Saturday, December 20, 2008
we made it to our new little home safe and sound (through the craziest snowstorm i've ever seen and many not so small miracles) and got settled in and mostly unpacked just in time to pack up our suitcases (sans gloves, beanies and snow shovels) to head for real home.
and here we are. it's amazing what a paradise i grew up in. the skies are clear and blue, the trees and grass are green as spring, the air is only about 50 degrees warmer than any air i've felt in the last few months, and oh- family and friends are near. paradise, i tell you.
we will be here for 2 weeks and i have never been so excited to relax and soak it all in... the food (which, by the way - i highly recommend planning your next pregnancy around thanksgiving and christmas! it's awesome!), the music, the lights, the little boy loving on his grammy and papa, the spirit of the season.
i wish you and yours the best time of the year. i hope you all find yourselves at home.
"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
~ Marjorie Holmes, American writer.
Friday, December 12, 2008
so, we don't leave until tomorrow (as long as all goes as planned), but today is our last day with the internet and i wanted to be sure to record my thoughts as we leave this little life here in rexburg.
last night as i knelt down to pray i thought about what a crazy adventure it has been to be here for the last 6 months, and (hormonal as i am) completely lost it. though i may have complained to no end (sorry clint) and i may not have totally understood all the reasons we had to come here, i do feel as though all went according to plan (not MY plan, of course) and feel blessed to have had this experience and also, of course, to be moving on from it.
just a few things that i've learned from life here in rexburg:
1. i can do anything if i feel like it will be beneficial for my family in one way or another - even if it is outside of my comfort zone.
2. while san diego will always be home to me, i can make a home wherever i am if i put my heart into it.
3. family is everything. i would never ever have survived this journey without owen and clint, and having our families so far away has been more difficult than i ever imagined. i am so excited to be closer to family, or at least to an airport.
4. i can make friends. i was so nervous when we came here that i would never find friends since we were so different from your typical byu-i students, but i have made some great friends that i hope to be in touch with for a long time. really, most people have something in common - kids, crafts, being poor, you name it. though i may be 10 years older than some, we still have common ground to stand on.
5. anything worth having is worth sacrificing for. we may still have a long road of school ahead of us and many years of sacrifice, but i know it will be well worth it in the end.
6. i can love and support my husband by making dinner and keeping a clean house. i know this sounds somewhat obvious, but it's amazing how i've tried to avoid it in the almost 4 years we've been married. now that he is so busy and i literally can't do his homework, go to class, or take his tests for him, these are things i can do.
7. owen doesn't care where he is as long as he has us to love and entertain him. he could care less that there is not a target nearby, that he wears hand-me-downs, or that it is freezing outside. he is happy when we are happy and will adapt to whatever situation we provide.
8. humility is easier to learn when you are willing. if you try and submit mostly, but hold on to the last bit of control as long as possible, the process isn't any easier, quicker, or less painful. the opposite is true, in fact. i can't say i've really actually learned this yet - but am in the process and hope that i can learn from my mistakes and just give in already.
9.when you go without, you appreciate so much more in life - be it friends, family, the sun, the mall... you name it. did i tell you how giddy i was driving through provo when we went to look for a place? the same town that used to send shivers down my spine and give me a stomach ache... but now - oh wow, how i will appreciate happy valley in a different way than ever before.
10. god knows me and my family and has me in mind. we have tried hard to recognize the blessings that have poured into our lives since leaving behind so much and we have seen his hand more visible in every day than at any other time since we've been married. it is harder to feel sorry for yourself and your situation when you see how much you are given each day and how truly merciful god is.
so long little rexburg. we are grateful for what you have taught us!
p.s. no posting for awhile... just to warn ya!
"To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), American president. Presidential message (December 25, 1927).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
(O Little Town of Bethlehem.)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
"Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Son of Righteousness
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace.
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King."
-Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Monday, December 08, 2008
clint took a turn in the rocking chair while owey tried to get some rest between bouts of sickness and i set up a makeshift bed on the floor and tried to get a little sleep. halfway through the night, we traded posts and it was my turn to rock that little boy and hope to somehow give him comfort and help him at least feel loved and safe in the midst of so much yuckiness. i tried to sleep with his warm body curled up next to mine, but my mind was so full of thought that sleep became impossible. how is it that a huge piece of my heart was wrapped up into this little boy? and how would i ever cope with letting it walk out into the world and exist outside of my safe and loving arms? if a little stomach flu was enough to send me into tears and heartache, what of bullies, broken hearts, and bad choices? would i get a thick skin and learn to deal with all that my boy will face in this world? or is that just part of the life of a mother? feeling so much love for someone else that it sometimes (literally) hurts?
as i sat pondering these things, i couldn't help but think of my own parents and of course my Heavenly Parents. how they must ache when we do. how they must wish they could make it all better. how they must long for our happiness and safety. and yet again, while rocking my sick little boy, i was taught once more the miracle of motherhood. this is what i need to be learning. this is why god wants us to have children and begin to understand what he feels for us. oh how He must love us!
ironically, i found myself sick as a dog last night and it was my turn to ask "why?". without a mom and dad to rock me and comfort me, i instead turned to my sweet husband and his priesthood. at least then i could feel of his love and safe arms, and of the love and compassion of a loving and healing Heavenly Father that wishes to bless me. oh how grateful i am for that knowledge and for that power in my own home. and while i don't wish to ever have that flu again, i am grateful for the tender mercies shown to me as my humbled heart was given a glimpse of things eternal.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'
As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others." – President Monson
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Truly He taught us
To love one another;
His law is love and
His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break
For the slave is our brother
And in His name
All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in
Grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us
Praise His holy name!
Christ is the Lord,
Oh praise His name forever,
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim
His pow'r and glory
- O Holy Night
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
"What is the lesson for us today as we enter a new Christmas season? Who will minister to those in need? Who are the angels that will prepare the way for His return? As we sing the hymns of Christmas and speak of angels sent to earth to witness the Savior’s birth in the meridian of time, may we rise to the occasion and minister to those in need in our day. May we be reminded of our promises to 'bear one another’s burdens, … to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places … and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [we] may have eternal life' (Mosiah 18:8–9).
I bear witness that Christmas is a season for angels. As they ministered to the Savior and others in the 'meridian of time,' may we, as angels of mercy, minister to other families and to those in need in the 'fulness of times' so that the Lord’s work may move forward." –Merril J. Bateman
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? - Dr. Seuss
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
"Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It reaches out beyond our power to comprehend. It is magnificent and beautiful.
It is peace. It is the peace which comforts, which sustains, which blesses all who accept it.
It is faith. It is faith in God and His Eternal Son. It is faith in His wondrous ways and message. It is faith in Him as our Redeemer and our Lord.
We testify of His living reality. We testify of the divinity of His nature. In our times of grateful meditation, we acknowledge His priceless gift to us and pledge our love and faith. This is what Christmas is really about." - Gordon B. Hinckley
Monday, December 01, 2008
"if we are to have the very best Christmas ever, we must listen for the sound of sandaled feet. we must reach out for the Carpenter's hand. with every step we take in His footsteps, we abandon a doubt and gain a truth." -President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday, November 30, 2008
i have had a lot on my mind this thanksgiving - it all started with this beautiful post that sent me into a world of reflection. i think i am often guilty of ingratitude - which i know to be among the greatest sins. it's not that i try to be ungrateful, it's just that i usually tend to focus on what is going wrong in my life or what hasn't turned out according to plan. i have often wondered why i do this - do i just need attention? someone to feel sorry for me for my problems that (let's be honest) are usually pretty ridiculous? do i not know how to focus on the positive and the beautiful in my life? am i so full of pride that i can't even see the many blessings that envelop me every day?
but when i do take a moment to be grateful (which i honestly try to do at least once a day... a girl's gotta start somewhere!) - i am absolutely overwhelmed at how incredibly blessed i am and have been my whole life. of course there are the big things... my family, the gospel, my health, my freedom and my friends... but even the little things make my heart swell in thanksgiving and my eyes well up to overflowing... the protection on an icy road last night, the little house in utah that will become a home for the next few years, the unusually warm fall we've had here in rexburg... when i stop and consider how mindful of ME my Heavenly Father is, i am absolutely humbled and truly feel loved, blessed and happy.
what is the secret to being able to live like this every moment of everyday? how can i make thanksgiving an attitude and a daily opportunity instead of just one day a year full of turkey and pumpkin pie? why is it so easy to focus on what i lack instead of focusing on what is so obviously abundant in my life? these are questions i hope to someday have answers to, but i have a feeling it may take years of practice and prayer. what do you do to live a more grateful life?
i hope all of you had a wonderful thanksgiving and that we can all live with more gratitude in our lives.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
it seems that since i stopped doing the monthly updates on little owey i have taken way fewer pictures and not blogged nearly enough about how freaking cute he is. i know you are all DYING to know what he's been up to, so without further ado, the owey update... owen :
- is talking like crazy (mostly jibberish, but some real words like bottle, bath, shoes, banana, dad, eyes, sauce... you know... the important things)
- has given up on walking and gone straight to running. oh, and dancing. the boy loves to dance and it is the cutest thing ever. he's mastered quite a few different moves including the bounce, the stomp, the head bop, and the spin. he starts dancing every time he hears music - unless it's slow music - then he waves his arms like he is leading the music. Then, if the music is followed by applause then he claps too.
- loves, loves, loves the movie cars. he would watch it all day long if i would let him. i do give in every so often to be able to finish a project, do the dishes, blog (yeah - it's totally on as we speak) or to trick him into cuddling with me.
- loves talking on the phone. and he actually talks which i think is hilarious. most kids listen intently and stare at the phone, but he is sure to babble right back. come to think of it, he picks up just about anything electronic (and sometimes other random things), holds it to his ear and starts talking.
- gets into everything! including kitchen drawers, boxes and baskets, etc. lately his favorite thing emptying out a toy basket, climbing inside of it, and reading his books while all snug inside. spaz.
- is part italian. this boy loves his pasta and it is my favorite way to get some good vegetables in him that normally would gross him out. (what, you don't know about my secret sauce? sooooo good!)
- is super social, but like his dad. he loves being around other people and gets so excited to go to play group and see his friends (we're talking about owen here, not clint) but he is an observer most of the time. he plays, but is mostly silent and hasn't quite figured out how to play with other kids. but he sure is happy to be around someone else besides boring old mom. most of the other kids moms are surprised to ever hear him talk (which is nuts since he never stops at home!) the reason i say that he's like his dad is that clint really enjoys being in social situations, but doesn't really seek them out and sometimes sits back and soaks it all in until he's really comfortable.
- just can't seem to stay healthy. it seems that is the price that comes from having friends... we have had one cold after another around here, and now that things are looking better around here, we'll just keep our fingers crossed.
- is a champion block-stacker. he surprised me and clint when he started stacking blocks on his own and i will often find little mini towers (some 5 blocks high!) all over the family room.
- is starting to learn animal noises and body parts. so far he can growl like a tiger (so funny) and moo like a cow and successfully identifies eyes, nose, mouth and belly.
- does the motions to "if you're happy and you know it" and "the wheels on the bus". my favorite is when the mama's on the bus go "shhh. shhh. shhh." so funny to see him stick his little finger up to his lips!
these pictures are really old (like from 4th of july) but i just had to share... every time i look at them i can't help but laugh out loud. (seriously... click on it. ) that's my boy!
have you started on a blanket yet? if so, we would love to hear about it or see pictures. my progress has been slower than i'd hoped now that i've started on working on gifts for the family, but i am excited to make some headway the week of thanksgiving. and, if you don't feel like making a blanket (or don't have time) you could always pick up this little beauty for a little loved one from urban outfitters - all the proceeds go to project linus and it's only $25!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
now, those of you who offered recipes, email away - my inbox awaits (jessicamerickson@yahoo), as does my belly.
ok, one last bathroom question and then i'll leave you alone. does anyone have any tips for really tackling a fiberglass tub/shower surround without a scrub brush and some serious elbow grease? (i'm afraid my elbows are fresh out of grease.) nothing seems to do the trick unless i slave. last time i went lazy on the tub and just filled it up and dumped in a bunch of bleach and comet and hoped it would do something. yeah- kind of, but not really. (better than nothing, but there has to be a more effective solution.) ok. i promise no more solicitations. you guys are the greatest.
Monday, November 10, 2008
so, i know that christmas is like 45 days away, and that it is terribly uncharacteristic of me to get a head start on gift giving, but this week santa's workshop opened it's doors in the erickson household. (if only i had some elves to put to work...) usually i don't get much accomplished until december, but we will once again be moving our entire lives in december (not complaining - sooo glad to go to provo), so the goal is to be done by thanksgiving. and since we happen to be poor college students this year, i figured now is as good of a time as ever to brush up on some old talents and discover some new ones. so i've been busy, busy, busy working on several projects, and i must say - i am extremely pleased! in fact, i've been tempted to keep everything for myself, but that wouldn't exactly be in line with the christmas spirit now would it? i really wish i could post pictures of some of the things i've been working on, but that would totally spoil the surprise of christmas morning. i guess i'll just have to wait until then to show all of you what i've been up to. boys on my list - don't you worry. you will not be receiving crocheted neckties this year. i have yet to figure out how to make a good gift for boys. let me know if you have any great ideas .
picture from my sister's recipe blog - we had this soup this weekend... yummy!!
i am also quite proud of my self because i have taken my resolve to cook more often (after realizing while babysitting that i actually was capable of cooking a meal without getting sick) very seriously and we have had a home-cooked meal every night since. lately i'm on the hunt for some great soup recipes. with the weather getting ever colder (though still no snow on the ground!) i love to make a big batch of soup to have for lunch all week. any suggestions?
and lastly - this is where my homemaking skills completely fail me (and my family for that matter) - cleaning. not my strong suit, but there is nothing i despise more than cleaning the bathroom. (sorry for revealing my deepest darkest secrets!)
and although i know it's not gracious to use pregnancy as an excuse for everything - in the beginning it was the sick factor that made me dread cleaning the loo, and now it is just the belly in the way of everything that has pushed me to the point of seeking out your best advice. so, dear blog readers, HELP ME!!! please, please, oh please tell me all of your secrets to keeping your bathroom (i mean ALL of it - shower, tub, counters, toilet, the whole shebang) sparkly clean without wanting to die or vomit in the process!! do you use special cleaners that are just a-mazing and do it for you? do you make your husband do it? do you hate it as much as i do? or am i just a terrible wife/mom? and please don't tell me your housekeeper does it or that i just have to suck it up and go cinderella style- that might make me cry.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
nervous about the future of our country.
tired and wondering why about daylight savings (anyone else's kids waking up WAY too early?)
ready to tackle christmas projects.
humbled at the thought of 2 little ones running around here soon.
excited for more life changes in the next few months (provo, here we come!)
Monday, November 03, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
(sorry the picture is a bit blurry - and yes, that's a pregnant palm tree.)
after 4 years of knowing clint he finally agreed to dress up this year - and was the genius behind the costume!(is it because we have a kid? because we live in a college town? i don't really care why... i'm just thrilled to finally be back in all my halloween glory.)
so, yes- we made quite the grand entrance at our halloween party last night and for the first time in my life (even though there have been many A-MAZING costumes... right lar?) we won the contest. perfect way to top off a week to dream of:)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
we survived the long week and made it home all in one piece. only a few casualties: a few new bruises for owey (he refuses to go down the stairs on his belly and had more than one tumble), a new burn for me (trying to maneuver dinner out of the oven without burning the 3 little ones hanging off my legs) and new colds caught- some pretty good souvenirs that sort of sum up the week. we did also bring home some real souvenirs, the parents brought us back a bag full of fresh fortune cookies from china town, a big loaf of boudin sourdough bread (oh, how we miss boudin...), and a little chinese drum toy for owey. (they went to san francisco). isn't that sweet?
this past week has taught me many things, and while i'm sure you're all dying to hear the play by play of being a mother of 7.5 (3 of which are still in diapers, mind you) i will spare you all the details and sum it up with these little lists.
how i know i can never have 7 kids:
1. i coudn't sleep at night thinking of where everyone had to be at what time. that and the 3 that kept waking up crying.
2. i missed owey all week. don't get me wrong, he was right there with me all along, but i was just dying for some one on one time with him.
3. while generally i think i am usually a pretty intelligent person, with little sleep and so much going on around me at every given second, i am way too spacey to keep it all together for myself and 8 other people.
4. i'm not a huge fan of casseroles.
5. i hate being a nag. by the end of the day i felt so drained for the many "is your homework done?" s and "did you practice piano?"s and "is your bed made?"s and found myself just wanting to take a nap and let them do whatever the heck they wanted. of course i didn't do that, but if they were my kids, i just may have.
6. i used to think having twins would be fun. but after a week of 2 one year olds vying for my attention and being the best of friends one minute and the worst enemies the next, i changed my mind.
7. i like me time. there is never me time when you are a mom of 7. not even in the bathroom.
8. i am not a very good referee. and when you get that many kids under one roof or at one dinner table, there are bound to be some fights. i don't like being mean. i was always so glad when clint got home and could use his deep voice to strike fear into their little hearts... (not that clint even knows how to be mean - he just pretends when necessary.)
9. i need to shower. really. i do. twice in one week just doesn't cut it. and even then, there were screaming babies involved.
10. apparently i'm just too selfish.
that being said, would i do it again? absolutely. afterall, i do love a good challenge! and the experience, though difficult, was one i wouldn't trade. i have sooooo much respect for those of you who are super-moms and you certainly have a special place in heaven. most of my life i really wanted to be part of that club - now i am just pretty sure i don't have it in me.
i am grateful however for the many positive things that came out of this week:
1. i made dinner. every night. miracle of miracles. i don't really like to cook anyways, but cooking while pregnant is especially bad. in fact, i avoid it at all costs. now i know it is possible to do without getting sick or losing my appetite all together. i will try and be better.
2. i love my husband. clint had a very busy week but made every effort to be home in time for dinner and do homework after the kids had all gone to bed. i know he made sacrifices to help me keep my sanity and stayed up too late many nights to get it all done. not to mention the leaving at 6 am to make it to class on time. i also loooove how much the kids loved him. they thought he was just the coolest thing ever. he drew a few pictures for them and their jaws dropped. he entertained them with his calculator for hours. he brought them real italian coins. he helped with science projects, earned their respect, and made an impression in the short time he spent with him. in. love. all. over. again.
3. man oh man do i need to savor these last few months with just me and owey. obviously we are excited for #2, but it makes me sad to think of the time i won't be able to spend with him. i have resolved to be more tuned in and really make these moments count.
4. we came away with a new list of things we want to do when we have our house full (again, not as full as we used to think) and i feel like this experience has given me a rare opportunity to make adjustments and goals and plans now that will help in the future.
5. the week paid for our trip home for christmas. what a blessing.
6. it amazed me to compare the love i feel for my own flesh and blood in comparison to someone else's flesh and blood. of course we had fun and the kids are good kids and all, but my heart just melts when i see owen and it was a cool perspective to realize.
7. some kids are really funny. they say funny things, they do funny things, and we really tried to just laugh and have fun with it. we have some great inside jokes now.
8. as much as i have looked forward to the future - when our family is established and settled, i am just really grateful to be where we are right now- students with so much of life still ahead of us. we still have so much to look forward to and i really hope to find joy in the journey.
ok. this has already turned out to be waaaay longer than i intended. sorry. i just can't help myself.
and now that we are back, i may be in hibernation for a few days of recovery. (of course snuggling owey as much as he can handle.)
Monday, October 20, 2008
i found this swim cap while cleaning out my drawers the other day (see the mound of clothes in the background? i'm in the process of out with the skinny in with the big mama) and couldn't resist sticking it on little owey's noggin. what do you think? a future in swimming?
well, wish us luck... we are off for quite the adventure... babysitting 6 kids for 5 days in idaho falls. so, don't expect blogging this week - i'll be lucky if i shower. and as long as we are all still alive by saturday, we'll be back in business! have a good week!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
a sneak peek at what i've been working on...
thanks so much friends for your interest! i am grateful for good friends who make it easier and more fun to do good things. now, for a few details:
1. start sewing/crocheting/knitting, whatever it is you do! i have already started on blanket #1 and have plans for others in the works. again, the only real stipulation is that they are handmade and made in a smoke-free environment. size and shape is up to you! if you need ideas, there is a list of patterns here and again, i will be posting tutorials to help.
2. please update us on your progress (send pictures!) at email@example.com. i will post your pics on my blog as i get them. i think it will be really fun to see what everyone is working on.
3. as you finish your blankets, you can either:
- find a local chapter of project linus to send/bring them to or
- send them to me (email me for address) and i will bring them to the local chapter here.
5. have fun! i hope this is something that we can all enjoy and feel good about.
thanks again. i am already feeling inspired and invigorated by this project. just what i need as winter creeps in around here!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
do you have a linus? we sure do. owey is a sucker for his blankets these days and i totally relate. after all, it took everything out of me to not take my baby blanket on my mission (though i did have it all through college). now that i've embarrassed myself...
since Christmas is just around the corner (only 75 days!) i have been thinking lately about how to really celebrate this year. each year when the season gets closer i always struggle with how materialistic and commercial Christmas has become. of course i want to show my friends and family how much i love and appreciate them and get them the greatest gifts ever, but i still always feel a little unsatisfied and feel like there could be a better way to commemorate Christ's birth. this year, i've finally decided to act on that nagging feeling that i've had all these years to do something more, and i need your help.
how would you like to participate in a project to spread a little Christmas goodness?
how would you like to do something nice and thoughtful and use your talents to bless someone else's life?
how would you like to spread the word and get others involved so that your friends and family can be inspired with the spirit of giving this season?
here's the plan:
project linus is a non-profit organization that has chapters in every state in the US. it's mission is to "provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need” by distributing new handmade blankets made with love by volunteers. the great thing about project linus is that they accept blankets of all sizes and styles (yes, even the easy no-sew fleece ones!) and make it easy for volunteers to put their own touch of love into each blanket.
so, what does this have to do with you and me? you ask...
i think that between you (yes, you) and me, and our friends, we could really make a difference this season.
i've already recruited my amazingly talented and celebrity-blogstar sister to help (see her post here) and i am excited to see who feels up for the challenge. would you join with us to make Christmas a little warmer for some kids that could really use some holiday cheer?
so, before you go there, i know what you might be thinking...
"but, i don't know how to sew... i'm not crafty/talented/creative (insert any adjective here)"
LIES!! i know you are... remember this talk? you have it in you! i know you do! plus, i promise i will do my best to find quick and easy tutorials to help and i know that you will be blessed for giving your best effort!
"but i'm so busy during the holidays..."
i know! aren't we all? i hear you... but i know that if we can find a few hours to do something totally awesome for someone in need, our days will be lengthened and our efforts multiplied. and besides, it's only october! now's the time to get started! also- this can totally be multi-tasked. so you have 4 kids and they are bored out of their skulls on the weekend and expect you to be their circus clown... let them help you make blankets and take the opportunity to teach them about charity! crochet while watching the office and project runway! get your girlfriends involved and have a blanket night girls night out... whatever you want! seriously do-able.
"but money is so tight right now, what with the economy and all..."
tell me about it. i don't know that i've ever been on a tighter budget in my life, but i've been making that excuse for so long and that is exactly what has stopped me from having the kind of Christmas i've wanted to have for years now. so, i'm done with that one. plus, i know a beautiful blanket can be made for less than $10. probably even $5. of course, i could spend much more than that and get the cutest designer fabrics and all the bells and whistles, if i had the resources, but i don't, so i won't. i will find beautiful fabric on sale(let's face it, i already have tons in my closet that hasn't been used) and i will make beautiful blankets with love that won't leave my family hungry and naked. it can be done!
so, did i cover everyone? anything i missed?
of course i know not everyone can participate, and i completely understand. you know i jest. and if you don't have it in you right now, i get it (read - don't avoid me and feel bad if you can't). most of all, i ask you, blogger-friends, because i know the kind of people you are and i am excited to share in this spirit of giving with you for the next few months.
stay tuned for more details on what to do, but for now, let me know if you are up to the challenge! if so, and start thinking blankets and start recruiting!
much love friends...
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
TAG #1 FROM AMY - HUSBAND TAG
1.Where did you meet?
We dated for a little over a year.
TAG #2 FROM CARLIE
Ten years ago I...
1. Was 18, about to turn 19 (and wished girls could serve missions at 19).
2. was a sophomore at BYU
3. was living with 3 of my closest friends at the Colony and being weirded-out by old RM's (mourning the loss of all my missionary friends)
4. was so sad (for me of course, happy for them) that Carlie was about to get engaged
5. was working at Camelot music in the mall.
5 things on today's to-do list...
1. Play group
2. Grocery store (yuck)
3. Laundry (double-yuck)
4. Mail a package
5. Make owey laugh
5 snacks I enjoy...
1. ice cream
2. cool ranch doritos
3. any kind of fruit
5 things I would do if I were a millionaire...
1. Pay off Clint's school loans and pay for the rest of school
2. Buy a house
4. pay tithing
5 places I have lived...
1. San Diego, CA
2. Provo, UT
3. Mendoza, Argentina
4. Huntington Beach, CA
5. Rexburg, ID
5 Jobs I have had...
1. EFY Counselor
2. Ticket-taker at BYU games
3. MTC teacher
4. Financial Aid Counselor
5. Teen Youth Consultant at Braille Institute of America
Monday, October 06, 2008
but, the recipe i can definitely share and i can certainly give thanks for ooey gooey cinammon-y goodness. mmm. mmm. seriously, prepare yourselves.
i combined a few recipes i found in an effort to make really scrumptious cinnamon rolls that wouldn't make me totally crazy in the process. for me, there are 2 key words in a recipe that i cling to: EASY, and GOO-OOD. this one DEFINITELY makes the cut. (i think my mom and sister are probably already in cardiac arrest at the thought of me even attempting to make cinnamon rolls, so that may give you a little more encouragement that if i can do it, you can do it!)
part of the recipe is from rhodes rolls. i knew i did not have it in me to make dough from scratch, and my theory is, WHY? when it still tastes so good without any of the headache! the rest of the recipe is from allrecipes.com - a recipe called "clone of a cinnabon." ummm. hello. you had me at cinnabon. (unfortunately thisl recipe calls for homemade dough, breadmaker, etc. so i could only use parts of it.)
so, here's what you'll need:
1 loaf Rhodes bread dough, thawed and risen (instructions are on the package)
3 T butter softened (like really soft, but not melted)
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
icing/frosting (oooh... do not underestimate the power of this stuff...)
3 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 c. butter softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
(this kind of makes a lot of frosting, so you can either be liberal or save it for future emergencies)
roll dough into a 10x12-inch rectangle. spread with softened butter. in a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. sprinkle over buttered dough. Starting on short side, roll dough up. Cut crosswise into 4 slices. ( i rolled it long ways to be able to make 9 smaller rolls) Place slices in an 8-inch square sprayed baking pan. Cover rolls with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and ice while still warm. frosting: beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
just remember, you may be tempted to scarf them all yourselves... but they taste much better when you share the love.
i'm telling you... heaven. on. earth.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
as i read through president uchtdorf's words, i could not contain my emotion. his words seemed to speak directly to my soul and fill me with such hope and peace. Just a few gems:
To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are.
this is a major problem of mine. why is it so easy to focus on the negative rather than glory in the good? why am i so quick to recognize others' talents and strengths, but the first to devalue my own?
In speaking about creativity and creation:
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.” If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination. But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness.
i love this thought... we are literally daughters (and sons) of the most creative being in the universe. how cool is that? AND - we really were created to be happy. wow.
“When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated.” In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness. I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love. Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.
i know that this is true. lately i have been trying to go a little more outside of myself and it always makes me realize the blessings that i do have and the joy that comes from service.
As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage.
TRUE AGAIN! we are meant to be happy, and there is no reason to live in any other way.
i am so grateful for these words that have truly filled me, and i look forward with much anticipation and faith to this weekend. happy conference!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
(yes, i know he will hate me someday for this hat...)
it started with a little family celebration and as the weekend came upon us the family kept getting bigger and bigger.
presents decorated a'la mom and dad
chubby little fingers excited to get to those cars!
lucky us, grammy and papa (my mom and dad) rolled in thursday afternoon to wish owey a happy day. he was so excited to see them and even greeted grammy with a 20 minute snuggle (if you know owey, you know how VERY rare that is since the boy NEVER sits still.)
sweet boy - lucky grammy
we were so grateful they came from so far away to celebrate with us. we spent the next few days spoiling him as much as possible with presents (mostly boring ones like clothes since he doesn't even know the difference), trips to the park, yummy food, etc.
at the park with grammy
saturday was the big day of the party. all the ericksons (minus clint's brother) made the long trek out here to join in on the festivities. i was a little nervous that they would be bored out of their minds around here and we couldn't let that happen after everyone came so far to wish owen a happy birthday. so, we tried our best to entertain, and i think everyone had a good time. o sure did (though you can't tell by most of the pictures ... i promise he smiles... a lot... just not when he sees a camera!) we ended up having pizza for lunch,
and then went to bear world- something i knew would entertain all the cousins.
at the petting zoo
this picture is right before this deer totally head-butted owey
on the train at bear world
look mom! a baby bear!!
afterwards, we just came back for cake and ice cream and more presents.
can you tell we don't exactly all fit in our tiny apartment?
by the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but so sad to see family go home and the party come to a close. good news is, the birthday boy is ours to keep!
do you think he liked it?