Monday, October 18, 2010

Bryant Story

I quickly stopped by the library the other day while Erick was watching the kids. I decided to pick a couple of books for each kid and made my way home. I put the books on the kitchen table and resumed with the normal things of the day; cleaning, picking up, putting away, rocking baby, changing diapers, etc. Cora and Cash were both napping and I came back into the kitchen and Bryant was reading one of the books I had borrowed for him, A Dog Like Jack ; which to the naked eye appeared to be a cute story about a boy and his dog.

Well, then, Bryant looked up at me and said "This is where they buried Jack, Mom." And pointed to a picture of a very sad family standing around a freshly covered dog grave. I almost yelled "What!" This was not what I expected.
I said "What on earth is this book about" wondering what on earth happens to this dog...does he get run over? How sad is it? Why is this book in a library where a FIVE year old can get it, or a five year old's mom can get it? Bryant calmly looked up at me and said "the dog just got old and died Mom, and this is where they buried him."
"Oh." I said.

I then proceeded to continue my previous tasks and thought Bryant sure was handling death pretty well. A few minutes later Bryant asked me if I would read the book to him. So I did. It was pretty sweet and pretty sad, and obviously meant to help children recover from the loss of a pet. As soon as I finished reading Bryant the book, he looked up at me a little teary and said "Mom, I'm going to miss you when you die."
This obviously is shocking to hear. I said kind of loud "I'm not going to die! At least any time soon!"
To which he replied "but you're 27!"
I then explained to him that grandpa is 56 and his mommy (Nana) is still alive and that I was going to live until he was well into his 50's and maybe even 60's (this is one of the reasons I had kids early!). He was comforted and said, "Mom, when I'm a daddy, can you come visit me all the time?" I laughed a little to myself, because who knows if he'll want me around in 20 years, but for now I said "of course I'll visit you all the time!" And I gave him a huge kiss! And he gave me a big hug. What a nice moment we had.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Thing of Beauty

I am feeling a nagging feeling to express myself today. In days past when I would feel this way, I would pull out my journal and write for a while until I felt I had fulfilled this need. Today, I am coming to my blog. Cora and Cash's rooms are right next to each other. In one room I cuddled with my precious three year old daughter before nap time and told her that I loved her and she said she loved me back. I combed my fingers through her hair which is the same color as mine, and rubbed her little back. I looked at her adorable face; full of brightness. Then I went into Cash's room where I had left him lying down. He was cooing softly in his adorable little clothes. Smiling, and full of love. I thought of my little fire-cracker Bryant who is at school, probably having the time of his life as he does every day; but he always wants a hug from mom before he leaves for the day. And even though tomorrow is Saturday, he'll probably be up by 6:30. These children are the loves of my life. Erick and I created them!

Shortly before this I read a heart-breaking story about a Mormon family that lost an 18 month old daughter in an accident. After her death, they went back to the scene of the accident and along with the sadness they felt, they also felt peace. As all of these feelings from the story I just read mingled with the feelings of love I have for my own children, I had many thoughts.

Mainly, I thought about where happiness comes from.

I think the path to understanding happiness is a long one, and I at least think I am on the right path. The truth is that everything could change at any time. But I am grateful to know that some things are eternal. I believe family can be eternal. I believe happiness can be eternal. I know that many people that do not believe in God think that those who do believe do so because it is comforting to know that there is someone in charge, someone who is always there for us. So how do I know that He is real and that there really is someone there for us and that I'm not just a sucker who needs to feel comforted?

These are the thoughts I pondered. Here are some of my answers:

Peace. The peace that comes in the midst of terror, destruction, evil, bad, confusion. I have felt this peace. I have felt peace when I shouldn't feel peace. I have felt peace when I should have been afraid. I have felt peace when I have been in the depths of despair. I have felt peace in the midst of all sorts of lows. And I can tell you, it came from God.

Clarity. The clarity that comes in the midst of panic. Knowing what you should do when things are crazy. Knowing the answer to a problem you should have no clue what to do about it.

Children. Children have been the most amazing teaching tool in my life. Children more than anything have led me to the knowledge that God is real. Even babies. Especially babies. I still remember one night when Cora was an infant, I was feeling very upset, unstable, and unhappy. I had a feeling that I should just go hold my sleeping baby. So I did. The wonderful thing about babies is their capacity to love. When they start to open their eyes and look around the world, the first thing they really do other than eat and sleep is love. I felt the love from my little baby and I felt a knowledge of my divine worth swell within me. I went into my room and I saw myself in the mirror, and I knew I was beautiful because I am a mother. As I have had many experiences with my children; knowledge of God has crept into my soul and cast an anchor there. And one of the most powerful things I know about God is that He is Eternal. He is forever. This one tribute of God is important to me because everything changes. I tend to not like change. As I have dealt with the many changes of the last few years; having an Eternal Father to turn to has been the best thing in my life. These special times I have had with my children have been testimonies to me of God's divinity and mine. And I know it could all change in an instant, but God would still be there. And that is what I need.

Husband. I have probably learned as much about God from Erick as I have from our children. He always seems to come in with extra energy exactly when I am running out. On the nights when I feel like I should go up and spend one-on-one time with the kids before bed but am to tired to, Erick always seems to be there and before I know it he's talking with them and doing exactly what needed to be done. He is kind, respectful, he is soft-spoken, he is there when I need him and he mostly just wants me to be happy. How does all of this teach me about God? Well, it didn't all start out this way. We've always had an excellent marriage, but as the years have gone by, and as we've prayed together, studied together, served together, sacrificed together, I can tell we've both been refined (and are still in that process). But more and more, as I've seen my husband serve others and grow in his testimony of God and the gospel, he has become an amazing man right before my eyes. He is always changing, and always for the better. I can only hope he has noticed some good things about me in the last eight years as well!

Forgiveness/Repentance. All I can say is that I have learned that God is real. Burdens are lifted, grace is extended. It is true. Following those simple steps of repentance many times has done miracles in my life. The two words "I'm Sorry" are words that can change everything. They can erase years of hard feelings in those who are willing and ready to forgive. I'm not afraid to say "I'm sorry" any more. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm wrong. I know that things can get better.

Divine Nature. This really is happiness. When I finally realized that I was basing my happiness on what other people thought of me, I knew that's why I wasn't really happy. My emotions were always up and down because I felt that I had to be a certain way or act a certain way to be important. If things didn't go the way I thought they should I would be upset for days. If I didn't get to spend a certain amount of time with Erick, I would be upset for a long time. If I didn't feel like I was needed; I didn't feel important. Then I realized it was all wrong. I knew in my heart that this was not how happiness worked. I reached a point where I wondered if I would ever be truly happy and not have to suffer from a constant up and down of emotions. Where was my peace? In one evening, I had an incredible epiphany. I realized that happiness could only come from one place. I realized I and everyone else is important simply because we are all children of God. I realized that being a Child of God is important. It means that Heavenly Father loves me. It meant that He is there for me every single time I need Him. Which is exactly what I need.

That was several years ago. And I can tell you, that ever since the knowledge of my divine nature truly pierced my heart; I have never turned back. I have not given in to the cheap notion that other people will make me happy. They won't. I believe that when we have the foundation and knowledge of our divine nature we can then experience true love and happiness by serving others, being kind, and living our lives together, but it starts with that testimony of our Father in Heaven.

So, am I happy? Am I at peace? Yes. Is my life perfect? No. In fact, it is pretty crazy a lot of the time. How can I say I'm happy when it's obvious things in my life are not always great? Well, like I said, God doesn't change, and I'll always be his daughter. That is happiness for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

These Days (boring update)

Bryant started school last Wednesday. He has now been to seven WHOLE days of school. Wow. Can I just say that it feels like he's been going for forever? And honestly, it seems to be going well. For those of you who know Bryant, he is a very social, quick-thinking, intelligent, and busy child. And if you don't keep him busy, he will bug you until you give him something to do!

So Bryant went to school and he only cried the first night when he said that he missed being away from me all day long. I then explained to him that he is actually only gone 7 hours a day and that leaves him 17 whole hours at home per day. So technically he is still home much more than he is ever at school. Of course I didn't bother to point out that 11 of these hours are spent sleeping. This information calmed him down, and he has honestly been fine about it ever since. We get up at 6:15 every morning, I make him his lunch, he gets dressed, and I walk him to the bus by 6:50. I have not been up this early since high school. Seriously. I have to go to bed by 9:00 so I can handle the baby waking up a few times at night and still get enough sleep in by morning. I hate giving up my nights, but I love being there to send Bryant off in the morning. The bus is also so much easier than waking Cora (who's usually out until 8:30) and Cash, and loading them in the car to save 30 minutes.

Two days ago the bus came a little early so I told him to run for it. He did and got on the bus, but stood on the steps until I caught up and gave him his good-bye hug. Luckily our bus driver is very nice (she's in our ward at church so we know her), and she didn't mind waiting. It's like I have a boy who's half way grown up. He's a big boy off to school on his own, but he still needs a hug to get him on his way. When he arrives home, he's tired, but pretty happy. Each day of kindergarten so far though he has been sent back to his desk or out of the line at least one time for talking, and each day he PROMISES to try harder. At least today it was only once and not three times! Next week the teacher's discipline system of colored cards starts and we'll really get the full picture of what's going on!

Here at home things aren't so bad! Cora is enjoying being the big fish in the little pond. She's talking more, asking to invite friends over, and really flourishing even more than before. She and Bryant also seem to play better when he comes home since they've had some good time apart! We also have a friend's daughter come play four days a week for a couple of hours a day while her mom's in class and it seems to be going pretty well. I'm putting her in gymnastics next month so she'll have something special of her own to do. Cash pretty much goes with the flow and sleeps, plays and enjoys being held. He's a great little baby. So that's that. Things are great, I love kindergarten, Bryant loves kindergarten, Cora loves being at home yada, yada, yada.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Comfort TV

One more story for tonight. For those of you who have Netflix, you all know what an amazingly wonderful thing it is. My husband HATES TV. He does not watch TV. Now that 24 is off the air, he will likely never watch TV again. Until we started streaming netflix through the TV that is. Now he has all the history shows he could ever watch just beckoning him to stretch out on the couch, which he does now on occasion. Erick has said so many times "I can't believe we wasted so many months without Netflix on our TV." It's true. It is amazing.

The other night Erick was working late and I was flipping through the netflix instant play options. I came upon Season 1 of The X Files. I had to watch an episode. You see, when I was probably around nine years old, my dad and I and I'm sure some of the other kids would watch The X Files on Friday nights. I didn't remember much about the show other than that I would never have admitted to ANYONE at school that I watched such a weird show with my DAD, but I think I remember liking it. So I pressed play and it's amazing what memories can do. As the X Files theme music began to play I could remember my dad whistling along with it as he did every week (over 15 years ago!). He would even do a neat duet where he would do an echo with the music (which also sounds like whistling). I remembered being that young girl spending time with my dad watching The X Files. And it brought me the strangest sense of peace and comfort. Let me say. The show is a lot scarier than I ever remember it being. But it probably wasn't that scary when I was 9 because I was watching it with dad. I can say it's a lot easier to follow those plot lines now that I'm 27 though.

In the last two weeks I've watched about four episodes. It's kind of funny. If I've had a long stressful day, there's nothing like curling up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and a good episode of the X files. It just feels right. It feels like dad's right there whistling along and I'm a 9 year old without a care in the world! So thanks for watching TV with me dad. It was fun back then, and it means a lot now!

Cora Story

First off let me say, that I would love to post new pictures of the baby and everything that has happened this summer, but I cannot for the life of me get my pics to load to my computer! Something is wrong and I can't get it to work! When I figure it out there will be baby over load! Moving on...

It has been a while since I posted. There are plenty of reasons for this. Namely, I was pregnant and tired, then I had a baby and was tired, and then all of our family visited and we were busy. Now things are settling down and I am a teensy bit less tired. So here is what happened tonight:

I put Bryant and Cash to bed around 7:30. Bryant always has to go to bed early because he always wakes up with the sun no matter what. If he stays up late, he's in a bad mood all the next day so he goes to bed early. Period. Cora is a different story. She is a little night owl. She loves to sleep in, so a lot of times after Bryant goes to bed she'll just play in her room for a couple of hours and just entertain herself. She never really bothers me much, so I don't mind.

Tonight at around 8:30 after playing in her room for about an hour she sauntered down stairs and nonchalantly said that she would be painting a picture. Cora is a mess maker and a half, but for some reason she is the neatest little painter there is so I just let her do her thing. She got out the paint, paper, and cup of water all by herself and got to work while I was cleaning the rest of the kitchen. Something interesting: At around 7:00 at night Cora likes to "hum" when she's concentrating or falling asleep. It sounds like a distant lawn mower. It's kind of a sign that she's a little tired. So while she was painting she hummed and I cleaned. She then said "Mom, you'd better not touch this'd better not!"
"Okay Cora, I won't touch your picture."
"Oh Mom, I wish I had a dinosaur. I'd give it a pretty crown to wear. I want a dinosaur and a pink crown for my birthday"
"Okay Cora"
"Mom, what did I paint?"
"You tell me what you painted"
"I don't know, what did I paint?"
"It looks like a black bird flying through flowers"
"No, it's not that. It's a dinosaur."
"Oh, it's very pretty"
And then Cora being Cora of course asked for a cookie. Which I gave her.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Adventures in Walmart

So today, we went to Wal mart to pick up some curtains I ordered through the free site to store shipping. For some reason I am redecorating Cora's room for the third time in her very short life. Oh well. After our trip to Walmart I planned on going to Aldi's to buy pretty much all the canned goods we will need for the next year--big day. In Wal mart we get the curtains with no problems and all of a sudden Bryant wails and screams that his shoe has broken. It was true. His shoes have little bungee cords to tighten them and one of them had snapped, rendering the shoe useless. Bryant said that he couldn't go on, and that he would just have to go home. I have been planning this trip to Aldi for a while, and today was the day, so I told him we could just buy him a pair of croc's or something and he'd be fine. Also, take note that in the last month he has lost TWO pairs of shoes. I'm sure we'll find them, but they have been MIA for a while now, and one pair I just bought in November. Anyways, it's not like he had a lot of shoes to come home to or anything, so when we saw that they had no crocs, I just told him to pick a pair and be done with it.
This was an agonizing decision. Each color required the utmost consideration and thought, he couldn't decide whether he wanted a 10 or an 11. He didn't know if he wanted Disney Car shoes or regular, velcro or tie. Finally, I had to remind him that he hated the movie cars and that he needed to learn to tie his own shoes since he's almost five, and that he should just man up and get some regular shoe-lace shoes. So he did. After I removed the tags and put them on, he instantly changed his mind and needed the other color. I took the tags off the new color and put those on and he said they were too small and didn't feel right. I told him they fit great and he just needed a few minutes. He calmed down.
Pretty sweet for Wal mart right?

So all the while Bryant is meticulously trying to decide on his shoes Cora is tearing apart the shoe isle looking at all pink and white tennis shoes and taking them out of the boxes to get a better look. While looking, she found a pair of pink and white Disney princess shoes that light up when you walk. Frankly, I hate shoes with characters on them, and never wanted to buy any. I didn't come here to buy shoes, I came to buy curtains. But this little girl had fire in her eyes, and there was just no way Bryant was going out of Wal mart with new shoes and she not. I tried feebley to disagree and told her that Bryant needed shoes because his broke. She wouldn't hear a word of it, and started to throw a very nice tantrum. The truth is that I rarely give into tantrums. I think that's why my kids don't have them very often, but I felt for her. I just knew that she had to have them, so I sighed and said "Happy Valentine's day!" They were both so happy. I'm such a stickler for consistency and not giving in to my kids demands and whims, but today, it just felt right. And you bet she put those shoes on right there and has refused to take them off for the rest of the day.
And we still got to go to Aldi where I spent an amazing amount of money and ended up with a cart so heavy that some man had to help me push it out to the car. It was awesome.

Here's the can pyramid that Bryant built at lunch time

Christmas in Coloroado

We went to Colorado for Christmas to spend our holidays with Erick's family. His mom, dad, two sisters and their husbands and their cousin Rylan. It was a lot of fun. We did so many things and the kids of course did not want to leave! Let's face it, no one can spoil kids like grand parents. There was candy, presents galore, Nick Jr., unlimited attention, toys, and much much more. They also liked sharing a room with Erick and I, and Cora liked it so much she decided that she could never possibly take a nap or go to bed without me laying down with her. That stopped as soon as we got home! But it really was great, and oh my gosh, I have never been so well fed in my life! And when I got home I was able to clean out a closet and completely fill it with all the toys they got for Christmas! We were very spoiled and very taken care of! Here are some of the high lights!

Christmas morning (our kids were up at 5:30 easily with the two hour time difference!):

Bowling: Bryant and Grandma Janette always bowl on skype together so they had to go bowling for real! Bryant loved it!

And even Cora played
We also took the kids to Chuckie Cheese's for the first time. Bryant was in over load with all of the tokens. We pretty much just let the kids do whatever they wanted, so we ended up using a lot of tokens, but it was worth it
Cora liked the food best of course
A lot of there time was just spent playing with their cousin Rylan and having fun...I think Rylan had about had enough of Bryant and Cora by the end of it all; they can be pretty overwhelming!
Merry Christmas!

Just want to make you jealous

Yeah, I make these for breakfast...a lot. Aren't I lucky? Well, at least I'll be a lot more lucky when Erick fixes my blender. I burned the motor from making too many delicious healthy smoothies. Bummer. But, soon, I will be at it again! And there's always the food processor for when I get really desperate!

Christmas in the Carolinas

So this Christmas we were in Colorado, but before we left we spent some time with my side of the family. It was cold, rainy, and snowy, but we still had a lot of fun. Andrea and Emma came and stayed with us for a few days and we shopped despite the weather. They especially liked Edward Mckay's bookstore where Andrea found lots of very lovely cook books. Then we discovered that Cora really liked to look at those cook books. Andrea probably read cook books to Cora for three or four hours and each time she turned a page Cora would pretend to eat whatever was in the picture. Very cute.

Also, Andrea noted after looking at the kids' scrap books that Emma was on far more pages than she, so I made sure to take plenty of pics with the kids and Andrea and made sure to...well...leave Emma out of them. Sorry Emma! Hurray Andrea!