Thursday, December 31, 2009


My little boy is starting to talk so much lately. And although he is at the stage where only Chad and I (and more often then us, Lauren) can understand him-he really is getting quit a vocabulary. He is to dang cute for words. Today I was walking up the stairs to put him down for his nap. All the way up the stairs and down the hall he was yelling "Orin (Lauren) elp me! elp me Orin! Peese elp me!" Poor kid. Naps are tough when you are two. Not getting them is tough when you are 29.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

I love Christmas. I love what it stands for, the reason we celebrate. Amist all of the bargain shopping and gift wrapping we sometimes forget that this whole holiday is centered around a little baby boy. Growing up, we would always read the account of the birth of the savior from the Bible. It is of that little boy, swaddled, and sleeping where animals sleep, that my mind would always drift. But now that I am a mother, I find my mind moving more towards the young girl who held the savior of the world in her arms. She knew all the prophesies, she knew that she held no ordinary child. I feel overwhelmed with the raising of my own two children, and they are just your ordinary-average-run-of-the-mill children. I wonder how she did it. How she looked into those baby eyes of the savior and found the strength to shoulder the immense responsibility of being the guardian and caretaker of the redeemer of all man kind. I don't know how she did it, but I am eternally grateful she did. So thank you Mary, for raising my savior.

And now, on to a shameful display of commercialism:

Mimi got Lauren a Fancy Nancy doll and some Fancy Nancy dress up clothes.

Evan opened all of his presants with one of Chad's tools! Silly boy! Mimi and Pop Pop got Evan a tool bench which he was glued to for the rest of the day. And he still runs to it when he wakes up in the morning. It is the toy he plays with the most. It is so cute to me. I love it. For so long, he hasn't really taken an intrest in anything. No balls, cars, dinosaurs, ect. So I love that he found something he loves to play with.

I think that this picture is a good summery of the whole Christmas morning. And check out Chad! He totally passed out-snoring away. The kids thought it was hilarious.

Poor Chad. So tired. But such a great picture moment, I just couldn't pass it up. (love ya Chad)

After all the gift-giving and nap-taking, we went to my dad's house. I was so excited to spend Christmas with my dad. If we wern't going to be able to make it to California, at least we made it to Far West. Rita's three kids came, and my sister was also there. My dad and Rita had bought all of the grandkids a bunch of gifts. They gave Chad and I some Living Scripture DVDs (which is just what I asked for, thanks dad). It was alot of chaos and mayhem and noise. In short, it was a lot of fun.

(My Dad, Rita, Lauren, Me and Evan)

It was crazy, but lots of fun. Somewhere in the middle of all of the noise, we got this great idea to take a picture of my dad and Rita with all of their grandkids. They have two from Chad and I, two from my sister Natalie and her husband Darren, and two more from Rita's son Dane and his wife Sarah. It is always fun trying to get 6 little kids to all smile at the camera at the same time. It didn't happen. Oh well, we tried.

(Lauren and Evan, my Dad, Rita holding Leona and Katie, Korban, and Natalie holding Kara becase Kara would have no part in the picture any other way.)

Grandpa and Grandma Rita with all the grandkids, minus poor tired Kara. It is always nice to get together with family. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. It seems like all I am doing these days is telling people thank you. But we really couldn't have had a Christmas without so many people. It is hard when you can't afford to buy your own kids Christmas, but we couldn't this year. That doesn't mean we won't be able to next year. We are really hoping to be able to "pay it forward". They say it takes a whole village to raise a child, and apparently, also to buy Christmas. So thank you to our little village.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dear Blog Readers,

After much deliberation and consideration, I have decided to do nothing. I love the freedom of my blog. I love that people can come and read at anytime from anywhere. There is so many of my friends and family that cover the map, from New England to Texas and all the way back to California. To change the way I blog would be crazy. I refuse to cater to one person. So to my dear blog readers, read and comment away. I am happy to hear all of your encouraging words. You uplift me when I am feeling down and it is for all of you that I refuse to make commenting difficult. And to my dear anonymous commentator, if it pleases you to prof read my blogs-then by all means, you may prof read. But I am not going to spell check. Like I said before, I am aware of my inability to spell but I don't care. So if you care so deeply that you feel it necessary to point out my mistakes to me, then who am I to take that away from you. Have fun.

So with that, I wish all of you a Happy Blogging New Year-with plenty of adventures to blog about and an equal amount of spelling mistakes to go along with them.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mean people Suck :)

I love getting comments on my blog. I like to be open and honest with everyone who happens to read my blog in hopes that the struggles and little victories in my life could in turn help you. But for the third time, derogatory comments about me have been posted by an “anonymous commentator”. I write from my heart, and to be criticized by someone who hides behind anonymity, really does hurt me. I wrote sincerely to express gratitude to the many people who have helped us through this financially difficult time. I wish that I could do this without fear of being mocked for my lack of spelling skills. This is a personal blog and reflects the real me and the real me can’t spell. Its something I’m aware of but not ashamed of. If anyone out there knows how to find the IP address of someone leaving an anonymous comment, I would love to hear it.

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

"He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
-Dr.Suess in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

We got a fridge!! Yeah!! I can't tell you how excited I am!!! You try going months and months with nothing more then a drink fridge. I feel like things are starting to look up for us. Our neighbor is letting us use their extra one untill we can get ours fixed. I am overwhelmed by everyones generousity. I would like to take this blogging oppertunity to thank all of the people who have given so much in small ways and large. Certin names come to mind like The Edwards and the Millers, as well as the Petersons and of course our sweet home teachers. But I know that there are others out there. Whose generosity was annonomous. I am not sure how to adiquitly thank everyone. Your charity is far reaching and will be in our hearts the rest of our lives. You have all set a lasting example to us. So in short, thank you.

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas time. There are so many reasons to love this time of year. I havn't really felt like it is Christmas though. All of my 10 readers will know this, but every year we generally all pile into our Mazda and brave the icy roads to sunny California. We couldn't make it this year, which has been sad for us. We have never had a Christmas day in our whole marrage that didn't end up at the beach after all the gift giving. And Lauren has had all of her birthdays in California. But even so, me being a glass-is-half-full kind of a person, we had a fun Christmas season.

When I was a little girl, every Christmas Eve we got to open one gift that was from my Grandma Bruun. That gift was always Jammies, and we always wore our Christmas Jammies to bed that night. It is a fun tradition and I have wanted to keep it going in our little family. And thanks to couple of sweet elves, we were able to.

Lauren opening up her Christmas Jammies.

Evan opening his Christmas Jammies. And then of course they had to change into them right away! They played for the rest of the night and looked so cute in their new jammies untill it was time for bed.

Later that night, it was time for bed. Christmas Eve is the one night each year that I have no problem getting Lauren to bed. I went to check in on them to make sure they were asleep so that I could get all the presants under the tree. Oh my gosh, they looked so cute!

Lauren has been sleeping in her rose petal cottage lately. She looks so cute in that tiny little cottage with all her books surrounding her.

I love how sweet and innocent they look while they sleep. With not a care in the world in their tiny little heads. To me, it is what peace looks like.

Working Girl

As many of my friends know, I am now a working mom. I got a job at McGrath's and have been either super busy or super tired. Hence the sporatic posting on my blog. But I really do have so much to write about. All of these things we have been doing for the past couple of months have been swimming around in my head searching for a place to be read. So I thought that before I started the frantic dance of getting ready for work, I would take a couple of minutes and write something down. I didn't realize that when I found a job, I wouldn't be the only one in the family that would have to work. Chad has shouldered a lot of responsibility. He works hard at work and then comes home and works hard at home. He may do things differently then I would (using duct tape to secure diapers and not the little tabs.), and his idea of clean vs dirty is definatly not mine. But that aside, he has really stepped up and taken on this new role in our family. Likewise, I didn't think that I would enjoy working so much. I think a good job isn't one where you are making a ton of money (although that is nice) it is where your co-workers are pleasant and you have good bosses. Both things that I have been fortunate to have. If I have to leave my family at night, then I want it to be a good experience while I am there. And then when I am home with the family, I apperciate Chad more (who, even when I am home has been steping up to the plate and helping me out more without me having to ask for it) and I am more patient with Lauren and Evan.

But like I said, it kind of has turned into a job for our whole family. Lauren has been watching out for Evan more, and Chad has taken to the task of being a Mr. Mom. He has learned one of the key things when you are watching kids-silence is not golden. In fact silence is very scary. He learned this lesson one day last week. He had just sat down on the couch when he realized that Evan was being uncharactoristicly quite-so he went on the hunt looking for him. He looked everywhere and then decided to check the bathroom upstairs. And this is the sight that awaited him.

No you are not looking at a set design for CSI:Ogden or the next Friday the 13th. You are looking at my bathroom toliet. Someone wanted to make some Kool-aid. But who could it have been?

Evan has also learned how to, not only open the back and front doors, but also how to unlock them. In the kitchen,he opens the drawers to make a makeshift stepping latar and climbs up on the counter where there is a whole world of undiscovered "toys" for him to explore. By the time I come home from work at night, Chad has the look of a battle weary warrior. And as much as I am liking working, I do miss my family. There is one reason, and one reason only, that I am working. Once that reason is no longer a factor, I will be more then happy to hang up my McGraph's apron.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Lauren is super smart. She amazes us sometimes with the things she says. We have never talked baby talk to her and whenever possible, we try to answer her questions with age appropriate true answers. As a result, her vocabulary is very advanced for her age and she is super smart (or I might just be a proud Mama Bear) Out of the blue the other day she said to me:

LAUREN: The sun is a star
ME:Yep, your right..
LAUREN: And it is made of hydrogen and helium
ME: Again, baby, your right.
LAUREN: So is Jupiter, but it is a planet and not a star.
ME: What makes it a planet and not a star? (I know she know the answer because we talked about it just the day before, so I thought she was going to tell me why Jupiter was a planet and not a star-I mean the answer that you learn in school, but she suprised me yet again)
LAUREN: Because Heavenly Father said to the sun 'you be a sun' and he said to Jupiter 'you be a planet'.

She may not be far off with that answer! She is so smart that the girl even knows that Santa isn't real (because it is not "logical" as she would say). She is under strict orders not to tell any of her friends that Santa is just "plastic". So one Sunday, she was sitting by a friend during sacrament meeting who was ethusiasticly telling Lauren how excited she was that "Santa is coming soon." Lauren just looked at her and said, "Um, Ok. If you say so."

I love my cute girl. I think I will keep her.

So Cute!!

I walked into the family room the other day and this is what I saw....

Could they seriously get any cuter!?!

Best Friends

Lauren and Evan are such good friends right now. I love watching them play together. Evan seriously looks at Lauren as if she hung the moon. He adores her and hangs on her every word-whether he understands the words or not. Anything she wants to do, he is game for. There is, of course, the occasional crying fest were each of them are shaking their fingers at each other in rage. But literally ten minutes later, they are belly laughing it up again. Here are some pictures of the two of them playing on our stairs. If you have ever been to our house then you know that we have an open stair case and stairs. Lauren and Evan think it is hilarious to hang out on the stairs and wave at us and occasionally throw things from the third floor all the way down to the entry way. If only we could also be just as entertained.

I know that they will go through their times of not liking each other, but I hope that they remember that they will always have each other to lean on. I love my cute kids and I love watching them play with each other. I feel so lucky everyday that I get to be the one to raise them. What cute goofy little kids I have!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I love the sound of the earth after a snow storm. It kind of reminds me of life. The other night, the winds were howling and our windows rattled with every gust. I had on a t-shirt, a hoodie, and my coat. But that is not all. I was also covered in a literal mountain of blankets. The world was vicious and unforgiving. And the snow just kept coming. But in the morning, the earth was silent. The snow glissened in the early morning sun. You could hear the wind rush by on it's way to warmer places. It just makes me wonder sometimes, if you can't achieve something so breathtaking without all of the winds and the darkness?
Likewise, when I lived in California, I loved the look of the ocean after a storm. I remember driving through Malibu Canyon. There is a point in the canyon where you come around the bend and on a clear day, you can see the land as in curves into the ocean. After a storm, the water would be a beautiful clear blue green. The sky, an equally beautiful though different shade of blue would meet the water in a perfect union of complentary cool colors. It was the work of a true artist's hand. I loved that sight. But you only got that picture after a storm would come in and toss the waves and drive out the smog from the sky. Once again, an indescribable beauty that was born from a storm.
I like to think that maybe, I could be a work of art as well. We all go through hard times where if feels as if we have no lifeline to hold to. We are, at times, tossed about on a stormy sea. I think that we are so busy trying to control that storm that we don't really see our lifeline. We are only human, so we tend to think of ways that we can have power over this storm of ours. I think it is only when we surrender to the winds that we realize we have had a lifeline in front of us the whole time. We just needed to stop and be still in the mist of the chaos that might surrounds us. Let ourselves be vulnerable. Turn ourselves over to our Heavenly Father's hands. If we do that then he can guide us out of our storms. He is the ultimate artist and we are his masterpieces. Just like the earth after a storm, we too can become a stunning sight full of peace and the confidence of someone who knows who they are.
This is the gift I have been given this Christmas season. I wish to give it to you. If only through my words, maybe I could remind you that you are all beautiful strong women who have taught me so much. We don't stand with our back to the storm, we face it head on, and can stand a little taller for it. We may cry, and we may feel alone at times, but we are so lucky. We understand that it is only after the trail of our faith that the blessings come. We have been promised that our weaknesses will become streagths. Is there any other way to achieve this then by going through a trail that stretches us and, in the end, refines us? I know that we receive blessings and we are ment to share our gifts and talents with others. I think that we tend to hide our struggles. I think that our struggles can also be used to help others as well.
I am so grateful for all that I have learned and continue to learn as I navigate through all the storms that come my way. Things have not turned out the way that I have always planned-sometimes when something comes my way that I am sure is nothing at all I wanted, it turns out to be exactly what I needed. As I drove around Ogden yesterday with my kids in the back seat, all I could think about was all that I have been blessed with in this life. Their laughter filled up the car with happiness, and you know, I really believe that I don't need anything else. It isn't something you can buy or wrap up in a box, but the gift of my children's happiness is priceless.
I wanted to also take a moment to thank everyone who has shown us kindness this past little while. It is only because of all of you (some, I don't even know who they are) that we are starting to get to a more comfortable place. We are still months behind on everything, but we are getting closer to being caught up. No man is an island, and I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many good people in my life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Card photo shoot-2009











Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tree Triming

Every year, I get so excited to put up our tree. I am like a kid in a candy store. Ahh the ecstasy of ornaments shinning in storage, just waiting for their own spot on our tree. The tinsel waiting to be hung and the lights ready and willing to shine on as soon as I give them the thumbs up. I get out all of the bright shinning objects and remember Christmas past as I lovingly remove each one from their box. All of this reverence lasts about as long as it takes for Lauren and Evan to discover one that just happens to be both of theirs and then proceed to fight over which one of them gets to hang it on the tree. This goes on until either, Evan gives up in a ball of sobbing tears and a broken hearted expression on his face and Lauren triumphantly places said ornaments on the tree...or in the passion of their argument, said ornaments slips through their tiny fighting fingers and crashes to the ground. Tinselcide. So tragic. In the later scenario, the phrase "Evan did it!" usually follows. And then I remember why last year I got so stressed out and banished the kids to their rooms to watch a cartoon while I vowed that the next year I would wait until they are asleep, only to forget that promise to my self and start the whole cycle all over again. I usually end up counting silently to ten under my breath no less then six times as the evening unfolds. But at the end of the dibacol, Lauren and Evan are full of smiles and pride at what they accomplished, totally oblivious to mom's frazled hair and the far away look in my eyes. I force a semi genuine smile and say "wow, guys! look what you did! good job!" They truely are like little puppies, waging there little tails and fully proud of the tree they helped decorated, totally oblivious to the mine field they left behind then in their wake. But oh, how can you get mad at those cute full of innocence faces? I can't. Not even a little bit. All I can do is promise myself that next year I am going to wait until they are asleep to put up the tree :)

This year, I got Lauren a tree of her very own for the DI. She loved it! She took the task of decorating it very seriously. And in the end, she was more proud of that little tree then anything else. She did a good job. And I too am proud of the job she did.

Our Family Christmas Tree is speacial. At least to me. We have an ornament for when Chad asked me to marry him, and or first Christmas together. We have ornaments for each year of the kids lives, starting with "Baby's first Christmas" and we aslo have family ornaments that show the progession of our family. When Lauren and Evan have their own family's and Christmas trees, I will give them their ornaments. Hopefully they are as sentimental as I am and will love them. It is fun for me to look at our tree because it is kind of like a family history. I love it.

After the tree was all trimed and mommy was all stressed, we sat down and watched Shrek the Halls and just let ourselves unwind and question why we do this to ourselves every year. (by "ourselves" I mean me). It was cute though, because there was Lauren giving Evan a tatoo (don't judge me, it kept them blissfully silent). I love how good they get along. Right now in their lives, they really are each other's best friend. I am hoping that a little piece of that friendship will follow them through out there lives.

And these pictures have nothing to do with Christmas Trees, but it did happen later that night. After I had put Evan to bed, I was on my way down the stairs to put Lauren to bed when I saw Chad and Lauren all cuddled up on the couch with Radley (our dog) and Gracie (our sweet cat). I decided that Lauren could stay up a little longer.