Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mosiah 4:9

I read this scripture tonight and it touched my soul deeply. I wanted and needed to share.

9 Believe in aGod; believe that he is, and that he bcreated all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all cwisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not dcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Katy's growing up!

Katy is growing and maturing so much already this year. I have watched my little girl turn into a responsible young woman over the last few weeks and I am just amazed at what she can do.

Monday after a long day at school and a long fun hike with her grandparents that night in which she did not get home until after 9:00 she set in and did her homework. I had even written her an excuse note stating I had to work overtime and she was sent on a hike with her grandparents straight from school and did not get home until after 9 and had to go to bed. I said she would get to do that homework the next night and turn it in.

Katy saw the note and said, "Thanks mom but I need to do it." and do it she did. She finished it all in just a few minutes, brushed her teeth and went to bed.

Every morning since school has started Katy gets up, gets dressed and gets her hair brushed. She then eats breakfast. It is only after all that she is allowed to watch TV. She then watches TV until Lyse and I get up. She turns off the TV helps Lyse get ready (without me even asking) and then we get out the door to school. I am not asking Katy to do these things. She is doing them on her own!

Tonight I told her to unload the dishwasher. A couple months ago I would have had to ask several times. Nope - she did it after the first time of asking. Katy got out her homework and completed it all.

After dinner was over seriously I was spent. I have worked so many hours lately I can't even tell you. I filled my schedule completely full for the next few weeks cause we need the money and I need the hours. I filled it so I was completely booked while the kids were in school. Then Hurricane Irene came and ruined my life :) Seriously it has taken its toll on me. My already completely booked schedule got mandatory overtime added onto it. Each day I had to add at least 2 more hours of work in.

Tonight when I got off work at 700, Ben had dinner on the table so we sat down and ate. We talked about our day. Katy and Lyse have really wanted school lunch but we just don't have the money to pay for school lunch, it is much cheaper to make a meal at home. While eating dinner Katy talked about how her friend let her have a mini corndog cause those are her favorite and what she really wanted. She then asked if she could take an extra pudding cup tomorrow to share. What a sweet thing I have! We got some pudding cups on sale super cheap at Winco so mid week (aka Wednesday) each week they are each allowed to take one to add to their lunch as a treat. Katy even said if she couldn't take an extra she would just give hers to her friend that shared with her. :)

Lyse started to complain about wanting to eat hot lunch and I watched as Katy did this and that to settle her down and convince her that a home lunch really is better (even though I KNOW that she really wants school lunch too!) My sweet sweet Katy. My heart breaks that her and Lyse have to struggle with this! It broke my heart a little when Lyse and Katy informed me it was ok that I didn't have the quarters for their milk at lunches because "the lunch lady gives us all the free water we can drink and she is really nice about it!" (that was Lyse's words) and Katy responded - "Yup and it tastes perfect with our lunch!"

Anyway back on topic! After dinner getting up from the table was torture and seriously I had no drive or energy for anything. I cleaned the plates off and walked into the living room to have my first moment of freedom all day (well other than the 15 minutes I had in the car driving home from their school). I sat down on the couch only to hear Katy say, "Mom we need to get our lunches for tomorrow ready." I wanted to cry. I have not had 2 minutes to do anything that I wanted. I had taken my hour of free time earlier that day to clean the house so that it was once again clean and presentable. If I take time it is taking it away from my children, husband or sleep. I have been mainly electing to take away sleep!

So I went to get up and my sweet little Katy that is growing up way to fast came in and said, "Hey never mind, I am going to make lunch for Lyse and me. Don't worry mom." She did just that too! She brought me in sandwiches in the sandwich baggies that she wanted the air suctioned out of and that was the extent of my lunch making for the evening. It was such a simple thing but it meant so much to me. I have had to worry about making lunches every night for the last 2 weeks, making sure they had just enough so they wouldn't go hungry but not too much so that it would go to waste. It's a tricky balance trying not to be wasteful but also not wanting my kids to be the starving child.

When I walked into the kitchen to take the sandwiches to put in the lunch sack, I told Lyse to make sure to grab her apple to share with the class the next day. Lyse said, "Don't worry Katy already got it for me!" And she had. Katy remembered from dinner Lyse talking about how she had to take an apple to school the next day and she made sure to put that apple in Lyse's lunch pale. Seriously...she is just too good!

Both of the girls had a perfect lunch with carrots, applesauce, a sandwich and then tomorrow is their treat and they get their pudding cups. Katy did it all. She made the sandwiches, put the carrots in snack baggies. She is growing up.

I don't want to overwhelm her but I want to keep encouraging her in responsibilities. I am seeing she is growing and I love seeing it. She is an amazing soul! I could not have asked for my prayers to be answered any better than they have been with the great, amazing teacher Katy got this year. She was EXACTLY what Katy needed. As Katy is growing and thriving at school, I see the same things happening at home. Now I just have to watch the balance and not allow her to grow herself up to fast or overwhelm herself. Teach her balance. That is the hard part!!

Ok on another side note:

I need to share this so I don't forget. About 3 weeks ago, I was sitting on my couch and got the most distinct strong feeling, "GO complete your Disability Recurrency for Work" I hee hawed and kinda left it alone. I had almost a month, why was I so worried about it? Anyway the feeling came again. I didn't do it that night but the next night the feeling came again. I am sad to say I didn't listen the first night. the second night, well that night I listened and was like, "Ok I will do it". So after work and getting the girls in bed, I started the training about 9 at night. I finished it up and thought, "hmm that wasn't bad" and went on my merry little way. I thought about that a lot and wondered why I had felt so inspired to get that done. I had wanted to do it once the girls started back to school but with the promptings I decided to just get it done.

When I got my paycheck with the extra 1.5 hours on it from the thing that took me about 40 minutes I smiled and went on my merry way. I was grateful I didn't have to worry about forgetting the assignment and getting in trouble at work.

Thursday came around and a full blown war zone broke out at work due to Hurricane Irene. We went into irregular operations. I was working a full shift (having planned that with the girls school schedules). Work then added at least 2 hours a day onto my already full shifts. I was so stressed. Between Thursday night at 9 and Saturday night at 9 I worked a total of 24 hours! Ya and it didn't lighten up from there! Sunday I was toast. Monday when they sent out a new email that they were staying in code red and more mandatory over time was going to be required, I literally started to cry on the phone! I bawled and was grateful it was a reservations agent on the other end, not the customer!

This morning it hit me. Remember 3 weeks ago that quick little 40 minutes I had to do that video? Well you see, the due date for that is tomorrow by 10 pm. I have been working OT and non-stop for the last week and I still have 10 more days before I even have a full day off work! The thought came to me so strongly it would have knocked me over if I were standing, "That prompting wasn't just a little thing, it was a HUGE blessing you Father in Heaven sent you because He KNEW you would not be able to take any more. He loves you and does not want you so overwhelmed. He will carry you through, just remember to follow the promptings"

What I thought was a simple, "Oh He knew I would keep that in the back of my mind and constantly worry about it for the few weeks so he just sent the prompting for you to do it" changed. What was small and simple at the time is something of HUGE worth now. I could not give anymore. I have maxed out. He knew what was coming and he LITERALLY prepared me for the storm.

This also made me think. How often do I get a simple, "I should do that" and it seems so small that I just ignore it? Sometimes those things that seem so small are actually quite big to the others around us. I am going to try harder to not ignore those feelings of "small and simple acts" because I really have realized that it is by small and simple things that great things can come to pass!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Favorite Appliance

Do you have a favorite appliance in your house?!?

I do! I use it ALL the time! It is my all time favorite and I love when I get to pull it out of it's corner home on my counter top and put it to work.

It is a work horse let me tell you! The only complaint I have about this great little machine: I wish I had the 6 quart one instead of the 4 quart!

I don't think I would love to bake as much without my favorite appliance:

This thing is in constant work at this house. I pull it out at least every other day to make banana bread or homemade bread or to mix something for part of our dinner. Sometimes it gets to make the best brownies in the world! Mmmm seriously they are the best brownies in the world, just ask those who have had them...maybe I need to go make some now!! :) Did you know that these machines have Ice Cream Maker attachments? What about the meat grinder attachment? Seriously it has endless possibilities.

When I took this picture, the machine was in work. It was making this:

Which turned into this:

Which in turn, turned into this:

I love that joy! I love to see people enjoy the goodies I get to bake. I love that something that is relaxing and stress relieving for me is also something that can bring joys to others.

On really stressful days at work I have found that if I go into my kitchen and create something, I destress a lot easier. I don't even have to eat the food I make, it is just the art of making it that helps me relax.

Last confession - work has been REALLY stressful. I haven't had time to worry about making healthy food for dinner. Many nights we have resorted to Hamburger Helper (and some nights I haven't even worried about trying to find a veggie side :( ) I haven't had time to worry about exercise and all that. Because I "haven't had time" or rather haven't taken it and because I have been too tired...I have gained weight. I am all the way up to 143. I was at 133 at the beginning of summer. I really have been good about not eating my stress relief food (I am trying to also use it as a form of service and share it with those around me) but I still have had some and I haven't been as careful as I should be. I am changing that...starting NOW! Tomorrow morning is oatmeal for breakfast. It is a healthy lunch with veggies. It is a healthy dinner with lots of veggies and healthy meats. I am going to start taking control of being healthier again. Take the time to make food to fuel my body for energy. I am going to get up earlier and exercise every morning. I will have those pounds back off before the holidays!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The true stories of the pictures...

It always amazes me how pictures can say one word when in reality the truth behind the pictures is completely different.

For example:
I see this picture I just think carefree wonderful day at the beach with family bonding!

Want to know the story behind it? It is much much sadder! I was trying to CREATE a carefree day because the day before this Ben had been layed off. I was stressed beyond stress. I was sitting on the beach thinking "What the heck are we going to do?!?" I wanted to cry but instead decided to try my hardest to just find peace and happiness. I look at these pictures and I can see happiness and carefree and I actually see very little heart ache. Amazing how even 5 months can change the reality of what the day was!

That is what I want to do today. I want to run away to the ocean and feel the cool breeze, warm water and peace you find at the ocean. I don't want to face the reality of bills coming due on Friday and us plain and simply not having enough money for them. I hate the reality of working and working and not seeing our dreams anywhere in the future.

For today I just have to just dream of the ocean and creating another carefree day because school has started and we have a responsibility to the kids to help them get the best education they can get. Hope for a future in which they don't have to struggle for every penny like we have had to for the last 2 years. I pray it works. I pray we can just get our break.

Honestly my true dream picture is my family looking down the street of our new home and it looks something like this:

Trust me my current digs have no such view from the front yard! To dream and dream!!!

For now I am so grateful I have what I have. I have 2 beautiful daughters that I love more than I could ever express and a husband that I would give anything and everything to keep for eternity! My life is blessed. Many of my pictures from this last few years show fun, wonderful events and it is interesting to look at those pictures and to remember how I felt inside during them but before I remember it all, I look at the picture and think, "Man that was a fun experience!" I am kinda glad that the memory of what was going on in your head while taking the picture fades so that only the good from the picture is remembered!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Empty Nester!

Today Lyse started 1st grade!

How did my baby get so old? She had her backpack, her lunch pail and she was all big walking away to her first grade doors. Oh how I hope she does great!!

Time goes by too fast! When I got home, habit took over and I thought, "Now I have to leave to get Lyse..." then I stopped myself and realized that I just have to go get Lyse and Katy at 3:30 this afternoon.

What?!? Seriously?!? I have a full day of no kids and it makes me want to cry! I did pick up some hours for work but that just isn't the same. The fact that I don't have any little ones to watch and care for just boggles my mind! I am going to miss my buddy. Lyse has been my side kick for the last 6 years. The last 3 she has had time with me while Katy has been off to school all day. Now they are both gone all day.

Lyse is going to have a good year. I know she has the potential and desire to be the best and I know she will be her best! I just hope she makes it through today good. I pray that all goes well at school and my little girl comes home happy and confident in her new school year!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

4th grade here we come (well by "we" I really mean Katy)

Tears are flowing as I write this but I HAD to write it while it was still fresh.

My little girl is growing up. WAY TO FAST! Wasn't it just a little while ago I was holding a near newborn in my arms, proud and ecstatic at her growth and progress so far in her little life?

Today I still proud of what an amazing young women she is turning into. Today I am still happy to see her grow. I am also torn and sad. My little girl isn't so little any more. She is in 4th grade. She has many expectations and responsibilities this year (all of which I know she can and will do). She is growing up.

Last night before bed she made her lunch, layed out her clothes and took a shower and washed her hair. This morning before I got up, she got up, ate breakfast, got dressed and brushed her teeth. She had done her hair in a pony tail as well and it looked good but I redid it. Not that I HAD to redo it, it really did look good. I think it was more because I wanted to feel like I was needed in some way in her getting ready for school in the morning.

When I got her to school, she wanted dropped off in the back. Basically that means you pull into the church parking lot that is behind the school and they go through the fence gate and up the school's grassy hill to the school building. When I asked if she wanted me to come with her she said no...she would just go. As she was running across the grass and up the hill to the 4th grade door, her friends were running down and they all met and then happily walked back to the growing crowd around the 4th grade doors.

Katy was so excited to start school. I know this year is going to be wonderful. Her teacher is super nice and willing to help. Katy has grown and matured and I know that she is going to have a lot of personal growth.

My heart is filled with a lot of emotions. I love to watch Katy grow and mature and take on new responsibilities. I love to see her loving life and learning and growing. I love watching her mature and grow into what will one day be an amazing adult. It also breaks my heart. Even thinking back to watching her run up that grassy hill to her friends on the other side my heart shatters. I always want her to continue to grow and learn and experience life. It just breaks my heart that as she gets these life experiences, it also means I am loosing my baby...she is growing up on me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer is just about over...

Summer just seems to FLY when you get to the last little bit! I can't believe that today we went and met the new teachers for next year.

I am just hoping and PRAYING that these teachers are the EXACT teachers my children need to both soar this year - I have a feeling they are!

As the end of summer approaches we have been rushing in all the last minute things.

Yesterday was the lemonade stand behind my parents house. Oh how the kids had a blast flagging down people!

I was greatly impressed with the men and young men in that area. They got WAY more guys about 17 years old stopping and purchasing lemonade (and leaving 75 cent tips) than they got women. It was a fun adventure for me and the kids.

Today was meeting teachers and preparing for school to start on Monday. So hard to believe how fast the summer flies by. I am so grateful for the fun summer we have had. A summer with road trips, airplane trips, the beach, whales, orchards and mountains. Can't get much better than that!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Night Anxiety - What do I do...HELP!

Dear Friends,

I am exhausted and can't go to bed.

Why you ask?

The house needs cleaned?

Nope, that's not it. Well yes it does. It always does but that is not new.

I have lots on my mind?

Nope, that's not it. I do but I always do.

The honest truth is...the thought of going and climbing in bed makes my heart race and I have to think and think quickly of something, anything else. I find an excuse. A show I need to catch up on. I need to quickly pay this bill or that. I need to check my emails. The laundry needs folded. ANYTHING. Any excuse works but the reality is I have bedtime anxiety.

I love curling in up next to my hubby in bed. I love snuggling. I love sleeping. Hello if you know me you know I have no aversion to napping or sleeping at night; however, lately, I do!

HELP!! And this is a serious cry for HELP. I don't know what to do anymore. I am tired. I want to go to bed. When Ben says, "Let's go to bed, I am exhausted" my heart starts to pound and my body clenches. If I say, "It's bedtime, let's go to bed dear" to Ben, my heart starts to pound and my body clenches. When ANYONE mentions bedtime or sleeping my heart races.

If I force myself to go lay down the feeling gets worse and worse and worse until I literally can't lay there anymore because I feel so claustrophobic and trapped I have to get up. Sometimes I literally JUMP out of bed because it is so stressful.

WHY THE HECK IS MY BODY DOING THIS? What can I do to stop it? I thought maybe it was my iron, so I stopped taking the iron. Nope - been a couple weeks and STILL struggling to sleep. Yes I know stopping the iron wasn't the best considering everything but I had to think of something. I actually cut out any and EVERY medicine for a couple weeks hoping it would/could be one of them. If it was...the drug must take over 2 weeks to leave your system!

No, I don't drink caffeine beverages so it's not just cutting those out.

Even the thought of going to bed right now sends me into a panic attack in which I have to force myself to breath.

I am really at a loss of what I can and should do. I have run out of options and now its just getting worse cause Ben thinks I just don't want to go to bed with him. It has NOTHING to do with that! Stressing the anxiety of bed does not help bring on sleepiness, just makes the anxiety worse!

I have tried sleeping pills and honestly the anxiety trumps those!

Has anyone even HEARD of this before? What is the cause? I know I am not going to find a solution until I find the root but I just can't seem to pin down why no matter what night it is and what I do or don't have going the next day why I ALWAYS have extreme anxiety at the thought of going to bed.

Thanks and XOXO in advance for any help or suggestions.


Anxiously Awaiting SLEEP!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Adventure...

What an amazing weekend and experience.

We FINALLY made it out to see the great and much anticipated Blue Whale in California. Katy was so super excited. We all made it on the plane out and it looked good to get home so we were excited to start this adventure.

We got to California and our great room in Newport Beach. We stayed at a Marriott Resort and Spa because a great friend of mine got us the friend and family discount so it was only $60 per night. Great deal!! The resort had 3 pools, a splash pad, sand box and then at night they did a family movie down by the pool in which they put bean bags for the kids to sit on and the nice pool side chairs next to the pool. They provided popcorn and the movie for FREE! How fun is that?

Friday night we were too tired for the movie but we did enjoy Toy Story 3 on Saturday night :)

Our room had a great balcony that overlooked one of the pools and a view of the ocean. It was a great room!

Saturday we went to Newport Beach and went out on the pier for a bit. Some fishermen had caught sand sharks and were attached to ropes to be kept alive tied to the pier. It was really amazing to watch the sharks swimming around.

We then drove down the the Balboa Island Ferry area and purchased the tickets for the much anticipated and purpose of this trip, Blue Whale Watch. Poor Katy got sick and started throwing up right before boarding the ship. We started dashing around trying to find anti-nausea so she could enjoy her blue whales.

We got out on the ship and within 15 minutes our first Blue Whale was spotted. WOW those things are HUGE!!!!!!!! Katy got in her Blue Whale and watched it spout water in the air and then the sea got the most of her and she layed across the bench area. She didn't get up again. Poor thing really did not feel well. After a while we went down below where the benches were padded and she fell sound asleep for the remainder of the trip.

Lyse made an instant friend with an 8 year old from Henderson, NV named Fiona. They even traded phone numbers - how cute is that?!? They followed each other around and shared the little candies we purchased for the 2 1/2 hour boat trip. Lyse begged and pleaded to call her friend, the minute they got off the boat!

Fiona asked Lyse to go to the beach with her after the boat trip. We were off the coast of Huntington Beach at this point. All those up above were watching the blue whales off the bow of the boat. I walked up to get some fresh air and watch Katy through the window instead of sitting next to her in the stifled air of "down below". Lyse came running up to me and pointed to the beach and said, "Mom, my friend asked me if we can go with her to the beach of this ocean. Can we? Can we? Can we go to the beach of this ocean?" I smiled and laughed and then tried to explain that the beach to "this ocean" was quite large and I needed more information to go off of!

After the boat trip, Lyse was so sad to say good bye to her sweet friend, Fiona. Lyse wanted to go the beach but Katy was still a bit whoozie and wanted to go back to the hotel. Since we were all beat, back to the hotel we headed. 10 minutes later the girls were in swim suits and exploring one of the many pools at the hotel. Ben and I found lounge chairs and soaked in some sun.

Later that afternoon the hotel provided free arts and crafts for the kids (I know great huh?!?) and a table with yummy grapes, cheeses and crackers. It was a yummy treat and fun hats, visors and sand bracelet making time with the girls.

We then went and got some food, did a few errands and went back to the room. The girls HAD to watch the movie by the pool so my mom walked down with them and I followed shortly. We didn't stay for the whole movie because we had to be up at 5 and it was almost 10. We went back to the room, climbed in bed and slept great after a wonderful, full day!

Sunday morning came early and ended up a LONG LONG day! We got to the airport and the flight had more transfers and we barely didn't make the flight. We rolled over and then got back in our rental car and went to the beach for a while. We were concerned for a while on what we needed to do for flights. When we got back to the airport the second time, the airport terminal was CRAZY. Weather back East created craziness on the West Coast and our flights. When we didn't make the afternoon flight, the night flight looked pretty much impossible and no other airline standby was going to work, we decided to rent a car and drive. At 5 pm (please remember we got up at 5 am) we headed out of the Long Beach area and started our 11 hour drive home.

The ride home was really great even with 4 of us snuggled up in the back seat of a Hyundai Santa Fe. Boy I am sure glad that we didn't get in a car accident or pulled over!! Prayers were answered, that is for sure!!! Not sure it was the safest but it was nice to snuggle my family in the back seat of that car!! The back seat reclined so the kids and Ben were snoring soundly after Vegas. I stayed up most of the night...only drifted off a little between Vegas and Mesquite and then St. George and Cedar City. From Cedar City to home, I was wide awake (amazing how 1 can Diet Dr. Pepper can keep this girl WIDE AWAKE!!!)

After returning the rental car with my mom, this tired girl came home with her well rested family and took a nice LONG nap (well 4 hours). Tonight bed is coming early for us all but I am so grateful for this wonderful experience.

I am grateful for amazing little travelers I have. We stopped 1 time for the restroom then they were asleep and no other stops were necessary...well other than in Vegas for gas and some fast food and then gas and go in Cedar City again. Really 11 hours from Long Beach, CA to South Jordan, UT isn't bad time! My girls played on phones, laughed and giggled and talked with us and sang songs. Lyse was the only one that asked if we were there yet and it was when we reached Riverside California and she never asked again after that! Seriously CA to UT with only 1 are we there yet?!?

The sunset in Death Valley was BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, amazing!!! The heat on the windows was also amazing. I mean seriously, it was sun set and the windows were so hot!! Then when driving through Phoenix and the desert area I was SHOCKED at the heat again. WOW even middle of the night you don't get a break from that heat! Grateful for a car with air conditioning!

An amazing weekend adventure. This little trip - this is what makes me say - I can love my job. It is a great job. It does more than just provide help with our mortgage and bills - it provides us with the ability to travel a little!

To end this all (pictures will follow when I get them all downloaded) I wanted to share what sweet Lyse said while we were driving home from California. We were talking about when she was 2 and we drove home from California in one day. That sweet little girl said, "That is what I liked. I liked that because of my mom, I got to travel a lot as a little kid." We all laughed and said, "You got to travel a lot when you were little not now?" and she said, "Well I get to travel now too and I like that. I like it a lot!"

I am so grateful that they love and appreciate travel and seeing the world. They love the ocean. They love the mountains. The appreciate the Deserts. The love the world our Father in Heaven has given us and I am grateful they have been so blessed to see so much of it!

Katy's favorite part of the trip (in order she stated it) : swimming in the ocean and hotel pool and Blue Whales ("But I was asleep and I hardly got to see any")
Lyse's favorite part of the trip (in order she stated it) : the whales and me getting my new friend!
Tauni's favorite part: Seeing Katy's joy in getting to see the blue whale, getting to see how excited Ben was to see those magnificent creatures as well, watching my girls chase the waves and loving the ocean (I will never tire of that) and snuggling my family while enjoying a road trip home (I LOVE road trips!!!)
Ben's favorite part: "You mean besides driving home?!? Probably the whales."

Monday, August 8, 2011

People I know...

I am so grateful for my family. For my husband. For my daughters.

Life is about family. Life is about spending time with the ones you love and not just time together but QUALITY time together.

I am grateful for a job that helps pay the bills. I am grateful for Ben's jobs.

I am grateful to a Father in Heaven that knows just what we need. I know He loves me!

I am grateful for Earthly parents that love, guide and help me so often. I am grateful for my in-laws who over the last 10 years have become parents to me as well.

I am grateful for brothers and sisters. There is nothing better than siblings!!!! Seriously, I am so grateful my Father in Heaven allowed me to have 2 children so that my girls know what it's like to have siblings. I think that is so important!!

I have so many dear friends and I am grateful that my life has been blessed with friendship.

My life would not be complete without each person in it.

Today I am grateful! I am grateful that my life has been blessed with so many wonderful, kind, amazing, inspirational people that help me to grow, learn and strive to be better!!