Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers

I was going to add this in with my other post for the night, but thought it deserved one of its own. I found out today that one of the teachers I became friends with when I worked at the high school lost his wife today to a tragic car accident. She leaves behind Dallas (my friend) and three children. I didn't know her personally, but I do know how much Dallas loved her and I can only imagine the grief and loss he and his children are feeling tonight. I will definitely be keeping them in my prayers and I hope that all of you can include his family in your prayers for the next little while as well.

Saturday is a special day....

Today we got alot accomplished. We started the day with this....

Clean house (and laundry)...Check!

Then did this.....

The area at the bottom....case lot sales to stock up on food storage YAY! There are big cans of food behind the ramon.
Since the boys will be camping with their Grandparents next weekend, we decided to kick off Easter early as well and do this.....

The boys waiting patiently to dip eggs

Nate dipping his egg

The finished products!

And then this....

Mmmm cookies
 Which we put in these (after eating a few of course)....

Friend Gifts! With cookies, banana bread, cadbury mini eggs and some dyed eggs for decoration

Of which we delivered to a couple neighbors and friends.

I also listened to a wonderful talk on single parents that made me cry a little and gave me a whole lot of comfort. But I was listening on the radio, so no pictures for that one.

Nothing feels quite like a REALLY clean house (like we deep cleaned) and having laundry completey done (not just a load here and there). We had fun with the Easter stuff too. The boys loved making the treats and eggs, and loved sharing with friends even more! And now 2 out of the 3 are zonked out sleeping and I am resting. It was a good day.

And...the Pack Meeting pictures also finally showed up so here they are!

My camera doesn't do well with movement obviously. Nate playing a game

Tyler eating frybread MMMMM

Ry playing the drum

I am excited for tomorrow since I don't have to wake up early for church. Oh and because I like General Conference. The parents have ventured up to Salt Lake to attend General Conference in person so we aren't having our weekly family dinner....and so I'm going to attempt to cook a ham. I don't cook big meats well (like ham and roast and stuff) but have a good feeling. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at a big meal. We will see how it goes. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trendhunter

For one of my Communications Classes we had the assignment to listen to a 30 minute Keynote speech by Jeremy Gutsche called Innovation. He was presenting this speech to a bunch of marketing people. I really like him and the way he presents. Beyond that, I REALLY like what he had to say about some important aspects of marketing that also related directly to {my} life.
One key note he discussed had to do with "packaging" so to speak. He gave the example that I'm sure most people are familiar with....one of the nation's best violinists Josh Bell. His video is below.


This man literally makes $1000 per MINUTE he is on stage. $1000 folks! He decided to conduct an experiment to see how many people would stop in a busy D.C. Metro stop to listen to his music. People pay a whole lot of dollars to see him play professionally, yet when he is dressed as an average Joe playing for money, 7 people stopped to listen. He made $35.
So what does this have to do with anything? How you/a situation/a product/etc is packaged will have a whole lot of influence on how much it is noticed.
The key phrase that I took away from Jeremy Gutsche's speech was this:
Portray your event as average, and that is all it will ever be.

So what does this mean for the non-marketing every day person out there? Here is how I relate it to myself.
Change the words "your event" to YOU (or YOURSELF).

Portray Yourself as average, and that is all You will ever be.

Of course when I first thought about it I connected on physical level. I'm pretty sure if I never showered, dressed in grungy clothes all day and never did a thing to take care of myself, I would definitely not be very approachable. I wouldn't be putting my best self out there.
But...have you ever noticed that when you take the time to spruce up a little bit you feel a little like you can conquer the world? Or is that just me? When I feel good about myself, I excel in other areas of my life as well. I'm more confident and more willing to take a (little) risk every now and then.
Does this mean to become snobby mcsnob and be a jerk? Not in the least. It means that you need to take pride in yourself. You need to take pride in your family, friends, home, schoolwork, religion, etc and make it become extraordinary.

So maybe instead of focusing on the negatives....you need to focus on the amazing, wonderful things that you do. Let yourself shine when you accomplish a task no matter now heinous or small it may be. Take pride in yourself and all you do. It's worth it, I promise.




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Life

via google images
Ever wondered what a 27 year old full time employee/student/momma/chauffer/cook (or lack there of)/teacher/snuggler/etc/etc/etc...does with the day? Well it's your lucky day...you happen to know one. I've been trying to figure out a better time management/get everything done without being so tired I wanna die system. Here is my normal day as it stands (for now, push it back 1/2 hr when I have to start being to work by 8:30).

6:45 am-8:30ish am: Snooze, snooze, maybe one more snooze, naked 4 yr old poke to say he needs help getting dressed and will not wait another second. Help naked 4 yr old get dressed and shake, poke, tickle, kiss, drag 6 and 9 yr old out of bed and make sure they wake up and start getting ready. Oh and turn on Netflix for 4 yr old. And help him get applesauce. Get dressed, play referee to kids fighting over shows to watch, figure out something to do with hair, pretty up the face a little, get Ry shoes on and tell boys to get their shoes on 20949583 times, find my shoes and put them on.
Throw together breakfast (usually yogurt and a banana or granola bar) and some things to snack on at work. Pray it's 8:30 (if it's nearing 8:40 add in yelling at boys to quit being pokey and get their booties out the door) and start the morning commute.
8:30 am - 9:00 am: Commute. First to Ryders daycare then to the boys school then to work. Yes it actually takes 30 minutes to do all this. Thats why I get a little irritated if we leave closer to 8:40...
9:00 am-5:00ish pm: Love my job and work my booty off to be the best employee I can be. Go to Math 990 class. Rock it. Once again love my job and work my booty off to be the best employee I can be.
5:00ish-5:30/6:00ish pm: It takes on average 20 minutes to get to daycare, pick up Ry and get to the parents to pick up the other two boys. The ish all depends on how much we chat while there. Most nights we get home at 6:00.
Rest of evening until 8:30 pm: This time is filled with making/eating dinner, doing homework, on occasion workout sessions (I love those), school functions, plays, scout stuff, playing at the park, playing wii, doing whatever boys want to do. It's my only free time with them so we do what we can together when nothing else is planned.
8:30 pm-9:00 pm: Bedtime! And all that is incorporated in putting boys to bed and making sure they get to sleep.
9:00 pm on: This is my time to do my homework, clean up the house, exercise, laze around and watch TV, facebook/blog/news, try to relax, etc. It is also the time that I tend to have a major love/hate relationship with because of nights like tonight........

I am 27. Almost 30. I'm a single mormon girl. Anyone who is single at this age understands, but anyone who is single AND mormon really understands. And anyone who is single AND mormon AND has kids should holler because we could be best friends....no one gets it quite like us.
Sure it's kind of nice to be able to make my own choices, not have to deal with silly pet peeves, not have to clean up after one extra person.....I hear that stuff alot. "You should be soo grateful, you don't have to worry about XYZ!"
In reality....I wish I did have to deal with XYZ. If I need a break, I am at the mercy of whomever is able to watch my kids. I don't have an arm to show up on to company parties/weddings/church functions/parties/BBQs/whatever. If I lose a job, I don't have the second income to lean on a little for support. I don't get to snuggle up with warm body on the couch at night or have date night. Do you have any idea how much I would LOVE to have a date night? No one to celebrate any of those birthdays/anniversaries/major holidays with especially in the off years when the fam is off at their spouses' families' houses (no offense to my family in any way, I do love our fun times and boy do we have fun times! But it's just not the same being the only one without a spouse). And the most painful of all for me....When I turn in at night it's to an empty bed. No one to lay in bed with and discuss the day or tell funny stories to. No one to snuggle up to if I'm feeling a little scared. Not a chest to lay on and listen to heart beats that put me to sleep. No big person kisses goodnight. I love big person kisses goodnight. And no one to protect us if something goes wrong. It keeps me awake a bit longer than it probably should...this whole despising bedtime thing.
Thats my thoughts tonight.
Time to do homework. And clean. And then go to an empty bed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pack Meeting

Nate had his pack meeting tonight and it was wonderful. We learned about Indians from the mother and grandmother of a kid in Nate's scout group. It took me back to my childhood when my very best friend from like 3 yrs old to about 6th grade was an Indian boy that lived across the street (the mother and grandmother that taught tonight are his sister and mother). I soo badly wanted to be an Indian. They made delish food and went to all these way awesome Pow Wows. They dressed in pretty clothes and danced around to drums. I thought it was awesome and always wanted to join in.
Tonight we learned about the PITU or Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah which is the band my friends are in. We learned games they played and how to make cradleboards. We also got to learn a social dance and dance around to the drums and song. Nate, Ryder and I all participated but Tyler chickened out. For the treat we got to partake in yummy yummy frybread with honey butter and powdered sugar. I love frybread. Soo delish.
I had pictures, but they have apparently made a permanent home on my phone. When I get them transferred I will attach pictures. They are pretty cute.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fun FHE

We decided to go swimming for FHE tonight and it was fun....for the most part. We raced around the lazy river and I got my exercise in hauling Ryder around while being a motorboat. And then we were a train and choo choo'ed our way around, and had races with brothers. And then we kicked and kicked practicing our swimming with brothers. We probably went around 20 times. Thats one good workout let me tell you what. Nate and Tyler had been bugging me to help them float on their backs, so we went to a little benched area of the pool that Ry likes to splash in. We had a little scare when Ryder decided to be a daredevil and walk/jump off the bench while I was helping brothers. I'll tell you what, there is nothing that causes more worry and anxiety than watching your child go under water when you know he can't swim. It was scary. Luckily he wasn't under for very long, and it didn't seem to phase him too much since after a few snuggles he was ready to play again but I'm permanently scarred for life from the whole ordeal. Lesson learned the hard way for this momma, Ry will have a permanent shadow from now on, even if his fiesty little self tries to get away.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stop chewing with your mouth open!

via google images

For the love of.........
Anyone who read my 50 knows that I have a major pet peeve about eating with your mouth open. My boys are THE number one offenders of that. Seriously. As we speak, they are eating chips while watching a movie and heaven forbid they eat one chip at a time quietly....oh no....they have to crunch and munch as loud as humanly possible. And when I say "Please close your mouths when you chew" it stops for a whole 2 seconds. The next chip is even louder and I say "Didn't I just tell you to chew with your mouth shut?" Yet this has no effect on my boys. Nope. When they wanna do something (like eat with their mouths open) they will do it whether I like it or not. So the next chip I'm pretty sure they are blantently chewing as loud as possible because I am starting to get really really annoyed. I escalate to "Seriously?! Really?! If you can't eat with your mouth open then go somewhere else or STOP EATING!" You think that the slightly raised voice and blood rushing to the head look would make them stop, but they just look at me like I'm crazy. Doesn't phase them a bit. And then its like they go to slow motion....
You can see them get the chip(s) from their bowl....
Open their mouth slightly while the hand slowly brings the wad of noisiness to the mouth.....
Mouth gets bigger while chip(s) get closer....
And then CRUNCH DROOL GRIND CRUNCH CRUNCH all in really loud, open mouth, slow motion annoyingness (is that even a word? It is now).
Needless to say, the chips have been taken away now and replaced with pudding or peeps or fruit snacks or crackers (wierd cause they would be loud, yet the boys eat them quiet)...and my boys once again affirm that I am a lunatic.
I really wonder why I have this pet peeve. Its not a pet peeve I love and it really does make my normally coolheaded self seriously go off the deep end.
And that, my friends, was the last 5 minutes of my life all condensed in a blogpost. And reading back on it I am a tad psycho about it aren't I? Maybe I need to stop buying loud food. Or just figure out some sort of a relaxing meditaton to not freak out quite so bad or something. I dunno. Anyway....happy weekend all...hope your having a lovely night!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Busy Busy Week!

This week was a bit crazy, namely the last 3 days. Nate had his science fair and his school play on two nights. It was crazy, but super fun! Nate didn't want to be actually in the play, so he was stage crew and did wonderfully. But next year he decided to actually be in the play.
Work also went splendidly. I have a wonderful transition opportunity that I will be taking advantage of. It will offer a decent pay and full benefits, and I'll still be working for my awesomely amazing and wonderul boss. Did I mention he's the best boss I've ever had? Seriously, I have the utmost respect for that guy for soo very many reasons. This has been an awesome week. It makes me excited for next week. And the week thereafter. And after that. :) So yeah. Life is looking up. My de-frump challenge has also been going okay, but I'm getting tired of jewelry. I think I need to broaden my horizons a little. I'm thinking next month will be dressing up my hair. Or at least doing my hair every day instead of just throwing it in a pony and being done. I'm kinda excited. And I'll take more pictures. But anyway.....on with the show. I'm super proud of all of Nate's accomplishments this week, he is a superstar. And needs a haircut I realized as I looked at the pictures. Here are the last three days in pictures.

Nate's science fair project on Current Electricity. He did it all by himself.

Nate presenting his science fair


The "Jocks" in the school play

The "Bad Kids" in the school play

The "Lunch Ladies" in the school play

The whole group of kids in the school play

Nate making his appearance in the play. He's on the far left facing us.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And...more on houses

In my dreaming of owning a home, I of course spent WAY too much of my free time today looking at house listings around here. Seriously, prices are ridiculous (in a good way). I fell in love with two in particular.

via Century 21
This one is my favorite (pictured above) and since I never click links I figure half my readers probably won't either so here we go. It's a 3 bed 2.5 bath twin home with a 2 car garage. Approximately 2000 sq feet. Here are my favorite pictures out of the ones on the listing.
Cute little kitchen

Fireplace!! (didn't save over very clear...)

And my favorite part....look at this YARD!

 Pictures that wouldn't transfer over included very large bedrooms, a huge laundry room, and my very favorite...a master bath that has a huge jacuzzi tub! I've always wanted a jacuzzi tub. It's in a newer, nice neighborhood and in the school boundaries where my kids are currently attending.
So what do you think this would cost a girl?
$85,000. Yes you read that right. Interest rates right now are around 3.7% however rounded out to 4%  at 30 years this would bring my payment to $405.80. Add in about 20% for escrow and you've got about $485/month for this beautiful home. Seriously. 

Second favorite is this beauty.

via Century 21

This is a 3 bedroom 2 bath single family home with a 2 car garage on a corner lot. Approximately 1300 sq feet. And again favorite pictures from the listing are below.

Cute little kitchen

Much smaller living room but it works

Isn't this room pretty adorable?
This baby is in a newer neighborhood as well, but it's more of an established neighborhood that is in a subdivision that is set away from town but still close enough to not really be considered outskirts. Its a hop, skip and jump from the middle/high school.There are billions of kids in that neighborhood that my boys are already friends with seeing as how it's located within my current ward boundaries. The school boundaries are different, but that hasn't posed a challenge thus far as my kids have had an exception to go to the school closest to my parents. Its not as big as the other one or as updated, but I really like it.
So any guesses on what this lovely would cost me?
It's listed at $90,000. Sticking with that 4% interest rate at 30 years would take the payment to $429 and adding in 20% escrow would make it closer to $500/mo.

Seriously....this is the time to buy. When I was looking at these homes I seriously wanted to cry a little for not being able to jump on the gravy train and get my own home. It's a dream I've had since I was a little girl and now that I'm approaching 30 yrs old, I feel like I'm finally growing up and ready for the responsibilities.
Yet...my dang credit is horrid. I want to kick myself for letting it slide. Granted there were outside sources that have affected it dramatically....however it is my credit so I need to take the blame. Still kind of want to cry though. I hope the market stays this way long enough for me to take advantage of it. I really do. Otherwise I will be one sad panda knowing that I could've owned a home for so cheap and my stupid actions prevented it.
Ok that is probably enough on homes for awhile. Tomorrow is Nate's science fair AND opening night for the play he is stage crew in. Should be an entertaining day, so I will make sure to take lots of pictures. And now I'm going to bed to dream of the colors I would paint the walls in my favorite house. Goodnight ya'll.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dreamin of home

When I was younger, I dreamed of having a sprawling mansion. I wanted to lead a big, rich life and have a home like.....


this one....



or this one.....
...but as my life has progressed and I've grown up a little, the thought of cleaning something that large kind of makes me want to toss my cookies a little. That is a whole lot of work for a house. I suppose a maid could be hired, but I'm getting to the point that I really don't like spending money on stuff that I don't really need. And a maid is one of those luxuries that I really just don't see the point of paying for a on a regular basis while I have children to clean for me am an able bodied person who can clean. My tastes have changed fairly significantly. I more prefer...


something like this....


or like this....

I would be content with a 3-4 bedroom 2 bath home that doesn't have a huge yard or anything like that, just room enough for us to sprawl a little and play and is affordable.

So what encourages this post? A couple reasons actually.

1. I like where I live currently. I feel more at home than I did in my previous place for some reason. However, the dishwasher keeps breaking and the maintenance keeps "fixing" it with super glue (I'm pretty sure anyway). One wall of outlets keeps blowing a fuze when I use any of the appliances. My bathroom plug just simply won't work any longer and there isn't a whole lot to do about it. The windows are soo drafty that you can literally feel the cold air from quite a distance away. And the most recent....my ceiling has started leaking. On telling my management about it, they tell me all sorts of stories....the weather needs to warm up before they can fix it, it's hard to pinpoint where leaks start from (there is a section of the roof above where the leak is that I can literally see wood), they have to get approval from the owners of the property to make major repairs, the cost is expensive....etc etc etc. All of those are legit I'm sure, but doesn't change the fact that I have a leaky roof.
2. I have a bit of an obsession with home design software and have recently started playing around with it again, which increases my desire to have my own home to design.
3. Pinterest has SOOOO many cute ideas for home decoration. I so badly want to be able to personalize a home of my own to fit my style. Not have to obtain permission to do stuff.
4. My kids keep begging for a house so they don't have to play quietly, stop stomping and wrestling (our neighbors below don't appreciate that much) and drag their bikes and toys up a flight of stairs when they are done playing with them.
5. I would love to do my laundry and clean my house at any time of the day or night without the neighbors complaining that my beater washer and dryer are too noisy.
6. I want somewhere permanent. Somewhere that is all mine and I can do what I please with it. Stability for my kids and myself.
7. Home prices and interest rates are absolutely amazing. There has never been a better time to buy a house than now.
8. There is a home that I drive past every week on our way to church that is for sale. I love the neighborhood and it is such a cute house. I am completely drawn to it and have no idea why.

So some of these reasons would make most people be nervous to own a home, like the maintenance stuff. But I would have the freedom to fix things on my own instead of leaving them as they are so that my kids and I have a safe home to live in with working parts. Sure it's expensive, but that is what savings are for. I've done really good at keeping a steady stream of money going into savings and haven't touched it. That is amazing for me. I've also done good at categorizing my spending and it's been nice to have the money to not only pay my bills and get the household items, but also to have the money to spend on entertainment as well without concern over whether or not I can afford it. I think I am getting closer every day to being able to afford my own home and the prospect is exciting to me. I just need to get my credit in order now and things will be peachy. And hopefully until that time, I can be patient and calm my excitment/anxiety about this whole home thing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Blue Angels!

Today was a VERY eventful day. We started out with Nate's play practice in the morning *it's showtimes are March 22 and March 23 at 6:30 pm at the South Elementary gym* which he loved and then we headed out to the see the Blue Angels. Of course, you can't go to St George without stopping in to Costco. Costco dogs are my Dad's all time favorite food I think. The boys kind of like them too. Then we all piled in the Grandpa/Grandma mobile and headed to the airport.
The show was quite fun. We spent the first couple hours walking around to see all the neat things. They had a whole bunch of planes on display and my boys' favorite were the military recruiters. Nate got the guts to do the Navy challenge....him and an officer did 20 pushups and Nate won a new pair of shades and a water bottle. He was in absolute heaven. And I was in heaven of course because the place was swarming with yummy military guys. Ahhhhhhh.
Anyway.
Then the Blue Angels did their thing. It was absolutely amazing. Seriously, those guys are soo talented. It was insanely windy there and half the crew dropped out during the show, but by the end Nate, me and Grandpa finished out the show. I'll let the pics and vids speak for themselves although they definitely don't do justice at all for the amazingness.


Nate and Grandpa lookin at the planes

One of the pilots there was wonderful and took a pic with Nate. He LOVED it.

The boys all got their very own Blue Angel Planes

Seriously, amazing.
video
video
video
video



We finished the day out at Cracker Barrel where I successfully ate my weight in food (or pretty close anyway....its soooo delish) and then headed home. The boys and I are all exhausted and chilling out. But it was completely worth it....they had such a great time and so did I.
And now I'm going to shower and crash. Night all!







Friday, March 16, 2012

Life and Zumba

Soooo.......what's going on in our little lives? Let's see.

-Work...is awesome. I really love it. I feel like I'm starting to acclimate and fit in. It's a little different working with mostly guys but I kinda like it. I tend to get along better with guys than girls....there is a whole lot less drama. And generally they tell it how it is. I like that. I really appreciate that my boss is not afraid to tell me that he appreciates me as well and values my opinion. Its a very nice change of pace.

- School is good. I'm passing with flying colors right now in my classes. The only one that could be sketchy is my Comm 1010 class but I won't know until our last speeches get graded. We shall see. Otherwise, I know I have a couple A's and a high B. I can't believe it's almost over either. This semester has flown by.

-The kids are amazing. At our SEPs a week or two ago I (not surprisingly) was told that they are doing amazing, above average in most areas. I have some smart little cookies on my hands and I love watching the grow and progress. They are getting soo big too! Ryder no longer fits in his jeans because they are all basically capris on him. I've been hoping the sweats and athletic pants will get him by until we go summer/school shopping. Nate and Tyler are growing up fast too. They each have very different personalities and I love seeing them develop into great young men.

- Weight loss is going okay. I was down 1.8 lbs last weekend and I weigh in tomorrow morning for this week. I haven't eaten great this week, but I have been exercising almost every day. I'm hoping for a good loss tomorrow. I need to kick this in the hiney and get healthy. I went to a Zumba class tonight taught by a girl in my ward. It was a blacklight party and lots of fun. More hip hop and less Zumba, but a good workout all the same.

- Upcoming events....tomorrow we are off to the great ol' land of St Geezy to take the boys to their first ever air show. I thought they had gone once before when they were on visit with their dad but I was wrong. They are SOOOO excited. Like way excited.
Next week is the science fair for Nate. He's doing a project on current electricity. I think he's going to rock it out big time. He loves science and this has been a fun project for us to work on together.
Also going on is the premiere of his school play. He is not actually "in" the play, but he is the stage crew. He loves it and is having soo much fun. So we will be at the school alot during the play dates next week sometime.

Ummmm I think thats it for now. I'm sooo looking forward to this weekend like no other. Its going to be fun. I hope ya'll have a great weekend too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Funeral Potatoes

via google images
For anyone who is not in Utah (I'm pretty sure its a Utah thing), funeral potatoes are also referred to as cheesy potatoes. A delish mix of potatoes, cream of chicken soup, cheese, sour cream, onion (very very little onions for those of us who are not normally a fan) and some crumpled up crackers or corn flakes on top. Seriously...the best invention in food ever.
So why are they called funeral potatoes? Because here that is pretty much the side dish that is ALWAYS served at funerals (in Utah). I don't think I've ever been to a funeral that didn't have them...and I've unfortunately been to quite a few in my lifetime. It is like the ultimate comfort food.
It is kind of sad to think that someone probably kicked the bucket and their family/friends were trying to come up with something for the relatives to eat that would be simple and quick. Or maybe not so sad that someone decided it was the perfect comfort food ever for funerals and thus it should be honored as such with the nickname. I don't know, but however it came to be I am grateful.
So why the post about funeral potatoes? There was an unfortunate death in my parents ward and the funeral was today. Since my mom is generally either in charge of and/or helping with the funerals in the ward, I sometimes get to reap the benefit of leftovers. In this case (since my boys are very sad, strange little boys, they hate funeral potatoes) I had enough for dinner, lunch tomorrow and probably at least one or two other meals. And that is the reason I get to do an hour of Zumba tonight (and probably for the rest of the week) instead of the normal 20-30 minutes. In Weight Watchers language....I ate 13 points worth of potatoes. Thats a lot. But it was worth every bite.

Monday, March 12, 2012

50 Things

A couple friends have been doing a fun 100 Things About Me thing and I thought it would be fun to follow suit. Except I'm shortening it to 50 things. I don't think I could pull off 100. But still....I encourage you to do it too! {and tell me so I can go read it!}

1. For those who haven't caught on yet, I have 4 amazing, wonderful, sweet and awesome boys. They are my whole entire world. They drive me crazy, but I love them more than anything.
2. One of those boys is in heaven. I truly look forward to seeing him someday and being able to be a mother to him again. Sometimes, that is the only thing that keeps me going on the path I'm walking right now.
3. My favorite family activity has to be movie night with the boys. Especially the ones where we get to snuggle up in blankets with candy, popcorn and soda.
4. A close second would be going on hikes with the family. Nothing like a little exercise to lift the spirits (and to make three very active boys tired!)
5. I enjoy playing the piano. I regret not practicing more during the years I spent taking lessons (I can't really play more than three sharps or flats without ALOT of practice. Like ALOT). But it de-stresses me and I like being able to create something beautiful.
6. Going along with #5, I've only had the opportunity to have three types callings in the church during my adult life. I've been a primary teacher once, a music coordinator once, and a pianist at least six times if not more. I think it's a sign I need to practice more.
7. One of my favorite pastimes is reading. I don't get to do it near enough, but if I find a good book I can usually read the entire thing within a weekends time.
8. I also enjoy singing. Yet another thing I should've practiced more as I've realized if you don't keep up on it regularly you can lose your pretty sound.
9. When I was younger I wanted to be an interior designer. I loved (and still love) to design houses and rooms on homestyler software just for fun. I have probably hundreds of different designs out there in computerland.
10. I also wanted to be a fashion designer. I would draw up fashion designs for hours of mostly pretty dresses.
11. And I wanted to be a princess. I still wish I could be a princess. When The Princess Diaries came out it was my absolutely favorite movie ever.
12. Funny enough, you would never know I wanted to be a princess growing up because from when I was little bitty up until probably 6th grade, my best friends were all boys. I grew up around the boys getting dirty and playing in the mud. I had one or two friendgirls, but not many. Even now, I get along way better with guys than girls.
13. I LOVE Zumba. It is the funnest workout I think I've ever done. For once, I actually enjoy working out! I used to be all about kickboxing and I still think its fun, but it doesn't compare. Thank goodness too, I need to lose some chub.
14. I am still not sure about my religion. I talk a big game sometimes, but its one of those things I'm still trying to figure out. I want to know for certain about the truth, but it takes time.
15. I don't think I've ever been in love. I wish I could say I was, but I've never had that heart skipping a beat every time you see each other thing even after years and years together. I hope that that kind of love exists, and I hope I find it someday.
16. I hate that you have to use that twice sometimes like above. It just looks funny.
17. I like practical jokes. I am pretty positive that if I find that love....the poor guy is going to have to have a very VERY high toleration level for me. Very high.
18. I love beautiful things. Jewlery, photography, clothing, hair accessories, doesn't matter....I love it all and try hard to surround myself with it as much as possible.
19. I have always wanted to have the chance to dress up pretty. I never went to any of the formal dances in high school, and I was a whale at my wedding, so I really haven't ever had the chance to feel all dressed up and pretty. I think it goes along with that princess thing.
20. I've always wanted a little girl. I love my boys, they keep me highly entertained and drain me of all energy....but I've always wanted a girl so I could fix her hair, help her with makeup, go clothes shopping, all that fun girl stuff. I love it.
21. Funny enough I like the girly stuff but hate dresses. I like dressy clothes, but hate dresses in and of themselves. They are just uncomfortable, or something.
22. My ultimate biggest pet peeve ever is when people eat with their mouths open. My boys hear it all the time..."Eat with your mouth closed! Your driving me crazy!"
23. Pretty closely tied to that would be chewing ice. Mix the two (chewing ice with mouth open) will makes me want to hurt someone.
24. This is really REALLY gross but I have a weird obsession with popping zits. I love it. I don't know why, but I seriously love it.
25. I can't pin my favorite food down to one thing. I love sweet pork (mexican), my mom's meatloaf, garlic bread, a well made cheeseburger and pizza. And a whole lot more.
26. My favorite dessert would have to be Applebees Blondie. Or baked ice cream. But really, anything sweet is good.
27. If there is one smell that absolutely drives me crazy it's stinky feet. Not just any stinky feet, my boys' stinky feet. They can get bad. And give me headaches.
28. My favorite smell is probably vanilla and fruity anything.
29. I love to cook but am not great. I really like to make things that taste good and am always proud when I do, but it takes a whole lot of work. Ask my boys....they will tell you.
30. I probably don't cook well because I'm a really picky eater. I'm getting better in my old age, but not much. There was a time I refused to eat any veggies except corn, some carrots, and potatoes. I've gotten better, but not by much. Baby steps though right?
31. The reason for that picky....well its not so much the taste but the texture. Something can taste amazing but if the texture is funky, it will make me gag. Therefore, I don't broaden my palate very often and easily get tired of the same old foods.
32. My all time favorite actor is Channing Tatem. I think he's amazing. And really cute of course.
33. I can't pin my favorite actress, but I have a couple. I love Rachel McAdams, Zoey (can't remember her last name but she was in Elf) and the girl from Easy A. I can't remember her name but she cracks me up in every movie I've ever seen her in.
34. I am absolutely horrible at remembering names. Horrible. I can remember faces like its going outta style but ask me someones name and I just can't do it.
35. I am deathly afraid that my boys will grow up and be like me as a teenager. Or turn out to be criminals of some sort. Or both really. I pray that I will be able to figure out a way to raise them right.
36. I pray that my kids grow up being like any one of the amazing men in my family. Every single one is amazing. They all have character traits that I admire. Above all, they are all gentleman that have sweet spirits. I'm lucky to have them around to be good role models to my boys until I am able to find a wonderful prince charming.
37. My favorite color is green but not just any green, a peaceful sage green that has more grey undertones. I will have at least one room in my home be this color of green.
38. I have a secret addiction to TV. Okay maybe not so secret. I have to watch myself or I can get immersed in interesting series.
39. I could also very easily be lazy. Last Saturday we literally didn't change out of our pajamas and stayed in the house all day. I can't do it too often or I go stir crazy, but I do love it every once in awhile.
40. I wish I was a runner. I've always wanted to be a runner but no matter how hard I've tried, it just isn't happening. Sad.
41. I am rather shy. I am not great at starting conversations and I generally just wait until someone approaches me before I say anything. I've been working on this, but it's really hard to do especially when you have the grace and eloquence of a clumsy elephant. Maybe someday.
42. I also have a fear that people will think I'm crazy, or annoying, or weird. Probably why I don't generally talk to people first because I'm pretty (okay realllllly) self conscious.
43. I've always wanted really long hair. I don't think my hair will ever grow past the middle of my back, but I've always wanted that long, luxurious hair that kind of just flows. And curls. Always wanted pretty curls as well.
44. I really wish that I could finish something big when I start it. I have great motivation initially, but my follow-through sucks big time. Some day I pray that I will finish the big stuff.
45. I forget things alot. It really bothers me. I'm horrible at birthdays, due dates for schoolwork, due dates for anything really, attending events, and anything else you ever have to remember. Since I've been utilizing my phone calendar I've gotten better but I still can't remember most things without a reminder.
46. I hate math. But my teacher this semester is amazing and has made me find a new love for it somewhere deep inside. I actually think it's fun now for the most part.
47. I really love cologne (on guys of course). There is nothing better than a yummy smelling guy. Mmmm.
49. I want to travel the world someday. My goals are to visit Ireland, Scotland, Italy, England, Australia, Brazil, Fiji, Hawaii.....and the list goes on and on.
50. I love photography. If I could do anything in the whole world (right now anyway) it would be starting my own photography business. I love creating beautiful things and really do love being able to capture amazing moments. I'm not very good at it, but I hope that with practice, I'll be able to hone in on some hidden skill somewhere.

Ok ya'll thats it! Hopefully you learned something about me that you didn't know before. Now really....do your 50 or 100 or 10 things about you! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

March's Challenge

via google images
Mid March and I'm finally getting around to the March Challenge of de-frumping. Following suit with a bloggy friend who is also trying to defrump, I'm going to take on accessorizing this month (check out her blog here). Every day I'm going to wear some sort of an accessory that makes me feel good. I mostly just have jewlery, so that will mostly be what I wear. But I'm going to get it done. Hopefully this will help in my attempt to feel puuuurty or something to that effect.
I'm also going to try to dedicate more time to myself by way of health. I'm going to set a bedtime of 10:30 pm for myself. I was alot happier when I was getting adequate sleep. I wonder why I faltered? I dunno...but I'm gonna get back on it. I'm hoping to add in there waking up early to exercise....eventually....but I'm not there yet. Baby steps.
I've decided to give Weight Watchers a try again as well. I seemed to do good on that, so I bought a 3 month membership to the online system to see if it works. If it doesn't, then I will just cancel the membership and go back to MyFitnessPal. Its different going back to points instead of calories, but we shall see if its worth it. Hopefully I am. I need to lose some of this chubo. Its starting to affect my joints and make things painful.
Anyway...have a good weekend ya'll and happy Spring Break to those college kids next week!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not - Cortney Lunt
So I originally started this post last night, but ended up falling asleep while writing it. I almost considered posting what I wrote, because it was kind of humorous seeing as how I was sleep typing for a good portion of the post, but I thought better of it.

Last night was a birthday party for the Relief Society (a church organization for women) and in honor of such, artist Cortney Lunt came with some of her paintings. They are all absolutely amazing. But one in particular she painted after listening to a talk given by Pres. Dieter Uchtdorf called Forget Me Not. If you are not familiar with this talk, I highly suggest you listen to it. The talk is here. This is going to be a long post, but I really wanted to share some of my favorite sections of the talk.

A german legend tells of how the tiny blue flower got its name. As God was naming the plants, there was one tiny flower that was left un-named. A tiny voice called out "Forget me not, oh Lord!" And God pronounced that this was to be it's name. President Uchtdorf uses this tiny little flower as a metaphor in his talk. He states that the five petals of the flower can remind us of five things that would be best not to forget.

Forget not to be patient with yourself. We spend so much time reflecting on our imperfections and sometimes have a hard time realizing our strengths. We are not perfect. We will never be perfect in this life. And God does expect complete perfection right now, so why are we spending so much time dwelling on that? I love how he says "Our journey towards perfection is long, but we can find wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in that journey." I have such a hard time remembering that. I all too often punish myself for the things I do wrong instead of celebrating my successes. Of course one should always strive to better themselves, but there is no harm in being proud of all the accomplishments along the way.

Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. This was all too real to me as the night before I had sacrificed my sleep to stay up and watch the entire six episodes of The Walking Dead on Netflix. Needless to say, I went to sleep late and paid for it the next day (which was also the cause of me falling asleep at 9:00 pm writing a blog post....). Was it really soo important to watch a silly show instead of letting my body rest? Life is busy and full of sacrfices. We need to think to ourselves "Am I commiting my time and energy to the things that matter most?"

Forget not to be happy now. I have a really hard time with this. I think I focus soo much on my desires (to buy a house, get married to a great and wonderful man, earn enough money to have a comfortable living style instead of paycheck to paycheck....etc etc) that I miss out on all the little things that really make me happy. I love when he says:
"Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life."

Forget not the WHY of the gospel. I am still working on my why....and this is why I will leave this section up to him to explain.
"My dear sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come. The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us. When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet."

Forget not that the Lord loves you. There are many times I have really struggled with this concept. My attitude was such that I figured if I wasn't living "the perfect life", then I wasn't worth listening to when I prayed. I wasn't worthy of trying to read the scriptures or going to church because I felt like a hypocrite. Pres. Utchdorf reminds us of a very important fact and states probably the most significant thing (to me) in the entire talk.

"Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love."

I don't think I could leave this post on a better note. I generally don't go all churchy in these posts, but this was such a good reminder of how I personally want to grow  (and not just in the churchy side, but in all aspects) that I felt I needed to share. So hopefully you'll read with an open heart and mind, and take something away from it that can help improve your own life.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cleaning and a birthday

This weekend was the same as normal, wake up-do laundry-clean house-go food shopping-play with toys and other stuff-and whatever else we do. And honestly, I kind of love our "boring" weekends. I've come a long way on my housekeeping in the last 10 years. As a background....I hate cleaning. I've always hated cleaning. My own stuff anyway. I don't mind cleaning at work, parents, friends house, where ever the situation prsents itself. Just not at my house. There were times that I'm embarassed to admit I would let my house get GROSS. Like no laundry done in a month (sad we had enough clothes to go that long...) and not picking up my bedroom/living room/kitchen/bathroom until I couldn't bear it any longer. It was not great.
And then something happened. I realized that my attitude is tenfold better with clean house. I'm happier... less ornery with the kids....not freaked out when the door is knocked unexpectedly.... that kind of thing. I'm not sure what made the switch in my brain but I'm grateful for it. Now I think I'm almost OCD about the clean house but I'd rather be that way then risk winding up on a show like Hoarders.
So that was a wierd tangent of the the post and now I can't remember what I was originally going to write about....but I digress. On to the birthday.
Technically this birthday isn't coming until tomorrow, but since I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to be doing tomorrow and I don't want to miss it.....


Happy birthday to my wonderful SIL Betsy!
I am sooo grateful that you chose to be in our family. It has been soo neat to be able to watch my brother grow in wonderful ways since meeting you. I sometimes feel like you are a big part of the glue of the family. We are generally all pretty indecisive and not all that great at planning/choosing things, but you have brought a wonderful dynamic that gets us moving on such fun adventures that I don't think we would've done otherwise. I really appreciate that I feel like I can talk to you about anything. You have helped me through some pretty big ruts and I've really appreciated knowing that I could talk to you and you would give me your honest opinion and feedback. My strength in the gospel has grown because of you. I look up to you in more ways than you know and hope that I can have the magnitude of spirit and testimony that you have someday. You have been a definite blessing in my life. I love you and hope that you have a wonderful birthday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Denial

So I've been learning alot in my Communications courses this semester about how our brain works. How it thinks, processes information, and perceptions of ourselves and others. Its been interesting. I've realized a lot about myself in the course as well...I tend to be a bit self destructive. Especially when it comes to this blasted chub I've accumulated in the last 10 years (I feel really old saying that...wow). For instance...is eating that whole entire pack of Little Debbie oatmeal cookie things REALLY that bad for you? And the answer is yes at 170 calories of pure fat. But it's hard to think something so little and tasty is really that bad for you. And that how I self destruct. No...I've never eaten a whole pack of Little Debbies in one sitting but when I get munchies it's sometimes hard to realize that I should be grabbing a banana, not something loaded with processed junk.
Its hard sometimes to see the bigger picture. Will it really do any good to eat healthier and exercise? I'm not good with patience. I want to see immediate results and it's really REALLY hard to have faith that if I do the right thing I will eventually see progress. And thats with all aspects of my life, not just the chub. But its a learning process I suppose. I just need to figure out my priorities and get it done. Plain and simple.

And ..... that was my thoughts of the night. It's time for bed. Goodnight all :)