Saturday, November 28, 2009

Long Weekend

I love long weekends! They are always over too quick, but SO MUCH FUN!!! In fact, we had a super fun week this week.

On Tuesday I went with some friends to see New Moon. Here is my review: eh. No offense, Mil. It's the same way I felt about the books. They were fine. Out of all the books and the first two movies, the first movie is my favorite. Still how can I turn down a fun night out with the girls?!

We also went on Polar Express this week. Allie and Detmer love the movie, so what I didn't realize is that they were fully expecting the same circumstances on our Polar Express. Detmer nervously asked me, "Mom, are we going to go on a really, really big hill?" And Allie wondered if we had fallen off the track onto the ice. It was so cute! The lady that ran our car did a terrible job. I hate to be rude, but I think that makes a huge difference (there was a family on our car that goes every year and they said the same thing). That was disappointing but it was such a fun family outing. We ate a Dairy Keen in Heber, which has trains all over so that was fun to get the children excited. When we were leaving the restaurant there was a sign that said "Come ride the Polar Express. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas." Oops. Cause I thought we were all supposed to so Dave and I wore our pajamas and were the only adults doing so. It was worth it because the children loved that we were all in pajamas. I also heard it is freezing on the train so I dressed us extra warm. Our train was not cold at all! We ended up even taking our coats off. I think Allie and Detmer were the perfect age to ride. I love how they think everything is so real. Of course, the favorite part was when Santa came and gave them a bell. Kendall, of course, freaked at the sight of Santa. We figured she would because of how she reacted to the characters at Disneyland. She seemed to enjoy the train ride part of it, though.
On Friday I enjoyed my first time ever of early morning Black Friday shopping. I have always wanted to try it but usually something comes up. This year, however, my schedule was wide open so Dave's mom and sister came and picked me up at 6 am! I loved it! I thought it was super fun and I would love to go again. Kohl's would have been terrible except that Dave's mom headed straight over to get in line for us while we shopped, then she shopped while we stood in line, which worked out great (at least for me, I felt like I hardly stood in line). KMart was ridiculous. Long lines, out of everything, and no employees anywhere. I don't think I would ever go back there. Target was awesome. They had employees everytime you turned around and every single check-out was open. Plus, they had plenty of the advertised door-busters that I wanted to get.

One of the things I picked up was Elf. Dave and I went and saw it when it first came out but I hadn't seen it since. We decided it would be fun to watch it with the children, so we watched it last night and it was so good. I love that show!

Kendall enjoyed her first piece of pie this Thanksgiving!

We had so much fun this year decorating for Christmas. Allie and Detmer get more and more excited every year, which in turn makes it more fun for Dave and I. Detmer asked us last night "Are you guys getting excited to go to Christmas?" Allie and I went to the store and when we came home Dave and Detmer were hiding and came out and surprised us wearing their Santa hats. It was the cutest. And the tree was up. Allie and Detmer were in heaven. Kendall got a new toy from Kelly and she just sat on it and watched us forever. It was the cutest.

Today Dave and I got to go to the BIG GAME! When I found out there was a ticket for me, I really, really wanted to go but couldn't work anything out with the children. Finally, late last night some last minute plans were made. I just knew the Cougs couldn't lose after I went through all that trouble! It was so much fun!!! Dave and I had a great time hanging out together and the game was awesome. Personally, I prefer a blow-out. You might have heard I'm a tiny bit competitive and the stress of a close game it too much! Still, the end result is that we came home very happy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My short list

I have a problem with people who have a problem with me listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving:) You know why I listen so early? Because I'm so thankful for Christmas music. I love it. Plus I spend the whole year round being so thankful, really why dedicate just one month to it. Here's a lot of things I'm thankful for:

-The other day I was cleaning the kitchen, the children were coloring at the table. I sang "I really can't stay..." Allie sings "Maybe it's cold outside." Didn't even know she knew the song!

-Detmer, running down the sidewalk the other day singing "SO what I'm still a ROCK STAR I got my ROCK MOVES..."

-Hanging out most nights with my husband and our new friends (nothing against our old Friends. We still love them a lot, but we love our new ones more then we thought we would).

-My friend was complaining to me about her husband the other day. I could tell she wanted more then a listening ear. She wanted me to tell her my husband was the exact same way. She told me about how she was so overwhelmed because everything was on her and her husband was just along for the ride "and on top of everything else," she told me, "now it's time to make Christmas preparations, which will be solely on my shoulders." I didn't tell her the story about how I came home from Christmas shopping the other day with stuff for Allie, but lamented about what to get for Detmer. "It's harder with a boy, because I can't picture how much I would have loved it as a child," I told Dave. Dave called me Monday and told me he had Detmer's Christmas shopping done. DONE! (With a secret visit to Santa, of course).

-Dave telling me that it's a proven fact that listening to Christmas music makes you ten degrees colder. Totally believed it. I was thinking in my head "you know, I do feel colder" when he told me he was kidding!

-Allie asked me "did Baby Jesus float down from the sky wrapped in a sheet?"

-Kendall blowing kisses to everyone in the store.

-Taking the children to see the new Christmas Carol. Of course it was "at Daddy's work" which makes it all the better. I love the story of a Christmas Carol, but I still think the Muppets have done the best version:)

-Detmer describing riding Splash Mountain in detail. "You go up the really big hill, and it says ch ch ch ch and then you go down and 'ahhhh' then it goes 'click' and takes your picture and then they sing Zippity Do Da." Yeah, he's never been on the ride, but he definitely listens to the big sis.

-Playing "peek-a-boo" with Kendall. She could do it all day.

-Detmer shocked me the other day by saying "My other name is Ty Detmer and Detmer Ryan."

-Allie calls out to Dave and I last night "can Detmer have a sleepover in my bed?" When we checked on them before bed, sure enough they were both fast asleep in Allie's bed.

-My neighborhood and ward.

-My primary class, being a primary teacher, and having Dave as my partner.

-Kelly making us dinner on Sunday's.

-My brother and sister-in-law coming for Christmas and FINALLY getting to see them again!!!

-Kendall dropping things on purpose and saying "uh-oh".

-Allie's preschool. We have so much fun and I love it even more then I thought I would. It has been so fun seeing her learn and progress in her skills.

-Allie helping so much with Kendall. When Kendall cries, Allie tells me, "don't worry mom, I'll get her." Love it!

-All my family and friends who make my life so full and fun.

This list was so easy. I could do a million pages. No matter what kind of trials I am going through, my blessings always outweigh them by far!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Christmas to Remember

I love everything about Christmas. The music, the lights, the smells, the trees, the activities, the traditions, and especially, the meaning of Christmas.

As Dave and I began listening to Christmas music a couple weeks ago (yes, Jen. Christmas. Music.) we commented on the nostalgic feeling that comes every year at this time.

As a child, every year at Christmas, we listened to records. Since I've left home, I've listened to the same music I heard as a child a million times. Yet it still takes me back to the Christmases of my childhood.

When Halloween was over, and the air was turning colder, and Christmas music was playing on the radio, and the nostalgia swept over me, I realized that the Christmas season will never be the same to me again. Last year, I received the very best gift.

I had always wanted a Christmas baby, but never wanted a winter baby. Around here, it's not really possible to have one without the other. Every year that I had been pregnant at Christmas, it made me miss my baby so much more, thinking of how much I would love to be enjoying the holiday with them in my arms rather then in my belly. So it didn't take long before I became very excited about the idea of a Christmas baby. I was a little concerned about the freezing temps, but mostly so excited about this baby's arrival, I didn't care.

Then come to find out, Christmas baby's are perfect. Day after day and night after night, Dave and I cuddled up with our little Christmas gift, who was now Kendall and not Kissala. We turned on the fire place, which kept us warm enough to prefer smoothies over hot chocolate, and lazed about, watching various TV show seasons that Dave had the foresight to buy for my birthday. We took turns cuddling the baby girl and rarely put her down. We fell quickly in love with this baby and were thankful that the rumors we heard about the third baby being the hardest were not true for us.

Last year, my mind reflected on the birth of the Savior more then any other Christmas season before. I felt a closeness to Mary, as I experienced the joy of holding my newborn child. I thought about a whole other aspect of the Christmas story. We often hear about the Innkeeper and the wisemen, even the Little Drummer Boy. But I thought mostly about the Silent Night. The baby's mother, holding her newborn son in her arms during the still of the night. After the Innkeeper and before the wisemen. How must Mary have felt holding her son, who was the Son of God? Who was her Savior.

I wondered, was I taking it a bit far? Comparing myself to Mary, the mother of the Savior. Did I really have any inkling what it would feel like to be the mother of this perfect being?

My conclusion:

Knowing that over 2000 years ago, Mary gave birth to the Savior has made my life so full of joy. All the happiness that comes into my life is either closely or loosely related to the fact that many years ago in a manger in Bethlehem a baby boy was born. It makes good things better, and makes our sorrows easier to bear.

And almost one year ago, I gave birth to a baby girl in a hospital in Ogden. And she has made my life so full of joy. She makes good things better, and makes my sorrows easier to bear.

Because of two different babies born in very different circumstances, the Christmas season means more to me. I will always remember the Christmas unlike any other I'd had before. That when the whole world celebrated the birth of a new born babe, I held mine in my arms.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankfulness postponed

We just finished cleaning out my dad's house and it was an awful experience. It was so, so much more painful than I thought it would be.

When my mom/Ryan died, it was far too painful to go through there things, so instead, we boxed them up and put them away and waited for the day when it would be easier. Unfortunately, that day never came and we were forced to do it anyway. The job Kelly and I had was to pick and chose the things from their lives we found worth saving. We were to condense all the tangible memories from their lives and fit them into a few stupid totes. I'm glad Kelly found the will to throw stuff away, because I couldn't do it. I don't think I threw away one thing. Who would have thought a simple signature that said "xoxo, Mom" would be so freaking hard to part with. A birthday card from my siblings. Kelly had obviously written the message, but there were those four letters "R-y-a-n" that felt like someone was standing on my chest everytime I saw them. It was like losing them all over again.

I thought the worst of it was over. Last week, we moved all the big items and sorted through most of the stuff. Tonight I just had to go move one last thing. But it was the worst night of all, and I wish I hadn't had to do it, although I didn't realize beforehand what it would be like. Almost everything was gone. The whole house was almost completely empty. My mind couldn't help but flash back. I could see my mom, sitting on her bed, waiting up for me no matter how late I got home. I would always make myself comfortable at the foot of her bed and update her on my "exciting" life. And with the way she listened, I thought certainly, no one ever lived a more exciting life than mine. I could see our family in the living room, having Family Night, scriptures, prayer, or visiting with friends. I could see her in the kitchen, in her element surrounded by all her children and grandchildren. I could see the last few holidays we had together, as well as the many before. I didn't want to stay in the house. I wanted to run. I wanted to go to a place where I could find my mom again.

The house was never the same after my mom died. A mother brings such a strong sense of love and peace into a home, you almost feel as if you could reach out and touch it. As soon as she was gone, it always had an empty feeling. We could never forget, even for a second, she was gone. But it was always filled with great memories.

My house is now full. I didn't go through everything. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and some boxes just came home with me and I still need to go through them. I've been working on it all week, and I keep reminding myself to throw away as much as possible. I just don't have room for everything.

Then tonight. I couldn't help it. I took one last walk all the way through the house. The people who bought it have been there fixing it up, and there was paint and other supplies in Ryan's room. And there in the middle of all of it was Ryan's Spongebob light fixture. There is really nothing for me to do with it, but I couldn't leave it there. I felt like I already left too much of him there. Why does it feel like maybe if I can keep enough stuff he won't be so far gone from me?

I wanted to do a bunch of posts this month about all the things I'm grateful for. But that will have to wait. Sometimes you just have to mourn.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's a good thing I saved Batman...

...because check out what a stud this super hero is...

We had a super fun Halloween week. We finally made it to Black Island Farm last Thursday (at the suggestion of many people). It is such a fun place, I'm glad I got to see what the hype was all about. Kelly and I took our children and we were the last ones there. I think we left just before they kicked us out. We loved it! (pictures of this event coming in 2012)
My little lady bug Kendall, doing what she does best, going with the flow.
Another exciting Halloween invent was going to Daddy's work. For this one special day, we actually got to go inside. The children loved it and they did a great job with the party. It started off with Trick-or-Treating at every door, so of course Allie and Detmer loved it from the get go. Then they had a lot of fun activities like pumpkin bowling, bean bag toss, fishing pond, balloons, and a ring toss.
The Queen dressed up as a princess.

We decided while we were in Salt Lake to go to the opening night Jazz game. It was awesome! If there was a game to take the children too, that was it. If we take them again, they will wonder where the drums and fireworks are. Detmer leaned over to Dave during the first quarter and said "Dad, this is so fun." At that point, we knew it was worth the investment. Kendall loved her first Jazz game. The entertainment was right up her ally since she got to clap almost constantly.

Kendall would NOT let the binky come out of her mouth! So much for being done with it.
Batman and Snow White showing their support with their new Jazz hats
Every year since I've been married, I've always done a Halloween dinner. However, I ran out of time this year. So I ended up doing a Halloween brunch on Saturday and it turned out just as well. We had scary face waffles, pumpkin juice, eyeballs, and brains. Dave took the children outside to play while I decorated and they loved it and were so excited.
Kendall in her "My first Halloween" shirt

Dave's parents ward had a trunk-or-treat so we took the children to that, which was awesome since it was at three and the weather was so nice. Plus we got freshly made apple juice, which was the best I've ever had. We then mooched off the Cardon's ward for dinner and had yummy soup before we took the children trick-or-treating. Allie loved it and ran from house to house. We went with Kelly and her three little boys and since Allie was the first one to each door, she would tell the person to wait "cause my brother's are coming". She thought it was be so cool to say they were all her brothers. Then, I heard her tell one person she was five! Don't know what was up with my dishonest child! Detmer is lucky to have the best dad in the world. Dave made sure that Detmer kept up with all the bigger kids and ended up having to carrying him half the time so he could keep up. Yay for another Halloween with beautiful weather. It was the best!
We have been loving the nice weather this week as well. We've tried out a different park everyday and today we went and had lunch at Daddy's work, then I took the children to the zoo. They were so excited to see the baby elephant, but most excited to have lunch with Daddy. I pushed Allie and Detmer in the double stroller and had Kendall in the front carrier. If you've never done that at the zoo, then you probably don't realize, as I now do, that the zoo is 99% steep hills (or close to it). It was worth it. We had a great time!