"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

We got to host Christmas again this year. Mom and Dad came and brought Brad and  his family. Zach was in gold cycle so we could go to Mom and Dad's, which is where Brad was going so they decided to come to us. I was grateful for their thoughtfulness!
We filled our days with fun activities, Christmas crafts with the kids, food, and playing games. With five kids around, they were a lot of our focus, and that's what makes life great at this stage. Terran loved having constant playmates.
We were able to fit in the curiosity museum, a very short play nativity, Christmas pj's, temple square, Kangaroo Zoo, homemade pizza, and a wonderful Christmas morning, with minimal fighting until the afternoon when they wanted to try out each other toys.
We has the white Christmas I was hoping for for months! At least 8 inches of snow fell on Christmas eve and the kids got to build a slide and play for a long time. After we had all come in and gotten hot cocoa, a movement caught my eye and I realized Bailey had decided to stay out and play for twice as long as everyone else.
Zach and I got the chance for a date and I had gotten him Star Wars tickets for Christmas so that gave us a few minutes to just be together and it was wonderful.
I got Terran a toy nativity set in an effort to focus more on Christ, and we maintained the tradition of reading Luke 2 and watching the video of the first Christmas. Dad read the bible story, one of my favorite things. Our temple square visit helped remind us of Christ. As Terran has gotten older and loved the story of Santa this year, I realized that I want  other stories to be a part of Christmas, but I want Christ to be as big or bigger than Santa. Santa is fun but as I explained about Baby Jesus, Terran enjoyed talking about that too.
As Brad was preparing to leave, we were discussing future plans and realized we might not see each other for a year and a half, which would be the longest I think we have gone. There is a chance for a random trip to Texas or if they come to Mom and Dad's, but as of right now that's the plan so I'm extra grateful we got to spend time with them this year.
I have to throw it out there that I love hosting holidays, but it is as great and easy as it is because of my mom. She is my partner in the kitchen and keeps the dishes washed and put away. Between her and Dad, my laundry gets folded and the kitchen is always cleaned after dinner. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I'm so grateful for them, their love, their service, and their example.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015: A Year of Growth

This year has been full of so much for me. The last few days I have stumbled across thoughts that have caused me to reflect on how much has happened for me this year.

I have had physical trials, with my miscarriage coming to mind and my current struggle with varicose pain during pregnancy. But I feel lucky to have the perspective that I am truly blessed physically. I have not been injured training and racing. This is something I'm extremely grateful for since that exercise does so much for my mind and overall approach to life. I am now successfully pregnant with a healthy, growing baby and my body is doing well.

I have had emotional trials. I struggled with insecurity. I fought to overcome those feelings and have accepted myself again for who I am and the positive things about myself. I have changed my perspective and the importance I place on what others think of me. I also had marital difficulties. I have invested a lot of thought and effort in this area. Initially it was negative thought. I came to realize how much wasted or negative thoughts I had and as I invested in searching for solutions and working with Zach, I feel that we have made tremendous progress in building a beautiful love that is even stronger now than our strong times before. I have realized and embraced that things are not always perfect in life but the success comes from working through the struggles and imperfections. I have realized my shortcomings and I am learning ways to overcome them to make my life and my home happy and healthy.

I have invested in myself, I have tried new things, I have evaluated my priorities. This has been huge for me this year because prior to these things, I was putting all of my efforts into making my baby happy and healthy and making a good home. Those are worthy things of my time and attention but I have searched for the balance that makes our home function as best as possible. I'm sure there are still improvements to be made, but as I have gone through this year, learning and growing, I have fine tuned my priorities in regards to family, personal investment, fitness goals, time spent outside the home, and what truly matters to me day by day. I have reaffirmed how important it is for me to stay in the home with our children, but to seek personal fulfillment while doing so. I have discovered why I love being with my children and how important it is to be present with my mind as well as body. Like I said, personal fulfillment matters and keeps things in balance, but none of the other things I would like to do (coach, teach, go back to school, win Ironmans) are worth the time away (over the long term) from my family at this stage of life.

This year has provided me with low times where I thought I was miserable, but I have also experienced real joy. The kind that is true happiness. I have learned so much about myself that it makes me excited for the future and how happy and bright it looks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Terran Tidbits

In his sleep, "mom! Don't lock me out! Don't lock me out!"

Running around the house in his undies, "mom, where are my boots?" He was trying to go out in the snow to look for a truck.

In the shopping cart, arguing that he should get two packages of trains instead of just one, "arghh...listen to me!" Followed by a glaring stare down.

I poured Terran some juice and put the jug back into the fridge. He asked me "you going to save that for later? For Daddy huh?" He knows Zach really likes drinks! And we have also been talking about saving things for later so it was cool to see him put that all together.

While eating quinoa - "my tummy feels good!" This made me really happy because I have been telling him how healthy food makes our body feel good and we need it to be strong and healthy. I like to think that was the connection he was making.

One of Terran's most used phrases right now is "grrr...I'm mad!" I really need to record it because the way he says it is hilarious!

Terran turned to me as we were both sitting at the counter and asked "do you love me?" I said "yes buddy, I love you, I love you so much" and he opened his arms wide for a big hug.

We finally went on Terran's first bus ride. He had been asking to ride one for about a month. We got the chamce on the way to a basketball game. He loved looking out the window then started cleaning it with his spit and excitedly told me that he was cleaning stuff off the window.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Holiday activities

Christmas brings so many opportunities for fun! After Terran found an early Christmas present, I explained all about Santa and Christmas and I decided it was a good of day as any to set up his playroom tree. 

He loved setting up our living room tree as well. The following pictures aren't really holiday activities in that it doesn't have to do with the holiday and I hope it doesn't become tradition, but Terran took advantage of my exhausted state as I was slipping in and out of a nap and proceeded to rip all of the stuffing out of one of our couch pillows. I also woke up to find that he had helped himself to the fridge and taken out the bacon.....I guess he wanted some for lunch?

We watched Bridger one day all day while his parents were out of town and I had the genius idea to take them to the Festival of Trees. I thought they would get a kick out of seeing all the different trees, but in a very small part of the back of my mind I remembered what a catastrophe it was last year and really hoped the year of maturity would make Terran enjoy it more. Turns out that little part of my brain should have been the voice of reason. From the minute we walked in Terran was fighting restraints, grabbing displays, and full body tantrum throwing. We were able to make it work, but Zach and I both realized it is more of a date night activity. It is a benefit for Primary Children's Hospital, with many of the trees decorated and donated by families who have lost children. I was tearing up at many trees and then needing to locate one of the toddlers and it just seemed strange to experience so many emotions in one setting. Terran did find a lot of joy in looking at the trees with trains, but the restriction of not touching was as frustrating as ever to the little buddy. He got better toward the end, but then he and Bridger were both hungry so we fixed that and left an exhausted couple.
Our stake did an Oh Holy Night activity that was based on the nativity. They had tents with different displays, photo ops, and videos on Christ's birth and his life. They had a live Nativity where we got to walk through and pet camels, sheep, goats, and donkeys. From the minute we got out of the car Terran was excited and enjoyed going place to place. He even waited in the lines ok for his two year old body and impatient personality. We got hot cocoa, except Terran prefers warm cocoa :) and donuts. When we got to the actual nativity after letting all the animals, Terran got a sneaky air to his walk and he snuck over to the camel in the nativity to pet that one too! The song part was starting as we left, but it was after Terran's bedtime so it was time to go. What a beautiful night to think of the true meaning of Christmas! 

Snow and Fall

Sometimes the seasons can be a little backwards come November, so we just roll with it. We had a snow day and Terran had to get his orange shovel straightaway and get to work shoveling the backyard grass! Zach taught him the art of snowballs and it didn't take long until he sent him my way with a snowball and a huge smile on his face! There was so much laughter and joy from all three of us that it had those little moments you want to remember forever.

A few days after the snow came and went, we decided it was really time to clean up the back yard since summer really was over. Terran thought Daddy was extremely hilarious with the leaf blower and begged for Zach to blow it in his mouth over and over! He also laughed so hard when Zach would chase him with it. Since this day, Terran will pull his arm out of his long sleeves and pretend his sleeve is the leaf blower and spray us and put it is his mouth and pretend there is air blowing on him!

The neighbor kitty came around to aid in the fun of playing outside.

Terran got a kick out of playing in the leaves Zach kept raking up. I know Zach was ready for the game to be over way before Terran was and he exercised some good dad patience to let Terran play for a bit.