Monday, October 31, 2016

5 Things I Learned From The Nightmare Before Christmas

I truly believe that The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the most underrated movies of all time.
I watched this video on YouTube a few weeks ago,
and I was just blown away by the process it took to make this movie!
Watch it!

That is true dedication!

Since my children are (still) requesting to watch this movie 3-5 times a day,
I pretty much have it memorized.
And I have learned quite a few things as I have watched it repeatedly with them.

1. Elected Officials are Not Capable of Making Decisions on Their Own

This movie was in the early 90's,
and obviously politicians were a mess back then too.
Of course it's nothing like the presidential election that we're facing today,
but still probably not the best, right?

I just love this part of the movie!
It's so brutally honest,
and it is so true!
I just love brutal honesty!
And it was a brief adult moment.
Why are politics such a mess???

2. Your Best is Always Enough

I love this song.
I think that it's so important for people to realize that doing the very best that you are capable of doing in any situation,
is enough.
Everyone's best is different,
but when you do your best,
that will always be enough.
The tough part is actually doing your best.
Sometimes it's really hard and requires a lot more work than we are willing to put into it.
But you will leave stories,
and make memories,
if you do your best.
I truly believe,
doing your best will always be worth it.

3. Have Faith

Faith can be a really tricky topic.
It's so hard to believe in something that you cannot see.
It's why people put up so many Christmas decorations,
so that you can see some of the magic and feel it.

Having faith can be really hard,
especially when you can't physical see what you want so hard to believe in.

Just because you cannot see something,
doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
Just have faith.

4. Everyone Has Feelings

I think sometimes that we forget that every single person has feelings.
But every person,
regardless of race,
has feelings.
Sometimes I forget that powerful people,
or even celebrities have feelings.
Sometimes people seem untouchable or unmovable,
but that's never the case.
Everyone has feelings.

5. The Grass is Not Always Greener on the Other Side

Sometimes we look at people and think or wonder about how great it would be on their side of the fence.
However, even those people tend to want more,
or feel unhappy in the life they're in.
We need to be thankful for the things and the people that we have in our lives.
We need to take advantage of our days and the time that we do have,
instead of spending our time wishing we we someone else,
or wishing that we had something more.
The grass is not always greener on the other side.

I just love this movie.
I actually wasn't allowed to watch it growing up,
so I didn't see it until I was 18,
but I love it now.
It just kind of goes to show that it's doesn't really matter how how things are packaged,
you can learn something from just about anything and everyone.


Friday, October 28, 2016

DAY 1686... This is Me

1. I LOVE pumpkin patches
This is probably a HUGE understatement, but it's so true! I actually have plans drawn up for the pumpkin patch that I will own someday. It changes a little every year, but that's just because I find new and exciting things I want to add. There is something so magical about pumpkins patches and the memories that are made there. I would love to be a part of that tradition and provide a place for families to make memories, and for people to come and celebrate the fall.

2. I love the smell of skunks
I just really enjoy that smell. I know that it's totally weird and totally not normal. Spencer will actually slow the car down for me when he smells it so that I can smell it as long as possible. Luckily, he doesn't mind the smell. Skunks also happen to be my most favorite animal. The way they waddle just melts my heart. I wouldn't mind owning one someday. It is actually legal in some states to own a skunk.

3. I'm an over-sharer
I really have no boundaries when it comes to sharing. I take responsibility for my past and for the mistakes that I have made, and I have no problem sharing them with others. Basically, I have diarrhea of the mouth. But I don't see any shame in hiding who I am, because my past and the mistakes that I have made, made me who I am today.

4. I have a Masters Degree in Sports Management/Athletic Administration
I have always loved sports! I played softball for years. Dabbled in basketball, tennis, football and soccer. And then participated in cheerleading for years. The 4 years I coached competitive cheerleading were some of my best memories! I miss coaching every single day! So when I went to get my master's I decided to do it in something that I know that I would enjoy. And it was probably the best educational experience of my life. I enjoyed my classes (except for the 1 accounting class they made me take - gross), I never dreaded my homework, and I hope that someday, I can get back into coaching or become an athletic director, for a small university or high school, and continue my passion for sports.

5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE anything Les Miserables
Remember how in order to prepare baby Aniston for Les Miserables, I forced her to listen to the soundtrack for a year? Half of which she was still in the womb for. But it worked and I was able to sit through the entire movie with her because she too fell in love with the music. I love the book, the music, the movie (minus some minor annoyances in casting), and the musical. I have been able to attend several different productions of the musical and have LOVED them all. There is something so raw and so personal about it that just speaks to me! Of course I could say the same thing about Sweeney Todd.... But Les Miserables is simply my favorite!

6. I have moved over 30 times
I guess I can't take credit for this one because it was mostly with my parents when I was younger. But it's definitely the truth. We lived mostly on the West Coast, with the exception of Missouri. I always get asked where my favorite place was, and that was probably Hawaii, although I would never live there again. It was great as a dependent, but it's just to expensive to provide for a family and live there. I would definitely visit though! It's difficult when people ask where I grew up or where I'm from because I honestly don't know. I don't claim anywhere as home. I'm basically homeless...

7. I never wanted to graduate from college
My only intention of ever going to college was to get married So naturally, I graduated from college without being married. Haha! The big guy upstairs cracks me up sometimes. We actually have a really good relationship and he so gets me. I'm so glad now that I do have a college education and a degree. Multiple degrees. Gives Aniston and Benson absolutely no excuse to slack off. Education is really important to me and so I'm glad that I can give my children that example.

8. Christian Bale was my first celebrity crush at age 8
I was 8 years old and my Grandma put on Little Women on the VCR. It. Was. Over. Christian Bale in Little Women was my favorite! I remember getting the movie for Christmas that year and it was quite possibly the best gift ever! My slight obsession with Christian Bale was quickly followed by crushing on Joshua Jackson in the Mighty Ducks. Ahhhhh. Young love. I will still watch any movie with Christian Bale in it though. He brings out the 8 year old fan girl in me.

9. I struggle with OCD
Maybe it's not so much a struggle, because I don't mind it, but it drives Spencer crazy! He will even clean the house for me, and then I will re-clean it because it was doesn't the way that I need it to be done. The closet doors have to be completely closed in order for me to fall asleep at night. The house has to be clean in order for me to sleep at night. And if I hit my right leg on the door frame, my left leg needs to hit the door frame just to make it even. Super fun.

10. I LOVE reality TV
I just do. I will watch all of it all of the time! I love them all basically. Enough said... This may explain my intense love for Hulu and Netflix.

11. I am half blind in my left eye
When I was 10, I was outside playing with my cousins in the dirt. One of my older cousins threw a small shovel and it hit me in the left eye. It tore my retina. Over the years is progressively gets worse, but it's kind of entertaining. I like to look at things with my right eye and then with my left and the difference is crazy! Someday I will find a super cute pair of glasses because I REFUSE to wear contact lenses (they really creep me out), and then I will not be so blind... Until then, it's probably safe to suggest not to drive with me if I'm driving at night. It's a definite struggle.

12. I use to want 13 kids
And now I'm satisfied with 2. Haha! When I was really young, I wanted 7 kids and I wanted to name them after the 7 dwarfs. Thank goodness that phase ended. But then for whatever reason I moved up to 13. I had pages and pages of names... Spencer vetoed every single one of them.

13. I could watch Fever Pitch and The Holiday on repeat... forever
I LOVE Fever Pitch! Probably because I have a weird little elevator crush on Jimmy Fallon. And I don't even know what it is about The Holiday, but I LOVE it! I will just never get tired of those two movies even if I tried. If Spencer is out of town ever you can be guaranteed that one of those two movies will be playing on the TV in my bedroom while I curl up and get comfy.

14. I enjoy singing
I sang in choir for 7 years throughout school and have recorded a couple of songs. It's not something that I do a lot in front of a lot of people because of my anxiety, but I really do enjoy it. I enjoy doing it more now that Aniston likes to do it with me. But honestly, my dream career would probably enjoy singing somehow.

15. My favorite food is nachos
I LOVE NACHOS!!! Every kind! I have had low carb nachos... love (see recipe HERE), seafood nachos... love, 7-11 nachos... love, normal nachos... love. I just love them all. Make or buy me nachos and I am a happy girl! Add chips and salsa to the deal and I'll be smitten!

  16. I am not capable of delegating
I hate delegating. I have never ever had a good delegating experience. Even when I write everything down that needs to be done, as detailed as I can possibly be, it has never ended well for me. It probably is related to my OCD, but I would rather do everything myself so that I know it's done right and done the way that I need it done.

17. I over document my life
Between this blog, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and the walls of my house, my life is over documented. I just love pictures and videos so much! I want my children to be able to look back and watch all the videos and look at all their pictures and be reminded about the good old days! Memories are like one of my most favorite things ever and so to be able to have them or watch them just really means a lot to me.

18. I can fit 32 green grapes in my mouth at one time
It's just a skill...

19. You should never joke with me about food. Ever.
This is one of Spencer's favorite hobbies, but it never goes over well with me. Don't tell me you're bringing home a certain kind of food and then not bring it home. You will be expected to turn right around and go get it. Don't talk to me about food and then expect me not to want it. Just don't joke about food period. It never ends well.

20. I hate Christmas caroling and carolers. 
There are very few things that make me as uncomfortable as Christmas caroling. I find it weird and just really awkward. I actually will not open my front door if you come caroling to my house. It's just very awkward. I didn't ask you to come sing to me, and chances are it's going to sound like a bad audition off of American Idol and how can I not laugh at that?

So basically that's me. I don't make excuses or apologies for the way I am because I'm not here to change or be anything anyone else wants me to be. I welcome suggestions, but I am who I am and that is what makes me me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DAY 1684... Wonderland

I have always enjoyed Halloween,
but now that I have kids,
I LOVE Halloween!

Aniston went through a phase about 8 months ago where she watched Alice in Wonderland multiple times a days.
One day it occurred to me that this would be a GREAT costume idea for the two of them.
Seriously though.
Aniston loved the idea!
She also loves that I bought her dress big enough that it should fit her when we go to Disneyland next year so she can wear it at the park and show the "real" Alice.

In the past,
I have made their costumes.
But after last year,
as cute as they were,
(click HERE to see)
I was exhausted.
So I bought Ani's costume,
and threw together a White Rabbit costume for Beni.
I already had the shirt,
so I went to D.I. (local thrift store) and got the coat,
found a red bow tie,
a clock,
and ears and voila.

This first picture is my absolute FAVORITE!
Everything from Aniston's hand placement,
to her crossed feet,
to Benson's excitement of showing her his clock.
I could just die!
So cute!

Benson was pretty sassy the entire time.
I expected it.
He also HATES the glasses.
Sorry buddy!
But let's be honest here,
the White Rabbit is kind of a grumpy sass so it works right?

I LOVE the fall colors!
So obsessed with the Fall!
When we got home from taking pictures,
Aniston wanted to be Alice forever and refused to take off her costume.
Proof that Halloween is magical!

Benson's smile!!!

This face!
This kid is such a ham!
But for some reason I feel like this is a really good bunny face!

I am also obsessed with this picture!
I feel like this embodies Alice completely.

There are so many AMAZING quotes from Alice in Wonderland.

"Imagination is the only weapon against reality."

Alice: "How long is forever?"
White Rabbit: "Sometimes, just one second."

"I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then."

"Every adventure requires a first step."

I have always loved the insanity that is Alice in Wonderland. 
Is makes no sense,
and therefore it makes perfect sense.
To me at least.
It's crazy and imaginative and fun.

I cannot wait to spend the next couple of days in Wonderland with these cuties!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Picture Perfect

Lately I have received quite a few comments about how perfect my family looks.
This statement couldn't be further from the truth!

Although I love my family,
and tend to think that they are pretty perfect at times,
we are not even close to perfection.

I would like to share a story with you that happened to our family in July.

I was coming home late from a long day at Girl's Camp,
where I didn't have any phone service.
As soon as I got into cell range I received a text from Spencer that said,
"I'm so so sorry."
The rest of the texts didn't come through for several minutes and my heart was racing.
What could've happened?
Were the kids okay?
Was the house okay?
Was Spencer okay?
What happened?
It was the worst kind of suspense.

while playing in the living room,
Aniston had gotten her neck/head stuck between our two couches which had been situated in an "L" shape.
(the below picture is them pushed closer together to avoid this situation again)

Spencer had actually fallen asleep in the toy room and wasn't sure how long Aniston had been stuck for or how long she had been crying and screaming,
but eventually her cries woke him up and he was able to help her break free.

It was one of those moments that just happens.
It wasn't anyone's fault.
I certainly don't blame Spencer at all.
It's exhausting watching our two little crazies all day,
I myself have been known to fall asleep on the job more than once.
Maybe like once a day actually...
It wasn't something that we even considered could happen.
Do you consider your couches to be dangerous?
We certainly didn't.
Thankfully she wasn't seriously hurt or injured.

It was a moment that brought awareness to our family.
It was a great learning experience.
We have since arranged the couches in a manner that would prevent this from ever happening again.

Her bruises for the next week that covered her neck and face just broke my heart.
She said that they didn't hurt,
but it just looked so awful!

They were a constant reminder that things could change in an instant.
They were a reminder to hold your loved ones a little tighter,
to thank our Heavenly Father for our family and the blessings they bring into our lives,
and they were a reminder that no one is perfect.

When people suggest that my family looks perfect,
maybe it's because we are happy.
Because we are really happy.
Not always,
but overall we are happy and satisfied with our lives.
We work really hard to spend time with each other,
keep traditions alive,
make memories with each other,
and to put family first.

We also argue like crazy,
drive each other nuts,
and need alone time every now and then.
But that doesn't mean that we aren't constantly striving to love each other completely.
It doesn't mean that we don't put each other first.
It doesn't mean that we wouldn't give up everything else for each other.
It simply means that we love each other and are 100% human.

My family is far from perfect,
but we are perfectly happy trying really hard to have the best life we can with each other.

Monday, October 24, 2016

DAY 1682... When Things Don't Go As Planned

We have prepared for a couple of months for Aniston's first primary program.
I have been looking forward to her first primary program for years even before she was born!
We listened to the music in the car nonstop,
we practice her part at home over and over,
we talked about the program all the time,
we encouraged her constantly,
bought a new dress,
invited Nana and Papa and Ryan to come watch,
curled her hair,
we were 100% prepared for the primary program.

due to an incident with the water during the sacrament moments before the program,
everything fell apart.

Needless to say,
Aniston's first primary program did not go as planned.
Not at all.

Aniston refused to smile,
or sing
during the entire program.

She basically sat in her chair,
in the front row,
and glared at me.
Her teacher,
bless her heart,
 eventually held her because she looked like she was ready to burst into tears at one point.

I was really upset,
and embarrassed.

I wanted to punish her for throwing a fit in front of the entire ward.
I wanted leave church and just go home and forget the rest of my meetings.
But we stayed.

And in young women's,
our lesson was on Christ like love.
A lesson that I desperately needed to hear.
I couldn't keep it together the entire lesson.
I was literally bawling my eyes out the entire time.
Those poor teenage girls probably think I'm a basket case.

It occurred to me how heartless I was being,
especially as a parent.
Aniston didn't need to be punish her,
tell her how disappointed I was in her,
or be upset with her.
She needed me,
as her mother,
to remind her that I still love her.
She needed me to tell her that it's okay that it didn't go as planned,
and that there will be many times when life won't go as planned,
and that that's okay.
I don't know exactly what happened.
I don't know what she was feeling.
Maybe she just got scared,
or maybe it was something else,
but regardless,
I have been there before.
I know the feeling of being scared and in front of a crowd.
I know the feeling of anxiety.
It's not fun.
I put myself in her shoes and instantly realized how wrong I was.
Maybe that's why I couldn't stop crying.
I needed to STOP IT.
I needed to show my beautiful daughter a more Christlike love.

During our lesson,
our teacher showed us clips of the following talk.

Watch it!
All of it!
I feel know that this talk will change my life.

I'm so grateful for days like today.
Days where I am reassured that no matter how hard things may seem that I'm doing okay.
I'm where I need to be,
doing what I need to be doing,
and that I'm doing better than I think I am.
Being able to be constantly taught,
and to realize that Heavenly Father knows me,
and knows what I need every second of every day,
is so comforting to me.

Regardless of how much we plan,
or bargain for things to go the way we planned,
things rarely go the way that we plan for.
It's part of life.
And definitely part of life when children are involved!
But it's okay.
And sometimes,
not today in my case,
but sometimes it actually goes better than you ever could've planned or hoped for.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DAY 1674... Patches, Pumpkins, and Pranks

Pumpkin Patches just happen to be one of my most favorite things ever!
It is one of my dreams to own my own amazing pumpkin patch someday.
I actually have plans all drawn up.
They change every year, 
but only for the better!

One of my most favorite traditions is taking our family photo on the hay!
We have done it every year for the past 6 years!
It's my FAVORITE!!!

This is by far our favorite place to go in Idaho Falls.
We have gone every year since we've moved to Rexburg.
It will be sad to not visit it next year,
but it will be awesome because we will finally be in the real world!

Benson doesn't really like to get dirty,
so he didn't love playing with the pumpkins.

he is still feeling a little under the weather.
See the picture below...

Those crossed feet though...

Both kids LOVED riding in the wagon.
Probably a little selfish to have used it to cart around my kids while other people were carrying enormous pumpkins cause there were no wagons left...

Benson finally smiled when he saw the train.
He LOVES trains!

Someone pinch me!
These are my kids!
I made that!

Pure love!

Both kids LOVED climbing up the big hay bales.
It was so fun that Benson was old enough to play around while we were there this year.

We ended up buying our pumpkins from Walmart.
We made it out to the patch a little late this year,
so Walmart was our best option.

This girl.
She is hilarious!

Aniston's face!

Tears and sass.

Benson kept eating the pumpkin when he was scooping out the insides.

Would you expect anything else from our Nightmare Before Christmas loving family?
Spencer free handed Oogie Boogie,
and I had to use a stencil to handle the much simpler Jack.
Moral of the story,
my husband is an amazing artist!

The kids are OBSESSED!
Especially when we light them up.
Benson points them out every time he passes them in the kitchen.
We don't put them outside,
since Aniston's pumpkin was stolen last year.
It was a big ordeal and I really don't want to go through that again.
But it's fun at night to turn off all the lights and to let them glow.

A few weeks back,
Spencer and I bought this creepy shower curtain at the Halloween Store to scare my Mom.
It definitely freaked her out a little (see video below).
But the joke's on me...
Now my kids are terrified of Nana's bathroom.
Benson actually won't even walk down the hall unless I hold his hand because he is scared of it.

I just LOVE October! 
changing leaves,
pumpkin patches,

My kid's Halloween costumes are to die for this year!
I can't wait to show you soon!