Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear babies;

Dear babies is a new thing I'm doing!!! It's a weekly (hopefully) letter where I opine about life, things I've learned and any other random tidbit I'm wanting to pass along to Owie, Luker, Rubby and Jackie pad.

Eda and I conquering Camelback Mountain last week

Dear babies,

Your dad and I love to take walks together, when we were at Utah State we lived in married student housing that was right next to a cemetery. Little do you guys know but your dad and I are night owls, WE COME ALIVE AT NIGHT (immediately after we put y'all in bed at 7:30----it's party time). Well, quite often around one or two am we'd take long walks around that cemetery and the Utah State campus. We no longer walk around a cemetery but we still love to be out late at night together walking around. We chat about everything and nothing but our walk yesterday got me thinking. . .

We were talking about faith and times in our life where we felt embarrassed by our lack of faith in Heavenly Father. The first one was back in Chad's first year of law school. He had applied for law review; painstakingly written his paper (like a solid month---written), gotten high grades, praying and fasting our little hearts out and we were waiting and waiting and WAITING to hear if he'd made it.

News trickled in for one friend, then another, they were in. Two more days passed, no news for us. Hours into the third day of waiting and hope was lost. We felt that we had done our part, done everything within our power, drawn upon the powers of the Lord to no avail. Then, within the hour of losing faith we got word----Chad was in. He had made it. We knew that being on law review would be a pivotal part in his career and it happened.

Immediately upon getting word we both felt ashamed. Ashamed that we had lost faith in our Heavenly father to bless us with our righteous desire.

The next thing that we reminisced about though was a little different than this situation.

Having faith in Heavenly Father to bless you with the desires of your heart is one thing but what about having faith when Heavenly Father has a different plan for you than what your heart desires? Lemme tell you what, that's a hard pill to swallow!

When we moved from our beloved Texas to Arizona we were so sad!!! We loved our lives there, I was expecting Jackie pad and we thought we had it all. Soon after we moved to Arizona we found out Jackie had down syndrome and needed to have heart surgery. A cloud of sadness encompassed us. . . we felt alone. Many tears were shed, our burdens and a heaviness of heart zapped the joy from our days. Those days turned into weeks as time passed. Jackie came and showed us just how wrong we were, about all of it.

The desert that once appeared barren and desolate now radiated in every direction. The thing is; whether it be the desert, Jackie's condition or whatever it may be: those things didn't change. What changed was our ability to see what was always there. Let go of what you desire and open yourself to a bigger dream God may have for you. A better one.

Have faith that your Father in Heaven loves you, knows you and has big big big wonderful things in store for you. . .even if at first it doesn't appear that way.

One more thought for today before I go, a quick word on tattoos dear babies. There's the whole argument --your body is a temple so don't defile it, blah blah blah. While I would also agree with this belief I have one more to add. The thing is; we change, we get older and our interests change. When asked by friends about this subject I always say, "for me, I don't feel that strongly about anything that I want to wear it for the next eighty four years (yes, I'm planning on living for A LONG TIME), I'm too fickle."And, dear babies, you are too. If you ever find yourself in a tattoo parlor about to pull the trigger on a: Chinese symbol, Tweety bird, anything on the small of your back remember this---->

When Owie was four he freaking loved loved loved, thought he'd never get over it loved, played and wanted everything in the world to be. . .Dora the Explorer.

You've cat to be kitten me right meow.

Always remember. . .mama loves you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Somebody should probably stop this.

****if you can assist in stopping her from growing up, please contact me****

Notice the pants. Isn't she freaking darling?!?  Lily is about six months old here. I bought this outfit when I was pregnant and sooooo excited about having my girl. It was one of my favorite outfits of hers and I loved putting her in it. When the time came to get rid of it, I just couldn't do it. I thought I'd hang onto it and she could dress her dolls up in it one day.

That or squeeze herself into it. . .

I guess she's entered my world of squeezing into clothing that I shouldn't be wearing. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Family picture time, que reality check.

 Even with my extra chin, I loved this photo.

It's not that I think I'm incredibly beautiful or that, but. . .my mental image is different than reality. Happens every year too. Even though last years was possibly the WORST. Take it from me, do not schedule family pictures when you're baby is S.I.X. weeks old. You will look fat, possibly because you are fat. :) True story.

Goes to show how my memory works. Every November I'm delivered a healthy slap in the face: you.aren' To cope I eat my way through December do some self-loathing in January because of aforementioned December behavior and by February I've forgotten step one in this vicious cycle. Oh well.

Maybe one day I'll find something I like about my Indian nose.

I do like my other Indian features: hair and cheeks. But darn my great-grandma for falling in love with a Scottish-man! I'm cursed with pale pale pale skin. My mom always reminds me that when she was pregnant with me she prayed and prayed for certain features: thick-nicely shaped eyebrows, height, to not be as pale as she was and  to have "fat pads" on my arms.


Thanks a lot mom. Fat pads!!!!!! When questioned about this she simply says, "Well, I was always just so skinny and couldn't gain weight and I didn't want you to have my same skinny arms."

. . .wow. Um, thanks A LOT mom, saved me from that!!! (love you mom!) Validation did come though with regard to my nose when unquestioned she offered, "yeah, I forgot about the Lindsay nose though, sorry. . ."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Can I get a cheer?

(Jack photobomb)

Who are your cheerleaders?


This morning I went for a quick walk before I took Jack to his weekly OT appointment. Usually I walk, hike, paddle board with friends so we chat about our lives, loves and problems of the day. Today though it was just myself and my thoughts. All three of us!  I do love my sense of humor I must say. Anyho.

My thoughts turned to the people that surround me. I celebrated my 35th birthday last week and fell asleep feeling well loved. It is a rich life when you're surrounded by not only a family that you love but friends as well. A morning hike with my hiking partner where we talk about big life stuff and also what lotion we're crushing on. A lunch to follow where friends take time to gather, visit and say nice, wonderful (slightly embarrassing) things about you where they give you thoughtful gifts that show just how well they get you. Phone calls and visits throughout the day left me feeling practically like a rockstar! Not to mention the flowers Eda created and brought over that are essentially living art.

It got me thinking about all these women; my cheerleaders. How meaningful they are to me and how important it is to surround yourself with good cheerleaders. People who bring out the best in you, hold and love your babies, laugh at the insanity of motherhood with you, remind you of your husbands good qualities, commiserate about the bad, forget about what you said yesterday and remember that to you raisins in cinnamon rolls is an abomination.

While in the throws of raising a young family these relationships pick me up, encourage me to be better, and tell me I'm good enough.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pinterest style

Warning: this party is ghetto.

Chad had a birthday. I can't remember how old he is. 38? I don't know, or really care very much. Is that bad?

But, we did have a party!! And, it was pretty awesome. I tried to think; what would Chad like, what would he want, what decorations would he like? Then it came to me! Chad likes saving money (boooring) so that's just what we'll do. The kids got home from school at 2:30 and I told them that we couldn't use any lights because it was dad's birthday and daddy likes saving electricity. So, we seriously didn't use lights (the kids immediately knew dad would love this one).

Next, decorations, I told them that again, dad wouldn't want to spend money on decorations so we came up with a ghetto party idea. Toilet paper! Owen, Lily and Garron took charge of this one(Luke was busy crying on the couch in the kitchen. I told him that he was too old to not know how to tie his own shoes and that he couldn't get up from the couch until he had learned). And, yes, I already know, I'm a bad person.

They hung T.P from the ceiling and wrote Dad is awesome on paper and then taped it to their shirts. I made beef stew (one of his favorites), bought him a bundt cake (and even gave a slice to a friend who stopped by and needed a slice).  We kept a lookout for his car and ran to hide then we jumped up and shouted happy birthday when he walked through the door.

He was happy. He felt loved. Mission accomplished.

And yes, we even re-used the T.P.

Happy birthday, indeed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

First day of school

For the first day of school I decided to start a tradition. Have the kids pose next to what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Lily, "I want to be a big girl!"  (she's probably thinking duh mom)

Luke, "I want to be a cashier." Later when asked why it was because he thought he'd be rich that way since that's where a lot of money is at.

Owen, "I want to be a pie." Um, no explanation necessary here people.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We know how to do back to school.

The day before school started we had a back to school party. It was a blast! I decided to have some games and teams (usually I just leave the kids to their own devices). We had three teams: Venezuela, Mexico and Michigan. These teams were chosen because Chad happened to have shirts that represented these countries/states (except Mexico was represented by a Spongebob shirt). Obviously.

We had quite the competition but Venezuela managed to bring home a first place finish (and no, dealing drugs, being dirty or anything to do with large insects wasn't even part of the competition)! I know! It was probably a wash for who had more fun; the kids or the mama's (we also know how to party).

A genius party tip: make it a competition for clean up. We had over 200 water balloons dead bodies to be picked up. Chad and Owen managed to part with their chess trophies (see. . .win/win) and some medals to those who gathered the most water balloon bodies. Clean up? Done in ten minutes. Bam.

Back to school--good good times.

Antelope Canyon.

Continuing July's outdoors theme on our way to Utah we stayed for two days in Lake Powell. While there we went to Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is on an Indian reservation so they only let you go there with a tour guide.

My great Grandma Ella was a Shoshone Indian, I have her nose, cheekbones and temper. Being that I'm pretty much one of them  I feel like I can share stereotypes without being offensive. Right?

Right. Well we had a swell time. I've never been in any kind of slot canyons and the boys thought it was really cool. It was lost on Lily. Oh yeah, and our tour guide was drunk. And it was eight in the morning on a Sunday.

All true.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Ridiculously cute, right?! The first day Jack really started crawling he worked his way under his crib. It was quite funny, Owen was put in charge of finding him and could hear him (he was playing with his baby monitor) but couldn't see him.

Owen: "MOM!! I can hear Jack in the kitchen (where the receiver for the baby monitor is) but he isn't anywhere!!! I checked the whole house and I can't find him!!!"

He was quite stressed but once he figured it out--he about died of laughter.

Jackie's going to keep us on our toes. Yay!

Ear phones, for sanity.

Here I am. Somewhere in Idaho. That's about fifteen hours from my lovely home in the Arizona desert. How did I manage with my four kids and no husband. A few essential items, the most valuable being my earphones.

Used not only for talking on the phone and rocking out but also for noise dampening. Yes. Sometimes, hours into the drive, upon the upteenth fruit snack request--these bad boys go in and irritations and stress dissipate. You see, many demands and requests from children are simply passing impulses or loosely felt desires. Often if it becomes necessary to expend even ten percent more energy for the aforementioned fruit snack; they give up and go back to whatever it is they do back there (I don't really know, except for all the evidence I collect while cleaning out the car--which is a lot. On second thought, I know precisely what goes on back there; a lot of snacking.)

On these long drives I try to be super prepared: snacks and drinks at the ready. Potty--freshly used. Baby--just nursed (speaking of nursing--I just nursed Jackie for the last time last Wednesday---sniff sniff. He's the sweetest little baby and now he's thirteen months old and on his own! He was ready but I'll miss our peaceful moments together. Single tear.) Gas? Full. DVD player--burning the place up (with new and exciting movies to boot).

I entertain myself with stimulating conversations with my mom, Chad or friends. When they fail me I go to my audiobook (Watership Down--highly recommend) and when I need to mix it up some fresh tunes.

I love taking the kids on these adventures in the summer months (and escaping horrid heat) and these are my tricks of the trade. Bam.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


As evidence by the last photo, the Meads clearly cannot take a bad photo. Ahem, moving on. As part of our nonstop tour de fun we ventured northward to Yellowstone/Island Park this past July. We hung out with our cousins and even our faraway friends from Singapore! Rode four wheelers, ate an obscene amount of smores and had ridiculous levels of fun.

My ability to 'go with the flow of motherhood' grew exponentially on this trip. Highlighted by the following experience; a late afternoon four wheel ride took us to a bridge where the beauty of the river below beckoned to the children. Hearing their wishes with my mothers heart we stopped. Shoes were kicked off as the children waded into the water. I sat by on the bank enjoying their play immensely, my feet dangled contently in the cool water.

The thought, "this is a perfect moment," was just to form into a full fledged feeling when it began. Horse flies. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know exactly what the meaning and implication those little buggers carry, let me fill you in. A horse fly will not only land on you, but, once they do so, they try to BORE INTO you. Clothing? No matter, they just bite their way through that little barrier, no prob blem o.

Pinch yourself. As hard as you can and that will give you an idea of the tiny beast, the horse fly.

So, there I was, being assaulted by one of mother nature's cronies and I had a choice to make: stay and suffer for the sake of my children's fun or leave. Neither option suited me so I did what any awesome person would do (jealous of my self-esteem?) I jumped into that river with all of my clothes on. The children had all by this point managed to "fall" in as well. Shocker.

I leaned back on my elbows, tilted my head back into the river, enjoyed the feeling of my hair moving with the gentle current, looked up at the sky and picked right back off where my thought had left off, "this is the perfect moment."

Going with the flow and loving every minute. Well, maybe not the ten minute ride back to the cabin while soaking wet but those two previous hours, yeah, those were pretty awesome.