Sunday, January 24, 2010


I'm feeling like a bit of navel-gazing is required today - today I am thirty (I hate that I cringe when I say that, but I just did). And in an effort to be positive about such introspection, I decided to make a list. Not things that I need to do (there are certainly more than 30 of those), and not things I'd like to change about myself (more than 30 of those, too), but 30 things for which to be grateful.
1. answered prayers (most recently the hymns in Sacrament Meeting this morning - the Sacrament hymn said, "Holy day, devoid of strife" - HA! I had to laugh - it was only 9:15am and I'd had strife enough! But then we ended with "Where Can I Turn for Peace." My own little tender mercy.)
2. a good husband who works hard for our family - and does a very good job of it.
3. safe, warm, comfortable, clean(ish) home

4. healthy children
5. beautiful things all around me
6. a camera to take pictures of said beautiful things (and being content with my camera) :)
7. The hustle and bustle of December, followed by the quiet instropection of January
8. A sweet baby who loves me (even if she'll only say Da Da and not Ma Ma)
9. twinkle lights (in January)

10. Snow Days

11. Two cars that are more (or less?) reliable!

12. rain on melancholy days - when heaven acknowledges your frustration
13. being a stay-at-home mom - hardest and best thing I've ever done
14. eating cold cereal for lunch

15. playing with my kids

16. rocking and singing to my baby before bed time
17. freshly bathed children, ready for bed
18. bedtime (for the kids, for me!)
19. a mantle and a fireplace - we probably won't ever burn a fire in there, but it sure is fun to decorate!

20. teaching myself this piece- cheaper and probably more effective than counseling :)

That just makes me smile.

21. wonderful parents who love and sacrifice and give endlessly
22. fabulous siblings (and their families) that make me laugh and love
23. great in-laws that teach and encourage

24. Knowledge - why I'm here and what I'm doing and how to do it.
25. a basement = room for my crafty stuff!
26. an uncertain future that keeps me humble and prayerful
27. the gospel and organization of the church - my built-in family, no matter how far I am from home.
28. the chance to choose (specifically: choose faith and family and friends)
29. others who love and teach and care for my children. 
30. technology in my life (from the computer to the sewing machine to the stone-age cell phone (5+ years old!))
30. a charmed life - trials, heartache, hard days, yes, but the good makes up for it
30. optimism
30. being a citizen of the United States.
30. YOU :)  I'm so thankful for friends and family that make my life so beautiful and rich and fun.  Thanks for your comments, too - I love them.  You are a blessing to me! 

(I love having my head full of blessings.  I certainly have more than 30 of them, too!)
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Annual Collage Catch-Up

Seems like November and December are never very good blogging months for me! But I do have some good pictures to document our wonderful holidays, and I just can't move on without posting [at least] my favorites. And you know I am a firm believer in the collage. :)
A brief explanatory note:
My entire wonderful family (except for one brother serving an LDS mission in CA) came to Ohio for Thanksgiving - we had 16 people altogether, and turned the living room into a banquet hall. :) Then it was the music room (lots and lots of singing around the piano - it felt SO GOOD to sing with my sisters and mother again, and we even had the boys join in a few times!), and finally it was the Christmas Hall (complete with my little 10 year old artificial tree that I said would just get us through college..... still there....). My brother in law is a chef (a crazy blogging chef I might add), and he wowed us all with his skills -- I was afraid to cook in my kitchen for a week after he left, thinking that I might desecrate it. :) I gained about 5 pounds in 3 days. (OUCH). But it was worth it. It was that good.
Since everyone was here we did Christmas on Saturday morning - it was the crazy marathon holiday weekend, and it was fantastic.
I love love love my family, and having them all here in my home was such a treat. I love the way we all squish together on the couch, the way we talk for hours, the way we sing and sing and sing. I love the way my brother played heroes with my son, my sister colored with my daughter, and my mom and dad moved around from room to room, activity to activity, supporting and loving all of us. We all have faults, but when we're together it's perfect.