Time Spent with My Love

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: The Last Time I Cried

Hey, guys...I'm pregnant. I cry all the time. So, let's not surprised that the last time I cried was a few hours ago. Oh, and the was because of this show, A Baby Story, on TLC that I started to cry. Well, I guess technically, I cried twice today. Anyway, I first cried when I was watching the show. I was fine through the story and the birth and even when the mom snuggled her newborn for the first time. But then, that crazy lady turned and handed her new son to Daddy...aaaaannnndddd, I was done. Sobbing. A mess.

Later this evening, as I was telling this to the hubs, I sobbed again uncontrollably. I'm not going to be able to experience the joy of handing a new baby over to Daddy this time, and it makes me so sad. For me. For her. For him. Not to mention that I am totally terrified. I am determined to have a VBAC this time, and that frightens me. It doesn't frighten me as much as another C-section does though. Please don't cut me open again! I won't be alone in the delivery room. I'll be able to share this moment with my mom, and I am so thankful that she will be there. It just isn't the same though, and I ache a little (okay, a lot) bit because of it. Sometimes I just don't think I'm strong enough, but I guess I don't have a choice. We'll muddle through somehow.

31 Day Blog Challenge: What Make Me Feel Better, ALWAYS

Sheesh! When you throw the word ALWAYS in there this becomes a bit more challenging. Mom wrote about hugs, Lisa wrote about faces, and I love both of those things. So, here are a few things that make me feel better (almost) ALWAYS and one that tops the cake.
Rain. The smell, the sound, and even the feel of it falling on my head. I love the rain, and it almost always seems to help me feel better about life. It is, after all, a shower for the earth. A rebirth for Mother Earth. A cleansing experience, and I feel refreshed after a good rainfall. 

My Family. If you have been paying any attention at all, you probably got the hint that I love my family very much. All of them. The picture is a rather small representation of them, but you get the idea!

My Daughter(s). These little people are the things that make me the happiest all the time. My worst days with Q are better than my best days ever were without her. And now that the birth of T is looming ever nearer, I am basically beside myself with joy and anticipation. What will this new little girl bring into my life? How can I possibly handle more love than I already have for my Q-a-Lou? 

31 Day Blog Challenge: 5 Favorite Blogs

Not going to lie. I think this topic is kind of lame. In a challenge that asks you to really dig deep and write about yourself (at least most of the posts have been that way) this is just lame. I guess if I was a serious internet stalker and followed a million blogs and read up on them daily, this could reveal things about me. However, I honestly only read friend's and family's blogs. I definitely enjoy them, so here are my top blogs:

Stefanie and Matt's blog:
Holly and Eric's blog:
Lisa and Hondo's blog:
My mom's blog:

I think my family is funny, and honestly, every single one of them is a writer and a poet and they inspire me. So, check them out. Now, if I have to choose only five, I am stopping with family. I love reading posts from a number of friends, but I am not going to pick just one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Best Physical Feature

This one is kind of hard. I don't think too often about my best physical feature because there is one physical feature that always draws the most attention. I'm busty...this is probably an understatement...and for most of my life, "the girls" have received most of the attention. I have been asked on several occasions how much they weigh; can I see them; bra size; do I have back problems; etc., etc., etc.. It gets old. So, when I started dating Nick (who is not a boob-man, by the way), and he did things like look me in the eyes when we talked, and told me how beautiful my eyes and smile were...well, I honestly didn't know what to do! No guy had ever called me beautiful before or obsessed over my smile or got lost in my very brown eyes. Changed my whole perspective. 

These days, I think I can say I think my best feature is my dark brown eyes. They hide nothing. You know what I am thinking and feeling because of them. I like to dress them up. If I can bring focus to them, I will. I didn't always love my eyes. I thought them brown and boring. I lamented the fact that I didn't get my mother's blue eyes. I don't know when I started loving my eyes more. Possibly when I started studying other people's brown eyes and realizing what a spectacular color of brown I think mine are. Or, maybe it was the first time Nick sat mesmerized by the Harry Potter nonsense I was sputtering at Mikey's kitchen table and never took his eyes off mine. Not once. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: A Difficult Time in My Life

Well, kids...I can't write this one. I can't focus on a difficult time in my life while I am living the most difficult time in my life currently. Since I write about it often enough, I'm not going to do that now, AND...I really don't want to get all honest here. There is too much. Sorry to disappoint.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Pet Peeves

Oh, goodness! I love this cartoon. I know I wrote before about how my family calls me The Expert, but I will be the first to tell you that I don't know everything. I am wrong about things all the time. However, people who seem to honestly think that they KNOW IT ALL, drive me absolutely bonkers! 

Let's see, I also hate it when people use words like, funner. Surprisingly, especially for an English teacher, I am not all that particular about the way people talk. Write...yes. But talk? No. I used to remind others that I worked with high school students students, and their vernacular was bound to rub off on me at least a little. These days I primarily speak 18-month-old. A whole different ball game!

I am not the tidiest person in the world, but I do hate it when people leave the lids off of things. Always have. 

I can't feel sorry for people when they have a "God must be out to get me" kind of attitude. It's a test people.   We are all tested and challenged in different ways, and how we handle those tests helps determine the kind of individual we become for the rest of forever. You don't have to always be happy, but blaming other people (God included) for your challenges isn't really going to help you get through them any easier. Sorry for the soap box moment! 

I know there are more, but rather than sit here and dwell on all the things that drive me crazy in the world, I am going to make some lunch and focus on happier thoughts! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: 10 Favorite Songs

Guys. This one is going to be hard for me. Just so everyone knows. I have a few songs that I love--a very few--and lots of songs that I like. I like basically any song that I can sing in my car at the top of my lungs. I like any song that allows me to think I am the next American Idol. I have two go-to karaoke songs, and I am GOOOOOODDDD at those! However, I am going to give this my best shot.

In no particular order:

10. I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany. Yep. This was the first song Nick and I claimed as ours, and as with anything so ridiculous, there is a funny story behind it. There was dancing. And laughing. And I might have almost lost control of the car on I-70 as a result.

9. Faithfully by Journey. This has become our song in recent months.

8. Good Life by One Republic. Okay, I do LOVE this song. It makes me happy. It makes me smile. There are lots of reasons for this. Mostly, I could just listen to it over and over and try to convince myself that life will be good again. It also makes me think of this post on Holly's blog...check the video at the end. I love the way my brothers-in-law love and appreciate my sisters.

7. I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. This was either the first or second cassette tape I ever owned, and I wanted to be able to sing like Whitney! My gosh, what a talent! R.I.P. Whitney. You forever made an impression on this little girl.

6. Out of the Woods by Nickel Creek. Stef and Matt sing this, and that is how I first heard it. It is so hauntingly beautiful. I cry when I listen to this song a lot of the time. Not because I think it is sad. Just because it affects me like that.

5. Everything I Do I Do It For You by Bryan Adams. Mom said I should include this one. For good reason. It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano, and I KNOW I drove my family crazy with it. Great song though! *Side Bar: Yes, I can play the piano a little. No, I don't do it in public. Yes, my husband owes me a piano.*

4. I Am A Child of God LDS Hymn. Okay, this version is performed by Gladys Knight, who is apparently LDS. Who knew?! Probably lots of people, but I didn't know. I always loved this hymn, but it brought on new significance when I sat in the NICU with my baby and tried to sing it to her. I say tried because I pretty much bawled and hummed through the whole thing. I'm pretty sure the nurses thought I was crazy.

3. Rush Rush by Paula Abdul. Oh, yeah. Let's see...skating rink, holding hands, desperately trying to get the whole song recorded off the radio, singing it ALL the time with my brother. Anyone else? I know I'm not alone here.

2. Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake. Laugh if you want, but this is my theme song and what I plan to do after this baby gets here. Yes, people, I will be bringing Sexy Back!

1. Crossroads by Bone Thugs N Harmony. Two Words: HIGH SCHOOL.

Okay, maybe a more appropriate name for this post would be 10 Songs That Have Been Significant in My Life. Here they are.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: Something I Miss

I miss lots of things. I almost opted out of this post today. After my post yesterday, I actually spent a good part of the day in a huge funk and bawled my eyes out at my pity party for one yesterday evening. So, even though I am risking that again, I think it might be therapeutic to write some of this out. If you aren't interested in a mushy post, this is your chance to leave. Don't read any further. Stop NOW!

I miss my sisters. Stef, Holly, Lisa, and Kelli (when she isn't here) are people I ache for all the time. I miss their faces. I miss their opinions. I miss being all up in each other's business all the time. Wait! We still do that, but I miss the fact that we don't all live close to one another. Granted, we haven't all lived super close to one another for six years when we all lived in the Broomfield house together for the summer. That was a fun summer. Chaotic, but really fun.

I miss sleep. I cannot get enough of it right now, and I miss it. I miss sleeping in. I miss sinking into bed and actually sleeping instead of taking 20 minutes to find a comfortable position and then kind of sleeping for a few hours before I have to haul my butt up and use the restroom...just to start the process all over again.

I miss security. I don't have a lot of it these days--by any definition of the word--and it is amazing to me how much security is something I took for granted.

I miss confidence. My friend, Amber, and I discussed the other day how we question every move we make these days. We wondered where the confidence of our 20's went. The conclusion we came to is this, we only thought we were confident in our 20's. We knew it all, and we were ready to conquer the world. Now that we are older and wiser, we understand that there is so much we don't know, so much we have yet to understand, and that shakes a person up! Didn't Socrates say that the only knowledge lies in knowing that we know nothing? (Thank you, Bill and Ted.)

I miss Nick and everything that goes along with him not being here right now. Enough said.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: Where I Want to be in Ten Years

Probably not surprising to some, I have thought about this question A LOT in the past few months. What do I want my life to look like ten years from now? Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first.

I would like to have a few more children. Q will be 11, and T will be almost 10, so two more around the ages of 8 and 6 would be great. I would like to finally own our own home. Have a little money in the bank, and be well on our way to debt free (keeping in mind that I do have student loans--yuck!). Since the kiddos would all be school age, I would love to be in the classroom or better yet a school librarian. I would hope that I would finally be sealed for Time and All Eternity to my one and only, along with our children, of course.

Mostly, I want the nightmare that I am living right now to be over. I want my husband home. I want him to be happy and healthy and 100% here. I want to be able to feel like I can trust people and a system that I used to believe in wholeheartedly. I want to look back on 2012 and probably 2013 as just a faded memory of something I HAD to do once. I want the hurt and the bitterness and the anger to have finally left my body. I want to know that I did the right things and made the right decisions. I want to see how I have become a better, stronger person. I want to have learned from my mistakes and applied that knowledge to our future life. I want to occasionally feel calm and peace.

Maybe I will get all these things. Chances are that there will be new and different challenges for me to face ten years from now. I feel as if life is just one big challenge and those moments of peace and happiness are only a small rest from what is next. So, maybe I'll need an attitude adjustment in the next ten years too. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: My Worst Habits

Okay, seriously? Who doesn't procrastinate? All worst habits. Hmmm...

Not making my bed.

Finding every excuse not to clean until it becomes totally necessary.

Reading way too late into the night when I know my daughter will have me up early.

Singing too loudly.

I'm a picker. Can't leave a zit or a blister or dead skin alone.

Let's pretend those are all my worst habits. I'm not a smoker, or a drug user. I don't drink alcohol (yes, yes, anymore--and no, this isn't just because I'm pregnant). I am addicted to my cellphone, but I am working on that one. So, other than this, I am Mary Poppins! Or, at least I like to think I am.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: What Am I Most Afraid Of?

Hmmm...I think I covered my irrational fears in my 20 Facts Post (see #16 and 17), but if we really want to delve into the thing or things I am the most afraid of...well, I think I am afraid to go there. There are lots of things that run through my mind. Here is the list:

1. I am afraid of losing those I love. Yes, it is inevitable that the people we love will one day leave us. Death is something that we cannot avoid, but I think my fear is deeper than just that. You see, in our religion, we believe that when married to your spouse in the right place and with the proper authority, families are sealed to one another forever. Because I have my own family now, and this is a goal Nick and I are working towards, I think my fear of losing someone comes down to the eternities. We all make our own choices, and I am so grateful for that agency, but the hard part is wondering how the choices we all make will affect the people with whom we have the potential to spend forever with. I want them all there. My husband, my children, my parents, my grandparents, my sibs, their spouses, and all their children. How grand would that be?

2. I am afraid of failing. Let's get something straight, I fail all the time. I make mistakes, I do the wrong thing, I SAY the wrong thing, and all those things are okay with me. I am afraid of failing at the big stuff. I am afraid to make the wrong choices for this family--and a large part of those choices fall on my head right now. I am afraid of failing my children, my husband, myself.

3. I am afraid to ask for help. Yep. This is really nothing new to people, but I honestly would rather sleep in my car than fill out this damn application for state financial help. There is a lot of pride there, and I know that. However, I am also afraid to pick up the phone and call someone to help me mow the lawn or clean my house or bring me a dinner. I just can't do it. Some of this fear goes back to the failing thing. When I occasionally get up the courage to ask for help, I honestly spend hours crying afterward. Not joking. I don't know how to change that.

I'll stop there. I think I have revealed enough, even though I could go on and on about drowning, plane crashes, and being buried alive. Those are just too obvious.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Favorite Children's Book

I believe that Stef already talked about loving to listen to our mom read to us when we were little. I remember being in the top bunk and looking down at her while she read us a chapter from whatever book we were reading at the time. I think my most prominent memories are of her reading the Chronicles of Narnia to us. She read us each and every book. I loved them. I still love them.
A few Christmases ago, my dad had me for our usual Secret Santa, and he bought me the book that is pictured above. All the Narnia books compiled into one giant book. I was so excited. I cannot wait for my little ones to be big enough that we can read these books together. I will sit on the floor with them bathed, brushed, and pajamaed and we will read together. Narnia, Potter, Ramona, and anything else that might strike their fancy. It will be perfection.

Baby Update

Thought I should just update this quickly. I am home. Came home yesterday around noon. My mom is here for the week so I can rest. Feeling fine. No more bleeding. Took a good nap yesterday. Wish Q had slept past 4am today, but we'll nap later. I got my second steroid shot yesterday to help boost T's lungs. I'm not messing around, so anything I can do to help her odds should she come early, I will do. However, my back has been spasming off and on ever since, and my left hip keeps painfully popping. The price we pay, huh?!
Nick is dealing with this news as best he can. We were scheduled to visit him this weekend, but I am not allowed to travel. He's disappointed, but he is even more upset that he can't be here to take care of things. He is terrified that we could have another preemie. I'm not all that worried. I feel better about how things are going right now. T is bigger than Q was at this point. I am still feeling better than I ever did with Q. We can make it to term! I know we can. Even if term means 37 weeks and not 40.
Also keep in mind that I am still pregnant today. I delivered Q via emergency c-section at 32 weeks and 6 days, which is exactly where we are today. So, from this point on, everyday I get to keep our T inside is a gift and a blessing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Dream Job

Okay, I love my job now. Being a SAHM is the best thing I have ever done. It is also the hardest. However, I will not take that cop out and will write about an actual dream job.

I want to be an author. A full fledged published author. I want to have an office at my house, apart from the chaos of family, where I can sit and create beautiful, frightening, entertaining, amazing stories...and I want people to read them, love them, be moved by them in the same ways I have been moved by others' stories. I do write. I wish I could write daily. I wish I wasn't so afraid of failing at this writing stuff. I keep saying SOMEDAY! Maybe that someday needs to be tomorrow. Maybe it will be next week. Maybe I need to suck it up and work on making my dream a reality with the possibility of rejection and failing time and time again not stop me. There are lots of amazing books out there. There are also lots of terrible (personal opinion) books out there. Certainly, one day, I can make this dream a reality. Time to try.

Friday, June 15, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Daily Timeline

Okay, let's talk about today. Obviously, this has not been a typical day. Here is how things went down:Woke up at 5 and waited for my alarm to go off at 5:30. Showered. Got ready for work. Went to work, unlocked school, took attendance, had meeting with a parent, escorted a kid to her activity and on my way back thought, "Ummm, I think something is leaking." Went to check. Yep. I was bleeding. Grabbed phone. Called doctor. Nurse said, "Go straight to labor and delivery." Immediately started to cry. Walked into cafeteria full of staff and campers. Told Dawn I was leaving. Instead of driving, she packed me into her car and drove me to the hospital. I have been poked, prodded, and probed. They gave me an IV line just in case we need it later. My blood pressure is fine. My labs look normal. Ultrasound shows that baby T is growing right on schedule and probably weighs about 4lbs 3oz right now. Adam left work to come see me. Kara brought Q to see me too. Now I am just hanging out. I'll be here until tomorrow sometime. Hooked up to monitors. Yay. First night away from Q. Not excited.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: What's in my handbag?

For some people, I am sure this can be a very interesting topic. I, on the other hand, carry a diaper bag with essentials in it. So, here is the list:

1. 2 diapers (should probably stock more)
2. a package of baby wipes
3. change of clothes for Q
4. my wallet
5. random receipts that I actually don't need, so why are they still there?
6. an empty snack container--need to restock
7. a nail polish--courtesy of my daughter who likes to carry them all over the house
8. an old granola bar--should probably throw that out
9. papers from signing Q up for the summer reading program at our local library
10. a tithing envelope
11. water bottle and a sippy cup
12. Sesame Street pop-up book
13. Garanimals Colors book
14. various pieces of trash and a few gum wrappers
15. crumbs...why are there so many crumbs?
16. Baggies with wheat thins and one with Triscuits (might explain the crumbs)
17. Camp name tag
18. chapstick

And that is all, folks! What can we learn from this? I am DEFINITELY a mom.

This is actually a picture of the exact diaper bag I carry. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Favorite Quote

Why is it that when someone asks what my favorite something is, my mind goes blank? My mom, who is participating in this challenge via email, apparently had an easy time of it. Her favorite quotes rose to mind easily, and they were wonderful. They were also both from books, and I hadn't even considered using a book quote yet. Then I thought, "What about a song? Or movie? Or just something someone said to me once?" With that door open, we could be here all day. So, here is my conclusion...I don't have just one favorite quote. I find quotes that I can cling to for a moment. I hear things or read things that bring me comfort or joy during a time. However, I don't really write them down and cling to them. Perhaps I should start.

I guess I can share the following:

I cannot pass a Circle K without thinking or usually saying, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K." Oh, Bill and Ted, you make me happy!

I love the plaque that my department at BHS had made for me that says, "We teachers are rather good at magic, you know." --Professor McGonagall, a wise, wise lady! Thank you, J.K. Rowling.
I guess I have clung to a text message I received back in October from my dad. This may not be exact, but he wrote, "You may not like him very much at the moment, but I know you love him. Remember that and work it out if you can." If you know my father--and he's kind of a hard one to get to know--then you know that there is more power and support and love in those few words than in just about any inspiring quote a person can find. So, thanks, Dad.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: If I Won the Lottery

Seriously?! If I won the lottery what would I do with the money. Okay, let's start with the practical things like, paying off student loans, and car loans, and the little credit card debt we still have.
Like this, but in Colorado
Then I would buy us a house. Not a gigantic, crazy, over the top kind of house either. Just a modest home where we could have some room to roam and extra room for guests--I mean, we do have a rather large extended family.

Then I would put money away for Q and T's college education (and some in reserve for future babies--yeah, we're not done). I would hope that would leave plenty to invest and live off of and save for the future. Oh, okay...I would buy a really big truck because I love them and have always wanted one of my very own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Most Proud Moment

I went over and over this in my head. I have a few moments where I felt pretty proud. Getting my MA was one moment, getting my first teaching job was another. However, the moment I think I felt the most pride, or more appropriately, the most sure of who I am and my purpose on this earth, was the first time I held my tiny, tiny baby girl. I felt pride in the ordeal I had just endured, fear because she was so little and early, and absolute joy because she was here, she was okay, and I was finally a mom.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: First Celebrity Crush

Is there really anything that needs to be said? He's still a celebrity crush!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: Piercings and Tattoos?

Okay, I said I would be honest, so here is the list:

1. My ears are pierced. They were pierced three times, but I only have one hole in each ear now.

2. When I was about 22, I got my nipple pierced. That's enough about that one.

3. My nose is pierced still, and I love it.

4. I have one tattoo. It is an apple with a cartoon worm that represents both my love of reading and my career life as a teacher. It was designed by a former student who was a senior when she drew it. I love it too.

That's all.

Friday, June 8, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: Old Photo of Me

I am posting a few from the past...there are lots of versions of me, apparently. 

Baby Jen

16 month old Jen

Four year old Jen

Probably 25-ish year old Jen

Teacher Jen

Summer Camp Jen

Master Jen! 

Newlywed Jen

New Momma Jen

Okay, anything else is WAY too recent. I might have had a little too much fun with this one. I love being able to look back!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

31 Day Blog Post: Ten Favorite Foods

I actually think that today's topic is kind of lame, but in the true spirit of sticking to the schedule, I am going to go for it and post my ten favorite foods. I suppose the real challenge comes with coming up with ten. Let's see: in no particular order...

1. Spaghetti made with Italian sausage.
2. Grilled BBQ Chicken
3. Bunny Tracks Ice Cream
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies
5. Oreos
6. Salad with ham and hard boiled egg
7. Pulled pork sandwich with just a little coleslaw on top
8. BBQ Pork Potato!
9. Bagel breakfast sandwich
10. Strawberries

Keep in mind, this list may just be a "what I am craving as the giant pregnant lady that I am right now" list. And, quite honestly, it could change tomorrow. Food is my downfall. I love it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: 3 Personality Traits I Am Proud Of

Really? I have to come with three? Right now I can think of one, so let's hope that as I write about this first one, two others will pop into my brain. Otherwise, this post is going to take forever to write!

STUBBORN: Okay, this is not generally a positive personality trait. However, it is the personality trait that drives my need to succeed, my will to survive, and my determination to make it through even the toughest of situations. For example, after my emergency c-section with Q, I was on so many drugs, and my arm was cut and sore from having my blood pressure taken every 15 minutes, and my arms and hands were bruised and swollen from having to have blood drawn and tested so often, and I was only partially conscience of the things going on around me and the people coming in and out of my room--I actually got to the point where I was so miserable and uncomfortable and lost that I just wanted to close my eyes and not open them again. I never want to feel this way again, but as I was trying desperately to connect to something in the room, it dawned on me that I had a daughter who needed a mother, and I was suddenly determined to get out of the bed and go see her. Let me point out, that while this is the worst I have ever felt in my life, I really don't think I was close to death--the magnesium I was on made me feel like death warmed over for a few days. Anyway, my stubborn determination to come out of the cloud (and a very desperate prayer) allowed me to rest and wake up feeling suddenly more like myself again. So, stubbornness can be a good thing!

LOYAL: This one did pop into my head about half way through the rambling above. I am a loyal person. I remember telling someone who hurt me once that what hurt the most was the fact that I NEVER would have done what they did to me to them. I guess I do run into problems when I want to feel like I am being loyal and a good friend to people who maybe don't deserve it. I am really bad (well, I was really bad) at trying to be a loyal friend to two people after they have broken up. That's a hard one. However, I am grateful for this one. It helps hold my family together.

SMART (BUT NOT TOO SMART): Working around kids again, I am reminded daily of how hard it is to be the SUPER GENIUS. Not that I have ever been one! I am not a genius. There are just those kids who are crazy, crazy smart, and incredibly socially awkward. Bless those children, and thank goodness I was not one of them--at least not too often. I had to work pretty hard to become smart. I read a lot, and I wasn't all that good at that when I started out. I was in the lowest reading group in my first grade class. One day I just caught on to reading, and I have loved it ever since! My grades didn't always reflect my brain power. There were lots of things to distract me from schoolwork in high school, and I spent my first two years of college utterly miserable. No, I would say that I am smart, but part of that comes from my desire to know things and the fact that I have at least a little common sense.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Guilty Pleasure

Well, like Lisa, I had to think about what a possible guilty pleasure of mine would be. Mom, Stef, and I had a little discussion about it this morning, and while I think Mom's guilty pleasure (Brittney Spears' "Toxic") and Lisa's (Justin Bieber) are hilarious, mine is really not that amusing. So, I thought some more about what my guilty pleasures are, and since this is really the biggest one: here we go.
Yep! Pedicures are my guilty read on while I justify getting the occasional one to myself. I used to get pedicures on a regular basis. I love it when people massage, tickle, draw on, or just plain touch my feet. I don't necessarily like touching other's feet, but if it will get me a massage, I certainly will! Nick has always been awesome about rubbing my feet. Especially when I was pregnant with Quincy. He would massage my feet almost nightly, and I loved him all the more for it.
Since I have no Nick to massage my feet right now--and Kelli won't even tickle them--the only way I get to enjoy that simple pleasure is the occasional pedi. The water, the lotion, the massage, take me to a happy place. It doesn't help that I can't bend over and touch my toes very well right now either. So, how else am I supposed to cut my toe nails? That's what I thought! Can we afford it? No. And that, right there is why this little thing is a guilty pleasure. There is real and actual guilt involved. Sigh!

Monday, June 4, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Earliest Childhood Memory

Hmmmm...I have been thinking about this all day. I have lots of pieces of memories here and there from when I was fairly little, but I can't really place what was earliest. So, I am going to have to go with the most vivid early childhood memory. Many of you know this story, but I will share it again.

When I was about three, we lived in Clifton, CO in a house that was basically a duplex with a home upstairs and one down. We lived in the upstairs unit. There were lots of stairs to get to our front door and a deck--all wood, I believe. We had use of part of the yard below, and we had a swing set! This was a very big deal. The unit below us had a cement patio leading out to the yard. One day, my brother, Adam (who was about 1 and 1/2), and I were headed out and down the stairs to play. As Adam started towards the stairs I heard a voice loud and clear say, "Jen, DO NOT let him go down the stairs." Our mom was inside, there was no one else around, but the voice is one I listened to. I said, "Adam, stop. Don't go down the stairs." He turned and looked at me like I was crazy--a look he still gives me to this day. He started down again, and again I heard, "Jen, DO NOT let him go down the stairs." So, once again, I said, "Adam, stop!" Another look, and another try, and my little brother fell between the rails, down many, many feet and onto the concrete below.
I remember little after this. There are images of my mom on the ground with him crying and holding him. I think he was trying to stand up. Then I remember him coming home from the hospital. He had fractured his skull, but in such a place that the damage was minimal. My brother has always been marked for greatness. He is great. I love him a great deal. I don't know if I could have actually prevented him from falling that day, but I do know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and watches over us. I've known that since I was three and heard a voice straight from Heaven telling me to protect my brother.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge: Name

The actual challenge for today is to write about my business name. Well, I don't have my own business, so I thought I would write about my name instead.

Jennifer: According to, my name means Fair Phantom or White Wave. Neither definition actually fits my personality much. Growing up, I always had at least one other Jennifer in my class or classes with me. The year I was born, it was a popular girls name...that is for darn sure. I think I have given my mother enough grief about this over the years. She likes to think that because I was born in January that she was a trend setter. I guess we can let her believe that! I used to try and think of what I would have named myself, but in all honesty, I can't imagine being anyone but Jen. Actually, Jen is the name I prefer and I love. There are few people who actually call me Jennifer, and those people have special permission. ;-) I have never been a Jenny. Ew!

Mahan: Since I was not given a middle name, keeping Mahan as my middle name just seemed natural. Being a Mahan held special significance for me growing up. It is a family name I have always been proud to carry. I often felt that there was a certain expectation and pride that came with carrying that name, and it is with pride that I still carry it.

Sadler: This is still a name to which I am growing accustomed. However, this name represents what we are building. It is my husband and my daughters, my home, my love, and my life.