Friday, November 30, 2007

Final November Gratitude Post

So here we are - the last day of the month. With this post I will complete my goal of posting things I'm grateful for each day this month (or several on other days to make up). It has really made me stop and think, and realize how grateful I am for the little things in life (as well as the big things). Even though I won't be posting these regularly anymore I do plan on thinking about it more and really having a "gratitude attitude". I am SO blessed!
  1. Drive-through and internet banking. I love being able to do my bills from my kitchen table, or out the window of my car - without dragging the kids inside (but Gabe has now discovered that the bank gives suckers - so he always asks for one now).
  2. Moisture - even though we don't get enough. (however, our mountains are supposed to get 12-24 inches in the next 24 hours!)
  3. Chapstick - I am obsessed with different flavors. I've discovered that I can't wear this one because it makes me hungry (I can't burn gingerbread candles either or I snack on junk all day long). But I do love lipsmackers Dr Pepper chapstick - or most of the other lipsmackers brand stuff (I love getting them in my stocking still too). Oh - this Pink Grapefruit lip butter is fantastic too!
  4. Oh I am also grateful for peppermint foot lotion. I love the feeling of tingly mint lotion on my piggies when I slip into bed!
  5. I'm grateful I've been able to nurse my 2 boys. It's been a special thing that it's come pretty easily for me, and that I've been able to keep up with it. Yeah, there are times when I feel a little tied down, but for the most part I'm grateful that it's gone well and helped my kids be healthy.
  6. Fun roommates I had at college. If there was any reason I wish I hadn't gotten married after just one year at college it would be because I didn't get to have more roommate experiences. I had awesome roommates for the most part. Today when I was thumming through the BYU-Idaho alumni magazine I saw that one of my favorite old roommates had won an award (Way to go Kat!). I think I'm going to try to find her and chat with her about her work in Africa - I'd love to go over there and do some of the work she's involved in!
  7. Travel opportunties I've had. Sure, I'm not an extensive traveler (yet), but I do feel blessed for the opportunties I have had. My trip to South Africa with Jessica was amazing, I've loved the trips we've earned with work, and love that my family took many educational trips as we grew up as well. I love planning trips, and feel grateful that we have a lifestyle that somewhat supports this.
  8. My digital food scale. It makes tracking portion sizes simple.
  9. Sweatshirts. I love hoodies, zip up sweatshirts - love the feeling of a brand new one when the fleece is still SO soft on the inside. I'm grateful to be wearing one today too when it's FREEZING cold!
  10. Laughter. I love giggling, I love laughing so hard it makes my head hurt and makes me cry. I love the kind of laughter that happens when you're somewhere where it's supposed to be quiet, and try as you might you can't stop giggling - the harder you try - the harder it is. I love it! I love memories that even now, years later make me smile and chuckle even though it's been years (Mom - I'm thinking of "A candle is a simple thing..." and when Brother Aaron sang in sacrament meeting years ago - those still make me laugh!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gratitudes for Thursday

  1. new comfy bathroom rugs, and a hubby who bought them without being asked
  2. a hubby whose job is somewhat flexible so he can meet me at our dr appointment this morning (a 4 month well baby visit for Hunter, and a sick Gabe) and help with the boys
  3. having my meals planned for the next several days, and always having enough food - a blessing I take for granted most of the time
  4. my gas fireplace
  5. sharp kitchen knives (I bought a couple of Wustoff knives from Williams Sonoma a few months back and I LOVE them!)
  6. A really pleasant evening last night with Hunter. He was SO happy and content. This was a real blessing because it was hectic with Gabe being sick, throwing up, a blow-out diaper by Hunter - it was nuts. But Hunter was happy and we had a nice little cooing session before he went to bed.
  7. I'm grateful that Gabe enjoys reading. I hope Hunter will catch onto that as well.
  8. I am so grateful to be a mom. I was thinking back to this exact time 3 years ago - before I knew I was pregnant with Gabe. I had really hit a rock bottom as far as depression about not having kids yet. I remember praying and just pleading with Heavenly Father and saying this was it - it was all I could handle. I knew He wouldn't give me anything I couldn't handle - but I was all tapped out. Little did I know that my tears were probably partially due to the fact that I WAS in fact pregnant. I am so grateful for this blessing in our lives, these boys are amazing!
  9. That leads me to my next gratitude. I'm grateful for trials and tribulations that make us stronger. I'm also grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows what will help us become the person He knows we can be.
  10. Kind and encouraging words from a friend or family member. There are times when you just need that extra support and I can always count on someone to offer it.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gratitude post - Tuesday and Wednesday

I didn't post gratitudes again yesterday - but I was thinking about them :) So here are things I'm grateful for from yesterday and today:
  1. Puffs Plus with Lotion and Vicks - these are awesome!
  2. Different textured foods - crunchy, smooth, crisp, wet, soft, etc.
  3. a clean bathroom
  4. vacuum cleaners
  5. Great Harvest Bread stores (and the bakers who make the bread)
  6. post-it notes
  7. textured cardstock
  8. YW activities that are over-with....(they're a lot of work!)
  9. boppy pillows
  10. body pillows
  11. coloring books
  12. yummy smelling hand-soap (I love this kind)
  13. my suburban
  14. people who live passionately - it's because of these kind of people that we make progress in our world
  15. Living Scriptures videos and dvds
  16. Deseret Book (and any LDS bookstores...actually any bookstores at all - I love bookstores!)
  17. baby lotion - I particularly love this Aveeno lotion!
  18. The creative people who work with Pixar - we love all Disney/Pixar movies at our house!
  19. microwavable meals like Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine
  20. Fruit snacks - Gabe's favorite food - and the one thing I know he'll want to eat every single day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dancing with the Stars

Last night was the 1st part of the Finale of the tv show Dancing with the Stars. I told Gabe that after dinner we'd watch some of it before bed. I said, "Gabe - who do you want to win Dancing with the Stars tonight?"

He said very confidently, "YOU and ME!"

I laughed. Then he said, "And we'll cha-cha-cha!"

I had to laugh that my little boy #1 knew what the cha-cha was and #2 thought that I could actually have a chance at winning anything involving physical coordination. Oh he will learn!

He's also been heard saying, "Mom, I want to dance with the stars!"

I haven't enjoyed this show until this season - haven't even watched it at all. But this season I'vce had fun watching it - and so has Gabe. I guess it's just the fact that Marie Osmond is in the final 3, and I think that's exciting. I also have really enjoyed watching Helio and Julianne - I think she's an amazing dancer! We'll see what happens tonight I guess.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving photos

The Rhien Family - all together! It was great to get a few pictures of the whole clan together!
Gabe loves all of his Aunts and Uncles, but he sure has a lot of fun with Aunt Julia!
My cousin Taylor Rhien, with my niece Taylor Rhien.

It was Mama's first time to meet Hunter. She felt bad because she had been sick and couldn't love on the great grand-babies like she wanted to. But we know we'll have lots of other fun chances for Hunter to get some kisses from her! I was adding up all of the great-grandkids that Mama and Papa have (I think I counted 19....?) and they have more GREAT grandkids than grandkids now! Wow! And I also realized while we were visiting that I am the ONLY one of Mama and Papa's grand kids who has never lived in Farmington New Mexico. Kind of crazy (and I'm feeling a bit left out....)
Taylor and Hunter. These two are just about a month apart (Taylor is older). It will be fun to see if they get along as they grow up. When I was trying to snap a few pictures of these two Taylor reached over and took Hunter's hand - it was so cute! (I didn't get a very good picture of it because Hunter wasn't taking his hands out of his mouth!

3 of the 4 cousins (where was Allison?)
Allison and Gabe got along really well I thought. It was fun to see the two of them interact in a way they hadn't before. They are about a year (14 months) apart and it was fun to see them playing 'together'. The best part was when we told Allison to give Gabe a kiss. She grabbed him and SMOTHERED him with kisses. It was hilarious when they both had to come up for air :) Truly KISSIN COUSINS!A big tradition that my family has always had was to do a pinata on Christmas Eve as a part of our Mexican Christmas Eve celebrations. This year since we were all visiting for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas - mom planned for us to do the pinata while we were all together. It was fun to see the little kids get into it this year, and the candy this year was the best we've had! (And I managed to eat much more than my fair share!) I love this tradition so much I plan to pass it on to the Ellis family when we celebrate Christmas, and I'm also doing a pinata with my Young Women tomorrow night for a "traditions" activity. (I also included a few more pinata pictures on our 'Family Christmas Blog')

Well here are the pictures. (Family - I'll send you a disk with these and lots more pictures later this week)

Gratitude Posts

So I fell behind on my gratitude posts. We got so busy trying to leave for Thanksgiving and blogging was just one thing that slipped through the cracks. So hopefully I can catch up on the last week:
  1. a safe trip to Farmington for Thanksgiving - and the boys were even mostly well behaved!
  2. Getting to see all of my brothers, their wives and kids, my little sister and parents. We were all together for Thanksgiving - that doesn't happen often (in fact I can't think of the last time it did!)
  3. digital cameras
  4. Mama and Papa's house - I love going there for Thanksgiving. It makes it feel like a "real" Thanksgiving since that is what we always did growing up.
  5. traditions
  6. safe travels for my siblings
  7. nieces and nephews
  8. aunts and uncles
  9. cousins
  10. grandparents who are in relatively good health. I have been lucky to have known all of my grandparents, and for them all to still be living. I feel very blessed by that!
  11. kitchen gadgets that make life easier - like garlic presses and apple slicers
  12. chocolate...yummy chocolate
  13. Pampered Chef
  14. Target
  15. fun games to play with family
  16. HIGH SPEED internet
  17. bathtubs
  18. toilet cleaner
  19. measuring cups
  20. candle warmers
  21. perfectly straight Christmas lights
  22. laughing
  23. portable DVD players
  24. knowing I have a new book on-hold at the library waiting to be picked up!
  25. the relaxing feeling that my Christmas shopping is almost complete
  26. fun mail surprises
  27. early Christmas presents
  29. thank you cards
  30. finding something I've been searching for
  31. the gift of sight
  32. the gift of hearing
  33. the gift of taste
  34. living in a neat ward
  35. opportunities
  36. dreams
  37. goals
  38. confidence
  39. wire wisks
  40. a brand new box of sharpened CRAYOLA crayons
  41. new school supplies
  42. the excitement of Christmas
  43. clean laundry
  44. Tide with bleach
  45. yummy smelling Downey dryer sheets
  46. having a husband who really does all he can to help our family
  47. Tylenol
  48. soft kleenex - gotta love Puffs Plus!
  49. Getting to see my little sister grow up into an amazing person. She continually inspires me.
  50. A grandma who sends my little boys the cutest little cards and stickers - they LOVE them!
  51. the song, "Clean up - Clean up" - thanks to whoever wrote that one!
  52. being a part of a family who has made great choices. We are so blessed to have families who have really done wonderful things in life, missions, marriages in the temple, raising children in the gospel - really blessed!
  53. I'm grateful BYU won their big game on Saturday!
  54. BYU football games
  55. parks and swinging at the park
  56. fun catalogs that come in the mail
  57. The Ensign, The Friend, and The New Era magazines
  58. Scrapbook magazines (too many to name!)
  59. silver - I love silver jewelry, silver home decor, etc.
  60. shiny kitchen floors (although at the moment my kitchen floor is extremely dirty and messy!)
  61. fruits and veggetables
  62. the variety of foods we can buy and eat
  63. gasoline
  64. convenience stores
  65. teeth
  66. makeup
  67. hairspray
  68. toothpaste and electric or battery operated toothbrushes
  69. chapstick
  70. tea tree shampoo and conditioner - feels so refreshing!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Today I am grateful...

...that tomorrow is not Monday again!

Monday's are not good days at our house. I don't know if it's that Cory's back to work and Gabe doesn't like it, or if the 2 boys can just sense that my to-do list is a mile long - but today was ROUGH. Neither boys wanted to nap, they both felt crummy, lots of tears, and all around it was just a grumpy Monday - for all of us!

So I am grateful that Monday only comes once a week, and that *hopefully* Tuesday will be a happier, and more productive day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tasty Turkey Recipe

So I made a really tasty dinner tonight, if I do say so myself. I tried cooking a turkey breast in the crock-pot, and it was yummy! So here's the recipe:

Turkey in a Pot - (From Taste of Home Slow Cooker Favorites Cook-book)

  • 1 boneless turkey breast (3-4 lbs), halved
  • 1 can (16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Place the turkey skin side up in a 5-qt slow cooker. Comine cranverry sauce, sugar, apple juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard, cinnamon, cloves and allspice; pour over turkety. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.

Remove turkey to a cutting board; keep warm. Strain cooking juices. In a saucepan, combine flour and water until smooth; gradually stir in strained juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Served with sliced turkey.

My changes:

  • I had a really small turkey breast - 1 1/2 lbs - and it worked just fine
  • I didn't have all spice, so I left that out
  • I didn't use as much sugar
  • I wasn't paying attention to the recipe - and I just mixed everything together when I was making the sauce (I added the flour and water to the mixture). Instead of starting over I just let it go and it cooked fabulously. I didn't end up having to make a gravy - because the sauce it cooked in had become a perfect gravy.
  • I only had jellied cranberry sauce (which was a mistake at the store - once again - not paying attention).

Anyway I also made rolls, stuffing from a box, mashed potatoes. It was good, and even Gabe is eating it (a huge accomplishment!)

Sunday Gratitudes

  1. Crockpots - I have a yummy turkey breast cooking in a delicious cranberry sauce with tasty spices. It actually tastes kind of like wasil...(but it's turkey - is that weird? We shall see!)
  2. Rhodes rolls - YUM and so easy! I loved going to Rhodes roll classes at Macey's grocery store with my mom when I was growing up - they had great ideas!
  3. YW lessons that go well - even if my sweet little beehives always seem to get us off-topic. I've learned that if we have the spirit in our classes, that we will generally be led to talk about what we need to discuss.
  4. Being productive - I love that I just spent a couple hours this afternoon making some fun Christmas presents (aren't you all wondering what they are???) I love that I can cross them off of my list of things to do!
  5. Home teachers - I especially loved when we had the Ahmu's as our home teachers when we were growing up - fun memories.
  6. laptop computers - who had this brilliant idea to make a computer that you can use ANYWHERE!?!? I love having it in my kitchen where I can be in the action of things - but still get computer stuff done.
  7. bubble baths - now if I could just justify having one every day....(or if I could just find the time!)
  8. power-tools and a husband who knows how to use them. I'm not daring enough to use them much myself, but I'm grateful for Cory who knows his way around a saw!
  9. A clean garage - and a husband who cleaned it for me (and he only had to be asked once - that in itself deserves a lengthy gratitude post!)
  10. A sparkling clean car - and it's lasted for over 24 hours! Cory told me when we were first married that the sign of a clean car is how clean the tires are. Now I LOVE clean and shiny tires! I'm grateful that I found the time to shine mine yesterday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gratitudes (Friday and Saturday)

  1. People who keep their word.
  2. BUNCO with friends
  3. beautiful photography
  4. clean sheets
  5. my doggies
  6. beautiful sunny days - even in mid-November!
  7. lists - I love lists
  8. Take-out food (I've especially appreciated this with 2 kids - sitting in a busy restuarant on a weekend night - HA!)
  9. Christmas music - love hearing Amy Grant!
  10. I'm grateful that my hubby is good at wrapping Christmas presents - I stink at it! (I can decorate a package - but the actual wrapping I'm awful at!)
  11. an email or letter from an old friend with good news
  12. new underwear - really, is there a much better feeling?
  13. running water
  14. electricity
  15. digital scrapbooking - there is such beautiful artwork out there!
  16. toilet paper
  17. babysitters who do a good job
  18. forgiveness
  19. being able to trust people
  20. bags - I love cool purses, diaper bags, etc.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


  1. sleeping babies - ahhh....both of them are taking naps!
  2. my candle warmer
  3. Crocs - I especially love my new "Alice" Crocs!
  4. The UPS man - especially when he's bringing me packages from The Gap! (super cute Christmas jammies for the boys, and Cory and I. And some fun Valentine's Day jammies too! Hunter's say I love mom, and Gabe's are I love dad)
  5. the fact that Cory's home after being away for 3 days. He went to Mexico for some 'work' (they toured a factory of one of our manufactures) - and then he and his buddies (The Blind Guy Franchise Board) watched the start of the Baja 1000 race (? - I think that's what it's called - it's a big car/truck/motorcycle race). I missed having him home and I'm grateful for all he does when he's here!
  6. I'm grateful that I survived the 3 days without Cory! I didn't cry the whole time, didn't have to lock myself in my closet - I did it! (It must sound pathetic for those who are reading this who have more kids than my 2, or who have a husband who travels alot - I am just a wimp - I'll admit it!)
  7. Good health care. I just finished filling out a survey about my pregnancy with Hunter for the Utah Department of Health. I'm so grateful that we have a health care system that can take care of us! I know there are a lot of reasons people complain, but for the most part I feel blessed and grateful for what we do have.
  8. I'm grateful for the new cabinets in my laundry room - I will love them even more when the doors get put on, but for now it's pretty awesome! I love that for the first time in - I don't know how long - there is nothing stacked up on my washer or dryer! YAY!
  9. My dishwasher - such a simple thing, but I'm grateful I don't always have to wash the dishes - now if I could just find someone to always put them away....
  10. "Good Things Utah" tv show - I LOVE this show! Lots of fun ideas, great recipes, fun contests - I watch it almost every day (and record it on other days).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

(pictures to go with previous post)

Here are some pictures of some of the places I listed in my previous post. The paintings are done by my favorite painter - John McNaughton. He has amazing work, and his paintings have brought me to tears more than once. I love his paintings of temples, the Savior, the southwest, the mountains - he amazes me over and over again. Truly the pictures on his website do not do his work justice - but check it out! I also borrowed some pictures from Getty Images and around the web. I am not claiming they are my own - I'm simply enjoying their beauty (and hope you do too!)

Bryce Canyon
Bridal Veil Falls - I forgot to list this on my list - but one of my favorite places up Provo Canyon. I especially love it there in the fall like in this photo!

The Tetons
more of the Tetons
ahh....Grand Cayman....wish it was clear like this when we were there last year...(no, it was more like a hurricane!)
Heceta Head lighthouse in Oregon
Arches National Park

The Sunset on Maui
Mt. Timpanogos The Tetons
Snow Canyon

"And I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world...."

...Heavenly Father created for me"

Today I needed to get out of the house for a few hours (we were having some new cabinets installed, and a few other wood working projects done - I knew that Gabe's 'help' wouldn't be quite appreciated - so I thought we'd get out of the house) - so we drove down to St. George. I had originally planned on going to about a million different places to do some Christmas shopping and errands, but then I screwed my head on straight, and realized that wasn't going to happen with my 2 little boys right in the middle of nap-time. So as we headed down to Dixie and they both finally fell asleep (right outside of St. George - like minutes from our destination) I decided we'd drive around a bit so they could get a little sleep in. So I headed to "Snow Canyon". WOW! I have driven through there before - but it was so gorgeous! I was sad that I didn't have my camera with me (I always have one in my diaper bag - but Cory took it the last couple of days) - but I did have my I attempted to capture the beauty - ATTEMPTED...

But it got me thinking about this beautiful earth. WOW! We are so blessed to live in a world that is so diverse and gorgeous. I love that about Utah - how I can be immersed in the red-rocks, and then an hour and 1/2 north of St. George I have beautiful snowy mountains in Brianhead. I love that!

So then I got to thinking of all of the different places I've been - what are some of my favorites - based on the beauty? Here is a list of some of the places I love and I'm grateful Heavenly Father blessed our world with:
  • As mentioned before - I really love the red rocks of Southern Utah. Snow Canyon is one of my new favorites, but I also have fallen in love with Zions, Bryce (I love Hoo-doos), Arches (where Cory proposed to me!) and the Lake Powell area.
  • Mt. Timpanogos - We had the most spectacular view of this mountain from the back of our house when I was growing up in Orem. It's a GORGEOUS mountain, and I always get excited when we drive or fly into Utah county when I see "my" mountain.
  • The Tetons - Cory has shared his love of the Teton Mountains with me, and I think these are probably my very favorite. They are so majestic and stately, and my heart starts to pound with excitement and anticipation when I am getting close to seeing them. I love to even just see the tips of the mountains from Rexburg - peeking out over the horizon. Someday if Cory and I win the lottery we're totally going to move to Driggs and enjoy the view every single day!
  • The Oregon Coast - my mom has shared her love of the Oregon Coast with me, and I'm so grateful for that. I love when it's kind of hazy and almost chilly looking (ok - in February it WAS chilly when we were there!) The water is so beautiful and the coastline amazing!
  • Hawaiian beaches - beautiful. I especially love the sunsets I've been blessed to experience, the waves and a sunset - can't get much more serene and beautiful than that.
  • That leads me to sunsets - anywhere, but particuarlly in Idaho. I dont' know what it is about Rexburg's sunsets - but they really are the prettiest. Cory used to say that and I thought he was nuts - but after experiencing them - he was right!
  • The water in the carribean. I love how green the water is - it's like it calls out to you to dive in and enjoy the warm water.
  • The green of Ohio and Michigan. I loved how green and lush it was both summers we lived back in the midwest. NOTHING like the deseret of Utah - and I loved that.
  • Couer D'Alene Idaho. There are some amazing views on Lake Couer D'Alene, and I've really enjoyed the times I've gotten to visit up there for Blind Guy meetings.

So I feel so blessed with this beautiful world - truly it is a gift from Heavenly Father!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Today I am grateful for - Celine Dion

Today marks the release of one of my favorite singer's newest albums - "Taking Chances". I have loved Celine Dion's music since I was in jr. high when the movie "Beauty and the Beast" came out - and she sang the title song. Since then I've been hooked. In fact, her music has really carried me through growing up, and I can relate some of her songs to different experiences in my life. It's amazing how big a part music can play in our lives!

I remember hearing that song Beauty and the Beast at a jr high dance and my friends talked the boy I had a crush on into dancing with me. Yes - they had to talk him into it - he was totally not interested (good old Brad Watts....) I remember dancing with him and just feeling mortified.

In high school the song "Because You Loved Me" was a huge hit and had significance to me in a couple of relationships and the same with "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". I remember listening to that cd (Falling Into You) with my friends driving back from a football game. I totally bonded with my buddy Tim Pead over a few of those songs. Ahh...memories...

Then in college "Titanic" was a huge hit and my roommates and I would listen to "My Heart Will Go On" about a million times. I also remember there being a song on that same cd (Let's Talk About Love) that was a duet with Celine and Barbra Steisand that reminded me of how my relationship was with my current crush.

"A New Day has Come" - this song is VERY special to me. I heard it for the first time on a Barbara Walters Special 6 years ago. I remember hearing it while I was scrapbooking and I started crying - it was beautiful! I started searching the internet for it, only to find out that it wasn't coming out for months. The morning the cd came out I drove to Walmart in my jammies at like 6 am to buy it. I even wore out my copy of it because I listened to it so many times. This song got me through tough times when we were trying to have kids - because I knew someday my new day would come. I listen to the song now and it has even more important meaning. I have rocked Gabe to it, sobbed to it in the car, and felt comforted by it when I was pregnant. When Cory took me to the Celine concert in Vegas a few months before we had Gabe this was the opening song (and the name of her concert) - and as the first note played I burst into tears - but they were the happiest tears I'd ever shed - I was going to be a mother! Anyway, I look at this song as kind of an anthem for those tough years.

Then came the album "Miracle" - which also drives me to tears repeatedly. I used to sing the song "Miracle" to Gabe before he was born, and rock him to it once he came to our family. It would always calm him down when he was upset, and I wondered if he remembered it from in my belly. "You're the reason I was born, now I finally know for sure. And I'm overwhelmed by happiness, so blessed to hold you close - the one that I love most....." Beautiful lyrics - the whole album made me crave being a mother, and was a comfort to me once my children have been born.

Anyway - today I am so grateful for music, and for the impact and influence it can have in our lives. I'm grateful for the memories that a simple song can evoke, and how we often have a soundtrack to our lives. Celine is definetly one of the artists that pops up repeatedly in my soundtrack, and I'm grateful for that!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Ok - there are several reasons I haven't posted pictures from our trip. The biggest one is that I don't have great pictures. Really, we took very few pictures in Mexico - because really - who wants a bunch of pictures of our hotel room? That was where Hunter was happiest). But I'm also waiting for some pictures from our friends Trent and Melissa from our Hawaii trip. After having been in Mexico, and realizing we had hardly any pictures I made Trent the "designated photographer" for Hawaii. Now if they'd just send us a disk of the pictures...I do have a lot more from Hawaii that I took - so I'll post some of those too.

Here is Mexico. I hope to get a few pictures from one of the other Blind Guy wives too (who always takes hundreds of photos) - so maybe you'll get to see pictures of the resort later. Or check out their website - it's a beautiful resort!

  1. Here is the other couple we traveled with. They also brought their baby - who was just 5 weeks old. He however, handled the heat and the weather really well. If you think you get lots of stares when traveling with a little baby somewhere like Mexico - try traveling with 2 - it was funny all the looks we'd get!
  2. Here I am with sad Hunter. The picture looks a little foggy - that was actually just the humidity. And boy was it hot!
  3. Hunter's not too happy. This was a typical look - he did not enjoy the heat, and we'd put a little cover over his stroller so the wind wouldn't get to him - but that just created a sauna, and made it worse. Poor little guy. I wish I had taken pictures of him swimming - he did enjoy that part.
  4. Here are Andy and Kelly. They were really fun friends to travel with and I hope we can do it again sometime without the kiddos. We're planning on going on a 10 year anniversary (our anniversaries are a week apart) next year without kids, so that will be nice!
  5. This picture cracks me up. Here's Cory's shirt - it say, "Surf or Die" - however, here he is carrying the baby, with an umbrella to keep safe from the sun. It just felt like a contradiction, and much more indicative of our vacation - different from ones without kids where adventure is the goal.
  6. These iguanas were EVERYWHERE! It was amazing how huge they were! Cory also found a big crab in the grass one night. It's funny to have them just running wild around us.
  7. This is the one excursion we went on - to the ruins of Tulum. They were Myan ruins that were spectacular! They were right on the coast, and it was one of the prettiest views I've seen. I felt like we were stepping right into the movie, "The Testaments" - there were carvings in the ruins just like in the movie and in The Book of Mormon times. It made me really want to take a Book of Mormon tour someday. This same day we also went to a place called Xel-ha. It was gorgeous and I didn't take any pictures (another reason Trent was in charge in Hawaii!) We did a little snorlking and enjoyed the scenery. If we hadn't had the boys we would have and floated the river, and gone on some more adventurous things - but it was still nice.

And that wraps up our Mexico trip. I really regret not getting to spend more time at the beach, or taking more pictures - but that's the nature of the trip with a newborn. It beat most days at home in Utah - that's for sure! I would however like to go back. Especially with weather that wasn't so windy - that wasn't enjoyable for me.

Stay tuned - I'll post more about Hawaii later.


  1. Visiting teaching - I know I don't always express my gratitude for it - but it is a smart program. I especially enjoyed the message my visiting teacher shared with me today. You can find the article here.
  2. A hubby who gets up and takes care of our dogs in the mornings. Cory's great at feeding them, making sure the yard is cleaned up, and for the most part remembers to lock them in the backyard.
  3. A wonderful yard - sure, we have a lot of landscaping I wish we could afford (lots of trees, a fountain someday....), but we do have a beautiful yard with (mostly) green grass, a nice big cement slab for Gabe to ride his bikes on, a beautiful fence - we're lucky.
  4. Church leaders who love us. Last night Gabe got out the latest issue of The Ensign to look at, "President Finkley" (it is SO cute when he says it!) We went through the pictures of The Quorm of the Twelve Apostles and tried teaching him their names. He was so sweet with it and loved saying "Elder Cooks!" and "Eye-ring" (we tried telling him to remember President Eyring because he had EYE glasses). He was fascinated with looking at their pictures.
  5. Stories - (I just asked Gabe - and this is what he is thankful for today). I love that we have story time twice a day every day (naptime, and bedtime). I love children's books and the chance to share my love of them with Gabe and Hunter.
  6. Healthy children - I know I am going to regret typing this, but I'm grateful that my children are (for the most part) healthy. Hunter has caught the crud I have right now, but for the most part he and Gabe have healthy little bodies and I'm so grateful for that!
  7. Beef jerky - kind of an odd one, but when I need a salty snack this is perfect - low fat, high protein and tasty!
  8. Microwaves - When Cory and I were getting ready to get married I was living in this DIVE of an apartment with my sister-in-law Ashley. It was so disgusting, and was where Cory and I were going to live when we got married (luckily that changed). Anyway, it wasn't the mold that instantly grew in the dingy shower, or the fact you had to sit sideways on the toilet to shut the door, or the fact that my bed was actually in the hallway, or even the fact that the kitchen was also in a hall (it was TINY) - but it was the fact the apartment didn't have a microwave that drove me to tears one night. I just fell apart. Cory disappeared and a few minutes later he came back with a brand-new microwave that he'd bought with some of his school money, and some tin-foil and ziploc bags (something else I didnt' feel I could afford at the time....) Ever since then I have realized how much I appreciate microwaves, and I'm grateful for them! (thanks sweetie - it was one of the sweetest things you've done for me!) Seriously - what did people do before microwaves!??!
  9. burp cloths - Hunter is pretty slobbery, and spits up a lot more than Gabe (who never did!). I'm grateful I stocked up on burp cloths when I was pregnant with Gabe.
  10. Scrapbooking. I don't get to do it often enough - but I am grateful for the hobby and what it's given me. I have had jobs, met very special friends, gained more confidence, recognized that I AM artistic, learned a lot about myself, and most of all - I have had fun. I love scrapbooking!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday's Gratitudes

  1. Being raised in the church by amazing parents!
  2. The opportunity to drive about a mile to our church-house. (while passing another church-house on the way) So blessed to live close to our building.
  3. Having a building to meet in!
  4. Having a temple within an hour from us
  5. Blessed by living in a neat ward, with neat people who we love.
  6. The blessing to live TODAY, at this time in life. So much has been done before us, and been taken care of so we can live such comfortable lives.
  7. Being a member of a church I know is true - and blesses my life each and every day.
  8. Honesty - our lesson in Young Women today was about honesty and I am so grateful for honest people in my life that I can trust.
  9. My family life. One of my young women talked today about her family situation, and it is just heart-breaking. I feel so blessed to have a familiy life that is pretty near perfect (knock on wood). So blessed!
  10. Cough drops - I have one of the worst sore throats I've had in years, and these Halls Fruit Breeze cough drops are about the only thing keeping me sane.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

a break in our gratitude posts...

I'm taking a break today from my gratitude post to post a few things about Gabe. I think it's pretty appropriate since one of the things I'm very most thankful for is being a mom to these 2 silly boys. So here are a few things that Gabe says/does that make me smile (and sometimes makes me just a tiny big crazy):
  • "Mom" - there are days and times when I just don't want to be 'mom' for a minute, but for the most part it makes me melt when I hear him say my mom. I especially love it when it's "Mommy - I love you" Can't think of anything that makes me smile more.
  • "I love it!" - or "I like it". He always says this at the funniest times. And a lot of the time it's like he's trying to convince me that he likes something.
  • "Juice, chock-it milk, snacks!" This is how Gabe greets me each morning - not good morning, I love you, or anything else - the kid gets down to business. He wants to have a glass of juice, chocolate milk and a cup of fruit snacks while he watches a 'show' or 'movie' in my bed.
  • Last night Gabe was doing his usual stalling after getting put to bed. He kept calling Cory or I into his room for one reason or another. The last time I went in he wanted a drink of water and a kiss. He said, "Mom - just one kiss - puh-lease?" It was hard to resist. Right after I gave him his kiss he said loudly and really excitedly, "DUCK!" I busted up laughing as I didn't quite know what he meant. He's funny. (and apparently all he needed was to get that "DUCK" out of the way because he went right to bed!)
  • "No - mom sing songs" - Gabe wants ME to sing to him at night. We used to sing 1 song, now I think we're up to singing the entire Primary songbook. He has to have me sing "God" (I am a Child of God), "Beam" (Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam), "Apple" (don't ask why, but that's what he calls Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), and now "Prayer" (A Child's Prayer - which I made the mistake of telling him was my favorite Primary song, and now we can't get away without singing it every night), "Mom" (Love is Spoken Here), and "Home" (Love at Home). It makes me laugh the way he requests his songs. I've told him, "I'm only singing one tonight - which ONE do you want?" His answer is, "God, Beam, Apple!" (like it's all one song). I have a hard time most nights denying him - I kind of like singing Primary songs.
  • In addition to all the songs we sing at night he also loves to have his back rubbed. The other night he said, "Mom, I need tickles" - he likes me to tickle his sides softly when I rub his back. I wish I could find someone who would sing me songs and tickle my back.......
  • "Hunter waking!" - Gabe has been blessed with super-human hearing. I can be cooking dinner, making noise in the kitchen, listening to music and he'll yell, "Mom - Hunter waking!" Sure enough - after I pause everything in my life I'll hear Hunter's little cry across the other side of the house. But Gabe is always right - he can always hear the first little squeal.
  • He loves "going to town" - he thinks it means he's going to get a toy at Walmart and go out to eat at "Donalds or Wenny's". Spoiled little kiddo! He also loves going to the "bread store" (Great Harvest Bread), the "balloon and sticker store" - Roberts Craft, and Lins grocery store. Right now, as I type this he wants to go get a "copter toy in town" (a helicopter toy).
  • "Mommy's Pepper?" When I stop and get a Diet Dr Pepper he always calls it "Mommy's pepper" - and he is so cute when he asks for some. He'll say, "Mommy - one sip?" (and bats his eyelashes). He knows how to work it.
  • "I sorry mommy". We've been working on time outs when he does things he knows he shouldn't be doing. He is actually getting better at it, and always tells me he's sorry afterwards. And he uses the saddest little voice to apologize - it's sweet.
  • This week while I was making dinner he started talking about stickers and books. I looked in the other room and he had a bunch of books I had bought him for Christmas surrounding him. The little stinker had found my Christmas present hiding spot and found his presents! Luckily I only had a few books for him - but sheez! Isn't he a bit young? And then he had helped me pick out some presents for cousins and when he was talking to his cousin Alison on the phone this week he told her all about the pink dress and pink pony he bought for her at walmart. Luckily he confused her, so she didn't know what he was talking about (she kept telling him, "No, I'm wearing a BLUE dress!") - but I have to be careful telling him who we're buying things for now because I think he'll spoil it for everyone.
  • Daddy - Gabe LOVES Cory! He is so much better behaved when Cory gets home for the night. He hears Cory's truck from like a mile away (partially due to his super-human hearing, and partially because Cory's truck is SOOOOO loud!) and announces that "Daddy's home!" Sometimes I have to tell him, "No, I don't think so" - but sure enough, a few minutes later in walks Cory. I hope Gabe can keep up with this good hearing. I know he doesn't get it from his dad!
  • The other day we were going on a walk and saw some dogs. I said, "You have dogs at home Gabe - what are their names?" He said, "Sadie dog!" I said, "Yes - and what is your other dogs name?" His answer - "Brown dog!" He insisted that Daisy's name is "Brown Dog". Do you think it's wrong to change your dogs name after 7 years?
  • I have a friend named Lynette Stone. Instead of calling her Lynette (which he does occasionaly) or Sister Stone - he calls her "STONE". And he's fascinated with her. He wants to go to "Stone's house" several times a week and when we get there he always says, "Hey Stone".
  • Another one of our friends has 4 cute little girls from 7-9 months. Their oldest - Mariah is 7 and is smitten with Gabe. She said to me a few weeks ago, "Wouldn't it be funny if I married Gabe?" This week I asked Gabe what he thought about "Riah" and he said, "Riah's PRETTY" - which I thought was funny - I don't know if we've ever taught him about what pretty even means. So Gabe's got the older girls after him.
  • A while back I told Gabe he needed to learn one phrase to say to me every day, and I'd be happy. I said, "Gabe - can you say, 'Mom - you're BEAUTIFUL"? He looked at me so seriously and grabbed both of my cheeks and said, "Mommy - you're a BEATLE!"....I would rather be a beatle than beautiful anyday!
  • The other day I told Gabe I wanted to tell him a secret. He came over and I whispered, "Gabe - I love you!" The he looked at me and said, "Mommy - and you love chocolate". :) Well yes - but I didn't think that was a secret.
  • There are so many other moments that make me smile. I am working on focusing on those moments more than the frustrating moments (which sometimes far-outweigh the good ones)

Friday, November 09, 2007


(After I caught Gabe giving Hunter hugs and kisses Gabe kept wanting me to take their picture. Too bad they were mostly silly pictures....but still pretty darn cute kiddos!)
  1. a little boy who loves his brother
  2. sunsets - I saw one of the prettiest ones we've had in S. Utah since we've lived here this week. WOW! I wish I had taken a picture of it - but I was too busy 'enjoying' it.
  3. my frozen mug that makes any drink taste extra frosty and tasty
  4. shopping at Roberts craftstore - something I end up doing almost weekly
  5. tender mercies that we're blessed with
  6. cleaning supplies - ones that make it smell yummy like you've just scrubbed every nook and cranny. I love how much easier some of them make life! (like Clorox wipes - love those things!)
  7. disposable diapers - there is a reason I'm a mother NOW rather than 30 years ago - I don't think I could have hacked it with cloth diapers!
  8. efficency - I love when something is done efficiently - it's a great feeling! (on the flip side of this - when things are done in-efficiently it drives me NUTS!)
  9. Christmas decorations - I can't wait to get ours out!
  10. the ease of internet shopping. I love that yesterday afternoon, while the boys were napping, I got a big chunk of my Christmas shopping done - from the comfort of my kitchen!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


  1. Diet Dr. Pepper (and in fact - any diet soda)
  2. yummy smelling lotion (my favorite is Love Spell by Victoria Secret)
  3. stars and clear nights to view the stars
  4. the leaves changing in the fall - I love the bright colors
  5. going on bike rides with Cory
  6. flip flops
  7. prayers of people who love me
  8. rubbermaid, containers, baskets and oraganizational 'stuff'
  9. air conditioning
  10. hot water

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


  1. haircuts
  2. photos
  3. Wendy's
  4. washers and dryers
  5. hot hair rollers
  6. friends who "get" me
  7. High speed internet
  8. quiet....ah....peace and quiet
  9. being able to own a house
  10. baby swings

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


  1. Frozen fruit - I love making smoothies almost every day! (Today's smoothie - 1 cup orange juice - I used Tropicana's light variety, 1 cup frozen whole strawberries, 2/3 cup frozen peaches - mix and ENJOY! Only 2 points for Weight Watchers too!)
  2. Our business. I love that Cory enjoys what he does most of the time, and that he is such a hard worker!
  3. Education. I feel so blessed to have gotten my degree from BYU-Idaho, and I can't wait for a time in life where I can go back to school for my Masters degree - I just love learning!
  4. The sense of taste...I love that I have tastebuds that work and that food can taste so delicous (both a blessing and a curse I guess....)
  5. Beautiful fall weather. It's super sunny and warm out right now - almost perfect weather!
  6. The joy and companionship of our dogs before we had children. I know without a doubt the Heavenly Father allowed Daisy and Sadie to be a part of our family to help fill the void while we anxiously awaited having children. They might be somewhat ignored now - but we still love those dogs, and are especially grateful for the love they share back.
  7. The freedom and opportunity to vote. I took Hunter and Gabe on a walk to the school we vote at and tried teaching Gabe about voting and how amazing the whole process is. (He wasn't terribly impressed, but he did love seeing all the farm animals as we walked over to the school...)
  8. Being a stay-at-home mom. I complain that I have to do work for our business at times - but when it comes right down to it I am SO blessed to be able to stay home with my boys. That is a rare thing in today's world and I count it as one of my greatest blessings.
  9. The ability to walk, move, and function. I have a body that - for the most part - works wonderfully. Such a blessing!
  10. Being born and living in the United States at this time of the world. We have such an amazing life here, and I feel continually blessed (and somewhat guilty) that I was born into such blessed circumstances. A great family, a great land, wonerful freedoms - wow!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Toatlly random Monday musings

  • Here we go again. This cartoon totally sums up me right now:

  • Who came up with all this Daylight Savings mumbo-jumbo? Obviously not someone with children. While it's great in the fact that we can put them to bed earlier - I'm NOT a fan of having both little boys wide awake before 6:30 am when I've been up all night with Hunter. I hope it won't take too long to get back into a good sleep routine. (And oh how I miss Gabe sleeping in until 9:30!)

  • Here's another invention that was not invented by a parent....We bought this potty a few months ago when Gabe was showing alot of potty-training interest - but he kind of got out of the excitement. Well we put batteries in it this weekend and he is in love! That should be a great thing - right? The problem is that it has a little sensor so when you go to the bathroom it cheers you on. Unfortunately it is a very sensitive sensor and it detects the first drip. So it starts cheering him on before he's done with the job. So it takes like 1/2 hour for him to go enough to make the experience worth it. (We spent 15 minutes this afteroon when he was supposed to be napping - and there were like 10 drops - small drops) And the music on it makes me nuts! So now Gabe has yet another reason to get up from his naps, or when we're trying to get him to go to sleep at night, "Mommy - I need to go potty!" I think this potty training thing will be a mixed blessing. Check out the website for a demo - it's pretty entertaining!

  • Weight Watchers - I am totally struggling with this right now. It's been a harder year than normal with trying to avoid the Halloween candy, and it's been really discouraging. It seems like all day long I try NOT to give in - which makes me think about food all day long. Then in the end I give in after I have the boys in bed. Darn chocolate! It doesn't help that we were on vacation for almost 2 weeks and during that time I gained back a bunch of what I had worked hard to loose. So any advice for staying on the WW wagon during the holidays? So far I stink at it! (and this time around the weight is taking FOREVER to come off - SOOOOO slow!)

  • Hunter is growing so much lately! This morning I put an outfit on him that says it's for 6-9 months! It was an outfit I loved with Gabe - but I had put off putting him in it and by the time I did it was too small. I think it's more like a 3-6 month size - but still! I put all the 3-6 month clothes in his closet this weekend and he has some cute things to be wearing. It has been funny to look through the clothes and remember Gabe wearing some of them - and he was quite a bit older...Hunter is 3 months now, but I have a feeling he's going to beat Gabe in the weight department. He's up to 13.2 lbs and really filling out. He's funny too - I swear he gives kisses - it's so cute (and SOOOO slobbery!) I'm starting to understand his cries better and it's making our relationship go more smoothly. Now if he would just stay asleep longer at night - he seems to be getting up way too much! (Any advice anyone?)
  • I just found out that one of my good friends is sending her husband off to Iraq in a few months. WOW! She has 3 little girls, and is already a very busy person. I don't know how I would handle something like that. Actually I do - I think I would probably have a complete and total meltdown and fall completly apart. I admire her so much for her positive attitude and willing to serve our country like this. What an amazing woman. Reminded me that there are families all over the country who have to see their loved ones off to war and I am so grateful for their service and sacrafice. Say a little prayer for those serving our country.

  • Right now Gabe is totally obsessed with my camera. I think we might need to get him one of his own. He constantly wants to take pictures of me, or he wants me to take pictures of him and Hunter together - particularly sitting together in various chairs around our house - it's pretty funny. I love the bottom picture. It looks like he's saying, "Now Hunter - I have so many things to teach you - I'll let you in on all the secrets..."
  • Ok - this picture is disturbing, I know. One of the latest things Gabe has been telling us is, "Mom - I've got a goober!" He says this most importantly when he's supposed to be going to bed or taking a nap. He yells at his door that he has a goober and needs a Kleenex. We keep telling him that picking his nose is disgusting, and not to do it - but then he looks at us so seriously and says, "But Mom - I've gotta GOOBER!"
  • Christmas - yikes! I can't believe how soon it is sneaking up on us. I have gotten a little shopping done - but I'm having a hard time thinking of ideas for Hunter and for both of our parents...I wish I had more time to make gifts -that is what I'd prefer to do. But it's looking like my grand ideas of homemade projects just may have to wait for next year. We'll see. I also remembered today that I needed to work on making some photo ornaments. I started this tradition 2 years ago when Gabe was born, and want to continue it - homemade photo ornaments for all the grandparents and great grandparents. I have an idea for what to do - now I just need to see if I can accomplish it.

  • Ok- I really need to get busy with the things I SHOULD be accomplishing, instead of just wasting time. Hope you have a great week and a happy Monday!


  1. cell phones
  2. text messaging
  3. email
  4. on-line shopping
  5. blogs
  6. lap-top computers
  7. ipods
  8. digital cameras
  9. electricity
  10. DVR

Sunday, November 04, 2007


  1. Stake conference - this was particularly exciting today because we got to hear from President Hinckley as he and Elder Holland spoke to 77 stakes in Eastern and Southern Utah via satelitte - a very good meeting (even if it was spent in the hall with the baby...)
  2. Our prophet - President Gordon B. Hinkley

  3. The gift of prayer
  4. Our Savior and His Atonement

  5. My calling in Young Womens and the women I serve with - some wonderful friends
  6. The temple
  7. The pioneers and the sacrafices they made
  8. The Book of Mormon
  9. The gift of the priesthood
  10. My testimony
  1. planes
  2. Taylor
  3. lotion
  4. Lexie
  5. Logan
  6. Chase
  7. slides
  8. Daddy
  9. swings
  10. Hunter

(And those of you who aren't the list - don't feel bad - he loves you all!)