Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the stone cutter

Once upon a time in Japan, there was a poor stone cutter named Hofus who used to go every day to the mountainside to cut great blocks of stone. He lived near the mountain in a little stone hut and worked hard and was happy.

One day he took a load of stone to the house of a rich man. There he saw so many beautiful things that when he went back to his mountain he could think of nothing else. Then he began to wish that he too might sleep in a bed as soft as down with curtains of silk and tassels of gold. And he sighed: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only were rich as he!" To his surprise, a great voice was heard: "Have thou thy wish!"

When Hofus returned home his house had become a palace filled with beautiful things. Hofus decided to work no more, but he was not used to being idle and one day as he sat by the window he saw a carriage dash past with a prince inside. It was drawn by snow white horses.

When the stone cutter saw this, he began to feel unhappy, and he sighed: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only a prince might be!" And again the same voice that he had heard on the mountain answered: "Be thou a prince!"

Straightway Hofus was a prince. He had servants dressed in crimson and gold, and for a short time he was happy, but one day, as he walked in the garden, he saw that the flowers were drooping, the grass was dry and brown. And when he rode out he felt the hot sun burn him in spite of his umbrella.

"The sun is mightier than I," thought he, and then he sighed: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only the sun might be!" And the voice answered: "Be thou the sun!"

Straightway the great sun he became. He burned the grass and rice fields. He dried up the streams.One day a cloud came and rested in front of him, and hid the earth from his sight. He was angry and cried: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only a cloud might be!" And the voice answered: "Be thou a cloud!"

Straightway a cloud he became. Then day after day the cloud dropped rain. The rivers overflowed and towns were swept away. Only the great rocks on the mountain side stood unmoved midst the flood. The cloud looked at them in wonder, then he sighed: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only a rock might be!" And the voice answered: "Be thou a rock!"

Straightway a rock he became. Proudly he stood. The sun could not burn him and the rain could not move him. "Now, at last," he said, "no one is mightier than I."

But one day he was wakened from his dreams by a noise, "tap! tap! tap!" down at his feet. He looked and there was a stone cutter driving his tool into the rock. Another blow and the great rock shivered; a block of stone broke away.

"That man is mightier than I!" cried Hofus, and he sighed: "Ah me! Ah me! If Hofus only the man might be!" And the voice answered: "Be thou thyself!"

And straightway Hofus was himself again, a poor stone cutter, working all day upon the mountain side and going home at night to his little hut. Yet, he was content and happy and never again did he wish to be other than Hofus the stone cutter.


thanks to my sister for posting this story. i love it. this is a lesson i need to learn...to be content and happy as myself.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

christmas, birthday, new year's...tis the holiday season!

christmas has come and gone.

it's hard to believe how quickly time flies! i don't think our christmas could have been any more perfect. little buddy loved his gifts, hubby loved his gifts (he got the die hard movies and we watched the first on christmas, the second last night, and i'm pretty sure #3 will be tonight), i loved my gifts, and although little princess had no clue what was going on she sure was stinkin' adorable. the kids got felt reindeer antlers in their stockings and they were soooo cute wearing them. (if you know us then you should definitely check out our private blog or my facebook to see the pics, it's worth it, i promise.)

i got new clothes using gift cards to fit my post-baby body. i've been pretty disgusted with the way i look. i'm going to be trying out a local gym for a bit to see if i like it. i really need to start exercising again. i also need to stop eating junk and drinking soda. this i say as i sit here with a ginger ale and a box (yes, i said box, as in LARGE box) full of christmas candy. i know it is totally and completely unrealistic for me to decide to stop eating junk right smack in the middle of the holidays, so i'm not even going to attempt.

yesterday my little sister got married. i can't believe i have two little sisters who are married now. it was a long day, and freezing cold, and we got lost on our way from the ceremony to the luncheon which was about 40 miles away. tonight is the reception. i hope the weather is okay, it takes about 40 minutes to get there in perfect weather....snow may be a problem.

oh, did i mention today is my birthday? well it is! i'm getting old. i'm 24 now. hubby put a candle on my cake that was an over the hill candle, said too old to count on it. i guess it's because i don't have enough fingers and toes to count up to 24. hubby gave me a $50 gift card to get some clothes which was awesome, and i got a watch, and my in-laws gave me a gift card to olive garden (yummmmm) and it's been a pretty good day so far. slept in a bit, took a short nap, watched most of monty python and the quest for the holy grail, cuddled with my baby, and got two cakes. wooo! (remember that whole not cutting the junk out until after the holidays? yep.)

i hope you all have a great new year's. any fun resolutions? i refuse to make resolutions because i always fail. it's jinxed with me...like setting myself up for failure. but i know it works for other people. i'll be chowing down and going to bed early. yay for 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas carol for december 25th

merry christmas! have a wonderful holiday!

have yourself a merry little christmas, performed by judy garland

Thursday, December 24, 2009

christmas carol for december 24th

this one is one of my all-time favorites. please take the time to really listen to the words of this one. it is based on a true story, which you can read about here.

have a very merry christmas. hold your family close and thank god for each other.

christmas truce, performed by collin raye

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

best christmas movies of all time

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.


top ten christmas movies ever (in no particular order):

1. white christmas: i cannot even tell you how much i love this movie. i adore bing crosby. his christmas music has been a staple every year that i can remember. i always end up with the song "sisters" stuck in my head, and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

2. a charlie brown christmas: i have already talked about my love for this movie.

3. a christmas story: do i really need to say anything about the joy this movie brings? the red ryder bb gun. ("you'll shoot your eye out!") the leg lamp. (his major award....careful, it's frag-eeeee-lay....) the pink bunny suit. the tongue on the pole. i just love that movie.

4. home alone: just watched this one the other day, in fact. it's funny how my view of this movie has changed now that i'm a mom. i still love the ingenuity of kevin.

5. christmas vacation: i remember watching this movie as a kid and only understanding about half of it. now i'm an adult and i fully understand everything in the movie and laugh my rear off every time i see it. when we were younger my sisters used to LOVE quoting the dinner scene, mostly aunt bethany and uncle lewis.
(you know, this one:
Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.
[Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.)

6. the santa clause: one of disney's best. tim allen does a fantastic job as santa. and the way they portrayed the reindeer, the elves, the north pole, the list checking: it's all spot-on. i suppose one of my favorite things about this movie is seeing the transformation tim allen's character makes. i love the change of heart movies.

7. the preacher's wife: i have never seen the bishop's wife, which is the original. i remember seeing the preacher's wife, however, and falling in love with it. we taped it (on VHS, remember those?) and i watched the grainy tape over and over again. i love the romance in it, the restoring of a beautiful marriage, the music (oh how i love that christmas gospel music!), and the christmas spirit. i mean, come on, denzel washington and whitney houston are in it. could it possibly be anything less than awesome?

8. mickey's christmas carol: this is one i watched over and over again, every year as a kid. with a million versions, adaptations, spoofs, and retellings of dickens' "a christmas carol," from serious films to "the flintstone's christmas carol," it's hard to pick just one. i think this one is my favorite because it's so nostalgic to me. and who better to play scrooge than scrooge mcduck?

9. it's a wonderful life: see my post about this beautiful movie from last year.

10. how the grinch stole christmas: another christmas movie staple. this book is amazing and so is the movie. what a great story. it teaches us that "Maybe Christmas (...) doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

christmas movies i don't really care for:
jack frost--weird. weird animation.

jingle all the way
--arnie at his most obnoxious. and sinbad, to boot. ugh.

little drummer boy
--i've never liked the little drummer boy song. that pa-rum-pa-pum-pum stuff just rubs me wrong...it's a great story, but i don't care for the movie.

polar express
--i was a bit disappointed in this one. could have been so much better. one of the best christmas books ever...i wasn't surprised that i was disappointed.

beauty and the beast: the enchanted christmas
--beauty and the beast is my favorite disney movie of all time. i didn't like this one, it just wasn't the original and i'm sure that's why. besides...a villain that is an organ chained to a wall? weird.

how the grinch stole christmas (with jim carrey)
--again, not the original. and i'm a rather picky carrey fan. some of his movies i love and some i hate.

more recent christmas movies i liked:
four christmases--funny. i liked both reese witherspoon and vince vaughan in this movie. add on top of that tim mcgraw, robert duvall, sissy spacek, jon voigt, jon favreau, dwight yoakam and kristin chenoweth? great.

muppet's letters to santa--this was on tv last week and i loved it. of course, anything with the muppets is just fantastic. i loved rizzo and pepe, as usual, and fozzie bear told stupid jokes, and kermit and miss piggy argued and made up, and gonzo was as weird and lovable as ever.

christmas movies i loved as a kid:
the muppets' christmas carol--again, love anything with the muppets.

santa claus is coming to town
--this one is my favorite of the "classic" rankin-bass movies. i always loved "knowing" where santa claus came from, how he came to be who he is--at least from the rankin-bass perspective.

emmett otter's jug band christmas


mickey and co. christmas cartoons--
my favorite? the one where mickey chops down his tree with chip and dale still living in it. pluto didn't care for a couple of chipmunks in his house too much! i also loved the one where donald duck builds a snow fort to have a snowball war with huey, dewey, and louie, complete with flaming snowballs. these were on the tape before

mickey's christmas carol
so they hold the same sentiment for me.

rudolph the red nosed reindeer--another good rankin bass movie.

ernest saves christmas--used to watch this one a ton. i remember being intrigued by santa's bag in this movie.

winnie the pooh and christmas too--that lovable bear and friends, especially tigger. pooh bear tries to save christmas when their letter to santa doesn't make it. so cute.

christopher and holly--ever seen this one? obnoxious teddy bears that come to life. but i loved it.

other notable christmas movies:
the nightmare before christmas--tim burton...i know i've talked about this one before. (i loved it before it became trendy! so there!) i usually refer to it as my halloween movie but it is a great christmas movie, too.

edward scissorhands
--tim burton. i ADORE tim burton. and johnny depp is fabulous as edward.

elf
--i normally don't care for will ferrell, but this movie is just hilarious.

LDS christmas movies i love:
luke 2--a very short film, only about five minutes, but extremely powerful. it leaves me in tears every single time. i would HIGHLY recommend taking the few minutes to watch this.


mr. kreuger's christmas--another great movie starring jimmy stewart. about 25 minutes.


christmas carol for december 23rd

carol of the bells (instrumental), performed by 2002

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a letter to dr. laura

very thought-provoking. thanks to hubby to sending me the link.

Debating Dr Laura Schlesinger
By Unknown Original Author
Dec 19, 2009 - 7:35:16 PM


This was received in an email and a copy of it was found here. It relates to broadcaster Dr Laura Schlessinger, about whom you can read here. Genuine or just plain witty, it is nevertheless interesting.


Dr Laura Schlessinger ("Dr Laura") broadcasts a 3 hour long, radio program each weekday on a network of over 500 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and has an estimated audience of 20 million people. She holds a Ph.D. in physiology (study of the functions of living matter), not psychology as some assume.

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger has said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response was posted on the internet and is best regarded as an essay clearly meant for a wider audience than just Dr Laura. It is a general reminder that many belief systems pick and choose their way through biblical teachings in determining what is "right" and "wrong". Authorship has been attributed to several, but remains unconfirmed.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. Clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

christmas carol for december 22nd

the gift, performed by martina mcbride and collin raye

Saturday, December 19, 2009

as if being a mini-van mom could get ANY cooler...

check out what hubby got me! i think those stick-figure families are kind of cheesy (no offense if you have one) but i looooved the skull family. how cute is this? i'm the envy of all the mini-van moms in the neighborhood, let me tell you.

portable north pole

this is awesome. create a personalized video for your kids, where santa talks just to them. santa knows his/her name, age, where they live, their hair and eye color, what they asked for for christmas, and what they have done to be good. how great!

you can also personalize it for an adult who has been naughty or nice. i did one for hubby, in which he was naughty for leaving his underwear on the floor and peeing in the shower. HILARIOUS. (the ones for adults is a bit longer.)

check it out--it's great for an adult or a child!

see hubby's video here.

Lakewood police officer says little boy's kindness restores hope

by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING5 News

Posted on December 16, 2009 at 5:47 PM

LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A Lakewood police officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was inspired to write the following Christmas letter earlier this week.

The officer credits one small boy's donation of support to the Lakewood Police Department as the big reason he has regained hope for this holiday season.

The officer sent it to friends, family members and other law enforcement officers.

A Tukwila police officer received the officer's permission to release it to the public:

I'm not much for writing Christmas letters, and in fact this year, I didn't even feel like making the effort of buying and addressing Christmas cards at all. I'm sure you all have heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred here in Lakewood two weeks ago today - four of our officers, four people that have become my friends over the past 5 years as we all worked here together, were gunned down as they sat in a coffee shop. Three fathers and a mother - all of whom were dedicated to their jobs and their families - now dead. The grief at our station and in our community has been overwhelming and we have all now just barely begun to process what this means for our department and for police departments all across our state and nation. Several times since this event happened, police agencies have responded to reports of individuals across King and Pierce Counties causing commotions and claiming to be planning to kill more officers. We do our best to maintain our composure and continue to do our jobs the best that we can.

It is hard not to remain bleak and jaded with these events so fresh in our minds. But something happened today, just 20 minutes ago, which made me want to send out a Christmas letter. I'm here at work and was just out in our secure parking lot helping another officer load collection bins into his car to take to a local Lakewood Police Independent Guild fundraiser event. I heard a woman, standing with a boy who couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old, calling, "Excuse me…." through our locked gate. She had apparently been trying to get to our front counter but found no one there, it being Sunday, and had just happened to see us in the parking lot. I walked over to her and saw that the little boy was holding a plastic baggy containing a dollar and some change, and was clutching a well-worn stuffed dinosaur.

The woman told me that her son, AJ, had seen the stories on tv about our 4 slain officers. She said that they had driven to our station all the way from Kingston because her son was so intent on helping the children of these officers. I opened the gate and the boy handed me the plastic baggy containing all the money from his piggybank and a note on which he had written "AJ….From me to Pleec. I Love You." And then, with tears in his eyes, he handed me his stuffed dinosaur. AJ's mom explained that he wanted to give the children of the slain officers the most precious thing that he owned, and that was his dinosaur, Bruno.

I told AJ that I would take the money that he wanted to donate, but that I thought the best thing he could do for the children of our 4 officers was to keep Bruno safe with him but to keep those kids in his heart when he hugged his dinosaur. He agreed and gratefully took Bruno back from me and held him tightly as if he never wanted to let him go again.

We have seen many, many acts of generosity and kindness over the past 2 weeks. We have hugged more friends and strangers than we could have ever imagined and have mended broken ties with people we haven't talked to for years. Yet nothing has touched me deeper, or given me more hope for the future, than AJ and his stuffed dinosaur. I gave AJ one of our department challenge coins, explaining to him that we only gave them out to the bravest and most deserving people we came across. I hope he will realize someday how much more than a dollar and some change he gave to me and to the Lakewood Police Department today.

So anyway, none of that is about Christmas, but it is about hope and love and I thought it was appropriate to share this holiday season.

I hope this letter finds all of you well and eager to spend the holidays with those you love. Squeeze everyone a little tighter and hug them a little longer today because life really is precious. Merry Christmas!

christmas carol for december 19th

santa claus is coming to town, performed by the supremes

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

what christmas is all about

the christmas countdown:
15 days!

can you believe we only have two and a half weeks until christmas? i sure can't. time has gone by so quickly.

i went christmas shopping this morning for my hubby. i scrounged every penny, nickel, dime, and quarter i could find, headed over to the wal-mart and dumped them all in the coin counter. $8.31 later i was in business. the kids "helped" me find something for him. i just love shopping for my loved ones, trying to figure out what it is they would really like and imagining their reactions on christmas morning.

yesterday packages started arriving filled with gifts i have ordered for my family. i get so excited, so giddy when i see those packages and get to open them up! it's a gift for me, too, getting to wrap them. right now there isn't a single thing for myself under the tree, and only four things for my stocking, but you know what? i really don't care. when i think about my babies opening their presents, when i think about santa visiting little buddy, and when i think about the few things i was able to get hubby, it's enough christmas for me. christmas truly is about giving, and now that i'm older, that i have a family of my own, i really understand that. i scrimp and save every penny that i can to give my loved ones christmas. and hubby works so hard and sacrifices so much for the same thing.

christmas is about giving--and about the one who gave the ultimate gift. last night one of my very favorite christmas shows was on tv. charlie brown's christmas. i just love charlie brown and the peanuts characters, but i especially love their christmas special. every time i watch it i get tears when linus gives his speech, about what christmas is really about. christmas is about Christ, about his birth, his life, his sacrifice for us.

so merry christmas, charlie brown, and to all of you. here is linus' speech for your enjoyment:

christmas carol for december 9th

what child is this, performed by carrie underwood

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

pearl harbor day 2009


it has been sixty-eight years since the japanese attacked pearl harbor. many, many years before i was born, before my parents were even born. and yet it was a vital day in the history of our nation.

my great-grandfather served in world war II. he was drafted, as an engineer to build bridges, and left his wife and children (including my grandfather) at home. in december of 1942, my great-grandfather was one of the 700 soldiers that was carried across the atlantic on the queen mary.

i was in third grade when my great-grandfather died, and i have very few memories of him. about a year before he passed, my family took a vacation to california and visited the queen mary in long beach. while there, my dad related the few stories he knew about my great-grandfather. when we returned i asked him about it as well. my grandfather rarely spoke about the war, as many soldiers don't. it was a terrifying and horrific experience. i do vaguely remember him talking a little to me about his trip on the queen mary. one of my most vivid memories of him, however, was only a few months before his death.


it was a snowy december day in 1993. it happened to be the first sunday of the month, which in the LDS church is fast and testimony meeting. members of the congregation are invited to bear their testimonies at the pulpit. by this time my grandfather was 81 years old and had difficulty walking on his own. as far as i could remember my grandfather had never gotten up to bear his testimony. but on this day, he did.

he slowly made his way up the aisle leaning heavily on his cane. when he came to the few stairs up to the pulpit he needed the assistance of our bishop and one of his counselors. when he reached the pulpit, looking frail and worn out, it seemed the entire congregation was silent. my great-grandfather began to cry. and then he spoke. he started to speak of a cold december day, exactly fifty-two years before, on december 7, 1941. pearl harbor. for him, it was a day he could never forget. the day more than two-thousand people were massacred. he spoke of his sadness for that day in 1941, and even more so for that day in 1993, when very few remembered, and no one spoke, about pearl harbor. i wish so badly that i could remember his exact words. all i have is that image in my head, watching him walk to the front of the church, and seeing him cry. at seven years old i did not understand.

several times my husband has said to me that september 11, 2001 is our generation's pearl harbor. i will never understand the fear, the sadness, the uncertainty, the anger that accompanied that day in 1941. i do, however, understand the fear, the sadness, the uncertainty, the anger that accompanied 9/11.


and now, today, on december 7th, 2009, i do not remember from experience, but i remember in my heart.

christmas carol for december 7th

coventry carol, performed by the westminster cathedral choir

Sunday, December 6, 2009

art class

the fruits of my first art class. i'm happy about the way it turned out and wanted to share!

christmas carol for december 6th

one of my favorites....

Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) by Amy Grant



lyrics:

I have traveled many moonless night
Cold and weary, with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father, you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Chorus:
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Light up my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy

Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

(Chorus)
(Chorus)

Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven

my christmas gift to you

starting today, i will be posting one of my favorite christmas carols every day. christmas music is one of my favorite things about this season, and i love hearing the same songs year after year. i hope you all take the few minutes every day to listen to each song i post, and just sit and feel the happiness and joy that comes along with this season. merry christmas to all of my wonderful readers! if you have any favorites and would like to suggest them to me, leave me a comment!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

finally taking a break

sigh. little buddy is asleep. baby is on her way to being asleep, and i am taking a much needed break. poor buddy has been crying and throwing fits all morning long....he didn't take a nap yesterday and i think maybe he's teething. poor kid. he's pretty difficult to deal with when he's like this, especially when i have an infant to take care of and nurse as well. at least he's finally taking a nap.

the past couple days have dragged on, going really slow. i'm not sure why but i am definitely ready for that to change. i miss hubby when he's at work and i get pretty lonely with just the kids for company, even though i'm constantly on my toes chasing a toddler and caring for an infant. i love them both so much but some days i just want to scream i get so tired and frazzled. but then i sit down with my little boy on my lap and he gives me a hug, or my baby smiles that toothless grin that lights up her whole face, her eyes scrunched up, and my heart melts and i am just so in love with being a mommy. i just try to remember those times when the days get hard and the tears and screaming start.

my depression has been a bit better over the past week, which i am grateful for. i am really trying hard not to let it get to me. i've been trying really hard to be a better wife and mother too although i tend to fail frequently. i want to be closer to hubby and i've really been working on that.

i wish there were a way to stop failing at the most important things. if i fail at the stupid little things, oh well i can deal with it. but it's so hard to know i come up short when it comes to my marriage, and showing my hubby that i love him and care for him, and when it comes to my kids. i find myself getting frustrated more easily than i'd like. i'm not very good at communicating my feelings (at least not nicely) and most times i'd rather sob hysterically and run away than deal with the issue.

some days i wish i could run away from my life, too. just take my family and go....to the beach, to a warmer climate, maybe hawaii or something. (maybe not hawaii. you can't drive there and hubby hates planes.) just relax, throw responsibilities out the window, and just BE. leave my past and my issues at home with the dishes and laundry and forget about everything but having fun. wouldn't that be nice? too bad the world doesn't work that way.

on a positive note, can you believe christmas is less than a month away? i ordered our christmas cards this morning. i'm way excited about it, too. 60 photo cards for $5.24, thanks to this fabulous freebies website. all i had to pay for was shipping. they have some awesome deals. i would highly recommend checking it out. it's called freebies for mom but you don't have to be a mom to take advantage of all the cool stuff they've got.

i hope you all had a great holiday weekend. i sure did, spending time with hubby and our extended families. and eating tons of FOOD! i just love thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

day twenty: i am thankful for...



my country.

today is thanksgiving, and i have a lot to be thankful for. i have enjoyed coming up with a new topic every day for the last few weeks to talk about, a different thing that i am thankful for every day. and all of those things that i am thankful for, i have because of the wonderful country i live in.

like many others, i tend to take for granted the freedoms and rights that i have as a citizen of the united states. the right of life, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness. the right to free speech and expression. the right to peaceful assembly, the freedom to choose my own religion. my legal rights, the right of a fair trial (should i ever need it), the right to an attorney. the right to bear arms. the right to vote. the freedom to marry whomever i want, the freedom to have as many children i want. the ability to be involved in local governmental decisions. the ability to go to school, to study, to get a college education. the freedom to choose what i wear, how i want to do my hair and my makeup. so many people across our world do not have the freedom to choose these things. they do not have the rights and protections i do.

our country is not perfect. our government is riddled with corruption, with self-serving leaders. at times the system fails us. many people have very few chances to improve their lives and conditions. but the thing about this country is that as citizens we can change it if we choose to take an active role.

when i look back on our history, i am proud of the way our country has grown and changed. of course we still deal with issues like racism, homophobia, and sexism. but when you think about how our country started out with slavery, and see how far we have come, i am amazed. and i am grateful for those who have given their lives to allow us to move toward equality, for those who continue to give their lives to protect our rights, and our safety.

i am grateful to live in a country where i know i can be whatever i want to be. i am grateful to live in a place where i can say what i want, worship how i choose, and express myself artistically without fear. i am thankful that i was able to choose to marry my husband, and that we have two beautiful children. i am grateful for the constitution and those inalienable rights i have as a human being.

god bless america, and god bless our troops.

i hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving, full of good food and family, love and gratitude.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

day nineteen: i am thankful for...



hot showers.

there is nothing like taking a hot shower. the feel of the warm water on your back, pounding your scalp, running down your arms and legs. coming inside after being out in the cold, and taking a hot shower to warm you up completely. when you've been working out and you're tired and sore, a hot shower makes you feel so much better. when you just feel gross and you're sweaty, taking a shower is almost like being reborn into a clean person! when i was pregnant i'd take a shower and turn the water as hot as i could stand it and let it hit my back....the feeling i had, the pain dissipating, the muscles relaxing, is just indescribable.

i am grateful for my shower. i am grateful for the indoor plumbing and water heater that allows me to have a hot shower. i think i might go take one right now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

day eighteen: i am thankful for....



my hands.

i love this poem that i found, writtten by bruce alan humphrey.

Hands

Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring are hands.

Remarkable hands, storied hands.
Hands, hands can build.
Hands can mold, shape, and speak.
Hands can grasp for the heavens, touch it and believe in the make believers.

Through the fingers thoughts explode as pen touches paper.
Tones and melodies erupt from inner emotions becoming reality.
Heart and soul become one as fingers scrawl quickly, feverishly.
Pounding blood surges through the fingers forcing the pen onward, causing tears to fall from an eye.

Truth flows from the mind; the hand transports it into being.
Embracers of the brush, digits move carefully following intricate lines drawn on canvas.
Colors blend together, vibrant, beautiful, soaring to mosaics of sky and water.
The calming sense of touch slows the scene until order graces the fabric.

Forgotten til’ their lost.
Forgotten until they are crippled, hands are taken for granted for their life giving talent.
Bent and crooked they are silenced from the song they once sang.
Memories now distant are relegated to the wall or museums.
Dusty shelves house the books of the once pulsating, vital, movements that the hand generated.

Hands have saved lives and taken them just as easily.
They create the saviors of life as well as the purveyors of death.
Creating and destroying with a single move a finger can move mountains or search the unknown heavens.

Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring are hands.


i am thankful for my hands. i was going to list all the reasons that i love my hands...but i think this poem did it better than i ever could. without my hands, how would i paint? or draw? or write? or play the piano? how would i type, work, drive, pick things up, wash my hair, make food, put on my clothes? how would i hold my sweet baby, and feel her soft skin? how would a throw a ball with my son, wipe away his tears, hold him to my heart? how would i feel my husband's fingers entwined with mine as we sit together, walk together, lay together? how would i run my hands through his hair, touch his face? my hands allow me to live my life as i know it. without functioning hands i don't know what i would do. i am grateful for them, grateful for everything i can do because of them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

tweet tweet

i'm a pretty crappy twitter user. i go weeks between tweets. but i'm going to try to do better. and i want to know if any of you readers have twitter accounts......because if you do i want to check them out! you can see me tweet tweet at http://twitter.com/cornnut32.

day seventeen: i am thankful for....


music.

have you ever noticed that we each have our own soundtrack, a soundtrack to our life? songs that bring back memories, that match our moods, that speak to our souls. songs that make us happy, songs that bring tears to our eyes, that evoke emotion within us. i have certain CDs that i listen to when i'm happy, some i like when i want to relax, some to make me feel better, and some that speak to me when i'm depressed. i have songs that i can sing over and over again and never get sick of them. i am so grateful for music, for the way that it speaks to my soul.

i am also grateful for my ability to play the piano. i started taking piano lessons from my dad when i was about four. at five, i took lessons from a neighbor, and by the time i was in junior high i was taking lessons from a teacher with a waiting list a mile long. after ten years of piano lessons, the piano has become a part of me. playing is a great outlet when i'm sad or angry, it is fun and relaxing. i love to play contemporary music, songs from movies and plays, songs we all know. i also love to play classical music....bach, mozart, beethoven, clementi, handel, schubert, mendelssohn, chopin, brahms.

i am thankful my parents made me take lessons, made me push through the practicing even when i hated it. i'm grateful for the teachers i've had, that have taught me, and disciplined me when i didn't practice, that instilled in me a love of music, that taught me to express emotion through my fingers. i'm thankful for the beautiful melodies, the songs that are a part of me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

day sixteen: i am thankful for....



my teddy bear.

i've had my teddy bear since i was an infant. the story goes that it was actually a gift from my mom to my dad...for valentine's day or something like that. i decided it was mine and it has been ever since. i was so young i don't even remember.

my teddy bear has been something that was constant in my life. no matter what happens it's always there---for me to cry on, scream into, throw against the wall, use as a pillow, even to hug at night when i need comfort. i know it sounds stupid and childish and it probably is, but i still sleep with my teddy bear a lot of nights. i suppose it's become such a habit that i really do sleep better when i have it.

through years of depression, anger, hurt, and fear, i have always had my teddy bear. i could cry to it, talk to it as a child, and it always listened, never judged, never gave advice. it just listened. do you remember the story of the velveteen rabbit? the little boy loved his rabbit so much it became "real" to him. and then, after the boy had scarlet fever, the nursery fairy came and turned the velveteen rabbit into a real rabbit. to me...ever since i was a child...my teddy bear has been just like the velveteen rabbit. it is "real" to me, it is a friend, and the one thing that has been there for me my entire life. since i was a baby, through childhood, through the abuse, through my teen years, through depression, and now into my adult years. i no longer talk to it, i no longer play with it, but i still cry on it. i still hug it when i need comfort. i still sleep with it as added comfort, in addition to my husband's warm body next to me.

i know that the majority of children grow out of their stuffed animals. they become adults and move on. perhaps because of the trauma i went through as a child, i am either not ready or not willing or not able to move on. a part of me is still that six year old little girl, scared and alone, alone except for her teddy bear to hug. the little girl inside of me emerges still when i'm scared, hurt, angry, depressed....and is still comforted by a stuffed toy.

my teddy bear has become like the velveteen rabbit. its fur is matted from 23 years of being hugged and slept on, cried on and put through the washer. the seam in the back is barely holding. its eyes are covered by the matted fur, its ears flattened. but just like the skin horse explained to the velveteen rabbit, it is beautiful to me.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

day fifteen: i am thankful for....


books to read.

i love to read. i always have. my parents instilled a love in reading within me at a very early age and i am so grateful for that.

one of the best things about reading (besides the whole learning part of it) is being able to lose myself in another world. the characters come to life. elizabeth bennett? yeah, she's like my bff. rodion romanovitch raskolnikov? i was right there, next to him, all through his psychotic break. i fell in love with becky right along with tom sawyer. i learned to fly on a broomstick just like harry potter. and don't tell anyone, but i secretly wished i could become a vampire just like bella did. (although my favorite vampire book would have to be interview with a vampire.)

when i read a book i can't put it down. it's almost like i become obessive. i have to find out what happens next, even if the book isn't really that great. i read in every spare minute i have. if i could make a career out of reading, i totally would. i'm one of those dorks who laughs out loud and cries when i read. i become a part of the story, a first hand witness, and i love it.

i've already mentioned a few of my favorite books: pride and prejudice, crime and punimshment, tom sawyer (also love huckleberry finn), those darn harry potter and twilight books, interview with a vampire. currently i'm reading the outlander series and i've really enjoyed that. the scarlet letter...sense and sensibility...walk two moons...beauty...little women...chronicles of narnia...shakespeare...to kill a mockingbird...the diary of anne frank...grapes of wrath (anything by steinbeck)...where the sidewalk ends...the odyssey...the book thief...oh how i could go on and on.

then you add on those great books full of page after page of art...my art history texts...

and the books i read to help me know how to be a better mom and a better person. the books that teach me about the world, about people, about nature, about love.

i am so grateful for the ability to read. i am so grateful for the abundance of reading material. i am thankful for my local library, where i can read a book without having to spend the $15 to buy it. i am thankful for great friends who loan me books. i am thankful for my english teachers who taught me to love books and to see beyond the surface of the words. i am thankful for great authors and playwrights who allow me to see into their minds and escape into their fantasy worlds. i'm grateful for my bookcases, full of beautiful books, hard bound, paperback, some of them dog eared and falling apart from being read so much. i'm thankful for the way books smell, paper and ink, excitement, anticipation, joy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

day fourteen: i am thankful for....



television.

i'm pretty sure i watch too much tv. but what a great source of entertainment! whether it's watching reruns of saved by the bell or new episodes of project runway, i love my tv. i love to cuddle with hubby and watch reality tv. i'm grateful for the preschool shows like yo gabba gabba, curious george and sesame street that occasionally distract little buddy when i need a break. i'm grateful for the opportunity to learn new things by watching documentaries and how-to shows. i'm grateful for the news so i can know what's going on in the world. i'm even grateful for shows like TMZ to indulge in celebrity gossip and humor.

what a great thing tv is!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

hate

i hate him.
sometimes i really, really hate him.

i hate him for ruining me.
for damaging me.
for breaking my soul into pieces....like a splintered mirror.
for making my life a living hell.

i hate him for making me hate myself.

i hate him for making my marriage difficult. being married is already hard enough.
i hate him for making being a mother that much harder.
i hate him because i know i am a worse mother because of him and what he has done to me.

sometimes i wish i could tell him how i really feel. sometimes i wish i could throw something at his head. sometimes i wish i could ruin his life the way he has mine. sometimes i wish i could put all of my anger, hurt, tears, depression, hopelessness, fear, and anxiety right back on him.

i hate his face. i hate his voice. i hate his touch. i hate his smell. i hate how i am reminded of him constantly. i hate that i have to separate reality from the hell that he has put inside my head. i hate that those around me suffer, the ones i love most, because of the suffering he has inflicted on me. i hate that i have to relive what he has done to me, over and over again, turning me from an adult back into a little girl.

i hate what he has done to my family.

i hate that i am triggered by stupid things.

but most of all....i hate feeling this way.

i hate you. i hate you. i hate you.



i just needed to get that out.

day thirteen: i am thankful for....


a home to live in.

having a roof over your head is one of our most basic needs, and i am so thankful that i have that. too many people don't have a home to go to and i do.

i am thankful that our home is a loving place. i am grateful that it is warm and inviting, and that i can come home to my beautiful little family. i am grateful for everything that comes with having my home: running water, furniture, indoor plumbing, electricity. i am so blessed to live in comfort!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

day twelve: i am thankful for....


health insurance.

my husband works very hard for our family. because he works so hard we are able to have health insurance.

over the past few years i have had some pretty crappy health issues. hospital stays, numerous doctor visits with both our family doc and specialists, tests, x-rays, MRIs, all sorts of medicines, etc. add to that maternity care and hospital stays with two babies and we have definitely used our health insurance!

i am grateful to be able to have this insurance. so many people don't have it and end up with tons of bills.....although we still have our share to pay, it's great being able to pay the 10% or so and copays instead of paying the entire amount.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

depression is still kicking my butt. argh.

on a positive note, i am going to start taking an art class from a neighbor and i am thrilled. $40 a month for four two-hour classes...what a steal! i'm hoping it will help with my depression....art has always been a form of therapy for me. plus it will give me some "me" time out of the house. i hope that it will help me be a better wife and mother to have a little break.

i can't believe that thanksgiving is next week! crazy! and then on to christmas....how time flies. and my sweet baby girl is almost seven weeks old. also crazy.

day eleven: i am thankful for...


beauty in nature.

one of my favorite things to do when i was a teenager was to drive up the local canyon, just to look at the beauty around me. the trees, the huge waterfalls, the river, the flowers, the rocks. the bright blue sky where it meets the snow-topped mountains. the sun beating down, or the snow drifting to the earth, or the rain pooling in the grass. i love to walk the trails, smelling the pine and reveling in the beauty of nature, listening to the birds chirp, watching the squirrels run up a tree.

i love flowers, all flowers. my favorite flowers are spring flowers: daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilacs. bright yellows, pinks, purples, reds...perfection in something that begins as a tiny seed and blossoms into beauty. seeing the first tiny green shoots coming up out of the frozen ground is a moment of pure joy--winter is ending, spring is beginning, and the world is waking up all over again. the snow is melting, going from a white, winter wonderland to the joy of spring. spring melts into summer, with bright days, camping and hiking in the woods, hearing the crunch of your feet on pine needles, looking up into the branches above. summer gives way to my favorite time of year, fall. the leaves change color with the cooling temperatures and the world looks as if it is on fire. reds, yellows, oranges, flames on the side of the mountain, piles of leaves in the front yard, floating through the air.....

when i look at the world around me, especially the parts untouched by man, i feel joy. i feel God. i am surrounded by His work, and it amazes me. how blessed we all are to live in such a beautiful world, with oceans and deserts, mountains and prairies, sunsets and storms, all holding their own form of beauty for us to enjoy.

i am so thankful for the beauty of the earth. i am thankful for my ability to see it, to experience it, to immerse myself in nature.

Monday, November 16, 2009

day ten: i am thankful for....


rainy days.

i love the rain. i love the sound it makes on the roof, on the windows. i love the smell of the rain. i love the puddles in the street. i love the clouds, the wind, the lightening, the thunder. i love the way the world looks when everything is wet---a wonderland of water.

i love to enjoy the rain with my husband, who also shares my love of rain storms. i am grateful for the rain, for rainy days, for the water we need. i am grateful for the beauty of the earth after a rainstorm. i am thankful for the way the rain assaults my senses in such a wonderful way...the sight, the sound, the smell, the feel of the drops running down my face and soaking my hair.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

day nine: i am thankful for....


food to eat.

hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, french fries, apples, fish, ham, pears, peaches, tacos, salad, cheese, carrots, celery, pickles, ice cream.....yum!

what a wonderful selection of food we have to enjoy. i have a great variety of food to eat and i do not go hungry because of my husband's hard work for our family. i have a fridge and a pantry full of food, when so many others have nothing.

i am so thankful for the food i have to eat. i am thankful for my husband bringing home the bacon for our family. i am thankful for the variety of tastes, types of food, restaurants we can go to, the ability to cook, and the means to do so.

yay for food!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

day eight: i am thankful for....


others' art.

i know i've mentioned before my love for art and art museums....so much love that it is virtually impossible for me to be in an art museum without crying at least once.

i can't describe the connection i feel when i look at a beautiful piece of artwork. i can't even begin to describe the understanding i feel....sometimes as if the artist was painting what was in my soul, not their own.

i am at a complete loss for words...the joy i feel, the beauty i am surrounded by, the understanding i get by immersing myself in my art history texts, in my art books, in a museum.

i am so grateful for the opportunity i have to look at, critique, and experience the art others create, whether it be van gogh or the local artist exhibiting on the street. i am grateful for the ability i have to experience art on such a personal and emotional level, for the happiness it gives me and for the way it makes me feel better about my life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

day seven: i am thankful for....


my art.

i struggle to put my feelings into words. i always have. i do better when i can sit and write them out than i do speaking, but the best way for me to sort through my emotions is through my art.

i inherited my artistic ability and creative mind from my mother. i have always loved to draw, to paint, to sculpt, and she encouraged that in me. when i was in junior high my art began to blossom, to become what it is now. my art became my greatest coping skill as my life began to fall apart. i felt the only way i could really be understood was to show my insides through art. it was as if i was literally using my own flesh and blood to paint what was going on inside me. the darkness and the raw emotion in much of my work was frightening to a lot of people--but it was exactly what i was experiencing.

i began to take more and more art classes and loved every minute of it. as a junior in high school i won several awards in the spring art show, including an award called the purchase award--in which the high school bought one of my pieces which is now on permanent display in the auditorium foyer. over my junior and senior years i began using my art to really heal from the trauma of my life. the way i poured my soul into my art became apparent to those around me, and i showed at several valley wide high school shows, for the best pieces.

looking back on the stacks of pieces i created over those two years i can see the progress i made in my healing. i can see the raw emotion. and i am grateful for the ability i have to put that emotion on paper. i am grateful for my talent, and for the teachers who have helped me cultivate that talent. i am so full of gratitude for the changes i made in myself by expressing myself through art.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

day six: i am thankful for....


my Savior.

i don't really know where to begin here. or really where to end, for that matter.

from the time that i was a child i have known who Jesus Christ is. my parents taught me about my Savior. they taught me that He loves me, and that He is there watching over me and blessing me. they taught me that He died for me, and that through His atonement, His sacrifice, i can be made whole and pure.

as i have grown older i have gained a testimony of Christ for myself. i no longer need to rely on my parents' belief in Him. i have had many powerful, personal experiences where i have felt His presence with me through the darkest times. i have felt His unconditional love for me. and even though i am still struggling with the concept, i have at times seen how i believe He sees me: as a child of God, a daughter of infinite worth.

i am grateful for the knowledge i have of Jesus Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for me and for all of us. i anticipate the day that i will see Him again, when he will embrace me and welcome me home. i am so thankful for the support He has given me through the darkest times in my life, through the anger and hate, through the fear, through the uncertainty. i am thankful for His unwavering care, no matter the choices i make. no matter what i do i know He will always love me.

i am also thankful for my Heavenly Father, for the many blessings he has sent to me, even though i don't deserve them--especially my loving husband and my beautiful children. i am thankful for His mercy and His love, for His great plan that gave me my Savior. i cannot even begin to understand His plan for me, but i am grateful for it. i am grateful for prayer, for His holy spirit, for the ability to communicate with Him, for my personal relationship with Him. at times it is stronger than others, but i believe without a doubt that He is always there, cheering for me, sending me His love, laughing with me, crying with me. i truly am His child, and now as a parent i think i understand his love for me more than i ever have.

i am a child of God,
and He has sent me here.
has given me an earthly home,
with parents kind and dear.

lead me, guide me, walk beside me
help me find the way.
teach me all that i must do
to live with Him someday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

i have some wonderful news!

my husband has been accepted to a local university and will be going back to school in january! i am so proud of him, i am bursting with happiness and pride. i just want to tell everyone in the world how proud of him i am! congratulations, babe! you are the best!

today is my first appointment with my therapist since february. i am nervous and anxious and kind of scared. i have done this dance so many times....been through hundreds of therapy appointments...and yet i am still struggling. i'm struggling against the part of me that just wants to keep everything buried, that wants to smother my past and ignore my issues. but i am determined to overcome that and move on with my life. not only for me but for my husband and my children. they deserve a better and more mentally healthy me.

wish me luck. even now my tummy is doing flips, and i feel that anxious feeling in my chest. i am glad i have so much support from my hubby....i really need it.

day five: i am thankful for....


my friends.

i have been blessed to have some of the greatest friends anyone could ever have.

growing up, especially through jr high and high school, my friends were my saving grace. they were the ones i could talk to, share my dark thoughts and secrets with, share good times and laughter with, and cry with. all this with their love and support, and without being judged. even today i know that my best friends are still there for me, and that i can go to them with anything if i need to, and i am so grateful for that.

when i think about my best friends and everything we went through, the ups and downs in our friendships, i can't help but smile. i can't help but think about the hours we spent talking on the phone. the millions of crushes we went through. the days we sat around and did nothing. the hard times with our families. the movies we watched (and rewound certain parts to watch over and over). the places we went. the music we listened to. how heartbreaking it was when i moved my sophomore year, and left my friends behind there....only to find new and wonderful friends.

i know those of you who read my blog know who you are. i love you all a ton. thank you for always being there for me. i am so grateful for your love and friendship.

and to my very best friend in the entire world: my hubby. not only are you my smokin' hot husband but also my friend and confidante. i love you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

day four: i am thankful for....


my family.

what to say about my family? like every other family, we have our problems, our dysfunctions, and relationships are sometimes difficult to handle. sometimes i want to throw my hands in the air and say, "screw it," and just give up on them. but the truth is i love my family dearly and i am grateful to have them in my life.

looking back on my childhood, there are a lot of good memories that i have. the dumb jokes my dad always told at the dinner table. the times i got along with my mom, walking through the mall with our arms around each other. playing dolls with my sisters. taking my little brother to the movies. dancing around the living room while my dad played the piano. making cookies and candy at christmas. the race for the "golden egg" at easter. walking home from school with my little sisters. watching each others basketball, volleyball, soccer games. the hugs and the jokes, the love i know my family feels toward me and toward each other.

my family is a work in progress and i'm sure it always will be. i see the changes in my mother, the positive changes, from my early childhood and i am proud of her. i see the way my four younger siblings have grown up and i am proud of them. i remember my youngest sister as a smart ten year old, who idolized me and i never knew it, just the way she was when i moved out of the house. now she is a 16 year old beauty, getting ready to play division one volleyball in college. i remember my baby brother as a blonde little three year old, and see him as a 6'5" brown haired 17 year old giant. i remember my other two sisters, always together, singing disney songs and quoting movies constantly. now one is married, one is engaged, both in college, both adults....and i can't believe how quickly time has passed, how much we have all changed, how different we are. sometimes i feel if i close my eyes we'll all be back home, sitting around the dinner table, kneeling together at night for family prayer, wiping sleep out of our eyes as we get ready for school.

i am so grateful to have my family, for the lessons they have taught me, both intentionally and unintentionally. i am grateful to live close enough to them to see them, to spend holidays with them, to be at important events. i am thankful for the happiness i feel when we are all together again, laughing and playing, acting like kids again.

i love you guys--dad, mom, my three little sisters, and my little brother, and my two new brothers in law.

Monday, November 9, 2009

day three: i am thankful for...


my daughter.

sweet little princess. she is five weeks old now and i can't believe how fast time flies! my little baby girl has only been a part of our family for a short time and it almost feels as if she's been here forever. i love to hold her, to feel her little chest go up and down, to smell her sweet head. i love to touch her tiny fingers and toes, to hold her tiny hand, to kiss her soft skin. i love to hold her close to me, her head on my chest, my arms around her. i love her tiny sighs and her bright wide eyes.

although our little princess was another big surprise, i can't help but feel like it was planned all along. she is so beautiful and so perfect, how could she not be part of our family? i look forward to watching her learn and grow the way i have watched little buddy. i wonder: what will she be like? what will she look like? what will she grow up to be? will she be a dancer, a musician, a rocket scientist? she is so precious and innocent. i want her to stay that way forever. but i also want her to grow up strong, intelligent, and knowing her own self-worth the way i never did. i am so grateful for the opportunity to love and protect her, to teach her what an amazing, beautiful person she is and will become. i am thankful for the opportunity to give her something i didn't have, to give her the knowledge that she is of infinite worth.

i am thankful to be the mother of such a sweet infant. i am thankful for the months of carrying her inside me, in spite of its difficulties, for feeling her move and grow. i am thankful for being able to give birth to such a beautiful child. i am grateful to be given the chance to raise her, to teach her, to love her.

i love you, little princess.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

day two: i am thankful for....


my son.

my little buddy is nearly 21 months old and i can hardly believe it. he was a surprise for us, and the first of two of the greatest blessings hubby and i could ever ask for. i can't believe that God has given me such a precious little boy. his beautiful, clear blue eyes that are just like his daddy's, his blond hair, his perfect pale skin (like his mommy), and his sweet personality.

little buddy is learning to talk and just within the last week he has started saying "mommy." every time he says it my heart just melts. what an amazing thing...to be called mommy by my little boy. i have been so amazed while watching him grow and learn. little buddy also knows some sign language. we started teaching him when he was a year and i can't believe how quickly he learns new signs. just today he learned a new sign: coat. (he also attempted horse but didn't quite get it.) he is so smart, and so observant. he will see me or his daddy do something then imitate us--like putting keys up to a doorhandle. the best one recently is that he's been watching me nurse the baby. he'll pick up one of my nursing pads, lift up his shirt, and put it up to his chest like he's seen me do. so cute! and hilarious, too!

i am in awe of the fact that i am a mother, especially the mother of such a bright little boy. i am so grateful to be his mother and try very hard not to take it for granted. i am thankful for his bright smile and beautiful laugh, for his hugs and kisses, for the sweet noises he makes and the way he asks to be picked up.

i love you, little buddy. thank you for being my baby boy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

day one: i am thankful for...


my husband.

it was kind of a fluke chance that i met my husband. but i like to think of it as fate...that we were destined to be together.

we met online, on an LDS dating site. i should have been studying, instead i decided to log on to the site one morning in the library on campus. he sent me a message and we starting chatting. two weeks later we decided to meet in person. our first date started off terribly (that's a story in itself) and ended perfectly. three days after i met him we were officially a couple.

it has been four years since i met him and i am more in love with him now than i ever thought i could be. we have had our ups and downs, and we are making our marriage stronger. we have two beautiful children together.

my husband is a loving father and husband. he would do anything for me or our children, and i know that without a doubt. he is extremely hardworking and does an amazing job providing for our family. he is supportive of me. he gives the best hugs and i think he smells awesome. i like to just sit and look at him when he doesn't think i'm watching because he is such a handsome man. (he sure does have a sexy butt!) his blue eyes make me melt.

i don't know many people more dedicated to doing what they believe is right. he is a very black and white kind of person and i admire that in him. no matter how hard it is he will do what he believes is right, to maintain his integrity. he is compassionate and has spent much of his life giving to and helping people he doesn't know. he has seen horrific things and has come through it a stronger man. working as an emt and a firefighter has given him experience i admire.

throughout all of my personal ups and downs, my breakdowns and tears, he has been there to hold me and comfort me, to yell at me when i need it, to bring me back to reality, to make me feel loved and appreciated. he has been there telling me that i am not worthless, that he loves me and is there for me. he's been there telling me that everything will be okay and he will help me be a better person.

in spite of our disagreements, in spite of the struggles we have had, he has stuck around. he has put up with more crap from me than most anyone could deal with. and in spite of all i've put him through, somehow he still loves me. i marvel at this. i just can't believe that he is still here, still telling me that he loves me and wants to be with me. i doubt i will ever understand what it is he sees in me that makes him want to be with me. i will never understand--but i will always be grateful. i will always be grateful for his sticking with me, for his continuing to love and support me.

i love you honey. you are my greatest blessing. without you i wouldn't have my beautiful children, my life wouldn't be as full as it is. you have completed me and made me a better person, you have shown me perspectives on life that i never would have had otherwise. you have taught me so much. i am thankful for the sacrifices you make for me and to make me happy.

i am so grateful for you.