Sunday, December 01, 2013

"Let Them Know Me"

I know I'm not the only mom out there who worries her nails over the state of the world.

I love reading books from the 1800's whose mother-characters worry over the state of their world.  What did they have to worry about?  Hems raising above the ankles?  The deplorable state of mud roads?  Horse poop?

I guess they worried about their spinster 18 year old daughter and if she'd ever get married.

I worry about all sorts of stuff.  I reserve a special time of day for it.

It's called bedtime.

But I'm grateful for a revelation that I keep receiving, giving me comfort.  I'm especially grateful that Heavenly Father is kind and patient enough to continue to remind me.

Whenever I worry about the state of the world, if my children will come home safely from school, if they'll grow up to be politicians or's worse?  I dunno, serial killers.

Anyway, when I worry about these things I pray and ask Heavenly Father to lift my burden and tell me what to do.

Just tell me what to do, and I'll do it.

And every time He tells me the same thing.  "Let them know me."

And the rest suddenly doesn't really matter.  Because if my children know their Heavenly Father, they know who they are.  And I know who they are.  I'm reminded of the power that is in place to protect them, and all of Heavenly Father's children.  I'm reminded that I was married in the Temple, that my children were born under a promise that we would be together forever.  A promise. 

No matter what happens here, we have forever.  We have repentance to bring us to forever.  And we have repentance because of our Savior.

"Let them know me..."

It sounds so effortless.  Like all I have to do is step off to the side, and let their spirits feel His divinity and love.  Like I just have to reinforce those good and beautiful feelings.  Like I just have to show them that I know Him.

What a powerful reminder.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New House Woes

We recently moved from a 1,200 sq. foot home to a 2,500 sq. foot home.

It's like this house was actually built for 6 people!

In our old house, there was one tiny, iddy biddy little linen closet.  I think it was meant for an old man to store his stamp collection.  

Here, we have two HUGE linen closets that I couldn't fill up even if I tried.  No, really.  I put my craft stuff in our linen closet in our gi-gahugic bathroom (that IS a the Kelly Dictionary) and I still have 3 empty shelves.

In our old house, I could tell where the kids were at all times standing anywhere in the house.  

Here, they have closets to hide in, a back yard to play in, neighbors to run away to and their own bedrooms. 

In our old house,  we had 2 kitchen cabinets.  Ok, slight exaggeration.  We had 3.  

Here...I have several that are still going unused.

Now, you would think I would be thrilled, and I am, over the top thrilled.  But, change for most people is tough.  This change has been weird for me.

For example, our bedroom.  The light is all off.  I'm used to our little bed lamp lighting up the entire room that was painted in a soft, light sea-foam green.  We could steam up our tiny bathroom just by washing our hands in hot water.  

Our new room is ginormous.  We could quite literally put our entire living room set in here, along with our bedroom set, and be quite comfortable (ironically, every man that went on the tour of house said as much.  Every MAN, mind you, not woman.  So I guess it's a mans dream to have a living room set in their bedroom.  Who knew?)

Don't get me started on the stairs...actually, the stairs haven't been too bad.  Kians a fast learner and can go up and down those things like a little tiny stair-pro.

We have a play room upstairs now.  An office downstairs.  A separate dining room.  Gone are the days of the formal/living/playroom/office all bundled up in one huge room where we could always be together. 

I guess I just miss the closeness.  It's nice to spread out, to breathe a little. kids are only little for so long, ya know?  And sure our old home was like living in a sardine can, but now I feel like I hardly see the kids, even when we're in the same house.  

I know I'll get used to it.  

And probably wonder how we ever lived without it.

But in the meantime, my kids are just going to have to get used to me sneaking into their beds and night and snuggling them. Fodder for their future therapy sessions.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why We Should ALL Be Grateful for Idiots

In today's world, it's not difficult to find things for which to be grateful.

My two walk in closets.

My beautiful home.  My mini-van.

My t.v.  My cell phone.

And of course, the other things I usually take for granted:

My healthy children.  My even tempered, hard working, faith building husband.

My church.  My beliefs.

But there's one very important thing I think we all take further than granted.  We take it to the other end of the scale.  We actually HATE them.


This season I'm working on my gratitude for all the idiots in the world.

I'm grateful for that idiot in front of me who leaves on his stupid blinker.  Will he turn, won't he?  Who knows!  But I do know one thing, I'm thankful for the reminder to make sure MY stupid blinker isn't on. Where would I be without these idiots?

I'm grateful for the moron who ran the red light and nearly side swiped me and my precious cargo.  I'm grateful to be reminded that no matter how late we're running, our lives and the lives of other drivers are never worth the luxury of being on time.

I'm grateful for the dumb people who over share everything and anything on public social sites like Facebook and Twitter.  I'm grateful that they remind me to hold still, contain my emotions and think through those hurtful and moronic words I'm typing up.  To subdue my passive aggressive tendencies and think to the future and not dwell in the present.  All because of their fine example.

Thanks dumb dumbs.

I'm grateful for all those myopic haters, those bigots, those brainless lemmings who follow blindly any and all wildly provocative ideal.  Because they remind me that one solution does not fit all; except for love.  That's a fabulous daily reminder.

I'm grateful for those stooges who try to shove their philosophy down my throat.  I get to be even more grateful for my own free agency; to know I don't have to follow anything anybody says, that I'm free to follow my conscience.

I'm even free to love the idiots.  What a world.  What a world.


What are YOU grateful for?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Tired. Here's Why...

Somewhere between "Let's buy us a house," and "We're all settled in our new house," comes...REMODELS!!

And can I just say, because it's my blog and yes I can just say, that I was totally project horny.

In our old house in Utah, we did lots of projects.  It was the best.  It's been a looooong 2 years without any projects.

So without further ado, I give you the last 3 weeks in PICTURES!

Our living room fire place.  I've never understood why Arizona would even have fireplaces.  But there it is.  A fireplace.  In Arizona.  It also happens to be the only place in the entire living room where we could hang our TV.   Therefore, we tore out the "mantel".  It's mid project.

This is the view from the fireplace towards the kitchen and nook.

Same view, just towards the stairs.  If you look real close, you can see a Kian.

The front door.  Through those double doors is the den/office/guest room.  To the left of that is the half bath.

The kitchen nook.

Le kitchen.  The "Before".



During....PS, 24 doors and 13 drawers.  Kind of a huge task.





Getting closer!  You know how when you're planning a project, like say, oh, staining the frames for your cabinets.  And you're like, "Oh, this should only take an hour or so."

Well...4 hours later...

We slowly start to make progress....

And then BAM!  24 doors and 13 drawer fronts, waiting to be stained.  It.  Took.  FOREVER!


Not pictured: screwing in all the knobs and handles.  It took quite awhile.  But here is my handsome and amazing husband, hanging up our doors so that I could see a glimpse of what our future kitchen would look like.

TA-DA!  5 down, a million more to go!  Meanwhile, we had some painters come...

(Remember how Brett tore out the mantle?  That's why there's no mantle.  All caught up?  Good, let's move on...)

Picking paint colors was not fun.  It tested our marriage.  Just kidding.  Well, only sort of.  The light colors on the walls are actually a light gray, and the blue you see is really not quite that blue.  In real life, it looks AMAZING.

The light gray and the background color is dark gray.  The dark behind the light really gives dimension to the room.  It was Brett's idea and it looks incredible!!

Still dark gray to the right.  It's hard to tell in the pictures.  It's definitely dark gray ;)

Now brace yourselves...for...


The Jury is still out on the yellow.  It's growing on me though.  

So there you have it.  We've owned this lovely huge new house for 3 weeks and yet we still don't live in it.  Alas.  Upstairs features new carpet, fresh coats of paint, and a master bathroom the size of a shopping mall.  Complete with two walk in closets.  HEAVEN!

It's like it's a house MADE for 6 people.  We're so excited and so, so thankful for our new home.  It's still in our ward, which we love, and it's right across the street from the kids school, which they love.

We live about 1 minute (walking distance) from the house we've rented for the last two years. We get to keep all our wonderful friends and get to know all new people at the same time.  

Sometimes I don't know how we got so lucky.

More pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Up

Hey.  Hi.  How's it going?

Remember me?

Yeah, I used to hang out around this blog a lot.

Not so much anymore.

Summer keeps my hands busy.  And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again...

Actually, it's been nice.  I like my little punks.  They crack me up more often than they make me cry.  They stretch me.  Teach me patience.  All that good stuff.

Like today.  The sweet Spirit keeps whispering to me, "It will all be for thy good."

If you say so...

You know that whole "enduring to the end," business.  Do you have to do it with a positive attitude?


Sort of.

Awww, good times.  Good laughs.

I've really enjoyed our move here to Arizona.  This is our 3rd summer here.

Still hot.

The friends I have made...what can I say?  They're incredible.  Some of the most incredible people I've ever met.  I can't imagine not knowing them.  They're kind, non-judgmental, patient and forgiving.  They're hilarious.  They're genuine.  I'm so grateful for the few hours a month I get to spend with them.  Ha!

We went to Utah for 3 weeks.

Brett and I reverted back to childhood and decided to run away.  And since we're adults with "means", we ran away to Chicago.  Brett grew up and decided he actually had to work on this hiatus.  Something about it being a "business trip", blah blah blah.  But it turns out I'm an adventurous little scally wag.

I had a total blast sight seeing on my own.

I spent 7 hours at the Natural History Museum.  Saw maybe a 1/4 of everything.

Got lost in downtown Chicago.  Ended up at the Navy Pier.  Laughed like a 2 year old on the rides.

Thought the human statue was a real statue.  Got scared by the human statue.  Laughed like a 2 year old.

Ate some delicious food.  Met a random stranger named Pat.  Talked to her for an hour about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Failed to have a Book of Mormon on hand.  So sad.

So yeah, we've been busy, but we're also having fun...ish.

After all, it is going to be 117 degrees today.  Too hot to have fun.  Just squirt me with the hose and we'll call it a day.

Kelly Out

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More Drivel From My Brain

Sometime ago I subconsciously decided to spend less time on the internet.

No, no, I'm not one of those propagators of the "Internet is Evil" chant.

It was merely a feeling that my back was facing my babies more than my front.  And the sink was starting to stink.

Focusing more on being a mom has taught me a few things.  Most prevalent is that being a mom is freaking hard work.  For me it's the cleaning.  I know for some moms it's the playing with the kids that's tough as nails.  For other's its the being-home-all-day.  And a hundred million other things, as well. Sometimes it's a bit of everything for me.

I've tried a lot of different things to help me get it together.  I'm a red personality, always looking for the better way to do something. Always looking to perfect my many, many weaknesses (and always falling short of that perfection.)  To change whatever isn't working into something that does work.

But, while some of those theories worked for me, I have found that it's more about attitude than lists.  Maybe there are some moms out there drowning with me.  It's for you that I share whatever tid bits I've learned.  Because I always appreciate when other moms share with me.

First, find your motivation.  I don't mean motivation like, "If this house doesn't get clean I'm going to go on a murdering rampage."

While that does motivate one to's probably not the healthiest way to go about it.  Not to mention, no one wants to be friends with a serial killer.

I mean what motivates you in general?  My first advice would be to find out what "color" you are, and then learn what motivates those colors.  If you don't have time for that, I'll just break it down for you.  Do you feel motivated by: organization, fun, peace or serving your family.  Or anything else that sparks motivation in you.

For me, I'm motivated by organization and serving my family.  My family feeds me with mad praise whenever I clean.  It sounds pathetic ("Wow mom!  You cleaned!)  But seriously, it makes me want to serve them more and more.  But more than that, I love having an organized home.  Disorganization makes me frazzled and grumpy.  My husband knows whenever I start shouting, he should just start cleaning, and I'll automatically calm down.

So...let's take a "for example" from daily life of motherhood.  Hmm...let's say, oh, laundry.  I'm probably the only one who occasionally dreads the breathing pile of laundry that procreates by the second.  But let's just assume you do, too.

I find that motivation.  I think about past experiences when my doing the laundry has pleased my family.  And then I think about how good it feels to have it done and put away.  Everyone has clothes.  Clean clothes.  And I can see my laundry room again!  Yay!

Focus on those motivations.  Every shirt you fold, every sock you search relentlessly for, focus on that motivation.

Next, leave presents for tomorrow you.  

Sometimes I really hate yesterday me.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and give her a hard slap and steal away her soda and t.v. remote.  But when yesterday me behaves, future me is mucho happy.  I seriously think, "Tomorrow me is gonna love all this scrubbing I'm doing in the bathroom!"

In that stream of thinking, give thanks to your past self.  Revel in your hard work.  Take your husband around and elicit "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" from him.  Point out the piles of dishes that are put away.  Give your past self a fist bump.  Plan on showering your future self with more presents.

I think the best advice I've ever received was from my main man.  It was while we were snowboarding (well, he was snowboarding, I was imaging which of my limbs would don a cast tomorrow.)  He told me to act like I knew what I was doing.

Basically...fake it 'til you make it.  And I have to say, it really works.

I don't know about you, but I was not given a manual when I became a mom.  And since I was a normal teenager, and my mom a fairly normal mom, I pretty much took for granted every little bit she did for me and our home.  So, sans the manual and any past experience to draw from, I've pretty much just been faking it.

Oh, I read articles on motherhood (knowledge is a red personalities source of drive).  I watch other moms and think, "Nope, not gonna do that."  Or, "Wow, I really want to be a mom like her."  And then I try it out. I try to remember what it was like when I was little.  When my parents yelled at me.  How I felt.  I try to remember what it was like to be hugged as a little kid.  How fun it was to play with my dad.  I try to remember those things, and then I act on it.  I mean, I was the kid in those scenarios.  Not the parent.  So...I act like I know how to do it.  And pretty soon, it becomes who I am.

(P.S.  There are Gospel principles throughout all of this, but for the sake of the audience  I'm just keepin' it simple.  But I don't want to claim any credit for any revelation I've received that's made me better.  I have to give all credit to my loving Heavenly Father and his Gospel.)

Last but CERTAINLY not least, have realistic expectations. 

Seriously, we don't have to live in a Pottery Barn house.  I don't want my kids terrified that they'll get yelled at for leaving clothes on the floor.  My old Relief Society President said, "Cleanliness is next to loneliness."  And I can attest to that.

Suppress that murderous rage over wet towels not hung up and replace it with a good bed time story.  Go to the park in place of doing that extra load of laundry today.  Keep it simple, yo.  Even your future self will thank you for that day at the library as she's cleaning yesterdays breakfast dishes.  And if she doesn't, she's just uptight. Ignore her.

And remember to always try to find that joy in motherhood.  Well, Marjory Hinckley says it best:

“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Big ONE-OH

Ten years ago today I married my best friend.

I love thinking about our courtship, and the 5 or 6 months leading up to this most perfect day.

The first night I met Brett, he asked me about my testimony.  That set the tone and resulting foundation for our relationship.  Ten years later, he still talks to me about my testimony, and shares his with me.  He's an amazing man, husband and father.

Those of you who had ten years in the pot, lost.

Pretty sure we're going to make it to Eternity.

So, ten years later we...

Have 4 kids.  I can't imagine my life without our kids.  Seriously, it's difficult to remember even not having Kian around.  I truly believe that families were in the pre-existence.  It feels as if we're that much more complete, now.  Like we've been waiting around for them, and now they're here.

We live in Arizona now!!  I love that we made the hard decision to move: it's made a huge difference.  We're more of a nuclear family than ever before, and that's important to me and Brett.

Ten years seems both like a long time, and not very much time at all.  Really, in the scheme of things, it's not that long.  But it's the longest commitment I've ever had!  My life really was in a waiting period until I got to marry him.  He's taught me so much.  There isn't a day that I'm not truly humbled and so grateful that he chose me to be his wife.  I know exactly how uniquely special I am that he picked me. 

Happy ten years to my favorite man.  I love you more than I can say!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Am I The Only One Who...

Have you ever heard of this thing called Pin-ter-est?

Ok, you have?  Have you ever heard of crack cocaine?

You get where I'm going with this?

So since we're all on the wagon, or off the wagon, or whichever indicates we're clearly addicted...Am I the only one who....

Doesn't pin something and just assumes that later I'll remember who pinned it.  And what it was.  And where it was pinned.

No?  Anyone?

What about...

You pin something and it takes longer than an nth of a second and you start to think, "Oh no.  Maybe it won't repin.  Maybe it will get rejected and I'll never be able to pin it and then I don't know what I'll do without a pin for how to clean microfiber couches?!!!!  Oh.  It pinned.  Approved!"

Or my favorite, that always makes me look inside myself, really get introspective...

I pin something.  Another friend pins the same thing...but from a different friend!  How dare they!  I pinned it first!  Me!  I pinned it!  Not HER!  She got it from ME!  And I got it from someone elses website...

Yeah, totally logical.

Oooh, oooh, what about getting annoyed when someone pins 7,986 quilt pictures.  And then you pin 7,645 crochet pictures.  Totally different when I do it.  Definitely ok, then.

Hmmm...what about when you're on a pinning high.

You know, you're really flying now.

Pinning left and right.

It's all good stuff today, man, all good stuff.

And then it hits you.  Like that time you took your newly paid off credit card to Target.  That's right, you've just pinned 145 pins!  Congratulations!  Everyone now knows you neglect your kids and have no life!!

Do you ever lie to your husband and tell him you just whipped up that recipe?

Do you ever hear yourself saying, "I have a pin for that."

Have you ever had a question and completely bypassed Google and went to your "Neat Tricks" board?

My name is Kelly and I have a Pinteresting problem.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Sweet C's Baptism

It has been an eventful month.  Full of the Spirit.  And as anyone who has ever dwelt with the Spirit for an extended amount of time's exhausting.  In a good way.  

Our wonderful neighbor was baptized on the 16th.  It was...unlike anything I have ever experienced.  My heart was bursting with joy.  It literally hurt.  You know...hurt so good (name that awful band).  

I asked Cohen how this all happened.  I wanted to share this with family and friends because it was just so sweet.

"Well," he said, thinking hard.  "One Sunday, Logan came over to play.  I told him I couldn't play because we were going to church, but I asked him to ask his mom and dad if he could come with us!"  And he did!

And there you have it.  Logan started coming to church with us and burrowing a special place in my heart just for him.  I have never felt so much love for someone elses child.  I know that sounds weird, but it's true.  He's like the 5 year old I never gave birth to.  He comes over to hang out during the day, even when the kids aren't home yet.  He's a stud muffin.

At last years Relief Society Conference, I asked C (my sweet neighbor, I won't share her name without asking her first) if she wanted to come and watch it with me.  Be my buddy.  Sit by me because I was friendless ;)  She was gracious enough to come.

I was worried and afraid to ask her, I'll admit it.  But I had a lot of support from my husband and my Heavenly Father, the latter who encouraged me with his Spirit.  

After conference, we talked out in the parking lot about what we had watched.  C cried through the whole thing.  She pointed at the church building and said, "That.  That in there is what it's all about."

Later she told me that she had been searching and searching for this feeling.  She said that she had most of the story, but what she learned during the missionary discussions and attending church "finished the story."  

She had a strong testimony before even knowing anything about the Gospel.  I'm so impressed with how far she's come.  She's an example to me in all things. I think about what she's had to give up, and the trials she's had to endure just to become a member, and it strengthens me.  And now that she is a member, she's stalwart in learning all she can.  She sucks it up like a sponge.  Her questions are meaningful, her comments are heart felt and filled with the spirit, and I know everyone in our ward is in love with her.

So amazing.  I could go on and on.  But I'm crying so I won't.  

When I think about moving to Arizona, I feel like it was for this purpose.  I know the Lord would have sent others into C's life, but I'm so grateful we listened to the Spirit and came to Arizona.  So grateful we could watch and be a part of her miraculous conversion.  

Thinking of this area, the Spirit whispers in my mind this scripture from Doctrine and Covenants Section 4:

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
Therefore, oh ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work:
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that trusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul."

After talking with C, we discovered the hand of our Heavenly Father was working to bring us together long before we even moved here.  About the time my little family was praying about where we should move (and Cohen stood up and said with quite authority that the Spirit told him Árizona') C's husband had a dream that Heavenly Father told him to bring his children to Him.  

It's amazing, seeing events, like dominoes, falling into place with perfection.  It has strengthened my testimony like no other experience I've had yet.  

I know the Gospel is true.  Even if the people struggle, we are not perfect.  But the Gospel is perfect.  I'm grateful for this knowledge.  People, friends and family comment a lot, "You're so happy.  You have such happy kids.  You're marriage is so strong." And while these comments aren't always the truth, I know that what they see is the Spirit that's in us.  I know that's what makes me happy.  I know it's what makes my husband and children happy.  And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Carrots: An Introduction

"I'm trying something new today, mom?  Well, alright..."

"Ummm...what, pray tell, is this stuff?"

" is awful."

 "Please don't make me eat more."


Sorry, son.  It's for your own good.  And the good of mommy's, um...mammories.

"You do know I can mess with your sleep.  Seriously mess.  It.  Up."

Threats will get you nowhere, son.

"Why do you hate me!!!???"

Carrots.  It may perhaps be his hair color, but 'tis not his choice of vegetable.

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