Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aspen, Colorado Day 5

Brigden says to Harris, "We could live here (refering to the Condo we stayed at in Colorado)"

Harris replies, "Nuh uh, cuz it would cost a hundred bucks!"

Brigden, "yeah, and we don't have a hundred bucks, huh?"

Up all night with 2 high fevered children. Are children allowed to get sick on vacation. Play video games, war with cards, watch comcast instal cable boxes for hours, Swim in the rain.

I decide to kill time to put in Nemo, one of my favorite cartoon movies. Halen asks if I'm really going to watch it. I say, yes. She replies, "cuz the kids in my school say only babies watch Nemo." "Well, I tell her go back to school and tell the kids your mom must be a baby then because she likes Nemo. I love Nemo! I think it is so heartwarming and funny. Of course, only on a kick back vacation like this would I actually sit down and watch it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aspen, Colorado Day 4

Brigden, "Mom, she is being immodest."

Harris, "Mom, when am I going to get an iphone?"

After watching me change Bevan's diaper, Brigden turns to Harris and nonschalantly says, "Hey, look, her private doesn't stick out like ours does." To which Harris nonschalantly replies, "Yeah, neither do other girls'."

To which we had a very brief, but blunt, discussion on the differences in the bodies of boys and girls. I remember reading the advice of many professionals to be that of 'don't avoid the topic if it is initiated by the children and their curiosity. Just be brief, honest, and give only the necessary age-appropriate information.' Well, that is just what I've tried in the past and it works quite well. They aren't embarrassed if we aren't embarassed. It seems, in my experience, they only learn embarassment from us.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aspen Colorado Day 3

The day started off with a run bright and early. I love being out in the new fresh morning air and enjoying the sunrise. It's so refreshing and motivating. This morning's run was to be a shorter one and good thing because my ipod froze right as I turned it on. I'm not a thinking runner, I prefer to have my brain fried by constant musical stimulation so I don't have to think and realize I am running, breathing hard, in pain, and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this is just what I got to experience this morning. Thankfully, there was a trail paved a bit off of the main road which was enveloped with trees, bushes, and wildflowers. It was gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! I saw a fox and a deer and only 3 other humans.

I asked my Aunt JoLynn once what she thought about as she walked every morning and she said , "I pray." I found that to be such a profound idea. I've tried to make that more of my practice as I find myself alone exercising. It is such a great time to talk to my Heavenly Father and think more deeply than I do in my regular prayers. This was one of those mornings where the beauty of the outdoors made it impossible to be ungrateful for such creations.

Upon returning, we continued vacationing by hanging out in the condo and playing video games until it was warm enough to go to the pool. Then we spent the midday at the pool, returned for some relaxation in the condo, and then went to a park for a little bit. The evening was spent by dining in and loving every minute of it. While there is definitely something to eating out, I am completely content to dining in on this vacation for many reasons. It saves us the looks at our 'large' family, the money, the hassle, and the questioning of what to order on the very limited menu.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bevan's First Swim Lessons

Bevan at her first swim lessons at the age of 17 months.

My dear friend Angie Wood gives swimming lessons to a few select neighbors and I've been so blessed to have had my children learn from her the last few years. My older ones have really struggled adjusting to water and overcoming their fears so when Angie asked if I wanted Bevan to do a "Mom and Tot" class, I was up for it in hopes that we could overcome any possible water fears before they became too embedded into her system and we ended up dealing with them for years to come. Little did she or I know what would come of it though.

One of the first things she learned was how to get into the pool by herself. Bevan didn't like the idea so I just had to move her legs for her and show her what she would do if she wanted to get in.

Once she was in and her feet were on the steps, she was good. The girl doesn't like being forced or told what to do. She is all about her independence.

The next thing we taught them was to put their face under the water and to breath before they did. We showed them what to do and then we did the same thing with them. It was amazing how we just did it, and they just had to get used to it. I would say, "Ready, 1, 2, 3, Breath!" and then I would put her entire head under water.
If she didn't breath the second time, she did the second, third, and fourth. They didn't stay under too long so it wasn't a big deal if they didn't breath the first time, but they really did listen and learn to breath each time thereafter because they knew when we said, "Ready, 1, 2, 3, Breath" we were serious and they were going under.

One of my favorite things about teaching Bevan the skill of going underwater and breathing beforehand was how Bevan tried, as most babies do, to get out of her water transformation by claiming incompetent.

For the first 2 days she would loudly cry as I said, "Bevan we're going to go underwater now. Ready 1, 2, 3," but then as soon as I would say "Breath" she would realize I wasn't going to give into her crying and quickly stop crying long enough to breath right before I put her down in the water. You could see the learning take place and her awareness shine through. It was very impressive for a non speaker to understand and respond so well. Babies amaze me and I think more often than not they aren't given enough credit for their intellectual ability to learn and grow mentally and behaviorally at such a young earthly age.

After we worked for a while on one of our tasks, we would take a break and play with some water toys. Bevan's favorite was this little shark that I would pretend to swim slowly towards her like Jaws and then quickly swim into her belly.

She loved the anticipation and after a few times of me swimming the shark into her belly slowly with "na na na na" vocals, she grabbed the shark out of my hands and began swimming it slowly toward her own belly with the same vocals and glimmer in her eye. She loved it.

It was really fun to listen to her do her own suspenseful vocals and then tease me as to when she would poke her belly, or if she really would. She loved being in control of the tease.

We also taught them how to do a back float. Bevan was, as expected, resistant, but compliant when she found there was no way out of it. I'd say, "Ok, Bevan now we're going to breath, go under the water, and then do a back float" all the while she'd try to talk me out of it by crying until I finished the following, "Ready, Breath" and then she'd breath, I'd put her under water, bring her back up, lift her chin and hold her neck, "Look up, look up." and then lifting her chin and holding her neck in the water as she did a back float say, "A, B, C, D, E is enough."We were taught not to count because it confuses them with the original counting in the previous lessons of going under water and breathing before hand. It was always fun to watch her comply in the back float and seem to hate it, but then come up with a huge smile. Such a huge smile that we all couldn't believe how happy she was compared to how unhappy she seemed as she "complied" in her back float.

One of my all-time favorite moments with Bevan was during swimming lessons this year. I love to recall this moment because it completely defines her personality without having to say much.

Each time we would teach them a new skill we would show them the skill beforehand. The skill I was trying to demonstrate to Bevan was blowing bubbles under water using your nose.I demonstrated the skill and she giggled immediately upon seeing the bubbles under water. She loved it so much that she decided she needed to see it again, much to my surprise. When I told her it was her turn, I said, "Ready 1, 2, 3, Breath" and then I went to put her face under water. She was stronger then I, given my ignorance, and she pushed my face into the water with her hand instead of putting her own face in.

She giggled and loved every minute of it. You can't see very well in the picture, but she is actually pushing my head into the water with her hand. She's a smart strong-willed one! Oh, she reminds me of Dave! I really can't say anymore. Get to know Bevan and you know Dave. It's really that simple.

One of the last things Bevan learned was to jump into the pool with Mommy nearby. I held her hand the first many times, but then near the end she would do it by herself. It was so fun! I can't say that enough. Such a change from the other water fears we've encountered as a family over the last 5 years. The skill we worked on was jumping into the water....

after breathing of course, ....

lifting her head up as she came to the surface of the water,

floating on her back...A, B, C, D, E is enough, and then....

kicking as she swam to the edge of the pool.

"Wow!" is all I can say. On the 3rd day she literally flipped a switch and loved the water. She fought me the first 2 days with a great determination, but somehow changed her mind on the third day and never went back. She even got to the point where she would finish her back float and jump out of my arms to swim to the edge, to which I'd quickly respond by only holding her belly up as she kicked and moved her arms to swim, and then she'd hang on the side of the pool, unable to touch the bottom, but confidently doing so all on her own. She's 17 months old! This blew me away. I had no idea she could accomplish so much!

What a huge blessing and joy to experience her water transformation at such an early age. I can only imagine what she'll learn next year. AMAZING! Thank you Angie. I wish I had learned so much of this years ago. It would have made all the difference in our summers and vacations.

Aspen Colorado, Day 2

After finally getting some decent sleep, the day began early as the kids excitedly ran around the condo full of "we're on vacation" energy and ready to go to the pool. They were very dissapointed to learn that the pool wasn't open at 7 am. Shocker! In my great desire to sleep just a little more I allowed them to eat Cheerios in their room as they watched TV. I naively figured, mostly because I was still asleep when they asked, this time would be different and they wouldn't spill. WRONG! Bevan poored the entire bag of cereal on the carpet in the bedroom and then traveled with it into the kitchen. And just before this happened I was awakened to cries of "Ooooh! Yuck!" as they all ran into my room to inform me of Bevan's exploding poopy diaper. A yucky diaper is one thing, but one that leaves excess on the couch to be viewed by all is just plain disgusting!!! Then shortly after I turned the corner into the kitchen to find Bevan had somehow gotten a hold of a full bowl of oatmeal and was helping herself and the rug beneath her to generous spoonfuls.

I wonder if being on vacation is more fun or more work and honestly, I think it's both. My children really aren't used to "being on vacation" and relaxing. They couldn't sit still all morning at the thought of swimming and doing something in glorious Aspen, Colorado. Yes, we built it up to be more than it probably is, but compared to our usual non-vacationing lifestyle, anywhere is a step up.

After cleaning all messes up, we finally began to prep for the pool. The kids were so excited! We ended up spending 4 hours at the pool and it was so great to watch them enjoy themselves and dare to swim instead of our usual sit on the steps of the pool and listen to Mom beg them to get their heads wet. They had fantastic swimming lessons this year again (Thanks Angie!) and they continue to drastically improve our swimming life!

When we returned, the kids asked for snacks and at first I wanted to give them something healthy, but then reminded myself we were on vacation and it would be ok for once to just give them unhealthy flavored refined carbs. So I gave them some Cheezits, turned on cartoons and watched them immediately get sucked in. Wow! The power. I should be less healthy more often. It really does have it's perks.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent with a family trip to the pool and then a drive to Aspen for some dinner. To save money, we opted to bring all of our food with us and dine in most nights, but since we needed groceries we headed to town for a rare evening dining out.

I was shocked to see what a different type of place Aspen is compared to Park City. It was very small and downscale in comparison. It's the same type of city, given the ski resorts and outdoor appeal, but there are hardly any family priced restaurants. Hardly any restaurants to begin with. We chose a BBQ joint and were seated only to find many people staring at our "large & different" family. I'm sure the fact that our family with 4 children and 2 young parents is quite a phenomenon to most of these people. Regardless of the many questioning looks, there were a few very pleasant gentlemen who befriended our children and were accepting of our differences. Having lived in Utah most of my life, I forget what it's really like outside of Utah, especially for young mormon families. I wouldn't change it for anything, but it sure makes for interesting trips to different places.

Aspen, Colorado: Day 1

Sunday, July 25th

After packing from 10 - 12 last night, Dave and I awoke early to finish the process and head onto the road for a long drive to Aspen, Colorado. Dave had to come for a business trip and so we figured the kids and I would tag along. It was a great deal since it was a business trip we were able to vacation for basically FREE. What a blessing!

We were quite excited to find that our planning ahead had really benefited us as we drove off only an hour after waking up. It was one crazy busy hour, however. I'm also learning with each driving trip how to travel in a car with many kids scrunched in small spaces. We've come to realize over the last few years that we purchased a very small minivan. This wasn't a problem when we purchased it years ago, but now that the kids are growing, it's becoming a problem. There is still one seat available, but the back seat just isn't big enough for 3 carseats, even though it claims it's big enough for 3 people. Quite a difference!!! After much shifting and strategizing, Dave and I figured out the optimal seating arrangement, taking into consideration issues such as these:

1. Harris and Brigden can't sit by each other because they cannot seem to get along without teasing or being crazy for more than 1-2 minutes.

2. Everyone needs to be able to see the DVD player since we only have one working portable player and it has to strapped from each headrest of the front seats.

3. There is not sufficient storage space in the back of the van, so we need to remove a seat from the middle in order to store 2 storage totes and a cooler full of food.

As I read these issues back to myself, it sure doesn't seem like a lot to worry about, but it's amazing how much it really is when you're in the thick of it.

Well, once we figured it all out and were on the road..I realized the many errors we made in our departure: leaving totes in the front yard, milk that will go bad while we're away, overdue library books that need to be returned, and leaving our front door unlocked. I made a phone call to my saving grace and friend Angie Wood who graciously accepted my request to fix all of them and returned my attention to the beginning of our family vacation.

The drive was actually a very peaceful one. The kids watched movie after movie. We were able to answer the frequently repeated question, "When will we be there?" in terms of how many more movies they had to watch until we were there. Although I'm not a huge fan of sticking my kids in front of a tv, there is just something to be said for a dvd player on road trips. It's a major life saver! Especially when the kids just can't get out and roll around like the good old days! We've also learned in the past to only give out snacks in small portions and at designated snack times (like every 1.5 hours or so) because of the major mess they make with them as they eat. This was also very helpful.

Over the past 8 years I've become accustomed more quickly to the children and the patience necessary in working with them than Dave merely because of proximity as a mother, but I was very impressed with his patience with their constant needs, messes, and requests. More importantly because road trips with whiny kids just aren't his forte and therefore I was very impressed that he took it all in stride and managed to maintain a cheerful attitude the entire day! It ended up being as good as it could be with 4 little ones stuck in a small minivan for 8 hours during the middle of a hot July day driving in the dessert.

One of my favorite moments was when we were coming upon Spanish Fork and Harris asked,

"Mom, where are we now?"

"We are in Spanish Fork."

"Do they speak English here?"


"Do we?"

To which Dave and I couldn't help but laughing as we replied, "Yes" and wondered how is it that he didn't already know the answer to that question. I guess we failed to ever actually inform him in his 6 years of life that the language he speaks is English. He knows it's not Japanese and Spanish, but I guess that wasn't enough. At least now he knows it is English.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brigden saves a tree

This 24th of July we were able to enjoy the local parade with Dave's family, including Nathan (Dave's brother), Julie (Nathan's wife), Marlene (Dave's Mom), Kazuko (Brian's wife), Brian (Dave's brother), Dave, myself, and Bevan.

Brian, Kazuko, and their children live in Japan so it is a rare and special occassion for us to be able to have them visit. We absolutely love and look forward to their visits. The cousins love being together when they get the opportunity.

Brandon (B & K's son), Justin (B & K's son), Harris, Brigden, Halen, Jonah (N & J's son), Elisabeth (N & J's daughter), Jasen (N & J's son), and Rachel (B & K's daughter.)

The kids were great candy catchers, well, except for Brigden. He begged for Dave to help him the entire parade because he was so intimidated by all the floats and parade participants. At least they had fun.

At one point, Brigden needed to use the bathroom, but given there weren't any restrooms nearby Dave headed off with him to a remote place full of shrubbery. When Dave and Brigden "found a tree" Brigden was ready to explode, but paused to first think of the tree in aim. Brigden turned to Dave and said, "But Daddy, will it kill the tree if I pee on it?" .... No.... then a perfect shot and relief!
Bevan's pure enjoyment was climbing in and out of her stroller and watching others watch her.

A pure joy!

Halen's lovely cousin; Rachel, visiting from Japan.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Tea Party for Ladies

My father's wife Tammy, now Halen's grandmother, invited her oldest granddaughters to a tea party just for ladies between the ages of 5 and 18 this summer. She sent out the invitations weeks before the event and Diane (my sister in law) and I both hid them from our girls because we knew this was to be the main summer event and we would never hear the end of it for the next few weeks until the tea party arrived. We were right. The few days that preceeded the event were nonstop anticipation.

Grandma Tammy worked very hard on this event, as you can see in the picture below, by preparing tea party food, placecards, hats, flowers, etc.

Marissa, Halen, Arianna, Nikaila, & Jocelyn @ Grandma Tammy's Tea Party Table

Just the Tea Ladies: Grandma Tammy and Halen. Grandma and Grandpa Chris/Bell took them to a play before returning to the tea party table for some crumpets and tea. The grandparents reported that the girls were very well behaved and had a delightful time. My first response was, "Thank you," but then more selfishly said, "Now tell me why the under 18 age limit?"

Halen, Nikaila, and Marissa. My brother Corbin's daughters. It's rare I can get a picture with these wild and crazy girls sitting so still since and pretty since usually they are all over the place having so much fun together.

Halen was so excited for this tea party that she even dug out her little white gloves and purse. This was serious! I must say, however, the girls all look so beautiful and this will truly be a picture to treasure in years to come.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for an event to remember!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Countdown Begins!

Do you realize school starts in 5 weeks? What’s even more shocking is for me it starts in 4! As a teacher, I go back a week early to prep for the upcoming year. When I realized this a few days ago, my heart started to race. Not because I was nervous for school, I’ll get to that a few days before it starts, but because I recognized I only had that many days left to play my little heart out with my kids!

I’ve been affected quite greatly by this new change in my life; going back to work full time, and I am striving very hard to treasure every moment of my time with my children.

So, the countdown begins. This is what I should've accomplished today……

Baskets for of laundry to be folded.
Sink full of dishes to be cleaned.

Cleaning supplies to be sorted through and organized.

Odds and Ends to be put away.

Rotating of clothing for each child and their upcoming new school year clothes.

2 Very Large piles of necessary mending. I’m running out of clothes due to these growing piles.

A basket full of ironing.

But instead…praying Dave will forgive me for not having any ironed clothing; I accomplished...

Cheering Harris on as he independently jumped off the diving board for the first time ever.

Enjoyed watching Rachel (my cousin) so sweetly befriend Bevan.

Protecting Bevan from herself as she desired to lather her body in sunscreen, but shampooed her hair instead of covering her body. That adorable swimsuit is thanks to my sweet Aunt Jan who lent ito me when I left Bevan's on the counter at home and only realized this upon arrival at the pool.

And who would ever want to miss out on a giggly smily charmer like this?

On our way to the swimming pool. Can you tell they were excited?

Bevan swimming with the big kids. You would not believe her amazing adaptation to the water. She was amazing. She even went down the water slide at the pool alone. Crazy stuff! It was so much fun to swim with her. She'll jump off the side of the pool into the water all by herself. She also jumps out of my arms while in the water to swim. I, of course, have to hold her tummy up, but she kicks and moves her arms on her own. So much fun!!! Thanks to her amzing swimming lessons this summer! She hated the water the first two days and now she's going down waterslides? Crazy!

The crazy thing is in this picture she was actually trying to get around Rachel and didn't hesitate to let go of the side of the pool and keep walking into the deeper water. She'll even hold onto the side of the pool in the really deep water and I won't even have to hold onto her. She'll hang there all by herself. So fun to see a 17 month old so well adapted to the water. Such a change from my other children.

Halen showing off her back float.

What a fantastic day at the pool!
Only 25 days left of my summer countdown. Hold on tight!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fishing Fantasies!

Harris and Brigden getting ready to go fishing with their Dad early Saturday morning.
Can you tell by the bags under their eyes slightly above their huge smiles!

Dave has been a fisherman his entire life and over the last few years has dreamed of taking his own sons fishing as his dad did for him. Just recently has this dream become a reality since his boys have become more manageable due to their age.

Harris has been asking for quite a while to go fishing with Dad and has wondered when it would be his turn. When Harris and Brigden were told a week ago that they were going to be going fishing with their Dad in a few days, they couldn't have been more excited. It was all they could talk about for the week before they went.

They all got up early to go and had no problems doing so. They even woke Halen up due to their screaming with joy just outside their bedroom early that morning. She said to me, "Mom, they were so excited they just sat and cheered and jumped in the hallway. I woke up and heard them and realized what they were doing, said to myself, 'those silly boys,' and then closed my eyes and went back to sleep." She said it, "those silly boys."

I must also admit, however, what an amazing blessing it was for all the boys to go fishing. All morning long, Halen and I just smiled at each other because we were able to be in our own home so calmly, quietly, and happily without those silly boys. It was so peaceful! Halen and I both agreed the boys should go fishing as much as they want!

Upon return, Brigden and Harris excitedly announced they caught 11 fish. Brigden caught the biggest one at the age of 4 and they threw all of them back into the water. They loved it and I am so pleased! I'm also grateful Dave had fun with his new fishing buddies!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Harris' Kindergarten Field Trip

Harris and I were able to attend the Dinosaur Park this year for his Kindergarten field trip. It was really fun being with just him and I found it quite interesting how much he wanted to be with just me instead of his friends. What a wonderful feeling. I'm sure I'll treasure it while it lasts.

I'm so pleased with what a wonderful boy he's becoming, most of the time. He does, however, have a ridiculously miscevious smile that just leads you to know instantly he is a true tease!

This one below is by far my favorite! What a wonderful mother/son moment. I'll never forget it! I love him dearly! It felt so great to have him so happy to have me with him.

It's amazing how well mannered and pleasant he looks here in this one below. He is so full of life and energy that to see him sit so still and positioned so calmly in a picture just almost makes me wonder if it's really him.

What a blessing to have this tornado of joy in our lives! We love him dearly!

Bold Beautiful Bevan!

Bold couldn't describe Bevan better. She has really blossomed into a bold child. Brigden was such a delightful child and really took us by surprise because he didn't show us any defiance or much independence until the age of 3, but Bevan has been exactly the opposite. I don't even think she was one year old before she started informing us of her independence. Since we've already adjusted to the shock of her determination and independence, it's fun to watch others go through the same wide eyed amazement as they watch her boldly do what she wants, or at least try all the time to do so.

She is a wonderful loving child and usually content, but those frequent occurances where she wants what she wants and she doesn't get it can be quite piercing to the ears. She yells as loud as she can and we all cover our ears. We've been working on educating her on better (and quieter) manners, but in the meanwhile she's our little bold beauty!

Here she is with our sweet, submissive, and kind Halen. You can almost just see the difference in their personalities in their faces.

This is one of my favorites. Bevan is basically Dave's female clone. It's amazing how much she resembles him in his baby pictures. I love this picture because she is seriously crying and yelling at me because I won't let her have Mountain Dew. Will someone please tell her she's not even 18 months old yet. It's probably what Dave would look like if I tried to take his Mountain Dew away from him. So ironic and yet so perfect that his clone would be so angry that she couldn't have his favorite drink.

Strangely, she is an amazing helper. She loves to pick things up and is frequently found putting chairs back under the counter, wiping down furniture, or cleaning up messes. Here she is dusting the end table and not even under my direction. She wanted to do it all on her own after seeing her brothers and sister cleaning and found the rag all by herself to do so.

Just the other day I found her putting sunscreen all over herself in the front room on the carpet and was very frustrated upon finding the excess on the carpet. She immediately sensed my frustration and ran and grabbed a rag to clean up her mess. I was amazed at her initiative, not so amazed at her thoughtless mess. She was quite frustrated when I wouldn't let her clean all of it up on her own.

Regardless of her independence, she has been such a joy in our lives. I love to hold her. She loves to give kisses on the lips and kisses with noses (eskimo kisses.) She loves to be held and adored and is very genuine. She loves to eat and is found standing in front of the snack cupboard frequently throughout the day yelling (not asking) for something to snack on. She is extremely content outside sitting on her big wheel, not riding it necesarily, just sitting. She loves Sesame Street, applesauce, muffins, hot dogs, oranges, fruit leather, fruit and veggie smoothies, and sauces. She'll drink ketchup, strawberry jam, and ranch dressing if I'm not monitoring her eating during mealtime. She gets this from her father, as well. She is so fun to watch at a playground because she tries everything. She isn't afraid of any of it and has great balance and body control to be able to handle whatever she comes upon. She gets so excited about going down the slides and thoroughly enjoys them each time down.
She loves to play self initiated peek a boo, listen to us read "I'm a little teapot" to her, dance to music, and suck on one binky while holding two other binkies in her hands (just in case).

We absolutely adore her and feel so blessed to have had her join our family!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Frozen Blueberries & Granola

In trying to recognize the little things that make me happy, I've realized how much happiness I enjoy while eating my favorite dish of late; frozen blueberries, homemade granola, & milk. What is so wonderful about this dish is the way just a small amount of milk poured onto the frozen granola quickly becomes frozen itself and turns what could be a normal bowl of cereal into a frozen treat! It may very well be silly and something so insignificant, but I actually crave it! I don't mind if dinner doesn't get fixed because I can have my frozen blueberries & granola. I love the granola because I know it isn't processed flour and water granola, but really nutritious ingredients. It came from my sweet Aunt Kristen. I love it so much I don't mind taking the time to make it from scratch. It's become my comfort food, breakfast, lunch, and dinner substitute and puts a huge smile on my face, throughout my heart, and in my tummy!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Personality Dilemna

My family is very well educated in personality types. Growing up, we talked frequently of our personality colors and used our "codes" to explain, justify, understand, or even predict our behavior and personalities. To be brief according to these personality codes, we believe each of us has a primary motive and possibly a secondary one as well. Blues prefer intimacy, not physical, but relational. For example, they tend to be very caring, sensitive, and emotional people. Reds prefer control of their surroundings and tend to be thinkers, bold, detail oriented, and organized. Whites prefer peace and tend to be quiet, fearful, giving, and taken advantage of. Yellows prefer to have fun and tend to be carefree, energetic, flighty, and the life of the party!

I'm sure it only takes you seconds to realize I am Red, but what you may not know is that I am a very close secondary Blue. I was actually more Blue before I was married, but I married such a predomenant Blue that most of my Blue has gone into hiding. The point of this entire post is to express my frustration with my personality; Red Blue.

Do you get frustrated with who you are at times? Well, I most certainly do. I struggle with my personality all the time. Because of my deep Red personality I tend to choose to organize my surroundings, i.e. maintain control, over going out and just having fun. I have to actually make myself have fun sometimes. I know it sounds weird, but it's true. I am not normal. For example, while you are watching your favorite Jane Eyre movie, I am organizing my spice drawer (which I will post about another time because it is now the highlight of my kitchen.) Or, the real root of this post, since I am first Red, second Blue, I occassionaly spout off my mouth in a Red fashion and then seconds later with my Blue side, recognize the very possible offensive comment and tone I have just naively used. Immediately after this and for many hours to come, I feel regret, frustration, and embarrassment. I hate that I can so easily offend people with such abrasive and sharp words and actions and not even realize it until after it's already done. Hence, this post!!!

It reminds me of one of my favorite movies; "You've Got Mail!" Meg Ryan talks previously with her email buddy about how she wishes she could use more "zingers" or in other words, be more Red.

The truth is I have this gift already, except mine usually comes across as just meanness. Notice how she feels after she is able to say what she thought she would always want to say in her zinger. She feels sad.

Last night, at a large gathering I attended, I felt this sadness since I fear I may have offended others and have had a hard time relaxing ever since because first and foremost I am more worried about the relationships that may suffer as well as the hurt I may have caused. Specifics aren't realy important. I just felt like venting and asking the universe, "Why do I do these things?" I try to control myself and surprisingly to others I actually do control a lot of it, but there always seems to be a little peep hole where some of my offensive personality just leaks out! I hate that part of my personality. I know there are many positives to my personality, but I sure do get frustrated with my weaknesses, as I'm sure do many others. Regardless, I'll keep trying, but please keep forgiving!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wedding Bliss....almost 9 years later.

This coming June, Dave and I will have been married for 9 years. It's been a wonderful 9 years full of great memories, well, except one, that is. The lovely experience of losing my body through the creation of 4 wonderful children. I don't regret the children, but I do loathe the weight loss associated with such creations. Well, last year when I gave birth to Bevan, I decided I had had enough of accepting my "mommy" body and was going to set a year long goal to open a new chapter in my life. My goal was to lose enough weight to regain my pre-mommy body back or in other words be able to fit into my wedding dress again by Bevan's 1 year old birthday, January 29, 2009.

I knew this was a great task because it meant I would really have to kick up my workouts a notch or two or three as well as watch my eating and sugar cravings all the while being a supportive wife and loving mother. I'll admit, it was very hard! Very hard! I had to rise very early and find a desire from deep within, but I did it! I still can't believe it! I have so many loving family members and friends that helped me along the way and I am so grateful for this change in my life. I feel wonderful!

The first time I've been able to get my wedding dress on since having my 4 beautiful children. What a moment! Dave just laughed at me as I walked around the house, saying, "I'm a princess!" "I did it!"

Halen, my 7 year old, also loved seeing my wedding dress 0n and wanted to join in on the fun with her own white dress-up dress. Here we are together, princesses on parade!

What a glorious moment! It is such a wonderful thing to have achieved a goal when so often my goals are unachieved! For example, notice the Christmas Tree still up in the end of January? Gotta love it! That, however, is just reality, but regardless, I'm going to dwell in this wedding bliss for a moment, or two, or three.......

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Real Deal!

I try so hard to be the June Cleaver that I feel I should, but the truth of the matter is, more often than not, I'm the real deal as a mother. Have you ever had an off day? Well, here are a few moments in one of my off days.

This morning when Harris was throwing a fit because he didn't want to read his books for his homework, he replied to my request to read with,

"I don't like these books. They're dumb."

I would love to say at this moment that I had a calm, patient, loving, and motivational response as June Cleaver would, but my actual "the real deal" reply was;

"Well, if you don't read them then you'll be dumb!"

Wow, as my sister shared when I told her the story, "You win the 'Mother of the Year' award."

Yeah, I know I shouldn't have said it, but hey, sometimes I'm human too! He's just lucky I didn't say it with even close to as much emotion as he did!

Then after resolving that issue, I sent him out to wait for the bus for afternoon kindergarten only to realize a few minutes later that I sent him out 30 minutes early. As he entered the house after learning of my mistake, I thought to myself I'd compensate for my mistake by offer him something fun to do while he was waiting so I said, "Do you want to play video games while you're waiting?"

He looked at me and then matter of factly said, "How about lunch instead?"

Ummm? Ok, that's a good idea. Again, "Mother of the Year." Seriously, did I forget to screw my head on when I got dressed this morning. I'm so glad my 5 year old is on top of things enough to help me do my job!

So there, this is my life and it's the real deal!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Treasuring My Wedding Ring!

I found my wedding ring today! I lost it almost 3 years ago when we went camping with friends in Idaho. It's the craziest story. I had put it in a bag that was meant to stay in the car during our entire camping trip. (Yes, stupid move in the first place, but if you know me, then you know that I do stupid things quite often actually!) The bag did stay in the car the entire time, but when we got home I scoured the entire bag and could not find it anywhere. I searched everywhere high and low more than 3 times. I prayed, I fasted, I prayed, over and over! I've been so frustrated the last few years and every time I would see someone's ring, I would be sad again.

Well, the other day I was filling my pill container and I saw Dave's and thought I should fill his while I'm at it. I grabbed it and in the process found I needed more garlic pills. So I headed to the pill storage drawer to find another bottle of garlic pills. I opened the drawer, looked in, and right next to a sample pill box was something round. I looked closer and thought, "No!" "Could it be?" I picked it up and froze momentarily and then I screamed, realizing what I was holding in my hands! My wedding ring! My wedding ring! I screamed so loud Halen started crying covering her ears, begging me to stop. She kept saying I was scaring her, and I kept screaming, saying, "But, I found my wedding ring!" She didn't get it and I just couldn't stop screaming. I had to, of course, do major damage control a few minutes later in consoling her.

The crazy thing about it was that it was right next to a sample prenatal pill booklet that I had been given by the gynecologist. I think what had happened is the pill booklet had open ends and was in the same bag as the wedding ring. With the movement of the bag, the ring had gotten stuck between the bubbles of the pill booklet and then when I took the pills out and put them away in the storage drawer, the ring went with it. Well, there it sat for almost 3 years, until finally enough movement shook the ring out of the pill booklet. It’s a good thing I never threw away the pill booklet! What a horrible thought! Actually that is the thought I’ve been living with for the last almost 3 years. That I accidentally somehow vacuumed it up while searching for it in the truck after our trip and it was now at a landfill somewhere! So I know exactly how it would have felt to have that feeling the rest of my life!

I've been wearing it ever since beaming like a newly engaged bride to be. I just keep thinking, I'm married again! I had a boyfriend for almost three years and now I'm married again! I love to look at it and I am so happy that I have it again. What a blessing. I really needed this little pick me up blessing and what a wonderful thing to have for it, my wedding ring. Just crazy!

When I called Dave and told him, he was in shock and his reply was, "Don't ever take it off again!" I said, "Ok!"

Craziness! What a blessing! I'll take it!