Time Spent with My Love

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 GOALS

Yep. It is that time of year when I start to think seriously about what I want to do to improve my life, my home, and aid my family in being happy and healthy in the upcoming year. 2015 already feels like an intimidating year--and not just because we are having another baby in May. I am pretty sure that we are already on a crazy roller coaster that will require me to just hang on for dear life many days. We should close the chapter of our lives that has thrown us into this country's broken justice system, but closing that chapter is going to be just as hard and traumatic as the opening was, I am afraid. Just a hunch. So, I am going to focus on my GOALS for 2015 on things I actually have a little control over. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. READ MORE: You guys. I love to read so much, and I have not allowed myself the time since Quincy was born to read like I used to. Honestly, 1-2 books a month will go a long way to helping me feel more like me!

2. ONE DAY AT A TIME: Life is crazy, and as much as I wish I could plan and plan and plan, it doesn't seem to work that way, so I am going to do my very best to focus on each day as it comes and to enjoy it.

3. DE-CLUTTER and ORGANIZE: We have a cozy house. We are adding another person to this cozy house, and he is going to need some space. I have a small and large list of project I would like to get done before his arrival, and a timeline! Well, a timeline for a few of these things.

4. PARTY: Do you know that for the past three years I have kind of shut myself off? I mean, I still go to book club, and I still participate in some activities, and I still see my BFF's occasionally, but I usually find excuses not to go and not to celebrate and not to be super social. I used to be super social. I miss social me sometimes. In case you all weren't aware, I'm pretty funny and generally fun to be around. I'm ready to find that girl again.

So, there they are. Four goals. Four things I want to focus on that I know will allow me to be a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, sister and friend. What are your GOALS?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving is coming and I'm not ready!

Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday. This year, I am having a hard time finding my Thanksgiving groove. There isn't a blaring reason for this. I mean, every year life gets busier and busier and busier, but this year might be the first in quite a few when things have somewhat calmed down--or our obstacles are annoying but manageable--and I don't NEED to cling to the holidays to make it through the rest of this year. Sadly, this kind of makes me nervous too. I sometimes find myself looking over my shoulder to see what might be following me or lurking around the corner. I wonder if I will ever be able to relax again. That's rather depressing, isn't it?

Despite the somber tone that this post has apparently taken on, life at our house is pretty good. Nick is almost done with his current hitch, so we will get Daddy home for two weeks over the Thanksgiving holiday. The girl's are ready. Q has asked him every morning for the last five if he is done and can hang out with her now. One more night, baby girl!

Maybe I just need to remind myself of all the things for which I am thankful. There are lots and lots, so over the next few days I will post about those things...all those little things, because the little things help me appreciate the big things even more.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Sister Told Me to Blog, So...

For those of you who are friends with all of us Mahan girls, you might have noticed a trend. I'll out the sister who decided it had been WAY too long since we had taken fingers to keyboard: it was Holly. I have tried to write a few times, but nothing super positive or particularly awesome has come of it, so I haven't posted. Let me touch on a few things now, but be prepared for some serious randomness!

"Speaking of money, we have tomatoes." --Cindy Mahan

Gardening: We made a rather sad attempt at gardening this year. Nick and I thought we it would be great for the "girls" to get a chance to garden. Don't get me wrong! The girlies loved it! Tessa loved to water the garden with Daddy every night, and by water I, of course, mean try and spray the dogs. We did like to check and see how everything was growing. Our garden was small, and with NO experience whatsoever, we did okay. Almost everything grew something, and we will be carving our own pumpkins this year! We'll call it a success and a major learning experience.

Powderhorn: Yep! I have to mention it too because it was really spectacular! Twenty-three people, three condos, and lots of fun family time! I noticed this year more than other years, just how much we all seem to gel better and better as a cohesive family unit--which is great because we keep adding to this crazy group of people! It was such a special treat to have Matt, Lesley and Evelyn with us this year too. I love seeing Matt the family man! And I love seeing him so happy! We love the Thornes! (Now just hurry up and move here!)

Anniversary: No, we haven't celebrated another wedding anniversary. We did get married in May, so that hasn't changed. This is an anniversary of a different kind, and one that, while we don't celebrate it the same, means just as much to me. We have just passed the third anniversary of Nick's sobriety. The choices he made surrounding his addiction were life changing for him--for us. In too many ways, we are still paying for his choices. And while I have never watched someone fall so low (or experienced it right along side him), I have never seen someone work so hard to climb. He's an amazing man, and I am proud of him. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tessa Turns 2!

Can we talk for a moment about this age of two? It is such an interesting and fun age. Yep. She has her "terrible" moments, but really...this kid is just so funny and kind and curious and happy!

Tessa Loves:
Beauty and the Beast
Playing with everything!
Running around the backyard with the dogs
Walking to the park

Tessa Says:
Lots and lots of words, actually, but there are a few that are really very cute right now:
Tinsie (Quincy)
Momma shower?
MoMo (Monroe)
Paise (Paisley)
ElpEe! (Help me)
Idoit! (I do it)
Tiss! (Kiss)

Tessa Doesn't Like:
Having Mom do things for her
Being told no
Leaving her friends

I am her mother and amazingly biased, but this kid is truly amazing and such a blessing to me. I love her so unbelievably much! My Tessa. My saving grace.

LuLaRoe Convention

I just had to write a quick post about what a great time I had at the National LuLaRoe Convention. And by write, I really mean share pictures! I had a wonderful time, and I feel so blessed to be a part of this company!

We (Brittany, Stef and I) went on a tour of the WB Studios. We loved it! Although I think our tour-mates didn't love us so much. We were super enthusiastic and everyone else was a little bit on the quiet side. (AKA boring)
Our tour guide, Yvette, loved us though! She took us to see everything we wanted to see and laughed at us and with us!
It is such an amazing blessing to be able to be a part of this business with my sister who is also my best friend. 
I got to share this weekend with my beautiful sister, Stef, and her equally beautiful friend, Brittany. This is our picture on the beach during the end of our first day there! The beach party was really amazing.  

This is me and DeAnne, our fearless LuLaRoe leader! She is an amazing lady with an amazing story.
We got to meet some truly amazing ladies and spend the weekend being educated and uplifted by them! I love LuLaRoe!
So, who wants to come with me next year? I'm already looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

They Make Me Melt Like Popsicles on the Fourth of July!

It was just us girls for the 4th this year. Nick's work schedule had him working, so we planned a day of fun at home and then dinner and fireworks with friends!

We actually started the day with breakfast at church. Our ward had a pancake breakfast, program, and then a bike parade for the littles. We left before the parade started. Q and T were both breakfast-ed out! We went home and pulled out the kiddie pool and got some time in the sun!

Q has this need to run in circles, so I had to snap pictures of her during different phases of her run. I love the glee you see in this one! 
Why the leaf? Her sister had one stuck between the gap in her teeth, so T needed a leaf too. 
After naps and sending Daddy off to work, we spent the evening with our dear friends, the Flanagans. Alisha is our regular sitter. She has been watching the girls since Tessa was 7 weeks old, and as I know I have stated before, I would be lost without her! The girls love her, and recently have decided that when she comes over it means that she is "home". I often here, "Mom! Alisha's home!" We love her.

I don't think she even knows that I took this. 
As a result of this relationship, we have become good friends with the entire family! We spent the evening of the Fourth with everyone, playing at The Great American Picnic at the Commons Park and watching Fireworks. Q and T got to ride a pony and jump in the bouncy castle as well! So much excitement for my 3 and almost 2 year old!

All by herself!
Needed some extra support from "Isha!" 
As always, celebrating Independence Day with those I love allowed me to reflect on how grateful I really am to live in a place where my freedom is not questioned and there are those who are willing to fight and make ultimate sacrifices for that freedom. For them and for their families, I am eternally grateful. Freedom isn't free, but it is a blessing.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Missed One!

So, generally when I write posts like I did yesterday I go through my pictures posted from Facebook to remember what we did. It occurred to me this morning that I missed one.

The girls and I spent a quick weekend in Casper, WY at the beginning of May. For whatever reason, I never pulled out my phone and took pictures. This is not normal. We were very busy, and saw lots of people while we were there. We got there Friday and Cindy hosted a LuLaRoe Open House. We spent Saturday having lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Sadler and playing at Grandma and Papa's new house. Saturday night we went to have a big family dinner at Aunt Celia and Uncle Bob's house with Grandma Boyer and Tom and Cassie. Whew!

T got sick and we spent Saturday all night bathing and changing sheets and finally sleeping fitfully on the couch. We then apparently left whatever T had for Grandma and Papa to enjoy. Sorry! We had a long drive home as all I could think about was getting my poor sick girl home to her own bed and her daddy.

Note to self...take pictures!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

General Going's-On

Well, I can hardly believe that it has been so long since I last posted on the blog! Is it really almost July?! So, let me just catch everyone up quickly!

Project Backyard commenced in May. We have a really great backyard, but we have never used it! It was the dog's domain and the fence between us and the house behind us was falling down. Rotten wood and nails didn't really invite much. The neighbors behind us FINALLY replaced the fence in April, so when we started to get more consistent warm weather, I became a mom on a mission! Friends gave us their old sandbox, we found a toddler sized swing set, made a raised garden bed, and got chairs and a table. BAM! Our backyard became FUN! Our backyard is a place we love to spend evenings and mornings. The new fence transformed the backyard and the rest was easy and inexpensive to put together. (Although, Nick might disagree about the swing set he put together all by himself while the girls and I were out of town.) Our garden is flourishing, and we love to watch it grow! I am sure we planted too much in our tiny garden bed, but we are learning. This is our first attempt at gardening, and we are loving it! Q and T love to water the garden with Daddy every night, and Q is always asking Daddy to mow so she can follow him around the yard and run away from the mower. She actually loves to "help" Daddy pick up dog poop, which mostly consists of her carrying a bag and telling him where he missed some.

Later in May, Q and T and I went to Montrose to participate with Grandad in his first 5K race. Kelli, Dad, Uncle Dan and I all walked it. We had a great time, and the girls got their faces painted, jumped in the bouncy house and played with Gramma, Grandma Gray, Great-Aunt Linda, Grandpa Gray, and Uncle Tyler for the hour it took us to walk the race. They had lots of fun too!

The Denver Zoo is one of our very favorite places. Q asks weekly, sometimes daily, to go see the animals at the zoo. I'm happy to oblige every chance we get. We are zoo members, so it is easy to load up and just walk right in! We usually last only a few short hours at the zoo, so a membership was the way to go! Want to come with us? We can bring a guest for free too. LOVE IT! Q mostly loves the Merry-Go-Round, but T does not. Oh, she likes to look at it. She will not sit on a horse or any other animal and ride--unless she has a death grip on me. Although, I did take the girls to the Denver Aquarium the other day, and she rode the horses on the Merry-Go-Round there and repeated over and over, "I got ya! I got ya! Yee-haw! Yee-haw!" while squeezing me tightly. She is too cute! Yee-haw has become her word to indicate that she is enjoying herself. She yelled it yesterday in a public restroom while drying her hands under the automatic dryer. She is my funny girl!

June has brought us new adventures, like gymnastics! I signed Q up for gymnastics at PDRC kind of last minute. I have wanted to do this for her for a while, and finally bit the bullet and did it! She seems to like it, although the argument is always whether she can wear a dress to gymnastics--to which I have to remind her that she doesn't need to flash her underwear to the whole world. She will then ask me if panties are private...say a phrase once to this kid and it sticks. Panties are private; keep our bottoms clean and healthy; come here, sweetheart: are her most frequently used ones. Oh, three is such an interesting age!

We had a really fun night at the Denver Aquarium when we went. We had planned to meet Uncle JB and Aunt Savanna there, but it just didn't work out to see them when they came through Denver on their way to Casper. However, Q had been promised the aquarium and the fishes, so we went in the early evening and had a great time! 

This last weekend the girls and I trekked over the mountain again for another 5K. This time with Dad, Holly and Eric, Lisa and Hondo, and Kelli and Tyler. Everyone took their own pace this time (Kelli stayed with Dad again), and I think we were all happy with the results. This was my best time ever, and I did jog over half of it. So, yay for me! (I really hate running!) I then hurt for the remainder of the day, but it was worth it. 

The girls and I stayed a few extra days in Grand Junction and met Daddy there. Nick was training all this week for his new job. He has been working hard for the past six months or so to get a job in the oil fields, and it has finally happened! While he was training, we played with Aunt Kelli--swimming and visiting the dinosaurs. For those of you who may not know, I am terrified of dinosaurs. Like, TERRIFIED! Yes, I know that they are extinct. I know they cannot come back and eat me, but tell that to my racing heart. I have to leave the room when commercials for Jurassic Park come on. Cartoons are okay. Anything else is not. So, visiting Dinosaur Journey in Fruita was a little outside my comfort zone, but I did it. Only because I love my children. 

May 1st, Nick and I celebrated our 5th anniversary. As we are staring in the face of another big transition for our little family, I am grateful for the hard work he has put in to take care of this family. I am grateful for the demons he has faced head-on these past few years and will continue to fight. I am thankful for the patience he has with me as I deal with the trauma of our life over these last three years. Every day we move forward. Every day we face our challenges and share our joys together, and I am still happy to call him mine. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


When I was young, the term CTR was just a simple reminder from parents and church leaders to Choose The Right. I remember the pride I felt upon receiving my adjustable CTR ring with the green shield in Primary and wearing it so much that my finger ended up with a green ring around it. Choose The Right meant something so simple then.

Make good choices.

Be a good example to your brother and sisters.

Be nice to others.

Simple. I have no idea when CTR took on a whole other meaning. Perhaps when as a teenager I often did NOT CTR, or as a young adult when I made some more than questionable decisions, or even as an adult when I made the wrong choice and said the wrong thing over and over and over again. Sometimes I wish I still lived in blissful oblivion as to how ridiculous I really was!

Today, CTR is horribly complicated. I feel the weight of many worlds on my shoulders. The choices that I make today affect my children, my husband, and most decidedly my future. I tire of finding myself at a crossroads every few miles. Once again we are in a place where the immediate future of my little family dynamic is in another person's hands. And there is NOTHING I can do about it.

Except pray.

And mother.

And pray some more.

One day I will write a best selling novel based on the true story of my ever-so-dramatic life. One day I will stand in front of a crowd and tell them all that they will survive their trials because I survived mine. One day I will THRIVE!

Today I will simply do my best to Choose The Right.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear Disney, Thank you for Frozen.

Yeah, I finally saw it today. Took the girls and went to the matinee. I had high expectations. Yeah. I knew I could have been setting myself up for disappointment, but I also have heard NOTHING but wonderful things about this movie. And then we got there and I almost LoSt it in the very first scene! Okay, admittedly, I am emotional today (TODAY? Try every day.), and I do have a particularly special place in my heart for stories about sisters--or siblings--for what I would think are obvious reasons, but just in case you don't know...there are five reasons why I love good stories about sibs:


In case you haven't seen this movie and you want to: SPOILER ALERT!

I love that while there is a bit of a love story in this movie, the TRUE love story is found in the love that Anna and Elsa share. And I was just struck by the fact that my first loves and my true loves are all related to me. How lucky am I?