Tuesday, November 1, 2016

FaceTime fail

This past week, Ryan was traveling for work. This isn't unusual as his new position will have him traveling throughout his territory about 50% of the work week. However, this time, he wasn't in his territory; he was back at John Deere headquarters and rubbing shoulders with some of our Iowa favorites, the Oakes family. 

I just can't say enough good about this family. I miss them dearly. So, because we knew Ryan was at their house, we took the opportunity to FaceTime him and sneak in a chat with five of our favorite Iowans. The kids had just gone to bed, but Haley was adventurous and got them up (serious mom points right there). We had a great chat and it was so good to see all of their faces and hear their voices. I miss them. Ryan misses them. Leah misses them. Kate misses them. And they all miss Jane...especially Adam. 

The chat was wonderful. We caught up on all things church, school and extracurricular. We sang. We made funny faces. We laughed and smiled. And then it was time for goodbyes. 

After we hung up, Kate lost it. I don't think she had really processed our move until that moment and the result broke my heart. In just a few minutes, I heard all of the following phrases:
  • "I just love Abby so much." (This was spoken once while smiling, multiple times after while sobbing.)
  • "I want a play date with Izzy."
  • "Can we both go to Utah at the same time and play at the same park together?"
  • "How about we drive to Nebraska and they drive to Nebraska and we have a play date."
  • "Can't Mr. Tyrus just get a new job and they can move to Washington too?" (This is my solution, by the way.)
  • "I wish we had never moved."
  • "Can we move back to Iowa?"
  • "Can they move somewhere close enough for you to drive me over to play?"
  • "I just miss them so much."
My mom heart hurt for her little sobbing heart. She was feeling so many emotions all at once - emotions I have felt many times over the past few months - and she was just so confused and frustrated and sad. 

Moving is hard no matter how big or little you are. I'm grateful to have had such good friends in Iowa - friends that we long to be with. And I hope we can make friends like the Oakeses here in Washington. 

In the meantime, we'll work on that job in the Pacific Northwest for Mr. Tyrus and a wedding in 20+ years for Jane and Adam. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A delicious lie

I have to record the following conversation I had with Kate earlier this week. This girl, I tell ya. 

Thursday morning, Kate and Leah went to my friend Haley's house for a little bit while I was at a doctor's appointment. When I picked them up and got in the car, I asked Kate what they did and if they had a good time. This was our conversation:

Mom: Did you guys have fun at Miss Haley's?
Kate: Yes! 
Mom: What did you do?
Kate: We ate a yummy snack.
Mom: Oh really? What snack?
Kate: Crepes. 
Mom: Grapes?
Kate: No. Crepes!
Mom: Crepes? The ones that look like really flat pancakes?
Kate: Yes! Those ones. With that chocolate stuff, what's that called?
Mom: Nutella!?!
Kate:  Yah! Tella! And strawberries. And bananas. 
Mom: Seriously? That was your snack!?
Kate:  Yah. It was yummy. 
Mom: Did Leah eat some too?
Kate: No. She didn't want any. 

Intermission. Feeling a serious need to up my snack game when Haley's kids are at my house (they usually get something amazing like veggie straws), I texted her to tell her thank you for such a delicious snack for my girls. She responded with: "Ummm...that is a classic case of Kate telling tales. I served crackers and grapes!"

Yah. Nice Kate. 

So I continued our conversation after her quiet time. 

Mom: Kate. What was your snack again at Miss Haley's house?
Kate: Crepes. And what's that chocolate stuff?
Mom: Nutella. 
Kate: Yah. Crepes and tella. 
Mom: Kate. I'm going to give you a chance to tell me the truth about your snack today. Think about your answer. What did you really eat at Miss Haley's house?
Kate: [Pause] Crepes and tella. With strawberries and bananas. 
Mom: Kate. I talked to Miss Haley. 
Kate: Why...what did she tell you?
Mom: Kate. I'm giving you one more chance to tell me the truth about your snack. 
Kate: [Pause.] [Still pausing.] Crackers. And grapes. And fruit snacks. 
Mom: Thank you. Why did you lie to me about a snack?
Kate: I fought you might be mad at me for lying. 
Mom: No, not why did you lie to me about lying about your snack. Why did you lie to me and tell me you had crepes in the first place?
Kate: Oh. Because I really wanted crepes and tella. 
Mom: [Sigh.] If you wanted crepes and Nutella, just tell me you want crepes and Nutella (heaven knows I want it too!). You don't need to make up a lie about eating it when you didn't!
Kate: Oh. Okay. 

Seriously! Thankfully she's usually not a very good liar - I can, way more often than not, see right through her. But this was executed perfectly. And with detail! And for no reason at all! I'm glad it was about something as silly as a snack, but worried about what she might lie about in the future. 

Suggestions...and prayers...and chocolate all accepted. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

changed for the better

Mid-March, I found myself staring into the mirror, with a sullen expression on my face. I just wasn't happy with the sagging skin, the muffin top, the bags underneath my eyes. For a moment, I let myself forget that I had just given birth one month before. 

One month. 

And not only was I just one month postpartum, I was still a full month away from getting medical clearance to work out because of having a c section. All this and I was already unhappy with the way my body looked. I was already not good enough. 

As I was telling a friend about this experience, she expressed to me that after her first child was born, she was sharing some of these same grievances with her mom. To which her wise mother responded something to the effect of when I was your age and having children, no one expected us to have a baby and bounce right back to our normal selves. They didn't expect us to act or look like nothing had happened to our bodies...because something HAD happened! 

I've really tried to keep that in mind as I transition back to a non-pregnant weight and size. Something DID happen to my body. Something incredible. Something amazing. Something miraculous. And I'm so grateful that it did. I'm so grateful for a cherubic infant who snuggles into my curves and sagging skin. Who grabs hold of my muffin top with her tiny, chubby fingers, with no intent to ever let go. Who stares just above the dark circles that hang below my eyes and peers into my soul. Because when she does, I catch a glimpse of heaven. 

I'm so grateful for my angelic Leah, who reminds me every day that our bodies - functioning or not - aren't the only things that are important. It is our spirits, our souls, that truly have worth. 

I'm grateful for my silly Kate and that she mixes up words sometimes. Because it's so much better to hear "Mom, I think your shirt is too big for you" as I exercise than what she actually means - that I'm too big for my spandex shirt.   

I'm so grateful for my own mother who never valued herself (at least in front of me) based on her physical fitness, but did show that taking good care of your body was important. 

I'm grateful for a husband who, when I'm indulging in a much-too-big bowl of ice cream at the end of a really long Thursday, doesn't say a thing. 

And I'm so grateful for Jane. I'm grateful she is reminding me that my body changed because she is HERE. She is in my arms! A living, breathing miracle. And with that reminder, I hope to remember I'll always be good enough.  

(I know, you really wanted to see a picture of my curves. You get Jane's instead.)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

december in an instant

I love everything about December - the smells, the lights, the traditions, the people. I love watching the simple joy of my children as we spend time together as a family. I love the time I take to slow down and focus on my Savior and see the goodness in the world around me. There's a lot of hustle and bustle this time of year - places to be, gifts to buy, things to check off my to-do list. But my favorite moments are the quiet ones - sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, watching the snow fall softly to the ground, singing a favorite carol. And I'm grateful for each of those moments and more this December. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

november in an instant

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing--

that when we look for what's best...

we're doing what God does all the time...

we're participating in something sacred.”

-Mr. Rogers

Sunday, November 1, 2015

october in an instant

L.M. Montgomery said it best when she penned, 

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

Incredible Team Leah Bean support, fall leaves, weekend trips to Minneapolis, birthdays, two cute girls in their Halloween costumes, and baby GIRLS...I really am glad I live in a world - my world - where there are Octobers. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

september in an instant

We spent September recuperating from our August adventures. The girls settled into new school routines (2nd grade! Preschool!) and we added some extra curriculars. Ryan traveled for work. We geared up for our 2nd annual Team Leah Bean virtual 5k. And we traveled to the Big House to cheer on our Cougars (but apparently didn't cheer loud enough for them to score any points). 

Fall is in the air, we're back into our routines and it feels good. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

august in an instant

August flew by altogether too fast. We snorkeled in the ocean, we played with grandma, we took a day trip (read: 10 hours in the car) to Indianapolis, we started school!, we swam, we camped, we cleaned. Maren went on a girl's trip to Chicago. And our sweet little Leah was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

It was a really good month spent with even better people. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

july in an instant

You start out with Utah, throw in a little heat and humidity in Iowa and end with Cancun. 

July was basically an Iowa sandwich with a really tasty bun on both ends. 

Throw in some swimming, star-studded golf, Nauvoo, neurology and GRANDMA and you've got a pretty great month. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

june in an instant

Summatime, summatime, sum sum summatime. 

Sunshine, swimming, sweat, strawberries, seizures. Almost everything about summer is simply glorious. I do tremble with fear thinking about long days that lead into long weeks with me as the sole entertainment for my children. But, I do love it. And I REALLY love it on swim days. 

In June we spent three whole days driving so we could run for two days straight. Really, we did. Good thing we love so much about Utah and the people who live there (and the people who visit there the same time we do). And lucky for the Laytons, they all put up with us and our bathroom-flooding shenanigans (that's a story for another day).