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Monday, February 28, 2011

Photo Shoot With the Girls...

For Doug's Valentine's Day gift, I wanted to get some new pictures of the girls. So I called my friend Tracy, who is an A.MAZ.ING photographer, and she was super kind to meet us on a Saturday afternoon to snap some photos of the girls. To put it simply...I LOVE how the photos turned out. Tracy is uber talented and she was able to capture so much of the girls' personalities in the photos. Aiden immediately opened up in front of the camera, but Reilly was a little more reserved. Fortunately, by the end of the shoot, both girls were relaxed and having fun...hence the fun photos below.

 
  
  
 
  
  
  
   
 
 
    
I absolutely LOVE how the photos turned out, but I think the girls' favorite part of the whole thing was getting to keep them a secret from Doug!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some Craftiness...

After taking some time this weekend to clean/organize/purge some of my crafting supplies, I discovered some long-forgotten goodies and decided to get some crafting done! I used some things from my paper scrap stash, my digital scrapbooking goodies (I simply printed & then cut them out), some paint, an old canvas, and a frame from the dollar store. Here are some photos of what I created for the girls' room...

ABC Canvas
 
 
 
 

Small Framed Canvas
  
  

After all was said and done, the girls told me they LOVE their new pictures and they were super excited to see them hanging in their room. There are still a few things I want to make to liven up their bedroom, but with these two projects I think I'm definitely off to a good start!

Adventures in Painting....

It's been a while, right? Our past month has been filled with some crazy and not-so-crazy days....you know, the usual for us. Here are some snapshots of what we've been up to for the past little while...basically, a lot of painting!!  As you can see in the "Before" pics, the walls and ceiling REALLY needed to get painted. I cannot explain what a difference it makes...I just wish it hadn't taken us a full year to get this done!

Before...(yeah, I know...it was pretty disgusting)
 
  

Walls are done...onto the trim and door and ceiling
  

The girls...working on their own artistic endeavors while I completed the trim
 

Painting the ceiling...with my helper Roo (Aiden was washing the car with Doug)
 
 

And, getting some much needed "outdoor time" after all the painting...

Our next project is the kitchen...and then the ceiling in the girls' room...followed by the ceilings in the other rooms of the house. I also think I'm going to repaint the bathroom to a lighter blue (Doug recently informed me he doesn't care for the current shade of blue)...and the last room to be painted will probably be mine and Doug's. I also need to paint the crib (which I am TOTALLY excited about...it's adorable)...and get the baby's room put together, not to mention finish up all the little things I want to do in the girls' room now that we have their bunkbed. Needless to say, I think there are plenty of things to keep us busy during the next few months. I'll try and keep you all posted as I work through my nesting stage...it will be interesting to see how much of this we actually get done!

Monday, February 14, 2011

  
We hope your day is filled with hugs, kisses, smiles, giggles...and all things L.O.V.E.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Family Picture...

**Drawn by Aiden - age 5**

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reilly Roo...


Sometimes, you just need to let loose and get a little a silly. Reilly is GREAT at this...our little family goofball (I think she gets her silly tendencies from her papa). If you ever need a reason to smile or laugh or just let loose, Roo will certainly help steer you in the right direction. One of the things I admire most about Roo is that she doesn't let the little things bring her down (as her mom is prone to do). If she sees that something is bothering me, she sits me down and says "Mom...take your grumpy face off. We need to have a happy day!" I love how simply this concept comes to her... and I absolutely love, love, LOVE this silly little girl. Reilly is a little ray of sunshine in my life and she helps make every day brighter.

Little Miss Aiden...


Aiden has always been a sensitive little gal...and that sensitivity is just one of the many things I love about her. She always seems so in-tuned with people's emotions and moods...if you're having a rough day, she can tell and she'll just come over and give you a hug or a kiss to make it better. If she hears someone cry when we are out and about (at the store, the park, wherever), Aiden instantly becomes concerned and wants to know what happened. She is very protective of Reilly and always knows what to do if Reilly is feeling a little down. Already, Aiden is proving to be a fabulous big sister to this little baby who will be joining our family...she loves to snuggle up next me and lay her hand on my belly, just so she can feel the baby kick. Every night, she gives my belly a hug and a kiss and says good-night, and she always mentions the baby in her prayers. I am so very lucky to be the mama of this sweet and sensitive gal...I love her so very much.

Patience...

How does one go about developing something they were not inherently blessed with? When it comes to being a mother, I think my biggest challenge is my lack of patience. And it's ridiculous...I know it is. I should have all the patience in the world. Afterall, I was blessed with two beautiful, healthy, spirited, smart, and very capable daughters. I have an amazing husband who loves me more than I deserve. I have a home over my head and food to eat. I have wonderful parents and siblings and the kindest, most patient of friends. But the honest truth is...I don't have patience. Almost daily, I find myself losing patience over the smallest and dumbest of things...but how do I keep those things from bothering me?

Today, after a major blow-up resulting from my lack of patience, I took a few minutes to think about this very topic and remembered a talk from General Conference last April. I couldn't remember who gave it but I knew it was about patience...so I went to my trusted resource (http://www.lds.org/), searched the archives, and found the talk by Elder Uchtdorf. After reading through the talk a few times, and feeling greatly humbled, I figured I would share some of the highlights from the talk here (mainly, so I can come back and read them during my future struggles with patience).

      - Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. 

      - Without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Patience is a "purifying
        process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope
        for peace."

       - "As parents, we know how unwise it would be to indulge our children’s every desire. But
       children are not the only ones who spoil when showered with immediate gratification. Our
       Heavenly Father knows what good parents come to understand over time: if children are ever
       going to mature and reach their potential, they must learn to wait....patience [is] far more
       than simply waiting for something to happen—patience require[s] actively working toward
       worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results [don’t] appear instantly or without
       effort."

       - "Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience
       means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we
       can — working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the
       desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring WELL!"

       - "Impatience, on the other hand, is a symptom of selfishness. It is a trait of the self-
       absorbed. It arises from the all-too-prevalent condition called “center of the universe”
       syndrome, which leads people to believe that the world revolves around them and that
       all others are just supporting cast in the grand theater of mortality in which only they
       have the starring role."

       - "As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve. Understand that
       they, like us, are imperfect. They, like us, make mistakes. They, like us, want others to give
       them the benefit of the doubt."

       - Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.

       - "Brigham Young taught that when something came up which he could not comprehend fully,
       he would pray to the Lord, “Give me patience to wait until I can understand it for myself.” 
       And then Brigham would continue to pray until he could comprehend it. We must learn that
       in the Lord’s plan, our understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.” In short,
       knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.

       - Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from
       the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until
       long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building  
       blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity,
       understanding, and happiness."

       - "Patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and
       understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels. Patience is
       truly a fruit of the Spirit."

       - "Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate
       gratification for future blessings. It means reining in anger and holding back the unkind
       word. It means resisting evil, even when it appears to be making others rich."

       - "Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace,
       and faith. It means being “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon
       [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.” Ultimately, patience means being “firm and
       steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord” every hour of every day,
       even when it is hard to do so. In the words of John the Revelator, “Here is the patience of the
       saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and … faith [in] Jesus.”

      - Patience is a process of perfection. Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes
       it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most. This was true in the
       time of the Savior. It is true in our time as well, for we are commanded in these latter days
       to "continue in patience until ye are perfected.”

       - The work of patience boils down to this: keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly
       Father; serve Him with meekness and Christlike love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and
       never give up. The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives,
       and heighten our happiness. They will help us to become worthy priesthood bearers and faithful
       disciples of our Master, Jesus Christ.

So, after reading this over and over again, I suppose the way for me to develop the patience I knowingly lack is to just keep trying. I need to think about how my example influences the girls. I need to consider how my impatience and its resulting actions affect their growth, development, and behavior. I need to think about the days/experiences when I am most impatient and figure out what the underlying cause is. Most often, it's because I am tired or stressed about something else...and unfortunatley, the girls end up bearing the brunt of that. I hate it when I lose patience with them...it crushes them and breaks their hearts. I hate knowing that my impatience causes them sadness and that their tears could have been prevented if I had simply held my temper and been just a little more patient.

I know it won't be easy. And I'm not expecting a miraculous transition overnight. But if I simply take things one day at a time and remember that my role and purpose as a mother is to love and teach and serve these little gals I have been blessed with, then it should be easier for me to learn patience. Journaling helps, even though most of my journaling is done via scrapbooking or blogging. I know when I am pushed for time or trying to hurry I tend to get impatient...so I need to be more careful and allow plenty of time to finish the things we need to get done. I know I need to learn to just let things go...but that is something that's easier said than done.

So, all this being said, I am interested in the things you have done or have learned to help you develop more patience? I don't know how many people actually read this blog anyone (it's okay...our lives are pretty boring so I don't blame you), but for anyone who feels so inclined to enlighten me with your wisdom, I would be forever grateful!!

Oh...and on a lighter note...this one made me chuckle. Yes...that would be me, the blockhead....

Monday, February 7, 2011

ScrapMatters Speed Scrap #304 - TODAY

In case anyone happens to have some free time on their hands, I just wanted to let you know that I'm hosting a speed scrap over at ScrapMatters.  Here's the info....


**Figured I would come back and show of the layout I created for the Speed Scrap. If you want to follow along (better late than never), you can catch the instructions in the ScrapMatters forum HERE. The theme for the SS was to scrap about something...be it a person, a hobby, a place, or a food...that you love. I chose to scrap about the girls' FAVORITE food of all time...pancakes.

        
**Using Sunny Side Up by Chelle's Creations and Doodles: Frame & Mat It by Chelle's Creations**

Thank you so very much for stopping by! Hope you have a scrappy day!!