Sunday, August 16, 2015

3 more weeks of summer!

The kids have been in school for 3 weeks and now I get them back to myself for 3 more weeks!  I have big plans.  We'll see how much we get done, but hopefully we'll get a good portion of it.

3 Week Dream to-do list:
1. Sewing "camp" with Sophie
2. Jurrasic World with McKay
3. Clean the house.
4.  Lots of swimming
5. Snow cones
6. Library time
7. Finish Anne of Green Gables with Soph so we can watch the movie.
8. Finish Soph's birthday gifts
9. Send McKay to Grandpa for a "boys week" with his best cousin, Bry.
10. A little camping

Between their schedules and mine it may be tough to fit it all in, but we are sure going to try! Thankfully camps are all over now and piano hasn't quite started yet.  That should help. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Good Things

Loving all the rain we've been soaked with this week.  Also love all the yard work I'm NOT doing because of it. :) Everything is so green and gorgeous, if slightly overgrown now.

Jeff and I celebrated our 15th anniversary this week.  Nothing says romance like Culvers for lunch and a late showing of Age of Ultron.  I'm serious.  Totally how to win me over. Besides.  It was a Wednesday.  Best Wednesday in a long time.

Our Stake President visited our ward to day to make a big announcement.  Our stake is switching to Sacrament meeting first!!  In the 10 years we've lived in this stake we have always had it last.  I am so thrilled to have it first.  Hooray!!

I have back muscles now.  And shoulder definition.  I'm very excited about this.

Dance competition is over for this year.  Lyndsi's team and studio did really well at all their competitions. It's been so fun to watch these girls mature into awesome young ladies as well as beautiful, talented dancers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Housekeeping and the Atonement

Admittedly, I am not the world's best housekeeper.  I don't come in 2nd place or even third.  Many days I don't even come first in housekeeping among the 6 of us that live here.  I like to blame my right-brained, creative side for the mess.  (It sounds much cooler than thinking I am in general a bit of a slob.)  As I've worked to improve this particular weakness, I have noticed a few things.

1.  When I open up the blinds, even when my house feels beyond help, light floods in and the mess suddenly looks manageable.

2. When I buckle down and clean up, I love the results.  I feel free.  I feel light.  I can dimly remember the mess that was my house only a short hour or two before.

3.  I cannot always manage the cleaning on my own.  I rely on the help of my kids.  My husband.  Occasionally my mom and even on occasion a friend has stepped in to help (usually with more organization projects or a helping each other out thing)

The more I think about it and the better I get at cleaning my house, the more I realize what a great analogy it is for the Atonement.

1.  When I let Jesus Christ into my life, my sins and short comings don't seem so terrible and definitely look more manageable.

2.  When I repent and/or ask for His help, I feel free and unburdened.  I know that I have made past mistakes put only know the joy of feeling clean and pure.

3.  I not only need His help, but the help of my family and friends to stay on the right path, to help make good choices and to keep me from giving up.

Little revelations like this have helped make gospel principles relatable for me and strengthened my testimony.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Relief Society and Love

I've had this post on my mind for quite some time.  I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord and especially those that come through the channel of Relief Society.

This is a very tender, personal, emotional experience I'm about to share, but feel like it may help someone else.  Several months ago I was having a rough Sunday.  I was struggling even to desire to get to church that morning and feeling so spiritually weak and lonely.  But I went, determined to set a good example for my kids. I went to Relief Society as it is our first block.  I sat on the front row.  My friend and walking/running buddy sat down next to me.  A few minutes later another sweet friend whom I also look up to and admire greatly sat next to me on the other side.  As we joined our voices in the opening song, I literally felt their spirits reach out and hold mine up. That day I learned about the power we have as Relief Society sisters.  Those 2 women had no idea what just their presence did, but for me it made me want to go back the next week and the week after that.  Recently I was having another challenging Sunday and had a very similar experience, once again reaffirming several things. Relief Society is a place filled with power.  God uses other people as his angels.  Most importantly, God is very aware of me and my deepest, innermost struggles and wants me to feel loved not only by him but the ladies I live by.

Today has been great.  Feeling good.  Driving home from dropping kids off at school my best friend texted me to say I love you.  My mom called and asked to come help get things ready for a big party we are having this weekend.  During our cleaning session, my visiting teachers -one I've had since I started in this ward and one brand new to the ward- came by and had a lovely visit full of interesting conversation and laughter and testimony.  Later as my mom was about to leave I thanked her for her help and taking the time to come out on her only morning off.  She told me she could not get me off her mind and decided she needed to be with me and help out this morning.

Today I was not struggling, but have had it manifested again that the Lord loves me and has real, living angels placed in my path to help me along this mortal journey.

I love the Lord.  I am not always at my best and definitely have my struggles and challenges- most of which I try to keep hidden.  But I love the Lord.  I am so grateful to be His daughter.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This week

Not much going on this week.  Work.  School.  Dance.  Basketball.  Piano.  I spent a lot of time creating this week. I really wanted to sit down on Tuesday to make some cards.  Finally take advantage of all the fun things I've aquired since starting work at Stampin Up. The stars aligned and I had a hour and a half to myself.  I pulled out my supplies and got to work.  And then I sat and stared at the different elements I had made, The Property Brothers jabbering confidently in the background. I didn't know what to do with any of the pieces.  I sat there for the entire time not knowing how to put together a single card. Thankfully, I did not give up.  I found myself back at my desk the next day and was able to put together some cute cards.  Thursday I did more.  It's always scary when I feel like I have nothing to offer, even it's just a simple thing like making a card. A friend at work reminded me that I do not have to reinvent the wheel.  I can totally copy from Pinterest.  Which is what I did and after a few cards I even came up with one or two of my own.  Isn't it funny how when it comes to writing, copying someone else's work is plagiarism, but copying someone's scrapbook page or card is a very high form of flattery? (I know it's more complicated than that, but still...)

The weather has been pretty pleasant this week and today was gorgeous.  McKay took his skateboard to a friend's house today (cue the foreshadowing music).  Jeff and I went to Sophie's basketball game (she's pretty quick on the court!) and then I headed to the grocery store with Chloe while he took Soph for team pictures.  When McKay came to help me unload the groceries he only took one bag.  I rolled my eyes and told him he could carry more than one.  He grabbed a second bag with his right and tried to lift it.  Tears started.  Uh oh.  Lyndsi helped me after that.  Jeff rolled in shortly and I had him look at McKay's wrist.  Long story short, McKay has a broken arm.  It's a buckle fracture that will most likely not need to be casted, but he does have to wear a brace.  Apparently he was trying to do an ollie and flipped off and landed funny on his arm.Our first broken arm.  Maybe he should get an award. :)

January make me want to dejunk.  At least this year.  I've slowly been tackling little spaces around my house.  The craft room was first.  4 bags of fabric later, it's feeling much better.  And more organized.  Friday, with the help of Chloe and my friend Emily, we did the playroom. It was really exciting to box up toys that no one plays with.  Lots of dumb little things got thrown away. THAT was nice.  Today was the coat closet.  Ugh.  I've been dreading that one.  I think I cleaned out 5 different "church" bags.  Lots of coloring pages, old programs and original art work in the trash.  It looks so much better now.  I know no one will see it but it sure makes me feel better having it done.

Looking forward to next week.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Couch Makeover!

Well...More like a throw pillow makeover, but it does change my couch up a bit. I still think of these couches as my "nice" couches, but when I really think about it, these babies are 10 years old.  Unless you never sit on couches (let alone have kids around them), 10 years can wear out the best of couches.

This is what my couches look like- the same way they were displayed at Boulevard Home Furnishing years ago.  (Try to see past the terrible lighting.)  The decorative fringe is getting really stringy.  The weave in the pillows are getting snagged.  And honestly, the color is a bit drab for the space it's in.

I can't afford to replace the couches yet.  Nor do I want to replace them until we are fully, 200% potty trained here.  My cute friend at work has been asking me to help her with some throw pillows for her couch.  I haven't really done many pillows but as I've looked at different tutorials, I caught the bug.  I had to redo my pillows.  (I can't teach what I don't know, right?)

I used this tutorial with one change.  I used one piece of fabric (like this one) instead of cutting one piece for the front and two for the back.  This worked for me because I was doing so many pillows from the same fabrics.  If I were only doing one pillow I would do it the way she did it.

I scoured Hobby Lobby for fabric I loved.  My favorite store did not disappoint.  I summoned all the energy I could and set out to get them made.  (Some dumb virus has invaded me this week and I spent a good 3 days on the couch.)

These were really easy.  Definitely a good beginner sewing project.  My one tip would be to iron, iron, iron.  It takes a good project to the next level.

Love my new pillows.  The kids thought I bought new pillows.  Now I think I need to paint my family room....

Friday, January 2, 2015

The New Year

There is something beautiful about the new year.  Despite the snow and cold, I feel like spring.  New and clean and refreshed, ready to take on the year.  In hopes that the old adage of 'write down your goals and share them' actually works, here are a few of my goals for 2015. 

1.  Use my camera more frequently.  I love taking pictures and love the higher quality of a digital camera especially when compared to a smart phone.

2. To read more.  The last 2 years my hours of reading have been embarrassingly low for being a bookworm.  So far I finished one book and am halfway through a second. I am all ready feeling much better.

3. Take charge of my health.  There are small things in my life that could use a good adjustment and health is one of them.  Things like more sleep, more water, etc. 

4. Attend the temple more frequently. I would like to get in at least one session per month.

These are just a few of the goals, but I think they are pretty manageable.  Hopefully they will bring the happiness and satisfaction that I am expecting from them. 

Here's to a fantastic 2015 and a year of accomplishing things!!