Sunday, February 23, 2014 this thing on?

Of course my last post over a year ago was about the size of my boobs!  Well, nothing has changed in that regard but lots of other things have changed and happened while I've been a non-existent blogger.  I was reading some random persons blog that someone put on FaceBook and realized how long it's been since I had written out the details of my life.  It really has been way more convenient to slap a picture with a short caption onto Instagram and FaceBook and call it good.  
But I'm going to try this blogging thing again.  The only problem is that I have so much to catch up on.  This has been such a fabulous way to journal and I don't want this giant hole in the middle of what I was dong so well at.  So, how do I fix this?  I'm just going to be posting high lights of the last year of each person in my family.  And maybe a few other things.  It will probably take me a while...but who cares, right?


Friday, January 18, 2013


My boobs are gone.  I bought a new sports bra yesterday that was on clearance for $5.  It was an XS.  I thought, "This probably won't fit, but I'm gonna get it anyway."  
I threw it on this morning and BAM!  IT FITS!
I cried.
(not really, but had a big pouty face while sharing the news with my hubs)
These things are ridiculous.  I go from a D while pregnant/nursing to a -A.  They tease me...and Doug.  Seriously.  Does anybody else's lady lumps do that?

I'm gonna have to follow the example of one of my classmates from high school and start stuffing my bra with water balloons!  True story.

Monday, January 14, 2013

friday night i had a moment with my children.  it was simple.  but significant.  it was almost bedtime and i had run out and got us some ice cream.  tillamook mudslide and chocolate peanut butter.  i sat on the kitchen floor to share mine with vivi.  then one by one, the other kids left their chairs and joined me on the cold tile floor.  savannah, then izzy, jillian and then payton.  we just sat.  together. we talked and savored the deliciousness and giggled at vivi traveling to everyone for a bite.  in that moment my parental mistakes of the day disappeard.  my stress over doug being gone all week faded and i just breathed in the moment. a moment too precious to leave to get my camera.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

this is my guitar.  her name is la esperanza y el sueno (spanish for hope and dream). i call her esperanza for short.  we have been spending a lot of time together.  my fingers are sore and callused.  i am happy.

Friday, December 28, 2012


So, I've been MIA.  There is a perfectly good explanation for that.  My computer is on the fritz.  Holy viruses.  We finally took it in and 200 bones later, it's still not functioning correctly.  So, I am on my husbands laptop.  I have so much to catch up on, but I feel I need to do this post first.  Something is compelling me to do this.

I have been 'down in the dumps' lately.  I won't go into the sobbing details, but I've just been a bit of a 'hot mess.'  I have pinned it to my father dying.  Maybe I will give those details another time.  Ever since I got back from his funeral, things have been different.  I have been different.  Of course, having the husband that I do, he has been trying to be patient and loving and caring and every bit compassionate.  But he can't fix me. 
A few weeks ago, Douglas asked me to speak in sacrament meeting.  I accepted, as I always do.  Then I asked the topic.  "HOPE"  MMM....maybe I should have asked before saying yes.  How could I give a talk when HOPE was exactly the opposite of what I was feeling?  I stewed over it for several days and just like in my usual  procrastinating style, didn't start writing my talk until 11 P.M. Saturday night.  I have never shared the talks that I have given other than when I stand up on Sundays and do it.  I am sharing my exact talk for an unknown reason to me.  I'm following an impression, people!  Turns out, writing and giving this talk was just what I needed.
So, here it goes...

Hope is a hot topic this time of year, as it should be.  Christmastime brings out hope in most people.  Hope for mankind, for Christmas miracles.
According to me, I think there are two kinds of hope.  You've got your 'every day typical kind of hope' and then you have your 'eternal perspective kind of hope.'
The dictionary defines the 'every day typical kind of hope' as "the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn our for the best or the act of looking forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence or feeling that something desired may happen.  Other definitions are to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment or to expect with confidence."

I was a very typical little girls with my own set of hopes and dreams.  One of which was to be a dancer.  When my oldest sister would come home from college, my little sister and I would perform dance routines that we had spent hours and hours rehearsing for her.  I would beam with pride when she would express her amazement at my rhythmic moves.

I also had hopes of becoming a famous singer.  I used the typical hair brush microphone while staring at myself in the mirror practicing just the right facial expressions and finger points at my imaginary audience.  I was a pretty spectacular performer.

There was one other thing.  I hoped to become a writer.  That all started when I plagiarized a story about a dinosaur when i was in the 3rd grade and read it in front of the class as my own.  One of my classmates called me out on it and I totally denied it.  The guilt was overwhelming and I chose to write my own stories from then on.  I have actually found some stories that I wrote when I was around 9 years old and had tears streaming down my face.  Not because they were touching in any way, but because of the laughter they ignited.  I hope no one ever finds those stories.  So embarrassing.  But as my writing got more serious in high school, I set a goal to write a novel by the time I was 25.  I am 32 years old now.  I am not a dancer.  I am not a famous singer, and I have note written that novel.  Has my hope for those things disappeared?  I'll answer that question a little later.

As the person I am today, what are my hopes?  Some are personal but most remain somewhat typical.  Every day I put my feet on the floor and hope to be a better mom to my children, and a better wife to my husband.  I hope to be a better friend.  I hope to be a better child of my Heavenly Father.  I hope to get my house clean, not yell at my children, finish projects that have been haunting me for years, organize my unorganized life, spend more time in the scriptures and more time praying.  I hope to get a workout in AND a shower, to be strong enough to avoid those cookies in the cupboard and candies in the dish!  I hope to learn to play the guitar.  I hope for my children's futures.  I hope, I hope and I hope.  And most days I go to bed feeling unaccomplished, discouraged and just not good enough because I have failed at pretty much all of that.  And that is the moment when Mr. Lucifer sneaks in and tells me that I shouldn't hope at all.  That I am, in fact, hopeless.  I am not strong.  How do I get up the next day and combat those feelings of hopelessness that loom over me?  Those feelings that are sometimes so overpowering they paralyze and desire to keep going.  Perhaps through that 'eternal perspective kind of hope.'

Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf said in a Conference talk in 2008 "The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk.  They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow.  Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty.  Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable.  It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.  We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered.  This type of hope in God, His goodness and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair.  Hope sustains us through despair.  Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.  With Nephi I declare: 'Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if  ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.'  This is the quality of hope we must cherish and develop.  Such a mature hope comes in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. To all who suffer - to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely - I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.  Never surrender.  Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.  Embrace and rely upon the hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart."

Now there is a definite difference in the gospel definition of hope compared to the dictionary.  On the church website it says that hope is...the confident expectation of and longing for the promised blessings of righteousness.  The scriptures often speak of hope as anticipation of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.  The word hope is sometimes misunderstood.  In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty.  For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend.  In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active.  When we have hope, we trust in God's promises.  We have a quiet assurance that if we do "the works of righteousness," we "shall receive our reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:23).  Mormon taught that such hope comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ: "What is it that ye shall hope for?  Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise" (Moroni 7:41)  The principle of hope extends into the eternities, but it also can sustain us through the everyday challenges of life. "Happy is he," said the Psalmist, "that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Psalm 146:5).  With hope, we can find joy in life.  We can "have patience, and bear with...afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions" (Alma 34:41).

I know that it is important to hope for things in your life.  To have desires and goals and dreams.  Those should never go away.  But it is also important to have an eternal perspective of hope.  For with that eternal perspective of hope, the every day kind of hope changes and becomes more bearable when it is not achieved. 
With whom shall our deepest hopes lie?  With whom do we hope to reside with after this life?  Who has hope in us?  Our Savior and our Heavenly Father.

Now to answer the question I asked earlier.  Have the hopes of my childhood disappeared?  The dancer, the singer, the writer.  No, they have not.  The reality of it is, those hopes and dreams have been fulfilled in a way.  You see, I dance with my children and husband in the kitchen and dining room.  I am a dancer.  I sing with and to my children and husband and yes, on occasion I still sing into a hair brush in front of the mirror, finger point at the audience and all.  I am a singer.  And although I haven't written that novel, I write about my life on a blog and through poetry.  I am a writer.  Sometimes your hopes don't come out exactly like you planned.  The key is to finding happiness in how they did turn out and understanding what your eternal hopes should be.  And the only way that that is possible is through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have a testimony of this gospel.  I believe it, I respect it, and I hope to live it better.  I know my Heavenly Father wants me to be happy.  He wants me to turn to him in those moments of hopelessness and fight through it with Him by my side.  I know my Savior lives.  His birth that we celebrate at this time of year brought about the greatest hope of all.  And lastly may I mention with a solemn heart, in the mists of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut that we have been witness to, may we continue to hope and pray for those affected.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dressed To Impress

I have to admit that I steal a lot of other peoples ideas. So when I read on nieniedialouges blog how she does an end of summer dinner for her kids, I was a big 'ol thief! She does it better, and even picks out a family theme for the school year. Mmm...maybe we'll do that next year.
I actually put some thought and time into this little shin dig. I made candle holders and an apothecary jar (made from an old candelabra and an Adams peanut butter jar) for the table decorations and even baked 2...yes 2, yummy deserts! I gave the kids an invitation and said they should dress to impress! Hey, I didn't want this to be any ordinary dinner! The girls were more excited about that part, and even did each others hair and make-up! I decorated the side yard with twinkle lights and banners that I had made for something else (which have come in quite handy), got some fresh flowers from up the road and even brought out the stemware!
I asked my personal chef (my husband) to make his fabulous homemade pizza that the kids L O V E. Add to that, salad, fresh fruit and 2 crazy rich desserts I found on Pinterest, and you've got a dinner fit for my kids!

I don't mean to brag, but my guests were very impressed! Pretty easy to do...but still. I'm glad it put cheesy grins on their faces.

We stayed out there till late and got to really enjoy the lights.
This was so much fun. The kids have begged me to do it every year from now on. I think, yes!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Birthday Boy
August 13th

I have a 12 year old. Sounds strange, feels strange. It seems so cliche to talk about how I can't believe how fast the time has flown. But it really is the truth. When I start to think about what has happened in the last 12 years with this kid, it blows my mind.

This boy is very pre teen. With almost as much attitude as my girls. But when I look at the big picture, he quite frankly, is an incredible kid. He is sensitive, funny, talented, smart, respectful, imaginative, loving, and just fantastic! It's got to be tough being the only boy and he handles it...yeah that's it. He handles it. As he gets older, my hope for the kind of man he will be grows stronger.

(While singing to him for his birthday, he decided that he should shove his face into his cake after the song. With the crowd cheering him on...that's exactly what he did!)

12 is kind of a big deal with us religiously speaking. That is when the young men receive the Priesthood. Which is the authority to act in God's name here on the earth. (If you want to know more about that...just ask). Doug gave him an eloquently amazing blessing with his ordination. Lots to look forward to with this son of mine! Of course with this comes being able to pass the sacrament. It was surreal to watch him up there with the other young men! I just can't believe my chunky, adorable little boy with a lisp has turned into the young man I see today. So blessed to be his mom!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I've Gone INSANE!

Yes, it's official!  I'm insane...metaphorically speaking. 
So, I had a baby and gained a lot of weight.  54 lbs to be exact.  7 weeks after having said baby I had lost 24 lbs of intial after birth weight and was miserable.  So I strapped on my sports bra and started working out.  I was doing my old Turbo Jam and Pilates combination.  I threw a few other things into the mix like running and riding my bike.  I decided I was tired of my old stuff and went to Target and got some Jillian Micheals dvd's.  They turned out to be pretty good actually.  I ended up losing about 10 pounds through all that.  But then Doug and I had a 'crazy' idea while watching the boob tube one night.  We were intrigued and drawn into the world of Insanity.  We watched the infomercial, which we had seen before, with a more serious desire.  We wanted to be one of the success stories.  We wanted to look like all those people and we wanted that tshirt!  I ordered it the next day.  And so our 60 days of madness began the following Monday.  Let me tell you that it's even harder than it looks on t.v.  Granted I wasn't in the best of shape when starting, but still.  It was evident that this was going to really push me...and then some. 

Before every workout there is a lengthy 'warning' about how intense this really is.  It basically says you should know that this might kill you, so don't do it if you're not ready.  That's not scary...
Unless you do this work out yourself, it's hard to understand what it is like.  I honestly have never sweat like this before.  The sweat wasn't dripping off of me, it was running off of me. The workouts had to be moved into the dinning room so the sweat could be mopped up instead of soaking into the family room carpet.  Shaun T (the instructor) would be yelled at on a daily basis and if I was a swearing person a few cuss words would have been directed at him.  But, I learned to love the man and appreciate all his dedication and 'dig deeper' comments...sort of!  Surprisingly enough, even with how hard and completely exhausting each day was, I felt totally energized and would follow most workouts with a quick 1 mile run!  Upon completing month 1 and a recovery week, I had lost 6 pounds and I felt like I had gotten much stronger and was optimistic about month 2.  Until I started month 2.  'Stupid' is the word I used to describe these torture filled DVDs.  There were brief moments when I wanted to quit.  But I had made a commitment, spent the money and didn't want to walk away and kick myself later.  And to be honest, it became a little addicting.  I needed to do this every day, 6 days a week.  I needed to be totally drenched in sweat for self evidence that I was working my tail off. 
Now, wanting the results I did, I knew that I would have to be a lot more careful with what I was eating.  I didn't perfect any special eating habits.  I just changed some things.  I can exercise until I am blue in the face, but eating healthy is where I totally fail!  I love donuts, candy, pastries!  JUNK FOOD JUNKIE right here!  But, I gave up sugars and white flour foods.  Started eating real butter instead of margarine, all natural Adams peanut butter instead of JIF.  I just tried to be more aware and make healthier choices.  Water has always been my drink of lots of that.  Eating less, eating smarter and eating slower.  Nothing crazy but enough to make a difference.  Baby steps people! 

After 60 days and a few near death experiences I finished!  I lost 13 pounds all together and didn't keep track of the inches lost (which I am wishing I would have now).  The results aren't mind blowing and frankly I have so much farther to go to be where I want to be.  But it's progress.  

You start with a fit test and then do one every 2 weeks to track your progress.  I can't really explain what the exercises are but I will tell you the name and the number of my first and last fit tests just so you can see the progress.

SWITCH KICKS: First Fit Test - 57  Last Fit Test - 64
POWER JACKS: First Fit Test - 26  Last Fit Test - 62 
POWER KNEES: First Fit Test - 80  Last Fit Test - 121
POWER JUMPS: First Fit Test - 17  Last Fit Test - 60
GLOBE JUMPS: First Fit Test - 6  Last Fit Test - 11
SUICIDE JUMPS: First Fit Test - 11  Last Fit Test - 16
PUSH-UP JACKS: First Fit Test - 8  Last Fit Test - 26
LOW PLANK OBLIQUE: First Fit Test - 40  Last Fit Test - 77

I am very nervously and reluctantly posting my before and after pics.  Be nice.  

                      (Please excuse the white belly
                        that has not seen the sun)                                



Fortunately, I had a few little helpers during this.  All the kids (and of course Doug) pitched in to take care of Vivienne if she would wake up or need attention while I was working out.  Couldn't have done it without them.
Of the 54 pounds gained during my pregnancy, I have lost 47.  Only 7 more to go and a whole lot of toning!!  Wish me luck on round 2.  That's right.  I'm doing it again!

Here's to the next 60 days!!