Choosing Each Other's Resolutions

I started out 2014 completely overwhelmed by a sleepless, colicky newborn and a fiery little toddler, and in that worn-down state, any resolution seemed like a set up for failure. I wanted to set a realistic goal that I knew wasn't going to drive me crazy.

What I resolved to do: no pregnancies in 2014.

What I accomplished: no pregnancies in 2014.

Hooray! Anyone else ever kept their resolutions all year long? I think this may be the second or third I've ever kept that long. I'm super happy about it! (And ready to take on something a little harder this year.)

A couple people asked if I plan on making the same one for 2015 and the answer is no. A year makes a big difference in the spacing of children. It'll all happen when it's supposed to.

This year, Husband came up with the idea to choose each other's resolutions. To which I immediately responded, 

"No, no, no, no, no, no... absolutely not. Not ever ever ever ever ever...."

Or something to that effect.

The idea sweetened up to me when he clarified that this meant I could basically make him do anything I wanted and he would jump right on board because it meant something to me and not just to him.

Sooooo... we each set three for the other: a 3 month goal, a 6 month goal, and a 12 month goal.

For Husband: 3 months: say I love you (verbally) in a new way each day.
6 months: all meals either made at home or eaten at home, with the exception of dates and family dinners
12 months: exercise a minimum of 5 days per week for 20 minutes.

For Me: 3 months: write down any and all negative thoughts on my mind and counteract them with truth
6 months: 1 hour of exercise, 6 days per week
12 months: wake up everyday at 6am to read scriptures and have quiet time before the kids get up, with the exception of Husband's days off when I can sleep later if I want.

We officially began when Husband went back to work on Monday, and so far... soooo good!
I'm really loving the idea of making changes for each other to improve personal habits, health, and our marriage.

What's great about this is that if we miss a day, we're more likely to hold each other accountable for it. And missing one day doesn't mean you throw the whole thing out the window, either. It's not a pass/fail assignment. 

It's good.

I'm curious what resolutions (if any) everyone else has made this year? Would you trust your spouse to choose your resolutions for you? Are we totally crazy for doing this, or totally awesome?


3 years old

I choked up a little bit on New Years Eve, remembering that it was almost exactly 3 years since I was waiting impatiently for my baby to arrive. Three years.

I love her so ridiculously much and she drives me absolutely crazy at the same time.

She amazes me.

People keep telling me that 3 is harder than 2 and I'm a little skeptical about it. Verity's really sweetened up this past year. Her tantrums haven't really settled down, but maybe the sweetness helps me handle it? I dunno. It seems the better she can communicate, the easier it is to reason with her.

Unless she just plain doesn't want to. Which happens. And which we still haven't nailed a solution for.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to tolerate ear-piercing shrieks and violent flailing well. 

In celebration of her third birthday, we went out to dinner with Grandma & Grandpa and some of her cousins, and then returned home for presents, pie and ice cream. Pumpkin pie, because it's been her fave since she was in the womb and made repeated demands for it. And because last year's cake was beautiful but she only ate the ice cream.

Wanna know what was great? She didn't want the pumpkin pie. Just like that, it's no longer her fave.


Her favorite new toy is this sweet little camera with a kaleidoscope through the viewfinder that turns as she adjusts the focus. It is seriously cute watching her play with it. 
"Can I take a picture of you? Give me your best smile! **adjusts the focus** Chggkk!"

Today was also her first day of Primary at church, with the new year and her turning 3. She visited the past couple of weeks, so thankfully today went alright. It's a big change; no more free play time or snacks. I mean, who would want to let go of all of that?

It's so cute. I can hardly believe my baby is a Sunbeam! I have child in Primary. Crazy.

Here are a few of my favorite things about Verity at 3 years old:
-how she randomly tells me she loves me in the middle of everyday activities
-her love of books
-how she plays with Liberty, and misses her during Libby's naptime
-how she was nice to a little girl at the library who was not being nice to her
-her incredible memory
-the pride she takes in playing a scale on the piano
-her eagerness to learn.. everything.
-her determination
-her smile
-her hugs, when she gives them
-how completely in love she is with her daddy
-how thrilled she is with everyday things, like the moon or an airplane in the sky
-how articulate she is
-how much she loves to skype with family members and talk their ears off
-that by some miracle, her favorite foods are quinoa, fish, green beans, and green pasta (she doesn't know it's green on account of the spinach... shhhh!)
-despite how well she talks, she still pronounces "ice cream" as "arse cream" and it pretty much cracks me up every time

It occurred to me in the past week that 3 years old is like... preschool age. What on EARTH?! Didn't I just birth this kid? So we gave it some thought and I did a mind-numbing amount of research on homeschool philosophies and we're just gonna do it. We're going to start preschool at home. Heaven knows this girl is ready and just soaking up knowledge like a sponge. 

And it makes sense for us. We walk that very thin line that borders everything hippy yet conservative (oh, it exists) in our family, and this just fits right in. The fact that I find it more exciting than overwhelming is a good indicator to me that it's the best choice.

Time is so strange in motherhood- how the days are sooo long sometimes, and then the months and years go by so fast. 

Happy Birthday, Verity! We love you dearly.


Christmas Day

There's some kind of magic in experiencing holidays, especially Christmas, through the eyes of a child. We're just getting there, with Verity coming up on her third birthday. It's so incredibly awesome.

I'm also becoming increasingly aware of how much work this makes for parents. I mean, I always knew that my mom spent some time wrapping the mountain of presents under our tree each year, but everything else?! 

Well, it wasn't too bad. And it was definitely all worth it.
 Vera and Libby got handmade coordinating flannel jammies this year (I may have included a storebought onesie in this.. shhhh! it's okay). Whenever she wears a dress lately she hasn't wanted to take it off for bed, so I decided to make her a nightgown instead. Some moments she loves it and others she wants nothing to do with it. Toddler style.

Husband also got new jammies- not a perfect fit, but seeing as it's my first time sewing for him... I'll take it. And just do better next time.

This is the aftermath of stockings and presents:
Poor Libs kept tripping on things hidden under the surface of that sea of wrapping paper and getting stuck in seemingly impossible (and un-fixable) ways.

The girls got some great things. Awesome art supplies, some "slice-able" wooden fruit for their play kitchen, a couple of adorable wooden push toys, and lots and lots of books. Also, new mittens and a lollipop as big as her head for my oldest (who's obsessed with both such things), and a package of M&Ms for my youngest, who is still in that wonderful phase where a $1 treat will make her whole holiday.
Husband, Libby and I enjoyed orange cinnamon rolls and spinach, mushroom, feta, & bacon quiche for breakfast (some of the aforementioned "work" of Christmas traditions). Husband and I were in heaven, Libby was shoveling her face full of the stuff, and after licking some of the icing off her cinnamon roll, Verity decided she didn't like it and was done. Ready for presents. Toddler style.
It snowed slowly from Christmas Eve all through the night and Christmas Day, and it was completely enchanting, and such a special treat for where we live.

We love snow. Husband and I both are huge snow lovers- so huge that when considering where we'd like to eventually settle down and build our dream house, one of the first things we consider is annual snowfall. I'm not even kidding. We've even considered moving to Alaska. We. Love. Snow.

And this Idaho town in which we find ourselves just doesn't get much (unlike other parts of the state). What we do get, is usually gone within a few days.

It's a major, major bummer for us. Last winter was the saddest thing.

So this beautiful blanket of snow that arrived on Christmas Day..? A dream come true.
 Verity wanted to help shovel snow.
Daddy took the girls outside after breakfast and presents.

Verity loved it. They even managed to create a small snowman with pure powder (my husband is one talented fella).
 Libby bailed almost immediately. It seemed her adorable little snowsuit was so poofy it restricted her movement. She faceplanted in the snow and couldn't get back up.

And it's really a good thing I was inside and didn't see it happen, because I pretty much would have laughed my guts out, being the compassionate mother that I am.
So she joined me inside. But really, how cute is she all bundled up?! 

It was sad to de-bundle her.

Christmas was wonderful and I loved it so, so much. It is so much better with kids- I can't even think of all the happy Christmas memories we have to look forward to with these little ones! So many wonderful years ahead!