Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 988: We Needed A Friday

So, thank goodness we got one!

The kids were so tired all day from getting home late from the lake last night.  Which meant extra whines for me.  Fun stuff.

But, we made it through.  Darling A did her best to provide Joyful Moments with her adorable smiles.  HH came home and we had a good evening, in spite of the the ongoing whining.

And then, he and I relaxed and watched half of a movie together (we're too tired to make it through a whole one!).  It's been a while since we did that.  Lazy, I know.  But, it's nice to just cuddle up with him and chill.  A chill Joyful Moment for us both, I think.

Wishing you all chill Joyful Moments!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 987: Fine... Let It Be A Good Day

Started the morning off with a super tough treadmill class.  Followed by a ridiculously tough ab class.  Aside from a little bit of my Plantar Fascitis trying to return and a yucky pinched nerve-type pain in my neck and shoulder, it was a great morning!  I even got a super cute key chain holder thingy (can't think of the real term) sewn by one of my friends for my birthday.  I love that almost all of my friends are members of the same gym as me.  Anyway, so it was a morning of Joyful Moments.

Then a yummy lunch of leftover pasta primavera with Baby B and some funny chatter with him, too.  Joyful Moments.

I pretty much took it easy all afternoon because the pain in my neck has been so painful, but it wasn't too bad.

Then I had a brief exchange with HH via instant messaging and I got a bit annoyed with him and began my cycle downward into focusing on the negative and making it a bad day.

But, Little M and Sweet P came home and reported that Little M had been a super good boy all day and had even been helpful to those he'd been hurtful to yesterday.  That was a Joyful Moment--as far as I felt I could believe him, anyway.  He was in a really good mood though, along with everyone else, so my bad mood started retreating.

Then, HH came home and I still felt annoyed, but we got him and the oldest three kids out the door to go on a fun boating outing at the lake with Sweet P's Primary (Sunday School for children) class.

Meanwhile, Darling A and I stayed home and just smiled and gurgled at each other for a while.  I don't have to tell you what a fun Joyful Moment that was.  Then we got ready and headed off for Curriculum Night at the school.  I had a bit of trepidation because I knew I'd finally be meeting Little M's teacher and could get a better idea of how things were going from her perspective.

On the way there this song came on.

Remember the CD HH made for me on my birthday?  This was the final song on it.  From the first time I heard this song, it made me think of HH.  It's pretty much the same thing he's told me over and over these past 9 years.  He's never given up on me.

It's amazing what thinking about all of that did to my prior annoyance with him.  Completely banished.  I just thought, it's really not worth getting/being/staying mad.  I mean, why?  Really.  It's been a while since I could make myself just get over negative feelings like that.  And realizing that I'm regaining that skill was another Joyful Moment for me.

Next up:  Curriculum Night.  Plenty of Joyful Moments in watching everyone enjoy Darling A and her sweet cheeks.  And finally, at the very end, I got to talk to Little M's teacher.  After introducing myself, she got a big smile and told me that his biggest challenge is that he's a flirt.  Not a fighter.  I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear this.  I already knew he has a bit of a problem with all of his little "girlfriends", so that wasn't a surprise, or of much concern to me.  We can work on keeping his Social Butterfly restrained.  At least he isn't hurting anyone, or being more disruptive than your average Kindergartner.

Hah.  It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  And such a Joyful Moment.

Came home and had more snuggles with my sweet little Darling A.  Then HH and the kids came home and couldn't wait to tell me all about all of the fun they had at the lake.  This was another Joyful Moment for me.

So, it was a really good day after all.  How blessed am I?

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and someone who won't give up on matter what!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 986: Go Back To Preschool

The photos from yesterday were so fun, i just might keep sharing them for a while.

Okay friends, I am at a loss.

Since Darling A joined our family, Little M has been getting increasingly violent.  It got really bad at the end of the summer because he wasn't getting the discipline that he needed.  Not that I blame his grandma--discipline is no fun.  Plus, he's a tricky one and I'm constantly having to re-tailor my techniques.

But, I've kind of stalled out here.  I have no clue how to motivate this boy to be good when we are apart for several hours of the day.  Every day the kids come home with more stories of who he has hurt.  This is challenging on multiple fronts--the foremost being that since I'm not there, I'm sure I'm not getting a fully truthful account.  But also, Sweet P has been his victim multiple times, along with her friends, and the neighbor girl.  So, I don't think his actions are being reported as they normally would, so he's not getting in trouble at school.  At least, as far as I know.  And he has more than a little bit of a fibbing problem, so I really can't trust what he says.

Urg!  This is so frustrating!  I'm seriously starting to question whether, or not he's truly ready for school.  He is definitely smart enough, but I don't know if he has the self control.  Kindergarten is all day here, so it's a really long time and I know he's tired and that is making it harder for him.  I'm not super worried about him seriously injuring someone.  I'm mostly worried about the reputation he is making for himself, both with the teachers and with his fellow students.  I never thought I'd be the mom of a bully.

Does anyone have any advice for how to help him?  It's always a matter of finding the right motivation that works best for this boy.  But I'm worried that the school day is just too long for him to go without any reminders or interventions from me.

And I'm pretty sure his teacher would frown on me popping in every 20 minutes to remind him that he really is a good boy.

Although, right now, I'm even struggling to remember this.  He is driving me absolutely crazy!  After he gets home, he spends the rest of the day bugging everyone, being mean, and disobeying.

So, any help would be appreciated!

Fortunately, before he came home, we had plenty of Joyful Moments.  More snuggles and smiles and coos with my Darling A.  Reading and snuggling with Baby B before naps.  Being able to my three one-mile repeats a good 30-45 seconds faster than I thought I could.  Being able to watch my friend's little boy so she could go to her doctor's appointment toddler-free.  Researching raw milk and grass finished beef and discovering that we have a decent supply of local producers.  And a fired up discussion with HH about implementing these products into our diet. (c:

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and peaceful afternoons!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 985: Better Smiles

How sweet is this?

"OhmygoodnessIjustloveher SO MUCH!" is the thought that goes through my head all day long.  And I have a hard time not kissing her cheeks over and over and over all day long.

Well, I do.  She is such a Joyful Moment for me!

And pretty much everyone else who sees her.

Today was pretty routine.  Which, in and of itself, is quite an accomplishment.  And a Joyful Moment in its own right.  We just plain had a good day.  We even had a friend over for a play date.

Life is good.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with a play date thrown in, just to spice things up!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 984: Barefoot Cheryl

If you want to understand my title, watch this.  I think it's pretty funny.  Mainly because it seems to be making fun of the guy, but I (sadly) relate to him quite a bit and have found myself saying a lot of the same things he says.

And you really should read Born To Run.

Moving on, this morning I ran a little over 7 miles.  That is the furthest I've run since getting my Vibram Five Fingers almost two years ago.  I think I finally can say I've mastered the art of barefoot running.  This makes me happy.  Joyful Moment.

Then I visited with a friend and learned that she will be coming to church with me on Sunday for Darling A's baby blessing.  I'm so touched that she is willing to come even though she is not a member of our faith.  That was a Joyful Moment, too.  Such a great one that I had to call HH on my way home to tell him.

The rest of the day went well.  Darling A has been so sweet and smiley.  She even did a little half giggle!  And when she gets tired of smiling and cooing at me, she gets all sweet and snuggly and goes to sleep.  I love her.  So many Joyful Moments from her all day!

Wishing you all barefoot Joyful Moments!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 983: Back In The Groove

I'm nowhere near being there, but I'm making progress little by little.

Today was monumental because we had people over for dinner for the first time in a long while.  The missionaries.  I was excited about this and initially went a little overboard on my dinner plans.  But, as we drove home from church and discussed the remainder of the day and things going on during the week (which had quickly added up while we were at church!), I became increasingly overwhelmed.  Combine that with the stress of making dinner and being incredibly exhausted from my late night last night, and I knew I was heading down a dangerous path.j

So, I scaled back my dinner plans, took care of the important decisions, and then took things one hour at a time.

And I got through the day with my mental state in tact.

I'm proud of that.

Dinner was still yummy (if I do say so myself):  Linguine Alfredo (Trader Joe's doesn't carry fettucine--who knew?), a yummy salad full of veggies from our garden, homemade French baguettes (not the yummier Italian bread I was planning to make, but still tasty and requiring several hours less of preparation), and then an apple pie to top things off.  Discovering that everything tasted yummy was a Joyful Moment.  Especially the apple pie.  I've never made an apple pie with Gala apples before and I was a little nervous since they are quite a bit sweeter than my typical tart go-to apples for pie.  Fortunately, my guess in the sugar reduction seemed to have been just right and it wasn't too sweet.

The exuberant appreciation of the talkative elder (we only got about 5 words out of the other) was another Joyful Moment.  His mama would have been pleased to hear how kind and complimentary he was.

So, it was a good day.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and some apple pie to top it off!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 982: My Friends Are Awesome

Yoga was great this morning.  Our regular instructor is back and I didn't have to teach!  She's amazing. She killed my abs.  This was a Joyful Moment because I'm really missing my abs since getting pregnant and having a baby and I know this is the quickest way to find them again.  This was also a Joyful Moment because I finally feel that I know and am friends with most of the yoga peeps.  This is the kind of thing that makes me happy.

Then the rest of the day was kind of 'meh'.  I was able to get a little straightening done while Darling A napped not in my arms.  That was nice because the clutter in my house is taking over.  So, that was a Joyful Moment.

Little M got to go to a birthday party that we originally thought he couldn't because of my party.  So, he pointed out the silver lining on the cloud that cancelled my party (no pun intended (c:).  And then, I discovered that we had some stuff on hand to make a perfect gift for a 5-year old girl without having to run to Target.  Another Joyful Moment.  But the best part of that Joyful Moment was how excited Little M was to be able to give her a hair flower hand made by me.  Not the store bought pack of Littlest Pet Shop critters.  Is it normal to be that flattered by the admiration of a 5-year old?

Anyway, the day wore on and I kept waiting for the surprise that HH had hinted at.  I was completely baffled by the time dinner rolled around and instead of picking up a babysitter and heading out with him, I was making dinner and we were staying home and then he took all of the kids out to ride their bikes after while I cleaned up the kitchen.

I was beginning to think he really had nothing planned and was going to pretend that watching a movie borrowed from the library was almost as cool as a pool party with all of my friends.  (Birthday Diva strikes again!)  We got all of the kids to bed and I went back to my room to feed Darling A and read a book, having pretty much given up on the night.  But then, he told me to go into the living room.  And to bring my nursing cover up.

Wait... what?

Then I heard Sweet P excitedly call out, "Dad!  Look what's going on out front!"  And then a bunch of my girlfriends came in the front door, shouting "surprise!"

Apparently, they threw this all together last minute after seeing me at the baptism last night.  They had treats and cute (homemade!) gifts.  But most of all, it was the simple act of coordinating this and then just showing up that meant the most to me.  I couldn't believe how many of them came.  I feel honored to have such great, sweet, thoughtful, and fun friends.

It was just the girls, so we put on "The Hunger Games", at yummy food, and talked the night away.  Nobody really watched the movie.  There are plenty of us that have plenty to say.

I meant to get a picture of everyone all together, but I forgot.  So, here are some of my pretty friends.  Even two with babies about the same age as Darling A who ventured out in spite of the challenges accompanying going out with little babies.  My friends are awesome.
So, it ended up being an evening full of Joyful Moments and I went to bed with the Birthday Diva in me being fully satisfied and overwhelmed by the love and kindness of my friends.
I love my friends.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and truly awesome friends!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 981: It's My Party

And I will cry if I want to.

I didn't, though.

Backing up.  I made it back to spin class this morning.  First time since Darling A.  I was able to push it a lot harder than I expected and that was a Joyful Moment.  This could be because Darling A finally slept for more than two hours at a stretch last night.  And I distinctly felt this morning that it was a result of many of your prayers on my behalf.  And that knowledge brought me a Joyful Moment.  Thanks for caring enough to pray for me.

This afternoon things kind of disintegrated.  Sometimes serious miscommunication can happen when conversing via instant messaging.  This happened today and I wound up all upset and hurt with HH over something that apparently didn't really happen.  A good reason to stick with face to face communication.

Anyway, it put me in a pretty sour mood.

Plus, the big pool party bash that HH planned for me for tomorrow to celebrate my turning 30 had to be cancelled.

We're in a major drought.  No rain for two months.  And tomorrow it's supposed to pour down.

We really need it, so I can't be too upset.

But, I need things to look forward to and having one of those things taken away made me kind of down.  Plus, HH was dodging all of my efforts to plan something else fun.  I was so mad!

So, the kids and I went to a baptism for one of my friend's daughters.  This should have been a Joyful Moment for me, but I let my bad attitude persist instead.  My friends all offered their condolences about my cancelled party.  I tried to be remotely cheerful, but failed miserably, so I took my bad attitude and my bummed out kids (what?! Only one cupcake before dinner?!  No fair!) home as soon as it was over.

HH and I sorted things out, but I was still kind of sad.  So, finally HH cracked a little and hinted that there was a reason he was avoiding scheduling something else fun for tomorrow night.  This was sort of a Joyful Moment.  But I also felt bad for unintentionally sort of ruining some surprise.

And I'm ashamed that I'm such a Birthday Diva.  I'm trying not to be, but I haven't succeeded yet.

Wishing you all Diva-worthy Joyful Moments!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 980: Curse The Flash

Today has been fun.  I still didn't get much sleep again last night.  Poor Darling A is congested.  Sad.

But, she has been such a sweetie.

Remember when I said she was stingy with her smiles?  No longer true.

She now seems to feel obligated to smile and interact every time we lock eyes.  She has been so adorable all day.  She's been super smiley and chatty.  She even gave a couple squeals of delight while we were smiling at each other.  So fun!  Joyful Moments all day long!

I tried to get a picture, but this was the best I got.  It's hard to get a picture of a smile all by myself, but HH was gone to basketball.  So, I had to shoot and hope I still had her face in the frame.  And if I missed (which I did a few times) then I had to wait a while until she could see again after the blinding flash.  Every time.  And I didn't feel good about blinding her too many times.  So, this was it.

I will try again, though.  Don't worry.

But, nothing is as good as the real thing.  Of course.

We also had some Joyful Moments hanging out with some friends and getting out of the house.

Anyway, it's time to go to bed.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments as close as you can get to the adorableness of Darling A!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 979: Sleep When You Can

Ah, such good advice...

Darling A is a strict adherent.

We've recently started setting her in the high chair during dinner.  It reclines way back, so she does alright in it.  Tonight she decided it was a great place to sleep.  If you could only gear the chaos that was going on all around her...

I wish she could have been more like this last night.  Last night was the worst and most interrupted night's sleep I've had since we brought her home from the hospital.  I actually skipped the gym this morning.  If you know me, you know how big of a deal that is.

Fortunately, today was the first day of a weekly toddler co-op my friends and I are doing.  So, I got to drop Baby B off and go grocery shopping with only Darling A in tow.  That was a Joyful Moment.  As is having  a week long menu of dinners and all of the ingredients on hand to make them.

I'll be honest--today was rough.  But, we survived.  And now I'm going to go to bed and probably be asleep before three of my four children.  That would be a Joyful Moment as well.

Wishing you all a Joyful Moment and to all a good night!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 978: Too Little For His Britches

Darling A joined us again for the morning rush.  But today I was able to handle it on my own.  Well, with an encouraging hug and kiss from HH.

It was still to stressful to really be considered a Joyful Moment, though.

But we got to the gym early this morning, so I decided to make the most of the time and played with Baby B in one of the smaller gyms, while feeding Darling A.  Sometimes this type of situation will drive Baby B crazy, but this morning he was having a great time throwing and bouncing balls back and forth with me.

And it was a Joyful Moment for me watching him have such a great time.  And watching him reach down frequently to pull his sliding pants back up was pretty funny, too.  The sad thing is, their size is 12-18 months and they still slip right off of his skinny little waist!

Of course, this happy moment was interrupted by a sudden blowout from Darling A.  But, there wasn't any real harm done.  At least there was still time for me to get her cleaned up in time to make it to yoga class.  And the instructor was there today, so I didn't have to teach.  That was a Joyful Moment as well.

Unfortunately, Baby B was kind of "off" the rest of the day and threw plenty of tantrums.

Not a Joyful Moment.

But, Darling A was a precious princess through it all.  She was all smiles and cute little "coo's" every time we locked eyes all day.  I just love her!  It was so many Joyful Moments with her today.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with someone so darling!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 977: Sleepless Days

Darling A's schedule was all topsy turvey today.  She woke up plenty last night and then decided to join us during the morning fray of hectic frenzy in getting the kids to school.  Fortunately, my stalwart HH was able to stay home for a bit and help out.  I'd be lost without him.

And when I returned from my run (another 10k!), they told me she'd been awake most of the time.  And she took a brief nap on the way home and then woke up to hang out some more.  By the time I finally got her settled down, I barely had a chance to lay down myself before Baby B woke up and came into my room screaming.

Ah, such fun.

HH listened kindly and offered to come home, but I told him we'd try to manage.  And manage we did.  Joyful Moment was picking up the pizza from Papa John's.  It was free.  Free dinner I didn't have to make.  Joyful Moment.

And, of course, the evening went much better once HH got home.  We had a good Family Home Evening and a happy time together.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with free pizza to boot!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 976: There She Goes Again...

Today started out a little rough.

I didn't get much sleep last night.  Odd, I know.  And then was abruptly woken up this morning by upset little boys who had dumped water on each other's beds.  Why?  Why?!  That is the question I find myself asking Little M more and more these days.


Frustrating.  And when I don't get to wake up on my own terms, I don't do well.  So, when I heard my voice cracking during the "why?", I went around the corner and just slid into a puddle of tears.  HH got up and came and took over.  So, I tried to just pull it together and focus on getting ready for church.

We made it to church a little late, but not too bad.

Church went pretty well, but I really struggled to stay awake.  Especially, during Sunday School.  I finally had to pass a sleeping Darling A off to HH because I was afraid I was going to drop her.  We had a really good lesson in Relief Society though--about truly worshipping on the Sabbath and being Joyful in the Sabbath.  A good reminder and a Joyful Moment for me.

Plus, it was a Joyful Moment toting this little princess all over.  This picture doesn't do this outfit justice.  It is from HH's boss (his wife, really) and it is so elegant and pretty!

But then, we came home and I just kind of dissolved into a dark mess.  HH took over (odd, I know) and I just collapsed into bed and slept for a while after a long battle with my demons.  When I woke up, I knew it was time to just fake it until I got back on the road to happiness again.  So, after a yummy and creative dinner made by my amazing HH, we took the kids for a walk to HH's boss's house.  He lives not far from us and I knew they'd be happy to see how sweet Darling A looked in the outfit they gave her.

That visit was a Joyful Moment because I could tell how much they enjoyed seeing Darling A and interacting with the kids.

So, kind of a bizarre day emotionally, but I'm making it.  I know there are better days to come.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a pretty new outfit to go with them!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 975: Instructional

Last night I began doubting my intentions for attending yoga this morning.  I was just so tired!  But then this morning rolled around and I was awake (thank you, Darling A) and so I dragged my tired self to the gym for some invigorating yoga.

Only, the instructor never showed up.

Neither did the sub.

Fortunately, there was a certified yoga instructor in our midst.  Unfortunately, she could only stay for 30 minutes before she needed to leave to teach a class she was the official instructor of at a different gym.

And suddenly, I found myself being nominated to fill up the remaining 30 minutes.  I tried to talk the class out of it.  I explained how under qualified I am:  I had a baby just two months ago, I've never taught a class that large, I've really only taught beginning yoga, and I'm not in any way certified.  They just kept smiling and shaking their heads 'no' when I asked if someone else would do it.

So, I got increasingly nervous and the certified instructor lead us through a wonderful sequence and then abandoned us.  I tried again to get them to realize that surely someone else in the room was more qualified.  In vain.

So, this morning I taught yoga.

I could have done better if I'd had time to make a real plan, but for being on the fly, I felt pretty good about it.  At least I was able to laugh at myself and had the class laughing with (hopefully not 'at') me, too!

I was so nervous and shaky, it took me a good half hour to stop shaking after the class was over.  But all in all, it was a Joyful Moment and I'm proud of myself for doing it.

Then, I headed to JC Penny to use a coupon I got for my birthday and I bought a super cute maxi dress.  Not the most practical thing for a nursing mom, but I got it for only $2 after my coupon and it's something I've been wanting for a long time.  So, that was a Joyful Moment.

And then I finally brought back the Afternoon Nap.  That was a monumental Joyful Moment.  I'm still exhausted, but it made me feel better just mentally to get some rest.

Tonight we met up with some friends to eat the tamales we made last night.  This time husbands were invited and it was a yummy dinner.  And then tons of fun conversation and game playing.  Lots of Joyful Moments as we have some really great friends.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and reinstatement of the Afternoon Nap for you as well!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 974: Ridiculously Tired

I don't know what is going on.  I've had three babies prior to this one.  And she's not up in the night all that much, really.  I mean, at least not compared to a lot of other two-month old babies.

But I am so tired.

So.  Tired.

Like, kind of scary tired.

I dropped the kids off at school with my yoga pants on inside out.  Not a big deal, except that I got out of the car to walk Little M over to his line and gave him a big huge kiss and there was a mass of parents and children all around.

I stared at the nurse for a full five seconds after she asked my name before the question sank in and I could remember the answer.  My name!

This is a problem.

But, Darling A did have a stellar two-month check up.  She's perfectly healthy.  Joyful Moment!  My two concerns were not a big deal, according to the pediatrician.  I just love our pediatrician.  She's kind of more like a friend.

Darling A weighed in at 12 lbs. 14 oz.  Little M was 16 lbs. 4 oz. at this same age.  Call me weird, but it was a Joyful Moment in affirming that she's not quite that big.  I love her chubby rolls and all, but I want her to stay little for a while longer!

I roasted some Hatch green chiles tonight while HH was grilling the pork chops for dinner.  You may recall that I did this last year.  And I went ga-ga over the smell all over again.  Roasted green chiles just have one of the best smells ever!  Joyful Moment  in a smell.

And then I hung out with some girlfriends for a bit tonight to roll up some tamales.  I haven't seen anyone in a while since I've been a little busy with Darling A and then we were out of town, so it was a Joyful Moment to catch up with everyone there.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and plenty of rest!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 973: Darling A's First Play Date

Today started out well.  I was a bit tired and sore from yesterday's run, but this morning's run was still nice and enjoyable.  On the way home, I received a phone call from my good friend who had her first baby a few weeks after Darling A was born, asking if she could come over to visit!

I was so excited, I think I actually screamed a bit.

It was so much fun to see and visit with her, though.  And hold her adorable and beautiful baby girl!  Joyful Moments so much!  Thank you for coming, Friend!  I loved finally getting the chance to talk to you and hear all about everything!

It's a good thing the first have of the day was so fabulous because the second half was less so, to say the least.  The kids were all crazy and whiny.  I love them, but some days... I just really wanted to lock myself and Darling A in my room and stay there until HH got home.  But, we all survived.  Without Mommy having to take any time outs.

Needless to say, HH coming home and laying my head in his lap and whining all about the second half of my day (I'd already spoken to him on the phone earlier to tell him how great the first half of my day was) was a Joyful Moment in it's own way.

I love my HH.

Then, we had to take Sweet P in for some lab work tonight.  Never a Joyful Moment, but she was brave and it went well.  And after, we took the kids out for ice cream and watching their Joyful Moment at that was a Joyful Moment.  Until it got really sticky and messy.

I hate messes.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are squeaky clean!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 972: Happy Mama

I ran a 10k this morning in under an hour!  Awesome Joyful Moment!  And I got to run the first part of it with a couple of friends.  Even better.

And then, there were just so many moments with my darling Darling A.  She's just so sweet and adorable and precious.  And fun.  So many sweet Joyful Moments!

And for icing on the cake, HH went to a conference this morning and arrived home quite early this afternoon!  It was so great!

And thus, I am happy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and happiness!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 971: What A Day!

Well, today started with having to answer to the alarm clock for once.  And for the next long while.  School started up again.

And it was Little M's first day of Kindergarten.

These two were sweet enough to jump out and greet me with a "Happy Birthday, Mom!" just before breakfast.  And then, proceeded to eat super slowly.  So, we barely made it to school on time.  This may have been a blessing.  I think Little M and I would have both broken down in tears if we'd had more time to think about it when we said 'good bye'.

Sweet P was an old pro.  It was a Joyful Moment to send her off in her excited independence.

Then, there was a Joyful Moment when a spot opened up for Darling A in the infant area of the child care center at my gym just in time for me to make it to yoga.  15 minutes late, but since I'd forgotten to reserve a spot in advance, I was super happy to luck out in this way.  I was so looking forward to going to yoga this morning and super sad when it looked like it wouldn't happen initially.

Same thing happened after yoga, making it possible for me to even sneak in a shower.  I'm sure all moms can relate to the Joyful Moment of getting a shower without any little faces and hands peaking in to see when you'll be out and ready to play "choo choos" with them again.

So many Joyful Moments when Sweet P and Little M came home and told me all about their days.  Little M seems to have some mixed emotions about school, but I'm really not surprised.  He's always been a bit of a Mama's Boy and it was hard to be separated for the whole day.  But he did have plenty of fun moments and even made two friends!

Sweet P loved it and I can tell she's quite proud to be so knowledgeable having already been through two years of school.  She loves to be in that position and is great at helping Little M out.

Another great Joyful Moment at the kids' violin lessons tonight.  I finally got to see their instructor, my super good friend, for the first time since she had her baby.  Still haven't seen the baby, but it was SO great to see her beautiful face again.  Just not anywhere near enough time to talk.

As we got in the car to head to violin, HH surprised me with a CD.  He made it for me.  It has a song from the Top 10 for each year since the year I was born.  That would be 30, if you don't know me.  He even interjected a few with his own recorded intros of each decade.  It is so so so super sweet.  I'm only a little over halfway through and I'm LOVING it!  I can't imagine how much time he put into it, especially since he's a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like this.  It's just such a cool and totally unique gift.  Definitely one of the best ever!

Here I am with my other two gifts.  After a yummy cake that was a Joyful Moment to eat.  Sweet P put up a big fuss over the past few days to make sure she had a part in buying a gift for me.  She also made me a cute little art project at school.  The gift they all got for me were a couple of running shirts with the reflective stuff on them.  I have to have one for a relay race I'm running in October.  And it's always super exciting to me to get new workout gear anyway.

So, a great evening full of love from my family and Joyful Moments.

Darling A made her own effort to make it a great birthday today, as well.  She's been such a smiley girl today.  I'm loving it!  And during violin she even gave me a huge smile and goo-ed and gurgled at me.  SO CUTE!  More Joyful Moments than I can handle, really.

Well, almost.  Right now she's a snuggled up to me in the Moby Wrap.  I love the feel of her soft little head against my cheek.  She.  Is.  The.  Best.

But, so is the rest of my family.  I feel so blessed today.  None of my typical birthday issues cropped up at all.  It was a great day.  I felt special and loved all day with phone calls, emails, and little facebook notes.  Thank you to everyone for all of that!

And a huge thank you to my HH for making it a great birthday thus far.  I know there is more to come and I think you're super sweet to indulge the Birthday Diva in me.

Wishing you all diva Joyful Moments of your own!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 970: Get Ready!

The kids start school tomorrow.

Little M starts Kindergarten.

I'm holding it together.  Barely.

So, today was spent unpacking from our trip and preparing for school.  We stopped by the school this afternoon to meet the kids' teachers and fill out the necessary paperwork.  We lucked out and Sweet P's teacher was still in her room.  So, we got to visit with her for a bit and see the room.  That was really nice.  And a Joyful Moment to see that she seems like a very nice woman.

Then we bumped into Sweet P's teacher from last year.  It was really fun to see her since she and I developed a bit of a bond as I volunteered in the classroom most of the year.  We got to show her Darling A--always a Joyful Moment.

Unfortunately, Little M's teacher wasn't there.  We peeked into the classroom, but I was really sad we didn't get to meet his teacher since this is his first day of school we're talking about here.  And he's not quite so independent as his big sister.

Or, maybe I'm just having a hard time letting him go...

The good news is, we did have a good evening.  HH gave each of the kids a father's blessing for Family Home Evening.  I'm so grateful he holds the Priesthood and can bless them.  It is certainly a Joyful Moment to know that.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a tear-free day tomorrow!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 969: A Ways Away

That doesn't really make sense, but people still say it anyway.

If it did, it would perfectly apply to the journey we had today.  We came all the way home.  It was long.  It was awful.  HH and I may, or may not, have had a bit of a disagreement.  The one good thing about 15 hours in the car is that there is just enough time to resolve conflicts.

Not from today.  This is one of the photos HH took on the hike yesterday.  Cute little cousins.

So, the Joyful Moment was getting home and collapsing into bed after such a day (and an hour of unpacking--with more still to go!).

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and proper grammar!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 968: Best Parts of Christmas

Getting up in the night with a newborn is somehow more exhausting when you're not at your own home.

I don't know why.  It just is.  Plus, I've missed way too many afternoon naps.

I'm tired.

But there were still Joyful Moments today.

This morning, the dads, my dad, and my s-i-l who bravely came to this reunion even though my brother had to stay home (work is so lame sometimes) took all but two of the grand kids on a hike.  They had Joyful Moments and HH photographed them (I'm so proud!), but they weren't mine.

Those of us still home, my mom, me, my two sisters, my oldest niece, and Darling A got some work done around the house and then ventured out to the mall.  Solely to indulge me.  My sweet mother-in-law got me some super cute clothes for my upcoming birthday.  But, they were from a store that we don't have at the North Pole and unfortunately, weren't the right sizes.  So, we headed out to that store and I had the awesome experience of having four other women picking clothes out for me and giving me their invaluable opinions.  So fun!

For the first 15 minutes and then I was so ready to be done, but still struggling to find something I liked that fit my still not there body.

Fortunately, at the last moment, my sister brought me a new shirt and I loved it and it went perfectly with a skirt my other sister had picked out.  Huge Joyful Moment.

Love it!  Thanks to all of you who indulged me and helped make it fun!

In the afternoon we did some crafts and service.  I had Joyful Moments going around photographing all of it and helping out where I could.

Then, this evening we did the Nativity, acted out by the kids.

It had some incredibly spiritual moments and some irreverent moments.  But it was beautiful and fun.  And another Joyful Moment.

Then I kind of freaked out and had just some yucky moments as we finalized the overwhelming task of finding, gathering, and packing all of our things so we can go home tomorrow.  Bleh.

Then, the adults talked this evening in a Family Council and we shared different things important to us. It had some incredibly spiritual moments and some irreverent moments.  And a lot of Joyful Moments.

And then we hugged everyone good night and headed to bed to get a few hours of sleep before we leave early tomorrow morning.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that have some spiritual and some irreverent moments, as you do need both in life!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 967: Fun And Games

We had a plethora of these today!

We started the morning off with Minute To Win It, designed by my amazing and talented sister-in-law. Well, one of them.  It was seriously so much fun.  Lots of laughter, as usual.  She even managed to make it fun and doable for the littlest (well, almost) children.

Darling A opted out of the competition, preferring instead to be held by one of her adoring aunts.  That outfit she's wearing was another Joyful Moment.  It's from my s-i-l.  Isn't it so cute?

After that, I was ordered by HH to take a nap with Baby B.  My blood pressure issues have really taken  a hit while out here.  It's so hot and apparently, no one else keeps there house as cold as I do.  Did you know that being hot makes your blood pressure drop?  I could go into the physiology of it, but not today.  Combine that with the fact that I'm somewhat of a water snob and haven't been drinking nearly enough ever since we left home (we just have really yummy tasting water in the North Pole!) and I think my blood pressure is near zero over nil.  So, everything goes black every time I stand up.  It's fun!

The nap was not a Joyful Moment, but snuggling with Baby B was.

After that we went to a swimming pool/water park.  That was not my favorite since I ended up just sitting on the sidelines with Darling A and Baby B all by myself for the majority of the time.  It got better when my mom showed up and sat with me (she has a lovely boot due to a broken foot).  There were some Joyful Moments when I got to take photos of the kids and the dads coming down the water slides together.  So fun!

This evening we went to dinner, just the grown ups and Darling A.  Dining out with my family was a great Joyful Moment.  We shared funning dating stories from our pasts and HH had everyone roaring with laughter at his.  That was a Joyful Moment for me.  He's a funny guy.

Not to be confused with a fun guy (fungi), as my brother would say.

This would be a very different blog if my brother wrote it.

I miss both of my brothers.  Neither of them were able to make it to the family reunion this year.  Sad.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments where everyone is present!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 966: Merry Christmas!

I'm not crazy.  That is the theme of this year's family reunion.  It officially began today.  And it's been so many Joyful Moments.

The kids had a blast making Christmas cookies together and I really enjoyed my sister-in-law's impromptu version of "The Gingerbread Man."

Then somehow Grandpa and a brother-in-law got roped into helping the girls make and decorate headbands.  Priceless Joyful Moments watching those two manly men working on such a project!  And priceless memories for the lucky grand daughters/nieces!

And then more Joyful Moments shopping at the Dollar Store with my niece (and everyone else) to buy silly little gifts for each other.

Hilarious and fun Joyful Moments watching the "talent show"/lip sync tonight.

Ahhh, it was a great day.  Full of Joyful Moments and laughter.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of laughter!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 965: And On To Grandpa's House

We stopped by HH's grandpa's place this morning on our way down to my parents' home.  He's such a sweet man.  It's always a Joyful Moment to see him.  He enjoyed holding his newest great-grandchild, until his dog got overly jealous and he had to give her back.  (c:

Then we stopped by the shop where HH bought my wedding ring and had it professionally cleaned.  Haven't done that in a while.  It. Is. So. Sparkly.

I'm a five-year old girl and I love it!

Then we made it to my parents' home and had plenty of Joyful Moments visiting, catching up, and playing with everyone there.  So much fun!

Wishing you all sparkly Joyful Moments!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 964: Is It Weird So Many Of My Posts Have "Yoga" In The Title?

I love how relaxed babies look when they sleep like this.

This morning, I did not feel relaxed.  I felt grumpy.  And was seriously considering HH's offer of the night before to just hop on a plane with Darling A and get out of here.  Traveling with kids is stressful.  Traveling with a tiny (albeit chubby) newborn, is awful.

And the hormones don't help.

But, I slept in and then did almost an hour of some fairly rigorous yoga.  And felt a billion times better after.  That was definitely the Joyful Moment of the day.

Other than that, I pretty much avoided people and kept my baby close most of the rest of the day.  We'd both had enough of her being passed around constantly.  Reconnecting with her was another Joyful Moment.

We took the kids to HH's younger brother's grave site.  Not sure if I'd call that a Joyful Moment, but since they never knew this uncle, I was glad to finally show them something tangible.  And they seemed to appreciate it.  At least, Sweet P and Little M.

And tonight, another of HH's younger brothers came by the house and we all played games together.  He's a lot of fun, so that was full of Joyful Moments.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and blissful relaxation!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 963: SMILE

Darling A is pretty stingy with her smiles.

They are beautiful and sweet, but few and far between.

Today, Darling A doubled the amount of times she's smiled at me.  Making it a total of six.  She smiled at me three whole times today!  It was so sweet.  There's something about a baby smiling at you that just makes you feel super special.

Especially if it's your own.  Joyful Moments, really.

All of the girl cousins on HH's side.  I love Darling A's face here!

A good day hanging out with more family.  And another Joyful Moment in a nice run this morning.

But, I am super tired and found myself pretty down by the end of the day.  I guess those things will happen...

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and baby smiles to compensate for yucky parts of days!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

962: To Grandma's House We Go

Okay, so technically, we're already at Grandma's house before today, but two great-grandmas came over for dinner, too.  Joyful Moments in introducing Darling A to yet more family who all love and adore her.

It was a fun day seeing HH's siblings as well.

Darling A with one of her great-grandmas.  Love the matching outfits!

But, to be honest, the far and away most monumental Joyful Moment was when my parents came by HH's parents' home with a special delivery--Sweet P and Little M!  The reunion was slightly dampened by Little M.  He'd just woken up from a spontaneous nap and (as he always does after a late afternoon nap) could not stop crying.

Not the reunion I'd envisioned.

But, crying or no, I was so so so happy to have all my kiddos back with me again.

And another Joyful Moment when Little M was finally able to change his attitude after a lengthy pep talk from me.  But, I know it was difficult for him, so I was so proud.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and a change of attitude for the better!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 961: And Through The Woods

After another nice morning with my aunt and her husband, we stopped by to visit my grandparents who live near them.

I have never seen my grandma look happier, or more at peace, than when she is holding one of her new grand babies.  She tends to be a bit on the austere side, so I love seeing the way her whole face lights up as she holds one of my babies.  She didn't say so, but I think it's safe to say that was a Joyful Moment for both of us.

And visiting with her and my sweet grandpa was another wonderful Joyful Moment.  I really don't get to see them enough, so I fully enjoy the times I do.

Then we headed back down the road and had another relatively good, but very long drive.  Just a little bit sad because Baby B occasionally cried out from pain in his ears as we changed air pressure.  Poor little guy.  He's a trooper though, and we made it.

Our next stop was at HH's parents' home.  Joyful Moments in finally making it to their house and getting out of the car and of course, in seeing them.  It was fun watching Darling A's grandpa get to hold her for the first time.

And a funny story from Baby B:  He told me this morning, "I have a booger in my no."  "In your what?"  "In my no."

If you think about it, one "no" plus another "no" would be two "noes" which, phonetically, sounds exactly like "nose".

I love toddler logic.

Wishing you all logical Joyful Moments!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 960: Over The River

Today we embarked on a bit of a road trip.  Surprisingly, there were a few Joyful Moments along the way.  Singing songs with HH and snuggling up with Baby B.  And, of course, staring into the sweet face of my Darling A.

We arrived at my aunt's house tonight after a long, but relatively good drive.  She immediately took Darling A from me and sharing my darling Darling A with family I love was an instant Joyful Moment.

We had a great evening visiting with her and her husband.  And a yummy salad dinner--perfect after a day of snacking in the car.

A great start to our trip!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments capped off by a perfect salad!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

959: Fit

HH read Baby B his bedtime story tonight.  This happens all the time, but tonight was especially cute.  It was one of Baby B's current faves, The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle and involves a lot of farm animals and their noises.  HH is amazing at farm animal noises.  Baby B loves to copy them.  And to repeat most of the lines of the book.  And it was a delightful Joyful Moment watching the two of them together.  One those memories I hope to hold onto forever.

After the kids were asleep, I headed out with my friend who also just had a baby for a much needed shopping trip.  In spite of my prior post about having lost most of my preggems belly, my body is not back to its normal size and shape yet.  Of course, it won't be completely until Darling A is weaned and I hope that is a long way off yet.

But very few of my clothes really fit right.  I try on a minimum of 5 shirts every time before I go anywhere.  So frustrating.  And I'm tired of just wearing the same three shirts.

So, a fun girls' night out without any kids in tow was Joyful Moment enough, but add to that a fun time with my friend and some really pretty new clothes!

Thank you, HH for staying home so I could go out and spend your money. (c:

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and finding the right shirt on the first try!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 958: The Proof Is In The Shoes

I went for another beautiful run this morning.  I was bothered a bit by the blisters I'd developed on my run with HH, but I still made it 4 1/2 miles.  It was a Joyful Moment, but my exuberance was tempered a bit when I sat down to stretch and discovered that my left shoe was covered in blood.

Turns out I should have paid a bit more attention to those blisters.

So, we made an emergency trip to Target on the way home and picked up some special bandaids for blisters and I've been hobbling around all day.  Which has frustrated Baby B to no end.

So, it's been a bit of a rough day.

But I had a bright spot and a Joyful Moment in the middle with a nice long conversation with my mama.  And then HH arrived home and took over and made dinner and was my shining star as always.

I love my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that involve clean shoes!