Thursday, May 9, 2013

"I'm a ballerina going across the street" Savoring the ordinary :)




"Patience helps us to use, rather than protest, these seeming flat periods of life, becoming filled with quiet wonder over the past and with anticipation for that which may lie ahead, instead of demeaning the particular flatness through which we may be passing at the time.
We should savor even the seemingly ordinary times, for life cannot be made up of all kettledrums and crashing cymbals. There must be some flutes and violins. Living cannot be all crescendo; there must be some counterpoint." Elder Maxwell Patience
I have been searching for words, for something to click in my brain and help me out of  this funk. These were the words I was searching for.     
I'm a in a "flat period" in life right now. I'm anxiously awaiting the next step and it's not coming. It's hard for me to not obsess over things so not having an immediate plan for the next steps/stage in life has been at the forefront of my mind for quite sometime. And it's annoying. I jump around, in my mind, to all different options and possibilities but inevitably come to the same conclusion every time,  I'll just wait and see if...will happen then I'll make a decision. Not fun. Not the way I like to live.
Coming across this talk was just what I needed. I needed the reminder that there is SO much beauty, love, pleasure, happiness and satisfaction where I am in life currently and I don't want to waste a second of it being sad that is isn't different.
I never looked at my wishing or wanting more as demeaning what I currently have, but that's exactly that it is! And would I EVER demean my amazing husband or my precious Summer? Never. They mean the world to me. They bring me such love, and happiness and more smiles than anything else in my life. So why would I demean the life I'm living with them?
I am so thankful for Elder Maxwell's words and for being guided to read them. I needed them. They are truly a wake up call and I feel different inside for having read them. I feel my whole perspective has changed.
Of course I still want that next stage in life. Of course I want a bigger family. But that want doesn't hold a candle to what I already have. And I am so glad to have finally realized this!  
What's not to savor in this? Here's a nice little peak into life with Summer.  She sings everything, all the time. It's hilarious! Oh, and the video is filmed the wrong direction because if I turn my phone sideways Summer immediately knows I'm either filming or taking a pic and all cuteness stops! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cruise: Port Days, Jamaica

We had 3 stops on our cruise, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We went for adventure on this trip and we succeeded!


Jamaica.











We were so excited when we got up and saw the island! It was so beautiful. Green, lush and warm. But we couldn't get off the boat until 10 am so we hit up the ropes course! It was closed for the sea days due to wind. It was great. We were the only ones on it and got to go twice.


 


On our way down we came across this gem. It's hard to see, but on every one of the lounge chairs is a towel animal! It was an awesome site to see. They even made giant ones out of comforters. So cool!

 

Once on the island we headed downtown when a local told us to come see his craft market. It seemed a little shady but it was just a couple minutes down the street so we decided to try it. Turns out his sister does cornrow braids so I had my hair done. We were a little tight on time, but got back to the port in time to meet our tour group for zip lining!




After about a 40 minute ride up a mountain we got out in the jungle. It was so green and the trees were so tall! There is so much bamboo growing wildly it's amazing. It grows 4-6 inches a day! Then we got suited up and hiked up to our first zip line. After 4 shorter lines we got to the last one, 1,600 feet long! It was a rush. Soaring 25 mph at the top of a jungle! One of the coolest things I've done










Monday, April 8, 2013

Cruise!!



We went on a WONDERFUL 7 day Caribbean cruise a couple of weeks ago. My mom offered to watch Summer for us so she flew out we got her settled in and off we went.


Sunday- Tuesday & Saturday: Sea Days

 We went on Carnival Magic and really loved the ship! Pools, hot tubs, water slides, ropes course, huge pool side movie screen and fun activities. Oh and lot and lot of food.
 

 

Thomas played dodge ball every sea day and had a blast! I would sit and enjoy the view!
We had fun dressing up for our formal night. We even got our pictures taken by a photographer who was absolutely hilarious. He would almost sing commands. "Man's hand on woman's shoulder, Woman look to the left. Woman cock your knee, man kiss woman" It was a lot of fun and great entertainment. It was fun to dress up, we really don't very often in "real life" :)
 


 
I learned how to make towel animals! And we had a blast dancing with our wait staff nightly!

 



Thomas participated in limbo at the dance party. He got second place!! Only a 13 year old girl bet him. I have the video and will try to post it. It was pretty awesome. He won this cool hat and a "ship on a stick" trophy :)
 



I'm working on getting all our pictures from our port days. We had so much fun. Zip lining in Jamaica, snorkeling and swimming with stingray in Grand Cayman and para sailing in Cozumel. It was all so much fun!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The hardest day of every month

I've had this post in my head for a while now, I just wasn't sure if I wanted to share it or not. Well, enough time has past and the title remains true so I figured, why not?

It took almost a year and a half to get pregnant with Cali. It was hard waiting for her to come to our family. I have always loved children, especially babies. In fact one of my best friends in high school would joke and say I was going to have a huge family because when one baby would grow up I'd have to have another just so I could keep having a baby around. I used to laugh and say no way. But now I see it's true.

I got married when I was 23. That is "old" in my mormon culture. I didn't get pregnant for the first time until I was 25, again "old" and then I didn't have a baby that I could take home from the hospital until I was a few weeks from being 27.

I am now a "few" months away from being 30 and it's just me and Summer kickin it together. And I thought I'd be done by 30! HA!

Now, I absolutely LOVE my time with my Summer girl. She makes me happier than I ever could have imagined! I actually LOVE that I don't have a newborn right now. I remember how hard the lack of sleep was for me and I don't miss it. I don't mind not having to cart 2 kids around while trying to get groceries or go out on a walk etc. I LOVE this time with Summer, with 1 sweet child to love and care for and give all my attention to.

But I want a baby! I want to be pregnant again. And (crazy as it sounds to some)  I want to give birth again! I know how very fortunate I am to have Summer. I, better than many, know well the fear, disappointments and loss that surround becoming a mother. I have friends and family who have never experienced giving birth and I am sensitive to their own feelings of loss. Feelings that we all have in some way in life.

We all have wants and desires that aren't met when we want them to (or ever in many cases). I am in the middle of one now. I want a baby and it's not happening.

Like I said it took a while with Cali so this waiting isn't new, but it's still scary. Thomas is certain that we'll have more, I wish I could be too. But every month that day comes around that breaks my heart and for that day shatters my dream. And it's a hard day. It's a day that I usually stay inside, stay quiet and tell myself over and over again all the wonderful things I have in my life until I finally look at Summer, or get a big hug from Thomas and open my eyes are see that it is really true. I have so much. But on that day, every month, it is so hard to see through the loss and disappointment.

And I don't know why, maybe it's because Cali was just a newborn when she passed away but my feelings of loss, disappointment and fear of unrealized dreams on that one day every month often turn me back to her. Back to missing her terribly, back to wishing she were still here. Because if she were here Summer would have a sister, a playmate, and I would feel more complete. My days would be busier. And it is so very hard to have those feelings of grief and anger at losing her on top of the disappointment of another "failed attempt".


I try really hard to listen to some wise counsel I received as a teenager "Wherever you are be there" to not be wasting where you are in life now because you want to be in the next stage. This is where I am in life.  I AM a mother, something I had wanted for so long, so I need to enjoy being a mother to 1 and all the sweetness that it gives me.


And so it is every month. The anticipation, the hope, and then the loss, the anger, the let down. The realization that I have so little control over my life.

And then life goes on, back to normal. Back to my sweet (small) loving family. Back to enjoying all the time I do have to do projects and to admire my sweet Summer, and to enjoy my husband and plan trips and do all the things that would be harder to do with 2 littles.

 And I am happy. But on that day, life is just plain hard.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Love

A friend of mine (who I know thru the "heart world") lost her daughter recently. She was 4 1/2 years old. She had been on the heart transplant waiting list and passed away before she got a transplant. She was born a year before Cali and had the same defect. This has had me thinking a lot lately about life and love.

Losing Cali at such a young age was devastating. We barely had her in our lives before she was gone. And she left behind all our hopes and dreams for her life and future. That is what we most often mourn, the life we wished she had. The life that she didn't hardly get to taste.

Kylie was 4. Her parents experienced a whole life with her. They know her favorite foods, her likes and dislikes. They've witnessed her smiles and laughter. They comforted her and held her when she needed it most. Kylie lived at their home. She has a bedroom full of her own things. She has a deep presence in their lives.

And then I think of Summer. My little 2 year old. And how she fills my life. And I think back to Kylie, and especially her mom and I can hardly keep tears back. How do you lose such a big part of your life? How do you return to the house where your daughter lived and pack up her things. How do you decide whether or not to wash the her last dirty clothes, or the pillowcase that she slept on. How do you fill the quiet, the longing for the sound of your child's voice. How do you find purpose and meaning in such loss.

And I don't know the answer. I don't even think there is an answer. I think that we navigate through life one step at a time doing, at that time, what feels the best. And with each step things get closer to feeling OK. And we learn how to dig deep and how to fight the hard battles in life. And we learn about what we really care about. And we keep repeating because life doesn't ever stop and we evolve and cope and find strength somehow.

And as sad as that is. The reality of life and loss, and such despair it brings me back to love. How long does it take to fall in love? What about with your children? I'm not sure the answer and I think it's different for every parent, but what I can tell you with absolute certainty is that in a mere 2 years you can come to love that person more than the whole world. And in no time at all they become the center of your world and your life becomes their life, at least while they're very little and dependent on you for everything.

And then they start to give back to you. Through laughs, and smiles, coos, and eyes that just seem to say so clearly that you are their world, that they love you. And then they hug you, and kiss you, and eventually tell you they love you. And they run to you to share their excitement and their pride in their accomplishments or when they are hurt or sad, and they turn to you to make it better.

And I think about my 2 years with Summer. Experiencing the beauty of life and wishing every single day that she knows just how much I love her. That she could know that every night as I look at her sleeping through the monitor I think "Wow, isn't she amazing?" And I think about how she has made my heart grow, just by being her mother. With every smile and every shared learning experience, even the times that I have let her down and been short with her, even, maybe especially those times, my heart grows with love and I hope that I am telling her and showing her enough every single day that she is everything.

And I hope and pray that I get many many many more days to help her know how much I love her. And then I think about my friend. And I wish that she could have just one more day with her own daughter. One day to give every last little bit of herself to her daughter so she, as her mother, could feel like she did it. She succeeded in giving her daughter all the love that she so desperately wants her daughter to receive.

And I think about that kind of heartbreak. That kind of loss. That kind of life shattering grief and the tears flow. Because I know a small taste of it. And I wish that it could stop. That parents could have their children with them forever. That there was an end to that kind of heart wrenching pain. And all I can think that I can do about it is love more. Give more. Share more. Do more. See good more. And hope that if I ever have to say goodbye to my Summer before I'm ready that I know that each day I shared with her was magic. That she feels so much love in her life, that she has no doubt of her worth and value to us and this whole wide world.

And if I can help her to know how deeply she is loved and how much she has grown my heart then I have succeeded in life. I have been the mother that I so much want to be.

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Month in Review

I think I can manage monthly posts! Yay! Which is super because then when I do my yearly scrapbook I won't be completely starting from scratch!

Here's February in a nutshell:

While out doing a major grocery trip (I've started going just every other week) we stopped into a pet store. Summer loved the fish


Summer completed her alphabet train all on her own and was so proud "Mama look I did the whole thing!"


We made cookies and had a valentine's party at the library. We found a super great library story time for Summer that has stations with arts and crafts and various learning activities! We've built it into our schedule and LOVE it!!

We did lots of Jillian Michael's 30 day shred :)

Thomas was diagnosed with bronchitis. After 4 days of bed rest returned to work and has been fighting the remaining cough for a good 2+ weeks :P Poor guy!!

So Summer and I have been home without a car a lot again this month, which means... more McDonalds. Notice that she is a 2 year old girl playing basketball with oh 4 boys much older than she. Nothing phases her!


Lots of playing trains and cuddling on the couch singing songs. Her current favorites "You are my sunshine" "ABCs" and "Happy Birthday to you" sung to monkey!


We've been out biking and enjoying the "cool" weather

I got to go to the rodeo twice! Once for our Valentine's date and one girls night


Summer and I got to go to the zoo with some friends. She, of course, loved the monkeys!

Thomas almost got to go to India for a month! But it looks like it won't happen til later. He's pretty bummed!

Mostly it's been a super low key month with a few great moments like this one. I LOVE her :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fitness Jar Challenge

I'm doing a Fitness Jar Challenge! Want to join me? It's easy! Here's what it is...

I took ideas from around the internet (mostly pinterest) and combined those with fitness goals that I already had in mind, like drinking more water, cutting back on sugar etc. I made a template with 1 fitness challenge in each square to cut up and put in a jar. Then each morning I pick 1 slip out and do what it says! I am so excited because I think it's simple enough, the commitment is minimal (meaning it's not p90x that I have to do for 90 days, or even the 30 day shred). It's 1 good thing for me each day! And my hope is that I will learn to do these healthy things, like drink the right amount of water, and then I'll be able to keep doing it.

I think it's breaking it down to 1 thing 1 day that makes this exciting and doable for me. I can do almost anything for 1 day :)

So my goal is to do this for 30 days, or until the jar runs out, whichever I feel like :) And there's just 1 rule. I must choose 1 slip everyday and if it's something that I just don't have time for that day, like the big run/walk for 2 hours challenge I am allowed to save it for the next day and choose a new slip. But I only get a 1 day grace. I figure if I can't do it 1 day I can arrange things to make it possible the next day!

So...Who's with me?!? Anyone wanna try it? I think it'd be fun to get ideas for different challenges and encourage and report. If there's enough interest we could have a Facebook challenge group. Here's my template for challenges. I wanted a decent mix of dietary and activity based. Also, you can probably see what I'm really trying to work on- my sugar consumption and (lack) of decent water consumption. But, the idea is to do what works for you and focus on the things you'd like to improve! If you do it let me know :) And wish me luck too!

Oh, and I meant to add that this for me is supplemental, trying to find those "little" things to help get me to my desired fitness level :) But you could really go as big with the challenges as you'd like!

Fitness Jar Challenge
Drink 60 oz of waterno sugareat 5 servings of fruits/veggies
no meatno dairy4 miles
50 crunchesSalad for lunchSmoothie for breakfast
double your workoutwalk around the neighbourhoodbike neighbourhood loop x2
30 jacks
10 squats
20 lunges
30 high knees
10 crunches
40 jacks
25 crunches
25 mountain climbers
25 leg raises
1 min plank x3
10 jacks
10 push ups
10 squats
10 crunches
10 jump rope
decrease each set by 1 until down to 1 each
walk to a store/library20 squats
30 lunges
40 calf raises
50 second wall sit
100 jacks
50 second wall sit
40 sumo squats
30 leg raises
20 squats
20 crunches feet on floor
20 crunches legs bent in air
20 crunches legs up
30 second plank
15 reverse crunches
15 bicycle crunches
40 speed skaters
50 Russian Twists
15 side plank hip lifts (R)
30 bicycle crunches
15 side plank hip lifts (L)
Drink 60 oz of waterDrink 60 oz of water
Dance Central 30 minutesWalk/ run 1 hourWalk/run 2 hours
10 minutes up & down stairsp90x absclass at gym
count points todayno sugarno sugar
Count points todaysoup for lunchno eating after dinner
no eating between mealsno eating between mealsno eating after dinner



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

January

We had an interesting month around here. Here are some high (and low) lights:

 At least 1 of us was sick for about 3 weeks of  the month.

We drove from Provo, UT to San Antonio in 23 hrs

Summer moved into a toddler bed and after about 3-4 days LOVES it!

We booked a cruise! We sail in March

We went to the arcade where Summer's favorite games were basketball and skee ball :) She picked a pink princess lolly pop and a race car for her prizes!
I rediscovered my sewing machine and made 2 valances (using a crib skirt!) and a few pillows

I repainted our office. It's the same color just in semi-gloss instead of flat so I can actually clean the colored on walls :)

We went camping for the first time

Thomas fixed my bike and we've been enjoying riding around in nice weather

Summer fell on the tile and got her first fat lip :(
Thomas got a great review at work and was rewarded accordingly!

Summer's favorite toys since Christmas has been trains and airplanes


I built a PVC pipe storage organizer for the garage

It's been an "at-home" kinda month. With sickness abound we've been spending lots of quality time within our 4 walls. Which probably also explains all my projects :)