Field trips

Saturday I was having a sort of writer's block- if that's what you can call it.  I was preparing sharing time for primary. :)  We made plans to go out on a hike that afternoon.  And to show our commitment to the hike- I even invited my sister & her family to come along.  Well, 6 o'clock rolled around & I was still lacking in the creativity department & it was so tempting to give up on the hike...but we didn't!  So what if my sister beat us there by about an hour (so much for going with us haha).  But my point- we got out!

The next morning, I turned on BYUtv (I always watch while getting ready for church).  Music & the Spoken Word (aka- Mormon Tabernacle choir) was on.  Lloyd D. Newell, who gives little inspirational sermons between each song, just happened to be talking.  And what about?  Field trips.  Here's what he had to say-

A traveler once pulled into a gas station and asked the attendant how far it was to the Grand Canyon. 
"About 170 miles” was the answer. "What’s it like there?” the traveler asked.
"I don’t know. I’ve never been there,” the attendant answered. The traveler was shocked. 
"You mean to tell me you live this close to the Grand Canyon and you’ve never visited it?” Then he thought for a moment and said, "I guess I can understand that. I live in New York City, and I’ve never visited the Statue of Liberty.” 
When was the last time you visited a place of interest in your community? Do we sometimes become so accustomed to our surroundings that we are blind to the beauty around us? 
Field trips are not just for school children. Whether it’s down the street or across the town, there are many things to see and experience in every community: a historical marker, a walking trail, a museum, a factory or farm, a sanctuary or garden, to name just a few. 
A daughter, now grown with children of her own, fondly remembers how her father would occasionally pile the family in a car and go on a Saturday field trip—after the chores were done. They did not have time or money to go very far, but they discovered all kinds of sights and adventures close to home. Now she tries to do the same with her family. 
You don’t need to get in an airplane and fly across time zones to go on a field trip. Right where you live there are things to learn about and do, discoveries to be made, and sights to see. 
Look around you. Don’t let the opportunities pass you by. Don’t let the school children have all the fun.

Now, in light of all that, I was glad we had not relinquished on our efforts to go on our own "field trip".




Chad & Bradley lighting a chinese lantern (you know, the kind off of tangled).
I love the look of giddiness on Bradley's face (bottom left corner). What is it with men & fire?
...and it flew up & away until it was finally this little orange speck in the sky.


White & green

I promise I didn't plan this out. I'm not that organized. If I were, Liam would be wearing pants.


Isn't he getting so chunky?

 2 1/2 months...15 pounds.


Catch up

We've had a lot of projects going on around here lately & they're finally coming to an end. Things are calming down & here I sit catching up on my blog. These pictures...well, they're kinda unrelated other than it shows the fun we've been having since the projects have come to an end.  Oh these boys!  They are getting so big!  Liam points out letters, stars, hearts & circles everywhere we go...he still doesn't talk much, but the boy knows his letters.  And Max, he's smiling & cooing like a champ.

Max watching his brother...proof that we all think Liam is a little crazy sometimes.
Our trampoline & fence- two of the projects. SMP landscaping did our fence- we love it!  And Liam, as you can see, loves the trampoline!  He's our little jumper boy. 
He started out sitting and somehow worked himself up into a sort of squat position. This little boy loves to extend his legs & kick off of things!

I love how bright & clear little kids & babies eyes are. No, I did not do any editing to these pictures. This is how bright this boy's eyes actually are.
And this is another one of the projects. Our master closet was pretty small. I actually forgot to take a picture of it before, but it was about the size of the closet to the right (I know, it's very clean & organized...just the closet from the spare room that houses a lot of my craft stuff & other random things). We expanded it taking a few feet from Liam's room. He doesn't miss it. :)


Being a mom...

Not long after having Max, I had this interesting dream.  I dreamed that I was with an old friend from my single years.  We were going somewhere & I went to my closet to get something to wear.  When I opened up my closet I found it filled with baby clothes.  And I thought to myself, 'Oh, I have nothing to wear.  My kids have spit up & wiped boogies, etc., on all of my clothes.'  When I woke up, I felt like the dream had meaning & I pondered on it.

When I had one child, yeah, I lost some of my freedom, but I was still able to pursue a lot of my passions & hobbies.  For example- I took up photography & started my own photography business.  But suddenly things have seemed to change with two kids.  I think my dream was hinting at that.  Freedom I had once enjoyed as a single person seemed to now be completely gone.  Motherhood seemed to be a lot more "full-time".

Now fast forward to this past week- 
This past week we've been getting a fence in...we've been expanding our closet (it was dinky!)...and I've been performing surgery on my blogs (which I might add are still far from being done on both!).  I used to gauge the craziness of my life by the condition of my car & room (single years).  Now that I'm married with kids I've expanded this to include the condition of my house (the car is a hopeless cause) and the state of my children.

I have to admit that this past week wasn't my finest.  I was on the computer a lot.  I'm fascinated by coding & web design- but man, sometimes it seems like a foreign language & that language takes time to learn!  Anyways...Liam threw some award winning tantrums...aanndd please also note his significant lack of clothing in the below pictures.  Our house seemed to be in a perpetual state of disorder.  I usually try to do at least the minimal with primping- foundation, mascara & hair), but no, not even that some days.  And Max, he spent a lot of time on my lap bouncing as I sat at the computer.  I justified it all in the name of construction (fence, closet, website).

Towards the end of this week I was beginning to be more honest with myself.  I even prayed for help and understanding.  And I know the Lord has answered those prayers.  I'm grateful for all the woman that I have been able to talk to this weekend that have felt or feel this struggle to find balance with motherhood.  Their commitment to be good mothers has strengthened my resolve.  I know I could continue on with these justifications this coming week.  Fence, closet, & website are still not done.  But this coming week I'm going to do better.

This mom stuff is hard sometimes.  In some ways, it helps me understand consecration better.  I'm not saying I'm going to forsake my hobbies...but I'm going to do better at putting first things first.  And I'm going to start this week.  (btw- I'm also going to try to do better at getting to bed earlier!...Oh so tempting to sacrifice sleep to get time to do my own thing- like blogging-  while everyone is sleeping.  Sigh.)     

Oh, & some pictures of my old blogs' look.  Thought it'd be fun to have.