My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Was it for Mary...or me?

Mary's First Grade Orientation was this afternoon. And of course, I didn't even think to bring the camera, oops.

Kindergarten was not a hard thing for me to send Mary to. It was only 1/2 day and Mary was so ready for something to do outside of the house. It was exciting and new and fun. No problem and no tears on my end. Mary did have her separation anxiety, which still lingers in small doses, but aside from that, she loved it. She ended up thriving in that atmosphere! It was the perfect amount of time for her to be away from home. I had no problem with her being away at school.

I guess I expected 1st Grade to be the same.

As Mary and I walked hand in hand down the hallway to her classroom for orientation, I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. Mary looked fine, so what was wrong with me?

We saw her teacher standing in the doorway with a huge smile and a very welcoming and loving feeling about her.

She immediately commented on Mary's adorable new glasses and showed Mary a pair that she has, that look very similar. Mary loved it. She then sent Mary off on a treasure hunt to orient herself with the classroom. Perfect thing to do for a kid like Mary. Being familiar with a place is VERY important.

I had to keep choking down the crazy feelings that kept coming too close to the surface. Was I...sad? What on earth? I am supposed to be happy, excited, and supportive for Mary. What was this?

After the treasure hunt, which ended with Mary finding her desk, I sat down by her and began filling out the endless paperwork that comes with school orientation. Mary sat by me and was silently eying the balloons tied to the juice drinks in the corner.

When I got to the paper that was all about Mary and her personality, I couldn't stop the tears. I told Mary to go pick out a balloon and a drink and she happily obeyed. I quickly took some deep breaths as I filled out the paper and reflected on my little girl, the things she likes, what we do at home, her personality, her quirks, her talents, and so on. It wasn't the best time for a walk down memory lane, but come it did, and I then, finally realized what I was feeling.

Deep down, I know that 1st Grade is the beginning of Mary being gone more than she is home. It is the beginning of her life in the world. The beginning of new things, new experiences, new friends, new challenges...most of which, will now be away from the safety of my arms. She is ready, but am I?

I told myself to quit being over-dramatic, reminded myself that she will be home when she is off-track, she will be home most evenings (when she is not at gymnastics), and she will be home on weekends. It is only 4 1/2 days a week.
That helped, and I pulled myself together.

I found myself asking the teacher more and more questions. I had Mary show me her desk, where she will line up, where she will eat lunch, and so on. I asked about the daily activities, the rules and the curriculum. The more I asked and looked, the better I felt. And I soon realized, that "I" needed this orientation. Mary was fine, but I was the one needing the orienting. Woah.

As we left the classroom, Mary was quiet. This can be normal for her, when she is processing things. I held her hand as we went to the office to pay for school lunch for the week. After all, this is the "coolest" part of 1st Grade. I then had a nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right. hhhmmm

A thought popped into my mind as we made our way to the car. We rushed back to the classroom where I asked the teacher to please move Mary's desk. I am not sure why I felt this was so important, but it was, and so I acted.

There are 6 kids in our ward that will be in Mary's class. 4 of them sit next to eachother. I asked Mary if she wanted to sit in a specific spot. She immediately pointed to the place where her friends were. It was as if she had already been hoping for it and worrying about it. To my girl with some separation issues, being with familiar people is a big deal. It is not just a fun thing, it is an actual need.

Mary was all grins and giggles when we left the classroom this time. We walked back down the hallway hand in hand. Mary with a balloon, a drink and a smile. Me with a heavy heart and a few tears.

My little girl begins first grade tomorrow. She is ready. She is excited and she is happy.

Let's hope I will be the same.

For now, I will let the tears flow as I orient myself to this new phase.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Worth It

Well, the planning and purchasing of clothes, finding the "right spot," the worry of the kids behaving, the planning, the time and the effort, were worth it! We got our family pictures in the mail today, and we are so happy with how they turned out. Hooray!

Do you remember in a previous post how I mentioned that the grasshoppers saved us. You can tell in the pictures, that it was all about the grasshopper hunt. It kept the kids smiling. There are even some pictures were the kids have one in their hands. Hey, whatever works, right? I was extremely grateful for those little hopping fellows.

The best part of having so many pictures is that we have the cd, so we can print whatever we want. And these aren't even all of the pictures from the cd. We have about 20 more! We will probably get one family picture professionaly developed for our home. Now, we just have to decide. What do you think?

p.s. The name of our awesome photographer is Heather Telford. She was fabulous with the kids and with traveling to the location. She even hiked around with us, and she is pregnant! I would reccomend her to anyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making Fun Happen

I love how sometimes the simple things in life can end up being the most fun. You just have to make the fun happen. The ladies in our neighborhood know how to do just that!
Who needs Disneyland, when you can have this!
A HUGE homemade waterslide, lots of water and dish soap.

It ended up attracting almost every kid in the ward. Check out the line!

A nice lady that lives on that hill decided to set up a little stand and hand out drinks of soda to the kids. It was a hit!

Some of the "older children"..aka moms, went down the slide as well. It looked so fun. I was so tempted, but I kept imagining myself getting all out of control and breaking my foot even worse. So I just enjoyed watching my kids have fun and basked in the conversation and the company of good people.
Mary decided to go backwards and head-first.

Sam just loved the speed.

It was a huge success, and I learned that it is actually a neighborhood tradition. Love it!

Earlier this week, there was also a neighborhood talent show for the kids.
Sam didn't want to participate, but he did draw a picture to show.
Mary and a bunch of kids that were in kindergarten this year did an adorable song that they learned at school. Tony Chestnut.
Sam decided to get up on stage with them for a while.
It was such a great idea and again, it was a great success.

I love it when people make fun happen. I will do better myself.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All In A Weeks Time

So much happened this past week or so, and all of it deserves its own post.
However, I lacked two things. Pictures of it all, and time to post it all.
We have been so incredibly busy, and I just couldn't seem to remember to grab the camera. A play by play with have to do.

A visit from Ben's brother Wes and his family.
Wes, his wife Karine, and their four kids stayed with us for a few days. When Wes is there, it is bound to be a good time. We went to the splash park, showed them around a little and talked a lot. The kids had a great time together. I love watching my kids have so much fun with their cousins.

A visit in Salt Lake with Ben's Colorado co-worker Heidi Baker.
We met up with her at the Gateway for a dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen. We walked around the Gateway and talked for a while as well. It was really fun. All of the walking killed my foot, and I realized the the healing process may take a while.

A visit in Riverton with Ben's cousins.
This past year, Ben has been finding tons of relatives that live here. They are all very nice and very inviting. We met up with a bunch of his cousins at someones house and had dinner with everyone. I admit, I am not very good with awkward stuff like this (when I don't know a soul), but it means so much to Ben to be with his family, and they are really cool. The kids had a great time as well. Good people.

A visit with Ben's mission companion and his family
One of Ben's mission companions was in town so we decided to meet up at a Deli and talk for a while. I know his wife, because we worked together in Rexburg for a while. It was good to see them and their cute little boys. It is always fun to hear the guys talk about the mission and to hear the stories. Unfortunately, the visit ended with William falling off the curb and hitting his head hard! The poor little guy cried and cried. It was so sad.

A visit in the park with my awesome friend Shaina from Colorado.

This was the first time I have seen any of my friends from Colorado since the move. Yes, some of you are still in trouble for coming out for Women's Conference and not saying hello. It meant more to me than she will ever realize. They were on a family vacation and they took the time to drive out here to see me and the kids. Thank you so much Shaina. You look hot! ;)

Jolene, Ben's mom stayed with us for the week.
It's always great to have a visit from grandma. The kids adore her and I love having someone to hang with during the day. She is such a loving and giving grandma and friend. We all benefit when she comes.

Ben's brother Dan and his family stayed with us for a few days.
While JoJo was here, Dan's family stayed with us for a few days as well. They are a lot of fun to be around, and their little boy Adam is adorable. While they were here, we went swimming at the new rec center here. I was so happy to see Mary and Sam go crazy in the water. Sam probably went down the slide 25 times. Mary loved showing us everything she is learning in swimming lessons. It was awesome. Ben did some amazing flips off the diving board, and even William had fun jumping into our arms time and time again. Good times! We will see them again this week as they make their way back from their trip to Vegas.

Swimming lessons
Mary loves them! Finally! She is actually learning the strokes and how to stay above the water on her own. It is great. Sam would not even get in the water, so we just pulled him out of lessons this year. We will try again next summer. He proved to me when we went as a family, that he does love water and swimming, he just doesn't like having a teacher and being in the class atmosphere. He says that he is "too shy." Oh well.

A camping trip

I really wish I had pictures for this one. We left to go camping the afternoon after Jolene and Dan and his family left our house. We went camping with our good friends the Dressens and the Baughmans. They are awesome friends and we laughed and told stories into the wee hours of the morning. All of our kids (9 total) had a blast and were dirty and filled with sugar from head to toe. They loved trying to catch squirrels and roasting Starbursts. We went on a really fun little walk/hike around a lake before we left. The scenery was gorgeous and it was so nice to be out in the mountains. I had to take my boot off the previous day, because it was too hard to navigate the campsite with it on. I payed for it during the hike, and my foot killed, even with the boot on, but it was great to be out walking. We are hoping to repeat the camping trip sometime in the near future. There are some stories that need to be finished, or shall we say, elaborated on.... ;)

Family pictures
Oh, how to describe family pictures. Lets see.
S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L, but so worth it!
There was a saga with the photographer, and we had to switch photographers during the week. Easier said than done.
We were so worried about the kids being too tired after camping and being grouchy for the pictures.
We had to find the location, which thanks to the photographer, ended up OK.
We came home from camping around 3:00pm and had family pictures at 8:00pm.
It was a mad rush to unpack, throw in the laundry, bathe the kids, shower, eat dinner, try to let the kids rest, get everyone ready, keep them clean, and of course, we still had to get Ben's shirt to wear!!!!
It took me three days and four stores to decide what we should wear and to find all of it. This was while we had company and I was trying to get ready for camping. I didn't get Ben a shirt, because I thought Ben had a shirt already that matched, I was wrong.
I rushed to get Ben a shirt the day our company left and the day we went camping. The shirt was the wrong size and color. So, the hour before family pictures we were at Kohls again! I returned the shirt and grabbed a new one. Again, I didn't have my boot on, (honestly, who wants family pictures wearing a boot) so I had to go slow.
I grabbed another shirt went to customer service, in the very back corner of the store, and made the exchange. I got back in to the car just in time for us to go to the picture location. The shirt was the wrong size and color again! AAAGGGHHH!!
I hobbled back into Kohls, hunted a little longer this time, found a shirt, and hobbled back to customer service. Seven people were in front of me in line, and there was one guy at the register. Of course, he was training, so he was SLOW! I literally was twitching all over imagining the kids wrestling in the car, messing up their hair and clothes, William screaming, and us being late and getting there frazzled and upset. Not to mention, we were getting evening pictures for good lighting, and I was worried about it getting dark before we were done. It was one of the longest lines of my life.
I finally got the shirt, hobbled out the door, got in the car, and found that the kids still looked fine, William was sleeping, and the shirt worked. Few!
We got to the picture spot and found the photographer. Sam HATES pictures (the poor kid is just too shy), so we were very concerned. I was sweating bullets. I literally prayed the whole way there. Well, we got a miracle. He found a patch of grasshoppers, and Sam was so excited to show them to the photographer that he willingly smiled for most of the pictures! We used the grasshoppers for leverage the whole time. Worked like a charm. William was calm and happy, and I think we actually did it. We conquered family pictures!!!! I can't wait to get them and go through them. I am SO glad it is over and that it worked out. Wow.

Williams first hair cut.
This is the one that I REALLY wish I had remembered the camera for. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking that we had to be dressed and ready for pictures in 1/2 hour and that William had a mullet. We haven't cut Williams hair because he has these ADORABLE baby curls. We love them so much. It has become way too long though, and he was sporting a mullet. I decided to finally cut the curls before pictures. It was a little sad, and I saved the curls in a bag, but he looks so handsome! What a guy. Who knows, maybe the curls will come back...maybe.

A sprained right ankle
Jolene and I took the kids to the mall one day while she was here this week. I decided to look in Sears to see if they had any fun clothes for pictures. I was clunking my way along with Buster the Boot when my flip flop on my other foot buckled. I rolled my ankle and landed right on my caboose. It killed! I was so embarrassed, but I couldn't get up because my flip flop was stuck sideways on my foot and my boot was stuck under me. A little old lady came shuffling over and said, and I quote, "oh dear, did you just break your other foot?" I wanted to melt into the floor and disappear. She got an employee who came over and said, "oh, is this how you broke your other foot?" I felt really cool at the moment. They both proceeded to give me a lecture on wearing too tall of a flip flop as they helped me up. I tried to explain that I had to get a tall flip flop to even out my height with the tall boot. I don't think they got it. I ended up spraining my right ankle, but at least I can walk on it, and it could have been way worse! It hurt for a few days and now it isn't too bad. Go me! Can you imagine me with a boot on both legs. Now that would be something.

The dreaded choir performance

Today our ward choir performed. I am the ward choir pianist. I love this calling and the choir is a blast to be a part of. We laugh and laugh and laugh, and sing a little too. It is a great group of people. However, the song they sang this time was REALLY HARD for me to play. It was way out of my comfort zone with the piano and I had to work for weeks to even begin to be able to play it. I have been incredibly nervous for this day for a long time. Obviously, this week was a little hard when it came time to find a minute to practice. Actually, there was literally no time to practice. That didn't help with the nerves.
I said a lot of prayers, practiced as much as I could yesterday after camping and before pictures, and left the rest to fate. It worked out great and I made it through without any major problems. Such a relief! I am very grateful for answered prayers.

William is officially walking
Somewhere in all of this chaos, William began walking really well. He has been slowing taking some steps here and there for about a month, but now he is officially a cruiser. He loves it and it is adorable! He walks with his hand out and ready to catch himself and he is getting fast quickly.

Mary's glasses
Mary got new glasses this week and they are ADORABLE! School starts in a week, so we decided to get her eyes checked to make sure all was well. She picked out some new frames and loves them. She looks so cute.

Piano Lessons
Aside from all of this, I also got two new piano students, and of course, they started this week. This was another answer to prayers. I decided to expand my teaching pool just a little. I prayed about it and posted an ad. Nothing happened. I prayed again and felt that I should email my friends and ask them to get the word out. One hour after I sent the email, two of my friends got phone calls from people wanting to know if they knew of a piano teacher in the area. Two hours after the email went out, I had the students I needed. How amazing is that!

And that folks, is how it went at the Maynard house this week.

Hopefully now I am all caught up. Let's hope it can stay that way.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Meet Buster.

Everyone say hi to Buster.

Buster is my friend, kind of. He took some getting used to.

Buster is here to stay for another 3-6 weeks.

Buster can get really hot.

Buster is very bulky and likes to bonk my other ankle when I walk. Ouch.

Buster gave me a reason to buy new flip flops! I had to get ones with a good size heel, so I could walk evenly. Buster is very tall. I only wear the right foot flip flop (say that ten times fast), but the left one is patiently waiting.

Buster is heavy, so is William. The two combined are super heavy.

Buster has a cool pump thingy I can push to let him hug my foot tighter. My kids like to push the pump.

He also has a neat knob that I turn to release his hug on my foot. That is fun too.

Buster is making me better...hopefully.

Buster likes to step on my kids toes, without me knowing it. Bad buster.

Buster made my foot and leg ache really badly for a few days.

Now buster makes my foot feel good!

I didn't like buster at first. Buster was not invited to my party.

Buster doesn't like to run. Buster only likes to sit and snuggle with my foot.

Buster is good though.

Buster doesn't let my foot get hurt anymore.

Buster makes sure I walk slowly, or else he will trip me or hit my other foot. Silly, slow, Buster.

Buster lets me do the elliptical...good buster!!!! He sure makes it awkward. I will take what I can get though.

Buster lets me ride a stationary bike, but every once in a while, he likes to slip off the pedals. My shorts caught on the seat yesterday when this happened. I am sure the dude behind me got a nice show.

Buster is making me weaker in muscle, but stronger in determination and spirit.

Buster is a good conversation starter. Everyone wants to know why buster is here. I am not fond of that conversation, or the inevitable, "And that's why I don't run," comment EVERYONE seems to say. Excuses, excuses. Give me a break, oh wait, I already have one.

People get hurt in every sport. If you do something long enough, no matter what it is, your odds of injury go up. It is part of the game. And yes, IT IS WORTH IT TO THOSE OF US WHO DO BACK OFF!! Everyone does something that they know may hurt their body in some way, but they still do it. Would you walk up to a heart attack victim and say, "and that's why I don't eat Twinkies." Hello!

The price of a stress fracture, compared to a healthy body, heart and lungs, is a no brainer to me. I will take a stress fracture now and then. If you don't want to run, then don't run. Just don't blame MY stress fracture, on YOUR reason not to exercise. You bet your sweet bippy that the day this thing is off, I will be back on the road.

um, anyway...uh, where did that come from???

I have accepted Buster and the good he is doing for me.

I am learning to work with Buster instead of against him.

When I work with him, he lets me walk faster and he lets me use him to hold doors open, scoot the dog over, entertain William, hold my credit card, add a few inches to my height, and try new things.

Good Buster. I do like you, but lets face it, this needs to be a short term relationship, please.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Insight, fun, and pictures

We had a WONDERFUL weekend in Pocatello with my family. It was just what the doctor ordered. I was in a funk after getting word about my foot and trying to get used to lugging this big ol' boot around everywhere, but after this weekend, I am feeling much better. I am more determined than ever to stay in shape doing the things I am able to do right now, get my foot healed, be happy, and enjoy my blessings, which are many and more than I deserve.

I was lucky enough to be able to waterski on this trip. The doctor told me that I could waterski as long as my left foot was behind my right on the ski. There is no pressure on my foot that way. It is actually less pressure than walking.

I was beyond thrilled to ski, and I skied my heart out. It was great! Ben was able to wakeboard, and Mary and Sam also had a great time riding in the tube. On Mary's last ride, the cover came off the tube while she was riding it with Grandma. They ended up falling off and Mary's head went under the water. I was shocked and plesantly suprised to see Mary sputter a bit, hold back the tears, and actually smile and laugh a little. HUGE improvement for her and her water fear. I was proud of her.

Gotta love Williams hot pink life jacket!

Aside from our day on the reservoir, we had a great time playing with the pool in the yard, watching movies, eating the best dang ribs in the world, celebrating our country, playing games, and relaxing.

We brought Maya on this trip, and she also had the time of her life. She ran and ran and ran all around my parents property. She made friends with their dog Champ, and they had a great time playing in the sprinklers, stealing food, and chasing eachother. The only problem we ran into was when she pooped in the car on the ride home. Luckily she had towels under her, so the car was fine, but oh my, the smell was horrible until we made it to the next gas station. Somehow we were able to laugh about it.

When we arrived home, we noticed that our lawn looked great! Our neighbor, Trudi, had decided to mow our lawn for us. How nice is that! She is awesome.

We got home just in time for the neighborhood pool/fireworks party. It was awesome! I love where we live! It was the first year we didn't have to leave early due to a terrified child. Mary and Sam loved the fireworks, and William seemed fine with it all. It seemed like everyone had a pile of fireworks to contribute to the party. They just kept going and going and going and getting bigger and bigger and bigger. What a great way to end our trip and to celebrate this country that we love on such a meaningful holiday.

While we were in Pocatello, I had some insight into a couple things.

First of all, I came to terms with my boot. I decided that if I was going to like my boot, or at least have a decent relationship with it, it needed a name. It will have a blog post of its own.

I also decided to start studying for the Personal Training Certification Test. I have wanted to do it for a while now, but I have found other things that seem more important at the time. For whatever reason, I am getting the push that now is the time. So, I will begin embarking on that journey for the next year. It is A LOT of studying. I am very excited, and I know it will be something I will really enjoy doing. I loved athletic training in college, and I know I will also really enjoy being a personal trainer and being able to help people change their lives in a good way.

While we were at my parents house, we came across a few boxes of mine that had some VERY special things in them. One item we found was a box full of my journals from age 7 up to my senior year. I had so much fun reading them, and I learned some things about myself in the process. I once again realized the importance of journaling and documenting, and I re-committed myself to this blog, the things I will post on it, and to other means of journaling I do as well. It is priceless.

I also gained some insight this weekend into all of the blessings I have, but most importantly, the blessing of family. I have always recognized this as a blessing, but I realized it on a much deeper level this trip, and I soaked in every second we had with my parents, in my childhood home, and being surrounded by my family.

It was a great weekend, and I love trips where I can reconnect with what is truly important, relax enough to gain new insight, and come home rejuvinated and with the right perspective.