Saturday, January 24, 2015

{Back to Reality}

I have just spent the past hour browsing this blog and I am beyond thankful for it.
YEARS of our life has been documented here.
My beautiful ladies when they were tiny little angels.
Our family when we were 4.
Our family growing and changing.

It is a treasure.
I may be the only person who really looks at it anymore,
now that instagram has taken over the world,
but I am pretty grateful to have it.

Here's the latest:

For the past few years I have been begging the girls to jump on the Harry Potter train.
I LOVE these books and movies, and they just haven't jumped on board.
So I pretty much forced them to watching the first movie. 
(We read the book a few years ago and they were impartial.)

They both really liked it, though Roo has managed to cover her eyes through the hard parts.
We've watched the first 3-and I can't wait for the rest.
Love Live HP!
Going back to school has been rough of these tired ladies.
Sienna has managed to fall asleep on the couch multiple times.
Doesn't she look cozy?  I want to join her!
It has been so incredibly wonderful to get back up to Beaver this year.
I hadn't realized how much I missed it and have loved spending time up there with my girls,
and my friends.  I am pretty blessed to have a job that allows me to choose my own hours...
I've spent lots of weekdays up skiing, and lots of middle of the night hours working to make up for it.
Totally worth it!
This kid rocked the halls in school.
She was slightly excited!
Every time my kids accomplish a goal they can be proud of,
I feel less and less like I'm completely failing them.
Single parenting is tough!  I worry constantly that my kids aren't getting the guidance they 
deserve. That I am not getting them where they need to be-
so when they succeed I pat them on the back, and secretly pat myself there too.

Let's be honest though, these girls teach me more than I'll ever teach them.
They are resilient little troopers.
Our Bunco group manages to sneak in a few fun days as often as we can.
We snuck down to Station Park for shopping and dinner.
It was lovely.  These past few years I've been so taken care of by some of the most amazing women.
They are just fun, beautiful people who make me want to be a better person and mother.
And they are freaking hilarious too!

(Kristin Adler, Jen Lewis, Erin Davis, Suzie Clark, Brianne Hansen, Ashley Ballard, Courtney Mckay, Katie Davis, Me, Candace Mullen)
The ladies got some fresh color...
blue for Adyson and orange for Roo.
Thank goodness this fades extremely fast!
Another ski day with my dad.
After I posted this on instagram a few people were wondering if "Miguel" was my boyfriend.
I'm trying really hard not to think about how pathetic this is!  Really, though, hilarious stuff.
I guess most women my age don't have this great of a relationship with their Dad, 
but then most women my age aren't that's my excuse.
Plus, my dad is awesome.

But still, ew.
Adyson has been growing up.
I mean, really growing up.
She gets more texts and calls on my cell phone than I do.
And she is always talking about boys.
How did I manage to raise a boy crazy girl?
Certainly I wasn't like this at all???

We had Lexi stay with us for 9 days while her parent's were in Hawaii.
I managed to get them all to school on time every single day...
and we were only 11 minutes late for church.
We loved having her and I loved listening to them giggle as they tried to sleep each night.
They have such cute friends.
The ladies have been in lessons at Beaver every Saturday, 
so I have 2 free hours to ski with my Dad, Kerry, Kyle and occasionally Dave.
Yep, me and the old guys.
Don't let me fool you though, they all can SKI and it's been fun trying to keep up!
I realize how blessed I am to have a great Dad, and so many great father figures.
Kyle plays relief society president and chats with everyone we see,
Kerry's laugh you can hear for miles,
and my Dad goes from giving me tips to become a better skier to tearing up because he's so happy to have me there.  It's the best 2 hours and I've appreciated hanging with them.

(Sienna calls them the Old Man crew.)
After Skiing today Adyson went to a friends, so Sienna and I went shopping for a bit.
I tried a jacket on and after a while decided I really didn't need it (because I have about a million already)!  Sienna grabbed $20 of her own money and stuffed it in my purse and told me she would pay for most of it if I'd buy it.  She is so sweet and thoughtful.  It really melted my heart.
(I gave her the money back with a big smooch on her cheek! ) But the thought.  It was just precious.
And that's really all that's happening here.  It's been a lot of skiing,
A lot of carpooling.  Singing Lessons, Play Practice and Soccer.
Sometimes I feel like I've been run over by a truck, 
but I know I'm incredibly blessed to have life full of so much fun.
I have days where I feel beyond frazzled and wonder how I can do it again tomorrow,
but those days are more and more rare...

That may be because I give my kids more and more chores...:()
but truly, I think over time our burdens are lifted.

I hope so anyhow!
Hope all is well.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


New Years Eve, for me, has probably been the worst Holiday since Travis passed away.

Last year I remember just feeling so incredibly lost when the clock struck midnight.
I was ending a year full of grief and ache, but it was a year that had Travis in it....
And I was entering a new year-one that Travis wouldn't really be a part of.

Looking back,
I did as good as I could have.

I made loads of mistakes.
But I have learned a lot in the past year,
and I think the girls and I have thrived the best we could.

That being said,
I was really dreading NYE.
Christmas is full of family activies.
I never felt like the awkward third wheel...
But NYE is a Holiday for couples and I kinda wanted to tuck myself in at 9 and forget about it!

I knew my girls would want it to be fun, and so I tried really hard to make it so.

And you know what?
We had a GREAT NYE.

It was a fabulous night!
The house was full of people.
The cousins and friends ran around playing games all night.
We blew up balloons with activites inside that the kids could pop each hour,
and they LOVED it and it kept them so entertained that the adults played games and ate 
ourselves sick the entire night.

We made it till midnight and not once did I feel lonely or like a 5th wheel.
I felt completely content and excited about starting a new year fresh.

Last year instead of setting goals I would for sure break...
I followed a lot of my friends examples by choosing one word to help me be better throughout the year.

Last years was EMBRACE.
I wanted to embrace the good as much as I could.  Embrace the bad when I needed to.
Embrace my new life.  Embrace my kids.  Embrace it all.

It was a great word for last year.  One I reminded myself of often.

I've had a hard time choosing this years word, and it's because so many speak to me.  I have much work to do and so many of them are appropriate-but the word 
is the one I keep coming back to.

This year, I am going to try harder to really LISTEN.

Listen to my kids sweet voices and hear what they really need.
Listen to what they are really saying, when they aren't quite being themselves.
Listen to my body and give it what it needs.
Listen to my heart and hope it takes me in the right places.
Listen to my friends when they uplift me.
Listen to my family who always wants whats best for me.
Listen to the Spirit.
Listen for answers to prayers.

Just Listen.

I am excited to focus on this.
I know it's what I need.

I hope 2015 is a great year for all my dear friends and family members!

(The ladies and I on NYE)

Glow in the dark Slumber party for Adyson...
around 1 am!

Darling friends and cousins at Midnight.

Monday, December 29, 2014

{Lots of Christmas Fun}

Each year in December we try to do something special to celebrate the Season...
this year I was totally off my game and we had multiple makeup days...but we squeezed in a lot of fun!

This was one of my favorites-The Christmas Village in Ogden.
It was darling!  The girls and I loved it and the weather totally worked for us this year.

We got a screening of Juanito Bandito-and it was hilarious like always.
We have such great talented friends in Erin and TJ!  
The girls were thrilled to see their friends there and ditched me the second we walked in...
So I was thrilled to find some great friends of my own in my old 15th ward buddies. So fun!

One night we watched Roo Dance and then grabbed Gingerbread Cookies and Hot Cocoa and went for a Christmas light Scavenger hunt.  It was a blast!  I can't tell you how much I cherish those moments when my kids open up and just chat about everything.  Love them!

One day I snuck the girls out of school early and we hit the slopes for the first time this year.  It was a blast!  I love watching them learn new things and they are just so fun to hang with!

That night we went to my moms and the ENTIRE fam came up for our early Christmas Eve party.  I look forward to hanging with my siblings so much and it was an absolute blast.

I had to snap a pic of the girls in their Disney attire.
My darling parents gave all the grand kids baskets of Disney for our upcoming trip.
Clothes, money and coupons for lots of fun things to do while we are there.  The girls were thrilled!

Adyson got an award at school for being a leader in her class and a great friend to everyone.  When Travis died I was (and still sometimes am) worried about how my girls would do without him.  I am always amazed at how they seem to excel and find joy and keep smiling.  I am truly blessed with great kids!  Good job Adyson!

Christmas Eve morning the girls woke up to their usual gift from Mrs. Clause... .a new shirt to wear for the day.  The older they get, the more excited they get about this tradition.  I think she will continue to deliver even when they are old and married. :)  Poor Sienna woke up to a VERY sore throat and was pretty miserable, but we made the best of the day.  We had the Johnson clan over for dinner, games and treats and it was a really beautiful Christmas eve with lots of smiles.  Before bed we put some luminaries on Trav's grave, said prayers, opened jammies and I tucked my little goof balls in bed before Santa came.  It was a VERY sleepless night with one sick Roo (who needed a bath at 1:30 am), one excited Adyson who tried to wake us up at 4 and 4:30...and one tired mom who crawled into bed the first time about 20 minutes before Roo woke up sick...but Christmas Eve will always be my favorite night of the year and we made the best of it.

Santa Came, and he delivered more then any of us deserve:).

The second pic down is my stash.  My cute mom took the girls shopping and they bought my gifts with their own money, and wrapped it all.  Again, I was touched by how great my kids are!

Adyson got a microphone, camera, clothes and lots of grown up girly things.

Roo got a glow in the dark soccer ball, BOOKS galore, clothes and another loopsy for her collection.
And Santa brought SNOW!  BEAUTIFUL snow.  We were so happy to have a white Christmas!

Adyson got combat boots, plaid, and a beanie and when she threw it all on  I was transported to the 90s...she's killing it.

We've enjoyed the last week and spent some more time at Beaver, and Grandpa came to spend the day with us....

It's been a great break so far!  We've felt very loved and blessed and enjoyed each other immensely.
We are all so grateful for a reason to spend time together, and for a season to remember the birth of our Savior!

Monday, December 8, 2014

{Tis the Season}

I broke the cardinal rule this year and decorated for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving...

I  just couldn't help myself!
The girls and I spent the day shopping for brand new decorations for the tree, 
and it just put us in the spirit.

Our bird tree turned out pretty dang beautiful though!  It's the tree I've wanted for years.
I feel spoiled.
Of course, two strands of lights don't work.....
And I refuse to take them off and start over, so I'm hoping our lovely birds
take the attention away from the unlit sections!
I was pretty exhausted after lugging the boxes all over the house,
and carrying the trees and putting everything together.
I sat down that night and turned the lights off and let the tree glow and felt extremely proud
of how independent I've become.
I'm getting really good at doing the 'man stuff'.
If only that didn't include killing spiders!

Getting Christmas out means that the Elf book came out also.
I caught these two in an awfully sweet moment.
I love being their mom!
We've been spending a lot of time doing projects after school...
I swear, they have a big one due every single week.
I complain a little and then realize how blessed I am that they need my help still,
and that they enjoy spending a few hours together every day still...
so daily I tell myself to embrace the chaos and enjoy it!

We've spent our Saturdays lazing around in hoodies and hats and Christmas shopping
and lunching together. 
Is there a better way to spend a weekend?
No! There isn't!
My girlfriends made a trek to the taco wagon in Richmond for my friend Briann's birthday lunch.
It was FREEZING-and we just had to laugh at ourselves.
Only our friends find us in situations like this...often.
I love my crazy friends.
They are such great people!
Court and I felt like little Babushkas.
I spent the day before Thanksgiving baking a LOAD of pies and made Rolls Thanksgiving morning.
I reflected over the past year pretty much the entire day.
It has been full of so many emotions-I mean, EVERY emotion in the book.
But when I look back I am full of hope.
The girls and I have been able to smile, and to heal.
So at the end of the day-I'm grateful for spirits that can recover and survive tough times,
and find joy in all circumstances.
These girls are my everything, and I am looking forward to a year full of JOY and great memories,
and I pray daily that I can teach them to look forward with a happy and hopeful  heart.

The best part of Thanksgiving is the pie!
And those cold Diet Coke's....
I was pretty proud of my domestic abilities this year!
My Dad's Birthday was the day after Thanksgiving.
He spent his morning letting the kids put together his Christmas Village, 
while I ran errands alone.
(Yes, basically babysitting! By choice!)
That is because he is the best father.  I am so grateful for him.
He is always willing to step up and help, and usually does it without being asked.
He's pretty amazing.
Heather and Jody were on there way home from Salt Lake to Boise so we met them in Brigham for dinner.  My dad was in heaven...and even more so when they decided they were to tired to make the long drive home and stayed the night at my parents.
The kids were the happiest by far.
These cousins adore each other.
(Don't mind Cody looking like a fool in the background).
My darling friend Katie heard that Adyson was feeling a little overwhelmed with a few projects 
(a play, a part in the school program and 3 songs to sing), 
so she brought them some silly string and we had a war in the back yard.
They laughed their guts out.
It was a blast!
We've been doing our Christmas Advent,
and I'm finally getting caught up....

Here we are at dinner by the fire.
I could just smooch them all day long.
Adyson was the snowflake in her school play.
She is really growing up,
and I kinda hate it.  I wish she could stay little forever!
She's been taking voice lessons this year,
and on Saturday she sang 3 solo's at the Mall.
I was so incredibly proud of her.
She's worked so hard to memorize her music,
and to practice-practice-practice,
and it showed!
She sounded beautiful and had the whole family in tears.
It's so nice to see the girls flourish...
it helps me feel like I'm not completely failing them!
Saturday, after Adyson sang, 
we had our annual Johnson family party.
I love this party, and love the Johnson clan.
It's so great to see everyone, 
especially Grandpa and Johanna.
This year Grandpa was in the mood to tell us his stories, 
and we soaked them all in!

He has lived a remarkable life and I am so grateful that we have been able to be a part of it.
I am almost 100% ready for Christmas (only 3 more people to buy for!)
and everything is wrapped.
I think this calls for a lot of hot cocoa (If we could get some snow!),
skiing, cheesy Christmas movies and lots of snuggling by the fire.

Bring it on!