My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Woah, woah, woah. What a weekend! I tell ya, we seem to not know how to just have Christmas around here. Nope.

First of all, we decided to get married the day after Christmas. So I guess we never even had a chance for a normal Christmas right from the start. Yeah, I know. Ask our families, they loved it. ha! No really, I think they did. My family left the open house and took off for a week long vacation of a lifetime...without me. Boo. But I'm over it, almost. It was one of the best day's of my life though, and boy do we have some awesome stories.
THEN, we decide to have a baby two days before Christmas. Well, maybe we didn't exactly decide that very date, but we could have planned a little better, but we won't go into THAT. So, we spent Christmas day in the hospital eating our "Christmas Dinner" of rubber steak, rock hard mashed potatoes, something that I think was supposed to be a jello salad, and an awesome jawbreaker brownie for dessert.
And then there was the year where we decided to take all of the presents, our whole family, the dog and three gerbils on a 14 hour trip, in order to spend the holiday with family. After some road closures, a gerbil running loose in the car, some serious dog gas, and some LONG hours in the car, we made it, and it was great. Really.
I guess we are making memories, and boy do we have some great ones.

This year has been pretty nuts, and it isn't even Christmas yet. Amazing.
We did have a great weekend though. At this very moment, Ben is finishing up his LAST paper before he is done with his MBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided that since the campus isn't here, so Ben doesn't get to walk across a stage, and listen to the boring grad. speeches and wear that rockin' awesome dress, tent, gown ,thing, we might as well have our own party. And we did. And it was great.

I send out the invites via email, got the RSVP's, and then planned accordingly. This was no simple task, given the number of people we invited, but it was worth it. We had a fun night with friends and family. It was an open house, so we kept it casual and fun...just like Ben.

The table all set up with goodies for the open house.

Gifts and cards for Ben.

We had a great night, and it was a good thing for us to see how far we have come since we moved here. We really do have some cool friends here and our ward is pretty cool as well. We are getting to know more people and make more friendships. We are beginning to plan some seeds.

The next day was Mary's Birthday party! Her Birthday is two days before Christmas, but we decided to party early, to keep it a little more seperate from the big holiday. She wanted a fairy party, so that's what we did.

It was an absolute riot! Oh my goodness, it was hilarious. 8 giggly girls, dressed up in fairy outfits, all talking at the same time. It was loud, it was about as girly as you can get, and it was bursting with emotion. Poor Ben, coming from a home with all boys, just about lost his mind, but he was a good fairy prince and scooped the ice cream, ran the video camera, and even joked around with the girls for a while.

Mary had a blast and so did her friends. They played pass the evil wand (hot potato), musical chairs, they painted nails (you should have heard the screams of excitement when we announced the nail was ear piercing, just ask prince Ben),

and they made their own ice cream sunday's, topped with fairy dust.

We ended with Mary opening presents and some games of fairy hide and seek and a fairy movie.
It was a great party! It was the most girly thing Mary has done in a while, but it was so cute and so funny. Mary felt special and loved, and that is all that matters to me. She is such a good kid and has a very sweet heart. I can't believe she will be 6 this week!

Leave it to Mary to want to put these teeth in the goodie bags. They were a hit.

To top it all off, we got a dog. Yup, the night before Ben's open house. We are so smart with timing! ;) Actually, if we didn't get him that night, he was going to the pound. Not much of a choice. He is the same mix as Chamonix was. lab/husky. Only this dog looks WAY more husky. He actually looks like a big wolf. He is yellow, brown, tan, black and white.

We had a pretty bad first night with him, and I actually put him back up for sale, but the next day, after he got some food in his tummy, he did GREAT. He has been good since. He is absolutely amazing with the kids. I have been around dogs my whole life, and I have never seen a dog that is so good with kids. He is very protective of them and he even sleeps by them. He is eager to please. He is also already house trained, neutered, up to date on shots, plays fetch and knows how to sit. He seems to be a good one for running, camping, hiking, ect. His name is Nico. Welcome Nico!

Sunday was the ward Christmas program. I played the piano for one of the musical numbers. It was a gorgeous piece and it went really well. The girl who sang had a great voice. There was some flute involved in it as well, and it made it so fun. The whole program was beautiful and we felt such a strong spirit of the real reason for the season..Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful Sunday. The kids also got to wear their new Christmas clothes. William already grew out of his, so he isn't in the pictures, but he looks cute just the way he is.

And there you have it. Another Christmas week...Maynard style. As crazy as it is, we wouldn't change it. The laughter, the love, the joy and the bonding that takes place, makes all of the time and planning worth it.

Coming up...Mary's Birthday, Mary's school spotlight, a visit from some family, Christmas Eve with some cool friends and neighbors, Christmas, our week long vacation with family, New Years and all of the other mind boggling, unexpected, crazy happenings that are bound to go along with it all!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ski Night

Ben took Mary and Sam skiing yesterday evening, for the first time this season. Sam went once last year, but it wasn't the best experience, so we decided that this was his "official" first time skiing.

They went night skiing, and had a blast! It was late, and I was sooooooooo tired, so I stayed home with William, rented a few red boxes, bought some chocolate covered cinnamon bears, and hung out with my baby.

The kids had a great time! Mary picked up right where she left off last year, and didn't require any help from Ben. She was very excited to go, and Ben said she had a lot of fun. Ben brought a rope and wrapped it around Sam's waist. Sam went in front of Ben and Ben used the rope to control Sam's speed. Sam had a much better experience this time and is still talking about it today. He is very proud of himself. This morning when I asked him how skiing was he said, "It was so fun mom, but I had to pull daddy down the hill with a rope." I about died laughing.

(a picture on the chairlift)

I am so glad that the kids could have such a great time with their daddy. Sooner than later, we will all be able to go as a family each time, but for now, I think I like knowing that there is some daddy/kid bonding happening on the ski hill. I also quite enjoyed myself with my treats and movies. I smell a tradition in the making.

I was going to make a post about this in the Fall, but I never got around to it. We call this, "Pre' Season Practice." Hehehe

Thursday, December 9, 2010

During Family Scripture Time

Ben asked Sam, "Who is Jesus?"
Sam replied, "Good."

Ben asked Sam, "Who is Jesus Christ?"
Sam replied, "Jesus' friend."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yes, the season is a busy one, and yes, this week in particular is NUTS, but in all honestly I LOVE this time of year and even the hustle and bustle it brings. It just adds to the excitement and magic. I am a busy body, and I love this time of year, so most of the time, I don't mind the madness and I almost welcome it. As long as I get some sleep at night, and some breaks here and there, I am good to go. I am sure that I must have been an elf in the past life...Ben agrees. ;)

We have had some fun family time these past few weeks, and I regretfully haven't posted anything about them. Here is a brief summary.

We went to our first movie as a family. We saw Despicable Me and laughed our heads off. It was great. The kids loved it and I loved watching them love it. Ben hung on as long as he could, but he was snoring by the end, with a sleeping William in his arms.

Before that we went to a huge animal adoption fair in Salt Lake. We really Really REALLY want a dog, but we are being very picky this time. No hole diggers, and it has to be "fixed" and house trained. We fell in love with an absolutely gorgeous dog, but they said that we would have to pay for her training classes on top of the adoption fee, which was a crazy amount of $$. They also said she was very hyper. It was a no-go, but it was so fun to look at all of the animals there. We will find our dog soon. I have my eye on a few already. ;)

We took the kids to the mall to see Santa on Monday after FHE. I love having kids that are old enough to believe and get all excited. It is great. I waited in line with William in the stroller and Ben took the kids to play on the toys until I got to the front of the line. I have been to see many a Santa, but I must say that this one was truly awesome! He made the kids feel so happy and excited and he even made Ben and I feel good. He took time with us and it made the HUGE wait well worth it.
On the way home in the car, Mary "saw" Santa's sleigh flying him back to the North Pole. She was giggling from excitement and had her face plastered to the window the whole way home. Priceless.

We decided to place an empty manger amidst our other decorations, and the kids are slowing filling it with one piece of straw at a time, when they do a good deed. The goal is to have the bed soft enough for Jesus to arrive in it Christmas morning. It has been a great way to keep the focus of the holiday where it should be.

We truly do find joy in being together as a family, and Ben and I have re-committed ourselves to make sure we do more fun outings and just hang out more as a family.

Oh, and speaking of fun, guess what I got done yesterday.

Yup, that mole under my left eye....GONE!
I thought I was going in for a consultation, and walked out the door with this big, nasty, bright orange, bandaid under my eye. And yes, the Relief Society Christmas Dinner was that night, and yes, I was in the musical number. Awesome. I think I only had to explain the bandaid about, oh, 500 times!
Aside from the needle going right under my eye, smelling the Dr. burning my skin around the mole, the awesome swelling today, my big orange bandaid, and the great stinging sensation, I am thrilled. NO MORE MOLE! Few.

p.s. I took the bandaid off last night, after the R.S. Dinner, to assess the damage, and there is hardly anything under it! It looks great! Too bad I didn't take it off before the dinner, but then I would not get the great experience of walking around with a big ugly bandaid under my eye, and I wouldn't be me without experiences like those.

Speaking of the dinner though, I actually made a food for a church activity that people went nuts over! I make a lot of food for church stuff, and it usually gets eaten, but I have never had people completely freak out over something. Cooking is not that fun to me, so I don't care if people don't go crazy over it. I made this killer pudding, berry, jello, whip cream, thingy and it was unbelievable. I made a gigantic bowl of it, thinking my family could have the leftovers, but it was gone..all gone. The women ranted and raved over it. It was pretty fun and a little embarrassing. I am not a fan of that much attention. My mom made it for Thanksgiving and it was the first thing gone there too. It is incredible. It is also a very pretty Christmas dish to serve. The layers make it look festive and fun. I will post the recipe soon. Sorry, no picture.

So there you have it. Another rambling post about the joys of the season. We are looking forward to Ben's MBA Graduation party (it is an open house...anyone is welcome) and Mary's 6th Birthday Party next week. Rock on!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Gotta Do It

This may not be the most interesting post to many of you, but this week is way too busy to let it go by without documenting it. It will be proof that I survived, if anything. Also, it is a great way for me to get it all down..again, and go over it all...again.

Visiting Teachers coming on Thursday.
Setting three visiting teaching appointments this week.
Teaching preschool at our house Tuesday and Thursday.
Making lesson plans for preschool, getting snacks and crafts ready to go.
Sending out Mary's Birthday party invites and planning party.
Getting Ben's MBA Graduation party evites out. (finding about 20 emails of people from here)
Activity Day on Wednesday...make treat to bring.
Teach piano Lessons..Wednesday
Parent Meeting for Mary's Gymnastics...Monday.
FHE lesson and then go to see Santa at mall...Monday
William's well baby check...Monday morning
Relief Society Christmas Dinner..Tuesday..bring salad and play piano for musical number
Practice piece for above musical number
Dr. Appt for me...Tuesday...trying to get that mole under my eye removed
Temple on Saturday..make appointment
Ward Christmas breakfast Saturday piano for musical number at this party too
Practice with people in ward party musical number
My turn for Mary's carpool this week...Mon. Wedn. and Friday
Get Ben' last Christmas gift
Tithing settlement..Sunday
Working out..every day that I can

Somehow I get to fit this all in between taking care of the kids, continuing Sam's eternal potty training, loads and loads of laundry, cooking dinner, attempting to clean the house, regulating play dates, Christmas shopping and planning, and all of the other mom stuff.

So far, I still have my sanity and I am just plowing through. We have had some awesome family outings that have kept the season fun and kept a good spirit in our home. Let's hope it continues.
Rock on.

And Here We Are!

William is 6 months old. Crazy huh. I remember when he was less than two weeks old, and he was crying and crying and crying. He was writhing in pain in my arms and I felt so helpless and desperate. He was throwing everything up, he smelled like acid, he hadn't pooped in almost 4 days, and we had tried numerous formulas. We had already been to the doctor four times. He had been crying for hours, with no end in sight. Ben and I were averaging 3-4 hours of sleep every night. (This was before we knew of his protein breakdown issue, his severe acid reflux, and before we received the "golden formula") I was pacing the floor back and forth, bouncing, swaddling, rocking, etc. I had been crying right along with Will. I was dreaming of the day that William would be 6 months old (six months has always been my favorite age for my babies), sleeping through the night, sitting up, and most importantly, not crying all the time. It seem like an eternity away.

Well, here we are, and how fast it came!

We just got back from William's well baby appointment, so I have the stats.

He is 20.3 pounds of luscious, white, sweet, soft, chunky, baby fat! We love every single roll on this boy.

He is 26.27 inches long, or short, depending on how you look at it.

He is OFF of the "golden formula!!!"

He is being weaned off the reflux meds, and is completely off one of them!

The doctor says he is doing great and that no permanent damage has occurred due to his protein intolerance. Sometimes it can really mess up the stomach of a baby if it isn't caught in time. We can even feed him baby food now!

I introduced him to baby food a few weeks ago and he absolutely went nuts.

If I didn't get the spoon back to his mouth fast enough, he would start waving his arms as fast as he could and begin crying. He tries to hold the spoon in his mouth, so I won't pull it away. (as seen in picture below) He absolutely loves eating! It is great. His favorite is the same as the other two. Sweet Potatoes. yummy.

He is sitting up all by himself now, and he can play with toys and reach without falling over.

This has been a VERY good thing for my back. Most babies that weigh as much as he does are crawling and almost walking, so the amount of time in mommy's arms isn't quite as much. For me, carrying him around all day, and at times, carrying him in the car seat, has really hurt my back. He is incredibly heavy. He has a great time sitting up and playing. It has been awesome.

He is in the phase of "mommy can't leave me." If I leave the room, it is over. He just starts sobbing in the most broken hearted way he can muster. I can't leave his sight at all, but I usually don't anyway. Luckily, if Ben is here, I can leave him with Ben and all is well.

He has a laugh that comes straight from the gut. It is the most adorable thing to hear. His whole body shakes. He thinks Mary and Sam are absolutely hilarious. When they make him laugh, it makes them laugh. It is very cute to see all three kids laughing.

William is the ultimate grabber. He reaches for and grabs EVERYTHING! If he is sitting in the bumbo, he will arch back as far as he can, with arm outstretched and fingers moving, to try to touch something. When I hold him, he is constantly leaning forward, back or sideways with arms flailing, to grab anything that we are walking past. He always has a handful of my hair when I hold him, or an earring. We call him Mr. Grabby. If he can't reach something, he will just stare at it and twitch his fingers. It is so funny.

We sure do love our big, chunky, happy, sweet eyed, drooling, food eating, sitting up, bundle of baby. Happy 6 months William!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Pictureless, Priceless Holiday, and a Miracle

We made the treck to Idaho for Thanksgiving. I still can't get over the shock when we leave our front door and walk into my parent's home in JUST THREE HOURS!! We are so used to traveling at least 11 hours. In fact, when we were getting into the car, Mary came out with three bags full of "stuff to do in the car." She is very used to traveling for hours on end to visit family. She was excited to learn that only one bag would be plenty...and it was.

We haven't taken a break since the move, and I didn't realize how much one was needed until it happened. Thanksgiving was wonderful! The best thing of all is that Ben let me sleep in every morning! I feel like my children pretty much run my schedule, including my precious sleep, so when I sleep in and wake up when I want to, it feels like a gift of gold. It makes me feel like I have some sort of control of what I do.

The holiday was full of delicious food, visiting tons of family, playing some seriously competitive card games, going to Harry Potter, Ben making a ski jump in my parents yard, being towed in behind my brother's truck, and doing a backflkip off of it, the kids playing with everyone, reading the last Hunger Games Book (horrible, sick, book), doing puzzles, getting a new cell phone, and so on. It was so fun though, that I forgot to take pictures. oops

I found myself stepping back and realizing how good it felt to just sit down. To just relax a little. To catch my breath. I was beyond exhausted when the trip began, and I was hanging on by a thread. It was a wonderful trip and it went by way too fast. Even if we did get snowed in Pocatello and get an extra day. ;)

We only had one mishap, and I still get sick to my stomach when I think about it. William was sitting up on my parents counter and I was holding on to him and talking to my mom. I turned to ask my sister a question and let go of him. At that same moment, he arched back. He fell backwards, approx. 3+ feet, and landed head first on my parents wood floor. Words cannot describe the horror I felt when I saw him lying on the floor. His head immediately swelled up to a scary size. I completely fell apart as we were getting ready to go to the E.R. The guilt was overwhelming, the fear was very real, and the realization of what the effects could be, were too much to handle. The swelling looked horrible and he was pale and lethargic. My dad and Ben gave him a blessing and we took off. I was so upset and so worried. So was Ben. By the time we got to the E.R., William was already looking better and the swelling was still very big, but going down. The doctor checked him out, decided against a CAT scan, and after asking a million questions, we left the E.R. and headed to the Thanksgiving Dinner with instructins to come back if he showed certain signs. (yes, this was Thanksgiving Day) I was positive that William would have a terrible lump and a very nasty bruise on his head. With that much swelling, that is just a given. Instead, there is absolutely no evidence that he fell that far or hit that hard. I consider it our Christmas miracle #2. In the blessing he received, he was blessed with a complete recovery, and he got it. There is no other way his head would have healed like that. I am so grateful that he is o.k. and I still hold him tightly every day and give him some extra snuggles, to try to ward off the terror that still resides in my heart. Thank goodness for answered prayers and the power of priesthood blessings.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Footprints...on the roof?

The Monday before Thanksgiving, Ben's good friend Doug and his wife Nayomee and their little boy Clark, came to visit us. Clark was born less than a week before William, so it was fun to see the two of them together. Ben has known Doug since they were just little boys and they have all sorts of hilarious stories. We were so excited that they were going to come spend the day with us. We talked for a while and did all of the catching up stuff and then Ben and Doug disappeared.
They are both snow ski fanatics, and when you put two snow ski crazy people together, crazy things happen. Nayomee and I went outside to see what they were doing, and they were busy shoveling away to make a landing for this.

Yup, Ben decided that Doug's visit would be the perfect time to jump off the roof with his snow skis. We ended up with a small crowd in the yard cheering him on. The bishop was the most excited of them all. In fact, the other day, we noticed that his son had snowboarded off their roof. Good thing I previously told the neighbors that we would not be responsible for any damages done by their children copying Ben. It was a joke at the time, but now I see that maybe I should have been more serious when I said that.
Poor little Sam stood there on the driveway begging Ben not to do it. He was near tears. It was so sad, he was worried for his daddy.

Ben landed it just fine and did it one more time. He was all grins. It was great!

So, like I have said, everyone that comes to our home leaves their footprints. Doug, Nayomee and Clark left footprints of fun, laughter, friendship, and of course, footprints on the roof.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Miracle

I am a big believer of Christmas miracles. I think they happen because everyone is just a little more giving, a little more loving, a little more focused on others, and a little more focused on Christ during the season. People help make miracles happen most of the time, but sometimes, they just happen.

Remember this.

Yeah, the $400 a month formula.

I am proud to announce that for the past week or so, William has been drinking this. (with no harmful side-effects)

It cuts the cost of formula by more than half.

And this folks, to be happening so soon, is a complete miracle.

We definitely have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

12 inches

of SNOW!!!!

We went to sleep with snow slowly, softly and silently trickling down from the heavens, but when we woke up, we still couldn't believe our eyes!!!

We looked out our room window and saw this!

Within the next half hour, the snow clothes were dug out of the box in the garage and everyone was out. ALL of the neighbors were shoveling away and talking about how amazing it all was.

Mary was so excited to try out all of her new ski clothes. She stayed out for a very long time. The snow gear must be pretty good.

Of course, a neighborhood snow ball fight commenced...(in the bishop's yard, hehehe)

Ben can't stop grinning and already made the "perfect landing for when he jumps off the roof with his skis tomorrow." No comment from me.

Sam was so excited that he kept on giggling while we were getting his snow stuff on. He and Landon had a great time getting stuck in snow piles and helping eachother get out.

I stayed inside with William and did this.

and MUCH more.

Aside from a few more little touch up decorations (like a stocking for William, the Christmas tree, another piece to add to my North Pole Village, ect.), the house is all ready to celebrate the Christmas season and bring happiness and magic in our hearts. I planned on waiting until next week, but the excitement in the air and the warmth in our hearts brought on by the snow, changed my mind.

The decorations will be topped off with a warm yummy dinner cooking away in the crock pot, homemade cinnamon rolls, and a Christmas movie tonight.

What an awesome Sunday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buckle Your Belts...

I am on a blogging frenzie!! I very rarely blog every day of the week. Usually, I just don't think about it, or I can't find something to blog about. I guess this past little while has been full of stuff. And here is another one to add to the list.

I found a gold mine! Allow me to explain...

Ever since we pulled Mary from gymnastics, I have felt so badly. Not because it was fun for me, but because I was a mother who knew her daughter had a very unique and awesome talent for something and a strong love for something, and I took it away from her. I just felt so wrong about it, but I knew I was making a good decision at the same time.

The gym we found for her here was not going to work with our lifestyle. Yes, it is an incredible gym and they produce absolutely incredible gymnasts, but you have to pay the price in all sorts of ways. We are not down with that. It is a sport, and that is all it is. It was WAY too demanding and it was so incredibly expensive. It was absolutely crazy to put in that much time and money for a 5 yr. old girl. We made the right decision to pull her out of that gym, but maybe it wasn't the right decision to pull her out of the sport.

The feeling that I messed up on this one has never left me, and it has been driving me crazy. Mary has missed the sport a lot as well. She has enjoyed dance and it is fun to watch her dance, but the spark just isn't there for her. It was bitter/sweet to watch her dance sometimes.

Yesterday I decided to look up another well know gymnastics gym in the area. I couldn't believe my ears when the lady on the phone told me the price! It was totally reasonable and completely able to fit into our budget! Then she told me the hours Mary would be in the gym, and I was sold. Mary will be in the gym the same hours she was in Colorado (which is wonderful) and the cost is exactly 1/2 the price! None of this 9 hours in the gym sort of thing. She will only be there 2 and sometimes three hours a week. I was so excited when I got off the phone.

I talked to Mary about it when she got home from school and she is so happy and excited. She can hardly wait for her trial class on Thursday. They are going to test her to see what level she will be in.

The program is very similar to the one she was in in Colorado and the gym looks almost identical.

I feel great about the price, the amount of time, and the coaching Mary will have. It is completely reasonable and fits into our lifestyle. Most of all, I feel a lot more settled and at peace about the whole thing.

We will be pulling Mary out of dance, which is a bummer, because it was really cute, but she is just not a dance girl. This gym will be a great fit for her and I can't wait to see her flipping, climbing, bending, challenging herself, and doing what she knows best, once again.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Yesterday, at church, I talked to a guy that is living here while his family is home in Colorado Springs trying to sell their house. They will be moving here when it sells. Talking to him about the Springs gave me a huge lump in our throat, especially because they were in our old Stake. And then we discovered that his daughter goes to Aerials gymnastics in the Springs. We then discovered that I know his wife and have talked to her several times when Mary was in gymnastics. She is a twin, and her twin sister had a daughter in Mary's class. When we put it all together, I had a big cloud come over me. I felt horrible about taking Mary out of gymnastics, especially because all of the memories from Aerials and how happy she was there came flooding back. Thinking of Aerials made me then think of the rest of the town, and it went from there. I was 2 seconds away from tears the rest of the afternoon.

That evening, Mary asked me if she could call Tyler, her friend from Colorado. She was really missing him, I could tell. So, she called him. We talked to "the good neighbors" on the phone. It was sooooo wonderful to talk to them. Mary LOVED talking to Tyler. I was beyond excited to talk to Mel. Since then, however, I have been a blubbering mess. I can't seem to shake it.

We are doing fine here in Utah. We have friends, we like our house, we love our neighborhood, ect. BUT, we are still in the adjustment phase and at times it makes me crave the comfort and joy of our life in Colorado.

In order to try to get back on track, I am trying to focus on the "uppers." The good things that have occurred. There is one in particular that just melts my heart.

The other day, as we were walking in to wamart, Sam noticed a firetruck parked next to the store. Sam walked over to the truck in complete awe and admiration, he touched the truck. It was as if he were seeing a real dinosaur for the first time. He was so awe struck he wasn't even talking. He just kept stroking the truck.

I finally got him to go into the store, and right when we got through the doors, the firemen came walking by. Sam stopped right there in his tracks and stared at the firemen. It caught their attention and they waved to Sam. Sam stayed perfectly still, jaw wide open and very slightly raised his hand and waved back. They firemen began walking away and Sam kept staring. They looked back and Saw him still standing there looking at them like they were Gods. They waved again and walked out the door. Sam followed them in his stupor and stopped right outside the door. He was watching them get into the truck. Again, his jaw was down and he was frozen in place. The firemen noticed Sam standing there, so they turned on the truck lights. Sam's only reaction was a very soft and reverent, "cool" coming out of his mouth. His eyes were still fixed on the firetruck with the firemen in it. I was standing next to him trying to gently get him to go back into the store. It was FREEZING.

A few seconds later, the door to the firetruck opened, and one of the firemen hopped out and walked over to Sam. He had a blown up latex glove balloon in his hand. He knelt down in front of Sam and said, "hey little dude. We don't have any fireman badges to give you, but we wanted to give you this balloon. Have a good day, o.k." Sam muttered a soft, "thank you." Then the fireman got back in the truck. As they drove off, they gave a small honk of the horn and waved to Sam. Sam finally got over the shock and immediately was so excited he could hardly stand it. His glove balloon had a cute smiley face drawn on it, and it didn't leave his hands the rest of the day. Such a precious moment for my little boy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Mother's Touch

On Friday afternoon, I met my mom, my sister-in-law, and her two kids at the exit that leads to....OUR HOUSE!!!

That's right. My mom came to visit! And she brought Juliet and her kids along with her. My brother and Juliet live in Alaska, so this is a very rare thing to have her in our home.

Just for a re-cap, my mom has been to our house twice since Ben and I graduated from college 6 years ago. The first time was when I had the horrific miscarriage and ended up severly anemic for weeks on end. My mom came the day I got home from the hospital and stayed for a week. Sadly, it was her first time ever coming to see us, and I only remember a few bits and pieces of it. I was on heavy meds that week and I don't remember much at all. She came in a time of great need though, and I am so grateful for her love and service.

The second time she came was exactly a year later, the day I got home from the hospital after giving birth to William. That week was absolutely out of control. William was so incredibly sick and we were in the tailspin of trying to figure out what was wrong with him. He was crying ALL day and ALL night and Ben and I were complete wrecks of worry and exhaustion. Ben and I got less than 2 hours of sleep a night that week. It was pretty bad. My mom saved us by taking complete care of Mary and Sam.

So, her visit this time around, I was elated to be healthy, happy, rested, and able to treat her as a guest and not have her working the whole time. It was awesome to have her see our new home and leave her own footprint here. She bouyed me up in ways that only a mother can do. She praised all of my hard work with painting. She gushed over the kids rooms and the decorations I have throughout the house. She smooched all over Williams fat squishy face, and she played with Mary and Sam. She brought my favorite goodies, and she brought LOTS of them. Cinnamon rolls, pumpkin rolls, cinnamon bread, giant cookies, ect. She brought such a feeling of comfort and love to our home.

Juliet and her kids left their footprints as well. The kids played and played and played. They are very cute together and I love that Mary and Sam will be able to connect with and have a bond with their cousins. The fact that Juliet traveled all this way brought a feeling of family unity and love to our home. A feeling of sacraficing for eachother and making family a priority. I am grateful for her willingness to come and for what that teaches my children about the importance of family.

We crammed a lot in a little time. We went to chick filet, we talked, we brainstormed lots of decor ideas for some places in our home that I am stumped with, we drove to Mary's school so grandma could see it, we went to Hobby Lobby and had a very "successful" trip, we made Christmas plans, we set up all of Sam's car tracks, and we had a good time just being together.

Our home was left, once again, with such a feeling of love and happiness.

We have been starved for visitors for so long, and I don't take any of it for granted. I LOVE getting the phone call that someone wants to stop by, or stay the night, or just come visit. It means so much to me. It makes this very difficult move a lot easier and reminds me over and over again, that there are reasons the Lord needs us here, and even though we have yet to see some things unfold, and it may take years for some of them to come to pass, other reasons are already being shown to us. I feel that they are our tender mercies in our time of hard adjustment. Some of those reasons can be fun ones. We need to be here to see family more often and to feel more of that love. We all need eachother. I am down with that. It has already blessed our lives and our home so much.

Thank you so much for coming mom and Juliet. I love the footprints you left in our home. Love you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Footprint

O.K., you got me. No, I had not done my hair before the picture was taken. It was a rushed morning o.k. Katie looks awesome though..don't you think?

My best friend in the whole wide world (since 1st grade) came to stay at our house last night with her husband and three absolutely adorable kids. It was an unexpected surprise when I got the phone call that they needed a place to stay. I was very excited.

The visit was short, but so nice. I LOVE opening up our home to family and friends. We had so little of it in California and Colorado, but I am really hoping that things will change now that we are closer, and we live in an awesome middle ground for travelers. So far, it is proving to be true.

As mentioned earlier, each person that comes here leaves a footprint in our home that is here to stay, and it makes our house even more a home. I am so glad Katie and Landon chose to stay here and leave their spirit of love and friendship here with us.

During this time of adjustment with the move and feeling so vulnerable in the friend department, it was so nice to be with Katie. She knows me more than most anyone, and she loves me for who I am. I feel the same about her. She has been a constant and dedicated friend to me for almost my whole life. Our stories could go on forever. It was very refreshing to just be me and to know that we have our friendship no matter what.

It was so cute to see our little girls playing together. They are just 1 year away from the age Katie and I were when we met. Talk about a time warp!

We are so glad they came and we look forward to seeing them again during the Thanksgiving break.

Thank you for coming Katie, love ya tons....come back soon!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Dear Running Shoes,
We have run many miles together, approx. 800+ to be exact.
We have run in four different states.
We have trained for and been through a full marathon together.
We have run with a dog pulling us along.
We have run through rain, wind, blizzards, blazing hot sun, fog, light and dark.
We have run inside and out.
We have run through 1 and 1/2 pregnancies.
We have run with stomach aches, side aches, leg aches, foot aches, head aches, gallbladder aches, and so on....
We have had gorgeous, peaceful, energized, wonderful runs.
We have been through, torturous, exhausting, painful, and difficult runs.
You have molded perfectly to my feet, we go so well together.
I am afraid however, that I have run you ragged.
Your spring is now a thud.
Your soft comfortable cushion is now a rock hard lump.
Your cute and fun colors are now stained and torn.
You have done well my friends. You life was well spent.
You have stayed there with me through thick and thin.
You have earned your place on the Maynard wall of fame, in the garage. (right next to Ben's retired snow skis and your previous running shoes)
There you can hang with pride and dignity, the marathon medal hanging around your neck, a constant reminder of hard work, discipline, perservenance, reward, achievement and great satisfaction.
Maybe someday, another pair of shoes will hang just under you, and the legacy will live on.

A Visit From Bop

This weekend was wonderful! A lot of fun things happened. Church was awesome and after church, we hung out with some couples that we really clicked with and had a great time with. They invited us over for dessert with a few other people, and we all ended up staying and talking and laughing for a long time. It was so refreshing! I miss my friends so much and I started to feel a little bit of that hole being patched up that evening.

BUT, the highlight of the entire weekend was our special visitor.

My dad (the kids call him Bop) came to see us for the first time ever. I am not exaggerating. It was the very first time my dad has been able to come see us since we graduated from college. He works very hard (18 hour days) and has two jobs, so getting time off for him is next to impossible. He always wants to come see us, but he just hasn't been able to. This visit meant the world to me. I was excited all week.

He came Saturday night, stayed the night and hung out with us until 1:00 the next afternoon.

I love the feeling that now resides in our home. Bit by bit, and visitor by visitor, our house will become our home. Each person that visits leaves a part of them here and therefore brings a part of our family and friends here to stay. To me, that is what makes a home.

I loved how my dad was just my dad. He walked in our house and the first thing he did was fix our basement bathroom toilet. (in about 2 seconds) Next he went right to the closet with our furnace and stuff and checked it all out. Then we were out in the yard with him checking out the sprinkler system and helping us know how to blow it out.

He and I talked into the late hours of the night and had a great time looking over a bunch of family stuff he brought. He played Batcave with Sam, talked with Mary and held William. He joked with Ben and made sure all was well with us.

We went on a walk with him Sunday morning and showed him around our neighborhood. He was full of compliments and admiration about our home, our family and the life we are working to make for ourselves. It meat so much to me.

I was so sad to see him leave, but he left a footprint in our home that is here to stay. I can feel it.

Thank you for coming dad, I love you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

5 months!

William is 5 months old today! We love him so much. He is such a bright light in our home. He is our sunshine.

Here are some stats...

He is over 17 pounds, but I am not sure how much he truly weighs. We will find out next month at his appt. I do know, however, that he is SO HEAVY to carry around. My arms actually get sore some days and when he is in his carseat, it is almost impossible for me to lift him up and put him in the car. I would bet he is very close to 18 pounds, if he isn't there already.

He is very alert and aware of his surroundings. He knows what bottle is when you say it. He will immediately cry or get really excited when you say the word. He knows his family. He gets very excited to see Mary and Sam walk toward him. He cries when we leave the room and gets so happy when we come back. He knows the house, his bed, the swing and all sorts of good stuff.

He is only waking up once in the night!!!! Sleep, precious sleep!

He can sit up on his own for a while, but he hunches forward a lot. He has a nice big belly to balance on.

His laugh is absolutely adorable! He laughs with his whole body. He just lights up. We all do almost anything to get him to laugh. It makes us all laugh when he does.

William is practically bald. The little hair he does have is blonde, so you can't really see it. Hence, the hat in the picture. No, it wasn't cold, it was actually very warm and I was worried about his bald head getting sunburned. Mary was kind enough to run home and find a hat for him. The best part about the baldness, is that I can see each and every fat wrinkle on his head and I kiss them all the time.

He is grabbing everything. His favorites are my hair and my earrings. He also loves to grab the shirt collar of anyone who is holding him. He loves to grab and hold on to my finger when he is drinking his bottle. I love it when he does that. It is so nice to have his chubby fingers wrapped around mine.

The doctor took him off of his reflux meds for a trial run, but it wasn't so great, so he is back on them. I think I did 6 loads of laundry during those few days. He just threw up (projectile vomited) over and over and over and over and over again. EVERYTHING was soaked. Because of the formula he is on, when he throws up, Ben and I see $$ signs. And of course, we feel so bad for William as well. The poor kid smelled like acid all the time. Imagine what his mouth must have tasted like.
We will try to take him off of it in another three months or so, but I am in no rush.

We have been mixing his bottles with 1/3 of regular formula (doctors orders) and 2/3 of the stuff he is on. (Nutramigen AA) So far so good! I cannot tell you how elated we are! The hope is to have him completely on regular formula by Christmas. We could really use the extra $400 a month for something other than formula. The best part of all is that this tells us that Williams stomach is maturing and forming the parts it needs to in order to break down protien. Hooray!

William grew out of his 3-6 month clothes a few weeks ago and has now graduated into 6-9month clothes.

William weighs the same, right now at 5 months, that Sam did at 11 months. We have experienced small and big babies now. We love them all the same.

We love our Bubba head, jet puff, bumbo, big buddy, and buddy boo, so much. I just stare at him during the day and feel my heart melt. What a precious gift from God he is.

Happy 5 months William!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Moment

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reasons Why I Haven't Been Blogging in a Little While

So I haven't been able to blog at all for a while. A minute ago I just scanned all of your blogs and read through all of the titles. I have a TON of posts to catch up on, but believe me, I really do enjoy reading all of your posts and if time allows, I will attempt to catch up. If not, I will just pick up where I left off and hope you all can forgive.

What, you may ask, is keeping me busy and away from one of my favorite hobbies? Here are a few reasons....

Reason #1

A few weeks ago, on a Tuesday night, Ben and I were able to go to this...

We love Warren Miller movies! It was a great date, and I admit, those movies are really cool. We both got free ski passes, and you better believe, I will be hittin' the slopes this winter, at least once. Ben and the kids plan on going on a weekly basis. Both kids now have their own helmets and Mary will soon have her own skis. Ben surprised me the other day and came home with a pair of skis for me. Fun for everyone!

Reason #2
The following Friday was the Halloween Carnival at Mary's school. I remember being in grade school, and counting down the days for the school carnival. It was a major highlight in my life for sure.
This carnival proved to be just as awesome. The kids LOVED it! They got to wear their costumes, and they got all sorts of treats, prizes, cotton candy, shaped balloons, etc. They had an absolute blast! I loved re-living the excited feeling creeping up in me from my childhood.

Reason #3
The following evening, Ben and I went to an Adult-only-Halloween-Party. We made a few plates of these for our dessert contribution.

They were a major hit, and incredibly yummy.
I also made the famous pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting.

SSSOOOOOO incredibly yummy.
The party was great! It was a costume party. People went all out, and it made it a ton of fun.

I wasn't wearing my taped glasses in the picture, and it didn't get my pants pulled up to my ribs and my shirt tucked in either, or my lopsided ponytails and blue eyeshadow, but you get the idea. Ben looked awesome! He was wearing high water sweats with his ensemble. We make some pretty neato nerds. William got to join the party with some of his other infant friends. He was wearing a Popeye onsie. So cute.

Gotta love Trudi. She lives right next door. Her kids are Mary and Sam's best friends. I have gotten to know Trudi very well and she is so cool!

Mitzi and Chris. The hosts of the party. They live right across the street. They are a lot of fun.

These freaky vampires (The Dressens) even had the crazy contacts that made their pupils all weird.

Tammy Wood was a great Indian, complete with her baby on her back. Her husband is the Bishop and was gone on a camp out with the young men. Otherwise, they were going to be Peter Pan and Wendy. They live across the street as well.

I loved the army guys! (a.k.a. the Schmidt's) They made the entire house smell like spray paint.

Buddah and his lovely wife were a big hit. The guy inside the Buddah costume is hilarious in person, so he really hammed it up.

I will let the rest of the costumes speak for themselves. Let's just say that almost everyone acted the part of the costume that night and it was so hilarious.

Vanessa Peck made a great Star Treck character, even though I think she looked more like a character from Lord of the Rings. She lives down two houses and has become a good friend.

We played some very fun games, and laughed and laughed and laughed. We got to know people a little better and just enjoy a night out with the adults. It was so fun.

Reason #4
The next Monday we woke up to a skiff of this...

Pretty crazy huh! It is all melted now and the fall weather is back, but it was fun while it lasted, and the mountains look gorgeous.
The day was full of grocery shopping, working out, school for Mary, and an awesome F.H.E. in Salt Lake City showing the kids the pictures of the life of Christ from Birth to Resurrection. It was all really neat, aside from Mary throwing up all over the bathroom floor during our little outing. Poor kid! She spent the last 1/2 of the picture showing, lying on my lap, looking a little green, and asking questions about the pictures. She is all better now. Few! The Church History Museum is full of teaching opportunities. It is so cool to live so close to things like this. It is nice to have help teaching the kids about the gospel. The life size pictures were really neat and held the kids attention.

Reason #5
Preschool was at our house this week. So on Tuesday we talked about shapes, colors and the number 6. We also made stuff like this

and this.

Reason #6
My awesome, wonderful, kind, loving, hard workin', family lovin', good lookin', snow lovin', laugh makin', and incredibly awesome eternal mate turned 29 on Wednesday.

The weather Gods decided to give Ben a wonderful Birthday gift, and we woke up to three inches of this...

We love our daddy and husband, so we showered him with all sorts of fun stuff. He opened presents throught the day. We also had these delivered to him at work.

It was the biggest most unique balloon boquet I have ever seen! Love it!

When he got home, we presented him with this...

No, it is not a giant super hero sword fight.
It is the ultimate, chocolate, cream cheese, powdered sugar, grahm cracker, coconut, snow ski Birthday Cake!!!

Spider man was wearing "Spyder" skis. In fact, all of the people were wearing popular ski brand skis. hehehe

This dude was going off a jump, this one is probably Ben.

Ski lodge next to an ice skating rink. Mr. Penguin likes to hang out here.

Ben, Me, Mary, Sam and Batman uh, I mean William, on the sled behind daddy. Off to the ski hill!

At the last minute I remembered to add the number candles. That's right, Ben's LAST year in his 20's.

No, it's not dandruff, its snow. (powdered sugar)

Ninja Skier!

Happy Birthday Ben. Love you so much!

Reason #7
Thursday was the pre-school Halloween party, at our house.
We did things like this...

The Halloween parade/hunt for six houses, six pumpkins, six leaves, ect. (we were learning about the #6) Two kids weren't able to come, so it was a smaller group this time.

And this...

Cheese cloth ghosts in the "drying phase."

And this...

Spider Webs made from rolling a marble around in white paint blobs. Cool.

And we went on a treasure hunt to find the ingredients for our witches brew. (made from gummy body parts) Nasty.

We ended the party with pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern and ghost, ghost, goblin (duck, duck, goose)

Our house was rockin' to say the least.

Reason #8
Activity Day was on Wednesday. Because it was Ben's Birthday and my partner with this calling is getting her twins this week, we decided to call in some subs. Even though I didn't have the actual activity on Wednesday, I still made two dozen sugar cookies, called all of the girls to tell them about the change, and got toppings for the cookies, delivered the cookies to the homes of the subs and basically got it all set up. It is a great calling and I am getting to know these sweet girls. This week however, I just couldn't quite make it. Oh well, there is always next time.

Reason #9

Yup, we celebrated Halloween on Saturday in order to keep Sunday a little more Sunday-ish. In fact, I think everyone here did, which made it really nice.
It was pretty chilly, but the kids still had a great time. Mary was ready to go all night! The kids are now deciding if they want to trade in all of their candy (minus five of their favorites) for a toy at the store, or if they want to keep all of the candy. I am hoping for the first choice.

Sam was a "big mean spider." I thought he looked adorable and so cute, but he insists that he was very scary and ferocious!

Mary was a fairy. That is the new game she loves to play with her friends. She was going to be Nanny McPhee, but I luckily changed her mind. A fairy costume is so much easier...and cuter.

I was a mom with a witch hat and cool blinking earrings. Go me.

William was Popeye. (does anyone know who that is anymore?) I really wanted him to be Charlie Brown, because he is so white, bald and chubby, but he was a very cute Popeye as well. He was going crazy trying to get to my blinking earrings. Notice the blurry arm that was waving wildly toward my ear...and yes, at one point in the night, while I was handing out candy, he finally got it and gave it a nice hard yank!

Ben was Ben for Halloween, and he did a fabulous job. He looked great.

Tomorrow we will have our traditional "orange dinner" in order to celebrate the reall Halloween. It should be yummy and fun. I have a few tricks up my sleeve this year.

Reason #10
Aside from these things, we still have dance

Halloween costumes were worn this week in ballet

and Jazz.
We also have school, a primary talent show, teaching piano lessons, mutual-for Ben, laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning, working out, feeding-changing-and playing with the baby, sorting through winter clothes, clothes shopping for me- Hooray, I finally lost the pregnancy weight (minus three stubborn pounds), a baby shower, carpool, keeping track of who is at whose house and when, and the list goes on.

Life is good, it is just really busy at times. And that folks, is why I haven't been blogging lately.