Friday, December 11, 2015

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me? Or do strangers say dumb things to you too? I don’t think most people are trying to be rude- they just must not think before they say things.  I usually let things run off my shoulders pretty easily, or I’ll tell Joe later and be like wasn’t that so dumb that they said that?!… and then get over it. I really don’t get my feelings hurt easily, but I keep getting these same comments over and over lately and I just need to put it out I can get over it. Haha

We were at Joe’s work dinner last night and the conversation led to skiing. I was talking about how Joe has been dying for me to learn to ski for a while, but I’m always pregnant or have just had a baby so haven’t been able to learn yet.  This girl that I had never met interrupts me from clear across the table, “Wait... you’ve been pregnant multiple times?” To which I just responded with, “Yeah, I had our 3 kids in just under 4 years.” She looked at me like I was thee craziest person and rudely says, “I’m sorry.” I was so taken back that this random girl I had just met, would say that.  Just, "I'm sorry."  I didn’t know how to respond and can’t even remember what I said, but after that I just sat quietly crunching my croutons, feeling baffled.  

Maybe I am being sensitive and maybe my wanting to punch her in the face wasn't justified, but I have gotten so many comments like this lately and they just rub me the wrong way.

Yes, I did have kids quickly.  Yes, I am still young.  Yes, I have probably had to grow up much faster than most people my age.  It was not my plan to have 3 kids by 25. No, I am not sorry.  No, you should not be "sorry" either.  Most people must not understand that this has always been my dream. Others pursue traveling, adventures, careers or whatever, and that is so great! Maybe it’s not as picture perfect or as easy as I may have thought, but being a mom is what I prepared my whole life for. 

A few years ago, when Hayes was a baby and I was only 21, I was having a hard time not having things to find self-esteem in.  I was used to sports and dancing and academics and friends, and all of the sudden, I was just home all day in a quiet house with a baby. I didn’t stay in close contact with many of my college friends, Joe was gone to work all day, and it was just me trying to figure out how to take care of a baby.   I watched my friends, most of whom were not even married yet, going out and doing fun things and activities and it was kind of tough for me.  I started questioning if I had jumped aboard the grown-up train too fast.  But, one day I was struck with the thought- why am I feeling sorry for myself?  Isn’t this what I always dreamed of?  So what if it’s not always that dreamy!  It is my calling, and I know it.  I made a goal that day to be the best mother I could be.  That is where I was going to put all of my efforts into and that’s where I would draw my esteem. My home. My family. My kids.  Seem silly? Maybe.  But, it worked.  I have 3 perfectly healthy, and ever so sweet little boys.  Seriously, they are such good kids.  I have never found more joy or found such hard work to be so fulfilling.  You’ll hear me jokingly complain about how crazy my life is, but we’re slowly adjusting and I am so, so grateful that life has found me here, at such a young age, with so much to be grateful for. 

So, to the stranger who is feeling sorry for me across the table- don't.  I dreamed of this chaos ;)

Thought I'd add some cuteness of our night looking at Christmas lights, visiting Santa's reindeer, and warming up with hot cocoa. I love these fellas!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dear Santa

Hayes has been dying to write a letter to Santa for awhile.  We finally got around to it this week and he was so excited! He had me help him make a list of what he wanted and then he drew pictures of the items and a picture of himself, so Santa would know who he was :)  Cohen was happy to sit and scribble next to him, because he is just happy to do whatever Hayes is doing. Note to future self- It would be wise to have the boys write their letters to Santa before you buy and wrap all of their presents... Joe later had to insert that sometimes Santa doesn't bring everything on your list, some times he brings even more awesome stuff that he knows you will love... haha. Thankfully, he was into that idea too! Kids make holidays so much fun! I can't wait to see their faces light up on Christmas morning.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: Christmas Symbols

Do you remember the meanings behind all of the Christmas symbols? I knew most of them, but it was good to be reminded of a few.  Our next family home evening lesson is ready to go, with a little bag I put together to help the kids learn about each of the symbols of Christmas.

The Star
A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago- The shining hope of mankind.

The Color Red
The first color of Christmas, symbolizing the Savior's sacrifice for all.

The Fir Tree: Evergreen
The second color of Christmas shows everlasting light and life.  The needles point up to heaven.

The Bell
Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.

The Candle
A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the star of Bethlehem.

The Gift Bow
Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.

The Candy Cane
Represents the shape of the shepherd's crook, used to bring lost lambs back to the fold.

The Wreath
A symbol of the never ending eternal value of love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: Christmas Books

Reading books is one of my favorite ways to spend time with the boys. Books are a part of our nap time and bedtime routines, and we've recently incorporated our cute Christmas books into the mix.   Below are a few of our favorites that aren't only cute, but have really sweet messages in them.  We get a new Christmas book each year and our collection is still small, but Deseret Book has even more awesome Christmas books like this for kids!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: Peg Doll Nativity

This little peg doll nativity has been a fun way to incorporate the Christmas story into the kids' play. I snagged a package of peg dolls here, added a bit of string and felt to them and voila! So, so simple. We have a glass nativity set that the boys were always wanting to hold and play with, which usually made me cringe; especially with Cohen, who is still learning the meaning of the words, "soft," and, "careful." I loved the idea of them having their own wooden set that they could play with and I didn't have to worry about! We've lost baby Jesus a few times, because Cohen tends to cart him around most haha. I'm glad he loves him.  It has also been a good conversation starter as they play with and ask questions about different characters in the nativity.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: The Giving Manger

This week I am excited to do a few posts with some simple ideas that we are doing with our kids to have a Christ centered Christmas. I love doing every Christmas activity I can think of; the gifts, the decor,  the lights, the treats, the family traditions, and everything that comes with the holiday magic. I love spending time with my family, I feel purpose when I am giving and serving those around me, I find peace when I learn about Christ and his life, and there is nothing better than creating memories with those I love.  It is what makes this such a wonderful time of year.  But, I think what really makes it so special, is the feelings of joy and love through out the holiday season.  When I draw nearer to the Savior, it is easy for me to feel that joy and love.  His love is what fills my heart so completely with peace. I want to make sure that I am helping my kids draw closer to our Savior, especially during this Christmas season. What greater gift can we give?

"The season is not about presents, it is about His presence."

I saw a friend post about this cute Giving Manger on Facebook and loved the idea and message behind it.  It comes with a book, a manger, straw, and a baby Jesus.  The book tells the story of a family who decides to give gifts to the Savior by doing service for others all season long.  With each act of service a piece of straw is placed in the manger.  The hope is by Christmas day the manger will be full of hay for the little baby Jesus to lay on. I remember doing something similar growing up and really enjoying it.   My hope is that this will be a sweet family tradition that will help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas and one that we can all look forward to year after year.

After reading the book and setting the wooden manger on a table, we decided our first act of service would be to make and deliver sugar cookies to a friend.  Hayes was my big helper and is already coming up with more ideas for ways we can serve and fill the manger for baby Jesus.

"...when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."
-Mosiah 2:17

You can find the Giving Manger here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Every once in awhile Joe has to update his business photo with Wells Fargo and gets his portraits done with Brandon Burk.  He really just needs a few head shots but Brandon always gets all sorts of awesome pics of Joe.  (Probably for my benefit.. Thanks Brandon ;)) Anyway, they are just too good not to share a few! He basically should just be on the next cover of GQ, am I right?!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Counting My Blessings

My days are spent hanging out with 3 of the craziest, cutest, sweetest, most energy filled little boys.   I was thinking the other day how busy my days are, but also how not busy my days are. Let me explain... 3 boys 4 and under is busy.  Everyone always needs something from you, all the time with very little breaks.  But, since they are all so young, we don't have a lot of activities or places we need to be.  We can just be together and play or do whatever we want pretty much every day.  Hayes is a creative soul and always has ideas of what we should do each day.  "Let's make instruments and be a marching band! You sit here and we will throw you candy." "Mom, you can just make us astronaut helmets and me and Cohen will be on a rocketship." "I know, how about first we get happy meals and then we go to the library and then we can do a project. Is that a deal?" Seriously, he never runs out.

One day he wanted to find big leaves for his "collection." (One leaf he saved on his dresser.) Anyway, we had nothing else going on, so we got ready and hopped in the car and headed off to find some really great leaves.  We ended up at a nearby park with tons of leaves to collect and to play in.  It was just what we needed.  It was perfect weather and the boys enjoyed throwing, crunching, and burying themselves in piles of leaves.  I just felt really grateful that day to spend my days watching them grow.  Even though I'm so tired right now I could sleep for 3 days straight, it is easy to count my blessings.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

Our Neverland crew had so much fun with Halloween this year.  We had a family party at my parents house on Friday night.  Saturday was filled with a ward trunk-or-treat and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  The boys really loved handing out candy to everyone that came trick-or-treating to our house later that night too. We may have had to make a quick dash to the store because we ran out of candy by like 7:15! Whoops! Apparently we live on a popular trick-or-treating street :) We love Halloween!

Family Party

My mom always makes parties so cute and fun for us.  The kids loved all of the fun games and their special treat bags for their Halloween movie.

Sooo many good treats including my grandma's homemade spud nuts!

We're never growing up!
Peter Pan and the lost boys!

Halloween bingo!
The kids all got their own popcorn and treat bag and snuggled in the toy room for a Halloween movie. 
Cute cousins!


I couldn't get enough of this cute "lost boy."

So "stinkin" cute right?!

Hayes and Cohen with our cute neighbors.

Cohen caught on to trick-or-treating quick!
Probably the best night of this chocolate lover's life haha.
We put the bowl of candy up high so the kids wouldn't sneak it all night.
Cohen is no dummy though haha.