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