Monday, July 28, 2008


Today I was flipping through a magazine that my friend gave me, and there was this really great advertisement for a (really cool) jogging stroller. On the advertisement was a quote:

"I AM NOT a woman whose hair looks perfect all the time, makes a home-cooked meal every night, and knows exactly how to answer all my children's questions. But I am strong. I am invincible. I AM MOM."

I soooo needed that quote today! I have been feeling pretty down lately. I think I go through these emotions every few months or so...where I just get tired and fed up with my life's routine. We only have one car, so I stay at home with the kids allll day long. Any woman with kids knows it is a full time job, and though we get paid in blessings in heaven, some cold hard cash or a big fat salary wouldn't be under-appreciated. Then, I have to fix dinner for the husband. Then I have to clean up dinner and the whole mess I made for dinner and then put the kids to bed...all while the husband goes out to do Kenpo (karate) with his friends until 10:30 or 11:00. This happens on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. Wednesdays I have mutual, so I don't get to see him till Fridays.

I don't think it would be so bad accept for that it seems nothing I do lasts. By the end of the day, I don't really have any proof for what I've done. By the time Mike gets home from work, you'd never be able to tell that I have been straightening up the house allllllllllll day. You'd never know that I did a load of dishes already and I swear the kitchen had visible counter tops during most of the day. You'd never know that I really did put on clean clothes this morning and I swear I put on make-up and did my hair. And deodorant for that matter. You'd never know that the pile of clothes thrown across the floor had been clean and neatly folded and ready to put away just five minutes ago. And I swear I did make the bed this morning, and no, I was not eating cookies in our bed...those crumbs aren't mine! (which would explain why the kids were so quiet while I was moping the kitchen floor...) I swear I did watch the lady at the cash register to make sure everything rang up at the right price, but when Aaron attacked Whitney and spit her lip open in the grocery cart I looked away, so I didn't see that the $2 coupon off of the cereal didn't make it through and that I was charged twice for that same bag of cereal (Grrrr!). I promise I vacuumed earlier today...but that was before the bag of cheerios I gave Aaron twenty minutes ago to try to hold him at bay until dinner. I'm so sorry about the crayon on the wall...I thought I had put all the crayons away....but that was until Aaron remembered he had hidden one of them in the VCR. (Which also would explain why our VCR hasn't been working all day...and the slight smell of burning plastic.)

And that's pretty much my day. Some days I think it would be so nice to get to put on some nice clothes, get all dolled up and go to work in an office where I would be recognized for my hard work and feel important. A place where colleagues don't throw themselves to the floor when you refuse to let them eat that entire box of gram crackers. A place where you can stand in the lunch line without your colleague shouting, "Hey mom! That's a big fat black lady!". Or some sort of a middle eastern person and your colleague shouting, "Hey mom! It's one of those bad guys from Daddy's video game!". And then I realized that suddenly there wouldn't be any more of the "Hey mom, can I sit on your lap and you can read me a story?" or "Hey mom, when I grow up I want to be a mommy like you!", or "Hey mom, can we get a turtle that doesn't eat fish? I want mine to eat jellyfish." I don't think any paycheck or expensive shoes and purses or memos at work could ever compare to that. Anyways, the point that I'm trying to make is that it's so easy to get frustrated with being "just a mom." Until I take a step back, look at all that I have, and realize that I'm not "just a mom". I'm "NOT JUST A MOM".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hello Dolly!

It's about 5:30 a.m. and I woke up to rain, thunder and lightning....and now I can't seem to get back to sleep. All I could think was "sounds like Dolly's knocking on the door." I'm so glad it wasn't a direct hit! It sure is nerve wracking to track these things when they first start up as a tropical depression and wondering how big they'll get and where they'll hit. Thankfully we haven't been hit by any while we've lived here! And hopefully we won't be!

When we first moved to Houston, our Relief Society President came over and the first thing she said was "make sure you have all of your emergency supplies in order! You WILL need them here." Naturally, I was totally freaked out since it hadn't been all that long since Katrina, so I of course think the worst. The good that came of all of this is that we got our 72 hour kits together in a jiffy (uh, did I just say jiffy?) and are building up on our food storage. We're pretty set, and it feels so good to know that if anything does happen, we'll be able to provide for our kids. At first it seemed like such a daunting task, but then I decided to just buy one thing for our food storage every time we go to Sam's Club. And then I found BePrepared.Com and it's my new favorite place!

So, anyways... being prepared and helping others to get started is my new passion! I was even thinking about starting up an online business selling 72 hour kits tailored to individual families needs...with diapers and that sort of stuff. Not the generic "here's a few water bottles, a flashlight, band-aids and granola bars." We'll see if anything comes of it...but it would be so much fun! So, if any of you need help getting yours started or even just want your food storage needs calculated for your family let me know!

Hmmm. Well, sounds like the thunder woke Aaron and Whitney up. Guess my time is up! And if this post is lame...blame it on being up before the crack of dawn and Dolly!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


okay, so I don't know why the layout of my next entry is so weird, no matter how many times I went back to edit it to make it look normal it kept switching back to the retarded layout with the pictures all weird and everything all spaced out. So...sorry...I tried!

We're Baaaaaaack!

We're back from our great big vacation to Colorado and New Mexico. Though I have vowed to never make that 17 hour drive ever again...well, at least not until amnesia takes over and I forget how long and awful it is with a little man going into his terrible two stage, it was so nice to go back home and see all of the family! Rachel was there with McKayla while Mike is getting things settled in Michigan. I just looooove that baby girl! She is just the cutest little baby! I couldn't get enough of her! And there's nothing like seeing Mom and Dad for the first time when I haven't seen them in such a long time! Dorothy was right, there's no place like home!!!

On Friday we drove up to the mountains and had a picnic with Michael's family. It was a beautiful day and the air was crisp and cool and it smelled like mountains. (Go figure)

Whitney had fun wandering the trails and picking wild flowers...and weeds.

While Michael had fun wandering around with Aaron throwing rocks and trying to keep Aaron from "playing" in the river!

First, we did Michael's Brimhall reunion. We went to the Sand Dunes on the first day of the reunion...which I kind of sort of forgot about the camera there. It was neat to meet all the relatives that I hadn't met yet, and hear all of the amazing family history. There is a building at BYU named after one of Michael's ancestors! Cool, huh! I also got to meet Sean's girlfriend, Lauren, which was really fun. Hopefully someday soon she'll be a permanent addition to the family!

Then we spent the next few days playing around.

Michael took the kids for rides on the 4 wheelers.
Whitney wanted to drive, of course...until it got too fast.

Aaron thought that was about the coolest thing ever! (Until Daddy somehow finds a way to give him a ride in a fire truck...then that will be the coolest thing ever)

Then Grandma Lola babysat while Michael and I did some shooting which we used to do a lot when we were dating.We would shoot stuffed animals, rotten fruits and vegetables, cans, pop bottles....computers....whatever we could find that would be fun! It was just like the good old days. He's such a handsome devil...I love that crazy man...even when he tries to give me dirty looks!

Then it was off to Albuquerque for my family's Chatwin reunion. Our family is getting soooo big! I couldn't believe all the cute little kids running around. Whitney made lots of new little friends. It was great to see Grandma Nora again, she is such a sweet and beautiful person! I won her huuuuge box of recipes at the family auction! (Much better than my little brother's tarantula that he won.....ugh!) Oh! And my brother Matt made a surprise trip from Provo to come to the reunion! I totally freaked out when I saw him because we all thought he couldn't get off work to be there. I didn't think I'd get to see him for another 2 1/2 years when he comes home from his mission! It was a great day. We were supposed to stay in a camper at my Aunt and Uncle's house, but Whitney was starting to wheeze after only being there for 15 minutes, so we thought that might be a bad idea. We ended up staying in a hotel about 10 minutes away. On the 4th of July we went to the Los Lunas parade and then to the Aquarium and Zoo. (Where I discovered that I had broken our new camera's LCD screen with a battery...seriously!) Thankfully, my sister and cousin took some pictures for us!

Whitney liked the shark tank and these really cool jellyfish that were lit up by a black light. I tried to get a picture of that but it didn't turn out too well.

And here's us on the train at the zoo. Whitney was in the back with Uncle Brett...we didn't kick her out of the picture on purpose.

That night the Texas Chatwins did a yummy Texan style barb-q and there was birthday cake and fireworks while Aunt Carolyn played guitar for a while. It was a wonderful birthday! We had to leave the next day. Michael went paint-balling with the guys early that morning and we left shortly after he got back. It was really hard to say goodbye to the family. Who knows when we'll all be together again? Rachel, Mike and McKayla are off to Michigan, Matt is off to's so strange that we're all growing up and going our own ways.

It was a nice trip! Lots of wonderful times and memories. And now, I leave you with our almost really great family picture.....

No captions needed.