Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Appreciation vs. Gratitude....

For the first time in a really long I've been trying to do some self care.  When I quit my job I made a diligent effort to get up each morning before my kids, even if it was just a few minutes and lay there and go over the things I was grateful for.  When I stopped working it was the first time in over five years I didn't wake up everyday with an agenda.  While I was working, I had diligently gotten myself into a routine where Monday through Friday I dreaded the start of each day, but on Saturday I would jump out of bed because that was the day I could focus on doing whatever I wanted, which was usually my home and family.  I want to live my life where everyday feels like Saturday after a long work week.

It was that gratitude practice that helped dramatically shift myself out of some really hard months. Since then I found myself drawn to some of these self help ideas.  In particular listening to some podcasts that focus on gratitude as a way to change your life.  This week in particular I listened to Jess Lively's - The Lively Show, and Alison & Eric from -The Alison Show.  Both focused on the idea that an actual gratitude practice each day can change your life.  The point here being that it is a PRACTICE, something you DO each day!  There are a few points I wanted to list here, for myself, for future reference. 

#1 The Lively Show - she explained how Appreciation is a feeling that will change your life more dramatically that gratitude.  Today we often use those words interchangeably, but they create very different feelings.  

- Appreciation is the feeling of gratefulness that also consumes you with that undeserving humility.  

- Gratitude -The act of feeling grateful for a job well done, circumstance, person, etc. 

Doing a gratitude practice will help you appreciate your life more! 

#2 The Alison Show - Gratitude when combined with physicality creates the feeling stronger.  Also, when you feel grateful you start living your life more fully in the present moment.  Therefore, if you have a tendency, like me, to wish your life away.  This is a very good secret to learn.  

Lastly, here are three practices that have helped me over the last few months. 

1.  When your eyes open in the morning, lay in bed and think of things your grateful for. 5-10 minutes.  Set an alarm on your phone, so you don't have to keep looking at the clock.  If you can't think of anything, start with your feet and move up your body.  This has helped me in particular be more grateful for a body that sometimes I let myself have negative thoughts about. 

2.  Walk around the block, or in my case through the cemetery and go through your list.  This is great because it's adding some physicality to your list. 

3.  Before bed, I have a journal on my night stand and I list 10 things I was grateful for that day. 

4.  Walk to the mailbox and make yourself feel grateful the entire way there and back. 

5.  During the sacrament on Sunday's, run through all the things that savior did for you, that you appreciate.  Because we all know how undeserving we can feel when we focus on a realize what he did for us. 

Blogger Tricks

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Music Video

A week a go I heard this song on The Tonight Show and loved it.  The boys and I have been listening to it around the house.  My Mason loves music, and gets his dance on whenever it comes on.  Tonight Chris emailed me the music video and now I love it even more. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

3 years old...

Dealing with a three year all day reminds me of one of those olden time shoot outs in the movies.  I spend all day long deciding if I'm going to draw my gun or not.  There are moments when both our guns are drawn and we are clenching our teeth so tight, wondering who is going to shoot.  Enforcement of the rules is a battle, and lots of time I lose.  Some of my favorite comments.....

"No you do it!"  He repeats this numerous times, until usually I just end up doing it. 
"No I'm too busy today."  
"I'm so tired, I have to go to bed."  Then he walks into his room and starts playing with toys.

We are in the test your boundaries phase BIG time!  

99% of the time Caldwell could care less about what he wears.  Because pulling up your pants is hard  after going to the bathroom, pants don't last long on a day to day basis.  However, we have a rule that if you're outside you have to wear underwear.  Caldwell hates this rule with every fiber of his being.  Every once in awhile, he gets an entire outfit like the one above.  There is a mirror in my bedroom that is just his height.  He always checks himself out before going outside.  I hope with everything I have that his confidence continues in years to come!
 I heard somewhere that watching your kids sleep is a good way to "deal" with the toddler years.  Ain't that the truth.  This boy is so precious when he's sleeping.  Caldwell has gotten to where he can adequately describe his dreams, and now that I don't work I am less anxious about him waking me up in the middle of the night.  Now when he has a bad dream we often lay in his bed and talk through the dream.  A dinosaur cooking him in a pot, or a ghost outside his window that only dad is strong enough to get rid of.  It's such precious moments like these that makes the shoot outs less difficult. 
We ride the train to see Grandma Patty and Papa.  Right now we are trying to get by with one car as long as possible.  It's honestly not the worst thing ever.  Especially when Grandma is willing to pickup us up from the train.  This particular moment is just after Caldwell proceeded to call a man with a white beard Santa Clause.  Caldwell was upset because he didn't have any presents.  It was endearing, and also really embarrassing because the white bearded man was super in shape.  Caldwell's entire focus in life right now is getting a Spider Man Car.  Which he saw on Youtube Kids.  Out of desperation and hours of crying for this very expensive car, we made the mistake of telling him he could ask Santa for it.  He asks me every morning if we are going to put up the Christmas tree today.  

Caldwell calls his camo shorts his jungle shorts.  He loves when dad wears his jungle shorts too.  I love this boy so much.  He is smart, stubborn, and so innocent.  I have moments where I feel like I just crushed him because of my own faults.  Then I remember he is strong and resilient and so forgiving.  I am so appreciative of his forgiveness, I could not love anything less.   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mason Meadow is ONE!

 Mason Meadow turned one on Friday, June 23rd.  It's funny how things work with your second kid.  I had thought all week his birthday was on Thursday because I had been thinking about the day he was born all week.  On Wednesday night I was bugging Chris to watch the boys so I could go get birthday stuff.  Then Chris was like, "What's the rush?"  I finally figured out his birthday wasn't the next day.  
 The difference between my two boys right here.  Caldwell would not touch his birthday cake.  Caldwell hates being messy, his face is nearly always clean, along with his hands.  Mason will eat anything, constantly has a messy face and is all about as much dirt as possible.  I love seeing their differences and love both ways!  In fact last night Caldwell came home from "Donalds" (McDonalds) where Grandma Jan took him to play on the play place.  His feet were a disgusting black, and as soon as he walked in the door he wanted to go get in the shower and clean his feet. What a funny kid. 
 Mason's birthday was centered around doing what Mason likes to do best.  Play in the driveway.  He loves pushing his walker up and down the driveway.  Chris sits at one end, and I sit on the other and we turn him around  He still refuses to walk.  He also loves riding with Caldwell.  Caldwell is so sweet to take things slow, they giggle and laugh.  We do this almost every night.  
One things about being a stay at home mom verses working, is my kids actually make it on time to their doctor's appointments and not 3-4 months late.  I'm also not stressing about time when I'm there, which made it so much more enjoyable.  Especially since this time the doctor explained that Mason has been losing weight and she was concerned.  My gut tells me all is well, if she knew how far this kid walked each night in the driveway she wouldn't worry, but it's okay.  We will give him all the extra calories.  

We sure love our Mr. Mason.  At the doctor the nurse went to give Mason one of his shots.  Caldwell was sitting close, and knew what was happening.  However, when the nurse gave Mason the first poke, Caldwell lunged on the nurse and grabbed her hand, pulling the shot away and nearly getting stabbed.  I made that sound more dramatic than it was, but the look on Caldwell's face was so protective.  We had to move Caldwell before getting the other 2 shots.  I think that's how we all feel about "baby" the word Caldwell still uses at times for Mason, we love him so much! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Caldwell vs. Mason 1 Month

In a week Mason turns one.  It's been almost unimaginable thinking we've made it through the first year.  It never ceases to amaze me what a triumph getting through that first year feels like.  This time I also feel like I just came through some personal triumph outside of motherhood.  I've started compiling a number of Mason's pictures for a book and I came across Caldwell's 1 month photo and Mason's.   I have three thoughts. 

1.  When the doctors hand you that baby that you just birthed.  You are pretty sure it's the most beautiful thing on planet earth.  Don't get me wrong, I still believe my kids are the cutest things ever but babies are just funny looking. 
2.  My kid's have a massive amount of hair at birth.  I'm always shocked looking back at pictures.  
3.  I've always considered Mason my smaller baby, only because he came second.  I think Mason will be much bigger than his big brother. 

Caldwell Christopher Bates

Mason Meadow Bates

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bucket List....

I have only been a mom for 3.5 years.  I have wracked my brain on why motherhood feels so hard for me.  I try to blame it on the fact that I require a lot of sleep and motherhood does not allow for a lot of sleep.  However, more than the sleeping thing I realized how much I lost a lot of my goals in becoming a mom.  I spend very little time thinking about what I want, but what everyone needs.  Since quitting my job, I've really been focused on the fact that life is here.  There's no more waiting until I graduate, or get a job, or the kids are easier.  This is it.  So I made a realistic and short bucket list in hopes I can start doing and thinking about some things for me. 

1.  Play a role in someone's conversion story - attend their baptism
2.  Publish a book
3.  Run a half marathon
4.  Got to an ultimate fight with Chris
5.  Have a fish eating pedicure
6.  Do a session at the Palmyra Temple
7.  Have another baby
8.  Take country swing lessons
9.  Got to Ireland/London
10.  Dye my hair purple
11.  Hike Havasupai
12.  Spend an entire weekend with Chris - without our children
13.  Wear my fancy shoes somewhere nice
14.  Do x-mas around the world with my kids 
15.  Make money doing something that fills me up
16.  Go "mudding"
17.  Re-read and actually finish Jesus the Christ
18.  Do a session in the Manti Temple
19.  Serve a mission 
20.  Spend a week on a Carolina beach with Chris and our kids
21.  Visit the spiral jetty
22.  Red the Book of Mormon in one day
23.  See old faithful
24.  Camp/Re-visit in the spot Chris proposed
25.  Attend a red carpet event
26.  Hike or ride horses to the Big Tree with Caldwell
27.  Become a true Don
28.  See an Olympic event in person 
29.  Get paid to speak at an event
30.  Give shelter to someone who needs it, for free
31.  Play volleyball on a team
32.  Pickup a hitch hiker
33.  Go to the NFR with Chris
34.  Hike the Y
35.  See the buffalo on Antelope Island

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How many college housing contracts can you sign?

I've been having dreams lately where I revert back to a previous place.  The subtly and timing of them haven't quite made sense.  Then I started thinking about all the different places I've lived.  The sheer amount of apartment complexes I've graced with my presence.  In September we will have owned our home in Bountiful for 2 years, and that marks my longest residence since I left my parents house in 2005.  I'm wondering if my subconscious is anxious by the lack of change.  Therefore, I thought I categorize my moves over the years.

Fall 2005 Chapel Glen & Sage Point
For the first two weeks of freshman year I lived in the U of U dorms called Chapel Glen. I had a shared room and my roommate who stayed up all night and kept leaving notes on my bed with pictures of me moving out.  I was too much of a pansy to stand up for myself and was miserable. I spent the first two weeks of college sitting under a tree on campus trying not to cry.  It's only funny now....  
 My dad came up and spoke with the housing offices.  I don't know if he had to pay to get me out, but I got moved to a single room with a shared bathroom at Sage Point.  My roommate was from Roy and I'm fairly certain she was selling herself for money, but she was nice enough.  I think one time we even went to Subway together.  The only way out of the housing was to change schools.  So I transferred to Utah Valley University at Christmas.

Spring Semester 2006 -In Orem was my first real college experience.  I bought a contract at Ventana with three really great girls.  They were all older, so two weeks into the semester when my "missionary" left they had all been there.  They let me tag along to so many things and really watched out for me.  If it wasn't for this place I probably wouldn't have continued through college.  Oddly enough, only one of the four of us married the boys we were writing.  So much drama for nothing.  

 After moving home for the summer after Freshman year I moved with one of my best friends from High School Lindsey to Palmyra, New York.  It was a combination of church history and American history.  During the week we lived in this hotel and on the weekends we traveled the entire east coast.  If you know Linz, she is literally a person who makes stuff happen.  That semester was so defining for me and my testimony.  We had three people to one room.  Lindsey and Nikki (Sessions) were on one side and I was on the other.  I have a tendency to be introverted and go to bed early, and they were so kind.  Lindsey and I went there with a great friendship but what I love about Linz is we branched out apart a times.  We made other great friendships and had a great semester. 

Spring Semester 2007 I came back from New York with lots of friends who would be living in Provo/Orem.  My friend Jenny (Eriksson) from New York moved into this place in Orem behind a store called "House of Hose."  The third roommate owned the condo and worked nights at the hospital.  Apparently we were too much to handle because in November we were half kicked out/half ready to leave.  She seemed cool and we remember her giving a killer sacrament talk but whenever we had people come hang out she would just slam her door and glare at us.  We moved our stuff home and then slept wherever the rest of the semester.  Often on the couch of some of the boys (who were friends) we'd met in New York. 

Summer 2007 - The Branbury
That summer Jenny and I needed an  actual place to live to we moved in with Kandice and Leandra (who I had met on Institute Council) the previous semester and had the summer of our lives.  I remember going home to Salem sometimes and just sleeping for an entire day and then going back to Provo.  We'd stay up so late doing who knows what.  That fall semester I stayed at the Branbury.  We moved to a different apartment.  Jenny left me and went to Utah State and I lived with Leandra and a few of her friends.  That winter semester I ended up selling my contract and moving to South Provo (don't have a picture of that place) with Kandice, who had also left Branbury.  The missionary I had been writing was home and selling my contract during school was better than trying to get rid of it in the summer when we had hoped to get married.  Well that didn't really work out so.....

Village on the Parkway - Summer 2008
The Village was the last place I wanted to be in the summer of 2008.  About the time I was going through my breakup I saw Whitney (Davidson) in the hall of the institute in Orem.  She'd lived with my in the hotel in New York.  I remember it feeling like a answer to my prayers when she asked if I wanted to live with her that summer.  I had no where to go, all my friends seemed to be gone or married.  So I moved all my crap up three flights of stairs and shared a room with Whitney.  Alyse (Hales) my good friend from high school ended up moving in the apartment below us.  I don't remember much about that summer.  Probably just crying a lot and playing Connect 4 with Bradly Gallagonia. 

Old Mill 2008-2009 - One Year Contract 
For an entire calendar year I stayed in one place.  Whitney (Davidson) and Alyse (Hales) added Lacee (Leach) to our group and moved here.  This complex was the epitome of those who were "stuck" in Provo.  I think there were moments when we felt like we were the only one's in this place going to college.  Everyone had careers, but we loved it.  Mostly because good roommates are all that matters when it comes to where you live.  That year we had the best.

Millrace Condo's 2009-2010
I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last Provo Residence, until Chris and I would move back for a short stint after we were married.  I also didn't know that after living there for one calendar year I would marry the boy three doors down.  Whitney (Davidson) and I moved in with Kelsey (Halls) who we had met at Old Mill and Sarah (Maybe) Whitney's friend from High School.  If Old Mill was a place for those "stuck" in Provo.  Millrace might have been worse.  I think we used to refer to the boys there.  "They all just need to learn to make out."  I'm talking a bunch of 30 year old's who had never had their first kiss. I was only 23 at the time but I was afraid this would be my future.  I had graduated and was working and terrified that I'd be one of them.  Never married at 30 and kicked out of  the singles ward.  Lucky for me I'd had my first kiss along time a go.

Mandalay Apartments 2010-2011
Cedar City
I have no idea how I ended up here.  I left I really good job with lots of travel for graduate school in Cedar City, Utah.  This was one of those things I only did because God told me to and I had about 17 million freak outs at the time.  My roommates were freshman and they literally all got engaged by Christmas.  I am not even joking.  It was like a sick trick and I kept thinking about these 19 year old babies getting married.  But it worked out.  That December I went on my first date with Chris.  I didn't expect any of it to work out.  That summer when all my internship opportunities didn't work out.  I moved home to Salem and in close proximity to Chris.  By August we were engaged.

Cedar City House Fall 2011 
This was my last spot before having to live with a boy in December.  Chris and I were engaged for 6 months so I could finish a semester at school.  He was living in Spanish Fork and we met up on the weekends.  I loved my roommates Kara (Redd), Jade (Roundy) and Maycee (Barton).  Although my time in Cedar City was short, it's the place I dream most of going back to.  Which is strange, but I found more people in this little town who were "my type of people" than in any other place.

Perhaps I'll categorize my marriage housing next....