I was the lucky recipient of Jackie's Pay it Forward post in December. I think she may have spoiled me because I was the one and only winner. Thank you! It is now my turn to give. I purposely waited until now to post (Jackie was probably wondering what happened), but who wants yet another present the week of Christmas. I thought it would be much better to wait until we existed in a gross, grey, inversion-induced Utah January to hand out presents. I figured that would really make someone's day. Plus, it happens to be my birthday this week. So, I figured what could be more festive than giving away presents for my birthday!?! Here's how it works: Everyone who wants in, just leave me a comment by Thursday, January 15th and I'll let my kids randomly choose 3 lucky winners from a hat. If you're chosen you can't break the cycle of "Paying it Forward." Good luck! (You can still play even if I don't know your address. Just leave your email, and I will contact you if you are a winner. Please...Just PLAY!)
Don't disappoint me! It is my birthday after all.
I better get a handful of comments so I can celebrate in style!
“Let my love like sunlight surround you and yet give you illumined freedom”. - Rabindranath Tagore
Remember & Relish
Today, I'm Grateful For...
9/29: Today I'm grateful for my husband who is trying so hard (with all the strength of his soul) to be patient with me.
7/7: Today I'm grateful for scout camp. Austin has spent the last two days at an amazing camp up Milcreek Canyon. He needed a little break from us and and some time with his friends and some really fun activities. His favorite was leather-work and archery (duh). I'm grateful to his leaders who went with them and who teach him every week. What a fabulous program for these boy!!!
7/6: Today I'm grateful for Amanda and Jose for not only trusting me to document their wedding, but for introducing me to their loving, fun, friendly families. I had a lovely day (and I'm extremely grateful for prayer that helped me calm my nerves).
7/5: Today I'm grateful that I was able to accomplish my goal of getting my photoshoot edited.
7/4: Today I'm grateful for my dad (it's his birthday). I am grateful that I have always been loved and taught so many things, both by precept and example. I'm grateful that my kids have such a close relationship with him. I'm just grateful to have him be a part of my life. I'm also grateful for Curtis (it's his birthday too), especially since he almost wasn't here. I'm grateful for his strength and example. I'm also grateful for our country and all of those who have sacrificed in the past and continue to sacrifice to protect us and our liberty.
7/3: Today I'm grateful for Austin's Primary teacher (Sister Sasaki) and his scout leader (Sister Hill). Sister Sasaki wrote him the most beautiful birthday card really outlining his strengths and expressing her love for him. Sister Hill spoke with me today about what a great kid he is. I know that Austin isn't an "easy kid," but I know that he has a really good heart. It means the world to me when other people can see this in him and love him. I'm so very grateful that the Lord surrounded me by such incredible people!
7/2: Today I'm grateful for Austin. He turns 10 today!!! I'm grateful that he was born into our family, and I'm grateful for all of his amazing qualities. Just to name a few: loving and affectionate, talented, alert, nonjudgemental, accepting, helpful.
7/1: Today I'm grateful that I got to spend the day with Greg's family to see Megan get married. What a special, amazing day! I'm also grateful for my mom and Lisa who kept our kids the entire day so we could attend the festivities. It was so wonderful to just spend time with Greg and know that our kids were fine.
6/30: Today I'm grateful for leftovers. I had so much from so many people. It made getting dinner really quite easy.
6/29: Today I'm grateful for cloud cover. I decided to go on my longest run yet (like of my entire life) - nearly 7 miles. I was so grateful not to have a burning hot sun shining down on me.
6/28: Today I'm grateful for Lisa who came and watched my kids so I can go to my class. She's my "Best Girl."
6/27: Today I'm grateful for swimming lessons. I watched Austin and Macy and they are really getting good. I'm grateful that they know this life skill.
6/26: Today I'm grateful for my parents who took my 3 oldest to play all night at Aunt Jeri's house while Greg and I took the twins home to bed. Sunday's are really long days when you're 2 years old.
6/25: Today I'm particularly grateful for my husband. I was listening to a talk tape where the author noted that he asked a Stake President what his greatest obstacle was when it came to the people in his Stake. His response was "women who don't appreciate their husbands." It rings true, and I am afraid I am guilty of finding fault too often. I am grateful for Greg and his dedication to our family. I'm grateful for the wonderful family outing that he planned, prepared for, carried out, and cleaned up. He is providing such a precious childhood for our children. I adore him.
6/24: Today I'm grateful for lunch with the girls. I had such a great time, and on the way home, I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have so many great friends. I am grateful to be surrounded by such beautiful, strong, courageous, dedicated, amazing women. I am grateful for their example, their friendship, and for a really good laugh. And I'm grateful for Greg for taking over the parenting duties so I could enjoy some time away from home.
6/23: Today I'm grateful for bedtime. I'm grateful for this most nights.
6/22: Today I'm grateful for Maddie, Jaren, Tanner, Taelyn, and Chase. I had such a nice time with them today, and I just adore each one of them.
6/21: Today I'm grateful for repentance and forgiveness. I needed them both a lot today. I'm also grateful for a late-night walk with two good friends. I'm grateful that they were able to help me feel better.
6/20: Today I'm grateful for a lovely, relaxing walk for FHE. It was such a pleasant evening, and the weather was gorgeous.
6/19: Today I'm grateful for all of the good men in my life. I'm grateful for my own father, for my father-in-law, and for my amazing husband. I'm grateful to be surrounded by such amazing fathers.
6/18: Today I'm grateful for a a husband and son who returned safely from Fathers-and-Sons, and I'm grateful for a safe trip up to Bear Lake. It sounds trite, and we ask for safety daily in our prayers, but I try never to take it for granted. I am truly grateful every day that we are being watched over with safety.
6/17: Today I'm grateful for Paige and Tae who played really, really, really well until after 10 p.m. Thank you. And I'm grateful for Lisa for taking Macy out with her tonight. One-on-one time is so good for their little souls.
6/16: Today I'm grateful for a substitute at my exercise class. It felt good to do something completely different (and now I can't walk).
6/15: Today I'm grateful for swimming lessons. I am grateful that my kids are learning this very important life skill.
6/14: Today I'm grateful to have a happy, helpful Macy. Her smile and her willingness has been missing for a while, but she was back with tons of enthusiasm today!
6/13: Today I'm grateful for responsive children during FHE.
6/12: Today I'm grateful for my dad who was in an exceptionally good mood (especially considering the circumstances). I'm grateful for his energy and patience and his ability to laugh at his grandkids. It was a good night and helped me get out of a little funk.
6/11: Today I'm grateful for fireworks and (relatively) patient kids who waited through 12 full innings!!! The faces of my three youngest were priceless and well worth the wait. Is there anything more magical in the Summer than good, old-fashioned fireworks! They were all amazed and impressed!
6/10: Today I'm grateful for Coleman who was so good for me and gave me a nice fill of my Baby Fix!
6/10: Today I'm grateful for good friends, a sweet ride, cheese fries, Chris Rock endorsement, and dark chocolate cake. Good for my soul!
6/9: Today I'm grateful for low interest rates.
6/8: Today I'm grateful for sisters. My sisters are amazing! My sisters are strong! My sisters are beautiful!
6/7: Today I'm grateful for Austin. Only two days into Summer, and I am blown away by what a HUGE help he is and always with such a positive attitude. Yesterday, he took care of Cash at the Library, and today, he helped with weeding, got all three babies in their car seats, and gave me a hug and a compliment after I lost my temper. He is so sweet! I can definitely learn a lot from him when it comes to loving others.
6/6: Today I'm grateful for 5 healthy kids (except for the runny noses). It is definitely a challenge for me to figure out how to parent all these kiddos, but I am definitely grateful that I have them.
6/5: Today I am grateful for good neighbors who are beyond generous. I am also grateful for the temple and the blessings of having so many so close.
6/4: Today I'm grateful for my husband. He took over the parenting responsibilities while I went to my step class and got a haircut. Ahhh....It feels so good to get a haircut. Thanks, honey.
6/3: Today I'm grateful for Austin and Macy's teachers. It's the last day of school, and I could not be more grateful for their school, their teachers, and everyone who contributes to their education.
6/2: Today I'm grateful that Macy is feeling better. She has had a fever the past couple of days. Last night, she sat on my lap while watching "So You Think You Can Dance" when she finally calmed down. She said (calm and collected, as if it were a simple fact): "I cried a lot today." Yes you did, my darling. And somehow, we made it.
6/1: Today I'm grateful for Alexie. We spent about half the day on the phone, and my sister has mastered the art of conversation. She always has such interesting insight, and I always walk away from our conversations uplifted.
5/31: Today I'm grateful for Lisa for watching the kids so I could go to Austin's game. There is just something about a baseball field that feels good to me! Austin got a hit, and I had a blast cheering him on.
5/30: Today I'm grateful for great friends. We had a lovely meal with the Fausets. The food was fabulous; the kids were good; the company was so enjoyable. Lovely weekend.
5/29: Today I'm truly grateful for our great nation and beyond grateful for all of the men and women who have served our country over the years. I'm grateful for my freedoms thanks to the sacrifices of so many. I'm am truly overwhelmed and grateful for their sacrifices.
5/28: Today I'm grateful for music. I was really touched by all the hymns today, and it made me think how much I use music and singing in my daily life-right down to the toothbrush song that we sing while brushing teeth. Ridiculous, yes. Less whining, yes.
5/27: Today I'm grateful that Greg has a job. He is in such an unpredictable position with truly vindictive people above him, and I am grateful that (for the moment) he still has a job.
5/26: Today I'm grateful for our street. We live in a pretty quiet spot in our neighborhood (as far as traffic is concerned). The boys played whiffleball outside our house in the street for about 2 hours tonight. They had a blast!
5/25: Today I'm grateful for a car that works. We had a lot of running around today, and I definitely do not take it for granted that I have a reliable car and it is relatively easy for me to get everything done.
5/24: Today I'm grateful for Greg (okay, I'm grateful for him every day). I am grateful for his dedication to going to all of Austin's games. Because of the twins, I just haven't been able to attend his games this year. It was a great game tonight (2 hits for Austin), but Greg is always there and always supportive whether it goes well or not. He is an incredible Dad!
5/23: Today I'm grateful for garbage service. One of those things I take advantage of, but I really am grateful for our community and this wonderful service.
5/22: Today I'm grateful for Julie and the beautiful lesson she gave in church.
5/21: Today I'm grateful for Lisa for watching our kids so Greg and I could have a second chance at date night. Thanks Lisa!
5/20: Today I'm grateful for Alternative Medicine. That's right...I said "Alternative." I think it is such a blessing to have so many options available to us, and I'm grateful for those that have a gift (or talent) for such things.
5/19: Today I'm grateful for my husband. It has been a good couple of days. I am grateful that he is so willing and helpful and supportive.
5/18: Today I'm grateful for a body that works. I can still remember how the smallest task like picking up laundry that fell on the floor or stepping in/out of the shower brought tears and frustration and fear. I am grateful for a strong, healthy body. I do not take it for granted.
5/17: Today I'm grateful for Austin. He did awesome on his piano and his homework and his chores today. Not one complaint or gripe. I'll take it!
5/16: Today I'm grateful for allergy medicine. The wind storm that we had yesterday stirred up so much dirt and other garbage that I sneezed for 24 hours straight. I finally got some relief thanks to Claratin.
5/15: Today I'm grateful for Melva who tied the bow on my jacket at today at church. It was pretty. I asked her to teach me how to do pretty bows, but she said she can't because then I won't need her anymore. :-)
5/14: Today I'm grateful for a yard with lots of weeds. Okay, kind of a stretch. But, I am grateful for a few hours of good, honest weeding. It does my soul good to have my hands and knees in the dirt.
5/13: Today I'm grateful for the beautiful Spring weather. We've waited months for this, and we are going to celebrate with an afternoon at the zoo.
3/3: Today I'm grateful for an exercise class that kicks my butt. I'm grateful for a body that works, even though I am the most pathetic person in the room.
3/2: Today I'm grateful for an amazing volunteer to help with my class at school. She was awesome and we really had a blast today!
3/1: Today I'm grateful for my husband for taking on the responsibility and all of the stress for providing for our family.
9/22: Today I'm grateful for an understanding neighbor who offered insight and hope regarding my little boy.
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” - Yiddish Proverb
Macy: "Mom. Instead of Dad having to mow our lawn, we could just get a bunch of goats and they could keep the grass short."
Macy: "Mom, I know how to speak 'bird'. Wanna hear?" Then, she starts whistling.
I took Macy to her first tumbling private lesson yesterday. Our family is not known for our flexibility, and Macy isn't known for her determination, so I was a little nervous about how she would like such a rigorous training. She practically pranced to the car, and you couldn't wipe the smile off her face. She said, "Mommy, I just feel so alive when I'm doing that!"
Macy: "There are a lot of words in my head."
Walking out of church today, Macy explained that her class was freezing. Greg told her that he was coming to her class next week because his class was warm. She rolled her eyes and said, "Dad! You already graduated from my class."
Paige just asked me who is "in charge." I told her I was, and that I was ALWAYS in charge. She said, "Well, can I be 'in charge' after you?"
One night, we were sitting around the kitchen after dinner. The kids were sitting in the bar stools, and Greg and I were cleaning up. The girls were looking at Christmas books, and we were talking to Austin about school. He was telling us about the kids in his class. He said, "Do you know Dominic is 10!" I said, "No he isn't." Austin said, "Really Mom, he's ten years old," I asked in disbelief, "He's ten years old and in the 3rd grade???" All of a sudden, under her breath, while still looking at her book, we hear Macy say: "There's something wrong with that kid."
Macy was going to a friend's house. As she was walking out the door, she yelled out to me: "Bye mom. I love you. Be safe."
As she was running from wall to wall in the playroom, Macy announced: "I'm just practicing my running, just in case someone has a Running Party."
Macy was lying in bed with us this morning when she turned to Greg and said, "Dad, you really need to clean your breath."
Macy has informed me that the color of her hair is "gold."
When Paige plays with her baby doll, his name is always "Bence" (Spence).
Macy just told me that she's to tired from running through the splinkers.
We were eating left-over pizza for lunch. Greg took the pepperoni off a slice to make it a cheese pizza for Macy. Apparently, she wasn't satisfied. "Dad," she protested. "It still spices up my mouth!"
Paige calls all sandals "pip-pops" (flip flops).
While I was staying at the hospital after the babies were born, Paige frequently asked Grandma if she could visit Mommy at "her house."
Macy and Tanner were playing together and were very focused on coloring for a while. Macy informed me that they are making pictures for her birthday party. She told me there was going to be a "compentition" at her party. Then she said, "Mommy, what is a compentition?" I explained it to her, and she said, "Oh...We are not having a compentition. We are just having a picture party."
Macy has taken to calling the twins "The Brothers."
Macy asked me if we could have a cat or dog. I explained that we can't have a cat because Dad is allergic, but maybe we could get a dog when the kids get older. She said, "Great! I want Taffy." (Taffy is Grandma and Grandpa's dog.)
Macy: Daddy, you are the greatest Dad that I've ever had!
Grandma and Grandpa Burr brought back some Tasmanian Devil slippers for the kids from their recent trip to Australia (including a stop in Tasmania). Macy calls them her "Jasmanian" slippers.
My brother-in-law loves Elvis, and he educates my children about him and his songs. In fact, just yesterday, Matt put on a 1968 special so they could see him and hear him sing. Macy said to Lisa, "Do you know who I'm going to marry?" Lisa said, "Tanner?" Macy said, "Nope, Elivis...Just kidding. Jesus hasn't come to represent him yet." Represent = Resurrect
Austin was teasing Macy about Tanner being her boyfriend. She adamantly replied, "No he isn't. I've never kissed him on the lips." Macy is also into taking toothbrushes, sticking the brush section together, and saying that they are kissing.
My dad was talking to Macy about all the diapers that would need to be changed when the twins are born. He said there would be a lot to do. He looked at her and asked, "How are you going to handle that?" She said, "I can't handle nothin'."
We were driving in the snow on Christmas morning and there were two snowplows out. Macy looked over and said, "Hey, look at those two trucks vacuuming up all the snow."
Paige constantly says to me (out of the blue), "I love you...tomorrow."
Greg and I were taking a nap on the couch on Sunday when Macy came up and shared some Halloween candy with us. Not wanting to get up, Greg tossed his wrapper on the floor. Macy said in a very irritated voice, "Dad! You just glittered." We laughed hysterically, which she did not find funny. She explained further: "When you throw garbage on the floor, it's glittering. Not when you put it on the table, or the chair, only on the floor." Then she actually picked up the wrapper and put it in the garbage. In the future, we'll try to keep the "glittering" to a minimum.
We were in the bathroom at church today, and while washing her hands, Macy was admiring herself in the mirror. She said, "Don't I look beautiful today?"
We walked into church today and passed the Elder's Quorum. Macy looked at me and said, "That's the boring class."
We were riding Autopia at Disneyland (little cars on the track). I rode with Macy. I handled the gas, and she started at the steering wheel. After a couple of turns, Macy said (with a sigh in her voice and a hint of frustration), "Mom, will you just drive because I don't really know where we are going." Even though the car was on a track, I gladly took the wheel to ease her burden.
Macy was leaving to go play with Claire. She said, "Bye, Mom. I love you. Mom...I'll never forget you. I promise."
Macy started out our lunch conversation like this: "I was thinking when I was downstairs." Pause...A bite or two. "Mom...Do you want to know what my 'think' was?"
We were watching one of the hurdles races at the Olympics. Austin was completely captivated by this event. He kept asking me questions, and then he said, "Well...Can you go under them too?"
Paige has turned into the crazy climber. So, the other day, Macy had the markers out and was drawing at the kitchen table. All of a sudden, I hear, "Mayday! Mayday! I'm under attack by Paige." I turned around to see Paige standing on the table trying to "draw" on Macy's picture.
Austin spent the night with my parents last weekend because they had Abby when Alexie had her baby. Abby LOVES Austin. Abby is so funny when she speaks. She goes on and on, in an incredibly animated way, like she is saying something extremely important, but nobody can understand her. It is hilarious and so adorable! I guess she was doing this quite a bit last weekend, and Austin would interpret for her. He assured my parents: "I speak baby...and dog. Oh, and I also speak wind."
Macy just asked me if she can play "World of War Crap."
Macy wanted me to take her to a friend's house today. She said, "Mom...I haven't seen her in years!"
We were all kind of feeling yucky tonight a few hours after dinner - upset stomach, crampy...just plain "yucky." Austin got out of bed to tell us that he had a stomach ache. He looked at me and said, "I think it's because you poisoned our dinner." What?!? Yep - he's finally figured me out!
When I was making Greg's birthday cake, I put it in two 8-inch round pans instead of 10-inch round pans. So, the batter dripped all over the burner in my oven while it was cooking. I was going to clean it out when it cooled - I didn't; I completely forgot about it. Then...I made dinner tonight. When I opened the oven, a huge plume of smoke came out and set off the smoke detectors. After a minute, Austin came up to me and quietly whispered (like he knew I was in some sort of trouble), "Mom...when does the fire-truck get here?"
Greg was frustrated and said, "Oh crap." Macy picked it right up and said, "Crap what, Daddy?" We started laughing, and Greg really tried to backtrack and say, "Oh garbage." Those little ears are ALWAYS listening.
This is what Macy said to me when I insisted that it is safe to tighten her seatbelt: "You're the wrongest Mommy."
Macy: "I love you, Mommy. Sometimes, you're a Mean Mommy. But you're still wonderful...and beautiful."
I bought Macy new socks (I know...we still get so excited over little things). She picked out the pink ones to wear (of course). She said, "I love these socks! I'll wear them until my heart stops beating."
We have a jar full of questions that we use for dinner time conversation. The other day, the question was, "What is your favorite part of school." This was Macy's replay: (singing) "All around the Merry-Go-Bush, the monkey chased the weasel. Don't pop the weasel!"
Macy asked me today, "Mommy...do you know the song...(singing now)...There was a dog that had a farmer and BINGO was his name-O."
Macy was literally dancing around the house the first Sunday of the year because she is now a Sunbeam! When I was doing her hair, she asked, "Mommy, am I really a Sunbeam now?" I told her that she was, and she asked me who her teachers were. I told her that her teachers were Sister Gould and Sister Gwynn. She said, "I LOVE those names!"
Macy just told me that she's to tired from running through the splinkers.