Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Family: 2013


It's so fun to see how our family has grown in just the 4 short years that Eric and I have been married. Today in my primary class that I teach we talked about how Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave us families. Families that we can be with for eternity through the sealing power given in His holy temples. I am ever grateful for a family of my own that I have been blessed with. I hold so many dear memories with my family that I grew up in and I am excited to create memories with my own family! I can't wait to see the friendship that form between my sweet girls and to see who else the Lord has waiting to come be a part of our family, although please take note that this won't be for quite awhile ;). I'm excited to see the people my kids will one day become. I can't wait to continue the family vacations, the family traditions that will be created and giving my family a loving and peaceful place to call home!

So far it definitely hasn't always been smiles and laughter, but I hope that as Eric and I continue to figure out how to make our family strong and be good parents the majority of our days together will be filled with happiness and love!


Hope everyone is enjoying their Sabbath day!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Becoming a Better Me: Update

I have to apologize to those of you who enjoy reading my blog for the crafts or family updates. I am almost done with our kitchen table...still not exactly sure how I feel about the outcome yet. Regardless expect a post on that soon. As for our family, well as sad as it is we haven't done much worthy of a blog post lately. Eric has still been traveling every week and weekends have been packed with trying to get things done for the new house, clean and pack the one we're living in and other "not to exciting" things. However, next week I am flying with my mom to visit my sister in Oregon and am literally counting down the days! I feel like I've lost a best friend since she has left as well as getting to see that adorable little girl of her's.

In the mean time you get another post about my ramblings. Choose to continue on or just come back in the near future when I post some recent family pictures we had done :) Here's a little preview...


So a couple weeks ago I wrote a post where I made some goals to help me become a better me. Not everything went according to planned. The night after writing that post was the night Livy started officially sleeping through the night. I'm talking 9 PM and around 8 AM! I have no complaints about a full nights rest, but my 6:30 alarm clock was not longer waking up. No matter though because that was also the day Mia decided to start waking up an hour earlier at 7. It's like they can sense mom has made some changes based off their schedules so they should change it instantly. So instead, I get up when Mia gets up, take her to the bathroom and have her play in her room while I take a shower. After breakfast we all finish getting ready and are set for the day around 8:30. I then do my daily cleaning according to the cleaning chart I posted. I have LOVED this cleaning schedule! I feel like I am able to keep the house cleaned so much better and it doesn't seem like an overwhelming task. I get finished with that by 10 and have the rest of the morning to play with the girls until naptime in the afternoon where I can then have some "me" time. I'm amazed at how much more I'm accomplishing but still feel like I have the same, if not more, time than I did before.

For example, I take Mia to story hour at the library at 10:30 once a week and before, getting ready and out of the house by 10 even 11 was a struggle. Now we are all up and dressed with the house cleaned well before we need to go. This has definitely made me a happier mother!

Now that I have started to get my "every-day" life in order I have started focusing more on some inward goals. And the other night I came across something interesting. I actually read my real, hard copy scriptures instead of off my Iphone and I opened up to a post-it note of some goals I made when I was in high school. I found it interesting to look at the things I wanted to work on then, to how I improved on some of those things and what I am still working on. Here's the list:

- Do not say ANY mean things!! Ok, so I'm still working on this one. It's something I struggle with, but it's a dream of mine to one day leave this world being remembered as someone who was very nice and kind. Hopefully in the next 60 years I can make that happen!
-Be a better friend and sister. Now I would add wife and mother to this list as well. All things I am still working at daily as well!
-Work harder in school. If I only knew what little work high school entailed compared to college. Much to my dismay this is still something I am working on.
-Have positive thoughts!! This goal has taken on a whole new meaning to me today. Back then this had to do with my self image. As most teenagers are, I was very self-conscious about my body and looks. I put a lot of effort into becoming comfortable with my body. It's funny that after having 2 kids and weighing more then I did in high school I am a lot more confident in my body then I was then. Today I am always striving to have more positive thoughts on daily situations instead of trying to find all the bad things that happen.

And in lou of sharing my high school goals here's an oldie picture of me "back in the day". I'm not sure I'm old enough yet for terms like that but I like to think I am :)


I loved learning that I am not alone in my quest to be a better me through your comments! Your comments have been a great support to me! Thank you for them! And if you're reading this thank you for making it to the end of this post!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's Your Parenting Style on Discipline

I know this post is treading on controversial ground among professionals as well as mothers, but with a fully active toddler discipline is a subject I'm constantly being faced with and something I'd like to throw out there for conversation.

So what do you do when your toddler throws their whole dinner on the ground because they don't want to eat it? When they hit you or throw a loud, screaming tantrum in the middle of the store because they aren't getting what they want? When are they old enough to start really understanding that something is wrong and at what age should disciplinary actions be taken to enforce what we are trying to teach them?

Shortly after Mia turned 1 and was becoming more mobile and talkative, these were the sorts of questions running through my mind. Since then I have learned from my studies and through watching other mothers that there are a lot of different views and opinions on the subject of disciplining children as they are taught right from wrong. Here's my two cents on the matter:

First off I'll just state this up front...I am pro discipline.Now I'm not talking spankings or yell even though I will admit there have been times when I have lost my cool and have ended up yelling at my kids. Saying this I would like to put out there that I recognize that I am not a perfect mother and that I am still learning. I also recognize that each child is different and reacts to things differently. Therefore, take this as merely my stance on the subject and my views on what has worked for me so far.

A quote from THIS address given by President James E. Faust states my views on the subject of discipline perfectly! "Direction and discipline are certainly an indispensable part of child rearing. If parents do not discipline their children, then the public will discipline them in a way the parents do not like. Without discipline, children will not respect either the rules of the home or of society."

So that being said, I think there comes a time in a child's age when there needs to be a consequence for their actions for them to learn that something is wrong rather then just stating that it's a "no-no". For Mia it was between 18-24 months. I learned that starting earlier rather then later is best. My method was putting her in timeout facing a designated corner after firmly explaining to her why she was now in timeout. Let me tell you how much I hate this stage of disciplining! Although I tried to be consistent, I felt like Mia wasn't grasping a thing I was teaching her even after some days feeling like I spent most of my time putting Mia in timeout. Just when I was loosing hope and thinking I was going to be the worst mother at trying to raise a decent and well behaved child (while trying to keep in mind that she was only 2) Mia finally started making the connection between her actions and the consequences. I think because we started a little earlier with trying to help her learn the consequence of her actions rather then thinking she was too young to grasp what we were doing gave her the chance to learn as she developed and began to understand new things quicker then if we started later. Granted she still is not a perfect child in always obeying nor do I expect her to be, but I do get that "proud mommy" moment when I see Mia obeying me and doing as she should. 

To sum up what I've learned thus far:
- Read books, study up and seek advice on the topic of disciplining children but most importantly do what will work best for your child that will still be effective since you know them best.
- Start at a young age even if they don't seem to quite understand. I think it's better for them to grow to make the connect instead of trying to teach them later when in the past there has been no consequence tied to their actions.
-Try to really point out when they make progress however big or small. It warms my heart when I tell Mia how proud I am of her for being such a good girl and listening to Mommy and she gets all giddy with a big smile and yells, "Hooray, I did it!".
- Be consistent and push through!!! It's NO fun to discipline my kids, but I do it out of love in hopes that they can grow up to be respectful and obedient adults.
-Seek support. One day when I was feeling tired out on disciplining Mia and wondering if I was even doing it right I read a friends blog on the subject of disciplining her kids and it make me grateful that I wasn't the only one out there who was struggling with it and hated it.
-Something I am always having to remind myself...they're still just kids that are still learning and growing. Give them a break on the not so important things and try to just stress the things that matter most to you.

Do you believe in disciplining your children? At what age? And what are some things you've done that have worked to teach your children right from wrong? I would love to hear your answers and advice!

Linked To:
http://www.muchadoaboutsomethin.blogspot.com/2013/09/tell-us-tuesday-8.html
http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/tutorials/tutorials-tips-link-party-128.html

Monday, September 9, 2013

A New Beginning: Becoming a Better Me

Lately I've been feeling like I've stopped taking charge of my life and somehow stopped participating in the things around me. I've let my role as a single mother during the weeks swallow me up where I feel like it's given me an excuse to sit around to do nothing because of how exhausting it can be sometimes. Most days, unless we have somewhere to be, neither me or the girls are dressed. I lazy around in my pajama's and unwashed hair hoping that no one decides to knock on the door. I've also become so immersed in the world of social networks and Pinterest that I often find myself jumping on the computer to send/answer an email and end up spending at least on hour more checking other things all the while leaving Mia and Livy to entertain themselves. I'm feeling overwhelmed by how far behind I am in housework, like I have no energy and will to want to do much not to mention Mia is at the fun age where she is learning so much and likes to discover and experience new things. Things which I should be taking more time to show her and help her learn.

Just so people don't get a completely wrong idea of me and think I'm the worst mother, it's not this ALL the time, but I feel like it's happening more often then I would like. With the start of fall and the beginning of September it's always seemed to mark a "new" year or a new start for me. When I was in school it would be a time to make new goals and a start to a new routine for my new semester. So I thought this would be the perfect time to think about what makes me happy and feel more energetic as well as what are the things that are most important to me that I should be spending my time on. This has led to a list of new goals I would like to set and you're welcome to come along as well as join in my journey of becoming a better me.


The Goals:

- Get the girls and myself dressed and ready for the day first thing in the morning after breakfast.

- Early to bed, early to rise: I've been going to bed WAY to late and therefore wake up tired when the girls get up. So I plan to start going to bed earlier so when Livy gets up around 6:30 to eat I'll just stay up and use that as some "me" time to blog, exercise and shower.

- No computer or cell phone while the girls are awake.

- Do some kind of developmental/creative activity with Mia every day how ever big or small.

- Create a weekly cleaning and organization schedule for the housework and stick to it. I found this one on Pinterest the other day that I really liked.


- Strengthen a relationship every week whether it be my spouse, one of my girls, a friend, family member or neighbor.

Wish me luck on my first week with my new goals! Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Family Fun

It's been awhile since I've posted a "family" type post sadly because this is one of our first real weekends together actually doing something since before the fair at the beginning of August! And it couldn't have been spent a better way!

We left Friday morning for Vernal, but I insisted that we stop in Midway to check out Swiss Days. It's a celebration weekend Midway has with entertainment, booths, food and much more. We walked around and looked at all the fun booth they had and if I had more money and room I would have come home with a truck full of cute things. We ended up just settling for some cute wall prints for the girls rooms I have plans of hanging when/if we get into the new house.

That night Eric and his little brother set up tents in the backyard for a camp-out. Eric has been wanting to do this with Mia all summer, but just hasn't had time. I'm pretty sure Mia spent most of Friday evening/Saturday morning playing in the tents. Livy and I staying inside and each enjoyed a FULL nights rest. (For some reason my kids sleep amazing well at Grandpa and Grandma Caldwell's house.) We also did a little cook out Friday night too over a fire and enjoyed the beautiful weather.




Saturday all of us girls went out to lunch and did a little shopping while the boys watched the first BYU football game. This face pretty much explains the outcome of the game and how Eric felt about it. Not to mention he had to miss the last half to go take family pictures. He's a trooper.





Sunday and Monday were spent just relaxing and enjoying everyone's company. This family knows how to have fun together and I've always loved that about them. We can't wait for our next trip out!

While we were there I also took advantage of the natural light which we don't get a lot of living in a basement apartment and snapped some pictures of little Livy being her usual cute self.



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