Oh the faces we make | Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

I know today is Father's Day, so there should be lots of talk towards Ryan and my own dad.  But I sort of accelerated Father's Day onto a random Thursday afternoon two weeks ago.  Ryan's Father's Day gift came in the mail, and I came through the front door and told Ryan to close his eyes while I ran to our bedroom to hide it.  

And in those 20 seconds of moving from one side of my house to the other, I was overcome with too much excitement and instead called Ryan into the room to open his Father's Day gift.  Yes, I called him over to me.  And I let the shipping package be the wrapping.  I am very patient and wonderful with surprises.

As for my dad, I called him today and wished him a happy Father's Day, and then proceeded to tell him that I have not yet mailed his present... actually I haven't even purchased it yet.  But I know what it is, and I intend to buy and ship it shortly.  So in that way, I guess I'm not only impatient and hasty, I'm also very lazy and tired.

So I prepared Ryan another gift for today ---  a collection of highlight moments of his two favorite sweethearts.  

(Look at Julia)

But, at the end of the day, where do these girls get their faces from....

.... like mother, like daughter.

Totally kidding, Ryan.  You are due your fair share of credit..

But really, you are an amaaaaazzzzing father!  So kind, patient, sensitive, and sweet.  I enjoy raising these girls with you, and I love that we agree so much on how we want to teach them and do life with them.  I love you.

And now, I leave with you two images of how the girls really feel to have you as their daddy.

Onward and upward,

A Week in Our Home

Sunday, June 3, 2018

How about a view of some simple moments in our home?

We'll start with a daily moment of Charlie and Jules.
(I'm getting the nicknames going around here)

While one sweet girl rests, I have the other one helping me around the house.  She cooks her breakfast, puts it in a bowl and walks it to her tray, then later cleans the tray, wipes the floor, and helps do all the dishes and push the jingly buttons to start the dishwasher.    She helps me sort and load laundry, make the beds, and tidy the house.  Quite the helper, I'd say!

On an afternoon walk with Charlie, this was my view directly above and directly below.  Happiness.

On another afternoon walk, I asked Charlie to say "cheese" for a picture.  So, she climbed off her bike, squatted down and said, "CHEEESE!!!", then hopped back on her bike.
Well okay then.

Ryan and I are obsessed with Julia's profile.  Chubby cheeks and the most darling button nose and rosebud lips.

Now there's a man who'll watch evening TV with me in blue-light blocking glasses.
(Nonetheless, he even watched The Bachelorette with me.... ha!)
Most other nights, you'll find us watching basketball.  We recently found this as a mutually loved past-time!

Charlie waits at the window for "dada" to come home from work. 
She stands here yelling his name and knocking on the window for as long as it takes.

The handsome man in our new car!  He caught Charlie and I on our afternoon walk. 
(Our new car is RAD!  What wasn't so rad... the transmission on my previous car going out on the freeway.  No bueno).

The sweetest girls.  My heart is so so so happy as a mom.  

And of course, back to the land of our chickens.

Jonny was always the favorite chicken to the little boy who named her.  Perhaps because Jonny is the only white chicken of the bunch.  Well, I do believe that Jonny also believes she is the most favored one.  See here---

Jonny: "Do as I say minions!  Baawwk baaawk!"  while the other chickens stand in hold.

Jonny: "Oh, my face suddenly itches!!"  and the chickens all go for the nearest escape route.

See how she lost power there?
Now we know.  She's superior.  
And also, never interrupt a reprimand to scratch your face with your foot.

And there you have it.

Onward and upward,

A Little Faith

Sunday, May 27, 2018

It's writing time again!  My annual Sunday typing time.  And by annual I mean weekly.  I have a mom brain.


I've had some deeper thoughts I wanted to share this week, buuut, the napping time ticker may run out.  I like this type of writing to be polished and stunning, like this painting:


But this post will probably turn out like this instead.

With a lot of hairy sideburns and unnecessary chin tufts.

So, without further ado and hopefully less eyeballs, this post is about my sweet husband and leaping with faith.

I took the above picture as we were running out the door for church, and now it's one of my favorites of Ryan.  It was truly such a random snapshot.  I had this half-formed thought while I was literally putting on heels as I walked, while wetting down my toddler's wild curls: "I never take pictures of Ryan."  So I snapped a photo in the split second before he disappeared down the hallway.

I have a mom brain.

Oh wait, no, I do have one other recent photo of Ryan:

Haha!  Okay, now that you know what he looks like, story time--

When Ryan was 19, he served a mission in Spokane, Washington.  Pretty early on in his mission, he met people who asked some pretty bold questions regarding the history of our church.  Really odd, uncomfortable, not known things that upon Ryan's further research, turned out to be true.  These odd, uncomfortable things made Ryan feel odd and uncomfortable about our religion.

So, he took his doubts and questions to God and into study.  Ryan is extremely intelligent.  Ryan fasted and studied the scriptures with a fine-tooth comb, repeatedly and repeatedly.  He reached out to family members and priesthood holders that he trusted and shared his doubts and concerns with them.  He continued this process for quite some time, trying to fill up all the holes and incongruities he felt.  He truly had a trial of faith. 

After a lot of time, and allowing himself a lot of space to have these good questions, Ryan's faith in our religion is rock solid.  He wouldn't be budged if the whole earth fell out from under his feet.

Did Ryan get all of his questions answered?


Did he gain understanding that made him comfortable with some of these historic facts?


Ryan shared a story with me from the Bible, found in John.  Christ is surrounded by a bunch of followers and He's ministering to them.  He says, "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."  And His disciples are like, "um....dude.  Are you into cannibalism?"  And Christ is like, "oh, did my words bother you?"  And they are like, "uh, yeah, that's pretty gross.  See ya."  And they left.  The scripture says: "From that time, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him."  (read here).

Christ could have explained and been like, "not literally guys!"  Instead, He let them walk away.  Those who stayed later learned that He meant the symbolism behind the Sacrament.

Ryan explained that when he found this passage, he saw how Christ allowed for a gap in explanation.  Part of me felt like that was a bit of trickery.  But as I ruminated, I realized that Christ wasn't trying to play a twisted game of "guess what I'm thinking."  He just knows that we can only ascend to His level if not every stepping stone is put in place, and we still trust Him.

Ryan said that he thinks the hardest things we will each face can all be broken down in the category of "testing our faith."  Whether that comes in literal fashion, as it did for Ryan.  Or the faith behind questions such as, "Can this grief really subside?"  "Can my heart and mind ever feel whole?"   "Will I someday be able to have a good relationship with that person?"  "Will my body ever be healthy?"   Or for me, "stop all your darn worrying; it'll turn out fine."

For me, life seems to be needing a lot of BIG faith lately.  This conversation left me comforted.  I felt things slide away and replace with peace from a faithful attitude. 


And just like that, nap time is over.  See you next week, friends!

How did my writing do?  Send me a link to a painting.

Onward and upward,

Post-Script:  these are the paintings you guys are sending me.  I love all of them!!  I like seeing art that people find.

Thanks Leslie!

 Thanks Nora!

Charlotte in the real world

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I took Charlotte and my neice, Cami, on a walk the other day to visit our new neighbors.

NEW NEWS:  Yes, we have new neighbors.  I don't know much about them.  Okay next news item.  I'm a news anchor that moves quick.  My brother, Devin, and his little family moved into our basement!!  Remember Devin from way back when (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) - well now he's got a wife, a 2 year-old daughter, and another daughter on the way!  AND THEY LIVE DOWNSTAIRS!  I'm clearly very happy about this.

Anyway, so the two little girls and myself were walking.  And on our walks, I like to pause to show Charlotte bugs.  It's fun to watch the joy of discovery in little people, especially with ladybugs and rolly pollys.  (Because those are the only bugs that I will acknowledge even exist).  No bug has yet survived through the inspection of Miss Charlotte.  She isn't intentional about killing them; she just has uneven balance and a tight grip.

So, the three of us girls were crouched down on the sidewalk, observing a bulbous rolly polly.  The bug was walking towards Charlotte's crocs, so she slid her foot out.  The rolly polly advanced towards her crocs again, so she slid her foot out again.  She kept sliding her foot further and further away from the other one, so she could keep watching her rolly polly.  She was just near the full splits when her balance wobbled.  To regain herself, she picked up her sliding foot and planted it back firmly on the sidewalk.  Right on top of the rolly polly.

See?  Once Charlotte's shadow comes hovering over a bug.... it's only a matter of time.

Charlotte lifted her foot again so she could see the rolly polly.  She waited and watched and poked it some to get it's bulbous body moving again.  I then had to announce that the bug had died.

The girls had already found a neat little pebble by then.  Onto the next thing.

So, the story for you today is about Miss Charlotte.

Miss Charlotte, with the help of her mommy and daddy, has started a little neighborhood business.  It involves our 10 chickens... can you guess what the business is?

Let's pause for several more introductions... our chickens.

At one point, we had 7 chickens.  Then one froze in the snow.  Down to 6.  Then a neighbor got in trouble for having too many pets and gave his 4 to us.  EQUALS 10.  yay math.

At the time we had 7 chickens, we had a family living in our basement who had a 4 year old son.  I loved that family and that little boy so much.  In the days of me first starting down the road of motherhood, adjusting to the odd loneliness, he was a good friend.  He kindly named all of our chickens for us.  Their names are (remember they are all women):  Johnny, JJ, Hey Hey, Quackenstein, and Master Chicken.

You may observe that there are only 5 names, even though I just said we had 7 chickens and they all have a name.  Yes.  I tried to tell my 4-year old friend this a few times.  He insisted every chicken had a name, and then he'd look at me like I was dumb.  So, 7 chickens, 5 names, they all have a name.  Exactly.

Later he told me one of them is named Super Angry Bird, and he insisted that was always among the list of names.  To a 4 year old, you just saw yes and nod.  Otherwise, they look at you like you can't keep up.

I can't.

So bottom line, 4 of our chickens still need names.  If you rub shoulders with any young people, please ask them for a name for one of my 4 chickens.  Then notify me here.  I think it best if we keep the choosing of names to children, so we stay consistent.  I would hate for my other 4 hens to have modern, female names picked by adults.

Anyway, so Charlotte, coupled with Johnny, JJ, Hey Hey, Quackenstein, Master Chicken, Super Angry Bird, and 4 more, have brought to you this announcement:  (I am posting Charlotte's exact advertisement that was featured in our neighborhood facebook page).

Charlotte would like to announce that she is starting a business: Charlotte's Eggs! (Even though she calls them "Sheez," so in her language, it's Charlotte's Sheez).
Anyway, as the daughter of an entrepreneur, Charlotte was told an allowance won't be coming her way; instead, she'll be given opportunities to start and operate little businesses. So we're having fun teaching her the ways of chickens! She even pushed 150 pounds of chicken feed at IFA! - no joke, see the below video, as well as other videos showing her hard work in the production of these eggs!
They are $3 / dozen - free range, organic eggs - and Charlotte will hand them to you at the door. (Insurance included if she drops them).
Let us know if you're interested!

Charlotte asked that I not post her history with bugs in her marketing campaign since it involves a pitch towards her carefulness with other animal forms.

So there you have it.

Onward and upward,

Joy in the Wind
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