Seeking Beauty

The majority of my time is spent caring for children right now. Little Miss is growing and doing well. We had her baby blessing at our church, and she looked beautiful for it.

The other children are around too. I sometimes feel bad because we haven’t done that much this summer but they are having fun at home. Home is sometimes really fun too because of all the construction going on.

My other priority for the summer is to simply find beautiful places to enjoy. We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and even found places just a few minutes from home.

In Other News…

I just wrote a post with baby pictures and decided to break this one off separately.

This is from a visit to Bridal Veil Falls. On the same day, we met up with my sister at Deer Creek Reservoir and had fun.

We had fireworks on the fourth, and the boys went with their grandparents to a parade. Zack adored the fireworks, he thought it was the best thing ever. And then we had another exciting day with dump trucks and earth movers in our backyard. The kids were mostly penned inside watching but did enjoy lunch break where they were able to play a bit.

Baby

She’s here now! The day before my due date I went to my doctor’s appointment, and we scheduled her to come later that day. It was a normal, uneventful labor similar to all my other babies. But she also doesn’t look anything like my other babies when they were born. Lots of dark hair, and a cute squishy face.

We are doing really well at home. The boys love her, I’ve recovered quickly. She went from losing a bit too much weight after birth to gaining nearly two pounds in a couple weeks. She is loving Mom’s milk.

Almost

Lately, I’ve looked like this.

I’ve got a big tummy, and I’m almost to my due date. The rest of my children were born early, but this one is content to stay put for now. Next post, I should have baby pictures.

These are good pictures of what summer looks like:

We did go to the Zoo and a parade, and we have spent good time with our family. Henry did swim lessons and was super close to passing off his level. The library is always fun, we bought a pass to the local pool, and we are finding new parks and splash pads to play in around the area, and a lot of time just spent at home playing, or for me, napping. And for Zack, avoiding sleep and then falling asleep in weird places.

Moving

As soon as the kids were done with school, we moved. Joe’s already been working far away for the past few months, and we had a new place to go. The house sold less than a week after we moved out, and now we are living back in my childhood home. I didn’t ever expect to move in with my parents again, but here we are. It’s a different situation: we are buying the house and adding on a new addition for my parents to live in.

Here’s one last picture of us in front of our old house.

Now we are in the heat of summer. We’ve been spending our time moving in, going to the library, swimming pool, and parks, and enjoying things nearby. Peter’s already been to basketball camp and camp with the church. He won a couple of competitions on the last day at basketball camp and was very excited about it. We also enjoyed a short hike by Timp Cave and went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point.

Finishing up Spring

The kids finished up soccer season. Curtis and Peter both played and did pretty well.

Curtis also completed his Arrow of Light for Webelo Scouts. Scouts has been a great place for him. He taught me how to tie knots, whittled sticks, and did a flag ceremony in front of a whole bunch of people. (If you know Curtis this is a big deal.) Henry also finished up his year as a Tiger Scout.

This happened a while ago but is kind of interesting. Zack had his extra thumb removed. It was different than I expected: he wasn’t really that concerned about it after a day or two, even refused to take pain meds pretty quick. But I think because he was trying to live normally, he was grumpy too.

And now summer has started. We kicked things off by going to the local splash pad.

Getting Through Stressful Times

Sometimes life is full of lots of good things. Other times, it’s full of lots of hard, annoying, and unfortunate ones. I’ve had a lot of both recently. We are selling our house. It’s stressful to get everything ready and keep it clean to show. Then we had a contract fall through at the last minute. I want to simply get my house sold quickly and easily, but it’s a process that is not quick and easy.

Lots of other small things happened. I get in a minor car accident, get a speeding ticket, break my dishwasher, and all the kids get pretty bad stomach flu. Adding that onto moving, and being pregnant, I’ve definitely been pushed to my limits.

For the last little while, I’ve been stressed, burned out, and feeling like life was more than I could deal with it. I thought it would help if I wrote down how I’m getting through this hard time. But the more I wrote about all my challenges in life, I also realized all the good things as well. Life is hard right now because I am working toward better things in my life.

I have a great family, with a girl coming soon. My husband likes his new job which precipitated the move. We already have a great new home to move to. Our house will sell, and we will get a good profit. I have a bright future.

Here are some things that I’ve found helpful during this time in my life to get through all the stress:

  • Take time for relaxation, to do the things I enjoy. I have enjoyed visiting wildflowers, traveling on a short vacation, and playing in puddles with my children. It doesn’t have to be big, small and meaningful are more helpful.
  • It’s okay to cry, be stressed out, worried, or grumpy. It’s impossible to have a good attitude all the time. Trying to fight with myself to get that way sometimes makes it worse. Trying to fix all my problems can make it worse. Accepting that life is hard is perfectly fine.
  • Accept other people’s offers for help. My sister came up to visit, we worked hard, got a lot done, then found out we needed to re-list the house and kept working. I valued her help so much and made a huge difference. It’s helped me to talk to others who listen to me, as long as I also don’t just complain about life. It helps to listen to others too, and keep life conversations balanced with everything in life, not just the bad things.
  • Think through problems. One day, I felt awful. When I sat down and labeled and defined what I was feeling, I was able to see that my problems weren’t as bad as I thought. I could see the possible consequences of the problems I was facing, and realized it was not all that bad when I took a wider view.

Graduation

Well, I just got notice today that my thesis passed through the final hurdle, and I’m going to graduate. I actually walked for graduation a couple of weeks ago. That was before I actually finished all my coursework, and classes are still ongoing. But I turned in my last final project a few days ago, and have completed everything I need to do to graduate.

Life got a bit crazy for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been working on getting the house ready to sell, packing to get ready to move, finishing up school, and starting a couple of design clients that I really didn’t have time for.

After working hard, the house looks pretty good, and school is done. And I’m happy about it all. I’ve learned enough at school, and want the opportunity to actually start working. But at the same time, I’m going to miss school. I enjoy learning, and I’ve had a great opportunity to meet lots of wonderful people, and work on interesting projects. I really like the routine I developed of balancing family obligations with school work. It was a good mix of everything.

Change isn’t always easy. Now that school is done, I have to take more responsibility for my career and make time for creative work. I think it’s important for my mental health to have opportunities for creative work: without it, I don’t find my life that fulfilling and enjoyable. My plan right now is to take a break from work with any expectations and start to explore creative projects that I’ve had on the back burner, things I really want to do but haven’t had time for. That’s exciting.

Spring Break

We haven’t traveled for a while and with all that’s going on in life, there are not many plans to travel in the future. A while ago, we planned a big trip out to the midwest, but then my husband got a new job and we had to cancel. I really wanted to get out, so for spring break, we went on a road trip. It’s wasn’t a big trip, but still a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s nice to go see small things that you drive by but never stop for.

First stop was out to Delta. We took a small hike up to Great Stone Face, and then went out to U-Dig Fossils. The fossils were pretty cool, although not a huge hit for our family. One kid had a hard time finding any, a couple of other children got bored quickly, and I was having a hard time keeping track of everyone and the gear, and helping split rocks. It would have been a lot better if we had Joe with us to help out, but in the end, we still got a cool collection of trilobites and had fun.

We stayed the night at the Beaver KOA. I highly recommend The Creamery in Beaver. We ate dinner there one night, and the next night we went back for ice cream. Not too expensive, very delicious, made everyone happy.

The next day, we went down to Parowan Gap Petroglyphs. I found it super awesome, my kids were so-so about it. We stopped by the dinosaur tracks on the way out, and none of my kids cared. Apparently, we’ve outgrown the dinosaur age for most of them. Next, we went to the Hidden Haven Waterfall. This was a big hit. It was challenging at the end: spring runoff made for lots of wet feet. Trying to get the two-year-old across all the stream crossing and rock scrambling was a challenge, but we all pitched in and everyone made it up. We did have one scary fall on the way back, but luckily it just resulted in a few scrapes.

We still had lots of time in the day, so we drove down to Cedar City and visited the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum. Everyone had a great time there, I had to drag kids away when I was very tired and ready to go. We stopped for dinner in Cedar too, then back to the KOA to spend the night.

Final vacation day, we finally met up with Joe and visited the Fremont Indian State Park. A super friendly ranger led us to all the good stops. We might have had a few meltdowns, but luckily it’s a pretty easy place to visit without needing to go on long hikes. And tons of cool petroglyphs and pictographs.

Our final stop of the day was Meadow Hot Springs. I love going to hot springs, and this one is pretty fun. It can get a bit crowded, so I would recommend going not on a weekend. But we did, and it was just fine.

March

We always do a leprechaun hunt on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know why every single holiday turns into an excuse to get lots of candy, but the kids enjoy it, so I do it.

The garden is manifesting the wonderful signs of early spring. I forget how awesome spring is, it’s a happy surprise every year.