Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life is messy!

(this is based on my experience and in no way judging others who have different experiences... once again, I truly believe we are all doing the best we can).

So my friend and neighbor in passing while talking about kids and school, etc mentions to me, "that's why I am against the stay at home thing... kids need structure and they just can't get that at home."  At first I was going to make a joke pretending to be offended, but didn't b/c I didn't want to make her feel bad b/c she knows I'm a stay at home mom.  But it's been two days and I'm still thinking about that comment not pretending anymore to be offended.  Maybe I really am....
I am not one who gets offended over much- especially comments made by people I don't truly love or value their opinion on, like family, but this has crept up in my mind a time or two for those two days so I thought I'd process...
Of course I want what's best for my children.  I believe every parent does.  So in the long run am I hurting them by keeping them home with me other than the 2 yrs of preschool with short hours (9-12pm)?  Am I being selfish wanting them home with me? 
This mom was talking about how her kindergartener is so advanced and they are only learning letters, etc at this point and wondering/considering having him skip kindergarten to the first grade.
I shared my opinion about how I think school is to teach children not only academically, but socially, foster independence, etc.
I was thinking more about this concept yesterday and Bryce's soccer practice.  For the hour while Bryce plays, Logan and Aubryn like to collect "treasures" AKA small rocks and feathers and sticks they find at the field and specifically in the dirt of the baseball diamond right next to the field.  I lovingly watch them and revel in the blessing and freedom of being young and living in a world full of wonder.  I get excited as they do over the small shiny rock, or the gross feather that's been found.. grateful that in a world full of technology and social media and screens that they are still so innocent and protected finding the joys of earth and just being present.
I then notice other parents around me yelling at their children to "stay out of the dirt!  You'll get dirty!" or "what's the matter with you.....?  You've got all this area and you choose to play in the dirt?!"  My heart breaks for these children just wanting to be children. 
This brought me back to my point of structure vs supposed chaos of staying at home.  How much structure is important?  Morning time- we run errands, read and/or play, lunch, nap, play some more... both with me and independently or with siblings.  I think play is important.  I think that childhood is important.  Why are we in such a rush to have our 2 year old learn their letters and be able to spell their name?  Why are we in such a rush to even potty train them if they don't care?  Is it our own ego as parents?  That somehow we base our worth or get validation through our children?
Or can we just love them for where they are.  For who they are?  Not WHAT they do or what they KNOW.
More than structure, I can teach my children how much they are loved, and worthy or love.  I can teach them how exciting life it by trying to catch a grasshopper or butterfly.  The value of teamwork by emptying the dishwasher together.  What about teaching them flexibility?  That life isn't always structured?  In fact, many times it's not.  It's messy, just like the dirt they were relishing in yesterday.  The dirt I was happy to wash off their feet, out of their hair and off (mostly) of their clothes.  Logan wants to run on the dirt without shoes?  Great... feel the earth.  Be grounded.  Live and enjoy life.  Not providing my children with structure has given them so much more.... a childhood.  Something they will never again have the opportunity to experience.  Even at the early age of 5- children are gone all day and when they do come home in the afternoon exhausted, the have homework.  So why "prepare" them now?  Why can't we just let them be? 
My children have not been the top of their class academically, but teachers have always commented on how compassionate, and kind and well behaved they are.  (Not that I'm taking the credit and filling my worthy b/c my kids are so dang awesome;) But because they learn at home.  They love at home.  They are children at home.  The rest can come later...

Sunday, March 2, 2014


We had a great night tonight over at the Petersens house. My mom gave me an Elsa doll with a very touching note I will cherish forever admonishing me to "let it go" meaning the past pains and hurt I've endured. It will forever be symbolic to me. Especailly since I've been online and looked at prices which are a bit crazy right now. 50.00 bucks for a doll or more. And this Elsa is the perfect one with the glittery dress and all. :) Yes, I'm a kid at heart. But more than the love I have for the movie and music and joy it brings me seeing and hearing my daughter dance and sing to the songs, I love the thought, the gift, note and message the doll and note are expressing to me. It's time I "let it go." And I think like forgiveness it is a process. At times I feel like I've completely forgiven those who have let me down, hurt or betrayed me, and other times (although rare) those emotions are at the very surface threatening to to bring me down to the depths with them. I know how strong I am and what I've endured and learned from, however, those moments of pain are real. And I feel like that little girl, or that teenager, or young adult that was alone, neglected and forgotten. I am not her. She is not me. The future is mine and it is bright. I have so much to be grateful for. My family that I've created with a sweet husband. For the smiles, the laughs, the sweet and tender moments of hearing them sing primary songs or bear their testimony either over the pulpit or in private with me. Watching them master something they've been working on and holding them through the tears... it's all beautiful and it's mine. All the cousins sang and danced to all the "Frozen" songs tonight (ok and me too), and we had a great time. Family is such a wonderful blessing and having us all close to create memories like that even if it is just for this year is amazing. Carter and Emma acted out the parts and Eliza and I sang different parts. Aubryn did it all. lol. She is a little ray of sunshine. She danced around with my doll and sang her little heart out. It was a beautiful thing. I feel fiercly protective of my children, especially my little girl. I fully expect them to all have struggles and insecurities and stumble and fall. That is part of life and although not looking forward to that, know that is how they will learn and grow and become the people and adults God intends them to be. Withough trials, none of us can grow and progress. What I am refering to is protecting them from others around them who put their interests above those of my children. Who might use and abuse. Who won't treat them as the treasures they are. I wish I could protect them from these people. From the world at times. It really does take faith to raise children in this day and age with so much wickedness. My desire for them is to hold fast to the knowledge that they are literally princes and a princess. As they are direct desendants of God, the Almighty, our King. They are His children and He knows each one of them. Their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses, their joys and hurts. And He just loves. He created our spirits and is rooting for us to make correct choices so we can return to live with Him and our families forever in joy. Family brings joy. And tonight mine is full.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Walls. What do they do for us? How do they hurt us? Hurt me? The tricky thing about putting up walls around your heart is that it protects And it hurt you. But not only you- the people close (as close as you'll let them get)to you, you hurt too. I often find that I am misunderstood. I've been told by family on more than one occassion that I'm very opinionated to the point that I won't allow others to express their opinion if it is not the same as mine. When in fact, I crave dialouge with differing opinions. To get to know how others view the world and hear why and get to know them through those opinions often form by their personal experiences. I would love some push and pull feedback on differing opinions to help broaden my horizons and open my eyes to things I am not seeing or aware of. And yet I hear that I come across to some as "my way or the highway." And it hurts. My walls are not fully constructed. Over the years, especially this past year as it's been safer to, I've let those walls come down. I haven't sent in a wrecking ball to completely destroy them however. Maybe that is the trick. You need to either destroy the walls and be completely vulnerable, real and open and feel with your whole heart OR you get that sucker as high and build it as strong as you possibly can. Because the wall half built is not serving me well. To afraid to let it come down and yet not willing to have it be completly up for the hope and desire to connect more with myself and those around me. To deveop more meaningful and real relationships. The half wall is down just enough to "try" out but not down enough for those to see into my soul. This is probably what leads to misunderstandings. Trying to voice my opinion (because that is a vulnerable thing especially if what you are sharing is something you've thought and prayed a lot about and possibly might be disreguarded by those you share with), and yet not having it down enough to listen to their opinions in turn. That that extra little bit of effort might throw you off the already unstable emotional line you are walking. Unstable emotional line? That's a bit dramatic eh? Most of the time on a daily basis, I am fine. I am happy and content and I laugh and play and I live. I guess where that emotional line comes in when I try to reconcile who I am today and who I was in the past. That little girl, or teenager for that matter that felt brushed under the rug or not heard. That i was not and am still not worth hearing. So I overcompensate. Why are the "easiest" relationships the hardest? Family who is supposed to love you unconditionally... can they really love you if they don't know you? How can you let them know you fully if you don't trust that they really love you? That they will continue to love you? How can you stop the hurt? Build a wall... but how can you feel the love? Bring down the wall. Not fulling willing to commit to either, I am at an impass... A song my beautiful daughter sings daily (several times daily in fact) is the song, "Let it Go" from Frozen. "Don't let them in, don't let them see... be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know..." What if I let them know? What if I let them in and they don't like what they see? What if they doubt the person I have become? I have tried to say, "I feel..." and they don't buy it. Or profess that I am not a certain way and it's not believed... then what? I feel stuck sometimes and want to run away to a place where no one knows me. To cut all ties and just be me. To discover who I really am and to be allowed to be that person. To be free. Feeling and identifying with Elsa in that movie is so real for me. To be all alone in her cold castle, and yet to be so relieved to be free. To stop trying to be perfect and always falling short. To not worry about hurting anyone you love or giving off the wrong impression in what you do or say or even how you say the "right" thing. It's weird how being alone is lonley and being in a room full of people who are "supposed" to love you is more lonley. Elsa sings, "No right, no wrong, no rules for me... I'm FREE!" How do you get there without building those frozen castle walls around your heart? I find I even try to hide my vulnerability from the Lord. I thank Him. I am strong. I repent and try to do better. Even with Him I don't listen. Maybe scared of what He would say... what is He does not love me if He truly knew me? If He can't, how can anyone? I long to be free. I long to be real. I just am not sure how. I suppose it comes with being real with myself first. To allow myself to feel everything as it washes over me. To somehow find the time to do that and not tune out those thoughts and feelings at the end of the day when I am just so tired and done. So who am I? A wife. A wife who loves her husband and the good man and the good heart he has. Who has been hurt by past actions, words and lack of action and words. And yet, I know he loves me. I must continue to allow him to love me. To open and soften my heart to that love because I fear sometimes I am missing it and it's right there in front of me. A mother. Not a perfect one which I hate and yet know can't possibly be. I know that my mistakes will allow my children to find their inner strength. To not be everything to and for them because only God and our Savior can be that and it's ok and important for them to know that. To just be an example to them of Christlike love. To teach them it's ok to make mistakes by making my own and yet loving through it all. A daugher. That's a tricky one. I know I am loved as any parent loves their child. I am constantly being served by my parents, especially my mom- another example of love. Calls, constant thought given,smiles, visits... all these things say love. Then where is the block? Why the wall? Guilty feelings for being a difficult teenager and causing them worry, stress, financial burdeon and not being able to move on? Being that stubborn teenager in their minds and somehow stuck there because I am not showing them another side of me? WOuld they believe it if they saw it? Have they seen it and just disreguarded it? Not allowing myself to embrace the love they offer because I feel hurt and misunderstood as if they don't really know me. And yet, that's my fault. I don't let them in. I don't know how. A sister. Sigh. Those relationships are not what I want them to be either... I'm stuck there too. I'm the stubborn opinionated my way or the highway sister, the mean big bully sister, the furniture nazi, the cold and mightier than thou sister. A friend. I am such a great friend. I uplift, I encourage, I listen, I empathize, I serve with my time, energy and advice. They view me completly differnt than my family does. I hear, flexible, easy going, funny, positive and optimistic, a good example... So who is the real me? Do I act all that different around friends than family?? I must. Just so puzzling. A few things I know about me for sure... I love the outdoors. I love the sunshine. I love the water. To play in warm rain or just lay outside on the driveway in it as it washes over me. The light warm breeze before a storm that smells so fresh. I love and appreciate others authenticity. I feel so drained when others put up a front trying to be clever or funny when really I just want to see their heart and who they are and what makes them tick. I suppose I am a drain on others as I attempt to keep myself at arms distance. I am what I detest at times. I love music. I love how it makes me feel and lifts my spirit when I am down. I love being able to sway and dance to the rhythem as it goes through my soul and connects with my heart. I love hugs. And yet, I don't always allow them or if I do, I don't FEEL them. I love allowing myself to feel them and the love and acceptance that they provide when I am open to them. I love to help where and when I can. I will be there at the drop of a hat should someone need or want my help. For both friends and family. I desire to uplift those around me and to feel of God's love as I try to love them. I want to "let it go" "let it go" so it won't "hold me back anymore" I want to be as free as my daughter who sings this song at the top of her voice with such passion and emotion in her face and through her little body as she twirls on her heels and flys through the house. I want to be able to honestly say, "I don't care what they're going to say..." more from a place of it is what it is and I am who I am more than a place of screw you if you don't like me. To be okay with myself enough to have others not be okay with me. And if I am really real and they are still not okay with me. I should be ok with that. As for now, I suppose I am in such a panic to not hear or feel rejection, I don't give others around me (family usually)the chance to discredit what I feel. I also suppose becoming more real and taking the chance with that, I need to allow others to do the same. To open myself up to uncertainty and hurt. But as it is, I am uncertain and hurting with those interactions so why not just let the rest of the wall down and see what happens?

Monday, February 24, 2014


So... been two years since I posted last. Good greif! Been trying to figure out ways to document our family events, my thougts and feelings and everything in between. I've tried several differnt methods- each child having their own journal I keep for them in a document, facebook, just taking several pics with our nice Nikon SLR camera and letting the pics tell themselves promising myself I will do yearly picture books (right after Bryce's baby book- he is SEVEN!). Needless to say, it's just not happeneing. I think I have felt overwhelmed wanting to document every good thing that's happened and every precious memory or funny things my children have said or done, but what can I say? I am too blessed I supposed because there is just TOO MUCH of all that stuff. So I am just going to start from today and hope it's not two more years until I post next. There is really no "point" to my writing today. Just to clear my mind and my heart or thoughts, feelings, ramblings that need to go somewhere. I read a lady's blog last night until almost 2am. It was a horrific story about her husband being killed by the husband of the lady he was having an affair with. They had 5 small children from 5 to 6 weeks old. They met and attended Utah State University, the same place Brady and I gradutated from and lived for 3 years just after we got married. So mentioning the Logan temple, the University, and everything was so real to me. Although we've been married almost 13 years, it seems like only yesterday we were just starting our life together in that beautiful, peaceful place. Some of my best and happiest memories happened there. It was our first home, first time I had bought a car, graduated, our first child was born there. The first time I was a "grown up" so to say. Married to a man I promised and covenanted to spend eternity with. This couple had done the same. Made the same promises to each other and God. And he is dead. She is a widow at 28 and a single mom to 5 babies. I makes me ponder and think... how do you get to that point? What can I do to continue having the life that I have and love. Not to say I love it everyday. There are certainly more times than I'd like to admit that I feel like I am failing. As a wife, as a friend, daughter, sister, mother... failing as a person. I have felt overwhelmed with the mundane tasks and chores that I allow to become my world instead of the people inside my world being my focus. I have never wanted my children to feel like a burdeon in any shape or form. I remember feeling that way when I was growing up. Feeling as if I wasn't there, my parents life would be more simple, easy and they would have more peace. And I would have more peace. Those are heavy feelings for a child, and as I type realize just how heavy as tears fill my 32 year old eyes. I feel like sometimes I do that to my own children. Children I love so dearly. Children I would give my life for in a second. Children who are so precious to me I would take pee all over the bathroom floors and walls and dirty socks and dishes and mud stains and toothpaste on the carpet over ANY of them not being here. Do I tell them that enough? Do I show them that enough? With my words, deeds, and especially tone and energy I carry around our home? Not as much as I would like to. Not consistantly enough anyways... I have to remind myself however, that I - just like my children are God's children. He created our spirits. Mine and theirs. He is our Heavenly Father. One that loves us perfectly. That teaches us... if we listen. I want to learn and be better. I want to have love spew through everything I say and everything I do. Not only so my children (and husband) know I love them. But more importantly to allow them to feel of God's love for them. Even in my failings, I am loved. Even when I don't deserve His love. It is there. I want to emulate that perfect example. Not that I am perfect. I know I will never be perfect. But if I can learn from the perfect parent how to love then myself and my family will be ok. Love is a funny thing... we all want it. And yet sometimes when it is right there in front of us, we don't take it. Why is that? Pain from the past? Walls we have built? Fear of getting hurt? Not feeling worthy of that love? Self preservation? YES. For me anyways... I hesitate writing the thoughts and feelings as they come to my mind and heart. Perhaps too personal? Too vulnerable? Too real? That's what I desire to be though... real. That's what I want my kids to learn and understand as they become adults. That it's okay to doubt, to fear, to question... it's part of life. Because with all of that also comes hope. And that hope is through the Savior. I know that I am never alone. I also know that all my thoughts and feelings have been felt before- by Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane- not only the sins were suffered, but the uncertainty, the self doubt, the lonliness, the inner turmoil humans will inevitably feel and face because we are mortal. As long as we don't loose hope- we are okay. I have had a great morning so far. Playing with Logan, spending that one on one time while the others are in school (for a couple hrs at least. I have been cheerful, happy and grateful to be a mother and wife to look beyond the mountains of laundry, and dishes in the sink (again), and the toddler eating toothpaste and playing in the toilet to really just cherish those moments. Because that is what they are- moments. Moments I am going to miss. Those little pony underwear in the mountain of laundry will someday be no more, the toys, and plastic sippie cups will be a thing of the past. The toilet will be clean and the smell of pee will be gone, but so will the moments of trying to get my son to pee INTO the dang thing in the middle of the night when his alarm goes off or my toddler emulating his father by "plunging" it and then flushing down a plastic toy fish... Oppostition in all things. It's all about our attitude and attitude is a choice. Shall I look at my blessings with resentment because those blessings also bring a lot of work? Just like my attitude is my choice, so is my decision to be a stay at home mom. If I worked outside the home I would miss the blow outs and the spills and the stained clothes... but I would also miss all the laughs, hugs, kisses, stories, books, and just the day to day minute to minute. I would not want to miss a minute, not a moment of those things for ANYTHING in the world! Bring on the laundry! I am blessed...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sing a little sick tune...

(Taken at a healthier, happier time...)

Poor Bryce has been sick for a couple days with a stomach bug or something. He spiked a fever at my parents Sunday night and proceeded to throw up through the night. I became part of a bedtime sandwich as he was in and out of our bed all night... climbing in on my side, squeezing me in the middle between him and Brady.
He ended up wetting our bed, throwing up the next night, and maintaining his fever. (104). He cries every few minutes wanting me to make his belly stop hurting and I totally would if I could! Now it's coming from both ends...
I feel bad for him... and myself too. I'm got a queasy stomach as well and it's just tiring not feeling well yourself, exhausted and caring for one sick and two well children. I sat down this afternoon on our second full day (has it really only been 2 days?) and wrote this poem to the tune of "My favorite Things..." It helps to find humor in these "fun" times. Enjoy!

Vomit on carpet at midnight that first day...
followed by crying, whens it going to be May?
Back aches and fever and crying some more...
vomit again by my bedroom door.

Up every hour to whining and moving,
snoring by husband- man, now we are grooving!
Wake to soaked bedsheets by boy not the man,
stomach still hurting, go and sit on the can.

Didn't quite make it, now floor is unclean,
so are the blankets, we'll need the machine.
Gross yellow splatter appears on the wall,
Diarrhea everywhere - oh what a ball!

When your son cries,
when he pukes too,
when he's feeling sad...
I simply remember how much I love him,
and then I don't feel so bad (or mad)!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quiet moments

Baby girl had a fever a few days ago and wasn't sleeping. I had just laid my head down around 11:30pm and of course, almost as if she can sense it, she wakes up crying, "ma-nee!" (Not sure why she says ma-nee for mommy, but I can't bear to correct her b/c it's so stinkin cute)! Ok, almost everything she does is cute to me. :) Anyways... I drag myself out of bed, stumble down the hall and pick up my feverish baby and plop in the rocking chair. The exhaustion left my body as I began to sing some of her favorite songs. I began to trace her face watching her eyes slowly close and open in rhythem to my caress. Overwhelming love consumed me as I held this beautiful baby girl in my arms. "She is so beautiful..." is what I kept thinking over and over as I held and rocked her. "I can't believe she is mine! I made this sweet thing...." I felt so grateful to the Lord for my baby girl. For all my children. I felt so undeserving of such blessing... so inadequate and humble to be a mother to these choice spirits of God. I wanted so much to not let them down... to let the Lord down... to let myself down. I am all too aware how imperfect I am, how much I have to learn. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sacred responsibility of motherhood. How much it influences, impacts and molds their personalities and view of the world. I don't take that lightly. I know that I could never do it on my own. I am grateful to God and his Son to help make up for my failings. To have the ability to learn and improve each day. To teach my children, the Lords grace is available to them as well. As is Christ's redeeming sacrifice and unconditional love.
I love being a mom. It's in quiet moments like the one I had with Aubryn the other night that it hits me like a ton of bricks... I am everything I've wanted to be. Although not perfect, I am a mother. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trick or Treat

Seriously one of the best holidays ever! Gotta love Halloween and everything about it! The weather, the costumes, the parties, the pumpkins, hayrides, and who can forget the candy?!

Also making Halloween extra special this year was grandma and grandpa Darrington visiting from Idaho! We love having them here- and the kids love the extra attention, hugs and kisses and being spoiled. :)

Our kids (ok, and me too) love the idea of dressing up as a family. We decided to go with the theme of Peter Pan. Of course Bryce being Captain Hook since he is our Pirate man, Carter the main man, Peter Pan as he never slows down, has so much energy and moves about so fast it almost seems as if he really is flying... Who could be a more adorable Tinkerbell than little miss Aubryn leaving myself to be Wendy and Brady... hmmmm.... well we've got Smee or the Crocodile. We thought the crocodile was the best bet wearing all green and I would somehow make a snout or something and hang a timer/clock around his neck.... until I heard someone in Bryce's class doing the same theme and their dad going as Peter Pan's shadow. Easy and simple. Right down my alley and Brady's comfort level. Although I still think other trick or treaters were a bit concerned seeing a 6'5 man dressed in all black walking around the neighborhood... we got it. :)

To begin the day, we all went to Larriland Farm thinking we'd do the hayride, get cider, eat some apple fritters and pick some apples.... turns out...

With an early snow... apples weren't lookin so hot... pretty though right?

Brady with his three kiddos...

And Bryce did love making and throwing snowballs...

Watch out Grandpa!

I enjoyed being the one being pushed for a change... :)

Slim pickin's...

Good thing for Grandpa. He was determined... I was enjoying being pushed through the aisles of apples holding Aubryn, Carter pushing and Bryce throwing and eating snow... Grandpa walked up and down the apple orchard finding one or two here and one or two there until we got half a bag At least we didn't leave empty handed. :)
Especially since pumpkins were so expensive! We decided after looking through them, to buy them at the grocery store closer to home. The boys were disappointed b/c they brought their dump trucks ready to find the perfect pumpkin... but I think they got over it and we were still able to have some fun.

It was our first year trick or treating in our new house as last year was Sunday. I wasn't sure how I'd like it as townhomes we got a lot of candy in a short amount of time as the houses were so close together. I seriously debated driving to our old house and trick or treating there. Turns our, it was great here! Still got more than enough candy and didn't feel so crowded and squished- kids could run around more. It was great! Oh, the kids had fun too.

Aubryn quickly got the hang of it! She mumbled her ick or eet and a-ooo (thank you) and toddled off to the next house. In fact, now that it's January and the boys still have a couple pieces left on the top of the fridge in their pumpkin buckets, she will point to it and say, "ween?" Or recently, "candy- ween?" Made an impact... :)

Our awesome cosutmes. I found my nightgown at the thrift store... although no one knew who I was... I think I totally look like her! Same color night gown, sash... come on now! At least our family knew as was excited about it... and of course no one got who/what Brady was. No, he is not a stalker... ;)

Arrrggg! Let's get goin mateys!

The trio!

Trick or Treat!

After gathering the loot, home again with the candy passer-outers.

Grandpa helping Carter find (or stealing) the best pieces... :)

Of course need to trick or treat and the Petersen Grandparents house and show off our cuteness!
Notice how in almost every picture Aubryn has a lollypop in her mouth? And no, it's not the same one... she must have had 6 or 7...
Maybe it was the candy high that led to this:

Aubryn trying out her wings...

All you need is faith, trust and pixie dust!


Ok, maybe it takes faith, trust, pixie dust, laughter...

...and kisses!