Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 807: An Answer

Today was a special day.  Every six months we get to listen to the leaders of our church speak.  They give us guidance and direction, as revealed to them by God, to help us during the next six months.  It's pretty amazing really.

We call it General Conference.  I love it and really look forward to it.  And I try to prepare for it.  I believe I mentioned this before, but I like to have a question in mind before sitting down to listen to Conference (it's four 2-hour sessions, spread over two days!).  I typically spend the week or two leading up to Conference mentioning this question in my prayers and asking that it be answered.

So much of the time lately has been very very dark.  And so, I knew that the question should have something to do with how to rise above this and let light back into my life.  But, I struggled to put it into words.  Fortunately, I know that God knows my heart and He knows what I need.  So, this time, my query was really more along the lines of this, "Please, just help me to hear what I need to help me see a way and a reason out of this."

Typically, I print out special "Bingo" cards for the kids, with pictures of things frequently discussed during Conference.  They get to put candy on the pictures mentioned.  And they get to eat even more candy.  And that at least keeps them there listening with us.  Sort of.  It frequently means that none of us really get to hear very much of what is said.

But yesterday was sort of atypical.  Instead of having the whole day cleared, HH had some yard work that absolutely had to get done and he had a deadline since it involved the use of a borrowed truck.  So, he tried to listen on his smartphone while he did the work and I let the kids go out and help him.  He wasn't able to listen, unfortunately, but I still feel that it was meant to be.

Because I got to listen quite a bit better than normal.  And then President Eyring began speaking and I knew this was the talk that was meant for me.  It was about trials and so much of what he said went straight to my heart.  If you'd like to hear it, you can go here.  A text version will be available in a few days, if you prefer reading.  Even if you don't listen, you should click on the link, just to see his super cute smile at the beginning.

Anyway, the talk brought me to tears and I was grateful that none of the kids were there to see my meltdown and get worried about me.  It didn't help that I was also utterly exhausted.  But, even still, this was my Joyful Moment.  In knowing that my Father in Heaven loves me, heard my prayers, and answered them through one of his inspired servants.

Pretty awesome, really.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are equally awesome and inspiring!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 806: More Little Hands

This morning I got mixed up about what day it was.  HH worked from home, which never ever happens, and it totally threw me off.

You may not follow, but that led to me having a bunch of extra time while waiting for Little M to be done with preschool.

Naturally, Baby B and I decided to walk over to the library (pretty darn close to our gym).  Being Child #3, Baby B rarely gets alone time with me.  And being the child of a Type A mom, he rarely gets time with me that isn't rushed.

But this morning, he got both.

And it was so seriously wonderful.  We held hands and walked slowly over to the library.  Stopping to get down and look at any bugs we encountered along the way.  We found a fly and instead of being incredibly nasty (as flies truly are) it was magical.  It was a bug that could fly!  Simply amazing in the eyes of a two-year old.

But the best part was that this child who normally fights to hold my hand when we cross the street (the only time I insist that he must), voluntarily reached his chubby little hand up and said, "Wan hodju hand."


(For those needing a translation:  I want to hold your hand.)

It was seriously one of the best times I've had in a long time.  I knew I'd be posting about it tonight.  And I know I never want to forget about this morning ever.

It was a wonderful Joyful Moment.

But, the day didn't end there.

I found out that Baby B had gotten confused and now thinks that all birds are called ducks.  So, naturally, we had to correct this.

You may not follow, but that led to a picnic and bike ride in the park.  After feeding the ducks.

Aren't those pudgy hands adorable?  Mo!  Mo!

These geese are obviously quite used to being fed.  The kids couldn't believe how close they got.  One even hit Baby B with his wings.

They all had so much fun feeding the geese and ducks.  It was a Joyful Moment for all.

But then Little M and HH did this.

And it was a pretty triumphant Joyful Moment for us all.

Until he wiped out royally.

But I was able to coax him back on the bike and he did even better.  I'm so proud of my Little M!  (And grateful to an HH who teaches him these things about seven years before I would have felt ready to).

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are triumphant!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 805: Good Things

Today brought many of them.

One was finding a pregnant friend who happened to have an extra shirt with her at the gym.  Because I had somehow shown up with just the lower half of me ready for yoga.  The top half was still in the minimal attire I slip on before getting the kids breakfast.  I was fully covered, just not in anything I could do yoga in.

Another Joyful Moment was at the mailbox.  More handmade cards from my sister-in-law.  This time it was the "Thank You" cards I'd requested.  They were made especially to thank people who give us stuff for Darling A.  So, they are adorable "Baby Girl" themed cards.  I already used one.  And the recipient was equally delighted at how cute it was.

Thank you, Mel!  I love them!

Another Joyful Moment was getting the bike trailer ready for HH to take Baby B out on a bike ride while I was out and the kids were at Tae Kwon Do tonight.  It made me happy to do a small service for him.  And also, the thought of the two of them enjoying a bike ride together.

Another was stopping at the children' consignment shop and learning that they were going to give me $20 for the most recent box of stuff I'd brought in.  Yay for getting money and getting rid of stuff!

And then meeting up with a ton of friends for dinner tonight.  Yummy food and funny friends.  Excellent Joyful Moment combo!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of good things!

Day 804: Honey? Doo?

Well, fortunately, my mood has been improving.

Which is especially good because, unfortunately, my health has been deteriorating.  I finally made it back to the chiropractor tonight and he chastened me a bit for not coming in sooner, like he'd told me to.

Remember my somewhat miraculous recovery after last week's fall?  Not so much any more.  I missed a day of yoga and then, like I said, was delayed in my chiro visit.  And everything began tightening up (and hurting) all over again.

It would appear that my fall pinched some nerves, or something because suddenly, I have no muscle strength or energy either.

Okay.  Done with the whining.

So, besides feeling physically miserable today, it wasn't an all bad day.

But I think my favorite Joyful Moment was watching Baby B eat honey dew.

In my opinion, honey dew is a tricky fruit.  If you get a good one, it is absolutely delicious.  But, more often than not, they are unripe and flavorless.  I would blame this on the fact that I know very little about picking a good one, but I've experienced this all over from potlucks to restaurant fruit salads.

So, I rarely buy them.

But Little M requested that "green fruit, that's like cantaloupe" last week.  And then they were on sell.  So, I did my best to at least pick a heavy one and wish myself luck.

And I done good.

It was a super yummy one.  The first Baby B has ever had (I think).  And he was hooked.  He kept asking for more and finally, I told him it was called honey dew.

Honey?  Doooo?

It was seriously so cute how he repeated it back.

It's really too bad you don't all get a daily dose of my precious little one.  I wish you could.  Joyful Moment Source Extraordinaire.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are juicy and sweet!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 803: A Little Chat

Last night was even worse than the rest of the day had been.

Such is the nature of these things.

So, waking up this morning was not fun.  And I was hesitant to leave the house, since I didn't feel like being around anyone, let alone talking with them.

But all day, I kept encountering person after person who wanted to chat.  And even though they were a challenge, each conversation seemed to help a little more.

I guess that would make today's Joyful Moment having so many wonderful and caring friends.  Not really a "moment", per se, but all I could do.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and great friends!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 802: Pie

Today was not my best day.

But, of course, that kind of thing is never planned beforehand.

Food was, however.

It turned out that I was making that chicken Alfredo sun-dried tomato pasta HH loved.  And apple pie.  Because HH has seriously been missing pie lately.  And I wanted to do something for him since he's done so much for me lately.

But I've been having some serious issues with my energy level lately and today was no exception.  All day I kept questioning if making pie was really a good idea because it might take all the energy I had, leaving me with nothing left for the rest of the day.

But, something compelled me to just make it anyway.

And then HH contacted me to let me know he'd had some bad news.  Added to a couple rough days.

And suddenly, making him that pie was today's Joyful Moment.

Forget what all of the leading psychologists say, there is nothing wrong with showing love with food.

At least, for me.  And offering it is one of my favorite ways to show it.  Because it's something I'm actually good at.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that taste yummy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 801: New Sisters

Not the normal kind.

We call each other "Brother" and "Sister" in our church.

I mean, we also use first names.  But you can just as easily refer to someone as Brother Smith or Sister Jones.  Assuming, of course, that is their correct last name.

Some people think it's weird.

I like it.  It's a good reminder to me that we are all children of God.  Thus, in a very real sense, brothers and sisters.

Remember how I've posted a few times about Visiting Teaching?  When I go with another woman (a.k.a. my "companion") to visit a few other women that are members of my congregation.  Well, my companion recently moved.  And the whole system got switched up.  Meaning a new companion and three new women, or sisters, for me to visit.

I was a little sad to be changing.  But now, I get to visit three women I'm already friends with, to varying degrees.  Which is pretty much super fun.

Today I visited two of these "new sisters" with my "new companion" (we sort of have our own lingo in our church).  And it was a Joyful Moment through and through.  Wonderful ladies that I know I'm going to learn so much from and I'm excited to have our friendships grow!

And then we took a picture of the other new sister around here.

Can you see her?  Definitely growing!

Wishing you all changes that bring Joyful Moments!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 800: Early Easter Surprise

We did some seriously long overdue yard work today.

Mainly HH.

I tried to help out by getting the garden weed free, but I tired out with about a square foot to go.  I was seriously just that tired.

HH on the other hand exhibited superhuman endurance yesterday.  He played two basketball games in the morning (thus, winning the church ball tournament-Go HH!) and then came home and promptly set to work digging up the crabgrass in our yard.

I really can't tell you just how much crabgrass we had in our yard.

But when he turned over one of the bigger patches, some crazy squealing/squeaking ensued.  And not just from HH.

At first, he thought it was mice.  I couldn't see and thought he'd found some obnoxious chew toy.

But it was this.  We counted at least 10 of them.  So stinking adorable.  The kids had a difficult time not touching them, but were really pretty good.  It was a Joyful Moment.  How can anything that fluffy and tiny not bring joy?

And it brought back a flood of memories from the bunnies we raised growing up.  One time the mama bunny kicked the babies out and we tried to hand feed them.  It didn't end in success, but taught me a lot about responsibility and life.

I was worried were going to have to attempt something similar here, now that we'd unwittingly messed the nest, but a quick phone call to an expert assured us that they should be alright.  The mom will either repair the nest, or move them.

We're hoping for the latter.  There are a lot of young kids in our neighborhood and I'm not sure how long Sweet P and Little M will be able to keep this secret from their friends.

Plus, the garden (soon to be planted) is not very far away.  I would like the bunnies and my garden to survive.  Best accomplished if they are far apart.

Wishing you all fluffy, tiny, adorable Joyful Moments!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 799: Special Day

That's what they call it at Little M's preschool when they celebrate a birthday.  The month of March was so packed with "special days" that Little M's didn't happen until today.

This was the most workable photo I got.

I brought in cupcakes.  They were so unfancy, I didn't even take a picture.  Chocolate cupcakes (from a box), green frosting (from a can), with a chocolate gold coin perched on top.  It was what he wanted.  And all that I had energy for.

And the kids apparently loved them.  Which begs the question, why do we moms put ourselves out to make elaborate cupcakes, Valentine's cards, etc?  I guess some do it because they enjoy it.  And sometimes I fit in that category.  But I'm also guilty of doing it because I don't want anyone to judge me for going the easy route (i.e. box cake and can frosting).

But I'm pregnant.

Judge that. (c:

Anyway, it was still fun doing something special for him.  And, of course, this time he loved them.  The funny thing is, he initially asked me to make rainbow cupcakes, just like his birthday cake.  Even though he told me one night while eating leftover cake, "It's even nastier tonight than it was last night!"

So, I intervened and refused.

Anyway, watching his joy in his special day was today's Joyful Moment.  And seeing the pride on his face and that of all of his classmates and teachers when I told them that the walk they'd taken was nearly two miles long.  It's the same route I go on my runs, so I'm pretty familiar with the distance breakdown along the way.

Pretty impressive for a bunch of preschoolers!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are significantly less nasty than anything experienced yesterday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 798: Board Breaking

We bought Sweet P her first re-breakable board tonight.

She has to be able to break it as part of her next testing.  But it's kind of tight when brand new, so needs to be "broken in", quite literally.

I was actually out running a marathon trip of errands when she got home with it and HH had all the kids in bed (and the house clean!) by the time I got home.  He showed it to me and explained about needing to break it several times to kind of loosen it up.

So, he and I took turns breaking the board.  And it was actually really fun.

Good couples' therapy?  (c:

It was today's Joyful Moment for me.  Most time spent with HH is just that, of course.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments involving a good roundhouse kick, or two!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 797: Therapy

I went to bed really angry with a few people.

Sleep definitely helped, but I was still in an angry funk when I woke up.

But, there's nothing like a nice 6-mile run to wear the anger right out of this pregnant lady.  It was a long slow run, perfect for giving me time to clear my head (a real challenge these days!) and sort things out.

Plus, I was more than a little proud of being able to run that far again.

So, it was a Joyful Moment.

And being anger-free was pretty nice, too.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments without any negative funk!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 796: Healing

Today was not my favorite day.

But another round of yoga and then an adjustment by my chiropractor and my backside is almost back to normal.  Which is pretty amazing because on Sunday night I was beginning to wonder if I had fractured something, given the level of pain I had.

Before I got into yoga and chiropractic, I would have just babied it and tried to rest and stay off of my feet.  And it probably would have taken weeks to heal.

But between those two healing practices, I was able to stretch it out and get it the blood flow needed to heal and recover.

There is still a significant bruise, mind you.  But it's a million times better than it was two days ago.

And driving home after the chiropractor visit was today's Joyful Moment.  The fall had jarred my entire neck and spine out of line and I have never felt so significantly better immediately following an adjustment.  It just felt so great!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that bring you better alignment!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 795: Completion

I've finally been feeling well enough to get my diet back on track.

Except, today I can't stop eating chocolate.

It doesn't matter how much salad and whole grain breakfast I eat.  Chocolate is going to derail my plans for a super healthy diet being siphoned off to the baby.

But I have enjoyed each chocolate I've eaten.

The really good news is, I was able to attend my yoga class through to completion this morning.  I was in so much pain all night from last night's fall, I really didn't think that would happen.  So, it was my Joyful Moment.

And I finally again made progress in my to-do list.  Not necessarily fun, but there were Joyful Moments to be found at times.  Especially, all of the help provided by my sweet HH.

And then there was a really lovely chat with my parents tonight.

My parents are awesome.  Talking to them is pretty much a guaranteed Joyful Moment.

Love you, Mom and Dad!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and moderation in your chocolate eating!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 794: When A Pregnant Lady Falls

There is a collective gasp and awkward awkward tension just hangs in the air.

And then I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and tried not to cry.

It really hurt.

Both my tush and my pride.

But I did prevent Baby B from potentially falling into yucky water at the dog run.  Mission accomplished.

Other than that incident and the ensuing pain, the dog run was today's Joyful Moment.

It was just fun being there together as a family.  The kids had a great time running and playing (as did Z, of course).  And it was so fun watching Baby B as he said, "I wunnin', Mama!"  And then watching his adorably funny run.  You really have to see him run to understand.  It's got this funny little kind of skip in the middle.  Very difficult to adequately describe.

It's just ridiculously cute.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are ridiculously cute and seriously lacking in awkward tension!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 793: Five

My Little M is less little today.  He turned the Big 5.

I really can't believe it.

I'm excited for what he has coming up this year.  But I'm a little sad, too.

The day was full of Joyful Moments.  Starting with his special birthday breakfast that he'd requested:  Green eggs (he fully embraces St. Patty's day celebrating, as well), sausage, bacon, and cinnamon and sugar toast.  And fruit juice, dyed green.

And then he only ate the toast and juice.

But his happy face was a Joyful Moment anyway.

HH took him and Sweet P swimming while Baby B "helped" me make the cake.  Joyful Moments for them, but then for me when he came home and told me how his swimming was improving.  With pride.

I don't know why, but this photo won't center.  Here is the midway process of the cake making.  He requested this rainbow cake.  It was more work than I expected.  But the colors were fun and bright.

And then his requested lunch.  Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  And a green smoothie, peas, pears, and lime Jell-O.  To get our green factor in.

Joyful Moment when he was super impressed by my drawing a shamrock with Reddi Whip on the middle of the Jell-O.

 I'm skilled.

But, he ended up not liking about half of what he'd requested for lunch.  Just like with breakfast.

Then Chuck E. Cheese.  Not especially chock full of Joyful Moments.  I was pretty tired by this time after being on my feet all day.  Fortunately, Baby B wanted to just sit and snuggle for quite a while, while the other two had Joyful Moments of their own.

And then we went to a restaurant that he's always begging to go to.  Plenty of Joyful Moments there.  Although, once again, he only liked half of his meal.

And then home for presents and cake.

And this was a great Joyful Moment.  I got him this pillow pet way before Christmas.  And I've been watching how longingly he watches Sweet P with her pillow pet.  And this face made up for all of the times he'd only half-liked everything all day.

And he really loved all of his presents and was so sweet about it.  Thank goodness.  It might have been because I didn't listen to what he asked for this time and just got him things I knew he'd love.

What do I do with this child who doesn't know what he likes?  How do I let him make his own choices, but not waste time on things I know he hates?  What a funny kid.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that you like 100%!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 792: Clean Hands

Today was and Ups and Downs kind of day.

I had to wash Baby B's hands.  Multiple times.

We won't go into the 'why'.

But it's probably not what you're thinking.

But, besides the icky reason for washing his hands, the experience was a Joyful Moment.  It was just fun scrubbing those chubby little hands together was so sweet.

It might be the hormones.

But I'm a sucker for chubby hands.

We also went to the temple tonight.  It was a Joyful Moment, but there was a lot of stress getting there when our babysitter called to let us know she's be half an hour late and ended up being 45 minutes late.  Stressful.

But, we made it.  And a couple of good friends joined us.  And it was nice.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are full of cute chubbiness!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 791: Bring The Family To Work Day

Okay, it's not an official day at the office, but we made it one anyway.

We drove down and had lunch (Jimmy John's--you know that was a Joyful Moment in and of itself) with him.  Always a good time spending time together.

We had a lot of fun just hanging out with Daddy.

Although Baby B made it his mission to trash his office.

We each play our part.

Another Joyful Moment was arriving home safely.  I was so exhausted from last night, it was all I could do to stay awake!

Thankfully, Baby B fell asleep just before we got home and stayed asleep during the carseat-to-bed transfer.  I tried to fight it, but I eventually had to give in and take a nap myself.  Baby B woke up a short while later and came and snuggled with me for quite a while.

That was another Joyful Moment.

As was meeting up with some friends for a short while at the park.

And a nice loooong chat with my mom.

It's been a great Spring Break!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a fabulous break of your own!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 790: Summer Break?

Our amazing weather persists!  I'm loving it, but I do kind of hope it cools down before it heats up all the way.

Anyway, today we headed off to the Children's Museum.  I was too busy keeping up with Baby B to get to visit much with any of my friends who joined us there.  But he's pretty fun company, so it was alright.  And Sweet P and Little M had a blast exploring and playing together.

This was a rare photo from the rare time we three were together.  Joyful Moments in providing my kiddos with a great time, for sure!

And then I went for a run this afternoon.  A six-mile run!  It was fabulous!  Minus the few miles with plantar fascitis.  And the massive blisters on my right foot.

But it was worth it!

Go ahead, call me weird.

Runners.  Yeah--we're different.

There used to be ads that said that.  I think maybe they were Adidas, or something.

Add that to the list of important things you learned on this blog.

Oh yeah.  And then I spontaneously joined some friends at Village Inn for free pie night.  I was ready for bed a couple hours before I got there.  And then I somehow stayed until 11 PM.  I don't know how I'm going to survive tomorrow!  But time with my girlfriends was definitely a Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are different!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 789: Take That Groundhog!

Today was perfect.

Mostly, I'm talking about the weather.  We had a gorgeous day in the 70's.  We had a picnic in the park with many of our friends.  Which meant lots of play time for the kids and some adult chatter for me during the few bits where I didn't have to be chasing down Baby B to save him from imminent danger.

It also meant I got to wear some shorts.  No maternity of fat pants.  All of which are driving me insane.  I can't stand them!  And normally, I LOVE pants!

Watching all three of my sweeties play and have a great time was definitely a Joyful Moment.  Baby B finally overcame a bit of caution and had a blast going down the slide over and over.

(To my friend related to the ground hog (c:--Do you recognize the shirt?  I'm responsible for dressing him in it today, but then Sweet P and Little M donned theirs as well.  So cute!  I tried to get a picture of the three of them, but they were never in the same spot long enough!  But they looked darling.)

The rest of the day went pretty well, too.  I was able to get some cleaning done and then read for a while while Baby B napped and the other two played quite happily together.  So great!

I think being out in the sun was particularly beneficial.  I'm feeling better today than I have in a long time.  Definitely a Joyful Moment.

And finally, Little M was able to feel Darling A kick tonight.  Sweet P felt her on Sunday.  Seeing the surprise and joy on their faces was a Joyful Moment for me both times.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a bit of glorious sunshine for your soul!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 788: Storage Space

The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure this has been a Joyful Moment before.

But today's Joyful Moment was found in once again cleaning out our main storage room.

It was only a half-hearted effort.  Mainly because I'm so tired these days and if I work too hard one day, I can barely move for the next three.  Not really worth it.

But, it's literally become impossible to walk more than two feet into the room.  And with my growing belly, I just can't squeeze between the box stacks any more.  So, I did some rearranging and a lot of recycling today.

It still has a long way to go, but it looks much better.  And I can access the things and places I need.

Joyful Moment!

And I found some of my favorite books from when I was younger for Sweet P to read.  She was pretty excited.  Joyful Moment for us both!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and good reading!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 787: Healthy(er)

Today's Joyful Moment was waking up and not hearing any coughing from across the hall.  And the little people sleeping in a bit due to Daylight Savings.

I know it gets a bad rap, but I'm actually a fan.  The adjustment can be a bit rough, especially with kiddos, but I really like it being darker in the mornings and lighter at night.  These things make me happy.

Anyway, the essential oils seem to have worked their magic last night.  Baby B isn't 100% yet, but he's a million times better than last night.  Huge Joyful Moment of relief for this mama.

The funny thing is, I've been fighting this same cold for nearly a week now and I've only tapped into the gold mine of essential oils a tiny a bit.  I better take a page from my mommy book and take better care of myself!

Still, a sick mama is better than a sick toddler.  At least I can blow my own nose.  I was positive we wouldn't be able to make it to church, but we made it and did just fine.

And then came home and he conked out for a nice long nap.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and speedy recoveries to any who are sick!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 786: Too Tall

Sweet P's Primary teachers at church seem bound and determined to spoil her (and the rest of the class) silly this year with fun and love.

This morning they celebrated the last several weeks of good behavior by going to a local play center (same one Little M went to for the recent birthday party, oddly enough).  Unfortunately, Sweet P was too tall to play in the main area, but was still able to have a great time in the other areas.

It was a new experience for her.  Usually, her height is a boon allowing her to do things and go places other kids her age are too short to go.

So, she was a little sad.  Or, so she said.

I stayed to let the boys play, too, and she looked to me like she was having plenty of fun.

HH had a basketball game, so I was on my own and suffering from a bit of morning sickness.  Fortunately, there were still Joyful Moments to be had in watching my kiddos have such a great time together.

I started snapping photos, only to discover that I'd forgotten to take it off of the black and white setting.  I snapped a few more in getting all of the settings back to where I wanted, then got Little M in a super cute pose... and the battery died.

So, this was pretty much the only decent photo I got of the fun morning.

I've got to pay more attention to my battery life.  I'm just grateful that it happened here and not on some super significant occasion!

This afternoon, we went on a crazy marathon shopping trip.  Mostly, in search of new shoes for HH and piggy banks for the kids (random story behind that one).  We bought plenty of stuff, but none of those.

Still, it was a lot of fun spending time together as a family.

Except that poor Baby B has taken a turn for the worse and seems to be quite sick tonight.  I loaded him up on essential oils--lemon on his throat for his cough, lavender and malaleuca on his ears for potential ear infections, a drop of On Guard (immunity blend) on his tongue (to which he said, "Ow."  It's a little spicy!), and Breathe (respiratory blend) in the humidifier.

It was quite the blend of smells.  But he was able to stop coughing and settle down for sleep pretty quickly.  So, here's hoping!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in being with the ones you love!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 785: DQ

Z woke us up this morning at 4:45 because she decided she wanted to take a trip outside.

The dog once took a 16+ hour drive and refused to "use the facilities" the entire way (not for lack of support on our part.  HH even stood out in the freezing tundra at 3 AM to try and encourage her to do her business).  

I know she can make it through an 8-hour night of sleep.

Anyway, the point of this is that I have been awake ever since.


So, I didn't feel like doing much of anything today.

But let the record show, I did vacuum the stairs and the basement and cleaned the basement bathroom.

I couldn't bring myself to do dinner, unfortunately.

So I didn't.

We used some coupons the kids got a while back and we went to Dairy Queen and got $23 worth of food for $6.


And we just had a lot of fun being together as a family.  Enjoying time together (that didn't involve any cooking or clean up by me) was today's Joyful Moment.

That, and the onion rings.  I crave those.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of awesomeness!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 784: Partyin', Partyin', Partyin'... Yeah!

And it's not even Friday.

Today I had some weird pain going on in my entire midsection--front and back.  It was fun.

Little M had a birthday party tonight.  Baby B got to go too because it was at one of those play places and they'd rented the whole place out.  HH took them because Sweet P had violin and tae kwon do.

Listening to them (mainly Little M) tell me all about it after was definitely today's Joyful Moment.  They had so much fun.

And I love when my kiddos have fun.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are so much fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 783: The Sun Will Come Out

This morning in the shower, I realized I'm looking forward to the future again.

That's a good sign.  And a bit of a big deal for me.  And it was a Joyful Moment.

As was Day 3 of no biting for Baby B.  Of course, he pretty much played by himself in the toddler area at the gym the whole time he was there, but still!

And then watching the adorable way he sticks his lips out as he repeatedly told me, "NO MONKEYS!" tonight while we were getting the kids ready for bed.  That was a Joyful Moment that made me laugh.  His favorite book is the "No More Monkeys" based on the little song.  I wish you could all see his face when he says this.


Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a sunny day tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 782: Sunshine

Another bite-free day!

Joyful Moment.

To be honest, the rest of the day was pretty good too.  I mean, it had its moments, but for the past 2 or 3 days I've actually done a good job of simplifying and only focusing on the truly important--mainly, quality time with the kids.  Which makes for really happy kids.

Plus, it was extra warm today and the kids had a great time playing outside with some of their friends (until Baby B got tired of playing outside and decided to just come in a snuggle with me on the couch).

And happy kids = happy mom.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with happy people!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 781: No Bites!

Today was actually a good day.


A HUGE part of the problem has been Baby B.  He's become a compulsive biter.  I mean, seriously compulsive.  As in, biting frequently with absolutely no known cause.

Which is why I missed yoga (and exercise in general) all last week.  He's bitten so many children, he's not really tolerated in the child care center at the gym any more.

But my mom helped me come up with a solution Saturday night.  I tried implementing it yesterday during nursery at church and it went really well.

But I tried to curb my optimism for this morning, lest I be disappointed and crash yet again.

We went early.  I stayed with him for 25 minutes, giving him a "treat" (freeze dried raspberries) every 5-10 minutes while telling him, "Treat for not biting.  Good job!"  All while watching him like a hawk.  And then I instructed the girl in charge of the toddler area to do the same and to definitely not let him out of the toddler area.

I watched the clock all through yoga, waiting for them to come get me and kick me and my pirana out.  But they never came.

I even got to shower because I'd brought a yogurt for him to snack on at the end.  Happily isolated in a high chair.

He never bit once!!!!  Joyful Moment for sure.

He got rewarded with a stop at the park.  And some quality time with his favorite mama.

I know not every day will be this success story as we try to cure him of his biting problem.  But I'm really glad today was a success.  We both need that.

And the rest of the day was pretty great as well.

Well, most of the rest of it.  Tonight we hit some major bumps in the road.  But it was nothing that a good chat and some snuggling with HH couldn't fix.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that don't bite!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 780: Artichoke Hearts

Today was rough.


But dinner was a delicious success.  HH can't stop raving about it.  Which was perfect because I bought the ingredients with him in mind, hoping to create a restaurant worthy dish.

As he was eating it at dinner he said, "This tastes like something I'd get a restaurant!"

And it was my Joyful Moment.  So, I'm going to post the recipe here to share my joy with you.  And also, so I don't forget how I made it!

Chicken Artichoke Pasta

1 lb. chicken, season with salt, pepper, and thyme, saute and dice.
6 oz. seasoned sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts (I think it might have been 16 oz.)
3 green onions, sliced
4 good-sized garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. fun-shaped pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated

While cooking pasta, saute garlic in some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes over medium heat.  After a few minutes, add in the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and green onions.  Heat through.

Toss with cooked pasta.  Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately and enjoy the joy.

Wishing you all delicious Joyful Moments!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 759: Cheryl & H, Plus 6 1/2

It doesn't rhyme.

But you get the idea.

Remember when some friends watched our kids so HH and I could get away for a romantic weekend?  Well, this weekend was their turn to get away.

This picture is actually from last night, but it was the only time I pulled out the camera.  These kids had so much fun together.  And wore HH out in the process.

He is amazing with children and they had an absolute blast playing all of his creative games and wrestling.  Wrestling was by far the favorite.

I took care of meals, clean up, and the occasional boo-boo.

But other than that, HH really did all the work.

I even got to sneak away this morning for a long yoga class.  Since it's been more than a week, I can't even express how wonderful of a Joyful Moment this was.  My back hurts so bad this pregnancy that I can't sleep a lot of the time.  Yoga seems to be the only cure.

And then I snuck away again in the afternoon for a much-needed haircut.  Another Joyful Moment.  Partly because I love talking to my friend who doubles as my amazing hairstylist, partly because (as I said) I really needed a haircut.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and lovely hair!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Days 756, 757, & 758: Negative Review

This is going to be another brutally honest post.

So, just a reminder to those of you who actually know me:

If you're reading this, please act normal around me when you see me.  I've found that faking happiness is the quickest way for me to find it for real again.  But, if you treat me like I'm as broken as I feel, it's really hard to fake it.  So, please, no phone calls or emails or other expressions of concern.  I know these intentions mean well, but right now, I just can't deal with any of that.  So, though I appreciate the love and kindness that inspires these acts, I would like it if you just act like I'm fine and normal.  Because that's what I'm trying to do and be.

That being said, recently we've had our own version of a series of unfortunate events around here.  All made worse by the fact that I'm pregnant and already struggling.  It's gotten me pretty down and low.  I haven't shared much of it here because the point of this blog isn't to be a downer for everyone.  Kind of the opposite.

And I also am aware that I live a very blessed life.  And even I get sick of it when I post that I had other "rough day", or whatever.  Really, my problems are quite small and insignificant.  The things that I get all upset, worked up, and depressed over are minor and fleeting.  And I know plenty of people dealing with much much more.

But the problem is, these days, there is a constant battle going on inside of me.  Optimism vs. Depression. And I find the Depression winning out more and more frequently.  Set off by really little things that don't justify how sad and upset I feel.  But even being aware of that doesn't change it.

And the problem with dealing with a series of unfortunate events is that I haven't really had time to fully regain high ground before the next unfortunate event comes and knocks me down again.

Why am I explaining all of this here?  Well, when I sit down to post my Joyful Moment each night, I review my day.  Some days there was a really standout Joyful Moment and I already am pretty sure what I will post.  Some days there are several great Joyful Moments and I try to decide which, or how many to post.  And some days the Joyful Moments were few and far between and take a little longer to remember.

And then there are days that are just rotten.

The good news is, I've been doing this blog long enough that I seem to be in the habit of finding Joyful Moments.  Even on the worst of days, there is always at least one small thing that I recognize as joy.

But on the truly rotten days, it kind of hurts too much to reflect over the whole day.  Even though I know I'll be able to think of a Joyful Moment, I'd just rather not review and remember all of the horrible moments as well.

Usually, I just do it anyway.

This is a challenge I've given myself to do this blog and one that I hope will benefit others.  I feel that I need to stick with it to be true to myself.

But, the past few days I've been contemplating giving it up, for a variety of reasons.

I know I'd regret that, though.  So, I'm sticking with it.

But I'm giving myself permission to kind of skip the last couple of days.  Not because they were the worst, but because it's what I need right now.

Instead, I'll share with you a couple things that have given me Joyful Moments and continue to do so, without actually having occurred on a specific day.

The first is that my complexion seems to be weathering this pregnancy very well.  The first three pregnancies, I broke out horribly all over my face, neck, and chest and felt embarrassed to be out in public every day.  It started to get bad a couple of months ago, but I used thyme and lavender essential oils along with a toner made from organic apple cider vinegar and water.  In addition to my normal face cleansing routine.

And it's almost completely cleared up.  And finally being able to feel pretty while being pregnant is pretty much a daily source of Joyful Moments for me.  Maybe this sounds really shallow, but dealing with acne at my age--along with the loss of my figure!--was a huge struggle in my previous pregnancies.

The second Joyful Moment is having settled on a name for Darling A (not this one, but her real one) with HH.  We've never chosen a name this early in the pregnancy.  And the decision has never been made without several discussions (some becoming a little heated) during which we pretty much just cross each other's name suggestions off.

I felt pretty strongly about who this baby should be named after, but wanted to pick a variation on that individual's name.  We did the same thing with Baby B.  I like it because they still have the connection to that person, but a name all their own as well.  Anyway, I mentioned it kind of off-handed to HH, telling him he didn't have to decide right away.  And a couple of weeks ago, he told me he liked it.  And the name feels so right to me.  And I'm just so happy to have it all settled and taken care of.

And the last Joyful Moment is HH himself.  No matter how bad things get, he just continues to rise to the challenge of taking care of me.  We've struggled some in the past as his natural tendency for "fixing" my depression actually has the opposite effect.  But he has questioned me on how to best help me and has really taken my words to heart.

He has been so amazing.  His capacity to give seems endless.  I have long since grown weary of my being this way and I keep waiting for him to just throw his hands up and give up.  But he doesn't.  He just keeps on giving and being amazing.

To the point that my only complaint is that he's so generous and giving that I frequently struggle with feeling guilty for all the extra work and effort he's taken on just to get me through each day.  But even in the face of all that guilt, I know I couldn't be fighting this battle at all without him and all he's doing.  He tries to assuage the guilt by telling me that some day he will be the one in need and I will get to repay him by taking care of him.  But I don't know that I could ever be as strong and amazing as he is.

So, for now, I'm just trying to let go of the guilt and appreciate him for the amazing gift he is in my life.

I love you, HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments on days that are fun to look back on!