Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{day 29}

I love...

...the signs of spring and all the symbolism that comes with it...especially hope.

{day 28}

I love...

...writing poems. They are not that great, but I love to write them... especially when it is for someone else.

I went to a baby shower last night and since I got her cute little cowboy boots for her baby boy (this is her first time to live in the south) and a little baby "pedicure set" (okay, so it's really just a grooming kit, but whatever) I just had to come up with something to tie it all together. So here is the poem I came up with.

Your two little feet pushing me from within,
Soon will be ready for their journey to begin.

Adventures will await you and many distances you will go,
But the most important miles will be the ones that lead you home.

Sometimes you may fall, but as your guided by my hand,
Your pace will surely quicken and in holy places you’ll learn to stand.

One day black shoes you will shine and a name tag you will wear,
When your journey takes you far from home, as the gospel you will share.

Then your feet will lead you onward as your sealed for eternity,
And one day they’ll be shaking as your own babe is placed upon your knee.

But for now my little Bentley, let me kiss those toes so sweet,
For someday the world will be better because of your two feet.

Here's one I came up with a couple of months back for a wedding shower (for the gift I gave her really cute cleaning gloves with a list of Martha Stewart cleaning tips, a cookie spatula with a little mini cookie cook book, and a reusable shopping bag...all things that have to do with your hands)

With every toilet you scrub and sink that you’ll clean,
May these gloves protect you against germs unseen.

For your role as a woman, will soon be made clear,
To clean up disasters of those you hold dear.

With the spatula in hand, many cookies will await,
As your family will gather and memories you’ll create.

Cleaning and baking are just two of many things,
For your hands will stay busy with the duties life brings.

But in the monotony of the chores, may you always find,
Your hands as a reminder of promises that bind.

For as you kneel at the altar in just a few days,
Your hands clasped together, your hearts set ablaze,

You will covenant with the Lord and then united you’ll stand,
Living worthy of promises for those who have clean hands.

{day 27}

I love...

...watching little girls pretend to be mothers. Even if Hailey's baby is Cloey's best friend "Rarr". It's just so sweet and natural...that divine nature that comes with us to this earth.

{Day 26}

I love...

...the smell of freshly fallen rain on cement. I know it sounds totally bizarre and I can't even explain why, but I LOVE that smell!! Even as a young girl I remember going out into our garage and smelling the wet pavement on our driveway after it had just started raining. The smell doesn't last very long, but there is just nothing like it. Just trust me on this one. Next time it starts to rain, run outside and sniff until you just can't sniff anymore. It's seriously intoxicating. If only I could bottle it. Then I'd wear that and my Gain Febreeze and be set for life.

{day 25}

I love... The funny thing about this picture is that I have no idea how it got in my picture album on my phone. But, I'm glad it did because I love it!

Someday I dream of being a photographer. I think after I finish this marathon I'm going to start getting into it Or...I've also thought about getting really into my whole pedicure thing and learning how to give facials as well. I don't know. There's just so many things I want to do. But, I have to remember there is a season, and the season of my life right now mostly involves diapers, homework, polly pockets, science fair projects, and TONS of laundry and dirty dishes...which is why I need to focus some time on creating. Whether it's creating a blog post of the thoughts and feelings within me, creating a goal and accomplishing it, creating a more beautiful environment, creating a more Christ-centered home and family, or just creating a better me, it's the creating part of mothering that brings beauty and joy to a sometimes dirty and monotonous job.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

{day 24}

I love...

I'm pretty much obsessed with the smell of this stuff!! I just discovered it and I'm SO GLAD I did. I think it's already almost gone. I'm actually considering wearing it as perfume. Just kidding...kindof.

{day 23}

I love...

Friday, February 24, 2012

{day 22}

I love...

...the many things I am constantly learning from my children.

Yesterday as I watched Hailey try to put her shirt on all by herself (for seriously like 10 minutes), I watched with a smile on my face as I admired her determination and then as I continued to watch I was completely humbled.

The last couple of days I have been feeling so overwhelmed. I just feel like I am running around in circles trying to keep up with managing a house and taking care of four children. Unfortunately, the house management part has really been suffering. I just can't get ahead of all the never-ending chores on my list. It has just really been getting to me. I keep putting these unrealistic expectations on myself and it just leaves me feeling completely frustrated. As I watched Hailey and how persistantly she tried over and over again to get that shirt on correctly, it reminded me of myself, only completely different. It reminded me of my own struggles right now and yet, I am not the patient determined Hailey, many times (most the time) I am the frazzled impatient one who just wants to take the shirt off, throw it on the ground, and scream at the top of my lungs.

Yesterday, my older sister so lovingly reminded me that I don't have to do everything and be everything. She said all the right things and all the things that I so desperately needed to hear. So today, I am going to take this "shirt" and put it on the best way I can and happily move forward. Just like Hailey, someday I'll be able to put it on effortlessly, but for now, I'll just keep trying to figure it out. Even if that means wearing it around my neck or with one arm out because I know that on the days that I do figure it out it feels amazing. There is just no greater feeling than knowing that you have accomplished something hard, something that somedays just simply feels impossible.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

{day 21}

Okay, so I'm playing catch-up. It's not day 21 but whatever...

I love...

...that it is warm enough to do this today.

I took lunch up to the school today and when I went to take it to Kate's classroom, I found her alone in the hallway working on an assignment. As soon as she saw me, she burst into tears. She'd had a bad morning and I was so glad that I had been there at that moment to tell her I loved her and that everything would be okay. Of course I couldn't stop worrying about her for the rest of the day so I went and pulled her and Cloey out of school early to enjoy the warm beautiful weather. There's nothing a little sunshine can't take care of right?

Monday, February 20, 2012

{Day 20}

I love...

...the show Once Upon a Time. Have you seen it? It airs on Sunday but I always watch it online either Monday or Tuesday. One of my favorite parts of watching it is calling my sister-in-law, Stefani, later in the week and asking her what she thought about it. It's our thing and I love it!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

{day 19}

I love...

...the Sabbath.

Sunday is by far my most favorite day of the week. I love everything about it. I love that we are all together as a family all day long. I love that it is a whole day focused on worshiping, serving, loving, and resting. It is a day to remember, renew, and recommit. I can't think of a better way to spend the first day of every week. Today I actually got both babies asleep at the same time so I took a much-needed relaxing Sunday nap. As I laid in my bed and listened to the girls giggle in the other room with Cory, I felt so grateful for the good life that I have. Of course the Sunday "tornado" had definitely hit every bedroom in our home, but I just pushed that out of my mind and instead filled my soul with the words from the sermons given, those that were spoken from the pulpit and in the classrooms, those that were sung in the hymns, and then there were the unspoken sermons. The direct and personal messages given from the Spirit, spoken quietly and purposefully to my heart and soul. Those are the sermons that are sometimes the hardest to hear because many times they require me to change. They make me want to be better and try harder. They bring me to my knees and they soften my heart more than any other message or sermon out there. They pierce me to the very center and refocus my vision. So here I am once again, recommitting and determined to do a little better this week. Isn't it so true and so perfectly stated, "Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man." How grateful I am for a day to not only rest from my labors but also to find rest in the doctrine and power of the atonement. To find rest in He who asks us to give all that we have and then trust in Him to take care of the rest.

{day 18}

I love...

...these two girls next to me who pushed me harder on Saturday than I ever thought I could go.

When Jenae and I first started running together in the mornings, all the way back in August, I could barely make it around the 1/4 mile lap that we were running around. She was so patient with me. She would walk when I wanted to walk and she would constantly remind me to be patient with myself since I had just had a c-section a month earlier. I hardly knew her then. She had moved into our ward in June and for some reason I just knew that when I asked her if she wanted to start running with me in the mornings, she would say yes. And she did. Then Stephanie joined in on the fun a couple of months later, and we were so glad she did.

The half marathon that we did on Saturday was really all that we had planned on training for, but the more we ran, the loftier our goals got. The 13.1 miles that we ran on Saturday actually fit in perfectly in our training schedule for the marathon we are running in April. It was supposed to be easy. In fact, a couple of weeks ago we ran 14 miles. But, for some reason it was not easy for me. I had been sick all last week with a cold virus that left me with no energy, a major headache, runny nose, and yucky cough. After our run on Tuesday morning in the rain, I didn't exercise or do hardly anything again until Friday morning. I had more strength on Friday and was determined to do the race on Saturday, no matter what. I started out great. But around mile 6, I started to feel exhausted. Normally I feel great at mile 6. My legs usually start to get a little achy once I get around mile 10 but I haven't felt the exhaustive struggled breathing like I did on Saturday for a long time. I hung in there and fought my way through to mile 10. Then from mile 10 to 13, I was literally fighting my way to the end. Stephanie and Jenae were amazing. They kept my mind occupied and encouraged me onward. In fact, at mile 11 and 12 I actually tried to stop and walk for a second, but they wouldn't let me. They literally pushed me forward and told me to keep running. So I did. The last 1/2 mile was the hardest. I just wanted to walk so badly. But then Jenae said, "Melissa, your Grandpa is probably watching you, do it for him and run to the end, your almost there." At that point, I was no longer running with my legs, I was running with my heart. She said the perfect thing and it was that thought that not only got me to that finish line, but that also got me to the finish line in 10th place for my age-group. We met our goal of finishing in less than 2 hours, with a record time (at least record for the three of us) of 1 hour and 59 minutes, which is a 9:09 mile pace. It was such an incredible feeling. I have ran quite a few 5ks, and I loved running those. But, they were nothing like the feeling I had on Saturday. The feeling of knowing that I did something hard. I accomplished something that I worked really hard to accomplish. It makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, and you can. If you want it bad enough and work hard enough. So with that being said, it is now time to step it up. The training from here on out is going to get more intense. Yes, I'm a little bit nervous (okay, maybe a lot nervous), but I'm ready for this. Nashville Country Music Marathon are mine to conquer, and conquer I will. :) Bring it on.

{Day 16}

Oops. I guess I forgot to post an entry for day 16. But, I did have a good reason. On day 16 I felt horrible. But, at least I felt better than I did on day 15. So at the end of day 16, when my Sudafed was actually starting to work and make me feel somewhat normal, I was loving that the day was almost over.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

{day 17}

I love...

...that my girls think they are famous now because they got to be filmed for a United Way celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday commercial. They were SO excited and I was so excited for them. Afterwards, they decided that a commercial career was not for them, too much waiting and repetition. If you live in our area, the commercial will be aired for the next little while on channel 3.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

{Day 15}

I love...

...these cute kiddos and their amazing mommies! Yesterday I had a Valentine's party at my house for Hailey and her little friends. One of the moms was in charge of the craft, two others were in charge of sugar cookie decorating, and everyone else helped bring toddler brunch food. It was a lot of fun! Definitely a tradition we want to continue.

I Just Don't Get It...

Yesterday I had to run up to the school to take two $5 bills to each of my girls. Why? So that they could participate in Jump Rope for Heart. I am not a fan of school fundraisers (I know, I'm a horrible mom like that), but especially not ones where I feel manipulated into donating money. I looked up Jump Rope for Heart online, and yes it does seem like a great thing, but why the heck do you not allow kids the opportunity to jump rope if they don't donate at least $5? What is the real message we are sending? How about instead of just having parents pay money to help support heart research, we educate and allow children the opportunity to not only raise money (if they would like to) but ALSO, and most importantly, the opportunity to jump rope to fun music and a disco ball because we are trying to teach children the importance of physical exercise and the benefits they will receive from know, like a healthy heart. If we are really trying to save lives and support healthy hearts, then wouldn't we want ALL children to participate??? I just don't get it. (By the way, Cloey was still not allowed to particpate because apparently her shoes were not "safe" enough...seriously???!!! I actually wrote a note to her teacher this morning asking for the $5 back, but then I felt really bad and decided not to send it).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{Day 14}

I love...

...the following quote.

Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?

Growing up, my mom would always have a beautiful bouquet of flowers in my room when I would come home from school on Valentine's Day. It meant SO much to me, so much in fact, that I have carried on this tradition with my own girls. This year I decided to add a little teaching moment with it since it went so well with our family night lesson on Monday (click here to watch the video that our lesson was based on).

I chose the red rose because not only is it Katelund's favorite flower, but also because in primary red stands for "courage to do what is right". The older my girls are getting, the more I am realizing how essential it is to teach them to have courage. Courage to stand for the right, even and especially when they are standing all alone.

Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.

{Day 13}

I love...

... this picture!!! A couple weeks ago, Katelund taught our family night lesson. At the end of her lesson, she had us each draw our favorite scripture story. This was what Katelund drew for her favorite from the Book of Mormon. Can you tell what she's depicting? I love it!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

{Day 12}

I love... wear hats. Cory got me this red one for my birthday (along with the most beautiful off white pea coat). I have quite a few hats that I love to wear, but this is my very favorite lately.

FYI...I took this picture in December, a couple of days after my birthday, to show Cory. My hair is actually not blonde anymore. It is back to auburn. But, looking at this picture has really got me missing my blonde highlights. Hmmm...maybe I'll put some back in for spring.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{Day 11}

I love...

...that my girls have a Daddy who will not only take them to a daddy daughter dance, but who will also wear a pink shirt to match them just because I told him he should.

Friday, February 10, 2012

{Day 10}

I love...


Water is a necessity. In 50-70 degree weather, a person would only survive a week and a half without water. Two thirds of our body is made up of water and 70% of the earth is covered in water. It is a huge part of our lives and our world. Without it, our world and all the people in it would cease to exist.

But aside from the obvious necessities of water, it is also used in great amounts each day to refresh and wash our bodies, our dishes, our clothes, our cars, our lawns, our plants, and our food. If we were to suffer from a drought (such as in Biblical times), our world would completely be turned upside down. During the hot summer months in Texas (and many other places), cities are actually put on water restrictions. There are certain days and times when you can or cannot water your lawn. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live in a time when drinking water was restricted as well. How blessed we are to be able to turn on our facet, our washers, our sinks, etc to use however much water we need or want.

Today as I was swimming laps and enjoying the water as it surrounded itself around my body, I felt such gratitude for water. Not only for water in the pool and in a bottle, but also for the Living Water. A couple of years ago, I realized something very interesting to me. I most often receive promptings and personal revelation when I am showering or doing dishes...when I am around water.

Whether it is actual water or the Living Water, we need it. It is and should be the most important thing we take into our bodies and spirit. Just as I immersed myself into the waters of baptism 23 years ago, I hope that I immerse myself into the gospel of Jesus Christ everyday for the rest of my life, so that I will never find myself in a drought and suffering from spiritual thirst. Through Him, we will be filled. We are filled as we thirst and hunger after righteousness, as we feast upon the scriptures, as we weekly partake of the water in sacrament, and as we submerge and drowned our will and allow His will to flow within our life. There are no restrictions or limitations. Through Him, we truly can drink and never thirst again.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

{Day 9}

I love...

...sunshine!!! Yesterday I ran during the day while pushing my babies. Usually we run while it is still dark outside so I really enjoyed doing it later in the morning. There is just something therapuetic and revitalizing about sunshine. It is the greatest anti-depressant medicine ever (and so symbolic as well...the Son being the ultimate anti-depressant and rejuvinator). When I was living in Rexburg while I was in college, I would got so depressed during the long winter months. All I wanted was a day of sunshine, or even just a couple of minutes. It got so bad that I actually started going to a tanning bed so that I could at least get some artificial sun. Pretty lame, I know. Besides the awesome tan I got, I learned real quick that nothing compares to the real thing (again, SO symbollic!!). So, today I am loving sunshine (and sweet sleeping babies of course).

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

{Day 8}

I love... I found Cloey sleeping the other night. About an hour prior to this picture, Cloey had been upset and crying because she was scared and thinking about bad things (stupid friend's birthday party where the mother decided it would be funny to scare the kids and tell them about bloody mary...seriously!!?? I'm still upset about it, can you tell?). I told her to say a prayer and sing some primary songs or recite the articles of faith in her head. Then I went back downstairs with Cory. When I came up a little while later to check on her and found her like this, I may...just may...have shed a tear or two. :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

{Day 7}

I love...

...blogging. Writing is my release and my creative outlet. It also doesn't require any money, mess, or clutter, which makes it even more wonderful. It is the perfect way for me to record memories, organize pictures, and document life, day in and day out. As I write, I feel something inside of me that is just waiting to come out. There is just something amazing about the written language. I'm not sure why, but I feel like when I write, I can say things the way that I want to say them and express the emotions I feel inside through the words that I type. Most people just do facebook these days, but it just isn't my thing. I need to write more than just one line about what I'm doing or where I'm going. It is in the posts that I write that I remember to be grateful. I remember that there is more to life than grocery shopping, washing windows, folding clothes, or wiping noses. I remember who I am and why I am doing what I am doing. I remember to be kinder, listen harder, forgive quicker, and love easier. Yes, they are just words and random thoughts, memories, and dreams, but all those things define me and make me who I am. These blog posts are the songs of my heart and through them I will keep singing, even if nobody else is listening.

{Day 6}

I love...

...decorating and celebrating. I spent the day yesterday preparing for Hailey's ladybug birthday party last night. It was so much fun! My friend, Jenae, made the ADORABLE ladybug cake. She made it at my house so that she could teach me as she did it. I think I could really get into cake decorating. At least it's a little less intimidating to me now. (Jenae is the girl with her head sticking into the picture with the cake.) we had four families over to celebrate with us. It was a great party! Lots of laughing, food, and even a personal concert by my friend's daughter, Hannah, who just released her first single on iTunes. She's AMAZING!!!

When my older girls got home from school, the really wanted to be involved in the decorating so I had them make the black ladybug spots to cover the backdoors and front door. They had such a great time doing that while I got all the food ready. We served all of Hailey's favorite foods; pizza, chicken bites, black olives, licorice, strawberries (I posted a pic of the "ladybugs" that I made on the strawberry plate with the olives for heads), valentine sugar cookies, m&ms, and cherry 7 up.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

{Day 5}

I love... birthday girl. Happy 2nd birthday to my little monkey.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

{Day 4}

I love... The shoes in the first picture are about to become mowing shoes (that's what happens to my run down tennis shoes before I get rid of them). I have had these shoes for about 2 years now. They still look nice but they are giving me shin splints like crazy because I've ran the maximum amount of miles in them. A running shoe should be retired after about 500 miles. Just in the last 5 months that I've been running, I've ran between 400-500 miles. Today I ran in them the longest and farthest I've ever gone. I ran 14 miles at an average pace of 9 minutes and 17 seconds. Running non-stop for 2 hours and 18 minutes is definitely not easy, but man does it feel good afterwards. Well, it feels good knowing I did it, my legs, on the other hand, are not feeling so good. Hopefully new running shoes will make them feel a little bit better.

The second pair of shoes are ones I bought from a friend because they didn't fit her. I love them!! I've never worn shoes this cool before. :) They are also really comfortable. Not running shoes, but I will definitely have a lot of cool in my walk when I'm sporting these shoes.

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