Saturday, January 29, 2011

I’m fun to be married to…

Texts I’ve sent to Ryan in the last few weeks:


Dec. 26  11:49am

J:  Faith and I just had an episode…sigh.

Dec 26  1:07pm

J:  No one officially released me.  I’m offended.

Dec 30 11:58 am

J: I super love you

R:  Why?

J:  Cause your super easy to live with.

J:  Unlike Faith.

J:  Where’s my Toblerone?

Dec 30 6:22 pm

J:  I’m not exaggerating when I say F has cried 80% of the last hour. We’ve been upstairs doing the “so sad” routine four times.  4 huge barfs in the shower.

J:  She is out of control.  I don’t know what to do.

Jan 4 9:32 am

J:  This is what Seth just said me—“why do you always pick the things?  It’s not very fun. That’s why no one wants to play with you.  Except me.  Cause I don’t want you to be lonely.”

Jan 6 11:07 am

J:  Ask me about the INSANE cuteness Faith just displayed.  One of those moments that makes it worthwhile.  Like I’m pinching myself that I get to witness the cuteness all day long.

Jan 10  4:19 pm

J:  I’m refusing to get out of bed.

J:  What’s for dinner?

R:  Ding how (local expensive chinese place)

J:  You’re lying about Ding How

R: Freak out some more and I’ll have crab flown in from Maine.

J: Freak out is mean.

Jan 11  9:10 AM

J:  SETH just pooped in the tub.  Retarded and infuriating.

Jan 17 5:35 pm

J:  Currently waiting for the cop who pulled me over to check me out.  Cross your fingers.

Jan 18  6:25 am

J:  Just had a slightly heated discussion at pump class with a few ladies re: school bond.

Jan 19 7:20 pm

J;  Please pick up Emma on your way home.  She can tell you why I made her cry while you drive her home.

Jan 20  12:41 pm

J:  Big favor?  Stop at Safeway customer service desk.  Ask for football coupon book?

Jan 21 10:15 am

J:  Seth talks a lot.  A LOT a lot.

Jan 23 11:48 AM

J (after Ryan had taken Faith out of stake conference):  How’s it going?

R: faithandryan

R: good!

J: phonepic7

Hey!  Are you just hanging out in the halls?!

Jan 24 3:27 pm

J:  Dr called.  No visible stress fractures in my legs.  Same advice on no running for three weeks.

Jan 24 3:41 pm

J:  Faith knows about 12, 562 words

R:  Faith is mostly adorable.

J:  Faith was laying on the ground with gabe—“Hey mom.  We texing dad.”


You want me to add you to my texting list??

Monday, January 24, 2011

I’m actually doing them: my New Years Resolutions after 3 weeks

I’ve referred before to my loathing and Ryan’s loving of New Years Resolutions before.  It’s caused problems in the past, but now we let each other be the goal-setters or non-goal-setters without interference. 

This year, however, I needed some help.  I’ve referred to my December somewhat obliquely over the last few posts, but, frankly, I’m suffering some mild depression.  I might blog further about it, but for now, I’m admitting it just as a background for the post.  I knew I had to make some behavior changes if I was going to feel better. 

I wrote a list of things I wanted to improve on the week after Christmas.  I think I had 38 things (no joke) on it.  I knew that it was a)impossible b)discouraging to work on all of those things.  I  needed to figure out what few things would be the most effective in my life to work on.  I knew I needed to talk to Heavenly Father about it, because He knows everything.

This is one of those times where I felt truly guided by the Spirit as I fasted and prayed over what should be my focuses in 2011.  I’m grateful, as always, that I can access my loving Heavenly Father when I’m struggling and seeking help.

This is what I came up with:

1.  I will not eat food that has sugar or corn syrup as one of the first three ingredients.  I will eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

2.  I will find a quiet, extended period of time to pray and read my scriptures, listening to the Spirit and writing down my thoughts.  That time, for me, is pre-workout.  As in 4:45 in the a.m.  (Yikes.)

3.  I will not get on the computer/blogs/email until I’ve done the essential things in my day, which include prayer, scripture study and 10 minutes of positive alone time with each child.  (I actually break this up into 3 kids in the morning—then computer, etc, during the day—then the last two kids after school, before I do anymore computering.)

4.  I will focus being a better mom to my kids by implementing the Ways to Show Love found in this article by Rex A. Skidmore…ONE per month.  (January is Showing Affection Through Touch.)


(Faith’s not hard to Show Affection to Through Touch, in case you  were wondering)

It is going pretty well.  I’m pretty disciplined and focused when I decide on something.  #1 and #2 I’ve been practically perfect at, and it hasn’t even been that hard.  #3 is definitely the biggest challenge when I walk around with a mini-computer in my back pocket all day, but as a good friend (Hi Sally) said recently “That computer is my Delilah…it saps my strength.”  #4 has been pretty easy, once I got going.  I’ve found that as I touch and show affection, I actually FEEL more affection (something I was struggling with, in consequence with the depression.) 

I could talk about each of these for an entire post, and probably will at a later date, but I just wanted to get them down for posterity, accountability and out of gratitude to a Heavenly Father who is always to be found when I seek. (D&C 88:63)

Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Quote



While trying to get the crowd's attention by clinking her glass, Jane complained:  "This used to work in the olden days!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Slightly Late Book List

So I really enjoyed reading everyone’s year-ending/year-beginning posts:  favorite books of 2010, picture recaps, favorite recipes or new goals. I want to do some of these posts…it’s not too late, right?

Top Ten Books of 2010:

…in no particular order.  These are books that either made me want to read all day, or change myself in some way or caused me to think long after I was done.  I don’t give synopses, because I like to be completely surprised when I read a book but I’ll give a little review for each.

1. Room by Emma Donoghue (adult fiction)

--genius writing about a horrible situation.  Don’t be put off by the situation or the child’s-viewpoint writing…it’s well-done and is worth every nail you bite.

2. Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (self-help non-fiction)

--aw, Faith.  How would we be surviving without the wisdom of this book??

3.  The Giver by Lois Lowry (children’s fiction)

--this is my 4th reading of this fabulous book.  This time I read it to my kids and it was instructional, interesting, chilling, thought-provoking.

4.  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (non-fiction)

--Probably my most quoted book of the year.  It’s the book I bring up on dates with Ryan, in conversations at the dinner table, on runs with friends.  Ryan says the author’s extrapolation with statistics was a little much…whatever, Mr. Engineer—I’m a believer.

5.  The whole Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (Young Adult Fiction)

--addicting, cannot-put-it-down fiction (with a good moral, too.)

6.  Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott (memoir non-fiction)

--laugh out loud funny.  It was refreshing to see myself and true goodness in someone completely unlike me. 

7.  Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (classic fiction)

--So fun to lose myself in a long, wordy tale of another time and culture.  Very Dickensian.

8.  The China Study by Thomas Campbell (educational non-fiction)

--I didn’t want to be convinced.  I was.

9.  Still Alice by Lisa Genova(adult fiction)

--The author knows her stuff.  The emotions were true to life, the situation felt real.  I actually cried during this one.  It’s a book that makes you cherish your life.

10.  In the Woods by Tana French (mystery fiction)

--Ireland+good writing+murder mystery+good characters.  Really…what’s not to like?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The rest of the month


Here are some things we did, the rest of the month:

We went to a nativity/creche display that one of the LDS churches puts on here.  It’s one of my favorite things and I was SO HAPPY that Gabe wanted to read every word of the brochure and go slowly through the displays.  He was my buddy, willingly:


Meanwhile, Seth was dressing up as a cow and bowing to baby Jesus in the children’s section:



Some of us got more out the display than others. 

This is the “Sunday Christmas Outfit Picture”.  It’s only remarkable because, wait for it, this was the FIRST picture I took.  As in:  I took one picture and it was good and I didn’t have to take 276 more to get everyone to look at the camera.  Christmas miracle.


And, even though I was admittedly grinchy and stressed out throughout much of December, here is evidence no one needs to call Child Protective Services:

We made and frosted Sugar Cookies


and made and decorated Gingerbread Houses.


(Although, whether adding MORE sugar to my diet made me a nice mom is definitely debatable.)

And here is Emma’s Christmas violin concert.  Is it even possible to take a useful picture at a kid’s concert?!


This is when we went ice-skating walking.  Meaning: Emma, Gabe and Jane skated around the rink, while Ryan and I hobbled, bent over, desperately trying to keep two peoples’ balance for an hour.


Ooh!  Here’s a highlight! Ryan’s work put on a fabulous Christmas party—lake cruise, buffet dinner, fun dinner companions, fabulous prizes.  And we won won of those fabulous prizes!  THE LAPTOP I AM CURRENTLY TYPING ON!  Yay, F5 Networks.


We completely finished decorating and organizing our basement and kids #4 and 5 play for hours in our art corner.  Plus, it’s so cute.


Faith and I visited the elementary school for the class parties.  Here are Jane and Faith and Gabe with his candy train:



And Gabe and his neighborhood buddies didn’t let a little snow slow them down when it comes to playing “Dominoes” on the trampoline.


And Seth got this ridiculous looking coat.  Because I was frustrated with his zipper on the old coat and ripped it off.  (See? bad mood all month.)  Luckily Gap was having a %40 off sale and I had Gap Rewards and it was clearanced, so my temper only cost me $10 for the new coat.  Plus he looks like he’s heading off to the Artic every time he puts it on…so it was pretty much worth it.


And we had the best New Years Eve ever.  I’ll have to post sometime about the details of my Progressive Party.  Kids and adults mingling without hardly any crazy, plus yummy food, plus funny games, plus actually staying up till midnight equals a truly awesome evening.  (You’ll notice my kids aren’t in this picture.  We sent them home to bed early around 10.  Which made it even more fun…)


I’m glad we only take pictures of the happy and light-hearted. No pictures of certain wrapping paper throwing instances or venting conversations to Ryan that prompted Seth to admonish me “When Heavenly Father gets stressed out, I don’t think He says ‘Stupid’ that many times.” or the 20 pieces of fudge that entered my face.

That way in 10 years, we’ll all forget that December 2010 was hard and only remember, hopefully, that despite it all, we did some fun stuff.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bekah’s Birthday

Bekah is…


--the sister I finally got after waiting for 13 years!scan0015

--the family picture taker and distributor

--the family member that regularly talks to everyone.  If you want to know what’s going on with _________, call her.

Wedding 084

--so determined.  There are a few things she’s done (graduated from Running Start when Utah doesn’t really have a program, etc.) that I am in awe of.

--the girl who can grow enough hair that she’s donated it to Lock of Love and/or sold it a few times.

--careful and organized. 

--devoted to her nieces and nephews

Bekah & Kids

--the owner nicest teeth some dentists have ever seen!

--always up for a trip (Switzerland, Israel, church history sights, most of the temples in North America, to name only a few!)

Albuquerque temple 5

--strictly obedient

--an exerciser, a reader, an employee at Church Headquarters, a BYU grad, a flosser, a beauty, a decorator.


(not her babies…these are my cute new twin nieces—daughters of Nate—Aubree and Brynlie.  I wanted to put this picture in because it’s a. pretty of Bekah and b. hello!  twin neices.)

--23 years old today!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Christmas Report

Frankly, December was tough for me:  too much to do, too little sun, too difficult 2 year old, too much eating.  But…

Christmas was really lovely.  It was the first Christmas that we’ve ever spent with just our little (big?) family and it was nice to just connect and enjoy each other on that level. 

We all donned the obligatory Christmas attire and headed out for our restaurant-and-a-movie Christmas Eve tradition. 


The restaurant was so kid friendly and pretty low stress.



Faith found a boyfriend there:



We watched Tangled for our movie and I concur with everyone else:  super great. 

We went to the Daines for our Bethlehem night tradition: bathrobe Bethlehem attire, candlelight, fish, pitas, hummus, no utensils, silly cousins. 


We did a ridiculously irreverent Nativity Play and opened PJs and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.


We love the easy-going familiarity and good spirit we feel when we’re with the Daines.

Christmas morning was early for us. 


We’d bargained 6:00 am with Gabe and at 5:45 we got a knock on our door “Um.  I know you said 6:00, but I thought you’d want time to comb hair and take pictures, so I thought I’d make sure you had 15 minutes.”  Thanks, Gabe.

Seth won for Most Enthusiastic during present opening.


…especially when the whale/dolphin pillow pet made it’s appearance near the end.  He was sweating that one.  We finally got a Wii and though the big kids found out about it early (such a bummer to not get a Pay-off Reaction for such a begged for present!), it’s been the most popular present by a mile.

We spent the day playing games, watching movies, taking a chilly walk, doing puzzles. 


I didn’t make any special Christmas meal on the 25th (I was tired of spending my holidays in the kitchen!), so I made our “fancy” meal the next day (Sunday). 

I honestly couldn’t imagine that the grouchiness and stress of the first few weeks of the month would go away, but it did and paid off in a sweet, easy, blessed holiday with my favorite people in the world.