Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back at it

Sometimes the best thing you can do when feeling overwhelmed is to go to work. Last night I worked with the kids to get our house in order. That is always a good first step to feeling less frazzled. Now that my house is clean, I am ready to take on the three giant productions I have to put on between Oct. and Nov.

First I am creating a Mormon version of the game Clue for the youth to play at the church with different class rooms being the rooms in which the murder could have happened. I will have Scripture Characters for the team names and trivia questions that if answered correctly will allow them to advance to the next room. I also plan on using scripture time weapons and locations for the other categories. That is my task for tomorrow. Hopefully I can get most of it planned tomorrow.

Next I have to work on Young Women in Excellence and plan out and delegate out all the various responsibilities that will go on with that. I found a cute Princess Bride themed idea online that I think we will use. Hope I can get some dads to help out with it.

And then of course I have the neighborhood block party to pull together for Halloween. I am not sure how many of our neighbors will be around this year as our kids here get Friday, Monday, and Tuesday off school that week. I think many will be out of town. I guess we will see how that pans out as I get the RSVPs back.

So that is what is almost constantly running around in my mind these days - that and fighting the nausea. There is always that too. Nothing to do but get to it. It is the only way to get it off the brain. Tomorrow I plan on doing just that.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Do you ever have that feeling that you have just been sucked dry? You know that empty feeling of having given all you can give. I have. I do. I am tired. I am ready for a vacation where I don't have to think about my daily responsibilities. No music practices or lessons. No bills to pay. No church calling to worry about.

That last one takes so much out of me. Working in Young Women's is not an easy calling. It is busy and there are lots of things to plan and activities and meeting to attend. But that is not what is hard about it to me. The hard part to me is all about the girls. I love our girls. I mean I really genuinely love them. I worry about them and pray for them. I try to find the right balance between being there for them in a friend sort of way while still being their Young Women's Leader.

That is a difficult balance that is not always in harmony. Ultimately, I have accepted the responsibility to be their Leader and not their "friend" though. They have lots of friends. So when the two roles conflict, I opt to be their leader. I only hope that one day they will understand and appreciate that.

That is the hard part of working with the Young Women. The weight of the love and concern and responsibility. Because it just is that important. THEY are just that important.

I have worked with the different sets of young women for the nearly that last 3 years. We have a great board of leaders that share the load. For that I am grateful. I have a great group right now that have a great chemistry with each other. They are wonderful, smart, really good girls. For that I am grateful.  They are the reason I keep going even when I am tired and feel spent. Because THEY are just that important and they deserve my best.

So tonight I will get some rest. This weekend with General Conference I will recharge my batteries. And then I will jump back into the race and run my best again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I love how quickly September has seemed to fly by. It helps to be busy when you want time to move quickly. And now we are almost to October. I am ready for the cooler weather to kick in. I am ready to decorate for Halloween. I am ready to be far enough into my second trimester to be done with the sickness part. I am ready to find out what we are having (girl or boy). I am ready to take our vacation to DC. All these things are just around the bend in the month of October.

But for now I am trying to motivate myself to start my long Do List for today. It is pretty hard when all I really want to do is sit in my rocking chair and watch Noble right now. He is being so silly. We have a little step. He likes to step up on it. He thinks he is so big. He steps up on it and raises his arms up in the air so proud of himself. Then he says or sings something in his own language loud like an announcer. Wish I knew what he was saying. Then He steps/jumps down and falls to the ground and laughs.
But I have laundry and grocery shopping and banking calling my name. Those I have to get done before I have to pick up Lauren from school. So I guess, since I can't freeze this moment to savor it, I will lock the mental photo in my mind and get to my list.

It is so fun having some alone time with Noble each day. What a gift he is.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


It has been a few days since my last post. I would like to say I have been too busy. And well... after school I have. (I am trying this new thing of being busy with the girls this year and have signed them up for dance and music lessons. Almost every day of the week we have some after school lesson to go to. So far it has been good for all of us. We'll see how I feel by May.) During the days, however, I have only been busy trying to keep my mind off being sick. Somehow blogging doesn't do the trick. Red Raspberry Ice Breakers gum on the other hand is my new best friend. Anyone know where you can find it in Vegas? I can only find it at Toys R Us and I already bought out their whole stock.

Anyway, so my girls have been busy. They go to school and then their lessons and then practice their music and do their homework and then it is bed time. This means not so much playtime. So today being Saturday (and a Saturday with nothing on our beautiful Calendar) they have had all day to play. And I love that they all love to play together. That was the reason I wanted to have my kids close in the first place. Today they have played musical instruments (they made some out of paper cups and thing). They have played some Wii together. And perhaps my favorite of their games is their newly invented game "Arctic."

They pretended they were all trapped in the Arctic and got all dressed up in their heavy winter jackets and boots and hid out in the igloo (the pantry). They even put Camille's BYU sweatshirt on Noble. It was so tiny on him. It just made me realize what a little bit of a thing she was. We bought it for her the week before she died and it fit her well. He looked giant in her sweatshirt, even though he isn't a big kid at all.

But it was cute to see him playing with his sisters and now well they can play using their imaginations. To me that is the best kind of play ever. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Things I Don't Want to Forget

I have a few things to document that I just don't want to forget about my kids. Bear with me or skip this if you don't really care. ;)

Noble: He loves to GO. When I tell him "Let's Go!" He runs with his little pitter patter feet to the mud room area and points to my purse and then to the garage door. When he is getting into trouble downstairs I ask him if he wants to play with his blocks. He gets a look of "Oh YEAH!" on his face and that little pitter patter of his feet goes over to the stairs to go up to his Mega Block legos. When the door bell rings, again the pitter patter to the front door. When dad's office door opens, the pitter patter to his office. I love the pitter patter. It is the only part of tile floors that I love.

He has a soft heart for anyone crying and is quick to give them a love. He loves to stand at the door and wave goodbye to his sisters as they go to school in the morning. When he is tired he is happy to go upstairs to bed and will wave goodbye to anyone downstairs as we go. He loves to climb and if able to climb on chairs now and smart enough to know if he moves them he can get up on a counter. Scary. Yesterday I followed him upstairs and was in the next room when I heard the water go on in the bathroom. I ran in to find him sitting in the sink fully clothed and turning on the water.

Words: he says "Dad" and "ball" and "Lala" and bellybutton which actually sounds like "BeBu" and he is learning to ruff like a dog. How appropriate that his first animal sound is a dog. :)

Lauren: She likes to tell me she loves me more than a never ending ice cream cone. That is a lot. She loves to cuddle and she makes good friends easily. She likes to do her own hair (which consists of her wetting and brushing it with a really soft brush till it is almost straight in the front.) She likes to come up with interesting outfits. One day she came in ready for school in a striped orange, red, and pink dress with striped pink, white, green, and orange pants. These were not stripes that were meant to be worn together. I said "My you sure are stripey today!" She smiled and said "Yes!" so proud of herself, "even my underwear are stripey!" That sealed it for me. I couldn't tell her to change a thing. Anyone who put that much thought into an outfit deserved to wear it proudly to school.

Annie: She is an eager and wonderful big sister. She loves to help her younger siblings however they will let her. Need help sounding out a word? planning a play? walking to the bathroom? doing a chore? she is there! Noble LOVES Annie. The other day I looked in the rear view mirror and saw she had laid her head down in his lap in his car seat. He had his arms around her giving her loves. She loves to tell stories and be the center of attention with her friends. She likes to say "Well.... " and then make a little smacking sound with her mouth several times and clear her throat a few times before she tells you something. This makes it very easy to do a good impression of her. ;) Dad says she has a black belt in pilates. She will show you her own version of "pilates" moves that seem more like some crazy karate.

Sabrina: Tonight she got home from dance and we were all playing outside. We were waiting for her to come home before we went it. All the kids ran in the house and she went running around the neighborhood picking up all of ours and the neighbor's toys and taking them into our garages before going inside. Once inside she practiced her viola and then as she finished she said "Mom, you and I have a date with the dishwasher." She knew I needed to do the dishes and needed some motivation. She stayed and helped load (not a job she enjoys at all) while I washed the dishes. What can I say? She came this way and I am just trying not to screw her up.

And Snickerdoodle: Just a few pregnancy oddities to note. First I have had strange cravings. I say strange because they are odd for ME. Normally I crave sweets or burgers or not so good for you food. This time, all those things make me sick to even think about! I can't even eat desserts. The only thing that has been steadily safe and so good to me is fresh fruit and good healthy salads. I guess that is good for me. Less weight to gain hopefully. Oh and the craving of the day is funeral potatoes. I will be making them for dinner group this week for sure. Anyone got an awesome recipe for them? I guess I will be googleing that tonight!

Okay, I am off to put those little darlings to bed!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I love good surprises. I love to surprise others and I love to be surprised - as long as the surprise is a good one. Jonathan, on the other hand, does not like surprises. He doesn't care much for me trying to surprise him. He never has the "great surprise" reaction I love to see. Even if the surprise is big and I know he likes it. He just smiles and nods.

And I am pretty hard to surprise. I guess I like to feel in the know because most of the time I know something is up when a surprise is coming. Sometimes he does manage to give me a genuine surprise though. Like today when he emailed me from the airport to tell me he was catching an earlier flight home! That is one GREAT surprise! Yipee!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom to the Rescue!

My mom has been sick all week. So even though she is in town she has been stuck in bed. I had been planning on her helping me through this week without Jon. But as the days of her illness drug on, I lost hope of seeing her. Then yesterday morning she called and told me she was almost all better and well enough to come help me out.

After the disaster that was Wednesday night (well... mostly it was just a disaster because I was too spent with too much to do) I was ready for some Mama TLC.  She came out in the early afternoon and helped the kids with a school art project all afternoon. I am sure this project would not have happened without her. It was not mandatory but all the girls WANTED to do it. I could not have done it with them alone. They had so much fun making "popcorn art."

Then when I felt sick after dinner she cleaned up and helped the older kids with their homework and music practicing while I took the little kids outside for some fresh air for me and exercise for them. Somehow the fresh air didn't seem to help my nausea so we headed back inside before too long. After I got Noble and Lauren bathed and Noble to bed I laid around while my mom helped the girls finish up all their music practicing and getting ready for bed.

Then we all listened as Nana read to us from her favorite storybook from her own childhood. It had great stories - one for every day of the year. With the kids in bed, I took advantage of having my mom to myself and we watched a little Star Trek together before I went to bed and she headed home. My mom is kind of a Trekie and she has instilled a fondness for that show in me.

All in all it was a great night for me - mostly because my mom was here. Thanks mom!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Here we go ...

Jon is in the big apple for the rest of the week. My conclusion after this night... pregnant ladies should not be left home alone to do all the work of 4 kids. I miss my hubby and the help he gives at night. I am tired and emotional.

Last night the girls had an all out sob session feeling their grief all over in their new ages and understanding. It was a heavy night. Tonight I am feeling the aftershocks of their grief on my own heart. They are my comfort and joy and at the same time they add layers to my grief because I grieve for their loss as well.

How many more days till my anchor comes home?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great Neighbors

You know neighbors can really make or break any place you live. I grew up in a cul-de-sac my dad built with 4 of his friends. We loved all our neighbors and were welcome to play with any of them anytime. We all took care of each other on that street. It was an ideal way to grow up. It felt like one big extended family all around us.

While there are a few more houses on my street now, and I certainly didn't know my neighbors before I moved in, I feel blessed to have great neighbors in my neighborhood now. I don't know ALL my neighbors but I do know a good percentage of them. And we have a really good neighborly feel with 2 annual block parties and plenty of homes where I can go borrow a cup of sugar or where my kids can find friends to play.

Last night I was feeling sick (like every night). For some reason it just seems that I feel better when I am out in the fresh air so I took the kids out in the street to play. They went across the street like normal to ask our street play friends if they wanted to play.

My neighbors across the street were the first people I met up in this neighborhood. They were one of the first 3 people to move in and were just moving in when I drove the neighborhood one night to show it to my brother who was in town from California. We started talking and they let me come in and show my brother their home. We moved in about 4 months later and we have been great friends ever since.

So last night not only did my neighbors come keep us company and play but when they heard I was feeling crummy and not up to making dinner (thus why we were in the street playing at dinner time) so the kids were going to have to wait till 7:30 when dad got home to do dinner, they fed my kids some of their dinner.

Did I mention I love great neighbors? I LOVE GREAT NEIGHBORS! Thanks to all my neighbors who have been and continue to be such good friends and such great supports to me and mine.

Do you know your neighbors? What can we all do to be great neighbors today?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Book

Last week I read a book entitled "the Maze Runner." It was pretty darn page turning. If you read and liked the Hunger Games, you would probably like this book as well. It is the first of a trilogy and the second book is scheduled to be released on Oct. 12. I am looking forward to diving into it.

The book is about a bunch of teenage boys who are trying to survive day to day life in a world they woke up in with their memories wiped out. It is interesting because the voice is from the perspective of the newest addition to their ranks and you discover this world right along with him step by step.

The author, James Dashner, does a great job making you want to keep reading chapter after chapter. I finished this book in about a day and a half. It makes me want to go read what else he has written.

If you are looking for a good page turner to dive into, I highly recommend the Maze Runner.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Sweet sleep,

Why do you evade me?

I have offered myself to you with all my strength laid before your feet. 

Yet somehow you will not take me into your sweet embrace

Relieving my mind of its troubles and my heart of its sorrows.

Those packages seem to tied to me to make room for the softness of your companionship.

They seem to follow me even when we do at last find each other in that stillness of the night.

Troubles, BE GONE! Sorrow, save it for tomorrow! 

Tonight I have a date with Sleep and I want to have some quality one on one time. 

There will be plenty of time for us to play,

Awake in the brightness of the day.

Till then all I ask is a night of sweet and blissful, sleep.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting for the big one?

This weekend we went to Utah and we got to spend some sweet time with my dear friend Kami. We were roommates freshman year of college. She got married her second year and we lost touch for years. When I got pregnant with Camille and we were considering the name Camille, I thought about Kami. I knew we would call our child "Cami" if we choose Camille as our name. I knew I would think of Kami since she was the only Cami or Kami I had ever known. I had great association with the name because of her. Still I hadn't talked to her in about 13 years. I wondered what had become of her. 

So I set to finding out. I called another of our roommates and between us we figured out where her parents lived. I called around till I found her parents and then got Kami's number. I called her up and reconnected. I told her of the baby I was having and how I was considering naming her Camille or Cami. I told her I had called to see if her life was in order so I wouldn't be naming my baby after someone who would be a poor model. To my great pleasure, she was still as wonderful as the year we lived together. And we choose the name Camille with confidence. 

I loved spending time around Kami. I love being able to say her name. That may sound weird but sometimes I just want to say the name Cami. I call out Annie and Saby and Lauren and Noble all the time. I don't get to say Cami very often. I miss the sound of her name on my lips. And people can get uncomfortable or worry about you if you are talking about your dead child to them all the time. So it was nice to spend a weekend with our family referring to Kami and going to Kami's house without all the heavy emotion we usually associate with the name. She is one of the few adults I let my children call by first name. 

One night while we were talking, Kami noted how in life she felt her trials had been relatively minor (like a 2 on a scale of 1-10). She expressed a fear or thought that I used to have all the time. The wondering what big trial was coming to you. It seems everyone has their big trial in life. No one escapes without feeling the heat of the refiners fire. And she wondered if I no longer feel that expectation or wonder. Did I feel like I now knew what my big trial was and that nothing harder would come to me. 

I wish I could say I did feel that way. But I am too young and too aware now to think that I am safe from big trials. I hope none will be as hard as this trial of losing a child. But I am painfully aware from my association with other angel mothers that experiencing this doesn't get you some pass to get out of future BIG trials. I thought that tonight as I read THIS most recent update on Sheye's blog about her pregnancy. I wish you could really send a hug through cyberspace.

I am praying for her tonight. I am hoping to have the strength to endure whatever lies ahead. And I am enjoying the blessings I have today knowing life gives us no guarantees. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Reminder

Do you ever have those moments when you get slapped across the face with that feeling for your spouse that reminds you exactly why you married them in the first place? I love my husband. We get along really well. He puts up with me and all my crazy moods. And we work well together as a partnership. But today I had one of those moments that just took it to a more focused and heightened level.

I woke up in a sour mood. I had a long do list today. Luckily I felt pretty good this morning and was able to get much of it done before I ate and felt yucky. But I was still in a bad mood. Especially about an upcoming trip we are taking. Jon on the other hand was feeling rather excited about this little trip and was scouting out zip lines and alpine slides and all that to do while we were there.

I was being a downer about it. I just felt like I didn't want to travel when I am feeling so yuck. Jon would not be pulled down with me. His silly optimism is infectious. By mid morning he had perked me up and reminded me of just one more reason I love him so much. He is fun. He makes me happy. He provides the silly we so desperately need around here sometimes. It turned out to be a good day after all. And the thanks for that go to my hubby. Love him.

When Sabrina went to Kindergarten I cried. I wasn't worried about her in anyway. I just knew I was going to miss my little girl. When Annie went to Kindergarten I worried about her. Will she be bored? Will she try to be the teacher? Will they be able to challenge her? When Lauren went to Kindergarten I worried about the teacher. 

I know Lauren will learn things this year and be challenged. I only hope the teacher will have patience with her as Lauren tells her how to run the class. Lauren knows EVERYTHING. Even the things she doesn't know. And she isn't afraid to tell you about it. 

The other night I was making scrambled eggs. I already had the eggs in the pan and mostly beat up. I was just beginning to stir them up. Lauren was watching me. "Mom, you are doing it all wrong. You don't make scrambled eggs that way!" Take note here that she has never made scrambled eggs. She kept telling me I needed to stir it differently. Finally I said "Oh ye of little faith Lauren." To which she replied, "Oh me of little faith Mama. What does that mean anyway?"I told her it meant she didn't believe I could make scrambled eggs well. She said that was right because I wasn't making them right. 

When I finished the eggs everyone ate them and told how good the eggs were ... even Lauren.

After the second day of school I was asking Lauren how her day was. She said good. I tried to get her to elaborate. After asking a few more detailed questions of her without any detailed answers Lauren finally said, "Can you just stop asking me questions and let me think for a minute." I think I have actually said those exact words before. Scary. 

It is like she is a mini me when I was a little kid. But at the same time she also reminds me so much of my grandma Harris. I mean Grandma Harris used to tell my mom (her daughter in law) she wasn't stirring the Jello right. If that doesn't sound like Lauren I don't know what does. So it makes me wonder if I was a mini Grandma Harris when I was a kid. And if so I wonder how my mom felt about that. I guess I will have to ask her about that next time we talk.

I feel lucky to have Lauren. I love having a reminder of myself and my Grandmother in her. And hopefully in time she will learn there are more than a few ways to make scrambled eggs and Jello.