Thursday, September 3, 2015

My book is being published!!

I have some exciting news! My book is going to be published! The book is titled By the Stars and is a historical fiction novel set in WWII-era and inspired by a true story. My publisher has set the release date for March 8, 2016. This books has been many years in the making and the road to publication hasn't been easy, but I am thrilled my passion for writing combined with history can now be something more than a hobby and maybe something people will actually read, and hopefully enjoy!

The cover is currently being designed and edits being made, and I can't wait to see it all come together!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Why Carl's Jr. is making it hard on us parents

I have this article on today:

Why Carl’s Jr. is making it hard on us parents
Our kids come to us naïve and sweet and innocent, and we want to do all we can to protect that innocence as long as we can, but it makes it hard when a company, or in this case a restaurant, tries to find a way around that.

You may or may not yet have seen the post gone viral by popular blogger Greg Trimble, A Letter From a Dad to Carl's Jr. and the Women in Their Commercials. If you haven't had a chance to read it, you should. Take a minute to jump over there, and then join me back here when you're finished.

My first reaction when I saw the headline come up on my Facebook feed was, "Here we go with an overly conservative opinion about the media." And honesty, if I would have read the article a few years back I probably would have thought it was a little overboard. But now I have kids. Kids around the same ages as this father's. And I get it. I totally get it!
Our kids come to us naïve, sweet and innocent, and we want to do all we can to protect that innocence as long as we can. Which we should. It is our job as parents to protect our children, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
So we come up with ways to be careful. We use Internet filters; we make sure we don't subscribe to cable channels that might show inappropriate movies or TV programs; we use parental blocks on our cable and Netflix subscriptions to be safe; and so on. It's not because we are being paranoid or prudish, it's because we're trying to keep them viewing age appropriate material. Trying to protect their young minds from images and ideas that are beyond their years and will only leave them confused and thinking about certain things much younger than they need to be.
Read the rest of the article here. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

7 ways to recharge your mom battery after a busy summer

I have this article on today:

7 ways to recharge your mom battery after a busy summer

After a long and busy summer, here are a few things that have worked for me to recharge my “mom battery” that might work for you, too.
Summer is coming to an end. If you're anything like me, this brings about mixed emotions. While I'm sad I won't have my kids home with me anymore, at the same time, I am breathing a sigh of relief knowing back to school means the return of routines and normalcy.
Many of us might feel a bit run down after a summer full of activities with our favorite kiddos, while juggling late nights and battling to keep them off electronics in between. After a long and busy summer, here are a few things that have worked for me to recharge my "mom battery" that might work for you, too.

1. Shoot for an earlier bedtime

As it begins getting dark earlier in the evening, we are given the natural opportunity to make this transition. Getting the kids to bed earlier gives you time to do something for yourself in the evening before you crash. Talk to your spouse without kid interruptions, read a book or watch a TV show that isn't animated. Having a little extra time at night to wind down does wonders to help us rejuvenate and be ready to happily face our favorite little people in the morning.

2. Watch baby videos of your children together

First of all, kids love seeing what they were like as babies. Plus, you get to use the videos you spent hours taking, transferred to your computer and backed up in multiple places. But mostly, I've noticed watching baby videos does two great things for me: First, it reminds me how my child was a sweet and adorable little baby (which never fails to leave me smiling). Second, it makes me remember how fast my child is growing up, and that I need to savor the moments because they go by so quickly.

3. Sneak a peek at your kids after they are asleep

A while back ago, my wise and spunky grandmother taught me a valuable lesson. (I was having a particularly trying day parenting my rambunctious young children.) She advised me to go back into my kid's rooms at night after they had fallen asleep and take a peek at them sleeping. She assured me this would make everything right again. And guess what? She was right! Just try it. Take a nice, prolonged look at your child sleeping, looking peaceful and angelic, and just see if it doesn't melt your heart a little bit.
Read the rest of the article here.  :)

You know you're a happy parent if...

The other day I read this article called "You know you're a happy parent if..." and thought it was really good. This quote stood out to me from it, so much so that I copied it onto my notes on my phone so I could save it to look back on.  

“We don't have children because we expect them to make us happy all the time
We have them because they give our lives meaning."

A little food for thought :). 

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's a...


We are so excited! Of course my son wanted a brother and my daughter wanted a sister, so this works out perfectly. My husband and I found out the genders at the ultrasound but wanted to surprise our kids in a fun way, so once we knew we called the cupcake shop and had them make these gender reveal cupcakes. We had some family over and it was a fun night. Now I can move onto really planning for these babes!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Double Trouble!

I have neglected this blog for awhile but I want to get back to updating it, so here I am :). AND I have an exciting announcement to make. I am pregnant...with TWINS! Yay! Bring on double the craziness and the fun.

Here is a 3d ultrasound photo of the babies at 13.5 weeks.

How cool is that? I know, I know, ultrasounds are always a tad bit creepy looking! But I'd never had a 3d ultrasound done this early with my other pregnancies and I thought it was really neat to see how developed babies are by just 13 weeks.

We are super excited. Luke is six and a half now and Halle just turned five, so I actually feel like us ending up with twins works out great. We'll have a pretty big gap between Halle and the babies which means my older kids can be a big help with the babes (we can hope!)

I am 18 weeks along now and actually have my big ultrasound to find out the babies genders tomorrow! I. CAN'T. WAIT. I will update the blog with what they are when we find out :).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rethinking resolutions and putting first things first

Today I have an article on - Rethinking resolutions and putting first things first. 

I'm a fan of making New Year's Resolutions. At the beginning of each new year, I'm ready for a fresh start and almost crave sitting down and making a list of things I need to work on for the upcoming year. You could say I'm a list girl — if it weren't for my daily lists I'm pretty sure I would forget everything I need to do and wouldn't accomplish anything in life.
When it comes to resolutions for the New Year, it's almost comical how each year my list is very similar, if not almost exactly the same, as the previous year's (i.e. exercise more regularly, become more organized, get on a consistent cleaning schedule, finish a writing project, read more books, eat healthier, etc., etc., etc.)
So far in 2014, I've been working on these things among others and feel like I'm doing a pretty good job. But do you know what's funny? When I get on a frenzy trying to accomplish all the things I've set out to do while also keeping a perfectly clean and orderly house, I find there is something that usually begins to suffer — my patience with my children.
Read the rest of the article here. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Menu dilemmas

Tonight I made some yummy enchiladas for dinner - one of my favorite recipes. But neither of my kids would take a single bite. Can you say picky eaters? So frustrating at times, right?!

After dinner I found Luke drawing the below "menu" of food items he would like to eat for dinner that he gave to me. "These are the things I like mom," he said, "so please make me something off this menu."

Hmm. Well, alright then. Lets see what we have. Starting from the top: grapes, blueberries, peaches, cookie dough, spaghetti, lettuce, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and breakfast burritos.


Cookie dough for dinner is my vote!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blood Moon

My cousin-in-law Teri Harman recently released her first novel, Blood Moon. I am so excited for her - what an accomplishment. I don't think a lot of people understand what a big, huge, amazing thing it is to write and finish a book, let alone get a literary agent to represent your work and then have a publisher pick it up, but being in the writing world I do understand it a little bit and all I can say is, way to go Teri!

I was able to go to Teri's book launch party for Blood Moon at the King's English book shop a few weeks back, which was super cool. She did a fabulous job speaking and it was fun to be there and to have her sign my book on its release date.

As for the book itself, I enjoyed it very much. Blood Moon has something for everyone - an intriguing storyline, a little romance, good vs. evil/light vs. dark theme, really cool witch fighting scenes, the list goes on! I loved the concept of the different gifts for witches, and how the history of witches from the same small town were woven throughout the book. This is a great read for young adults but also definitely crosses over to adults. I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy. If you live in Utah, Teri is from here, so support a local author and pick it up! If you don't, well then support a good book and pick it up :).

Again, congrats Teri!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beach love.

This is one of my favorite photos taken while we were in California in April. We had a wonderful time at the beach while we were there. It was so fun, so relaxing, and so peaceful. I love the ocean and being at the beach.

And, of course, the kids were in heaven. They played for hours and hours in the sand and water. Water...sun...and kids with sand all over their hair and up their bums - what's not to love?

I love this picture I caught of Halle running with her arms out, pretending to be a bird, or a plane...(not sure which?) Whatever it was, it was cute. I want to blow this one up.

I think if I lived close to a beach I would go everyday. I may have been meant to live in a beach house in So Cal....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What to Expect as a First-Time Soccer Mom

Today I have an article on about our first experience with our kids playing soccer this spring: What to Expect as a First-Time Soccer Mom. If you haven't been to yet you should check it out. It's an awesome website with great resources for families.

This spring, my 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter played on soccer teams for the first time. If you haven’t had the experience of watching young children play soccer before, trust me it is entertaining and sometimes quite hilarious to watch.

Last Saturday was their final game. Following their games, it was very cute to see both children receive their Valuable Player trophies with such pride. As I watched my little ones walk back to the car, trophies and team pictures in hand, I thought I noticed a bit of newfound confidence in their steps. They were soccer players and had actually received an award for it. It was good for them to have the experience of playing on a team and feeling accomplishment from it, regardless of their skill. I chalked up our first go at soccer as a successful one.

Yes, the experience was a fun one. But of course, as in any experience, there are lessons to be learned along the way. Here are some valuable ones I learned this season which will most likely be the first of many soccer seasons to come:

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet little reminders

Tonight I was tired and trying to get the kids in bed and they were giving me an unusually hard time about it. Finally I got Halle down but Luke was still full of energy. It was already an hour past his normal bedtime and I knew he wasn't going to be settling down anytime soon, so I finally told him he could stay up and play in his room as long as he didn't come out and would get into bed when he got tired. He agreed, but about ten minutes later I heard his door creak open and he came sneaking out. I was losing patience and, probably a bit grumpily, asked him what he was doing out of his room.

"I just need to get some paper and markers, Mom."

Okay, that I could handle. Something to keep him entertained and in his room. I got him his paper and markers and walked him back into his room. He asked me to write the names of his friends that live next door on one paper, so I did, and then left him in there to color.

I didn't hear anything else from him. About a half hour later I went to check on him, and outside his door I found this:

And my heart melted a little. After seeing these pictures he drew for us I thought, and why was I so frustrated trying to get him to stay in bed? I peeked in on him laying in his bed, fast asleep, and immediately starting thinking about how this cute, young stage of always wanting to be up with us at night, and him constantly drawing sweet little pictures of us, isn't going to last forever.

I constantly go back to this theme when writing in my journal, in articles, and on this blog, but I think it must be because I need to be reminded of it. They grow so fast, and I need to remember to just let loose and enjoy this time in our lives. To not get so caught up in bedtime schedules and routines and keeping the house clean that I miss it. It makes me sad to think one day, and probably sooner than I realize, he won't want to sneak out of his room to be with us, we'll probably actually be trying to pull him out of there to get a word out of him. And these sweet little drawings he does will go away. So I want to do my best to cherish these little things now, in the present.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The secret to keeping up on laundry folding

I am pleased to say that I have actually kept one of my New Year's resolutions! I had a resolution to keep up on laundry folding. Previous to this it was getting pretty bad, to the point where it felt like we were living out of laundry baskets half the time. I was always on top of actually doing the laundry, but when it came to the folding part, it just wasn't happening!

So I decided to make the New Year's goal to keep up on laundry AND folding. I decided I would make Mondays my laundry day and stick to it. I will admit, part of the solution for me has definitely been to have one day be the laundry day. This has helped a lot. But do you want to know the most important part of the solution?

Yes siree. Mondays are the perfect days for me to do laundry. I just let those baskets of clean clothes pile up and then actually look forward to folding after the kiddos go to bed because I do it while partaking in one of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Bachelor! Why hadn't I thought of this sooner? Seriously, my laundry room has never looked cleaner for a longer period of time as it has this past month or so!

The Bachelor is the perfect show to watch while folding because you don't have to pay too close attention. You just watch, fold, laugh, watch some drama unfold, and laugh some more. I loved the confrontation from last night, and of course the line, "I can't control my eyebrows!" Classic.

Only problem is, what I am going to do when The Bachelor ends? Hometowns are next week. It's coming too soon!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A colorful week

Last week we had a few exciting events take place in the Ferguson household. First off, I was messing around on my phone when I noticed a bunch of streaks on the back of it. At first I thought they were scratches on the clear plastic case. But then I realized what had happened - the entire backside of my phone was shattered, and the only thing holding it together was the case! Yikes!

I had a pretty good idea of two little ones who might have been the culprits. I quickly tracked down the kids and began questioning them on if either happened to have dropped my phone when they were last playing with it. If Halle isn't on there catching up on her favorite shows on Netflix or listening to Taylor Swift, Luke is playing Star Wars Angry Birds or that weird Alligator Needs Water game. Maybe it's time this five and three-year-old got phones of their own! I'm kidding. But really, it would be nice to have my phone actually be my phone again. I know it's my own fault. I caved into letting them play with my phone so I can have peace and quiet while grocery shopping, running errands, and all those other times it's convinient to pull out the pocket-sized babysitter. I'd say I'll go back on it, but I know I really won't.

Anyway, nobody fessed up. Which wouldn't have helped anything. But still, it's always nice to know how things happen, or at least try to find out, right? My phone is still working fine, so we'll see how long that case can hold it together. Do you think we'll be able to make it til July when the iPhone 5 is rumored to be coming out? Cory's determined to wait until then to upgrade. I may just end up with the old flip razor my kids use as their favorite play phone.

Then one night last week during dinner Luke said he needed to use the potty. He left the table and came back a few minutes later, everything as normal. After dinner when we were cleaning up Cory walked back to our room for something and I heard him yell, "Water! Water!"

I rushed down the hall to see him standing at the doorway to the kid's bathroom, water running over the toilet bowl and onto the tile. He quickly turned off the water and we grabbed a bunch of towels to soak up what had already overflowed.

Luckily he had been walking back to our room at that moment, or we probably would have been dealing with a flooded bathroom and basement last week.

The towels used to soak up all the water

After we cleaned up I had a little talk with Luke. He was the last one to use the potty, so he had probably used too many wipes. I asked him how many wipes he had used (yes, they were flushable).

He responded, "I only used two, mommy. Or maybe five. Or... maybe one hundred..."
Alrighty, then. Figured out the problem.

Oh, the exciting life of overflowing toilets!

Lastly, it was my Grandma's 75th birthday last Sunday. We had a really fun party for her and it was great to spend time with family and celebrate the amazing person she is.

Isn't this cake cool?

Happy Birthday Jojo, we love you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Slow down, time.

Two weeks ago my sweet boy turned 5-years-old. FIVE! Doesn't that sound old? I was talking about it to a friend the other day and we decided that going from four to five is a big step. It just kind of seems like they go from being an older toddler to a kid.

Luke's definitely not a toddler anymore. And with that front tooth missing that he got knocked out last month during a head bonk (so much blood!) combined with him being on the taller side for his age, plus that "little man face" he's always had since he was a baby, he really is looking more like 6-years-old these days.

Luke at 8 months old. Just look at that cute little man face.

So all of the sudden I've gone from having two toddlers to a kid and a toddler. That's how it feels, at least. I try to focus on the positive. There is a lot to look forward to. As much as I dread him going into elementary school because then he really will be a big kid, I know it will also be fun to move onto that next step. I'm excited to go to his sports games and to sign him up for piano lessons when he gets a little older.

But let's be honest, sometimes I just want to wrap him back up in that swaddling blanket we brought him home from the hospital in, big kid or not, and cuddle him like the little baby he was just five short years ago. The baby he still is to me. I love that he still likes to cuddle with me. I cherish that, because I'm afraid sooner rather than later he's going to be too "big" for that.

Being a mom is so fun. So rewarding. I love watching them grow and go through new stages of life. But sometimes, can't time slow down, just a little?