Happiness is a Journey, not a destination.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Busy, Busy, and completely exhausted...

So, to catch up...

Worked last Thursday night. Crazy busy for most of the shift. Friday morning, sent the boys to school, dropped Talia off at daycare, went home, slept for another 1 1/2 hours...then off to scrapbook for the weekend.

Scrapbooking was really fun. I got 26 pages done! Now Talia's baby album is caught up to 6 months, and our family album is caught up to October 2006. (All that matters is that I enjoy scrapbooking, not how caught up I am! :))

When I got home Saturday, I was tired but glad to hang out with my family. Talia was especially glad to see me...and has not let me out of her sight since. I was still tired though...

I slept almost 12 hours Sat night into Sunday morning!!! When I woke at almost 11 am, I was shocked...I never sleep that late anymore. Usually something wakes me. It felt nice. I fixed a nice Sunday dinner for my family, and another amazing thing happened....Alec ate Roast beef. And had seconds. And ate 2 bites of Mashed potatoes. Without throwing up. This was an amazing day for our extremely picky eater.

Monday, it was time to catch up on all the grownup stuff. I went grocery shopping, which (because I only go monthly) was a long process. It takes me about 4 hours, between the shopping, checking out, loading, unloading, and putting away. Now that I have my food storage going on in my basement, it took a bit longer...I had to haul some of our groceries downstairs. And catalog them (So we know what's down there). I'm really pleased with how it's growing, though....

Monday night, We attended the viewing for Derek. As terrible as the situation was, I was impressed with the peaceful spirit of grief that was there. The last time I attended a viewing for a young man, the spirit of the grief was much more tragic and volatile. This time, however, there was peace in the grieving. It's hard to explain. I feel blessed.

Today, I woke exhausted again. I felt barely functional, and am still wondering why my energy levels are so low today. Tonight, with caffeine in my system, I'm hanging in there...

Lots going on tomorrow, and yes, Rachael, I plan to do the tag as soon as I can take some pics to go with it. I also hope to post a few pics of the scrapbook pages I completed this weekend...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wake up Calls...

I work in a life or death business. A good deal of what I do is keeping babies alive. You would think that I would have a daily understanding of the reality of life and death. However, I got a huge wake up call about the fragility of life....

I got up a bit early to make waffles for the kids. I turned on the Fox 13 news, because I'm a news junkie and I like their news the best (usually). On comes a report on a chase in Ogden last night, that resulted in the death of 2 innocent teens. Somehow, I had a bad feeling that I knew one of them. Sure enough, I did. The 18 year old young man who died, was our neighbor until last fall. His mom was Alec's preschool teacher for 2 years, his Dad was our home teacher, and his sister was one of my young women (one of the ones I am closest to). At first in shock, then hoping it wasn't really acceptance and grief. He was such a nice young man with a promising future. Thank goodness for our religious foundation. How else do you get through these things?

I can't even imagine what his family must be going through. As a parent, how do you deal with the loss of a child? It makes me want to hold my children all the closer, treasuring every moment I have with them, because I have to accept that although I want to see them grow to old age, the Lord may have other plans.

Needless to say, I've had quite a contemplative morning. Woken up with a real slice of reality.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Almost there. I made it through the worst part of the schedule, and though we were crazy busy, I survived. Now, I have 1 more shift tomorrow, and then off for 4 days.

Thanks for the smiles, Rachael....Christie, I'm going to have to try that, I might have better mornings that way. Michele, I can't wait to talk and scrap with you, and Diane, I don't think that will be a problem!

Today was pretty's nice that Talia watches movies now, because it gives me an opportunity to doze on the couch. So she watched, I dozed, and woke up after nap time relatively energized. Cole took Alec to soccer practice, and took Talia along to play on the playground, so everyone will probably come home happy and dirty.

My tulips are blooming (I didn't expect them to, because I've ignored them for the entire time we've owned the house), my lilies are starting to come up, and my lavender might have survived the winter. I'm loving the warm weather, and hope everyone else is too!

Now, if people would quit burning weeds (I really, REALLY hate the smell) it would be near perfect!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pushing through...

I'm in a difficult stretch in my work schedule right now...2 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off, 1 on. I'm in the second 2 on. I'm really tired...I didn't really recover yesterday, and although I slept really great last night, I was awakened by the birds quite early. This spring weather is great, I love having my windows open and the fresh air streaming through the house...I just need to get used to the birds again, so they don't wake me early. If that's possible.

Our weekend was filled with soccer games, cleaning the church, and visiting family. THANK YOU to everyone who came to help Cole this week at the church. It made my life so much easier...I was able to go back to bed and Cole took over at the soccer games. It's so nice that my husband is always willing to take over so that I can try to get the sleep I need. I'm really lucky to have him.

Sunday, I slept in, and after church we visited my MIL and later my parents. We got to go on our first walk of the was nice, and I'm looking forward to walking with my parents on most Sunday nights.

This morning, after having to drag myself out of bed, I was tired but not in a bad mood. Until....when I went into Talia's room, she had taken off her diaper...before she had even wet in it...and her bed, blankie, sheets, everything was soaked through. Needless to say, I was NOT a happy mommy after that. It added one more load of laundry to the stack I already had to do. We're going to have to work on getting her to keep her clothes on...

We've been busy at work, admitting babies every night I've worked. I'm still hoping to get called off on Thursday night, but if I don't...if you work with me and would like to work the 2nd half of my shift on Thursday, (S.V.:)) give me a call and let me know.

If I can just survive the week, my reward is scrapbooking all weekend....

Friday, April 17, 2009


I have always been a good student. I love to read, love to write, etc...although, starting in 5th grade, math became a struggle because I disliked it so much. I never minded spelling tests, book reports, or any manner of school assignments. So I'm often baffled by the intensity of which I dislike doing homework with my kids. I really, REALLY dislike homework. I resent the time it takes...takes away from my family, takes away from my time on my days off...and I know it's hard on Cole too on the nights I'm at work. I'm sure it's partly because when I was in school, homework was almost non-existent...I had to read, study spelling words, and of course take home anything I didn't finish...but for me that wasn't much (until 5th grade math :)). So I never minded the occasional book report or project. Maybe my parents did, I don't remember...but my mom is a teacher, so she always was able to help me focus on what I needed to do for this or that project. Don't get me wrong...we've been very, very blessed to have teachers that for the most part believe in minimal homework. I think they do fine with what they do...but the sheer amount of work kids are now expected to do makes it necessary for kids to do some of it at home. I don't like this change, but it's not up to me.

So, Tuesday Kyle had his county report due. He had been assigned Box Elder county. We've known about this for a couple of weeks. He had a power point presentation, most of which was to be done at school, and an oral report. So, Kyle was sick for 3 days during the first week of April. The week they worked on most of the Power Point during class. Ok, well, we told Kyle to get as much done during the time left at school, then bring it home over spring break, and we would finish it. Well, guess who left their flash drive at school over spring break. With his report due on Tuesday, the first day back.
So, Cole went and bought another flash drive, and he and Kyle (because I worked most of it) spent spring break starting over on the power point, working on his oral report, and making fake ice cubes with Box Elder bugs in them (out of casting resin). By the time Monday came around, we were all tired of Box Elder county, tired of working on the report. I helped Kyle do his display board on Monday and enjoyed the creative effort of helping him figure out how to lay it out, and making letters with my Cricut for him to glue on, if not the time it took to actually do it.

So, Tuesday came around, and his teacher wasn't there, so his report got changed to today. The fake ice cubes were the attention getter, and according to Cole, who went and watched the report, they were a big hit. The report itself went well, Kyle got nervous (of course, doesn't everyone?).

From April 2009

Starting out
From April 2009

Over all, it went well, we're glad it's done, and now I'm trying not to dread state reports next year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Our storage room. I last cleaned and organized it 2 years ago, when I was on maternity leave. I've been trying to get to it since Christmas, every time I went down to try to get to anything it was driving me crazy. Partly because I'm not the one who dumps stuff on the floor or wherever. That is usually other members of the household...


All cleaned and organized, with a couple of shelves completely cleared for the food storage I'm trying to build up...and I took a load to the DI that filled up the entire back of my car from floor to ceiling. So I could go to yoga tonight with a clear conscience ;)....

Tomorrow I'm going to tackle Talia's toys, clothes, and hopefully the craft/computer the very least I need to go through all my scrapbooking stuff before I go scrapbooking on the 24th...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

It was a long, fun, and sometimes frustrating Easter weekend. Of course, I had to work Thursday and Friday...Saturday I got up at 10:15 to take the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt. Kyle only has 1 more year left after this one..he'll be too old after that. So, we went...for the first time in a long time the weather was pretty was overcast, but not cold and not windy. I sent the boys to wait with their age groups, and went with Talia to her age group. At first she was really excited....
From April 2009

However, as we continued to wait, she decided that she did not want to be told "no, we have to wait until it's time". She threw an impressive tantrum (for her, the tantrum thing is relatively new).
From April 2009

Finally it was time...and the tears magically dried up! All the kids got a bunch of stuff, and so everyone was happy.
From April 2009

We dyed eggs Saturday night...which was an experience, because both Cole and I were grumpy. Me, because I was tired, and Cole because he had been dealing with Kyle's county report all weekend (more on that tomorrow). Talia dyed her hand and her shirt, and broke 2 eggs, before it was done...And there are no pics of me, because I was NOT in a picture mood.....
From April 2009

From April 2009

From April 2009

Sunday morning we woke the kids especially early to hunt for was so fast, I hardly had time to take pics. They all loved their Easter gifts....
From April 2009

From April 2009

From April 2009

After church, we headed over to my In-laws for dinner....

Then we headed over to my dad did an egg hunt for the kids, but by the time I got out there with Talia, the other kids were all done!
From April 2009

Last night we were exhausted...but it really was a good day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So, this is a little embarrassing to admit, but probably close to normal for the parents of 3 children, one of whom is a toddler. The last movie we saw in theaters was "Indiana Jones, and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". It came out in May 2008, and we saw it a couple of days after it was released. I think Cole took the boys to see a couple of movies I didn't really care to see last summer, but the fact is...we've been out of the movie loop. We both work, and the kids are young...and when I have a night off, I don't like to leave the kids very often. When we do leave the kids, we usually have other things to do, like Birthday or Christmas shopping, etc.

Last night, we set out to remedy our movie-less situation. We got a sitter for Talia, and took the boys to see "Monsters vs Aliens" in 3D. I'm not a huge fan of 3D...the glasses are irritating to me. However, I was really glad we went. It was a good movie, a total spoof on all the old "Monster" movies of the 50's...with a really good message. There were some inside jokes that I found totally hilarious as well. The boys enjoyed it, both want to see it again.

Afterwards, we went over to Goodwood Barbeque for dinner. Since we snacked in the movie, we weren't extremely hungry...Cole and I split a 4 meat combo, and had a taste of everything. It was really good, and I really want to go back. We hadn't been there before because Cole isn't a huge fan of barbeque.

Imagine my sadness this morning...waking up to more SNOW! The weather's been so nice, and I knew we were getting rain...and rain is ok, it's a spring thing. The skiff of snow on my lawn wasn't completely unexpected...I do live on the bench...but I'm so tired of snow!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

So, it's been a long weekend, starting with the boys being sick most of last week...
(this post will have a bunch of pics, so beware...)

Talia took advantage of her brothers' not feeling well by finding everything they don't want her to have....
From April 2009

Against my better judgement, I let Alec play soccer on Saturday morning, because he swore he was fine...
From April 2009

He actually did really well during his 8 am game, despite the freezing temperature, but when he got home he didn't want to eat, spiked a fever, and spent most of the afternoon sleeping...I really should have listened to my intuition, but I really thought I was trying to make an excuse not to take him. I had worked the night before and had to go back to work, and I really, really wanted to go back to bed.

Sunday I spent most of the morning sleeping, recovering from the limited amount of sleep I had while working the weekend. When I got up, I baked a cake (again, our family's homemade chocolate cake...mmmmmmm, YUMMY!) and decorated it again. I was very pleased, I figured out the icing tinting this time, and it turned out even cuter than the first one....
From April 2009

Talia loved all her presents. "Belle" Princess dishes from Gracie (and her wonderful parents Chris and Brenda, and my nephews too), A cute little french poodle toy with click on accessories from Aunt Heidi and Uncle Adam (it's really great to write Uncle Adam...we're so glad he's part of our family!), but the big deal present was from Nana and Papa...
From April 2009

ALL the kids were enthralled. Of course, Talia wanted it put together immediately. She LOVES it...I like it too, but I really can't wait until it's warm enough to take it outside.
My nephew Hunter was absolutely charming and adorable....
From April 2009

His mommy said he'd been grumpy, but I don't know if I believe her ;)...he was perfect at my house!

Talia has been stripping off her footie pajamas every night the last couple of weeks(at least she's leaving her diaper on!). She likes put her shoes on (both her play ones and her real ones) and the footies get in the way. I gave in last night, and put her in her very first nightgown. I bought it at Carter's a couple of months ago, and the minute I put it on her, she started twirling around. This morning, she still had it on (YAY!), and when I tried to take her picture, she started dancing all around the kitchen...

From April 2009

It really is fun having a 2 year old again. I remember Kyle being this fun, and this is the age that Alec really became fun. All the funny things they say, and the way they perceive the world around them....

I did take Talia on a little "Girl's Day" shopping expedition last Thursday. We had quite a bit of luck finding things. She loves to shop for clothes as much as I's most of our "loot"
From April 2009

4 shirts and a pair of shorts for me (all a size smaller than when I bought clothes last spring, it really makes me proud of how hard I've worked :)), 3 outfits for her (to supplement the wonderful hand me downs that she's been gifted with), A new dessert decorator and a couple of decorating tips I didn't have(with my JoAnne Coupon), and Body Wash (because I had a coupon to Ulta).

This week is appointments, staff meeting, and I really want to clean out the storage room and make a trip to the DI...

Friday, April 3, 2009

On my mind today...

I found this GREAT Article....I'll bold the passages I found extremely enlightening... :)

Anonymity no cloak for free speech

By Liang Wen-chieh 梁文傑

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009, Page 8
Since the articles of former Government Information Office official Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英) surfaced, no one — neither in the pan-blue or pan-green camp — has voiced approval of Kuo’s statements. However, some individuals have defended him, saying his articles are protected by freedom of speech. As they were published on blogs under a pseudonym, they say Kuo should not be punished.

Some of his defenders are highly placed intellectuals, such as Shih Chih-yu (石之瑜), a National Taiwan University professor of political science, and Hsieh Ta-ning (謝大寧), a former convener of the Democracy Advancement Alliance.

Kuo himself is of the same opinion, and he argues with force that: “Publishing anonymously or under a pseudonym is a basic principle of freedom of expression. … If everything must be in the open, then there is no freedom of expression to talk of … You must not trace the writer. That was done by the [now abolished] Taiwan Garrison Command during the Martial Law era, but you cannot do this in the democratic era, as it violates basic principles of democracy and freedom of expression.”

Such anonymous protest goes against common sense. By having the right to speak, you are also responsible for what you say. You must be responsible for the irritation you cause others and you must also be accountable for any possible charges of insult, defamation or plagiarism. The most basic requirement for taking such responsibility is to let people know that you have said something. In particular, when you criticize the political situation or the conduct of others, you have to provide a chance for people to examine whether you are qualified to offer such criticism. If you don’t, you’re merely defaming people.

Once you’ve said something, your statement is an objective social fact. Those insulted will be insulted even if they don’t know who the person insulting them is; and those who are defamed will be defamed just the same. If being anonymous absolves one of responsibility, then police would not have to catch fraudsters, who never use their real names when committing a crime, nor would they have to trace individuals who seduce teenagers online, since they never reveal their true identities.

Many writers choose to write under a pseudonym. But throughout history, there were probably few who have been afraid to admit their real name or claim that their freedom of expression can only be protected by anonymity. So Chinese writer Lu Xun (魯迅) did hide his real name — Zhou Shuren (周樹人). Even if the whole world opposed his surgically precise critique of Chinese culture, he faced criticism from all sides calmly.

Similarly, writer Lao She (老舍) did not deny that his name was Shu Qingchun (舒慶春), nor did Bo Yang (柏楊) deny that he was Teng Ting-sheng (鄧定生). Rising online writer Jiu Ba Dao (九把刀) does not deny that he is Giddens Ko (柯景騰). Not even famous commentators on TV would dare reject their names in court.

Many people like to stab others in the back, acting like bullies who attack people with bricks in dark alleys. With the rise of the Internet and blogs, such behavior is almost everywhere. Many young people think that “anonymous democracy” is genuine democracy, and that “anonymous slander” is freedom of expression.

Those who enjoy freedom of expression must take responsibility for their statements. This principle will never change. Publishing a blog is not about writing a diary or communicating with specific friends. Rather, it is a matter of voicing one’s personal opinions for anyone to see. Once your statements involve insults or defamation, you have to bear the consequences of being identified by others.

Kuo is about 60 years old. Naturally, he is not as naive as the youngsters of the cyber generation who mistakenly believe they are not responsible for their statements if they remain anonymous.

Perhaps he chose to remain anonymous simply because he knew that what he had to say was inappropriate, while worrying about losing his fat salary and pension. On the surface, he pretends to be a lofty intellectual, but he is in fact a civil servant who does not want to end up out of pocket.

Kuo may be able to mislead the cyber generation, but it is surprising to see professors claim that you don’t have to take responsibility simply by staying anonymous. I’m afraid something has gone very wrong with Taiwan.

Liang Wen-chieh is deputy director of the New Society for Taiwan.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I was one of the victims of a great April Fool's Joke yesterday....Christie did a great job! I have to laugh at myself...Since Talia was born on April 1st, I don't think of the 1st of April as the biggest joke day of the year. It's my baby's birthday. I've even told the boys that we DO NOT celebrate April Fools in our house, we celebrate Talia's birthday. Christie's birthday is also on April 1st...and my other friend Kristi, so I don't really think about it. So when I saw the new blog she had created, and the sneaky way she alluded to things...
Once I put it together, I was so excited for her...but now that I know the truth, ah, oh well. Another baby in the neighborhood would have been nice, though.

So, Congrats to Christie for pulling a great one!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I can't believe how fast 2 years has gone. I actually am doing better today than I thought I would be. It's been hard for me to watch her jump ahead leaps and bounds in her development over the past couple of months. However, she's at such a fun age, that it makes it OK.

Trying to get her to hold still for her picture...

I guess just because she's 2 doesn't mean that she will hold still...I felt pretty lucky to snap the top picture at the right time.

Talia was born at 7:17 am, after a labor that basically lasted 3 weeks. I had contractions every 3-5 minutes for the 3 weeks before her birth. My water finally started leaking just a little...and since I was GBS + and needed antibiotics, they gave me my first dose and then induced labor. She was born 4 hours after they started the pitocin. I like to joke that she was born on April Fools for a reason...she teased me for 3 weeks and then the joke was on me! She was an extremely easy baby...put herself on a 3 hour schedule from the time we brought her home from the hospital, has always been a good eater, has her daddy and brothers wrapped around her finger(and me too, I guess). She is what I would call "well rounded"...she loves girlie things, but if the boys will let her play with them, she loves to play "guns" and gi joe. She loves her mommy the most, unless I've just gotten mad at her. She has been such a blessing to our family, and we love her more and more every day.

Happy Birthday, my baby!!!!

p.s. in case you're wondering, the boys were still sick today. kyle is currently complaining about doing all the makeup homework he has, but he seems to be feeling better and hasn't had a fever since he had ibuprofen early this morning. alec is also feeling better, although his fever spiked again this afternoon and i had to remedicate him. tomorrow is my last day off, and i have some errands to run, so i'm praying they're better by morning.