Thursday, January 3, 2019

Monster Feet

We discovered a really fun park last week! Sometimes I forget that just 45 minutes south of here there is a 20-30 degree temperature difference and all I have to do is drive to get there! I was feeling pretty tired of the snow and cold last week so I packed up my 3 littlest boys and took them to this new, fun park in Washington, UT (Z didn't want to come so stayed home to do his paper route). It was fabulous! Not only was it sunny and warm--and I'm laughing here because it was 37 degrees F instead of 15 F, so HUGE difference--but it had all these fun amenities and we weren't shivering cold the entire time! There was a duck and fishing pond, sidewalks for scootering, large fields for playing soccer, a playground for climbing, and a walking trail that led down to the Virgin river. 
It was hard to decide what to do first but we found ourselves down at the fishing pond where the boys rode their scooters in circles and fed the ducks some bread. 
Odin tried his hand at fishing with his fancy fishing pole but it kept getting tangled and stuck and both of us started getting really frustrated. We finally decided to forego fishing and play soccer instead! 
We played all around that big park for about an hour and half until I reminded the kids that I still wanted to go check out the trail down to the river! However, my suggestion was met with all kinds of  whining and  refusals and arguments that they were done playing and ready to go!
"No you aren't!" I said back. "We're checking out that river if it's the last thing we do! And it's the last thing we're doing so start walking!"

A typical theme with some of my children as of lately is to refuse to want to do things that I KNOW they like and will have fun at. I don't quite understand this part of parenting?? For starters I know my children pretty darn well so when I plan fun activities for them to do I KNOW they'll have fun. yet, when I tell them what we're doing, they complain! What is this madness?? So then I make them do said activities anyways when suddenly they are having the most fun of their lives laughing and playing and totally enjoying the activity they first said they would refuse to do! Does this make any sense at all? No it doesn't, but this is parenting in all it's crazy unpredictability.

So next up I forced my unfortunate and miserable children to scooter down this beautiful river trail until we found a quiet opening to the riverbed. And there we spent the next hour laughing and playing and having the most fun ever doing something that they love! 
Because they LOVE playing next to rivers in the dirt and mud and rocks and I know this, because I am their mother. 

How to make Monster Hands and Feet:

 Make a big pile of Cattail fluff, get your hands n' feet nice and muddy, then stomp in the fluff til your hands n'feet look like furry and adorable monster limbs. 

I had a great time down there with my little monsters! These are my favorite moments of motherhood-just hanging out doing nonsense things with these adorable and furry little boys of mine--even when I have to force em! 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

I miss writing

I miss writing. I think about it everyday: all the stories I'm going to write, the book I should be working on, the writing I've done in the past, and all the missed opportunities each day that should've been spent writing! I can see why hopeful writers drop everything to spend all their time writing because it's one of those things that is intensely satisfying for what it is. You don't need a huge crowd of people to tell you your writing is awesome, and you don't need a successful, published book to feel incredible because writing makes you feel that way anyways. It's the act of writing that brings all of your versatile, undiscriminating, and raw emotions to the surface, which truly makes you FEEL alive. 

I feel alive when I am writing. I am a writer in my mind. 

But yet, I am also so many other things besides a writer. 
I'm a busy mom raising 4 boys, wife to Micah, a home manager, a college student, a cook, a chauffeur, a cub scout leader, a friend, neighbor, a ward member, an athlete, a nature explorer, and a reader. There are so many things taking up my time and energy in life that writing takes a back seat. 
I love my life and all the things I get to do, but I wish there was more time for writing. 
Fluffy fern stuff from the creek.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December so far, 2018

Every morning I have to sit in front of my "Happy Light", which brings extra daylight indoors by emitting a bright, full spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight. This helps prevent my Winter depression, of which I get real bad this time of year. I should have started it weeks ago when the time changed and the days got shorter, but here I am, starting today! Hopefully because I'm forced to sit here for the good of my health, I'll also get some blogging done. :) Win=Win. 
Here's the latest!
-Started homeschooling Jonah at the beginning of the month! Such a happier kid now. He really needed a break from school and some quality time with his mom and little brother. Not sure how long we'll homeschool into the future, but we'll definitely finish the third grade doing more of this:

Our ward Christmas party was fun! We have the best ward full of the most down-to-earth and Christ-like folks you'll ever meet. I have learned so much from so many of them, which have left such a positive impact in my life. So grateful for ward families and for the opportunities we have to love and serve others around us. 

The Nay family had a super awesome Christmas party at their house. We all went except for Z who had DnD at his friend's house. Below we are playing a White Elephant gift exchange. Mally loved the game so much that he came home and made Popsicle stick gifts for the entire family so we could exchange them in our very own White Elephant game. 
I made Frosty the Cheese Ball. He was delicious! 

A fun, family tradition we have is attending the Frontier Homestead Museum Christmas celebration. The museum is right around the corner from our house and such a fun time. They do crafts for the kids, old-frontier-style games, hand out hot cocoa and candy-cane flavored popcorn and light up the grounds for a nice night-walking experience. Santa sits in the old pioneer home and gives out candy canes to kids who sit on his lap and tell him their wishes. Mally wished for a Massage chair like Grandad and Grandma Sandy's, a stuffed animal, and a candy cane.  He got two candy canes!

Every Sunday after church we go find somewhere in nature to unload ALL THE WIGGLES, otherwise we'd be stuck in the house all day with 4 crazy children with too much pent-up energy. Several weeks ago before the snow we found this strip of frozen Creek located up a little gulch near the "C trail" that kept everyone entertained!

And of course, me fighting of the winter/seasonal depression is a constant, which results from lack of sunlight in winter. There's been many times where I've tried sitting and crying through church and I've found that it doesn't help me when I'm deep in a depression, so one Sunday morning I took my sadness to the mountains to be alone with myself and my Heavenly Father. It was just what I needed. So grateful to my husband for taking our boys to church so I could feel better. So Grateful to God for beauty, healing, light, and hope, which always finds its way through my tears.

Here's Odin doing some Holiday baking! He made some fudge with nuts for our family to enjoy. We had big plans to make treats this week and bring them to all our neighbors and friends, but I came down with the Norovirus (a terrible gastrointestinal flu). I don't think we should share the holiday diarrhea so maybe we'll postpone and make New Years treats. 

We got our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We drove up the canyon, pulled over at a dirt road, and found our tree within 20 feet of the road. Easy peasy! I don't always love this tree-cutting tradition because of how cold it is up in the mountains but it wasn't too bad this time and we got a beautiful tree. Having a fresh-cut pine tree in our living room is worth it! Thanks to Micah for always leading the way on this tradition. 

Well, my happy light time is over and so is this blogging session. Til next time!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Some photos from Thanksgiving.  So happy my Dad came to visit, feast, and celebrate T-day with us!

Monday, October 29, 2018


One of my favorite new podcasts I've been listening to just had it's 1st birthday! 
Happy birthday #3in30podcast ! I really loved Rachel Nielson from when I used to read (and sometimes write for) #powerofmoms . And now I get to listen to her in her very own awesome and inspiring podcast that uplifts and encourages mothers!
We've been challenged to leave 3 takeaways for moms (with a photo of ourselves holding up 3 fingers) 
of things that we've learned over the years as a mother that we can now share with other mothers. Here's #my3in30 . Nothing too profound- just a few things that I've found helpful as a mom! 

1️⃣If the house is crazy messy, the kids are loud, and you feel overwhelmed beyond reason, just sit on the floor. That's right! Just sit down in the middle of the living room floor and breathe, relax, and let your little ones climb and love all over you. This seems to work every.single.time.
I simply sit on the floor and then suddenly nothing seems as chaotic. My 4 kids are happy to come and sit by me and talk to me, or we end up playing a game. Everything feels better when I just sit down. 

2️⃣Forget the high chair! Feed your toddler their meals in the bathtub! Best thing I ever did with my 4 boys. It seriously cuts down on cleaning up the constant food messes on and around the kitchen table and floors! Just fill up the bathtub with warm water, stick your cute little kid inside of it, and feed them breakfast or lunch or dinner or whatever meal it happens to be. A quick wipe of the tub at the end with a paper towel is all you need to clean up and..... for some reason my kids were always exceptionally clean! 😁

3️⃣Keep a notebook of all the hilarious things your kids say. I don't feel I have time to sit down and write novel journals so I just keep a notepad next to my bed and at the end of the day I write down all the cute or funny things that my kids said. We've been rolling on the floor laughing over some of the things my older boys used to say when they were preschoolers. It's never too late to start, and you'll thank yourself later on when they're all grown up and have left the house. These little tidbits are some of my happiest memories of being a mother so far.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Disneyland 2018

These were two of the most fun, most tiring, most exhilarating, most magical, most amazing, most exhausting, most fun days of Disneyland ever! We loved going for Mickey's-not-so-scary-Halloween party. We got to dress up, trick or treat, and see so many fun costumes! Plus all the rides and food and entertainment and walking and music and parades and lights and most AMAZING fireworks show!! I'm officially burnt out. You can find me rolled up in a ball on my bedroom floor, for the next 3 days, smiling from ear to ear, of course.. 

Steps to Detoxing from a Disney vacation: Step one: isolate yourself in nature away from all crowds of people. Step 2: sit on a rock and talk to only yourself or animals. Step 3: Drink buttloads of water to re hydrate from all that walking you did. Step 4: Dream of all the tasty junk food you ate but resist the urge to recreate it all at home. Step 5: Stop pretending the car is actually a ride in Fantasyland while you drive your kids to school. Step 6: Cry a little (or a lot) because its over and you don't know when you're going back. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Exciting times!

The weather outside is frightful....but my soul and spirit have been uplifted and inspired, chasing all darkness away on this General conference weekend! While watching, I couldn't stop the holy spirit from taking hold of my heart and mind, reminding me again and again that this is the right path--the same one I chose in 2002 when I was searching desperately for truth, guidance, and direction. What I didn't know at the time was that I needed Jesus Christ fully in my life. And what I found was not only the healing, loving, nurturing powers of Christ's atonement but  soooooooo much more through His amazing church. 
President Nelson was right, it is an exciting time to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints today. Can you feel it?