Sunday, December 1, 2013

Taking my own advice

I always ask Tatum if she enjoys living everyone else's life.
During sleepovers, her and her friends spend a lot of time online.
On Instagram mostly.

It's crazy.
I often tease them, and ask them if they are having fun living everyone elses life.
"Hhheeyyy.  Looks like they are having fun.  Out. Doing something. Making up dances. Making videos. Taking pictures.
Are you guys having fun living all of those peoples lives?"

That's what I am going to do too.
I spend more than I would like to admit to on IG and FB.
I wouldn't say I am the worst out there, but I am not the best.
And I especially spend a good amount of time researching Tatum's insta.
Making sure she is being kind.
Seeing the kinds of posts the people she follows post. 
Watching for "what not to do's"
and then just keeping up on the 6th grade gossip in general.
It's a thousand times more fun than my own Insta account.

But anyways.
Tatum is currently grounded from social media.
So it's a perfect time for me to step away also.
Last year, Christmas had it's own blessings and lessons.
I'm grateful for what I learned last year.
But It was a true bust as far as warm fuzzies go.

So this year, I have already mentioned, I'm really going to have fun with my precious family.
Live my life.
Not the life of others.
We are going to start some new traditions. Keep with some old ones.
Talk about Jesus. 
Read some books
Watch some movies
Drive around with hot chocolate and look at lights
Get shopping, wrapping, running, and obligations out of the way early so we can slow down and enjoy the down time that comes with the holiday.  If you create it anyways.
On my favorite Momastary blog, she talks about how Thanksgiving is really the beginning of Christmas.
And I really couldn't agree more.
It's the start of the anticipation, excitement, and that outstanding smell at the mall.
Christmas day is almost a bummer, because you know it's all over.
That the magic of the season is over for another year.
It's almost like by noon on Christmas day, you are so over it you could toss your tree out the window.
So, rather than wait for that day to come and live for that ONE day, I'm really going to focus on now.
This is the good stuff.
The next 23 days are the very best of the year.
And I'm going to live those 23 days, in just my life.
Nobody elses.
I hope it doesnt suck!!!!! 
I LOVE instagram! 


Ill be here on my blog though.  
So check back!

Merry the 23 days before Christmas! 

Thankful - Nov. 19-30

I will finish this!
I am going to right now!
Why oh why do I suck so bad?
I really can't stick to anything.
I remember, when Tate was a little girl, I would give her a multi vitamin every morning with her breakfast.
Pretty simple.
Nothing too impressive.
But I did it every day. 
Every. Single. Day.
There is nothing I do every single day.
Really.  Nothing.

Oh well. 
Probably one day I will stuff and things every day. 

 Here we go.

A warm object I am thankful for
The sun?  
I am so thankful for warm weather.  
I hope our state is not in trouble just yet for our lack of snow, but it's been so nice this year to enjoy the outside during all of October and November!  
I cannot remember the last time this happened, but I am thankful for it.
So are my kids.
So is my sanity.

A soft object I am thankful for.
Sienna's soft skin.
It is unbelievable how soft it is.
It is perfectly smooth, but squishy in just the right spots.
It can't be described as silk, or satin.
It's almost like something non existent.
Like the perfect consistency of air, or water.
There are no flaws, only perfect folds.
I love it!
And, it smells like magic.
 Baby magic to be exact.
I am especially thankful for her soft skin, because she's kind of a prickly gal that Sienna.
She prefers hitting to hugging
scratching to kissing
and shoving to snuggling.
I'm super happy that the time I do get to love on her, it has the sweet addition of her magical skin.

A wooden object I am thankful for
I can't even think of one.
A wooden spoon? No.
Did you know that if your wooden spoons are splinting, they can harbor more bacteria than a toilet?
I learned that on Oprah.

Oh I know.
Just wood.
I love fires.
Real wood fires.
They remind me of my great Grandparents house, that my Grandparents now live in.
And fires also remind me of camping.
I like camping?
A real wood fire is one of the most mesmerizing things.
I could just sit and stare into dancing flames for hours.
Does anyone not like that?
I think it's so great.

A dessert I am thankful for.
Cadbury eggs

And these unreal chocolate chip cookies.
A recipe by my friend Lisa.
Who has a cookie BUSINESS!
You should take this seriously.
For two reasons.
1. This is a one bowl cookie recipe. no dry and wet ingredients. 
You know it's a win. 
Clogged arteries usually are. 

2/3 cup softened butter (be sure it is NOT melted) 2/3 cup shortening 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp of vanilla (this is per the recipe but I prefer to do two good dumps of the bottle) 1 tsp salt (I do a heaping tsp) 1 tsp baking soda 2 1/2 cups flour (I usually end up adding about 1/2 cup more to get the consistency right) 2 cups chips (I like milk chocolate, but I also LOVE white chocolate right now. They all work in this recipe.) Cream butter, shortening, sugars, eggs until light, fluffy and the color changes to a light happy color. Add the vanilla and mix a little more. Add salt & soda, mix. Add flour, mix.
Once it is soft, but not sticky, add in your chips of choice, mix & your done!
Bake them at 375° for 9-11 minutes.

A view I am thankful for.
The view that always gives me pause, is in my car.
I love looking in my rear view mirror.
We spend a lot of time taking Tatum and friends to and from cheer.
I love my 3rd row seat full of chatty, giggly girls, 
my 2nd row seat full of the cutest baby faces I could have ever hoped for.
It makes me so thankful.
Thankful that I was able to get pregnant, deliver healthy babies, grow healthy, happy kids.
Thankful to afford a car, safe car seats, and one that has AC, and a heater, and brakes that work.
Thankful that Tatum has found her love of cheer, and that she has good friends that she has fun with.
Thankful that I have a drivers license, and that I know how to drive.
Thankful that my babies no longer scream their faces off the entire time we are in the car.
Thankful that if they do cry, I can hand them a piece of food and they will be quite.
The rear view mirror in my car makes me thankful for lots of things.
Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.

A part of nature I am thankful for.
All of it.
I love nature. I love the mountains, trees, bushes, dirt, rivers, lakes, beaches, sand, desserts, animals.
All of it.
But I do not take advantage of it near as much as I wish I did.
I want my kids to enjoy it, and to develop their interests based around the outdoors, and being active.
The problem is this.
I WANT to be a gal that likes hiking, mountain biking, climbing, surfing, skiing, boarding, fishing, or
or even nature walking.
I don't.
I LOVE to sun tan though.
I am so good at it.
A part of nature that I am thankful for is.
Utah Nature.
I am thankful to live in a state that offers almost all of the above mentioned things to my kids, without my involvement!
Thankful for rec center programs!

But for reals.
I'm also thankful that nature isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so that one of these days when I get into shape, I may be able to enjoy all of those things with my kiddos.
Because I know they are fun. And healthy, and full of great memories.
I like the thought of all of those.

Something green I'm thankful for.
My husbands eyes.
I love them. And I love him.

Something old I'm thankful for.
My husband.
I love him.

Something new I'm thankful for.
The 4 new crowns in my mouth.
Ive never had one before.
And I am so thankful for mine!
How nice of the dental gods to think of such a lovely name for such a stupid process.
First you have a tooth ache, a shot, a numb mouth, then a root canal,
(Which. by the way! are you not so grateful to be numb for that process?! Do the roots of your teeth connect to your brain?! Because it really seems like it to me! An entire full body apron to avoid the mess?What?! Thank you?! I'm thankful to not know what they are doing in there.)
then a nub of a tooth for awhile,(my personal fav) then, that nasty molding stuff, bad dentist jokes he says every time I'm there... Look doc. I know your not sorry to give me a $76 dollar shot. And I know I really am not your favorite patient. I have hardly even spoken to anyone here. And no. I don't want a sticker.... So anyways. More shots, more numbness, a "temporary crown" (which for all intents and purposes should really be called a brontosaurus tooth.)
Then, more shots, a numb mouth, and finally. your crown.
times it by 4.
Add in 2500 cavities filled, and wa la.
I change my mind.
Something new to my life that I am thankful for.
That stuff rocks!

A tradition I'm thankful for.
We have already talked about this.
I didn't make this list.
I'm just following it.

A store I'm thankful for.
I don't know why.
I hardly shop there because it's too expensive.
But I love walking up and down each aisle.
Wishing I knew recipes that included such ingredients, and that I was cool enough to purchase Carr's crackers instead of Chicken in a Biscuit.
I love their produce, meat, guacamole, paper bags, and the post office inside!
But mostly.
I'm thankful for Harmon's because it makes me want to be a better person.
How profound is that?
A grocery store that just might change one's life.

Something from my childhood I'm thankful for.
I think just the vibe as a whole.
I know I wasn't raised in a traditional family.
My parents were divorced at 3.
Even though I didn't see my dad often, his presence was strong, and I totally adored him.
He was and is the best daddy.

My mom had Miranda when I was 8.
She got knocked up.
You know.
It happens to the best of them.
Although it wasn't perfect, we lived in trailer parks at times, and in a brand new house at other times,
I never felt as though I was unhappy or went without.
Our house was happy and calm.
There was no fighting or contention.

Saturday mornings were for cleaning.
And, we had the best Sunday traditions.
The lake allll dddaaayy long in the summer.
With coolers full of snacks, hours of sand castle making, and lounge chairs that fold into huts.
During the fall and winter, we watched football.
My mom would make a mean veggie tray, and sometimes crackers and cheese trays.
The day always ended with a big Sunday dinner.
Even though it was just the 3 of us.

I liked my upbringing.
I got along with my mom, and she was patient with me and Miranda.
I mean. Sometimes she yelled. but not usually.
And when i would say
"mom! don't yell!"
she would respond very loudly with
And then I would be thankful that she wasn't, in fact, yelling.

I just think the thing I am most thankful for is that despite some of the circumstances, and "unconventional" way I was raised, I really don't dwell on anything from my childhood.
I don't blame any of my actions now, on my parents actions then.
I was loved, looked over, and cared about.
I'm not a mess.
And I am very thankful for that.

A photo I am thankful for

When my two worlds became one.
This is one of my favorite photos ever.
I didn't let Ryan meet Tatum until I knew he was the one.
And how thankful I am that I turned out to be right.
Just the other night, Ryan and I were talking about how grateful we felt to not have any "what if's"
I know a lot of people live with regret, or wonder if they made mistakes in past relationships, or life decisions.
I really don't have that. Ryan says he doesn't either.
And that feels really good.
I love the life that Ryan and I have created.
Sometimes I seriously want to pull his arm hair out.
One. by. one
Daily, I shake my head or roll my eyes.
But every single second I am thankful for him, and our life together.

I couldn't ask for a single thing more!

And now.

I'm thankful that November is OVER!!

That was too much pressure!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thankful - Nov. 14 thru 18

We all knew this was going to happen..
I'd post every day for a week, 
then every other day for a week,
then once a week.
It's not likely that Ill wrap up the month at all.

But hey!
It's been fun while it lasted.

Here we go.

Nov. 14 - A smile I am grateful for..

Shemar Moore's.

Are you not?

Nov. 15
A technology I am grateful for.

My I phone.
But more specifically, my Walgreen's app.
Not having to dial the automated system, 
Go through 6 prompts to get to the pharmacy department
plug in the prescription number.
do it again because I always got it wrong the first time
and then hanging up.
Calling back.
going through 6 prompts again so I can actually talk to the pharmacist because
A. I entered in the wrong pick up time, 
or B. because I just HAVE to make sure the prescription refill actually went through.

My Walgreen's app is a technology that I am so freaking thankful for.

Walgreens has cadbury mini eggs.
Which actually has nothing to do with technology.
But whatever.

Nov. 16.
The schedule I am following says "A color"  
And that was hard enough the first time.
I'm not doing it again.
I'm just not. 

Nov. 17
A tradition I am grateful for


The first one that pops into my mind is jammies on Xmas eve.
I love that tradition,
It's the first tradition I can remember recognizing as such
It has always been so exciting!  
It's the beginning of the end of the entire Christmas holiday.
Which is pretty poignant when you think about it.

And these days, I enjoy it more and more!
For some reason, now that I am an adult, and have since taken over the tradition for my own family,
my mother can't let go.
So I get everyone Xmas eve jammies, and so does she.
Me, Ryan, Miranda, Tatum, Jack, and Sienna..
And then, I worry that nobody got her any, so I get her some, and sometimes so does Steven, and maybe even Miranda.
And often times.  She gets herself some.
So it's a great big pajama jam. 

But the best part of it all, 
is that my mom passed on her extreme dough headedness to me.
Something I am forever indebted to her for,

And the reason that that little tid bit adds so much to our Xmas eve tradition is because of this:

We both try to get a jump start on Christmas shopping.
Jammies are the best place to start, because we always know it's on our list.
And because its among the first presents purchased, it's among the first presents wrapped.
And because we are so excited to be well on our way to being "on top" of our Christmas "crap"
we wouldn't dream of doing something sensible like writing "XMAS EVE" on the gift tag.
So when Christmas eve rolls around, 100 % of the years, Miranda is digging around under the tree, opening every present, and peeking inside to see which ones are the Christmas Eve jammies.
The whole debacle takes a good 2 hours.

Which makes me love the tradition even more.
A tradition of dough heads is basically the best kind. 

Nov. 18
Something in my home I am thankful for

I thinkkk.. I think it would have to be 
The pretty little chandelier in my living room.
The light fixtures in our house really woo'd us.
And seriously.
Our house shopping needed to come to an end.
Or Ryan's life was going to.
So, I am grateful for that sweet chandelier that really aided in sealing the deal.
Really, that is a stupid answer. Because we are NOT allowed to use.
Because it's about 20 feet up in the air
In the dead center of the room. 
And we cannot imagine how on earth we would change one of the light bulbs.
Even the little giant can't help us..

But whatever.
I'm not changing my answer.
It's still the chandelier. 

I know I'm a little shallow tonight, but it's been that kind of a day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful - Nov. 13

A color

Ya know.
I'm kind of drawing a blank here.
I am really just not an artsy girl.
Colors don't really move me much.

A color. A color....
I mean.. Colors represent so much.. Everything I love is A color.. 
I mean, ya?
But I can't really think of a consistency in any one color..
I don't have a favorite color..

I'm thankful for yellow, because I love the sun so very much. 
I love to be warm and tan.
But sun can also give me a nasty migraine.
But so
 I guess I am grateful for Tan.
Ya. I like tan. because I like sand and beaches too.
I cannot be grateful for tan.
That's not it.
Ya no.

I don't really like black. 
It's scary.
I'm grateful for black. As it is my best clothing option.
Which makes me think of how I hate white.
But I love the pureness that white represents.. So.. I like white again. I'm thankful for white.
It's heavenly.
But no.
Not white either

I like pink and blue because it reminds me of babies.
And babies make me think of poop, which makes me think of brown.
Brown is a sucky color.
I can't think of anything good that's brown.

I take that back! I like chocolate so much.
I found some Christmas Cadbury mini eggs at the Walgreens the other day.
I love them so much!
I like brown again!

But actually cadbury mini eggs are actually green and red (well, the Christmas ones are)
Red and Green.
I like both of them, because I love Christmas so much,
And I really like green because It's Jack and Ryan's best clothing option, and plus! outside is green which I love..
But also, I don't love green because I hate puke. And puke is often greenish. And so is mold.
So.  Gross things are often green.
And red.
As much as I would love red.. It just doesn't work out for me.
Blood makes me woozy, red lipstick looks gross on me, and Tatum is the only one here that looks good in red, but she doesn't like it..
And also. We decorated a majority of our old house in red. 
You remember. 2006
The year of the "red accent wall"
We spent way to much money on red crap that doesn't belong anywhere in our new house..
It's all out in our garage as we are speaking here.
Stupid red.
Except for during Christmas.
I love red at Christmas..
But my favorite Christmas Color is SILVER!!
I love silver at Christmas.
I love silver all of the time!
Ya.  Silver.

I think that's the color I am thankful for.
All of the shiny things!
 And also.
Silver is a vivid color in my memory of delivery rooms. 
(tools, scales, mirrors, that huge placenta bowl!! and an all around shiny happy aura)

That is a color I am thankful for.

Geez Louise!
That was exhausting.

Thankful - Nov 12

An appliance I am grateful for

How can you choose just one?
I mean,
I wish I was a pioneer, because I really don't like living this close to the world ending (zombies)
And raising good kids is a real job these days.
Back then, I think they were good by default.
Which would be. Ahh.  It would be so great.
I think..
Something about waking up at 4 am to go help birth calves when you are 4, must really build a strong character.
And plucking chickens.
Those pioneers.
They were tough cookies.

I am so glad that I have the luxury of modern appliances.
And I can't pick one.
I won't do it.

It's like when I used to call in to work and lie about Tatum being sick with the flu, even though we were at Sugar House Park, she would get the flu.
100% of the time.

So I think if I name a favorite appliance, one of the other ones will stop working.
And we can't have that.
I am not a pioneer
And it is the holiday season.
And that is an expense I just don't need.
I'm already trying to figure some ways to embezzle money from my boss.
Like, cash back when grocery shopping.

We are way off track.

I love my fridge.
The fridge at my new house has sliding shelves.
They pull nearly all the way out of the fridge!
 I never remember to do that so I often spill a cup full of whatever Tatum hasn't finished when reaching for the pickles behind it.
It also has an ice maker in the door, and water spigot.
There is a little screen thinger that shows how many ounces of water are coming out of it.
I have also never used that.
It recently started making a buzzing sound.
I think it's trying to tell me that it's handles ARE NOT intended for jungle gym use.
Ive tried to relay the message to the babies, but they don't seem to care.

I also really like my oven.
Its a pretty color of blue and white speckles, on the inside and has a special convection feature.
Ive also never used that.

I really like my microwave,
It's in a funky spot below our kitchen island.
So the kids can reach it.
It's a good thing I spend the majority of my life standing somewhere around that kitchen island,
because I am genuinely scared that Jack may try to cook Sienna
 if she doesn't get the hint about leaving his choo choos alone.
Although, girlfriend is pretty scrappy lately, so I am thinking she will be okay.

Who doesn't like a good stove?
I only use the back two burners because I am a safety kid, and the word HOT means nothing to anybody in this house.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I am the only around here that speaks English?

The newest addition to our appliance family is our deep freezer.

And I have been waiting YYEEAARRS for this little guy.
For one very valid and simple reason.
The schwanns man.
Not because I am so crazy about their food, I mean, it's decent.
But because the shwanns man takes checks.
And the only checks we have are from Big Daddy's account.
Little Mama does not have checks for her "allowance account"
Just another way for a little holiday savings I say.

And then there were two....
The washer and Dryer.
And you know what?
I can't be thankful for them now matter how hard I try.
I have lived without a washer and dryer before, and I was fine.
It forced me to be more careful, and hang my clothes up after wearing them, and creative in my artistic expression of clothing options I had left.
And I was fine.
Plus.  I L-O-V-E the smell of the laundromat...

I hate the Washer and Dryer..


There's the rundown.
Im thankful for most of my appliances.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thankful - Nov. 11

A time of day I am thankful for

I can tell you.  
It's not anywhere between 5-8 pm.
I hate those hours.
It's not 2 am when Sienna wakes up.
Or 4:30 am when she wakes up again
OR 5:45 am when she wakes up for the day.

It's about 6:45 am
That's when the rest of the family joins me and Sienna out in the living room reading books, watching Channel 2 news, and sharing a banana. 
When none of us have had the chance to be moody, or overwhelmed, stressed, busy, or late.

My house is still clean from the day before.

Tatum lays quietly, wrapped up in her down comforter, contemplating clothing and lunch options. 
Jack's doesn't loaf around much.  He loves to wake up and run straight to his train table. 
I assume he has been dreaming about new ways to play with them all night.
Sienna's eyes are sparkly and a little sleepy.  Her eyelashes are usually crimped because she sleeps like a stink bug, and that squishes her cheek up into her eye. 
She is always magical in the mornings.
Ryan wiggles his toes as he wakes up, and it takes awhile before he is in full Ryan force.

We are all contemplating our day in one way or another.
6:45 am.
It's a new day.  
It is completely untouched.
It's quiet, and peaceful, and lovely.

I am extremely thankful for 6:45 am

Because at 7, 
 all hell breaks loose.

Thankful - Nov. 10

A book I am thankful for.

This one required no thought from me.

I have read a lot of books in my life.
Lots and lots.
I love to read.

This book changed so many of my thought processes, and gave me a lot of comfort about things that I was feeling insecure, or unsure about.
It's the best book ever.
And it is so funny.
I dig funny. 
It came to me at the perfect time in life, and I really am thankful for it.

A few key points that I have taken away from this book are:

* We belong to each other.  All of us.  And we need to treat each other accordingly.
*My favorite people in life are the ones that genuinely love my kids.. So it only makes sense that to glorify God is to love all of his kids
*Love wins
*Everyone is flawed, and that's what makes them great
*Trying to be perfect only intimidates other people, it makes you untouchable, unrelatable, and creates jealousy.  I want nothing to do with any of those things.  
So striving for perfection is something I no longer worry about. 

Those things are just what immediately spring to mind, while fighting Jack for this computer so he can watch Thomas the Train toy tutorials on YouTube.  
If I had the time I could go on about this book for house.
There is hardly a day in my life that goes by that I don't reference this book.
I love the book, I love the author, and I love recommending it to people.

Go out. Pick it up. You just might be thankful for it too! 

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