Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.

Yesterday Ro and I were sitting on the floor in Target. We were rummaging through the little boys clothing department. I asked for his opinion as I showed him a few different pairs of pants and shirts. He would then reply with,"Cute." "Not cute." "Not cute." "Cute." "Not cute." "Not cute."

Mostly his answer was, "Not cute."
He says the funniest things sometimes!

As this conversation was happening a mother and daughter walked by and overheard us talking. They laughed! The mother asked how old my son was. I informed her that he was about to turn two next week. She said, "Get ready for a hard year." I wish I would have  replied with something like, "That's ok, I'm up for the challenge!" Or "It may be tough, but at least I know I won't be bored!" But I didn't. 

The truth is, motherhood is hard. 

Why are some moments so sweet, and so easy to be happy? Then these other moments happen that make you want to throw your hands in the air, pull a blanket over your head, curl up in a ball, and just cry?
The simple, short answer is, because that is the way life has to be. That is the whole point.
Our Savior taught us, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Things that are hard remind us that we are weak. Things that are hard remind us how much we need our Savior. Our challenge then, is to Come to Him. 
He will give us the strength to do hard things. 
He will help us find happiness, even when our kids are a mess. 
He will make us better mothers than we could ever be on our own.

So. I've got a hard year a head of me. A year full of tantrums and soggy diapers. A year of teaching  not-to-hit and color-only-on-paper. A year full of messy house and piles of laundry. I am ready. I am ready for the curl up in a ball, and just cry moments. I am ready to take on the runny noses and stinky feet. I am ready. I am ready, because I am not going into it alone. 

And, Oh! how I love being a mother.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Seminary: Fill-in-the-Blank Church History Map

What a blessing & incredible journey this new Seminary calling has already been! It is amazing to me, how invested I already feel in these students and their gospel learning.
Heavenly Father is guiding this work. How amazing it is that He, who created the Heavens and the Earth, cares about the day to day experiences of 18 high school students and 1 teacher. 
His is truly a remarkable work.

I have  been the beneficiary of so many awesome Seminary & scripture study resources. I wanted to add a few to the mix, in an effort to "pay-it-forward" for resources I have used.

Being that we are studying Doctrine & Covenants and Church History this year, I felt it was important for the students to understand where all of the revelations and historical events occured. As a high schooler, I remember being so confused by who was in Missouri and who was in Ohio... Winter Quarters was where? And Council Bluffs was what? Ohio was after Missouri but before Nauvoo? And what happened in Susquehanna County and Fayette, New York?

In a effort to help my students better understand what happened where, I created a visual for each of the students to glue into their journals.

I thought it would be fun, and more meaningful, to have them discover the names of each location, as well as what happened there. I created a map of the United States with bullet points over each important location. I connected the location to a scripture and a blank line. (For those locations without scriptures, I handed out "Historical Facts" to teach what happened. Those are included should you choose to download.)
The students were split up into groups. I asked each group to be in charge of finding a few of the locations. Then, I had members of each group teach about each location and what happened there.

To download the Student Work Sheet click here.

I hope this will be a good reference for the students as we progress throughout the year. They seemed to enjoy filling out their personal copies and teaching their classmates. At the very least, it got them talking to one another and flipping through the pages of their scriptures! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Monster Party! Roland's 1st Birthday

Boy, oh boy! 
What a blast I had planning the details of Roland's 1st Birthday Party! 
Kylie helped me choose the theme...
Monster Party!
I started planning a few months in advance. 
I love the little details that go into planning parties. I had so much fun putting together each one!

We gave each of the kids who came a jar of bubbles. I drew little monster faces on them.
They were a hit with the older kids - who enjoyed running all over the grass and chasing each other.

In addition to the small details, I love when a party is super personal. 
I created this board to share all of Roland's favorite things.

We served Monster Nachos for dinner... Complete with Sweet Pork Monster Guts and Nacho Cheese Monster Boogers. Scrum-didilly-umshious.

After dinner we served cup cakes and ice cream. 
I don't think anyone enjoyed their cup cake as much as Ro enjoyed his!


We came back inside to open a few birthday gifts. Thankfully, everyone fit into our cozy little apartment! 

I am so grateful for everyone who came to celebrate with us, and share the love we have for our sweet little boy! I am especially grateful for all the family and friends who helped pull this little party together. Kylie and Marissa came the night before to help bake some desserts. We were up late into the night rolling sugar cookies and dipping strawberries. Then they came back hours before the party to help set up. Mom and Tessa were in the thick of party set up, too! Joe brought all the tables, linens, and chairs AND came in clutch by figuring out how turn turn our complex sprinklers off during the party! That was a relief! Emily and Lindsay brought some delicious homemade treats - which were completely devoured by the end of the evening.

I am so grateful to my Mom for taking all these pictures. She not only captured all the details of the party... she saved the day! In the madness of it all, I completely forgot to snap any pictures of my own. But I did manage to take a few of the aftermath...


November was another month that came and went with a flash! 
I am beginning to sense a pattern here. It seems as though life has decided to speed up, and try it's best to race past me...
But not too quick. You can't pull one over on me that easily Father Time. 
I am grateful for pictures and they blessing they are to me. I love the chance to reflect on all the fun and simple and spectacularly ordinary things we do every day. I am also grateful to keep a journal where all the deepest feelings of my heart have a home, tucked away inside its pages. Mostly, beyond words to express, I am grateful to share my days with my family. Especially my two sweetest boys.

Don't let these pictures fool you. 
If you think for one second that Roland actually sleeps in his crib every night, you would be mistaken my friend. His favorite spot to sleep is snuggled right up next to Collin or me in our cozy king sized bed. And sometimes, he likes to sleep horizontal. 

 It never ceases to amaze me how fast Roland grows! 
His Millar cousins let him borrow the most awesome walking-toy. He took right to it, pushing it all around our house.

  "Ba ba" and Roland became fast friends. As well as his third word. 
Now he asks for it constantly. He also refers to his pasi as "ba ba."
It gets a little confusing for some people. But luckily, I speak Roland's language. I can usually tell which he is asking for. (Plus, it helps that I only have a 50/50 chance to get it wrong.)

 Even cruising around Wal Mart in a shopping cart, "ba ba" is there for Ro. He is using a nice package of flour for a pillow. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 
 (On a side note: The shoes he is sporting in this picture are complements of Last Chance. Possibly my best LC find e.v.e.r. $2.99 for those beautiful, velcro Sperry Top Siders. Yes please. Thank you very much. I just love a good deal!)

 As I was standing in the kitchen one morning, doing the dishes and cleaning the counter, I turned around to find a chocolate muffin I had just set on top of the garbage can strewn all over the floor. Roland was just munching away having a delicious chocolate treat! I laughed. Sat down. And called my mom. A moment like this had to be shared.

 Having a nap with Grandpa.

Snuggling with Mommy and enjoying a "ba ba."

 On the morning of my 24th birthday I woke up early to teach Seminary. When I got home Collin and Ro were already awake. They had surprised me with my most favorite breakfast treat of all times... A chocolate almond croissant! Then Collin surprised me again by taking the day off work!! What a fabulous birthday it was turning out to be!

 Roland also really enjoys a chocolate almond croissant. 

 A few shenanigans in the morning, and then we were off to the mall!

 Collin watched Roland while I painted a plate at As You Wish pottery - one of my very most favorite things to do! Collin is the best gift giver. I don't know how he does it. He is so thoughtful, and nails gifts dead on.
 Mary Kay came and took us to lunch. Kacey, Jax and Cloey met us too! It was so fun to celebrate with my sweet family.

While we were out and about Collin purchased this fabulous lobster shirt.
Super classy. Super comfortable.
It was a wonderful birthday!

 Grandpa and Roland catching some Zzz's on a Sunday evening.

Roland and his little buddy Bishop playing at Bishop's house.

 Sleeping in with his "ba ba."

Roland loves his Auntie Kylie. She usually lets him do whatever he wants. 

Playing with some super silly monster teeth!
Roland thought it was just hysterical. And so did we!

 I am quickly learning that the more mobile my little baby gets, the more I have to do. He loves to open, pull, dump, scatter, smush, un-do, and wreck almost anything he can get his hands onto.

 The second word Roland learned to say was "da da." 
Da da teaching Ro the art of eating an Oreo.

I think he liked it! 
(I promise he eats healthy food too... 
I guess it is more fun to take pictures of sugary sweets than smushed carrots?)

 Wreck-it-Ro. At it again.

 On this particular morning I walked around the corner to find that Roland was enjoying his breakfast from the kitchen floor. Delicious.

 We sure do love our sweet little boy!