Colin, Mandy, and Eliza

This site is for us to keep you informed of what we feel like sharing.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Summer Re-cap: Part I

It's Sunday.  Colin banished me from church so that I could come home and rest.  I have a really unpleasant cold brought on from lack of sleep, no physical exercise and STRESS from finals week last week.  I may be sick but at least I aced my finals, phew.

Another one down (semester) and only 5 more to go.  Sort of depressing actually, I have 2 more years left of school.  Now that I have the first year out of the way I get to actually start learning about the things that I am really going back to school for, women's health and nurse midwifery.  We start clinicals in the fall which I look forward to.  Has this year been hard?  I would say, yes.  I have had some great lessons in time management, which I am still working on.  But I think the greatest lesson I have learned this past year has been that even though we are doing the right thing, it still doesn't guarantee that it will be easy.  One step at a time...

Despite being in school, we have had a full and fun summer.  We went to trek with our ward, I had a girls reunion in Park City, Spencer (Colin's twin) got married and we made cherry jam, swam a lot, played outside everyday, played with grandma's when mom had to go to lab (so nice both grandma's are off in the summer's so Eliza didn't have to go to "school" she just got to have fun with them) and have eaten lots of popsicles and ice cream (my new favorite: Ben & Jerry's greek yogurt blueberry and graham cracker).

Trek:  Our ward did a family trek.  I am not sure I will ever go again ( I despise camping and outdoor toilets) but it was a unique opportunity to go to Wyoming. We got to trek in Martin's Cove and visit Independence Rock and Devil's gate.  It wasn't until the drive home though as our daughter slept in her car seat, exhausted, that I really felt the spirit of trek as I read to Colin the pioneer stories we were given.  I always used to think that the pioneers had it hard physically but we have it hard spiritually, until I read about a mother who lost her baby, and a husband who lost his wife, and a mother who lost both limbs and on and on.  They sacrificed it all for their belief in the restored gospel.  Amazing!  I think saints in years past and today are all connected in that regardless of our wordly circumstances, we strive to do the right thing and endure to the end.  I am grateful for the experience as it gave me a new perspective.  BTW Eliza has an extremely nice and talented grandma Thomas who outfitted her whole wardrobe.  Isn't she the cutest pioneer you ever saw?  She did amazing and so did Colin, they both seemed to love it, I just muddled through.

Girls trip:  I was lucky enough to have a girl's reunion in Park City this summer with all of my closest girlfriends that I have known all my life.  It was so fun!  We ate, we talked, we talked some more, we swam, we went on the alpine slides etc. There is something about being around the girls who have known you since you were little that was so edifying.  Hopefully it is not 4 years until we get together again.  Eliza got to hold Mel's baby and it was all she could talk about for a few days.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Feb 2012 - snow day 

March 2012 - getting dressed

April 2012 - random pictures, Colin's 29th birthday

May 2012 - Mother's day, park, Eliza's 1st haircut

Sunday, July 01, 2012

No Spend Month

Sorry about the blogging hiatus. I will get some pictures posted soon. We have had a very fun and busy summer. It is already July and time is slipping away from me quickly. Last weekend I was lucky enough to have a girl's reunion with all of the girl's I have grown-up with. It was so fun and therapeutic! We talked a lot! One thing that resonated with me was our discussions on budgeting. I have been thinking a lot about ways that I can be better at budgeting. I am not going to lie, I have never budgeted well. Thanks to my very financially savvy husband we have savings and a home but I would like to develop this skill/practice more so I can set a better example for Eliza and surprise my husband! Thanks to pinterest I was introduced to the No Spend Month, from the Small Notebook blog. Basically, the challenge is to spend less than $250 in 31 days. The reason I want to do this is because I spend a lot of time looking for things to buy to improve our home and lifestyle. Imagine what I could do with that spare time; spend more time with my husband, play with my daughter more, do more crafts, clean my house more, make more green smoothies, do more for other people! Maybe instead of shopping (online or in-person, dang you TJ MAXX and Target!) I could finish all of the projects on my to-do list? So this challenge is meaningful to me in 2 ways, 1) to spend less and learn how to budget but even more importantly it will 2) free up some more of my precious, never-enough time so that I can pursue more meaningful activities. I am blogging this so I can be accountable! So for the next 31 days I will spend less than $300 (sorry, I need the extra $50, I am not a miracle-worker :)). This will not include gas or household bills (mortgage, utilities etc.), savings, tithing etc. Basically this is the money I would use on groceries, food/entertainment, shopping at Target and TJMaxx convincing myself I need things for my house or Eliza etc. Do you think I can do it? Good, because I don't! But, I will try and I will tell you all about it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

toddler or twin bed?


or, twin?

(Life altering decisions I know!)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Night-shift Reflections

Welcome to my new series called "Night-shift Reflections". Sometimes when I am awake in the middle of the night (at work) I reflect. My topic tonight, simplify.

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and than move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." Marjorie Hinckley

I love this quote and many things about it resonate with me.

1) simplifying our lives.

I have been thinking about how much time I waste on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I do not think that the internet is all bad. I love catching up on my friend's blogs or searching pinterest for great recipes or home decorating ideas. I have learned a lot about budgeting, DIY home projects, cute church ideas and making more wholesome and creative meals from the internet. But I have started to feel this sense that I need to do it all and this is overwhelming and counter-productive.

2) develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something.

I recently decided I was going to run a half-marathon this summer. Mostly because I have been running on my treadmill a lot and I thought it was a worthy goal and I might possibly lose some weight in the process. I hurt my knee last week and had to take a few days off running. Then I thought, why am I doing this in the first place? Just to say I did it? Who really cares? It wasn't that I was trying to prove to someone else but more that I was trying to prove to myself that I can do it. Then I finally gave myself permission to NOT do it and it is a relief!

3)move along at a pace that is comfortable for us.

This sort of brought it all home for me. There are a lot of great things to do in life but I finally have realized that I do not have to do them all today. There will be time to garden, to read books for leisure, to run half-marathons, to sew, to travel, to have chickens :, to get involved in politics (yeah right, maybe never) one day, BUT I don't have to do it all right this minute. For me moving along at a comfortable pace means letting go of this notion that I can and need to do it all right NOW. Maybe I will plant (and kill) a tomato plant here and there or try to read a book once in a while or maybe not.

I am in school, working part-time weekend nights and together with an awesome husband we are raising a toddler. Pretty sure that is enough without adding the extra burden of trying to achieve the unrealistic.

I haven't lost the baby weight yet (probably won't until after the next baby) but I am kind and patient with Eliza, I won't be running a half-marathon but I tickle my husband's back almost every night, I rarely get dressed in anything other than my yoga pants if I don't have to but we sit on the couch as a family many nights and laugh and giggle (at all the cute things Eliza is doing), I don't have cute craft projects for my toddler to do 9 out of 10 times but I read to her everyday before nap and before bedtime, my house is often messy but I talk to my husband multiple times throughout the day just because we can't go more than a few hours without a play-by-play of each others day.

I believe in hardwork. I believe in goal setting and stretching yourself to be better. I believe in creating opportunities for yourself and not burning bridges or shutting doors. I believe in making the home a sanctuary and to me that means decorating it with the things I love and of course, filling it with the smell of homemade cookies! I think it is great to cultivate your talents and find joy in creating, exploring, SHOPPING, baking, jogging. I happen to like Diet Coke and peanut M&M's for an afternoon snack. So this year is not going to be the year I run a half-marathon, clean between the oven doors, sew Eliza's princess costumes or make playdough from scratch but maybe this year I can learn to be happy with where I am at, with what I am doing and with who I am.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sunday, March 04, 2012

If you ask my toddler what she wants to eat...

*how 'bout mac n cheese?
*how 'bout candies?
*how 'bout mac n cheese?

but, the newest one...

* how 'bout sugar cookies? (I laughed so hard when she said this, I love what she comes up with)