Friday, December 14, 2012

Until Now

Today has been quite a horrible day, and it wasn't my fault. When I'm having a bad day, I hate hearing how it's all about perspective. I tell you, the odds were not in my favor this morning!

Let's backtrack a day, though. James was running a fever last night and overall not feeling well. I thought for sure that he wouldn't go to work today, but he felt well enough that he did. That threw off things a bit. Kenny has been a little congested but sleeping mostly well, except that he's woken me up around 6 the last 2 mornings, then gone back to bed. I, of course, can't fall asleep for only 45 minutes, so I've lost a little sleep that I didn't expect to. I hate waking up when it's dark. Waking up 1 1/2 hours before sunrise is one of my least favorite things in the world.

We took James to school so I could have the car. I was in my pj's and feeling pretty hungry and gross (unshowered). Somehow, our clock inside was wrong, so James ended up being late...basically all my fault. I felt really bad.

Kenny was just down for his morning nap when they started hammering/drilling/making obnoxiously loud noises upstairs. I hope they finish doing what they're doing up there ASAP, because this isn't the first time it's ruined a nap for Kenny. It's the 3rd or 4th. He didn't sleep a wink, and we had to be somewhere at 10:30. The visit went well, though, and we got our stuff at Walmart. Unfortunately, Kenny was a basket case by the time we got home: too tired and upset to eat. I put him down for a nap, and 20 minutes later, he was awake. He went back down after eating and is still asleep. I hope he sleeps another hour, because that poor little boy hasn't had 2 decent naps in a couple of days. I need my sanity back. I was about ready to snap this morning, and it wasn't pretty. It made Joseph sad too. I'm a horrible person when I'm angry.

I know that God cares about my me and my role as a mom. It's not glamorous to be "just" a stay-at-home mom, but I can't imagine a job that would make me more likely to pull my hair out or that I would love quite as much. It's hard to find the moments when I can stop, listen, and learn what God is trying to teach me about myself. Recently, it seems that the inspiration I've received and acted on has come to nothing. I've wondered why I bothered, because it didn't seem to make a difference at all. I came to realize that I shouldn't worry so much about improving all the time on every little aspect of my life. Sometimes, "good enough" has to be good enough! Feeling guilty about what I'm not doing perfectly only destroys the happiness that I could have right now. I've spent too much time on things that don't matter, and it's affecting my self image in a negative way. No more!

Friday, December 7, 2012


I love when good things happen that I didn't expect. Last Saturday, we dropped off the kids and headed to the temple together for the first time in a while. James really wanted to do sealings, but they don't usually have them on Saturdays. We were in luck, because the session was overcrowded, so we got to do sealings anyway! It was wonderful. I love living close to a temple.

frayed denim curtains in the boys' room
I spent the rest of my Saturday finishing a few projects and doing a little Christmas shopping. James gave me a "day off". I came home to feed Kenny when needed, but other than that, I was on my own. I really hate shopping, so I got tired of it after 2 hours and a couple of stores. I didn't find anything good at D.I., but I did get curtain rods. I hung the curtains a few days ago.

It's been busy this week because of parent/teacher conferences, but James got home earlier than expected (7 instead of 8). Anything past 4 p.m. without James is really tough. It reminds me of when he worked at night school. I'm so glad that teachers have normal schedules! I will take being a little poor any day over having lots of money but no husband at home. I like the teacher schedule. It works really well for me and the kids.

ruffled curtain in the kitchen
My scriptures have been found! I thought I'd never see them again, but they were in the church lost and found. Hallelujah! I can't wait to get them back.

Our weather has been awesome, and I've been feeling good despite the short days. It's not that cold and there's no snow, but I'm okay with that. :)

Netflix  and Hulu may be the death of me. It's so easy to get sucked into good shows.

I can run a mile a little faster now. I'm not going to tell how fast, because I'm still REALLY slow. Yes. Longer than 10 minutes. Short, stocky frames aren't made for speed. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Well, Thanks

(This title has a double meaning!)

To begin, I owe an update about our Thanksgiving trip. We left on Tuesday to go to Rexburg and got back Sunday. A few highlights of our trip (both good and bad):

1. A date with James! We went to the JB's breakfast buffet and stuffed our faces.

2. A visit with Cindy! I miss living by her. 3 hours away is simply too far. I'm so happy to see her looking adorably pregnant, since she's been waiting for her little girl for a long time now.

3. Sleep-deprived children. Kenny woke up 3 of 5 nights that we were there. He knows when he's not at home, and his sleep reflects that. Both kids were pretty grouchy as a result.

4. A visit with Aunt Pat. We popped in on the way to Winco for me to stock up on a few things. It was great to see her and Dell, even though it was just a short visit.

5. Skype with my family. I haven't spent Thanksgiving with them for 7 years now, but I saw them and some other relatives who were visiting (Claude & Tracey, Kirstin & Jimmy). I love Skype.

6. D.I., of course, and a little Christmas shopping. James went to Black Friday, but I went to sleep.

7. Thanksgiving dinner with the Head grandparents. Lots of cousins were there too. The only sad thing about it is no leftovers!

This week has been long because of long days at work for James. However, we got our very first Christmas tree! I was bracing myself for something expensive, but Walmart had their trees on sale. We got ours for only 20 bucks! Yeah, it's not as cheap as chopping one down from the "wild", but we don't have many trees in Vernal. :)

our tree, complete with horrible lighting
Our budding photographer takes hundreds of pictures of his feet!
One lame thing about our trip last week is that my scriptures got lost. I thought they might've been in the church parking lot or in my in-laws' house, but no luck. I think they're probably at the little rest stop we stopped at in Weber Canyon in the middle of nowhere. I loved those scriptures because I bought them myself when I was 15 or 16 when I had hardly any money because I just got my first job. It's disappointing to think of going back to my old set: my dad's ancient triple combination and the bible that Brinson left out in the rain. Oh well. I have a few more weeks to think about that. For now, I will just use James's. I just can't bring myself to cough up 75 bucks for a new set when my others were in such good condition. :( I didn't know how attached I was to that particular set until I lost them. I feel like I lost an arm. Yeah, it's just a book(s), but I had them marked and had a small journal that I kept with them. Oh well.

cutie pie
Joseph is sick today. I don't know with what, but he fell asleep while I was working out at 9. Then, he fell back asleep at 11 and has been asleep since them. Poor little guy. Now, if only Kenny would go to sleep...
Something like this always happens when I plan to go to the temple! I think I'll have to go by myself tomorrow and leave James with the kids, then switch. Good thing we have one so close!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Unexpected Good Things

A couple of things this week have really worked out well, but not until after some craziness that made me pull my hair out. Don't worry, it'll grow back.

We got new phones, which was a huge pain. First, Verizon really wants everyone to have smart phones. I would LOVE one because I did used to have one, but that was on my family's plan. Our current plan is 2 years old and doesn't exist anymore, so we can't change our numbers to Utah numbers without getting a new plan that costs more. There were only 2 free basic phones offered, so we got the same model. (I was sad to pass over an iPhone 4, which I could've gotten for 99 cents. We just don't want a plan that costs twice as much as what we have now!) That's not the most annoying part. It took 3 HOURS with customer service to get them activated. I narrowly missed having to visit the nearest Verizon store, which happens to be in Colorado. I wasn't pleased, but I got my phone activated just in time for an important phone call about 20 minutes later. Hurray! Because of that phone call, I was able to get my visiting teaching done. That is a very good thing. I never get it done in the first half of the month.

Kenny got over his ear infection, but he's been waking up every night around 11, but not really wanting to eat and crying when I put him back in bed. I can tell that he doesn't really need food, because he seems grumpy and just wants to go back to sleep. I prayed to know what to do, and I felt for the second time this week that it's time to take the pacifier away. I can't spend my whole life putting it back in his mouth when he wakes up. I put them all away today, and it's been interesting. His first nap took 45 minutes of crying before he finally went to sleep. His second nap, he didn't make one peep. He even smiled at me. That was 45 minutes ago, so I'll be darned if he didn't just go to sleep with NO paci and without being swaddled! Tonight will be harder, I know, but I know how awesome it is to have a kid who can sleep through anything. Joseph right now is talking to himself since he isn't asleep yet for his nap. He never comes to the door, cries, or even gets out of bed. He knows when he should sleep because I taught him around Kenny's age (8ish months) what to do. I feel so happy.

Life is good. I still long for more sunshine, but there's nothing I can do about that unless I move to the Southern hemisphere. I'm getting better at running, so I can actually run for 8 of 15 laps, or do a mile in 12 1/2 minutes. If that sounds horribly slow, well, I started off at 15, so I don't think I'm doing too bad. I'm getting better at swimming, too, and I can sort of stick my face in the water without thinking I'm going to drown.

I need to get working on those curtains for the boys' room because I've been procrastinating like crazy. Here I go. Maybe they will be done by Christmas? I just need some motivation to get off this couch...and Pinterest. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Baby

It's been a tough week. It all started Monday with an ear infection for Kenny. Luckily, his pediatrician's office is open till 9, so we made an appointment, then picked up his prescription afterward. Poor little guy was running a fever, which came back the next 2 nights (though not as high, thankfully). He's doing much better today and almost seems to be himself, though a bit grouchier than normal. He gained enough weight so the dr. isn't worried, but he's a tiny little guy: only 14 lbs., 4 oz., which puts him in the 2nd percentile for weight.

I started running -- finally! Things just kept happening to prevent me from going, but I went to the rec center on Wednesday. I ran about 6 of the 15 laps required to make a mile. It wasn't too bad, and I didn't have to push myself too hard to accomplish that. My legs are sore, so today's going to be much harder. (But the second day is always the worst. I remember that!)

I took my boys to visit a lady in the ward. She was in a car wreck about 10 years ago, and she's in a wheelchair and not "all there". Actually, it was a lot like talking to my great grandma, who is 101 and has a failing short-term memory. The lady asked if blue eyes are a family trait about 20 times, but she also kept saying that she thought I was pretty. That made me feel good.

I've been researching a little about "fashion" and stuff. I've never learned much about it before, but I'm trying to figure out what my style is. I think I've been partially inspired by Clean House, even though they style houses and not people. It's funny to read opinions about different things, but I do realize one thing: I shouldn't complain so much about my figure, because it's an hourglass. Supposedly that's what everyone wants. It's so easy to look at what others have and to be dissatisfied with what I have because of it, but making those comparisons is foolish. And Mama didn't raise no fool. :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thank a Teacher

I want to mention my wonderful husband today. He has worked until 6:00 every day this week, but he only gets paid until 3:30, which is when contract hours end. He also puts up with (and actually enjoys) 150 8th graders every day. I love hearing his stories (and really funny quotes) from his students.

It's been a long week. James started leaving early (5:45) every other day to go swim at the rec center. We've been a couple of times together, and it's a lot of fun. I had my first ever swimming lesson, which made me a bit sore the next day. I have yet to do any running, but I hope to start within the next few days. I have a plan to work up to running a whole mile. Yeah, I know that's kind of pathetic.

Our ward had a party on Halloween. James was Indiana Jones and Kenny was a Dalmatian. Somehow they escaped being photographed.

I made the Princess Leia buns. (a dismantled scarf woven into a headband, then 2 mini braided rugs)
Joseph as Darth Vader, sans cape
We had a good time. Joseph got a bag of candy from the trunk or treat. I never realized how expensive candy is until I bought 10 dollars' worth that disappeared within 10 minutes.

I've had a hard time with these short days, but I'm pressing on. I even worked on the boys' curtains today. They're going to be really cute when they're done! I think my goal is by the end of the year, and it's not going to happen much sooner than that. That's okay, because their current curtains are an old blanket and some nails, which has worked just fine for the last year. :)

I think I'm ready for a weekend. This brain needs a rest.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Vacation, A Calling, and a Crazy Idea

Wow. It's been quite the few weeks, and I even have pictures to share!

We left for Rexburg last Wednesday and arrived that evening around 5. It was a great drive. We decided to take the back road through Wyoming, and it took us through Star Valley (sorry, family, for not stopping by!) and Swan Valley, ID. It was a gorgeous drive. The kids were pretty good until about 4 p.m. Joseph had barely fallen asleep when Kenny woke him up, so they were both really grumpy for the last hour.

James and I attended his parents' marriage class. We went to the whole 7 weeks last year, and it was a wonderful class. I recommend it to anyone. This lesson was a great review on anger. I need to work on controlling mine much better. I felt like I had improved, but then I had another kid. :)

James and Joseph went with his mom to I.F. the next day to run errands. I spent the morning relaxing in the quiet. Joseph may be one person, but he's not super quiet! James and I went to D.I. while the kids were napping. We scored a kid bike trailer and a bike rack to hook onto our car, so we were able to bring back the other bike. Too bad it's snowing, or we would've gone on a family bike ride by now. We had dinner that night at Big Jud's with James's parents and Sam and Jesse.

Friday morning we went to Bear World. It's not super cheap, but James's mom paid. It was well worth it to go on the fun little rides with Joseph. He loved the train, of course. We had lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Lee. Melodie and I went to a Relief Society retreat with the ward, and it was a lot of fun. I took Kenny, and he was an angel. Too bad the kid next door kept crying at midnight. I came home really sleep deprived. It was like one big sleepover with my old ward. I loved catching up with everyone.

Saturday night we watched Avengers (best comic book movie I've seen so far!) but I fell asleep. The sisters had a Halloween dance, and they woke me up at 1 a.m. I was not pleased. Somehow, I managed to go back to sleep.

After church, we packed up and drove home. It was a much better drive than on the way up. We took the Salt Lake route. I fell asleep for some of it. The boys napped for 2 hours and were angels. I love those little guys. We made it home around 9 and put them straight to bed, then went to bed early ourselves. Traveling wears me out and stresses me out quite a bit. It's great to be home.

It's been an uneventful week. We had our first snow yesterday and I've just been doing my normal thing.

I am now the Relief Society pianist! It's been great to learn hymns, and 2 a week is perfect. I love getting to know new songs. It's too bad that I can't sing along, because our R.S. is a little (okay, maybe a lot) off key. I guess pianists are hard to find in my ward, so I'm happy to be needed! (My ward last year had about 10 piano-players, so it was easy to find people to play. Here, not so much, and the R.S. president had to sub for me last week!)

I've been a little discouraged about my post-babies/nursing mom body. Yes, I wear my original size, and I only have an extra 5 lbs. or so, but it just isn't budging with 4-5 workouts a week and pretty healthy eating. James and I are going to join the rec center, and I'm going to start learning to swim (since I'm horrible) and work on my endurance with running. I said I'd never do it, and I'll probably never run faster than a 9-10 min. mile because of my short legs, but I need to do something more. I don't think I'll race against anyone but myself, because I just wasn't built to run fast. I think I'm crazy for even trying, because I haven't run since 9th grade. My teacher passed me out of the goodness of his heart because I was unable to run 2 miles in 20 minutes. (I still had 1/4 of a mile to go, and I was trying my hardest after intense training for 9 weeks.)

Joseph and Uncle Joseph

me, because "Mom stays in the picture"

Kenny loving his paci

little shorty isn't quite 3 feet tall

the bear family

fun ride

another fun ride
We'll see how this goes! If anyone has good advice, I would like to hear it (cousins reading this!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

On Politics and Baby Food (Rant-Free)

I promise that this is not a political rant! Nor is it all the things that people say on Facebook that simply hate on the other party. Bear with me: sometimes my thoughts get a little jumbled as I try to put things on "paper", but I've been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about these elections and how to deal with all the negativity going around.

I've felt somewhat complacent about political issues in the U.S. Many of them do not seem clear cut to me even after reading about both sides, and I don't believe everything I hear. After all, news stations are clearly biased toward one party or another. How can people really say that they know the "truth" and that the other party is completely wrong, ignorant, and/or plain evil? Although I live in Utah now, which is a very conservative state, the extreme conservatism that I hear really bothers me sometimes. There is a lot of assumption going on about the "other" party, whichever that may be. I see hateful memes and messages about our current president almost every day. Although I may not agree with everything he does (or when I'm just indifferent), I just can't seem to justify how people would compare him to "the devil" or say that he is anti-American...or perpetuate rumors that have been proven false about him. How does trying to bring the other party down give any credit to your own?

Where can we find "the truth"? I think we've forgotten. Logic does play an essential role is discovering the truth of all things, but where logic fails to explain things, we need to have faith and rely on the Spirit to teach us. This country is facing a lot of challenges right now. I don't have any idea how to fix them. It's not in my stewardship to take care of the whole nation. Regardless of the outcome of any election, I'm not going to have a fit about it, because I know the truth through the Spirit. If the devil himself really were the president of this country, I would still be proud to be an American, because I know that God is really the one in charge. Ultimately, he will not let evil win. I don't think that all evil is found in ONE leader. Nor is all the good.

From an LDS mom's standpoint, I can still do my part in solving the big issues, even if it's just a drop in the ocean.

I'll never go to war and I can't solve the ones we have, but I can promote peace in my own home: the peace that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I can't get rid of national debt, but I can certainly start in my own home by getting rid of ours. We're already working on becoming more self reliant.

Abortion and gay marriage have not affected me or my immediate family directly, but I can instill in my children the values taught by The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I can't change the decisions made by others, but I'm not afraid of offending anyone when I stand for what I believe. How would that trample on anyone else's rights? They have their agency. It's my duty to share my knowledge of what I know to be true, whether they accept it or not.

Don't want to pay income tax? Just be a stay-at-home mom. If I did work, I would sustain and uphold the law. I can't say how to fix this economy, but I'll never break a law, even if it seems unfair to my middle-class family.

I can't make more jobs for others, but I can find fulfillment in my own as a mother. Someone who needs my teaching job more than I do can certainly have it.

I can't fix the problems with education, but I can educate my own children. Whether I send them to public school or not, they are still going learn the Gospel and the most important lessons at home. Having been in public schools, I know that most of their problems come from a lack of good family structure anyway!

The environment needs my help. I don't know how to take care of oil drilling, but I do know that I can conserve in my own household. I look at the positive side: God made us a beautiful world to enjoy! I do enjoy it, no matter how the electricity gets in my house.

Healthcare for others isn't something I can do much about, but I can keep my own family healthy by living The Word of Wisdom to the best of my ability (therefore avoiding the need for much healthcare!)

I have faith in the American people. Many do not live with the constant guide of the Spirit as I do. I can't judge them by their political decisions when they lack the guidance that I've had. I don't condemn them for voting differently because I can, from a logical standpoint only, see why.

These are things that I know to be true, not just because of logic, but because the Spirit has testified of their truth to me. I have pondered the big issues many times, but I don't think there's one way to fix them. That's why I'm starting with my home.

No matter how this election turns out, I will follow God in my daily life. Nothing will change in the way I worship. He's taking care of this world and country. We have no need to fear as long as we're doing our best to follow Him.

On a completely unrelated note, Kenny is doing especially well with baby food and seems to really like it. Despite my best efforts to produce a chubby baby, I just ain't got it in me. He didn't gain anything between 4 and 6 months, so he's in the 2nd percentile on weight. The dr. is going to weigh him again next month to make sure he's okay. I just have to remind myself that he's fine. No baby who sleeps 11 hours at night and is happy and active could possible be starving to death. He has his moments, sure, but he's a great baby, and we are really glad to have him in our family. I hope he gains even just a little bit, but I think he's going to be a little guy. I'm okay with that. I'm sure he will still be taller than me when he grows up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When You Make Plans... hands you a baby who doesn't want a nap.

It's been a long week.

Where did all my sunshine go? :( Not a fan of waking up at 6:30 when it's still dark!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Simple Life RETURNS!

It's been one heck of a week in the Head household. I'm used to a pretty laid-back schedule. I almost never leave the house while James is at work, and I'm totally cool with that.

We hosted James's whole family, minus his dad, who is in Ecuador. They arrived last Saturday and left today. We did a lot together, ate lots of yummy food, and had fun introducing his siblings to Star Trek: Enterprise.

I enjoyed the Relief Society broadcast last Saturday night. I wish I would’ve paid more attention, but that’s hard with a little boy who keeps doing cute things. My neighbor Chelsie came with us. There was dessert afterward, and it was yummy.

Other highlights:

Thrift stores: Okay, so one is a pawn shop. I found some hooks for the boys’ room and Melodie bought us a couch—our first ever---for the living room! I washed the covers and we vacuumed it out. It’s really comfy!

Dinosaur stuff. You just have to when you’re in Vernal.

The park.

The temple.

A date with free babysitting. We sure miss that.

I also got a calling. I’m nervous, but excited. I will share once I am actually sustained, so you have to wait 2 weeks. Let’s just say that I really need to practice. J

4 loads of laundry later, the house is just about back in order. I’m loving this gorgeous weather. I want it to stay forever. I can’t wait for Conference!

Also, my brother Christian is HOME from his mission. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years. Joseph was just a baby when he left. Kenny is 6 months old as of today, so we’re heading to the dr. to see how little he is. (Definitely not big: that child is a bean pole!)

And that is all. Enjoy the pictures.

Auntie Anna with Joseph at the park

Grandma and Kenny

This makes me happy!

Love this boy.

Uncle Joseph

wall of bones/ dinosaur quarry

Aunt Angie 

Friday, September 28, 2012

What the Hair?

When James asked me to grow my hair out a few months ago, I told him I'd give it a try. I'm not usually big on long hair, mainly because I've been unhappy with my hair for as long as I can remember. Especially while living in Florida, it always looked like a huge, frizzy mess. Thankfully, living in Utah/Idaho has helped a lot. No humidity means a lot less frizz!

I've never cared much of styling my hair. I hate the smell of hairspray, and it never seemed to help much with all the little fly-aways. One thing really bothered me as I got older. What happened to the curls that I used to have?

Well, after Googling a little, I realized that I've been doing my hair completely wrong my entire life.

Mistake #1. I shampooed it every day. Nope! I should only be doing it every other day, or not at all.

Mistake #2. I never used conditioner because I didn't like the greasy feel. Turns out that I should use it every day.

Mistake #3. Brushing. Apparently, I shouldn't use a brush - EVER. Brushes are for straight hair only. Oops. Running conditioner through my hair with my fingers takes care of any tangles.

Mistake #4. Applying too much heat. I did notice that blow drying seemed to make things worse, so I didn't even own one until a few days ago. Using warm or cool is the way to go - not hot! I'm also not supposed to straighten my hair often, or it will ruin the waves and damage it. I knew that. I'm lazy and don't use it often anyway.

Mistake #5. Not styling with gel. Gel doesn't equal crunchy hair! It helps define the waves and eliminates frizz.

Yes, our webcam is horrible. :)
I have since corrected my mistakes, and I'm happy to say that I LIKE my hair for the first time ever! It takes about 10 minutes to "do" it every morning. That's really not too bad. I even made a few headbands to keep it out of my face. It's pretty nice not to have to worry about a part, and I can walk through light rain without worry about a frizz nightmare. Thanks again, Google! I now know how to take care of my WAVY (not straight, but not curly) hair!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Slowing Down

ready for Church!
I am grateful to my Heavenly Father these last two weeks for inspiring me to slow down. It's too easy for me to get caught up in the trivialities of running a household and forget about the most important part of my job: nurturing my children. There are hundreds of "good" things that I could be doing with my time, but I sometimes lose sight of what's the "best".

James gave me a sore throat that he picked up at school. Last week, I'd been despairing (quite literally) over my suddenly super-whiny children. Nothing I did seemed the make the difference for them. I felt that the extra time I set aside to care for them had been wasted, because it didn't seem to make a difference in their level of happiness. I couldn't even leave the room without Kenny screaming hysterically. I realize now that they probably picked up a mild version of the illness, not enough to get runny noses, but enough to have sore throats and be super grumpy.

Still, I'm glad that I was better prepared for it. I felt prompted to finish my blog about food storage. Simplicity was part of my original goal, so I figured that stopping at 35 posts seemed pretty reasonable. I've realized over time that my little hobbies do make a difference, but it doesn't mean that I'll always have the time to be perfect at all of them. I don't need my own cooking show, but I can provide nutritious, tasty meals for my family. I'm not worried about becoming a world-famous blogger; I just want to record what's happening in my life and what I'm thinking about. I'll certainly never finish my 15-generation pedigree chart, but finding one person at a time makes all the difference to that one person. The rest will have to wait for the Millennium, or at least until I retire. I don't use my keyboard as much as I should, but my boys love it when I sing to them and play songs. (It's one of the ways that I can get Kenny to laugh!)

I love this little face!
I've made many goals this year that I haven't gotten around to and probably won't. Some of my goals took a different direction that I thought they would. I felt a little guilty about the ones I didn't even touch, so I ripped that page out of my notebook and pretended that I never made them in the first place.

I guess my point is that when it comes to good, better, and best, and you only have enough time and energy for the best things, that's okay! The past 2 weeks have been a little like that. Though I haven't expended a lot of "creative" energy, my house isn't falling apart and my boys are happy and well. I've relaxed a little during this (mild) illness and taken advantage of my extra time when I would've been working out. (Because who works out while sick?) I painted my toenails and watched a chick flick while drinking mint tea with honey after the boys went to bed. Does life get better than that? Not much. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Treasure in Heaven

I've been reading in 3 Nephi recently. These verses took on new meaning this week.

Ch. 13

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

My family is my greatest treasure. I never realized it until I had my own children, but I would be lost without them. I grew up in a wonderful family that taught me everything I needed to know. I rejoice now as this family keeps growing.

I'm not perfect, but I'm doing my best at this job. My parents weren't perfect either, but they were the perfect parents for me. I hope that one day my children will say the same of me: I wasn't the perfect mother, but I was "good enough" to teach them everything they needed.

Earthly "things" don't matter so much. I used to think of treasure in heaven as only spiritual things. In a sense, it is. The family is both as spiritual and temporal creation. Physical bodies are temporal, but we are spiritual beings, sealed together in this life and the next. No one was meant to go through life alone. We will spend eternity with our families.

Nothing makes me happier than to have this knowledge. I love my family a lot. With such a treasure, I am truly rich.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mothers Who Know

I know that everyone has heard this talk (well, members of the Church, anyway!) but I felt that I should read it today. Here's a quote that really stood out to me:

"Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying."

This quote is especially applicable to me right now. It gives me peace and reminds me that I'm doing the right thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend Adventures

Well, today has not been my day. Both boys have been grumpy, which makes me grumpy. However, we had a very enjoyable Labor Day weekend. We did a little bit of exploring of the the cool stuff found in this area. There's a lot to do and see!

digging out bones with Joseph in the Dinosaur Museum

outside the museum in the gardens, the mighty stegosaurus

James showing off the allosaurus
The museum was one of the coolest I've ever been to! It shows a whole history of the earth and has a bunch of interactive exhibits. It's a good thing I believe in evolution, or it might not have been quite as cool. :)

Monday, we went on a short but grueling hike to see the petroglyphs. Coolest. Hike. Ever. (Though it definitely wasn't the easiest! I'm a wimpy hiker.)

driving up: you can see tons of layers of rock

a deer

warrior with shield

more people

yes, it's my other job
There were a lot more petroglyphs that I didn't even include, mainly because they're hard to see. We probably saw 100 pictures altogether. So cool! I don't love hiking, but I love the history that this area has and being able to see it. Now, why isn't gas cheaper?!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Life in Dinosaur Land

I was pretty bummed when I wrote Monday's post (was it Monday? I don't even remember now). Since then, things have really shaped up. I feel better in every way. Life has settled into a pretty good routine again, for which I am VERY glad.

We got a new windshield this week since our car failed its first Utah safety inspection. It cost 220 bucks, but we got our refund check from our last apartment that same day. What a blessing! The refund covered a few days that they got someone else to move into our old apartment, so it ended up being more than enough to cover the cost of the windshield. I would call that a tender mercy.

like a ninja!
Our power randomly went out this morning. I tried flipping all the breakers just to make sure, but nothing. I called the power company, and they said I'd need to flip the main breaker out behind the apartment, and that I should call management. As if! I went and did it myself. Not to complain, but the management here is horrible. They don't even provide screens for our windows, which is totally stupid, in my opinion. It's nice that there aren't any (or many) mosquitoes, but our house does have its fair share of flies right now.

I have no idea what we'll do this weekend. I, for one, am getting our first Bountiful Basket! The fridge is looking pretty sad and empty right now. Joseph has a new-found obsession with going to Wal-mart, so I'm going to take him with me tomorrow. I think that will make him happy.

Part of my stress has been with budgeting. Not everything is as cheap as it was in Idaho, but I can't really raise the budget on anything since our rent costs more. We also have our debts to worry about, but I know it will all work out. I'm just glad that I've been obsessively cheap over the last few years, because it's totally necessary in order for us to live on one teacher salary. I shouldn't worry too much about what I don't have yet.

Kenny is now rolling both ways. He learned back to tummy first, since I was lazy about tummy time, but he learned tummy to back about 2 weeks later. He also has no problem holding his head upright. Tummy time is overrated. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012


It's been one of those days. For no apparent reason, I keep having to drag myself out of bed at 6:45. I have no reason to be that tired, because my boys never wake me up at night and go down by 8:30. I don't go to bed late. Maybe James's alarm is waking me up at the wrong part of my sleep cycle. I wish I knew! I haven't been feeling 100% over the last week: just tired, on edge, and moody, not to mention hungry.

I also can't seem to shake my feelings of inferiority to many other families. It's hard knowing that we will be living on one teacher salary for the rest of our lives, so we will never be rich. I will likely never have my "dream house" with the wraparound porch and turret. We will be lucky to afford a house at all. Most teachers' wives also work (commonly as teachers!), but I'm staying home. It's a huge sacrifice but definitely the right thing to do. I suppose that my fears are not unfounded. My mom tells me of the time that her dad worked as a teacher and her mom stayed home. She said it was really hard. That's coming from a woman who's been really frugal her whole life.

My greatest fear is that I won't be able to provide for my children: that they will be ashamed of eating homemade bread (because who eats that more than once in a while?), that they will reject "new" clothes from yard sales and D.I., and that they won't want to have their friends over to a house that probably needs some fixing up.

I'm doing everything that I can to save us money, but I often feel that I'm not doing enough. Am I really doing my best, or can I do better?

I hope that my children will continue to be easy to please. Joseph usually snacks on bread and butter, because it makes him happy and he requests it. Grandma sent him a pack of graham crackers recently, and you would think that he'd died and gone to heaven. Graham crackers are a luxury here.

I don't say these things to get pity or to brag about how cheap I am. Sometimes I enjoy being a tightwad, but other times it's not as fun. Some people go to yard sales and D.I. because it's fun. I shop at those places out of necessity.

I never realized how important my skills are to my household. Instead of being out there earning money, I'm working hard to save it. It's not an easy job. Nobody is standing here telling me that I'm doing a good job. I don't get a printout of how many hours I've spent working or how much money I've saved us. I will probably never know. We will never come close to keeping up with the Joneses, but I'm still going to do everything to have my dream home, even if it's not a dream house.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Now We Live in UTAH...Info Overload

If I said this week had been easy, that’d be a complete lie. My stress level was probably comparable to my first week home with 2 kids. That’s all better now, but let me explain the goings-on for the last week and a half…

Mom and Mara arrived last Tuesday. We’d just returned from vacation the previous Saturday, so there wasn’t a lot of time to rest up. Since our car only seats 5, we didn’t drive anywhere all together. We took 2 trips to get everyone to church! We did go on some walks together and to the pool a couple of times. Even in the hottest weather of the summer, the water in Idaho never quite gets to the “bathwater” warm that I’m used to!

We started packing on Friday and worked Saturday and Monday to get it all done. Lots of people came to help load, so it went very quickly. We’re really going to miss our Nampa ward. It’s been the absolute best. I even got to go visiting teaching on Sunday, which was bittersweet.

We left on Tuesday, the 14th, to make our epic journey to Vernal. It couldn’t have been better. Mom and Mara were able to help with the kids, so we only had to stop twice, a miracle, considering that the drive took us 9 ½ hours. The evening was rough, mainly because the kids hadn’t slept well in the car and nobody could find anything. Once Kenny started screaming and refused to eat, I retreated to my (empty) room, sat in the corner, and cried. I felt helpless and didn’t know what to do. Thankfully, he was just overtired, and he went to sleep soon after I got in the room. I wish I could say that I slept well, but that never happens on my first night in a strange place.

Wednesday was a rough day. We had to drive 2 ½ hours (so 5 round trip) to return our truck in Green River, WY. The drive was gorgeous, but the kids were whiny. I don’t blame them. I felt the same about making another trip! However, the trip to WY saved us about 400 bucks. Thank you, Budget! I wish that Mom and Mara had been around still, but I dropped them off before we left at the Vernal airport (now officially the smallest airport I’ve ever seen). Once we returned and unpacked some more, I went on the most depressing shopping trip ever. I have discovered that living in a small town in another state means that everything costs more. So lame. I didn’t get everything on my list, and I’m really missing Winco right now because of its huge selection, especially in produce. Thank goodness for Bountiful Baskets. I’m signing up for one as soon as we have internet. I’m going to have to shop at 2 stores and pay attention to sales to pay what I paid in Idaho.

Thursday and Friday were teacher work days for James. I finished unpacking and even did some cooking. It’s great to have fresh bread in the house again.

We got library cards at the brand new library! It’s only been open for 2 weeks! I have to brag: they let you check out movies for 3 weeks, and the fees are only 10 cents a day. Heaven.

It’s been nice and cool so far. I don’t need AC, which is great, because we don’t have one. The climate here is right between Nampa and Rexburg, so I think it will be pretty nice. I’m getting used to washing dishes by hand. I’ll miss my dishwasher every single day, though. We did manage to get a washer and dryer in Nampa before moving, thanks to Dad checking craigslist. 125 bucks! I love good deals. James got it all hooked up with Dad’s help.

There’s still a lot left to do paper-wise, but we’re enjoying our small town so far. We are most definitely in the middle of nowhere, but the view is really nice.

Saturday was another low point for me. I’d reached a point of exhaustion by afternoon after such a hard week (and a bunch of laundry that I finally got to!), so I tried to read. I ended up falling asleep instead, so I missed out on a good opportunity to go to the library and use the internet before it closed. I tried going to McDonald’s instead, but I ended up leaving because of a creepy guy who wouldn’t leave me alone. If I’d been thinking straight, I would have realized that he was a little challenged, but he was asking me where I lived and if I would “be his”. (So glad I’m married!) Anyway, I left because he was being really distracting, and I was really hungry since it was so late. I got absolutely nothing done, which is why this blog post happened now instead of on Saturday!

Our ward seems pretty nice. The building is really close by, of course. There are a few other families that live in our complex, which is nice. Joseph already has a new friend to play with. She’s 3 ½, which is perfect, because his last “best friend” was also an older girl. He still misses her and asks about her almost every day. It’s cute. We will be going to the park tomorrow with the other young moms in the ward.

Vernal definitely lives up to its name for being “Utah’s Dinosaur Land”. There are dinosaurs everywhere, even on the street signs! I think it’s kind of cool. One of these days, I will take a pic of all the dinos I can find, especially the big pink one with long eyelashes.

the Uintah Basin, as it's called


more scenery

makeshift entertainment center

and recliner...which fell apart soon after

new kitchen (which is actually ancient, esp. the floor. yuck)


bath w/ a new shower curtain. (finally replaced after 3 yrs!)

bath. closet

my bedroom

boys' room

shoe organizer, version 2.0

office/ man cave

linen closet

living room from the front door

living room from the hallway

first ever coat closet
Thanks for reading! If you didn't, I don't blame you. :)