Monday, March 26, 2012

Snow in the mountains, blossoms on the trees...

Well, I'm back from my little break. It helped a lot, and I've made some new goals that I really want to stick with.

Typical March weather today. Clouds. Wind. Rain. There's a little bit of sunshine peeking through my window right now, wishing me a hurried "Good morning," before the clouds cover it up again. Beyond this sliver of sunshine, I can see the mountains, dusted with snow.

Many of the trees in my neighborhood are speckled with buds. Only a few of these trees have burst into bloom. The occasional sight is enough to remind me of the reality of spring.

Snow and blossoms. They really don't go together. But today it's ok; it won't last long.


Yes, I wrote this as a metaphor for something in my life right now.

No, I'm not going to expound the personal symbolism.

But maybe, if you think about it a little, you'll find there are metaphorical snow-dusted mountains and springtime blossoms in your life, too.

Happy Monday!

(p.s.--I'm just a little bit proud of the title of this post. Doesn't it sound like it should be in a song or something? Unfortunately, the only song I'm coming up with is "Smoke on the water, Fire in the sky...." The words fit, but it's not exactly the feel I was going for...haha! Oh well!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

taking a break

Do you ever scroll down your Pinterest page at the end of a long day, expecting to be entertained and inspired to do something cool or crafty, and instead you just get overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings of inadequacy? This is what is going through my brain as I scroll through my Pinterest page tonight:

My immediate reaction: I barely had enough energy to make sure my baby was fed and diapered today. The last thing I can think about right now is being a "Rockstar Parent." (Guilty feelings ensue as I realize what I'm thinking.)

My immediate reaction: Man, my arms are flabby. I haven't exercised nearly as much as I should have this week. (Further feelings of guilt ensue.)

My immediate reaction: Ch, I'm pretty sure my stretch marks are beyond anything this stuff could cure. Wouldn't it be so nice if stuff like that actually worked? As it is, I'm stuck with these for life. (Slight feelings of sorrow/longing ensue.)

My immediate reaction: Oh dear. Save me. I would die if I attempted this right now. (Inward groan as I imagine the hugely messy "everything" room that I've been meaning to organize for the last four weeks.)

Obviously, my Pinterest addiction is not doing much for me right now. In fact, I don't think any of my usual internet stuff is doing much for me right now. I've gotten myself overwhelmed with all the "shoulds" and "wants", the good ideas and the delicious recipes.

That's no way to be happy.

So it's time for a break. Starting tomorrow, apart from essential things like finding recipes for dinner and answering important emails, I am unplugging for a week. I am looking forward to spending more time and energy trying to better use the gifts God has given me.

See you later.


Ok, expert moms. I need some advice. Thanks to all those wonderful 8-9 month developments Noah's made lately, he's much more able to keep himself awake during naps.

Standing up, crawling, rolling around, talking to himself, crying--this kid has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve to keep himself awake instead of napping.

At best, he'll sleep for 30-40 minutes and then cry.

And cry.

I know he needs more sleep than this, because he's usually grouchy when I get him up. Grouchy, touchy, and whiny.

I really miss the days of 1-2 hour long naps. Will they ever come back?

You moms have been there before. What did you do to help your baby learn to nap again?

For the record, I love this little guy so much! I mean, how could you resist this face?

Thank heaven for little boys.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Little Piggy...


Sometimes, Noah's sock falls off. Not both socks. Just one. Don't ask me why the other one doesn't come off, because I don't know.

When this happens, I usually know exactly where the other sock is.

But something in me can't stand to put it back on. There is something indescribably precious about baby feet.

As long as his toes aren't cold, I leave the sock off. And a little part of me is happy to see his mismatched feet whenever I look at him. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miscellany Monday: Family Night, Frasier, Jogging

It's been a while since I've gotten my random on. Let's indulge, shall we?

1. I am looking forward to tonight so very much! It's Tyler's spring break, which means Noah and I get to have some great family time together this week. First, we are going to ride in the swings at the park for family night. Then, after a yummy dinner, I'm going to a yoga class, which I haven't been able to attend for a long time.

2. Tyler and I have discovered Frasier. Oh. My. Cow. Hilarious! My favorite episode so far is "Flour Child," where Niles says: "Last night, I actually had a dream my flour sack was abducted and the kidnapper started sending me muffins in the mail." And the dad has the cutest smile ever!!!


3. I got bored of the ellipitcal machine at Gold's Gym, so I decided to try jogging on a whim two weeks ago. I must say, it's rather addicting. I tried jogging/walking a few years ago, but it didn't really work for me--I got shin splints pretty easily. Plus, I felt like a total wuss because I could only jog for 1 minute, tops. (I wasn't really into exercise then. Which is not to say that I'm, like, really into exercise now. But I like it.) Now, thanks to my (very imperfect) efforts to keep a regular workout routine for the last little while, I can jog for long enough to make it enjoyable. It's still not very long, but I have hopes of improving! May I point out how true the photo below is?


4. Speaking of the gym, does it drive anyone else nuts if you can see yourself in the mirror when you use the treadmill or elliptical? I don't like the treadmills with the tv screens in front (unless I know for sure there's a show on I'll like), so usually I just listen to music. The treadmills sans tv screens are in front of mirrors that are about 50-ish feet away, which means I can see my silly little face, huffing and puffing and bouncing up and down. I guess the solution is to go jogging outside. But then I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth out of my monthly gym payments...*sigh*

Ta da! There's my randoms for today! :)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

My perfect challenges

Most days, I am perfectly happy to make dinner and wash dishes and keep Noah from ripping apart all our books and exploring our bathroom trash cans. I love waking up with my baby in the mornings, and I love the things I get to do and explore with him each and every day. I love my peaceful life, and I am grateful for it.

But sometimes.

Especially around that time of month.

Not so much.

Last night was one of those nights. After bathing Noah and putting him to sleep, I sat down in the living room and buried myself in a book. Tyler sat across from me, studying The Brothers Karamazov for his Russian literature class. I still needed to wash dishes, so I told myself I would only read up to a certain page before getting up.

I reached the page. And I stalled. I tucked myself in the corner of the couch and relished the warmth of my blanket. My cold, sockless feet were finally getting warm. I told myself to get up over and over. I stayed put for about ten minutes. And then, with a knot of bitterness in my chest, I got up and cleaned the kitchen.

Tyler looked up from his book and said, "I would give anything to just be done with reading. I've done so much for school that it just feels like sheer drudgery." I knew he had every right to say it--he has done a lot of reading lately. I think he is amazing for sticking through full-time school while holding down a stressful, high-paced, full-time job. I couldn't handle that kind of constant demand nearly as well as Tyler does.

But in that moment, as I pushed cups and bowls into the dishwasher and stood on a crumb-covered floor, I would have given anything to have a responsibilty to read instead of a responsibility to take care of my home. I felt guilty for feeling this way, but there it was.

This morning I opened up Created for Greater Things (a collection of thoughts by Elder Jeffery R. Holland), to a random page. The message was too perfect to be coincidental:

"On this upward and sometimes hazardous journey, each of us meets our share of daily challenges. If we are not careful, as we peer through the narrow lens of self-interest, we may feel that life is bringing us more than our fair share of trials--that somehow others seem to be getting off more lightly.
"But the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."

(Created for Greater Things, pg. 66)
 I am so glad that the Lord gives me the challenges that are perfect for me. And when I get discouraged, I'm so glad that He doesn't just leave me to sort it out on my own.

And now, I'm going to go eat a pear. Or maybe some pineapple. Or yogurt. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I love reading Lindsay's blog, You are the Roots. Her baby is exactly Noah's age, and it's so fun to read about the things she does with him. Lindsay is featuring my blog today! I'm so excited to make an appearance on her gorgeous website! Head on over to check it out here! Look around while you're there and get to know Lindsay a little--she is an amazing person!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: Lift up your heads

My heart has been pondering a few verses of scripture lately. I keep coming back to this passage each night to read it again and again, because of the way I feel when I read it.

2 Nephi 9:3-4:

Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.
For I know that ye have searced much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies shall we see God.
I don't know what it is exactly that holds my attention so raptly. Maybe it's the image of lifting up my head and rejoicing in the blessings bestowed upon me and my family. Maybe it's the pure and simple testimony of resurrection, of life after death.

In a previous reading of the Book of Mormon, I highlighted a footnote on the word lift. It took me to Psalms 24:7-10.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.  
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.  
 I love the idea of lifting up the gates of my heart and letting the King of glory in. We can rejoice forever because the Lord of hosts came and conquered death, that we might see God in the flesh. I am so grateful for my Savior.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

AMAZING Topping for Your Baked Potatoes!

Last night I made dinner. Baked potatoes, to be precise. Usually we eat baked potatoes with canned chili and cheese on top. Not too exciting.

However, I got really excited about my baked potatoes last night. And I mean, REALLY excited! So was the hubby, which means I totally get double points.

Wanna know the best part? This alternative to the normal sour cream and chili is very healthy. It actually made me feel good about eating baked potatoes for dinner.

Wanna know another best part? The other thing that made it exciting is that it was SUPER cheap to make! Like, cheaper-than-a can-of-chili-cheap!

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of this amazing stuff. But I plan to do a lovely photo shoot next time I make these (which will probably be in the near future).

Are you ready? Here's the recipe!

Baked Potatoes with Creamy Cucumber Sauce

(Ok, I know it sounds odd, but trust me, it's delicious!)

32 ounces of yogurt (regular fat or low-fat, your choice)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and grated
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 potatoes, baked

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve over hot potatoes.

That's it!  I only made two changes when I made this recipe (which I found at The first was that I cut down the recipe to a quarter of the original amounts, since Tyler and I didn't need 8 servings. The second was that I squeezed as much liquid out of the grated cucumber with a cheesecloth--otherwise, this sauce would have been way too runny. (You could also squeeze the cucumber liquid out with a strong, thick paper towel if cheesecloth is lacking.)

The flavor of this sauce was actually a lot like sour cream. The flavor wasn't too strong, and I barely knew the cucumber was there. It was a great way to use up some of the cucumbers from Bountiful Baskets we have sitting in our fridge.

This would be a great sidekick to some grilled chicken or salmon. You could also pair it with another jazzed-up  vegetable, like these roasted balsamic brussels sprouts. I actually have brussels sprouts in my fridge, and I was totally going to make them to go along with the potatoes, but the sauce was so fascinating that I forgot about them completely. Oops!

Well, there you have it. My first recipe that I've been excited enough about to post on my blog! I'm sure there will be many more to come!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Let it be enough

Date: Thursday, February 22nd. Time: 9:00 pm. Place: My house

Part One: Downstairs
Cheerios litter the floor. Dinner dishes fill the kitchen sink. The normal stash of handy baby food has dwindled to pumpkin, apples, and bananas. The bread is almost gone. Mail sits on the counter. Towels sit in the dryer.

Part Two: Upstairs
Toys are scattered across the living room floor. A trash bag full of diapers sits in the hallway. Four giant loads of laundry take up a chunk of my bedroom, waiting to be folded. Bedsheets and my bedspread command another chunk of the floor, crying out for me to clean the poop that Noah leaked from his diaper onto them.

Part Three: The People
Noah is sleeping soundly in his crib. We know this won't last for long, however, as he is sick again. Instead, we sense a wakeful and trying night ahead of us. Tyler sits on the couch, plowing through War and Peace, trying to finish it for his class tomorrow. And where was I in this glorious mess?

Sitting on the couch. Wasting time on Pinterest. Telling myself that I need to get up and do something about about my ridiculously long to-do list. The more I wait, the longer the list gets. The longer the list gets, the greater my aversion to taking care of it. The greater the stress. The closer the tears come.

I'm terrible at dismissing my emotions, and even worse at hiding them from Tyler. So of course, it all came out. Tyler put his book aside and lovingly held me while the tears fell.

I think I mentioned Tyler's talent for making me laugh when I'm upset before. This night was no exception. About halfway through our conversation, I was still crying.

Tyler: What's the matter?"

Me: I already told you. All this stuff I have to do is the matter. And me. I'm the matter.

Tyler: No, you're not the matter. You're the subject.

Me: That doesn't even make any sense. Matter and subject are the same thing.

Tyler: No they're not! You are the subject, and we've already talked about the matter. So it's gone. Poof! No more matter!

He's done it. I'm laughing uncontrollably. This makes Tyler laugh uncontrollably. It feels good. When we're done laughing, Tyler says, "There will always be stuff on your to-do list. You will never be "done." So don't stress about it."

He's right. For the record, I did get the poopy bedclothes washed, and that was enough. I went to bed happily, my endless to-do list virtually untouched. Twenty minutes later, I got out of bed to soothe a stuffy-nosed Noah back to sleep. It was the beginning of a fairly restless night for all of us. Finally, I ended up sleeping with Noah on the couch, and it was enough. The list didn't matter so much any more.

One last quote from that husband of mine: "Dishes don't last forever. Hugs and kisses do." Silly, yes. But true.

Sometimes you just need to let the hugs and kisses be enough.