Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mickey Mouse birthday party

 Braddoc loves Mickey Mouse so it was only fitting that he had a Mickey Mouse birthday party. If Braddoc has a choice of what movie to watch he always picks a Mickey Mouse movie. He loves them so much, and because he loves them I love them. 

The sweet birthday boy in front of his Mickey decorations. He was so thrilled when he saw all the decorations, he kept telling me how amazing it was.

All my boys ready for a Mickey party.

For the kids birthdays I ask them what kind of cake they want and what they want it to look like. Now that we have pinterest I can go online and look at pictures with them. Its lots of fun for me and them because we get to decide together and I know exactly what they want. This cake was the hardest one I have ever made because it was super humid here that day and the home made fondant was SOOO sticky. I was yelling at it and throwing it (yes I was going a bit crazy, but it was almost 1 am, so that's okay right?) and basically just not happy with it. Yep, you didn't want to see me that night. I was a hot mess with fondant sticking all over me. In the end I gave in to fondant and decided that my wonderful 4 year old would love it even though it was not my best work and I really just wanted to throw it all away and just give up. When my little man woke up in the morning and saw it he was so ecstatic, I really wish I could have gotten a picture of his face. He pulled his hands up (in fists) to his face, dropped his head and his jaw dropped opened and he started to squeal. I guess its good I didn't throw it out the window every time I wanted too.

Braddoc loves hot dogs and so does Mickey Mouse. Of course, since we were having a Mickey party, its only fitting that we had a HOT DIGGITY DOG spread. The kids loved making their own hot dogs.

I wanted a drink that was red and so I created my own. It was delicious. A bottle of cherry limeade and a bottle of sprite with cherry vanilla ice cream. 

The kids each got to make their own Mickey Mouse cookies. I bought the cookie cutters on amazon and made the kids some sugar cookies. I set out vanilla frosting and sprinkles and the kids went to town. It's amazing to me how there are never enough sprinkles on a cookie in a kids mind. Lots of frosting and lots of sprinkles.

All of the mickey mouse gang! These are some of Braddocs best friends. The little girl to his left is his "girlfriend". He always talks about her and how he is going to marry her and kiss her when they is married. He tells me that he is going to go to the temple when he is big and Marry Brynn. He will be so sad to leave her when we move.

The kids went on a treasure hunt and at the end of it they got to hit a Mickey Mouse pinata to find the treasure.

We played Mickey bingo. There were M&M's on the table for the kids to use as their Mickey Bingo pieces. I had all of the characters on separate cards to chose from and then I was able to show the kids the cards so that they could find the characters. We played 4 times and the winner of each got yellow and red Mickey candy.

 Braddoc loved having everyone sing to him. He loves when people are paying attention to him. He is pretty shy but he still loves to have people pay attention to him. Hmm not sure how that works. What a sweet little man he is.

He loves blankets, they are his security when the rest of the world is crazy. He got a Mickey one for his birthday and he loved it.

I thought this was funny. One of the little boys at the party wanted to take pictures and he just kept taking pictures of me. I had to add one just to remember how cute it was. Braddoc loves to take pictures too, I guess its that budding photographer age.

Braddoc wanted a Mickey bike for his birthday but apparently they don't make them for a boy of 4 years old, or at least a boy his size. We looked everywhere but the biggest one we found was a 12" and he needed at least a 14". We took him shopping for a bike and he picked out this one. When we took him outside for him to ride it he was so mad because it wouldn't move without him pedaling, apparently he thought it should. He wanted the a new/different bike because "it would work the way I needs it too". 

I made Mickey Mouse invites for his party and Noah made the inserts.

All in all it was a successful birthday party. 3 parties in less then a month and in the middle of a move was CRAZY! I am glad I don't have another one until Aowyn turns 1 in December. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Star Wars birthday

Landon loves Star Wars, so of course when I asked him what kind of party he wanted for his 6th birthday, he said Star Wars. I went to pinterest and started pinning anything and every thing Star Wars. I found lots of fun ideas and took them and ran with them.

I had fun making his star wars cake. I tried using cooking glitter to make it look like a galaxy but it didn't work so well. I let Landon tell me how he wanted the cake to look and what guys he wanted on the cake and when he saw it in the morning he was elated, so I would say that it was a success.  

Noah was Jedi master Jenno Madanc and taught the kids how to light saber fight. They all went through the Jedi Training academy. I made all of them light sabers out of Foam water noodles that I bought at the Dollar Store and put duct tape and electrical tape around the base of them. It is seriously the best invention ever. The kids could hit each other and not get hurt.
 I made some Clone Trooper Balloons and when the kids were done with the Training Academy they went in to fight the Clone Troopers

I made all of Landons favorite foods. Han Burgers, Vader Veggies, Wookie Cookies, Light Sabers (liquorice), Thermal detonators (malt balls), and Princess "lay"a's (chips). 
We had some super yummy Yoda Soda. It was sprite, and lime ice cream and was a HUGE hit. The kids loved it and it was gone super fast.

 One of my little Jedi boys Jenbr Bailas. We got all of the kids Jedi names of the internet by using the first 3 letters of their last name and the first two letters of their first name. For their last name we took the first 3 letters of their mothers maiden name and the first three letters of the city they were born in. 

 The birthday boy and his cake. He was in heaven having all of the people sing to him and be there for him.

 My birthday boy Jenla Bailas with one of his best buds Chase. He will be so sad to leave him.
 All of the Jedi Padiwans. They went to the Jedi training academy, fought the clone troopers and then defeated Darth Vader (the pinata) all in a days work. 

All the kids took home a Jedi Training Academy Certificate's as well.

We had his party a few weeks early since we are moving. Happy early birthday party to my 6 year old little angel.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weight loss journey

Our last baby, Aowyn, was a surprise pregnancy. I had not lost all of my baby weight yet from baby number 3, Tayton. In fact I still had almost 25 pounds extra on me that I had not lost from his pregnancy. Needless to say with Aowyn I weighed more then I EVER have in my entire life. When I went to the hospital to have her I weighed 204 pounds. When I got pregnant with Tayton, (only 27 months before) I weighed 130 pounds. When I got home from the hospital after having Aowyn I weighed 193 pounds. So in my mind I had 63 pounds I needed to lose and I knew it wasn't going to come off quickly.

The first 15 came off in the first few months without much work. Since I was suffereing through post partum depression I hated myself, I hated how fat I thought I was and how I was too weak to do anything about it. I tried several times to work out and to eat right, but my heart was never in it, since my heart really wasn't in anything. At one time I started running and was doing well at that and then I hurt my bursa sack in my knee. I got some kidney stones and had set back after set back and I just never really committed. 

Then this past April I started feeling better and I got the will power I needed to work my butt off (pun intended). I started portion controlling and counting my calories. I started killing myself at the gym. I was running, lifting weights, going to zumba and working out every spare second I had at home. It started to pay off quickly. In just 4 weeks I went from 177 to 165. I had the will power, I was seeing results and I was making a lift style change. I felt so good about where I was headed. 

In the beginning of May I had some awesome friends come up with the idea of doing a weight loss challenge where we weighed in every week. I jumped at that! I am a goal oriented person and I work better under pressure so this was just the thing I needed. Plus I am SUPER OVER THE TOP competitive. Who me? Never? Um, yeah no sorry, I can't deny it, anyone who knows me knows that about me. So this weight loss "smack down" was just the thing I needed. I stayed steady some weeks losing 4 pounds and some
 weeks only 1 but never gaining and progressively doing better each week. I wasn't just losing weight, I was finding myself. I was getting in better shape. I felt healthier and I was changing my eating habits and changing me. 

I went and had some nutritional tests run on me, for me, and all about me in the middle of June. It was at a place called Metatest. It was wonderful because I had hit a plateau and hadn't really been losing any significant weight in awhile, just about a pound a week, which was okay, but since I felt like I was killing myself at the gym I was hoping for better. I was told that my body and cardio are not really friends. When I do cardio I burn so much calories that my body hoards them and stores them so I don't also lose the weight as fast. They told me to lift HEAVY weights and gave me a caloric meal plan and calorie intake plan for the day and how many Fats, Protiens and Carbs I needed to take in at every meal. They told me how much access fat I had on my body and therefor how much weight I still needed to lose. It was amazing and has changed my life. I feel even better then before. I lose around 2 pounds a week and even when I went on vacation I still lost weight. I don't work out as much. I go to zumba twice a week and that's all the cardio I do and then I lift Heavy weights for about 20 minutes 2-3 times a week. And by heavy weights I mean, grunting, straining, feeling like I am going to die with each rep, but I am doing it and I am so proud of myself and I LOVE it. I never knew I would love weight lifting so much, but I have not seen or felt certain bones or parts of my body in years (like teenage me years). I am now 140 pounds so that's 37 pounds in 3 1/2 months. I am not done yet either. I still have about 10 more pounds that I want to lose, but so far I am super happy with how I am. 

This picture is of me when I hit 140 pounds and the pants I am holding up are pants that only fit me for about a month. I was able to fit into them when I hit 165 and then I kept on wearing them the more weight I lost, I just kept cinching up the belt, but this day I put them on and they fell off of me as soon as I let go of them. I did the biggest happy dance when I hit 165 and could fit into them and then an even bigger happy dance when they fell off of me. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aowyn's Room

I figured since we are moving and I had to pack away my favorite room in the house that I would take some pictures of it before I took all of the stuff down and put it all away. Its not finished. There are things like her curtains that I started and her empty picture frames that will just have to wait till we move to actually get finished. 

I love this room. I spent so many hours dreaming of the way it would look. I spent many, many hours decorating, shopping, pinning on pinterest, creating, and building things for her room to be perfect, and I think it is. I really, really love the way it turned out but am excited to move and do it again. Its been a lot of fun.

This is the view of Aowyn's room from the hall 
(there was some water that spilled on her stool right before hand)
View from the back corner, next to the closet.
 From the window. There are lots of owl things in the room. I knew as soon as I found out Aowyn was coming that I wanted to do a bird and owl theme and I love all the pops of color and fun owls that I have found to go in her room. Its been a lot of fun to be on "the hunt" for owl and bird stuff.
 I refinished the frames on her wall and refinished the end table that has her lamp on it. My wonderful friend Kirsten made her bed skirt on her crib and its super fluffy and full of layers, it looks like a princess dress and its perfect. I made her bumper and spent many trips trying to find the perfect fabric for it. 
 This isn't even all of her bows. The girl has a ton and I LOVE IT!!!! I love the frames that her bows are on. Its nice to have so much space for them. They are frames that I painted and added some scrapbook paper too and then some ribbon to hook the bows on.
 I love the funky frames and colors.
Everything on her hutch (that I refinished myself) has some sentimental value. There are porcelain dolls that my mom and grandma gave me. A picture of my grandma who passed away when I was teenager. There is a bell, a rocking horse, a strawberry shortcake toy, a picture, and some porcelain babies that were mine when I was little. There is a picture of the Manti temple (my favorite temple, I think its gorgeous) that says "If this is not your castle, then you are not my prince." There are pictures of all the women in our family and gifts from my friends. This hutch holds a lot of love on it. It makes me happy every time I see it.
 I spent many late nights and early mornings sitting in this chair feeding my beautiful baby girl. I sat in this chair thinking about all the love I had for her before she was even born. I would just go sit in the chair and think about what it was going to be like when she got here. Every time I sit in this chair I think about how much I love my sweet princess and am usually overcome with so much love for her that I tear up.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Standing for something: Lord of the rings quote

Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.
Samwise Gamgee
I love the Lord of the Rings movies, my daughter is named after one of the characters, Eowyn, the princess of Rohan (go here to read about that). I'm not a crazy, have to watch it everyday, type fan but I love the story. I love the good vs evil conflict. I love that they are all fighting for the same cause, freedom and brotherhood, unity and love. It's a truly beautiful story of never giving up, never giving in, no matter what, even when the evil seems to be so great and when it feels like they have no hope. 
Some times when I feel like giving up, to just bite my tongue and say nothing (because what good would it do anyway?), and when I feel like there is just not a whole lot of good happening around me, I think of this quote. 
When I am in the midst of a bad day or I feel like the darkness will never pass, I think of this quote.
When I am in the middle of a trial and I can't see the light at the end, or I feel like it may never come, I think of this quote.
When I feel like I will never be out of the middle of a hard time or I wonder how it can possibly end well, I think of this quote. 
A new day WILL come, with a clearer hope for tomorrow and it will ALWAYS be so beautiful. 
There is good in this world and it is always worth fighting for.
A lot has been happening lately, that I have wanted to speak out about but I just coudln't seem to find the courage,things such as Magic Mike and 50 shade of grey. I read a blog today about that. Please go here to read it. She says it so beautifully. She says everything I have been wanting to say but haven't had the courage too. 
I watched Lord of the Rings: The two towers last night and at the end when I heard Samwise say his famous quote I thought about all that this blogger said and I thought about how I felt and I thought about taking a stand, because after all:
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. - Aaron Tippin (go Here to hear the song and see the video.)
I am standing for something, I am not falling for anything, especially Satan and his amazing ability to ensnare people so smoothly. He has mastered his skill and I am not falling for it. I am standing for what I believe in, whether people agree with me or not. I am standing for it because there is still good in this world and it IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.
Who is going to stand with me?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

If I could write a letter to me.....

Today I looked in the mirror and frowned at what I saw. 

We are in the middle of a move. I am trying to rent out our house, painting the walls in the house, pack everything, and am planning/throwing two birthday parties for the oldest two boys.
Needless to say I am majorly stressed out by all that I have on my to do list. And like any other time I am stressed out, I break out in acne. I am however grateful that since I have become an adult it is not as bad as it was when I was a kid.

So there I stood looking in the mirror at the 4 nice red acne spots on my face and for a split second I saw myself as a teenager again. I was probably 16, and was looking in the mirror crying and wishing that I was not cursed with the devil of all teenage problems.....ACNE!

In that split second I had a million thoughts rush trough my head and I felt a rush of teenage angst and panic sweep over my whole body.

One of the thoughts that carried me away into another world was the memory of the legendary acne breakout of '02. (insert ominous, horror movie type music)

It was a mild summer, nothing to hot and nothing too cold  (okay maybe it was cold, this was Alaska of course) and the poor teenage me ventured out onto her own for the first time.  
I was renting a house with a bunch of friends. I was working the overnight shift at the airport and was starting my freshman year of college. My room mates were mostly all guys (there was one girl) and they were not such clean, or organized guys. I felt like the mother of the house and was always cleaning up their crap. I was not in a good place and was falling even faster and was STRESSED TO THE MAX and then that fateful day came.

Satyrs will write songs about it. 
(okay well maybe not, but still it was EPIC.)

I still have nightmares about it. I always wake up from them in a cold sweat.

It was the worst stress break out in the history of ALL breakouts.
I woke up the morning of my VERY FIRST college class and looked in the mirror and they were EVERYWHERE!!! I had pimples all over my face, down my chin, all over my neck (front and back) and onto my chest. There were literally hundreds (and I am not exaggerating at all.) I looked like I had a very intense rash all over my head and neck. I was mortified. I tried on a million different shirts, trying to find one that was high enough in the neck so that it would hide all of that acne. This was the worst day of my life in terms embarrassing self conscious days. 

Do you ever have flashbacks of your youth and are grateful you never have to repeat that stage of your life. This is one of those days that I remember almost every time I get a little breakout. I always tell myself when I see an adult acne breakout that it is still not nearly as bad as that nightmarish breakout of my youth. 

At least if I did have to go back and repeat my youth I would feel more prepared to handle what is thrown at me. I would know what the future holds and wouldn't feel like everything that came at me was the end of the world.

I love Brad Paisley's song about writing a letter to himself as a boy. Here is the video if you want to watch it.

Every time I hear this song I always wonder what I would tell myself?
This time the flash back hit me so hard that I decided I would write myself "a letter".

Here it is.

Dear teenage me,

(don't laugh too hard, however I will totally admit I did)

The heart breaks that you feel will go away. The pain does get better and the hurt fades. Your heart's not broken, even though at times it may feel like it. One day you will marry a super hot and wonderful man and have some pretty amazing kids, so stop dating such losers. Just because they are cute (with nothing else going for them) doesn't mean they will ever make a good eternal companion.

Friendships do matter. Your friends CAN be with you through life so you better pick darn good ones.

These are no where near the best years of your life. It gets harder but it also gets so much better.

Nothing matters more then the gospel, don't let anyone or anything sway you from the right path.

Your parents suck, but this too shall pass and you will be better for it. You will survive and you will have learned so much and will be a better mom to your future kids because of it.

Cherish the time you have with your loved ones because you never know how long you will have them. Spend as much time with Grandma as you possibly can because she won't live long past your 19th birthday.

Spend more time with your siblings, when you are an adult you will wish you had spent more time cultivating a loving, long term relationship with them. It's hard to do that when your foundation isn't good and you live hundreds of miles away.

Work harder in school (I know you are smart and get good grades, but if you actually try a bit harder you could be GREAT). Try harder to get into a good college, and actually care about it.

The girls around you who act like they don't know anything are only getting negative attention, Ignore them, don't give them the drama they crave.

Cherish the temple dedication you will get to attend, it means a lot and you will one day wish you had listened more closely.

Always remember that whatever you do, the Lord still loves you and will ALWAYS forgive you if you ask him with a willing heart.

Go to ALL your girls camps and youth conferences, there is nothing more important in the summer than that. Make the time!

The church is true. The people are not always great, but it's not about them, it's about you and your relationship with your Father in Heaven. Don't let mean people keep you from going to church. 

  Older, Wiser Me  

(this is older, wiser me, looking into the distance pondering life's great questions, errr..... being a total dork)
If you wrote a letter to younger you, what would you say?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Something to think about.....

I feel like our country has gone so far from what our forefathers worked so hard to create. 
I recently read the book 1776 and was overcome with so much emotion while reading it. 

I'll admit I cried. Not only for all the lives that were lost but because I wondered what our forefathers would say if they could see what we have done with the constitution they fought so hard to create. 

I love living in America. I thank my Father in Heaven each day for sending me to this earth and for placing me in a family that was in the United States. 

The freedoms that we have are innumerable. The rights that we have are so very wonderful, especially the right that we have to worship how, where and what we may.

Our forefathers founded this country on the basis of freedom. The freedom to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They did not found this country so that the weak could feed off the strong. They founded this country so that we all had the right the PURSUE whatever we wanted. This country wasn't founded on a guarantee that we all would be blissfully happy, only that we had the right to pursue said happiness.

When did privileges become rights? When did we get so far from what we as a country once believed? 

This country is a great place to live. This country has such a firm foundation, created by god fearing men. 

I couldn't agree more with this quote by Abraham Lincoln.

I feel like we as a nation could learn a lot from this. 

We need to stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. We can't create laws that will help some people but create hundreds of problems for the rest of the people. Things need to change. 

Our country needs to find the passion and the courage and the deep rooted strength that our ancestors had so many years ago. 

As the primary song goes "The wise man built his house upon the rock, and when the rains came down and the floods came up the house on the rock stood still." Our forefathers were wise men and built our nation (our house) upon a good strong foundation. And now when the rains are coming down and the floods are coming up, I hope and pray that our house will weather the storm and that one day this nation will remember what principles it was built upon. In the mean time our firm foundation is slowly, piece by piece, crumbling. 

What happened to one nation under god? In God we trust? 

I fear that if we don't remember all our forefathers taught that our privileges AND our rights will be taken away.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sometimes it's just plain rough

Being a parent is HARD! 
Being a parent is exhausting!
Being a parent is just down right rough sometimes!

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom and I wouldn't change it for the world, but sometimes I just need a break. I'm remind of the saying "No rest for the weary." and that's how I am feeling today.

Noah was asked to help pass the sacrament in church and so for the first 20+ minutes of sacrament I was alone with all 4 kids. 

Of course I'm alone all day with all 4 kids and I survive. And I've even sat in sacrament with all 4 kids alone before, but for some reason today they were extra super naughty. It was chaos I tell you, just pure chaos. 

Landon lied to me 2 times and told me he had to go to the bathroom, but he didn't.

Landon whined his high pitched whine when I told him to fold his arms for the prayer. (he folded them, but in a pouting way, with his big bottom lip sticking out)

My sweet baby girl, who usually just chills in her car seat happy as a clam, wanted to be held from the second the opening prayer was over.

None of my children wanted to fold their arms for any of the prayers (and there were 3 babies blessed today, so their were lots of prayers)

Landon threw a fit 3 separate times because he wanted something his brothers had (yes he will be 6 this month, and I think he was my hardest one.)

Braddoc and Tayton both wanted to sit in my lap (while I was holding Aowyn)

Tayton kept crawling under the pews to play with the people behind us and to climb on the empty bench in front of us (one time it was during a prayer and I hear the older two laughing so I open my eyes and look at them to tell them to be reverent and see Tayton just chilling on the pew with the family behind us)

The people behind us gave the boys a book to read (we had some but of course our's were not good enough) and they ripped the back page of the book and fought VERY loudly about who was going to get to read the book.

Tayton decided he wanted to be adventurous today and made it his mission to try and escape out the side of the pew.

Once Noah came back to sit with us it was a bit better but still crazy (I think the kids took crazy pills today)

Braddoc (who really has trouble leaving me, I think it has a lot to do with his possible high functioning autism {we are still getting testing}) refused to go to class because it was just the male teacher and a male sub (for some reason he doesn't take well to men, I think it has a lot to do with Noah being deployed the first year of his life) and just cried and cried and clung to me like a little baby monkey when it was time for him to go to class. The poor kid turned bright red and could hardly breathe so I took him to his daddy.

When we got home from church we all changed and headed out the door to my parents house for dinner. On the way to my parents house we get a phone call from them saying that my mom is not feeling good and of course with us moving and having a million things on our plate we did not want to get any of the kids sick, so we opted out of dinner. We turned around and came home and some how between the phone call and the house I got a very intense headache. We walked in the door at 6 o'clock. Since we didn't have anything precooked or thawed out, because we didn't think we were going to have to cook, we had to wing it. My head was pounding so badly I felt like I was going to pass out, so Noah fixed the kids food. Braddoc wanted cereal, Landon wanted beans and Tayton wanted potatoes. We totally earned the award for BEST PARENTS EVER by cooking that amazingly healthy dinner, right? Right? 

I wanted to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. 
I wanted my headache to go away. 
I wanted the kids to stop screaming.
I wanted them to all be in bed and the day to be over.
I wanted to be lazy and just do nothing.
I was in a bad mood. 
Everything today seemed to be stacked against me.

But of course the problem difficulty with being a parent is that you can't just rest or be lazy whenever you want. Well you can, but that's not always fair to your kids.

So I sucked it all up and cuddled with my babies on the couch. All three of the boys wanted my lap and I wanted my lap to myself. At first I just wished they all didn't like me so much, (you know the whole, "I need my space", "I just want to pee in peace." type thing?) but then I realized how blessed I was because they did love me so much and because they wanted to be near me. 

It was in that moment of realization that I thought about something I tell Landon all the time when he tells me he is just mad, "No one can make you mad but you. You are the only person who has control over your emotions. Other people can bother you and try to change your mood, but you are the only one who can truly let it affect your heart."

I always think about this quote by President Monson when I say that to him:

"To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible." 

Now I wasn't angry with anyone I was just in a bad mood, but to me the same thing applies, I think. I was in a bad mood and that's almost just as bad as being angry. 

The kids were not trying to put me in a bad mood. It wasn't fair to them that I had a headache and that I was tired and that I just wanted the day to be over. 
I needed to change my heart. 
I needed to find all the good in the day and be grateful for all I had.

Once I decided I needed to change my heart, it was easy to think of all the good things from the day.

I got to substitute for the chorister in primary. (if there were such thing as a "dream" calling, this would be mine.) It was so much fun to be with "my kids" in primary again. I have missed them since I got released. 

I actually got to go to church and worship. ( I am grateful to live in a country where I have that right)

Aowyn smiled at everyone and anyone who even looked her way today. That girl has the brightest eyes, and a smile to light up a room.

Tayton got hurt several different times and immediately ran to me and wanted to be loved on. He gives the most amazing hugs and is so soft and cuddly. 

I was able to bare my testimony in sacrament.

The boys cleaned up the playroom and were laughing and wrestling the whole time.

In the end I was still exhausted, my headache was still there, and I still wanted to go to sleep, but my mood was much better. My heart was changed and I was able to focus on the good parts, even though I felt like the vast majority of the day was rough. 

As a parent I can just quit or take the lazy road. I can tell my kids that because I am not feeling good that they are on their own and believe me sometimes I want too, and sometimes it needs to be a movie and popcorn lazy type of day, but usually it's more just a matter of me changing my heart and changing my mood.

Its not fair for me to just give up because I am forever, first and foremost their mom. Sometimes its tough to put on a bright smiling face. 
Sometimes it tough to be a happy mom in spite of all the crazy that is going on around us.
Sometimes it seems like our kids will never stop whining or crying or fighting.
Sometimes everything is not beautiful  and cheery with blue birds whistling a merry tune.
Sometimes we just do all we can to survive. 

Today I learned that even when I feel like I am barely staying afloat and that my feet are dragging the bottom of a very deep pool, while only the outermost tip of my nose is above the water, that its still above the water and that's all I need to change my mood. 

President Monson didn't say that its okay to be angry (or in a bad mood) when we have had a bad day. He didn't say that its okay to be angry when my day is rough and its all I can do to keep up with everything. He said that those are the emotions of Satan and that I have complete control over them. 

I don't have control over my children (even though I like to think I do, they still have their own agency),  I can't change the things they do all the time, but I can change me.

 I can chose to have the spirit of love with me and refrain from being in a bad mood. I am of course much happier when I chose that path and surprisingly so are my children. Things in the house change. The mood in the house changes. We all change. 

I'm not saying that its easy to change my mood. I am stubborn and for some crazy reason I always feel like I'm justified . I know that is possible to change it though and I know that "justification or not", my bad mood is not in keeping with the spirit of love that I want in my home. 

So while sometimes its just plain rough, isn't it better to have the spirit of love on our side? 

I think that it's our duty as parents, as women, to foster that spirit in our home, no matter how crazy it is, no matter how hard it is. It IS possible to change our mood and it is worth it to change it.

Because after all, these beautiful kids are worth whatever it takes.