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!