Sunday, January 31, 2016

DAY 1609... Now That I'm 30

That just sounds so old.
I can't believe that that is now the number that defines the length of my time on earth.

As we grow up,
society insists that we make changes and adapt to our new number.
The world insists on us growing up.
Growing up means leaving things behind and learning new things.
Most of the time,
in my opinion,
growing up means that you don't get to have as much fun.
There is a time after high school,
but before you get married and have kids that you can do whatever you want.
I would go to Vegas every couple of months,
go out with friends at midnight,
eat out for days and never gain weight.
I could do whatever I wanted,
whenever I wanted.
I LOVED those days.
But I do LOVE my life now too.
When I read my blog post (read it here) about turning 25 I am totally embarrassed.
I was so silly and young.
But definitely thinner.
Much thinner...
But life is good now.
It was good then,
 but it's better now.
But just because I do love my life now (for the most part),
that doesn't mean I don't need to change.

Here are 30 things I should probably stop doing since I am now 30.

I should probably stop....

1. Blasting Justin Bieber in the car with the windows rolled down. (Have you heard Love Yourself? How can I not?)

2. The same goes for Taylor Swift.... Boo!

3. Painting my toenails bright obnoxious colors.

4. Taking naps.

5. Admit that I have seen every episode, and constantly rewatch every episode on Hulu, of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

6. Ordering off the children's menu.

7. Obsessing over chocolate milk.

8. Taking selfies.

9. Doing the early 2000's "poof" in my hair.

10. Using eye shadow as eye liner. Basically I should probably learn to actually do my make up... I just have zero desire to do so.

11. Carrying snacks with me everywhere I go.

12. Thinking that I will ever have the body I did in high school.

13. Reading and TMZ everyday... Multiple times a day... My Bad... 

14. Taking a bath every single night.

15. Being so excited when I get mail. It's probably just bills anyway...

16. Compulsively spend money.

17. Watching Disney movies multiple times a day. But maybe this is okay cause I have kids...

18. Watching Teen Mom.

19. Eating cough drops like they're candy.

20. Crushing on Simba from the Lion King. Weird? Probably.

21. Buying clothes that are too small telling myself that, I will someday, fit into them, because of course I'm finally gonna start working out and eating right.

22. Claiming that Taco Bell is my favorite restaurant.

23. Thinking I will ever be a Disney princess or Mickey Mouse during Fantasmic.

24. Having Disneyland as my dream vacation.

25. Whining.

26. Picking my nose when a tissue simply doesn't work.

27. Burning dinner.

28. Thinking that everyone is good and come to the realization that there are bad people in the world and that's just the way it is.

29. Reading Harry Potter over and over.

30. Caring and listening to what other people think.

So in keeping to number 30...
I probably won't stop doing any of these things and keep doing me.
Because what makes me happy,
Regardless of age and what society deems as appropriate,
Is what I should do.

So don't mind the 30 year old me,
sometimes acting childish.
It is what it is.

Bring on the 30's!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DAY 1602... Surviving Sunday, Part 1

The title of this post kind of makes it sound like Sunday's are a major struggle.
which they totally are,
but waking up early to work out is way bigger of a struggle than making it through church...
for me at least.
Let's be honest.

We have officially survived 4 weeks without Spencer.
I'm a little in shock about it.
I have always considered myself a strong person,
but this situation has taken a completely different type of strength.
If I were eating fast food we would totally eat Taco Bell in celebration.

We have survived 4 Sunday's without Spencer.
And I have been able to struggled through all 3 hours of church.
Doesn't matter how it happens right?
It happened!

We have had some interesting moments in church.
Benson has learned to color,

but he much prefers to eat the crayons.

During our wanderings in the halls,
which happens for at least 1 1/2 of the 3 hours,

Benson has developed a love for windows.
It's a serious obsession for him.
Lucky for us,
Our church building is really old and has some AMAZING windows.

Benson has also become quite the ladies man at church.
He smothers any little lady,
seriously any female child,
with "big hugs".
He is the BEST hugger.

I think that Heavenly Father created primary specifically for me in this moment.
I know that's crazy,
and I know that it is not truth,
but honestly 50% of the reason I have been going to church,
and will continue to weather the insanity of church outnumbered by children,
is because Aniston is obsessed with primary!
She LOVES it!

The other 50% is definitely because of the blessings that I have seen from tackling church,

While at church the past 3 weeks,
Benson has done something new,
learned a new skill,
every week.
I consider this a huge motivator and blessing for me.

Week 2,
He learned to say "no no no" and wave his little finger.
So cute!

Week 3,
He learned to say "Ball".
Even cuter!

Week 4,
He took so many steps on his own,
and he owned the stairs at church.
Homeboy has never gone up stairs before.


I feel as though we have developed a fantastic routine at church now.
We struggle through Sacrament Meeting...
This includes loads of snacks,
and multiple bathroom trips.
Then Beni and I take Ani to primary,
and we spend the entirety of Sunday School walking the halls,
finding windows,
and peeking in on Ani.
This makes it possible for me to actually go to Relief Society,
or at least the majority of it.

Since we have church at 11am,
Beni takes a nap before church,
and then as soon as we get home.

Our Sundays are pretty structured,
and I truly believe that is what helps us make it through the days.

4 weeks down...
11 to go.
We've got this!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

DAY 1598... Oh Rexburg....

Did you guys see that little old Rexburg, Idaho was trending on January 20th nationwide?

This video.... 

Probably the most exciting thing to happen in Rexburg for a while....

We are all shaking our heads.

Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Reason Why... I am NOT Failing as a Single Mother

The past 3 weeks without Spencer,
especially yesterday,
I cannot stress enough,
especially yesterday,
have been very challenging for me.
I don't even know if challenging is a deep enough word to explain parenting
life for the past 3 weeks.
It's definitely not impossible to be a single parent,
but it's definitely not the most fun,
or easiest thing ever.
Far from it.
In fact,
Due to my experiences of the past 3 weeks,
I am actually feeling a little,
and I mean very very little,
sympathetic towards Kate Gosselin.
Never thought that would happen....

When Spencer was here I could at least have a break,
I could escape if I needed to for a minute.
I am all mom,
all the time.
As much as I LOVE my children,
and you all know how obsessed I am with my babies,
sometimes a parent just needs a break.

Even though there are definitely moments,
multiple moments,
every day,
every hour,
every minute,
every second.... too much?
where I feel as though I am failing,
or in which I have actually failed,
here are 5 reasons why I am definitely not failing as a single mother.

1. Organization

I have always been very organized. I am weirdly obsessed with being organized. It's just so much easier to know where everything is at any given time. Even my children's toys are sorted into bins, and each bin is designated for a specific type or category of toy. We have pictures on the bins so that my children know what goes in what bin during clean up time. Let's be honest though. I'm so OCD about making sure the right toy goes in the right bin that most of the time I am the one cleaning up. Even if they do clean, I re-clean.

I knew that in order to be successful as a single mom, I needed to be organized. I plan our days the night before in writing. I am a HUGE list person! Every day, nap time is the same time, meals are served at the same time (most nights), bath time is followed by scriptures, books, prayer and bedtime. Our routine helps me to feel successful and actually gives me motivation to do it all again the next day.

I know that things will come up unexpectedly, and I allow for that, but I try really hard to stick with our routine. I really think that this not only helps control the chaos of my time and my mind, but I think that it has helped with the kids to know what to expect, especially since having Dad gone is not something that Benson does not understand at all where Dad is and has had serious trouble adjusting and Aniston has also struggled with this big change. Why is potty training linked to change? Just when she has been great for 6 months, we switch it up on her and it's like her body reacts. Challenging.

But organization has really helped me to know what to expect, to prep the kids, and to not feel overwhelmed during this time.

2. Prayer

Guys, I pray everyday all day! The first couple of nights Spencer was gone I had a really hard time falling asleep. I had so much anxiety and probably because I would watch Making a Murderer (so good... and really... I'm like 93% positive that he is innocent) right before I feel asleep, my mind would race with a thousand different things that could happen while I was sleeping that would prevent me from ever waking up.

Every night I would close my eyes, get on my knees and pray that I would be relieved of my anxiety and be able to sleep so that I could effectively function the next day. And you know what? It worked! 

I have had so many blessings and prayer answered since Spencer has been gone. Another example is that both children were getting flu shots last Saturday. Although Aniston LOVES shots (I am totally aware that that is so weird and uncommon) Benson is the worst when it comes to shots. Aniston went first and could've cared less, Benson went second and cried for about 2 seconds and then started laughing... I had so much anxiety going into the doctors office about how I was going to console two upset and hurting babies at once, and although I didn't drop to my knees in the doctors office, I said a silent prayer and everything worked out perfectly! Tender mercies!

3. Family/Friends

It has been a HUGE blessing that my parents live so close during this time! My Mom has been AMAZING and has been able to take Ani to school, since it's during my office hours, and she has made herself available to babysit as often as she can so that I can get work done or attend meetings.

My Dad has been a superstar maintenance man around the apartment complex and I seriously couldn't ask for a more knowledgeable and smart worker. It's kind of fun because he has so many students who live at our complex and they always love seeing him around.

I have had friends bring over dinners (AMAZING) out of the goodness of their hearts and invite us to dinner or to play dates. Although I am not really a fan of leaving the house with two kids, especially in the snow or during nap time these days, I have tried really hard to be welcoming and attend the invitations that are difficult to go to because it means a lot to me that people are thinking of us.

We all know how much a loathe asking for help. But, maybe this is an opportunity for me to grow and learn and to ask for help.

Support for a single parent is a necessity. To know that people care and are thinking about you goes a long way and can so quickly turn a bad day into a good day.

4. Time for Me

With my office hours in the morning, and the kids activities in the afternoons, I work really hard to make sure that after I put them down for bed that I take time for myself. This might be simply watching a show that isn't a cartoon or 4 grown men in brightly colored shirts singing and dancing, or it could be working on a puzzle. I just LOVE puzzles. It always includes a very warm and relaxing bath as well as a couple games of Yahtzee on the iPad.

It would be really easy to just go to sleep and not take time for myself, but being a single parent can be super draining. I think that it's absolutely critical that a sliver of the day is reserved specifically for the parent to do not parenting things. Saves my sanity.

5. My Children

Everyday, multiple times a day, my Aniston tells me that she loves me. She hugs me and kisses me and makes me feel loved.

Benson laughs and smiles and reaches for me often and this makes me feel loved.

Every morning, they wake up at the same time. The second I walk into their room, their love is so consuming! They both get so excited to see me and life is amazing in that moment. I watch them playing together and smiling and I know that they are happy. This assures me that I am doing the right thing and that I am parenting them to the best that I possibly can at the moment in this circumstance and that I'm doing okay.

Although there are moments in the day where all three of us are crying, and the house is a mess, we are doing okay. The moments that we spend laughing, reading, wrestling and even just sitting together quietly on the couch shows me that we're doing okay.

It's nice to know that being a single mom, 
for me, 
is temporary.
I don't know how so many of my friends have managed single parenthood. 
I am amazed by them.
I am inspired by them.
I have a new found respect and admiration for them.
I pray for single parents daily,
because I know how much prayer can assist.
I may not be doing everything perfectly,
but I know that I am doing the best that I can,
and thank goodness,
that seems to be enough.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Golden Globe Recap

I am not a fashion expert,
or in line with any fashion trends.
I love wearing workout clothes...

But I do still have an opinion,
and I'm obsessed with award season.
The two...
fashion and award season,
usually tend to go hand in hand.

I spent my Sunday evening watching the Golden Globes.
This year my 3 year old daughter watched it with me.

According to here,
the highlights included...
Inside Out winning for the, and I quote, "Best angry movie in the whole world!"
And when they were announcing Best Original Song and she heard "See you again" play. 
She looked at me and says, "Mom I know that song and I love it! Find it on your phone so we can sing together."
It was a tough moment explaining to her why it didn't win,
but that it was still a good song.

Aniston's Best Dressed is as follows...

Her favorite dress of the night was Lily James.

This is actually my runner up choice. 
Aniston says that she loves this dress because it's beautiful and white and she wants it.

Her favorite mens look was Eddie Redmayne.

Aniston loved this one because she said it looks like it's a little bit creepy, 
but it looks like it has snowflakes on it which is pretty cool.

My favorite female look was Gina Rodriguez

It's Zac Posen,
It has pockets.... 
Enough said!

My favorite men's look... Steve Carrell

Just classy.
I definitely realize that guys have it way easier than girls when it comes to award season...
Lucky ducks.
I'm not so surprised I guess,
it's kind of that way with everything in life.
Guys have it so much easier than girls.
Periods, pregnancy, hormones,
do I need to go on?

My favorite moments were...
In no particular order...

Sylvester Stallone winning his golden globe. 
His face says it all.
Everyone on their feet,
for him,
says it all.
So much respect and love for this man.
It's true,
I cry every time they read a winners name,
I am that emotional,
but it was a very real emotional moment when his name was announced.

I cannot even watch this clip,
knowing that he wins,
without bawling my eyes out.

Have I ever told you how my Dad met Sylvester Stallon when the very first Rocky movie came out?
It's a great story...
for another day.

Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt were definitely entertaining,
and not too rough on the eyes.

Seeing Christian Bale!!!
Always a good thing!
Since seeing Little Women at the tender age of 8,
he has been my all time,
hands down,
celebrity crush!
22 years later...
He still is.
Others have come and gone,
(cough John Krasinski, Adam Brody, Joshua Jackson in The Mighty Ducks, cough)
But Christian Bale will always be my numero uno!

And also...
Both Kate and Leo winning.
Titanic is my secret obsession!
Since the 3rd grade,
this is pre-movie people.
I find everything about the Titanic so interesting,
and so of course I LOVE the movie.
I also really loved the hug that they shared.
Why can't Rose and Jack be real????\

I just love their hug!

The Golden Globes really spoke to my childhood self this year.

Some not so great moments...

Aaron Sorkin winning best screenplay.
I have hard a sour taste in my mouth regarding this man since he beat Christopher Nolan for best original screenplay for the 2011 Oscar.
The Social Network was no where near as amazing as Inception.
And how is a true story an original screenplay anyway?
Seems more of an adapted screenplay to me...
I know I need to get over this,
but I am still really upset about that.
Christopher Nolan is straight up brillant!

Seeing the new Superman vs. batman trailer.
Dear Ben Affleck.... 
Just no.
Batman is not an old cowboy.
It actually made and wince. 

Last year I had an Oscar Party (read about it here)
and I loved every minute of it.
I don't think that I have the time or energy to do it this year and I really really want to.
So maybe I will just find a prom dress,
do my hair,
and eat popcorn on the couch with I watch the Oscars...

Monday, January 11, 2016

DAY 1589... My Sunbeam

Aniston has always LOVED nursery at church.
She loves the snacks,
the toys,
and especially the bubbles.

I had a little bit of anxiety (surprise surprise)
about Ani starting primary and becoming a Sunbeam.
For those of you not familiar with the LDS church,
The sunbeams are the 3 year olds, 
and the youngest group in primary.
Primary children range of ages 3-12.

Even though at 18 months she walked right into nursery,
said "bye mom",
and never looked back,
(read about it here)
she is a little older now and has developed some fears and different attitudes towards things so I really wasn't sure how this change was going to go down.

Our ward switched the classes a week into the new year because of BYU Idaho's schedule.
I kind of messed that one up with Ani because I told her when her last day of nursery was,
then I was wrong,
then she got upset,
and it was a mess.
But we survived.

our ward hosted an event where the primary children could come,
 meet their teachers
and find their classrooms.
I LOVED this!
they had donuts,
won Aniston's heart over instantly,
except then today, 
at church,
she expected them to have donuts again.
But it was perfect because she got to meet her teachers in her classroom,
cutest teachers,
husband and wife,
love it,
and then they took her into the primary room and showed her where she would be sitting during church.
I think that really helped her a lot and made her feel very comfortable.

Benny also tried out the little chairs.

After the meet and greet,
I took her over to Deseret Book and bought her a Book of Mormon.
Little did I know how obsessed she would become with that Book.

At church I was so nervous!
But when it came time for primary, 
this girl was a rockstar!

She really wanted to take her Book of Mormon with her,
so as we walked upstairs to the primary room,
she held that Book tightly to her chest.

She walked into the primary room,
sat down like a champ,
and just held that Book of Mormon in a serious death grip.

Her teachers even welcomed her by name.
I love that they remembered her name and used it.
That's really important to me.

She didn't cry,
like most of the children...
or her Mom.
Seriously I was bawling.
She didn't run after me,
like the other half of her class,
you can see all the empty chairs...
She just sat there and took it all in.

I spent the next hour peeking in on her,
and I was so amazed!

Aniston just inspires me!
Her strength and her willingness to attack a new situation and own it,

She makes me want to be a better person so badly!

When I picked her up at her classroom after church,
she welcomed me with,
"They had no treats and no toys Mom. But I really liked it anyway."
She is the BEST!

Benson also rocked church today!
Please ignore all my gray hairs...
They are out of control!

Today was such a good day!
I can already feel the blessings of making the decision to attend church, 
even when it may be a seriously difficult thing for me.

I am also thankful that my Mom joined me for Sacrament today.
HUGE blessing!

the first picture,
the black and white one,
is my new all time favorite picture of my Aniston Kate.
She is happiness!

Learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

DAY 1582... Church

Ever since birth, 
and even while I was in the womb,
every Sunday I attend church.

At least every Sunday it is expected that I will attend church.

My church and religion have played huge roles in my life.

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
I'm a Mormon.

I believe it,
I know it,
and I love it.

But that doesn't always make it easy to live.

I struggle with the knowledge that although I believe that the church may be true and perfect,
the people are not.

I have shared my feelings and thoughts about church on my blog before,
(you can read about them here or here),
but church has really been a struggle for me,
especially as I have gotten older.

I am pretty darn good at finding any reason not to go.
I jump at the chance to skip out on church.

It's really hard to go to church with kids.
I spend most of the time in the hall,
accompanied by a screaming,
uncooperative child,
and I feel as though I get absolutely nothing out of church.

I feel as though it's more important now,
more than ever,
to go to church every Sunday because Aniston is now in primary.

And she is so excited to be in primary.

Even though playing single Mom to 2 kids,
and the idea of 3 hour long church every week by myself is exhausting,
I have decided to make it my goal,
for the next 14 weeks,
to attend church every,

No excuses.

It's going to be hard,
and there will undoubtedly be tears,
at least there were yesterday...

But I have faith that I can do it.
I may not do it happily at first,
and I may complain and ask myself why,
but I can do it.
I know I can.

 I know that my little family will be blessed in so many ways by making church a priority.

I am gladly and gratefully accepting any and all suggestions and tips for making it through church with a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Everything You Didn't See... December 2015 Edition

December was a pretty busy month for us.
I think December 2015 will go down in history as me taking some of the best videos of my kids ever!
I just love the videos I captured and the moments we shared!

During Thanksgiving we took family pictures.
We were supposed to take them outside,
but it was -7 degrees.
So everyone outnumbered me and wanted to take them inside (boo),
so we moved our kitchen table and took them in our dining room.
Oh well...
Maybe next year we can make it outside.

This is such a perfect picture of Ryan!
Did I tell you he got his first lead in a school play?
He will be playing James, in James and the Giant Peach in February.
So excited for him!
I seriously can't wait to go watch him rock that role!

Cutest parents EVER!

Don't judge me for cutting family members out of this photo.
It needed to happen.

Aren't they just the cutest?

Aniston LOVES the balance beam! She actually has her first dance performance at a high school basketball game in a few weeks during halftime. I am soooooooooooo excited!

Benson discovered cheese in December. 
It rocked his world!

Benson creeped out our bagger at the grocery store by staring at her like this for a good 5 minutes. 
Tone it down little man.

Benson's first Cheeto! 

Two of Aniston's favorite things in December.
Her Snow White Bear and her Good Dinosaur wrapping paper/

I love it when she actually gives me a good smile!

Benson is OBSESSED with necklaces!
The pink one happens to be a fav.

Aniston asked if she could help put Benson to bed one night.
While I took a quick shower she got him all ready.
So many blankets, books, stuffed animals, pillows and love for little brother!

I made these treats for Aniston's preschool Christmas party.
They came out looking a little more demonic than the Pinterest picture had shown...

Aniston's first ornament made at school!!!

I heard screaming in the toy room one day from Ani.
I walked it to see her totally stuck in the bucket.

Benson will eat anything!
Like this book.
He just bite a hole out of the middle of the page.
Cool bro.

The flu hit us fast and hard in December.

Whether she is wearing Mom's boots,
or carrying around a purse half her size...
Ani Kate has definitely got style.

This is how we kill time waiting at Red Robin.

Benson has discovered my tattoo.
That's always fun.
(Note the sarcasm)

We found these dolls while doing white glove inspections at the complex we manage.

Aniston was very impressed with her final product when it came to her gingerbread house.

This Iron man doll totally screamed Turboman to us.

Watching Inside Out on Christmas Eve.

My brother who is on a mission sent this drawing home in his Christmas letter.

This picture is fantastic!
I got a text from my sister with this picture.
Her text said,
"We stopped in Gainsville, FL for lunch at Taco Bell. Cortney (my niece) noticed that they were hiring and thought that you would be interested in that information."
My family knows me all too well!

Christmas outfits!

Aniston loves driving by the Big Ice Cream.
Dad made her dreams come true by taking her there!

The lady who cut Benson's hair last week, butchered it.
I am not over it and I can't wait until it grows back.

We only buy Star Wars related food products now...

Love my babies!

My farewell Taco Bell.
Last year I gave up soda. 
I didn't have a drink of soda in 2015.
This year,
I'm giving up fast food.
It already really sucks!

Benson really hates camel rides.

how sassy!

Benson is learning so fast that he will just about copy anything that anyone else does and I'm kind of obsessed about it!

Bubbles = pure joy in our house.

Dance class is always a good time.
Very entertaining.

Just a Star Wars obsessed little lady!

Benson is starting to get a little angry.
When Aniston takes toys away or does something that makes him mad,
he head butts her.
It's pretty hilarious!

Benson said "Jar Jar",
the most hated character in the world ever,
before he ever said "Mama".