Today is a good place to be.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review (For lack of a better, more creative title)

Kathryn was sick this past week- really sick.  Several days worth of fevers.  Lots of nasal drainage.  Coughing like a chain smoker.  But, every day we said:  At least it isn't a UTI.  I wonder how long we will be grateful that her illnesses aren't because of her kidney issues.  I think I will be forever.

So her sleeping schedules were way off-- she slept whenever and where ever she felt like.  Which meant night times were tough as I slept with a feet and hands and a head in my back at various times of the night-- along with a little darling asking me for a drink throughout the night.  It also meant my days were full of cuddles and holding and not much else.  I caught her cold too and was pretty worthless around here, but managed to keep the minimum done around the house to keep things running.  I also didn't stress about what wasn't getting done.  Holding a sick child is more important than any old laundry pile or sink full of dishes.
Kathryn during a cat-nap.

Nathan came up with a new phrase:  Snug Mode.  Saturday was a gorgeous spring like day.  I spent the morning going on a walk with some dear friends, and then after baby's nap we treated ourselves to some Mexican dinner and then went to Cooper Mountain Nature Park for a walk.  Nathan's legs were breaking he was so exhausted.  He said as soon as he got home he was going to change into snug mode:  Put on his PJ's and get two blankets. 
Snug Mode

On our way to CMNP Leila started laughing-- like really from the gut laughing.  She told us she just came up with the funniest joke in her head.  I asked her to share it, but she wouldn't.  She told us if she did, we would be laughing for days and days.  She must have thought that was much too disruptive in our lives.
Super Silly Leila

I love my family-- even after exhausting weeks of sickness and the regular run-around of life.

The previous Saturday was the Chocolate Festival which I was so fortunate to be able to attend with my lovely mother and sister in law.  This is our second year attending and its a tradition I am happy to see us continue.  This year the event was so big the moved it to the convention center- and I have to say I was "Chocolated-out".  Which is not something I ever expected to happen.  I came home with goodies for my family and shot this cute video of Kathryn enjoying a chocolate covered oreo.  (Grandma Conser- you will especially enjoy this video of your chocolate loving baby)
video

Sunday, January 16, 2011

All about GIRL SCOUTS!

Leila- Daisy Troop 1st Grade
Our house is full of sales!  Our little Girl Scout has been selling cookies like crazy for her first year of girl scouts.  We really have no idea what to expect or where to set her goals, so we are just going with it- and having fun.  Pre-sales end tomorrow(but sales do continue through Feb), so if you need a few boxes of cookies, please call us!

I took her to the store yesterday to get her uniform and gave her a choice between earrings and the little beanie.  She chose the beanie-- which I am very happy about because it is so darn cute!  Leila becomes an "Official Girl Scout" on Wednesday at her Investiture Ceremony, which should be a lot of fun. 

Girl Scouts have been around for a very long time with the confidence and self-esteem of girls as the first priority.  Our girls are special.  They are capable of doing anything they choose.  They are delicate creatures and do require special handling so they are as aware of their specialness as we are.  As a parent of a girl the responsibility it great to raise her to understand her value, her worth, and how incredibly amazing she is.  I am glad we are involved in this organization.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grandparents

Over the past few weeks I have found myself watching the grandparents in the world.  I assume they are grandparents, I don't really know.  But their age is an indicator.  They look grand-parent-ish, so I feel safe to assume they are what I think they are.  I don't call them that, so I am not offending them just in case they aren't(except Kathryn will sometimes call out "Grandma" to a grandma-looking lady).  I lost my both of my Grandmothers the same year, and I remember grieving them in silly places, like the post office or grocery store, when I would see sweet old women at the checkout stand.  Now its old women, old men, and especially these grandparents with their grandchildren or great grandchildren.  I miss my parents parents.

Grandma Schouten (the "ch" in Schouten is pronounced like a "k") passed away 15 years ago.  When we lived in SLC, UT, she lived in Springville, which was around 45 mins away, so we were able to see her quite a bit.  Grandma was independent and fun. She chuckled and laughed and was always wanting to come up with something to bake or cook or make in the kitchen that would put meat on our bones.  She enjoyed playing games with us and liked to spend time with us.  She was beautiful, wrinkly, but beautiful.  I only knew her with white hair, but she had red hair that she passed onto me and now my children.  There is a picture of a very young, non-wrinkly her and my grandfather and I always thought she should have been a movie star. 

In my later teen years she gave me an envelope with some family keepsake pictures.  I didn't appreciate it at the time and have no idea how I managed to keep it in my possession all these years, but I came across it last year when moving some documents down to a newer filing cabinet in our garage.  I then put in my kitchen, which I recently unearthed in an organizing fit.  I have since decided they belong perfectly in my scripture bag-- you know with the spirit of Elijah and all that.  Thanks Grandma for this gift.


Yes- that is me- looks like Kathryn doesn't it? 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good Bye 2010

I am happy to say good-bye to the year we just endured.

There was a lot of loss.  A lot of pain and heartache.  A lot of stress and worry.  I have watched friends and dear family members struggle with just yucky stuff.  I have felt distance develop between certain friends and family that I never thought would have.  I have developed anxiety over things I would never have thought I would have a year or two ago.

There were positives too.  My baby had a successful surgery and is healthy and happy.  I participated in three sprint tri-athlons.  I have gained and recognized some very dear friends.  I felt the arms and support of many loved ones who rose to care for me and my family in our down times.  And of course, my children continue to grow and learn and amaze me daily on the capacity of their minds and the beauty of their spirits.

Overall, this wasn't my favorite year, yet it was an important year.  It tested me and made me uncomfortable.  Through these tests and discomfort I am learning and growing more as a person.  I may not always make the right decisions, but these opportunities are allowing me to know myself more than I thought possible.

I want my children to know when life gets hard, you will learn something from it.  What you learn will allow you to become a better person- a wiser person.  It will allow you to someday help someone else as they suffer and hurt as you  may have.  So, hang in there.  When you feel hope is lost, it isn't.  When you are sad and feel lonely, you aren't.  When you are so frustrated and do not want to do a single thing, don't- take a short break- then get back to it.  Your Mom says its OK. 
And your Mom loves you more than anything.
Now, lets move forward and see what is next?