Monday, October 31, 2011

Bah Humbug

I have been a total Halloween Scrooge this year. Halloween is usually one of my favorite holidays. I love the bit of fright and the delight of dressing up. But somehow this year I feel like I have just been doing well to keep my head above water. So I never did put up a single fall or Halloween decoration. Jon was never around enough to get them down from the garage and I wasn't about to attempt it alone.

I also did not get Halloween costumes for anyone this year. So I really don't have cute photos of my clever costumes to show. Instead I will show you what THEY came up with themselves when I told them that if they wanted costumes they would have to find something in our house and make it work.

Elizabeth and Morgan's kids were some cute skeletons!

Sabrina was Velma from Scooby Doo. Lauren was Daphne (or her interpretation of what she thought Daphne should wear.) Annie was Hermione. And Noble wore a hand me down Horse costume and his cowboy PJs underneath. That worked well when he got hot in the horse outfit. We just took it off and he was the cowboy that the horse had swallowed.  I didn't do any costume for Harrison. He would have fit in Camille's pea pod outfit. But it seemed more hassle than it was worth to get it out for him.

Another thing I just didn't do this year was put on my neighborhood block party. With all I had going on, it just was too much. I felt like a big old Scrooge about this holiday, but I think my kids had fun. They still got to go to lots of Halloween events. We went to their school Harvest Festival. I took them by myself to our church Trunk or Treat since Jon had to work late that day. I wasn't going to even go because it gives me major anxiety trying to keep track of everyone by myself at such things. But then Sabrina came downstairs in her "costume" she put together and she had options for Lauren to wear to be Daphne... I just can't resist my kids sometimes. So I piled them all in the car and took them to that.

Then this last week we went to California to visit my brothers and their families. The kids got to go to their cousin's school Halloween party and their church Trunk or Treat. And then they got to go trick or treating tonight.

I will pull myself together enough to get festive for Christmas. That is one holiday that actually matters to me. It is about so much more than just fun and candy. So even if Jon isn't around to help me decorate, I will hire someone to help if I have to. I have already signed up to host Thanksgiving for my family. That will get me in the Spirit of things.

Halloween is done. I have no decorations to put away. (that is one bonus.) And I have the memories of watching Noble really "get" trick or treating for the first time. That is priceless. Watching him "learn" as he walked around the trunk or treat picking suckers out of the bowls of candy people held out for him to choose from was sweet. Hearing him say "trick or treat" and "thank you" to all those people was a treasure.

And best of all was him walking up to other little kids with their own "baskets of goodies" and him reaching in to grab his choice from their "bowl" and saying thank you. Hey it is just another person with a big pot of candy for me to choose from right? I wish I had a photo of the little girl's face he did that to. It was priceless. She was probably about 3. I had to teach him really quickly that we only "trick or treat" to adults that are offering candy, not kids with candy bags.

Onward and Upward. Time to get Thankful. That is one I can get into. Time for my post a day on things I am grateful for. Every day in November I will be posting something about gratitude. Sometimes it will just be a sentence at the end of an unrelated post. Somedays it may be a one word post. Somedays it maybe a full out post on its own. Hope it will help spread the feeling of gratitude to you all and especially highlight the feeling of gratitude in my own heart.

May as well start tonight. Tonight I am grateful for silly, trivial, traditions we have in holidays like Halloween. They bring a measure of joy to us here in this life. And more poignantly, I am grateful for the faith I have in greater joys to come in the life beyond. As I watch the little children in their cute costumes going from home to home and I wonder what my little 4 year old would have wanted to be and what kind of trick or treating personality she would have had, I am grateful for the thought that comes to my mind. "This is a simple joy of this life. But if you could know the joys to come with Camille, you would have no sorrow at missing out on this with her." And I am even more grateful that I believe it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Motherhood Chapter 23: Do vs. Be

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I was dreading another day of a million mundane tasks. Then as I thought through my "to do list" I realized that I might be better off to make a "to BE" list. As I thought through how my "Dos" should and could become "Bes" my perspective changed and I didn't find my list of things to do so mundane after all. Here is my "do list" with its corresponding "be list" following it.

My To Do List for Tomorrow:
1-Wake up the kids
2-Make smoothies for breakfast
3-Read Scriptures to the kids
4-Make lunches
5-Drive everyone to school
6-Exercise with them at Milers Club
7-Go Grocery shopping
8-Make soup for Lesli's baby shower and dinner tonight
9-Prepare ingredients for salad for shower
10-Package and hide truffles for shower so kids don't eat them :)
11-Feed the boys
12-Put the boys down for naps
14-Look into learning Japanese
15-Look for shirts for family photos
16-Buy Bread bowls for soup at Bread and Butter
17-Do homework with the kids
18-Get Halloween costumes together
19-Do Lauren's hair in curlers for picture day
20-Pick out picture day outfit with Lauren
21-Take a photo that marks my day
23-Read my Scriptures
24-Pray (morning and evening/alone and with family)
25-Go to sleep

My Be List for Tomorrow:
1-Be the sunshine that wakes my kids up on the "right" side of the bed
2-Be healthy
3-Be obedient to the counsel of the prophets
4-Be a servant of the Lord by serving others
5-Be cheerful and positive
6-Be an example of happiness by doing those things I must to be happy myself
7-Be a wise steward of our money
8-Be a multi-tasker
9-Be prepared
10-Be sneakily smart
11-Be nurturing
12-Be structured
13-Be clean
14-Be a life long learner
15-Be creative
16-Be supportive
17-Be helpful
18-Be fun and festive
19-Be loving
20-Be patient
21-Be present
22-Be thoughtful
23-Be nourished by the Good Word
24-Be in touch with Spirit of the Lord
25-Be wise

I wrote this all up last night and today it has made a world of difference in my attitude. I really focused to BE the kind of mother I wanted to be with each task. You will note that each task is paired with a specific "be" that I knew would help me "do" the task better and "be" more the mother I want to be.

I think I will do "be lists" more often and make them right along side my "do lists."
Here is my photo for the day:
Lauren and Harrison

Sunday, October 23, 2011


It is with reluctance that I write this post. I am not entirely sure why. I should not be ashamed or embarrassed by my feelings. Yet somehow the further away I get from June 13, 2008, the harder it is for me to open up and tell anyone when I am having a hard day.

Today I have had a hard day. I think of Camille everyday. She is so much a part of my being. Thoughts of her are behind every other thought I have or comment I make. Most days those thoughts are not charged with emotion. They are just passing thoughts.

But there are other days, like today, where I feel the pull of that part of my heart that has passed on to the great beyond. I feel the absence left there. I long to visit that part of my heart and have it fit back in its rightful place.

Some days I just plain miss her. Most days I don't let myself go to that place where I think in depth about my sweet baby girl. Most days I let the thoughts pass on through without holding on to them to feel my way through them. Maybe some other people would never let these birds of sorrow nest in their minds. I know other people who live daily with these birds of sorrow as their constant companions. That is the way other people find their way through grief.

But I am not other people. I am just me. And I have found my own way through grief by letting the birds come visit on occasion and sing me their mournful melody of loss and longing. Today I sat still and listened.

As the primary children put on our church program, I thought of how this would have been Camille's first year having a part at the big podium. I wondered what kind of personality she would have showed. Would she have been shy in front of the big crowd with a small voice like Lauren or would she have milked the crowd's attention like Ann Marie?

As I sat during choir practice making eyes at Harrison I felt as though I could have been looking at Camille. The older he gets the more he resembles her. It is a good thing he is a boy and wearing all different clothes. It is bitter sweet to look at him and see them both right before me.

My sweet Camille. How I wish I could fly to visit you for an hour or two and then return to my life here. I ache to be near you. Our family will never feel whole while you are not with us. Yet I have sure faith that this time for us to be apart is only temporary and the day will come when we are reunited. Knowing that as I do, I also know that it behoves me to live as fully as I can in this short span of time I have called mortal life. I ought not to waste away my limited time drowning my spirit in the sorrow of our separation. For it will be, after all, but a small moment some day. But forgive me if on occasion I sit and sing along with the sorrow birds and allow them to stay a while in the branches of my soul. Somehow their mournful visits keep you alive in me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turbo Boosted Out of the Funk

Thank you all for your input on how to pull out of the funk. I have been putting most of the suggestions into practice. I am not a photographer. I actually don't like taking photos. I like having them. I just don't love taking them. But I love the suggestion of making yourself take a few photos everyday to document life as a mother and the wonder in the everyday. I may have to try doing that. I think it would really help me see the joy in the everyday routine better.

A surprise I found on my bed as I was about to retire compels me to start now. I must give a little background to set the stage so my full emotions can come through.

Tonight I was a bit late getting everyone to bed. I think I had to tell everyone to go to bed about 1000 times. :) But it is hard for me to be too insistent about it when they are staying up because they are practicing their violin without being asked or cleaning something without being told to.

The last two nights I have let Annie and then Sabrina sleep with me as Jonathan was out of town. Lauren was hoping to get to sleep with me tonight but Jonathan came home just as they were finally getting in bed. I felt sorry for her disappointment and promised to let her sleep with me sometime soon.

So in sum, it has been another night of putting kids down in the routine daily do without much special going on and a few tears of disappointment from Lauren at not being able to sleep with Mom tonight.

Imagine how my heart felt seeing and reading this note on my bed, written by my little 6 year old Lauren:

LaLa is our nickname for her.

I will transcribe the note as she wrote it for you. Any necessary translations will be in italics.

To: Mommy
Love: LaLa

Dear: Mommy
I love you soo much. Thack you for takeing such good care of us all the years and wen Dad was gon.
I like to be helffole helpful a lot.
I like to spend time with you a lot.
When I grow up I want to have the same job like you.
being a mom.
love Lauren
To: Mom

I am humbled. I am almost at a loss for words. I will have to make arrangements to spend a night sleeping with Lauren really soon. If ever there was a way to turbo boost me out of funk, this sweet, unsolicited note from my little girl is surely it. This is the payment for the job of motherhood and boy does it make all the daily dos worth it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Funky place

I have been in a bit of a funk lately. You know these times when your daily routine just seems so ... routine. It is so easy to forget the powerful role you fulfill as a mother when it is such a long term, round the clock job.

I get lonely for adult company. Especially right now when Jonathan has been working 18 hour days and is currently out of town working to get the Phoenix store open.

But even in my funk I am constantly grateful for the blessing of my children and the privilege I have of being a full time mother to them. It is hard to remember how short this time is with them in my home when I am living it every day. But seeing Sabrina growing into a young woman before my eyes and seeing Harrison hit every milestone reminds me how quickly this precious time will fly by.

So this morning I forced myself to get out of my warm bed and put on my running shoes and hit the treadmill. I ran for 15 minutes straight (which I haven't done in a long time.) And all the way I kept telling myself that this was for my head more than my body. And it helped. So did having my mom come visit and making dinner for a friend who is not feeling well.

And so I work to pull my spirits out of the funky zone. Do you ever get in this funky place? How do you best pull yourself out?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simple Joy

We have taken a couple trips to the cabin the past couple of months. We went at the end of summer with several of Jon's siblings. Our last day there a friend of ours up there took Jon and Sabrina fishing in his boat on Panguich Lake. Jon had never caught a fish. I guess I should say, Jon has never caught a fish. Sabrina had never been fishing. She caught 4 fish. Jon caught none.

We had trout for lunch when they came back and it was the best trout I have ever eaten. Fresh makes a huge difference with trout.

While our friend taught Jon and Sabrina how to clean the fish, Noble found the pump let off a bit of a spray of water where it connected to the hose.

He had so much fun running through this little spray and climbing up on the rocks around the pump to put his hands in the water.

Children are such good examples of finding joy in the little things. Why can't we be more like them that way? Just look at this face:

All that joy from a little spray of water. Maybe I need to go run through some sprinklers. Might do me a bit of good. :)

Though I must say I did get quite a bit of joy running with my kids at milers club this morning at the school, and eating an amazing ham and cheese sandwich at Bread & Butter this evening for dinner. The salad I had was also delicious but the sandwich... melt in your mouth ham and Tillamook cheddar on a pretzel bun with mustard butter. Come on. It tasted even better than it sounded.

Oh and there was the simple joy of the chocolate pudding for dessert. Chris' chocolate pudding is like rich dark chocolatey velvet. It brings a smile to my face just remembering how yummy it was for dessert tonight. Okay maybe I do get joy from some seemingly simple things.

Have you been to Bread & Butter to try it out yet? What did you think? I am getting the Ham and Cheese again next time I go for sure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


When I was a little kid, one of my favorite things to do was to wake up early and set the table for breakfast as a surprise for my mom. I loved doing little surprises like that for members of my family.

As my kids have gotten a little older I have been overjoyed to see they have picked up on this "tradition" as well.

Last week we had a trip planned to go to the cabin right after school. We had packed the kids in a laundry bin the night before. (I almost always pack in laundry bins and bring an extra to use as a dirty clothes bin. It makes it so easy to just take the clothes straight to the laundry room and wash when we get home.)

So the morning of our trip I woke up and found this note on the island in the kitchen:

It reads: Dear Waite Family, We have done this little gift for you. We hope you like it. It is payback for all the good things you have done for us. From, Secret Santa Elves PS. Look in the back of your car!!

I went to my car and opened the trunk to find this:

Sweet little secret elves (Lauren's idea and master mind and Sabrina's brawn and writing ability) had put our stuff in the car ready to go on our trip.

It is good for me to highlight and keep in mind these little bright spots in my life as a mother of young children. So often I have days, like today, where I get weighed down by all the needs being drawn from me. It can often seem like everyone has an urgent need for my attention or care all at once. Sometimes it makes me feel lonely while simultaneously claustrophobic with so many little people on top of me.

I am grateful tonight for my little Lauren who in the middle of a stressful night "got carried away" helping me and couldn't help herself but just had to help me anyway her little 6 year old self could. Her sweet willingness and persistent desire to help me was a bright light to me tonight. I love my children and tonight I especially love my Lauren and the bright example of service she is to me even when I am grouchy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Forget me nots

One of my favorite talks from our weekend of General Conference where we hear from our general church leadership came the weekend before in the women's broadcast. These are talks meant for the women of the church. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency gave a talk about the flower named "forget me not."

He talked about five points not to forget in pattern with the five petals of the forget me not flower. The part of his talk that hit me the most was the fifth point he hit that we should not forget. It is really worth listening to the power in his voice when he gives the talk. You can listen to it HERE if you like. But here is what he said that hit me with great force.

"As a child, when I would look at the little forget-me-nots, I sometimes felt a little like that flower—small and insignificant. I wondered if I would be forgotten by my family or by my Heavenly Father.
Years later I can look back on that young boy with tenderness and compassion. And I do know now—I was never forgotten.
And I know something else: as an Apostle of our Master, Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart—neither are you!
You are not forgotten.
Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!
He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are the daughters of His kingdom. The Psalmist wrote:
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? …
“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”5
God loves you because you are His child. He loves you even though at times you may feel lonely or make mistakes.
The love of God and the power of the restored gospel are redemptive and saving. If you will only allow His divine love into your life, it can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow."
To this I would like to add my "AMEN!" or in other words, I also know this to be Truth.
Then yesterday I saw a beautiful print on a fun new blog that would look lovely in my blue room to remind me of this Truth.
How great is that? Go check out this cute new blog here!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coming Soon AZ

Dear Arizona Readers,

Coming soon to the Phoenix area is a new LaptopXchange. My husband and his brother Stephen are bringing the fabulous services of LaptopXchange to YOU!

So if you are in the market for a new laptop, ipad, or iphone or
If you have an old laptop you no longer use and are not sure what to do with, or
If you need to have your laptop, desktop, iphone, or ipad fixed

Head on over to LaptopXchange and let Stephen or one of the other friendly staff help you out! They sell used and refurbished laptops, tablets, and iphones. They also will buy your old mobile computing devices for cash or fix cracked screens or any other problems you have with your computers, phones or tablets.

This is the perfect way to get a GREAT deal on an exciting Christmas gift. Check it out!

We currently have 4 Las Vegas and Henderson locations, 1 in Lexington KY, and by the beginning of November we should have the Phoenix AZ location up and running. Future locations are also coming before the end of the year hopefully in Florida and Salt Lake City area. More to come on that when they open.

The Phoenix store will be located at the Metrocenter (I-17 and Peoria). It is next to Starbucks at 2827 West Peoria Ave. Suite 100-A in Phoenix. You can already see the banner outside the store front that says "coming soon ... LaptopXchange."

If you live in the area you will have to stop in and welcome my brother in law Stephen to your fine city. He moved down there from here to open the store.

UPDATED: If you or someone you know is looking for a job and is personable and somewhat or very tech savvy, we will be hiring sales associates and tech repairs personal for the Phoenix store this week or next. I would love to have some trustworthy people working there. Email Stephen Waite at swaite at laptopxchange dot com. to apply and mention you heard about the job on "A Daily Scoop" or Stephanie's blog. It will give you a leg up on the competition. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best Oatmeal Ever

This morning I stopped by Bread & Butter for breakfast to go. My parents had told me how good it was and I have been dying to try it. So since I had to stop by that neighborhood, I swung by for some oatmeal and breakfast pizza.

Normally I am not a huge oatmeal fan. I mean it is okay but I am not craving oatmeal in the morning. That may just have changed. This was the best oatmeal I have ever had. It needed no sweetening or doctoring. But there are raisins, currants, and apricots to use as toppings. Each of the toppings were wonderful with it.

This is going to be my new old standby I think. You have to try it next time you are in the Seven Hills / Anthem / S. Eastern area.

The Breakfast pizza had potatoes, peppers, caramelized onions, and scrambled eggs. I had one piece and my hubby downed the rest. It was delish!

Bread and Butter is the new bakery/cafe my friend Chris Herrin has opened at 10940 S. Eastern on the northeast corner of Sunridge Heights and Eastern. It is so cute and the food is wonderful. They are currently open from 7-3 daily as they expand their menu and get a good working rhythm. Hours will expand once they get into a good groove.

Stop by if you are in the neighborhood and get some good eats!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sleep Training

My little Mr. Harrison is such a good baby in almost every way. The one area he qualifies as a "hard" baby would be his sleeping habits. He falls asleep pretty well but staying asleep is another story. I think he has only slept through the night about 5 times since he was born. Typically he is up about 3 times a night (11, 2, and 4 or 5).

Two nights ago he was up about 5 times between 11 pm and 4 am. I knew Jon was leaving town in the morning and I would be single moming it. So when he woke up again at 4 am after being tended to like 5 times in the last 5 hours I decided it was time to let him learn to self soothe. I just didn't think I could do all I needed to if I got up again with him.

So I turned on every fan in the house and went back to bed. When Jon got up at 5 to leave town, he told me Harrison was not asleep. (He was probably still crying.) As much as this kills me, because my mother heart hurts thinking of him crying all that time, I knew it was essential for me to function.

When I got the girls up at 6:30 he was asleep. He slept till about 7:30 and woke up happy. Last night I put him down around 7:30 and he slept till somewhere in the 3 am hour. I held myself back from going to nurse him because I wanted to build on the self soothing lesson from the previous night. So again I turned on the fans and went back to bed. The girls and I got up at 7 and he was still asleep. He woke up around 7:30 with a big smile on his face.

Sleep is so essential for we humans. It makes us in such a better mood. I am crossing my fingers that tonight will go well and perhaps by this weekend our little Harrison will have learned that when he wakes up in the night it is time to just roll over and go back to sleep. This is not one of those fun lessons to teach but it is so completely wonderful once it is learned.