Thursday, June 30, 2011

Extra Hands

soon to be available free download via  -and I must say I love this quote!

After returning from our trip to Las Vegas, the husband was on a plane the next day for a week-long business trip.  I've gotten the hang of these trips by now, and although they're not my favorite, I can usually survive ok.  But this time I called my best friend a few weeks ago to invite her to come hang out and be my back-up, and because she's the best she agreed.

I've been off playing the past few days with her and having much more fun than would have happened if I'd truly been on my own with the kids.  We shopped and picnicked and cooked and swam and lunched and stayed up way too late every night chatting.  It was summer perfection, and now my kids are wondering what we're going to do without Amy around.  I agree- we live much too far from each other for my liking, but I don't think either of us is looking to relocate any time soon.  In the mean time we'll just need to enjoy the quick trips back and forth.

Today will be spent catching up with my friends close by and catching up on the life tasks I've been neglecting for the past week and a half.  And can I admit that I'm feeling a little blue that it's already the last day of June?  This month always goes by way too fast- a preview of how I'm sure to feel at the end of summer.  Hope you're enjoying these fleeting summer days!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Home Again

Miss A on the left with her favorite cousin ready for flower girl duties -forgive the iphone pics

We just got home from a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for a family wedding.  It was great to gather with extended family from across the country and enjoy lazy days at the fancy resort pool and nights filled with wedding festivities.  The kids held up fairly well, and the husband and I had some great time to talk while driving.  All in all it was a great trip, but there was one overall theme that stuck out to me throughout our travels.

de-Man ready for the wedding (although he wouldn't walk down the aisle when the time came)

On our way down, we stopped in St. George- home of a convenient off the freeway Costco for (slightly) cheaper gas and a nearby In-N-Out for a quick bit of burger heaven.  We ventured into the restaurant to stretch our legs and give the kids a chance to use the bathroom, and after ordering we attempted to find a place to sit.  It was a busy lunch hour, but a man at a table slid over to join his group at a neighboring counter to make room for our family.  I thanked him for his gesture and we all proceeded to eat.  As he was finishing up with his group, these men all turned to us and started commenting on our family and reminiscing about their own.  They complimented our kids on their BYU-blue eyes and sweet smiles, and then the man who moved tables lingered to talk.  "I really miss those days when my kids were small.  It goes by so quickly."  We asked about his family and he informed us that his youngest was 12, his oldest 24 and had recently produced the first grandchild.  "I guess I'm glad it's starting over now that the grandkids are starting," he smiled.  "You have a beautiful family."  The tenderness from this 50-something out with his buddies and their teenage boys was pure sweetness.  He was a family man, and it was easy to see.  I appreciated him taking the time to talk with us and continued to think about our conversation.

the Muffin asleep in the car after afore-mentioned trip to In-N-Out- note the burger on the left
And then over and over again, all weekend long, his words were repeated.  Strangers at the hotel breakfast, doting relatives, all echoing the words, "You have a beautiful family."  Traveling with my kids isn't a very...ahem...relaxing experience for me (I'm sure you're shocked).  So amidst the lack-of-sleep-induced moods and the stress of almost losing the middle child during the rehearsal dinner in the middle of a casino and trying to keep up with food allergies while not eating at home and all of the other not so relaxing events, it was just the reminder I needed.  I have a beautiful family, and I know someday I will really miss these days when my kids are small.  I am grateful I get to be in the here and now with them, moods and all.

It's good to be home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

long weekend

I'm signing off early for the week. Things are busy around here!

-Monday was spent climbing mount laundry. And checking off the kinds of paperwork/ household management things I loathe. And paying the refrigerator repair man $300 for replacing the motherboard on the fridge, a ten- minute job. But hopefully now my freezer will start freezing and my fridge will stop freezing.
-Tuesday was spent running errands. Trips to the pediatrician, the bank, the nordstrom swim department dressing room (not sure what I was thinking attempting that one), the hair dresser (I feel about 75 saying hair dresser- I prefer hair girl), and target were all accomplished along with a few other stops for good measure.
- House guests and getaways are all in the works, and the list of things to do just keeps growing.

Hope you all have a fabulous first "official" summer weekend. And thanks for stopping by- Bee hit over 10,000 page views last weekend since launching about 4 months ago. Thanks for being a part of it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

By My Side


I never realized that one of the best things about being a mom would be watching my husband be a dad. The moment we had Miss A we looked at each other, eyes full of tears, and I knew our relationship had just gained a new beautiful facet.  We came home from the hospital, parents together, and I fell in love with him all over again as I watched him become a dad.  He was helpful and I'd cry.  He'd help the baby stop crying and I'd cry.  I realize I was a mess of hormones and emotions, but I think hormones aside it was truly moving to watch him grow into his new role, to see him in the process of becoming.  

And truly, he's the best.  I know it's cliche, but he really is the best for me and for our family.  It's not surprising that since he balances me in all things, the same is true in parenting.  He's firm when I'm gentle.  He's calm when I'm high-strung.  He's fun when I'm all business.  Our kids adore him, and so do I.  

I'm so glad we had the chance to celebrate yesterday.  He was still in the trenches of parenting with me all day long- it was a busy Sunday- but he wouldn't have it any other way.  I love this man.  Parenting with him- along with everything else in life- is better together. 

Hope you had a great weekend!  I'll be back soon with a laundry list of happenings around here.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reminding Myself

found via pinterest

School ended a short 12 days ago, and I'm already finding a need to remind myself of what is most important.  Week one was great.  I've set up some structured time for the kids throughout the day with things they need to accomplish each day, and they were excited to check off their responsibilities.  Week two has come and some things are already fizzling.  I think I need to come up with more incentive/resolve to help them stick to their daily tasks.

But tasks aside, I have to remind myself to let some things go.  In the big picture, it didn't really matter that the baby was woken up by an eager big brother after only a half hour nap.  What did matter was the way I chastised said big brother and hurt his feelings.  In the big picture, it didn't really matter that Miss A ate so much watermelon at dinner she neglected her smoothie.  In the big picture, it didn't really matter that the muffin wanted to walk through the house shaking empty boxes of rice milk, but getting the few last drops everywhere in the process.  And it didn't matter that he spilled half his smoothie.  And it didn't matter that he unfolded all the socks I had just matched.  And it didn't matter that above instances were less than half my day.  Yes, I need to help teach cleanliness and order, but the above mentioned events don't matter enough to make me lose my cool and ruin my mood.  I've been forgetting that.

I find myself needing this reminder all.the.time.  I get so wrapped up in what must be done that I become easily frustrated when things are stopping my progress.  And that frustration leads me to be not the nicest mom.  And then any fun plans go out the window because I've become frustrated.  I'm realizing I don't always bounce back as quickly as I should from all these things that really don't matter- I let them build and color my day.  I lose my perspective that they really don't matter.  Life is full of messes and mistakes.  I make my own fair share.  But I'm grateful that the One I'm apologizing to doesn't hold it over me or let it influence anything else.  I need to give my own kids that some gift.  And I hope that I can really change and I won't be needing to give myself this reminder again in the next few weeks.

In case you need more of a reminder, this video helped me put things in perspective.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A few thoughts on my day

image via

Last year on my birthday I received a call from the social security office.  They were calling to let me know that the disability application for my dad was approved.  The application process had been started six months before, and I was beginning to wonder if we would ever hear that news we'd been waiting for.  The timing of it all was beautiful and beyond coincidence- a birthday gift from my Heavenly Father.  It was such a blessing and made turning 28 the best birthday ever- I can't even think of an event or a gift that could top it.  

Today I'm 29.  I love birthdays.  There is something really awesome to me when I think about truly celebrating a life- it is something worth celebrating!  The older I get, the more reflective I become on my birthday.  Each year feels like a milestone as I become myself, as I feel more comfortable in my own skin, as I work hard to be who I desire to be, and as I realize that my little choices everyday are what shape my years.    

Birthdays have changed for me over the years.  The focus has shifted from what I hope to receive to what I hope to feel.  All I want for my birthday is to feel loved.  And with my best friend by my side and three beautiful kids, I feel that way everyday.  That reason alone can help me to live the message above- to start each day like it's my birthday.  To me it means to start each day full of hope and contentment and feeling lifted by others.  I think it's the perfect way to start each day at 29, and I'm planning to give it a go.  Hope you will, too!   

Wishing a happy day to each of you!  Thank you so much for stopping by here at Bee.  Readers are what make a blogger feel loved, and I appreciate all of you.  xo

Monday, June 13, 2011

After the Weekend

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Ah, Monday- the day after the weekend spent digging out and catching up, restoring the order that came on Saturday and unraveled on Sunday.

Friday was long.  Honestly, every day has felt long over the past week.  When the muffin started oral steroids Tuesday, it created a snowball effect and by the time we reached Sunday, the baby rage that comes with a baby on steroids was at an all time high.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday my mom and her husband were in town, and they watched the big kids while the husband and I packed up the baby to head to allergy testing.  He handled the scratch testing much better than I expected, and the results were about what I was expecting.  He has confirmed egg, peanut, and tree nut allergies.  His dairy and soy reactions are only protein intolerance, so we can begin slowly introducing those foods- a definite victory to me!  His asthma is in a worse place than I anticipated, and we've started daily nebulizer treatments which will hopefully help us avoid the need for oral steroids.  The appointment was a flood of information, but it was really great to finally start to get a handle on some of it.  We'll get more results this Friday which may show more allergies through the lab work that they didn't test for in the scratch test, so I'm bracing myself for more potential bad news.  But overall, I feel like this is manageable.  There is still a huge learning curve and some big lifestyle changes, but I don't doubt that we'll adjust.

The rest of the weekend was spent filling many prescriptions, cooking out Friday night with my mom, planting the garden (oh so late in the season!) Saturday morning, doing chores, sneezing thanks to this intense allergy season, and hanging out.  Saturday night the husband had to go to work for routine maintenance.  He left about 8 and didn't get home until I was on my way to our 1:00 pm church meetings on Sunday.

I was single-mom-ing it at church on Sunday, and I think it was a record-setting bad day. Back to the afore-mentioned baby rage muffin, he just wouldn't sit still.  And he cried and pouted.  I let him get down to wander. He stayed close at first, but got more brave and before I knew it I was running from the back of the chapel to the front.  Just when I picked him up he bent over and grabbed the edge of my skirt and lifted it up as I was walking from the front of the chapel back to my seat.  At that point I spent more of the meeting in the hallway.  I was so relieved when it was time for Primary and I could drop the muffin off in the nursery.  After days spent with monumental amounts of crying from the poor babe, it was a breath of fresh air to hand him off to someone else for a couple hours, even though I was still busy with kids during that whole time.  In case you had any doubts about my weaknesses as a mother, I'm just confirming them for you.  It was another Sunday night/Waffle night, and everyone was tucked in by 8, leaving me with a couple hours of quiet before heading to bed.

And here we are at Monday, after the weekend and ready for the week.  It's a full one, but also a fun one, and I can't wait.  Be back soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The night before's

found via pinterest

I remember growing up and lying in bed the night before a new school year, stomach full of butterflies and excitement at what the year might hold.  As well prepared as I was with a backpack full of pencils and notebooks, there were some lessons learned over the years that nothing could have prepared me for.  

I remember preparing to have my babies and lying in bed the night before my inductions, my head full of the thoughts and dreams about what my new babe would be like and how my world would change, and my heart racing at the thought of how labor and delivery might go.  Although I went to bed with my bag packed and the nursery ready, there have been many lessons with each of my children that nothing could have prepared me for.  

Although it may seem much less significant in the long run, I have nerves tonight like those I've had on so many of the "night before's".  Tonight is the night before the muffin's allergy testing.  We've been waiting for months to get in with the allergist, and I'm excited that we've finally reached the time when it's our turn.  So far we've eliminated dairy, soy, eggs, and peanuts from his diet after seeing signs of reactions.  Earlier this week after showing pollen sensitivities and being diagnosed with asthma, we'll also hopefully do some environmental allergy testing.  They told us to prepare for a long day, so I'm working on packing the bag full of toys and blankets and books- oh this boy loves books.  Hopefully we can bring enough things to distract him from the unpleasantness he'll be going through.  

I'm excited to have answers.  I know that knowledge is power and that it will be easier to take care of my baby when I know what exactly I need to protect him from and what will keep him safe.  I'm crossing my fingers that most of these will be things he will outgrow over time.  But the nervousness that often accompanies the night before's is here in full force.  I know there will be things I learn through this experience with food allergies that nothing could have prepared me for.  I worry that the things I have been feeding him will be ruled out.  I worry that we will have to adapt his diet even more, which really becomes a change for our whole family in many ways.  Food is a big thing for me- I love to share it with people I love, and I worry that many of my favorite foods won't be things I can share with my child.  

Amidst the worries, there are a few things I know.  I know that somehow I will have the skills I need to care for my child and his needs.  If Heavenly Father wanted me to be his mother, I trust that I will be blessed with the abilities I need to do that job.  I know that I can experiment in the kitchen, and that even if there is no dairy and no egg and no nuts and no soy in our future (but please bless that we can still have wheat!) that I will find meals that taste good.  And I know that this is a special little boy I am blessed to raise, and I'll learn whatever I need to so I can care for him.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The right things

found via pinterest

Late afternoon yesterday (conveniently after the pediatrician's office was closed for the day) I was sitting at the urgent care office with the baby.  An asthma attack came on full force, and I knew he needed help.  He's only had one other asthmatic episode traced to a food reaction, so this time had me puzzled as to what the trigger could be (current explanation is seasonal allergies).  While at the urgent care, we had to do a breathing treatment.  I know that there are parents who do this regularly with their kids, but this is only the second time for us, and we're still in the stage where it's pretty terrible.  Luckily the husband showed up right before the treatment began, and he tried to hold the mask close to our baby's face while I held him as tight as I could.  He put up an incredible struggle as I wrapped my arms around his arms.  He kicked and wiggled and fought and screamed, and even though I knew it was the best thing for him and exactly what he needed, it was still hard to see him struggling to get free and struggling to breath and feeling confused as to why we were putting him through this. It was a rough night with another episode of breathing difficulty, and I'm still waiting for the baby to wake up to see what today will hold, but I have a feeling more breathing treatments are in his future.  And even though it's the only thing that can help him at this point, sometimes the right thing is the hard thing.  

Later last night after the kids were settled in bed, I caught a late dinner with my friend Hannah.  Hannah is the kind of friend that every girl needs- perfect to share recipes or motherhood ideas or favorite products or meaningful conversations with.  We had a lot to talk about catching up with each other, and I was especially excited to hear her perspective regarding her post that would go live today.  After four years and great success, Hannah is leaving the blogging world.  I know many of you have made your way here from Sherbet Blossom, and I'm grateful for the support that Hannah has given me not only in blogging, but as an incredible friend.  She is a remarkable woman full of creativity and compassion and commitment to what matters most.  Hearing her perspective last night was so refreshing.  Walking away from success isn't something that happens very often in today's world, and Hannah has the conviction and courage to do just that.  It's not a decision that she's taken lightly, and it definitely hasn't been an easy one to make.  But sometimes the right thing is the hard thing.   

I think this will continue to be something I reflect on, and something I find strength in.  Sometimes the right thing is the hard thing.  The fact that it's hard doesn't make it any less right, but it does push us to become who we need to be.  There is growth to be found as we choose the right things, no matter how difficult they are.  Yes, sometimes the right thing is the hard thing.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Weekend Peek

free printable via

Happy Monday!  Our weekend included

+ kids waking up way too early
+mandatory nap times due to our early risers
+fish tacos on a Friday night
+Miss A and I dressed up on Saturday morning to attend a baptism (the Saturday highlight hands-down)
+the husband blowing up the kiddy pool for it's maiden voyage of the summer
+a stressed out me forgetting all about that FUN word and wondering when I was going to get things accomplished due to the Saturday swimming detour I didn't plan into my day
+dixie cups filled with dirt and seeds for an object lesson on faith
+fresh eggs from our kind neighbor
+operation wash out the diaper bag after an unfortunate spill of rice milk (and the discovery that yes, even rice milk can stink)
+lots of Sunday meetings, some stressful, some sweet, overall satisfying
+the baby's first official day in nursery, which I hear came with a plentiful side of tears.  hoping next week is better
+de-Man actually saying part of his primary talk on his own- total milestone
+Sunday night pizza night-  cheese-less for the muffin, but I couldn't handle any more days without pizza
+Sunday evening schedule-coordinating with the husband, and a realization that summer is filling up much faster than I'd like

Day 1 of summer is off to a good start.  My early risers slept in, thank heavens.  Hoping that was just a weekend fluke.  Some of the everyday routine still needs to be accomplished, but we've also squeezed in some time to play and a trip to see my dad, and it's only 1:15.  I can tell this is the beginning of good things to come.

Friday, June 3, 2011


picture via

Happy last day of school!  Today Miss A is officially done with kindergarten, and I may be just as much of a mess today now that it's over as I was on the first day because it was starting.  Time really does fly.  She's had a great year, and I'm constantly amazed at her growth.

I've been in gathering mode for summer ideas.  I like my kids to be happy. I like to do things with my kids. But when I describe myself as a mom, or even as a person, fun is not typically a word I would use.  Sure, I love to have fun, but I am naturally so task-driven that sometimes doing something just for the sake of fun doesn't occur to me.  I'm not one of those spontaneous awesome moms who decides to throw the kids in the car for a quick road-trip.  I don't feel like I have 50 tricks for a good time up my sleeve to quiet summer boredom.  In fact, I kind of think it's a good thing for them to feel bored so they can be creative coming up with their own fun (but that's another topic for another day).

I've been browsing around pinterest for ideas from other creative moms.  I've been making lists (something I am skilled at) of possible activities.  I'm sure things like homemade ice cream and time in the garden and lots of reading and walks/bike rides and play dates will all be in the mix.  This afternoon I'll sit down with the kids to get them in on the planning for summer fun.  After all, in my opinion, the planning is half the fun!

Hope your summer is getting off to a great start.  What will be included in your summer fun?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Favor of Sorts

I was always the kid during elementary school fund raisers that sold one or two wares to grandparents and returned my form, never desiring to go door-to-door and increase my chances of winning prizes.  At-home parties make me slightly uncomfortable.  I am not one to solicit, it's hard for me to delegate, and sometimes I even have trouble asking for help when I need it.  

But...I am really excited about this blog contest over at Power of Moms.  The Power of Moms is a wonderful site dedicated to motherhood, and I've linked to it in my Bee Inspired page.  The contest is a chance to nominate the blogs you feel like are inspiring and motivating.  I'm not sure if I'm really accomplishing what I've set out to do, but it's my goal to write a blog that is worth your time to read and that leaves you feeling uplifted and happy and desiring to become better.  If I make it through this contest, I'll have an opportunity to attend a Power of Moms retreat, something I've been thinking about for months.  So if you have a minute and Bee has helped inspire you, I'd love it if you would nominate my blog.

Thanks, friends.  Hope you're having a wonderful day.  It's June, and that fact alone is enough to make my day brighter!