I'm sure it seems like I've fallen off the face of the earth, but, for the moment--I'm back (until the next time I go a month without blogging anything!!!) I'm always full of good intentions, but sometimes they don't get me anywhere.
I can't believe how much my life has changed in the short month that it's been since I've written. I've learned some valuable life lessons and hope that I can become a better mom, sister, daughter, wife, and friend because of the things I've experienced. I think THE most important thing I've learned is to make sure that the ones you love KNOW that you love them. I've found that I hug and kiss my kids more throughout the day. I've always been very affectionate with all of them, but now it has taken on a whole different meaning. I squeeze them a little tighter for no reason, and tell them I love them so many times a day that I think they get sick of hearing it. I guess because of everything that happened with my sister Joleen, that just in case something does happen to me (or them) they will always know how much I love them. Our family has cried so many tears during this past month and it still feels like a nightmare we should be waking up from any minute. My mom has probably had the hardest time of all --it has been so hard to not know the right words to say to her. We still don't have a lot of answers as to what happened to Joleen and I think my mom is struggling with the "why". One of my niece's friends made us a copy of a DVD of Joleen's life and we've been grateful to have that. Joleen's two daughters made all of us a quilt from the nurse's scrubs Joleen used to wear. They cut all of the different scrub tops into squares and then pieced them together. It is one of the neatest gifts I've ever received and it will be something I'll cherish forever.
So, while I'm on all of the "bummer" news, Russ got laid off a couple of weeks ago. I've decided that 2009 sucks and I'm ready to fast forward to 2010 where hopefully things will look better. We didn't see his layoff coming and we really wish they had let us know that it was a possibility a few months ago BEFORE we closed on a new house. I know we would have made some different decisions if we had seen this coming. We'll be ok for a few months with my job and his unemployment checks, but we hope it doesn't take too long for him to find a steady job! Right now I have the best house-husband that a woman could ever want. He jokes every morning that it's time to wake up and put his apron on while I go out and be the breadwinner. He has been so good about keeping the house clean, doing dishes, DUSTING, folding laundry, organizing our garage, mopping floors, COOKING DINNER, etc. I have already gotten spoiled by all of the extra help he has given me. He has helped ease some of the daily stress I feel. It's been nice to come home from work and actually get to spend more quality time with my family. It is still hectic on nights that Kelsey has gymnastics, but I think she only has a month left before they take a break for the summer. Russ has said several times that he now has a whole new appreciation for working moms and stay-at-home moms because he had never realized how endless the laundry pile is, or how the house looks messy 10 minutes after straightening it up or where the stack of dishes came from or.... Logan has already gotten spoiled by all of the extra time he is spending with his daddy! We had to take him back to the babysitter for 1 day last week while Russ got some paperwork filled out, and she said she could tell he'd been getting extra love from dad. Anyways, Russ has a good attitude and we're hoping that things will turn around and that everything will be ok. I can't imagine losing our house after we worked so hard to finally get into it!
Now, since all of the nasty news is out of the way, I'll try to catch up on all of the good and/or fun things that we've been up to...
Kelsey turned 5 in January. I look at her sometimes and feel like I should still be looking at my little baby. I can't believe how fast she is growing up on me. She may be 5 now, but she already acts like she is 16. She seems so smart and mature for her age-- I am definitely in for it!!! She has such a sweet, loving personality but knows how to kick in some attitude when necessary! Her birthday is always an extra special day because she was born on my dad's birthday, and we've created some fun traditions together since she was born. My poor dad has had to endure princess cake after princess cake, but this year Kelsey spared him and chose Wall-E. It turned out really cute. Russ and I deserved the "Parents of the Year" award because we actually got her a kitten as one of her birthday presents. She's been begging for one forever, but we kept telling her we had to wait until we had our own house. Russ hates cats and I am SOOOO allergic to them, but we have her in our unfinished basement and plan to stick her outside after it warms up a little. We named her Hannah (guess who she's named after?!?!) but Dyllan HATED the name and calls her Miley instead. The poor cat is probably confused! She is a sweet cat and seems to like it with us. I adopted her from the pound, so I guess her life is better than the path she was headed down. To celebrate her birthday (and mine) we went to St. George and ate at Red Lobster and then went miniature golfing. Dinner was yummy!!! It was a little chilly while we were golfing, but we had a lot of fun! I ALMOST won, but choked at the end! Russ, Dyllan and I get pretty competitive when we play these kind of things, so I was really hoping I could earn the bragging rights....oh well--there's always next time!!!
Unfortunately, a few days after Kelsey's birthday is always my birthday and I've gotten to where I don't look forward to them anymore! It's alot more fun to celebrate hers!!! We were in the process of moving into our new house so we didn't really get the chance to celebrate.
We went camping last month (yes--REAL camping!!!) in a tent. We bought an older, used trailer last fall but haven't had the chance to fix it up yet, so we still had to "rough it"! We went to the Valley of Fire in Nevada. We started the tradition a few years ago and now look forward to our annual trip. The weather is usually pretty good there this time of year. It helps us get over our winter "blahs" and helps get us through until the weather warms up in Cedar. We had fun hiking on the trails and climbing on the rocks. Russ always does most of the cooking when we camp so it ends up being a nice break for me.
Russ and I spent a day at Brian Head snowboarding for his birthday (sorry- no pictures of this one!!! I'm sure you needed a good laugh!!! We took the camera with us but never remembered to use it!). I am definitely out of shape! It's been two years since we've been up there and I had forgotten about 98% of the muscles I had to use. Hopefully the next time won't be quite as rough!!! I almost cried on the last run of our day because I hurt so bad. I remember asking Russ if snowboarding was supposed to be fun or just torture, because it felt more like torture than anything!!! I think next time we go up I'm going to let Russ and Dyllan board while I ski!!!
One of Russ' cousins got married in Logan last weekend so we drove up there for that. We had a really fun weekend and it was nice to get away! We went to a local zoo that was practically abandoned because of winter time. We tried to plan several fun things for the kids to do, but, shocking as it may be, their favorite part was swimming in the pool at our motel. Logan swam for his first time and loved it!!! He was so cute. The pool water was a little cold, but the hot tub became his splash zone! I woke up with the flu on the morning we had to drive home, so I'm sure you can imagine what a pleasant ride that was for everybody. Oh well. I guess everyone had some good laughs at my expense!!!
Wow. Was that a novel or what? I'm sure I skipped over a hundred things, but I tried to highlight the more interesting? or fun activities that we've been up to.