a play with friends and a clean closet to boot!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today as friends played I got to work and cleaned out my closet..... 

....making room for my new boots.

I have been looking for a pair of boots for a while now. I quickly found out that boots, especially ones that won't hurt my feet, are expensive! I had my eye on these Miz Mooz since last fall. As much as I loved them, I was unwilling to pay the price. I thought maybe in the summer they would go on sale, being off season. But would they have my size left?

A few weeks ago I saw that they were, in fact, on sale for 50% off, but they didn't ship to Canada. So I ordered them and had them sent to my sister-in-laws house, to be picked up when I went down last weekend to visit. Thanks Shannon. (Happy birthday. I hope you had a one!)

They fit perfectly, and the very best part - they are so comfortable. I am sure you are all so sick of hearing just how much my feet hurt........ but they do........ all the time. It is, I think, a fact of life for me from here on out. I need to be really careful. So when I find something that I like, that I can afford, and that is comfortable I get so excited. I do love shoes, after-all.

Now that summer has finally arrived I am all ready for fall. No rush, though. Fall, take your time coming. My boots will be waiting for me when you arrive.

Mom, I have a bag of things for you. It may or may not contain the grey flats you like! (They hurt my feet)
Also, good luck with your move. Missing you both. Love, Shelli

much ado about nothing

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

- The peonies are in full bloom and as beautiful as ever.

- The backyard pond frogs are basking in the sunshine.

- My closet is out of control again. I desperately want to tackle it.

- Inspired by my half marathon running friends, I went out on Monday and bought some new gear. 
You cannot go to an event like that and not get inspired. I ran 10k on Monday and again today. 
I tell you this because I was one of those people that couldn't run, or so I believed. 
I am not an athlete. I never have been. I am not naturally talented at sports.
I don't love every minute as I run. 
I do love when I am finished. I do love that I can push my body 
forward with my mind and do something hard. I do love the inner confidence that comes with 
achieving something you thought you could never do.  
How long will I keep it up? 
I don't know.....
It doesn't really matter. I am not in a competition. I am training my mind to never say never.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

We made it over to Vancouver Thursday evening, and headed to the Vadocz's house. After a great sleep we were off to Seattle with Jen Vadocz, making us a party of 3!

I think we all felt like princesses once we arrived at the Hotel. Valet parking opened our doors and took the car away to be parked. We checked in, and then went shopping. Shannon and Aubrey joined us for the day. Aubrey did so well! There was so much to see, I don't think we saw half of what we wanted to, but what we did see was enough. Most things were within walking distance. Otherwise, we were driven around in the hotel car. Those seats! - your body just melted into those seats. Even though it rained cats and dogs, we stayed pretty dry and had a ton of fun.

Our room was beautiful. I want to thank my brother-in-law, Jared, who works at the front desk of the Fairmont. He took such good care of us.

 This was probably my most favorite part of the room- the humongous dressing area. 
What a treat!

Me - trying to stay dry!

Cheeky Monkey 
( a.k.a. Aubrey with plastic friend)

 The market was fun to visit. If I lived in Seattle I would go there every week just to get fresh flowers. They were big and beautiful and just pennies a piece.

Friday evening we ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I ordered fish tacos. They came with a side of rice and black beans. 
I cannot begin to describe to you just how incredible the food was. 

 Saturday morning Rachel and Jen began their half marathon. I waited at the finish line under the Space Needle.

 Congratulations you two! It was one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen -
Not only them and their strength and determination, but as the crowds cheered everyone on I found myself getting choked up.

My favorite parts:
- the company
- the couch I slept on at the Vadocz's house (who knew a couch could be that comfy)
- the hotel
- spending time with Aubrey and Shannon and getting to see their place 
(I love the court yard garden just outside your door)
- downtown shopping 
- the food 
- the outlet mall (a first for me, as was almost everything else)
- finding some really great deals
- seeing the girls after the race (again, way to go!)

Seattle - It was so much fun to visit you. I cannot wait to go back!
Maybe next year I will actually run. Maybe, just maybe........

But now I am home again, and happy to be so. 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am leaving for Seattle today. Just myself and a friend - no children. I get to see my incredible sister-in-law, do some shopping, eat fabulous food and..... 

....... sleep here. The Fairmont.

I don't do this very often, go away overnight. But by the time summer comes around, after a long, happy, exhausting, fabulously fun year of home schooling, I recognize the need to.

Once upon I time I felt guilty when I desired time for myself. Those feelings left when homeschooling began. I am so grateful that I get to live this life. I get to have my children with me all day, every day. I do not need to tell you that it is not always a fairy tale. Those hard days are there and they are real, nevertheless, I choose this life! And although it is an all consuming way of living, I feel so blessed.

I am also ever grateful for a husband who understands and encourages me to do things for myself - things I enjoy. For 2 whole days I will not wipe a nose or a bottom. For 2 whole days I will not make a meal or wash a dish. And when I return I know that I will be eager to step back into my place as mom, and wrap my world around my most favorite people. But for 2 whole days that world is expanding, and I cannot wait!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

 Here's to picnics on the grass,

summer reading lists,

 climbing trees,

feet fit for sandals,

 warm sun on lily white legs,

and backyard camp-outs!

Welcome summer. We are glad you are here.

Daddy's Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To the giver of horse rides, and piggy backs, to the pusher of swings, to him who teaches little hands how to throw a ball and ride a bike, for the one who puts the worm on the hook, and carries sleeping wee ones up to bed, for the man whose heart was stolen the moment he looked into his daughters eyes and whose footsteps are followed in by the little red runners of sons, to our superman and our prince charming, for the one who picks up the sad and fallen and puts them back on the horse - your role is immeasurable. Your daughters need to believe that you think they are beautiful. They need your protection. Your sons need to know that you are a man of honor. They will grow seeing, not a man of perfection, but one being perfected through Christ. They will see the goodness with which you love their mother, and the endless sacrifice you make so that we can enjoy a most beautiful life. To the man that I married, to the father of our 5 children, I am so grateful for the hope you hold in your heart of something grand, I am grateful for the strength you share with us all - In the words of Nya, "Happy Daddy's Day"

All Darren requested for Father's Day was a cake. I had big plans to make one from scratch,
but when the kids saw this while we were grocery shopping they thought it was just perfect
for their dad - the blue icing reminded them of waves. When we got home a lego surfer was
added by little boys with big imaginations!

And to my own dad, 
I am glad we both survived my adolescence to be able to really like each other. 
Happy Father's Day! I love you dearly.

This brought tears to my eyes. The kids kept looking from the video to me, trying to figure out why I would feel emotional about this.
Simply, it is the sweetest idea ever! I wish I had seen this before I had my first little baby. But it's never too late, I suppose.
Dads, your love and kindness is so important to your children.

"Young men, you are your father’s pride and joy. In you they see a promising future and their hope for a better, improved version of themselves. Your accomplishments are a joy to them. Your worries and problems are their worries and problems.
Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them."  

~ M. Russell Ballard ~

"God bless you, dear fathers. May He bless you with wisdom and judgment, with understanding, with self-discipline and self-control, with faith and kindness and love. And may He bless the sons and daughters who have come into your homes, that yours may be a fortifying, strengthening, guiding hand as they walk the treacherous path of life. As the years pass—and they will pass ever so quickly—may you know that “peace … which passeth all understanding” as you look upon your sons and daughters, who likewise have known that sacred and wonderful peace." 

~ Gordon B. Hinckley ~

a battle I will never win

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Warning: If you are 25 years or younger I forbid you to read any further. Come back in 10 years.
If you insist upon reading, I must demand that you file this post away in your mind until such time as it applies to you. And believe me when I tell you that day will come before you expect it. This post is not for the judgmental, nor is it for my daughters. It is for me, for the humor I need to find in the process of maturing. For the internal struggle I feel as a living, breathing, aging human being. Naysayers and critics keep out. Having said that I would like to assure you that I do know beauty comes from the inside. I do believe that extreme vanity is a waste of time, and not of eternal importance, but at the end of the day, although I am a girl who knows that she is beloved by God, I am still a girl, and I want to look the best I can.

I am turing 35 this year. I cannot believe that I can say that. Granted, it is not until December, but still.
Imagine this: As soon as you turn one year older the calendar flips over to the next year and you can, having been this new age for only 11 days, say that this year you will be yet another year older. It is depressing. But I digress.

I remember watching a commercial at least 15 years ago, I do not remember what they were promoting, but it was filled with beautiful women of different ages, some with laugh lines, some with a full head of gorgeous silver-grey hair. The premise: growing old gracefully, accepting the affects of time and loving yourself anyways, and even more so because. It was truly inspiring. I just knew that I was going to be one of those women who would love and embrace every new line and grey hair. These would somehow speak to the world of my happy life, the skin I was confident in, and the inner peace I had come to feel.

Contrast this with an episode of Oprah aired around the same time. She was interviewing Cher who spoke openly of her resistance to aging. I felt so sad for her, and I thought it kind of pathetic. She was beautiful, she always will be, but she was no longer young and would never be again.

In my early twenties I was given a bottle of wrinkle cream in a sample kit of beauty supplies. I promptly gave it to my mother, not because I thought she needed it, but because I certainly did not! And then I blinked my eyes....

I feel as though I have reached the apex of the hill of life. The incline seemed to exist in real time. But now that I am at the top (or was a short time ago) the decline seems to only be available in fast forward. Why is this? One thing goes, and is inevitably followed by three more. A wrinkle here, a grey hair there, a spider vein below, a sun spot above. The list goes on. And the cold hard truth is I am not being swept along gracefully like I thought I would be. I am digging in my heels. I am attempting to swim against the current and looking for ways to reverse the sands of time. It seems ironic to me that the moment I began to feel really good about myself, all those childish insecurities gone, is the moment that the signs of age have decided to invade me with their unwanted presence.

I recently came across an audio book from the library by Nora Ephron called, I Feel Bad About My Neck. When I picked it up and read the back I knew it was for me. I am taking it as entertainment and not gospel, and so far I am really enjoying it. I will let you know if it goes horribly wrong. I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when she got to the part about her mustache. I laughed out loud! As much as it embarrasses me to admit, I could relate. If you cannot, count your lucky stars, but you may not find it as funny, which is a shame. 

The two worlds must unite. I need to accept the fact that I am and will continue to age, while trying to look the best I can at whatever age I happen to be.

I cannot promise, as sinful as some may think it, that I will never turn to Botox, and I am sorry to say that I am not interested in your judgements of me, nor do I care about the health concerns of this procedure. Let us remember that I have not yet done it. I am only pointing out, and quite honestly so, that I will never say never. I won't win the battle, but I do intent to keep the opposition at bay as long and, for now, as naturally as possible.

I do not pretend to have any vast knowledge in the beauty department, but I have learned a few things thus far in my not quite 35 years of life as a female. There is nothing life changing or unexpected here, only things we all know, but usually overlook in their simplicity:

1. Drink water, as much as your bladder will hold.

2. Stay out of the sun, at least keep your face out of it. Use sunscreen. Wear a hat.

3. Eat healthy, or don't complain - simple as that.

4. Take your vitamins.

5. After a certain age, don't ever look down into a mirror at you face. It will depress you.

6. Don't try to look 20 when you are 30. Be the best 30 year old you can be, and so on throughout the years (this one I learned from a dear friend).

7. Remember that beauty, quite literally comes from the inside. I know, I know - That is something mothers say to make their daughters feel better. But I am sure we have all met someone we thought to be very beautiful and upon getting to know them better have quite changed our opinions upon the matter. Take care not only of your body, but your health, your spirit, and your soul.

8. Get enough sleep - period.

9. Less is usually more. The older I get the more I realize that make-up doesn't always stay were it is applied. It ends up in places it was never intended to be, leaking into fine lines and wrinkles, and transferred as if by magic further and further up my eyelid.

And last but certainly not least,

10. If you think it's beautiful, forget about what anyone else thinks. Be yourself.

My beauty tip for the week: Calamine lotion. This helps to shrink acne spots. At night, after I have washed and applied cream to my face, I dab calamine lotion to spots when needed. It is not a miracle drug, but I have noticed it helps quite a bit. Some times I have had overnight results, drying up and healing spots. Sometimes it takes longer, but it is a great, natural, gentle fix. The best part, it costs pennies a bottle.

I know life is not fair. I tell my wee ones at least twice a day, but really, should anyone have 
to fight wrinkles and acne at the same time? In the words of my 6 year old, "That's not fair!"

One thing is for sure, though. I will never be too old to enjoy good music!
I am one of those crazy, kitchen dancing moms that imagines in some alternate universe
I could have had a fabulous career in theater.

This is a great song (thank you Katie and Krista)
If you can keep yourself from dancing, I do not know what's wrong with you.

And because I really like this version too.......