Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ray of Light- Bradley

This was definitely a proud mama moment. As part of a homework assignment, Bradley was supposed to answer the following question:

Finish this sentence: I am thankful for (fill in the blank) because...

This was Bradley's response: I am thankful for presents that I give to people because I like to give them to people.

Let's just say I was pretty darn proud of my sweet little boy after hearing that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Something to remember...

I recently picked up a copy of Gary & Joy Lundberg's newest book Meeting Amazing Grace. Not that this post is really about the book itself, I will say that it was a good read...not as a novel like they say it is, but as a well written self-help book. There were many things about family and really just plain people interactions that I found to be good points and very helpful reminders. So I wouldn't say rush out to buy it, but if you have the chance to read it I think there is definitely a lot to be learned.

So now the the REAL point of this post. There was one particular quote that they mentioned that I really loved.

"The obstacles in front of you
are never as great as the power behind you."

To me that is a truly powerful statement. We ALL have the help of the Lord on our side if we will just take it. There truly is NO challenge too big to overcome with the help of the Lord. As I've said before,
"Life is hard, but with God, we can do hard things!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Faves!

So my friend Kenna posted what I thought was a really good idea. She posted her 7 favorite things about Thanksgiving. I think it's good to start thinking about what we appreciate so here are my 7 faves!

1. Saying what we're thankful for before we eat.
2. Making pies the night before.
3. The smell and taste of my dad's smoked turkey...TO DIE FOR!
4. Crazy family game nights every night of the weekend.
5. The tryptophan induced coma after the yummy meal.
6. Standing back and watching the hubub and excitement.
7. Being reminded that we are all SO tremendously blessed.

We really are SO blessed and I'm so thankful we have a holiday to remind us to be thankful. I love it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ray of Light

Here are few Rays of Light from my past few days:

*GREAT new neighbors...we've seriously had them over nearly every day since they moved in (and not because they were barging in on us, but because we mutually wanted to be around each other!)

*Sunny weather

*Trips to the park

*Watching Wall-E, I don't know how many times...but still getting a kick out of how much my boys LOVE it

*Breakfast with friends

*Dinner with friends

*Not having to take my kids out during sacrament meeting

*Receiving revelation on the most simple of things

*Truly praying and feeling the love of the Lord in return

*My support group: The Riverton chapter of DBSA celebrating it's 1st anniversary

*Snuggling on the couch with my hubby

*Hearing "Lub you!" from my 2 year old

*Getting kisses from my 4 year old

Life truly is good...even with the craziness!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ray of Light

Again, it's really the little things that happen each day that are so important and seem to make the biggest difference in my life.

My boys have always been pretty good eaters. Sure they have their issues, like anyone does, but generally speaking we don't fight them too much. Thank heavens! But yesterday as Braeden chowed down on his peaches and pears and begged me for some of mine this morning, it just made me really happy. What a simple thing, but a blessing none the less. I suppose not only to have a son who enjoys his fruit, but to have the fruit in the first place. Yes, our life is still definitely tight, but we have what we need and a little reserve and so I really couldn't ask for more. Life is good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ray of Light- Fall Fun

Yard work is not my most favorite of all tasks, but if having to do it means we own the home, then somehow it doesn't seem quite so bad.

Raking leaves seems to be the requisite fall yard work activity. Bradley has been DYING to help Ryan rake the leaves. For weeks he'd ask, but our dear little tree was still hangin' on for all she was worth, but recently, she produced a beautiful blanket upon our grass and Bradley got his wish.

It was the cutest thing to peek out the window and see Ryan and the boys having so much fun. There are a lot of things in life that make me happy, but somehow watching my husband and sons have fun together ranks at the very high, if not on the top of the list.

Here are some shots of the fun (p.s. Since I'm a totally paranoid mom and this is a public blog, I purposely didn't give you any super cute face shots):

Bradley proudly helping Daddy...he loves having his own rake.

Ready...Set...Jump! Seriously...what else are piles of leaves for?!

"Splashing" in the leaves!

"Leaves are falling all around...On my head and hands and toes!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ray of Light

So now that I've written my whinny post, I do want to let you know that I haven't stopped looking on the bright side of things.

My sweet boys have been struggling with getting up too early lately. I wish I could just blame it on the time change, but since it was happening before then, I guess that scapegoat is out. Anyway, we've really been working to help them sleep until at least 7 am so they aren't totally tired and grumpy all day.

Not today (but today was REALLY close), but the 2 days previous they've done it! HALLELUJAH! They are SO much happier when they sleep until then, not mention mama is a LOT happier too.

Miracles DO happen!


Today I was talking to one of my sweet friends that recently started the fight with depression. I've been SO glad I could be there as a support for her. It has been such an uplifting experience for me to think that the hell (and I don't use that word lightly) I've been going through can help someone else.

I admit that I was jealous of her today. She recently started taking antidepressants and she already feels so much better. I'm SO happy for her and I would NEVER want her to keep feeling awful, but I wish I was feeling better too! Yes, I realize she just started them and things could level off or change or it could even mean all sorts of other things, but I guess I'm just sad I never experienced that.

Immediately after I started my antidepressants was HORRIBLE (she did have a rough first few days too), but even after that subsided, I was only able to "kind of" function. It was definitely an improvement, but I wouldn't say I felt "good."

Even still, I'm definitely light years better than I once was, but I would still say I don't feel "good" as a general rule.

Don't worry...I am tired and having more of a slow day today (definitely partially my fault...I was up reading late)...but again as a general rule I am MUCH better than I was before taking meds or even 3-4 months ago. I guess I'm just having a bit of a pity party day...kind of throwing a 2 year old tantrum, "But I wanna feel better! (insert foot stomp) It's not fair!"

Anyway, for this dear friend and any one else that has found solace and peace, I am truly SO happy for you. It is nothing short of a miracle that there are drugs and treatments out there that really work. I know that Lord inspired the minds of those scientists who discovered these drugs. May those of us that struggle in this unique way, only continue to be blessed by advancements in modern medicine.

(okay...I think I'm better now...phew I just needed to vent!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tired...but the good kind!

Sunday night into Monday morning were HORRIBLE.

Most of Monday I slept.

Today I am tired...but the good kind of tired. As a general rule I'm not that up on the idea of being tired, but when I've had a good and productive day and I'm the "accomplished" kind of tired, I'm good with that. So I'm about to plop myself down on the couch and watch and good show then snuggle up in bed knowing I had a tiring, but productive day.

This definitely counts as a gold star day for me!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ray of Light- Warm Laundry

Okay, so I'm feeling in a pretty good mood at the moment and so I figured I should capitalize on it.

I know having the word "Laundry" in conjunction with a "Ray of Light" seems a little odd. No, I don't enjoy doing laundry. I definitely find it a necessary evil, but as I was pulling out the laundry from the dryer I couldn't stop thinking how nice the warm laundry felt on my cold hands.

So there is good to be found in pretty much everything...even the laundry!

I love my husband!

So I think I've mentioned before, my weight has always been an issue for me. I've had varying levels of success with different things, but especially after having kiddos, I've been up and down. Anyway, I've really started to hit things hard again these last few weeks, but sometimes I get frustrated with my lack of success.

Last night I was complaining to Ryan about my weight issues as well as the outcome of the election (sorry, not an Obama fan) and being the sweetheart that he is, Ryan listened dutifully. In an attempt to lighten the mood Ryan told me, "Well since Obama is all about redistribution, maybe he could implement redistribution of weight. All of the underweight people take 5 lbs. from the overweight people."

If only it was possible! That would be the best! I think I might sign up for 40-50 lbs! YEEHAW!

Okay, so in reality that won't work (DARN!), but it did lighten the mood. I'm so blessed to have such a patient husband that listens to all of my craziness!

I love you Ryan!

Ray of Light- Sunshine

Today has been really cold here in Utah, but by some miracle (or maybe just weather patterns) it's still been sunny in our little valley. We had a little blustery snow, but not much. I just feel so blessed each time the sun comes out. It makes ALL the difference for me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This past weekend was fun and busy with Halloween and what not, but one particular event made my weekend. I was browsing the blogs that I check and my 4 year old came into the room. I figured I'd try to hit the blogs of people he knew. At one of them we found the following movie. I could definitely see how this was funny, but to him and his cute little 4 year old mind, it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen. I don't know how many times he asked to watch it. It just brought such a smile to my face. Needless to say, this and the next video posted have been a large part of my weekend.

If you can't see the player, click here!

After seeing the one above, we found him some other funny cat videos. The middle of this one (cat vs. fan) was his FAVORITE part.

If you can't see the player, click here!

How simple is his pleasure. I love it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ray of Light- Halloween

In some ways it seems kind of ironic that I'd have Halloween down as a "Ray of Light." For many, Halloween conjurers images that have nothing to do with light...but not at our house.

We really enjoy Halloween, but not for the dark, scary, or sinister side, but for the costumes, kids, and candy side. My 2 darling boys were crayons this year (yes, I did recycle last year's costumes, but if they still fit, why not?!). In true 2 year old form, Braeden wouldn't wear his hat, so he was a pointless crayon, but they still looked cute nonetheless.

At first Braeden wanted nothing to do with his costume. He even had 2 other occasions to wear his costume and even when many other kids were wearing theirs (commonly motivation for him to do things...good old peer pressure), he still refused (literally kicking and screaming) to wear his. I suppose it's all about proper motivation...chocolate. We just had to ask him if he wanted to get chocolate...which being my son, he naturally did...but we told him it was conditional on wearing his costume. Let's just say the crayon outfit was looking pretty good about then.

Armed with a red and navy crayon, we set out to pound the pavement in search of chocolate. Bradley, being 4, was a natural. He was all about knocking/ringing to get the goods and without much practice Braeden was right there with him. And when they were later joined by another friend Braden (my friend Susanna 2 year old son) the 3 of them made quite the team.

This is where I really think my "Ray of Light" comes in...the excitement in their eyes. No, it's not some noble act that inspired them, but it is something that I think is part of every happy childhood. I remember the excitement and anticipation of Halloween. I loved it. And how simple and sweet is their amusement. Candy isn't some huge event, but being the sweet children they are, enough to light up their whole month, let alone the evening of procuring the candy.

Then after tromping home (with little Braeden literally dragging his bag...he wouldn't let me help him carry it), we sat down to dinner. With our children's early bedtime, we went and finished earlier than most so we obviously didn't eat dinner in peace...but that made it all the more fun. Both my boys were so excited each time someone came to the door. Bradley was especially excited about being the "candy sorter" (i.e. the giver of candy). Again, this was another simple act that placed the light and joy of anticipation in their eyes. How sweet that they were as excited to share candy with others as they were to receive their own.

Often, as I look at my situation, I think about children and how little things amuse them. When I stop to get excited about the little things, I find my life much more fulfilling. How would it be if we were all more easily amused by what life has to offer...I think we'd have a far less cynical and depressing world.

Now don't get my wrong...the chocolate involved in the night's events did contribute to my happiness (yes, I'm amused by chocolate too), but again, the biggest sense of satisfaction came in the excitement and light in their eyes. That sweet and simple anticipation characteristic of our most precious gift...children.