Friday, April 24, 2015

Hurry before April is over!

That is what I'm thinking. . . "I'd better hurry and write a blog post before April is over!" 2015 has been flying by! Seriously, as I get older, I've realized time waits for no one. It goes by so fast and I feel like I'm scrambling sometimes just to savor every day moments.  Sometimes I'll just stare at my baby, who is now 5, hoping to soak her in permanently just the way she is at that very moment.  There are times I wish I could go back in time for just a day when my kids were babies. I never enjoyed them the way I would right now. Back then, it was all about survival and right now it's all about savoring precious moments. Not the figurines. That's crazy!

By the way.  .  .here are some moments I want to remember.

Mia, Xander and Zoey each placed in the school science fair. Ben worked extremely hard with each of the kids on their science fair projects. When I say he worked extremely hard, that's an understatement. Ben goes above and beyond when it is something he is interested in and science is one of those things. Sometimes I wonder what it would take to implant a love for say, yard work or house cleaning and chores???

Mia went to districts with her science fair project. She has gone every year possible! That girl rocks! 

And if the school science fair wasn't enough, bring on "playing science fair" at home. The kids made a bunch of pretend science fair projects. My favorite," do IPODS make you zombified?"

Mia had a daddy daughter 50's themed date. Her activity day leaders helped the girls make poodle skirts. And Ben wore my letterman jacket which I think is hilarious! I remember when I was younger having a daddy daughter date. It was a great memory and the fact that I still remember it is amazing. I have the worst memory!

Other random moments of happiness. . .

What Zoey looks like when she is the chairman for family home evening.

What Zoey is writing these days.

Field trip to the reservoir with Xander. I had to take a nap afterwards, I was so tired!!

Some creations created by our family include, beautiful updos, a sword holder, a giant clock, a quilt, a fondant cake, a brush that draws blood, a shed. . .

I think every family has "that something" that they do. Some families are a sports family or a dance family or a traveling to places family. In our family, we create things and do art. I've also decided that "that something" is usually something that the parents enjoy doing. Parents are selfish in that way. Naw, not really selfish but it's easy to do something you enjoy and your kids are the recipients.

After a 2 years absence from team sports, Mia made her debut back with spring soccer. Since being diagnosed with anxiety (thanks mostly to Ben and my chemical imbalances I'm sure), Mia has not been in sports because it causes too much anxiety for her which is sad because she loves sports and is really good at it. We decided that she was doing good enough and has gotten more control to try a sport. Her coach is the best! He is really kind and patient with her. And Mia is a natural! She scored the first goals at the first and second game.  I think this is a good experience for her. She is learning how to deal with her anxiety and is coming out on top!

Mia is also taking piano lessons. She had her first piano recital and once again, triumphed over her anxiety!

CJ is growing up too fast! She is a big sister at camp which means she helps plan camp and is a leader in one of the levels. She is going second year this year. She has so many talents that she doesn't even realize and I can see her finally using them for the benefit of others. I think that when you use your talents for yourself and yourself alone, your talents are halted and do not grow as they would if used for others.  I have seen in my own life, how my talents have grown when I use them to serve and help others.  CJ is a natural leader.  The girls naturally look up to her and want to follow her.  I love seeing her talents being used for good.  She is also taking drivers Ed-scary but true!! And I'm sure she is looking forward to DATING-also scary!  

WARNING the next part is not G rated. . .

Since we are talking about scary things, let's talk about boobs! More specifically. . . my boobs! Am I going to post a picture? Uh that's "epropriate" (pronounced with a long e) Zoey would say. Which the cutest things Zoey says are words with the wrong vowels. Sorry grammar nazis of the world, I don't even correct her because it is too cute! My favorite thing she says, "look uhind you" . Translation, "look behind you." 

Back to me. This is my bra and those are mia and Xander's heads. This is proof that I have gigantic breasts. Most people wouldn't consider me big breasted. That's because I am a pro at hunching, I wear bigger shirts and a minimizer. Since highschool, I have been what some women call "blessed". If "blessed" means having boys and men stare at my chest making me feel uncomfortable or having to wear more than one bra while playing sports or struggling to find clothes that fit me, that's messed up! A side joke I had in highschool was that when a boy would talk to me and not give me eye contact because he is literally talking to my chest, I wanted to grab my boobs and shake them while saying,"and they talk too!" I may have really done that in real life but I can't remember. On my basketball team my teammates voted that I had the best body. I was like, "What? That can't be right. Have they seen my legs? They are all scarred up?" Then it dawned on me later, it was because of my boobs!

Flash forward to adulthood. Still wearing two bras to workout in, I hate shopping for clothes and now my back hurts every now and then.  Then the babies come. I can't breastfeed. My breast don't produce enough milk.  My breasts are literally useless. I hate them. I really do. And what do they do to spite me? They just get bigger with each pregnancy. And then I hate them more.

Later in my 30's I find a sporting store that sells sports bra for endowed women. I was so excited that I didn't have to wear more than one bra while exercising. The cost? Around $70! And let's talk about bathing suits. I could never find one that fit my bottom and top at the same time. After searching on the Internet, I found a bathing suit top with a bra inside to help with support. The cost? $50 and that was just the top. 

You know that saying in kindergarten? "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit?" Well that's what I think. For years, I just dealt with what I had. That is until I started having back pain ALL DAY EVERYDAY. First, I thought, it must because I'm getting older. Then I asked my 70 year old mother if she has back pain everyday. Her reply was "No." That was when I decided to do something about it.

It actually took me over a year to get the courage to go talk to my doctor and start the process.  I don't know exactly why. I think I was a little embarrassed. I mean, who in this world wants smaller breasts? And I don't agree with all the plastic surgery that people get. One I started the process, there was no going back due to the fact that I became totally committed and driven. There was no stopping me. 

Well there was one thing that tried to stop me. A mess up with documentation with the insurance company made a mess that I had to sort out. I was in tears by the end. It was so stressful. 

Finally it all worked out and the breast reduction was happening! I am not kidding you I looked at boobs non stop for a month. Wondering, what size do I want to be?? I think I would have been completely satisfied with man boobs. Mine have been a heavy burden in more ways than one.  I would have loved to be flat!!

The surgery went well, but I was very disappointed afterwards. I still felt big and heavy. I had doubts if what I did was the right thing. I cried. I was mad at myself for not liking myself.

It's been almost 6 weeks and the swelling has gone down. Thankfully. At the beginning, I had no idea that I would be really swollen for a long time. I wanted instant results. That was not realistic. 

Conclusion. I am so glad that I had this surgery. This is going to give me relief and a better quality of life. Will I ever love my boobs? The answer is "Probably not". But I "like" them better each day. 

On a different note but still somewhat related. I was so blessed to have so many people help me out. I'm serious, what do people who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when things like this happen? In our church we have a great network of "instant" friends. On top of that, my mother and MIL both came out helping me and my family so much! I only have a picture of my MIL because when my Mom came, I wasn't feeling that great. But know, I appreciate her so much! 

So thus ends my boob saga. I hope to never, in the rest of my life, spend time thinking about my boobs.

And I don't care if people disagree. I still think boobs are overrated!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Another Month Bites the Dust

It's amazing how time flies! I can't believe it is halfway through February all ready. January just flew by so quickly. We began the year with a trip to Disneyland. It was a great time of the year and I took the 3 younger ones out of school. CJ already had the time off from school. I let CJ take a friend and she chose Taylor.  I'm glad she chose Taylor. Taylor loved the little kids and was fun to be with. We stayed in a nice hotel, which was 100 times better than the last one. The only unfortunate thing about this trip was that I was sick the whole time. I actually got sick a week before and was feeling better than the first week, which was good but it still wasn't a ton better.  Luckily, I made it though and was glad I came. I was tempted to stay at home and let Ben take the kids-that's how bad I was feeling. All in all, a good trip.

The next exciting thing was that Ben and I celebrated our 13th anniversary by going ziplining. It was super fun and something I've never really tried. Especially, on this scale. We were ziplining from tree to tree never touching the ground until the very end. It was a fun experience and I would totally do it again!

This year is the "Year of the Bike Ride", we will be heading on adventures on the trails. I got a new mountain bike which I am so excited about. I even recently went mountain biking on some super muddy trails. So messy but really fun!

We have been super blessed with great weather along with some good rainy days. California weather is awesome!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving in December!

Each year my blogging skills get less and less impressive. But I will keep trying because the fate of my "Family Yearbook" depends on it! And that is something that I love making each year. 

This Thanksgiving we decided to stick around and have dinner in our new home. We invited anyone from our new ward who didn't have a place to go to come to our house. That could have been an "invitation of masses" and surprisingly went the other way! Everyone seemed to have a place to go! Luckily, I still had friends in our old ward who came over.

Let me just tell you, this is the way to do thanksgiving. We had the Lemieuxs and two of the Lenininger family over and we just split everything up! It was awesome and not hard at all and not a burden to any one person. 

So, invite a ton of people to thanksgiving dinner and spread out the assignments and it will be grand!

Before the dinner, we organized a turkey bowl game. I was wondering how that would turn out especially since our track record wasn't so great. The first year we tried to organize one it was Ben, our brother in law and one other person. It ended up being the best we ever organized. There were about 22 people and I even got to play a little.

The kids and I made table decorations which was really quite fun. We gathered things from our backyard that was fall like. I couldn't believe at all the things that we found. From pinecones to pine needles to leaves and cool green spikey things, we had the best table decorations.

The turkey cooked nicely. I was so nervous about it since I was cooking it for other people. I think turkey is overrated. I really think that chicken has a better taste. We had a ton of food and pies!
 We stuffed ourselves and then the grownups got to play games. BEST. THANKSGIVING. EVER.

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's almost October by golly!

I can't believe how quick time flies! It's almost October and from there on out the rest of the year will become a blur.  Since school has started, I have never felt so busy and exhausted. Maybe it's because we no longer live across the street from the highschool and I now have to pick up CJ every day and two days a week she gets out at different times or that Xander is in soccer and scouts, or that Zoey is in kindergarten, gymnastics and dance, or that Mia is taking piano lessons now.

Whatever it is, I am so busy that the three hours that Zoey is gone feels like minutes. In my garage, pieces of furniture that need refinishing and painting remain untouched, books I swore I would read when the kids started school remain unread, or the genealogy I was going to do remains undone.

I do try to squeeze in some photography work here and there or a workout.  I do feel like I am in the car ALOT taking kids here or there. Mom Taxi. . . that phrase is so true!

CJ tried out for her first school play, although she didn't get the part I think she learned a lot and I hope she tries out for the spring play. I was so proud of her for trying. It takes a lot of courage to do what she did.

She also had a sad unforeseen loss in her life. Her friend from church, seminary and school passed away suddenly.  It was so so so sad.  It was amazing how the community came together to buoy up and support this family.  I know that there were many prayers on their behalf from friends, family and from people they didn't even know. CJ is doing well now, she had some rough days. It's been tough on all the youth in the stake.

I took his last professional pictures and I enlarged it and framed it for his family for the funeral. I was glad I was able to do something for the family because it breaks my heart. My heart aches for them. I love photography for many reasons but one of the biggest reasons why I love it, is being able to capture a moment. Moments come and go and they are never the same.  When you take a picture you capture that moment which will never happen again. And then with that picture, you can enjoy and relive that moment again and again and again. His mother, my friend, appreciated this gift because as she said, this is how she will always remember him. . . alive. Ironically, the outfit that I photographed him in was the one he was buried in. Photography brings me happiness and I am so happy that it can also bring peace and comfort to my friends.

Mia is taking piano lessons right now.  I love having a piano! It's great because Mia comes home and teaches Xander and Xander teaches Zoey. Her anxiety causes some frustration but hasn't been an issue which I am so grateful for.

Xander is playing soccer right now and is a superstar. I am always amazed how talented he is on the field. He's not the fastest. He's not the most skilled. He's not aggressive. But there is something about him that makes him very successful on the field. He analyzes and anticipates his opponent's move. He also really uses his head thinking about the best place to throw in the ball or to kick it.  It's like if you have ever seen a show on TV where the person throughts are written on the screen. I can envision Xander's thought process all over the place with arrows, formulas, and foresight.

Zoey is doing dance and gymnastics and is loving kindergarten. In fact, the first day of school that I picked her up she was so mad at me because I wasn't picking up Xander and Mia as well.  That they got to stay longer. She wants to be a big kid so bad and do everything her siblings do. She loves doing gymnastics and dance.  I enjoy her so much! She is my sunshine and I like having time with just her before the big kids get home. She loves to read and be read to. 

We are enjoying our new home and it's feels like we have lived there longer than four months but that is all it's been. Life is good. So good!