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Showing posts with label J's Journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label J's Journal. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Can't Wait To Show Her The World... (Our Daughter's Birthday Story)

A whole long week of labor pains and one false visit to the maternity ward later we were finally going to meet our daughter. As my husband and I were waiting in our labor and delivery room for the nurse to come back and give us the news that out doctor was going to send us back home for the second time this week, we prepared ourselves for disappointment. I was sure this time it was it. I was having regular contractions eight to ten minutes apart for over 15 hours and this had been going off and on all week long. Then the nurse announced that the doctor was on her way to check things out herself. And when the doctor walked into the room she looked at me and said "Lets have this baby okay?" I was like "really! Thank the lord!" Up to this last week I was determined to not be induced and go into labor as naturally as possible except for getting an epidural. (Im a big baby when it comes to pain) I was determined not to have my water broke or get any pitocin but after a week of being in labor I was DONE!  So within minutes of the doctors arrival she broke my water at around eleven at night. That was the moment it got really real to me. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was going to have a baby. No, really! I was going to have a baby! My husband and I kept looking at each other like we couldn't believe this was finally happening. It had been such a long nine months. The doctor and nurses got a kick out how much this all was blowing our minds especially since this was our third child. But keep in mind it had been over eight years since I had a kid and all this felt so new, plus my last delivery did not go so well so I had a lot of pint up anxiety. 

After my water broke they checked me off and on all night with no further progress and about five hours later we decided I need some help with some pitocin after all. As the nurse administered the  pitocin I was all sorts of nervous about not getting the epidural in time and asked if I should get the epidural now before the pictosin kicks in and starts to give me hard contractions. They said it was up to me. So I decided I was going to wait until It got too painful. 

Fifteen minutes later I was waking up my sleeping husband telling him it was time to get up and tell the nurses to get in here with that epidural! I tell you what... That little bit of pictosin I did get sent me strait into hard core active labor. My body really responded to it... almost too good. I can't believed I lived trough getting an epidural while having to hold perfectly still through two of the most excruciating contraptions I can ever remember having. I was shaking and sweating through that whole thing. But man, when and epidural kicks in, it is so lovely!!! I hadn't felt that good physically in such a long time. I was in such a good mood, not just because the horrific contractions where gone but it was so nice just to not have all the pressure and aches and pains in my bones and joints. It was like half my body was made out of cool water. I was just smiling and chatting it up. And within two hours I dilated from a 2 to a 10! 

At seven O clock the nurse checked me and said I was an 8 and she would be back in half an hour. I panicked and asked if she would come back in 15 minutes just to be safe. And sure enough I was a full 10 when she came back 15 minutes later. The doctor who had spent the whole night at the hospital came in and we all got ready. The coolest thing was that my husband got to deliver our baby with the help of our doctor. She had him put on scrubs and sit in her seat to pull our baby out. He was so nervous but I really wanted him to do it so he manned up for me. And he later said he was so glad he did and that it was such a neat experience.

 I had a really good epidural and I could still feel pressure and I could feel when I was having a contraction and could push and feel the pushing. So I only ended up pushing for two contractions and she was out! She had the cord wrapped around her neck twice but the doctor was able to get it unwrapped when her head was only out, but my husband said it was kind of scary to see her all blue with the cord around her neck. Then before she was even out all the way she started making noise and taking her first breath. It was all so fast. Seeing my daughter for the first time as my husband reached out and placed her screaming beautiful body on my tummy was amazing! Half shaking, crying and laughing all at once I reached out and touched her and said softly "Hi". I was feeling so many emotions at once. I was amazed at finally meeting the daughter I had grown slowly over all those months in anticipation and couldn't believe she was finally here and that we had actually done it... created our daughter. It was so miraculous! And she was so beautiful and perfect with her perfect pink skin and and full head of thick dark strawberry blond hair. I felt so unvelivibly blessed. There was so much goodness and love in that room upon her arrival, the air was thick with it. 

To: My Little Girl
Late at night when its just me and you hanging out staring at each other for who knows how long, I can't help but become overwhelmed with love and thoughts of your future. Right now you are so fresh and new, unwritten upon with endless possibilities before you and before us. Already I worry for you.,. To be in this world, for the choices we both will make in your life. My love for you is so great and so powerful, I am at your mercy in so many ways and you are at mine. I pray that this time around I will enjoy the smaller moments more and not get caught up in more worldly things and in being perfect. Your childhood is such a special time for both of us, and it goes by so fast that there will always be regrets. However, I want to try and have as few of those as possible and strive for us to create more positives than negatives. My hope for you is for you to grow up in a home that is safe and full of laughter, a place you will always come back to and a place filled with so many beautiful memories that it helps you to always know you are loved no matter what. I am so thrilled and feel blessed to add you to our journey and cannot wait to show you the world. I love you. Love mom. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Be your own kind of "Mom"

Nine years ago when my husband and I brought our first beautiful baby into this world I had never planned on being a stay at home mom, and I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. Growing up I knew one day I would have children but unlike my other girlfriends I wasn’t too eager about it. They loved baby sitting, and holding other peoples babies and I just didn’t get it. I thought, yeah, some babies are cute. But they come with more cons than pros, they smell funny, throw up at random times and the whole pooping themselves… what is that all about? Gross. You can’t do much with a baby either and they are the most selfish things on this earth. Well, this is what my teenage self thought. Yeah, I was totally going to put off baby making until my motherly hormones could not be contained any longer.

When my beautiful son was only about four weeks old I was eager to slowly get back to work by doing part time night shifts here and there. Not because I didn’t love spending all that time at home with my new son or because I needed to get out of the house it was because I feared that if I didn’t get right back to work I would loose part of myself.

 I had always pitied stay at home moms, like they were little more than slaves for the other people in their home. That their brains were going to waste. What was the point of all that education? Weren’t they lonely? How could they stand cleaning up after everyone’s lazy self’s and be expected to do it as a job? What a terrible job! I wanted to be an artist, a world traveler, a great thinker, a change the world kind of girl. I hated dishes and laundry and didn’t care for cooking much as well. That was not going to be me.  

So why in the world would I even have a kid… well I am a girl after all. After finding the love of my life at only 19 and getting married, domestic life was growing on me. I had found someone who wanted and agreed to be partners in this life together. We had agreed to share all rolls and responsibilities, 50/50 all the way. Love and time changes you and when you find someone who loves you so much and you love them in return, you naturally want to serve them. I started to learn to cook as my husband did as well. We learned our new domestic talents together. He turned out to prefer to do the laundry (mostly because he thought I folded weird.) I turned out to like to do the cooking (mostly because he only wanted to eat meat and cheese).  So after about three years we thought how lovely it would be to share our life and love with a baby. Even with all my anxiety and misgivings I was excited about the idea, and surely with my loving husband by my side we could handle anything. So that was that. Fast forward nine months later, there I was with my wonderful husband and our new baby and still getting to go to work. I had everything just the way I thought I wanted. My husband and I worked different shifts so that one of us always got to be with our son and sometimes my work even let me bring him in. It was all working out marvelously until heavenly father decided to throw us a curve ball. When my son was only five months old I found out I was pregnant with number two… In fact I was two month pregnant! I tried to keep working part time and take care of a new baby while pregnant and it just wasn’t going. I was so tired and sick all the time. Something had to give.

I wish I could claim that I had one of these enlightened moments where I just decided I was going to be a stay at home mom no matter what because that was my true calling in life and that is what my children needed. But I’m not that lady. I became a stay at home mom because we ran out of options. I didn’t really have a choice. We lived in a town that was so small that the nearest day care center was over an hour away. Plus It would cost more to pay for child care than what I would make. Plus even though I always wanted to be a working mom I never wanted someone else raising my kids or being the majority of their care taker. That was mine and my husbands job. We were never going to have kids for someone else to take care of them. For me, that wouldn’t have been okay. Plus, even If I wanted to get someone to watch my babies so I could work everyone we knew worked. Even the grandmas had full time jobs. That’s just how it is in a small town where there are not much jobs especially ones that pay decent. So I had to quit my part time job and be a full time mom. And for the first while I resented it. I loved spending all that time with my son but I didn’t feel like it was fair. I felt like this is not what I agreed to when I said “I do”. I am not this kind of girl. I am going to waste away in this house. But I figured that this was my situation and I just needed to deal with it. I made the mistake of thinking I could talk to other women about my frustration’s and I got comments like “You know how many women wish they could be stay at home moms?!” Comments like that didn’t change how I felt they just made me feel like an ungrateful freak, and that I needed to hide what I was going through better. After my second son was born (shortly after I quit work) I decided If I was going to be a domestic engineer I was going to do it right! “Grow where you are planted!” and all that. So I started cooking and baking, oh my! Baking, now that’s really wild! Trying new recipes, cooking without recipes, cleaning all sorts of stuff. I even tried my hand at laundry to my husbands horror. It also occurred to me “good stay at home moms sew and make homemade bread!” So I took that challenge on as well! So why is it that months and months later after I had embraced my new roll with enthusiasm and hard work that I was more miserable than ever? Was it because out of the 10 times I tried to make cinnamon rolls everyone of them were completely uneatable and hard as bricks, or that when I tried to make my sons quilts I would always end up crying over my new sewing machine because the stupid bobbin always ratted up on me? No actually. It wasn’t the failure of trying something over and over again that was getting to me. I’m a very creative person and love the act of creating no matter how terrible the outcome. The bliss comes from the creating. It wasn’t until I came across a talk given by a lady I admired, Julie Beck, where she talked about a woman’s talents, that things changed for me. She talked about how our heavenly father didn’t make us the same and doesn’t want us to be the same. He gave us different talents for a reason and that we should embrace them and let them shine. That we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other women and try to be something we are not because we we’ll never find happiness and peace that way.  And it just dawned on me that this is the same for Motherhood! So I got the idea to challenge myself to write down all the things I love and enjoy about motherhood. And I was surprised to find out that the list was actually quite long. The things I enjoyed about motherhood were just being overshadowed because I was focusing on all the things I was doing wrong and on not measuring up to.  I was so focused on the negatives I couldn’t see what I was doing right. Then I decided to challenge myself. For one whole week I would only focus on and do those things on the list. Now I know this sounds a bit dramatic, and I really questioned if I could just let everything else I hated just go for a whole week. But I needed to do something drastic, I was so miserable and resentful to my beautiful family and I didn’t want to be that person anymore. They deserved so much better.  So I did it! I really did it! For one whole week I didn’t try and make bread again, or sew, or do laundry, or even much cleaning. Instead, I sang songs to my boys, took them to the park and on walks, and played down on the ground with them. I still did the cooking, which I actually thought was fun.  And some day I cuddled on the couch and just watched TV with my babies in my arms and made myself not feel guilty about it. And you know what happened? I fell in love with motherhood! This was my motherhood. And at the end of the week I didn’t feel resentful when I cleaned up the horror that was my house. It was easier to serve the people in my home when I wasn’t fighting myself. This little experiment helped me to let go of all those unreasonable expectations we women put on ourselves working or not. And as the months and years went on and the more I embraced my own unique motherhood and motherly talents the more talents I found I had. I turned out to love and be good at teaching my boys new things. I loved helping them to explore and learn. Teaching them the animal sounds was so fun and rewarding. It turns out I’m a fun mom. I love taking them on little adventures whether to the park, building huts or going on little hikes. And I continued to explore my love for arts and crafts and taught my boys to color and paint for the first time, make pine cone bird feeders with peanut butter! And I also decided I should pack up my sewing machine. Not that I was giving up on it but It wasn’t necessary and for now it was just getting in the way of other stuff I was needing to embrace and focus on. Maybe I’ll try my hand at sewing and bread again someday but really, I just hate it and that’s okay! In so many ways learning to be my own kind of mom set me free and helped me have more love to give. There is more than one way to be a good mom. Since I had that revelation almost eight years ago I have never felt like I have lost a piece of myself, in fact just the opposite. Being a full time mom has given me so many opportunities to edify myself. I am a better artist because of being a stay at home mom, what’s more fun and inspiring than painting pictures with my kids. And as for traveling… we travel! Not only do we travel but we get to show our kids these places for the first time as well. Traveling is so much richer with them. Some of the best most amazing experiences in my life has been because of my beautiful family that I’ve created for myself.  And as far as being a change-the-world kind of gal.  I change the world not only for my children and my husband but for myself almost every day!

            In todays time I think its scary for women to think about being stay at home moms. I know it was for me. I heard it so many times when women find out that I am a stay at home mom, They feel like they just don’t know what they would do with themselves all day, that they would go crazy or they are just not that kind of woman. I was them. Some people even call those women selfish and all they can do is think about themselves. But I know that it is not that. We are afraid. In our minds how can we possibly ever measure up to the expectations of what a mother “should be.” It is an impossible challenge. That is why I am so passionate that we need to get the message out there to other women and our daughters, that we each have beautiful motherly qualities that are very different from each other and we need to embrace them and stop trying to be the kind of mother we are not. This would change so many mothers and future mothers lives, working or not.

I also want to say I know that some women have to work, and that they love their work and sometimes the Dads are stay at home dads. I’m not saying any of those are wrong. If it works for your family go for it. But I’m talking to the women who are afraid of embracing motherhood in any form. Or have the wrong ideas of what it means to be a full time mom. If you are a working mom, it’s got to be even more difficult. So don’t spend your time when you are with your kids doing stuff you hate… write down the stuff you love and enjoy and spend that special time doing that. If getting crafty and glue all over the place is not your idea of a good time with your kids find something that is. If you like sewing or baking… do that with your kids. If you just have to have a clean house make it a game with your kids! If your strength is being a good listener, make sure you are doing that regularly. What ever your needs from motherhood love it, embrace it and have fun with it. The other things that you “have to do” will come a lot easier if you are taking care of the things you love to do.  Choose happiness. 

I am about to have our third child, a little girl and we are super excited! We even moved from our little town to one that has plenty of day care options and I even went back to school two years ago when my youngest started preschool. I graduated top of my class in graphic and web design. I’m so excited to be getting to be a mom again and almost feel like this is a second chance for me. Because of all the things I learned with my boys all those years ago. I’m excited that this time around I am going to spend more time enjoying my little girl and this special time in our lives and less time trying to be the “perfect mother”. I am going to be my own version of a good mom for her. And yes, I always knew that when I was done with school I would be having another child, and no, it wasn’t a waste of time. I had the opportunity to invest in myself and develop something I love to do. I also now have the comfort of knowing that if there was anything to happen to my husband I have the skills needed for a better job than a fast food joint. And that is a great gift for my family and me. Plus I chose a degree in something I get to continue to do at home and its great because I get to still do something I love plus be there for my loved ones.  I’m so grateful for basically being forced to be a stay at home mom, and learning to love it. And now that I’ve got to experience it all these years and seen what a difference it has made for my family and myself I will always be a stay at home mom even with my new degree and all the day cares available. For us this is what works best, this is our happiness.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Boys

Ive been having a lot of those moments lately where I am just suddenly overcome with gratitude and love for my little family my husband and I have created. A few weeks ago my husband and I both came down with a knock down drag out stomach bug for about 48 hours. We were practically bed ridden on all Saturday and mostly Sunday. Parents are not allowed to be sick at the same time, right? Its against nature, especially with two boys full of energy all weekend. When my husband and I were conscious and not in the bathroom we were so stressed out about who was going to take care of the kids and then we would go and check on them to see if they were still alive because it was so quite and our seven and eight year olds would be magically playing nicely with legos together having a good time and trying to stay quiet so mom and dad would feel better soon (never happens). The entire weekend had not one incident or fight! Can you believe it?!  And my husband and I managed to find the strength to feed them a few times as well. Lol! 

Well January means birthdays at our house. Our boys are a whopping 12 months and three weeks apart. Thats right ladies... I had a three month old new baby that I was trying to figure out how to mother and god said... "This is fun, lets see what she can do with two!" 

Even though it was a rough couple of years at first, it has been so neat that these two have each other. I am so grateful for them both. They both bring their own personality and fun to the family. My now nine year old is tender and thoughtful, and my as-of-today eight year old is fun and easy going. And I am so excited to add a little girl to the mix in May and know they are going to be the best big brothers a girl could wish for. She is one lucky little lady and I know I am one lucky mom!

Happy Birthday to my sweet pumpkin pies!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

2013 Christmas Shenanigans

One thing I don't recommend is buying a fixer-upper/dream house right before Christmas. This is where we spent the Christmas season.

With not a stitch of christmas to be seen in either of our residences, I broke one night while painting up our new house and added some much needed christmas decorations to our kitchen cupboards... there, thats better!

And if that wasn't enough a week before christmas with no Christmas tree in sight and three day until move in day.... I broke again and ran out to the shed and pulled out one of my boys mini trees and put it up in the living room of the house we were to move out of. My husband came home and laughed then said "We are supposed to be packing not un-packing!" 

Just a few more days until Christmas and we can finally decorate our new home for Christmas. Whoot! Whoot! 
We picked up our kids from school and went straight over to the tree lot down the road. (This is our some-people-shouldn't-have-children moment of the year. ) Did I mention we took out the seats in the van so we could fit the tree inside and our children with it? Hold on kids! 

And here is awesome hubby bringing in the much to big tree all by himself so my pregnant self can sit back and take fun pictures. Lol!

Yeah! Christmas decorating complete with no time to spare! 

So what if its crooked and the star kept slipping off!  

And we even did a little bit of the outside as well! Superstars! 

Not only did we spend a month fixing up a bunch of stuff in our new house, move in days before christmas, decorate for christmas while still unpacking... but we still had time to play! 

This is a picture of my two sons and their uncles and this is called the spider technique for all you serious snow sledders out there. It's the ultimate team racing maneuver. You're welcome. 

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and may this year be everything you've dreamed. 


Our Top 10 of 2013

Top 10 of 2013

10. My oldest son turned eight and got baptized in the LDS church plus he joined the cub scouts and earned his wolf badge. 

9. My seven year old son started piano lessons and he is just taking off with it

8. I graduated from college in graphic and web design with a 4.0 and was honored as a graduation speaker.

7. My husband and I became cub scout masters.

6. My oldest son joined Jr. Jazz basketball and is a natural blocker.

5. My two boys and I visited and hiked six different trails in utah valley this past summer in just eight weeks. 

4. My husband got a great promotion at work for all of his hard work.

3. My husband and I toured all over Italy this summer for two weeks. Our favorite places where Sorento and Positano. 

2. We bought our dream home (Craftsman Style)

1. Found out we are having a baby girl in May!

We have been so blessed this year, but mostly we are so grateful for the memories and love we shared with our loved ones throughout the year. Can't wait to see what 2014 bring. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gender Reveal (Im having a girl!!!)

Our two boys have been wanting a baby sister ever since the neighbor boys next door got one a year and a half ago. Lol! Just like when they got the new lego wii game they had to have one as well. And my husband has been more baby hungry over the years than I ever have. So when we found out we were going to have another its been baby girl fever in our house ever since. 

On the way to the gender reveal ultra sound we had a good talk with our boys seven and eight. We were worried that if we found out we were having a boy they would be very disappointed and we wanted to make sure they knew that being blessed with any baby is a miracle and a time to celebrate. We told them that if it's a boy it's going to be really fun too and all babies are equally snug-able and wonderful to love on and that heavenly father has given us a very special gift. Then my seven year old said "So what your saying is... if we have a boys its great... but if we have a girls its even more great, right?" Lol! Okay that is probably more true to what I was honestly thinking but Dad and I simultaneously and quickly replied "No, no, no, no! They are both great!" I think they were confused and just dropped it at that. 

One of the neatest things about having older kids is that they are so involved in this pregnancy and I love getting to share with them special moments like taking them to see their first ultra sound and to see their sibling move about and get to answer all of their questions. "I see her head!" "Is that her arm?" 

Being surrounded by my husband and two boys when the ultra sound technician announced it was a girl brought me to tears. There was so much love in that room and I am just so grateful for my beautiful family to share this life and these moments with. I am one lucky lady!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Baby Reveal

Yep, Im finally going to have another baby!!! Whoot, Whoot!
Big things have been happening to me all year and I have to say this is the biggest and most exciting!

I had been married for three years when I got pregnant back to back at just twenty two years old with these two. The first one was planned and then somehow four months after I had my first child I was surprised with number two. And boy was it a rough couple of years after that. But I have to say that I love that they are so close and while they fight a lot they also play a lot. They entertain each other and are such great companions and hardly even know what to do when the other is not around. 

Flash forward a whopping eight years later and I am finally ready to have another one. And this pregnancy is already so different at just nine weeks and I think thats because I am so different. I just turned the big Thirty and I am in a place in my life where Ive really come to know myself. My husband and I have worked hard over the years to build a solid family life and home. Plus some major "thirty year old" hormones are kicking in and Ive never wanted a baby more. A lot of friends and family can't believe I waited so long and Ive had several people ask me "Why would you want to start all over?" It doesn't feel like starting over to me. It feels like just the right pace. I think I like having my kids in batches. Now that my two boys are in school full time I will have time for the new baby and to take better care of myself this pregnancy. And an other bonus is that my boys are so excited and are going to remember and share in this exciting new chapter in all of our lives. I also feel like Ive really learned to be my own kind of mom and have not only leaned so much from my first two kids but have really come into my own in this role. Im not nearly as anxious as I was eight years ago trying to be the perfect mom and wearing myself thin. Ive learned the hard way to spend my energy enjoying my family and making memories and I cant wait to continue to enrich those future memories with this beautiful new addition. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Celebrating Turning The Big 30!

Today I am 30. 
Because my birthday is so far in the school year I am one of the last ones to turn thirty in my graduating class of 2001. I probably really needed to see everyone else turn thirty before me just to make sure that it wasn't as painful as I have imagined it to be all my life. They all seem to be coping with it just fine so there is hope for me yet. There is something about thirty that validates you as a full fledged adult and life has a definite serious undertone to it that wasn't there before. Your twenties was all about discovering yourself and your thirties is when your supposed to now have things in motion and have some establishment. The funny thing is, is that I feel younger now than I did even when I was in my early twenties. Seven years ago right after I had my two boys I felt like I was thirty but that is probably because I was exhausted all the time with a new born and a one year old. Ive gotten my second wind these last two years and have a new since of adventure with my beautiful family that I never had before. Im so excited about showing them the world and experiencing it with them. Motherhood has defiantly sparked a new kind of sense of wonder. 

So I guess there is a large part of me that loves being thirty. I love how much more self excepting I am now and how Im more comfortable to be the real me than ever before with all my silliness and quirks. I also love not feeling so crazy and confused all the time like in my twenties. Ive been around long enough to have a better since of what I want and have the ability to put things in perspective a lot more. I also love the fact that we have stable jobs and can do things like have nice vacations and buy the groceries we want instead of what we can get by on with fifty bucks or less. I think every stage is beautiful in its own way and if we can try and embrace the process we will be able to make the most of this aging business for the amazing design that it is. 

So here is to embracing being born in 1983... 

30 is going to rock!!!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gelato, Swollen Ankles and a Dream Come True

       I used to think (most of my life) that I was the kind of girl who would always be on the outside looking in. Most of my childhood was filled with watching and coveting other families and their comfortable houses, new clothes and fun family vacations. Don't get me wrong my Mother who was a single parent with five kids was a blast but we were very poor and never owned our own home, or new clothes for that matter. We ended up being very comfortable with disappointment and the reality that those kinds of things were just not in our ball park. However, my mom was a big believer in goal setting and visualizing our dreams, but it seamed that's all we did... visualized them. Then my mom died when I was sixteen and she was 38. I can't tell you how much it has haunted me, that so many of her dreams, she shared with me, never made it to reality. Because of that I think I have lived my life with much action, I learned early on, how devastating procrastination is. I have a fervent belief in creating the life that I want, not what has been giving to me. And that I will never be a victim of my circumstances. And step by step, one choice after another, I am checking off those to-do list, almost faster than I can make them. Recently, I checked off the biggest one on my bucket list... the holy grail of dreams... I went to Italy!

A whopping two weeks in Italy, with the love of my life/husband of 11 years! we saw everything! The best part was that everyone, who was in our tour group, thought we were honey-mooners. It was the sweetest thing. I guess, Italy has a way of bringing, the romance out, who would of thought. ;)
So, as you can see, there are many many beautiful things about Italy. There are some things, that are not so great, and make you really appreciate the good - o - USA. Like a raw pile of ground beef and sausages for an appetizer, and how traffic laws are considered a suggestion and not to be taken seriously. 
As crazy as Italy is, they definitely know how to make their desserts... Yum! We had Gelato almost everyday and had different flavors each time. There were even a few times we had it twice in one day. I do have to say... I know it's wrong but... I like our american Italian food better, "Gasp", I know, I know. We Americans, make pizza, sooooooo good though. It's probably, the fact that we use, way more salt and garlic on everything, and we actually have toppings on our pizza, but I love our salty garlic ways. The way, we eat ,italian food here is so different then italian food there (in it's originating glory) and as much as it pains me to say it... I like Olive Garden better. I know... another gasp. I loved the sites, and the people, and the guides, and the history, and the art, and the dessert, but they can keep their food. The last week we were there, I was like "I could really go for a big mac right about now, and a large diet coke." I don't even like hamburgers ,but after all that italian food for fourteen days .... 

It was the most stimulating, information-cramming, wonderful two weeks of my life. Even despite the fact, that my ankles swelled up on day four, and I got a nasty head cold to go with my lovely swollen ankles. It was because, I kept having these moment's ,when I realized, what I was doing for myself. There was one moment, in particular ,when I walked around the corner in Positano ,and there stood the little market/restaurant that I had seen in a picture about eight years ago ,and saved it to my computer. I had dreamt about this little scene, for such a long time, not knowing where it was in Italy. All these years, and there it was, right in front of me. And it really hit me, just how much, I have done for myself to get to this point, where I am making my biggest dreams come true. It was so empowering. 

photo on my computer
Since I've been back home, I have this new sense of how obtainable things are, and how small the world is. A plane ride away actually. Now ,when I dream of the places I will go, or things I will do ,it is not with a belief that I'm sure I can do it, it is now a matter of making the steps to do it. It wasn't just a great vacation to Italy, it was so much more than that. I've changed me, and I am both humbled by that change and taken back at how powerful I really am. And I am touched deeply with the blessing of that awareness and awakening. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Despite The Odds, Graduating The Heck Out Of College at 30!

            18 months ago I took a chance on myself (and my family) and enrolled into college. With two kids, a husband and not much spare time as it was I had more than major doubts but I also knew I would regret not trying. I also knew if I was going to go anywhere with my graphic design business I had to get competitive and gain skills that would put me at the top for any clients. Also, I had always worried that if anything happened to my husband, and I needed to go back to work, I had very few marketable skills, and that was unsettling.
              My first day was so overwhelming for me, when I got home I just cried because I didn't think that I was smart enough to do it and I felt silly and old, that I didn't belong. But I owed it to myself and my family to at least give it my best. Plus I couldn't let my six and seven year old see me quit. They thought it was so exciting that Mom was going back to school. My goal was to just take it one day at a time, one homework assignment at a time and try not to think of how daunting it all was. And soon enough I starting feeling a lot more comfortable, finding a groove and balancing between school and home. Next thing I knew I was finished with my first set of classes with all A's! Now don't get me wrong... I knew early on there were things that would have to be compromised in order for this school thing to work out. This blog for one was put on the back burner, my husband had to help out a lot more with cooking(going out to eat) and helping the kids with their homework so mom can do hers and I wasn't able to volunteer in my boys class rooms this past year.  I was feeling bad about this one day and my dentist told me it was good for the whole family to sacrifice a little for something as important as this and that we would all be better in the long run. And she was so right. And strangely enough it made us closer and we actually had more family time if you can believe it. Because I had this outside interest of school and my entire focus wasn't just on my family I didn't take them for granted as much and all of my spare time was focused on my family because I couldn't get enough of them.

         Then by the time I was at my halfway mark at school I had gotten a real taste for A's and knew there was no excuse for me to not achieve an A in all my classes. This is strange because I almost failed out of high school. I was a terrible student growing up and I even failed out of collage the first time I went right out of high school. But going back to college was unexpectantly empowering. I really came to know just how capable I am after accomplishing one task after another and somehow excelling at each one because I had the mind set to do my own personal best.

          Well I just graduated from College on Saturday Three months before my 30th birthday with a 4.0 and also picked up another degree along the way, so I graduated not only in Graphic and Web Design but also Web and Animation. I was also fortunate enough to be a Graduation Speaker which was a challenge all in itself, but by taking one step at a time (and a mental break down) I conquered that as well. I have been through a lot during my lifetime and never thought I would go to collage and I was encouraged by my teachers to share my journey to graduation. When I was writing my speech I was worried that it was a little to raw and a little to heavy for a graduation speech. I kept telling myself "I can't tell a room full of strangers that stuff, its too vulnerable, its too humiliating!" But this was my journey. I knew I had to be brave for myself. If nothing else I had to tell my story for me. This was my conquering moment. I hadn't got where I was by not giving it my all and I wasn't going to start now. So here is my crazy, scary, brave speech... that ended up being one of the most amazing moments of my life ending in a standing ovation that I never saw coming.

I am just full of so much gratitude for this amazing experience and the wonderful people who pulled me through it. I wouldn't have been able to do any of if without their support and encouragement. It took a village.


Monday, March 25, 2013

A Tribute Music Video To My Kids ("Kids Ruin Everything")

When it comes to making home movies my favorite is making music videos and this time Ive made a music video out of old home movies depicting our love for our children and the beautiful changes they have made in our lives that we never saw coming. 

My husband and I watched the final cut together last night and we could not help but both cry. Its not that its sad but it really depicts the evolution and the shear beauty of our parenthood and how incredibly blessed we are. Talk about perspective!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Star Wars Lego Birthday Party

Both my sons are huge Lego Star Wars fans. For Halloween we made them homemade star wars lego costumes that were so awesome and we decided to keep within the theme of this year and go with Lego Star Wars. This was only a One hour Party (thank goodness). Instead of games and prizes we decided to do something a little different and more memorable... a Jedi Training Course!

While the kids were waiting for the rest of the guest to arrive we had my sons collection of star wars lego pieces out for the kids to stay busy and entertained.  We also had a playlist of Star wars music playing in the background. 

Then when we were ready to get started we told the kids that they this wasn't a birthday party and they all were so bummed out. Then I said "You each have been chosen to become jedi and must be trained in the ways of the force and prove you have what it takes to be a jedi and defeat the dark side!" Then my Husband took the kids into the family room where the furniture was moved out of the way so there was enough room. Then we had the Training lesson, than cake and ice cream, opened presents and let them loose outside with their new light sabers to go at it until their parent came and got them. What is really cool is that the kids were all talking about it at school the next day and I had parent coming up to me all week saying how much their kids keep talking about the party. My son has been going through some issues at school lately and he has been feeling like he doesn't have a lot of friends and so this party couldn't have come at a better time and did wonders for his self esteem. This was a lot of work but it was so worth it and so much fun and I know he is going to remember this for the rest of this life.

I've made it easy for you ;)
And Here Is Everything You Need For Your Own
Lego Star Wars Party
These cards were so fun to make. I loved getting to work with all this fun typography and challenging myself to come up with a modern design while still sticking to a Star Wars Lego theme. You can buy these Personalized Invitations at Designing Pixel Dust in sets of 8 for only $15.00 + S&h. They are fully customizable for no extra charge. 

The Free printables for everything is at the bottom of this post in an easy to use pdf. These drink labels fit the mini Gatorade bottles and the super mini water bottles. 

When you cadets have finished their Jedi training they can then receive their Badge. Just print and cut these out and then whole punch the top. Use ribbon so they can wear it around their necks. 

I tried to look for lego star wars cake tutorials that were easy and I just couldn't find any at my low skill level, and without using yucky fondant. So I had to come up with my own. Here is my truly original cake tutorial... Im so glad it actually worked.

Lego Star Wars Cake
2 cake mixes of you choice
2 cans of frosting (White)
2-4 round cake pans
Black tube frosting

1. This is a three in a half layered cake. Bake both cakes as directed in the round cake pans. If you only have two cake pans like me you are going to half take turns getting all four baked. 
2. Freeze one of the round cake pans for four hours or over night. This is so you can Carve the circle for the top without the cake falling apart. 
3. Once the top little cake is carved using a knife, go ahead and layer and frost the cake. 
4. Add the designs with black tube frosting and your done. 

These light sabers are really easy to make out of swimming pool noodles, and make a great party favor. You can find them at the dollar store during the warmer months but if you have winter babies like me the best place to find them is Amazon.  Cut the noodle in half and then dress them up with black a silver Duct tape at the handle.

Jedi Training:
To do the Jedi training check out this youtube video of the disney land version (be sure to check out part 2 as well). My husband and brother watched it a few times ant then practiced it once or twice before the party to kind of give them some ideas on what stuff to say. The Jedi Training is really fun and simple. It can get crazy so remember to just have fun with it and make it your own. 

I'd love to see your Star Wars Lego Party. Feel free to send me links and/or pics of your party and I will post them on my next "What you've been up to" post!