Saturday, December 31, 2011

See ya later 2011

A haiku for 2011

You brought me a babe
through a rollercoaster year
I am one happy girl.

When I was younger I thought I had it made. I remember lying bed at night be so happy about having a warm home, food, and a wonderful mother. As I grew older I started to realize life can throw some pretty hard trials your way. I remember thinking life is all ebb and flow and that at some point there will be a massive ebb.

I still worry about this to be honest. I feel like I have been immensly blessed and that Heavenly Father is just prepping me for something really hard. It makes me nervous and gives me a bit of anxiety. But I am so grateful for where I am in life. That I am able to enjoy the moments I have now with my husband and baby. I smile at the end of the day again and realize I have it really good.

So I welcome 2012 with it's strict budget that doesn't let me eat out. Because you don't need food from a restaurant to make you happy.

To the Max

Max pretty much makes my day everyday. He is an incredibly cheerful little guy.

Over the past week he has decided to start sitting up. He can hold his position for a good minute or so until he topples over to the side. Oh and he got a Sofie the giraffe from Great Grandma Maxwell and it pretty much is his absolute favorite. It just might replace his pacifier.

He is not asleep in this picture. He is just snuggling his momma. I absolutely love this. Nothing beats a baby hug and Max has plently to dole out for me. Kyle and I have both decided he is definitely a momma's boy. If he is playing with papa which he loves to do, and I enter the room. Game over Kyle. He just cries in my direction until I come get him. Unless Papa is letting him play the piano.

He LOVES music. Nothing makes him happier or calms him down more. He loves feeling the vibrations of the guitar strings, whacking the piano, or just listening to country with his mama. Yes, I love country music and so does Max.

He giggles and squawks a lot. Especially when you say, "Get that corn outa my face!" A phrase from the movie Nacho Libre which my little sister discovered sends him into an instasmile.

Advice to new mothers, use Berts Bees Baby Wash and Lotion. It is the bomb. I love the way Max smells after his bath. Like someone dipped him in honey. I will sit him on my lap and just sniff him until I get my fix.

Not the most attractive picture of me, but I loved this moment. It was the day after Christmas and we had had a pretty rough night (babies hate changes in night environments turns out and it will KILL their sleep schedule). I woke up and my MIL was taking care of him, of course when he saw me he wanted me and so we sat on the couch. For like an hour just chillin and talking with family. He just kept his body against mine and his hand on my leg to make sure I wasn't going anywhere.

Motherhood is a funny thing. I never know how to respond when people ask me how I like being a mother. Suddenly everything feels so cliche. But I love the little man who has taken over my heart. I thank God every night as we say family prayer for sending us such an angel who brings so much joy to not only us but our family and friends.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Twas a very merry christmas

Christmas was a little bit twisty this year. I felt the grasp of three sets of parents. I tried to relax but it was hard when we were sleeping at my Dad's, spending time at my Mom's, and my MIL and SIL kept popping in to visit since it is always such a journey out to their home. I wished I had had more time with my mother but I relished in the comfort of relaxed nights laying in bed with my husband talking about the day.

I was nervous for Christmas day. We didn't figure out the schedule until Christmas Eve Eve after we argued in front of my mother and her boyfriend about how we were divying up our time. He wanted to go out to his parents more, I hated how trapped I felt thirty minutes from down out with the sagebrush and nothing to do but watch his father play online poker. But Christmas Eve we headed to Mass with my mother, a tradition I still cherish and I know my mother appreciates. I love how Christmas mass involves every single carol. My senses fly with the familiar scents and sounds of the old cathedral. When we returned home we reenacted the nativity. A new tradition initiated by my husband and I. It was funny to see my brothers get excited by finding strange and exotic ways to portray a wiseman. They came bearing a candle and laptop.

My husband, Max, and I played the role of the newly formed family. I donned a blue dress from the seventies my mother found at a thrift store that showed entirely too much cleavage for the virgin Mary. Thankful her shawl covered that fault. Christmas Eve was wonderful. The fire was lit and my mother and I rushed to finish sewing Max's stocking.

Christmas day was packed and we were blessed. I was grateful I hadn't given anyone a hint (except for my father who asked) and we received wonderful thoughtful gifts. I am glad my family truly knows me.

I am grateful for all this year has taught me, especially the ways in which I have grown closer to my Savior and Heavenly Father. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas this year

(this is Max's new thing, he looks at whoever is holding him every so often. I think he was really bewildered by this person)

Our tree.

Christmas looks a bit different this year. I have a baby, a much tighter income, and my parents are divorced. Although I could grump around about how different could mean worse I have decided that that wouldn't do me any good. In fact this Christmas has allowed for more focus on what this season is really all about. Family, charity, and our Savior.

I won't say that I don't have a secret wishlist because I would be lying. There is a plethora of wants but in conjuction with my post about simplicity, I have found that my wants are just that, wants. I don't need a bunch of new clothes and I don't need fancy schmancy techno things (although a printer would be wonderfully practical). Instead I just want a haircut and to create traditions for Max. I want to see him surrounded by family who loves him. I want to eat Christmas ham and snuggle by the fire playing some games.

I am grateful for what this year has brought me. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps me see that a new perspective in life can bring out hidden blessings.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How I got here

(Unrelated picture. But look at him staking claim to his momma)
I was speaking with Kyle the other day about being a convert. It is a subject that I reflect upon a lot. I feel incredibly lucky when I look back on my journey after joining the church. Having been a member for 5 years now, I have seen others come into the fold only to fall away. My heart aches when I think about those who for whatever reason are no longer enjoying the full blessings that come from being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Back to how incredibly lucky I was. I want to take the time to really point out what got me to the point I am at today: married in the temple to a worthy priesthood holder, a wonderful baby, family scripture study and prayer, gospel discussions, etc.

  • I had wonderful missionaries. I really lucked out to have two solid missionaries who really listened to the spirit and taught with such sincerity and faith. Not only did they teach me the first principles of the gospel, but they encouraged me to take family names to the temple which made it a very special experience making the temple a very special place for me.

  • Sister missionaries. Shortly after I was baptized the two elders who taught me were replaced with two sister missionaries. I was sad to see the elders I had grown attached to leave but not for long. It took a little while for me to be fully fellowshipped by my ward and I am so grateful that there were sister missionaries that I could go to lessons with and bear my testimony. It truly was a faith-building chapter of my life to go out everday with them. Plus one became a great friend and challenged me to bear my testimony at church for the first time ever.

  • Being called as a ward missionary as my first calling. This kinda goes with the sister missionaries, but being a ward missionary gave ample opportunity to continue to learn the basic lessons of the gospel and be very comfortable with them.

  • Being fellowshipped sincerely. I cannot stress enough how incredibly vital it is for converts to have a true friend. Not someone who begrudgingly feels like they should be their friend because no one else is...(trust me, people know when friendship is forced and it can be a real turn off). I am forever grateful for Mark Johnson who invited me to go get ice cream with some other people. It was an activity outside of church where some lifelong friends could really get to know me. Converts need friends and I was so lucky to score some great ones....even if I haven't always been the best friend to them.

  • Institute. I love this program in the church. I can attribute about 98% of my gospel knowledge to institute classes and I am not exaggerating. Institute offered a wealth of knowledge to a young girl who was eager to learn everything she possibly could and try to catch up with others her age to had 18+ years on her. I am forever grateful for Bro. White, Bro. Knowles and the senior missionaries who filtered through during my time at the Seattle Institute of Religion. It is a holy place for me there. It became my second home and I still feel a rush of peace whenever I walk through those doors. It is hallowed ground to me. A place where I learned so much and my testimony flourished.

  • Bro. White aka my mormon dad. I could go on and on about this man. He kept calling me Jaime the first time he met me but by the time I told him I was pregnant he nearly cried and told me he felt like it was his own grandchild. I came to him with all sorts of girl problems, gospel questions and basically anything a college girl could possibly think of. He taught me in the best possible way. He taught me that Heavenly Father always has an answer, it might not come when we want it or it might not be the answer we want but he has an answer. He taught me of the preciousness of the temple. He taught me what a real father/daughter relationship looks like. He listened, teased, and gave the best advice I will ever receive in my life. So much of what I know is because of long talks in his office.

  • Bro. Knowles. If there is ever a gospel related question that I can't figure out I always think, "Bro Knowles probably knows." This man and his family are such an example to Kyle and I. I am grateful that Bro Knowles always saw my potential and didn't treat me with the extreme gentleness sometimes bestowed upon converts. I didn't get special treatment and as much as I love special treatment I am grateful he was so forthright with me sometime. Teaching me that if you tell everyone you are fasting, that becomes your blessing. Also as comfortable as I felt at the institute it was not my home and I shouldn't stand on the couches barefoot.

  • A wonderful gospel principles teachers. Aimee Elber, I remember so many of your lessons. I remember how relaxing your class was and when it was time for me to "graduate" to gospel doctrine I found it so stiff and boring that I went back to her class (I actually think it was still just a little too far above my head still).

I could go on and on, but seriously I feel so blessed for the people, places, and experiences that I was given. I know now that Heavenly Father was looking out for me and I feel so blessed that there were those who were listening to the spirit and being guided in such a way as to impact my life in so many small ways that have added up to where I am now.

I just wanted to write about this because I feel so blessed. So blessed to be where I am today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let it snow

Max's first snow was grand. It was wonderfully white and we stared out the window together amazing at the changed world all around. He got a kick out of the flurries, but not when we went for a walk and they hit his face.

Good thing we had his blanket. We just draped it over the stroller and he was in a little cocoon of warmth. Lucky kid.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First Foods

At Max's 4 month appointment we recieved the green light to start solids. Max has been eyeing us as we eat and mimicking us chewing and I knew he just wanted to try it out. So we tried rice cereal.

It was received with little excitement. He didn't hate it, didn't love it. He seemed like he knew we were feeding him crap. He was wondering where is T-bone steak was.

For Thanksgiving Max got to try sweet potatoes. Not yams but actually sweet potatoes (apparently there really isn't much difference). He LOVED them. He smiled and batted his eyes at his wonderful family for giving him delicious tasting morsels.

Since then he has tried banana, carrot, sweet potato (yam style), and apple. It is safe to say he likes them all, especially banana. He doesn't get solids everday just when I feel like making it for him or taking the time and effort to help him learn how to move food to the back of his mouth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last year my aunt invited us up to the Suncadia resort between Seattle and Yakima and we had a wonderful time. She invited us again this year and it was even more fun than the last year. That might have to do with having a baby outside my belly and not feeling nauseous.


I love this pink hat. It is perfectly obnoxious.

Ambivalent about snow.

My little russian dictator. I think it's the hat...or the ice throne.

He wasn't crying, I promise.

Ice skating!

Striking a pose....trying to be as awkward as possible.

My little brother and sister.

Reliving my figure skating glory days...

I love this picture of my mom and Max.

We had a wonderful time in Suncadia.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Belated Gratitude

Oh my. I want to say I have been ever so busy but that makes me feel full of myself because in reality I haven't been that busy, it is just that some things took priority over writing on here lately. But I did want to share our Thanksgiving holiday which was splendid!

Luckily Kyle's parents were able to come to my Mom's home for a wonderful turkey dinner. It involved all the basic requirements of Thanksgiving. My favorite requirement being my grandmother's texas jello. It is a wierd assortment of cherry jello, coca cola, pineapple, and cream cheese. Sooo delicious.

We had a pumpkin roll instead of pumpkin pie which I was fine with and plenty of sparkling cider. Oh how I love Thanksgiving.

To be honest I was a little nervous considering last year I wanted to vomit at the sight of the turkey (first trimester nausea) but all was well and I was able to load up my plate.

I am very thankful for my family, we have been through a lot this past year but I am so grateful that we have been able to find joy through it all.