Sunday, September 25, 2016

weeks end.

i think my favorite day of the week is all too often Friday, but slowly i am finding the good in Saturday and Sunday, too. of course each week varies because LIFE HAPPENS, but i like that Friday is end of the school week- no homework, usually no pressure for the next morning, and DATE NIGHT. Saturday is grand because Jeff doesn't work and we can set out to clean and finish projects before relaxing that evening. Sunday can be a busy day sometimes, but no one does chores and i spend less time barking orders. now that Roger is in nursery, Jeff and I seem to have more ability to contribute and gain things from our time at church. and i have given up my perfectionism of using every second of the sabbath day to do something, so in general we stay pretty relaxed.

this weekend was not one of those.

Friday was spent with me feeling flustered by my church calling and realizing that i can't do things the same way i did them in Mesa. because everything is a half hour away. this got me feeling negative about where i live and my entire life. that afternoon i finished my 'wife for life seminar' which made me feel both hopeful for my future with Jeff, and also a bit guilty, as i realized that i had created all of my own unhappiness. it was no one's fault but my own, which was empowering and humbling all at once. i no longer felt like depending on Jeff to fix my problems or make me happy, which made me feel happier toward him, but i wasn't quite sure what to do about my unhappiness problem.
our date that night wasn't the kind where we escape our home and kids, instead we invited our neighbors over for dinner. both of us had little desire to entertain and so we agreed to go get some take out food and they came over and we had a nice time. i am sure they really don't like us, because they are well aware of my vices (like yelling at kids or driving too fast), but they are kind regardless. both are from Boston, so it was fun for me to chat about my old stomping grounds, plus they both love motorcycles, which i adore as well.

Saturday, thanks to my "wife for life" instruction, i allowed Jeff the whole day to work on the yard with his tractor, while i cleaned and did my office work. and i didn't do it begrudgingly like normal. the time flew by because i had SO MUCH TO DO for church the next day, and so i ran out of time and soon my mother and sister came over so we could go to the broadcast together. we met up with my other sister and her girls and then enjoyed the broadcast- which was chalk full of grand info and inspirational insight. at its end we ate out and i enjoyed my nieces a great deal. something about being with those cute ladies just... makes me love them. they are all so unique and so great. if i feel that way about them- i can only imagine how God feels about them. its nights like that when i feel glad to be a woman.
unfortunately i finished my night with staying up until 1am trying to get everything ready for the next day- and having to redo A LOT of what i had already done. i was mad at myself for getting to such a point, and then i crashed.

and today. i knew it was going to culminate into one big crazy sabbath, and it definitely was 'exciting'. but we survived by the skin of our teeth. and now i need to gear up for tomorrow because... lots of stuff goin' down.

wish me luck.

Friday, September 23, 2016

family history friday Q#36

first of all, let me say that i am totally aware that i am way mixed up with what week i am on and i think at one point started using two different lists to get my questions which is why it got so off. please forgive me. and lets move forward... to this question:

What is your philosophy on money?

well, at this point in my life i have a belief of money that doesn't really come across in my lifestyle. this incongruence bothers me a great deal and contributes to my hypocrisy and low self esteem. but here is what i think about money:

i feel like money is not mine. its just a means to an end.
if used correctly it can be used to bless lives. 
i feel that money should be used carefully, methodically, prayerfully, and with caution. 
i feel like whenever there is a gain, 10% should immediately go to God and the building of His kingdom on earth. i feel that part of that building up of his kingdom is doing HIS work- which is blessing the poor and the needy, so i also believe in paying a fast offering (or generous donation) to those in need each month. i feel like this is top priority. i often wonder if we all did this what would happen to the world... but sadly i think there is a huge inequality with money and how it is spent and used. of course there are more aspects to God's work than just money, so it is not enough to write a check each month and be rude to everyone you meet. 

i believe that money should be divided into savings and needs and that anything extra should be used very carefully- because there are endless ways to spend it. a lot of good can come from money, but also a great deal of bad, too. thats why making a list of goals or wants can be helpful, as long as wants and needs are not confused... because AGAIN, money can be dangerous and loving it can corrupt your heart. 

interestingly enough, i have a date night scheduled with my main squeeze about this very topic and i hope that we can come to some sort of common ground to help our family be the family we need and can be if we apply the correct principles of money to our lives. 
wish us luck.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

no pictures to show for it.

the past two days have been a whirlwind.

yesterday was practically national LINDY DAY. or it felt like it.

i babysat for a friend again and i took the kids to the park with the dog before heading to the vet. it was strangely chaotic. i thought kids liked parks. i thought dogs liked parks. but it wasn't very magical. and then she was fine at her vet appointment but i felt really obnoxious bringing four kids in tow. pretty sure most people do not have puppies when they have four young children. but what do i know? maybe it happens all the time.
after all that chaos we came home for a snack and some play time while i tried to get some stuff done. then it  lunch and naps/movie time before heading to pick up peoples. next was dinner and a quick homework attempt before i left with Lindy for her german shepherd club. i gotta say, i did not enjoy it very much and i think its the end of my attempts to participate, though i DO kinda wanna march in the veterans parade... when i got home, i expected to find Jeff working on his homework but he was fast asleep. i wasn't thrilled.

today was a bit different. but more of the same.

today i babysat again and attempted a trip to the park and the library, after picking up some laundry from the kids' school. again, i have no idea what this laundry is for or why i am doing it- other than i need volunteer hours and so i am doing it. while we were at the park, Gladys threw a giant tantrum when Carson would not let her have a turn with the 'steering wheel' by the slide. i was really too tired to deal with her, and saw that she was in a safe place to throw her tantrum, so i told her if she wanted me she could come to me, then i texted Carson's mom about our pickup arrangement because i was running behind schedule. and then, as i am texting my response, i hear someone shouting at me...

"WHAT IS YOUR &(*&(#&$@#$ PROBLEM LADY???!!!!! GET OFF YOUR (@*#$(*&#$ LAZY )(*#@(&$ AND @(#*(@#&* DO SOMETHING! YOUR DAUGHTER IS *(!@#@!#& CRYING AND YOU ARE!@#*&^#$ DOING NOTHING!!!!"

i looked up and saw a very angry homeless-looking lady approaching me in a very angry, aggressive way... almost like she was going to attack me.

"um... she is throwing a tantrum, mam."


"mam, i am so sorry that you are so upset, but my son is not hitting her and she is just fine. she is just throwing a tantrum."

my lack of movement only enraged her even more and she got closer to me, so i stood in case i needed to defend myself.

"YOU BETTER !%^@#$#^% DO SOMETHING. !@#^%@!&#%!^#%& I AM CALLING SOMEONE."

she left and i immediately thought to myself, "i am sure you know lots of cops and have access to a phone. and if a cop actually approaches me, i am sure he will lock me up for letting my 2 year old throw a tantrum instead of beating her."
i was kind of irritated that i couldn't find the words to put the stupid woman in her place. but honestly it was so random and weird that i just... didn't see it coming. plus, i am wayyyy more passive aggressive, so... it was easier to just let her say her peace and then vent to Jeff about it later.

i guess she was right, though, because five minutes after she left, gladys was still going strong and she kicked roger off the playground equipment. so then i had to comfort Roger, grab Gladys and buckle her flailing body in the stroller and then she threw ALL my library books out of the stroller all over the woodchips and she went on for another ten minutes before i took her out because she looked like she was going to strangle herself with the buckle in the stroller. and then it took another five minutes for her to calm down enough to pick up the books she had thrown and then i was finally able to hold her and talk to her about what just happened, which she said Sally had started- when in reality- SALLY WAS AT SCHOOL AND HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING! ugh.

so... yeah. two year olds. good times.

anyways, the library finally opened and we 'enjoyed' our time there... after the chaos of a potty break and drinks at the fountain.

after that was all over, Carson went home and i found myself completely depleted. i had no energy to make food for anyone and i felt really nauseous and nothing sounded good to me, but i felt weak and i knew i needed to eat. so after a bit, i made lunch for the people, put Roger down for his nap, did a bit of laundry, dishes and cleaning, and then i sat down to watch a marriage seminar that i have been wanting to get insight from. it was insightful. and then before i knew it, it was time to pick up my monkeys and i did and brought them home and BARELY found enough energy to feed my family and do homework- while jeff bathed everyone for me and put people to bed.

i am pooped and i really didn't do anything- but i am sooooo tired.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

hurry up, holly!

this blog would be sooooo much greater if it was in small doses of deep reflection instead of massive lists of events and brief emotion. and... can't say i am going to change anytime soon... because... LIFE.

but alas, here i am again, trying to catch up. and here i am... about to make ANOTHER list. but this time i am going to hide it. i mean, at least not put it in list form. because... YOU'RE WELCOME.

again... this cannot possibly completely tell all the activities of the past week or my feelings toward them.... its just a small snippit of silliness. 

Wednesday last was my day to bring 'teacher treats' to school. i have no idea what for, but i do appreciate teachers and need volunteer hours- so i dutifully took two sheet cakes in hopes it would be enough for 81 people. then i came home and crashed all day (i was still sick) and i have no idea how i actually made it to pick up the kids from school or survived dinner. that night i FORCED myself to take Lindy to her dog training class. it was alright, but again, i found myself wondering if i really belonged in that group of dog-lovers (or more correctly stated: GERMAN SHEPHERD WORSHIPERS).

thursday brought great turmoil to my life. i rushed Evelynn to her tutoring and made it on time BARELY, then tried to use time wisely before heading to visit teach Cammi. we had a nice lesson from my comp, Jessica, and then got on the subject of picky eaters (this is important later in the week). Cammi lets me bring my three kids to each visit, thankfully, but by the end of our gathering Gladys started having a massive tantrum and in that very moment i said to myself, "i just can't do this. i can't get a babysitter every time i visit teach and i cannot bring my kids with me. therefore i shall never ever visit teach again." and then i felt angry. i felt like my life was out of MY control and instead was being ruled by snot-nosed children. i felt like i should hide in my house and be a recluse because everyone must hate us. and i continued down this negative path up until the doorbell rang and the primary presidency showed up at my house for a meeting. i was in a really bad mood, which wasn't good, and i could feel the lack of unity between us (i mean, who wants to be unified with a grump like me?). so after that meeting i trudged through my day and after dinner i let Jeff go to his symphony class.
Friday i was a wreck. i was in such a horrible mood that morning and Gladys really got under my skin. like, woah. i had found a last minute sitter so i could do my last visiting tea-hing visit for the month without bombarding people with kids, but i felt bad ruining my friend's life by leaving my kids with her. and then when i got to my vt lady's house i broke down and cried the whole time and she was like, "um, you need to start saying positive affirmations to yourself" and gave me an assignment. and then that night i got a sitter and Jeff and I went on a "get ready for baby" date where we made a build-a-bear, but they didn't have a giraffe like i wanted, so we made a triceratops and named him Tiberius (it's a star trek reference). next came buying a car seat- which was the nicest one we have ever bought, but Jeff is hoping that since we splurged the baby will never cry in his seat.

saturday was kind of a disappointing day. Jeff was doing scattered projects that seemed unrelated and i cleaned with the kids. soon it was time to take Charlie to a birthday party for a friend at school. HE WAS SO EXCITED. and i gotta say, it was hard to buy a gift for a kid i don't know who is the opposite gender of my child. when we got there i was amazed by the diversity at this party- i was definitely a minority! i met people from England, Kenya, Lebanon, and all different states of America. it was good for me to be social with people different than me... and we all have one thing in common- we think it's strange that anyone would settle in Casa Grande. it was my sister Brenna's birthday that day, too, and she is low maintenance so i am saving her card until i see her next.
nathaniel, layla and charles.
Sunday Jeff was super ill. i decided to put on my grown up pants and face the day without him. and i managed to get to a meeting before church and then take 5 of the kids to church with me while Roger stayed home to nap with Jeff. both my meeting with the bishop/primary presidency and church itself was humbling and insightful. i gained a great deal that day and realized a lot of my vices and also found greater love for people. it was an alright sabbath. and i concluded that i need to stay active in church- no matter how hard, i have made a covenant with God to keep trying and do the best i can. so again, it was a good day.
Monday everything came crashing down. i anticipated that Jeff would not go to work that day, but i had a FULL schedule that day and was determined to carry on as if he was at work. but when i got to the Fry's parking lot and sat to make my menu/grocery list before shopping with my three crazies, i got stumped. i didn't know what to make for our Friday dinner guests. and then i called Jeff for ideas. and his response was NOT what i wanted to hear. and all the kids were fighting and screaming over something REALLY dumb, like, whether or not Roger had shoes on. and so i lost it. i had an emotional breakdown. and i felt stuck. i didn't know what would come of my day. i knew my kids could not make it through a shopping trip and that i needed a lot of time to make my list. and i felt really angry at everyone and my life. so i came home and yelled at Jeff and cried for two hours. and then he tried to find solutions to the day (because he is a man and he fixes things). since i was incapable of making choices at this point, i had no will to fight him and went with his plan, which was that i would go to Mesa and drop off my mother's birthday gift, return something, pay a fee i needed to pay, all while Jeff took the three littles shopping for dinner supplies- which he would pick and prepare that night, go make a copy/laminate a poster, pick up kids from school and prepare family night. so i left. and i was alone with myself. and all i could do was think about how dysfunctional i am. i even came close to running out of gas and being stranded again (as in- ONE MILE LEFT just as i pulled into the station- it was a miracle!). but my mom loved her gift and took me to lunch and then i ran my silly errands and came home to my kids and a husband who was making homemade mini tacos and had prepared a family night that all the children loved. the activity was to play the wii, which the kids adored, and a donut dessert was a hit. i felt like i had just been shown up by Jeff, but he was exhausted and i felt like he at least sympathized with how much time and energy my job takes.
reunion tshirt quilt for mama's bday

Tuesday was a CRAZY day. a friend called me last minute to do a babysitting trade off and she must be truly inspired because i just could not find a babysitter and i needed one. she dropped off her son with us in the morning and instead of getting anything done (like i could have because everyone was playing so nicely), i could not take my eyes off of the kids playing together because it was so stinkin' adorable. the three boys we darling, plus the dog in the backyard playing with them, and Gladys was happy to have the boys preoccupied so she could play without being attacked. it was a win-win for all. then i dropped them off at my friend's house so i could go to my OB appointment. it went fine, and the doctor seemed confident that my numbness is NOT a neurological issue, but rather a swelling/circulation issue that will fade after the baby is born and i go back to my normal water retention level. he didn't seem too worried about my anxiety or depression issues, though, and i don't know why. i am pretty sure anyone could take a look at me and say, "wow. she needs help." i even told him that my HUSBAND is concerned and wants me to get medication asap. but he just gave me some naturopathic pills that are not prescription. i feel skeptical. that afternoon (again, i almost ran out of gas!) i got a call from my bestie and we chatted for a bit, which was therapeutic. and then Jeff went to a gardening class that night and came home motivated to change our lives. good times.

thats all folks.

though, i should mention that Jeff broke his computer and i have to share mine now, which also means hardly any chance to blog. i may be a bit scattered until its fixed... so party on!

Friday, September 16, 2016

family history friday Q#37

List 20 things or more that you think the world would be so much better off without.
  1. cockroaches. ew.
  2. guns. they are just my least favorite. i know violence and hate crimes existed before they were around, but i just feel like guns are such cowardly weapons. now people can hide far away and shoot you instead of having to actually combat. they bother me. 
  3. bombs. again... why? who are these people that just think "how can i blow up stuff?" ? i am sure that there is some reason we need bombs that i am overlooking but.... currently not a fan of bombs. 
  4. my bad attitude.
  5. this list.
and... i really can't think of anything else. there are plenty of things that i don't like but lately we have been learning about "opposition in all things" and i just don't see the benefit to taking away all bad stuff from the world... besides, a lot of things have a very positive side to their bad side... and serve a purpose in some way. anything else i would want to abolish on my list would take away other people's agency and i don't think that is wise. a lot of things that i see as huge issues in the world today are necessary for our growth. 

and... you are welcome for another lame post. 
*takes a bow*

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

hard times

today was a whirlwind.

Gladys really set me off today, and i hate when i let that control my day. i just don't understand why she acts the way she does and i feel like all the things i do to try and manipulate how she acts always fails. i could be going along, doing soooo good at repeating everything she says ten times and giving her eye contact and staying calm and saying the right words and then inevitably some strange thing comes into the path and she has a meltdown and i have no more patience left to give. its EXHAUSTING to say the very least and i hate it. i hate feeling this way every day of my life. like i just can't win. like i don't understand my child. like my child is either a spoiled brat that needs to be whipped up into shape or a very disturbed, unhappy child that i have ruined slowly over time. is she autistic? is this just a phase that i failed to remember having with my other children? am i unfit to be a parent and i should just turn myself in? WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING WITH MY CHILD? she is psychotic every single day of her life. i can't even figure it out. i try all the basics: food and drink, sleep and play, attention, potty, consistency.... the list goes on. why am i failing? she throws tantrums ALL DAY LONG. its making me insane.

i had lots of other ups and downs in the day, but i made it somehow.
and... i am under the weather, so... that isn't fun.

today on facebook i found myself watching a film about the bombings in Syria. i suspected this one would be no different than the others that my friends share from time to time. i don't even know why i watched it. but i did. and at the very end they showed an infant being heard, found, and lifted from  underneath piles of rubble and cement beams. my mind and heart could NOT handle it. i started sobbing uncontrollably and i was so upset about it. why on earth were people bombing innocent citizens? why on earth were children suffering in such a horrible way? it doesn't seem fair and it made me want to take immediate action. but what could be done? i tried to call Jeff to have an adult conversation about it, but he didn't answer. so i tried to move on with my day and fold laundry, while trying to figure things out in my heart and mind.
finally, the only thing that i could possibly hold on to in order to find peace was this:
GOD KNOWS AND LOVES THOSE CHILDREN. it hurts him to see them suffer in such a way. he knows the injustices. he knows the evils of men in this world. and they WILL be judged for this. i recalled the story in the Book of Mormon, Alma 14, when Alma and Amulek are watching innocent women and children be burned alive. Amulek pleads with Alma to stop it through the priesthood power, the power of God. but Alma says its necessary so that the wicked will be punished for their crimes:

 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
 10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
 11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
 12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.
 13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not.
this gave me comfort that those responsible for this HORRIFIC crime would not go unpunished. i am so bothered by all the sad things going on in the world, whether close to me- in my own country, state, neighborhood, or clear across the globe. we are all brothers and sisters. we are all children of God. i believe that and i wish that we could treat each other kindly. i guess it starts with me. i have to do better with my own family. 
so wish me luck.

Monday, September 12, 2016

lemme fill you in.

you guys. i am so tired. i just can't blog when my kids go to bed because i am so tired. but here is a tidbit of what has gone down (the exciting parts) of the past few days:

was dog training night. i do not fit in with those people, but they sure love Lindy!

was curriculum night at school and i got to hang with my kids teachers and tell them i appreciate them. also got my kids' progress reports and charlie and sally have straight A's which i was not expecting. Evelynn is more where i thought everyone else would be and will need a little extra tutoring for a bit. but she has such a great teacher and she loves her.
charlie's first love note from a girl in his class.

jeff and i went on a date. he wanted to do some shopping for our home decor and eat out, so we did (it was his turn to plan). we stuffed ourselves and then i fell asleep on the way home because i am a boring date. our babysitter had to call her mom to come over because our kids were horrible. so... yay.

i took the kids, my mom, and my sister BJ and her daughter Mel, down to my sister's house in Prescott. she fed us, babysat while we got a tour, and then took us all to the fair before feeding us again. i was dreading the trip, and so it was downright hilarious when my niece handed me a card she made just for me that said, "happiness works like a mirror. when you are happy, you may make others feel happy too". it was neat because the lady who introduced my parents to the church came and met up with us and it happened to be the eve of my mother's baptism anniversary!
bj, me, carolyn mcfarland, colleen and madre

mom found a huge praying mantis and its her favorite bug. it hopped onto her shirt!

Juju rides a pony

she was in heaven.

cloud 9

so fitting.

thank you, niece.

wasn't the worst or the best. we survived. and did i tell you yet that we started sending Roger to nursery? well, we did. because we like to do illegal things... and we were spread just a little too thin. he does fine, but never likes to color the pictures.

bathed the dog. she is sparkly clean again.
had family night. the kids picked to jump on the trampoline for the activity. i watched.
and then Lindy brought a HUGE AND SCARY scorpion to the porch and i legit died.

here are my recent inspirations:
first this quote:

and second?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Family History Friday Q#35

What are 50 things that you are grateful for?
  1. that Jeff hasn't left me yet.
  2. that i am Charlie's mom
  3. that i am Evelynn's mom
  4. that i am Sally's mom
  5. that i am Walter's mom
  6. that i am Gladys' mom
  7. that i am Roger's mom
  8. that i have a sweet baby boy in my womb
  9. that i have a lovely home
  10. that my car works
  11. that our dog eats cockroaches
  12. that i am generally healthy
  13. that i have food in my fridge
  14. that i have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life
  15. that i have some good friends who love and support me even though i am psycho
  16. that i am the youngest in my family and can learn from my sisters before me.
  17. that my mom made me a priority in her life
  18. that i can read
  19. that i got to serve a mission in Boston
  20. that Jeff is super sexy and i am still attracted to him
  21. that i get to learn through various trials and daily obstacles.
  22. that i have this blog of memories
  23. i am grateful for good music
  24. definitely grateful for water.
  25. thankful for seasons
  26. so thankful for the teachers my kids have at school this year
  27. thankful my mom and dad joined the church together and were sealed in the temple.
  28. thankful for vision and hearing
  29. thankful for chocolate
  30. thankful for mountains to climb
  31. thankful for trees and flowers.
  32. i am thankful for those who have forgiven me
  33. i am thankful for priesthood leaders and blessings and council
  34. i am thankful for General Conference
  35. i am thankful for  pictures of loved ones
  36. i am thankful for those before me who have sacrificed and pioneered and done hard things
  37. i am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost
  38. i am thankful for missionaries 
  39. i am thankful for modern day technology that allows me to communicate- like my phone and FB
  40. i am thankful for a washing machine/dryer
  41. i am thankful for my dish washer
  42. i am thankful for my toilets and showers and sinks...
  43. i am thankful for my husband's job
  44. i am thankful for Gods mercy 
  45. i am thankful for the Books of Mormon and Bible... the scriptures
  46. i am thankful for prayer
  47. i am thankful for... Studio C... so i can have some good, clean laughter.
  48. i am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ
  49. i am thankful for a nearby temple
  50. i am thankful for rainstorms.
that was way harder than i wanted it to be. 
thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

holiday hangover.

it was SO HARD to be an adult today. seriously.

i think Labor Day is quickly becoming my new favorite holiday. why? it has no meaning behind it. its just a freebee. you don't have to feel guilty for not focusing on 'the true meaning' of the day because THERE IS NO MEANING. you don't have to spend money on gifts or food or traditions or decor. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT. the day is what you make it. and i rather like having a pointless holiday.

i chose to begin the day with a hike. Jeff stayed home to work on some house stuff while i took the dog and the kids. my mom met up with us and it was a short little walk around the mountain. nothing eventful... just a regular hike.

next Jeff caught me up to speed on his morning while we all got changed and ready for the rest of the day. and soon we were off to grab lunch at Boston's... because i wanted gourmet pizza.

it never ceases to amaze me at how differently Jeff and i approach things. neither of us is right or wrong, but we are just so incredibly different! i wanted to just order two large pizzas: one for me and Jeff to share and one for the kids to share. and then i wanted to move on with our lives and get on with our activities. Jeff wanted the kids to each pick what they wanted from the menu, had no interest in eating pizza himself, and then hoped to hit up the arcade that is attached to the restaurant. i rolled my eyes and decided that since it was a holiday and Jeff worked for the money we were spending, we might as well honor his plan. so the kids enjoyed their food and then had a blast playing video games and earning tickets for prizes. this is why Jeff is the favorite parent.

next we headed to the Mesa Temple Visitor Center for our family night. we listened to the Christus presentation, which i love. and then Charlie picked 'the restoration movie' to watch together. i am a big fan of that one, too. it was my favorite movie to watch as a missionary and the part when the dad makes the horse out of wood for his son always makes me cry. it makes me ponder my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

following our spiritual enjoyment, we took the kids to get a shaved ice, which i have been craving since we moved to Casa Grande. i think Casa Grande really needs a shaved ice place.
next my mom met up with us at the Oleander pool and we swam for an hour, along with a ton of other people that we don't really know. the kids had a good time but were cranky and tired on the way home, so we fed them dinner and put on a new movie they had never seen and then tucked them into bed. then we got some take out and watched a movie together until crashing asleep.

so this morning all my neglected chores hit me square in the face... and i realized it was picture day at school... so that also made things more complicated. but after i got the shopping out of the way, and the laundry started, i was able to tidy things up around our house and feel a bit better. plus, i enjoyed my lunch and really enjoyed my scripture study. (the missionaries have challenged us to do better at our scripture study- so i have been using my lunch time to read.) i got a lot done (though things are NEVER done) and got myself to a better place before pick-up time. then our chaotic ending to our day happened just the way it usually does and i am finally able to sit down and go through my inbox.

on to tomorrow.

but first? a few photos i have neglected to share lately:
she still fits on my lap.
i am holding her because at least i know she won't pee while i am holding her. Jeff finds this rewarding.

this. person.

Jeff is building a marble contraption. its going to take a year to build at this rate. the instructions are in chinese and its super duper complicated.

a VERY rare moment when all the boys are reading. as in... once in a blue moon.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


i slept late and barely got people to school on time, and then the tantrums for the day began. they happen every day the same way. 3 hours worth of them. and i just lost it. i couldn't do it. i called Jeff and told him i just could not do it. Walter and Gladys are two very difficult people to be with all day and i just could not see myself making it. Jeff said he would pray for me and i decided i would take the day one minute at a time.
then came the drama with my babysitter. i thought my dentist appointment was at one time, but then i thought it was another, and then realized it really was the original time i told her. i called her fifteen times and no doubt she thought i had lost my ever loving mind. which i had. eventually she came and i left and thankfully my bestie called me on the way to the appointment. she let me vent. and she didn't judge me. i wished i could talk to her while i got my mouth worked on but eventually i had to say goodbye. then the dentist put a needle in my mouth and struck a nerve and it hurt really bad and i was in pain the rest of the day.
because i was in pain and overwhelmed by my life, i decided to take advice from a column called "11 things to do if you feel like running away" and binge watch something i enjoy. since little people were around, i went with Little House on the Prairie.
it kind of worked. i felt like i had taken some much needed down time, and then the clock said it was time to pick up my monkeys from school. i went to grab Lindy for the car ride, and when i called her she ran away from me, so i walked toward her and she got scared and peed on my carpet. this made me furious. here i was, trying to be a loving owner by including her and letting her go on a car ride to pick up the kids and then she just pees in my house. it felt like all the good in my day was gone.
but then as i drove to pick up the kids, my gas light alerts me and i remember that ON MY WAY to the dentist it told me i was almost out of gas and that i only had 50 miles left. the dentist was 30 miles away from my house, so i knew i had already used up OVER 50 miles- so how on earth would i make it to the station? sure enough... i ran out of gas and barely coasted (thanks to a hill) into the entry of the station... just feet away from a pump. i asked a man for help and he had a gas can and kindly gave me free gas. i felt like it was a miracle, really- i had driven over 60 miles and made it to a station when my car clearly told me i only had 50.
because of the high stress i had experienced all day, i had a serious case of weekend-itis and wanted desperately to just get take-out and watch a movie with the kids. Jeff indulged me and then left for symphony while i helped people with homework.

i had hopes of getting my lab work done without a sitter and went in with my three littles to get my diabetes test work done. but because i have no brain cells left, i forgot that its AN HOUR LONG process and so after i drank the drink she tells me, "okay- they will call you back in an hour" and i am stuck there with three kids and only the goods in my purse. it was chaotic and miraculous that we all survived... without anyone cussing at us!
after that dramatic adventure, i didn't want to push my luck and run other errands, so i went home to unwind before the afternoon. that was when i saw a friend's facebook post about a canned food drive at an indoor playplace which gives entry for 5 cans per child and free admission for adults!
it was half day at school, so i grabbed some sonic for and drove to pick up the kids- excited for my surprise. and then on the way i saw THE waffle love truck. the food truck that i have wanted for two years and never had the joy of partaking of- was IN CASA GRANDE! and here i was, with sonic hot dogs adorning my van. i felt like i had paid the ultimate price to be a mom.
i picked up kids and drove to the surprise spot and the kids got off to a grand start. i was glad that it wasn't packed and i was able to sit and watch my kids dash from one end of the place to the other. but then, of course, Gladys began her series of tantrums. i honestly had no energy to even deal with them. so i just let her lay on the floor and wail. for an hour. oh yes, people looked at me. and her. and i was just... too tired to pick her up and deal with her flailing legs. and then a mom came up and told me i was doing a good job. and i told her that SHE was doing a good job. and it was nice that we had that little mom-praise moment together. and then, after the third tantrum, i decided i better wrap things up and just head home. thankfully the kids listened and we left in one piece.
i called Jeff to see what his status was and he was in Mesa getting his car fixed, so we decided to meet up there for dinner. my mom came, too. i appreciated the kindness of the strangers at the table next to us... they could have been disgusted by our obnoxious bunch but they weren't.
that night i tried to sit and watch a movie about mother theresa, but i crashed hard.

the morning was filled with chores galore while Jeff went down to his office to get caught up on things at work. i scrubbed and cleaned hard core.
when Jeff got back we played with Lindy a bit while trying to figure out the remainder of our day. and i threw the ball for Lindy. but when she went to fetch it, she jumped up for the ball and landed weird on her leg and started crying. we were positive she broke her leg. Jeff picked her up and started trying to massage the leg and assess the damage. she would not walk on it. he decided to take her to the pet hospital but just as he was leaving, she used her hurt leg to scratch her ear. and so he massaged her and had her walk again- and BAM. suddenly she was healed. we were glad.
Jeff moved on with his list of to-do's and i had him hang a few things upstairs in the kids rooms. this led to a fight because Jeff and I differ when it comes to hanging things and its very frustrating to fight over something so stupid. and then he wanted to hang the wreath on the door, which again, has been a huge source of conflict in our marriage. i don't even have the energy to type it all out, but suffice it to be said that Jeff was very stubborn about how to hang it and i finally just had to let go and let him do it his way and he ended up compromising and its just fine.
next thing we knew it was time for our temple date and our sitters showed up an hour early! so Jeff got his wish of going out to dinner. we ate quickly at smashburger, had lively conversation and then did a session at the gilbert temple, where we only saw one other ward member (it was ward temple night). we had a nice time and got a lot out of it. then we paid our sitters in ice cream since they wouldn't accept cash.
of course i fell asleep on Jeff's lap while he watched a movie that night.

its been an extremely difficult day for me. i seriously was THIS CLOSE to swearing off church forever because our kids were so horribly behaved today. but then as i sat in the grass with my tantrum queen, Gladys, she told me, "i am a child of God" and we started singing that song together and i thought to myself, "if Gladys can learn that song at church then its worth coming." and then i decided that i just needed to repent of a few things and accept the fact that in this season of my life, church is not about me... its about my kids.
i miraculously made rolls and butternut squash soup for dinner and then we enjoyed Little House on the Prairie as a family before tossing kids in bed.

and i have big plans for tomorrow. may the odds be in my favor.

Friday, September 2, 2016

family history friday Q#36

List 20 or more things about yourself.

sometimes i wonder if i missed a week or something.... but i am too lazy to figure it out. oh well, i am just going to forge forward. here are 20 random things about me:

1. my favorite color is undecided. this is because i find many colors lovely at different times and in the past i have only picked a favorite color because others influenced me. for example? as a child i picked blue as my favorite color because my crush, derrick passey, said that was HIS favorite color. then i discovered that most boys love blue and so it was a good favorite color because it instantly tied me to boys. and i liked boys. a lot. then when i got to jr. high, i wanted to be unique and different. i hated that everyone had the same favorite colors and i wanted to be non-conforming... so i picked a color that no one else liked, BROWN. and everyone remembered my favorite color was brown. it gave me attention and originality. so for a long time i kept that favorite color. when i married Jeff, his favorite color was RED, and everything in my life became red- my wedding colors, my home decoration- it just took over my life. i began to realize that my wardrobe consists of mostly blues and i started to seek other colors for myself to wear. and really... color variety is good, so i do not have a favorite. 

2. i love motorcycles. i think they are sexy and super fun. but no matter how much i long to ride one, i just cannot get over how dangerous they are. i rode a lot in college with different guys, some were safer drivers than others, and when i think about how risky it was that i did that- i am amazed that i am still alive. i wish Jeff had a bike. that would be so sexy. and we could go on long bike rides together through the mountains.... but then when i think about how certain our death would be, i just can't make that dream a reality. i tried to morph that dream into us getting a horse and riding together all the time, which is still kind of sexy... but... i dunno, i doesn't have the same appeal. who knows if Jeff and i will ever ride a motorcycle, or horse together. 

3. i love singing. i love recording. i love being dramatic and performing on stage. but ever since my mission i really haven't allowed myself time to participate in those things. i want so badly to be in a production. i hate that i am not the right body-type or look for a main role, but recently i felt hope when i watched Hello Dolly and thought, "now THAT is a role for me!" and now i dream of playing Dolly someday on stage. i still dream about making another CD- this time of my favorite love songs, but i would have to find accompanists who don't hate me and also the time and money to make it happen. *sigh* a girl can dream.

4. i am not much of a traveler. i mean, i like to travel (without kids) but i don't have very ambitious goals involving travel. i don't really feel secure enough to leave the USA, nor do i know anything about famous sites, but i wouldn't mind doing a small trip to Germany or Canada- if i went with the right person. my next goal is to go to Seattle Washington and explore the sights and food there. i hope it comes true! but i would also love to try a cruise to alaska or a mini get away on Hawaii. 

5. when i was a kid i used to play in large garbage trash bins in the alley. like, i literally climbed inside and sat there, baking in Arizona heat. i thought it was awesome. i now look back on that and say to myself, THAT WAS THE WORST THING I COULD EVER DO! not only is it extremely dangerous, just because the trash truck could come and dump me and compact me, but DISEASES were rampant! what the freak was i thinking? am i not terrified of roaches? did i not realize that i was basically a roach myself by sitting inside a trash bin for FUN? i am sickened by myself. and very confused why my mother allowed this to occur. i gotta say, parenting has REALLY changed since i was a kid, because something like that would be UNHEARD OF today. the free range child is a thing of the past.

6. my elementary school teachers were 3rd grade: Mrs. Paetschow (said pats-chow), 4th: Ms Luine (said loo-een), 5th: Ms. Memberto (said Mrs. Mem-bear-toe), and 6th: Ms. Lee. i, of course, loved my 3rd grade teacher- she helped me make the big jump from free-range childhood to the strict laws of Franklin East Elementary. i also adored my 4th grade teacher because she was young and beautiful and sweet- she wore red lipstick and had poofy curly hair. i was terrified of my 5th grade teacher. everyone said she was mean and kids called her miss burrito. i never saw her smile and so i just tried not to cross her... my theory was that she was unhappily divorced and underpaid... but who knows her real story. my 6th grade teacher was a total dream. she was a great ending to my time as a franklin firebird- just the right mix of fun and structured. my music teacher, mr. heckaman, was also scary but super firm and i learned a lot about rythum and notes in his class. mr. olson was my orchestra teacher, and a pretty silly guy who loved to tease. unfortunately teasing wasn't my favorite attribute in a person so we didn't get along. oh- and then there was the computer teacher- mr. white- he was very quiet and angry all the time- i have no idea why he worked with children, but i did learn a bit about typing. and the playground aide? Mrs. Saylor. she wore big hats and sunglasses and every child loved her. she always had fifty kids right by her side during recess. the principle, mr. Mason, reminded me of Perry Mason- the old black and white TV show i saw my parents watch. i cherish those elementary day memories and hope my kids have the same. 

7. my favorite animal used to be a cheetah. i just thought they were amazing, beautiful creatures. thankfully for my day and age, Disney made my dreams come true and came out with a cheetah movie that i adored. now that i am older, though i appreciate the cheetah, i don't enjoy seeing them at the zoo because they just lay in the tall grass and i can barely see their ears. the main animal at the zoo that just takes my breath away every time is the bald eagle. they are HUGE!

8. my favorite movies have morphed over time. i don't think i could come up with just one that tops them all. one movie that i never ever get sick of, however, is Disney's Winnie the Pooh movie. even when i read the original book to the kids i love that movie even more. its just so witty and clever and true to all the characters. not to mention an amazing sound track. i think that Sabrina (the old black and white one) is still my favorite chick-flick/romance. Jeff doesn't share my love for the film and i set out to find something i could love more... but i haven't found one yet. i have enjoyed Count of Monte Cristo a lot, and Swiss Family Robinson, but also love classics like Pollyanna and Parent Trap. Jeff introduces me to endless amounts of new films, but i gotta say that i really like thought-provoking movies more than entertaining ones. i am not a fan of scary movies and though i occasionally enjoy a good laugh from a comedy- in general i avoid them because they are usually not very clean. 

9. i am not a reader. its embarrassing. i think it shows how unintelligent i am because i am not well read. i do not read books for fun, i usually read them with a purpose. self help books, true stories, or informational books is where i find myself most often. i get annoyed when i read fiction and find it hard to escape into the book. but when it comes to childrens books, i am quite the opposite. i love to read a good storybook and use character voices and all the drama i can muster. i am mostly a sucker for roald dahl.

10. i cant cook. i never learned. i rarely enjoy making food because i know who i am serving: ungrateful, picky children and a very very picky husband. i do not take criticism well AT ALL. i am a connoisseur of all kinds of food and feel like i am pretty versatile in my own palate. i can eat something sugary, junky and factory made, i can eat fine cuisine from an expensive restaurant.... and in general i will try most anything once. i was not always this way, however, i used to really be a picky eater myself. so i guess i have hope for my kids that one day they will try and taste all kinds of foods and be truly grateful. but Jeff? i have only the hope of when the kids are gone that i can dedicate my life to pleasing the man. 

ugh. i hate this list and i want to erase it. i wish i had an outline of some kind... lemme see what i can find on the interwebs....okay. now i have some guidance.

11. if i could live anywhere i think i would either live in Manti Utah or Danville Indiana. i like the seasons. i like the small town vibe. i like the scenery. i like the Manti temple and i like the family history in Danville. both would be a big win for me. chances of living in those places? hmmmm... not sure that its impossible, especially because Jeff likes those places, too.

12. i love me some karaoke (weird word), and i like to sing classic slow songs like "You Make me Feel Like a Natural Woman" ... but i could also enjoy a disney classic like "part of your world"... i dunno. i guess i can see myself doing a spicy Wynona song like "no one else on earth". i don't like to do songs unless i feel like i can really do well, but i guess if i was with the right crowd i would give anything a go as long as i knew the song words/music well enough. i seriously wish i could go karaoke some night....

13. when i was little i wanted to be a veterinarian, a secretary, and a mom. i guess i had small dreams of being a famous vocalist, but not really. i just knew i liked to sing in front of people and enjoyed the spotlight and praise. i also loved to pretend i was a spy and thought it would be so cool to work for the FBI. now that i think about it, though, i think my very first dream occupation was to be a paleontologist and dig up dinosaurs. all of those dreams have DEFINITELY changed, except for the mom one. that just kept getting stronger and stronger with time.

14. what is my favorite thing about my career? i guess a lot of people don't consider motherhood a career, and i totally understand that. maybe i am just trying to make myself feel better by considering it my career... but since i mentioned in the previous question that my dream job was to be a mom, i figure i might as well say why i like it. but that isn't an easy answer. i will answer with a story:
the other day Jeff and I were talking about a lady in my ward who teaches seminary. she teaches teenagers about the scriptures every morning at 5am for an hour- monday through friday. she does not get paid to do this. after we discussed it for a bit, Jeff said, "what a cool calling. i would love to do something like that." i thought to myself, "no way. jeff doesn't like teenagers! i certainly would be intimidated by them- i don't think i could do it."
then today i was reading the ensign and pondering on things and started to fold some laundry. i started thinking about how unqualified we all are for so many of our callings at church and how we accept the call regardless and just grow a lot. and then my conversation with Jeff hit me hard and i realized that Jeff and I were called to teach our children the scriptures. every single morning. we have the opportunity to be seminary teachers to our kids and expound the scriptures daily. we are not qualified but it presents to us an opportunity to stretch ourselves and grow. 
being a parent has challenged me in all the right ways. i am a selfish, lazy person by nature and this job forces me to change on a daily basis. its the most difficult job ever, but it feels like i am doing exactly what i need to do. at all other jobs i find myself just wanting to be home raising kids. of course there are days when i am at home raising kids and feel like i have completely lost myself and i wonder what my life would be like if i hadn't chosen this path, but i always come back to how i felt when i didn't think being a mom was an option and getting pregnant wasn't happening like i felt it should. i think about the times when i was a little girl and lined up my dollies on the couch for a pretend church meeting. and i ponder on how far i have come from the day that little Charlie came into the world and i thought i could never possibly have another child because i was so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself as a person. 

15. what celebrity would i like to meet up with for lunch? oh my goodness... probably any member of the cast of Studio C. i just have sooo many questions for them. they would hate it. i guess to make it less creepy i should stick with a female cast member. but i can't even pick just one. i will take ANY OF THEM any day.

16. my favorite super hero is the Christopher Reeves version of Superman. and only that version. i do not like any other superman or super hero. i kind of want to revisit spiderman and see how i feel about him, because i haven't seen him since the first one with Toby McGuire in 2002 (my senior year of high school)... *side note* after that movie i think a lot of people wanted to try a spiderman kiss (one person upside down, the other right side up) and so my boyfriend at the time, Matt, and I gave it a go. it wasn't that magical, but i mean, our hormones were on FIRE so it was still awesome. you are welcome for that disgusting tidbit.

17. i am very superstitious, unfortunately, so i don't like to share my fears in fear of that making them happen to me, but i WILL share that i have a phobia of roaches. i am trying so hard to overcome this fear because i know its irrational, especially when i don't mind most other creepy crawly creatures. its just such a huge part of me, though, and its imbedded so deeply... but i do have to say that Lindy and I murdered a roach together the other day and i was very proud of myself. 

18. my favorite way to start a day would be to hike to up a mountain, read my scriptures and watch the sun rise, then head back down the mountain and drink an amazing, cold glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. pretty specific, amiright?

19. what is my favorite vacation that i have had so far in life? oh man. i suck at enjoying vacations. i am always rushed. i always find myself thinking about "what's next" or "i only have one more day before its over" or "am i wasting time right now or is this what i should be doing?" its the literal worst and has been made worse by being a mom. will this flaw of mine ever go away? sometimes i dream of being able to throw caution to the wind and just enjoy myself. 
i think the main vacation i can recall when i just enjoyed it and it was the right length, was when we went to Indiana to stay at my grandma's ranch for three months during the summer. it was the summer after i left heritage academy and right before my first year at westwood. i must have been 15? i wrote five hundred letters to friends daily and sat in the corn field looking at clouds and listening to beatles albums that Amy let me borrow. i relaxed a lot. 

20. my favorite nickname in the world is Holls. though, i gotta say, one time my 12 year old crush called me 'Holly Wally Doodle all the Day' and i melted into butter. i love nicknames and if you call me Holls i can't help but like you a bit more. my sister Amy calls me 'kid' all the time, and i like that fine, too. i find myself giving my kids nicknames all the time and for me it endearing. 

man alive, this list was PAINFUL. i hope you survived.