Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections and Intentions

So here we are, coming up on a new year.  It's exciting and a little frightening.  I'm excited for all the changes that will be going on.  But I am frightened of all the changes and the unknown challenges we may face.  We had some hard, hard challenges this year-personally and as a family.  I wonder what will happen in the months to come?

On the SimpleMom blog, there is a list of questions that you can use to reflect on this previous year.  I found them to be quite useful in thinking about the past year.  I also thought an interesting activity might be to answer the questions for the next year as if it turned out the way I imagined it.  For instance, one of the questions asks "In what ways did you grow spiritually?" I would like to answer something like this: "I gained a greater testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I found a connection with Heavenly Father deeper than any I have ever felt.  I have strengthened my faith and feel much less fear about the future.  I created a regular habit of scripture and gospel study and feel myself greatly enriched by these."  So if that is what I want to say, what are the steps I need to take to be able to say that?

I've found, in thinking about the new year, that 2008 was nothing like what I want my life to be. There are some factors that are out of my control (the way my kids behave, the choices my husband makes, where we live, etc.), but there are many things that are in my control.  Those are the things that I want to focus my energy on in 2009.  For instance, so much of my time is wasted on stupid things like watching You Tube videos and reading blogs.  Very few blogs actually leave me feeling uplifted and inspired.  So I will focus on those and leave out all the rest.  I have been amazed also that I have let so many things go that really fill me up emotionally and spiritually.  I used to (before I had kids) go for long walks everyday.  I would just look at the world and think and pray.  I would notice things and be inspired by the beauty that I saw in nature.  It's much harder to do any of that with kids, but this year I must ask for 
R-Jay's help so that I can have it again.
So here is my list of intentions for the new year.  (I wanted more general ideas rather than specific goals.  I want to be able to see how these things evolve during the course of the year without feeling like I have failed.)

2009 Intentions

  • Significantly reduce our debt.
  • Seek more intellectual stimulation for me personally.
  • Spend more time outdoors studying and enjoying nature.
  • Be more active as a family.
  • Declutter our home and learn to live more simply.
  • Grow closer as a family-spend more quality time together.
  • Increase the spirituality in our home-become more Christ-centered.
  • Gain a greater level of spirituality for me personally.
  • Seek Serenity and Beauty.
  • Lose baby weight and be more active for health and energy.
So there you have it.  I feel really good about all these things.  They make me excited.  Most importantly, they are all in line with how I want my life to be.  

Lastly, I just wanted to share some photos of the boys.  This first one is Sam last Christmas. (2007)

Then Sam on his 5th birthday in September. (2008)
This is Jack in December of last year  (December of 2007)
And Jack in the autumn of this year.
So cute!  

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!  Good luck on all of your goals and intentions.  God bless!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!

Hope you are all having a very happy holiday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Much needed inspiration

Just a quick post today.  I have been having a hard time with my mothering lately.  Maybe being pregnant and ornery.  Maybe it's because if the other parts of my life that are falling apart. Whatever the reason, I am not loving being a mom these days.  I'm sure everyone of you with kids can relate!  

I woke up on the morning of the 8th and immediately climbed out of bed onto me knees.  I was overwhelmed already!  I prayed for strength and comfort.  Then I went about the business of getting the kids breakfast, drinks and a show.  Once they were settled on the couch, I got my own breakfast and sat at the computer.  I like to check email and look at blogs first thing.  I was so inspired and uplifted by what I read.  And that continued for the next 2 days.  The first that inspired me that day was Ann at Holy Experience. What I love most about her blog is the way she shows that God can and should be a part of every aspect of your daily life-from housework, to raising kids, to just finding the time to study the scriptures.  I have been uplifted many, many times.  This time I was especially inspired by her posts on December 8 and 9.  I felt that Heavenly Father had answered my prayers.

The second one was Amanda at SouleMama.  She is so incredible.  I think her life is such a close match to what I want my life to be like (and is so far from!).  I just love reading her blog first thing in the morning.  I was inspired by her post on December 10 entitled "How we're going... this time."  I was feeling so overwhelmed (yes first thing in the morning), but then I read these words "It's fair to say there are moments of being overwhelmed.  Moments where one might wonder what one has gotten oneself into. But then.  Always just then-at that moment before utter overwhelming panic sets in-a moment of peace, a clear sign of love. Surely a sight of family.  All of the above stress is quieted and overshadowed by the reminder that this-this is what it's all about."  Wow!  Thanks for that.  Even writing about it now, I am reminded in my heart of what is important.   

I need to remember these things better and be content in the life that I have.  It is good.  And I am grateful.

I'm back again!

Can you believe that I am posting twice in the same month? I can't believe it! I wanted to share a couple quick things with you. First-some pages from my December Daily album.  It is turning out so great. I love the messy pages (though I may have to find another solution since these books are not as sturdy and I think this book needs). Here are some of the pages I have finished:

I am finding out some things about myself during the process of this album. I have not been motivated enough to do something every single day.  I have not wanted to find something just so that I have something for that day.  I have been including things that really mean the holidays to me and our family. It's been events so far, but I am working on a page about our favorite holiday music (all 3 CDs) and then our favorite holiday movies. And I seem to go for 2 or 3 days then put those things into the book-I don't work on it everyday.  I have been having a hard time because I have not been doing it exactly the way Ali Edwards said she does it. As if I am doing it wrong.  But I have to be ok adapting the project to our needs.  I am also finding that I like and don't like having predetermined pages.  I like it because I don't have to try to put one together each time I'm ready to work.  But I hate not being able to easily add more pages if necessary.  It's good though because I  can only put a few photos in where I would normally put in too many.  All in all it has been lots of fun.  I will definitely do this again next year.

The last thing I wanted to share is a photo of myself (blah). Here is my 23 week belly.  I am definitely bigger with this baby than the other 2. I can't wait until she is born.  I am having such a hard time being so big! I think other factors in my life are contributing to that also-but I just feel so fat all the time.  :(  Only a few more months. 
Have a great weekend!

PS-I learned how to save post and post them later (I'm slow I know). But now I can write a few when I have the time and then spread them out!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am still alive!

So I have a lot of excuses for not posting in the last FIVE MONTHS! But it basically all comes down to laziness.  I have had nothing but problems with blogger lately and I don't have the patience to sit and deal with them. In the coming year, I may try to find another blog server. We'll see.

Anyway, I have been feeling a little bit more energetic the last few weeks.  This pregnancy has been a lot harder than the other 2.  One of the things that has suffered the most is my creative energy.  I have not wanted to much of anything.  I had a bit if nesting happening a few weeks ago and decided I wanted to take everything out of my studio and rearrange it.  So I did. I found out quickly that I did not have the energy to take everything out of the room, so I took most of it out (or rather, R-Jay carried most of it out).  My room feels much more open now and I can actually find things and have space to work.  

Another thing I have been able to do was to make some messy books, inspired by Emily Falconbridge.

I had so much fun putting them together, then had my sweet friend, Michele, sew them together.  I cannot even tell you how much I love these books. I love to just hold them and flip through the pages and sometimes just look at them. Here is a picture (sorry it's not very good. My camera is being a pain in the arse!). I wanted to show more but, of course, back to the blogger problem again!

I am also very excited to begin my December Daily album which was inspired by Ali Edwards.  I wanted to do it last year, but once again--LAZY!  So I am determined to do it this year.  I decided to make a messy book for that purpose. When I get some photos I'll post them also.  Here are a couple photos from Sunday night.  Even though it was technically still November I am going to use it for day one in the album.  Aren't my boys cute?

So, Jack is getting tired of me being on the computer so I  better go! I will post another blog very soon, I PROMISE!  I want to share more of the things we'll be doing this month.  

As a side note, everything is going well with the baby. We are 22 weeks along.  She is a wiggler, whereas the boys were both kickers.  We have chosen the name Addison.  We're still working on the middle name.  

Also, check out our ad for Super Cape, Super You on Emily Falconbridge's blog (the link is on her name above).  It looks great and I am excited to have it on her blog-she is so inspiring!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I really love living in a city.  (That's why I am having a hard time in Tooele! There's not much here!)  I took this photo near Henry's Lake in Island Park during our recent trip to Yellowstone.  Looking at it brings up feelings of longing.  Longing for the kind of life we would have if we lived in a place like this.  I used to want to live in a cabin in the woods.  I have not wanted to for a long time.  But looking at this picture and remembering how beautiful and peaceful it was there makes me wonder if I really do still want to live like that?  It's not even an option right now so I don't have to really think about it.  But maybe someday... 

Monday, June 30, 2008


We went to Yellowstone for a week June 16-21. It was such a fun trip! I was so excited to get Tuesday, Friday and Saturday off of work. This was our family vacation for the summer.  It was such beautiful weather and it was great to be out hiking. 

This photo (below) is the unfortunate event that happened to us on this trip.  We were on our way to Mesa Falls when all of the sudden, something hit our car.  It had flown at us from the side so it was obviously a bird of some kind (which was also evidenced by the flurry of feathers that was settling on the road behind us!).  From the feathers we found we decided the bird was a ruffed grouse.

R-Jay and the boys worked on a painting of some flowers. The finished painting is awesome! I'll take a photo and post it maybe tomorrow.
Here we are on the Big Springs River Trail near island park. So fun!

And finally, some layouts I promised to share. There were made a few months ago, a couple were from right after Jack was born. But they are some of my favorites.  The one below is from the 24th of July last year.  I wanted some red white and blue, but I really loved the green balloon and wanted to highlight that a little.  I love the way this turned out! I used a ruler and pen to draw a line around the edge to give it a little more definition. Loved how that worked.

This is a super cute and sweet layout I did about Jack. I really love the colors of this one!
Another one from Jack's birth. I love these layouts with one photo. I love that they highlight an emotion that the one photo brings up.  I think I am liking these two layouts even more right now because Jack will be 2 years old in about a month. I can't believe it!
This is a cute layout that I made to demonstrate the products in a kit that I will be putting up on my etsy shop this week.  The next layout is from that kit as well.

I really love these papers and things. They are all so vintage looking. I am loving that right now.  
Hope you all have a great evening! Tomorrow I am planning on posting some photos from a cool art journal I made. I will also have a link to our Flickr account so you can see the full set of Yellowstone photos. There are a ton! :) 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Is anyone there?

So I am the worst blogger ever. I have been so busy. Posting to my blog has been the last thing on my list. My computer was so slow, it took way too long to even post the shortest thing. Now that we have a new computer (yeah, mac!), it will go much quicker.  Now I have to think of what to talk about!

First of all, these photos are from two separate trips we took to San Diego last month.  I work for an airline so we get to travel for free. The first trip we ever took was in February (none of these photos are from that trip. R-Jay and I went to San Diego alone for 3 days.  We had a trip for the whole family planned for May. He then found out he had to teach a training class at Amex. I was disappointed, but I decided I was going to go anyway. So I did. I took Sam and we went to San Diego for 2 days. It was so awesome to be able to do that with him.  He and I don't get much time together just the two of us these days. It was so nice to focus on him for so long. He was so good. I get lost so easily in San Diego, but Sam was such a patient little trooper.  He was great. We had such a great time.  Two weeks after that trip, R-Jay and I took both of the boys to San Diego. It was so much fun. The outbound flight was a little hard because Jack was so tired. He was screaming and crying for the first half hour we were on the plane. Luckily, once we were actually in the air, he fell asleep and slept the rest of the time.  It was so cute to see Sam on the plane for the second time. He sat right in his seat, put on his seatbelt and his headphones and was ready to go. He knew exactly what he wanted for a snack and a drink. He is so cute.
While in San Diego with the boys, we headed to a mall so I could go to Sephora. It is my favorite cosmetics store. Oh! It is like a pretty, scented, sparkly candy store for grown up girls! I was so giddy while I was there! Anyway, while were at this cool shopping center, there were cool sculptures of sea lions. Here is Sam near a mom and baby one. Cute! Look at that face!

This is my favorite photo from my trip with Sam. I loved being with him so much. He is a great kid.

Our lives are pretty normal. Boring, busy, exhausting. R-jay and I are both overwhelmed with creative energy these days. There are so many things we want to do and not enough time to do all of them. I have been very excited about scrapbooking again.  I was burned out after all of the projects I did at Christmas time. My attempt at giving more handmade gifts this past year was successful as far as how the projects turned out, but I was so tired and sick of anything to do with any of it. Anyway, my passion is finally returning and I am excited about that. I am also excited to paint again. I haven't for a really long time. But I am looking forward to doing it again once I get some new supplies (like fresh paint etc.).

I've been reading like crazy. I read so much more now that I have kids than I did before. It's a great relaxing escape. I am reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. I love love love John Steinbeck, so I have not been disappointed so far. I saw the movie "The Jane Austen Book Club" and loved it. So far I am not impressed with the book. It is relatively flat. I am waiting for more to happen that might fill out the characters and give some meaning to the book as a whole.  Before these, I finished reading the three books in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers. Loved them so much! I cannot wait for the fourth book, the movie and, hopefully someday, the book she is writing from Edward's perspective. I am not a geek, I promise! I just have a thing for vampires!

We recently added the soundtrack for "Across the Universe" to our iPods. I love that movie so much and the music is beautiful. I love how Julie Taymor (the director) put the Beatles' songs in such different contexts from what they were originally. It adds so much to the story. Anyway- watch it! It's so great!

That's about all I'll talk about right now. And hopefully it will not be another 8 months before I post again. I am hosting a scrapbooking group at my house this wednesday. Perhaps I will share some photos from that as well, as some of my most recent projects!