Friday, October 30, 2009


Today marks the 6th anniversary of Jaeden's adoption being final.

She was born on a Friday the 13th and her adoption was final on October 31. I think that's kind of funny because she is the brightest little ray of sunshine we could have asked for, nothing that those two days would suggest. My little lucky charm.

She was the tiniest little thing when she was born. I've never held a baby so tiny. 5 pounds 4 ounces. Jake kept commenting that she probably didn't weigh more than his large Mountain Dew bottle he'd brought with him. Joel and I gave her her first bath.

I am so lucky to be her mom. She's brought us so much joy. Always smiling. Always happy. Rarely does she really lose it or get mad. I just love her to pieces and am so thankful for the "stars that alligned" that August day we found out we would have a new baby girl in our lives.

I'm so blessed.

What did they say?

This morning while I was getting Jaeden ready for school we were preparing her hair and face to be a vampiress for the school's Halloween parade. We were talking about vampires in the olden-day movies. I was trying to teach her to speak with a Transylvania voice and say either, "I vant to suck your blooood" or "I vant to bite your neck". She said, "Did they really say that?" I said, "Of course!"
She made a funny face and said, "Well that's stupid!" I said, "Why?" to which she replied, "Because then the other person would just run away!"
She's so smart.

Things that matter

A few months ago our Relief Society had a quarterly enrichment (yes I am still calling it that because to call it the Quarterly or Monthly Relief Society is even more confusing, so deal with it) meeting. At the end of the meeting they had a little crafty sign for us to make that says, "Simplify".
I hung mine up by my front door where I can see it from my work station. I have been trying since that night to simplify my life. I often ask myself, " What do I really need?" or "What is really important to me?" I've had lots of opportunities to reevaluate my life, what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm spending my time doing, who I'm doing it with, etc.
It's always good to clean out, change perspective, stake grounds, and evaluate your life a couple of times a year.
A couple of weeks ago at Time Out for Women one message that I got was not to over schedule my family. It's so easy to do. Often lately I've wanted to scream when something new comes up, "Not one more thing!". I have my stuff to do, house chores, taking care of my family, editing, sessions, keeping up and improving my skills, customer services, etc. It's easy for me to get busy with just doing my stuff and then throw the other kids stuff in the mix and time just gets crammed and I start feeling like a failure, or like I'm being pulled in 20 directions.
This is where the Simplify comes in.
What's important?
Is it important that we have a well designed meal every night, or is it more important that we have a meal together, even if it's pancakes?
Is it important that all the laundry is done by Wednesday, or is it important that I take time to play with and read to my kids?
It's not easy to do all the right things and make the right choices and it will take time to make new habits.
With simplifying I think also comes making sure that life is filled by enriching things. Good friendships. Uplifting and fulfilling activities that make life better, truly better, not just busy.
I want my life filled with deep family love, rich friendships, meaningful things to do.
"Not just busywork" keeps going through my head. I don't want things to keep me busy, just to give me something to do. I want them to make my life, my kids lives, my friends or loved one's lives better and more fulfilling. I want them to make our family relationships ones that they want to last for ever. I want them to want to get together for things after Joel and I are gone.
These are some things that matter to me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Fan

This last weekend I spent Friday evening and most of Saturday at Time Out For Women. Cherie Call was the main host of the event, I think this because she sang and did most of the introductions. She sang so many songs. I've heard a few of them before from listening to while I work at my computer. She has such a beautiful voice and I love the way she writes her lyrics. So much of what she sings about speaks to my soul and I relate to on a deep level. There's something in every song I've heard her sing that I can claim. A feeling, a wish, a memory, a heartbreak, a loss, a joy, a love, a need.
I've put up a few songs that I could find to play here at my blog for anyone who is not familiar with her songs.
Now I have to go figure out how I'm going to acquire her CD's.

Bear Dog


Last year my kids all had big ideas on what they wanted to be for Halloween. Joshua, unfortunately is stuck with a storm trooper costume until he outgrows it, because he HAD to have the white kind... drone? and it took me forever to find any at a good deal and by the time I got to them they'd been snatched up. So the one he has cost me $30, after shipping. I told him I would only buy it if he agreed to wear it until it was too small. He did.
Jaeden has been a cowboy for two years now. She has a little horse she wears that trips her going up and down the stairs. So this year she got a new costume from the thrift store, she's a vampiress.
Joy- my sweet little Joy. Last year she wanted so badly to be a puppy ... so badly she could not be talked into anything else. I'm a big believer in thrift store costumes. I hate paying an arm and leg for something I can get slightly used for only a finger. I could not for the life of me find her a puppy costume. I searched at least 8 thrift stores. Finally I found a bear costume that was missing the head. I ended up making a tail and sewing it onto the back of the furry body in a brown that matched the tummy patch. I also sewed her a hat, using the same fur from the tail for the ears and attaching them to a felt hood. She was soooooooo cute and she LOVED the costume. When it came home from storage this year they were reunited and she was so happy to see it again. In the week that it's been here she's worn it for a while every day.
Today we went to the library for story time, and the kids were invited to wear their costumes. Joy decided to wear the puppy, even though she decided to wear Jaeden's old cowgirl costume for trick-or-treating. She loved wearing the puppy today. That is until we got stuck waiting outside of the bathroom at the library. When the grandma and her two grand kids emerged she told joy what a cute little bear she was. I pointed out the wagging tail and said, "she's a dog" with a smile. But I guess this got Joy's sprockets moving because as the story time continued I could see her confidence in her costume fall. First she started at front with the kids. Then she would come back to me for reassuring hugs and then finally ended up in my lap. On the way out to the car she asked me if she could take the costume off in the car, I told her to wait and asked why she wanted it off now. She told me, "because it's embarrassing me." My heart cracked.
After some conversation she finally said that it was embarrassing because it wasn't new. That's when we had a heart to heart talk about mommy's love and her costume was made with love and sometimes things that are not new are the best.
She wore the costume home.
She's still going to be a cowgirl on Halloween, and that's ok. The bear/dog is too small now anyway and should be retired.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I want to send a shout out to my friend JoAnne who is celebrating her birthday today!

She got her birthday wishes from me early, by accident, but I'm posting them again on the RIGHT day, lol!
Many moons ago our planet was blessed by an adoreable (I've seen her little kid pictures) little girl named JoAnne. And only a couple of moons ago my life was blessed by getting to know her.
I feel so lucky to have a friend like her. It's been super fun sharing photography with her and watching her just take off in her talent and skills.
It's been fun sharing other interests too. I've learned a lot from her, not just about couponing or plants or gardening, but spiritual and mom stuff too.

I love spending time with her. She makes me laugh a LOT.

She always has fun and creative ideas for us to do together.

I hope she has a really great year and that she gets all her birthday wishes to come true.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New News

Oh my, October has been such a busy month for me! I've had a bunch of sessions and fun stuff going on.
Joel got a new calling last week. Assistant Ward Clerk. He's so excited to finally be able to use his new accounting skills and have some experience to put on his resume.
I also have a new calling as the 1st counselor in the Primary Presidency. Our old 1st counselor has been called to serve in the nursery.
Rocky has been renamed "Sunshine" or "Sunny". We figure she's still young enough to learn a new name.
I'm working on my annual revamping of my business, prices, wedding packaging, images on the website, discount policies, etc.
Family will still be given free sessions and 20% off prints, but ward members will now be given a 25% discount on my session fees and 20% off prints, on account of people having sessions sit around for ever and no print ordering. It's a lot of work to do a session for little compensation. I have to admit I've had some wonderful customers who've refused the free session and thrown some extra in their check for me, thank you to those that have done that! Especially those that have remembered that my husband's been out of work for 6 months and every little bit helps us meet our kids needs.

As much as I'd love to give everyone free sessions, I just can't afford to do it anymore.

I'm trying to get Joy out the door this morning to get to the YMCA, but she's doing everything she can to keep us here... not liking her breakfast... putting on a dress instead of play clothes.... guess I'm going to stick around and work on my last session instead.

Also, lucky win last night for the Vikings! Whew! I didn't think they were going to pull it off in the last 10 seconds of the game. If they'd had Longwell on their team, we'd have lost.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And Rocky is...

a girl :)

Rocky just went through her first molt and still looks the same. Her new feathers are pearled like her old ones. If she'd been a boy she'd have begun turning gray.
She had us thinking she was a boy for a while because she learned to wolf whistle, but the feathers were the truth tellers.

Congratulations Rocky.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Germs are not for sharing

That was the theme of tonight's required parent's meeting at Joyanna's school ready program. And through the whole thing I'm thinking... "I'm paying for this?"
We started the evening out by standing in a long line, having lotion put on our hands, stepping into a dark tent with a black light, being lectured on the importance of washing our hands, then washing our hands and returning to the dark tent to see that even though we had used lots of soap and sang the Birthday Song, we in fact had failed miserably at washing off the imaginary germs because our hands STILL glowed in the dark!
Then we got treated to pizza. But not before Joy decided she'd better do a better job at washing her hands. I guess the "germs" still showing freaked her out a little.
Then while Joy and the other short people got to go play, we parents got lectured on how not to worry, our child, if they are 5 years old by September 1 will in fact be ready for school, even if they don't know all their abc's and the sounds they make. Duh.
Then we got lectured on what the flu is, how to tell if our child has the flu, how to know when to go to the doctor and how long to keep them home (7 DAYS!) and even on how to take a temperature with a digital thermometer not only under the tongue but also under the arm (seriously, if you don't know this, you should not be having kids). This isn't your momma's flu where you got to go back to school 24 hours after having a fever, or sometimes in my case while you still had the fever. Ohhhhh no! This is major strong flu and our children are able to spread the flu germ longer than older people (that's their super power), even after they don't have a fever so we have to keep them home 7 DAYS!
Then I was allowed to go pick up my child and go home and think about those bad flu germs and how I have spread them around for the last 37 years of my life and of all the great super powers my kids could have had, they got the incredible germ spreading power. Great.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A few things are making me happy today.
First might I mention the most awesomely exciting game last night between the Packers and the Vikings. I was expecting an eventful game and the edge of my seat was not disappointed.

Second, I got my tickets for Time Out For Women, this morning. I went to this a couple of years ago and it was such an awesome experience! I'm soooo looking forward to this next one. And this time we get TWO days!
On Friday Michael McLean will be there and I just LOVE his work. His music is so heartfelt and inspiring.
On Saturday I'm looking forward to the talented Cherie Call performing and also the witty and refreshing Mary Ellen Edmunds. I'm sure all of the other speakers I've failed to mention here will soon be on the top of my "people I admire" list.
It's going to be a good time :)

ETA: I also forgot to mention something else that makes me happy today and that is the news that my husband's boss left him a note that Zeiss has doubled their order and my husband will have plenty of work for the next while.... YEAH!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Glad I won't be there!

A couple of years ago Joel and I had the brilliant idea of skipping church and going to a Vikings vs. Giants game. It was a bad idea. We were up in the nosebleed section. Drunks all around- for both teams. We had this horrible sailor behind us... well, he talked like one anyway, or rather yelled. Then we had a wonderful fist fight right in front of us with the guy in front of us and the people next to us. I kept saying, "I can't believe we skipped church for this."
Monday I'll be watching the game from my big screen (horrible picture, but better than the nosebleed section) where it's safe and I don't have to worry about sounds, thrown cups, swearing, Favre mocking, etc.
It's going to be an exciting game :)