Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Families are Forever

Yesterday I had the extreme priveledge of attending the Draper Temple openhouse with my entire family. I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love that we have the temples so that we can be given the keys that we need to have a Celestial and eternal marriage with those that we so dearly love.

I love when new temples are built for the opportunity of being able to tour through them as children and with children, as they have not yet been dedicated. I distinctly remember being 8 years old and being able to go to the Jordan River temnple with my family. It actually stands out in my mind as if it were not nearly 30 years ago but only a few. I remember being a small child and feeling the spirit that the temple brought into my life and knowing then that I wanted to be married in one of the Lords holdy temples.

It was amazing to me to sit and watch my children as we were watching the 10 minute video presentation before heading up to the temple. I have never in all of our years of going to church seen my boys sit so reverently and be completely engrossed in what they were seeing.

Inside of the temple I was yet again amazed by the beauty and peace of our surroundings. Every time we would pass one of the many paintings of Christ it filled my heart to see John Matthew grin his big cheesy grin as if he was seeing a painting of his best friend. Our little ones are so precious.

Aaron was so impressed with the baptismal font. JM just wanted to get in and go swimming.

The best part without a doubt was taking a few minutes to sit with my entire family in the Celestial room of the temple. To look in each others faces and to know that we are a forever family. My sweet husband sent me an email today that will go in my "happy things" place. He said.."When I looked at your face in the Celestial room it gave me a reassurance that you know the truthfulness of the gospel and that it is so important to you. I am so thankful for that!" I in turn am so thankful for my husband and the good man that he is and the example that he is to our children.

I pray that the experience of going to the temple will stay with my children and that they will remember the feelings of peace therein and that one day they too will choose to be sealed for Eternity with the loved one of their choice....or their "pretty girl" as Aaron and I discussed while sitting in one of the sealing rooms.

My testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is nothing earth shattering. It is a simple yet firm knowledge that the true church of Christ as been restored here on Earth in the latter days. I pray that I can teach my children well and that they will learn while they are young for themselves of the truthfullness of the gospel.

I am so thankful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and for the sacrifice that he made to make all of this possible.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365 Upload #3

Amazingly enough I am still hanging in there with the photo a day thing. I think the fact that my new computer will open up Photoshop in about 3 seconds flat helps!

Here's a peek into our life over the past week.


January 20th:

We watched a little of history in the making during the Innaguration of President Barack Obama. I never imagined that we would find ourselves one day with an African American president. I think it shows great strides in the freedom equality that our country stands for. I pray that President Obama will do Gods will and will lead our country in the right direction.

Jan 21:

Much of the country has been hit with extremely cold temps, Utah being no different. We've spent a good share of the beginning of 2009 with temps reaching their highs in the mid teens. I've never been a lover of winter, and the older I get the less I like it. Here's hoping that things warm up soon so that I can get running again outside!

Jan 22:

There is nothing better than a girls night out with a bunch of friends. There were a bunch of us from the neighborhood that spent the evening having scalp massages at the Paul Mitchell hair school. All I can say is that was the one of the very best $6 I've ever spent. Especially since I didn't have to flat iron my own hair! Following our scalp treatments we all went to dinner at The Brick Oven in Provo. It just doesn't get better than that!

Jan 23:

I love the fact that I gained some wonderful sisters through Marriage. I begged Jana to go to lunch with me at Sweet Tomatoes as I was having a massive craving for their wheat bread. So not good for you with all of the honey butter smothered on top, but oh so good to get out and have some sister time.

Jan 24th:

Recently John Matthew has been incredibly stubborn about staying in his high chair. Two children ago, we tore the seat belt out of the high chair because it got all nasty from food, and neither Tessa nor Aaron every thought to try repetedly to escape the seat. JM on the other hand, has to be buckled into every high chair, shopping cart or any other seat possible if we don't want him to move. After tiring of worrying about him falling onto the tile floor we went to IKEA and bought a chair to hold his booster seat. He is now part of the family at the table and very pleased about his new seating arrangement.

Jan 25th:

I hate spending time alone when Tracey is out of town on business so we decided to spend Sunday evening over at Grandma and Grandpa Dahl's. Aaron was so thrilled to go there as we don't often have time when we are there for Family Home Evening, to play with the Geo Trax train set. I'm sure playing with these trains will go down in Aarons memory as one of the happy thoughts of when he was little at G&G Dahl's home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday #3 - Must we go there?

Yes...we must...because you all are my "free" form of accountability. Sure I think of joining a group that I have to pay for but really, I know what is good, I know what is healthy, I've read enough about how to eat to teach lectures (just kidding...but boy have I read a ton), and I know what I need to do to get where I want to be. So YOU all are my weekly accountability.

But this week was not one of those weeks that treated me well.

I have not exercised since Friday. Too many sleepless nights with sick kids has sucked any will of exercising out of my existence!

Tracey's birthday "cake" was sheer evil...and who ate most of it? Me. Yup. Even when I demanded that it be gone or thrown out before I got home from scrapbooking on Sat. I found it tucked away in the pantry due to the resistance of my older girls freaking out at the thought of it being thrown out. Did they eat any? No. I went ahead and ate it for breakfast on Sunday, many nibbles throughout the day, for breakfast on Monday and finally threw it out on Mon. afternoon.

Yesterday in a moment of pure desperation at not having a mental breakdown I hit the ol' drive up at Arctic Circle. French Fries, Ranch Burger AND Cheesy sticks. Oh yeah. I know how to kill any chance of a decent weigh in, don't I.

So yup. I'm up. .6 pounds. I guess it could be worse, but if I don't get back on track I'm going to be moving farther away from my current goal of a size 8, which I am OH so close to achieving.

Here's to getting back on the wagon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Project 365 Upload #2

Well I can't believe I haven't missed a day yet of taking photos. Here is the second batch of photos for my "Photo a Day" challenge.

Jan 11th:

There are few and far between photos taken of me and any of the kids. I ADORE this photo that Tracey took fo me and Aaron on a lazy Sunday morning. I especially love that this is not one of the photos that we were posing for, but Tracey happened to catch the quick kiss that I stole from Aaron right before I got up.

Jan 12th:

I've been so careful to take care in watching what I eat this year. Dedication to portion control, vs. eating the right amounts of protein and carbs has really paid off. This week alone I have managed to lose 3.6 pounds!

Jan 13th:

Having JM in the house is like having a constant, full-time, non-stop job of supervising him. The kid does not stop. Aaron had left his morning bowl of cereal on the table and JM quickly snatched it up and threw it on the ground. I guess I can't complain that we've been married for 16 years and this is the first piece of Pfalzgraff from our wedding gifts that has been broken.

Jan 14th: It's been so much easier having Tracey on board with the exercise program. We've actually both been very active since last March when Tracey started training for the Ragnar Relay Race. This is often how our morning starts when it is too cold to run outside, by leaving the house at 6AM to go and workout at our gym.

Jan 15th:

Tracey is always so good to help me out with the kids. Today I had a doctors appointment and rather than deal with the boys during my visit, Tracey came and picked them up and took them to lunch. The only sad part was that I wasn't able to join them for chips and salsa!

Jan 16th: Today Tracey turned 38 years old. I'm really not quite sure when this happened as he was a mere 18 year old boy when we met. 20 years of knowing him and I only grow to love him more and more each day. I am so blessed to have such a loving and devoted husband who loves the Lord immensely and is always so quick to show that and remind me of what is truly important in life.

Jan 17th:

I eagerly look forward to scrapping with Traceys sisters once a month at Archivers in Orem. I'd be lost without my "sisters" to scrapbook with as I have no sisters of my own to share the passion of the hobby. It was so nice this day to have a break from the kids, although I was really not in the mood to be creative, and actually spent most of the day just sitting at the table chatting.

Jan 18th:

Today was a total sick day in our house. Actually Maddison and Sarah were good girls and went to church on their own. I was so proud of them. Tracey stayed home to take care of the kids while I tried to rest. After having slept horribly for many nights, my yucky dizziness problems returned and I just didn't feel well enough to even stand up. The kids spent a good share of the day in mine and Tracey's bed watching movies on his computer.

Jan 19th:

Aaron has officially succombed to the pink eye infection that his brother so thoughtfully shared with him. It's been a rough start to a new year for the kids with their colds and infections. Thankfully Dr. Mumford is willing to call in a prescription for eyedrops for Aaron, saving us both time and money.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No, this is NOT trick photography! :0) Weigh In Wed. #2

I have worked SO hard this past week. Since last Wed., I've exercised all but 2 days (last Friday and Sunday), I've been drinking water like it's going out of style and I've been careful about what I've eaten, trying to balance my protein vs. carbs as well as feeding my face every 3 hours.

And it has paid off.

For sure.

I was stunned after I got home from the gym this morning to do my 2nd official weigh in for the year. I was hoping to have lost a pound or two but was so excited to have lost 3.6 pounds. IN ONE WEEK! Wow. I might be reaching my goal of 164 sooner than later if I can keep it up like I have been.

Just for a little visual for you all, I found this photo of a pound of fat vs. a pound of muscle. Yup. I'll take muscle any day.

One more photo for you. I took this one this morning out my window of the beautiful foggy sunrise.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Years Revolutions

I had to laugh when we were in church the other day and some kid gets up to bare his testimony and talks about his New Years Revolutions. So now Tracey and I have dubbed that as our term for the items we wish to resolve.

Tracey and I have talked quite a bit about the things that we'd like to do better with in our lives. Neither of us have committed our "revolutions" to paper, and after reading my sweet SIL's blog this morning I realized what better place to put down my goals than here, where it will never be lost.

Goal #1 - Pray every night with Tracey. So far we've done great. I think we've only missed one night and that was cause I fell asleep. I am good and don't even pull the "it's your turn" stunt anymore. I know if it's an even day it's my day and no dancing around turn issues is allowed!

Goal #2 - Spend more one on one time with the kids. Starting today we are taking them on a "date" once a month. (Oh dear...what will happen when JM is big enough? There aren't 5 weeks in the month!) It's not going to be anything fancy. Most likely just a trip to the gas station for a treat or something. Just some time to connect and find out what is really going on in their lives.

Goal #3 - Attend the temple once a month. Be it together or be it separate, we plan to go once a month.

Goal #4 - Finish reading the Book of Mormon by mid October. At FHE with my family the other night my brother issued our family (my whole side) to finish the Book of Mormon by mid October. I don't know why I am so excited about this. I think the fact that it is a goal that I will be trying to reach with the people that I love so dearly will make it that much more enjoyable. Not to mention that April promised us a pizza party for those that complete! That girl sure knows how to throw a party for sure!

Goal #5 - Exercise / lose weight. Yup. It has surely been a struggle for me. Granted, I know I look fairly decent for a mom of 5, and I know I have people getting mad at me all the time when I tell them that I want to lose more weight, and often get the "gee I wish I had only 10 pounds to lose, but the truth of it is, it is equally as hard for me as it is for anyone, and I don't think people often realize that. I work my butt off. There is no doubt about that, and I am proud at the results that I have seen, but It's so frustrating to see where I once was and hope that I have the potential to get there again. (Allthough that was 2.5 pregnancies ago! Maybe my 30+ year old body say NO!) Regardless, I have the revolution to continue exercising. Tracey is a mad man and is exercising 6 days a week for an hour, but my goal is a little less lofty with no less than 4 days, preferrably 5. So far I've nailed it. I've only missed a couple of days since the new year (not counting Sundays cause I don't exercise on Sunday), and I feel good. I've really been conscious of what I eat lately and it's making a HUGE difference. Even if I'm not drastically dropping pounds, I am dropping inches, and it's nice to have to be tugging up the ol' jeans once again.

Goal #6 - I guess this really goes in hand with exercise. I'm going to run another 1/2 marathon this year. Running is addictive. Running is so much work, but the reward is un-describable. I just can't wait until it warms up enough to get out there regularly once again.

Goal #7 - Take a photo a day. So far so good! I think it will be fun at the end of the year to have a complete visual documentary of the people I so dearly love.

So I know that was mostly for my benefit, cause really, who cares what my goals are. Just nice to have it outta my head and onto "paper". Thanks for the inspiration Michelle.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Other Daughter

Yup. Take one look at this photo and tell me this sweet girl shouldn't be my own flesh and blood?

It's sad when you have to rely on your brother and his wife to create a child that actually looks like me.

I just love my niece Briana. She's one of the spunkiest, funniest, happiest 15 year old girls on the planet. There isn't a family function that goes by that she's not there to give Grandpa Dahl a huge hug and to just make everyone happy with her presence.

I'm glad I'm your aunty Briana! And my "other" daughter! :0)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project 365 Upload #1

I figure while I am waiting for the CK Project 365 kits to come back into stock, I'd better start storing my information somewhere so I don't forget the reasoning behind why I took the photos. I love taking photos, and am excited about the idea of taking a differnt photo every day during the year of 2009.

So far I've done well! I just hope I can keep it up, because I am sure that this will be an album that I will cherish forever.

I love photography, and I generally strive to take pretty good photos for scrapbook purposes, but this album is going to feature a lot of "real life" and that means not having perfect lighting conditions or perfect subject matter. But real life....isn't that what it's all about?

Welcome to Project 365

Jan 1st: Moments after midnight, someone in my in-laws neighborhood bringing in the new year with some "illegals".

Jan 2nd: Aaron, starting the year out with a bang...or a bump anyway. He found a jar of my leave in hair conditioner and was laying on the ground. He held it up above his head and accidentally dropped it prompting an instant goosegg that just about made Tracey pass out.

Jan 3rd: Our first completed puzzle of the holiday season. What is it with puzzles? I can go an entire year without thinking about them but once Christmas hits a puzzle is a must!

Jan 4th: 11:00 church. After years of being stuck with the 1-4 church block we finally graduated to 9:00 church in October of 2008. While we were hoping to stay at 9:00 this year, we did move to 11:00. In all actuality it was nice not having to be so hurried in the morning.

Jan 5th: School is back in session! After 2 weeks of a Christmas break, school started up again. I really love having the kids around, so it was hard to see them walking out the door to the beginning of the rest of the school year.

Jan 6th: We're starting the year off with a bang! After a nearly $4,500 dental year last year we thought we'd jump right into 2009 with another dental expense. Aaron had extensive dental work done in Aug. of 2008 and was in question for a pulpotomy (baby root canal) for one of his front upper teeth. It finally came time to get it done. Nothing a little sedation and $300 can fix!

Jan 7th: 2009 is the year that I strive to get my body back to where I want it to be. While I've made great progress after having peaked at 215 pounds with my pregnancy with JM, I still want to lose more weight. I'm pleased with my hard work and determination that has brought me to my current size 10 and weight of 172 pounds, but I know with a little more effort and dilligence I will look better than I ever have!

Jan 8th: The long awaited arrival of Traceys new DSLR finally occured! Today the Canon 5D came to reside in our home. Tracey is SUCH a spoiled stinker, yet if he can continue to make money for our family with his gadgets then I truly can't complain!

Jan 9th: 2 years. TWO YEARS of living with a horrid blue bathroom and I had finally had enough. While showering I stood looking out of the shower stall envisioning my perfect bathroom. That's all it took (in addition to being incredibly bored!). I finally took the plunge and began the facelift of our master bathroom!

Jan 10th: Who can say no to a little Rock Band? Jana and Bryan and their boys came over to play Rock Band with us. I can't believe that we've been "neighbors" since the beginning of October and we've had such few opportunities to hang out with each other. I really love having them close, and love that they are a part of our family.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Maestro

Last night as we were trying to say our family prayers, JM kept interrupting. I had no idea that we have such a little composer on our hands! (Let alone I had no idea he figured out how to turn on our keyboard!)

I was laughing so hard that I made Tracey use his new 5D to film it. Sure didn't have to twist his arm too hard.

And yup. Missing lense life has begun. I think my 50mm got swiped and taken to work with him today.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow.

Wow. Snow. Not my favorite thing for sure. Yet we do seem to have an abundance of it. I guess that sort of comes with the territory of living in a city that doesn't care about plowing itty bitty culdesacs until SO much snow has fallen that they have to pull out the bobcats to do something with all of it.

And how did we rate? Getting all of the snow dumped right in front of our house!

Actually the kids have been having a ball with it and I'm sure if I was a kid again, I'd be out there non-stop, climbing, digging, sliding on the massive mound of snow.

So for the next few days at least (or months with my luck) we've got recreation, right out of our front door!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday #1

Well it's a brand new year so I figure what better way that starting it off by a visual documentation of where I am at with a scale that is actually accurate! As much as I wish my former scale was accurate, since it weighed me in a few pounds lighter, I am loving my new scale that weighs me dead on with the one at the gym, AND tracks whether I've lost or gained in between weigh ins.

Let's just say winter hasn't been too favorable to me. I really miss running outdoors as I swear with all of my being that it the best way to lose weight and keep it off. I've read that it is from many different sources, and from personal experience I will vouch that everything I've read about running is true.

So, here I sit. Middle o' winter and not being able to run outdoors as much as I'd like, which is sad, but at least I haven't gained wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much over the holidays. I've managed to pack about 4 pounds on my hiney in the month of December, but I've already lost a little bit of it, thanks to being very diligent at going to the gym in this new year. In fact, at one point on this very scale, which I got for Christmas, I weighed in at 178.5. Granted it WAS in the evening and I'm pretty sure I had my jammies on. Nevertheless, I do feel like I'm in the groove, and will hopefully see some good results this year. I hope anyway. I swear though, being this old makes it tough for losing anything except my mind! However, I do feel pretty dang good at how I look for being a mom to 5 children. My hips and abdomen may never be the same, but I've got 5 beautiful creations to remind me every day that my body is not what it once was and that is OKAY! The benefit of having each one of them far outweighs the body I once had.

So here's to a new year of Weigh in Wednesdays, and no you aren't going to get a visual documentation every Wed. For some reason I just don't feel like being so public about it since it's been a struggle the past little while. Maybe when I reach 165 I'll throw you a photo. THen again....maybe not!

Good luck to all of you dear friends and your quest to be healthy!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Rocks I tell ya...ROCKS. They MUST have been the secret ingredient in all of the food that I've eaten over the past few weeks, cause I really can't think of any other explanation for having gained 4 pounds over the past week and a half. I mean seriously? It couldn't have anything to do with eating out WAY too much, eating junk food like it's going outta style OR polishing off the last of a box of nasty chocolates could it? No. I'm telling ya, it must be rocks.

Here's hoping it warms up soon, cause running is my best tool for losing weight and keeping it off. For some reason the treadmill just isn't quite the same.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Wow. I can't believe that it is 2009! Honestly. Where DOES the time go? I remember as a child thinking that there was no way the world would still be around by the year 2000. Now I am thinking, do I even REMEMBER the year 2000?

We had a great evening last night. I spent most of the day in my kitchen yesterday creating a little of this and a little of that and thoroughly enjoying my new kitchen knives that are beyond sharp! In fact I think I enjoyed them a little too much, because I kept creating and kept creating and pretty much ended up with enough appetizers to cater a small party!

I have to say that my very favorite creation was my Southwest Egg Rolls & Cool Avocado Dip. Granted I decided to bypass the avocado dip and shoot straight for the knock off of the Cafe Rio house dressing.

We went to G&G Lee's for the night along with Tracey's sisters and their families. It was fun. Chaos with 8 small children, but fun.

We ate until we were sick. We played games and then more games. We ran outside at midnight like crazies making as much noise as we could, which in turn scared the bejeebies outta Tess, and then went to bed.

Today I started the new year off to a bang by waking up at 5:30 (thanks JM), then going to the gym with Tracey. We then took the kids to go and see Bedtime Stories which made me laugh out loud far more in a movie than I have in a very long time. (Even though it was quite cheesy!)

Anyhow, what better way than to say goodbye to what was an incredible year and to say hello to a new year surrounded by the people I love.

Happy New Year!

Southwest Egg Rolls & Cool Avocado Dip

2.5 C shredded cooked chicken.
1.5 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
2/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. grated lime peel
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 pgk. (16 oz.) egg roll wrappers
Oil for deep-fat frying

1 cup ranch salad dressing
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. grated lime peel.

In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Place 1/4 cup of chicken mixture in center of one egg rol wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat.

In an electric skillet or deep fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry egg rolls, a few at a time, for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on towels.

Meanwhile, combine the dip ingredients. Serve with egg rolls.