Sunday, February 4, 2018

Life Right Now....

I have been wanting to sit down and write some things about life and the boys right now, but I just can't seem to get to it.  So here is a small list that will have to do for now.

- Kids are interesting.  I find that when Caldwell is in a harder phase, than I find Mason so delightful and cute I can hardly handle it.  Then they switch.

- I felt this way when Caldwell was a baby, but I believe it to be true with Mason as well.  If I open my eyes in the middle of the night or in the morning, Mason can sense it and wakes up too.  Even though he sleeps in another room.  I've really been trying to wake up earlier than the boys to get some writing for my Podcast done and scripture study and literally not matter how quiet I am, Mason is up seconds later.

-Monday and Wednesdays Grandma Jan picks up Caldwell from Preschool and will keep him another hour or so.  Sometimes they do McDonald's or he plays at her house.  Mason usually goes down for a nap and having that free time, is amazing.

- Chris is so busy lately.  He'll be traveling the next two weeks for work, and has to travel in March too.  I love that he's busy and thriving in his career, but I hate sleeping here alone.  It's crazy to see how much we anticipate his arrival home each night.

- I've fallen back into the habit or watching TV at night instead of doing my wellness routine.  Which usually includes reading, meditation, writing, bubble baths, laughing with Chris.  I hate that I like TV so much and I'm refocused for the week ahead.

- I've been thinking a lot about how to parent my kids in certain topics that are heavy on my heart.  Along with,putting more focus and money into emergency preparedness.  As I think, I make fake speeches in my head about how we can address some of this harder topics (gay marriage, womanhood, premarital sex, abuse) without hurting people's feelings who are dealing with this in their everyday.  How can I teach my kids to be sensitive, inclusive, and kind but also stand up.  I've come to the conclusion, I can't teach them if I don't do it.  So I'm thinking about that....

- Since Christmas Caldwell literally asks for a cookie everyday for breakfast.  We NEVER have cookies for breakfast so I can't figure out why he asks.

- Caldwell creates all day long.  He glues, draws, and cuts paper.  Often using things he finds outside for his creative endeavors and then we hang it on the fridge or stack it on his dresser.  Every other day I go in and throw away half of it.  Sometimes he realizes, sometimes he doesn't.  I have no idea what to do with all this, but I like that he does it.

-Mason literally only cares about what animals are in the book, on the street, on the TV and wants to know what sound they make.  When the cat my neighbor and I share (long story) sits in the window.  He will literally stare at it FOREVER.  When we went to the zoo this week, the lion got right up and came eye to eye with Mason.  He was literally the only kid, amongst many, who didn't back away.  Then moments later the same thing happened with an ape.  I want to remember this for when he literally becomes a zoo keeper one day.

That's all I have time for now. Caldwell is 4, Mason 19 Months....
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Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year, New Hair...

A week before Christmas Chris asked me what I wanted.  It has been awhile since I had colored my hair.  In fact, I'd come to the conclusion that the time and money it cost was no longer a priority and I wanted to try and grow it out to my natural color.  But then when he had no ideas for presents I told him I wanted to go get my hair colored at an actual salon. So that's what I got.  The stylist took a before picture.  Ahhhh, guys why didn't anyone tell me.  This was even after she cut about 4-5 inches off.  Gross! 

The after - guys, this is legit my hair.  I'm as blown away as you are. 
 Here I am blonde again.  It's amazing what a couple hours at the salon can do.  I think I might make blonde a priority in 2018....

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The end of 2017....

There's a thing that people do at the start of a new year where they come up with a word for the year and then focus on that word throughout the year or something.  I guess this post is about that, but in reverse.  If I had to label 2017 with one word it would have been CONTENT.  Which is crazy because January 2nd of 2017, the day I quit my job, was really hard.  I felt defeated, rejected and maybe even like a failure, but most of all, I felt like I was letting everyone down.  The weeks that followed was difficult because there was so much aftermath from me quitting. I lived in a permanent state of anxiety for at least 30 days because the phone calls about accounts and what I was doing just kept coming.  Finally, I came to realize that everyone I spoke to.  Especially family and friends who I was managing a lot of money for all said the same thing.  "We're so glad you get to be home with your kids."  They were all willing to put in the work of figuring out their accounts so I could be home with my boys and their support and respect will continue to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. 

From there I did everything I could to find myself again.  I didn't miss reading the scriptures each day.  In fact, my true and real testimony of the Book of Mormon will be from this time of my life.  Sure I'd read it before.  I would have said I had a testimony before.  But never before this time of anxiety did those words bring more peace to my mind.  In fact, during some of those tough conversations I feel strongly that if I hadn't been reading each day the outcomes would have been different. I started meditating.  The only true cure I have found for worry, stress or better yet overall health.  I walked a lot.  I am still not where I'd like to be health wise permanently, but everyday despite the temperature, we'd bundle up and walk through the cemetery.  I was creative for me, mostly writing as much or as little as I wanted.  It felt good. But most of all the thing that I think made me the most content is that I got more time with the people I love. The majority of Chris and I's arguments used to be based around me feeling the pressure of work and home and the truth is when I'm home it's just more simple for both of us.  I'm not on his case about helping out as much because I'm home.  Oh and the boys, I will forever be grateful for this year full of their funny stuff.  Sure, there were hard times.  I wore wear sweatpants too much.  I watch too much TV sometimes and I get mad at the boys, but 2017 was content. 
























Monday, November 27, 2017

I have a podcast....

Last night I wrote a big long post about why I started Pond Town Podcast, but then I deleted it.  The summary was simply that releasing this podcast makes my stomach hurt.  It's an Audio-book shared chapter by chapter. I've been writing for awhile and never told anyone.  Still wasn't planning to, but then Chris encouraged me to share something.  I wrote this story quickly, just to finally MOVE forward.  It's not supposed to be the greatest piece of literature in history, just a fun Christmas story based on my hometown in Salem, Utah.  The first three episodes are out today, and more will release next week. 

If you like podcasts (they're FREE) I hope you will listen.  Also, if you like it (or even if you don't, but you like me or are related to me) than perhaps you might give me a (good) review on iTunes because that will probably make my stomach hurt less and it helps other people (who are not my mom and sister) find the story. 

Thanks!
P.S. How many parenthesis can you use in one paragraph?



Friday, October 13, 2017

Why being a working mom is no longer a choice and what women are doing about it....

(I wrote this a few weeks a go and didn't post it....)

My birthday is on Sunday and usually this time of year I get really reflective.  However, since I've been home with the kids my perception of time is so different from when I was working.  I rarely know what day it is and I've been far less focused on the future.  Instead of being reflective, I'm like oh it's October?  As someone whose struggled with wishing life away, I am really happy about this.  For awhile I've wanted to write a post about being a working mom, but every time there's just so many things.  Instead I've resorted to a few (really long) bullet points.  I'm sure I'll return to the topic again.

1.  My life has somehow epitomized feminism.  In the past I've not only believed I could do the man's job.  There's lots of time I've known I could do it better and I've done it.  At the very least I've always believed that women should have the choice if they want to work.  The power of choice is so powerful, but I'm afraid this feminism movement is no longer about choice.  The pendulum has now swung so far toward working women that unless your husband makes a considerable amount of money, a working mom you are.  No choice involved, because you've got to make ends meet, and now days you can get a job fairly easily. Oh an you just get paid slightly less than men.  This has become so bad that we have an entire franchise called The Housewives of....you name it.  Are these the only women staying home now?  Where has the choice gone?

I was speaking to my grandmother about it.  She had seven kids and stayed at home.  A women who I feel strongly lived life fully.  She was heavily involved in politics, her religion and most of all her children.  My mom is an exceptional pianist and seamstress because of this women.  She also explained to me how tight things felt when she was at home.  They planted a garden and bottled food because gosh, they have seven kids to feed.  She sewed clothes when she had to and sat down each week and worked that family out a budget.  I don't say all this for you to admire my grandmother.  I only say this because I don't see as many women out there making this choice anymore.  Feminism or maybe consumerism has somehow taken it away.  Now shouldn't there be a franchise about the women going this route.  I think I could make one, it's called - Mom's who start their own business out of necessity. 

2.  Flexibility, gosh if a mom is going to work isn't this the golden word.  I remember how strongly the men in my office offered up the flexibility of our career as a trophy.  I worked in Park City and many would hit the slopes, golf, or do whatever manner of things they truly loved when things were slow.  I found flexibility is a man's career intriguing.  There is no way a women would hit the slopes when things were slow.  There's an entire house at home to clean, grocery shopping to be done, and in my case I often found myself running to the outlets to pickup the boys socks, or a winter coat long after it snowed.  Thank goodness for that flexibility and I really did love it, but flexibility for a man and women are different and I really wish that people would stop trying to make them one in the same.  Separate, but equal feels slightly better to me but I'm not even sure how I feel about that.  I have an extremely hands on husband who jumps in, especially when it comes to helping with the boys, but when I was working there was nothing equal about our work loads.

This flexibility I spoke about, toward the end of my working days became harder to navigate.  The boys had a number of doctor appointments.  Mason was struggling with ear infections and his tummy issues.  Caldwell needed to go to Primary Children's to get his legs checked out.  I laid it all our there about doctor appointments and of course my boss was great about it.  Family first he'd say. Until his wife came into the office one day and asked, "gosh, can't your husband take the kids to the doctor sometimes. You've sure been gone a lot."  That comment crumbled me.  It was obvious my bosses frustration with my absence has manifested through his wife.  First off, it wasn't her place to say, but this comment was the first time I started to believe I could make a different choice.  It took 5 years! Also, I was deeply concerned for my kids at the time and the tears flow again as I write this.  I wanted to be at those appointments.  In fact, there was no way I was going to miss them.  This flexibility these men had all bragged about wasn't flexibility.  It was them doing whatever they wanted and I learned quickly that as a mother and women you often don't get that choice.  I wouldn't learn until later what a blessing this truly is.

3.  That brings me to my last topic.  Sorry, I told you this was long, but it's the issue of Mormon mom's, or mom's in general being kick butt business owners and mommy bloggers.  There's a part of me that didn't fully realize what was happening with these women.  But I consider them today to be the new force, pulling the pendulum back to the center.  I'd like to propose for a second what a great small business owner or mommy blogger my grandmother would make today.  She's scrappy and paid her tithing, so when they needed something more she would have come up with a way to make it happen for her family and I believe that's exactly what these women are doing, and they are doing it with the real flexibility mothers need.  Today, making your own clothes isn't cost effective and I have no idea about growing your own food, even though I do have a garden.  But what I do know is that the Lord provides a way for you to have the ideal.  Isn't that what all those genius little mommy ideas are about, whether their Mormon or not?.  A way to have the ability to choose your family first and still make ends meet.  I hear on the news all the time that they wish more women would become CEO's.  I can't help think to myself.  Why run a man's company when you can run your own company and be their fully for your family! I don't know what this looks like for me, but I have full faith I will figure it out and I'll get my ideal because that's what feminism is all about to me.



Last years pumpkin patch picture because this year....I didn't even try!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Before & After Caldwell's Bedroom....

Before we moved in we finished Caldwell's bedroom.  I was so nervous about him transitioning to a new place.  Which is sort of funny now, but whatever. Unfortunately, the pictures aren't the best on this one. 
 This is the nursery before Mason arrived and needed the crib.  We keep all the upstairs toys in here because our living room is sort of small and it works out great for us.  
 I am in the process right now of making him a head board.  It's one made of fabric, so I think I'm going to do it red, but I'm not sure yet.  Once I figure out what color to do that than we can get a dust ruffle.  
 What you can't see well in these photo's and on the door is the way the dogs clawed at the walls and made them all gross.  

This picture doesn't have a before, but I love this dresser so much.  Not because it's particularly cute, but it's like the best kids dresser on planet earth.  Nice big deep drawers and the perfect height.  We got it on KSL.  You can check out the before & after here.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Good Place with Kristen Bell....

I just finished watching The Good Place on Netflix.  I will preface this with, you have to get past the first couple episodes to get into it, but I wanted to try because I think Kristen Bell is a very interesting person.


I found through watching it that I was surprisingly shocked at how much I kept thinking about heaven and hell.  My sister Nancy is sort of obsessed with books where people have died and then come back to life, and so she lets me borrow the good one's or tells me about interesting facts.  What I've come to the conclusion is that in order to grow, just like the scripture says, there has to be opposition in all things.  I believe strongly that after this life we will want to grow, so there will be opposition.  In fact, God himself is facing opposition he has just perfected himself so that he always chooses right.  That means that heaven can't all be unicorns and rainbows on a cloud, like we imagine it.

That being said, the season finale of this show threw me for a loop.  Perhaps my heaven is another person's hell?  Now I can't wait for next season.  On a side note, if you haven't watched Veronica Mars on Amazon Prime, and you experienced adolescence anytime between 1998-2006 than you're missing out on life completely.