Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Miss My Life

 I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed lately. It's nothing new, I think it just comes in waves when I have more than the usual amount of "crazy" going on in my life. It's when a few weeks in a row include 2 soccer camps, dance camp, scout camp (for the kids), a lot of makeup homework (that I don't understand) in my math class because I started the class 3 weeks late, crazy/busy days at work; weeks where I have a math test, a psychology midterm, and a math project due within a few days of each other, and on top of that I have a work training meeting an hour away plus Youth Conference for my calling, not to mention all of the regular "stuff" going on in life and that, that my friends is when I start missing my "old" life (and how was that for a run on sentence?! It's okay, I'm not taking English this semester ;).

You know how your life kind of gets separated into "stages" if you will? And during some stages you remember being happier than other stages and more content with life and such? And during other stages you remember it being difficult, and struggling, and being overwhelmed with stress for most of the time? The problem with this is, while you are experiencing a "happy" stage and might have a little less stress in your life, at the time that stage might seem like it is a difficult stage.

Am I making sense at all?

My whole point is, don't take advantage of life. While I feel very overwhelmed, worried, and out of control right now... I know someday I will look upon this time with fondness. Because I was learning. Because I grew A LOT. Because I was stretching myself in ways I never knew I wanted to be stretched. Because I proved to myself that I can do hard things and that I accomplished goals. And because we as humans tend to just remember the good stuff. Life has a way of doing that to us. We remember the good stuff.

I was thinking the other day how much I missed the stage in my life when I had three tiny kids. When Daphne was born I had a 2 year old and a 1 year old. If I just glance back into those memories, all I remember is being happy and loving my life. But if I dive a little deeper into those memories, I remember feeling very overwhelmed a lot of the time. I remember calling my mom on more than one occasion and telling her that I just couldn't do it anymore. I remember having days of depression. Andy had a job where he was traveling all. the. time. He was rarely home and when he was it was for 2 days at the most before he was gone again. I was working part time from home and felt like I never had time to fulfill all of my responsibilities. We were house hunting as well at the time and taking three kids (who are basically babies in different stages) house hunting by yourself is not fun.

However (like I said before),

Looking back at those days in photos, all I feel is a sense of happiness and pride. All I really remember are the good times. And I even long for those times again. And some days I wish I could trade those days for these days. Sometimes I think to myself, Why wasn't I happier? Why didn't the Sarah from 8 years ago realize how good she had it? I miss those days and at the time all I wanted was to get away from those days.

So, back to my original point. Don't take advantage of what you have now. Enjoy the moments whether they be hard or easy, stressful or not (I mean, to a certain extent. I'm not saying to enjoy when your child is throwing a mega-tantrum at the grocery store and you have a cart full of groceries and your baby's diaper just exploded with bright yellow poop. Don't enjoy that moment. Just laugh about it later :). Because someday you will look back at this time in your life with happiness and joy and you may even miss it more than you can believe. Be happy despite trials and circumstances and stress. We only have one life here and above all else I would like to experience joy. Wouldn't you?

Love those three little babies. SO much.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Time's A Flyin'

 Well, here we are over halfway through June. Yay! While I love my kids being home and I love summer break, this summer is super busy and stressful and I pretty much just want it to be over. At least, I want it to be August. That's when Andy will finish his EMT course and summer semester will be over. Andy and I both have relatively easy classes (but still time consuming) but I just want them to be done. Then I will start my CNA course and finish that the week that the kids go back to school. Crazy I tell you! 

We have been enjoying our summer so far. But this post is the last few weeks leading up to summer break. It was crazy for a few days with all of the "stuff" we had going on and now it's just such a relief to have a break from it all.

 Starting back on Memorial Day, two weeks before school got out, was the last day off before summer break. I spent my morning biking all over town and went to visit my grandfathers' graves. I stopped by my Grandpa Phil's first (Grandma Marge's husband). I had not been there in years. I love cemetery's on Memorial Day. They are so beautiful and colorful and peaceful.
 This cemetery even had a bagpipe band (is it even called a band? I don't know) and they were incredible. I got some on video and sat and enjoyed it until they finished playing a few songs. 

 My next stop was my Grandpa Dan's grave (my Grandma Darlene's husband). There is even a little bench there to sit and contemplate. My grandfathers passed away only 2 months apart about 18 years ago. My brother had just left on his mission and I remember it being a very overwhelming time for my parents.

Such beauty

 Our majestic flag that symbolizes so much sacrifice given for our amazing country. 

 Later that day we went swimming and then had a barbecue at my mom's that evening. It was a wonderful and relaxing day for family. 

Later that week Jonah had a pack meeting. He earned his Bear Patch and he was so excited. He worked really hard all year for that thing!

 Great job Jonah boy.

Daphne had a huge project due only a week before school got out. It was her final book report. She did a fabulous job. Luckily parents were allowed to help. I drew the dragon and I was pretty dang proud of that! I am a terrible artist. Daphne designed it and executed most of it and told me where she wanted help.

Only a couple days before school got out Andy's brother got home from his mission! It was so wonderful to see him. He looks fantastic. Here are half of the little grand boys on Andy's side waiting for David to come through the gate.

And a quick selfie with his mommy and sister Terra (who is on skype.)

We had the kid's Fun Run at the elementary school. Parents are encouraged to participate and run with their children. Daphne ended up throwing up all night, so she missed it. Here is Laylah with a few friends.

And we're off! I ran with Baron the whole time. I didn't even see Jonah once. He is a super fast and left us in the dust.
 Baron ran on and off and did pretty well for a kindergartner. We ran two miles.

And guess who just happened to be passing out water at an aid station?! That's right. I asked him if I could snap a quick photo and he seemed pretty embarrassed. Laylah was ecstatic. She loves David Archuletta!

And we're done!

Unfortunately Daphne spread her sickness to the two little boys. They both woke up at the exact same time (2 AM.... lovely) and started throwing up. They share a bed so I wasn't surprised. I WAS surprised that Laylah didn't catch it because Magnus had slept in her bed the night before.  I cleaned and washed all the next day. Luckily no one has gotten it since. 

Finally the last week of school arrived! Laylah had her state report presentation and she chose Arizona (we used to live there when she was a year old!) She did a pretty awesome job.

We had a giftcard to Coldstone from the dentist (hilarious... probably to ensure we will always come back!) so we went and go that one night when Andy had a training meeting and I didn't want to make dinner.

And then Baron had his End of Year Kindergarten Program/Graduation! It was so cute. Andy had to miss it so I videoed almost the whole thing. They sang songs and had some speaking parts. They were all so dang adorable. (Baron is the kid right in the center of this photo.... we were in the VERY back)
Baron received the Principal's Award. I am so proud because only one child per class gets it. It is for academic/citizenship achievement.

And here we have Baron's incredibly amazing kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Young. I cried when I hugged her. We will miss her so much. 

And finally the last day of school arrived! The kids had a choir performance that morning which is why the boys are wearing matching shirts. Those are their choir shirts and on the back they say, "McMillan Children's Choir". The girls didn't want to wear theirs all day so they just brought them to change into. 

After the choir performance there was an Award's Assembly. Laylah also received the Principal's Award. I'm such a proud momma. 

Afterwards I had to get a photo with all of the kids and their teacher's. They gave them roses as end-of-year gifts (I was not on the ball this year...)

Daphne and Mrs. Hall

Jonah and Mrs. Van Beekum (who Daphne will have next year)

Laylah and Mrs. Saltzman (who's first year of teaching actually taught Andy's sister Stefanie! So funny)

We had our traditional treat lunch, but like I mentioned above, I was not on the ball this year. We had store bought treats, haha. We had a mini theme going on: mini cinnamon rolls, mini sugar cookies, mini cupcakes, and mini donuts.

Baron and Laylah's awards came with a free meal to Cafe Rio so we headed there for dinner and then we had a fun movie night at home. 
 Congrats to my wonderful kids (and me) for completing another year of elementary school!

Some other random things going on...

We celebrated Sadie on her 6th birthday.

Andy bought a motorcycle, mostly for commuting reasons. Gas is just so expensive and he has to drive to Lehi every day this summer. Plus his work is a ways away, so hopefully it will just help us save in the long run, especially when he starts school up at the U. Plus, bonus, motorcycles can always find better parking spots ;) And another bonus, the kids love it and love going for rides.

Finally we have the first day of summer break. I give you: my kids playing school. They are so goofy. And that's why I love them.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Laylah's 11th Birthday!

I have an 11 year old! It is pretty weird. Next month I'll have two kids in the double digits, so that is even weirder. 

Laylah had a great birthday. She is so easy-going and low-key that we just celebrated her and her sweet little personality and had us a great day.

We started off the day with her birthday breakfast and our traditional one gift opening. She chose scones, eggs, bacon, berries, and oj. She got an outfit, earrings, and sandals for her first gift.

I love that her feet are almost as big as mine. I intentionally got her a size 8 shoe (even though she is about a 7-7 1/2) so that I could share them with her. Hey, she borrows my shoes all the time. That's the perk of having a mommy/daughter relationship!
She went to school and took her favorite treat ever: maple butter-cream donuts from Harmon's. At lunch time I went and picked her up and took her to Rubio's for lunch.

I had to go to work after that, so I dropped her back off at school. My sweet sister Rachel made her her birthday treat for her party with family (she had a friend party last year). She chose a s'mores pie. I got home from work and made dinner. She had chosen homemade vegetarian pizza, salad, grapes, and lemonade. After dinner we did a quick clean up and decorated the family room for her party. All of her grandparents showed up and we got busy opening gifts.
Laylah got a bunch of cards (and $$) from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. From Andy and me she got new clothes, swimsuit, cover-up, and a fully stocked sewing kit. She got new clothes and jewelry from grandma Claudia and Papa Bry, more sewing stuff and jewelry from Gma and Gpa Collette, and a swim bag full of all sorts of fun stuff (jewelry, makeup, perfume, soaps, lotion, etc.) from Grandma Darlene. Lots of fun stuff. She got a bunch of money and is so excited because she finally has enough to buy an ipod 5. She has been saving for a long, long time.

We sang Happy Birthday and ate some pie and ice cream. It was so yummy and I forgot to take a photo of the pie before we ate it, but Rachel did a great job and it was super delicious.
Laylah had a fabulous birthday and I am so happy to be this little gal's mom. I sure am lucky.

Laylah at 11:

Laylah loves fashion. She loves clothes, loves getting dolled up, loves having her hair done, and loves to look her best. She carefully selects her clothing each day, and makes sure her shoes match perfectly, as well as her earrings. She almost always tucks in her shirt and wears a belt. She paints her nails (and toenails!) every Sunday. She has just started wearing little bits of make-up/and perfume (mostly gloss and body spritz.) She's really not allowed to wear makeup until she is 12 years old. And even then, just small amounts and nothing crazy. She is growing up so much. 

Laylah does amazingly well in school. She had straight A's this year in school, as well as perfect citizenship. She earned the Principal's Award for the 2nd year in a row (only 4 kids per grade receive it). She is definitely a people pleaser. Her teacher goes on and on about how wonderful she is during Parent Teacher Conferences and about how all the girls want to be her friend and how all the boys have a crush on Laylah. It kind of drives me crazy that her teacher would say these things in front of Laylah because I don't want her getting a big head and thinking that she's just soooo wonderful.  She has had some boys call the house a few times and also leaves things on her desk at school or on our doorstep and ring the bell and run. She is slightly boy crazy and has lots of crushes, but she always tells me she knows that she isn't allowed to have a boyfriend. Phew! I am just relieved that we have such a great relationship and she feels like she can always talk to me about anything. She has also experienced her first real issues with "girl drama" this year. I am not a fan. I'm just constantly telling her to be kind to everyone, include everyone, and always be the bigger person.

Laylah has such an amazing testimony. She is very service oriented and loves to help others. She reads her scriptures and loves to learn about the gospel in primary. I can hardly believe she will be going into Young Women's next year. Too crazy. She is always asking me about certain scripture stories and wanting to know more. She amazes me.

Laylah is responsible. She has been babysitting our kids for over a year and she has been asked to babysit other people's kids several times. Laylah ADORES children and babies. We joke that she is the Baby Whisperer because she can get any kid to like her, even the most clingy. It's amazing. She will make up games and hold a baby for hours. Laylah is also a great cleaner. She loves to help cook and clean whenever she can. She vacuums, folds laundry, cleans the bathroom, weeds the yard, and makes sure her room stays clean. She will cook dinner when asked (usually pancakes, eggs, or mac and cheese) but she is a good little baker too. She knows how to follow a recipe and tries new things all the time. She recently had a cupcake stand and made $15 selling homemade cupcakes.

Laylah loves to shop. She loves to play (or, "hang-out" as she now calls it) with her friends. She likes to play night games, rollerblade, play outside, swim, run, make movies, play piano, sew, ride her bike, play school, and be in charge. She can be bossy and will still throw little fits when she doesn't get her way. She and Daphne are close friends, but they are very different and have drifted a little ways apart over the last year. She and Jonah are very close and sometimes gang up on Daphne and tease her. Laylah is an amazing big sister to her two baby brothers. She will read to them, play with them, and is generally pretty sweet to them. She is a very talented singer and my grandmother has offered to give her voice lessons when she turns 12. On top of that, Laylah's all time favorite thing is to dance. She is quite the little performer and dances all around the house all day long. I love it.

I know I paint my kids to be the perfect child in their birthday posts. The truth is, they definitely are not. Laylah has many faults and we often clash (usually because we are EXACTLY alike) and there are plenty of things she is working on and plenty of things that drive me crazy about her. She is always late (ummm, like me), she pouts and throws fits when I ask her to do things she doesn't want to do, and when she asks me repeatedly to do something I don't want to do.  But the truth is, I love remembering the good things. And I simply adore this girl that I get to have for my daughter. She is one amazing little lady.

Happy #11 Laylah-girl.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Just Another Day in the Life

 I never have time to blog anymore, at least in the capacity that I would like to. But I read a quote on the program at church that stated something to the effect of "...record your family history any way you possibly can." And since this is literally the only place I record anything, I am getting it down in the best and easiest way for me. Even if this post has 100 pictures and two months worth of stuff we have had going on, at least I am recording it for my sake. Some of it really should have it's own post. But it doesn't. Moving on...

 I am still working and loving it. I am almost always booked and have awesome clients, so that makes it easier to go to work and leave my kids. One night my girl's in Young Women's came and had deep conditions done at the salon. It was fun and they loved it. I had this idea that I would devote an entire post to Young Women's and how it has been, but I never did that. So now I am just throwing in random pictures from various things that are Young Women related. It had been the best/worst calling. I love it and the girls, but it is so much work and so busy.

 Spring soccer has been in full swing and just ended a couple weeks ago. This is a photo of Jonah. He played AMAZINGLY well this season. He was one of the top scorers on his team. He just tried out for the competition team (Murray Max) and made it! He is thrilled. Year round soccer, here he comes.

This is just me displaying my amazing multitasking skills. I'm making dinner and breakfast at the exact same time! Just kidding, the crock-pot is making dinner. I've actually read that true multitasking is impossible. I'd have to agree.

My mom invited me to a day of Women's Conference down at BYU. It was really fun and we went to some amazing classes. I took notes at all of them and wanted to discuss my thoughts on some of them with Andy, but we have yet to do that. Someday...

This is pretty crazy. We had a swarm of bees camp out underneath our tramp for a few days. It was scary until we realized that they are harmless. If you want to know what a swarm of bees is, click HERE. It was very interesting to read more about honeybees and learn something new. We ended up calling a beekeeper to come and get them when they outstayed their welcome.

Baron got to do a presentation on dinosaurs for his class. We did a volcano at the end to show how the dinos could have become extinct. He did an excellent job.

Jonah had some great luck in the month of April. He won an Arbor Day contest put on by the city of Murray. He got to be presented with an award at a ceremony by the mayor and they provided an awesome barbecue lunch for the families of the winners. We are really proud of his artistic abilities.

 And not pictured is Jonah getting to go with the Principal's Club to a trampoline bounce house for part of school one day. He won that privilege because he was recommended by a teacher who noticed him doing something kind. I'm so proud of that boy.

He is also a great big brother and made this fort over the boys' bunk bed. They slept in it one night.

Daphne's soccer season came to an end as well. Her team was really great and won the majority of their games. She also made Murray Max again. She loves soccer! She has grown up so much this year and is getting so tall. She is such a funny, cute girl and I adore her.

Another Young Women activity. My awesome sister-in-law Breanna came and taught us cake decorating. It was way more fun than I thought it would be. I made mini cakes for all of the girls to decorate and all different colors of frosting. They did an amazing job!

Here's a sad Magnus sitting in front of our last fire of the season. This boy gets sick more often than anyone I know. He has had the throw-ups 4 times in the last 3 weeks. He also had strep in there as well. Poor baby.

This was taken on Mother's Day. It was a great day. I got gifts in bed (and Magnus threw-up in my bed as well that morning, just what a mother wants) and some yummy breakfast. It was a lovely day at church and afterwards we went to see our mother's. I like Mother's Day a lot. I love that my kids are extra well-behaved and that they are so loving and cute. It was the day after my century bike ride, so I was a little achy and was just able to rest most of the day. I am one blessed, happy mommy.

This funny photo was taken at Andy's parent's house.  These are a bunch of cousins all gathered around Jonah to watch him play the ipad. Obsessed much?

The kids have had a few choir performances. This one was at family Move-It Night at the kids' school. We had a healthy dinner and then activities to get your family up and moving together. The choir performed and did an awesome job. It was a fun night. I love my kids' school and all of the fun activities they do. You can play Where's Waldo (except find my kids) and look for Laylah, Jonah, Daphne, and Baron. I promise they are all in there somewhere.

I went on a zoo field trip with Jonah. This was my cute and very polite group of boys.

We were matchy in our orange.

And finally we have Baron's soccer season. This boy is great at soccer and scored a ton for his team. He is so much bigger than everyone and that usually means he is a lot faster as well. He would take the ball all the way down the field from the opposite end and score.  No one would be around because he could always outrun them.
Here he is with his two best buddies, Ezra and Easton. 
I had a super fun training meeting for work and learned how to do several different kind of hair extensions. It was a lot of fun. I love continued education classes. I love to learn. I stole this photo off another girl in the class's Instagram account.

Laylah's big dance recital night finally arrived. All of her hard work from the entire year paid off!

Laylah and the amazing Miss Victoria of Dancemakers Studio.

 She had so many friends and family members come and support her. She was in 4 dances and she did an amazing job. She is a great dancer. She tried out for a company team for next year and made the second to highest company. I am so proud of her hard work and dedication and it makes me such a happy mom to know that one of my kids takes after me and my love of dance.

Here are some pictures from her photo shoot.

 In other exciting news, MY SISTER RACHEL MOVED BACK HOME AFTER BEING IN VEGAS FOR NINE YEARS!!! And they bought a house down the street from us. It's temporary (they'll use it as a rental home after they build their dream home) but I and my kids are still so excited. They will go to the same school, we are in the same ward, it is just so so so great. Best News Ever, right?

Anyway, we took our kids to Wheeler Farm one day. This is just the beginning of many outings to come, I am sure.

 Rachel decided she wanted long hair, so I got to put my newly trained self to work on her hair extensions. They turned out awesome and she looks amazing.

And just a funny photo of my awesome tan lines. This is from my century ride. My ankles got burned (I forgot to sunscreen them up.... I'm glad I didn't forget my face!) I have been getting SO many comments ever since it has warmed up and I'm wearing shorts and skirts.

Lastly, we have Jonah's soccer team. Andy was his coach and he took all of the boys to a Real Soccer game. The boys got to go on the field and they had a blast. He also took the other two soccer lovers in the family along and they had one awesome night.

Meanwhile, Laylah and Magnus and myself went to Leatherby's with my sister Kaylie and her friend Chris. We had fun too :)

So, that's a wrap for now. Unfortunately, I'm still not caught up, but this will just have to do until next time. Luckily the kids get out of school this week (I am so excited about this), my own homework hasn't been too bad, and neither has Andy's. We reserve Saturday nights for each other because that is the only time we get to be together. It is lovely. We are going to be seeing even less of each other come Monday because he starts his EMT training and that goes through mid-August. The kids have soccer and dance camps in June, but besides that, everything has pretty much finished up. Soccer, piano lessons (off for the summer!), Scouts and Activity Days (minus a couple day camps and activities in the summer), dance, and every other extra-curricular activity is OVER until fall! Very exciting and relieving. 

I love my life, and we are living it.