Monday, July 28, 2014

Clarissa's Story

Clarissa wrote a story this morning and was very excited to show it to me. It made me laugh so hard that I had to make sure it was properly documented! So I photographed it and wrote it down exactly as she told it to me. She cracks me up. :)

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Friday, July 25, 2014


I was looking at this picture I took of Clarissa last month on our vacation and it reminded me of a similar picture I took of her in Korea, so I put them together for comparison. This makes me smile because she did NOT like Shawn at first. The fact that she even let him hold her in that photo was kind of a miracle.

And now? One hundred percent daddy's girl. :)

Happy :)

I know my happy project is over, but I had to share one more. :) This morning Clarissa drew this and hung it on the wall in my bedroom next to my side of the bed. I love that kid. Her artwork is all over the house and I love it! It definitely makes me happy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


After 100 days of blogging, I suddenly don't have a whole lot to say! I am loving this summer because it's probably the most low key summer we've ever had. Usually we're busy with trips and camps and the kids activities, but this summer I purposely didn't really plan much for us. That means that we have had lots of lazy summer days this month, which have kind of been nice. The boys have been camping out occasionally, going to dollar movies during the day, hanging out with friends and just having fun. It's the way I remember summer when I was a kid. Walking to the park to get a snow cone, hanging out with friends, riding my bike, etc. I'm happy that this summer they're experiencing that. It feels nice not to be busy and over scheduled sometimes.

I'm enjoying it while it lasts because I know as soon as August hits we're going to be crazy busy again. Because all three kids are starting new schools this year, all three of them will have some sort of orientation type thing we'll need to go to, in addition to registration, so that will mean all sorts of trips to all three schools to deal with all of that.We'll also be running around doing back to school shopping, which is a time consuming process. I'm crossing my fingers that Josh has grown a bit this summer because the last time we bought pants for him he was in this weird size that doesn't really exist. Everything was too long, too short, to loose or too tight. He was at this weird stage where he was too big for the biggest kids size but too small for the smallest men's size. I'm hoping that he has had enough of a growth spurt this summer to kick him up to the next size and maybe we won't have to drive all over the planet searching for jeans that fit!

Clarissa starts school August 12th and the boys go back on August 25, so it will be a month of changes and adjustments. Also, in the middle of that we will celebrate Matthew's 11th birthday on August 15th and Shawn's pharmacy is moving to a new building sometime in August so I have the feeling that when that happens he's going to be super busy with work for a while while they set everything up at their new location and get up and running.

So for now I am content with lazy days. We're all hanging out doing nothing super important and I think we all need that right now. It's the calm before the storm. The past few months have been crazy busy and the next few months will probably be crazy busy again, but right now we're just chilling out and watching the clouds go by and taking a much needed breather. And that makes me happy! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It feels so weird to be done with my 100 days of happy project! I considered keeping it going, but decided not to. It was somewhat of a challenge to make sure I blogged every single day for 100 days. I needed a break!

Today was a doctor day. This morning Matthew and I went to the orthodontist to talk about a treatment plan for his teeth. Basically Matthew's teeth are all sorts of messed up. Which we already knew, I suppose, but today we got to see x-rays and molds and photographs.

He has multiple problems happening. His lower jaw is too far back and his upper teeth are way too far forward. Since his lower teeth don't meet his upper teeth, his lower teeth have grown way too high trying to find his top teeth. He's too young for full braces because he still has baby teeth, but it's bad enough that it really needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. So next month he's getting braces on his four front top teeth and his four front bottom teeth. They'll work on moving his overbite back and his bottom teeth down. Then in six months or so they're going to put in a device called a herbst, which will force his lower jaw forward. That will stay in for a year or so. After all of that they'll take everything off and take a break for a year or so and then he's probably going to have to have a full mouth of braces again after that to fix the rest of his adult teeth that haven't come in yet. So basically he's looking at years and years of orthodontic work. Poor kid.

He's not super thrilled about it, but he is excited for the end result. The orthodontist showed us pictures of someone else who had very similar problems and the end result looked great. He's going to be glad he's getting it over with.

So we spent quite a while dealing with that this morning and then I hurried and dropped him off at home and I had a dentist appointment. I hate going to the dentist. We all know my feeling about doctors. I still need a crown done. I'm still dragging my feet about it. Bleh.

So that pretty much took up most of my day. But in the spirit of sharing happy things on my blog, I have a happy thing today! (It's a habit I don't know how to quit now, lol.)

My happy thing is that Matthew is doing great in piano lessons! He's only been taking lessons for a little over a month. His teacher basically skipped through the first book because he was picking it up so fast. He really loves practicing and I love hearing piano music in the house. It makes me happy every time he sits down to play.

I know this song is super simple, but for a month of piano lessons it's not so bad! He's been playing it all week and it's stuck in my head, so I filmed it this morning so I could share it with everyone else. Now it can get stuck in your head for a while. :) I'm proud of how well he's doing!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Well here we are, 100 days later, and I have officially completed the 100 happy days challenge. Yay me!

So here is what I've learned about life over the past 100 days. One thing that I learned is that the things that make me truly happy aren't things. They're the people in my life and the experiences I have. Spending time with my kids, date nights with Shawn, girls nights with friends. It has been really fun today to review the last 100 days and remember the things that made me happy. 

To be honest, the past couple of months have had some turmoil and struggles. There has been a lot of change happening lately, which we all know I resist! Saying goodbye to my mom was hard, and watching my kids all finish a phase in their schooling was emotional. There were some days that I really had to think about what my happy thing for the day was going to be, because not every day of my life is super exciting and adventurous and full of obvious happy things.

But I think that's why this project was so good for me. It taught me to look for and appreciate the little things in life. Not every day of my life is a day at the beach. Sometimes it's just full of keeping a house together, juggling three kids and figuring out what's for dinner. But even on the mundane days, this project taught me to look for the happy moments, and without fail there were always happy moments to be found. 

But the biggest thing I learned as a result of this project, is that the biggest factor in my happiness is me. The trick to life is choosing to be happy, even if life isn't going exactly as planned. There were days that I had to create happy things. There were days when I had to dig deep to find the happy. When it really comes down to it, my happiness doesn't depend on what's going on around me, it comes from inside. Happiness is a choice. What I have come to realize is that choosing to be happy is probably one of the most important skills in life to master, and for me, being such an introverted overthinker, that isn't something that always comes easy for me. This project has helped me work on that skill, and for that I am grateful.

So for day 100 I decided that my happy thing was obvious. It's me. When it all comes down to it, I choose my happiness. My happiness comes from me. 

And that's what I learned in 100 days. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 99

It's day 99!! One more day and I have actually completed a goal! :) Look at me, finishing what I start like a grown up. There might still be hope for me yet. :)

So my happy thing today doesn't really have a picture, so I'm sharing a related photo, even though I didn't take it and I think it was taken a few days ago.

My happy thing is that I got to FaceTime with my mom and stepdad in Malaysia! After spending a week in Utah, three days in Hong Kong and a day in Singapore, they have finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur, where they will be living for the next year and a half or so.

I have gotten a couple of short e-mails but haven't really gotten to hear much from them in the past week and I've been really anxious to hear that they had gotten settled. So when my iPad started ringing, letting me know my mom was trying to FaceTime me, I got super excited!! The connection wasn't great, so it was a bit choppy, but I was really happy to see their faces and know that they had arrived in Malaysia safely.

They are doing well, just getting settled in and trying to figure everything out. I think it's going to be quite a culture shock for them for a while!

We didn't get to talk too long because they were getting ready to start their day (it's Saturday morning there already) but at the end of the call my mom asked me to call my grandma and let her know that I had heard from them. They're still getting their phones figured out so they can't call her yet.

So after I talked to them I called my grandma. And here is something I realized today. It doesn't matter how old you get, or how old your kids get, you still worry about them every time they're out of your sight. My grandma is 91 and my mom is 67 and when I called my grandma to tell her that they had arrived and were doing well, I could hear the relief in her voice to know that they were safe. She had been worrying about them.

I know that feeling so well, it's a mom thing. We're hard wired to worry about our kids every time they go out into the world. I don't know why I thought maybe that goes away when you're elderly and your kids have long since grown up and left home, but I could tell from the relief I heard in my grandmas voice that it never goes away, even if you're 91 and your child is in their 60's.

I find that both comforting and terrifying at the same time, lol. I'm a nervous wreck every time I so much as have to send a kid to scout camp for the week. This continues forever? Crap. My plan to lock my kids in a box forever is starting to make more sense. (Don't worry, I'm not locking anyone in a box. I may, however, have to attend college with them and possibly move in with them when they get married. lol)

So that's my happy thing today. Mothers and daughters. I was happy to talk to my mother and know that she arrived safely and I was happy to be able to pass that news on to her mother, who has been waiting to hear that her daughter was safe.

I don't have a picture of the FaceTime session or the phone call, but I do have a photo of my mom and stepdad arriving in either Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. I'm not sure which. (The other guy in the photo is either their mission president or their Hong Kong trainer, I'm not sure.) they seem happy and I'm happy for them!