Thursday, February 23, 2012


Might I rant...for a moment, on my own little piece of cyberspace?  This is in no way directed at anyone, it's merely a collection of thoughts from a concerned-to-tears young mother.
When Kristoffer and I were married, we had a few pages of scrapbook paper that people from our ward wrote pieces of advice on for our marriage.  One that I remember to this day is:

*Stick to your principles, and let your preferences go.*

I've been able to apply this my marriage frequently, and it has helped to ease my rather frenzied mother-mind quite a few times (don't deny it, you know you've all been there!).  There are things that really *don't* matter, in the grand scheme of things.  And, my husband has lightly teased me from time to time because I am a very principle driven person.  I feel very strongly that actions need to be consistent and a course must be followed through with, even if it is "just" for the principle.  We differ somewhat in this matter.  If, for example, we are talking about a "silly" monetary fee that may only amount to a few dollars, Kristoffer would rather pay the fee without question or further hassle, while I would rather correct the situation and get my 2 dollars back...not because I am really in dire straights for an extra two bucks, but because it's the principle.

I tell you all of this to preface my current frustration...with the world.  Where in the world have all the principles gone?!  Is no one out there standing for them anymore?!  It seems as though we've all found our petticoats in a tangled mess but we're content to leave them as is and pretend otherwise.  And by this I mean that it seems we've all kind of...taken the easy road.  What happened to true grit?  What happened to doing the right thing because it's the right thing?  Instead, here we are, exchanging our golden principles for
feather-y preferences, because, well, let's face's too darned hard to carry those heavy golden principles around anymore.  Surely we can't be expected to carry the weight our WHOLE lives?!  We need to give ourselves a break, we need to lighten our load by giving up those heavy golden principles for some nice light preference feathers.  THOSE are by FAR, much easier to carry.  Right?  We would prefer to do so many other things than what the right thing is. 

So, to the world, to my own sweet children....what happens when you reach your journeys end, and you haven't the price to pay for eternal exaltation?  When you realize, far too late that entry can only be gained with payment of those golden principles?  And all you have in your satchel are worthless, light preference feathers?  Will they be enough to give your repentant mind a soft pillow as you bitterly weep for things lost?  I can only think of my sweet Young Women, the many young daughter's of God that I have had a blessed opportunity to work with over the years.  It is indeed a heavy burden to carry such solid gold principles, but we are never meant to carry it alone.  Please, don't ever trade your priceless principles for worthless preferences, no matter how hard to world will barter with you and nag at you and shamelessly try to fool you into thinking that feathers are better than gold.  Stand tall, press forward, endure to the end...and you will gain entrance to be greeted with; "Well Done.".

Musical Chairs

With the advent of Owen's birthday, came the dilemma of the carseats.  Owen was obviously WAY too big for the infant car seat we were stuffing him into, poor buddy!  And Marin, well, she is our petite little girl that will be trapped in a car seat until she is probably 16, the poor dear.  That girl, as much as I try to feed her, takes her sweet ol' time gaining even an ounze.  I've learned to let it go.  So, Kristoffer and I grappled with what car seat to put her into...and let me tell you, the government *never* institutes anything that makes life easier or cheaper.  It is always something that inevitably makes like more difficult or expensive.  Take car seats, for example.  There are weight requirements for children to be using certain types of car seats, for safety, right?  Someone in D.C. must have done research to back their weight requirements on car seats...right?  Kris and I have looked through statistics relating to this, and they aren't what you think.  After a certain age/weight, a three point harness is just as effective i.e. life saving as the same child in a five point harness.  Yeah, I was shocked, too! 

So, we ordered another round of car-seat-fun and played musical chairs!  And here is Owen, trying out his sister's old seat.  Boy, he sure does think it's fun, riding around and being able to see everything!  Marin likes her booster seat just as well, she can reach her toys!

 What kind of face are you expecting, mom?
 Saturday was Owen's birthday party, and he had a rough night.  I think his poor little belly wasn't feeling well, so he didn't get much sleep and was up early.  I stayed home with him on Sunday, and after a good morning nap, he crawled around very contentedly and found things to play with.  He was so quiet, I had to peek around the corner to see what he was up to.
 Oh, hey mama!
 Look what I found!
Can I say how strange it is to have two children facing forward in my car now?!

Owen's Birthday Party

Well, my sweet little Owen is...ONE.  We pulled together a few party items and had a nice little party for him, complete with his cake smash.  I'm finding as I meander through motherhood, now with two children that, smaller is better, haha!  Big parties stress me out and and I'm also discovering that I stress about more than I used to and would care to stress about.  But I digress...

Marin helped grandpa and daddy blow up balloons...well, actually, she more 'corralled' the blown up balloons. 

 Ok, and maybe a little catch and toss, too.
 The cake!  I saw this "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" cake on Pinterest, and I loved it from the first.  It just seemed to be a perfect fit with Owen.  So, I made one!  I bought some large cake tips and that made frosting the cupcakes ridiculously easy, wohoo!
 Also another idea from Pinterest, stringing balloons from thread, what a novel idea!!  No mess, no tape bunches, just a prefect row of non-helium (read: expensive) balloons.
 There's the birthday boy!!  And he sure does look like a little boy in this picture, wow!  He looks far too old to be my sweet little son!
 Some family!
 Ok, if this cute fella doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will!
 Ahhh, the cake smash.  I gave Owen the big red cake that was acting as caterpillars head, and Owen went straight for the frosting eyes...picking the frosting out with his fingers!
 Ugh, I think I'm starting to feel a little queasy, mama!
 But, I sure did have fun!
 Grandpa gave Owen a quick bath to clean him all up.
 Some friends brought the cute kids to the party, and they were just sitting down to cupcakes and ice cream.
 Grandpa showing one of his two magic tricks, the children were amazed!
We were so happy to have my dad here for Owen's birthday.  It was wonderful for the kids, and I am SURE it was very therapeutic for a grandpa who really misses his grandkids!  Thanks to everyone who came to show their love, we really love you all so much!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Temple Square with Grandpa

So, Wednesday we took Grandpa to the aquarium, and on Thursday we took him to Temple Square.  You just can't come to Utah and NOT go to Temple Square!

In the morning, Grandpa helped Marin get dressed.  Grandpa likes to utilize shirts in many capacities such a ear warmers or in this case, a nice purple hat.
 Oh my little handsome fella.
 First stop, the Church History Museum.  We took a rather hurried walk through the grown-up section downstairs so that we could appease children by taking them to the kids section upstairs.
I'm always amazed to see the death masks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
Marin being silly.
Owen stretching his legs and peeking around.
Marin and Grandpa, she loved following him around.
And we ended up in the kids section.  I really love that they have a section just for the kids.  It makes it possible to get out of the house, it's safe, clean, church oriented and free (minus parking). 
Aaaaand Marin ended up in the kitchen, whaddya know?
A picture of one of the rooms.
And another of the rooms.
Haha, the kitchen where Grandpa was waiting for Marin's creations.
BIG angel Moroni!
Awwww, Grandpa and the grandkids.
A short stroll around the Temple.
So glad we had a sunny day with bright blue skies!

You can't deny that the Salt Lake City Temple is just gorgeous.
My dad loves to be able to put his hand on the stone of the Temple.  It's almost like being able to feel a small connection to the incredible history that pulled together to erect an enormous monument of faith.
Am I allowed to be scared when I look at this picture and be secretly afraid of losing my daughter to marriage someday?  To be sure, I'd rather lose her in marriage to a worthy man than anything else, but oh how the  thought pulls on my tender heartstrings!
The little cheeseball.  I told her to pretend she was Rapunzel, hoping I could get a sweet smile or pose out of her, and this is what she gives me?!
Here we all are!
We had ourselves a little treat for dinner, and my husband had been looking forward to it for a week; Fettucini alfredo with sauteed mushrooms and pan seared chicken.  Mmmmmm, yeah, it's ok to drool ;)
And later that night we roped dad into a friendly game of poker.  Clearly the Navy taught dad a thing or two about poker because he cleaned HOUSE!
Look at that winner-takes-all smile, eh?
Our rather giant pickle jar.  Yup, that's a pickle jar!  As a joke, before Kristoffer and I were married, we put a giant jar of pickles on our gift registry...and someone actually got it for us, haha!!  Now it holds our spare change which is what we use for our poker games.  I jokingly told dad after his big win that night that he just won our Temple funds ;)
We LOVED our Thursday together, nothing was wasted!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Aquarium With Grandpa

Grandpa came into town on Tuesday night, and we did our best to squeeze in TONS of fun while he was here.  SO...on Tuesday, we went to the Living Planet Aquarium, and it was perfect.  And by perfect, I mean the perfect size for little kids.  It was about the size of a large supermarket, so it was the perfect size for small ones (and looked just like one on the outside!), had an easy to follow layout so you didn't get lost or too far from a bathroom and was relatively moderately priced.  The whole thing was clean and well kept, I would totally go back again. 

Some fish!
 Owen having his snack.
 I *love* this picture of Marin, she is just so sweet!
 Grandpa and Marin.
 We were lucky to see an otter come out of his cubby hole for a swim, upside-down of course!

 Through a magnifying glass, those gray-ish areas looked like upside-down jellyfish.
 Some real jellyfish!
 Owen LOVED the large tank with the brightly colored, fast swimming fish inside.  He liked to pat the glass with his hands.
 Look at all the fishies, mama!
 Marin wasn't quite into touching the manta-rays.  One of the rays was quite friendly and would come to the side of the pool and raise his flipper (?) out of the water to get some attention.
 Little boy is *almost* walking, he's kind of a wimp if he's not holding on to anything, but he's getting there!
 Grandpa and Owen.
 The penguins were putting on quite a show for us!  Leaping and diving into the water, we were pretty lucky!
 I had to post a picture of the BIG snake...for my mom.  She actually hates snakes, and this anaconda was about as big around as a basketball, yikes!
 Looking at the glow-in-the-dark scorpions.
 Marin found an otter mask in the gift shop.
After the aquarium, we went to lunch and came home for naps.  And I have maaaaany more pictures to post, I may need to pare them down and touch!