Monday, April 30, 2007

Searching for Balance


So, I prayed this morning...this is what I received.

Simplify.

I will pay for childcare whenever I need it.
I will say "no" to anything that might cause time pressure.
I will consider my hobbies a need, rather than a want.
I will take full advantage of the childcare at the gym.
I will use the Crock-Pot for dinner.
I will, this is hard, use paper plates and buy prepackaged snacks.
I will not ride all over town looking for a deal.
I will do the best I can in my religion.
I will do better in my relationship with Heavenly Father.
I will make my home pretty, peaceful, playful, and educational.
I will not beat myself up because I can't do everything.

There you have it...Simple.
Ahhh, the power of prayer.

A New Twist on Water?




I have been drinking LOTS of Crystal Light. I love it, but the Aspartame is not so good for me.
That being said, I am in search of a LOW SUGAR way to spice up my water.
Any Ideas?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Grateful Sunday


I am grateful for baby-sitters.
It has been really tough without Don around...just me and three kids under 5 years old.
This weekend was especially hard cuz Don was home but distracted by work...not to mention exhausted. So, I was still on duty. I hoped to be "recharged" at church, but I just couldn't leave my husband during the 48 hours he was in town.
So, rather than trying to strong-arm Don into going to church, I called a baby-sitter. Don and I spent both Friday and Saturday evenings just hanging out with one another. That helped my low battery.
Thank you SUPER BABY-SITTERS!

(I do have to say, I am still pretty bummed I have to miss church in order to see my husband.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Don's Job


I don't like Don's job today! They are making me so angry. They told him, although he is great at his job, he needs to try harder (AKA: work more). 80+ hours a week isn't enough!?!?!? They want him to, admittedly, do the work of at least 2 people. What happened to this work-life balance they preached when he first joined BCG?
I put my foot down today. 80 hours a week is enough. If they want more...start looking for a new job.
Not only has Don sacrificed for this job, so have I. I am not willing to give up any more of my Husband and my kid's Father for money! (Of course, their health plan is increadable...I would miss that.)
There, I said it...I feel a little better.
See, Audra, we all have grumpy days during which we need to vent!

Funny thing: BCG ranked #8 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies for in 2007!
Here is a little secret about BCG...they don't report all the hours they work. The client gets way more BCG time than they originally bought. This is part of the reason why BCG looks as if they uphold their work-life balance theory.
Also, BCG has an "up or out" policy. If you stay, you WILL BE promoted, but they will "encourage you to explore other options if you are not a good fit (killing yourself) to be promoted." No wonder they have such a great "promotes from within" reputation.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mean things boys have said to me...

The girls of "THE VIEW" were talking this morning about mean things boys have said to them.
I couldn't help but document my memories...

Kindergarten: "You are my second best girlfriend." Landen Landry

3rd Grade: "I really like you. I would like to go with you, but it would ruin my reputation." Craig Johnson

11th Grade: "Don't you see, I treat you better when you look nice?" Todd Sumrall

Silly Boys!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our trip to Sedona





I had 4 days and 3 nights in Sedona, AZ with my husband, my Best Friend and her wonderful Fiancé. It was so great.
We had fabulous accommodations, The Adobe Grand Villas. I can't say enough good things about this place. It is quite literally the nicest place I have yet to stay.
We rented Rubicon Jeeps (Thanks to David) and did LOTS of off-roading. We didn't want to give the Jeeps back after our allotted 24 hours. Of course, we conquered all the most challenging trails. The first time around we were all very cautious, but by the end of the second day, we were going over rocks and down gullies as if they were sticks and mud puddles. YEE HA! I am very proud of my BF, Nicole. She was very nervous, but she rallied and even drove a few times!



We also visited several National Parks. The first was the Palatki Ruins National Park. The area has been occupied for at least 800 hundreds years, though originally occupied by Indians. We checked out the Indian artwork on the rocks, and we also walked through old Indian dwellings. Fun facts: The Indians were very short and only lived to be 25 or 30.



The second was Coconino National Forest, the coolest thing about it was winding our way up the side of a Mountain. The GPS just had a bunch of squiggly lines in one spot.
I have to say our descent was very different from our ascent. Don "Safety Saves" Haney drove up at a casual 30 miles per hour. Our resident Racecar Driver, David, raced down. I think David really believed the Mountain, elevation 7000 and no shoulder, would make a great racetrack. He actually said, "She (our rental car) has a lot more in her. The tires aren't even squealing." OH, MY GOSH!

The third park was on the way to the Grand Canyon, the Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Park. We saw, get this, snow on lava in 65-degree weather...oxy moron, huh? We also got a great view of the Painted Desert.


Last, we did the Grand Canyon. It is just beautiful. Seeing from the top was great, but we NEED to go back soon so we can raft and hike through it.








There is so much more that filled in the gaps of the above story! I loved our picnic on the rocks, our private Chefs dinner, our 4-wheel-drive donuts, and even though the food sucked, our night at El Tovar with reconstituted water.
"Moving on..."

Ironic

Jesus Land vs. Wicked?



I have been reading an intriguing but disturbing book called, Jesus Land. When I bought it, I figured it would delve into the complex relations between Christian and non-Christian children and families. It does that, but in a very negative way.
So, yesterday, I read the last chapter (skipped all of the middle) and trashed it. It was such a downer.
To replace it I bought, Wicked. The story of why the Wicked Witch of the West became "wicked." It seems to be much less of a bummer, while still challenging "our pre-conceived notions about the nature of good and evil."

The moral of the story: Don't judge a book by its cover (or title).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Questions and Answers


I MISS: my husband
I HATE: to hear Cole scream
I HEAR: cartoons
I REGRET: yelling at my kids
I LIKE: chocolate
I SING: badly
I GOT THIS SURVEY FROM: Natalie
I SHOULD: be cleaning

[WOULD YOU EVER...]
EAT AN INSECT? no, not even on Survivor
BUNGEE JUMP?: yep, but with great hesitation
HANG GLIDE?: yep, but also with great hesitation
KILL SOMEONE?: yes, for defense (contemplated it once)
WALK ON HOT COALS?: if it didn't hurt
GO OUT TO EAT WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER?: no, why would I do that?
BE A VEGETARIAN?: yes
DYE YOUR HAIR BLUE?: I have done purple. why not blue?
STAY UP ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT: not these days

[THE LAST PERSON WHO...]
SLEPT ON THE SAME BED WITH YOU?: Don
SAW YOU CRY?: Don
YOU SAW CRY? Randi
WENT TO THE CINEMA WITH?: Don
WENT TO DINNER/LUNCH WITH?: Don
THAT CALLED YOU ON THE PHONE: Don
MADE YOU LAUGH: Don
(Boy, Don and I do a lot together.)

[DO YOU PREFER]
FLOWERS OR CANDY? flowers
COLOR OR BLACK?: color
SUNRISE OR SUNSET?: sunset
STAYING UP LATE OR WAKING UP EARLY?: I stay up late, but should get up early

Romney for President


I like this guy.
I trust him.
It seems, in 2008, we Americans have an opportunity to elect someone with both experience AND integrity. What a novelty?
Something about him makes me excited about the Democratic process.
Maybe it is because he really loves and honors his wife?
Maybe it's because his platforms make sense?
Maybe it is because he uses "Mitt" instead of "Romney?"
Maybe it is because he believes policy should benefit people, instead of the other way around?
Maybe it is because he’s LDS?
Maybe it’s because he doesn't always wear a tie?
Maybe it's because he not scared of change?
Maybe it is because of his track record as Governor and with the Olympics?
Or maybe, just maybe, I like him because he stands for what I believe America SHOULD be?
He inspires me to believe "we the people" can take responsibility for our future.
We'll see how the election progresses, but as of now, I am on Team Mitt.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Anxiety Attack?


What the heck? I think I have had two anxiety attacks in the past 3 days. Seriously, I called 911 and everything. I thought I was having a heart attack. I am going to the Doctor tomorrow.
I don't see how I could be under all that much stress, just coming back from vacation and all. In fact, when the first one hit I was on a date with Don...no kids in sight. The second one hit at naptime while Don was doing the grocery shopping for me! I don't get it.
My chest was so tight that I couldn't breath, both arms went numb, my neck hurt, my back hurt and I was so light headed that I couldn't answer questions.
I wasn't scared or stressed at the time when they hit, and I have no family history of attacks. I’m only 31. I am not over weight. I work out regularly. I don't smoke. The picture of health, right?
Again, what the heck!?!?!

Cole is so stinkin funny!


"Never Fear, Super Cole is here!"
Random comment from Cole getting out of the car after church.

Grateful Sunday





I am grateful we can finally afford to go on vacation. We have worked very hard to get here.
I have to admit, this position is very comfortable, but it isn't as different as I thought it might be. We are still the same people with the same friends and the same view on life. We just eat out more.

Check out these pictures of our accommodations is Sedona! Cool, huh? Yes, there were 3 fire places (4 counting a room not shown). Go on, count them...1, 2, 3! Whoo Hoo! I walked around turning them on simply because they were there.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Time with my Husband


The time away from the stresses of "normal life" with one's spouse is so important!
On this Sedona trip, I simply enjoyed Don's company. I didn't follow him around giving orders about the house and the kids, and he didn't focus on the budget and the schedule. It was great!
When the pressures of daily life are added, we are a powerhouse team, but it sure was fun to simply be intimate friends…to remember why we first choose one other as partners.
I love that he couldn't care less about what he is wearing. I love that he is brave. I love that, when it really matters, he takes care of me. I love that I don't have to baby-sit him. I love that he doesn't judge anyone. I love that doesn't hold a grudge. I love that he misses me when we are apart. I love that he is so smart. I love that he is an outdoorsmen despite white-collar job. I love that I can fully trust him.
I love that I could go on all day writing about what I love about Don.
Don, "you're cool."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday (on Friday)


Coming Home to Kids


On the flight back from Sedona, I was truly dreading the return. I was sad.
I realized that I think of my kids as work. I don't want to view them that way.
I love my kids more than words can express. I wouldn't trade them for anything. So, I pondered how I could change my focus and appreciate my children for the beautiful gifts they are.
My girlfriend, N*, had a great thought. She said, "I have a parent bucket, a work bucket, a church bucket, and a volunteer bucket."
If only one bucket was full, she wouldn’t feel balanced. If all of her buckets were full, she would feel weighed down.
When she has a little in every bucket, she feels balanced and challenged.
I am exploring my options. I might go back to work, part-time. I may find some serious hobbies. I may start training for a marathon. I want my children to see that one can love and care for their family while still being a fulfilled individual.
So, here I go...searching for some balance...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Weight Loss Challenge


It is more like a get back into shape challenge.
My girlfriend and I decided to get back to the weight we were when we first met several years ago. We have 12 weeks to do it. To show off our success, we have planned a girl's trip to the beach.
Wish me luck!
I have to admit; last night, I had a Coke float and pizza. Not what I would call a running start!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blog, Blog, Blog


I'm home! I have so much about which to write...Easter, my parents with 3 kids, my Grandmother and her ageing, vacation activities, time with my husband, coming home to kids, and a weight loss challenge.
I have my work cut out for me. Stay tuned...

Good Manners


While on the phone with Don tonight, Cole asks, "Um, Dad, may you please, when you get home, play Hot Wheels tracks with me?"
He is really listening when I preach to him about manners. Go figure?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Real Simple Questions



1. Name one fashion item you would not be caught dead wearing.

One of those REALLY short skirts. Not so sanitary when one sits down. YUCK!

2. What's the quality you like least in others?

Dishonesty

3. What's your motto?

Don't whine, fix it!

4. What's something that no one knows about you?

I want a stripper pole in my bedroom.

5. Favorite junk food?

Cookies!!!

6. Name one of the most difficult adjustments you have made in your life and one thing that made it doable.

The transition from Executive to Stay-at-Home Mom.
My prayers make it possible. I pray all the time to make sure I am still doing the right thing by staying home.

7. Name one thing you are afraid of.

Loosing a child. I can't imagine anything worse.

8. The big decision I'm currently wrestling with is...

Is it really all that bad to drink wine?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Vacation!!!


Don and I are leaving for Sedona, without the kids, tomorrow...so, if you are wondering why my posts are not posting...that's why.

Grateful Sunday & HAPPY EASTER


I am thankful for all things Easter. I think this is my favorite Holiday of the year. I do wish I had planned more "Christian" Easter celebration. I truly tried, but it just didn't happen this year. Well, I do still have the rest of the day. I think we will make those Easter Story Cookies.

More about my Easter to come...why it's my favorite Holiday, and why it was so hard this year to make it a proper celebration.