Friday, October 31

30 Days to 30

On November 22 I turn 30. I have been just fine with this until last week when I thought "What, 30, really? How can I be getting so old?" I guess I have 4 kids, one of which will be getting baptized in 6 month, and a house it is okay. My sweet husband has been thinking of ways to make this day special for me. So, last week he surprised me with a present on my bed. Attached was a sweet card saying we were going to have 30 days to 30. He would be giving me surprises of all forms for the next 30 days. Here is a run down of what has happened thus far
Day 30-A new lap top (our other one broke and I was going NUTS being in the basement on my regular computer, plus with all the photo editing I am doing a laptop is way more efficient with being a mother)
Day 29-Deep cleaning of three bathrooms
Day 28-Fixing and cleaning up of dinner and all dishes
Day 27-A 30 minute back rub (after P90x that is a HUGE gift)
Day 26-A subscription to three photography magazines (I can't wait to start getting them)
Day 25-A wonderful surprise date in our backyard with our fire pit, marshmallows, games, and a tent
Day 24-A subscription to Readers Digest magazine (I have wanted that forever)
Day 23-Tickets to see Wicked in LA the day after Christmas
Day 22-Clean our office (it took over 4 hours but it is amazing the organization he did-we have needed to do it since we moved in 14 months ago)
Day 21-Another 30 minute back rub(I can NEVER have enough of those)
Day 20-A big tub of hot cocoa (I have been out since the end of winter and we have missed it)
Day 19-Get Smart (If you haven't seen this movie you is HILARIOUS!!! We actually saw it in the theater for Brad's 30th birthday this past summer)
Day 18-Cleaning the whole house and getting kids in bed (he actually had this planned for Monday, but I actually had the house clean when he got home....tonight will be good as I have a meeting)

And that is where we are for the count down. I have 17 more joyous things to look forward to. This has made it much easier to embrace the birthday. I never want to be one of those people that dreads their birthday because they are getting older. However, I do understand why they do. It is weird to think I am entering my 30's. People that are 30 are older parents and have lots of least that is how I always saw them growing up. My how our perspectives change.

Wednesday, October 29

Real Life

So, why I thought it would be different with a blog as far as keeping up on writing, I will never know.
On Sunday we had a wonderful fireside from a member of our stake presidency. He mentioned in there how with this new life of blogging we shouldn't compare ourselves to others and their lives. Most of the time the people are writing about the good things going on to give themselves pick me ups or whatnot. Well, I shall break everyones mold of telling only the great things and fill you in on my real life.....I will leave out some less than flattering details that could warrent someone calling DCFS on me...just kidding.
My day started with neither Brad nor I wanting to get up and Becca waking up at 5:30 instead. Finally, a little after six I decided I had better exercise now or it wouldn't happen today. That went well. I started teaching at 7:15am. I made chore lists for my children and had high hopes that they would be so excited with todays incentive to clean that they would get it done without any nagging. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Who was I kidding? I told them if they finished before school they could invite two friends over to watch Nancy Drew for Halloween. Well, it got finished, but not without some emotional scars (mostly on my part). Trying to get kids to do chores while I teach for an hour and a half is impossible. I know I need to just say "these are your chores, if they are done we have the movie. If they are not done no movie." and leave it at that. My problem is I get so sad thinking of how they will feel when they don't get the movie that I nagged. BAD ME!!!!! I really am trying to just lay down the law and let them make mistakes so they will learn consequences. Hopefully the rest of the day I will be better.
After I was done teaching and got Ryan out the door I finished cleaning the house. Can anyone explain to me why my house looks WORSE after they are done with chores than before? Hmmmm.....I really don't get it. Anyway, I went to throw away something in our front bathroom and I noticed something that just made my day. Yes, it was poo. Not Whinnie the Pooh, just plain old poop. Yesterday Ashlyn and her sweet little friend Brooke were in the bathroom for a long time. I now know what they were doing. As I was cleaning the poop from the toilet I was thinking to myself "this is why on this earth before the millenium I am stopping at 4." Obviously I can't even handle the four I have. So, if you look at me and say "Hey, she always wanted 7 kids....why is she stopping at 4?" Just remember Octobers are horrible months for Ashlyn and I and they come around once a year so there is no avoiding it.
Just for fun, let me list some mischief Ashlyn has gotten into this month.
#1-Cut her friend Brooke's hair
#2-Emptied shampoo bottle number 20.
#3-Wrote all over her wall my her bed with crayon
#4-Painted nail polish on the bricks on my front porch (oops, I don't think Brad knew about that one)
#5-Drew on my Parenting with Love and Logic with crayon (how would the authors handle that one?)
#6-The poop in the garbage can
#7-Cut a hole in her pillow and has gradually made it bigger and pulled out the stuffing
#8-Nail polish all over her hands and who knows what else

Disclaimer: every marker, nail polish, or crayon I find goes in the garbage can. The scissors are stored up high, yet she somehow still finds them.

I love my little daughter. She just keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, October 22

Kids vs the CD player

On Saturday I went yard saleing. (How on earth do you spell that?) Anyway, I found a portable cd player for $2. I got it home and could not get it to work. I wasn't too happy but thought (It's $2) I threw it in the garbage. Makayla and Ryan found it in the garbage, how and why I don't know. But, I tried some different batteries flipped a couple of switches and works. I love being magical. Now it is a fight with my three oldest of who gets to listen to it. Yesterday Ashlyn got her turn without any fight as Kayla and Ry were at school. Here is a darling picture of her enjoying her moment.

A New Leaf

So, I am hoping after I exercise I can record some thought here on the blog about the previous day. However, I need my baby to cooperate with this plan. We got up at 5:30 to exercise. I actually hopped out of bed this morning. The past couple of mornings I have been really groggy and it's taken me 15 minutes to get ready. Not today, I actually slept straight through from 10pm-5:30am without waking for anything. It's been a long time since I have done that. The past couple of weeks I have awoken at 2am with strange and restless dreams. Anyway, as Brad and I were quietly getting ready we heard Becca starting to cry. Ah, oh. Usually she will go back to sleep. We quietly tip-toed (okay, so I tip-toed, Brad just walked softly....which WASN'T ENOUGH!!! ha ha ha) down to our basement. Becca cried a bit and then settled. We got going into our 50 minute routine. It was slow going anyway because Brad was using bands for a shoulder and arms workout. It wasn't working because he had to continuously adjust the bands. We finally started to get into a rhythm when Becca started screaming. Brad finally had to go get her and get a bottle. He brought her down. All was well until she decided she wanted to be held and was letting us know. I was afraid of the other kids waking so we had to hold her. Finally, fate was kind, we put her back to bed and I believe she is still there. Who knows. Anyway, if I get a toned sexy won't be because of my children who from conception have done everything they can to deter me in these efforts!!!!

So, last night I realized that a funny thing happens. In the morning I am super excited to see my kids....everyday (unless it is 5:30 in the morning and they should still be asleep). Throughout the day things happen and my patience wears thin with certain children. Yet, no matter what, when I put Becca to bed I just want to hold and squeeze her little body all night long. She gives me kisses and lays her head on my shoulder. It is a moment I love with all my heart. I miss her as soon as I lay her down. With my other children the same thing happens....once they have come up the last time for the night and are seriously going to sleep. That is when I want to cuddle and adore them all night long. So, how do I get those feelings all day long? That will be my quest today. Let's see if I can do it!!!

Tuesday, October 21

American Fork Canyon Photo fiasco (I mean shoot)

I have been so excited to go up the canyon for family pictures. I should have known things weren't going to be as planned when at almost the mouth of the canyon I realized my camera was dead and the spare battery was at home. We got the battery but Kayla and Ashlyn fell asleep. We also took pictures of Allison's family, her kids, my kids, and our family. Not good. All the kids were grumps, lighting wasn't great, and we were having issues figuring exposure issues on the camera. It made for a fiasco of a night.I love the swinging bridge park up AF canyon. It is gorgeous for outdoor shots.

Ashlyn just loves getting her picture taken....on her time. This is my bubbly girl.

Some other fun pics of Ash.

I was going to photoshop out the drip coming out of her nose....but, I wanted to capture how she really is....most of the time.

I had to photoshop a different head on Brad. The best picture of Ryan and the others had Brad closing his eyes....shocker!!! Anyone that has ever tried to take a picture of Brad knows he closes his eyes 90% of the time. I love my photoshop program!!!

Kayla posed herself. She is my little model. Too bad it wasn't the greatest camera day for me.

Where's Becca? Peek-a-boo. She was not happy for pictures until we put her by the big rocks.

The kids loved skipping rocks in the water.

"A boo" This is one of Brad's and Becca's favorite games.

This would have been a darling shot of Dad and all his girls....except Makayla was spunking BIG TIME. Not usual for her and pictures. She can be crying, I whip out the camera and she has her permagrin on. I guess I was too far away so she couldn't see the camera.

A Season of Change

This fall has brought a season of change. I am finally done with the benefit concert. However, since I can't sit around and think of what to do I have started delving into things I have been wanting to do, just waiting for the time. The first is Brad and I have started waking up at 5:30am to do P90x together. That is an extreme exercise program. It has been great. We go to bed at 9:30 so I haven't needed a nap yet.
The second thing is I am studying more on photography. I have quickly realized how much I love it. I love looking at good pictures and thinking "could I do that?" I am learning more and more about my camera and am trying not to get frustrated that I don't know even more. I took some pictures in the mountains last Saturday. Some were great....some were not. I am having lighting issues. I am hoping to take a photoshop class and some photography courses to really improve. I am trying to get people to let me take their pictures for practice. It's pretty fun.
I am also starting to sing in a group with some of the people that sang in the group at the benefit concert. I love to sing but don't have the opportunity as much as I would like. I am also starting voice lessons again. That will be a great thing for me. I need help!!!!
There are so many more things in this world I want to discover. I have to tell myself that I will hopefully have an eternity to do all I want to do. Italian lessons are the next on the list, but I just need a teacher. Brad actually works with an Italian but we both think it would be kind of weird for me to have one on one lessons with a 40 year old Italian male. I keep telling Brad he can just have them with me!!!
All in all, life is good. The kids are happy and doing well in school. Ashlyn is still into making messes, but is getting better at cleaning them up (with help of course). Becca is still getting this walking thing down. You need to see the look on her face when she walks a big path!! She just beams. I keep telling her she can feel that way all the time....yet, she just doesn't have the perfect balance yet for standing.

Beauties of Life

So, I just had a wonderful conversation with my dear friend Christy. Christy is one of the coolest people I know. She knows stuff about everything. She does everything, and yet, she has time for one of the most complete, up to date blog, that I know. She really uses hers as a journal. I should try that since I just wrote in my journal about my benefit concert and realized I hadn't written since February. Now, if that isn't pathetic, I don't know what is.
So, I love fall. I love it. I love the briskness in the air. I love the snow capped mountains with the vibrant colors underneath. I love football....especially my 8-0 utes!!! (I have to enjoy that now since who knows what will happen the rest of the season). One of my favorite things about fall is the changing leaves on the trees. All season I have been looking out and enjoying my neighbors trees that are bright reddish-orange. It is incredible. Well, the other day I looked into my backyard and about fell over with what I saw....

This is in my own backyard. (I did not use photoshop at all to enhance this color. It was Heavenly Father's doing) If I want a pick me up I just look out my window and realize how blessed we all are to live on this beautiful earth.

Thursday, October 16

Ode to Becca

I just got off the phone with one of my best friends from high school. 4 weeks ago her almost six month old boy died suddenly. The entire situation has really helped me put life and motherhood in perspective. I appreciate the little things more and I love every moment with my children and everything about that.
So, today is my ode to Becca. One of the things I love about Becca are her feet. They have always been chubby little things. They are also some of her favorite play toys. She would chew on them forever. She HATES and I am mean HATES things on her feet. I do put shoes on her, although anyone that ever sees her would never believe me. She pulls them off so quickly. Today at Thanksgiving Point I was doing a mini-photo shoot with my girls and my friend Ruth and her kids. One of my favorite shots was a full shot of Becca smiling. But, the thing I loved best were her little feet so perfect in every way....especially with the dirt on them from not wearing shoes (they were brought but why bother with this child?) Here is the cute picture I cropped of my darling daughters feet.
Another thing I love about Becca are her hands. Her tiny hands are slowly getting rid of the cute dimples that have graced them for 15 months. The thing I love most about her hands are when she blows me kisses. She has started this the past couple of weeks and it melts your heart. A funny thing she does with her hands is she loves to push my hands out of the way when she wants to do something I am doing. It can get annoying...but I am living and loving the moment!!!

All in all I love my daughter Becca. She really brightens up whatever room she is in. She is still the most pleasant baby in the world (don't worry, she does have her moments). Her laughter is infectious and she is turning into quite the tease (she gets that from her daddy!!!) She is starting to talk, walk (finally), and be quite the curious George. I truly believe she will give Ashlyn a run for the money here soon with her mischeviousness. I love you, Becca!!!