Monday, May 17, 2010

May the Force Be With You

A definite highlight of our Disneyland trip was the Jedi show. All three kids got picked to train to be Jedi and help fight the DARK SIDE. Brody was the littlest kid up there and when it was his turn to fight Darth Vader they teased him for looking like Yoda. Darth Vader said, "the force is strong with this one." I agree. After six months of living and breathing Star Wars every single day, I was glad he could put those saber skills to good use, and not on me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

She's 8!

I'm lucky. I live with an angel.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Allie has always been expressive, even as an infant. This year's birthday was no different as her eyeballs almost fell out on Chad's lap after opening her very own pink MP3 player. Happy much?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Is Me

Sometimes I forget who I really am. In fact I don’t know if I’ve been really in tune with who I really am for a very long time. I think sometimes we get so caught up in being who we think we are supposed to be or who we need to be to have certain friends or get certain reactions, whoever we truly are gets lost. It’s caused me to reflect on who I may or may not be right now. I know that we can change over time and really I haven’t evaluated in so long that I’m not sure what the answer is. Honestly, I’m not even sure what the right questions are to ask and find out. I created the following questions in an effort to get started re-knowing myself. I came up with them by asking myself what I would want to ask someone if I really wanted to get inside and know them. I would enjoy knowing these things about my friends. I should at least know them about myself. Obviously, some of the questions are more soul searching than others. Keep in mind this is a self-evaluation and I don’t expect anyone to torment themselves by having to suffer through it. If you are curious, by all means, continue. If not, I don’t hold it against you; proceed to the little red X in the upper right-hand corner.

What is your favorite food? My tacos and chocolate chip cookies.

What is your favorite color? It depends on the day. Usually, green, pink, or some shade of blue.

Who do you look up to? Lots of people for a lot of different reasons. But I especially look up to people like my husband who are totally comfortable just being themselves and still have friends.

What celebrity do you think is ultra cool and why?
Jesse James. Totally based on one TV interview I saw so this is way un-researched. He just seemed so comfortable with himself. Witty, yet gentle and unassuming, confident but not cocky. A mark against him for once being married to a porn star, but redeeming that he snagged Sandra Bullock.
UPDATE: May 2010
Okay, so my judge of character has always been flawed.

What music do you listen to?
It has changed over the years but my current favorite genre is skater type rock, i.e. simple plan, all American rejects, ect.

What concerts have you been to?
New Kids on the Block, Erasure, Weird Al Yankovich, Scorpions, Pearl Jam, Matchbox 20.

What are your 5 favorite movies? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clueless, Hitch, Rocky IV, Remember the Titans.

Do you like to shop?
Way too much.

What is your favorite thing to shop for?
It used to be clothes for me, and then it was clothes for the kids, now I think its toys. Fun craft projects should be in there somewhere too. Scrapbook paper. But I hate scrap booking.

What style of clothing do you like to wear?
Surfer style t-shirt, shorts or capris, and flip flops.

What do you wish you could wear?
Jeans that made my butt look cute.

Do you like your hair?
Occasionally, but not usually.

Do you like to be around a lot of people or in a more quiet setting? I love to be around a lot of people if nothing is expected of me socially. I don’t want to have to perform my character. I love to people watch.

Are you from a big or small family? My family is small. Mom, Dad and two sisters. I married into a gigantic family.

Are you a passionate person? No, to a fault. After too much heartbreak I convinced myself that apathy is wisdom. I was wrong and now I’m in a long slow process of undoing that mistake.

If so, what are you most passionate about? Yeah, nope.

What are your pet peeves?
Audible food chewing, when my kids act like I swore they never would, meanness, pornography, social fakeness.

What draws you to a person?
Gentleness, outgoing, wit (not at the expense of others), someone not afraid to admit their own faults but doesn’t dwell on them either, easy to approach and talk to, people who will need me as much as I may need them.

What makes you emotional? (i.e. happy or sad) Happy: spring and fall, giggles, a well cared for landscape, feeling in tune spiritually and on the right path.
Sad: suffering children, insecurity, snow, lack of control.

Are you an aggressive or defensive driver? Defensive

What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you? It wouldn’t be fair to play favorites with my blessings.

What is the worst experience you’ve had? Though I have a strong testimony that all things we are asked to experience will combine together for our good, I think the worst thing I’ve experienced is giving my heart away with way too much naivety to do it wisely, having it brutally torn apart, and then looking back and realizing no one knew me well enough or cared about me enough to even warn me or try to protect me.

When were you the most scared? That’s a hard one, I’m kind of a scaredy cat. When Riley wasn’t breathing when he was born, when I was listening to Elizabeth Smart media and suddenly couldn’t find Allie (about a year old), watching 9/11 unfold on TV.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Every time I take my kids in public.

Are you religious? I know that there is a God and He is our Heavenly Father. He created us in His image and that He created us to fulfill a plan of happiness not misery. I know that our mortal existence is part of the plan to help us achieve a level of happiness we cannot fathom. I know that suffering is a necessary part of that process. I know that Heavenly Father sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ to earth to teach us and to overcome all conditions that could make our return to our Father impossible. I know that if we do what is right and use the gift that He gave us, we will gain an eternal reward.

What is/was your relationship like with your mother? My mother is sweet, forgiving, and kind. Though I have never had a confiding close friendship relationship with my mother, I love her deeply and appreciate her greatly for all that she is and all that she has done for me in my life.

What is/was your relationship like with your father?
Even from a very young age I have been so grateful to him for giving me the gift of the feeling of safety. I always felt safe in his care. If he was driving I felt safe. If he was at home in bed I could go to sleep because I felt safe. I always knew if something went wrong he would handle it. He’s always been like my own personal superhero.

What are your 3 biggest regrets? #1. Not taking advantage more of my youth. #2. Not taking better care of my body. #3. Not staying more in tune with my true self and feeling more freedom in individuality.

What are your 3 biggest short term goals?
Healthy body, organization, daily spiritual progress.

What are your 3 biggest long term goals? #1 Make and maintain our home as an every day temple where my family feels safe and happy. #2 Feel confident and secure in my inner and outer beauty. Repair my ability to love. #3 be the kind of wife and mother that my husband and children want me to be.

Who are 5-10 people who have influenced you for major good? Chad, my parents, Mona Lyddon, Darci Goolsby, Allie, Robin Groff,

How do you feel about money?
I wish I had an unlimited supply, not so much so that I could buy whatever I wanted but more so that I could be free of the guilt that I drag around like a ton of bricks.

What would your dream home be like and where? It would have lots and lots of storage…most of it empty, it would have lots of fluffy cozy furniture for hanging out. It would have a wrap around porch and lots of outdoor living space. It would be decorated by someone other than me because I have no clue and it would be clean and organized. Oh, and did I mention that there would be lots of storage? It would be somewhere with trees, no snow except like maybe once right around Christmas time when no one needed to go anywhere, the ocean would be nearby, all four seasons minus the extremes, friendly people…no cultural baggage like negative religious history.

What are your favorite vacation places? Disneyland, Oregon

How do you feel about education? I love, love, love to learn. I wish with all my heart that I had an inkling of retention ability. I soak up information like a sponge and leak it like a sieve. No matter how much education I get, I don’t think I will ever be “educated”. That sounds too much like an end result.

Are you happy with your appearance? Some days. But at some point I usually cross paths with a mirror and come back to reality.

What do you want to be known for? If I happened to be blessed enough to cross someone’s thoughts when I wasn’t in their sights I just hope the thoughts would be positive ones.

What are your talents? Bargain hunting. Oh, and I can read.

What talent do you wish you had? To be interesting and funny. To be perfect in my husband’s eyes and perfect in my children’s eyes. I wish I could sing and dance. I wish I could paint and draw.

What kind of people become your closest friends? The most kind-hearted people. The same ones that would take in lame animals.

How do you feel about animals? I like animals. Just not so much in my house. I do have a cat though, and I love her…she can come in my house.

What do you have the most fun doing? Reading, doing a new craft project (I have a hard time doing anything over and over), watching movies with my family, cuddling and watching TV with Chad, just hanging out and talking with Molly or Sarah, buying stuff
(I know… it’s not good).

How do you feel about the outdoors? I wish I was in better shape and a less paranoid mother and that I could enjoy it more. I am in awe with nature, it inspires me.

How do you think people see you?
Not invisible, but almost.

How do you hope people see you? I hope they see me as someone they can relate to and connect with.

Does what other people think of you matter to you? Yes. But I try to use that to be a better person, not someone I’m not. It’s definitely a work in progress.

Do you get along well with other people or do others annoy you? The only thing that annoys me is feeling like I might be annoying someone else and not knowing why or how to fix it. Other than that I get along quite well. I’m quiet, far from the life of the party, but I’m safe. I try to avoid drama. But I think that manifests itself as boring and may be why I don’t make many short lists of people to invite.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Simplify. Live simply. It seems to be the trendy new life statement. Some have even incorporated reminders into their home d├ęcor by way of vinyl lettering, wooden signs, refrigerator magnets and embroidered throw pillows. While I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon just because it’s rolling by, this little concept strikes a cord with me.

I may be inventing a new word here but I’m a “complicator”. I complicate things that don’t need to be complicated. For example, I’ll decide I need to clean the bathroom. Everything is fine until I get to the tub. I remember how much I hate to clean the bathtub. Then I recall the commercial I saw for that promising new bathroom cleaner. Suddenly, I have to have it. And I can’t just clean with the stuff I usually use because I hate cleaning the tub and what if this new stuff will make it easier? And the tub needs to be cleaned today, it can’t wait until the next time I happen to be in the store and think about it. So, here I am in all my cleaning day beauty and I decide I have to go to the store. It can’t wait until I’m done cleaning the rest of the house because there’s an order to how the house is cleaned. After all I am a “complicator”. So, I get dressed, dress three kids, send them potty, search out shoes, quickly rake some snacks into plastic baggies because breakfast was scheduled for after the bathroom was cleaned. I grab the keys, shoo the kids out the door to the garage, then while they’re getting buckled I hurry and clean off the kitchen counter because it’s the first thing I see when I come back home and I hate it when it’s messy. I shuffle out to the car, buckle the baby then spend 10 minutes fishing the car obsessed cat who tries to stow away at every opportunity out of the van. We start to back out but then I realize I have to bring in the trash can that the garbage man deposited right in my way (because it’s Monday of course and I clean on Monday…the same day garbage goes out). Back in the car we are headed to the store one hour and fifteen minutes after I first approached the bathtub, sponge in hand. Now, I could launch into an additional huge narrative about how the store trip turns into a big fiasco and four stops and $150.00 later I return home three hours and forty five minutes after I first approached the bathtub, sponge in hand. But I won’t. My point is I’m a “complicator”. Seriously, just clean the stinking bathtub.

Since I’m not exactly fond of this not so endearing personality trait I possess, I’ve been exploring this “simplify” idea a little bit. At first I thought it might mix with OCD like oil and water which would be bad for me (though my case is mild), but it’s not true. They mesh quite well. But there’s a trick. I couldn’t subscribe fully to the “simplify by just letting it go” approach. I still want things to be in order and I have a hard time playing when lots of work is staring me down. So for me simplifying means organization and purging! When I am organized it is so much easier to avoid complicating things. However, the more stuff you have the harder it is to organize not only the stuff but your time. Stuff sucks time. Stuff has a way of creeping out of even the most seemingly organized spaces and spilling itself all over your relaxation. I have learned and am still learning the tremendous value of THE PURGE!!! Be gone with the stuff. Stuff that doesn’t earn its keep gets booted. If you spend more time shuffling an item here and there and around and down and over out of the way than you do actually using it, it is not earning its keep. Oh and by the way, sentiment needs to earn its keep too. If the thing doesn’t give you heart flutters every time you look upon it and it doesn’t have a well-defined home, it may not be earning its keep.

Having said that, don’t expect to walk into my home on any given day and find it spotless and completely organized. I’m still working on it. It suffices to say, the more I simplify and the more I purge the less-needed things, the more time I have to play. And who couldn’t use more play time?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You Are My Sunshine

One of my most tender childhood memories is of my sweet mother singing the sunshine song to me. One day after I was quite full grown I discovered a little music box on the windowsill in the kitchen. I had been away from home for awhile and it was new to me. I was delighted when I activated it to hear the tune of the sunshine song pour out. I asked my mom about it and while I can't remember where she said it came from, I remember she told me that it reminded her of Mamere (her mother) because she would sing it to her. Tears have welled in my eyes numerous times as I have sung it to each of my babies. (When they get a little older they ask me to please not sing.) This sweet little song carries with it at least three generations of motherly love and I decided that was reason enough to place a little reminder of it front and center in my world. This was how my latest project was born and this is how it looks:

Sunday, May 31, 2009

So Far So Lame

Okay blogger people, I need help! I started this blog a few weeks ago but I can’t bring myself to let anyone know I have a blog because it’s so lame so far. I look at all of your cute blogs that look like pages from a professional digital scrapbooking magazine, yet after several hours of installing and fumbling my way around an old version of photoshop just to put my own title on someone else’s header, it just looks like something 1970’s barfed on my blog.

Before marriage I was a fairly good journaler and I’ve used all sorts of journals. My very first journal was a fabric covered gem with teddy bears all over it. One of my favorite journals was a plain black artist’s sketch book. Whenever I needed a new journal (and sometimes when I didn’t) I would try to choose something that fit me at that time in my life so that I would be excited and inspired to write in it. I realize that everything we do/have does not need to be wrapped in a pretty package (though I know my husband would much appreciate anyone who could really truly convince me of it) but I’ve looked at my poor new blog everyday for two weeks now and can’t seem to will myself to write anything on it…I just can’t get inspired.

So please, all of you blogger pros...let me in on your secrets.