I feel like a broken record when I say that I haven't blogged in a long time, and that I'm going to be blogging more often. Well....all I can say is that the past few months have been (I think) the busiest of my entire life. So hopefully now I will be able to find the time to do things I enjoy instead of just shifting into "survival mode" which is not a place I like to be. For now, I'm just going to do a quick update (so I will have this to refer to....you mommies out there know how quickly you can forget the daily happenings) for my own personal record:
October: My mom and I are doing Joyschool with Nathan, Josh, Hallie, Kolton, and Micah. It's been really fun but CRAZY busy since we are each teaching every other week, and we each have a baby to look after when it's our turn. Some days I've been more prepared than others, and some days I wonder if we're crazy. But then one of the kids will say something that blows me away, and I am able to see that they really are learning and soaking in all the wonderful things we are trying to teach them. Joyschool truly is an amazing program! If you haven't heard of it before, check it out.
General Conference was amazing. So uplifting and inspiring as always. I have noticed that the last few times it seems like more and more focus is on family and parenthood. Teaching our kids what's right, helping them develop a strong testimony of the gospel, and being strong and accountable for ourselves are such important things. I also noticed that the speakers seem to take a simple gospel principle and explain it without the depth they have in previous years. They are keeping things simple now. I don't know if it's because so many nonmembers tune in, or if it's because there's a more definite division between members now; people wanting to bend the gospel principles and commandments to fit their own lives. Maybe both. Either way, I have loved it. I think the gospel is a simple thing, and having simple teachings gives me something to refer to when I have a question or when I'm trying to teach my children. Simple is good.
Halloween was really fun. Different than I expected, but fun nonetheless. My mom and I found a great deal on Disney costumes, and without planning it, Nathan and Josh picked Peter Pan and Kolton and Micah picked Captain Hook. Abby was Tinkerbell, and Hallie was Princess Aurora. Jonah was Roo. They all looked so adorable! I'll throw some pictures up here once I figure out how to get them on the new computer.
It rained like crazy all night. We didn't take Jonah out at all because of the weather, so Wes and I took turns passing out candy at my parents' house. (we thought the kids would have more fun trick-or-treating together, and Wes and I liked that the houses were so much more spread out because there would be less candy to deal with - we were right. :) It was hard juggling nursing Jonah and passing out candy, but by the third child, I don't "sweat the small stuff" nearly as much, and it was more comical to me than stressful. He finally took a little nap on my parents' bed and I was able to sneak out with the boys for a little while - just as the rain stopped! I was so grateful, because Wes was soaked to the bone when he got back.
All in all, it was a fun month and a fun Halloween. A great start to the holiday season.
November: MonavieRVL came out the beginning of the month and I decided to go for it. (RVL is Monavie's meal replacement/weight loss product they are launching in a couple days from now, and we decided I would jump on it for the pre-launch and figured the product would draw more attention if I was "living proof" so to speak, that it was a great weight loss product.) We picked up my supplies toward the end of the first week. I wasn't sure what to expect....I'm not the type that likes to "diet" to lose weight. I had been gradually losing a pound or two every couple weeks and nursing Jonah was going wonderfully....I didn't want to lose our little rhythm we had going.
I won't lie - the first couple of days on the product were HORRIBLE, I think because I was nursing. I lost all my milk toward dinnertime on the first day and spent the next few days drinking Mother's Milk tea (not a huge tea fan) and nursing around the clock - literally all day long. But I really, really didn't want to quit nursing yet and I didn't want to give up on RVL so quickly either. Everything else in my life had to take a backseat for a week or so, but when I was 7 or 8 pounds down after my first week I was sooo glad I had persevered. I have lost 20 pounds on the product so far - I kind of quit doing it after Thanksgiving for the weekend and since Christmas, I haven't jumped back on. I really enjoy having something so quick and tasty to eat when I'm so busy, but I think I am so burned out from the holidays (I'll tell you why in a minute) that I can't seem to get myself to do anything that feels the least bit challenging right now.
Thanksgiving was great. The gratitude tree went up and KoltonKolton kept putting "Mommy" on every leaf he put up on the tree. Don't those sweet little moments make all the hard stuff so worth it? I felt so special and loved. The gratitude tree is definitely a favorite tradition around here! Thanks Shawni!
For dinner, Wes's parents were out of town in the morning. We usually play volleyball with them in the morning and then have dinner at my parents' house. It's been great because my parents house is a lot more "kid friendly" than Wes's grandparents' house, and the boys are so much easier to manage. We actually all got to sit down at the same time and all eat together. There's no way that would happen anywhere else. We were sad to miss the Stewarts though, and hoping that next year, things will be a little easier. (We have struggled to juggle our extended family on holidays for years. We find something that works and then everything changes and we are back to square one. So hard! What do you do to balance time with your families and your own little family and keep the holidays fun? Please leave me some suggestions!) My mom, my sister, Melinda, and I all split up the dinner. I made the yams, a pumpkin pie cake, gravy, banana cream pie, and a green bean casserole (I think that was it?). My mom made her specialty: apple pie (seriously the best you will ever have in your life) and the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, appetizer tray, and rolls. Melinda made Jello and soft oreo cookies. She brought drinks too. Dinner was so fun and delicious! Everyone went all out for sure, and I was glad that we sat down to eat later than usual, because otherwise I would have eaten way too much. There was so much left we had turkey dinner at my mom's for a couple nights after. The kids really had fun and enjoyed the holiday too. It was fantastic!
This post is getting long, so I will break it up into a few to catch up. Signing off!