Archive for the ‘Love is in the air’ category

Drum Roll Please…

January 23, 2012

More anticipated than the Oscars. More thrilling that any roller coaster. The moment you’ve all been waiting for…

My Anniversary Photos.

here is the fondue that changed my life forever

here is me enjoying the fondue that changed my life forever

here is me with the man I married, which changed my life forever

Statistically speaking, 1 out of only a pool of 3 may not be scientifically significant, but this anniversary beat out year 1 and 2… blew ’em out of the water! Who said that the anniversary symbolized by leather isn’t awesome.

For Ever And Always

December 1, 2011

Last night my sweet Cooper knocked on my door about 20 minutes after bedtime.

“Mom? Can I come in?”.

“Sure… what’s up?”, I asked.

As he entered my room, I could clearly see that he was upset.

“What’s wrong Sweetie?”

He proceeded to tell me that he was really sad after reading a book. When I asked him which book had turned my brave kid into a weeping mess, it all made sense.

There is one book that I simply cannot read without blubbering like a complete baby. I can’t even TALK about the book without tearing up. For me it is such a simple representation and reflection of my love for my parents, and as a parent, my unconditional love of my children.

As I hugged and comforted him, the emotion took over me as well, partly because of the premise of the story, and partly because I saw what I already know… I have such an amazingly tender and loving boy.

If you haven’t read it, do.

40+ Years and Still Going Strong

September 5, 2011

The rate of divorce in the United States is over 50% (it’s over 67% for 2nd marriages. OUCH!).

There are lots of theories as to why so many marriages, more than HALF, crumble. Life is quite a bit different from 50 years ago. Even 20 years ago. Money problems, stress of children, sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity are to name a few. My generation and the ones since have grown up believing that they deserve and can have everything they want. Life is incredibly fast paced compared to that of my parents.

I think that this new mind-set has a lot of amazing benefits and have opened doors that our grandparents never imagined for us, but this also comes with an attitude that threatens the sanctity of marriage. If you’re unhappy, change it. Think someone else is better for you? Go for it. Unsatisfied with your spouse? Divorce! That is a simplification of reality, but I think it fairly represents the current attitude.

As someone who has been through divorce, maybe I am no different. I am part of a statistic that is, unfortunately, the majority out there. I’m not saying that divorce is always a bad thing, or those who get divorced are simply throwing in the towel to find something better. There are so many different reasons and scenarios as to why people choose to end a marriage. Divorce is sometimes a blessing. Sometimes not. But the ever-growing rate of divorce is pretty alarming, at least to me, and I think more often than not, people are too quick to throw in the towel. When I was a kid, I had very few friends with divorced parents. Now, it seems to be the norm.

I am so proud to have parents that are still together. Their marriage has survived having very little money as newlyweds, 5 children, the death of 1 child, teenagers, and many things I’m sure I was not privy to while growing up. I’m grateful to have such amazing examples when it comes to compromise, selflessness, and sticking it out no matter what. Greg is also lucky to have parents that, through everything, stayed by each others side. I never got to meet Greg’s dad, Neil. He died a few months before we met, but I am impressed by his mom’s committment and unconditional love for her husband. And the stories about Greg’s dad and his love and loyalty to his family are wonderful to hear. My grandparents are no longer living, but they all stayed together until death, and life was not always easy for either couple. But if they could work through it, anyone can!

I’m grateful that Greg and I are both committed to never repeat the past, and are in it for the long haul. Cuz that 67% is just not acceptable! There seems to be this attitude of arrogance that “kids” (OK, 30 somethings) have. We know more than our parents, and are more savvy than the people who raised us. Since over 50% of us are screwing up somewhere along the lines, maybe they must have SOME idea of what they’re doing.

Marriage advice from a divorcee. HA! No, not really. I suppose my advice here is look to those who’ve had a successful marriage, shut up, listen and watch, and implement. If you’re married, do something extra nice for your spouse today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. You, your kids, and your partner will thank you for it.

 

No Animals Were Harmed

April 25, 2011

Not posting for a while means that I have some catch-up to do, which isn’t my favorite thing. However, my lack of posting is evidence of the amazing, wonderful, and glorious week I had of doing nothing in particular.

We left for St. George Tuesday afternoon, were welcomed by glorious weather (a nice break from the crappy cold and rain that SLC had been experiencing for what seems like the 249023 days preceding our departure, as well as our entire absence), and enjoyed that lovely weather for our entire stay. YIPPY!

A few key and momentous things happened on this trip down South.

  • I wore sunscreen. Everyday! This is nothing short of a miracle, and I have to believe that it being Easter and all… let’s just say there is some divine intervention involved here. I’m pretty sure that there has never been a time when I haven’t gotten sunburnt. Think lobster.
  • My mom, Greg, niece and I visited Zions National Park on Wednesday. The entrance fee was waived for the week (yippy!), and it was really crowded (boo!), but it was a really nice excursion. I’ve only been to Zions once before, and it was when I was young, so my memory of it is very vague. Lame, seeing as I live in Utah. But it was perfect weather and the sights did not disappoint. It was beautiful!
  • Let me preface this by saying that I did not feed the animals (because there were signs stating that it was forbidden, and doing so would result in a $100 fine). I did, however, pet a few squirrels. They had obviously become very familiar and comfortable with humans, and some were pretty friendly. Which is why I picked one of them up. I put him down because my mom is a spaz and was worried that I was going to get bit and subsequently get rabies. I know better (mostly because I am a self-proclaimed animal whisperer), but decided to give in to my mother’s wishes because I am an obedient child. Anyway, the squirrel loved me and even when I put it down, he stuck around and let me pet him some more. We are now forever friends and I think he might come for a weekend visit. At the very least I’m sure he’ll send a postcard or email. I also picked up a really cool looking, iridescent green and blue beetle, who decided it would be cool to excrete some stinky liquid on my hands. I needed no prompting to put that jerk down.
  • Ebb and flow. Yin and yang. Marriage has its ups and downs. Now don’t get me wrong, there aren’t downs at home, but just like everyone else, we get into our routine, go with the flow, days run into each other, weeks feel the same as the previous and the next. But this little excursion sans children really gave us the time that we don’t normally get to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect. Greg golfed, I lounged, we swam, watched movies, ate, laughed, played games, swam some more, ate some more, etc. It was HEAVEN!
  • Even though our reign in a certain card game ended, we still had fun playing games each night with my family (my parents, sister & her family).
  • We ate out at least once per day, probably gained 10 lbs., and enjoyed every minute of it. I can testify that there IS good sushi in Southern Utah. Who knew!

We returned home last night to cooler weather, a weird smell in the kitchen, and car that is going on week 4 in the shop. We also came home to kids that missed us like crazy (it was really nice to have them in our arms again and under our care), my bdff (best dog forever friend) Jake, and getting back into the groove that I call my life.

I missed (sort of) not having the kids for Easter, doing all of our Easter traditions (although we did dye eggs with them the weekend before we left), and being without them for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. But I can honestly say that this was probably the best week I’ve ever had with just me and the hubby. Thanks for the good times :).

Does It Get Any Better?

April 5, 2011

Yes, yes it does. BUT, it’s pretty dang exciting. Not only did I get a new fence this past week, but I also got (drumroll)….

New bedding! After Greg and I had been married 6 months or so, I realized that the floral print of my duvet comforter MAYBE wasn’t what he would have chosen for himself. And I had owned this particular bedding for quite some time, so getting something new was definitely in order. I searched and searched and came up with a bedspread that I thought Greg would like. But truth be told, I didn’t ever really love it. We’ve had it for over a year, and while it’s OK, it’s only OK. It’s thin but heavy, and often slid down the bed while we were sleeping (it’s actually Greg’s fault, because he sleeps like a freak of nature). It was also dark, and it made the room feel dark and heavy.

As fascinating as the details of my bedding and why I did and did not like my bedspread is, I’ll forgo getting in much deeper. Here is a picture of the new addition to my bedding family.


There are some stitching details that don’t show up in the photo, which is a shame because that is my favorite part of this bedding set, but you get the general idea. I must give credit where credit is due… Greg picked it out. It’s much softer and while it’s fluffy and warmer, it’s also very light (as in weight). I am really liking how our bedroom looks much brighter. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, then you should be aware of the fact that I am kind of a bed/bedding freak (I’m also a fan of towels), so stuff like this are some of many simple little pleasures in my life :).

Seriously, am I dedicating a post to bedding? I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise… I’ve dedicated posts to dog poo, a fence, vomit, a collar of shame, etc.

I have another BIG(ger) purchase to discuss, but I’ll save it for another, more appropriate day. In the meantime, I think I’ll stay here in my bed, cozy, warm AND stylish :).

Date DAY!

March 11, 2011

Cooper was next in line for a date with me. It was supposed to happen in February, but due to time constraints (and piss poor planning), we had to push it into March. Because the kids didn’t have school today AND Greg was home, it seemed like a perfect time for Cooper and I to spend some quality time together.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think the Nickelcade is great and all, but I’ve been there on my LAST 3 kid dates, and even though it was Cooper’s first pick, I gently tried to persuade him to choose something different. But ultimately I left it up to him. He told me he’d think about it and let me know after lunch :).

He had gotten a gift certificate for a free children’s meal (I love these) at Archibald’s Restaurant, which is located at Garner Village (the place I took Emma in October), so he decided that was the place he wanted to eat. After a yummy meal (and a huge dessert he polished off all on his own), we decided to walk around and look at the shops.

It was fun walking hand-in-hand with my sweet boy, who tells me multiple times every hour that he loves me :). We stopped at a little shop and Cooper was immediately drawn to a display of children’s watches. They were cute, and pretty inexpensive, so I asked if he wanted one. He said yes, but that he was worried about how much it cost. Seriously, this kid is so incredibly thoughtful, almost in a way that makes me sad. It’s like he felt like he didn’t deserve it, but I assured him he did, and was more than happy to buy it for him.

We strolled the shops for a few more minutes and then headed home. I can’t count the times he said that he told me thank you not only for lunch and the watch, but also for spending time with him. MY PLEASURE! I can honestly say that I have never met a more polite or sweet child in my entire life, and today’s wonderful afternoon was well spent!

One Proud Mama

February 25, 2011

Growing up, my dad was involved in the scouting program. Actually, I think he was even the Scout Master. But being younger than my brothers and also a girl, any knowledge about the cub/boy scout program beyond knowing my dad & brothers were involved in it is extremely limited. Fast forward to today… I’m a mother of two boys, both who are scouts.

Tuesday was the Gold & Blue Banquet, which is a dinner and awards ceremony that each scout pack holds yearly. The boys are allowed 2 guests, dinner is served, and the boys who have earned badges or other awards are awarded said badges.

Ian is a Webelo this year, which is the last “level” of cub scouts before they move on to BOY Scouts. Webelos can earn their Webelos badge, but with some extra work, they can also earn their “Arrow Of Light” patch. I didn’t know what the Arrow of Light was until recently, but I guess it’s a big deal. It’s the EAGLE SCOUT (Google if it if you don’t know what it is) of the Cub Scout program.

I was really frustrated and stressed about this upcoming event because many of Ian’s requirements weren’t signed off. And being that I’m pretty much clueless about all things scout, I wasn’t aware of what was going on until about a month before. This past two weeks we’ve been working on finishing all of the loose ends, but as of Monday, I didn’t think we’d be ready for Ian to get his awards Tuesday at the banquette. Monday afternoon Ian’s scout leader called me and told me he actually WOULD be ready to receive his Webelos badge as well as his Arrow of Light at the banquette.

Woo hoo!

It was fun night with cute decorations, good food, and cute boys participating in the program. At the end of the evening, Ian (along with 2 other boys) were called to come up front, along with their parents, and presented their Webelos badge. There was then a small presentation and story where the boys were given their Arrow Of Light award.

I can’t believe how fast my kids are growing up, and this night made me realize that my little boy is becoming a little man. I’m so incredibly proud of what a great person Ian is turning out to be. He’s definitely a work in progress, but has some amazing characteristics… I feel blessed and honored to be his mother.

Congrats Ian! I love you :).

(Pictures to come)

Opps I Didn’t Do It Again

November 16, 2010

Yes yes, so my posting gets a little sporadic at times. No, I’m not bi-polar. I am, however, occasionally blog lazy. Not only am I inconsistent, in this post I am going to jump ALL over the place, and it’s going to be THE. BEST. EVER. Or not.

Work… I sometimes do it. A referral from a good friend has kept me pretty busy most weekends the past 2 months. It feels good to be back in the trenches, although sometimes it feels like I’m in a trench of cow pies, and I may be here for quite some time. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Even though it is time-consuming, it does remind me that I do enjoy what I do.

My knees are covered in bruises and floor burns, which of course means… No, I’m not a woman of the night… it’s VOLLEYBALL season! Have you ever had an activity or hobby that you enjoy so much you could do it every day, for hours and hours on end? Volleyball is that to me. It is my absolute favorite sport to play, and the icing is that I get to play it with some of my closest friends. 6 months ago I was unsure if I would ever be able to play again, but my shoulder has been cooperating thus far…

Which leads me into my next paragraph. Tonight after v-ball, my friends and I are doing a pot luck feast. It’s a fancy excuse to shove our faces, laugh, talk, and have fun into the wee hours of the morning. Speaking of friends, and I know I’ve talked about the la-dee-da awesomeness of my friends before (and quite recently), but I love them. It was fun getting to see one of the newer additions to my friends list TWICE this past week. Cheers and a high-five to the friends in my life!

Remember our broken tree about a month ago? It took me awhile, but I finally got a bid and made the appointment to get the tree trimmed and remove all of the broken branches. I’m not sure if you’re like me, but I’ve gotten used to crappy customer service. Not that I like it, I think it’s just become what I expect when it comes to service people coming to my home. Surprise surprise. Not only were they very reasonable with the price (hence me going with them), but they did an amazing job! I am really happy with how the tree looks, and (here is where I was surprised), they did a wonderful job cleaning up. They raked up my yard, my neighbor’s yard in which the branches hung over, cleaned up all of the branches, twigs, and leaves, AND used a leaf blower to remove all traces of their work. Yippy!

Harry Potter, oh how you thrill the masses. I am excited to be one of the many who will be entertained on Thursday. Even better, we are the guests of my parents (FREE MOVIE!), who are guests of their financial advisors. There happens to also be an extra ticket, and since Ian IS the oldest and also the only child who has read all of the books, he is going with us. I’m really looking forward to it :).

Also on the list of things I’m looking forward to is the Thanksgiving holiday week and weekend. It may feel a little weird in that it will be my first Thanksgiving without my kiddos. In the years past, even after my divorce, they would come spend the holiday with me in St. George with my family. This year is a different story. The “other” parents are taking both sets of kids, and Mr. N and I are on our own. While I will miss my kids, I am LOVING the idea of getting some time to R&R with my most beloved hubby. We weren’t sure about what we would do this year, but after discussing it, we made the decisions months ago to head down south with my family. I love my family, and it will be nice to spend the holiday with them, but this trip is more than that for us. This will be the longest time we’ve had alone together since, well, forever. We don’t ever get the opportunity to get away (for essentially free) for 5 days sans kids. We will be hanging with the fam some, but also have plans to do a number of things on our own: Zions National Park, some magical restaurant in Vegas that Greg fell in love with this past year, swimming, golf, movies, sleeping in, and just getting to be with each other. I can’t tell you how much I need this. WE need this, and I can’t wait!

There you have it. You can now breath easier and continue on with your life knowing that all is well in my world.

“A” One

September 17, 2010

It’s always interesting for me to hear the ideas and views of different people on marriage. Especially the varying views of friends who are divorced, remarried, and those who are still on their marriage numero uno.

The other day I ran across this blog, and I love this post.

For the few friends I have that still have what I call a “movie” mindset on how love and marriage should be, and have doubts or question their own relationships when there is an ebb to the flow of passion, this article explains much better than I ever could (and have tried multiple times) my beliefs on marriage. My favorite line of this post: “Have the attitude that this is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, so you must find a way to make it work instead of always looking for the back door.” – Scott Haltzman, MD.

In a time when life moves fast and people move through marriages even faster, what amazing advice. I happen to believe I married the right person for me, but there are times that are more stressful or grumpy inducing than others, and I think that THAT is where the commitement comes in… sticking it out even when it’s not rainbows and gumdrops.

Whirlwind

February 18, 2010

Every day I keep thinking that I need to post an update on what’s happening in my world. But as the days fly by, it all gets away from me, and then I find myself thinking “so much has happened, where do I begin and what do I even say?”.

One step at a time, right?

OK, Arizona (yeah, I know it was almost 2 weeks ago). It was BEEEE-UTIFUL! The weather, the resort, our awesome room, the wonderful spa… everything. It was wonderful being able to get away with the Mr. and to have some time to ourselves all while enjoying a nice change in climate and surroundings. Not only the was the “vacation” portion of the trip awesome, the “business” part went better than I expected. I’m on the board of a foundation who (among other things) gives money to various organizations and charities. MY cause (which I am very passionate about) got an unheard of amount of money (at least relative to what they usually give)… the full amount I requested. Maybe it was my embarrassing and very unexpected and unwelcome blubbering. Maybe I’m the master of public speaking (not). Whatever it was, it worked and I am thrilled to be able to be a part of something that help children and their families and literally change lives. Woo hoo! It made my week. I still get excited when I think about it.

Valentine’s Day weekend was splendid as well. I LOVE the kids – they are my life – but I really appreciate the few nights a month Greg and I get to spend alone. We never got any kind of “honeymoon” period because we were thrust into parenting not our usual 2 and 3, but a whooping 5 kids, full-time. The weekend was not only romantic but we also got TONS done. We cleaned, organized, made trips to our storage unit, and just in general kicked ass AND took names. It was great at the end of the day to look at all of the great progress we made. I love the feeling of a productive day, and BONUS… we got to do it together!

Tuesday was my monthly “date with one of my kids” night. I know I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love and look forward to this! This month was Ian’s turn. We decided to get some dinner and then catch the new movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. He was in the mood for a burger and fries, and since we were tight on time, we headed to the burger joint, SNAPPY’S, inside Jordan Commons. Ian seemed to really enjoy the food, especially the Oreo shake :). The movie was what I expected (not wonderful, not bad, somewhat entertaining), but Ian liked it and that was all that mattered. I had a lot of fun getting to spend that time alone with him. I adore that kid!

At the end of each week I go into the next hoping that it’ll be a little less chaotic, that I’ll have a little more down time, that I’ll have to put up with less crap that is redonkulous, and that I’ll actually get 8 hours of sleep. Rarely does any of it actually happen, and there are some days that the demands on me make it feel like I’m getting dragged into quicksand and on the verge of going under. But the truth is, even with all stress and strain and  running around trying to get everyone where they need to be and everything done that needs to get done, I love my life. I love my friends, my dog, my children and family, and my husband. I’m so very grateful that I have the choice and ability to stay home with our 5 children, volunteer at their school A LOT, arrange play dates, run them to all of their various activities, and cook dinner every night. I’m thankful to be married to a man that keeps his commitments and takes pride in working hard to provide for all of us. I’m one lucky woman.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my brothers death. There isn’t an edge to the pain like there used to be years ago, but this DAY has sort of loomed over my head and created a shadow all week. I’ve lived longer without him than I did with him, but even after 22 years, I still miss him. I wonder what kind of man he would have been. Would he have been a husband and father? The next Einstein? I’ll never know, and I guess that is what’s hardest for me. What I wouldn’t give to know him now. At some point, I think I will have that opportunity. Until then, I love you bro!