Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Good thought

“I am convinced that women are special creatures, true daughters of our Heavenly Father, and that they arrive from heaven itself trailing clouds of glory earned through their premortal faithfulness and valiance, endowed with spiritual gifts and talents that are different, and in many ways, superior to those of men. Women have an advantage over men that is obvious. Men tend to think with their brilliant minds. Women, on the other hand, have an advantage in that they have equally brilliant minds, with sweet and tender hearts and God given instincts necessary to bring children into this world, nurture and raise them.” Elder Robert E. Wells, ‘Wonderful Women in my Life’ BYU-Hawaii Women’s Conference 1997

Just in case you forgot how wonderful it is to be a woman:)

I’m trying harder to fill my cup each day with good things for strength and peace. I need it so badly to be a better mom and wife. Been having some, well, highly challenging days in the mothering trenches, shall we say? Sometimes, it can leave you feeling completely drained and weaker than weak. We all know those days. It’s a constant reminder to me that I cannot do this without help from above, and that help will not come to me if I don’t seek after it. Pure and simple. The Saviour is there to help always, but waits patiently at the door, knocking but never opening. So, I hope to share some of the tidbits of goodness that I learn each week with you dear friends and family.

I’m reading this book now:

Saw it at my friend’s house, and found it for a whopping 0.02 cents on Amazon. Oh, how I love ordering cheap books online, and having them delivered to me when its tough to go shop with kids. Love the convenience of it! Very good book to feed your soul:)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bean box joy

A ‘sensory bin’ is a wonderful thing. It’s all Kevin wants to play with, all the time. I got a bunch of cheap beans from Walmart, and lots of random objects like eggs and stuff from the Target dollar section. (Favorite section at Target for school stuff!) He is entertained for a long time, and I love it. It’s the simple toys, really:)



I have found an amazing cookie recipe, where the cookies are still soft long after they’re cooked. It’s called ‘Pudding Cookies’, and uses a pudding packet and 2 sticks of butter. I guess with good cookies you can’t go light, but what a winner recipe. Look how much it makes! Recipe here.


The heat is on. Summer is here. High 90’s. This is when we pack up a cooler of watermelon and drinks, and head to the parks with water play areas about every day. If not, the boys get cabin fever and get fussy, since we don’t go out of the house after 1pm. During that time, we close the blinds, and keep the house as cool as possible. House resembles a dark cave during the afternoon. I believe we’ll switch our school schedule to the afternoons during the summer, or take little breaks.

The part I love about the summer here is the constant water play. You have to get wet to survive the summers here. The heat is so horribly hot and dry, but when you’re wet, everything is wonderful. I love the splash pads at the parks. The dumping buckets and the raining palm trees. I love it. The boys are happiest when wet. It’s great. I invested in a really good chair from Costco for the park. It’s an awesome Body Glove fold up chair, with an attached umbrella and in insulated cooler pocket on the arm for my water. It’s perfect, and highly necessary for making the park days better. LOVE it.

Something awesome that friends from church do each summer is let people come over once a week for a pool party. They rotate each week, and it blesses us who don’t have pools. It’s so much fun, and I look forward to it every summer!

So those are my favorite things about summer, what are yours?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mountain date

Last Saturday, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a date with my best friend to the mountains. Shaun loves a good hike, and I was up for it. I got my own cool Camelback backpack, and I think the water tube is the greatest thing ever. I just love that whenever I want a drink, I just have the tube right there to suck on. It’s so awesome!! I still can’t get over how cool the water tube is.

Shaun packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, and apples the night before, and put our water packs in the fridge. We were so lucky to get a someone from church to come babysit from 8-1pm. Last week, we took the kids up here, and they had a great time running around and finding sticks. Yet, we really wanted to do a hike together without kids. Just the thought of uninterrupted adult conversation, smelling the trees and being far away from the city was heaven to me.

We hiked the Mary Jane falls hike. I should have known from the start of the trail it was going to be tough, as it immediately started to incline. It consisted of many switchbacks that steeply went up, up and up to a neat waterfall/grassy area.

Shaun is so stinking robust and has the endurance of an energizer battery. I am a wuss, and had to stop no less than 20 times the way up to rest. More motivation to be more consistent on the treadmill, as in, more than one day a week:) Shaun was so kind, being my personal trainer, and waiting with me while people passed us up. I just kept laughing at myself at how out of breath I was.

We trekked on and on, up and up, until at last, we made it!

One of my many breaks, me loving the water tube.



Again, ready to die, ha ha!


Mr. Mountain man


Love, love, love this picture of us. Need to do better and take more pics of us.


Me again looking like I’m ready to collapse. Legs were burning, but man, it was a great hike!


Is this not the most beautiful view ever??


Loving the little waterfall. You all know I can’t pass up an opportunity to get wet. Whenever I take the kids to a park with a water area, I’m always the only parent that’s getting wet. It’s so funny.


It was just so wonderful to struggle on the hike, laugh and talk along the way, (well, Shaun could keep up a conversation great. I could only breathe and listen.) sit on that log overlooking the view, and eat our lunch together. I loved it so much. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to get away together for more than 5 hours. It’s not fathomable, which made this hike so treasured. I highly recommend planning a little getaway with your sweetie, for a good recharge.

This week, I feel like I’m starting all over again at being a parent. Isn’t that what parenting is, starting over again and again? It is the most humbling experience ever. Sometimes, when it’s super challenging, and you feel like you’re a total failure and so alone, something good happens.

Well, a few good things, such as making it to bed to get rest, and to start over the next day. A quiet reminder in your head to stop and pray, and ask for strength, especially during the chaos hours of the day, when it feels like the ship is sinking. Going to a friend’s house, and being fed with kindness and home made french bread. Finding a good, uplifting book on amazon for .02 cents. Trying again and again on filling your cup, and taking time outs for you, which mostly happen in the bathroom around here:)

I had these thoughts in my head this week consisting of ‘ These wonderful kids were sent to our family for a reason. Each have their own personalities, strengths, and challenges, but Heavenly Father knew that I needed to be their Mom.’ Thinking that helps me on hard days.

Today, at my friend’s house, Ethan was having a blast playing with a small Nerf gun. He was so happy. I think maybe we’ll get some for his birthday next month. I’ll just remember to move the Willow Tree statue before he plays, maybe:)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brooke’s newborn pictures

Oh, busy times. Poor, sweet little blog of mine here needs some love. Does anyone else have these great goals of blogging consistently with uplifting posts, and having it all together? I can barely answer the phone throughout the day, with the exception of quiet time in the afternoon. The days are so busy with three gifts from heaven, and a best friend and team mate. Nevertheless, here’s a post, yea!

In an attempt to ‘catch up’, I want to share some wonderful pictures. Last year, I was contacted by a photography friend for a newborn practice session. I gladly offered Brooke for her to practice on, and was greatly blessed. I remember doing some free sessions and pictures last summer for some fun gals. It was so neat to be on the receiving end this time, and have these pictures that will last a lifetime. So thankful.

The pictures are stunning and beautiful. I have a new respect for newborn photographers. It’s such hard work! The sessions can take from 2-3 hours, require immense patience, and you just have to keep trying to get that amazing baby shot. I don’t have the passion for newborn photography, but have great respect for those who specialize in it.

Huge thanks to Heather Magliarditi for these breathtaking pictures:)









Now, look who’s growing way too fast! 7 months! Love having a daughter:)


Hope everyone is doing well. If you’re going through super tough times, please know that you have angels on your side strengthening and lifting you. You just can’t see them. I don’t know why I needed to write that. I just felt that I should, so I hurried up and typed it before the thought left:)