
3:00 Computer time for child #1 -- I have a subscription to "alex" this summer, and I'm hoping it gets used a lot!  I really try to make sure this is learning time, not just computer games.
3:30 Computer time for child #2
4:00 Electonics if earned (by doing all your jobs and being quiet during reading/naps)
5:00 Get dinner ready

I also really want to do playdates, but the schedule will have to flex on those days.  I do plan on the morning remaining fairly stable.  Fingers crossed.  I actually only plan on 4 days of learning/week because I'm also hoping for some fun field trips or trips to the pool that fill up one day.

So, do you have big summer plans?  I'm sure many of you aren't out of school for a while, but I'm excited to get a jump on our fun.  We pretty well missed our summer last year!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Year Ago

A year ago today:
  • I got flowers from Drew.  Note:  I hate flowers, I think they're a wate of money.  I'm sorry Drew, but it's true.  Maybe a nice bouquet, but the whole delivery and the vase.  Excessive.  Sad, but true.
  • My kids were horrid, and we had like 12 house showings, which mean I had to skee-daddle out with P every time someone called.
  • Drew was in in lovely Arizona to meet  his new band.
  • It was a pretty darn crappy day.
  • The highlight was 2 interviews with hospitals here, I was starting to think that end might work out.

Today:
  • Drew just signed a full time contract.  He's been 80% this year, allowing us the priviledge of qualifying for reduced price lunches and all sorts of fun stuff happening to our savings accounts.  But, life goes on, right?  It's nice to see the end of that tunnel.
  • Our appraisal for our refinance came back 60k more then the last appraisal.  That's right, in like 4 months our house SOMEHOW gained 60k.  Yeah, sure.  Actually, I think the last appraisal was crazy low, and I think this one's a bit on the high side.  Either way I wasted 460 bucks on my last appraisal.  Useless.  And yes, I did send them a bitter email.  BUT, either way that means that our refinance should go through without a hitch!
  • Drew's made reservations for the melting pot and I have a shower for a good friend at work.  Excited for a day all about me. :)  I think I am most grateful that I'm not showing my house, that was a HUGE pain last year!
  • I went to lunch yesterday with friends.  I remember wondering what my life would be like here.  I had no idea it would be this good.  I had no idea I'd make so many great friends that I love so much.

Life really just keeps getting better with age, like a fine wine. :)

36 Random Things about me.

Well, happy birthday to me!  I got up early to balance the checkbook.  Well, there's #1.

1.  I sort of like to balance my checkbook.  I do it every week, on Saturday mornings.
2.  I like to make a scorpion sliding scale for my husband, kind of like diabetes.
3.  I was addicted to my bottle when I was little.
4.  We used to grow mushrooms in our basement, when I was little (not on purpose).
5.  My kindergarten teacher was murdered (and not by mushrooms)
6.  My wildest dream when I was 6 was to be a jump roper in the 1st grade circus.  Didn't happen.
7.  I should probably run a sprinkler business
8.  I like Teen Mom
9.  I like 16 and pregnant
10.  I watched Desperate Housewives
11.  I loved the Real World when I was in HS, I didn't watch it daily, but when they had a marthon I was entrhalled.  Don't get me started on the season where the BYU girl was on it.
12.  I wish I was friends with the sister wives.  But not "that" kind of friend.
13.  I am starting to lose my taste for America's Next Top Model....
14.  I love reality TV, and I'm not really ashamed of it, but I sometimes wonder WHY I love it.  I mean, I love ALL TYPES of reality TV (the random shows more then the competition type ones).  I guess I just like a view of other people's lives.
15.  I sometimes wonder if my life would make a good reality TV show.
16.  Right after I got baptized my family left for Disneyland.  Every kid should get that.
17.  I wanted to be the bad girl in young women's.
18.  When I turned 18 my mom got me 18 presents, it was super cool.
19.  I have a love/hate relationship with naps.
20.  I am currently watching a show about jockeys from Animal planet.  It is in no way skanky, but I'm still way interetsed in it.
21.  I get a rush when I hear the themesong to Downton Abby
22.  I'm not sure if I'd rather have been lady Mary or the cute blonde housekeeper.
23.  I love Disneyland more then my kids, I think.  Something like that is hard to measure.
24.  I wanted to be done having kids before I was 30.  I didn't make it.
25.  I am not sure I'll make it off this continent without having a sedative.
26.  I love teaching new parents.
27.  I have super skinny arms, at least past my elbow.
28.  I secretly like it when Jillian yells at me during a workout.
29.  My bras are so heavily padded it's embarassing.
30.  I love it when Princess P makes me food at her "kitchen"
31.  A very tiny part of me likes it when Conner is argumentative, makes me hope he can stand up for himself one day.  The rest of me hates it.
32.  I wish I could act like Spencer,where the tiniest hindrence in my way is enough to make my day spill out into awfulness.
33.  I forget that we live pretty-well sans earthquakes here.  I am still way to earthquake knowledgeable.
34.  I hate weeds.
35.  I love looking at my garden.  Reminds me of all of my blessings that grow when I nuture them too.
36.  I love doughnuts.

Wow, sadly that was much less difficult then I thought it would be.  I am sure this will be good stuff 10 years from now when I go read my blog books, which I do every now and then.  :)

Love, Marriage and the Baby Carriage

I met Drew on my 20th birthday.  Was I even 20?  I think so.

1.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten married so early.  I won't lie.  I wish I'd seen Jerusalem or gone and done some exciting stuff.  But I didn't, I got married.  Sometimes you just have to take opportunity when it comes.

2.  Our wedding was the longest and not one of my favorite days of my life.  We invited a TON of people, I am guessing like 800 invitations, or something like that?  My dad's a pretty popular guy and it's hard to invite just some people, and not others.  So, we took the big plunge.  I was SO tired by the time we got out to our seran wrapped car, sex was the last thing on my mind.  Blisters from my shoes, and the reception we had the next day (because we had to hurry back for band camp, ring a bell to anyone?) grated on me.  But, I did it, we got hooked.

3.  I didn't love my first year of marriage either.  I had roommates that were my soulmates, and Drew had a hard time competing with that.  Plus, I had my psyche rotation, and I spent a lot of the time alone, and thinking I was going crazy in our tiny apartment.  Music sometimes came first, and I just had to learn that.  I still sometimes have to learn that.  It got better when I was out of school.  Having both of you in school is tough stuff.

4.  I loved my job at the pediatrician's office.  I learned SO many things I never would've learned otherwise.  I am so grateful for that job.

5.  I hated my job at the nursing home.  I cried almost every day for the first few weeks.  It was a hard, awful job and I finally left it after I had Conner and my paychecks started bouncing.  I learned a lot about myself in this job though, and in retropect, it paid the bills.  Old people had never been my favorite though, and that taught me a love for the elderly, that I am pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.  I applied for countless jobs while I worked there.  Funny thing, I think I've gotten every single job I've ever interviewed for since then.  I guess I just needed the nursing home, or it needed me.

6.  I literally considered being a surrogate on my first pregnancy.  It was easy!  I mean, 12 hour shifts up til' I was 38 weeks weren't that great, but I'm grateful they let me do split shifts after that.  It was a perfect pregnancy though!

7. {these are obviously not in order -- just a stream of consciousness} -- I remember when I finally graduated from nursing school.  I just couldn't  believe it was over.  It's like running a marathon that you pretty well think has no end, and then it finishes and you still feel like you need to run, but you don't.  It was honestly the best day of my life.  The. best. day.  I felt so proud and accomplished.  We went to Disneyland the next day, it was perfect.

8.  Having Conner was a huge eye opener.  I think, after working for the pediatrician for so long, I figured I'd be old hat at the baby thing.  Turns out I was entirely unprepared for what God had in store for me.  It was a huge refining fire.  You can read more about it on this post.  I was one of my first friends to have a baby and my support system was sadly lacking at that time.  All of the friends I did have at the time were out of town {waiving to Denise}.  Needless to say it wasn't a happy time, and it was just something I got through.  Each baby got a little better, and really some of it got worse.  Having a baby is a life changer and you shouldn't plan on it being anything else!

9.  Moving from family was hard.  I think when you grow up in Utah county you kind of think the world is full of evil and if you stay within the bubble you'll be fine.  Turns out the bubble is also full of evil and I needed some horizon expanding.  It was a tough transition, but it's what we needed.

Anyway, that pretty well wraps up the first 25 years of my life. :)  I figure you've gotta have a good 10 years before you can really "speak" to a period in your life. 

I'm excited for what's to come.  We often get asked how long we think we'll be here.  I just shrug my shoulders.  We will be where we are supposed to be.  And I wouldn't have it any other way (but I'd really like to be here for the foreseeable future -- in case anyone's taking notes). :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Courgage in College

I remember the night before marching band camp (waiving to Megan).  Being SO worried about this new life I'd procured.Would people like me, would I make friends?  I mean, I was lucky -- I could literally walk home and I knew a good number of people in the band already, some even from my own high school!

But I think I knew what a change it would be.

There are certain times in your life where you get to pick who you want to be.  There are enough new people that you can really change who you are.  Thta has happened to me 3 times in my life -- college, moving to CA and moving to AZ.

In high school I was the dorky band geek girl.

In college I was the flirtacious nursing major who played piccolo on the side.  Emphasis on the flirt part.

I sometimes mention that if Drew and I had been in band together the 2 years he was on his mission he probably wouldn't have dated me.  I had a good time.

A super mormon good time, but a good time. :)

I. LOVED. COLLEGE.  Well, most of it.

1.  I got stuck in a dorm with amazing people.  I ended-up not getting along with my actual apartment all that well my freshman year, and spend a lot of time up with other friends.  I count my blessings that they are a part of my life.  They are lifelong friends, who I am so grateful for.  And sometimes when life gives you lemons, you need to just go buy new fruit. :)  Hi Kendra and Melanie!

2.  I had picked my major in high school, but the women that I was now surrounded by were insane.  The average GPA at BYU's nursing school is like 3.95 -- I had a 3.8 and I was like the class dunce.  Life went on though.  I seem to have made it through all right. :)

3.  I'm surprised how anti-marriage my professors were.  I had one outright say I shouldn't get married that it would ruin me.  SERIOUSLY?  At BYU.  Just a sidenote.  I got engaged my Jr Year and I then supported Drew until he graduated (and every day after that, but I digress), it really couldn't have been more perfect!

4.  I'm just going to put a video here.  Anyone recognize this man?  If you do, it will suffice, and if you don't -- nevermind. :)



** In my defense someone was talking about her and I was looking around on her videos.  I knew he married her but I'm not sure I knew "how big" she had gotten.  This video sure gave me the giggles though.  Anyone remember him? Megan, do you remember the copper bowl? :) 

5.  I worked at the dorm cafeteria (a dorm I was too cheap to live in, btw).  I worked that job for a good 2 years.  Summers, winters, falls.  I was there.  It was a reminder to not be the people who'd chosen that for their occupation, I wanted more.  And I got more.  It also reminded me that BYU is a business and don't forget it.

6.  I didn't get into nursing school on my first try.  I wasn't that devastated, I'd figured that would happen.  It gave me a semester to re-do my awful B- grades, and I took a first aid class that was super helpful as I learned the practical side to nursing (which you don't really get in nursing school).  It gave me a sememster "off" before the grueling nursing program I entered in the fall.  Good stuff.  Good stuff that was hard medicine to take at the time.

7.  I was a MESS when I applied to nursing the second time.  I'm so glad I got in.  I'm not sure what/where I would be without it.  I remember the lady on the phone saying, "It looks like you got it, and Hilary I want you to know you do this on your own and we are SO proud of you."  I later had teachers basically say that I only got into nursing because of my father (was a dean or a vice president at the time), and I'm grateful Linda said it on that phone call.  Screw MJJ. :)

8.  I LOVED living with roommates.  Did I love everything about it?  No. I hated sharing a fridge with 6 other girls.  But the commraderie and talking through problems with other women.  I think I found the sisters I'd never had.

9.  I had some doozies for roommates too, anyone remember the Italian Stallion? :)

10.  Nursing school was also the hardest thing I've ever done.  I mean that in a sigular short experience -- because Motherhood hasn't been a picnic, but it's a long grueling road with no end -- whereas nursing school was 2 years of torture.  I hate professors and nurses who felt it was their job to shove us in the dirt so we could be better.  A big part of me wants to teach nursing some day.  I want to make it fun, and build people up, not make them feel worse.  I think a lot can change in nurisng eduction.  Maybe I'll be part of it someday. :)  And,  maybe not.  I don't think I read a book for an entire year after nursing school.  I'd just had enough of filling my brain.

Anyway, I long for college sometimes.  Just being able to focus on myself, and yet still have all the autonomy of an adult (with the backings of parents when my roomamtes, say -- light my dorm room on fire).  It was an amazing time.

I will say, if you're in college and you're reading this.  Make THE. MOST. of this time.  It won't come again and you will miss it.  Find those women who show you who you are and how to be better.  Love them, do all the fun things you can because pretty soon things will be different.

So, what about you?  Did you love college?  Did you love me in college?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yoo-hoo, Oddessey owners?

We are having this exact same problem as shown in this youtube video.
Thoughts on how to fix it?
We've tried the fuse re-set and we've even tried the battery re-set, with no luck.

The High of High School

I bet you're wondering if I remember my high school fight song. Sure, I played it countless times in the band. But do i? No. I think I can find it online though, so does it REALLY matter? :)

High school was fairly great. It was a good prep for college (which, as you will find out tomorrow was PRETTY darn amazing!).

1. I as obviously highly committed to band. I was the flute section leader for a couple of years as well as a drum major. Honestly, we did a TON of work. We didn't have boosters and he put the band council in charge of almost everything. I remember preparing lunch and doing fundraisers, all on our own. I jut found out this band director is leaving the school. I have mixed feelings about him, which mix even more as I watch my own husband.

2. My favorite class and teacher was AP calculus. Do I remember a DANG thing I learned in that class? Well, no. I fear Conner and how high he will proceed up the math ladder. I'm already having issues with his "order of procedure" problems right now. But this teacher made us think and when we figured it out she doled out high praise. I had a lot of very smart and thoughtful friends in that class. The teacher even came on band tour since her daughter was in band and she thought she could tutor us on breaks. I don't think I realized she was my favorite teacher at the time, but in retrospect it was a huge life lesson that things don't come easy. {waiving hello to Mrs Walters}

3. My other favorite class as physiology. Our teacher was a nurse. She was thoughtful and treated us as equals. I think half of the class left wanting to become nurses, and a fair number made it through that grueling process. I decided what I wanted to be when I was a jr in high school. I still am fascinated by the human body and how processes work. I lost a lot of that love in college as grades became far too important, but my teacher (blanking on the name) made it all so amazing. She also brought it back to US and how we needed to treat our bodies. Loved her.

4. I remember I had drivers ed at like 5 am before marching band one summer. I walked there, somehow made it through 2 hours of that and then marched around for days on end. What on earth was I thinking? I'm pretty sure you couldn't pay me to do either of these things now!

5. I did an internship at the local hospital ER. It was a reminder to be nice to everyone. Some nurses were great enough to haul me in a room when they had something "cool". I hope I'm like them. I love students and I always want to show them the interesting things I find.

6. As I'm typing this I think a few too many memories revolved around band. I kind of wish I'd gotten out of that more. But I also did symphony (Mr Hill once told me that if I was deaf not to play, and he may or may not have chucked a baton at me at one point), and I LOVED pit orchestra. I wish I could play in a pitt orchestra full time.

7. We had a dance a month, and I don't think I got asked to more then 2 of the "boys ask" dances. I went to ever girl dance. It bothered me, but not a ton. I remember wishing someone would ask me. Dating in high school wasn't my scene. That changed in college. Thankfully.

That's all I can really recall. I know a fair number of my readers went to my high school. Am I missing something?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

That's So Jr High.

My Jr High Experience was fair.

{inside joke}

In reality I HATED it.

Miss T who taught English, who had it out for me.  Our crazy band teacher who I was SURE was dead but my dad saw him just the other day at a restaurant, turns out he wasn't that old.  Seriously?  Blech.  Jr high was no fun.

1.  My mom challenged me to make a new friend every day.  I somehow found the willpower to talk to a complete stranger in my homeroom.  We remained friends all through high school {waiving to Emily H}.  Frankly, I haven't stopped talking to strangers and I've pretty well made a career out of it.  Thanks mom!

2.  I remember having teachers say I just wasn't smart enough for things.  I didn't get into honors English and she just said I wasn't smart enough.  Do teachers do that anymore?  It made me mad.

3.  I loved being in the plays in Jr High.  I had a really great time playing a granny in one of the productions.  I was a total ham (reminds me of someone else and his first grade performance).  At first I was disappointed to play someone so old and crotchety but I really found a niche.

4.  Band.  Blech.  It's a miracle anyone makes it through Jr high band, especially the teacher.

5.  The bus.  Jr high was the one grade that I rode the bus.  There were some seriously mean girls who said mean things and did mean things to me.  Again, if you read my bulling post I really think that everyone needs to face this at some point. I mean, I had frizzy hair, a retainer, and later braces.  Who wouldn't want to make fun of me?  I still have negative feelings towards some of these girls.  I was juts going to type what some of them have made of themselves, but I am resisting.  I remember getting a facebook friend request from one of them, and happily ignoring it.  I guess some grudges last. :)

6.  I remember walking up to my dad's office from school.  I remember feeling a huge amount of autonomy doing that.  I wish I could let me kid have their own type of autonomy.  My dad was also a bishop at BYU at the time, and I would sometimes walk to one of their apartments.

7.  I remember one of the people in his ward paid me to come help her set-up her classroom for the new school year, and would pay me to make file folder games for her to go and laminate.  I LOVED doing it (mostly because I adored her) but I felt a great deal of responsibility now that someone else was paying me.

Again, autonomy.

You know, I think I'm inspecting my own parenting a bit more as I write these.  So, how was your Jr high experience?  Was it fair? :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's Elementary

As my 36th year is coming to a close, I though it might be fun to do a walk down memory lane.  The fun thing about Facebook is that a lot of my friends who I had during those times on memory lane are back to reading my blog.  SO, if you remember any of these fun times, comment too!

Today I'm going to focus on elementary school.

There was a little eagle who knew he was the best....

1.  My best friends came from my ward.  Of course I would guess that 98% of my neighborhood was LDS.  I think they even assigned the non-LDS members visiting teachers.  Weird, but true.  I had a TON of really great friends, but the stand outs were Traci, Laurie and April.  We had other girls move in, but not til' later.

2.  I got in trouble once for going to see Laurie's horses with her.  I remember I couldn't have my twinkie with my lunch.  That's serious people.

3.  I loved my kindergarten and first grade teachers, but it kind of went downhill after that.  I don't remember ADORING my other teachers.  I thought my second grade teacher was mean, my third grade teacher once told me I'd just never get math, I think I liked my fourth grade teacher, and the other two were non-consequential.  I do remember the principal coming in once and told us we acted like pigs.  Yup. 

4.  True confession:  I read a bunch of "choose your own adventure books" to get into the "reading hall of fame".  We had to read so many books to get there, and I figured out the shortest route, right?  BTW, I have been reading Eragon now for 12 weeks and am barely to page 100.  Anyone sensing a theme here?

5.  I went into sixth grade with no friends.  Literally, not one of my friends was in my classroom, and I had a new teacher (although I had Brad Wilcox for math and reading, so I also had him quite a bit -- and that is a whole blog for another day -- he did teach me how to sing the Eensy Weensy spider in spanish... serious talent that guy has).  I was terrified.  There were also a lot of mean girls in that class.  I felt heavily non-popular for much of the year.  I dealt with it, and I think I learned how to be a little more confident from that year.  Just at testimony that doing hard things starts early.

So, any one reading this a little eagle?  Anyone remember the school song?  Lets see...

**To the Notre Dame Fight Song tune**

There was a little eagle, who knew he was the best.
He went to find a schoolhouse, so he could pass the test.
He looked at all the others, and found it's good it's true

That XXXXX  eagles the gold, the white, the blue!

XXX at the foot of the hill
Brains and knowledge, plus a hot meal.
Knowledge wisdom, purity too
What more could an eagle peruse

He asked to join the children at school
So he learned the great golden rule.
Knowledge came and friendships grew
oh XXXX we're proud of you.

And yes, I went to a school called XXXX it's true.

So, I'm sure many avid readers went to Jr High with me.  I bet you're on pins and needles for tomorrow. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

We are All Mothers

I just finished watching the last episode of Desperate Housewives.  And I cried.  Ok, not a bawl, but there were tears.  That shot of Susan leaving her friends.  A little too close to home, luckily it wasn't a year ago I would've needed a whole box of kleenex.

I just got to thinking about ALL the women who have had an impact on my life.  I have consistantly been mothered, fairly often by women younger then myself.

I have a great mother.  But frankly, she wasn't enough.

To traverse the byways of parenthood I have needed a village of women to keep me strong.

I thought about all the "Mother's Day is so hard...." posts on Facebook ang blogs.  I get that, I do.  But what a day to rejoice in the power of womenhood.

I have my very own Lynette and Bree -- but they're named Becky and Miranda.  They don't live anywhere near me but I consistantly ask myeslf what they would do in a situation.  There's others, but life surely does go on, and their lives have impacted mine for amazing good.

I just feel lucky to have amazing women in my life, and THAT is what we celebrate on Mother's Day.  not how many kids have popped out of a cervix.

Well, that and the fact that I could be entirely lazy yesterday.  That was pretty grand, also.

Do you celebrate the women in your life, or do you tear yourself apart because you don't measure up?  I certainly don't measure up.  Be it to Becky, Miranda, Angie, Rowena, Janna, Pili, Tansy, Aubrey, Sasha, Margaret (I am seriously condensing this list, please know there are so many more).  They are all SO amazing in each of their ways and have shown me paths that I hadn't thought of before.

I'm grateful for them.  For they, have truly showed me what it is like to be a strong, capable woman.

Control the Clutter

Today's Life Well Lived question is:


What are your best tips for keeping the clutter at bay with kids in the house? How do you help your kids develop good organizing skills?


Blech, what is this, like the 9 million dollar question?  I mean, if I had no kids or a husband my house would be consistently perfect -- right?

For me, it's all about giving them a space that they're over.

And teaching them to "touch things once."

Which means when you take off your shirt, doesn't it make more sense to hang it up/throw it in the hamper instead of throwing it on the floor.  Touch each item just one time and get it done with, instead of multiple times (aka, body, floor, chair, bed, closet floor, {mom screams}, hanger).

My kids are required to "mommy clean" their rooms before they can do fun stuff on Saturdays.  This is pretty darn clean.  I just want stuff put away, and they're not so great about it during the week.

Oh, and I actually give allowance for "putting things away after school".  It's one of their jobs and it's actually REALLY helped in that instance.  otherwise they walk in the door, shed their skin and go looking for a Popsicle.

It's always a work in progress, am I right? You can find out more info here, and even enter a sweepstakes!

oh, and this week's weigh in was pretty sad.  Read all about my weight gain induced hearing loss over at my weight loss blog.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Week In Which I Learned to STOP IT.

Elder Uchdorf gave a great talk on jealousy and hate (actually it's on mercy but for me it was on jealousy and  hate).

And how we need to STOP IT.



And frankly, it was a bit of an eye opener.  I've been more on edge lately becuase of certain kids.  I just feel like they are constantly beating me down, no rest for the weary.  It's put me more on edge then usual.  Frankly, I'm about 99% water off a duck kind of a gal.  Especially when it comes to friends and acquaintances.  I'm all to familiar with the "sorrow that the eye can't see".  I know most people have good intentions.

But when you get me, and you're someone I trust and you do something... well, I have a REALLY hard time letting it go.  Frankly, I can only think of a few people who have passed that line with me.   But, I realized after reading the talk that there is nothing less Christlike or christian then holding a grudge.

I am wasting energy, useless energy that I need to funnel towards my family.

Frankly, I really spend very little time holding the grudge, but sometimes I will see stuff on facebook or whatnot and it just "gets my gizzard" and I think this talk helped me to realize that is fruitless and I can't expect mercy for myself (which I so greatly need) if I can't give it to others.

And so I extend mercy.

I also want to continue to not get bugged by stuff.  I do worry that I have heard other people's feelings quite frequently.  I'm brash, and I know I am but I mean well.  Really, I do.  Anyway, I'm a duck and water rolls right off my delicate wings.

It's a great talk.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Photo Friday: Beaten like a Pinata.

I swore I didn't take any pictures at all, but lo and bheold there's a few on my phone this week....

P has started coming to the bus stop with me and S.  S is pretty darn thrilled about it, they sit together on the rocks waiting for it.  P won't leave until S is on the bus and it's pulling away (unlike me who ran away as soon as I saw the bus coming).  I sure do hope someone with a 3rd grader moves in to the house down the road!


Our church had a cinco de mayo celebration, here's P trying to brake the pinata.  I think the guy who was willing to stand behind them should get a tithing-free year.  Yikes!


Here's P and some of her good buddies waiting in line.  She has so many good friends.  Love them, and her.  Mostly. :)


Well, that's all.  Life is juts cruising along here in the desert.  School only has a few weeks left.  I've already scheduled out much of my June.  I sure hope I work a lot.  I do love the filthy lucre so very much. 

I would also like to ask if anyone saw Time Magazine's cover this week?  I'm not going to show it because I personally think it's kind of gross.  I mean, I just don't think that you pull down your tank top, hoist your 4 year old up on a chair and say DRINK UP!  It did make me think about attachment parenting.  I think it really works for some women.  They love the feeling of that newborn and the newness of life.  And I just don't.  I long for my schedule and for things to be "normal".  And I think I was given kids who thrive with me.  SO, I don't really like it when they say no bullies come from attachment parenting homes, because I disagree.  I think each mom has to do what works for her.  And preferably with her tank top over her bosom.

{jumping off soapbox}

Hope you guys had a great week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Whole Spectrum

I lunched today.  Not like my normal lunch where my child smears peanut butter on me until she feels it is sufficient.  It's how regular people lunch.  In skirts.  Thank goodness the thought of a dress hit me this morning, I didn't feel under-done.  Horray!

Anyway, as I was sitting there talking, they discussed what they were going to do for Junior High and stuff, and I started to get all anxious.  What if C isn't in the right program or what if there's something better out there, or what if I'm exceedingly lazy. 

Ok, no what-if there... I REALLY don't want to TAKE him anywhere.  Ever. Again. :)

Fat chance on that, right?

Then they started to talk about college tuition and how much room and board was and I could just feel my heart climbing further and further up to my brain.

Mind you, this is an elementary PTO luncheon.

But I just had to talk myself off the wall.

I don't know how a person can live WITHOUT faith.  It's integral in me getting through my day.  I just have to have faith that I'm making good decisions for him.  There really are SO many paths to take.

Anyway, you eat an elephant one bite at a time right?  And, at least I wore a skirt today.   Small victories. :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Award

Blech, I am in a MOOD lately.  Kids, work, house, it's all just eating at me.  I know we all get in that mood every now and then, don't we?

I was reading some fabulous motherhood blog about an award someone got for being a great mom an I just wanted to vomit.  Are her kids really all that much better then mine?

Does she REALLY parent better then I do?

Is it possible she's self promoting so much she maybe isn't as good as a parent?

If I vomit, would I lose weight tomorrow?

Let's face it, I am never going to get an award for being a great mom.  At least, not in a formal way.  It's pretty rare people do, and very often, those who DO get it don't deserve it.  Not meaning to say if you got an award you're a crappy parent, just saying that some of those people are. :)

But there have been a few moments in my life that were more rewarding then any award.

I think I need to cherish those times more.

1.  When Conner did Willy Wonka.  I was just overcome by him being able to do solos and perform so well.  I just think it says something about a child who is that self-assured.  Also, it kind of came out of nowhere.  I was shocked by how well he did.

2.  I once got a letter thanking me for saving her grandchild's life.  There was a prolapse cord, and her nurse was an idiot, and slow, and I jumped in and went into my usual action.  It's a good feeling to know that someone's happiness is because of you, and God -- of course. :)

3.  When the people at the library remembered my kids because they come so often and complimented them on being such great readers.  Again, something really small but I HATE taking them to the library but I think it's really important and so I go.

4.  Mormon helping hands day a year ago when each of the boys did a TON of work and just go to it and worked HARD.  I was impressed and several people mentioned what good workers they are.

So, as some things crumble, I can remember these times.  I am a great person, who won't be justified any more by an award or a dinner.  I'm lucky to do what I do and have what I have.

And that is plenty of award or reward. :)  If only I could remember that.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Weight Loss

I am really doing the weight loss thing.  Come join me on my weight loss blog. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

One Year Later

Bear with me, because I just can't BELIEVE all that has happened in one year.  How many lessons I've learned, how many friends I've made, all the bricks that fell into place.  It is amazing.

There was this post about bearing my testimony that God maybe has forogotten me, and that perhaps my faith isn't strong enough.  And then everyone else in relief society bore testimony that I would be fine.  Turns out, they were right.  In other news, it didn't stop me from wanting to burrow my own body into the ground during the testimony meeting. :)

There was this day where I found "the" job -- it was perfect hours and benefits.  I think sometimes God gives us these little "up's" to get us through.  Turns out it WASN'T the perfect job, not even close but it got me through that day.  And I think that was plenty.

There is this post where I felt like God only loved Drew.  It was really hard that Drew got his "happily ever after" long before I got mine.  I still had a lot of work on my end to get a house and a job.  I think as a wife it's sometimes easy to feel like this.  But I know God loves me and mine did come.

And the big annoucement of where we were moving.  And possibly my favorite video of all time.

And then this post that ties it all up in a little bow.  I'm grateful that I shared the highs and lows on this blog of that whole process.  It's such a testimony to builder, to myself, to go through and read through how I felt.  I was truly miserable.  And look at me now.  Just a ray of sunshine. :)  It also reminds me that my dad may just have been right when he told me, "Don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff."

Friday, May 04, 2012

Photo Friday: Headache.

Yuck,  I hate headaches, don't you?

Needless to say, my photos show WHY I have a headache.  I think.  Let's see what we have here today...

Someone turned "this" many last weekend.  And yes,  I had a good five minute tutorial on how to show her fingers the right way and she just couldn't master it.  Until about 5 minutes later, and now she's a pro.


Check out the sibling love.  Of course, there was mac n' cheese with a bacon topping involved.  I'd hug many a person for bacon.


And here we are being freakishly adorable.  In the "screaming" pose she's saying "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!"  Happy indeed.


You've gotta be reverent for church.  But on the right you can see reverence wasn't all she was thinking about.


And I had the ingenious idea for cupcakes.  The extra ones were made into the tiny ones for a going away party.  Hence, no cupcakes for me to gorge myself on.  What a shame.


And what would photo Friday be without showing off my garden?  We got our first cherry tomatoes just yesterday.  DElicious!


We started swim lessons last week.  Someone was a little cold.  Remember it my dear, keep in your heart through October.  These are the good times. :)


And 3 year olds just can't sleep in cribs, so that got taken down this week too.  She is surviving, thanks for asking. :)  She did fall out of her big girl bed twice.  Yay.  I love to hear a bonk and a scream in the middle of the night.  Anyone have great ideas on what to do with our old crib?


And there you have it.  Happy Star Wars Day everyone!  I know my kids want to watch all 6 movies tonight.  Fat chance. :)



Thursday, May 03, 2012

Fix it

This morning I realized one of our sprinklers wasn't working.  The horror.  I ripped its little head off and realized it must be the end of the line because there was some gunk from when we fixed our sprinklers last week.  Also, as my finger fished around, there was a rock in it.  I kept trying to "birth" the rock by turning the water on and trying to rotate it.  It was like a shoulder dystocia, it just wasn't coming out, so we had to cut it off.  I got my PVC cutters and got the head off.  The rock was ginormous!  I knew I was glad I cut the head off, there was no way I was going to get the rock out.

I went to the store and got the stuff to fix it, but I ended-up unhappy with the fix, we still weren't getting good coverage.  SO, I went to Sprinkler World.  They got me a head that I am 95% sure is perfect.  Just need to check with Mr lawn mower when he gets home.

I obsess over fixing my sprinklers.  And it's nothing I'm proud of, but I LOVE it when it's fixed.  I love how it's all automated and it just does its job.

I think I like how I actually CAN fix it.

Unlike my kids.

I am up to my eyeballs in whine from princess P.  She's fallen out of bed the past two nights since she went into her big girl bed.  I'm pretty sure she's not getting good sleep, so we just need to work on it, but for me it's relentless HER.

El Presidante has continued a lying spell and while he has had straight A's in school, he suddenly didn't do his homework last night, and his teacher made him email me.  I have talks about trust with him about every 8 hours.  I'm not sure they're doing anything, and at this point we're mostly checking in and I'm telling him what good things he's done, and what not so good things he's done.  I had to get a sitter last night because he was such a pill and I feel like I can't trust him.

And there' just no fixing it.  There's no fancy amazing blue goo that will do what I need it to do with my kids.  There's no going to Sprinkler World for a new head.  It's just me, trying to make stuff work.  And it often failing.

Today I read this book to Princess P before her nap.  I think I was the one who got something out of it.  Oh, how we'd waited for her.  What a delight she is to my whole world.  The things I made her and how much pain I dealt with to get her here.  And now I can barely even stand her.  I know, it sounds awful but I am so at the end of my rope with her.

And it got me to thinking about how good things require work.  My sprinkler system is pretty good.  It does what it's supposed to do, but I don't feel all that much pride from my green grass.

I adore my kids.  When things are good, they are VERY very good (now, is not one of those times).  And when they aren't they simply stink.  I feel vast amounts of pride in what good people they are.  So, even though they will never truly  be "fixed" I need to remember to enjoy the works in progress and small miracles when things start to go right.

Because they were loved before they were born.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Constant Change

Some of you might remember that Conner's grades were failing pretty badly at the beginning of this year.  And I do mean badly... baDly.... get it?  Suddenly when I look on parent vue I see straight A's and I breathe a sigh of relief.  He's finally got it figured out, and then something ELSE happens.

I feel like I am never at a point with any of them that I can just breathe and take it easy.

If it's not a physical condition, it's a mental one or an ability to only speak in whine.

P has made it into the big girl bed this week.  I'm thrilled, and she finally started escaping her crib on a regular basis, so I'd like to just haul that out and let her sleep in her big girl bed (which has been in her room since we moved).  I feel like I've conquered it, but she's into having tantrums and screaming fits every 3 seconds.

Anyway, do you just feel like it's a life long upward battle sometimes?

I just talked to a friend who just had a baby and she said it's like she's constantly having to try things differently, and I remember feeling like that.  I mean, when you're starting out you figure it's like a garden if you water it daily it'll be fine.  But it's like a garden with extreme heat variations, and insects and a broken drip system.

It's just constantly just trying to do your best.  And never judging anyone else because SO many things will be on your plate your head will spin.

Just like in the exorcist.  Which is where I am at right now. :)

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