My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Monday, November 7, 2016

halloween

Our Halloween turned out to be a great day/night.
The kids had a fun Halloween parade during the day at school, and got to wear their costumes to school.
That started the day off right, with excitement and fun in the air.
 
The kids got home from school, played with friends for a while, and planned out their trick or treating routes, and who they would be going with.
 
We ate our spooky dinner of mummy hot dogs and spider Deviled eggs, Mary took off with Eden and her friends to a Haunted House, and when Ben got home, I took off with the other kids to go trick or treating.
 
The kids looked adorable!

A sneaky crook, a shadow man, a creepy Five Nights At Freddy's character, the strongest Batman ever, and the cutest pink puppy you've ever seen.
 
Luke AKA Batman

Mary the robber

William: Five Nights At Freddy's

Sam: morph suit man


 

Molly: cutest puppy ever!!

Luke with his buddies.  Left to right:  Luke, Ian, Bechkam and Boston
 





the evil crook stealing money from an old man (Jett Cherry)
Aside from a few hiccups with the littles, trick or treating was a huge success!  We started off with a massive group from the neighborhood.

It slowly whittled down until I was just with  my own kiddos and Karli's two littles.

After taking the younger kids around for a while, and dropping them off at home with loads of candy, I drove Sam and his two buddies around for another couple hours!

They trick or treated until they literally dropped.  The were exhausted!  They were to the point where they would knock on a door, and then sit down on the porch until someone opened it.  It was hilarious!
Sam and Blake
Sam came away with 9 POUNDS of candy!  No joke.

Mary arrived home around the same time as Sam, with loads of candy as well!

With all of the kids candy combined, we now have a total of 29 pounds of candy in our house.

Definitely a successful Halloween!!!

Good times, good times.

Monday, October 31, 2016

cracking up


 
This is Molly.

And that is Molly's cute little bum.

She was watching Dora at the time, and had no idea her bum was in the wind.  It was hilarious!

There is a sweet story behind this picture though.

When I went over to Molly to pull her diaper up, I realized that her diaper was on backwards.

This is why.

I had gone to the store earlier that day.  Mary was home, and was playing with Molly, so I asked Mary if she would watch Molly for me while I grabbed some groceries.  Mary said she would.  Mary is a good girl.  I am blessed for sure.

When I got home, Molly was sitting at the table eating lunch that Mary had made for her.  She was clean as well. Mary had given her a bath, washed her hair (which is nothing short of wrestling a greased pig), put her diaper on,  dressed her, and was not feeding her! I did not ask her to do any of this.

Molly was clean, fed, and happy. 

We do not live a perfect life here in our house...and I will never pretend to do so.

But this moment...this was a moment of perfection. 

We do have those, and I cherish them.

It was a moment when I realized just how blessed I am to have my two girls. 
To have Mary, who was so thoughtful about me, and loving and nurturing toward Molly.  Who is willing to talk to me, share her feelings, her dreams, her fears, her stories.  Who is a friend.
To have Molly, who just being here on Earth in our family, is a miracle in and of itself, but to have her be so sweet, fun and lovable, is icing on the cake.

Thank you Mary....for just being you, and for reminding me that maybe, sometimes, in all of the hard work, worry, struggle, talking and lessons that we parents go through on a daily basis, good things are sinking in, and my children will spread good in the world.

trunk or treat and some realizations

Our ward had our annual chili cook-off/trunk or treat on Friday.  This is always a really fun Halloween party with neighbors, ward members, friends, ect.  It is fun to see everyone's costumes, try all of the different chili's and watch the kids have a blast with the trunk or treat. 

In past years, I have never decorated our trunk.  I honestly haven't really ever thought about it.  In all of the hustle and bustle of getting the kids all ready in their costumes, and getting out the door, it just didn't cross my mind. For someone who loves holidays so much, and everything about them..this is kinda uncharacteristic for me.

This year, I realized this error, and decided to decorate our trunk.
So, I got on  Pinterest for some ideas.

Pinterest is an interesting thing for me.  It is a love/hate. Add Facebook to this as well.

I love the ideas I get off of it, but I hate the mom guilt, and the not-good-enough feelings it can give me.

As I browsed through hundreds of pictures of elaborate homemade costumes moms everywhere have spent weeks making, not to mention they are all themed, (and every family member matches with each other, and somehow the kids are all happy with dressing how their mom decides they will best match with the theme), the huge Halloween dinner productions mothers were doing for their kids...complete with themed foods in every food group, and days of shopping and planning too pull of floating faces in punch, monster finger rolls, eyeball soups inside pumpkins,  and so on,  not to mention the pumpkins carved to look like art masterpieces that should be hung on walls, and the list goes on and on and on.

I scrolled through pictures of trunks for trunk or treating that I knew would take hours and hours and hours to create, and I began to get really discouraged.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't look down on, or think badly about people that make costumes, or are elaborate on things.  I think themed costumes are cute, and artistic pumpkins are fun.  We have a fun Halloween dinner too, but it is simple. That is not the issue here. To each their own..if we could just keep it that way, and leave it at that.

Believe me...I am a holiday fanatic.  I absolutely love holidays..always have, always will.  I get just as excited as the kids.  I love each holiday, I really love decorating for them, and doing fun activities for them, and getting into the spirit of things.  That is not the issue here.

As far as Halloween...it is a great holiday!  I LOVE it!  I am obsessed with witches, and one year, I plan on dressing up as the creepiest witch I can think of, and eventually having a huge collection of witch d├ęcor to go with it.  I am all about celebrating and enjoying holidays to the fullest.

 I just want to do it my way, and not feel like it isn't good enough, fun enough, detailed enough, popular enough, and so on.  Facebook and Pinterest can easily make a person feel pretty inadequate very quickly. 

I don't want to feel like I can't text, post, or blog pictures of our own Halloween happenings, because they will never compare to everything out there, and people won't understand that sometimes simple can be fun too, and some years, is necessary.
Do people really look at your pictures, because they think they are cute and fun, or are they checking to make sure they outdid you, and therefore get more self gratification....just saying.
Do people really post, text, blog, and pin pictures just to have fun, or is it for bragging rights and again self gratification.  It can be hard to know at times, really hard to know.

I am a real person.  I gravitate toward real people, real situations.  I like to know the good AND the bad.  I like reality.  I like genuine happiness for people when things are going good, and I like genuine concern and willingness to share when things aren't perfect. I'm not sure that is what Pinterest and Facebook, and at times even blogs and group texts are saying anymore.

All of the perfect pictures, all of the "look at me, look at me," all of the Facebook posts, pictures, blogs, and so on, have started to make the holidays, and lets be real here, life in general, feel like a competition for the coolest, best, most creative, most perfect, most put together, perfect picture taking, perfect parenting, contest, and so on.  As much as I hate to admit it, it gets to me, and it sucks.
Not my cup of tea if you know what I mean.

Anyway...

Frustrating and guilty thoughts began creeping in.  I ordered my kids costumes this year, I guess I am just not crafty enough and I don't budget my time well enough to make them.  I don't even have the desire to make them, it is more fun for me to let the kids look through costumes and pick one that they really want...I must not have my priorities straight.

I definitely don't have a family theme, in fact, Ben and I aren't even dressing up this year.  I must be disappointing my kids, not creative, and getting boring in my "old age." 

We carved pumpkins, but we let the kids draw the faces they wanted, and carved those faces.  They definitely don't look like detailed Halloween scenes carved by Michelangelo. They look like pumpkin faces that kids drew and helped carve.

Our Halloween dinner.....deviled eggs to look like spiders, and hot dogs wrapped in dough, to look like mummy's.  Definitely not all food groups, definitely not organic, and definitely quick and easy.

 
It was really easy for me to slip into discouragement, and feelings of inadequacy.  I soon lost the fun Halloween spirit I was in, and instead felt like a failure.

I decided on a really easy idea for our trunk, turned off the computer and with feelings of discouragement and disappointment, I set about getting ready for the evening.

And then it came time for the kids to get ready.

I watched the excitement in their faces as they got their costumes on.  The costumes THEY picked out, and THEY wanted to wear.  I realized, as I watched their excitement, that it was ok that I didn't spend weeks sewing, crafting, painting and creating their costumes.  They couldn't care less, and they are the ones it is all about.  I realized that my kids don't care how the costume was made, or how much time was spent on it, or if I even knew how to make the costume.  They were just flat out thrilled to have a costume they wanted and chose themselves.  As I had this realization, my heart started to lift.  My kids were happy and excited.  That is my main goal, and it was accomplished.


Then, I set about making the very simple monster teeth for our trunk or treat.  It was going to be a very simple trunk.  Monster teeth, with a red blanket inside the car for the inside of the mouth, and a bowl of dry ice blowing smoke out of the car.  Basic. Simple. Easy. Fun.

The kids started crowding around me, watching me make the teeth.  Luke and William were so excited about how sharp they were, Sam was mesmerized with the dry ice, and Mary loved helping with how to design it all.  The kids were having a blast with it...and I soon realized...so was I!

It was so simple, it took about 10 minutes to do, but again, it didn't matter how elaborate it was, how much time it took, or how creative it was.  The kids loved it, we had fun creating it together, and to me, again, that is my goal.  When I realized this, my heart was lifted a little bit more.

As we got ready to go, the kids began piling in the car, and I realized that Molly still wasn't wearing her costume.  She was refusing to wear it actually.  She is still struggling emotionally from the trauma of getting her tonsils out, and all that happened after.  She is very sensitive, clingy, and does not trust anyone.  I panicked at the thought of not having my cute little girl dressed in her adorable costume, but then the thought came into my mind.  Does Molly care....no.  Will she still have fun...yes.  Is it worth the battle just to make sure she has a costume on at a ward party....I guess not.
So, we buckled her in the car, as she was, and headed off to the church. She was happy and comfortable. That is my main goal..and it was accomplished.

We picked up Blake and Bailey on the way.  They are in a very hard time in their lives right now, and they are confused with the church as well.  They are kind of at the mercy of going to church if the parent they are with at the time can take them.

We didn't want them to miss out on the best ward party of the year, so we invited them to come along.
I hadn't thought of this before, but maybe the time I spent thinking about their wellbeing and how to help out their family right now, was time well spent.  Maybe I did manage my time better than I thought.  Sure, I wasn't making themed costumes, and working for hours on a trunk, but I was thinking about these two kids, and how to help.  Maybe that counts for something.  And my heart was lifted a little more.

By the time we got to the Ward party, my feelings of discouragement, guilt, and feeling not good enough had been pushed aside, and I was realizing bit by bit, that maybe I am fine, just the way I am.

No, I don't have a Pinterest Halloween going on at my house, and no, I won't have the best pictures on Facebook (if I even feel like it is really necessary to post them along side the millions of others), with the most creative and themed family Halloween costumes, dinner, pumpkins, etc, but I have happy kids, that are truly enjoying the holiday with me, and we all are having fun together.  That is a win for me.  And I am ok with that.

I was able to completely enjoy the party, and appreciate all of the creative, funny, themed, not themed, creepy, elaborate, not elaborate, costumes that were out there.  Everyone is just doing the best they can, in the ways they can.

My kids had a wonderful time, and I had a blast standing by our " monster mouth" handing out candy...even if it did start to rain.

The trunk or treat was a big success!  We all came home happy, and loaded with sugar and smiles.


 Last night, we decided to carve pumpkins and make treats for two families so we could "Boo" them.
Our neighborhood does a cute thing, where you leave a treat on someone's porch with a sign.  They put the sign in their window, and then copy two more signs, and leave treats and those signs on another person's porch.  And so on.  We were "boo'd" a few nights ago, so we decided to make some fun spider cookies and to continue the boo'ing.

Again, I got on Pinterest to find the spider cookie recipe I had saved.  Like I said...love/hate...kind of like Walmart.
I blasted right past all of the other stuff, got to what I needed, and started baking.  I felt no mom guilt, discouragement, and frustration flipping through all of the ellobrate "boo" treats out there.  It just wasn't me, and that's ok.

The kids drew faces on their pumpkins, and Ben helped them carve them while I baked cookies and they helped me decorate them.

I paused at one moment and felt the feeling to just look around at my family for a second.
All of my kids were happy.  There was a good feeling in our home.
Ben was carving away on the pumpkins the kids had designed.  He was not using all sorts of tools and carving elaborate details into even more elaborate pumpkins.  He was cutting out simple funny faces his children had drawn, and they were giggling and crowded around him as he made their drawings come to life.

Molly was pounding down chocolates by the handful and squishing around the pumpkin "guts" while helping me with the cookies.

Mary was helping me design the spiders, and place the eyes on the spider cookies.

We were together, as a family, having fun, doing something simple.  The kids were completely involved.

It was not perfect, the spider cookies had crooked eyes, and lopsided legs, the pumpkins were not perfectly designed and carved or elaborate, and the pictures I took of it all, are definitely something to improve upon, but...

that is not what I saw when I stopped and looked.

I saw a family, spending time together, having fun.  I saw kids smiling and laughing, feeling so proud of what they created, I smelled pumpkin seeds in the oven ( made so simply, but so yummy), and I saw love and happiness.




We all piled into the car to deliver our "boo" treats, and the kids were excited.  We picked two houses, and the kids rang the doorbells and ran as fast as they could back to the car.  William thought it was absolutely hilarious, and he laughed his head off as he ran back from the houses.  His laughter was contagious, and had us all laughing as we tried to drive off before getting caught. 
It was such a fun night with my family.

I saw my main goals in this life, being accomplished during this moment.

I am so grateful for the gentle whisperings and reminders from a loving Heavenly Father, that let me know that I am doing alright, and that help me see the little things that I am doing, that make a difference. 

It can be so hard in a Pinterest/Facebook/group text/blog world, to feel good enough, creative enough, pretty enough, strong enough, fast enough, parenting well enough, and so on.  You never really know motives, or true stories behind the pictures, posts and texts.  You never know that reality.  You only know what people want you to think or know about them.  And most of the time, it is not reality, but when it is all you see, you begin to wonder if it is, and you are the one not quite measuring up.

Sometimes, I think I just need to step back, take inventory of what really, honestly matters to me, make sure I am accomplishing that (no matter how or in what way), and realize that that is what truly defines how I am doing, and if I am good enough.  That is between my, my family, and my Father in Heaven.

Today is Halloween.  We are going to rock the day, haunt the night, collect bucket loads of candy, eat ourselves into sugar comas, scare ourselves sensless, watch spooky movies, light up the pumpkins, and and enjoy it to the fullest...Maynard style.

And that will be good enough for me.

benny poo turns 35

The 27th was Ben's 35th Birthday.

Pretty crazy that he is officially in his mid-30's!!!

I think the 30's have treated us well so far.  Ben is lucky.  He is one of those guys that just looks better and better with age.  He was already smokin' hot when we met, but he just keeps getting better.  It is amazing!

We celebrated his Birthday a week earlier at the Warren Miller film in Park City.  We brought Mary and her friend Eden.  Sam was supposed to come, but we could only get 9:00pm tickets, and Sam was just too tired, so Eden got his ticket.

Ben and I tried to do some "cool" faces for our picture.  Ben rocked it...me, not so much.
The photo bomber in the background is crazy! 

On Ben's actual day, Molly and Luke and I went to Lee's Market (previously known as Day's) and got Ben the biggest balloon we have ever seen!

Seriously, I had to put the back seat down in the car in order to get the balloon in.  Luke also picked out a paw patrol balloon to go with it.

You seriously can't look at this giant balloon without smiling.  It is so awesome! It is a happy balloon.

Unfortunately, it was too heavy for the string, and it floated right up to the top of our 20 foot ceiling.  At least Ben got to see it before this happened.


I made Ben his favorite dinner, and his favorite cake that evening.  He got to blow out his candles and get cards from the kids.
The picture is dark, but you get the idea.

Wow, I need to brush up on my picture skills.  Geeesh!

Anyway, I think Ben had a good Birthday.

I sure do love him, and love the life we have together.  He is a wonderful father and husband, and he is a rock our family leans on and depends on.  We are all so blessed to have him.

Happy Birthday Ben!

red ribbon week

Last week was Red Ribbon Week at the schools here.  I think it was actually District wide this year.
The theme, aside from being drug free,  was mustaches, so the kids got a cool mustache bracelet, and all of the themes for each day had to do with mustaches.

I wasn't the greatest picture taker most days, but I did get a shot of crazy hair day.

Mary wanted to try a spider, but she mentioned it about 5 minutes before the bus came.  Needless to say, we were scrambling like crazy.  I think we did pretty darn good for a five minute spider!!

Sam wanted "three mohawks and lots of color."  We did our best.
he was actually thrilled...he just wanted to try to match his face to the hair?? or something like that.
William wanted a giant smiley face.  Easy peasy. 

Blake showed up at the door, after Mary had left, and the boys had some more fun with the hair color spray.

Molly didn't even have to do anything more than just wake up.  Crazy hair...check!
Luke was busy working on his police station...or building a fort, or doing something mechanical, so he passed on the crazy hair day.

Love it!

Friday was draw a mustache on your own face day.  I have no idea why I didn't get a picture of this.  Mary did everyone's mustaches, and they were awesome.  I love having artistic children.

Stay drug free everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

super dad

William had a field trip to Cornbelly's today.  He asked me last week, when he brought his permission slip home, to please go with him.  I wanted to so badly, but the field trip was all day, and no younger siblings were allowed.  I don't exactly have a babysitter to watch my kids all day, so I sadly told William I couldn't go.

I have a lot of mommy guilt about not being more involved with my kids school classrooms, and field trips, but the no younger siblings rule, and having no family in town to help watch kids, make it near to impossible for me to do those things at this point in my life.

I just do the best I can to support my kids in the areas I can support them in, and try not to let the guilt seep in, when I can't be there.

As I was feeling badly for missing Williams field trip, I mentioned it to Ben.  I get a text from Ben yesterday saying that he called William's teacher, and that he was going to go on the field trip with William.

How awesome is that.  Truly.  What a great dad.

William was thrilled to hear that his dad was going to be "one of the teachers" on his field trip today, and he was excited all morning.

I love Ben a lot, but in moments like this, I love that dad part of him even more.
look at William's genuine smile...heart melter

soccer mom, soccer mom, i am a soccer mom

Yes, there has been a serious lack of blogging on time.  Who am I kidding, there has been for months now.

I have a great excuse this time though...I reall do.

It is called soccer.

Sam had three pracices a week, and two games a week.  (5 days a week for Sam)

Mary had two practices a week, and two games a week. (4 days a week for Mary)

William had two games a week.  (2 days a week for William)

Add it all up...11 days of soccer in a week.  Makes sense??  Nope.  But you get the idea.

Fall season is over, and I am a terrible person.  I got one picture.  Yup, just one.  I know.  For real.

Sam's team after winning their final game of the season
The good news is that Sam and Mary play on the same teams, with the same league in the spring.  Technically, they are only half way through the season.  So, I have lots of time to post more pictures.

The bad news is that William is done, and I have no pictures. crap.

William:
played rec soccer this year
His season was a little nuts. 
They played 9 vs. 9, and at his age, they still all clump around the ball.
Basically, it is 18 kids all running in a pack, trying to just get one good kick of the ball.

Poor William got realty frustrated.
He did have two great moments, when he finally just slide tackled the pack, took out a few kids, and actually kicked the ball.
Go William!!!

He also did get some great shots on the goal a few times too.

He is really good at soccer, but he is leaning toward flag football in the spring.  We will see.

Sam: 
Played Club soccer with STORM.
Traveled all over the valley for games.
His team was in complete chaos and disarray the first half of the fall.  They didn't even have a real time for a while.  Sam hated it and wanted to quit.  Now, he has a team, has legit coaches, and is doing great again.  I am so proud of him for sticking to it.  I am very excited to see what his team will do in the spring.

Mary: 
Played Club soccer with STORM.
Traveled all over for games also.
She is the new girl on a team that has played 3 years together.  She has worked her bum off trying to catch up and learn everything.  She is still slightly behind, but she plays the whole game, every game, and has had some great plays.  She is getting good really fast, and she is really enjoying the sport.  She has an awesome coach, and some good teammates.  Again, I am excited to see how they will do in the spring.

And that's a wrap folks.

I am all soccered out at the moment.  See ya in the spring.

witches brew

Every kid, at one time or another, will make a witches brew.

I LOVE it that my kid made one.

And it is Awesome!



the police station

During General Conference a few weeks ago, Luke announced that he was going to build a police station.

It kept him quiet and occupied, so we just let him do his thing.

Later that afternoon, when conference was over, Luke had us all come over and see his police station.

I couldn't believe it!!!

At first all I could see was tape all over the walls, but as Luke started explaining what each thing was, and how everything worked, I went from being the alarmed, OCD, there is tape all over the walls mom, to my kid is a freaking genius mom.

Luke had made all sorts of holders, locks, signs, etc., and it was legit.  It was truly amazing!


The police station has since doubled in size, and is now complete with a jail (the laundry room), and signs that lead to the police station bathroom.  I don't have a current picture, but I will get one soon.

I love my police loving mechanical minded Lukie!

the week that kept on giving

So, the day after we discovered Molly had strep, which was just three days of her surgery, and one day after her visit to the pediatrician and the ER, I got a call from Mary's tumbling coach.

She thought Mary may have just broken her arm.

At the time I got the call, I was holding a crying Molly, who was in pain, and I was still worried sick about her.  We had just been through such a terrible past few days already, I almost laughed actually.  Is that crazy or what!  I actually almost laughed, it was just so unbelievable.

I didn't laugh though.  Good Becky.  Good crazy momma.

Instead, I loaded up the kids, and drove to the gym, praying that Mary would be ok.

When I got there, Mary seemed ok.  She was hurting, but I could tell immediately, that her arm wasn't broken.  Her wrist actually.

It was bad enough though, that we just kept the co-pays going, and went to the orthopedic surgeon the next day.

Mary has a torn tendon in her wrist and a possible stress fracture.
A broken bone would have been better, and easier to heal.  Go figure.

Mary is in a splint/brace for the next three months.  After that, she can try to tumble, with a different kind of brace for another few months.

The killer, is that in three months...she will be competing.  ARGH!

We are just hoping that she can work on her form on the trampoline (for floor), and keep working on the double mini.  Then, when she does get back on the floor, it will just be a matter of building strength.

We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Good grief!

the dam train race

About a month ago, Karli texted me and asked me if I wanted to sign up for a race here in Heber.  The race was that weekend.  ha!

I said sure, and signed up. 

It was called The Dam Train Race.

We would ride the Heber Creeper up to the starting line in Midway, and run back to the train station.  The goal was to try to beat the train on the way back.

It sounded really fun!  The distance was a 12K, which I had never heard of.  It is a little over 8 miles.

The morning of the race, Karli got really sick, so I ended up doing it alone.  I was really bummed about going alone, and almost didn't do it, but I LOVE fall running, and I knew this course would be gorgeous, so I did it.

I am so glad I did!!!

I have never, ever done a more scenic, gorgeous, breathtaking run in my life, up to this point.  Just sitting at the starting line, watching the sun rise, was unbelievable!



The pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.

I sat by a girl on the train that was really nice, and we became friends pretty quickly.  I lost her once the race started though.

The course was very, very hard!  I had no idea.  It was a trail run, and it was almost all uphill.  Steep uphill!  I decided early on to just take my time and enjoy it...so I did.

The course ran past the Deer Creek Reservoir, and the view of that was gorgeous, with the snow capped mountains behind it, and the fall colored trees surrounding me.  It may as well have been straight out of a fairy tail. 

It was a great run, hard, but worth it.

I stopped a few times to take pictures, and ended up not beating the train because of it...darn.  :)


At the finish line, Ben called me and told me they were almost there!  What a sweet surprise!  It was so great to be with my family at the finish line, and to not be alone.  It was the icing on the cake for sure!

I am so glad I did the race, and I will absolutely be signing up again next year....with Karli!

I love where I live!