Friday, April 18, 2014

a new do, & thankful for locks of love.

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I can't believe a week has gone by since Lexie had her hair cut off, and it also took a whole week for her to let go of her locks...literally. The day Lexie got her hair buzzed off the hairdresser handed me a ziplock bag with her locks in it. I thought that they would donate her hair for us but apparently we had to do it. Well...that bag of hair sat on my dresser all week. I don't know why I hung on to it for this long. Every time I'd grab something from my dresser I'd just stare and look at it. Some of y'all might think "ok, that's creepy weird", but I had not opened it since it was handed to us. Before we mailed it off I decided to open it. I guess you can say I wanted to see how it smelled. I washed my hands opened it gently & got a whiff of her scented hair. It smelled like her so fresh and clean. It was bittersweet. It's surreal that she completely has it buzzed off now, and although I feel as if I have a different daughter in the house she is the same Lexie. Witty, funny, and still oh, so serious! She is striking & looks beautiful & because of her height looks like a model. A friend of mine on FB even said that she looks like a bad a** (pardon my french.) 

Apparently there are pros & cons with short hair. I should know because I had super short hair too in the form of an Afro. 
For example-she loves that she can spend less time in the shower & that she can just get up & go in the morning without spending an extra 10 minutes brushing her hair. I don't have to buy a lot of hair product for her so that saves me some money, and not take her to the hairdresser every few weeks for a hair trim. One thing she'll miss about her hair is styling it in different ways. She can't braid it or put it up in a bun. She even catches herself wanting to run her fingers through it, and will toss her head back thinking there's hair in her face. It's so funny when I catch her doing that. One huge pro she loves about her short hair is wearing cute beanies. 

Apparently some of her guy friends from school buzzed their hair too, but didn't shave it. Now she looks like their twin. I guess they all wanted to look like her. haha! She's their idol.They're all good friends & have gained so much respect for her.

In all honesty I personally love her short hair. It seems like a trend right now too. She looks like an Anne Hathaway from Les Miserables as well as Emma Watson from Harry Potter. 

She loves her new do but is still getting used to it. Too bad she'll only have it short for one summer, but be forewarned. I'm going to take advantage of documenting her with this pixie cut every chance i get... so be prepared. There are about to be many pictures posted in the near future for her posterity. Time flies and it won't be too long before she has her long hair again. 
One question I asked her the other day was if she would take it back. You know, cutting her hair & all. She responded with an emphatic no. I could see it in her face that she was sincere. She truly is happy to have been able to done this great deed for a kid with cancer, and for that she'll forever be grateful.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

winter, we forgive you.

It doesn't matter how much snow we may have gotten, or how bitter cold it was this past winter. Living so close to the beach makes it all worth it. This is what we get for living in the northeast where winters can be brutally cold, but at the end of the season when spring comes along my spirit is renewed, and I feel like a totally different person. I sense it in my family as well. Change of seasons  just do that to you. Noah absolutely loves the beach, and hasn't seen how huge the mountains are out west, but being that he's a "jersey boy" so far the beach is his favorite place to be. Can you believe I've lived here for almost six years and still can't come to the terms of uttering the word "shore"? Anyway, yesterday was pretty amazing and while the girls were at school we decided to go for a drive, and take advantage of this beautiful weather because surprise...it's supposed to get colder this week. I know...bummer, but we made the best of our day by taking advantage of every inch of this beach.
Noah was in awe when he saw the kites flying in the air, and I feel like a really bad mom for not owning one! I remember when Uncle Dave gave Sierra a kite when she was like five, but after that we've never had the desire or even thought to buy any. Well, we are definitely in the market for buying a few kites this spring at least for Chelsea and Noah because I know that they would absolutely love it! Especially since Noah's mornings consist of watching Mary Poppins almost every day hinting to us that he would really like to "go fly a kite" Makes me feel even more guilty. So that's on our list of things to buy this week. 
I think Noah prefers this beach over any other on the Jersey "shore" for the fact that they have a playground in the design of a pirate ship! I only snapped this one picture of him because Jon & I wanted to enjoy playing with him. He was also becoming restless, and it didn't help that the wind was getting colder. I'll always remember the first time he stepped foot on this pirate ship, and how he loved running around barefoot in the sand pretending to be the captain always saying, "arghhh."
This was a great day, and I'm so glad we are a spontaneous people who just get up and do things that make our kids happy. When you're in your 40's with a toddler life begins to pass you right before your eyes, and I personally don't want to miss any opportunity and pass on the things that I know will make us all happy. Just as our winter days were somewhat gloomy there were also days where I snapped out of my misery, and took this kid (and his sisters) outside to play in the snow. My days are better when I put my kids first, and for that I am extremely grateful for a heart that tells me to do so. Winters are always forgiven because like I said before...at the end of the season the beach, and all that makes spring beautiful...brutal, cold winters are always worth it. 

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Monday, April 14, 2014

a momentous event...all for a great cause.


For the past three weeks Lexie's friends at school were braiding, twirling, and even straightened her hair one day just to see how she would look with straight hair.  Friends were constantly telling her how they couldn't believe she was actually going to go through with buzzing her hair off, and how much they were going to miss her long hair. Even her teachers were amazed at her willingness to do this, but at the same time weren't surprised. Luckily they were all supportive, and at the end of the day all of those said friends & teachers high fived her, and complimented her on her bravery. 
I was excited and looking forward for 1:30 to come along so that we can go over to the school where members of the St. Baldrick's Organization were present to witness this wonderful event. There were 13 students who volunteered to have their heads shaved including the principal, and guidance counselor. Lexie, and another young woman were the only two girls who decided to have their hair buzzed off. I couldn't believe my eyes as I was on my knees recording this momentous event the entire time (which you can watch here.) I saw as the hairdresser put her hair in a ponytail, and then cutting it offThe entire class was cheering for both her & Symone (yes...she has blue hair) while their hair was being cut, and even more so as it was being shaved. They were such a good sport, and I was amazed at their bravery. Lexie didn't shed one tear, and although my eyes got a little teary...they didn't stream down my face. 
^^^ lexie with a bob before the shave ^^^
^^^ Lexie & Symone after the "shave" & with Ms. Gardner who also got her hair cut short. ^^^
^^^ Principal Otten at the bottom left with his head completely shaved off along with the other shavees of the school. ^^^
There are many members on both sides of our families who have died of cancer, and friends of mine who have battled it, and survived. I am so grateful for organizations such as St. Baldrick's who stand proud for what they do, and especially grateful for my daughter whose heart is so big to have been selfless enough to give up her gorgeous curls without any regrets (okay...now I'm crying.) I also want to express my gratitude to those of you who donated funds on her behalf for this great cause. It really meant a lot to Lexie. 
This day, as overwhelming as it was for everyone was definitely a "proud mom moment" for me, and I am so amazed at how this child of ours who found it in her heart to do something extremely amazing for such a great cause! She is even more beautiful to me now than she ever has been!

*Hope you're weekend was just as amazing as ours was, and that this week is even more amazing! 


Friday, April 11, 2014

selflessness is the key to my happiness.

Didn't I warn ya about being prepared to see more posts like this? This weather has been too good to be true, and because of the things that I posted about motherhood the other day with time passing by us way too quickly, I want to take the time to enjoy the small and simple things...especially with this little guy.
Going on walks, taking Noah to the park, visiting my sisters from the church to share a spiritual message really puts my mind at ease. It reminds me to be selfless, and it helps make me look at our life at this very moment in a different perspective. I am thankful. I feel fulfilled. I feel loved. I have hope, and I am blessed no matter what. My decision in putting other peoples needs before my own has always been a key to my happiness...especially in times of stress.  I want to thrive on happiness. I want to seek the happiness in every direction whether it's good or bad. I want to be a good example to every person I meet, because first impressions are always important. I find that when I see life's beautiful things such as blue skies, birds humming, seeing my neighbors daffodils pop up renews the spirit in which abides with me, and is a sign from above telling me that all will be well. 

Being a trio at the park the other day without a worry in the world helped us forget about life's stresses for that moment. Instead of having Jon doing all the 'rough' running around with Noah I wanted to have a piece of that action. I decided to cross the monkey bars with Noah on my back. Noah was a bit hesitant to get on. I don't think he trusted me to hold him the way daddy does. I was patient, and waited for Noah to carefully get on my back, but to no avail. Two words...epic fail. My hands felt so weak as he tried to get on. He ended up trying to save me from letting go & falling. Here I am hanging on to these monkey bars for dear life as if it was the last thing on earth to do! All along I was saying to  myself, "I can do this, I'm not out of shape!" I eventually let go. Afterwards Noah kept asking me if I was okay. He was so serious, and caring about the whole thing that he kept asking me that for ten minutes! Laughing and putting all my energy on this family of mine is what keeps me going. 
^^^ Mandatory caption: The look on Noah's face is priceless. ^^^
I observe at the way Jon looks at our life, and he is at peace. He looks at the kids with love, and his heart is filled with gratitude. I am reminded of this quote from President Uchtdor from general conference recently, "Gratitude is a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation." That quote is so fitting for our life right now. So grateful that Jon has a great attitude towards negativity, and has a unique built for strength when it comes to trials. He's not perfect, but he sure knows his limits of frustration. He doesn't take it out on us. He cooks & will read instead.
One thing for sure life is always better when affection is given. These two are the only men in my mortal life, and once again we are taking advantage of our afternoons enjoying this lovely spring weather...just the three of us.  
Yup...no matter what life throws at us, life is pretty darn good! 

Hope your life is too! Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

coming home.

circa-2005
I want to express my gratitude to Sarah for giving me the opportunity to share my story on her blog today as to the decision I made in sacrificing a job to raise my children. Choosing to be a stay at home mom rather than to pursue a career has been the best decision of my life. I have felt this way for the past 15 years, and will continue to do so until these kiddos are all grown up, and on their own. Looking back I wouldn't have it any other way. So thankful for the opportunity I have to share my story with you. Thank you for reading.

To read my story in it's entirety click here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a good brisk walk.

Be prepared because you might be seeing a lot of outdoor posts with this little guy. Life Lately with Noah has been too much fun. He's so petite for his age, innocent, and although I wish he would stay at this age forever...it's inevitable. He has to grow up. If only I can bottle up his sweet voice forever. Luckily I have voice mail recordings of his voice that I've saved on my computer. The things he has been saying lately have been corny, funny, and sometimes unbelievable. I call them Noah's euphemisms. He's so sweet, and never has anything bad to say about anyone. If he does he'll say it in a pleasant form. The other day I woke woke up with my hair looking like Tina Turner, and he said, "Mommy, your hair looks backwards." I couldn't help but to laugh. There are days when Chelsea will be playing with my hair, and he'll say to her, "Stop playing with mommy's hair...it's not a toy." 

Sometimes I wonder where he picks up these things, but then again those sayings are his words. Having two older sisters in the home who are too smart for their own good does help him mature faster, and then there's a thing called television. 

I have been very careful as to which PG movies he should watch. Sometimes they may be a little to mature for him. Exposing him to Polar Express, and Lion King at age two wasn't too bad, but now that he's four he seems to be getting the meaning behind the plot of certain Disney movies. It makes me happy that he does because we can both watch them together, and have a discussion afterwards. Sometimes we'll even sing along, and dance to them. Besides Frozen, & Dispicable Me 2 his favorite as of late has been Mary Poppins. He loves dancing like Dick Van Dyke especially when he starts singing "Let's go fly a Kite." The first time Noah watched that he said, "I can't...I don't have a kite." Made me feel a bit guilty because we don't own any kites. He's so animated when he sings along with it, and I'm so glad that he watches that more than Frozen. Frozen is such a girl movie (although he does like Olaf.) 

Luckily we don't watch too much television, and on sunny days like this he prefers to go to the park instead. Oh my gosh...we could have been there for hours and hours yesterday. He doesn't care how nippy this spring weather may be. I know being cooped up in the house during a long winter accumulated a ton of wiggles, and now that the weather is better it was time to get them all out...and he did just that.
Being that we went after school Chelsea came along too. Sometimes I wonder if the five year gap helped these two in age, but i know in the end it will. It sure does when they're outdoors. They may bicker, tease, provoke, and push each other around, but at the end of the day they love each other. Hugs are reciprocated, and apologies are taken place in hopes that it will never happen again. Yeah right. I just hope that the older they get the better their patience gets. I love them both, and lucky for me I get to play the referee for these two.

Memories of the girls being toddler age are pretty vivid, but there are moments when I feel I have "forgotten" certain events that have taken place in their life. Luckily I have their moments scrapbooked and journaled, but the fact that I have ONE boy especially at my age (not that I'm old) makes me appreciate every single second of his life. I never want to take any of our days for granted, and am treasuring every moment, every euphemism that comes out of his mouth, and every thing that happens in between. 

Life is wonderful! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

general conference on a sunday with a side of gratitude, & love.

The gospel is about love. God is about love. Service is love. Kindness is love. God is love. It should be that plain and simple, but in this day and age it usually isn't. Luckily I have gratitude in my heart that connects with love, and compassion because without those two things, I don't think I'd have a big heart towards mankind. My neighbors, my family, my friends, and yes...even those who may dislike me, or who have wronged me. 

I really enjoyed President Thomas S. Monson's message of love this past Sunday. He said, "Love should be the heart of family life." Fortunately for my family of six it truly is. I tend to focus on the positive side of love. That's the kind of love I want to pass on down to my posterity. I don't want them to experience the kind of love that I learned while growing up. I always remind them to pray for that special love which is the one like Christ. Luckily we have a song titled "Love one Another" as a reminder for our children whenever they sing it in primary as well as for us grown ups who may sing that simple hymn during a relief society and/or priesthood meeting. 

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf always hits me to the core of my soul with his words. This is one man who is so in tune with the spirit that he knows exactly what we need to hear, and how to be. President Monson certainly knows how to choose his counselors.

Love and gratitude definitely tied into each other for me at this year's conference because without a good attitude I don't think I could ever exhibit the love I have for everyone. Within the past four years I have truly learned to be grateful not only for the blessings I receive, but for the trials as well. I find myself being in a state of major thanksgiving when I kneel down in prayer praying to Heavenly Father for every single hardship that has come our way while living in Jersey. Even more and more for all the trials I have experienced on my own. Call it maturing in age or in the gospel, but when I humble myself before God I have a heaviness in my heart that I sometimes can't believe how grateful I am for the "big" things I've gone through in this life...especially with with my family. I know that because of those trials our lives have been blessed, and have made us stronger members of the church. Having an "attitude of gratitude" makes a huge difference in our lives, and it continues to strengthen our spirit, and overall makes us a better person. 

This year's conference was so special. Special because it is the actual and accurate day of the Savior's birth. Seeing Noah looking up at the picture of Jesus Christ next to the Bishop's offices with a huge smile on his innocent face reassures me that he knows who He is. He even said, "Happy Birthday Jesus." That was a precious moment!
I absolutely love this time of year, and it certainly was a perfect day for conference. The weather was just the right temperature, and the signs of spring such as the sun shining with green grass is proof that winter is finally coming to an end. 
Elder Quentin L. Cook's talk on family history gave me even more motivation to not get complacent in my genealogy. Just because I have a few family names doesn't mean I should stop there because the work of the Lord never ends. I have so much work to do for my side of the family, and it brings me tears to "sense" that some of them are waiting on the other side praying and hoping that it's their turn. And when I finally do their work it's a sense of fulfillment, and pure joy! 
I sometimes find myself in a dream state. Maybe I'm being hard on myself, but there are moments when I can't believe I have a family this wonderful. With all our imperfections, bad days, exhausting days, drama moments, and "tiger mom" moments having the gospel of Jesus Christ, and knowing that "we have the atonement to make up for life's imperfections" ( as Gary E. Stevenson quoted) makes life tolerable.
Today was one of those days where the only thing that mattered was hearing the words of our church leaders with my family (excluding Sierra who had the opportunity to watch conference live...lucky her!)

Six months goes by way too fast, and before we know it October will be here with another conference & a mixture of fall to show it's beautiful colors.

Luckily we have back issues of the Ensign to read up on past conferences.

**In case you missed conference you can watch, listen, or download any of the talks here.

**How did you like conference? 
**Is there any specific talk that hit the core of your soul?