July 31, 2010

Our Princess

When I found out I was having a girl after two boys, I was ecstatic! She has been such a joy to have in our family. She's such a girly-girl, so I get my fill of frill with her. Her sensitivity towards others is touching, and her creativity amazes me all the time.

Some of her favorites.........
Color: Purple (for today)
Books:  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn
Movies:  Uhhh....Duh!
Activity:  Baking, Drawing, Painting, Swimming, Hanging out with friends
Food:  Sushi probably?

Hailey's blessing day. Noah's little peek around the corner cracks me up.

Always a "daddy's girl". She's got him wrapped around her finger.

She's always been such a girlie-girl. Here, she comes out to help Daddy with the yard, but she still needs her heels on.

Rachel's Wedding
She's always been very imaginative and creative. One day I caught her setting up a "classroom" in my shower.

Her dream is to be a cake maker. I've always admired what people can do with cakes, and it was her that got me into trying to make them. It's been fun coming up with creative ideas for cakes with her.

She's always absolutely LOVED dressing up. My favorite Halloween costumes she's worn have always been the ones that come with a wig. Especially that Snow White one.  She looked so funny with that little round head.

I feel so blessed to have a daughter as loving and sweet as she is. She wishes she could have a sister. However, I know she loves some of the perks of being the only girl. I also enjoy having just one and being able to focus all my "girl" attention to just her. I feel a different bond with her as we stick together in a house full of manliness. I love her with all my heart and am thankful to my Heavenly Father for sending her to me.

July 29, 2010

What You Don't See

I came upon a web post on Mormon Times today written by Tiffany Gee Lewis. As I read it, I realized that I am not the only one who feels lacking in one way or another as a mother. It's so true that we compare our WORST attributes with the BEST of everyone else. I often feel like I'm trying to do it all, but it just doesn't happen. This article gave me a boost & I hope will help anyone who reads here as well.

What you don't see, when we all march into church on Sunday morning, is the chaos of the morning that happened just 10 minutes earlier.

What you don't see, when you look at my four little boys in their suits, is that the 7-year-old is wearing Dad's socks because we couldn't find his. And they go all the way up to his knees.

What you don't see, when I pull out the lovely quiet book I made a few years back, is that below it, in my church bag, are five baggies of smashed raisins because I haven't cleaned out the bag for months.

When you enter my house, with its shining entryway, you don't see the three loads of laundry dumped on my bed. Or the dirty pots I stashed in the oven. And you will never see the interior of my minivan, not until I find the time to vacuum it out.

When you admire the hand-sewn pajamas I made for all the kids, we don't talk about the three nights I got no sleep to make those.

If you look on my blog, you will see pictures of homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. You won't see my confession to popping in a frozen pizza THREE times last week for dinner.

Or the night we ate Cheerios for dinner, dry, because we were out of milk. There is a zoom on my camera for a reason. There is a delete button for a reason.

I don't think we're all playing a part. We naturally want to put our best selves forward, so that is what other people see. They don't see what's going on behind the scenes. I like to think that good parenting is like a duck on the water. What you see is the gentle, almost effortless gliding, not the furious paddling that happens underneath.

I keep a mental list of about ten people I want to stalk by camera, from morning to night, to see how they do it all. Are they up at 4 a.m.? Can they survive on three hours of sleep? Do they have a housekeeper? Because I drop balls just as fast as I can grab them. My intentions are of pure gold, but they come out as tinkling brass, at best.

I started a blog last fall. I dragged my feet into it for many reasons. One of the main reasons I hesitated was I didn't want to be another contributor to the cyberspace guiltosphere out there. Especially where mothers are concerned, do we need one more reason to feel guilty?

Because from the looks of things, other families are happier, their houses are cleaner, their marriages are better, their clothes are more stylish and their craftiness is even more crafty. Their lives are perfectly lovely, while my kids are running around screaming in their diapers.

My worst fears were confirmed last week when I got an e-mail from a friend who asked, "How do you do it all? Your column, your blog, all the things you do with your children? You're amazing!"

I looked around at my house, at the six bins of winter clothes waiting to be transported to the garage, at the sewing projects stacked against the wall, at the state of the toothpaste crusted to the sink ... I let things go, a lot of things.

A spanking-clean house is not a high priority for me. I'm a big believer in mud and its importance in a child's life. The time I take to write is time away from scrubbing that bathroom sink. I would rather read with my kids than shop at the mall, so I am certainly not up-to-date on the latest styles. I've been listening to the same music for 20 years because I can't seem to keep up with the latest music scene. And I require a lot of sleep.

We all have priorities. For some, it is keeping a spotless house, and they are good at it. For others, it is writing, or exercising, or serving others. And yes, there are some who seem to do it all, the Benjamin Franklins of the world. I tell myself I don't have to be them. And also, Benjamin Franklin was not much of a family man. Even he let things go.

What we don't see, when we look at each other on Sunday, or on blogs, or in our shiny kitchens, is that we all have different talents and unique situations. I tell my kids all the time: Life is not a race. The only person you are competing against is yourself.

What we forget to see, when admiring others, is our own personal finish line.

July 18, 2010

Carrie!! (take 2)

(My loving hubby so kindly "published" this post while it was sitting unfinished on the computer, instead of "saving". The following is actually what I was wanting to initially publish.)

Last year, a number of Hailey's friends were raving about how they got to go see the Jonas Brothers in concert. It hurt her feelings, and she felt very jealous, but I asked her of anyone who performs, who would she rather see? I knew the answer, but wanted to hear it straight from her mouth. The problem was, Carried Underwood hadn't been touring, so she'd have to wait.

Then, in October of this year, I heard she was coming to Vegas. So I jumped on the computer & snagged a couple of tickets to see the concert. My plan was to give it to her for her birthday. However, her birthday wasn't for four more months. It was hard keeping it from her, and even harder telling her I didn't know if we could go when she'd ask if I'd bought tickets yet. Then her birthday arrived. It had been so long since I bought them, I completely spaced that I had them. So, even though it was few days after the fact, she opened her birthday present. I wish I could have had her reaction on film. She talked about it all the time, and even though the concert wasn't for another few months, the excitement never died. Even though I took tons of pictures & video, here's just a sample......

Displaying the shirt she made before the concert.

Julie (my sis), Mom, Hailey & I on our way out.

Craig Morgan was one of her opening acts. I didn't recognize his name, but I recognized a ton of his songs from the radio.

This was another opening act. I don't even remember their name. They were not exactly our favorite. Julie even studied her medical book for class during their act. One song's chorus just wore out our nerves. In order to have fun with it, Julie got gansta with it.

Her opening number was Cowboy Casanova. Seriously, her voice is amazing! She sounds JUST like she does on the radio/albums. You know how there are people that just don't sing well live (ahem Taylor Swift)? Not her!!!

At one point, she came out singing on the back of a "flying" pickup. It was cool just having her get so close for Hailey to see her better. I purposely took this picture with Hailey's face in the corner, so you could see how close she was here.

Many random pics I took of Julie & I. Couldn't seem to get a good one.

Finally a decent one!!!

Hailey's prized Carrie concert shirt.