Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where's My Holiday Spirit?

Christmas is usually my favorite time of year! I love the excitement, decorating, present buying, present wrapping, baking, and everything else that comes with the holidays! But this year I have been a total Grinch.

Okay, maybe not total as I did still do all the same Christmas activities, but I certainly did not have the same excitement. We put up our Christmas tree, last week mostly so the girls would stop bugging me about it. I feel just terrible!

And this year instead of goody trays I made mini loaves of bread, so I wouldn't eat all the goodies and balloon up again. I was up until 2:00am last night finishing up so Erik could take them around to his stores. It's my own fault, I've had all the ingredients for a week and just kept putting it off.

In the midst of all the holiday preparations my Grandma Uber passed away. She had a stroke the day before Thanksgiving and the doctors didn't think that she would make it through the week. I was heart broken. We have not been out to see everyone in over a year and I wanted to be there one last time to see her and have her see the girls one last time. But finances being what they are we couldn't afford it.

After the week had passed she started to show improvement. SO, I didn't feel the pressing need to get out there . We were hoping that she would hold out until we could make it out next year. A couple of weeks go by and the reports are all good.

And then I got the phone call, she suddenly got worse. She was in so much pain that they had her on so much pain medication that she was pretty much out of it. And then my Grandpa Joe had to make the hard decision to take out her feeding tube and such and let her go. The next afternoon she was gone.

The funeral was yesterday in Pennsylvania and here I am in California trying to get excited about Christmas. I feel like I am just going through the motions. Paste on the smile, give the gifts, wish everyone a Merry Christmas--over and over again.

It's not so much missing the funeral that hurts so much it's missing the last chance to say goodbye. Being LDS I know that she is in a better place. I know that she is surrounded by friends and family that have gone before and I know that she is happy. I know that she can see us, it just hurts so bad that I can't see her.

So, if my smiles seem more fake than real and the Merry Christmas greeting seems empty please understand that I am trying.

We do wish you all a Merry Christmas. May your Christmas be great and the New Year wonderful!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Breakfast With Santa

On Saturday we had breakfast with Santa for the kids. We had a breakfast of pancakes at 9:00am and then Santa came.

Unfortunately since I am part of the activities committee I had to get there early to set up. But before I could go to the church I had to stop at the store and pick up the orange juice for breakfast. (I didn't have enough room in my fridge to keep it in there until it was time.) And Erik had to go into the office so I had to get the girls up and take them with me. So, on a cold and gloomy Saturday we were up at 5:30am! Can you tell that I'm not a morning person?

Anyway, we had a pretty good turn out and it seemed like everyone had a good time. If you didn't just lie to me and say you did! ;)

The girls knew exactly what to do when it was their turn to sit on Santa's lap. They jumped right up and told him what they wanted. Santa brings our kids one toy each year and then the rest are from mom and dad. It's easier on Santa that way!

Emma asking for a Littlest Pet Shop Gym Playset!

Mia asking for a Barbie.

Okay one more quick story. Emma's Sunday school teacher, Melissa Zendejas got her class each a gift. (Well, Mia's teacher Gayle Sapronetti got her class a gift too but this story is about Emma's gift!) Anyway, part of the gift was a puzzle. Later that evening after church Emma decided that she wanted to do the puzzle. So, they got out the puzzle and started working on it.
While they were working on it I was putting together presents for the ladies I visit teach. They got the puzzle put together and oh no, there was a piece missing! So they searched every where all over the floor, on the table, under things sitting on the table and they couldn't find it!
Then it was time for bed and they still hadn't found the piece. They were so sad! Even Erik couldn't find the piece. I decided to give it a try and I'm looking everywhere, I'm even on my hands and knees under the table!
I then had this horrible thought that maybe I had accidentally put the puzzle piece into the gifts I was making for the ladies I visit teach. I really didn't want to take apart each gift just to find a puzzle piece--I had made the potpourri/light vase thingies--most of you have probably received one as a gift at some point. But being the good mom that I am I pick up the first vase ready to dump it out, and there stuck to the bottom of the vase where I had taken off the price tag was the puzzle piece!!!
Yay!!! So, I call the girls out give them the piece they put it on the puzzle we snap a quick picture and then they are off to bed! Good save, mom. I was able to be a heroine to the girls and I didn't have to dump out and redo each present! Whew!

The completed puzzle!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I got tagged!

Okay, so I know that Veronica tagged me like, oh ages ago. Being the slacker procrastinator that I am, I am finally doing it today! (You know it's been a long time when you have to go searching through a few pages of old posts on some one's blog to find the questions that you're suppose to answer!) Better late than never, right? Can I alteast get an A for effort?

Anyway, enough of my crazy rambling! Here it is the answers you have all been waiting to see. Hopefully, you weren't holding your breath! Because I'm afraid that we have probably killed brain cells waiting. And some of us don't have many to lose!

8 Things I Like A Whole Lot
1. My family--they have to love me! Thanks everyone! (especially Erik and the girly-girls)
2. Friends--sometimes I wonder why they love me!
3. The Gospel--can you imagine how much more screwed up I'd be? I shudder at the thought!
4. Chocolate covered pretzels--my absolute favorite though I will eat anything chocolate!
5. Cooler weather--I can finally go outside without melting into a puddle!
6. Exercising--some days more than others!
7. My creative spirit--someday I will finish all those projects I've started! ;)
8. Laughter--it's the best medicine! I'd rather laugh than cry!

8 Phrases I say Often
1. "Come on Girly-girls!"
2. "If there's no blood you aren't hurt that bad!"
3. "There is no whining in . . ." (go ahead fill in the blank)
4. " Do you understand what I'm saying?" (or some variation--a lot of time the answer is no)
5. "I love you!"
6. "No, you're crazy!"
7. "I have to learn how to say no!" (usually spoken to myself)
8. "Everything will be fine" (even if I'm only repeating it over and over to myself! Did you notice I talk to myself alot? do I talk to myself because no one listens or because I answer myself faster than anyone else!)

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die
1. Go skydiving/hand gliding--imagine me flying! WWWEEEEEE!!!
2. Travel--I know that's a pretty generic answer!
3. Adopt--since I can't have anymore of my own this is the only way I will have a big family.
Well, the only legal way at least!
4. Get a house--yes, we are still renting but one day I will have my own house!
5. Live--I don't want to get old nor do I want to grow up! I do want to live a full life through!
6. Watch my girls grow up into strong, beautiful , and smart women
7. Lose weight--I want to get down to 150 and stay there!!!!
8. Live debt free--debt sucks!

8 Things I've Learned From My Past
1. There are times when you need to speak up
2. There are times when you need to shut up (I'm confused too! I usually end up mixing up
when to do what!)
3. Forgive others
4. Stressing doesn't get anything done--so stop stressing! Easier said than done!
5. Kids will always do what they see not what they hear!
6. My parents deserve a medal--I put them through a lot!
7. Have a plan but always be ready to make a detour!
8. Live life to the fullest!!!

8 Places I'd Love To Visit
1. Pennsylvania--always #1 stop! My family is still there!
2. Anywhere where there is someone to visit--I'm more about the people than the place!
3. China--Erik really wants to go and Mia's got an obsession with anything China
4. Hawaii--doesn't everyone?
5. Europe--wouldn't it be fun to say you've been there?
6. A US History trip--I would love to take the time and visit all the highlights
7. A LDS History Trip--I would love to visit all the LDS points of interest
8. Australia--what can I say I love the accent and I always had a huge crush on The Man From
Snowy River

8 Things I currently Need Or Want
1. A massage daily--you didn't say it had to be realistic!
2. A house--hopefully we will get one in the next couple years
3. A haircut--I really really need one, this isn't a want but a need!
4. Get out of debt and live debt free--almost there!
5. Reach my goal weight--150, oh I would love to be a size 8! I don't think that I have ever been
a size 8 except for when I was so sick. So, I guess I want to be a healthy size 8
6. Be able to visit my family more often--I miss you guys!!!
7. I want to know that I'm a good mom and doing what's best for my kids!
8. I want everyone to know that I appreciate you all so much!!!

I tag--Rachel, Charlyn, Melissa, and Lori!!! I bet the family is really glad that I now have some blogging friends! Now they don't get picked on all the time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Disneyland Fun!!

On Friday we went to Disneyland, that was our families' big Christmas present! The girls had a blast, as did Erik and I.

It reminded me of when Erik and I went to Disneyland for our honeymoon. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I had never been to Disneyland. I had been to lots of amusement parks, I LOVE roller coasters!! So, I assumed that Disneyland would be like the other amusement parks I had attended--lots and lots of roller coasters.

Well, I could not have been more wrong. There are hardly any roller coasters, which works out well for families with young children. I remember being so disappointed with Disneyland that day.

Now that I have kids of my own I understand the magic of Disneyland. So, while my first experience with Disneyland was way below expectations, every other visit has been magical!

Erik's boss had made reservations at the blue Bayou restaurant inside Disneyland for their work Christmas party. The food was great, but no kids allowed at the party. So, Erik's parents made the drive down to Anaheim to pick up the girls and take them home. They went way beyond Grandparent duty that night! Thanks again!

With the new release of the Tinkerbell movie they have a section of the magic kingdom done up as Pixie Hollow. They have it set up so you feel like you have shrunk down to fairy size. Here the girls are inside pixie hollow.

You also get to meet some of the fairies and get your picture taken with them. Here the girls are with Tinkerbell!

And here they are with Rosetta!

This is the girls waiting in line for the Indiana Jones ride. This was their first time as they were finally tall enough to ride. Notice the look on Emma's face that pretty much tells you how she felt about the whole ride, not exactly thrilled.

THE princesses!

On the teacups. I get sick riding them so Erik being the great dad and husband that he is does teacup duty!

This is the first time that we have ever seen Mary Poppins and Bert at Disneyland! We didn't bother getting pictures with characters we had met on previous visits. But since we had never met them and we LOVE the movie we just had to meet them!

Erik and Emma riding the Dumbo ride. The Dumbo ride is still one of Emma's all-time favorites!

I rode with Mia so I had to snap a picture really fast before the ride started!

Here's Erik completely looking completely confused because he can't find the girls. Oh yeah, they're with Mammy and Grandpa!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Home Evening

Okay, you all know about my thankful kick, right? So, since I was lesson for Family Home Evening last night I decided to do a lesson on thankfulness. (For those of you who are not LDS, Family Home Evening--FHE--is a night where you get together as a family, usually having a little lesson, play a game, go somewhere, sing, pray, and best of all have a treat!)

Anyway, for my lesson I decided to steal an idea I saw somewhere, I don't remember where and give it a Marci twist. We made a banner of things that we are thankful for. Everyone got 5 index cards and drew a picture and wrote what it was, everyone also had to put their name and the date on it. I think that we will keep adding to it everyone once in a while to help us remember all we have to be thankful for. We were all suppose to come up with something that was different from everyone else.

Erik, is thankful for bedtime, the Internet, dishwasher, bubbles, and imagination. Mia is thankful for her Dad, Emma, Mom (she's so sweet you could get a toothache), Brandy (the cat), and books. I am thankful for flowers, family, friends, music, and chocolate. Even though I'm trying eat healthy I still have a bag of Hershey kisses in the freezer. That way I can have a couple a day and being frozen they last longer in your mouth! Emma is thankful for Miriam, Elmo, the Temple, comic books, and the Emma-hole.

Side note about the Emma-hole, the Emma-hole is something that Emma herself invented. It is an imaginary place that sounds like a lot of fun, they have everything there, flying cars, Disneyland everyday, a bubble machine, and more. Everything Emma wants happens in the Emma-hole. There is a whole family in the Emma-hole with lots of brothers and sisters for her, can you tell that she wants to come from a big family. There are lots of friends there too, she has a kazillion million friends in there. When she gets mad she goes to the Emma-hole, I think it's because the mom in the Emma-hole is nicer. She has an Emma-hole everywhere she goes, the one here is under Mia's bed where her trundle bed goes during the day! She also has a Emma-hole everywhere she goes, a lot of times it's under the table at a friend's home. She has started a trend, everyone has their own hole. Mia has a Mia-hole, Erik has a Daddy-hole and a Erik-hole, her friends have their own holes--though some are lazy and just go to the Emma-hole ;), and I have a Mommy-hole. When Emma gets mad at me and tells me that she is going to her Emma-hole because the mommy in the Emma-hole is nice, I tell her that's great because the Emma in the mommy-hole doesn't whine!

Anyway, so we have all the cards with the things that we are thankful for strung on a string hanging on our wall. This will hopefully help us remember all our blessings and remind us to show more gratitude and thankfulness to everyone but most especially our Heavenly Father who gave us everything!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Being Thankful For What I Have!

With the holidays season upon us and Thanksgiving having just passed, I have been giving great thought about what I am thankful for. There are so many blessings that I have that I don't show gratitude for.

The first one is my husband, he always bears the brunts of my bad moods and emotional roller coasters. I can be sweet and nice to everyone, even complete strangers but I unleash all the attitude on him. What a sweetie he is to put up with it all.

The second is my family! My girly-girls, who are just absolutely perfect, maybe I'm just a little biased, but I don't think so! ;) My parents and brothers and their families, even though we don't get to see each other often and some I haven't met--I still love you all! Especially since you are making my bros so happy! And then there's the in-laws! Yes, sometimes they drive me crazy, because we do things SO different. And I'm sure that I drive them even crazier! But I really do love them all! And don't forget those friends that are so near and dear to me that they might as well be related! Even though we aren't related by blood we are definitely related in spirit!

Thirdly all the worldly things I have. A home, food, clothes, presents, books, movies, everything I have! I know that I sometimes get caught up in what I don't have or the things I want or think I need. Like I want a house, not an apartment to live in--but at least it's not a cardboard box. And it really is good enough for us, and it's in a fun little neighborhood. So, why do I complain so much?

Fourth, the church. The knowledge that I have that the church is true, and that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. And all our blessings come from him. That he does truly care about us and knows each one of us. If you really think about that it is truly breathtaking and awe inspiring. He cares about me, flaws and all. And believe me I have my fair share and more of those flaws!

Lastly, my life and my health. For those of you don't know I underwent my second open heart surgery 1 1/2 years ago. I had my first in 1999. Complications due to a misdiagnosis, long story, not so fun! Anyway, the important thing is that I am still here able to enjoy all my blessings!

And though my life is not turning out the way I have planned and replanned it is still going. But why do I tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive? Why do I whine about all the doctor's appointments and medicine. Why do I focus on the fact that I am no longer able to have anymore kids, when I always wanted a houseful, instead of enjoying and being thankful for the ones I have? Why do I moan and complain about the extra weight I put on during those dark depression filled months after the surgery, instead of being grateful that I am out of that dark hateful place and I am able to work on getting the extra weight off?

Anyway, my goal is to try and be more focused on that which I have instead of what I don't. I am going to find 10 things that I am grateful for everyday and recognize all that I do have. So, that's the beginning of my list for today! What about you? What are you thankful for?