‘member me?

Though I think about writing often, I was a little surprised to open up WP today and realize that I haven’t even glanced at my blog in way too long. First thing I thought of; it needs a new look. Must happen soon. Also, I need to update all my sidebar info and all the other stuff that’s going on, because most of it is NOT going on if that makes any sense.

What is going on is regular life in the spin home. I change lots of diapers these days between my non-potty trained 2 year old Geoffrey and newby 3 month old Maxwell. That’s fun. I’m the main food source for newby, and that’s much of my day right there. Now just add in taking care of 3 more kids and a house and that’s the rest of the time.

In the spare time I can find, I’m still loving to craft, take photos, sew and bake many things I really shouldn’t be eating. I’m even trying to get out and run again. I went on Tuesday and it felt better than I can even begin to describe with my tired brain. It seems that I can’t run without wanting to write and I can’t write if I’m not running. I never noticed the correlation so much as I do now. Strange those two things going hand in hand…

So, it seems to me that I need to fit my running time into my everyday life because not writing is not really working for me anymore. Now that I spent some time taking a look around it’s already time to go and pick up some kids. Good thing I really look forward to having all five of them here or I’d be really bummed right now.

And don’t worry, I plan to do lots more running soon.

Baby Maxwell about 3 weeks old

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Ivy’s Quilt

Back in April our family was lucky enough to get a new niece. As girls are outnumbered in regards to the grandkids in our family, we were very excited about this edition. Not only is she the first girl in over 7 years, she is also my brother’s first baby and I think it’s weird and cool at the same time. Little brothers aren’t grown up enough to have families of their own! Okay, maybe at 28 he might be ready…

Ivy is a sweet little chublet and I can’t wait to see her and hold her in a few short days! As I’ve been preparing for our trip I’ve also been working fast sewing a quilt that I was hoping to have done before our original travel days which would have given me an extra week or so, but luckily I was able to finish the top in between packing and everything else.

I decided to try a new pattern and after looking online I picked the disappearing nine patch. I had bought an Amy Butler charm pack last year and didn’t really know what I was going to use it for until Ivy was born. Here is a picture of the first stage of squares before cutting them up and mixing them around:

After laying them out and rearranging over and over, I finally settled on a design and got out my rotary cutter and got busy. This was actually the fun part to see a whole new design emerge from only two cuts and rotating two squares around. Hopefully this picture illustrates that for you:

I love how it looks so far and can’t wait to get a back on it and have it quilted.

Geoffrey is a big kid and fits on it pretty well, so I’m sure little Ivy will have lots of space to roll around.

I hope Ivy and her parents will love it as much as Geoffrey and I do!

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Grateful

My sweet Grandma did pass last night, peacefully, with my mom, a few of my grandma’s other daughters and my cousin all by her side.

This morning was rough as I spoke to my mom and could hear the pain in her voice as she told me what I already knew. I’ve been surprised at how all over the place my emotions have been, but I guess that’s just part of the grieving process. Though I’ve been in the midst of stressing out about funeral plans and getting up to Salt Lake and the logistics involved, I’ve also had many things that have lifted my spirits along the way.

Last night when I spoke to my dad, I learned that my grandma was still holding on and that my mom wouldn’t leave her mother’s side at the nursing home and was planning on staying the night. (My parents live about 45 min. away) The only thing that is funny about that, is that my mom broke her leg a few weeks ago and after having surgery last week, was finally fitted with a cast on Wednesday. So here she was on Thursday, in a room for the night with no bed just a chair, probably in serious pain, refusing to leave my grandma. That’s so like her. Sweet and stubborn. But it made me smile to know that she was where she wanted to be.

When my dad contacted me Thursday at noon about my grandma, he told me that she only had a few hours left. She had fallen on Tuesday and because of the seriousness of her fall and her current medical conditions, she was put on morphine. All of my grandma’s nine children, save two of them, live in state so they were able to come and be with her for the next two days, and it was clear by Thursday that she wouldn’t make it.

My aunt who lives here in Arizona, happened to be in Texas helping her daughter move from Virginia. I know she was torn about trying to get to Utah quick, or just to wait and come for the funeral. She decided she really wanted to be there and was able to get the last seat on a late flight, use my mom’s car and make it to the rest home by 12 :30 this morning. My grandma passed away 20 minutes later…

I loved hearing this and other thoughts about my grandma passing from my other aunts and family members, thanks to a cousin’s great idea to start a memory page on Facebook. It’s so hard to not be there right now with my family and because of this group,  I have that chance to feel part of everything and not feel so far away at all.

My kids were somber to learn about their great-grandma, but they also couldn’t hide their excitement about going on vacation sooner than we had planned. Missing the last two days of school didn’t seem to bring them down either. Our plans have definitely had to change and though it will be stressful coming up without Jake and getting ready on short notice, I too am looking forward to the trip.

Grandma Betty was such an incredible woman, and  really did have a full and wonderful life.  She had nine children, and so many grand and great-grand kids that I can’t even tell you the total. ( I do know that there is going to be 5 or more babies added this year alone) My grandparents loved to travel, and they really were world travelers going anywhere and everywhere that they had the opportunity to. My grandma has always been surrounded by family as well as long time friends. She absolutely loved gardening and was still tending to her own flowers until very recently. I think my mom also asked the people taking care of her to let her help with the flower trimming and such if she wanted to. (My mom is just like her mom in this regard)

Grandma’s funeral will take place on the same day that we would have celebrated her 85th birthday, but I have a feeling it will still be a celebration of sorts for all of us. She is being reunited with her husband that passed away over 9 years ago, as well as her own mother who died when my grandma was only 17 and many countless other family members who are welcoming her back home.

I’m so grateful for the chance to have known her, to be a part of her family tree and for the knowledge that I will see her again someday. And the next time I see her, she will remember me. That’s what I look forward to the most…

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Grandma Betty

Today is very likely my Grandma’s last day of this life.

Her health has been slowly declining over the past few years and just a few months ago her family had to put her in a nursing home. Though I knew the time was coming, the midday call still came as a shock to me that she only had a little time left. I know that she will soon be pain free and reuniting with her husband and many family members, but I’m still saddened to have been so far away the last few years of her life. I hope my kids will remember the few memories they had with her. I know I will always will…

My Grandma and mom April 2008

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Recommit

re·com·mit

tr.v.re·com·mit·ted, re·com·mit·ting, re·com·mits

1. To commit again.

2. To refer (proposed legislation, for example) to a committee again.

Recommit is not the prettiest word. Not even the most interesting either, but this was the word I had picked earlier in the year to be my word. The word that could remind and direct me of my personal goals for the new year. This dictionary definition does not describe my feelings about recommitting at all.

Last fall I had my mind made up of all the things that I wanted to accomplish this year. I had a good variety of all kinds of things on my list; spiritual, physical, mental… I do have to say they were geared more towards improving myself, which is not uncommon for goals, but when we discovered we were adding another member to our family, my focus quickly changed.

I thought more about the effects that this change would not only bring for me, but for my kids and husband as we already seem to juggle so much. I was more than a little worried that some things in my life would get the short end of my time and dedication and I didn’t want that at all. I picked the word that I thought would help me to make more of an effort in the areas of my life that really mattered, and I was pretty sure that doing this would also help me to re-evaluate where all of my “extra” time was spent. I thought for sure that I would have to let go of some of my prior obligations and make some big adjustments.

Of course, nothing ever turns out exactly as we plan, so I have been pleasantly surprised to see what this one word has actually helped me accomplish over the last little while.

Recommit to me, meant that I not just fulfilled my obligations and duties, (both new and old) but that I really put 100% into everything that I am committed to. From my kids, my girl scout troop, my church calling in the Young Women’s program and Jake, to all the little things like making dinner and trying to be happy and creative about it, I wanted to be and do better.

I’m far from perfect about it, probably not even close to 90% (I blame my old, pregnant body for that), but my attitude is better. I feel good about my progress and I see the difference this goal is making for me. I have more sense of completion when I know that I’m giving more than I have and seeing things all the way through. It’s a very simple goal, yet there are days that I still struggle and want to just do things to cross them off my list and I have to remind myself to do my best… Hmm, seems I say that to my kids an awful lot too. To “slow down and do their best work”.

I guess it’s about time I started taking my own advice. 🙂 Would love to hear how all of your goals are going…

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For The Record(s)

*This post was started 2 months ago and will be the 1st of many catch up posts*

I decided it was high time for a catch-up post, but I’m going to go backwards so that my brain doesn’t have to strain and think back 4 months. For now anyways.

Let’s see, just this last week Miranda had strep throat, Geoffrey is getting over croup and Jake is looking for a new job. again. Don’t worry, this has been the only really rough week of the year. I promise the rest of this post is much more positive. Although I better wait a few days to post it since I really haven’t told either of our parents that he is out of work. Hmm. Must do that soon.

Right now we are in the middle of Girl Scout cookie sales which I have to say I quite enjoy. We get to hang out in front of grocery stores and keep girls out of trouble and on task which is always tricky, but we also have a yearly spot at our local butcher shop (The Pork Shop) which sells $1 brats every Saturday in March and there is always a fun crowd there to entertain us. (and of course the great neighbors who come and say hi too!)

Last weekend I was able to be part of another Ragnar del sol team. This experience was much different than 3 years ago being a driver instead of a runner. (you can read about that here, here and here) I still got zero sleep and was exhausted when I got home, but didn’t have the “I’m going to die” feeling and no sore legs. My bff flew in from Texas to be on our team and my aunt, cousin and a sorority sister all came down from Utah to run too. Those 4 plus 2 other friends from my hood all kicked booty and every single one of them beat their projected time for the race. It’s a good thing I didn’t run my original legs or I’m afraid I would have pulled down our team average drastically. {sigh} I’ll get back there soon enough…

I really had the best time with everyone in my van and I’m pretty sure everyone else had a great time too because of all the emails going around planning out a bunch more teams for next year. The weather was perfect, the course was even better this time around and we couldn’t have asked for a funner group of women to spend the weekend with. Great all around!

Miranda turned 7 (back in January) and a highlight was going to dinner and Build A Bear with her BFF Tawny. Miranda’s energy is still off the charts, but she is so sweet and can sit still through reading books together, movies and does pretty good being reverent at church. (3 hours is a long time for her for sure!) Miranda’s favorites right now are riding her bike, playing games (any and all) and spending time outside with anyone who will play with her.

Miranda is also taking ballet lessons right now and LOVES it! I really thought she would be losing interest by now, because, well, it is Miranda, but she is doing fantastic and taking it all very seriously. She’s a lot more graceful than I thought she would be too. I hope she decides to stick with it for a while as I can see it really being somewhere she can shine. Of course, Miss straight-A’s is an exceptional student too, it’s just nice to see her finding and developing other talents.

…more updates to come soon.

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Anything But Boring

We’ve had a great few weeks here, actually a few great months, but I’ll at least re-cap from Spring Break to now.

Me, the family and my 4 month belly at the zoo.

My parents were here for a week and we had nonstop fun. We went to the zoo, (of course) the Arizona Science Center, we swam, visited parks and ate out way more than is healthy. It was fantastic! They sure spoil us, and the kids were so happy to wake up to Nana & Papa every morning. I’m sure my parents won’t miss Geoffrey ‘talking’ to them for hours every night while they tried to sleep, but he sure was sad to see them go.


Petting some stingrays. (Maddy shredded her shirt on the splash pad slide)

My sister joined us all for the weekend as well. She and I hit some awesome garage sales, got a manicure and pedicure (which I literally had not done in years) and then she was lucky enough to hang out selling Girl Scout cookies with me and my troop for five hours straight on Saturday.   Keri, you are a good sport!

Geoffrey livin’ it up in the splash pad at the zoo.

Monday was right back to routine and school. With the help of her dad and myself, Maddy finally finished her science project (tornado in a bottle) and we all decided that even though we “started” weeks before it was due, we will make sure that we don’t have to dedicate more than 6 hours straight to getting Maddy to do anything that involves scientific thinking and legible writing at the same time. And with a deadline. Wow.

Patrick freezing in the splash pad at the zoo.

Of course it turned out great and she was so proud when she got to show her project off to us and Jake’s cousin & wife who met us at the science fair that Thursday night. They stayed the rest of the weekend with us  and we had a great time. My kids seriously LOVE them! It was hard to get the kids to take breaks in monopolizing of the cousins time playing games and Star Wars guys, but we were still able to sneak in another trip to the zoo, as well as a dad/cousin/daughter Girl Scout bowling day and a nephew’s birthday party at the park.

The kids celebrating the finish of orange picking for the day. (Feb.)

We’ve done a lot more lately, but that will have to be another post. Life is still insanely busy and we are expecting Jake’s parents in a few short hours for the next round of spring visitors. I love that our parents come down and stay and put up with us and our crazy household.

This visit will be a little more project oriented as we are hosting Jake’s Grandma Fern’s 90 birthday party here. She’ll be coming in town soon too and we are trying to get the house/yard looking it’s best for the big event. I thought it would be a great time to tackle the painting of all the interior doors in the house, only to discover after re-hanging them that the trim then looked gray. The two-tone look was not really what I was after, so all day today I have been painting trim while listening to this.

My parents with the kids.

Jake is looking for work again, so not only have I had some extra help with the normal routine, he’s also been able to spend lots of quality time with our kids and house guests.  I also *might* be overwhelming him with huge to-do lists everyday as well. It’s been great! . . . for me. So far we have refinished a dining room table, a media cabinet and a futon for the playroom. Next up he gets to weed and get the yard ready for new rock. I’m sure he’s SO ready to get back to a real job and have a break from me. 🙂

It’s been great to get a good start on so many things, but now I need to focus on de-cluttering (again) before I jump into any new projects. Not to mention the ones that I still need to finish, like my sister’s curtains that I have had since Christmas. I did finish one at least…

Valance for her craft room window.

The other curtain will be almost like this just taller and the ruffles on the bottom will be taller as well. That one will be for the craft closet. Maybe after I finish them I’ll be more confident in sewing some curtains for my house since the girls room is the only one that has curtains right now. And I didn’t even make them, my mom did! Slacker! I’m slowly feeling more overwhelmed than accomplished, so I’ll leave it at that.

This spring has been great, the weather is lovely and we couldn’t be happier with family visiting and the new baby on the way. Life is good. Busy, but good. Hope you are all enjoying your spring as well. Any fun plans? or projects? would love to catch up with all of you that I have neglected the last little bit!

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