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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm a lucky, bad mother!

The other day, I was having one of "those" days. You know- the kind where you are on the edge of insanity and just know you are going to snap at any moment. Nothing in particular makes you crazy, but everything makes you crazy. Unfortunately, being a mother, the offspring tends to become the scapegoat for all my irritations.

"Why do you have to eat your dinner by categories? Why can't you have a bit of this, a bite of that- enjoy the whole meal as it was intended?"


"Is it so hard to just do your math first and THEN your spelling?" (Ya, like it really matters what homework he does first, right? See, I told you I was going crazy!)

Well, on this particular day I was trying to get dinner ready. My son sensed my obvious verge of breakdown behavior and snapped into action before I knew it.  I turned to get the plates I'd set on the table and they were gone. My blood began to boil. SOMEONE TOOK THE PLATES ON PURPOSE!!! ( Hear twigs beginning to snap in my brain?)  Suddenly, a plate is thrust in my hands. It is full of food. Someone is pulling out my chair for me to sit. Someone is gently patting my shoulders to help me sit down, and my plate of piping hot food is placed in front of me. Then another plate is brought to the table for my husband. I realize no one was trying to drive me to an early grave. IT was just my sweet son trying to help calm his mommy!

I watched- probably with my mouth wide open in astonishment- as he dished himself up a plate and sat down. We said the prayer, and I was still sitting there with my mouth agape.

My son. My sweet, sweet boy-soon-to-be-man  was taking care of his mommy! My insanity melted away.

My husband says I never feel guilt. That, my friends, is not entirely true. On this day, the guilt cloud hanging over my head turned into a giant snowstorm. (We got 8 inches here! Seriously!) I felt guilty for ever snapping at my kid. For ever picking on anything he has ever done. EVER! He is a good kid. I am a bad mother. But, I am sure a lucky, bad mother!

Since then, I've been trying to look at all the little things he does that are so wonderful. There are a lot. And I am such a lucky, bad mother!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012- May the Odds be Ever in your Favor!

This is new territory for me- actually caring, and not just a little, about the turnout of an election. (Ok, I cared when I voted agains Bill Clinton, but I was barely voting age back then. All I knew was I didn't like that guy, I wanted the other guy.)

I have very strong feelings about the candidates this time around.

I've prayed.

I've searched and struggled.

I've researched and read.

I've eaten a lot of chocolate. (Ok, that's no different than any other day.)

I've gotten angry, and worried, and excited, and worried, and angry and excited all over again.

And I've wondered how our nation as a whole compares to the people in Mormon's time. (Read the Book of Mormon if you don't understand this reference.)

Are we able to be trusted to uphold the standards The Savior, Jesus Christ, set forth for us? Are we still a majority of righteous people who believe in the sanctity of marriage and the value of every single life, no matter how small or new? Are we still a majority who believe in religious freedom and in the values set forth in the Constitution? Would our fore-fathers recognize our country today?

I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning, unable to go back to sleep. I looked in the mirror and found my face has broken out in a rash! I'm sure it's stress. I'm worried about the direction our country is heading in, and if it will change course today, or keep rolling to it's destruction.

I realized that worrying and negative thoughts aren't going to change the country. I cast my vote, and it is votes that will change the country. It is people that will be the real change.

So, I got up and made an election day breakfast any patriot would be proud of- complete with red, white, and blue pancakes!!! I'm thankful to be an American. I am sooo grateful for those who have fought, and are still fighting, for my freedom. And I am sooo blessed to be born in the promised land and during the time when the fullness of Christ's gospel is here on the Earth.

No matter what, I know that I can personally make a difference in the way I live my life, and how I treat others.

So, happy election day, everyone! May the odds be ever in your favor!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurry up and have fun...

You know when you were a kid and you'd be playing at your grandparent's or cousins, and your parents would yell "We're leaving in 5 minutes!" so you'd hurry up and play as hard as you possibly could, trying to fit every last little bit of fun time in before you had to leave?

That's how I feel about this fall. The weather has been abso-freaking-lutely gorgeous! The October snow storm we had came early enough that the leaves hadn't all fallen off the trees, so we still have plenty of crunchy leaves to shuffle your feet through as you walk.  The weather has been quite warm, so long walks through the crunchy leaves and sunshine have been heaven!

I feel a sense of panick as I try to fit all my fun in before snow falls and I have to stay inside. Don't misunderstand me, I love winter. I love snow. I love donning sweaters and sipping hot cups of cocoa or peppermint tea and watching romantic Christmas movies. I love cozy socks on my feet and heating pads around my neck; piles of blankets surrounding me and my hubby as we snuggle together.  But I also love, love, love the fall.

Fall, to me, is the beginning. The crisp evenings with the smell of dried leaves and wood-burning stoves electrifies my spirit. I come alive in the fall. I go on more walks outside, and breathe more deeply the fresh, cool air. I was married in the fall, just before Halloween. This time of year is about re-living memories of childhood with my own child as he shuffles in his Halloween costume through the streets, going from house to house getting candy. Some things never change. The fall never changes. It is the same every year. You know the leaves will die and fall to the ground. You know they will be crunchy beneath your feet. You know the smell of fall will always be the same. You know when you stick your nose into your Halloween basket of candy it will always have the same smell.

Last Saturday my husband and I went on a bike ride through our neighborhood. It was a warm, sunny day. People were out finishing up the last yard work of the season. We had done that the Saturday before and had small, gloating smiles as we passed by the toiling workers in their yards. This day was all ours.

My thighs began to ache as I rode my pink and white cruiser up the hill above our house. "Now don't you wish you'd gotten a bike with gears?" my husband asked like a broken record every time we rode our bikes up this street.  "Nope," I replied. I love my pink cruiser. The seat is cushiony and bounces over every little rivet and bump in the road. The brakes are in the pedals so my hands don't get tired from breaking. And the tires, being a bit wider, tend to make the fallen leaves crunch just a bit more as I ride my bike through the piles of them in the gutters. 

My husband rode on ahead of me up the hill, then turned around and, sticking his legs out like a little child, he coasts down the hill. I know if I did this I'd break something. I'm not known for my agility, or quick reflexes. I turn around and coast, feet on pedals, until I catch up to him. Then, standing there, we turn our faces up toward the sunlight pouring down on us. The man blowing his leaves has gone inside. There are no noises but a few birds chirping in the trees nearby. I breathe deeply the smells of fall, the sunshine, the love from my husband.  This is the time of year I love best. This is the beginning, and I'm going to play just as hard as I can until it's over!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012: The year of the Sand People

This year, my son insisted on being a Tusken Raider from Star Wars. "Sure" I thought. It's a simple robe, right? Ha! Wrong! The mask... how could I forget the mask!!!! (The picture above is the creation of the mask. We used plaster strips you dip in water. They dried rather quickly so we didn't have to leave it on his head until he turned blue! And yes, he could breath!)

This is the finished mask. It turned out pretty well. HE really loved it, although he couldn't see a thing! (I had sunglass lenses in at first, but after our churchs trunk-or-treat, and me having to hold his hands and guide him to every car I decided he needed to be able to see, so we removed the lenses. MUCH better!)

Carving the spider man pumpkin the night before Halloween.

 This is Spider Man's eyes all lit up. You can kind of see the lines of his mask, but the light was a blinking light and I couldn't figure out how to take the picture with the lights fully lit up.
 We went to my brother's house again this year to trick-or-treat. It's so nice to have cute kids to go with rather than your boring old mom and dad like he has in the past. They sure had fun! And boy, did they get a load of candy!
Happy Halloween, 2012!!!! (I'm going to go take a nap now from all that sewing!)

Summer Vacations part 3: Summer hikes and various other things

We really tried to get out and enjoy the beautiful summer this year. We took a few hikes up near Silver Lake and Twin Lakes, by Brighton Ski Resort.

IT was very hot in the valley, but so perfectly cool at Silver Lake.

We saw a fox about 10 feet from the walkway. It was so cute, and not the least bit scared.

This was on our hike up to Twin Lakes (on a separate occasion.) Looking down on Silver Lake.

 My son took this shot of my hubby and I kissing in the sunlight. Kind of romantic!

 Did I marry the right guy or what? And there's no question that poser kid is my child!

Perfect, perfect weather at Twin Lakes. And what a great shot, huh? It seems I can get some great pictures if I'm not actually holding the camera.

I took my son and some friends from school to play at Trafalga fun center and this is them climbing the rock wall. I would never be caught doing that!

We also had a fun extended family camping trip at Spruces campground. These are all the cousins. It was rainy, but they still had lots of fun!

                                                        My son being goofy, as always!

We got some tickets to go see the Gipsy Kings at Red Butte Gardens. What a fun concert! We got up and danced and danced and danced. My son thought we were crazy at first, but he soon joined in and had a blast! (Don't be fooled by the picture. They really are having fun!)

My mom and Step-Dad invited us to go camping at Hyrum State Park with them in their new trailer. It was such a fun time. This is the kid getting his dirty feet washed in the sink.

In the water at Hyrum State Park. It was a gorgeous day, and he got to fish with his grandpa a lot. We had fresh fish more than once on that 3 day trip!

Summer Vacations Part 2: St. George

We took our usual trip to St. George and Zion earlier in October. Due to getting over some pretty nasty colds, and me forgetting my camera, we didn't really spend much time in Zion, and I didn't get a picture of the short time we did spend there. But I got some fun pictures of the rest of the trip.

By the pool. We spend a LOT of time by this gorgeous pool! Loved it all!

 We took a fun hike through Snow Canyon on the petrified dunes.

Grafton is a tiny little ghost town near Rockville, by Zion. This is looking through the wondows of an old school building there. Such history!

Hubby's favorite place in Snow Canyon. Climbs it every year!

Looking through old doorway at old building in Grafton.

The guys found a little cave and thought they'd go exploring.

He couldn't be more thrilled at finding the cave!

 Hmmm... this is tighter than we thought! But kinda cool!

Got a perfect shot on the petrified dune! Thanks, flat rock, for letting my camera sit on you while taking our self-portrait! This may just be on the Christmas card this year.

Summer Vacations Part 1: Yellowstone (warning: This has LOTS of pictures!)

I hate uploading pictures, so when I do, you get like a whole year's worth!

This is a post about all our Summer fun this last summer.

First, a fun trip to Yellowstone.
This was at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. What a gorgeous view!

We met up with some friends for a fun, but very windy picnic by Yellowstone Lake.

Yes! We finally saw some Bison!

Gotta pose by the falls.

 We found this cool mineshaft looking thing from the road and decided to hike to it. Turns out it was an old abandoned railroad tunnel. What a fun hike, and a cool find!
Inside the shaft. The smell of old oil was so strong, and awesome!

Old Faithful!

We went to a drive-in movie in Driggs, Idaho called The Spud. This is us in our car before the movie started. Fun, fun night!
Outside our quaint but cute motel room in West Yellowstone

                                     Beautiful view of river from outside the old railroad tunnel.