Sunday, May 24, 2015

Humble Patience

Can I share a little message for you for my UP today?

Because this message is the reason I am feeling UP today.

I got this little message here.

I am often reminded of this.

It's not always easy.

But it is oh, so true.

And this picture made me smile today too:
My niece, LilB, drew this freehanded and I was so impressed I just had to take a picture... wish I'd done a better job...
Day 144 of 365 Days of Up

Somewhere Between Krispy Kreme and Arby's

Well, my UP is quite simple today.

This happened:

So you see our three kids in this picture? Do you notice that 2 of the 3 are smiling?


This was a party with some of my fellow cast-mates at Tyne and Cam's home (pictured left).

Our kids have never met these people.

Our kids have never been to this house.

They did fabulous!

Sister even talked with them and asked them questions and told them things about herself.

It was so awesome!

Brother didn't scream or run or freak out! He did spill a lot of pretzels on the floor, but I'll take that!

Baby didn't fall apart. She just stayed in their little one's bedroom and played.

It was amazing.

You wanna know why I think it went so well?

Well, at least had a part of it anyway.

I told them they could earn tokens to go toward their prizes and they were so excited. As soon as we got in the car Sister asked if she earned her tokens so that she could get her Angry Birds coloring book! Brother came home and even did an extra job to earn extra tokens  so he could get his box of Sweet tarts! Baby is still learning the concept of the tokens and took what she "earned" and took some of Brother's Sweet Tarts... poor guy.

It may not be only because of the tokens.

It might have a little something to do with trying to take them to as many things as we can so they can used to being with crowds, or maybe it has something to do with knowing what things can set them off, and it might have a little something to do with noticing their body language when they have had enough.

But I think the tokens helped.

OH! And another up today was my awesome date I went on with my hubby and some friends. We went restaurant hopping and it was such a blast! Good times! The title of this post may have been the line we laughed at several times when comparing to levels of fun/good... I guess you had to be there...

Day 144 of 365 Days of Up

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good Stride

Today I woke up with the feeling of guilt.

I don't know if it was a dream I had or left over feelings of thinking I'm inadequate, but I felt guilt for not being a good mom.

I struggle with this feeling a lot.

A lot.

Almost all the time.

I don't know any kind of other motherhood really. Just my own.

I mean I was raised by a mother and I know that. I have a mother-in-law and I know that. I have sisters who are mothers and I know that.

But, I really don't know from experience anything other than raising children with special needs.

I am never doing enough.

I get jealous of those who have one child with special needs. It seems, to me, that they have that one child to worry about if that's all they have and if they have other children without special needs they have that little bit of help.

Then there's me. Three kids with Fragile X Syndrome. I'm never doing enough. Even with all the help I have I still tell myself I am falling short.

I talk about these kinds of moments out loud sometimes and the person I am talking to will give me a pep talk, a sprinkle of hope or a compliment to take me further. It doesn't make me feel perfect, but it gives me hope that I am doing enough.

I guess I just had to share that for one reason or other. I'm just keepin' real, I guess.

My UP of today was Sister doing her 3K at school and coming in first in her class! Again! I'm so proud of her. I welled up with pride and tears when I got to run the last little bit with her through the finish line.

Now this UP didn't come without it's downs, mind you.

I just happened to be at Walmart at the time I received communication from Dr. H that she was having a meltdown about how cold it was  and she was wearing shorts and she didn't have pants to keep her warm. I'm thankful for credit cards at moments like that. I wandered the isles as quickly as my searching eyes could go and swept of 3 pairs of pants that I thought might pass as good enough to run in, and I got her some really tall knee high socks.

She has been talking about how she needs long socks for soccer so I figured I'd at least try that too.

When I got the the school I brought in the bag of items I picked out for her so that she could make a choice.

Of course she chose the socks to wear with her running shorts. I couldn't blame her... I want a pair!

They were perfect and they made her perfectly happy!

When she got outside she thought it was still too cold so she was excited to wear her teacher's jacket...

I just love this girl! When I feel inadequate she can be the one that helps me feel like I'm the greatest mom around! I'm thankful for her.

Running to the finish line! Look at her awesome stride! I'm so excited to see her potential in track!

Champion and her mom!

I didn't get any action shots so I asked her to act like she was running so I could get something...

This is what she did for me...

I thought you should enjoy her acting skills too.

Day 142 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Singing in the Rain

Monday was an eventful day.

It started off pretty normal with getting kids off to school and taking Ranger for a morning walk. One of my happy moments every day is the view of Mt. Timpanogos so I take a picture sometimes from where I stand.

I had a lot of editing and design work to do on Monday so after I got ready for the day and got some laundry going I was about to start working when all the lights went out.

I thought it was our circuit breaker again or some other random thing and didn’t think much of it until I got a phone call from Baby’s bus driver telling me that she couldn’t come down the street because of the power line that was down.



Wow! So it was a big deal that our power was out…

I arranged to walk to the opposite corner to meet the bus driver and on the way over I got a text from a friend. Her husband got a great shot of what caused the downed power line.

That made me laugh. I mean I wasn’t happy about the power being out but the fact that the driver didn’t think to lower the dump bed before driving off kind of struck me funny.

It also struck me funny that Brother's bus driver called me too and I had to walk down and meet her in the same place. It made for a little adventure.

Later in the afternoon I took Sister to the doctor and the fact that every road I take to get there is towered by mountains made me smile and take a second to capture the sight from the car.

When I got home from Sister's appointment it was so cute to see Baby in full concentration playing in her box of beans.

This is a great sensory Activity. You can use beans, split peas, noodles, or rice. Then you hide little things inside and they dig through and pick them out. I like beans because they are easy to clean up, but rice is a great thing to dig through.

Tuesday night we had rehearsal at the Scera Shell, outside, in the rain.

I love singing in the rain... That thought really did hit me a few times, "How often do I really get to 'sing in the rain?'"

So the rain coming down was part of my UP!

So we haven't mowed our lawn yet. I mean, it is spring and it has been raining a lot so we have some pretty thick and tall grass. It's not because of the rain, though, that we haven't mowed our lawn, it's because our lawn mower needs fixing.

Well, Wednesday afternoon I heard a lawn mower going and I just figured it was one of the neighbors...

It was one of the neighbors... mowing our lawn! Travis was out there mowing our front yard and it was no easy task. It brightened my whole day!

My other UP on Wednesday was actually in the morning just before I sent Sister off to school. I gave her a little hair cut. She's been growing it out but some of it was getting to that awkward stage (the mullet) so I just trimmed and cleaned it up a bit before her bus got there.

The haircut wasn't my UP.

The smile afterward was.

Soon after she got to school I got  text from Dr. H showing me what he had written down, but she had told him the answers. The answers are in Sister's own words and I love them!

I am so thankful that she recognizes her talents and how they help her.
I want her to be a strong, confident and kind girl, I think she is right on track.

Today, my UP was feeling like I accomplished a little something in my role as the leader of the Fragile X Association of Utah. Yes, I had given that up, but only for a year. Maybe, if I get things really rolling then some one else will come along and take the reins.

Hmmm... I am sensing a theme with "rain" today.

Life is hard and you sometimes have to learn to sing even when it rains.

I'm singing!!!!

Day 141 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fingers Crossed

I think I am overwhelmed with UPs…

Is that possible?

Really, it’s not.

Let me rephrase that:

I think I have had so many wonderful UPs the last few days that the idea of trying to put all my thoughts down about all of them accurately is the part that overwhelms me.

OK, so now that I have made my lame excuse for not writing in my blog last night, I will make sure to bring up the other UPs all the way from Saturday. And don't expect accurate descriptions of them all. I'm getting older. I don't remember things like a used to... (wink)

I got a picture of Baby's latest play entertainment. She likes to turn on the water in the bathroom and fill up containers for her toys to swim in.

I couldn't get Sister to go out and play on her Special Olympics soccer team on Saturday, which was not an UP, but it made me happy that she was, at least, willing to watch them and think about joining...

Since Marc and Brother were gone on their backpacking trip I decided to party at my mom’s house until they were on they’re way home. Of course I had to call in the troops to party with me so Kirsten, Jessie, Aaron and his wife, Chelsea came with their kids and we ate food, laughed, talked and joked and poked fun of each other. 

I don’t quite know how to really explain just why I love hanging out my siblings and parents so much. We just have always had a natural connection that, believe me, I am very grateful for. It’s just funny that we can basically do almost nothing and still have a great time just because we are together.

We’re just cheesy I guess. We even get excited when our dad wears a hat like ours and we have to take a picture:

We also had to share our happiness in a group photo to send to our friend, Thomas in Germany:

Ha ha! I love us!

I had to redeem myself after I "squished" into the group shot so I had to try a selfie...

And then there are little moments like these:
Sister letting Grandpa James comfort her while they watch a movie together.

Ranger and and Yaya have a connection and I was able to capture it.

Ranger snuggling himself in between Jessie and I.
The robins in the nest outside my parent's window are out of their eggs —
hard to see through the screen, but they were funny.

The other UP while I was at my parents was that I got this email finally from the day we went to the Payson LDS Temple Open House:
seriously LOVE this... Brother uncovered his eyes just in time

Because I had such a great time at my mom and dad’s I won’t mention the fearful drive home in the torrential downpour… at least not the details.

Marc and Brother got home soon after we did and it was so much fun to watch Brother almost skip in with his loaded backpack to show me how proud he was of himself. It just made me so happy to see him so happy and you got to read all about his adventure with Marc in my last post.

Marc and I threw together a last minute date and Lindsey was sweet enough to come be with the kids last minute so that we could.

We went to check out the new RC Willey for the first phase of our date… I know, we are very exciting, but it really was quite fun. We made sure to take pictures of a few of the fantastic things we saw. 

We want to make a table like this one with one of my dad's old mail jeeps... cool ay?

Marc and I LOVE to try out a different restaurant whenever we can. We hadn’t planned on going out to eat because it was late and we weren’t all that hungry. I guess they romp around the furniture store brought on the tummy grumbles so we tried Costa Vida. We were pleasantly surprised with great service and even got a special treat for dessert that the cashier made special for us--he just happens to be a cake decorator as his other job. Of course I had to take a picture of that and Marc.

Dang, he looks good even when he’s ready to eat dessert.

He got even better on Sunday when he got all dressed up for church. I've missed his bare face so much and he just looked so handsome that I had to take "real" pictures of him and turned it into a backyard photo session.

This was a shot I took with my phone because I was so excited to share it on Instagram, but part of my UP today (Wednesday) was getting all his photos edited so I could share them:

Can you tell I love his eyebrow raise?

Later on Sunday we were able to eat steak at Marc’s parents house and we had a great visit there.

The part that was funnest for me and, therefore, my UP was when I brought out the strawberries and chocolate and the teasing began. Amy and Frank got a kick out of my chocolate lipstick and Marc’s chocolate mustache and goatee. I wish we had taken pictures but you’ll just have to use your imagination. It’s always fun to laugh with family.

Another UP was when Baby was talking to the strawberries that were left in the carton… I did get a picture of that. She was asking them if they were home. Ha! What a cutie!

It was nice to try to get pictures of the Payson LDS Temple from the road on the way home.

So that finishes up the weekend. I'm going to try my best to get Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday into tomorrow's post.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Brother's Escalante Escape

I feel bad, but I am going to have to split my UPs for Saturday into more than one post.

1) Because there were so many UPs
2) Because I have decided to choose sleep tonight

So I am going to start with my biggest UP of the weekend.

My biggest UP, was one I wasn't even a part of. I had nothing to do with it. But, because it was a monstrous accomplishment for Brother it automatically topped my UP list.

Marc has been planning this backpack trip to Escalante for a few months now and hoped Brother would come with him. He had been there before so it was familiar.

Brother can be very brave but he can also be very stubborn and sometimes his stubbornness is so stubborn that it makes his backpack trips look a little too hard for him.

Marc and Brother got home on Saturday afternoon after leaving Thursday night. As soon as he was able to get out of the car Brother couldn't stop telling me about his trip. He had had so much fun and was so happy about what he had done and seen.

I was especially proud when Marc informed me that on the way back Brother crossed the rivers on his own without help.

Then Marc showed me the pictures and my tears started to make a brief appearance.

Definitely one of my favorite pictures ever of Marc and Brother

Look at that view!!!

I LOVE that Brother is peeking through his fingers in this picture

Brother carried his own pack and everything! He's growing up so much.

Brother with his cousins, MrT and Jman, he was so happy to be with them

One of the best parts about this trip has been seeing the bond that happened between Marc and our son. It is so sweet and endearing to see how much Brother grew up in 3 days. It make me even more excited for the future.

Day 138 of 365 Days of Up