Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Things I Want My Children to Know

What I want to talk about right now is my children. My oldest is now in the fifth grade. At the end of 4th they did the whole "puberty/body changing" lesson. It was a really great opportunity to sit and talk with her about things that aren't necessarily very comfortable to talk about it. And it got me thinking about some things I want my kids to know that I probably don't take enough time to sit and talk to them about.

So here's an open letter to my kids:

                             What I wish for all of you to learn, earlier rather than later in life:

 First of all, I wish for you to not let other people dictate how you feel about yourselves. What I mean by this, is that if someone (anyone: a friend, an adult, a stranger, some kid on the playground) says you're not good at something, or makes fun of you, or teases you--to not let that matter. It really doesn't matter what anyone else says because YOU are amazing. You astonish me with your creativity, your sense of humor, your capacity to love people, your ability to learn things so quickly. I look at you in awe, I stare at you and can't believe you are mine and God is letting me keep you for awhile. You are super special, and so is everyone else. Remember that people say things all the time for lots of different reasons that might hurt us. Maybe they feel bad about themselves, maybe they're jealous of you, maybe they're just feeling mean that day, maybe they didn't think what they said was all that mean, whatever the reason is, it doesn't matter. Words are careless sometimes, and sometimes YOU will say things that hurt other people. Don't let your self worth depend on what other people think of you. Who are they anyway? Focus on what God thinks of you, and God thinks you're pretty wonderful. Thats all that matters. (Let me tell you a trick, if someone makes fun of you, shrug it off and don't let them know it bothers you. Even better, don't let it actually bother you. :) If you can laugh and say "Oh well, does that make you feel better about yourself?" things will be easier. Promise.)

With all your awesomeness and specialness, that still doesn't make you better than other people. Don't act superior and arrogant and bring other people down. You'll find a lot of people like that. Nobody likes it. Whether you really ARE smarter than someone, ARE better than someone at something, remember humility because there are better people than you out there too. Be kind and grateful for the things you are good at, and don't ever make someone feel less than you. They're God's child too.

Laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh some more. Find humor in things instead of focusing on the bad. Its going to be hard. Its easy to point out the annoying, bad things in life. Its much harder to go through a terrible situation and find something to smile about. Do that though and your life will be so much easier. I love this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley: "You can either laugh or you can cry. I prefer to laugh, crying gives me a headache."

Don't be afraid to resolve a situation. That doesn't mean to say mean things to people whenever they bother you, but it also doesn't mean to let people walk all over you. If someone treats you badly, in a calm way tell them how you feel. They might yell at you, they might get upset, they might never want to talk to you again. Thats their problem and they will have to resolve it. (It might hurt you a lot too.) Still, you get to dictate how you let people treat you, and if people can't be nice, you don't HAVE to stay around them. Sometimes its hard to remember when we're taught to be nice to everyone, that we don't have to be best friends with everyone. Still be nice but set boundaries. Thats ok.

Pray. Turn your heart to God, He will never fail you. Pour your heart to Him, He will listen. He understands. He will ease your burdens and give you answers. But remember, He doesn't just take everything away, you have lessons to learn and you must learn them, so pray to know how to learn the lesson, not for Him to take it away. You will become stronger from these lessons and an even better person, the closer you draw to God, the more your heart will be open to learning and loving and getting answers. Always stay close to Him, you will never regret it.

Its okay when you make mistakes! We all do it! Nobody is perfect and you are just not going to be. Sometimes you will mess up, sometimes really badly. I will still love you and so will God. Don't expect yourself to be perfect right away, don't let the guilt of mistakes make you not want to try anymore. When you do mess up, take care of it and try again to do better. Work a little more and a little more towards doing the best you can, but you can't expect to do everything perfectly and right every single time. Just keep trying, thats all I ask. Don't give up.

Work hard. You're going to see people all around you and their lives are going to look perfect and better and more appealing. That is a lie. You don't know their whole situation and even if things do seem easier for them, they aren't. To get good things you have to learn to work hard. You're expectations of what you want, can't exceed how hard you work. If you want something a lot of people don't obtain, you have to be willing to work harder and take the time to get there. And its okay to be satisfied with less than what others have. There is no reason to think you need a ginormous house or make tons of money to feel legitimate. Think about how silly that sounds: This person is better than me because their house is bigger and more expensive. Thats dumb. Are they a nice person? Do they treat people respectfully? Do they serve and love and help others? THAT makes a good person, not possessions. Learn this lesson and you will feel so much happier than constantly competing with the people around you. Its just not worth it.

I may not be perfect at these things, but having lived my life so far, I know if I had learned these things and put them into practice earlier I would be so much happier. I'm not saying my life would be easy, we still all have trials and hardships, but so much happier. And THAT is important.

Your mom loves you so much! I only want to give you the most important things in life, and that doesn't always include "stuff." I want to give you the best parts of me even though I fail and mess up. There's another lesson I had to learn: parents aren't perfect. We're people too. We don't always know how to control ourselves or whats the best thing to do in a situation, but we are trying our hardest to do our best. So try and remember that for me okay?

Love, Mom

I could probably still add a lot more, but it just got too long. :) What else would YOU add? Is there something really important I left out? Isn't being a parent so hard sometime?!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thats the Way the Cookie Crumbles...

...I don't know I just really want a cookie right now.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sleep Deprived In Seattle

Hey guys, I just wanted to pop in here and just say...something? I don't know, I just know that lately my posting has been inconsistent and a little nutso. And I'm sorry about that.

I mean, to be honest, I AM a little bit nutso and sometimes I struggle with that, which is why I blog about it because a lot of the time it helps me work through things when I talk about them or write them down.

I've really struggled the last little while with having no energy. I've been really, really REALLY tired and I'm not sure why. I mean, I'm ALWAYS tired. I've been tired for the last eleven years since I started having kids, but this lately has been an all time low and its just starting to sink in for me that it is really not normal.

I've pretty much spent the whole summer trying to get my feet underneath me and failing. Last summer I had a great schedule; we went to the library every Monday, we went to a different fun park with friends every Wednesday, we had our ward play group every Thursday, etc. etc. I tried to do the same thing this summer and I just couldn't make it happen because I was so dang worn out!

So now school's here and I'm trying to get back into a new routine and I'm hoping against hope that I can figure out whats going on with my body and somehow get control of it.

I know what you're thinking right about now: GO TO THE DOCTOR FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!

I get it, I do, I would probably say the same thing to my friends; but there's also this: I feel so stupid going to the doctor because I'm tired. It seems so lame. And when you're so super tired it feels like so much work to drive out to the doctor and talk about stuff and all that...jeez, I sound so lazy. But thats kind of the point! I have no energy to do anything not even help myself. Blah.

And thats about it. I'm working on it. I'm working on getting organized and pushing myself to do things even though I'm tired, I'm working on keeping up with my schedule, I'm working up to the doctor. I'm trying, I'm actually really trying.

Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever just been so worn down and for no apparent reason, you haven't had a super stressful time or pushed yourself any differently than normal, but you're just so tired??

I would love some advice, or experiences or pretty much anything--and I'm sure my family would appreciate it as well. :)

I think I've yawned ten times just in the typing of this. Ugh.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Post is Very Personal and Probably too Graphic. You've Been Warned.

I'm sure this post has been written hundreds of times, by hundreds of women who have had enough with "that time of the month." And all I can say to that is: here comes another one.

For the last couple of years my period has been a little screwed up. Like I get to experience the joy of womanhood every TWO weeks. Wah for me, I know. It sucks. (And for those of you who are thinking, "why don't you go to the doctor then?" I say "Shut up. I KNOW!" Here's how it goes every two weeks: Crap. My period is here AGAIN. I should call the doctor and get this figured out. Except I feel like total crap and want to hibernate for the next week. Eight days later my period ends. I have tons to catch up on, like laundry and feeding my children. I just want to LIVE for a week or so and be HAPPY! My period comes again and I have no desire to do anything, least of all make a phone call. Rinse. Repeat.)

And of course, this is the situation I'm in right now and thats why I'm writing this. Because I am SO SICK of being a woman. If there wouldn't be negative consequences for when I'm old, I would seriously just have it all removed. I know they say after women go through menopause they mourn the loss of their "womanhood" or whatever and I say: eff that, yeah right.

I know men like to pretend that women exaggerate all the womanly stuff and at this point in my period, I'm pretty sure I could rip a man's head off with my bare hands and throw it into the next county. Come again man? You really want to go there?? And I know if a man read this, they would roll their eyes and act like I'm just a raging crazy person. But you know what? Right now I AM a raging crazy person--thats the point!

I'm going to be honest, the men I know--for the most part--are pretty big babies. They can hardly deal with a little sniffle, let alone if they bled out of their hoo-hah for seven days. Add to that, massive cramps and a hormone roller coaster, they would be begging to get off this ride.

And the thing is, I'm not even exaggerating one bit. I'm really being quite honest. Right now, I'm sitting at my computer dealing with horrendous lower back pain, feeling like if someone just looks at me wrong I could get pretty violent, swinging back to laughing hysterically over a funny cat video, to weeping openly over a commercial. This all happens in a matter of minutes. And thats just the hormones!

Then we get to the different ways to actually deal with the flow:

There's pads. Its so fun to feel like you're walking around in a diaper.

There's tampons. I once got a tampon lost up inside me. Do you know how scary that is?! Because not only are you dealing with something foreign up there, you could now possibly DIE from toxic shock syndrome. Yay.

There's the diva cup. I personally can't use tampons (they don't work because I have a tilted uterus) and I'm so sick of pads that in a fit of desperation, I ordered a diva cup. This is supposed to be miraculous and life altering. I wish I could explain how this actually feels for me. The best way I can describe it is like having a giant fist shoved inside you, pushing on your bladder and organs and my body just wants to expel it from my system. It feels like my body wants to give birth to this thing: its time, push it out NOW!! Besides that once you do go in there to remove it you look like you've been in a bloody battle and frankly, I just never wished to know myself that well.

To sum it all up: there just isn't any "GOOD" way to deal with bleeding down there. There is nothing thats super convenient and "nice," or comfortable, like you "can't even feel it!" The best thing I can think of would be to just sit in the shower for seven days straight. I think I could dig that.

And the point of all this?: maybe we as women (and maybe you men too) should cut us some slack. Maybe when there's a woman you really don't like, instead of thinking "she's such a *bleep*" you can think "dang, I bet she's on her period, and that sucks so bad!" Or maybe when you see a woman crying and upset, instead of thinking "wow, she's a mess, she needs to get her crap together!" you can think "that poor woman has been bleeding out her hoo-hah for days now, I'd be crying too!" You know??

I'm not saying to use it as an excuse to act however you want. I'm not. I'm not saying people should get to be jerks without consequences. I'm just saying, on your end to deal with that person, maybe its easier to think they must be going through something instead of they're just a jerk. Does that make sense? And I'll try to do that for women now. I will really try.

I mean, unless I'm on my period and then I'm just going to hate everyone. Okay then?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I've Been Reading Too Much


Its been a long time.

I know my last post was a real downer. I really do feel better about the whole 'making friends' thing now. I still don't have a ton of friends, but at least I don't feel bad about it anymore. I'm making some better friends but I'm willing to give it time to happen and not need it RIGHT NOW.

So while I wait, I read. Like every day and as much as possible and late into the night. I can't get enough of escaping into a story.

I realize this is possibly me hiding from my life.

When my husband was gone at basic training and I was pregnant with my fourth, I was so super stressed and couldn't handle the loneliness and the hormones and the craziness that was me, and so to help the time pass and to get an escape, I read...a lot.

Except this time, I don't understand what the escape would be from?

My life is good right now, my kids are happy, I have an easy calling at church, I don't have a ton of things putting pressure on me. I just feel tired. And anxious.

I find myself at certain times of the day with my face turning red and my stomach dropping, like there's something I forgot to do or something is going to come out of nowhere and bite me. Do you know that feeling? That awful feeling when you realize you were supposed to be somewhere important and you missed it, or you were supposed to get something important done and it slipped your mind and then BAM it hits you and you feel sick.

I feel like that constantly, except that I'm not forgetting anything.

I realize we all go through changes in the scheme of growing up and figuring out who we are. We go through highs and lows, times where we feel in control of our lives and ourselves and times where we feel like life is dragging us around by our ankles against our will. And for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm both. In a high and a low. Where nothing is wrong but maybe not all of its right either. Where I know who I am and what I want but am a little confused too. People go through cycles, there are times where my mom is the funnest person around and I love to talk to her and be around her and then there are times where things feel off and we're not connecting like we were. And thats normal.

And I guess I need to remember that this is okay for me too, things aren't always in sync and I need to allow myself the room to grow and change and be okay with that. To discover this journey instead of fight against it.

Do you get what I'm saying? Have you ever felt like this? What do you do to kick start yourself and get back to where you feel more in control of yourself or your life or whatever?

So. There's that. Thats whats on my mind right now. And also I really want a donut.

I promise next post will be cheerful. Or funny. Or something other than depressing. ;) Promise.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Oh, Here We Go Again...

Its that time again: the one time a month I feel like blogging because I'm on my period and hormonal and crazy and in a rant.

I've been thinking about friends lately, and I realized that for the most part, I've always been the "sidekick" kind of friend. I like to pick someone with a strong personality, and I want to be their little favorite buddy. I want to nuzzle into their side and make them like me, and thats pretty much how things have gone for me. Me, feeling insecure, wanting to find a friend who's confident and will let me hang on for the ride.

And you know what? I'm done with that. I don't need someone else's confidence anymore, I'm good with who I am. But there's also this: I'm lonely. I wish this moving to a whole new place and making new friends didn't have to be so dang hard, and take so dang long!

So when's it my turn? When do I get MY little sidekick who seeks ME out and wants to be MY best buddy?? HUH??

Why don't I have someone that wants to just stop by and hang out with me at my house? No one EVER wants to come to my house! WHY?! I don't get it and I feel a little offended over it, I feel a little indignant for my house's sake. Like I need to reassure it and tell it that there's nothing wrong with it, people are just dumb sometimes.

I know I'm not the most outgoing when I first move somewhere new, its hard for me to walk up to strangers. I don't know if you're nice, if you're weird, if you're going to talk back to me, if you're going to yell at me, I don't know whats going on around here, I don't know anything! But I've tried really hard to be friendlier lately, really! We've been in this ward for six whole freaking months, I've been to play groups, I raise my hand in Relief Society to answer questions (to looks of: "who the crap is she??"), I go to baby showers of people I have no idea who they are. And while I'm there, the people are fine, they are nice, I feel like we could get along but the feeling I get most is that they already have their little groups and since they have friends they don't need to worry about making an effort more than the obligatory invite to play group. I went to our ward Temple night and stood outside with a member of the bishopric and his wife and the Primary President, who didn't say more than two words to me.

And maybe I'm too prideful, but I'm not going to just throw myself at people.

And now this is me taking a deep breath and letting it all out. *wwoooooooossshhh* I'm done. I don't care anymore, and by that I mean, I still want friends but I'm not going to feel bad about it anymore. I will still work on it, but I won't let it get me down. (I hope.)

Alright? Is that better? Sorry for this regurgitated rant that keeps coming back. I don't know why its been so frustrating this time around. (I think maybe its because I made such great friends in our old ward, its hard not to compare how friendly that ward was and then the fact that those great friends are only half an hour away is making it hard to let go.)

Do you make friends in a new place easily? What are your tips? What do you do to get to know people? (PLEASE please PLEASE, give me some tips!) Are you the sidekick or the main friend? Do you hold everyone together or are you happy to just have one friend and call it good?

Friday, March 29, 2013

It's True, I'm Old Now

So last year, I made a list of 30 things to do this past year before I turned 30. I tried pretty hard to stay on top of it, but I'll admit I'm a bit of a procrastinator so it was hard to do things when you think you have a year to get it done, and then all of a sudden there's only a month left and you have a bunch of stuff on your list not done! :) Really, I would have done a lot better if the buying a house/moving part of our year wasn't so crazy, it was a lot of off and on, stop and go and I was pretty stressed and during that point I was like who the heck cares about this stupid list?! :) There's a few things on the list I'm really sad I wasn't better about, and there's some that I think I'll still get to even though I didn't do them during the "30 year", and I'm okay with that.

                                                            30 before 30

 1- Learn to play the guitar: Didn't want to cross this off because although I've tried to self teach myself, and I did help play some music for a primary activity, I still am learning and can't really play a whole song myself. :)

 2- Exercise 3 times a week or complete "Insanity": I was doing really well exercising earlier this year, and then the whole moving thing happened and I didn't have a treadmill anymore and I tried to do Insanity but dude, it sucks. So this is sort of half way.

 3- Finish 1 craft project a month 

4- Buy our first house:  YAY!!

 5- Go to Forks: I'm really kind of sad that we didn't get to do this, but like I said, its still something we're going to try to get to doing.

 6- Run a 5k : I did this and was pretty proud of myself, I'm not a runner and I tried really hard to become a better one, I thought I was going to black out a few times (no seriously though), but I did it! :)

7- Watch 30 classic movies : I'm crossing this one off even though I'm a few short because I'm still planning to watch a bunch more (can I tell you how in love with Cary Grant I am?!).

 8- Go to VooDoo donuts 

 9- Homemake everyone's Christmas presents 

 10- Donate blood (plasma maybe?): still planning on this!

 11- Grow hair out--no cutting at all! 

12- Paint 3 paintings: I did a ton of painting this year--of walls! I think I should be able to count it! haha I'm planning on doing some paintings for my house but haven't gotten there yet.

 13- Decorate a cake for each birthday 

14- Take the kids hiking this summer 

15- Find a waterfall: planning on finding one this summer

 16- Go on a date once a month: this is one of the ones I'm sad about, unfortunately we didn't get out for a date every month and it wasn't as big a priority as I should have made it.

 17- Go to the Temple once a month: ditto above.

 18- Be a 100% visiting teacher 

 19- Advance my "photography business"/ get paid for a big event 

 20- Do 3 photography trips/creative shoots/ outdoor shoots: I had some fun ideas to do for this, but unfortunately I just felt like I didn't have time, I did do ONE photography project, just not three.

 21- Yell less / be more patient: I tried. Really I did. (Have you met my kids though?!)

 22- Keep an organized calendar & dinner menu (no procrastinating!) : I wasn't perfect at this, but I really did work hard at it most of the year, got thrown off after the move and have gotten back into it, so I would say it was mostly successful.

 23- Have an all girl's themed party: I wanted to do a fun dress up party, but I'm going to count the baby shower I hosted and call it good. ;)

 24- Go to a concert: I was DYING to go to the Neon Trees/Maroon 5 concert that came through here but at $200 a pop, it wasn't going to happen. :/

25- Make a slideshow/movie for each kid: I just...suck.

26- Get new family pictures taken: Will do that this year for sure.

27- Stick to a budget: This is my husband's fault. ;)

 28- Make more friends / have more playdates 

 29- Decorate new house on a budget / document it on a blog : blog here: The Mint Cottage

 30- Have a big birthday bash!: We did a Roaring 20's theme and it was so fun to dress up! Huge thanks to my beautiful sister for helping put it together!

So what do you think? Do I completely suck for not doing everything? Would you make a list for yourself? If you did, what would you put on it??

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feeling So Hippie

So I would say in some ways I can be a pretty granola kind of gal. And in other ways, not so much. But I'm always up for trying new things, and so when I read this article about not using shampoo anymore I was intrigued.

Intrigued enough to ACTUALLY TRY IT.

Thats right guys, I didn't shampoo my hair for more than two weeks! (Ewwww, you say? Not at all! Keep reading!)

Now if you don't want to go read the article, the idea is that shampoo is actually really bad for your hair. It strips it of all its natural oils and because of this your scalp goes crazy trying to make more, hence greasy hair if you don't shampoo pretty much every day.

The process of no-poo, as they call it, is instead of using shampoo you use a mixture of water and baking soda to clean your scalp and a mixture of water and vinegar to condition. She says the first two weeks are the hardest because this is the time that your scalp is readjusting. So you might have really straw like or cotton-y feeling hair.

Soooo, now that I've given a really quick run-down: here's my experience with no-pooing:

I was all prepared for the yucky straw hair, but I didn't get that AT ALL. It actually was pretty much like my normal hair. I waited about four days to repeat the process and that was all fine and good. After about a week or so of not shampooing and using a boar bristle brush (its supposed to help distribute the natural oils from your scalp down to the rest of your hair) I was feeling a little...weird.

First of all, my hair never felt dirty. It didn't feel the same as normal, but I figured that meant it was still adjusting. So I kept sticking with it. As time went on, my hair was feeling pretty oily near the scalp. I don't mean greasy or dirty feeling. Just oily. This was hard for me and I was feeling like I wanted to do the washing treatment more often (when its supposed to be less and less, at least every four days or even longer). When I did the treatment, it would feel clean for that day but then the next day or the day after I would start feeling oily again. Also the ends were super static-y. That part is partly because of the weather, but it was extra bad when I was no-pooing. (also, they should re-name this because it makes me feel icky.)

Second, because you mix your solution up beforehand and let it sit in the shower, its room temperature. When you're in the hot shower, it makes the solution feel pretty cold on your head. This actually didn't bother me, it helped me feel exactly where the solution was and because I take pretty hot showers it was really kind of refreshing. But I talked to a friend about this, and the cold was one of the main reasons she stopped doing it, she didn't like that part at all.

One thing I didn't realize would bother me, was the shampoo smell. Doing no shampoo, my hair didn't really smell like anything at all, just hair. And I actually really didn't like that. I missed having good smelling hair. :) In the article she suggests putting some essential oils in your hair brush and doing it that way, but I didn't have any good smelling ones and didn't want to buy any because I'm lazy. ;)

I realize that its possible my hair was more oily because my solution of water/baking soda was off and I needed to add less/more, but it seemed so fickle and honestly, I just wanted my hair to feel good--right now. So when I was at the grocery store I found this tea tree oil/mint shampoo and conditioner--its sulfate and paraben free, which means its a much gentler and healthier option for your hair. So I didn't feel like I was a total failure.

And guess what guys?! IT SMELLS LIKE HEAVEN!! I seriously love how this shampoo smells, and when I blow dry my hair I smell the mint and sigh, and sometimes when the wind blows I smell the mint and ahhhhhh, it just smells so dang good.

So this in no way is discouraging anyone from no-pooing, I think its a great idea and could save you a ton of money, being you're only using baking soda and vinegar. I guess I'm just too impatient to try and figure out the perfect mixture and got tired of feeling like my head was just...off.

Other pro's for no-pooing though:

You get less fly aways (smoother hair).
It helps your hair grow thicker and faster.
You know how your hair is falling out all over your house? Not anymore!
Shiny, beautiful hair!
You only have to shampoo once, maybe twice, a week!
You're not putting terrible chemicals on your head! Win!
Your hair is in balance the way its supposed to be.
Could help prevent gray hair!
I'm sure there's more but I've used up my allowance of exclamation points!

Anyway, do you think no-pooing sounds absolutely crazy and gross? Or would you totally consider trying it? Maybe you can see what I did and avoid my mistakes. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And They Have Swan Lake

I've been wearing my hair up in buns a lot lately. Its easy, its fast, its somewhat...you know...sort of cute. And then I started thinking about all the things in fashion that point(e) to ballet. (Did you get that whole "pointe" thing. Did you?!?! I'm so clever.)

So first up:

The Bun 
(and if you're really trendy you call it a "top knot"...oooh fancy)

Then there's the:

Ballet Wrap
via H&M

You also have:

The Ballet Flat

And the:

I mean really people, what about these??

The Tutu

And who can forget?!

I mean, there's even this, if you're brave enough:

And all this to sum up:

Ballerina's are freaking cool.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Sure Was Swell!

Okay, I KNOW. I was told today its been pretty much two months since I posted last and I KNOW. I suck. Christmas was pretty rough for me this year and I was so stressed out I thought I was going to burst a blood vessel in my brain or something. And now this last week I've spent basically doing nothing except trying to recuperate. So, the kids went back to school today and I guess I've had enough time to get my act together. But at this point I'm not even going to blog about the holidays, I am just going to do my annual "favorites" post and call it good for now. :)

Favorite Song:

honorable mention:
Anything by Fun. or Maroon 5

Favorite Movie:
Gonna have to be The Avengers because my boys were so obsessed with the cartoons and characters, we had so much fun with it this year! :)

honorable mention:
The Dark Knight Rises

Favorite TV Show:

We just got in to How I Met Your Mother this year, how have I not watched this before?! I'm a little obsessed...

honorable mention:
Once Upon a Time-- LOVE this show!

Favorite Book:
The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

honorable mention:
The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Favorite Vacation:
Since the only real vacation I went on was with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law to Oregon, I will choose that! ;)

Favorite Outfit:
uh, I guess my favorite outfit would be these turquoise jeans, with that button down jean shirt and the bubble necklace. :)

Favorite Project:
This wall:

Most Drastic Change:
We bought our first house!! Moved across town and the girls switched schools (without uniforms!)!

~My baby sister got married!

~Got a guitar!

~Holiday fun:

~First drive in movie :)

~Summer fun:

~Did my first 5k


~Baby Ava!!

~Finally got our house! YES!

~New school for the girls!

~House projects:

~11 years of marriage!

~My niece was baptized, and the other one blessed in the same weekend! Nice!

~Nutcracker with friends :)

~Happy New Year!

~My Grandpa passed away, love and miss him so much!

~Crazy stressful year with the whole short sale process--waiting almost five months to get approved and into our house. Sheesh.

~Trying to deal with the holidays a few months after moving, gosh this Christmas was so stressful. Plus, procrastinating is bad.

Well, in a nutshell, that sums up our year! Truly its been a great year full of blessings and changes. Sometimes changes are scary and hard, its only after the fact that we see how grateful we are they happened. Much love to you and here's hoping 2013 brings much joy and happiness!