Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 243: I Would NOT Believe It If I Wasn't Typing It With My Own Fingers

But I'm about to post a Joyful Moment about violin for the SECOND DAY.  IN A ROW.

Keep in mind, normally violin practice is the bane of my existence.  The thorn in my side.  The rotten apple in my barrel.  Got it?

Okay, so back in May or June (brand new baby back then, so the memory is a little foggy), Sweet P's instructor gave her a challenge:  She gave her a sheet of paper with several squares on the front and the back.  Fill in a square for each bow circle (a finger strengthening exercise) she did for the next few months.  Fill in all the squares on the front and back of the sheet of paper by September 30th and Sweet P would get to go to a pizza party.


Wanna know how many squares?  5,000.  Per side.  That equals 10,000 squares total, for the numerically challenged.

And then we took the entire month of July off from practicing to spare my sanity as Sweet P went through the horrible adjustment to her implant.

We both wrote off the pizza party until one day in August when she decided she wanted to go.  Which meant that we seriously had to increase how many bow circles we were doing per day.  For the past month, or so, she's been doing at least 240 per day.  That is just crazy, my friends.

Guess what happened today?!  SHE FINISHED!!!!

I literally cheered out loud, at the top of my lungs, with both fists held high in the sky in triumph.

Yeah, that was a total and complete Joyful Moment.

So complete that even though the rest of the family had ice cream tonight to celebrate (my idea), I didn't feel sad, deprived, or jealous at all.  They can have their ice cream.  I am done with bow circles.

The End.

Wishing you all total and complete Joyful Moments that don't even need ice cream to feel total-er or complete-er!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 242: Vicarious

Did you know that I really wanted to play the violin when I was little?  Because my best friend Diane did.  So, it seemed really cool.  But I was already in piano lessons, ballet lessons, tap lessons, and on swim team.  I don't know why my mom wouldn't sign me up for violin as well.

Actually, I have no idea how she did that.  And with four other children, too.  I can barely handle Kindergarten and violin lessons.

Anyways, that might be part of the reason why we chose violin lessons for Sweet P.  There were other reasons too, but sometimes I worry that I'm just trying to live out my childhood desires through her.  And then I feel guilty.  Because, even though she was beyond excited to start violin lessons last year, she HATES them now.  So, getting her to practice is usually the worst part of the day in our household.

Today at her lesson, she was playing a game with her teacher called "Copy Cat".  The teacher plays a set of notes and then she has to copy it exactly.  Her instructor played a particularly challenging set today and I was pretty sure she wouldn't be able to do it on the first try.  But Sweet P totally rocked that Copy Cat the first time through.  I was beginning a little inward cheer (I try to be quiet so I don't distract) when her teacher loudly declared, "Wow, Ms. Sweet P!  I don't think I've ever given any of my students one that challenging and you got it on the first try!"

Oh, I was proud.  Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make your heart swell with pride--the righteous kind though, not the "I'm better than you" kind, that would be rude!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 241: Bros

Baby B sort of worships his big brother.  Any time he hears Little M's voice, he turns toward him with a big huge grin just waiting for Little M to pay attention to him.  And Little M is so great at getting him to smile and giggle.

Which brings us to today's Joyful Moment--listening to Baby B laugh out loud with Little M.  I really didn't expect Little M to be so accepting and loving of his younger brother as he has been from day one.  And I didn't expect Baby B to return the affection at such a young age either.  I am so grateful to be wrong!  I love the friendship developing between them.  It is so sweet and so adorable!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments from expectations exceeded!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 240: 'Erb' Or 'H-erb'?

Personally, I drop the 'h' and just pronounce it "erb".  But I'm pretty sure Martha Stewart gives it the 'h' as in "hhherb".

Anywho, I would love to have a full-fledged herb garden growing right in my kitchen.  HH just laughed at me for saying this.  I'm still not entirely sure why.  Except that he walked away singing, "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..."

So, it's starting to get a bit chilly here, especially at night.  Not good for the things still growing in my garden.  And let's be honest, not much really ever grew in my garden, so that's hardly anything.  But for whatever reason, my basil grew and blossomed like it knew no bounds.  So, last night I offered it up for grabs.  Besides one that I'm going to plant in a pot and bring into my kitchen to make it special fabulous and wonderfully dreamy.  And tonight a friend came by and took two or three of my basils to plant at her house.

Sharing makes me feel good.  Sharing brings me Joyful Moments.

Wishing you all shared Joyful Moments that make you feel good, or feel good Joyful Moments that you can share!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 239: Fiber Cream

So, I actually discovered this earlier in the week, but it's provided a few Joyful Moments since then (including today) that I failed to post about.

I discovered a pretty yummy substitute for ice cream!!!

Growing up, we usually had two or three cartons of ice cream in the freezer and then 3 or 4 more out in the storage freezer.  Seriously.  I am not exaggerating.  And we ate ice cream almost every night.  And I sort of resurrected that tradition while I was preggems with Baby B.

So, you can see that eliminating ice cream from my diet to accommodate Baby B's MSPI has been challenging in so many ways.  And the dairy free frozen dessert made by Rice Dream just didn't really do it for me.  Neither did sorbet.

So, I was sad.

But a friend of mine kept mentioning ice cream made with coconut milk.  I originally checked it out at the start of the diet when I wasn't as sure about which ingredients I could have and which I could not and I thought it had stuff that I could not.  But I gave it another looksee and lo and behold--it is safe!!!  And it is GOOD!!!  And it has 5 grams of fiber in a half cup.

That totally cancels out the exorbitant amounts of fat in a half cup, too.  What?!  You haven't heard about fiber negating the evils of saturated fats?  Weird.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are tasty and maybe a little bit delusional!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 238: Come Listen To A Prophet's Voice

Today's Joyful Moment was attending the annual General Relief Society broadcast.  For more information, please see, or  Listening to the prophet of the Lord and being reminded of our divinity and the sanctity of womanhood was truly a Joyful Moment.

Coming home and learning that Baby B cried the whole time I was gone was not.  Poor HH!

Wishing you all inspired Joyful Moments without any crying!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 237: It Doesn't Have To Be Fair

Because today, I started winning again.  I babysat my friend's kids (a.k.a my kid's friends) and that sort of helped with a lot of problems.  I did an act of service--always feels good.  I cleaned part of my house because they play so great together--always feels good.  And I stayed home from the gym--doesn't always feel good, but today was a very much needed rest for my worn out body.

All of that, plus making Baby B giggle by tickling Little M (Baby B worships Little M, so if LM laughs, BB laughs too) equaled a day full of Joyful Moments.

It's good to be winning again.

Wishing you all the winningest Joyful Moments!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 236: This Isn't A "Fairness World"

If I had a penny for every time my dad responded with that phrase when anyone of us would complain about something "not being fair"...

And I know he's right.  And I know that really, that's the way this life has to be for a myriad of reasons.  But sometimes, I still wish some things were fair.  Like Depression.

Take today, for example.  I totally should have won today.  Nothing really terrible happened, the kids were well-behaved (minus Sweet P peeing on the sidewalk on the way home--seriously?!), my favorite yoga instructor finally returned, I wasn't mad at anyone, and things just went relatively well all day.

But sometimes, Depression wins anyway.

And it did today.  I know that for all intents and purposes, my life totally rocks.  And I mean that.  It really does.  I have an unbelievably blessed life, for whatever reason.  Nothing was really wrong today.  Except for the huge, gaping hole inside that is full to the brim with sadness.  I have every reason in the world to be happy.  But today, I'm not.

The good thing is, I've been around this block enough times to know that this will end and I will be happy again.  Maybe even tomorrow.

But for now, I'm going to have to claim eating a homemade cookie for the first time in over three months as my Joyful Moment.  Not because Baby B outgrew his MSPI, but because I found a dairy/soy free recipe.  Nowhere near my chocolate chip cookie recipe tastiness--but let's be honest, those could spank any cookie any day--but still quite delicious.  And a homemade cookie is always a treat.

Wishing you all homemade yumminess to go with your Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 235: Great Expectations

Today was kind of crummy.

And so, of course, I've got my fall back Joyful Moment. Time with Baby B, all wrapped up in his happy, adoring eyes. He's the neediest in our family, but somehow the least demanding. He never asks more of me than I can give at that moment. And given the fact that he's a baby, that's pretty amazing.

I'd be lost without my Baby B.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that aren't at all demanding!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 234: A Father's Love

I went upstairs today after helping Kayli with violin practice and saw that there was a message on the phone. I played it and discovered that the missionaries in our area were somehow under the impression that they were having dinner with us tonight.


Then I had a little flashback to several weeks prior when HH leaned over at church and told me he'd signed us up to have them over for dinner on September 21st. Three days after we get back from our trip?, I questioned. Awesome.

Fast forward to today. 4:30 PM today, to be precise. I went into a panic, called HH, and stressed out. Then I called the missionaries back and told them, "Sure, no problem!" And then resumed stressing.

But as I prepared dinner, I realized just how much I had been watched over by a loving Heavenly Father as I went about what I thought was a normal day. First off, HH helped me come up with a two-week menu yesterday and I stocked up on groceries last night. And then I ran to another store this morning to pick up a few great deals. Including ice cream, strawberries, green beans, soda, and tomatoes--all of which were used in our meal tonight.

And last night as Family Home Evening was winding down, I realized I'd forgotten to make treats. We almost decided to just go with popsicles, but then somehow decided to make brownies instead. So, we still had half of a pan to serve with the ice cream tonight.

And this afternoon I decided to go ahead and make the pizza dough and let it just sit until it was time to make the pizzas. I almost never prepare dinner ahead of time, so this was truly an inspired act.

But it was only enough dough for two pizza and three missionaries were coming. I ordered a pizza from Papa John's because on Tuesdays you can get a 1-topping large for only $7. So, tonight we had a pepperoni pizza from PJ's, a supreme pizza made by yours truly, and a dairy-soy-free pesto pizza also made by yours truly. For sides we had steamed green beans with olive oil, pepitos, and seasonings and sliced strawberries and bananas. We had soda to drink and brownies and ice cream for dessert (including a new dairy/soy free coconut ice cream I found today--yummy!).

As I was preparing everything and realizing how many ways I had been helped out today, I couldn't help but feel my Heavenly Father's love surrounding me like a comforting hug. And as I was appreciating His assistance, I realized that this is just the way my earthly father would help me as well. As I was preparing to host our family reunion this summer (and all throughout it), he was telling me to not stress and how great things would be and how proud he was of my ability to take care of things. And it was really neat feeling the love of both of my fathers during this somewhat crazy afternoon.

And that was my Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in being reminded that Somebody loves you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 233: A Thousand Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this post is 3000+. You are so lucky!

Today's Joyful Moment was found in sorting through all of our vacation photos now that we're home and remembering how fun and fabulous it was. The photos turned out great! So, I limited myself to just three to share with you.

I can't tell you how happy we all were to be reunited with beach life and all the great things it entails. Like this Ah-Mazing sunset. Ooooh, that makes me want to go back.

And then there was this most adorable boy all ready for hanging out at the beach. Cute doesn't even come close!

And, of course, hanging out with the big man (er, mouse?) on campus himself.

Ahhh, good times. Good memories.

And if you want an extra Joyful Moment today, please check out this facebook page to see how you can help my friend's sister in her battle with thyroid cancer. Or you can go directly to her husband's website to listen to his beautiful music. And there you can purchase his songs so you can have his beautiful music to keep and you can also do a good deed in helping them with overwhelming medical costs.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments worth at least 3000 words!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 232: Home

As much as we loved the East Coast and our friends there, it somehow never felt like "home" to me.

But after returning from our long vacation away, I'm reminded of how much I do feel at home here. It was great to be back at church and to hear that we were missed. And simply, to be among friends that feel a whole lot like family. I never would have guessed that we could feel so comfy here in the middle of nowhere, but we do. And re-realizing that today was my Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that feel a whole lot like home!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 231: No Doubt

Sleeping in my own bed.

I am in love with my bed.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments of THAT magnitude!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 230: Forever Young

Today we went back to the Happiest Place on Earth. As HH said later, it kind of sucks the happiness right out of you.

But that's not very joyful. And that only happens after a really long day at the end of a really long week.

When I was younger and we went to amusement or theme parks, my mom would always sit out on any ride even remotely fast or scary. Basically, anything fun. I always thought that was weird. Then I had Sweet P and when she was a little over a year, I took her on a carousel. And I could NOT wait to get off the second it began spinning. I felt so sick. And so, I thought that not being able to handle fun rides must be a natural side effect to having kids and growing up.

Fast forward to Disney's California Adventure today. I rode the Screamin' something or other and the Tower of Terror AND the rocking ferris wheel. And I LOVED it! Woohoo! I'm not a fuddy dud (no offense, Mom--you still rock). So, discovering that not only can I still handle these rides, but that I still love them was today's Joyful Moment. And a little confession--we even took Little M on the Tower of Terror (Sweet P would have nothing to do with it) and looking down and seeing his huge grin as we dropped through the air was a fun Joyful Moment as well.

Wishing you all youthful Joyful Moments!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 229: Nertz

a.k.a Snar, or a billion other names. Most likely, you've played this card game. I grew up playing it with my family and so did HH. And then I totally whooped on him when we played it on our second date.

Tonight we played it with HH's family. Because that's who we're here vacationing with. It might have been a more Joyful Moment had we won, but it was still a pretty good one. Plus, I think we've won almost every other time we've played against his family, so it was nice to share the joy, you know what I mean?

Wishing you all victorious Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 228: Wet n' Wild

Today we adventured our way over to SeaWorld. Wow. It was definitely a fun place. Especially for Sweet P. She loved how beautiful the dolphin show was especially. And getting splashed by Shamu. That was a Joyful Moment for me to hear her gushing about (she was sitting with Grandpa, so I didn't even have to get wet with her!) because I think she wasn't quite as enchanted with Disneyland. I love listening to what she appreciates in life because it's so different from most children. And doing something that she so fully enjoyed was definitely today's Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all splashy Joyful Moments!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 227: I Wear My Sunglasses

We took Baby B to the beach for the first time ever. First I had to dress him in his tiny little swimsuit, tiny little shade hat, and tiny little sunglasses. When I get home and upload the picture, I'll post it here and then you can experience the same Joyful Moment I had today. Oh. My. Goodness! He looked SO CUTE!

Of course, it's pretty much always a Joyful Moment when I look at him because he ALWAYS looks SO CUTE. But that's for another day.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are good for today and other days always!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 226: Happiest Place

Turns out the Happiest Place on Earth is even better as a parent. It was so fun watching my children experience it all.

But the best part was probably riding with Little M on the Matterhorn. "This is so fun!" And then he laughed this maniacal laugh he does. So great. And then at the end of the ride he commented, "That water was pretty splashy!" Oh, such a fun Joyful Moment. Every ride was that much better riding with him. He loved EVERY second of it.

Wishing you all Joyful-est Moments on earth!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 225: Just Beachy

Walking barefoot on the beach hand in hand with HH, looking for shells with the kids.

Joyful Moment.

'Nuff said.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that require little, or no explanation or eloquence!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 224: My Own Drummer

We made it to the beach today. That alone was a Joyful Moment because we've missed the beach so much ever since we left New England. But standing on the balcony watching Sweet P play in the surf completely overshadowed that Joyful Moment.

She was running in and out, crouching down and almost getting knocked over, and dragging around the longest strands of seaweed I've ever seen. Little M and her cousins were there playing as well and she played and interacted with them some, but for the most part, she was so happy to just do her own thing. Seriously, she was having the time of her life out there. I have no idea what she was doing, but she was loving every minute of it. And watching her in all of her contentment and confidence was so fun and Joyful.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments while marching to the beat of your very own drummer!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 223: Preparation HH

Tomorrow is a big day for us. So, today was busy busy busy getting ready for it. Normally, on days like this, I get more and more stressed out and more and more tightly wound inside as I try to get ready and keep my brain wrapped around everything that has been taken care of, is being taken care of, and still needs taking care of.

And I get CRABBY.

Not so, today. I totally kept my cool and even found time to give Z some extra (mucho needed-o) TLC. All the more impressive given the fact that all three children were crazy today and whiny and fussy. Even Baby B!

But now we're all ready, we're getting to bed before 10 PM on a Friday night (unheard of!), and tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Ah, Joyful Moment in knowing the Joyful Moment I will have in just a few minutes when I lay my tired head down on my lovely pillow.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and sweet dreams!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 222: Crafty

Tonight I got together with some of my girlfriends for dinner and then we hopped over to another friend's house for an awesome night of crafting! I can't reveal what because I might be making some more as gifts, but it was really fun. I have some very very talented and creative friends and they are kind enough to help me even though I kind of struggle in that area.

I wasn't able to get a ton of my project done before I had to go, but still, being creative and having fun with my friends was definitely a Joyful Moment.

As was walking in the door to a clean and quiet house. I'm so grateful to my HH for being so willing to take care of our house and home so I could go out tonight!

Wishing you all creative crafty Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 221: Pretty Woman

So, tonight at the end of dinner, HH came over to where I was sitting and took my face in his hands. I was/am extremely tired, so before I could process this I sorta zoned out for a bit. When I returned to conscious thought, I discovered he was still holding my face and looking at it. He seldom (if ever) does this, so I politely questioned, "What?"

"Nothing. I was just thinking, you look really pretty right now."

I'm sure I don't even have to tell you, but that was tonight's Joyful Moment.

I just love my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are equally blatant and obvious (just to continue with tonight's "redundancy" theme)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 220: I'm Dirty

That's the title of a book that Little M saw sitting on a shelf at our library two months ago. He didn't know that was the title because he can't read, but he knew he wanted it because it had a picture of a big, muddy backhoe loader on the front cover. A little boy's dream.

But we couldn't get it because it was just before hosting my family reunion and I didn't want any library books in the house that could potentially be ruined. So, I promised him we'd get it when we came back.

Except that it is ALWAYS checked out.

So, last time, I got smart and put a hold on it. It came in and today I picked it up while Little M was at preschool. As soon as we got back to the car after picking him up, I told him what I had done.


And then he made this sound that kind of sounds like "Aaaahhh!", but it's more guttural and it's what he does whenever he's really excited and can't believe how awesome things are.

And it was my Joyful Moment. Along with going home and reading it with him. And then I let him read it (it came with a CD) while I showered and apparently, he listened to it three more times! And then I read it to him again for his nap time story. So glad he likes it.

Thank goodness for wonderful, simple joys.

Wishing you all wonderful, simple Joyful Moment joys!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 219: Puppy Love

Well, somewhere along the way, it happened. I fell in love with our crazy, ill-behaved puppy. And she truly is a part of the family now. I missed her so much while we were out of town this weekend!

So, today's Joyful Moment was picking her up from the kennel this morning and then taking her to the dog park as an apology for leaving her there. The dog run was packed with all sorts of great dogs, so she had a fabulous time! But she wouldn't stray too far from me. Poor thing! I think she's afraid I'll abandon her again. If only she knew how much it hurt my heart to leave her!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that don't do any heart hurting!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 218: Grandma's Magic

Today's Joyful Moment was watching my grandma put my baby to sleep and then my little sister's baby to sleep. Just by sitting there watching over them lovingly.

Let me explain. Baby B is a great baby, but he struggles to fall asleep while being held. He much prefers being in his own bed to fall asleep. When we're out and I have to get him to sleep while holding him, it is a long struggle of bouncing, and pacing, and changing positions, and whatnot until he finally gives in a conks out.

My grandma just sat there holding him and he peacefully and effortlessly drifted off to la-la land right then and there.

His tiny cousin is also a great baby, but a bit colicky and he struggles to fall asleep as well. Not only did he effortlessly drift off to the Land of Nod while simply laying in his great-grandmother's lap, he became so unbelievably relaxed he was all sprawled out with his mouth wide open. And completely dead to the world.

Did I mention that my grandma didn't have to do anything more than sit there with the both of them? She has a magic touch. I'm telling you.

But the most Joyful part of that Joyful Moment was watching the way she looked at these great-grandsons of hers with love and wonder. Those of you who know my grandma will understand this best, but it was a very tender moment for me. And I'm very grateful for it.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments involve effortless, deep, peaceful sleep!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 218: Oh, Baby!


He's my little sister's first baby and he is adorable and I love him and I am SO HAPPY to finally get to hold him!!!!

And that was today's Joyful Moment, in case you couldn't guess.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that won't leave anyone guessing!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 217: At Last!

I saw one of the most beautiful butterflies on my run this morning. Joyful Moment.

And then I hopped in the car and took a road trip to see my aunt and uncle for the first time in about five years. Joyful Moment!!!

Wishing you all beautiful Joyful Moments that have been a long time coming!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 216: Pedi-Cure

So, Sweet P and I have really been struggling of late. She appears to have picked up some "bad habits" during her brief fling with teenage hormones. Add in her increasing dislike for violin practice, tiring school days (Kindergarten is ALL day out here!), and subtract the naps she was still taking up until the first day of school, and you have the perfect recipe for a monster.

Yes, I just referred to my daughter as a monster. Feel free to remove me from the "Mother of the Year" list of nominees. Because up until now, I've been a perfect mom.

Anyway, it's really bad and my depression appears to be very directly related to her attitude. So, if anyone has any advice on how to make that transition to full-day school a little less rough as quickly as possible--I would really appreciate it.

What does all of this have to do with Joyful Moments, though? Well, for my birthday Sweet P (and HH) got me a gift certificate to have pedicures done together. And I thought tonight would be a great time to go. We almost didn't make it due to a severely bad attitude, but we both pulled it together so we could be in good spirits and enjoy each other.

And we did. Sitting side-by-side, getting our toenails painted was such a fun, girly Joyful Moment. She's definitely more of a tomboy than a girly girl, so this was a very rare opportunity. And it was seriously, so FUN!

Wishing you all sass-free, girly girl Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 215: Push It

I'm not going to lie--I am extremely competitive. I like to think I get that from my grandma.

I was showing HH my running stats from a prior run the other night (as logged by my awesome watch!) and he had the audacity to patronize my running pace. I ran 6 3/4 miles at an average pace of 8:58 min./mile. And he said something about that being "decent".

Well, the competitive nut inside my head to that as a serious gauntlet throw down. So, today I set out to prove him wrong. (For the record, he had no idea what he had done. He didn't mean anything negative by his comment.)

Today I ran 6.97 miles with an average pace of 8:30 min/mile. I'm not going to lie, that missing .03 miles was a bit of ding in today's Joyful Moment. But still, I felt pretty durn good about my run. In fact, my final .97 miles was the fastest of all (the competitor inside really wanted to make it all the way to 7 miles before my 60 minutes ran out). I think I would have run a sub-8 minute mile. And that made my tired heart very happy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in defeating the gauntlet!