Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maya's Uniform

Maya has always had her own "reserved" sense of style. I have tried to buy her cute more stylish outfits but she just isn't interested. She prefers comfort and things that don't attract attention to herself. So this is what Maya looks like pretty much everyday...

White long sleeve t-shirt

A t-shirt layered on top

Jeans or yoga pants

Headband, pig tails or pony tail

This is what she wears Every. Single. Day. She may mix it up by wearing a gray fleece, a gray sweatshirt or her green puffy vest. 

On Sundays she usually keeps it simple wearing black, gray or khaki.  It kind of drives me nuts because it's so boring. But she is slowly coming out of her shell, the other day she surprised me by coming downstairs dressed like this for school...

....I was so excited to see her break out of her mold. I'm realizing that she is blossoming right before my eyes. On Saturday I took her shopping to Aeropostale, she had been begging for weeks to go. Apparently, that brand is the "Esprit" of today. I remember begging to go to "The Bon" so that I could get my white Esprit bag with multi-colored letters. So when Maya started telling me how badly she wanted an Aeropostale t-shirt because that is what all the fifth graders wear, I gladly took her. She was so cute taking her time looking at all the shirts. She found the ones that were on sale and tried a few on. We settled on two t-shirts and one dress. They were having a great sale so I only spent $29!

(The Shirts)

(The best picture I have of the dress)

She was beyond thrilled and so was I. It was the beginning of many shopping trips together. Even though I found some darling button up shirts and flouncy tops she just wasn't interested in them. Eden is my fashionista and I know we will have lots of fun shopping together...

But I love my Maya even though we don't share the same love of fashion, I love that her sense of style totally suits her personality. It's interesting to watch my children turn into their own person and find their own voice. All I know is my existence, and what I like and why I like it. Watching Maya discover herself is so much fun and annoying all at the same time. It is hard sometimes to bite my tongue (like this morning) when she wears something that I don't think matches or is ill fitting, but if she is comfortable than why should I care? I have to let her take violin even though I want her to play the cello.  I have to buy her sneakers and crocs instead of cute sandals and ballet flats. Instead of having a lazy Sunday morning before our 1 o'clock service, I have to go to choir practice with her because she wants to sing but she isn't comfortable singing without me. (And people...I don't sing, except to my children at bedtime) 

The best part about watching Maya discover herself is watching her testimony of God and Jesus Christ grow. She loves the scriptures and understands them far better than I did at her age. Her faith and her testimony is hers and hers alone. Aric and I do our best to teach and provide opportunities for her to learn but in the end she has developed her own ideas because of the experiences that she has had. It makes me so happy. That is why I don't care that her "uniform" is a little on the boring side and not super stylish, because I know that the person that is underneath those t-shirts and yoga pants is one amazing girl. Someone who is going to make the world a better place, someone who is going to live up to the potential that Heavenly Father has given her...I wish I could take credit for all that she is and all that she will become, but I can't. Heavenly Father sent her to me that way. I think part of the reason I got her was because Heavenly Father knew that Camden was going to rock my world and that I was going to need some reinforcements. How blessed am I that He gave me two incredibly good, kind, loving, and patient spirits to help raise him! 

(Notice the PINK sweater and jewels on her shoes!!!!)

Just For Fun...

This is a picture of Maya dressed up as Selena Gomez for a "Super Star" birthday party that she was invited to. This is as glam as this girl gets!  

Here is another fun picture of Maya dressed up for a "Royal Wedding" birthday party.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The ties that bind...

Yesterday was a big day in my family.

My cousin Ammon went through the temple in preparation for the two year mission he will be serving for my church

It was a glorious experience.

All of these people traveled hundreds of miles to be in Seattle to support him. His parents were married in that temple 25 years ago.

Being with my family to celebrate these milestones is priceless.
I was able to spend five hours in the car with my cousin Leah and my sister. We didn't listen to one song the whole way, we just talked. I loved every minute we had reconnecting and bonding with each other.

I got to see my brother Eric who came up from Portland. The effort he made to be there means so much to me. Even though it was such a short time that we had to visit, being able to talk face to face made the trip worth it.

The day was special for so many, many reasons, but one of the best parts for me was being able to see my grandparents and one of my uncles, that I rarely get to see because we live so far away from each other.

Some day I will do a post about my grandpa because he is the most amazing man I have ever known. I love him more than words can say, and being curled up underneath his arm is heaven to me.

Thirty some odd years ago my mom was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by my grandparents. She was baptized and then as the years went by one by one her siblings were also baptized.

It is because of them that I have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. And now Ammon gets to go and share that message with the good people of Mesa, Arizona. We haven't had a missionary in our family since my sister served her mission 15 years ago (Go Ev!)

 Sending Ammon off on his mission is like sending off my little brother. I have known him and loved him all of his life. I have watched him grow into this amazing young man. I am so proud of him and his choice to spend two years serving God. Being a nineteen year old young man who chooses God instead of college parties and girls is something to be proud about. 

Ammon has been blessed with countless talents and now he will be using them to teach people about Jesus Christ and that His atonement can truly change their lives. He will teach them that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that He loves all of His children. There is a way to find peace and joy during these troubling times. There is a way to make sure that your family is together forever. Ammon will join the 52,000 other missionaries that are teaching these very important truths to the world.

Yay Ammon!....I mean Elder Miller....I love you deeply and can't wait to start the care packages!

(You can read about how Ammon came to this decision by reading this post on his blog.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Camden has skillz

For Christmas Camden got a scooter...this scooter.

Aric and I debated over it because I wanted him to have a three wheeler, an expensive three wheeler (a mini kix). My sister has two of them and Camden loves riding them. Aric convinced me that the cheaper radio flyer would be just fine. So the past five months C has been riding it around the house since we live in the most annoying climate ever.

Well last week the sun came out to tease us for a few days and C refused to ride his scooter, he kept wanting to ride one of the girl's. So after fighting with my two year old for about ten minutes I decided to push the handle bars down and let him try and ride it.

I was confident that he was going to crash.

That little guy proved me wrong! He got on it and flew down the street. He has been cruising on a two wheeler ever since and now he even does tricks!

The old lady that lives by us just watches him in amazement. Maya and Eden both couldn't ride a two wheeler scooter until they were at least four and even then they were wobbly.

So now we have a very nice, barely used three wheeler scooter collecting dust in the garage. Good thing Aric won that debate!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How To: Get Over Yourself

Two years ago I ran my first race. I ran a half marathon. It was hard. I started having pain during mile two which caused me to fall behind the pack. My running buddies all took off and I had to dig deep to finish. My time was 2 hours 8 minutes.

Last year I ran my full marathon, TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO LOOOONG MILES. I had never in a million years thought I could do it. My only expectation was to finish under 5 hours. I trained hard and took care of my knee so there was no pain. I had the best run. I felt great and finished in 4 hours 20 minutes. I was more than happy with that time.

This year I decided to run the half again. 

(picking up our packets)

(pre-race carb/protien overload)

I had a great training experience. I mixed it up from the last two races by adding more cross training and sprints. I wanted to do this race for time. I wanted to run it in 2 hours or under. I knew taking 8 minutes off my time was going to be tough but I felt like I had it in the bag.

Last Saturday was race day. 

I started with the pack but it was hard to stay together in the sea of runners. I got a little ahead of my friends and realized I had lost my buddy Melissa completely. I slowed down to find her and she was not doing so good. She was sick already. I ran with her for a little bit but I had decided that at mile three I was going to go for it and run my own race. The night before my friend Meg who I had ran with the last two races kept telling me to go for it and see how fast I could do it. So with her in my ear I took off.

I put on my running tunes and found a good pace. I didn't have a garmin so I had no idea where I was. Half way through the race I was under an hour and felt great.

As I came into mile 11 I heard my friend Randi behind me so I ran with her for a tiny bit, but then she told me to go. So I took off again. I was excited to be so close to the end but decided to save my sprint until I could see the finish line. Then I saw my other running friend Jessica who had already finished running towards me and she gave me some encouragement so I kicked it into gear again.

The finish line wasn't where it had been the year before so I couldn't see it, but then I heard my name and looked up and saw the finish line with the giant numbers displaying 2:03:42.

UGHHHHH! I was so disappointed. I couldn't find my family in the crowd. My friends were either on the trail or had left. I was all alone at the finish line. I begrudgingly grabbed my medal and drank some water as I walked it off. 

I walked around feeling so annoyed. It was such a different feeling from the year before. I felt like I had blown it. I was too tired to cry about it, instead I was mad.

After a while I realized I still had friends out there and I needed to cheer them in. I also had my family that I needed to find.

We took pictures and congratulated each other.

I got home and Aric took care of the kids so that I could have some time to recover. I finally let it all out and let the disappointment take over. I had a pity party all by myself. I was so mad that I had left my friends to run "my own" race just to be disappointed with my time. It wasn't worth it. I wish I had ran with them, especially Melissa. It was her first race and I left her at mile three sick! I felt like a horrible friend.

It didn't take long for me to realize how stupid I was being. I ran a good race. The best part of the race wasn't the race at all. It was training with wonderful friends who love me and inspire me. It was my kids and Aric at the end who were so proud of me. It was realizing once again how blessed I am to have a body that can keep up with all the demands that I put on it.

I had to get over myself. 1:59:00 is just a number. It's not who I am. With the time of 2:03:36 my family was still proud of me. 

And my friends still loved me, even though I ditched them.

This whole experience made me realize how I let unnecessary expectations get the best of me. I get so caught up in how I don't measure up, that I can't see what I have accomplished. Not just in running, but in my life.

So here is to a new way of thinking,(at least for today), I am going to get over myself and see the positive instead of the negative. Instead of looking at my house and seeing all the things I didn't get done I will focus on the things that I did do. Like go to the fifth grade celebration planning meeting. Like reinstall the toilet. Like watch my friends kid so she could get some training done for her job. Like work on my book that I never have time to work on.

I hope my little experience/life lesson will help you get over yourself and see past your unrealistic expectations. Maybe then you can focus on all the amazing things you do that you don't give yourself credit for.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camden's First Trip to Larry's

C's hair was getting out of control so we decided it was time to consult with an expert.

We took him to the only Afro Barber Shop in these parts...

Larry's Barber Shop

C wasn't to sure about it so he had to sit on Aric's lap.

Aric watched closely so that he can try and do the fade next time and save $20.

Even though Camden is only 2 1/2 he still got the full treatment...

I couldn't help but get a tiny bit teary. He looks so big!

I can guarantee you that in the 30 years Larry has been in business he had never seen an entourage like ours. Aric walks in, white dad with brown boy,  followed by hispanic light brown mamma with two creamy little girls and a very white grandma attached to a chemo pack. 

Yeah, we're our very own Unicef commercial.