Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Have A Weakness

The truth is, since I have been pregnant, I have not been a huge fan of desserts. In fact- I am generally not a huge glutton for sweets. I like goodies- but only in small quantities- and I don't really love chocoloate ever. The one thing, however, that I can ALWAYS be persuaded to partake of in large quantities are cinnamon rolls. I love me a good, doughy, gooey, frostingy cinnamon roll! They are a HUGE weakness of mine.

This is generally an easy weakness to control since most store bought cinnamon rolls are gross, and the closest Cinnabon is at the airport PAST the security barricade. Homemade is kind of the only way to go for me- and the process to make cinnamon rolls is extensive enough to keep me from indulging every time I have a craving.

Those deterrents were not nearly effective enough on Saturday. I woke up wanting nothing more than a fresh, warm Cinnabon. This may or may not have been spurred on by a text from my friend Jeff that I got an hour too late to take advantage of. He travels a lot for his job, and we have a good system worked out where he buys me Cinnabons at the airport when he comes home. We meet at the McDonalds in Lehi, and I pay him for the goods. He is my Cinnabon trafficking mule. Thanks, Jeff!

So, this option null and void by the time I read the text, I found a recipe for mock Cinnabons and made some. They were good. Really, really, rediculously good! I do not, however, think they would have been nearly as delicious without these adorable little assistants.
Before you praise my domestic abilities, please take note of the laptop and breadmaker. Both were essential. I don't knead or time raising dough. That is way too much to ask of me. I should have taken pictures of the finished product. Oh well. They were delicious! I plan to make more some time later this week and freeze the rolls so I can have some whenever I want. Dear,
You are incredible and I owe you and the rating system on your website a great deal of the credit for my domestic success and ability.
Dear Crockpot,
Don't worry. You are still the most important part of my house-wife aresenal.
Love Eternally,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keeping My Promise

I made him wake up to kiss me. The flash was very bright. He's a good sport.
and a good kisser to boot!


I am posting these to appease the poor souls who are bugged by the abundance of text-based posts as of late. Apparently, there are a number of people who get offended when checking MY blog and MY updates, and are forced to read MY silly ideas and opinons instead of seeing pictures of MY girls. I find that a little rude, honestly- but since I aim to please- here are the recent unposted pictures from my camera.

This is what Ross and I woke up to one Saturday. Emma was THRILLED to see that Daddy had not gone to work. The other night when Ross came home, I had endured a VERY long day of whining, headaches, some vomitting (me), and recurring messes (them!). I BEGGED Ross to take the girls for an hour so I could take a shower without an audience, finish up a lesson plan, and re-group a little bit. This is what I found when I came downstairs about 45 minutes later. Yes, Ross is TOTALLY passed out. Poor guy is on some new meds, and they take it out of him at night.
They had pushed the couch and loveseat together to make a big bed-like structure and were watching Enchanted on Ross's laptop. Too cute! He is such a good daddy! I am blessed!

These last two are from Emma. I love them. And her. And the cat. Seriously- my life is pretty top notch!

I do apologize that those are the only ones I have. I have been slacking with pictures lately. I will try and do better. In fact, I promise a good juicy kissing picture by the end of the night! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Go and Do- 2010

I have decided to do my resolutions a little differently this year. I am going to attempt to explain why and how, but be warned that it might make no sense at all.

Ross and I started the year by starting the Book of Mormon with our girls. For family scripture study, we have usually taught the girls (mostly Emma) a specific gospel term- like covenant or reveleation, or we have told a scripture story using pictures. After this, we would repeat an Article of Faith a few times to help Emma memorize them. We decided this year that we should start reading the actual scriptures, and just explain as we go if Emma got bored or uninterested.

So it was, that close to the first day of the year I read that old familiar chant from Nephi- "I will go and do the things with the Lord hath commanded me." I have read the Book of Mormon well over 40 times in my lifetime, and I have read that verse at least twice that many times, but this time it stuck. I have found myself using it to motivate me on slow days. "I will Go and Do the things which the Lord hath commanded me." Whenever I felt too tired or too grumpy or too pregnant to do things that I knew needed to be done, that line would reverberate in my mind again.

"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me."

It helps. It helps a lot. It might be simplistic, but it is meaningful and concise, and it gets me on my feet and doing the things that need to be done.

So- that has become my theme for this year. That is my resolution this year. I want to go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me. I want to make my home a more loving place. I want to be a better mother. I want to be a better Servant of the Lord. I want to be a better and more deserving wife (because honestly- my husband is incredible, and he deserves a better help-meet!). If I were to make a list of all the specific things that would help me to achieve those things, it would basically be a big long list of things that the Lord has already commanded me to do. Scripture study, prayer, temple worship, gospel teaching, cultivating patience, being frugal, etc. All those things are good and will bring me closer to the person I want to be.

This year, instead of making a list of tasks to complete I am just going to repeat to myself over and over, every day- I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me. I think it will be hard to be idle and impatient (two of my biggest obstacles right now) when I am trying to do only those things that the Lord has commanded me. I hope that this theme will continue to stay at motivational to me as it has been for these first few weeks.

Who knows, maybe I will get tired of that soon and decide to make a big list. I do love my lists!

Week O' Friends!!

I am awake right now. It is annoying. I am exhausted and have lots to do tomorrow, but between Ross snoring, Jack kicking, and Comfort remaining just out of my grasp (stupid sciatic nerve!!), I decided to go ahead and put a little update on here in hopes that by the time I am done, I will be ready to fall asleep.

This last week has been a lot of fun because I have had the opportunity to see lots of my good friends. It started last Saturday when I went to a bridal fair with Brittany and her almost at the time, and totally now Fiance (he proposed for realsies on Monday). It was fun even if it did sometimes look like I was the pregnant sister-wife helping to plan the second wife's wedding. . . :) As we were leaving, I gave the happy couple a ride down to their car, and in the process took the opportunity to steal Brittany's phone so she would be forced to hang out again in the near future! (OK, so maybe it just fell out of her purse. . .) That was the best plan ever since the next available time for us to meet somewhere between my house in the boon docks (Eagle Mountain), and her house in the ghetto (Ogden) was Monday. That meant she and Steve were still all fresh and lovey from the recent proposal earlier that day (YAY!!) and I got to hear lots of details and see lots of heart melting cuddlyness. She has a temporary CTR rings that is all intertwinety (did I get that right, Brittany?) and will serve as the template for her real ring.

Let me just say here that I LOVE Brittany so very much, and I couldn't be happier for her and Steve. She is an incredible woman and I feel blessed to call her my friend. I am amazed at how strong and stalwart she has remained in the midst of all her recent struggles. She is a wonder! She and Steve are lovely together, and I am so happy to see her so happy with someone so totally deserving of her beyawesomeness. (please tell me someone gets that reference. . .)

On Thursday I got to see Carrie and Nate for the first time in over a month. That was a long time to go without Carrieness in my life. Stupid busy and fulfilling lives!! We went to Texas Roadhouse and took advantage of their Early Bird Special, even though we are not old. . . It was a lot of fun and I am very glad that the girls were so well behaved. I have really missed Carrie (and Nate, I guess :). . .) We definitely need to have a repeat in the very near future. Like tomorrow. Or right now since I am SOOOO still awake :( Carrie, I absolutely love you and I am so glad that we are friends. You mean the world to me!!

Friday night we hosted a little dinner shindig at our house with Danielle and Julie, my friends from high school, and their husbands. I had planned to make an awesome roast dinner because I make awesome roasts. However, I failed to consider that when I make a roast three times the regular size (I am usually cooking for twoish), I should plan for three times the regular roasting time. The giant roast was not ready when everyone showed up because I am lame. We ordered pizza which broke our rule of only eating out once every other week. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Anyway, we had a good time. I hadn't seen Danielle and McKay in over a year, and it had been even longer since I had seen Julie. I hadn't even met her husband before. I am a bad friend :(

We played games and ate snacks and pizza while the giant roast continued to prepare itself for every meal in our house for the next two weeks. (Good thing Ross loves roast in all forms!) Julie and Dave left early because they were going to Manti the next day, but Danielle and McKay stayed and chatted until pretty late. It was so nice! Danielle and I were really close back in the day, and while we sat there laughing and chatting I was reminded of just why she was such a good friend of mine. Good times. That, too, is something that will need to be repeated in the near future.

I am grateful for my friends and their husbands (and husbands to be) and for their willingness to take time out of their lives to be with me every now and again- especially since they usually have to put up with my girls, and they always have to put up with me. It makes me happy! Thanks friends!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Boy, Boy Boy- Very Tall Boy!

We found out on Wednesday that the little parasite I am gestating is of the male variety! We are THRILLED! Seriously, we are so excited. Ross has not stopped smiling since. It was a very happy moment for us. The ultrasound technition asked us if we were hoping for anything specific. We replied, as any good parents would, that we would be happy with either gender, but were kind of hoping for a boy. She put the wand on my belly and said right away- "Well, there's your boy!" We thought she was kidding. She assured us she was serious, and one look at the screen affirmed it for us. There was our little man showing off his manhood for all to see! Also- he is very tall already. His legs are very long!

Ross wanted me to post a picture, but for some reason, I feel a bit trepidatious about posting pictures of my baby's junk for all to see. Just know that it is there, and we are happy to be able to call the baby by a real name now. Yes- we are the kind of parents who had names picked out literally YEARS before we even got pregnant. That's how we roll. We have a lot (seriously- A LOT) of friends who prefer to wait until birth to know the gender, and even hold off on THINKING about names until they meet their little critter. I have nothing against that, and I can actually see why that would be kind of fun. I, however, get a very personal connection and bond when I know the gender and the name of my child. It makes things more real in a weird way, and allows me to actually imagine the face and personality. I had a dream about Emma shortly after knowing she would be Emma and not Ben. That dream is so her it would scare me if I weren't strong in my testimony of personal revelation. I have loved referring to the little kicker in there as Jack instead of baby, it, or that little bugger.

After leaving the doctor's office, we called my dad at work because we knew he would be the most excited of all our family. He has 4 daughters and two granddaughters. Heck- even all the animals at the house have been female since Murphy the cat died in 1996! We knew he would be the most thrilled about having a little boy to take hunting! We tried calling my mom next, but her phone doesn't work while she is at school. My next call was to my best friend, Carrie. This bothered Ross because he thought his parents should know before my friends did. He quickly called his dad not listening to my warnings that he would surely be a buzz-kill. They are already swarming with grandsons out there- one more isn't too exciting. He laughed and said I was right since the reaction was literally 'Well, I guess you have to even your family out, but we have plenty of those around here.' Oh well- it didn't matter to us- nothing was getting us down.

We took the girls to the mall playground (the only indoor one not affixed to a fast food place) and let them play around while we smiled, kissed, and laughed at each other. We are so so so happy!! I am grateful Ross took the day off of work to be there with me. It was a very special moment, and I am glad we shared it together. Jack (Thomas or Hinckley- Ross and I are battling it out!) Goodman will make his debut probably on June 1st.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Someone Please Explain to Me. . .

. . . why a cat, a creature who is supposed to have an irrational hatred for water, would spend the majority of his day in the master bathroom sink. Also- if you can explain why he has that one random white whisker, I would like that as well. :)
Also- if you look closely, you can see me in the mirror sporting one of my new flirty aprons. I love them!

Retroactive Gratitude

I know I have some catching up to do- but I wanted to get down some thoughts I have had recently. In talking to some friends and reading the stories of other people, I have come to have a renewed sense of gratitude for something that happened a while ago- almost 4 years ago to be exact.

One of the girls I went to highschool with recently had a baby boy who came a few weeks early. This early delivery has caused him to be on oxygen since he was born, and he spent quite a while in the NICU. He was 3 weeks early, and was 5 pounds and 11 ounces when he was born.

A friend in my ward recently told me her first son was 3 weeks early, and spent some time in the NICU for breathing problems as well.

A friend of a friend just had a baby 2 weeks early, and she has been on oxygen and has not been allowed to leave the hospital even though she was born more than a month ago. Her future will likely include an inhaler and constant check ups concerning her vascular system.

Now, why would all of these stories make me so grateful? Believe me, I am not excited to hear sad stories. I'm not really like that. Rather, it brings me back to about 4 years ago when I had an emergency C-Section for Emma. She was 4 weeks early, weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces, and was perfect in every way! She breathed, ate, and slept wonderfully. I left the hospital a day early, and Emma had no health problems at all related with her early and rushed delivery. I had no idea what a strange anomaly this perfection was. She was so tiny, and apparently, most children born with her statistics had problems that necessitated extra care, prayers, and hospital time. Emma did not.

This may be odd, but I am just once again overcome with gratitude for the way the Lord carried me through those incredibly hard days back then. I was so upset with God at that time for a lot of things and was nursing a wounded body mind and spirit. Ross was gone, I was living with my parents, and my husband lost his ability to serve his country and support his family when he incurred a permanent and life altering condition. Things were rough. When I see these tender mercies that were before now unknown to me, it shows me just how lucky I truly am. The Lord is VERY aware of me, and what I can handle- and for that, I am grateful.

Friday, January 08, 2010

2009- A Year of Blessings

This might be kind of weird, but I just wrote this out as an ending to the book of our 2009 year so I can get it ordered and printed soon, and I decided to post it here.

This year has been a fairly good one for us, and we are so grateful for that. It started out at the end of a rocky patch in our financial status- which, try as we might to avoid it, was affecting a lot of other areas in our life. Unlike many people around us, we were able to get on the path of financial recovery when Ross got a job working with the Department of Veteran Affairs in Salt Lake. We would complain about the commute if it weren't for the steady paycheck and incredible benefits (a first for us since Ross was diagnosed with his epileptic condition). With that one prayer answered, things seemed to start falling into place for us. We had a regular schedule. We had a set budget plan and debt snowball program that had a definite end. We had peace of mind about falling ill knowing that not only could we now afford medical treatment, but we had medical coverage that mostly negated the need for payment aside from our Premiums.

There have been a lot of times when Ross and I would offer sincere prayers of gratitude, and then quietly talk about how we feared this calm patch might end. The truth is, we have spent our entire marriage waiting for things to rectify themselves. We have just been skating along from one trial to another. I don't know that any of them have been terribly severe or unmanagable- but never getting a break in between them has been rough. We are grateful for everything we have learned through those rough times- especially since we came out the other end of them together, but I cannot even begin to express how grateful I have been for this happy and peaceful time in our marriage.

Our family got to do a lot of fun things this year including taking a 3 week, all expense paid trip to Portland, camping with my family, and visiting the Goodman Ranch in California to welcome back Ross's brother. We went to the zoo, Bridal Veil Falls, the Red Butte Gardens, and many other lovely outdoor venues that we are blessed to live near. With the help of loving family and friends, we were able to keep our resolution of having weekly dates, and Family Home Evenings, monthly temple attendance, and bi-monthly overnighters together. I know that following that inspired council has helped to strengthen our marriage, our testimonies, and our family. I was also honored to be called to the Primary Presidency as the third councilor, and have loved serving in that capacity. All of these things have been a huge boon to us as we have struggled through some miscarriages and some other health problems.

Emma and Sara have grown so much, and are becoming such sweet and capable young ladies. They are such good friends. It makes my heart happy to see them loving and helping each other with no prompting from us. Both of them have greatly increased their vocabularies, and are the smartest and prettiest little angels we could have ever asked for. Sara loves to sing and dance, and is very close to being fully potty-trained. She is very affectionate and gives the sweetest hugs imaginable. Emma knows all of her Articles of Faith, a few hymns, and is so clever and sweet. She has been a huge help to me, since I became pregnant, and the best part is that she loves being useful. She searches for ways to help and needs only a thank you and a hug for payment. They both have smiles and laughs that brighten any gloomy day, and I could never thank God enough for the privilege he has given us to raise them.

This year has been a year of much needed, and much appreciated blessings. I wish I could better communicate my gratitude. I know that my Heavenly Father is aware of us. I have felt him guiding us along. He has been my friend and my companion throuh the good and bad times, and I just don't know where I would be without his Gospel in my life.

New Year's Eve

We had a fairly quiet New Year's Eve as well. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of New Year's Eve. I enjoy being with family and I love making new goals and resolutions, but staying up til midnight to make a lot of noise seems a little pointless to me.

We decided to go to my grandma's house that night, and stopped to grab a pizza on the way down. We called it in so it would be ready when we got there. Somehow, our order got lost, so they made it for us and then didn't charge us because of their mistake! That was a nice little start to the night!

We got to my grandma's house and Ross watched football with my grandpa while I played games with my sisters and Uncle Jay. After a few hours of this, we still had 2 hours until midnight- but I was done. We left early. We went home, put the girls in bed, and chatted and snuggled in bed until about 11:50. At that point, since we were still kind of awake, we waited, had the countdown, and kissed at midnight. I am not sure if Ross started snoring before or after the kiss was over. . .

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas Pictures

Ross said he was in danger of being disowned if I didn't get up some Christmas morning pictures.

The big haul! I got Ross some new cologne.
It was nice!
Grandpa Jones got these fun blankets for the girls. They loved them. Santa brought a Barbie for Emma. She was thrilled. I was not. . . Grandma Goodman sent these teddy bears. They both sleep with them every night now.
Sara got a baby doll from Sara. She LOVED it. So did I.

This is the lovely nativity Ross got me. I love it. My dad got Ross Band of Brothers. He was thrilled. This is something I would never have gotten him, and he is so excited to make me work on my laptop next to him while he watches it.
This was under the tree Christmas morning. . .
. . . and had this inside it. They brought back Secret Crush! Yay!!
Heather got Ross a blanket that says Super Man. It is very soft and very warm and doubles well as a crime fighting cape.
Heather got me one of my favorite Christmas books. Heather done good this year!
The Little People sets from Santa AKA our home teacher.
Heather also got me 2 flirty aprons. I put them on my wish list never thinking I would get one- much less two. I LOVE them! Seriously- Heather did good!
My dad got the girls some plate and cup sets of their own. This was a HUGE crowd pleaser! With these also came a box of tiny candy canes for each of them. They are so happy about not having to share. . .
Ross and I got the girls both a pretty Christmas time dress. We want this to be a fun tradition for them. New ties for the boys and dresses for the girls.
Heather got the girls some beautiful books- some of them with Disney princesses on them. They LOVE these. She also made them some tutus which are so completely adorable!
The kitty had a good time playing in all the wrapping paper and empty boxes.
Merry Christmas! I love this man. I really truly do!
This is the ham dinner I prepared. Seriously- it was good! Also, notice that Ross and I did not ever change out of the pajamas Grandma Goodman sent.
I forgot about this stroller that came with the doll. So stinkin' cute. This and the doll actually came in a bag that showed up on our doorstep about a week before Christmas. We aren't totally sure where it came from, but this and the Barbie were all perfect and made Christmas just a little bit more special for our girls.
We got these fun puzzles for the girls.
This is my nativity. My mom also got me another addition to my Willow tree set.
Sara slept through the entire dinner.
It was a wonderful Christmas even if I never stepped outside my house.

Christmas Day

We had a very quiet Christmas day which is just how I like it. We got to sleep in until 8:30, which was nice since Santa's helpers were up until 1:30 am wrapping, arranging, installing, and all that other Christmassy jazz.

The girls were THRILLED. Some friends from the ward had some girls who had outgrown some of their Little People sets, and those were the big attraction for the girls. They has so much fun, and it took us a while to convince them that there was other stuff to open up. They got fun tutus and book from Heather, blankets at CD's from Grandma Jones, plush bears from Grandma Goodman, new Christmas dresses from Mommy and Daddy, and plenty of other fun things. They are well loved.

Ross and I were pretty spoiled. His sister gave him the Work and the Glory series, my sister got him the first volume of The Joseph Smith Papers, and my mom got him Undaunted by Gerald Lund. We both got some fun blankets, Ross and my mom both gave me some beautiful nativity sets, and Ross and I gave each other cologne and perfume. We were well loved.

After the presents were all opened and some of the wrapping was put away- we had some cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We considered going to a restaurant for lunch, but we couldn't find anything that we liked that was open- so I got to work in the kitchen and made an awesome ham and potatoes dinner.

We spent the evening watching one of our new movies (oh- we got new movies!) and giving each other massages and tickling the girls. Good times! Such good times! I love Christmas, and while I missed seeing my family, it was nice to not have anywhere to be or any obligations to fulfill. It was just me and my sweet little family that I love so very much.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Christmas Eve Pictures

Caulene listened to my plea and sent me these gems! I had no idea she had taken so many! They are all out of order though. . .

Aunt Caulene and Emma Dancing!
Aunt Heather and the hat!
Oh- here is the night gown Grandma Goodman made. Is it not the cutest thing ever?!
Checking out the Jammie Elf loot.
We are ALL very happy. Seriously- nice job, Judy!
I'm not sure what my dad is so excited about, but I love his face!
Emma did not want Caulene going anywhere.
I love it! Don't be mad, Mom. I wonder what Emma did to get this reaction. . .
They are telling secrets. . .
Caulene got them playing with a witches hat for some reason. . . I thought it was funny!
We are a very social family. . . I especially like the his and hers mac-books.
Thanks for sending these, Caulene! Now Grandma Goodman can stop harassing Ross about my lack of blogging. . . :)