Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sister Cassidy

Cassidy is an amazing girl. We all love her. She's easily the sister with the most natural beauty. Soft green eyes that speak kindness, light brown hair the perfect thickness, beautiful complexion with a smattering of freckles, amazing skin that is naturally clear, a pretty smile, and a model oval face-shape that never carries any weight.

She yearns to be good. She want to know how to get there and always wants to make the right choice.

She's competitive at sports. Trying to beat a personal best or giving a girl a bloody nose in basketball :).

She loves babies. Being the youngest of 11 siblings, she's done her share of babysitting. She's what I think of when I think there is a little bit of "mother" in all women.

She's incredibly bright and a deep thinker. She's interested in how the mind works and processes things. The stuff she has figured out on her own are written in college textbooks.

She's compassionate for the outcast. She's happy to put her arms around those who are left out or alone.

She's an amazing friend and sister. She consistently reaches out to us, her siblings, connecting to us and keeping relationships strong. She's always the first one to give out positive reinforcement, write a missionary who is lonely, or start a conversation.

She's incredibly organized and clean. An anti-hoarder. I always thought it was kind of cute, but I would do good to learn from her. We don't need as much stuff as we think we do.

What a special sister we have. I'm always excited to spend time with Cassidy!

Happy Birthday Cassidy!

Monday, October 29, 2012


On October 14 was Ben's birthday. I put a big 30 in Twix bars (his favorite candy bar) on the door. I know it looks cool but it all fell down by the time he woke up. Ha ha, yeah.
I used the banner I made at the Joel Flake Family Reunion for decoration.
I finally got around to making my Happy Birthday plate (thanks Sarah!). I used this picture from Etsy as a model, and sharpies like I saw you could do on pinterest, but I hear it's not very durable. We'll see.

I love making cupcakes to take to Ben's work on his birthday. It makes me feel like I'm a "Classroom Mom" or something. This year I made Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes, per Ben's request. They were a major hit, even with all of Ben's coworkers who are all dudes. Find the recipe here.

Delaney's three month birthday (Oct. 14) has been a big turning point for me. Things have gotten a lot easier and I'm starting to get the hang of this two-kid thing.

Look who loves to smile! And two kids in Cheyenne's bed before we put her to sleep.

Man it is SO FUN having two kids. 
Cheyenne playing with her dad, her favorite after-dinner activity.
Those baby legs kill me!!

I love this kid! She's so crazy. She can get into anything. Oh the stories I can tell. She'll do anything for chocolate!

My Book of Mormon study partner. She's pretty cute, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The #1 thing that has changed my life recently

The Book of Mormon.

It's been about 6 months since I wrote this post, about how I wanted to work on some things to become a better person. The "thing" that has made the biggest difference in this "project" of mine has been the study of the Book of Mormon everyday.

I'm a rule follower, so reading the Book of Mormon has been part of my daily routine for a long time. But now the Book of Mormon has started to define my daily routine.

I knew I had some attributes I wanted to develop, specifically humility. I also knew that I was not exactly sure how to get there. Yes, I knew it was something we should strive for in this life, but I didn't exactly know how to reach it. What does a humble person look like? How is a humble person's thought process different than mine? How does a humble person live their day-to-day life? What are their hopes and dreams?

I knew where to look for the answer. The Book of Mormon. Why did I choose the Book of Mormon for this search? Because it is the "most correct of any book on earth." And if I really believe that statement, I'm going to turn to it before the Bible, a self-help book, or any talk by a modern day prophet.

I knew there were some different approaches I could take to studying the Book of Mormon. This is how I chose to look for the answer: Read The Book of Mormon chronologically. Search every page, every verse, for "clues" to humility. Study specific people in the chronology. What led them to being humble? What led them to become prideful? Then, I would write down what I learned. I would flesh out these little "blips," make them applicable, write down what I needed to do in my own life.

The things that I have learned could fill up pages (88 pages, to be exact). 88 pages of things I could do, specific to my self and situation in life. And although I have not "perfected" humility by ANY means, I can begin to see my life change.

I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

30 Years

My favorite guy has been alive for 30 years today.

And just for fun, here's 30 things he loves (in no particular order).

1. Sparkfun Electronics (especially Robert and the Friday New Product Post)
2. Deseret News or the "des news" as he calls it
3. Mowing the lawn
4. His Caterpillar boots
5. Thoroughly washing dishes
6. Singing this song
7. Rudy (probably because he looks just like Sean Astin)
8. Old tractors
9. Clean carpets
10. Dreaming about his retirement fund
11. Missionary work
12. Driving semi's 
13. Singing this song
15. Beef in all forms
16. Taking Cheyenne on walks to see construction sites
17. Making orange julius' 
18. Parodies on this song
20. Salads
21. Telling me I'm a blackfoot indian
22. Following the speed limit
23. Holding his sweet baby Delaney who he calls "Delains"
24. Demolition Derbys
25. Old houses
26. Fixing electronic farm equipment from his dad
27. A good hot meal fixed by his wife
29. Whistling

Even though my list wouldn't look anything like this (I mean, this didn't happen when we met), I love Ben with all my heart. I'm glad we get to spend the next 30 years together! You're wonderful Ben!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What our kids look like

This morning

Cheyenne with her pajamas on backwards. And she had an oreo for breakfast. That's good parenting right there.

Cheyenne's newest look after she decided to take off her pajamas and diaper TWICE and wet the bed. She would much rather wear sunglasses though. Delaney's newest look is a double chin.

I can't get enough of this baby!!

Curly head!!

Our baby contortionist. She likes to twist her body all kinds of ways in order to fall asleep. 

What this baby needs to sleep: three babies, a teddy bear, a bunny, and a cow pillow pet. During her nap, so sweet. 

We sure love these two kids.

Life is starting to slow down and get into a routine. And we like having our two little girls!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Meaningful Life: Sacred Sunday

When I was taught how to keep Sunday sacred, I understood it as a list of "don'ts." To keep Sunday sacred you go to church, wear a dress, you don't work, you don't shop, you choose lighter forms of recreation. I thought this was what made it the Sabbath.

Now I realize that if you want to keep something sacred, it's something that happens inside. Those so-called "rules" are a reflection of how you feel internally.

So if I want to make something sacred, I think first about why it is important to me. Why do I want to make the Sabbath day special for me and my family?

This is what Sunday means to me.
1. It's my gift to God each week. What does that look like in terms of dress? What would my house look like? How would I spend my time?
2. It's my spiritual renewal to start the week. What do I think about? View? Talk about?
3. It's special, uninterrupted family time. What are our priorities? How do we grow our relationships?
4. It's a time to teach my children to honor God. How do I show Sunday is important to me?

One of our very favorite parts of Sunday is the time Ben and I get to spend together. Life gets a little hectic during the week, and it's always rejuvenating to think we will get to spend several hours together on Sunday. By some magic both girls end up napping after church and we have a wonderful time just talking and laughing. Sometimes we like to go on long drives in the evening, seeing the beauty around us, dreaming about our future, and just enjoying being together.

A couple Sundays ago we drove up the canyon and took in the beauty of the fall colors.

I'm so grateful for the Sabbath day.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sister Sarah

I have a very large family. My oldest sibling is twelve years older than me. It seems like that would make it hard to get along with them but it is the exact opposite. It's like you can have a mentor that is also your best friend.

My oldest sister is Sarah. She's 35 I'm 24. She has 5 kids I have 2. She lives all the way across the country, yet she is one of my closest siblings. But I think most of my siblings would describe her that way. She is the glue that holds our family together.

Although Sarah has a lot of redeeming qualities, I have a favorite.

She has this amazing ability of making people feel of worth. When someone in our family is having a problem, Sarah is "assigned" (or assigns herself) to motivate them to push past the problem. But she does it in such a loving way that most of the time you leave the conversation thinking you came up with the solution yourself.

When you talk to Sarah, you don't feel like "I'm some dumb 24-year-old who doesn't know anything," but instead she treats you like a peer, asks for your opinion and advice. Although sometimes I'm sure she already knows the answer, it's pretty empowering for a younger sibling to think "wise Sarah" learned something from you.

Glad to have you around, Sarah. I learn things from you, and not just from the words you say.

Oh yeah, and happy birthday.