Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Ya'll

Funny Bunny:

Ladybug Keagan and Kellie. Don't you like Makell's costume? She refused to wear one. In her own words, "that's a waste of time".
She said she was dressed as...wait for it....Kellie:

The Good Witch:

Ladybug Riley and Sam:

The Chinese Ladybugs. So cute you could just squeeze 'em:

Trick or Treat All Ya'll!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Because I Said I Would

It's been one of those mind-numbing, never-slow-down weeks thus far. I still have 2 more over scheduled days to go. Peaceful solitude looks like an illusion from where I sit. These kinds of weeks just happen to all of us. More often than we would like. Over the last few days, I have felt as if I'm quickly spinning from one thing to the next, without really accomplishing anything. Again, it's mind-numbing. Soul depleting.

After working late last night to finish preparing patriotic vests for Addie's class program, I was at the school by 8:30 am to volunteer in 5th grade for Makell. I didn't leave until 1:00 pm (with more volunteer items loaded in my arms). From there I drove to a visiting teaching appointment. While in my car, I was tired and I wondered to myself, "Why do I do this?" The answer came to me quickly...."Because you said you would."

My thoughts then turned to something I have had on my mind--how I'm treated as a mother. I seem to do, and go, and love, and care for this family, and there are moments when it all feels like wasted effort. Makell slapped me this week. On my face. She had been in a really grouchy mood, and I was tickling her to try and snap her out of it. She got frustrated and slapped me. I was so stunned that I sat still and couldn't say anything. I'm still stunned actually.

That moment has stayed with me and made me examine what I do and how it is received. So, this week I have wondered, "Why do I do this?" My answer...."Because I promised I would." When I looked into each newborn's eyes, I promised. If I had known then what I know now, I still would have promised. To love, to care, to be treated with disrespect, to feel that all I do is invisible to those around me, to do homework with a child who is yelling at me, to read a book with a daughter when all I want is to sit in a quiet spot. Yes, I would still promise. Because of my infinite love for this family of mine. I promise, promise, promise.

So on those days, those moments, or those weeks where I wonder, "Why do I do this?", I hope I can always remember that "I said I would". May those words carry me through all that seems to make me stumble.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Handy Planner

Sam comes home every day looking like this:

And every day, I ask her "Why?" She tells me that she will forget what homework she has, so she writes it on her hand. It is then that I remind her that she has 2, count 'em, 2 planners. Her laptop has a program to track her homework and she also has the one I bought her. It's the planner that she stomped, moaned and wailed for in the isle at Walmart. The only thing she has currently written in it, is birthdays.

I have suggested countless times that she write her homework in her planner instead of on her hand. "You're already using a pen. Why don't you try paper instead of flesh." It's just so logical that I open my eyes wide for emphasis. Sam simply looks at me like I just flew in from Venus.

I think I'm going to start using her other hand to write her messages. During the night I'll use a permanent marker to remind her not to write on her hand. That should do the trick. I really think she'll thank me for it in the end.

Monday, October 26, 2009

As Of This Moment

STATS: 38, married, long eyelashes, mom of 3, aspiring writer.
WHAT'S YOUR SIMPLEST PLEASURE: An extra large cupcake served on a plate with a fork.
IF I HAD A FREE HOUR, I WOULD: Finish painting the playroom.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR WARDROBE: The black, patent leather shoes my mom just bought me.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FEATURE: My keen ability to talk about my life in such a way to make other's grateful for theirs.
WHAT WORRIES YOU THE MOST: If the world were to be drained of all it's sugar.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE: That I shouldn't be forced to live on a budget. It makes my heart cry.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For Girls Only

I have started making button barrettes for my girls. This genius idea came to me one day at Walmart. Usually my Walmart epiphanies consist of, "large men should never wear denim overalls without a shirt". But this time, I saw these buttons and I just knew they would make cute hair clips. Here's how it's done:

You can find these buttons in the fabric section. I have also found really cute ones at Joann's. You also need to buy a coordinating ribbon. Make sure you buy the really, really thin ribbon. At Walmart it's $.50.
String the ribbon through the button. I use a toothpick to edge it through the button hole. Leave a loop at the base.

You can use these plastic barrettes or the metal clips. The only place I can find these white barrettes here is at Michaels. They are in the ribbon section.
For this part you have to use all your fine motor skills while you hold the button and the barrette at the same time. It helps your coordination if you stick your tongue out slightly.

Place a dab of hot glue on both sides of the ribbon, directly on the barrette. Then, immediately press the button onto the barrette and pull the ribbon tight. Hold for a few seconds while the glue cools. Tie the ribbon in a knot. Then, I place a small amount of clear nail polish on the ends of the ribbon (so it doesn't fray) and on the knot (so it doesn't come undone).

Wa La. Six new hair clips for less than $5. Feel the style.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shield Your Eyes

I know I have talked about my love of frosting. I heart buttercream so much I can't find the words to describe my feelings. I could spread it on toast and wear it as lipgloss. The only time I've considered getting a dog is when I realized I could possibly name it Buttercream. I love, love, love frosting. To defile it is sacrilegious. I'm pained when I see it abused in any way.

I discovered this desecrated cake while cleaning the kitchen one night. I stood mute while I stared at this horror. Who would do such a thing? Surely not anyone carrying my DNA. I carried this cake pan to each family member until I found a match to the handprint. A lengthy discussion on frosting reverence followed.

This frosting atrocity I simply have no words for. While at a school function she scoured the tables for the darkest frosting possible. I think she found it. When I finally got her to wipe it off her lips, they were stained black. Well deserved.

The twins dug into their birthday treat with delight. Watching the frosting get slathered on their bodies wasn't as hard for me as I thought it was going to be. When I took Riley out of her chair to clean her off, I had to summon all my willpower not to suck the buttercream right off her arms.

This wild child started flinging the frosting. She would crazy shake her hands while frosting went flying. Simply not tolerable. Keagan and I had a little one-on-one discussion. "We do not giggle or fling frosting while we eat cake. Dessert is treated with respect." She took it well.

From here on out I think I'll type up a Frosting Contract. It will require everyone to eat with etiquette and appreciation. If you don't sign, you can not partake. That's my final offer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sing, Sing, Sing

Sam had a choir performance this week at her school. Choir is serious business here. Specific hair, uniforms and shoes. She wrote down all of her instructions on her hand. In black Sharpie marker. I'm sure it will still be there for the Christmas concert.

I love listening to this girl sing. It's majestic. Sometimes I look at her and wonder where her voice came from. I wish it could sound as lovely when she rolls her eyes at me and repeats for the 1,325th time, "that's totally not fair".

When my dad was sick and even months after his funeral, I would ask Sam to sing for me. She knows a song from Little Women, and it's my favorite. When I was sad, I would ask her to sit with me and sing it. Even now, I ask her to sing that song at least once a week. Time slows down and life feels more peaceful when I listen to her.

The choir performance was a family affair, which means I spent the entire time holding my breath that Makell and Addie wouldn't do something to get us banished from all future school activities. Fortunately, the visible cupcakes and plastic gory finger were enough of a distraction.

Thank you for your voice Sam. It's my gift from heaven.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Dare Not To Speak It's Name

I have a bit of a confession. I've avoided speaking about it because it's too horrible to mention. But the time has come to open up and admit my actions. You better find a quiet place to sit and then hold on to your seat.

I've been exercising.

I know. It's ghastly. I don't like thinking about it. I have such an immense aversion to all physical activity that induces sweat. But yet, I have been running on my treadmill. At 5 freakin' 30 in the morning. With the immense amount of sugar I consume, I finally decided I should do something nice for my body. I made a rash decision. Now I'm stuck with the consequences. Running and sweating. Eew.

Do you remember the movie, The Princess Bride? Well, towards the end, prince charming Wesley is held captive in a secret chamber where he is hooked up to the nasty machine that sucks away years from his life. After each life zapping session, Wesley simply moans the words 'true love'. They're long, drawn out, painful expressions.

I've always known that exercising is evil torture. But, the other day I realized that my treadmill is just like Wesley's life sucking machine. Every time I step on it, I lose years of vitality. If you listen closely (who the heck would be listening at 5:30 in the morning?), you'll hear me moaning, "true luuuvvvvv". I love my dessert. Therefore, I must run. But I wonder, at what cost? If my treadmill is just taking away years from my life, then I will have less time to eat candy. I just might have to reevaluate my plan.

I could cut back on the size of my dessert. The thought makes me shiver. Or, I could try NOT eating it at all. A ludicrous idea. I guess I'm going to have to decide which is worse, exercising or refraining from treats. That's a toughie. Maybe I'll pray about it. It's a life altering decision. In the meantime, you can think of me at 5:30 am. I'll be sweating away my years.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


A year ago today, they were here:

Now they are here:

These beautiful babies arrived to bring us all a miracle. This family has weathered many storms within the last two years, and these girls have brought us new light and joy. They have simply changed all of our lives. Their mom's courageous perseverance and determined faith have made her a hero in my eyes. This day we celebrate double love and heaven sent.

Happy Birthday Keagan and Riley.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


My mom's neighbor dropped by her house to visit the other day. Her name is Roxanne. She's nice. She lives a quiet life. Her husband is retired and works in the yard every day and takes long walks to the store. I believe that they have one grown child. Their house is clean and everything stays in it's place. The only noise comes from a cat and a dog.

My mom and sister visited with Roxanne. She oohed at the twins. After some time, Roxanne made mention of my girls and how "funny" they are. 'Funny' is such and interesting word. Is it funny-cute or funny-crazy? I know the answer, I've just always dreamed of my kids being described as funny-cute instead of the later.

Roxanne gave insightful examples of "funny". She said that my girls will ring the doorbell all the time. Once she opens the door, "the cat, the dog and my husband scatter." Yup. Her exact word. Scatter. She said that sometimes the dog can't get away fast enough before they pounce on him. Poor Charlie.

Once they let themselves inside the house, they just settle in. One of the girls turns on the TV to find Hannah Montana. Another one will grab the laptop and start typing away while asking Roxanne, "Hey, do you have any games? Oh wait....found 'em."

After this information was relayed to me, I asked my mom, "Are you embarrassed?" Her response, "Um....no....I'm not surprised." I bowed my head in shame. My sister laughed so hard she almost peed.

Why, oh, why, I ask myself. Am I somehow to blame? Did they come from heaven this way, or did I create "funny" kids? Again, I know the answer, I just like to pretend I don't.

Scatter. Her exact word.

Therapy. My exact thought.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Metal Detector

I told her that these braces should cover her birthday, Christmas, Easter, Labor Day and Arbor Day for the next 4 years. Her mouth was so sore, she simply nodded in agreement. Today I'm going to have to get a pinkie swear.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just In Case You Were Wondering

I know many of you have started to worry about what you'll get me for Christmas (mom). Look no further. It's a Cupcake Car!!

This beauty was revealed today in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. It's powered by a 24-volt electric motor and costs a mere $25,000. Small change, really. I've already decided that I'll drive the girls to school in it. I'll let them sit on top. Kinda like sprinkles.

I honestly think I'm going to start dreaming about owning this car. Maybe a few of you (my entire extended family 3 generations back) could pool your resources and make my dream a reality. I'd be ever so grateful. I'd let you come over and look at it. Eyes only, no touching. After all, it's a cupcake car. It's like the 8th wonder of the world.

Monday, October 5, 2009

For My Soul Hungered

Truth can be seen and heard in a number of ways. It seems to present itself differently to each individual. For me, truth is always manifest most strongly when I feel it.

There are various truths that I have known. Like, the moment you peer at your sleeping child in the stillness of the night. That is truth. Or, like when you are in labor, dilated to a 4, and you finally get an epidural. That is most definitely truth. Or even when your spouse walks in the door at the end of the day, when chaos surrounds you, and as you look at him you remember how much you love him. That is eternal truth.

For members of the LDS faith, General Conference occurs in the spring and in the fall. All around the world, all 13 million members of the church gather to hear truth. We wait for it, eager to listen and absorb council from a Prophet and Apostles who have direct connection to our Father. This weekend filled my soul with truth. As I watched each speaker step to the pulpit, I realized that this is the purest form of truth I know. No frills, no fanfare. Just simple and clear messages that reach each of us in different ways. I know it is truth because I feel it.

A few of the truths I learned this weekend:
  • Aim high.
  • Our economic challenges may help us hear the word of the Lord.
  • Express love and show it sincerely and frequently in our home.
  • "What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are and who we will become."
  • In all that we do, "listen for His voice".
  • Stand tall and be immovably fixed.
  • Don't. Ever. Let. Go. of the iron rod and the path that leads us back to Him. No matter how hard, no matter the trial, hold tight and press forward.
  • It is our sacred responsibility to teach the Lord's standards of morality.
  • "What have I done for someone else today?"
The truth of this gospel resonates in the deepest part of my soul. May we all hunger for truth and be able to recognize it when we feel it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


It's now dipping down to 85 degrees. That qualifies as Fall, right? Oh, and I did see one, single leaf fall from a tree the other day. Yup. Feels like Autumn.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Add And Subtract

I'm a person who is easily bored with my house decor. I move things. A lot. I rearrange decorations, I rehang pictures in other rooms, I paint a shelf a new color, I fill in nail holes just to create new ones. It's just what I do. I redecorate my mom's house too. I've never really asked permission, I just move her stuff. The twin's babysitter said that she tries to figure out every item's new location compared with it's last.

I've been moving this week. Here and there. A few Fall items in the mix. In all of my readjusting, I've noticed something. I 'see' things more once they have come to rest somewhere new. Same decor, different location. Just moving an item seems to bring it to life. In it's old position it became ordinary and I no longer noticed it. Once I placed it somewhere unusual, it grabbed my attention. Somehow it became cuter, more valued, than it was previously.

This has led me to wonder how much of my life is just like my house decor. How much has stayed the same for so long that I simply no longer pay attention to it. What exactly needs some rearranging? How much of my life has become ordinary because I have taken for granted that it's there?

My first thought was that I should rearrange my kids. Put them somewhere new, like my mom's house. Just for a few days. Then when I brought them back, they would be new again and I would appreciate them more. Sounds tempting, I know. Not for my mom, just for me.

More than likely, I'm the one who needs rearranging. A shifting of how I view all that is important to me. I need to look at my girls from a new angle so that the light shines on them in a slightly different way. I need to step back and take in a broader scene of my blessings instead of placing emphasis on what is missing. I need rehang my priorities so that their order resembles it's value. I need to take all that's ordinary and 'see' it as extraordinary.

Who knew that decorating could be so enlightening. Maybe the next time I'm rearranging at my mom's house, I'll just accidentally leave my kids there. For 3 days. It's just a thought....