Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksfuls 2013

 I'm thankful for my Lil Man. Spidey is the best son in the world. I'm thankful for his smiles and the thousands of times he cuddles with me. I'm thankful for the {patience} he teaches me. I'm thankful that he has red hair because it is freaking adorable. I love this wonderful 'man of the house' we get to have.
 I'm thankful for my princess. Petey is such a vibrant, smart little girl. I'm thankful for the lessons she teaches me. I'm thankful for her kind heart and her example to me. She is constantly teaching me how to love others more. She isn't 100% selfless but she is more selfless than any other 5 year old I've ever met. I am so glad this special, sweet, blue-eyed princess is mine forever.
 I'm thankful that my kids have a good dad. I'm thankful to know that they love and look up to him so much. He is a wonderful dad and I don't regret bringing those two perfect babies into this world with him. He has taught me a lot these past 7 years and through the sadness I now face, I still don't doubt that he is a good father to those precious kiddos.
 I am thankful for each and every one of the people in the above picture. My family is wonderful. My sisters and brother are wonderful. My parents are extremely supportive and are always willing to do whatever I need. They give me so much love and have raised me to be the person I am today.
For this last one, I had to put a silly picture up to keep my crying to a minimum. I'm extremely thankful for this girl. She is the best friend I could've asked for during this time in my life and I plan on being her friend forever and ever. She watches my kids ridiculously often, she is always there when I need to talk, and she tells me to truth. Sometimes I don't like to hear it but I always know she's right---did you catch that, Lacey? That's the only time I'm going to admit it.
Heavenly Father placed Lacey in my life for a reason. I don't know if she realizes the importance of her being where she is today. They moved in last year and months later, we became almost instant friends. I had been lonely for a long time before that and hadn't felt a strong friendship and she just barged right in my life and showed me what friendship should mean. I am forever thankful to Lacey.

I'll stop there so I don't sound too uber obsessed with my friend but just trust me---she's the best.

Thanksgiving was so special this year and I'm so incredibly grateful to my Heavenly Father for making it a year to remember.

When asked what I was thankful for this year before we sat down to eat, the first thing that came to my mind was this:
I'm thankful for the ability to be happy, no matter the situation.

And that is so true. I am thankful to know that I control my happiness. I'm thankful to be a mom. I'm thankful for food to eat and for the people that surround me daily.

I am so blessed and I love it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Story of My Life

 So last night, I watched the American Music Awards and though I have plenty of commentary on the things I saw and heard {Seriously, Miley?!}, I've had the song, 'The Story of My Life' from One Direction stuck in my head since then.

And in all honesty, I can only remember those 5 words out of the entire song because last night is the first time I'd heard it.

So the phrase 'The story of my life" has played over and over again in my head.
Let's ponder that phrase for a minute, shall we?
I just love that picture of Spidey. It seems like the perfect pondering picture.

The story of my life. Do you use that phrase as often as I do?
When the kids are being absolutely nuts? Story of my life!
When the house is a mess five minutes after cleaning it up? Story of my life!
When I plan to be somewhere on time and it takes me 20 minutes to wait for the kids to get their shoes on? Story of my life!
I seem to use this phrase a lot. In fact, I have another picture that epitomizes that phrase.
 This really is the story of my life!
Petey and her little dancing body are always posing but not always paying attention.
Spidey is usually playing in the dirt or getting messy in whatever way possible, smirking the whole time because he knows better.
And what can I do? Throw my hands up in the air and proclaim, "This is the story of my life!" and if I can add to that, "This is the story of my life and I love it!". It may not always seem that way but at the end of the day when the kids are sleeping soundly, I can usually look back on the days events and laugh until I fall asleep. That's how awesome this life is.

But sometimes it bothers me how this is just the story of my life on the outside---because on the inside, it is so much more. It is heartache and pain, laughter and sarcasm, hard work and weight gain.
So many things define who I am.

The story of my life was once a rebellious, problematic little girl. I wanted to change that and so I did.

The story of my life was once a liar and a judger. I wanted to change that and for the most part, I have.

The story of my life was once a selfish, disrespectful teenager. I wanted to change that and I certainly hope I have!

The point is, my story is ever changing.
I don't have to be that girl that had 2 kids and then spent two years dwelling on the fact that she couldn't have a third. I don't have to be that girl that was rude before she thought about what she was saying, resulting in hurt feelings and hurt friendships. I don't have to be labeled as a divorcee or one of the halves of a failed marriage. I don't have to be any girl I don't want to be!

There is so much more to me than any of those things! Often times, it feels like my life will never get better or things will even get worse than they are. It seems like I'll always have labels I don't want to have.
But the truth is, I get to choose who I am. I can be sad or angry that I am going to be single or I can do everything I can to make life as great as it can be. I can talk rudely about Boss or I can try and understand him and realize his life isn't a walk in the park either.
I can have any perspective I want and that perspective defines who I am and what I am about.
My perspective of the things life hands me is something I am 100% in charge of.
We all have choices. Some are easy, some are hard, but all have results and we get to choose those results and how we handle those results.
 So today, the story of my life happens to be filled with children who whined about cleaning their rooms but finally relented because they really wanted to get the Christmas decorations out.

The story of my life is school; hard work, lots of homework, and a couple of finals.

The story of my life is happiness; because my life is filled with things that have the potential to help me choose to be happy. Notice I didn't say 'make me happy'. I love that my happiness is a choice and that I can control it.
My family is beautiful.
I am beautiful.
The story of my life is beautiful.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's a Good Day

As you've read, if you've been reading lately, life hasn't been easy. And yet, it has. It's difficult to explain.
There are good days and there are days where I have to force myself to recognize the good---but every day has the potential to possess some type of good in it so I choose to find it.

Most of my heartache is for my children. None of these decisions are fair to them. It isn't fair that they have to take turns with mom or dad. It isn't fair that they don't get bedtime kisses from both of us. I was so angry in the beginning because of the unfairness that this new life will put on my kids.

They are strong and brave but they are still just kids. They didn't make a single one of these choices but they have to live their entire lives being reminded of them. Everyone tells me they'll be fine. Quite honestly, I firmly believe they will be fine. But in the meantime, I can't take away every ounce of pain that they feel or will feel or have felt. This is a learning experience for all of us and it will take time to get used to. And I know there will be times when we think we have learned but we have to re-learn all over again.
I have to give myself daily goals because sometimes, my brain cannot focus on any more than that. One of my daily goals is to find a way to have a good day. It seems simple but sometimes it's extremely hard. I'm a naturally positive person and it has been hard to find happy things to focus on. I struggle every day.
When we went to Time Out for Women last month {you're going to have to scroll down on the blog because I'm too lazy to find the link and post it}, my mom gave us all an early Christmas present. It was the newest Hilary Weeks cd. At first, I wasn't sure. You see, I am a bit obsessed with the last Hilary Weeks cd my mom gave me because of the Beautiful Heartbreak song. It has been a favorite. That song helped me through infertility and many things going on in my marriage. It was a song I listened to daily for a while.
I wasn't sure it would be possible to find another song like that for our current situation.
But Hilary did it{Did you know we're on a first name basis these days?}. She just went ahead and wrote another song that happened to be just what I need right now.
Not only was it what I need, it is what my kids need. And they request it every morning on our drive to take Petey to school.
Sometimes, when I'm having a hard time recognizing the good in my day, the lyrics to the song will pop into my head and remind me that "I'm alive and I'm breathing---so it's a good day!".
If I could speak to Hilary Weeks, there are so many things I'd tell her about how her music has changed my life. On that same note, I wouldn't even have either cd if it wasn't for my mother who loves and supports me so dearly.

I am seriously so blessed.

I know God gives me challenges for a reason.
I also know He makes sure I am surrounded with the people, places, things, AND music I need when I'm going through challenging times.

I'm just going to let my kids go ahead and introduce you to our new favorite song. I have a hard time not crying when I watch this video because I look at my children and their positive, brave attitudes and I am so thankful that they are so strong. We'll get through this ---that I do not doubt.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Becoming a Friend Like my Friends

Yesterday, in our women's meeting at church, my friend gave a lesson that has been on my mind for days, week, and these past few months. Her proposition when she started the lesson: Be thinking of things you've done for others or things others have done for you.
The very first sentence that came to my mind was this: Which of the 3,000 stories should I pick from?
This is the truth, friends. I have thousands of stories. 2,999 of them are stories of what people have done for me.
Since I was holding her sleeping baby who then woke up and started to fuss {ie: screamed because I wouldn't let him run to his momma}, I didn't ever get a chance to raise my hand and contribute the beautiful blessings that replay in my mind daily.
These are all personal stories of how others have helped me so I promise, they are true.
Let's start with the main feature on this post: my new family pictures.
 I was elated when my friend decided to squeeze me in to her busy holiday schedule. I wanted updates of my kid and it was equally incredible just to be able to spend time with someone I love so much. She captured what I wanted perfectly and even added a couple of pictures of me in there---not so much what I wanted but something I think I've been needing. :)
 Of course, the very first thing I did when I saw this picture was start to tear myself down. Why do I do that?! But it only took a minute to understand how priceless of a picture this is.
There is so much love here. I'm forever grateful to have these and I'm having a hard time being patient for the rest of the pictures.

#2: The day everything in my life seemed to fall apart. I couldn't face my kids yet and let them see me broken so I drove to my best friend's house. She happened to be pulling out of the driveway and when she saw me, she got out and I noticed she was in a dress. It was a Saturday night so I assumed I had just interrupted date night---I had---but that was ok with her. She was on her way to the temple and I tagged along. I was a 7th wheel on their three-couple date. Seriously, you'd think it would be extremely awkward. It wasn't. They all knew I needed that time. They all knew I needed them. Their husbands seemed to take a step back and let my friends rally around me. I knew they were worried. I felt their love. Somehow, it ended up being an incredible night, not 'the night I ruined their date'. In the end, they paid for my dinner and her husband gave me a Priesthood blessing when we got back. What should always be indented in my brain as a horrible, horrible day will now end with a good memory whenever I think about it.
 #3: Days after that horrible-no-good-day, a friend insisted on coming over to clean my house. Seriously. I was embarrassed and tried to tell her no but she gave me a date and time and she just showed up. Not only did she deep clean my whole house, she wanted me to be able to get out of the house so she organized a group of friends to go with us to Yogurtland that night and she even found me a babysitter.

#4: Same friend, for my birthday, convinced other friends to take me out to lunch. She also convinced these friends to somehow unlock my back door without me noticing when we left. She then cleaned my whole house, top to bottom, and I came home to balloons, a present, and a clean house. It was just what I needed.
#4: How are we only on #4? I feel like I just described what are worth thousands of good deeds. Seriously, these are big, people! Friend finds out about hard things in my life. Next thing I know, it's 11pm and she is on my doorstep with chocolate ice cream and a listening ear.

#5: I text a friend who's gone through similar trials and tell her I just need to talk because I'm having a hard night. I ask if she would be willing to come over at 9am the next morning. It's 10:30pm and the whole thing is a complete scam because I'm texting her this to try and get her to my house at 9am the next morning for her surprise baby shower. I figure it's late enough that her 39-week-pregnant self will not come over and the next thing I know, she texts me saying she is in the driveway. Of course, I had to lie and say we weren't home because I didn't actually need her but it got me all emotional, thinking what she was willing to do for me no matter the time. She chose to give up her last Saturday morning as a mom of 2 with her family to spend the time talking about my problems---even though in the end, we were all in the surprise and she wasn't coming over to help me. :) If you're wondering, the surprise party worked out---barely. Next time, I'll have to come up with a better excuse.

#6, 7, 8, etc: Obviously the same friend as mentioned above has been an incredible listening ear on many other occasions. She comes over, she lets me come over, we meet at the park, etc. It doesn't seem to matter. If I need her, she is somehow always there.
I have tons more stories. I always will. And because my friends are so inspiring to me, I hope to be able to create those same blessings in someone else's life. It is why I've tried to stop judging. It is why I've made it a point to listen to the Spirit when I'm told I need to do something. If you're wondering, I'm not perfect. Just the other day, I hurt someone's feelings by speaking before thinking it through. I make mistakes often. But I want to be the kind of friend my friends are to me so when I make mistakes, I pick myself back up and try again the next day.

If you're in need of a listening ear, contact me. I've got two perfectly good ones and sometimes they even give out decent bits of advice. Just remember how important you are and how much worth you have and remind your friends of their own worth and potential.
How incredible would this world be if we all understood our worth and could see ourselves with the potential God sees in us?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm Freaking Awesome {And so are you}

I have problems---as if that was news to a single one of you. Ha!

My problem today is something I'd like to address with my readers.

Life is hard, people. It really is. For everyone! Everyone goes through things that test their strength.

The first problem I have is this: What is so wrong about knowing you are awesome?
Seriously. I know there is a tiny hint of sarcasm whenever I call myself awesome but in all reality, I really am. And so are you. I'm not asking you to go around telling everyone of the amazing things you do. There is also something to be said about being humble. But there is NO REASON why you shouldn't fully believe you are awesome. Give yourself credit for the things you do. There is so much worth in your life.

On an almost-opposite-but-still-a-huge-problem note, there are certain comments that always make me cringe.
"___ kids is so easy. Just wait til you have ___ kids." One of my least favorites to hear. A lot of days my 2 kids are hard. When I had one kid, she was hard. I'm just going to assume that if I had 3, 4, 5, 6, etc kids, it would be hard sometimes. I respect people who decide to have big families. I also respect people who choose to have one child. I extremely respect those who yearn to have more children but can't. Any amount of children is hard work. It is a full time job to keep my kids fed, clean, happy, successfully learning, etc and on top of that, I am in school full time and babysitting other kids. Oh wait, AND I'm supposed to keep the house clean? Is this serious?! Children are the best thing that has ever happened to me. It just makes me sad when people seem to negate the fact that having 2 kids is hard. I know you've 'been there, done that' and have now moved on to bigger things {mainly, bigger families} but just try to remember what it was like to have two. It was still challenging. And if it wasn't, please remember that we were not all born the same. What is easy for you might be the biggest challenge I'll ever experience.

That last sentence brings me to my main point. We are all different. That is one of my favorite things about life. I learn so much from the people I surround myself with. My best friend often asks why we are friends because I'm such a picky eater and she easily tries new things. I think we are friends because she pushes me to do things I wouldn't normally do. Did you even know that my sister got me to re-try a fish taco and I kinda sorta liked it a little teensy weensy bit? :) I've always hated seafood with a passion. I also have friends who have gone through similiar trials and are there to talk when I need them. Do you think we are exactly the same? Heck no, though sometimes I wish we were because my friends are seriously the bomb and I'd be super lucky to be like them. But I'm already super lucky to be me!
If you are a female reading this, the quote below completely and fully applies to you.
I love knowing that no matter what, I am a princess. A real princess. And so are you.

So don't comare yourselves to others. Try to find what's super awesome about YOU. Trust me, there is a lot. Everyone has hard times, easy times, fun times, sad times, painful times, etc. So when you see someone who might be having a rough time, remember their worth too. Love them. Lift them up.

And remember to love yourself.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Time Out for Women 2013

 It's been a long time. I had forgotten what I'm missing out on.

As an 8 year old girl, I chose to be baptized and have the opportunity to have the Holy Ghost with me at all times.  Ever since that special day in my life, I've known that I had the power to keep the Spirit close to me. There have been times where I've kept it and could feel the Holy Ghost near me and other times where it seemed almost non-existent because of my stubborn will. But I always knew it was a part of me.

It really has been a while. I have received answers to prayers and felt peace in my life but it has been a while since I have felt the physical touch of angels surrounding me. There is no other way to explain it. It was real. It was powerful.

At Time Out for Women this weekend, I had overwhelming feelings of joy and sadness...yes, at the same time sometimes. It's confusing to be going through a hard time but also realizing how incredibly blessed your life is. Last night, my tears turned into sobs as I listened to Hilary Weeks sing "Beautiful Heartbreak"; one of my absolute favorite songs. I needed my mom and she was right there for me. I felt like a child again, laying my head on her shoulder and crying, and it felt so safe. I'm so lucky she's there for me.

Some of my favorite quotes from the weekend {most of them aren't word for word, just my fast note taking}:

Brad Wilcox:
Growth is optional which is why the atonement is a gift, not forced upon us.
Change is difficult.
We have to stop relying on willpower and rely on His power.
God requires eventual perfection, not immediate perfection.

Sheri Dew:
God will heal us of our weaknesses if we plead with Him.
The Lord will not force us to learn.

Mary Ellen Edmunds:
If we let something stay in our hearts, good or bad, it will grow.

S. Michael Wilcox:
Unless you pour out the grief and bitterness {in prayer}, God cannot pour back in the things that you need.
Never take counsel from your fears.
When I knock, they will open immediately if they know My voice.

Richie Norton:
Sometimes bad things happen so we can become more authentic.
Know yourself by knowing Him.

Laurel Christensen Day:
Fear of failure will plague us.
Be careful that you're not afraid of your own success.
If I want to change, I need to believe in myself.
Fight fear with love.
Don't stop petitioning the Lord for the righteous desires of your heart.
Peace is not always the thing you feel before you face your fears but it comes right after.

Can you tell I loved the speakers? Did any of those quotes speak to you in some way? Those were definitely ones that had stuck out to me last night and today. I have a few thoughts I wanted to add.

I often fear the outcomes in my life before anything happens. I fear the worst because naturally, the worst is just going to happen, right? I'm paranoid about bad things happening because I feel like I've been tested so much these past 3 years. Some days, I have a "Why not me" attitude but other days, I just can't help but feel sorry for myself and wish I had made better choices or tried harder or been better in some way. I could have fixed everything that's happened right? I could've fixed the infertility and the marriage hardships, right? It's my fault, right?
Plain and simple, that is so sincerely wrong.
Every day, I learn something new. Some of the best lessons I've learned recently have been in regards to my faith AND my suffering. I used to think there just must be something wrong with me because God was testing me too much. Did it mean I was oh so very weak and that he needed me to 'buck up'? Or maybe it meant that the good things I was doing in life weren't good enough to earn the title of "righteous". Some days, I listen intently to my Heavenly Father but other days, his words seem almost mixed with Satans and it's a hard job to figure out who is talking and whether I should believe their words.

An important lesson I've learned is that God does not make us feel worried or fearful or worthless. If I'm having those thoughts, I try so hard to recognize that they are from Satan so I can replace them with truth.
The truth is, I'm awesome. Ok, just kidding, but really... ;)
We all are. I'm brave and I'm strong and I know I am important to my Heavenly Father. I know He trusts me, sometimes too much, and I know He is aware of my needs. He creates miracles out of the trials in my life. Some are easy to see, others seem to take days, months, or years to recognize; but He is there.

Time Out for Women this year was my favorite so far because I've been feeling like I was done; like maybe God had made a mistake and accidentally given me too much to handle this time.
Truth? He doesn't make mistakes.
I'm constantly learning and growing and being stretched beyond what I believed to be my capacity. But here I am, alive and actually feeling joyful most of the time. That in and of itself is a true miracle.

The tradition of Time Out for Women is something I'll always be grateful for [Thanks, Karin]. To be surrounded by my sisters and mother for a weekend is something I need every year. I'm so blessed.

The very first video they showed yesterday was almost my exact story but with different people involved; or so it seemed from my view. I know God knew what I needed to hear this weekend.
 How I love these awesome friends of mine. I didn't think I could have more respect and love for them but after this weekend, I sincerely do. Everyone has trials. Everyone has heartache. It's real for everyone and comparing doesn't make your problem any less or more than you currently believe it is. It is what you personally feel, not what someone else thinks or feels.

The hardest part about this weekend was missing my kids. I'm not really the type of mom who loves a weekend away from her kids. Maybe that's because I feel I've been getting too many weekends away from my kids; the biggest downfall that comes with sharing them.
 But tonight was real and the Spirit in our home was strong. It stayed with me from Time Out for Women and it carried through our bedtime prayers and stories. It was the first time in weeks that I had specifically and individually prayed for my children and their needs during this difficult time. I often pray for me and think that will keep them going and that is partly true but this is a family trial. No one is exempt and I don't like knowing that! Why should my kids have to go through hard times? It just isn't fair.
But I know through the power of love from me and their Father in Heaven, they can become whole again and live successful, loving, happy lives. It isn't impossible. It is actually quite possible.

So tonight, I layed down with each child for a few minutes, something that proves difficult when you put them to bed at the same time and it's just you doing so. But I knew it needed to be done and I was determined to remind them of their worth and potential tonight. After saying prayers with Petey, she looked up and me and said, "Mommy, that was the best prayer I have ever heard in my life." And as I cried and held her while she drifted off to dreamland, I was so grateful for the Spirit and the opportunity we have to feel it in our own home.

We are so blessed.
I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Decisions and Judging

"Worrying won't stop the bad stuff from happening; it just stops you from enjoying the good." -Unknown

I'm a worrier. Have I mentioned that before? Oh, I have? Well, here we go again.

If it wasn't for my worrying mind, life would be much easier. It would still be hard, but it'd be easiER. I'm learning that worrying diminishes my faith. If I have faith, there is no reason to worry. God gave me this life because He knew I could live it and He knew I'd be ok in the end. So why worry?
There seems to be so much to worry about but I've decided to just stop. I've had to come to some really hard conclusions lately and worrying that those decisions aren't right has taken away from the Spiritual answer I received in the first place. Why is it so hard to trust an answer to prayer when it is so clearly in front of me? Because it's scary sometimes.

It's scary to feel like we might be alone or judged or even ridiculed for the choices we make. It's scary to think about the repercussions because sometimes there are bad repercussions even when we are making the right decision. Does that even make sense? I know I'm trusting in my Heavenly Father but I also know that my life will still be hard for a while. Good choices don't always equal good consequences right away. Sometimes it takes a little bit of pain before we get to feel the good. That makes the right choices harder to make.

Sometimes I feel stuck; like no matter what decision I make, there is heartache ahead. I don't know if I've ever really been faced with a decision like that before but it's here now and it's hard. I'm learning so much about my judgements toward others. Mostly, I'm just learning to NEVER judge anyone...never...ever. You have no idea what someone's whole life is like. You have no idea if they are making decisions based on selfishness or the Spirit, what their living situation is, how they are treated every day, what they feel like on the inside, how much money they have, how they were raised, their past, etc. I could seriously go on forever. The point is we just don't know everything about anyone else's life. We may think we do but honestly, we don't.  And we can't. Everyone reacts to situations differently so we can't judge someone for the choices they made in any given situation. That choice is between them and God.

So there's my tangent. Can you tell how strongly I feel about that right now? I hate being in the position of "judged" and it's taught me to leave others the frick alone! Seriously. So next time you see someone who is different and you feel like judging them for it, just don't. Once you start viewing others as children of God, it'll be easier to love them, no matter their choices. Isn't that what Christ would do? And aren't we striving to become more like Him? I know I am.
Pick up your friends. Support the people in your life. Don't look at their lives and find the negatives. Everyone has positives in their life if you look hard enough. Some might be more hidden but those are the ones probably in more need of love than anyone else.

Love unconditionally.

Pray every day.

Try putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

View everyone as a child of God.

Hopfully, this will help us all to become more like the only perfect man to ever walk this earth.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Little of This, Little of That

 I have been itching to blog for weeks and weeks but I never seem to muster up enough energy after the housework, the homework, babysitting, raising my children, and trying to just stay sane. I did, however, get a short post up the other day before my computer died on account of me forgetting to take the cord to my parents' house.

Anyway, I'm back. The internet is working again at my house and I'm ready to catch you up on some of the things we've been up to. I'll try not to make this post to mushy-gushy but that's really how I've been feeling lately. I'm either crying from happiness or crying from pain but either way, there are a lot of tears flowing around here.

Saturday was a super special day for me. Last minute, I got invited to do the ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Course) race with some of my favorite friends. We had one man and six women running in our group and since we found the most awesome dalmation outfit for the guy, we all dressed up as black cats. At first, it sounded a bit boring to me but after seeing almost EVERYONE in tutus and crazy knee socks, I knew we were the ones standing out.
The only picture I took was this one...while I was driving on the freeway. Don't worry, I didn't look while I was taking the picture so this is what I got. Rebecca applying black whiskers to Jamie's face while Dawn smiles and Lacey looks like she's ready to beat someone up. Hope it wasn't me! ;)

The "race" was really fun but not really much of a race...definitely my kind of race. =D If you've ever seen Wipeout, just imagine some of those crazy obstacle courses and you'll have an idea of the things we did. It was so much fun! I hope I can go again next year and every year after that!

School is going great right now. I am ready to sign up for next semester and am trying out a completely new schedule to see if I like it better than night classes. I have one online class that ends in 3 weeks and the rest of my classes end in 5 weeks. My grades have stayed up and I'm loving the learning and social aspects of school. Only 11 more semesters until I can be a fully practicing marriage and family therapist. Ha!
 Both Spidey and Hayley were given balance bikes a month or so ago and have been doing great learning how to ride two-wheelers. Petey insists that she is going to ask Santa for a bigger bike but that she doesn't want it if it comes with training wheels. I told her she needs to practice a ton before Christmas then because I won't let Santa bring her something that is just going to sit there forever. I'm such a nice mom...
 Mr. Dec loved having his mom push him around on Spidey's balance bike. Isn't he the cutest little boy in the world? I mean, besides my Spidey, of course.
 We had one super fun, CrAzY weekend where I watched all FOUR of my friend's children and I was also babysitting my little sister. I took 7 kids to 8am church by myself and we were still on time...barely. The kids had a blast all weekend playing together and having sleepovers.
 My goodness, my friend makes adorable children!
 Also while I was watching those 7 kids, our ward had it's annual fall festival and I braved it with all of the kids. I could not leave without a picture of Leyla's son. Seriously, isn't his costume awesome?
 Baby love!!! Aww, Dec and his little buddy from church.
I found ways to keep the Halloween spirit in Petey's uniforms. Those awesome necklaces I make {and sell} sure do come in handy when I feel like dressing that girly up!

A couple of things not pictured that have happened lately:

-I signed Spidey up for a hip hop class with Petey's old teacher, JaNae, and he loves it! He actually performed with his group at a trunk or treat and was such a cute little stud! He had been asking to dance like his big sister so I decided to give it a try!

-Petey performed at the state fair and was a rockstar! Seriously, we barely made it in time for her performance and she still rocked it out on stage. She has improved immensely since the beginning of this dance year and I'm so proud of all of her hard work.

-Petey also learned how to do a back walkover by herself at home one day. I was in AWE. My 5 year old is doing tricks I was finally brave enough to teach myself at 8 or 9. She is amazing.

-I hope I posted about Spidey turning 4 but if not, Spidey turned 4 this past month. I can hardly believe it. Who told him he was allowed to grow up?

-I was sick for almost 3 weeks straight in October! It was absolutely miserable. It started with a persistent cough that turned into an ear infection {the worst ear pain I have EVER felt} and made it's way into a sinus infection after that. Of course, two of my friends had babies during that time and it's been killing me that I couldn't hold their newborns! Sunday was my first day of feeling almost completely back to normal and I got to hold the sweetest little baby girl at church! Yay! I plan to sneak attack the other friend soon and steal her baby for some cuddles. I am so in love with new babies!

It has been a whirlwind of a month and I'm excited for the holidays to really kick into full gear. As hard as this year is/has been, I plan to make the best of it because I've been given so so so SO so so much!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Proud and Thankful

 I would feel incredibly ungrateful if I didn't take some of my free time while the kids are with their dad to talk about the immense amount of love and help I have in my life. It's almost ridiculous how often people are supporting and helping me but in a very good way.

I have the best friends. Every time I say that sentence, there are one or two in particular who ALWAYS come to mind. Always. Every time. Because they are just that incredible. They include me in their own families and make me feel whole when I'm ready to break. They always seem to know when I'm in need of service, even if it annoys them sometimes because of how often it happens. They are just too good at listening to the Spirit. ;)

I have the best family. What can I even say about my amazing family that isn't said multiple times on this blog? Support, support, support, telling me what I need to hear, more support, and many other things. They're just always there for me.

There are times I feel alone even amidst my wonderful children, family, and friends but surprisingly enough, those feelings don't stay long. I know it has EVERYTHING to do with how much my Heavenly Father loves me and the special people he has placed in my life. It's normal to feel down sometimes but I'm definitely not broken and that makes me so grateful.

My children are incredible. I love the blessings I enjoy of getting to stay home with my children almost full time. I love seeing Spidey grow into a little boy, further away from the toddler years. It makes me sad but I'm proud of who he is becoming. He is such a loving little fella.
Petey had her first dance performance at the AZ State Fair and did AH-MAZING.
I mean, she looks super scary old but she is such a gorgeous little girl.
 The story of the fair will have to wait for later because my computer is about to die and I want to post this before that happens. :)

 Petey is turning into a beautiful little girl. She is so sweet and smart and incredible!