Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Details

I can't let October blogging slip past me without reminiscing on General Conference.  I have grown to truly love General Conference for our Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Every April and October we listen to our Prophet, Apostles and General Authority speak to us and those talks fill my soul with light and wisdom.  As a child, I used to loathe it, because, let's face it, sitting and listening to old men and women for at least four hours on Saturday and four hours on Sunday was the pits.  Then I became indifferent to it as a young teenager...not really knowing what it meant for me, but feeling grateful that there were people who cared so much for , not even knowing me, that they spent hours in prayer seeking guidance for was a start.  Then as I entered my young single adult years, I found great power in my choice to be an adult and do adult like things, such as listen to General Conference.  I remember dutifully taking my pen to paper in my notebook and carefully noting the phrases that spoke to me and comparing them with my friends later that day.  It was a time of great blessings and burgeoning accountability.  Now, as a wife of nearly ten years and a mother to three, I absolutely CRAVE the time for General Conference.  I need not convince other mothers reading this that the days are spent in service and fulfillment of other's needs.  It is emotionally and spiritually exhausting, and physically draining.  My efforts to nourish my spirit are often interrupted by so many things.  When General Conference rolls around, I rarely have a chance to sit and take notes anymore, but I listen and ponder and, in the fall, I bake pies.....

One of the things I remember from growing up was a memory all wrapped in the booming voices of Conference, and the smell of apple pies, and the spirit of giving.  My father would bake apple pies in the kitchen of our 150 year old house and would crank the volume up through the speakers in our kitchen.  There he would quietly roll out pastry dough, peel and slice apples, mix the filling, and bake the pies, which were to be given away.  Every one.  I do not remember eating any apple pies, but I do remember the wooden counter filled with 8-10 pies of varying sizes, all ready to be delivered.  It's a memory I hold so near and dear, because in the two and a half years since he died, I am finding that those memories are all that I have to fill that gaping hole in my heart.  So I carry on the tradition, and for the past three years, I bake apple pies.

 The kids had some fun activity sheets for conference.  Marin was partial to the M&M bingo, while Owen kind of did a variation of it...mostly involving eating M&M's.
 Also, who doesn't love googly eyes on a cat?!
 Or on a little boy, for that matter.
 Marin had crazy hair day at school....and though I had plans to get up a little early and make it super duper extra didn't happen, so we did this instead...with some glittery hairspray.  Marin loved it!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Rosalie June, A First Birthday

When I think that a full year has gone by with this little gal, I'm so amazed!  It has felt like an eternity and has flown by all at the same time.  Those first three months were, well, pretty hellacious.  Before Rosalie, I'd been pretty lucky to have two very good little babies;  Marin was a dream once we figured out her schedule and stuck to it; and Owen was a dream as soon as my milk came in, so easygoing!  But oh my.  She was my colic baby, and it was so rough.  I really don't know when she slept for the first 12 fact, I really don't remember much of those first twelve weeks to be honest!  She was up pretty much ALL night long.  I would feed her and that would take 45 minutes, then spend another 45 minutes to and hour trying to get her to go to sleep, then I would get 15 minutes of sleep before she was ready for her next feeding.  Truth be told, there were some nights I hauled her little bassinet into the closet so she could scream and I could sleep for a few more minutes....and scream she would!  Phew, that girl had a set of pipes on her, and she was sooooo tenacious she would scream until you came to get her!  I am glad that part is done with, lol.

 Rosie has blossomed into such a darling girl, which is what I call her, my darlin' girl.  She is super sweet and she knows she is cute.  She is also very, very loyal; a trait that I am learning to embrace and wisely nurture for I know I will need it to work for my benefit in the future.  She loves her mama! way.  She will sound the alarm which is high pitched, shrill shrieks of dismay until mama or daddy come and save her.  Although, we have made HUGE strides with the girl at the kid watch at our gym.  She is in the baby section and we have now been able to physically pass her off to this cute's heaven!

 This is Rosalie's one year picture, and it totally captures her! I love this girl so much!

Rosie is incredibly expressive and it's fun to watch her face.
We celebrated with some cupcakes from The Sweet Tooth Fairy, and since Rosalie's birthday is in October, there was some Halloween flair to them.
My skinny little baby.  I haven't been able to get this girl beyond the 10th percentile for weight...EVER.  She eats like a little bird!
And she also eats in a very bird-like manner.  Not a big mess maker when it comes to food.
 My little collage of Rosalie.
 And the full year montage!  I had been taking a photo of her every month with the same blue bedspread behind her and the same little stuffed animal for size reference.  And here it is, all put together!  It's amazing how her ultrasound picture shows exactly what she looks like.

We are so grateful for sweet Rosalie.  She is indeed a little pistol, and requires some very patient parenting and gentle/firm guidance....more so than my other two, but her personality absolutely lights up a room and people just fall in love with her from afar...and I have a feeling that trait will stay with her forever.  Happiest Birthday, sweet Rosalie!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shamefully Absent yet Dutifully Engaged

I'm so embarrassed at how absent I've been from Blogger these past few months!  Such busy, busy months though and I think that's part of the reason why I have barely picked up the laptop.  Kristoffer has been (thankfully) busy with work, and has essentially monopolized the computer, so I just haven't dared touch it with everything he has open on the screen at any given time.  This may be a good chance to beg for my *own* laptop for Christmas (though Kristoffer insists he needs/wants one, too); I guess we'll see who gets the computer!

And yes, Kristoffer has been BUSY!  I knew when I married him that I married a business-man at heart.  He thinks in 'business' ALL the time.  It's exhausting.  And I'm the wife!!  And when we embarked on this whole start-your-own-company thing, I knew it was going to be a looong road, and it has been.  A very very looooong and bumpy road, with rain....and fireballs....and maybe an assassin or two running at you with a giant sword.  OK, so maybe that's a bit dramatic, #butseriously.  We've been through tough times, and this has been no exception.  Kristoffer has also had to learn how to be busy at something he's never done before, what a challenge!  I will say that I have never in my life prayed for more patience and longsuffering than I have these last 15 months.  

In addition to this new business venture, Kris was called as the new Elders Quorum President a few months ago when they rearranged our bishopric.  That has also brought its own set of challenges.  There is an apparent need for re-engagement with many Elders, and it's left very few active and engaged Elders for Kris to work with and to call on for help.  He's a very patient man and has a good heart and is carrying a heavy load.  I'm doing my best to be supportive of the time required for him to fulfill this calling.

A few weeks ago I was released from my calling as Compassionate Service Leader with a bit of sadness in my heart.  I have grown to LOVE that calling!  I accepted it last year with much faith when I was very pregnant; and as I served and served and served and watched other women serve and serve and became aware of their individual circumstances and needs, I developed such a testimony of service.  The capabilities that I have, though I may think them small, when shared, they become enough and they bless me and they bless others.  I have grown to know so many women and families in the ward; some very active and serving just as dilligently, and some completely inactive that I will likely never see inside the church building.  Regardless of who they are and where they are at, my job is not to provide a service in hopes to lure them to church or in exchange for church job is to serve and let that be enough.  
So after being released and passing the torch on to my amazing friend, I was called as the Second Counselor in the Primary Presidency!  Primary is so new and foreign to me!  Many years ago as a fresh faced 18 year old I was called as the Primary chorister, but I had no involvement in the rest of Primary; so this calling for me is a bit overwhelming.  I've prayed long and hard many times for strength and faith to fulfill this calling and serve these little ones, and it's not coming easy!  I'm barely two weeks into it, so there is much to learn but I am excited to move forward and be actively engaged in the lives of these great kids.  

Along with all this, we've still been raising our little family, which really deserves a post on its own, so I'll hopefully be back on soon with pictures galore!

Fall Pumpkin Picking

We have this really cute little pumpkin place we like to go to for pumpkin picking.  It's only a few miles away and they have everything arranged so nicely and pumpkins organized, plus it's local and we can go there without any pre-planning.

Also, I have these super cute kids that just neeeed to be photographed.

 My baby girl, so big!
 These next two pictures totally capture the dynamic between Marin and Owen.  He teases her, she pushes him away, except she really loves him, and he totally loves his big sis.

 My girl.

 My fave picture below.  This is kind of how we roll.
I think these were the best family pics we got all year, so I couldn't leave them out!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Black Island Farms...Twice!

Every fall, we try to head out to Black Island Farms.  Having little kids, we love this place because it's just a small little farm and not too big.  Plus, Cornbelly's is SO far away!  This year, I got to go twice, the first time as a family, and the second time with just Owen for his preschool class trip.

The three kidlets!

 What is going on here, who has my phone....?!
 The pig races!
 Marin got to be a helper.
 And I took Rosie on the cow train, haha!
 A little corn box.  So fun and relaxing.
 Going with just Owen was so nice.  I love having moments to spend one-on-one time with my kids.  It helps me to tune in just a little bit more.
 Me and my boy.  I love my Owen.  He makes me laugh every single day.  And I don't mean laughing out of love or happiness...he just says the funniest things without even meaning to.  Or he wil do something and giggle about it and it absolutely cracks me up.  I love that about him and I will cherish it forever.
 He picked out his perfect pumpkin.  The whole hayride as we drove to the field, we pretended that we were on a safari and seeing all sorts of different animals, and the pumpkins were orange flamingos!  He loved it!
 Someday he is going to be bigger than me, and someday his hand will be larger than mine.  But for now, he's still little and I want to remember.
So grateful for this moment.