Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

Thanksgiving is Thursday. My entire life I've told people that Christmas is my favorite holiday. I've decided to change my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is it my friends. I am SO excited for Thanksgiving. I love cooking and eating delicious food and that is what Thanksgiving is all about right? I guess it's reeeeeally about being grateful and I am very grateful for good food. MMmmmm. Can you imagine this life without food? It makes things so much more fun.

I also love Thankgiving because it is the beginning of the Christmas season which I LOVE. I don't really love Christmas day. It's not as exciting as it was as a kid and then once it's over all the lights go down, the Christmas music/movies stop, the yummy minty food is gone. Christmas day is kind of sad for me. Maybe having kids will change that a little, but for right now I will enjoy Thanksgiving and everyday up until Christmas mucho.

Also...I'm learning that I'm not very good at buying gifts and saving them until Christmas. Remember that train that I bought at the thrift store? Well, I was planning to let Shae play with it for a few days and then take it away until Christmas. Nope. It's still out in the living room. Also, I found these magnets on Amazon for $3 and thought it would be a perfect Christmas present. Of course when they arrived I couldn't help myself, I opened them right up and put them all over the fridge and Shae has played with them EVERY day since I got them. It keeps him busy while I'm in the kitchen which is aaawwwwesssome. Apparently I'm not very good at this Christmas thing.

My family is driving down tonight. We're having Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time ever. We're so grown up. I guess we'll see after Thursday if Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


We've been spoiled. Spoiled for 2 1/2 years. We are no longer spoiled and it straight up ssuucckkssssss. 

When Darin and I were looking for a place to live cable was never a must-have. Sure it would be nice to have cable but we didn't look for a place with cable included and we both knew that it was a luxury that wouldn't be worth our hard-earned dollars. We got lucky. Our little basement apartment was so tiny that Darin couldn't take his shirt off without smacking his arms into the ceiling, but although small, it was quaint, we loved it AND it had cable included. That was a fun plus.

When we finally decided that it was time for Darin to be able to take his shirts off without having to bend over, we went on the hunt for another apartment. We found the perfect two bedroom for the next year of our marriage, the perfect place to bring home a baby. We signed the contract assuming that there was no cable because what were the chances of us finding two places in a row with cable included? We were prepared to live without it. But then on move in day, we found two cable boxes left in the apartment by our landlord with a note saying that cable was included in their HOA payment and that all we had to do was call to set it up. And call we did. And enjoy we did (we had Game Show Network with this cable. Oh Yes).

Moving to Virginia and finding a place to live was a bit of a shocker to both of us. The apartments were hundreds of dollars more expensive than what we paid in Utah and none of them seemed to have ANYTHING included. We definitely weren't even thinking about cable at this point. We were thinking about a water payment that we'd never had to make in our old places on top of all the other bills and the required renters insurance and just about doubling our rent from what we paid in Utah.

We went a week with no cable and then decided to plug in the cable chord just for kicks and giggles. Sure enough, cable. Boom. We had cable. We assumed that the people who lived there before us had a contract that was finishing out and didn't expect to have it forever but I also didn't expect it to be such a horrible event when I turned on the TV last week to find black and gray static fuzz filling the screen.

You guys, I was SO bummed. More bummed than Darin. Who am I? Darin kept saying last week, "You know, I really would have expected it to be me who would be more upset about losing cable." I don't even know why I was so upset, it's not like I watched THAT much TV. I watched the Today Show when I got up with Shae. The Chew at 1 and then we'd occasionally watch an evening show or the Nightly News or Darin would watch some sports. Really, I think it was just nice to have. Nice to know it was there for those boring-stay-at-home-mom-moments where you just need to hear what's going on in the world, or watch a Spanish soap opera or play along with a game of Family Feud. So so so so sad.

And although I feel like I could write about five more paragraphs on this subject ranting about how ridiculous it is that cable is so expensive and how annoying it is that bunny ears won't even get us basic channels, I think that the seven that I have already written will suffice. 

Looks like Shae won't be the only one enjoying the DVDs anymore.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nine Months

We have a nine monther roaming the house. I don't know why but nine months seems like a big month. Maybe it's because he was in my belly for nine months (well, ten, as Darin keeps reminding me, but definitely nine by the time I knew about it...). Maybe because I started to walk at nine months. Maybe because it's the last one digit month of his little life. I don't know why, but I'm excited for this month. I'm excited that Shae gets to experience the holidays at an older stage of the first year. He'll actually get to EAT Thanksgiving dinner with us opposed to all the little newborn September/October babies. What better way to spend your first holiday season than by eating yummy food and not just drinking milk. We'll just have to plan all of our future children with this in mind...I'm getting off track...
Here's the stats:
Weight: 21 lbs. 15 oz. (84%ile)
Height: 28.5" (56%ile)
Head Circumference: 18" (68%ile)

Waiting so patiently for the doctor to come in after they stuck his toe.
And all the other stuff:
~Figured out how to drink out of a bottle and sippy cup, a little bit anyways. However, he much prefers our help to drink out of the "adult" water bottles.

~Finally taught himself how to crawl on all fours rather than just the army crawl. It makes us laugh seeing him do it because he is so much slower than he is army crawling. Sometimes he'll start on his knees and then just drop down to his belly to get to the desired location faster.

~Recognizes his name.

~Says "Mamamamama." Although it definitely doesn't mean "Ma-ma." If anything it means: FOOD.

~Favorite toys are currently: paper, folders, remote controls, cell phones and stuffed animals. Just in the past week or two he has really gotten excited about his little stuffed animals and it is adorable. He holds them and talks to them and gives them kisses (well, I like to say they are kissing, really it looks like he's eating their face).

~Dropped his last night feeding. Wakes up a couple times and usually just needs some help laying back down or finding his pacifier.

~Eats little bits of pretty much anything/everything that we eat and he seems to love it all. When we try to give him cheerios or puffs he tends to get angry, it's as if he was saying, "Really? Cheerios? That's what you're gonna give me when you have Lasagna on your plate? I don't think so."

~Points at things.

~Laughs a lot more.

~Gets really excited when he sees other babies.

~Moves himself down the couch and around chairs pretty easily and will let go and stand for a few seconds longer than last month.

~Has started to enjoy books a lot more. In church he will actually sit still for a few minutes if he has a book in front of him.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Journals Help Me Discover Me

"What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you will write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”
{President Spencer W. Kimball}
My ten year-old dream house 
When people talk about talents, or the church has a talent show that they want people to participate in, I usually go through this process where I think hard about my talents and realize that I don't have any of the showcase type talents they are looking for. Sure, I can throw a softball, bake some cookies, drive a stick shift car, but other than that, no singing, no instruments, no dancing, no poetry. The last time I got to thinking about my talents I discovered something that I had never considered to be a talent before, but really, I think it is: Journal writing. I don't mean to gloat, but I am a dang good journal writer. 
Not so good of a speller
I LOVE tangible memories, like journals, home videos, pictures, folders of kindergarten artwork, girls camp t-shirts, etc. My family will tell you, every time I go home to visit I always pull out a few home videos, kick back and watch the younger me (and company). If I'm not watching home movies I can be found up in the attic digging through my little attic space filled with boxes of random things that always bring back memories of different parts of my life. Last time I was home I read through some journals which is one of my most favorite activities to do and ended up bringing a few home with me to read through them more thoroughly: 

Sometimes I wonder: Who is ever going to look through all these journals. What will happen to them when I die? Is it even worth it to spend so much time writing in them? 

I discovered a talk by Brad Wilcox a few weeks ago that helped me see that it really is worth it, perhaps not for other people, but definitely  for me. The talk is called Why Write It. This line really stood out to me, "I have found my personal journal an ideal environment in which to 'become.' It is a perfect place for me to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream." I love that so much and completely agree. My journals help me discover me. As I write my life story, I learn things about me that I don't think I would have learned in any other way. It's a place fore me to look back and see who I once was and then understand better who I currently am. It's a safe place for me to be completely open and free with all my thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. 

As I read old journals, I see growth and progress. I see things that I once struggled with and realize that I still struggle with those exact same things. I see how I've changed, mistakes that I've made and how I overcame them. I see what was important to me in different periods of my life, for example, I have journals filled with pictures of my hands and the color nail polish I was currently wearing. Later my entries changed to be filled with baseball scores/statistics/newspaper clippings, my feelings about Mike Mussina being traded to the Yankees, Cal Ripken's final days an Oriole. I have far too many a journal filled with my feelings about boys that I had crushes on, also my first kiss, my first date, falling in love with my husband, feelings about the decision to marry him, my wedding, my mission, my baby.
One of the many journals where I was OBSESSED with baseball.
And one where I was obsessed with anything nail polish
My journals are MY story. In fact, one of my silly little dreams is to someday use my journals to write a book about me, about my life. If not for anyone else, than just for me. 

Hellen Keller once said, "I don't want to live in a hand-me-down world of others' experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me."

I love having this blog so that I can show off pictures to family, but also as a journal. A place to store memories, just as my personal journal does. 

Life is so precious to me. From the big fun family vacations to the little nitty-gritty everyday nuances. I know that there are things to learn at every point of this journey and journal writing helps me do just that. I 100% agree with Brother Wilcox when he says, "My personal journal is helping me become more like Jesus Christ and reach my highest potential. That is why I will continue to keep my journal--whether my grandchildren ever read it or not." 

Amen to that. A-MEN. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Choo Choo Turtle

I found this little toy train at the thrift store for five bucks last week and thought it would be a perfect Christmas present for Shae. Of course I couldn't wait till Christmas to try it out on him and he seems to really enjoy it. I'll probably just hide it a week or two before Christmas and then pull it out again on Christmas. I doubt he'll ever know the difference. 

Also, I realized that I never posted these pictures from a couple months ago on here and since I plan to print this baby off someday I wanted to make sure these goofy pictures were on here.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking Is Easy, Sleeping Is Hard

Oh fall day light savings...you used to be a day to enjoy. An extra hour of sleep! Who could complain about that? How glorious it was...

Those days are gone. I think it will be a long long time before I enjoy you again. But maybe, just maybe I will enjoy spring day light savings for the first time in my life. Just maybe. It might just feel nice to skip ahead an hour and wake up and see an 8 on the clock. Might just make it worth losing that hour of sleep.

Shae must have missed the memo about an "extra hour of sleep", and although we have been slowly putting him to bed later and later all week, it didn't matter. Why hello five o'clock, I was hoping to not to see you again so soon. Lucky for us, yesterday we were able to get him to go back to sleep for an hourish but today, no way Jose. We tried just about everything but in the end, it was morning. Poor kid, must be so confused... Go back to sleep? But why? I woke up at this time yesterday... by 7:30 this morning he was easily ready for a nap but instead I made him stay awake and go to Wal Mart with me to try and push his little internal clock back. Mean mommy.

Now enough about sleep. I could go on all day about it and am surprised I don't have more blog posts dedicated to what a baby does to your precious sleep (we take sleep pretty serious round these parts in case you couldn't tell. Well, we used to anyways...). So on a more positive note, my little buddy and I went for a nice walk last week. And no matter how sleepy I am, those blue eyes and big toothy grin seem to get me every time and make the world okay again.

This is my favorite part of town. I call it Pocahontas Lake. It is so much prettier in person, but do you see how it divides into a fork in the lake? I start singing..."Should I choose the smoothest curve...should I marry Kocoum?...just around the riverbend..." every time we pass it.
And Rolfe Rd. is RIGHT after the lake! It should definitely be called Pocahontas lake. Someone needs to get on that. (Pocahontas married John Rolfe, fyi for all you John Smith fans).
The next pictures are pictures around the school and this house, I love.

Such a gorgeous campus.

After walking for almost an hour, we stopped at the library which is right across from Darin's work and let Shae play with the leaves and fountain for a bit before convincing daddy to take us home. (Can I just say I LOVE that he takes a pacifier during moments like these. When it comes to playing on the ground and outside, he hasn't figured out yet that if he pulls the pacifier out that other things can go in. Makes my job so much easier).

We really are falling more and more in love with it out here. Especially as the leaves have finally  started to change. Beautiful. My one and only issue so far is this: Sidewalks. Who decided that sidewalks shouldn't exist here? Makes for running/walking with a stroller a bit harder. Guess I'll just have to bring that up at the next city council meeting where we discuss changing the name of the lake as well.