Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rethinking resolutions and putting first things first

Today I have an article on ksl.com - 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.

Sigh.

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 familyshare.com 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 familyshare.com 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? 





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hope for peace on earth, good will to men this holiday season

Like most of you, I’ve been extremely distraught since hearing the news of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., earlier this month. I find myself getting teary-eyed over seemingly small things that pop up in unexpected moments: smiles from my children, a song on the radio, a commercial, and of course a news blip reporting something related to the tragedy.
I first heard about what had happened when my husband called me from work the morning of Dec. 14 and relayed to me the unthinkable news he had just read online. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. Of course, the first thing I thought of was my own children.
I didn’t turn the TV to a news channel all day, not wanting to risk my 4- and 3-year-old children hearing about the horrific event. After awhile I pulled up the Internet on my phone and found a recap article of what had happened. Usually when something big in the news takes place I read an article online and then hop over to another, and another, trying and glean information and viewpoints from a couple different sources. But this time I couldn’t even stomach that one article. I got halfway through and felt sick. I had to stop reading.
Finally that night, after the kids were all settled down and in bed....
Read the rest of this article here on ksl.com.

Thanks for reading :).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Help us chose the 2012 winner of my family's annual gingerbread house competition!

Every year my family does a gingerbread house making competition. I must say this year we kicked it up a notch. I think having my brother Jake home from his mission got us all back in the spirit of things. He says this year our creations were "epic."

My sister created an online poll and we are trying to get as many people as we can to vote. If could take a second and vote to help us decide the 2012 winner we will love you forever! Even though the poll is is annoynomous, so we really won't know who you are :).

Check out the pictures below and then click on the link to the poll at the end. Be prepared to see some pretty sweet ginerbread house designs and decorating.

Manger Scene



Clock Tower



Mayan Temple



Bilbo's Hobbit Hole



Someone came from Whoville


Honorable mentions...
Halle's house



Luke's house




The Gingerbread Village (aren't they cute)



Vote by clicking on the link below.

http://strawpoll.me/5844

Thanks!!

P.s. good luck with your last minute "to do" list before Christmas. I still have some shopping, and LOTS of wrapping. Anyone want to have a wrapping party?



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts.

Since hearing about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut I've felt really distraught. That first day and night after hearing about it I couldn't think of anything else. I just felt sick. Then, the next day, I saw these lyrics floating around on Facebook and they really resonated with me.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

-I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Post II: Thankful Books

This year we continued our tradition of Thankful Books. Over the past couple years, a couple days before Thanksgiving, we help the kids make little Thankful Books where they draw a picture of something they are thankful for on each page. I love seeing what they come up with.

Both kid's books were really cute this year, so I'm going to do the "mom thing" and post pictures.

Let's start with Halle:






Other than "my family" on the first page, I love how random Halle's list is. I especially love that on the last page she says her hair, because she loves her hair. Although I'm surprised she drew it with the brown marker because part of what she loves about her hair is that it is "golden." She always talks about her "golden hair." (I haven't broken it to her that her golden hair is most likely going to darken up in a couple years. I mean, look at her parents.)

Then there is Luke:







Aren't those drawings of the people inside the hearts so cute? And I love how the only thing, other than people/family members, that made the cut was strawberries. Obviously, we are very health concious around here (haha).

Kids are so fun. I love what excitement and joy they bring to the holidays.

Thanksgiving Post I: A New Kind of Thankful

This Thanksgiving post is a bit belated, but better late than never, right?

This year I discovered something I am thankful for that I have taken for granted in the past. It's something people, myself included, often offhandedly remark we are thankful for, but until now I don't think I really understood what that meant and what the true absence of it would be like.

What I am talking about without actually having typed yet is heath. I can truly say that I am thankful for my health. So thankful!

Of course I have been sick before, many times like most people. I had mono when I was a teenager and got it again last winter, which was no fun. Last winter I also got strep throat three times in a row and had to get a penicillin shot to the behind to finally kick it. This fall/winter season I've already had the 24 hour throw up flu bug a couple times. Then there is pregnancy. Ahhh the joys of that first trimester, feeling pukey and nauseated over every smell. Not to mention the recovery after pregnancy, which is pretty darn rough. All these things, and other sicknesses I've had over the years, have been tough. But the week before Thanksgiving I came down with something that was worse than anything I have ever experienced.

It hit me on a Monday afternoon in the middle of a Costco run. I was carrying my 59 cent soda while looking through the adorable rack of dresses with Halle sitting in the cart, listening to Taylor Swift tunes on my phone, when the dizziness hit. I felt like I was going to fall over and right then and there. I dropped my drink out of my hand, spilling diet coke all over the floor in the middle of Costco. How embarrassing. I had no idea what had happened. I got my bearings back, but was feeling off and knew I had to get out of there. So I quickly finished up and paid. On my way out I refilled my cup, and after reaching my car in the parking lot spilled my drink for the second time!

About an hour or so later, now at home, I was so dizzy and nauseated I couldn't stand, let alone focus. I laid in bed the rest of the afternoon and night thinking I had some sort of weird flu virus. This went on for three more days. My wonderful mom and awesome neighbors came to my rescue and helped with the kids for those few days because I literally could not get off the couch or I would fall over. Before this I had no idea what vertigo was, but now I know a little too well.

Finally, Thursday I went to the doctor. I had an inner ear infection. Who would have thought? I had no ear pain. Apparently inner ear infections are so deep you don't feel it, but it hits you out of nowhere and you can experience extreme vertigo, like I was, because it throws off your equilibrium. I got on some meds, and by Friday was feeling much better. But the dizziness/lightheadedness persisted for days. The doctor said it would most likely take a few weeks to fully heal, which has been the case.

It was so debilitating those days before I got on the meds. I couldn't do anything - couldn't walk, couldn't eat, couldn't watch TV, couldn't look at a computer screen, definitely couldn't read a book, couldn't ride in a car because it would make me so sick, and couldn't even carry on a conversation with someone. Even communicating with my kids was tough. It was so weird. I've never experienced something go on for so long with no reprieve and be so intense.

Then I found out that there are people out there that deal with this type of vertigo and dizziness EVERY DAY. Some it's not every day, but maybe on and off every week or so, which would also be horrible. I was actually really quite scared when I first heard this, worried I would never get back to normal. But I slowly have. After experiencing this I feel like I have a whole new understanding and sympathy for people who experience these types of chronic ailments. It would be so difficult to have to try and function on a day-to-day basis living like that.

I was SO thankful when I started feeling back to normal. That Saturday after I went to the doctor I was finally feeling a bit better. Although still somewhat dizzy and lightheaded, I popped out of bed early (rare for me on a Saturday morning) and made breakfast for the kids, so grateful to be back to my normal self.

So there it is. I didn't do a thing on facebook or my blog or instagram saying what I was thankful for each day during the month of November like many did, but this month I have gained a new appreciation and gratefulness for my health, along with the many other things in life I have to be thankful for. At the top of the list are, of course, my fun, hilarious, and dearest children, and my wonderful husband. 

Oh, and sort of a side note....one more thing I'm thankful for, this new little Black Friday purchase.


Or should I say Black weekend, because we actually got it at Costco on Saturday. I love that Costco had their sale going all weekend. Anyway, we needed a new point and shoot badly. I was using my iPhone for everything and would get frustrated every time I loaded pictures onto my computer. The quality just wasn't that great unless the circumstances were perfect. This new camera seems really good so far. Great zoom, clear picture and HD camera. Yay!

Lots to be thankful for! :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

They're alive...

Today Luke was on disney.com picking a picture to print out and color. I left the room for a minute, and when I went back in he was hiding under the desk. I asked him what he was doing under there and he said, "Because all those princesses are staring at me. They look a little alive. Are they alive?"


For the first time ever Disney princesses seemed a little creepy. :)