Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Hills Are Alive

As they always are at this time of year.  When we go hiking I just can't believe how beautiful it is sometimes!!

I almost don't want to publish this post until I get back up there and take some more photos!  These are not doing it justice. at. all.  But it is so peaceful and gorgeous up there I wish we could make it work to go everyday.  I love where I live!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mack Turned Three!

He opened his presents and gave me big smiles.  

He's looking so old all of a sudden.

He got a "bob the builder" vest.  That show is so old school but he loves it and really wanted a "bob builder" party!  So he got one.  I wanted figurines for his cake but they were $35 online so I printed them out instead.  He liked them.

He had a few friends and cousins for a little party.  They played in the sand with tractors.

And decorated construction hats with stickers.

Are they not the cutest bunch? I just love this photo.

The highlight were these cone cups I found on Amazon... the kids loved them.  Mack is basically a drunk.

Overall it was a very simple and perfect little party for him!  He was so excited the week leading up to it... like so excited he would make me tell him over and over who was coming and what we would do.  Then the moment came and he got very shy and didn't want to participate.  I played it cool (I had to try very hard) and he came around pretty quickly and ended up loving it all.  

Happy birthday to my baby.  I thank God every single day for you Macky!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

13 Years Old

I sometimes can't believe that I have a 13 year old.  I really wish I was the perfect Mom and was giving her all that she needs and teaching her everything she needs to know.  But I know life doesn't work that way.  She seems to be doing so awesome in spite of all my mistakes.  I am thankful for this beautiful, smart, independent, responsible, kind and spiritual girl!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Some Favorite Talks that I've Been Listening to Lately....

Love this one about changing.  Isn't change so hard?  As I'm getting older I find that I just really want to make more progress in my life.  I don't want to have the same thoughts, feelings, and actions that I did 15 years ago.  I want to feel like I'm overcoming weaknesses/issues and becoming a better person.  Anyway, I liked this talk:

Going along those lines here's a good one on self mastery:

Love this one for so many reasons especially the provo tabernacle analogy:

And this one's the type of talk you have to read a few times to really catch it all but I love it:

This years April conference was so great.  Lots of themes running throughout and such an overall uplifting feeling.  The Saturday morning session was my favorite even though right as it started I had to clean up a big food mess made by Mack and Penny peed on the carpet all at the same time.  But once I settled down to listen it was so, so good.  I can't wait to go back and re-listen.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Bang Post

This post is being written to dissuade any woman in the world who may be considering bangs to reconsider!  I will tell you my story...

A few months ago I got bangs in a spur of the moment "need for change" decision.  They were blunt at first and made a very drastic, very bold change to my look.  It was bad.  I looked so different and quite frankly, I didn't even like my face anymore.  I mean, the bangs made me ugly (in my opinion.

(a very different looking person- I didn't recognize myself)

But the ugly I could deal with because I know it's what's on the inside that counts. ... it was the physical torture that was almost too much to bear!  I felt claustrophobic.  I felt trapped.  I felt hot and sweaty and like I couldn't breathe.  I also felt itchy and just overall very uncomfortable.

I started yelling at my kids more because little annoyances were made worse by the irritation of the bangs.  The bangs were making me a meaner mom.

So as soon as I possibly could, I googled "how to do my bangs" and watched many tutorials on how to get these blunt bangs to go to the side and give me some air!

(if they could always look like this and feel good too I'd keep them)

It kindof worked.  It didn't look like what I had envisioned or seen in magazines but it was ok.  After a few weeks I became used to having a hot mass resting on my forehead.  During this time I had many bad bangs days.  I came to realize that I like order and symmetry and control... something I knew applied to my everyday life but now came to realize also applied to my hair.  With bangs, you have no control.  One day you may look great, the next day you can't get them to do anything and they hang there looking horrible on their helpless victim.  I can't handle the lack of control.

(Finally getting them to the side)

So, I'm growing them out and hope to be free of them by this summer.  I long for the carefree hair days I once enjoyed.

Below you will find my list of why bangs did not work for me.  You are a different person and they may work for you BUT if by chance you get them and have some of my same problems just remember that I warned you.

1.  they are hot and not in a good way
2.  they are itchy
3.  they are hard to "do"
4.  they are not consistent
5.  you have to do them everyday- no more skipping a few days of doing your hair- they are NOT low maintenance hair.  I need low maintenance hair.
6.  if you get bangs and then decide to grow them out, your forehead will look larger than life for awhile.
7.  if you blow dry your bangs your hair will begin to break off thus creating mini baby bangs... similar to regrowth after a baby- it is not pretty and I don't know what to do about it.  It looks bad.

(example of broken baby bangs- how do I avoid this if I want to blow dry?)

8.  bangs create a very drastic look and draw too much attention to oneself when they are first cut
9.  you have no control.  One instagram friend told me to "be the boss of the bangs" and I really tried but they don't listen to me.
10.  they have to be cared for too frequently. For example, they must be trimmed and then they are never the same- so it's like having to re-learn how to do them every 2-3 weeks.

A few last thoughts.  I have some friends with bangs and they look adorable and natural and these friends swear by them.  I wish they could've worked for me.  My dilemma now is that I am getting older and feel I need something "more" to my hairstyle to distract from wrinkles and eye bags.  If I can't do bangs, what can I do?  Oh and it has occurred to me that maybe it is my hair girl not cutting the bangs correctly that is the true problem. I love my hair girl but maybe bangs aren't her strong point?  I think maybe they're too thick.  Someday I may try them again if I find someone new or get a great bang girl recommendation.  I would try a thinner style.  "Wispy bangs" if you will.

(example showing how thick they are- probably too thick)

*please note that the photos in this post are literally the only good bang days I have had thus far in my bang experience- that is why I have a photo of them!!  I wish I had taken more photos of my bad bang days for this post
*please also note that I know this is a very frivolous post and I'm mostly being silly
*also I only had time to write this because I'm choosing to waste time at 10pm on a Tuesday night when Dave is still at work (tax season woes).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Mothering Thoughts...

I wrote this post a few months ago and never published it...

First of all, I want to say thanks to those of you that occasionally comment.  I definitely don't write my blog for the world, but back in the day when I would sometimes get 50 comments it was FUN!  I'll admit, feedback is nice.  But even without it I'll keep blogging because this blog basically serves as a memory reminder for me.  I have a bad memory so this is where my memories are stored and can never be forgotten.

Recently a reader commented and asked me to write more about parenting.  I don't really know what to say about parenting except for that I think about it constantly and it is a source of joy and struggle every single day.

I may have already written about this and forgive me if I have... I have a bad memory, remember?

Anyway, last fall my kids got signed up for way too many activities.  I'm still not sure how it happened.  It was an accident.  I forgot that I had signed them up for a few things already, then friends invited them to sign up for other things, then we had the church things and school things, and yeah it became absolutely crazy.  They were all really good and great things to be involved in, but overall it was just too much.

This might embarrass me later but this is everything (that I can remember!) that my various children were doing weekly:

soccer (two teams)-4 times a week plus saturday games (6 total times a week!)
cross country- 3 times a week
volleyball- 3 times a week
drama (fall play at the school)- 1-2 times a week + performance weekend
piano- 3 lessons a week + practicing (kill me now)
young womens- 1-2 times a week
scouts- 1 time a week
gymnastics- 1 time a week

Um... that's 21 things in a week.  WHAT?!?

This list does NOT include monthly or twice monthly items or other random events that came up like singing practice for stake choir, babysitting jobs, birthday parties, HOMEWORK, family get togethers, recitals, playdates, doctor/dentist appointments, Mack's activities, or stuff that Dave and I had going on (photo sessions!). etc.etc.

Of course I want my kids to have fun, to develop talents, to make new friends and get to spend time with them, to exercise (that's a big one for me), and to figure out what they love to do... but not to this extent.

I would justify it all in my mind because we live near the schools where a lot of these activities were taking place (so not a ton of driving) and I would keep everything organized in my calendar and somehow everyone got where they needed to go... but by December I was beat to DEATH.  And I vowed I would never do that again.  Come next fall, it might be hard to keep my vow.  That's why I'm writing this post to remind myself!!

The thing about being so busy is that the most important things can more easily fall between the cracks and you find yourself desperately trying to squeeze in family time together.  And as the mom you feel like you're failing because you are frazzled, rushed, and your mind feels like it's going to explode from trying to remember everything.  Plus, the kids get too tired from their fun to work hard on homework, help around the house, and practice piano.

I learned from this experience that one of the most important things for me as a Mom is nightly family dinner- with ALL of us there together eating and talking.  And when that doesn't happen at least 4-5 times a week I feel bad.   I also care A LOT about working- teaching my kids to work and making them work.  If they're so busy doing other things that they don't even have time to do a few basic household chores per day I feel like I'm not doing my job the way I should.

Remember- this is just me personally and I don't think any other mom is failing if she has different priorities or ways of doing things.  In fact, I love to hear other ways that Moms work to make their family function well.  We are all different and no one way is the only right way, I just know what makes me feel good and at peace with myself in my mothering role.

So next time I am tempted to sign them up for one more thing I will read this post and especially this quote:

I want to be a "mother that knows" in many ways, and I think an important one is to do less, and choose carefully.  Right now all that we have going on is:

1 piano lesson a week
1 voice lesson a week
young womens- 1 time per week
scouts- 1 time per week
Track- 1 time per week

That's 5 things per week (and a few monthly activities) and that's much better.

And you know what we have a lot more time for?  Eachother, peace, resting, walks, hikes, bike rides, family dinners, outings, cooking together, working on the house together, dates, and just breathing!  I love it.

A few last things:

1. I love my children a lot but I also love breaks from my children.  That's another thing that falls between the cracks when your kids are so busy- time for MOM!  And time for mom and dad.  So don't read that quote up there and feel bad if you actually don't want to spend that much time with your kids.... it's normal to feel that way.  And it doesn't mean you don't love them.  I personally just need consistent alone time to feel peaceful.

2.  One of the main reasons I have a hard time saying no to activities is because I see a lot of potential in my kids.  I know we all see that in our children and can't help but feel like we don't want to squash that potential or hold them back from something that is good for them, and could end up being great for them!  When I feel like this I try to remember that most kids just end up being normal, average, everyday people.  I mean, how many of us are olympic athletes or professional dancers?  How many of us have some amazing, outstanding, awesome talent that we spent our childhood perfecting and still use to this day?  There are definitley amazing people around us but I don't necessarily want my kids to grow up and become a professional athlete or concert pianist.... and in reality they probably wouldn't anyway.  Most of the talents I admire in others are things that come naturally to them and or were cultivated as adults.

I want my kids to grow up and be good people: hard workers, intelligent, kind, giving, service-minded, fun, making a difference in small ways and most importantly... happy.   I want them to be people that can find happiness/joy and peace in everyday living and even amidst trials.  I also want them to be family people.  People who have children and put thought into raising them well to make small differences in the world around them.  These things aren't necessarily learned through sports and music.  Sports and music are great but moderation in all things is the key I think.  Sometimes when we haven't had enough going on we tend to go a little crazy- we all like to be busy and feel productive and have things to do.  I think it's important to find what works best for your family and go with that.

So, there you go.  My thoughts on parenting and some things I've been learning in the last year.

This is Called and IPhone Dump

Ok, most of the following photos were taken with my phone and I am now uploading them to my computer and putting them on the blog!  This is literally like 1/16th of what I have taken but seriously who wants to see every iphone photo I have?  Not me.  This is also an attempt to just throw up a blog post because it's been way too long.

Macey playing dress up for the first time in a long time!

Mack pretty much follows her around constantly

Playing in the rain...


We Karaoked on Dave's birthday and I only took like 2 photos.... lame.....  I was too busy singing my guts out I guess!

Best buddies...

Kennedy and her busy boy cousins...

Crown beach with the cousins..

We do love love love having cousins close!

I've been getting up at 5:45am 4 times a week to exercise.  It's the only time I can make it work.  Here's a shot I took on my way home one morning of the sunrise!

Penny got stuck on the stairs...

Macey sewed a bag on her new sewing machine....

Logan and I had to take a hike to fine the compass he lost on the same hike a few days earlier... gorgeous place we live in.

We found the compass!

Logan was Odyssius (sp?) in his drama class play

Lately whenever I go to check on the kids at night Logan is asleep with his headphones on... guess what he listens to every night?  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat- I love it!

My handsome brother who I miss (on a mission in Mexico)

Penny sleeps in Lexi's bed with her until about 11pm when we go to bed... then she goes in the crate.  It's pretty cute to see her cuddled up with Lexi.

More snuggly Penny...

Dave driving his bug... the face of happiness...

Logan's larger than life wart... and I"m proud to say it is officially gone after much consistent effort from ME!

Penny has already grown a ton!

Macky and Penny!

Lex and Penny...

Macey and cousin Brooks!

Macey and her friend at the Arbolado ribbon cutting ceremony

Logan and his buddies at a pre-dance dinner

Me and Logan heading out to the mother son dance!

hiking and climbing with friends

That's all I've got for now.

Maybe one day soon I'll get back to blogging real life.. I hope so!


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