Thursday, December 13, 2012

Having faith is hard....but rewarding

One of the big things that we believe in being a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints is that we are able to receive revelations for ourselves and those we have stewardship's over; such as our family and that if we have faith the Lord will lead us along the way down the path that will make us eternally happy. Knowing this has always been a comfort to me; however I feel that it has also been a struggle to learn to align my will with the Lords.

Having faith sometimes means being led into the dark where we can't see where we are going, but only the one guiding us knows. This is the part that is most hard for me and the one lesson I seem to constantly keep getting humbled about by the Lord. My plans in life hardly seem to be the plan the Lord has for me and is not the direction I should really go in life. In the moment of my decision I can see a clear path of where I'm headed, but after praying to receive guidance from the Lord I know that it is not the right one. In these times in my life (which have seemed to be many) I sadly must admit that it sometimes takes a lot of humbling on my part to change directions and have faith that the Lord is guiding me down a better path.

Looking back on some of these experiences at those moments where I walked away from what I had planned and tried to align my will with the Lords I can now clearly see the Lord was leading me down the path that has made me more happy then I could know. One is putting me in the right place and situation to meet Eric. I can tell you that it was definitely not my plan to get married at age 19 and in fact I had already except to go to BYU Hawaii the next fall which had always been something I wanted to do. As much as I loved Eric I will admit that it was a decision I prayed often about if continuing to date him and ultimately marry him was the right thing since it didn't really align with other things I had planned and we were so different is our personalities. I kept feeling peace from the Lord that it was definitely the right thing and turns out that the Lord knew me better then I knew myself because marrying Eric has been the BEST choice I ever made!

I have seen the Lord's hand in so many other experience like this since then and as hard as it is to walk away from things we want in the moment and think are right, I keep just holding to the fact that the Lord has a plan for me and is leading me along to what will make me a better person and to what will make me eternally happy which is His promise to all His children who have faith in Him and follow Him. It's not always an easy task, but it's definitely worth it if it means doing something hard and going through trials for but a moment to ultimately be truly happy with the ones we love.

Lastly, I want to thank all of those people who have been great examples in my life of having faith in and following the Lord's promptings. It has helped build my faith and has strengthened me greatly.

And for those of you who thought this was some cute update about our family and ended up reading this, many thanks. This was really just something I wanted to document and remind myself of after a difficult week.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are alittle children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
 And ye cannot abear all things now; nevertheless, be of goodbcheer, for I will clead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the driches of eeternity are yours.
And he who receiveth all things with athankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an bhundred fold, yea, more." D&C 78: 17-19

Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Last weekend we went to Vernal for William's baptism. To be honest I think that was the first baptism I've been to since my little brother's which was almost 6 years ago! We were glad we got to be there to witness such a special event for William. Also while we were there we all went up the mountain to get Christmas trees. This year was much easier with just enough snow the pull Mia along in a sled, but still making it easy to get around. We all found our trees within 45 minutes, which I would call a record! 

(I didn't bring my camera on this trip so you get lovely pictures from Eric's phone)

Mia kept trying to get off the sled as we were pulling it so she could play in the snow so we  would keep pilling snow up on the sled for her to play with (basically eat, but she did get William good a few times with an unexpected snow ball :)

My sister always makes fun of our "Charlie Brown" christmas tree every year, but I honestly love nothing more then the experience of a family outing up the mountain to find "the one" tree; although imperfect, to take home and make beautiful with lights and ornaments. It has been a great family tradition for both of us growing up and one we hope to continue! Fortunately for us since coming home and putting the tree up, Mia has shown zero interest in it so that has been nice not having keep an eye on her with that.  

Another thing we are trying this year somewhat of a gift advent for Mia. I've seen on pinterest where they wrap 25 Christmas books that the kids get to unwrap one each day to count down to Christmas. I've also seen the same idea with little gifts each day. Both sounded rather pricey and taxing trying to come up with 25 things to unwrap each day so we decided to do the German tradition way and have a little gift for Mia to unwrap on the 4 Sunday's before Christmas. I figured this would also help Mia practice her unwrapping skills, which after seeing them last Sunday they could definitely use some work!

So after putting up the Christmas tree and watching the Christmas devotional last Sunday we let Mia unwrap the first gift. The was actually not a small gift and a little bit of a splurge (with a gift card though so it actually didn't cost me anything) but we got Mia the Fisher Price Nativity set. My mom had something like this when we were young and we loved playing with it so I wanted one for my kids. The set was $38 at amazon.

 So far it has been a huge hit with Mia! She loves pressing the angel on top that plays a Christmas song and playing with all the people. I love watching her starting to pretend play! It is one of the cutest things to watch

Here a some quick updates on Mia:

She LOVES stickers. They are all over our house, one the walls, the furniture, our clothes and in Mia's hair. I just have to giggle when I look in the mirror and see them all over the back of my shirt. She loves to color and will color at Eric's desk when he is gone for 30 minutes at a time.

The excitement of feeding herself has faded, but she has become very interested in trying to dress herself. I found her getting into a basket of laundry full of clothes trying to put our socks on her feet.


Friday, November 30, 2012

The "Big" Annoucement

For those of you who don't already know we are expecting baby #2 for our family, due April 29th (just 2 days after Mia's birthday)! After the miscarriage of the twins last April we decided we wanted to jump right back into trying to have another baby again and were blessed to only have to have waited 3 months until we found out I was pregnant again.

To be honest, last time I was pregnant I took for granted what a blessing God has given us to bring His children into this world and entrusts them to our care. Instead I would get caught up in all the "not so fun" things about being pregnant and the craziness that would come with having more children. After losing the twins I realized how fragile that gift really is so this time around it has helped me try to overlook not sleeping well for 9 months, swelling everywhere and the crazy transition to adding another child and focus on the sweet spirit who will be coming into our family.

I caved and let Eric take a picture of me since I haven't posted one for awhile and notice  the stocking holder behind me that I crafted this week of feeling good.
I am now 19 weeks along and past the "sickness" stage. Now I am in what I like to call the "heaven" stage on being pregnant where I am no longer sick and I actually feel like doing things, I'm big enough to finally get some comfort in maternity cloths and not look funny but still not big enough yet to feel uncomfortable and a baby kicking my ribs all day.

Now for the "Big" announcement! We had our ultrasound appointment today and since Eric and I both agree that we are not the couple who likes the surprise when it comes to finding out the gender of our kids we found out what baby #2 will be.

May I introduce miss Livy Caldwell

That's right we are having another sweet baby girl and we both couldn't be happier. I think Eric secretly likes his daddy's girl and is thrilled to have another. They do have a way of melting your heart. And as you have seen we already have a name. (It's official people so we can skip the "naming" conversation, which with Mia would go on for hours sometimes!)
The proof that she is a girl :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Thanksgiving of Firsts!

This year's Thanksgiving season was full of "first's" for our family. First on the list was hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner! Since not all of my siblings are on the same schedule to be with each other for the holidays we decided to do a pre-thanksgiving dinner with each other the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This was also the first time we had an apartment big enough to do this so it was nice to have room for everyone! This dinner led to some more firsts including cooking my first turkey! I will admit that I was very apprehensive to do this even though I volunteered myself to be in charge of it. After buying a 21 lb turkey and letting in thaw in the fridge I decided to get brave and try something I've never seen done before which is let the turkey soak overnight in a brine before cooking it. This led to my success in cooking a juicy and perfect turkey!

Eric taking the honors of cutting the turkey

My oldest brother, Nathan and youngest brother Seth came in the night before for the dinner and Tyler and Sara's families came up that Sunday. We also had a good friend and two of my cousins join us as well. Us girls pitched in by taking different things to make for dinner and we also all made a different pie. While the turkey was cooking we tried out the new Just Dance 4 game for the xbox kinect. Sadly I didn't snap any pictures of this, but I will tell you we all got our dance moves on along with quite a lot of laughter.

For dinner we were all able to sit down to a table together and enjoy a delicious meal! After dinner Sophia and Mia decided to sneak off into the bathroom and have a little party of their own by playing with the toilet water, toilet brush and a whole roll of toilet paper. That bathroom was a disaster by the time we discovered them and they both received a bath! Annelise got a picture so I'll have to get that from her to show you the damage. It will be interesting to see what these two connivers come up with when they can actually communicate with each other and when Addi can join them!

It was so fun to have everyone over and experience a little bit of what it's like to host Thanksgiving. I  love that family lives close and glad we all got to be together before everyone starts moving away to graduate  schools and such next year.

Now we're on to another big first for our family. This year we spend Thanksgiving with Eric's' family in Disneyland! They have a tradition in their family when someone turns 8 they get to go so it worked out that Will's (Eric's little brother) birthday was over Thanksgiving break where we all could go.

We left Wednesday evening for California and got in just in time to put Mia to bed (a very tired and cranky girl from missing her nap) and headed over to the park before it closed to ride some the attractions. I hadn't been to Disneyland since I was 7 so it was all pretty new to me as well. We spend the next 2 days hooping between Disneyland and California Adventures. William pretty much only wanted to do the rides that Mia could go on so that worked out well, however Mia didn't show much interest in the ride unless it had some kind of thrill factor to do it. Her favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean and only at the parts it dropped down. I think we have a little thrill seeker on our hands just like her daddy. Mia still did a LOT better during the trip then I expected with all the lines we had to stand in and all the time she spend in her stroller.  It was also nice that we stayed in the Disneyland Resort so we were able to easily take her back to the hotel room for naps and bedtime. However, she wasn't quite old enough to show as much excitement in being there as someone a little older would have.

Mia in line for her very first ride which she really like (regardless of this looks in the following pics lol)
I couldn't resist posting this. I just have to laugh that pretty much all of Mia's faces from this trip in her pictures are frowning basically because it was too bright outside.

I just love these two!
The camera people who worked there wouldn't get out of the way so I had to snap this picture as they were all about to walk away. Maybe that's their trick to make you buy theirs.
The Birthday Boy!

We had some much fun being able to celebrate William's birthday with him and be with Eric's whole family at the "happiest place on earth", which mostly is that way when you get to be there with family having fun! And while we were having so much fun I might have overlooked that fact that I hardly took any pictures which I am already kicking myself for!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mia Love

No...not the republican running for congress in Utah...but a post all about Mia! I realized that it has been awhile since I've updated everyone on all the new things Mia is learning.

If you can believe it, my baby is now 18 months old! The big thing about turning 18 months is that she no longer has to make all of church miserable for us but can now go to nursery! She of course loves it! Mia has never been one to be really attached to us, in fact the minute we set her down anywhere she seems to start booking it in the other direction. Having a very adventurous toddler is fun but makes it extra hard sometimes when we're out, because we basically spend our time chasing her around, but has been nice for things like babysitters and nursery.

Mia is learning LOTS of new words! It's so fun to one day hear her say a word I haven't really been trying to teach her, but just picking up on things I always so to her. I guess we need to start watching what we say! Her vocabulary includes the following words:

"Mia" (not sure if she has made the connection yet that she is saying HER name)
"Here ya go" and "Here we go"
"Tank dou" (Thank you)
"Nigh nigh" ("night night")

She can tell you what a cat, cow and bear say. She has started giving big hugs where she wraps her arms around your neck and now kisses with her mouth closed so they are not as slobbery. Mia can eat a bowl of cereal all by herself with a spoon and can also use a fork. She gets scared when people knock on the door or ring the door bell for some reason. Her favorite movies are Tangled and Finding Nemo and she LOVES to have books read to her, especially "Go Dogs Go" and her Sandra Boynton books. Mia is also getting better at listening to me when I ask her not to do something and even isn't too bad at staying in time-out when I set her in corner. Sometime when I just warn her that if she does something again she will have to go to time-out in the corner she'll walk over to the corner and sit down like she is in trouble already. I have to keep from laughing a little. Lastly, Mia is so playful and loves playing with friends and of course her Dad!

Also as of this week Mia not longer uses pacifiers. Before she only ever got one during her afternoon nap so she didn't really use it a lot anyway, so when she bit through her last pacifier I decided to just get rid of it all together. It only took her one day to really adjust to napping without it and hopefully stays that way!

My favorite thing right now is when I go and get Mia in the mornings or after her naps she holds her blanket up to me and wants me to wrap her in it and snuggle with her for a few minutes. Then she proceeds to give me a big hug with her cute cheesy smile.

Although this girl can be all drama sometimes, nothing has giving me more pleasure then to be her mom. I don't know what I would do when Eric was gone if I didn't have her to keep me smiling, regardless of how tiring it can be some days.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Family Activity #2: Cornbelly's

Instead of our annual Halloween Dinner Party just for the adults, Sara and I opted for something a little more casual and less work this year. We invited friends to join us with their families at Thanksgiving Point's Cornbelly's where fun was had for the whole family along with cookies and hot chocolate. If you live in the Utah County area and haven't been to Cornbelly's its great for the whole family and you can tell they really put a lot of thought into making it "kid-friendly" for all ages.

Although I love to throw a good party, I didn't miss all the stress that comes along with it so this year was a lot more enjoyable. It was also fun to do something with the kids. Since it got dark so fast and we were doing things I didn't get a whole lot of pictures of the night, but a big thanks to everyone who came. We had a blast!

Mia's little buddy Cohen. These two always have a good time together.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Family Activity: Pumpkin Carving

For the first time in what seemed like forever, Eric was finally home this week for work. Last couple times he has been home we've had so many things going we hardly get to do anything together. We were starting to notice the distance in our relationship and decided to make an extra effort to do more things together and as a family when we get the chance.

We kept driving by this huge pumpkin patch down the road we always go down, so one day this week we decided to go and get pumpkins to carve. This was a fun experience then just going to the store and grabbing one, plus was a great out for Mia.

This is Mia's "intense" face.  Boys watch out!

The next night we cleared out a space in our kitchen to paint/carve pumpkins as well as enjoy pizza and some Halloween candy. This night even included the "Family Halloween" pandora channel for some good ambiance music for this festive night. Mia enjoyed playing with the paint and painting her pumpkin, but wasn't too sure about playing with the insides of the pumpkin.

Mia's final product! We taped it before she painted to say "BOO".
My crazy skeleton
...and Eric's scary pirate
Overall this was a very fun and long needed family night! It has gotten me excited for all the holidays coming up and all the fun things we can do together as a family.

Shout out to Sister Medlyn

A couple weeks ago while Eric was in Japan for a business trip Mia and I caught a ride home to Ely with my parents to spend the week there. Not only is it always good to be home, especially during the fall season (one of my favorite seasons for Ely) but I also got to spend some time with my best friend Ashly before she left for her mission to Tallahassee Florida.

From meeting that first day in gym class in the 7th grade, to weekly movies and dessert binges,  to crazy and unplanned trips, to speaking together at high school graduation, weekly lunches on BYU campus, from weddings, births, funerals and as of most recent a mission farewell besides my twin sister, Ashly is my closest friend.

To celebrate Ashly going on her mission and to have one last girls night before she left Sara, Ashly and I went to the General Relief Society meeting again this year. Traffic was horrific so we were a little late getting there, but it was a spiritually uplifting meeting. I loved how they focused on the atonement and what it can do for us in our lives.

My other best friend who is good enough to also keep me company when Eric is away.
 Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for dinner, but decided not to get as crazy with the ordering as we did last year. Talking miles a minute, lots of laughter and switching stories constantly, I’m sure anyone sitting around us must have thought we were the craziest group of girls. Needless to say we had a great evening!

Anyway, so this post is to a great friend but also an amazing example who has played such a big role in who I am today. I'm excited for Ashly's new adventure and think she will be a strong and faithful servant and friend to those in Florida.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DIY Wall Bookshelves

After posting about wanting to make these wall bookshelves last December I finally talked Eric into helping me make these for Mia's bedroom. Eric resists doing projects with me since I can be a little bit of perfectionist and can make a situation stressful if things don't go as planned. However, after promising to contain myself we heading to Home Depot for some wood and supplies. We ended up finding 1x2 and 1x4 pieces of wood that were already white. These were a little more expensive then the regular wood boards but I think in the end of not having to buy paint, sand and prime it was definitely worth it!

The plans/tutorial for this project is from Ana White blog HERE. So easy!!

After getting all the supplies for these shelves it came out to be just about $10 a shelf, so about $40 for the whole project!

I just LOVE how these turned out as well as being able to finally take Mia's books out of their boxes from the move so we could actually use them!

This is what a like to call a project success!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Remember us the Caldwells...who seemed to drop off of the blogging planet for the last month?! Well I am back and apologize for the long break in between posts. I have recently been working on my photography business as well as that blog so I have neglected this one. Not to mention I haven't taking pictures of our family for quite some time so this last weekend I made it a goal to take some so I could update you all on our lives as of prepared for LOTS of pictures.

Eric has been gone during the week days working in Venture, California so it was back to being a single parent for me. The first week was rough since Mia was teething and just not a happy camper, but it seemed to go smoother from there. I think we are finally adjusting to our new lifestyle and making it work for our family. I wouldn't say this is for every family, but it seems to be working for us at the moment and I will always be grateful for Eric for working to provide for us, whatever it is so I can stay home and be with my favorite little girl!

Since Eric is only home on the weekends we try to make the most of them so this last weekend for Labor Day we made a long needed trip to Vernal to see Eric's family. We hadn't been there since last Easter! The trip there was beautiful as we were able to already see the changing color of the leaves while driving in the canyons.

Saturday Eric's grandparents took us on a rather long day trip to a historic site 2 hours from Vernal to Browns Park and Jarvie Ranch. It was right on the Green River and was a beautiful overcast afternoon. We started by having lunch there before we took a tour of the historical ranch built by John Jarvie in 1880. 

My two favorite people who I love to piece!

And your very own, personal picture tour of the ranch...I'm sure you're thrilled!

This was Mia...a very sad girl who missed her nap...before we got in the car to leave.
Sunday after having a really yummy dinner Eric's grandparents decided to take a stroll in the Maser cemetery which we joined them on.

Before we left Will took Mia for a ride in his little truck. She thought it was so fun!

Regardless of my total dislike of pets Mia loves them. I don't know if they love her so much though lol.
Mia and Dad where chasing Grandpa and I couldn't resist snapping pictures of all her cute faces!

Mia found some sprinklers at the cemetery to run through

This is what she looked like after the fact!
 We enjoyed our weekend in Vernal with family!
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