Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And Then I Realized My Baby Isn't Really A Baby

It's no secret that I love babies. Magnus is still known as "the baby" around these parts.

"Shhhh, you need to be quiet, the baby is napping."

"How's my baby boy doing?"

"Does anyone know where the baby is?" (This one is usually followed by some frantic searching, because I swear that kid can disappear more quickly that Houdini)

Anyway, I recently had to get some routine blood work done, and the closest lab happened to be at the Women's Center in the hospital near my house. I haven't seen so many pregnant women in I don't even know how long.

Now, I have been perfectly content with my family of 7, but after seeing all of those beautiful, round-bellied, glowing women, I felt something inside of me that I haven't felt in a looooong time. Jealousy.

It shocked me a little bit, and as I waited to get called back to the lab, I let my thoughts slowly process. Did I really want to be in their too-small-because-of-swollen-pregnant-feet-shoes? After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that, no, I didn't. I am completely content with my life. I don't ever feel the longing for another baby as I so often did while my family was growing. I think the only thing I miss is the newness and exciting adventure ahead. The anxious waiting, the preparing, the impending labor and delivery. Because, I have to admit, that's my favorite part of pregnancy. So, I guess that's what I was jealous of. Their excitement.

A couple of days later, Andy's sister delivered her 4th baby a couple weeks early. We went to visit in the hospital, and as I held that precious, new from heaven baby, I just smiled. I am really content at this stage in my life to just enjoy other people's babies. The realization made me happy :)

And so, here's my baby, enjoying his first ever snow experience. That's right, the poor kid is 2 1/2, and this is the first time he has worn a snowsuit and played in the snow. He absolutely loved it! Please be my baby forever little M.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Assiduous, Aspiring, And Active Offspring

It's no lie that we stay pretty busy around these parts. My children are active, and like to be involoved. Even the little boys, who aren't yet old enough to have too many activities, keep me on my toes. Well, maybe not so much Bear as another little man that likes to get into lots of trouble....
Speaking of Magnus, we decided it was time for him to have a bed of his own and get rid of the crib. He's been climbing out of it for a couple months anyway, so it's not like we were doing any good by trying to contain him.
 The crib is now gone, burned to ashes in our fireplace. Expensive firewood, but I wasn't about to store it, we didn't know anyone who needed it, and we weren't able to sell it because of this new law, soooo..... yeah. Firewood it became. Farewell faithful crib. You were a member of this family for 10 years, and you served us well *wipe away a tear*
So yes, Magnus is growing up. For a couple weeks, he just slept on a mattress on the floor. The 3 boys share a room, and it's a bit of a tight squeeze. We let Andy's sister have our toddler bed about 4 years ago, because we didn't think we'd need it ever again (it's lucky it didn't become firewood too, I guess)
 But Andy's other sister told us she had one we could borrow until Magnus gets a little bigger and we figure out a new situation for him. He loves his new bed. He especially loves the freedom it gives him at 5 AM when he wakes up and then tries to wake up his brothers to play, and when that doesn't work, he finally creeps downstairs to play with toys when he should be sleeping...
In other news, Jonah has been playing basketball again. He enjoys it, and his team has done okay, winning about half of their games. It's over next week... I'll miss watching him play.
Jonah was required to participate in the science fair because of the class he is in, and he wanted to expirement with different types of containers, and see how long they could keep ice cream frozen. I hate science. And I despise science projects. Luckily, Andy took the lead on this, and I was just asked to do the basics, like running to the store to get different types of containers. I was so glad when this thing was done.
Daphne's class dressed up as 100 year old people for the 100th day of school. Those white specs in her hair were my attempt with flour and trying to make her look gray, and her "cane" is actually an old roll from the inside of wrapping paper.... I know, I get an "A" for effort.

Laylah and her sewing skills are progressing nicely. She made this darling bag, and is in the process of making a rag quilt for her new cousin that will be born next week. Her talents never cease to amaze me.
Here is another example of Magnus' new found freedom. If there is something yummy to eat anywhere in the house, this kid will find it. Every time. Especially at 6 AM. I'm just glad he didn't try to turn on the burner. In fact, I was a little surprised that I didn't find him on fire...
Daphne is learning the great art of letter-writing at school. I received this in the mail one day, and just thought it was too clever. I may have to indulge her and get her one for her next birthday, just because her begging is so darn cute.

 I found this photo of Baron on my phone. I realize that I haven't mentioned him in this post once. It's because he isn't really old enough to be involved in anything yet, and he isn't a troublemaker like Magnus (thank goodness). He still goes to preschool and loves it. Besides that, he loves to play with friends, whenever he can. He's just so cute and funny, and such a good boy. I love my Bear.

 Laylah continues to have soccer year round. Her team participated in an indoor tourney, and they did awesome. They made it to the semi-finals, but lost that game. She played great though. She almost scored a goal 3 different times, and I was just so proud that she never gave up. She also recently received an award from the club she plays for (Murray Max) because she has a perfect GPA. She is such a good girl.
Oh look, I found another picture of Bear! I guess he does do more than go to preschool and play with friends. He is an expert at Angry Birds, both electronically and live. He knocked over this tower that Andy concocted. Go Bear, get those pigs!
Just a little peek into the daily life of 5 very darling children, as told by their mom who adores them. (no bias at all I tell you ;)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Is It Spring Yet?

I have been loving winter. I know a lot of people hate it, but I never have. I had a break from snow while we lived in VA, which I kind of enjoyed, but now that I'm back in UT, I LOVE the snow! It is beautiful. And, if it is going to be bum-freezing cold, I'd rather have something pretty to look at while I'm shivering in my boots.

That being said.... When is spring coming?! Because I got some new sandals for Christmas, and all I want to do is wear them. I've worn them around the house a few times to, you know, try them out and whatnot. They are so cute and so comfy. I even painted my toenails so they would look good while I was playing dress-up.

And then, last week, my sisters and I had a girl's night planned. I got dressed and ready to go, and wouldn't you know it? Those darling new sandals somehow ended up on my feet and they didn't want to come off, so I thought, "Eh, what the heck? It was 39 degrees after all. That's practically balmy by Utah standards. The sandals shall stay on!"

And stay on they did. It was a fun night too, with great conversation. Only my sister Kaylie was missing, who is into ditching us for a certain boy lately...

But, anyway, the point is, I finally got to wear my darling sandals (which, I mentioned, complimented my outfit perfectly) and I did not get frostbite. I guess I really am a Utah Girl through and through :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Day For Love

Well well well... We had a happy, lovey, gooey, mushy, sweet, and simple Valentine's Day yesterday! We wore pink and red, ate lots of heart shaped things, gave secret notes and treats, said "I love you" about a million times, had parties at school, received lots of gifts, ate way too much sugar, had a delicious meal in the candlelight, had a visit from Cupid, and lastly, the Mr. and I caught a romantical movie at the theater after the kids were in bed. It was a good day. A very good day :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Little Love Notes

Valentine's Day is on Thursday. I love that holiday.... I am in love with love. I wanted to do something a little different this year, so when I found these mini mailboxes at Target back in January (by the way, why is everything mini so dang cute? I love mini anything), I had an idea. Apparently, so did a million other people on Pinterest. I thought I was being super creative, and then I found out that I wasn't.... oh well! We have still had a great time with this fun activity.
At first, I was going to start this on February 1st, and do it until Valentine's Day, but I thought the kids might lose interest, because they are still a little young. I wanted them to still be excited about it when we ended, so that they will be excited for it year after year. I think this will become a new family  tradition.
Anyway, for FHE on Monday, we had a lesson about different kinds of love. Showing love for our family, love for our friends, and also love for our Savior, and how we can do acts of service to feel of our Savior's love. It was such a wonderful Family Home Evening. After it was over, I brought out these little mailboxes that I had decorated and filled with a love note and treat for each of them. I explained that they could give each other notes, treats, coupons, what have you. All they needed to do was put it in, and put the flag up so that the recipient would know that they had something in their mailbox. I told them we would leave the mailboxes out until Valentine's Day, and if they had a fun time with it, we could make it a yearly tradition.

I am so excited about the reaction I got. They were so thrilled. They immedietly started writing love notes, coupons to do each others chores, and putting little goodies inside each others mailboxes. They have loved it, and it makes me so happy as their mom to see them think of things that they can do for each other. Jonah is making everyone's bed on Saturday. Laylah is doing Daphne's chores for 2 whole days. Baron gave Laylah 2 of his beloved Pokemon cards. And Daphne drew a picture for everyone. It is so rewarding as a mother to see my kids show each other so much love and care. I have also enjoyed writing sweet notes of love to my children every day, and putting it in their box, along with a little treat. It makes their day (and mine too!) and I love to see their happy faces peek into those little boxes to see what has been left for them.
This is a fun, new twist on the Valentine holiday for us, and I am excited that it turned out so well.... because let's be honest... with kids, you never know what will happen!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Have You Noticed That I'm A Blonde Again?

 Has anyone noticed?

 July 2011
 August 2011
 October 2011
 November 2012
Over the past year, I have slowly gone back to blonde from brown. It took a long time so that I wouldn't completely destroy my hair. I hated my hair for about 6 months during the process, but I just couldn't ever get over it! I never liked my brown hair, which is unfortunate, because my hair was much healthier and much less expensive that way. Oh well, I guess I'm just a blonde at heart. Remind me of this next time I think about changing my hair again. I tried it, I didn't like it, so I just need to stick with what I like. And that, my friends, is a bottle of bleach.
PS However, if I ever start looking like this, please, please tell me to cool it ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I have been dreading turning 30 since before I even turned 29. I don't know what it was. I have never before been stressed about a birthday. I just loved the fact that when people asked me how old I was, I could still respond that I was in my 20's. I know it is totally silly.... everyone gets older. The other thing was, I enjoyed the response I would get when people found out how old I was and the fact that I had 5 kids. Negative attention, positive attention.... I don't care. I like attention, what can I say ;)
It didn't matter how I felt about it though, the day came where I turned 30. And, if the day was any indication of how my 30's will be, I'd say they're shaping up to be pretty darn awesome. I'd like to recap my day, because it was so much fun, and I felt so loved. Good feelings, for sure.
I started out the day helping my kids get ready for school. They were all so sweet and wished me a happy birthday. Laylah had wanted to help make me a yummy birthday breakfast, but we ran out of time, so Andy quickly whipped up hashbrown, eggs, sausage, and juice. He had planned on making cinnamon rolls, but like I said, we got a bit of a late start to the day and ran out of time. Even though he makes the best cinnamon rolls ever, I was a little glad that he didn't have time.... I knew I'd be eating enough calories throughout the day as it was. :)
I headed to the gym after I dropped the kids off at school, and when I walked into my muscle blast class (a few minutes late) the teacher yelled out "Happy Birthday! Sarah is 30 today!" She made me stand up on a step bench and everyone sang to me. My mom must have told her, because I sure didn't. So sweet.
I went home and got ready for the day. My mom and I had plans to go to lunch and shopping for my birthday. I love spending time with my mom. She is one of my favorite people in the world. We went to Zupa's for salads and sandwiches. She knew I really wanted some nice brown riding boots, so that's what we were looking for. We finally found some at Nordtrom Rack (steal of a deal!), and they are fabulous. Just what I was looking for and have been wanting for the last couple years. They will go with anything and everything.
We went to a few more stores (including See's Candy where we had a couple chocolates. Divine), and I found another pair of shoes, a coat, and some clothes. A successful shopping trip! It was so much fun spending the afternoon together.
Andy had warned me to be home at 4:30, so that's right when my mom dropped me off. I walked into the house and was greeted by a decorated living room, and a bike right in the middle of the room. MY bike! The one I had been asking for every birthday, Christmas, and Mother's Day for about 5 years!! I didn't really know what to say, and then Andy and the kids jumped out and yelled "surprise!" They all came and hugged me and told me happy birthday again. I tell you, I could have died on the spot and been completely fulfilled with my life. I love my family more than anything. I was so surprised with my new bike, and just so happy.
We went out to dinner and then we were supposed to go to a movie. Apparently, turning 30 has made me a bit senial, because I told Andy the wrong theater for the movie. By the time we figured it out, it was too late to go back to the other theater because the movie had already started. We decided to see the movie this weekend instead and just go home for cake.
The kids sang to me, we had cake (it was absolutely DELICIOUS) and then they gave me one more gift. I had been eyeing a darling lamp at Target and told Laylah I would love it for my birthday. She told Andy, so my plan worked perfectly ;)
After Andy and I put the kids to bed, we decided to try a movie again, so we headed out and saw Warm Bodies. It was funny and cute, but also a little weird and gross. We hardly ever go see movies, so I was a little disappointed. Oh well, I just loved spending the night with my love.
As you can see, the day couldn't have been better. I guess 30 isn't so bad.
 My new lamp... you can't really tell, but the shade is turquoise and matches my piano perfectly
 my *perfect* new boots
 And my *perfect* new bike. It's a hybrid, so it's great for either mountain biking, or road biking. I don't mountain bike, like, ever, but it's good to know I have the option!
 Sure love this guy. He really made my day special.
And here I am, in all of my 30 year old glory. I still look 29, right?... no? Okay, at least I had a fabulous, wonderful day :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Fitness Journey Continues

Well, it has been about a year since I first posted about my journey to a happier, healthier me. And you guys, I have to give myself a pat on the back! It has been so rewarding to see my hard work pay-off. I have a lot of thoughts that I am going to try and organize, so if I don't make sense, or jump all over the place, I apologize.
breakfast this morning-egg whites+sauteed spinach and mushrooms+salsa
So, after I started posting about my health goals last year, I had more and more stress piled upon me. Unfortunately, my goals were put on the back burner while I just tried to survive with regular life. After we moved back to Utah however, I was ready to get back into it. I joined the gym that my mom goes to, and I have been a regular ever since. I had a goal to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday (which, I will admit, was a lofty goal for me, as my body seems to enjoy hanging on to every ounce it possibly can), and although I didn't hit my goal, I am super proud of myself anyway. My birthday is tomorrow, and I have lost 26 pounds in 8 months. I would like to lose about 20 more, give or take. I will re-evaluate as I get closer to my ultimate goal, and see how I look and feel. I really don't care about my actual weight, I just want to look and feel good. I am hoping to accomplish this by June, as that will be mine and Andy's 11 year anniversery, and I would love to have come full circle from the time we were married, had 5 kids, and are now at a new phase in our life where we are raising kids and done having babies. It would be the ultimate reward to hit the weight I was when we were first  married :)
I have a few thoughts about the whole weight loss thing. First of all, I have read that people have to hit "rock-bottom" before they are willing to change. That was definitely true for me. I eat pretty healthy (veggies, fruit, lean protein, whole grain, etc), and I have always had a fairly active lifestyle. However, I feel I have always been addicted to sugar. I love treats, candy, and stuff like that. I know it's impossible to out-excerise an unhealthy diet, and for me, sugar is my kryptonite. It seems like I gain a pound every time I eat a cookie. I'm not sure if this is due to my health problems, or if my metabolism has just slowed down, but either way, I definitely can't eat like I used to. But, I have found that that is okay. I decided to try and do no sugar for a month (if you know me at all, this was a HUGE challenge for me) and I made it 25 days. I was really proud of myself! I feel like I finally had control over myself, and I really got over my cravings for unhealthy food. I feel like I am in a better place healthwise, and I feel like it will be easier from here on out.
Now, about hitting "rock-bottom"... last year when I started my long journey, I weighed as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with Baron. And I looked pregnant. And I looked terrible, and none of my clothes fit. It was then that I decided enough was enough. Since then, I have had to change my views about food. I have decided to look at food exactly for what it is. Fuel. That's all it is. It is fuel for my body. It is not meant to make me feel good, it is not meant to be a reward or something I think I deserve because I had a bad day. I do realize that food can be enjoyed and taste fabulous and yummy and wonderful. But, for this to work, I decided I couldn't really care about what I was eating, I just had to eat it because it was good for me and it would help me lose weight. I am not a "foodie" anyway, and while I like food, I don't put much thought into what I am eating other than how many calories it has. I know this would never work for some people, because some people are all about food and how good it tastes, and whatnot. This worked for me though.
Another thing that has worked for me is placing limits and sticking to them. This has come along with hitting "rock-bottom". I finally care enough to stick with my goals because I see the changes they bring. I used to set limits for myself (no eating after 7 PM, only eating 1 serving of carbs, etc) and I would always cheat. I don't know why though, because I was only cheating myself. But, I still would, nonetheless. So now, I stick to my limits and it has paid off. I have also continued using myfitnesspal.com and it helps me SO much. I really love that little app on my phone.
Of course, I have days where I just want to stuff my face with bread, but if I give in, I don't fall completely off the wagon and give up. I have had to learn that tomorrow is a new day, and that just because I messed up yesterday, I don't have to today. I have a fresh start every morning. And if I continue to stick with my goals, I will eventually make it.
One more thing that has helped is having short term goals. Then, my original goal doesn't seem so far away and like I am not accomplishing anything in the meantime. I am running a half marathon (my first) in April, along with my husband, my 2 brothers and my sister. I had this goal last year, but life got in the way, and I didn't accomplish it. I WILL do it this year, even though running is my nemesis. I will overcome it! I also have goal weights every few weeks that I try to hit. I don't get discouraged if i don't make it, I just keep trucking along, and realize the progress that I have made.
Lastly, like I mentioned, tomorrow is my 30th birthday (eek!! really? THIRTY?!) and I am going to let myself have some cake and go out to lunch and eat good food, and enjoy it. But, starting on Feb 6th, I am doing another month of no sugar. Who's with me?!
Thanks for reading along... this was super long, and if you made it to the end, you get a gold star :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

And Here We Are

My blog is finally caught up! I'm so excited to be back to my regular rambling.... I know you are too, really, I do ;)
I have a few things on the docket... I know you're super thrilled to see what that is. But really, I am happy to be back!

Daphne's Happy #7!

My little Miss Daphers turned 7 years old on the 13th of January. It was her turn for a family party this year. I let her choose a family activity, and she wanted to go ice-skating. I also let her invite 1 friend to come along. She chose Nicole, who has quickly become one of her best friends this school year. Since her birthday fell on a Sunday, we went on Saturday night. Right before we were going to leave, Baron and Magnus both fell asleep on the couch (they didn't get a nap that day) so Andy stayed home with them. I just took the older 3 plus Daphne's friend. We had a fun night.

The next morning, there was a happy birthday girl. She chose waffles, sausage, apple juice, and hot chocolate for her birthday breakfast. I let her open a couple of gifts before church.
She has been begging for scriptures for a couple years. I keep telling her that she will get a really nice set when she tunrs 8 and gets baptized, but she still really wanted some. I found a darling, tiny little Book of Mormon, along with a little carrying case that was really inexpensive at the distribution center, so I got them for her. She also got a new outfit to wear that day and a new necklace. She was beyond thrilled about her very own scriptures.

 Ready for church!
That evening, my parents, sister, and grandmas came over for dinner. Andy's parents were out of town, so they weren't there. We had Daphne's choice of chicken roll-ups with gravy, broccoli, berries with whip cream dip, raspberyy jello, spinach salad, and pink lemonade. It was pretty yummy.
 Daphne is so funny, and very particular. She definitely knows what she wants. She requested a milk chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting, and milk chocolate shavings on the top. She is so funny. But, it turned out pretty good, even though I had never before made white chocolate frosting.
We opened gifts after dinner. She was pretty spoiled with new rollerskates, new barbie stuff, aaaaaand..... a nutcracker. That's right, a nutcracker. Ever since she was in the play back in December, she has wanted one. She cracks me up, but like I said, she definitely knows what she wants. She was thrilled with her soldier nutcracker. She plays with it all the time.

She got Honey (an American Girl dog) from my mom and dad

She got new clothes from Grandma Darlene, and money from Grandma Marge (and also her aunts and uncles that were so thoughtful to send her cards)

Enjoying her very chocolately cake and chocolate ice cream. Oy.... this girl and her chocolate!

 I just had to throw this hilarious picture of Jonah in. He's doing what he does best.... being a silly goofball.
The next day, Andy's parents got home from their trip, and they came over to say Happy Birthday and give Daphne a gift. She got some art stuff, a game, and some more money (my kids are richer than me after their birthdays).

I think it was a very Happy Birthday indeed for this little girl.
Daphne at 7:
Well, what can I say about Daphne? She is so many things.... individualistic, different, sweet, caring, clever, intellectual, thoughtful, kind, adventurous, smart, and I guess I could go on and on. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She doesn't care what others think, and she is a leader among her peers. She is very outgoing and has lots of friends. All of her teachers always tell me that when she is absent, everyone is so excited when she returns. She lights up a room with her dazzling smile and silly laugh. She is such a wonderful girl. She is so hilarious and witty. She is also definitely a "middle child". She thinks everything is unfair, and she loves to have the attention on her. She is responsible, and willing to help. I can set her to a task, and she will complete it. She is one of the slowest people I know, whether it is eating, cleaning, or getting something done. She always does it, but it usually takes twice as long as it should.
Daphne loves life. She wants to do everything. She just started piano lessons and has been working so hard on her practicing, because she really wants to play the violin, but I told her she had to learn paino first. She adores horses, everything to do with them. She is going to really start riding in the spring when it warms up a bit. She loves to sing, even though she can't carry a tune. She loves Taylor Swift, and will dance around her room singing. She loves to sing in primary and her school choir. She is in the gifted program at school, and it has been so good for her. It is a place where she can let her creativity flow. She knows what she wants, and she is not afraid to tell anyone what she thinks.
Daphne has grown a lot in the past year. She is very slim, but she has gotten tall. She weighs about 49 pounds and is about 47 or 48 inches tall. She wears a size small (6-7) and her shoe size is a 1, same as Baron. They are almost the exact same size. Except he weighs more. She is my pickiest eater. She will usually always try something at least once, but if she doesn't like it, she will never try it again. She is very opinionated about food (well, about everything, actually) and if she doesn't like it, and someone else does, she will try to convince them that they shouldn't like it because of how yucky it is. She can be very persuasive too. She is a funny little girl. Luckily, she does have some favorite foods like, eggs, pancakes, cereal, milk (it took awhile to get her there, but yes, she finally likes milk now), apples, any kind of berry, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cheese, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, artichokes, pickles, pears, and a few others. She is a good eater when she likes the food on her plate.
Daphne loves life. She loves her friends and family. She enjoys playing computer games, and the wii occasionally. She absolutely loves to be outside. She loves to ride her bike, scooter and rollerskate. She likes to play on the tramp and play at the park. In the summer, she is a little fish in the swimming pool. She loves movies and going to the movie theater. She is really easy to please, and likes to stay busy. She is independant and likes to be away from home, wether it's with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, or whatever. I swear, that girl has no fear.
I am so lucky that Daphne is mine. I learn a lot from her on a daily basis. She is such a special spirit in our home and I am touched by her thoughtfulness and kindness. I love her so much, more than I can say. Happy #7 little missy.