Monday, November 19, 2012

Holding on to the things that matter most

A friend of mine lost her 7 week old baby to SIDs last week.

I attended the funeral on Saturday and my heart about broke when I saw the parents of the baby standing next to the little casket.  I broke down in sobs and have been crying ever since.  I can't even imagine the horror this family is going through and how that mother's arms must ache to hold her sweet baby again.  I have faith that there is a Father in Heaven who is watching over us and that they will see and hold their baby again.  I have faith they will eventually find peace through the Savior.  But I know that doesn't take away the horror of what just happened in their lives.

All this sweet friend said to me at the funeral was how grateful she was that I had referred my OBGYN to her three years ago.  She told me that the doctor had come to her home to visit her and comfort her not two days after her baby died.

I went in for my regular check-up today and the first thing I did was thank my doctor for showing such kindness to this family.  My doctor's eyes filled with tears as she began to share experiences she had over her patients losing babies in childbirth or in situations like these.  We cried together.  I said a prayer right there thanking God that this doctor was my friend's doctor and mine for that matter.  There are some wonderful and good hearted people in the world.

I went home straight from the funeral and held onto my own babies for dear life.  I have made an extra special effort to show them the utmost kindness and patience and have showered them with kisses daily.  I cherish them more than I have ever now that the reality that life is indeed short and our days are numbered is much more apparent.

The number of lbs I have gained this pregnancy are so insignificant.
Who the president is doesn't matter to me.
How much we pay in taxes doesn't really seem important.
Any other trivial worry or concern that used to be huge don't even register in my mind right now.

All I know is I have two sweet babies and another on the way.  No matter what I do in life, they along with my husband, are what matters most and I want to cherish every moment we have together.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween: Our annual theme

2012 Theme:  Cinderella
The Fairy Godmother, Cinderella, Bruno the dog, Prince Charming

2011 Theme:  Peter Pan
Wendy, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook

I love Halloween.  Especially since we like to always do a family theme with our costumes.  My rule for Halloween is scary is not allowed.  No scary costumes, no scary decorations.  The kids love that we do things as a family and we always talk months in advance what our costumes will be.  The kids love trick or treating and are so excited and gracious for every piece of candy they receive.

I just wish there wasn't the candy in my house now.  I keep saying I need to go on a sugar fast.  Starting Sunday.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Evolution of pregnancy

1st child - Food Cravings:
Me:  I would really love a blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Lance:  Ok.  It is about a 15 minute drive both ways and it may melt, and they close in 10 minutes but I will speed there for you.

2nd child - Food Cravings: 
Me:  I would really love a blizzard from Diary Queen.
Lance:  Honey, that is so far away.  How about a concrete from Foster's Freeze?  They are only three minutes away and are open late.

3rd child - Food Cravings:
Me:  I would really love a blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Lance:  Here are the keys.  Drive safely!


1st child - Maternity clothes
Went shopping before I was even showing to buy clothes and put them on as soon as I couldn't button my pants.

2nd child - Maternity clothes
Borrowed all my maternity clothes from a friend.

3rd child - Maternity clothes
Starting 3rd trimester and still trying to fit into my regular clothes so I don't have to wear maternity clothes or go buy any.  Starting to look ridiculous though.


1st child - Diaper bags
Carried around a heavy diaper bag with everything imaginable - wipes, diapers, change of clothes, toys, blankets, baby tylenol, until the baby was 2 years old.

2nd child -  Diaper bags
Carried around a diaper bag for the first few months and then just made sure we always had diapers and wipes in the car.

3rd child -  Diaper bags
Considering just buying a big purse.  Who needs one more thing beside the baby and a massive toddler to carry?


Amazing how the number of children changes you as a mother.  Expectations are lower, more realistic and much more laid back.  Or maybe we are just exhausted already from the previous kids.  I am wondering if this makes subsequent babies more mellow out of necessity?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This time around

25 weeks.  About 1 1/2 weeks away from being in the 3rd trimester.  Part of me feels like I can't believe we are 1/3 of the way done. But the other part of me still can't believe I am only 25 weeks.  Feels like I should be further along.

Here are some things I have discovered this time around:

1.  It is possible to be sicker in later pregnancies.  Or maybe I am just sick with girls.  I don't remember throwing up more than once with Carsten.  Maybe five times with Elisabeth.  This time?  Almost daily until 17-18 weeks.

2.  It is possible to continue exercising when you are pregnant.   I have been running, albeit slower, not as far and stopping at least once to go to the bathroom on my routes, since I found out I was pregnant.  Along with attending spin class, a body pump class and Zumba at the gym occasionally.  My running days are pretty much over as it is getting more and more uncomfortable but I have to admit it felt great while it lasted.  I have more energy then I ever remember with any pregnancy (after the first trimester yuck-fest of course).  It isn't really changing my weight gain or body shape (see #3) but I am glad I am doing it.  Hope to keep being active in some way or another until this baby arrives.  I told y'all I was addicted to exercising.  That and candy.  Probably the other explanation for #3 below.

3.  Despite how much I exercise, my body still puts on maternal chub - everywhere.  I really want someone to explain why love handles and huge thighs are necessary for pregnancy and breastfeeding.  The belly and breasts I understand.  Along with the swollen ankles, fingers and face.    Those cute ladies that are all belly and skinny as ever?  Never gonna be me.  No matter how healthy I eat or how many miles I run.  I am round, curvy and anyone who sees me from behind will know I am with child.  The vain part of me is tempted to buy some of these so I can wear the cute, fashionable maternity clothes.  Alas, I am embracing tent-like shirts and flowy skirts and the attitude of gratitude and acceptance.  It is what it is and I would wear a muumuu for 9 months and then at least a year afterwards if I meant I had another little baby to hold.  I am 100% grateful I didn't kill myself to lose my last 10 lbs of weight before this pregnancy because I would have already gained it all back and then some.

Our little girl (did I forget to post we are having a girl?  It only took four ultrasounds to confirm but we are definitely expecting another girl) kicks are getting stronger and stronger.  I continually marvel at the whole process and miracle of it all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Changed my mind

Remember when I said I needed a project? After watching my friend's 6 month old today for 3 hours I've changed my mind. January is going to bring with it a HUGE project that is going to rock my world. I think I will enjoy not being really busy for the next three months.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Need another "project"

I think those who know me knew this was coming. I love being at home with my kids. I love not having to work. I love the freedom it provides and that my laundry is getting done and my kids are spending quality time with me.

But honestly, it isn't enough. Doesn't saying that make me feel like a horrible LDS mom?? Yes, yes it does. But that is who I am.

Reality is I need something else in which I can use my talents. Another project if you will. Up until now I have always had jobs at church that have kept me insanely busy and happy serving, teaching, organizing, teaching, and "taking care" of others. The last few months my job has changed and I teach adult Sunday School every other week. No longer as involved as I have been over the last 10 years. And am really trying to embrace the change. . . Though not even close to being successful.

So no work, no alumni board, no involved calling, no non profit leadership position. . . Definitely floundering here. Kids are too little to have a PTO to jump into. I am at a loss.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Her good heart

On the ferris wheel with Papa.
I owe this girl another post.  Life with Elisabeth is never dull.  Here are just a few words to describe our four year old princess.

Excited.  For life.  For the food she eats.  For the activities we do.  For the small things - like getting apple juice at a restaurant or taking a ferris wheel ride at the mall or getting to have two stories before bed instead of one.  For the hand-me-down ponies she gets from our neighbor.  Everything in life is so exciting to her and when she isn't upset about something, she is generally a happy girl.  I have been very blessed with two genuinely happy children so far!  I thank Lance's genes for that.

Friend.  Elisabeth is our little social butterfly and thrives on going and doing things with people.  Everyone is a friend to her and she sincerely loves those around her.  I pray that she holds onto this unrestrained love of people always and is the quality I most treasure in this little girl.  This quality, along with her intense personality and stubbornness is probably inherited from me.   I do worry, though, as others aren't as good hearted as she is.  I have seen other preschoolers get annoyed with her and try to exclude her when they are playing.  Why are kids so mean???  At even four years old?  In our house, that type of behavior isn't tolerated.  Luckily, she doesn't always clue into their meanness but just desperately tries to play alongside of them.  I dread the day when she realizes what is happening and gets hurt.  I know it is part of life but I can't help but want to shield her from the meanness and just surround her with goodness.

Helpful.  She loves to cook with me.  In fact, she can pretty much make scrambled eggs and toast on her own with VERY close supervision.  Always holds her brother's hand when crossing the street.  Feeds the dog.  Does her chores willingly.  Adding baby #3 to our family does not worry me much because I know she will be there to help.

Elisabeth with her best friend Tutti & Mya
Imaginative.  Her preschool teacher said this was her best quality and I have to agree it is one of her amazing talents!  She can play by herself all day, creating intricate and detailed worlds for her  My Little Ponies, princesses, play food, and any toy she finds.  Occasionally she will let her brother join in but this is only temporary as he doesn't get past saying "Hi" and following her around.  Maybe when his verbal skills improve they will become good play buddies.  I wonder if she will be a writer someday?

The tantrums are fewer and farther between but just as intense as ever.   Listening is not her strongest trait. She is plagued with bad dreams every night and often ends up in our bed or asking us to say a prayer over her so she can go back to sleep.  The more love and praise you show her (instead of correction or frustration) the sweeter and more enjoyable she becomes.  She can swim like a fish now, is learning how to ride her big girl bike that she got as a reward for learning how to swim, and getting closer to reading every day. She performed in her first dance recital and loved it.  She may not have been the most graceful ballerina out there but she was the most animated!

We love our Eli-bear.

Friday, July 27, 2012


For years I had a hard time enjoying other peoples' babies.  I was happy for the new parents.  And I would hold the new babies.  But the pain of everything I had gone through to have babies of my own still lingered, never completely healed in my heart.  There was something in me that just wished that baby could be mine - especially when the baby came so easily to some. I would often leave the presence of the new baby saddened.

Today I visited a good friend in the hospital and held her baby not even a day old.  As I snuggled with that dark, sweet smelling newborn, my heart was overflowing with love.  I was so happy for my friend and wished I could sit there forever holding that baby.  I kept thinking to myself "The best days are days when babies are born."  On my drive home I realized that for the first time in as long as I could remember my heart did not hurt one bit.  I just felt pure happiness and love for both that baby and my friend.

I honestly feel like this miracle baby in my belly is blessing me more than with another child.  It has healed my heart.  After all of these years that healing is an absolute miracle in itself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Real. Bad. Mood.

After talking on the phone to one of my best friend's the other night, she sent me the link to this video.  

Let's face it.  As funny as this is, it describes exactly how I have been feeling lately.   Tired, sick most of the time, zero patience and tolerance, outspoken, hormonal, emotional, depressed and mostly just in a Real.  Bad.  Mood.  You won't cross this sorry ol' dog if you know what's good for you. Hoping this is just a symptom of the first trimester and that it will magically disappear in the next few weeks since I am officially in my 2nd trimester and my family, friends, and dog all need to see cheerful Kristi again desperately.

And since I am being outspoken, let me just say this.  For the record - If a pregnant woman complains, however briefly or excessively,  about the trials of pregnancy, that doesn't mean she isn't grateful for the miracle inside of her or that she doesn't realize what an amazing blessing it is to be able to conceive and carry a baby.   Sometimes being pregnant is HARD and miserable.  I would happily be miserable for 9 months to have another child and know there are women who would be grateful to be throwing up all night long like I have been lately if it meant they could be pregnant.  I went through 6 years of heartbreak and infertility to have an inkling of what they feel.  But let's just face it.  Sometimes this just stinks.  And no matter how much you want to suck it up and grin and bear it and be sensitive to the others feelings, sometimes you just need other people to emphasize, sympathize and support you so you can get through the next day.   I would do the same for any of my friends who needed the this type of support.

Phew.  Glad that is off my chest.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Carsten the Lion

Pantless and shoeless at Sea World.  Definitely how this little guy rolls on a usual basis.

I have this desire to blog.  Daily, in fact.  But the constant exhaustion and on again/off again nausea make it so do I not only blog, but I rarely take pictures.  Elisabeth had her first dance recital and my dad came out to visit and all I have to show for it is a few pictures taken on my iPhone.

I can't believe how this little boy is no longer a baby.  Well, I let him run around in his diaper and kiss his chubby thighs enough so at times he feels like my baby still but I can't ignore the inevitable.  He is definitely a toddler.  Here are some fun things he does:
  •  Tantrums?  Not his thing.  When he is angry or frustrated he growls like a lion.  Thus the nickname "Carsten the Lion" was born.
  • He cleans up after himself.  Regardless if we ask him to or not.  He sings his version of the Clean Up song which is more like "Meem ma, Meem ma."
  • Cars, bah (buses), Sofi the Beagle, the sand box and choochoos (trains) are his passion in life.  As is his milk and o ju (orange juice).  
  • He no longer wants to sleep with anything in his crib.  Just his blanket.  
  • He HATES poopy diapers and the big potty with the same vengence.  Hmm...How to solve this predicament is beyond me at the moment but since anything to do with feces, human or dog, makes me want to vomit these days, I am eager to find the answer.
  • He can swim.  Thank you Miss Lynn and your lessons (albeit a little expensive.)  For a boy who refuses to stay in a floatie and or hold unto you in the pool, this is wonderful.
  • Still hopelessly in love with this sweet boy.  How can you not be - wildness, picky eating and all?
We have been talking about if we want a boy or a girl next.  Beyond the usual "oh, we just want a healthy baby" part of me hopes for another girl.  Only because this little guy has been so special to me from the moment he was born.  His birth was beyond magical and I have been smitten ever since.  I kinda want him to be my special little boy . . . forever.  

I am sure he will be.  No matter who joins our family next. 

Still wishing we wouldn't have bought this sand box. . . as I get so tired of feeling like we live at the beach.
But he loves it so much, it is hard to deny him happiness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Canine miracles

Sofi ran away tonight. About an hour later I heard scratching on our garage door. Which means she came back home. On her own. Of the 50+ times this dog has run away, she has never come back on her own.

Feel like the miracles just keep raining down on us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When you are busy making other plans . . .

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
                                                                - John Lennon

As you remember, on January 20th I was planning to be running in this:

Instead, on January 20th I am due to have this:

Definitely an absolute unplanned, unassisted, unexpected but thoroughly welcomed miracle.

Here's a little background. . .
 Back in January I felt a distinct impression it was time for us to have another baby.  Why?  Not sure.  I mean I can barely manage the two cute yet crazy ones I have.  I remember eating the best pulled BBQ pork sandwich in the world at a swap meet in Oahu with Lance, telling him I was going to call our infertility doctor that day and set up an appt. for when we got back from our little love vacay.  He agreed it was time.

But it never worked out.  I drug my feet to get the blood work done needed to start the process. We soon found the house we just purchased.  Just like the last six years we had to make a choice - Do we do infertility treatments?  Or do we buy a house?  A house won out.  Surprisingly, I was at peace about it.  Another baby would have to wait until 2013 or even 2014.  I had a house to decorate, a budget to keep, two little ones to raise, a little more weight to lose and a half marathon for which to train.   

When we were packing to move, I came across a pregnancy test.  It was about to expire and I did not want to pack it.  I didn't even suspect I was pregnant but I figured I wasn't going to throw away $15.   I took it on a whim.  Imagine my surprise when I saw two lines.  After texting a picture of it to my friend Amber in disbelief, she insisted I go buy another.  The three digital ones I purchased and took that same day all spelled out in bold letters the unbelievable answer:  PREGNANT.

Shock is an understatement.

Ten years of trying with losses and no success on our own.  And here we are - stressed from buying a house and not even planning or trying and I am expecting baby #3.
I know this is early in the game to be announcing anything.  Isn't there an unsaid rule you should wait until you are in your 2nd trimester to share with the world?   But I just can't keep it a secret.  I am so excited and feel so incredibly blessed to be carrying this miracle.  I am so tired of having to be cautious about everything when it comes to having babies - chosing carefully who I tell when I am doing fertility treatments and when I am newly pregnant because I am so worried I am going to lose my baby.  I want to be excited about this baby and believe that everything is going to be okay.  Because as far as I know, everything will be.

Besides, any prayers from those we love can't but help. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Puppy love . . .

Well, not so much these days. I was cleaning out my cupboards last night in preparation for our move and threw away two bags of baking chocolate that were over a year old.

This dog woke me up four times last night, asking for more water and to be let out. FOUR times. Like a newborn.

This morning I found garbage all over my kitchen and dog vomit in four different rooms.

The only reason I haven't listed her on Craigslist today is because my babies love this lil' puker. And I love my babies more than anything.

I might miss her a bit. MIGHT. Oh, how blessed is a beagle with a loyal, guilt driven, and sensitive owner.

Now if she does this on our wooden floors at our house. . . Well, not looking forward to that moment.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

He's met his match

This little boy is still my all-time favorite baby. Just last week he toddled upstairs three times during FHE to grab scriptures for each one of us and wouldn't sit down until we all had a set in our hands. I might add we did not ask him to do this. We started singing the opening song and bam, he was gone on his mission. How can that not melt your heart?

The one thing I don't adore about him is his aggressiveness when he is upset. The hair pulling and hitting are quite embarrassing and exasperating to say the least. Thus why "gentle" is one if the clear words he speaks.

He's met his match, though. Tonight his little girl friend gave him a bloody nose by whacking him with a book. Though I felt so sad for him as I tried to clean up his gushing nose and wipe his tears away, I couldn't help but laugh. This was payback for all the chunks of hair he has pulled from that poor girl's head.

I wonder if they will marry someday. .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You can fly, you can fly, you can fly

Well, I am not sure about flying but I do plan on running my first half marathon in January 2013 with tmy wonderful SIL.

There is something inside of me that thrives on setting goals and reaching them.  And something more exciting when those goals improve my overall health.  

Let the training begin!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A very big week

Carsten turned 18 months.  Which means he is officially old enough for nursery.  Our little hair pulling, snuggling, giggling, train & dirt loving, book reading haas is no longer our baby.  Nursery kids, watch out!

Elisabeth gave her first scripture and prayer in Primary.  She chose 1 Nephi 3:7 - Because Nephi is her favorite prophet.  I have never seen a child more excited to hop up on that podium to speak in front of 40 kids/teachers.  Love our little spunky, fearless, princess who wants to do what is right. . . most of the time.

And last but not least. . . We bought a house!!!!  As of April 12th we can say we are officially homeowners and have settled down to roost.  We will be moving in mid-May and I literally can't wait!!!!

I know that homeownership is not all roses.  I know that my children aren't perfect and I am far from a perfect mother.  Experience and reason also tell me that there will be rocky times in the years ahead.  But as I laid down to go to sleep the day escrow closed and I thought of my two sweet children sleeping soundly in their beds within the walls of my new home and dear Lance sleeping next to me and my stinky beagle snoring by my feet, my heart couldn't help but almost burst with happiness.  I want to hold on to moments like these forever.  God is incredibly good.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Interior decorating

This past year has been one of discovery for me. I discovered I love to run. I discovered I love fashion. I discovered how to find a happy balance between being a mother, wife, freelance instructional designer, a member of the LDS church, and an individual.

Most recently, I have discovered how much I love interior design. It is a little like scrapbooking only instead of using paper, I get to use textiles and paint.

Our soon-to-be new home is absolutely beautiful. The sellers have kept it immaculate and have decorated it tastefully. The only room I want to change is our bedroom. We are officially retiring our IKEA queen sized bed frame held together with wood glue and clamps (yeah . . . high class here at our house) to our new guest room and purchasing a bedroom set and new bedding along with painting our walls.

After some browsing online, here is the look I am going for:

Love the splash of reddish / coral color with the contrasting blue. Love the white duvet which makes the room feel so fresh and clean. Love the rug and the stools at the end of the bed. Love the use of both blue and gray in the paint.

Here are a few things I have bought so far:

Hadley Ruched Sham - Pottery Barn

Beige/Red Flowing Branch Square Pillow - Target

This is the duvet cover I want for our bed (only with silver sage stitching instead of gray) but I do not want to pay what Restoration Hardware charges. Wondering if I can find a knock-off somewhere for cheap? Or maybe even just buy a white duvet cover and add my own edging?

Can't wait to hit the discount stores, like Home Goods, now to find nightstands, lamps and other throw pillows. And to find a bed frame and dresser. . .

What do you think? Any suggestions? Comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roll over

I know I don't give my dog near enough devotion here on my blog.

I should. She is my first baby after all.

But, truth be told, I spend half of my days getting after her for trying to eat food off the baby's tray and the other half cleaning up after the newest mess she has made.

Then night comes and she practically begs for me to hold her and just please love her. I guess all the threats to give her away if she jumps up to steal food from the counter one more time do something to her psyche.

Then I come upstairs to find her sleeping on my side of the bed.

Now if that doesn't prove I love her, not sure what will. Roll over dog and make me some room.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A good summary of yet another lovely Sunday in our house:
  • We were ONLY five minutes late to church.
  • I ONLY lost my keys twice on the way out the door.
  • Carsten ONLY pummeled his sister four times during sacrament meeting
  • I ONLY had to take him out twice for crying loudly during the meeting
  • Elisabeth ONLY threw one tantrum, prostrate on the ground in front of the Primary room.
  • Then she ran out of the primary room and hid for ONLY five minutes.
  • Elisabeth ONLY fake cried a few times to try to get picked for a turn during sharing time.
  • Elisabeth ONLY threw her shoes, headband and bracelet once across the room during music time.
  • Carsten ONLY hit one kid over the head with a block during nursery.
  • Carsten ONLY sat in one puddle on the way to the car.
It could of been worse. Much worse.

Let's face it. I have NO idea what I am doing as a parent. Just trying to "enjoy the moment." Or at least that is the phrase that goes through my head multiple times a day on Sundays. Like enjoy how Elisabeth sang in front of our congregation today with the other kids and she knew and proudly sang every word. Or how I taught Elisabeth how to wrestle with her brother and he could not stop laughing as she pinned him to the ground. Or how Carsten correctly identified the Macaw in a book today.

Enjoy the moment, enjoy the moment, enjoy the moment. It helps, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Being missed

Our lives are insanely busy. Everyone who knows us knows this. Part of it is my personality, part of it is where we live and part of it is just the place we are in our lives with jobs, kids, church, you name it.

Lance called me this afternoon. This was our conversation:

L: We have been too busy lately. Do you realize that it will be one whole month since we have spent a Saturday together as a family?
K: Yes. It's been a crazy few weeks.
L: What are your plans tonight?
K: I was planning to go to the gym with the kids. Why?
L: My meeting is over at 6:30 p.m. Can you skip the gym tonight?
K: I could. But why?
L: Because I miss you. I just want to spend time with you.

Yes, my heart melted then and melts now as I type this. It's nice to be missed.

Marriage can be a wonderful, wonderful thing when you are married to your best friend.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mathematical summary

Mathematical summary of our lives these past few weeks:

36. Number of people we had over to participate in our first annual Road Rally. It was a blast to plan it and I *think* everyone else had a good time. . . and we will definitely be doing it again next year. Wishing we could have invited more of our friends. . . Next year for sure!

One of our Road Rally participants "planking" in a public place.
I love how the people in the background are just going about their Yogurtland business here.

Another group completing another task for the event - all getting under a piece of furniture.

Some of the rallyers listening intently to the award ceremony.

Proof we were there. . . having a good time.

100. Number of times this boy asks his mama to pick him up each day or to read him a book.

5. Size EB wears. Goodbye toddler sizes, hello big girl section.

Elisabeth hanging out with her BFFs, getting ready for bed with curlers in her hair.
They didn't last more than 15 minutes.

1. Number of times I brought my preschooler and toddler to Disneyland by myself.

0. Number of times I will be bringing them to Disneyland again solo.

7. Number of places we have lived in the past 10 years (realized while filing out paperwork for the lovely home (that is in our ward, near the elementary school) we are currently in escrow to buy).

1000. Number of times I have signed my life away on all of our paperwork for said home.

22. Days until escrow closes (if all goes well.) Finally settling down is a dream come true. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly.

6. Number of cold sores on my upper lip due to the stresses related to buying a home.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Elisabeth pronounces baby with a French accident. Sure do love our "bebe" girl! She also pronounces bag with a MN accent, much to her Papa's chagrin. Makes a mama proud.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Diddle diddle dumpling

This little kid hates shoes. No sooner do I get his shoes on then one comes off. We can't help but recite the nursery rhyme every day - so much Elisabeth knows it by heart.

One shoe off and one shoe on
Diddle diddle dumpling my son John

New type of confidence

I know we are always growing and changing. However, I look back on this last year and realize I am a drastically different person than I was even a year ago.

Here are some of the things that have changed:

1. I am now a runner. For anyone who has known me since high school you will realize how against my nature this is. A flat-footed, short-Achilles tendoned, uncoordinated girl has no business running. Yet I do. Three to four times a week averaging 14 miles a week. I have run two 5Ks and one 10K. I love it. I love the 30 minutes it gives me four times a week to just think and do something completely and solely for myself.

2. I am into fashion. For someone who used to joke that I needed to be nominated for TLC's What Not to Wear and would buy most of my clothes at H & M, TJ Maxx, and Target, this is a shock. I wouldn't say I have good fashion sense. But I do have a few friends who have impeccable taste and I have started to take their shopping advice. I have discovered the beauty of the personal shopper at J.Crew and the thrill of fitting into size 8 at the White House Black Market. I love buying shoes at Nordstroms and for the first time in my life have passed over mary janes and flats for a pair of fashion boots, Sperry top-siders, heels and wedges. I love how I feel in nice clothes and love getting dressed in the new outfits I have. I love wearing clothes that are modest, yet still fitted and attractive. In the words of my friend Tai, I have abandoned my Minnesota Mormon style for California Chic. I think I need to re-read Confessions of a Shopaholic. Though I am not anywhere near addicted to shopping, I think I now understand the heroine in that book better than when I first read it.

3. I have lost 40 lbs and kept it off for four months. I have lost this amount of weight before in the past. The only difference is this is the first time I have kept it off and have done it by just living life - no dieting. Just exercising, watching what I eat most of the time, and enjoying the foods I want to enjoy within reason. #1 explains why I have been able to do this and this probably explains why #2 has become such a big part of my life.

4. I am going to grow my hair out. I haven't had long hair since I was in 1st grade. Something inside of me is aching to abandon my sensible, short conservative hair cut and embrace long, sexy locks - even if it requires me taking time to style it every day.

Overall, I feel a new type confidence within me that is blossoming, different from the confidence I have felt before. I have been a capable person for much of my adult life. I am far from perfect but feel I am well-grounded, hard-working, determined and have a firm conviction in my beliefs. This year I have gained a different kind of confidence - a confidence in my physical self. For the first time since I have gotten married I feel beautiful inside and out. Something about this is wholly satisfying to me.

I have a few friends and my sister-in-law to thank for the inspiration that has led me on this journey. You guys know who you are :-). One of the beauties about relationships is the best ones inspire us to be better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What makes the happiest baby on the block unhappy?

A haircut.

Look at that boy's expression over an hour after the traumatic experience of getting his hair cut.

I am sad too. I miss his thick wavy locks and the surfer do this boy had. I am stuck waffling between wanting a clean cut boy to keeping crazy longer locks if his beautiful hair.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Abundant Life Experiment - Part 2

I absolutely love this picture of our family. It captures what I love best about my family - a cute little dramatic girl who loves pretty dresses and thinks she is a princess, an adorable baby boy who has funny expressions and is happily learning how to be independent, two parents who are not only in love with their children yet still hopelessly in love with each other.

It is a moment in a sometimes stressful, crazy, not-so perfect life that paints a picture of a family who none-the-less has an abundant life.

I truly want more moments in my life like this one and have a family that focuses on what is most important. Which is why our family is going to focus on the following in 2012:

1. Give generously
  • focus on family service opportunities
  • focus our prayers on those that are in need
  • magnify our callings at church
  • magnify our callings as visiting teachers and home teachers.

2. Cultivate a house of faith
  • have daily family prayer and scripture study
  • have daily couple prayer and scripture study
  • sing more as a family
  • hold meaningful Family Home Evenings every week

3. Live providently
  • spend less than we earn
  • have a financial plan and stick to it
  • find a solution for food storage that works for us

4. Improve wellness
  • create and follow an exercise program
  • do more physically active outings with the children
  • eat healthy

5. Simplify
  • take break from Facebook
  • plan less on weekends so we can spend more time together as a family

6. Cultivate love at home
  • learn better ways to parent/discipline
  • avoid raised voices, anger, spanking
  • strengthen relationships with extended family (create calling calendar so we make sure to keep in contact with all of our siblings)
I have already felt a difference in our home this past month as we have focused on these goals. If anything, I am happier. Which means my kids and husband are happier. Looking forward to everything 2012 holds for us!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another one bites the dust

The picture below illustrates what 16 month old does while his mom and big sister have a stomach virus and Dad has a meeting until 9 pm. Walk around all day pant less while having to entertain yourself by emptying DVD cases all day with no one feeling well enough to stop you.


Elisabeth woke me up at 4 am saying she threw up. Seriously??? After a week high fevers, coughs, runny noses, and miserable babies? Not. Funny. At. All.

At least my husband stayed home so I could go on a three mile run before I had to come home and scrub carpets and do three loads of yucky bedding. I love that man.

I am seriously lucky. Puke and all.

This time. . .

Baby boy has been sick now. Four days of a fever and one full-body rash later, he is on the mend. He has only wanted to snuggle and sleep on me. This mama will cherish these moments.

Offer #3: Other offer accepted. My poison this time was half a bag of Cadbury mini eggs and buying a new dress online. Trying to stay hopeful. The house meant to be ours will come. Right? One thing is for sure - we are becoming quite real estate savy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bathroom reader

Books are probably my kids' favorite toy. Carsten is constantly bringing us books to read the moment we sit down.

As you can see from this picture, his favorite place to catch us is when we are going to the bathroom. I guess he knows he has a captive audience.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog's Day Love Note

Lance sent me an email today with the title "Happy Groundhog's Day." The body of the message only included the following:
When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
Now to anyone else, this probably just appears to be a quote from Groundhog's Day, the movie. However, to me, it is a perfect expression of love from the fun-loving, goofy, nerdy, kind man I married. One of the things we have always loved to do together is watch movies for holidays. Whether it is for Christmas, New Years or Valentine's Day, we have a collection of good movies that we watch on the same day year after year. The first time I saw Groundhog's Day I wanted to shoot myself in the head. A movie about the same day that happened over and over again? ANNOYING to the nth degree. But Lance laughed hysterically at the movie - every single time he saw it - as though it was the first time he saw it. After 10 years, the movie has really become quite endearing and funny to me. I especially love how it makes him laugh. And hearing him laugh so unabashedly makes my heart so happy. So when I read this silly quote, I instantly smiled, chuckled at the though of him writing it out to me during his busy work day and heard his laughter in my head. It made me think that we have been watching this movie for 10 years and will be watching it for many more every February 2nd.

Comforting indeed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One, Four, Two, Zero, One.

One. The # of lbs I gained in Hawaii.

Four. The # of lbs I have to lose in order to be a life time member at Weight Watchers.

Two. The # of homes on which we have put offers.

Zero. The # of offers that were accepted.

One. The # of Dairy Queen blizzards I have eaten in order to drown my real estate sorrows.

The first one isn't that bad, considering all I ate while I was in Hawaii.

The four will be really hard to lose as long as we still entertain the idea of buying a house, especially since I tend to use DQ as my vice for dealing with house hunting.

Time to buckle down to get rid of those blasted four lbs. I know I can, I know I can, I know I can. . .

Taking a sick day

Both my kids have been sick quite often this flu/cold season. Though I wish they didn't have to suffer, I have to admit I love taking sick days with them. We watch a lot of movies, cuddle together and eat comfort foods. Something about caring for them and trying to make them feel loved while they are so weak makes me wish I was a nurse. This part of being a mother is so satisfying to me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebrating (almost) 10 years of wedded bliss. . . Status-update style

Hawaii was absolutely divine. Picture perfect weather. Seven whole days on a tropical island to just relax sans kids, enjoy the beautiful nature, eat delicious (albeit horribly expensive) food, read the seven books I brought with and snuggle with my kulta of almost 10 years. It was the honeymoon we never took that I always wanted and I was blissfully happy 99% of the time we were there. I missed my little ones who were living in loving chaos with grandma and their cousins but we NEEDED this time away. More than I can ever put into words. We returned more in love than ever (I know, cheesy for me to say.) and life at home with the kids has been sweeter and easier post-blissful vacation. My only regret was staying in Waikiki - which is the Hawaiian version of Fashion Island. I wished we would have spent every night on the more relaxed and remote North Shore. But, it is hard to reach true perfection here on earth. Right? Right.

As I have been absent from Facebook now for over a week and am going through a withdrawal of updating my status, I figured summarizing our trip with typical status updates was in order.

Just ate Japanese BBQ in HAWAII. Delish. Let the lovers getaway begin!

Preparing for a sunset out of Waikiki. Hoping to see some humpback whales!
(Side note: We saw a huge pod of whales!)

What Hawaiian vacation wouldn't be complete with out an expensive VIRGIN fruity drink? Tried the Smokin' Pineapple. Worth the $15.

How healthy can a hamburger be that you can't fit your mouth around? Praying the weight gain this vacation is minimal.

Kailua Beach. Amazing.

Lance just chose an oyster that had two pearls in it as my anniversary gift. The lady at the jewelry counter insisted that meant we were going to have twins. Call me nuts but I am actually hoping that is true!

A limo arriving at a shrimp truck for lunch. Now if that isn't a juxtaposition, I don't know what is.

Who would've thunk the best food we've ate in Hawaii would be from a truck on the side of the road? @Haleiwa, HI w/ Lance S.

People keep asking us if we are newly weds. Guessing we still got the heat! (Or at least look 10 years younger than we actually are.)
Just danced in front of 200+ people at the Polynesian Cultural Center luau in honor of our 10th anniversary. I sure do HEART the nerdy stud I married.

It is possible to eat too much fresh pineapple. Seven canker sores later and I am still gorging myself. . . @ the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Oahu, HI with Lance. S.

The Laie HI Temple has got to be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sights in the world. Hoping one of my children decides to get married here.

Awww yeah. A room with a view. @ Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore - Oahu, HI, w/ Lance. S.

Lance dancing the hula. Worth every penny spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center to see this.

Watching pro-surfers brave suicidal waves is enough to make me want to take up surfing.

Falling asleep listening to the 15 ft waves crash upon the shore. Can life get any better than this?

Pearl Harbor. A humbling, somber and touching experience.