Friday, December 23, 2011

I Knew She'd Change The World



"Children like Avery change the world. They grow up to be passionate, opinionated adults. The hard part is getting them there."

"She doesn't have temper tantrums. She has emotional storms. You'll find that they will cluster and you'll have days where they are back to back. It's not her, it is how a brain works and the synapses fire."

"I bet you try to be logical and calm with her?"... "That doesn't work with Avery. She has big emotions and wants you to have big emotions too."

"She has rigid thinking. Black and white. There is no gray area with her. It's very much how a scientist thinks. She knows how she wants things to go and when things don't follow a certain plan, she doesn't know how to handle it, or voice her frustration properly."

"Everything you do to parent your other children is not going to work with Avery. You will have to learn a whole new set of skills to deal with her."

"Of course she is going to be wonderful at school and then come home and lash out and misbehave. You don't go out into the world and show your bad moods to the neighbors or the mailman or the grocery store clerk, either. You save up your stress and release it where you feel safe."

Everything the psychologist said...made perfect sense. She made me feel like I'm not a failure. I may not have the skills or knowledge yet, to cope with her, but I'm not a failure. Perhaps I would be failing her if I chose to ignore this and sweep it under the rug...but, I'm not. I'm facing it head on and even though it is one of the hardest things I have ever done, I'm doing it.

Our plan from this point forward is to do therapy every few weeks, at The Children's Center. They will be working with Avery and trying to help her find ways to communicate with us better and find ways to deal with "gray" areas. They will be working with Josh and I on ways to cope with her emotional storms and what we can do to help with her frustration and aggression. We may have times of family therapy, since Avery's differences do affect our other children. This will all be tried for about six months before we discuss any medication options. I would like to use those as a last resort. I'm certain that if our reactions to Avery can be better, then things will improve.

It's going to be a long, bumpy road. One that I am willing to take, for my beautiful girl.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When Did She Grow Up?


After another hard day with Avery, I found myself being comforted...by my ten year old.


Me: "I'm sorry, Bay, Mom is just really upset today."
Bay: "It's okay, Mom. I know she's hard."
Me: "Yeah, she can be. It makes me feel like a bad Mom."
Bay: "You're not a bad Mom! You're the best Mom!"
Me: "Thanks, Bay. Even adults can feel like a failure, sometimes."
Bay: "Mom, parents aren't supposed to be perfect all the time."


...and in that second, I realized that the tiny, 6 lb baby that I brought home and placed in her ladybug decorated nursery...has really begun to grow up.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's My Only Choice


Monday morning is the day we have been waiting for, for three months. We are finally meeting with a child psychologist for Avery.

Monday can't come fast enough.

While she is having more better days than not, the days that are  bad...are bad. She is unable to control her emotions, especially when she is upset or frustrated. They will overtake her for hours...(four, straight hours today)...and she lashes out. She will hurt anyone or anything in her path and doesn't care. She becomes so wrapped up and focused on one thing, that she becomes stuck on a merry-go-round that won't stop.

For instance, today, Luke (who is younger) and Avery were fighting over computer time. Finally, I told them that the computer was going up for the night and no one was playing it, since they couldn't get along. After the usually whining that one would expect from a child who was reprimanded, Luke walked away and let it go. His response lasted a mere five minutes. However, Avery became so fixated on what she wanted and became so frustrated, that four hours of hell ensued for me. She kicked the walls. She screamed. She threw things. She slammed her door. She chanted, "Can I play the computer?" for about 75 straight minutes, of that four hours.

I don't know many adults who wouldn't have completely lost it, in this situation...and I'm not one of those adults, either. I ended up in a ball, frustrated, crying...feeling very alone and like a complete failure.

WHY can't I get through to my child? This is not a normal temper tantrum. No child (at least none I've ever come in contact with) would grasp on to an idea for over four hours and not let it go. WHY don't I have the ability to calm her down and make her understand, like I'm able to do with any of my other children?

I know what we've already been told. I know she has some frontal lobe immaturity. I know she has sensory issues. I know she has a mood disorder. I know all this. What I don't know is how to help her. How to cope. How to keep my other children from being afraid of her. How to be strong enough to not break down, like I did today. I don't know any of this.

I'm praying that someone can help us.

Because I can only be strong, for so long.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Panic At The Finish Line

Imagine training for a marathon...

Putting in years of training and work (I know it doesn't take years  to train for a marathon...but pretend you are a slow achiever...) ;) only to get closer and closer to the day of the marathon and become overwhelmed with anxiety. Can you really do it? (Well, yes, you've put in the work and done what you should.) Should you really do it? (Why wouldn't you? It' something you've always wanted!) Will you really do it? (Well...will you?)

That's how I've felt lately, as the date for the nursing school applications draws closer. I still have my CNA to complete and that will take a bit of time. As the due date draws closer and closer, I'm finding that I'm running out of precious time.

I'm having a lot of self doubt and worries, that is making me hold back. Even though I have put in the work these past few years and taken all my pre-requisites, with pretty decent grades, I still have so much doubt that I will get in. I have so much doubt that I can handle the workload along with my other responsibilities.

The school I'm applying to only accepts 20 students for their program. 20. What makes me so special?

If I even do get in, how am I going to deal with cutting my hours (and my income) by half, for a couple years?

How will I handle a busy school load and five kids in school? (Which sounds like extra time...and is...but it also means more homework for them, more school projects, more school programs, more volunteer time, ect.)

What will we do with the kids, if my nursing school responsibilities overlaps Josh's work schedule?

How. Is. This. All. Going. To. Work. Out???

I finally came to peace with it yesterday. I am taking my CNA class the first week of January. That will give me two months to complete the class, complete the clinicals, complete the testing, take the state testing and hand in my application. Not a lot of time...(and it will have to be done concurrently with working full time and my other classes for my Bachelors)...but I'm working with what I have.

Then...

I'm letting it all go. It's not in my hands anymore. I can't control who a panel of people at the University deem worthy enough to accept. But, I can't let the stress and worry consume me anymore. If I don't apply, then the decision is made. If I do, then the decision is taken from me. If I get in...or if I don't...it's out of my hands. I can't let the fear of striking out, keep me from playing the game. I can't let the worries of how we will handle it all logistically, keep me from pushing forward. It will all work out. It always has.

Que sera, sera.

Whatever will be, will be.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

November Pictures

I apparently went crazy with pictures in November...because I'm still catching up with posting them all! I mean...it's understandable...with Josh's birthday, Peanut's birthday and Thanksgiving...there is a lot to document! :)

We had Peanut's birthday party with all the family after her birthday because of Josh's work schedule, but we still wanted to celebrate her special day with us. She requested a strawberry cake and that's what she got!

This was the first year that I ever cooked all of Thanksgiving dinner, all by myself. I woke up that morning with a RAGING sore throat...and no where was open. So, the fact that I totally made sugar-free pumpkin pies by mistake is going to be blamed on the fact that I had a major case of strep going on and felt like I'd been hit by a semi. ;) But, other than that minor fluke, we had an awesome dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sparkling apple cider, egg nog, shrimp, Mom's turkey cookies...and sugar-free pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream. ;)

I'm so thankful for everyone that came out to celebrate Peanut's third birthday! She again requested strawberry cupcakes and strawberry ice-cream! She received lots of girly presents, which she absolutely adored! What a beautiful little miracle she is!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Taking The Time To Say...

Sometimes...

I get caught up in my life.

There is always something to be done. Laundry. Cleaning. Shopping. Homework. Paying Bills. Mowing the lawn. Dishes. Work. Putting up decorations. Taking down decorations. Planning a birthday party. Repairing something that is broken. Kissing an owie. Doctor appointments. Dentist appointments. Someone is sick. Kid's homework. Shoveling the driveway. Overtime.

Sometimes...

I forget.

So, today, I'm taking the time...

...to say "thank-you".

Thank you, Josh, for everything you do. I'm not unaware that I married an amazing man. An amazing man who never hesitates to roll up his sleeves and do dishes. An amazing man who, honestly, does more laundry than I do. An amazing man who never complains about getting up with kids during the night...and never has. An amazing man who supports me with everything I do, even if it makes our family life more stressful. An amazing man who is in no way the "stereo-typical" husband or father.

Sometimes...

I forget to acknowledge all that you do and I never want you to think that I take you for granted.

Because, I don't. Not ever.

Hey...I love you. ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No-Shave November Fun

I am married to a hairy man... *giggle*

After a month of not shaving...(thank you, dumb man who started "No-Shave November"...whoever you are...)...we decided to have some fun, taking the beard off! :)


He's such a babyface with no hair! If it weren't for his sleepy eyes from a night shift, he would look like a 14 year old... <3

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How To Kill A Snowman...

...in four easy steps!


1. Find a snowman that is already down on his luck and climb him...
...in your socks...
...even though your Mom told you to put boots on...

2. While beating up snowman, he gets the better of you and you fall off.
But, you don't give up!

3. Climb the snowman again...only to have him make you slide off again.
How's your cold feet?

4. Climb the snowman one more time...
...and show him who is BOSS!
Then take a victory leap off...
...and run inside...
...complaining that your feet are cold.

P.S. Your Mom will  say, "I told you so!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Creative Endeavors

A few weekend ago the kids were getting a bit restless and needed to do something a little different than our usual Saturday routine. A few of them had really been wanting Josh to make birdhouses with them and I had already purchased some flowers with the intent to make some cute fall clip in flowers for the girls' hair.

So...Josh broke out the wood, nail gun, saws and paint, while I broke out the hot glue gun, ribbon and flowers. The kids bounced back and forth between the crafts and we ended up with this:

That's a lot of flowers!

I'm not sure what kinds of birds will use them...but they'd be the stylish birds on the block! ;)
I love spontaneous, fun afternoons like this! The kids had a blast and so did we! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thirty Days Of Thanks

Nov. 1st - I'm thankful for my husband's patience.
Nov. 2nd - I'm thankful for old friends.
Nov. 3rd - I'm thankful for the opportunity to work from home, so that I never miss the important things. Because they are all important things.
Nov. 4th - I'm thankful for chocolate cupcakes and the smile they bring to my family's face.
Nov. 5th - I'm thankful for completed tasks and the feeling of accomplishment.
Nov. 6th - I'm thankful for people that make me feel included and loved.
Nov. 7th - I'm thankful for a husband that drove the kids to school today, after a night shift, because he knows I'm afraid to drive in the snow.
Nov. 8th - I'm thankful for the faith to believe that families will be reunited in Heaven and no one that is "gone" is truly gone forever.
Nov. 9th - I'm thankful for the days that the children get along with one another and are helpful.
Nov. 10th - I'm thankful for yummy food and Mom's handwritten recipe book.
Nov. 11th - I'm thankful for the men and women that are willing to sacrifice everything, so that I can live freely.
Nov. 12th - I'm thankful for friends that treat me like family.
Nov. 13th - I'm thankful for my hearing and the ability to listen to my children play the piano.
Nov. 14th - I'm thankful for my strong, healthy body and the motivation to exercise.
Nov. 15th - I'm thankful for a husband that listens.
Nov. 16th - I'm thankful that I wasn't the Mom with the broke down mini-van in the carpool lane at the kids' school today. I'm also thankful that another Mom had the knowledge and kind heart to pull over and help her.
Nov. 17th - I'm thankful for migraine medication and a husband that takes over all my duties without a complaint.
Nov. 18th - I'm thankful for an understanding boss for when the migraine medications make me so loopy that not only did I not work, but I sent her random, crazy text messages.
Nov. 19th - I'm thankful for the chance to help good friends and to feel useful.
Nov. 20th - I'm thankful for lazy Sundays and cooking breakfast with my kids.
Nov. 21st - I'm thankful for modern medicine and the miracle that Peanut brought to my life, three years ago, today.
Nov. 22nd - I'm thankful that Elmer's glue isn't super glue.
Nov. 23rd - I'm thankful for the warmth of a hug.
Nov. 24th - I'm thankful for the chance to sit around the table and hear what my family is thankful for.
Nov. 25th - I'm thankful for antibiotics and a hot lemon and honey drink...because that's all I can swallow.
Nov. 26th - I'm thankful for laughter and it's ability to make me feel better.
Nov. 27th - I'm thankful for a clean, tidy home and helpful children with good attitudes.
Nov. 28th - I'm thankful for a boss that knows when I'm having a bad day, so she makes my life easier.
Nov. 29th - I'm thankful for the mornings that the kids wake up in good moods!
Nov. 30th - I'm thankful for the situations in my life that have made me strong and the love in my life that makes me weak. I'm thankful for a life full of hard work and circumstances that remind me to slow down. I'm thankful for the times that have made me tough and the people that let me be fragile. I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned and for the lessons I've taught. I'm thankful for my faith in humanity and for those who have faith in me. <3

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Music To My Ears

Their instructor, Liz, is amazingly wonderful with them.
If you are in this area and looking for a teacher, she is the one to call!

The girls have been taking piano for almost a year now and a couple weeks ago they had their first recital! I'm so proud of them for the practice they put in and how well they did! My house is constantly filled with music, whether they are practicing their new lessons or they are making up their own songs.

Bay has a real knack for hearing something and then picking out the tune on the piano. It amazes me! Ry doesn't hate piano, but I think she is merely tolerating it, to make me happy. She does really well, but that is just Ry. Throw anything at that kid and she will master it. Avery, shockingly, really loves it! She uses music to soothe herself sometimes, so I really like that she will know she is getting frustrated and will go to the piano or guitar.

I really like them having an activity outside of school and family time. It's important to me, that they have an outlet and are learning something, as well. Plus, I enjoy hearing them practice and seeing them master new songs!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Short and To the Point

Presley wakes up every, single day, with a smile on her face.
We should all strive to adopt the attitude of being happy...just because we're alive. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I have so many, many things to be thankful  for, this year. While life gets overwhelming at times and I have moments where I forget how blessed I am, I'm thankful  that we have this time of year, to bring these blessings to mind.

~ I'm thankful  for my husband and the patience and love in which he handles our home. ~ I'm thankful  for my beautiful Bailey, who trusts me enough to ask me questions when she doesn't understand something. ~ I'm thankful  for Ryleigh, who is mature beyond her years, but still loves to cuddle with me. ~ I'm thankful  for Avery, who teaches me patience every day and for her bright smile. ~ I'm thankful  for Luke, who always makes me laugh and impresses me with his inventions. ~ I'm thankful  for Presley, who's tender demeanor and tiny voice always melts my heart. ~ I'm thankful  for our safe and loving home. ~ I'm thankful  for friends who love me, despite my faults. ~ I'm thankful  for the many roles our families play in our lives. ~ I'm thankful  for the memories I have, of loved ones who have passed on. ~ I'm thankful  for my job, that allows me to work it around my life and not vice versa. ~ I'm thankful  for the determination and support to have achieved my first college degree this year. ~ I'm thankful  for my faith. ~ I'm thankful  for my healthy body. It may not be as pretty or as tiny as it used to be, but it is serving me well. ~ I'm thankful  for the self-confidence to stand up for myself and walk away from bad situations. ~ I'm thankful  for my senses. They allow me to see my children grow up, hear their laughter, feel their hugs, smell the flowers they give me and taste the brownies they surprise me with. ~ I'm thankful  that I still have my grandparents in my life, even if it is from across the country. ~ I'm thankful  for my blog and the memories it holds. ~  I'm thankful  that I live in a free country, where I am able to pursue my life, liberty and happiness.  ~ I'm thankful  for today. Tomorrow isn't promised...so if tomorrow doesn't come, know that I'm thankful  I had today. ~

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Peanut


I don't know where the last three years has gone. I don't know when my baby, that was only four and a half pounds when I brought her home, became this active, talkative, smart, beautiful, charismatic toddler. So much has changed in her world in the last three years and she continues to amaze me, every single day.

This little girl, who we were told would be delayed for a few years, is anything but. She quickly overcame her early birth and has continued to advance in every way possible. She has been one of our most healthy kids, though I'm sure being quarantined to the house for the first six months of her life helped with that. She is a dare-devil and loves to be active with her siblings and keep up with them. She knows her ABC's, can count to eleventeen (which comes after eighteen...) :) and will sing you any song you request of her. She has been fully potty-trained for over a year. She loves to dance and has a million tutus, leotards and cupcake dresses. (Any dress that flares out when she spins, she calls a "cupcake dress".

She loves Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves anything girly and is in absolute Heaven when her sisters paint her fingernails, do her hair or play any pretend games with her. She loves to color (sometimes on walls...) and write her name (the letter "P"). If you ask her what her name is, she will tell you, very adamantly that it is, "Peanut!"; don't try to convince her otherwise! She is very polite and always shares with her siblings.



Dear Peanut,
I love you, more than I can express. You were the perfect addition to our family and the most wonderful conclusion to a rough couple of years. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't remember the miracle that you were and continue to be. I hope this  next year is your most amazing yet! I know how excited you are to start preschool and I can't wait to watch you learn and make new friends. Happy, happy, happy birthday, my beautiful girl. Your Daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Three Little Words = Big Achievement


My six year old has hit a milestone that most two year olds have already achieved. It's not a milestone that most parents stress over...in fact I didn't stress over it, either. We've dealt with so much with this child, that it was low on my priority list. While it's not something typically worried about, it is a milestone that parents rejoice over.

For the first time ever in her life, my daughter is saying, "I love you" to us...without us saying it first. In fact, it's usually paired with a huge bear hug...something else that she has never really willing gave in the past. She would allow you to hug her, but rarely did she reciprocate it.

I'm not under the illusion that things are 100% better with her. She is still prone to unexplained bouts of anger. She still says mean things, that make us cringe. She is still incredibly headstrong and can be difficult to motivate to carry out her tasks. She still has "temper tantrums" that make me want to cry in frustration.

But...

...she loves me.

I would do anything in the world, for that bright-eyed, freckled-face little girl. Especially when she has her arms wrapped around me, in a tight embrace, telling me that I'm doing something right.

Study Through Osmosis


I went to bed a few nights ago and found Bay, passed out cold, on top of a study guide she thought she would make for her Renaissance test. What a silly girl!

She had finished her homework hours before and I thought she was just in her room, winding down and reading. When I went to tuck her in, I found her snoring away, instead!

I'm happy to report that she did really well on that test, though! ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Self Reliance #4

“Self-censorship is not just self-betrayal and self-abandonment (which would be bad enough), but soul-betrayal and betrayal of our Muse, out inner voice, our highest self.”


Too often we censor ourselves, our actions, and our work in hope or fear of what might happen if we otherwise don’t. What words would you write today, and what actions would you take, if you had nothing to fear, nothing to lose?

 I really don't like you. I don't like your choices or your attitude. Thinking about you, drains me. It takes away from my happiness and makes me feel nauseated. I don't understand you or your way of thinking. I expend far too much energy worrying about you and what you think. I need to stop.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Am Humbled

There is nothing so humbling as watching an 11 year old little girl...a little girl you have known since she was seconds old...hug her grandfather for the last time. I love this little girl. She is named after me, my oldest is named after her and she is in so many of my children's memories and pictures, it's like she is one of my own.

The world lost a great man today. My love, prayers and thoughts go out to his entire family, as they begin to find peace and comfort in his absence. He is no longer in pain and suffering and I know that his family understands this, through their loss. My children will miss their "Grandpa Dennis" and will hold dear all of the memories they have of him.

Muir Family

On our way home from saying good-bye, I listened to the children talk.

Bay: "He is in a better place now, Livi."
Livi: "I know. He'll be so happy to see his mom and dad and little brother. And he'll be with my other grandpas."
Bay: "You'll see him again, too."
Livi: "That will make me happy!"

Their understanding and acceptance, at their young ages, made me tear up.
They have the right attitude...it's not "good-bye", it's "see you later."

See you later, Grandpa Dennis. Watch over your family and comfort them in the coming days. <3

Self Reliance #3

Do your work, and I shall know you.
Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to do every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.

What a daunting thought; "...you only have about 100 years to do every single thing you've ever wanted to do." I have so many dreams and hopes for my life; how much time do I waste not accomplishing these, every single day?

There are some things I've accomplished already, like skydiving and getting my first college degree. There are some dreams that will never be realized, like my desire to be a surrogate mother. There are some goals that I've yet to fulfill, like running a half marathon.

Why?

Because I'm scared that I will try and fail.

It's better not to try at all...right?

*sigh* No. I know it's not. When I started running last summer, I never dreamed that I would one day be able to run four miles straight; no stopping. But, I've done it!

Then...I stopped. Why?

Yes, I have a lot of valid reasons, like school starting up again and work increasing. However, at the end of the day, those are just excuses, aren't they? There is always time. Always. I thought I was busy 8 years ago, with my full time job and two kids. There was no way I could imagine fitting more into my life. Yet, fast forward to the present and I have five kids, a full time job and both Josh and I are in school. Crazy...how you can make time for those things that you really want to make time for.

I really want to make time for this goal...so why haven't I?

I'm surrounded by people in my life that are amazing runners. What if I can't compete? What if I'm not as good as them? What if I don't progress as fast as them? I am so afraid to try and fail.



What if I tried...and I made it?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

~ Happy 3rd Birthday Carter ~

We have a strange coincidence in our family, when it comes to birthdays. One of our children was born the day before every single one of Josh's brothers. Bailey was born the day before her Uncle Cameron's birthday, Luke was born the day before his Uncle Jared's birthday and Presley was born the day before her Uncle Cody's birthday.

It seems only fitting then, that Carter would have been due, the day after his father's birthday. Would he have been born then? Probably not...I was notorious for premature deliveries. However, it is amazing to me that so many of my children have a birthday so close to Josh's siblings.

Additionally, Avery was born on Josh's cousin's birthday and my Aunt Suzanne's birthday. Strangely, Ryleigh was born the day after my only brother's birthday. Weird, huh?

Carter...I still think about you often. Nearly every day. You are my tiny angel waiting for me in Heaven. One day, I will have you in my arms, instead of just in my heart. Happy Birthday, My Little One.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Josh!!


Josh, I love you so much. You are a wonderful husband and my best friend. We have been through so much together and I love knowing that no matter what, we can always lean on each other. It is crazy to think that we met as children, when you were only seventeen. As you celebrate your 31st birthday, I love looking back and seeing how much your life has changed. You have become the most amazing father to our five, perfect children. You work hard every single day, to provide us with a beautiful, comfortable home. You have gone back to school; teaching our children the importance of education and hard work. You never hesitate to help anyone who asks and you are such a great friend. You are my biggest supporter and are the most unselfish person I know. I am so lucky to be married to such a remarkable man. I hope that you have a fabulous day and know how very much we all love you. <3

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treatin' Ready!

Bailey was a beautiful, pink flapper girl!

Ryleigh was a gorgeous, purple flapper girl!

Avery was a cute Batgirl! 

Luke was a handsome Batman!

Presley was a tender, little ballerina!

I adore these little people more than I can explain.
I am the luckiest person in the world, to be loved by these five, amazing kids.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Party Time!

Bailey really wanted to throw a Halloween party this year and I thought, why not? Twenty-five kids and fifteen adults later...I'm so glad that we did!

We had each child create an orange bag with a hand print spider on it, as soon as they arrived. Then, while enjoying some Halloween music, we all ate lunch. After that, Gail had a ghost craft ready to go for the kids and we finished the day up with vampire teeth and doughnuts.


It was chaotic at times. It was loud. But...it was a lot of fun! Thank you so much to every one that came and helped out. We'll have to make this an annual event!

All those crazy kids!! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving!

It's always so much fun (and messy!) to carve this many pumpkins at once! The kids really wanted to save the seeds this year and roast them...oh boy, did they turn out good!! This year we decided to venture past the typical triangle-eyed faces and tried to be a little more creative. The munchkins had a lot of fun tracing out the designs and using the little "knives" to bring their creations to life.


I think they did a really good job with them! :) I love making these memories with them. <3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Patch


My best friend Amey, along with her husband and kids, as well as my sister Maegen and my nieces all met at the pumpkin patch just before dark. It was so much fun watching the kids run through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin!

My only rule?

You have to be able to carry your pumpkin out of the field and to the car. ;)

I would much rather go to a pumpkin patch and let the kids pick their own, than buy them in the store. I love supporting local farmers and you just can't beat the experience of wandering through the fields, as the sun is setting, listening to the sounds of children laughing...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Disturbing...

I work for a home inspection company. Basically, we inspect homes for all the different homeowners' insurance companies and provide them with a report that tells them how much they should insure a home for. We also notify them if there are any concerns; like mold, decks falling apart or a tiger in the guest bedroom...(no joke...that has happened!).

When someone has an inspection done, many photos are taken, so that the inspector can write up their report more accurately and so that when I proofread the reports I can verify information. I have seen a lot of homes and a lot of pictures, over the years. (Let me take this moment to remind you all that if you don't want me knowing every detail of your personal life, put away your...ahem, personal things... before we come take pictures, okay???) However, over the last week, I am seeing a trend that I find MOST disturbing...

CHRISTMAS TREES. SET UP, DECORATED AND LIT UP!

IN THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER!!!!

People...what happened to Halloween? What happened to Thanksgiving??? Can't we give these holidays their day in the sun, before we start celebrating Christmas? Goodness gracious...

Time goes fast enough. Let's not hurry 2011 out the door just yet, okay?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Self Reliance #2


In one sentence, who are you?


I am an average person who has exceptional dreams, a tremendous amount of love to give, is unwavering in my belief that there is hope for humanity, (which is confirmed every time I hear one of my children giggle) and who has a constant desire to learn from the experiences of others.


What is your sentence?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bald and Beautiful - Four Years Later

Four Years Ago

I know he'll always love me...no matter what I look like.

It's hard to believe that it's been four years since the "Bald and the Beautiful" head shaving. (If you'd like to read the newspaper article, click here.) I'm pretty sure that I have the world's slowest growing hair, because I've only really trimmed it since that day and this is as long as it has gotten:




I've never regretted shaving my head. It was such an empowering feeling, knowing that I was doing something for Mom, to support her. It was a very frustrating time period, in which we all wished that there was more that we could do. Knowing this was her second time that she'd be losing her hair, I didn't want her to go through it alone. Hair? It grows back...sometimes, really, really, reeeaaallly slowly. :)

We love and miss you, Mom.

 Slide.com is unfortunately shutting down and removed my music from the slideshow I made, but click on the box below to view all the photos from that amazing day.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Random Texting Entertainment

Last night I got a text from a number not programmed into my phone and I didn't recognize it. Given that I was working at 10:00 pm on a Friday night, (read: BORED. OUT. OF. MY. MIND.), I figured I would entertain myself for a little while. The following conversation ensued between myself and my random texter:

Them: "Hola"
Me: "Hey"
Them: "Wats up"
Me: "Not much, you?"
Them: "At bobbies house"
Me: "So...I have no idea who this is..." (figuring they would stop at this point)
Them: "Ha wow"
Me: "Sorry...? LOL"
Them: "Haha ur so short"
Me: "No. Actually I'm quite tall. :)"
Them: "Ha watever u say shortness"
Me: "So, drinking early tonight?" (I mean...REALLY? I was cracking up at this point.)
Them: "Ha nope I don't drink often"
Me: "Still no clue who this is...but you're entertaining."
Them: "Ha coolio :)"
Me: "Lmao"
Them: "So wat r u doing :)"
Me: "Homework"
Them: "Ha thats no bueno"
Me: "Why's that? Its got to be done."
Them: "Ha so its still no bueno"
Me: "Interesting subjects. So, random texter, do you have a name?"
Them: "Ha ya its breann"
Me: "Well, Breann, I still have no idea who you are."
Them: "Ha i jus told u who i was" (SERIOUSLY?!?!)
Me: "LOL but...I do not know a Breann. :)"
Them: "Ha well u do now"
Me: "Touché :)"
Them: "Wat..."

At this point, I decided to quit while I was ahead. I was laughing too hard to try and explain a French expression, through text, to a random, obviously young person. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Options...

Right after I published my last post, a thick white envelope arrived in the mail with this little gem:


While I wasn't too worried about getting into Weber, (it's getting accepted to their nursing program I have anxiety about), it was still nice to know officially, that someone wants me.

However, now that I'm not totally closed to the idea of relocating, I feel more at peace. It's nice knowing that all my eggs aren't in one basket, so to speak. If I don't get accepted into Weber's program...so be it. It's not the end of the world and it just means that WSU isn't the right fit for me.

Home is where the heart is, right? No matter where my career takes me, with Josh and the kids by my side, I'll always be HOME.


Everything Is Bigger In Texas...

What started out as a thought...became a conversation...became us actually seriously considering relocating...

I've found my nursing program...all over the state. I'm not limited, like I am here. I've found an area that I've fallen in love with, online...with great schools for the kids and charter schools available. I've found no less than fifty houses I'd be happy living in. Everything really IS bigger in Texas...houses that are 5-6 bedrooms and 1200 more sq feet, with more land than we have here...for the same price as what I'm paying in Utah, is common. I've got a job that goes where I do and many opportunities for Josh. I've got a friend already living close to Austin, beckoning me...with promises of amazing, friendly people and homemade fudge.

Could I do it? Can I really leave everything I've known for the last 18 years and move? Can I really leave my friends and family and start over?

We have A LOT of thinking and talking to do. We'll end up where we are meant to...that I know for sure.

Could it be 1,300 miles away?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Self-Reliance #1

I came across this website, Self-Reliance, dedicated to celebrating Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday, earlier in the year. The website was designed to provide writers with thirty prompts, intended to be used for thirty consecutive days, to "encourage you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future."

Basically, these prompts provide you with a quote and then a few follow up questions to jump start your creative thinking. Anyone who follows my blog regularly, or knows me at all, knows that I adore quotes. There is something about reading someone else's thoughts and having that light bulb moment where you internally say, "Yes!!That resonates with me! I'm not the only one that feels that way!" While I don't have time to participate for thirty consecutive days, nor do I relate to every quote, I thought it would be fun to pick and choose those that interest me and expand on them.

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“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.”
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson


At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?

Today I am going to change my thoughts about nursing school. I'm so wound up worrying about a future that I honestly, have very little control over, at this point. I have put in the time and I have put in the effort; there is not much more I can do, other than turn myself over to the admissions offices and pray that they see something in me.

I have to change my thinking from, "This is never going to happen." and "I'm never going to get accepted.", to thoughts of "I have done the best that I could do and the school that I'm supposed to attend, is going to accept me." and "I will go where I need to go and trust that it is where I'm meant to be." I can't control which university accepts me. I can't control which university determines whether or not I will be a great nurse one day. I know I will be a great nurse. I know that I'm meant to be a nurse and no matter how many obstacles I have to hurdle, I will achieve my goal. It may not happen in the time frame that I want, but it will happen, when it is supposed to. It's been a long road to get this far, but if I've realized one thing, it's that even detours can have beautiful scenery and unexpected learning opportunities. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rememberance Day 2011

October 15th is a day set aside for all parents to remember. It is a day to remember babies that grew wings before they could be held. It is a day to remember babies who were born sleeping. It is a day to remember babies who touched our lives, no matter how briefly, but forever.


With smiles, moments of sadness and sometimes tears, my Carter will always be remembered.
 I'll light a candle today for him and all the other babies who were too beautiful for this Earth.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dirty Dishes

Sometimes, I need to be reminded of all that I have and why I chose the life that I live. Sometimes, it takes Josh physically removing me from the house, for a few kid free hours. Sometimes, it takes a hot bubble bath, some yummy chocolate and a sappy book. Sometimes, it simply takes a good country song.





Mama hollers "Supper time,
And don't make me tell you twice
Wash your hands and wipe your face.
The table's no place for your toys,
And try to use your inside voice,
Don't dig in 'til we say Grace."

So we put down our forks and bowed our heads
And then she prayed the strangest prayer ever said:
"I wanna thank You Lord,
For noisy children and slamming doors,
And clothes scattered all over the floor,
My husband workin' all the time,
Draggin' in dead tired at night,
My never ending messy kitchen
And dirty dishes."

We all got real still and quiet,
And daddy asked "Honey, you alright?"
She said, "Dear, ain't nothing wrong,
Noisy kids are happy kids,
And slamming doors just means we live,
In a warm and loving home,
Your long hours and those dishes in the sink,
Means a job and enough to eat.

So I'm gonna thank You Lord,
For noisy children and slamming doors,
And clothes scattered all over the floor,
My husband workin' all the time,
Draggin' in dead tired at night,
My never ending messy kitchen

For my little busy bees
Beggin' mama, mama can you please?
Always wantin' me to call their name
Loads of laundry pilin' up
Crayons crushed into the rug
An' those little sticky kisses
And dirty dishes,
And dirty dishes...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, Now What?


I'm feeling a wee bit stressed. Just a wee bit.

(If you define "wee bit" as "the feeling of 10,000 lbs of pressure weighing on your shoulders, crushing your will to live...")

Getting into nursing school is beginning to be more of a challenge than I had originally planned on. I knew the criteria would be tough. I knew the chance of getting in on the first shot would be near impossible. I knew that I would be feeling the pressure as things came down to the wire.

I did not know that I would end up feeling like it would be easier for me to capture a unicorn, than to gain admittance into my first or second choice schools.

This week alone, I found out (for sure...it'd always been a rumor), that my first choice school only accepts 20 applicants from my University, every two years. Only 20. I can name five people, off the top of my head, applying from my location. Never mind the main campus or dozen other regional campuses. Additionally, I'm hearing some complaints about this school now, that students aren't feeling as prepared for state testing as they should. Then, as added icing on the cake, my second choice school froze their nursing program in Utah. However, I could relocate to one of their programs in California, Texas, Florida or Indiana.

I'm not alone. One of my good friends, Michele, is feeling my pain as well. Here in Utah there are seven schools that offer a nursing program, as she points out on her blog. If I relocated to Texas, I'm sure I could walk into my choice of nursing schools, because they have 75 schools available.

So, now what? Do I finish out my Bachelors degree and relocate my family? Do I change my major entirely? I know ultimately, that last choice will make me miserable. I'm meant to be a nurse. I'm meant to help people and be with people during some of the most life changing times of their lives. It's my passion in life. It's my calling, if you will. Nothing else would make me as happy. Perhaps one day I would love to become a midwife, but I can barely stomach the thought of the time and energy nursing school will take. I can't even begin to grasp the idea of midwifery school.

I know, I know...everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I believe that, too. I just wish that I could see the ending, so I don't waste my time, energy and money on unnecessary detours down this path.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brighton Trip 2011

Once again, a beautiful fall day + amazing family = FUN FUN FUN

Look at those leaves!

My handsome little man.

I love that they have cousins to play with.

Uncle Cody. He's single...any takers??? ;)

Brat's family

Cam's family

MY chaos

These two were so cute, holding hands!

What's with the crazy guy behind the tree??? ;)

My super girl

Peanut being a goober.

I love this tradition. I'm so thankful that we keep this up, year after year. The kids love it and I love having an afternoon away from the world. A picnic in nature, with those I love...can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!