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. 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


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...



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 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. 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


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 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.


“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'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!

Agree To Disagree

I have friends who are vegans...that isn't going to stop me from enjoying meat and a glass of milk.
I have friends who ride horses...that doesn't make me a cowboy.
I have friends who are rich...that doesn't make me wealthy.
I have friends who are atheists...that doesn't mean that I'm going to denounce my faith.
I have friends who are gay...that doesn't make me gay.
I have friends who are swingers...that doesn't mean I'm a swinger.
I have friends that have done drugs...that doesn't mean that I'm a druggie.
I have friends that have chosen to never have children...that doesn't mean that I love mine any less.
I have a friend who has had an abortion...that doesn't mean that I agree with the choice, but simply that I respect the difficult decision that she had to make.

It is said that:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

I have friends...and I'm not always going to understand or agree with choices they make in their lives. However, I will respect their right to make them. I will be their listening ear when they need it. I will be a shoulder to cry on, when necessary. I will be their support, when all else fails. I will even learn to make vegan dishes, so we can enjoy a meal together.

I want to surround myself with people that have different ideas and opinions. I like having different perspectives on life available to me, at all times. There is always someone who can shed new light on a situation that I'm going through, because I am surrounded by people who view things from different angles. I may not agree with their thoughts, but I can accept them, as their own.

All I need, is the same respect given to me. Don't understand why I chose to have a big family? Don't understand why I converted from Catholicism? Don't understand why I choose to love and respect those with different life choices? That's okay. You don't have to understand. We can agree to disagree. Respect my opinions and I'll respect yours. Be respectful of the way you voice your opinions and I'll be respectful of the way I voice mine.

I'm not daft. I know that this isn't always going to be easy or without argument. However, I feel that I owe it to others and owe it to my children, to do my best to live this way. I want my children to grow up, knowing that no matter whom they become; their Mother will love them and respect their right to live the way that makes them happy. I do not want to raise my children in an environment that fosters a feeling of hatred or with them being afraid to disappoint me.

I have friends who are driven...and it pushes me to reach my goals.
I have friends who are caring and respectful...and it makes me a better person.
I have friends who aren't perfect...and it assures me that my imperfect self can be loved, too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Love Letter To The World

I fell in love with this, when I read it. I relate to a few of these things, either personally or because of people in my life. They are all so very, very true.

I'm thankful to know that intense love is possible, in a world full of hatred, spitefulness, prejudice, bitterness and contempt. I'm thankful, because I am raising five of the most amazing little people in this world. I want them to know how much they are cherished and wanted. I want them to know how amazing they are and how utterly perfect each one of them is. I wish I could protect them, so that they would never be harmed by the cruel words of others...but, I can't. What I can do, is assure them that in the face of heartlessness, there still exists my ferocious love.

While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Changes For Avery

Her hair was braided before. It's not that wavy. :)
One part of Avery's sensory issues is her hair. Washing her hair, combing her hair, styling her hair is all very traumatic for her. Why? I have no just is. However, even though she would end up crying and screaming every morning, I could not convince her to cut her hair, until yesterday.

She decided on a cute, little A-line cut and looks absolutely adorable! The stylist didn't really style her hair, so I can't wait to round brush it out and see just how cute it really is. I was sad to see her long hair go, because she had the longest out of all the girls, but I'm excited to have less stressful mornings for her. Anything that helps make her more comfortable!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

I've Made My Choice

My week has been...meh. I could blame the chaos of my house, but that's my norm and isn't likely to go away. I could blame the three migraines I've had this week, but, sadly, that also seems to be my norm from time to time, so I've got to just deal with it. I could blame the stress of work, that is super busy right now, or school that has me waist deep in assignments and tests, or how Old Man Winter just suddenly showed up, kicking Autumn out, before she had a chance to say much of a "Hello", but what good would it do?

Honestly, it's been my attitude. I can't change much of my life. Not overnight, anyway. I've got to deal with what I have on my plate right now and realize that everything causing me stress is in my life because of a choice I made to have it be there and if it is's because I want it there. (Well, except for the migraines, but it could always be worse, right?)

All I can do, is change my attitude, vent to the right friends who always seem to have the right words of advice and encouragement and plug on. This is life. I better start enjoying it. Rumor doesn't last forever.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Day In The Life Of Me

While checking out old blogs that I started, yet never finished, I came across this one, started June 26, 2008. It cracked me up so much, that I decided to post it now. The kids would have been aged as follows:
Bailey - 6, Ryleigh - 5, Avery - 3, Luke - 2 and I was pregnant with Peanut - about 8 weeks along.

I get asked quite often how I do it all, in a day. So, for fun, I though I would document my day, so you can see exactly what I do, from moment to moment. When the kids grow up, I can pull this out and show them what Mommy actually did all day. (I'll leave out potty breaks...we all do just don't need to know when!) LOL

6:43 AM - Alarm is set to go off in 2 minutes...reset it for 7:00.

7:00 AM - Pull myself from bed and head downstairs to start my work.

7:15 AM - The girls I baby sit, show up for the day.

7:50 AM - Everyone is awake and screaming for breakfast. Cheerios and bananas.

8:00 AM- Pull up my work again and attempt to complete an entire report.

8:03 - 8:20 AM - Referee fights between 5 girls and one naked little boy. Why must they all want the same toy at the same time?

8:20 AM - Back to work. Yup...gonna get some done today.

8:30 - 9:30 AM - Actually complete some reports while also blowing up a floatie for the pool...6 times, getting four cups of lemonade and answering the question, "When are we going to swimming lessons?" two thousand times.


9:40 AM - Armed with cleaning supplies and rags...I find two little poops. Phew! I can handle that! Clean it up and scrub carpet where offense was committed.

9:43 AM - Several more "When are we going to swimming lessons?" questions later, and I'm back at work. I will get these reports done.

10:17 - 11:00 AM - Put work away, wake up Josh (he worked last night, so he was sleeping for a few hours), dress and sunblock all little people and myself. Off to swimming lessons!

11:00 - 12:10 PM - Swimming lessons and head on home. I need a shower because I am super hot and greasy from the sunblock. Ugh!

12:30 - 1:30 PM - Swimming lessons make the appetite pick up! Six kids eat 4 boxes of macaroni and cheese, 1/2 gallon of gatorade, 3 oranges, 6 granola bars and 6 popsicles. No wonder I'm broke! A debate ensues over where the first KFC was opened. (For the record, a restaurant serving the chicken opened in Kentucky first, but under a different name. The actual first KFC franchise was in Salt Lake.)

1:30 PM - Luke pees on the floor. Apparently today is an "off" day for potty training.

1:32 PM - Sitting on the couch exhausted. How am I going to make it through the rest of the day?

1:35 PM - Find Avery. Find Avery with an orange highliter. Find Avery with an orange highliter drawing all over her body.

1:39 PM - Luke goes down for a nap. Oh, thank goodness. Maybe now I can sit still for 5 minutes.

That's it. My day must have went to hell after that, because I never finished the post. 

How fun to look back at those days...that I never want to live again... ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So, every time I do a post about how much of a failure I feel like I am, it never fails that:

A.) I end up having a pretty fabulous day after that. (Sometimes I think I just need to vent my frustration.)


B.) I receive quite a few nice comments and/or messages and/or texts telling me I'm stronger than I think I am or I'm not alone and all mothers feel like this.

First of all, thank you, to those of you who take the time to comment. It really does make my day better and it really does make me feel like less of a deficiency in the human race.

Secondly, it made me have an epiphany today. Most of the stress I put on myself, is because I look around at everyone else and wonder why they have it all together and I don't.  Other people's yards are always perfectly manicured with no evidence that children live there...meanwhile you'd be hard pressed to drive by my house and not find bikes, skateboards, a random Rubbermaid container (or seven), filled with sand, rocks and potato bug habitats, lounging around. Other people's kids are always perfectly groomed...while my kids always seemed to be mismatched with a random dress-up costume on and their once nicely combed hair, now falling out of their ponytails. Other people's houses always seem spotless and shiny and clean...while mine always has hand prints on the walls, a forgotten cereal bowl on the table, legos hiding, waiting to bite your bare feet and at least half the rooms have unmade beds. Other moms always have nice, ironed clothes on, their hair and make-up done, their 20 mile run out of the way for the day (because they don't need sleep and got up at 3 am)...while I show up in jeans and a shirt, my hair in a messy bun and I maybe brushed my teeth. Other people have husbands that work 9-5 jobs, so they have wonderful 5-star dinners every night, all seated around the dinner table with their well-behaved children, where they discuss their day with laughter...meanwhile, Josh works crazy hours, so half the time he isn't here for dinner and the kids eat, while I eat standing up, cleaning the kitchen, fetching them milk and correcting their math homework.

Well, guess what? According to all the people that tell me I'm not perception of other people's lives is a As such, my reasons for stress and thinking that I don't measure up to some pedestal that I've placed the rest of the world on...don't exist.

I've got to learn to let them go.

I've got to learn to nod to the other tired moms, loading their screaming kids into their mini-vans at the grocery store and give them a mental high-five. I've got to learn to stop comparing myself to a family out there, that just doesn't exist and know that most households struggle, like mine. No one has this figured out and we all have bad days.

As for the moms out there that ARE perfect and have the perfect children and the perfect husband and the perfect yard and the perfect marriage and the perfect're obviously bionic.

Or lying to yourself.

So stop being so uptight.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Struggling

“Don't say you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours
per day that were given to
Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa,
Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

Well...good for them.

But, as for me, I'm struggling.

I'm struggling to juggle a 10 year old who has two hours of math homework, science homework and reading each night. I'm struggling to juggle an 8 year old who is becoming a tween and is no longer helpful all the time, thus creating more work for me as I push her to complete tasks and diffuse fights between her and her siblings. I'm struggling to deal with a 6 year old who would be a challenge as an only child; who with her sensory issues can make even just getting ready for school, complete and utter hell. I'm struggling to juggle a 5 year old who loves to make inventions, leaving a wake of destruction in his path. I'm struggling to chase around a 2 year old who changes her clothes 17,392 times a day.

I'm struggling to keep up on the laundry, the general cleaning, the yard work, the daily meals, the dishes, the car maintenance, keeping things organized...and I feel like I'm constantly running in circles.

I'm struggling to keep up on work, because I feel like every time I try to begin, I'm pulled in another direction. Someone needs a band-aid. Someone needs to be brought to school. Someone breaks something. The doorbell rings. Someone needs to be picked up from school. The washing machine beckons. Someone breaks something. I need to referee a fight. Or I just plain fall asleep sitting straight up in my chair...

I'm struggling to keep up on school work. I'm burnt out. Three years in and knowing I have at a minimum two and a half more years to sobering. I'm exhausted. I want to be done. I know the path to success isn't smooth and easy, but I can't imagine pushing myself even further. I don't feel like I'm learning anything in these classes this semester. I'm just doing the assignments and regurgitating information just to get a grade. "Here's my's your grade..."

I'm struggling to find time to do I used to love. Working out has become a luxury that I rarely have time for...but I so desperately need. Reading a book that has nothing to do with school is something I haven't done in quite a while. Photography is a passion of mine, that I've barely had time for, lately. Even just a day of movies, popcorn and root beer floats is a only a dream...I don't have the time.

I don't know what I need to change, but something has to give. I'm running on five hours of broken sleep a night and I'm quickly turning into a tired, miserable person. I don't want that for the mother of my kids. I don't want that for me. I hate feeling like I'm failing at everything.