Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 515: (Another) New Plan For My Life!

Except this one is only for a month, so I think I'll actually stick to it.  It's a lot easier for me to commit to hard things (or, at least things that are hard for me), if I know it's only for a little while.  And then I can revert to my wild ways, if I wish.

But I know that as the days wear on, it will get easier, and I'm hoping that will make it easier for me to stick to most of the changes I'm making.

This has nothing to do with that, except that they were both Joyful Moments.  How cute is this little guy trying to brush his teeth with his big sis?  Excuse the mismatched jammies.  HH got him ready for bed last night.  So, I really have no complaints about that.

Anyway, here's what I'm going to do:

Wake up at 6 AM to go for a 30-45 minute run or bike ride every weekday morning.
Introducing three new supplements suggested by my chiropractor--Vitamin D, Fish oil, and a probiotic.
Yoga at the gym at 9:15 every weekday morning.
No sweets.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.
Snacks will be fruits and veggies.
In bed by 10 PM.

I'm both super excited and terrifyingly overwhelmed.

Wish me luck!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that simultaneously excite and terrify you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 514: I'm A Warrior

So, this is another one of those very raw, personal, and somewhat lengthy posts.  And I'm pretty sure it's a downer.  Feel absolutely no obligation to read it.  But if you do, and you know me, remember to pretend that everything is fine the next time you see me.  Thanks.

Well, last night/this morning (how ever you define 3:30 AM), my world came crashing in on me.  Again.  And so it goes for anyone battling chronic depression.

Running is my main anti-depressant.  Since I had the plantar fasciitis in February and then The Plague in May, my running has been weak and sporadic at best.  And then I've got all of the other general malaise junk going on, and it's just really put me in a funk that I keep (unsuccessfully) trying to get out of.

I know there are about a billion worse things that could be going on.  I know that really my life is awesomely amazing and amazingly awesome.  But still, I struggle.

And last night I slipped almost all the way down to the bottom of that struggle.

So, HH decided to stay home from work today.  He got up with the kids, so I could sleep in (I only slept for 3 broken up hours).  Sleep isn't easy for me to come by when I'm dealing with D, so I didn't get much of it this morning, either.  But I did some thinking.

I think one of the blessings of this blog is that it kind of forces me to be open about my depression.  Not something that comes naturally for anyone in that state.  And this allows me to look at it more objectively, which gives me better perspective.

So, I can choose to continue wallowing in it (as I have been for the past few months, off and on), or I can fight to get my happy me back.  This isn't the first time I've been here (probably won't be the last) and I know that it's going to be a very uphill battle.  But I also know that I need to fight back now because the longer I wallow in it, the further down I get, and things are close to getting really ugly.  And I really don't want to go there again.

So, before I got out of bed, I made up my mind to take advantage of having HH home and do everything in my power today to get better.  Or, make preparations for all out war against the D, really.

I went to my chiropractor and let one more person in on my little secret.  He adjusted me (couldn't figure out why I was so tight until I clued him in) and then treated some points specific to depression.  Then we talked about some other supplements to help with my various deficiencies, as discovered in my recent blood test.  And suggested further testing in other areas.

Then I went to JoAnn's and picked up some fabric for a craft that I want to make for some little people who are very special to me.  I know crafting brings me joy--especially, when I making it to give away.  That's right, I fight back with polyester and faux crystal.

Then back home where I kind of stalled out for a couple hours, trying to determine if it (I) was really worth it.  Finally, I resolved again, as I had this morning, to keep fighting.  I sent out a little email inviting my girlfriends to join me for dinner tomorrow night.  Their laughter and conversation has sort of magical powers in fighting off the D.  So, even though a social engagement is almost painful to contemplate right now, I know it's exactly what I need.

I tried to take a nap.  Even though I didn't sleep, it's still important to prove to Sad Me that I'm willing to take care of Real Me.

And then I took Z and we went for a run (after letting her play in the river at the dog run to get good and wet).  It was nearly 100 degrees with the heat index.  Hot and humid.  I was literally functioning on very little sleep.  But the run was exactly what I needed.  It felt so good.  And I felt myself reviving a little.  HH kept telling me not to overdo it before I left, but I had to overdo it.  Just a little.  To make sure that there was more Life than Death in me.  And to remind myself that I'm actually very good at digging deep when the battle gets overwhelming and tough.

And so, on this day where my heart hurt almost too much to bear, that was my Joyful Moment.  That run gave me hope.  Just enough to bring me true Joy.

And for now, that's enough.

I'm so grateful to my HH for taking care of the kids all day, so I could have a break from the incessant whining they've gotten into ever since Sweet P returned from the hospital.  He even made dinner.  It was healthy and delicious.

Thanks, HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are a trillion times better than this--but at least this much, on your worst of days.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 513: Today Stinks

Remember last month when we bought 12 pounds of honey?  Tonight, Baby B somehow managed to spill it and we lost about half that.

This is me cleaning it up.  And telling HH that I'm not in the mood to smile for a picture.

Not my best photo-op.

Not my Joyful Moment.

This was.

Those are homegrown tomatoes and basil leaves on a homemade naan crust.  And I grilled it.  Creating it was exhilarating.  Grilling it was adventurous.  Devouring it was delightful.

And a rare Joyful Moment in this stinkiest of stinky days.

The End.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and days that don't stink!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 512: Fostering Independence

Today was tiring.

Sweet P is still feeling rotten.  In a lot of pain.  And has turned to a bit of a DIVA.  We've made so many accommodations and special arrangements for her, she know expects us to bow to her every whim.  And I hate having to tell her 'no' when I can tell how awful she feels, but she really is getting quite bossy with everyone.

Including Little M.  Who is struggling with his own issues of being the un-diva (?).  He told me today that he wants to have surgery.  Why can't he ever have surgery?!  Because Sweet P gets everything, while he gets nothing.  In his eyes, of course.  In truth, he's been eating Popsicles and Jell-O right along with her.

So, it was a bit of a whine fest at our house today, among other struggles.

Which is why the following was even more appreciated.

This made me laugh out loud.  And I really needed that.

We keep unbreakable dishes fairly low in the kitchen so the kids can reach them by themselves.  Apparently, Baby B figured this out.

And this is what he was doing when I first caught him.  Almost!  Looks like we'll have to employ the lock on the water dispenser in a few inches.

Ah, so cute though.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you laugh out loud!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 511: What's In Your Wallet?

Actually, this post is about my purse.  But I like to stick to songs, slogans, and catch phrases for my titles whenever possible.

So, today was rough.  Poor Sweet P was in a ton of pain for the majority of it.  Around early afternoon we finally got on top of it and she started enjoying herself again.  But before that was just awful.

So, HH and I tag-teamed it all day.  We both have obligations at church, fortunately at different times.  So Little M and I went to the first half (poor Little M missed his siblings SO MUCH during Sacrament Meeting--until he discovered that he could have all kind of fun contorting my face into all kinds of crazy positions), then I came home and HH went to his part.  Then he came home and I went back for another meeting after church for those of us who teach the children in Primary (kind of like Sunday School for children ages 4-11).

And my Joyful Moment was taking my non-mommy purse to that meeting.  It had a total of, I think, three things in it.  It was so quick.  So simple.  So light.

And it made me happy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are quick, simple, and light--or at least, two out of the three!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 510: Represent

I hope you read that title in the tone of voice of a late 90's rapper.

If not, go back and try again.

That's what this photo does.  It represents the kind of Joyful Moments I had today.

Simple.  Sweet.  The peace that comes from being on this side of things and having my baby girl back home.  And our family all together again.  Finally.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that truly represent!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 509: Oh, Clot.

Wow.  I tell you what, wow.

I could make the story of today a reeeally long post.

But I shan't.

Suffice it to say, we survived.  And I felt a Guiding Hand throughout.  From helping me come up with the perfect distraction to keep her from crying the whole long drive to the hospital early this morning (pretending we were on a 'girls only' trip to Yellowstone) to one of the surgeon's taking a forgotten CT scan right in stride to helping a threatening clot shrink away on its own, rather than becoming a scary situation.  And all sorts of stuff in between.

We had a good day together once we got the worst of it behind us.  They wouldn't let her have her promised popsicles for a while thanks to the nasty clot, but once the main scare was past, she got a double grape popsicle and she really perked up from there on out.  Seeing her finally smile again was definitely a Joyful Moment, but I will feel so much better in a few weeks when we're really on the other side of all of this.

But now, HH is staying at the hospital with her.  I haven't slept well in days and knew that a night at the hospital wouldn't be any more restful.  I worried about driving home safely after yet another night of little sleep.  She's a daddy's girl anyway, so she was happy about the switch.  And Baby B, my little appendage, was delighted to be reunited with me again.  He was happy to see me again at the hospital, but when we got home tonight he was positively thrilled.  He just kept hugging me (he does the adorable 'pat on the back' right now--so cute!) and laughing.

Which made me smile.  For maybe the first time today.  And I felt a layer of stress begin to melt away.  So, that would have to go down as another Joyful Moment.

I guess it became a lengthy post after all.  Just trust me, though, I could have made it much much longer.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are just as long as they ought to be!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 508: Honey, I'm Home

HH has been away on business for the last three days.

We've been alright.  I always plan extra fun activities for the kids when he's gone, since it's kind of sad for all of us.

But tonight, he came home.

And it's kind of like I'm home, too, now.

Internally, I just get kind of all out of sorts and discombobulated.  And then he comes home and everything rights itself again.  Like my heart and soul breathe a great big sigh of relief and relax once more.

In case you're wondering, being in his arms again was my Joyful Moment.

And it wasn't a moment too soon because tomorrow Sweet P and I are headed to the hospital for not one, not two, not three, but four medical procedures.  They're replacing the implant with the medication treating her problem of growing too much too fast, removing her tonsils and adenoids (she has sleep apnea and it's a little scary), and irrigating her sinuses (they are packed with delightful mucous and infection--that no amount of antibiotics can scare off).

She would have cried herself to sleep with worry and sadness if her daddy weren't here to soothe her, calm her down, and give her a blessing of comfort.  I'm so grateful to be married to this man.

So, tomorrow's post might be a little late because they're keeping her overnight for observation.  I'm sure everything will go well, but your prayers in our behalf are greatly appreciated!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments when your soul can breathe freely again!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 507: Ninety-Nine Red Balloons

Today I had several significant Joyful Moment.  For the second time in a week, I learned that someone close to me is having a baby!  I'm so happy for both of you!  This news is always a mega-Joyful Moment, of course.

And the other two significant Joyful Moments involved something round and red.

The first was our very first ripe tomato!!!!  It was a little baby cherry tomato.  We cut it in thirds.  HH wasn't home and there are a bunch more about to be ripe, so I figured he'd forgive us (actually, I just kind of got carried away in the heat of the moment and forgot him, but he'll understand).  It was soooooooooooooooooooooooo yummy!  Little bite, Big Joyful Moment!

And watching Baby B play in sheer rapture and delight with his older siblings' balloons was my other Joyful Moment.

Please don't take your balloon back, Big Brother!

Little M was kind of reluctant to share, since he was convince Baby B wanted to pop it.  I tried to explain that he didn't even know a balloon was capable of popping.

He was just in awe of its magical floating abilities.  And it was a Joyful Moment watching his joy and awe.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with magical floating abilities!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 506: The Terrible Day That Wasn't

Today should have been simply awful.

I had to wake up at 4:55 AM to sign Little M up for swim lessons before all of the spots filled up.  And then I couldn't fall back asleep.  I laid in bed stressing over Sweet P's upcoming surgeries, family reunions, and how I would survive today.

Then all sorts of things happened this morning to perpetuate my bad mood.  I was preparing myself to avoid the kids as much as possible, so they wouldn't suffer unnecessarily.

Eventually, we made it to the gym.  We didn't have a ton of time before swim lessons, but I managed to get in a four-mile run.  And drop a minute off of my average mile pace, down from what it has been ever since I got so sick.  So, I'm still a far cry from where I should be, but progress is progress!

And then things kept falling into place to make today really great.  For all of us.  When it really should have been kind of crummy.  For all of us.  Sweet P actually proclaimed it "The Best Day Ever!" at one point.  Which is funny, because it really wasn't.  But I was grateful for her enthusiasm.

So, I had a lot of Joyful Moments throughout the day.  But the best one was probably snuggling on the couch with Sweet P and Little M to watch their favorite parts of "James and The Giant Peach" (the movie).  It's always fun to see things through their eyes and hear what they think is SO funny.  And now, I'm hoping to be able to share one of my favorite childhood books (and authors) with them, by reading it little by little together each day.  Since it's scarce on pictures, now they can be aided in their imaginations by remembering the movie.  I'm pretty sure Sweet P could have done this without the movie, but Little M was already disappointed just flipping through the pages of the book and noting that it only had a few "grey pictures".

Anyway, it was nice spending a simple evening with my babies.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments found in simple quietude!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 505: Eye Of The Storm

We've got some Severe Thunderstorm Warnings going on right now.  I'm not all that worried.  Actually, the warnings have probably expired because the storm has really died down in its intensity.

The storm doth protest--I just heard a loud thunder clap as I typed this.

But a couple of hours ago, we happened to be outside as the clouds rolled in.  It was an amazing sight.  These huge, black clouds just came in so fast.  It was a little bit freaky, but mostly really beautiful.  I've always had a thing for thunderstorms.  I love them, really.

So, watching those clouds come tearing across the sky and literally seeing the storm descend upon us was today's Joyful Moment.  I thought about going in for the camera, but the clouds were moving so fast, I didn't want to miss it.  Plus, I knew my camera wouldn't do them justice.  So, I just took a mental picture.  Sorry you can't all enjoy it!

Wishing you all wild and stormy (in a good way!) Joyful Moments!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 504: RadDad

So, of course today's Joyful Moment was in honoring and celebrating my baby daddy:

How totally classic is this picture?!  Complete with Baby B's unedited red eyes.  Awesome.

Anyways, lots of Joyful Moments loving this man today.  We let him sleep in.  The kids presented him with the billions of cards they've been making for him all week.  We made him German pancakes for breakfast.  The kids got back from a bathroom trip just in time to join the rest of the children in singing the final line of the Dad song at church.  We grilled up some good man food for dinner.  And made his favorite peach pie.  Except that this time we made it with strawberries--just to be wild and crazy.  And I like that version better.

Oh, and I gave him his Father's Day presents and he was totally surprised and pleased with his new shirt.  Especially when I told him what a screamin' deal I'd gotten it for.

Good grammar.

And then we went for a walk and called our own dads to wish them Happy Father's Days.  And that was delightful.  And, naturally, a Joyful Moment.  I love talking to my dad.  He is awesome.  He always makes me happy.  I think that's because I know that he loves and adores me with his whole heart.  There is no doubt in my mind that I am totally and completely special to him.  What more could a daughter ask for from her daddy?  Not much, really.

Maybe, just to not live so stinkin' far away so she can give him a hug on Father's Day.  And that's about it.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in knowing that you're totally and completely special to someone awesome!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 503: Holy Mountain of The Lord

Tonight we went to the temple.  It is always a Joyful Moment.  But tonight was a little extra special.  And exactly what I needed.

And we were able to take two friends who don't have cars with us.  One of which is a girl that I've been wanting to hang out with and get to know better, pretty much since we moved here.  Finally, this is what worked and we talked the whole way there, all through dinner after, and the whole way home.  She's every bit as awesome as I originally suspected.

So, getting to know her better was a Joyful Moment, too.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are a little extra special!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 502: Stand In The Place Where You Are

Name the song!

Why do we play that game?  I don't know.

You will be happy to know that today went about a trillion times better than yesterday.  Which could just be my Joyful Moment right there.

But we spent a lot of time together today and that was more of one.  The main thing we did was a trip to the zoo.  Where we experienced all kinds of exotic wildlife up close and personal, like this:

And this:

And then Baby B did this:

This is not the first time he's stood alone.  It's not a great  picture either.  But it's the first one I've been able to capture before he sits down and refuses to stand again.  And that capture was a big Joyful Moment for me.  I tried to keep my enthusiasm on the inside, since we were in a public place, but it was a challenge.  I was WAY super stoked.

While it still makes me sad to think of him growing up, he looks so cute doing all these grown up things, and that helps take the sting out of it.

Ah, I love my children.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the opportunity to just stand still and appreciate them!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 501: Spawn of You Know Who

Do you ever have days where it seems like your children are possessed?  All of them?

Good.  Because I do, too.  And today was one of them.  Even now, one is upstairs running around his room talking into the vents and another is babbling to himself.

Go.  To.  SLEEP!!!!

Anyway, so it was a little rough.

However, not without it's Joyful Moments.

(Whew!  Can you imagine if I failed now?!)

So, you know how I've been kind of deathly ill for over a month now.  Well, really it's been going on for 10 years.  It's just that this most recent illness made it about a billion times worse.  So, I decided to try once again to figure out what is going on.

This time (thanks to some advice from a few of you), I requested that they test my Vitamin D levels, along with all the other standard tests.  Turns out I'm a little low on the Sunshine Vitamin.  It didn't seem like that big of a deal, though.  And I started taking the recommended supplement with very little hope.

But then, I had a conversation with my mom this morning about some people she knows with similar issues and she told me that they benefited greatly from supplementation.  And that was my Joyful Moment.  I haven't noticed any changes personally, but it's only been a couple days.  So, having this conversation with my mom gave me some very much needed hope.

And Hope pretty much always equals Joy.

Wishing you all Moments that equal Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 500: 500?! For Real?!

I once thought that reaching 500 consecutive days of Joyful Moments would be a Joyful Moment, but mostly, it just makes me sad that I'm already halfway finished.

There's some positive thinking for you!

No, I guess it is a Joyful Moment because I'm proud of myself for sticking with it.  And it is pretty awesome to say that I've experienced 500 consecutive days of Joyful Moments.  And then when you factor in the mental shift it's caused for me, well, I guess it really is a Joyful Moment.

And who knows, maybe I'll get to 1000 and decide to just keep on going for the rest of my life.  I kind of think it will be a cool legacy to leave for my kids.



Okay, now that it's just us, I can share my real Joyful Moment for today.

I got HH the perfect gift for Father's Day!!!!  Technically, he already got fishing gear for Father's Day.  We just got it early so he could go out and use it.

But I was out doing some returns tonight and I found a really nice golf polo (he recently informed me that golf polos are very different from normal polos.  And that he was very much in need of a golf polo). And it was on a super-duper sale.  And I had a mega coupon.  So, I got this waaaaaay nice golf polo for (drum roll, please!)... $5!!!

And I know he's going to be so excited when he opens it!

Aaah!  I'm so excited I can hardly wait until Sunday!!!!!

So, yeah, it was a HUGE Joyful Moment.  I wasn't going to share it here because I don't want to make him suspicious, but I was so stinkin' excited I had to tell all of you!

Thanks for sharing in my super exciting Joyful Moment for today.

And thanks for following me for the past 500 days.  You are great!

Wishing you all 500 consecutive days of Joyful Moments!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 499: More Asparagus?

Who would have thought I'd have two Joyful Moments centered on asparagus?  And in such a short amount of time!

It's madness!

I forgot to take a picture before we devoured half of this Shaved Asparagus pizza.  So, it's not as pretty, but you can still get the idea.  It was so yummy!  And it was kind of fun shaving the asparagus and doing something different with it!

So, pretty much the whole experience of creating and then eating was my Joyful Moment today.

Oh, and finally trying out my new barbecue sauce on the barbecue chicken pizza.  It was super yummy! However, since I'm still not quite there with perfection, I would love to have the recipes offered!  Thank you in advance!

And one more thing I keep forgetting:  Sorry about adding the word verification thingy.  I despise those. Unfortunately, I've been dealing with all kind of spam comments and it kept getting worse, so I had to install the word verifier as a defense.  Maybe I'll be able to take it down in a month, or two.  For now the spamming has stopped and that makes me feel better.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are delightful in both the production and the enjoyment phases!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 498: Not Ready

Today was crazy.  Not bad.  Just insane.

But still plenty of Joyful Moments (thank goodness!) to be had.

The Joyful Moment that should be the Featured Moment isn't quite ready to be unveiled, though.  It's kind of huge.  Just a seed of a moment, really.

I just read the last two sentences and realized that they make no sense back-to-back.

My brain is awesome.

What I mean is, today I decided I want to do something.  Something really huge.  Exciting, yet terrifying for the commit-o-phobe in me.  I'm beginning to formulate a plan for how to accomplish it, but it's still in the works.

So, although it was definitely today's big Joyful Moment, I'm not going to share it here.

I just going to take five minutes to explain why I'm not telling you.

We're cool, right?

Anyway, so my other Joyful Moment was watching Baby B eat a homemade cheese and garlic biscuit.  His little personality is coming out more and more all the time.  I'd just gotten home from violin lessons and a crazy grocery trip with the older two.  I was giving him the biscuit so he could sit happily and eat it while I cleaned the kitchen, but then I couldn't put him down.

It was just so fun watching him study and analyze his biscuit and make his crazy little sounds at it.  He makes these forceful, short little exclamations these days.  Along the lines of, "Enh!", "Boh!", "Mom!", "Aah!", and the like.  And every now and then, his exclamation would get a little overly enthusiastic and his lips would touch the biscuit and then he'd lick the crumbs off his lips and get a pensive look on his face.

All over a whole wheat garlic cheese biscuit.

Silly and adorable.  And an instant Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with a side order of garlic, cheesy goodness!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 497: Pretty Preggems

I have a friend who is "with child" and ready to deliver in a few weeks.  I sat a few rows behind her in church today and noticed that her hair was looking really cute.  So, after the meeting, I met her in the hallway and told her how cute I thought she was looking.

As soon as she turned to me, I could see on her face how "not cute" she was feeling today.  But she really was looking quite cute.  So, my compliment was extra appreciated.

And that was my Joyful Moment.  I know how those preggem days can get to a girl and how a compliment can really make all the difference.  It was nice to be on the giving end, rather than the receiving (not that I mind that either!).

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in feeling as cute as you look!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 496: Exhausted

Today was a good day.  But we're all quite worn out.  So, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking tonight.





Many Joyful Moments

Wishing you all many Joyful Moments and beautiful pictures to describe them when the sheer effort of creating and experiencing Joy has worn you out!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 495: HFCS, You Make Me Sad

High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It's in everything.  Have you noticed?  If not, go check the bottles in your fridge.  You'll be amazed to discover what it's lurking in.  And I'm not just talking juice bottles, here.

So, I've been on a quest to find a good barbecue sauce recipe.  It's nearly impossible to find a bottle in the store that doesn't contain HFCS.  Plus, I like making my own stuff from scratch anyway.  We were big fans of Sweet Baby Ray's before I got into all this, so I googled until I came up with a couple that sounded reasonable.

And then I went to work this afternoon altering and combining.  I'm making barbecue chicken pizza sometime during the next few days (my menu schedule is pretty, um, "flexible" these days--depending on my energy level).

It didn't pass the taste test 100%, but it's a lot closer than the last recipe I tried.  So, I'm pretty sure I've found the right foundation, it just needs a little clarification and tweaking.  And then it will be perfect.  And then I will be able to add it to my growing list of products that I would have once thought could only be had on a grocery store shelf, but now am quite capable of producing on my own!

And that was today's Joyful Moment.

Let's just cross our fingers that actually eating it tomorrow will be another Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are homemade and way better than those found on a grocery store shelf!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 494: Anyone Want My Middle Child?

Because I'm ready to be done with him.  He's driving me up the wall.  It's just one thing after another and nothing motivates him to behave.  NOthing.  Nothing.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.  Not a thing.  No.


Hard to imagine that that face could cause me such woe.

But don't get lost in those chubby cheeks.  He's been my difficult child all along.

He never wants to do what we want him to do.  Ever.  Not because we want him to do terrible, or difficult things--just because we want him to do it!

Anyone want to take this little monster home?!

Okay, I'll quit venting now.

That really had nothing to do with today's Joyful Moment.  It just made them a little harder to come by.

Today I accomplished three things that have been on my to-do list for over a month.  Sweetness!  All three involved giving something I made to friends.  Two were "thank-you's" and one a baby gift.  Joyful Moments all around.

Wishing you all monstrously Joyful Moments (without any actual monsters)!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 493: And Then There Were Six

Kiddos, that is.  I realized, right after I typed that in, that it could be interpreted a different way.  As in, six of us.  As in a baby in my belly.

Right now there's just a cupcake in my belly.

But there are six children in my home.

We adopted three this afternoon while their parents make a quick trip to watch a sibling compete in a big race.  These kids are kind of like cousins to my kids.  So, Joyful Moments came in watching them all play together.

And a great excuse to breakout the kiddie pool for the summer.  As you can see, the kids know how to soup up the kiddie pool.

And it was Baby B's first time "swimming".  I don't know that he ever really figured out whether he liked it, or not.  But watching him splash around was a Joyful Moment.  And snuggling him in a warm towel at the end was a Joyful Moment for us both.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make a splash!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 492: YAY!!!

I took some footage of the baby's latest achievements tonight (for the grandparents), but then watching how stinkin' cute he is was totally my Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments--and knowing you'll get one because I just gave you one!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 491: You're Making Good Progress, Mama

I am a puzzler.  I love puzzling!

My mama got me a crazy hard puzzle when Sweet P was little.  I tried to work on it once, or twice, but there was never a spot out of the reach of chubby little hands that I could commandeer long enough to make the whole thing.

I broke it out the day Sweet P finished school, thinking the kids and I could work on it together and finish it up in a few days.  They're pretty good at puzzling, too, but I sort of overestimated their skills.  This isn't your traditional puzzle.  It's a photomosaic.  1000 pieces.

Little M tried every so often to place a piece, but quickly gave up.  Periodically, one of them would come up to me and say, "You're making good progress, Mama!"  So sweet.

Anyway, it took longer than I thought it would, but today I finished it.

And we all shared a Joyful Moment.  They're sitting on a kitchen chair trying to look triumphant, although it kind of looks like they're riding a roller coaster the way they're leaning.

It looks like he's, ya know, leaning.  (Name the movie!!)

And Joyful Moment #2 (as if finishing a Winnie the Pooh puzzle wasn't enough, right?!).  Last time I was at Trader Joe's, I couldn't find my mostest favoritest unsulfured apricots.  They told me there were a discontinued item.  I almost cried.  Went there for some milk tonight and--yahoo!--they're back!!!  It's not a good photo, but I had other things to do.  Like eat half a pound of dried apricots.

Life is good.

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 490: Continuation

You can probably guess--today's Joyful Moment was continuing to celebrate HH.

This is the same peach pie he has requested for every birthday I've known him for.  It's his mama's recipe.  He gave me a copy when we were engaged and I've made it every year since.  It's a fresh peach pie, so it's pretty easy.  And it tastes yummy too, so I don't complain about the annual request.

This was the actual big day, so there were lots of Joyful Moments in all of the official celebration, especially opening gifts and singing and all the whoop de doo.

But, if this were any other day, my Joyful Moment would have been finding his scriptures.  They've been missing for over a month.  We thought we'd looked everywhere at the church (and were kind of disappointed at the prospect of someone having stolen scriptures at church!)  They're the scriptures he used while on his mission to Russia, so they really mean a lot to him.  I found them in a box in the library today. I was so excited I could have danced a jig!  And it was a major Joyful Moment for me--especially when I showed him my fabulous discovery!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my amazing HH.  You make my world Joyful.  I love you.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of whoop de doo!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 489: Birthweekend!

In my family, it always seems that for one reason or another, we can't simply celebrate one's birth on the day only.  It stretches out for at least 3 days, sometimes a whole week.  This is excellent for someone like me who *adores* all of the birthday attention and fun.  HH is not quite as self-centered and doesn't get all hyped up about his birthday.

But he's learning the way I do things.

So, I informed him that this would be his birthday weekend and he would be the boss and the king.

And I would get a billion Joyful Moments out of trying to spoil him for a change.

Breakfast in bed.  With his specialty of sliced bananas and strawberries.  And two cute kiddos.  (The other one was cute, but smelly so he didn't make it into the picture).

Then we had a crazy morning and somewhat disappointing afternoon--we missed Sweet P's first t-ball game.  Sad sad sad sad sad.  For a number of reasons, but mostly because my brain isn't working right now.  And it makes me want to cry that we missed it, so I'm going to move on to Joyful Moments.

HH has been promising to take me golfing since we were dating.  For his birthweekend, he finally decided to make good on it.

Sporting his new birthday golf shoes!  He looks really HOT when he golfs.  Joyful Moment for me.

We didn't intend to match.  It just happens when you're so in sync as we are.  This was my first time golfing--ever.  I thought I would be terrible.  Turns out, I'm decent.  I mean, not great by any means.  But I did alright.  And it also turns out that I like golfing.  It was actually a Joyful Moment for me.  And not just because I was with my sweetheart.

And some good friends joined us as well.  Afterward, we went out to a pizza place we'd never tried.  Yum!  And brought home leftovers--Joyful Moments for tomorrow!

ALL of our babysitters (we're talking, almost 10 different girls) are out of town, or working at real jobs this weekend.  Fortunately, we have great friends who volunteered to take our crazy kiddos, so we could still go out on the town.  The husband was in charge of the babies for a bit, and Baby B ended up going to bed just like this.  So cute!  Total Joyful Moment watching my cutie pie baby sleep in a pillow shrine.

Let the BirthWeekend Joyful Moments continue!!!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that take at least a weekend to celebrate!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 488: What The CSA Has Done To Dinner

It's exciting!

But first, a little catch up from last night:

We practiced some t-ball again this evening.  Not quite as Joyful as yesterday--we were all tired.  But, I got some cute pics anyway.

I made this!  Pulling it out of the oven and seeing how pretty it turned out was my Joyful Moment tonight.  It's an Asparagus and Tomato Quiche.  That's CSA asparagus.  Last night we had Creamy Thai Peanut Noodles With Radishes (from our CSA).  Long name, delicious dish.  And the night before we had Chicken and Mango Salad, featuring CSA salad greens.

I think most household chefs I know would agree that deciding what to make for dinner is usually the hardest part.  Now, I just google recipes containing my tasty, healthy, freshly picked (when ripe!), in season veggies.  There's my menu.  And it's all centered around vegetables, too.  It's been a source of Joyful Moments all week long.  I'm so excited for all the possibilities as the season develops and more items are available.

I'm in love.

And for my constant source of Joyful Moments, here's a pic of my cutie patootie.  He climbed all the way up the slide to stand there while the kids and I were practicing t-ball.  And he was SO proud of himself.  Darling.

Wishing you all vegetable-centered Joyful Moments!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 487: Swing!

I'm finally figuring out how to make it all work this summer.  Mostly, just do less.

Because then I have time to do more.

That seems like a contradiction, but it's true.  We skipped a shopping trip this morning and then I had time (and energy--yay!) to clean the house while the kids napped.  And we all had time to practice some t-ball skills in the afternoon.

This is Sweet P with HH at her very first practice.  I couldn't take pictures of our backyard practice today because I was pretty busy coaching.  And trying to catch two balls being thrown at me simultaneously from opposite directions.  Because Little M had to get in on the skill development as well.

I never played t-ball.  Or softball.  Or anything of the sort.  I'm not very good at hitting a ball with a bat, catching a ball, or throwing a ball.  But somehow or other, I seem to be alright at teaching the skills necessary for Sweet P to do it.  I guess my dad's tutelage from when I was young lodged in my brain, even if it didn't translate into any physical ability for me whatsoever.

Anyway, hanging out in the backyard this afternoon with my kiddos was most definitely today's Joyful Moment.  Joyful in seeing a little progress in skill for both of them and Joyful in just hanging out and having a good time.

And I'd like to thank Baby B for taking an extra long nap, thus making the practice go much more smoothly.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that go much more smoothlier!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 486: Third Child

Today I was cranky and crabby and kind of short with everyone I met.  It was just like there was this fog inside my head that was causing so much confusion, I couldn't get past it to be nice.

Does that make sense?

No?  Good.  At least we're all in the same boat for a moment.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure tomorrow will be better.  And I've finally decided to go see a doctor.  Hopefully, that will provide some answers and then you won't have to read through my whining any more.

But thanks for sticking around in the meantime.

Anyway, Baby B seems to be a little behind schedule on just about everything.  Not anything we're concerned about, he's just not one of those early achievers.  When people ask me if he's doing certain things yet, like walking, I find myself constantly laughing it off with, "Well, he's a third child."

The same explanation is given to why he's only wearing one sock, or why he's got food on his face, or why he's so laid back, or why he has no baby book, or pretty much anything and everything.

And this:

I walked into the kitchen tonight to find him this way.  All by himself.  I don't know how he got his cereal bowl and his spoon down from the table, but he was quite content feeding himself the remaining portion.

What can I say?  He's a third child.

It made me laugh out loud.  Which I really needed today.  Is anybody keeping track of how many Joyful Moments this tiny man has provided me?  Thank goodness for my third child!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments even if you've got food on your face and only one sock on your feet!