Moab 2020

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thursday I was browsing my Facebook memories & found one from 8 years ago when we stopped in Moab after a weekend of Rob working in Blanding. I immediately checked my Hilton app & was excited to find a nice hotel for a low amount of points. I knew Rob would be game for a trip but I called to check before I booked. He was thrilled I would suggest it, normally he is dragging me out for fun, and then took over on all the planning & preparation.

The kids & I had Monday off so it worked perfect to drive down Sunday after church & spend Monday hiking into Corona & visiting Arches National Park. I knew that when we went down last time we got into the park for free, but Rob thought it was a fluke. Imagine how happy we were to find that it was free admission again. Too bad they don't allow dogs on the trails, so Hannah & I went to visit view points while Rob, Hunter & Samantha hiked into Delicate Arch.

We all had the best time & even agreed that we should make it a yearly trip. Especially if we can get a cheap hotel room & free admission into the park.

Halloween 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

Halloween seems to be getting a little more low key around here. Or maybe it was the fact that I was trying to get back into the swing of things after our trip to Pittsburgh. Either way Halloween has come and gone and everyone seemed happy. So in the end it is a win.

Samantha actually dressed up this year as a River Vixon, Hunter was Waldo, and Hannah found herself the perfect blow up unicorn costume.

This was also the very last Halloween parade for us. I was so excited this was my last one, but also so very sad that my kids are all growing so fast. It was a strange feeling.

I am not one to dress up, I actually don't like it at all. But, our secretary at the school loves it and asked if I wanted her to bring me a costume. I agreed, and Rob was shocked. I don't like surprises and not being in control so he couldn't believe I was going to go along with whatever she came up with. It was actually a lot of fun.

I was able to throw together a Halloween dinner, I was actually kind of proud of myself. And bonus, I only spent $15.00. We at pumpkin soup and enjoyed homemade Root Beer before the kids all headed out for the night.

We only got a picture of Hunter's friend group, he was putting on his costume and they were all hyped up to leave.

Hannah left shortly after that with her cute friends.

Samantha thankfully stuck around for a bit because we ran out of candy and had to make a run to Costco. We thought we had plenty but ended up getting a bunch of trick or treaters this year. I will be better prepared next year.

Hunter and Hannah came home with bags full of candy. The night was officially a success!

Pumpkin Carving 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rob and I planned our trip to Pittsburgh in April and I was determined to not let it stop any of our Halloween fun. But as things go closer I found I wasn't as prepared as I had hoped to be. So we quickly went to pick out our pumpkins the night before we left so they would be ready when we got home on Tuesday for carving.

When we got home Tuesday I was exhausted! We had been awake since 3 am so we could catch our flight home. But, we had to get those pumpkins carved. Thankfully Rob is the greatest and took on the job so I could finish my reading and quiz that were due. 

Samantha was at work when we were carving pumpkins and then had to go practice a song as soon as she got home. So she quickly carved it on Halloween when she got home from church.

The pumpkins were a hit and everyone was happy so we are counting it as a win!!

Conference Challenges

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I am on day 8 without my social media, which has been fine because I often give my social media up for Lent, it is the best 40 day fast you have ever experienced. But, this time I fought it, in reality I fought a lot of the suggestions I was given this last weekend at General Conference.

For anyone who is reading this blog who is not familiar, General Conference is a twice a year gathering for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where we listen to inspiring messages from our church leaders. It is lovely and I always look forward to it.

But this time, I wasn't feeling it. In fact I was throwing a giant freaking tantrum about what I was hearing.

You see I was having a week, one of those weeks when everything I had been working hard to do went straight down the proverbial toilet. I didn't cook any meals, my running was hit or miss, my house was a disaster, and I had homework in a class I am just not loving. Not to mention three beautiful children who all had a million and a half activities and places they needed to be.

October 1st also fell on a Monday and I felt like it was like the holy trifecta of goal setting days. A good time, I felt, to really kick a few routines I had into high gear and make the most of the end of the year. So when the week ended up a disaster it only made me feel worse about my situation.

Monday the 1st, I ended up at work on what should have been my day off dealing with audits, and then taking money at a big event that night I had no plan of being a part of. But, they had just assumed I would be there and I am way too nice to ever let someone down, especially when they look like they are on the verge of a breakdown. So I put my needs and sanity aside to help someone else, and I paid for it all week.

Fast forward to Saturday night and me sitting in the garage after the women's meeting crying and telling Rob how I can't do it, I can't take on one more thing.

So he did what any good husband would do: he took my hand, led me to our bedroom, gave me my medicine, and tucked me into bed. You Guys, I slept for almost 12 hours. I woke up Sunday morning feeling so good.

That was until I sat down to watch the Sunday sessions of conference. And once again I was not very happy, I ended up sleeping through a lot of it Sunday afternoon, and wondering what in the world was my problem.

I am smart enough to understand resistance, especially when it is something important. I was also aware enough to see that the comments I was making were so far away from how I really feel and who I work so hard to be. So I decided what I needed was a major attitude adjustment and to put my faith to work.

So I made a plan, I started by listening to conference again Monday morning while I was cleaning, determined to find the direction I needed to take. I then went to Deseret Book and bought myself a Book of Mormon journal, which has wide margins for notes, and set my goal to have it read by the end of the year. (7 pages a day)

Samantha and I also got up early Wednesday morning to attend the Temple. We used to do this pretty regularly and had gotten out of the habit, but we are determined to pick it back up again.

And I would love to tell you this week has been amazing, everything has been running smoothly, and my family has been happily singing kumbaya. But guess what, this week has been hard, it has been busy, and last night I was so exhausted I sat in my bed with tears streaming down my face trying to finish reading my 7 pages. I ended up making it through 2 before I turned off my light and tried to convince myself that the 6 hours of sleep ahead of me was just as good as 8 or even 12.

One thing I have learned in all the years I have sought self improvement is this: the minute you begin to cultivate a new habit, or set out to accomplish a goal, the gates of hell will open in your front yard and release a force doing all they can to stop you. And I am sad to think of all the times I have let that force stop me, all the big plans I had to achieve something, and all the times I didn't push through and keep going.

But, I am finally to a point where I can stop and recognize what is going on. I know what it is and I have come to expect it. But, I have also become wise enough to fight back and not let it stop me.

In the last few weeks I have put new habits into place, they have made significant changes in my life, and they are simple. But there was opposition, massive opposition, and I have pushed through. And I am so very grateful I did.

So here's to putting faith in action, pushing through opposition, and creating changes in my life and in our home that will greatly impact all of our futures.

Back To School 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My kids have officially been in school for one week. One week to try and settle into our routines and the new normal that is facing us. It has been a school year of many changes, firsts, and lots of nerves.

Hannah Ruby is in 6th grade, I am planning to live in denial for the entire year that my last child is about to leave elementary school. For 4 of her 6 years in elementary school she has been put in class with a teacher in their first year. We have lucked out that they have all been pretty great, and so far she is really loving her teacher, who is in her first year. We were a bit bummed that she was not placed in Mrs. Hansen's class, I think we all just assumed she would be because we are all friends, but that is what I get for not requesting at the end of last year. 

This is Hannah's first year being in school without her brother, they are one grade apart, and I thought it might be tough. But, she is loving being top dog in the school!!! Also, I am slightly sad thinking this may be the last year she wears a unicorn horn and bright colored clothing, because we all know Jr. High can be rough, and I don't want her to loose it all just yet.

This boy, I love him so much, but I worry about him more than any of my kids. He has the biggest heart, is adorably goofy, and is bigger than all the other kids in his grade. For some reason this has made him a target at times for bullying. Knowing how rough Jr. High can be I have been a little nervous. Samantha ensured her brother was looked out for the best she could. Some of her best friends are left behind in the 9th grade and she made sure they are looking out for and being nice to her brother. Nothing has made my Mom heart happier than knowing she had done this for him.

So far so good, he is really liking most of his teachers. There have been a couple hiccups with his locker and getting where he needs to be. But, I think he will adjust and actually enjoy all the fun new classes he is involved in. He was very nervous to start and manage all he need to with seven different classes. We started sitting down together each night and going over the day and everything he needs to accomplish, we make him a list, and then he is rewarded with video game time if he accomplishes everything. So far it has been working well, and I have loved the time we spend together.

Samantha is starting High School this year, and she is also starting her first real job at Subway. We had hoped she would be able to start at Subway when she turned 16, but the owner asked her to start early because she had proven to be a hard worker over the summer cleaning the gas station. I was very grateful she started there one week before she started high school to help with the nerves. She was not excited to start school, there may have even been nervous tears before she left that first day, but thankfully after a week she is starting to settle in. Today was her first day off of work in a couple weeks and I realized how much I have missed having her around. Today she went with me to run errands and talked non-stop. I sat back listening to all I had missed in the last week and enjoying every minute. Except, the minute when she reminded me that she only has three years left of school before she heads out on her own.

I sure do love these three, we are all adjusting to our new normal, and I may have thought a few too many times "what happens when school starts for me in a couple weeks?". And then I try really hard not to think about that too much.

Three kids at three different schools is no joke though, it has been a little tricky managing car pools and buses. But, I think we are going to get there, we will settle in, and we will get into a routine. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Samantha has been driving to school every morning, she is counting down the days until her Dad isn't sitting in the passenger seat. And secretly, so am I. I am slightly terrified of her driving, but at the same time looking forward to another driver!!

And finally, I will leave you with Max, sitting in the sun relaxing while we all rushed to get to where we needed to be. Don't worry, we were not jealous at all!!