Wednesday, February 3, 2016

wednesday + winter

A less appropriate, but more accurate name for this would be "Wednesday's Suck" - because they do. Or at least this Wednesday (today) does... and so have the prior two days. At some point in life I assumed that turning my life over to tiny little monsters called children, would eventually get easier. Not so. Every day is still hard and the reality that my life and every part of my body and time belongs to them is exhausting. What is it about some weeks being wildly more terrible than others? Toddlers have this sixth sense that wreaks all kinds of crazy on the most stressful of situations.

If there is anything I've learned,  it's that my ability to roll with the punches is about 0%. My goal here isn't to complain about my kids - no, it's that my attitude and ability to be flexible isn't up to par with where'd I'd like it to be. Amidst the tantrums and meltdowns of PJ's and arguments about meals, this momma says a few too many words that should never be said. If only my words could be more kind and loving and helpful, maybe then we would all have less meltdowns on a daily basis.

How do we, as parents, truly become better? How do we stop saying things we don't mean and respond with patience? How do we slow down and enjoy the little moments with our babies and really connect with them in a meaningful way? When it comes to these questions, no answers come to mind - it just feels overwhelming. The last couple of days I've literally wanted to run away and hide from the scary momma that shows up when the house isn't cleaned up, the laundry is piled high, the dishes aren't done, kids are cranky and there are about 100 things on the calendar. I'd like to think that we are good at keeping things organized, but goodness, the last couple of days just aren't working.

But, let me tell you what does work... the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I've been holding fast to the ability we have to consistently repent - weekly, daily, hourly. Heaven knows it's a necessity in our lives. Every day I fall short of the person I'd like to be... Every. Single. Day.

"President Thomas S. Monson has taught, "One of God's greatest gifts to us 
is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." Even if we've 
been a conscious, deliberate sinner or have repeatedly faced failure and disappointment, 
the moment we decide to try again, the Atonement of Christ can help us. 
And we need to remember that it is not the Holy Ghost that tells us we're 
so far gone that we might as well give up."

Dale G. Renlund, April 2015 General Conference

There are days I look into the eyes of my 3 year old and know that I have caused her pain and hurt during the day. There are days when I know that my words have made her feel less than she should. Those are the days that I pray for the strength to overcome this weakness before I permanently damage her tenderness, her trust in me as her mother, her ability to express herself and her endless love to those around her. There are days I look into the eyes of my 1 year old and know that he's sad I didn't have time to play. There are days when I know that he didn't feel any amount of the love he deserved. Those are the days that I pray for the strength to become more tender so he knows how endlessly I love his curious little soul, that he may always know I'm there to help and guide him. This parenting thing is tricky, but it's good and grand and beautiful in the most perfectly imperfect way.

Here's to you my tired, hard-working momma's! We got this!

Monday, February 1, 2016

craft favorites | valentine's day

01 / 02 / 03
04 / 05 / 06

It's about time February - thanks for showing up! Winter time starts to drag on about now and I've decided to share a few of my favorite things from time to time - mostly to keep myself entertained during this last "full" month of frigid cold. With Valentine's Day approaching, I definitely wish I was a more crafty mom. The truth is, craftiness isn't exactly in my blood. Sadee has been telling me for a couple weeks that we need to give hearts to our friends. She's excited about this. In honor of trying to create a little more magic for my kiddos + heart day, here are a few of my favorite EASY & cute Valentine's. I'm especially #allhearteyes for any Star Wars Valentine sayings... I'm sorry - but, they are sooooo punny (fun + pun = punny). Another one of my favorites about this list is that they include my kids' favorite things - gum, cars, stickers, tic-tacs, candy rings and popcorn. Now, if only I can wrap my head around physically making these cute treats instead of just writing about them. 

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 18, 2016

a day on the slopes

Ever since last winter, we've been wanting to go skiing as a family. We've been wanting to try new things and skiing in Utah is kind of a given - you have to try it at some point. We finally made it up on the slopes... gah! My sister and her husband are fabulous skiers and they graciously offered to teach Sadee and I (since we had never been before). Granted, they were excited to share with us one of their hobbies and there's never a bad reason to go skiing... I know this now.

As a family, I'm hoping that we adventure more this year and learning to ski together was the perfect start. The hubs has skied before, years ago. See, he was a tennis player and wasn't allowed to ski while playing college tennis to avoid unnecessary injuries. I used to snowboard, however the last time I went was in 2010 and it was a rough day - never had the desire to go again. 

This little ski trip was the absolute BEST day of my life! The weather was gorgeous, the mountain was covered in fresh snow and it felt exhilarating to be learning something new alongside my daughter. At 3 years of age, she killed it! I've made the joke that she's a skiing prodigy... but, all jokes aside, she has some serious skills. We did a couple runs on the bunny hill, but it was a little crowded and I felt comfortable enough to go on the ski lift. It was hard work and our legs were all mega tired, but it was soooooo worth it! We took a nice break for lunch, ate some delicious grub and gave our feet a rest, which was definitely needed.

Skiing, my friends, is the most fun! To be out there experiencing snow, for what feels like the first time ever, was wonderful. We left feeling happy and a sense of together-ness that was perfection.

Happy skiing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

i get to be a mother

There are tiny moments that come along that make you look at life differently and last night was one of those nights. Like most months I was able to gather together with the women in my neighborhood for Motherhood Education. We gather together as sister's to share and discuss our triumphs and trials as mothers, daughters, sister and women.

Last night we gathered together and discussed about perspective and marriage. We were told to tell the person sitting next to us all the things we "have" to do in the morning - like, I have to wake up in the morning, I have to shower, I have to go to the gym, I have to make breakfast, etc. Then, we were told to repeat the same things and rephrase it by saying all the things we "get" to do - like, I get to wake up in the morning, I get to shower, I get to go to the gym, I get to make breakfast. It was such an interesting way to think about perspective.

I've spent many days thinking about how annoying it is to wake up to my kids demanding breakfast and throwing tantrums about toys and making dinner just to hear that it was gross. A combination of those events and my thoughts left me feeling depleted daily. Each day with kids is mostly the same, which is awesome and boring. We wake up and eat breakfast and watch cartoons and clean the house and get ready. Sometimes doing these simple tasks feels impossible. But, how would it feel to not be able to do those things for my children?? The exercise in changing the "have to's" to "get to's" was really enlightening for my soul.

There is nothing that brings me greater joy than my sweet children. My days of raising and holding and cherishing their small, innocent selves are numbered and I never want to take them for granted - even amidst the tantrums, boring moments and daily struggles. They are my life, the ones that make me stronger and better, the ones that show me endless love and endless forgiveness. Being a mother will always be my greatest calling.

I get to be a mother. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

word of the year: diligence

There is a feeling inside my heart that tells me 2016 is going to be a GREAT year! New year resolution's are not really my thing, but this time was different. Twenty-sixteen brought a rush of peace and calm to my life in a very real and dramatic way. The older I get, the more excited I become to set goals and make commitments each new year. This year my list was long, long, longggg! It's a hard reality that basically everything in my life needs to improve and that's 100% okay.

The resolution concept that really stuck with me was "word of the year" and I decided that would be a perfect way to focus on improvement instead of perfection.

My word of the year - diligence.

It was necessary to find the right word.... I mean, a whole year! 

[dil-i-juh ns]

1. constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.
2. Law. the degree of car and caution required by the circumstances of a person.
3. Obsolete. care, caution.

Isn't that just spot on? There is a lot to be undertaken and it will require me to be constant and earnest with care and caution. But, it's going to be exciting and progress is all that matters. With it only being the 2nd week of January, my commitments are 100% so far and my efforts are 105%. Not every day has been perfect, but by "small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6). Every day has been a little better than the day before and even more importantly, my attitude has been better than the day before.

Best of luck with your own goals & commitments. We've got this!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

year in review | 2015

Last year this Year in Review thing didn't happen, and that is still disappointing me. With the Florida vacation posts behind us and the intention of posting about some of my new goals & commitments, I figured it was just as easy to put this together.

2015 was definitely not MY year. There was a lot of partially accomplishing things and a lot of doing the bare minimum and a lot of feeling like an utter failure. True story. But, there was a lot of good things that happened, amidst all of that. 

Here are a few highlights from 2015:

January | Cam was still a little baby and had just learned to walk.

February | We took our first ever "friend" trip to St. George.

March | Cam turned ONE! and we purchased our first home.

April | The kiddos spent time in swimming lessons.

May | Sadee turned THREE and became a super swimmer. She's amazing at swimming!

June | We moved into our first home and put in a sandbox, where this little man spent many hours.

July | We attended my family reunion (and discovered this gem of a photo). My great-grandma and grandma wore floral leggings... just like we do today! Also, Sadee is my twin... if you didn't know.

August | Sadee started pre-school.

September | We enjoyed many fun days in the warm weather with friends & family. Plus, took Cam to the zoo for the first time.... actually second time (he was 2 weeks old the first time).

October | Did all types of Halloween activities including painting pumpkins, eating candy and dressing up. We also had a mini Halloween party for these little ones.

November | Hosted our first ever mini Thanksgiving dinner in our new home.

December | Went on family vacation to Florida and had our first Christmas in our home. It was magic!