May 25, 2013

9 years

We are off to a rough start today and here's why, quoting a friend from her facebook post the other day: "...yesterday never ended and today never really started...they just formed into one day." 
Last night we had a severe lack of sleep. At first I just couldn't sleep. Then around 12:30 am right around the time I was dozing off, Ella woke up crying. When I checked on her I realized she had a fever and was having trouble breathing.  I took her to the kitchen to get her a drink and heard the big boys in the basement.  What?  They had disobeyed Marc's direct order to go to bed after their movie and stayed up 2 extra hours before getting caught.  So around 1:00 am I found myself in the thick of motherhood--worried sick about my baby girl and fuming mad at the two older boys.  I suppose it's fitting having to mother in the middle of the night on the 24th of May because while I don't celebrate myself today, the 25th, it is my 9th anniversary of becoming a mother. 
 Not to be deterred, we are celebrating our one and only Carter today.

Not unlike 9 years ago we are still learning and growing together.
Sometimes it's great and others, like last night, aren't.
But regardless of all that I'm so grateful for how hard he is trying to be grown up.
And I sure hope he feels special today.

May 21, 2013


I don't do Mondays well and I'm okay with it because honestly, who does?  Wait, don't answer that because it might make me feel bad about myself. 

But Tuesdays?  I'm good at Tuesdays.  It's the day that I don't always feel the need to get up and go because I go to the gym in the afternoon so I can lounge if I like but I don't.  I usually use it as my day to get chores done.

This morning I began the day by making a few phone calls to poll some friends about a certain scenario I'm dealing with.  One of those phone calls turned into a long, lovely conversation with a good friend I haven't talked to in a few months.  Do you want to know the cost of that phone call?  A dollar.  Because while I was busy on the phone and cleaning the bathrooms at the same time, the little ones took out a box of straws from my silverware drawer and used them as their toys.  Awesome.  Money well spent, I'd say.  Wouldn't you?

I also used this method today to clean my washing machine.  It's sparkling right now.  And I feel awesome about it because cleaning that has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now.

I read a few chapters in the Book of Mormon today--more than I intended--and I came away feeling that the Lord knows me, loves me and promises to take care of me.  Exactly what I needed after yesterday.  It's not-so-surprising how that happens. 

My boys just sat down to do their reading for the night and I surprised them by pulling out the rainbow licorice leftover from the weekend's Skylander party.  I never do that but I don't know why.  I think I should more often.

Marc just got home from work--and Christian ran to greet him with a very emphatic and loving Daddy, I love you. 

Who doesn't love a good Tuesday?

May 11, 2013

How Sweet It Is

This line from a James Taylor song has been running through my head since yesterday.
It's most appropriate for this weekend, I think.
"How sweet it is to be loved by you"
Summer 2004 with Carter
Fall 2006 with Anderson
Spring 2010 with Christian
Summer 2011 with Ella
It is Mother's Day weekend.
Yep, in my house I get a weekend. 
I'm spoiled.
As tasking, testing and trying the "job" of mom is I am consistently reminded how sweet it is to be loved by this bunch:

Today at Hacienda Colorado for lunch

And truly that's all that matters because it's their love that makes the hard moments all worth it.
And to the man behind the camera:
I couldn't do it without YOU!

April 22, 2013

Little Wonders

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
Robert Brault
I read this quote this afternoon and it just about made me cry.  I don't know why.  Maybe out of gratitude?
As we quickly approach the end of this school year, I am SO grateful for  this little inspiration that came to me when we had only been in school for a few short weeks.  This year our school started 15 minutes earlier than the last few years.  Fifteen minutes isn't that big of a deal, except when it means I have to be out the door with all of my kids by 8:00 am.  By myself most days since Marc leaves for work at 6:30.  I'm on my own for diaper changes, breakfast, packing lunches and coordinating morning chores.  The first few weeks were rough and I spent many many mornings yelling.  Like all moms, I hate sending my kids to school after having yelled at them.  It breaks my heart.  After a few calls to Marc telling him, "I can't do mornings anymore.  I can't do it!" I received a little inspiration:
Make a list of all the tasks and chores the boys need to have done before we leave for school.  Add pictures so that it's interesting and so Anderson knows what he should do since he can't read quite yet. 
I made the lists.  I hung them on our cupboard door in the kitchen.  I explained to the boys' their purpose.  And we haven't looked back!  Rarely, rarely do I have to yell in the mornings.  They stay focused on their own or if they don't I just point to their lists.  I don't have to try to keep track of all their responsibilities, figure out which ones they've done so I can remind them of the ones they still have to do. 
Many mornings I marvel at the simpleness of that inspired act but the result has been immeasurable in so many ways.  I don't feel defeated or angry in the morning.  We typically don't feel rushed and that means the energy and spirit in our home isn't not one of contention and stress.  I don't know if the boys have even noticed but I hope they have because the way I send them off to school is very important to me.
This morning the little ones and I spent the morning out.  We went to the gym and then spent 2 hours shopping at Costco and Walmart.  By the time we got home, we'd been gone for over 3 1/2 hours.  Honestly, that's pretty significant because it means they are growing up.  I don't have to worry about getting home for nap time as quickly.  As long as I pack a small snack and something to drink, they don't get hungry which means they are pretty pleasant little errand runners.  Even a year ago, I couldn't have done what I did this morning.  I love them so much and this morning I was so grateful for these little facts that I bought them a happy meal to share when we got home.  Ella finished her lunch and as I readied her for nap time I heard Christian from the kitchen table. 
C: Thank you, Mom.
Me: for what?
C: For my fwies.
I hate to say this but I'm pretty sure I have the most perfect 3 year old there is or even ever was.  He actually turns 3 in 1 1/2 weeks and I think I'm going to be sad.  He's growing up so fast.  In 2 short years he starts Kindergarten.  What? 
Then, I read the above quote.  This morning has been full of the little things I love the most.

April 12, 2013

A Dinner Argument

POST EDIT:  Tonight during our dessert of chocolate ice cream, I realized Christian doesn't say 'licious.  He actually says "wicious.  It sounds even cuter when I think of it that way.  He also ended the argument this evening by saying "No, it's 'wicious AND nummy."  Cue a sigh of contentment.  I LOVE my kids.

Should I blog, should I blog, should I blog?  I've been on the fence for quite some time.  I used to love it and I still love the benefits of it but sometimes I have nothing to say.  And I shy away from the pressure of having something current up all the time.  But there's this cute little argument that goes on at our dinner table right now that I want to be able to remember in years to come so today, I blog.

I've been rocking dinner lately.  If I do say so myself.  This week I made (or am planning on making):
I forgot to buy the broccoli rabe and I could have done without the sauce but the whole family liked the chicken and I served it with roasted asparagus.
I've been craving Panera Bread's Sonoma Chicken Stew for a few weeks now and since it's apparently seasonal cannot get my hands on it so I've been looking for something I can make to satisfy the craving.  This fits the bill.
I just made the stew from Ina's recipe but halved the amount of onions and didn't actually use the pearl onions.  I also substituted the parsley for 1/2 t. thyme.  I changed the biscuit recipe a bit (though I've made them following these instructions and they are fantastic) and baked them separately.  I omitted the honey and instead added 1 t. sugar, 1 c. Colby jack cheese, 1/4 c. cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 t. dried parsley and 1/8 t. dried thyme to the dry mixture and followed the rest of the instructions for adding the buttermilk and folding the biscuits.  Instead of using a round cutter, I cut them with a knife to form triangular biscuits like Panera serves.  Holy Cow Delicious.   
Meatball Sandwiches
Did you know that with the purchase of a sandwich, you can get day old bread from Jimmy John's. 
 When we sit down to dinner this happens often:
Me: Mmmmm.  This is delicious.
 (I say this genuinely; I love good food and most of the time when I make my menu, it's to please me.  Sorry, family.  I'm a little selfish.)
Then Christian mimics me and this is where the cute little argument starts.
Christian: This is 'licious.
Ella: No.  It's nummy.
Christian: No.  It's 'licious.
Ella: No.  It's nummy.
Christian: No.  It's 'licious.
Ella: No.  It's nummy. 
They go on and on and on until one of them gets distracted.
Since both the babies are verbal now, their daily arguments can be tiresome but this one is heartwarming.  And since I don't get much praise from the older boys, I'll take these little ones' thank you's for their meal anyway I can get it.  Even when it sounds like "You say
 tom-A-to, I say tom-AH-to."

September 17, 2012

2012: The Best Summer Ever

We had the best summer ever! 
And I attribute it to accomplishing everything on our bucket list.
Except for the Rockies game--we went to Sky Sox instead where Ella had a puking incident.
We didn't go camping because let's be honest here, is camping fun with a 2 year old and a 1 year old?  I think not.
 But the boys did go to Idaho where they went cabining and four wheeling with Grandma and Grandpa Phillips and many of their cousins.
We didn't quite make it to America the Beautiful Park
nor did we end up making pretzels or milkshakes.
Oh and the pet, we didn't get a pet.
Besides that, we did everything and it was so fantastic I wasn't really ready for the day in and day out school routine.
I'm terrible at documenting but here are a handful of summer pics:
Carter's and Ella's birthdays kick of summer. 
Ella received these 2 babies for her birthday and has loved snuggling them.

These boys thoroughly enjoyed pool days. 
As did I!  Nothing beats time with friends in the sun.

One day at the pool, Ella decided to climb into the basket underneath the stroller.
Obviously, she got stuck.
Obviously I'm that mom that needs to photograph it before coming to the rescue.

I got to hike the Incline twice with my dad in the early hours of the day. 
I feel so accomplished when I look back at where my body was a year ago. 

September 14, 2012

These little piggies...

Make me smile.