Friday, December 30, 2011


We have now been married for seven years.
Which is weird when you think about it, that is as long as middle and high school took.  Those seemed like they took a painful eternity, while seven years of marriage has gone by in a blink of an eye. I use to wonder how anyone could choose to get married, how would you know you wanted to spend an eternity with anyone?!  A few months later I knew I was going to marry Brent, thinking I would regret it forever if I ever lost him.  Now I realize an eternity won't be long enough with Brent.

Let me tell you about our grand anniversary plans.  Oh wait we don't have any.
Its five days after christmas, and a day before news years, let me assure you we have no grand plans.
Our tradition has been to go out to dinner or a movie with whatever gift certificate we got for christmas, while we have free babysitting.  Oh it was a dream really, but seriously I know of no one who has grand anniversary plans if they were married at christmas time. (I actually really appreciate all those gift cards, because there were a few years we literally were too poor to afford a date.  Many years where we spent a total of $20 on christmas presents on our child, and after going in on group presents for parents, and me making presents for siblings, we literally had nothing left in the bank account that wasn't going to our tuition in a few weeks.)
Now that we actually have babysitters, go out here, and cash, I thought we need something more this year.  Yeah it was pathetic but ok in previous years because it was one of like seriously four dates the whole year, including going to the temple together (we don't always go together). Plus no money. This year was going to be different, so I started brainstorming ideas.  Some of my siblings have family anniversary parties, as in a party with their kids of when the family started.  I thought that's a good idea maybe we should do that, but then I realized the last thing I was going to do is throw another party five days after christmas.
Then I was back to just Brent and I ideas.  A friend who's anniversary was three days ago, said she wants to start celebrating when they got engaged instead because they don't even go out to eat on their anniversary.  When I thought about it, that was a no go.  We got engaged on my birthday, I love my husband, I love our marriage, but I'm not giving up MY birthday for us.
I don't remember when we actually started dating, so that is a no go.
We never had a DYR talk, so we can't celebrate when we were officially dating.
Although we did have a define your date talk.  I was positive Brent and I were just friends, so we were friends hanging out, he assured me dinner and movie is a date.  I didn't believe him, but I don't remember the calendar date of that.
But I do remember we finally kissed fourth of july weekend.  I thought we could celebrate then.  But once again that is a holiday, and clearly my anniversary is the lowest common denominator in holidays.
We don't even do anything special for Valentine's day.  Its my husband's birthday, then my son's two days later.
Yes, Happy Anniversary me and hubby.
Congrats to us because we can't find the time in the year to ever go on a special date.
That being said, neither of us are romantics, my husband doesn't like big celebrations, and if you knew the story of how we got engaged you wouldn't expect anything different then what we are doing for our Seventh Wedding anniversary.

Actually, what to know how I'm planning to spend it?
Buying a new handmixer, after 7 years I burned out the motor in one of the wedding presents we use the most.
I'm also shopping for a new iron, so apparently 7 years is when your wedding presents wear out.

Here are my real anniversary plans.  Forcing my husband to write me a love letter.  I recently read in Martha or somewhere about how a couple exchanges love letters because that is really the only thing you can give that no one else can give.  When I told him of my plans he said what?  I said we use to write love letters... ok maybe texts.  Then I thought about it I remembered a few love notes he had given me that didn't occur on a cell phone.  So I know he can do it.  This is actually a tradition for holidays, forcing him to made me cards.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hope you are enjoying your Christmas, and even getting fitting some religious thoughts into the day.
This was the primary picture in our Christmas card.  I wanted a picture of us in front of our house with snow.  All the bushes are dormant, and we needed snow to cover up all the twigs poking out of the rocks.  It snowed a couple times in October, so I thought no problem.  Then it didn't snow a single day in November!  I was getting worried, then finally December hit and it snowed, but then I started to chicken out.  Luckily my husband kept my dreams alive, he set up his camera with a timer across the street.  Not the most amazing pictures, but perfectly great for a family christmas card.  I think My kids are absolutely adorable, but I wonder why my husband and I aren't as photogenic.  Just so you know I did plan out what we were wearing and I know layers are all fashionable in photos, but we actually don't have any props in the photo other than my daughter's hair clip, we were freezing!  The gloves, hats, boots all necessary.  I know the kids wished they had snow pants on so they could actually played.  I wish I would have had a hat over my ears, but I didn't really want to sport that look in the picture.
Great thing is when we finally paint the outside of our house, we can do this picture all over again!
In case you wanted to know what our house looks like, imagine the picture going to the left with a three car garage.  Ah all the painting dreams I have for this house, number one being the door.  The door looks all wrong in my opinion.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lonely Little Christmas Tree

Neither Brent or I felt like investing in a larger tree this year. 
 Ahh, my kids before church in their cute christmas outfits.  Ok, I bought J nothing new, why would I. He likes black pants, and a white shirt, because that is what he dad likes.  No khakis for my men, for whatever reason.  J almost wore a red tie, but then he chickened out, who can blame him.
 This picture was actually not posed.  We know what Christmas is all about in our house.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I have a three year old.

The night of her birthday we had a family party with dad, and grandmas knew exactly what she wanted Dolls!
 Here she is helping big baby walk.
 While the other grandma made her a J and N dolls.  She loves playing pretend, with her brother and her doll. She was so happy to have her very own grandma special dolls.

 She got the doll carrier and backpack from me.
 We ate the butterfly cake with dad, and the girls had cupcakes at the party.
But then they wanted the cake so bad, that we shared some more with them at preschool the next day for snack.
I can't believe I have a three year old daughter.  She says the funniest things, and is definitely not a baby.
Like last night she said, good night mom, love you, NOW leave, pointing to the door.
She is trying really hard not to suck her thumb during the day after the dentist asked her not to.
She always says, well actually... then follows up with any old thing.
For example, well actually I want chex for breakfast.

Third Year Party

One of the sad parts of moving this year is we no longer have family around.  Last year at my daughter's birthday our apartment was filled to the brim with relatives and it was wonderful, including our immediate family I think we had 18 people over.  It seemed so lonely only to have three family members for my daughter's party.  So we invited her four preschool friends, and two older siblings, the afternoon of her party.  J needed a friend anyway.  
We had a butterfly/hello kitty party. Back in October I bought dollar store wings for all the girls.  Then I made butterfly wands for them.  The party started with a dance party.

 Then free play, then we played caterpillar, caterpillar, caterpillar, butterfly.
 Then presents.
 Then cake.

I originally liked the plan of only having friend parties on even years.  But we haven't ever followed that plan, we just love parties too much. I doubt we ever will.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nativity

Nan is JoySchool, and since it is not a government run school, the Christmas party was all about religion.  The girls performed the First Christmas, and now Nan completely relates to the story of Jesus's birth, and gets who is who.  She is in class with five girls, we decided the play would work well with 6 people instead so an older sister played the role of Joseph. 

Here is the Angel talking to Mary.
 Here is one of the Inn Keepers telling them no room.  We had two more inn keepers who then turned into Shepherd.
 Mary and Joseph laying down the baby.
 The third inn keeper, turned into the wise man.  A hot pink, queen, wiseman, with a camel, saw the start in the east.
 Her face goes rashy from sucking her thumb.
 Singing Jingle Bells.  My three old new favorite song, because they sing it at her school.
Don't mind that this is the only picture with the other two innkeepers or the Shepherds, they weren't too big into acting, and my husband was taking pictures, because I was the audio specialist.

Santa and Dinners

Our school had pizza with santa.  For $15 we got a whole pizza, salad, juice boxes, cake and two crafts for the kids to do.  The kids loved it, but Santa was more disappointing than a ward party santa, but my sweet 5 year old didn't mind, or notice. He was trilled to find out that he wasn't on the Naughty List, and reminded me of that for a week.  I would have rather spent more money on the night and had a nicer looking santa.   I got purposely took the picture so you wouldn't notice, that Santa looked like they picked up a homeless man.
 My daughter was terrified of Santa, so she didn't want to join in the fun of Santa, but loved the rest of the night.  We could have also seen the Grinch, but he was even more terrifying than Santa, to both kids.
Then the following week went to the church party and saw Santa again.  It was great, I accidentally poked J in the face right before his turn, and once again we had a terrified daughter.
I believe that is also our community Santa.  Our small town does their own Toy for Tots, where the police department, fire, and local school collect toys, then Santa has commissioned our Chief of Police to deliver the toys. We go to church with the Chief.  Every year I want to buy toys for my kids to give to charity, and never do, this year I finally did.  J totally got it, Nan was very sad to see the huge box of toys and walk away from it.  We talked about sharing, and the importance of giving to those who need help.  J told me for a few days how happy he was to share.  At one point I thought why don't I just drop the toys in the box for toys for tots and save me the hassle.  But I like to start on community level first and go up for there, I wanted to help my community be self sufficient, plus I think it made more sense to the kids to not drop the toys of at the store we bought them.

Book of Mormon

My husband and I read the Book of Mormon together every night.  Sometimes a chapter sometimes less.  It seems it always takes us to a year to finish it, I know this because every December we end up in Third Nephi, and it is perfect!  Reading about Christmas in the Americas, two thousand years ago, and the Christ visiting the Americas.
Except this year, we spent two months apart, we are two months behind, we are in the middle of Alma not, Third Nephi.  I'm sad.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Post Thanksgiving

Then my sister came after my mom came.  It has been a long time since we've actually spent time together instead of in the middle of all the other family events so it was a lot of fun.  Except we were really tired, because we had just spent thanksgiving with other family.  We didn't do anything other than sit around and talk. My life is so busy it was nice to have three days to sit around.  
The best part is my sister's kids are respectively a year and half younger than my kids, except they are the same size as my kids.
 The older cousin spent the morning playing with Nan then the afternoon playing with J. It worked out well, and Nan did a fairly good job sharing dolls with the younger cousin.
Yeah, in case that got confusing.  My son is about to turn 6, my oldest niece just turned 4, (but the same size almost) my daughter just turned 3, and my younger niece is like 20 months (once again almost the same size).  Ha Ha, I have teeny kids.  Well my daughter is teeny, but my son is about average.  Sure there are kids about 6 inches taller than him, now that he is 6, but there is a good third of the class shorter than him.

Working Hard?

Back in November Brent got a bunch of propaganda cards from his employer when they changed company names AGAIN.  He collected everyone's cards in his office and built this castle. According to him, he got an email from HR or someone with some people creations that put his to shame.  He also said his team that he manages in SLC made way cooler stuff.  Although he didn't have anyone interested in helping at his office so....
 I was surprised at how big it was in real life.  I thought those cards were business card size, but they actually  two credit cards next to each.
 When we went to go see it in person, the kids thought there dad was the coolest person in the world, which of course he is.  I wish I took a picture of them by it, so you could get a picture of how big it actually is.
Then a few weeks later, the cleaning person accidentally crushed the front.


My parents came out for the week of thanksgiving.  It was real great, and they brought me my childhood, it was my dad's dream come true.  Along with a dining room table, 6 chairs and four bookcases.  It was great.  But I was a lame daughter and didn't take pictures.  For the actual dinner we also invited a neighbor family. Maybe after christmas I'll get on their iphones and email myself the pictures they took. 
 These two kids are funny.
 Every day Grandpa shared his grapefruit with his grandchildren.  They loved it.

Hike a month ago

I'm behind on my blog and have a desire to catch up.  In the beginning of November we went hiking with a guy Brent met at webelos training and the guy's family. The live on the side of the mountain, we left from their backyard to start the hike.  It is great where they live except the sunsets at 11:30 am during the winter.  When they said that I thought better you than me. There was quite a bit of snow and ice during our hike.
 This was the easy part of the hike.
 It was very cold by the lake.  In the background is pikes peak but all the snow is making it disappear in the setting sun. It was so windy by our house, trampolines were being blown over, our one piece of lawn furniture blew over, our neighbor had a different neighbors porch swing mattress in their grass, etc so I wore glasses thinking the wind would dry out my contacts so much they would just pop right out.  Plus when its high wind advisory there is a lot of dirt in the air to blow onto my contacts.  But other than when we were on the lake it wasn't windy a single moment during the hike.
 Once we got back on the trail the sun disappeared behind the mountain.
 Nan cried pretty much the whole four hours, I think the other couple was glad their kids are older than three. She loves the outdoors, she was just being her.
 A view from the mountain the live on, although of course they don't live this high up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where is the Meat?

I know the holidays are suppose to be all about being thankful, sharing what you have, and the joy of giving.  But all I can think is where is the meat?!
In past years my husband's employer gave us a coupon for a free turkey.
This year nada.
We were watching TV where the boss was giving up free hams.  All I could think of is where is my meat?
I'm truly upset about my lack of free meat!

Monday, December 12, 2011


We have a hutch in our dining room/kitchen.  We are trilled.  Our friend gave it to us.  We need to do a few little improvements to it, but other than that.  It really nice cabinetry.  (Our dinning room, is technically a dining room, but its not a formal dining room, its completely open next to the kitchen.)
By the way I put my willow tree figurines inside the wine rack which we will not be filling with wine, and Brent thought it was so funny, I kept it.  I'll eventually get bored of them in there and move them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Accepting Foreboding

A few weeks ago my son mentioned something about a mission, or someone did, which then promoted my son to spill his standard response of, "I want to go where the Lord wants me to go". I then turned to Nan and asked/suggested, "when you grow up you can go on a mission too". She exclaimed "yeah!" Then I felt sad, that she wouldn't have a mission plaque of her mom's in her room as an example to her.
You may recall I've already mentioned my great desire to go on a mission, and yet my life directing me onto an equally good but different path.
I've sort of felt forlorn for a few weeks when I thought about missionary service. It didn't help when I saw the man who I recently heard say, "All five of my children served missions, even my daughter."  When I first heard that, I was definitely not filled with charity, because I thought, whoppty do, not of of us GET to serve missions.
I've been trying to repent of my pride and move on.  Then I realized the Lord understands our lives infinitely more than we ever could, and if he didn't think I needed to go on a mission at 21, then I didn't need to go. I kept thinking to myself, accept the life he gave you a move on. Finally I was able to.
I realized having a mother that served a mission will not be the defining factor in Nan's life.  Not to mention I hardly want her to serve if the Lord hasn't told her to serve.  The point I want to teach my daughter, is pray and listen to the Lord, and he will direct you for good.  Be prepared for the future so you are ready to make covenants with the Lord, no matter what age or reason.  Once you have made covenants, live up to your covenants.  I can teach my daughter that whether I have a plaque on the wall on not with a picture of me at 21. (Notice how I don't care if she is making those covenants for marriage, a mission, or just because its time.)

P.S. We all can learn a lesson from my being offended up above.  Honestly, sure be well pleased in your heart that all your kids went on mission, or in your journal, or in your home.  But honestly do you have to get up and tell the whole ward how awesome you are?  I love relief society and relief society lessons, but I dread the moment missionary work comes up and the teachers asks the sisters to raise their hand if they served a mission.  Don't ask for a raise of hands, no matter if you are teaching sisters or brothers, because I assume men who didn't serve a mission despise the raising of hands even more than me. Sure ask for someone to share a story from the mission if you want, but don't expect me to bow down because someone had a different life experience than me, just like I don't expect special treatment that I gave birth to another human. (Unless its my husband.) When I use to be in classes where they asked for a raise of hands if your were a missionary, I use to look around like I was the dorky kid in school wishing I had friends.  Then I started looking at my lap, because I didn't want to be annoyed at the teacher.

P.P.S. I knew a very bizarre girl when I was a freshman.  We won't get into her personality, other than to say she was very prideful in her desire to be righteous, even with that she taught me two important lessons.  Once when she asked me my major.  I told her I was political science.  She told me oh cool... I have an aunt on the state legislature.  Her children hate her, she is never around. It was quite bizarre, and not at all uplifting, I had no idea what to do with that piece of information.  Then I realized  I can achieve anything I want, and be great in what I choose, but if I give up my kids I give up my kids, and I never get that time back. (I later learned that state had an amateur legislature which means her aunt was only in session for three months a year, her political office was not the reason her kids hated her, it might have added, but it was not the reason.)
  Second thing she taught me was when she took a missionary prep institute class.  I asked her why, since I knew she wanted to get married before she was 21, totally assuming she was looking for missionaries to write to on their missions.  She said, just because I plan on being married before 21, doesn't mean I can't plan for my mission when I'm a senior couple with my husband.  Although I don't agree with her philosophy of planning to get married before 21, I appreciate the idea of preparing for my first mission with Brent one day.

P.P.P.S I know, I know we are also suppose to be member missionaries.


 My wee one is about the turn three, and with this passage of time I feel a twinge of sorrow.  To me the third birthday means they are longer babies.  Its the first birthday that they have that I'm not longer changing their diapers so they aren't babies. J was clearly not a baby on his third birthday because he had a two month old baby sister.  While Nan, she is still our baby, because no one has replaced her but yet she isn't because she isn't diapers.  Its all so confusing to my mind.  But yet the Lord must know what he is doing.  So if she is still the youngest in the family at her third birthday then it must be ok.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Live Nativity

Tonight we went to a Creche Exhibit, and watched a live Nativity outside. It was freezing, literally, it had snowed all day, so you can imagine how cold it was 2 hours after sunset.  There were metal chairs to sit in but we preferred to stand than to freeze in our seats. I held the girl, I figured she would keep me warm, plus she was cold so it was comforting to her.  She held her mitten hand on my nose to keep it warm, since my hand were holding her up.  The other patrons around us probably weren't so happy but I explained what we were watching to her.  In five days she preforms a nativity with her preschool class, so it was a double bonus.  When Mary lifted the baby Jesus into the Manager, my almost three year old said, "Baby Jesus going to be cold, he need another banky (blanket).
I wanted to die laughing, but since it was so cold, I barely chuckled.  She is a very conscientious mother.   She knew you can not have a newborn baby outside with just one blanket on him, with his bare head out in the elements.  She knows if mama, has a hat on and mitten, the baby should be wrapped up good! Luckily the baby was a doll.

Speaking of mothering.  The other day we were at my friend's house.  She has five children the youngest being 6 months old.  Since he is baby number 5 she was totally ok with Nan mothering him.  He was in his exersaucer and crying.  Nan would go over, pull his fist out of him mouth and hold his pacifier there until he calmed down. Then treasure of treasures my friend let Nan hold the baby as long as she wanted. (I helped of course.) I could tell he was number 5, because the mom was not concerned in the slightest.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure next child born into our family will be smothered more by Nan than me.


Remember how I talked about wrapping paper, and how I hate to buy it?  Well I have spent the last month trying to decided where I stand.  I didn't want to buy wrapping paper, but is that because I'm lame, cheap and ghetto or because I care about the environment?  I decided it was the first and so I went to buy wrapping paper.  But I couldn't. I went to multiple stores, and never could do it, all I think about was how messed up and commercialized Christmas in America is.  I love Christmas but I don't think it has to be over the top.  Everytime I tried to pick up a roll of wrapping paper I thought about it sitting in land fills, sure paper is biodegradability but seriously is anything in a land fill?  I thought about all the resources that are used to make paper.  Especially all the fossil fuels and chemicals to make white paper on one side, and brightly colored paper on the other.  I couldn't buy it, I just couldn't.  Sure I do plenty of things that are terrible for the environment, but wrapping presents in bleached and dyed paper, was just one thing I couldn't do.  Meat yes, wrapping paper no.  It turns out it wasn't money at all, you can get wrapping paper for a $1, but I still couldn't do it.  So we wrapped presents is left over craft paper, and construction paper scraps. 
But then I felt bad, my kids wouldn't have colorful birthday presents.  I kept seeing my daughter's birthday present from Grandma.  It made me feel bad that their children's mom was a basket case.  So I figured out the line I wanted to walk.  Birthday presents can be in colored paper, but I wouldn't buy christmas paper.
I felt good, I made my peace.
Then imagine my surprise when I found craft paper with gold stars on it!  I felt that was totally ligit.  Even though the stars are made by dye as is the ribbon.  I was trying.
I can't give up the Christmas baby theme, so I bought christmas paper with pink in it, for my daughter's birthday, which could double as paper for cousin presents.  I felt like this was all legal with my brain.  I am currently storing my daughter's birthday presents under the tree.  So it looks like I'm not actually following my rules of no wrapping paper.
BUT!  I love the look of brown paper packages tied up with... ribbon. Although maybe I should switch to string next year.  Look how pretty!
So yes, my tree looks like its not following the rules, but is, those are my daughter's birthday presents.
Speaking of birthday presents, my daughter has WAY too many, because I made them all, so I just couldn't resist, since it didn't cost much.

Now, you are 100% sure that I'm nuts, so lefts continue--
My tree. Brent and I have been adamant that we weren't going to buy a full size tree until we were in a house.  Well now we are, and we don't have one, but we only want to buy a clearance one.  So I put up our four feet tree.  I felt pathetic as a mom.  But then it was up and the kids had a blast covering it ornaments.  Which is why it looks like it does.  Plus its on a table so it doesn't look so short, and the table is covered in christmas.  And now part of me never wants a full size tree, because this one is so easy!  And simple, I think christmas should be easy-- non stressful. We will eventually get a full size tree, but who knows when.  I won't be torn up if its not this year. Right now the only reason I would get a full size tree is because we have enough ornaments for a full size tree.