Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I want two back

I have never belived much in that 'terrible two's' business.  I have always had SO much fun with my two year olds.  This belief has recenlty been reaffirmed to me since Clark has turned 3.

Two years old is curious, busy, active, loud and sometimes needy.  However, at my house three years old is when the DEFIANCE is added to all of that.  Oh, and the pitching of fits.  I could go without that.  This morning I'm pretty sure he following me around for about 20 minutes screaming about having candy for breakfast.  The only reason we even have candy in the house is that I bought it for the school children's valentines and he found it and opened it.  {Kurt found him on the kitchen floor tonight with a pizza cutter and scissors trying to open more sugar!} Did he really think I was giving in on that one?

Less than one hour later he was doing something so completely adorable - as he often does - which is currently escaping me as to what it was.  Then again within the hour pitching a fit again.  Before three came we had cute and silly most of the time.  I want two back.

I still adore this boy.  Especially in the peaceful moments when he is sleeping and I get to admire him.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Light No. 4

Wow.  Four weeks into the year?
This past week was a week of letting some things go in favor of people and relationships.  I feel like I chose the right thing, although I am still recovering all the messes and my lack of keeping up with it all.

I did some art work this week that was so good for me.  I did some Soul Restoration work that was helpful.  I made a mess all over the place doing it too.  And I'm still glad I did it.

Kurt put up a new light in the basement for me today so I can work in my art area at any hour of the day or night.  I LOVE light!!!  Honestly, after I chose that word, light, I wondered if maybe I should have chosen something else like joy, peace you know something more common.  Yet this past week as I have thought and thought about that word I have realized it is the perfect word for me this year.  It caused me to admire the sunset with my children this week; it reminded me to open the blinds, it warmed me right up.

There are so many things I could have done a better job with this week.  Yet there is a lot I did do.  I went to the gym 5 times.  I spent time with friends that I cherish.  I cut chocolate out of my diet (gasp, I'm still surprised with myself).  I ate salad for lunch 4 days in a row.  I layed down on the floor and played cards with my three year old.  I took a deep breath and re-worded my thoughts before I spoke some thoughts to my oldest daughter that could have been taken negatively.  Kurt and I went on a date.  I planned and delivered invites for a get together at my house to try to make new friends.  I organized a few drawers and Emma's room a lot.  {I give it about 5 days to be back to normal!}  I read scriptures and listened to inspiring messages.  I connected with a few family members who don't live nearby.  I went to the post office (one of my most despised errands).  I finished two books.  I went to bed earlier.  

I felt more light in my life!  I have a million miles to go, but I am still going to call it a success.
sailing on to month two,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo Favorite

We had a lot of friends over this week.  A Lot.  My house looks like a wreck but I have very happy children who have built friendships and I am blessed to have some of my frienships renewed as well.  It's worth a messy house for sure.

Happy Weekend! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kitchen teaser

Ok.  This week I am deterined to finally share with everyone {my vast audience! ha} my finished kitchen project.  I am SO HAPPY with how it turned out and so happy that I finally finsihed.  It was a ton of work.  Everthing is, right?  but now I'm nearing the finish {I need to paint walls now}.  If you link over to my sisterview blog you can see how the cabinets look now:


Stay tuned for the full report.
Happy Tuesday!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Light No. 3

I completely dropped the ball on several things this week.  I forgot about Madeline's changed piano day {again} and missed the lesson completely.  For the second time this year.  {and the year is 3 weeks old so that means I'm not doing too hot on that one}.  I missed my exercise a few days this week.  I know that isn't a huge deal except that it dramatically affects my mood.  I am re-learning this about myself.  The challenge is that I can't take Faye to the gym yet (she isn't old enough and I don't want to either) but how do I get to the gym?  It's been late at night and generally tough.  I have gone 4 times this week though and I have the sore muscles to prove it.  Being sore at least re-assures me that I may in fact still have some muscles under there somewhere if I can just find them and bring them back to the surface now that would be wonderful.

I think I would still count it as a good week.  I slowed down and had some good laughs with the children.  I scheduled play dates twice this week and really enjoyed getting to know some new friends we haven't had over before.  I painted my toe and finger nails.  I improved my scripture study.  I had patience and a soft answer at a critical moment for one of my daughters.  I remembered that I used to have dance parties with the children on the way home from school in the car and so we did it again and it made us all laugh.  I guess what I'm saying is that while I didn't do anything huge/wonderful/exciting I did keep going each day, trying to make it a little bit better than the one before.  I made an effort to tie open the drapes and it is amazing how this small act (literally and figuratively)  brings so much light into my life.  I feel happier when there is light streming in through the windows.  I must remember this.  I started communicating more with some family members that I don't call enough and that brought me joy.

One of the goals on the resolutionary challenge this week was to always sit down when eating.  This was a great thing for me.   It helped me to slow down and taste and chew my food and enjoy it and to not just walk through the kitchen and grab handfuls of food without realizing all those calories I was adding to my day!  I am going to continue to this habit, I think it really changes how I eat!

Another thing that was really important for me to do this week was to take some photos of Faye in her blessing gown.  Her blessing was in December but the night got away from me and ever since I have been wanting to put her back in her dress and get some photos.  I finally did it this week.  Faye was not very happy so I ended up having a lot of shots with her pacifier in and she has a little rash on her skin on her face that I was hoping would clear up but at least I did get the pictures.  I don't want to keep waiting thinking at another day or moment it will be perfect (because that never happens).

Emma was really fun and entertaining this week.  One of the funniest things she did was one afternoon she was skateboaring down the driveway - she does this by being on her hands and knees on the board and then sticking out a knee or foot or just bailing off into the grass when it gets going to fast for her or she wants to stop.  It is actually quite a courageous act for her little body and I got a kick out of watching her and Clark do this.  Later that day she said to me "Mom, next time we go in the skateboard store I will probably be on that tv where they show people doing skateboard tricks.  Yea, I bet I will."  I tried not to DIE laughing and tried to not let her see me laughing at her.  As if someone goes around with a random video camera recording just anyone who rides a skateboard (especially four year old girls on their hands and knees down a slightly inclined driveway) and then streams it into the skateboard shop.  SO.  FUNNY. Love that girl.  She is something else.

I have had this bit of being generally depressed about myself and my body and my baby weight and my inability to get moving early every day nagging me all week.  Today it caught up with me a little and I'm determined to kick it tomorrow and have a good week without letting it get the best of me.  Maybe just by writing it down I'll feel like I can manage it better.  I'm just really struggling with it.  So you think I would be eating only fruits and veggies and chicken.  But I need to do better and I need to tell myself I can kick this thing!  Wish me luck on that one.

Sailing on,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Light No. 2

This week was funny.  Well, not really FUN just funny because the pain continued all week.  There was something pretty major each day.  The car went in for repair 3 times.  The furnace, the washer, the garage door.  I still managed to only have minor episodes of compeltley freaking out and laugh about it.

I did a better job of smiling this week.  I wrote in journals and started working on my art again.  This always makes me feel more balanced and happier.  {which begs the question why don't I do it consistently when I know that I need it}  I made more healthy food choices ( but chocolate is still a good friend).  I took photos and cleaned and laughed at how cute my kids are.  Really, I think they are exceptionally adorable.  Really.

How did I bring more light in my life?  Literally, I noticed a beautiful sunrise and sunset this week, and pointed them out to my children to enjoy with me.  I talked to them about reflecting that light and I'm pretty sure they listened.  I am particularly happy with how we added on to our family mission statment this year and set goals with the children.  We have been doing this for a few years so the only part we don't know is the one we added this year.  When we began several years ago the children were quite young so we have added on another sentence each year.  It is amazing how they all recite it and we can recall it to help us in our family goals.  I recite it with the children each morning when we have prayer together.  It reads:
We are children of God.  We are a loving family.  We are happy as we choose the right.  We love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and find joy in serving others.  We believe in the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We aploligize and repent when we do wrong.  As we practice patience and kindness, we are becoming an inspired, eternal family.

On a more daily note, I realized that being more organized will allow me to have more room for light and I began what for me is a huge journey toward organizing and minimizing.  I plan to continue this throughout the Resolutinary Challenge, which begins tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to it!

Sailing on,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You have to laugh

You really do have to laugh about how this week is going so far.
Over the weekend, the furnace wouldn't turn on and it was chilly.  Monday morning after returning from a hour + long appointment at the pediatric cardioligist (with the happy news that if Faye does in fact have a heart murmur it is not serious and we will just check back in a month) a hose popped off the washing machine, spraying water all over the laundry room.  Monday evening the washer quit working.  This morning the garage door wouldn't shut and after I got home from taking the children to school I had a flat tire.  Seriously.
I hate to ask this question but really :  What next?

The good news:
Faye is fine and for now wont' be having any major medical work.  After what we have been through with Clark this is a HUGE,  beautiful blessing.  The furnace is fixed (and the children helped clean out the vent).  I was home when the hose came off in the laundry room so I heard it right away and was able to turn off the washer before we had any flooding throughout the house.  The washer is under warranty and we had a serviceman who came out today for no charge and it's all taken care of.  While he was here he checked out the dryer too and it turns out the dryer vent going outside is blocked!  Good to know.  We'll tackle that one tomorrow.  The garage door isn't opening not because we need a new opener (which is expensive) but because pesky rodents are chewing on the wires as they are burrowing holes from the outside,  trying to get into the garage.  I know how to take care of that.  We have a full size spare tire which can be on the van until I can get a new one.  Whew.  It's been a funny few days but really I'm so glad things worked out the way they did.  I could have been stranded somewhere with a flat tire with 3 little children; the house could have flooded; the furnace could have cost a small fortune to replace.

It's all good.  See, I'm really trying to see the light in all of this!  (OF course I'm doing great because it's only the 10th day of the year. ha.)

By the way, did you know that croquet mallets are really something else?  They are SNOW PUSHERS.  Just wanted to make sure you knew, because it was news to me as well.

A sleveless dress, thin sweater, boots without socks and a sucker in your mouth is the perfect get up for snow, wouldn't you agree?
Sailing on,

Monday, January 9, 2012

As it turns out...

We paid $80 to have a furnace guy come out and let us know that our children had packed the outside vent full of rocks/mud/dirt so the furnace shut itself off so it will not overheat.
whew.  it could have been much worse news and cost much more. I'm still laughing and also wanting to yell at the 'nobody' who participated at the same time.  :)

Not 60 minutes after he left a hose came unhooked from the running washing machine, spraying water all over the laundry room and the washer quit working.  whAT in the WoRld???

I'm laughing today because if I don't I'll cry.  And laughing is so much better, don't you agree?

Next time your furnace won't work make sure your children haven't packed the vent full of mud (why didn't I think of that?).
sailing on,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Light No. 1

 “Your task is to conquer yourselves, not ships, lands and castles. This battle is the one in which you especially are to come off conqueror. It is fought every day. In fact, it is a continuing process which commenced a long, long time ago.”
-Neal A. Maxwell

Am I really already one week into the new year?
It was a great week.  The children had a good week back to school and tried especially hard to complete their homework at school and quickly at home.  That act alone makes the evenings around here a compeltely different experience.

This week I spent a lot of time thinking about my more individual goals.  I keep coming back to a few words:
Light, smile, and choose.
Choose to smile and choose to let the light in.

This week I didn't have my goals down specifically enough to report on exactly what happened.  I did get back to the gym and go 4 times.  Consequently, I was so sore I could hardly make it down the stairs (it seems so wrong that it takes a year to get into shape and only 8 weeks off to lose it all).  I spent some wonderful time sitting on the floor playing games with a sweet 3 year old boy (who would have thought that age 3 his favorite game would be UNO?).
I drank more water and probably read too much.  (Unbroken, anyone?  I can't seem to put it down...)
I kept up on laundry and kept the house resonably picked up.
Most importanlty, I smiled every day a few times and gave more hugs to my children.

I didn't completely go nuts over the fact that the furnace is not working and it's snowing outside.  I really really don't enjoy being cold (it sends my back muscles into painful fits!).  However, we have managed to laugh about it and are all wearing hoodies around the house.  Let's hope tomorrow brings a solution to that!

This week I am going to:
take photos of light and improve photo skills
go to gym
spend individual time with each child
drink more water
have a soft answer.

have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekend Fun

Since I am a rodeo junkie, and because my tactic for 'help me clean the house tonight and we will do something fun tomorrow worked (35%success rate) we went to the National Western Stock Show rodeo as a family today.  As stated, I LOVE rodeos.  I am a wanna be cowgirl and I still think I should have been born right into a Louis L'Amour novel.  Becuase I was not, I fill this void in my life by attending rodeos and wearing cowgirl boots and a hat!
The stock show is fun because you also get to see a lot of other animals and explore educational set-ups for the kids.  Other than the part where we got separated and didn't have our phones to find eachother for a while, we had a great time.

I absolutely love how these stairs are painted.

Part way through the day it began to snow and I could not resist the chance to get a photo of us with snow falling around us - for some reason I have always wanted to do this.  Even with the freeway in the background and Clark on his way to pick his nose and Emma scowling, I still love it.

I got my boots shined up and the kids got to sit on the most enormous bull I have EVER seen.

True to form, at one point Emma became more of the show than the stock show was.  I just know that later in her life this trait of knowing her mind and having incredible will power will be a great blessing.  Until then... how to channel this is the right direction?
Sigh.  My dream of one day moving out from the city a bit with an old farmhouse to fix up and a lot of land for grandchildren to explore burns on.  I can see the barn in my mind, which houses both an amazing art room and a photo room with large windows for natural light (and in the back end a riding lawn mower and woodworking tools of course).  Here's to dreams.  Someday.

Sailing on,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Photo Favorite

This little lady is looking all of the two months that she is (!!! quickly!) .  Oh how we love her.
Happy friday, 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutionary Challenge

This past year I participated in a challenge that, although I didn't do super at, was really good for me and I enjoyed it.  It is starting up next week again for this year.  Check it out, and if you want to participate jump in!  I find the online encouragement and friendship part of it really enjoyable!
Happy Resolutions!
Check It out HERE

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Flying Lessons

Here I am, 10:40 pm on the last day of the year.  The house is quiet and I have had some time to reflect on the year.  I wish I could say that I did some spectaular things with my children this week - that I planned great adventures and that we did service for others; that we created lovely items and visited fun places.  In fact, I fell to pieces a bit this week and we spent quite a bit of time at home.

Funny -that sounds a lot like how my goals to fly this year ended up too.  In pieces.  I'll take it, though.  While I would like to stop being 60 percent Emily and start being 100 percent Emily, I still have to take the 60 percent that I do have. It's true, I only reported on a flying lesson for 32 weeks out of the year.  It's true that I crashed and burned a lot.  It's true that when I look around I see A LOT of things that I need to change, and a lot of things that are in pieces.  Some of them I think I may know how to put back together, others I have no idea if they can ever be repaired.  I have loved looking at my calendar this past month and I'll show you why.  I love this image and this sentiment.  I often feel broken and in pieces and I love the idea of turning that around to the image of letting the light in.

Utlimately, to me, that means the light and life and love and joy that is offered to me through my Savior, Jesus Christ.  As I have thought about this, I realize that the light comes in so many different ways.  This next year I am going to work on letting the light in through the cracks, recognizing it for what it is, and spreading more light around myself.
Photo by Mark Mabry

I'm ashamed to say that my smiling muscles have gone virtually unexercised this year.  Yet if you stopped by my house for a quick visit (and I knew you were coming so I could rescue the mess and be presentable!) you would leave thinking I had everything in the world to be smiling about.  I had this experience with a friend and family member this past week.  I was shocked to learn that we had the appearance of 'a perfect life'.  Equally interesting was that I had that very perception of HER as she left - 'a perfect picture!'  Good thing we really know each other.  This taught me two things - first, that I do indeed have a lot of blessings that are easy to gloss over because they are so much a daily part of my life.  Second, appearances are only that - a surface photo that holds volumes within it.  So why am I ever comparing my real life with someone else's surface snapshot?  That game will never end fair - or happy.  I resolve to stop playing that.

Before I get too far ahead of myself with resolutions and commitments, I'm going to spend tomorrow doing more praying and hopefully shedding less tears.  This I do know - for 2012 I will be letting more light back in.  Yes, I will be posting weekly (!!!) updates here on the blog about what or how the light came into my life in 2012.  Having somewhere to report back to is a great thing for me to keep me accountable and moving forward.  I confess I also love the writing aspect of it.  I wish I wrote beautifully and could call myself a writer, for I truly do enjoy it.  The other thing I am going to do is create my own canvas inspired by this Mary Englebreight art and hang it in my home this year as a reminder.  I'm going to put my brave face on and work really hard on being who I am supposed to be.  And I'm just sure that the Emily I am supposed to be, the 100 percent Emily, is one who smiles a whole lot more and sheds fewer tears.  Wish me luck!
Sailing into 2012 with a smile,