October Bucket List: Pumpkin Patch

In the past, we have always bought our pumpkins from the grocery store.  I didn't realize how boring that was until this year, when we experienced the pumpkin patch.  The whole thing was an experience.  The sunset.  Walking through the rows.  Pulling the wagon.  Finding the perfect pumpkin.  Putting your perfect pumpkin back because you found an even better "perfect pumpkin."  The kids loved it.  It was so much fun. I don't think we will ever again buy pumpkins from the store if we can help it.

October Bucket List: Sugar Cookies

I love October.  The leaves, my birthday, the smell of Autumn, Halloween.  It is such a great month.

We created a bucketlist for the month of October to make sure we got our favorite things in.

One of my favorite memories from my growing up years is decorating sugar cookies with my family. This year it was so fun to decorate them with my own kiddos and the neighbor boys.  Here are some pics of our fun time decorating sugar cookies.  I should have taken a picture of how messy our house got...that is the keepin' it real moment.  Totally and 100% worth it though for the experience.

Perks of Being Sick

October 2014

Afton was sick for almost a month off and on.  The doctors couldn't tell what she had.  While being sick is not fun, there is one thing that I absolutely love when I have sick babies, and that is....snuggle time!

Afton and I got to snuggle for a few nights together.  Even though I would wake up about a gazillion times during the night, I got to look over and see her cute little face pressed up against mine.

I love these sweet moments that come with sickness.  She isn't going to be little like this forever!

 P.S.  Afton is doing much better now.  She has now had 3 weeks now without throwing up and keeping food down.  Yay!  But sad we are going to have less snuggle time!

Cabin Fever 101

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When you have cabin fever in your house, what do you do?  We have found two fun solutions when you are feeling cooped up....

1) Make movies and go through old pictures.  We have been making home-videos and watching them.  We have also been looking at old pictures. This has really been something that has been fun for ALL of us, including Hyrum and Afton.

While going through these old movies and pictures, I came across two movies of H and A that I just love.  I feel like they really show their personalities.

2) Build a fort.  You could build a fort any way you like to.  My sister-in-law gave us a fort making kit a while ago and we whipped it out yesterday and built an awesome fort over the couch.  Then we watched our favorite movie, Winnie the Pooh, while we were in our couch fort.  It was fun to actually be really comfortable while in the fort and it was a great fort because it didn't take up all of the extra space we have in our apartment.

Some "keepin' it real" moments the past couple of days:  Afton has a habit of sucking her thumb at night and grinding her thumb against her teeth.  She gets little cuts in her thumb that get infected and swollen.  It never gets totally better because it is wet a lot, (because she sucks it.) Recently, her thumb has been the worst it has ever been. In the past we have tried to put a sock over her hand, but she just pulls it off.  It drives her crazy that she can't use her other fingers and I think her hand feels claustrophobic. 

The upside of life: At the end of last week, we knew we needed to do something about her thumb.  We called in and got a strong antibiotic cream that we went to pick up at our favorite pharmacy.  We knew if we just put a band-aid over her thumb, that she would just pull it off and start sucking her thumb anyway.  So Blaine got the brilliant idea, (he is such a handyman), to cut the finger part off of a mitten.  We put the cream on Afton's thumb, put the band-aid on there, and then put her "special glove" on her hand.  We acted really excited about it and both Blaine and I cheered when we put it on her hand right before she went to bed so she might keep it on.

And would you believe it?  She fell right asleep, not sucking her thumb and in the morning her "special glove" was still on her hand!  It has been about 5 nights now!  Still going strong, and her thumb is almost healed up!  Yay!  This was definitely inspiration from Heavenly Father to help her thumb get better and to wean her from sucking her thumb!

 Another keepin' it real moment:  Last night, you could tell that Afton's tummy was hurting her.  She had those yucky rotten egg burps.  I brought her in bed with me and kind of propped her up so that she would be  laying on her tummy, like she usually does.

A great part of the keepin' it real moment:  Even though sleep was hard to come by last night with Blaine getting home late from Spud Harvest and having a little darling sleep right next to me, I would frequently turn over and see my little Afton's face, sleeping peacefully just about 6 inches away from mine.  Her sweet expression and pretty lips just melted my heart.  No, I am not one who could handle babies climbing in bed with me every night.  But, yes, I loved last night and cherish the sometimes sleepless nights of cuddling with my babies.

Today I am really tired, but my kiddos are finally, I think starting to feel better.  Afton still has diarrhea but I think both of them are turning the corner!  Yay!

The last and definitely least important thing to note, but is still a huge blessing came because my kiddos have had diarrhea.  I wanted to get them some gatorade or powerade because it seemed like what little thing they would eat would go straight through them.  I didn't want them to just have water. 

My natural side of me doesn't like that bottled powerade has either high fructose corn syrup, or the fake sugar substitues.  My neighbor ran to grab me some powerade yesterday and grabbed me some powder mix so it could make more.  I never put this together, but the powdered stuff just has sugar in it.  I know lots of sugar isn't good for us, but I would rather my kids have the real sugar than splenda or the other sugar substitutes.  So yay for sugar-powerade!  We will now no longer be buying the bottled stuff now that we have uncovered the secret of the no-HFCS-powdered-powerade!

More to come another day!  For now, I am going to catch some extra zzzzzzz while my kiddos are napping!

One Looooooong Night

Monday, October 6, 2014

This is a "Keepin' it Real" post.  This post is for me, a sometimes overwhelmed mama, who wonders why I can't always get everything done or do things just the way I would want them to.

Sometimes I look back a certain times and my life and think that they were just so perfect.  I wonder if during those times I ever got discouraged or had hard days, because I never write about the hard stuff.

And while I don't want to focus so much on the bad or hard stuff, I am going to start including a "keepin' it real" section on every post, to remind me that life isn't perfect.  That being said, I also want to see that even though life isn't perfect, there is still so much joy and happiness.  I want to primarily focus on that.

As a mom of two kids, I frequently get discouraged.  It discourages me that I get discouraged, if that makes any sense. This post is to remind me on those bright days ahead, that life wasn't always perfect and that I had hard days!  Hopefully by the time I read this, (hey and maybe even by the time I am done writing this post,) I will laugh, because nights like last night, (even though I don't want to repeat them EVER again) are a good reminder that life can only get better from here....right?!

We have had the stomach flu (nauseaus-ness, diarrhea, throwup) for about a week now.  Just when I thought yesterday, "Hey I think we are turning a corner.  I think the flu is just about gone from our house", I should have knocked on wood right then and there. Here is a timeline of my night last night.  The times might be a little off.....I was a bit out of it while all of it was happening.

  • 8:45 a.m.:Kids fall asleep
  • 11:30 p.m.:Blaine and I go to sleep
  • 12:00 a.m.: Afton is fussing.  We didn't pay much attention because she is getting teeth.  We let her fuss herself back to sleep.
  • 12:30 a.m.: Afton is crying.  Blaine goes into her room to find her throwing up.
  • 12:38a.m.:  We clean up the sheets, wash Afton off, get her a small drink.  Back to bed.
  • 1:05 a.m.: All back in bed. I have a huge headache at this point.
  • 1:10 a.m.: Hyrum wants to be tucked in again.
  • 1:15 a.m.: Hyrum comes into our room again, to say goodnight and get another hug.
  • 1:30 a.m.: Afton wakes up a pukes again. It is only a little bit.  We clean up the small amount and put a blanket over her sheets instead of changing them again.
  • 1:40 a.m.: Back in bed for everyone.
  • 1:50 a.m.: Hyrum needs another hug.
  • 1:55 a.m. Hyrum starts throwing a fit when I make him go get in bed by himself this time.  He goes in the bathroom and screams at the TOP of his lungs
  • 2:05 a.m.: Hyrum wants another hug.  Still whimpering.
  • 2:15 a.m.: I finally convince Hyrum to GO BACK TO BED!
  • 2:30 a.m. Hyrum and the rest of us are finally in bed for the night....again.
  • 4:25 a.m.: Hyrum comes in crying to our room and says, "I don't like the throw-up!" Thinking he is talking about the incident with Afton, I tell him to go to the potty and go back to bed.  He goes into the bathroom and starts puking. 
  • 4:45 a.m. After cleaning up Hyrum and getting him a little something to drink, we are in bed again. 
  • 4:50 a.m.: Hyrum comes in a needs a drink of water...(the last drink was sprite)
  • 4:55 a.m.: Hyrum wants to be tucked in...I am not sure whether to give in at this point or make him go get in his bed himself.  The alarm clock is going off in 1 hour and 35 minutes for Blaine....
  • 5:00 a.m. Hyrum finally hits the hay for the night and stays in bed.  I think I gave in and tucked him in....I am not really sure.
  • 6:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off for Blaine
  • 7: 15 a.m.: Blaine leaves for work
  • 8:45 a.m.: The lawn mowing company shows up to trim the and edge the grass outside of our apartment.
  • 9:30 a.m.: I sluggishly make breakfast.  I am officially a tired mama.
Even typing this post gives me a little bit of a smile.  I know I will look back when my kids are all gone and miss them and wish they were here to ask me for hugs and kisses and tuck them in for the 100th time that night.  For now...today, I will just work on being a cheerful mom and surviving, and not worry about getting lots and lots things done.  Why can't I get everything done that I would like to?  Because my friends, I have two little ones who sometimes need  ALL and I mean ALL my energy both day, and sometimes night too! :)

My kids are sleeping now, so here is to one loooooong afternoon nap, after one looooooong night....a mama can hope right?

Heartaches and Happiness

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I usually do not feel like I relate a lot of super personal feelings on my blog.  But for some reason today, I just need to type this all out.  Sorry for the personal-ness of all this.  This feelings come from deep within my heart. Here we go with the heartaches and happiness.

Life is always full of trials along with the good times.  Lately, it seems like the good times have been gooder (can I use that made up word ? :) ) and the hard times have been harder.  I will name a few happy things and heartaches that have been part of our life lately.

Heartache: Not getting into grad school.  Blaine and I felt so sure that we would get in.  I had cleaned and de-junked our entire house and packed up things we were not using just so we would be ready for that last minute phone call.  We kept waiting for that miracle email or phone call.  But it never came.

Happiness: Being okay with where we are now.  I admit that I have had moments of not putting my trust in the Lord and His plan for my little family.  Just a few weeks ago, when I was feeling down and frustrated, I was doing the dishes.  I had this overwhelming feeling of peace come over me.  I realized that I am okay with how life is now.  I am okay and I feel peace.  I find peace in the things I know for sure.  The things I know for sure right now do not include what the next step in our life is.  But I do know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and my little family, and I know He is aware of us.  I know that when everything comes together, (and I know it will), that I will understand why we felt sooo good about grad school this year to have it not work out.  I know that I have a Savior, who is really my best friend.  It is times like this when I realize that He knows me perfectly and understands fully my heartache and uncertainty.  He also lifts me up to higher planes, and helps me find peace and joy in uncertain times.  He also provided me a way to repent of my untrust in Heavenly Father on my weaker days.

Heartache: My newlywed friend losing her husband to cancer. It always hard for me to hear of people that die.  It is especially hard for me to hear about people who just died from or are dying from cancer.  I think the feelings of losing a loved one to cancer hit home because I lost my mother to cancer.  I never really felt that sick-to-the-gut feeling when I lost my mother.  I know Heavenly Father blessed me with an overwhelming peace.  I always get the sick-to-the-gut feeling when I hear of others dying from cancer.

Last year a cute newlywed couple moved into our ward.  The husband, who we'll call J had brain cancer and was in a wheel chair.  Over the last year, I have become more acquainted and friends with the wife, B.  It has been hard for me to watch him get worse and worse.  Two months ago, J was not able to continue his chemo treatments due to other health problems.  Hospice came in and they gave J only a short time to live.

Because I am in the primary presidency in my ward, I had the opportunity on a couple of occasions to take a group of primary kids, at J's request, and sing primary songs to him as he lay sick and dying in a bed.  I felt peace as we went there.

A couple of weeks ago, J passed away.  I don't know why it has been so hard for me to see him go, but it has.  After the funeral, I was supposed to help with setting up things for the funeral luncheon.  I found myself having a hard time setting up each chair, almost on the verge of tears.  I walked by the table where the pictures of J were, and I couldn't hold it in anymore.  Tears streamed down my face as I looked at the pictures of J & B's wedding day and learned more about J's life.  I left after that, probably earlier than I should have, but I just couldn't be there anymore.  I felt so sad.

Happiness:  Seeing that same friend, B, be so gracious through her husband's passing.  Even though I have felt sad, I have learned a great deal about being gracious from watching B. She is the most positive person. She was always so thankful and grateful when we would go to sing to J.  She allowed people into her life during a hard time, which I am not always very good at.

Reading her facebook page and her blog is so inspiring.  Yes, she shares her deepest, saddest feelings.  Then she points out all the blessing she has and bares her testimony about the things she does know.  After the funeral, B moved to California to be with her family.  I will miss having B and J in our ward.  I will miss seeing B and learning from her.  I am happy that I got have her a part of my life for a short time.  I know she will continue to do great things wherever she goes.

Heartache: Our dishwasher doesn't really work.  They put a really cheap dishwasher into our apartment.  It is not necessarily broken, but it just doesn't work like a good dishwasher.  If there is any food that is left on the dishes, it doesn't drain.  It just swirls around and gets stuck to other dishes before they are done.  The drain doesn't work well, and there is always a puddle of water at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Happiness: Doing dishes by hand.  My natural side of me was getting hee-beed by the puddle of dirty water that kept getting swirled around in the next load of dishes.  I began to wonder if the detergent ever drained.  Were we eating dishwasher detergent and dirty water and three-week leftover food on all our plates?  My natural side of me wouldn't have it.

Until we can get the dishwasher figured out with our manager, I have been doing all of our dishes by hand.  At first I felt annoyed.  But the last week or so, I have discovered that I LOVE DOING DISHES by HAND! It is very therapeutic for me.  I think a lot while I am doing dishes.  I see the sunshine and birds fly by as I am doing the dishes.  I actually love it!  So I am not sure if I want the dishwasher fixed or not. :)

Heartache: Blaine working Spud Harvest  Blaine got a job for a month and a half working Spud Harvest.  After this job, I appreciate farmers a lot more.  He has had to wake up at 4 a.m. to be to work at 5 a.m. this past week.  He has worked 14 hour days!  He has been tired and worn out and exhausted.

Happiness: Blaine working Spud Harvest  That being said about Spud Harvest, it really has been a HUGE blessing!  Blaine's long hours pay more than a regular, non-career job, both hourly and overall because he is working looooonnng hours.  He has a job right now, and for that we are grateful.  It is a blessing to have something while we are figuring things out right now.  Not only has he had a job, but we had got a tour of how Spud Harvest works, have gotten to ride in a potato truck while it is being filled with potatoes, and have gotten lots of free potatoes, (some or which have been awesome shapes I might add!)

Heartaches: Our kids growing up.  Often times I look at my sweet little babies and feel very inadequate to be their mother.  I hope that they are not being ruined by my weaknesses and impatience.  I see them grown and see their childhood slip away all too quickly.  I wonder if I am living life to the fullest with these two little angels Heavenly Father has blessed me with.  They are not perfect, and neither am I, but I sure hope I am enjoying them while I have this abundance of time with them.

Happiness: Our kids growing up.
  That being said about having a hard time with my kids growing up, I love seeing them grow up sometimes.  I love seeing Afton talking and running around.  I love the hilarious things that Hyrum says.  Just today at breakfast, we were having a conversation about his nursery teacher Sister M.  It went something like this:
  • Hyrum: I just want to eat Sister M.
  • Me: Why do you say that?
  • Hyrum: I just love Sister M. so much that I want to eat her!
I love that Hyrum is starting to say things that we say, but they aren't quite in the right context.  I always say "Oh they smell so good I could just eat them!" when I am holding new babies.  I think this is where he got the "I just want to eat Sister M." comment!  Another funny comment by Hyrum lately was this:
  • Hyrum: I love big womens who make me pancakes and oatmeal and mush and pancakes for breakrist!
Hyrum and Afton make me laugh every day.  They make me cry some days too!  Our life definitely is not perfect.  We get impatient with each other.  My kids are best friends one moment and tease each other the next. We have days when we are grumpy and tired and ready for the day to be OVER when 5 p.m. hits.  But overall, Heavenly Father has blessed us to have a lot of blessings and peace and happiness lately.  I am happy to be Kristin.  I am happy to be Blaine's wife.  I am happy to H & A's mama.  I am happy for my life and for the splendors that Heavenly Father blesses us with.

The snapshots below show some more happy-nesses in our life lately!  Here's to HAPPINESS!

Toenail party with Afty

Father n' Sons snapshot

Potato Truck Fun

Ready for Bed

Hanging out in the toyshelf when we were re-organizing their room

Hyrum excited about his nursery picture

Little School girl-just got this jean skirt from a friend which was an answer to prayer.  I have wanted one for such a long time but they are so expensive for little girls!

I love this time of year with my hubby!  It is always extra romantic because it is the season we met and fell in love!

My new dress and shoes-Both thrifted from D.I.  Dress: $6, Shoes $3

Put them in their beds for quiet time one day.  Came into check on them and found this!

Afton is growing so big!

Home after our favorite walk. Fall weather is perfect for these!

Mama is feeling great after that work-out!  I am trying to show you my cool shoes!

Here's to one cool pair of shoes!  They make me feel happy!

Little Darlins

Friday, August 29, 2014

It has been over 2 months since I have posted.  I feel like I do a great job posting for a while, then get busy and totally neglect to post for a long time.  But sometimes, there are things in life that come before blogging, right?

Since I have last posted, we have had the 4th of July, summer adventures, the Marsh Lake Camping trip, family reunions and everyday life.

Also since the time I last posted, we have made a "Rexburg Bucket List" of everything that we have always wanted to do in Rexburg but never have.  A couple weeks ago, we checked one of them off.

The day was Sunday, August 17th, my little brothers birthday.  It was a beautiful, clear morning.  The temperature was perfect. My little family and I trekked up to the Rexburg L.D.S. temple.  We enjoyed a picnic breakfast of our favorite banana oatmeal snack bars, fresh fruit, and milk out on the lower grounds of the temple.  After we got through, we walked around and talked with our kids about why we have temples, and the significance of them.  We told them about our wedding day there and told them that because of this beautiful, wonderful place our family can be together forever!

It was such a perfect start to our sabbath day!  It reminded me of the deep love I have for my temple covenants, and the deep love I have for my family (the one I grew up in and the one I have now).

These little sweethearts mean so much to me.  I feel like lately I have lost my patience with them so easily.  Today was a good reminder to me just how fun it is to be a mom of little kids.  I am so lucky!

Here's to more great bucket list adventures with my little darlins!

Little Get-a-way Today!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

We have been waiting for a good weather day for over a week now, so we could take and afternoon for Blaine's birthday adventure.

The sun was shining bright today and the warm weather was begging us to spend some time with it.  So we got in our swim suits, packed a picnic, and drove to one of our favorite get-a-way spots, Egin Lakes.

The next few hours were bliss as we built sandcastles, played in the shallow water, watched the tadpoles, had a sandy picnic lunch (yes all our food was peppered with sand!) and enjoyed being together.

Can we please go to Egin Lakes every day?  I sure wish so!

It was a perfect day to be at the lake!  Just warm enough, but not too hot!

All of us were digging the sand and water..literally! :)
 One of our favorite things was to dig a trench and then watch the water pour in!

 Love these cute little babies....

 ...and this handsome man!  He is such a fun dad!

At the end of our perfect lake day, we showered and got in our p.j.'s and played "chase" in the sunset on our front lawn!  It's days like this, (no not every day is as fun as this one,) that make it all worth it!

 Love how this little boy laughs so hard when I am chasing and tickling him!  Love the sunshine that comes from this little angel Afton of ours every time she smiles and looks and me with those big gorgeous eyes and goofy smile!

Sure hope we get a whole lot more days like this one this summer!