Saturday, February 22, 2014
Hello my pretties. It's been a while since I checked in and had a little chat with all y'all. I don't know about you, but I miss you. I find writing to be so cathartic and cleansing. There's just something about putting words to paper that soothes and cleanses my soul.
Remember how I used to dump my random thoughts into this blog and hit you with some good tunes at the end? Well, settle in, because I've been musing and I've also got some great tunes for you.
wonderful article that has come out in response to all the hullabaloo about this blog post and the evils of Frozen. In short, it says everything I got out of the movie, only better.
Go give it a read and see if it doesn't leave you feeling uplifted and motivated to be a little better, forgive a little more and what you can't handle, give to The Master so it can be His problem to sort out. Because at the end of the day, that's what doing all that we can do and then handing the rest to Jesus and saying "I can't deal with it any more, this has to be your problem" is all about. That's what we were sent her to learn how to do.
That's what the Atonement is all about, my friends.
Giving away our junk to the One who willing said "I will carry it for you, you just have to let me." It takes a conscience effort to "let it go" and give it to the One who accepted the assignment to carry our burdens for us. We don't have to carry our junk around, using it to protect us from all the ways people can (and will) hurt us. It's not only unhealthy, its essentially rejecting what Christ did for each of us.
When we refuse to "let it go" we are in essence saying "what you did for me, Jesus, wasn't enough. I need something more. Something better."
All too often, I think we forget that the Atonement is so much more than just saying you're sorry when you do something wrong. It's more than just "repenting." It's the only way to peace and freedom. It's not our job to worry and carry this stuff around, another has already paid the ultimate price for us and it is our responsibility to give Him our burdens so we don't have to be burdened.
I have heard it said that using the Atonement doesn't mean that you have to keep letting people in that will hurt you. I disagree. Every day we do things unwittingly that offends the Savior, and every day we should be going to him and seeking His forgiveness. Every time we go to Him He accepts us, embraces us and says "It's OK. I forgive you" and sends us on our way knowing full well there WILL be a "next time."
Don't shake your head No at me, because it's true.
Of course we continually offend the Savior, it's in our nature -- its part of the natural man that we are trying to learn to "let go" of. We're not perfect and as such will always be in need of His forgiveness. Our job in this life is to become more like Him and what bigger way can you become more like Him than by learning to "let it go" and forgive, forget and move on? Doing it, knowing full well that someone will hurt you again. And, when they do, you "let it go", give it to Jesus so he can carry the burden and then you forgive, forget and move on.
The cycle will go on and on so we can learn to be more like the One who daily, sometimes hourly, forgives us, forgets and let's us move on.
Just some deep thoughts for you on this fine Friday morning.
Life is crazy here in Crazyland. I thought when my kids got older that it would slow down and I would find more time to do things I want, but it seems that the older my kids get the more they need me. Or my driving skills. I'm not sure which one more. Either way, I've been in high demand more since my children have become "self sufficient" and I like it.
|My four kids, tallest to shortest, as Thing 2 likes to remind Thing 1.|
To be honest, it made me feel like a failure most of the time. What was wrong with me that my babies didn't want me, but their Dad? Wasn't I good enough for them? What was I doing wrong to make them seek out another?
Then slowly we started clicking and I could understand the language they were speaking. Slowly, ever slowly, the children have started turning to me and for the first time in a long time, I feel needed by my children. They come to me for help, answers and a listening ear. I've never been the one they seek out, and it feels good to be needed by them.
Our roles as parents shift and change with the growing and changing of the children. It's a constant wave of emotion we're riding over here, but I have to say that I am enjoying every bleeding second of it. These babies are turning into beautiful creatures, ones that I can't seem to get enough of. I want to drink up every single second I have with them while they still want me around. Because, it could change as quickly as the wind blows, and I want to make sure I have made the most of each and every moment I have with them.
We have a new member of our family. He joined us right after New Years and has wormed his way into our hearts quit effectively. The kids rush home from school and the first person they want to greet isn't a person at all... It's the dog. Rocky.
He's our handsome new Boxer and has been a wonderful addition to our little family. He gets along beautifully with our children, but also with Amber, the neighbors dog, who frequents our house daily. They run around the backyard chasing and playing and I can't even begin to tell you complete it makes our home feel.
Everyone loves Rocky, and we couldn't have found a better, more well behaved dog to be ours. The kids love him to pieces and you can often hear shrieks of joy coming from various parts of the house as they play with him.
And frankly? I think he loves us, too. Don't you?
Thing 1 has decided to serve a mission for our church. She's happily getting her papers ready to submit in April. I am absolutely thrilled for her to have this experience. It was something that I was able to do, and it totally changed my life and the way I see the world. It helps you grow and mature in ways that just going off to college cannot and frankly, it makes you a better spouse and parent. That time serving The Lord, full time, gives you depth and perspective. I am thrilled she going to have this experience.
I think about my mission almost every single day. It was the best decision I ever made, and I don't regret one single minute of it. It made me into the person that I am today, and taught me that I can do hard things.
I'm loving this song right now from Old Crow Medicine Show. The harmonies are tight, and every time I listen, I get lost.
That my friends is the sign of a good tune.
That's about all the randomness that I can vomit up at the moment. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Stay warm people and think happy , sunny thoughts to beckon spring on quicker.
1. Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
2. 1 2 3 4 - Feist
3. Ho Hey - The Lumineers
4. Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford & Sons
5. Drumming Song - Florence + The Machine
6. Life's For The Living - Passenger
7. Clocks - Old School Freight Train
8. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
9. Hell of a Season - The Black Keys
10. 4 & 20 - Jeffrey Foucault
Bonus: Barton Hallow - The Civil Wars
Friday, December 20, 2013
At the beginning of every year I swear that I am going to get my act together enough to send out super cool Christmas cards. I actually even go through the motions of thinking about what I would put on said Christmas cards, planning the witty monologue that will accompany the beautiful photos of our adventures throughout the year.
Good intentions people. I has 'em.
About this time every year I realize I am a total and complete stress case and have again not done the stupid Christmas letter and if I want to avoid stabbing someone in the eye I have to start eliminating things off my "To Do List".
As I sat here feeling sort of like a big fat dork-wad I realized that there was no need for it. I still had time to create my little
Here it is. The first ever, and I do mean ever (as in I have never in 20 years written a Family
Twenty-thirteen found Jefe doing the same thing he is super good at: Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. Both figuratively and literally. He's perfected our Sunday morning pancakes and bacon and it rivals any five star joint I've eaten in. Those pancakes melt in your mouth and the bacon is cooked just the way I like it. Quite honestly, I prefer his breakfast goods over most of the restaurants that we frequent.
He's still a partner at a local law firm, carrying large buckets o' money from one side of the room to another, helping people buy and sell companies and commercial real estate. He spends his free time (ha ha) watching the kids play sports and coaching Moxie's soccer team.
He is a dedicated Dad and finds complete joy in being present at every single practice and game that the kids are involved in. He doesn't want to miss one, single minute and I love him for that.
He still really digs fly fishing and I'm trying to talk him into ditching us for a week or so this summer to hit up the rivers of Alaska with a couple of his buddies.
I know. I'm totally nice.
Twenty-thirteen found me starting a new job with an airline. I have worked in the travel industry on and off since I was 17 years old and was thrilled to death when this opportunity presented itself. It was a little sooner than I had planned, but I am so glad that we bit the bullet and did it. I absolutely love my new job.
I started out in Reservations and worked exactly 9 shifts before I promoted to an internal support team. I'm in the same type of department that I was in when I worked for Morris Air Service back in the 90's and it absolutely feels like I have come home. I thank heaven above daily for the chance that I have been given to be back in the industry that I love.
Working from home is just the icing on the cake.
Jefe and I took off on a whim for San Diego for the day for our Anniversary and spent it riding bikes up and down Mission Beach, eating fish tacos on the pier and visiting four different beaches.
Seriously, I could not think of a better way to celebrate nineteen years of marriage than hanging out with my man in my favorite place on the planet, eating amazing food getting all zen-like together!
Jefe's only rule for our trip was: Plan nothing. And we didn't. We flew, literally, by the seat of our pants and it was the funnest thing we have done together in a long, long time. Completely spontaneous and an utter blast!
I was able to take the little girls to New Port Beach for a week of sun, beach and Disneyland. We bailed Utah on the first snow storm of the year and had a wonderfully warm vacation! We went with a couple of our friends and had a wonderful time playing and just hanging out.
We danced like fools on Route 66 in Radiator Springs, vegged on the beach, ate tons of fish tacos and soaked up all the sun we could. We made some fantastic memories and I can't wait for our next adventure!
Twenty-thirteen found Thing 1 finally graduating from High School.
Yes. She. Did.
She is all growed up, people, and thinking she should be an adult or some other stupid thing like that. She spent her high school days lazily working on the school magazine as an editor, whilst earning over THIRTY college credits. She graduated from High School with only 24 more credits needed for her Associates Degree.
Yes. The girl's got mad smahts.
She's decided she wants to serve an 18th month mission for our church and will turn her papers in to get her assignment in April. She will pay her own way for 18 months, living where she is assigned to live and serving the people in that area. Her Dad and I both went on missions and know the great benefits that come from learning how to serve without monetary reward. It's hard work and she will come home a completely different woman.
We are thrilled to death with this decision and just pray that she is sent to South Dakota. Or somewhere equally boring. AND SAFE.
The last one is what nightmares are made of.
He's taking his first AP class this year and in Honors Math as well. We're thrilled that maybe someone in our family has some math sense, since it completely bi-passed his Father and I.
He's quite the hot commodity with the ladies. And you can see why. He's quite the boss with his posse. He has good friends and I'm proud of him for the example he sets for his friends and the level of Integrity I see him displaying. He's a good boy.
Twenty-thirteen found Thing 3 joining a Competition Soccer team. She was playing AYSO soccer, and even with not having any sort of practices the kid had some crazy mad skills. She was doing stuff that most of her teammates couldn't do, and her keeper skills were off the charts. Jefe found a competition team for her to practice with and she was invited to join them because of how amazeballs she is at being the Keeper. She sacrifices her body in ways that most 10year olds don't, and she is fearless. I watch the kid play and my heart swells with pride. She is good. She's really, really good.
She is in 5th grade now and along with being a natural athlete, she is also a natural artist. She can look at things and draw them and does a fantastic job. She has such a fun personality and sense of humor. I love listening to her tell her funny stories about her day. She loves to read and the travel bug has bit her as well. She went with me to New Port Beach for a week and we are already planning our return trip to Disneyland so we can check out all the things we missed this last time.
Twenty-thirteen found Moxie starting Kindergarten, and to quote her she "freaking hates school." At least she did for about the first 2 months. It was dumb, they don't feed you, you don't get to eat lunch there, her teacher steals things out of her backpack and kids follow her around trying to do the same things she does.
It's taken quite a bit of coaxing and reasoning to get her to understand how Kindergarten works, that her teacher isn't a thief and it's OK that she doesn't get to eat lunch at school. Home lunch is WAY better.
She plays soccer, too, and also started skiing this year with her siblings. And, the kid is a natural. She took to skiing like a duck does to water. She also came with me to New Port Beach and Disneyland. She and I spent our time chasing characters and getting our picture taken with as many as we could possibly find. She has been sufficiently bitten by the travel bug as well.
Twenty-thirteen found our little family getting a long better, laughing more and over all being happier. We've had our bumpy roads, but this past couple of years was full of lots of healing for us, growing and changing.
I survey my little kingdom and find myself exhaling a deep, peaceful sigh and thinking: "My Word. This must be what heaven is like." My children are all happy, getting along with each other and actually LIKE each other. I sit at my desk while I'm working and I hear them laughing, chatting and loving each other and I nearly die from happiness.
Twenty-thirteen found us saying goodbye to our favorite mischievous boxer dog, Zoe. She spent 12.5 years with our family. She moved three times with us and was our constant companion. She kissed our hurts away and kept us company when we were lonely.
She died on Mother's Day weekend at home with all of us around her. She waited until all of her kids were home and could say goodbye to her before she left us.
Our family has a big, empty hole in it with her gone. I didn't realize how much of a companion she was until she was gone and I was left alone in this big empty house. She helped us all to feel safe and protected. She did her job, and she did it well.
We talk about her often, and the funny things she would do (like jump up high enough to see over the fence at what the back neighbors were doing). We all miss her. She filled our home with a lot of love and made our family complete.
Twenty-thirteen found us being invaded by a new critter. The new neighbors have a super cool golden/lab mix dog that Jefe says is the perfect Zombie Apocalypse dog. You will see lots of posts on Instagram of this little critter with the hashtag #notmydog.
Because she's not our dog. Although she is trying very hard to convince us otherwise. She has convinced most of the neighbors, including the dog catcher, that she belongs with us. I suspect her owners would be super sad if she moved all the way out. This is the perfect relationship: We foster her during the day and at night she goes home to her "other family."
She follows us when we go for walks or bike rides; she lays by the front door sunning herself, waiting for someone to let her in the house and occasionally I find her peering in my office window, wagging her tail waiting for me to come outside and play fetch.
She roams the 'hood like The Godfather, checking on everyone and everything, making sure all is well in Zion. She owns this turf and will take on anyone or anything that dares to challenge that ownership. Once she has decided you are "safe" she watches over you and your people diligently protecting you from every mail man, delivery man and bus driver around.
She has filled the sad void that Zoe left in our hearts and is the bearer of happiness and cheer. Her happy personality is contagious. You can't help but smile when Amber comes to pay a visit.
The Winds of Change blew fiercely in Twenty-thirteen and it's been for the better. Life is about changing and learning how to accept and embrace it. This past year has been a good one. A full, happy life filled with wonderful memories. May this next year bring us all just as many changes, adventures and growth!
We love you all and hope Twenty-fourteen brings you all the happiness you desire!
Follow our adventures on Instagram so you can see what we are up to on a daily basis!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Thing 1 introduced me to this band on our vacation last week and I haven't been able to get enough of them since. The Civil Wars. Their music is haunting and yet lulling at the same time. Their harmonies are tight and melodic. Their songs expand and contract, never sacrificing one single note. Their voices meld together gorgeously and create a fascinating longing that you don't know exactly what you're longing for. They use their voices and acoustic instruments along with natural crescendos and decrescendos to create this amazing mix of wonder.
The duo is made up of Joy Williams and John Paul White who make music like lovers, but are actually married to other people. The familiarity that comes with singing with someone is intimate, and the fact that they create this beautiful magic and aren't lovers, is intense. On their acoustic heartbreaking song "Same Old Same Old," they coo the bitterest, most shivery lines together that makes your heart swell and then plummet. Their sound is absolute purity distilled in brilliance. The duo’s Americana songs, the infamous acoustic guitar tightly braided with their voices, comes to together in a way that really is quite incomparable.
Once you listen, you won't be able to get them out of your system. You will, in fact, as their new hit single claims "Be the one I wish had gotten away."
Give them a listen, but be prepared for an eargasm.
You will thank me later.
Over and over again.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Have I told you lately how much I love my job? Yes? Oh good. Then you know how much I totally dig it.
And when I say Dig, I mean ADORE.
I do. Adore my job. And further, I love that I get to work from home. I can pick up extra hours here and there and my family has zero impact. They barely even know that I am gone. In fact, I picked up fourteen extra hours this past week which put me working a thirty-eight hour week and when I told Jefe about it he was actually shocked. "You did?"
Yup. I did. That's gonna be one fat check next week!
Don't get me wrong, I loved doing all the Social Media stuff that I had been doing in the past. I loved meeting with people and brainstorming ideas with them on how to market their business better. I just really dig my new job more. It's less taxing on me, but more importantly, it is less taxing on my family. The impact that they feel is nominal and the benefits they get are so much better.
I was really worried about this choice I had made to start working for this airline and to leave all my other projects and clients behind. Would I wish I hadn't bowed out from all the projects, event planning, consulting, hobnobbing? Would I miss it? Would I regret it?
It was the best decision I have made in a very long time.
I couldn't be happier. My family is better than they have ever been. We Are Good.
We all went out to dinner together the other night and as I sat in the car listening to the kids tease each other, laughing like crazy fools, I looked over at Jefe, squeezed his hand and whispered "This is heaven." He smiled and nodded his head as we let that perfect moment of familial bliss simmer. We were all in the same car together, happy and actually having a good time. I think my heart nearly exploded from happiness.
Moments like those are coming more and more frequently now -- all of us being together, interacting and having a wonderful time -- and I cherish every single one. In those perfect moments is when I hear my kids reminiscing about past things we've done, teasing each other and genuinely liking each other.
It's one thing to be nice and civil with your siblings. Interacting occasionally and filling the time with small talk. I get it. You didn't get to choose them. However, its quite another thing entirely to actually like your siblings, choose to interact with them and call them your friend.
I see my children moving from just tolerating each other, interacting as sporadically as possible to actually seeking each other out for company. Watching TV shows together and teasing each other like old friends. It makes me happy to see them come to each others defense, intensely arguing their sibling's -- their friend-- case to make sure they are heard and validated. When the other children come to the defense of each other, no matter what the situation, to plead the case of their sibling, I am happy.
That tells me that they genuinely love and care about each other.
They not only genuinely love each other, they like each other as well.
That's huge people.
Some siblings just tolerate each other, loving them but these kids? They actually like each other. They genuinely care about each other and they want each other to be happy. And, they are loyal to one another. They have each others backs in a flash and it makes me so very, very proud to see them rallying together.
If this is what heaven is like, I will die a happy, content woman.
We have been able to keep up our pace of doing something fun together every single day this summer. And, I totally count going to the gas station to get a treat as something "fun."
Hey. It counts!
We've got a fun little stay-cation planned for the kids mid August on my days off. We're taking them to the mountains to stay in the condo, ride bikes, hike and hang out as a family. I'm even planning on bringing Uno and Phase 10. They are all old enough now to play these games together as a family and I have visions of staying up all night playing card games, listening to music and eating food.
I'm sure it will actually be nothing like that, but a woman can dream.
My other airline benefits kick in this month, so I'm sending Jefe and the two little girls to Disneyland via Delta before school starts as well. I want my little girls to be the first ones to use those benefits. They have been so excited about "getting to fly free cause Mommy works for a airplane" that they deserve to be the first. My older kids are begging for a Chicago trip. I'm thrilled that they want their first trip to be back to their roots. Well, let me amend that: They actually wanted their first trip to be to Paris, but they don't have passports. Yet. That trip is coming. I am saving all my PTO so I can take the whole family their this winter.
I know. Winter in Europe is cold. But, its also easier to get around and you won't get stuck there. I belong to an airline group on Facebook and I've been watching the past couple of weeks several people who have been stuck in Europe trying to get home. They've been stranded for over a week. I don't want to be stranded in Europe with 4 kids.
So winter in Europe is "Lovely."
Besides, I have to actually get myself an actual credit card with my name on it. I know, its totally weird that we don't have credit cards. We got rid of them when Jefe started Law School back in 1998. He has one for work that we've used in the past, but I don't have one. However, with the amount of traveling that we are planning on doing, I'll need one, with my pretty little name on it, so we can jet-set around the world.
Four o'clock in the morning on a weekend makes for a super slow work morning. The past several weeks I have gone the entire four o'clock hour without taking a single call. What does one do with that much down time when they are tethered to a desk?
Read books. Read magazines. Create silly Pinterest boards. Watch Netflix.
The latter is actually what I have been doing for the past month. My friend turned me on to a show called Drop Dead Diva. I'm always resistant to watching shows that people RAVE about because what if I think its dumb? I don't want to offend them and say "Yeah, that show you recommended to me? itstotallystoopid." But, my friend knows me well and brought the show up every single time we were together, so I finally caved one morning when I had gone sixty-five minutes without a call.
Oh my hell.
It's so funny! The main actress is fantastic! She's a big girl who has the spirit of a size 2 runway model in her and I kid you not, I watch that girl and I am convinced she IS a size two. But then when she remembers that she's not, you remember right along with her and feel her utter disappointment.
As a woman it was extremely easy to become emotionally invested in the main character because what woman can't identify with feeling super thin on the inside, but looking in the mirror and realizing you don't look the way you "remember" or envision yourself looking?
I do and I can.
In fact, one time I was shopping and glanced in the mirror and saw this woman and I thought "my hell that woman looks old, haggard and frumpy."
Then I realized I was looking at myself.
That was not a fun realization.
Anyway. Drop Dead Diva.
You should give it a looksie. Me thinks you'll like it.
That's all she wrote folks. Have a lovely weekend. I plan on napping in my hammock. It will be absolutely delightful!
1. Mercy (Live) - Dave Matthews Band
2. Skyfall - Adele
3. Crying Like A Church on Monday - New Radicals
4. Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
5. Glitter in the Air - Pink
6. Next to Me - Emeli Sande
7. Wanted - Hunter Hayes
8. Young Blood - The Naked and Famous
9. Arms of A Woman - Amos Lee
10. Two - Ryan Adams
Bonus: Sweetest Thing - U2