Thursday, December 10, 2015


Once upon a time...

There was a girl who loved to write.
She welcomed two Little Loves into the world.
All of the sudden, time for writing became super limited.

As the Little Loves grew, so did the need to keep them entertained.
Instead of blogging, the girl spent her time creating.
Making quiet books and file folder games.
Anything to keep her Little Loves quiet at church.
But the goal was not just to be quiet.
Rather Reverent.
So she wanted to make things that taught about Jesus and the gospel.

One time she decided to donate the quiet books for a charity fundraiser.
They sold out quickly.
And many still wanted a copy.

So the girl decided to open an Esty Shop.
To make the reverent creations available to everyone.
Prices are low.
Coupon codes happen frequently. (Like facebook to see the latest codes!)
Simply because the goal is to help other Little Loves.

Please go check it out.
Favorite the store.
Like it on facebook.
Pin your favorites.
Spread the word.

And the girl hopes to return to blogging. It is a hobby. A place to think. A place to be inspired. A place to remember.
No promises though....

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Heidi's History: SEVEN Months

Written on May 1st.

I woke up this morning and realized it was May. Then it hit me that it was May FIRST and Heidi was born on the FIRST. Holy cow... somehow overlooked that. And my baby is officially closer to one that to newborn now. I am with her everyday and yet somehow time goes so fast... so different now that I'm a mother instead of a student/ teacher.

And I was just scrolling through my blog so I could copy this to fill it out again. Apparently, "Heidi's History" is the only thing I write anymore.... Someday I will post more. But that someday is not in this stage of life with two little loves. I'm so busy and constantly trying to keep up with Devin.

Love her feet crossed!
Especially love her smile! :D

Heidi's Favorite Things: She loves being able to roll around and get what she wants. She loves sticking everything in her mouth. She loves smiling. She loves Devin--the two are best friends. (Though she gets nervous if he tries to love her too much/ too tight.) She loves sitting up and being able to see.

Most Memorable Moment(s): April 7--Heidi ate peanut butter for the first time. She also drank from a sippy cup. (That was the only day she drank from it because I gave up. About a month earlier, she would eye my water cup as I drank from it. I decided to share. She can drink from normal cups just fine but can't do a sippy.) April 11--Surprise! Heidi barely has a tooth coming through. No complaints on her part and it was a total surprise. Bottom, Center, Right tooth. April 12--Heidi took the Sacrament for the first time. I whispered in her ear to help her remember Jesus. April 16--first French Fry and first pizza bite. She loves french fries!! And loves pepperoni. She can't chew pepperoni very well but don't take it away from her otherwise it is a total meltdown. Also on April 16--Heidi's second tooth just barely broke through the surface. Again no complaints from her. Bottom, Center, Left.

Nicknames: Missy Moo, Happy Heidi (Devin has a new nickname for her practically everyday. Miss Cheeto. Miss Smiles. Miss Train. Princess.)

Dislikes: Getting in her carseat. Once she is in and buckled, it is fine. But Heidi cries during the actual getting in. She doesn't like to be left because she gets lonely. She wants to always be by me/ in a sling or carrier on me. Heidi doesn't like it when Devin's love becomes too much and she gets smothered. 

Clothing Size: Both 3-6 and 6-9 month. Sunday dresses she pretty much has to wear 12 month with a tie waistband because her legs are so long! At her 6 month check up the start of April, she was like 98% for height and around 30% for weight. Tall and skinny.

Diaper Size: Two. She had a killer diaper rash. And I scheduled an appointment to have it checked. No idea what the problem was but we could not get it to go away--even after following every suggestion from the pediatrician. Thankfully one of our dear friends is a pharmacist. He created a diaper rash concoction. Holy cow. The stuff is magic. Diaper rash is gone. Hallelujah!

Personality: She is the happiest little girl. It is just a delight having her smile in our home. She is very patient and puts up with almost everything. She likes to "talk". And she especially uses her voice to growl. Growling is a happy sound that Devin makes to play with her. So my DAUGHTER thinks growling is a natural happy sound.

Milestones: Heidi is officially mobile! Not in the normal sense of crawling. But she can move across the room to go get a toy she wants. She rolls. And then reaches. It is really cute. She is attempting to figure out what to do with her legs/ knees to crawl but more often than not, it is more like an army crawl where she pushes off with her feet and goes forward a tiny bit if she makes any progress with that. Normally it is just rolling. Heidi LOVES waving at people because it gets a response from them. And she loves the attention. It is the sweetest little wave with the most innocent eyes and biggest smile. Total strangers and friends are smitten by her little wave. She can stand by herself when holding onto something--she can't stand up, but can stay standing if I help her get the thing to hold onto. Her pincer grasp is also definitely improving! She attempts to feed herself but it is still a learning process. Sometimes it is pincer and sometimes it is whole fist grab then she wonders where the food went and how to get it in her mouth.

Sleeping: Heidi sleeps through the night. Thank goodness! Down around 9:30-10 and then awake around 7:30. She takes multiple naps during the day--normally after her tummy is full. But they are like cat naps. She is not a good sleeper during the day. I think Devin/ noise wakes her up. She is not grumpy though and her cat naps tide her over until she can sleep longer.

Eating: She eats three meals a day. She loves food that is in a "pouch" like applesauce, yogurt and baby food. She sucks it right out and can eat it quickly. We give her almost everything we are eating. She gums things very well--as long as it is soft. She still "nurses from a bottle" probably 5-6 times a day.

Communication: Heidi's babbles just barely started changing. I don't know how to describe it but it is like pre-talking noises instead of just random chatter. It is like she is trying to make a "tss" sound. She thinks she is talking when she does that. And I respond so it is almost like carrying on a conversation--I just have no idea what we are talking about. Lol. She definitely recognizes ASL for "milk." I keep teaching her. I think she will start using it soon.

The hardest part: Being a mom is hard. I remember that this is what I always wanted when I was growing up. But my dolls never made food disasters in the high chair. And they never rolled around and almost down the stairs. As the dolls got over, they never dumped out all of their toys and then refused to clean up. They never back talked or yelled at me. Somehow, I don't think I was prepared enough for what this real mom job is like. It is hard.
And... pumping is hard. Devin gets into the most trouble/ biggest messes made while I am pumping. I hate it and Devin abuses it.

My favorite part: The smiles. The hugs. The way her eyes light up when she sees me come for her. The knowing how to calm her down. The cute girl dresses. The being a mommy. The goodnight kiss!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Heidi's History: SIX Months

Look who can sit up??
I love her hands for balance!

Heidi's Favorite Things: Heidi loves chewing on her fingers... and her toys... and her clothes... num, num, num... everything goes in the mouth. She loves playing with her toys and is so patient to share everything with Devin. Basically, Devin always wants to play with her toys but he if he takes her toy, he will also give her something else (like one of his toys to play with). And Devin is one of Heidi's favorite things. Seriously. The two of them just adore each other. He has a way of making her giggle that no one else can. She loves being held by him and entertained by him. I'm pretty sure these two were the best of friends in heaven before they were born... now they are the best of friends here.

Most Memorable Moment(s): She sits up for long periods of time by herself. She will eventually wobble over. Heidi drank formula for the first time because I completely, completely forgot to pack a bottle for her and she won't nurse. Thankfully she took the bottle without complaint.

Nicknames: Missy Moo, Cutie Patootie, Happy Heidi

Dislikes: Baby food green beans. Oh my--so funny how much she hates pureed green beans. I spoon a bite into her mouth and she gags. And refuses to swallow and just gags some more. However, when I fed her tiny pieces of normal green beans and she gummed them to death with her gummy smile, she didn't seem to mind them. Heidi also does not like being by herself--it is a good thing Devin is her constant buddy.

Clothing Size: 3-6 month

Diaper Size: Two.

Personality: This girl is so incredibly happy. It is so fun to watch her smile in response to me talking to her. She is just such a blessing to have for a daughter-- so very happy. She likes to be included and wants to always help me with whatever I am doing. She is very patient with Devin and loves him dearly. She puts up with a lot with him carrying her around the house, him helping to change her clothes and diaper-- she just grins. It is like she is saying thank you. She likes being held and snuggled. The only time she really cries is when she is super hungry.

Milestones: She passes things back and forth between her hands. Though she definitely favors her right hand. Sometimes it seems like she waves with her right arm. Jabbers in huge, multi-syllable sentences--she really tells the cutest stories. She can feed herself rice crackers with her pincer grasp. (This is still a work in progress which normally requires me to put the cracker in her hand but occasionally she will pick it up herself.)

Sleeping: Because she does not have a bedroom, she is used to waking up when Casey gets ready for work and he puts her binky in then goes back to sleep. Normally she goes to bed around 10ish and then sleeps until 8ish (with the interruption around 5:30ish). Short morning nap because she would rather be awake playing with Devin. Long afternoon nap. Brief cat nap in the evening.

Eating: She likes eating rice crackers at meal time. And baby food. She loves both sweet potatoes and pears. She has tried so many things and seems to like nearly everything. She is able to gum very soft "real" food like bananas. She normally drinks from her bottle probably 4-6 times a day and has three meals at the table with us. Heidi likes to think she is a big girl and can hold the bottle by herself. 

Communication: I'm trying to teach her baby sign. She has not yet used her first sign yet but I actually think she understands. I know she understands what her bottle is because she makes a cooing/ calming noise when she sees it. Heidi babbles regularly and we have long conversations. She has recently decided that to express happiness you have to "roar." (Devin taught her....) She roars regularly. The two of them will roar and giggle back and forth often.

The hardest part: I hate that she is no longer a baby but is not mobile at all. She knows she wants to participate so she squawks for me to come get her. I'm personally struggling with trying to find a balance with scriptures/ exercise/ chores/ reading to kids/ playing with kids/ meals/ laundry/ field trips/ pumping/ etc. I swear there are not enough hours in the day. Sometimes all of the sudden it will be 11am and we are still in pj's and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. And it is hard not being able to help make her cold go away. This cough and runny nose just keep lasting and it is hard that I can't seem to do anything. (And even with the cold and deep cough--she is still full of smiles!)

My favorite part: I just LOVE being a mommy. It is so hard. The hours put in my job are looooong and constant. But I love it. I love dressing her up--especially in dresses and flowers and tutus and shoes-- and "playing" Mommy. I also love that she is just the happiest little love ever. Her smile and light in her eyes radiates for me (and everyone else/ strangers) to enjoy. This truly is "living {my} dream life."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Heidi's History: FIVE months


Heidi's Favorite Things: She loves "playing" with or rather "laughing at" Devin. He spins in a circle and she laughs. He makes a funny noise and she laughs. They feed off each other and absolutely love being together. (And speaking of that, Devin takes SUCH good care of her! Seriously. He uses his "motherese" and calms and helps her.) Heidi also likes being included, whether we are eating or doing something as a family, she wants to participate. She wants to always be sitting up and/or standing so she can see what is going on.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Heidi started eating food in the beginning of February. It has been a learning experience for both of us. But she is doing so great! 

Nicknames: Missy Moo, Sweet Pea, Love Bug, Happy Heidi

Dislikes: She is not a big fan of just plain cereal anymore--she likes flavor and variety. She doesn't like being by herself while I am in the other room. 

Clothing Size: 3-6 month

Diaper Size: One.

Personality: Happy!! Like all time time. She smiles the cutest gummy grin at anyone who pays attention to her--this always makes complete strangers thrilled while standing in the check out line. She is very patient and willing to try new things. She is calm and cuddly.

Milestones: She can sit by herself for about 10-15 seconds. It gets better each day. Heidi had a major growth spurt recently and can now stand up in her baby walker. She finally does her baby push-ups and likes to be able to see what is going on around her. She puts all her toys, her fingers, my fingers in her mouth--everything has to be "tasted" now. She can roll and has done so before but doesn't do it often, normally she is just content to just stay where she is and Devin will entertain her. She did roll from her back to tummy a handful of times though. She jabbers and grins and giggles. She "talks" now but definitely no where near as much of a chatterbox as Devin was.

Sleeping: Bedtime around 10. Wakes up around 7:30/ 8. Short morning nap. Long afternoon nap. Short evening nap.

Eating: Her absolute favorite thing is pears. Just pears--not mixed with multiple things. She will keep eating and eating them and has absolutely no self-regulation to stop. Heidi normally eats three meals a day and has her bottle like 6-8 times (I'm not sure how often... when she is hungry.) I have not yet found a food that she hates (including peas but I haven't tried green beans yet).

Communication: Heidi responds to me when I talk to her. Like if I ask her if she wants milk, her cry will change from "help me" to a "cooing" thank you/ yum sound. Normally when I say "bonk" she laughs. She doesn't cry often--really only when she is hungry. But she will whine if she lets lonely.

The hardest part: Time. I don't have enough time to spend with her and Devin and keep up with the house and meals.

My favorite part: I love seeing her smile. And kick her feet. I love that I can comfort her in the middle of the night--this is a love/hate really.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Humble Beginnings of Photography

I decided that I needed to be able to take better pictures of my children than my SLOW cell phone camera. And seriously, it couldn't be that hard. I'm creative and artistic. And photography is just another outlet. So I bought a refurbished Cannon for less than the cost of one photography session with someone else. I was given a beginning photography book. 

I am a photographer.

I have no idea what I am doing still. It is a work in progress hobby. I'm learning.

And learning means blurry pictures....

And learning is not even sure what these are pictures of...

And learning is realizing that you need a tripod...

And learning is not even sure what happened here... (that is Devin in the middle and the brown thing in the upper right is our wood fence in the backyard)

But learning is great! Goodbye auto-focus camera. 

I'm learning to control the focus.

I'm learning to center on details.

I'm learning to take action shots.

I'm learning to see from different angles.

I'm (still) learning to shoot night scenes.

I'm learning to remember regular life.

I'm learning about flower shots.

And I'm learning about wind and light and exposure and etc. (Sure wish that tree was in blossom... this picture would be that much better...)

Yup. I am a photographer.
And I am learning.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

January 2015

Seeing how February is almost over, I figured it was time to post about January. haha.

I have to say that it was so nice having Casey home on paid holiday on both Jan 1 AND 2. His job is amazing and he was given Friday off as well. It is always so nice to have him home! :) And Jan. 19 was a holiday as well. We spent a lot of the holiday time working to clean the basement. I don't know how you can move from a two bedroom apartment to a two bedroom house with an unfinished basement and suddenly the entire basement is filled with who knows what. I really don't know. But somehow it happened! In order to finish the basement, the junk that we obviously don't need, has to go. D.I. trips and full garbage cans are a regular these days.

We ate at Chick-fil-a FIVE times this month and paid $7.38 total (meaning most of the time we ate their for free!). That my friends was awesome to let Devin play inside their playground, eat yummy chicken and not have it affect our budget!

Heidi was blessed on Fast Sunday.

We went to the Grand Opening for Sprouts. No where near as exciting as the Grand Opening of Smiths was. But it was still fun to go. And speaking of Smiths, our friend Bruce played the trumpet for Devin and gave us icees. And like Chick-fil-a, we frequented Smiths a lot. Free smoothies. Free soda bar. Free coupon class. Free cookie decorating. (My favorite--seriously I am in LOVE with their frosting. Strange because I normally hate frosting. But love the frosting on Smiths sugar cookies. So when I got to decorate it myself, you better believe I made the frosting count!)

Devin has fallen in LOVE with Bruce. Devin frequently tells me that he plays his "trumpet."
He hums random songs while holding his screwdriver to his mouth.

Casey and I won BYU basketball tickets from the car dealership where we bought our car. It was fun being back on campus--even if it was briefly. We enjoyed the game. BYU totally won--my favorite type of game, I don't like suspense! The Marriott Center is known for holding A LOT of people--not having much leg room. So the people sitting directly behind us, like his knee was in my back, but there was nothing to be done about it unless I leaned forward, were SO LOUD. Like, both of our ears were ringing the whole drive home and then some.

I was able to attend Stake Women's Conference! Such a treat. An absolute delight. Carole Mikita was the guest speaker and it was absolutely fascinating listening to her stories of traveling the world with leaders of the Church.

Our car dealership sponsored a free dinner. I'm sure it was a marketing gimmick. But oh. my. yumminess. It was catered from a local Italian place. And the orange creamsicle cake was just to die for. My mouth is watering. We also won a free blanket with their logo embroidered on it. I guess it is meant to be the car blanket! But during the dinner, we learned how much it would cost to redo the locks to make it so they are power instead of only having one manual lock that opens. It was actually cheaper than we thought. So we saved our pennies--and basically used the "bonus" pay check that we got on the 30th and the car is actually at the dealership being upgraded right now. Awesome! So can't wait to drive it by myself with kids--I will actually be able to get them in the car instead of running around/ sitting on the parking lot.

I took advantage of free Hoggle Zoo day on the 28th. It was the first time that Devin has ever been. He liked seeing all the animals. But his favorite part? Walking across the train tracks that went on the sidewalk. Seriously... I wondered why I even bothered taking him to the ZOO instead of just going to ride Trax.

Totally forgot to bring Heidi a hat. I cinched up my Olympic beret and we made it work.
These pictures barely show the animals. Oh well. 

We had the opportunity serve at a funeral in my ward. Because Casey home teaches the family, he wanted to be there to help so took off work and it became our awesome "date" (aka no children event) for the week. I snuck a few brownies and got to hold hands with my sweetheart. The totally inactive family was so appreciative so it was worth it. 

I worked and worked on updating our 72 hour kits. I didn't think it would take nearly the amount of time or money that it did because we already had good 72 hour kits before I started this project. But it is done now. I made one giant bag for all four of us. Because even though it is heavy, I see me being able to manage ONE bag and two children all by myself way better than 4+ bags and two children. Bring on the natural disaster. Knock on wood. I would actually be good if I never had to use our oversized-I-can-barely-pick-up-no-idea-how-to-carry kit.

Devin had so much fun helping with the first aid kit in the 72 hour kit.
Thankfully he found and used the old one that I was replacing because bandaids were no longer sticky.


1. I love Heidi's shirt ("Loveable like Mommy")
2. I love how Devin is holding her hand
3. Devin also wanted to make sure her headband was in the right place
4. I never got the cute/ non-blurry/ posed picture I was after. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Eating Rice Cereal

Today my baby girl ate for the first time with a spoon. She loved her cereal so much for lunch that she seemed to ask for a bedtime cereal snack. I sat Heidi down in her chair and put the bib on. She immediately opened her mouth wide. She definitely wanted more--glad I am beginning to understand her language. Part of me is so excited watching her learn... try new things... grow.... And that same part is so grateful she did so well with eating her cereal (surprisingly, she did way better with it being thicker like a pudding instead of the super thin consistency the box suggested for first time eaters). 

But part of me cried. My baby is growing up. And for some reason, I'm really struggling with the piled up yesterdays that mean she is not a little baby any more. Maybe that part of me will always struggle as she continues to grow. 

Maybe that part is still longing for my newborn/ hospital experience where you cuddle right after birth and then eat countless Lora Doone cookies while the nurses check both your vitals. Maybe that part still wonders what would have happened if I would have only asked for a different nurse. And wonders if Life Flight and NICU could have been avoided if I would have only been admitted the first time I went to the hospital instead of being sent home. And wonders if she would not have swallowed so much meconium if I had not been bullied into getting an epidural when I should have given birth. 

And maybe that part of me longs to have my baby nurse--even though I was never a fan of it with Devin. Just maybe I'm missing that closeness that neither of us get with a pump. And maybe that same part is longing to have a "first baby" experience where I can focus on just her instead of them together.

Whatever that missing part is, I'm going to hold her close while she sleeps. I'm going to press kisses to her hair. I'm going to laugh when she giggles. I'm going soothe her when she cries. I'm going to cheer when my little Heidi grows and accomplishes new things. And although it will never make up for the loss I experienced at the hospital, it can heal the now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heidi's History: FOUR Months

I have a hard time catching smiles on camera....

Heidi's Favorite Things: Heidi loves chewing on her hands (I'm thinking she is teething but nothing has broken through yet). And her favorite toy is a large circle with baby chew beads on it--she loves trying to stuff this in her mouth. She also loves her radio!! The music helps calm and soothe her. She likes to be in the same room as me and enjoys sitting in walker chair--she can't reach the ground to walk but just enjoys sitting up.  

Most Memorable Moment(s): Heidi can now roll from her tummy to her back. She hates tummy time and works so hard to roll over to her back. As soon as she is on her back, she is happy and smiling again. And I love hearing her and Devin giggle together--cutest thing ever!

Nicknames: Missy Moo, Sweet Pea, Happy Heidi.

Dislikes: She really hates tummy time. And she hasn't been the most pleasant ever the past week or so--guess is teething. (The reason for the guess is because she likes having her gums rubbed with our finger and calms down after teething tablets.) She doesn't like playing with her toes. She seems to know they are there but dislikes having them up to her mouth--it is almost as if she is not flexible enough.

Clothing Size: Both 0-3 and 3-6. I'm beginning to think about packing up smaller stuff but it is still a thought process.

Diaper Size: One.

Personality: Heidi is extremely happy. She smiles her adorable gummy smile with a sparkle in her eye at almost everyone. She likes to be included in family activities and squawks to come join us if we left her in a different room. She is very patient and puts up with a lot of love, smothers and playing with Devin. Heidi wants to feel included and a part of the family.

Milestones: Heidi imitates our voices and thinks she talks. She says "hi" a lot but I don't think she know what it means but rather simply copying us. She is working so hard on sitting up to sit by herself. She can't do it but she sure tries hard! Heidi has definitely started to mouth everything. One of her favorite things to "taste" was her dress made out of mesh. She can concentrate on various objects extremely well (including watching TV with Devin).

Sleeping: Normally, Heidi will go to sleep at night around 10 pm. She then sleeps until 5-7ish. I put a binky in her mouth and she goes back to sleep. Some nights, we don't have to do the binky routine at all--love those nights!! She normally drinks her milk around 8am. Then takes a good nap until 10 or so. Play time and lunch around noon. A good couple hour nap or so. Snack time and Mommy time (Devin is sleeping--sometimes this is called she plays by herself and I sleep in my room). Dinner and a quick nap. Then she is up until bedtime normally. She does like to catch quick cat naps here and there.

Eating: (see above for schedule). She is still only on pumped milk. She does not really have an interest/ hunger for more food so she until she wants more/ acts more interested, I see no reason to start foods yet.

Communication: Heidi is a quiet baby. But she does love to talk and carry on conversations. If one of us babbles at her, she will take turns "talking" with us. Devin has a way of making her laugh. She smiles a lot to let us know she likes it. Her eyes will start to cloud over before the tears actually come if she doesn't want it. She definitely has distinct cries. Her cry for "I'm lonely--don't forget me--I want to be in the same room with you" is more of a squawk. I hear this squawk fairly regularly because she loves being my little companion. So my left arm is used to hold her and my right arm does everything else. Or she sits in her chair beside me and I tell her everything I'm doing.

The hardest part: Growing up is hard. She doesn't seem any different today than she did yesterday. But all of the sudden you stack up a whole bunch of yesterdays and she is becoming my little lady instead of brand newborn baby. And I'm not sure when the change happened because yesterday she really was the same as today. It is also hard trying to get two kids in and out of the car (no power locks) by myself. 

My favorite part: I love that she knows who I am. Her eyes just light up when I come rescue her from the lonely squawk. I love seeing that sparkle and excitement and love shine through her. I love holding my baby and just long to keep her in my arms.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"This Is Sacred Ground"

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend my Stake Women's Conference. I wrote it down in bold on my calendar to show how much I was looking forward to it. And let me just say, "looking forward" would be an understatement. I was so excited to be able to get out with other women and take a Devin break. I was eager to listen to Carole Mikita (Channel 5 News anchor/ religion specialist) and was hoping she would share stories from all over her travels--she did. I invited my mom and I just love spending time with her!

I know I have heard the it said before that you could have a room packed of people listening to a presentation and everyone will get something different out of it. I think this is especially true when the presentation is that of a spiritual matter because the Holy Ghost will touch each person with what they individually need to hear. I really saw this yesterday during the soup luncheon and constant chattering. All the sisters around me were each sharing what they liked. As each shared their little take home gem, I was like "Oh yeah, she did speak about that." and "That was an interesting story." But their tiny little gems didn't mean much to me other than it being such an interesting story--Carole Mikita has truly traveled the world and interacted with so many LDS people/ temple dedications/ etc.

I wanted to share my gem, the thing that I took home and inspired me to become better. Because I have this hope that sharing it might touch someone else.

She shared a story about a family from Tonga. While I definitely do not remember the names (I don't even think I could have repeated the Tongan family name immediately after she said it--lol), the message was written in my heart.

A girl was able to come to Utah for General Conference. She returned home to her family disappointed to relay the message that no temples were announced for Tonga. The father (maybe grandfather??) of the family said that from that day forward they would treat their five acres of land as a sacred place. The land was thought of as sacred ground to that family. A good time later--like years, Pres. Hinckley (and Carole Mikita and others were with him) was touring Tonga to look at the land. Many different places were presented for where the temple could be built but Pres. Hinckley kept asking to see more options on the island. Then they came to this five acre spot and Pres. Hinckley did not even hesitate. It was immediately decided on the place to build the temple.
She went on to talk about how we likely won't have a temple built literally on our own land (definitely not us... we have a huge backyard but not temple size! haha!) but that we could still make it a sacred place. That thought stuck with me and I have chewed on it over and over.

Our home is sacred. According the the Bible Dictionary, "Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." I love that--the stake center with the baptismal font is not mentioned. The chapel where we have the opportunity to take the Sacrament each week is not mentioned. No, it is the home. I realized that I have definite room for improvement for treating our home as the sacred place that it should be. And using the sacred voice that I should.

Within the walls of my home, I'm raising a future missionary (maybe two)--plus the goal of serving a couple mission with my sweetheart. I'm teaching a future father and mother (the most important calling). I'm changing daily trying to better myself so I can be ready to live with Heavenly Father again. Ignore the fact that there are patch jobs and scribbles on walls, stains in the carpet and lumpy carpet pads, an unfinished basement, only two bedrooms, etc (sidenote... someday these will be fixed/ finished... love our HUD home! Someday...) this truly is a sacred place.

Our home is the place where we put on the armor of God with prayer & scriptures.
Our home is the place where we show our faith as we face trials.
Our home is the place where we unite as a family for meals.
Our home is the place where we build our testimonies & feel the spirit.
Our home is the place where we truly can live on Sacred Ground.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

December 2014

December was lovely! I enjoyed the (crazy!!) warm weather for the entire month and then the snow falling on Christmas Day. The weather motivated me to take Devin out and about. We really have not gone on field trips since before Heidi was born. I was just exhausted being pregnant. And I couldn't figure out how to be a mommy to two. I'm not 100% certain I have figured out the balance of life and mommy-hood yet. No idea how to exercise, clean my house, take care of my little loves, read my scriptures, go on field trips, teach Devin preschool, make dinner, fold the laundry, etc all on the same day. But I decided to just let the not-so-important things get ignored. "Making dinner" is now something as simple as opening a can of soup or macaroni and cheese--both count as me "making dinner". And my little loves will only be little for such a short time. They are most important. Other stuff just has to wait.

Yes this is long. Read if you want. Skim if you want. Glance at pictures if you want. I would love comments and responses if you actually end up reading. :) And just a tip... if you click on the pictures, they should become much larger so you can actually see everything in the collage!

  • We started the month off by looking at cars. If it seems really random, it was. We had talked about getting a new car (well, new to us) for awhile and decided that we each needed a car before it started snowing. I needed freedom to leave the house instead of going absolutely nuts with Devin inside. And we needed Casey to stay healthy instead of standing in snow, freezing to death, waiting for a bus. We looked at one old used van. And I decided that I couldn't do used because I would just be buying someone else's problems. Unless we bought a much newer used car that still included a warranty/ guarantee. We looked at new cars. Because it was still "Black Friday Weekend" there were several AWESOME deals. And with the killer low prices, we found that we could buy a brand new, completely basic model car for the same price as a 2011-ish with around 35,000 miles on it. Brand new 2015 versus used 2011. It seemed like a no brainer. And so we went forward and bought a Nissan Versa. It seemed like the most impulsive buy of my life but we also felt really blessed and guided.
    • As a side note... I'm not kidding about basic model. It is totally stripped down of anything fancy/ extra cost. We love our new car! And are truly grateful for it. But it is SOOOO annoying having two kiddos and manual locks. And it gets better... only the driver door unlocks from the outside. So that means Devin runs around like crazy and Heidi sits in her car seat on the ground while I climb through the car to unlock doors. It is great fun. ;)
  • Smith's grand open near-ish (sort of...) our house. This was the earliest I have ever managed to get two kids out of the house by myself. Both kids were still in pjs--yes, I became a pj mom at the grocery store and I don't even feel bad. I was one of the first 100 customers at the jewelry store and was given a beautiful, real, multi-colored/ strands, pearl bracelet. I LOVE it. All the grief of trying to get the kids ready by myself and having to feed Heidi while walking around the store was completely worth it because of that bracelet.
    • It has since been a blessing/ curse with a store closer to our house. It is now easy to make way too many trips to the store.
    • However, with a pharmacy promotion they had going on, we have been able to earn Smith's dollars. HUGE blessing!! Even with my rather frequent trips, I haven't spent very much money!
    • We saw the Oscar Mayer Hot Dog truck. I was so excited because I have never seen it. And you can only imagine Devin's excitement. He still asks about it every time we drive to Smiths now.
  • Casey and I went on the Jingle Bus for a date night. We also saw the "ZCMI Candy Windows."
  • Devin went to his first friend party by himself. We dropped him off. I'm not totally sure what he did other than eat macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake but seemed to have fun.
  • We went to a Living Nativity in Alpine. I felt like all we did was stand in lines. I'm not kidding. Casey and I got sick of it. Devin's feet got tired. There were so many people. But it was completely worth it in the end. Seeing Baby Jesus meant so much to Devin. More than sitting on Santa's lap or other parties we went to. He constantly talked about seeing Baby Jesus.
  • Devin enjoyed sitting on Santa's lap several times. He was not shy or nervous at all. He told Santa what we each wanted. 
    • (Devin= computer/ laptop. Heidi= Heidi movie with Shirley Temple. Mom= Jesus Calendar. Dad= work clothes.)
  • Devin played at Jungle Jim's twice. Once with his grandparents and cousin. Once with his aunt. He has loved having a free pass to it. Too bad the pass expired at the end of the year. He has had fun playing there for the past year!
  • I went to my RS Christmas Dinner Party. The program was amazing. Different women read a "journal entry" from each of the women in Christ's life when he was born. The one that touched me the most was the Mother of Mary.
  • Devin enjoyed "library school." He wants to participate but is nervous to do so without me. He at least sat on the rug instead of my lap. He made a reindeer mask with his handprints. So cute!
  • Enjoyed "Christmas rides" in our new car. I just love driving around to look at Christmas lights. And Devin's excitement made it even more magical this year.
  • We had dinner at Kneaders with my family and saw Santa again.
  • Casey worked insane amounts of overtime. He was super late coming home. One night came home late, ate dinner, then started working on his laptop. Only to get up early the next morning to keep working. Thankfully his job is normally not this demanding. The developing team was trying to get the program/software/website (I'm really not totally sure what exactly. I think it is more web stuff?) ready for a huge update. The giant overtime check will be so nice though!
  • Heidi got her first cold. Probably passed from me. No idea where I got sick because I live in a germ-phobic/ constant-hand-santizer life. We both survived.
  • We went to our ward Christmas Party. Loved the hot chocolate bar!!
  • Date night to Taco Time and Gingerbread shakes from Arctic Circle.
  • Watched "The Little Elf" puppet show at the library. Devin loved watching the elves. He took our elf, Tinsel with.
  • I attempted to go to another Living Nativity with Devin and my sister. But the line was way, WAY too long. Instead I took them both on the Jingle Bus. Devin loved the bus!
  • We decorated a gingerbread train.
  • I tried to take Devin to a different "library school." We were late and missed all the stories/ preschool part. We made paper mittens though. I traced Devin and Heidi's hand onto each mitten and then glued their pictures on the mittens at home.
    • Heidi really does have LONG fingers!!! Skinny and LONG!!!
  • Devin and I went to my parents' ward Christmas Party. They had a Live Nativity for the program. Devin LOVED seeing Baby Jesus again!
  • We went to my cousin's wedding. And drive-thru fast food date right before the sealing. I loved hearing the counsel of the sealer. It applied to Casey and I just as much as to my cousin and his new bride. We can't go wrong when following the prophet, attending the temple and remembering to love.
  • With kids all bundled in the car, we delivered cookie mixes to our neighbors and friends. And once again enjoyed looking at Christmas lights.
  • Casey took Christmas Eve off and then had Christmas Day AND Dec 26 off as paid holidays. I LOVED having him home for so long!
  • Celebrated Christmas Eve with Casey's family and Christmas lunch with mine. It was wonderful being with those we love so much. It has taken time but I completely love my in-laws just as much as my own family. I feel so blessed to have so many amazing family members (which really I consider friends) in my life.

  • I absolutely loved watching Devin open presents. He pretty much unwrapped everyones. It was a simple Christmas. But seriously, it was enough! I don't want to have so many new presents that they all just blur together and he becomes ungrateful. I would rather it always be simple.
  • One reason it was so nice for Casey to have the 26th off was because I could go clearance shopping by myself. :) We absolutely had to get some wrapping paper. We used up one roll and only had one partial roll left. I also was so excited to find several wood Elf on the Shelf puzzles for Devin next year. And a Baby's First Ornament for Heidi.
  • Date night was one of our Christmas gifts. A gift card for sushi and babysitting. We also enjoyed cookies from Hungry Bear. Best gifts ever are ones that allow us to go on free dates!
  • Heidi and I got sick AGAIN. Ugh. She started coughing and it made us nervous. But with countless prayers, the coughing stayed mild and she never developed breathing problems.
  • Devin and Heidi now have savings accounts at our credit union. They had a promotion going through the end of the year that would give the kids free money. Done. We love free money. LoL! The goal is to teach our kids to be savers. And I pray that my future children-in-laws are being raised to be savers as well. That is a whole different blog post though. One that I may never write....
  • We went to bed on New Years Eve. I slept with ear plugs. It was bliss.
  • And here are the rest of the pictures that we can't forget but I don't feel like writing about.... Haha. Click on the picture to make it larger!! And then you might be able to see everything. One of my favorites is in the bottom/ left -ish. It is above Devin's blue snowman pjs and Heidi's red/ pink heart pjs--both my boys are each feeding their baby!! :)