Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A piece of work...

Our friend Jared spent two years of medical school making a canoe in his rental apartment basement. Hours and hours of labor and love went into this project. He tells the story of realizing in the middle of the night, he wasn't sure if he could get the canoe out of the basement. Sure enough it didn't fit through the door. He ended up removing a window!
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We took it out during our camping trip last weekend and it's hard to not just stare at it's beauty. Everyone around us and their eyes fixed on it. Jared joked that it wasn't quite the "chick magnet" he envisioned it being. Instead it attracts men 65 years and older. Sure enough as we sat on the beach, an older man made caught sight of the boat and made his way over to talk with "the owner" of the boat. We giggled as we saw this man make conversation about the boat. No ladies made their way over the discuss the boat!!
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Camping...

We went camping this weekend.
Our second camping trip since we've been married. It was fun.

I love the idea of camping. The campfire. The marshmallows. The peace of the outdoors. The fresh Air. Hiking. Great food.

However, camping with children has it's drawbacks. First of all, I'm amazed that Hunter didn't fall in the fire. He couldn't stay away from the fire pit, and he always managed to trip on something. To add to it, the kids got very, very little sleep. For Hallie, it wasn't so bad, she played all day and just wore herself out. Hunter on the other hand, got very little sleep and he was one ornery kid. Throwing himself on the ground, with many, many tears. But even with the many fits, it was still really enjoyable.

I like sitting by the fire with a book in hand, with Hallie running around with all her little friends "exploring" the forest. I enjoy the conversations around the fire after the kids go to bed, as well as the guitar and singing that goes with it. I love a good dutch oven dessert and our friend made a good one. I love the company of our friends. We've got some great ones and we really enjoy spending time with them. Even better is the fact that one of them has every piece of equipment you could ask for, including a hot shower! I like walking along tree lined paths. I love the sight of stars on a midnight blue sky, something we don't see often enough with the lights of the city. It was a fun weekend trip. We're already planning our next one...
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Buzz...

My dear friend is having her fourth baby just days before she moves away from us. So we created a party planning committee and we threw her a surprise welcome baby/going away party. It was great, she had no clue. And it was so fun to put it together. We had a bee themed party for little baby Crosby!
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A friend and I made her a bookshelf to hang on the wall, so everyone brought a book and some money for the "honey pot".
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Monday, May 17, 2010

The end of early mornings...

Steve and I have spent the last 9 months teaching seminary to the high school students of our ward. There was four kids. They showed up at our house Monday-Friday at 6 o'clock in the morning with all the energy in the world. Steve and I would alternate days teaching every other day. This gave of each of us enough time to prepare a lesson as well as an opportunity to get some much needed rest. However, it all came to a crashing halt on Friday.
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We completed our last day. We're done. I have mixed feelings.

Teaching seminary was a good opportunity which doesn't come to many. In fact, this is perhaps the only time we'll have this opportunity. So we soaked in every minute.

However, I have a love/hate relationship with teaching seminary. I love teaching. I love the students. I love the spirit. I hate getting up early. I hate not getting sleep the night before. I hate being tired. Unfortunately, I couldn't have one without the other.  I keep trying to convince Steve that 10 o'clock at night would be a much better time to teach. He didn't buy it.

We've had a really good time with the students this year. I know without a doubt that it was just as much of a learning experience for me as it was for them, if not more for me. It strengthened my testimony. I loved that part of it.

I loved helping them memorize scriptures and prepare for the scripture bowl. We spent every Friday playing scripture games to prepare them for an end of the year competition. I worked them really hard. I expected a lot of them, because we all know I hate losing! And it paid off. We competed against 10 teams and we came out victorious. They knew the scriptures. It was rewarding. And they were pretty stoked about winning as well.
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We had just 5 days of seminary after their victorious weekend. And it was a pretty nostalgic 5 days. We recapped the year. We bore testimony.  We finished the Book of Mormon. And as they walked out our door for the last time Friday morning a rush of emotion came over us. All the sudden we started to question how we did over the year.

Did we do every thing we could to help them? Did we strengthen their testimony? Did we influence them to do good? Would they remember the things we taught? I hope so. I really do. I hope they remember this year. I hope it affected them the same way it affected us.

One of our students came up to us yesterday in church. I was reminding her that she got to sleep in on Monday. She said she didn't want to be reminded. She'd rather be at seminary than sleeping. She was bummed we were done. I ran into two other students who said the same thing.  It made me smile.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day...

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From a mother to a mother...
From a daughter to a mother...
From a granddaughter to a grandmother...

Happy Mother's Day!

I love my mom more than words can describe; she is my best friend. I love my grandma for being such a wonderful mother to my mother. I love my mother-in-law because she raised one heck of a son. I love all my sister/sister-in-laws who are raising wonderful role models for my children. I love my friends who parent diligently right beside me. And I love all those women who don't have children, but yet still understand how difficult it is to raise a child and share the joys of a child succeeding. Mothers/women are wonderful.
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The best part of mother's day, is wonderful spouses who make sure we feel special and loved. I slept in, I didn't change diapers, I didn't give baths. I'm thinking this should be a monthly holiday, perhaps the second Sunday of every month. Since we have late church, Steve arranged with some other husbands to have a delicious breakfast: French Toast, fruit, cinnamon pull-apart bread, eggs and bacon. It was great, and they cleaned up after it as well.
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I got cute little cards from the kids which I always file away in a special place to remember how little they once were. And believe it or not, I got exactly what I asked for as a gift...a compressor and nail gun. Yes, I really did ask for it.

You see four years ago when we first bought our home and we ripped out ever piece of moulding and baseboard...I wanted one really bad.

Three years ago when I was installing a chair rail in the kitchen...I really wanted one.

Two years ago when we were finishing the basement...I really wanted one.

One Year ago when we finished the bathroom downstairs...I really wanted one.

3 Months ago when we were installing bead board in the bathroom upstairs...I could think of nothing I could want more than a compressor and nail gun.

I'm now ready to build a bed...yes that's correct...build a bed. And let me tell you, four years of telling my husband, "I promise, I really will use it" has finally paid off. I got it.
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And it's beautiful and bright and shiny. And it's mine. I love my husband!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Funny Comment...

Hallie was looking at the answering machine and noticed that there was a blinking number one, meaning a new message. I listened to the message and the number reverted to how many saved messages we had, 8.

Distressed Hallie groans. "Oh no, there's 8 messages again. It's a pattern!"

She's right. There is a pattern. People call and leave messages. I leave them on the answering machine forever and then listen to them. It's a pattern.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Transient...

When Steve and I moved to Wisconsin four years ago we were considered to be in the "transient" phase. We were new college graduates, starting a new life, buying a new home, starting a family. Everything was unknown. We had our whole lives before us. We loved it. It was exciting, fun and new. We made friends quickly. You see, we moved into an area/ward with other transient families, medical and dental students. We shared a similar phase in life and families and we made some amazing friends. Life was sweet and wonderful.

However, as the word "transient" implies, no one stayed here for very long. I remember the first good friends that left. They were Kohls workers as well, and were moving on to another phase of their life. It was hard. They were our neighbors and we did everything with them.

But we made new friends, there are always new families moving to our area.

But then a group of friends left as they went to start their residency.  That was hard too.

I realized I didn't like making friends with this transient group, although we have some amazing friends who are here for a while longer.  It is too hard to say goodbye, and it will be even harder to say goodbye with the friends who have been here for a while, who we've really grown to love.

So, as a solution to my problem. I decided I would start making friends with people who were brand new, and I knew that they had four years ahead of them in Wisconsin. I would meet new people, ask how long they were here for, and then determine if I wanted to get emotionally involved.  Two years ago, a new girl arrived who was a brand new resident, Nicole. She was funny, clever and even better she was crafty. Golden!!

So we formed a friendship. Our kids played well together. We'd make trips to hobby lobby, fabric stores and costco. She was my crafting buddy.

But you see our streak abruptly ended. Although they thought they would be in Wisconsin for a while, they took a residency in Detroit, so they were just here for his intern year. I was crushed. My system failed me.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard she would be making a return to the area for a couple days during spring break. She camped at our house for the duration and it was awesome. We crafted our hearts out. Hobby lobby made a guest appearance. Shopping. Girls night out. And more crafting. Of course her visit just wasn't long enough to get in everything we wanted. But that just means she'll need to make another visit! :)

Sadly enough I never caught a picture of Nicole. But I managed to snap a few of the kids.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Guest Blogger...

I think anyone with children understands how difficult and frustrating it can be when your children act up in public. It's embarrassing to say the least. But children are children, with minds and mouths of their own. And no matter how we train them at home there is always going to be the squabble and crying in public. I myself, have been the brunt of many rude looks and comments as I manage my children, in the store, on the plane, in the airport...the list could go on and on. In fact, our last plane ride just weeks ago, we had a lady who had no desire to be near a child on a plane, in fact, all children should be corralled into one location on a plane. Steve shot her a dirty look.

So you can imagine when I heard the following story from my good friend Amy. I could relate. I was shocked. I was angry for her. Who do people think they are? I'm sure you'll agree...

Today I was at the post office.

I was in there 45 minutes...longer than anticipated, but hey, it happens, right?

The first 30 minutes my kids were super.

The last 15, are 15 minutes I'd like to never ever relive.

Olivia was crying. She was tired & there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it, but try to hurry & finish my packaging & be on my way.

I had determined before entering the post office that I was going to be a 'happy mom.' I get so tried of the old tired cliches of mean moms, tired moms, moms who look beat up & like they hate life. I am not that mom and I determined I was not going to fall into that trap...because lets be honest, it's easy to do that.

I had a few customers share kind words with my children. One big, tall & young black guy took pity on me in a kind way, saying, 'I feel for ya...really I do.' I laughed & told him 'yeah its a bummer this is taking longer than I expected, but no big deal...there are worse things in life than having to refold 450 things so they fit in the box while at the post office with 2 kids.' He laughed & I laughed & then thought he must be a pretty cool guy.

But then. Then it turn a big fat turn for the worse.

There is a postal worker at this particular post office that must not like children. In fact, every time I am there with my children {which is every time} he has a snide remark, an eye roll or a big sigh. Well today, he had more, much more for me.

While he was helping a customer he announced in front of the entire line of 15 or so people that I need to control the noise. The noise?

That would be my crying 1-year-old.

I about died. Then re-grouped & promptly stood up for myself & asked him precisely what he'd like me to do.

He said to put something in her mouth so she'd be quiet.

Like a muzzle? I replied.

He said he didn't care what I did, but that if I couldn't control the noise then I needed to go outside.

Instead of bawling, like I really wanted to. I shrugged my shoulders & said, 'well actually, no I don't. Last time I checked you can't kick me out of the post office for having a crying baby.' I continued to tell him that I was sorry she was crying & that I hadn't intended to be there that long, but sometimes that happens...you know babies, they cry.

So, in case you didn't know it's against the rules to have a crying baby in public. And they can kick you out of the post office now if your kids don't act like adults?

I finished my packaging & lucky me...he got to help me!! yeah!

As we walked to the counter miss livs settled a bit & he made some asinine comment that I can't even remember through my rage.

After I finished paying for my goods I asked him to never address my children again. Because frankly, I hate his guts right now.

Then I topped it off with a 'I'll be sure she cries the entire time next time I'm here'

His reply about sent me to the roof...'i wouldn't be surprised.'

as if my kids are the most rowdy on the earth.

mind you zack, sat quietly on the floor the entire time. AND these conversations took place in front of a line of 15 people. I was super bummed that no one else stood up for me. One guy did give me the 'you go girl look' which was appreciated, but seriously? No one?

My greatest accomplishment was walking away without a 4-letter tirade through the post office...I'm trying to nix that bad habit.

Instead, I've called to file a complaint at that post office, with their consumer affairs department & on ABC investigates.

sucker.

And i've decided I have a heck of a lot more things to mail. Anyone want to come mail stuff with all your kids? {preferably after they've had about 10 juice boxes}

and i'm kind of serious....okay...actually I am really serious...want to come? 


You better believe the next time I'm in public and someone else is struggling with their children, and people start to talk. I will stand up. Someone has to. 
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