Friday, September 19, 2008

Excuses, excuses...

I'm sure many of our faithful readers are wondering why we haven't posted the "after pictures" of our bathroom yet. Yes, we did completely tear out our bathroom a few months ago and yes, we do have everything we need to finish it, but... it is still not done! Granted, the walls are back up, and have been mudded, sanded and primed once. The plumbing and electrical stuff is done as well, so there really is an end in sight

Yet we have been stalled in what seems like an endless state of sharing our one remaining bathroom. Here are some of the reasons we still have sticky faucets, toothpaste globs on the counter and are tripping over step stools in our bathroom (as opposed to the new one):

1. Our new schedule: Sunday-Church, Monday-Laura has class, Tuesday-Jared has Scouts & Laura has Activity Days, Wednesday-Laura's classes again... this leaves only a few days a week to work on it. And of course there are other various activities that come up on those days too.

2. Our Saturdays have been taken up with a temple trip, marriage seminar/Disney on Ice, paintballing (Jared's new hobby / obsession), another trip to Orlando and a hurricane scare which had us scrambling to install the hurricane shutters that have been in our garage for a couple of years. Incidently it takes one whole Saturday to install (cut/fit/drill into the concrete block walls) just one window--and we have 10! (Why are we not paying someone else to do it again?)

3. The last reason is because Jared and I have been spending long hours after the kids go to bed working on our respective projects. It's actually been pretty fun to sit at the same table on our laptops, even though we are kind of wasted the next day. I am putting together a portfolio for a scholarship that I just found out about and Jared has been working on our first family movie that premiered tonight at the Annual Plantation Ward Film Festival.

Here is the movie. It was not intended to be a sad commentary on my life, but rather a slightly humorous take on what my life is really like. I hope you like it! Jared did a great job on it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Leftovers anyone?

So last December at the Daniels family reunion we played the newlywed game and one of the questions was what was my (Laura's) worst cooking disaster. We both said the same thing: I haven't had one because I don't cook enough. Well, next time we play that game there will be a different answer.

I was at the store and saw a box of Falafel mix. I thought, "Hey, something new to make" and "Didn't I eat that once as a child and like it?" and "The picture on the box looks pretty good." I don't know, maybe I've been watching too much Blue's Clues because in one of the episodes her friend makes Falafels (was it Periwinkle? I'm always half asleep when it's on). Hey, if a cartoon can do it how hard could it be?

From the moment I opened the box and took a whiff I began having second thoughts, but it was Falafel night and I wasn't going to throw away a perfectly good $1.07 box of ground up chick-peas and spices (seriously, why did I think that sounded good?). I followed the directions and though they looked mushy and were falling apart, I fried them up anyway. Did I leave them in too long? Not long enough? Was it not hot enough? I have no idea, but I cooked them all and lovingly placed them in front of my family. Let me just say that no amount of ranch dressing, cheese, or ketchup was going to make those babies taste any better. They were horrible!

Maybe, just maybe if I'm ever in Egypt and the opportunity arises to try a Falafel cooked correctly, I might do it. But until then, I think I'm Falafeled out. From the opening of the box to the throwing the remains in the outside garbage and the lingering smell despite that, it was a cooking disaster---probably my first one (and by the way, I think the small amount I did eat did a number on me... and we all know there's only one number!)

Well, this is how they are supposed to look...

...and this is how mine turned out. Yikes!

(P.S. I have no idea why I spent so much time talking about this)

Friday, September 5, 2008


Which is which? The other day I put this outfit on Marissa and thought of this picture of when Erin was a baby. I couldn't resist duplicating it. It makes me realize that my kids kind of do look alike. Oh, my sweet little girls!

So Marissa rolled over for the first time today! I put her on her tummy, left the room and when I came back she was on her back. I tried asking Alex if he had anything to do with it but it's hard to get a straight answer from an almost 2 year old. So I rolled her back over and she did it again. I did it a few more times just for good measure. So it wasn't a fluke, she's rolling. It's always exciting to see them do new things like this, but then I realize how fast she's growing up. Wasn't she just born?

And yes, Marissa is officially a thumb-sucker. I tried putting socks on her hands but finally just let her indulge herself. It must be very succulent because I find her enjoying it every morning after a long 10+ hours of sleep. While it may be a hard habit to break later, at least I can enjoy a good night's sleep now... oh, and it is pretty cute!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mowing the Lawn

Thank you, Jared, for letting me mow the lawn! Seriously, I often feel trapped with these kids in my little "cave" so that even a task like mowing the lawn can't be done without someone to watch the kids. Sometimes I just need to escape for a while, but I either don't know what to do or where to run or even if I will be able to do it. So thank you Jared, for letting me escape for a while to mow the lawn.

I've always loved mowing the lawn since I was about 12 when I started doing it There is something so satisfying and relaxing about it: the smell of freshly cut grass, the drone of the mower, the steady pace of walking back and forth, seeing how good it all looks and what a difference I am making. Tonight the sky was beautiful, there was a slight breeze, my blood was circulating, and most importantly, there were no kids to be held, fed, comforted, dressed, disciplined, cleaned up after, etc. It gives me time to think and get away, even though I am only in the yard. I don't think I will ever get a lawn service; nobody can take this weird obsession away from me!

I know that this period of my life won't last that long. I absolutely love my children and being a mom. They are so cute, innocent, loving and have such an enthusiasm for life. Watching them learn and reach different milestones is very fulfilling. But these children are also challenging, needy, and exasperating at times. One day last week I counted 9 times strapping kids in and out of car seats from going to preschool, the store and the dentist. Multiply that by 3 kids (minus 2 times when Erin was at school) and add the fact that at least one child is always hiding under the seat or needing to push one more button before I tackle them to their seat, and you get 25 very frustrating moments! Is it any wonder I stay in my cave all day?

But then this leads to loneliness and isolation. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. Please tell me I'm not alone in feeling this way! And don't get me wrong, not every day is bad. But some days are just so hopeless and discouraging. Of course I can't think of a better reason to hope than my three precious childrenI would do anything for them, despite the frustration at times. I do think that having a baby messes up your body and mind a bit. It's not the actual baby that makes me crazy; she couldn't be a better baby (at least for me). It's just what goes on in my head that makes things hard sometimes. And then when I do get away for school I feel guilty for leaving my baby when she doesn't like a bottle.

I guess I'm writing this because of a few comments I got about the photo I have of my family on Facebook. People see it and say that it's the perfect little family. But the truth is that while I love my family so much, we struggle just like most people do. Putting the good things on this blog helps me remember that through it all there are moments of great joy and my children really are amazing people. I was reading another blog about how there has to be opposition in all things and that without the hard times we would never appreciate the good times. Without loneliness I wouldn't appreciate good friendships as much. Without the car seat battle I would never appreciate how nice it is to drive somewhere alone. It is very true! Life is good, it's just not always easy.