Tuesday, June 26, 2012

so hot, so tired

Those are the words that kept going through my mind today. I'm just not doing so well with this HOT weather. It was actually 106 degrees this afternoon. I am pretty sure I was melting away as I stood outside trying to clean out Makayla's cars seat because her poop had gone out the side of her diaper all into her seat. Yep, I was dying of heat and completely disgusted. It was just one of those days. Life was overwhelming and exhausting today, but, I did have a moment of clarity this afternoon. One of those times when you are lecturing your child about being grateful, happy, and content and all of the sudden in the middle of your lecture you realize that you may actually be the one who needs the lecture the most. I did need the lecture, and I'm glad I gave it because it definitely helped me get past my negativity and focus on all the wonderful things that are making me so happy lately. I have so very much to be grateful for. One of the things that I am very grateful for is a tender mercy and an answered prayer of a pleading mother. I have really been wanting to put my children into activities. I am not looking for activities that consume and take over our family life, but I do want my girls to have experiences to help them grow and learn new skills and talents. So I started looking around. Cloey really wanted to be in gymnastics and Katelund wanted to be on a swim team. After doing all my research I found myself very frustrated by the cost of everything. I am very willing to pay for lessons but to me $80 for four 30 minutes classes a month that teach you how to do a cartwheel, walk on a balancing beam, and jump on a trampoline is absolute robbery. Then I was even more disheartened when I found out the cost of a swim team that I was going to have to drive 30 minutes away for. After driving out to the pool to pick up the packet of papers, I came home and expressed my frustrations and complaints to Cory. He told me to do whatever I thought was best (so didn't help!). That night I knelt by my bed and pleaded for some sort of intervention. As I laid down in my bed, the idea came to me as if a light bulb had literally turned on above me. I thought of my cute cousin, Kayla, who was home from BYU for the summer and had spent years and years in dance and as a captain of her drill team. I called her the next day to see if by any chance she was interested in earning some money by teaching gymnastics to Cloey. After talking with her and my girls, we decided on a day and price and the classes began. Katelund decided to join in on the fun instead of doing swimming and so now they go together every Tuesday afternoon and have lessons in gymnastics, ballet, and other forms of dance. They LOVE Kayla and they LOVE all the variety of dancing they are learning. Then, as if it couldn't get any better...a sister I visit teach (that lives one street over from me) is a piano teacher and the girls started lessons last week...AND...she is only charging me for one of them because I am going to clean and mop her floors during the lessons. It works out great for both of us. So now my girls are in dance and piano....they're happy, my wallet is happy, and I'm ecstatic! So I may be hot and tired but at least I'm grateful, happy, and content.

Friday, June 22, 2012

NEVER leave the marked trail!

I went on a bike ride this last Saturday. Near the end of my ride, I rode pass a sign that said, "Nature Preserve Trail". I was so excited thinking that I'd just found an awesome new addition to my route. It wasn't very far down the trail that I started seeing the following signs...
Yep, I was TOTALLY freaking out!!! I was SO afraid to get off my bike to turn around and there was NO WAY I was going to turn around on my bike and risk going off the trail. So I got off and turned it around as quickly as possible!! Then I high-tailed it out of there to NEVER return again!! Although, I did have to slow down to take some pictures of the signs so I could tell Cory and the girls all about it. But I'm still kindof freaking out that a place like that is only about 5 miles from my house.

Monday, June 18, 2012


A couple of months ago I had a conversation on the phone with my Dad. My dad is not much of a talker so talking on the phone is not an everyday occurance, but whenever we do, I always love it. But within this particular conversation, he said something that has really stayed with me. It was a comment that he made that totally made my year because getting a compliment from my dad means the world to me. In fact, I could probably sit down and write every single compliment he has ever paid me because they have meant that much to me. They don't come too often but when they come I always know that he is completely sincere and genuine in what he is saying. Knowing that my Daddy is proud of me and pleased with the way I'm living my life, is SO SO important to me...always has been and always will. My dad is an amazing man. He will always be one of my greatest heroes. He is a man filled with charity, love, integrity,(except when it comes to obeying the "stupid" rules that don't really matter anyways), faith, perserverance and drive. I NEVER remember my dad yelling in our home (not that I didn't deserve it). All he had to do was look at me with his "I'm very disappointed" look. I think I would have rather had him yell. Just kidding. He is a man of many gifts and talents and I am so honored to be his daughter. Cory is the best father I could ever ask for to be the father of our children. He is AMAZING!!! I could go on and on and tell story after story about all the little things that he says and does all of the time that completely blow me away. But this post would never end. All of my girls are daddy's girls. He is BY FAR their favorite parent. Even Makayla will squeeze herself out of my arms and reach as far as her little body will go in order to climb her way into Cory's arms. It is SO SWEET! I hate it, but then again, I love it. :) Just to give you a little insight to how incredible of a father he is, here is a list of my top ten favorite father moments over the last 8 (almost 9 years)that Cory's been a daddy. 1. With each of our babies, he has chosen a song that is specifically for them and he sings it to them regularly (he has an AMAZING voice). Together, we chose Clairisa's song (which is God Be With Us Till We Meet Again). We still get teary-eyed and reach for each other's hand whenever it is played in church. One time Cory was driving through Asheville, so he stopped at Clairisa's gravesite and all alone he sat out there underneath the willow tree she is buried by and sang to her. 2. Last Fall, Cory had gotten home really late one night so he was not able to go on the mountain bike ride with Katelund that they had planned on doing. So, to make up for it, he surprised her a couple days later by leaving work early, pulling her out of school, taking her mountain biking, and then they went out to lunch together. 3. A couple of years ago, when Cory was in charge of a family night, he put together a spa night for all of his girls. He gave us all facials (with masks and everything). He even had candles lit and Enya playing. We still talk about that night to this day. 4. A year or so ago, Cory decided he wanted to read Harry Potter to the girls at bedtime. But he didn't want to just read the books, he wanted to do it with all the different voices and accents. We would stay up late into the night for days and watch the first movie so that he could practice the voices. Whenever it was reading time, not only would the girls anxiously snuggle up to listen, but so would I. I would drop whatever I was doing because there was no way I was going to miss out. 5. The other night as I gathered all the girls together for scripture reading, Katelund and Cloey started complaining. I was so frustrated with them and Cory could tell. So he offered to do the reading. He sat down in front of the girls and began reading in this really obnoxious voice and doing actions with everything he was saying. It's really hard to describe what he did but the girls have asked for it every night since. In fact, last night the girls came in after brushing their teeth and said, "Read the scriptures Daddy! We love reading scriptures now!!!" He just has a ways of making everything fun and exciting. 6. The other day I commented about how much it bugs me that whenever I smile at Makayla I only sometimes get a smile back, but whenever Cory does he always gets the BEST return smiles. He said to me, "how do you smile at her?" I wasn't really sure how to answer that, so I asked him how he smiles at her. This was his response, "I smile at her as if at that very moment she was the most important person to me in the whole wide world, because she is." I have realized that this same smile is how he smiles at all of our children and at me. It is just impossible to not smile back. 7. When we found out that Cloey was a girl I was so disappointed. I thought for sure we'd have a boy next. When I called Cory in tears, he just comforted me and told me how excited he was that we were having another girl. Every girl since he has been just as excited. Not once have I seen him act at all disappointed that he hasn't gotten a boy. I have been disappointed but he always reminds me of how much we love our girls and how much fun it will be to "have another girl". 8. Listening to him pray for our children is just about one of the most tender things I've ever heard. 9. From the second he gets home to the second they go to bed. He is completely 100% involved as a husband and father. He is changing diapers, helping make dinner, disciplining, giving horsey rides, laughing, tickling, etc. I have never once felt like I'm in this parenting thing alone while my husband is off providing or home resting from a long day of work. He is my partner and even calls me almost every single day at lunch time to see how I'm doing and how the kids are doing. He laughs at the funny things they do and wishes he would've been there to see or hear it. 10. Watching him kiss and hold our little Clairisa for the very last time in mortality was definitely a memory I will cherish forever. As we sat in the car we rode in before Clairisa's graveside service, I remember telling Cory that I couldn't get out of the car. I couldn't attend my own child's funeral service, it was just too hard and more than I could bear. He tenderly took my hands, looked into my eyes and said, "I can't either, but together we can. Together we can do this." A couple of Sundays ago, I went into the gym to find Cory after church, and I found Makayla asleep and all wrapped up in Cory's suit coat. It was the sweetest thing ever and I'm so glad I got a picture!! The more I've looked at it, the more I've thought about all the symbolism that goes along with this picture....the safety and security of the priesthood, the protection and love of a father, etc. I am so grateful for the fathers (and father-in-law) in my life. I always feel the warmth of love and safety whenever I am in their arms or in their presence. How grateful I am for fathers...even and especially for the Father of us all. 6.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We miss Ethan!!

This last week was so fun because we actually got to have a little boy in our family. My nephew, Ethan, came to stay the week with us while my sister went to girl's camp. This was also the girls first week of summer vacation so we had a lot of fun!! But, first of all we started out with our summer essentials for family night...which include D.E.A.R (drop everything and read) time each day after lunch and SOS (scriptures over screen time). It was SO cute to see the girls and Ethan cuddled up together on the couch each morning reading their scriptures together. I am SO sad that I didn't get a picture of it. I actually wish I would've taken way more pictures than I did. Here's a little recap of all that we did....bike rides, morning run, fun at the park, swimming, jumping on the trampoline (even in the rain), rainy day party (which included glow in the dark sticks, bracelets, and balloons), washing the van, play dough version of Chopped (the kids came up with this one and I LOVED it!!! I REALLY wish I would've taken pictures of all their creations....they were INCREDIBLE!), trip to Hobby Lobby to buy whatever craft stuff they wanted, McDonalds lunch, the Hill family staying with us for a night on their way to Utah, library summer fun day (which included face painting, a clown, balloons, petting zoo, and sitting inside a fire truck), movies and popcorn, polly pockets (Ethan was such a good sport), and pretend play. They all got along so well. One of the only times that Ethan and Cloey got in an argument was at the grocery store. I told them to stop arguing and that they had to walk with their arms around each other for the next two aisles and the next time they argued they would have to walk that way for the rest of the time in the grocery store. It worked like a charm and we all got a big kick out of it. It was quite embarrassing to Ethan but I'm pretty sure Cloey was loving it. Other than that one time, Cloey and Ethan were inseperable. It was so cute! It was a really fun week and we are all in withdrawls now that Ethan is back home.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Bring on Summer!!!

Friday night the girls and I decided to kick off summer with a slumber party out on the trampoline. The girls have been wanting to do this ever since they heard about Cory and I doing it in college. When we were first married we had a "slumber party" with our really good friends, Nate and Cindy, out on their trampoline in Rexburg. It sounds so weird now, but at the time it wasn't at all, it was so much fun! So, I decided to surprise my girls and have our own slumber party on our new trampoline. I had so many great memories from doing this so I was really excited. As we were gathering all of our blankets and pillows, Cory was having all sorts of fun. He was making bets with us that we wouldn't make it through the night out there. We all insisted that we would and shook hands that if we came in early then we'd owe him a foot rub but if we made it all night that he would owe all three of us a foot rub. At this point, I decided that there was NOTHING that was going to keep me from coming inside....after all, my pride was involved now and I'll do just about anything for a good foot rub. So we went out there with all of our blankets and got all settled. I was so excited to sleep under all of the stars, but as I looked up at the sky, my excitement was squelched as I barely saw the north star amongst all of the haziness and clouds. So we talked about the North Star and its symbolism and I was thinking this was going to be a great night. As we laid there talking off and on, Katelund all of the sudden shot up and begged me to let her jump just for a minute. So, I jumped up as well and the three of us jumped and giggled for a couple of minutes. Then I decided to make it real fun and I got all of the pillows and started a pillow fight. It was great. Then we all settled back down. Within about 10 minutes, the girls had fallen asleep. I just laid there wondering what Cory was up to and wishing I was laying next to him. Then I started noticing all the bugs flying around. The next three hours became a feeding frenzy for all of the mosquitos. I tried to ignore it. In fact, I basically had all of the blanket covering every inch of skin on my body, but I was still itching like crazy (I only have like four bites to show for it so it must have been mostly in my head). I fought my urge to go inside every single time I woke up itching, but then after so long, I just couldn't take it anymore. I decided that I would rather rub Cory's feet and crush my pride, then get one more bug bite. So I woke the girls up and begged and pleaded with them to go back inside. After a little coercing, they finally caved. Cory got a great laugh and an even better foot rub out of it, but at least we had a couple hours of great memories from our first (and hopefully last) "slumber party" on the trampoline. Saturday afternoon we all went swimming (thanks to my aunt and uncle who let us use their pool). After swimming and having fun for a couple of hours, I got Makayla and Hailey out of the water to dry off in the sun before we left. As I was sitting in a chair holding them in their towels on my lap and watching Cory playing with the older girls, I said to Cory, "I don't think life gets any better than this." I really don't think it does. It's the simple things in life that bring the greatest joy and make the very best memories. So here's to a summer filled with simple and spontaneous fun with five people that I love more than anything in the world.

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