Thursday, November 30, 2017

November The End

Well hey, we made it to the end of November.  Did I write every day?  No.  Did I write more often than I have been?  Yes.  I'm calling it a win.

This month has been pretty hard.  Between starting a new job, feeling the stress of our current living situation, and the feelings of loneliness that are always attached with moving, there have been many tears shed.  I have hope that things will improve soon, but I don't have any guarantees, and that is unnerving.  Rather than write, "I'm sad, wah," every day, I opted not to write.

But the thing is, my life is not terrible.  I may not be in my own home, but I have a home.  I have all my necessities met.  I got a job, despite feeling woefully unqualified to do any job ever.  I have my family surrounding me.  And now it's Christmas time, the most wonderful time of the year!  I have much to be grateful for, and I would be a fool not to recognize that.

Here's to a Christmas season full of hope and love.  I could use an extra dose of both.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Listy Thursday...on a Saturday!

The holiday has thrown my writing schedule out of whack.  But here is what would have been my list on Thursday of 20 things I'm grateful for:
  1. family
  2. my marriage
  3. motherhood
  4. spending Thanksgiving with family
  5. good food
  6. pie
  7. cozy blankets
  8. fleece pajamas
  9. faith
  10. my Savior
  11. the scriptures
  12. my job
  13. fresh starts
  14. libraries
  15. good books
  16. good music
  17. technology
  18. rocking chairs
  19. babies to snuggle
  20. my glasses and contacts (holy smokes, I'd be lost without those)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Last Saturday I realized it's been exactly 3 months since we arrived in Utah.  Those 3 months have flown by. 

Some days it still feels like we are on vacation.  Some days it feels like we've lived here forever.  Some days I'm frustrated that we have no definitive plan for the future.  Some days I'm just plain tired.  But some days I look back at the experiences we've had since coming here and I'm left with a deep sense of gratitude and wonder.  My sister had a baby, and I was here to help, to meet my new niece, to play with my nephew.  My girls have been able to spend time with both sets of grandparents, with aunts and uncles, with cousins.  We've had family dinners, shopping trips, ice cream runs, and extra help with homework.  My mom made amazing Halloween costumes for my girls, no USPS required.  We had to decide where to go for Thanksgiving, because we had options.  It's pretty incredible that we've been given this opportunity to not only be in Utah and see so much of our family, but to live with my parents, to spend quality time with them, to learn from them and enjoy them.  I know it isn't ideal, but instead of wishing it was over, I have come to realize that we are uniquely blessed to have this time with them. 

Life is fleeting.  No one knows how long we have on this earth, or how long our family members have.  To have this chance to create lasting memories of those we hold dear?  It's priceless.  I enjoyed our adventures in the Midwest, but I am so grateful we get to be back home, with our families.  I'm certain our girls will look back on this year and be grateful too.

Friday, November 17, 2017

My Life in Pictures

Here's a smattering of photos from my phone. I clear out my camera roll pretty often, so it's really not many.

I found these paddles in the gym closet at school. I'm not sure what one would use them for. Tableless ping pong?

I made a pie. It was delicious. And pretty, courtesy of my mom's mini heart cookie cutter.

 Trivia night at the Salt Lake library is always a good idea, even when you are down a man (Clark ditched out and headed to Vegas). 3rd place this month!

Another mystery item from the gym closet. May-pole dancing?  Crazy group jump roping? I'm at a loss.

Ella's cup overflowed today when the slight chance of snow developed into fat fluffy flakes that actually stuck to the ground. That girl is a snow princess if I've ever seen one. Remember when she was allergic to the cold? I think she's going to spend the rest of her life trying to make up for all lost opportunity from that one winter.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Listy Thursday

Shows I've recently binge-watched on Netflix:
  1. Parks and Rec: This is our current favorite.  I watched the first season a few years ago and said, "This is a dumb show."  Then I was told by multiple people to keep going.  I watched the first few episodes of the second season, and said, "It's still a dumb show."  Then someone told me to watch just a little bit further, and I was finally rewarded with a show that is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.  But I could have done without the first season, and the first few episodes of the second.
  2. The Office: I watched The Office way back when it was airing on TV, but rewatching it on Netflix is always a great idea.  It's a good one.
  3. Parenthood: Clark and I just blew through Parenthood a couple months ago. Those Bravermans make terrible choices, but I just can't look away!
  4. Once Upon a Time: I'll admit, this show has gone on a season or two too long. There are new episodes on Netflix that I haven't brought myself to watch yet. But it's a fun, fluffy show to watch while you fold laundry. 
  5. Friends: Because, I mean, it's Friends. Of course you should watch it. 
  6. Frasier: It's been a while since we watched the whole series, but only a few nights since I queued up an episode. This show had a great little formula going during its run.
  7. Arrested Development: A little crass, but it makes me laugh so hard.  I never finished the last "Netflix Only" season, though.  Not as good as 1-3.
  8. Gilmore Girls: I watched this one on my own.  I love the Lorelai's witty banter, mixed in with soap opera drama. 
  9. North and South: This is a miniseries, only 4 episodes long, but it's so great!  It's based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, set in Victorian England, a love story set against the backdrop of social class issues and the industrial era.  It's definitely worth the 3+ hours to sit through it.
  10. The Great British Baking Show: I love cooking shows. I love baked goods. I love British tv. This show gives me all three. 
  11. The West Wing: One of the best television programs ever created. I think we've watched the entire series at least 3 times, maybe 4. The writing and the acting are spot. ON. 
  12. Stranger Things: I'm basically obsessed with this show right now. It's scary and funny and nostalgic and sad and sweet. It's all the feels. Beware: Once you start, you won't want to stop. So you'll need to set aside about 8 hours of your life to get through the first season. Also, prepare for some crazy dreams. The upside down messes with your head.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I'm Tired

I've missed a couple days.  You know why?  I'm tired.  I'm tired down into my bones.  I wake up in the morning, get out of bed, and yearn for the day to be over so I can get back in.

I'm not exactly physically tired, although that is part of it.  Turns out you are running around all day when you teach PE.  But I'm emotionally exhausted.  I'm tired of my current situation.  I'm tired of feeling stuck.  I'm tired of uncertainty.  I'm tired of waiting to move on from our temporary circumstances.  I'm tired of my girls fighting every waking moment of every single day.  I'm tired of trying to make new friends and be social.  I'm so tired.

But I keep trying to find little rays of light.  We've had lovely fall weather.  I have a job, which eases some of my anxiety.  We've spent tons of time with family, which is always delightful.  We are in a safe place.  I'm surrounded by people who love me.  There is a lot to be thankful for.

But I'm still tired.  Which means the last thing I want to do is write up a blog post about who knows what.  So instead you get a post about me being tired.  Keeping it real here on Blogburger.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

I have a special place in my heart for Veterans Day, and for the veterans we remember on it.  The past few years we've gone to Cantigny Park and enjoyed seeing the luminaries they set up for the occasion, and then strolling through the First Division Museum, a military museum dedicated to telling the story of the First Division, from WWI to today.  It always felt like an appropriate way to commemorate this holiday, and it always left me shedding tears of gratitude for our soldiers.

Since this isn't an option this year, I'll instead look through my pictures, and remember the emotions stirred attending this event, as well as the day we went to Arlington National Cemetery (that place is sacred ground, and was absolutely a highlight of our trip to DC, and in fact, a highlight in my life).  I'm so grateful for the men and women who have served our country in the military, who have risked their lives for our freedoms, who have sacrificed themselves so we can live the way we do.  God bless our soldiers.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Whew, writing every day is hard.  I'm running low on ideas, so you get a random thought today: I love bridges.  I love 'em.  If there are two paths, and one involves a bridge?  I'll take the bridge every time, even if it means going out of my way. 

I love big bridges like the Golden Gate bridge or the Mackinaw bridge.  I love logs across streams.  Covered bridges are particularly picturesque.  I go across at least one bridge on my current walking paths.  I would go across a bridge daily on my old walking path in Illinois.  I'll walk over them, I'll drive over them.  I just love them.

Why?  I don't know.  Something about being over water, maybe.  Or something about connecting land that otherwise wouldn't be connected.  Or maybe it's the coming together of nature (a river, a lake, a stream) and man (the bridge).  I absolutely love sitting on a bridge and watching the water go underneath my feet, legs swinging.  It's carefree, reminiscent of the lazy summer days of childhood.  (And yet I don't think I spent a lot of time on bridges as a kid, so that's weird.)

Anyway.  I just thought you should know that about me.