Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little Miss E's nursery

Here is little Miss E's nursery before and afters! I had a lot of fun putting her nursery together. I didn't have a ton of extra money to spend on this project so I had to be thrifty. I went through my storage room to find out decorations that I could re-paint and spruce up to use in the room. Also I found her changing table online for $20, including the baskets, a great deal if you ask me!! The changing table was a light honey wood color and pretty dinged up, so I painted it pink and spray painted the baskets. For all of my paint, supplies, decorations etc... I believe the grand total came to around $175. Not to bad!!! It helps that I already had the crib, dresser, and rocking chair. Also the crib bedding was Lex's when she was a baby and is still in perfect condition.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Your SO Vain...

Yesterday we were at Target (bad, bad idea with 4 kids alone when it is almost dinner time). As we were walking through the store Mac turns to me and says, "mom I am SO vain!" I of course responded with, "you are not vain sweetheart, do you understand what that means?" She then proceeded to tell me that her teacher was reading them a book that day that had the word vain in it and that her teacher told them that an example of someone who is vain is a person who likes to look at them self in the mirror all the time. After her explination Mac says to me, "see mom, I am SOOOO vain, I LOVE to look at myself in the mirror all of the time!!!" Well I sure got a KICK out of this. Mac does quite enjoy talking to herself in the mirror :). What a funny girl. She is beautiful, sweet, and innocent and really doesn't understand vanity at all, and I like it that way!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This made me think...

Life is good!

My 4 year old sure cracks me up! He is quite the little character and has so much charisma for a little guy. Several of the little girls at preschool are in love with him and he knows it! The other day I was in the shower and I had him lay on my bed and watch a movie on my laptop while I was getting ready. When I got out of the shower I found him in NOTHING but plastic grocery bags (and his undies, at least he kept those on)! He had made them into a superman costume. He made holes in the smaller bag and put his legs through and then put the handles of a big bag around his arms as his cape. Pretty smart and funny if you ask me.

J-man is such a fun little boy and I love getting to spend my days with him. Several weeks ago we were down in the basement and I needed to go up stairs to grab something. J said to me, "don't worry mom, I'll protect the baby while your gone". He is such a sweet big brother. He adores his little sis and I really hope it always stays this way!!!

Yesterday my friend Kim came up with her little boys and we went to story time at the library and out to lunch at Chick-fila. It was fun to hang out and catch up. J-man loves playing with his best buddy Grady! Kim and I have been friends for almost ten years. We met in Detroit, Michigan when our hubby's were selling alarms for the same company. It's crazy to think that at the time neither of us had kids(we were both pregnant with our firsts) and now ten years later we each have four kids! She is a great friend and I am so glad we have stayed close over the years.

This morning the girls were ready to go a few minutes early so I sat in the front hallway with them and talked before they had to leave. I need to be better about talking with them. I feel like the house is pure craziness when they get home from school between homework, dinner, piano, baths, etc... I love these sweet girls so much and can't believe how fast they are growing up. This morning we talked about how school was going and about their friends. Lex told me that a girl in her class wont let her play with her, it about broke my heart. I told her to try again today and see how it goes. She did say though that there are lots of other girls she likes to play with. Mac told me that her and her friends are having a dance off at recess today, what funny, cute kids!! I need to organize my time better throughout the day so that things aren't so crazy when they get home. I NEED and WANT to spend more quality time with them, with each of my children!

Twice this week Court has made sure he sits down with J-man and works on letters, numbers, shapes, etc... DANG it is sexy when a man is a good father. He does thousands of other things that make him a good father, but it was just so sweet to see him take the time out of his day to do this with him. He is also GREAT at helping the girls with their homework. He works kind of weird hours sometimes, which at times makes life really interesting, but I am grateful he MAKES the time to do things with his children and help out around the house. The other night he pulled out the Ensign and read the article
"What Happily Married Couples Do"
(click to read) by Douglas Brinley. It was a great article and gave us lots of great ideas on how we can strengthen our marriage. I love Court with all my heart and despite our challenges, I am so grateful we have a FANTASTIC marriage, he is my best friend, love of my life, confidant, and comedian (he is always finding ways to make me laugh). I am so blessed to be married to him!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Skype baby

Courts dad goes to Africa several times a year for work, so we keep in touch with him through skype. Court was talking to his dad the other night and little baby E could not get enough of her grandpa! She loved talking to him and especially loved holding the phone. In the last week she has started grabbing and playing with toys. It is so cute to see her playing with her toys!!

Soda Free!

One of Court and I's New Years resolutions this year is to be soda free for an entire year. We have a bet going to see who can make it the longest! He went six months last year and did great. He lost a lot of weight (with a healthy diet and exercise as well). We aren't big soda drinkers, but we definitely like to swing by the gas station on the weekends for a soda or two! This year we are also trying to eat MUCH healthier. We are trying to make a lifestyle change and not just go "organic" because it is a popular thing to do right now.

I really didn't think cutting out soda would be that hard for me since I have never been a big soda drinker. Well, I tell you what, it has been harder then I thought! On the weekends or when I have had a long day with the kiddos I REALLY want to stop off for a Cherry Coke (my soda of choice:). We've almost made it a month now, just eleven more months to go!!!

Court and I have a BIG bet going between us on this one. If I can make it the whole year (assuming he doesn't) I get $1,000 to go to New York or San Fransisco to take advanced hair cutting/styling classes! If Court can make it the whole year (assuming I don't) then he gets $1,000 towards new golf clubs. Now if we BOTH make it the whole year, we split the $1,000 and each get $500 to save for these things. I am pretty competitive when it comes to going up against my hubby. I REALLY want to beat him. I am pretty sure I want to beat him more then I want soda and more then I want the classes :). He knows this and I think that is making him want to WIN even more as well! Either way, we'll be healthier for this so I see it as a win, win. If we both make it the whole year then that will be even better because we will have learned to go with out something and learned self discipline!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Favorite Quotes...

"Be so happy that when others look at you they will become happy too".

Each time I replace the quote at the top of my blog I like to record the one I have just taken down. I love this quote and how it reminds me to be happy. Life can be so difficult sometimes and being happy isn't always the easiest choice depending on what is going on in your life. I am working really hard to be happy despite what challenges I may be facing. Being happy isn't always my first response to certain circumstances, but I have learned through many life experiences that being happy is a CHOICE. I think it is easy to have thoughts like, "oh when we buy a house, then I will be happy" or "once I am done with school I will be happy". Reaching milestones and accomplishments are definitely something to be happy about, but I have learned that life is a journey, filled with lots of happy, sad, hard, fantastic, challenging experiences and to fully enjoy life we need to find ways to find happiness in all things. Also I TRULY believe that happiness is contagious, just like a bad attitude can spread to others, so can a good one! I want to be so happy that others look at me and want to find happiness to. My life is far from perfect but I can truly say that I am very happy!


I really need to get some motivation to loose these last few pounds of baby weight!! I can't stand that most of my pants are tight or don't fit at all. Right after I had little E. the pounds were just falling off, it was awesome, then after about 2 months I just stopped loosing weight all together. I have lost a few pounds since but it doesn't seem to want to stay off, my weight keeps going up or down 5ish pounds. I really need to pick a work out schedule and STICK TO IT! It's hard with a newborn baby, she gets a runny nose or cough every time I take her to the childcare at the gym. I need to stop making excuses and just make sure it happens. Even if it means waking up at the CRACK OF DAWN (boo) to workout!!!

We are going to Lake Powell this summer with my family and some friends. BOY are we excited!!! Court and I have never been together and our kids have never been either. I LOVE LAKE POWELL. It is my all time favorite vacation spot. I am going to use our trip to Lake Powell as my motivation for getting in shape. I want to look GOOD in my swim suite ;), not for the benefit of anyone else, but so that I FEEL good about myself.

I saw these weight loss jars on pinterest the other day and thought it was such a good idea. I am a VERY visual person, and I know looking at these jars everyday will definitely motivate me to want to shed these extra pounds I am carrying around! I need to loose 6 more pounds to get to my weight before I got pregnant with baby E, but then I would REALLY like to loose 8-10 more after that and get back to my weight before I had any kids!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Peyton

I'm really not doing well on my goal to blog more. Last week was just crazy busy and flew right by. My cousin Megan's 5 year old little boy passed away last Saturday and my family came to town for the funeral. It was so heart wrenching. Sweet Peyton was born at only 24 weeks and against many odds survived. He had many medical challenges that he had to endure throughout his life and was truly a fighter. My heart aches for my cousin, after seeing first hand my mom's grief after loosing a child, I have just a taste of what that would feel like as a mother. I had a hard time concentrating on anything else but Megan and Peyton last week. All I could think about was how hard this must be and how I can't even imagine what this would feel like if it were me. Peyton's services were beautiful and truly a tribute to the special little boy he was! My sweet cousin and her family could definitely use extra prayers!

I loved seeing my family for a few days, I just wish it were under different circumstances. We had fun going out to eat as a family, playing games, and hanging out. Saturday they came to the salon with me and I did all of their hair for them. It was lots of fun!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Excited, you could say that!

Today I am finally starting my assisting job at a salon downtown. I am incredibly excited. I have worked so hard over the past three years to get to this point! Between 2 different schools, moving twice, and having a baby this wasn't an easy road for me. Cosmetology school wasn't incredibly accademically challenging by any means, but completing 2,000 hours while raising three children often felt like an uphill marathon. This is something I have wanted to do since I was 15 and I am really proud of myself that I stuck to it. It was definitely a sacrifice for our whole family and I am so grateful to have a husband who backed me up 100%.

I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity. I will be assisting the owner of a salon in downtown Salt Lake. I can't wait for the opportunity to continue my education and learn more! This is the perfect fit for me, the schedule is very flexible and I will only be working a few hours a week.

Being a stay-at-home mom is my number one priority, but I am grateful I have the opportunity to balance life at home and a profession I LOVE!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shear exhaustion...

Shear exhaustion is my excuse why I have already failed at my goal to blog everyday of this new year. By the end of the day I am so exhausted that I can barely think straight! Raising children is wonderful and rewarding, but man it is hard work. I've decided I better re-evaluate my goal for blogging and change it to 3 to 4 times per week, that way I am at least doing it every other day or so.

Monday night Court got the kids to bed so that I could go get my hair done. My friend Andi from hair school did it for me. It turned out great and it feels good to have a fresh cut and color. It was fun to be back at Taylor Andrews, I do miss it. Not the having to go to school part, but being with all the fun girls and doing hair part.

Yesterday I cut Courts hair before he went to work. I'm not sure what my deal was, must have still been tired, but the hair cut turned out shorter then he wanted. Ooops, sorry babe!! His hair still looked good, just a little short. In the afternoon my cousin Jason and my grandpa (papa Don) came over for hair cuts. I love having my family close and being able to do things for them.

Last night I made salmon, sweet potatoes, edimame beans, salad, and rolls for dinner. It turned out really yummy. The kids ate everything!!! As a family we are trying to eat very healthy. I have switched to almost all organic foods. I am trying to cut out preservatives from our diets as much as possible. I feel great and so does the rest of my family. I have noticed by changing what I eat and drinking more water that I have way more energy throughout the day. Yes I am still exhausted by bed time after a long day of WORK taking care of the house and kids and just life in general, but throughout the day I have felt happier and gotten more done!

I made these homemade rolls yesterday. They were really easy to make (didn't even use a mixer) and they were so yummy. I couldn't get my kids to stop eating them :). I added 1/2 cup of creamy honey, 1/4 cup of blue agave(natural sweetener) and 1 tablespoon of flax seed to the recipe. Also I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 unbleached enriched white flour. I doubled the recipe so that I could freeze some of the dough. My friend told me that it if you roll the dough into crescent rolls that you can freeze them and pull them out later. She says if you pull them out 4 hours before you want to bake them that will give them enough time to unthaw and rise. Just stick them on a baking sheet with a towel over the top and let them sit for the 4 hours. Sounds good to me!!!

You can find the recipe and step-by-step instructions here...


Monday, January 9, 2012

Darn it!!

Well I forgot to blog yesterday, so much for my blogging everyday this year. At least I made it 6 out of the 7 days last week. I even had my lap top out all ready to go and I ended up falling asleep on the couch nursing the baby.

Well here's what has been going on...

We didn't end up taking the kids sledding because Court didn't think there would be enough snow, I think it could have worked though! We all worked on cleaning and organizing the basement. We turned on some music and the kids enjoyed having a dance/cleaning party. My kids sure have fun, spunky personalities. The girls helped J. make his bed since they had all slept in it the night before, it was a great bed making job :). After we were done we ran to Walmart for a few groceries. I'm sure people think we are crazy to go to stores with 4 kids, we are!!! But we just like going places together even if it is the grocery store.

Saturday night Court and I went on a last minute date. My friends daughter came over to watch the kids and Court and I headed to Olive Garden to use the gift card my brother Ryan gave us for Christmas. The wait for the restaurant was 45 minutes, pretty crazy. So we hung out in the car so I could nurse the baby and just talked. Dinner was very yummy and it was nice to be alone (well almost, the baby is so good we don't mind bringing her along).

We had a nice Sunday. Getting use to 9am Church is going to be hard. It sure is nice though to get home early and relax. I had planned on making something with the left over Chicken breast we had in the fridge but it smelt kind of off and we didn't want to chance it. Bummer because I had already made all of the sides! Court made everyone grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner instead. I put all of the sides in the fridge and we will have them tonight instead. After dinner we played "Catch a phrase" with the kids. They are too young to really understand the rules, so we just kind of made things up as we went along. Then I made some snicker doodle cookies for dessert. It was a great day, crazy at times, but still a great day. I sure love my family!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Family Movie Night

Friday nights are almost always family movie night at our house. If we don't watch a movie then we usually do something fun like swimming at the rec-center or some other family activity.

Last night Court had a late appointment and didn't get home until almost 7pm. Once he got home we found a redbox that had the movie, "Mr. Poppers Penguins" and reserved it online. We went to Riley's in West Jordan for sandwiches. It's a bit of a drive from where we live, but their sandwiches sure are yummy! On the drive there Court was cracking, "Your mama jokes", he had the girls laughing hysterically. They were the one's making me laugh so hard.

We came home and watched the movie together. J-man was cracking me up because he kept trying to make the penguin noises. Court and the kids had already seen the movie but I hadn't. It was really cute!

The kids all slept together in J-mans bed. They love to have their weekend sleep overs together. J has a queen bed, so they all turn sideways on the bed and snuggle up together!

This morning we woke up to SNOW! I can't believe it. We have had no snow this winter. Santa brought the kids each a sled last Christmas(2010) that they haven't gotten to use yet. So far this morning the kids have all been cranky!! Probably from staying up so late. Hopefully they can take their cranky pants off and get happy so we can finally go sledding!!! They will have to earn it though, no fun activities for grumpy kids in this house!!!

We're off to start chores :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Church Ball

Last night the kids and I went to watch Court play on the ward basketball team. Court absolutly LOVES to play ball, so I am excited for him to get the chance to play on a team. We have some pretty good players, so it looks like it should be a,fun season (Court being one of the good players). The kids loved going to cheering him on. They especially loved playing on the stage with the other kids. It had been a bit chaotic yesterday after school so I didn't get dinner made before the game. The kids and I picked up a pizza and brought it to the game with us. Not the healthiest dinner but what can you do on crazy nights?!?! I did bring carrots and ranch for us to eat with our pizza :)

This morning after we got the girls out the door to school Court helped me tidy up the upstairs. Then my friend Rachael came over to help me clean. I love when she comes to help me!!! It is so amazing what you can accomplish with two people verses just one. She deep cleaned the whole upstairs while I cleaned and organized the basement. It is so nice having her help and very affordable :). I love having a clean house, but sometimes it is just impossible with four kids and Courts weird work schedule!

This morning I noticed this cute little note Court left for me on the kids white board. So sweet, it made my day!!! Dang, I love that man!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

4 years old

(This letter is a few weeks late but I wanted to make sure I didn't forget)

I CAN NOT BELIEVE you are 4!!! It seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital delivering you. You were the sweetest, cutest, little baby boy. Daddy and I were so excited to finally be having a BOY!

You have grown into such a fun, lovable, cute little boy. You are 100% boy and daddy and I LOVE IT! You love cars, swards, guns, ninjas, transformers, trains, etc... You have such a fun personality and are so much fun to be with.

You started preschool this year and you are already a ladies man. Your teacher told me the other day that the little girls in your preschool class fight over who gets to be your girlfriend. You absolutely love school and are having a blast going.

This past spring you played your first season of T-ball. You were SO STINKIN' CUTE in your uniform, but you really didn't want much to do with the game. You were constantly trying to run off to the playground at the park. Hopefully this next year you will enjoy it a little more. We put you in soccer this past fall thinking you would love the "fast pace", well turns out you weren't that into it either. Really you just wanted the snacks after the game :).

For your birthday party this year we had it a few weeks early. Things can get really crazy around the holidays and I wanted to make sure we got to have a fun party for you. We went to Kangaroo Zoo for your party with your best little buddy Grady and your cousin Bex. Of course your sisters, Grady's siblings, Aunt Jamie and Uncle Mike, and Gramme and Grandpa were there too. You and all of the kids had a great time on all of the blow-up slides and castles. You loved all of your presents and it was a very fun party.

I feel so lucky to be your mom. I love spending my days at home with you. Your my little buddy and so much fun (most of the time). You are so sweet to your baby sister and I love how tender you are with her. You love to talk to her, give her kisses, and hold her. Your big sisters love you so much and the three of you are always playing some made up game where you are the husband or boyfriend. I love to hear you all in the basement playing your make believe games.

I couldn't ask for a sweeter, cuter, funnier little boy. I am so happy that I have been given the opportunity to raise a son. You hold your own well with all your sisters! As much as you are my little buddy when we are home together you are definitely a daddy's boy. You ADORE your dad and her adores you. I love to see the cute friendship the two of you have. You love to have your "muscle shake" in the morning with dad. You call your dad your "best buddy" and he loves it!

You are one awesome little man and we are so lucky to have you in our lives! Here are 4 of my favorite things about you:

1. You have the sweetest little voice (you sound like one of the chipmunk from the movies)

2. You have so much personality and everyone who meets you can see what a fun personality you have

3. You love your sisters so much and it shows because they love you back just as much

4. You have such a strong, peaceful, beautiful spirit and it fills our home with so much happiness

I love you to the moon and back!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lofty goals...

This year I have set some challenging goals for myself. I know that accomplishing them isn't going to be easy, but they will be very worth the effort!!! So here they are....

*Attend temple minimum of 1x per month
*Pray morning, night, and throughout the day as needed/inspired
*Magnify my calling (I teach the 8 & 9 year old primary children at church) prepare Sunday school lesson several days in advance (Thursdays)
*Grow closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior through diligently keeping the commandments and being an instrument in the Lords hands
*Seek out opportunities to share the gospel and serve others

*Take time to connect with my husband everyday, pray together, spend alone time together (with no tv on)
* Read the book "The Love Dare" and complete the steps (without Court knowing)
*Have a date night every week, every other week put the kids to bed and have an "at home" date
*Regularly attend the Temple together

*Pray with my children morning and night
*Spend individual time with each of my children every day, even if it can only be a few minutes
*Read with my children every day, work with them to improve their reading
*Read The Book of Mormon as a Family
*Work on math flash cards, writing, and homework Monday-Friday
*Help encourage girls with their piano, have then practice Monday-Saturday
*Play with my children every day
*Work on controlling my temper and dicipline in a Christlike and loving way

*Establish and keep a regular work out schedule (min 4x per week)
*Loose 14 pounds, get back to weight before ALL of my babies :)
*Drink more water daily
*No soda or carbonation in 2012 (this is a bet Court and I have going with each other)
*Eat healthier foods (cut out preservatives as much as possible, eat organic, "Whole" foods)
*Train and compete in a Triathlon (unless my knee problems don't allow this)

*Read 1 book per month, rotate between a book for enjoyment, personal development, parenting/marriage, and a spiritual book (goal Court and I have for each other)
*Catch up on all baby books, blog books, and photo books, print 1 per month
*Blog everyday, even if it's just a sentence about the day
*Establish and keep a weekly cleaning schedule

*Court and I have decided that we are going to sit down together each Sunday to talk about our family, plan out our coming week, and re-evaluate our 2012 goals. It is so easy to set goals, work towards them for a short period of time, and then forget about the goals because our busy lives get in the way. We are hoping if we review our goals on a weekly basis and be honest with our selves and each other about how we are really doing that it will help us to achieve our goals as a team!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

4 months old

Dear Baby E,

I really cant believe you are already 4 months old. You are getting older way, way too fast. I wish I could slow down time and enjoy you at each stage a little longer.

You are at such a fun age. You love to coo and make noises and you are constantly smiling!! You can recognize daddy and I's voices from across the room. Just a few days ago I was kissing your cheeks and you let out your fitst giggle. Oh it was so cute. Of course your daddy had to get in on the action and he had you giggling more in no time!

You are such a sweet happy baby. You love to cuddle and nurse. You want nothing to do with a bottle and just barely started taking a binky. I took you in today for your 4 month check up and you weighed a whopping 11 pounds 6 ounces, your a tiny little thing. You are pretty long though, you were in the 75th percentile for lengh and only 10th percentile for weight. The doctor wants me to feed you more often and start you on rice cereal to see if we can chunk you up a little bit. We tried the rice cereal for the first time tonight and you weren't the biggest fan, but we will keep on trying.

I absolutly adore you my sweet baby girl. You are precious in every way and I love being your mommy. I know you are my last baby and knowing that is helping me to savour each stage with you even more. I love seeing you grow and become more alert. Your sisters and brother are all crazy in love with you too. Not one of them is gelous in anyway, they each just adore you. And as for your daddy, you have got him wrapped around all of your little fingers. He can't get enough of you either. I think it's pretty safe to say you are very loved!!

I love you to the moon and back!


Ps- I took this picture of you a few weeks ago so your not quite 4 months in it, but I love this picture, it shows all of your personality bottled up in that teeny body of yours :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

365 Days of Blogging

One of my New Years Resolutions this year is to blog everyday. Not because I really think anyone cares that much about what I have to say, but because blogging is how I journal and I want to be better about keeping a history of my life.

Before I can blog about all of my New Years Resolutions I have to get Christmas up here! This was a great Christmas full of lots of love, laughter, and tears. It was our first Christmas without my brother Jake and our first Christmas with Baby E. I can sum it up in two words, "Bitter, Sweet".

For my parents gift this year I put together a "Jake Tree" for our family. I contacted as many friends and family as I could and asked them to send me an ornament that reminded them of my brother Jake to give to my parents. I am amazed at how many people participated!!! My parents thought that we were coming the Day after Christmas, but we showed up Christmas Eve to surprise them. My moms friend Gina helped me get the tree so that it was already to go when we got there. Gina and her family came with us to surprise my parents at the door. My mom screamed when she realized it was us and there were many tears. My parents friends the Jackson's also came over to watch them unwrap the "Jake Tree Ornaments". Each of these ornaments was so special and precious. You could feel the thought and love that went into picking each of them out. I am so grateful to have so many people help me with this project. We had so many ornaments that in no time the Jake Tree was full and we had to add ornaments to my parents Christmas Tree. Watching my parents open these gifts from so many of their friends and family was so tender. I could feel Jake's spirit there with us and just picture the huge smile on his face as each of these ornaments was opened. Some were so silly and PERFECT for his tree. Having this tree up over the Holidays brought so much peace, it filled my parents home with Jake's memory. I know his spirit was with us throughout the Holiday's!

We had a great Christmas morning. The girls slept in my sisters room with her, and they were ready to go bright and early!!! The kids loved seeing what Santa had brought them. And were so sweet and grateful for all of the gifts they received. My mom made us all "Jake Blankets" out of scraps of his old clothes and other scraps of fabric she had saved over the past 28 years. She had lots of help from many friends and I am so grateful to all of the amazing people who helped make this Christmas so special for our family. After we had finished our Christmas morning we all got ready and went to Church. I LOVE when Christmas is on a Sunday, it is so nice to be able to go to Church and worship the Savior on Christmas Day. The Sacrament services were very nice and I really enjoyed the Christ centered talks. After Church we walked over to the Cemetery to visit Jake's grave. This is the first time I have been there since his funeral. It was incredibly difficult and made his death all the more real to me. There are many days where I still wake up hoping this past six months since he has been gone was just a horrible nightmare. I did feel a lot of peace while we were there. It felt good to know that there is still a part of him here on this earth. I know that might sound strange, but just knowing that his earthly body was there with us brought me peace. The kids wanted to sing Jake some Christmas songs. So we all circled around his grave and the kids sang a few songs they had learned at school. Then our whole family sang Silent Night together. WOW, did that start the water works! I was holding it all together until that point. As we got ready to leave both of my parents knelt down and placed their hands on the grass where he is buried. I couldn't help but bawl as I witnessed their heartache. I put my hands next to theirs and just sobbed. I still can't believe this happened, I can't believe he is really gone, and I am at times still angry because I just want him back!

I will never forget this Christmas and the amazing spirit that filled my parents home. I was so worried that the house would fill empty without Jake, he was always the life of the party. The house felt just the opposite, it was filled with love and it truly felt like Jake was there.

I am so grateful to have had such a nice Christmas. I love being a mother and seeing Christmas through my children's eyes. I love to see their excitement and joy on Christmas morning. This Christmas was truly one to remember.

*I really need to start taking pictures the right way on my phone ;)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

20 Questions

Tonight Court and I asked the girls 20 random questions for fun. I have seen several different versions of this on pinterest and though it would be a fun tradition to start on New Years Day each year. I need to remember to ask J-man his questions tomorrow, he passed out super early!

So here they are, 20 random questions we made up as we went :)

1. What is your favorite food?
(Mac) Steak
(Lex) French Toast

2. What is your favorite color?
(M) Pink
(L) Pink

3. What is your favorite tv show?
(M) Good luck Charlie
(L) Shake it up Chicago

4. What is your favorite activity?
(M) Spending time with my family
(L) Playing with daddy

5. What is your favorite season and why?
(M) Winter, because I like to play in the snow
(L) Summer, because I get to go swimming

6. What was your favorite part of 2011?
(M)Going to Lagoon
(L) Spending quality time with family

7. What was the happiest part of 2011?
(M) Baby E. was born
(L) Baby E.

8. What was the saddest part of 2011?
(M)Uncle Jake dieing
(L)Visiting uncle Jake's grave

9. Who was your best friend in 2011?
(M) Halie A.
(L) Samantha (from school)

10. What was your favorite holiday and why?
(M) Christmas, because we had school off
(L) Christmas, getting presents, joy with family

11. What is something you learned about in school this year?
(M) Multiplication
(L) Math

12. What is something you learned about in Church this year?
(M) The story of Nephi's family
(L) Follow commandments, follow the right

13. If you could do anything in 2012 what would it be?
(M) Go on a cruise
(L) Daddy daughter date

14. What is one goal you have for this New Year?
(M) Try to stay away from Electronics
(L) Exercise more

15. If you were stuck on a desert island who is the one person you would want with you?
(M) Dad
(L) Dad

16. If you could meet anyone who would it be?
(M) Miley Cyrus
(L) Jonas Brothers

17. What is your favorite thing about your self?
(M) I'm cute
(L) I'm smart

18. What is something your really good at?
(M) Multiplication
(L) Gymnastics

19. What is your favorite thing to do as a family
(M) Watch movies

20. If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
(M) Invisibility- so I could sneak around and no one would know
(L) Hear peoples thoughts- so I would know what my Christmas presents are

Sure was funny to hear their answers! I am excited to keep up this tradition from year to year. It will be interesting to see how their answers change as they get older :)i

I am very excited for this New Year. I love setting goals and re-evaluating how life is going and how it can be improved. Yesterday on our drive home from California Court and I talked a lot about what our goals are, personally, as a couple, as a family, financially, etc... We also came up with ideas on how we can reach our goals. I am very anxious for this next year and to work hard to make it a happy, healthy, and productive year for our family. Tomorrow for Family Home Evening we are going to set goals with the kids and have a lesson on how we can set goals and work hard to achieve them. This past year has been so difficult with the loss of my brother Jake and all of the heartache and pain losing him has caused. I can say without a doubt that 2011 has been one of the hardest years of my life and I am looking forward to 2012 being a much better year!