what we been doin'

we spent a magical weekend in Utah for Taryn's graduation. the kids slept 90% of the way up and home. rodney had a 20 minute cry fest both ways, but hey, you win some you lose some right?

we spent a wonderful less than 48hrs in utah and i'm grateful we were able to go.

the weather was perfect! even some rain for my parched soul! i stopped by my old and fabulous  Shep  salon for a new brush, and he was there and we had a nice chat.

the highlight (besides Taryn's accomplishment!) was going to the Sacred Gifts exhibit at BYU. OH my goodness, please please please go if you are in driving distance. They just extended its viewing two more weeks.  They have some of the most beautiful artwork of the Savior from Europe and New York, that will most likely never leave those chapels/palaces again. I was moved beyond words at their beauty. Beyond words people.

we even had a lucky chance of bumping into the Sandersons. gosh, we sure love that family.

the only bummer of the trip was this weird conjunctivitis I  had in my eyes. I was sure it was allergies, but couldn't risk it being the beginning of pink eye. So my visit with my Great Nephew never happened, I'm coming for you baby Will!

Here is another short summary of our trip in pictures:
the only positive thing i've done in this life is give these beautiful genes to my children
the botany pond at BYU never disappoints, Goose Eggs!
Maynard Dixon paintings, sigh
we never ever, chase the ducks. hehe
Leavitt cousins
walking around your alma mater with husband and kids you always dreamed about is WEIRD
our hotel was fantabulous and complete with rocks on FIRE. 



a few weeks ago on a weekend morning, the kids erupted in a chorus of jubilant cries. "Mom! Come look! Ew! Whoah!"

this usually means one thing, they (usually dad) found a living creature and they (usually dad)will put it in a jar and it they (usually dad) will bring it into our house. and then it will DIE.

i cannot tell a lie.

this time it was the weirdest caterpillar i have ever seen. they put it in a mason jar, cut some holes, added the required twigs and leaves and put it on the counter. a few days later it crawled to the top of the lid and hung down. it almost looked like it was going to make a cocoon. what are the odds? and sure enough, we came home one day and the caterpillar was gone. in its place a dark, hard ugly cocoon.

we hatched butterflies last Christmas, so the kids all knew what was going to happen. but if you don't understand the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, you would think it had died. or disappeared and left some weird casing.

sure enough, as nature goes, a week later we woke up in the morning and VOILA! a butterfly. but, if you've hatched butterflies, you'll know that their wings are stuck together for about a day. You can't really tell what it's going to look like, you have to wait. and the next day, when enough blood had pumped to its wings, we had a beautiful mourning cloak butterfly. we let it go Easter morning and it flew away as fast as possible (good choice butterfly).

i kept thinking about that butterfly all week. and about metamorphosis, and cocoons (or phoebe prefers, CHRYSALIS)

as much as i'd prefer to be a beautiful butterfly and float around all day, i am not. but in a metamorphosis stage? i am. i think all of us are at multiple points in our life.

change isn't easy, and it isn't pretty. much like the hard, ugly cocoon.

i think of the major changes we go through in our lives, and the unpleasantness of them. don't believe me? think middle school or puberty, or heaven forbid, both at the same time


right now i feel as though i'm not where i was, but i'm not yet where i want to be. kind of stuck in a cocoon phase. it's hard, and ugly and seems like nothing is happening at all.

of course i know things are happening, but it's nice to know that even the most beautiful butterfly has to spend time in a dark and enclosed chrysalis. somehow, and sometimes that fact alone helps get me through the day.


Because of Him

This weekend is already wonderful, and the rest is going to be filled with family and food. Two of my favorites!

I have a confession, most religious movies are too cheesy for me. Gasp. Horror. Unclean! Seriously though, I don't know what it is, but I don't enjoy around 90% of them.

BUT, and this is a big but,

we watched this movie as a family the other night, and it was PERFECT.

I really hope you watch it, it's just a short 2 minutes.

This to me, is what Easter is all about.

Anything is possible because of Him



tomorrow is our 11th anniversary.

this year isn't a grand one, if you count celebration style, but it is a grand one to me.

the best decision i ever made in this life was to marry this man for forever.

no matter what the day brings, kid problems, house problems, money problems, arguments, at the end of the day (sometimes not until the next hehe) we still smile together.

he supports me and i him, and we are happy. i wouldn't have it any other way.


what a week

i wrote a post this morning about my thoughts lately, it was very honest and very...sad. i'm glad i wrote it down, but not ready to hit publish quite yet.

in other news, this week was very entertaining, to say in the least. we had to take the family wagon in to the dealership to get the a/c fixed. this is the 4th a/c fix in 4 years. ack! i was so ready to just trade it in and get a sweet ride. alas, we really enjoy not having a car payment. and ty fixed the a/c part that the dealership couldn't figure out! huzzah!

the there was the huge "range war" just 20 miles east of our house. everyone in our valley is related or friends with the "Bundys" so it was a big deal here. i have mixed emotions about it, ty and i have never been impressed with the BLM down here. no roads are ever taken care of and it seems they are never around when you need them. i recommend you reading the blog that Dustin Nelson has been keeping for the last several years about the area they are trying to close down. it is a great family friendly area with multiple sites to see. i always love going there.

then it was the fair! this was rodney's face when we saw the rides set up but the fair wasn't open yet. it was the equivalent of taking the kids down the toy aisle (which is a cardinal sin).

he got over it, and we went to the fair! it was pretty roasty thursday morning. but the kids had a great time and we came back at night for the carnival. let me tell you, i love thursday night at the carnival. the air is crisp and warm all at once, the lights make it look magical (plus you can't see any scary carny trailers) and the kids just run around with all of their friends. we had an awesome time. the older girls each found a friend to go with, just by happen chance, for the first few hours. so they got in all the older rides while the littles rode the rockets and whales 100bajillion times. we didn't get home till 11pm! let's just say friday was pretty rough around the edges.

saturday was the bridal shower for megan. uncle taylor is getting married! we all love megan so very much and i was happy to go to support her. but am i the only one that after you've been married over 5 years, bridal showers are just...different?  i entered the "older" crowd of baby and bridal showers where you sit and ooh and ahh and then leave. it doesn't bother me, but it's just weird how that change happened all of a sudden. i got to mug on Chelsi's baby the entire time, and that always makes me happy. i do love newborns, just not ready for my own again. hehe.

and now it's spring break, and we are staying home and doing a whole lot of nothing. i love it, and the kids love it (so far). we will see how long the "happy" lasts.  phew, i'm tired just writing about it all.
ferris wheel smiles

waiting for a ride with grandpa

my favorite thing at the fair, momma pig

phoebe was SO elated to have friends to run around to the rides with

riding the ridiculously expensive pony rides
rodney and tyson (i swear rodney's hair was done before we got to the fair)

we had a desert tortoise siting for FHE
Last but not least, we got a dog. I know, I didn't want one but Ty persuaded me with all kinds of ridiculous mumbo jumbo.

 introducing Auggie. He is pretty adorable. I told the kids, there are no pretenses here: this is my dog! Because let's be honest, I'm going to spend the most time training and taking care of it. He's half blue heeler and husky. One bonus, he seems pretty smart so far. Let's hope that continues.



Conference, (from what I could hear between kids talking and singing) was wonderful. I can't wait to read the talks and listen to them this week during the day. Spending the weekend together as a family with no outside agenda was just what we needed. We helped Ty organize his garage/shop, we played outside a lot, napped, ate sticky buns. Heaven.

I wish there were more weekends like this, instead of just twice a year, but then nothing would really ever get done around here!

One of my favorite quotes:

"Instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances. Whatever they may be." President Uchtdorf
via facebook (she forgot a lot of punctuation)
Speaking of uplifted, Ty and I loved this old video of phoebe


In January my friend Chelsea's dad was really great and gave me some Advocare products to try and if I liked, promote to my exercise classes. I already knew about Advocare and some weightlifting/bodybuilding coaches that used them, so I was excited to try. Here's a little confession, since Thanksgiving I gained really, really close to 20lbs. Twenty, two...zero.  That's a lot of weight for a 3 month period and no baby to show for it.  I was really excited to start exercising and take these products.

And I did take them, but the timing was awful.  I took them for a week and exercised for a week and then cut my foot open :(. I also was/am still having health issues from the pregnancy. I still kept taking the products, but couldn't work out.  So of course I didn't come out with an amazing before and after shot looking like a bazillion bucks, but I still want to review these products and recommend them. I feel crummy because they were a lot of money.

But if you are at a plateau with health and exercise, I would definitely recommend them. They gave me increased energy, mood and motivation to work out. I definitely will use them again. I used three products:

I used the Bio Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) before every work out.

I took the multivitamins every day

And I used the energy drink mix sporadically

 The BCAA's were my favorite.  I took three 15 minutes before working out they increased my energy and reduced muscle soreness while promoting lean muscle mass. It's easy for me to take pills, so the size didn't bother me at all.

The multivitamin packs only took a few days to get used to when to take and with a meal or not. I've never taken a thermogenic before (fat burner), and I don't drink caffeine (it hurts my stomach) so the first day I was a bit of a shaky mess. I got a headache by the end of the day, but the next day I was fine. The thing I loved about the vitamins was the energy I go throughout the day, it really helped to boost my mood and motivation. It curbed my appetite during the day also.

The final product I used was the Spark Energy drink mix. I only used this several times as, again, I'm a little sensitive to caffeine. The taste was great! If I drank energy drinks/caffeine consistently I think this would be a great substitute  to wean you off of that crappy stuff. I did love it before my work outs also.

Overall I would recommend these and other products from advocare for weight loss support/well being. Even though I didn't get amazing results, I'm grateful I tried them and look forward to trying again when I'm healthy.


night and day

when we moved here four years ago my days were crazy full. 3 kids at home, pregnant, remodeling the house. my nights were my sanctuary, ty was home, i could work out, i could read, i could visit with friends.

teaching an exercise class was just right for me. i had a creative outlet, i could smile and relate with other moms. i met a TON of new friends. it made me happy! so very happy!

over the last few years, my days are slowly getting more simple. and i love it! the two littles love walking or jogging with me in the double stroller (I only have two at home all day!). they love playing in my parents weight room while i lift. it definitely doesn't hurt that grandma visits with us either, we all love that.

as my days are simplified, our nights have changed. ty has a busier church schedule on week nights now. sports and piano fill up the empty gaps. the girls have more homework, more emotional issues that need "bed time" talk. the house is messier at night, the meals need more prep, more clean up, more time. ty and i squeeze in a half hour of couch time, reading, watching mindless tv and staring at our phones together.

as i'm getting in my workouts in the daytime, i still kept teaching aerobics at night. why? because i wanted to make other people happy. of course i was always happier after a class, ALWAYS. i love working out in groups. but the time and effort it took just to make OTHER people happy wasn't worth it in the end. so with much thought and deliberation I finally decided to quit teaching. oh, it was painful, is still painful. i won't see my friends all the time at night! i won't be "teaching", and that fulfills me. i will be less "In shape!" because teaching pushes you to an entirely different level of exercise.

but i can't deny the constant pull of simplifying my nights these days. and simplify i must try.

my babies will grow, my kids will leave, my nights will become simple again.

but not today. today they are little, today they need me, today i choose home. 

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