Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Good Stuff...

Occasionally I have a hard time finding the JOY part of being a mother. Then I see Trevor being an awesome big brother and reading book after book to Cooper. Now that's the good stuff!


*WARNING* This is a rather personal post that has some self-loathing drivel, but it has been therapeutic to write it down. Proceed at your own caution!

I thought a ton about my goals for the year. The last part of December usually brings on the swirling of ideas of things I would like to change about myself. This year was no different and because of place I have been in lately, I had to narrow it down and get some focus. After all, I think real progress in a couple of things is better than being so overwhelmed with everything that I feel unable to do anything.

I have some days where I feel I am drowning in my own mediocrity -- my house is messy, my to do list is pages long, I have a pile of papers on my kitchen counter that is threatening to take over the world, it has been too long since really connecting with and supporting my friends and family, somehow the basics of the gospel even seem out of my reach, AND the way it is in my head is rarely is how it ever turns out. Am I the only one who ever feels this way?

I won't share all my goals, because some of them are pretty personal, but I did want to put some of them "out there" for some form of accountability. So here is some of my list and what I am doing to work on these things. I feel very blessed to have friends that I surround myself with that can teach me some of these things.

  • Talk less, listen more
  • Erase the unnecessary
  • "ORGANIZE yourself, PREPARE every needful thing" -- wills, 72 hour kits, food storage inventory

  • Make a habit of personal prayer (EVERY NIGHT)
  • Study scriptures 10 minutes daily
  • Lose 40 pounds
  • Take a photography course
  • Improve my photoshop skills (how to use actions)
  • Begin voice lessons again
  • Learn how to make things beautiful (presentation)

I think the most difficult will be losing weight and the most abstract like talking less, erasing distractions, and learning better presentation skills.

With the weight thing, I have started (yet another) diet. I am doing a really strict one as I try to gain more motivation (by seeing the numbers go down on the scale) to do the responsible thing of less input, more output. I have some great events coming up that are also adding some incentive; my brother's wedding is in March and then I am going to NYC in April. I would like to be less gross by both of those, not to mention swimsuit season.

I am not kidding myself, erasing distractions is going to be extremely difficult for me. I have a tendency to care about and get invested things and people that are not really adding anything to my life. I guess it is a form of decluttering. I read a great quote the other day on a friend's facebook status that really set off bells for me. "Never make somebody a priority in your life when they only make you an option in theirs." I hope that by learning this I will free myself to focus more on what is truly important.

I have never really figured out how to make things beautiful and the art of presentation. I am so overwhelmed by all that goes into that I seem to stay frozen where I am. I would really like to have a house that looks like grown-ups live there. I would like to not be scared when someone talks about decorating a cake. I am so lucky that I have friends and family that are very good at that and I am hoping to make a conscious effort this year to learn from them.

I just feel like this is the year! I would like to feel like I am progressing. There is too much in my life where I feel like I am just hanging on by my fingernails. This is the year I am going to get my act together and take actions so that I can begin to feel the freedom of being capable. I know that by myself I will not be able to get there, but I know with the help of family, friends, and especially the Lord that I will be able to make PROGRESS.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year; the music, the lights, the decorations, my beautiful children in their Christmas clothes for church, the fun with family and friends... Even though it is also a crazy, busy time of year, it is my favorite! To quote Inigo, "Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

We were able to have lots of family with us for the holiday. Ken's parents came and stayed with us for a few nights. It was fun to have them at our home. We got the vacation off to a great start by sleeping in, eating yummy food, and playing games. On Wednesday (Dec. 22) we got together with Holly and Brian's family and went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader (sadly, I spent much of the movie in the hall with Cooper -- ugh!). Then Holly made us all a delicious dinner and we settled into a family canasta tournament. For years Ken and I have been quite dominant on the family canasta circuit, but apparently our reign was to come to an end as we lost to Holly and Brian. We had so much fun talking and laughing with them though, so we didn't mind too much. It was a late night. We didn't get home until about 2:00 am and we were glad everyone slept in the next day!

The day before Christmas Eve my parents came. They had offered us their old couch for the basement and everyone was relieved when the old couch was able to be hoisted out the basement window and the new one lowered in. I was just giddy.

I was thrilled to get my Christmas gift on Christmas Eve. Another reason my parents brought the truck was to help us pick up our new furniture! You read that right. NEW FURNITURE! After years of wanting and saving our pennies, we now have a new leather recliner, couch, and loveseat. (I love how easy they are to wipe with a damp cloth and, voila! The kid schmutz is clean!)

Christmas Eve was wonderful! We had some dear friends and their parents over for delicious food and fantastic conversation. The kids acted out the Nativity and we sang and played carols. The entire evening was divine.

Christmas morning was a blur of wrapping paper and squeals of delight. The kids were so excited to finally get a Wii with a a large assortment of games. We couldn't wait for Ken's parents and Holly and Brian's family to join us later that afternoon for another round of gift-giving and dinner. My folks and I were especially excited because my brother Cyle was drivng in that evening with his new bride-to-be. Yes! Cyle got engaged just before Christmas! He and his fiance, Athena (LOVE HER!), were driving out to introduce her to the family and visit for a couple of days.

Being with family is the best gift of all! Furniture that isn't worn out is a close second. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ski Day!

Every year Ken likes to participate in the Scout Ski day, which basically mean you get to ski and eat for really cheap. He loves it! This year Ken decided to take Trevor and meet Brian (his BIL) and Joey for a "boy ski day." Trevor did great on the slopes and after a few tries on the bunny hill was ready to move on to green. That boy has no fear!

The following weekend, Ken and Trevor went again and added Morgan and our friends, Jonah, Audrey, and Ben Wasden. It was a long day -- up long before the sun and home long after sundown. Morgan seemed determined not to let her younger brother be better than her, even though he had gone twice and she had never been skiing before. She was certainly able to keep up with him and loved the experience. Next time out, she wants to try snowboarding. Maybe Uncle Clint or Cyle can teach her?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Take Note video clips

We completed our plethora of Christmas programs at The Vistas nursing home in Longmont where we sang to over 50 people. It can be challenging to adjust some things when going into a new venue, but we are grateful for the opportunity to spread a little Christmas cheer before the holiday. I am going to upload some clips of our performance. If you want to see the full meal deal, go here.

P.S. Apparently not ALL people like Christmas cheer. One home we sang in has a lot of residents that are ill and pretty low functioning. We always make a point after our performances to talk and shake hands with those in the audience. I took one lady's hand only to have her pull it away and then hit me. I must say, that was the first time that had ever happened...

Deck the Halls in 7/8

In the Bleak Midwinter

Jazz Trio

12 Days of Christmas Confusion