Monday, November 24, 2008

Family matters

I wanted to first of all, say Congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law! After patiently waiting their first born entered the world! Troy and Jana named him Carson Thomas. I like the name. And he is a cutie! We can't wait to meet him. Tyler and I are especially excited mainly because it will be Samuel's first male cousin, albeit 4 years younger. We hope they will be good friends.

Also, my cousin Cassie had her baby last week too! Congratulations, Cassie and Jacob!

And all in one month I will have 3 cousins getting married.

You see, my family is HUGE! My mom is the oldest of 10 kids, 8 of whom still live in Utah. My dad is 1 of 5 kids, 4 of whom live in Utah. I am one of 49 (soon to be 50) grand kids on my mom's side. I have 1st cousins who are younger than my children. Crazy! My dad's side is big too. There are 27/28 cousins. I know all of their names and their spouses names. But I couldn't name all of their kids.

We commune often. And when we do, on either side, it's very loud. It's a bit overwhelming, especially on my mom's side, for the incoming spouses. They feel a bit of pressure to remember everyone's names. Don't ask Tyler bcse he has barely learned all the aunts and uncles names, and for the most part, who goes with whom.

So what is the point of all this rambling? Well, I guess I am just grateful. As I attended cousin #1 of the season getting married last weekend I remembered how much I love my family. My cousin Mica and I were discussing why we are so close. We decided it was because of the efforts made by our parents and grandparents. They made sure we did things together (even as I grew up in Colorado until I went to college), that we knew each other, and even liked each other, if possible. We get together for mission farewells/homecomings, baby blessings, weddings, showers, reunions, holidays, parties, ceremonies, and just because. We call each other up and read each other's blogs. We send out Christmas cards and email each other. We know each other and our "elders" made sure we know our ancestors. We know their stories. We know where we came from. I don't write these things to boast but to show my gratitude.

Both sides of my family have great pioneer and non-pioneer heritage. The first thing my grandpa would ask you upon introductions is, "What's your last name? I know your face. You must be a so-and-so" and would somehow make the connection as to how they were related to him. It was sort of funny at times but now I realize what a blessing that was. "We are who we are because they were who they were." One of my favorite quotes. My family is great because their ancestors were great and they kept that tradition. And my biggest hope is that my kids will have the same relationship with their cousins. That they will know their aunts and uncles and love them. That we will continue to be together often. That they will know they will be offered support and love on both sides and will always be taken care of, in addition to the help from their parents.

This is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. Families. I love doing genealogy and learning of those who got us here. It's an important work. I am grateful to bring souls closer together in the eternities.

Friday, November 21, 2008

4th picture post

I was tagged to post the 4th picture in the 4th folder...My sister will kill me for posting this, but oh, well. I had to choose the 4th picture in the 4th folder in the 4th folders (too many folders).

This is my sister, Rosemary. When were living in Paris my two sisters came and visited us and we picked them in London. This is down the street from St. Paul's Cathedral.

I tag....Melanie, Wendy, Jennie and Rachel.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some of my favorite things

This last week has gone much better than the previous week. I don't know if it's because my PMS is gone or just because I've worked on some of my goals. I have read my scriptures more and I think it has helped. But I know this has helped too. I read it each night w/Samuel and Jocelyn. And I am learning things! Jocelyn will sit on my lap long enough. Her favorite stories are those w/Jesus and animals. (I've taught her the word Prophet now, so she can differentiate...she thinks anyone w/a robe and a beard is Jesus). Samuel's favorite story is "The Brass Plates." He knows the whole story. We even re-enacted it the next day. We took turns playing Laban and Nephi. I love it when he calls the Lamanites "nites". He thinks they're knights. lol.

And then while Tyler watched them ALL day Saturday, he and the kids watched this together. And Jocelyn sat through the whole thing (again this morning as they watched it again!). It's a classic!

And yesterday, right before Church (silly idea), we took family pictures. My cousin, Liz, is wanting to continue developing her photography skills, especially with families. So we headed over to the Saltair (area) salt flats. Here is a sample of some more to come!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Centerpiece ideas

Here are some simple yet elegant centerpiece ideas for your Thanksgiving table. I love to decorate for occasions where there is food. And I found these on a grocery store website, of all places.

For the pumpkin vase you simply empty out the pumpkin guts of a smallish pumpkin and fill it w/water and cut the flowers down to desire height.

For the mini-pumpkin tea lights, simply cut a hole in the center, pull out the innards and place the tea light in the middle!

Free photobook

Yesterday's Oprah was about de-cluttering your house. It was suggested that you scan your kids artwork and make a photobook out of it (and then throw the art away...yay!)

Here is the link
: You need to go to Oprah's website and register by FRIDAY (November 14) and finish and order it by Sunday night. You need only pay shipping and for any additional pages. It's for a FREE 8x11 photobook, 20 pages, custom-cover book by Snapfish.

Happy photo-booking!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feeling better

Thank you all for all your support and comments. I really appreciate your love and advice. I am doing better. I am staying on track w/my goals. I still awake each morning feeling physically sick but mentally I am much calmer.

You may find this video very boring. But I made it for Tyler. And I thought our families may appreciate it the most.

Happy Anniversary, Tyler! I love you!

here is the link to youtube
for MUCH better quality, if you care.

soundtrack: "Don't let me fall" by Lenka.

Only in New England

Only in New England:

--can you drive through 5 states in one week and sleep in the same bed, the same night.
--are the fall colors, or "foliage" so beautiful.
--the drivers are more fearless than Utah drivers.
--do you feel like you're in Europe.
--can you eat authentic Boston baked beans, fresh Maine lobster, the best New York style cheesecake, the best porterhouse steak, the best bagels, authentic New England clam chowda', and the yummiest Boston cream pie.
--hear a myriad of American accents including but not limited to: boston, jersey, brooklyn, new york, and all the other nationalities of people that live over there.

We loved it!
Here is a video (a bit longer) of our New England travels. It does not do justice to how beautiful it truly is over there in Autumn. The soundtrack is Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Fall.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Growing pains

Warning: long post.

As Anne put it best, "I am in the depths of despair." Only, I feel Anne's despair was just a tip of the iceberg. She was only a teen and had not yet had children.

For over a week now I've had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day....every day. I've learned it's a combination of things and perhaps a build up of others. Here is a list of just a few.

--I cannot potty train Samuel to poop in the potty.
--I was called back for a play...but not cast....again.
--I have repenting to do for yelling and spanking my kids a lot lately.
--I am not pregnant after trying for a few months. (I know it's not very long, but each month it gets harder to accept the fact)
--I have guilt for wanting another child when I can barely raise the two that I have.
--We are poor.
--I have had a cold for 3 weeks now and counting. My kids have too. But then last week their colds developed into pink eye and then an ear infection and then diarrhea. Luckily, they did not complain and were very well behaved.
--as a result of being sick--we've been homebound and developed cabin fever from outside and friends.
--My kids have been fighting going to sleep for weeks now.
--I get let down by others who don't do what is right, especially when they know they should. That includes myself and my children.
--I haven't felt like making dinner in weeks.
--I am afraid I am getting depressed again.

Now, that I have that all off my chest I feel a little better. But now I know I need to remedy these problems.

I have felt overwhelmed since before my trip. But it's pressures I've put upon myself and so feel I can fix them myself.

In my short experience w/depression this is what happened. I was living in Paris at the time. It was September. The honeymoon phased had worn off of living in a foreign romantic city and I was alone. I had a bad experience w/a French lady in the ward. My American friend moved back to the States and I was alone. Tyler was struggling w/his internship that he hated and reverted to playing his computer game a lot. I was a tall, curly haired, not a sized 4 American living in Paris with no family nearby. I was depressed. I had never felt it before but this was real. It was a constant battle for 2 months. But after 2 months of this wallowing and wandering I realized it needed to change. That I needed to change. So the first of November it did. I made a choice. I started running. I started losing weight. I developed goals and reached for them. I received a new calling in Church. I started working, only once a week, as an English tutor to a little French girl. By Thanksgiving I was healed. Spiritually, mentally and physically. I got over my depression. And then it became Christmas. It was a happy time and when I look back on living in Paris, that is my most cherished. I learned a lot during that time. I learned about myself. What I could handle. At the time, I couldn't understand but looking back I see how I grew. I see how I stretched. (blogging definitely helped me remember this too). Growing pains. or like character stretch marks. Though they are ugly they give you character and depth, right?

Here is what I have done so far to get over this current funk.

First, cried a lot.
Second, been a "bad" mommy (according to Samuel), a raunchy sister, friend and wife.
Thirdly, cried some more.
Fourth, fasted and prayed.
Fifth, tried to feel enlightened enough to read about hope and how to overcome trials.
Sixth, blogged, or blog spewed. How about: blog eruption.
Seventh, TBA, pinpoint the problem and resolve to kill it.
Eighth, fix it and move on.

I am working on 5, 7 and 8 right now. I want to get over this. I need to get over this. It's very dark. I don't like being in this rut. I want to be my normal self again, whoever that is.

I fasted for myself last week. That I could be more patient w/Samuel in attempting to potty train again. I think it worked, a little bit. And our RS president is a saint. She watched my sick kids last week on her day off so that I could commit to volunteering in the local Family History Center. But she also shared her testimony in RS last week . She reminded us that there must be opposition in all things. That has stuck with me. I realized that, as much as it sucks, we have to have trials. Elder Uchtdorf said it's okay to fail. I learned that back in my acting days (and my lack of acting days today) too. Tyler always used to tell me, when I thought life was hard in college, that "this too shall pass." He would tell that to me over and over again. He is so wise. He also taught me that in order to have happiness we must have goals. We must value something and work toward it.

So these are my goals:
1. Repent.
2. Pray some more and seek help from the Lord. Seek answers.
3. Start exercising again.
4. Let my kids help out. Give them goals too. Like a job chart complete w/stickers and rewards. (thanks mom for the suggestion)
5. Continue to serve others.
6. Read my scriptures.
7. Not yell at my kids and spank so much.
8. Try to get pregnant again (maybe that's TMI)
9. Make a priority list of the things that I want to accomplish and get them done, in the right manner and time.
10 Forget myself and get to work.
11. Be happy.

Can you tell that I am "list" person?

I didn't want to vent to get attention or make you feel sad. I did it for myself, firstly. Therapy. Then I did it publicly to let you know what I have been feeling. That it's not been easy. But perhaps you're experiencing something similar and perhaps you can learn from this. As hard as it can be, the Gospel makes my life easier. It gives me hope. It gives me perspective. It brings me joy. Though I feel a lot of guilt for not always doing the right things I know that change is good and that I need to grow up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If you are democratic or voted Obama, don't read this. No, I won't say anything bad.

Yes, CNN, we know he is black and that he is the first black president ever. Thank you for the reminder. Though I do think he is much better looking than McCain.

I feel a little let down. Sort of like when David Cook won instead of David A in American Idol. I shouldn't have been so surprised but I am.

We'll see what happens in the next 4, and hopefully not 8, years. I hope socialism doesn't come full circle. Yes, it has it's perks. It was interesting to watch it in France when we lived there. It was like everyone was taking advantage of the system that was already trying to "help" them out.

Anyway, yes, change is always good, Obama. But I only pray our country will change for the better.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not McCain or Obama

Tyler and I voted early on Halloween. It only took about 20 minutes. Let me tell you honestly, I did not vote for either McCain or Obama. I don't think either are suitable to be our nation's president. Anyway, the last time I voted 4 years ago in Spanish Fork they didn't have the cool electronic style voting system so I was glad at the ease of using the "up to date" kind. I felt special and like I was on assignment for a secret mission or something. But I also felt very patriotic with all the people in Halloween costumes. I even dressed my kids up hoping they'd be giving out candy. It was all in vain, except for a few smiles. No, but really, I was almost touched to see everyone lined up, early, to vote. It is a more serious election this year, it seems, and I was glad to be a part of it.

Some highlights of the past 2 weeks

This does not include Halloween. And I still have yet to finish the final New England video. Stay tuned...

Bean bags. Or "jingy bags" as Samuel calls them. My friend, Rashelle, kindly stayed over until 11pm to help me make these for the ward Halloween party. Then I stayed up until 2am to finish them. (They took so long bcse I appliqued numbers on them, and then I wanted them to be encased bcse I know the outer shells will inevitably become dirty. So I can wash them because the bag is removable.)

Then the next night my friends Melanie, Megan, Wendy and I all went out to Witches Night out at Gardner Village in South Jordan. It was fun to eat out at Paradise Cafe. Great suggestion, Megan! It was yummy. And they charged me for 1/2 sandwich but gave me a whole. Sweet! And we received many compliments from those in the restaurant. It was fun to get out! I also ran into my sister's sister-in-law, and my friend, Raylynn.

Did I already mention that Jocelyn crawls out of her crib now? Sleeping has become a battle again. It takes about 2 hours each night to get the little critters down. I have turned her crib into a "toddler bed" and re-arranged their bedroom for a change of scenery. And well, let me just say, my patience has been tried, A LOT this week. The scripture, that the relief society president shared today, that comes to mind is that there must be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11). Here is what I found one night.

And I don't have a photo for this one....but today I finally cleaned the blood off the kitchen cabinets, canisters, fridge and anywhere else it happened to splatter onto from Tyler's "accident."

And last, but not least, I watched 2 of my nieces yesterday, all day, with the help of my mom. They got along really nicely but my kids were awful sleepers. I admire how well behaved my nieces, Olivia and Anna, were. At the end of the day I put them all in the bath and did not make huge watery mess. I loved my cousins growing up (and am still very close to them this day) and I hope my kids have the same relationship w/their cousins, no matter where they grow up.