21 May 2013

as i've read through the past few entries i've written on this blog, i realized that i've come a long way since last fall. i don't know what it is, but things have been going pretty smoothly for us lately. can't tell you how thankful i am for that. what i mean is, goldie seems to have grown up a lot since turning 3. she is beyond helpful and has become such a good listener. i feel like she really respects me and that's something that i've been working at for a long time. and i respect her. i've learned what hurts her the most and i've learned what parenting tactics work best with her spunky and sensitive personality. every day i think how lucky i am that she was born first-- she takes care of everyone in this house. i couldn't ask for more. then there is little annie who kind of melts our hearts every day. she is a pistol, that is for sure. we're in the thick of the hitting phase (worst phase every for me), but she's slowly learning. slowly. but there's been progress and that's what matters. annie is totally entertaining and is really good with her manners. she is very polite to goldie (when she isn't hitting her), and i often hear conversations between them that go like this: (while coloring together)

annie: good job, goldie! good job!
goldie: thanks, annie!
annie: welcome!

i mean i know it's small, but i think it's pretty awesome. they seem to have figured each other out as of late, and annie is very quick to say she's sorry and to give lots of hugs and kisses. she loves to help goldie with everything, and she keeps right up with her too. annie is growing up so much, but she is always wanting to give love to all of us. she is just the sweetest, and i love watching her grow.

i guess since last october i have felt a lot of motherhood woes. it's not fun to feel that, as i'm sure most mothers young and old have felt. there's so much pressure on the moms of today it seems... keeping up with this craft and that, providing constant entertainment and attention for your little ones. while that is great for others, that's not how i parent i guess. i often leave my girls to themselves so that they can learn to be independent (which they have). i let them do adventurous things and give them their distance when they come across a situation that is a little hard. i only help when i'm asked to. we go outside every moment we can because i love letting them explore. it's just so fun for me to watch their little brains work. i pin a lot of stuff on pinterest that i think is really amazing, but i laugh at myself because lets be honest, i know i'll never do most of the crafts and projects that i pin. it's a nice thought though :) in the past two months, i've really let it all go... or at least i've tried to. i've really been enjoying motherhood instead of letting the "pressure" of it all get to me. i'm like, whatever man. i'm just going to have fun with my kids. and we've been having just that. amazing how things can change when you decide to change your attitude and mentality about certain things in life. i'm much happier than i've been in a long time. maybe having baby boy growing in my belly helps too... so excited to be having a boy. just can't wait.

anyway, we had a fun adventure as a family this evening. my girls love waterfalls and playing in the woods, so we went to multnomah falls here in oregon and did a small hike. the weather was perfect. the girls had a blast. we got some exercise. life is good.











22 March 2013

today i woke up, feeling productive and happy. as the morning melted into the early afternoon, i found myself feeling tense. all tangled up inside. i hope i'm not the only one this happens to. my children were crying and whining over what seemed like nothing, and fought to go down for their naps that they desperately needed. i raised my voice at goldie, who finally took me seriously, and she went to sleep. i always feel so sad when i raise my voice at her, and usually go back in my mind and realize i didn't have to in the first place. it is something i'm working on though, and i have no problem apologizing for my mistakes. she is always very forgiving, bless her heart.

annie has been crawling out of her crib the past few days (my worst nightmare). it's been driving me crazy. after goldie finally went to sleep this afternoon, annie continued to get up out of her bed. i'd go put her back in it. she'd get up again. i was getting so frustrated (still feeling tangled), that i retreated to my closet where i normally go when things feel a little too overwhelming. suddenly, i hear this tiny little voice calling for me. there was my little annie, holding her blankie with her thumb in her mouth. she had snot running out of her nose, and her cheeks were flushed. she hasn't been feeling good. it hit me all of a sudden that she just needs some attention. she needs ME. i picked her up and kissed her face, walking slowly to her bedroom. we sat on her couch and i rocked her back and forth as she laid her head on my shoulder. she loves when i hum (not when i sing), so i hummed for a good long time and rubbed her back, tickled her face softly, petted her soft hair. her eyes slowly closed and her body went heavy in my arms. i sat there with my eyes closed, smelling her in... telling myself to remember this moment when i realized my daughter simply needed me. i'm thankful i recognized the opportunity to cuddle with my recently grumpy little 2-year-old. she needs to know how much i love her, not matter how many times she whacks me in the head.

these are the special moments that humble me to the core. these are the moments where i can feel heavenly father's love so strongly, and his confidence in me as a mother. i need that support, because let me tell you; i often feel inadequate. i have many weakness that i'm working on. but in the past week, i've tried very hard to let go of certain things that are weighing me down. let go, and be happy.

that's the phrase that keeps popping into my mind.

let go, and be happy.

i'm thankful for the daily reminders that keep me grounded.


11 March 2013

babies and things.

there are so many things i should be doing right now... my kitchen is a mess, costco purchases need to be put away, refrigerator needs to be organized, and a nap would be nice. sometimes it's kind of nice though to just look at it all and think, "yeah i'll take care of you later." it's very freeing. you should try it.

it's safe to say that we had a perfect weekend-- the sun gods decided to shower us with some major sunshine and i swear i felt like a new person! it's amazing what a little warmth and light can do for the soul. we literally spent the entire day outside on friday. we live in an apartment, so we basically set up shop on the sidewalk outside our door and pretended it was our backyard. chalk, bikes, popsicles, friends-- it was such a dream. we headed to the oregon coast on saturday, and although it was kind of windy and chilly, the sun helped keep us warm and our kids loved playing in the sand and water. my poor annie was sick that day, which was really sad, but she trooped through the drive. what a girl. then sunday came, and the sun disappeared. the rain started again last night, and it's been drizzling all day today. that's probably why i'm feeling so unmotivated today-- i wish the gray didn't affect me, but it does. however, i am going to do my best to push through and be productive. afterall, the bachelor finale is on tonight and i don't want anything in the way of THAT.


in other news, annie turned 2! can you even believe that she is 2 already? it kind of blows my mind. she's been very cuddly with me lately, and i've sort of been babying her only because i don't want her to grow up. we had such a fun birthday for her and she loved the attention. i just love that annie so much--she truly is the sweetest.




and the last news of all is that i'm expecting baby no. 3! we're very, very excited in this house to add another little cutie pie to our brood. i'm due sept. 22. goldie is convinced it's a girl, and that her name is callie. ha! i guess we'll just have to wait and see, won't we. i've been feeling mostly good... been sick here and there, and tired. but really i've had a lot of energy and this has been my easiest pregnancy i've had. annie doesn't really understand what's happening, although she does see pictures of the ultrasound and asks to hold the baby (cute, huh). goldie is really excited though--she loves babies more than any other 3-year-old i know. today she laid her head on my belly and said, "i'm going to love this baby all day long." pretty sweet things happening over here with these sisters. i feel very blessed.

 
speaking of babies, what are your favorite baby products? i feel like so much has come out since i had annie, and for the first time i feel VERY out of the loop. help!

hope you're having a marvelous day.

22 February 2013

hi again.

i think it's safe to say that not many people read this blog anymore, and that's okay. i took a break... maybe you've noticed. as a mother of two (and the manager of a household might i add), there just doesn't seem to be a lot of time to sit down and write. jake makes fun of me because my favorite saying these days is, "it's just not my season." i say that in reference to working from home (something i have really enjoyed doing this past year), blogging, crossfit, etc. so many things i want to do but don't exactly have the capacity to do it all. accepting that has been very freeing.

the winter in portland has been a little brutal. i'm not used to the gray skies and rain, but there have been some beautiful sunny days too... we take full advantage, believe you me. sometimes i think i was made for the pacific northwest, and other times i remember the year-round sun in georgia and crave my home in the south. either way, i've got a good life. i can deal with some gray.

goldie and annie are growing like little weeds, which is half the reason i feel like i should start blogging again. the things they say and do are too good not to document. i do have a notebook that i write little quotes down in, but honestly it's easier to type. yesterday goldie said, "oh darn it mom. the playground is all wet and we don't have any towels!" just the fact that she said "darn it" made me laugh. she started school in january and is doing really well with it. i'm proud of her for learning and growing--she's proving to be quite the big and responsible girl. annie will be 2 in just a few weeks here, which is crazy. she is our little entertainer who loves to dance and spin and run run run. she has this cackle laugh that is infectious, and man does she love her sister. yesterday we were "nuggling" in my bed and she wanted to sing songs. i asked her what song she wanted to sing, and she replied, "jesus." so, i started singing a few songs about jesus but they weren't what she wanted. i said, "okay, then you sing whatever song you're talking about." she smiled and started this random tune that i'd never heard and said the name "jesus" over and over again. it was cute. she knows she's a loved little girl.




i'm doing pretty well. i've been cooking some new recipes (which always makes me happy) and taking care of myself and my family. same old same old with me.... which means there's nothing to complain about thankfully. just loving my little family, accepting challenges and doing my best to overcome them, keeping busy... you know how it goes. anyway, both girls are refusing their naps as goldie pounds on her bedroom door saying "mama i don't want to nap mom! stop. come on mommy open the door (growls). don't do that mom!" and annie is jumping up and down in her crib laughing her brains out. another day in the life.

cheers, friends.

12 December 2012

i love these prints.

while making christmas cards, i came across these prints. i fell in love. might purchase one day for the girls. aren't they so cute?

found here




I know the P is supposed to be a G... obviously. They wouldn't let me edit it, but you can imagine!





27 November 2012

G & A


oh these little angels. how i love them so.... and i'm so thankful they love each other (most of the time).

we chose to have them close, and i'm happy we did. it's not easy, but it is most definitely worth it.

hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. i turned 28 on the blessed day and have upped my dosage of anti-wrinkle cream and have given up sweets. 

just kidding about the sweets.


07 November 2012

Geese and Swings



I love these pictures of my girls. Goldie is watching geese fly south (her favorite thing to do these days), and Annie is just happy to be on a swing. These two teach me a lot, as I'm sure most little children do with their mothers. The simplest things make them happy. They are content in these photos, just enjoying being outside and with each other. What more could a mother ask for?

I have weak moments as a mom... I've said this before. Sometimes I am ashamed of how I react to certain things, but at least I am aware of my weaknesses and try to be better. That's all we can do at the end of the day: try to be better. Christ will make up for the rest... I am so thankful for the beauty of the Atonement.

I have a piece of thin rope tied around my wrist as a reminder to keep my cool when my girls are driving me crazy. This happens mostly on rainy days when we're cooped up in our apartment and there isn't much space to run around and be free. So, instead they decide to pick on each other (not all of the time, but time enough!) and it really upsets me. I have to remember though, they are so little. They're learning about emotions and how to properly express them, and how will they learn what's right if their mother isn't setting a good example? Ugh, that one always hits me hard. 

At the end of the day, they are fed, happy, filled with hugs and kisses and all things positive, and they are warm in their beds. I have done a good job, and my children know their mother loves them.

So, so thankful for Annie and Goldie. My two best friends.

Their dad ain't half bad either ;)

24 October 2012

21 October 2012

the mother's atonement

well, this pretty much sums it up right here. this is what it's all about; talk about an epiphany. inserting my foot in my mouth... now.

i love these two with my whole heart.



borrowed from here

"I had just swept the final collection into the pile.”Pretzels, captain crunch, popcorn, cheerios, chips…” I spouted off to anyone listening. “Nope. I didn’t eat any of these things,” I continued, as I brushed the last of the pile into the dustpan.

The only person listening at the table said quietly, “It’s the mother’s atonement.”

I straightened up, “What?”

He spoke louder and clearer now between bites of breakfast, “It’s the mother’s atonement.”
I stood silently with a pause hanging in the air. He swallowed and continued, “It’s what mother’s do.
They spend their life cleaning up messes for everyone else, messes that they had no hand in making.”

The observance was profound to me. It would seem that I should have been filled for a moment with pride considering that my job of sweeping their crumbs was more Christlike than I had ever considered. Yet, almost immediately, I felt a rushing wave of guilt.

I cowered from the comparison. How many times had I commented out loud, under my breath, to my spouse, or simply in my mind the list of things that I had done for my children? Wanting, for a small moment, for them to recognize and be grateful. It shouldn’t seem wrong to desire my children to be grateful, but in that moment of clarity, I saw that my gratitude requirement was more about me receiving some type of praise or return on my service than it was about them changing their hearts.
Christ never required praise. He never asked for it. He never wanted it.

I can recall conversations with my teenage children where they, in an attempt to get out of a work request, listed off all of the things they had done for me recently. I would then make a conversation-ending comment like,”Well if you’d like to compare service lists we can, and you’d lose, so get to work!”

We’d always had a good laugh about it, but as these thoughts raced through my head Sunday morning with a broom still in my hand, the humor was lost on me. My motives were rarely pure enough for the comparison my husband had just made. The Savior has never offered up a list to compare what He had brought to the table vs. what I had brought. I would lose every time. I know that. But He would never do that.

That Sunday morning comment awoke me to a new mothering concept. Mothering as He would. Not for praise. Not for recognition. Not for a hug, a kiss, or even a thank you. Not because I can’t stand a dirty floor or because someone coming for a visit might see the display of animalistic behavior my children can exhibit. Not for any type of compensation.

Sweeping up crumbs because that’s what He did. With a perfect love.

All that He did and all that He was in His life pointed us to understand the true nature of His Father, our Father. The glory was to be pointed there. It was never about Him. He swept up the crumbs, mended the broken, and made no comment or had any thought as to who was responsible. He cleaned up our messes infinitely with the perfect love of the Father, so that we could come to know Him.

My job as a mother is to point them to the Savior, who will then point them to the Father. Christlike mothering isn’t about what I’ve done for them. It’s about what heart I did it with.

When I show my children who He is through my actions and my heart, then, and only then, can I consider the mother’s atonement applicable to me. Only then do I feel like I am participating in Christlike Mothering.

13 October 2012

the power of heaven

motherhood is sometimes a really difficult thing for me. it's a really odd to me that i've dreamed my entire life of being a mother, something that truly means everything to me, only to realize that a lot of the times i'm not very good at it. i don't write this for anyone to comment and tell me that i'm a great mom, blah blah. i write this in a moment of true, hardcore honesty. my saturday morning has not started the way that i wanted it to. my children don't listen. i know they are young, but they don't listen. there are moments where i think, "if i have to hear myself say that same phrase one more time, i'm going to lose it." i feel like i am constantly repeating myself, same punishments, same tactics, and while most of the time my girls are sweet and fun, they can be a handful. so much a handful that i think, "i'd like to be done having children because i'm not sure if i could do anymore than this." i find myself in the darkness of my closet a lot, crying and apologizing to heavenly father for how i have just yelled so loudly at my little 2 1/2 year old. i find myself pleading constantly for help, for betterment, for peace, for the ability to be patient (something i have struggled with for so long now). isn't it weird how you love someone so fiercely that you almost don't even understand the magnitude of it all? i would do anything for my two girls. i want them to be happy and healthy and have everything they need, and sometimes anything they want :) it feels like i keep relapsing into impatience.

i spent a good amount of time on my knees this morning while jake took the girls outside to play in the rain. i prayed and cried and asked for help because i am feeling so frustrated with motherhood. i know i am too hard on myself, i know that. but i can't help that i simply know i can be better, and i want to be better, but i just don't know how. and that is very frustrating. it's quiet outside, gray, and a little bit windy. one of my favorite fall sounds is listening to the geese fly overhead as they head somewhere south while we're all stuck here where it's cold and gloomy. i hear a train in the distance, and for some reason that makes me feel better. these are the sounds i listened to as i waited for peace after my prayer. being a mother is hard, and it's hard because it's a sacred calling. it's a privilege, one that i am so very grateful for. it is also lot of work, and it's tiring. but i'll tell you this, nothing makes me happier than waking up to two snugly girls who give me kisses and want to be held by ME. their mother. their everything. so in those dark moments where i tell myself that i'm not good enough, that i don't have it in me, that i am too weak and impatient to do this most holy calling, i remember that annie jane and goldie jean need, want, and love ME. i am theirs, and they chose me to be theirs a long time before this earth was even created. i will be theirs forever, and that knowledge alone helps me through those times of self-belittlement. 

i can do this because my love for them overpowers the cunning and sly ways of satan, who is constantly working to bring me down and to pour self-doubt into my mind. well, good luck sir. you're not getting to me anymore. for i am a mother, and i have the power of heaven on my side.

"When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, 'pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,' that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. You can't possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you--He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest efforts, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be."

-Jeffrey R. Holland, "Because She Is a Mother,", Ensign, May 1997, 35

10 October 2012

chick-a-dees





fall is here in oregon and i am so happy about it. we've been layering up and enjoying the incredible weather... sadly, the rain is coming on friday and i'm dreading it. but until then, we're going on adventures through the woods, in the fields, around our little neighborhood, and up and down every slide and swing we can find.

my girls are growing up. some of my favorite saying lately:

goldie girl:



"mom, i sure love you" (with her hands up at her sides like she's saying, "huh?")
"woah, look at the size of that poop!" (mid push on the potty)
"c'mon honey, i'll help you" (to annie)
"no, mom, YOU go potty."
"OW! dang corns." (stepping on acorns with bare feet)
"oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!"
"oh my shoot."
"mommy, i have some pah-corns please."
"oh that is so awesome."
"oh little baby bookyn so cute" (talking about how cute cousin brooklyn is)
"oh mommy, i so sorry."
"okay okay okay okay okay okay"

...and about any other thing you can think of, she says it. this girl is a serious conversationalist.

annie jane:



"i stuck!"
"help!"
"bee-at peese!" (bite please)
"up peese" (up please)
"tanks" (thanks)
"air-pannneee!!!" (airplane)
"hand! hand!" (when she wants to hold hands)
"OHH NOOOO!"
"woooowww"
"boook peese!"
 "daddy!"
"mommy!"
"uh-ohhh."
"mine-nst" (it should be noted that everything she says has an "nst" sound attached to it)


and my very favorite: "no." she says no for everything, even when she means yes.


silly girls. love them so.

24 September 2012

relief.

i should be working, but instead i want to write down some thoughts about my children.

being a mother is hard. let me say that again. being a mother is hard. much harder than i ever anticipated. there are days where i feel like i wake up at 7 and don't stop moving until i get in bed at 11. i was chatting with a friend today and we were talking about how there aren't enough hours in the day to get all the things done that we need to get done. i used to hear people say that before i had kids, and i never understood it. i had so much free time back then, it almost makes me laugh. now i get it, and i understand it to the fullest.

i like being busy though-- i like feeling like i have a major purpose and that people need my love, attention, and support. it makes me feel whole, and feeling whole is a much greater feeling than having some extra free time on my hands. i was thinking earlier this morning about what relief feels like. it's actually kind of funny how the thought came to my mind... i guess i'll share it. i was thinking about the beauty of relief-- that wave that flows over your shoulders and washes away worry and anticipation and anxiety. sometimes relief isn't welcome, because you don't want to be dealing with a stressful situation in the first place before that wonderful flush of relief can happen, you know what i'm saying? it doesn't have to be that dramatic though. it was a busy morning, running around, cleaning up, changing diapers, taking goldie to the potty 6 million times because she had to "poop", making breakfast, doing dishes, etc. all of a sudden, i realized i had to go to the bathroom so bad. like to the point where i almost didn't make it in time (ahhh, the bladder after babies. so much fun). and after i went, i felt that relief. and that's how all these thoughts started, so there's the story. all of a sudden, i was daydreaming like i was on inside the actor's studio (i know.. don't ask) and i was being asked all of these questions. suddenly, the interviewer asked me what brings me relief. i said, "going pee after holding it for a very long time." the audience chuckles and i smile. then i say, "you're wanting a more serious answer, aren't you." he nods. i think for a minute and i say, "honestly, what brings me the most relief is being able to get into my warm bed at the end of the day knowing that i did all that i could to be a good mother, a good wife, a good friend, and a good person that day. i did my best, which is all i can do. relief is knowing that my two little girls are happy and safe and healthy in their beds, snuggled up with their blankies and babies and hopefully having good dreams. relief is knowing that i have a good man next to me. those things bring me the most relief every day." a silly day dream, but prophetic as well. that is my true answer at the end of the day- we have everything we need, and what we have is enough. sure, i'd love to go shopping and get all the clothes that i pin on my pinterest. sure i'd love to travel and do this or that. but i have a happy, calm, simple little life.

that is more than enough for me.

goldie and annie are growing up so fast, and i'm actually having a lot of fun with it. my "baby" is almost 19 months old and she is saying words, running, jumping, climbing, and laughing all the time. not so baby anymore. goldie doesn't wear diapers, but instead runs around in big girl princess underwear. she says things to me like, "relax mom. just relax." she's a good big sister to annie, most of the time. they just keep growing and learning and it's pretty cool to watch the circle of life happening right before my eyes. i'll be 28 soon... an age that has always stood out in my mind for some reason. what will my 28th year be like? who will i become? how will i improve? or will i go spiraling downwards? you never know what life will throw at you, but for now i am basking in my blessings, knowing that they generously come from above, and feeling thankful for every moment. even the bad ones, but mostly the good ones.


have a great monday night.

{photos from "lately"}