Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 32: Defeating the Mountain

Slaying the Dragon.

Conquering the Windmill.

I think you get it.

During my energetic and ambitious second trimester I came up with all sorts of great ideas and projects and goals. One of these was to sew a Moby Wrap for the new baby. I was so excited about it. I did a bunch of research, ran out and bought the fabric and thread, and then I got a little nervous about doing it, so I set it aside to wait for a braver day.

And then the third trimester hit. Gone was the energy and ambition. Hello exhaustion and lethargy.

And then I realized I didn't even know how to thread my new (to me) sewing machine.


Except I was too tired for that much panic, so it was really more of an "Ugh." But you get the picture.

And so there's been a little voice in the back of my head for a month or two nagging me to get 'er done. That and paint the firetruck I bought for Little M's birthday. I stepped up to that challenge earlier in the week and pretty much have it wrapped up, besides some minor detail in the finishing touches.

Then suddenly today, in church, I got this strong feeling that I needed to finish the Moby Wrap. A.S.A.P.

What? Really?

I'm pretty sure that is simply the result of my crazy over-active pregnancy paranoia hormones than anything really significant. But I decided to heed the warning all the same--just to be on the safe side.

So, while everyone else in the house was napping, I pulled out the machine, read the book, messed up a few times, but I persevered. Not only did I succeed in winding a bobbin, I also succeeded in threading the machine! I have almost zero sewing experience and none by myself or with this machine. But I did it.

And that was my Joyful Moment. I'm really quite proud of myself.

So, here's wishing you all Joyful Moments of defeating your own mountains and slaying your own dragons! Go get 'em!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 31: Let's Get Together, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

I always loved the original "Parent Trap". So fun. And such a great song.

Anyway, today we spent almost the entire day together as a family. It was chaotic, like any other Saturday. But at least we were enjoying the chaos together.

So, it was like one long Joyful Moment all day long.

Until the end. When someone kidnapped my well-behaved children and replaced them with two ill-behaved maniacs. Fortunately, I know just what to do when this happens. We put the maniacs in bed and I fully expect to have my children back in their place in the morning.

Keep your fingers crossed with me.

Or it could be a difficult day as far as the Joyful Moment thing goes.

Wishing you all day-long Joyful Moments!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 30: Van-ny Banny Bo Manny

That is currently Little M's favorite song. He asks me to sing it to him a million times when I tuck him in for bed at night.

Except for he usually wants me to sing it about "pig" or "light" or something like that.

But neither of those brought me Joyful Moments today.

And I'm not sure that our brand new van arriving today brought me one either.

Looking like a magician when I pushed the button to open the sliding doors for the kids did, however. They were beyond impressed. And then finding out that it has adjustable lumbar support brought another little one. And loading in groceries without having to bend way down and reach way back brought another.

I just hope all these little Joyful Moments can somehow offset the pain of having a car payment every month again.

But I think the biggest Joyful Moment came in realizing that that is one more thing to cross off of my "Things to Do Before BB Gets Here" list. And even though he's going to come when he's going to come, crossing these things off make it seem a little closer.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments enough to offset the unpleasantries of life!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 29: Pretty vs. Cute

Today at the gym a friend I haven't seen in a while came up to me and said, "I just have to tell you, you are a really pretty pregnant woman."

That was my Joyful Moment.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was getting compliments fairly regularly on how "cute" I am in my pregnancy. Of course, I really enjoyed that. But there is something about "pretty" that just sinks so much deeper into the joy-receiving area of my heart right now. When people say I look cute, I know it's because I have one of those basketball bellies. But when she said I looked pretty, it was like someone was noticing the rest of me too (and validating the rest of me) and that felt good. Because pregnancy hormones really mess with my complexion and I don't feel very pretty a lot of the time.

And she said this to me when I was dressed in gym clothes, completely sans make up.

And then I was reminded of this post from a while ago. And that I need to do better at dishing out compliments. And not just the easy compliments, but the sincere day-making type.

So, wishing you all Joyful Moments giving and getting fabulous compliments!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 28: Wake Up

Tonight Sweet P participated in a study being done at the local university about how children learn to follow directions.

That meant that she and I drove down together, just the two of us. Then I got to observe while she played the study "games" and interacted with the student conducting it.

Every now and then I have a moment with one of my children where I realize that they've grown up a bit since the last time I thought about it. It just really hits me hard. And tonight was one of those nights. As I observed her, I tried to imagine what the girl conducting the study would be thinking of her, not really knowing her.

And I realized there's really nothing "baby-ish" about her any more. She is growing up.

That was not my Joyful Moment.

But it did make me realize that there are more things we could be discussing (and it definitely helped not having the chatter of our dear Little M) when it was just the two of us on the way home. I started the conversation and then she took off with it asking all sorts of questions about all sorts of things. And I gave her real, complete answers because I realized she could understand them.

So, it was kind of bittersweet Joyful Moment. It's truly awesome watching her grow and develop. And it's neat to be able to have more "adult" conversation with her.

But I do miss those sweet cheeks.

And the pigtails.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments found in new and exciting realizations!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 27: Friends & Favors

HH and I have been trying to go to the temple (click on the link for more information about temples) since early December. And something has come up to conflict in a big way each and every time.

So, this morning when the girl who was supposed to watch our kids for us called to say her son had a fever--I wasn't really surprised.

But I was really disappointed. Then I called the wife of the other couple we were going with to find out what they wanted to do and to make a long story short, it turns out it wasn't a good night for them to go anyway but she happily volunteered to watch our children so we could still go.

I had a bit of a hard time accepting her generous offer, but I am so grateful for it because I was so excited to go to the temple tonight and to get to spend a little more time with HH. And she's just the kind of friend that does this sort of thing without giving it a second thought. And having her kind offer tonight and her friendship in my life provided me with a big Joyful Moment today.

And breaking the news to Sweet P brought another Joyful Moment since this friend's daughter is Sweet P's best friend.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments from fabulous friends!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 26: Pending

So, just a quick qualifier about yesterday's post--the reason those Joyful Moments were sub par is due to pregnancy hormones. It had absolutely nothing to do with the actual moments themselves. They should have been great.

Thankfully, today was much better. Thanks for supporting me through this journey.

And today's post might be cheating a little bit. Because today's Joyful Moment hasn't happened yet. HH is really busy with his assignment in our church and some other things, so he is gone most evenings. Tonight is the one evening we will both be home together this week. So, my Joyful Moment is going to start as soon as I hit "publish post" and he and I get to spend a few minutes together without the kids before going to bed. I'm so grateful we get this time!

That's not that I haven't had plenty of other Joyful Moments today. This is just the one I wanted to share.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments to anticipate and look forward to!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 25: Shady

Today was a very, um... let's say pregnant day for me. Meaning that if it weren't for this blog, I probably would have counted today as a complete loss. But I do have this blog, so I knew all day that I needed to find a way to experience some joy. And I did. I think. It's just that my hormones kind of kept it all sub par. But there were some brief moments.

Like when one of the 9-year olds I teach at church blurted out, "I didn't know you were pregnant!", right after I said something about the pregnancy. To which I replied, "Yes, I am. That's why my belly keeps getting bigger." Her response? "I haven't noticed your belly getting bigger", emphasized with her head shaking solemnly back and forth.

Her mother has trained her well.

And then there was the moment that Little M came running into the room wearing two of Sweet P's headbands and a pair of over sized sunglasses upside down and with quite a bit of jolly gusto blurted out something completely incomprehensible and then ran back to his sister's room.

And then the moment (I'm pretty sure this was the most Joyful of my Joyful Moments today) when Sweet P came over and snuggled quite affectionately in my lap--even though I was sitting right next to HH. This is very significant for two reasons: 1. She isn't really a snuggler. Never has been. Even as a newborn she pushed away for her own space. 2. She ALWAYS chooses HH over me when it comes to the rare moments like that.

And then finally, the moment when Little M came out wearing those same over sized sunglasses, still upside down, but this time on the back of his head. Just like his grandma, he says. But I wonder if she ever runs around wearing only the sunglasses, as he was. That kind of carefree attitude can't help but bring joy to my heart. From a 3-year old, at least. I'm not advocating nudity.

And on that note, here is wishing you all greater than sub par Joyful Moments.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 24: Education

First, to my little sister--HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! It was a crazy day, but I'm so sorry I didn't call. I will. I do love you.

Okay, now that you all know what a bad sister I am...

Let me share my joy with you.

I studied Fitness and Wellness in college. As far as making a career out of that, well, I wouldn't do well. And it didn't help that I got pregnant with Sweet P a couple weeks before graduation (who wants a prego personal trainer?) But there has been an unexpected blessing that has come. I've been able to do consultations with friends and family members to help them create healthier lifestyle habits. And I've seen many of them succeed with these plans. And it's awesome!

For me, at least. It makes me feel really good. I'm not totally sure why. It's nice to be using my degree for one thing. I love being a mom, but it's nice to challenge my brain in a different way every once in a while. But also, I know the difference in how it feels to be living a healthy lifestyle vs. a not-so-healthy lifestyle and I love helping other people experience the positive side of that. Love love it.

And today was the second of two requests I had for that this week! Yay! And both requests brought me joy. Making that my Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments found in doing something that provides fulfillment for you!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 23: The Perfect Gift

First off, it would appear that the spammers have figured out to comment on my current post. I still would like to keep the comment forum as open as possible, so I'm going to wait and see if today was just by chance, or if they'll be making a habit of it. In the mean time, please don't click on any links that are left in the comments, as I can only assume that they will lead to bad sites. And I'm sorry! If this keeps up, I will turn the comment moderator on.

Anyway, back to joyful things.

Little M's birthday is coming up and I've been searching for the perfect dump truck to give him for some time now. This is a more complicated process than it sounds like it should be, but he has so many trucks, I wanted to find a special dump truck. Because a dump truck is all he really wants--even though he has so many trucks!

Anyway, today we were at Target shopping for a variety of other things. I wasn't going to check for dump trucks because he was with me and I need it to be a surprise. But then it appeared on a random shelf--the PERFECT dump truck. It comes with a little screw driver and he can take parts of it apart and screw it back together and I know he's going to love it. Partly, because he already does. I had to be creative to buy it and make him think it's not for him.

And now I'm so excited, I don't know if I'll be able to wait until his birthday. HH had been in the house for about 3 seconds before I dragged him back to the bedroom to show him my awesome find. I'm just so stinkin' excited!!!

And in case you couldn't tell, that was my Joyful Moment for today.

Wishing you all moments of joy in giving something truly appreciated by the receiver!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 22: Milestone

We have WAY too many toys at our house. I'm sure many of you with children can commiserate. It's not like we try to overindulge, it's just that they keep accumulating as the years go by. So, when we moved into this house, I set up a toy room in the large room downstairs and designated that as the only location where toys are allowed.

That works out great for the rest of my house. The upstairs stays pretty clean and uncluttered and I can live with it.

But then when I venture down to the basement, I'm always blown away by the amount of toys strewn all across the floor. We try to clean it up every few days, but of course, it only takes them moments to dump it all out again. And they aren't super cooperative about cleaning up. I think the amount of stuff all over overwhelms them, so I end up having to nag them to keep cleaning--while I do the majority of the work.

But tonight a beautiful thing happened. They wanted to finish a movie they started last week and the rule is, no TV if the room is messy. But I had to start dinner. So, I offered to help for 5 minutes, but told them I would then leave the rest up to them.

So, we headed downstairs and I tried to tackle the large objects and the items that were difficult for them to put away. Then I told them it was time for me to go upstairs and to let me know when they were done.

Every time I've left them to clean on their own, they've ended up just playing and nothing gets put away. So, you can imagine my surprise when Little M came upstairs about 20 minutes later to inform me that they were done.

I headed downstairs a little skeptical. But when I got there, all I saw were a few minor things--everything else was put away!!!

So, maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal. But for us it's huge. I was so proud of them! They had a ton of toys out and they put them all back. And they even put each toy back in its designated bin or spot. I think that's pretty impressive for a 5 and almost-3 year old.

And I'm happy for me too. Because, of course, it makes my life easier.

And that was my Joyful Moment tonight.

Wishing you all a moment of finding joy in someone else's progress! (?)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 21: Mr. Sun

The climate here is much colder and snowier than I am either used to, or comfortable with. This is our first winter here and apparently it's one of the harshest they've experienced in 30 years, or so.

We're just lucky like that.

But today things warmed up to above freezing and the sun shone all day. It was magnificent. Spectacular. So what I needed.

So, after their naps, the kids and I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. It's been several months since we did that because there was always too much snow on the sidewalks to even attempt walking.

There were still some spots where we were trudging through deep snow, but in most places people had been able to clear their walks and we had a relatively warm, dry walk. Except that the kids got a kick out of finding the icy parts and stomping on it to break it up.

There was joy in watching their delight. There was joy in spending time with them. There was joy in giving our puppy the exercise she so desperately needs and craves. There was joy in feeling the warm sunshine on my face.

I guess what I'm saying is--this Joyful Moment was pretty full of joy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full to overflowing with joy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 20: Girl Power!

So, occasionally the women in our church get together to do something or other. Tonight was one of those nights and we played games.

I almost didn't go, but then I got asked to give another woman a ride, so I kind of had to. And I'm so glad I did.

It's an interesting group that shows up for these events. It's pretty much women of all ages and stages from all walks of life. And we sat down and played Catch Phrase. Some of us did, anyway. There were a couple other activities going on as well. But I was in the group playing Catch Phrase. And it was so much fun! I felt very comfortable and among friends.

And that was my Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments bonding with other women!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 19: Sheepish

That's how I'm feeling about today's Joyful Moment. It seems like something that shouldn't have brought me so much joy. Because it came from buying something.

Normally, buying things doesn't bring me joy. It kind of makes me sick, actually.

But today I ordered our new stroller and car seat. And it didn't make me sick. It brought me joy. A surprising amount of joy, really.

Partly because I spent a lot of time researching strollers and I'm super excited about the one we're getting. It's got all the features we've wished our strollers had in the past.

But mostly, I think it's because I'm getting more and more anxious for our little one to arrive and this was one of the things that needed to get checked off before he can come. Not that he would have been stopped by not having a car seat or stroller, but I'm that much closer to being ready.


Wishing you all Joyful Moments found in unexpected places!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 18: Smiles

I realize that today being Valentine's Day, I should make this post about HH. And he has definitely brought me Joyful Moments today (and most other days).

But then again, I posted about him yesterday and I'm sure I will have many more posts about him in the future.

So, today's Joyful Moment is one I shared with Sweet P. I was blowing her hair dry this morning (something she detests, but endures) and she was being a little bit silly. It made me laugh and any time she makes me laugh, she gets the biggest, brightest smile that just totally lights up her face.

She seriously has one of the best smiles I've ever seen. I told her that she has a beautiful smile and that when other people see it, it makes them want to smile too. Well, her already huge smile, got even bigger at that thought.

And it was another moment of pure joy. For the both of us, I'm pretty sure. I try to tell her this often because I believe it very strongly and it would do the world wonders of good to have more smiles like hers floating about.

Unfortunately for you, she has been going through a difficult phase for a while now when it comes to actually capturing that smile on camera. She has a hard time focusing long enough for me to shoot the photo and when I do catch her, she has a cute, but very posed smile on her face.

Since I'm in a hurry tonight (still very tired and I need to get some more beauty rest), you get this oldy but goody. Still an adorable smile, just not the same as the beautiful one I get to see every day.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments exchanging your beautiful smiles with those around you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 17: Groceries?

Yeah, I never would have expected my Joyful Moment to have anything to do with grocery shopping. I think I've already mentioned how much I detest this activity.

But a local store was having a great 1-day sale on all sorts of items to fill up our new chest freezer. So, I knew I should go out and take advantage of it rather than buy the same items at full price when we need them.

HH had to go to a meeting this afternoon, but promised to stay home with the kids after so I could do the shopping by myself (so much quicker!). His meeting went a little long. But then he came home (with flowers--another Joyful Moment!) and offered to just go shopping with me.

While I was waiting for him to get home, I kept thinking how nice it would be if we could just all go together. It was getting late and I really didn't feel like being out all by myself. And I just love spending time with him. But I know he really doesn't enjoy shopping either. So, his offer was so greatly appreciated and totally changed my mood.

HH is pretty good at doing that.

So, that was my Joyful Moment today--getting to do something I loathe with someone I adore. It was just so much more enjoyable.

Wishing you all a yucky moment turned into a Joyful Moment by a sweet gesture from someone who loves you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 16: TGIF

Thank goodness, indeed!

Today's Joyful Moment was when I realized it was Friday. No matter what the day threw at me, I just had to endure it for 9 hours and then HH would be home and around to help and support for the majority of the next two days.

And we have hardly anything scheduled in to do. Usually our Saturdays are so jam-packed with busyness, I almost don't like them any more. But tomorrow promises to be somewhat relaxing and laid back.


Wishing you all a relaxing, laid back Joyful Moment (hopefully, a long Moment)!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 15: Tough Day

Yeah. That's the quickest way to describe today.

But it was not without Joyful Moments, thank goodness.

The one that first came to mind was when HH walked in the door from work. I was busy at the oven and he up behind me and just gave me a hug. He knew that today had been rough, so the love and support he offered through that hug allowed me to release for just a moment and to remember that it was just one day. Things will get better.

So, now I'm off to bed at the same time as my kiddos in the hopes that rest will bring me more Joyful Moments tomorrow.

Wishing you all good days full of Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 14: Sharing Someone Else's Joy

Every two weeks I write up a menu for the following two weeks and then go on one massive shopping trip to obtain all the necessary foods and ingredients to make all those meals. Then I only have to do one or two quick, minor trips in between to pick up perishables like milk and bananas.

This routine does not bring me joy, but it does reduce stress.

Except for the actual shopping trip. I do it at WalMart (I loathe going to WalMart) because that is the cheapest place around here. It takes between 1 and 2 hours depending on how much I need and how many children are with me and how many potty trips we have to make (I'm always informed of the need to "go" when we are at the farthest corner of the store. When I try to get them to go when we are passing by the restroom, they never have to go. Interesting fact).

Anyway, it's not really pleasant, but it's worth the benefits I reap for the following two weeks.

So, today was the big day. And it wasn't any different from the usual and I was trying desperately to get though it quickly. And then, quite unexpectedly, a Joyful Moment popped up. We were in the produce section and I was picking out avocados when suddenly Little M took note.

"Are we getting avocados?"


"Yay! Yay! Avocados! Avocados!" At the top of his nearly 3-year old lungs. It was great. He was so unbelievably ecstatic at the prospect of purchasing avocados.

And for a moment, shopping--even nightmare marathon shopping at WalMart--was fun. Because I got to steal a moment of his sweet, unabashed joy over avocados.

To those of you who know me personally: I'm sorry if you're getting tired of these photos. I just cannot get enough of them. I think he is hysterical.

Anyway, here's wishing all of you a stolen Joyful Moment from someone adorable.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 13: A Phone Call

I wish I could say that today's Joyful Moment was when Little M fell asleep because I SO desperately need that. Sadly, it ain't happened yet.

Fortunately, I did experience other Joyful Moments today. One of which was a phone call.

My phone almost never rings. As in, we go days without hearing a peep out of it. This afternoon it was ringing quite a bit. Odd. But only two of those calls really brought me joy. One was HH saying he was standing outside about a half an hour before I expected him to be home. The other was my sister-in-law.

My dear sweet sister-in-law that I really should be neighbors with but in reality hardly ever see. The one who sent me a super sweet card last week that totally made my week. And then another note trying to apologize for confiscating a few photos of me and keeping them for the last 6 or so years. I haven't spent a single second of the last 6 years missing them, but I got a good laugh out of her funny apology.

And then today she called. And she is just one of those people who always makes you feel great when you talk to her. It doesn't matter if I've done anything even remotely great, she still makes me feel that way. And then I get off the phone and realize that we spent the whole time talking about me, even though SHE is the amazing and interesting and talented one. She inspires me in pretty much every category of my life. Those of you who read her Crazy Chorister Blog know what I'm talking about.

Today was kind of stressful because Little M was just really out of sorts. That phone call was definitely a bright spot in my day. I'm so thankful for it. I'm thankful for my wonderful s-i-l and for the example she continually sets for me. I'm thankful for my brother and his excellent taste in choosing such a wonderful life.

So, here's wishing you all a Joyful Moment interacting with someone genuinely amazing in your own life!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 12: Undecided

So, some days I struggle to decide what to post about because, while I've been experiencing multiple Joyful Moments every day, sometimes they just don't seem very noteworthy, or interesting enough to be shared.

And other days, I have several that (to me at least) are wonderful and profound.

Today was one of those days.

Of course, joy is in the eye of the beholder, or the heart of the holder, or something like that. So, having said that, maybe what I'm about to share won't seem like a very big deal at all.

But I've decided which one I'm going to share, so here it is:

On Monday nights we have Family Home Evening, where we share time together with songs, a lesson, treats, and a game (when there's time). We just started using a manual produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for our lessons. You can view it here. It's written and geared for teaching children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, so it's very simple and basic. Perfect for our small children, especially since they both take turns teaching the lesson.

Tonight was Little M's first turn teaching a lesson from this manual. I, of course, helped him quite a bit, but he did a fantastic job. And it was really sweet to listen to him talk to us about Heavenly Father's plan for our happiness. And then to hear him sing the song, "I am a Child of God". And then to really make my Joyful Moment full of joy, he bore a sweet little testimony at the end of Heavenly Father's plan and eternal families.

And it was just a wonderful Moment.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 11: Maybe Not My Best Friend

So, I'd like to say that HH commandeering my computer when I sat down to post this and instead looking for a way to watch the Super Bowl online (we don't get TV) was my Joyful Moment.

But it wasn't.

The Moment I'd like to share from today is actually from my dog. She's a sweet little mutt we rescued from the shelter. Except she's not really little. And she just keeps on getting bigger. But she is sweet. And she doesn't get near the amount of attention she needs and thinks she deserves.

So, I try. Today while everyone else was napping, I sat down and just rubbed her belly for a while. She loves this. I don't really, but watching how happy it made her still brought me joy. It's amazing how making someone else happy--even if that someone else is a dog--is such a surefire way to create joy in life.

So, here's wishing you all service-related Joyful Moments!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 10: The Tiniest of Moments

So, at my most recent check up my doctor asked if I fee the baby move a lot. I told her that I notice movement, but not as much as with the other two. Then I added that I'm sure that is because I have the other two to keep me busy and preoccupied now. And I thought we'd leave it at that. I wasn't telling her any of this because I was concerned, I was just answering her question. I am positive my baby is more active than I realize and the fact that I do feel him move occasionally, despite our busy life reassures me completely.

But my doctor wasn't completely reassured. She wants me to be checking for five movements every hour. Seriously?

So, today I decided to be more attentive to this little one growing inside me. And that is where today's Joyful Moment came. It was actually several Joyful Moments. Little tiny moments. I don't know if he was way more active today, or if it was simply that I was trying to paying more attention. But I felt him a lot. And there's something about it that's just cute. I don't know how else to describe it. Just these little tiny bumps and taps from little tiny feet and fists.

And then another Joyful Moment came when I got to share that fun with Sweet P and Little M at dinner. He started really rolling around in there so they could see the movement just by looking at my tummy. That was pretty amazing to both of them. And then, of course, they wanted to feel him moving too. He almost always stops moving around as soon as they put their hands on my belly, but tonight he kept up the acrobatics. And they LOVED it.

Wishing you all tiny, yet profound Joyful Moments!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 9: Cutie Pies

Today provided a plethora of Joyful Moments, pretty much all due to my sweet little children.

We were snowed in and I didn't sleep well, so I was worried it would be a really bad day. Fortunately, it wasn't.

I had a Joyful Moment watching them play in the snow together--all the more joyful because they can play in our backyard and I don't have to go out with them. I try to be a good mom, but I HATE the cold. Plus, I'm not sure my snow coat would zip over my belly any more.

I had several Joyful Moments making donuts with my kids and revisiting memories of doing the same thing with my mother and siblings.

And I also had several Joyful Moments listening to their excitement for their "dates" tonight. Our gym was hosting a "Daddy Daughter Dance" tonight for HH and Sweet P, so Little M and I decided to have a date night of our own. He wanted to eat donuts and watch a movie. That's why we made the donuts.

Both kids were SO excited all day and it was so much fun for me to listen to. Then I got to help Sweet P get ready for her big date and see how thrilled she was at the prospect. Little M and I had a great time enjoying our donuts and snuggling during 1 1/2 movies (the first was a very short one about fire trucks--his current obsession). He was so pleased that I was sitting right there beside him to watch. He kept talking about it all through the movies. Very Joyful for me.

And then I got to hear all about Sweet P's night out with Daddy when they got home about 30 minutes ago. She was just beaming about the whole event--especially the rose she got. And the fact that everyone kept telling her how beautiful she looked.

And so, the day that had great potential for being perfectly awful turned out perfectly perfect. Wishing you all a perfectly perfect day. Or at least a perfectly perfect Joyful Moment. And some sleep for Yours Truly. I'm exhausted!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 8: Time Out

For love, that is.

But first, I can't believe I didn't realize last night that that post marked the one week point for me. Wow. Seriously, I cannot believe the difference this challenge has made in my life in such a short time. I went from not being able to find a single Joyful Moment in an entire day of my life to having a difficult time choosing which moment to share.

If you haven't already jumped on the daily Joyful Moment bandwagon, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, back to today's Joyful Moment and my time out for love.

I was planning on sharing a moment that happened while talking to a stranger at the gym this morning, but then I had a Moment that trumped that one as I was putting dinner away tonight.

From the moment HH walks in the door in the evenings he's always trying to hug me and snuggle me, or engage in some sort of physical interaction. I pretty much always give him the brush off. I'm usually in the middle of getting dinner on the table. Then we go straight to dinner, then clean up, then get the kids ready for bed and in bed, and then I might be ready for a hug, or whatever.

I'm not trying to be inconsiderate of him, I just have a go go go mentality and his touches interrupt my momentum.

So, tonight I was putting dinner away and he was helping, but then he came up and tried to hug me. Initially, I shrugged him off. But because this Joyful Moment plan is helping me to live in the moment a lot more (more better, as Little M would put it), I thought better of it. I set the Tupperware down, turned around, and engaged him in a nice, long, passionate kiss.

Definitely a Joyful Moment. And it was fun!

I just might have to give into his advances more often.

So here's wishing you all a reckless moment of joyful fun today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 7: Tough Choice

Well, today was a pretty good day. If I'm being totally honest. And I am.

So, there were a lot of moments to choose from. But I think my favorite was chatting with my mom for a bit while making dinner (a joy in itself--shrimp fondue, homemade French bread, and Alfredo pasta, and veggies, of course!). I just love talking to my mom. We never run out of things to say and even on a great day like today, I just feel better when we say 'good bye'. Not because we're saying 'good bye', but because she's just that kind of person. That's why everyone loves her.

She's been the source of many of my Joyful Moments. Thanks for being my Joyful Moment again today, Mom. I love you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 6: Birthdays!

So, in addition to being Groundhog's Day, today is also the birthday of two very special people in my life.

One is my friend Gus. She has been like family to me for as long as I can remember. Growing up I enjoyed sleepovers at her home where she and her husband treated me like a princess and always made me feel very special. We shared a love for animals. I remember her letting me help her brush their German Shepherd. He was about the same size as me, so I'm sure I was more of a bother than a help, but she never made me feel that way. I just have a basket full of wonderful memories when I think of them.

And now that I'm a little older, we've been able to renew that friendship and she continues to bless my life. She seems to have information on just about every topic I'm really curious about, but never make time to research. Most recently, she sent me a prenatal yoga DVD that had a huge impact on helping me change to a more peaceful and
positive outlook as these pregnancy hormones got to me. Without that, this new version of the blog probably wouldn't have been made.

So, with today being her birthday, my thoughts are on her and those wonderful memories. And who can help but to feel joy when thinking of a fabulous friend?

And the other person is my dad.

I love watching him as a grandpa to my kids. He is so patient. And fun. They ADORE him.

So do I. That's why thoughts of him always bring me Joyful Moments.

He has taught me so much about everything that is important in my life. He teaches me about my Savior and His gospel. He teaches me about love both in the way he loves me and the way he loves my mom. He teaches me about hard work. I can't even begin to detail all the things he created or fixed by hand--and the amazing job he always did. He also taught me to love exercise, especially running. He teaches me to be humble and just keep persevering.

And mostly, he teaches me all of these things through his example. I couldn't ask for a better dad in my life. I am super di dooper homesick for him right now.

Happy Birthday, Dad & Gus! I love you both! Thanks for being the cause of so many Joyful Moments, today and every day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 5: Another Love

First, Christy--We actually invited HH's couselors and their families over yesterday. So, they were friends, but not friends that we know very well. We set a goal to have two families over each month from the Elder's Quorum (HH is Elder's Quorum President for our congregation. This means that he is in charge of most of the adult men and their families). So, you could try inviting people that you don't know very well and making new friends. I don't really know. Honestly, I think that's weird for people to turn you down. I'm sorry.

The other thing we've done in the past is to find a small group with similar families (number and ages of people) and do regular pizza parties. Each couple takes a turn hosting and prepares the pizza dough, sauce, and cheese. The other couples can bring their favorite toppings and/or salads, drinks, and desserts.

If it's something you enjoy, I'd say keep trying and I'm sure you'll find people who also enjoy that sort of thing. Good luck!

So, fortunately for me, in addition to looooving food, I also have a passion for working out. I'm weird and I find enjoyment in the pain of pushing my body to work harder. So, you see, I totally have balance in my life. I am so balanced.

Anyway, that is what brought on today's Joyful Moment. I found out about a marathon that's not to far from these parts held in May. I'm pretty sure my doctor would frown on me attempting to do this year's, so I've decided I'm going to do next year's.

Running a marathon has been on my to-do list since high school. I have some joint issues, so I've kind of put it on the back burner for many years now. But I finally feel like the time is right. Like I'm wise enough to train properly (i.e. train with control to avoid injuries). And it will give me just a little over a year after the birth of this baby to get ready.

And I am SO PUMPED!!!!

I was already feeling impatient to have this baby (I know it wouldn't be good for my baby to be born yet, I'm just really not a very patient person--that is why Patience is my theme for this year), but now I can hardly wait to get started on my recovery and training. Definitely a joyous prospect.

I love having something to look forward to. I hope you all have something to look forward to that brings you joy!