Monday, March 29, 2010

Sickness, Surgery and Gratitude

My poor little Payton Jean has been sick, sick, sick!  And then she kindly passed it along to her little brother...

It's so sad to see your babies in misery

But then she let out a smile of pure joy.  And my heart melted.

I am sitting in a recliner with icepacks on my face and my laptop as we "speak."  My surgery went really well (so much better than I had anticipated).  I had a wonderful surgeon and his staff was out-of-this-world!  I am so grateful to all of you wonderful family and friends who sent me messages throughout the day and called the house (and brought a fabulous dinner).  I feel so loved! 
My amazing mom is here this week to help with the daily ins and outs, and I couldn't be happier!  She is such a calming spirit to have around. 

This surgery was weighing heavily on my mind for the past two weeks (I know, I'm a total baby).  But it really made me think that should anything happen to me, my affairs are NOT in order as they should be.  As I was in the doctor's chair being prepped for the procedure, I made a connection with the beautiful nurse Ruth Anne, who also has five children.  She is now 61 years old and her babies are grown.  She shared with my mom and I how she had lost her youngest (at the age of 28) last Easter.  She pleaded with me to live for my children NOW and cherish the little/mundane things.  She spoke of the time spent folding her children's laundry, washing their hair, rocking them to sleep, reading them stories and taking pictures.  All of those memories are what keep her family going as they continue to mourne the loss of their daughter and sister.  I'm so grateful to have met Ruth Anne.  I wish I would have been with it enough to tell her more about the gospel of Jesus Christ - I want her to know what I know!
My wonderful husband gave me a Priesthood Blessing this morning before I left for my appointment.  I felt my Father in Heaven's love envelope me once again, and was so grateful for that knowledge.  I love the Priesthood!

I will spend most of this week healing, pondering and writing down my goals for a better me - a more grateful, loving, uplifting and patient me...

"True gratitude is the ability to humbly see, feel, and even receive love. Gratitude is a form of returning love to God. Recognize His hand, tell Him so, express your love to Him. As you come to truly know the Lord, you will find an intimate, sacred relationship built on trust. You will come to know He understands your anguish and will, in compassion, always
respond to you in love."

(Gene R. Cook, "Charity: Perfect and Everlasting Love," Ensign, May 2002, 83)

I am so looking forward to this coming weekend of General Conference - on Easter Sunday.  What could be more beautiful?
And my kids are thoroughly looking forward to this.

Ps - Happy Anniversary Todd and Sarah Zahlmann!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zeke Finds the Catfood

While at mom and dad's house, Zeke managed to sneak himself into the pantry where the catfood and water bowls are kept.  Does that face say guilty, or what?

So he started pulling the food out of the bowl...

And then discovered how to open the food dispenser.  Thankfully, he had more fun dumping food back into it, than dumping it on the floor.

But then he discovered the water bowl...shoot.

It could have been worse.  The catbox is also kept in the pantry.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Heart Spring Break Part 1

Here are some pictures I took of the kids on one of the most beautiful days at the coast.

Our little Audrey Hepburn

Zeke trying so hard to master the Radio Flyer Scooter

We had such a nice time hanging out in the sun (actual sun...on the Oregon Coast)!  I love visiting the place where I grew up...I love that my kids love it, too. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Payton turns 3!

This sweet little thing had a birthday.  We enjoyed it by getting away to the beautiful Oregon Coast and spending the week with my parents.
The kids had a wonderful time (sick and all)!  I have lots to post.  For some reason I couldn't ever get my laptop (ie my picture hub) connected to the internet, so I'm way behind in posting!  Enjoy my Payton Jean...

I could EAT. HER. UP.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Beautiful Corvallis, Oregon

What amazing weather we have had lately...I sure hope it lasts!  Have I mentioned how much I love it here?  Corvallis, Oregon is absolutely exquisite. 

Hello delicious Spring daffodils...please say you'll stay...

Good night beautiful sun.  Thank you for warming our days with your magical rays. 

Goodbye cattails...swaying ever-so-slightly in the breeze.

Goodnight Moon...

Tomorrow is my Payton Jean's 3rd BIRTHDAY! 

My babies can stop growing up now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Ok, so we're not REALLY Irish, but Happy St. Patrick's Day anyway! I have very little Irish in me - and my kids have even less, but they sure had a good time dressing in green and celebrating the Luck 'O the Irish!

Avonleigh dressed herself for preschool:

I grew up surrounded by Irish and Celtic music. My Dad's brother, David, had a well-known Irish band by the name of Shaughnessy Hill. They were fantastic! My dad is a HUGE fan and growing up we all took part in learning different Celtic instruments, including various pennywhistles (tin whistles), bodhran drum, tambourine and lots of vocals! What a great childhood! I feel badly that I haven't shared enough of these experiences with my own children. I love the variety of Irish music - haunting melodies and snappy lyrics (not necessarily together at one time).

One of my kids' favorites is The Golden Vanity. This is a slightly different version than I taught them, but you get the idea!

Some other great ones for your listening pleasure (all by The Clancy Brothers):
I Never Will Play the Wild Rover No More

Whiskey You're the Devil

The Moonshiner

PS - I came down with a sinus infection, so my oral surgeon cancelled the surgery until the 29th. Something to look forward to. NOT!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No excuse

It's been a long week! Sorry for the lack of posting, I'm trying to get in all the shooting I can before I'm laid up for a bit. Four impacted widsom teeth and an abscessed molar to be extracted on Wednesday. Yippy.

Cute photoshoots coming up!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend Review and Girl Scout Cookies

Who doesn't love Girl Scout Cookies? I mean, come on. However, it may take me the next 10 months before I start loving them again! We are winding down the selling season and I'm ready for it. I had the opportunity to be the cookie manager for Laethym's troop. It has been so much fun to watch Laethym grow and enjoy this experience. She has become quite the saleswoman - and it was good for both of us to step outside of our comfort zones!

These are are few pictures from our last booth sale on Saturday:

Somebody lost her very first front tooth last week! Don't ask her about the Tooth Fairy - it's a sensitive subject...


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What the World Needs Wednesday

I have a hard time making friends.  That was kinda hard to type.  It's not that I don't enjoy having friends, or that I'm particularly shy, I just don't go out of my way to have friends or take the time to stay in touch with them.  Sad, I know.  I can already see that my lack of social butterflyness (I like making up words) is affecting my kids.  They too, don't really care to go out of their way to be social.  They enjoy going places and having playdates, but I think for the most part we'd rather be home with each other. 

That being said, we have a few close friends that no matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, we still hit it off beautifully!  The Barlow's are one of those friends.  Robyn can relate to my lack in this area, and I appreciate that about her!

I ran across this picture today and just melted...big puddle...on the floor.  Look how tiny our kids are!  Wow, it doesn't seem like 2004 was that long ago.

Contrast that with Laethym and Sage a few weeks ago...unbelievably beautiful girls!

And these boys...not even boys - little men! 

Dear Time,
Please. STOP. NOW!


I love this picture of Laethym taking a quiet moment on Sage's stairs.

What the world needs now:
More Golden friends...and a more concerted effort at the Silver ones, too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello March

Please continue to send your beautiful sun and vibrant Spring colors...

We will continue to take walks and blow bubbles.

Hugs and kisses,

One happy family