Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oregon Coast 2011

The best part of living in Salem is being able to leave it when you want to. We decided to run over to the Coast to escape the 95 to 100 degree weather in Salem. Ryan wasn't sure about the wind or sand originally, but as you can see... he acclimated just fine.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nate!

I love you and am so glad you're mine!  Happy 30th, you old man!


So I'm a little fired up today because of something that recently happened.  And I hate feeling this way.  I hate drama.  I hate confrontation.  I hate feeling angry. I hate not being able to control my emotions.  I hate not being able to control my physical response... I'm literally shaking.  Repeat: I hate feeling this way.

I'm typically the person that gets over things rather quickly.  I'm not easily offended in that I usually understand with what intention someone says or does something.  But there are those rare times that for one reason or another (typically when the offense is intentional or down right evil, etc) I struggle to fully let go.

Years ago when Nate and I were newly married I received a chastizing letter (meant to be anonymous of course!) from a sister in my ward.  Truth be told, she wasn't exactly my kind of person to begin with, but I let this offense be a reason to not like her.  Even now when I think of her, I hold back the urge to gag.  Was she wrong to send me such a cruel letter (which honestly I thought was HILARIOUS... I'd share, but this blog is public)?  Absolutely!  Am I still under an obligation to forgive although I never received any sort of apology?

The Lord has commanded, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."  (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10)

And I know why the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, requires this of us.  It's not just for the offender, but more importantly for the offended.  I'm to forgive so I don't have to feel this way anymore.  And truthfully, that sounds amazing!

I thought I had forgiven the sister previously mentioned, but does this lingering gag reflex mean I haven't?  Yet, I hold no ill-will towards this sister and truly want the best for her.  (I'm a firm believer that those who feel they must take it upon themselves to point out others flaws must have some deep-rooted problems and I do, in all seriousness, feel bad about that.)

This recent incident caused all of these past feelings to resurface and I'm just curious what people's thoughts are on the matter.  I know I'm not required to want to hang out with these people or hug them the next time I have the misfortune of bumping into them, but what is required?

Needless to say I'm ready to start my "forgiving others process" (reserved only for the vilest of offenses... I only bust this thing out every few years or so) of praying to get over it.  I have yet to hit my knees over the issue, because I'm still super upset.  I know, I know I should've done it the minute I felt this way.

All I have to say is thank goodness for a Father who wants His children to be happy. Thank goodness for a Father who's provided us with a way to be forgiven of all our offenses and with a way to forgive others of theirs.

I already feel better.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Peanut Butter to My Jelly

Six years ago Nate and I were married in the temple.  And I hate to brag, but I can't imagine marriage being any better than this.  Neither one of us is even close to perfect, but some how it just works.  Together we are better.  Together I can stop being a doormat and learn to say "no."  Together I can learn to let go of the things that don't matter.  Together I can learn to forgive myself.  Together I can breathe and have the faith that everything will be alright.  Together I am so much more than I could ever be.

And I don't mean to seem high and mighty, but I like to think that together Nate's reached new heights, too. :)

Nate is the most thoughtful and caring person I know.  He's smart, whitty, charismatic, observant, and a total babe.  And I am so glad he's mine.

*No pics.  The computer won't load them.  :(

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Year Ago Yesterday...

I was snuggling with this little peanut in my hospital bed... and loving every minute.  I was so exhausted after 30 hours of labor (4 1/2 hours of pushing!) and yet I remember he was so perfect and beautiful and mine that I couldn't peel my eyes away from him long enough to get any rest.

The last year has been AMAZING!  Hard sometimes, yes, but amazing.  I've discovered what it's like to be a mother and could never go back.  I thought I knew what it would be like, but really had no idea.  I could've never understood just how much I could love someone before I even met them.  I could've never understood the sacrifices and the rewards of being a mother.  I've loved every minute!
So happy birthday, Ryan!  Mommy and Daddy love you and we look forward to watching you learn and grow!  You really do make everyday an adventure!

.    .     .

"On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,
"Life will never be the same."

"Because there had never been anyone like you...
ever in the world.

"Not once had there been such eyes,

such a nose,

such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

"For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again...

"Heaven blew every trumpet 
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born."

-Excerpt from Nancy Tillman's "On the Night You Were Born"

At one year, Ryan:
    *weighs 23lbs 10oz (65%), is 29 1/2" tall (45%) and has a 48 1/2 cm head circumference (94%).
    *still loves shaking his head "no" to everything we say.
    *is obsessed with feet.
    *absolutely will not drink from a sippy cup.
    *is a master at making messes... the minute he notices I've put something away is the minute he makes his way over there to pull it out
    *is a good little crawler... finally.
    *says "mom," "dad," and the occassional "na."
    *wears his glasses like a champ and rarely takes them off.
    *sleeps 11 hours straight a night.
    *loves food.  He doesn't turn down anything and sometimes he eats more at a meal than I do!
    *loves, loves, loves his Daddy.  I told Nate last night after he rocked Ryan to sleep that he deserves the favorite status.
    *is happiest outside.
    *loves closing doors, often resulting in him crying because he then can't get out.
    *has 8 teeth.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


This little guy makes us so happy!  His smile is contagious and his laughter can pull me out of even my worst moods.  I've never felt like I've had more purpose in my life than when I became Ryan's mother.  He's such a fun little guy to have around.

At 10 months, Ryan:
    *still isn't crawling, but has mastered backward-seal movement and is always on all fours rocking back and forth... we're hoping it's soon!
     *leaves a mess wherever he goes, despite his inability to crawl
     *has 4 teeth, the top two just popping through this last week
     *loves feet
     *loves grabbing our hands to stand up
     *shakes his head "no" all the time (he's been doing it for months, but still does it all the time)
     *loves people-watching, especially all the little kids that live in our complex
     *enjoys dancing with Momma and watching her cook
     *actually makes baskets on his mini b-ball hoop
     *expects Mom and Dad to clap when he sits down from standing up (he's still a little nervous about it, so we have to encourage him)
     *loves, loves, loves playing with toys
A few of our favorite pictures from the last month.

Being happy no matter what.

Okay, so I'm a little fired up today and I always feel better after a little writing.  There is nothing quite like writing to clear my head.  It's the cheapest therapy out there, I'm telling ya!  And since none of you who read this blog fall into the following category, I feel like I can go with it.

So I have a little gripe with this world today.  Why can't people live within their means?  I mean, I get it.  Life is tough, the economy's not what it used to be, but I think most people have this feeling of entitlement. Don't get me wrong, I catch myself feeling this way, too.  But the truth is, most of us have it pretty good.

I don't own a house.  Would I love to have rooms without white walls and neighbors that don't smoke 6 feet from my door?  Absolutely!  Do I dream of a space to call my own complete with a backyard?  Heck yes.  Would I love to watch movies from a big flat screen tv with surround sound?  Yup, but my circa 1990 television with a depth of 24 inches will just have to do!

Right now we're living within our means... and our means don't inable us to jump into home-ownership just yet or allow us many other luxuries like flat screen tv's... or a Wii... or new couches to replace the 20-year-old set we have now.

We're working towards it, but right now it's just not possible.  The hubby and I have tried and tried to cut back and here we are, unable to cut back anymore.  Do we eat out?  Nope.  Go to the movies?  Not since 2009.  Decorate our apartment? No.  Vacations?  Those days are long over.

We've actually looked at our budget and determined nothing else can be done, with the exception of $60 for cable/home phone and my $50 monthly shopping allowance.  And so we consider it...

And for the most part I'm okay with things.  I'm more fortunate than most.  And despite my lack of things, I'm really happy.

But occassionally, I'm reminded that while I live within my means there are people that I know that get state assistance (not that I'm against state assistance... as long as it's being used in the way it's intended!) that have more and I mean MUCH more than I do!  Nice homes, vacations, big screen tv's, you name it.

I was recently told by someone that I didn't have the right to expect to have nice things when I'm a stay-at-home mom.  I get it.  We're a one-income home in a two-income world.  And I am willing to give up my right to have nice things and, in order to stay home with Ryan, be completely content with "okay" things; with small, but adequate things; with I'll-take-extra-good-care-of-them-to-double-their-lifespan things.

I guess I'm just frustrated that I ever thought it was possible to have those "adequate" things and still live within your means, because so many people that are making the same kind of money as us are living with SUPER nice things.

Which leads me to one conlusion: they do it with tons of debt.  And that's what gets me.  That on the outside it seems attainable and yet it's really not.

And so I sit here in my 900 square foot apartment, inhaling my neighbor's second-hand smoke as it billows in the window, determined to be happy no matter what.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Inside Out or Outside In...

So, we are doing one of those really long, scroll down, hope you have a fast Internet connection posts.  

Ryan is finally getting some outside time, in between rainstorms, and he is loving it. 

 The tongue has been out a lot lately with the upper two teeth coming in.

Grandpa Singer came up and visited for a little bit this weekend.  Ryan enjoyed getting to be the center of someone else's universe for a while.