Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Family Vacations

Over the last couple of years, Cory and I have made it a priority to have a family vacation at least once a year. Although it is a sacrifice to save up the money for a vacation and then to spend it all in a matter of days, I think it is absolutely worth every cent spent. For me, family vacations are a must!

Some of my greatest childhood memories are from family vacations. My parents took us on a vacation every single summer. We drove and traveled all over the U.S. and even flew to some islands. I remember throwing up on a subway in Washington D.C, swimming with sting rays on our trip to the Cayman Islands, whale watching off the coast of California, and snorkeling in the Bahamas. We saw the arch in St. Louis, the sunrise in Key West, the aquifers of Yellowstone, the lakes of Michigan, the trinkets of Mexico, and the swamps of Louisiana, but even more than that...we saw each other. Andrea and I learned how to create imaginary "do not cross or you'll die" lines on the back seat. My mom learned how to make us all happy with her "bird seed" trail mix. My dad brain washed me for life into thinking that, no matter what, you do not stop on a road trip unless you need gas. My dad often repeated the following phrases, "your thirsty? Swallow your spit", "You need to go to the bathroom? Pee in a cup". Yes, there were some moments and memories that are only funny in retrospect, but those are not the memories that stick out the most in my mind. The memories that I savor are the moments of laughter when my mom, Katie, and I almost peed in our pants because of the phrase, "oh no, I don't know what is going to happen next", the moments of bonding that I shared with my dad as we walked along the beach in the Bahamas picking up sea shells, the moments of gratitude and solace as, together, we entered the walls of Carthage Jail, and the moments of realization as I began to see my sisters as my best friends.

As an adult, I now see family vacations through different eyes. I am humbled at the time and sacrifice that my parents put into our trips. As a child, I had no idea the hours of planning and the months of saving that must have taken place beforehand. I wish I could go back in time and tell my Dad on that beach how much that moment was going to mean to me 10 years down the road or that I could go back to those moments in the car and tell Andrea that she could cross any line that she wanted because she is and always will be one of my best friends who lives WAY TOO far away. But I can't. So instead, I just hope and pray that the memories that my children are making will be ones that will last a lifetime because I know that the ones I made as a child have, and will continue to be, some of the best times of my life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Day After

Since two days of celebrating just wasn't enough :), we came home after church and cut into the most beautiful "Snow White cake" ever. Nice job, Daddy! And, of course I couldn't post all of these birthday pics without posting at least one of the most beautiful baby ever.

Happy 5th Birthday to the girl who will always be my little princess.

The Day Of

We spent the majority of the day in downtown Chattanooga for the Day of Service. There were 1000 volunteers. Thunderstorms were scheduled for the entire day but because of the prayers and faith of a lot of people, the storms were literally waiting in the sky. Katelund went with Cory to do construction work on some churches and homes and Cloey, Hailey, and I went to the community center where we made hygiene kits, sock puppets and cards for the children, and cut/tied flannel blankets. Cloey's favorite part was when we went and helped paint a mural filled with frames of children's artwork on a wall that had once been full of graffiti. On the way back to the rec center as the rain was beginning to pour, Cloey leaned over to me in the car and said, "Mommy, this is the funnest birthday ever." Later that evening we had a big breakfast dinner and opened presents. We actually didn't have time for cake because Cory decided to go all out on the cake (he totally showed me up on my cake abilities... or lack thereof). Although she spent most of her birthday focusing on others, I think it is one she will never least I won't because I will never forget the sincerity, selflessness, and love shown on her "funnest birthday ever".

The Day Before

Due to the fact that the annual "Day of Service" for our area was scheduled to happen on Cloey's birthday, we had her party the day before. She got to choose whatever she wanted to do for her party. She chose to ride the carousel and play in the water fountains at a park in downtown. She was SO EXCITED for her party and talked about it for weeks beforehand. She invited a couple of girls and lots of boys (her primary class and preschool class are mostly boys). They had a lot of fun and it was the easiest birthday party ever. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and neither could the company.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do you think she has read too many Junie B. Jones books?

This morning Katelund woke up and ran into our room dressed for school and radiating with excitement. She was anxiously awaiting the big breakfast that daddy was supposed to be making for Cloey's birthday. As I reminded her that Cloey's birthday party is today but her actual birthday is tomorrow, the excitement slowly drained from her face. As she walked out of the room with her shoulders slumped and her feet dragging, she said,
"I think I just started my worstest day ever."

Monday, April 19, 2010

life with a baby

When Cory and I first got married, I used to dream about what it would be like to have a hold a precious little one in my arms, to rock her to sleep every night, to laugh with her, sing to her, and be the best mother in the whole world.

Fast forward three years to when I finally had my very own baby. It was quite a reality check. It was not anything like I had dreamed it would be. It was HARD, I was TIRED, and why won't she STOP crying???? Don't get me wrong, I loved to have a baby and I loved being a mother, but it was also one of the hardest adjustments I've ever had to make. Everything body, my hormones, my restful nights, my flexible schedule that revolved around ME, and all of the sudden I was swept up into this whole new way of life and I felt like a complete failure at it because Katelund would cry ALL of the time. Eventually I figured it out. Things got easier, but I still had so much to learn.

Now that I have a whole lot more experience, patience (well...on some days at least), and common sense (all though Cory might question that at times), taking care of my third baby should be like riding a bike and for the most part it has been. But, no matter how much experience and patience I have, taking care of a baby is just not easy. It is still a lot of work. Now I have to not only change a zillion diapers a day, wash clothes non-stop from blow-outs, give baths, nurse every minute (at least it feels like it), sing to her, rock her, and comfort her, but I also have to take care of two other little girls who need just as much, if not more, attention. Their needs and demands are a lot different, but they are still there nonetheless. Life with three little girls is crazy a lot of the time. There are moments where I feel like I am going absolutely insane and then there are other moments when it just feels so natural.

Yesterday was one of those insane days. I had to teach a lesson, go nurse Hailey, have a one-on-one with a Young Woman, chase down the Bishop, go to Sunday School for a couple of minutes, spend sacrament meeting telling my girls to "sit down", "hold still", "put your shoes on", "stop hitting your sister", "leave Hailey alone", "listen". "be quiet", "stop taking my earring out", "grap the burp rag, I have spit up all down my shirt", etc., etc. Then I had to run to one meeting and then run to another but only for a couple of minutes because I had to run out to calm my screaming hungry baby. AHHHH!! It was crazy. But, then as I came home and sat down to rock Hailey, I saw this......

....and all the sudden the world made sense again. I remembered why I am a mother and why I love it so much. It is all worth it...every dirty diaper, every shirt that I change and wash from spit up or blow-out, and every sleepless night. There is just nothing in the world that is more precious and more rewarding than looking down at such a perfectly pure and innocent face of a baby. I know that I am DEFINITELY not the best mother in the whole world, but as I look into Hailey's eyes, for just one little moment, I can see who I have the potential to become and it makes it easier to get up the next day and do it all over again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lessons Learned This Week

*When you think that you are sleep deprived from getting up every 3 hours with a baby, just know that it could be a lot could have another child up every 4 hours. (Katelund has had the worst ear infection she's ever had, I think the antibiotics are finally working now).

*Whenever you leave your house, make sure you are not in your slippers and that your children aren't bare-footed because you just never know what will happen (long story, but basically I am a ditz...actually I guess now that I'm not pregnant I can blame it on sleep deprivation).

*It is posible to go to the doctor's office 3 times in 3 days for 2 different children.

*My presidency meetings do not have to be over an hour to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished.

*Although I am walking for exercise (cannot run at this point b/c of....well...maybe I shouldn't explain), apparently it is not working my calves very well because they are SO sore after mutual this week (one of my laurels taught the youth a dance that she learned from her dance exercise class at the Y).

*The name "Urgent Care" is very deceptive. It should be "Urgent Problems, Slow Care".

*I mowed the lawn this morning to surprise Cory (he was planning on doing it after work today since we will be going to Logan's baseball games tomorrow) and I decided to mow "I {heart} u" in the backyard. I thought it was such a great idea, but you can hardly even tell and it only took me like forever since I had to keep turning the mower on and off.

*Always tell those that you love how much you love them because you just never know what tomorrow will bring.

*Although the plan is a plan of happiness, it doesn't mean that there will never be sorrow or disappointment, it just means that through the midst of our sufferings we can have hope that in time, joy will come, and that in the end, happiness will be our destination.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break 2010

I'm so frustrated! I'm trying to upload some pictures from our spring break vacation, but it is just not letting me. AHHHHH!! Oh well, I guess I'll just journal about it for now.

Here are my top ten memories from our spring break vacation to Destin, Florida.....

1. being with Cory 24/7 for 6 days straight!!!!

2. going on vacation for the first time with three kids (fun, and yet exhausting)

3. seeing the excitement of Katelund and Cloey as they played in the waves and made sandcastles all day long

4. watching Cory be a little kid again as he played with the girls in the hotel pools, in the ocean, and as he got all giddy over the planes at the air show we went to.

5. holding Hailey everywhere we went (it just never gets old)

6. totally justifying all of the junk food I was eating because I was "on vacation"

7. hearing all about the school of dolphins that Cory and the girls saw when they were out on a waverunner we rented.

8. how excited Cloey was when she realized that we would all be sleeping in the same room at the hotel.

9. playing hide and seek as a family at one of the rest stops along the highway

10. coming back home with sun tans and memories to last forever

pictures coming soon....

Monday, April 05, 2010


In the midst of all of the Easter fun this weekend, I took some time to read and ponder on the first Easter. In my reading, I came across a line out of the Bible Dictionary under Resurrection that really caught my eye and has not left my mind since.

"The resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind."

In a very personal way, I think that I have always known this. I have known it because I was taught so at a young age by my parents. I was taught so in primary as I sang the words "He sent His son to die for us and rise with living breath." I was taught so as Cory and I stood over Clairisa's grave and sang "God be With You till We Meet Again". And again, I was taught so yesterday as the Spirit bore a powerful witness to me as I listened to our living apostles and prophets bear solemn testimony. I have been taught, and because of that I know for myself that it really is the most glorious message of all.

Friday, April 02, 2010

some questions for you...

Have you heard of Justin Beiber? I LOVE him! Seriously, you have to listen to him if you haven't. I really like the song "Down to Earth" and "One Less Lonely Girl".

Have you seen "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock? LOVE IT!!!

Have you used the "Twilight Moon" lotion from Bath and Body Works? It's fabulous!

Did you listen to Sister Dalton's talk at the General YWs broadcast? SO GOOD!!

Have you seen how cute my little baby is? A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!!

Do your children think that Saint Patrick's Day is everyday because they are STILL pinching each other when they don't wear green? Mine do.

Do you need some new cooking ideas? Go to and check it out!! It's a new favorite of mine. Melanie is one of the moms that I do preschool with. She's pretty much amazing.

Is it sad that I did 20 lunges yesterday on my walk and my legs are so sore today? Well, they are.

Although I am trying to eat healthier so that I can actually lose some of this baby weight, dark chocolate is still okay, right? Don't tell me no....I've convinced myself that it is healthy for me.

Does it drive you as crazy as it drives me when people send you forwarded email EVERYDAY!!! I'm NOT sending it on to 10 people and I don't care how much more lucky I will be!! So annoying!

Are you as excited about General Conference as I am?!!!

Have you seen the cookbook, "Hello, Cupcake"? If not, you HAVE to check it out at your local Target. My sister and I ran across it and I bought it. I haven't made any successful ones yet (although that was a lot of fun Andrea!), but I can't wait to make more.

Did you know that Cloey turns five in a couple of weeks? When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday she said she wanted her Aunt Amber to throw her a birthday party in Utah just like she did for Katelund last summer. Sorry, honey. That's not happening. But I did make some really cute invitations to her party.

Blog Archive