Sunday, March 9, 2014

for Grandmas

There are too many pictures and things to share!
Life is full and I go to bed exhausted and wake up running the moment my feet hit the ground. But I wouldn't trade any of the people in my life; family or friends.
I am blessed.

 Maire with side pony-tail, leg warmers, jean jacket and neon t-shirt for 80's day.  I was telling her how we used to pinch and roll our jeans and she said, "YOU were alive in the 80s!!!!"

 Rachael and Erica, making cookies on a snow day.  We have had SO. MANY. SNOW. DAYS.  Not that we have had so much snow compared to some (I have a friend in Michigan, and we won't even talk about how much snow they are getting) but we have had so many snow days where the kids have not gone to school.  We have had only one week since before Christmas where we have not had a delay, snow day, or holiday.  Just this week we had Monday and Tuesday off because of snow.  School is now scheduled to end on June 24th.  June 24th people.  sigh.
 Erica at the dentist.  have you ever seen a cuter patient?  She was so happy it was her turn to sit in the chair.
 Sarah.  This picture is so Sarah.  Her life is so full, just like her hands. She is doing the juggling act of life with school, friends, family, extra activities, finding out where she fits, and not wanting to miss out on anything.  You see she has her sneakers around her neck because she had PE but she wanted to wear her boots (cause they are cute!).  Her notebook (school), her lunchbox which more often than not has candy and not nutrition, her trumpet, and on top of her notebook is undoubtedly her kindle and her sketch book because she is always creating.  And her coat, only on her head because her mother makes her take a coat to school when it is 30 degrees outside, go figure.  But on top of it all is her BIG smile.
Just a look at her perfect, intelligent face.  It is not still for long and those eyes--she is thinking something, planning something, calculating something.

 Rachael's braid!  Isn't it beautiful?  Her hair is so thick, this is three braids braided together.  She does it all by herself.  Her hair creations are always so beautiful.
And how appropriate is it that I couldn't find a picture of Elizabeth except this one of her (bottom middle) and her friends at a dance.  'Cause that is where she always is, with her friends, and at a dance.  Love this girl--and her friends too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Babies and Sisters

Ah, Happy New Year!

New year.  New me.  New haircut.  New challenges.  New schedule. New goals.!

My sister had her baby!  
Oh it is so fun to be this close to a pregnancy without being pregnant!  I love all my babies, and I don't mind many parts of pregnancy, and honestly...I LOVE giving birth, but watching my sister go through it was a pure joy.
Charlotte Jane was born almost a week ago and it has been so exciting!  I was able to go and stay with my sister for a night and help her care for the baby--burping and diapering and cuddling.  Oh so sweet to hold a new baby!  She is so tiny--even though she is 21 inches long.  She snuggles into you and is so soft and delicate.  She has beautiful eyes that stare at you and then find their way to mom.  Her hair is perfect--soft and fluffy.  But her best feature is her disposition.  She is so calm and quiet.  She fusses every now and then but not for long almost as if to say, "Oh, well, I guess I'm alright.  I'll cry about it another time but I'm done now."

My sister is holding up all right.  Every day gets a little better even as new challenges present themselves.  And she and her husband are so good they will make it through sleep deprivation together just fine.  There have been some tough days.  Days with tears and frustrations and help needed.  Times when I couldn't escape my own kids and High School orientation (?!!) and play practice, and homework.

One night I threw together the ability to go visit after a very hectic (late) school day and as I drove to see my sister to help, and we cried together about all that darn nursing stuff that is so much more difficult that you realize until the time comes, I thought about how much I LOVE my sisters.  We are all such good friends.  We would do anything for each other.  We share each other's joys and triumphs and each other's sorrows and pains and frustrations.  They are the ones I want to hang out with the most.  Going to dinner, talking at Mom's house, planning a retreat, sharing the gospel, they are my best friends.  No other friends know me as well as my sisters.

And my next thought was, "I hope my daughters can have that with each other somed...."
I started to say, "someday" in my mind.  But someday is NOT what I want for them.  When they argue and nit pick over ever thing from elbow room to who sits where to how exactly someone is allowed to use an accent when playing the Harry Potter/Star Wars/Pixie Hollow/Winnie the Pooh crossover, I really wish they could be so close NOW.  The world around them is getting so harsh.  Popular images of families show discord among siblings.  And friends will come and go for the rest of their lives (especially if we keep living in DC area where all the military and state department families come and stay for 1-4 years and leave giving us at least one broken-hearted daughter a summer whose 'best friend' has moved away.  again).

They need each other now.  And frankly they are stuck with each other so they might as well learn to like it.  'Cause I know in the end, they will!  I need to show them specifics of how great it is to be friends with your sisters.  "I'm so happy today because my sister got a new job!!  I get to share in her excitement.  I hope you guys will always be good friends and share in each others' happiness!"  "Do you see how sad I am?  It is because my sister is sad and I don't know how to help her, but I love her, so I called to tell her that and I got to comfort my sister.  I hope you guys will comfort each other too.  Sisters are the best friends in the world!"  "I'm went out to eat with my sisters and we had the best time together.  I hope you guys like doing things together too."

If I knew all of my daughters will be friends and will stay friends in their adult years, most of my worries would be gone.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Sunday Pictures

Here are a few pictures taken on Christmas Sunday 2012.
I wanted to get some nice Christmas dresses for each of the girls but had to settle for homemade skirts.  I do love the fabric though and it was so fun to have them dressed together and looking festive to celebrate Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Together Again

Here is a video of Ehlers' Thanksgiving.  I'm still new at the video-making thing, but I had a lot of fun doing this.  There are some parts that don't quite look right, but I love family and pictures and memories.  Didn't take many pictures of the adults and only a few when Hazel was here, but I hope everyone likes it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blank Inside

My brother is moving.
It's not just my brother. He is moving with his wife and 3 cute kids, and I will miss them all, but I am going to miss my brother.
Which is weird, 'cause... he's my younger brother.
I don't even know what to say!  The tears have flowed so freely about this--ugh.

I AM really excited for him.  He is moving to Idaho, and he loves it there.  Every time they go back to visit there, he comes back saying, "We should all move to Idaho!"  He gets that look in his eye and the sound in his voice that he has always gotten when he has a good idea that he is trying to get everyone on board with, and it is going to be FUN, and it will be even better if we all do it together.
And I love fresh starts and change and going new places--so I am so excited for him.
But I am going to miss him being here.

I have always wanted an older brother.  Always.  He would teach me how to do things, be protective of me, call me pretty, let me tag along (but only sometimes) and I would have a crush on  his friends and marry one of his best friends.  But I didn't have an older brother, I had seven YOUNGER siblings.  And the closest one was Andy.  I won't go into detail of how I felt about Andy while we were growing up.  We were always at odds--and yet, when I look back, maybe we weren't 'cause we did some fun things together too.  But I really didn't think he would amount to much.  And, I was always...older.  Older, older, older.  I always knew better and was smarter and he was always younger.

But that changed when we were on our missions.
I remember being in my apartment in Bucharesti and being quite frustrated.  I don't remember exactly what it was.  Since I was in Bucharesti it was most likely winter and cold and dark and we had a couple baptisms that stopped coming to church and there were problems with our small branch and...  I was in a place that needed understanding and support.  We got letters when we went to district meetings from the office so we came home for lunch that day and I sat down on my bed to read.  There was a letter from Andy.  From Ireland.  Where he was a missionary.  I don't even remember what the letter said, but I remember that I was impressed so strongly that he was counseling and comforting me with wisdom of a missionary.  He left on his mission before I did.  He was the one 'going before' this time.  He had experience and wisdom.  He didn't even know of my frustrations when he wrote the letter, he just wrote a letter--probably following the spirit--and I had my wish.. of an older brother.

I know I was born first, and there are more candles on my cake than on his each year, but he is my peer and so often just like an older brother.  No, I did not have crushes on his friends, but he is protective and caring.  He is wise and wonderful.  He is strong in his values and his love of family and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He strives to be a good father, husband, provider, and citizen.  He serves others, and works hard (we never thought this was possible!).  But perhaps the thing that I love the most is with all that, he has a thirst for LIFE and doing, and being, and trying, and enjoying. He always has some new thing he has read, tried, thought about, or wants to try.

And not only that, he made me iodine free chocolate cake when I was going through treatment for my thyroid cancer, 'cause he loves me.
He's the Luke Skywalker to my Princess Leia  and I will miss him.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Outcome

I have NOT posted every day this month like my original plan was.  Mostly because I have so much going through my mind but I don't know how to put it in a blog.  I have been, well...not obsessed, but the elections and the outcome have been on my mind a lot the past week.
I am a republican.  Mostly.
I honestly don't feel that either party represents me at all.  Since high school civics class I have viewed myself as a liberal republican or a conservative democrat   I'm not sure I am even a 'moderate.'  But four years ago, I was fed up.  Republicans seemed arrogant and out of touch.  Perhaps the media does a good job of molding the news in exactly that way.  Well, whatever it was, it worked.  And then Sarah Palin was chosen for VP?  Seriously?
I voted for Obama in 2008.  I really like him.  I thought he had the potential to be a good leader.
Over the past four years it doesn't seem like he has been able to do much but four years is a short time. And congress has been HORRIBLE for all four years. I like that he is working to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Notice, I didn't say 'end the war' because I don't think we can end that war.  But it is time to get out of there and bring the military HOME to their families.  I don't think "Obamacare" was a success at all because there is still a lot that we don't know and there is still so much disagreement.  But I do agree that something has to be done and he really wanted to get it done.

(ugh.  I'm stuck.  how do i get from here to where i want to go? this is why i haven't blogged in 4 days.)

State of the Union in January 2012 I still really like Obama.  Republican primaries came out and each candidate made me wince a little.  They were too....too something.  and too much.  As I examined my perspective I realized that my only problem with Romney was that he was too rich.  I didn't THINK he was oily or untrustworthy.  But I realized I was worried about him only because he is rich.  Well, Obama is rich too.  So I started listening to Romney.  Not what the news was saying about him, but listening to him.
I am Mormon.  FACT: all Mormons did not vote for Romney.  FACT: not all Mormons are Republican.  In fact many of my friends and family are Democrats.  And I don't think that I started thinking that I needed to vote with Romney to show Mormon solidarity.  But the fact that he is Mormon and I am Mormon did influence me vote.  I could answer positively to the statement that "This candidate is like me or understands me and my life."
When I hear that he was a Bishop and Stake President I know what that means in his life because my father was a Bishop and a Stake President.
Because he is Mormon and I am Mormon, I was connected to social networks that knew stories about him off camera and I read them.
The LDS church makes the world a little bit smaller because everyone knows everyone--or at least knows someone else that you know.
It's kind of like the "Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon." [my six degrees are (1) the neighbor that lived upstairs in one of our first apartments had a (2) cousin who was in (3) Footloose in the final dance number with Kevin Bacon. Yeah, I'm only separated from Kevin Bacon by 3 degrees.]
I do not know Romney personally, but my cousin lives in Boston, in Romney's stake and so I have heard stories about Romney and his family from my cousin.  My Mom's cousin worked for the Romney campaign and he's been pushing for Romney since 2008. He is an amazing, smart, thoughtful person and I value his opinions   I've never been that close to a candidate for the office of President of the United States before.
Then there was Romney himself.  I thought that he played a clean campaign.  I thought he was very honest.  I like that he distanced himself from the extreme right after he was nominated.  I thought he did very well in the debates.  The debates were perhaps the turning point for me.  There was no media spin on the debates, they were uncut and I could watch them live--not clips of speeches taken out of context.  And Obama did not do so well in the debates.
It also crossed my mind that Romney couldn't be 'bought.'  He already has enough money so he wasn't in it for the money/bribes/lobby.  I am not entirely sure that Obama is above being 'bought.'
The other thing that turned me off to the democrats--not so much Obama, but the democrats--was turning Romney into a woman's rights hater. But I will save that for another post altogether cause I'm not ready to put that together yet.

Yes--I voted for Romney
No--I don't think that Obama's re-election marks the beginning of the end.
I think they are both good men with a desire to help their country and the people that live in this country with them.  They just have different ideas of how to do that.
"Ah there's the rub."