Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just to Clear The Air

Just in case anyone out there in blogland was wondering, I just wanted to clear up a few things about myself. Here are a few things that I AM:

- I am an active member of the LDS church. I attend church every Sunday and even hold a calling.
- I am a worthy temple recommend holder. Or at least I will be after Tuesday when I get it renewed.
- I am a 27 year old mother of two who is fairly modern (although my sister Amy would say I'm old and boring). I like to shop, go to movies, go out to dinner, hang out with my friends, etc. Same things most women in the world like to do.
- I am a pretty fun person. I like to relax and laugh and have a good time, and perhaps sometimes I even take things a little too far. It's just who I am.
- I am a teacher. I like to read, watch TV, drink Coke, play games, travel and shop. I listen to "normal" music (although I don't like rap or the heavy stuff, that's probably more a function of my age than anything). And I don't have big teeth. At least I don't think I do. Not sure where I heard that from.

Here are a few things that I AM NOT:

- I am not involved in polygamy. Although I might be okay with it if there was a cooking wife. I hate cooking. (Sarcasm, people. I'm not being serious).
- I am not a boring freak.
- I am not so crazy religious that I scare people or that you can't have a good time around me.

Seriously, world. Get a freaking clue before you start putting labels on people. It might make you seem less ignorant.

Now, here are a few things I DON'T BELIEVE:

- I don't believe you're going to hell if you don't belong to my church. In fact, you'd probably be surprised how FEW people I actually believe go to hell.
- I don't believe in having multiple wives, once again. I can't wait until the world figures out that Mormon does not = polygamist.
- I don't believe in performing freaky rituals in private.
- I don't believe sex is only for procreation.
- I don't believe my husband is more important than me. In fact, I think we would both argue that most days I am more important to his salvation than he is to mine.
- I don't believe the Bible is false.

Now, how about a few things I DO BELIEVE:

- I believe families are together for eternity. What a horrible, hateful thing to want to preach and share with the world. Once again, sarcasm.
- I believe in serving other people and in giving of myself to make their lives better.
- I believe in donating time and energy to help those who are less fortunate than me.
- I believe that my husband and I together make each other better, and that we need each other. And while he may have a few things I don't have, I think my beliefs make him value me MORE.
- I believe in the Bible. I don't believe it's the ONLY witness of Christ, but I do believe the Bible is true.
- I believe that not drinking, smoking, doing drugs or participating in casual sex keeps me healthier. Duh.
- I believe in fidelity. And not to sound redundant, but that means my husband only has ONE wife. And that's me.
- I believe that my church is the only true church. Now, I know this is a hard one for a lot of people. But really, shouldn't we all think our church is the only true one? Doesn't make sense to believe in something strongly if you think it's only half true.
- I believe that shopping at least twice a week makes me a little less bitter and hateful.

And one more thing. If you want to convince me that I am wrong, don't start out by telling me that you used to be a member of my church. Don't ask me to go to anti-Mormon sites, or read books by former members, or watch shows that portray my beliefs MAYBE half accurately. Really, am I going to go to a woman who is bitter from her divorce for marriage advice? I think not. Obviously you have negative views of my church. Otherwise you'd still be a member.

Man, the media really is irritating.

On a happier note, here's some cute pictures of my baby. This is what happens when you give her a cupcake and let her have free rein of it.




My crazy bug-eyed sister Amy. The one who thinks I'm boring.


My sister Mandi blowing out her birthday candles. Happy Birthday Mand!



Crazy Grandpa with Emory. I think he's playing the guitar on her stomach????

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Man

I was dragged back to Jaxon's bed with a bad attitude about ten minutes ago. I get tired of the requests for treats, drinks, toys, etc. when it's bedtime. I hate the stalling. And I was trying to watch American Idol with Trav.

When I got back to his room, I asked him what he needed, and he held out his arms and said "I didn't get enough love today." Little brat. Knows how to manipulate me. Then when I was hugging him he said, "I like it when you tickle my back and sing me a song." I of course promptly laid down by him and did just that. He is such a loving little boy.

We've always felt like Jaxon was sent here for many more reasons than to be our son. He came into our lives at a time when many of our family members needed him, and I think he's made all of us be better. He is so special. I think he feels the Spirit more than most kids. But his dad did at that age also. He loves church and comes home so happy. And during sacrament meeting he will randomly reach up and smile at us and hug us. We always say that's him feeling the Spirit and he just has to get it out. I asked him the other day if he knew how much Heavenly Father loved him, and how glad I was that he sent him to us and he looked at me and said "Does He know I'm full of love?"

I hope he knows that He made him that way. Probably just for me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun, fun, fun

We took the kids out for family home evening with some friends of ours last week. Travis has a student whose dad is the head veterinarian at one of the bigger horse breeding farms out here. He took us on a tour, and we even saw a baby horse born while we were there. It was awesome. I got flicked with all kinds of horse guts, but it was so worth it. I think I should have been born on a farm. We planned to stay for an hour or so, and went home three and a half hours later. We all got to ride, and they had one of those little mini horses for the kids. They have a little playground and little barbecue pits to cook with. It's an awesome place. I'm hoping they'll let us come back. Very classy place.

Be prepared for about a thousand pictures.

My boy's cute.

So is my girl.


Although I look like I'm possessed here, and there is something on the camera lens, I wanted to post this so all those people who think I'm wimpy can see I'm not. Even I can ride a horse. I love it. I think I suck at it but it's so much fun.

We got to hang out in the area where they do all the breeding. We saw lots of cool stuff, and they told us we how they "breed" the horses artificially. They told Trav they would let him implant an embryo next time he comes if he wants. What a dork. We also saw lots of cool things in jars, such as this:

Need I say more?

Daddy & Jax

Mommy & Em

Em & her friend Kason

This horse is supposedly one of the most winning horses ever. He's worth eight million and has won more money in a year than any other horse, or something like that.
We saw so many mamas and babies. I loved it.

This is the baby mini horse. I almost put it in my purse and brought it home to play with Nala.

Just a shot of the area. Very cool place.

This horse loved my jacket. It wanted to eat it. I didn't want to leave. I look scary here.

Here's the four kids. Trav bought them these dorky hats.
This pretty much sums up my kid's personality. Except he's really pretty cool.

I love my baby. So much more lately. She is absolutely beautiful and so funny.

They love each other.

Thoughts On A Good Day

Oh no, not again. Where's the pictures? This time, it's totally not my fault. Actually, it's not very often my fault. Remember when I said Travis took the camera to Maryland? Well, being the smart boy that he is, he also took the camera charger - and left it. Whoops. So, we have this cute little camera sitting here - with a dead battery. At least today is Trav's birthday and we have NO pictures. I'm not thrilled about it, but what do you do? Maybe I will post some pictures from his trip with this post. I'm also going to try to upload some pictures from Family Home Evening last week. The batter may have just enough juice left in it.

Well, I looked at those Blurb books, and decided they are pretty cool. I want to order one about once a year, and consider this scrapbooking. Yes, now I will earn my medal as a good mother because I can say I scrapbook. But I thought I would just write down my random thoughts so I have them in the future. Here are a few from today:

- Do kids get harder and more obnoxious as the day goes on, or do I just get more tired?

- Birthday are the best holiday ever. I love mine, and I love doing nice things for everybody else on their birthdays. It's so much fun. How awesome that we all have a special day.

- After the first comment, this may seem weird, but my kids are the best kids in the world. I genuinely enjoy them every second of every day. They play together, and only have small fights every few hours. And they're not like those little pansy kids that get along with everyone because they have no personality. They are funny. Like the other day when Emory was running around the living room and she stopped and said to herself "This kind of sucks." Or when Jaxon told Travis the other day that he was "lame". Or when I checked on them the other day and Emory told me "we're following the prophet" but it came out more like "wew fowowing the pwophet". Or when they sing Ruby from Guitar Hero or the Apple Bottom jeans song. Don't tell anyone I taught them that song. I'll lose my mom medal.

- My dad was ordained a High Priest this weekend and set apart as the Stake Membership Clerk. This may not be a big deal to some people, but for a man who was excommunicated and lived about ten years outside of the church, it's a huge deal. Especially to his family. I'm very proud of him.

- I love spring. I love cheap fruit, and corn on the cob and grilling on the barbecue. I love Em in little tank tops and shorts and Jax in flip flops. I love that it's not too hot to be outside, but it's not too cold to need a sweater.

- It's Trav's birthday today. Have I mentioned that my husband is awesome? He really is one of the greatest men I know. He is smart, hilariously funny, ambitious, spiritually strong, kind, loving, fun, a little immature (which is good) and so many other things that make me happy. Really, we have the best relationship. We play together, we laugh with each other, we genuinely enjoy being together. I hope he had a good day and I wish I had pictures to document it. His sweet sisters all called and had their kids sing happy birthday. I wish they could have seen the smile on his face. My sister brought him a goofy candy poster and my other sister watched our kids overnight on Saturday so we could go to dinner and have some fun. His sweet mom got him a weight bench and my cute mom gave him money. Travis NEVER spends money on himself. One year I gave him money for his birthday because I was out of town, and it sat in his wallet for four MONTHS while he decided what to buy with it. He's a little too cautious about his spending. But I love to have an excuse to spoil him, since I'm not allowed to do it any other time, and he always spoils me. I am so so lucky to have him.

Here are some pictures from his trip to add a little spice to this post:

Hmm...Wish I knew what any of these places are. I know they're all in DC.




Wow. I'm sure this is an original picture idea.

I believe this is the Korean War Memorial???

Oh, the joys of being married to a lab scientist. What is this? And why is it so cool?
Above: Lexi, this one's for you. Travis took your soul to Washington DC. Ha ha ha.

The one above is kind of a funny story. So at about midnight, when Trav and his three students decide to head back to their hotel. Well, Trav misses a turn and they end up at the University of Delaware, about fifty miles from their hotel. So, fifty miles there and fifty miles back puts them about 100 miles from where they want to be at two in the morning. That's what happens when you put a 29 year old kid in charge of three students.
I got a picture message of this picture with the message "No wonder everyone listened to him. He's huge." Brilliant.

I love Travey. He rocks. Happy Birthday babe.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Timeout

Jaxon put his Transformers in timeout the other day when I was at work. When I got home, I asked him why they were in timeout. He said this: "It's only the bad guys, Mom. And they're in timeout because they just keep being bad all the time."



I love this kid's brain. He is obsessed with his toys. He goes through these crazy phases. It was Cars for the longest time, and now it's Transformers. It's ALL he talks about. Every time we go to the store we have to look at them. And usually mom ends up buying them. The other day we went to the store and I told him he could hold some new ones while we shopped and I would think about buying them for him. When we got to the checkout he said "Mom, you always tell me you'll think about it but then you always buy them for me." Think he's got me figured out???
One night I was feeling particularly sentimental, and I gave him a hug in his bed and made him look at me while I told him I loved him and that I was proud of him. He looked at me for a second and said "Mom, can you get me my Transformers?" I laughed, cause here I was having this emotional moment, and he couldn't have cared less. He just wanted his toys. It made me happy. My four year old should not have to worry about anything but his toys. He shouldn't have to worry about the sad things in the world. I want to protect him from everything sad as long as I can, even though I know one day he'll have to see those things. He's a fun kid. He keeps me entertained.

I have to go now, Emory wants to roll down the stairs. I need to stop her from breaking her neck.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

They're Here!

I love Melanie. Love love love Melanie. She is awesome. These are a few of the pictures she took of my cute little family last week when she was here.

My baby is so freaking cute. She looks so big here. I guess she's not a baby anymore?


This is Emory and Jaxon's favorite thing. Their dad swings them on his belt. Better than hitting them with it I suppose.


Yes, one of her hands has the fingernails painted, and one doesn't. She's a stubborn little thing.

Trav is such a goof but aren't we cute?


Love her. She's such a cutie.
Oh, the obsessions my son has. He's going through a Transformers phase right now. And when I say obsession, I mean obsession in every annoying obnoxious sense of the word. He wants to hang this picture up in his room.

This may not be the best picture of all of us, but I love it. Such a happy family. We all love each other most of the time. Jaxon always says "I love everyone in my family so much". Every morning when Jax wakes up he asks me if he can wake Em up because he's bored. Then they play Transformers together. It's so cute. I'm so glad after three years they finally love each other.

Check out my butt. Minus that I do love this picture.
Here we are again!

I'll post more when I get them. I'm such a nice person because I make Melanie haul her camera up here from Arizona on the plane, drive around with us and hike through corn fields, take a bazillion pictures, go home and edit them, and then I am on her case to get them to me. And she has five kids of her own. Thanks Mel, I love you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blessings

*WARNING: Long dramatic post. I needed to get my thoughts out. I will not have my feelings hurt if you skip it. I'll just tell you to stay off my blog.

I just realized (thanks to all the comments) how long it has been since I've posted. You'll know I've misplaced my camera by how long there is between posts. And right when I remember to start taking more pictures, Travis took the camera on his trip. He's in Maryland mentoring a group of students at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Doesn't get much more studly than that. My sister in law Melanie took pictures of us last weekend, so I thought about waiting for those to make a new post, but then I changed my mind. Especially since she told me it will be a year and a half before I get a disc. Just kidding Mel, I love that you will always do that for us, even when you're only here for three days.

It's been a strange week so far. I've been very introspective and mellow. When Melanie came last weekend, she brought a blog that she had found to my attention. It's the story of a mother who lost one of her four children about 16 months ago. After the weekend, I spent the entire day Monday reading this woman's blog, and my heart was so sad for her. She lives in Australia, and is not a member of the gospel. How hard to have to lose a child, and not know where that child is or if you will ever see them again. My heart hurts for anyone who has experienced something like this. Can you ever truly come back from that? So in true morbid fashion, I proceeded to view other women's blogs who had lost children. So not only have I felt full of sadness for these poor women who shouldn't have to experience this, but I have felt full of love and appreciation for my own children, and the blessings they are in my life.

We also had a little boy in our ward killed a few weeks ago when he was struck by a neighbor's car. It was such a sad and humbling experience. Why do we so often have to lose something, or watch someone else lose something, to fully appreciate all that we have? It seems like the times of the greatest tragedy and sadness are the times that I feel more strongly that the gospel is so true. We are so lucky to have it. It is our RESPONSIBILITY to share it with those who don't. Why would I be scared to share the greatest thing I know with others and bless their lives? Why would I not believe that Heavenly Father will help me to reach out, and that others will feel the Spirit through me if I try? It's true. It brings happiness and comfort. It's what He wants us to do. We just have to trust him a little bit. I spent a few years of my youth not being terribly active, and I've always felt like I missed learning so much of the doctrine of the gospel. This has always made me feel a little inadequate about sharing it. But I have felt inside my heart that it is true. I don't have that feeling all the time, but the times it is there are enough to sustain me through when I'm not feeling it. I have learned through many of my own experiences and mistakes (and several of you know exactly that I'm talking about) that true happiness and blessings come from living the gospel. Bad things still happen, but in the midst of chaos, we can feel peaceful, even when it seems we should be raging and screaming. That is one of the greatest blessings of the gospel. The peace I feel when I desperately need it, and maybe even when I don't deserve it.

I feel like I've had some pretty devastating things happen to me in my life. Things that is has been hard to come back from, and things that have made it harder for me to have faith. But I realized this week that all I have to do is look around me, and I will realize that things can always be worse. I can still cry, and be sad about the things that happen to me. But I am so blessed and LUCKY. Why is it so hard to understand that sometimes? I want to be a more compassionate person, but it's so easy to get caught up in the hardness of my day to day life. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to be the type of person that spends their life serving others and doing all I can to make their burdens lighter. I want to be able to stand before my Heavenly Father and say "It took me awhile, but eventually I learned to do all that I could to take care of all my brothers and sisters on Earth".

So, tonight, since my kids are in bed and Travis is gone, and I have some free time, I though I would count a few of my blessings. This may get lengthy, but I'm just realizing how many there are.

1.
How lucky are we? We have a living prophet who speaks to God on our behalf. He is a good man, a funny man, an intelligent man and one who loves us. When he spoke on Sunday, I got chills and felt my eyes start to tear up. I was nervous about getting a new prophet, since I loved President Hinckley so much, but I felt so strongly like he is a prophet. I love that we get that confirmation about each new leader. One of the biggest testimonies to me is that we have these 15 men who lead our church, and there is no ego, no hunger for power and no desire for personal gain. They are here to serve the Lord. There is no anger when one is called as prophet over another. They are brilliant men who KNOW the gospel is true. Each time I hear them say it, my testimony grows that much more.


2.
Wow. Someone must really love me to send me these three. How did I end up with Travis as a husband? I'll tell you right now, I did NOTHING to deserve him in my teenage years. He is a loving, hilariously funny, spiritual man who puts my happiness over everything else in his life. My children are amazing. They are full of personality, and full of love. They are such GOOD kids. As I hear horror stories from others, I realize how lucky I am that my kids are just good kids. I'm crossing my fingers that this continues.

Along with my family, one of my biggest blessings is the knowledge I have that I will be with them forever. It keeps me on the straight and narrow. I will do nothing to jeopardize the chances of being with them in heaven. I love that the church is centered around the family. I love that I know that no matter what happens to me or them, we will meet each other again soon. It may not make it easier to lose someone, but it might take a little of the edge off.

3. My extended family. I just tried to upload pictures, but I can't find them. I have the funnest family that I love to be around. And not only that, but I love my inlaws. How often do you go from a family that you fit perfectly into, to another that you fit almost more perfectly into? And not only that, but our families get along with each other. I would chose to be with either of our families over almost anyone in the world. We have so much fun. I picture our heaven as one big street with all of my in-laws and my family living by each other and playing games all the time. That would make me happy.

4. My friends. I have the greatest friends in the world. Most of my friends I have known (off and on) since about seventh grade. Some, like Lindsay and Chelsea, I've known since I was about three. Some, like Channa, I've lived with and become more like sisters. Some survived the drama of high school by the skin of their teeth with me. You know who you are. Some I have only met in the three years I've lived here, and I'm so grateful I live where I do so I can know you. I love that with my friends from high school, even when it's been awhile since I've talked to them, we can pick right up where we left off. I am one of those that believes I must have relationships outside of my home (that sounds creepy) in order to be fulfilled. I love the time I spend with my friends. I NEED it.

5. My Home. I live in the best place in the whole wide world. We have a beautiful home (which we would not have been able to afford if we had built one year later) with amazing neighbors that would do anything for us. Our ward is great, and people out here will serve you until they drop. It's a great place. Every time I pull in the cul-de-sac I feel this amazing sense of peace. I'm so grateful we live where we do.

6. My kids with flip-flops on their feet.

7. Laughter. I am surrounded by funny people, and it keeps me going. Every single day.

8. A husband who loves to play games with me. Especially Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan.

9. Funny TV. Books. Anything that helps me escape and wind down.

10. My testimony. I feel often that my testimony isn't something I've earned, but something that has been given to me. Whether from life experiences or simply feelings, it's something Heavenly Father has chosen to bless me with. Sometimes I think I've picked it up the hard way, but no matter what I'm grateful for it. Every time I have a prompting, or I can feel the Spirit, I just want to cry because I am so glad I have been blessed with those feelings.

11. All the things I have that those poor kids on Idol Gives Back don't have. Like running water and mosquito spray and a safe place to raise my kids.

12. A stable income and financial situation. Who doesn't want to be rich? But I think I am learning so much more by having to budget than I would ever learn if we were filthy rich. I'm sure one day I'll be thankful for those lessons.

13. A husband who works his little butt off daily. Whether it's in school, work, or in his calling, he never stops. And when he does stop it's to ask me what I need to make my life easier.

14. Cars that run well.

15. Cokes with lime in them from Paces and Calls.

16. Did I mention my husband? He's so funny sometimes I can't stand it. I have to tell him to stop talking so I can focus on what I'm doing because I'm laughing so hard.

17. Birthdays. I love birthdays. Especially mine.

18. The mall. I'll admit, it makes me happy. It may not enrich my life, but it sure does make it more fun.

19. Changing seasons. Especially this time of year. I love Utah mainly for this reasons. I LOVE the different seasons.

20. The opportunity for education. I think we forget sometimes how easy we have it in this area. Finishing at least high school is so easy for us. Some people don't even get to attend school at all. We have so many options and opportunities to learn things and increase our knowledge. Did I mention that Travis got into a PhD program at USU that we feel really good about?

So, I'm going to try to once a week pick out a few things that I am grateful for. It probably won't always be this long:). I think it will definitely help my attitude. Perhaps I'll learn to whine a little less and serve a little more.

Life is hard, and sometimes it just plain old sucks. But if we can somehow make it through all our trials and get back to our Heavenly Father, it will all be worth it. We will be happy FOREVER. Not just this small amount of time.

Phew. I feel much lighter after all that.