Monday, January 31, 2011

Poster Child

It's a shame its been almost a week since the night I realized I had "made it."  You know... made it to the point where I could smile at myself and say I was an accomplished woman.  Had we pulled the camera out then I could officially be the poster child for fantastic women all over the globe.  If I hadn't waited so long to blog about my evening then I'm sure I could have remembered more details too.

You see... I was scurrying around trying to get dinner made for my family before I was headed off for a night at the temple with my Young Women.  My sister (who is such a doll, by the way) was coming over to watch my boys and she gave me one of the best compliments I've heard in a while.  She said I could be the perfect 50's housewife.  I was in a dress and heels, had some glossy lipstick on, and was taking steaks off the grill.  My sis laughed as she said she could see it now... the picture of me with a caption saying something to the effect of, "Of course I can grill.  It's just so easy."  Haha.  We really made a mistake by not pulling out the camera.  What if that moment doesn't repeat itself for a while?

Then there was one more little moment of fantastic that evening when I was told I sat like a model.  Wow.  All those hours of watching America's Next Top Model are paying off.  And I thought I was just trying to sit like a lady...

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm good for a while.

Get your baby fix over at my photography blog.

Now that I've spent a little while with my newest nephew, I'm feeling good.  
I think I'll be good for another while now...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All Kinds of Random

I thought about doing this post a few days ago when I had all kinds of weird things going through my head and no one to share them with.  You know...  little tid-bits of information that didn't quite warrant their own blog post and definitely not a phone call to someone who might be kind enough to listen, yet (I almost typed "but yet" and remembered the Modern Family episode that referenced that redundant phrase).  As I was saying... yet all of the things I felt an urge to share were not the kind of thing I wanted to spout off about on Facebook either.

I've noticed a need I have to reach out through my status updates and my blog posts to connect to those around me.  I find joy in the moments my friends do the same thing and still completely roll my eyes at myself when I can count on both hands the number of times in one day that I think about how I might phrase my thoughts on Facebook to recount an experience or to ask an unimportant question.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't ever need more than one hand, or even one finger, to count the things I want to share via the internet in one day.

And now, I shall commence with my random thoughts of today.

Who invited the north wind to come blowing through town today?  I had my bedroom window open and stacks of folded clothes on the bed.  When I walked back into my bedroom it was freezing and there were a few things unfolded and off of their stacks.

I promised myself I wouldn't update my blog until I had done the bills.  Haha.  My last post was 10 days ago and the real reason I sat down at my desk was to do the bills.  But the blog screamed louder at me.  I'm gonna have to break down and do them soon though.

Speaking of bills, Colby and I are going to try a new budgeting technique.  We're gonna use cash only for a while and see if that does anything to our spending habits.  I've already noticed myself thinking of all kinds of nonsense I'd like to purchase, but I spent my month's spending money at a yard sale last Saturday.  :(  I did however stay $10 under our week's grocery limit.  Rollover $$$ is going to be fun.

I'm starting to feel kinda bad about myself now.  I just looked up from my desk and not only am I neglecting to do the bills, but my entire kitchen is in a strange state of chaos right now.  I gotta get it all taken care of ASAP because in just a couple of days the whole kitchen is going to be out of whack.  Why, you ask?

Because we're gonna do some remodeling.  I always hear about people doing big projects within their homes and now I've finally gotten brave enough to choose one for myself.  We're going to take out a portion of the wall that divides our family room from our kitchen.  I'm super stoked about it.  But if I don't have the kitchen spotless before then, we'll be in for a huge problem!

I've been on a real organizing kick lately.  I'm highly motivated to get my bathroom in perfect, organized, working order.  Next will come the closet.  I just need to cut some wood to make a shoe rack.  I moved my disgusting mass of cook books to a new location so I should use them more often.  I described them as disgusting because I have so many and never cook anything but what I can remember from the top of my head.

The St. George Parade of Homes is coming up and I'm so excited.  That is the one thing that keeps a smile on my face when Christmas comes to an end each year.  I know it is only a handful of weeks until I can go exploring 20-something homes of beauty and inspiration.  The Parade is actually Colby's motivation to get this wall done right away.  He told me, "I better take care of this before you change your mind when you see something else you'd just love to have."  Poor Colby.

OK.  It's time to get serious about my bills.  I just thought about how I also need to gather everything to get our taxes done and that can't happen until the rest of the $$$ business is taken care of.  Oh boy.

Maybe in a week or two, when I come up for air, I'll fill you in on some other matters that pop up in this head of mine.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Proud as Punch

I don't want to sound cliche here, but Marshall is getting so big.  It blows my mind every time I turn around and find him doing something else that big boys do.  Honestly, turning three was a big milestone in my book.  Once he turned three I could see his whole life unfold before me and it was crazy!  Today I wanted to document a big first he had.  He's a sunbeam now and is going to Primary with the big kids.  He is one of the ONLY ones his age that sits happily without having to be held by a teacher.  He's so sure of himself and he participates and behaves fairly well.  Today he got to give a talk on the topic, "The scriptures are the word of God."  It was only his second week in Primary and he was cool as a cucumber.  He didn't get nervous at all.

We worked together to write his talk.  I thought about just putting together a pre-written talk with the pictures he could hold up, but I was talking to him about the scriptures to see what I could get him to talk about and he was full of good stuff.  I just started to write down the things he told me and organized them into a talk.  So, no joke, he wrote probably 80% of his talk.  It was really such a delight to hear him share his testimony and love for the scriptures.

He started out by holding up a set of scriptures and said:
"These are scriptures.  They teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to know.  Different people wrote the scriptures.  Those people were prophets.  We can learn about their lives and the lessons they learned.  When we do what they tell us, we make Heavenly Father happy.  We are also happy.  I know the scriptures are true and I know they are God's word.  Reading the scriptures will help me get ready to go on a mission."

He sounded so sweet and I'm so grateful for his example.  He may have been a little bit nervous because when we would practice he would go on without being prompted and he really knew what he was saying.  In sharing time, however, he carefully repeated everything I whispered in his ear but when I would pause at spots he usually said on his own, he just stood there quietly.  I recorded his talk on my ipod because this truly is a treasure to me.  The fact that he came up with so much of it on his own spoke a powerful lesson.  Even at a young age, kids absorb the things of the Spirit and begin to develop a testimony about the truths they are taught.  I think having kids and sharing the scriptures with them has devoted me to scripture study more than anything else ever has.  When we first started reading the scriptures regularly with the boys Marshall got so into it.  It was really only in this last half a year and I could see a definite change in his behavior.  Even Tyler would sit reverently and listen and I regretted waiting so long to study the scriptures with Marshall.  It's never too late though, that's for sure.  It was a powerful moment to me as we discussed what Marshall knew of the scriptures on Saturday afternoon and out of the blue he piped up, "reading the scriptures will help me get ready to go on a mission."  All on his own he could recognize the application of scripture study to his future.  I loved it!!!

It was cute this afternoon as he would share his talk with all the grandparents we visited.  Grandma Stratton (Connie) recorded it on video so we could send it to Chase on his mission in Malaysia.  Marshall recited a lot of it from memory and it really showed his personality.  I loved, as he would say it on his own, how he would keep going confidently with the line "they were prophets."  My favorite thing was the way he said, "... make Heavenly Father happy, also us," instead of using the sentences I had written out.  I'd much rather listen to him say it in his own words too.

I sure love this little kiddo.  I was told by one of the Primary leaders, "Today in primary M was telling me that the topical guide was some sort of part to a saw. Someone told me later he was talking about guide, not topical. He was so cute and sure of his answer. What a doll."  His teacher also told me he gave the most interesting prayer she has ever heard.  His prayers are something to behold as well.  But I've already mentioned that in a previous post, and could devote a whole other post to it in the future.

We're proud of you Marshall.  Very, very proud.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

By Way of Resolutions...

I'm not a big fan of making New Year's resolutions for myself.  Maybe its because I'm a procrastinator, but the new year always comes and I've yet to even think about goals for the coming year.  I'm still trying to wrap everything up from the previous one.  This year, as in the night of the 1st, I was trying to decide if I had a desire to set myself some resolutions and I think I came up with a much better idea.  This year I'll set resolutions for everyone else which will in turn help me immensely.

For Colby:
   At least one day a week he will do everything I say and even what I don't say.  He will even do so with a smile.  The results will probably even surprise me.

For Marshall:
   Always remember Mom is right.  That way there will be no need for frustration or outbursts... on both our parts.  Let's also add learn to write his name.

For Tyler:
   Practice sharing and decide to be happy with what he has instead of what everyone else has.  Perhaps we all should join him on this one.  Oh yeah, learn a few more words so we can all understand you.

For sugar:
   Stay away for a while.  If you would just leave, I could live without you.

For my sister Megan:
   To spend a minimum of 10 hours a week with me.  The benefits seem obvious...

For my Young Women:
   They will promise to not date until they are 16.  They will promise that even when they do date, they will not date steadily until they are ready to be married.  They will also listen to all of the advice they hear from their leaders and resist the urge to ignore the words of us "old" ladies.

For my dishes:
    Wash themselves.  That would solve a lot of my problems.

For my clients:
   They will always be happy and positive and they'll have just as much fun as I am.  (I've really only dealt with one or two people that weren't this way...)

For our friends that live far away:
    To move a little closer since our work schedules don't always allow us to travel where we would like to.  If that won't work, just call from time to time...  I promise to do the same.

For my checkbook:
    Continually increase in value and decrease in how quickly it empties itself.  It could even create its own money to fill in the voids.

For my waistline:
   Give up all the fat it's hanging on to and learn to live without it.  You know, if it would just be flatter I would no longer need to worry about how similar the measurements of my bust and waist are.  (Sorry if that made any of you uncomfortable.  You're welcome if it made you feel like you're not the only one.)

For the sisters I visit teach:
   How about you all move into the same house (two of them already do...) and we'll just stop by at a time you're all home.  Dinner time sounds convenient...

Speaking of dinner:
   Let's make a deal.  You (dinner) be less of an afterthought and I'll make sure to fill you with all kinds of nutrition and deliciousness.  ALSO... as often as I love to eat out, how about each of my favorite restaurants donate gift cards to my family even if its just one place per week.  I think we'd all quite enjoy that.

For that unfinished baby blanket that is still in the closet:
  I got you mostly put together before Tyler ever turned a month old.  You're sitting really close to the sewing machine.  How about you two make friends and take care of the rest.

It seems like the other night I could think of all kinds of other people that would benefit from making it to this list, but I can't remember them right now.  Sometimes I really hate it that my best ideas come to me in the middle of the night or while I'm in the shower.  In this case it was both of those combined...  

Anywho.  I'd love to hear what you guys would add to my list.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Look who is so big!!!  You can see, he's up on the counter, getting his own cup and wait... what is that?  
Yeah it is, baby!
Mister Tyler is done with the diapers.  He's doing really well with this potty training thing and I am beyond thrilled!  I was celebrating with Colby's aunt last night about having a break from diapers for a while and we figured out it will be a long break.  (You see, I have a goal to go on our family vacay of summer 2012 without a newborn baby, so I'm really loving the idea of no diapers.)  I also have a word of caution for those who found it necessary to loudly proclaim that it can be a real mess if you train before they're ready...  Poo.  On.  You.  No one should dare take the wind out of the sails of accomplished parents.  That's seriously uncool.  Besides.  I'd much rather wash an occasional extra pair of underwear than change all those diapers.  I'm so proud of my boy!

We made it successfully through church yesterday with no accidents!!!  We actually sailed right past 24 hours being clean and I'm loving it.  The little rat is smarter than us all though.  About halfway through sacrament meeting he figured out if he told me he had to go potty then he could get out of that place and explore the thrilling bathroom.  Haha.  I'm not kidding you when I say we were in and out of there at least FIVE times in the last half hour of sacrament meeting.  I couldn't fathom him having to pee that much, but if I had been wrong it would have been quite embarassing, so we just tracked in and out of that place over and over.  The silly man sitting behind us even told us we better cool it or they'd have to replace the carpet five years ahead of schedule.  We all got a good chuckle out of that one.

One funny thing to note:  When Marshall was potty trained (at 23 months) he would yell, "Run!  Run!" on his way to the potty.  Tyler (20 months) on the other hand just whispers (urgently), "Potty.  Potty."  I can't be in the middle of noisy stuff very often or I'd miss it.  It's funny how kids from the same two parents can have such different personalities.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I tried so hard to find a before picture, but couldn't find one.  But at least you can see the AFTER!!!  
I think this furniture never knew how awesome it could look until it got a taste of black.
From the first brush stroke I knew it would be awesome.  We left Colby's green dresser green because it is just so cute... funny that he has the cute one, but I have the big one so don't worry.  The universe is not out of balance.
And below is the little beauty that made the whole make over a reality.  I really wanted it for the bathroom but it was just a couple inches too wide and too deep to really work.  The bathroom felt much too crowded with it in there.  So I had Megan help me move some stuff in my bedroom and put the cabinet in there.  But the light natural wood stain of the other furniture looked kinda disgusting beside this whitewashed beauty.  Hence the paint job.  Boy, do we love it!