25 February 2011

Moments

I love moments. Maybe not so much in the moments of trying to get a three-year-old to skip one little step in his nightly routine without a meltdown, or reasoning with a baby to keep one morsel of food on his highchair tray, but more in the moments of finding Blake and Nash giggling their heads off at each other. Moments where Nash picks up on the sign language for "more" and knows exactly what it means. Moments where Blake proudly recites the letters on the cereal box. Moments where the boys think they have died and gone to heaven when I take a few cushions off the couch for them to crawl around on:

In between the dishes and the meals and the laundry and the monotony of daily tasks that will be undone within a few hours, those sweet moments are certain to push to the surface every single day. The moments are what make this whole mothering journey worth it.

I'm so grateful that this is my family.


23 February 2011

Ice Ice Baby

I love holidays such as President's Day where you don't have the pressure to do anything festive (apparently we aren't very patriotic), but Troy has the bonus of a day off work. To celebrate, we went with our friends to see the ice castles. Last year, we went at night, so it was fun to see them during the day. They are made entirely out of ice, with no supporting substructure.




Nash was only three weeks old when we saw the ice castles last year. He slept through the entire outing. You can see that he was absolutely thrilled to be strapped in his stroller out in the cold this time around.

Thankfully, Blake, my trusty boy, cheered him right up.





 
Our friends have twin girls. I forgot how when you are in public with twins, you get a lot of comments sent your way. They are so used to it that they barely noticed, but I found it funny when almost every passing group whispered to each other (as if we couldn't hear them), "Look at those twins!" 

Blake did not mind the twin factor one bit. He was really sweet to look out for the little ones all day.

But nothing turns my heart to mush more than the genuine love and concern these two have for each other. Blake came right up to Nash and threw his protective arms around him without any coaxing from us.

There are not a whole lot of family outings that can be done outside in February. Seeing the ice castles was a perfect way to spend a no-work Monday.


19 February 2011

Map

We like to travel. Troy and I want so much for our children to be aware of the world and to instill in them a love of traveling and exploring it like we have.

Last year for Christmas, we gave Troy's dad a map of the world to mark all the places he has traveled to. He is the most well-traveled man we know of, so his map has pins poking out in every continent (yes, even Antarctica).

We aren't nearly as well traveled as my in-laws, but we liked the map so much that we decided to buy our own.

We put pins in all of the places that at least one of us has been. Troy's travels represent probably 90% of the marks. Growing up in Boston, it was cheaper for his family to fly to Europe than across the US, so they did a lot of foreign traveling throughout his childhood. I had a few places to contribute, and am slowing adding in my pins as well.

I know, a laminated map on the wall isn't the peak of beautiful home decor, but we just feel like it's so important for our family to know about the world. I have visions of us discussing world events and referencing the map for travel plans while we are deep in dinner conversation as our children grow up. And for that reason, I didn't want the mapped tucked away in a location we would never see. I wanted it to be prominent. So, what better place to hang it than right by our dining room table where it could be at our fingertips all the time?

It has been hanging there for almost a year, and I have already loved the conversations we have had about places in the world.

What I haven't loved is the frame. For such a large item, the frame seemed much too small. The map was so huge and odd-shaped to begin with that the price of framing was quite hefty. So, I built my own frame, adding on to the current one.

Since it has been well over a year since I've given a tutorial, I thought I'd share how I did it:
1. I bought some thick molding ($15).
2. I used a very scientific method to draw 45 degree angles (aka ruler and pencil). 
3. I cut the wood using my saw. I'm sure there are much more appropriate power tools for this operation, but my trusty jig saw worked just fine.
4. Note to self: If you do this in your kitchen because it is too cold outside, you will produce a large amount of saw dust that must be swept immediately to avoid inhalation by household crawlers.

5. Does it fit? Yes. Whew. Do you ever do that?
6. I grabbed my favorite construction item; tack cloth. I love this stuff. It picks up all of the dust before sanding and painting.
7. I used liquid nails to adhere the pieces and held the frame tight with some masking tape while it dried.
8. I added putty to the corners to fill in those imperfections from sawing. Ours is bright pink and it turns white when it dries to let you know that it is time to sand.

Finally, I did a lot of sanding and added a few coats of semi-gloss black paint I had on hand.

The finished product:


Now, I want to go build frames around all of the builder grade mirrors in our house. It was easier than I thought it would be. The chunkier frame fills up our dining room wall much better, and we have the constant reminder of how much of the world we have yet to see.


16 February 2011

V-day Celebrations

I completely spaced on celebrating Valentine's Day this year. We never do anything elaborate, but at 10pm on the night before the big day, I figured that I should plan something somewhat festive for my boys. Thankfully, my friend Amber came to the rescue with the idea of having a home scavenger hunt. I hid hearts all over the house with pictures of where to find the next clue.


The clues led to Valentine presents. And by "presents," I mean that I did my own little scavenger hunt through the house and gathered items to give to the boys. When they are three and one, they don't know the difference between store-bought and home-scrounged.

Blake and I made heart shaped jello jigglers.


And my Valentine made pink heart-shaped pancakes.

We topped the night off with festive smoothies.

I think those flowers from my sweetheart will arrive any day now. We always wait until after Valentine's Day for the flower purchase. It's much more economical, and I don't need them on Valentine's Day in order to feel loved. I am just lucky to have three strapping Valentines.


14 February 2011

XOXO

Happy Valentine's Day from Boy oh Boy oh Boy!









13 February 2011

The Thing About Teaching

I'm beginning to realize that just because one "big thing" or event is over doesn't mean you can stop and take a breather. Another "big thing" is always right around the corner.

This week turned out to be the week of nonstop teaching for me. In addition to the regular yoga and prenatal yoga classes I teach, I was in charge of hosting and teaching our home preschool Valentine's Day Party.

Then, I was asked to teach a yoga class to the ladies at church for a "slow down & be healthy" weeknight meeting. That night inevitably ended with me being doubled over in pain, as the walnut (I'm allergic) that I didn't know was in the "healthy" muffins digested.

It was also my turn to teach the lesson to all of the primary children at church for sharing time. And the whole Stake Primary Presidency was in there observing because it was ward conference, adding some additional pressure.

You would think that teaching classes would be a breeze for me by now, considering that I have a degree in education and have had a little experience under my belt teaching children and yoga classes. But I still get those nerves in the pit of my stomach every time it is my turn to take charge. I still spend hours preparing. I still go back and forth on ideas for presentation. And after the events are over, I agonize over what went wrong and what could have gone better.

What was I thinking including so many scriptures during sharing time when I was trying to engage a huge group of antsy children?

Did I even remember to talk about the sound the letter "i" makes at preschool? Could I have been any less prepared when it came to throwing together the Valentine's Day card holders for the children?

How incredibly distracting was it when my ipod speakers kept going in and out during our "slow down" night at church?

Did I really get confused about my "right side" and "left side" in front of my prenatal yoga class where I was supposed to be the professional? (I do the poses in mirror form towards the students, trust me, it gets confusing).

Sometimes I wish I could just have a complete re-do of the classes I teach. I would do so much better the second time around, not making the same mistakes.

Or not put myself under the stress of teaching at all. It would be so much easier to breeze by without ever having to be "in charge."

Troy keeps reminding me that the students will forget everything I said ten minutes after the events end (especially three year olds). But the perfectionist in me still gets frustrated that I'm not more confident. That my words don't flow more smoothly. That maybe an ounce more of preparation might have made the difference. 

But that is the thing about teaching. Once something is taught, it's out there. There are no re-dos. No going back.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy helping people grow. I love to see that expression on my students' faces when they hold a pose they never thought they'd be able to attempt. I love when the material presented might have changed or inspired someone to change or be a little better. I truly am honored to be entrusted enough to guide others with my limited base of knowledge.

I have a feeling that I am far from being done with teaching. Teaching opportunities are always going to pop up; that is inevitable. I'm going melt into a bundle of nerves again. I'm going to agonize over what went wrong. I'm going to panic the moment the spotlight becomes mine and then walk away with sweet relief when it's all over.

Maybe someday I'll be able to walk into a teaching position, with all eyes focused on me, and feel completely certain and confident. I won't miss any of the points I wanted to make. Maybe I'll be able to take the "me" out of teaching altogether. I won't worry if my words are completely fluid, if my poses are perfect, if I am doing it right. I'll be able to make it completely about them

Or maybe everyone else gets just as nervous as I do.

Regardless, it made my heart spill over with relief when the sweet primary girls "heart attacked" my front door with little notes of appreciation. After all of my agonizing, it was the little pick-me-up I needed until the next teaching opportunity comes knocking at my door, and then I'm sure I'll be right back to square one on the scale of nervousness.


09 February 2011

Farewell

Next month, Troy's parents are moving to Hawaii. 

They will spend two years there, teaching an entrepreneurship class at BYU Hawaii. They'll live down the street from the beach. Rough life, right?

They've been trying to decide what to do ever since my father-in-law was laid off from his job last summer, and this opportunity seemed like the perfect fit. Since it isn't a formal mission, they will still have have the freedom to leave and visit family during school breaks. Plus, it's Hawaii. No brainer!

We sure are going to miss them though. It's going to be strange not having any extended family around.

The move to Hawaii was up for discussion but not quite finalized over the holidays. Since it was probably going to be the last time we'd all be together for a while, they wanted to take some family pictures. And man oh man was it freezing outside. We had to go inside the cabin in between every shot to warm up.

We'll be on board at any point to visit them at those Hawaiian beaches.